Obama’s Power-Mad Cell Phone Czar


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America is in debt past its eyeballs. Unemployment remains stuck near double digits. Small and large businesses, unions and insurers are clamoring for Obamacare waivers in droves. Jihadists are making a mockery of homeland security. And border chaos reigns. So, what’s one of the Obama administration’s top domestic policy agenda items this month? Combating distracted drivers.

What? You missed the Million Anti-Distracted Drivers Protest March on Washington and the Great Grassroots Groundswell for federal intervention on our highways and byways? Don’t worry. You weren’t the only one.

Making the cable TV rounds to unveil a public service announcement campaign against “epidemic” cell phone use and texting on the road, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood revealed bizarre and alarming plans on Wednesday to install devices in cars that would block a driver’s ability to communicate.

“There’s a lot of technology out there now that can disable phones, and we’re looking at that,” he threatened. LaHood — a liberal Republican and pork-addicted Chicago crony who embodies Obama “bipartisanship” — envisions centralized government mechanisms to shut off commuters’ BlackBerries and iPhones.

And that’s just the start. “We need to do a lot more if we’re going to save lives,” LaHood vowed, while paying obligatory lip service to encouraging “personal responsibility.” Will the cell phone banners ban radios, GPS devices, makeup and fast food in cars next? All are also listed as causes of distracted driver-induced accidents.

Any death due to such reckless behavior is tragic. But by “saving lives,” what cell phone czar LaHood really means is “controlling lives.” There are already 30 states with laws in place regulating drivers’ cell phone and/or texting habits. The District of Columbia and Guam also passed bans. The safety benefits of such laws are in dispute.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety examined insurance claims and driving habits in Louisiana, Washington, Minnesota and California, which all passed texting bans two years ago.

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  • Lady_Dr

    Save lives! I'm all for that. But will someone please look at my plan to do the same thing.

    Seal the border with Mexico and deport every foreign national who is here illegally and has so much as a jay-walking fine. It would not only lower the murder rate, it would reduce crime, reduce overcrowding of our prisons, lower government expenditures and at the same time make it possible for Americans to continue doing what they darn well please – things like talking on the cell phone while driving. Cannot say I'm for that one. But I sure think it beats the alternative.

    • viper

      You have hit the nail right on the head,100 per cent. This "czar "of Obamas exhibits no more "common sense" or "logical reasoning" than any one else in his entire Communistic regime!

  • kafir4life

    The obama administration is not very happy that people talk about what he's doing. He's actually a very spoiled little brat, who just came to the realization that people talk about him behind his back, and he doesn't like it!! The "man" is an abomination. Let's pray to the good Lord (leave the moon god allah out of it, as it's just made up) that in 790 days we'll be inaugurating someone without the middle name Hussein. That would be barring a successful impeachment or resignation.

  • Cat Taylor

    I say “ban Ray LaHood the power mad cell-phone czar”.

  • james

    I'm to the right of Attila, but I actually agree with LaHood's intentions. People are too distracted and self absorbed to care whether they are not fully in control. As with drunk drivers, if they would only take their own lives few would complain. Between drunks and texters the degree of driver's seat impairment is comparable. Yes, enforce the laws and raise the fines to the point of effectiveness. But, shutting down the net while driving is not a bad idea.

    • Jay

      Technology will solve the problem before the government will. Besides, let's take this paternalistic logic to its natuaral end. Let's look at a list of what distracts me on the road and we'll discuss if it should be banned:

      - my girlfriend yapping
      - other drivers (distracted or not)
      - my daughter reading "Never Smile at a Monkey" for the 10 millionth time out loud from the backseat
      - traffic
      - The fact that Barry Obama is president

      If the determining factor of what we should ban is whether or not it's distracting and can cost lives, I don't like where this is going.

    • alpha trion

      hey, i have an idea….ban cars and have 0 accidents; or maybe just idiot bloggers

    • Whit

      James, are you a distracted driver? Using our highways without causing an accident is your responsibility, not the responsibility of the highway patrol. A responsible person can do some things safely which would be extremely risky for an irrisponsible person and it is not up to the highway patrol to make driving fool proof.

      A better idea is training in responsibility, not passing laws to shift responsibility. An alert driver is a safe driver even if he does text. Why? Because if you are being responsible you know you will have your eye off the road momentarily so the first thing is to check to see if you have room to do that.

      I have a suggestion. While riding, not driving, close your eyes and cound 10, 15, 20 seconds and then open your eyes. You will be surprised at how far you have moved in that interval.

      The next best thing is to make a You Tube clip where the street is filmed while someone drives and then cutting various portions for a few seconds and then showing how much you have moved. This will work far better than any law can ever hope to work. Driving is our responsibliey.

      I like Lady_Dr’s thought. Driving under the influence is not responsible driving. When we license someone to drive we are testifying to their competence to be responsible. Can the law be partial and still be law?

    • Whit

      Did this post?

      James, are you a distracted driver? Using our highways without causing an accident is your responsibility, not the responsibility of the highway patrol. A responsible person can do some things safely which would be extremely risky for an irrisponsible person and it is not up to the highway patrol to make driving fool proof.

      A better idea is training in responsibility, not passing laws to shift responsibility. An alert driver is a safe driver even if he does text. Why? Because if you are being responsible you know you will have your eye off the road momentarily so the first thing is to check to see if you have room to do that.

      I have a suggestion. While riding, not driving, close your eyes and cound 10, 15, 20 seconds and then open your eyes. You will be surprised at how far you have moved in that interval.

      The next best thing is to make a You Tube clip where the street is filmed while someone drives and then cutting various portions for a few seconds and then showing how much you have moved. This will work far better than any law can ever hope to work. Driving is our responsibliey.

      I like Lady_Dr's thought. Driving under the influence is not responsible driving. When we license someone to drive we are testifying to their competence to be responsible. Can the law be partial and still be law?

  • waterwillows

    This is the first time in my life that I have had to wonder if the people in the WH are possibly going insane? That is without a doubt the most bird-brained idea.
    As fast as they are installed, they will be un-installed. Does the auto industry really need another shortage of sales? Used cars would be popular.
    Cell phones for the motorist are not just decorative. There are genuine emergencies that the benefit out weigh the risks. People need help all over the place. What if they are trapped in the car? The WH is insane.

    • kwbuggy

      How did people respond to emergencies twenty years ago when there were no cell phones? They are a cancer causing nuisance which serve no useful purpose except to give idiots something to occupy their time!

      • DrMack

        Don't know how others responded back then but this is how I did: It was 1978 and a Volkswagen bug in front of me was hit head-on by a drunk. It was about 11pm in a rural area. I couldn't get the guy out of the bug because he was entangled in the wreckage. Another car eventually came along and he left to call for an ambulance. About an hour went by and a fire truck eventually showed up. By that time the guy had bled out and died while I cradled his head all the while whispering to him that help was on its way. He was postal worker going home to his wife and young kids after his night shift ended. The drunk survived the crash, got out of his car and disappeared into the night on foot. The police caught him the next day but he was sober by then and they couldn't prove he was drunk at the time of the crash. No charges were filed. A cell phone would have changed the outcome entirely.

  • kccat

    Ban Toddlers in the back seat… The biggest distraction to drivers~!

  • highpressure

    But is it the federal government's job?

    Isn't it indeed a violation of 9th and 10th Amendments?

    • USMCSniper

      Driving is a privilege on interstate highways or even mud country roads, not a right!

      • Rick in VA

        Driving is indeed a privelage, but nowhere in the constitution is driving or the freedom to travel listed as being under the control of the federal government.

      • Wat

        I beg to differ, when I pull up to a pump I pay for the RIGHT, when I pay all the taxes and road use tax I pay for this RIGHT. Nothing is a privilege. When your money is taken you now have paid for a product…..

        • USMCSniper

          Your rights are endowed by your creator (or natural law if you are secular) as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness not granted by the government or the local church woman. Privileges like driving are based on your ability to pass a written and actual driving exam that grants you a drivers license to drive a vehicle on all roads and public highways. Just because you buy gas or pay taxes doesn't mean you get a valid license to drive. Got it?

        • Whit

          Wat, rights are not for sale. You do not buy a right to use our highways as you suggest. It is still a privilege whether it requires a license or not.

          Not arguing with your basic thought, which is valid. There are times when we need to spit hairs and sometime it is only intent that does the splitting. If you go to a ball game or theater that has an entrance fee you are buying the liberty to attend, not the right. Because you already had the right to buy the ticket.

      • highpressure

        Driving isn't a privilege as far as the Federal Government because they have limited right to regulate it according to the Constitution.

        The US Interstate system was developed and put through during the Eisenhauer Administration. It was developed partially by Federal money under the guise that during a time of war, it could be taken over by the military for the sole reason of mobilization of the military. But the Federal Government has never and is not currently using it exclusively for mass mobilization. So there power is primarily surrounds the standards of which the Highway system is built. Otherwise it is a clear violation of Article 1 and Section 8 of the US Constitution.

        Does the Constitution mean anything?

  • DrMack

    If you visit that site now you will also see an article about a DOT program that extends special privileges to "small disadvantaged businesses" in acquiring DOT contracts. The government's definition of a "disadvantaged" business is one in which 51% of the company is owned by a traditionally "disadvantaged" person, which includes African Americans, you know, like the President of the United States. So if you are a member of a certain race and you own a small business, you get a noncompetitive advantage handed to you when you want to do business with the government. If I did that with my vendors in the private sector I would be tossed into federal prison, so why does the government get to discriminate based on race?

    • bubba4

      You're right DrMack, Michelle's lying is ok if you can find something on that site you don't like. Thanks for the non-sequitor.

  • Rick in VA

    It's kinda funny. You can buy a cell phone blocker on the internet or the plans to build one; buts it's illegal to use it. Now the federal government wants to do what it prohibits us to do, all under the color of law.

  • CraigTX

    Obvious here … Feds control cellphone traffic and can shut it down.

    CraigTX

  • mark

    My home state, Mississippi, refuses to address cell phone use by drivers. At a typical traffic light during moderate traffic, it seems as though half the drivers, usually females I've noticed, are on the phones. They're typically distracted, and don't use turn signals. Their attention is focused on what's going on by their ear, not on what they're processing with their eyes. In rush hour, these same people appear to weave in and out of lanes with no planning; they won't use their turn signals, and often don't even look before they change lanes. Again, their focus is not on the task at hand, driving. I would like to see drivers get ticketed for inattentive driving while on cell phones. We have a huge base of uneducated drivers here in this state as it is, as standards have been lowered considerably from when I obtained my driver's license. It is pathetic. However, when the need to make a call due to an emergency arises, it would be a step back to have your cell phone disabled due to proximity to a vehicle.

  • Kendrick1

    If one really wants to save lives, do away with Roe vs. Wade. Here, LaHood is straightening the deck chairs on the Titanic while the ship sinks. It's all about conditioning to accept control–little bits at a time. A good salesperson will steer the conversation with a client with a series of questions that require a "yes" answer that is unrelated to the product he or she is selling. When the client has answered "yes" a sufficient number of times the salesperson then asks: "Do you want to buy?" This is how the government is conditioning us!!

  • heater

    don't be fooled by the "save lives " crap from the lahood's mouth. this is about power. the power to control our lives anywhere and everywhere. the osamabama and his miserable little cronies are using the wilson/goebbels playbook to rule and regulate from horizon to horizon. again, this is not about saving lives. it is about telling us what to eat, when to eat, and why to eat.

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