Dot-Connect of the Day: Government “Shutdown” = Big Fat Yawn

Alright, alright. Here’s my take.

I haven’t paid any attention. That’s in spite of hearing shitbag Harry Reid quoted on the radio this morning that “any further ‘Republican government shutdown’ would cause irreparable harm.”

Is there anyone who really believes this schtick, anymore? Really?

Besides all that, it’s just basically the Washington Monument Syndrome, and readers would do themselves well to take note.

The Washington Monument syndrome, also known as the Mount Rushmore Syndrome,[1] or the firemen first principle,[2][3] is a political tactic used in the United States by government agencies when faced with budget cuts or a government shutdown. The tactic entails cutting the most visible or appreciated service provided by the government, from popular services such as national parks and libraries[1] to valued public employees such as teachers and firefighters.[2] This is done to gain support for tax increases that the public would otherwise be against. The name derives from the National Park Service’s alleged habit of saying that any cuts would lead to an immediate closure of the wildly popular Washington Monument.[4]

That’s the entire width & breadth you need to know about it.

Listen: you want to impress me? All traffic signals go dark. All at once, immediately. Now, I know these aren’t funded by the feds—have to put that out there for those who have trouble with metaphors, parallels, dots connected.

Controlled Chaos: European Cities Do Away with Traffic Signs

European traffic planners are dreaming of streets free of rules and directives. They want drivers and pedestrians to interact in a free and humane way, as brethren — by means of friendly gestures, nods of the head and eye contact, without the harassment of prohibitions, restrictions and warning signs.

A project implemented by the European Union is currently seeing seven cities and regions clear-cutting their forest of traffic signs. Ejby, in Denmark, is participating in the experiment, as are Ipswich in England and the Belgian town of Ostende.

The utopia has already become a reality in Makkinga, in the Dutch province of Western Frisia. A sign by the entrance to the small town (population 1,000) reads “Verkeersbordvrij” — “free of traffic signs.” Cars bumble unhurriedly over precision-trimmed granite cobblestones. Stop signs and direction signs are nowhere to be seen. There are neither parking meters nor stopping restrictions. There aren’t even any lines painted on the streets.

“The many rules strip us of the most important thing: the ability to be considerate. We’re losing our capacity for socially responsible behavior,” says Dutch traffic guru Hans Monderman, one of the project’s co-founders. “The greater the number of prescriptions, the more people’s sense of personal responsibility dwindles.”

There’s tons of info on how eliminating road regulations reduces both accidents and fatalities…but both very bad for Obamacare, of course.

Strange as it may seem, the number of accidents has declined dramatically. Experts from Argentina and the United States have visited Drachten. Even London has expressed an interest in this new example of automobile anarchy. And the model is being tested in the British capital’s Kensington neighborhood.

Anarchy Begins at Home.” Here’s the video version.

I’ve previously blogged about the late, great, heroic Hans Monderman.

OK, dots connected on Thursday. Check.

….Oh, and: Fuck the feds. Fuck Obama. Fuck Reid and Boehner too. Fuck the state. Fuck initiatory force, coercion and theft.

Get along with each other on your own, or die as incompetent at life and do us all a big favor. Fuck voters.

Update: Just for fun, teach yourself to pronounce “Verkeersbordvrij” naturally. Then, you know: three times. Fast.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. LeonRover on October 3, 2013 at 12:30

    “Fuck voters” ?

    No need:

    Voters fuck . . . . each other.

  2. bob r on October 3, 2013 at 15:25

    “Voters fuck . . . . each other.”

    Unfortunately, they also fuck me; and I don’t even get kissed afterwards.

  3. gabriella kadar on October 3, 2013 at 16:45

    That’s very interesting about the Washington Monument syndrome. I don’t think we have this sort of thing ever going on over here on the other side of the line.

  4. Lilana on October 3, 2013 at 18:08

    I heard the shutdown was brought to you by the Koch Brothers, who were intent on manipulating the news cycle into ignoring the Obamacare rollout and also a report coming out about climate change. Either way, the whole things smacks of blatant manipulation–we all know that no matter what happens, they’re going to keep printing money and raising the debt ceiling until the whole currency collapses, as governments are wont to do when this sort of endgame problem occurs.

  5. Todd on October 3, 2013 at 20:05

    Brilliant on the traffic anarchy piece.

    I work by a school that normally has a cop come out and direct traffic in the middle of the street when the buses are letting out. It’s usually comical to watch the cop clearly lagging the whole process behind. People aren’t cattle. They can figure out you go, I go, and do it more efficiently then some whistle blowing chump in a fluorescent safety vest.

  6. La Frite on October 4, 2013 at 03:58

    I don’t understand, why don’t go visit say India for traffic anarchy ??? They have been at it forever … but yeah, they believe in reincarnation, so they don’t bother too much with good behavior 😀 😀

  7. Richard Nikoley on October 4, 2013 at 06:57

    Hey, la Frite, driving some of the roundabouts in Paris, such as arc de triomphe, is the best display of ordered chaos in the world. Driving in Rome is similar, only with truly crazy people.

    I love both.

  8. John on October 4, 2013 at 07:14

    Automobile Anarchy… I remember hearing of the concept years ago, and thinking that it couldn’t possibly work. Don’t think it was explicitly called that, but it was the basic premise. May have even been the same small community that was trying it. But now, I’m beginning to think it might not only work, but be superior to the current system. After all, putting all your faith in traffic laws isn’t going to protect you from someone who runs right through a red light. In Los Angeles, I see countless drivers and pedestrians that seem to have no self preservation instinct. A wonder why accidents aren’t way higher.

  9. […] Dot-Connect of the Day: Government “Shutdown” = Big Fat Yawn […]

  10. La Frite on October 5, 2013 at 03:23

    Richard, chaos physics is a whole branch of physics! A fascinating topic due to unpredictability of chaotic systems. Human societies are belonging to chaotic systems. Attempt to regulate them with the goal to remove their chaotic nature (or ignore it) is beyond foolish … I fully agree here. But this topic is huge, one has to look into cybernetic …

  11. La Frite on October 5, 2013 at 03:26
  12. Erik on October 5, 2013 at 12:05

    Walking around and being a taxi passenger in La Paz, Bolivia was an interesting experience in traffic anarchy. There were very few, if any, traffic signs or signals that I noticed. The only traffic controls were lane lines and many, many speed bumps.

    Speed bumps were relatively ignored. The streets were packed with vehicles (mostly non-private traffic, taxis autobuses etc.) and plenty of people on foot in the road where traffic was slow. I think one of the biggest contrasts with american traffic was the way that a bump here, a scratched paint job there, were no big deal. Dents, if they matter, can always be hammered out. Here in the states, if you so much as nudge someone, they want to pull over and exchange insurance info to get a settlement.

    Interaction with non-vehicular traffic was also interesting. There, it was common for people to cross the street one lane at a time, between passes of cars with relatively little room for error. Drivers and pedestrians had to trust each other’s judgement. Even in the smalltowns of USA if you cross while there’s an oncoming car within a couple hundred feet, even if you’re well in the clear, there’s likely to be an angry honk, and folks have no idea what to do when there’s someone standing between lanes. They think you’re going to jump in front of them or some crazy shit. And while interaction between motorists and bicycles is an incredibly dysfunctional area of behavior here in the states there wasn’t much of it to observe there as the speed bumps made road cycling impractical. Further out on the rural roads cyclist-motorist interactions seemed pretty courteous though; none of the drivers seemed inclined to freak out and honk over having to wait 30 seconds to pass a cyclist where the shoulder of the road was narrow.

    Perhaps all that points to an overall lower sense of “driver entitlement” in such a circumstance. Drivers there don’t assume that they have a right to expect that they’ll never get a scratch or dent while driving in heavy traffic, or that people on foot will never attempt to get from point a to point b within the confines of the driver’s oversized comfort zone, or that they’ll never have to briefly slow down for a bicycle whose driver pays the same taxes to maintain the road. A lack of traffic-control coddling could certainly be suggested to contribute to this lack of entitlement.

  13. kayumochi on October 8, 2013 at 06:33

    More people are hit by cars in America in crosswalks than jaywalking. … and it has nothing to do with notions of “entitlement” either. Jaywalkers are simply more aware, more mindful and more careful.

  14. Erik on October 8, 2013 at 07:13

    “it has nothing to do with notions of “entitlement” either”

    While I don’t think you’re actually arguing with the point I was trying to make (I’ll get to that in a second), I hope you’re not trying to claim that no one behind the wheel today feels that other forms of traffic are not legitimate by comparison to themselves.

    Maybe it’s different in other parts of the country, cities whatever but I’ve been in the car with plenty of drivers who get genuinely angry when they see a pedestrian waiting to step off the curb, sometimes even honking, or yelling at cyclists to “get off the road” and “ride on the sidewalk.” As though the road is supposed to be inhabited by cars and cars only at all times.

    Now to the argument you supplied- do understand that I’m not saying, and have not said, that motorist’s feelings of entitlement lead to more people getting hit by cars, whether in a crosswalk or not. I’m saying that motorist’s feelings of entitlement, and a lot of the resulting driver behavior, is annoying as fuck. There are a lot of drivers (certainly not everyone, but enough to notice) who really need to learn to chill out and share the road. Traffic systems I’ve observed elsewhere in the world make it very difficult to sustain such attitudes while regularly using the road.

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