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May 21, 2013

Episode 210: Between A Rocky Road And A Slippery Slope

The Axiom Amnesia Theory with Heit & Cheri

When it comes to crime and punishment (and anything else in life), it’s easy to find yourself between a rocky road and a slippery slope. For starters, there are just too many laws, rules, and regulations that exist solely as a means of revenue generation for the state. Furthermore, these laws do not prevent people from doing what seems practical at the time, yet sometimes suffering unintended consequences–like driving after a few drinks or leaving a child in the car for just a few minutes. On this episode of The Axiom Amnesia Theory, Heit & Cheri use current events as examples to illustrate how people manage to find themselves between a rocky road and a slippery slope.

Topics discussed include a group being sued by a town for topping off parking meters so that people don’t get tickets, the Feds recommending that the drunk driving threshold be lowered from a blood alcohol level of 0.08 to 0.05, the difference between DWI and DUI, how alcohol-related accidents are tracked by the government, a woman who was sentenced to a year in jail for talking on the phone during an accident that led to her son’s death, a one-year-old who died after being left in a car, acceptance of authority to your own detriment, the CDC finding that there is more poop in pools than you might think, the shortage of toilet paper in Venezuela, the history of toilet paper, police shooting and killing a 21-year-old female hostage, a man who hit in his attic while his house was being robbed. he said he felt like he was letting it happen because he didn’t have a weapon, and more!


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    slippery slope
  • Be sure to check out Heit & Cheri’s Album, “Improper Conduct.”
  • Discussion about people who are in trouble for topping off parking meters so that people don’t get parking tickets.

    New Hampshire residents take the “Live Free or Die” slogan on their license plates seriously. Municipal governments use every shady trick to squeeze revenue from the citizenry, but Hampshiremen are fighting back. The bureaucrats are in enough lather to shave their whiskers.
    Good Samaritans in the city of Keene, styling themselves as “Robin Hood and his Merry Men,” are gallantly topping off parking meters before they expire, ensuring their neighbors will be spared an expensive and unnecessary ticket.

    Not unlike the Sheriff of Nottingham, Keene oppresses the locals with heavy taxation imposed by the meter maid, the modern tax collector. Those saved by the merry band of meter-feeders receive a note on their windshield encouraging more good deeds. “We saved you from the king’s tariffs,” says the note. “Please consider paying it forward.” An address is provided for voluntary donations to help promote the effort.
    The Robin Hooders have spared locals paying nearly 4,000 tickets, which so infuriated the city that it actually filed a lawsuit against the Good Samaritans, claiming something called meter-maid intimidation. The suit identifies six Robin Hooders by name and demands each be barred from coming within 50 feet of a “parking enforcement officer” — which would make it difficult to feed meters.

    The lawsuit claims the group “regularly, repeatedly and intentionally taunted, interfered with, harassed, and intimidated” the officers, and insisted the meter maids were offended by being videotaped at work.
    Source: Washington Times

  • Discussion about why this practice might be wrong in the eyes of authority.
  • The underlying issues is that the government wants to make money off of fines for infractions. This is their incentive to make things illegal–because it puts money in their pockets.
  • We previously discussed the case of Texas woman who was arrested for warning motorists of a speed trap.
  • Discussion about the Feds recommending that the drunk driving threshold be lowered from 0.08 to 0.05.

    Federal accident investigators recommended Tuesday that states cut their threshold for drunken driving by nearly half, matching a standard that has substantially reduced highway deaths in other countries.

    The National Transportation Safety Board said states should shrink the standard from the current .08 blood alcohol content to .05 as part of a series of recommendations aimed at reducing alcohol-related highway deaths.

    More than 100 countries have adopted the .05 alcohol content standard or lower, according to a report by the board’s staff. In Europe, the share of traffic deaths attributable to drunken driving was reduced by more than half within 10 years after the standard was dropped.

    A woman weighing less than 120 pounds can reach .05 after just one drink, studies show. A man weighing up to 160 pounds reaches .05 after two drinks.

    New approaches are needed to combat drunken driving, which claims the lives of more than a third of the 30,000 people killed each year on U.S highways — a level of carnage that that has remained stubbornly consistent for the past decade and a half, the board said.

    “Our goal is to get to zero deaths because each alcohol-impaired death is preventable,” NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said. “Alcohol-impaired deaths are not accidents, they are crimes. They can and should be prevented. The tools exist. What is needed is the will.”
    Source: CBS

  • Discussion about the difference between DWI and DUI.

    DUI means Driving Under the Influence and DWI is Driving While Intoxicated or Driving While Impaired. Sometimes the term OWI (Operating While Impaired) is used. All these terms relate to driving after consuming alcohol or drugs, and are very serious crimes. The drugs don’t have to be illegal for a DUI to be issued – they can be illegal narcotics, over the counter medication, or prescription drugs.

    Depending upon the state where you live, the severity of the offense may vary. In some states, the drunk driving laws differentiate between a DUI and a DWI, where the DUI is a lesser charge. In these states, a DUI usually signifies a lesser degree of intoxication, which is determined by a person’s blood alcohol level at the time of arrest. Sometimes, states will allow the charges of a DWI to be reduced to a DUI. In the case of a reduction from a DWI to a DUI, certain conditions typically must be met, such as the incident being a first offense, the defendant’s display of remorse for the action, and a blood alcohol level that was not drastically over the legal limit. For example, the state of New York differentiates between DWI and DUI by establishing a blood alcohol level of .08 as the legal limit for DWI. If a person has a blood alcohol level of .07, the charges may be reduced to a DUI, which carries a lesser punishment.
    Source: Diffen

  • The more people they charge with DUI/DWI, the more money they can make. Also, there are companies who make a lot of money offering services (counseling, etc.) to remedy these issues.
  • They might start asking whether people have been drinking as a routine question when some gets pulled over. there is nothing that prevents them from asking you this question. They also pass laws that make them able to do other things if you refuse to comply.
  • This will not prevent highway deaths, because people will continue to drink and drive.
  • Maybe this will increase sales of home breathalyzer machines.
  • Stats say that half of the people who are under the influence go undetected.
  • Discussion about how alcohol-related accidents are detected. If anyone (including a passenger) has been drinking, this is considered an alcohol-related accident.
  • Discussion about a woman who was sentenced to a year in jail for talking on the phone during an accident that led to her son’s death.

    A central Missouri woman whose son died in a car accident while she was talking on a cellphone has been sentenced to one year in a county jail.

    Thirty-one-year-old Stephanie Wiebold of Meta was sentenced Friday after pleading guilty to careless and imprudent driving.

    Her 2-year-old son, Dallen Rackers, died when Wiebold’s car went off the road and hit a rock embankment.

    The Jefferson City News Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/YQUCzB ) police said Meta was on the phone when the accident occurred.

    Police also said her son was unrestrained while riding in the back seat and was thrown forward by the impact. Dallen died a few weeks after the accident.
    Source: KSPR

  • Discussion about a one-year-old who died after being left in a car.

    A 1-year-old child died after being left in a locked car in the parking lot of Frank Guzick Elementary School in Pleasant Grove. The child’s mother is a teacher at the school, according to a statement from Dallas ISD.
    A statement from the Dallas Police Department says that a witness observed the child unattended in a locked car around 1:20 p.m. The witness called 911, then broke a window out of the vehicle, removed the child, and started to perform CPR. Dallas Fire and Rescue arrived to taken the child to Baylor Hospital, where he or she was pronounced dead.

    Although the police haven’t confirmed this, FOX 4 reports that the witness was a student from a nearby school. NBC, meanwhile, reports that it was a teacher’s aid.
    Source: Dallas Observer

  • Discussion about people leaving pets and kids in cars.
  • Why doesn’t it seem like we heard stories of kids baking in cars back in the day. Heit & Cheri talk about being left in the car as a child.
  • Discussion about acceptance of authority to your own detriment.
  • Did you ever pee in the pool as a kid?
  • Discussion about the CDC finding that there is more poop in pools than you might think.

    Just in time for pools to open across the state, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have come out with a new study about what’s lurking in that water.

    According to the CDC report, water sampled from 161 pools around the Atlanta area found 58 percent showed signs of E. Coli, which is the bacteria most commonly associated with fecal matter.

    Diapered babies and children who are not properly toilet trained can easily introduce poop into the water, the report stated.
    Children are not alone as culprits.

    Adults are also at fault, mainly those who do not shower with soap before entering the pool and bring traces of fecal matter with them.
    Number two isn’t the only problem.

    The report showed chlorine still isn’t strong enough to break down the waste of people who decide to “number one” in the pool, along with sweat.
    Source: KFOR

  • Speculation about why there is crap in the pool. Maybe people are not wiping their butts properly.
  • Heit theorizes that you cannot properly wipe your butt with dry toilet paper.
  • Debate about the best way to wipe your @ss.
  • Discussion about the shortage of toilet paper in Venezuela.

    First milk, butter, coffee and cornmeal ran short. Now Venezuela is running out of the most basic of necessities – toilet paper.

    Blaming political opponents for the shortfall, as it does for other shortages, the government says it will import 50m rolls to boost supplies.

    That was little comfort to consumers struggling to find toilet paper on Wednesday.

    “This is the last straw,” said Manuel Fagundes, a shopper hunting for tissue in Caracas. “I’m 71 years old and this is the first time I’ve seen this.”

    One supermarket visited by the Associated Press in the capital on Wednesday was out of toilet paper. Another had just received a fresh batch, and it quickly filled up with shoppers as the word spread.

    “I’ve been looking for it for two weeks,” said Cristina Ramos. “I was told that they had some here and now I’m in line.”

    Economists say Venezuela’s shortages stem from price controls meant to make basic goods available to the poorest parts of society and the government’s controls on foreign currency.

    “State-controlled prices – prices that are set below market-clearing price – always result in shortages. The shortage problem will only get worse, as it did over the years in the Soviet Union,” said Steve Hanke, professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University.
    Source: Guardian

  • This is just a symptom of Capitalism.
  • Perhaps rumors either started to help to fuel the shortage.
  • When was toilet paper invented? What did they do before they had toilet paper? They used a wet rag. Heit points out that we think we are so sophisticated, but your @ss is dirtier than it used to be.

    Today it’s difficult to imagine life without toilet paper. The evolution of toilet paper is an interesting story and the toilet paper has an amazing past.

    If we could travel back in time, what would we found about the first use of toilet paper? Who invented toilet paper? Who was using paper for personal hygiene? Who invented modern toilet paper roll?

    Nobody is too sure when toilet paper was first used. Before the invention of toilet paper, people from different parts of the world had many different ideas for personal hygiene. Some people used stones or sponges (especially rich Romans), but a variety of other things were used also.

    The first “official” toilet paper was introduced in China in 1391, but the first mention of toilet paper (paper for personal hygiene) dates back to the year 589 AD in Korea. Between 875 and 1317 AD, paper was produced in large sheets (2-foot x 3-foot sheets and even perfumed) for Chinese emperor’s family hygiene.

    In the Colonial America, the common means was corncobs.

    Paper was a rare commodity until the 17th or 18th centuries. The first reference to paper as toilet paper was recorded in 1718. After invention of paper pages from newspapers and magazines were also commonly used (newspapers became widely available at 1700s.)

    Joseph C. Gayetty invented the first packaged toilet paper in the United States in 1857. Joseph C. Gayetty is credited as the inventor of modern commercially available toilet paper. “Gayetty’s Medicated Paper” was sold in packages of flat sheets, medicated with aloe and watermarked with his name. Gayety’s toilet paper was available as late as the 1920′s.

    In 1871, Seth Wheeler (to some sources Zeth Wheeler) of Albany became the official “inventor” of toilet paper. Seth Wheeler patents rolled and perforated wrapping paper. His Albany Perforated Wrapping Paper Company began selling the first toilet paper on a roll.

    Rolled and perforated toilet paper was invented around 1880. In 1879, Thomas Seymour, Edward Irvin and Clarence Wood Scott founded the Scott Paper Company in Philadelphia. Scott brothers came up with the idea of customizing rolls for every merchant-customer they had. They began selling packages of small rolls and stacked sheets. Scott Paper Company began producing toilet paper under its own brand name in 1896. By 1925 Scott Company became the leading toilet paper company in the world.

    The first documented use of a roll of toilet paper was in 1882 in New York State.

    In 1935 Northern Tissue invented splinter free toilet paper. Simple paper making procedures often failed to remove small splinters from the finished product but Northern Paper engineers solved the problem (method called linenizing). Softer, splinter-free toilet paper then became a reality for consumers and provided an advertising slogan for Northern Tissue.

    In 1942 St. Andrew’s Paper Mill (England, Walthamstow, London), produced the first soft, two ply toilet tissue.

    In 1954 was produced the first colored toilet tissue by Northern.

    In 1964 was produced perfumed one-ply toilet tissue by Charmin

    America experienced its first toilet paper shortage in 1973 because Johnny Carson’s (one of America’s most loved comedians) jokes.

    Who invented toilet paper? So many inventors, so many contradicting historical recourses… Who do you think was the inventor of toilet paper?
    Source: Toilet Paper History

  • Discussion about the Dewey Decimal System.
  • Discussion about the police shooting and killing a 21-year-old female hostage.

    A 21-year-old university student who was taken hostage in her apartment and then shot to death during a police standoff with an armed robber on New York’s Long Island was killed by a bullet fired from an officer’s gun, investigators said on Sunday.
    Andrea Rebello was shot in the head on Friday by one of eight rounds fired at Dalton Smith, who had the woman in a headlock with a 9mm gun pointed at her head at the time, Nassau County Police Department spokesman James Imperiale said.

    Smith, 30, was struck by seven bullets and died in the apartment in Uniondale, about a half a mile from Hofstra University. Rebello, who was studying public relations at Hofstra, was taken to a nearby hospital where she later died.

    Investigators determined that Smith, who had an extensive criminal history and had been released from prison earlier this year, did not fire his gun during the incident, Imperiale said.

    Nassau County Police Commissioner Thomas Dale traveled to Tarrytown, New York, on Saturday to inform Rebello’s parents that their daughter had been killed by an officer’s bullet.

    “He sat down with them and went over the findings,” Imperiale said. “The whole situation is completely tragic.”

    Smith entered Rebello’s apartment about 2:20 a.m. (0620 GMT) on Friday, brandished his gun and demanded money and valuables from the student and her three roommates, including her sister, Imperiale said.

    Smith then told one of the roommates to go to an ATM and withdraw money, according to police. That roommate left and immediately called police, according to Imperiale.

    When police arrived, Rebello’s sister answered the door and ran out of the apartment, he said.

    “He pushed the male (roommate) down the stairs. The roommate comes crashing down the stairs … and jumps behind a sofa,” Imperiale said.

    According to Imperiale, Smith came down the stairs with Rebello in a headlock and the gun pointed at her head, saying “I’m going to kill her. I’m going to kill her.” He then used her as a human shield as he attempted to flee the rear of apartment, the spokesman said.

    “He raised his weapon at the officer and officer was forced to fire,” Imperiale said.

    Students graduating from Hofstra on Saturday wore white ribbons in memory of Rebello, according to the local media.

    “A young member of the Hofstra family has been taken from us in a senseless act of violence,” Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz said in a statement.

    The school also flew flags at half-staff to honor Rebello. A candlelight vigil was held on Saturday night at the school, located in Hempstead, about 30 miles east of New York City.

    The officer who fired the shots during the standoff was on leave as the department continued its investigation, Imperiale said.
    Source: Reuters

  • Is it possible that these people knew each other? The story sound fishy.
  • Discussion about a man who hit in his attic while his house was being robbed. he said he felt like he was letting it happen because he didn’t have a weapon.

    What would you do to escape armed burglars? A college student in Humble saw men with guns breaking into his home, and he had to think fast.

    It happened last Friday at about 11:30 a.m. in the 17000 block of Dawn Shadows Drive in Humble.

    Darrell Southworth, 20, said he wanted to fight back, but these guys had guns and he didn’t.

    “I hear a big pound on the door, about five times, like boom, boom, boom,” Southworth said.
    Southworth’s family was working, and he was home alone when the criminals came knocking. First, one of the criminals knocked on the front door.
    “I look down, and he had a gun about right here in his back pocket,” Southworth said.

    Moments later, he saw a green Ford Explorer backing into his driveway.

    “They popped the trunk at first, and I could see more guns,” said Southworth. “I’m thinking, I’m about to die.”

    The criminals walked into the backyard and began kicking in the back door. Southworth made his way up toward the attic. He said he pulled the steps to the attic down and sat there to listen.

    “I didn’t hear anything at first. Then I heard, ‘Get it, get it,” Southworth recalled.

    He quickly crept up into the attic and closed himself in. Southworth said he was on the phone with 911, telling the operator the danger he was in.
    Source: KHOU


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