Friday, August 19, 2016


...The laws you have to obey and those you don't....

Milwaukee reminds me of my first driving lesson with my dad.

When I was just learning to drive, we pulled up to an intersection while a dump truck was coming the other way. My father asked me, "Who has the right of way here, son?"

I quickly quoted what I had learned from drivers ED about the person to the right of blah blah blah when my father stopped me, pointed at the truck, and said, "He always has the right of way... by at least twenty tons. You may have the right of way according to some book... but that only matters if you survive the wreck, and against a dump truck you have no chance... the laws of physics trump the laws of man every single time."

There are two kinds of laws in this world. The laws of man and the laws of physics. You can break the laws of man any time you want, and you'll often get away with it. But you can't break the laws of physics... not even once.

Everywhere around the world there are laws giving pedestrians the right of way at certain times and places... and tens of thousands of pedestrians get maimed and killed by cars that did NOT have the right of way... cars that were clearly in the wrong.

Every single time a car meets a pedestrian, whether the pedestrian has the right of way or not, the pedestrian loses. The laws of man give pedestrians (an illusion of) the right of way that the laws of physics never do.

It's simple math. When one ton of steel moving twenty mile an hour hits a person, the person always loses. Period.



Running from cops is like crossing a street without looking both ways first. You might get away with it dozens of times, but the first time you don't may end your life, and it won't matter at all if you were right or wrong when you're dead.

When you run from the police, black-white-young-old-man-woman-dog-bear, you are forfeiting a trial by a judge and a jury of your peers, and are instead insisting on a split-second final ruling by a man with a gun and the authority to use it at his discretion. It does not matter who you are, from the minute he stops you until the minute he lets you go, your life is in his hands just as assuredly as it is in the hands of a dump truck driver coming up at an intersection. The truck driver can choose to run the light, or his brakes can fail, and everyone except him loses.

Running from the police is no different than running a red light, j-walking on a blind curve, or trying to beat the train across the tracks... it's a stupid risk nobody should ever be encouraged to take.

It's about as useful to argue with a dump truck as it is to argue with a cop. The place to argue, the only place arguing is even remotely useful (white, black, rich, poor... this rule is universal) is in front of a judge and a jury.

OJ did not win in a Bronco, he won in a courtroom... and that was the only place he could win. The audacity of the idea that you can ever 'win' against a cop on the street is like believing a pedestrian can win against a car... but winning in court happens every day.

No pedestrian likes yielding to all cars all the time, or yielding to every truck, tractor trailer, or train simply because it's  bigger. But it's what you do if you want to live, because even if the dump truck is entirely in the wrong, you still lose. It simply isn't a battle that can be won. The laws of physics always win against the laws of man. And guns are ruled by physics, exclusively, with no appeals available to a higher court.

Calling the train racist won't keep it from running over you.

It isn't racism, it's physics trumping the laws of man. The vast majority of these blacklivesmatter events could have been won in court, had they not forfeited that right in favor of forcing a split-second sudden-death ruling by a man with a gun.

Every pedestrian that wants to live yields the right of way, all the time, even when they are right and the car is wrong. Because in the middle of the street the car always wins... the cop always wins. Don't like that? Nobody does, but it has nothing to do with racism, it's the laws of physics. Simple as that. And no laws of man will ever change it.

Sadly, what my father taught me about driving and about life will never be on any DMV test. Stop signs and lights have never stopped a single car anywhere in the world, ever. Brakes do. Being right or running fast has never made anyone bullet proof.

Being right does not mean you get to live, being safe does. And your safety is in your hands... until you stupidly surrender it to a dump truck driver or a police officer.

We fool ourselves into thinking that a law of physics can be bent to the will of the laws of man, but the simple truth is that no amount of laws will ever really give a pedestrian the right of way over a car, a car the right of way over a truck or a train, or a citizen the right of way over a cop.

Like it or not, laws of physics do not bend to the laws of man.



There is no protest, or march, or supreme court ruling that will change it. That simply is not how the laws of physics work. Shooting at cops makes as much sense as cars cutting off dump trucks in some twisted desire to make the dump trucks more sensitive to the cars' insecurities.

But lives can be saved.

Attitudes can be changed.

And I'm not talking about the attitudes of dump trucks, I'm talking about the attitudes of pedestrians. I'm talking about the attitudes of those who have everything to lose... and so much to gain by simply respecting the laws of physics as much as the laws of man.

We teach children to look both ways before crossing the street, not because cars are racist and hunting down children for sport, but because cars can easily kill pedestrians in the blink of an eye or a misinterpreted second.

My father had 'the talk' with me too. Cops are the dump trucks or the trains of the road. Stay off the tracks, look both ways, never assume their brakes work, wait until they come to a stop first. Always yield. Always. It's not optional.

The laws of physics are not optional.