Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Make Idiots Pay!

Libertarianism be damned! I'm proposing a new ordinance, law or regulation. Whatever you want to call it, I'd like to see some of these people pay.

How many times I've heard stories like this in the 34+ years I've lived up here, I don't know, but here we have yet another case of people going out on the North Jetty when the surf is high and a couple of them end up in the drink.

It should be common sense to stay away from the jetty when the water is rough like that but apparently some people don't have common sense. I know as a libertarian I should be more sympathetic to people making their own choices but, in this case, I think some minor things could be done to alleviate at least some future problems on the jetty.

We need to close down vehicular traffic to the North Jetty when the surf is up high. I realize that's easier said than done as people with four wheel drives and other off road vehicles could just drive around barricades. But I'm not necessarily proposing any extended barricades.

First, close the gate at the entrance to the Coast Guard Station when seas are rough. Only official vehicles and people with legitimate business at the station will be allowed in during high water.

Next, put some signs up at the entrance to the Coast Guard Station and a few all the way out to the beach with the notice that the jetty is closed to all unauthorized traffic due to hazardous conditions.'s where it gets iffy: There's no doubt that some people will go ahead and either walk or drive to the jetty anyway and I really don't want anyone to get in trouble just for going out there if they're just going to stay on terra firma and watch the ocean. It's the adventurous fools I want to nail.

So the signs should also mention something about what kind of penalty will be levied against people who end up going out on the jetty and have to be rescued. Maybe something like this:

Violators, who end up washed off the jetty, or have to be rescued from the water in this restricted area face up to $1000 in fines.

or maybe even better:

Violators of this restricted space will be held liable for any and all costs resulting from their having to be rescued from high water...

I don't want to bother people that keep their feet dry and stay away from dangerous waters, I just want the idiots that survive to get what's coming to them.

The main problem with stuff like this is that the I know what's best for you attitude tends to take on a life of its own, as we see in the world today. And where do you draw the line? At what point is the water too rough to be deemed unsafe to allow human access to the jetty? If the jetty is closed off because it's dangerous, shouldn't we close off the rest of the beaches?

But even a simple thing like closing of the main roads to the jetty during rough seas would likely keep out some of the casual visitors. That might have helped with this last incident since three of the kids were from Nevada and might not have felt comfortable going past a closed gate.

I think they should at least start shutting off vehicle traffic to the North Jetty during rough seas as a simple first step.


At 9:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wouldn't a real Libertarian just let them drown?

At 10:18 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Well, I know you're just trying to sound stupid but, no, probably not.

The real libertarian would try and save the idiot by himself rather than calling 911 and hoping someone else shows up to do it.

At 7:21 PM, Blogger Rose said...

It's Darwinism, Fred.

But, trouble is, some people get swept off by freak waves on otherwise nice days. I remember a particularly tragic case a few years back.

The trouble with rules is people seem to have lost the ability to differentiate the shades of grey.

At 7:45 AM, Blogger Carol said...

I use to walk rock rip-rap on the shores of Cape Cod, when I was a kid, but never during a storm. When I first moved to H.C. in 1982 I went out on the south jetty on a clear day. A surprise wave nearly knocked me over. I will never go out on the jetty again! Once I tested the waters in a wet suit near Bear Harbor. The undertow was incredibly forceful. I just had to ride the wave until it dumped me on the beach. I don't trust the ocean around here, and caution my kids about the hazards of sneaker waves and the dangerous undertow.

There is a gate on the bluff above the south jetty. Last time I took guests down to the south jetty, there was a young park aide greeting people. We did see a mom and baby porpoise frolicking in the harbor entrance.

At 7:47 AM, Blogger Humboldt said...

I'd hate to see the access closed down on rough days to protect idiots from themselves- I love taking my dogs there in all kinds of weather because it's usually safe if you stay off the jetty structure itself. A couple of weeks ago my wife told a couple to watch out for waves and they seemed annoyed at her warning until a big old wave came and almost washed them off their feet.

At 10:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure- no one wants to be denied access, but- the PROBLEM is these these bozos force the Coast Guard and others to then have to go risk THEIR lives to save them!- something they never seem to think about.

Of course- since Eureka drivers seem to hate red lights and stop signs, why should they act any more intelligently when they go visit the ocean?

At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few years ago my wife and I took our visiting friends out to the north jetty. Absolutely stunning sunny day. We stayed well away from the jetty as the swells were quite large and breaking over the jetty. We ended up sitting on a large old log washed up at the foot of the sand dunes just north of the jetty... a good hundred feet or more from the surfs edge. Instead of looking straight out towards the Pacific we were looking south watching the waves break on the jetty.

We never saw what hit us. Not a breaking wave but a very large swell. It took us all off the log. My wife got sucked out a ways but the next wave brought her back to where she could crawl out. It blew out here knee but we were able to get out of there otherwise intact.

Drenched and covered in sand we told everyone we saw to be careful. They all shrugged the warning off and even let their little kids up on the jetty.

It was a lesson learned. We have never again turned our backs to the ocean.

At 4:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When we were kids, our relatives told us about the "dangerous undertow" along the beaches of Humboldt County.

At 7:26 PM, Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

Fred, you indeed point out the paradox of the libertarian philosophy: what duties do we assign to the government? It is a conundrum that has been addressed by Mises, Rothbard and Hoppe. To bring it up in the context of the collectivist mentality of Humboldt County will probably generate considerable more heat than light as you yourself have been influenced unwittingly by that mindset.

At 8:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ART Hoppe?

At 10:29 AM, Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

Democracy; The god that Failed by Hans Hermann Hoppe

At 2:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While you are at it, don't forget to read [Communism] The God that Failed. By a long list of former Communists.

At 5:44 PM, Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

Yes 2:27 PM, that is a good one. Arthur Koestler's other works such as Darkness at Noon and Thieves in the Night are also very good. Koestler was a jewish member of the German Communist Party (1931-1938) and knew his subject well.

At 6:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of local idiots, KIEM-TV reported Crescent City law enforcement agents have been placed at the beach to protect the carcass of a baby whale. Someone pulled some teeth from the whale carcass. It very important that no more teeth be pulled.

So important, in fact, that reducing the police protection for the human beings who live in that part of Del Norte County is considered a good thing by the powers-that-be.

The dead baby whale needs a 24-hour police protection detail. Live human babies will have to do without police protection for now.

At 5:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is the baby whale still safe?

At 6:03 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I thought it was dead, at least from the news reports.


Post a Comment

<< Home