updated January 26, 2002
As mentioned above, my name is Scott Bradford. I've been a techie-computer nerd much of my life, however at some point I had an epiphany that the devices were more trouble than they were worth. I changed my career plans, bought a Macintosh, and went on with my life enjoying it a little more. But, for recreational purposes anyway, I still enjoy a little web design here-and-there as evident in this site.
Currently I'm a 19-year-old Public Administration major at George Mason University, and I'm thinking of either going directly into government work or - more interestingly - into teaching government at the high school level. Either way, my long-term goal is eventually elective office.
Somehow or another I lucked out, and things are going relatively well for me. I am dating the girl of my dreams, Melissa Lew, I've got two Macintosh computers that never crash and work nearly perfectly all of the time, and I have a car that gets me from point-A to point-B.
So basically, God has been quite good to me :-) So enjoy the site!
updated May 18, 2002
Driving the Point Home
Just the other day I was driving Melissa home from church. I sat across from the apartment complex on West Ox Road, in the left turning lane. Blink blink, my turn signal flashed in compliance with local laws.
The left turn light was red, but those headed the direction I was facing and going straight had a green. Then yellow. Then red. The cross traffic was given the go-ahead, several cars moved across in front of me off to their destinations. I watched their light turn yellow, then red.
Now it was my turn.
My left arrow, and the opposite left arrow, turned green. I began to move forward, but then I noticed a car heading the opposite direction at full speed on West Ox Road. As I moved further forward, I realized that he was not slowing down.
I stopped, in the middle of the intersection. The man in the car drove through without so much as slowing down. He gave me a lovely, evil glare as if I had done something wrong. I looked up, my left turn arrow was still green. I looked around, his light was still glowing a bright, bright, glorious red.
This man was so oblivious to his surroundings that he blew right through a full red light on a happy, sunny, mid-Sunday-afternoon. It had not just turned red, no, it had been red for a good 2 minutes. There was no sun glare at noon, there was no hindered visibility, there was no reason for this man to do this.
Most people in my shoes, on the other hand, would not have noticed this approaching car was failing to stop. Had any of the 95% of other drivers out there been in that intersection that day at that time they would have been in an accident. They would have mindlessly moved across the intersection on their green arrow and into the path of the idiot who doesn't know that red means stop.
Unfortunately, this is not my only story like this. Once I was making a right turn onto the George Mason campus, and there was a driver in the left lane apparently going straight. I stopped at the red light, and was about to make a right turn on red when this car - in the left lane - made a right turn across in front of me.
I could go on.
The fact is that we are far too lax in allowing people to drive. I don't know about you, but I only want qualified people to be careening about in a two-ton piece of fast-moving metal. You can do a hell of a lot of damage with a car, especially if you are incapable of discerning a red light from, say, a green one.
Many people that I know are scared to drive. They are scared because they know, as I do, that most people on the road don't even know the rules. They guess who is supposed to go at a four-way stop (the first one who got there, or the one on the right in a tie), they fail to use turn signals (it's the little wand on the left), they don't know that - BY LAW - you have to yield to pedestrians in a sidewalk, they hope, they pray, and for a while they're just fine until one day they do something stupid and get themselves and others hurt and/or killed.
I've said it before, and I will continue to say, that licenses shouldn't grow on trees - and the way we give them out they might as well. Any shaven monkey with a social security number and some luck can get a license (well, in Southern Virginia it doesn't even have to be a shaven monkey), and as the death-toll mounts in the war-zone of rush-hour commutes maybe we should rethink that plan. Maybe we should require more than two-hours of behind the wheel testing on the easy roads and one parallel parking job. Maybe we should require more than a "can-do-it-with-my-eyes-closed" little knowledge quiz that the average 4-year-old who watches his mommy drive could pass. No insult intended to those who had to take it three...
continued on page 2
Previous editions of the Front Page Rant can now be found in the writings section.