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The Sunday Bits for February 2, 2014

February 2nd, 2014 at 06:38am

Good morning and welcome to the 2nd last edition of The Sunday Bits before I depart for the US. The Sunday Bits might go on hiatus during that time, but I’m not sure…I’ll make that decision when I’m over there.

In This Edition
*NT speed limit trial should be a pilot program for the rest of Australia
*I think I’ll give Gary, Indiana a miss
*The US is slightly closer to independence from middle-east oil
*The Commission Of Audit in to the ABC and SBS is long-overdue and very welcome

*NT speed limit trial should be a pilot program for the rest of Australia

The Northern Territory is trialling an open speed limit on a 200km stretch of road. The results should be carefully monitored by other governments.

OPEN speed limits have returned to the Territory after a seven-year hiatus.

Today, a 12-month trial begins to remove speed restrictions on a 200km stretch of road between Barrow Creek and Alice Springs.

The Northern Territory Motoring Council believes the trial could save lives but health experts say lives are at risk and it promotes an unsafe driving culture.
[..]
“When you had long, open road, you put the foot down. When you had hills, blind corners, or if you drove at sunrise or dusk … you slowed down accordingly.

“I find on a lot of the open and long stretches of road it can be difficult to stay awake … driving faster speeds, you find the momentum of the vehicle makes you concentrate harder and helps you stay awake.”

But Mr Palamountain suggested a 150km/h cap could be better than open limits.

He also said there were stretches of Stuart Highway where the 130km/h limit should be reduced to 110km/h, particularly the leg from Darwin to Katherine.

(h/t Zach Hope, NT News)

What the article doesn’t mention is that when open speed limits were abolished, the road toll increased. This has also happened in many other places around the world where an open speed limit has been replaced with a low limit.

This trial should be monitored carefully by other Australian governments as if, as I expect it will, this causes the road toll to reduce, there are many roads around the country which should have their speed limit increased (the Federal and Hume highways, for example) while others might need to have their speed limit reduced a tad until the road is improved.

*I think I’ll give Gary, Indiana a miss

The other week I noted that the town of Gary in Indiana seemed to find its way in to every route I plotted from Fort Dodge, Iowa to South Bend, Indiana. What I didn’t say at the time was that this bothered me greatly and I couldn’t quite figure out why. Now I know.

A terrified mother claims she watched in horror as her demon-possessed 9-year-old son walked backwards up a wall and ceiling. Her claims would be easy to dismiss if a child services case worker and a nurse weren’t reportedly there to witness it all.
[..]
Strangely enough, the scary-sounding incident is outlined in official documents. Further, Gary police Capt. Charles Austin told the Star that he is a “believer” after making several visits to the home and interviewing witnesses. He first thought the family was making stories up as part of a get-rich-quick scheme.

Ammons’ home was “exorcized” by a catholic priest in a number of ceremonies that were reportedly authorized by the Diocese of Gary. The story apparently became so believable that officers with the police department said they were too scared to stay at the house and some city officials wouldn’t even step foot on the property.

(h/t Jason Howerton, The Blaze)

The article goes in to much more detail, and there have been quite a few follow-up article since then.

Well I believe that this is why I felt uncomfortable about Gary, Indiana when it first started popping up in my plans. To be on the safe side, I’ll take the half-hour or more detour to avoid Gary.
Map of a Gary Bypass

I should probably also note that I won’t go through Braidwood at night. Something isn’t right in that place.

*The US is slightly closer to independence from middle-east oil
The most bizarre thing about the US’ dependence of middle-east oil is that they have more than enough domestic oil to be energy-independent and to save a lot of money in the process. One of key parts of this is the Keystone XL pipeline, and it looks like it’s a step closer to going ahead.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline cleared a major hurdle toward approval Friday, a serious blow to environmentalists’ hopes that President Barack Obama will block the controversial project running more than 1,000 miles from Canada through the heart of the U.S.

The State Department reported no major environmental objections to the proposed $7 billion pipeline, which has become a symbol of the political debate over climate change. Republicans and some oil- and gas-producing states in the U.S. – as well as Canada’s minister of natural resources – cheered the report, but it further rankled environmentalists already at odds with Obama and his energy policy.

(h/t Matthew Daly, Associated Press)

Hopefully Obama does something good for a change and approves the pipeline. The possibility of the US exporting oil at a cheaper price than the existing oil suppliers is great for all of us.

*The Commission Of Audit in to the ABC and SBS is long-overdue and very welcome
I was very pleased to hear about the commission of audit this week. I doubt it will go far enough (I support selling the ABC and SBS) but if it can at least help to stamp out the institutional left-wing bias, that will be good.

The ironic thing is, if the ABC and SBS were private organisations, I wouldn’t have a problem with them having a left-wing bias because I wouldn’t be funding it, and yet the ABC’s leftie supporters don’t like the idea of selling it.

Samuel

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