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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    'McMissile' Moment Lands Mom in Jail [Wash Post]

    Is this justice or justice run amok? How many times have we cyclists been on the receiving ends of these attacks? Ever hear of these motorists been held to account?

    Quote Originally Posted by Washington Post
    'McMissile' Moment Lands Mom in Jail
    Driver Gets Felony Conviction For Tossing Cup of Ice Into Car
    By Theresa Vargas
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Sunday, February 18, 2007; Page A01


    To the locals, it's the "McMissile" case.

    And like the name, the details of it spill forth like a bad joke: A woman is driving north on Interstate 95. Three kids squirm in the back seat, and her sister, six months pregnant and having early contractions, sits in the front. The stress starts to simmer. Traffic slows, then crawls, then creeps. More stress. A car cuts in front of her, then scoots away. A short time later, it darts in again. She can no longer take it. She veers onto the shoulder and speeds up. Wham! She tosses a large McDonald's cup filled with ice into the other car.

    'McMissile' Moment Lands Mom in Jail

  2. #2
    Conservative Hippie
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    Good. She committed a felony involving an assault and got nailed for it.

    Good on the law enforcement officer, the prosecuting attorney, the jury and the judge.

    "Now people are going to see me as an angry, road rage, convicted felon........"
    Gee, that might just be because that's just what she is.

    Don't do the crime, if ya' can't do the time.
    Last edited by CommuterRun; 02-18-07 at 10:56 AM.

  3. #3
    370H-SSV-0773H linux_author's Avatar
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    - the most miserable 10 years of my life were spent ride-sharing, van-pooling, and commuting on I95/I395 into the vermin-filled pus hole known as the District of Confusion...

    - in one instance, a rather determined motorist kept honking non-stop at our commuter-filled vehicle during bumper-to-bumper and stop-and-go traffic... the driver then put the car into park, calmly went back to the car's trunk, unlocked it, and removed a large tire iron... and then went to town on the car behind us...

    - in early 1997 i vowed to never again waste another minute of my life in an automobile, started telecommuting via the 'net, and have never looked back...

    - but while on the bike i still have to dodge crazy drivers - and crazy cyclists...

  4. #4
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    I think 2 years is a little crazy, maybe a fine and a couple of months. I mean it is her first and it's more appalling because now they'll use this as an excuse that they're "enforcing the law" (because she's an easy target) while "distracted" drivers can continue to kill.

  5. #5
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    These people who go ballistic just because of traffic are terribly sad. Rats in a cage.
    ~Diane
    Recumbents: Lightning Thunderbolt, '06 Catrike Pocket. Upright: Trek Mountain Bike.
    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  6. #6
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Wow, this is a tough one for me. On one hand, I'm inclined to be supportive of throwing the book at this woman. I also don't have any sympathy whatsoever for her "oh, poor me" mentality, although I fully realize that could be the journalist's emphasis. They're so good at twisting around what people say.

    On the other hand, even the victim felt the punishment was too harsh. Combining that with the fact that no injury resulted, the situation with her children, and that it seemed like this was her first criminal offense (or the article at least implied that), I'm wondering if the cost to taxpayers for incarcerating her for such a time period and taking care of her children while she is in prison is worth the seriousness of the crime. Now, if the victim were totally satisfied that the punishment was fair or if an injury had resulted, I'd never bring this up. I've had the opportunity for the last 7 years to work in a place with clients who have all been in prison at one time or another, and it has really hit home to me how expensive incarceration is compared to any other form of sentence, punishment, diversion, etc. Combine that with state involvement with children, and you've got quite the tax money sinkhole there.

    Now I don't want to imply I think people shouldn't receive an adequate sentence for their offense, but I have to wonder if this is the best use of resources in a period where tax revenue earmarked for domestic law enforcement, corrections, and child welfare (in this specific case) is so scarce.

    I do agree with Slow Train in questioning whether such a production would have resulted had the victim been a cyclist. Unless the cyclist had been some well-connected, well-known person, I'm pretty darned sure that there wouldn't have been anything done like this where I live.

  7. #7
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    I also agree that two years seems to harsh for a plastic cup with Coke.

    But the real lesson is for those of us cyclists who consider retaliating against obnoxious motorists. You, too can be charged with a crime, and sometimes the system hands out punishments that are too severe for the crime.

  8. #8
    Micro Gameboyist
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    Definitely agree with the case- she should be convincted a felon, since she is one. Two years seems a little over the top though. House arrest and probation for half a year, and counseling/anger management for two would be more than enough.

  9. #9
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Does anyone know if convicted felons in Maryland can vote after they've served their sentence?

  10. #10
    Senior Member I_Bike's Avatar
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    They can not, but she was convicted in Virginia.

  11. #11
    Conservative Hippie
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    To bad the justice system doesn't suspend a driver's license for life in the case of a flagrant violation like this.

    That would be a fitting punishment, without the tax burden that Donna brings up. Excellent points in #6, Donna.

  12. #12
    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    These people who go ballistic just because of traffic are terribly sad. Rats in a cage.
    It isn't just being stuck in traffic that is bringing this out in people. The word "rage" is being applied to all sorts of situations now. There's "parking lot rage", where two people try to kill each other over a parking space at the mall. There's "grocery store rage". This usually involves someone who has more than the maximum number of items for the express checkout. Some agitated person will point this out to the offender, and the offender will respond with some insulting comment such as "oh, you can count that high? I'm impressed." Then the fight's on. I heard of a good one while listening to my police scanner during a heavy snow storm. I called it "battery rage". Two men went at it with their fists when one grabbed the last package of D cell batteries that were on the display rack, a microsecond before the other one, at a Roach Brothers grocery store. Police were called in, but no arrests were made. Snow storms around here can really bring it out in people.

    Any Harvard social theory folks care to offer an explanation for this? Do people simply not have the civil decency and self-discipline they once did?

    Don't know what to say about the sentence this woman got. It does seem a bit much. Would it have been more fitting if her legal privilege to drive had been revoked permanently? To most Americans, losing one's driving privileges is a fate worse than death.
    I thought I was suffering from depression once. Turned out, I was simply surrounded by idiots.

  13. #13
    Senior Member bikedaddy's Avatar
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    Okay I am not a Harvard social theory person. Not even close but I was just thinking about 'grocery store rage' yesterday while shopping. All the 'rages' are the same thing in my view. While I think people 50, 100, or 200 years ago were as capable of rage as we are today their circumstances were different. There was more poverty and disease but I doubt there was as much rage. Maybe this was due to the fact that people just weren't in such close quarters as they are today despite the fact that they lived in smaller dwellings. There were more rural dwellers and those that lived in cities generally relied on their own feet or horses. I don't really know where this is going but perhaps people just feel more trapped today. Less hope maybe... Just some random thoughts from someone who knows nothing about social theory.

    As for the case in discussion I do have some sympathy for the mother in the case. She should be punished but not jail. Three kids are losing a mother who very well may be a good mother. I say this because I am married with 3 kids. My wife can get ticked at other drivers and I could see some moron driving her over the edge. It wouldn't be right but I wouldn't want her going to jail for 2 years for throwing a cup at some jerk.

    Quote Originally Posted by trackhub
    It isn't just being stuck in traffic that is bringing this out in people. The word "rage" is being applied to all sorts of situations now. There's "parking lot rage", where two people try to kill each other over a parking space at the mall. There's "grocery store rage". This usually involves someone who has more than the maximum number of items for the express checkout. Some agitated person will point this out to the offender, and the offender will respond with some insulting comment such as "oh, you can count that high? I'm impressed." Then the fight's on. I heard of a good one while listening to my police scanner during a heavy snow storm. I called it "battery rage". Two men went at it with their fists when one grabbed the last package of D cell batteries that were on the display rack, a microsecond before the other one, at a Roach Brothers grocery store. Police were called in, but no arrests were made. Snow storms around here can really bring it out in people.

    Any Harvard social theory folks care to offer an explanation for this? Do people simply not have the civil decency and self-discipline they once did?

    Don't know what to say about the sentence this woman got. It does seem a bit much. Would it have been more fitting if her legal privilege to drive had been revoked permanently? To most Americans, losing one's driving privileges is a fate worse than death.

  14. #14
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    That's way more of a sentence than she should have recieved. that's incredible...
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

  15. #15
    Conservative Hippie
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    Oh hell, I'll be glad to throw in some crackpot, half-baked, social theory here.

    It all boils down to people have too much time on their hands and no real concerns. Yep, we're all a bunch of spoiled rotten children.

    Look at me right now. I've already had three hot meals today + snacks. Coffee and cigs, whenever I want. It's cold outside. Not real cold, but cool enough I would be cold if I were outdoors dressed the way I am in thin 'jammie pants and a t-shirt, but I am quite comfortable sitting here sharing my thoughts with you guys. I just got out of the shower. A hot shower, and all I had to do for hot water is turn on the faucet. Very soon I am going to eat again, just as soon as my lovely wife quits fooling around with the vacuum cleaner and gets my dinner ready. When she finishes cooking, in the kitchen, on an electric stove, and calls our two quite healthy children to dinner, I'll be there. We're not even having anything tonight that I took the time and effort to gather, catch or kill and clean myself (some meals we do), tonight everything came from the grocery store. After dinner I may watch some TV. I probably will come back on here, and other forums, to see what's going on. When I get tired I will go to sleep in my bed, with no concern as to the weather. I'll get up in the morning when my alarm-clock goes off. Use a flush toilet and shave and brush my teeth with clean, hot, tap water. Check the news and forums on the internet. Check the weather forecast. Have the wife drive me to work since I'm still nursing this sore thumb that I mashed in a hydraulic log splitter a couple weeks ago. I got very good medical care for the thumb, it's just sore. Infection is not a concern, but keeping it warm is, since it hurts like the bejesus when it gets cold. Which is why I'm not bike commuting to work regularly lately.

    My biggest concern this afternoon was thinking of how to keep the neighbor's cats from crapping in my yard. My biggest concern at work in the morning is if we have a frost delay, and we most likely will. We can't get on the grass to work if there's frost. Even walking on frost covered grass can kill it. We sure won't be able to drive any equipment on it.

    That's a lot of time to have very little concern for anything of real importance like what to do for shelter, or having enough clean water to drink, or having enough to eat. Jiminy Crickets, I even have to enough time to catch up on the latest in the ongoing Anna Nicole Smith saga, except that I've already heard more than I care to know about that. Maybe I'll hear more about the airline pilot that won back-to-back $25,000 lotteries two days in a row.

    And this is typical of the vast majority of people in any developed nation, too much time with very little of real importance to do with it.

  16. #16
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    good riddance to bad rubbish.

  17. #17
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterRun
    To bad the justice system doesn't suspend a driver's license for life in the case of a flagrant violation like this.

    That would be a fitting punishment, without the tax burden that Donna brings up. Excellent points in #6, Donna.
    Now that I'm all for with no situational reservations.

  18. #18
    Speed Demon *roll eyes*
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    Not a social theorist either but here are some thoughts:

    1) Using the term "rage" (as in road rage, shopping rage, etc) is a great error. We live in a society where medical "conditions" are given a lot of credence. When someone calls a childish irresponsible action by a name which catagorizes other such acts (like road rage) it actually legitimizes it! You see, they cannot help it if they fall victim to or have a "condition"... I want to be clear that I am not talking about legitimate medical concerns. The concern here to me is offering legitimacy for temper tantrums.

    2) We are all under a lot of stress. The current crop of greedy me firsters who populate our lovely continent have managed to stress themselves into a corner. This is a product of many things. Here are a couple of them (in my opinion). Firstly, the good old calvinistic protestant work ethic is creating problems again. You know the one: you must work and work hard and succeed. By succeed we mean you must obtain wealth. If you do not obtain wealth, it means you are not a part of the elect, and are going to hell since only the elect go to heaven and you can tell the elect by their wealth! (Dont kid yourself, a lot of what creates difficulties in North America can be traced back to that twisted value system.) Add to that the fact that a lot of us see the increasing wealth of previous generations - each one getting wealthier than before - and see the current generations having a hard time matching that, and you have a recipe for stress.

    3) We have managed by and large to confuse need and want. Very few people truly need (someone illustrated this better than I can at this time earlier in the thread). A lot of us truly want. We measure our success not by how we meet our needs, but by how we meet our wants.


    More later when I get a chance....
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  19. #19
    Long haired freak. wethepeople's Avatar
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    I had a similar experience.

    I was late for a race and I still needed to eat, after having McDicks **** up my order twice and finally getting it right 15 minutes later I raced out of the parking lot. I was waiting at a red light scarfing down my burger, just when it turned green I started to go when some balding jerk in a Corvette decided it would be a great time to turn left and cut me off, then laugh at me as I had to stand on the brakes. ****er had a convertible to, so I chucked my burger and hit him square in the side of his face. Served him right, I even got some thumbs up from other motorists.


    I guess this proves the world is going to hell in a hand basket.

    "the bus came by and I got on, that's when it all began...there was Cowboy Neal at the wheel of a bus to never-ever land."


  20. #20
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    The way I see it is this.

    3 points are needed to get less punishment (i.e. no jail time)

    1. Her husband is serving in Iraq. (1 point)
    2. Her sister was having early contractions. (2 points)
    3. She's a minority, in this case, black. (-2 points)

    I know somebody is probably going to get angry with me here, but oh well. I think the only reason she got 2 years is because she's black. I think if she was white, she would have gotten a slap on the wrist and a stern talking to.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bklyn
    Obviously, the guy's like a 12th level white wizard or something. His mere presence is a danger to mortals.

  21. #21
    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    i think singing sabre may have hit on the disparities in the justice system in this country crudely, but accurately enough.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    This is like the astronaut Lisa Nowack case, using the criminal justice sytem to treat mental illness. Considering the condition of the US medical system, that may be the easiest way to do it.

  23. #23
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingingSabre
    The way I see it is this.

    3 points are needed to get less punishment (i.e. no jail time)

    1. Her husband is serving in Iraq. (1 point)
    2. Her sister was having early contractions. (2 points)
    3. She's a minority, in this case, black. (-2 points)

    I know somebody is probably going to get angry with me here, but oh well. I think the only reason she got 2 years is because she's black. I think if she was white, she would have gotten a slap on the wrist and a stern talking to.
    Sadly, I think you might be right, 'Sabre. I wonder if Slow Train, the OP, has some insight into judges' sentencing tendencies with respect to race/ethnicity in that area of the country.

  24. #24
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewP
    This is like the astronaut Lisa Nowack case, using the criminal justice sytem to treat mental illness. Considering the condition of the US medical system, that may be the easiest way to do it.
    I'm not so sure about that. This kind of <insert the variety> rage has become so pervasive in the US, I think it's more collective than personal mental illness. I think what CommuterRun was saying about lack of struggle causing boredom is part of the equation. I think there are other factors, but I'm not certain how to verbalize them.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingingSabre
    The way I see it is this.

    3 points are needed to get less punishment (i.e. no jail time)

    1. Her husband is serving in Iraq. (1 point)
    2. Her sister was having early contractions. (2 points)
    3. She's a minority, in this case, black. (-2 points)

    I know somebody is probably going to get angry with me here, but oh well. I think the only reason she got 2 years is because she's black. I think if she was white, she would have gotten a slap on the wrist and a stern talking to.
    I couldn't even imagine some cell phone yakkin' blonde trophy wife in an SUV getting any time for this. And if a cyclist had ice thrown at them? Not a chance. I'm all for enforcing the law, but 2 years is way too harsh a sentence for this particular offense.

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