Bike Commuting’s Worst Enemy Isn’t What You Think

The Urban Phoenix

When I tell someone I bike to and from work every day, I typically get one of four responses.

  1. “Hey man that’s awesome, keeps ya healthy, helps the environment right?”
  2. “How do you do that every day?  Don’t you get cold?  What about rain and snow?”
  3. “I like to drive too much, I just don’t get riding a bike like that when you can drive.”
  4. “Oh, that’s interesting, do you not own a car?”

The fourth is more from people who I just met… it’s the “feeler” question, trying to see if I ride my bike because I’m either poor (which I kind of am) or I have a DWI (which I don’t).  But you get the idea.

enlight1-40 When traveling to Rome, New York, I use their bike share program to get around.

enlight1-34 I use bike share to get to where I need to go in Buffalo as well.

These…

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HOW THE AGE OF EXPLORATION AND DISCOVERY JUSTIFIES A MILITANT CHRISTIAN TAKEOVER OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT– SEE BETSY DEVOS, KELLYANNE CONWAY, STEVE BANNON, DOMINIONISTS, AND THE SECRETIVE COUNCIL FOR NATION POLICY FOR DETAILS

ANTHOLOGY

The History of Dominionism

       In the 15th century, Papal Bulls were issued that gave Christian explorers the right to claim, for their Christian monarchs, the land that they had discovered. Any land that was not already inhabited by Christians was decreed to be available for discovery, for claiming, and for exploitation. If any so-called ‘pagan’ inhabitants could be converted, it was possible for them to be spared from enslavement or from being killed.

These Papal Bulls, which collectively came to be known as the Discovery Doctrine or the Doctrine of Discovery, is also a concept of public international law, one that was first extensively addressed in a series of United States Supreme Court decisions, going back to Johnson v. M’Intosh in 1823. It was the means for Chief Justice John Marshall to explain the way that colonial powers first laid claim to newly discovered lands…

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HOW THE AGE OF EXPLORATION AND DISCOVERY JUSTIFIES A MILITANT CHRISTIAN TAKEOVER OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT– SEE BETSY DEVOS, KELLYANNE CONWAY, STEVE BANNON, DOMINIONISTS, AND THE SECRETIVE COUNCIL FOR NATION POLICY FOR DETAILS

Source: HOW THE AGE OF EXPLORATION AND DISCOVERY JUSTIFIES A MILITANT CHRISTIAN TAKEOVER OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT– SEE BETSY DEVOS, KELLYANNE CONWAY, STEVE BANNON, DOMINIONISTS, AND THE SECRETIVE COUNCIL FOR NATION POLICY FOR DETAILS

#ChristianAltFacts, or, how the Christian Right Broke America

When reading this, look also at how cycling advocates create their own insular communities. For example 1. The infra only crowd. (All problems can be solved with infrastructure alone.) 2. The vehicular cycling crowd. (All problems can be solved by following rule’s. )

Not Your Mission Field

Christopher Douglas’s article “The Religious Origins of Fake News and ‘Alternative Facts,'” published yesterday on Religion Dispatches, is a must read for anyone who wants to understand why and how America’s asymmetric polarization–polarization from the Right–has led to Trumpism. You cannot understand this apart from the theocratic element and the relationship between fundamentalist psychology and political authoritarianism.

The key, as I explain in this Twitter thread, is to understand the psychology behind the construction of parallel institutions, of enclave communities, by fundamentalist subcultures. These enclave communities–I grew up in one–are designed defensively to protect the group’s “absolute Truth” against facts that are too difficult and painful to face. As Douglas relates in well sourced detail, fundamentalists’ parallel institutions–like the Christian schools, colleges, and bookstores built by conservative Evangelicals–are “bodies of counter-expertise” meant to oppose and undermine credible science and scholarship that threatens the fundamentalist worldview.

People in enclave…

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I see it now

I see it now.

It’s strange how I didn’t see it before. You’d think I’d have noticed. It was there. I even named it once. But back then it felt more like grasping at straws.

I was sitting in a jail cell. Fox News had requested to do an interview with me. Did I have a statement for the C.A.? Yes, I said. I looked into the camera and asked why he was targeting me. Was it because I was poor? Or was it because I was a woman? This last one seemed too absurd to contemplate. I mean really. Who prosecutes a bicyclist for being a woman? Absurd. Right?

I see it now.

I didn’t see it before and I should have. But I was in the forest of misogyny and all I could see were the tree’s.

I’m white. And that helps. At least a little. I commute by bicycle. That doesn’t help. At all. When I’m on my bicycle people don’t see me. I’m no longer human. They see a cyclist. An object. Something in their way. Ruining their day. I’m an ‘it.’

Men tell me they feel the same. I want to believe them. But I think in some ways it won’t ever really be an authentic experience. Just like I, as a white woman, can never truly have an authentic experience as black woman. But I can come close. When I’m on my bicycle.

When I’m on my bicycle I have to think about how to plan my route. Wouldn’t want to make the white men and women angry as I cycle past. Wouldn’t want to be in their way. But my whiteness is a privilege that a black woman doesn’t share. So it’s not quite the same and fuck anyone who says it is. But it’s close. It’s a solid taste. And it’s like poison on my tongue. Just that little bit of a taste. So tiny it’s almost nothing. But it floods my veins with the burning sensation of being dehumanized. In that moment I want to wrap chains around my antagonists neck and pull hard. Pull so damn hard they gasp for air and whisper “I can’t breathe.” I want to do this to the white man who felt that it was his superior right as a driver of an auto, (315 ABJ Oregon plates; white car) to press his car up close to my leg and intimidate me, as he pressed into my lane. My rage was white hot as I pulled up next to him at the light and poured my rage down on him. I think I scared him. Good. I hope he got a little taste of how he made me feel.

I see it now.

But I didn’t see it then. It was easy to compare myself to someone I actually couldn’t relate to, but thought I could. It was easy to deny that being a woman, even a white one, was a handicap. Though not nearly as much as being a woman and being a person of color. I can’t imagine being a black woman on a bicycle. I see why the black community aligns itself with auto culture. It exudes power. Even if it’s a false power. It’s a beautiful lie and one that is easily swallowed. But three handicaps is three too many and it’s tough enough with two.

Misogyny affects us all. Men and women. But we each experience it in a way that is unique to our own experiences. Misogyny hurts men as much as it hurts women. But men have their privilege to act as a buffer. Just as my whiteness is a buffer of privilege for me. It’s hard to imagine how it feels to be on the other side. The side that is perceived as weaker. The part that makes me smile deep down inside? I’m stronger, as a woman, for riding a bicycle. It takes knowledge and courage to feel your fear and live your life with authenticity, in the face of adversity. Each day is a fight and a struggle. You find your happiness where you can and you keep on keeping on. Is that what it feels like to be black? If so; It’s hard. And I’m sorry I didn’t feel your pain before. I’m sorry I couldn’t relate or imagine what it is like for you.

We’re going to win. We’re going to shatter misogyny and racism. We will win.

Come ride with me. You’ll see.

 

Are Women Better Leaders?

Proud Navy Veteran

hillary-clinton

Looking back . . .

I’m not much for generalizations, especially when talking about groups. By generalizing [about behaviors] we are often inherently unfair to individuals within the group.  With that being said, this post is a generalization based on what I have learned from female leaders during my career.  My hope is that you will appreciate the information being offered for your consideration, without being overly concerned for those (individuals or groups) not adequately represented here.  Trust me; I understand that there are great leaders of both sexes to be found in all groups.

Like most of you I have worked for both strong and weak leaders during my career. Looking back, I believe that I have learned more from the strong female leaders than from the men.  Some of those women (while not identified) may see themselves weaved within the fabric of this post.

Here are some things I…

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States rights. Right?

 

Last night I was listening to a book on audio. It’s called “White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America.”
by Nancy Isenberg

Everything I had studied and taken in over the years, up to that point, began to click. It was like watching a mind boggling large jigsaw puzzle suddenly assemble itself and seeing the picture it was hiding when it laid scattered around.

Then I knew.

The first thing I want to make clear is that for some people this won’t be anything new or especially revealing. We’ve seen this coming but not understood what it was or how to address it.

I first became aware when I was arrested for riding a bicycle, legally and safely, on a public road.

That’s when I started researching and studying these subjects. Because I knew they were connected but I couldn’t tell you how they were connected. OR why. It was this jumbled jigsaw puzzle of a million pieces and I had the border done but couldn’t see how to piece together the individual parts which made up the whole.

Mostly it was because I was missing so many of the pieces. Even now I don’t have them all but the picture is complete enough that I can extrapolate the rest and see what I’ve, what we all have been missing.

I am not a writer. Putting this together in a coherent piece is a struggle for me. It’s Thanksgiving morning and a lot of people have willfully chosen to ignore all talk of world doings and politics. If this wasn’t important. Yes, THAT important. I wouldn’t be up at an unreasonable hour struggling to put this together for you. The least you can do is read it and keep  your snide grammar nazi comments to yourself.

Let’s begin.

We are a continually evolving species. This is the epoch of our next painful evolutionary burst.

It started in what is now Europe. People had become overpopulated in each of their individual countries. The wealthy needed to get rid of the poor “waste” people. Prisons were overcrowded and there was a lot of suffering in the streets. Technology had advanced mankind into a more robust species and people were surviving at a higher rate. The age of enlightenment had come upon man and the church could no longer hold full sway over her people. Things had gotten rowdy and quite out of control. In an effort to maintain the old zeal a lot of people were killed through persecution. Whether it be religious, class, or education people who were deemed unfit for society were murdered or thrown out.

Wealth wasn’t something you could acquire, you were born into it.

The discovery of the northern continents was a boon to the evolution of man in many ways. But it was also a hindrance for those who enjoyed maintaining control. How do you control a free society?

People were taught that the word of god was real and infallible. Anecdotal evidence was all an uneducated swath of society needed to “believe.” And believe they did. So much so that they policed themselves and others. The order of law was a religious process, which even then held a tenuous grip.

As our nation grew and we were exposed to other cultures and belief systems, we started questioning our own.

Our founding fathers established this nation on the understanding that it was an infant and would not reach full maturity until a date well beyond their years. The term “nature” and “nature’s god” isn’t one we are familiar with today. Words also evolve over the years and we add new words to our vocabulary all the time. As well as evolve the definition of old worlds to mean something entirely different than its original meaning.

For example: Slut; didn’t always mean a promiscuous woman. Its original meaning was “lazy” and it could be used for both men and women. But that has changed now.

What hasn’t changed is our inherent nature to classify things and hold separate those whom we deem different from ourselves. Namely class hierarchy.

I’d always been puzzled by the Indians. Not Native Americans but Indians in India. They are one race but they have one of the most vicious caste (class hierarchy) systems in place. It niggled at the back of my brain as I studied American history.

We are all one people. We don’t treat each other differently based on the color of our skin. We treat each other differently based on our station in life. Which in America, we are told that each one of us has the potential to reach the stars. But we don’t. Or at least some of us don’t. That doesn’t mean racism doesn’t exist. What I’m trying to say is that the problem we are seeing today is in many ways larger than our outward differences.

The obvious is too obvious.

Like a magician using sleight of hand we are distracted by racism, xenophobia, and sexism. It’s intentional and the intent is to distract us from what is really happening. A lot of people are going to disagree with me and that’s fine. You still need to hear this.

The nations are rising up to make war with each other. America is on the cusp of being disassembled and separated for corporate gain. But also to make us weak and more compliant.

We truly are stronger when we come together as one people and one voice. There is something we all have in common. We are all people and we are all being divided by class. Not gender, not race, not religion.

Class.

The haves vs. the have nots.

The GOP has taken over the Senate, the House, and the Oval Office. They will nominate conservatives to our Supreme Court. That is on the federal level.

Each state has a constitution and the 10th amendment grants each state their rights to govern individually.

Title X
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

     “The Tenth Amendment was intended to confirm the understanding of the people at the time the Constitution was adopted, that powers not granted to the United States were reserved to the States or to the people. It added nothing to the instrument as originally ratified.”1 “The amendment states but a truism that all is retained which has not been surrendered. There is nothing in the history of its adoption to suggest that it was more than declaratory of the relationship between the national and state governments as it had been established by the Constitution before the amendment or that its purpose was other than to allay fears that the new national government might seek to exercise powers not granted, and that the states might not be able to exercise fully their reserved powers.”2 That this provision was not conceived to be a yardstick for measuring the powers granted to the Federal Government or reserved to the States was firmly settled by the refusal of both Houses of Congress to insert the word “expressly” before the word “delegated,”3 and was confirmed by Madison’s remarks in the course of the debate which took place while the proposed amendment was pending concerning Hamilton’s plan to establish a national bank. “Interference with the power of the States was no constitutional criterion of the power of Congress. If the power was not[p.1510]given, Congress could not exercise it; if given, they might exercise it, although it should interfere with the laws, or even the Constitutions of the States.”4 Nevertheless, for approximately a century, from the death of Marshall until 1937, the Tenth Amendment was frequently invoked to curtail powers expressly granted to Congress, notably the powers to regulate commerce, to enforce the Fourteenth Amendment, and to lay and collect taxes.

States retain a significant amount of sovereign authority[p.1516]“only to the extent that the Constitution has not divested them of their original powers and transferred those powers to the Federal Government.”57 The principal restraints on congressional exercise of the Commerce power are to be found not in the Tenth Amendment or in the Commerce Clause itself, but in the structure of the Federal Government and in the political processes.58 “Freestanding conceptions of state sovereignty” such as the National League of Cities test subvert the federal system by “invit[ing] an unelected federal judiciary to make decisions about which state policies it favors and which ones it dislikes.”59 While continuing to recognize that “Congress’ authority under the Commerce Clause must reflect [the] position . . . that the States occupy a special and specific position in our constitutional system,” the Court held that application of Fair Labor Standards Act minimum wage and overtime provisions to state employment does not require identification of these “affirmative limits.”60 In sum, the Court in Garcia seems to have said that most but not necessarily all disputes over the effects on state sovereignty of federal commerce power legislation are to be considered political questions. What it would take for legislation to so threaten the “special and specific position” that states occupy in the constitutional system as to require judicial rather than political resolution was not delineated.
Cornell University Law School

Conservatives and Libertarians are seeking to rend the fabric of America. The threads which bind us will soon be cut.

As I’ve stated previously and it’s common knowledge; the GOP now controls all branches of Government on the Federal level. But being that we are granted state rights we should consider ourselves safe.

NO!

32 states now have a Conservative governor and it’s worse. 45 states have a senate controlled by the Conservatives.

I’m going to start using Conservative with a capital “C” to delineate the mad men from the truly liberty loving in this country.

I’ll give you some examples.

1) One who espouses a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change.

2) One who believes in less government being better government.

3) One who believes in such “outmoded” ideas as civil liberties (freedom of speech, separation of church and state, right to keep and bear arms, that kind of thing)

4) One for whom the Republican Party no longer truly speaks.

5) a word that today’s so-called “conservatives” don’t know the definition of.
“Today’s so-called ‘conservatives’ don’t even know what the word means. They think I’ve turned liberal because I believe a woman has a right to an abortion. That’s a decision that’s up to the pregnant woman, not up to the pope or some do-gooders or the Religious Right. It’s not a conservative issue at all.” — Barry Goldwater

Urban Dictionary

AND

This article from The Atlantic. Which I’ll give you an excerpt.

Roughly two-fifths of Americans call themselves “conservative.” What do they mean by the word? It depends. And during a Republican primary, that can be problematic. Every candidate is vying to be the standard-bearer for conservatism, and exploiting the fact that its meaning is variable.

Conservatives have taken over both the Republican and the Democratic parties.

A conservative Democrat is a member of the Democratic Party in the United States who holds conservative views on social or economic issues. Despite that party’s longstanding reputation as a liberal political party, the Democratic Party has always had a conservative wing.
Conservative Democrat – Conservapedia
www.conservapedia.com/Conservative_Democrat

See also: Blue Dogs.

There is an emerging Alt-Left but Hillary Clinton isn’t the embodiment of it.

Here is a Daily Kos article from someone who is a liberal and has experienced the Alt-Left.
Here is an example of how the Alt-Right are trying to define the Alt-Left. It’s important to note that the Alt-Right is labeling anyone who cares about those who are different as Alt-Left. Telling a baker they can’t discriminate against a gay couple isn’t Alt-Left. But this is what the Alt-Right are telling their followers the Alt-Left is.   <<< This is NOT Alt-Left but this is what the Alt-Right are telling their followers, so be aware.

My own experience with the Alt-Left came when I was attacked and besmirched by bike lane loving cyclists. Nothing screams LIBERAL like talk of bike lanes. Right? Then how in the world would these same people attack me for riding a bike? Because they are Alt-Left. A mirror image of the Alt-Right. Equally pervasive and dangerous.

Hillary Clinton is the embodiment of people who want a progressive, apple pie loving, gentle America. You can disagree but in this age of propaganda paraded as “fake news” and fake news paraded as “News.” You really need to reconsider your position.

I saw this coming but I couldn’t name it or explain it. I was confronted with it up close and in my face. But it was so close to my face that it was blurry and undefined. Everything else has been out of the corner or my eye. By taking a step back and looking around, the picture has come into focus.

But I digress.

Conservatives and Libertarians.

The two sides of one evil.

I will state plainly now the intention of our president elect.

Control of Government will go solely to each state. I suspect but have not found evidence that states will be divided into groups. If my hunch is correct then I believe it would be along judicial lines. Here is a map.

The federal government will be dismantled under the excuse of “Article X.” But that doesn’t mean he won’t retain control of power. What it means is he will do exactly what he has said he would do and run America like a corporation. Each state or the circuit court boundaries of states would be like a manager. Then the chain of command would tree out just like in a corporation. The right of the people to redress their government would be removed because their wouldn’t be a government to redress.

If you read the “Federalist Papers” you will see that there is a homogeneous reason for having a United States. The freedoms we have come to enjoy would be wiped out. All progress gone. Child labor? Yes, that’ll be a thing again.

All of the rights which we now enjoy and take for granted will be wiped out under this administration. Women will be the first target. They will keep the obvious obvious as a subterfuge to that which is not obvious.

This is also a global movement. Brexit wasn’t the first. I think Poland was the first.

Read this: As long as America B is left in the lurch by what passes for modernity, it will inevitably try to pull the entire country back to some imagined golden age of the past before all those “others” hijacked the red, white, and blue. Donald Trump has hitched his presidential wagon to America B. The real nightmare, however, is likely to emerge in 2020 or thereafter, if a far more capable politician who embraces similar retrograde positions rides America B into Washington.

This article was written with the assumption that Trump would not win and that a worse fate awaited America in 2020.

I told my friends and anyone who would listen that if Trump won the primaries he WOULD win the General Election. I was told I was crazy. Then he won.

I told my daughter. I was too afraid to labeled a crackpot to speak openly about my fears. I told her that if Trump won the General Election we would be in a serious time of trouble and people would die. Maybe even us.

But that if Hillary won the General Election we would have 4 years to prepare.

Kentucky’s Gov. Matt Bevin was that time to prepare but I didn’t see it. It was too close to my face. What happened to me in Kentucky is going to happen to a lot of people. White people will not be safe. Black people will not be safe. Religious people will not be safe.

To be safe you have to be the “right kind of white and have the right kind of religion.”

No Lubbers, Crackers, Clay Eaters, Niggers, Spics, Muslims, and etc.

It’s going to get that bad.

Seriously.

READ! BOOKS!

The overriding goals of Donald Trump and his allies in Congress are the same as the goals of the conservative movement throughout the modern era: to expand the wealth, status, and power of the privileged few at the expense of everyone else. That’s why big tax cuts for the rich are the top priority.

Talk Poverty

I’ve explained this badly. I feel that I have. But I also think that there is enough information out there that if you cram over the next month. You’ll get caught up and see what I’m seeing.

So Book lists!

Read these books.

6-books-to-help-understand-trumps-win

Also read:

12 books and you’ll be fully up to speed.

The last thing I’ll add is that this is also going to be a religious movement. Churches will be taxed and active participants in Government or whatever new form of Government they are cooking up.

I prognosticate that the events we see unfold over the ensuing years will be so wretchedly horrifying that it will be an end to religion once and for all.

Part of me wonders if we aren’t entering into the birth of a new era. One which will see the old fade away and be replaced by something entirely new. But what will that be? Will it be good, better, or worse?

Only time will tell.

The only thing I can say with any positivity is that if we don’t fight. If we don’t get involved. It’s over and it will all have been for nothing.

 

Further reading.

These assholes. The Federalist Society.

Liberals are an endangered species.

White Nationalists world wide.  Read “White Trash: 400 years of untold history” to understand how this is relevant.

Form local action communities. Start preparing for resistance.

The fact that this happened on this election cycle gives me hope. But we have to start at a the local level. We have to start at the bottom and work from the ground up.

 

180 degrees

Excellent response to a bad situation.

Cycling in the South Bay

It’s hard to admit you’re wrong.

It’s harder to apologize to the people you’ve wronged.

It’s hardest of all to affirmatively do something about it.

The last couple of weeks have seen a slew of attacks on cyclists. Mason Katz, a professional baseball player, used his Twitter account to attack people who ride bicycles and suggest that their mere existence made him contemplate harming them.

mason_katz.jpg

Then there was the woman who I’ll just politely refer to as the Charlotte Nutjob. After assaulting a peaceful group of cyclists she was portrayed in the first news stories as a victim.

mercedes_menace

At least one follow-up story confirmed that she’s actually an idiot. Maybe that makes some people feel better.

And then there was the San Diego Easy Reader story, peddling lies and absurd analyses from the Cato Institute trying to argue that bike planning is irrational and we should spend more time…

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