Thursday, March 3, 2016

Bicker Constrain

Candidates had an extra Leap Day, February 29th, to prepare for Super Tuesday’s primary elections. None who are running seem very bike friendly, unlike President Barack Obama and Secretary John Kerry, themselves known to ride. GOP front runner Donald Trump, Koch Brothers, Rob Ford, and such examples of conservative corpulence hate bicycles, cyclists and mamil (middle aged men in lycra). How could they not? Besides betraying their campaign donors, they probably believe they are too big (obese) to pedal humbly. Koch Brothers own the factory that makes lycra out of crude oil. Where’s the love?

Bike culture does not flag America’s decline, rather its recovery in mental and/or physical health and riposte to foreign oil imports, down significantly since Obama took office with ensuing reduction in price/bbl. Despite ridicule of gaping jaws, USA still has by far the biggest GDP on planet, rival to entire European Union collectively. But reliance on petroleum constitutes weakness. As China gradually gives up bicycling, so too has their spectacular economic growth faltered. Correlations are not causalities, but they do suggest connections.

Trump, denounced by party core and endorsed by Ku Klux Klan, is also against freedom of speech; if elected, you’ll have to heed his dictates alone while sued for libel, and watch your rights evaporate. Yet Trump’s “telling it like it is”, whatever that means, definitely appeals to egotistic morons, lazy thinkers, and mental defectives who comprise too much of population, so things definitely can get worse. His reactionary programs imitate Hitler’s, resemble how dictators rise to power, and stage little more than a screaming sideshow. There’s already a wall along Mexican border that criminals have tunneled underneath. Party should have sponsored better candidates, not worse extremists who the dullest voters see right through. An Afro-American, or woman, president offers some semblance of affirmative action, not a spoiled billionaire who's part of the problem. Misguided minds welcome a thug in hopes he’ll wipe slate clean and restore privileges for them, but usually this goes bad and levels arena for everyone but those extraordinarily insulated by money and power. Only the strong survive, not penniless slobs who own guns and waste fuel. Not allowing itself to be goaded by pride, nation needs to address alienated allies, deteriorated bridges and roads, homelessness, joblessness, lopsided budgets, maniacal enemies, mounting waste, overfishing, undrinkable groundwater, and whatnot. Can't democracy constrain bicker over insane trivialities that run real issues off the road? Acting responsibly does not make, but might label, you a “LOSER”.

As a way of addressing air pollution, elected officials in other countries plan to pay commuters to bike to work. Why not? Whether or not they are aware, motorists are already assessed fees for fouling it, but nobody knows were money goes, surely not for cleaner air. This program would only produce measurable results if safe routes were provided and scale skyrocketed. They’d only have to close off motor traffic on a few narrow streets through city (neighborhood residents excluded) to have instant infrastructure. As long as continuous corridors from 8 compass points traverse city, it would cultivate bike choice and limit motor vehicle use, but so would denying/repealing driver licenses, impounding fuming vehicles, and targeting industrial and non-vehicular sources such as burning coal, heating oil, or wood, and leaking CO2, gasoline vapors, methane, and solvents. One flimsy solution is never enough, merely political pretense. Easy to construct a pareto chart and deal with key influences, though leaders don’t seem to understand problem solving methods except smokescreens.

Argument versus counterpoint: Neither satisfies when both promote extremes. Saying whatever leaders want to hear brings rewards and serves self. Serving, albeit begrudgingly, a cause or idea, such as bicycling, in everyone's best interests leaves you obscure and poor. Hard to say whether society prefers bitter bicker or foregone conclusions. Seems there’s room for both in America, from baseball games beginning a new season of commissioner crimes and umpire miscalls to candidates continually waging campaigns that leapfrog over each other daily. As long as contested, populace basically approves a process, despite the fact that game is rigged with ending already preordained, and those in power remain entrenched as puppet masters. Big fish do eat small fry, but shoals of compact piranha can strip sacred cows to bones in minutes.

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