Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bicycle Miscreants

Recently, a city bus struck and killed a pedestrian here in the city by the lakes' weeds. The story isn't over but by all accounts the bus drive was in the wrong. One would think that the various responsible officials would have been drilling it into the bus drivers' heads that they need to be more vigilant in pursuit of not killing people. Indeed, you might think that motorists in general might become more introspective in terms of their need to be more vigilant in not killing people. And yet, events, as they often do, prove your, which is to say my, expectations wrong. Last Sunday not one but two buses tried to get me, one forcing me to slam on the bike's brakes. And when  I had a civil discussion with motorist later that same day, he ridiculed the notion that he ought not pass with six inches to spare. Today, two more, actually three now that I think about, tried to get me by ignoring my and several pedestrians existence and legal right of way and just now a car tried to roll slowly through the cross walk while I and some random kid on a bike were crossing, again with the right of way.

During my civil discussion with the motorist concerning  proper passing distance, he used the non sequitur of the lack of law abidingness of all or nearly all cyclists, while I denied the universality of cyclists as malefactors of great lycra, I did point out that motorists drive equally like maniacs.

Today, however, I ran across an example of the stupid cyclist to whom, I assume, the motorist referred.  First example: a busyish road with a t crossing and three stop signs. The bike lane is on the right, I was turning to the left and signaled then moved across and stopped as a car was already stopped. Just before the car moved off and I got ready to turn left, some crazy person on a semi-commuter bike swerved behind me took a left turn into the wrong lane and proceeded to ride wrong way for over a block.  I was laughing and trying not to shout out some kind of invective in hopes forestalling more of the same. Eventually, the rider got back on the right side of the road but did the exact same thing at the end of the street, that is cut across into the wrong lane 100 feet or more prior to a stop sign and turn left without paying the slightest attention to traffic. Crikey, I said, a crazy person on a bike.  After a bit more normal riding, the cyclist did the same thing only this time riding the wrong way up a hill on a well traveled road approximately in the middle.

So, I can see where some motorists get the idea that we're all a bunch of maniacs and it would have been nice had I decided to heap abuse on the miscreant, or at least to try and engage in some civil conversation about the mental unbalancedness of thinking that the rest of the world cares if you live or die, hint: it doesn't, but at the same time the only life, we'll leave aside psychological scarring, the cyclist risked was her own. Later that same ride, two cars attempted to sneak across a counterflow bike lane green and mosey through a crosswalk filled with pedestrians just down the street from where the bus hit the pedestrian. Had the first motorist not slammed on her brakes, causing the second in line to toot angrily his horn, they total could have been two cyclists and four pedestrians killed or wounded.

In short, while the world would be a better place if all of us played by the rules of the road, the motorists amongst are more likely to kill and/or maim and to the powerful goes the need to  build hedges, as E.P. Thompson put it, to limit the dangers of their greater power.

Spicoli Isn't An Analysist

Some someone or another got in all manner of trouble for calling  Obama a dick. Some other someones or another think that the punishment for indefinite banishment from the land of punditocracy is or isn't the right way to go.[1] I think it's the right way to go; not because it wrong to call the president a dick or whatever other else but rather because professionals shouldn't call to mind stoner surfer dudes:

That's right, they ought to outright fire the moronic bastard for being a moron and bastard not for using the word dick. Indeed, when they send him his letter of termination, they could use the little known Spicoli clause to ensure that he gets no unemployment. The Spicoli clause argues that anyone whose vocabulary, invective or otherwise, recalls Spicoli to mind is deemed unsuited for serious endeavors. It's near corollary, is the Ann Coulter amendment, which states that anyone who discusses or has Coulter as a guest on their program , except to mock and embarrass her, is debarred from commenting on the world as it ought to be or is.

Tim Mak / The Politico:
Mark Halperin suspended over Obama remark on Morning Joe (video)  —  MSNBC senior political analyst Mark Halperin was suspended on Thursday by the cable network after he called President Obama “a dick” on a popular morning show and then quickly apologized.  —  “I thought he was a dick yesterday …

Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
MSNBC's suspension of Mark Halperin is way over the top  —  MSNBC just announced that they have “indefintely” suspended Mark Halperin for claiming that Obama was “kind of a dick” at his presser yesterday.  Here's MSNBC's statement:  —  I'm sorry, but this is crazy.

Colby Hall / Mediaite:
MSNBC Suspends Mark Halperin For Calling President Obama A ‘Dick’ On Morning Joe  —  In the event that anyone think that Morning Joe is becoming formulaic and predictable, I present the following clip.  While discussing President Obama's press briefing yesterday (in which he showed a feisty …

Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
Mark Halperin and the Quote of the Day  —  It's hard not to love that “liberal” media.  —  On MSNBC's “Morning Joe,” the three-hour program co-hosted by a conservative Republican former congressman, Time magazine's Mark Halperin was asked for his assessment of President Obama's White House press conference.
MSNBC suspends Mark Halperin for Obama comments  —  Statement from MSNBC:  —  Mark Halperin's comments this morning were completely inappropriate and unacceptable.  We apologize to the President, The White House and all of our viewers.  We strive for a high level of discourse and comments like these have no place on our air.

Alex Pareene / Salon:
Mark Halperin comes up with great excuse to fire Mark Halperin
The Huffington Post:
Mark Halperin SUSPENDED For Obama ‘D*ck’ Comment (VIDEO)
Ann Althouse / Althouse:
Mark Halperin called Obama “a dick” and now he says “I can't explain why I did it.”
Discussion: The New Republic
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Halperin: Obama was a ... Update: MSNBC suspends Halperin “indefinitely”

Here In Wisconsin

The State Journal seeks to blame or - rather - allows others to blame Chief Justice Abrahmson for Prosser's alleged assault on  Bradley. In an equally squid-like attempt to avoid the obvious, e.g., Prosser is to blame for his attempted assault cause he has clearly become a violent bully, they suggest that elections made him do it.

One of the little mentioned facts of the matter is that the SEC is fining or and States' attorneys general are beginning to prosecute the crooks behind the mortgage securitization fiasco. As we begin to return to the notion that crooks are responsible for their crookedness, leaving the Jean Val Jeans of the world to one side, lets accept that the Prossers of the world are equally responsible for being violent bullies.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Stop Lying About My Bicycle

Meagan McArdle citing infamous fabricator John Tierney allows a Zombie lie concerning bike seats and various physical discomforts, illness, and diseases. It's not true. Riding a bike is good for you and the only reasons these bufflaheads reanimate the Zombie is because they enjoy making stuff up.