Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A Victory for Bicycling Law in Ohio


Ohio's new bicycling law takes effect Sept. 21
Associated Press
Changes to state law governing Ohio bicyclists include:

_Local governments can no longer require cyclists to ride on sidewalks or ban bicycles from certain streets, other than freeways.

_Wheel and front reflectors are no longer required.

_Cyclists are no longer required to give a continuous turn signal.

_Bicyclists are allowed to ride on the left side of a lane to make a left turn, to stay out of a right-turn-only lane or to avoid potholes, road debris or stopped vehicles.

_Cars are allowed to pass bicycles in no-passing zones under certain conditions.

_Courts are given sentencing discretion, including remedial bicycle training.

SOURCE: The Ohio Bicycle Federation.

Burning Man - II





Excerpted from this LAtimes article:

"What Burning Man really is, is American. Burners went off the beaten path seeking liberty and a new way of life, a place for eccentrics to be themselves. It's capitalist at heart — the festival is a ticketed event, and people can afford to live in its "gift economy" only because of the wealth accumulated in the commerce-filled outside world — but it's also uneasy about that capitalism. It demands rugged individualism because you have to bring everything you need to survive, yet it pulls together a very social community."

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Burning Man - Why I can't drink the Kool-Aid




I know many wonderful and interesting people that love Burning Man and spend the better part of the year making plans for their week on the playa. But I can’t drink the kool-aid on this one. It’s annoying enough that people are so cultish about it. “You HAVE to go! It’s the most fun ever! I can’t believe you’ve never been?!” I have literally had to sit through hours of acquaintences and friends practically chanting borglike: ASSIMILATE! ASSIMILATE!! When I tell them I have no interest they find me “square” and “uptight” and actually get annoyed with me.

Now, I’m no prude. I consider myself actively progressive, I love art meant to push boundaries and buttons, public nudity doesn't bother me, I’ve traveled and lived throughout the world visiting Buddhist monasteries in Sri Lanka to game reserves in South Africa. Hell, I even like to tie one on occasionally.

And given all the travelling I've done I can say unequivocally, that I think the Black Rock Desert is one of the most amazing places on earth.

I can also say unequivocally that the idea of spending time on the playa surrounded by 30,000 people to be one of the most horrifying things I can think of.

I don’t care if all 30k of them are the coolest people on the planet (I’m quite sure they are not). Don't get me wrong, large social events have their place. There are times I'm quite delighted to be surrounded by my fellow homo sapiens. Give me a great concert, a good New Year's Eve party, or even SOME sporting events to bond with my fellow men and women. Shoot, I enjoy standing in line waiting to vote on election days with politically active citizens no matter what political stripe they happen to be. It gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.

But the Black Rock Desert is so amazing BECAUSE it provides such a great opportunity to marvel about how alone we are on the planet and in the universe. Whether it's a day trip or a camping excursion I have never failed to be thrilled by standing on the playa. For me the BRD is a place that begs for quiet contemplation. Not inebriated social interaction. No matter how dressed up (or undressed) it might be in the guise of providing some college kid, suit-and-tie lawyer, or soccer mom, a chance to have some venue to create their annual "peak experience," it's still just an excuse for a party. And more and more, in talking to "burners" or whatever handle they are giving themselves now, I know too many of the people who go out there who seem to be looking for this "peak experience" for a week out of the year that they find it hard to get in the other parts of their lives. Frankly, I find that sad. I have no such problem or hole in my life. I have "peak" experiences on at least a weekly basis. Paying to hang out with a bunch of intoxicated (albeit more creatively intoxicated) people does not a peak experience make (for me).

different strokes and all that...enjoy the playa next week! And after you've trashed your bike donate it to some kid who doesn't have one instead of throwing it in a dumpster or abandoning it on the side of the road.

BIKE RIDERS COMMEMORATE HURRICANE


I generally have mixed feelings about critical mass, at least in a smallish city like Reno where riding down Virginia St. seems more antagonistic than celebratory. But I must admit this new, more focused use of critical mass to call attention to the link between the oil industry, climate change, and hurricanes is a good use of bicycle activism.

From the article:
"I was carrying a banner that said, 'More cars equals more climate change equals more hurricanes. No more Katrinas!''' Hooshmand said.

Brian Fleming, a spokesman for the environmental organization Rising Tide, which partnered with Critical Mass, said, "Many of us have ridden in Critical Mass rides and we wanted to make the connection between the oil industry and climate change as well as the damage to the wetlands in Louisiana that was caused by the oil industry.''

Fleming said the wetlands were a natural defense against hurricanes because they absorb storm surges and that a recent study by Louisiana State University showed that if the wetlands weren't degraded, some levees would not have broken."

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Battlestar Galactica


This piece from Salon.com on what may be one of the best tv shows of all time is glorious. If you don't read Salon for it's political commentary, then you must check it out for the most insightful television articles around (particularly H.H.)

Excerpted from the article, the 10 reasons emmy voters should not watch BG

Ten reasons not to watch "Battlestar Galactica":

1. No light sabers. Not a one.

2. The gripping, conflicted experiment with democracy aboard Galactica seems too unrealistic. Politicians make good decisions and elections are always fair!

3. Where's the fat, goofy husband?

4. The personal crises on the show -- breast cancer, loss of loved ones, the brutal disillusionment of loving someone you can never have -- are unbelievable. They live on a spaceship! Now, if they lived on Wisteria Lane ...

5. I don't want a President Roslin, with her clear-eyed pragmatism and steely political instincts, when I can have the portentous speechifying of President Bartlet!


6. A woman president? Come on, it's already science fiction, why tip over into the realm of fantasy like "Commander-in-Chief"?

7. The Cylons (the terrorists!) seem to exhibit real emotions and possibly humanlike feelings, creating constant existential crises for the Galactica staff. That's silly. In real life, the good guys are always clearly distinguishable from the bad guys.

8. There's too much realistic adventure and too many pulse-racing fight scenes; I don't like to get that excited.

9. William Shatner hasn't made a single guest appearance!

10. I like my science fiction peopled with multi-nostriled characters sporting thick, blue, leathery skin. Too many of the "Battlestar Galactica" characters are preposterously hot, and stubbornly refuse to ooze green, viscous liquids. Who wants that?

Protest-From the Nevada State Democratic Party

The Rambler won't be able to do this as he has "first day of school" commitments. But it would certainly be a good time to exercise one's free speech rights (while we still have them).
___

Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld will be in Reno on the SAME DAY, Monday, Aug 28th.
Join us at two events to demand better support for our veterans!

What: Protest of the Bush Administration's cuts of veterans benefits while Dick Cheney is speaking in Reno

When: 10 a.m., Monday, August 28

Where: We will meet near the old Liberty Belle Restaurant in front of the Convention Center on South Virginia Street (The closest parking is in the Old Town Mall lot)

Come to Support our Troops and show the Bush Administration that we will not accept benefit cuts for Veterans!!!

UK bicycling news-Will cyclists eventually lose their right to be on the road?



News


18th August 2006

Daniel Cadden will appeal
Following advice from his legal team, Daniel Cadden has decided to appeal against his conviction for inconsiderate cycling. The Cyclists’ Defence Fund (CDF), the independent charity founded by CTC to address issues concerning cycling and the law, has confirmed that it will support a re-trial. The case has ramifications for all cyclists, so if you missed last week’s newsnet read the background to the story here. Since last week, an average of £1,000 a day has been pledged to the CDF by cyclists keen to show their solidarity with Daniel. For example, Hampshire Cycle Training is donating 10% of all the organisation’s training fees for the next two months to the CDF and hopes other National Standard Instructors may follow suit. If you would like to contribute to the Fund’s work, go to www.cyclistsdefencefund.org.uk. To listen to a podcast interview with CTC press officer, Yannick Read, on Bikeforall.net about why this case is so important, click here

For the background to the case, see below




Cyclist who refused to stay in the gutter loses court case

A cyclist who was prosecuted for inconsiderate cycling, whilst cycling in accordance with the National Standard for cycle training, has today been found guilty by a District Judge in Telford Magistrates Court and fined £100 with £200 costs.


CTC member Daniel Cadden was cycling fast downhill on a single-lane approach to a roundabout when he was stopped by police who believed that the position he had taken in his lane was forcing cars to cross the solid white line in the centre of the road illegally in order to overtake. But rather than stop the cars that had broken the law, the officers decided to charge Daniel Cadden with obstructing the highway.


Cyclecraft, the book published by The Stationery Office on skilled riding techniques, states: “The primary riding position (the centre of one’s lane) should be your normal riding position when you can keep up with traffic, or when you need to prevent following drivers from passing you dangerously.”


CTC Director, Kevin Mayne, said “The police at the scene said that Daniel should have been cycling well over to the left – effectively in the gutter – but the judge felt that Daniel should have crossed three lanes of busy traffic and used a segregated cycle track to save fractions of seconds off the journey times of a few motorists. CTC continues to fight a re-draft of the Highway Code, which says cyclists ‘should use cycle paths where provided’, in order to tackle the attitude, held by many people in the judiciary, police and public alike, that cyclists should be out of the way of motorists.”


Daniel Cadden was supported in his defence by the Cyclists’ Defence Fund (CDF), the independent charity which was founded by CTC to provide cyclists with support in legal cases. The CDF paid for John Franklin, author of ‘Cyclecraft’, to appear as an expert witness for the defence.


Chair of the CDF, Colin Langdon, said: “This is an extremely regrettable judgement and I fully expect it to be contestable. Daniel Cadden clearly needs to take legal advice about the options open to him. However, this is exactly the sort of case for which the Fund is always in need of donations, so that we can defend the rights of cyclists as road users and more generally to raise awareness of cyclists’ position in law.”


To donate money to the Cyclists’ Defence Fund, go to www.cyclistsdefencefund.org.uk

Hear CTC President Phil Liggett and CTC Press Officer Yannick Read talk about the case on bikeforall.net here

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Oh..the irony




"Dudley and retired Lake County Sheriff's Department Police Chief Gary Martin died Tuesday when a truck hit a van and knocked it into a group of officers bicycling to raise money for the families of fallen officers."

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Visions of Civil war... In America





Chez Denny's; Visions of Civil war... In America

by Jayne Lyn Stahl

Excerpt:

"Our government's declaration of war on "terror" was really a declaration of war on the American Dream, and nothing more than a transparent camouflage for an assault on the middle class. This was no mere assault, mind you, but assault with a deadly weapon, the weapon being nothing less than sabotage of the electoral process. That said, make no mistake, no government has ever dichotomized, and alienated, its people by divesting them of their civil liberties, economic opportunity, their piece of the pie, and survived. "

Henri Cartier-Bresson




In honor of one of my favorite photographers...Henri Cartier-Bresson...who was born on August 22, 1908.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Bicycling Hall of Shame-Woman acquitted in bicyclist's death


The key part of this article is the admission that the driver had macular degeneration. That's a defense for running over someone? And, who is responsible for letting a woman with macular degeneration drive? I'm sure this is a great comfort to the bicyclist's family.



SHAWANO — An 85-year-old woman has been acquitted in the death of a bicyclist last summer.


A Shawano County jury deliberated for about half an hour Friday before finding Sarah Ash not guilty of homicide by negligent use of a vehicle.


She had been charged in connection with the death of 49-year-old Wayne Smith. The town of Wescott resident had been hit from behind while he was bicycling on a road in the town of Richmond last July.


Ash, who has macular degeneration, said she never saw Smith on the road.

— The Associated Press

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Pride in Reno






Reno seems to have a love/hate relationship with diversity but I'm proud to say as a "straight, but not narrow" resident that another edition of the Gay Pride Parade happened today. The route was moved to downtown Arlington Street and finished at the Sands. The one complaint I would have is that by not holding the event down by the river there is invariably less exposure for the celebration. A few highlights are pictured.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

A Bike, A Boy = True Love

This short film is the perfect antidote to the previous two posts. A film about bicycling that you don't have to be a bike geek to adore.

Bush's latest fiasco


Excerpted from:
The "new Middle East" Bush is dreaming of is but indication of the failure of his entire regional policy, writes Amr Hamzawi*

"What Rice's eagerness to herald a new Middle East indicates is a crisis of Bush's policies. Having implicated the US in three major projects that together attempted to change the face of the Arab world, the Bush administration has so far failed to achieve any one of them. Despite its initial achievements, the war on terror cost the US a good portion of its ethical credibility due to it consistently ignoring international law and conventions and its continuing failure, even so, to eliminate a phenomenon which, if you restrict dealing with it to the arena of security and ignore its social aspects, will inevitably regenerate itself in ways even worse than before. Likewise Iraq, which following the fall of Saddam turned out to be neither a quiet colonial picnic nor a beacon of democracy spreading light across the Mashreq.

"As for the project of endorsing democracy and freedom in the Arab world, it was born an orphan, due to the administration's hesitation in prioritising its strategic importance as compared with other American interests, be they hegemony, oil or Israeli security, and because it lacked any realistic mechanisms enabling its implementation in the light of Washington's friendly relations with most of the regimes in power. Soon enough, indeed, the American drive to endorse democracy turned into fear of the rising political weight of Islamic movements, which also uncovered the weakness of the liberal elites in most Arab elections -- something that imposed a state of stasis on Bush's policy in this arena. In other words, a little over a year before the end of Bush's second term, the United States seems exhausted and drained of ideas, its credibility undermined enough to endanger its Middle East interests."

more:
http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2006/808/op8.htm

Goodbye, American Hegemony




Americans are going to have to start thinking about what their world will be like without being the sole superpower. Unlike what the the old days of two superpowers vying for territory and the arms race, the new dynamic will be made up of the U.S. trying to protects its economic interests against multinational coalitions such as the European Union, or this partnership between Russia, China, and India....

I for one can't help but ask...is the breakdown of American Hegemony a bad thing? I think not.


Russia, China and India - New Poles in a Post-Unipolar World?

India Currents, Commentary, Sanjoy Banerjee, Aug 18, 2006

"The foreign relations committees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives gave support to the U.S.-India nuclear deal by very large majorities at the end of June. There is now good reason to expect the deal will go through in more or less its present form. At the same time, American power is being pushed back on several fronts. Both the nuclear deal and the American setbacks in world politics are aspects of a breakdown in the post-1989 unipolar order and the birth of a multipolar order.

"America remains tied down in Iraq. The drain of American capabilities and prestige in Iraq has rendered it unable to prevent adverse trends elsewhere. The jihadis are rising in Afghanistan, and America has no reserves available to throw into the battle. Iran is gaining confidence in its ability to pursue its nuclear program, and North Korea is defying America and Japan with its missile tests. What makes these last two trends possible is the growing power and assertiveness of Russia and China. Their refusal to bow to Western pressure in the UN Security Council has disabled the United States, European Union, and Japan from mobilizing pressure on Iran and North Korea."

http://news.ncmonline.com/news/view_article.html?article_id=e8f855c71b15344af9cda93d8eb83fa2

Friday, August 18, 2006

"N" is for Knowledge


The contruction at UNR continues on the new library...er...I mean the new Knowledge Center...begging the questions: What IS a knowledge center? and, Isn't the whole university technically a KNOWLEDGE center? Oh, excuse me, it's the, Mathewson IGT Knowledge Center...or MIGT for short.


http://imedia.unr.edu/knowledge_center/

Sorry to be so snide but what's wrong with "Library?" Over the last several thousand years the meaning of the word library has evolved with the times. What makes us think that the term can't continue to incorporate the new, as well as the older meanings of the word? Are we so presumptious to think that in 2006 WE SUDDENLY NEED A NEW WORD.......deep breath......

To read about the history of libraries and the evolving meaning of what the term incorporates peruse the the wikipedia entry. Someday, probably sooner rather than later, I'm betting the term knowledge center is politely discarded...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Bike Pic of the day: 8/17/06

Are our days as a Superpower numbered?--Lou Dobbs seems to think so.


Lou Dobbs had never really interested me as an economic analyst. But in recent months I've noticed his writings on cnn.com becoming interestingly critical of the administrations policies and the general direction of the country. An excerpt from his latest column is below:

Dobbs: It's good to be a superpower

"The federal government uses a quaint accounting system that would be illegal for any large enterprise in America, and there are those who believe our government should be more transparent, or perhaps honest, if you will. One of those with a very unpopular wet-blanket attitude is David Williams of the Citizens Against Government Waste. "If this happened in the private sector, we would call the government 'Enron,' " Williams says.

David, David, David...A little less negativity, please. David Williams is among that small, insignificant and clearly irrelevant group of eccentric rationalists who care about cause and effect, truth and consequence.

Rep. Jim Cooper, a Tennessee Democrat, is among them as well. In his new book, Cooper writes about things like the fact that our federal government last year paid out $38 billion to the wrong people and that $20 billion of taxpayer money simply disappeared from the government's treasury."

Full article here:
http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/08/15/dobbs.august16/index.html

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Tour de Nez Saved! -- But moving to September?


Thankfully both parties reached an agreement but it's hard to imagine the TDN in September. Good for Tim in looking to get some corporate sponsorship for the event.

http://news.rgj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060816/BIZ04/608160322/1071

What We Are Up Against As Cyclists

This is a letter written to the sun times. The car culture we live in seems to make his conclusions hold water. But a little critical thinking about his bicycle bashing reveals how absurd his arguments are. Bicycles are damaging quality of life? Please!
----

The proliferation of bicycles on public roads is damaging the quality of
life, and it's time we all faced some realities on the subject.

First, people need their motor vehicles and aren't going to give them up.
It is simply not practical to flood our streets with bicycles while it
remains vital to society that people and goods get where they're going with
the speed, efficiency and comparative safety that motor vehicles provide.

Second, bicycles are not going to stop global warming. What today's cars and
bicycles have in common is that they are both outmoded technologies. Part of
the answer to global warming is clean automotive technology -- not, as
Seinfeld told Kramer, ''Just what the city needs -- more cumbersome,
slow-moving vehicles,'' which in this case save less than a drop in the
bucket's worth of pollution.

It is true that cycling is good exercise. So are walking, jogging, swimming,
aerobics, working out at the health club and any number of sports activities
that don't block traffic or expose the exerciser to broken limbs. Given the
options, bicycling is one of the poorest choices possible.

Driving a motor vehicle requires maximum attention at all times. The more
bikes are on the street that motorists have to defer to, the more attention
is taken from everything else they have to watch for. The more cyclists take
to the streets, therefore, the more accidents they are going to cause.

The amount of unnecessary stress this causes motorists, who more often than
not are just trying to get to or from work or get their errands done, is
unconscionable. But if motorists must put up with bicycles on the road,
would it be too much to ask that cyclists take some responsibility for their
own safety? Requiring cyclists who want to use the same roads as motor
vehicles to carry insurance the same as motor vehicles would be a good
start.

Ultimately, there is not one valid argument in favor of increased bicycle
activity, and plenty of arguments against it. Please leave the bicycles at
home. They are doing more harm than good.

*C.R. Green, Albany Park*

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Book Recommendation - Living Car Free

Interview with the author below --

How to Live Well Without Owning a Car: Save Money, Breathe Easier, and Get More Mileage Out of Life (Paperback)
by Chris Balish


http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5649826

Monday, August 14, 2006

This is my bike...this is my bike on drugs...






I've been having a good time playing with my pencam on recent bike rides. Particularly fun are the motion "effects" that occur when I don't stop to take pictures. A series of photos of my front wheel with speedblend tires. Can you guess how many spokes are on that front wheel? Also a shot overlooking the truckee river.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Paris Hilton is the "embodiment of the American Dream"!


I wouldn't normally give PH the time of day but this quote about the American Dream stuck in my craw enough to post it:

More--

"London, Aug 13: Hotel heiress Paris Hilton has managed to put her foot in her mouth once again. This time by stating that she’s the “embodiment of the American dream”.

Though the term is used to signify the belief that anyone living in the United States can make a mark for themselves through hard work and will power, even if they are born with nothing, the Stars are Blind singer believes that the term simply means giving people what they want.

“I give people what they want. I am the embodiment of the American dream,” The Sun quoted her, as saying.

As for personifying the American dream, well Ms Hilton, given that she was born in the lap of luxury, fails to fall in the rags to riches category. (ANI)

Saturday, August 12, 2006

I'm not much of a Blues fan but...





This fellow closed out a nice set at Wingfield Park last night with an interesting meddly that included Seal's "Crazy, Robert Johnson's (a la Clapton) "Crossroads", and I think I picked up a bluesy intrumental version of Van Halen's "Runnin' with the Devil." Perhaps he should have thrown in The Bloodhound Gang's "Fire Water Burn" to be in keeping with ambience in Reno last night (see previous post):

The roof the roof the roof is on fire
The roof the roof the roof is on fire
The roof the roof the roof is on fire
We don't need no water let the motherfucker burn
Burn motherfucker burn

BBQ gone bad in Reno...








Ok, I don't really know that it was a BBQ. Probably somebody decided to light some fireworks out near Verdi. Can you say: Brilliant! -- Here is a progression of photos from the beginning of the fire until around dusk courtesy of an employee up at the Desert Research Institute. Also included is a satellite image showing the plume.

The American Dream is Alive and Well...because this article says so!




The American Dream is now to be on a bad reality tv show...

more here:

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2006/8/prweb423267.htm



Friday, August 11, 2006

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The War on Terror is for Wimps

From "Hungry for WW III:

"The problem for conservatives lies in the fact that the War on Terror is not really a war at all. “Terror” is a tactic, not an enemy, and without a true enemy conservatism will always be somewhat adrift."

more here:

http://www.tompaine.com/articles/2006/08/09/hungry_for_world_war_iii.php

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Deputy Dog goes down!


From Salon.com:

The sad, sorry state of Joe Lieberman

Most of the ramifications of Joe Lieberman's extraordinary defeat will require some time to discern, but one thing is already painfully clear. With his behavior Tuesday night, Lieberman has turned himself into the most vivid symbol of the insular, arrogant, corrupt and power-desperate Washington establishment, the sheer cravenness and corruption of which are what catalyzed the campaign against him in the first place.

Those who compose that entrenched Beltway power establishment -- the endlessly reelected political officials, the hordes of consultants and lobbyists who feed off and control them, and the pampered, self-loving "journalists" who enable it all -- are characterized by a single-minded quest to perpetuate their own power, flavored by a thinly masked contempt for the masses on whose behalf this system ostensibly plods along. Lieberman's conduct last night was a perfect textbook for all of those afflictions.

Like the establishment mavens who rushed to defend him, Lieberman exposed himself as a man driven by a single, overarching motivation -- a desperate desire to cling to his source of power, his Senate seat, not because of any political ideals he wants to pursue but solely because of the personal satisfaction, attention and benefits it provides him. Embodying one of the defining attributes of the permanent Beltway class, Lieberman plainly craves -- has become addicted to -- the petty trappings of his role in the grand Beltway court. The only cause that seems to stir Joe Lieberman to anger, aggression and confrontation is the glorious struggle for Joe Lieberman to cling to his Senate seat.

The man whose (largely Republican) media supporters glorified him as one of the few "men of principle" left in Washington has revealed himself to be bereft of all principles save one -- the "principle" that Joe Lieberman's Senate seat belongs to him personally and that no mere voters, those silly, unenlightened masses, have the right to take that away from him. In the face of this rare testament to true democracy -- the decisive rejection of Lieberman by Connecticut voters in defiance of virtually the entire national political establishment -- Lieberman had nothing but scorn, contempt and defiance for their decision.

He thus intoned: "I am disappointed not just because I lost, but because the old politics of partisan polarization won today. For the sake of our state, our country and my party, I cannot and will not let that result stand." This man of principle "will not let that result stand" -- "that result" being the considered decision of the voters whom he has claimed to represent for the last 18 years.

A more selfish and craven act is difficult to imagine. Lieberman single-handedly will impose endless grief and conflict on his Democratic colleagues who loyally rallied to support him. He will drain attention and resources away from his party's already difficult struggle to restore balance and oversight to our federal government, and to end one-party rule in November. He will sow still more intense divisions and raging hostilities among those who oppose the Bush administration. And he will subject his state to three more months of electoral warfare while he forces it to have what is sure to be an increasingly bitter and nasty election -- an election that it just had.

And this "man of principle," this elevated gentleman who is too pure and righteous for Washington, will do all of that for one reason and one reason only -- because he is too weak and selfish to give up his Senate seat and accept the decision of Connecticut voters that they want a different senator representing their interests in Washington. The fallout from the well-deserved and desperately needed blow dealt to the national political establishment will be unclear for some time to come, but one thing that is not unclear is Joe Lieberman's character. He has revealed it for all it to see.

-- Glenn Greenwald

Bike pic of the day: 8/9/06

The new American Dream: Serf city, here we come




"It's not news that American executives have put ordinary workers' benefits on a diet while they go for a fourth helping. What makes this redistribution of corporate wealth special is its brazen and unblushing quality. We are not talking here about some stock option deal where the top guys are rewarded for increasing shareholder value. In this case, the money gushing into the executive suite is simply being siphoned through holes drilled in workers' paychecks. An example, courtesy of The Wall Street Journal:

General Motors has long complained that its "legacy costs" have made the automaker dangerously uncompetitive. By "legacy costs" it means the health benefits and pensions that it promised its workers and retirees. In an effort to ease those "burdens," GM recently announced it would end pensions for 42,000 of its salaried employees."

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2003184525_harrop09.html

I'm suprised he got 10 years...

Hit-and-Run Sentence

8/8/2006

KENOSHA - A Kenosha County man, convicted in the hit-and-run death of a Cub Scout, will spend the next decade in prison.

http://www.todaystmj4.com/_content/news/topstories/story_3848.asp

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Paris


Last year I was in Paris at this time and am missing my favorite city ... sigh ... this was taken shortly after the strobe lights came on while having a picnic with my wife.

Georgia makes the Bike Friendly HOF list...




Share The Road License Plates Coming to Georgia
By: Karl Rosengarth

Georgia Bikes is a non-profit organization working to improve bicycling conditions and promote bicycling throughout the state of Georgia. The organization is currently working to get "Share The Road" license plates issued in the state of Georgia. As I type this article, georgia Bikes reports that the state has received 936 of the minimum 1,000 applications required to issue the special plates.

more here:

http://www.dirtragmag.com/web/news-article.php?ID=641

Monday, August 07, 2006

Movie recommendation


Though hardly a perfect film, V for Vendetta does capture some interesting elements and ideas worth considering in 2006. Not least of which is the oft-quoted, "People should not fear their governments. Governments should fear their people." What I like about the film, as opposed to the over-rated graphic novel (I like Moore's other work but this graphic novel left me cold) is that it condences and heightens the key elements that make the film play as a hollywood entertainment. It doesn't hurt having a slew of gifted actors to add weight to the wordplay. Don't listen to those naysayers who say it's not as good as the graphic novel. It's a different medium and deserves to be judged on it's own merits which I think are many.

My favorite quote from the film is below. Spoken by the title character, the manipulation of a few phrases and you can see the pointed political message aimed at the current administration in the USA.

V: Good evening, London. Allow me first to apologize for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of every day routine- the security, the familiar, the tranquility, repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke. But in the spirit of commemoration, thereby those important events of the past usually associated with someone's death or the end of some awful bloody struggle, a celebration of a nice holiday, I thought we could mark this November the 5th, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat. There are of course those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the annunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance, and depression. And where once you had the freedom to object, think, and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillence coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? War, terror, disease. There were a myraid of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now high chancellor, Adam Sutler. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent. Last night I sought to end that silence. Last night I destroyed the Old Bailey, to remind this country of what it has forgotten. More than four hundred years ago a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words, they are perspectives. So if you've seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you then I would suggest you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgot.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

A breath of fresh air this sunday morning


Perhaps it isn't the lot of us who need to keep up with the joneses, but the joneses who need to scale back, eh?

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/magazine/story/0,,1836291,00.html

for more:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keeping_up_with_the_Joneses

Saturday, August 05, 2006

My new favorite map of the USA

Say it ain't so, Floyd!

All pretense of honesty in Professional Road Cycling is now gone for me....

Landis Had Synthetic Testosterone

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By JEAN-LUC COURTHIAL Associated Press Writer

August 05,2006 | PARIS -- Floyd Landis' doping samples contained synthetic testosterone, indicating the Tour de France champion's elevated levels were not produced naturally, the head of France's anti-doping commission said Saturday.

Pierre Bordry, who heads the French anti-doping council, said the lab found that testosterone in Landis' urine samples came from an outside source.

"I have received a text message from Chatenay-Malabry lab that indicates the 'B' sample of Floyd Landis' urine confirms testosterone was taken in an exogenous way," Bordry told The Associated Press.

The revelation could damage Landis' defense prospects. He has claimed the testosterone in his body was "natural and produced by my own organism."


The American cyclist's backup "B" sample came back positive Saturday, confirming the original "A" test.

Landis could be stripped of the Tour title and banned for two years.

Testosterone, a male sex hormone, helps build muscle and improve stamina. The urine tests carried out on Landis after his victory in the Tour's 17 stage turned up a testosterone/epitestosterone ratio of 11:1 -- far in excess of the 4:1 limit.


A report this week in the New York Times cited an unidentified source from the UCI as saying an analysis of Landis' first sample by carbon isotope ratio testing had detected synthetic testosterone, which indicated it had been ingested.

Jacques De Ceaurriz, the head of the Chatenay-Malabray lab, said the isotope testing procedure involving a mass spectrometer is totally reliable.

"It's foolproof. This analysis tells the difference between endogenous and exogenous," he told the AP. "No error is possible in isotopic readings."

Landis spokesman Michael Henson disputed that.

"There is no conclusive evidence that shows that this test can show definitively the presence of exogenous testosterone," Henson said.

But World Anti-Doping Agency chief Dick Pound said the tests were scientifically valid.

"The overwhelming scientific consensus would hold these tests are reliable and what they found is what they found," he told the AP. "Had there been any scientific difficulties or technical difficulties we would have heard about it."

Pound said confirmation of the synthetic testosterone finding would undermine any Landis defense.

"It's probably a very good preemptive move to close down yet another avenue of complaint or argument," he said. "The science is pretty well accepted. The history of these tests are pretty well established."

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Associated Press Writer Jamey Keaten and AP Sports Writer Stephen Wilson in London contributed to this report.

Friday, August 04, 2006

3 Reasons that Osama Bin Laden is winning the war on terror

Though 3000 dead from 9/11 is tragic, it is not the real reason:

1. It has put the US military in a compromised situation - they have demonstrated their weaknesses in Iraq (see ramifications in the Middle East and N. Korea)
2. The US has lost a huge amount of credibility globally. Why would allies follow our lead after our disastrous war on terror campaign.
3. The US has started to limit the very civil liberties that have made america what it is. As one former CIA official put it after 9/11: If we start giving up our freedoms, then the terrorists have already won.

Feel My Pain-Hot August Nights!


Every year Hot August Night - the Reno, Nevada ALL THINGS CAR FESTIVAL invades my fair city and fills it with "classic" cars and too much testosterone. Let's see, Muscle Cars-check, Alcohol-check, Lots of overgrown Boys trying to compensate for their small genetalia-check, = this year's downtown riot.

If there is one week to stay off the bike in Reno this is it.

Making matters worse? The Tour de Nez, Reno's premiere cycling event, is being "asked" to return $20,000 to the RSCVA. Sigh...