Sunday Links

Sunday, June 20th, 2010
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40 Responses to “Sunday Links”

  1. #1 |  PW | 

    I’m actually somewhat sympathetic to the town that banned cycling. I wouldn’t advocate it everywhere, but if a small community prefers to keep bikes off its roads they should be free to do so just as bicyclists should be free not to patronize that community.

    Bicyclists in my area are outright reckless on the road and behave as if normal traffic laws do not apply to them. The installation of bike lanes and an extensive sidewalk area doesn’t seem to affect it any either – they still prefer the regular roads and weave in and out of traffic, run red lights, bypass long lines of cars to make turns, ride down the middle of the street at half the regular speed of traffic, and generally create a nuisance to regular drivers. I’d be sympathetic to them if they behaved themselves on the roads. As a general rule they do not.

  2. #2 |  S1ngularity | 

    As a cyclist I don’t see much difference between banning bikes on these small roads and the freeways bikes aren’t allowed on in every jurisdiction in the world. If it’s not safe, it’s not safe. However, I happen to think they are in error. And a reminder “a small community” doesn’t prefer to keep bikes off it’s roads, a council of “learned” bureaucrats prefers to keep bikes off the community’s roads.

  3. #3 |  TC | 

    Baptists… what Not mormons??? Catholics seem to prefer little boys…. Amazing….

    They should just stone all bitches that fail to take drugs and git laid, or fuck with high church members…

    That will show them who is in charge! Right?

  4. #4 |  Marty | 

    ”Napolitano said it is wrong to believe that if security is embraced, liberty is sacrificed.

    She added, “We can significantly advance security without having a deleterious impact on individual rights in most instances. At the same time, there are situations where trade-offs are inevitable.” ‘

    trade-offs are inevitable!

  5. #5 |  JThompson | 

    The really sad thing about the church story (Besides the obvious, of course) is the comments on things like that inevitably fill up with two kinds of comments: One group of people claiming this sort of thing could *never* happen in their church, and one group of people claiming this is exactly the sort of thing that happened to them in church. It isn’t so much a religious problem as much as it’s an authority problem. Give any adult that much authority in the eyes of a kid and of course they’re going to do exactly what they’re told.

  6. #6 |  MacGregory | 

    Couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve used the phrase “my bad.” It’s nice to know the origin. What a better world this would be if people would occasionally admit that they were wrong and strive to do better next time. Instead we get excuses, flat-out lies and bullshit mongering.

  7. #7 |  Marty | 

    Manute Bol seems like a good guy, but I hate the phrase ‘my bad’.

  8. #8 |  KBCraig | 

    Knowing that Manute Bol was such a nice guy, I feel briefly chastened at hating the phrase “my bad” with my entire being.

    Okay, that’s over, I’m back to feeling like every utterance of “my bad” is accompanied by fingernails on blackboards.

  9. #9 |  shecky | 

    Following the rationale why cycling was banned, it would seem more reasonable if cars had been banned in the area instead. Of course, the banning was prompted by no incidents of bicycle accidents.

  10. #10 |  SJE | 

    The Colorado law would probably not withstand a Constitutional challenge: if someone was riding from Nebraska to Utah (say) and passed through this town, the fine would be a barrier to interstate commerce.

  11. #11 |  Cynical in CA | 

    Remember, every time you vote, you give your teeny-weeny little stamp of approval to the State use of violence to destroy your freedom.

    Remember that when you go into your little confessional booth and pull those little levers.

  12. #12 |  SJE | 

    I’ve seen some stupid cyclists. I’ve also seen stupid pedestrians, and a lot of stupid drivers (mostly cars, but the bus drivers are the worst). I have also seen perfectly well-behaved pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. Rather than banning one group for the mistakes of the others, enforce the laws that punish those who behave like idiots.

    FWIW: I got a ticket for running a stop sign at 1145pm, so I’m not saying I am perfect. Just that my offense should not be a reason to ban other drivers.

  13. #13 |  SJE | 

    OK: my bad. On further reflection, the CO town would not be violating the Constitution.

  14. #14 |  Mark R. | 

    “just concern over potential collisions between motor vehicles and bicycles on 19th-century streets that were designed for horses and carriages (and bicycles)”

    Articles like this always seem to leave that last bit out.

  15. #15 |  J sub D | 

    Fighting homegrown terrorism by monitoring Internet communications is a civil liberties trade-off the U.S. government must make to beef up national security, the nation’s homeland security chief said Friday.

    What? You don’t want to legalize warrantless wiretapping (I know you do it, I just thought you’d want to make it legal) and the reading of people’s mail? Why are you so soft on terrorism Janet? A bug in every home, a video camera in every car, that would make us safe.

  16. #16 |  BSK | 

    From the terrorism article:
    “But finding that balance has become more complex as homegrown terrorists have used the Internet to reach out to extremists abroad for inspiration and training.”

    Now, how does that qualify as recruiting? If someone in this country comes to their own conclusions about how they feel about the government, that is not recruiting. The ideas are already here. Not because we’ve been “infiltrated”. But because more people are realizing the problems with our government and system as a whole. Regardless, we’ll otherize a group of brown people, insist there is nothing wrong on our end, and further restrict freedoms.

  17. #17 |  EH | 

    If someone in this country comes to their own conclusions about how they feel about the government, that is not recruiting. The ideas are already here. Not because we’ve been “infiltrated”. But because more people are realizing the problems with our government and system as a whole. Regardless, we’ll otherize a group of brown people, insist there is nothing wrong on our end, and further restrict freedoms.

    BSK: I’ve long been seeing a connection between anti-terrorism and anti-dissent. It was much more explicit during Bush/Cheney, but it’s there…waiting.

  18. #18 |  PW | 

    FWIW, there are indeed bad drivers in all different groups. I do think there are disproportionately MORE bad drivers among the cycling community though. There’s a strange smugness that many cyclists seem to acquire when they climb on their pedals and hit the roads, or at least this is true of cyclists in most big urban and suburban regions.

    The typical car/bus/truck driver breaks the law in one of two ways: (1) by accident, such as not realizing they were speeding, or (2) intentionally skirting it, hoping the benefit outweighs the risk of being caught. In either case though, they at least acknowledge the laws are there and that they govern all vehicles on the road. By contrast, the vast majority of cyclists I’ve encountered act as if the traffic laws don’t even apply to them – they behave as if they can weave through traffic, hop around it on the shoulder, skirt through stop signs and lights, coast across multiple lanes, and generally act like assholes simply because they’re on a bike.

  19. #19 |  PW | 

    #14 – I seriously doubt small-town Colorado was ever a 19th century bicycle haven.

  20. #20 |  hf | 

    PW, even if one conceded that the “vast majority” if cyclists have a problem (which I don’t), I think it’s missing the main point, which is that having cyclists ride in main traffic lanes scrupulously following the same rules as cars isn’t a particularly safe or efficient situation either. It only works at all when the speed limit is 20 mph.

    Places that are serious about accommodating both have to bite the bullet, and on main through streets have separate lanes, and on side streets or places too historic/narrow for that , knock the speed way down with speed bumps.

    If that’s too much, then in areas with sidewalks, simply have the bikes follow pedestrian rules. That has it’s own problems but at least they are usual non-fatal. Treating a bike as a “vehicle” dates back to when the bike was closer to a horse & buggy than a pedestrain in speed. Now the comparison is to a car, and in that case the bike clearly belongs with the pedestrians.

  21. #21 |  claude | 

    “the government needs to constantly balance Americans’ civil rights and privacy with the need to keep people safe”

    This is always trouble.

  22. #22 |  ZappaCrappa | 

    Church rapist: Using right wing logic…all organized religion should be banned now. For everyone. Forever. Won’t someone please think of the children?

    It just gets easier and easier to justify my atheism and disdain for all organized religion.

  23. #23 |  Mattocracy | 

    From the North Korea article…

    “Sure, North Korea could have actually selected an elite group of propaganda-loving supporters to represent their country as spectators, but the last time they did that, the group of mini-skirted cheerleaders who attended a tournament in South Korea broke their promise not to reveal to their countrymen what they saw below the DMZ. They reportedly ended up in concentration camps.”

    No hollywood horror movie could ever imagine this type of terror. I’ve read that the North Korean Soccer Team is basically locked in their hotel with guards posted and travel on a bus with curtains drawn over the windows. The fact that this really happens somewhere on this planet scares the shit out of me.

  24. #24 |  Aresen | 

    Colorado town bans bicycles.

    Smug asshole bicyclists or nannyist town councillors: who pisses me off most?

    Tough call.

  25. #25 |  BSK | 

    “I’ve long been seeing a connection between anti-terrorism and anti-dissent. It was much more explicit during Bush/Cheney, but it’s there…waiting.”

    EH-

    The problem, at least thus far, is that brown dissenters are immediately branded terrorist and white dissenters, no matter how terroristic their actions, are still just dissenters. Brown Muslim folks who decry America are denounced as terrorists and often treated as such, even within the legal system. Meanwhile, murderers like Joe Stack are actually quietly celebrated by some as freedom fighters. While this is admittedly an extreme fringe, it is still official policy for both our government and our media to equate brown folks with terrorism and white folks with everything but.

    You are right though that the powers that be still seek to criminalize or otherwise prevent any form of opposition to America, its government, and its policies. Sigh…

  26. #26 |  BSK | 

    Mattocracy-

    What I can’t even begin to fathom is why you’d want to detain and punish people who wanted no part of you? It’d be one thing if these groups/individuals wanted to remain in the country and somehow undermine the government. But most of these people just want to get the fuck out and never go back and have nothing to do with it.

    Is it pure megalomania? Fear of what they’ll expose? I’m genuinely dumbfounded.

    “So, you hate it here, eh? Well, we’ll give you something to hate!”

  27. #27 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Concrete Blonde was only “OK” and her ice cream sucks (more chocolate!). Napolitano is evil-crazy.

  28. #28 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Is North Korea the one Sean Penn and Oliver Stone love?

  29. #29 |  DarkEFang | 

    No, that would be Venezuela. That’s slightly less looney.

  30. #30 |  SJE | 

    PW: I see a ton of drivers breaking the law in Washington DC, every day. Speeding is the norm, as is failure to stop for pedestrians at cross walks, following too closely, failure to use turn signals, etc. So, while I see smug asshole cyclists too, they are not driving a 2 ton steel cage.

  31. #31 |  CRNewsom | 

    What I never understood about the “cyclists run stop signs” argument is the number of people who apparently never roll through a stop sign while driving.

    They see the faults of the cyclists, and rightfully so, but pretend that they and all other drivers are perfect.

    CRN

    /My favorite is when a car passes a group of us riding on some barren country road while we are legally riding two abreast and shouts “share the road!”

  32. #32 |  Robert Ford | 

    Radley,

    Both you and the headline writer in the article about the 15 y/o pregnant girl are both a bit dishonest in your headline. The young woman in question was not forced to apologize “for getting raped”. She was forced to apologize for getting pregnant that was a result of the alleged rape. The article quickly explains that those forcing her to apologize (other than the Deacon that committed the rape) were unaware of the circumstance surrounding the origins of the pregnancy.

    Now, I’ll grant that the punishment of forcing a young pregnant woman to announce her alleged sins in a public forum like that is of questionable benefit but characterizing the events as she was forced to apologize for being raped is at best an inaccurate simplification or at worst a deliberate attempt to spin the issue in the worst imaginable way.

    I follow your blog for clear-headed analysis. Unfortunately here you sound like the spin generating talking heads you rail against.

  33. #33 |  Radley Balko | 

    Robert Ford,

    I don’t know about the rest of the clergy, but it seems pretty clear from the article that Pastor Phelps, who forced the apology, knew the pregnancy was the result of a rape.

    At the age of 14, Anderson was hired as a babysitter for the Willis family. She says the first assault occurred at her home when her parents were away.

    “He said he wanted to talk to me about something so I let him in the house,” she told police. “He locked the door behind him and pushed me over to the couch. I had a dress on and he pulled it off. I pushed my hands against his shoulders and said ‘No,’ but he didn’t stop.”

    A year later, Willis allegedly assaulted her during a driving lesson behind a local business when he asked Anderson to “switch seats,” according to her statement. He pulled her into the back and “raped” her, she said.

    When her mother contacted Phelps, he insisted on the public apology, according to Anderson. At the same time the church congregation also heard a confession from Willis for being unfaithful to his wife.

    At the time, Phelps said Willis was “99 percent to blame” and Anderson held “1 percent” of the responsibility.

    Phelps insisted they were separate cases as each confessed at separate sides of the auditorium, but eventually some church members connected the dots.

    Matt Barnhart, 41 and a father of four, says he witnessed the confession just six months after he joined the church, and it bothered him for years.

    “Pastor Phelps was a statesman, an excellent speaker,” said Barnhart. “I was always impressed by him and thought the world of him. But all that changed after that. I lost respect for him.”

  34. #34 |  UWHguy | 

    CRNNewsom – I don’t see anyone here pretending that motorists are perfect, so that’s a bit of a misstatement of the argument. I think when motorists run a stop sign they know they’re breaking the law though. They’ve just accepted that risk of a ticket.

    I’m not so sure that’s the case with cyclists who do it.

  35. #35 |  Tim | 

    What is it with Phelpses and religion?

  36. #36 |  CRNewsom | 

    @#34 UWHguy:

    Apologies, I did not mention that argument had not been made on this particular venue. However, where I am from, that argument is made time and time again.

    In regards to the article and the streets in the town, it does make me wonder what the speed limit is in the area in question. If it’s 25 mph, I have no trouble abiding by the speed limit on my bike. If it’s more, I question whether the roads were made to accommodate speeds that high.

  37. #37 |  Cynical in CA | 

    “Pastor Phelps was a statesman, an excellent speaker,” said Barnhart. “I was always impressed by him and thought the world of him. But all that changed after that. I lost respect for him.”

    Sound like the devil himself.

  38. #38 |  Neues aus Neurosenthal. » Blog Archive » R.I.P. Manute Bol // Auch abseits des Feldes der Größte | 

    [...] am Anfang seiner Karriere in den USA nicht sehr gut war, ist er auch der Erfinder des Ausdrucks “my bad” (anstelle von “my fault”), der heutzutage zum Wortschatz aller Sportler [...]

  39. #39 |  Steven | 

    Maybe Manute helped popularize the phrase “my bad”, and I certainly don’t mean to impugn someone who was so loved by his friends and teammates. However, whoever says it started with him is simply mistaken. I played high school sports, including basketball (central Texas, USA) in 1973-75 and this usage was already very well established among my teammates. Other web sites confirm that the usage is pre-1999, before Manute’s arrival in the USA

    http://www.randomhouse.com/wotd/index.pperl?date=20000111

  40. #40 |  ML | 

    Radley,

    More & more I detect a visceral dislike in your writing & linking concerning subjects that touch upon Christianity & Religion. In fact, your tone has a dismissive underlying contempt to it. As a more recent reader, I’m not sure if you’ve ever posted about your views or experience with Christianity/Church/Religion etc. I’d be interested in knowing your thoughts to get a bead on why I detect the hostility.

    The thing I do find interesting in most cases of Christian bias is a lack of knowledge and understanding concerning the belief itself. I’ll grant anyone that the major factions (Protestants & Catholics) have definitely polluted the waters with their own self serving dogma, but that doesn’t invalidate the gift of Christ and His Word. My point being that Jesus clearly warned us that the churches would be full of those people that are Christian in name only. They use the church as a power base to influence and control others for various reasons that have Nothing to do with accepting God’s gift of salvation. There are no other belief systems I’m aware of that actually warn their followers over & over again to be on alert for those that are just concerned with their own agenda versus serving Christ within their midst.

    Love your articles about police power & abuse. Keep up the great work. You might find it amusing, as I did,what an ex-LEO had to say to me a few months ago. I was tasked with overhauling the church I belong to’s safety & security procedures. I sought out the advice of many experts including one who has an excellent record of innovation in putting these comprehensive plans together.

    One of my conclusions was that responsible men within the congregation should be armed in a concealed manner in case the day ever came that an unprovoked violent situation arose. Many of the other churches I spoke with were already doing this. The security consultant was giving us a walk through with the church leadership when I asked him his thoughts on doing this. His response was absolutely not! So my follow up was what should we do if a gunmen enters the sanctuary and starts unloading. The answer was for the congregation to exit in an orderly manner. I almost laughed out loud. I had visions of people trampling each other to death to get out the door.

    However his answer didn’t surprise me. Although it had been about 15 years since his last post, he at one time was a LEO. It appears the mentality of cops, including ex-ones, is to always have an unarmed citizenry.

    You can take the cop out of law enforcement, but you can’t take the law enforcement mentality out of the ex-cop…

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