Thursday, February 13, 2014

Fatheads and Fat Bikes

Long Island:


The westernmost portion of Long Island contains the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, but when we say "Long Island" we usually mean Nassau and Suffolk counties.  Nassau County comprises roughly the middle-ish portion of the Island, and Suffolk County is the easternmost portion, all the way to the Montauk Lighthouse, in the very shadow of which your humble blogger was felled by a vicious case of the hives.


(Your humble blogger, hivin' it up on Monauk Highway.)

All of this is merely to give those of you who are unfamiliar with the region geographical context for the letter a Suffolk County teenager received from his local legislator, which I learned about via Twitter yesterday and which has since gone "viral."  Here's the background:

Sandy Heins Cutrone
My son wrote a letter to the county legislature about making roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians. He has had 4 classmates struck by cars 3 were walking to school 2 did not survive the 4th class mate was purposely hit on New Year's Eve 2013. He still has a long way to go. So when I was hit by a driver who didn't see me that was the last straw. This is the response he got. I would love opinions if you can read it.

And here's the letter:


Dear Mr. Cutrone

Thank you for your recent letter concerning bicycle safety and bicycle lanes. Let me at the outset express the hope that you mother will have a complete recovery from her accident in September while riding a bicycle in West Islip. 

I have lived in West Islip most of my life and my personal feeling is that no one who lives in our hamlet or for that matter in Suffolk County should ever ride a bicycle or a motorcycle. I cannot tell you how many constituents over the years have told me that they are taking up bicycling for pleasure and exercise. I have told them not to do so but they usually do not listen – 90 percent of those people eventually were hit by an automobile many like your mother with serious physical injuries. 

I have heard the suggestion of bicycle lanes and additional signage but unfortunately this would do little to solve the problem. Suffolk County is a suburban automobile community—drivers expect to see other drivers on the road not bicyclists and motorcyclists.  Even in those areas outside of Suffolk County where a portion of the road is for bicyclists—they still get hit by motorists. Signage has limited effects—there are currently 135 signs between Montauk Highway and Sunrise Highway on Higbie Lane and Udall Road—most of them are ignored by drivers.

Reality at a time can be difficult for some to come to grips with but giving false hope would be inappropriate.

Very Truly Yours,

Thomas F. Barraga
County Legislator

That's a whole lotta words just to say "Fuck you, kid.  Tough shit about your mom.  She had it coming."  Then again, it has to be difficult being Thomas F. Barraga (the "F" is for "Fucktard"), the lone voice of reason in Suffolk County.  Yes, day after day his constituents come to him saying, "I'm taking up this biking thing, what do you think?"

"Don't do it!," implores Barraga, but alas, they don't listen.

And then...WHAM!

Yes, 90% of the people who, for some reason, are consulting Barraga with regard to their cycling aspirations are invariably felled by automobiles.  From this, I can only conclude one thing, which is that Thomas F. Barraga is an evil warlock who casts a deadly spell over all who would dare straddle the hated velocipede within the county of Suffolk.

Additionally, as he correctly points out, people on bicycles also get hit by motorists outside Suffolk--though obviously no drivers of motor vehicles are ever harmed or killed anywhere at all.  It's safe as houses.  (Houses on top of sinkholes, but still.)

And how about the idea that nobody should ride a bicycle or a motorcycle in Suffolk County at all?  Suffolk County, as I mentioned, is the home of the Montauk Lighthouse, a beacon which attracts legions of Freds, tridorks, lawyers astride farty Harley-Davidsons, and pretty much every kind of two-wheeled recreational doofus you can imagine.  According to Barraga, though, we should all somehow resist the allure of this noble, historical beacon--including Billy Joel, prototypical Long Island douchebag, Suffolk County resident, and motorcycle enthusiast:



Actually, now that I think of it, Thomas F. Barraga's warlockian powers are probably what caused my hives.

Of course, it is worth noting that, statistically, Suffolk County actually does suck ass for cycling:


The bicycle crash death rate on Long Island far exceeds that of New York City, New Jersey and Connecticut, according to a Newsday analysis of federal crash data. Forty-three cyclists have been killed in Suffolk County and 21 in Nassau since 2005, records from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Nassau and Suffolk police departments and Newsday's archive show.

Suffolk is particularly dangerous for travelers on two wheels: There are 4.6 bicyclists' deaths per million people in the county -- more than double the New York State average.

Which is why Suffolk adopted a "Complete Streets" resolution:


WHEREAS, bicycling and walking are important forms of transportation and recreation in Suffolk County, and walking and bicycling contribute to health, fitness, and economic development...

RESOLVED, that the Department of Public Works shall, in the planning stages of each project, evaluate the feasibility of implementing the Complete Streets design features which may include: sidewalks, paved shoulders suitable for use by bicyclists, lane striping, bicycle lanes, share the road signs, crosswalks, road diets, pedestrian control signalization, bus pull outs, pedestrian curb ramps, and traffic calming measures, and recognize that the needs of users of the road network vary according to a rural, urban and suburban context...

Obviously as far as Barraga's concerned this is a load of crap, right?  I mean, clearly he'd vote "no" on any measure to encourage cycling.  This is a "suburban automobile community" after all.  Surprisingly though, as a Tweeterer informs me, Barraga actually voted "yes!"


Though at 71 years old, it's likely he thought they were all sending out for Chinese and that he was simply ordering the spare ribs.


(Thomas Barraga: loves the spare ribs.)

What other explanation can there be?  If there were still a functional brain in his head, clearly he'd have replied to this kid along the lines of, "You are right, Suffolk County is too dangerous to cyclists and pedestrians, which is why we've adopted a Complete Streets resolution and are moving towards a safer, healthier--and, most importantly, Fredlier--Suffolk."

Then again, I suppose it's possible that Suffolk County did indeed "evaluate the feasibility of implementing the Complete Streets design features" as per the resolution, and came to the conclusion that it's not feasible, so fuck it.

This would explain the county's new motto: "Suffolk County: Drive or Die."

Anyway, I hope this Cutrone kid sent Barraga another letter telling him not to break a hip trying to blow himself.

Meanwhile, in other news, fat bikes have made the local news in Cleveland:


With our 500th snowstorm still raging as I type this, I'm this close [indicates tiny distance with fingers] to ordering one from Walmart.

167 comments:

DB said...

Good Morning!

Anonymous said...

for the win!

Anonymous said...

rats...foiled again!

le Correcteur said...

F**k! How do you podium people do it?

le Correcteur said...

Drugs, I tell you; pee in a cup the three of you.

McFly said...

Wildcat Snowboard Machine!

Bama Phred said...

Going woo Hoo speed and still can't keep up

Anonymous said...

Cyclists should arm themselves and be liberal with the 'warning shots'.

DB said...

Boys, I was just checking in to read last nights comments. Imagine my surprise.
Where do I send the urine sample?

dancesonpedals said...

hey roile..

do you ever hear from your teamates pesce-chat or luna azul?

le Correcteur said...

DB,
Send it to WRM. He can gather them and send them to Barrago.

le Correcteur

Anonymous said...

Po Dee Ummmm

Rusty Red said...

Top 10!?

Bama Phred said...

I looked up fucktard in my dictionary and sure enough there was a picture of one Thomas F Barraga

Spokey said...

how quaint

WCRM is now the official curator of all our urine.




robot sez: whicopy his I think someone needs to check its urine sample!

Kenny Banya said...

Gold Snobby, GOLD!

Marcel Da Chump said...

Suck it Suffolk

dancesonpedals said...

I just drink my own urine...if it tastes bad, I'm D/Q'd

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUFQ2ECfPOw

Daniel Weise said...

I think we all need to let Mr. Barraga know just what an idiot he is for sending this letter. He can be reached at Thomas.Barraga@suffolkcountyny.gov
Let's see if he comes to his senses.

Comment deleted said...

I'm still recovering from yesterday's breathtaking discussion of oak tag.

Nice pode, DB.

streepo said...

I have nothing to say but felt the need to hare the anti-spam phrase:

fierce cliten

babble on said...

Just DO it, snobbers.

Wow... sweet old Harley!

commentatorbot_9234 said...

At least Mr. Barraga had the stones to tell the kid to f-off. The county will remain indifferent to cyclists and pedestrians. They have no zero motivation to do otherwise.

In Los Angeles, DOT reps will waste hours with the Bicycle Coalition people and then expand kill zones by raising average speeds.

Anonymous said...

That pic is too small. Looks like a pan head to me. Other options are knuckle or block head

DB said...

Fierce Cliten.
Nice, Streepo

Yeah Cleveland! said...

I don't need no steenkin fat tire bike. My steel frame, 15 spd with 27x1.25 'merican rides just fine in the snow here in Cleveland aka the mistake on the lake.

ge© said...

Wiese, you think the codger even knows he has an email account?


1826 3355826 - ooh, haha, funniest robot test ever! Enough with the numbers already. zzz

CommieCanuck said...

Very Truly Yours,

Thomas F. Barraga
Fucking Idiot

CommieCanuck said...

"Cleaning a winter bike is a full time job." @$22,000 a year, they should call it "bicycle janitorial services" and ask for a raise.

Rode one of these last weekend, which made me want one of these.

Does this make me a chubby -chaser?

Serial Retrogrouch said...

McFly didn't say...

...this winter fat chicks are selling fast... i may throw one in the trunk in case I get stranded.


Grand OLD" Party said...

Guy's GOP, you were expecting something "F'ing" else?

McFly said...

I just bought a 2008 Dodge Crew Cab with a HEMI. No trunk. Just a bed.

I thought Billy Joel had a CadillacACKACKACKACKACKACKACK you oughta know by now......

mikeweb said...

My guess is that Barraga has invested his entire life savings in Long Island's first Elliptigo franchise.

Motorcycles and bicycles are the natural enemy of the Elliptigo, ergo...

trama said...

Hey McFly, those hemis sure are neat. Gotta love how far the auto industry has come in, oh, 120+ years- Overly complex engines are nothing new, is what I'm sayin.

mikeweb said...

DB,

Great finish!

le Correcteur,

Better luck next time. Or the time after that.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Glorious finish DB!

Biked to work today. Roads mostly clear. It was about 4 degrees on the F scale. Supposed to break 30 this afternoon. It'll feel like a heat wave.

Barraga is not a nice person.

Beth said...

Too bad the term "fatuous douche-wallah" is already taken.

You could order a fat bike from Wal-Mart, but I'd think twice about ordering a road bike from Academy.

Roille Figners said...

Houses - safe as Dunkins.

I'm on my downeaster Alexa
Where that asshole Baraga can't hear
Tell my wife I got hives by the lighthouse (dramatic guitar sound)
And there ain't no more bicyclists here

Anonymous said...

wow, someone should be reading Barraga's mail before he sends it out. He clearly is in the late states of Alzeimers. HOpefully he will be dead soon. There I said it. *Just kidding ;)

*Not really kidding

Roille Figners said...

I can ALMOST see the point Dufus is trying to make, clumsy as it is, but then he goes and throws in that line about "reality" and how he's the only one who knows what it is and can handle it. He says this to a kid who has seen 2 classmates killed, 2 classmates almost killed, and his mom almost killed.

Anonymous said...

I predict the next Suffolk County election will revolve around a "But what about the children?" campaign. Specifically that apparently codger Barraga doesn't give a rats ass if any more die. Amazing how protective parents can be about their rug rats.

Anonymous said...

The first thing I do when I see a human interest story on the internet is to look the woman up and see if she passes the Titty Test.

Sandy Heins Cutrone passes. With ampleness.

Anonymous said...

First of all, apologies to all I pissed off yesterday, mildly or wildly.
I have to realize, this isn't facebook and there are more important things to talk about like Oak Tag and really fucked up "public representatives". Maybe switch to politics for discussions?

I love Long Island and all its beachy, harbory, small air porty stuff, plus the absence of HILLS because I am fat, and fatuous.

But it may as well be an ideal, a dream, or on the west coast because the traffic to get from Brooklyn towards the east is impossible. Suburbia is no fucking excuse for mindless douchebag drivers (Wall Street or plain vanilla), or mindless pubic representatives (intentional). I wonder if he will pass legislation to close bike shops or treat them like meth labs.

Doing upper body in Brooklyn, i.e. ice removal.

Fuck the .bot.

vsk

dancesonpedals said...

Long Island is like a little bit of Jersey in the Empire State...(that said, westchester has been called Long Island with trees)

Vernal Magina said...

I wonder what Bam Margera would think of Thomas Barraga.

RoadQueen said...

DAMN. I don't care what political party you're affiliated with, that was a stone cold, stupid response.

Anyway, the Walmart Fat Bike looks like it would be perfectly fine for the 1.5%-2% of the year that you would actually ride it. Just sayin'.

Roille Figners said...

Suffuck



Before you speaka di words,

checkzi actions

JLRB said...

First off, loved the "break a hip trying to blow yourself" line

Second, I always contact my legislator before beginning a new hobby.

Third, I love the blue tint that momentarily appears when you pull a shovel full of wet snow - but other wise shoveling snow is Suffolk-ing shitty, I should have my bike mechanic do it for me

connected limewat (I prefer the numbers)

Roille Figners said...

YAI YAI YAAAAIYOHHH

hewhowillcome said...

Norfolk high cheer:

We don't drink or smoke..Nor Foke

tominator said...

Here is a copy of the email that I sent to that dickhead:

Mr. Barraga,

It is difficult for me to believe that a responsible legislator in the 21st century would write a letter encouraging Suffolk County citizens to avoid riding bicycles because “90% of those people eventually were hit by an automobile." Not only is this figure absurd, but it also falls into the “blame the victim” mindset. In general, people on bicycles are not struck and killed by 2-ton SUVs because they are doing anything wrong, but rather because the drivers are distracted, aggressive, drunk, or just plain not careful.

My family lived in West Islip from 1968 until 2005. It was a great town in which to grow up, and I am a proud graduate of West Islip High School, class of 1976. And you know what? For most of high school, I rode my bicycle to and from school every day. Zero pollution, zero carbon footprint, and healthy, to boot.

I currently ride approximately 3000 miles per year in New York City, Westchester County and Suffolk County. I have ridden the 100-mile Ride to Montauk numerous times which, coincidentally, passes through West Islip. My physical and psychological well-being are enhanced immeasurably because of this.

Get your priorities right. Work on the drivers, not the cyclists.

mikeweb said...

Can't say I'm surprised that Barraga is a Repugnantan.

The very party of 'They hate us because of our freedom', 'Lowering tax rates on the rich will increase revenue and spur econimic growth', and assorted other illogical bullshit.

Spokey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dooth said...

Suffering Suffolktash!

Spokey said...

--> Can't say I'm surprised that Barraga is a Repugnantan.

can't say I'm surprised you'd say something as stupid as Barraga. You feel that way about Ray LaHood? The guy who all the big groups (LAB, AC, etc) love? Think no one could find similar stupidity from a dem? Like maybe Schmucky Schumer and the misses?

Killing and maiming cyclists is an american sport both parties enjoy (perhaps some of the independents too).

mikeweb said...

@Spokey,

Very true. I knew someone would point that out. Not to mention the prior GOP-lite mayor of New York who put in all the bike lanes and pedestrian plazas that Weiner and assorted other Dems were all too happy to rip out.

Elephant or Donkey, Same Old, Same Old said...

Mikeweb@314 "Lowering tax rates on the rich will increase revenue". It does when their called donations. It's why Barry the Poser made no attempt at all to do away with the ridiculous "carried interest" provision of the tax code that allows the uber wealthy donor class to pay taxes at almost half the rate of the middle class.

Spokey said...

doomberg can't be classified.

He was a dem and switched to rep to run for mayor. And switched to indie for the third term. Probably more appropriate to label him either dictator at large or simply a modern progressive. Of course the progressive party in the US was started by a Republican so who the hell can tell.




now my robot sez oluskce bad so I won't give you any more crap about it.

Roille Figners said...

Don't forget Nixon ended Vietnam and started the EPA. Just to blow your mind even more.

BOOSH

dancesonpedals said...

love grows where my rosemary goes

Poppa Wheelie said...

12 C in Vancouver today. Trees are starting to bud and the green shoots of a new season's growth push forth cautiously from the wet loam. Time to dust off the fair weather bikes that have been laying dormant through the long winter and spark up another fatty.

Spokey said...

Equal Rights Amendment was passed during his presidency as well as fair number of various civil rights type stuff. Title IX for example. OH and stuff like pushing the '57 civil rights act through congress (in his role as VP of course).

OTOH much like barrie, tricky didn't have much use for states rights. One of the early American Caesars.



robot sez: your tsoften. I say "your mama robot"

dancesonpedals said...

I went to medical school on a scholarship program that Nixon started, Ford expanded & Reagan gutted (National Health Service Corps...they paid for my last 3 years at NYU, I repaid them by working 3 years on Rikers Island). He has been called our last liberal president (Clinton brought us NAFTA & the giant sucking sound)..but I still don't like him.

It's snowing like hell & 6 patients cancelled this afternoon so I'm posting during paperwork.

Lumpen Fredetariat said...

And the weather report from the Bay Area (where is Yarpo by the way? Did he get bored and wander off somewhere?) - sunny and around 55 - 60. Okay, we lost most of the blossoms in the trifling amount of rain we had in the last week, but looks good for an afternoon spin.

uscpeter said...

To Wit...

http://www.walmart.com/ip/26-Mongoose-Beast-Men-s-Oversized-All-Terrain-Bike/22861845

and on the ripoff zone known as ebay.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/26-Fat-Tire-Cruiser-All-terrain-Snow-bike-Off-road-bmx-bike-Sand-BMX-Bike-/291079737271?pt=US_Bicycles_Frames&hash=item43c5b44fb7

mikeweb said...

My economic degree and general interest in the 'dismal science', has taught me that Ronnie simplified supply-side theory and the Laffer curve by saying lowering tax rates on the rich will increase tax revenue.

In truth the Laffer curve states that at any point in time there is an optimal tax rate at which tax revenue can be maximized. That rate may be lower than the current rate, as was probably the case back in the 1950s when the top marginal rate was 90%. Or as is most likely the case today, that rate may be higher than the current rate. That's the theory.

Unlike other people who share most of my opinions, I actually believe in a flat tax. However, unlike most of the other Steve Forbes-ian nut jobs who also advocate for it, I would like to see a single tax rate charged on all forms of income: wages and bonuses, capital gains, interest, estates, royalties, rental income, etc. etc. You name it. All of this with reasonable minimum income requirements, of course. Something like the rate only applies to that amount of your gross income over 50% of whatever the national median income is in a given year. In other words, the bottom 25% don't pay taxes, which taking everything into account, they don't do now anyway. BTW, this isn't far off from what Herman Cain was proposing during his primary run ("Nine, nine, nine"...)

I explained this one time to a libertarian friend of mine who would like a flat tax, and he replied that things like interest and capital gains shouldn't be charged the same rate or shouldn't be taxed at all.

My reply was that don't libertarians agree in very limited government that doesn't 'pick winners and losers'? So why should the government tax wages at a higher rate than non-wage income? By doing so it's saying that some income (doing actual work) is less valuable than other income (making money from money).

That blew his mind.

BOOO OOSH

Anonymous said...

For a brief shining moment, Barraga's Wikipedia entry read thusly:

Thomas Barraga
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Thomas Barraga
Member of the Suffolk County Legislature from the 11th District
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 2006
Preceded by Angie Carpenter
Member of the New York State Assembly
In office
January 1983 – December 2005
Succeeded by Philip M. Boyle
Member of the He-Man Bicycle Haters Club
Personal details
Born Thomas F. Barraga
(1943-04-23) April 23, 1943 (age 70)[1]
Brooklyn, New York[1]
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Joanne[1]
Children two[1]
Residence West Islip, New York[1]
Alma mater St. John's University
Long Island University
Columbia Pacific University[1]
Profession politician
Religion Roman Catholic[1]
Website Official website

Thomas F. "Tom" Barraga (born April 23, 1943)[1] is a member of the Suffolk County Legislature in New York, representing the 11th Legislative District, which includes West Islip, Bay Shore, Fire Island, and parts of Brentwood. He previously was a member of the New York State Assembly for 23 years, but has hated bicycles his entire life.

Barraga's intense bicycle hatred stems from an incident that occurred as a child. At the age of 9, when his father was teaching him to ride a bicycle, Barraga's low-hanging balls got caught in the spokes of his bicycle. He has despised all forms of unmotorized transport ever since. He has thereafter made it his personal mission in life to see to it that 90% of all bicyclists are involved in on-road accidents. Barraga explained, "I loved my balls. I would play with them often, five, six times a day. I resolved to destroy that which destroys balls."

Barraga was raised on Long Island, attending St. Joseph's Elementary School in Babylon and graduating from St. Anthony's High School in Smithtown. He received a B.B.A. degree in marketing St. John's University in 1964, even without balls. Barraga served six years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, receiving an honorable discharge in 1966. "Since I haven't had balls since I was 9, it is remarkable that I could get any kind of discharge," Barraga later said, in a high falsetto voice. He went on to earn an M.B.A. from Long Island University in 1972 and a Ph.D as a Doctorate of Philosophy, Business and Public Administration from Columbia Pacific University in 1981.[1]

Initially working in the private sector, Barraga held positions with the American Can Company, Dun and Bradstreet, and Pfizer. He first entered politics in 1977, serving as ball-less Town Clerk for the Town of Islip. He was elected to the State Assembly in November 1982.[1] In 2005, he was discovered to have no balls and was peremptorily kicked out of the State Assembly. While still an Assemblyman, he ran for office in 11th Legislative District of Suffolk County, because riding a bicycle for office would go against his personal credo.[2] On November 8, 2005, he was elected to the Suffolk County Legislature.[1]

Barraga resides in West Islip. He and his wife Joanne (nee Kurtz) have two daughters, neither of which are permitted to ride a bicycle. He is a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church in West Islip, the Sons of Italy, and the American Legion. He was formerly vice-chairman of the board of trustees at Suffolk Community College.[1]

On January 29, 2014, Barraga wrote a letter [3] to a constituent whose mother was injured while riding a bicycle in West Islip stating that he believes that "no one who lives in our hamlet or for that matter Suffolk County should ever ride a bicycle or motorcycle." Barraga goes on to state that signage and bike lanes would do little to solve the problem, since motorists ignore signs anyway.

g. said...

You have got to love a encyclopedia that will allow anyone to edit it. Shame they took that down, though.

dancesonpedals said...

i agree that it's questionable for the government to be giving passive income a protected staus (why should we promote the churning of portfolios?), but a flat income tax isn't the answer. Low income earners who pay little or no income taxes wind up paying 30% of their income in some form of tax (sales, gasoline, alcohol, tobacco). The bottom 50% of households take in only 10% of total US income. Taxing that 90% of income that the top half earns in a graduated fashion is the fairest system, otherwise the bottom 50 gets gouged. A modified flat tax in the form of a "Buffet Rule" that requires the top earners to pony up some minimum fraction would be helpful

Anonymous said...

Nicely done, mikeweb, if anything you've illustrated the folly of subscribing to political dogma; the complexities of our democratic experiment are bound to expose inconsistencies in right/left wing beliefs. But human pride is such an awful, constant barrier to clear thinking, that we'll always have our differences on how to set public policy. The alternative, of course, is tyrannical rule.

Unknown said...

You're just not normal if you're not in a car. How enlightened my east coast brothers are indeed!

Hope that works out for you snobs.

dancesonpedals said...

While mikeweb & mused, anonywiki scored big.

Our posts overlap greatly (no special rate for cap gains, some minimum rate for upper income), but I really want to say again that low-income workers pay taxes through the nose. It may not show up on a form 1040, but they pay as much taxes as middle-income earners.

psehoul majority
All this started with bikesnob musing about a mechanic making 20,00o usd annualy. If that mechanic marries a woman also making 20,000 at (temp agency?) they will be close to earning the mean us household income of 48-50k.

DB said...

This is the best bike blog ever.
I'm getting college credit in economics today.
Thanks Mikeweb.
I will not be contending for the podium tomorrow as I will be having coffee with my father and his 90 year old friends. We will be discussing WW2 and whatever else they can remember before they go back for their naps.
Actually, it's pretty fun.

dancesonpedals said...

I should have written, "median income of 48-50k"

snob got this conversation rolling yesterday

this aypsety

McFly said...

Thats right I said HEMI. I cannot decide if I want a chrome footprint gas pedal or a set of TRUK NUTZ.

DB said...

You need both, McFly.
Gun rack, mud flaps, deer thing on the front.

BallBuster said...

Go out and buy the Walmart fatbike already! Not only for the redonkulously large box it comes in, but the hell of it. I bought one in the fall and ride in the MN snow. Cheap and no frills, a good way to freeze the Scranus.

Anonymous said...

DB,

Quoting the great Joe Lstiburek:

"Old people are annoying because they know things."

You don't live through a depression, a war and live to see the other side of 90 without learning a few things and getting a few good stories.

jay said...

•Gearing (# of speeds): single speed

Anonymous said...

out here on crape crod theres nothing like going WOO-HOO crAzY FAST DOWN ICY plowed or rutted dirt roads on studded 26'es then right out on the lake!you can have yer FAT ASS velehogs

Anonymous said...

Fat bikes are for clowns

Dr. Paul Proteus said...

acid scrugap

winner

Dave said...

OK, we're all tired of winter now. My cat is wandering from door to door and complaining bitterly that the magic Door to Summer is missing. Here's a ridiculous item that I hope is new to some of y'all. If there are any fluent Italian speakers among us, I'd love to know what the play-by-play guys are saying:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=487075524736457

And if you don't speak Italian, make up something - plenty of bizarre moments to work with.

Blog Drafter said...

Mikeweb:

Nice screed, but taxing "estates" equals double taxation. I'm sure you got excited and rolled with the listing in your head but double taxation is inherently unfair.

I think the free, or freer at least, flow of capital was Ronnie's point as well, and is necessary for a healthy economy, hence the lower rates on capital gains.

On some point on the Laffer curve do economists go "WhooHoo"?

DB said...

Anon at 7:06: you are correct sir. I have coffee with these guys once or twice a month and they have great stories. I just sit back, listen and smile.
Mikeweb: the BikeSnobNYC retirement commune will be a tax-free zone. You'll be in charge of setting it up.

ce said...

Fucktard writes: "I cannot tell you how many constituents over the years have told me that they are taking up bicycling..."

Then Fucktard writes: "Suffolk County is a suburban automobile community—drivers expect to see other drivers on the road not bicyclists..."

Does not compute, Fucktard.

dancesonpedals said...

nothing in the constitution against double taxation

ce said...

Snobbo, I learnt on The History Channel that your hives were most likely caused by an escaped alien virus from the secret underground testing facility at Montauk Air Force Station. Most likely spread by the Montauk Monster.

You're a bit of a history buff, aren't you?

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Pay no attention to me. It's just the prednisone and lortab talking. Damn L5 and L6 joints.

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Euro Spondee said...

This explains it all very well. It's all the auto industry's fault...

McFly said...

Happy Valentine's Day er'body! Now you lovetirds get out there and bone each other all romantical-like. Nothing says I Love You like a reach around. Well....maybe the reverse reach around but I am just splitting hairs. Better than spitting them.

Chainring said...

Fat bikes made the news in Denver like three years ago. [Yawn!] Cleveland needs to get with the program.

mikeweb said...

DB,

Thanks and I'll get to work on the tax-haven/ BSNYC retirement zone. Enjoy your time today with the older and wiser among us. I'm envious.

dancesonpedals,

I couldn't agree more that lower income people pay probably more than their fair share of taxes in the ways that you stated (sales tax, FICA, gas tax, etc. etc.). This the big reason that the typical teabag/ right-wing talking point about the bottom 50% not paying any taxes was such bunk. They don't pay income taxes, but do pay a whole host of other taxes that by their nature are regressive.

Aww! The robot detector just gave me roses!

mikeweb said...

Anon 5:35,

Thanks - I think.

McFly,

Chrome foot and truck nutz are in order. And don't forget the chrome stacks.

JLRB said...

Euro Spondee @ 7:36

Good Article - I always wondered where the term came from.

I totally agree with the police having drivers' perspectives. I once got pulled over and issued a warning, which was really the cop telling me how annoying cyclists are to cagers. Granted, I asked for it - I shoaled a cop car but WTF - they paint little bike boxes in some spots to "legalize" car shoaling, but whatever...

Awww the robot just gave me a reach around

JLRB said...

I have tried to get my son used to (hating) taxes early on in life. When he asks for, say an ice cream sandwich, I take half and explain it is taxation. He demands to know what services I am providing that justify the tax, and that government is too big (as in I should go away).

mikeweb said...

A basic tenet in micro economics is that when you tax something, you get less of that thing than you would normally get in a zero taxation world. Conversely, if you subsidize something, you will get more of that thing than you would normally. This is the gubmints way of picking winners and losers.

The second part of this idea is that it's not the taxing or subsidizing that's inherently bad, but what exactly is being taxed or subsidized.

Our petroleum industry is sudsidized. Our financial industry is subsidized. Our corn growing industry is subsidized (therefore, cheap corn syrup for soda and feed for growing delicious animals).

Our education system has been becoming less subsidized (i.e. more privatized) over the last 30 years. Our healthcare has become more privatized. Yes, even the ACA (Obamacare) is in large part a private market solution, albeit with more strings attached (*gasp* actually providing full coverage no matter what??)

I'm done. Bring on the quiz!!

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http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=W97JLBc7C8k&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DW97JLBc7C8k

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MW, you're a:

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dancesonpedals said...

in other news, Tom Perkins, who likened resentment of silicon valley gazillionaires to Kristalnacht, just let us know that people who pay more taxes should get more votes

babble on said...

We're SCREWED! And not in the good, Happy Valentines Day way...

Bama Phred said...

You're onto something there MW. I always heard "tax what you want less of, subsidize what you want more of". It doesn't take much effort to decide our priorities are way out of line.

babble on said...

And it's only going to get worse, cause there are no governments any more, only corporations, banks, and their legislators...

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The only way to combat the banks and corporations is mass suicide!
Who's with me?

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the crack suicide squad

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUHk2RSMCS8

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Even the Grim Reaper gets Depressed said...

Day before it was DEATH, today the GOP. Couldn't we have just one blog post not enveloped in darkness?

mikeweb said...

Scary stuff babs. Thanks for posting that.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused by your post. Barraga - good or bad?

cycle

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Good ole Tom says..."there are currently 135 signs between Montauk Highway and Sunrise Highway on Higbie Lane and Udall Road—most of them are ignored by drivers...."
Where are the Public Safety people whose job it is to see that those signs are followed...in the doughnut shop w/their cup of joe?

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