Literally we had Nazis, race riots, and a literal, factual, plague (that some people still denied while the bodies were stacking up like cordwood), and multiple natural disasters related to climate change. Like the Beatles’ song said “Everything is getting better, getting better all the time (It couldn’t get much worse)”.
So, we are getting the Nazis out of office, some of them anyway. Some are hiding so we can’t de-Nazify the US. Buuutttt, we have already unelected a bunch, and COVID unelected a bunch more. I’m sorry for the families of those who lost their lives committing gross stupidity because I’m sure somebody loved them, kinda like that stupid dog that’s always running into things and falling on his face and never gets the stick but brings back strange stuff nobody wants. Somebody loved them because how else would they have had children. So I feel sorry for their kids and significant others, not so much for the actual idiots.
But we still need to get rid of the actually factual fascists in office, which might be a long process because we seem to have overlooked being a fascist as a disqualifying status to holding elected office. I wonder how they missed this at the end of WWII? You think it would have been a no-brainer to make fascism disqualifying after surviving a global war against it and losing thousands of people because of it not counting all the people of Hebrew descent who were killed. But for some reason we didn’t do this in 1945-6, so we have to do it now. I’m not sure exactly how to do that and be Constitutional, but there are smarter people than me who probably need to work on this problem of preventing people who would be war criminals or criminals against humanity from running for office. For instance there were thousands of crimes against Humanity committed in the previous administration, ranging from dividing families seeking sanctuary to jailing babies and making actual infants defend themselves in court when they were not even verbal yet, much less able to understand the charges they faced. That’s what I’m talking about with the actual fascists in our government. What can we do about them before they commit actual crimes in our names?
Other considerations, what can we do about making hit-and-run the same as assault with a deadly weapon? Because cars are orders of magnitude more deadly than knives or guns, we need to make using one to injure, even “by accident”, a criminal act. After all in most places you are responsible for where the bullet goes when you pull the trigger, even when you are not shooting at someone. Same should be true when you pull the trigger on a motor vehicle.
If any year deserved to be sent off with a 21 bird salute, this was the year. Any one of the many threads to this year would have earned “the finger”, but “all of the above” earns 10 people flipping the double bird while one guy waves a flag in his free hand and flips the bird with the other hand.
Let’s start at the beginning.
God created the heavens and Earth. Nope, that’s too far back. Fred Trump either didn’t buy one or bought a cheap condom, leading to the birth of Donald, an anchor baby for his immigrant mother. Fast forward to the end of the XXth century when The Donald gets in hock with the Russian mob, and needs to get out from under them. He has a moderately successful reality TV show, and several failing casinos and golf courses that are perfect to launder money through for the mob, but he is such a poor businessman that he can’t even keep a casino afloat while literally shoveling buttloads of money through it. Someone suggested at some point that a political campaign is an even better way to hide buttloads of money by funneling it to certain PACs that are not required to report their donors or their recipients, created after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United case. This, along with some Russian hacking of the reporting systems for the election, leads to Agent Orange “winning” the election in 2016. This is followed by rampant fraud and grift, more violations of the Hatch Act than I could count (in the thousands total), and a total disregard for the rule of law.
In parallel to this another group has been feeling unencumbered by things like laws and regulations and is letting their prejudices also run rampant to the detriment of the POC community. As Agent Orange got more and more blatant, so did they, eventually getting to the point of assaulting people in the streets with cameras going, because they felt disrespected as police, and then getting to the point of murdering people on camera because they thought they were Judge Dredd (“I am The Law”), and beyond such petty concerns as evidence and trials.
So on top of all this we get Mother Nature lacing up her steel-toed waffle stompers and setting a pandemic in motion. Now in ordinary times this would mean a few dead people and some minor inconvenience, but as was already set out this was about as far from “ordinary times” as we could get. Agent Orange lived up to his nick and ignored the pandemic and ordered the people in charge of mitigating pandemics to take a permanent unpaid vacation (“All you losers are fired”), resulting in months of lost time when we could have been preventing the spread and preparing for the disease by stockpiling PPE. Then came the insanity of first denying the pandemic existed, claiming it was “just the flu” and would go away come warm weather, then weaponizing it against political enemies in states with large Democratic populations. This kept going until we have almost 400K dead, over a million permanently unable to work, and another million or so only able to work light work at part time, meaning when the pandemic is over there will still be holes to patch in the employee infrastructure. That means when the economy comes back it’s going to come back slow.
Now the good stuff: Agent Orange has been neutralized, we have an effective vaccine, two of them even! We might have the upper hand on the pandemic by Fall, or early Winter at the latest. And I’m hoping the DoJ does a RICO prosecution on the GOP over the influx of Mob money… And that’s going to mean getting rid of the Democrats because the only thing worse than having fascists controlling one of the two political parties is having only one political party. I have lived in such places that had only one legal political party, and it was the worst, because you couldn’t just go vote for somebody else if the current party platform was not appealing. We have a chance of getting the economy more egalitarian with a more progressive tax structure and a ratcheting minimum wage that’s set at “living” instead of “bare survival”. We can only hope…
I’m going to be hitting the road in a few, but I had a quiet moment to sit down and share with you. Recent days have been stressful, and the next few ain’t looking so balmy either. But today, 4 years ago today, I moved this blog from MySpace to this provider. I took a tremendous hit loss, as my daily hit count went from 800-1000/day to an average of about 75 to be totally honest, with another 500 or so getting the RSS and FB reader feeds. I don’t do it for the adulation and to be brutally honest the groupies are best left in a nightmare, the ghouls. But there are some of you that I can help, a group that rolls through and back out again enlightened in the ways of not getting killed while riding on a bicycle. That group now numbers in the tens of thousands. Those people are the reason why I do this. The daily readers and RSS followers are already enlightened and just looking for more information to use in their local efforts to secure proper bicycle infrastructure, or for something else that I provide without even knowing I provide it. The people that come in and read for a month or two, or a week or two and then move on with the knowledge they need to not get killed are my reason to get up in the morning and sit down at the keyboard and monitor and read all those stories about people getting killed or injured or seriously injured and suffering for days or weeks to finally die from the injuries, when all it takes to prevent it all is a little concrete, asphalt, paint, and laws. My ultimate mission in life is to get that little concrete, asphalt, paint and laws finished, so that nobody has to die in a horrible manner just to get from A to B or Z by B through Y inclusive.
I’m not going to do anything “personal” in my opening paragraph today. In my review of the past year I have found that a huge number that made the media were either DUI or hit-and-run/presumed DUI. As a rough estimate about 45%(+/-) of the reports fell into this category, especially if I include the media reports from the UK which I normally don’t post in my blog. Part of that is the media, wrecks with no known perpetrator are “news”, and DUI wrecks are “news” as well. But part of it is just that there were that many people killed by/while DUI (a large number of wrecks were when the cyclist was above the legal limit for BAC%), and there has been an uptick in hit-and-run wrecks of all kinds, not just against cyclists. This is a documented phenomena, more and more people just don’t give a poop, or are not licensed or insured and don’t want to be caught without those. In many cases where they catch the driver, they left the scene because they just didn’t give a poop about hitting another human being who wasn’t in a car, if they were actual real people they would have been driving a car is the rationale.
First link today is a 5YO killed while riding her new bike. Shreveport child killed while riding bike The unlicensed driver backed out of a driveway into the street and right over the little girl. Normally at this point I would tell you that every driveway is an intersection, but hey. First of all the victim was a 5YO girl, second she was riding within sight of her home. I lay this entirely on the driver who did not have proper lookout when he pulled out of the driveway in a residential area with kids in the street. If you look at the picture you don’t see any sidewalks or other areas for pedestrians or kids riding tiny bikes, so there will be kids in the street there. Driver’s fault, even before considering the lack of a valid license…
A SWCC wreck in OH. Cyclist Hit In Late Night Accident I’m not going to state categorically that this cyclist wasn’t trying to cross the road as I don’t have any access to the physical evidence, and it was at an intersection. I wonder if there was a traffic light that was controlled by a loop sensor in the pavement, most of those will not change for a cyclist unless the cyclist knows where to put the bike for greatest sensitivity from the sensor, and a high percentage of those will not change even then. By law you have to treat those as failed traffic controls and act as if you were at a stop sign and proceed when the traffic on the cross road is clear.
And last links are form Oz as cyclists do not escape the holiday carnage. SA cycist dies after Christmas Day crash and National holiday road toll at 38 Note that the 5YO was hit on private property and won’t be counted as a road death.
And that’s all I have this year. Next year will start out with a Wreck-free Sunday post.
Billed @$0.02, Opus
The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:
The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.
A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.
A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2010. That’s about 29 full 747s.
In 2010, there were 304 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 806 posts. There were 3 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 206kb.
The busiest day of the year was November 24th with 96 views. The most popular post that day was Life goes on, and the Feed.
Where did they come from?
The top referring sites in 2010 were chipsea.blogspot.com, bikinginla.wordpress.com, bikejournal.com, dfwptp.blogspot.com, and drunkcyclist.com.
Some visitors came searching, mostly for witch on a bicycle, tasha borland, glenda rumsey, opus the poet, and witch on a bike.
Attractions in 2010
These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.
Life goes on, and the Feed November 2010
About Opus November 2008
About Gigi August 2009
Spelling it out: Hit-from-behind and intersection wreck avoidance protocols March 2010
Riding a bicycle is not against the law, except in Ennis TX March 2010
What have been the “Big Stories” for 2010 here at WoaB?
Well tops of the list is the saga of Martin Erzinger and his butt-buddy Mark Hurlburt. I you remember Erzinger is the hit-and-run driver that Hurlbert claimed was too rich to charge with a felony. I think you know my opinion of people too rich to prosecute, especially hit-and-run drivers…
A close second this year was the guilty plea and sentencing of Tasha Boreland, who was sentenced to 24 years in prison for hitting 3 cyclists who were not even riding in the road, killing 2 of them. With the other crimes she was found guilty of we won’t have to worry about her on the roads again until 2040, if then. Even if released early she may never be allowed to drive again.
After that was the rash of hit-and-run. We have had a massive number of stories from all over the world about drivers that leave the scene of a wreck. And it’s not just cyclists this is happening to, I get a number of stories about pedestrians, and other cars, that were hit by drivers that left the scene. so this is not a cycling story, but it is a road safety story which makes it a cycling safety story.
I think what comes to mind after that is the number of bike ninjas that were hit this year, which becomes the first story that is more about cyclists than drivers. I understand the philosophy behind riding ninja, but I don’t recommend doing it. However if you must ride ninja then you must ride like you are invisible, because you are, mostly.
Of course this is only the top stories that WoaB has covered. There were much more important stories about cycling infrastructure that were covered by other bike blogs, like Cyclelicious and BikinginLA, and let’s not forget BikePortland. I strongly suggest you read those with mine, I read them nearly every day. I also read Drunk Cyclist, but I don’t recommend that one for the under 21 crowd as the language gets pretty rough over there. Think of them as WoaB with less earthy spirituality and more earthy language. 😉
Billed @$2.00, Opus