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Re: Burns:: Friday Fanaticism

Oh great. The new editor doesn't comprehend the fact that the world's biggest exporter of goods--nearly a trillion

bleeping dollars a year worth of Stuff--is going to burn more dinosaurs than hand-to-mouth countries.


The point is not that we are using resources, but that are wasting resources not used in the production of those goods. You can get from A to B in a vehicle that gets 40mpg or 12mpg, and many Americans consistently choose the latter, mostly due to the influence of our media. Much of our entertainment programming depicts people who constantly have the latest, greatest and biggest, regardless of its usefulness or their supposed income level. Couple this with the constant bombardment of the same message by advertising wherever we turn, and it is no surprise that Americans are materialistic to the point of the absurd. This does need to change, for a number of reasons, both internal and foreign.

1. Our involvement in the Middle East, including our support for the destabilizing regional policies of the Israeli government, is partially based in our desire to maintain some semblance of control over the availability of oil supplies. This will not change so long as we are dependant upon oil for energy. It is this involvement that caused us to be a target for the fundamentalists to begin with. I am not convinced, however, that if we were to pull out now, we would be at all less of a target. The vast majority of the population of the planet lives well below what we would consider extreme poverty, although when applied to a foreign country, we like to call it subsistence. Is it any surprise that people who cannot make ends meet and who don't posess or experience a single 'luxury' throughout the whole of their lives express anger and resentment at the tiny fraction of people who control the vast majority of the world's wealth and live in excessively overabundant luxury, to the point of being able to burn expensive and vital petroleum products unnecessarily? How many people don't have electricity due to the cost of petroleum while we burn it in our SUV's?

2. Within our own borders are large numbers of people who are far from wealthy. once again, a small fraction of the population in question is frivolously using resources that could be used for the betterment of many. Socialist, ideas, I know, but necessary.

3. This is becoming a nation of debt, which just gives corporations more power over the people. There was a time when Americans had savings. Now, many Americans carry 5 and 6 figures of high interest debt, above and beyond the cost of their home. Many people don't have enough savings to survive even one or two months without income (at least, not without resorting to their credit cards). This is incredibly unhealthy, both for the individuals involved and for the economy. It is Americans' savings which wind up being used for investment by financial institutions, which is the thing that makes the world economy prosper. Is it really necessary to go into 20 or 30 THOUSAND dollars of debt to purchase a vehicle that could be replaced with one that most people could afford to pay cash for? Does a truck factory employ more people than a car factory? I doubt it. That means that the thousands of extra dollars spent on a large suv COULD be spent on other products that would keep folks (hopefully Americans, at a decent wage) or invested into our economy in more traditional ways, like actual investments. Since when is trickle down economics through consumer spending the only way to inject money into the economy? These arguments about American consumer spending habits always seem to frame the debate as one in which those doing the spending are the only ones keeping American's employed.

Sure, as Americans, we have the RIGHT to do as we please, regardless of the consequences, but that doesn't make it moral to do so. I have every right to dislike people who I believe are behaving immorally, and I believe that is all JB is doing here. You might have a boat that eats gas, but I'll wager that when you use that boat, you use it to its maximum, carrying several passengers and using whatever speed and power it is capable of. Same goes for the m/c we all ride. Sure, we could ride a more efficient machine, but at least we use our machines at something approaching its intended use. That is a far cry from driving a huge, heavy vehicle that seats 11 and is a danger to everyone else around you, BY YOURSELF! That is wasteful and gluttonous, and quite frankly, should be punished.

Why not apply the same rules as apply to tractor/trailer rigs to all vehicles that seat more than 5. That would get the minivans and large SUV's over in the right lane where they belong, and get the drivers thinking about alternative means of transport when not carrying passengers. Why not crank up the insurance premiums on such vehicles to sky high amounts. Why not tax them for the significantly higher amount of wear and tear they surely cause to the raodways that you and I pay for. Then, just provide tax breaks for farmers and others who have legitimate use of SUV's to compensate for the added cost of ownership.

Remember, it is OUR country, and we CAN make them do whatever we want them to do, so long as we can garner enough support. Of course, the fact that the auto lobby has billions of dollars at its disposal makes it nearly impossible to pass legislation not supported by industry, but perhaps that is more reason for campaign finance reform. In the meantime, I will continue to give people I know who drive excessively large vehicles a hard time, and I will be happy to do so.

Let the flames begin...
 

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Seattle driving

Heh, this is the only place I've ever seen a line stretching for miles in the left lane, and the middle and right lanes nearly empty. It defies explination... I'm no fan of passing on the right, but it's pretty damn tempting.

I'll be the miserable guy in the beat up old Nissan Sentra with the one working (barely) headlight behind the SUV, behind the minivan, behind the pickup, behind the gravel truck, behind the... Unless by some miracle it stops raining long enough for me to take the Buell Blast; in which case I'll be wrapped out doin' 55 in the far right lane, spewing 10W30 all over my boots and the asphalt...

C ya on the road.
 

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Re: Not bad, 3 out of 4. Point taken :)

Thanks I forgot that Venezuela is big producer of oil. Good point. On the SUV thing I was on the SUV fad early (1993) and then I realized how impratical, ugly, ill handling and expensive they are. You are right about Tractor trailer although my run ins on bikes have not included truckers yet and they usually give me a break and let me in. So I conves some of my ranting is due to SUV driver attitudes torwards bikers And I am also worried that gas/electric hybrid SUVs coming will only make SUVs more popular but hey maybe people will tire with em and pick some else next.
 

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Re: Burns:: Friday Fanaticism

You know, you should really stick to Motorcycles. Your rant has made you look really stupid. Where do you think the Islamic Arab World get's it's money? Pssssst. It's a secret. Oil. Is everyone in California stupid or is it just that the stupid one's have the biggest mouths?
 

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Re: Burns:: Friday Fanaticism

I have heard a republican polititian, (fairly sure it was **** Cheney), make this exact point. "We mustn't let oil prices get too high because then we might make alternative energy sources competative" - no really. I was amazed. He said it in the run up to the last election. Just came out and said it.
 

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Re: Burns:: Friday Fanaticism

I for one enjoyed the article. I think the point was move your lame ass out of the fast lane while driving a ridiculously huge SUV being completely underutilized. Also, for all you undereducated blow-holes guessing why we are doing what we do in the middle east, do a little research and quit regurgitating some crap you heard on MSNBC or Fox News. We're there because the Arab world does not like Israel (to put it very plainly). Any guesses who supports Israel the most? Answer this next one correctly and win a prize: Where did Israel get the vast majority of their military inventory? Now to get to the heart of it. Who tried to get who during the 6 day war, and what was the end result? Now you know the rest of the story (if you take the time to do a little research). As for me, I'm getting ready to go kick ass for gas (again), with a track day at Jerez in between on my excessive GSXR1000.
 

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Re: Burns:: Friday Fanaticism

We need to think more about fuelconsumption when we buy our next new bikes, they just like cars get more weight (unless hypersports), more horsepower, make more revs and by doing soo they burn more fuel .

If tomorrow a decent bike(200kgs and 80-100 hp) makes 100miles to the gallon, we'd make a decent move to the third world aspirations

Patrick Ottoy

Belgium
 

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Re: Burns:: Friday Fanaticism

If you lived on your own private island nation, you'd be mostly correct (apart from the air/greenhouse thing, which I'm not too hung up on). Do whatever the hell you want.

Unfortunately for the rest of us, we're all in this together. It is, unavoidably, also our business how much oil you and all our compatriots consume.

Driving hugely inefficent SUVs on a daily basis (like to work and back) is needless waste of resources. Resources are finite, the more you use now the less there is later.

In the end, we will all have to pay. Considering our domestic supplies will dwindle, some of that payment will be (and already is) in the form of needless loss of American lives defending our interests in oil-rich regions of the world. We would not have to take the middle east seriously at all if it wasn't for the fact that they have something we have become hopelessly dependent on and can't provide for ourelves.

With the increasing popularity of SUVs etc., this dependence is growing and we are already starting to pay. It is up to us. We are oil junkies and it's time to start kicking the habit so we can tell our dealers (Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran etc.) where to go.
 

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Re: Burns:: Friday Fanaticism

Bryan, I've found most of your posts enlightening - but gotta call you on this one:

"Anyone who has ever traveled to other countries, even the realitive prosperity of Europe, almost always comes back with a new awareness of how sick our culture really is. It is beyond my comprehension that any thinking person can come to any conclusions other than those you have expressed."

I've experienced different cultures all over the world for the last 20 years, and every time I return I'm thankful to be an american - I'm no ethnophobe either - in fact, my mother recently became an american citizen. According to you, I must not be a "thinking person" since I don't agree with all the conclusions expressed.

If anything, our culture breeds too much negativity, cynicism and intolerance. For every negative point, there's a positive counterpoint if you look closely enough. For all those griping about energy consumption and SUVs - do you ride your bicycle to work? Lead by example.
 

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Re: Burns:: Friday Fanaticism

1) slower traffic keep right- PERIOD

2) I don't care how good the mileage is, I'm not driving a Ford Focus or other "efficient" ugly rollerskate POS

3) If you're so worried about burning the worlds' oil, stop joy-riding and ride only to commute- and while you're at it, quit buying anything plastic, quit grilling steaks, go buy a motor-scooter or walk

4) I don't care if they hate me. This is the best country on earth

5) This is also the most geographically dispersed country on earth. We are not nearly as dense population-wise as Europe, Japan, etc....Because Americans usually live >5miles from work, we have to drive

6) Why aren't you in the HOV lane?
 

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Re: Burns:: Friday Fanaticism

I used to buy into all that hippy-commie crap-trap about being kind to the Earth, consume only what you need...then the '80s happened and all my friends were pulling down 6 figures as securities traders and driving 7 series BMWs.

I thought the impoverished 3rd World'ers hated us because we are The Great Satan. Isn't G.W. Bush Satan's *****? I know Chaney has to have some kind of contract with the Horned One considering how many times his ticker has stopped...then restarted....
 

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Don't buy the liberal propaganda JB

=== JB say:

"their parents raise them to hate us." Wonder why? Could it be, ohh, I dunno, we shat on their parents too?

===

Shat on their parents? how so? Don't buy into the leftist media arab-victim bs.. We nor the jews have kept them repressed and living in squalor. they did it all by themselves.

They don't hate us for our lifestyle. The whole gas guzzling, SUV, bigger is better thing is just an aside. I believe they hate us purely for our support and backing of israel which, if not for our support, would be long gone. From all I have ever read about the conlfict, their hatred of Israel is baseless and irrational considering the facts and the history. The trouble is, we know their history better than they do. They don't know the facts just the propaganda spread by their leaders.

That said, point taken about the SUV's being a big waste. Our collective american lifestyle disturbs me too, and i'm no tree hugger by any means. Gluttony is a good word for it.
 

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Re: Burns:: Friday Fanaticism - sold my Hayabusa to buy an eco friendly R1

Well, in order to benefit the environment, and to try to show some restraint in my own personal life, I decided to sell my somewhat porky Hayabusa to get a bike that is a little more efficient on gas, tires, insurance....

To my dismay, I find from reading the latest issue of SportRider, that Honda's 954 gets equal or worse mileage than my Hayabusa did!

But the new R1 is pretty good.

Not only that, but these liter bikes are easier on tires than the old Busa. And cheaper to insure. Plus, being so light, they really don't consume much in the way of natural resources. And so good in the corners....

Before I press on, I should say, that MANY OF US DECIDE WHAT WE WANT FIRST, THEN JUSTIFY THAT DECISION WITH LOGIC. An unfortunate part of the human condition. HOW AM I DOING SO FAR?

Now, I must say, in my defense, that I bought my Busa at least partly because I figured I would be doing lots of two up riding with my wife. Well, I was a little off base there - I should have eased her into those long distance trips. Lesson learned. So the new R1 is more to my needs.

Being able to keep the front wheel of the R1 off the ground for long periods at a time, must also be good for tire life. So I can definitely see some benefits there.

Plus, being so light, it should be easy to trailer behind my highly efficient 4 cylinder Volkswagen. No sense putting extra miles on the bike, on those boring straight stretches that get me to the mountains. Conserving bike tires, natch.

Oh yeah, I got rid of my truck for the Volkswagen. It was a V6 truck, but compared to my Volkwagen, what a guzzler. (Has anybody seen that Honda Civic commercial with the SUV/truck filling up? Hilarious. Brilliant. Brave. Chug-a-lug. I wonder how many people Honda offended with that one. Maybe they didn't dare showing that one in the US.)

And I have virtually stopped commuting to work, to compensate for my hydrocarbon burning bike plans.

Such sacrifice.

Anyways, achieving balance is not an easy thing. But we should each try.

Too easy (and painful) to just say: "Don't burn any gas at all." And so, to achieve balance, I must buy an R1 (or a good used 600, cause on mountain roads it's the rider not the bike).

Oh yeah, SUVs are terribly thermodynamically inefficient. More reason to get that new R1 (or used lightweight sportbike).

Ciao.
 

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Re: Burns:: Friday Fanaticism

My only point is that we have a direct source of renewable power that is pumping roughly 7000 times our current (1997 figures) power consumption. That suggests from the back of a ****tail napkin calculation that the problem is hardly intractable.

I also agree with you and Grapelli that there are self interested parties who don't want to cannibalize current oil revenues. Father of industrialization Adam Smith noted that "it's not from the benevolence of the oil sheik that the world gets its petroleum, but from his self-interest". Even so, alternatives will become competitive soon enough.
 
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