published Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Cook: Like riding a bike

Monday at lunch, I went for a little bike ride with Blythe Bailey, who's the transportation director for Chattanooga.

On the outside, it didn't look like much: two guys, 40ish, dressed in button-downs and Doc Martens, pedaling blue Bike Chattanooga bikes shoulder to shoulder in the right-hand-lane from Porker's Barbeque on Market Street all the way to the North Shore.

But on the inside? Man, I felt like Fonda in "Easy Rider." Armstrong in the Alps. We were kings of the road. It was the first time in forever that I found myself commuting through busy downtown streets ... and enjoying it.

"That was great," Bailey said as we parted ways.

Totally, absolutely great.

And that's the message Bailey and some Dutch experts hope to send to Chattanooga this week, as a two-day Think Bike conference on cycling in the city wraps up this afternoon with a 5:30 open-to-the-public presentation on the fourth floor of the downtown library.

"It's a matter of improving the viability of choice," Bailey said, as we were stopped at a red light.

Perhaps the greatest invention in human history, the bicycle is a most democratic form of transportation: for rich and poor, urban and rural, young and old.

Since Henry Ford, though, the bike has become bridesmaid to the American car. But across the nation, things are quietly shifting, as more and more people choose to live downtown, thus erasing the need for a surbuban commute, thus helping the bike return as a realistic choice of urban transportation.

That's why members of the Dutch Cycling Embassy are in town, talking with leaders here about ways to make cycling more of a realistic possibility in parts of Chattanooga. The North Shore, for example, or St. Elmo.

But can you import Amsterdam?

"You're not getting our cycling culture," said Dick Van Veen, a Dutch architect and traffic engineer and part of the Cycling Embassay. "You're getting Chattanooga cycling culture."

Three summers ago, a group of us was in Amsterdam, where everybody rides bikes, wherever they go. To work, to school. Two or three to a bike, like a clown car, with adults pedaling and kids sitting in the basket, legs dangling over the front wheel. Handlebar bells like horns. Not a helmet to be seen.

Find a magic wand and wave it over Frazier Avenue at rush hour, turning every car driver into a bike rider. That's Amsterdam.

"The mentality you see is the result of 20 years of bike planning and bike education," said Van Veen, 33.

When we Americans take short trips -- say across downtown, or to the neighborhood store -- we are automatically inclined (thanks to 50 years of car planning and car education) to take our car, regardless of the mileage.

So Bailey's work is to nudge that mindset a bit, to introduce another way of travel for short and appropriate distances. Not to suddenly criminalize cars, but to give bikes a better share of certain roads.

Because if we build such an infrastucture, bikes will certainly fill it. (Before we started riding, City Councilman Larry Grohn walked by, and mentioned to Bailey the idea of using all the land under TVA power lines as bike corridors. Hmmm.)

"If you go downtown to get fish and chips," suggested Van Veen. "If you go to the pub, especially take your bike."

I didn't have the heart to tell him that nobody here's going to cross the street, much less ride a bike, for fish and chips. But his point was valid: can we rearrange the traffic landscape in parts of Chattanooga so that biking becomes a real option? A safe choice?

A habit?

"You can actually get the car virus out of your mind," said Van Veen. "Just like an addiction to cigarettes."

The lunchtime ride reminded me that a bike is more than a bike. It is a way of being, a way of moving through downtown space. There is a freedom and honesty and poetry to it -- bikes have a kindness that cars don't possess -- that both energized (more trips by bike in my future, I swear it) and embarrassed me (how many times had I walked by those blue bike hubs without even considering them).

After we were done, I kept thinking of the Dr. Seuss persuasion: just try them, try them, and you'll like them.

Not fish and chips. Not green eggs and ham. But the old bicycle, suddenly new again.

Contact David Cook at dcook@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6329. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter at DavidCookTFP.

about David Cook...

David Cook is the award-winning city columnist for the Times Free Press, working in the same building where he began his post-college career as a sportswriter for the Chattanooga Free Press. Cook, who graduated from Red Bank High, holds a master's degree in Peace and Justice Studies from Prescott College and an English degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. For 12 years, he was a teacher at the middle, high school and university ...

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AndrewLohr said...

Let bicyclists use sidewalks that aren't too crowded; we have lots of those already. And for what 31 pay-to-bike stations cost, hundreds or thousands of places to park and lock a bike or two could've been installed; usually one can find a guy wire or something that will work, but not always, so if the owner is willing for bike friends to install something people can lock a bike or two to (and if the liability is reasonable)...

September 24, 2013 at 12:34 a.m.
nucanuck said...

Shortly after moving to Victoria and pulling into a grocery store lot to park, I noticed a near 70 year old woman dismount her bike and secure it to the nearly full bike rack. I knew right then that I had to do better. I now walk or ride my bike as much as possible and join the growing army of commuters who avoid the automobile. Most amazing is the average age of the cyclists...they are not young for sure. Most have reflective gear and wet weather garb. The move to bicycles is for real...even the buses here have front racks to accommodate bicycles.

Go for it Chattanooga, you won't be sorry!

September 24, 2013 at 2:26 a.m.
soakya said...

Let me say first of all since June of this year I have rode my bike for over 700 miles according to the app on my phone so I like riding my bike. I don't need to be "nudged" by Bailey and his friends and I certainly don't need to be "nudged" by any level of government.

Nudge? criminalize? virus? addiction? Sounds like we're already being "nudged" into parking your car.

What we will see is the government "nudging" by new laws and regulations, additional fees, taxes and more parking meters for driving your vehicle.

We're inclined to take our cars because its more productive and frees up our time for other things we enjoying doing.

September 24, 2013 at 10:35 a.m.
TheCommander said...

I have never been to Amsterdam and don't care to but I looked at the temp. ranges there: Average low 33 degrees. Average high 72 degrees. Bicycling to work in Chattanooga may seem great on a day like today but are we going to build all this UN Agenda 21 "green infrastructure" and introduce all these new taxes and regulations to "nudge" us onto bikes when our temp. averages are a full 20 degrees higher? Cars are like cigarettes? This is an example of education that is coming to our children. Rosa Koire in her book "Behind the Green Mask: UN Agenda 21" talks about the work of the Thunderhead Alliance, Complete Streets and others to pressure local officials to build sustainable infrastructure. The brown shirts in spandex bike shorts have descended into Chattanooga. Wake up people!!

September 24, 2013 at 10:38 a.m.
TheCommander said...

Sokya, great point!! We drive cars for EFFICIENCY and PRODUCTIVITY. Has anyone done a study of the obvious negative impact that our economy would sustain by lost productivity? If all this cycling is so good for transportation then why don't we "nudge" construction companies to get rid of bulldozers and go back to shovels? That will make people with strong backs once again. Why don't we "nudge" people to chop wood and cook over an open fire instead of using a microwave? Why don't we "nudge" people to draw water from a well instead of using tap water? We already started doing that with these stupid rain barrels.

The goal of sustainable development is to drive America and all developed nations back by 125 years.

September 24, 2013 at 10:51 a.m.
nucanuck said...

We are headed toward a high energy cost society...we haven't seen anything yet. Those that prepare will benefit, the SUV lovers may not know what hit them. Shorter commutes...less driving...fewer car owners...all of that is already happening and that is a trend that will continue...count on it.

The transition into a lower energy society can be both healthy and efficient.

If a nudge won't work, your knuckles may be dragging.

September 24, 2013 at 11:20 a.m.
engineerguy said...

I'm not sure anyone is suggesting giving up your car to commute from Hixson or other parts of suburbia.

However, with regard to efficiency, I would submit that if you worked for example in the Krystal building and needed to go to the N. Shore, the bike would likely be more efficient considering the time it takes to walk to your car, drive to the N. Shore and then park the car. I would also submit that if you were paying for parking, it would also be cheeper.

Always the same tired arguments. Someone suggests using an alternative to the car for some trips and suddenly the unknown "them" (pick your boogy man - UN, green peace, environmentalists, spandex clad bikers) is trying to have us live in caves, dig holes with shovels, chop firewood, and (heaven forbid) give up the SUV.

September 24, 2013 at 11:38 a.m.
TheCommander said...

Nucanuck, I have a question for you to answer on another post about Ted Cruz.

No one WANTS to use energy. It is a consequence of living on earth. If government directs that we use less energy, then our nation will decline economically, don't you think? How can a low energy society be efficient? Pack us into apartments with our factories below us? It sounds like you want the Soviet or Chinese model for America. That is exactly what is being advocated by UN Agenda 21 Sustainable Development. I'll try not to drag my knuckles: it will slow me down on my bike!!

September 24, 2013 at 11:49 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

Of all the arguments for taking your car or SUV across town instead of a bike, the one about productivity is without a doubt the lamest. That's really funny - it allows us to be more productive?? There is so much car traffic downtown that by the time you contend with red lights, the congestion of other cars, and then finding a parking spot, you could have ridden back and forth twice on a bike. Plus, the exercise from biking burns calories, stimulates the body, and generates increased blood flow to the brain, making you more alert and energized. As for the heat factor, a 5 or 10-minute ride across town is not going to dehydrate you or turn your clothes into clingy sweaty rags.

And there is nothing wrong with the government "nudging" us by creating more and better opportunities to ride a bike and relieve the car-clutter. With the creation of more and safer bike paths and by planting the seeds of a bike consciousness throughout the city, biking can be made more accessible to more people who otherwise might not ever think about trying it.

You people who have this paranoia that everything the government does is evil or wrong really need to get a grip on yourselves. Not everything that flows from government is bad. As long as we still have free elections and vote for those whom we want to represent us, our government is US, and its purpose is to serve us, or it's supposed to anyway (It's presently serving primarily the 1% at the top but we could change that if we really wanted to). If you hate government so much, then stop voting and participating in the one thing that helps to perpetuate the existence of...government! Even those Republican politicians who are always whining about the evils of government continue to play the game of politics and work like hell to get elected into the very GOVERNMENT they say they hate. You government-hating righties are either so stupid you can't see the absurdity of your stance, or you're just plain hypocrites.

September 24, 2013 at 12:26 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Nobody wants to skimp on our energy use. I like my air-conditioning on hot days and my heat on cold nights as much as anybody. But to deny that we are in the last days of cheap abundant energy provided by fossil fuels is to stick your head in the sand. There is no doubt that energy provided by wind, solar, and other clean sources is our future. It is not a case of the government trying to "pick and choose" winners by subsidizing and encouraging their growth. With a concentrated plan and focus we could wean ourselves off of fossil fuels in a decade. And the result will be energy that is not only cleaner but cheaper. But we are caught in the death-grip of big oil and the related industries that stand in the way of change and you wing-nut corporate boot-lickers are their cheer-leaders. They have you believing that what is good for them is good for America. But it ain't so.

September 24, 2013 at 12:45 p.m.
soakya said...

if its so great ricky then why do you need "nudged"? how many miles did you log this year? If you didn't log over 700 miles don't talk to me about the benefits of riding a bike. are you waiting on some kind of incentive, tax credit? you want to ride your bike then ride then go dig it out of your garage and ride it, no one's stopping you. what we don't need is people being penalized for driving their vehicles because that's exactly what being "nudged" means.

Let me give you a piece of your own medicine ricky, if you hate oil so much park your car, quit buying anything that took oil to make it, grow, produce,transport, I believe that just about covers everything. I guess you will be walking around butt naked everywhere you want to go. Try to use the back roads, less exposure for you.

September 24, 2013 at 12:53 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Soakya, I used to ride a bike a lot. I lived on the side of Lookout Mtn. and it was nothing for me to ride down the mountain, the length of Broad St, through the streets of downtown, and then back up the mountain again. But I haven't ridden a bike in over 5 years. I have a bad hip that has stiffened my legs and prevents me from being able to even raise them enough to clear the middle bar of the bicycle. Hip replacement surgery could restore my legs and my ability to do most things that I used to do, but I am one of those without health insurance that you righties like to say is a lazy mooching slob who didn't make the right decisions or who is too lazy to work three jobs to be able to pay for it. The fact is, I still am able to work part-time to supplement my social security (had to take early retirement when my company folded in 2009 and I took care of my Mom until she died 2 years ago), but health insurance is so expensive that it is out of the question. And Haslam of course denied expanding Medicaid here or opting for the exchanges provided by Obamacare, so I must wait until I'm 65 and can qualify for Medicare and hope that my legs are still strong enough to support a good hip if and when I am able to have the insurance to cover the operation. If indeed I'm able to have that operation one of the first things I want to do is to ride a bike again.

So to answer your question, if I'm waiting on some kind of incentive or tax credit...nope. Just Medicare - to cover an operation on my hip. I'll get back to you on how many miles I log on my bike if/when I have a good hip and a pair of strong healthy legs again.

September 24, 2013 at 1:16 p.m.
engineerguy said...

Well Soakya, so far I have logged a little over 1800 miles on my bike this year. I'm not sure what that proves except that I like riding my bike. I think there is a difference between nudge and force. Local government making simple infrastructure changes to encourage more folks to run an errand using a bike is a long way from forcing them to do so. Your reaction frankly seems a bit overwrought. I don't really expect the jack-boot UN thugs to come and take your car away any time soon.

September 24, 2013 at 1:43 p.m.
soakya said...

Could you provide some examples of what you might think a nudge is?

Sounds like Cass Sunstein to me.

September 24, 2013 at 2:01 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Good comment, engineerguy. I'm wondering what soakya's fascination with number of miles logged on a bike has to do with anything anyway. Some people like bike marathons, others just enjoy short trips about town or through the park. If government, whether state or federal, supplies funding for, say, an increased number of bike paths, that doesn't mean that people are being forced to give up their cars. It just means that more people who might have felt unsafe riding their bikes in congested traffic would then feel more inclined and enabled to take the opportunity to ride a bike in safer and more enjoyable conditions. What's more, it would benefit the drivers of cars because there would be fewer cyclists infringing on their space on the roads. That is an example of government functioning sensibly and realistically for the common good and it also something that private enterprise would never undertake. I just don't get the visceral hate for all aspects of government that has a hold of the ultra-right wingers today.

September 24, 2013 at 2:06 p.m.
soakya said...

You don't need to be nudged to do something you want to do. nudging means penalizing those who don't comply.

As I said before ricky if you hate oil as much as you say you do park your vehicle, quit using anything that required oil to make, which would be everything including that keyboard you're pecking on, and the bike you used to ride then you would have some credibility.

September 24, 2013 at 2:18 p.m.
engineerguy said...

Rickaroo I have noticed that the same people have no problem with the government building roads for their cars. But mention that the government wants to add a bike lane or sidewalk or convert one of hundreds of parking spaces for a bike rack and suddenly the One-World/UN people want to take your car away.

September 24, 2013 at 2:24 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Nudge, schmudge. Its not "nudging" anyway, soakya. Just because government does something to make it better for more citizens, that doesn't mean that anybody is being penalized or forced to comply. My god, you are hopelessly lost in your brainwashed ideology of anti-government BS.

I have said before, I like my air conditioning and heating and other technological benefits of the 21st century as much as anybody. No liberal is calling for a return to the Middle Ages. But we realize that carbon-based fuels are dirty, expensive, and their glory days are rapidly coming to an end; and we can do everything and more with clean energy that we do now, as long as we plan for it and continue to develop the technology. We can either put together a cohesive plan to transition into clean green energy as soon as possible, or we can keep denying the inevitable and make it exponentially harder for us when the time comes that we are forced to, and we are ill prepared. And that time WILL come.

September 24, 2013 at 2:47 p.m.
engineerguy said...

Ultimately the market and lifestyle choices will determine future transportation needs. There is a limit to how much roads can be expanded. In many larger cities, people are choosing (not being forced) to live closer to town to avoid traffic (it is more efficient). The increasing cost of energy is causing people to choose to be more energy efficient; take fewer car trips etc. It may surprise Soakya to learn that some people cannot afford the cost of owning a car. A bicycle offers an inexpensive means to travel.

If I choose to ride a bicycle to a store on Frazier Ave, that is one less car causing congestion, one less parking space being filled, a little less gas being used. All of which benefits the person who prefers to drive to Frazier Ave. I really do not see how that penalizes anyone.

I submit that the government building a road without a bike lane penalizes me because I prefer to ride my bike.

September 24, 2013 at 3:06 p.m.
TheCommander said...

Engineerguy, Bicycle advocacy groups are lobbying groups. Who will be in charge of deciding when government nudging becomes force? The government itself? Your point is well taken in terms of what you "expect". No one ever expected the results of what they got in Soviet Union or in Nazi Germany.

September 24, 2013 at 3:32 p.m.
soakya said...

If you choose to ride a bike is the key, not nudged into riding a bike by government. if someone is going to be nudged there has to be a consequence (reward) for either those that are nudged to get them to cooperate or a penalty (taxes, fees) for those who don't comply or else the nudge is useless.

this is just a small part of a bigger picture known as sustainable development.

September 24, 2013 at 3:53 p.m.
TheCommander said...

We know what happened to the housing industry because of the government nudging buyers into homes they couldn't afford.

Look at all the articles in the TFP over the last few days about new apartment complexes and new mixed use developments going up in Chattanooga. This is an example of nudging: The government is pushing these developments by financing them through HUD 220D financing to developers. These loans require 1% down and are NON_RECOURSE!!! They have a high bankruptcy rate which is why banks won't finance these developments without government backing. Call the article's author Mike Pare and ask him if the developer is using a HUD 220 loan to build the development. Also Google HUD 220D. There is a large redevelopment bubble that is about to burst in a couple of years caused by this explosion in green building at the hands of government nudging. That is one example. Add a bike lane and a greenway but government is not here to re-engineer society.

September 24, 2013 at 3:53 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

You need to get over that silly and childish fear of "creeping socialism." Good lord, we have lived for over 80 years of New Deal policies without becoming the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany. And we are living in a political climate today in which you right-wing reactionaries are calling for more drastic cut-backs of liberal policies. Abortion has been made almost impossible for a woman to attain, Glass-Steagall was repealed and nobody, not even Obama, is talking about even moderate bank reform or regulation, we are on the verge of $4 million in cuts to food stamps, unemployment insurance has been reduced and/or eliminated for many, Pell Grants have been reduced in number and dollar amount, and the Republican Party is under the spell of extremist Tea Party wackos who are working hard to make America even more conservative than it already is. And you are worried about government over-reach? Frankly, I'm worried about it, too. It has been reaching way, way over to the right and accommodating big business and the super-rich for much too long now. It's time to restore some balance and get it back on track to working for the working/middle class.

September 24, 2013 at 3:53 p.m.
engineerguy said...

Bicycle advocacy groups are indeed lobying groups along with hundreds of other groups, the NRA, Unions, AAA, AARP, just to name a few. And you expect me to believe that bicycle advocacy groups have sufficient influence to create the type of change that occurred in Nazi Germany or the USSR? I dare say the NRA is a far more effective lobying group than any bicycle advocacy orginazation. In fact any one of them would love to be able to have even a fraction of the influence that the NRA has.

Your argument is so incredibly weak as to be laughable.

September 24, 2013 at 3:56 p.m.
soakya said...

who do you think is being accommodated from all this sustainable development ricky? the very people you spew your venom and hatred toward, the wealthy, but don't worry you will have a bike trail which you won't be able to use because of medical reasons.

September 24, 2013 at 4:02 p.m.
engineerguy said...

Commander your discussion of HUD grants and building mixed use developments in Chattanoog, misses the point entirely. It still comes down to people making choices. That mixed use development will sit empty if people do not choose to locate a business there or decided it is a good place to live. The government cannot coerce me to move from the suburbs to a downtown condo unless I choose to do so. The market will ultimately decide the fate of these projects.

But, if that HUD grant entices a developer to take a risk and build that development downtown and people decide (for whatever reason) to live or set up a business there, then have they been forced to do so? Many of these developments you are so quick to denegrate have been responsible in part for the revitalization of the downtown area.

September 24, 2013 at 4:10 p.m.
TheCommander said...

Right on engineer. Now we have something we can discuss... You said "risk" - Did you not see where I said that these loans are non-recourse? Please please please look at this one link as an example. Don't take my word for it. Sit back and soak in how reckless these loans are and then you will understand my problem with government manipulating markets.

http://crainmortgagegroup.com/loan-programs/sections-220-221d4-fha-insured/

WE the taxpayer are assuming the risk. They are high bankruptcy rate and it is a bubble Chattanooga will be continually revitalized for the next 40 years. Did you know that Chattanooga debt has grown over 118 million dollars in the last 6 years due to business attraction and revitalization among other things? We are going down the same road as Stockton, Cal and others through redevelopment schemes.

September 24, 2013 at 4:29 p.m.
soakya said...

no you miss the point entirely engineerguy. the developer isn't taking the risk, the taxpayers are. if its so viable let them risk their capital.

September 24, 2013 at 4:34 p.m.
engineerguy said...

Yes, in many cases the taxpayer is taking the risk. I'm not a big fan of that. However, places like Stockton Calf. are in trouble due primarily to over generous pensions. I think the argument could be made that Chattanooga is a more liveable city due in part to such development although as I said I am generally not in favor of government subsidizing developers.

All that aside, it has nothing to do with bicycles. The government is arguably responsible for creating infrastructure. The roads you enjoy traveling on are provided by the government. The government subsidizes mass transit systems like CARTA. We have sidewalks for pedestrians. The fact that the government is looking for ways to create additional infrastructure to support other means of transportation such as bicycles is within its mandate.

September 24, 2013 at 5:05 p.m.
nucanuck said...

Stimulating an interest bicycling is a long way from the government's artificially low interest rates and guarantees causing mal-investments in housing. One is a nudge toward sustainable practices while the other creates false demand that would not exist at fair market pricing.

All but the lobotomized know that energy and food are going to take ever larger percentages of our income and that we will have to make adjustments in behavior to adapt. Germany uses almost half the energy per person as the US and they certainly have a high standard of living. The US has built a wasteful energy use superstructure and now must try to find ways to maintain our society with much less energy. The transition will take decades and we don't have a minute to lose. Talking up bicycles, buses, car-pooling and walking is a necessary part of preparing ourselves for what is coming our way, one way or another. Our government won't force us, but the changing economics of our present patterns will leave us no choice.

The hundred years of abundant cheap energy is ending. The energy isn't all gone, just the cheap stuff. If a Snickers bar costs one dollar, you might have one frequently, at ten dollars it becomes something to consider. That's where we are headed.

September 24, 2013 at 5:19 p.m.
conservative said...

I will first say that I like bikes. My bike has fat tires and a regular seat. I am not going to lean over and feel every little bump of the road with those skinny tire bikes and I won’t wear one of those helmets out of a fifties Japanese Sci Fi movie.

I bike for exercise and recreation and not to put my life in the hands of people behind me in cars looking down at their cell phone while in heavy traffic. My hide is just not tougher than pavement and I would rather not use my hospitalization.

We don’t need the low ambition Dutch to tell us how to ride a bike. This is just a scam to get some out their cars by downtown Chattanooga developers. There just won’t be enough car parking so the poor need to bite the bullet and risk their life and get wet during our record rains so the well to do won’t arrive at work in a wet suit and their hair mussed up.

September 24, 2013 at 5:40 p.m.
conservative said...

Hey nucanuck:

You Liberals could make dirt expensive and scarce by practicing your Socialist economics of heavy and unnecessary regulation, resticting its use and taxation.

September 24, 2013 at 5:47 p.m.
TheCommander said...

conservative, it is always the poor that get screwed by sustainable development, is it not? The liberals scream about the rich and then fight with me when I point out corruption between big government and wall street bond brokers. I am for capitalism which means invest and risk YOUR OWN money, not the public's. That's sensible, is it not?

engineer, I have no problem with government building bike lanes and that is their job as you say. You are not correct about California though: Yes, the pensions are obscene and the CURRENT problem with them is that they are underfunded. The real pension problem has not hit yet. You never here this said but the real problem is REDEVELOPMENT which caused bonded debt to be carried by those cities which bankrupted them. Chattanooga is revitalizing itself in the same manner: redevelopment, business attraction through PILOT programs, tax incentives and now TIF. It always looks good at first but the debt load takes its toll in a short time period. Did you look at that bond broker's website? Does that make you as mad as me? There are hundreds of those brokers out there. I bet you didn't know that you are financing all of these developments in the scenic city, did you?

September 24, 2013 at 8:51 p.m.
nucanuck said...

Commander,

Take another look at what now passes for capitalism. High leverage, government backed loans, subsidies(direct and indirect)and if the deal flies they are rich, if not, they walk away. Investing your own money is an old fashioned concept...never happens these days.

The bigger the company, the bigger the government subsidy. The TBTF banks and AIG are perfect examples of $2.8T down a rat hole and half of the subsidized banks are foreign owned. Can you say Fascism! Corporatocracy! There is no free enterprise nor capitalism these days. That is just a memory.

September 25, 2013 at 12:52 a.m.
conservative said...

nucanuck:

You are such a hypocrite. You constantly talk about the future high cost of oil when it is you and your fellow Socialists/kooks who have done and will continue to do everything in your power to make oil, coal and nuclear power as expensive as possible.

You also are a full blown Socialist who opposes true capitalism with your ideas of regulation and taxation. There is not a chance that you would support a true capitalist system for there would be winners and losers and you would rather everyone be a loser than for some to be a winner.

The stench of your hypocrisy could gag a maggot.

September 25, 2013 at 7:11 a.m.
TheCommander said...

nucanuck and conservative, it's times like this that I find it really worthwhile to comment on these boards because I completely agree with BOTH of your last comments! Please let me try to explain.

nucanuck, you said it better than I ever could: we as a nation abandoned capitalism over 100 years ago in favor of a creeping Corporatocracy. That is not capitalism. That is a safety net that should NOT exist for the individual and certainly not for a corporation or a bank. The more safety nets, the decline of the nation. That is why we need a separation of government and big business! I know it won't happen but let's not demonize capitalism. Capitalism works every time it is tried. Let's try it once again. Remember, big companies LOVE regulation; Regulation squashes competition. Our corporations are not run by capitalists today. There are very few Fords, Pennys, Canegies, etc... Where they exist, let them make and keep a lot of money. We are all better off for it.

Conservative, you are very accurate on your description of socialism. Let's not regulate and certainly let's not support business (pick winners and losers). Laissez-faire "Hands off" means hands off in terms of regulation and hands off in terms of tax credits, bailouts,etc.. That is where I stand.

nucanuck, is conservative right about you? Are you a full blown socialist or do you wish to return to the days of capitalism when people flocked to America and fled Europe for a better life and found it even though our re-education system tells our kids about sweat shops and abusive labor practices.

September 25, 2013 at 11:24 a.m.
nucanuck said...

Commander,

connie likes to describe others without the necessary information to make his pronouncements. He also rarely will attempt to define and explain his own thoughts, only impugn others. He is a lightweight.

I don't define my thoughts through labels, labels are too confining. Any ism in it's purest form fails to achieve what is needed. So far there is no perfect system, only blends of ever changing facets of each. We have to be adaptable. What worked 100 years ago may not work now.

We are not going to clear the deck and start over so we are left with modifying that which is. I believe that businesses should be allowed to fail and one shouldn't be advantaged by government over others, but I also believe that governments must try to set up level playing fields and that does mean that regulation plays a part. That's where it gets tough. He who writes the regulation usually has an agenda and there the fun/evil begins.

Unfettered capitalism is brutal and harsh. We saw that in the early industrial days. My great grandfather fought Samuel Gompers and his union all the way to the US Supreme Court and beat them...with money and power, not the law. Very ugly! He treated his manufacturing empire like a personal slush fund and his employees like dirt, but he had the power. I know of no better/worse example of unfettered capitalism. His sons blew all the wealth after his death.

But neither will socialism accomplish what we humans need, so I say forget the labels and let's find new ways to solve ever changing conditions.

September 25, 2013 at 12:19 p.m.
conservative said...

Commander:

I seriously doubt that nucanuck will admit to being a Socialist of any kind.

His comment against subsidizing banks was sincere, but he would subsidize just about everything else at taxpayer’s expense.

He favors taxpayer subsidization of solar farms and energy.

We would have nearly zero solar farms if they were not now subsidized by taxpayers through government.

He favors wind farms.

We would have nearly zero wind farms if they were not now subsidized by taxpayers through government.

Of course he favors electric cars.

We would have nearly zero electric cars if they were not subsidized by taxpayers and forced on us by government mandates.

He has had his home greened at taxpayer/government expense.

He loathes oil, coal, and nuclear.

He is an earth worshipper and follower of one whose name I don’t recall at the moment.

He has actually stated that he and his family are consuming 2.3 earths! Yikes!, Yikes!! And more Yikes!!!

H e believes in wealth distribution, subsidizing people with checks and programs funded by other people through taxation.

If nucanuck is not a full blown Socialist then we need to through away the words.

September 25, 2013 at 12:32 p.m.
conservative said...

Well, I like labels. They identify and warn!

September 25, 2013 at 12:36 p.m.
soakya said...

nucanuck, capitalism is not a label its a economic system.

September 25, 2013 at 12:41 p.m.
nucanuck said...

connie, I don't like name calling and most would agree that I avoid it, but I must say that your post at 12:32 is a total pack of lies which makes you a bold faced liar. I would be happy to discuss my thoughts and beliefs on energy, but you are not the one to decide what I think.

You are a simple malevolent little man who brings nothing but contention to the table. I've known sadder souls, but you seem to want to be a contender.

September 25, 2013 at 12:54 p.m.
nucanuck said...

soakya,

If you are advocating pure capitalism, you first must define it, then try to live within that definition. It can't be done, IMO, so I call it a label, just like liberalism, capitalism, feminism socialism, or hotdogism. Single words are too confining and constrict the range of possibilities.

September 25, 2013 at 1:01 p.m.
conservative said...

Nucanuck:

You don't like name calling.

You don't like name calling.

Yet you address me with "connie" sometimes and "conman" at other times.

You don't like name calling, you began with a lie.

September 25, 2013 at 1:10 p.m.
nucanuck said...

connie, your handle, conservative, is such a misfit for who you seem to be that I cannot bring myself to prostitute the word by applying it to you.

I respect conservative values and I retain the word for appropriate usage.

Choose another name that either means nothing or better represents who you are and I will use that name without fail.

September 25, 2013 at 1:25 p.m.
conservative said...

Nucanuck:

I can tell you what I mean by conservative and why I fit that description.

God is truth and is the author and judge of what is truth whether it is in the spiritual or moral or economic realms to name a few.

I want to “conserve” all truth but I know that because I am a sinner I do not always practice what I preach. However, I still want to uphold and “conserve” truth.

If you will look up the word Liberal you will find that “change” is the primary meaning of Liberal. Liberals have no desire for the truth especially in the teachings of Scripture and morality and economics and so they seek change but it is an ungodly change.

Why would you want to “change” the truths of God for a lie whether in the spiritual or moral or economic realm? Liberals are opposed to the truths of God and are the bane of our society.

I hope you now have some idea of why I am a conservative and will never be a Liberal.

Which do you want to be nucanuck?

September 25, 2013 at 2:21 p.m.
nucanuck said...

Sheer jibberish, connie. A disorderly mind is even more of a tragedy when shared with the public.

September 25, 2013 at 4:26 p.m.
conservative said...

Which do you want to be nucanuck?

September 25, 2013 at 4:40 p.m.
conservative said...

nucanuck:

I didn't use any big words. What is jibberish to you?

Why don't you look up the words Conservative and Liberal in a dictionary and see the truth for yourself.

September 25, 2013 at 4:49 p.m.
conservative said...

nucanuck:

"God is truth and is the author and judge of what is truth whether it is in the spiritual or moral or economic realms to name a few."

What is hard to understand about that statement nucanuck?

Is that jibberish to you nucanuck?

September 25, 2013 at 5:01 p.m.
conservative said...

nucanuck:

"I respect conservative values and I retain the word for appropriate usage."

What "conservative values" do you have in mind nucanuck and why am I a "misfit" to them and the word "conservative?"

September 25, 2013 at 5:11 p.m.
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