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Re: [CF] Guardian articles and Hydrogen

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  • De Clarke
    ... it wasn t disgust actually, not at the people in the food line. on re-reading my post I realise it did sound rather like how appalling, these people s
    Message 1 of 7 , Nov 4, 2003
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      Fitzsimmons, Diane (dcfitzsimmons@...) wrote:
      > I agree with your disgust, De. That's the same way I feel about people
      > wanting food hand-outs when they are smoking.

      it wasn't disgust actually, not at the people in the food line.
      on re-reading my post I realise it did sound rather like "how appalling,
      these people's children are going hungry and the lazy b-----ds won't
      give up their bloody cars." but that wasn't what I meant...

      it was more like bewilderment or despair at the society, the car-culture
      that makes working poor (and "downsized" poor) people so dependent on
      the parasite automobile that it's the one thing they can't afford to
      give up. they have to hang on to it -- without it they become totally
      disenfranchised. that's what the car culture has done for us -- lumbered
      the poorest among us with a gas-guzzling white elephant that they can't
      afford to keep and can't afford to get rid of.

      I note you don't see anyone giving away fuel at "gas kitchens" for the
      poor... or "gas stamps" made available to tide them over. or free bus
      passes for people with low or no income. nope, they have to spend their
      few remaining hard dollars on petroleum to profit the oil barons, while
      relying on charity to feed the kids. and transit fares keep going up.

      it just seemed such a Portrait of America, visible evidence of the
      stranglehold the auto industry has on our lives. and typical of America
      -- the sprawl, the complete lack of urban planning -- that a soup kitchen
      would be situated so far from its constituency that people have to drive
      to it -- and would be *expected* to drive to it. in the bad old feudal
      days (of human scale villages) the Squire's wife and daughters and the
      vicar's lady would go and visit the poor -- on foot or by carriage --
      bringing the charity food & old clothes to them. but in contemporary
      America even charity food handouts are a "drive in" experience.

      hmmm. I wonder if local bike communities could be enlisted in delivering
      help and charity to the people who need it -- meals on 2 wheels? volunteerism
      plus exercise?

      > But upon reflection I remind myself that smoking is probably one of the true
      > pleasures they have and that poor people have/drive cars because (at least
      > in my area) that's the only way they have to get to work and/or transport a
      > family that includes small children. At least in my area, many of the
      > people getting food are working poor, not jobless. And the car often serves
      > as their home, not just transportation.

      yup. a lot of people are living in their cars (the more fortunate have got
      hold of vans or old RVs or even ancient school buses) in my town. and many
      of them are trying to get odd jobs. when we (the U) advertise a job opening
      (whether technical, clerical, or "menial") we're getting from 100 to 500
      applicants these days. and thanks to the ongoing bankruptcy of the states,
      the U's budget is in the red and we're not advertising a whole lot of job
      openings.

      de

      --
      .............................................................................
      :De Clarke, Software Engineer UCO/Lick Observatory, UCSC:
      :Mail: de@... | Your planet's immune system is trying to get rid :
      :Web: www.ucolick.org | of you. --Kurt Vonnegut :
      :1024D/B9C9E76E | F892 5F17 8E0A F095 05CD EE8B D169 EDAA B9C9 E76E:
    • Fitzsimmons, Diane
      ... We always joke (and it s one in bad taste) in my family that we can spot who s riding a bicycle because it s their only means of transportation (poor or
      Message 2 of 7 , Nov 4, 2003
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        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: De Clarke [mailto:de@...]
        > Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2003 12:40 PM
        > To: CarFree@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: Re: [CF] Guardian articles and Hydrogen
        >
        >
        > hmmm. I wonder if local bike communities could be enlisted in delivering
        > help and charity to the people who need it -- meals on 2 wheels?
        > volunteerism


        We always joke (and it's one in bad taste) in my family that we can spot
        who's riding a bicycle because it's their only means of transportation (poor
        or lost their license) and who's riding one as a political statement or
        because it's "cool."

        The former group is just on a bike -- maybe won't even have a lock.

        The latter group has helmets, pants clips, lights, an array of baskets
        and/or saddle bags, sometimes even special biking uniforms.

        Note this excerpt from the following story about how one bicyclist helped
        the needy:

        Free bicycle program getting rolling in Wichita
        WICHITA (AP) -- For most of the last decade, an anonymous man has made it
        his mission to leave lime-green bicycles parked throughout Wichita for
        anyone to use.

        "Bike Man" works with the Bicycle X-Change, a local bicycle shop, to supply
        the bikes around the city. Riders are advised to just hop on a bike and then
        leave them on a main street when they're done.

        ...
        Chris and Christine Campbell, who were riding the bikes last week, said
        someone brought one of the bikes to a homeless shelter where they two were
        staying.

        They appreciated that the bikes work and are easy to find.

        "If we don't like this one, we can just trade it in," Chris Campbell said.




        Diane Fitzsimmons
        Norman, Okla.
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