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Re: [carfree_cities] Re: What every Brit should know about jaywalking

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  • Simon Baddeley
    Good on you Karen. But if you are spending a large part of your earnings to send children to private school and to enjoy access to private space (tennis clubs
    Message 1 of 18 , Jan 15, 2007
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      Good on you Karen. But if you are spending a large part of your earnings to
      send children to private school and to enjoy access to private space (tennis
      clubs and health clubs versus public parks) and travel long distances to
      salubrious suburbs, cognitive dissonance almost requires that you amplify
      and distort your worst fears about the places you¹ve abandoned to justify
      the money spent on escaping them. I have met people who¹ve gone to live in
      foreign countries to get away from the Œpace of life¹ in the UK ­ which is a
      coded form of this fear of the Œother¹ in our midst. I do not deny that some
      of the ennui of oppressive poverty (being without many material possessions
      is not what I mean) can rub off on anyone living in proximity to
      hopelessness and the consolations bred by such despair, but can¹t the life
      of the suburbs turn out dispiriting? I do not deny that there are places
      where you can leave the house key in the front door and others where that
      would be unwise, and I do not deny that the species faces fearful challenges
      ­ not the least being attempts by thousands of people Œto get away from it
      all¹ who end up up creating more of what they sought to escape.
      S



      From: Karen Sandness <ksandness@...>
      Reply-To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
      Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 09:01:19 -0600
      To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
      Subject: [carfree_cities] Re: What every Brit should know about jaywalking





      Actually, this topic is not tangential to discussions of car-free
      living. When I was car-free in Portland, one of the most common
      questions people asked was, "Aren't you afraid to take the bus/light
      rail at night?"


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Debra Efroymson
      It gets worse, recently four children died in a fire here in Bangladesh, after their parents/uncle locked them in to go to the doctor. If they had trusted
      Message 2 of 18 , Jan 15, 2007
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        It gets worse, recently four children died in a fire
        here in Bangladesh, after their parents/uncle locked
        them in to go to the doctor. If they had trusted
        their neighbors, it wouldn't have happened. In our
        own experience, we were successfully robbed after
        moving to a higher-income neighborhood, while in a
        lower-income one, our neighbors prevented the one
        robbery attempt. (We HAD to move, partly because the
        smell of sewage became overpowering.)
        A character in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales says it
        very well, after she is beaten up by her husband's
        enemies: the best security is a good relationship
        with your neighbors. No wall or security force will
        save you if your neighbors are out to get you.
        Just another reason why we are promoting
        environments conducive to outdoor interactions in
        urban areas. But everyone I talk to here says, focus
        on the lower-income groups, because the rich care
        about prestige, not quality of life. Can it be
        true????
        Debra

        --- Simon Baddeley <s.j.baddeley@...> wrote:

        > ... And my piece on ³burb cowards²
        >
        >
        http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2005/12/27/75328/953





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      • Debra Efroymson
        And the belief that the economy must always continue growing. If the post-WWII housing crisis had been addressed through building of apartments, people would
        Message 3 of 18 , Jan 15, 2007
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          And the belief that the economy must always continue
          growing. If the post-WWII housing crisis had been
          addressed through building of apartments, people would
          have bought a lot fewer cars and appliances.
          Isolated, single-family houses were seen as a great
          way to encourage large purchases which would in turn
          create jobs. As houses became a financial investment
          rather than a home in a community, owners worried more
          about potential (though apparently rarely realized)
          drops in property value if blacks moved into the
          neighborhood, than about integrated, positive,
          environments.
          If people were happier, they would buy fewer
          unnecessary things, and capitalism, at least as
          currently defined, would falter. Unless we shake our
          belief that the economy must always grow through
          unfettered consumerism, I don't see much hope for
          changing government policy away from encouraging
          suburbia.
          Of course I agree that racism is also a factor!!
          but the middle class are going to be far more
          concerned about property values than integrated
          neighborhoods.
          Debra

          --- "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@...> wrote:

          Most of
          > the
          > housing policies from the 1930s, which spawned
          > suburbia,
          > are, at their heart, racist.




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        • Jason Meggs
          ... Of note, the history of minimum parking requirements, a constant obstacle to carfree proposals, originated in Nazi Germany, with the following quote
          Message 4 of 18 , Jan 17, 2007
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            On Sat, 13 Jan 2007, Joel Siegel wrote:

            >
            >>> As for *why* Americans approve of this jack-booted approach
            >>> to "law enforcement," I just don't know. It's entirely clear
            >>> that they do approve, however.
            >>
            >> =v= Approval is generally coupled with a foolish notion that
            >> the police are acting methodically and not abusing their power,
            >> two tests which the cop failed in this case. This notion
            >> is based on what most white Americans see; those who've seen
            >> otherwise tend very quickly to dispense with this notion.
            >> <_Jym_>
            >
            > We US'ers (at least the 'white' ones, as Jym notes) have been carefully
            > trained, especially over the last thirty-odd years, to Be Very Afraid of
            > The Criminals (and, of course, now The Terrorists as well), and thus to
            > give the police more and more power. From passing draconian
            > 'anti-crime' laws to electing 'tough on crime' judges to electing 'tough
            > on crime' politicians who appoint 'tough on crime' judges, to deferring
            > to the police (especially on juries) when it comes to misconduct, to
            > giving the police a free pass except MAYBE when it's caught on video
            > (and often not even then), we have pretty much created a police state
            > here.
            >
            > Perhaps off-topic, but an excerpt from Milton Mayer's 1955 book _They
            > Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45_ have been circulating the
            > net and appearing on what little progressive radio we have here. The
            > parallels are chilling. The book is available from University of
            > Chicago Press, Paper US$22.00sp ISBN: 978-0-226-51192-4 (ISBN-10:
            > 0-226-51192-8).


            Of note, the history of minimum parking requirements, a constant obstacle
            to carfree proposals, originated in Nazi Germany, with the following quote
            attributed to you-know-who:

            "Above all, it is the young who succumb to this magic.
            They experience the triumph of the motorcar with the full
            temperament of their impressionable hearts. It must be
            seen as a sign of the invigorating power of our people
            that they give themselves with such fanatic devotion to
            this invention, the invention which provides the basis
            and structure of our modern traffic."
            -- Adolf Hitler

            Further information as to the ties between U.S. auto makers and oil
            companies to the Nazis is well documented. (For example, Ford was given a
            public award by Hitler; U.S. auto makers helped build Nazi war machinery.)

            Jason


            > Excerpt at http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/511928.html; with
            > your indulgence I'll quote a few paragraphs here.
            >
            > "What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by
            > little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions
            > deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so
            > complicated that the government had to act on information which the
            > people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people
            > could not understand it, it could not be released because of national
            > security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in
            > him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would
            > otherwise have worried about it.
            >
            > "This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap,
            > took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps
            > not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated
            > with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the
            > crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they
            > did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of
            > government growing remoter and remoter....
            >
            > "...Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little
            > worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one great
            > shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will
            > join with you in resisting somehow. You donÿÿt want to act, or even
            > talk, alone; you donÿÿt want to ÿÿgo out of your way to make trouble.ÿÿ
            > Why not?ÿÿWell, you are not in the habit of doing it. And it is not just
            > fear, fear of standing alone, that restrains you; it is also genuine
            > uncertainty.
            >
            > "Uncertainty is a very important factor, and, instead of decreasing as
            > time goes on, it grows. Outside, in the streets, in the general
            > community, ÿÿeveryoneÿÿ is happy. One hears no protest, and certainly
            > sees none. You know, in France or Italy there would be slogans against
            > the government painted on walls and fences; in Germany, outside the
            > great cities, perhaps, there is not even this. In the university
            > community, in your own community, you speak privately to your
            > colleagues, some of whom certainly feel as you do; but what do they say?
            > They say, ÿÿItÿÿs not so badÿÿ or ÿÿYouÿÿre seeing thingsÿÿ or ÿÿYouÿÿre
            > an alarmist.ÿÿ"
            >
            > Joel
            >

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