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Re: Hi, Im back

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  • Guy Berliner
    I object to your juxtaposing North Korea or Cuba as the only alternatives to the US (none other than Henry Kissinger defined globalization as another word
    Message 1 of 8 , Apr 8, 2001
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      I object to your juxtaposing North Korea or Cuba as the only
      alternatives to the US (none other than Henry Kissinger defined
      "globalization" as "another word for the dominant role of the US
      in the post Cold War world order.") I doubt most people on this
      list would favor replacing one kind of antidemocratic regime with
      another. And surely that is what we have in my country, sadly. As
      to "choice," where is it my country? The choice is sorely lacking.
      There may exist an artificial choice of different brands of
      consumer goods. But try to find so much as one city, or even
      one neighborhood in one city, in this country where you can
      walk without the constant menace of high speed auto traffic.
      What is so natural about being subjected to such an ever present
      danger against your will? How come we get some choices (a thousand
      brands of toothpaste), and not others (a choice of affordable
      neighborhoods at least some of which are free of the more egregious
      effects of automotive tyranny)? I suggest that the choices we are
      faced with by our economy are not an act of God, but of men. And any
      act of men can be changed by them.

      On 8 Apr 2001 Mateus de Oliveira Fechino" <fechino@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hello everyone who remembers me ( and who doesnt !). I used to
      > participate in this group some months ago and expressed some of my
      > opinions on the issue (carfree cities). I was pretty sure about what
      > was right at the time and to me Joel Crawford's site was a bible .
      > Cars should be off the streets imediately and so.
      > But since then Ive been thinking a lot about it and got to a
      > conclusion to myself, which may not and most probably will not be
      > suitable to most of this groups' participants.
      > I will tell what I think. Lots of people in Brazil ( where I live )
      > used to say some years ago ,when the country was beginning to open
      > its boundaries to imported products of all kind ( that was in the
      > beginning of the 90's ), that they were AGAINST that phenomenon that
      > was being called "globalization" and that was said to cause
      > unemployment and so . As time went by and people got to know a little
      > bit what was that to live in a more open economy ( and that includes
      > the pros and the cons ), such complaint about globalization began to
      > vanish from the press , and the focus since then is much more over
      > how the government deals with globalization, and not with the
      > phenomenon itself.
      > Well , my point is : globalization is there whether you want it or
      > not. Youve got lots of ways to deal with it, from keeping your
      > country shutdown to foreign investments to the slowly( or fast if you
      > wish ) opening of your boarders to make commerce flow naturaly,
      > helping everyone grow.
      > So what do cars have to do with it? Its the same story ! Cars are
      > there and there's actually very little that you can do about it. To
      > my humble point of view , forcing the close of a city to car traffic
      > would be like closing a country's boarders to trades . Cars are there
      > and they've got pros and cons just as globalization. What we gotta to
      > is make the best use of its pros, and try to minimize the cons .
      > Im not a new urbanistic( because Im not even an urbanist or
      > architect , Im a economics college student ) , nor do I live in a
      > fairy tale where global business help all everytime . What I think is
      > that dreaming about an ideal carfree world is a little bit a waste of
      > time when even Cuba , North Corea and China are already aware that
      > some freedom of choice may be of more use to all.
      > To finish, Ill tell you that, people must have options, and cars ,
      > like buses, subway , cycling or walking , is certainly one of them .
      > One behalf of what people might have saw me posting in this egroup
      > before , that is my true point of view.
      >
      > What do you think of that ? Ill be looking forward to comments from
      > all :)
      >
      > its only the first of many I hope
      >
      > Mateus O. Fechino
    • Mateus de Oliveira Fechino
      Hi, Guy You mentioned lots of negative points about cars in the city. I ll tell you, I agree with all of them . I also have to pay high attention at every
      Message 2 of 8 , Apr 8, 2001
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        Hi, Guy

        You mentioned lots of negative points about cars in the city.
        I'll tell you, I agree with all of them . I also have to pay high
        attention at every corner not to be knocked down by a car. I have to
        live with noise all day long too . When I go downtown this beautiful
        500.000 inhabitants city I live in, I have to hold my breath not to
        inhale that *&ยจ%$ smoke that trucks leave behind.

        But on the other hand , look at me, I dont know about you, but I have
        ever been completely dependent on cars ( and that includes buses I
        believe, according to Joel Crawford's model of a carfree city ) .
        Wherever I go, I go by car or bus. That is the point about freedom of
        choice I was refering to . I wish I could live in downtown
        Amsterdam , or Venice, or wherever place where I could hear the birds
        and people's footsteps and walk relaxed( I really do ) . And you know
        why I keep living here in this town where youve got a car for every
        two people ?? Because I cant afford living in Venice ! Id have to
        begin a hole new life , leave college and my family and friends, get
        a job as a clown at Piazza San Marco , become an italian citizen and
        so .

        Would you do that ? Why not if youre up to all those challenges ? I
        wouldnt, thats a high price to pay for me. I chose to battle to
        concentrate on study against noise from cars, and to watch out every
        street corner not to die at 18 on the streets. In the other hand I
        can live in a big city and still have relatively fast access to all
        different different parts of it ( even by bus ). Maybe when I retire
        I can hopelly buy a small apartment and spend my last days in Venice.
        Or I could just ( once again , if I could afford ) buy a house on
        these new suburbs and go even to the grocery store three blocks away
        by car, I dont know, and then having very little traffic to deal with
        near home ( which I agree would be quite a paradox). But thats the
        problem , Guy, I cant, today.

        Should we make it a law that no car is no longer allowed in this
        world of ours ( which I think is not Joel's idea at all ) ? Well, if
        we could do that...anyone has got an idea of how ?

        Look Guy, in a society I believe we all struggle to live together in
        harmony , right? Think about car drivers: wouldnt it be better if
        they could wipe out all pedestrians and all other car traffic from
        the streets , the same way pedestrians want to get rid of all cars ?
        Thats social life, right ? You really cant get all you want.Thats my
        opinion.

        Mateus Fechino

        --- In carfree_cities@y..., Guy Berliner <guy@s...> wrote:
        > I object to your juxtaposing North Korea or Cuba as the only
        > alternatives to the US (none other than Henry Kissinger defined
        > "globalization" as "another word for the dominant role of the US
        > in the post Cold War world order.") I doubt most people on this
        > list would favor replacing one kind of antidemocratic regime with
        > another. And surely that is what we have in my country, sadly. As
        > to "choice," where is it my country? The choice is sorely lacking.
        > There may exist an artificial choice of different brands of
        > consumer goods. But try to find so much as one city, or even
        > one neighborhood in one city, in this country where you can
        > walk without the constant menace of high speed auto traffic.
        > What is so natural about being subjected to such an ever present
        > danger against your will? How come we get some choices (a thousand
        > brands of toothpaste), and not others (a choice of affordable
        > neighborhoods at least some of which are free of the more egregious
        > effects of automotive tyranny)? I suggest that the choices we are
        > faced with by our economy are not an act of God, but of men. And any
        > act of men can be changed by them.
        >
        > On 8 Apr 2001 Mateus de Oliveira Fechino" <fechino@y...> wrote:
        > >
        > > Hello everyone who remembers me ( and who doesnt !). I used to
        > > participate in this group some months ago and expressed some of
        my
        > > opinions on the issue (carfree cities). I was pretty sure about
        what
        > > was right at the time and to me Joel Crawford's site was a
        bible .
        > > Cars should be off the streets imediately and so.
        > > But since then Ive been thinking a lot about it and got to a
        > > conclusion to myself, which may not and most probably will not be
        > > suitable to most of this groups' participants.
        > > I will tell what I think. Lots of people in Brazil ( where I
        live )
        > > used to say some years ago ,when the country was beginning to
        open
        > > its boundaries to imported products of all kind ( that was in the
        > > beginning of the 90's ), that they were AGAINST that phenomenon
        that
        > > was being called "globalization" and that was said to cause
        > > unemployment and so . As time went by and people got to know a
        little
        > > bit what was that to live in a more open economy ( and that
        includes
        > > the pros and the cons ), such complaint about globalization began
        to
        > > vanish from the press , and the focus since then is much more
        over
        > > how the government deals with globalization, and not with the
        > > phenomenon itself.
        > > Well , my point is : globalization is there whether you want it
        or
        > > not. Youve got lots of ways to deal with it, from keeping your
        > > country shutdown to foreign investments to the slowly( or fast if
        you
        > > wish ) opening of your boarders to make commerce flow naturaly,
        > > helping everyone grow.
        > > So what do cars have to do with it? Its the same story ! Cars are
        > > there and there's actually very little that you can do about it.
        To
        > > my humble point of view , forcing the close of a city to car
        traffic
        > > would be like closing a country's boarders to trades . Cars are
        there
        > > and they've got pros and cons just as globalization. What we
        gotta to
        > > is make the best use of its pros, and try to minimize the cons .
        > > Im not a new urbanistic( because Im not even an urbanist or
        > > architect , Im a economics college student ) , nor do I live in a
        > > fairy tale where global business help all everytime . What I
        think is
        > > that dreaming about an ideal carfree world is a little bit a
        waste of
        > > time when even Cuba , North Corea and China are already aware
        that
        > > some freedom of choice may be of more use to all.
        > > To finish, Ill tell you that, people must have options, and
        cars ,
        > > like buses, subway , cycling or walking , is certainly one of
        them .
        > > One behalf of what people might have saw me posting in this
        egroup
        > > before , that is my true point of view.
        > >
        > > What do you think of that ? Ill be looking forward to comments
        from
        > > all :)
        > >
        > > its only the first of many I hope
        > >
        > > Mateus O. Fechino
      • Philip D Riggs
        On Sun, 08 Apr 2001 18:00:50 -0000 Mateus de Oliveira Fechino ... If we used your logic we would still be under a feudal system of goverment. Times change,
        Message 3 of 8 , Apr 8, 2001
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          On Sun, 08 Apr 2001 18:00:50 -0000 "Mateus de Oliveira Fechino"
          <fechino@...> writes:
          >
          > Should we make it a law that no car is no longer allowed in this
          > world of ours ( which I think is not Joel's idea at all ) ? Well, if
          > we could do that...anyone has got an idea of how ?
          >
          > Look Guy, in a society I believe we all struggle to live together in
          > harmony , right? Think about car drivers: wouldnt it be better if
          > they could wipe out all pedestrians and all other car traffic from
          > the streets , the same way pedestrians want to get rid of all cars ?
          >
          > Thats social life, right ? You really cant get all you want.Thats my
          > opinion.

          If we used your logic we would still be under a feudal system of
          goverment. Times change, values change, and social norms, laws, etc. also
          change. Environmentalists are overcoming these problems through education
          and demonstrating the positive advantages of change. Pollution once was
          thought of as a normal byproduct of industrial production. Now we know
          better. Change does come with a cost, but the benefits far outweigh
          thoses costs in my opinion. How can you place a price on a human life and
          their health? And for what reason? Profits and stock values? As for
          societal harmony, by the very nature of imposition it is up to those who
          cause problems and harms to relinquish (hopefully voluntarily) the cause
          of imposition, in this case the automobile, for the greater societal
          good. Pedestrians don't kill people by hitting other people, drivers do.
          The cost of the automobile in road construction and maintenance is a huge
          drain on economies. Its cost in pollution and health degradation is
          enormous. For all the attention at least cigarette health related
          problems are for the most part voluntary. Auto exhaust affects everybody
          and there is no getting away from it. In my opinion it is
          incomprehensible that the transportation industry is so heavily
          subsidized, but we can't afford even a minimum government supported
          health care provision. You are right, we can't get all we want. But Guy
          is right, we are denied a basic choice in life when an industry imposes a
          destructive force in society and we are forced to live with it. If a
          person kills with a gun it is murder. We accept the fact a gun is a
          dangerous and hold people accountable for proper careful use. An
          automobile is treated differently. If somebody dies it is an "accident"
          generally nobody is held accountable as seen by minimum punishment of
          most people involved in the most dangerous or horrendous acts involving
          the auto. You don't have the right to endanger my life and health.

          *******************************
          Philip Riggs
          Colorado State University
          Fort Collins, Colorado
        • Chris Bradshaw
          Mateus, Your turnaround in your opinion suggests that further flip-flops are probably just around the corner. However, you do raise some serious challenge to
          Message 4 of 8 , Apr 8, 2001
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            Mateus,

            Your turnaround in your opinion suggests that further flip-flops are
            probably just
            around the corner.

            However, you do raise some serious challenge to the premise of this
            list.

            Globalism and car-use are both "choices" that reduce choice for those
            who try to
            use their "alternatives."

            Globalism is not just about adding more choice to your daily shopping,
            but about
            reducing local alternatives, as large companies tap official subsidies
            for
            petroleum for the transportation of its goods, and skewing zoning bylaws
            and
            property tax laws to favour their large big-box retail outlets, while
            soaking
            traditional shops on main streets that have a much smaller
            municipal-service
            footprint than their global "competitors."

            And the use of the automobile is, as another subscriber pointed out,
            fraught with
            open intimidation (and other deteriorations of non-car alternatives) of
            non-car
            travelers, not to mention the aforementioned subsidies and other
            sanctions.
            Car-use is a form of addiction, or at least dependence. The "hard
            drive" article
            is a good example of the kind of thinking it stimulates.

            Chris Bradshaw
          • Ronald Dawson
            ... Welcome back to the list. ... That s fine. ... A lot of Canadians had the same thoughts as well over NAFTA and some times it s hard to tell what has really
            Message 5 of 8 , Apr 8, 2001
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              Mateus de Oliveira Fechino wrote:
              >Hello everyone who remembers me ( and who doesnt !).

              Welcome back to the list.

              >I used to
              >participate in this group some months ago and expressed some of my
              >opinions on the issue (carfree cities). I was pretty sure about what
              >was right at the time and to me Joel Crawford's site was a bible .
              >Cars should be off the streets imediately and so.
              >But since then Ive been thinking a lot about it and got to a
              >conclusion to myself, which may not and most probably will not be
              >suitable to most of this groups' participants.

              That's fine.

              >I will tell what I think. Lots of people in Brazil ( where I live )
              >used to say some years ago ,when the country was beginning to open
              >its boundaries to imported products of all kind ( that was in the
              >beginning of the 90's ), that they were AGAINST that phenomenon that
              >was being called "globalization" and that was said to cause
              >unemployment and so . As time went by and people got to know a little
              >bit what was that to live in a more open economy ( and that includes
              >the pros and the cons ), such complaint about globalization began to
              >vanish from the press , and the focus since then is much more over
              >how the government deals with globalization, and not with the
              >phenomenon itself.

              A lot of Canadians had the same thoughts as well over NAFTA and some times
              it's hard to tell what has really changed.
              Though there are situations where it has failed, like a Canadian company
              suing a US state (California) over the banning of MBTE (a gasoline
              additive), because it was contaminating ground water.

              >Well , my point is : globalization is there whether you want it or
              >not. You've got lots of ways to deal with it, from keeping your
              >country shutdown to foreign investments to the slowly( or fast if you
              >wish ) opening of your boarders to make commerce flow naturaly,
              >helping everyone grow.

              Also, remember Canada and Brazil almost started a trade war over aircraft
              and beef not to long ago. It was petty, but so what else is new.

              >So what do cars have to do with it? Its the same story ! Cars are
              >there and there's actually very little that you can do about it. To
              >my humble point of view , forcing the close of a city to car traffic
              >would be like closing a country's boarders to trades . Cars are there
              >and they've got pros and cons just as globalization. What we gotta to
              >is make the best use of its pros, and try to minimize the cons .
              >Im not a new urbanistic( because Im not even an urbanist or
              >architect , Im a economics college student ) , nor do I live in a
              >fairy tale where global business help all everytime . What I think is
              >that dreaming about an ideal carfree world is a little bit a waste of
              >time when even Cuba , North Korea and China are already aware that
              >some freedom of choice may be of more use to all.

              A friend of mine once said "Being free only means choosing whose chains you
              want to wear". Dawson
            • 3L
              ... Welcome back, Mateus. First point is freedom. Freedom of movement means mobility. And mobility means moving your body using your own energy to go where you
              Message 6 of 8 , Apr 8, 2001
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                > Should we make it a law that no car is no longer allowed in this
                > world of ours ( which I think is not Joel's idea at all ) ? Well, if
                > we could do that...anyone has got an idea of how ?
                >
                > Look Guy, in a society I believe we all struggle to live together in
                > harmony , right? Think about car drivers: wouldnt it be better if
                > they could wipe out all pedestrians and all other car traffic from
                > the streets , the same way pedestrians want to get rid of all cars ?
                > Thats social life, right ? You really cant get all you want.Thats my
                > opinion.
                >
                > Mateus Fechino
                Welcome back, Mateus.

                First point is freedom. Freedom of movement means mobility. And mobility
                means moving your body using your own energy to go where you want to go
                WITHOUT any excessive danger. If you feel threatened at every street corner,
                than the danger frequency is way too high. Imagine someone aims a gun at you
                at each street corner, and shoots if you move the way the shooter doesn't
                want you to. Cars show the same problem, and create a social injustice,
                that's unacceptable because they threaten the overall public security if not
                driven properly. There are 2 ways to fix that.

                1. Make sure all (say at least 99.9%) of motor vehicle are driven properly.
                That means all rules are followed and no one is threatened at any street
                corner at any time. That is if a driver violates a rule, then his license is
                immediately suspended for a significantly long period of time, and/or the
                vehicle is taken back by the police. The result is that if people really
                love their car, they will drive it correctly not to lose access to it.

                2. Make some or all parts of a city carfree. There can still be car traffic
                in the surroundings, except that to gain access to a carfree place drivers
                must park their vehicle in a garage and access the carfree area by various
                other modes Joel talks about in his book.

                All of this to say that the basic needs of human beings is to breathe
                without being tubed to an oxygen tank, eat by ourself, grasp objects with
                our natural hands, and move (or pedal) around with our legs. Look at
                yourself in the mirror and you'll feel if you can't perform all of these
                activities peacefully, alone or with others, and with no stress or danger,
                then you have a handicap you want to eliminate (Well, I feel this way when I
                look in the mirror). And it's truly possible to eliminate this handicap if
                your body can perform the actions. Bad car drivers create a handicap to
                everyone (motorists or not) in the community, and we don't need medical
                research to eliminate them.

                Some friends of mine drive sometimes or often, and they tell me they dislike
                driving because they have to drive for bad drivers, and some of them would
                sacrifice their driving if it would also eliminate bad drivers from their
                way.

                Louis-Luc
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