[Vision2020] Convicted:Wilful Blindness:Reducing CO2 Emissions

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Sat Sep 2 15:18:26 PDT 2006

Sunil et. al.

Consider, Sunil, that you have not read all the responses to the "Critical
Mass" discussion on Vision2020, because some of them were "Off List"
discussions you were not privy to, that were prompted by the public
discussion.  And I strictly follow the rule that "Off List" communications
stay that way.  I did not name you in the post that you quote from below in
your response, that you assert was, what, probably or likely, aimed your
way?   I did not name anyone in that post subject headed:

Critical Mass: Kind & Gentle Activism: Thoreau Lives On?*
I did not name anyone to avoid the very sort of personalized "ad hominem"
response you gave!

But I have no axe to grind here.  I plead guilty.

I stand convicted of "wilful blindness," and throw myself on the mercy of
the court.  Will you offer your best argument to the judge or jury for a
light sentence, though you seem convinced of my guilt?  If you were my
public defender, would this not be your "sacred" duty?

How you know my blindness is "willful," though, is beyond my powers of
comprehension.  Perhaps I'm just "blind," and this is due to the oblivious
"blindness" of the sort that a famous ethicist (not Oden) once said,
"Forgive them father, for they know not what they do."

Anyway, to focus on a much more important issue that led to the discussion
on how to promote more bicycling, you did not answer the critical question
posed in the thread on Critical Mass/Inconvenient Truth, though perhaps in
my "blindness," I missed your answer.

I'll pose the question again, in case you care to enlighten us, if you have
not already:

"Inconvenient Truth: What WE gonna do?"

The "Inconvenient Truth" is human caused global warming from CO2 releases.

And your solution or solutions?

Ted Moffett

On 8/27/06, Sunil Ramalingam <sunilramalingam at hotmail.com > wrote:
> Ted,
> For an intelligent person, you have a tendency towards willful blindness I
> find amazing.  Since I think I'm the only one whose posts could have come
> close to your mis-statement about Critical Mass critics, I'm going to
> address it.  You said,
> 'Some of the responses to the discussion of Critical Mass as a means to
> promote biking seemed to imply that those who rode with this group were
> intent on goading drivers of Hummers, Lincoln Navigators, and Ford F-350s
> into a rage, begging them to run us down.'
> For Christ's sake (or Oden's or whoever's sake) Ted, that's neither what I
> have said nor implied.  I have never said that this was either the intent
> or
> the goal of Critical Mass.  I am saying that is the result or effect of
> this
> action, no matter how benign the intent of the riders.  And it may not
> have
> the effect on all drivers, but you're running the risk of having that one
> angry person squash the bejesus (or bejoden or bejwhoever) out of you.
> Now I'm not going to ride in this fashion to make your point.  I will
> drive
> or walk or ride to the jail to meet that driver, if I get appointed (yes,
> Tony, now I'm pointing out that I'm a friggin' attorney, and obviously the
> most fancy-panted friggin' attorney, for why else would I be a public
> defender meeting clients in the friggin' jail?) to represent him or her
> after they've added you or some other bike rider to the asphalt.  Perhaps
> they'll luck out and only get charged with a misdemeanor.  Or maybe a jury
> will say, 'Hey, I'd run them over too,' and acquit.
> I don't think a bike rider doing 25 mph when that is the posted speed
> should
> be in the lane of travel any more than I think a driver doing the posted
> speed should keep driving rather than pull over when traffic piles up
> behind
> him or her.  I know those actions are legal.  I just think it leads to bad
> results, such as people doing something really stupid in order to get past
> that person.
> I know they shouldn't.  I know it doesn't necessarily get them anywhere
> much
> faster than everyone else.  But guess what:  They're going to do it
> anyway.
> Over the last few years I've either prosecuted or defended people who've
> done something really dumb, something they shouldn't have done.  You
> cannot
> force someone else to do the safe or right thing.  Prosecutors and public
> defenders have job security because of this.
> I'm not saying the folks involved in Critical Mass aren't making an
> important point.  I'm not saying they're trying to piss people off.  I am
> saying that depending on the rationality and good will of the possibly
> angry
> person driving the heavy, powerful vehicle ( and even my old Subaru is
> powerful in comparison to my bicycle) is not the bet I want to make if I
> decide to ride in the middle of the lane.  I think this method of
> persuasion
> can lead to bad results.  When I'm driving too slow for the speeder behind
> me, I give (usually) him every opportunity to pass me when it's safe; why?
> Because I want him to pass me safely, not cause a wreck by doing it at the
> wrong moment.
> I favor promoting driver tolerance for bike riders.  I certainly never
> called the bike rider an idiot, though another poster might dishonestly
> make
> this claim about me.  Or should I say disingenuously?  I'm not sure how
> you
> intend to stuff that straw into me in order to make this argument, Ted; I
> favor neither the foie gras method or the other alternative.
> (Having used the verboten words, let me take this opportunity, before I
> get
> over the three post limit, or to stay close, in case I've already done
> that,
> to say I like Francis and look forward to eating lunch at West of Paris
> soon.)
> I think everyone should share the road or the sidewalk or the bike path.
> You don't own it, whether you're driving, walking, running or whatever.
> Share it.  Do that and we can all get where we want to go, no matter what
> our method.
> Sunil
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