"BAGHDAD: A suicide bomber on a bicycle killed 28 police officers in Baquba on Monday as they prepared for their morning training routine, the Iraqi authorities said. The blast also wounded 20 other people, including 7 policemen who were severely injured and a woman and her baby, the authorities said.
The attack was one of the deadliest on Iraqi security forces in some time. No group took immediate credit."
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
"BAGHDAD: A suicide bomber on a bicycle killed 28 police officers in Baquba on Monday as they prepared for their morning training routine, the Iraqi authorities said. The blast also wounded 20 other people, including 7 policemen who were severely injured and a woman and her baby, the authorities said.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Velib: bicycle + freedom on city streets: "Velib: bicycle + freedom on city streets The French capital has been enjoying the success of the Vélib’ adventure since summer 2007, and the urban rent-a-bicycle-for-next-to-nothing fever has caught the rest of Europe
(Photo: Ruipereira/ Flickr)
An invasion. A flood. On 15 July 2007, more than ten million bicycles were installed in 750 bike stations all over Paris, arousing the curiosity and finally the enthusiasm of the capital's citizens. A month after the scheme was launched, the millionth cyclist customer was celebrated.
The Socialist mayor and his cronies are delighted at their unexpected success. The small public transport revolution owes much to the concept of Vélib’ - an abbreviation of 'vélo' (bike) und 'liberté' (freedom). Renting a bike costs next to nothing, with a symbolic fee of one euro for a day's subscription, five euros for seven days or 29 euros for a year."
Posted by Bello Velo at 8:34 AM
Bicycle Cycling Tips & Stories--Missouri Bicycle Federation: "Since starting in St. Louis in October 2003, the Ghost Bike movement has gain momentum. Ghost Bike projects have sprouted up in Wisconsin, Seattle, Chicago, New York, Kansas City, and many other places. Wikipedia has an article about the Ghost Bike phenomenon.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch first covered Patrick Van Der Tuin's Ghost Bike project in November 2003. That article has disappeared from the Post-Dispatch's archives but it reproduced in its entirety below.
Patrick's original Broken Bikes-Broken Lives page is here. Photo of the original Ghost Bike on Holly Hills Boulevard, dated 28 October 2003, is here.
St Louis Today Roadside displays focus on plight of bicyclists Published:
Monday, Nov. 17 2003
Bicycling enthusiasts locked 15 mangled bikes to street lamps and sign posts in the area where riders where struck by cars. By Greg Jonsson Of the Post-Dispatch When Patrick Van Der Tuin saw another cyclist hit by a vehicle while riding in a bike lane on Holly Hills Boulevard a few weeks ago, it was the final straw. He decided the time had come for an idea that had been in the back of his mind for a while. So one night, a twisted bike, painted ghostly white and sporting a 'Cyclist Struck Here' sign, appeared at the site where the woman was"
Posted by Bello Velo at 7:27 AM
Monday, October 29, 2007
Make sure you have a lock and use it if you ride fixed gear, even though that's a good idea for all bikes. I'm probably going to start doing that more even though I like to think my saddle and deep bullhorns deter thieves. Mack had his relatively newly acquired fixed gear stolen, and Jim had his stolen when he hadn't had it for long. These were pretty nice bikes but not new bike shop ones.
So if you see that red Peugeot that used to be Jim Lovell's, maybe sprint up behind the rider, knock it off, stomp on it, and take the bike. Or call the police or Mack or something. It's a 27" frame with a flip flop rear wheel and an iffy lockring. There are drop handlebars and 2 brake levers with only the front connected to a Mafac racer when it was stolen. It's something like 52-16 gearing and has toe clips/cages/whatever and was stolen tonight.
Posted by clintpatty at 9:10 PM
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Does anyone want to do a group ride involving the new Stearn's Coffee? There is no bike rack that I saw. There is already a group ride that sometimes occurs on Monday and Wednesday mornings from Olde Towne, but hopefully at least 1 ride there could appeal to people who don't go to Olde Towne on principal. Also, they're going to be trying to make coffee that will be good enough for tall Jim, Jaime, Morgan, etc. They open tomorrow and open at 6 every day, so maybe yall would be up for a really early ride that would allow the bike commuters to still get to an 8 or 9am job? I'm good for any morning time on Monday and Wednesday, though.
Posted by clintpatty at 6:52 PM
Pedal Pushers Online | Grow Your Own Bike: Can a bike made from Bamboo end poverty in the world? Ask David Ho!
Pedal Pushers Online | Grow Your Own Bike: Can a bike made from Bamboo end poverty in the world? Ask David Ho!: "Grow Your Own Bike: Can a bike made from Bamboo end poverty in the world? Ask David Ho! There are those amongst us who talk, and those of who do. The later being those who actually make changes and enable progress, the ones who with ideas, change the lives of others. David Ho is one of those people. He is a quiet mannered gentleman with a passion for science, cycling and... oh yeah, saving the planet along with its people. Slacker... David Ho may not have set out to save the world, but he may have made a giant step in that direction."
Posted by Bello Velo at 10:30 AM
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
- Tonite 6:30 pm Critical Mass SE Corner Of Courthouse, Dress up if you like and try to bring a light. We will be screening B.I.K.E. from this years Bicycle Film Festival after the ride tonite. See mean Jim or Robert for details and direction. Blood Sacrifices are not required but appreciated.
- Saturday 7pm bike fixing fest @ Manna House To RSVP or to find out more about Manna house's bike donations, email Jim S at email@example.com
Posted by Bello Velo at 9:15 AM
Interesting article from our friends at bikeblog:
Normally I wouldn't post an article like this to dissuade someone from biking based on statistics or to undermine the simple FACT that biking is more popular these days of hyper inflation, global warming and wars for that black stuff that made Ol Jed a millionaire. Is Biking Dangerous? It just stinks of that "blame the victim" bullcrap that folks like to utter like parrots when ever they hear about an accident or worse a fatality. The kind of nonsense of people who think bikes are only for exercise. Biking to work is no more dangerous than being a Puerto Rican in NYC with "Road Rage" undercovers who can't distinguish a pair of fingers from a wallet. But there are few good tidbits in here that the author points out.
I will post the whole article so it will be archived forever unlike the NYTimes which will eventually make you pay for it.
Thanks to Astoria bike for posting this.
October 18, 2007, 11:15 am
Will Bicycling to Work Get You Killed?
By Ryan Hagen
Bicycle commuting is on the rise, as evidenced by the following articles in Treehugger.com , the Boston Herald (Dead link) , and USA Today. But if the idea of hitting the road on two wheels — with little to protect you from cars and trucks but good manners — strikes you as pretty risky, you aren’t so far from the mark.
Per kilometer, cyclists are 12 times more likely than car drivers to suffer a fatal accident, according to Rutgers University urban planner John Pucher and Lewis Dijkstra of the European Commission (the same study found traveling by foot to be 23 times more dangerous than driving, per kilometer). To put this finding in perspective, there were 785 bicycling fatalities on American roadways in 2005, compared to 4,881 pedestrian and 43,443 automotive fatalities that same year.
On the other hand, a Danish study (which was done 7 years ago) found that people who do not bike to work suffer a 39 percent higher mortality rate than those who do. So, assuming you can avoid a fatal accident on the road, biking to work may actually help you live longer.
The risks associated with cycling decrease dramatically when more cyclists are on the road, and especially when those cyclists obey traffic laws. This second point is hammered home in this bizarre but brilliant 1963 bike safety film, “One Got Fat” (the eagle — or is it monkey? — eyed among you will have recognized a clip from this film in the Freakonomics video “Does Sport Cause Crime“).
awesome old video:
One thing “One Got Fat” doesn’t mention is helmet use — helmets weren’t widely used until the 1970s, and controversy remains over how effective they are in reducing bike fatalities. (Full disclosure: I bike to work whenever possible, and wear a helmet, an adherent to what a few cyclists I know like to call the Cult of the Styrofoam Talisman.)
So, Freakonomics readers, just how effective are bike helmets?
wow, are we in first grade...like we've only advanced so far as to think about weather to wear a helmet or not.
Something more relevant of a debate...
Christian Science Monitor
article on trying to bring the bicycle back to a city so polluted from new economic growth and car culture hysteria.
Posted by Bello Velo at 9:13 AM
News - City - Another Ghost Bike - Portland Mercury: "Another Ghost Bike Collision Claims Second Biker in Two Weeks BY SCOTT MOORE With two cyclists dying in less than two weeks, in nearly identical ways, bike activists are turning the tragedies into a call to action. Tracey Sparling died on October 11 when she was run over by a cement mixer making a right turn, crushing her under its massive wheels. While the bike community was still mourning her death, cyclist Brett Jarolimek, a Bike Gallery employee and bike racer, was killed when he collided with a garbage truck that was turning right onto N Greeley in front of him. Both cyclists were apparently following the rules of the road."
Posted by Bello Velo at 8:06 AM
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Critical Mass time!!!!! it is Friday 6:30 pm SE Corner of Courthouse. bring a friend, bring an enemy, bring a hummer owner, bring your bike! Get off your ass it's Critical Mass! Stand for something or fall for anything. ok folks friday night is coming soon time to get the word out.
REMEMBER TO DRESS UP LIKE A CRAZY FOOL!!!!!! PLENTY OF LIGHTS TOO!!!!!
Posted by Bello Velo at 8:34 AM
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Lets organize a bike swap soon. Think about it. I am speaking with my contact in B-ham who has over 50 vintage bikes, we may be rounding up a statewide bike swap for sometime early next year, it will be everything bike...advocacy and all. Locally though, lets do it. Ive got bikes to sell and parts to trade..lets make it a show too combined with a film. I know we talked about using Lowe Mill to possibly do this, lets use some other building...Ill be scoping that out while scoping out other scopie things.
put it is your brain!
If we were an actual organization, this would be a fund raising opportunity as well as a "action item" but since we are not this is just one of those many ideas that will probably never happen because we lack cohesive organizational skills that utilize intricate communications patters to amass the proper resources for said action item.
Posted by Bello Velo at 11:53 PM
Okay everyone, I need help. Saturday Night-Manna House...bike fixing madness. I know people rarely volunteer unless something is in it for them so here you go...I will oder pizzas and buy beer if i can get more than me and clint to fix bikes there. I have over 100 bike that need to be fixed or scrapped, whaddya say?
and for you that fear jesus freaks, there will be none there to spontaneously pray over you..so Jim, you won't burst into flames.
We will talk friday night about it. I'm too edgy right now and I just erased a whole lot of bitching. i'm mad mad at the world, madder than can ever be, madder than Tyler at a restaurant, Madder than Bill going fro the gold, Madder than the SCCC because we did not change the name of critical mass to the "downtown wussie ride", madder than a Democrat that think Nancy Pelosi was actually going to get off her ass and change things, Madder than a black person sharing a joint with a white person and getting caught and going to prison for life while whitey goes home without charges, Madder than the Iyatolah Khommanhi that he did not nuke the US earlier when he was alive, Madder than mother Teresa that the new pope is a complete douchbag, Madder than an Irish person who I just referred to as "scottish", Madder then Al Sharpton that the Geno 6 is such a load of racist bullshit, Madder that the right wing Christians that though President bush was actually hearing directions from God when actually he was having a cocaine induced hallucination, Madder than single mom who has just found out that money for a program that would help her out of her situation has been spend on putting new blinky lights on a missile, madder than a poor country trailer trash learning that he can no longer burn his Wal-mart over packaged plastic bullshit in his backyard, Madder than the same country fucker who just had his license pulled for his Eldorado failing emission tests. Madder than that poor homeless man who has to hold that sign all day because the president pulled 3 billion dollars from federal assistance programs for disabled veterans.
Nation, I am pissed, pissed at the state of america, pissed that so much is wrong yet people choose to lose themselves in video games and internet porn.
So come join me an Manna house to witness my wrath...all in the name of fun.:)
Posted by Bello Velo at 11:13 PM
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
There's been some talk about ramping up the number of bike lanes being put in this year. It now appears that the city will almost certainly miss its goal, despite the valiant efforts of Councillor Heaps and the Toronto Cycling Advisory Committee. The CBC reports:
Just 90 kilometres of lanes have been built so far, with only 15 kilometres added in the past two years.
"It's so much better, and cyclists will tell you that," says Martin Ries, an avid cyclist and bike activist who has worked for years with the Toronto Cycling Committee. "Whenever they get into the bike lane they breathe a sign of relief. Myself included."
Martin mentions a lack of political will that is keeping bike lanes from being placed in wards. This is almost certainly true despite the protestations of the complications due to lane widths, merchants wanting to protect parking and so on. No one said the councillors' jobs were easy, but they can get lots of things done when they are in power.
The evidence is out there that local councillors can really help to push forward bike lanes. The Cosburn bike lane and the new Christie bike lane, for example, were pushed by bike lane positive councillors.
Posted by Bello Velo at 12:19 PM
The results are in and what a race it was. We had a sprint finish which was won by a nose.
- dustin (i hate you) hoover
- tyler (666) brown
- jim (flatted)
- stewart ( he looked good though)
- bob ( the baby jesus) malone
Posted by Bello Velo at 8:41 AM
Sunday, October 21, 2007
- organizers: tyler and dustin
- please bring your evil and come to the dark side.
- there will be sacrifices, orgies and all sorts of evil to follow.
- lets put the evil back in huntseville!
- this is not a faith based initiative.
Posted by Bello Velo at 9:22 AM
Thursday, October 18, 2007
"The work questions the combustion engine, celebrates bicycle efficiency and the striking design of the Lamborghini arguably one of the most iconic super cars of all time, as well as Wilson and Radcliffes commitment to clever and thoughtful craftsmanship. Wilson + Radcliffe are deeply passionate about cars and bikes and have seen each other¹s work at various exhibitions over the last few years. Artcars gave them the opportunity to collaborate on this project. Walk the plank commissioned the piece of work for the uk¹s first ART CAR parade that was held in Manchester last recently."
Posted by Bello Velo at 7:53 AM
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Bicycles, like cars, are chock-full of parts that can be replaced, but simply switching out silver aluminum rims for hot-pink ones is child's play. Welcome to the world of bike modding, where bicyclists get creative and turn their two-wheelers into rolling works of art and artifice.
Posted by Bello Velo at 8:52 AM
Monday, October 15, 2007
we have created a group at http://www.mycyclinglog.com it is free and you can keep track of your miles, carbon savings and more. It is free so sign up and join the bello velo group. We will create a page to list these on our site. http://www.mycyclinglog.com/?g=198&p=hsvbike
So what are you waiting for leave a comment when you have done this and send me your code. I will post it here: http://wheels.bellovelo.com/commute.html
oh and not to brag here are my stats:
Posted by Bello Velo at 8:44 AM
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Dudes and 'ettes
I will put stuff on the calendar regarding when the co-op at manna house is taking place. I know Clint like to come but never knows for sure if I'll be there...so I will just post it on the calender if i know for sure.
Also, to cut down on how many times you may be blessed by Jesus, I may be moving the operation to Saturday. I want to discuss this as well.
Help me change! help me change gosh darnit, I need help i have fallen and I cant get....horizontal...ooooohhh yeahhh baby!
Posted by Bello Velo at 10:01 PM
Guys and gals,
As you know I am looking to build a bike co-op much like those in other big cities. What I am looking for is what will work for everyone else and who will use it.
My contribution to the project would be to provide tools and take my bike shop/co-op expertise to the place along with a slew of used bike parts as well as conservative use of a great van. The place will also function as a hub for education, as well as a satellite for lifecycles.
I do not want this to become job number 4 for me and I want everyone else who is willing to contribute to have just as large of a slice of pie as anyone else in the co op.
Lets start a discussion about this because I am at the end of my rope with ideas for it on my part, after all it is a co-op.
please lets open up a dialogue and get this bitch started!
PS, I did find the perfect space off of Bob Wallace, it's around 600.00 a month, which is about twice what I want to spend..but this place is peeeerrrrrrfect!
Posted by Bello Velo at 9:38 PM
Hey guys, due to a lack of planning and the planner being out of the country, we are not having the alley cat this week either. Please check out the calendar on the sidebar for other events. From now on everything will be poseted there and will happen regardless even if some stange disease sweeps the nation that dissolves peoples legs.
Posted by Bello Velo at 9:31 AM
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
OSLO, Oct. 12 — The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded today to Al Gore, the former vice president, and to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for its work to alert the world to the threat of global warming.
read more here
Posted by Bello Velo at 8:18 AM
This Thursday night I had what I experienced as clear and very real encounter with discriminatory treatment. I had spent the majority of my working day confined to the hell of an automobile and spent most of the day driving to various parts of the North Alabama, when I finally returned to home I made the decision to ride bike to dinner partly because I had spent so much time in a car already, and partly to get in a bike ride which I attempt to make each and every night, but mostly because of the fact I have recently enjoyed every opportunity to commute by bike when my car is not necessary. When I arrived at Nothing But Noodles at Airport and Whitesburg drive I must have given the employees working a bad vibe. Was the fact I arrived on my bike with its brightly colored yellow tires wheels, or maybe it was the odd bag I came in wearing strapped from my shoulder across my chest with my yellow helmet and flashing light. Maybe it was my three quarter length pants or my messy disheveled hair I got from the Seven-mile ride. As I sat outside with my bike waiting on my food I begin to noticed more time than usual had passed without receiving my food and many people who had came in after me where receiving the food they had ordered, but I was patent thinking that maybe my particular order took longer than they other orders placed after mine so to pass the time I made a phone call to a friend and finally the owner of the restaurant came out to ask me if everything was OK or if I needed anything; I replied “Everything is OK except I have been waiting on my food for fifteen minutes” , I was not sure if it had actually been that long since I had been engaged in my phone conversation but approximately a minute later I received my food and then realized the time on my phone was twenty minutes from the time my receipt showed I placed my order. As I began to eat my food I noticed people who had arrived three to five minutes after me and where now leaving because that had already received their meals and where now finished.
If not for my negative experience with dinner my ride home involved an experience with a total asshole, which had no attention with sharing the road with me aggressively attempting to intimidate me and force me to the sidewalk. I was on the last stretch of my ride down a section Whitesburg where no alternative route through neighborhood streets was available. I was wearing a light that was brightly flashing to make myself clearly visible to motorist and I was as far right in the right lane as I could be. Most cars passed to the left with no consequence, but this dick head decided to ride at a few tens of feet behind with the high beams of his oversized Dodge Pick up truck with its obnoxiously loud and foul smelling Cummins Turbo Diesel engine; sure his truck is appropriate when there is need to tow 20,000 Lbs., but as transportation to dinner give me a fucking break! After a quarter mile of this attempt to show some kind a male dominance in his oversize truck as if we where two competing dogs this fuck finally passed me on the left side revving his beastly automobile while giving me a stare down as if I where the one with a problem.
So maybe people don’t discriminate against bikers or have clear agendas to fuck with them on the road in attempts to scare them and hinder their use of the road to ride their bicycles. Maybe I am just an asshole who went looking for problems, but it was hard not to notice the many stares I received from other costumers in the restaurant and the lack of service that I received as a customer. I felt as if all the other people perceived me as some degenerate; unworthy to enter the restaurant as if I had bummed or panhandled the money I was using to purchase my meal. Maybe it was coincidence, but I feel certain that many people do walk around with such a mentality about people on bicycles. To any of theses ignorant fucks who think such; there are many highly educated people with college and post graduate degrees who ride bicycles regularly not every person on a bike is some crack addicted convict running around on a bicycle because they can’t afford to sport around in an all-wheel drive Lexus SUV with a estimated gas mileage of 13 miles per gallon. These stupid people need to realize the facts and benefits of the cyclist on the road; as an example the next time the forecasted air quality is fair as opposed to poor they can say thanks to all of the cyclist commuting to work and school every day instead driving cars or they can be thankful that the use of bicycles as transportation slight lowers the demand of gasoline making it slightly less expensive than it could be. On that note of gasoline prices might be some what understandable; if not for the high price theses assholes would really use a lot of it if it where any cheaper, but the fact is the current situation and our consumption of gas is doing nothing more than destroying our environment and making billionaire oil owner even more fucking rich than ever. In conclusion get off my fucking case about riding a bike, stop burning so much fucking gas, kill your fucking SUVs, and get on a fucking bike you ignorant close-minded assholes.
posted by tyler
Posted by Bello Velo at 7:38 AM
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Founds this article at no impact man.
| A hundred years ago, waste was considered immoral. Throwing out something that still worked was just plain wrong.|
What changed that? Marketing. Factory owners wanted to keep their production lines churning and factory workers wanted to keep their tummies full. Repetitive consumption seemed like the answer.
Slowly but surely we convinced ourselves that new was better than old. It became ok to throw things out. It became ok to waste. In fact, out with the old and in with the new kept the economic wheels turning. Buying became downright patriotic.
The result of this old messaging is that, now, everybody wants the newest iPod, the biggest SUV, a huge vacation. And no one is going to give these things up voluntarily, right? Wrong.
Because history shows us that acquisitiveness, a twentieth century phenomenon, is not based on selfishness (which presumably would have been present from the Stone Age). Instead, our consumption arose because of newly-learned social norms and values.
So, we can change the message.
For many years, in this country, smoking was trendy. Now it’s not. The message changed. When I was young, people threw their wrappers on the New York streets without a thought. Now people sneer if you drop your trash. The message changed.
Why wouldn’t the same be true of our use of planetary resources? For many years, as a culture, we thought it was great to get more and use more, and that was the message.
People argue that changing course is impossible. You can’t, they say, change human nature. But we don’t have to change human nature.
All we have to do is change the message.
Posted by Bello Velo at 8:36 AM
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
World War 2 bicycle safety pamphlet
There was a time when husbanding scarce resources was considered the patriotic American thing to do. See more of this WW2 bike safety pamphlet at FixedGear's Flickr stream.
Before America entered the war, bicycles were largely used as a means of recreation and pleasure, and for riding to and from school by young people. Now they are helping to provide essential wartime transportation as well. More and more people are riding bicycles to and from work, for shopping, for errands, and for other purposes."
Posted by Bello Velo at 9:06 AM
Apparently unaware of New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's assertion that "human-powered vehicles are never going to be the answer," USA Today reports that several large U.S. cities are accelerating their efforts to encourage commuting on two wheels. The article cites New York for the new separated bike lane, and for putting bike racks where cars once parked.
"There's never been so much attention from cities collectively for cycling as a mode of transportation," says Loren Mooney, executive editor of Bicycling magazine. "Cities are recognizing that it is a realistic and inexpensive solution to a lot of different problems - to the traffic issues, to pollution issues, to personal health issues because instead of sitting in cars for an hour you have people out burning calories."
The Associated Press also noticed that cycling is on the rise in New York. But despite the 130,000 daily bicyclists on the road in New York City (more total cyclists than any other U.S. city can claim), less that 1 percent of the total population ride a bicycle to work: more here
Posted by Bello Velo at 8:00 AM
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
|The nice thing about activists are its about the issues and not who is in charge or who gets their name in the paper. just for reference here is what a fringe group (direct action group) has accomplished. |
To be fair here is a advocacy group to who mission is to reclaim New York City's streets from the automobile, and to advocate for bicycling, walking and public transit as the best transportation alternatives.
Posted by Bello Velo at 8:59 AM
|this is what happens when you do not get subsidized gas|
|HA NOI — The demand for bicycles increased rapidly, allowing the industry to thrive once again after a period of decline.|
The growth was mainly driven by hikes in the prices of oil and gas, a regulation banning students from riding motorbikes, and a new helmet-wearing regulation.more here
Posted by Bello Velo at 8:10 AM
|maybe if we keep saying it. then it will sink in.|
|BOSTON - The Patrick administration wants to make the state a friendlier place for bicyclists. The Boston Globe reports the Department of Conservation and Recreation has an $82 million plan to build a network of bike paths across Massachusetts, including one that would allow riders to pedal 120 miles from Lowell to Westfield.|
But officials caution that funding and bureaucratic snags, as well as opposition from local residents along the proposed bike trails, could delay construction for years, if not decades. more here
Posted by Bello Velo at 7:45 AM
Monday, October 8, 2007
Posted by Bello Velo at 7:51 AM
Sunday, October 7, 2007
another reason to ride your bike
Chevron’s Pipeline Is the Burmese Regime’s Lifeline
by Amy Goodman
October 04, 2007
The image was stunning: tens of thousands of saffron-robed Buddhist monks marching through the streets of Rangoon [also known as Yangon], protesting the military dictatorship of Burma. The monks marched in front of the home of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who was seen weeping and praying quietly as they passed. She hadn’t been seen for years. The democratically elected leader of Burma, Suu Kyi has been under house arrest since 2003. She is considered the Nelson Mandela of Burma, the Southeast Asian nation renamed Myanmar by the regime.
After almost two weeks of protest, the monks have disappeared. The monasteries have been emptied. One report says thousands of monks are imprisoned in the north of the country.
No one believes that this is the end of the protests, dubbed “The Saffron Revolution.” Nor do they believe the official body count of 10 dead. The trickle of video, photos and oral accounts of the violence that leaked out on Burma’s cellular phone and Internet lines has been largely stifled by government censorship. Still, gruesome images of murdered monks and other activists and accounts of executions make it out to the global public. At the time of this writing, several unconfirmed accounts of prisoners being burned alive have been posted to Burma-solidarity Web sites.
The Bush administration is making headlines with its strong language against the Burmese regime. President Bush declared increased sanctions in his U.N. General Assembly speech. First lady Laura Bush has come out with perhaps the strongest statements. Explaining that she has a cousin who is a Burma activist, Laura Bush said, “The deplorable acts of violence being perpetrated against Buddhist monks and peaceful Burmese demonstrators shame the military regime.”
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, at the meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, said, “The United States is determined to keep an international focus on the travesty that is taking place.” Keeping an international focus is essential, but should not distract from one of the most powerful supporters of the junta, one that is much closer to home. Rice knows it well: Chevron.
Fueling the military junta that has ruled for decades are Burma’s natural gas reserves, controlled by the Burmese regime in partnership with the U.S. multinational oil giant Chevron, the French oil company Total and a Thai oil firm. Offshore natural gas facilities deliver their extracted gas to Thailand through Burma’s Yadana pipeline. The pipeline was built with slave labor, forced into servitude by the Burmese military.
The original pipeline partner, Unocal, was sued by EarthRights International for the use of slave labor. As soon as the suit was settled out of court, Chevron bought Unocal.
Chevron’s role in propping up the brutal regime in Burma is clear. According to Marco Simons, U.S. legal director at EarthRights International: “Sanctions haven’t worked because gas is the lifeline of the regime. Before Yadana went online, Burma’s regime was facing severe shortages of currency. It’s really Yadana and gas projects that kept the military regime afloat to buy arms and ammunition and pay its soldiers.”
The U.S. government has had sanctions in place against Burma since 1997. A loophole exists, though, for companies grandfathered in. Unocal’s exemption from the Burma sanctions has been passed on to its new owner, Chevron.
Rice served on the Chevron board of directors for a decade. She even had a Chevron oil tanker named after her. While she served on the board, Chevron was sued for involvement in the killing of nonviolent protesters in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Like the Burmese, Nigerians suffer political repression and pollution where oil and gas are extracted and they live in dire poverty. The protests in Burma were actually triggered by a government-imposed increase in fuel prices.
Human-rights groups around the world have called for a global day of action on Saturday, Oct. 6, in solidarity with the people of Burma. Like the brave activists and citizen journalists sending news and photos out of the country, the organizers of the Oct. 6 protest are using the Internet to pull together what will probably be the largest demonstration ever in support of Burma. Among the demands are calls for companies to stop doing business with Burma’s brutal regime.
Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on 500 stations in North America.
Posted by Bello Velo at 8:07 AM
NEWBURYPORT - Start pedaling.
A local environmental group - with help from city officials and local businesses - has installed downtown's first three bike racks in an effort to cut down on the number of cars in the downtown district and increase the number of bicycles.
The racks on Inn Street are small black structures that blend in well with the downtown landscape and can hold two bicycles each. Liss Campbell, co-founder of Seacoast Energy and Environmental Design Coalition, said the racks cost about $250 each.
"As many as we can put up, we will," Campbell said.
Posted by Bello Velo at 7:46 AM
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Tried to find a interesting article and found this one here
However this makes me wonder what the "leaders" here have planned. I am speaking of your mayor and her administration. I have seen those green signs with bicycles and numbers on them, downloaded the map or plan and tried to figure it out..... well I am still lost and everyone I ask is too. I really do not think change here will happen unless a couple of things are addressed.
1: The Mayor steps up this would entail having a safety plan and educating the public about bicycles.
2: Bike racks, bike racks, bike racks, this is a no brainer you can not ask people to commute if you can not park and lock your bike( star market understands this) what about the city?
3: Cyclists pull together and actually commute.
I rode up monte sano and there is only one sign "share the road" why not have more signage to educate and make cars aware of cyclists?
The mayor and your city officials are elected by you and work for you. I don't see why they are not held accountable by their constituents.
What do you think? Leave it in the comments.
Posted by Bello Velo at 8:49 AM
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Rideshare Week 2007 is a national celebration to promote alternatives to solo commuting. Every day, thousands of San Diego commuters ride the bus, Trolley or COASTER, carpool or vanpool, bike or walk to work, or telecommute.
SANDAG is celebrating Rideshare Week this year by inviting all San Diegans to tell us how they commute to work.
The survey will give SANDAG important information about what types of services to offer to expand options for San Diego commuters.
Rideshare Week will promote a number of commute alternatives:
Monday, October 1: bus, Trolley or COASTER
Wednesday, October 3: Flextime and telecommute
Thursday, October 4: Bike to work
Friday, October 5: Walk to workOther Links
Posted by Bello Velo at 6:55 PM
Instead of sticking a yellow ribbon on your gas guzzling car, try walking or riding a bike today or any day. This is really supporting your troops. Not an empty slogan.
Posted by Bello Velo at 10:27 AM