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SUVs - what exactly do we hate about them?(115 posts)

SUVs - what exactly do we hate about them?Fez
Sep 17, 2002 6:10 AM

First of all, I am no fan of the SUV, nor do I own one.

But do we hate all SUV drivers, or do we hate the SUV drivers who drive them menacingly while talking on a cell phone on their way to Starbucks?

Do we hate SUVs because they have been so overpopularized by the auto industry (which by the way makes a killing on each one sold $$$) Or should we look at our governent, which grants SUVs an exemption for gas guzzler tax and for certain safety requirements? Its no surprise SUVs guzzle gas and are not as safe in frontal and side impact crashes as large cars of comparable mass - the govt has lesser requirements for these things.

Just like pickup trucks, which actually have a legit use (farming, towing, construction, etc.), there are some folks that may actually need the towing capability, the interior room, or the 4wd of an SUV.

A common remark made is to get a minivan because it doesn't guzzle gas or rollover as easily. But minivans don't even have all wheel drive, not to mention true 4wd.

Another remark is to get an Outback, but it doesn't have the cargo volume of a minivan.

So the bottom line is, would we hate the SUV if fewer people drove them, and if they were purchased primarily by people who actually used their features? And of course, if their owners did not drive them menacingly?
I hate no one or nothing, but...Steve_0
Sep 17, 2002 6:15 AM
I do think purchasing one as a 'family car' is irresponsible (and sometimes, dangerous).

I have no problems with legitimate uses of any vehicle...the problem is that soccermoms and others 'legitimitize' their need for one. Amazing how we all survived growing up (in larger families than todays) without one.

Regarding your statement on minivans,,,, many do have all and 4 wheel drive.
Sep 17, 2002 6:28 AM
Some do have all wheel drive. Probably none have true 4wd w/ low range. The ones that have all wheel drive are not designed to go off road. Just slippery pavement peace of mind. And ground clearance is very limited on them.

But one of the nicest minivans in my opinion, the Honda Odyssey, does not. Other than that shortcoming, it is a fantastic vehicle.
ground clearancelonefrontranger
Sep 17, 2002 11:53 AM
Ever driven one? I mean *really* driven one? Doesn't sound like it.

I have personally driven our 2WD '96 Grand Caravan up the 10+ mile ascent of Monarch Rd, northwest of Colorado Springs. Monarch is a well-known 4WD "jeep" route with lots of ruts and large rocks. I've driven it to muddy MTB races with parking limited to swampy fields where the guys with the Cherokees / Explorers / Blazers were stuck bottomed out, and had no problem (this is all about knowing my limitations and how NOT to get stuck). I drove sag support all day long (sixty laps or so) for the "Kemmelburg" road race, which is run up a local well-known 4WD climb (10% grade on loose, sandy, deeply rutted dirt).

Our minivan has better ground clearance than my Subaru AWD wagon. That's (and the room for sag) was why I drove it as a support vehicle at the Kemmelburg.
maybe doable, but not pleasantColnagoFE
Sep 17, 2002 1:20 PM
The right tool for the job in this case would be a 4x4 with more clearance. Assuming you know how to drive you'd be able to get over way more stuff with a higher clearance vehicle. I've driven our standard Subaru Legacy up some pretty gnarly fire/ forest access roads and it can be done if you go really slow and are lucky to not need low range for super steep stuff, but it's not all that fun. I'd much rather do the same roads in my Explorer.
ground clearanceMatno
Sep 17, 2002 2:36 PM
Yikes. You must be good at avoiding rocks. (Knowing your limitations is a good place to start. Most 4WD drivers are stupidly confident off-road. My neighbor once drove over a 50 mile dirt road that was "closed"--not even the big trucks would attempt it after a couple of them got stuck--due to mud. He made it through without a 1980 diesel Audi 5000! Talk about no clearance).

I just bought a 96 Grand Voyager (I don't think the clearance is any different from your Grand Caravan--everything else seems to be the same between the two) and it has almost NO clearance in the back. That big beam that goes across the rear from one axle to the other makes sure that I wouldn't want to drive it on a rocky road. Fortunately, I live in NYC for now, so it's a moot point... (I think I meant unfortunately!)
who are you to decide what constitutes a good family car?ColnagoFE
Sep 17, 2002 6:55 AM
Personally our 2002 Explorer fits our needs well. And we use it for skiing and camping so the 4x4 is a good feature. We also have a Subaru Legacy, but with 2 kids and their friends plus gear it often isn't big enough. Also try to not ground out going up a fire road when you're camping in a minivan. The extra clearance is nice. Occasionally we haul a small trailer with it as well. A minivan would never have the power needed to do that--at least in Colorado. The higher profile also is much easier to see the road when it's rainy or snowy. Safer in my opinion. As long as they are not driven like sports cars they aren't gonna rollover. You gotta know how to drive one. Just like a pickup--they aren't gonnna corner on rails like a Ferrari. Let's face it. Some own these vehicles simply because they are fashionable, but why should you care? Do we really want the government getting involved in policing what types of cars we can own? I know I don't want that. Let the market decide.
I never said its not a good family car.Steve_0
Sep 17, 2002 7:02 AM
I said its irresponsible.

Im glad youve justified ownership of such a vehicle to yourself.
what do you drive and what SHOULD we drive then?ColnagoFE
Sep 17, 2002 8:00 AM
Unless it's a hybrid or electric that gets 50+MPG then I could make a case that what you drive is irresponsible. Heck...sell all your cars and just ride your bike everywhere. You want to ban all Pickups as well? Plenty of them make the trip to the mall as well as to the contruction site. What should we all drive? You seem to have the answer for the car that would be perfect for all of us. Pretty easy target to bash SUVs.
what do you drive and what SHOULD we drive then?Steve_0
Sep 17, 2002 8:06 AM
yamaha xj600. 60 mpg.

No, i dont think a car would be 'perfect' for everyone; but its certainly more responsible im most cases.

Pickups are great. for picking up.
Govt does get involved in the decision... so do lobbyists...Fez
Sep 17, 2002 7:07 AM
The markdet doesn't decide this completely. The govt doesn't require the same safety standards for these SUVs as they do for passenger cars. Therefore the industry doesn't have to spend more money on engineering. Ever wonder why certain car companies are still in business? SUV sales bring in all the profits. In some cases, $15,000+ in gross profit per SUV. Big selling cars like the Camry, Taurus or Accord would never bring in that kind of profit per vehicle.

Another thing the govt does is exempts the SUV from a gas guzzler tax. Saves big bucks for the consumer. And the industry has less of an incentive to boost fuel economy on these things. Even though these SUVs are used just like a passenger car.

You can thank the auto industry and its lobbyists for the SUV having this special status as far as the govt is concerned.
I hate no one or nothing, but...filtersweep
Sep 17, 2002 9:15 AM
"Amazing how we all survived growing up (in larger families than todays) without one. "

-or without seatbelts or car seats... climbing all over the seats in 70s wood paneled station wagons...

I prefer the drive of a sports car... but I can really only take one passenger in my car. I'd actually love an SUV as a second vehicle...'s like bikes.... it's not what you drive, but HOW you drive. Frankly, drivers of high end European cars (in the US) generally raise my dander more than most SUVs, if I may be allowed to generalize.
Now THERE is a good point...tamjam
Sep 17, 2002 10:19 AM
...about drivers of high end European cars. I swear EVERY BMW driver, be it a lowly 318 or the new 750, are either pedal to the metal in the freeway fast lane, expecting everyone to get out of their way, or driving the 2 lane roads like they're in a Formula 1. Who here rides in Marin CA on the Panoramic Hwy from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach? Give a guy a set of keys to a BMW on that road and suddenly they think it's a test course and can take up both lanes. Makes for a sketchy bike ride.

I have been reading this thread with amusement today. Personally, my wife and I own a Toyota 4Runner and an Audi A4 Avant. We need the practicality of the 4Runner for lugging the muddy wet dog, loading the rear up with whatever bikes/furniture/luggage I need, and getting around the snow chain requirements on the drive to Tahoe in the winter. But that is all I use it for. I have put less than 20,000 miles on it in 4 years of ownership. Otherwise the Audi gets the call since it's easier and more environmentally friendly than the SUV.

Anyway, this has turned into a longer rant than I intended, but I agree with filtersweep that it's not what you drive buy HOW you drive it. It seems too many people have road rage these days to be able to generalize that only SUV drivers are lunatics.
You RIDE that section of road?AaronL
Sep 17, 2002 10:32 AM
You are a brave soul.

I don't even like to drive my car on that road. I got carsick the last time I was on it, and I was driving. :)

Love it...tamjam
Sep 17, 2002 10:55 AM
...but only before 9am on the weekends, after which those twisty roads over there get too busy with cars (and SUVs since we're on the subject ;~)
Depends on the reason somebody buys it:fbg111
Sep 17, 2002 6:17 AM
Did the person buy it for a status symbol/look tough/various other image reason? hate them.


b/c they actually need the towing power/cargo room/off-road ability? don't hate them.


b/c bigger is safer? make up your own mind; some people don't believe they're safer, others do.
Depends on the reason somebody buys it:Spunout
Sep 17, 2002 6:21 AM
In my neighborhood, a lady drives a HUGE Mercedes G-class, to drive the kid to daycare while talking on her cellphone.

Stupidest thing I've ever seen.
comments or rationale number two....Steve_0
Sep 17, 2002 6:23 AM
1. Towing power - I've seen people legitimatize the towing power of a suburband to tow sunfish and duckboats. A yugo could easily tow such a load.

2. Cargo Room - I've seen someone legitimatize a yukon becase of 'the kids'. Each kid in the family now has his own bench seat. Very practical.

3. Off-road ability - We all grew up hunting; every weekend in the woods. Despite the fact the most of my friends never had four wheel drive, I cant recall a single instance in 20-some years where anyone has been stuck.

I guess jeep-jamoree-type off-roading is a different story, but 1. thats far from 'practical' use of a car, and 2. If thats your thing, GET A JEEP!
Jeep works...fbg111
Sep 17, 2002 8:18 AM
Yeah, a jeep works for hunting. I grew up doing that too, except my farmer uncle took us in his Chevy pickup instead. Ideally, people shouldn't be hunting from their vehicles anyway. Park them and walk out into the woods.

As for towing and cargo, it's nice to have a full-sized SUV to tow a 24 foot J24 sailboat from NC to Atlanta or Florida for racing. You need the cargo and people room, as well as the towing power. It's also nice when you go to college 800 miles away from home in snowy upstate New York and need both cargo room to transport your clothes, bike, computer, and other stuff, and 4WD to handle the winter snow. My Isuzu Rodeo worked real well for that.
Who says we hate them?Breakfast
Sep 17, 2002 6:23 AM
I think people become irritated at drivers who isolate themselves by climbing into a bigger metal and glass box, then sitting up higher than others, driving alone in a vehicle that could seat a corporate board of directors, tinting all the windows, having a audio and video system on board, and then talking on cell phones and drinking beverages like they're at the breakfast table.

It's the attitude of drivers who live in these automotive islands apart from the rest of us.

All that matters, from the bicyclist point of view, is not the type or size of vehicle but the attention, or lack of it, drivers give to outside factors like pedestrians, bikes, other cars, and general civility.
Also, we resent them because...Breakfast
Sep 17, 2002 6:39 AM
...we see small statured people assume a "power position" simply by virtue of driving something bigger and taller than us.

This power is never earned it is simply purchased by materialistic consumers who borrow more and more money and go deeper into debt.

Add to that the aristocratic arrogance of communicating telephonically to friends and associates while driving and multi-tasking, such self importance is irritating in itself.
Excessive for all but a few...biknben
Sep 17, 2002 6:30 AM
I have no problem with the SUV. It is the perfect vehicle for certain situations. If you're towing, hauling, or going off-road, they are great. Drivers that use them for their intended purpose have a better understanding of their limitations.

The problems arrise when someone gets behind the wheel and thinks it's just another car. They justify tailgating because they have better visibility. They drive more eratically because they FEEL safer in the larger vehicle. I have to bite my tongue whenever someone starts praising their SUV.

Someone brought up Big-Tobaco in an earlier thread. Detroit is the next Big-Tobaco. They've got lawmakers in their pocket. They advertise more than any other industry. They are brainwashing those who are too insecure to think for themselves. Eventually it will come crahing down just like the tabaco industry. I only hope I'm around to see it.
I have noticed the distict dislike of SUVs on this forumbrider
Sep 17, 2002 6:35 AM
Yes, I own an SUV. Isuzu Rodeo, to be exact. '93 model, 4wd. Last car I had was a '90 Plymouth Voyager. A lot of people gave me grief for having a large vehicle, when I was a DINK (double-income, no kids). But they were all happy about climbing into said vehicle to go to races, or loading all the bikes inside on road trips. They jokingly called it the team vehicle. Not such a joke, really. Used it to tow a trailer for 4 of us taking a trip to Moab and Zion.

I also hunt, and have seen MANY times when there were vehicles stuck. I've had to tow a few of them out. Sorry, but there are situations where high ground clearance and 4wd are needed. Sure, a Jeep would work, but so would a lot of other, more practicle vehicles.

My wife had a Saturn. We sold it when we had a baby. She's got a bad back, and would not have survived putting that kiddo into a low back seat. We now have 2 Isuzu Rodeos. She has the nicer one. In fact, if I could afford to put them in a Hummer, I would. I want my family in the largest hunk of metal that I can get. Yeah, I sure would be proud of that high gas mileage when the emergency crew is using the jaws of life to pry them out of the Yugo wreckage, yes sirreee bob.
lets just hope your humvee doesnt T-bone the poor-moms yugo. nmSteve_0
Sep 17, 2002 6:39 AM
Sep 18, 2002 8:24 AM
because he likes the SUV for protection for his family you naturally assume that if he is in an accident it's his fault?

Of course I see your point, it's not possible that he wants the safety to protect his family from some idiot on a crotch rocket (getting 60mpg) flying around traffic probably without a helmet.

A crash is ALWAYS the fault of the SUV driver I guess.



re: SUVs - what exactly do we hate about them?manicoti
Sep 17, 2002 6:39 AM
I drive a large pickup and all I ever haul are bikes and sometimes my friends stuff when they move. It's not the vehicle that is dangerous, it is the attitude of the driver. Maybe some SUV drivers have a superiority complex, but then again, so do most cyclists I ride with. A Yugo will do just as much damage to a cyclist as a Suburban will. Most people I ride with drive SUVs. And yes, I do believe that cyclists have a superiority complex because we think we are better than the people in there cars. We also have the Cavalier complex, since we sit higher up than nonriders. I have the same problem, but not with SUVs, just certain drivers.
Reasons to hate SUV ownersAllisonHayes
Sep 17, 2002 6:42 AM
- "High and mighty"

- "Pigs on stilts"

- "SUVs as gas guzzlers that "roll over too easily, killing and injuring occupants at an alarming rate, and are dangerous to other road users, inflicting catastrophic damage to cars that they hit and posing a lethal threat to pedestrians.""

SUV owners "tend to be people who are insecure and vain. They are frequently nervous about their marriages and uncomfortable about parenthood. They often lack confidence in their driving skills. Above all, they are apt to be self-centered and self-absorbed, with little interest in their neighbors or communities."

Well, I for one am not going to take it anymore. I am going to up the ante. I have just ordered my new SUV killer. What do you think?

Who is the "high and mighty" one now?

SUV killer? No, that's the new 2003 SUV - avail soon - nmFez
Sep 17, 2002 6:46 AM
Ouch Allisonsn69
Sep 17, 2002 6:53 AM
Gosh, I am an SUV owner. ...And now I'm an SUV owner with a self-esteem problem after that assault. ;-)~

In truth, I tend to agree that most people who own them do so for status, much like people bought BMWs and Benzes by the boatload in the mid-80s. Still, the damned thing is really convenient when I need to go to Home Depot or Lowes or when I take the dogs to the lake.

Fortuitously, my wife drives the beast, and I drive a Subaru. ...And, for whatever it's worth, I'm trying to convince her that I need a Mini Cooper to regain our kharmic balance in the universe.
If she doesn't let you buy the Mini you can buy it for me :) nmPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Sep 17, 2002 8:06 AM
Good one as usual AH - glad you're back! (nm)OffTheBack
Sep 17, 2002 8:37 AM
lol how many Dah-on folding bikes will fit in that bad boy?VO2_max
Sep 17, 2002 12:41 PM
They ought to ban 'emmoneyman
Sep 17, 2002 6:44 AM
Those damn things are just so dangerous and impractical that the Feds ought to ban them and take them all off the road. After all, nobody ever uses them for the purpose for which they were intended. They never go off road or tow things. The only place you see them is at the mall or the soccer field on Saturday morning. Nope, they have no real use at all when a smaller, more fuel efficient car would do.

And while they are at it, Congress shold look at banning Colnago C-40s as well. The only people who really need them are pro racers, yet you sure see a lot of fat old poseurs on them at the Wednesday club ride or the fundraising century. In fact, the intimidation factor of C-40s should be enough to get them banned. I know my self-esteem is threatened by riders who are on these things.

And what about full-suspension mountain bikes? Who really needs those things? Most people don't huck off ten-foot drops and therefore only need a rigid bike. Plus, full-suspension mountain bikes are way more dangerous and prone to get their owners into trouble.

Oh, yeah - let's limit the size of homes, too. Who really needs 4,000 square feet. Or 2,000 for that matter, when 800 would suffice. And lets make people live in apartments, not houses, because they are a lot more efficient and friendly to the environment.

Where would we stop?

"So the bottom line is..." about freedom of choice. What works for you may not work for me, and vice versa.

We can do a lot of bad in the name of doing good.

FOR THE RECORD - I drive a Ford F-250 with four doors and a V-10 engine. It makes more trips to the mall than to the mountains. I ride a Trek 5500 with Dura Ace components, and it is more bike than I am rider. Do not try to take them away from me because I don't use them the way you think I should. I don't believe I have to justify my ownership of these items to anyone but myself.

Don't have to justify it to anyone.Fez
Sep 17, 2002 6:50 AM
Just don't mow down some cyclists with that Ford.

Why didn't you go all out and get an F350 and dualie rear wheels?
Yuck. Here's the perfect vehicle...Matno
Sep 17, 2002 8:23 AM
Dualies are UGLY! Plus, they're a pain in the butt to drive/park (compared to a regular truck that is). I am a confessed big car/van/truck/SUV lover, but a dualie is just carrying things a bit too far... :o)

Sadly, I just got rid of the perfect vehicle after 7 blissful years. It was a 1987 VW Vanagon Syncro and I challenge anyone to name a more perfect driving machine. It gives me a better vantage point than any truck/SUV (unless they have a lift kit), it has better visibility than anything I've ever driven (thanks to huge windows all around), when it worked, the AC was the most powerful I've ever experienced (parked in direct sunlight in 100+ temps it would be cold--not just cool--in about 12 seconds!), it has a small footprint (outer dimensions are about identical to a subaru legacy which makes parking really easy--unless you have a low ceiling), the Syncro AWD system is one of the best ever designed--rock solid in snow and ice (never slipped once in 6 years of driving in Utah, even when I really wanted to!), gas mileage is better than most SUV's (low-mid 20's), and finally, the interior is HUGE (that's what I miss most of all now that I'm driving a dinky little Grand Voyager that, incidentally, is quite a bit longer on the outside). I guess some people would be freaked out not having a hood or anything else in front, but in a head on crash test with a Volvo of the same year (supposedly the safest car at the time), the Volvo driver had something like 67% more injuries as did the car. (I found a really cool video clip of it on the net one time years ago, but can't remember where). I could go on all day, but you get the picture...

the newer VW Eurovans are nearly as cool but with additional things like a 200hp engine (mine had 90hp) and airbags...
It can't do everything thoughColnagoFE
Sep 17, 2002 8:35 AM
If you need clearance it ain't gonna be there. If you need to tow it's not gonna have enough torque. Basically a minivan but pretty cool I'd admit.
Whoa there! That's where you're wrong!Matno
Sep 17, 2002 2:29 PM
Basically a minivan?!!! Ouch! :) It's at least twice as roomy as my "large" minivan. Well, okay, it can't do everything. (Like drive up to the ski slopes in 3rd gear or higher!) On the other hand, it has better clearance than a lot of full-size trucks I know of. That's the Syncro version that I have which is noticeably higher than the 2WD version. Believe it or not, it really has a ton of room under there. I could lie on the ground, have someone drive it over me, and still have about 3 inches of free space between my nose and the lowest point of the engine. I've been underneath it enough times to know that! And there's even a "skid plate" in the front (it's actually the spare tire cover, but it works pretty well...) Also, the wheelbase is so short that high-centering is a non-issue. (Not to mention the turning radius is amazing). As for towing, you're right that it would be pretty tedious. However, it does have an extra "towing" gear that is super low (even though mine doesn't have a trailer hitch--DOH!)

Did I mention that I could go on all day about this car. Dang I'm going to miss it! (I think my new Grand Voyager has about 6 short inches of clearance in the back, and I have to take my front wheel off to fit a bike inside or at least fold the back seat down).

(BTW, anyone want to buy a VW Vanagon Syncro that needs a new clutch, among other things? I'm selling it cheap, but you have to pick it up in NYC--and tow it home).
They ought to ban 'emqui-gon jin
Sep 17, 2002 7:24 AM
I'm with you Moneyman on this issue. I don't own a large SUV, but hope to have one some day. No one has the right to tell me what I can and cannot have. If I want to guzzle gas, that is my decision. This is the United States of America where we have the right to indulge ourselve with whatever excessive things we want.

This is a rediculous topic. Who are you all to criticize what soccer moms should or shouldn't drive their kids to school in?
LOL! Good one! (nm)ColnagoFE
Sep 17, 2002 7:52 AM
even though i thinkSteve_0
Sep 17, 2002 7:58 AM
its foolhardy to buy more bike than you can ride, i would certainly never try to take it away from you; your 5500 is not wasting natural resources, is not fueling our problems in the mideast, and is not putting the lives of others in danger.

v-10 to get to the mall, however, is.
Sep 17, 2002 8:09 AM
your 5500 is not wasting natural resources, is not fueling our problems in the mideast, and is not putting the lives of others in danger

What about the petroleum based resins used to manufacture my frame? How about the smelters that forge the aluminum and titanium components? What about the worker-bees in Waterloo, Wisconsin who drive to work to put it all together? That all seems pretty excessive and dangerous to me.

Your judgement of what is excessive and what is not does not justify the theft of my freedom.

Sep 17, 2002 8:16 AM
your freedom does not justify the theft of my natural resources and personal safety.
Sep 17, 2002 8:26 AM
Those aren't "your" natural resources, and you can choose to stay off the roads...

Liberty is more important than security. Only when it infringes on fundamental rights of others does it go too far. (By rights, I'm referring to life, liberty, property, and all of the "sub-rights" associated with them).
thought they were "our" natural resources (nm)ColnagoFE
Sep 17, 2002 8:27 AM
Not if you keep wasting them, theyre not.Steve_0
Sep 17, 2002 10:40 AM
How do you know I'm wasting them?ColnagoFE
Sep 17, 2002 1:27 PM
Love how people make blanket statements about people they don't even know. I happen to take the bus to work everyday. I rarely drive. When I worked in the town I live in I commuted by bike to work. I also own an SUV which seems to make me an automatic resource hog in your eyes. I also use the capabilities of the SUV when I drive it. I sleep fine at night with the level of natural resources I use. Do you?
Now that you've got that note downmoneyman
Sep 17, 2002 8:34 AM
Please address the hypocrisy of your statement regarding my 5500 and your perception of what is wasteful and what is not.

What's your point?czardonic
Sep 17, 2002 9:57 AM
That because a Trek 5500 uses marginally more resources thatn an Aluminim or Steel (or better yet, no frame at all), there is no logical basis for conserving anything? Thus, as long as you are going to waste a few kg worth of petroleum products to make a bike frame, you may as well burn thousands of extra gallons of gasoline driving a bigger car than anyone needs on a daily basis?

Get real.

The amount of resources wasted by a v10 over a rationally sized engine is in no way comparable to those used to build a CF frame. Moreover, you waste more resources the more you use that car. There is virtually no marginal increase in resources used over the life of a bike. In fact, riding it for 1000 miles as opposed to driving probably more than makes up for materials that went into building it.
Wow, good point..that sure shut him up.......NMtronracer
Sep 17, 2002 10:48 AM
Sep 17, 2002 10:39 AM
I'm not sure how utilizing a de minimus of natural resources to create a vehicle which uses absolutely no natural resources is hypocricitical.

CZAR put it very nicely, and do not see a need to further expand upon it.

And to clarify my position, since you dont seem to get it: Im not a treehugger that believes we shouldnt tap our resources. However, I believe we should be responsbile in our uses of them.
CZAR doesn't have a cluemoneyman
Sep 17, 2002 11:16 AM
And it appears that you are sadly lacking as well. The point obviously eludes you. It is not a matter of how much of "your" (albeit that is quite an arguable point) natural resources are used in either the production of a carbon fiber bicycle frame or the propulsion of a large truck, it is about the freedom to make the decision.

How many millions of bikes are made each year? How many smelters run day and night to produce the metal parts of the bike? What about the heavy metal runoff into creeks and rivers in third world countries where the smelters are located, doing irreparable harm to the environment and the indigenous peoples of the area? And what about the greenhouse gases produced by the smelter, precipitating global warming?

I can make the decision that my argument about the damage manufacturing a bike does to the environment is ridiculous. Or not. It is up to me to do that. Likewise, it is up to me to decide what I will drive - or not - and for you to do the same. You can disagree with my choice of what to drive, or ride (I have seen plenty of Trek bashing here) but you have no basis with which to deny me my right to do so, as much as you think that would be the responsible thing to do.

Your position is clear as mud. You want me to subscribe to your definition of responsibility, and I don't. And yes, you are hypocritical. Read your posts and you'll find out why.

And come to think of itmoneyman
Sep 17, 2002 11:22 AM
There was a guy who once espoused the same kinds of things you are currently saying. His was a bit different, but he wanted to control other people's decisions as well. In fact, he had a little saying that you might want to take as your own credo:

From each according to his ability; to each according to his need.

A little over the top? Maybe. But then, tell me where you would draw the line on limiting my liberty using your standards? And can I do the same to you?

your comprehension is as clear as mudSteve_0
Sep 17, 2002 11:41 AM
I never requested or suggested conformance to my ideals; Nor have I ever suggested denying you your 'rights'. I merely stated my opinions, as asked by the original poster.

You seem to infer intention which is not implied.

A proper example of hypocricy would be your maintenance of the right to your 'opinion', while denouncing mine. LOL.
Let's try this once moremoneyman
Sep 17, 2002 12:12 PM
I have no problems with legitimate uses of any vehicle...the problem is that soccermoms and others 'legitimitize' their need for one.

It is all about "legitimate uses." And how you define them. You constantly state that others have to "legitimize" the purchase of an SUV. I say they do not, to you or anyone else. Read your posts again.

I am leaving now. I will drive my truck to the high school to pick up my daughter and take her home. Once I am there I will change clothes and get on my environmentally unfriendly bike and go for a ride. And I will do this without your "legitimizing" my actions.

Freedom is a wonderful thing.

I never requested or suggested conformance to my ideals; Nor have I ever suggested denying you your 'rights'. I merely stated my opinions, as asked by the original poster. You seem to infer intention which is not implied. A proper example of hypocricy would be your maintenance of the right to your 'opinion', while denouncing mine. LOL.Steve_0
Sep 17, 2002 11:57 AM
^^^ That was weird ^^^^Steve_0
Sep 17, 2002 12:01 PM
this post is cursedgregg
Sep 17, 2002 1:39 PM
Sorry Steve_O, I had to delete your post which had an error (bug).

Thanks for clearing that up.czardonic
Sep 17, 2002 12:09 PM
How many billions of bikes are made each year? Probably not even 1 billion, actually, but that's not the point.

First of all, we are talking about America (or the freedom point is moot). Now, what fraction of car sales do bike sales make up in America?

And while we are making reasonable, rational comparisons, what tiny fraction of the resources needed to produce an SUV go into producing a bike? And what tiny fraction of resources are needed to move from point A to point B on a bike as opposed to in an SUV or large truck? Don't forget, not only does that large vehicle move you, it has to move itself. So beyond the energy needed to move your body weight, everything else is a waste.

You seem to think that your "freedoms" extend to subscribing to whatever twisted retionalization justifies your over-comsumption, regardless of what the laws of physics say. We are not talking about a difference of opinion or choice here. You can choose to be a wasteful lout with no regard for the community, but whether you like it or not, the consequences are real for those made ill by your polution, crushed under the weight of your unneccesarily large and heavy vehicle, or murdered or subjugated in order to secure the fuel needed to run it.
I was going to leave, but...moneyman
Sep 17, 2002 12:18 PM
Your extraordinary self-righteousness caught me by surprise and held me up.

Like I told Steve-O, I am leaving now. I will drive my truck home to ride my bike. And, in addition, I will be draining my oil into the storm sewer, feeding some antifreeze to the neighborhood squirrels, look for people with cerebral palsy to make fun of, and generally create a nuisance to my community.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and you are particularly dangerous.

Ummmm. . . . .touché? (nm)czardonic
Sep 17, 2002 12:31 PM
re: SUVs - what exactly do we hate about them?Me Dot Org
Sep 17, 2002 7:05 AM
First of all SUVs used to comprise a very small percentage of vehicles sold in the U.S. Then Congress passed some strict emission standards, and the auto industry lobbied for an exception for trucks and SUVs. The automakers have been using that loophole as a way to push SUVs as passenger vehicles ever since, and they have been getting an increasingly large market share.

Certainly Americans aren't driving them off-road in large numbers, most estimates are that 95% are not driven off-road. C'mon, if you've got to turn in your leased $40k SUV, are you going to drive it off road?

Don't confuse SUVs with 4 wheel drive.

Ford Explorer is the largest selling SUV in the country. 50% are sold without 4 wheel drive.

As for minivans, but Ford and Chrysler make minivans with 4 wheel drive options.

I don't dislike SUVs per se, but I dislike the inequality of the laws that make their popularity possbile. And by continuing to use this loophole, the auto industry is:

1. Causing more air pollution, because SUVs do not meet the same emissions standards as automobiles.

2. Causing a greater hit to our trade deficit. Because of their extra weight and poor aerodynamics, SUVs get poorer fuel economy that autos of equivalent interior volume. More gas guzzeled, more money in the pockets of our good friends in O.P.E.C.

3. Causing more traffic fatalities. Yeah, you heard me right. While SUVs are marginally superior at protecting their passengers, some insurance studies show they are several times more likely to cause fatalities when involved in an accident with a passenger vehicle. Why? because of their height and rigid frame construction (needed for off-road rigidy) many SUVs hit the passenger compartments of automobiles with their rigid, unmoving frames. Most SUVs (from what I understand, Mercedes is an exception) are not built with energy-absorbing 'crumple zones' the way automobiles are.

So with respect to emission standards, how should we treat vehicles that get poorer fuel economy and are more likely to cause fatalities when involved in collisions with automobiles? If you're the government of the United States, you reward them, by giving them easier emission standards.

That, to me, is idiocy.
Iraq normally supplies 4-5% of the worlds oils supply so an SUVVO2_max
Sep 17, 2002 12:46 PM
even one with an American flag on it, is a tough sell in this day.

Yes. All cars use fossil fuels but as many have stated - its the way most folks use them (to the mall not hauling 4 towing winching stranded motorists -etc.

re: SUVs - what exactly do we hate about them?netso
Sep 17, 2002 7:20 AM
I own a 95 Ford Explorer Sport 4wd. I have owned it since it was new. It hauls my canoe, kayak, camping equipment, 2 bikes. I do not think it would fit in a Honda Civic. As for vanity I have won the Mr. America medium class, was a National Champion powerlifter, I have an MD and a Ph.d in Medical Allied Science. I am also the father of a Ph.D engineer and an entrepreneur. I have an SUV because I need it, I use it and I love it.
unconscionable waste, driver attitude, smog, space issues...cory
Sep 17, 2002 7:22 AM
For me, it's the old "4 percent of the world's people using 25 percent of its resources" deal, plus the arrogance and (at least apparent) incompetence of so many of the drivers, plus the laws that let them dodge many smog restrictions. But if it's any consolation, I feel the same way about Lincolns, Cadillacs, Mercedes Benzes and 10,000-square-foot houses for two empty nesters and a toy poodle.
Ooops, I forgot the national security aspectscory
Sep 17, 2002 7:28 AM
Forgot to mention this: If foreign oil is the concern the Bush Leaguers insist it is, we could reduce our dependence far more by driving thriftier cars and trucks than we ever will by drilling for oil in Alaska. How come that's so rarely mentioned as a national security issue? It wouldn't take 50mpg econo-cars, either--10 percent or so would help enormously, and it's easily possible.
re: SUVs - what exactly do we hate about them?PMC
Sep 17, 2002 7:28 AM
I find them hard to see around, that would be my only real issue with them. Some of the wankers that drive them is a whole different topic.

For my personal vehicle I prefer something that handles well and has some get up and go. Most SUVs on the market fall short in both.
re: Marketing an Imagefarmerfrank
Sep 17, 2002 7:32 AM
I don't think we hate the innovation of the SUV, we hate what it has become. The original premise of "selling a lifestyle" is what launched the SUV to its popularity. Freedom, ruggedness, the ability to take you anywhere you desire. Advertisements of 4-wheeling in the back country. What it has become is an urban people mover that exhibits our conspicious consumption of adult toys. You can buy the plain Jane SUV but we all seem to gravitate towards that Navigator or Escalade because it costs so much. Status, image this is what drives us unfortunately.
Cycling exhibits a lot of this today also. How many times have you pointed out a "poser" in full team gear? At centuries have you seen countless "high end" bikes being straddled by overweight weekend warriors? Our society is so caught up in IMAGE. The clothes you wear, the public events you want to be seen at(NBA Games) and the Nikes that your kids have to wear. It's too much.
Bottom line:Leisure
Sep 17, 2002 7:35 AM
My objection is purely with those drivers that use them in a threatening manner. It's the specific drivers...which I should fairly point out do not summarize the attitudes of the majority of people that *happen* to drive SUVs...that are the problem. An SUV for these people is more responsibility than they can handle.
And I'll apologize in advance:Leisure
Sep 17, 2002 8:02 AM
While I can't help but express my irritation when this issue comes up, I know that plenty of you will drive SUVs and read what I have to say as being directed at you. That's not the intent, and I apologize if I've overstated to where anyone feels specifically offended; I don't want anyone to feel that I am trying to pick on them. So once again I have to back up and qualify my own previous statements that what I'm talking about doesn't apply to most drivers that *happen* to drive SUVs. It's like so many conversations where we are talking about a few people that ruin things for everyone.
My solution...JohnSmith
Sep 17, 2002 7:43 AM
It's simple really; people will stop buying them if they become inconvenient to own. I do my best to "inconvenience" these SUV drivers everyday. It's nothing illeagal though, but I also don't care to post my tactics here as I might frustrate these SUV drivers even futher.

Also, SUV's cause this country to be more dependent on foreign resources. Be a patriotic American and "inconvenience" an SUV driver.
Last time I checkedAaronL
Sep 17, 2002 8:56 AM
this was a free country.

I don't own an SUV or a truck, and yes I think it's silly when I see some mom with one kid in the back of a giant Suburban, but it's her money and if she can afford to drive it, so be it.

I love cars and trucks and would love to have a Suburban or maybe a 2500 HD Chevy, but i can't afford one. However,it doesn't make me hate the people who can.

I know many make the argument that they guzzle gas and emit more pollutants than small cars, but they are probably 50 times less with pollutants than older cars. And, all one needs to do is take a trip to some crowded third-world countries to see that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean compared to the ecological rape going on elsewhere.

With the safety argument, I would wager that the vast majority of accidents could be avoided if the driver just paid attention or didn't break the law. The vehicle he/she is driving in, is probably to blame in a very small % of accidents.

Finally, jerks behind the wheel come in all flavors. We tend to see them in SUVs and trucks because, well, that's what people are buying the most of. Duh!
Your attitude is what is wrong with Americaczardonic
Sep 17, 2002 9:44 AM
Freedom comes with responsibilities. Americans in general spend next to no time talking or thinking about the responsibilities that come with their freedoms. This is why SUV owners have no compunction about wasting a disproportionate amount of resources to propel them selves from place to place. It is also why they feel no responsibility to counter the increased risk that these machines pose to other citizens by taking extra care in their driving.

When SUV owners lobby the government to increase fuel efficiency standards and threaten to replace these resource sinks unless the auto industry starts making them more efficient and safer for the community, they will be acting as responsible citizens. Until then, they are just mild sociopaths who can't distinguish rights from their own selfish perogatives.
Why don't you generalize a bit more.AaronL
Sep 17, 2002 10:04 AM
So now all SUV owners feel like what you described? Can you prove that? You are an expert in the mindset of all SUV owners?

"Freedom comes with responsibilities." I cannot agree more and in fact, I've served in the millitary to help protect your freedom to question my opinion here on this website. Are you prepared to do the same if the time arrives for you to do so? If not, I suggest you shut the f' up and go live in some country where you can have all these things without having to pay the price.
Sep 17, 2002 12:29 PM
Why bother using resources in a responsible manner, or taking a realistic view of what is necessary and what is wasteful? That would curtail our freedoms.

Better to send our "freedom protecting" military to ensure that our "free" markets aren't upset by scarce resources. I'm sure the Army Core of Engineers will have tremendous success building dikes around our entire country to protect us from the results of the "freedom" you so enthusiatically defend.
Great big hole in your theoryAaronL
Sep 17, 2002 12:51 PM
Your bashing of this great country aside,

Do you live in the US or are you just pissed off that you live in some other country where a gallon (excuse me a liter) of petrol, er gasoline, costs a week's wages?

Good news, since Iraq has agreed to allow weapons inspectors in, international oil prices just tanked. Good news for all that drive those eco-killing machines,

Think about the computer your ass is sitting in front of, what about the enviromental impact to make that? Not to mention the power to fire the damn thing up.

You sit and wail away at this catastrophic results of SUVs yet you fail to recognize that you support another industry that is famous for pollution and molestation of undeveloped countries.

You are complete hypocrite.

I wish we could could build a wall around this country and keep those like you who do nothing for it, but love to bithch about it, out.

Put up or shut up bro, you can't have it all.
A hypocrite says, what?czardonic
Sep 17, 2002 1:09 PM
I live in the US and I have lived abroad. Your gallon of gas still costs a weeks wages, it just happens to be someone else's weeks wages. Such as the working people in oil producing countries who's land and livelihood (not to mention freedom) is stolen so that corrupt totalitarian governments (propped up by American military power) can syphon their countries resources into your tank. Such as the non-driving American citizen who's tax dollars are used to prop up these oppresive regimes, and to deal with the environmental impact of your wastefulness. For the record, no, you are not welcome.

FYI, a computer only uses a tiny amount of power to run. Of course, just about any product has some degree of environmental impact. The issue is how much, what measures are taken to limit it, and whether it is proportional to the benefit returned by its use. Each generation of computers becomes more energy efficient than the last, and if only by virtue of being smaller, use fewer resources during production. Computers save resources by reducing the amount of paper we use, and the fossil fuels we use to move that paper around (just a couple examples).

Your argument boils down to: Since we can't do anything without using some resources, we may as well squander as much as we please.

I wish we could could build a wall around this country and keep those like you who do nothing for it, but love to bithch about it, out.

Well, I guess you are not the freedom defending patriot that you claimed. Now, who's the hypocrite?
A hypocrite says, what?AaronL
Sep 17, 2002 1:51 PM
Isn't it funny that whenever the damage to the environment is with something in your favor it's okay.

Sure computers don't take much power, but they do take SOME power, and the plants that produce that power....

Secondly, are you so naive to think that the hardware that goes into making a computer is made with earth-freindly thinking? Talk about taking money out of people's pockets, the computer industry makes the car business look like a bunch of hemp growers. Yet, you for some reason, you find it okat to sit and use one and make the argument that it saves paper. Big f'ing deal.

Did you ever stop to think that by using a computer that you just put money in the pocket of the silicon valley SE who helped design the thing and took his/her paycheck and went out and bought a big SUV? Or, the house you live in with the concrete foundation? What about the environmental impact of processing the concrete and getting it to it's destination. It goes on and on, but you seem to gloss right over that.

Unless you live in a mud hut and hunt and gather your food and weave your clothes from natural materials I suggest you shut your goddamn mouth because you are JUST AS MUCH A PART OF YOUR SO-CALLED "PROBLEM" AS ANYONE ELSE.


PS:Once again, I challenge you to provide us with some data to support your original statements about the mental state of SUV drivers and how ALL of them don't care about the environment.
A miss is as good as a mileczardonic
Sep 17, 2002 2:30 PM
First, you conveniently failed to address the point that computers actually reduce the use of resources needed to conduct business and communication. I wonder why?

Second, all the arguments that you use to damn computer use are even more applicable to the use of unnecessarily large vehicles. Not to mention the fact that you are using a computer to make this lame point, which (if you actually think it is a valid one) further confirms that you have no compunction about wasting resources.

Third, and in regards to your PS, the very fact that these people choose to buy these wasteful and dangerous vehicles despite the plentitude of less resource-hungry alternatives (and cheaper ones at that) is proof that they are selfish and inconsiderate of their community, country, and mankind in general.

As an aside, you might try using a bigger font. I don't think that the all-caps approach is doing your point justice.
Last post!AaronL
Sep 17, 2002 2:52 PM
You just don't get it do you? You support the very thing that you put down.

We are still waiting for that support of your statements?
[Rolls eyes]czardonic
Sep 17, 2002 3:35 PM
Not one of the statements you made was supported by an iota of documented proof. Now what do you call a person who holds other's to a standard that he does not meet? (Hint)

Here is something to mull over while basking in the sweet glow of victory: Those big shiny SUVs you covet are run by. . . .computers! So by both of our standards, they and the industries they support are rabid polluters. I knew we would be able to come to an agreement if we hashed this out.
A few good men, and you aren't one of them!AaronL
Sep 17, 2002 1:09 PM
Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Whose gonna do it? You? You, Czardonic? I have more responsibility here than you could possibly fathom. You weep for bicycles, and you curse SUVs. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That the use of big trucks for personal transportation, while tragic, probably saves lives. And that my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. I know deep down in places you dont talk about at parties, you don't want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then question the manner in which I provide it. I prefer you said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand to post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to!
Yes. Aaron Sorkin <i>is</i> a great political philosopherczardonic
Sep 17, 2002 1:16 PM
Unfortunately, you are not defending this country, you are defending selfishness. And I assure you that I don't want or need you on that wall. The only freedom your are providing me is a greater statistical chance of dying of emphyzema or becoming a road fataility. Again, thanks, but no thanks.
I saw that moviemoneyman
Sep 18, 2002 5:48 AM
And Jack Nicholson was just the guy to deliver it. Although it is a bit ironic, since he is so much a part of that Hollywood crowd that he is referring to in his soliloquy.

I am a bit slow sometimes, so it took me a while to realize how appropriate the name "czardonic" is to the capitalist-hating, freedom-bashing poster who obviously knows way more than the rest of us.

Thank you for your time and sacrifices spent defending our freedom.

No more appropriate. . .czardonic
Sep 18, 2002 9:49 AM
than your use of the name "moneyman" to defend the self-indulgent impudence that you so blithely conflate with freedom.

Honestly, do you know anything about the principles on which this nation was founded? Respsect for nature? Self reliance? Anything ring a bell? Do you think that driving around in a giant car that squanders our nation's resources and destroys our nation's environment is somehow patriotic? Do you think you are defending freedom by lining the pockets of the oil industry?
Founding principles?AaronL
Sep 18, 2002 10:28 AM
Oh you mean the violation and murder of the native people, or slave ownership? Yeah, those were products of the founding fathers as well.

You may need to take another bong hit bro, and think about that one.

Honestly, Czardonic, do you think that you are without sin in this issue? I think most of the posts on the original topic believe that yes, SUV's are at worst excess, but hardly the begining of the end as you so much try and make us believe. If you live, work and consume in this society, then you contribute to the sins you so much rail against. Even if you don't want to see it that way, you do. We all do.

I do respect your passion for your cause, however, you are not "right", just a bit overzealous.

I've wasted enough of my time with you, I do wish you well.
You don't seem to understand the concept of principlesczardonic
Sep 18, 2002 11:07 AM
They are what you aspire too, even if you can't attain them.

You seem to think that because no-one is perfect, everyone is of equal virtue. Well I'll gladly admit that no-one is perfect. I'll even throw in that no-one will ever be perfect. But that does not excuse us from holding high standards of ourselves and others. This country wasn't built by people who shrugged their shoulders and let others clean up after them, and since the ethos of externalizing damage has taken over, it has gone down hill.

Thus, Americans will flock to car dealerships and buy cars assembled by an industry famous for exploiting hard-working Americans, designed without a second of thought for what their excesses and inefficiencies are doing to our land, air and water. Then those same Americans will slap on an American flag (in complete ignorance for the traditions that govern the display of the Flag) and think that because they are "buying American" they are superior patriots. Pathetic.

You seem to love this country. If you have served to defend it from a foreign threat, I would think that you would be the first in line to defend it against the decay and apathy that is destroying it from the inside.
I already said you know way more than the rest of usmoneyman
Sep 18, 2002 11:34 AM
Now, which university do you attend? Because I would find it hard to believe that you work for a living. Your knowledge of how the world works, as opposed to its theoretical functions, seems to be limited. Your ideas appear as though they come directly from a left-leaning idealogue who professes his ignorance in a university classroom. Or, perhaps, YOU are the said idealogue. Either way, you really have no idea about reality.

As Aaron L. said, take another hit on the bong, plan your next attack on Starbucks and McDonalds, then go to class so you don't waste your Daddie's money.

Have a nice day.

Now that is just a lie.czardonic
Sep 18, 2002 12:03 PM
Or were you lying when you said the following of me?

"A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and you are particularly dangerous." (moneyman 9/17/02 1:18pm)

Or did you mean to imply that I have very little knowledge, but still more than yourself?

Too bad you can't actually support an argument without digressing into this type of non-sequitur ad-hominenm.

You seem to think that anyone who thinks that this country can do better for itself and for future generations is an America-hating leftist with his head in the clouds. What a shame. I only ask: what color is the sky in that closed-minded world of yours? (That is, if you can see it through the smog spewing from your v10).
It's more like......AaronL
Sep 18, 2002 1:20 PM
...he's the local windbag know-it-all that sits in front of Starbucks with his other equally pathetic buddies and they blast the government and big business and everything else. Yet, that's all they do is bitch. Of course they always know all the answers and why everything is so screwed up.

What I always find interesting is that I see these people on my way to work, where I contribute to the economy and the betterment of society. They are ALWAYS there, not working.

If this asshole wants to improve the world so much he should move to south africa. I've spent a considerable amount of time there and I can assure him his love for humanity and desire to make things better would go a lot further down there. Why waste time arguing over MPG ratings of SUV Vs cars when he can save millions of lives? Instead, dipshit lazy ass pricks like this guy take the easy way out. They sit behind a computer and wail away at the things they are too goddamn lazy to work for.

Go ahead Czasshole. Reply away, i know you will because you have NO F'ING LIFE. F' YOU!

Gracious! I hae been <i>defamed</i>!czardonic
Sep 18, 2002 1:54 PM
And with such incontrovertable wit at that!

You're awfully sore, I wonder why? What with you two love birds tripping over each other to flame my replies to each other's posts, one might get the idea that you can't stick up for yourselves.

How about something fun and educational. Go look up "straw man" in the dictionary, and then hang your head in red-faced shame at your own rhetorical ineptitude. Starbucks indeed! That's rich, my friend.

By all means, save your pennies and buy an SUV, built on the backs of the American working man and fueled by the tears of working men all over the world. In the meantime, pat yourself on the back for defending the status quo that makes these monstrosities possible. It must take a mighty effort to nod your head and say nothing needs to change. Clearly, everything is right with this country. Only a crackpot would question it! Shame on those "lazy ass pricks" who don't have the fortitude to do nothing!

And what a stunning coup de grace, challenging to let your churlish insults go un-answered, or "admit" that I have nothing better to do than reply. Kudos!
Yes, Comrademoneyman
Sep 18, 2002 2:08 PM
As I tripped over AaronL getting to this post, I came to the realization that you have a lot in common with this particular figure in history. He talked about building fortunes on the backs of people, too. And his buddies before him were known to sing this song:

The Internationale

Words by Eugene Pottier (Paris 1871)
Music by Pierre Degeyter (1888)

Arise ye workers from your slumbers
Arise ye prisoners of want
For reason in revolt now thunders
And at last ends the age of cant.
Away with all your superstitions
Servile masses arise, arise
We'll change henceforth the old tradition
And spurn the dust to win the prize.

So comrades, come rally
And the last fight let us face
The Internationale unites the human race.
So comrades, come rally
And the last fight let us face
The Internationale unites the human race.

No more deluded by reaction
On tyrants only we'll make war
The soldiers too will take strike action
They'll break ranks and fight no more
And if those cannibals keep trying
To sacrifice us to their pride
They soon shall hear the bullets flying
We'll shoot the generals on our own side.

No saviour from on high delivers
No faith have we in prince or peer
Our own right hand the chains must shiver
Chains of hatred, greed and fear
E'er the thieves will out with their booty
And give to all a happier lot.
Each at the forge must do their duty
And we'll strike while the iron is hot.


And a little history for you as well:

The Internationale was written to celebrate the Paris Commune of March-May 1871: the first time workers took state power into their own hands. They established in the Commune a form of government more democratic than ever seen before. Representatives were mandated on policy questions by their electors, they were recallable at any time and were paid wages that reflected those of their constituents. The Commune was a working body, not a talk shop. The distinction between legislative and executive arms of government was abolished. Marx's Civil War in France is a suberb account of the history and significance of the Commune. The Commune was drowned in blood by the conservative French government in Versailles, cheered on by the ruling classes of the world.

Workers have adopted a similar pattern of organisation whenever they have challenged the capitalist class for state power: in the form of the Soviets in Russia in 1917; collectives in Spain in 1937; the Workers Council of Greater Budapest in Hungary in 1956; the cordones in Chile in 1973; and, in many respects, Solidarity in Poland in 1980.

You can use this next time you go to/teach that university class. And if you sing it right after the big hit from that bong, it sounds like Led Zeppelin.

That thesaurus feature on Word is great, isn't it? Do you use Word? Ever hear of Bill Gates? Pot .... Black

[shrugs] Can I assume the relevance of this is apparent to you?czardonic
Sep 18, 2002 2:33 PM
I, frankly, am puzzled. Other than the obvious parallel between Stalin and the likes of you who beleive that those that challenge the powers at be must be stamped out, I am not sure what you are getting at.

Perhaps you still have it stuck in your head that "czardonic" is meant to convey some kind of anti-capitalist statement? I guess you didn't realize that the Czar's were overthown by the Soviets (who failed miserably at bettering the plight of working people, but did posthumously manage to make you look like an ignoramus).

What else have you got?
Ignatius, is that you?AaronL
Sep 18, 2002 2:14 PM
I've just figured it out, I'm arguing with Ignatius J. Reilly.

You twit.
Paraphrased from the movie . . .Steve98501
Sep 18, 2002 4:00 PM
and Jack Nicholson was so good in exemplifying the role of the Marine who is first to fight, . . . and last to think. Very catchy, and while I'm proud of U.S. Marines, your post isn't relevant to the topic at hand. This thread is generally a good one if it induces people to think.

Concerned BB members are criticizing unthinking Americans who exercise their freedom of choice to buy and operate SUVs that: 1) maintain and increase U.S. dependence on foreign oil due to lower mpg; 2) cause more pollution than other, equally functional and luxurious, alternatives; 3) endanger their community with vehicle frames that cause more damage in accidents; and 4) are more likely to have accidents due to poor handling design characteristics.

I embrace the freedom of choice available in the U.S. I don't want to control your or others' freedoms. I would like everyone to make informed choices. And when someone makes a fully informed choice to buy and operate a SUV in lieu of an equally functional alternative, I think (my opinion - reasons 1 thru 4 given above) they are making an unpatriotic decision. Now this is different than choosing a Utility (non-SUV) vehicle to perform functions for which there is no reasonable alternative.

Although SUVs are functional to some purposes, I do believe the principle reason for their popularity is image enhancement through advertising. Making SUVs popular is in the auto industry's interest because, as was mentioned in another post, the per-unit profit is much greater for SUVs than for other, often more practical (in the sense of fuel economy, pollution, safety, handling stability, and luxury), cars. I talk to a lot of SUV owners about their choices. It turns out most made their choice based on image, or a combination of image and perception of convenience. The convenience of 4WD that they never use, the cargo space that is equaled or exceeded in a mini-van and nearly equaled by a Subaru wagon. And often by the perception of safety - they think the vehicle is safer in an accident (gonna' protect my children) without understanding the the SUV's poor handling may increase the likelihood of having an accident. But not one SUV owner thought about their decision being unpatriotic in terms of foreign oil dependence, pollution, or unsafe to their community.

Perhaps that's the criticism: unthinking American consumers.


define "responsible" please (nm)ColnagoFE
Sep 17, 2002 1:54 PM
The attitude is also what is right w/ Americakenyee
Sep 17, 2002 10:11 AM
Responsibilities don't mean you should tell others what to do because it bothers *you*, nor should politicians take away freedoms. If you want to see where your attitude leads, look at other countries where you can no longer carry anything pointy (U.K.) or defend yourself (Australia where you get more jail time than the crook).

To address your other comments, the newer SUVs have similiar mileage to a station wagon or minivan; I've even heard of an Audi A4 1.8T getting a measly 17mpg in the city when you use the turbo a lot. The older clunkers put out by the American truck companies (not the newer designs like the Saturn VUE) have ancient engines. Some, like the ML270CDI which we can't get in the US because of our crappy diesel fuel even get 30mpg, though it will be brought here in 2 years from what I understand.

As for safety, the Volvo XC90 has a hood crush area for pedestrians so they don't get launched into the windshield. The Volvo XC90, the MDX, the MB M-Class, and even the new Expedition have lower metal bumpers hidden underneath so they don't go over a car when they hit them.

So, yes, our capitalistic market is slowly addressing some of the negatives of SUVs, but because the *consumer* wants it and the *competition* is pushing them to do it.

Do you teach your children using carrots or sticks and which works better? :-)
The attitude is also what is right w/ AmericaMe Dot Org
Sep 17, 2002 1:17 PM
...So, yes, our capitalistic market is slowly addressing some of the negatives of SUVs -

The biggest negative is an unlevel playing field: SUVs do not have to meet the same emission standards as automobiles.

Without that unfair advantage, there is no way they could have achieved the market penetration they have.

And who has fought tooth and nail to keep the playing field uneven? Our Capitalistic Market, namely the auto makers spend money to buy legislators to keep it that way. If it means we breathe more poision and kill more people, so be it.
My 2002 Explorer is considered a Low Emissions Vehicle (nm)ColnagoFE
Sep 17, 2002 1:52 PM
My 2002 Explorer is considered a Low Emissions Vehicle (nm)Me Dot Org
Sep 18, 2002 5:41 PM
Kudos to Ford for putting a Low Emissions engine in an SUV.

Now, do you think Ford did this because:

A. After 2 decades of fighting for relaxed emission standards, Ford management had a 'come to Jesus' experience, and saw the error of its ways?


B. After the Firestone/rollover fiasco, Ford decided the only way to restore image in the market was to be a 'responsible' company, and do so by using existing technology from auto manufacturing?

Kudos, also to Honda for making an Ultra Low Emissions SUV.

Honda also makes an Accord which is so clean it would take 40new Accords to new equal the emissions of a single 1982 Accord.

Honda is also the only car company not to lobby against the recently defeated increased fuel economy standards.
And there are ULEV (CA level) SUVskenyee
Sep 17, 2002 7:31 PM
The MB M-Class and the MDX are both is the new XC90 (I think). So, you see, it's progressing as it should be.

Yes, if they had to meet the same emissions standards as cars, the *American* SUV makers would not have been able to survive the 80s and 90s. They're the same ones that slapped together a truck w/ 4 doors w/ a $15K profit margin. But w/o that, they would surely have croaked w/ the incursion of reliable Toyotas and Hondas as family sedans and you'd have a lot of American people out of work.

It's part of capitalism, which has pros and cons.

I don't agree w/ the political pandering though. I think all the career politicians should be dropped off at the nearest island and nuked...ditto the lobbyists. What you griped about is a broken/corrupt political system. I'd hardly call it capitalism.
bitter are we? (nm)ColnagoFE
Sep 17, 2002 10:23 AM
It comes down to SKILLZniteschaos
Sep 17, 2002 9:13 AM
I have been hit more times and had more close calls with punks behind Honda Civics and their mother's Volvo station wagons simply because of thier numbers, than SUVs.

The larger and more powerful the vehicle, the more it was show a lack of driver skills. Because most people behind the wheel should really be riding 2 wheels to work, we notice the lack of driving prowess more in the SUVs. take the size of a conversion van, and double the power, and put Sandra behind the wheel and of course she'll be out of her element. As an SUV rider and driver of the past 12 years, to say they are easy to flip isn't really that true. I've never even had a close call. Idiots that drive without the thought of consequences are going to flip whatever they pilot, I'm sure you'll agree with that. True, they are less stable that most cars, but then again, they are not cars, and should not be driven in the same manner.

My son is in a co-op program and Ga Tech and moves between school, his internship in Greenville, and home in Columbs, GA, each year, or about 4 times. the distances are too great for multiple trips, so he drives a 1990 Sub. makes everything in one trip.

He is also a cyclist and I'm sure he drives around you guys the way he'd like to be driven around.

It ain't the vehicle, its the SKILLZ.
Since you asked...grzy
Sep 17, 2002 9:48 AM
Climbing up a twisty mountian road two weeks ago with the Missus (can't call her Mrs. Grzy - she hates that). Beautiful afternoon in the Santa Mountains - Mt. Charlie for those of you that know it. I'm a bit ahead and up against the right edge (as always) going around a blind right corner when suddenly this black Mercedes SUV comes tearing around the corner just a foot or two from me. Startled I yell out, "Hey!" and nothing more. I'm quite surprised when the window gets rolled down and a woman's voice yells back, "Get off the road if you don't like it!"

At first I'm shocked from almost being hit and the total rudeness then I'm pissed. So I turn around and chase the SUV down - I'm also worried about my wife who doesn't tend to ride up against the edge of the road as much as I do. To my surprise the SUV stops and we start verbally getting into it. I tell the well dressed fat middle aged woman driver that I have just as much right to be on the road as she does and that it's people like her with that attitude that gets us mained and killed. She says that I'm an asshole and that she's going to call the cops. For what I have no idea - infringing on her pursuit of happiness and breathing her air I suppose. We go back and forth and call each other a few more choice and colorful names, meanwhile I pull a full water bottle out and in the middle of the exchange I really hose her down! I get her in the face and soak her fancy designer mumu tent type robe. The look of surprise was really priceless, my only regret was that it was only water and not some nice sticky Cytomax. Maybe I was lucky she wasn't packing some heat. Could it be called assault? Probably, but I'd counter she started with the SUV.

So, what is it that I don't like about SUVs? It has to be the attitude of the people driving them. Even my Dad turns into an asshole when he gets behind the wheel of his, but that's another story.
If true that is really funny but liable to get you arrested (nm)ColnagoFE
Sep 17, 2002 10:27 AM
Sep 17, 2002 1:58 PM
Thought maybe the Sheriff would be waiting for us at the top of the hill or Mrs. Grzy would be splattered part way down the hill. Not one of the smartest things I've ever done, but totally within my wise-ass testosterone poisoned nature. Mrs. Grzy just rolled her eyes and mentioned that the SUV lady did kind of look at her funny. In any event I would've just countered that she tried to assault me with a deadly weapon - her SUV and that damn mumu. I don't think too much would've happened since we're talking about nothing more than water and she stopped to jaw with me and there were no witnesses. I've squirted people before for yelling stuff at me from cars. The way I figure it's part of the deal and if they're surprised then just maybe they'll realize what it's like to be on the other side of things. If they don't like it they coould always try *not* provoking us - or are they really trying to get a reaction? Maybe it's just the bully syndrome and they're picking on us b/c they think they can get away with it.

Of course the whole thing could get out of hand and I could wind up in a ditch with a tire track across my head.
you're lucky she didn't go homicidal, butweiwentg
Sep 17, 2002 6:16 PM
what you did was truly priceless. >:)
road rules - how to deal w/SUVsAllisonHayes
Sep 17, 2002 10:39 AM

First, I can't believe you did that. On second thought, I can. It wasn't right - but it what you did to her was funny. I just hope you don't get in trouble w/Mrs Grzy, or anyone else for that matter.

Rule 1. Train a squirrel.

"a SUV driver had been attacked by a squirrel, which had leapt out of a tree, through her open sunroof, and onto her head." reported by the Herald

Rule 2. SUV right of way in Massachusetts.

SUVs can go through a red light for ten seconds after it turns, provided they don't look at cross traffic and accelerate until they exceed the speed limit for the road.

So, if you sense a large, dark, hurtling presence accompanied by indignant honking the SUV is invoking this special rule. You need to pull over hastily.

Rule 3. Mercedes SUV drivers can drive any way they want down twisty mountain roads.

As you round any blind corner, you will inevitably end up with a Mercedes SUV bearing down on you at great speed.

You will find Mercedes SUV drivers are usually Nietzchean, and believe, as Nietzche taught us, "God is dead; so find your own goddamn twisty road." Just as there are no atheists in foxholes, there are no liberals in Santa Monica. Just do everything to swerve and avoid them. They didn't know were there in the first place -- and the way they drive in the first place proves they didn't.

LOL - you are my hero - I have thought about doing that... but..VO2_max
Sep 17, 2002 12:50 PM
Your story just made my week!!!James
Sep 17, 2002 9:36 PM
Gorgeous story, grz! The highlight of the discussion. nmLeisure
Sep 18, 2002 12:56 AM
Because these exist..........................2melow
Sep 17, 2002 10:30 AM
Subaru Forester :)

Use to have a Nissan Pathfinder, but the gas mileage sucked and it was grossly underpowered with that 3.0 v6.

...and because I can fit everything in with the use of a car top carrier which is removed when I don't need to haul a lot of gear.
Nice, but less room than a Legacy and no low range (nm)ColnagoFE
Sep 17, 2002 1:41 PM
I have four of them...phlegm
Sep 17, 2002 11:03 AM
Yes, that's right, I own 4 SUVs. A Bianchi, a GT, a Specialized, and a Marin.
I like 'em they provide great draft.swvegg
Sep 17, 2002 6:41 PM
Question: SUV vs. Yugofbg111
Sep 18, 2002 5:57 AM
If you're on your bike and you get hit by a car, will there be any significant difference in your injuries if that car is an SUV or a Yugo?

I think that the SUV, b/c of its size, road-hogginess, and perhaps the driver attitude, increases the chances of you getting hit over that of a smaller car. But getting hit by either one seems like it would be equally injurious to a fragile, unprotected human body. What do you think?