May 8, 2017

e-bikes are not a panacea

But the biggest flaws with e-bikes are physical and psychological. The bicycle is meant to be an endorphin-multiplier. In my mind, bike commuting's big draw is burning calories on the way to your destination. Yes, an e-bike is better for the environment than your car, but in the end, you forgo a crucial part of the experience. You make yourself better, and stronger, when you ride a real bike.

By doing the hard work for you, e-bikes cheat people out of that accomplishment and ultimately make them lazier. They enable entitlement to motion and a sense of false accomplishment.

May 7, 2017

An insurance bill for damage to the vehicle that hit her ?

For the first time in her life, Nako Nakatsuka felt hopeless. On April 6, 2014, the typically upbeat biochemistry grad student and member of the UCLA triathlon team had been making a left turn off Santa Monica Boulevard on her road bike when a car drifted into the turn lane and hit her from behind.

But it wasn't the crash that got to her--it was what came in the mail a month later: an insurance bill for damage to the vehicle that hit her, along with the threat of a lawsuit.

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May 1, 2017

Not subtle attempt to troll

As an able-bodied white Protestant who was once thrown out of the Junior Republicans for being "above the threshold of racism we tolerate," I know a lot about what it's like to be persecuted.

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April 30, 2017

The alt-right label

The alt-right label had been in use for years, partly to describe a vivid, largely online subculture of trolls who reveled in their racialist ugliness, often claiming it was an antidote to the reign of political correctness, which they saw as ruining the country. Populist nationalism joined hands with white supremacism and immature 4Chan trolls, borrowing its language from the latter and a deliberate, ironically blasphemous embrace of the former.

Whether it was a belief system, a fully formed ideology, or a form of rhetoric, a way of poking at the nostrums and sacred cows of liberalism, was left deliberately murky.

If a lawmaker campaigns in poetry and governs in prose, the alt-right, whatever it is these days, is trying to pivot from campaigning in bathroom graffiti to governing in the foreign language of diplomatic tact and deliberate restraint. A movement that spent years on the attack now has to learn to defend.

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