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Joe Biden on Cars & Mitt Romney

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Joe Biden on Cars & Mitt Romney

Old 09-07-12, 08:27 AM
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cerewa
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Joe Biden on Cars & Mitt Romney

As a car free person, I frowned a little when I heard Joe Biden talk about the car industry. Joe says to us, "Mitt is a good guy. I mean, he grew up loving cars as much as I did".

I know he didn't mean it that way, but it sounded like in Joe's book being a good guy is the same thing as loving cars.

I actually think cars are a great contribution to our society and our economy (speed, convenience, weather protection) in addition to having terrible unintended consequences. They are a tool and a mixed blessing, and I hope people will see them that way rather than hold love in their heart when they think of their favorite steel giant.

(please refrain from discussing the political merits of Mitt, Joe, or Barack as that will get this thread thrown out of Living Car Free section ... but feel free to take that stuff up in the Politics and Religion forum)
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Old 09-07-12, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by cerewa View Post
(please refrain from discussing the political merits of Mitt, Joe, or Barack as that will get this thread thrown out of Living Car Free section ...
Yeah right...

But you do come across as an urban intellectual who utterly fails to understand how much cars mean to particularly the young working class men in the USA. Sorta like Obama--which is exactly why Biden was speaking to this issue instead of the incumbent. Biden is seen to be more popular with men--especially working class men and "Reagan democrats."

You also fail to mention that auto building is still a cornerstone of American manufacturing, even if it has lost some of its importance to computers and other electronics. American cars have been a source of pride to the nation for more than 100 years, and the foundation of 20th century prosperity. This IS something that Obama and Biden understan when they put through the bailoutd, although Romney--ironically, the son of a great car man--just doesn't get this.

BTW, Romney probably doesn't "get" car culture any more than Obama does. But his chauffeurs probably do.

Being anti-car will get you nowhere in American politics. We need to make carfree living and related isues a positive issue instead.
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Old 09-07-12, 08:58 AM
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If you grew up in a 50s, 60s, 70s it's very likely you were a car guy...it's just what guys did. My affection may have transferred to bikes but I dont deny the fun of rebuilding engines, going out for fast rides on Saturday nights, a little love in the backseat.

It struck me a little out of step too, but I don't expect to see White House residents & staff getting around the country on townies anytime soon.

What I don't get is how the car free crowd expects to see their country, do much exploring without a decent car. I drove my cars into the ground, went everywhere from camping in desert, sleeping on the beach, getting to the trailhead in the high mountains, dancing in the city. Just what's the plan if you are car free, take the bus to the library and look at pictures of places you haven't been?


Unless you are a student or have good friends with good cars, car free is crazy talk to me.
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Old 09-07-12, 09:15 AM
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Well, we are almost, "car free" but your point is well taken, IF we want to go somewhere far away, we do, "Rent a car", the problem with bicycle touring is that if your "old and slow" like us, it takes a LOT of TIME to get to anywhere new! Still for the everyday, we are car free, we use our bicycles for getting food, running errands, going out on the town or we WALK. If we HAVE too, we will take the city bus, walking in 6 inches+ of snow with cars splashing up CRUD on you is a REAL PIA, so sometimes the Bus makes sense. We are not, Green people, we do what we do due to economics. So maybe not truely "Car FREE" but we are "Car Ownership FREE"!
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Old 09-07-12, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
If you grew up in a 50s, 60s, 70s it's very likely you were a car guy...it's just what guys did. My affection may have transferred to bikes but I dont deny the fun of rebuilding engines, going out for fast rides on Saturday nights, a little love in the backseat.

It struck me a little out of step too, but I don't expect to see White House residents & staff getting around the country on townies anytime soon.

What I don't get is how the car free crowd expects to see their country, do much exploring without a decent car. I drove my cars into the ground, went everywhere from camping in desert, sleeping on the beach, getting to the trailhead in the high mountains, dancing in the city. Just what's the plan if you are car free, take the bus to the library and look at pictures of places you haven't been?


Unless you are a student or have good friends with good cars, car free is crazy talk to me.
You might want to scroll through the threads, rather than expect an instant answer to your complex question. For now, suffice it to say that most would not be carfree if it required a decline in their quality of life. Many of us feel the alternative are more enjoyable than cars, and many use the money they save on cars to do some pretty awesome things. The buses go to other places besides the library, and there are many other forms of transportation, including trains, planes, feet, bicycles (duh), and even in a pinch the borrowed or rented automobile.

(BTW, I'm assuming that you're an honest person with sincere questions and interest in using your car less and your bike more. Of course, with my luck I probably just wasted 10 minutes on another damn troll.)
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Old 09-07-12, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
What I don't get is how the car free crowd expects to see their country, do much exploring without a decent car. I drove my cars into the ground, went everywhere from camping in desert, sleeping on the beach, getting to the trailhead in the high mountains, dancing in the city. Just what's the plan if you are car free, take the bus to the library and look at pictures of places you haven't been?


Unless you are a student or have good friends with good cars, car free is crazy talk to me.
I'm both a student and I have good friends with good cars... so perhaps I'm not the best person to answer your question

I don't think that car free is for everyone. I was hesitant to go car free for a long time, simply because I didn't want to be the moocher on vacations. However, two hit and runs plus severe hail damage in the past three months have convinced me that I'm just not cut out for car ownership while living downtown.

For me it's more a question of reducing cars in my friend circle. Almost everyone I know owns a car, including my boyfriend that I live with. Isn't it a little crazy to have one car per person? I rarely go out to the mountains by myself, so for that purpose you really only need one car per 3-4 people. For the times that I do go out by myself, I plan on renting a car. This will be an almost weekly thing in the winter (cross-country ski lessons), so while I'll be spending upwards of $200 a month for a few months, I believe the costs will balance out over the rest of the year.
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Old 09-07-12, 09:50 AM
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BTW, of any politician on the national level, Joe Biden was famous in the Senate for commuting by train rather than limo. He is apparently far from being carfreee, however.
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Old 09-07-12, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
What I don't get is how the car free crowd expects to see their country, do much exploring without a decent car. I drove my cars into the ground, went everywhere from camping in desert, sleeping on the beach, getting to the trailhead in the high mountains, dancing in the city. Just what's the plan if you are car free, take the bus to the library and look at pictures of places you haven't been?
In the last nine years, I've been going increasingly car-light. I've also been able to see more places now than when I was driving a lot more.

Almost all my vacations have been bike trips. Most have started and ended at my door, but in some cases I've either driven or flown out somewhere and ridden from there. I might not see quite as many of the touristy spots and I can't cover nearly the same distances as in a car, but I've managed to get some incredibly rich experiences along the way. On trips where I've flown somewhere and then cycled, I've been able to swim in the Caribbean, sip mango juice under the shade of a palm tree, see Jim Morrison's old neighbourhood, cycle along a beach immortalized in the music of the Beach Boys, walk on permafrost and see the midnight sun. On trips closer to home, I've been able to see and experience many special places I would have missed if I had been driving. And in every case, I've met some wonderful people along the way.

Going car-light or car-free does not necessarily mean living in just a few city blocks.
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Old 09-07-12, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
What I don't get is how the car free crowd expects to see their country, do much exploring without a decent car. I drove my cars into the ground, went everywhere from camping in desert, sleeping on the beach, getting to the trailhead in the high mountains, dancing in the city. Just what's the plan if you are car free, take the bus to the library and look at pictures of places you haven't been?


Unless you are a student or have good friends with good cars, car free is crazy talk to me.
I have seen far more from the seat of my bicycle than from any other mode of transportation. Having just returned to the USA after several extended bicycle trips in Asia Ive probably seen more countries by bicycle than your average American (car owner) will ever see in their life times (13 countries and counting). In my own situation, none of that would have been possible if it were not for the bicycle as a mode of transportation, but also as an alternative to auto-dependency and a mainstay of car-free living, that allowed me to accumulated the financial resources to take a year off of "work" so that I could live my travel dream.

If you are the average American car owner, paying the average cost of car ownership and making the average American wage, and the average American amount of debt, car dependency is "crazy talk" to me.
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Old 09-07-12, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
BTW, of any politician on the national level, Joe Biden was famous in the Senate for commuting by train rather than limo. He is apparently far from being carfreee, however.
https://www.theonion.com/articles/joe...-conven,29425/

uses other people's cars.

If you explore in a car, you haven't seen much. If you spend much of your attention admiring the scenery you run a big risk of becoming part of it.
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Old 09-07-12, 03:26 PM
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At one time I was a "car guy" with a suped up Mustang and a tire shredding F100. My Mustang was a 67 Fastback, a real screamer with a heavily modified 428FE and a 4 on the floor. This car would do a quarter mile in 11.47 seconds with a complete interior, she was a real screamer. 4mpg on average, she had a real aggressive cam. My F100 was a 61 short box that I had lowered and dropped a huge bored out 460 V-8 that was displacing 512 cubic inches. Mated to a c-6 auto and a rear end that had 5.13 gears in it. She'd top out at around 70mph, but she'd get there quick. That beast got 2, I say again, 2mpg. In all fairness those were some of the best 2 miles ever. I had other cars but these were my two brawlers. At one time I owned 8 cars, the newest one was a 69 and of the 8 only 3 were in running condition.

This was all well and good for a while, but around my 25th birthday I got tired of the life. It seemed like I was under the hood every night fixing something, all the horsepower made things wear out faster. So I sold the fleet and bought a new car. That was a disaster because I got bored with it quick. Managed to unload it with some significant out of pocket expense with 30 payments left. Then I started shopping used vehicles from the late 80's to early 90's. Found lots of cool cars and trucks and was able to buy/sell/trade so I was driving something different very frequently. At one time I had 6 vehicles, and they all ran! Then as I got closer to 30 my collection thinned out, it was just getting way too expensive. By 29 I had one car left and shortly before 30 I went car free, bought my bikes this year.

Now I have discovered a new interest, motorcycles. If I indulge this fantasy I have little doubt that I will wrap myself around a tree before I'm 32.

Confessions of a car guy. Let's hear yours.
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Old 09-07-12, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
If you grew up in a 50s, 60s, 70s it's very likely you were a car guy...it's just what guys did. My affection may have transferred to bikes but I dont deny the fun of rebuilding engines, going out for fast rides on Saturday nights, a little love in the backseat.
I was just looking at a copy of Car Kulture DeLuxe last night, looking at how happy the people in it were with their cars. I wanted to be a car designer when I was a kid. So I was all into that culture. But then as I grew, I rode my bike and I became aware of the real prices we pay for cars (purchase, operation, parking structures, highways, pollution etc.) and the romance was over. I still love them in a way, that's why I was indulging in Car Kulture DeLuxe. I love the art of the cars and the art about the cars. They can be beautiful, exciting and an expression of one's self. But I wondered how one could still participate in such a culture, and the words that came to mind were naivete and denial.

Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
What I don't get is how the car free crowd expects to see their country, do much exploring without a decent car. I drove my cars into the ground, went everywhere from camping in desert, sleeping on the beach, getting to the trailhead in the high mountains, dancing in the city. Just what's the plan if you are car free, take the bus to the library and look at pictures of places you haven't been?
As Zeppinger indicates, in many cases having a car slows you down and the need to drive puts your eyes on the road and not on the scenery. Most people now, even if they are passengers. don't seem to look at the scenery. They turn when the GPS says so and don't even interact with the terrain they are rolling through.

You can always rent a car if you need it. You don't need to commute in bumper to bumper traffic in a machine designed to traverse the back country. I'm car free, and since March I've done about 7,000 miles of travel, by plane, bus, bicycle, walking, train and I even rented a car. The key point is that you think about your travel, and you don't accept a one-size fits all method of travel. You choose what is energy efficient and necessary.

Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
Unless you are a student or have good friends with good cars, car free is crazy talk to me.
It's not crazy talk. I walk the walk. Virtually no one is "car-free" for their life (Amish and undiscovered tribes aside ). As a babe, I was driven home from the hospital in a car, so that construct of purity could never exist for me. Car-free is day to day. In this country, at this time you cannot avoid the car. But if we can trim car usage down, replace freeways with trains, remove parking lots, the country would change to being healthier, more accessible and energy independent. Cities could become more intimate. Once you take the car-free red pill you begin to wonder why owning a car is good at all.
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Old 09-07-12, 11:24 PM
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^^Very well put, Artkansas.
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Old 09-11-12, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
What I don't get is how the car free crowd expects to see their country, do much exploring without a decent car. I drove my cars into the ground, went everywhere from camping in desert, sleeping on the beach, getting to the trailhead in the high mountains, dancing in the city. Just what's the plan if you are car free, take the bus to the library and look at pictures of places you haven't been?

Unless you are a student or have good friends with good cars, car free is crazy talk to me.
This is funny. Did you check the name of the forum before you posted? I have a friend who has just cycled across the US. He seems to be seeing lots of beaches, mountains, deserts, etc. He might actually get to see more of these, rather than the whizzing-by sensation you get on the freeway.
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