Cycling with the Government

WARNING: If you are a Tea Party aficionado or hang on the right-side of the political spectrum, you ought not read the following as it could raise your blood pressure to quadruple digits.

Early this morning as the sun peeked over the horizon, I got onto my bike and headed for the metropark. Today’s high temperature is predicted to be 98, so an early morning exercise seemed to be in order. A trio of deer startled me [and I, them] as I entered the park;  I disrupted their morning munch. The air hung heavy with moisture as I peddled my way through the bike trail,  a rails-to-trails pathway. I came upon another solitary deer whose ears bent my direction as I passed. I was tempted to say, “Good morning,” but I decided not and saved it for a jogger a few yards down the path.

The park lies in the Oak Openings Region of northwestern Ohio and, at this time of the year, the purples, yellows and whites dominate the sandy soils of the park. The oaks have not yet turned yet the sumacs are now ablaze with their red flames. Seasonal change is coming soon, but not today.

As with most metroparks, this land used to be in private ownership, yet, fortuitously, the more astute citizens of the metro area wisely sought to purchase it [through their taxes] and save it for all of the area citizens to enjoy. It was to be sold to a real estate developer, but the citizens won that battle. It was put to a vote and the citizens won. Had the private interests prevailed my morning ride would not have taken place.

What a wise decision it was some years ago to preserve this unique landscape for the citizens to enjoy . For the common good. There’s the phrase- for the common good. That concept, for the common good,  used to be non-political and clearly was a basic ideal of the sprouting American republic during its growing years. It wasn’t an exclusive ideal of the Federalist Party or the Democratic-Republican Party. It was an American ideal.  For the common good.

That spirit of commonality or mutuality has been demonized of late by the right end of the political spectrum. Commonality has been morphed to ‘socialism.’ No doubt that queer lineup to be paraded like hogs onto the stage next Wednesday evening- the GOP presidential candidate debate- will fetor of narcissism, selfishness and greed. Each candidate will attempt to out-do the others,  bloviating the dangers of socialism creeping across the land like a wildfire. The phrase, for the common good, I suspect will not be uttered that entire evening. Rather, the theme will be that of personal aggrandizement, corporate and financial industry profits, and deregulation.

I rather enjoy regulation; of course, as a teen, it was an entirely different situation. Egocentrism reigned. When I hear those on the right blather about spending cuts and elimination regulations, I cannot help but wonder if they ever exited their adolescent phase of life. Regulations. Recall that the word, regulated, is one in of the most sacred phrases for many on the right side of politics, ‘well regulated.’ What’s wrong with well regulated in the context of  for the common good? The common good needs to be well regulated otherwise the shysters will descend like vultures. Those on the right, it seems, have trouble with both phrases, regulation and for the common good.

Back to my ride. On the rails-to-trails pathway, not surprisingly, I cycled past several industrial sites which butt up to the trail. One is a manufacturer of commercial, institutional, and industrial cleaning products. Another is an asphalt paving and sealing company and a third is a former auto junk yard.  The trail ends, interestingly, at a former dump which has now been rehabilitated and will someday be turned into a park.  One can only imagine what these 4 sites would be like were there few or no regulations.

Phooey on those self-serving people who hang out on the right edge of the political spectrum. They are no more than dunces and cheerleaders for the well-to-do shysters that are driven by greed rather than the common good.


17 thoughts on “Cycling with the Government

  1. What’s the Matter with Kansas? It’s now available through Netflix on disc.

    (Hey, I wanted to read the book, but I really am busy. Sorry.)

  2. Another “patriot” movie, also available from Netflix, is BIRTH OF A NATION. I’m watching that one tonight. Anybody know where I can get a white sheet tailored?

  3. Hello Muddy,
    What a well written piece. I enjoyed it very much and could visualize your bike ride right along with you. “Well regulated and common good,” how much wealth of foresight our previous generations of leaders and forefathers had. At what point and time did we loose site of these word’s meanings applied to the quality of life here in the United States.

    If I were to put a color applied to the words and viewpoints coming for the extreme right, it would be a dull, dismal, gray. Kind of like the old black and white movie 1984. Bland, depressing architecture, pasted on a barren, treeless, scorched poisoned earth. To me that is the Tea Party’s viewpoint for our future. Those sitting there mindless waiting for the next mandate to come down from BIG BROTHER to be carried out and it would be then carried out with emotion at that point and time……of course the emotions would be hate and rage. I guess I would say the Teabagger has only three emotions which are, blank mindless stupor, hate, and rage.

    Those whom claim Tea Party or the self massaging hubris, “Patriot” mantle to me seem nothing more than adults that did not mature pass a three year old’s viewpoints. “IT’S MINE, DON’T WANNA, etc,” while stomping their feet temper tantrum.

    Again good writing.

  4. I was out at Oak Openings at the beginning of October last year. It was an early morning hike with a friend and we ran across a flock of wild turkeys!
    Without a Parks System, the regulation of hunting, a wildlife management system and the entire infrastructure which maintains this precarious ecosystem in this modern world, there would be no wild turkeys or any where they could live in Northwest Ohio. Oak Openings is a very unique ecological niche…it is a true temperate savannah, the remnant of a system that once existed across the lower Great Lakes.
    I am presently writing a piece defending Rick Perry as a true pillar of the Constitution…the trouble is, that it’s the wrong Constitution…he has it confused with the Confederacy…..

  5. P.S. Very Happy to see you write about cycling! One of those constant rhythms of my live that allows me to be lost in time…I do it every day and somehow achieve the state of being 12 years old for a few minutes at least.

  6. When I lived in NYC, bikes in apartment buildings were seen by the management as a problem….now, NYC has redesigned itself to be bike user friendly and landlords are providing bike rooms as a standard amenity.
    More and more Manhattanites are biking everyday as their primary method of commuting. The network of paths along
    the Hudson now make easy to take a mini vacation through a network of parks extending from The Battery up to the Harlem River. This is one way that the interface of citizens and a concerned government has drastically improved the quality of life for everyone…not just the bikers, but the easing of congestion on the streets and the pollution in the air.
    I look forward to biking when I visit Ohio…the blessed relief of cruising sans hills…luckily for me, my brother in law has a very nice bike he never uses! I just lube it, check the brakes and tires and let the wind push me up into Michigan!

  7. We used to have a co-op at The Lincoln Towers on West End Avenue overlooking the Hudson. It was were the West Side Highway ends into 11th Avenue. I was the guy up on the balcony with the binoculars (ya, that narrows it down). Small World.

    1. ex New York Resident, went to a catholic grade school in detroit. now connecting through a blog out of toledo…krikey…yer right! of course, I know where the Lincoln Towers were, my friend Denise still lives there.

  8. My WordPress Spam Folder snagged a comment by a Tea Party member from the Atlanta area who questioned if I even know what a Tea Party member believes in. Duh. Taxed Enough Already??

    I visited his blog and found a bevy of anti-Obama postings, one more cruel than the next, and on the edge of racial bigotry.

    Do I know anything about the Tea Party? Sure ‘nuf do, ole southern boy.

  9. If you knew what a tea brain…oops a tea party member was? is this a trick question? I know when they’re havin one of their rallies…just by the sound of the squeaky overheating electric personal transportation devices…they’re not electric wheelchairs, please….the odor of musty over ripe Depends wafting on the winds of freedom let me know that I have perhaps an hour or so to get out of the way if they’re comin at me….

  10. Hello Muddy,
    “Do I know anything about the Tea Party? Sure ‘nuf do, ole southern boy.”

    Oddly enough I just did a piece on “We Have All Been Here Before,” where I explain, from a Southern childhood viewpoint myself, today I heard a term that I had not heard since I was a young man. The term was “Southern Traditionalist.”

    Back in the 1960’s when the Civil Rights Movement was in full swing, those who opposed “Equal Rights” being applied to all citizens in the United States, referred to themselves as “Southern Traditionalist.”

    Whether one uses the old 1960’s Southern Traditionalist or today’s current “Patriot,” these people are all one in the same.

    For those who do not know me, I am a Southern born, raised, and Republican. The current Teabaggers are a cancerous scourge on my Republican Party.

  11. “Southern Traditionalist.” You’ve brought up a term that ought to have died with the redaction of the southern Jim Crow Laws. Traditionalist is such a pleasant word for racist. Yet, along the same vein, the word ‘patriot’ has been so pimped that it no longer means what I knew it to back in the 50’s when I was coming of age. Back then a patriot was one who loved and worked for the betterment of his/her country- not for the betterment of a skewed ideology.

  12. Mud- nice post, I too, like biking, mainly with my daughter. I live in Cook County, we have 100,000’s of forest preserve acreage. 8 years ago they started putting in bike paths. My girl and I love ’em. I honestly don’t mind my tax dollars going to that. The only bad thing here is the criminal element that some of these perserves bring.

      1. Our forest preserves are somewhat of a gathering place for, Bi-sexual men. Guys that are married, and cheat on their wives with other men. I guess you could say, they on the down low, dog……Only problem is that they do it in public, with families and kids going through there.

        Hey dot- Sorry about not replying to you question, I’ll be putting up one more post for you and I soon. Too answer your question, and I might have one more of my own. Thanks again brutha……………..

  13. BTW- Just going by memory of History class in High School. I believe the Tea Party was started in the late 1700’s. It was an actual party, throwing Britain’s tea into the harbor, because they weren’t going to pay taxes. So, from my understanding of this incident, a true “TEA PARTY” would mean no more tea party politicans? Since we “Tax Paying Citizen” would no longer be paying their salaries?

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