If I lived in the US I think I'd go bonkers over the polemics.
The vitriol expressed in the R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.'s article linked to is saddening. Notice how insidious his 'revelations' around population growth, famine and climate change are. I wonder how many countries count as 'civilized' on his calculus, what scale of famine counts as 'famine,' and whether the revision of climate science should really be counted as a mark against those who warned against climate change but had the direction of temperature change off?
Rugged individualism is not cool. You can see it run through a certain portion of the American psyche. The Horatio Alger myth meshes well with rugged individualism. Its maintenance supports the notion that social welfare policies and universal health care only prop up the weak, those who really don't deserve to succeed in life - Social Darwinism at work. Watch out for the socialists, they'll make us weak! Apparently, those who ride bicycles are easy targets as socialist, environmentalist weaklings who don't really deserve to exist if they can't hold their own with cars, SUVs and the rest.
Which reminds me, what is up with a woman in an SUV yelling at my wife, as she rode with my daughter on the back of her long-bike on the sidewalk along Carling avenue near Dow's Lake (as I do when I'm with my daughter): "Hey, get off the sidewalk, you're not allowed there! You are supposed to be on the road!" Seriously, what goes through people's heads when the do stuff like this? My wife could only laugh. You want to give us a ticket, Mrs. Citizens Arrest? Call the cops? Go for it. There is the letter of the law, and there's the spirit of the law. Thinking people follow the spirit of the law, especially when the safety of their children is concerned. If infrastructure is not conducive to safety, we have to adapt, and sometimes that means operating outside the rules. People who consider themselves 'good' because they dogmatically follow rules scare the s@#t out of me.
Friday rant over.