Letters to the Editor: May 16, 2012

More Songs About Bikes

There are several notable bicycle songs that I’d like to add (“Off the Charts,” May 9). There was a ’60s group called Tomorrow (featuring a pre-Yes Steve Howe) that recorded “My White Bicycle.” It’s on one of the Nuggets collections, was evidently a hit in Europe, and was later covered by Nazareth, the Space Negroes and “Neil” (actor Nigel Planer) from “The Young Ones.”

Leo Kottke has a nice instrumental ditty called “Busted Bicycle.” XTC fans might know “Bike Ride to the Moon” by the Dukes of Stratosphear. Cracker has a couple relevant ones, my favorite being “I Ride My Bike,” the hidden track on the Kerosene Hat CD.

The New York band Masters of Reality (which at one point featured Ginger Baker on drums) had a short tune on their second album Sunrise on the Sufferbus called “Bicycle” that’s quite nice. Livingston Taylor had a whole album titled Bicycle in the mid-’90s. The title track is somewhat humorous, intentional or not.

More current examples include the Decemberists’ “Apology Song” (about guilt over a stolen bike), “Let Me Lie” by Trey Anastasio (“Gonna take my bike out / Gonna take my bike / Gonna ride it slowly / Gonna ride it just how I like”), plus TV on the Radio’s “Bicycles Are Red Hot” and Bouncing Souls’ “The BMX Song.”

Since most of the above are good, I’ll add one stinker, “Handlebars” by the Flobots has to be one of the worst (seemingly) bicycle-related songs, even though it’s probably got nothing to do with riding a bike. It should have just been called “G.W.’s Folly.”

Santa Rosa

A Congress of Slackers

The members of the U.S. House of Representatives have worked in Washington on 41 of the first 127 days of this year. They are planning to be in session half of the remaining weeks. How long would you keep your job if you worked like that? Even when they show up, they fail to address the biggest problems facing the country. It would take a 50 percent tax increase in order to balance the so-called budget, yet they are avoiding the problem while the national debt continues to grow.

The real problem is that we let them get away with it. They work for us, and we pay them $174,000 per year to do it. Make a commitment to write or call your representative once a week and express your views. See how they respond, and let that be your guide to voting this November.

Charlotte, N.C.

Stop the Crackdown

Legal medical-marijuana dispensaries all over California have received orders from the U.S. Attorney’s office to go out of business within 30 days or face federal prosecution and asset forfeiture.

As a candidate for U.S. Congress, I have sworn to uphold the constitutions of the United States and California. I demand that the U.S. government immediately stop and reverse its unconstitutional assault.

This assault on California’s legal medical marijuana industry is an attack on the sovereignty of California and Californians. It is clearly intended to destroy a legitimate source of livelihood for thousands of Californians, forcing patients who need medical marijuana to deal with outlaws.

Democratic president Obama recently stated his opposition to ending the prohibition of marijuana. The marijuana industry is a major source of income in Northern California, accounting for an estimated one-third of the total income in Mendocino County.

The federal government is building a police state by crushing legal medical marijuana, terrorizing local officials who try to regulate marijuana and attacking marijuana growers and providers with an ever-expanding police force.

This ugly world of violence, corruption, economic waste and environmental destruction will grow unless we unite to stand in resistance. If we remain silent in the face of this federal assault on a legitimate California industry, who will they come for next?


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