Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Battered Biker Syndrome

A driver chatting on a cellphone almost hit Jonathan Simmons, the Globe's On Biking columnist. When confronted, she told him he had no business on the road. His response? He wrote a column wondering how biker behavior has contributed to the "road rage" and proposing a 10-point share-the-road pledge, six of which points apply exclusively to bikes and one of which applies only to pedestrians.

Let's break this down. Biker nearly gets killed. Biker promises to make drivers less angry.

These are classic symptoms of someone in an abusive relationship. You harm me or threaten to harm me. It must be something I'm doing. I'll be a better person. Promise.

Suggesting that there is some causal relationship between cyclists' behavior and the woman's potentially fatal actions is just wrong. Let's be clear. There is absolutely no behavior on the part of a cyclist that excuses or explains a motorist putting a cyclist in jeopardy. There is nothing that cyclists do that excuses or explains a motorist being ignorant of cyclists' right to the road.

Nothing.

Certainly, there are cyclists out there doing things that are wrong and things that are technically illegal. Let's identify and address those behaviors. But let's not even suggest that those behaviors somehow justify the anti-bicycle sentiment that's demonstrably out there on the road. Especially -- and this also reflective of abusive relationships -- because of the inherent power differential in the motorist/biker relationship: motorists' attitudes and behaviors can get a cyclist killed or seriously injured.

Perhaps most importantly, its foolish to think that drivers are going to respect cyclists and give them plenty of safe cushion if we could just convince those pesky two-wheeled scofflaws to stop at red lights. Dangerous driving, road rage, and rampant violations of the rules of the road pre-date the recent surge in bicycling. Cyclists have just become another target for the bad actors in our car-dominated culture.

35 comments:

nmHz / Rhu said...

Amen.

Anonymous said...

No, there's no real excuse for someone thinking the cyclist shouldn't be there. But Simmons wrote a thoughtful article on how things could be made better. You're blog entry is a one-sided rant. I'm right, I'm always right, and everyone has a special obligation to watch out for me because I might do something to get myself killed, and it won't be my fault. Good luck to you.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the first anon. Get over yourself. If anyone is firing up anti-cyclist feeling it's the holier than thou attitude desplayed quite often by you, Nathan and some of the other pr0-biker putzs.

"Battered biker syndrome"? Why not show a little respect for people who have real battered syndromes.

This is as self serving as the entry on "Saddest Sign In Newton" for bike lane ends. Myself, I happen to believe those Foreclosed/Auction signs are a bit more sad.

Bianchi said...

Anon1

I'm not sure how you get from Sean's saying that cars have a special obligation to look out for bikers (because they can kill them) to the implication that bikers have no responsibility. Can't cars have a responsibility to look out and bikers have a responsibility to be careful?

Anon2

You need a little lesson in identifying humor. I'm pretty sure Nathan was being lighthearted with the "Saddest Sign" headline.

Anonymous said...

So, do you have a special obligation not to hit those cars with a "baby on board" sign? He came up with this special obligation nonsense because (as anon2 said) of his holier than thou attitude. You're driving a car, you have an obligation to drive safely and not hit anything. And a bicyclist has an obligation to do the same. You shouldn't be cutting in front of cars, cutting off buses, weaving through traffic, etc. And neither should drivers. The words and implication all over numerous posts here is that the cyclist should be able to stupid and rude things and not have it be life threatening because driver's have a special obligation to them. As was stated quite accurately, "get over yourself" Drivers shouldn't do stupid things, and neither should cyclists. It's the holier than thou attitude that Simmons was trying to adjust, and the lead blogger here berated him for it. Like I said, good luck to you.

dr2chase said...

You two anons are full of it.

First, the article is not that thoughtful. In particular, running red lights seems to work just fine in Idaho. It's safe if you treat the red light like a stop sign. Also, the helmets-enough-said advice. No, not. Everywhere that helmet use has been made mandatory, the head injury rate per cyclist has not declined, but the number of cyclists HAS declined. Given the overwhelming public health benefits of cycling, this is a net loss. In countries where bicycling is popular, the accident rate is extremely low, and the helmet use rate is also extremely low. It's fine to wear a helmet if you personally feel safer (and actually, you probably are in that case), but mandating helmets or trying to guilt people into wearing them is bad public policy, in the sense that a higher number of dead bodies is bad public policy (the mortality rate for non-cyclists, even adjusting for other risk factors, is higher than that of cyclists). If the goal is merely to minimize head injuries, the best advice is to mandate helmets for car drivers. Driver head injuries outnumber cyclist head injuries, and there is no public health cost to discouraging driving; to the contrary, if the inconvenience of wearing a helmet caused people to not drive and walk or bike instead, this would provide a secondary benefit.

I find that the on-your-left advice is not best; it is better to ride as if the pedestrian or cyclist you are passing is unable to hear you, because they may be wearing headphones (or they could be literally deaf). That means passing with a large clearance, or waiting to pass until this is possible. I've been passed by people who seemed to think that once they had muttered out "on your left" they had discharged their responsibility to provide a safe clearance for passing. (Why shouldn't pedestrians be allowed to wear headphones? People drive cars around with their radio on and the windows up, and a car is a much greater hazard than a pedestrian.)

Second, holier-than-thou is justified when the behavior is substantially less antisocial, which cycling is. Cycling is less dangerous for other people, less threatening to other people, places fewer demands on infrastructure, contributes far less to global warming, and consumes much less of the oil that funds unfriendly countries and mucks up our balances of trade. It is also, literally, more social -- you can easily carry on a conversation with people around you, unlike driving a car ("beep! beep!"). Holier-than-thou? Only because it's the truth. If you disagree, please feel free to present facts supporting your case.

dr2chase said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

dr2chase "Second, holier-than-thou is justified when the behavior is substantially less antisocial, which cycling is."

Do you have any facts to support this? Most of the time I see cyclists are solo as opposed to in groups.

I guess as a pedestrian I have even less impact on the environment and other people, so I can be the one to throw the first stone. :)

And most of those solo women drivers in SUVs seems to be quite social with all the time they spend on the cell phone while driving. :)

dr2chase said...

I do not have the any statistics, I merely know what is possible. I know that, driving a car, it is next to impossible to carry on a conversation with anyone outside the car (unless they are on a cell phone, as you note).

On the other hand, riding home today from work, I noticed a woman behind me traveling the same direction, and invited her to catch a draft (I am a person of size on a bicycle of unusual size, punching an unusually large hole in the wind). Eventually, where the parking/bike lane was wide enough, we rode side by side (she works at one company, I at another, same office park), compared destinations (Central Square, Belmont) and preferred routes (Summer, vs Lowell+MM Trail) and methods of crossing streets at intersection (I dismount at medium roll, and as a pedestrian, do not stop, since I have right of way, she just rolls on through).

So that's what's possible. Whether anyone but me, some strange guy on a bike who starts conversations with strange women, takes advantage of this, I do not know.

I would suggest, however, that when you see people riding two abreast or more (never mind what is legal in what jurisdictions) they are not doing it for the aerodynamics. Presumably, they are chatting.

MamaVee said...

RE: cycling being more social I can annswer this in a personal way.

I think he means social not nec as people biking together but social as allowing for interactions with others. today I biked a mile home and I saw a friend who was driving past in her car who I hadn't seen in a year. she slowed down and called out and we were able to connect for two minutes and agree to meet up next week. That would not have happened if I were driving at all.

A half a mile later I rode past a man watering his lawn and asked him to give me a quick spray as I was feeling hot. He did, we joked and that is a neighbor I may see again and wave at on future rides/ walks who knows we may one day know each other's name. Also wouldn't have happened if I were driving.

I also got a wave from a truck driver who liked my bike.

in a trip to get groceries I had three social interactions that left me smiling and happy that I would not have had if I had driven.

Therefore- much more social. Real stats- I can't give you- but I bet you ask 1000 cyclists and they'll have 1001 similar stories.

Anonymous said...

The only way cars will start respecting bikes is when we collectively start smashing their windows out when they pull shit like this.

dr2chase said...

Yeah, that's totally how they did it in the Netherlands.

Anonymous said...

Ok, this is funny. Now, not only do cyclists deserve special treatment in traffic, they deserve special treatment because they are better people than those driving cars. So, are black cyclists better people than white or hispanic cyclists, or is it the other way around. I've never before seen people run with the holier than thou accusation in quite the same way. Is that the reason cyclists wear the goofy looking yellow high visibility jackets even when you're not riding? That way, everyone knows your better than everyone else even when you don't have a bicycle beneath you. And, you get to ride two abreast, making it more likely to get into an accident or cause an accident, because you like to chat. And that is different than a driver endangering other people because they like to chat because... oh yeah, you ARE holier than thou. You people are a riot. Keep going, your credibility, I'm sure, is reaching an all time high.

dr2chase said...

How is a person who engages in objectively better actions, not a better person? I'm not comparing people, I am comparing means of transportation, and bicycling is better than driving.

If you disagree, please feel free to present facts supporting your case.

Facts, please. I've read one detailed study of bicycle crash causes(PDF), riding abreast is not a big cause. And further, chatting with someone next to you, whether walking or driving (where this has been studied) has generally been shown not to harm perception in the same way that chatting on a cell phone does.

So, again, we remain, factually, holier than thou. We present less danger to others than car drivers, we pollute less, we do less to enrich unfriendly nations. We find ways to interact socially, that do not add danger to those around us.

Do you wish to argue that these things are either (a) not in fact good or (b) not really moral, ethical, or patriotic issues? If so, please do. Thus far, you seem to be merely spluttering about colors.

Anonymous said...

So, if someone driving a prius hit you, that would be more acceptable than someone driving an SUV? They're not as good as you, but they're better than an SUV driver. So, I guess a person who walks is a better person than someone who rides a bicycle because they are doing everything right and are even more vulnerable. So, if the walker decides they want to cross the street against the light, walk between cars sitting in traffic, walk two abreast in the road, etc., and they get hit by a cyclist, the cyclist is always at fault because they can do more harm than a pedestrian. The mere fact that they live close enough to work to walk as opposed to those who have to ride a bicycle, or god forbid, those that have to drive a car, makes them a better person. And the cyclist obviously better than the driver. Yes, you've oonvinced me, I can just see that social behavior just oozing out of the cyclists riding by.

Anonymous said...

All that banter is quite amusing guys but the real problem is that Sean, and maybe others like him are on the transportation advisory committee. Hopefully his righteous attitude can be curbed by folks that really care about the community.

dr2chase said...

You have it backwards. I prefer to be hit by a Prius because it has a smaller mass than an SUV, not because of any moral properties of the driver. Better yet would be to be hit by a bicycle, because a bicycle is even smaller than a Prius.

Therefore, the cyclist (who might or might not hit me) has made the morally superior choice, because he is less likely (in general) to hurt other people than the Prius driver, or the SUV driver. We can see this from simple physics (smaller mass, momentum, energy), we can see this from accident statistics (bicycles are underrepresented in causes of pedestrian fatalities).

Or to put it more simply, we judge the people by their actions, instead of judging actions by people. You ask me, "do good people have good crashes", and the answer is, that is a stupid question. All crashes are bad -- good people are those who take steps to have fewer crashes, and to minimize their severity, especially for other people.

From that, one can easily derive that cyclists are morally superior, because their actions cause less harm to other people. (And it wasn't me that raised "holier than thou", but in fact, by most casual uses of the phrase, it is true.)

It seems to me that you are more concerned with attitude, than with outcomes. The mortality statistics that I can find, attribute no deaths at all to bad attitude, therefore, when discussing very bad outcomes, it does not matter.

Anonymous said...

You guys crack me up. A bicyclist is morally superior? 8 out of 10, probably couldn't afford a car or insurance, their drivers license was revoked, or they're trying desperately to exercise so they don't have a second heart attack before they turn 50. The rest probably enjoy it. And somewhere in there, there are a few who think it's good for the environment, and it happens to fit their circumstances - they are able to stay within a radius of 20 miles around their house, and they don't have to carry bulky items. Morally superior? If you were, you wouldn't be wasting your time arguing the point. And you certainly wouldn't be the type to think you deserve special obligations from everyone else on the road. I don't remember Mother Theresa telling everyone how good she was.

dr2chase said...

I don't know where you get your statistics from, but they do not match my experience. I know quite a few people who ride bicycles. Most of them are people like me, overeducated professionals making enough money to live in swizzy Boston suburbs.

I've only met one cyclist in recent years who is car-less, and she was carless by choice. I know of one other who did lose her license for a time (but has it back now).

I don't know any cyclists who have had a heart attack. I know of one who has been cycling seriously for years because his father had a heart attack at an early age, but that's it. The health benefits of exercise, however, are substantial, and also reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, and perhaps other unpleasant conditions (other cancers, alzheimer's, depression). I don't see how prudently taking care of one's health is a knock on cycling; perhaps you could explain that for us?

It was not a cyclist who raised the issue of "holier-than-though", but I see no reason to do the false modesty thing; objectively, cyclists are less harmful to other people than drivers, and it is a good reason to ride a bike (assuming we are not completely selfish) and it is a good reason to want your neighbors to ride their bikes. You can see it in the mortality statistics for pedestrian deaths, you can derive it from simple physics, you can notice that parents allow their kids to play on a bike path that never happens on a street with a similar human volume of traffic.

The reason to argue the point is that most people do not think of these things; it is a human characteristic to assume that the status quo represents the best of all possible worlds, and any change would be inferior. In particular, if the vast majority of people in this country transport themselves in cars, that surely must be the best method of transportation. And in a very short-term, selfish sense, it is, which is how we got here. However, considering costs to other people, and even considering personal long-term costs, it is not. It is pro-social behavior only in the sense that it represents conformity to the herd; in every other way, it is anti-social.

Have you considered what an exceptionally poor job you are doing of defending the status quo? Attacking the messenger instead of the message is a sure sign of a weak position, and thus far, all you have attempted to do is make fun of cyclists (and not done a very good job of that). We're poor (we're not), we dress funny (some do, some don't), we're in poor health (we're not). Notice how much herd-conformity has influenced your thinking here -- cyclists are other, other, other, and that is inferior, inferior, inferior.

Care to address the substance of the argument?

Why don't you tell us what is good about cars? (especially, relative to cycling and walking). How does it make the world better for other people when you drive your car? How does driving your car make you healthier (and reduce insurance costs for the rest of us)? Have you invited the city of Newton to expand roads in your immediate neighborhood, because cars are so wonderful? Can you explain how playing in automotive traffic is good for kids?

Sean Roche said...

Just a quick point of information. The found of this blog, Mr. NS&S himself, went and had himself a myocardial infarction in late 2008. This was after years of year-round biking (and even longer of injudicious eating and even longer than that of bad genetics).

I'm sure my health would have been and would be worse without biking, but biking does not guarantee good health, especially if your character or parents are no good.

dr2chase said...

My parents, grandparents, and GGPs had generally good health until they got good and old, but they also got scads of exercise. The benefits from just a few years of cycling are both measurable (blood work) and tangible (ability to do physical labor for hours, increased flexibility, happier joints). I am utterly at a loss to understand why the anons here do so love their cars.

Sean Roche said...

It's easy to understand why they do so love their cars. It's not so easy to understand why they refuse to take responsibility for their choices.

A mile driven in a car imposes more costs on society than a mile taken on foot or by bike. Period. There is no counter-argument.

There are going to be times when a car is necessary, though car-aholics probably overstate the amount of driving that is truly necessary. But, there is a whole lot of driving that is not necessary and we'd all be better off if that driving just didn't happen.

By the way, those folks who are driving by necessity probably suffer the greatest harm by the not-by-necessity driving. Imagine if those who really had to drive were the only ones in cars.

Anonymous said...

You're missing the point entirely. I don't happen to think there is anything great about cars. A lot of drivers don't. I have a pet-peeve against SUVs in particular, hate them with a passion as the most absurd vehicles in 99% of the cases they are purchased. And that includes the small ones. Does anyone need 4wheel drive in Brookline?? But cars are a necessity for a huge number of people. You are mistaking my disdain for your highhandedness as an endorsement for cars. It does not make you morally superior because you happen to be in a situation where you can get away with bicycling. And to simply say that most drivers could give it up if they wanted is the most self-congratulatory behaviour I've ever noted. C'mon why don't you just gag me with a spoon? An article in todays globe talked about a rant against drivers. But at the same time recognized that some bicyclists are exhibiting some pretty bad behaviour too. No such recognition here. Bicyclists are morally superior, and deserve special obligations. Quite the tag line for people who say they want to help the community change.

Anonymous said...

"I can understand why they do so love their cars... refuse to take responsibility"... They should put these posts in the dictionary under self-righteous condescending arrogance. Of course people are attacking the messenger. You're not making things better promoting bicycling, you're saying bicyclists are better than everyone and deserve special treatment. No they don't. Drivers should obey the laws and stop doing stupid things, and bicyclists should obey the laws and stop doing stupid things. Especially because they are vulnerable. But you're on a soap box, you're morally superior, you're holier than thou, you're saving the planet, the cars need to part as you pedal through regardless of what you do.... all bow before us as we pedal by. It really isn't sinking in, but once again, you're not helping your case.

dr2chase said...

you happen to be in a situation where you can get away with bicycling. And to simply say that most drivers could give it up if they wanted is the most self-congratulatory behaviour I've ever noted.

I don't think my situation is that different. I'm not young, I've got kids, I wasn't especially fit when I started, my commute (10 miles) is not that short, and it traverses a nasty stretch (Burlington Mall). I bike to work about 40% on the winter, 50-60% in the summer, but around town (little short stuff), I try to bike as much as possible. My commute is a mile or so shorter than what I think is the national median; it's hard to get statistics on commute distance, but most of the people I work with have a similar-length commute or shorter.

In terms of immediate benefit to other people, the biking around town is the bigger deal; commute driving is often on arterials where there are no people to endanger (the existence of the arterial itself might be an issue, but that's not changing this decade). And the biking around town is where my situation most like other people's -- inside 128, it's pretty dense, traffic is pretty slow, more of the streets are residential, and there's plenty of pedestrians on them.

For my own personal health, the commute to work piles on the miles, and also justifies the nicer bicycle, which in turn makes the dinking-around-town more pleasant.

The overwhelming deterrent to more cycling (obviously, this gets discussed sometimes at lunch) is people driving cars. It is a social trap -- people drive cars, because people drive cars. It is not an especially good place to be stuck. "Effective Cycling" is one way out of this trap, but it doesn't work that well because for most people, cars are too damn scary. Better infrastructure, and some changes to the traffic laws, is what worked in Europe. And the nasty-scary is really non-trivial -- I biked in Florida, Houston, and Silicon Valley, moved here, and didn't ride much for over a dozen years because of the nasty-scary traffic. Turns out, it's not that bad once you figure it out, but nobody believes that at first.

And to dismiss people who manage to overcome the nasty scariness of other people in cars to make life better for everyone else, as "self-righteous", seems a little wrong, especially from someone who makes excuses for the status quo instead of trying to improve it. Driving a car, when you could be riding a bike (most short trips), is a (small) bad thing. Driving a large car, when you could be driving a small car, is a (small) bad thing. When lots of people consistently do small bad things, the result is a pretty significant bad thing -- thousands of people killed in crashes, global warming, traffic making people uncomfortable in their own neighborhoods, unnecessary wars to defend the oil to fuel the cars.

It's bad for other people, it's bad for the planet, it's bad for our country. People like to pretend they don't have a choice, when they are ashamed of their choice. You have a choice. And if the traffic is too damn scary (and for many people, it is) why aren't you working to do something about that? Better infrastructure, changes to the laws, more expensive gasoline, all these things help. It's not rocket science, and it's not innovation -- it worked in Europe, why not here (free clue for the obvious we're different claim -- we're as dense around here, as Assen, Netherlands -- not as dense as the Netherlands, as dense as a TOWN in the Netherlands).

Anonymous said...

That's right, they must be ashamed of their choice. No one could be as wonderful as you. Will you marry me?

dr2chase said...

Look, we have problems, many of them related to our use of cars. There are alternatives. Unless you think the status quo is peachy keen, you should consider those alternatives, and if you see obstacles, consider whether they can be removed or reduced. Getting more people onto bikes attacks quite a few problems.

Maybe you think our oil imports are fine, our oil war is fine, global warming is either not happening or a good thing, that oil spills are not that big a problem, that we all get sufficient exercise, and that cars are not dangerous to people nor a blight on neighborhoods. I think these are all problems, I think people should be trying solve these problems. People who ride bikes, are helping to solve these problems.

So, what are you doing? So far, it's all name callling.
First you trot out "holier than thou", then you complain that we are putting on airs because I point out that it might just be justified. Sorry, but those are the facts. Cycling is good stuff. People who want to make it work, make it work, in a variety of circumstances. You are aggressively defending a poor choice, that is bad for you, bad for other people, bad for the country, bad for the planet. Why? Do you ever think about your opinions, and why you hold them?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of no compassion or tolerance of the other side... Eric Berger trying to road modifications. http://www.boston.com/yourtown/arlington/articles/2010/08/08/changing_lanes_not_so_fast/?p1=News_links You two should have lunch together.

Anonymous said...

I'm not defending any of those choices you mentioned. And I don't promote them whenever possible. But that doesn't mean I'm better than other people. And it doesn't mean I get to berate other people for not being able to do it. And it doesn't mean it excuses my own bad behavior when driving or bicycling. I don't deserve, nor get special treatment for doing the right thing. That is not making excuses for the status quo. You've got a huge gaping hole when it comes to any sort of compassion or understanding, and arrogance is filling the void. And I don't believe that is the way to effect change. Sean and dr2chase appear to be more intent on getting what they want and then justifying it by picking everyone apart as socially irresponsible. Even better, lets cause some infighting. You know who you should really hate, it's that other driver over there, the one that could bicycle, but just doesn't want to. He's causing your traffic jam. Just another diversion tactic. You should have been a lawyer. I take that back, I work with a lot of lawyers and they would find your attitude just as bad.

dr2chase said...

But, anon, you are anon. Why should I think that your advice is given in good faith?

With real people, who use their real names, I am far more polite. What makes you think you deserve respect? Y'all just pollute the internet.

Anonymous said...

First of all there's not just one anon, second of all people don't need to know where the idea is from to know it's a good idea, and third of all, I see no track record of being nice to people you know. And besides, I couldn't care less if you respect me. The issue is that you don't seem to respect anyone that doesn't do as you feel should be done. Nice talking to you, I'm off to pollute.

dr2chase said...

It is not about "feelings", it is about the facts of the matter. We have problems. I think bicycling is a good choice for addressing those problems. This is not something I just "feel" -- I read statistical reports, I read papers, everything from pedestrian mortality causes (to help us avoid the who-caused-it problem for bike/car crashes), to energy costs of food production (so as not to make the same mistake as corn ethanol) to health outcomes for cyclists (because crashes matter). I present a bunch of facts, and I invite you to do the same, if you think I am wrong.

If you cannot present facts and logic to support your ideas, and if your only support for your case is ad hominem, chances are your ideas are crap. It's not the different ideas that I don't respect, it is the absolutely atrocious support for your ideas. And posting anon also means that in fact, you don't really care enough about your ideas to attach your name to them -- so, again, why should I respect them?

Anonymous said...

Sean Roche: "A mile driven in a car imposes more costs on society than a mile taken on foot or by bike. Period. There is no counter-argument."

I agree. But how about this one:

What is the cost on society for having a child?

Since the wife and I have decided not to have children, I guess I pretty much have carte blanche to buy an Expedition and drive it everywhere since the impact would be much less than overall impact of one human over their lifetime.

Herzog said...

Actually, children don't "cost" society anything in the long-term -- they provide an enormous benefit. Today's children provide tomorrow's productive adults, and without children there would be no society to speak of.

In this way, parents who take it upon themselves to bear the cost and risk of raising children are doing a great service to society. Those who choose not to have kids are freeloaders of sorts.

Remember that thing you'll be getting called Social Security? Well, someone else's children will be paying yours.

Anonymous said...

You are confusing theory and practice to your own benefit herzog.

In theory, all children will become president. In practice however, not all children provide a great benefit to society. If they did, we wouldn't have an overcrowded prison system, large numbers of people on public assistance and a growing homeless population. We wouldn't have 15 year old kids getting killed on basketball court for no reason.

I've been paying into social security all my life. In theory, that money is supposed to be providing for my retirement. In practice, the government keeps spending beyond its means. The only thing I have gotten out of it so far is a push back on the age I can retire with full benefits.

Raising children has a huge impact environmentally. Did you use disposable diapers? Do you buy Lunchables, Jello/Pudding snack packs? Gogurts? How about all thos quickly discarded toys? Where did all that stuff end up? How about running the little ones around to all their activities? The oil companies thank you.

Freeloaders? You should be happy to have people in your town who aren't breeding. They pay taxes that support a school system while not adding any additional costs.

"In this way, parents who take it upon themselves to bear the cost and risk of raising children are doing a great service to society."

Ever get lonely up there on your cross herzog?