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Bicycles As a Gateway To Government Control 634

Posted by samzenpus
from the slippery-spoke dept.
somaTh writes "Dan Maes, a candidate for governor of Colorado, thinks he's found an international conspiracy that starts with bike sharing. The article describes his current complaints with the incumbent's policies. 'The bike program in it of itself, if that's all it is, I wouldn't be opposed to it,' Maes told 9NEWS. 'What I am opposed to is if it's part of a bigger program that the mayor has signed on to as part of a UN program. That I would be opposed to.' He goes on to argue that the bicycle program is only a gateway into bigger policies including, but not limited to, forced abortions and population control. I understand that bike seats are uncomfortable, but I had no idea it was on purpose."
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Bicycles As a Gateway To Government Control

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  • I didn't know (Score:4, Insightful)

    by compucomp2 (1776668) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @12:16PM (#33303770)
    that the UN would be coordinated enough with all of its corruption and ineffectiveness (especially if you listen to guys like Maes) to execute such a nefarious plot.
    • South Park (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bsDaemon (87307)

      It's like the Dances With Smurfs episode of South Park where butters says to Cartman, "Like what you have to say, like how the President never does anything and how she's changing everything!". Pretty much just like that. I think its a form of cognitive dissonance or something.

    • Re:I didn't know (Score:4, Insightful)

      by spun (1352) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `yranoituloverevol'> on Thursday August 19, 2010 @12:22PM (#33303890) Journal

      The UN can be, like Obama, both corrupt and ineffective, and diabolically genius at the same time. The rich can be corrupt plutocrats who purchase government wholesale, and an oppressed minority who desperately need tax cuts, all at the same time. Conservative thinking requires no logical connection between its premises.

      • Re:I didn't know (Score:5, Interesting)

        by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @12:34PM (#33304094) Journal
        "8. The followers must feel humiliated by the ostentatious wealth and force of their enemies.

        When I was a boy I was taught to think of Englishmen as the five-meal people. They ate more frequently than the poor but sober Italians. Jews are rich and help each other through a secret web of mutual assistance. However, the followers of Ur-Fascism must also be convinced that they can overwhelm the enemies. Thus, by a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak. Fascist governments are condemned to lose wars because they are constitutionally incapable of objectively evaluating the force of the enemy."
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ArsonSmith (13997)

        Unlike Slashdot where everyone agrees 100% with everyone else, the republican party is made up of many individuals with differing opinions, and those opinions sometimes conflict with each other.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          Unlike Slashdot where everyone agrees 100% with everyone else

          You're so right! BTW, I think Microsoft makes some pretty good products that are reasonably priced.

        • Re:I didn't know (Score:4, Insightful)

          by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday August 19, 2010 @04:54PM (#33307918) Homepage

          Unlike Slashdot where everyone agrees 100% with everyone else

          You do notice that you're arguing with someone here, which means there are at least two people disagreeing, right? Also, you're both being modded up, which means that some people agree with you and some people agree with him.

          It often seems to me that when someone complains here about Slashdot groupthink, it's because they say dumb things and have no ability to process intelligent disagreement.

      • Re:I didn't know (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Americano (920576) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @01:34PM (#33304988)

        This would be an awesome point, if only "corrupt," "ineffective," and "diabolical genius" were traits that were mutually exclusive of one another!

        Just as calling for tax cuts on the wealthy need not conflict with the assertion that there are corrupt plutocrats who are purchasing the government wholesale, unless you're claiming that the only reason we have taxes are to keep people from getting too rich to corrupt the political process? Or are you suggesting that once someone gets some money, they will always turn to corrupting the political process?

        Pairing a couple claims you disagree with doesn't mean that the positions are incompatible with one another. It is entirely possible to be a diabolical genius who is both corrupt, and ineffective. It is also possible to hold the economic policy that tax cuts on the wealthy are a good thing while decrying the fact that some wealthy people who happen to be corrupt are purchasing the government wholesale. The positions are not logically inconsistent with one another, you just happen to disagree with them.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by konohitowa (220547)

        The UN can be, like Obama, both corrupt and ineffective, and diabolically genius at the same time.

        Conservatives really need to fix that problem. Liberals dealt with their equivalent insanity regarding Bush by creating puppet masters. Karl Rove seemed to be their favorite.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I think the SubGenius concept of "The Conspiracy" is applicable here.

      It kind of reminds of back in the 90s when the urban legend spread that markings on secondary highway signs were secret instructions for UN tanks during the inevitable invasion.

      Reminds me, I shouldn't buy a light blue helmet. I wouldn't want some vigilant patriot capping me in the head.

  • by davmoo (63521) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @12:18PM (#33303800)

    No matter how way out these whack-jobs are, there are people who believe them and will vote for them.

    • Not so fast (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Judging by history, nearly every single expansion of government power is later used as precedent for yet even more expansion of government power. Every year we are subject to more laws, more spending, and increasingly larger attacks on our freedom (from our own government that is, not the enemy du jour). It's obvious that if expanding the business of government isn't the #1 priority, it's damn near close.

      There's a reason why the US government of today dwarfs the US government of only 50, let alone 100 years

      • Re:Not so fast (Score:5, Insightful)

        by 1984 (56406) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @12:31PM (#33304040)

        You know, you may well have a point in there. But thinking that opt-in bicycle sharing schemes are a great example of the thin end of that wedge is just, you know... fucking bonkers.

      • Re:Not so fast (Score:5, Insightful)

        by tverbeek (457094) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @12:33PM (#33304088) Homepage

        In principle, you have a point that's worth examining in reasoned discussion. But in fact, this argument by Maes is one of the nuttiest misapplications of the slippery-slope argument I've heard in months.

      • Re:Not so fast (Score:5, Informative)

        by mea37 (1201159) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @12:48PM (#33304294)

        Reality check. The government has been involved in transportation for as long as there have been public roads.

        I don't know the details of this program. I have definite preferences for how I'd like to see something like this structured, and depending on the details I might or might not support it.

        But to claim its a new expansion of government power just doesn't make sense. State and local governments in major cities always have their hands in public transportation in one way or another; it's true for bus, light rail, subway, etc.; so what's so special about bikes?

        Besides that, it would be quite a jump to extrapolate from "any old minor expansion of the government's function" to "restriction of personal liberties" and "population control". Can you propose a theory as to how this program contributes, even as a "tip of the wedge", to the surrendering of personal liberty to the government?

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Half-pint HAL (718102)

          Can you propose a theory as to how this program contributes, even as a "tip of the wedge", to the surrendering of personal liberty to the government?

          Isn't it obvious? Bikes are the last form of anonymous transport -- no license plates. These bikes will be marked and we will all be tracked by the NSA who will share the information with the Rand Corporation who will sell it to their partners in the Bildeberg Group!!!!!

    • by HangingChad (677530) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @12:29PM (#33304010) Homepage

      there are people who believe them and will vote for them.

      Too many people spending too much time watching the Fox Propaganda Network.

    • by Peter Simpson (112887) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @01:16PM (#33304734)
      It seems like the crazy theories are getting more traction (at least, they're getting more people talking about them as if they were real).

      I blame the media - Glenn Beck, FOX, CNN. It's apparently cheaper to yammer on about random stuff than to pay real journalists to gather real news. And it seems to get better ratings. Of course, this increase in ratings means that the old line news organizations see they are losing out and feel the need to climb onto the bandwagon. And, of course, we all enjoy a bit of gossip and a good conspiracy theory.

      It's all fun and games until a majority of people in your town start thinking of the National Enquirer as a reliable source of news. Seriously, people, some of this stuff is from WAY out in left field. {joke alert} Even I'm starting to believe Obama's "long form" (because the "short form" and a legal affadavit from the Hawaiian secretary of state aren't good enough) birth certificate is being hidden at the UN to keep us from learning the truth!

      So...how do we reverse this and encourage more critical thinking? I fear for our democracy if this silliness continues much longer.
  • Gov Conspiracy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by alphatel (1450715) * on Thursday August 19, 2010 @12:19PM (#33303810)
    Also brought to you by the Folks Who Is Convinced That Mr. Obama is one of them Muzlams
    • Re:Gov Conspiracy (Score:4, Insightful)

      by blair1q (305137) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @12:21PM (#33303860) Journal

      Hey, if you could install a brain fungus in 20% of the people that would make them vote for your plutocratic ideal without knowing about it, you would.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by spun (1352)

        Hey, if you could install a brain fungus in 20% of the people that would make them vote for your plutocratic ideal without knowing about it, you would.

        No I wouldn't, neither would you, neither would most people. We haven't been brainwashed into thinking that oppressive control is a central tenant of civilization like the rich have. Those raised rich, as a general rule, are taught that civilization needs the stick, and you can either be the one wielding it, or the one getting hit by it.

  • by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @12:19PM (#33303828) Journal
    Next thing you know, he'll say skateboards are the Highway to Satanism, Goatse Worship, and the Global Domination of Barking Pumpkins and Douchebags.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by batquux (323697)

      The douchebags are already in place. You weren't supposed to know about the barking pumpkins yet.

    • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @12:32PM (#33304060)

      Nope, his handlers have reigned him in and told him he sounded like a wingnut conspiracy theorist. Just a few days after his comments he had this to say when asked by the news station: "I haven't even had the time to visit the terms of the agreement that Mayor Hickenlooper has signed off on. I am gonna beg a little patience from the media, so I can study the details of this program and then make a much more informed commentary about it."

      In other words, "I made a ridiculous accusation without even so much as reading the law I was talking about. Please, please, please ignore what I said earlier while I stall for time until this whole thing blows over."

  • Republican (Score:4, Insightful)

    by siriuskase (679431) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @12:20PM (#33303830) Homepage Journal
    In case you care, he's a Republican. I wonder how closely he follows the party line? Or maybe party is irrelevant on /.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by phantomfive (622387)

      Or maybe party is irrelevant on /.

      Oh, how I wish that were true. I really wish we could have rational discussions about policy without falling for the lines both parties set out to divide us.

      Someday, slashdot will be rational. But not today.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ChefInnocent (667809)
        If you think its bad here, check out the comment sections on CNN, Yahoo!, or Fox. The sense here is roses compared to that dairy air.
  • by blair1q (305137) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @12:20PM (#33303838) Journal

    precious bodily fluids in any of this?

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GeneralRipper [tvtropes.org]

  • by laughing rabbit (216615) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @12:20PM (#33303840)
    ...we keep electing them.

    Bless their pointy little heads.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by JesseMcDonald (536341)

      Of course you keep electing them. What choice do you have? It's not like there's a "none of the above" option on the ballots, to leave the position vacant for a term.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 19, 2010 @12:20PM (#33303848)

    One correction - The incumbent in this election for governor is Bill Ritter who is not running for re-election. Maes Democratic opponent is John Hickenlooper who is currently the mayor of Denver

    • by smellsofbikes (890263) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @12:47PM (#33304286) Journal

      One correction - The incumbent in this election for governor is Bill Ritter who is not running for re-election. Maes Democratic opponent is John Hickenlooper who is currently the mayor of Denver

      Correction to correction: Dan Maes somehow managed to win the Republican primary so he's the Republican candidate. He's facing Hickenlooper and independent-with-name-recognition Tom Tancredo, who ran for US President in 2008. Usually third-party candidates don't have a chance, but Tancredo has a lot of local support, so right now he's polling 18% [rasmussenreports.com] with Hickenlooper at about 40% and Maes with about 30%.

      As an aside, every time I ride through Denver I see dozens of people out on those cute red bicycles. It's an amazingly successful program, that isn't supported by Federal, State, or local funds, and since the individuals who use the bikes have a financial stake (deposit, credit card info) in keeping the bikes in reasonable shape, it has a much higher chance of being successful in the long-term than many of the other city bike programs that have been floated. Plus, the bikes are keen. They weigh a ton but they have a huge cargo basket, so they're actually useful for lugging stuff. Two weeks ago I saw a couple riding them and they had a kid's bicycle in the basket of one bike, and the kid herself in the basket of the other bike -- not a WISE thing, but indicative of the flexibility the bikes can provide. They have front and rear lights that are always on when the bike's moving, compliments of a hub generator system, so they're quite visible. I think it's a fantastic program.

      I can't find the article right now but Dan Maes is on record as saying that Denver's bike program "may threaten our personal freedoms [denverpost.com]". Once you realize that the last job Maes had was as a used car salesman, his feelings might be more understandable, if not more sensible.

  • FTFA: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by oodaloop (1229816) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @12:22PM (#33303898)

    "It's all part of this population control mentality that we as humans are the disease," Strauch said.

    Yes, from the point of the view of the planet and every other living thing, we are the disease. There's somewhere around 6+ billion people, happily eating, consuming, polluting, and destroying to our hearts' content. Installing higher efficiency light bulbs or buying Prius' or switching to riding a bike aren't going to avert a collapse in our global ecology/economy. We have to stop destroying our food and ecosystems on which we rely and undo the damage we've done. In short, stop charging to our children's credit cards, start paying them off, then start saving. Switching to riding a bike is like spending just a little less on their credit cards. We have to do so much more.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by rainmouse (1784278)
      The world is vastly over populated. Yes if everybody on the planet each got a knife made out of recycled glass and used it carefully to murder a neighbour, then the whole problem would be halved over night.
      • Re:FTFA: (Score:4, Insightful)

        by batquux (323697) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @12:34PM (#33304096)

        Yes if everybody on the planet each got a knife made out of recycled glass and used it carefully to murder a neighbour, then the whole problem would be halved over night.

        More than halved. Actually, that would about take care of it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by ArsonSmith (13997)

        Instead of recycled glass I'm just going to use my SUV and slowly suffocate/overheat my neighbors.

        Funny how it works out the same.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Smauler (915644)

        World overpopulation is a temporary problem. Nearly every indigineous Western population is experiencing population decline, and many western populations have been seeing this for 100 years or so. The richer people get, the better educated people get, the less they have children. The number one best way to decrease population growth currently is to make sure people have more money, and make sure they're decently educated.

        That being said, world population is forecast to continue growing until about 2060,

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by phantomfive (622387)
      Wow, I thought the guy was utterly insane when I clicked on the story, now I realize he's talking about guys like you. Not to say I agree or disagree with your viewpoint, but you just verified he's ranting against a real group, not a vague strawman like I thought originally. So disappointing when I thought I was going to be able to laugh at him.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Americano (920576)

      What's odd to me is it generally seems to be liberals who talk about how we're "overpopulated" and a "disease on the planet." And yet they're also the ones who are saying it's our duty as a society to feed the hungry... cure the sick... and put a roof over the head of the homeless.

      If your view is that we're overpopulated and we need to reduce our population... why not just stop paying for food & medicine & housing for the people who can't get it themselves, and let the problem solve itself? Everyb

  • by MarkvW (1037596) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @12:24PM (#33303920)

    I think that it's about time we fluoridate this guy's drinking water!

  • by ChefInnocent (667809) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @12:24PM (#33303928)
    OMG! There's a socialist under every rock, and we need to protect ourselves from these anti-consumerist, anti-free trade, anti-American perpetrators of evil! Sharing bikes is a sign of socialism, and everyone needs to buy their own bike if we are to have a free and functioning democracy. If we let these socialist put bikes out there to share, it is inevitable they will hook our young children on their evil ideas of sharing. Once people start sharing, particularly government purchased stuffs, our young will grow into people who will want a bigger government which provides more stuffs to share. Where will it end? It won't end with bikes. It won't end with cars, RVs, boats or the like. No, soon the government will grow to offer all sorts of things. This bike program is really a back door route to medical health care. If we're getting free bikes to use, we'll want free health care. That's when the socialists have got us. Of course, free medical care will lead to limiting children, death panels, and LSD. Stop the socialists today, "Just say no to bicycles!".
  • by jbeach (852844) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @12:26PM (#33303948) Homepage Journal
    Therefore, the only way to be free is to be stupid and waste resources.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bkpark (1253468)

      No, but forced "intelligent" use of resources is, perhaps not equivalent to but a convenient excuse for socialism.

      I'm not entirely sure if biking leads to socialistic New World Order (although those Chinese do like bikes, don't they?), but if something were really intelligent and prudent use of resources, it shouldn't need government programs for promotion. This is the same logic under which I avoid all "organic" foods—if it were good food, it wouldn't need the "organic" label to sell itself to me.

  • by AnonymousClown (1788472) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @12:26PM (#33303954)

    "What I am opposed to is if it's part of a bigger program that the mayor has signed on to as part of a UN program.

    Use people's fears and suck them in.

    • Deadbeats sponging off of the Government at taxpayer expense.
    • UN taking our sovereignty away
    • [Fill in right] will be taken away by other party.
    • Other party will tax us more
    • Other party will open the flood gates for illegals
    • Other party kills babies
    • Other party will allow people to marry sheep
    • Other party hates God
    • Others are against the troops
    • Others hate America
    • Other isn't tough on [crime, terrorism, drugs, child pornography]

    I don't find the politicians as disgusting as the morons who buy into the rhetoric; which unfortunately, they have enough sway to set the tone of politics in this country.

  • mccarthyism was an era of fear of "secret communists" everywhere, and joe mccarthy successfully inserted himself as demagogue in chief of the wave of fear and hysteria sweeping the land in the time of sputnik and soviets with an atom bomb. strangely, it was also an era when 3D movies were all the rage... spin that observation into your own paranoid schizophrenic conspiracy theory

    one of the up and coming tea party types will be the next joe mccarthy. they will use this sort of paranoid schizophrenic break with reality to describe "secret muslims" (that's what obama is, ya know), "secret socialists", "secret fascists", etc. taken on their own, theses hysterical creative inventions are like a farcical hollywood movie. but so many actually and truly believe this crap

    there's just a certain panicky low iq kind of human, in the usa and other countries, who is apparently about as gullible as a toddler in a carnival haunted house ride, and for whatever reason, they only believe the most fantastical fearful propaganda they encounter. i guess reality is too mundane and boring? i don't know what to do about these people, they have these coordinated waves of fear throughout history, and i don't know if there is an effective way to defuse their delusional problems before they damage our societies

    its the same as the salem witch trials: she dresses funny, and floats, so she's a witch, so kill her before she hurts us. in the era of joe mccarthy, it was fluoridated water (fluoridated water was not to strengthen teeth, but to turn you into a communist). later there were "chemtrails": jet airplanes contrails were seeding the atmosphere with mind control chemicals. people really and truly believed and believe this nonsense. its alternatively hilarious and frightening. it tells you the mentality of how lynch mobs form, its a sad phenomenon of human sociology

    and this manipulated fearmongered hysteria is the mentality that is sweeping the land right now. sad

  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@@@lynx...bc...ca> on Thursday August 19, 2010 @12:34PM (#33304100) Journal

    I mean... WTF?

    I read the article and reread and reread it, and I cannot even begin to see how, from *ANY* perspective that I can conceive of some other even modestly intelligent person having, that one could come to the conclusions that he did.

    Most conspiracy theories I've heard of have at least a shred of something to at least build the conspiracy on, but I just can't find any evidence of it in that article.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by smellsofbikes (890263)

      I mean... WTF?

      I read the article and reread and reread it, and I cannot even begin to see how, from *ANY* perspective that I can conceive of some other even modestly intelligent person having, that one could come to the conclusions that he did.

      Most conspiracy theories I've heard of have at least a shred of something to at least build the conspiracy on, but I just can't find any evidence of it in that article.

      I really hate defending Maes since I think he's being an idiot. Disclaimer: back when he was just a used car salesman he worked for my girlfriend's father, so I know a bit about him.

      What he's concerned by is, in part, treaties. Y'know how we on slashdot are all against ACTA and other such things, because we feel like a treaty comes sailing in with all sorts of draconian conditions, and Congress either confirms it, in which case we're stuck, or doesn't confirm it, in which case businesses yell that we're

  • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday August 19, 2010 @12:40PM (#33304196) Homepage

    You could argue that increasing bicycle usage was the opposite effect-- of decreasing governmental control and increasing freedom. Right now we're reliant on a massive government-controlled system of roads which we travel on via government-subsidized vehicles. Automobiles are big and regulated and subsidized and result in a sort of "central planning". Bicycles on the other hand-- anyone can build a bicycle. A bicycle doesn't need a road, and bike paths are much easier to build/move.

    I suspect this comes more from the belief that if something is healthy and environmentally friendly and doesn't subsidize big businesses, then it must be some kind of nefarious socialist hippie plot.

  • by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @12:45PM (#33304262)
    Bike sharing is forced population control? Perhaps because when you have a bike accident, you slip from your seat and bust your nuts on the horizontal frame bar?
  • by blair1q (305137) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @12:46PM (#33304274) Journal

    The government can have control of my bicycle when they pry it from my cold, dead cleats.

  • by tomhath (637240) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @01:44PM (#33305140)
    Yea, the guy's talking nonsense - trying to link his opponent to the UN through some international tree hugger organization. But I don't read Slashdot to find articles about Tea Partiers that were scraped from an AOL website founded by a former NY Times editor. Sheesh.
  • by sideslash (1865434) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @01:58PM (#33305322)
    Don't know about you guys, but I'm definitely putting tin foil on the seat before I sit on it.

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