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Kansas Undercover: Dan Maes Knockin’ Down Kingpins, Protectin’ the Innocent 31 August 2010

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Look. I don’t really do political blogging. But For Dan Maes, I have made and will continue to make exceptions: this is bad politician blogging. How such a bumbler ever bamboozled anyone into thinking he might make a viable governor, overseeing thousands of state employees and representing Colorado before the entire country, I just don’t know. He’s probably a nice man, this Dan Maes, an okay conversationalist over a beer, but in writing his campaign material, he’s broken two of the cardinal rules: 1)that the material must make sense and 2) that it must have at one point flirted with fact.  Consider the following, which does neither. (And read the whole thing. It only gets better)

Maes previously said he was fired as a police officer in Liberal, Kan., after working undercover with the KBI in a gambling and drug probe.

A statement he wrote for his campaign website that was later removed, said: “At one point in my 2 years there I was place (sic) undercover by the Kansas Bureau of Investigations (sic) to gather information inside a bookmaking ring that was also allegedly selling drugs. I got too close to some significant people in the community who were involved in these activities and abruptly was dismissed from my position. I was blindsided and stunned to say the least.”

Maes was asked about his statement that he was placed undercover after law enforcement sources in Kansas disputed the claim in interviews with the Denver Post.

“Some people are probably taking that a little too literally,” he said. “I was a city police officer providing information to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.”

Maes said that he could not offer any records to back that up.

“This was 25 years ago,” he said, adding that, “It’s just not worth covering that much. It’s a non-issue.”

So was he really working “undercover”?

“Those comments might have been incorrect comments,” Maes said.

The director of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation said they have no record of Maes working with the agency during his stint as a police officer from 1983 to 1985.

“We’ve checked our records. We’ve talked to people working in that area (southwest Kansas) at the time,” said Bob Blecha, director of the law enforcement agency. “He (Maes) refers to a gambling case and possible drugs. They (agents) don’t recall him working with them on any case like that.”

Blecha said some of the agents, most of whom are now retired, do remember Maes as a police officer. It’s possible Maes at some point cooperated with agents on small matters as other officers might, Blecha said.

But he stressed, “He (Maes) did not work for us or with us on an investigation.”

In the statement posted to his website, Maes elaborated on his work as a police officer:

“… I was a young officer caught in a situation that was much bigger than myself with no where (sic) to go. I am proud to say that I never participated in any illegal activity while undercover. Although this chapter of my life was yet another one where I fought the machine, I will not discuss the details any further as many who were involved in this situation are still alive and in new places in their lives and I want to protect them.”

Poor Dan Maes, but in one sense he’s hit the nail on the head: He really is caught up in something bigger than he is… with nowhere to go.

Go to the Denver Post to read the rest.


Cycling Berthoud Pass 30 August 2010

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You know Berthoud Pass–probably as the inconvenient stretch of road that stands between you and a much shorter trip to Winter Park. And since the Ski Train stopped toot-tooting its way up to the resort last year–thanks, Amtrak–it is no longer simply slow, but mandatory as well. Not the winning combination. Bike rides, however, are optional, and while you might complain about the 24.3 miles between Empire and Winter Park come winter, spin easy for now in the knowledge that Berthoud Pass provides a pleasant diversion within an hour of Denver.

A while back, I mentioned that despite being Really Big, Golden’s Lookout Mountain fell short of truly enormous when placed alongside other climbs here in Colorado. Berthoud, on the other hand, is appropriately large. The route ascends a vertical half mile, topping at out at more than two miles above sea level. That is, 2730′ up, reaching 11,330′ over the course of a little more than 13 miles. Check out the profile:

11,300' can be chilly at any time of year. Plan accordingly. (Click for larger image.)

You can see, then, that it’s not nearly so difficult as it sounds at first. Large? Yes. Daunting? No. Provided you’re not arriving from sea level anyway. Those seeking real challenge can head elsewhere, but if you’re in the mood for a fairly benign climb with alpine panoramas nearly the whole way, you’ll want to check out Berthoud Pass.

First, a word of warning: if you’re not into dealing with traffic, Berthoud’s not for you. As the only sensible route north in this neck of the woods, US 40 carries a consistent if almost constant stream of cars, trucks, SUVs and 18-wheelers. Thankfully, the shoulder offers a road unto itself, well more than a lane wide. And all that traffic has driven commensurate investment: new, smooth pavement and grades never that never exceed the dreaded 6% threshold. So it’s a double-edged sword. As much traffic on any other road, and you’d take your toys and go home, but Berthoud makes it bearable, if something short of ideal.

Lotta cars

There, you’ve been warned. So what’s in store?

Your starting point depends on how much you’re willing to endure, but Empire makes the most sense if only because bike rides should always begin or end at a place with greasy food readily available. Dairy King serves fried mushrooms, malts, burgers and anything else that makes cardiologists cringe. Bring cash, though. No plastic here. Anyway, Empire’s more or less like any other small mountain town where everything involves antiques and buildings that look on the verge of collapse. The petunias help, at least. I’m all for urban renewal.

As you ride away, you’ll get a couple miles to warm up and wonder why exactly Empire is called Empire. But before it really starts eating at you, you’ll arrive at the more aptly-named Berthoud Falls, which in reality comprises little more than a general store and, I think, a campground. You’ve been traveling up a reasonably scenic valley so far, and mile seven offers the first point of real interest, a distinct avy track to your left, much better than the one that ran down the drainage at mile four. Crashing downhill for at least a couple thousand feet, the wall of snow laid flat every tree in its path–a remind of the terrible things that will happen to you if ski backcountry without the proper knowledge. (/teachable moment)

From here on out, you can thank every engineer who slacked in college and chose to design highways instead. I’d give you the number of switchbacks involved but I’ve never been very good at counting, so how does “lots” sound? Good, right? The first and longest rises perpendicular to the valley you’ve just completed and offers frequent and unobstructed views of the highway below. The majority of the more difficult grades occur from miles seven to ten, yet between the smooth roads and soaring peaks, the climb itself never commands much attention. Be on the look for waterfalls as well. They continue to flow late into the summer. You’ll catch a lot of gravel, sand and rocks heading this direction, as well, all of which can be easily avoided. Unless you’re looking up at a mountain of course–a distinct possibility.

You’ll also notice a fair number of concrete troughs lining your side of the road. The shoulder and curb feed into them, and if you peer in, you’ll see what looks like a sluice gate facing down the mountain. Curious? It’s all part of an effort to control runoff from snow melt and heavy storms. Because the road itself won’t allow the water to seep into the ground as it might normally, it concentrates runoff that scours streams and erodes the hillside. By allowing the water to run into the troughs and pour out through the relatively small gate, the highway engineers have constrained the flow at any one time. Total volume’s the same, but it no longer occurs as one stream-destroying spike. Same idea goes for the retention pond behind the local strip mall. Now you know.

The final switchbacks offer views into the western extension valley you initially climbed and more peaks above treeline. Engelmann Peak with its magnificent cirque dominates the landscape across the way. If you remember nothing else on this ride you’ll remember Engelmann.

It’s also right around here that the money seems to have dried up. Just before mile 12, the expansive shoulder disappears and the asphalt cracks like the sun-parched bed of a vanished lake. It doesn’t last long–only the final mile–and at its end, you find yourself at a parking area on top of this little part of the world. Up to right lies the what’s left of Berthoud Pass Ski Area, reputed to be the first public ski hill in Colorado, its first rope tow installed in 1937. Over the years, the mountain never really got going like its next-door neighbor Winter Park. The final owner pulled up the stakes in 2002, but the area remains popular with backcountry enthusiasts attracted by easy accessibility and several hundred inches of pristine powder each winter. Looking due north you’ll see the summit station of Winter Park’s Panoramic Express and US 40’s switchbacks into the valley below. Farther away, but still visible on a clear day, are the Indian Peaks north-northeast of the overlook.

From here you can continue into Winter Park, a slightly shorter ride, or return to Empire. The descent never really allows for the speeds you’d like to achieve because of the traffic, and that first mile must be taken with care, but overall, it’s smooth sailing. Take care and enjoy the ride.

K-State Hates Bikes? 24 August 2010

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A friend passed this along to me today. If it’s satire, then it’s pitch-perfect, and if not… I fear for the American system of higher education.

The key passage from Joshua Madden’s op-ed in the Kansas State Collegian:

On his website, the blogger and pseudo-philosopher Ryan Holiday writes, “I get really angry when I get behind a slow driver and people always tell me to calm down. They don’t get where the rage comes from. It comes from not being able to understand how someone can be so devoid of purpose or direction that they not only lack urgency in their own life, but they actively impede others who know where they want to go.”

I couldn’t have put it better myself. I understand that biking on a road might be more convenient than biking on the sidewalk. Actually, I really don’t understand how that could possibly be true at all, so I guess I should rephrase this and say that I understand some bikers argue that biking on the road is better. Regardless of whether it is true or not, that convenience comes at everyone else’s expense.

New maxim: getting angry is always better than understanding.

Yes, what is it about (liberal, white, upper middle class, college-educated) 20-somethings? 23 August 2010

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The scene opens. The morning light casts contrast across the bedsheets as the camera rolls directly overhead. The shot is overexposed, the palette washed out, and young lovers lie in each others’ arms. They smile and look away and back and talk about themselves and their futures. Her eyes are brown, his are blue. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Their hair lies at appropriately considered angles–he probably wears skinny jeans to bars and skinnier ties to work. She interned with the Forest Service in Oregon one summer but found herself tree-spiking with EarthFirst. They are both in their 20s, and they could star in any culture piece or any indie film whose director thinks he has finally subverted the rom-com.

Last week, they could have appeared in the New York Times piece on 20-somethings—several thousand words on the phenomenon that we’re evidently living, several thousands words that distill to this:

DURING THE PERIOD he calls emerging adulthood, Arnett says that young men and women are more self-focused than at any other time of life, less certain about the future and yet also more optimistic, no matter what their economic background. This is where the “sense of possibilities” comes in, he says; they have not yet tempered their ideal istic visions of what awaits. “The dreary, dead-end jobs, the bitter divorces, the disappointing and disrespectful children . . . none of them imagine that this is what the future holds for them,” he wrote. Ask them if they agree with the statement “I am very sure that someday I will get to where I want to be in life,” and 96 percent of them will say yes. But despite elements that are exciting, even exhilarating, about being this age, there is a downside, too: dread, frustration, uncertainty, a sense of not quite understanding the rules of the game. More than positive or negative feelings, what Arnett heard most often was ambivalence — beginning with his finding that 60 percent of his subjects told him they felt like both grown-ups and not-quite-grown-ups.

A time of possibility, yes, with no thought to the grim future ahead. Or potentially grim future anyway. But to how many people does this actually apply? How many 20-somethings actually live the life described, still tethered to parents, uncertain of the future, shirking responsibility all the way? Our opening couple qualifies by default–it’s the skinny tie and the liberal values (they’re sleeping together after all). But reporters at the Times enjoy creating trend stories where they see themselves, not necessarily a plurality of Americans.

To be a 20-something is certainly to be something, distinct from an adolescent and a mid-career 35 year-old, but reporter Robin Marantz Henig touches on only one broad explanation: a brain that continues to develop. Her star source admits that the “emerging adult” life stage only seems to fit for part of the population. But pay no heed to that, the story sweeps along. To be sure, it captured perfectly the experience so many of us have shared, yet to say the 25 year-old who became a mother in her teens and the engineering grad still living in his childhood home are walking the same path seems, well, wrong. Perhaps a similar optimism exists, but the Times cannot have it both ways: its assignment editors can’t continue to follow the role of culture only to ignore its influence in the case of 20-somethings.

The problem in offering this critique, of course, is that I can only speak anecdotally–the sum of my experiences has demonstrated the variety of lives being led by those born in the 1980s and 90s. The idea that our twenties universally represent a period of open doors cannot square with the reality that so many doors have already closed for those who couldn’t or wouldn’t attend college, who started a family at 19, who could never afford the cost of an unpaid internship on the other side of the county. By choice or by necessity, so many folks have missed out on a supposedly broad cultural phenomenon.

As fun as it is to wag a finger at the article, it’s really too bad that more 20-somethings don’t share the development Henig and Arnett describe. In his own academic articles, Arnett maintains that the idea of emerging adulthood applies only in industrialized nations, and because his experiences as a professor led him to the concept in the first place, I imagine the explanatory power here holds true mostly for college students and grads in recent decades.

We’re beholden to no mass movements, have grown up without the specter of nuclear holocaust, have never known or feared a national draft. We enjoy the luxury of possibility, the knowledge that should we fail in our endeavors, our parents can still pick up the pieces. We can take risks, and travel the world and ski-bum because we can fall  back on our education and our parents’ bank accounts if all hope appears lost–even if our parents have pledged no support whatsoever. No parent with the means to intervene will ignore self-destruction, except perhaps to edify. To follow Henig in her exploration is to acknowledge that so many factors beyond our control brought us to this point, these opportunities.

I’ve enjoyed the ride, but I’m sure not saying that everyone my age was on the same bus.

Bryce Barker Beats Bikes (With a baseball bat) 18 August 2010

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This dispatch brought to you with pride by the Crazy People Who Hate Bikes Foundation.

July 18th near Berthoud, Colo.:

Guy drives behind some cyclists in their 50s—pretty non-threatening folks. Guy gets the “bikes is slow” road rage thing going on and pulls out in front of said cyclists. Guy climbs out of the car with a T-Ball bat, says something profane and then goes to town on a $4,800 Trek Madone. No joke.

From the Fort Collins Coloradoan story:

Stevens says he’s still shocked by what happened to him and his carbon fiber Trek Madone bike, which was destroyed.

“He let out this scream and he beat on my bike on the ground a couple times. Then he made stabbing motions at me with the bat, calling me obscenities. Then he got in his car and took off,” Stevens said. “It was pretty crazy.”

When police later confronted the assailant about the incident, he said the cyclists had attacked his Pontiac GT by throwing their bikes at it and that he had “tried” to escape. Mhmm… Bikes cost more than your car, dude.

More here.

Ben got married 16 August 2010

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Ben makes his way along the road to the McCain Guard Station

It’s a funny thing when a best friend gets married. Adults don’t have “best friends.” Kids don’t get married. But on Saturay Ben, one of three favorites, gave himself to the woman of his dreams… forever. He and Nikki poured sand into a glass and said “I will” at the appropriate points and kissed and were pronounced husband and wife and stood there and walked down the aisle and she cried. Should Michael and I have cried as well? I don’t know.

Three years ago, almost to the day, Ben and I wandered beyond a trail in the Wyoming wilderness (Figurative definition: 100 miles from nowhere. Literal definition: here.) and for the next six hours picked our way on path even an optimistic Eagle Scout would have labeled “unwise.” To this day, I cannot tell you with any certainty the exact route we blazed. We scrambled over dead fall and followed game trails in the vain hope they might become the real one indicated on the map. We descended into a ravine and clung to vines for support while the setting sun and thickening forest conspired to extend our off-trail excursion another day.

Through it all, Ben never showed concern in the least. “We’re about here,” he’d say pointing at the topo map. “And that’s the Little Gray’s River. This ridge is the spine coming off Deadman. I think.” I nodded. I could and can read topos, but to that point I’d never found myself in a situation that called on it for survival. Come to think of it, Ben probably hadn’t either, but he handled it without the slightest hesitation. At one point, he looked around and said, “This is fun.” I disagreed.

We happened across our saving ATV trail that evening rather more by accident than intent, but it meandered out of the woods and past an RV camp where the partiers directed us to a ranger cabin a ways up the road. An hour later, we (gently) broke into it, rewarding ourselves with real beds after three nights in the woods. The stars there ranked as some of the most brilliant we’d ever seen.

When we returned to civilization we shared a twelve pack of Coors Light and watched the sun set over the Tetons. We were both 20 then.

I don’t exactly know why I share this story. Maybe I’d intended to point out the excitement and certainty in Ben’s love. Maybe it’s about how I have always trusted him. But I don’t think it’s either of those things. Ultimately, the story itself is pointless: we were lost for a while and then we figured things out. So many of life’s experiences  never unfold with a ready-made meaning. They happen. And then for whatever reason, they stick. I’ll remember Ben’s wedding of course, but perhaps not with the same clarity. The petals of the lupine have stuck, as have the fire-pocked pine, the summit lookout with its broken panes and peeling paint. And so has Ben, frozen in my mind as the 20 year-old boy who walked off into the unknown woods with a map and grin.

He’s three years older, now, and changed for the better I guess. But that smile, the smile I saw all weekend, that one’s the same. This is fun.

Cycling Lookout Mountain 11 August 2010

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If you have ever sinned a great sin against a cyclist, you may atone for it by riding Lookout Mountain. There waits the ritual purification of climbing.

When I first drove up Lookout, I marveled at the cyclists completing the same task on two wheels and under their own power. “Intense,” I told C—, “I’d be hating life if that were me.” And at the time, that would have been the case, but several hundred miles and many thousands of feet climbed separate that time from now. My tune has changed. So will yours if you’ve never given this great little ride a try. It’s only twenty minutes from Denver, and mile-for-mile absolutely the most scenic route this close to downtown. Hands down.

Let’s start with the important part: the climb. This about sums it up.

7 sad states have high points shorter than this climb.

Rising 1300′ give or take  from the curiously-named Beverly Heights Park to Buffalo Bill’s grave—yes, that Buffalo Bill—Lookout Mountain is Real Big. Maybe not Colorado big, where passes routinely involve 3000-4000 uphill feet, but at an average grade of 6.1%, this thing’s not joking. Of course, it’s not as though anyone laughing either. They’re grimacing, mostly. And you will too at first.

The ride begins at A,  just outside Golden. It’s highway the whole way from Denver, too. Just stay on, or get off on US 6, and take a left on 19th.

And then it’s pretty simple, really: park the car, get your biking self together and point the front wheel uphill. As you can see from the elevation, however, you get about a half mile to warm up and then the pain begins. It’s a subtle thing, though, since way back in 1917 (did you notice the date on the gates when you started?) the engineers designed the road for maximum scenic value and, consequently, maximum windiness. You’ll rarely see more than a couple hundred feet ahead. If you’re a Denver-area English teacher, a ride up Lookout offers an excellent way for your students to muddle the distinction between torturous and tortuous.  Field trip!

Regardless of whether you can divine the road ahead, the view to the right continues to improve as you climb. The initial mile or so heads north, giving you the chance to peer over a miniature version of Golden, the Coors Brewery and Table Mountain. Start your ride after 5:30 in the summer and you’ll spend the entire time taking in the scenery during what photographers call the “golden hour,” those fleeting minutes of every day where the light strikes the landscape just right and everything seems to glow. And because afternoon thunderstorms roll over Denver more or less every day, you’re going to see a lot of rainbows if you make this trip enough.

I say all those nice things to make you forget that this is indeed a climb involving several stretches of 9% grades. The scenery grows no less pleasant as you turn away from Golden at mile 1.2. Clear Creek Canyon opens ahead and you’ve put the really nasty stuff behind you for a bit. At 4%, those big switchbacks feel positively flat, although on days when the wind howls down the canyon, you may wish for the steep stuff  just to be rid of the gale. With the switchbacks behind you, the road briefly swings back over Golden then turns up a gulch toward Windy Saddle–the three mile mark. If you’re not concerned about timing yourself up the mountain, the parking area here provides a view well worth a stop and a place to start your ride if you’d prefer a “Lookout-lite”: 400 vertical feet from this to the full ride’s 1300.

Although Windy Saddle sits more than two thirds of the way up the mountain, I’ve always found that road beyond this point seems the most difficult. The several steep switchbacks that follow feel much worse coming off the easier stretch, but they lead to an even better view and what will by then seem like a benign 4% grade into the summit.

There’s a gift shop and interpretive center up there, but I’ve never felt an inclination to wander into either. If you must know, though, Buffalo Bill was a crazy young, and later, old, coot who ran around American and Europe with a bunch of Indians in tow presenting a caricature of the West in his Wild West Show. You can blame him, John Wayne, and Clint Eastwood for most of the silly, romantic things people believe about this part country today. The real West sprawls before you from the viewing platform behind the gift shop. Here you can see the Denver skyline, the suburban blight, the reservoirs, the highways. Look at all that and then buy a panoramic postcard of it in the gift shop.

The ride back down defines “technical descent.” Prepare yourself and your brakes for switchbacks at high speed. Despite the rare and easily-spotted patch of sand or gravel, the descent never gives reason for concern. The last third of a mile even received new pavement this summer, and the rest is nice enough. Back at your car, take a look at your watch. Bet it took less than an hour if you didn’t dawdle. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better value for your post-work minutes, and although that means you’ll often run into other folks along the way, you can now share in their pain. And their joy.

I need an editor 9 August 2010

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Promise the next post won’t cover any more econo-nerd money love, although, really, fiat money is a beautiful concept. Probably something about the zen (or is it the tao? Still working on the distinction…) of climbing–on a road bike.

For now, though, get stoked. Ski season starts in… 2 months.

Deconstructing Over-Consumption 5 August 2010

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As a college-educated twenty-something it is your duty to hate consumerism, corporations and the hard-working American way of life that engineered the $.99 hamburger. It’s a hatred that evidently grows out of a critical blend of sociology courses and casual screenings of Supersize Me and Food Inc. Just as moderately bright high school students discover (and then hopefully ditch) Ayn Rand, wantonly idealistic college grads latch on to the notion that if only Americans could tear apart Western acquisitiveness, they’d find true happiness–empiricism be damned.

The whole of human history says otherwise: money has allowed us to satisfy preferences and to demonstrate status. Not perfectly, of course, and even very very badly at times, but overall it’s performed better than anything else we’ve imagined. The anti-consumerist sentiment on the other hand has found success only in religion where it accompanies a promise of Heaven. It’s nearly impossible to argue against a guarantee of infinite bliss, but undermining idea that going Thoreau forever will ensure worldly satisfaction requires substantially less effort. And it’s more fun.

Anymore, American “over-consumption” has become axiomatic in this sort of conversation, yet because of that, the term rarely receives definition. What constitutes over-consumption? Following the meme far enough seems to indicate that Americans have been over-consuming since about the beginning of the twentieth century—when this country began to speed ahead (imagine ahead in scare quotes if you like) of its peers. Recognize the sliding scale: if Americans consumed at 1940 levels now, it would no longer count as over-consumption. But the world economy is growing. With that in mind, over-consumption appears to mean “to consume more than most everyone else.”

Just defining the term reveals the argument’s core. All this turning American consumerism on its head stuff distills to a desire for a more egalitarian society. It’s about baselines. The average world citizen consumes at, say, C, a level most I imagine most anti-consumption apologists will say is okay. After all, at issue is over-consumption not consumption itself. But American s consume at XC where X is some multiplier. Ignoring the fact that relationship between the two is more technical than that, the point of contention remains: Americans consume more than the average world citizen.

That seems to raise another problem, however, namely that only a small percentage of the world’s population can consume at an American level–the Earth’s resources will stretch only so far. On the surface, that concern appears trickier, but in reality it’s the same Malthusian bunkum as always. When humans deplete the Earth’s resources, well, there’s a whole universe out there. And that will continue until the species destroys itself or runs out of universe to mine. (Downside: as I wrote a while back, we’ll be forced to kill every non essential living thing on the planet first. Sorry, giant pandas.)

The key point, then, is that it doesn’t matter what Americans consume, just how much they consume relative to everyone else. No one would be in a tizzy if everyone on earth lived in a Malibu mansion. In fact, if consumption is simply the satisfaction of preferences through purchases, then it seems even the anti-consumerist crowd would support spending at any level so long as it remained equal.

Money doesn’t buy happiness, though. Okay. If that’s then case, then consider two scenarios with the assumption that watching the sun set over the beach makes a person happy. In scenario A, he has the money to purchase a plane ticket to the beach. In scenario B, he’s broke and stuck in Decatur. Logic dictates that he’s less happy in Decatur. Funny how, if money doesn’t buy happiness, nearly everything folks enjoy doing requires it. And, please, don’t argue that socialization produces all of that. Skiing is fun. Cycling is fun. Watching a movie is fun. Given the choice between any of those things and picking berries for survival, I’ll go for bike ride, thanks.

To get around that point, you might argue that if we simply didn’t know about iPods and motorcycles and what have you, then we we’d never know what were missing. True, but not a case for anti-consumerism. If you can’t even conceive of the alternative to your present situation, you’re not in a position to state a preference either way.

If you liked listening to music on the go in the 80s, you would probably say you were happy. But you didn’t even know that you could be happier with an iPod. Ethically, this gets a bit complex, but if we know that American-style consumption drives innovation, and that innovation leads to products that create new forms of happiness, then we are denying ourselves potential happiness if we stamp out consumer culture.

If you tired of theory, try this:

Here’s global happiness.

Here’s purchasing-power-adjusted per-capita GDP.

I’d written another 350 words on status, but this is all that’s getting published for now. If you were looking for the smackdown finale, come back later and maybe I’ll have have an appropriately witty conclusion.

Dan Maes: Denver bike program will end in world government 4 August 2010

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This guy’s running for governor in Colorado:

At first, I thought, ‘Gosh, public transportation, what’s wrong with that, and what’s wrong with people parking their cars and riding their bikes? And what’s wrong with incentives for green cars?’ But if you do your homework and research, you realize the [International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives] is part of a greater strategy to rein in American cities under a United Nations treaty.

Okay, Colorado Republican Party, so one of your gubernatorial candidates is a plagiarist, the other’s a loon, and then you’re still inviting Tom Tancredo–who left your party–to luncheons? Please tell me you’re just setting the stage for the “Most-Improved” award in 2012.

More from the Denver Post here.