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Old 01-03-06, 07:14 PM   #1
Daily Commute
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Nazis, Jim Crow, Bike Lanes and the NYPD

I'm sick of Nazi and Jim Crow analogies to US cops and bike lanes. I'm a skeptic about bike lanes and a strong proponent of riding in traffic. But as much as I dislike many "segregated" facilities, there is no comparison between facing a fine for riding outside of a glass-strewn, poorly engineered bike lane and being rounded up with millions of others, corralled into cattle cars, and then being gassed or burned alive.

There is also no comparison between being abused by a NYPD cop and being shot by the Gestapo. Do you think the Nazis let Jews sue the police in court? Do you think the Nazis let the Jews hire layers to gather videotaped evidence to defend against the citations?

You demean the seriousness of the Holocaust and the true evil of the Nazis by making such specious arguments. You also lose most or all of your credibility with reasonable people.

Setting aside the arguments about the depravity of the analogies, one flaw in the argument is that assertion that discrimination and segregation are always wrong. Sometimes (rarely, I think) it is appropriate to separate cyclists from automobile traffic. The American Interstate system is an example. The Jim Crow argument doesn't help bike lane skeptics explain why any given segregated system is bad.

So please, fight about the issues. Complain or support bike lanes. Complain about or support your local police. But leave the Nazis and Jim Crow out of it.
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Old 01-03-06, 07:30 PM   #2
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What about lima beans? Am I allowed to reference lima beans in order to make my point without being accused of comparing bike lanes to lima beans?

To someone who doesn't care for lima beans, rating one better than another still doesn't make the "better" ones acceptable. Same thing with bike lanes. To a lima bean disliker, all lima beans taste yucky. All bike lanes, on "shared" roads, convey the message, even the A+ ones, that cyclists should stay out of the way of cagers. Being a "good" lima bean doesn't make it taste good. Being a "good" bike lane doesn't make it not convey the anti-cycling message.

The reason Jim Crow laws and Nazis are used in these analogies, rather than lima beans, is because the former are more universally recognized as negative concepts.

No offense to lima beans - they just seem to be disliked by more people than most other foods; I could have used liver or brussel sprouts just as easily - the point just wouldn't be made with ice cream.
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Old 01-03-06, 07:46 PM   #3
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Sorry, but lima beans didn't kill anyone's grandfather, burn people in ovens, or lynch people, so that analogy is about as stupid as they come. To compare a vegetable (lentil, I suppose) that people have a "dislike" for to something as horrible as racist law or a soldier that took part in a genocide is obscene. There are other words that convey the same idealology as "Nazi" without the connection to the holocaust. A good generic substitute would be "facist" as it merely is someone of a facist idealology.
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Old 01-03-06, 07:48 PM   #4
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Lima beans, liver, and brussel sprouts may be disliked, but they are not evil. Many bike lanes are examples of bad policy and bad engineering, but they are notevil.
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Old 01-03-06, 07:49 PM   #5
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This looks like it should go very well.
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Old 01-03-06, 07:59 PM   #6
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To compare a vegetable (lentil, I suppose) that people have a "dislike" for to something as horrible as racist law or a soldier that took part in a genocide is obscene.
Now I understand why analogies are almost always used in IQ tests, and how half the population manages to score an IQ of less than 100...

Yes, such a comparison would be obscene. If you think I made such a comparison, I suggest you don't take any IQ tests...
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Old 01-03-06, 08:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Daily Commute
Lima beans, liver, and brussel sprouts may be disliked, but they are not evil. Many bike lanes are examples of bad policy and bad engineering, but they are notevil.
Yes, bike lanes are not evil in the way that Nazis were evil.

But bike lanes are not vegetables, or lentils, either.

So can I make the statement I made about bike lanes and lima beans without being accused of comparing bike lanes to lentils, or not?
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Old 01-03-06, 08:09 PM   #8
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Yes, bike lanes are not evil in the way that Nazis were evil.

But bike lanes are not vegetables, or lentils, either.

So can I make the statement I made about bike lanes and lima beans without being accused of comparing bike lanes to lentils, or not?
About all you can really state is: "some folks don't like bike lanes, just like some folks don't like lima beans... " The reasoning for either thought is simply in the mind of the beholder.
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Old 01-03-06, 08:10 PM   #9
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When I first saw the title of this thread I thought it was a troll set up for that professor who's been studying us.

But I don't care for nazi and jimcrow analogies either. They are emotional hot buttons overstate the case and distract from the real issue, whatever it is.

I did score well over the 50th percentile in a IQ quiz I seen on the internet so I ain't no illiterate.
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Old 01-03-06, 08:16 PM   #10
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About all you can really state is: "some folks don't like bike lanes, just like some folks don't like lima beans... " The reasoning for either thought is simply in the mind of the beholder.
Do you agree that at least to someone who doesn't care for lima beans (spits 'em out!), there is no such thing as a "good" lima bean, even though some may be better (according to size, freshness, cleanliness, firmness, etc.) than others?

The point I'm trying to make is that just because some members of a class might be seen as "better" than other members of the same class, that doesn't mean any of them are necessarily "good".

That point holds whether we're talking about lima beans, death camps, piles of dog poop, or just about anything that can be classified in one group, including bike lanes.
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Old 01-03-06, 08:19 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Do you agree that at least to someone who doesn't care for lima beans (spits 'em out!), there is no such thing as a "good" lima bean, even though some may be better (according to size, freshness, cleanliness, firmness, etc.) than others?

The point I'm trying to make is that just because some members of a class might be seen as "better" than other members of the same class, that doesn't mean any of them are necessarily "good".

That point holds whether we're talking about lima beans, death camps, piles of dog poop, or just about anything that can be classified in one group, including bike lanes
.
It seems like you're spending more time defending the analogy than defending the actual case. Doesn't that in itself mean it's an ineffective analogy?
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Old 01-03-06, 08:23 PM   #12
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My attempts to defend the actual case without using any analogies have been ignored.
My attempts to use the analogies have been derailed into discussions about the inappropriateness of the analogies, forcing me to have to defend them.
I'd much rather spend my time discussing the actual case, back in the original "bike lanes are B+" thread.
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Old 01-03-06, 08:25 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Do you agree that at least to someone who doesn't care for lima beans (spits 'em out!), there is no such thing as a "good" lima bean, even though some may be better (according to size, freshness, cleanliness, firmness, etc.) than others?

The point I'm trying to make is that just because some members of a class might be seen as "better" than other members of the same class, that doesn't mean any of them are necessarily "good".
Only in the mind of the beholder... in otherwords, using your same logic, while some individuals may find lima beans distasteful, that is only their opinion, while the medical or dietary community may indeed find that lima beans are quite good for you.

The same holds true of bike lanes, while some individuals may find them quite distasteful, their utility may be one that is good for other individuals.

You have your right to believe that you do not like bike lanes, but you do not have the right to impose your beliefs on others. Just as your diet may never include lima beans, others may find them quite tasty.

I for instance happen to like both broccoli and brussels sprouts... Our 41st president did not like broccoli... did that give him the right to ban all broccoli?
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Old 01-03-06, 09:10 PM   #14
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Not to spoil the succotash or vegetable medley.....

But the term 'Nazi' has morphed over time to become a generic term of derision used toward anyone whom exhibits undue control over others, i.e. 'the soup Nazi' on Seinfeld.

The term 'Jim Crow' seems less bandied about.

I am not saying this is a good thing, only that the barn door has been open for some time.
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Old 01-03-06, 09:18 PM   #15
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This looks like it should go very well.
To quote one of my favorite BF members, 'Oh no'.
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Old 01-03-06, 09:19 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Yes, bike lanes are not evil in the way that Nazis were evil.

But bike lanes are not vegetables, or lentils, either.

So can I make the statement I made about bike lanes and lima beans without being accused of comparing bike lanes to lentils, or not?
I take offense, my grandfather was a vegetable.
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Old 01-03-06, 09:35 PM   #17
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I was a vegetable too for a while. I think it was back in the late 60s.....
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Old 01-03-06, 10:39 PM   #18
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I'm just glad that everyone is home from vacation and back at their desks, being productive. It was dull here for a while.
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Old 01-03-06, 10:41 PM   #19
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Sufferin' succatash!
Not to rub your rhubarb, but I happen to like lima beans.
And here in Houston, there are no bike lanes. There's only cars doublepark free lanes, when they're not being broken glass, dead animal, and garbage collection lanes.

Now the cops are pretty cool to cyclists here, yet there's never been a CM here as far as I can remember. Go figure that.
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Old 01-04-06, 12:57 AM   #20
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For the record . . . I'm no fan of Seinfeld, and the Soup Nazi was not the only bit that I found disrespectful . . .

Meanwhile: Next time you think about making a Nazi analogy, imagine you're sitting next to a death camp survivor.

And then ask yourself: would I still say that?
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Old 01-04-06, 04:49 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by galen_52657
But the term 'Nazi' has morphed over time to become a generic term of derision used toward anyone whom exhibits undue control over others, i.e. 'the soup Nazi' on Seinfeld.
Playing the Nazi analogy just illustrates the intellectual laziness of the user. And like the white belt and fixed gear bicycle, it's the mark of hipness.
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Old 01-04-06, 05:43 AM   #22
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Setting aside the depravity of most Nazi analogies, do you think citing the Nazis will persuade anyone to agree with you? It seems much, much more likely to alienate your audience.

HH, I think your passionate opposition to bike lanes helps keep this forum interesting an useful. But you really, really hurt the cause when you let your rhetoric get too hot. Why not just argue that segregating cyclists from other traffic on any road is bad policy because it decreases our legitimacy on the road? (And then back it up with other arguments.)

My phrasing may not be the most eloquent statement, and some people will disagree with it, but it won't immediately alienate the very people you want to persuade.
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Old 01-04-06, 06:58 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Daily Commute
Setting aside the depravity of most Nazi analogies, do you think citing the Nazis will persuade anyone to agree with you? It seems much, much more likely to alienate your audience.

HH, I think your passionate opposition to bike lanes helps keep this forum interesting an useful. But you really, really hurt the cause when you let your rhetoric get too hot. Why not just argue that segregating cyclists from other traffic on any road is bad policy because it decreases our legitimacy on the road? (And then back it up with other arguments.)

My phrasing may not be the most eloquent statement, and some people will disagree with it, but it won't immediately alienate the very people you want to persuade.
It amazes me how some people get all indignant at one disparaging word, then in the next breath use another disparaging word that is somehow more acceptable. Make up your minds to either refrain from all such words or just shut the F up about the words others choose to use. Bunch o freakin hypocrites.
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Old 01-04-06, 07:26 AM   #24
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[simpsons]Think of the children! Won't someone please think of the children!"[/simpsons]

Yeah I discredit an argument to some degree internally when lazy and disparate analogys are used willy-nilly. Fortunately I'm all growed up and won't allow reading such things to lessen my regard for the lessons of history.

People say insensitive things all the time, deal with it because setting restrictions on such things anyplace but your house is the sort of slippery slope the unfortunates fell victim to.

This is a public forum.
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Old 01-04-06, 07:34 AM   #25
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It amazes me how some people get all indignant at one disparaging word, then in the next breath use another disparaging word that is somehow more acceptable. Make up your minds to either refrain from all such words or just shut the F up about the words others choose to use. Bunch o freakin hypocrites.
The word "depraved" is hyperbole when describing a general pro- or anti- VC or bike lane arguments, but the word fits when describing an argument that compares puts mandatory bike lane use on the same moral plane as mass murder. It isn't hypocracy to use a strong word where a strong word is appropriate.

I hope I have never described a pro-bike-lane or anti-VC argument as "depraved." Other than Nazi/Jim Crow analogies, the only time I remember using such strong language is when people have advocated raping drivers who injure cyclists. If someone shows that I'm wrong my prior posts, I'll offer an apology.



Quote:
Originally Posted by SamHouston
[simpsons]Think of the children! Won't someone please think of the children!"[/simpsons]

Yeah I discredit an argument to some degree internally when lazy and disparate analogys are used willy-nilly. Fortunately I'm all growed up and won't allow reading such things to lessen my regard for the lessons of history.

People say insensitive things all the time, deal with it because setting restrictions on such things anyplace but your house is the sort of slippery slope the unfortunates fell victim to.

This is a public forum.
Yes, it's a public forum (subject to the mods, of course). People have the right to use strong language, but people also have the right to criticize that strong language. That's not censorship, that's debate.

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