Friday, February 17, 2012

They're Coming to Take Me (stuff) Away - Ha-Haaa

I feel like I'm hurtling into a tunnel... the next little verse of my sorry 'saga' continues property is about to be removed because of bicycle helmet law

$$$ What is wrong with my government?

$$$ Why are we forced to wear bicycle helmets?

$$$ What good has it done us?

$$$ How hard is it to mentally compute the 'too-much-energy-in' factor versus the 'too-little-energy-out' factor?

$$$ Why do we kow-tow to the Oil lobby?

$$$ When will we refuse to vote for governments who continue to subsidise Big Oil?


  1. what stuff? have I missed something?

    1. The Sherfiff has notified me that they're coming to remove my 'property' because I refused to pay into the Victims Compensation Fund - not sure what'll actaully be taken? - suppose it's whatever grabs their fancy - sigh - who knows, I haven't been down this 'road' before

    2. sorry to read this, must be stressful. They may take your bike and toally ruin your transport options.

  2. Big Brother trying to throw their weight around,my sympathies for you. The Fascist State is attempting to Rob you. The Politicians are not doing anything to fix this are they,just content to sit there and Toe the Party line.

    1. It's so frustrating - it's hard to know where to turn next

  3. Part 1
    My comment is too long so it's in 2 parts.

    Some years ago in SA people who were fined by the court had the option of not paying. They could do time in goal instead.
    This became a bit of a loophole as you could present yourself at the local police station in the evening, spend the night in a cell and be released the next morning.
    I would like to be able to do this as a form of protest against bad laws like MHL but the system has been changed. The SA courts website explains that an unpaid expiation notice becomes the same as an unpaid fine. If it remains unpaid then, besides increasing with time, the government has given itself the right to, in effect,
    kick down your door and take whatever property they deem necessary including house and land.
    It seems you have the same system in NSW.

    This is depressing. I will try to cheer you up.

    I read quite a few online cycling forums. I am always surprised by the readiness of cyclists to critisize other cyclists who don't cycle in exactly the same way as themselves. Most Australian cyclists are road racers.Even the commuters are on carbon fibre and consider the commute as part of their training program.
    Everyone else is different and will be attacked because they are part of the group "Other".
    Anyone not wearing a helmet is an idiot. People riding 200W electric bikes probably lost their license for drink driving and if they don't want to pedal they should get out of the bike lane.

    A recent example is the young woman killed at an intersection in Melbourne.
    Police (very quickly) informed news media of several reasons why it was the cyclist's fault. No helmet, no lights, listening to music and ran a red light.
    I saw it this way.
    No Helmet....At the speed she was hit a helmet would have been useless.
    No lights....It happened at or shortly after 6:15am. First light that day, published by the met bureau, was 6:15am. A headlight and taillight would not have been visible to a car coming from side on.
    Music........Maybe. They found an mp3 player in the wreckage.
    Ran a red light.....It's a very wide intersection. I think it more likely she was stranded at the median strip by the previous light change. The witness was in the car which stopped when the light changed to amber. It's possible that she saw this car stopping and the lights changing and started to complete her crossing but was hit by the car which didn't stop.

    Almost every comment in an Adelaide forum blamed the cyclist.
    Why so hard on fellow cyclists?
    I may have found a reason.

    See Part 2.

  4. Part 2

    Now to the cheering up.
    David Thorne at recently posted another story.
    The bit I quote below is apparently (loosely) based on actual experiment.

    "I once read about five monkeys that were placed in a room with a banana at the top of a set of stairs. As one monkey attempted to climb the stairs, all of the monkeys were sprayed with jets of cold water. A second monkey made an attempt and again the monkeys were sprayed. No more monkeys attempted to climb the stairs. One of the monkeys was then removed from the room and replaced with a new monkey. New monkey saw the banana and started to climb the stairs but to its surprise, it was attacked by the other monkeys. Another of the original monkeys was replaced and the newcomer was also attacked when he attempted to climb the stairs. The previous newcomer took part in the punishment with enthusiasm. Replacing a third original monkey with a new one, it headed for the stairs and was attacked as well. Half of the monkeys that attacked him had no idea why. After replacing the fourth and fifth original monkeys, none had ever been sprayed with cold water but all stayed the fuck away from the stairs.
    Being here longer than me doesn't automatically make your adherence to a rule, or the rule itself, right. It makes you the fifth replacement monkey. The one with the weird red arse and the first to point and screech when anyone approaches the stairs. I would be the sixth monkey, at home in bed trying to come up with a viable excuse not to spend another fruitless day locked in a room with five neurotic monkeys."

    We are all monkeys. Some of us are not willing to give up on the banana just because other monkeys say it's wrong.

    1. This is how all totalitarian societies work: get the populace to police themselves. I lived for a while in a full-on Soviet-Communist police state in the 1970s and was deeply impressed by how much of it had become self-regulating after a couple of decades: people simply not thinking anti-socialist thoughts any longer and tailoring their behaviour not to what "They" said you should do, but rather to what "They" might possibly want you to do. To a frighteningly large extent collective social control had replaced the labour camps and arresting people to beat the crap out of them with rubber truncheons which had characterised the early years of People's Democracy. Only the occasional exemplary beating-up was now necessary, just to remind people...

      Much the same strategy is now being tried by the helmet compulsionists in the UK: not legislation (for which there is no political appetite and which would be strongly resisted) but rather making helmets the norm and gradually marginalising those who refuse to wear them as anti-social oddballs. In fact quite a few of our self-styled Real Cyclists - the ones in Lycra - are strongly behind this; presumably on the grounds that wearing ridiculous-looking headgear reinforces in-group solidarity (cf. the Prussian spiked helmet...). This strategy already seems to have worked rather well in the USA, where I believe that other cyclists will stop you and demand to know why you aren't wearing one of the stupid things.

      Resist! Once they've got everyone wearing helmets it'll be knee and elbow pads.

    2. Steve! - you have somehow managed to cheer me up, frighten me & inspire me simultaneously!!!!

      - we are those monkeys, and I'm determined to get that 'fucking' banana!!!

    3. Good post about the bananas and monkeys.

  5. Hello Freedom Cyclist - sorry to hear of your dramas and impending loss of property! However I am very glad to have found you. It seems that Steve's monkey story is played out in my town all the time, where other cyclists (and everyone else) are aghast at my helmetless state!
    Thanks for your campaign. It is soooo heartening.

  6. Had it ever occurred to you, Sue, that you're simply living in the wrong country, and that if the buggers weren't persecuting you for not wearing a helmet they'd be after you for something else?

    I get the impression that clean contrary to the larrikin-bushranger-outback anarchist persona that Australia likes to present to the world, it's a horribly timid and conformist society: a bit like Frinton-on-Sea expanded to cover an entire continent. While as for New Zealand, words fail me: I was listening a few weeks ago to some drongo from there whining on self-righteously in that strange nasal accent they have about "our aggressively Kiwi policy" of making everyone wear cycle helmets all the time: probably indoors as well for all that I know. And I thought to myself, God what a nation of bed-wetters: I'll move it from 194th to 195th place on my list or countries to visit, just below Somalia.

    Anyway, if the State Troopers are about to turn up and distrain your goods, and you feel that going down in a blaze of glory wearing a bullet-proof helmet made from ploughshares is not really practicable in 2012, is there anything we can do to support you, like setting up an on-line appeal to pay your fine or whatever? I am sure there are thousands round the world who would count it an honour to contribute.

    1. Aaaaahhhh! Vocus Dwabe - that's really lovely but I'm going to try and fight this one with my principles!!! - and you're dead right about Australia - it really is a massive 'Frinton-on-Sea'

      - sigh

  7. Do you have legal resources to help find possible loopholes or to "play the system"? I know you yourself and a couple of your family have legal training...surley there must be some way of attacking the process simply due to the evident shoddy paperwork ( the hand-marked correction on your court bill? the incorrect amount billed?) You hear about court cases being thrown out for technical errors...can it be done?

    1.'s all new to me and very scary - it does seem grossly unfair that a piece of legislation that has been deemed to be 'unjust' and now repealed because of its unjustness is allowed to catch me during it's final 'swan song' - I'm gutted that the AG has chosen not to grant me an exmpemtion whilst simultaneously pointing out to me in correspondence that he has the powers if he so wished - we're such a car culture - there's no hope for us

  8. By signalling its intention to dispossess you of your property, the state has demonstrated its intention to crush any opposition to MHL. As citizens in a supposedly democratic state, we have an obligation to push back, and the Eureka Stockade is an inspiration to us all. Why don't we organise a blockade of the Sheriff's office, or better still the NSW parliament if we could muster the numbers? We can protests and highlight the issues and injustice of MHL and the criminalisation of citizens who exercise choice for their own safety, and whose action has not harm the public interest one ioata. I am more than happy to travel to Sydney or wherever to support this action.

  9. Sue,

    Have a weekend away in Melbourne and pick up as many discarded bikeshare helmets as you can. Offer them as "property" to the sheriff. They may even appreciate the irony.


    1. Ha! Ha! - great idea, Edward...

      ...& I'm actually going to Melbourne soon too!!!!