Brickbat: Higher Ain't Always Better

Officials in Denver have been kicking exercise groups out of parks and other public spaces. A city ordinance bars commercial activities in parks without a permit, but the law doesn't provide permits for those running fitness groups. But after meetings with trainers and park supervisors, officials have developed permits and fees for commercial exercise groups that the city council is expected to adopt.

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  • Steve G||

    Curious what problem these newly required permits will solve...

  • Ted S.||

    The "how can we get more money out of their pockets" problem, of course.

  • ||

    “You can smoke pot, but you can’t exercise,” Mr. Lindley said, as the scent of a newly legalized substance drifted past. “This is Colorado.”

    The Lord Government giveth, and the Lord Government taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord Government.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Instead of all this exercise, why don't they just ask the government to ban Happy Meals? FITNESS!

  • ||

    why don't they ask the government to force you to rip up your lawn and grow broccoli? Dig for victory!

  • Ted S.||

  • Brett L||

    I'd prefer to root for victory, were I an Aussie.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Dig for victory!

    All the while they were still burning "excess" crops and livestock.

  • The Hyperbole||

    "And in a country battling obesity and high rates of heart disease and diabetes, they say, governments should be doing everything possible to get people up and moving."

    So it's not the State interference that's wrong it's the type of State interference. Fuck these hippies, douchebags, and soccer moms.

  • sarcasmic||

    Freedom means asking permission and taking orders.

  • Steve G||

    thats a good line

  • RBS||

    You should make some bumper stickers.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I am looking forward to the anti-immigration crowd telling me how this is kosher because the government owns the land.

  • Redmanfms||

    I'm confused here.

    What exactly is the issue with requiring a permit/fee to use a public space for commercial purposes?

  • ||

    Since when does "public" mean "private property owned by the government"?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Ever since Redman wrote his own dictionary, apparently.

  • sarcasmic||

    "Public" means "everyone but you."

  • sarcasmic||

    The city rules are clear: No commercial activity without a permit.

    No making money unless we get a cut.

    Amy Fuller, who runs several fitness groups for new mothers, said the fees could cost her as much as $1,200 a month to use the city’s busiest parks at the peak times of day.

    And by "cut" we mean all of it!

    People wonder why the economy is in the shitter. Could it be because anytime anyone tries to engage in economic activity there's an army of government goons demanding that they be paid or they'll beat the shit out of you and lock you in a cage? Golly... I wonder...

  • Redmanfms||

    As I'm seeing this, you are essentially arguing that the taxpayers of Denver subsidize a private business by providing a facility and maintenance for said facility.

    The city is demanding that those who use the park for commercial purposes pay "rent" to do so. If Chris and Caren find the price exorbitant for the service provided they can buy/lease their own land/building.

  • sarcasmic||

    Subsidize? As in taking money from one person and giving it to another? Oh yeah. Not taking is giving. OK, Tony. Whatever you say.

    As long as they are not interfering with normal use of the public property, then I don't see why they should pay extra to use what they already pay taxes for.

  • Redmanfms||

    Subsidize? As in taking money from one person and giving it to another? Oh yeah. Not taking is giving. OK, Tony. Whatever you say.

    Eat shit you disingenuous weasel, that's not what I argued and you damned well know it.

    As long as they are not interfering with normal use of the public property, then I don't see why they should pay extra to use what they already pay taxes for.

    So I should be able to set up a widget kiosk in government buildings and use building power and water. I did already pay for the building and services afterall.

  • sarcasmic||

    and use building power and water

    Goalposts say "Whoosh!"

  • Redmanfms||

    Fine, cancel them then.

    Should I be able to use a government building for private business?

  • sarcasmic||

    We're not talking about government buildings. We're talking about being outside in a wide open space without interfering with anyone.

    Not. The. Same. Thing.

  • Redmanfms||

    We're not talking about government buildings. We're talking about being outside in a wide open space without interfering with anyone.

    So "interference" is the standard? Seems rather arbitrary.

    Not. The. Same. Thing.

    Oh, because you say so, right Tony?


    You are rather neatly illustrating the tragedy of the commons, just adding an "interference" caveat, you realize this yes? I think I can see your problem though, you believe you "own" public property by right of paying taxes. You don't own it, the government does, you merely pick up the tab.

    The City of Denver shouldn't in the park operation business in the first place.

  • sarcasmic||

    It's the same principle as requiring children to get a permit for their lemonade stand. It's un-fucking-American.

  • Redmanfms||

    It's the same principle as requiring children to get a permit for their lemonade stand. It's un-fucking-American.

    Goalposts say "Whoosh!"

  • sarcasmic||

    Whatever, Tony.

  • Redmanfms||

    Right, because children operating a business on private property is truly equivalent to private businesses using taxpayer-funded public spaces as a place of business. Completely the same fucking thing.

    Tony makes communal ownership arguments, and who in this thread is doing that, hmmmmmm??????

  • sarcasmic||

    Sidewalks are private property?

  • Redmanfms||

    Sidewalks are private property?

    Depends. But a kid operating a stand on the sidewalk would seemingly be a pretty flagrant violation of your "interference" caveat to communal ownership.

    Also:

    Goalposts say "Whoosh!"

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    The government does NOT own public property. We give them money and license to operate public places on our behalf in trust. Those are two different things.

  • Redmanfms||

    The government does NOT own public property. We give them money and license to operate public places on our behalf in trust. Those are two different things.

    Really? Asheville seems to think it owns this river trail.

    So does Brooklyn.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    So I mean I guess if they own it they can just do whatever they want, right? Did you know I can exclude gay people from my home if I want to? Can government do that?

    Well, no.

  • Redmanfms||

    So I mean I guess if they own it they can just do whatever they want, right?

    You wear mendacity well.

    I posted those to disprove your notion that government does NOT own public property.

    Well, no.

    Are you arguing that a private business is now a protected class?

    If the government cannot exclude gays from the courthouse, why then should it be permitted to exclude businesses?

    My shoe-shine kiosk doesn't "interfere" with the gays walking in the atrium....

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    "I posted those to disprove your notion that government does NOT own public property."

    A sign is proof? You have a low standard of evidence.

  • Redmanfms||

    A sign is proof? You have a low standard of evidence.

    And yet, you still haven't proffered any evidence of a "trust agreement" differentiating government buildings from any other government property.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    So let me get this straight: you don't have a problem with people doing yoga in public parks. You just have a problem with people making money in public parks.

    Why do you draw that distinction? If the park is truly public, why shouldn't I be allowed to sell things there?

  • Redmanfms||

    So let me get this straight: you don't have a problem with people doing yoga in public parks. You just have a problem with people making money in public parks.

    No. I have a problem with a city operating a park in the first place.

    Your argument essentially boils down to permitting rent-seeking, which I do have a problem with.

    If the park is truly public, why shouldn't I be allowed to sell things there?

    If government buildings are truly public, why shouldn't I be allowed to sell things there?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    There is a difference between a government building and a park. A park is specifically designed and has the intent to accommodate the public. We accept these definitions as part of the trust agreement between the government and ourselves.

    Your argument essentially boils down to permitting rent-seeking, which I do have a problem with.

    Rent-seeking? No, incorrect. Here's the deal: you have no idea if you, as a Park Cop, are looking at a group of people voluntarily doing yoga or a group of people who have paid the leader in front of the group to lead them in yoga. If you advocate letting the former practice for free but charging the latter, that's discrimination for activity that didn't even occur in your park: the payments came way before that.

    In short, it's not your business why people are there doing yoga. If you are going to let a group do it, then it doesn't matter what transactions occurred between the participants before they arrived.

  • Redmanfms||

    There is a difference between a government building and a park. A park is specifically designed and has the intent to accommodate the public. We accept these definitions as part of the trust agreement between the government and ourselves.

    Citation.

    For one, I've never seem a "trust agreement" for anything other than private property bequeathed to government for public use.

    The government can set limitations on how public property is utilized. Witness operational hours and enforcement using trespassing laws.

  • Redmanfms||

    *seen.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I like how you didn't address the rest of my post which, if I may be so humble, utterly destroys your argument.

  • Redmanfms||

    I like how you didn't address the rest of my post which, if I may be so humble, utterly destroys your argument.

    If you can't prove the basis of your argument, specifically the "trust agreement" (sounds a lot like the "social contract"....), it crumbles without me having to address any of it.

  • KPres||

    "The government can set limitations on how public property is utilized."

    At the very least, a user fee seems far preferable than an income or property tax.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    "So "interference" is the standard? Seems rather arbitrary."

    The word, "Interference" is not arbitrary. It may be difficult to define and may require some interpretation, but it is NOT arbitrary.

  • ||

    In theory, the people of Denver could force the government to behave as if public spaces were really public just by electing people who would not treat them as government property. Just elect city councilmen that will vote not to charge Yoga groups fees.

    The people of Denver voted for these people, so I guess that means the people of Denver don't want any Yoga in their parks. Right?

  • The DerpRider||

    Absent these new permit fees, would the regular maintenance of the parks cease?

  • Redmanfms||

    Failing to see relevance.

  • Jordan||

    The relevance is that maintenance is not paid for through permit fees. Otherwise, joggers would have to get a permit too.

  • Steve G||

    Oh, fuck, now you gave them the idea...

  • ||

    Question here, Redmanfs...

    Suppose I want to do some Yoga in the park by myself. Free, right?

    Suppose I want to do some Yoga in the park with my Yoga Meetup group. Still Free, right?

    Suppose I do some Yoga in the Park, and everyone pitches in a few bucks to pay for the Yoga matts and the meetup fee. Still free?

    Now, what's the difference between that and the Yoga instructor charging everyone $5? What is it about money changing hands that alters the essential rights of the individual involved to practice Yoga in the park?

  • Redmanfms||

    Question here, HazelMeade....

    Suppose I want to possess a gun in my own home. Free, right?

    Suppose I want to keep that gun in a place in my home where it is useful for me. Still Free, right?

    Suppose I just rely on the locks on my home to secure it. Still free?

    Now, why am I liable if some asshole breaks into my home steals the gun and uses it to harm someone else, and why should I be forced by law, to purchase insurance to offset the cost of criminal activity I wasn't party to (other than myself being a victim of a crime)?

    Sniff.

  • sarcasmic||

    Profits! Icky profits! Can't use public property to make icky profits! Must first pay the People, er, the Government which is the People, for the privilege of making icky profits on public land! Besides... profits!

  • Redmanfms||

    I like how you steadfastly refuse to respond to my argument, and instead have constructed a strawman to burn.

    Much like Tony routinely does.....

  • sarcasmic||

    It's called sarcasm, you dolt.

  • sarcasmic||

    As far as your argument goes, what response is there? You believe that free people must ask permission and take orders, and I don't. What else is there to say?

  • Redmanfms||

    As far as your argument goes, what response is there? You believe that free people must ask permission and take orders, and I don't. What else is there to say?

    Another strawman.

    Really, you don't have to keep posting evidence of your Tony-espue mendacity. We get it, you're dishonest.

  • Redmanfms||

    You believe that free people must ask permission and take orders, and I don't.

    Uh-huh.

    Except when it comes to government buildings and "interference," right?

  • Redmanfms||

    Now, what's the difference between that and the Yoga instructor charging everyone $5?

    Fundamentally? None.

    So....

    Suppose I like shining shoes. Free, right?

    Suppose I do a really great job. Still Free, right?

    Suppose I decide to go where there are lots of people who need shoe shines, like the state house. Still free?

    Now, why can the yoga chick have her paid yoga study in the park and I can't have my shoe shine stand in the state house.

    For that matter, why can't I have any business that doesn't interfere with public use of public spaces in said spaces? Why can't have an open-air auction in the park? Or a movie picnic club?

  • ||

    I missed the part where people are allowed to shine shoes FOR FREE in the public statehouse.

    People can do Yoga for free in the park.

  • B.P.||

    I'm wondering if the city and county of Denver received any complaints about these exercise groups. I get permits from Denver Parks for my softball team... fair enough, since there are a limited number of diamonds in the evenings and it cuts down on chaos for a league to have diamonds reserved. What I don't see a limit on is open space for the mommy stroller brigade to do walking lunges at 9:30 a.m. on a Tuesday, which is usually when I see them out in the local park.

    This strikes me as an instance where a city official noticed some spontaneous activity where filthy lucre changes hands, which Must. Be. Regulated.

    I further wonder if the people will be a little less receptive when the next Get Fit Denver! (or whatever) initiative is launched.

  • ||

    One would think with the "War on Obesity" and all that, that the government might want to positively encourage exercise groups - by offering them free unpermitted use of public parks.

    I would much rather they demanded permits of dog-owners. Anyone that doesn't clean up after their dog could thus be denied access to the park.

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