If the bears don't get you, the bicyclists will


A specter is haunting the streets of Denver, warns businessman Dan Maes, a Tea Party denizen who hopes to become the next governor of Colorado. The threat is “very well disguised, but it will be exposed,” Maes promised supporters. And what exactly is it that threatens our freedom? In a word, bicycles — the riding of which through car-dominated streets spins us all toward international domination under the United Nations. You might wonder how bikes could convert Denver into a U.N. satrapy, but Maes told the Denver Post that you just had to see through the fuzzy rhetoric about green cars, public transportation and anything else touted as an alternative to automobiles. Maes said that by participating in an international group that promotes bike riding as an environmentally friendly activity, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, the Democratic candidate for governor, promotes a “dream philosophy” that threatens individual rights. Locked in a neck-and-neck primary battle against lawyer-lobbyist and accused plagiarist Scott McInnis for the Republican nomination, Maes allowed that some might find his theories “kooky.”

It turns out that trash isn’t one of the “bear necessities” in the Aspen area, according to a new study by Colorado State University. Fifty black bears were tracked over five years in Pitkin County, where there’s a history of bears clawing their way into restaurants and homes. However, researchers found that, given a choice, bears preferred wild berries and oak acorns to leftover pizza and whatever other goodies they could unearth from garbage cans. And contrary to popular belief, the bears never became “addicted” to human food, always preferring forest-grown when it was available. Sometimes, though, bears can’t resist a manmade treat. A newly opened paintball course on the side of a ski hill near Billings, Mont., had to close after bears — both grizzlies and black bears — developed a craving for the paintballs. It turns out that the colorful globs contained a yummy vegetable oil. “A wildlife official said some bears were even eating unexploded paintballs,” reports The Associated Press.

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