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I'm probably a freak, but I genuinely understand and acknowledge both sides. To me both sides make sense, and if I were King, I don't know which way I'd come down.

I can add a few other perspectives though:

1. California is, has been and probably will always be on the liberal side of the fence. Anyone who lives there really shouldn't be surprised that the government is telling you how to scratch your butt. If you want freedom, move to Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, etc.

2. I'm a non-practicing lawyer, and I can tell you something about the legal and governmental system -- It's not about being fair, it's about keeping the wheels on society, and keeping our country somewhere between battling warlords, and a brutal dictatorship. The system is about perpetuating itself through balancing competing interests, and in any good compromise, both sides leave unhappy but can live with it. It isn't about fairness and justice, because everyone has a different idea of what fairness and justice is (which usually centers around themselves, though they won't admit that). First lesson in law school is that if you want fair, go to a seminary -- this is about the law.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Re: Helmet Laws

What if the fed only did what it was constitutionally allowed to do, and our taxes weren't confiscatory? The constitution enumerates the exact ways in which the federal government is allowed to spend our money.

"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on the objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents."

--James Madison
 

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Sanchin, you have hit the nail squarely on the (un-helmet-ed) head. It all comes down to social responsibility. Laws like these diminish us as individuals because they teach us that we don't have to be responsible for our choices or actions; the state takes the decision-making from us. If people are reasonably informed of the possible consequences of their actions (riding motorcycles, smoking, drinking hot coffee, eating fatty foods, etc.), then if they choose to participate in those activities, they are assuming the risk and SHOULD be held accountable. Of course in our present litigious society, small-brained wipers of other peoples' bottoms (i.e. juries) will hold everyone responsible EXCEPT the individual making the stupid decision that caused them harm. This means that insurance companies and the government have a vested interest in regulating any behavior that they percieve as being financially costly to them. Until the courts (or society at large) can shift responsibility back onto the shoulders of individuals, this situation, and our freedoms, will continue to deteriorate.

I always wear full motorcycle protective gear; I always wear my seatbelt; I don't drive intoxicated...not because these things are required by law, but because they are good ideas.

HellBuelly Jay

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hellbuellies/
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Are you serious? Seruzawa makes a point that has been proven over hundreds, even thousands of years of history, and you start making blind accusations of racism? I hope I'm misunderstanding you here. If not, you have shown your hand----ideologically bankrupt, therefore, the ad homenim attacks will fly.



I agree profusely, Seruwaza....the rulers have switched from outright rule for its own sake to rule for "the good of society" or "the children" or "the environment" (we could go on here.)



"Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies, The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." --------C.S. Lewis



 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
That is altogether unfortunate-----focusing soley on federal law, all the ingredients to make it actually fair and just are right there in the constitution-----if only the government hadn't decided that it had the right to interpret it as it pleases, or completely ignore it.
 

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I agree, helmet laws are a stupid place to make a stand. I just did a 4000 mi. trip and saw literally dozens of riders without helmets. Each time I cringed. The fastest way for motorcycling to become extinct is for us to stick out like helmetless, mufflerless sore thumbs and attract the contempt of the non-riding public. They all saw that Marlon Brando movie back in the fifties. That's why motorcycling can't just be innocently viewed here as a way of relieving traffic congestion. I guess as a smoker I'm already hearing the "Drain on Society" argument, and I'm a little freaked out at the thought of motorcycling being effectively banned just because it's dangerous. Oh well, maybe we'll always be able to go and ride on some Indian reservation somewhere. I apologize for the insulting tone of the last two sentences of my original post.
 

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I wear a helmet - always - because I choose too, not because it's the law. I buckle-up behind the wheel everytime, because I choose to, not because it's a California state law. I wear every piece of safety gear I can get my hands on when I'm riding because I have enough sense to protect myself. You cannot legislate common sense, and yet that seems to be the government's mission these days. Where does it stop?



It's principal, not practicality. The ever-steepening slippery slope.
 

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John,



Did you wreck without using your helmet one time to many? The pot bellied brocolli hating children with thie open pipes may be the last ones to be willing to whine at government to quit being a socialist revenue collection system. When they fail to get thier way with government, the government will be all to happy to tell you that you cannot ride your motorcycle at all. Why? Because riders wearing helmets also end up collecting those same social security dollars. Of course it seems you will never need any social security checks as you should have a steady income rolling in from your endorsement deals with Bell, Shoei, and Arai.



Do us all a favor, and next time you get on your bike, either don't wear a helmet and finish the job or ride far enough to get yourself out of the moronisphere and pick up a copy of "Complete Thoughts for Dummies."



mike
 

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I support everyone's right to ride without a helmet, or a shirt or underpants. I see you idiots all the time here in Malibu! (Ok, they wear those stupid peanut shell 1/15 helmets) Go ahead, be an idiot! I, However, I should not be forced to financially underwrite anyone's "freedom" to ride helmetless. Therfore, if you insist on riding with inadequate head AND BODY protection, then you should have to do two things to keep MY WALLET out of the equation: have substantial liability and medical insurance including provision for long-term care and 2, sign an organ donor card. Too many good people and not a few bikers are going to their graves cause a lot of selfish people go to theirs with all their functional organs in place. If you indemnify all us hapless taxpayers from having a financial stake in your ability to recover from a near-fatal skull fracture, then be my guest. Do ya get the freaking idea now, idiot? Nobody really gives a sh*t about your imaginary freedom or macho fantasy.
 

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Mikey, I have no need for Complete Thoughts for Dummies, as long as I have complete access to guys like you. It's amazing there aren't more of you tonight. It gives one hope, doesn't it? jb
 

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I've been riding for over twenty years, and would like to bring up a point that isn't routinely mentioned in the ongoing saga of helmet versus helmetless riders. The EMS professionals that respond to motorcycle accidents. Some areas LA, Chicago, NY, DC etc can be life threatening for the EMS crew just to get to the accident scene. For some reason emergency response vehicles make fun targets for some individuals. Once on scene it's immediatley apparent (other than the obvious) that this rider wasn't wearing a helmet. Often times there is no normal place to establish an airway. It's difficult when their face is crushed or the jaw has disintegrated. Cerebral spinal fluid and blood coming out of the ears nose or fractures of the skull isn't generally a good sign for survival either. Those are extremes. Normally their unconscious and not responsive to stimuli. Either way it's hard work to keep them registering on the monitor until you get them to the trauma unit. Once there it's not entirely uncommon to be met by a concerned member of the bar who has somehow already gotten in touch with the next of kin, and is now representing them in a possible malpractice suit. One more point, and then I'll put my soap box away. That cute little girl along for the ride. You know the one, normally dressed in shorts and a tank top. You can normally find her several yards away by following the skin and blood trail. Wear your helmet! Make your passenger wear a helmet! Both of you wear appropriate protective riding gear!
 

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Re: Helmet Laws

How interesting that you should quote James Madison. He was sort of the losing party in Marbury v. Madison, the most important constitutional interpretation case of them all.

The truth of the matter is the Constitution is a brief and generally written document. It has been and continues to be open to wildly varying interpretation.

So what if James Madison saw it one way. His own brother, John, saw it differently. And you and I might see it differently, still.
 

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Do you really place that much faith in the document, itself? It is hardly a self-explanatory text. And guess what, that's all it is: a text, a paper document. It must be interpreted.

It may well have all the ingredients to make things fair and just, but it also has all the ingredients for the mess we have now.
 

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Now...that is "reality"...something many riders refuse to think about when considering the helmet issue. I rarely see an "older" biker with inappropriate clothing. "With age comes wisdom"...and the acceptance that we are not invulnerable, like we thought when we were young.
 

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The problem is not that helmetless riders end up on Social Security disability pensions more often. The problem is that Social Security exists. People should be free to do as they please, and then they should be equally free to live with the consequences. The government should never take my money and give it to other people for any reason. Communism was tried several times, and it failed.
 

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Re: Bunch of Liberal double talk

"It has been and continues to be open to wildly varying interpretation. "

BULL*****

It is not "open to wildly varying interpretation", as you so conveniently put it. It is written clearly and means exactly what it says. It is only when some group of Social Engineers want to restrict somebody elses freedoms, as outlined in it, that it suddenly becomes hard to understand.
 

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Re: John Burns: an exercise in contradiction

Ah, but many of the laws passed by the feds do not, in fact, infringe on state rights. The federal gov't does, however, have the biggest stick around: money. Most of the suggested law changes the Feds make are implemented at the state level. Take, for example, seatbelt laws and the helmet laws that were nearly universally piggybacked on to state-implemented seatbelt laws. The Feds didn't (and technically couldn't) mandate that the states do this, that would be unconstitutional. What they did was far worse: blackmail and extortion. "If you don't implement these laws, we are going to withhold all Federal transportation and highway funds." The fault here is thus twofold: what ammounts to legal blackmail on the part of the feds and an unwillingness for the states to take their mouths away from the federal money teat. Until the states are willing to take their sticky fingers out of the federal pork pie, the feds will continue to extort changes to the laws at the state level.
 

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Re: Democrats and Socialists......

Ooooo, good point! Better yet, why don't we round up all these helmetless riders and send them to the same "reeducation camp" as the cell-phone using SUV drivers? You know, one of those camps with the nice showers...
 
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