Well, I'm back on track. I've landed back in New England, and I've settled in NH. Time to turn my attention to keeping legislators in line.
First on my agenda was to attend the state's motorcycle rights organization general meeting, held in Hookset, NH at the Deerhead Sportsmans' Club. After living two years in Florida and watching their MRO flounder around with power hungry individuals, instead of focusing on drawing in the masses of bikers that Florida has, anything else had to be better.
You see, my idea of an effective MRO is one that can incite bikers to stand up and fight for their freedoms; one that encourages letters writing to legislators, in your own words, and from all bikers, not just locally; one who keeps you informed; and one who asks for and expects a united front at committee hearings.
New Hampshire Motorcycle Rights Organization (NHMRO) has a pretty good record. They have successfully kept the helmet law out of NH since 1977. NHMRO also has one of the best Rider Training programs I've ever gone through. Those are two biggies in my book. It was time for me to see if my agenda is the same as theirs, and join forces.
New Hampshire's state motto is "Live Free or Die". To me, that means: No compromise, no surrender. And I needed to know if NHMRO saw it that way too. It's why I chose NH above the other New England states, and I was prepared to ask pointed questions along those lines if needed.
Walking into the meeting, however, I had to concentrate on not letting my jaw hang open. The place was packed! And although the Deerhead Sportsmans' Club is essentially a bar, it was clear that these bikers were not here to party down. Hmmm, good start.
The meeting was called to order, and the usual reports were given. Then the impending state bills were brought out on the table. Hmmm, priorities are right....
Two house bills filed, regarding motorcycle exhaust noise, and helmets. No details yet but here's the gist...
A state rep in the coastal region, Judith Day, is pushing for a noise ordinance law that would likely take 60% of motorcycles off the road, including mine. Typical scenario I'm sure; coastal residents can't get LEO to enforce existing noise laws, and their whining has escalated into a discriminatory motorcycle noise bill. (Personally, I think the whining is far louder than any motorcyclist.) Greenwich, RI has enacted an emergency ordinance requiring motorcycles to have OEM exhaust. Who knows what Representative Day has come up with. Does it matter at this point?
The bottom line is, my bike and/or my riding style (and most likely yours too) does not cause unwarranted noise, or violate any noise level law currently on the books. So why am I/you being targeted? That's the million dollar question....
Once I know the bill's text, it'll get posted and you'll know too.
Representative Day is also dredging up the usual helmet law. She must feel secure enough to take two pot-shots at us.
I had gone online the night before and looked at Representative Day's record, and I found the usual for politicians like her; petty redundant laws and nothing that benefits all. She likes to come up with committees to do studies (and we're paying her, why?) We shall see if she can withstand the unification of New Hampshire's bikers. I think not. And depending on whether she can become a bit more reasonable in her thinking, we'll see if I decide to campaign to get her un-elected at election time.
What is it about motorcyclists that makes people attack us as a whole? Is it the leather? The fact that we have fun riding our scooters? What? Oh wait, maybe it's because we have *gasp* exhaust systems that actually have sound, kinda like the 4-wheeled vehicles out there on the roads. Ya think?
Here's a News Flash for coastal residents: if you don't like the tourist noise, you can choose to move to a quieter area.
Yes, it's true. America, land of the free, home of the brave. You too, can live anywhere you wish. If you live in the north, and you don't like snow, you can move south. If you live by a busy Fire Station and don't like sirens, you can move somewhere else. If you live in a popular coastal area, and don't like the tourists, YOU CAN MOVE SOMEWHERE ELSE.
I would love to live on the coast. Instead, I choose to live in a quieter area, and go to the coast when I get the urge. What a friggin' concept!
I can appreciate wanting reasonable quiet, based on where you live and the time of day, but we already have laws that govern excessive noise of any type. Instead, Judith Day wants to take away my right to ride the beautiful seacoast on my motorcycle, or force me to change my exhaust system when it already complies with the law. Which, incidentally, has the same decibel level as the exhaust on my car (also not OEM). So, one is OK, and the other is not?
OK, so back to the NHMRO meeting. I managed to sit down without making a spectacle of myself, and I started taking notes for this blog. Then the next "OMG" hit me; NHMRO promises to publish, on a public internet page (NHMRO on Facebook), any news on the bills, as soon as it is available. Could it be any easier for any biker to stay up on this? Coming from a state where one had to pry information out of the MRO, I was delighted to say the least.
And the "OMG's" kept coming. Speakers asked for help writing letters from everyone - and their brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, friends, in state, and out of state. And write the letters in your own words; tell them how you feel about this legislative attempt to deny human rights.
This is how an MRO is supposed to be, folks.
NHMRO is not one or two self-proclaimed "super-human" board members doing all the work. It is a large organization comprised of state clubs, and a whole lotta desire to fight to keep the right to choose; what we wear, and where we ride. Any and all help is welcomed. WOW, no one is going to tell me what, when, who or how, restrict or censor me. It's never stopped me before, but it's always nice to be on the same page.
(Representative Day, are you listening? I don't tell you what you can wear in your car, or what kind of car to buy. I have a mother already, thank you. My taxes pay your wages, and I'd like you to put them to better use than trying cram another discriminatory law down my throat.)
So, I'm sitting in this NHMRO meeting trying not to grin like a Cheshire Cat, when someone in the room brings up Florida's helmet law (small world), and how $10k of medical insurance is required to ride without a helmet, and wouldn't a compromise like that convince legislators to forego a mandatory helmet law?
Suddenly I could hear a loud rushing in my ears, and in my head I'm screaming, "No way! No how! No Compromise, no surrender!", for history shows, if you give an inch, they take a mile. In reality, I just held my breath and waited. The room was very quiet. The response from NHMRO President, Bob Wyman, went something like this, "I view that as a compromise, and we don't compromise".
Woohoo! A biker after my own heart! What a relief that I would not have a differing opinion with NHMRO about such things as.... compromise. At this point, I didn't need anymore convincing. Where do I sign up?
It's all about riding free, and keeping the right to choose - everywhere. One thing I heard in that meeting, over and over; freedom isn't free. Music to my ears. Anything worth having is worth fighting for.
If you care about the basic right to be free, whether you ride or not, please send your objections to NH state reps. Tell them you don't like being discriminated against, or having rights taken away. Tell them you don't need the government to tell you what's best for you.
Below are links to pertinent websites with the information you need.
NHMRO Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/pages/New-Hampshire-Motorcyclists-Rights-Organization-NHMRO/154820009712?ref=nf
Representative Judith Day - email@example.com
If you live in NH, please find your Representatives and email them too.
NH Legislative Emails: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/house/members/housemembersemail.aspx
Ride long, ride hard, ride free.
"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves."
~ Abraham Lincoln
Monday, October 26, 2009
Well, I'm back on track. I've landed back in New England, and I've settled in NH. Time to turn my attention to keeping legislators in line.
Posted by Sam at 1:09 PM
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I've been AWOL. And I'll probably be AWOL for some time still.
I've had to re-evaluate some things in my life, and sometimes there aren't enough hours in a day for one person to do everything. So I'm taking this quick opportunity to apologize to all of you. It's just one of those bumps in the road for me. I'll be back, but it might be awhile. I have a few medical issues to deal with first, and it involves a few major changes in my circumstances.
Over the next month, my job will take me away from home more than I want, and in between I have to pack up my house and store it. In the spring, I'll be making the move back up north to New England. The reasons are too long to list, but all of them lead to what's best for me, and I can't be any good for anyone else unless I'm at my best.
I can count on one hand the major life-changing events that have happened to me, and always my reaction is action. When life isn't right, change it. It has always worked for me, and in the end, I'm the one who has to live it, so it should be what I need and want. As a young adult, I did it as an aspect of my personality, and later I saw it was a good thing to accept change with such logic.
If I had only one wish in life, it would be that my daughters learn this bit of wisdom. It has helped me through the loss of loved ones, loss of security, and loss of health. Resistance to change and complacency is the path to destruction, IMHO. I've never been one to wallow in self-pity for long. I put the sadness and the pain some place where it can't hurt me, and move on. Over time, it becomes hidden away and leaves life open again for bigger and better things. We all feel pain over things that happen to us, and all it takes to overcome it, is an ability to hide it.
This is faith in its truest form I think. God holds out His hand and says, "I have given you free will to travel the path to your happiness, and I will carry you through it, even when you falter, for I love you no matter what." And I'll be holding on to that hand with all my might.
Ride safe, ride free, and ride with God.
Posted by Sam at 11:37 PM
Friday, August 8, 2008
I've been AWOL for a while. Sorry for that. Sometimes making "Lemonade" is a hard chore. You know when a song or a phrase keeps running through your head? And it's all you hear for days? The one I keep hearing lately is an old Beatles song, "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."
But I digress. This post is about freedom, and the right to make choices. The right to vote for who we feel will do the best job. And the duty to ourselves to make informed choices when we do so.
The story below came into my email, and I thought it was appropriate to print it here. I don't know if it's a true story or not, but the message is the important piece, regardless of the thought provoking story behind it. So here it is, read it, chew it up, mull it over. In the end, Thomas Jefferson has it right.
Catching Wild Pigs
A chemistry professor in a large college that had some exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab the Professor noticed one young man (exchange student) who kept rubbing his back, and stretching as if his back hurt.
The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country's government and install a new communist government.
In the midst of his story he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked, 'Do you know how to catch wild pigs?'
The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said this was no joke. 'You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come everyday to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming.
When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side. The pigs, who are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat, you slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd.
Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it
that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.
The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening to America. The government keeps pushing us toward socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc.. While we continually lose our freedoms -- just a little at a time.
One should always remember: There is no such thing as a free lunch! Also, a politician will never provide a service for you cheaper than you can do it yourself.
Also, if you see that all of this wonderful government 'help' is a problem confronting the future of democracy in America , you might want to send this on to your friends. If you think the free ride is essential to your way of life then you will probably delete this email, but God help you when the gate slams shut!
In this 'very important' election year, listen closely to what the candidates are promising you !!
Just maybe you will be able to tell who is about to slam the gate on America .
'A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have.' - Thomas Jefferson
Sunday, July 27, 2008
The quotes below are written by Barrack Obama. This may be old news to you, but it should not be ignored. Regardless of what race you were born into, this type of attitude will divide our country even further, and perpetuate racial issues, not help. Racial prejudice is a mindset that cannot be overcome by a leader of that mindset.
The quotes below are indicative of a man who harbors bigotry and racism from a very early age.
From Dreams of My Father: 'I ceased to advertise my mother's race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites.' (Obama's mother was Caucasian. That he would associate one parent or the other by their race alone is disturbing.)
From Dreams of My Father: 'I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mothers race.'
From Dreams of My Father: 'There was something about him that made me wary, a little too sure of himself, maybe. And white.'
From Dreams of My Father: 'It remained necessary to prove which side you were on, to show your loyalty to the black masses, to strike out and name names.'
From Dreams of My Father: 'I never emulate white men and brown men whose fates didn't speak to my own. It was into my father's image, the black man, son of Africa, that I'd packed all the attributes I sought in myself, the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, DuBois and Mandela.' (The racial identification of these great men are irrelevant in comparison of what these men stood for. That Obama can only see what color they were is proof of Obama's "fixation" on how color defines a man.)
From Audacity of Hope: 'I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.' (This one quote alone is enough to tell me that Patriotism means very little to Obama, and I doubt very much this has changed.)
One could argue that Obama wrote these words years ago, but may have changed his views. I think not. As a well read and educated individual, he wrote this at an age when his views of life had already been formed, just not when he could recognize he might be judged by them at some point forward.
The heart of a man who would become President should not be of any color or race. It should be that of a human being who is 'color blind'. If anyone thinks a man of this attitude and stature will champion your cause based on race or color, you deserve whatever perceived prejudice comes your way, for you invite it with full clarity.
God, by all forms, and by all names, does not identify man by color. That Obama does is very frightening. I will not endorse a man who identifies anyone by the color of their skin, no matter when he wrote it. I would feel the same about any candidate who did so about creed, religion, or gender. Do you? Will you?