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Biker loses one battle but anti-helmet war continues

October 18, 2009

Biker loses one battle but anti-helmet war continues

FAIRFIELD — The latest battle in the war against motorcycle helmet laws played out in a Solano County court this week in case in which some fringe bikers took on a Vacaville police officer. 

The bikers roared into Vacaville one morning in June looking for Officer Aaron Love. Their biker bravado persona was tempered by the odd-looking “helmets” about the size of coffee cup saucers strapped to their heads.

They found Love, on his black and white motorcycle, near Andrews Park. Love said later he has written as many as 50 tickets for motorcyclists not wearing proper helmets. He wrote more tickets that morning.

Among the bikers was Mark Temple, who wore a helmet he manufactured himself and a T-shirt for the group Bikers of Lesser Tolerance, or BOLT, who describe themselves as proven freedom fighters.

The BOLT Web site describes the encounter: “The cop had been making some serious problems for riders in Vacaville, writing many helmet tickets, along with various other types of harassment. Rights violations. We decided to jump in and get our own tickets, instead of just helping them with their court paperwork.”

The renegade bikers brought along a video camera to record getting their $172 tickets for not having proper helmets. The video can be found on YouTube and is titled “BOLT – Retraining cop – or, bad cop; no donut.”

“I’ve been to too many accidents where people die because they’re not wearing the proper safety gear,” Love tells Temple while writing him a ticket.

Love had his own camera. He took a photo of Temple and his safety headgear which Judge E. Bradley Nelson referred to repeatedly during Temple’s traffic court hearing Thursday which took five hours spanning two days.

Temple testified he has been fighting helmet laws since 1992. He came to court loaded with lots of copies of federal statutes, vehicle code sections, court rulings and technical reports on helmet safety.

Acting as his own attorney Temple denied going to Vacaville adorned with his homemade helmet seeking to get a ticket, an idea he labeled as a “preposterous assertion.”

Temple, who didn’t bring his homemade helmet to court, said he tested the safety of his helmet in his garage. Because he is the manufacturer he gets to be the one who determines if his helmet complies with federal law, he explained to Nelson.

The prosecutor called into question a radio interview Temple did in August detailing how a helmet made out of a bottle cap lashed with a shoe lace would be legal.

Nelson ended the hearing Thursday by finding Temple guilty of violating the state helmet law. Nelson used the word “mockery” and said Temple was “twisting the (safety) standards.

“How do you justify putting this out to other riders?” Nelson asked holding up the photo of Temple and his helmet.

Temple was unswayed. As he stood in line a short time to pay for the ticket he was talking of an appeal and the upcoming legal duels his compatriots were expecting for their helmet law tickets.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or

11 Comments leave one →
  1. October 18, 2009 8:17 pm

    The writer got quite a few details wrong, some that really dont matter (like the ticket was written at 7 PM, not in the morning), to other details like the trial spanned 2 days, and the prosecution and defense were in court for 11 hours, not 5. If the reporter saw me in line at the Clerk window, he should have spoken with me. He’d have learned I DID NOT pay the fine, but was there to file the appeal papers.

    The “preposterous assertion” was the prosecution’s idea that since I “went there to get a ticket” my helmet would therefore be considered illegal.

    Enough about substandard news reporting. That is everywhere. Very common.

    What is completely missing is the gift the Judge gave us. The reasoning for the verdict flies in the face of settled law. The other thing that is not reported is how easy it was for me to impeach the officer, who the court declared an “expert witness.”
    Don’t laugh. He is an expert because he saw a factually incorrect cop training film which has been put back into the Stone Age with real California Case Law since it was filmed. Yet the “expert” saw it 2 years ago, almost 2 decades after it was filmed in Maryland, so the cop got “expert” status. Plus, he had examined 50 helmets for the purpose of writing the tickets.
    Didn’t seem to matter that the examination was not an FMVSS 218 test. Didn’t matter that the cop had no clue that his own helmet fails the same examination (visual) he says my helmet fails. Hell, I’ve examined over 1000 helmets, and I was never fooled by a bogus cop training film. I’ve manufactured many helmets.

    I had a great time during the pre-trial phase and during the trial. I hope I am not ignored in Vacaville when I go back. Sometimes there can be a reluctance on the part of the officer to write another ticket. I thank the officer for cooperating during the traffic stop and making such entertaining statements on tape. And I thank the Judge for being professional and fair, and allowing me the opportunity to see 3 more Judges during the appeal.

  2. Still Alive permalink
    October 18, 2009 8:27 pm

    These bikers are idiots, through and through. What’s worse, I’ll bet they rode bikes with loud pipes that annoy everyone around them. They are not freedom fighters, they are morons. If you don’t want to wear a helmet, then sign a release of liability for both your insurance company and me as a taxpayer that frees us from the medical bills that you will rack up when you wreck. Your stupid little Nazi Pith Helmet or whatever contraption you’re strapped to your empty head will not serve you when the time comes. Every motorsport around requires a good full-coverage helmet, usually with Snell or DOT standards testing. NASCARm IRL, NHRA, you name it. Protect your head or save all of us the money. Duh.

  3. goldiron permalink*
    October 18, 2009 10:58 pm

    Dear Still Alive,

    Author : Still Alive (IP: ,
    E-mail :
    URL :
    Whois :

    Normally, I would afford all comments to pass without interjection. Yours was pathetic and pithy. I shall raise an objection to your rationale, logic and understanding of the constitution.

    “These bikers are idiots, through and through.”
    Which bikers are idiots? Let’s use names if you are calling individuals out. (Makings of a keyboard commando toughing up. Let’s see all of the flex.)

    “What’s worse, I’ll bet they rode bikes with loud pipes that annoy everyone around them.”
    I wonder if you are right? It would seem odd that the multitude of Police used in the stop and citation in a school zone would not have issued a citation for the loud pipes that you have bet on. (As unfactual and weak as your argument is so far, I wonder if you would bet anything, much less your life upon this. So, I am guessing that you are just kidding because you aren’t prone to sucker bets are you?)

    “If you don’t want to wear a helmet, then sign a release of liability for both your insurance company and me as a taxpayer that frees us from the medical bills that you will rack up when you wreck.”
    Let me understand you here. You are suggesting that in your perfect world that any motorcycle rider or passenger that are riding on private or public property, roadway, thoroughfare or off-road operation of a motorcycle must wear a helmet of your approval? Which helmets have you approved thus far? None? You are in good company, DOT does not approve helmets, either. However, you didn’t say that. What you said, was really nothing. I know you are a do-gooder and a helmet nazi that uses a shielded address of , you can’t save the world nor yourself in this argument.

    You want the motorcyclists to purchase insurance and then agree not to collect on the insurance because of your share of the public burden. I know that the poor Insurance Industry needs extra profits because of the massive contributions made to politicians and the multitude of lobbyists that they must
    employ to to legalize stealing and theft. Afterrall, they are in the business of gambling for a profit and, as such, want to collect premiums without payout if they can help themselves or a shill like yourself.

    Let’s say that we are in full agreement with your public burden argument. Why are you willing to pay for the head injuries that occur in crashes in cars? Why are you not insisting that helmets must be worn by persons showering? Certainly you are well enough informed to agree that we should put the blame where the blame is due for the higher amount of head injuries and Traumatic Brain Injury coming from these sources rather than the few from motorcyclists and their passengers. (Oooh, you pathetic pissant, no argument there, is there?)

    Finally, you herald the argument that all the sanctioning bodies for racing require with a “full coverage helmet with Snell or DOT standards testing”. Motorcycling is not racing. Your sanctioning bodies are in the majority covering 4 wheeled vehicles under racing conditions on closed courses. What is so similar about your apples and oranges in the San Jose, CA area?

    Most people don’t think in distinct, specific concepts. They “think” (if it can be called that) in vague blobs of mush. They can’t follow simple trains of logic, and have a complete lack of what I call “clarity of thought.” For example, my friend just showed me an online poll, asking people whether they thought “healthcare”
    should be considered a “basic human right.” What a fine example of meaningless mush. Similar, I think, to your name calling argument, above.

    Most people answered “yes,” no doubt feeling very compassionate for having done so. Trouble is, none of those “compassionate” people have any idea what a “human right” is. They haven’t bothered to THINK about it, because merely FEELING good is enough for them. Had they THOUGHT about it, they might have realized how stupid the question is.

    What most people probably interpreted the question to mean is something like this: “Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone got the healthcare they needed?” Well, duh, of course it would. But that wasn’t the question. The question is whether the thing called “healthcare” is a basic “human right”–whatever that is. The implication is that if someone doesn’t get the healthcare they need, someone’s “rights” are being violated.

    Think that example is silly? Yes, it is, but no more silly than asking if healthcare is a “basic human right.” If you hit a deer with your car, out on a country road at night, and careen into a ditch, there’s a good chance that you’ll be wanting some
    healthcare. So WHO, exactly, would be violating your “basic human right” to such healthcare when you don’t get any? (Try suing the deer.) And who has an obligation to supply you with the alleged “basic human right” of healthcare, when no one even knows you’re in need of any?

    Sorry for stating the bleeding obvious, but you can’t violate someone’s “rights” unless you DO something to them. If you torture them, rob them, assault them, or murder them, you may very well be violating their “rights.” In other words, a “right” is a purely NEGATIVE concept: something that should NOT be forcibly interfered with by anyone else. “Rights” aren’t a bunch of goodies that someone has to provide for you; they’re the things that no one should STOP you from doing yourself. For example:

    1) If you have a right to “freedom of religion,” it means only that no one should forcibly prevent you from practicing the religion of your choice, or force you to practice a religion you don’t want to. It does NOT mean that anyone has to make you a church, or listen to you pray, or pray with you.

    2) If you have a right to “freedom of speech,” it means only that no one should forcibly stop you from speaking your mind. It doesn’t mean anyone has to give you a stage, a microphone, or an audience.

    3) If you have a right to be free from unreasonable searches, or from being forced to testify against yourself, or from being imprisoned without a trial, or from being tortured–and the list could go on for ages–all it means is that no one should use force to STOP you from exercising your individual liberty.

    So what would it even MEAN to say that “healthcare” is a “basic human right”? It means nothing, and makes no sense. A “right” cannot be something positive; it cannot be some THING that someone else should be FORCED to give you, like a house, or a job, a helmet, or healthcare. To have such a “right” would require that someone else be FORCED to serve you. Unless you think you have the right to enslave others, you can’t possibly have the “right” to any service or any product. You have the right to be left alone, and that’s all. ALL true rights boil down to that.

    The trouble is, collectivists like to hijack and mangle the concept of “rights,” in order to justify the INITIATION OF VIOLENCE–the exact opposite of what a “right” really is. For example, when people try to pass off “healthcare” as a “human right,” they are advocating the use of state VIOLENCE (via “taxes”) to FORCE some people to serve other people. For example, socialists like Obama
    are pushing a system in which the government can forcibly rob some people, and/or forcibly conscript doctors and nurses, to give out healthcare to other people. They are advocating nothing less than widespread government violence, under the euphemism of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” (Sound familiar?) And they have the audacity to talk about it in terms of “rights.” And the American people are so clueless they actually buy it.

    (Apparently the old world slave-masters just needed better PR guys. Had they managed to pass off “affordable cotton clothing” as a “basic human right,” they might still have those slave plantations.)

    Unfortunately, having been thoroughly indoctrinated for years, most Americans not only believe, but PROUDLY believe, that no one has a right to keep what he himself produces, but that everyone has a “right” to what his NEIGHBOR produces. And it’s hard to get any more economically idiotic, morally schizophrenic, and logically insane than that.

  4. October 18, 2009 11:57 pm

    Unfortunately, the author of this article didn’t do his research with regard to the important US Constitutional issues that Mr. Temple sought to vindicate in this case. He obviously doesn’t recognize the Constitutional implications. And the article is filled with soft headed reporting, e.g., attempting to demonstrate the utility of helmets by quoting a traffic cop’s patently incompetent personal lay conclusions that motorcycle accidents he’d seen resulted in death “because” the rider wasn’t wearing a helmet.

    Just very quickly, there is a very important US Constitutional principle derived from the “due process” clause. This principle is discussed in hundreds of US Supreme Court cases, and the litigation giving rise to these cases was all extremely important to the protection of our rights in general to be free of vague government laws that can’t be understood and therefore constitute a trap for the unwary; vague laws which would also invest police agencies with the opportunity for arbitrary law enforcement, including to select whoever they may see to arrest without the guarantee of rationally based probable cause to believe that the individual had committed a crime. Vague laws are unconstitutional, the Constitutional issue is important, regardless whether folks may see the substance of any particular case important to them. These Constitutional rights must be diligently protected, including by freedom fighters like Mr. Temple. Every inroad into our Constitutional rights, large and small, whether it affects just small numbers of people or large numbers, must be protected as a matter of principle, lest we all see the rights we care about eroded.

    The following quote is from one of the US Supreme Court cases referred to above describing the importance of our due process rights specifically to protect all of us from vague laws:

    “It is a basic principle of due process that an enactment is void for vagueness if its prohibitions are not clearly defined. Vague laws offend several important values. First, because we assume that man is free to steer between lawful and unlawful conduct, we insist that laws give the person of ordinary intelligence a reasonable opportunity to know what is prohibited, so that he may act accordingly. Vague laws may trap the innocent by not providing fair warning. Second, if arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement is to be prevented, laws must provide explicit standards for those who apply them. A vague law impermissibly delegates basic policy matters to policemen, judges, and juries for resolution on an ad hoc and subjective basis with the attendant dangers of arbitrary and discriminatory application.” Grayned v. City of Rockford, 408 U.S. 104, 108 (1971).

    Those are not the words of a “fringe” group. Those are the words of the United States Supreme Court describing a Constitutional concept essential for the protection of all of us against arbitrary and discriminatory police enforcement.

    The author of this article assuredly didn’t take the time to consider what the California helmet law requires, as despite that Mr. Temple case was grounded on the vagueness of the law, the author apparently didn’t take the time to look at the law. So I will tell you. It requires that the biker wear a helmet that complies with the federal motorcycle helmet standard set forth in FMVSS 218. Section 218 in turn, is a description of laboratory procedures an old list of arbitrary and outdated impact criteria. These helmet tests to determine whether a helmet complies with FMVSS 218 require the laboratory equipment and trained laboratory technicians to apply. There is nothing in FMVSS 218 that specifies anything with regard to helmet fabrication (except that a helmet may not have a rigid projection in excess of 0.5 centimeters, a requirement that most watermelon helmets on the store shelves plainly violate).

    So, I would hope that the author of this article would realize that this law is patently vague on its face, it is not comprehensible to the “ordinarily intelligent” biker; it is plainly incapable of being understood or applied by California police officers, it can’t be applied by law enforcement except arbitrarily, and all of that plainly violated Mr. Temple’s Constitutional rights that all of us, whether motorcyclists or fishermen or hack journalists should recognize as fundamentally important.

    So this journalist might say, “No, I know what a good helmet looks like, and so do the cops.” Well, I say “That is absurd.” And you know what? That’s also what the California Court of Appeals said when the issue was first brought to their attention in the case of Buhl v. Hannigan (CHP). The Court of Appeals Judges agreed, and were not polite at all in saying that it was “absurd” to posit that the ordinarily intelligent biker or cop could possibly apply the California helmet law as written. So what the Judges said was that all the bikers must do is wear a helmet certified by its manufacturer to comply with FMVSS 218, which can be determined by the letters DOT which the manufacturers, are permitted by law to append to their helmets. For those of you who think that the DOT label means “DOT approved,” as in Department of Transportation Approved, sorry guys, and for the benefit of all hack journalists: DOT doesn’t approve helmets, no agency of the federal government approves helmets; it is a regulatory scheme that invests in the helmet manufacturer alone the authority to label its helmets with the DOT label. NHTSA tests a very small percentage of new helmet models every year. And the consequence of attaching to a helmet determined by NHTSA to be noncompliant with FMVSS 218 are specific, to wit, that the manufacturer must recall all helmets of the model NHTSA determine to fail to comply with Section 218, and/or, to pay a specified fine for failing or refusing to do so.

    Assuming for argument sake alone, only because it seems to be an important premise for this hack journalist (apparently unconcerned with the overriding Constitutional principle) that he is somehow capable of determining that Mr. Temple’s helmet, if tested, would fail to comply with FMVSS 218, all I can say to that is that our federal legislators have described his only violation of the law. If the federal government determines, through NHTSA, to test any helmet, and concludes that the helmet does not comply with the law, then it can demand that the manufacturer recall any and all helmets he has sold, or prosecute him to obtain the statutory fine.

    That is the only “crime” or regulatory violation that anyone knowledgeable about the scheme of laws and regulations can reasonably suggest that Mark Temple might have violated. There is nothing in any law that restricts who can manufacture helmets even for public use, and certainly no law that restricts who can manufacture a motorcycle helmet for personal use. And I’m sure that Mr. Temple would invite the federal government, through NHTSA, to do its job to test his helmet and determine if it noncompliant with FMVSS 218. I have no personal opinion whether it would comply, just because I recognize that I am almost as incompetent as the author of this article to make that scientific determination. But at that point, if the federal government sought to follow through with its mandate under the regulatory scheme, and assuming that NHTSA determined that his helmet didn’t comply, Mr. Temple would then have the opportunity to recall his helmet from his head, and trash it, or pay the fine for his refusal to do so, and that’s just the pertinent, and only applicable law.

    If the author of the above article doesn’t like the applicable law, let him work to change it. Unfortunately, what the California Highway Patrol has chosen to do is just continue on, in violation of the decision in Buhl and subsequent California appellate cases, to pretend that its officers can tell from the fabrication of a helmet whether it complies with FMVSS 218 and issue tickets completely “arbitrarily,” which is patently and obviously a violation of our Constitutional rights, investing in the officer, under vague color of law, the opportunity to pull over and arrest any bike whose long hair or MC patch, or “Bikers of Lesser Tolerance” or a “Democratic Party” T-shirt, or “Lakers” jersey or “USC” Football jersey — say if the cop ended up in law enforcement after graduating from UCLA, or after being rejected by USC. Can you see what dangers our Constitution, our US Supreme Court and state courts are attempting to avoid by this application of the due process clause to prevent law enforcement from discretion to arbitrarily apply vague laws? If you don’t care about the illegal and unconstitutional application of this law, you must care about the principle, and you must see that we all must protect against every violation of our due process clause, or when it comes to the violation of a right that you care about, a right that affects your life, well there might not be any more Mark Temples or Bikers or Lawyers or Accountants of “Lesser Tolerance” to stand up with you to protect your rights.

    Given the flippancy of this pretend journalist’s light weight – anything-but-investigative – silly article painting Mr. Temple as a “fringe” nut, rather than a lay constitutional scholar – shortchanging entirely that there might be any serious Constitutional issue that Mr. Temple might be working to vindicate, I will just very quickly describe the additional serious constitutional consideration that the California Courts of Appeal and Federal Court of Appeals have given to the positions of Mr. Temple’s “fringe” group of “Bikers of Lesser Tolerance” freedom fighters.

    Begin with Bianco v. CHP, in which that truck driving constitutional scholar brought his thoughtful Constitutional arguments to the California Courts of Appeals, just as Mark Temple has said that he will. The Bianco decision yielded a result in which the Court of Appeals held that the presence of the letters DOT, representing the certification of the manufacturer, will create a presumption that the helmet complies with FMVSS 218, a presumption that can be rebutted ONLY if (1) NHTSA determines that the helmet model fails to comply with Section 218, AND (2) if the biker has “actual knowledge” that NHTSA determined his helmet model to be noncompliant. Those restrictions on police authority were required to uphold the helmet law against the constitutional challenge.

    If this “journalist” doesn’t think that makes sense, all I can say is, you’ve got to care about our Constitution. The California Court of Appeals arrived at the Buhl and Bianco decisions bending backward to uphold our California helmet law that was patently unconstitutionally vague as written, but at the same time making sure that the law, as it interpreted it, would be one that wouldn’t expose bikers to arbitrary law enforcement in violation of these serious due process rights.

    It is the CHP and local law enforcement that insists on violating the law. After the Buhl and Bianco decisions the CHP didn’t miss a beat, just continuing to issue tickets, investing in idiots like officer Love, this false authority to stop and arrest any motorcyclist they figured they wanted to. Because, obviously, as acknowledged by the Buhl court, it is “absurd” to posit that officer Love has any clue whether Mr. Temple’s helmet complied or not with FMVSS 218 or California law. He plainly can’t apply Section 218, and, he plainly has never endeavored to learn anything about the law that he is on the streets arbitrarily applying.

    Following the Buhl and Bianco case, “Bikers of Lesser Tolerance” lay constitutional scholars, Bianco and Quigley, then prepared a federal case against the California Highway Patrol providing the evidence that CHP officers, were citing bikers for wearing what is commonly described as novelty helmets, cops like officer Love, who also had no clue what the law was but were just out there arbitrarily enforcing it.

    In that case, referred to as the Easyrider case, the federal district court issued as scathing and damning opinion highly critical of the CHP’s illegal and unconstitutional, arbitrary enforcement of the California helmet law in violation of the Bianco interpretation. The Court issued expansive injunctive relief against the CHP to reign in its illegal and unconstitutional enforcement practices. The case went up to the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which adopted the District Court’s scathing abhorrence of the police abuse of the helmet law, and rendered an injunction prohibiting the CHP from violating the Constitutional requisites of the Bianco decision, henceforth prohibiting the CHP from issuing any ticket for violation of the California helmet law without “probable cause” to believe that the specific helmet (1) had been determined by NHTSA to be noncompliant with FMVSS 218, and (2) that the biker had “actual knowledge” of the determination of noncompliance.

    Again, the CHP and local law enforcement just ignored the law. One of Mark Temple’s friends at “Bikers of Lesser Tolerance,” Richard Quigley, then presented the case law to the Superior Court, County of Santa Cruz, and a thoughtful judge issued the highly reasoned opinion that the CHP was illegally enforcing the law, in violation of the Bianco decision and Easyrider injunction, refusing to abide the important Constitutional requisites, and held, therefore, that the California helmet law was unconstitutional vague “as applied” by the CHP.

    The Court wrote that opinion so that it could be considered by the California Court of Appeals, to decide whether the CHP’s unwillingness to abide theirs and the federal courts Constitutional decisions was sufficient to strike the law. Unfortunately the California Attorney General, less concerned with his sworn obligations to uphold the US Constitution and more concerned with preserving the ability of the CHP to illegally enforce the law, also in all cowardice, recognizing the exposure the CHP faced, declined to take an appeal.

    In a subsequent Santa Cruz case, brought again by Quigley and members of “Bikers of Lesser Tolerance” the CHP identified Sgt. Valdez as its employee “most knowledgeable about the CHP’s helmet law enforcement polices,” and on the stand, Sgt. Valdez admitted that he was completely unaware of the Constitutional case law defining the limits of police authority to enforce the California law, to wit: the Bianco and Easyrider decisions. He said that the CHP just looks at the helmets (meaning at the fabrication of the helmets) and issues tickets on the basis of whether they “look like” motorcycle helmets, which you recall, the Buhl court referred to as “absurd.”

    The CHP is not following the law, local law enforcement like this idiot Officer Love clearly don’t understand the law, they continue to violate the California Constitutional restrictions on enforcement of the helmet law, and they continue to this date violating the Easryriders federal injunction, described above.

    So, this light weight “journalist” can describe Mr. Temple and BOLT as “fringe,” perhaps as most of those who have sought to assure that concepts incorporated our US Constitution in our Bill of Rights might be thought of by some simple people, as “fringe,” but the fact of the matter is that a more accurate description than “fringe” would be that they are at the forefront of protecting everyone’s Constitutional rights. They and their arguments are not “far out,” rather, they are taken very seriously by our California Courts of Appeals and the federal courts charged with upholding our Constitution.

    Show some respect. Mr. Temple is putting himself on the line not just for the good folks being harassed in this small California town by this one cop, apparently consumed by what he thinks inaccurately to be his broad authority to stop and arrest any biker he wants to, or maybe with just his overblown idea about how his badge convey’s discretion to arbitrarily jerk around folks for fun as he rides around his perceived local turf. Mr. Temple’s purpose is much more important, and much more serious. His purpose is to seek to uphold and protect our Constitution, because if police power is permitted to be abused arbitrarily in the enforcement of one law, it can be more difficult to rein it in as the police illegally seek to arbitrarily arrest others ostensibly for the violation of other laws, so that any of us might be arrested without probable cause to believe that we’ve committed a crime.

    Let’s all thank Mr. Temple for his selfless work to preserve our Constitutional rights, and let us resist those like the author of this article who out of their ignorance fail to recognize the importance of his work.

    Ray Henke

  5. Tom DeBoni permalink
    October 19, 2009 9:31 am

    Bless BOLT for their efforts. Regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with laws intended to protect us from ourselves, it’s indisputable that las is a tool that can be misdesigned or broken, and when it is, it should be fixed. The harm that can be done by using the wrong tool can be as great as that to be had from having no tool at all.

  6. Will Lennan permalink
    October 19, 2009 1:23 pm

    Thank God for Free thinkers and men like Temple who have the spirit of the founding fathers in mind. Most of America has turned to sheep. Thomas Jefferson would be ashamed of what most of the men in America have now turned into. It is not a safety issue at all. It is a freedom issue. Why would a free man EVER have to request what he is or is not going to put on his head when he gets on a motor cycle , a horse or his wife. Free men don’t ask for permission.
    Here is another one for most the current mush heads of America.
    Why if it is “ok” for a woman to have a “choice” to kill a baby or not but I don’t have a “choice” of what hat I have to wear on my motorcycle? Where did my freedom of choice go? Think about it.

  7. October 19, 2009 6:46 pm

    No citizen operating a vehicle on the highways of this nation are held to the standard motorcyclist are when it comes to “Safety”.

    No “Police Officer” has ever issued a ticket to a motorist for their “Seat belt” not being DOT certified.

    The motorist buys a product in good faith and expects it to be within the standards set forth by DOT. If it doesn’t they expect DOT to issue a RECALL and the equipment to be taken off the market.

    Not so for Motorcyclists… they are held to a higher standard, they are expected to be ENGINEERS and to know what helmet meets DOT standards even though DOT does NOT have an APPROVED list of helmets.

    The only way for anyone to test a helmet to see if it meets DOT standards is to test it, which will destroy the helmet. No “Roadside” inspection can determine if any helmet meets DOT standards.

  8. BigWayne19 permalink
    October 19, 2009 7:50 pm

    ——— ordering me to wear a bucket on my head is just another way of saying that you’re stronger than i am and you’re going to impose your will on me whether i like it or not.

    why don’t you order all gay guys to wear a condom every time they have sex ? ’cause you can’t catch ’em ? make a law that requires every gay guy to hang his dick outside his pants ’cause they’re causing you to pay for their virus – then you could stop every male who’s NOT exposing himself so you could CHECK whether or not he’s gay ! you could be the chief checker . you’d like THAT, i bet . . .

    if it’s just money you’re after, mandate helmets in cars. car drivers suffer TEN TIMES as many head injuries as bikers do. oh? just fatalities ? duh. car drivers are killed ten times more often than bikers. yep. head injuries are right on the top !

    the massive costs foisted upon you by vegetating bikers is because YOU required us to wear a helmet. yep. no helmet, we die. MUCH cheaper !

    ‘course dick floyd lied about the monetary cost to CA back in ’92. he lied and then CONFESSED his lie to a newspaper reporter who REPORTED his confession. the author of CA’s mandatory helmet law was exposed to his colleagues as a liar – and they voted for the law anyway !

    cops like this law ’cause they can actually CATCH a biker with no helmet. MUCH harder to do than catching kidnapers or rapists or embezzlers .

    bullies like this law ’cause it puts the requirements of doing their uncivil deeds, onto the COPS !

    don’t get me wrong, i may not know everything since i’ve only been riding a motorcycle since 1955 . and, even though most of the time was without a helmet law, i’m still here – yelling at the courts and legislators that they are wrong ! i did wear a helmet ’cause i borrowed the money to buy my first motorcycle from my MOM . she specified that i had to wear a helmet until i paid her back . but she was my MOM . you’re not my mom , goldiron . nor are YOU, even though you’re stillalive. . .


    …freedom isn’t free: its price is eternal vigilance . . .

  9. Dusty Rhodes permalink
    October 19, 2009 7:53 pm

    Oh God, is Henke back from suing somebody? It’s been such a pleasant absence. Does the Constitution protect my right to call him a blow-hard? Can somebody please call him for a frivolous lawsuit and remove him from our midst?

  10. goldiron permalink*
    October 19, 2009 9:13 pm

    Dusty Rhodes,

    I hope that no one is still so silly to believe that the United States government is even trying to “represent” us. Like every other “government,” it is nothing more than a control machine, that cares about its subjects as much as a butcher cares about cows. It’s not that there is some miscommunication, or that a good idea was spoiled with some “corruption”; it’s that the entire system exists for one purpose: the subjugation of mankind. As such, the only people it will ever serve are those who love to dominate their fellow man. (This reminds me a lot of the “One Ring” in The Lord of the Rings. Any attempt to use it for good is doomed to backfire.)

    How much of history consists of the downtrodden masses desperately trying to get THEIR guy onto the throne? And how often does it work? Hardly ever. And even when it DOES work–when the people DO manage to replace the current tyrant with their own guy–then what happens? He becomes the NEW tyrant, even if he’s not trying to. (As an example, I believe that Ronald Reagan actually believed in limited government, and yet the system STILL found a way to turn his presidency into an expanding “government,” by way of the military and the immoral “war on drugs.”)

    Government is not your friend. It never will be. It cannot be. You
    can’t co-op a system of extortion and oppression and use it as a tool for freedom. There can’t be such thing as a good slave-master. As long as the slaves invest their time and effort begging the slave-master to be nice, or trying to appoint a new slave-master, they will STILL BE SLAVES. Only when the slaves stop THINKING like slaves, and realize they don’t NEED the master’s permission to be free, can they be free in mind. And if their minds are never free, their bodies will never be, either.

    I will keep saying that “authority” cannot be used as a tool for freedom.

    Instead of continually trying to get freedom “legalized,” those who value individual liberty should be working to come up with ways to outwit, escape, resist or defeat the tentacles of “government.” Yes, I mean they should be figuring out ways to be free, despite the fact that freedom is, and always has been, “illegal.”

    Whenever I speak of forcible resistance against “government,” some people respond with things like, “How can you be for violence?” And almost everyone who says that is both delusional and hypocritical.

    I admit, compared to almost everyone else, my political views are very extreme. For example, I don’t advocate that anyone ever be forced to fund something that they don’t want to fund. I don’t support robbery, even when the stolen loot is to be used for something supposedly noble or beneficial. No Democrat or Republican can honestly say that. Though they differ on how the politicians should spend the loot, every single one of them advocates that I be robbed, under threat of violence, to pay for things that I don’t want. And, of course, they also advocate that you be robbed to pay for things that you don’t want.

    I don’t. Ain’t I extreme?

    The trouble is, even though every Republican and Democrat advocates the initiation of violence against millions of people who haven’t harmed anyone, the way people see reality is so warped by the “authority” myth that they can’t see that what they advocate is coercion. They think that calling it “law” or “taxation” somehow makes it legitimate and disqualifies it as violence. And yet they know that anyone who doesn’t pay the federal Mafia’s extortion fees will be punished, with either extra robbery or imprisonment (or death if they continue to resist). It’s not that they are unaware of the violence behind all “laws”; it’s that they think it’s automatically righteous when “government” does it, and so they don’t call it violence.

    The most bizarre example is the people who say, “I abhor violence, so I’m for gun control.” Oh, really? And how, exactly, will this “gun control” be imposed? By friendly suggestion? By rational argument? By a group hug? Or by men with guns forcibly disarming the general public? “Gun control” is violence. Even worse, it is the initiation of violence against people whose only sin is having the ability to defend themselves. And using violence against someone merely because that person possessed the means to protect himself is violent, evil, hypocritical and insane.

    And such lunacy is the direct result of the belief in “authority.” If, for example, a burglar broke into someone’s house, and the homeowner pulled out a knife and threatened to attack the crook if he didn’t leave, how would most people judge that? Most would obviously see the invader as the bad guy, and the guy trying to chase him away as the good guy. But if the burglar happens to be called a “tax collector,” and tries to forcibly rob someone, and his intended victim resists, nearly everyone would loudly condemn the victim of the extortion as being a nasty, “violent” criminal.

    That is why, when I say that using force to defend against those who initiate violence–even when that violence is called “law” or “taxes,” and even when the attackers call themselves “government” or “law-enforcement”– most people view me as the violent one. This is because almost everyone truly believes that when you make an actual crime (trespassing, robbery, extortion, assault, kidnapping, murder, etc.) “legal,” it ceases to be a crime. They further believe that resisting a crime, when the crime has been “legalized,” is a horrible thing to do.

    Almost everyone in this country advocates constant, widespread violence, but they are too deluded to know it. Often the violence is fairly hidden, because the mere threat of authoritarian retaliation (for not paying “taxes,” for building something without a “permit,” for possessing an “illegal” weapon or an “illegal” substance, and so on) is often enough to coerce compliance. In those cases, statists can pretend that people obey “voluntarily,” though that makes about as much sense as saying that someone “voluntarily” gave his car to a carjacker, in order to avoid being shot. But even when the government violence is overt and bloody, as with the “war on drugs,” or foreign wars, or even some traffic stops these days, statists are still unable to see that what they are advocating is BRUTAL, BLOODY VIOLENCE. Worse yet, when I suggest that it would be justified to use whatever force it takes to stop such aggressive force, the statists see me as the “violent” one.

    To illustrate this hypocrisy, I like to make the following offer, to anyone and everyone who considers himself peaceful and civilized: “I will never initiate violence against you myself, nor advocate that anyone else do so.” When I ask if someone will do the same for me, he always says “yes.” And almost no one who says that means it, as a simple follow-up question easily illustrates: “So you don’t advocate that I be forced, via ‘taxes,’ to fund anything that I don’t want to fund?” That’s when they start to backpedal, make excuses, start to use vague euphemisms about one’s “fair share,” and so on. “Okay, so you won’t promise to refrain from advocating the initiation of violence against me. That’s good to know.”

    Here is a very simple principle that almost everyone understands: “Don’t ever start a fight, but if someone attacks you, you have the right to defend yourself.” And yet, because of the cult belief in “government,” that simple rule sometimes turns completely upside-down: “It’s okay to start a fight with everyone in the country (via ‘taxes’ and other ‘laws’), and okay to violently crush anyone who tries to defend himself against your attack.” Well, if such lunacy is considered to be an acceptable, civilized, mainstream attitude– which it is in this country, and throughout most of the world–then I’m happy to be “extreme.”

  11. Richard Heil permalink
    October 21, 2009 8:02 pm

    Thanks Mark for setting the record straight about not paying. Why are reports allowed to write lies and present them as fact?

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