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The AMA protects your right to ride? tahaha.. parang di naman..
Um, yes they do. Indeed, since they sold the racing arm to DMG, that's the main thing they do.

PhilB
 

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how do you prove it to me?
Take a look at what they do. Their primary activity is to lobby against laws that restrict motorcycling, and motorcyclists, on-road and off-road. What makes you think they aren't doing that?

So does the AMA still lobby for ending helmet laws? If so, that tells you something doesn't it.
Yes, it does. It tells me that they are in favor of freedom for motorcyclists. I wear a helmet every time, and strongly recommend that everyone else do so as well. I did so before there was a helmet law here in CA. I did so last year when I was in Ohio which does not have a helmet law. I believe in helmets. But I have no right to *force* someone else to, to point a gun at his head and say "wear it, or else". And neither do you, and neither does the government.

Quote from the AMA website:

"The AMA believes riders should wear all the safety gear all the time. But the AMA also believes riders -- rather than government -- should make the decision."

Never understood why people are so quick to judge and form/offer opinions while unaware of all the facts...

I do think that for a "free" country, there are way too many unnecessary restrictions aimed at select groups of taxpayers (i.e. Motorcyclists).

I support the AMA... my choice.
+1. Exactly.

PhilB
 

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I don't think helmet laws are as cut and dried as simple freedom of choice.

I personally would like to be "free" from potentially having my tax dollars pay for the emergency, rehab, and ongoing care for an individual who chooses to ride without protective gear...

No, protective gear will not prevent all injuries. But the evidence gathered over decades makes it pretty clear you should have it on every time you ride -- especially if your idea of freedom, like mine, includes not voluntarily putting myself in a position where I might have to hang off this country's social safety net.

On the other hand, if you're insured to the hilt -- well then I'll look forward to seeing your smiling, helmet-free face out on the road! :cool:
Ethically, that is not a problem with helmet use or other people's choices; that's a problem with a system that takes your money to pay for other people's problems.

Practically, that is an argument that applies to riding motorcycles in the first place, as well as eating french fries, smoking, hang gliding, diving, not exercising enough, drinking soda, and so forth, Are you prepared to support laws about each and every one of those actions, based on people "not voluntarily putting themselves in a position where they might have to hang off this country's social safety net"? Because that's where that line goes.

Either we have freedom of our own choices, or we admit we are subjects to be herded and managed so as not to cost our government or our society too much, and bend over and take any restrictions they want to place. No thank to the latter.

I'm a human, not a domesticated ruminant.

It's funny you said that I said the same exact thing to everyone. I don't care what people do as long as it doesn't hurt me or cost me anything.
Again, you do realize that EXACT line of logic can be used to eliminate motorcycling itself, not to mention any other hobby or activity that carries any extra risk.

And again, it's not the individual that is causing you the cost; it's the government program that forces you to pay for it.

PhilB
 

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Yes, taken to the nth degree, you could argue anything that applies extra "risk" to some societal baseline creates a burden on taxpayers.

However, I think it is incumbent upon the individual to mitigate risk wherever practicable and sensible. It's not that hard to buckle a seatbelt, test your air regulator, check the chamber on a gun, or wear a helmet. The rate of return vs these simple steps is quite large when taken in aggregate. Changing one's diet - now that's another matter entirely, and one that is wrapped up in how food is marketed and distributed, psychological needs, and on and on. I'm guessing wearing protective gear does not fall into the same category.

I wish we could change how entitlement programs are structured in this country, but that isn't going to happen, at least in my lifetime. The best I can do is hope riders and others that engaged in "risky" activities take full advantage of the excellent risk mitigation techniques and technology out there -- to protect themselves, to minimize the chances of needing lifelong care, and to represent ourselves in the best light so policymakers don't perceive the need for additional regulation and legislation.
So in other words, you are claiming the right to make others behave as you wish by force, and thus also conceding to others the right to to make you behave as they wish by force. This is not freedom, or liberty, or ethically right.

You look at your neighbor and say "He shouldn't ride without a helmet; that could cost me money -- I'll support a law". Your other neighbor looks at you and says "He shouldn't ride a motorcycle, especially one o' those dangerous crotch rockets; that could cost me money -- I'll support a law". His neighbor looks at him and says "He shouldn't ski or snowboard or scuba dive; that could cost me money -- I'll support a law". His neighbor looks at him and says "He shouldn't barbecue all those ribs, he could have a heart atttack; that could cost me money -- I'll support a law". And so on. Where does it end?

It ends when people who value freedom, who have the guts to be free, who have the guts to let other people be free, say "**** off, it ends here". That's where.

I find it really strange, and sad, that I even have to argue for individual choice and the right to choose one's own risk levels, on a MOTORCYCLE forum. Come on, people, THINK!!
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"If you want to be free, there is but one way; it is to guarantee an equally full measure of liberty to all your neighbors. There is no other." -- Carl Schurz, (1829-1906) German born U.S. Senator and Union Army general during the US Civil War

"A free man must be able to endure it when his fellow men act and live otherwise than he considers proper." -- Ludwig von Mises

PhilB
 

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Yes, in other words - not my words.

"Incumbent upon the individual" and "hope riders and others... take full advantage of the excellent risk mitigation..." speak to mindset, not legislation or forcible behavior modification.

I believe it is precisely through MY choices as a member of a society whose freedom is negotiated via social contract that I contribute to said freedom. If we are to make choices regardless of consequences in the name of freedom, and place it upon others around us to deal with those choices, we both abrogate the personal responsibility that comes with said freedom and travel ultimately toward anarchy, where freedom is defined as everything and anything.

I can only hope other riders feel the same level of responsibility. My apologies for pulling this thread off track.
Yes, indeed YOUR words.
I don't think helmet laws are as cut and dried as simple freedom of choice.

I personally would like to be "free" from potentially having my tax dollars pay for the emergency, rehab, and ongoing care for an individual who chooses to ride without protective gear...

No, protective gear will not prevent all injuries. But the evidence gathered over decades makes it pretty clear you should have it on every time you ride -- especially if your idea of freedom, like mine, includes not voluntarily putting myself in a position where I might have to hang off this country's social safety net.

On the other hand, if you're insured to the hilt -- well then I'll look forward to seeing your smiling, helmet-free face out on the road! :cool:
You here are advocating laws about others behavior, and saying that freedom of choice should be contingent on your insurance levels -- that only the insured have the right to their own liberty and pursuit of happiness. Does the word "unalienable" mean anything to you?

PhilB
 

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And you are stating that freedom should be contingent on nothing?

Unalienable cuts multiple ways when multiple parties are involved. None of us exists in a perfect vacuum where consequences only impinge on oneself.

I am not a constitutional law expert by any means, so I will cede the last word to you. Again, apologies for derailing this thread.
Yes, "unalienable" means the right is inherent and contingent on nothing. That's exactly the point.

The actual rights violation in this situation is in the system that compels people to pay for those who make bad decisions, NOT the bad decision maker. The proper avenue to fight the actual rights violation is therefore to, as you said, "change how entitlement programs are structured in this country", NOT to pass addtional laws to further violate the rights of the individual and thus *protect* the system that is actually causing the problem.

To bring it back to the OT, the AMA fights for our liberty and rights as motorcyclists and adult human beings. That is its legitimate focus, and the problems of socialism and government that are used by others as justifications for abridging that liberty and those rights are a separate problem and must be fought by others. Support for the AMA is thus indeed support for rights and freedom. I advocate also supporting other groups that fight for other aspects of liberty as well, such as the GOA for guns, the Libertarian Party for everything, Ron Paul for President through the Republican Party, the ACLU for the issues it fights for, HRC for its work on equal rights for gay people, DownsizeDC.org for pretty much everything -- there are plenty of others, each fighting for its piece of the freedom concept.

PhilB
 

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I'm not a constitutional lawyer either, but this thread is fascinating. I was under the impression that riding a motorcycle or driving a car on public highways is not a right at all; it's a privilege. If you want to ride a motorcycle on your own land without a helmet, nobody is going to stop you.

I thought the unalienable rights mentioned in the constitution were the right to live, the right to be happy, and the right to pursue your dreams... kinda vague, I know. But people use that to argue for all sorts of behavior, like smoking in public, having smoke-free public areas, storing an arsenal of unlicensed weapons, or riding a motorcycle without a helmet. I don't think it works that way. Correct me if I'm wrong.

I'm not arguing for or against helmet laws. I'm just saying the constitution does not establish an unalienable right to ride a motorcycle on publicly owned highways without a helmet.
The Declaration of Independence recognizes a right to "liberty". What does that mean? It means that you have the right to determine the course of your own life, without being coerced by others, provided only that you must respect the equal right of others to the same and not coerce them.

And yes, of course it is used to argue for all sorts of behavior, and rightly so -- we have the right to all sorts of behavior, as long as we do not violate the equal right of others to the same. You have the unalienable right to do anything you want to, as long as you are not harming, endangering, or coercing others.

The line that driving/riding is a privilege is pure bullshit from a rights standpoint. But it has been enshrined in our legal system as a way for the legal system to avoid having to respect the rights of people to travel freely without being harassed, and to impose lucrative traffic fines without due process.

PhilB
 

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As a new member, I too am quite surprised at a discussion like this on a forum devoted to folks generally thought to value individual expression and responsibility.
May I nominate PhilB for president? His point of view seems to coincide with that of many of our founding fathers.


"Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add "within the limits of the law" because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual." - Thomas Jefferson

That said, this was about the AMA, not safety gear, if you value your rights to ride at all, you should consider supporting the AMA even if you don't agree with their position on helmet regulations.
Thanks, and +1.

PhilB
 

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My problem is the system right now only certain people pay into it and not others. The system I'm referring too of course is the healthcare system. Once 2014 comes around and everyone is paying into it to some degree that's fine.

I understand your logic but you're turning the "slippery slope" into an Olympic Style winter jump.

If something horrible happens to me on my motorcycle I have health insurance. Just like in NJ you can't drive or operate a motor vehicle without insurance I think people shouldn't be able to do dangerous things without health insurance. If they choose to do dangerous things without health insurance I don't want to pay for their recovery. They are the ones not looking out for their fellow man.

Also I don't want to debate why the current economic/healthcare system is blah blah blah. I would like to change and/or fix EVERYTHING but I'm a firm believer in that change happens a little bit at a time.

As it stands the way I feel we should fix things seems to be the simplest to implement.
Our system has very real problems. These problems can be fixed. The current approach is the wrong direction, and will only make things worse. I agree we can't fixe everything at once, and that one step at a time is more realistic. BUT, each step needs to be in the right direction.

This is WAY off-topic, but I think this way of thinking is wrong. Ideally you should be able to walk into (or in much more unfortunate circumstances, be carried into) a hospital and never even once think about insurance or money. Hospital service should be something that is freely available to everyone at all times. How many ridiculous stories have we heard already about coverage being denied to people who pay for insurance because they didn't "schedule ahead of time" their trip to the ER in an ambulance? Yeah!

There are people that will abuse a system with "free" healthcare and the system will have to deal with it, but alot of people do not have health insurance and would much rather have it, and just as many have it but did not receive coverage when they needed it the most. We need to realize a world where all humans stand equal and are able to receive help when they need it- and as of now they don't.

Sure, I'm speaking ideals, but an ideal is what we need to aim for or we'll never come close. I've heard every excuse in the book why this hasn't happened yet, from "not enough hospitals" to staff not receiving enough compensation. In reality, this is something that is very doable for us if we put our minds to it. It isn't a sacrifice of one person's money for another either. It is a no-sacrifices approach for everyone. We shouldn't accept anything less.
It is reality that medical care is expensive. It involves highly skilled people and expensive equipment and buildings and medicines. This is inherent in the technology. Therefore, it is not POSSIBLE for medical care to be "something that is freely available to everyone at all times". To attempt this is to deny reality, and reality always wins in the end. Usually through systemic collapse of an economically unsustainable system. (Which is something this country is already headed for, if we cannot drastically cut the size and spending of our entire government. Again, this type of healthcare reform is in the wrong direction, and just increases the size of our problems.)

PhilB
 

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+1 Philb
the high cost of supporting our current level of government backed health care (medicare and medicaid) is a significant portion of the entitlement spending that is slowly (or not so slowly) drowning us in debt. For those of you who haven't seen it take a look at the national debt clock. Back on the OT, the AMA does support individual freedoms for riders, and entertaining racing.
The AMA sold the racing division a few years back, so now they are mainly a rights and service organization.

PhilB
 

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The AMA protecting our rights....... this only happens in high profile cases. Two friends of mine (both lifetime members of AMA) were killed by an auto driver who had just finished his bottle of pain pills. His speed was estimated at 90+ MPH when he hit two of my friends head on and sideswiped another (also a long time AMA member). The motorcycles were traveling at 60-65 MPH on a straight road in nice weather during the middle of the day, the auto driver crossed the center line and ran over the motorcyclists. Two friends dead and he walked (stumbled) away. One friend was a retired boilermaker and math teacher, the other a retired civil engineer. Both were well liked by everyone and one had a six year old son. The driver was a repeat DUI and drug offender. I contacted an attorney (also a lifetime member) to get in touch with the AMA to make sure this man was sent to prison for a long time. He contacted them several times....... his calls were never returned. I tried to contact the AMA personally. One of my calls was returned...... but I was not available so the call was missed. I called back and..... surprise, got to talk to a machine, left another message, which was never answered. The auto driver ended up getting only eight years and is probably out on parole by now, meaning he only served three years. Three years for murdering two good, honest men with families and young children. Where was the AMA ? I guess they were in Ohio and not here in Kentucky. In my opinion, the AMA, like many other organizations talks a good game and even plays a good game...... if....... it is a high enough profile case to get the club free publicity. What does the AMA do? Racing...... no. Standing up for individuals..... not in my experience. They are just another self serving organization that likes to take dues and pay their bills and large salaries. AMA membership....... yes, I was a member for 24 years. For me, it was not money well spent.
I appreciate that this was a personal event for you, but what was the AMA supposed to be able to do there? In an individual trial, they have no influence over the outcome, and they can't be chasing every crash where a car hits a bike. They work to influence the laws that get passed, in favor of the rights of motorcyclists. They indeed do work for laws that increase the penalties for such cases as the one you cite, but if such laws are not in effect in any given location, they have no power to get a court to increase the penalty for a specific case.

PhilB
 

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Well Phil..... the AMA certainly made a big deal about bringing the senator to trial a few years ago who killed a motorcyclist while under the influence..... Say what you will, I still feel that the AMA is just another self promoting organization that basically does nothing. ...
That was a good opportunity to spark public outrage and get some tougher laws passed, which was (as I noted above) where they try to focus, with good reason. They currently are very active in working to block E15 fuel, which will not be good for our bikes (especially the older ones). They do good work, and I challenge you to name any organization that does us more good than they do.

... And...... isn't it true that the AMA sells off many of the machines donated to them by members who think they will be kept and displayed for the enjoyment and appreciation of all members. The AMA has lost it's way...... that is all I have to say.
All museums do that. They all get more vehicles donated than money, and have to sell some in order to be able to fix up and display the others. I've bought some good projects from museum auctions that way.

PhilB
 

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Well, good to see you agree with me....... they only get involved in high profile cases and they do sell the motorcycles donated to them. Not only that..... you have bought some of them. Phil...... do you work for the club? And.......I think ABATE members would argue with you about the AMA being more helpful in passing legislation than any other organization. Not that I don't wear a helmet or safety gear or even belong to ABATE. I really do not want to get in a further pissing match about this. Everything I said was true...... you even say it is so. Your belief is that the AMA should operate for the greater good, I believe that any organization should put the individual members first and cater to the membership rather than always try to influence politicians who change direction like the wind. You are entitled to your opinion......... and I am entitled to mine. Thank you for the lively discussion.
:rolleyes They have limited funds, just like any organization, so of course they focus on what will give the best results for the money. They'd be idiots not to. And again, it's about changing the laws for the better, which helps everyone; getting involved in single cases does not do that.

The selling of the bikes, as I explained, is normal practice for any museum, and is a completely insignificant issue.

ABATE has their niche as well, although they have been much more of a one-issue organization, and also much more linked to one type of bike and biker, while the AMA is more broad-based, both on issues and on segments of motorcycling.

You may, of course, remain bitter and disenchanted. But to try to tear down the good that they do because they didn't jump in for your personal issue is wrong and childish.

PhilB
 

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Hey Phil....... maybe you should hit Mike up for some membership money. He hasn't signed up yet.
I'm not affiliated with the AMA. I'm not even always a paid member. I do always stay on their e-mail list for legislative alerts, and help with those efforts to fight for our rights as motorcyclists.

Whine and snipe as you wish, but there's no better organization for us out there. Maybe you should start one.

PhilB
 

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I did so last year when I was in Ohio which does not have a helmet law. I believe in helmets.
I also very strongly believe in the value of helmets. Which is NOT the same as believing in the value of helmet laws.

I wear my helmet every time, including when in states that don't require it (including Ohio, where I spend 2010, and NH, where I live now). I'm strict about that, for myself. I do not have the right to punish people who decide differently for themselves, and neither do you.

PhilB
 
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