Friday, July 10, 2015
It has been seven weeks since the tragic deaths in Waco. Yet people are still sitting in jail on trumped up bonds of $1 million dollars each. The charges of 'participating in organized crime' based on a generic 'fill-in- the name' warrant with no probable cause to base it upon. Beyond of course the fact that those arrested were all present at the scene of a tragic shooting. A shooting where; beyond the fact that almost half the victims were shot by police, the Waco PD have only released contradictory and inflammatory comments regarding the shootings. The City of Waco, and McLennon County have fought to keep video from inside the Twin Peaks restaurant from being used in bail reduction hearings for those who have been incarcerated for seven weeks now. Due Process was thrown out of Waco in this instance.
The mainstream media had barely even made note of the fact that Waco PD, acknowledged at least 4 of the 9 shooting victims were killed by police. Or that the Waco PD barricaded the local Harley Dealership for several days following the tragedy. Even though it was over a half mile away from the scene of the shooting. Little is mentioned of the fact that Waco PD released word for all motorcyclists to stay off the streets in Waco for their own safety. Because police are "unable to tell between law abiding motorcyclists and those intent on criminality." Was that really the case, or was it they didn't care to make the differentiation?
From reports that have been released since the shootings. It is becoming more and more clear that law enforcement in Waco, and McLennon County, paint all motorcyclists with the same broad brush. It appears that they perceive all motorcyclists as criminals of the lowest kind. Seeing only their twisted vision of criminality on two wheels. There is no room for divergence from their paradigm of motorcyclists being criminals and "gang members". Why else would the City of Waco fight against a subpoena demanding the release of the internal video recordings from Twin Peaks restaurant? The video does not show the parking lot, or what transpired there. But it does show individuals inside the restaurant not taking any part in the violence in the parking lot. The video is reported by Associated Press reporters to show the opposite. People moving away from the front of the restaurant and taking cover in the bathroom and kitchen. The very opposite of how Waco PD first described the incident starting. But, not surprisingly, the main stream media have deemed to play down that fact.
Now the Fox channel in Seattle has broadcast a report on the biggest "biker gang" in the state. Connecting the Waco tragedy to the Bandidos here in Washington. With repeated, but vague references to the shootings in Waco, and 9 dead, the report makes it appear all the dead were at the hands of the club members at Twin Peaks. The report attempts, in the reporters view it appears, to be a balanced report. Although repeated references to "biker gangs", and relying on the words of a "gang detective" in silhouette to give credence to the threat of the Clubs here in Washington. Feeding the reporter the same tired old lines about the violence of "biker gangs", and how retribution for Waco will come. The same fear mongering that led to the denial of Due Process in Waco, is apparent here.
Here is the video report from Fox's Q-13 in Seattle. Watch it, and decide for yourself if this is further fear mongering, or just a lackadaisical effort of reporting.
Catch ya on the road sometime...
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Recently there has been a violent reaction by many people as to what the confederate battle flag symbolizes. Sadly, this has all boiled to the surface after a shooting in a black church by a lunatic who posed in photos with the flag. Because of those photos, the debate on what the flag symbolizes has focussed not on what the flag symbolized during the Civil War, or what many Americans see it as a symbol of today, but on what the politicians in the 1960's saw the flag as a symbol of. The maddening head long rush to remove this "symbol of hate" is turning people against each other. Factionalization is rearing its head on this matter. Bringing intolerance from both sides, and leaving little in the way of compromise on the issue.
Political Correctness has seized on the issue of the Confederate battle flag as being evil. People caving in to peer pressure and attempting to remove the flag from the public eye. Even to the point of removing a television program because the heroes car has the flag on its roof. Even though that program was not an evil program, nor were any of the protagonists in it. It is the symbol that is suddenly so evil it must be removed from society. The very fact that this is about what that flag 'symbolizes' is divisive. It means different things to different people. No one can tell another what a symbol means to them. Because no one else knows how another person perceives the symbol in their own life, and what their experiences have shaped their own opinions to be.
If one individual places certain symbolism to a thing, that many others cannot agree with, that thing does not suddenly become a hate filled symbol for everyone. Were that truly the case, then the flag of the United States would have long ago been labeled as an evil symbol. Groups have over the years draped themselves in the American flag while espousing hatred and racial inequality. Yet Americans realize that it is only symbolic of such things to those groups and individuals. But because of the outrage connected to the shooting of the members of a black church by a white racist, emotions are overwhelming logic.
To me, the flag that is stirring up all this debate is actually more than one flag. The square flag with the red background and the blue "X" with white stars on it is the battle flag of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. The rectangular flag of similar design is the flag of the Confederate Army of Tennessee. Some see those two flags especially, as symbols of Americans fighting and dying for causes they believed in. There were several causes wrapped up into what are commonly called the "Rebel" flags. Racism was only a small part.
Today, many people look at those flags as a symbol of resistance to the control of a centralized Federal power over reaching and trampling on the Civil Rights of its citizens. Others see it as a symbol of having a self-sufficient rural independent lifestyle. Others still see it as a symbol of defiance against the establishment, and yes there are some who view it as a racist symbol thanks to the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacy groups who have usurped it over the years. None of these perceptions is wrong. Just as none of the perceptions of it representing hatred and evil are wrong. They are personal perceptions of a symbol. What is wrong is trying to control how others see a symbol.
It is also rather amusing to me, that many of the same people who are so vociferously denouncing the symbol of the "Rebel" flag as a symbol of evil and hatred think nothing of wearing a Chez Rivera t-shirt and calling him an revolutionary worth admiring. Chez was a communist strong man who had no qualms about imprisoning, or killing, any one he deemed to be 'counter-revolutionary'. He trampled the Civil Rights of the citizens with total disregard. Ordered the execution of thousands of his own citizens. Yet his image is one to be raised up as an example of a admirable person by many of the same people pushing to remove the "Rebel" flag from our society as symbolizing hate and racism. I wonder how many citizens would approve of their children being taught history by teacher who openly praise and glorify a communist mass killer? To many, Chez is a symbol of the counter-culture held over from the 1960's. To many of the liberal left, the 1960's counter-culture is still something to be idealized. Reusing its symbols in the modern day amongst younger generations who have no idea of the meaning of the symbols from before. They place their own meaning to those symbols, and have no issue with doing so, as the symbols are held to be their own. However to even suggest that a symbol can have a different meaning to citizens now than it did in the 1960's will bring contempt and verbal attacks upon ones intelligence, or morality.
The double standards of many in this hostile dispute about the symbols of American history simply amazes me. To suggest the symbols that some do not support or agree with should be removed, such as the "Rebel" flag on the capitol campus in Charleston (even to the point of insisting the flagpole is somehow tainted and must also be removed), only further aids in the dissolution of Civil Rights of the individual. There was an option to put it to a vote of the citizenry whether to remove the flag from the capitol campus. Those Democrats so hurriedly trying to remove it strongly opposed the option of letting the citizens voice their opinion on the subject. The citizens couldn't be trusted to vote the way the politically correct zealots in South Carolina's legislature wanted? Is that the reason, or was it simply a disregard for anything other than personal feelings of their own?
Either way, I will continue to fly the "Rebel" flags I own from time to time when I deem it appropriate to do so. Just as I will continue to keep the Nazi flag my father brought back from World War II. I do not see it as a symbol of evil, but with the two bayonet slashes across the swaztika I see it as a symbol of freedom defeating an evil regime. It is all in the perception that makes a symbol a symbol. Good bad or indifferent. The more we try to nail the sandals of conformity onto the feet of those who think differently from ourselves, the more we will continue to fracture. The more we fracture and factionalize the further we move from the nation Dr. King spoke of on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial that morning in Washington DC.
Catch you on the road sometimes...
Friday, July 3, 2015
There are those who think that if you oppose mandatory helmet laws it means that you are; ignorant, reckless, foolish, or a combination of all three. But when you introduce facts about the law and the motorcycle helmet standard, many of those same people turn to denigration of your information without really looking at it. Or try to change the discussion into a personal attack. Either you attacking their position, or vice versa.
I will offer up a few questions here regarding mandatory helmet laws, and motorcycle helmets. Think for yourself, do your own research into what I say, then answer for yourself the questions I ask. If more people start asking the questions, then perhaps more people will come to understand why the majority of states in the US allow riders the choice whether to wear helmets or not.
1. If motorcycle helmets are the safety panacea many pro-helmet law supporters claim, why is it the number of fatalities have dropped significantly in Michigan since repeal of the mandatory helmet law there in 2012?
2. As motorcycle helmets "break-in" and begin to better conform more to your head, why do manufacturers suggest they be replaced every 3 to 5 years?
3. Can law enforcement tell by looking at a motorcycle helmet if it will meet the federal standard?
4. Why is it laughable to suggest that occupants in automobiles be mandated to wear helmets when studies show significantly more people, both in real numbers and percentages, suffer head injuries during accidents in those types of vehicles?
5. Why is it that Washington State mandates motorcyclists to wear
helmets that are rated to attenuate an impact of 13.4 mph, but doesn't require bicyclists to wear helmets as well?
6. Why is it that the "Social Burden" argument is often raised to support mandatory motorcycle helmet use, yet other activities that are repeatedly shown to have much more of a "Social Burden" than motorcycling are condoned (smoking and alcohol use are just two examples)?
There are more questions to be sure. These few are enough to make a good start. This is just skimming the surface, and much more data exists for those who wish to look. Here is a fact you may find interesting, especially since Washington States helmet use fluctuates between 90 to 100 percentile. 81% of all helmeted motorcycle fatalities die from non-head related injuries.
Think it over, and decide for yourself where you stand on whether or not individuals should be allowed to make the choice for themselves whether to wear a motorcycle helmet.
Catch you on the road sometime...