A Moment’s Feel of Freedom

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I rode my bike without wearing a helmet the other day – just to remind myself of what it felt like to live in a semi-free country.no helmet 1

It felt damned good.

Helmets are to motorcycling what clumsy prophylactics are to sex. They interfere with the experience. Limit the experience.

Don’t tell me about “safety.” In the first place, my safety is none of your business – anyone’s business, except maybe my wife’s. Much less the business of the government. The only (legitimate) business of government, if it has any at all, is to see to it that people’s rights are protected. I violate no one’s rights by riding without a helmet. Ergo, no one has any right to compel me to wear one.

Americans – too many of them – have their heads screwed on backwards. They confuse what they don’t like or would not do themselves with what ought to be illegal. This of course is madness, because each of us regards with distaste things done (or not done) by others, or “wouldn’t do that” themselves. If that’s going to be the standard for administering wood shampoos then perhaps everyone ought to wear a helmet all the time.

But, seriously. The only things that – ethically – ought to be illegal are those actions which cause harm to other people. Being uncomfortable at the sight of someone riding a motorcycle sans helmet does not rise to that level.helmet under protest

Nor that he might get hurt.

That’s his business and besides, a society with its head screwed on straight doesn’t accost/cage people over might – particularly when might only involves the person whose actions entail the might. Possibly harming you or some other innocent party is one thing. A guy possibly causing himself harm is a very different thing.

A society with its head screwed on straight only punishes people who actually do – and who do to others. It’s a simple, clearcut and very logical standard. And it checks busybodyism – the canker sore of the soul America’s afflicted with today. Which takes the position that your business is everyone else’s business.

That’s not America. But it is something else.hildebeast

And that something else is what America is on its way to becoming.

Being compelled to pay taxes for “the common good” – as defined by others, often not even the majority – is a minor tyranny compared with being compelled to do (or not do) certain things for your own good -  as defined by some stretch pants-wearing menopausal frau of the Hillary Clinton persuasion.

Or by anyone, for that matter.

Did people who actually ride motorcycles pass (impose) helmet laws? Of course not. Just as “gun control” laws have typically been passed and pushed by people who don’t know which end the bullet comes out of, much less the difference between a “magazine” and a “clip.” These people are animated by their disapproval of other people who ride motorcycles without wearing a helmet – and are determined to stamp it out. And since they themselves do not ride motorcycles – with or without helmets – the laws they impose do not affect them in any way.

hoplophobia 5

Just as “gun control” laws don’t impose burdens on those looking to do the controlling.

Bet your bippie their tune would change if the laws they decree applied across the board. If, for example, it were just as felonious for el jefe Obama to surround himself with armed Praetorians as it would be (if they get their way) for you to be armed. Obama, et al, figure that if they don’t personally carry the gun, it’s not hypocritical for them to insist that you not carry one.

Just so, the “moms” and other “concerned” people insisting on helmets-or-else don’t see the tyranny because, after all, they don’t ride –  so their helmets-or-else laws impose no burden on them. It merely satisfies their control-freak fetish to parent other adults. If the shoe were on the other foot, they might not like it so much.safety uber alles

Well, maybe they ought to try it on for size.

Where to start?

How about with their cages?

Why do they get to drive without wearing a helmet?  It is objectively less “safe” than wearing one while driving. Race car drivers all wear helmets, after all.

And harnesses, too.

Much safer than the flimsy three-point seatbelts cagers are allowed to get by with in their cars.

Is there any question that head injuries and deaths would be reduced if car drivers all wore helmets?

So, how about it?

Oh. I see. It’d be inconvenient. And expensive.

So, forget it.

But bikers? I’m not a biker – says the stretch pants wearing frau to herself.

And so, why not?

Thus, those of us who ride are forced to spend hundreds of dollars for a helmet we do not want and which objectively provides limited protection that only comes into play in the event we wreck – a possibility rather than an actuality.no helmet tom cruise pic

But it’s ok for the stretch pants set to drive their cages un-helmeted and not cinched in for “safety.” To waddle around carrying 100 pounds of heart attack-inducing, diabetes-inviting surplus flesh (that’s you, Chris Christie, you disgusting fatbody).

Wouldn’t if be refreshing if we all agreed to just leave each other alone unless someone was actually hurting someone else by his actions?

It’d be almost as pleasant as riding a bike on a warm summer day with the wind in your hair and the sun on your face, free to enjoy the moment and – for once – left the hell alone.

Throw it in the Woods?

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  65 comments for “A Moment’s Feel of Freedom

  1. June 11, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Eric,

    Well said. I see too many (young and old) people not wishing to accept the consequences of their choices.

    Although I would not (now) ride a motorcycle without a helmet, I do not mind if others choose to ride without one.

    Imagine people making their own choices and then living with the consequences of their choices.

    Life is full of choices and consequences.

    I remember riding on a motorcycle without a helmet when I was younger. It did feel good to have the wind in my face and through my hair. Fortunately I was blissful in my ignorance and no one was harmed.

  2. Boothe
    June 11, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Eric – Although like Mithrandir, I don’t ride without a brain bucket these days and seldom have in the past, it’s really no one else’s business except mine and my wife’s. This legal meddling problem stems from two major fronts: nosy busybody-ism (hand in glove with your point of “I don’t ride so this law doesn’t bother me”) and socialized healthcare (i.e. “If you wreck, I have to pay for it, so if you must ride you have to have a helmet.”). What I think is really stupid from a legal standpoint is that I can ride my motorcylce wearing nothing but a Speedo as long as I have a helmet on (not that I would nor wound it be pretty). But I’ve yet to figure that one out.

    Carried to its logical cloverian legal conclusion we’d all be required to suit up in an armored exoskeleton covered in airbags before climbing onto a two wheeled contraption whcih would all but be unrideable for all the safety devices. Or more simply, the safety Nazis probably would just make all motorcycles, scooters and mopeds illegal. Witness lawn darts. I’ll bet the injury statistics for lawn darts were right up there with being bitten by a sea snake. But we can’t be too careful, now can we? I’m surprised they haven’t gone after horsehoes as well. Who in their right mind would want to throw a bent piece of metal across the yard at steel pin you could trip over anyway? Think of the children…

    I think I’ve related this before, but it bears repeating just illustrate how bad nosy busybodies really are. Back in the early 80’s, right after I left Uncle Sam’s Airplane Club, I was renting a cottage on the James river. I parked my bike up the hill at my grandmother’s house during a flood, less than a mile from my place. After the waters receded, we were on our way home and my wife dropped me off to pick up my bike sans helmet. In less than half a mile, some nosy busybody called me in to the sheriff’s dept. Unfortunately, a deputy was nearby and took the call. Worse yet, he was a good friend of mine and a fellow rider. He gave me a stearn lecture; not for riding helmetless, but for putting him in a bad situation. If he gave me a break, he looked bad for playing favorites and not being consistent . On the other hand if he ticketed me it went against his morals, because he knew I wasn’t committing a crime. He refused to tell me who called me in (because he knew me well enough to know there might have been a crime…). So I immediately hit him with my right to face my accuser. He told me if I would park the bike, walk home (about a 1/4 mile) and get my helmet, he wouldn’t write me a ticket. Of course I agreed. But the fact is, if that nosy busybody had simply minded their own business, none of it would have happened to begin with.

    And if the Virginia legislature had honored our rights by refusing to pass a law for the non-crime of riding bare headed, the best that old biddy could have done was call my grandma and tell her to give me a good talking to. Which, ironically, would have done more good, since I’ve always paid more attention to my family than I ever have to government at any level. It all comes back to the control freak mindset of clover and his ilk. What they never seem to grasp is the more tightly they attempt to control things, the more folks will resist by thwarting the law, breaking the rules and finally retaliating. Leave it to clover’s ilk to blindly and repeatedly to invoke the law of unintended consequences every chance they get.

    • ozymandias
      June 11, 2014 at 1:40 pm

      drying your hair on a motorcycle, as i used to do, is one private profit (among a few); best, funnest, blow-dry ever (his hair was perfect ♪ ♫).

      socialized costs of “organ donor” externalities is a fact, too, that gives busy-bodies a logical argument. but, the bb’s mostly won’t countenance your signing a waiver, so the logic is mostly a cover. emotional hook, followed by rational & intelligent sounding reasons, is sales 101. tragedy of the emotional prisoner’s dilemma commons…

      i still have the bell helmet that i just happened to be wearing (it was cold that night). the scratches & gouges up the right side coulda’ been my face & head.

      • eric
        June 11, 2014 at 1:57 pm

        The “social costs” argument assumes a collectivist premise. Kick that fucker out from under!

        Across the board.

        My life, my problem. Not yours.

        And, likewise.

        Selfish?

        Better than violent.

        It’s awful when someone gets hurt on a bike; a tragedy if he can’t afford his medical bills. But it’s an atrocity to force others – total strangers, who had nothing to do with it – to pay his bills.

        • ozymandias
          June 11, 2014 at 2:13 pm

          agreed that’s how it should be. but it isn’t. not in amerika.

          the herded collective-stampede is real, not an assumption or straw premise. & it won’t be assumed (or argued/debated) away, either, even from moral highgrounds.

          • ozymandias
            June 11, 2014 at 2:18 pm

            “amerika”. let’s expand that, for a little more accuracy, to “westeros”.

        • MikeFromWichita
          June 12, 2014 at 9:18 am

          “My life, my problem. Not yours. “Clover

          Sure thing Eric as long as there is not the least cost to the rest of us. Can you guarantee that ahead of time? If not then you addiction to stupid behaviour DOES become our problem. Your ‘freedom’ ends where OUR burden begins.

          • Me2
            June 12, 2014 at 9:39 am

            What burden, forced upon you by who?

            What I gather is that you feel if Eric causes himself harm he is forcing you to care for him. Right?

            Better re-evaluate who is at fault if YOU force Eric to accept your assistance at the point of a gun. Leave him be, it would be no cost to you.

          • ozymandias
            June 12, 2014 at 10:31 am

            eric burdon & the animals…?

            Take up the White Man’s burden, Send forth the best ye breed
            Go bind your sons to exile, to serve your captives’ need;
            To wait in heavy harness, On fluttered folk and wild–
            Your new-caught, sullen peoples, Half-devil and half-child.

            Take up the White Man’s burden, In patience to abide,
            To veil the threat of terror And check the show of pride;
            By open speech and simple, An hundred times made plain
            To seek another’s profit, And work another’s gain.

            Take up the White Man’s burden, The savage wars of peace–
            Fill full the mouth of Famine And bid the sickness cease;
            And when your goal is nearest The end for others sought,
            Watch sloth and heathen Folly Bring all your hopes to nought.

            Take up the White Man’s burden, No tawdry rule of kings,
            But toil of serf and sweeper, The tale of common things.
            The ports ye shall not enter, The roads ye shall not tread,
            Go mark them with your living, And mark them with your dead.

            Take up the White Man’s burden And reap his old reward:
            The blame of those ye better, The hate of those ye guard–
            The cry of hosts ye humour (Ah, slowly!) toward the light:–
            “Why brought he us from bondage, Our loved Egyptian night?”

            Take up the White Man’s burden, Ye dare not stoop to less–
            Nor call too loud on Freedom To cloke your weariness;
            By all ye cry or whisper, By all ye leave or do,
            The silent, sullen peoples Shall weigh your gods and you.

            Take up the White Man’s burden, Have done with childish days–
            The lightly proferred laurel, The easy, ungrudged praise.
            Comes now, to search your manhood, through all the thankless years
            Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom, The judgment of your peers!

            ~ kipling….& as i think i wrote recently, wolves did not rear & raise mowgli – they ate him….

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_White_Man%27s_Burden

          • eric
            June 12, 2014 at 11:57 am

            Mike,

            I’ve been over this with you several times already, but – one more time:

            I reject your premise. “Social costs” are only a problem if one accepts this sick idea that my problems impose an obligation on you enforceable at gunpoint – and vice versa.

            I don’t want a thing from you – except that you respect my right to be left in peace, so long as I am not causing you or anyone else a tangible harm. I will never demand that you “help” me – nor vote to force you to do so. Ok? I also haven’t cost you one red cent as a result of my “speeding” or not wearing a helmet.

            So, pack up your straw man. It only stands up if your opponent plays by your rules.

          • ozymandias
            June 12, 2014 at 1:41 pm

            all the king’s men…the narrator-character in that novel is named jack burden. in a retrospective discussion, warren told me that he had decided to have the narrator of the novel be a character in the story in order to avoid having a removed, omniscient, & impersonal author relating the events, & also to provide a dramatic center, or “model” for the effect of the main figure stark in filling some spiritual or psychological vacuum in others – the source of his power.

            ~ rothenberg, “the emerging goddess”

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_the_King%27s_Men

          • BrentP
            June 12, 2014 at 7:58 pm

            That burden being one collectivists created such that they could later use it a lever of control.

            It’s far too difficult for the few to control the many so a variety of techniques are employed for the many to control the many. In this case by collectivizing things everyone becomes his neighbor’s keeper. Gives him a say in what his neighbor does or doesn’t do. But this isn’t a direct relationship. Government sits in between and gains the power over all.

            The solution to this “burden” isn’t further control, it’s liberty. There’s no end to control. It isn’t practical. It creates a stifling environment. liberty solves the problem. voluntary charity solves the problem.

          • Lonewolf72
            July 5, 2014 at 3:12 pm

            Mike

            A persons medical bills only become your, or my, problem when they are forced on us by government. Until then, they are his own problem.

      • ozymandias
        June 11, 2014 at 2:28 pm

        when the consequences tend so uniformly in one direction using the “un” prefix would have to mean something deterministic, like heat death. otherwise i’d say intention is writ large…unless that’s just my coincidental glance at a busted clock & it is just entropy.

  3. June 11, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    I completely relate to every word of this article. My freedom experiences are different than yours, but every single well-written word regarding your freedom applies equally well to my freedom.

    The important part of the life-essential e=mc^2 equation is the equals. How free are we to convert our psychic energy and ideas into matter and the material reality we choose for ourselves?

    It seems the equals convention is breached and broken. Every transaction is subject to an ever-increasing tithe.

    What will happen should they attain complete control of the equals? When every conversion either serves only their ends or is prevented from being executed? What can be done before the freedom process itself is made impossible?

    • ozymandias
      June 11, 2014 at 1:53 pm

      signs? we don’t need no stinkin’ signs, equal or otherwise. all for one & one for all because all is one & each one is all-in the singularity-pot…

      e=mc^2 is a livestock brand, ain’t it?

      • June 12, 2014 at 3:01 am

        I have ideas I want to work on, but after getting online and before I write them down, I read an article or two about what’s going on in the world, and it all just makes me so very angry.

        Even here among aware people, there’s no escaping the misandry.

        Men have surpassed any and all expectations. So much so that they’re not needed any more. The world can get along fine with what men have already provided.

        No one is going to get what they deserve any more. Everyone is going to get something arbitrarily or have something taken from them arbitrarily.

        It’s foolish to waste time being angry about what is inevitable. But the anger comes sooner and leaves later, the older I get.

        Male Anger Is Not a Crime or a Mental Illness
        http://www.avoiceformen.com/men/male-anger-is-not-a-crime-nor-a-mental-illness/

        • ozymandias
          June 12, 2014 at 12:12 pm

          up in the mornin’, out on the job, work like the devil for my pay…♪♫

          when i wake up with, or am awakened by, ideas, getting them out of my head & onto “paper” (ms word) is the first thing. otherwise, they tend to burn off.

          the linked page has an ad for warren farrell’s book. read it years ago. also esther villar’s book. & mencken’s “in defense of women”. maybe others not recalled.

          misandry…a narrow slice of the anger spectrum. like misogyny. divide & divert & conquer faction friction-heat (lots of sparks, not much light). but, believe it or not, philandry is out there. polyamory, too. even in america. doesn’t generalize, but still, it’s a counterexample with a lot of contrast. & of course this is between individuals, not a “societal” construct. fred reed corroborates some other men who say “move away from there” moves the dynamic to less anger inducing ranges. besides, the boys have always been most of the cannon fodder…& the girls have been induced to birth fresh boy inventories.

          anger seems to be moving the other way, my case. burning off. less wick, or candle, or sleep, or who knows. one benjamin button was a calm baby, another choleric.

          bill bonner, loss leader internet pitchman extraordinaire (& fine writer), says “you don’t get what you expect…or what you want; you get what you deserve.” ♪♫ you can’t always get what you want…but if you try sometime, you just might find, you get what you need, is another take…in the end, of course, everybody’s kevin costner in the casket & on the cutting room floor (lol, can you feel the uplift?).

          couple more bon(ner) mots:

          “Who would appreciate such candor? No one. None of us really likes honesty. We prefer deception –but only when it is unabashedly flattering or artfully camouflaged. Groups seem to need to believe that they are superior to others and that they have a purpose greater than just passing along their genes to the next generation. Individuals seem to need similar delusions – about who they are and why they do what they do. They need heroes, however fraudulent… Studies show that people are more likely to accept the opinion of a confident con man than the cautious view of someone who actually knows what he is talking about. And professionals who form overconfident opinions on the basis of incorrect readings of the facts are more likely to succeed than their more competent peers who display greater doubt.

          What’s more, deception works best, according to studies by psychologists, when the person doing the deceiving is fool enough to be deceived, too; that is, when he believes his own lies. That is why incompetent leaders – who are naïve enough to fall for their own guff – are such a danger to civilized life. If they are modern leaders, they must also delude themselves into thinking they know how to make the world a better place. Invariably, the answers they propose to problems are ones that bubble up from their own vanity, the essence of which is to make the rest of the world look just like them!”
          ― William Bonner, Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets: Surviving the Public Spectacle in Finance and Politics

          “Neither limits nor adversity are what ruin men. Under pressure, they handle themselves pretty well. It’s the lack of limits they can’t handle. That’s when they run amok. So, if you really want to see what a man is made of let him think he can get away with something.”
          ― Bill Bonner

        • c_dub
          June 13, 2014 at 3:50 am

          Thanks for the article and website Tor. Bookmarked. The MRA/MGTOW philoshy is something I’ve just recently become familiar with. Even though I’ve been doing it for years now unbeknownst to me. :)

  4. Inconsistencies
    June 11, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    No helmet law in OK. Much to the dismay of my family, the only time I put one on is on cold mornings so my face won’t freeze. When I wear it, I get an unhealthy feeling of invincibility. That’s not a feeling I want to have on a bike. I want to feel vulnerable to keep me vigilant.

    • eric
      June 11, 2014 at 1:54 pm

      Yup!

      I’d wear my helmet on some occasions – law or no law. But there are times when I’d choose not to. And it ought to be my choice.

      Because it’s my life.

      Or so it used to be….

  5. Nick
    June 11, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Eric,

    I can greatly appreciate your point about riding without a helmet. There is something about moving through space on a bike without a helmet that is indescribable. When I was a kid I did a lot of it.

    Anyway, I recently bought this 3/4 MoMo knockoff helmet to try to get some of that feeling back, and I love it! http://www.cyclegear.com/CycleGear/Street/Helmets/Open-Face/brand/BILT/Pilot-Open-Face-Motorcycle-Helmet/p/32215_60744_2

    Anyway, I do a lot of urban riding so it gives me that feeling of security yet some bug/rain protection, and I can flip the visor up and get a little more elemental.

    If I was doing more rural riding I’d love to sneak out without a helmet, but that’d be against the oath I take as an instructor….

    • eric
      June 11, 2014 at 6:09 pm

      Hi Nick,

      I have the full gear – race leathers, boots, armored gloves and a top-line Arai helmet. But sometimes, I like to go for a cruise on one of my old bikes especially wearing as little as possible. Just pants and a t-shirt, ideally. Nothing like it on a warm summer day. I live in a very rural area, so just knocking around on lightly traveled roads is my regular routine. There may be some risk involved in not riding with a helmet on, but I consider it slight in view of the conditions, the type of riding, etc.

      It’s one of those things that ought to be left to the judgment of every adult in a free society.

      Unfortunately, we’re not regarded as free adults – and this society is anything but free.

      • Nick
        June 12, 2014 at 12:42 am

        “It’s one of those things that ought to be left to the judgment of every adult in a free society.

        Unfortunately, we’re not regarded as free adults – and this society is anything but free.”

        I agree Eric.

        • eric
          June 12, 2014 at 5:45 am

          It’s tragic. And it’s inevitably going to get worse. It has to get worse. The principle that’s been established in law is exactly like leaving a car parked in neutral with the parking brake not engaged at the top of a steep hill. It’s gonna pick up speed – and hit things you did not want it to hit.

          The logic is remorseless.

          If I must wear a helmet (and buckle up) for “safety,” because I “might” get hurt – and (per collectivist premise) impose “costs on society” then surely it is only a matter of time before such things as whether I exercise sufficiently, what I eat (and how much), my sexual activities, my hobbies – even my thoughts – become a matter of “the commons,” all enforceable at gunpoint.

          If not, if that seems absurd, I’d love for someone to explain the argument that will be used to prevent it from happening.

          • MamaLiberty
            June 12, 2014 at 2:36 pm

            Looking down the bore of a .45 is a pretty good argument… either way.

            At some point, we have to stop being the only ones looking down the bore.

          • ozymandias
            June 12, 2014 at 3:21 pm

            a body in motion tends….

            “hit the pace car”
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIe1KtfpDzw

            scientologists stubbornly refuse this part, shinesell something else
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FDizB9Z3Eo

  6. Inconsistencies
    June 11, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    I’ve also been riding since ’05 without a government issued permission slip.

  7. David Ward
    June 11, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    Ah yes, Liberty. It reminds me of the speech from the movie V for Vendetta. Let me quote, “Where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission”.

    Of course, I started riding bikes when I was young, 16 to be exact. Yes I had a rather bad spill and no I didn’t have a helmet on. I was in traction for 5 months while a few bones aka ribs, ankles, legs, etc. healed. Suffice to say the light pole in that argument won. BTW never argue with a light pole they don’t care. :)

    It is my contention that helmet laws were originally passed so the PTB could ID you at the scene of any accident. Remember gooberdick permission slips at that time didn’t have photos. So they at least wanted your head to be some what recognizable. No one logically speaking can say a helmet will keep you alive in a crash at any speed over 30 mph. There are just to many variables to deal with. My wife’s best friend’s hubby hit a semi truck head on on I-40 at the Brownsville, Tennessee exit and was identified by his DL. Not enough left of him for visual id. Tennessee requires all motorcyclist wear helmets. Didn’t help him at all.
    It is my belief helmet laws are archaic now due to DNA id, but that is just me.

    Me, I am like Eric, I’d rather ride without gooberdicks telling me what to do. However, my primary mission in life is to deprive the goons as much money from nothing vapor as possible, so i ride with a 3/4 helmet.

    I am investigating moving to Florida. I know, I know, it is a socialist hell but no helmet laws. :)

    David Ward
    My tew scents.

    • helot
      June 11, 2014 at 9:21 pm

      Ya, I had a lot of friends who died with their helmet on. Didn’t do them a lick of good either.
      Same as those friends I had who died with their seat-belt on.
      I live in a slightly less un-free state, there’s still no helmet law.
      In spite of everything, it’s hard for me to imagine being forced to wear a helmet all the time.
      The bugs, I don’t like them in my teeth or in my eye, so they used to force me to wear a helmet now and then.
      The bugs, I could respect them.
      The gunverment and the clovers who support them, not so much.
      Er, I mean: Not At All.

      I’ve wiped out plenty of times while not wearing a helmet.
      I made out ok.
      Once (if I Was wearing a helmet) I swear that motorcycle would’ve landed right on top of me. I’m certain I would have been unable to see that bitch out of the corner of my eye as it came down on me. I pushed it off as it came down.

      It was a lot like playing football. Or any other number of things young people do.

      Why is football legal, but riding motorcycles without a helmet is not?

      Oh wait! I think maybe they’re working on that. I mean – today – teenagers twirling pencils in class is a criminal psychotic act,…

      ‘Play’ is a four letter word in Uber-america.

      • Burrow Owl
        June 12, 2014 at 2:19 am

        “Once (if I Was wearing a helmet) I swear that motorcycle would’ve landed right on top of me.”

        Happened to me twice with my dirt bike.
        The first time it landed on top of me I broke two ribs and ended up with a nasty scar in the center of my forehead. The second time- less than 3 months later- I re-broke the first two ribs..and broke a third rib just for shits & giggles.
        Would a helmet have prevented any of the the afore-mentioned injuries?
        The juniper fence post that smacked my noggin on that unexpected 180..
        probably so.
        The broken ribs? About the only thing that would have helped there is
        a cast iron corset- and I’ll be godamned if I’ll ever consider wearing one of those.

        • eric
          June 12, 2014 at 5:38 am

          Hi Burrow –

          Yup.

          And: One can make the same utilitarian points against wearing a seat belt in a car, too. A seatbelt can “kill” – fact. And the fact that it’s more likely not to is irrelevant. The issue here is: Who gets to play the odds with your life?

          It takes stupendous effrontery for a person to presume to dictate to another adult such a choice. When you stop to think about it a little, it can really make one angry.

    • Garysco
      June 12, 2014 at 1:09 am

      No helmet required if you are over 18 in Minnesota. Although I did find it mentally disconcerting to see several-2 up GSX’r squids wearing shorts, t-shirts and floppy shoes screaming near 1st & 2’d red line on surface streets and 80+ on the freeway in Minneapolis.

      • eric
        June 12, 2014 at 5:41 am

        ” I did find it mentally disconcerting to see several-2 up GSX’r squids wearing shorts, t-shirts and floppy shoes screaming near 1st & 2′d red line on surface streets and 80+ on the freeway in Minneapolis.”

        Ditto, Gary.

        How-evah: I also find it disconcerting to witness 300-plus pounders in short-shorts at Wal Mart. But I would never think of siccing cops on them, in order to force them to “eat right and exercise.” What they’re doing is obviously risky, but it is after all their life to risk.

        Too bad so few Americans get that anymore.

        • Garysco
          June 12, 2014 at 5:53 am

          True enough Eric. But my old been-there-done-that motorcycle brain wanted to grab them around the neck and shake just a bit.

          • eric
            June 12, 2014 at 6:05 am

            Sure!

            I feel the same urge whenever I see a disgusting fatbody (cue R. Lee Emerey voice)… especially a young one. I suppress the urge to give advice. You’re going to be an arteriosclerotic, diabetic cripple spending most of your time at the doctor’s and most of your money on doctors by the time you’re 50 if you don’t drop the 100-plus pounds of lard you’re carrying around.

            But, it’s their life – and none of my business – so I shut up and mind my own bidness… .

            Whatever happened to that, I wonder?

          • David
            June 14, 2014 at 1:10 pm

            Its worse than that. It would be one thing if they just “commented.” I’d settle with the politicians saying “you know, you really should do this” if they stopped sending armed goons when we don’t.
            And yes, it definitely makes me angry. I can’t help but think about it.

            What do we do?

  8. richb
    June 11, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    I was talking with a friend the other day about cars and motorcycles. How they have changed in the last couple of years, both good and bad. We were coming to the conclusion that if motorcycles were invented today instead of hundred years ago, there would be absolutely no way to get them on the road. It would never be allowed.

    We were speculating of what we are missing out on today because they weren’t invented before the mindless regulation suffocated everything. Hard to measure something like that isn’t it?

    His business actually is a victim of this idiotic over regulation. He has a great automotive product in the racing business, but has no way to break into a more mainstream auto market. Not that he couldn’t come up with something that would sell, but it would cost so much to get it past regulators, it’s never going to happen.

    • eric
      June 12, 2014 at 5:51 am

      Agreed, Rich.

      Motorcycles are only allowed because they predate the current regime (not Obama, the regime). But they are being slowly suffocated out of existence, I assure you. Via the same means applied to cars. Regulations and mandates.

      Prediction: “Safety” requirements will shortly be applied that (first) make bikes increasingly unaffordable and (second) absurdly over-complex and “throw-away” after a few years on the road. This is already happening.

      Been to a bike store lately?

      • David Ward
        July 3, 2014 at 6:42 pm

        Eric,

        E85 will kill motorcycling in the USA. I’ve never heard or seen a bike that can run on almost pure grain alcohol. Maybe it can’t be done somehow But I doubt the foreign jobbers will do it. Not cost effective. It will be exactly like how the USA doesn’t have fuel efficient diesel cars now due to regulations.

        David Ward
        Memphis, Tennessee

        • eric
          July 4, 2014 at 9:05 am

          Hi David,

          The new (and recent) stuff may be able to handle it. But the older stuff – especially those bikes with carbs – is in for rough times.

          Dom may chime in about the problems he’s had recently with his old Kaw…

  9. helot
    June 12, 2014 at 4:25 am

    Sometimes, I’ll stop off at the local low-class dive bar and I’ll try and talk up the people I meet.
    Sometimes I get somewhere, but tonight, I got nowhere, and it was amazing how I was, to put it bluntly, cock blocked at every twist and turn in trying to spread the lewrockwell.com and ericpetersautos.com message.

    It was like the people around us had some kind of radar and homed in on defeating any attempt to talk about freedom and liberty. It was Very weird.

    To start things off, the bartendress caught wind of my conversations and she made a loud note of cutting me off, even though I was two sheets this side of wasted while those around me staggered while I didn’t waver.

    Then, after I paid the other bartendress two Bucks to write down the address of Lewrockwell.com and ericpetersautos.com on a sheet of scrap paper in order to pass it off to some dudes I was talking to,… you shoulda seen his buds just swarm me and basically cock block me from having any interaction with the dude. [They seemed so gay in their passion to block any discussion of freedom and liberty. It just about gagged me.]
    I think they somehow noticed from the bartendress what was written down, and, I’ll be damned, they did everything in their power to make sure I didn’t deliver the message to their “friend”.

    It was an amazing sight to behold.

    It was like they huddled around the dude. I half expected them to chant “Hut, hut, hut” like the Swat guys do on the films making fun of Swat guys.

    They weren’t going to let any notion of truth seep into the consciousness of their friend or get anywhere near close to him.

    It was a surreal thing to see. I’m telling ya.

    It was clear that the guys surrounding the ‘maybe open minded dude’ were totally closed minded. It was as if they were androids.

    I’m a kick ass kind of person and I made my way past ‘The Wall’ his “friends” had built around him and delivered the message anyway.
    I told ‘em, “Just stick it your pocket and think about it tomorrow.”

    No way, says he. His ‘friends’ had too much influence on him.
    He just had to show it to his friends and ask them wHAt they thought.
    I snorted with contempt and knew I’d wasted my time and walked the fuck out of there.
    Some children are dumb, I guess, EVen If, they seem otherwise.
    Oh well, I tried.
    I’m surprised they didn’t come after me to try and kick my ass or something.

    Whole room full of brain dead idiots.

    I imagine that’s how it is everywhere across the land.

    There was no, sense of a “Moment’s Feel of Freedom” in this so-called hard-core bar.
    The Clovers of the world would have felt Very much at home in that bar.
    Purgatory. Ha! Brainwashed pussies is more like it.
    Boot-licking mofo’s.

    Rock-N-Roll Wednesday night!

    And, if that’s any indication. The empire has a good foothold made up of a legion of cads.

    • eric
      June 12, 2014 at 5:25 am

      Morning, Helot!

      I know this story, mang. Those guys want to talk about fuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhtttttttttball or pussy. They’ll get all “damned straight” if you start talking about “nuking” the “ragheads” but you’ll be on shaky ground if you start talking about WT7.

      They love “freedom” – but aren’t much interested in discussing it.

      • Jean
        June 12, 2014 at 9:33 am

        And far less interested in DOING something about it.

        I mean the basics: Write to a congressman, for example.
        That’s too much like work.

        People wonder why I despair?
        Our icons are bigger pussies than our CIC… No more Harley Davidson or Marlboro Man ALLOWED in this society, little Jimmy has to have his extra-lacey thong “Days of the week” panties tucking his dirty bits inside so he can be a sweet little femme….

        It’s enough to make you sick, when you realize the patina of death the low-info single-issue voters are allowed to drown us in….

        Women: Can’t be women, must be MASCULINE.
        Men: Can’t be men, must be FEMININE.
        Boys: Should play with dolls, sit and do as told.
        Girls: Should want to play sports, compete, be aggressive – but never pay the price for their actions.

        Corporations: Are people before the law.
        People: Are children before the law, incompetent to do anything without Gunvermnent’s permission slips. This INCLUDES renovating a bathroom, for example. No wiring changes needed, just removing the effing tub.

        Producers: Taxed to oblivion, startup costs ensure no possible profits for decades. All to comply with OSHA, EEOC, patents, get a lawyer(s) on retainer, establish manufacturing facilities (if any), insurance, medical insurance for employees, office space, etc, etc, etc.

        We need a nuke in Mordor on the Potomac. That’s where the Ragheads really are…

        Saddest thing is, most people are supportive of the lower-case-c conservative ways. The Rethuglicunts are not conservatives, of course, and a fair number of people realise that.
        We are the silent majority, interested in living our lives without intrusion from others, nor intrusion into others’ lives.
        But we have a LOT OF VERY VOCAL PROGRESSIVES.

        We need to deal with them, sooner or later. They’ll never leave us alone; they’re trolls, essentially, they get off on inflicting themselves on others…

        THAT is the enormity of our problems. 80% or so of society, assuming a pareto principle. Unfortunately, cloverism/statism/nannyism is contagious; it may have gotten far worse by now, especially with mass media induced stupidity/somnambulence.
        My generation is waking up too late; the next few generations? Don’t seem to be waking up at all… And the use of psychotropics in children (child abuse, if done by anyone but a STATE-LICENSED shrink), echoing shades of MK-ULTRA, is probably doing even more damage, making the fragmented psychadelic kaleidoscope of their stunted psyche incapable of even perceiving there’s a world out there, beyond the shards of the Matrix of authoritarian rules.

        • David Ward
          July 3, 2014 at 6:45 pm

          Writing to the thugs that made the laws is like asking a murderer not to kill you. Why bother? Do you think his conscience is going to bend and say, “Oh my! That poor soul..”. Wise up.

          David Ward
          Memphis, Tennessee

      • David
        June 14, 2014 at 1:12 pm

        Hmm… I wonder if modern American sex-obsessed culture and the decline of our liberties are related at all.

        • eric
          June 14, 2014 at 1:51 pm

          Hi David,

          The violent aspects of the culture bother me a lot more than the sex aspects. Sex – as such – strikes me as fundamentally benign. Consenting adults, enjoying themselves. No one’s harmed – that I can tell.

          The example of the Bonobo chimps is interesting. Unlike your standard chimp – who is violent, coercively hierarchical and generally unpleasant, the Bonobos are rather Libertarian. They rarely fight – and seem to resolve conflicts/diffuse tension via, well, sex.

          The problem human culture has with regard to sex is not the sex; it’s the often very overt degradation and violence involved.

          Another case in point: In most Western European countries, sex is not the taboo/hang up it is here. There is – and has been – full nudity on the TV for years. Prostitution is legal. Yet their societies are less rather than more violent than ours.

          So, I submit it’s not “free sex” (or open sexuality) that correlates with loss of liberty. It’s general approval of aggression as a legitimate way to achieve one’s ends, rather than peaceful cooperation.

    • Bevin
      July 4, 2014 at 1:04 am

      Dear helot,

      “The truth is not for all men, but only for those who seek it.”
      Ayn Rand

      “The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody has decided not to see.”
      ― Ayn Rand

  10. Anti Federalist
    June 13, 2014 at 12:06 am

    Helmets in cars?

    More people are killed every year by slips trips and falls around the home than are killed in cars or on motorcycles.

    Therefore I demand laws be passed that make helmet and fall harness protection mandatory, to be worn during all waking hours. Furthermore I demand in home surveillance and random spot checks to monitor and enforce compliance.

    After all, if it saves just one life.

    (I prolly should not fool around like that, Idiot AmeriKa will actually start demanding that.)

    • BrentP
      June 13, 2014 at 12:35 pm

      Back before bicycling was taken over by the ‘baby on board’ generation the ‘helmet wars’ raged. This is where I learned that head injuries were far more common and likely when driving than when bicycling.

      Although bicycle helmets are best called foam hats. They aren’t like real helmets at all. There are so many activities that are more dangerous than bicycling where wearing a foam hat is silly, so it’s silly for standard bicycling activities too.

      • c_dub
        June 13, 2014 at 3:23 pm

        Agreed Brent. I almost exclusively commute via bicycle and never wear a helmet. Here’s a good talk regarding bicycle helmets.

        TEDx Copenhagen – Mikael Colville-Andersen – Why We Shouldn’t Bike with a Helmet
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07o-TASvIxY&feature=kp

    • David
      June 14, 2014 at 1:13 pm

      LOL! Yeah, Americans probably would demand that.

  11. MikeFromWichita
    June 13, 2014 at 8:51 am

    Clover“I reject your premise. ”

    Fine Eric you do that, BUT………..my premise IS the world we live in soooooo I would suggest you learn to deal with that Reality as almost all the rest of us simply decline to allow you exercise your ‘freedom’ and hand us the bill.Clover

    • eric
      June 13, 2014 at 8:55 am

      I’m not handing you a bill for anything, Clover. Never have, either.

      That’s the salient point you continue to avoid.

      You insist on coercing/punishing me (and others like me) not for anything we’ve done that resulted in a tangible harm to anyone. But because you feel we “might” cause harm, or “incur costs.”

      Your feelings aren’t my problem, Clover. Only my actions – if they cause you or some other person harm.

      It’s your attitude that’s the problem – the reason “we” suffer under a government that refuses to accept any limits whatsoever, that will not leave people alone, ever.

      You want liberty? Then accept people’s right to be left in peace.

      Otherwise, there can be no liberty.

      Which seems to be what you desire.

      • ozymandias
        June 13, 2014 at 12:58 pm

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xotWaUIAuC4

        every piece of this is man’s bullshit. they call this war a cloud over the land. but they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say ‘Shit, it’s raining!’

        & conscripts, “citizens”, who realize, or decide, that they’re not amphibians after all, still must contend with confederate (& yankee) “home guard” scorpions always at their backs….

        the american revo was a civil war, the first step in a mutiny for control of the ship of state – & the booty that conquest would garner.

        the frame is the reward for the artist (edgar degas). art is limitation. the essence of every picture is the frame. (g.k. chesterton)

        the framers were artists who supplanted, reframed, a monarchy with their own oligarchy. the centralizing, consolidating, con-stitution was the shot not heard round the world in a re-declaration of war by the new, even worse than the old, bosses of the captive population.

        would be “southron” oligarchs, humming “roll me over (in the clover, roll me over lay me down and do it again), spewing their own noble gasses, tried for a second lightning strike.

        a man can be an artist… in anything…creasy’s art is death.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_hLvWmytTo

        creasy artists work in rembrandt’s shop. it’s the colour of master framer law that supports & maintains their position in the hierarchy.

        & the vichy collaborators, stockholm syndromees, “reeks” in love, comprising the massive base levels of the pyramid, are always everywhere. including wichita. how many pharaoh entombments is it necessary to see to realize most have always been & will always be the tobacco in chain smoking human hierarchy?

        secondhand smoke…breathe deep, the gathering gloom…or, find some fresher air.

  12. Gabe
    June 17, 2014 at 10:51 am

    It’s funny, as a rider myself, I watch some of the forums and laugh at the bickering that goes on between the all-gear vs. no gear crowds.
    While I ride with boots, jeans, jacket, gloves, and helmet (half-helmet, I have a big head), that’s my choice. I low sided some years back doing about 40 while wearing that setup and got a little road-rash (ground through the jacket) and a couple minor breaks, but overall I was fine. My gear was trashed, but it served its purpose.
    If someone wants to ride with flip-flops, shorts, wife-beater, and a full-face helmet on a rice rocket, I may shake my head, but that’s my feelings and they have no effect on that person. They do what they chose and it doesn’t effect me.

    One thing I will ‘caution’, Eric. You said, paraphrasing, that those passing laws around motorcycles and guns aren’t riders or gun owners themselves, so they don’t know what they’re talking about. Laws and discussions/arguments are two different things, but it’s getting dangerously close to the appeal to authority or genetic logical fallacy. I can’t count the number of times I’ve gotten into arguments with people over law or economics and have gotten “Are you a lawyer/economist? No? So you don’t know what you’re talking about.” If we take this pathway to law, we could have someone who’s ridden thousands of miles on a sportbike track as an ‘expert’ on motorcycles and have them say “Of course it’s much safer to ride in full leathers and a helmet. Anyone who doesn’t is just stupid.”

    • eric
      June 17, 2014 at 12:29 pm

      Good point, Gabe.

      It’s not about “authority” – or even whether “x” is objectively “good” (or “sensible”).

      It’s about who gets to decide.

      If I own me, then it’s my decision to make.

      Clover believes he owns me (and you, too). Thus, he wishes to decide for us.

  13. June 20, 2014 at 8:26 am

    To get to those moments, take it all in, embrace it closely, squeeze it even tighter still, really look at it, feel the life in it, now release it, let it go, give it freedom, but retain and rapture in your retained memory of it.

    When MFW boils your blood for a few minutes. Let it bubble. And then move on. Forget MFW. Consider MZF: Mellow Zen Fridays.

    People say “You just need to cheer up!” it is this kind of inane advice that leads to the downfall of a civilization: We’re treating sadness like it’s a heart attack or a seizure, something that requires an emergency response.

    It’s not – it’s a perfectly normal, valid state of mind. Sometimes things don’t go your way, so you get sad about it. then things get better and you’re happy and the happiness is sweeter because you remember being sad.

    This belief that a normal, well-adjusted human should be happy every waking moment is killing us. It trains us to be constantly seeking little pleasures and distractions (Video games, porn, food, weed) to prevent deep reflection on a bad situation, to the point that we consider a “normal” mood is just a state of breezy distraction.

    I mean, think about it. any kind of success (Financial, personal, spiritual, whatever) depends on your ability to delay gratification. You tolerate the tedious hell of learning a new task, and then it pays off after you’ve learned it.

    You tolerate the humiliation of failing at something new until you get good enough not to fail. But during the hard part—the soreness that comes before the muscle—you have all these voices telling you, “Any pain and sadness you feel isn’t normal and needs to be cured immediately.”

    So you quit and go masturbate and take a nap. Then you wake up and find its 20 years later and your life hasn’t advanced an inch.

    http://i.imgur.com/KfCfkHz.jpg

    Once we are facing the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.

    http://99u.com/articles/20576/5-ways-to-do-nothing-and-become-more-productive

    http://i.imgur.com/s2XXtDI.jpg

    “Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie.

    Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. an alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.”

    https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/19426990-the-time-keeper

    http://assets.diylol.com/hfs/2a1/61b/716/resized/zen-draping-meme-generator-look-into-my-eyes-i-m-totally-draping-you-right-now-a77ecd.jpg?1331835355.jpg

    Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

    http://www.lolhome.com/img_big/zen-meow.jpg

    The truth knocks on the door and you say, “Go away, I’m looking for the truth,” and so it goes away. Puzzling.

  14. Dr Jett
    July 3, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    As July 4th approaches, I read the old helmet debate here. Nothing has changed much since these laws were first passed by Gestapo orientated individuals hoping to persuade people to quit riding their motorcycles by making them wear helmets. I started riding when only outlaws or delinquents would want to ride motorcycles and their were no helmet laws because nobody cared. That was 1966 and I wore a black HD motorcycle jacket. I wore a helmet when I felt like it.
    Luckily I had a half shell helmet on the day a car turned left in front of me. I hit her right front fender and destroyed her windshield with my helmet as I preceded to cartwheel across her hood and ended up on my back in the middle of the street. That was 46 years ago today.
    I also fell asleep on my 1st BMW in 1978; throttle set at 85MPH. I woke up going off of the road at a lower speed, maybe 60 before I crashed. A motorist stopped and told me that I had been knocked out for about 15 minutes and that he had called the cops for me. “Thanks alot.” I replied. I didn’t think that I needed to get a ticket. The cop was a great guy and dropped me off on the freeway to hitchhike home. He stored my bike at his farm until I could make it back there several months later to pick it up. I had bought an R90S in Cleveland and unloaded it to put my wrecked R90/6 in the trailer. A hitchhiker drove my car & trailer while I rode my bike back to Az. Great adventures require the willingness to take a risk occasionally and the Grace of God.
    I wasn’t wearing a helmet because I couldn’t afford the wind drag on my neck wearing an open face helmet with goggles. I had just completed a 1200 mile endurance race in 18 hours from Phoenix, Az to Dallas, Tx to go to a Gestapo court and I was facing headwinds for 2 days coming back home. The lesson is don’t wait to stop to get coffee when you are tired; DO IT! A helmet may or may not make a differenceas these two examples show although I usually wear one.
    Cost to others= none.

    • David Ward
      July 3, 2014 at 6:52 pm

      Great post Doc, did ya see the vid of the kid that had no helmet and cartwheeled over a car that turned in front of him? He walked away with very minor injuries. Oh and I mean literally walked away.

      P.S. the bike was totaled but he wasn’t. :)

      Here is the link if you want to see it.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJRy06GnTUE

      • Dr Jett
        July 6, 2014 at 5:17 pm

        Yeah David, That was a reminder that I liked although he did a more spectacular cartwheel and I’m glad to hear he walked away.

  15. Get Real
    July 29, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    With no helmet law in Iowa, the question of whether to helmet-up causes me to be fully aware of my safety.

    • eric
      July 29, 2014 at 6:00 pm

      I envy you that, GR!

      Enjoy it while you can….

  16. Get Real
    July 29, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    Oh, btw, that picture of Tom Cruise is from a scene where the tie-down straps on his handlebars are visible. Heh…

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