Real Biker Challenges Sons of Anarchy Star To
The star of "Sons of Anarchy" just got an invitation to get his face
bashed in by a real-life member of a motorcycle club who has a SERIOUS beef with
the creator of the show.
It's all over some pretty incendiary
comments made by "Sons" creator Kurt Sutter -- aimed at the stars of
"The Devils Ride" ... a Discovery Channel reality show about the
Laffing Devils motorcycle club in San Diego.
Sutter's tweet read, "Watched Devils
Ride. Probably get in trouble for saying this, but I'm pretty sure my SOA actors
could kick the sh*t out of this 'real' MC."
Obviously, the Devils weren't happy about
TMZ spoke with a guy named Sandman -- a
very scary member of the club -- who tells us, "I am concerned that Kurt's
creative mind is stuck in make-believe land with his recent comment on
Sandman adds, "Here's a reality check
for ya Kurt ... I am sending a personal invitation to your pretty faced Kurt
Cobain look-alike star Jax to come down to San Diego and prove your point."
Yes, Sandman just challenged Charlie
Hunnam to a fight.
And he ain't done yet ... Sandman
continues, "And tell him to wear those shiny white kicks too. I hope he's a
size 11, I could use some new shoes."
Sandman even mentioned Sutter's wife --
actress Katey Sagal -- saying, "I am a big 'Married with Children' fan, can
you have Peg send me an autographed picture? I would appreciate it." more
on this story
After 107 years in Milwaukee, Harley could leave
By DINESH RAMDE (AP)
MILWAUKEE — It's the roar that made Milwaukee famous — the distinctive
throaty rumble of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. But that much-loved racket could
be rumbling away to another state if the company cannot bring down its labor
Harley- Davidson warned employees in April that it will move its Wisconsin
manufacturing operations elsewhere if it cannot cut millions of dollars at the
factories that build the bikes known as "Milwaukee Iron."
Harley's corporate headquarters would remain here, but that's small consolation
to a community that has already endured repeated blows to its civic identity.
"When you think of Milwaukee you think of beer, brats and
Harley-Davidson," said Steve Daily, a researcher at the Milwaukee County
Historical Society. "Right or wrong, that's what it is."
But that's been changing. For example, beer giant Miller Brewing Co. moved its
headquarters to Chicago in 2008 after merging with Molson Coors Brewing Co. Then
there was Schlitz, which billed itself as "the beer that made Milwaukee
famous" until financial and labor problems forced it to sell out to a
Detroit company in the 1980s.
That leaves Harley-Davidson Inc. as the city's lone signature brand. It's also a
magnet for tourists, many of whom want to visit the factories where Harley
engines are made.
"We get asked frequently where the plants are," said Paul Upchurch,
the president of the VISIT Milwaukee tourism bureau. "A lot of people
around the world associate Milwaukee with the home of Harley."
Harley chief executive Keith Wandell said the company will make its decision on
whether to move in the next two months. Harley executives are already scouting
out other states, though Wandell will not say which ones.
The company, he said, would also be open to incentives to keep the 1,630
manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin. But the idea that it could move production
elsewhere stuns many Harley loyalists.
"You can't describe it. They've got so much history here. They've just
become the blood of the community," said Tom Steepy, a lifelong rider and
the director of the suburban Milwaukee chapter of the Harley Owners Group, or
HOG. "If they moved their manufacturing, it would just create a void you
Harley has been a local fixture for more than a century. It all started in 1903
when 23-year old William S. Harley and 22-year old Arthur Davidson began selling
motorcycles built in a cramped wooden shed.
The company later built motorcycles for the U.S. military in both world wars,
which helped introduce the bikes to a global audience that saw them as an
"They symbolize the classic American values of independence and hard work,
freedom, all those values," said Kanti Prasad, a marketing professor at the
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee business school. "Harley-Davidson is a
uniquely American phenomenon."
And a Milwaukee phenomenon. Prasad said when he travels to Europe, China or
Japan most people respond blankly when he says he's from Milwaukee. Then he
points out it's Harley's hometown and their faces light up with recognition.
As storied a company as Harley has been, it's weathered some rough spots, too,
most notably in 1984, when a banker had the option of allowing the company to
refinance a $90 million loan or forcing them to declare bankruptcy.
At the last minute, the banker allowed the company to refinance. According to
the story, it's because he owned a Harley.
The famed motorcycles have also had a long history with Hollywood. They've
appeared in films from "Easy Rider" to the more recent "Simpsons"
movie. Elvis Presley rode one. And so did the Fonz in "Happy Days" —
the classic TV sitcom that was set in Milwaukee.
So if the Milwaukee-Harley marriage is so solid, how could the company even
think of straying?
Company spokesman Bob Klein said Harley wants to remain faithful, but its
production schedule needs to be more closely aligned with seasonal demand, a
change that would require approval from labor unions.
Negotiations with the unions began in late July. The president of Harley's
largest union did not return multiple messages seeking comment.
Prasad, the UW-Milwaukee professor, doesn't see Harley's threat to move simply
as a negotiating tactic. A company with a 107-year history is more concerned
with the next 100 years than with making idle threats to extract short-term
advantages, he said.
Harley benefits the city's image and its bottom line. When the company turned
105 two years ago, some 100,000 fans from around the world joined the Milwaukee
But even if Harley's production goes elsewhere, there's still a tourist draw
here — the popular Harley-Davidson Museum. Whether that's enough to help
Milwaukee cling to the brand that keeps it on the map is another question.
Either way, the loss of Harley production would be another painful drop of water
in the erosion of the city's proud working-class history, Milwaukee historian
John Gurda said.
"It's important to have that identity. You need a certain level of civic
self-confidence," Gurda said. "And Harley-Davidson, that's a brand
that's been imprinted on America's imagination unlike any other Milwaukee-made
FROM MRF: April 23, 2010
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) has learned that, in a hearing held
this week by the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Senator
Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) repeatedly called for a national mandatory helmet law.
The hearing, entitled "Opportunities to Improve Highway Safety,"
focused on areas that need improvement when it comes to the landscape of highway
injuries and fatalities.
In his opening statement, Lautenberg said that there should be a mandatory
motorcycle helmet law for all riders in America. This is typical for the
86-year-old senator. He has routinely attempted to put a federal mandatory
helmet law in place before. Lautenberg currently chairs or sits on every single
senate committee that has jurisdiction over roads and road safety.
During this hearing, Lautenberg was not alone in his quest for an all-rider
federal helmet law. As expected, the spokesperson for the Advocates for Highway
Safety also voiced their opinion that a national helmet law is a good idea.
Fortunately, the hearing didn't only focus on the helmet debate; in fact, very
little of it did. There were other issues covered such as impaired driving,
distracted driving, and big trucks.
As always, the MRF will keep you informed on this and all issues affecting
motorcyclists from Washington DC.
From The Winston Salem Journal
Published: April 26, 2010
This letter is dedicated to all the people who were involved in the Triad
Flight of Honor, which took our group of World War II veterans to Washington on
April 17: the sponsors, our chaperones, all the people who came out so early to
see us off, the volunteers who saw to all our needs and those who helped us to
the plane, especially the ones who needed wheelchairs.
The honor guard that greeted us, Rolling Thunder, was comprised of Vietnam
veterans. There must have been at least a hundred of them, all holding American
flags and saluting us. I was very proud to see that they were taking care of us.
The entire trip was so very meaningful, especially visiting the World War II
and Air Force memorials and the Iwo Jima memorial, dedicated to the Marines.
When we returned, there was a large crowd of people there just to welcome us
back home. I was very touched. People I didn't even know were shaking my hand,
saying, "Thank you for your service." It was hard to keep from
It made me proud all over again to be an American, living in this great
country, being with so many others who shared the same feelings. There were more
than a hundred of us, and I did not hear one complaint the entire day. Perhaps
that's something that our generation learned from our experiences.
gather for motorcycle safety
Baton Rouge, LA - Hundreds of motorcycles surrounded the State Capitol
on Sunday. Bikers gathered to kick off motorcycle safety month which
begins in May.
An estimated 600 people came out to bring awareness to motorcycle
safety. More than one hundred riders died in bike accidents in 2009.
Elizabeth Webb lost her son and little Shaye lost a father. Webb said
in April of 2009 someone carelessly drove out in front of Matthew Webb
as he rode on his motorcycle. She said that person took Webb's life and
changed hers forever.
"He was a good son," said Webb."Living with this is
like living in a nightmare. The only time you get away from this is when
According to state police, last year 104 people died in motorcycle
accidents in Louisiana. That was a jump from 2008 when the reported
deaths were 81.
"We want to leave our house, go take a ride, enjoy our rides and
make it home," said Baton Rouge Police
Chief Jeff LeDuff. "Just watch out for us."
Chief LeDuff was in a motorcycle accident himself in late 2009. He
said it is time for people to recognize that bikers have rights to the
road as well.
"If people would look left, right, then left again, there would
be less accidents," said Webb. "There's never a day that goes
by that we don't cry."
Webb said the person who hit her son was never charged. A bill, set
to be discussed by lawmakers Monday would increase penalties for drivers
cited for failure to yield in the right-of-way.
Motorcyclists ask Legislature for fair treatment – Jan 24,
2010 – Washington
By Marks Goldenshiteyn
Motorcyclists ask Legislature
for fair treatment – Jan 24, 2010 – Washington
– By Marks Goldenshiteyn - Riders say law enforcement harasses them; bill
addresses issue - Donnie Landsman has grown accustomed to those fleeting looks
of disapproval and trepidation. When drivers pull up
alongside his motorcycle on the highway, they grip their steering wheels a
little tighter and tell their kids to look away. Landsman said he’s been
denied service at restaurants for wearing a bandanna and a leather vest.
But Landsman, better known in the riding community as “Mr. Breeze,”
isn’t in a gang. The husband and father of three has been riding motorcycles
for about 40 years, and said he has yet to encounter anyone who belongs to
one. As the man who heads up legislative efforts for the Washington chapter of
ABATE (American Bikers for Awareness, Training, and Education), a motorcyclist
advocacy group, Landsman works to fight negative assumptions about riders.
stereotypes are particularly grating when they come
from law enforcement officers, who Landsman and others
say target bikers for selective
enforcement and even harassment. In
a word: profiling. “Motorcyclists
aren’t looking for special rights,” Landsman said.
“We want the same rights
that are afforded to every other section of the
population as American citizens and as citizens of
Washington State. We aren’t being
group found a champion in Rep. Steve Kirby, D-Tacoma,
who introduced a bill that would force local law
enforcement agencies to adopt a written policy
designed to condemn and prevent the profiling of
motorcyclists and to institute training to address the
police officials say such a measure would be
unnecessary. Capt. Jason Berry of
the Washington State Patrol says that there are
already policies in place that prohibit profiling of
any kind. And anyone who wants to can call in or go
online to report any misconduct. “We
do not profile any group according to what they ride
or drive,” Berry said. “We stop for violations of
the law and take the appropriate enforcement actions
as a result.”
Biker advocates point to an incident last year as
evidence that they are being singled out.
Last Jan, dozens of motorcyclists traveled to
Olympia for an event called Black Thu, an annual
motorcycle rights lobbying day. They
parked their motorcycles near the governor’s
mansion, as directed by parking personnel.
the meantime, the Washington State Patrol released a
statement to the media announcing the motorcyclists’
arrival. Part of that statement read: “Approximately
25 Bandito organized motorcycle gang members have
arrived on campus for the ABATE ‘Black Thursday’
event. They are showing their gang colors; however, we
do not expect any trouble. WSP troopers will be
closely monitoring this group.” While
the riders were inside the Capitol attempting to find
sponsorship for a bill that would stop motorcycle
profiling, the Washington State Patrol arrived and
began taking down license plate numbers.
None of the motorcyclists would have ever known
about the incident were it not for some video footage
that was captured as the officers were working. Some
officers are even shown ducking through bushes to
record the information. “That’s
gang activity, to go see our legislators?” Landsman
said. “I guess the idea is
that if bikers come in, we’re shutting the door and
beating them (legislators) up.”
leaders cite several other recent episodes of what
they see as profiling. And they say they have evidence
to show that law enforcement officials are not only
aware of motorcycle profiling, but that they had as
recently as eight years ago been circulating a
training pamphlet that encouraged it. In
December 2002, a permanent injunction was issued by
Thurston County Superior Court against the state and
the Washington State Patrol from using a document
called “Biker’s Basic – 101” as an outline for
training troopers and other officers.
A copy provided by ABATE’s attorney outlines the
three main motorcycle equipment violations in
Washington state (helmet, noise and handlebar height);
includes protocol for how to pull bikers over; directs
troopers to legally impound the motorcycle and
“book” the biker if possible; and tells them to
talk to riders about their patches, to take pictures
of their badges and bikes, and to be professional.
The first line reads: “Bikers are
dangerous.” “Now if that
isn’t a statement of profiling, I don’t know what
is,” Landsman said.
claims these protocols are still being followed and
that the state’s helmet, handlebar and noise laws
are being used as a false justification for pulling
Kirby, a South Tacoma Democrat, says he’s been
intrigued by the topic for a while. He
sponsored similar bills in 2003 and 2005, but they
garnered little attention. Lately,
he’s been wondering whether his long hair and beard
would make him a target if he ever got on a bike.
“I would be profiled too if I had a fancy
enough machine,” Kirby said, also stressing that his
measure has little to do with picking a fight with law
enforcement. “I think what you
have is a limited number of people in agencies that
have some sort of predisposition about bikers,” said
of the language used in Kirby’s House Bill 2511 is
borrowed from a measure passed in 2002 that required
law enforcement agencies to initiate policies to
reduce racial profiling. That law seemed to “work
overnight,” he said.
enforcement officials, meanwhile, deny that
motorcyclists are being targeted. “What
motorcycle profiling?” asked Don Pierce, executive
director for the Washington Association of Sheriffs
& Police Chiefs. “In traffic situations,
here’s who we profile: people who violate the
Six and 1/2 Lines
Kentucky - William, "Stay Puff" Hutchinson, 52, was westbound
on a 2002 Yamaha Motorcycle on Ky. 80 near the Windsor community about
3:50 p.m. when an eastbound 2002 Chevrolet pickup truck turned into the
path of the motorcycle, police said. The driver of the pickup, Jimmy R.
Sandusky, 24, of Windsor, was attempting to turn into a private driveway
when the accident occurred. Sandusky and a passenger in the truck,
Jessica Dilsaver, 23, of Bowling Green were belted and not injured in
the collision. Hutchinson, who was not wearing a helmet, was pronounced
dead at Russell County Hospital, state police said.
6 1/2 lines on Kentucky Connect described the end of a man's life in
south central Kentucky last Friday. One full line indicated that somehow
he was partially to blame because he was not wearing a helmet. No one
mentioned that virtually every bone in his body was broken. He had
massive internal injuries. William "Stay Puff" Hutchinson died
tragically. His story deserved better coverage. The killer was
interviewed but not the victim's family. Blame was placed on the victim
for not wearing a helmet and there was no reference for drivers to be
more aware of motorcycles.
If I sound a bit bitter, I am. You see, this man was my brother and
my friend. He had a family that relied on him. Am I angry with the
driver of the truck? Of course, he should have been paying better
attention. He should have seen my friend. He should not have been in
such a hurry to pull in the driveway. There is nothing that is that
important. However, hating them will not bring back my brother Stay
Puff. I feel they will be punished; unfortunately it will likely not be
in the criminal courts. He was just an old biker. I am sure there will
be some punishment in the civil court system. My real frustration is
with the media, both print and broadcast.
Stay Puff was my brother. Not by blood, but by choice. He watched
over me and me over him. We have a large family in the state and around
the country and we all mourned his passing yesterday. His life was
important. His death was tragic. He got a few lines, 30 seconds of
coverage. Most of his friends around the state did not find out, and
likely still do not know. There are just too many calls to make for
friends and family to communicate that kind of information. That was
what the news used to do, especially when something tragic happened.
This morning a young man was killed in a car accident. It was as
tragic as Stay Puff's accident. They had his picture on the TV. They
described the accident. They made no inference as to what might have
caused the accident. It was a single car fatality where the driver
appeared to lose control and the car rolled several times ejecting the
driver. That was it. Clear and concise with no moral judgments, not even
the slightest reference to any negligence on the part of the victim.
I cannot understand why that does not happen with motorcycle
accidents. That is not really true. I do believe I know, or at least it
appears to me that most news organizations, either actively or
unwittingly, support helmet laws. Instead of a complete story that would
have notified the public of a tragic death readers are given a snippet
of information that explains a biker was killed and had he been wearing
a helmet he would likely have survived.
There is little mention of running broadside into a car at highway
speed. After all, the occupants of the pickup truck were fine because
they were using their government mandated seat belts, they were
uninjured. No mention was made of his injuries, only the fact that he
was not wearing a helmet.
Freedom of the press is fundamental. Our right to express political
and cultural opinion is paramount to our continued freedom, but there is
such a thing as good judgment but using a man's death to push helmet
laws is immoral. I know that the rebuttal to this will be that "we
were simply reporting the facts", unfortunately in this case, as in
many, it was not all the facts.
Stay Puff would not have survived this accident had he been wearing
the most modern and sophisticated helmet available on the market today.
His entire body was broken. I was at the funeral. I saw what was
left of my brother. Every bone in his body was broken and twisted. He
had massive internal injuries. The driver killed my brother when he
turned in front of him. He did not see him, how often do you here
that? My brother could not stop and hit the side of a pick of truck at
highway speed. It might as well have been a house. The impact killed
him, not the lack of a helmet. The lack of attention killed him, not
the lack of a helmet.
This world is filled with what I call the "know betters", I
didn't coin the name but I find it fitting. They tell us how to live
better and safer lives. They all feel that they know what is best for
us. Most of them came from my generation. I believe it was the acid or
the mushrooms that did the damage. They became so
"enlightened" that they feel much wiser than the rest of us.
After all, my generation of the 60s and 70s was the first generation
to experience freedom from responsibility and consequence. Now many of
those same individuals think no one is smart enough to take care of
themselves and the government should do it. When people want to take
back some of that personal responsibility they feel threatened and try
to manipulate information to squelch it.
But I am rambling as I often do when I get started with this so I
will stop. I lost a great bother Friday. I mourn his loss with my
other brothers and sisters. As for the media and the no or know
betters. I would say you should be ashamed, but I think the majority
of our major media outlets have forgotten the concept of shame.
Motorcycle clubs stage quiet protest
Businesses waive ‘no colors’ policy, serve
hundreds of paying customers
KINGMAN - No major incidents or disruptions were reported Saturday after more
than 500 motorcyclists rolled into Kingman to protest a "no colors"
policy recently instituted by several local bars.
Bikers were even served at at least one of the bars they anticipated they
would be turned away from. And one bar avoided the controversy altogether by
"Why would they turn us away?" said Steve Musgrave, a member of the
Desert Thunder motorcycle club and a registered motorcycle rights lobbyist for
eight years. "Our money should be as good as everyone else's."
Musgrave rode 240 miles from Casa Grande to protest the move by several bars
in Kingman to post a "no colors" policy. Colors are defined as a
patch or insignia that identifies an affiliation with a motorcycle club,
although several people have said they've been asked to leave several recent
local events for wearing anything motorcycle-related, including
In July, motorcyclists in Kingman said they began to notice a visible police
presence by the State Gang Task Force at their ride events, including the
weekly Bike Night, where riders gather at a local establishment to eat and
Bike Night, which is sponsored locally by Performance Specialists, moved from
Chuy's on Stockton Hill Road to the Sonic Drive-In on Andy Devine in early
September after Chuy's instituted a "no colors" policy.
Riders wearing their club colors on Saturday expected to document people who
were turned away from Chuy's for a possible class-action lawsuit. Those who
arrived armed with discrimination forms, however, found no need for them after
they were served, despite wearing their vests.
Bikers were also served at Cerbat Lanes but were asked to leave the
Sportsman's bar. Police responded to the location at the request of the bar
owner but no arrests were made.
The owner of Mad Dog's closed the establishment Saturday afternoon and posted
a notice that as a business, they have the right to establish their own dress
Police had a highly visible presence around town and especially outside of the
American Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs' meeting, which was held at noon
Saturday at the American Legion Hall at E. Oak and Third Streets downtown. A
police helicopter circled in the air after the meeting had adjourned, while
several marked and unmarked police vehicles drove up and down the street.
Officers in at least one unmarked SUV were taking photographs and video
footage of people congregating outside of the meeting. Police from Bullhead
City also patrolled the area. Sgt. Bob Fisk with the Kingman Police Department
reported no incidents by mid- afternoon.
Anecdotall y, those inside and around the meeting traded stories about several
riders who had been ticketed or arrested on their way to Kingman, including
Sonny Barger, a founding member of the Oakland, Calif., chapter of the Hell's
Angels. Barger, 71, was allegedly arrested at a gas station on Interstate 40
just east of Kingman Saturday morning. At least one law enforcement official
confirmed the arrest but was unable to provide details.
Dan Balentine, president of the Kingman chapter of the Desert Road Riders,
said his club was scheduled last year to host this month's ACMC meeting. It
was originally scheduled to be held in Fort Mohave but was moved to Kingman so
that riders could protest not only the "no colors" policy, but what
the motorcyclists perceive as harassment on the part of police.
"We feel like law enforcement are the one who are trying to create a bad
image of us," Balentine said.
Police have been tight-lipped about what prompted the surveillance by the
State Gang Task Force in the first place, although Kingman Police Chief Robert
DeVries has said previously that police aren't targeting riders as a whole but
rather those involved in criminal and gang activity.
Musgrave said it is unfair for police to label motorcycle clubs as gangs.
"We are a club, not a gang. We have regular meetings and pay dues,"
he said. "Almost everybody here is a law-abiding citizen who has a job
and pays their taxes, just like everyone else."
Government Loses Mongols Case
The Aging Rebel praises decision.
California - The Mongols Motorcycle Club has won the fight over the
seizure of its trademarks. United States Attorney Thomas P. O'Brien has lost his
case. The club continues to own its name and its patch and has a
constitutionally protected right to continue to exist.
Last October 21st, a brash press release announced the unsealing of a
"racketeering indictment that (charged) 79 defendants" associated with
"the violent Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang." The headline grabbing
news in the release was that "The racketeering indictment seeks the
forfeiture of the trademarked 'Mongols' name, which is part of the 'patch'
members wear on their motorcycle jackets."
"In addition to pursuing the criminal charges set forth in the indictment,
for the first time ever, we are seeking to forfeit the intellectual property of
a gang," O'Brien bragged. "The name 'Mongols,' which is part of the
gang's 'patch' that members wear on their motorcycle jackets, was trademarked by
the gang. The indictment alleges that this trademark is subject to forfeiture.
We have filed papers seeking a court order that will prevent gang members from
using or displaying the name 'Mongols.' If the court grants our request for this
order, then if any law enforcement officer sees a Mongol wearing his patch, he
will be authorized to stop that gang member and literally take the jacket right
off his back."
Pulling the Mongols patch was unequivocally the principal point of the
indictment. The indictment culminated a three year-long domestic spying
operation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
called "Operation Black Rain." As of this writing, at least 25 former
members of the Mongols Motorcycle Club have pled guilty to Count One of the
indictment. That count alleges that the Club is a murdering, drug dealing
criminal enterprise. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the government coerced those
defendants into making those racketeering pleas in order to build its case
against the club as a whole.
Among the confessed criminal conspirators was former club President Ruben
"Doc" Cavazos who claimed ownership of the club's trademarks and
attempted to forfeit them to the government as part of his plea deal.
For at least six weeks, unrestrained and gloating ATF storm troopers and other
police officials have been harassing American citizens simply because they are
or may be or may have at one time been Mongols. Government agents have been
invading people's homes and breaking into their cars in order to steal their
In two rulings, on July 31st and August 6th, Federal District Judge
Florence-Marie Cooper has now put a stop to this.
In the case Ramon Rivera versus Ronnie A. Carter, Acting Director, Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); John A. Torres, Special Agent
in Charge, ATF Los Angeles Field Division; and Eric H. Holder, United States
Attorney General Judge Cooper enjoined "…the Government, its officers,
agents, servants, employees, and attorneys, and anyone in active concert or
participation with any of the foregoing persons, from seizing, or asking or
directing any other person or entity to seize, from Plaintiff any property or
item bearing or displaying all or part of the collective membership mark at
issue in (the case) United States v. Cavazos."
A week later Judge Cooper denied "the Government's Application for Entry of
Preliminary Order of Forfeiture as to Registered Trademarks, Pursuant to Guilty
Plea of Ruben Cavazos." In the same ruling Cooper also denied "the
Government's Motion for an Order Striking Motion by Movant Mongols Nation
Motorcycle Club, Inc. for Amendment of Post-Indictment Restraining Order."
The issue of the forfeiture of the Mongols trademarks has not yet been formally
decided. However, it is clear from the judge's discussion in Rivera that she has
already made up her mind.
The Mongols Marks
The government has sought to destroy the identity of the Mongols Motorcycle Club
by seizing two registered trademarks. The "verbal mark," is the word
"Mongols" when used to mean a particular motorcycle club. The
"visual mark" is a black and white drawing that depicts a Mongol with
a top knot, bell bottoms and cowboy boots, riding a rigid framed motorcycle and
brandishing a scimitar.
The government rationalized this seizure with the argument that Cavazos
"has admitted as part of his plea (and the undisputed evidence conclusively
confirms) that the Mongols Registered Trademarks were acquired and maintained by
defendant (Doc Cavazos) during and in the course of the operation of the RICO
enterprise." And, the argument was bolstered by more than a score of guilty
pleas that supported Cavazos admission.
Cavazos' "admissions also establish that the Mongols Registered Trademarks
afforded a source of influence over the RICO enterprise that (the) defendant
admits he established, operated, controlled, conducted and participated in the
conduct of, rendering the marks subject to forfeiture."
Chain Of Ownership
While he was running the club, Cavazos transferred ownership of the trademarks
to a corporation he owned called Shotgun Productions. Last August, his successor
as Mongols President, Hector "Largo" Gonzalez, transferred ownership
of those marks back to an unincorporated association named Mongols Nation. Then
Gonzalez transferred the marks in January 2009 to a newly-formed corporation
called Mongols Nation Motorcycle Club, Inc.
The government built its case for forfeiture on this complicated chain of
ownership. The Mongols Corporation, the government argued, had no standing to
claim ownership of the trademarks because it did not exist until this year. The
unincorporated association had no standing because it had relinquished its
ownership of the marks. Cavazos, the government's reasoning went, had stolen
ownership of the trademarks when he put them in the name of Shotgun Productions.
And at the moment of that theft the club became his criminal enterprise.
Until the middle of June Judge Cooper seemed to agree with the government's
argument. This month the lady changed her mind and blew the government's
arguments to smithereens. The key decision came in the Rivera Suit.
The Rivera Suit
Ramon Rivera is a Mongols patch holder who was not charged in the case United
States versus Cavazos. In Judge Cooper's words, "Plaintiff has often worn a
jacket or shirt displaying the collective membership mark, both at Club
activities and elsewhere. To Rivera, his display of the mark affirms his
membership in the Club, and symbolizes unity and brotherhood with his friends
and fellow Club members. Plaintiff has personal knowledge that if law
enforcement officers saw him wearing items displaying the Mongols mark, the
officers would confiscate those items. Due to the Government's threat of seizing
items displaying the mark, and its actual seizure of such items, Plaintiff is
chilled and deterred from publicly wearing or displaying any item bearing the
mark and is currently refraining from doing so."
So, with the assistance of the San Diego office of the American Civil Liberties
Union, Ramon Rivera sued the bastards.
The government sought to dismiss Rivera's suit on the grounds that he had no
standing. It is the same argument the government has used against the Mongols
corporation. And, Judge Cooper rejected that argument like this:
"…the Government acknowledges Plaintiff will be unable to participate in
any post-forfeiture ancillary proceeding because he claims no interest in the
collective membership mark. If Plaintiff were denied standing for having no
interest in the mark, Plaintiff would be denied any opportunity to challenge the
potential seizure of his property and the governmental intrusion upon his
rights. Plaintiff cannot be left without any remedy and must, therefore, have
standing to pursue his claims in this case."
The Government Cannot Seize The Patch
Then the Judge went on to completely demolish the government's attempt to seize
the Mongols trademarks.
"Even if the Court were to accept the Government's evidence that Ruben
Cavazos controlled the use of the mark during his tenure as National
President," Cooper wrote, "there is no support for the notion that a
defendant's control of property belonging to a RICO enterprise is sufficient to
establish a forfeitable ownership interest in the property. In addition, there
is no evidence that Ruben Cavazos owned a majority interest or any interest in
the Mongol Nation that would equate to an ownership interest in the mark. There
is no evidence that Shotgun Productions, LLC ever used the mark as a collective
membership mark - to indicate membership in an organization substantially
similar to that of the Mongol Nation. The purported assignment to Shotgun
Productions, LLC is therefore without legal effect. Moreover, the Government's
evidence demonstrates that the Mongol Nation began using the collective mark in
approximately 1969, and either Mongol Nation or Mongols Nation, Inc. continues
to use the mark to identify their members. The Mongol Nation and Mongols Nation,
Inc, by virtue of having used the collective membership mark since 1969, having
registered the mark in 2005, and having continued use of the mark to identify
members of the club, have acquired and maintained exclusive ownership in the
collective membership mark at issue."
In a direct rebuke of the ATF Agents who have been stealing patches, tee-shirts
and memorabilia from Mongols members and sympathizers the judge wrote,
"…even if the Court were to assume that the collective membership mark is
subject to forfeiture, the Court finds no statutory authority to seize property
bearing the mark from third parties…. only defendants' interests in the RICO
enterprise and the proceeds from their racketeering activity are subject to
The First Amendment
Finally, Judge Cooper accused the ATF of lying to her and of attempting to
suppress a constitutionally protected, political viewpoint.
"At the June 22 hearing," she wrote, "the Government revealed for
the first time that the mark it sought to forfeit was a collective membership
mark. Previously, in its Ex Parte Application for Post-Indictment Restraining
Order, the Government (in this case ATF Case Agent John Ciccone) referred to the
mark simply as a trademark, which was 'purportedly for use in commerce in
connection with promoting the interests of persons interested in the recreation
of riding motorcycles.' In contrast to commercial trademarks, which are used in
commerce and generally not entitled to full First Amendment protections,
collective membership marks are used by members of an organization to 'indicate
membership in a union, an association, or other organization.' The use and
display of collective membership marks therefore directly implicate the First
Amendment's right to freedom of association. The Supreme Court has recognized
that 'implicit in the right to engage in activities protected by the First
Amendment' is 'a corresponding right to associate with others in pursuit of a
wide variety of political, social, economic, educational, religious, and
cultural ends.' This right is crucial in preventing the majority from imposing
its views on groups that would rather express other, perhaps unpopular, ideas.'
Furthermore, clothing identifying one's association with an organization is
generally considered expressive conduct entitled to First Amendment
protection…. If speech is noncommercial in nature, it is entitled to full
First Amendment protection, which prohibits the prior restraint and seizure of
speech-related materials without a judicial determination that the speech is
harmful, unprotected, or otherwise illegal.
"Prohibiting speech of this nature constitutes an attack on a particular
viewpoint. In Sammartano (v. First Judicial District Court, in and for the
County of Carson City) the Carson City courthouse enacted a rule to prohibit
admission of those with 'clothing, attire or colors which have symbols, markings
or words indicating an affiliation with street gangs, biker or similar
organizations,' because 'such clothing or attire can be extremely disruptive and
intimidating, especially when members of different groups are in the building at
the same time.' The Ninth Circuit reasoned that the rule singles out bikers and
similar organizations for the message their clothing is presumed to convey, and
held that the rule impermissibly discriminates against a particular point of
view - the view of biker clubs as opposed to garden clubs and gun clubs. In this
case, the Government targets an even narrower group of individuals, a single
motorcycle club. In addition, the Government has been seizing property, which
imposes a greater restriction on individual rights than the denial of access to
a public facility. Accordingly, the seizure of property bearing a Mongols
membership mark should be considered viewpoint-discriminatory. The Government's
ability to seize property bearing the trademark acts as a prior restraint and
cannot stand without a judicial determination that the speech is harmful,
unprotected, or otherwise illegal. No such determination was ever sought by the
Government, and no such determination was ever made by the Court."
In other words the Mongols have won. The government has lost. The Mongols
trademarks belong to and will continue to belong to the
Mongols Motorcycle Club.
Police Step Up Presence For Biker Festival
Up To 70 Officers To Patrol At One Time
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Police said there haven't been any major problems
through the first two nights at Bikes, Blues and BBQ. But they're also not
taking any chances.
Police will be increasing their presence each night of the festival. By Friday
and Saturday night, there could be up to 70 police officers patrolling the
festival at one time.
Still, police said the thousands of bikers in town for the event are generally
"We typically don't have many problems with them. They come in, they
enjoy it, they leave," said Sgt. Bill Phelan.
Police said their biggest task might be just finding enough space for all of
"Most of our problems are once again, parking, the traffic issues,
pedestrians, and then we have some issues with public intoxication and
disorderly conduct," Phelan said.
Those last two issues don't pop up until the sun goes down.
"Once it gets later and the drinking gets heavier, you probably don't
want to have kids around," said Chad Mills, who took his young children
to the festival on Thursday.
But the police presence is strong, so Mill didn't think twice before bringing
his kids to check out the bikes.
"There's drinking and stuff going on but I've never experienced anybody
even being rowdy. Everyone smiles at the kids and waves at the kids. I feel
safe enough to bring them here," Mills said.
Local VFW enacts own form of justice
against flag burner
VALLEY FALLS -- Members of a local VFW hand down their own punishment after a
man burns an American flag on their property.
We're told the man burned the flag after a bartender at VFW Post 1938 in
Valley Falls wouldn't serve him alcohol.
"Alcohol does strange things to people," said post commander Nick
Normile, "but disgrace to the American flag, we can't tolerate
It's a lesson in patriotism that the disgraced local man--whose identity we're
protecting--may have learned the hard way at the VFW hall.
Members tell NEWS10 the flag burning happened last Friday night when the man
came in and was refused a drink because did not have the proper
identification. That's when they say he walked over the flag pole and did
something they consider unpatriotic in the extreme.
Normile explained, "He got mad, came outside, lowered the flag and set it
Normile says the flag that was burned belonged once flew over a fox hole in
Iraq. A fox hole that several U.S. soldiers never made it out of alive.
Normile, a Vietnam veteran himself, was so incensed over the flag burning that
he hunted the man down.
"I found him on Sunday and I duct taped him to the flag pole,"
Normile said bluntly. "He didn't deny it, said he was drunk. Let's just
say he volunteered to sit out here duct taped to the pole."
For six hours the man sat under the pole, wearing a sign describing his
actions. Passersby snapped pictures.
"I told him to sit there like those kids that were in that foxhole and
see what they felt like because you are only getting a small taste of what
they went through," Normile told NEWS10.
He adds the man learned his lesson, and with that lesson learned, Normile now
wants to protect the man from any violent retaliation.
Normile asked NEWS10 not to reveal the man's name to also protect the young
The bits of the flag that survived will be retired during an official
miffed by Dress Code at Street Drags
2009 – Arizona - By Erin Taylor - A Kingman man says he was
asked to leave the drag races downtown over the weekend because of his
motorcycle vest. Sam Kormos, 43, said he was at the Napa Racing
Kingman Street Drags VI event Sat for about an hour when he was approached by
several security guards and asked to leave because he was wearing a
Harley-Davidson vest. Kormos, who is not affiliated with a
particular motorcycle club, said he had not been disruptive during the event,
which he was attending with his wife. He said he was singled out and
publicly humiliated simply for the way he was dressed. "I've
got everybody in the stands looking at me going 'I wonder what this guy has
done?'" Kormos said.
being escorted out of the event, Kormos said he was approached several
minutes later and told he could return, but the entire experience left a
bitter taste in his mouth. He feels the incident is an
extension of the harassment of motorcyclists by law enforcement and now
local businesses. Security at the event was provided by the
organizers. A call to their offices was not returned by
Bob Fisk with the Kingman Police Dept was at the event and learned that
the man had been asked to leave. He characterized the
incident as a misunderstanding that H-D was a motorcycle club rather
than a brand. "There was some confusion on the event
organizers' part," Fisk said. Fisk added that 2
people wearing Desert Road Riders patches were asked to leave because of
the event's "no colors" policy as determined by organizers.
Those two people returned to the event wearing different T-shirts.
Gang and Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement Missions, also known
as GIITEM, have had a visible presence in the community for several
months. Members of the task force and local law enforcement
often park across the street from the weekly Bike Night event in which
riders from various clubs get together and socialize.
event moved from Chuy's on Stockton Hill to the Sonic Drive-In on Andy
Devine 2 weeks ago, after several bars and restaurants around town
instituted a "no colors" policy.
said riders are being run out of Kingman. "You want to
run me out of town? I'll spend my money somewhere else," Kormos
Bikers Help Teen Look Cool for School
They're an unlikely
team. A teenage girl with a life long disease and big, tattooed biker dudes.
Both sides are getting a lot out of the partnership as the men are helping the
teen look cool for school.
Michigan - When you see a group of tough bikers pull into a parking lot,
probably the last place you think they would be going is shopping. However, the
bad to the bone biker image melted away when they met 14-year-old Brittney
Burke. She's a young girl recently diagnosed with scleroderma, a chronic, auto
immune disease that over time causes the skin and organs to harden.
"I am just so touched by their unconditional giving," said her mother
Like any teenager, Burke was nervous for her first day of high school. However,
that all changed when she meet the Huron Valley Night Hawks, who held a charity
ride and raised enough money to take her back-to-school shopping.
The Night Hawks became Burke's knight in shining armor. At Livonia's TJ Maxx,
the bikers, who looked more like her body guards, helped hold on to her clothes,
gave their opinions and even became her personal shoppers.
"It's nice to do that and it's like different seeing like bikers
shopping," Burke said.
The Night Hawks generosity and shopping skills impressed Burke, but she seemed
to make a lasting impression on these bikers.
"Just (knowing) that... somebody that young could go through something this
traumatic," said Len "Hacker" Noe. "She's completely
redefined what strength and courage... and just being strong really means."
"It just warms your heart to see her," said Chris Williamson.
"She's battling such a tough disease and... to see her smile and that we're
able to help her is phenomenal to me," said Chris Williamson.
It also warms the heart of Burke's mom, who had to quit her job to care for her
daughter and wouldn't be able to afford the clothes without their help.
"It's so nice to know and there's a relief to me when I lay my head down at
night that there are others that care about this disease to make a
difference," Price said.
"It's actually really nice. I didn't even expect any of this," said
On top of everything they've done already, the Huron Valley Night Hawks plan to
pick-up Burke from school on their motorcycles Tuesday, making her first day of
high school one day that she will never forget.
Source: My Fox Detroit
Staten Island Biker Saves Girl.
Saturday, August 29th 2009
Staten Island Hero Patrick Klatt rescued a girl who had been
abducted by an assailant still-at-large.
A baseball bat-wielding Staten Island homeowner was hailed as a hero after he
chased away a man who dragged a 15-year-old girl into the woods, police and
Patrick Klatt, 51, was inside his Great Kills home Thursday night when he heard
the young girl's screams from a wooded area across the street.
"He kept telling her to be quiet," Klatt said about the sicko.
"[But] she yelled just loud enough for me to hear."
Klatt grabbed a baseball bat and ran out his door.
As he crossed the street, the man saw Klatt approaching and fled.
"I ran in the woods as he was running out," Klatt told the Daily News
Ready to pursue the attacker, Klatt saw the young girl instead.
He stopped to help.
"I saw her halfway in and grabbed her by the hand," he said. "She
was shaking, crying."
The teen told Klatt her attacker had grabbed her by the throat. She was hurt and
her voice was raspy.
Klatt grabbed her hand and helped her to her feet.
"As long as you're with me, nobody's going to hurt you," Klatt assured
the distraught teen as he led her out of the woods.
Klatt brought the frightened girl back to his house and told his brother to call
The horrifying moment began as an innocent afternoon stroll for the young girl,
who is not being identified because she's the victim of an attempted sexual
As she walked to a friend's house, she passed a man on the street. He turned and
began following her.
Suddenly, he grabbed the teen and dragged her into the woods, police and
Klatt said saving the young girl was not an act of heroism.
"I didn't want to make a big thing out of it," Klatt said. "I'm
not a hero."
"I did what anyone should have done."
The teenager's family believes different - that Klatt saved the young girl's
"We are forever indebted to him," said a woman who identified herself
as the girl's aunt.
"We've never met him, but he's a hero," she said, on the verge of
tears. "We're so blessed with him helping."
The girl was treated for minor injuries from the attack. Her family said the
attack was severely traumatic for the teenager.
"He [the attacker] was choking her quite a bit," the aunt said.
"It could have been a terrible tragedy" if Klatt had not acted, the
The attacker is described as a Hispanic male, about 5-foot-5 and about 200
He was wearing a red shirt, police and witnesses said.
Klatt said he never thought twice about saving the young girl.
"I'd do it again in a heartbeat," he said.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2009/08/29/2009-08-29_si_baseballbat_wielding_neighbor_rescues_girl_from_abductor_in_woods.html#ixzz0Pcq4yjPj
WOW! This article doesn't lay
blame on lack of helmet usage or the repeal of Minnesota's helmet law. It
actually cites reasonable and possible causes.
Minnesota Motorcycle Deaths Increase
So far this year, 27 motorcycle riders have
died on Minnesota roads, compared to 25 at this time in 2009.
Minnesota - There were 72 motorcyclist fatalities in 2008, the most since
Motorcycles make up less than 5 percent of all registered vehicles, but
represented nearly 16 percent of the 455 motor vehicle fatalities last year.
There are nearly 225,000 registered motorcycles in Minnesota, a record high.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) reports the most common factors
attributed to motorcycle riders in crashes are speed, inexperience, inattention
and impairment – all within the rider’s control.
Motorcyclists should slow down, ride within their limits, stay focused and ride
sober. Last year, 47 percent of riders killed had been using alcohol—42
percent were over the legal limit of .08.
Cheri Marti, director of the DPS Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), said nearly
half of all motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle.
Marti said that because motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles, it is more
difficult to judge their speed and distance.
“Watch carefully for motorcycle riders this weekend, and expect to see them
throughout the summer and well into fall,” said Marti.
This article contributed by editor
on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 (00:01:36)
The First Banning of a MC s Colors – July 2009 – USA - By
L J James...
Please read and then sign the following petition, Just click
First Banning of a MC s Colors
– July 2009 – USA - By LJ James - If you
are a Member of a Motorcycle Club as I am, I'm sure you
have heard about how a Judge has banned the Colors of the
Mongols MC. Not only are the Members not
allowed to wear their Colors, but any item that's has
their Colors on it must be forfeited upon demand. I cannot expect many who are not in a
Motorcycle Club to understand what this really means!
years ago this would have struck fear into the soul of
every American Citizen! Today I am sure most
probably will not even hear about it and those that do
will probably not care!
has happen to this Country? I cannot believe this is
actually happening, I have been writing stories on this
of me had always hoped I was just being paranoid or that
all the MCs would somehow come together on some level and
work out the problems. I have been getting
emails on how the Story I wrote last year called
"Taken from a History book in the year 2095"
does not sound so farfetched anymore? Are there
Criminals in Motorcycle Clubs?
hear about Drug dealers, Rapists, Murderers in the
National Football League and in Major League Baseball
was the last time you heard of a Biker running a
Dogfighting ring? Can a Judge just ban the
Logo of a Sports Franchise if its Members are involved in
some kind of Criminal activity? You may
be saying No because it’s different. Well I
say it is only different because they haven't done it yet!
are the same problems in Motorcycle Clubs that there are
in all organizations.
Police force has much more Criminal Activity going on in
it then all the Motorcycle Clubs put together!
Only difference is they can bury the truth!
it comes to Motorcycle Clubs and criminal activity the big
difference is, The legend of Motorcycle Clubs is we are
America's bad boys and it just sells so damn good.
law cannot be allowed to stand!!! I am sure
some Sport Bike Clubs and AMA Club's feel they have
nothing to fear!
am sure many are thinking this has nothing to do with
them, It’s only the Outlaw and 1% Clubs! They are
thinking this isn't about us "we are the good
guys". This always happens this way, take down the
top level's first!
other levels will make excuses as to why it is not their
fight and stand aside. All Bikers must join the fight now
because once they are done with the Outlaw and 1% Clubs,
Who do you think they will be looking at Next? Once
the Outlaw / 1% Clubs are gone there will be no one left
to come and help when they come for you!
am pretty sure this is still America and this is
completely against everything this Country was founded on
and stands for! We all must ask, If this
ruling is allowed to stand what Motorcycle Club will it be
next? Will it be yours?
will the reasons be that they will use to ban your Clubs
patch? Will Jay walking be enough?
Is that too ridiculous? How about if
your an MC member and you get caught with a bag of weed?
Is that enough? Will there have to
be 2 Members involved? Three?
reason will they need to ban your Motorcycle Clubs patch?
When Motorcycle Clubs start having their Colors banned
many members will start or join new Clubs, Because that is
what we are Motorcycle Club Members! Soon the government
will realize this and then Ban Motorcycle Clubs all
together! Anyone who thinks their Club is not
at risk is kidding themselves!
time to unite and try to work together was yesterday!
Today we have no choice but to ban together and fight for
our right to survive for tomorrow it will be time to
if somehow all Motorcycle Clubs can come together and work
to win this fight, It is just the beginning and there will
be many more rounds to come.
we are to win this fight we MUST at least make it through
the first round, Then we will have a minute to pull
Ok, all of you Missouri bikers
register to vote if you aren't already and vote as you will. Governor Jay
Nixon probably doesn't know a thing about biking, helmets or their effectiveness. He
obviously doesn't care what you think either.
July 2, 2009
Gov. Nixon vetoes bill to repeal Missouri
helmet law; cites increased health care costs to taxpayers, public safety
as primary concerns
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Gov. Jay Nixon today vetoed Senate
Bill 202, legislation that would have repealed Missouri's helmet law for
motorcycle riders. In vetoing the bill, Gov. Nixon cited two primary
concerns: the significantly increased health care costs that could have
resulted from the repeal, and the safety of Missouri's motorcycle riders.
"In terms of lives and of dollars, the cost of repealing
Missouri's helmet law simply would have been too high," Gov.
Nixon said. "By keeping Missouri's helmet law intact, we
will save numerous lives, while also saving Missouri taxpayers millions of
dollars in increased health care costs. Keeping our helmet law in place
was the safe and cost-effective choice for Missouri."
Universal helmet laws, such as the law Missouri has had since 1967,
require all motorcycle riders to wear a helmet at all times while riding.
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA), the economic consequences of repealing such a law are clear. When
Florida repealed its universal helmet law in 2002, the cost to treat
patients diagnosed with head injuries as a result of motorcycle accidents
doubled, reaching a total of $44 million. [Traffic Safety Facts,
NHTSA, 2008] Nationally, one academic study estimated that the total cost
to treat motorcycle accident victims who were not wearing a helmet is
$250,231,734 a year more than the cost of treating victims who were
wearing a helmet [Economic Impact of Motorcycle Helmets: From Impact
to Discharge, Journal of Trauma-Injury, Infection & Critical
Data from health care providers and insurance companies indicate that
the taxpayers ultimately must pay for a significant portion of these
increased treatment costs. After the Florida repeal, 16 percent of injured
motorcyclists admitted to a hospital for treatment were either
under-insured or uninsured, and the costs for another 21 percent of those
admitted were billed to either charitable or public sources, such as
Medicaid. [Traffic Safety Facts, NHTSA, 2008]
The public safety implications of eliminating or weakening a universal
helmet law also are devastating. The NHTSA reports that helmets reduce the
likelihood of a motorcycle fatality by 37 percent; but without a helmet
law, riders more often choose not to wear protective headgear. As a
result, when states repeal their helmet laws, motorcycle fatalities
skyrocket. [Traffic Safety Facts, NHTSA, 2008]
According to an NHTSA report, in the 30 months following Florida's
repeal of its universal helmet law in 2002, the number of motorcycle
fatalities jumped sharply. That year, the state had projected 242
motorcycle fatalities in light of increased registration of motorcycle
riders. In fact, however, 301 motorcycle riders died in Florida in 2002 -
24 percent more than expected. For the two years before and after
Florida's repeal, fatalities per 10,000 motorcycle riders increased 21
percent in that state, compared with 13 percent nationally. [Evaluation
of the Repeal of the All-Rider Motorcycle Helmet Law in Florida,
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2005]
In other states where universal helmet laws have been repealed, the
trend is similar. According to the NHTSA, fatalities increased by 31
percent in the year following the repeal of the Texas helmet law in 1997.
When Arkansas repealed its helmet law the same year, fatalities increased
by 21 percent. [What Happens When a Helmet Law is Repealed?
Traffic Safety Facts, NHTSA, 2008]
After reading this I don't know
how businesses get away with banning colors but they do. Can we sue the city of
Fayetteville ? What about Hog Rock in Illinois or Hawg Holler in Tennessee ?
Law - ARKANSAS
DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF CLOTHING OR CLUB MEMBERSHIP
Article 2, Section 1, 4, and 6 of the Arkansas Constitution guarantees the
right to everyone in Arkansas of freedom of speech, expression and
association. Cooper V. Henslee. 257 Ark. 963. A person's constitutional right
to freedom of speech, expression and association include the right to dress
and belong to clubs or organizations of their choice. Individuals and
businesses who discriminate against individuals on the basis of their clothing
or club membership may be subject to lawsuit.
The United States Supreme Court in the case of Cohen v. California, 403 U.S.
15 (1971), held that individuals have the constitutional right under the First
Amendment to wear clothing which displays writing or designs. The right of an
individual to freedom and association has long been recognized and protected
by the United States Supreme Court. Thus, a person's right to wear the
clothing of his choice, as well as his right to belong to any club or
organization of his choice is constitutionally protected, and persons or
establishments who discriminate on the basis of clothing or club membership
are subject to lawsuit.
"Class Teaches Cops About Biker Gangs"
"FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Fayetteville's Bikes Blues and Barbecue
motorcycle rally attracts bikers from all over the country, but local law
enforcement wants to make sure it doesn't attract any crime.
Officers from around the state met Wednesday at the Washington County
Sheriffs office for a special class on identifying motorcycle gangs and
preventing criminal activity.
One local area they specifically focused on was Dickson Street in
Fayetteville, where Bikes, Blues, and Barbecue is held. Washington County
deputies said the past few festivals have gone on without any major problems,
but they just want to be extra sure criminal activity stays low in future
festivals. Deputies said the event has a reputation for being relatively safe,
as opposed to other rallies in places like Sturgis, S.D. and Daytona, Fla.,
which have been known to get somewhat rough.
Sgt. John Wood of the Washington County Sheriff's office said Wednesday's
class primarily focused on identifying gangs. Class instructors taught officers
to look for certain styles of clothing and specific colors that gangs often
wear. Officers also shared their personal experiences of dealing with biker
gangs in criminal situations, and then discussed how similar instances could be
avoided in the future.
Biker Coy Stevens is not a part of a gang, but he said he is aware of their
existence locally. Still, he said he has never had any problems with them.
You see Outlaws and MCs around but you never see any problems with them on
Dickson Street for the most part, he said.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office said they plan on having both
uniformed and undercover officers patrolling this year's Bikes, Blues, and
Wednesdays class was free of charge for law enforcement and was put on by the
Criminal Justice Institute from Little Rock."
That rumble rolling up Valley roads on warm
summer evenings is sweet music to some — and a buzz-kill for others.
California - It’s the roar of motorcycles, revving at
stoplights and thundering up and down the street, bouncing shock waves
off buildings like the soundtrack of a 1960s biker movie.
For some motorcyclists, the noise is as much a part of the riding
experience as fresh air. Harley-Davidson even sought to patent the
potato-potato sound of its engines a decade ago.
Some riders pump up the volume even more by removing stock catalytic
converters and adding aftermarket pipes in search of better performance
— and an ear-splitting roar that can infuriate patio diners or
sidewalk latte drinkers.
While some bikers revel in the sound, others justify it by saying it
protects them from inattentive motorists. “Loud pipes save lives,”
is their mantra.
Nonsense, says Fresno motorcycle Sgt. Eric Eide, who rides an
“Straight pipes are hugely offensive,” he said. “It’s a
Noise “is one of those things that needs to be addressed.”
That appears to be happening. A proposed law working its way through the
California legislature, SB 435 by State Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura
Hills), targets modified motorcycle exhausts that produce more air
pollution. The bill also aims at the extra noise generated by
after-market motorcycle exhausts.
Local opinions are as sharply divided as they were during a recent
Sacramento hearing on the bill.
Scott Maddox, who was standing near his Harley-Davidson on Olive Avenue,
didn’t think it was fair to single out motorcycles.
“I don’t know if it’s any more noise than when a city bus goes
by,” he said.
Karey Wedemeyer, who was enjoying ice cream at an outdoor table, seemed
“It’s no more a problem than loud] stereos,” she said. “It’s
more the stereos that bother me.”
Several blocks up the street, bicyclist Kevin Statham disagreed.
“No one should have the right to inflict their noise [on others] as
they drive down the street,” he said. “Ridiculous.”
Said Mariam Widenham, who tends bar on Olive: “If you start it up and
go, it’s cool. But if you’re revving it … it’s rude.”
Martin Garcia, who rides a Yamaha cruiser, concedes that sometimes the
temptation to do just that sometimes takes over.
“Everyone does it,” he said. “They want to see how loud their bike
is … like we don’t know it’s loud enough already.”
Eide attributes the excessive noise to some motorcyclists trying to
emulate the outlaw biker lifestyle through loud exhausts, faux-Nazi
helmets and skull facial masks. Eide said officers currently use a
vehicle code section to cite motorcyclists for excessive noise but
generally only go after extreme cases.
And it isn’t always easy for police to make noise violations stick.
Mary Lynne Vellinga, a legislative consultant in Pavley’s Sacramento
office, said the standards in the current law are not clear and tickets
may not stand up in court. She said her research shows that California
Highway Patrol officers wrote just 14 citations in the past two years.
Pavley’s office wants to strengthen the law and, after an initial
setback, is still fine-tuning a bill that would do so, Vellinga said. A
portion of the bill that would require semi-annual smog checks for
motorcycles appears dead for now, but Vellinga said her office still
intends to use SB 435 to target motorcyclists who remove catalytic
Under the current law, a motorcyclist cited for removing a converter
often can ride home, bolt the stock exhaust back on and have the
citation cleared. That would be much more difficult if smog checks were
required because many riders would need to have expensive engine
modifications done to pass a tailpipe emissions test. Vellinga concedes
getting a law through the legislature has been a tough slog.
“Motorcycle folks are super-vocal,” she said.
But industry officials are aware a backlash is looming. Harley-Davidson
President Jim McCaslin, in a message on the company’s Web site, told
riders to pipe down, citing a 400% increase in negative news stories
regarding motorcycle noise in the past 10 years. Local dealers warn
about it as well. At Harley-Davidson/Buell of Fresno on West Shaw
Avenue, a sign urges bikers to ride away quietly.
“The noise issue is huge,” said Peggy Day, sales manager. She said
the American Motorcycle Association had to fight local officials near
Carmel to win back the right for motorcyclists to ride down 17 Mile
Drive. She said riders need to discipline themselves.
“Unless we’re socially responsible,” she said, “our right to
ride is in jeopardy.”
Source: Fresno Bee
This article contributed by editor
on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 (00:41:12)
As reported by the NHTSA
Racing, driving faster than the posted speed limit or simply going too fast
for road conditions — i.e., speeding — comprises the second highest cause of
death in fatal crashes, according to the NHTSA. Once you hit 55 mph, you're in
the danger zone: 30 percent of fatalities occur at 55 or above. The worst-case
scenarios invariably involve speeding without wearing a seat belt or a
motorcycle helmet. Fatality rates for speeding motorcyclists are shockingly
high: In 2007, speeding was a factor in 36 percent of motorcycle fatalities. Of
those, 41 percent of drivers and more than half of passengers were not wearing
helmets (only 20 states and the District of Columbia require helmets).
So. the way this
reads, 59% of motorcycle traffic fatalities WERE WEARING HELMETS!
I just thought I'd
point this out. Does this mean they should ban helmets? The NHTSA doesn't look
at statistics like a biker does. They report statistics in a way that makes the
readers agree with them and their beliefs.
Label inside a
new helmet, 2002
WARNING: No protective headgear can
protect the wearer against all foreseeable impacts. This helmet is not designed
to provide neck or lower head protection. This helmet exceeds Federal Standard
FMVSS218: Even so death or severe injury may result from speeds as low as 15 mph
while wearing a helmet."
72% of U.S. motorcyclists already wear a helmet, either by
choice or by existing state laws, while auto drivers use seat belts only 47% of
the time. ...more than half of all auto fatalities involve a head injury... yet
no one would suggest that auto drivers should wear helmets.
Copyright © 1999 by Association MC. All rights reserved.
Revised: 25 May 2012 06:47:18 -0500