REFLECTIONS ON 15 Years of The SACK: The Gunnyís Sack has been around now for nearly fifteen years. As I reflect on those years I realize the motorcycle world has changed, mostly for the good. We nevertheless have a long way to go. We still drink and get on our bikes and then canít understand why we get ourselves hurt or killed. We still ride these wonderful machines and never think to sharpen our skills and take rider courses, and then wonder why weíre targets on the highways. Naturally, Iím talking in generalities, many of us do not drink and ride and do take rider training courses. My point is, we are not getting the word out to everyone strongly enough to get the rest of us involved in our own safety.

 

HELMET LAWS OR THE CONSTITUTION? We are still all hung up on helmet laws when there are so many other things out there that affect our lives much more than wearing headgear. Not that we canít fight on more than one front, but Iím especially worried about the NAFTA highway thatís proposed to run from the Mexican border up through Texas, Kansas City and on to Canada. This beast is planned to be built and maintained by a foreign contractor and paid for by tolls to that company. This country would have little or no say in how or why it exists, yet we are expected to bear the burden of much of the costs involved, to include the loss of property and of some small towns, just to provide ease of building the thing. Itís planned to be straight as an arrow, without regard as to who or what might be displaced. Read up on it!


DENTAL REFLECTIONS: Your Gunny saw this article in the Dentistís office recently. Itís too good for me to try and paraphrase, so all of it follows:
---A DECLARATION OF DEPENDENCE:
We, the undersigned, having grown weary of the burden of freedom and responsibility, do hereby foreswear, forfeit, and waive our following rights:
1) Our right to protect our physical persons. We pay the government -- and quite well -- to do this for us, through the police, the military, and far too many other government agencies to count. We have chosen to disregard numerous court decisions that they have no responsibilities to us individually, and still place our fate entirely in their hands. And when they fail us, we will blame our excessive freedoms and surrender more rights in the name of physical safety.
2) Our right to tally and pay our own taxes. We have chosen to separate ourselves from the cost of our government by delegating to government and employers the task of paying
our taxes, through "withholding." Instead of being presented with a bill for payment, our taxes are taken from us before we even see our salary. Then, when (as is often the case) we have overpaid, we rejoice and see as a gift our refund, and choose not to realize that this refund is simply the government repaying an interest-free loan from us. The only real burden we choose to accept is that of filing our own returns, when we can see just how much of our labors are on behalf of the government. (And if one Presidential candidate has his way, he will relieve us of even this onerous task.)
3) Our right to make decisions for our own safety. Every one of us knows -- or ought to know -- that certain things are safe and unsafe, healthy and unhealthy. Trans fats are terrible for our bodies. Seatbelts, in nearly every circumstance, improve our chances of surviving a car crash almost logarithmically. Motorcycle helmets, even more so.
In these and in countless other ways, we know what the smart thing to do is. But we do not wish to be burdened with the responsibility of caring for ourselves, so we call upon the government to make certain we make the right choices, and accept whatever punishment, fine, or sanction they see fit if we put ourselves at risk.
In the name of our own safety, our own security, and our own peace of mind, we, the undersigned, do hereby pledge our lives, our fortunes, our liberty, our judgment, and our own common sense.  Signed, Far Too Many Americans.
 ---
This sort of apathy FEEDS the daily erosion of our Constitution and Bill of Rights, perpetrated by those we elect to make our laws. Itís time to STOP the process and look to our welfare. If we donít, this nation will collapse on itself, and weíll have no one to blame but ourselves. Our Constitution is under attack by those who think these documents are outdated. In Europe, whole countries have lost some of their national identities through the European Parliament, a NON-elected group. Those countries donít even have their own currency anymore. They all use the ďEURO.Ē No more British pounds or German Marks. We are likewise losing our freedoms here almost daily, a little piece at a time, and usually in the name of SECURITY.

 

I didnít even mention the evils of the Patriot Act, or the lives we are sacrificing in corporate warfare all over the planet that seems to have no end. I canít believe that this country, with all itís strength and wisdom, canít devise strategy to win these conflicts and get this carnage brought to an end, or to have won WITHOUT bullets in the first place, if and when winning is in the interests of the American People. 

 

NEWSBITS ĎNí PIECES:

 

AUSTRALIAN SPEED: Citizens in Adelaide are up in arms over unfair ticketing for speeding in their town. It seems the police have set their speed traps about 5 kilometers/hr under the actual speed limits to increase the take on fines. The error in speedometers on most cars is just about that: 5km/h! The drivers here are victims of overzealous servants of the masses. Maybe we here in this country ought to check out our own speed traps. We see those little trailers and vans with speed measuring devices all the time.

 

CALIFORNIA: In Newport Beach, cops fall off their scooters too. Problem with that is the guy was responding to an emergency 911 call. A cage driver stopped suddenly in his path and the cop smacked into the rear of the cage. Not badly hurt, but didn't get the job done.

 

HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA:  A man here was accused of speeding when he struck and killed a motorcyclist, and then drove away. He was taken into custody only after a group at a nearby Sonic restaurant saw him get out of his wrecked car, and these good citizens chased him back to the accident scene!

 

GUNNY AGAIN: These pearls of wisdom are sponsored by Sam Hochberg, our own Oregon Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (AIM) attorney and his associates, and AIM itself. These attorneys all across this country are here for our benefit and do countless hours of legal work for us without cost (Pro Bono). They sponsor the Confederations of Clubs and are there as officers of the court for every meeting, helping to bring us unity all over the USA. They are also there for us when we find ourselves in accidents. There is rarely the need for money up front with these guys, unlike many other lawyers. They ride right along with us on the highways. These folks are there for us. Call them and put them to work, you wonít be sorry. Nationally call 1Ė800-531-2424, or 1-800-ON-A-BIKE, and an attorney in your area will be in touch with you. Get with me or any other AIM Chief of Staff or AIM Rep, and weíll make sure you have your very own AIM card in your pocket, so if you are hurt and EMTís find the card, then your people will be notified and the lawyer thing can take far less time. Believe me, if you have an injury wreck -- car or cycle -- YOU NEED AN AIM LAWYER on your side. You can bet the other guy has an insurance company looking out for his interests.

Keep the round side on the bottom.
Gunny, Oregon A.I.M. Chief of Staff