Though I have announce my intentions on other sites and publications and alluded to them here, I'm not sure that I actually "stated" them here. But yesterday I attended my last ABATE meeting as a member. Though somewhat bittersweet, I must stand by what I have said elsewhere, I will not belong to any organization that bills itself as "freedom fighting" organization, that at the state level, rules through intimidation, lies, innuendo and suppression of the rights of it's own individual members to speak out. The ends do not always justify the means (note the "not always". Don't want to get trapped into the exceptions that violate the rule). I was asked at the meeting by another member, if you step down how can we fight to change the system from within. To which my answer was, "in the three years you have been a member what have you done?" And that my friends is, as I see it, the crux of the problem. To many want to throw a patch on their back and proclaim themselves freedom fighters and do little if anything. ABATE would be better served if individuals such as this just joined a "riding" club.. It is the hypocrisy at the bottom that supports those at the top who would take advantage of and profit from such.
That having been said, does that mean I have "given up the cause". Not on a bet. It is my contention that being free of the bureaucracy of an organization that fights bureaucracy some real stuff can get done. And no that doesn't mean I do not support ABATE. I support the original mission ABATES around the country have been founded on. It is toward that end I hope to work. I hope one or two will join me. Keep their knives sheathed (or at least not brandish them when your back is turned). Coward does not equal Freedom fighter (note this is not a condemnation of most persons reading this. However my hope is that those it does apply to will have at least a twinge of conscience).
Now to some important stuff: I have linked in previous posts to some insurance bills that have been introduced in the legislature that can affect all those who ride a motorcycle. Now I ain't necessarily against insurance. I have it. What I am afraid of is a heap of insurance companies are going to be looking for a way to make up for the money they are losing else where and my fear is that it will be done on the backs of "Bikers". You won't be dropping as many bucks on a charity that does nothing to protect your rights if you got to spend whatever extra bucks you have to keep your MC on the road. Now mind you much of that info comes from ABATE of FL. so look it up (as you should anything you read anywhere, including here).
There are three cell phone bills currently sitting in committee in the Fl legislature. Now I have been receiving numerous e-mails re: the insurance issue from ABATE of Florida but few if any re: the cell phone bills (Despite Doc's promise to work on getting one passed). The banning of cell phones is unpopular I know. But the facts are, use of a cell phone while driving (including hands free) is as dangerous as driving drunk. Thats fact, thats proven (check out our link to Motorcyclist against Dumb Drivers for the most accurate data). My suspicion however is that there won't be enough interest in doing anything about it until (as with drunk drivers) enough moms and dads lose a son or daughter to a cell phone impaired driver.
Now in anticipation of any flack I may catch (as I have) re: banning cell phone use while driving is a violation of a persons freedoms, I challenge you. Demonstrate how cell phone use or even driving is a constitutionally protected right/freedom. Of course to do that may entail ones having to read the constitution or the bill of rights. But hey, that could be a good thing.....Ride Free