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Old 02-09-2001, 08:10 PM   #131
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Default That is a problem.

Yes, the Constitution has been amended on a number of occasions. The founding fathers recognized that a changing society may render a particular rule moot or counterproductive. That is the reason they made provisions for it to be amended. I have much more respect for those that would change the rules of this country by changing the rulebook, even if their goals are diametrically opposed to mine. At least they recognize the proper method.

Interpreting the Constitution to mean that which is doesn't, however, is judicial usurpation. That is wrong, and as Thomas Jefferson said, is "the customary method by which free governments are destroyed."
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Old 02-09-2001, 08:43 PM   #132
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Default Back by popular demand....

"I respectfully dissent."

While the opinions of the Supreme Court certainly carry 'gravitas' by the barrelful, that doesn't mean that they were either germane or correct. They have handed down many a decision with no Constitutional basis, such as Roe vs. Wade, as well as the Dredd Scot decision. In this case, I don't have much of a problem with anything that the court has said with respect to the question of helmet legislation. There simply hasn't been much.

The only rational argument that can be made for compelling someone to take responsibility for one's self, in this case, lies squarely on the extra burden, or percieved extra burden, one may have on society at large when the hospital bill shows up. The Supreme Court has, as of yet, left this concern in the proper domain of the several states, as required by the tenth amendment. Unfortunately, the Federal Government has incurred responsibility in some cases because of the socialism prevailent in ideas such as Medicaid and Medicare. The same goes for the state governments, although under the federal Constitution, they at least have license to do so. By taking on the duty of providing health care to those that can't, or won't, provide it for themselves, they have forced the rest of us to become responsible for the care of these people. It has also become ingrained in the minds of those on the recieving end, as well as many elitists, that this is a fundemental "right."

There is NO constitutional mandate for the socialist provision of health care for anyone. Though I'm not going to stand here and demand the revocation of all forms of government assistance in the area of health care (such as that for extreme mental illness or other precondition of serious disablement), it is fundamentally unfair to force upon society the duty of caring for the bad choices of others. Citizens at large have a moral duty to care for the sick and weak, to be sure, but using the force of government to compel them to do so is what got us into this conundrum; it is also explicitly unconstitutional with respect to the federal government. Proceeding with such an agenda removes all virtue from the act of contributing to the health of others.

The question of riding without a helmet should be academic. If I'm not hurting you, leave me alone. The socialist policies of government assistance, unfortunately, have consequences that extend far beyond the realm of their intended effect, as they always do.
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Old 02-09-2001, 08:54 PM   #133
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Default Re: Why we need helmet laws

OK, you need to re-read my post, but more carefully this time.

I wrote at great length (for an on-line post) about what makes a right an inalienable one, at least for legal purposes. Not everyone will agree with me, especially not Abe, but it doesn't matter. I'm just the messenger here. This reasoning comes from Supreme Court cases from the 60's and 70's. (Sorry Abe, not 1905)

Sure it would be safer to drive in an SUV. But did I say, anywhere in my post, that I was seeking ultimate safety for all, or advocating full safety gear.

But evidently, you are a black-and-white sort of guy, with no comprimise allowed. Arguing with that mentality is sort of futile, so I'll just sign off.
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Old 02-10-2001, 02:00 AM   #134
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Default Re: Helmet Law Repeal Stats

law or no law, i wear the gear- lid, hides, boots, gloves. many years ago i lived in a state w/o lid laws. i did not wear one, until i went ojn my first long out of state ride, bought a full face lid, liked it, started wearing it more often, got a better one, then moved to a state w/ laws, rode w/ guys who wore helmets (peer pressure?). i look back on my crashes, & see where the lid made a difference. when i see guys trailer a bike (big touring hog, no less) from orlando to daytona for "trailer week", they ride with no lid. they "look cool", "act cool", and "be cool" w/ no lid on. i have pushed my old english bikes farther than these guys ride in a year. i can't consider them serious motorcycle enthusiasts. that is my opinion, & i think chuck darwin would have rode (with a lid, probably an arai). with no mandatory insurance here in fla, the $10k additional insurance requirement is a joke. there is no provision to enforce it- cops have told me that pulling somone over for no lid & checking for insurance is "not done". i guess when they search the limp body of some unfortunate, they might come up with an insurance card, but highly unlikely. i know what i'm going to do. those who have a brain to protect will do likewise- protect it. i guess i am for "freedom of choice", but there is always a price for freedom. ask any vet- they'll tell or show what that price sometimes is. maybe he price now is higher insurance for lidless riders. you pays yer money & you takes yer chance. ride & live, live ride.
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Old 02-10-2001, 03:17 AM   #135
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Default Re: Helmet Law Repeal Stats

cripes, enough on this topic and the endless meandering tales of "oh yeah, well I knew a guy who... "

...make your choice- wear one or don't- either way just STFU and ride.

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Old 02-10-2001, 04:55 AM   #136
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Default Re: Helmet Law Repeal Stats

Although I appreciate others answering this question, I think I can also defend myself. IceWorm, first of all, are you really going to criticize the type of helmet someone else chooses to wear? What do you do to people who don't wear helmets at all?

Yes, there are times when my full face helmet is too hot to comfortably wear. What's so hard to understand about that? Do you have an air conditioner installed in your helmet? If you do, let me know who makes it, and as long as you pay for it, I'll be happy to put it in my helmet, too.

Also, I don't know what kind of ride you have. By your description of a hard face, I'd assume that you ride a bike with little or no fairing/windshield protection. As for myself, I ride bikes with full fairings or windshields, and it is a very RARE occasion that a bug or anything else ever lands near my face while riding. The top of the helmet is another thing. (That is where the air stream flows)

If you want to question the relative saftey comparision between a full and 1/2 helmet, that's fine, but remember that both are legal (DOT approved), and therefore, it does become MY CHOICE. And considering the statistics offered by the NHSTA, this may be the only part about wearing a helmet that I may be able to decide for myself in the near future.

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Old 02-10-2001, 05:56 AM   #137
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Default Re: Dan, take a swing at this potential situation

The question I addressed isn't whether I would prefer to crash with or without a helmet. I've dented a few helmets in my life and would rather not risk denting my skull. The question is whether NHTSA, abetted by the media (including this one), willfully exaggerated the efficacy of helmet laws in an attempt to prevent further defections from the ranks of helmet-law states. I believe I succeeded in casting doubt on their claims about the effect of repeal on fatalities in Arkansas and Texas.

When risk is small, such as the chance of crashing and dying in a way that a helmet could prevent, an individual might sensibly take the appropriate precaution. Yet when the benefit of the precaution is extrapolated to a population, it can be barely noticeable. The inconvenient fact NHTSA is trying to overcome is that helmet laws don't have much overall effect. The fatality rate per registration is no lower in the 22 helmet-law states than in other 28 (most of which require helmets only of riders under 1.
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Old 02-10-2001, 06:05 AM   #138
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Default Re: GRRRRR....

There's a mental attitude component to the original post that I don't like. The poster shares a fundamental view similar to the "cost-to-society" crowd.

That view is: The government should force people who don't do as I do to change for my convenience.

Let's look at a specific example: I eat triple cheeseburgers for lunch. They'll probably clog my arteries. If I don't carry my own health insurance, the state will probably end up paying for my eventual medications, bypass surgeries, etc.

My neighbor does the same thing. While it might be in the state's interest to slap the cheeseburgers out of my hand each time I start to stuff my face, they won't because I won't stand for it, and because my neighbor and 200 million others won't stand for it either.

Now, let's say I ride a motorcycle. I'm the only person on my block that rides. If I ride around with out a helmet, and I don't carry health insurance, I run a chance that I will bop my noggin and become a lifetime member of the Democratic party. Yikes! That's bad! Let's say the injury isn't that bad and I just become a parapalegic. That would still cost the state some money. Perhaps the state should protect its interests by forcing me to wear a helmet. I guess if I don't like it, I'm screwed, because my neighbor doesn't care. It doesn't affect is behavior, so it's too easy for him to accept.

Try to take Bob's cheesburger, and he's up in arms. Force Bob's neighbor to wear a helmet, and it's in the best interest of society.

So, you wear a helmet all the time. The helmet law doesn't affect you at all. So you're behind it.

Think about the potentially risky things that you do that others don't. Think about how you'll feel when those things become illegal "for your own good." If you think the helmet law is fair, then you'll have no reason to complain when the state prohibits you from operating your motorcycle on public roads. After all, it's a danger to you and a potential burden to society. ...and you don't have enough friends who feel the same way to put a stop to it.
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Old 02-10-2001, 06:39 AM   #139
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Default Re: Helmet Law Repeal Stats

.. Just this: I fell "only" once until now (Knock on Michelin), that was 4 years ago, and what I remember is this: I was ejected off the bike, over the handelbars, and to the ground, Head first. The head is the body's most dense part. If you fall, you will fall head first.

Wear a Full Helmet!



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Old 02-10-2001, 06:50 AM   #140
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Default Funny..

Many of the opinions handed down in the 60's and 70's had little to do with reasoning. They were simply the product of an activist court reading into the Constutition all manner of "right" that don't exist, implied or otherwise.

Why have the 1st, ninth, and fourteenth amendments become the rallying cries of liberals, yet the second, fifth and tenth have been all but declared "dead letters"? If the Court would interpret the second amendment with the expansionist zeal with which they read the first, we would all be allowed to drive tanks and surround our homes with mortars. Likewise, the thirteenth amendment could encompass "slavery to the state", as well as abject chattel slavery (of course, the court has no use for these determinations, as they are not beneficial to government.)

Are you saying, Gabe, that opinions rendered prior to the activist rulings that you cite should be considered moot? Should the Court refrain from relying on past opinions? Should we throw out the general rule of precedent so justices can interpret the Constitution to mean whatever suits their purposes?

One last thing. Why did it take two hundred years for the court to "find" these edicts in the Constitution?
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