Sunday, November 11, 2007

Pursuit of Happiness

"The Right of the Citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, by horsedrawn carriage, wagon, or automobile, is not a mere privilege which may be permitted or prohibited at will, but the common Right which he has under his Right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Under this Constitutional guarantee one may, therefore, under normal conditions, travel at his inclination along the public highways or in public places, and while conducting himself in an orderly and decent manner, neither interfering with nor disturbing another's Rights, he will be protected, not only in his person, but in his safe conduct." II Am.Jur. (1st) Constitutional Law, Sect.329, p.1135.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Fred Meets the Press!

What a difference from the debates and all the crappy little sound bites the MSM wants to feed us. This was FDT at his finest. Competent, passionate and mostly, presidential. He met Russert's good questions with better answers. I'm thinking his numbers shoud rise a bit.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

MRF Call to Action RE: NTSB



For the past several weeks the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) has been actively working on a multi-tiered strategic initiative to counter the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) program to pressure states into enacting mandatory helmet laws. We are prepared today to launch the program beginning with a Call to Action to our State Motorcycle Rights Organizations (SMROs).

The MRF's Call to Action is to encourage our SMRO partners to send their top lobbying teams to Washington D.C. in late October and early November to visit with their members of Congress to voice opposition to the NTSB's lobbying efforts. It is our position that the NTSB is proposing to directly lobby the states with federal tax money based on poorly-drawn conclusions, using a very narrow scope, and not employing the rigors of research to which they normally hold themselves. This is simply not acceptable to the MRF and our SMRO partners. A clear message was sent by the Senate in the 109th Congress when they voted 69-28 to defeat the Lautenberg Federal Helmet amendment, which would have pressured states into passing mandatory helmet laws, based on the fact that this issue is clearly a State's rights issue. Accordingly, we will be asking members of Congress to write a letter to the NTSB reminding them of this fact.

During these SMRO visits we will also be presenting a bullet point statistical fact sheet developed in conjunction with the MRF Legislative, Motorcycle Safety, and Statistics Committees that clearly shows that the answer to motorcycle safety and reducing fatalities is, in fact, an aggressive approach toward CRASH AVOIDANCE and NOT safer crashing. In addition, we will be educating members of Congress on the many points contained in our Motorcycle Safety Action Plan, pointing out to them that states with the highest reductions in motorcycle fatalities and states with low fatality rates per registered motorcycle are not those with mandatory helmet laws, but rather states that utilize the many tools in the motorcycle safety action plan. Additionally, we will thank many of them for their belief in motorcycle safety shown by the creation of the 2010 motorcycle safety grants and the creation of the Motorcycle Advisory Council in TEA-LU. We will take advantage of this time to inform them as to how these programs are being used effectively.

The second phase of the MRF's strategic initiative involves the MRF holding a press conference in the first week of November in one of the office buildings of the United States House of Representatives in Washington, DC. The press conference will feature a prominent member of Congress. Expect another Call to Action encouraging our members, our SMRO partners, motorcyclists in general and other concerned citizens to attend.

At that time we will be issuing a formal letter to the Chairman of the NTSB asking him to reconsider their proposed lobbying of the states and asking that he consider the statistical facts related to our Motorcycle Safety Action Plan and its effectiveness with regard to Crash Avoidance and NOT Safer Crashing as the goal.

For strategic reasons, third phase of our initiative will be announced once we complete the necessary research and sufficient discussions have taken place. We will go on record, however, as stating that we will not rule out asking Congress to take action against the NTSB, as we have done with NHTSA in the past, should they continue to ignore the spirit of previous congressional mandates against federal agencies lobbying states on mandatory helmet laws.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

FDT Raises $8 Million

Thompson campaign raises $8M in third quarter (City Paper/Rodgers)

Fred Thompson’s presidential campaign raised more than $8 million for the third quarter of this year, an official with his campaign confirmed Monday. The former Tennessee senator took in money from more than 70,000 donors and since announcing his presidential aspirations Sept. 5 has averaged more than $200,000 raised per day. The money does not include the $3.5 million he took in for the month of June.

The more than $8 million covers the time from July 1 to Sept. 30. Last week, Thompson argued that his fund raising numbers should be judged “apple to apple” with other candidates for only the three-and-a-half weeks he had been running, not three months. That’s despite Thompson raising funds for the entire third quarter. He said he wasn’t running on “all cylinders” for most of that period since he wasn’t an official candidate.

Stuart Rothenberg, the editor of the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report, has said Thompson should be judged against the first quarters of candidates when they entered the field. Rothenberg has said Thompson should have raised about $20 million.

Outside of Thompson, one of his opponents for the Republican nod, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), raised more than $5 million. The totals for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney weren’t available.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The NTSB Doesn't Get It


On 9-11 the NTSB issued recommendations to states to require all motorcyclists and their passengers to wear Department of Transportation federal motor vehicle safety standard (FMVSS) 218-compliant helmets.

A.B.A.T.E. of Pennsylvania, the Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education, has expressed their opposition to the NTSB safety recommendations. Accident prevention saves lives, not federal mandates. Greater penalties for right-of-way violations and stricter laws for inattentive driving would be more effective. Motorist need to pay greater attention to the action of driving. Being behind a wheel of an automobile is NO time to multi-task.

Pennsylvania already has a helmet law. The General Assembly passed Senate Bill 259 in 2003. That legislation modified the existing mandatory motorcycle helmet law to provide qualified adult motorcycle operators and passengers with the option to decide what is best for themselves. Pennsylvania Senators and Representatives supported a minimum of two year riding experience or successful completion of an approved motorcycle rider education program as condition for optional helmet use by motorcycle operators 21 years of age or older.

While the law does allow freedom of choice in the use of helmets it also contains safeguards for those not yet trained or skilled enough to make an informed decision on helmet safety. Enactment of the freedom of choice bill on helmets represents what our founding fathers intended when they wrote the Constitution….that government works best with the consent of the governed.

Facts not fiction…

Since the helmet modification Pennsylvania has experienced a sharp rise in motorcycle sales and a dramatic increase in biker tourism. In 2003 there were 263,696 registered motorcycles. In 2006 that number increased to 335,720. In 2005 there were 205 motorcycle fatalities.

In 2006 the fatality rate decreased to 187.

Between 2000 (before helmets were made optional) and 2005 (after), motorcycle registrations in Pennsylvania increased 48.3%. Fatalities in motorcycle crashes also increased, but only 36%.

A study by the State Legislative Budget and Finance Committee in 2006 found an 8.6% decrease in motorcycle fatalities, per 10,000 registrations, from 2000 to 2005.

Most motorcycle fatalities in 2005 involved bikers who wore helmets. Only 42.6% involved known non-helmeted motorcyclists, and the report does not say what portion of them died of something other than head trauma.

Conclusion: The NTSB implies in its recommendation that thirty state governments have somehow "got it wrong" when it comes to the validity of universal mandatory helmet laws. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Most of these states have had, at one time or another, a universal mandatory helmet law, yet considered the results and modified their laws accordingly.

A.B.A.T.E. of PA believes that state legislators have more intelligence than the NTSB gives them credit for. A.B.A.T.E. of Pennsylvania states, “Nothing illustrates individual freedom more than bare-headed bikers, and many federal authorities detest freedom. We believe they will do anything to suppress it. “ The NTSB reached its recommendations with little or no input from the motorcycle community. This is just another incident of bureaucrats in Washington trying to ram regulations down the throats of all fifty states. We’ll have none of it.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Essentially, It's About Freedom!

"In 1994 when I first ran, I advocated the same common sense conservative positions that I hold today. They are based upon what I believe to be sound conservative First Principles - reflecting the nature of man and the wisdom of the ages. They are based upon the conviction that our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution are not outdated documents that have outlived their usefulness. It is a recognition that our basic rights come from God and not from government. That government should have its power divided, not only at the federal level but between the federal government and the states. Federalism is the belief that not every problem should have a federal solution. Essentially it's about freedom. A government that is big enough to do everything for us is powerful enough to do anything to us."

Fred on Tour - Come out and Show Support

Fred is going to be traveling around the country in the coming days.. Below is the schedule of events. Please check back often for more information on upcoming events.

Bikers in New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina are invited to attend these rallies and let Fred know you support his candidacy!