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COAL MINE FIRE LASTING 57 YEARS: LOWBROW RIDE

By | General Posts

 Let’s go!

Mikey here at Lowbrow rode out with his wife and a group of friends, headed out with their wives and girlfriends to Babes Ride Out in New York. It is a women-only event, so the guys then left to go on their own road trip, hence the ‘DPO’ nickname…

Dude’s Pull Out.

Now where to go? Centralia, Pennsylvania has had a coal mine fire burning under it since 1962 and is now virtually abandoned. Seems like the perfect place to check out, no? Click here to see how it went…

Profound Privacy Risks without our Consent: from the National Motorists Association

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GeekWire posted last month that Portland, Oregon quietly launched a controversial mobile location data project with partner Sidewalk Labs (a subsidiary of Alphabet–which is the parent company of Google). In this year-long pilot program, the city has authorized that people, who have smartphones, will be tracked without their consent or knowledge.

Portland is using software called Replica that cost nearly $500,000 and expects to determine how people actually move in the metro and surrounding counties. The city claims the software will use de-identified mobile location data, but in a NY Times article late last year reporters were able to debunk the premise of anonymity with this kind of location tagging.

Pam Dixon, executive director of the Oregon-based World Privacy Forum, said:

“If a city is going to use a system, it has a responsibility to have full transparency about where all of the data is coming from, how it is being deidentified and to what level, and if that data is reused again or stored by Replica or Sidewalk or passed to its parent company. There’s too much that we don’t know.”

Other cities on deck for Sidewalk Labs’ Replica testing include Chicago and Kansas City. Sidewalk Labs has already been working with the city of Toronto on a smart cities project which has not been without controversy.

Researchers at the International Data Corporation or IDC released a report last month titled Surveillance Avenue—Urban Mobility and Addressing the Erosion of Privacy which concluded that it is becoming more difficult for people to use public transportation systems without giving up some personal data. They showed how easy it is now using various surveillance technologies such as facial recognition cameras, license plate readers, and mobile phone data in combination with other datasets to paint a detailed picture of the movements of individuals.

Mark Zannoni, IDC’s Worldwide Urban Mobility Program researcher wrote:

“As increasing amounts of data are collected, we are faced with the issue that one must exchange personal privacy for the use of publicly funded transportation networks or assets. Whether initially personally identifiable or anonymous, individual data from urban mobility can be deanonymized, which is not only invasive but also enables potentially dangerous situations.”

The IDC report urged the federal government to put in place measures to protect people’s privacy, particularly specific movement-related data of individuals. This would provide a framework for local governments to build privacy protections into their own regulations.

Personal data held by companies and governments are often at risk to cyberattacks. Even worse, some sell that information outright without the consent of those whose privacy is being invaded.

Another example of privacy intrusion is the use of facial recognition technology. The FBI has access to over 641 million photos in their database that have been culled from driver’s licenses, passports, and mugshots. The US House Committee on Oversight and Reform recently discussed the issue of regulating facial recognition. Chairman Elijah Cummings said in an opening statement on June 4th: “There are real concerns about the risks this technology poses to our civil rights and liberties and our right to privacy.”

Earlier in June, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) led 60 other privacy, civil liberties, civil rights and other groups in urging Congress to put a moratorium on facial recognition for law and immigration enforcement. The coalition issued a letter asking that the use of this technology be stopped until Congress debates and determines how this technology (that we do not give consent for) can be used.

Privacy rights issues have also been taken up by local governments. The San Francisco, California Board of Supervisors adopted in May 2019, a ban on facial recognition by police and local government agencies. This has brought more awareness to the privacy issue, but many are skeptical that either this will not be enough or it is a mistake to take these kind of devices out of commission. Nearby Oakland passed in 2018, a Surveillance and Community Safety ordinance which the Electronic Frontier Foundation or EFF has declared the gold standard.

Civic engagement on the local level is important in bringing transparency to this situation. This 2018 The Nation post entitled: Mass Surveillance begins at the Local Level. So does the Resistance explains what groups are doing to fight back against this exploding surveillance landscape.

The NMA encourages members to become involved in supporting privacy laws on a local, state, and national level. We will keep you informed of further developments.

RIDING FREE FROM DC: from the Motorcycle Riders Foundation

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Your Weekly Biker Bulletin from Inside the Beltway

Your Motorcycle Riders Foundation team in Washington, D.C. is pleased to provide our members with the latest information and updates on issues that impact the freedom and safety of American street motorcyclists. Count on your MRF to keep you informed about a range of matters that are critical to the advancement of motorcycling and its associated lifestyle. Published weekly when the U.S. Congress is in session.

Rules, Rules, Rules…

Just past midnight on Wednesday night, in a committee room inside the U.S. Capitol the issue of motorcycle profiling received a brief debate and roll call vote before the Rules Committee. How did that happen? Well Congressman Mike Burgess (R-TX) and Congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI) used the appropriations amendment process to force Congress to vote on the issue of motorcycle profiling.

The gridlock that grips Congress means that few stand-alone bills pass both the Senate and the House. However, appropriations bills, which fund the government have to pass, if they don’t a government shutdown ensues. These must pass appropriations bills become a key tool for lawmakers to press legislative priorities. If they can attach an amendment to a bill that has to pass, the legislative priority becomes law. However, the amendment offered must be related to the appropriations bill in some way. Congressman Walberg and Congressman Burgess drafted the following amendment to the appropriations bill that funds the Department of Transportation:

AMENDMENT TO DIVISION E OF RULES COMMITTEE PRINT 116–18 OFFERED BY MR. WALBERG OF MICHIGAN

SEC. ll. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used by the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration for activities intended to encourage states to adopt legislation, regulations, policies, directives or guidance to profile motorcycle riders, nor shall such funds be used by States to implement any activity with the primary intent of profiling motorcycle riders.

Before the full House of Representatives votes on the appropriations bill and the amendments the Rules Committee holds a hearing to decide what will go to the floor for a full vote. Unfortunately, the Rules Committee is the most partisan committee in the House and because our two main champions are Republicans the chances of the Rules Committee allowing this amendment to proceed were slim. On a strict party line vote the amendment was defeated 8 to 4.
While it’s disappointing that the full House of Representatives was not allowed to vote on this amendment it was a solid step forward in the debate about motorcycle profiling. Additionally, this does not stop our campaign to have H. Res 255 passed by the House of Representatives. In truth this should further energize us. The full House of Representatives should be allowed to vote on H. Res 255 and the issue of motorcycle profiling should not be blocked by the vote of just 8 lawmakers.
Click here and skip to the 7 hour 4 minute 15 second mark to watch the debate and vote.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-6S3om9Tig

Ride to Work Day

Monday, June 17th was the 28th annual “Ride to Work Day.” While we at the MRF don’t need a special day to ride our motorcycles it was nice to get an email from Congressman Troy Balderson (R-OH) with the following message, “I am a lifelong motorcycle rider and a big advocate for motorcycle awareness and safety. This national ride to work, let’s celebrate our biker community and keep the roads safe.”

Congressman Balderson sent us this picture of him on his bike Monday headed to his congressional district office in Worthington, Ohio. Thanks to Congressman Balderson for being a true champion of the motorcycle community.

Your Team in D.C. Rocky & Tiffany

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation

HORROR in New Hampshire

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Here’s the local TV News Station in Manchester, NH – 6:00 p.m. (6/22) update link . . .
 
 
On June 21st 2019 Jarheads MC was riding to a charity event at the local American Legion in Gorham, New Hampshire Post #82. Our pack was struck by an oncoming vehicle and we lost 5 patch holders and 2 supporters, and many others are injured. Our club and the families are going to need help and we cannot do it alone. I am pleading with you all, please do what you can, and this money will go where it is needed to help ease some of the burden of these victims families. Jarheads MC has always been about helping veterans and their families and sadly, today we are in need of that same support.
 
 
Names and conditions of all will not be shared at this time as we are still being impacted by news as it arrives. We will be in New Hampshire the rest of the weekend supporting our friends and families.

*Jarheads Motorcycle Club is a club consisting of active duty or honorably discharged Marines and FMF Corpsmen. We ride and serve veterans and veteran families in our committees, with chapters in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.

–from Paul Cote

Harley recalls 46,000 bikes for leaky oil linked to two crashes

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Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) said Friday it will recall approximately 46,000 motorcycles in the U.S., citing a potential oil leak that has been linked to two crashes.

The recall includes certain 2017 Electra Glide, Road Glide, Road King and Street Glide bikes. The affected motorcycles were built between July 2, 2016 and May 9, 2017.

The bike maker said an oil line may come loose, causing oil to leak onto the rear tire’s path. There have been nine reports of displaced oil lines. Harley is aware of two crashes and one minor injury due to the issue.

Dealers will repair a clamp on the engine oil cooler line at no extra cost to owners.

Law Tigers Stylin N’ Sturgis 2019 Contest

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It’s an awesome new video promoting our Stylin N Sturgis contest.

To enter go to www.lawtigers.com/win And win a complete Sturgis Motorcycle Rally vacation package worth over $21,000! Free airfare, cabin & Harley-Davidson motorcycle rental plus exclusive prizes and products like a AR-15 from Sturgis Guns and $1500 to spend at NightRiders Jewelry!

Contest ends July 15th, 2019

Check the website to enter: www.lawtigers.com/win

–The Law Tigers Team

Forest Service seeks comments on planned revisions to NEPA procedures

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Two webinars to explain proposed changes

The U.S. Forest Service formally proposed revisions June 13 to its National Environmental Policy Act or NEPA regulations. That announcement followed an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking in January 2018, which resulted in the submitting of 1,229 unique comments that have been integrated into the current proposal, along with input from other stakeholders and agency personnel. Nearly all public comments supported NEPA streamlining, the Forest Service said.

Central in the proposed change is the agency desire to address inefficiencies in its use of human and financial resources — limited by urgent issues, such as wild fires — while still completing complex NEPA requirements. The Forest Service faces a backlog of more than 5,000 applications for new or renewed special use permits and an annual average of more than 3,000 such applications.

The AMA has received complaints from members about bureaucratic delays and applauds this opportunity for the association and its individual members to weigh in. Permits for annual OHV events are among the most obvious example of efficiencies suggested and supported by the AMA.

Two webinars have been scheduled to explain the proposed changes. Each session will provide the same information, and a recording will be available.

To submit comments, the Forest Service has offered three options. The preferred option is the public participation portal (www.regulations.gov). Enter “84 FR 27544” in the search box at the upper right of the webpage. Another option is email to nepa-procedures-revisions@fs.fed.us The third option is the U.S. mail:

NEPA Services Group
c/o Amy Barker
USDA Forest Service
125 S. State St., Suite 1705
Salt Lake City, UT 84138

Comments Deadline: Aug. 12

Webinars:

3:30-5 p.m. ET on Tuesday, June 25. Audio feed at (877) 369-5243 or (617) 668-3633. Access Code: 0524699##. Adobe Connect URL: https://usfs.adobeconnect.com/neparule-1000/

3:30-5 p.m. ET on Friday, July 12. Audio feed at (877) 369-5243 or (617) 668-3633. Access Code: 0849770##. Adobe Connect URL: https://usfs.adobeconnect.com/neparule-1000/

For more information, visit the USFS project webpage here, or contact Christine Dawe, director, ecosystem management coordination at (406) 370-8865.

Thank you in advance for providing comments and/or attending a webinar. Please forward this alert to your friends and ask them to do both as well. If you do submit comments, please forward a copy to us at grassroots@amacycle.org.

It is crucial that you and your riding friends become members of the AMA.

The AMA hasn’t always been a friend to freedom, but now more that ever all motorcycle rights groups work together. Seriously consider joining a motorcycle rights group nationally or near you.–Bandit 

Product Spotlight: SLIDE Mount for GPS/Phone

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Super-secure and easy to use, the SLIDE accommodates devices up to 7-3/8″ side (minimum 4-3/4″) so it’s great for GPS or phones.

Side arms come in various sizes and lock into place where you need them. Ultra-Swivel feature gives you multiple left/ right and up/ down options.

Featured in photo: Urban SLIDE for Round Bar (Chrome). Also available for brake/clutch, mirror stem and more.

 

–Leader Products

HARLEY TO MANUFACTURE SMALL MOTORCYCLES IN CHINA

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London (CNN Business)Harley-Davidson has found a new partner in China as it ramps up efforts to sell more motorcycles abroad.

The company said Wednesday that it’s teaming up with Qianjiang Motorcycle Company to make a small motorcycle that will go on sale in the country next year. Qianjiang is a subsidiary of Geely, which owns Volvo and has a joint venture to assemble cars in China with Mercedes Benz parent company Daimler (DDAIF).
For Harley, China is a major growth market.
Sales in the country increased 27% in 2018 compared to the previous year, according to the American motorcycle maker.

Growing internationally

Harley-Davidson (HOG) wants half of its sales to come from international markets by 2027. This strategy aims to offset declining US sales as its customer base there gets older.
The company has been increasing production in places like Thailand to make that happen.
But tariffs have also played a rolein its plans to make more bikes in Asia.
The company said last year it was moving some manufacturing to Thailand due to European Union tariffs on motorcycles shipped from the United States. The European Union raised its 6% tariff to 31% last June in response to the Trump administration’s tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
“It’s unfortunate, but we’re pushing forward with our strategy to make sure that we preserve the integrity and the growth potential within the European market,” CEO Matthew Levatich said on the company’s most recent earnings call.
The Thailand plant also makes motorcycles for sale in Asia. It will begin shipping motorcycles to China by the end of the year.
Harley’s shift overseas has angered President Donald Trump, who last year encouraged consumers to boycott the company as a result.
“Most other companies are coming in our direction, including Harley competitors,” he tweeted at the time. “A really bad move! U.S. will soon have a level playing field, or better.”
It’s not clear if the Harley motorcycle that will be made in China would have been subject to Chinese tariffs had it been manufactured in the United States. A spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are due to meet on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Japan later this month as they seek to avoid further escalating their damaging trade war.
–By Julia Horowitz, CNN

White House readies final review of new mpg rules

By | General Posts

 

DAVID SHEPARDSON, Auto News

WASHINGTON — Trump administration officials defended their controversial proposal to freeze fuel efficiency requirements at 2020 levels at a congressional hearing on Thursday and said the proposal would be submitted to the White House for final review in the coming weeks.

 

The administration has rebuffed requests from automakers and some lawmakers to make a last-ditch effort to reach a deal with California to extend national standards after it ended talks in February. The administration plans in the coming months to finalize a dramatic rewrite of fuel efficiency standards through 2026 that would also strip California, the most populous state, which wants stricter rules to fight climate change, of the right to set its own, tougher emissions rules.

 

The final regulation potentially faces a multi-year legal battle that could leave automakers in limbo about future emissions and fuel efficiency requirements and ultimately decrease the number of U.S. electric vehicles offered by automakers.

 

At a joint five-hour hearing of two House of Representatives Energy and Commerce subcommittees, Democrats cast the administration plan as a blow against efforts to combat climate change and a boon for oil companies. Republicans said it would reduce vehicle prices and rein in California.

 

The Trump administration plan aims to roll back emission standards set by former Democratic President Barack Obama. The Obama administration had made a dramatic jump in fuel efficiency requirements a key part of its climate agenda, and said it would save motorists $1.7 trillion in fuel costs over the life of the vehicles, but cost the auto industry about $200 billion over 13 years.

 

Earlier this month, 17 major automakers including General Motors Co, Volkswagen Group and Toyota Motor Corp. urged the White House to resume talks with California to avoid a lengthy legal battle. Automakers warn that the lack of a deal could lead to “an extended period of litigation and instability.”

 

The carmakers urged a compromise “midway” between the Obama-era standards that require annual decreases of about 5% in emissions and the Trump administration’s proposal. Reuters reported in April that officials expected the final rule would include a small increase in the yearly fuel efficiency requirements.

 

Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., whose district is home to many auto plants, implored officials to return to the bargaining table with California. “I am really not interested in a pissing contest between California and this administration,” she said at the hearing.

 

Deputy National Highway Traffic Safety Administration chief Heidi King was skeptical of Dingell’s idea. “I don’t know whether that would achieve the goal,” she told Dingell.

 

EPA Assistant Administrator Bill Wehrum said the agency was moving forward to finalize the rules “as soon as possible” after it had engaged in talks with California for about a year.

 

Trump administration officials argued its plan — which it says will eventually boost U.S. oil consumption by 500,000 barrels of oil daily — will save lives because it will reduce the forecasted cost of new vehicles and prod more people to sell older, less safe models. Environmentalists and others disagree.

 

Representative Frank Pallone, chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, called the Obama standards “our single most important action taken to combat climate change.”

 

“So, naturally, the Trump administration is trying to gut those standards as part of its reckless anti-climate agenda,” he said.

 

‘We like big things’

 

Transportation accounts for 30 percent of U.S. greenhouse emissions, with light cars and trucks accounting for 60 percent of that figure.

 

Republicans cast the issue as a divide between rural areas that use more trucks and urban areas where people are more likely to buy electric vehicles.

 

We like big things.

 

We like big trucks. We like big engines,” said Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., whose district covers a heavily rural swath of the eastern part of the state.

 

The Obama-era rules called for a fleetwide fuel efficiency average of 46.7 miles per gallon by 2026, compared with 37 mpg under the Trump administration’s preferred option.

 

Mary Nichols, who heads the California Air Resources Board, told lawmakers Thursday the Trump proposal will cost Americans millions in fuel costs, kill jobs, add smog, undermine the auto industry and worsen the climate crisis.

 

“We have been open to accommodations that would adjust compliance timing and flexibility, that would create new paths to promote innovative technologies and zero emission vehicles, and that would benefit the public,” she said.

 

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a letter to lawmakers on Thursday that California did not negotiate in good faith and said Nichols’s written testimony was “false” — a claim she strongly denied.