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Posts Tagged ‘Senate’

Brammo_CEO

Craig Bramscher (Brammo CEO) and Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden

Equal treatment from the state and federal government.  It’s a topic that many motorcycle groups and individuals invest a lot of time to ensure.

Whether it’s fighting against profiling of average citizens who ride motorcycles or “anti-gang bills” that defines a gang as “an association of three or more individuals who share a symbol or name either formally or informally.”  Or maybe it’s calling out press organizations who use motorcycle club sensationalism to sell advertising which has the added benefit of isolating the motorcycle riding segment of our population from the mainstream and tries to “criminalize” motorcyclists in the court of public opinion.

But, today economic factors have me advocating on behalf of the motorcycle “Eco-Activist”.  Specifically the manufacturers that make electric two-wheeled vehicles.   They have been largely discriminated against and cannot benefit from the numerous government incentives designed to spur the growth and adoption of electric vehicles.  Remember the Clunker Program?  Motorcyclists need not apply!

However, there are some positive signs with HR 3246, which is called the Advanced Vehicle Technology Act.  The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed the amendment giving two-wheel electric vehicles manufacturers access to Department of Energy funding for further development of electric vehicles.  For the EV industry this will allow, for the first time, two wheel vehicles to benefit from federal Department of Energy funding which automobiles enjoy.

Plug IN America was instrumental in getting this legislation passed in the house, but as you may recall a bill must pass both the House and Senate and then be signed by the President.  And while it’s gratifying to see the House of Representative approve and show support for electric motorcycles, the Senate needs to follow suit.  I encourage motorcyclists to take a moment to tell their U.S. Senator’s to support and pass this measure when it comes up to vote. A complete list of Senators and their contact information can be found here.

Photo courtesy of Brammo.  Full Disclosure: I don’t work for or have an investment or ownership in Brammo.

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abyssI spent a couple days last weekend with buddies catching up on some overdue winter recreation.

On the drive east talk turned toward the economic situation.  We reminisced about a time where money was flowing, easy money.  Anybody could qualify for a loan — I mean anybody.  One person in the group knew a grocery store clerk with an annual salary of twenty-three thousand dollars who had received a two-hundred-and-sixteen-thousand-dollar mortgage, with no money down and no income verification — not even a phone call from a lender.

I thought I knew what was going on in America.  That lenders stretched the limits and borrowers overreached.  Just a little.  But that was not what is going on.  In acts of pure greed, banking institutions lent money for the fees, not worrying about tomorrow, just like the ignorant people they gave the money too.

I’m not ignorant.  I’ve done the college gig.  But, oftentimes the borrowers of these super-duper sums were high school dropouts, working blue collar jobs.  And now that those jobs, so often in the construction trades, and unfortunately have disappeared, they’re lining up with their brethren for minimum wage work that they can’t get, because the line is so long.

The Senate today passed the $838B Stimulus Pork “Recovery and Reinvestment Plan” while the Dow tanks 300+ points on the news!  Is Wall Street sending a signal that they think it’s a “Sink the Ship Plan?”

I’ve sacrificed.  Not that I’m proud of it.  It was just a necessity.  I’ve seen limited funds coming in, so limited funds had to go out.  I believe in the American Dream, I wouldn’t have sacrificed if I didn’t believe in the potential for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but now I find out those making the rules don’t sacrifice at all.  I declare all my income.  I pay my taxes.  But those making the rules don’t?  How can this be?

Little did I know that you could have your cake and eat it too.  And here I was wary of losing sight of my dreams, becoming locked in an endless cycle of work and obligations, unable to pursue my passions.  I wonder how many more people these self-congratulatory, egomaniacal lawmakers will rip off?

At the Grammy’s backstage during the pre-telecast awards ceremony, B.B. King said it best.  He won his 15th Grammy, for best traditional blues album, “One Kind Favor” and he alluded to the recession… 

“I believe the blues, the way things are today, is more important now than it ever was,” Mr. King said.  “Unless you got a lot of money.  I don’t.”

Brings to mind a saying they have in Wyoming:  “Rules are for fools!”

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