Friday, November 30, 2012

I knew it ........ Big Foot IS REAL!

We visited his home town this summer on the Long Ride to Sturgis.

Here is a video that says scientist have proven he is real!


Its on CNN so it must be true now! :0


Today at LRS we wanted to put up a little information about some of the people who work here at Long Ride Shields and those who contribute to the MLAT BLOG. Over the next week or so Ill take a little time to post some information about all of our staff, but today Ill just introduce myself.

My name is Matt Gardner, President of Long Ride Shields.

I was born and raised In Reno Nevada at the foot of the sierras and the gateway to the great deserts, Reno is where Ill raise my family, and it was here where I first learned to ride.

My first bike like most of us  was a 50cc honda and as a kid I graduated through a slew of other dirt bikes and ATV's In high school I bought my first beater road bike a Virago 750 and from there traded up bike after bike to an 02 Road King, a College graduation present from myself :) I Will probably ride that King until either I or it dies, whichever comes first.

My greatest love besides my wife, dog and Little 2 year old girl, are the roads of the sierras.
Myself and Wife - Before I got fat!
Our Daughter
Drover My dog
The Sierras

As a kid I learned each and every byway and back-road from bishop to the Oregon border and everything in between. Growing up here you learn the history and the stories and as a rider I thrive on learning details about the places I go and the things I can see along the way, a ride is 99% about the journey and only 1% the destination.

Trail to the Sun, Glacier National Park
California coast
Last Year I accomplished one of my bucket list rides by traveling a 4500 mile route from Reno to Sturgis The LONG RIDE WAY AROUND.  Our trip took us 10 day of hard riding and we traveled up the california coast line and through the national parks on our way to the BIKER MECCA that is Sturgis. It was a true adventure and I loved every minute of it. If you read back through this blog you can see our posts leading up to that ride.

When I started Long Ride Shields I was in college and all I really knew at the time is that I needed to figure out a way to get the wind off of me. I had purchased an older Road King Classic and had put an aftermarket fairing on it. There was so much buffeting that I couldnt stand to ride the bike.

It didnt take me long to make a solution to my problem. I had grown up in the family business, at a company called Quality Plastics Inc. Which was owned by my father and Grandfather. I had grown up making different projects in the shop, and with the help of some of the guys at QP I came up with my first prototype windshield for my Road King. The first shield was called the Long Ride Shield - Ultra Classic, and over time it has evolved into what is now our Ultra Elite Shield. Eventualy I started selling a few of the windshields I had made on Ebay and then decided I liked the product enough that I would give it a go as a profession.

So here I am three years latter and I couldn't be more proud of what LRS has become.

I have on my staff aside from the workers at Quality Plastics, Three awesome Team-Mates who help run and manage LRS. They are James, West and Jeremy, and each of them brings a unique set of skills and humor with them that add character to each and every thing we do.

Here at Long Ride Shields we make products for bikers, that are made by bikers!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

University Motorcycle Club

My Sister In Law Lola.
While celebrating the holiday weekend and avoiding Black Friday like the plague I took a short trip to a University where my sister in law and her friends go to school.  The tightly knit group of friends have all picked up cheap motorcycles to get around town and around school as quickly and efficiently as possible.  You can’t imagine my amusement at a small group of friends forming a university biker gang.  

Not a traditional gang as you might think but a group of friends that share a common interest.   Not a single bike among them was worth more than $1000.00 and they all had to turn wrenches and use a little bubble gum and duct tape just to keep their bikes running.  Three kids are staying in a smallish house with a barely passable kitchen, but a two car garage.  

Obviously they had some passion for bikes before school, because between them they actually have a passable garage with enough tools and equipment to repair almost anything that goes wrong.  They do their own oil changes, maintenance and repair and when they're out a bike they are within walking distance to their jobs and school.  

Short break before more wondering
All of this just serves to remind me of the good old days when I scraped by on the skin of my teeth and a tenacity I almost thought dead.  I couldn't help but admire a group of kids like them.  Living, not in their parents basement, on their own and taking care of themselves, for the most part.  

When I arrived at their house they had just finished up repairing one of their scoots and wanted to go for a ride, which was admirable as most of my buddies packed up their bikes in the garage not to feel fresh air again until spring.  I happily agreed and we set out through the college neighborhood heading for a fun area of trails and scenery.  I had not been riding like that in a long time and quickly found that 
my 02 King was more out of place than any of their little bikes.  

We crossed through a park that was closed to the public but offered gates they sped through with ease leaving me to clumsily maneuver my huge bike as best I could through what seemed like an opening I could barely walk through.  Once we made it through the park I found there weren't any roads they planned to use to get to the trail head.  Instead we just rode on a running path which eventually came to a huge drainage culvert under the highway.

Returning home!
Once across we rode through the hills on larger very clean access roads.  Mostly they were paved but in areas the path was little more than dirt.  I stuck to the roads on the king but they would periodically speed off the trail and loop through the trees eventually catching back up to me.  I have to admit that over the course of the ride I couldn't help be happy.  These kids were living a life I had lived in years past.  Enjoying their freedom, the area and their bikes.

It’s not too much a stretch to say that these kids are making the most of something that in some ways I've forgotten. Every time they take a ride they feel as though they've earned it and they’re willing to work hard to keep enjoying their bikes and the places they lead.  All in all I couldn't have asked for a better weekend away than the one those kids gave me.

I’m proud of those kids, all of them and I think they will do great things in life.  I am looking forward to my next ride your way!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

National Geographic Debunks Thanksgiving Myths

Before the big dinner, debunk the myths—for starters, the first "real" U.S. Thanksgiving wasn't until the 1800s—and get to the roots of Thanksgiving 2012. Thanksgiving Dinner: Recipe for Food Coma? Key to any Thanksgiving Day menu are a fat turkey and cranberry sauce.
An estimated 254 million turkeys will be raised for slaughter in the U.S. during 2012, up 2 percent from 2011's total, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Last year's birds were worth about five billion dollars.
About 46 million turkeys ended up on U.S. dinner tables last Thanksgiving—or about 736 million pounds (334 million kilograms) of turkey meat, according to estimates from the National Turkey Federation.
Minnesota is the United States' top turkey-producing state, followed by North Carolina, Arkansas, Missouri, Virginia, and Indiana. These "big six" states produce two of every three U.S.-raised birds, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. U.S. farmers will also produce 768 million pounds (348 million kilograms) of cranberries in 2012, which, like turkeys, are native to the Americas. The top producers are Wisconsin and Massachusetts. The U.S. will also grow 2.7 billion pounds (1.22 billion kilograms) of sweet potatoes—many in North Carolina, Mississippi, California, and Louisiana—and will produce more than 1.1 billion pounds (499 million kilograms) of pumpkins. Illinois, California, Pennsylvania, and Ohio grow the most U.S. pumpkins.

But if you overeat at Thanksgiving dinner, there's a price to be paid for all this plenty: the Thanksgiving "food coma." The post-meal fatigue may be real, but the condition is giving turkeys a bad rap. Contrary to myth, the amount of the organic amino acid tryptophan in most turkeys isn't responsible for drowsiness. Instead, scientists blame booze, the sheer caloric size of an average feast, or just plain-old relaxing after stressful work schedules. (Take a Thanksgiving quiz.)

What Was on the First Thanksgiving Menu?

Little is known about the first Thanksgiving dinner in Plimoth (also spelled Plymouth) Colony in October 1621, attended by some 50 English colonists and about 90 Wampanoag American Indian men in what is now Massachusetts. We do know that the Wampanoag killed five deer for the feast, and that the colonists shot wild fowl—which may have been geese, ducks, or turkey. Some form, or forms, of Indian corn were also served.
But Jennifer Monac, spokesperson for the living-history museum Plimoth Plantation, said the feasters likely supplemented their venison and birds with fish, lobster, clams, nuts, and wheat flour, as well as vegetables, such as pumpkins, squashes, carrots, and peas. "They ate seasonally," Monac said in 2009, "and this was the time of the year when they were really feasting. There were lots of vegetables around, because the harvest had been brought in."

Much of what we consider traditional Thanksgiving fare was unknown at the first Thanksgiving. Potatoes and sweet potatoes hadn't yet become staples of the English diet, for example. And cranberry sauce requires sugar—an expensive delicacy in the 1600s. Likewise, pumpkin pie went missing due to a lack of crust ingredients.

If you want to eat like a Pilgrim yourself, try some of the Plimoth Plantation's recipes, including stewed pompion (pumpkin) or traditional Wampanoag succotash. (See "Sixteen Indian Innovations: From Popcorn to Parkas.")

First Thanksgiving Not a True Thanksgiving?

Long before the first Thanksgiving, American Indian peoples, Europeans, and other cultures around the world had often celebrated the harvest season with feasts to offer thanks to higher powers for their sustenance and survival. In 1541 Spaniard Francisco Vásquez de Coronado and his troops celebrated a "Thanksgiving" while searching for New World gold in what is now the Texas Panhandle.
Later such feasts were held by French Huguenot colonists in present-day Jacksonville, Florida (1564), by English colonists and Abnaki Indians at Maine's Kennebec River (1607), and in Jamestown, Virginia (1610), when the arrival of a food-laden ship ended a brutal famine. (Related: "Four Hundred-Year-Old Seeds, Spear Change Perceptions of Jamestown Colony.")
But it's the 1621 Plimoth Thanksgiving that's linked to the birth of our modern holiday. To tell the truth, though, the first "real" Thanksgiving happened two centuries later.

Everything we know about the three-day Plimoth gathering comes from a description in a letter wrote by Edward Winslow, leader of the Plimoth Colony, in 1621, Monac said. The letter had been lost for 200 years and was rediscovered in the 1800s, she added. In 1841 Boston publisher Alexander Young printed Winslow's brief account of the feast and added his own twist, dubbing the 1621 feast the "First Thanksgiving." In Winslow's "short letter, it was clear that [the 1621 feast] was not something that was supposed to be repeated again and again. It wasn't even a Thanksgiving, which in the 17th century was a day of fasting. It was a harvest celebration," Monac said. But after its mid-1800s appearance, Young's designation caught on—to say the least.

U.S. President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving Day a national holiday in 1863. He was probably swayed in part by magazine editor Sarah Josepha Hale—the author of the nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb"—who had suggested Thanksgiving become a holiday, historians say.
In 1941 President Franklin Roosevelt established the current date for observance, the fourth Thursday of November.

Thanksgiving Turkey-in-Waiting

Each year at least two lucky turkeys avoid the dinner table, thanks to a presidential pardon—a longstanding Washington tradition of uncertain origin. Since 1947, during the Truman Administration, the National Turkey Federation has presented two live turkeys—and a ready-to-eat turkey—to the President, federation spokesperson Sherrie Rosenblatt said in 2009.

"There are two birds," Rosenblatt explained, "the presidential turkey and the vice presidential turkey, which is an alternate, in case the presidential turkey is unable to perform its duties." Those duties pretty much boil down to not biting the President during the photo opportunity with the press. In 2008 the vice presidential bird, "Pumpkin," stepped in for the appearance with President Bush after the presidential bird, "Pecan," had fallen ill the night before.
The lucky birds once shared a similar happy fate as Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks—a trip to Disneyland's Big Thunder Ranch in California, where they lived out their natural lives. Since 2010, however, the birds have followed in the footsteps of the first President and taken up residence at George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens.
After the holiday season, however, the two 40-pound (18-kilogram) toms won't be on public display. These fat, farm-fed birds aren't historically accurate, unlike the wild birds that still roam the Virginia estate.

Talking Turkey

Pilgrims had been familiar with turkeys before they landed in the Americas. That's because early European explorers of the New World had returned to Europe with turkeys in tow after encountering them at Native American settlements. Native Americans had domesticated the birds centuries before European contact. A century later Ben Franklin famously made known his preference that the turkey, rather than the bald eagle, should be the official U.S. bird. But Franklin might have been shocked when, by the 1930s, hunting had so decimated North American wild turkey populations that their numbers had dwindled to the tens of thousands, from a peak of at least tens of millions.
Today, thanks to reintroduction efforts and hunting regulations, wild turkeys are back. (Related: "Birder's Journal: Giving Thanks for Wild Turkey Sightings.") Some seven million wild turkeys are thriving across the U.S., and many of them have adapted easily to the suburbs—their speed presumably an asset on ever encroaching roads.
Wild turkeys can run some 10 to 20 miles (16 to 32 kilometers) an hour and fly in bursts at 55 miles (89 kilometers) an hour. Domesticated turkeys can't fly at all.

On Thanksgiving, Pass the Pigskin

For many U.S. citizens, Thanksgiving without football is as unthinkable as the Fourth of July without fireworks. NBC Radio broadcast the first national Thanksgiving Day game in 1934, when the Detroit Lions hosted the Chicago Bears. Except for a respite during World War II, the Lions have played—usually badly—every Thanksgiving Day since. For the 2012 game, the 73rd, they take on the Houston Texans.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

For a festive few, even turkey takes a backseat to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, originally called the Macy's Christmas parade, because it kicked off the shopping season.
The tradition began in 1924, when employees recruited animals from the Central Park Zoo to march on Thanksgiving Day. Helium-filled balloons made their debut in the parade in 1927 and, in the early years, were released above the city skyline with the promise of rewards for their finders.
The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, first televised nationally in 1947, now draws some 44 million viewers—not counting the 3 million people who actually line the 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) Manhattan route. Thanksgiving weekend also boasts the retail version of the Super Bowl—Black Friday, when massive sales and early opening times attract frugal shoppers.
A National Retail Federation survey projects that up to 147 million Americans will either brave the crowds to shop on 2012's Black Friday weekend or take advantage of online shopping sales, a slight dip from last year's 152 million shoppers.

Planes, Trains, and (Lots of) Automobiles

It may seem like everyone in the U.S. is on the road on Thanksgiving Day, keeping you from your turkey and stuffing. That's not exactly true, but 43.6 million of about 314 million U.S. citizens will drive more than 50 miles (80 kilometers) from home for the 2012 holiday, according to the American Automobile Association. That's a small 300,000-person increase from last year. An additional 3.14 million travelers will fly to their holiday destination and 1.3 million others will use buses, trains, or other modes of travel. These modestly rising Thanksgiving travel numbers continue to rebound slowly from a steep 25 percent drop precipitated by the onset of the 2008 recession.

Thanksgiving North of the Border

Cross-border travelers can celebrate Thanksgiving twice, because Canada celebrates its own Thanksgiving Day the second Monday in October. As in the U.S., the event is sometimes linked to a historic feast with which it has no real ties—in this case explorer Martin Frobisher's 1578 ceremony, which gave thanks for his safe arrival in what is now New Brunswick. Canada's Thanksgiving, established in 1879, was inspired by the U.S. holiday. Dates of observance have fluctuated—sometimes coinciding with the U.S. Thanksgiving or the Canadian veteran-appreciation holiday, Remembrance Day—and at least once Canada's Thanksgiving occurred as late as December. But Canada's colder climate eventually led to the 1957 decision that formalized the October date.

From National Geographic Website

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Robert's Napa Valley Cruise...

 When you think of California perhaps you think of smog, movies and the Governator. There's another side to California though, and our friend Robert spent a day exploring the beautiful country of the Napa Valley. Robert was kind enough to spend some time talking to us about his ride.
Just over the mountain from Reno, Nevada along I-80, lies the Sacramento Valley, and beyond that, the Napa Valley. Robert started in Reno, rode the winding mountain passes of the Sierra's and into Sacramento. From Sacramento he headed towards the coast. He followed the scenic California coast and into Monterey. Following a stop to take in the scenery and fuel up, he turned his bike back towards the Napa Valley and wine country. After spending time winding through the vineyards and estates of Napa he decided to head on back to the desert, and rode back through the Sierra's to Reno.

     Robert described his ride as great. He said the weather held out for him, and it was warm and pleasant. There was little traffic and he had easy going the whole way. We're glad Robert shared his ride with us. Not many people in our area of Reno realize that there's such a great ride just hours away. If you get the chance to explore Napa, take it, you won't regret it...

We were also lucky enough to have Robert test a shield for us on his bike. He has a vision for his perfect prototype LRS Shield, so we made him one and sent it with him. He thought his "Aviator" designed shield performed great, keeping the wind off his chest, and allowing just the right amount over the shield. He said the shield performed great overall and had good aerodynamics at speed. Thanks for your ride report Robert, and for testing the shield!

If you have a ride report you'd like to send to us, we'd love to post it here! We want to collect as many great rides as we can, and show off some of our customers great photos and rides as well!

Email us at or post on our facebook at

We really do want to hear from you!

Long Ride Shields New Product Idea Survey

At Long Ride Shields, We're all about our customers. We'd like to know what you think about some new ideas for new products. Please check out our survey and let us know what you think! You're ideas will influence some new products from LRS!

Take the LRS New Product Survey Here

Friday, November 9, 2012

Anniversary of the Marine Corps!

All U.S. Marines are gung-ho. But, few can match the vision and total commitment of the famous 13th Commandant, Gen. John A. Lejeune. In 1921 he issued Marine Corps Order No. 47, Series 1921.

Gen. Lejeune's order summarized the history, mission, and tradition of the Corps. It further directed that the order be read to all Marines on 10 November of each year to honor the founding of the Marine Corps. Thereafter, 10 November became a unique day for U.S. Marines throughout the world.

Soon, some Marine commands began to not only honor the birthday, but celebrate it. In 1923 the Marine Barracks at Ft. Mifflin, Pennsylvania, staged a formal dance. The Marines at the Washington Navy Yard arranged a mock battle on the parade ground. At Quantanamo Bay, Cuba, the Marine baseball team played a Cuban team and won, 9 to 8.

The first "formal" Birthday Ball took place on Philadelphia in 1925. First class Marine Corps style, all the way! Guests included the Commandant, the Secretary of War (in 1925 the term "politically correct" didn't exist; it was Secretary of War, not Secretary of Defense), and a host of statesmen and elected officials. Prior to the Ball, Gen. Lejeune unveiled a memorial plaque at Tun Tavern. Then the entourage headed for the Benjamin Franklin Hotel and an evening of festivities and frolicking.

Over the years the annual Birthday Ball grew and grew, taking on a life of its own. In 1952 the Commandant, Gen. Lemuel C. Shepherd Jr., formalized the cake-cutting ceremony and other traditional observances. For example, Marine Corps policy now mandates that the first piece of cake must be presented to the oldest U.S. Marine present. The second piece goes to the youngest Marine. Among the many such mandates is a solemn reading of the Commandant's birthday message to the Corps.

Like the U.S. Marine Corps itself, the annual Birthday Ball has evolved from simple origins to the polished and professional functions of today. Nonetheless, one thing remains constant, the tenth day of November! This unique holiday for warriors is a day of camaraderie, a day to honor Corps and Country. Throughout the world on 10 November, U.S. Marines celebrate the birth of their Corps -- the most loyal, most feared, most revered, and most professional fighting force the world has ever known.

In honor of the Marine Corps celebrating it's birthday on November 10th, we thought we would take the time to have a member of our staff and a former Marine say a few words about his service. This is what he shared with us.

Ben Service Photo

"I served in the United States Marine Corps directly out of high school. I went to boot camp on September 18, 2006 and little did I know how drastically my life was about to change. The marines shaped me into a man with a level of values and discipline not matched by any other branch in the military. We learned how to be leaders, we learned what coming together for a greater purpose means and that when you have your brother right by your side, anything can be accomplished. We learned what hard work and discipline will do for a person while on this great journey called life.

Ben Pictured on Far Right

While enlisted in the marines I met many different types of people from all different walks of life. Whether it be a man from new jersey, from florida, from texas we all came together to accomplish our mission. In our experiences together serving in both iraq in 2008 and Afghanistan in 2009 we developed such a strong relationship, a brotherhood that could never be matched by anything found in the civilian world. We laughed together, we cried together, we became a family, we have a brotherhood that could never be matched by anything found in any other branch of the military.

That is what makes the Marine Corps so special and sets it apart from any other branch in the military. Its not just the rigorous training Marines endure, or the discipline hard wired into them, its the bond that develops. I am thankful for serving with such a great group of men and am so fortunate to have developed the family i have with them."
Ben Donnels

We also stumbled upon these Marines, sporting the Harley Logo and celebrating the freedom they served to earn for all of us in the United States of America.

Hafa Adai (greetings) from Guam! These photos are of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle that sits in about 30 feet of water in Apra Harbor, Guam. This bike was used during World War II. After the war ended, Seabees and Marines dumped tons of unusable vehicles and gear overboard from barges. It’s unknown whether the bike was used by the Japanese during the occupation of Guam or whether it was used by Marines during the island’s liberation. Either way, it’s a reminder of Harley-Davidson’s contribution to, and impact on, the military and U.S. history.

Pete Siguenza, Vice Director
Mariana Islands H.O.G. Chapter, Guam


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Patriot Guard Riders

It seemed more than appropriate to do a piece today relating to those who put their lived on the line every day for our freedoms.  Those who have served served to fight for our rights to vote.  A right that we all head to the polls today to practice.  When you're done voting today, take a moment to real about a group of motorcyclists dedicated to honoring those who lost their lives serving to earn us that right, the Patriot Guard Riders!

The Patriot Guard Riders (PGR) is a motorcycle club whose members attend the funerals of US armed forces members, firefighters, and police at the invitation of the deceased’s family. Patriot Guard Riders' representatives state that they are not a chartered motorcycle club, but a group of individuals with an "unwavering respect for those who risk their lives for America’s freedom and security".
The group was formed in 2005, to shelter and protect the deceased's family against protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church, who claim that the deaths of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are divine retribution for American tolerance of homosexuality. PGR members position themselves to physically shield the mourners from the presence of the Westboro protesters by blocking the protesters from view with their motorcade, or by having members hold American flags. The group also drowns out the protesters' chants by singing patriotic songs or by revving motorcycle engines.
Patriot Guard Riders
Although initially founded by motorcyclists, the organization is open to anyone, regardless of political affiliation, veteran status, or whether they ride or not. The only prerequisite is "a deep respect for those who serve our country; military, firefighters, or law enforcement". The Patriot Guard was established in Mulvane, Kansas at American Legion Post 136 in 2005.
The group's mission quickly expanded to include the funerals of law enforcement officers, fire department personnel, all first responders, and any active duty member or veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces from all previous wars and conflicts and is now largely focused on recognizing and honoring the sacrifices of fallen service members as well as their families and loved ones. As of March 2011, PGR reported over 220,000 members. In addition to their attendance at funerals, the group also greets troops returning from overseas at welcome home celebrations, deployment ceremonies, and perform volunteer work for veteran's organizations such as Veterans Homes. The group also assists families in financial difficulties with travel and housing arrangements, and also visits military hospitals to encourage and honor wounded service members of the United States Armed Forces.

Article provided by Wikipedia and may be found HERE in full.

LRS would also like to thank all those who are serving or have ever served in any capacity.  You help every day to ensure that we are free and remain free to live life in any and every way we choose.  Keep up the fight and know that our prayers are with you and yours every day.  

Understanding the Election

Election Day 2012 - Helping US understand the Election process.
With Election Day 2012 here, more people than ever are paying attention to the presidential race, leading to more questions than ever. For some, these queries seem elementary and unnecessary, but that attitude is what leads to shame, embarrassment and intimidation on the part of those who want to be involved and understand the process. And God knows we need as many Americans as possible giving even a little bit of a crap about their country and its future, so I say we embrace everyone who wants to learn and be involved. This week, I’ll do my best to answer the most commonly asked questions of the last week: 

o   EVERYONE IS REPORTING THAT IT “FEELS” LIKE IT’S SHIFTED BACK TO OBAMA. TRUE? With no real way to know the answer, I would guess, “yes.” Obama was helped greatly by the events of Hurricane Sandy and his opportunity to appear presidential and empathetic. Three different polls showed Americans giving him an average of 70% approval for how he handled the situation. It also totally stopped Romney’s momentum by forcing him off the front page and even off the campaign trail for a few days.

o   ROMNEY WAS UP BY 7 IN THE NATIONAL POLL, HOW COULD HE LOSE NOW? While it is true that Romney had the biggest lead of the year in the Gallup daily tracking poll two weeks ago, and it is also true that no candidate has ever lost when being ahead by that much at that point in any election in history using this poll as a guide, there is no reason to hand Romney this election. For starters, most other polls of credibility have the race much closer or tied. Secondly, things change in a hurry in the 21st century. Most importantly, remember that national polls matter less than state-by-state polls. The election is decided by each candidate winning the greatest number of votes in what’s called the Electoral College. Each state is awarded a certain number of votes based on its population, and it’s up to the candidates to win the right states to achieve 270 Electoral College votes, and state by state voting right now shows a very tight race. While Romney is pulling away in Florida, he’s losing in Ohio, for example.

o   CAN’T WE JUST GET RID OF THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE? We hear this cry every four years and it is the song of the truly ignorant. We are a Representative Republic, not a Democracy, and the Electoral College is in the greatest tradition of Thomas Jefferson, who rightfully deemed that the United States would be a laboratory of democratic experiments, with each state being its own petri dish. People who live in California and whine every four years that their “vote doesn't count,” are stupid beyond repair. Of course it does. California is the most populated state in the union and has the greatest number of electoral votes in the college. Under almost any scenario, it will go to Obama, just as Texas will go to Romney. If you don’t like that fact, move to a more conservative state, idiot. In the end, it will change nothing about the outcome of the election. If you are so devoid of self-importance that you need to always cast your vote in a state that is razor thin, I’m sure Nevada, Virginia or New Hampshire would love to have you.

o   WILL IT REALLY MATTER IF EITHER OF THESE GUYS WIN? Absolutely. Look no further than the certainty that at least two Supreme Court Justices will be appointed in the next four years, rounding out what will then be one of the youngest benches ever. Meaning that the next 30 years of judicial final say will be in place. The singular importance of that fact alone, something no one is talking about, makes this the most important election of the last 30 years.

o   WHAT WILL OBAMA AND ROMNEY ACTUALLY DO RIGHT AWAY THAT WILL AFFECT MY LIFE IF THEY WIN? Extraordinary tax, budget, and spending issues must be addressed, by law, in 2013. It can’t be avoided, even by slippery politicians. Regardless of who wins, a temporary measure to extend everything as it is for 6 months (giving them time to work a new plan) will be crafted. The man sworn in as President in January will then direct what we will do, with a final decision coming sometime around June of 2013, about taxes, military spending, healthcare, social security, medicare, food stamps, and everything in between. There is full agreement that a massive rewrite of our entire tax code will occur in 2013. The giant question is whether or not it will be controlled and directed by the Democrats behind Barack Obama or the Republicans behind Mitt Romney. Regardless, the effects will be felt by every single person in the country within one year of this election. It’s that important.

o   HOW DO I KNOW WHO IS LYING AND WHAT THE TRUTH IS? In many cases, you can’t and don’t. Romney has spent his career changing positions. He’s been everything from pro-choice to pro-life, in favor of gay rights to against gay marriage, and an alleged conservative who also signed a state form of Obama-Care that has nothing to do with Conservative principles. Meanwhile, Obama has kept almost none of his promises from 2008. Guantanamo Bay is still open, and Obamacare was never a major part of his campaign and includes $6,000 in annual new taxes beginning next year for the Middle Class, breaking his “no tax increases on the Middle Class,” pledge. The economy has certainly not recovered, and the deficit, thanks to his spending, has ballooned under his watch, something he said in 2008 was “unpatriotic.”

So to summarize, the situation is this: The electoral process in America is what it is, so stop whining about it. You have two choices and the Electoral College will decide the results. If you want to stomp your feet and cry out that it’s “not fair,” while wasting your vote on Gary Johnson, go for it, but don’t claim that you’re part of the solution, because you’re not. You’re the kid on the playground who refuses to play by the rules and we’re all ignoring you.

This leaves you to decide what matters to you most and what you believe.  Some Romney supporters simply believe that nothing could be worse than Obama, while some Obama supporters believe that Romney will simply recreate the economic meltdown of 2008.

But here’s what the most staunch supporters of each man believes: Obama-lovers believe he has begun the fundamental transformation of America to becoming a more fair nation and that he has put the 1% on notice: No longer will you be allowed to rake in the riches of this nation while taking advantage of the middle class and never rewarding them. Everyone will have a fair shot when we’re done, and that’s all we’re asking. We’ve been a cold-hearted, money-first nation for too long and it’s time to remember that we’re all connected, and that yes, sometimes, you can have too much money, power and influence.

Romney-supporters accept that certain things must be said to win elections and hope to God that when he gets into office he will pull a reverse Clinton. Bill Clinton campaigned on a middle-class tax cut and then got into office and famously said he worked harder on making that come true than anything in his life, but, sorry, I have to raise taxes instead. Romney, it’s hoped by his followers, will get into office and say that it’s worse than he thought and we’re going to cut spending everywhere, lower everyone’s taxes and unleash the free market American economy to run wild and watch the money start to flow.

Which vision do you believe and which version do you want? While there’s no guarantee that either result will actually happen, it’s about the best you have to go on…good luck!

Full article may be found HERE!  We would also like to thank the Rob, Arnie & Dawn show for the use of this article and the valuable information within it.  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Tsunami bike exhibited by Harley-Davidson

NEW YORK — Harley-Davidson Motor Co. opened an exhibit Wednesday in its Milwaukee museum featuring a motorcycle found washed up in Canada in April and belonging to tsunami survivor Ikuo Yokoyama.
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Sea hog: A Harley-Davidson washed away from Miyagi by the 3/11 tsunami and found in April on Canada's shores is put on display Wednesday at the firm's museum in Milwaukee. HARLEY-DAVIDSON MUSEUM / KYODO
Calling the bike a "personal object" that "people can relate to," the museum's senior curator, Kristen Jones, said the special display is intended to honor the lives lost or changed forever by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
"For Harley owners, their bikes are an extension of themselves," Jones said. "I think that for people to see that and to see how this bike has been affected, it really gives them some insight into how the people of Japan have been affected."
The company originally offered to have the 2004 Harley-Davidson FXSTB Softail Night Train restored and returned to Yokoyama, 29, who lost three family members in last year's natural disasters. Instead, he asked that it be used as a reminder of the more than 18,500 people who perished on March 11.
The bike is accompanied by pictures showing the location where it was found on the shores of Graham Island off British Columbia by beachcomber Peter Mark, as well as a wall-size map showing the more than 6,000 km journey it took from the town of Yamamoto, Miyagi Prefecture.
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The bike's battered number plate is seen.
Jones said staff made a "conscious decision" not to completely wash off sand and salt from the bike's Pacific trek as it provides a "high visual impact."
"Just seeing that is really a reminder of not only what this bike has been through in terms of its journey, but of the power of Mother Nature," she said. "It was a decision that we had to weigh very carefully."
Harley-Davidson, whose foundation donated $250,000 last year to help tsunami and earthquake survivors, hopes both Yokoyama and the bike's finder, Mark, can visit the museum to view the exhibit firsthand.
Story Provided by Japan Times