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June 2019

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Grey Beard Biker’s last blog post on Principles of a Self-Defense dealt with Proportionality. This post will deal specifically with Avoidance – the fourth component of a self-defense claim if you use deadly force. In review, here are the five components which must all be answered affirmatively for you to prove you acted in self-defense.

  1. Innocence
  2. Imminence
  3. Proportionality
  4. Avoidance
  5. Reasonableness

This post deals with #4 – Avoidance. It is critical, for those of us calling Tennessee home, to understand how your ability to avoid a deadly encounter can jeopardize your self-defense claim. And while Tennessee is a “stand-your-ground” state, there are potential legal pitfalls to a defense based exclusively on a “no duty to retreat” argument. Finally, while the protections of “Castle Doctrine,” derived from William Blackstone’s “Commentaries on the Laws of England,” provides a great deal of protection while you are in your home, there are restrictions on when you can use force even within your “castle.”

Avoidance

Simply put, if you can safely avoid a potentially dangerous encounter, you should do so. Get away and call the police. Even with the protections Tennessee has codified in law, do not become a victim of a cowboy mentality – as there are limitations to stand-your-ground which can land you in prison for a VERY long time.

Let’s look at the actual Tennessee code regarding your “duty-to-retreat.”

39-11-611(b)(1):a person who is not engaged in unlawful activity and is in a place where the person has a right to be has no duty to retreat before threatening or using force against another person when and to the degree the person reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful force.

This statue clearly states you must be innocent (you are in a place you are legally allowed to be and not a participant in an unlawful activity), there must be imminence of potential death or maiming and a “reasonable” person would have acted similarly. Notice that three of the five components of a self-defense claim are clearly referenced in this specific code: innocence, imminence and reasonableness. And while this code does not reference proportionality, your force must be proportional – do not use deadly force against an aggressor who is not using deadly force against you. To do so will only provide a prosecutor ammunition (pun intended) to portray you a that “cowboy” alluded to earlier.

Castle Doctrine

Tennessee provides many safeguards against criminal prosecution when you use force to protect yourself, your family and guests while you are in your “castle.” Your castle is a: residence, dwelling, curtilage, business and vehicle.

Residence: a dwelling in which the person resides, either permanently or temporarily, or is visiting as an invited guest, or any dwelling, building or other appurtenance within the curtilage of the residence

Dwelling: a building or conveyance of any kind, including any attached porch, whether the building or conveyance is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, that has a roof over it, including a tent, and is designed for or capable of use by people

Curtilage: the area surrounding a dwelling that is necessary, convenient and habitually used for family purposes and for those activities associated with the sanctity of a person’s home

Business: a commercial enterprise or establishment owned by a person as all or part of the person’s livelihood or is under the owner’s control or who is an employee or agent of the owner with responsibility for protecting persons and property and shall include the interior and exterior premises of the business

Vehicle: any motorized vehicle that is self-propelled and designed for use on public highways to transport people and property

These are all areas which fall under the protection of castle doctrine. However, as with stand-your-ground, there are limitations to your ability to claim self-defense while in any of these areas – most importantly, deadly force is never allowed to protect one’s property or real estate. This is clearly spelled out in the following Tennessee statute.

39-11-611(C)(c)Any person using force intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily injury within a residence, business, dwelling or vehicle is presumed to have held a reasonable belief of imminent death or serious bodily injury to self, family, a member of the household or a person visiting as an invited guest, when that force is used against another person, who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has unlawfully and forcibly entered the residence, business, dwelling or vehicle, and the person using defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry occurred.

Exceptions to this code can cause your self-defense claim to fail:

  • If you invited the person into your home as a guest – the AOJ Triad would apply: the person has to have ability and opportunity – and jeopardy has to exist which may cause you death or serious bodily injury
  • If you are in your home illegally – Eg. You are going through a divorce and your wife/significant other has legal authority to be in said home and has an order of protection against you
  • If the person cohabits the residence with you – the AOJ Triad again comes into play

In summary, stand-your-ground and Castle Doctrine do not provide blanket immunity against prosecution. And stand-your-ground specifically only relieves you of the burden of avoidance – the other four legs, of the five components of self-defense, still apply: Innocence, Imminence, Proportionality and Reasonableness. When it comes to avoidance, commonsense – which is not so common these days – is essential.

Grey Beard Biker

Note: Neither the Grey Beard Biker or Michael are an attorney. While he has been involved in self-defense for many years, this article is provided for informational purposes only. Check with an attorney to understand your state’s laws.

This article was originally published in Thunder Roads Tennessee/Kentucky magazine and is used with permission. It was written by Michael Noirot – a/k/a the Grey Beard Biker.

Other articles in this series can be read by clicking on the following links:

Many of you have seen the movie, Lone Survivor. It was based on retired Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell‘s gripping story as the actual “Lone Survivor.” In the movie, Mark Wahlberg was cast as Marcus, and Luttrell actually had a small supporting role. The movie was very well done with superb cinematography, acting and stunts. Watching the movie, your lovable Grey Beard Biker could feel the pain of all four Navy SEALs as they literally fell down the mountain in Afghanistan, to get away from the Taliban fighters. That was make believe – a movie adaption of actual events.

Operation Red Wings

In real life, Navy SEALs Michael P. Murphy, Danny Dietz, Matthew Axelson and Luttrell would all inserted into a remote section of Afghani mountains to perform an overwatch of a village believed to harbor a known Taliban leader. Codenamed Operation Red Wings, after the Detroit NHL team, it would become symbolic of the War on Terror. Ultimately, their hiding place would be discovered by a group of Afghan goat herders, and their position would be compromised when the squad commander, Murphy, ordered that the innocents be released, unharmed. This accidental event would bring dozens of Taliban fighters to a position of strength over the four SEALs. After a prolonged small arms battle, only Luttrell would remain alive, to be rescued several days later.

Death on the Mountainside

On this day, 28 June 2005, Lieutenant Michael Murphy would ultimately die on the side of that remote mountain in Afghanistan – far away from his Long Island, New York home. With no direct way to communicate with his superiors, and needing support from AC-130 gunships, Murphy was forced to climb into an exposed position to use a satellite phone. Many other SEALs and Night Stalkers would also perish trying to rescue their Special Forces brothers (which I will write about later).

For his actions there, “Murph” was awarded our Country’s highest military award – the Medal of Honor. He would also have an Arleigh Burke class U.S. Navy destroyer named in his honor.

The United States Navy – Medal of Honor

Murphy’s Medal of Honor citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as the leader of a special reconnaissance element with Naval Special Warfare Task Unit Afghanistan on 27 and 28 June 2005. While leading a mission to locate a high-level anti-coalition militia leader, Lieutenant Murphy demonstrated extraordinary heroism in the face of grave danger in the vicinity of Asadabad, Konar Province, Afghanistan.

Navy Seal – Lt. Michael P. Murphy

On 28 June 2005, operating in an extremely rugged enemy-controlled area, Lieutenant Murphy’s team was discovered by anti-coalition militia sympathizers, who revealed their position to Taliban fighters. As a result, between 30 and 40 enemy fighters besieged his four-member team. Demonstrating exceptional resolve, Lieutenant Murphy valiantly led his men in engaging the large enemy force. The ensuing firefight resulted in numerous enemy casualties, as well as the wounding of all four members of the team. Ignoring his own wounds and demonstrating exceptional composure, Lieutenant Murphy continued to lead and encourage his men. When the primary communicator fell mortally wounded, Lieutenant Murphy repeatedly attempted to call for assistance for his beleaguered teammates. Realizing the impossibility of communicating in the extreme terrain, and in the face of almost certain death, he fought his way into open terrain to gain a better position to transmit a call.

This deliberate heroic act deprived him of cover, exposing him to direct enemy fire. Finally achieving contact with his headquarters, Lieutenant Murphy maintained his exposed position while he provided his location and requested immediate support for his team. In his final act of bravery, he continued to engage the enemy until he was mortally wounded, gallantly giving his life for his country and for the cause of freedom. By his selfless leadership, courageous actions, and extraordinary devotion to duty, Lieutenant Murphy reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

USS Michael Murphy

USS Michael Murphy

The USS Michael Murphy (DDG-112), an Arleigh Burke Class destroyer, would have her keel laid down on June 18, 2010. Less than one year later, on May 7, 2011, the ship would be christened by Murphy’s mother, Maureen Murphy – on Murph’s birthday. The Michael Murphy would be commissioned in New York City on October 1, 2012 and would arrive in her home port, Naval Station Pearl Harbor, on November 21.

On this, the fourteenth anniversary of your untimely death, the Grey Beard Biker salutes you, “Murph!” Your heroism, leadership and tenacity are a tribute to you and the United States military. May you forever rest-in-peace, knowing a grateful nation honors your memory!

Grey Beard Biker

This whiskery Grey Beard Biker always gets a chuckle from people’s reactions to us bikers. We are cut from a different cloth, molded from a different piece of clay. We don’t always fit neatly into a specific box. We are all different, but we are all alike. Some of us have beards, some of us don’t. Some of us have tattoos, some of us don’t. Some of us have long hair, some of us, like yours truly, have none – preferring a nice shaved head (bald is, after all, beautiful!). Some of us ride metric crotch rockets, some of us don’t. Some of us wear leather vests, some of us don’t. But our love for being on two wheels unites us.

The Brotherhood

What the non-riders, who look quizzically at us, do not understand is the brotherhood nearly all bikers share with each other. While we are not all members of a motorcycle club (M/C), we are all members of the same club. That member of a 1% motorcycle club, riding along a highway on his stripped down bobber, will pull over to help a fellow rider on a BMW adventure bike. He will not leave him/her stranded. That’s the way bikers act.

Biker Handshake

Yours truly can go into any biker bar, anywhere in the country, walk up to another biker, shake hands, embrace in a man-hug, slap him on the back and enjoy a beer with him. Even though we have never met before, we know each other. We may well come from different socio-economic backgrounds, but the differences between us don’t push us into different corners of the same room. Instead, we will belly-up to the same bar, swap stories from the road, talk about our children and grandchildren, customizations we have done to our bikes, where we rode the previous weekend and where we plan to ride next weekend. We may swap phone numbers so we can enjoy a future ride together. The chance encounter may well lead to a long-lasting friendship. But even if it doesn’t, every time we see each other while out riding, we will call each other brothers.

First Impressions Can be Deceiving

This Grey Beard, bald headed, tattooed biker cannot easily be defined by someone making a cursory glance at his exterior. He doesn’t dress the way he does to make an impression – or to be someone he is not. A stranger may well think I am a construction worker who toils all day in the sun and associates with “less than desirable” people by night. And while their “less desirable” people may well be who I choose to hang out with, I am not a construction worker.

What a quick cursory glance at me cannot tell an outsider is that like many other bikers, I am a business professional. I have been in the software industry for nearly 30 years. Since the mid-1990s I have flown all over North America for work. During this time, I have logged nearly 3 million miles on American Airlines and another 1 million on Delta Airlines. I cover my tattoos with a long-sleeved dress shirt, put on a suit and tie, go into a boardroom and present complex business solutions to a group of executives who inevitably have no idea what my true passion is: riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles and hanging out with my brothers and sisters. But your Grey Beard Biker is not unlike other bikers. His fellow bikers come from a wide variety of professions: lawyers, media executives, business owners, firefighters, cops, bankers, teachers, company presidents, soldiers, farmers, truck drivers, builders, bar owners, mechanics and yes – construction workers. But at the end of the day, what defines us is not our profession, but rather our brotherhood.

Bringing Together Different People

Brotherhood in Action – Hill Country of Texas

Without my love of riding, there are a lot of people I would never have come to know. This reminds me of a time, in July 2017, when your Grey Beard Biker, and Miss Tracy, were coming back from a ride along Lake Superior, the north woods and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We were on our last couple days of a 10-day vacation, and had taken the high speed ferry across Lake Michigan. Tracy had never been to the Harley-Davidson Museum, so we were going to make a visit there, see my aging aunt and head back to Tennessee the next day. After going through the museum, we decided to grab lunch at the on-site restaurant. Sitting at the bar, enjoying a barley-pop, I noticed a fellow rider next to us with Night Stalker patches on his vest. Being that we live in Clarksville, the home of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (S.O.A.R./Night Stalkers) we struck up a conversation with Bulldog. It turns out that Bulldog knew our next door neighbor, Monk, and had served with him. We swapped numbers with Bulldog and added each other on Facebook. This has turned into a truly wonderful friendship – brotherhood. Coincidental timing and our mutual love of riding brought us together.

This past April, somewhat at Bulldog’s urging, but in truth because Tracy and I wanted to see Bulldog again, we scheduled a weeklong vacation to ride the Twisted Sisters in the Hill Country of Texas – Bulldog’s stomping grounds. All told, eight bikes and nine riders left Clarksville and made the journey to Kerrville, Texas – our home base for riding the Hill Country.

One of the riders on our trip had been a long time friend of Grey Beard on Facebook. We had only met a couple times in person – and to say our political views were not aligned would be a major understatement. I am sure my unnamed friend was a little apprehensive about riding with a group of bikers for a week, with very divergent views. All of us, enjoyed our time together and while we did talk politics, there was a mutual respect for each other’s views and beliefs. I later read that my unnamed friend expressed a bit of anxiety about the ride – but that he believed stepping outside his comfort zone would be good. I am sure he would agree that it was a great experience and he would do it all over again. This is what brotherhood is all about!

I will share one more coincidental meeting we had on this trip. The day after arriving in Kerrville, Bulldog had arranged a meeting with a fellow Night Stalker who was going to ride with us that week. Sam, as a retired Night Stalker, also knew my next door neighbor and served at Fort Campbell. We struck up a conversation at a biker bar the first day and it turns out that he lives 25 miles west of us and had made the same journey to Texas we did. We traveled over 1,000 miles for a coincidental meeting and live in adjacent counties! Two more bikers had just become brothers and friends. All of this, would never have happened without a mutual love for Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Final Thoughts

Grey Beard Biker has many brothers and sisters. He has met them during journeys all around the United States. These friendships will be enduring and will cause us to ride far and wide for “brotherhood reunions” – where we will meet new brothers and sisters. So I urge all people who look apprehensively at us bikers to do so with an open mind. We would inevitably help you out of a bind, we are perhaps the most generous single group of people with regards to charitable causes and when we are dressed in our business suits we are a lot more like you, than you would ever imagine – less, of course, the brotherhood.

Grey Beard Biker

#NightStalkers #Brotherhood #NSNQ

Your ever lovable Grey Beard Biker wrote two weeks ago about how important the National Rifle Association is to gun owners across the country. Whether you are a hunter, gun collector, enjoy sporting clays or carry a gun everyday for self defense, the NRA has been there for over a century protecting these God given rights. In my last article, I asked each of you to go over to the Save the 2A website and learn of their recommendations to “right the ship” at the NRA. Please do so.

Oliver North & Chris Cox

If you read my last article, you know of the troubles NRA’s relationship with Ackerman-McQueen have caused the gun rights group. There were allegations of Ackerman overcharging the NRA for services or even charging them for consulting they provided other companies. The NRA sued Ackerman-McQueen – which will inevitably result in testimony coming forth airing NRA’s dirty laundry – the skeletons in their closest, so to speak. After filing suit, Oliver North came forward to Wayne LaPierre with information that Ackerman-McQueen had an incriminating letter they were going to make public. This promptly led to Oliver North’s termination as NRA’s president. The reason circulating the internet: LaPierre claimed North was trying to blackmail him into retirement. The NRA promptly sued North earlier this month, claiming he had attempted a coup to remove LaPierre.

Additional inner turmoil led to the resignation (firing?) of NRA’s 2nd in charge, Chris Cox, who is also being implicated as being involved in the “alleged” coup. This is bad. Cox has built the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action into a lobbying powerhouse. Most pro-gun legislative victories were a direct result of NRA-ILA. No one can possibly know what the ramifications of Cox’s departure will be for the NRA – and for gun rights.

NRATV

The National Rifle Association also announced recently the shuttering of NRATV. This is somewhat understandable as it was created through their partnership with Ackerman McQueen. But the content associated with NRATV: Cam & Company, Love at First Shot, NRA All Access, Dana Loesch and Friends of NRA have provided the NRA a huge PR boost. Grey Beard watched these programs regularly and was always impressed with the depth of the content and the great opinions expressed by its pundits. NRATV was the publicity arm of the association and closing down shop is not good for any Second Amendment supporters.

Wayne LaPierre

For those of us on the outside looking in, it would appear that Wayne LaPierre is trying to protect his fiefdom. LaPierre has been instrumental in the growth of the NRA over the past two decades. His leadership has always seemed solid and he proved to be a good spokesman for the association. But he has been tied to some of the scandals – and if not directly – he was in charge when they were all taking place. Some of the more salacious accusations are:

  1. Lavish spending by LaPierre on clothing and travel
  2. $1.4 million salary – significantly out-pacing other non-profit CEOs
  3. Culture of fear within the organization
  4. Underfunded employee pension (while LaPierre has a golden parachute) – currently running a $41 million defecit
  5. LaPierre’s alleged affair with intern Megan Allen – which may have resulted in a Beverly Hills shopping spree costing $39,000 (paid for by their ad agency but ultimately by the association) – and the association paying $13,800 for rent for the summer intern

In Closing…

We need the NRA. This is beyond question. But we need a strong association which is laser focused on protecting the Second Amendment. As my friend, Mark Walters, of Armed American Radio, recently stated, “The optics are bad for the NRA.” Your lovable Grey Beard Biker thinks fundamental change at the National Rifle Association is in order. It starts at the top. It’s time for LaPierre to retire and new people – with fresh ideas – to come “right the ship.” What are your thoughts?

Grey Beard Biker
Proud Lifetime Endowment Member – National Rifle Association

Staff Sgt. David Bellavia

U.S. Army Staff Sergeant (Ret.) David Bellavia was awarded our country’s highest military honor, by President Donald Trump, on June 25, 2019. This is the first time a living Iraq War veteran has received this prestigious award. There have been five others who have received the award for actions in Iraq – all posthumously. By comparison, there are 13 living Medal of Honor recipients from the Afghanistan War with another four receiving their medal posthumously. Since the United States entered the War on Terror, in 2001, nearly 2.8 million soldiers have served in either Iraq or Afghanistan – with a total of 5.4 million total deployments (source RAND Corporation). The Grey Beard Biker is pleased to see a living Medal of Honor recipient from the Iraq War.

David Bellavia – Profile of Courage

David Bellavia, U.S Army Staff Sergeant
Unit: Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division (The Big Red One)
Hometown: Lyndonville, New York
Date of Birth: November 10, 1975
Awards: Medal of Honor, Silver Star Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal (3), Army Achievement Medal (2), Overseas Service Bars (2)

Battle and Mission

Ballavia was deployed to Iraq, as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), in February 2004. Just days into the Second Battle of Fallujah, his 3rd Platoon was tasked with a pre-dawn mission to clear a block of 12 buildings in support of other soldiers fighting door-to-door. Intelligence believed there were significant al-Qaida forces holed up in the buildings. In order to take the city back, these buildings would need to be cleared, one at a time. Having cleared the first nine buildings, Ballavia’s platoon found itself caught in an ambush when it entered the tenth structure.

Bellavia’s Medal of Honor Citation

The President of the United States of America, authorized by an Act of Congress, March 3rd, 1863, has awarded in the name of Congress the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant David G. Bellavia, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his own life above and beyond the call of duty.

Staff Sergeant David G. Ballavia distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty on November 10, 2004, while serving as a squad leader in support of Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah, Iraq.

While clearing a house, a squad from Staff Sergeant Ballavia’s platoon became trapped within a room by intense enemy fire coming from a fortified position under the stairs leading to the second floor. Recognizing the immediate severity of the situation, and with disregard for his own safety, Staff Sergeant Bellavia retrieved an automatic weapon and entered the doorway of the house to engage the insurgents.

With enemy rounds impacting around him, Staff Sergeant Bellavia fired at the enemy position at a cyclic rate, providing covering fire that allowed the squad to break contact and exit the house.

A Bradley Fighting Vehicle was brought forward to suppress the enemy; however, due to high walls surrounding the house, it could not fire directly at the enemy position. Staff Sergeant Bellavia then re-entered the house and again came under intense enemy fire. He observed an enemy insurgent preparing to launch a rocket-propelled grenade at his platoon. Recognizing the grave danger the grenade posed to his fellow soldiers, Staff Sergeant Bellavia assaulted the enemy position, killing one insurgent and wounding another who ran to a different part of the house.

Staff Sergeant Bellavia, realizing he had an un-cleared, darkened room to his back, moved to clear it. As he entered, an insurgent came down the stairs firing at him. Simultaneously, the previously wounded insurgent reemerged and engaged Staff Sergeant Bellavia. Staff Sergeant Bellavia, entering further into the darkened room, returned fire and eliminated both insurgents. Staff Sergeant Bellavia then received enemy fire from another insurgent emerging from a closet in the darkened room.

Exchanging gunfire, Staff Sergeant Bellavia pursued the enemy up the stairs and eliminated him. Now on the second floor, Staff Sergeant Bellavia moved to a door that opened onto the roof. At this point, a fifth insurgent leapt from the third floor roof onto the second floor roof. Staff Sergeant Bellavia engaged the insurgent through a window, wounding him in the back and legs, and caused him to fall from the roof.

Acting on instinct to save the members of his platoon from an imminent threat, Staff Sergeant Bellavia ultimately cleared an entire enemy-filled house, destroyed four insurgents, and badly wounded a fifth. Staff Sergeant Bellavia’s bravery, complete disregard for his own safety, and unselfish and courageous actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Army.

Since the Second Battle of Fallujah

Bellavia would remain in the U.S. Army for six years, retiring in 2005. He would co-found Vets for Freedom, serving as their Vice Chairman. In 2007, Bellavia published, House to House: An Epic Memoir of War, co-written with John R. Bruning. Today, Bellavia is president of EMPact America.

The Grey Beard Biker proudly salutes Staff Sergeant David Bellavia! Thank you for your service to our country, your bravery and leadership. Myself, and your great country, will always be proud of what you did in the streets of Fallujah!

Grey Beard Biker

Your ever lovable Grey Beard Biker has been riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles for many years. Over these years he has ridden perhaps 300,000 miles. Needless to say, that is a lot of journeys on two wheels. I started riding street bikes in the mid-1980s. Back in those days, over three decades ago, mobile phones were quite rare. In fact, the first mobile phones did not appear in the United States until 1983. No one I knew had one – or could afford one. I could get on my Evo-powered Heritage Softail and blast down the roads knowing that most cagers were paying attention to what they were doing – and where there vehicle was headed. The biggest distractions were dropping cigarette ashes in your crotch, children bouncing around the car with no seatbelts on or turning the dial to change radio stations. It is not that way today.

Distracted Driving Today

Today, Grey Beard seldom throws his leg over the saddle without saying a silent prayer – a prayer for God to protect him, to provide him keen senses, quick reflexes and the ability to perceive everything going on around him. But he is always amazed at the amount of distracted driving going on around him. Yes, I am writing this post in the third-person – because I can!

Distracted Driving of the Typical Cager

Distracted driving comes in many forms today. It is most commonly a person more interested in their smart phone than what’s going on ahead of them – and around them! This is a very dangerous practice, even at slower speeds. For illustration purposes, let’s say the young lady above is driving 60 MPH. Every second that passes, 88 feet is covered. At 80 MPH, a typical interstate highway speed here in Tennessee, 117 feet is covered with each passing second. While I am no scientist, or statistician, I can easily calculate that this young lady, pictured above, reading a Facebook post – or posting a selfie on Snapchat – which easily takes 15 seconds – will not see what is going on ahead of her while driving a distance of 1,755 feet. That is 1/3 of a mile she has not been able to see the Grey Beard Biker (or you) slowing down ahead of her.

Other Types of Distracted Driving

There are other types of distracted driving Grey Beard witnesses fairly regularly while riding – and while men also drive distracted, the most common distracted driving, in my humble opinion, is by young women. They may be wanting to capture that special selfie while driving – when the sun is in just the right position. Or they may be doing the unconscionable: farding while they are driving! Yes, I said it! Women farding while driving is dangerous. While it does not smell bad, it does stink!

According to the definition in Merriam-Webster:
Farding (to fard): to paint (the face) with cosmetics; archaic: to gloss over

It doesn’t take much sense for anyone to recognize that applying makeup while driving is a very bad idea. It is dangerous to them – and everyone around them. Just say “NO” to FARDING!

Other things the Grey Beard Biker has seen on the road are people eating, drinking alcohol, women plucking their eyebrows, people reading the newspaper, magazines or books, people changing clothes, women giving their men fellatio, men shaving and so many other really stupid asinine things. But the craziest distracted driver Grey Beard has ever witnessed was a young woman steering with her right knee, while her left foot was up near the driver’s side window, applying toenail polish, all while holding her smartphone to her left ear by tilting her head toward her shoulder. She was using both hands to paint her toenails, all the while blasting down the interstate at well over 80 MPH! While obviously quite coordinated and nimble, this young woman needed to be pulled over and given a serious moving violation!

Ultimate Distracted Driving

New Hampshire biker tragedy – June 21, 2019

The most distracted driving ever created a disaster this past Friday, in northern New Hampshire. It was on U.S. Highway 2, near Randolph, where Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, age 23, crossed the centerline of the highway, towing a larger car trailer, and ran through a group of bikers from the Jarheads Motorcycle Club. This accident killed seven club members and their supporters. Three additional bikers were hospitalized. On June 24, Zhukovskyy was indicted on seven counts of negligent homicide and extradited from Massachusetts to New Hampshire to face a jury of his peers. While much is still not known about the events which led to this tragedy – whether the truck operator was under the influence, or just distracted – it is a prime example of distracted driving which can lead to the untimely death of a biker. Grey Beard Bikers believes everyone is innocent, until proven guilty, but with the speed this young man was indicted, there would appear to be plenty of evidence he was responsible.

Grey Beard Biker Recommendations

One cannot complain about what stupid people do without making recommendations on how to improve things. Here are a couple of things which could be done:

  1. Make it illegal to use any handheld device while driving – Tennessee passed a law doing so earlier this year. It goes into affect on July 1. Severely punish those who break such laws. Unfortunately, there are a lot of states which have not passed similar laws.
  2. Smartphone manufacturers need to use technology to lock phones automatically when it detects movement in a car. Obviously, it can be turned off manually if the person is not the driver. If a driver turns this functionality off, and is on their phone, causing an accident or death, they should be held responsible to the fullest extent of the law. iPhones do have a “Do Not Disturb” mode, but this needs to be improved.

Perhaps the most important thing which can be done is for us bikers to always be vigilant. Watch the cars around you. Take a quick glance at the driver before you pull alongside them. If they are distracted, back off. Watch your mirrors constantly. If a car is closing on you quickly, safely get out of their way. If you are stopped at a traffic signal, try to leave an escape route in case a distracted driver is coming up behind you. Always remember that cars and trucks will always win in an altercation with a motorcycle. This means you will LOSE. Always ride defensively!

Grey Beard Biker

The Grey Beard Biker loves the “land of the free.” A key tenet to the foundation of our great republic is the Second Amendment. The 2A is not open to negotiation and is very simple in its wording:

Second Amendment

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

With the exception of the Tenth Amendment, our Bill of Rights are centered on the individual. Whether it’s the right to free speech, free assembly, freedom of religion or the right to a speedy public trial – by an impartial jury or our peers – the Bill of Rights protects the individual from the tyranny of an overarching government.

Tonight, I write about our Second Amendment. Over the decades, politicians have tried to pervert what the true meaning of the “right to keep and bear arms” means. Since 1871, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has protected our Second Amendment rights – rights given to us by God, not our government or its leaders. It is, by far, the oldest civil rights organization in our great republic.

For the past 30 years your lovable Grey Beard Biker has been a proud member of the NRA. Today, he is a Lifetime Endowment member. In the grand scheme of things this really do not mean much. The NRA never asks me what I think, rarely checks up on what I am doing – unless it needs money – or does anything besides sending me requests for more donations. But this does not mean they are not doing things to protect my right to “keep and bear arms.”

Unfortunately, over the past several months the NRA has come under scrutiny. It appears, by all things which are being reported, that the NRA has:

  • Tied itself to an unscrupulous company which drained millions of dollars from its coffers;
  • Provided monetary instruments to its board members which may be less than ethical;
  • Provided their Executive VP, Wayne LaPierre, with a golden parachute very few CEOs of major companies could ever hope to negotiate

Current Situation

Today, the NRA finds itself embroiled in lawsuits in New York State which threaten the very existence of this once proud organization. They are at risk of losing their non-profit 501(c)(3) tax designation. This could make them liable to pay taxes, as a for-profit company, for several tax years. Currently, the NRA has less cash reserves to pay back taxes. Making matter worse, they are involved in a civil lawsuit with their longterm partner, Ackerman McQueen, which the NRA claims duped them out of millions of dollars for marketing services. The details of this civil suit are not known, but it is rumored that the NRA spent over $115 million with Ackerman McQueen over a six year period of time. This is serious change, friends.

Save the Second

Today, a grass roots organization is trying to “right the ship” over at the NRA – Save the Second. They are not interested in breaking up the NRA or parceling it out. They are trying to save it from itself. They believe that the organization is out of touch with its members and is drifting rudderless in a storm. On their website, they list five very specific goals:

  1. Reduce the size of its board of directors from 76 to 31
  2. Create term limits for its board members
  3. Require board members to be present for board meetings
  4. Get membership involved in the organization
  5. Focus exclusively on protecting the Second Amendment

The Grey Beard Biker, as a 30 year member of the NRA, fully supports what Save the Second Amendment is doing. The NRA has lost its focus and is at serious risk of becoming insolvent. They rely on the generosity of its members to cover their daily operating costs and their war chest, to fight a serious flank attack from a Leftist assault, is seriously compromised.

Get Involved

Your lovable Grey Beard Biker is asking you to get involved. Go to Save the Second’s website and learn about what they are doing. If you are in a position to support them, donate to the cause. By all means, sign their petitions. With the current political climate in this great country there is no guarantee that any organization can protect the Second Amendment. Over the years, the only organization which has consistently been there to protect what we cherish is the NRA. Let’s all come together and ensure the NRA is there to protect what we value for our generation – and future generations.

Grey Beard Biker

Save the Second

The Grey Beard Biker never would have believed that less than 24 hours after awarding Eric Holder the Bloviator of the Day Award, there would be another winner of this prestigious title. While not uncommon for liberals to bloviate incessantly, it takes some serious bloviating to actually receive the award.

They’re “exactly” like concentration camps

Freshman U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), in an Instagram Live video Monday night, stated, “The fact that concentration camps are now an institutionalized practice in the ‘home of the free’ is extraordinarily disturbing, and we need to do something about it.”

A.O.C. continued, “I don’t use those words lightly. I don’t use the words to just throw bombs. I use that word because that is what an administration that creates concentration camps is. A president that creates concentration camps is fascist, and it’s very difficult to say that.”

Wait, what? This is like throwing bombs. This is perverting history to pander to your base – a base which Grey Beard realizes is incredibly small. To compare illegal immigrant detention centers to concentration camps is sickening. The Jews, homosexuals and disabled people who performed slave labor, or were gassed in concentration camps, deserve to not be used as political pawns by an immature lawmaker from New York. And sadly, her district is home to so many descendants of the Jews who were liberated from REAL concentration/extermination camps at Aucshwitz-Birkenau, Belzec, Bergen-Belsen, Dachau, Chelmno, Gross-Rosen, Mauthausen-Gusen, Neuengamme, Plaszow and Warsaw.

Detention Centers vs. Concentration Camps

There are a few comparisons the Grey Beard Biker would like to make between our current use of detention centers and Nazi concentration camps:

  1. Detention centers are used in the United States to hold ILLEGAL immigrants while they await proper disposition. These people have entered the U.S. illegally, and in vast quantities, trying to circumvent our laws. Concentration camps – or extermination camps – were used to house innocent people who were viewed as inferior by a truly fascist autocrat. Concentration camp prisoners were used as forced laborers and treated like animals.
  2. Proper disposition of those in our detention centers will either mean being granted asylum or deportation. The disposition of people in concentration/extermination camps was either working until they died, being executed in a gas chamber or being liberated by Allied troops. More than 6 million Jews would die in what the Nazis called the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question.” Those who were exterminated, had no chance for something as humane as asylum – or deportation.
  3. Families and separated children in U.S. detention centers are provided health services, clothing, food, medicine, a bed and shelter. Their shelter has heating, air conditioning, running hot water to bathe in, clean drinking water, toilets and sewage systems. Obviously, besides small amounts of rationed food, which was poor at best, a prisoner in a concentration/extermination camp received nothing else. Working 18+ hours per day, sleeping on the ground in feces and urine and perhaps getting sent for a shower – in the gas chamber.
  4. Illegals living in U.S. detention facilities have hope. Hope for a better day when they may be granted asylum. The Jews, and other undesirable people, had no hope. They were hungry, cold, filthy and exhausted from slave labor. Many personal accounts given by liberated prisoners told stories about wanting to die because of the conditions in labor camps.
The Grey Beard Biker – Bloviation of the Day Award

Award Presentation

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is well educated. This the Grey Beard Biker cannot deny. However, she is a stupid idiot when it comes to living in the real world. AOC has no grasp on world history, much less the history of her own country. Her bloviation, comparing U.S. detention facilities with Nazi concentration camps, is an insult to those few who survived internment and were able to live the rest of their lives in Europe or the United States. Those liberated U.S. citizens proudly called the United States home – unlike perverted politicians, actors, athletes, liberal pundits and other narcissistic leftists – including AOC herself – who denounce the United States as racist.

For this illustrious case of oral flatulence, the Grey Beard Biker proudly presents the coveted Bloviation of the Day award to Ms. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. He is confident she will proudly display this trophy in her Congressional office, where she earns $174,000 annually, from the U.S. taxpayers, by spewing garbage all over the place when she opens her pie hole! Grey Beard has one thing to say to you, AOC – shut the hell up!

Grey Beard Biker

AOC – Bloviating Away:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – America Is Running Concentration Camps

The Grey Beard Biker loves sharing stories about members of our Armed Forces. He considers all who have served to be heroes. Today’s Profile of Courage tells the story of Private First Class (Pfc.), Joe E. Mann. Mann was killed in action during World War II and is one of only two 101st Airborne Division soldiers to be awarded the Medal of Honor during that terrible conflict.

Pfc. Joe E. Mann

Your lovable Grey Beard Biker reads a great deal of military history. Living in Clarksville, Tennessee – home of the 101st Airborne Division – he has read a great deal about this unit. Having just finished reading Band of Brothers, by Stephen Ambrose (for probably the 10th time), Grey Beard remains amazed that only two 101st Airborne Division paratroopers were awarded the Medal of Honor for service in Europe during WW II. This being the division which heaped glory upon itself behind the lines during D-Day, in Operation Market Garden and at Bastogne (Battle of the Bulge) – makes it that much more surprising this unit had only two Medal of Honor recipients in its ranks.

Joe E. Mann – Profile of Courage

Joe E. Mann, Private First Class (Pfc.)
Unit: Company H, 502nd PIR, 101st Airborne Division
Hometown: Reardan, Washington
Date of Birth: 8 July 1922
Date of Death: 19 September 1944
Place of Death: Best, the Netherlands
Final Resting Place: Spokane, Washington

Early Life and Military Service

Joe E. Mann was born in Reardan, Washington on July 22, 1922, to John and Anna Mann. Mann would grow up on a farm with eight siblings. Shortly after graduating from Reardan High School, he would enlist in the U.S. Army at Seattle, Washington, in August 1942. After basic training at Fort Lewis, he would be assigned to Company G, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne Division. Like most of the 101st Airborne Division, he would receive his jump wings after training at Camp Toccoa, Georgia. Prior to embarking for England, to prepare for Operation Overlord, Mann would be reassigned to Company H, 502nd PIR. While he would miss his first combat jump at Normandy, due to back issues, he would be reassigned to his unit in time to participate in Operation Market Garden, parachuting behind German lines in the Netherlands. The 502nd (5 O-deuce) PIR would fight on the southern flank at Best – just north of Eindhoven. It was here that Mann would wrap himself in glory, giving his last full measure, for his teammates, his regiment, his division and the United States Army.

U.S. Army – Medal of Honor

Joe E. Mann – Medal of Honor Citation

He distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry above and beyond the call of duty. On 18 September 1944, in the vicinity of Best, Holland, his platoon, attempting to seize a bridge across the Wilhelmina Canal, was surrounded and isolated by an enemy force greatly superior in personnel and firepower. Acting as lead scout, Pfc. Mann boldly crept to within rocket-launcher range of an enemy artillery position and, in the face of heavy enemy fire, destroyed an 88-mm. gun and ammunition dump. Completely disregarding the danger involved, he remained in his exposed position, and, with his M 1 rifle, killed the enemy one by one until he was wounded 4 times. Taken to a covered position, he insisted on returning to a forward position to stand guard during the night. On the following morning the enemy launched a concerted attack and advanced to within a few yards of the position, throwing hand grenades as they approached. One of these landed within a few feet of Pfc. Mann. Unable to raise his arms, which were bandaged to his body, he yelled “grenade” and threw his body over the grenade, and as it exploded, died. His outstanding gallantry above and beyond the call of duty and his magnificent conduct were an everlasting inspiration to comrades for whom he gave his life.

Besides earning the Medal of Honor, Private First Class Mann earned many other honors:

  • Bronze Star with “V” device
  • Purple Heart (5 times – 4 with bronze oak leaves)
  • Army Good Conduct Medal
  • American Campaign Medal
  • Europe-Africa ME Medal (with bronze arrow and star)
  • WW II Victory Medal
  • French Croix de Guerre medal (with bronze star)

Legacy and Memorial

Joe E. Mann Memorial
Best, the Netherlands

After the war, a memorial would be placed at the site of Mann’s mortal wounding, between Best and Son, the Netherlands. In addition to the the statue, an open air theater there was named in his honor. It is still in use today. The plaque on his memorial reads:

The American paratrooper Joe Mann was involved with the capture of the bridge over the Wilhelminakanaal. He saved the lives of his comrades, by intercepting a grenade with his back. For this act he posthumously received the highest American military distinction: the Medal of Honor.

The Grey Beard Biker salutes PFC Mann! Your unselfish service to your brothers-in-arms, your company, your battalion, your regiment, your division and your country knew no bounds. May you forever rest in peace, knowing a loving country still remembers what you did for our freedom – and the freedom from Nazi tyranny for the people of Europe!

Grey Beard Biker

It was not difficult to pick a winner for the Grey Beard Biker’s Bloviator of the Day Award. Last Friday, Obama’s first term attorney general, stated he was, “surprised and extremely disappointed” by Attorney General William Barr.

Holder: “I actually thought he was an institutionalist..”

Speaking during an appearance on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, Holder would go on to say, “I actually thought that he was an institutionalist and I thought that he would actually be at odds with President Trump relatively soon in his tenure, and he has proved to be anything but that.”

Holder would go on to say, “[Barr] has become the defender of the president, a protector of the president and has done things inconsistent with what I think an attorney general is supposed to do. I think he has tended to think of himself as the lawyer for the president as opposed to the attorney for the people of this country.” How ironic is this coming from a previous attorney general who was held in contempt of congress for withholding information on the Fast & Furious operation – an operation which resulted in the death of Border Patrol Agent, Brian A. Terry? Obama would later claim Executive Privilege to all documents related to Fast & Furious, forever making the congressional contempt of congress charge meaningless.

Your lovable Grey Beard Biker remembers clearly when Holder stated in a 2013 interview, on Tom Joyner’s radio show, “I’m still enjoying what I’m doing, there’s still work to be done. I’m still the President’s (Obama) wing-man, so I’m there with my boy…”

The Grey Beard Biker’s Bloviator of the Day Award

Congratulations, Mr. Holder! Besides being a wing-man to your previous boss, you also have been officially awarded today’s Bloviator of the Day Award from the Grey Beard Biker. It is a highly sought after award for liberal clodpolls, like yourself. After all, it is awarded by one of the most deplorable conservative patriots you could ever possibly encounter.

Grey Beard Biker