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LOCAL Commentary :: Peace & War

Armed Forces Parade

Since after WWII we have been saddled with the "Biker" phenomenon. Every time the political situation gets tense the bikers are there acting as a warning from the powers that be to stay in line. The Armed Forces parade in Santa Cruz last Saturaday was a glaring example.
In Santa Cruz last week a parade hit Pacific Avenue. I thought it was a Veterans Parade but turned out it was called an armed forces parade putting it one step closer to a technological definition and one step back from any human content.

Strollers clogged the wide sidewalks parents anxious to give the kids an adventure in patriotism and community cohesion from the looks of things. The parents cheered as the wide-eyed kids looked on as phalanx after phlanx of assorted groups of verterans walked by in casual formations, some older ones riding, some from as far away as Monterey. Some marchers looked as if they just gotten up from under one of the bridges but since the bridges are blocked to prevent them sleeping there they probably slept under some bushes nearer the river which, of course, is strictly forbidden.

Earlier I had heard some rumbling in the background. It occurred to me that it must be the biker veterans but dismissed it quickly in hopes I was wrong. Surely, they wouldn't be too overt. One would have thought a lower profile would be in order at this point in the "War". Consequently, I was surprised when the deafening roar suddenly approached. It was indeed like an invasion and that was the obvious intention. Marauders dressed for battle killing us with the deafening noise. Killing us by proxy. Grimacing at the people a message being delivered to cringing babies; parents unable to protect them and the rest of us at a loss. There was nothing to do but freeze in fear and wait for it to be over hoping we weren't suffering permanent hearing loss from the uproar which echoed off the building creating a sound vacuum of vast proportions.

These were the spawn of war. The biker gangs were created after the second World War from veterans of God knows what forces. Hollister has always been one of the centers and continues to be but now they've cleaned up their image doing poker runs for charity and other PR campaigns to reeducate the masses. We don't hear much about their murders and mayhem at the moment. But then none of this is necessary since they are the primary purveyors of methamphetamines to the young working class people of virtually every community here in California. And this keeps them busy.

But the message to the young families of Santa Cruz along with the rest of us was impossible to over look. It was an overt, violent threat to us all to support the war, or else. Personally I resent being threatened like that. It makes me angry. I am not chastened, on the contrary I feel I must take up the challenge. Surely, others have had the same reaction.

Later a huge sign was pushed down the street at the end of the parade saying in letters several feet tall "Support Our Troops". The final message. And I thought. Of course we all support the troops, that goes without saying. It's redundant. It assumes we don't which is insulting. I think they have it all wrong. We don't have to be threatened to support the troops. But you can support the troops without supporting the war; support every effort to get them our of there.

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Re: Armed Forces Parade

This article is full of errors born of stale cultural prejudice.

Most "biker gangs" these days are not the nomadic bands of criminals which created the "bad boy" Harley biker image of the 60s, 70, and 80s. They are wannabes, or old fart vets.

They are harmless.

And so what if they are selling meth? All drugs should be legalized, not just the complex copyrighted patented inventions of the pharmaceutical industry.

You malign them by ASSUMING that they push the majority of the product to high school youth. Get a clue. Crystal meth has become the drug of choice for MIDDLE-CLASS AMERICAN HOUSEWIVES for the last 10 years. And coke is making a comeback on the high-roller party scene.

If people want to get high, they have that right in a free country. Let the stoners get stoned after school, let the housewives do their speed and their housework, let the hotel and restaurant owners have their coke parties. Who cares? Mind your own business.

"Of course we all support the troops"? What crap is this? WE do not support these professional killers. Maybe you do, but trying to persuade the masses to follow your agenda by making patently false sweeping statements hoping to appeal to intimidate the sheeple into jumping on your bandwagon, is the tactic of a weak movement. Not of a strong one.

You are paranoid. You promote the same sort of "they're gonna get us!" fear-mongering that conservatives today push regarding middle-eastern terrorists.

Just like conservatives, you offer us fear instead of fact, and anger instead of true leadership, trying to bait us with your false promise of a common enemy (a scapegoat!), to get us to rally behind your flag.

Go away, conservative shill.

Bikers with Loud Motorcycles are not Respectful of Others

Why aren't motorcycles held to the same noise ordinances as are cars and music bands.

Cars are _required_ to have mufflers to reduce noise in order to be "street legal." Take the muffler off of your car and see how long it takes before you get pulled over and ticketed by the cops.

Try having a party in your neighborhood. Invite a few punk bands to play. See how long it takes brfore the cops arrive and shut down the festivities. Likely, they'll hand you an expensive ticket, too.

So WHY is it that these arrogant macho shitheads can ride around on Harleys that have been _intentionally_ designed to be outrageously loud and not get ticketed? Not have everyone else within earshot give them the finger?

At least with a party, it's a joyous event, for a limited time, which needs to be loud/raucus by its very nature.

But a motorcycle does NOT need to be loud. In fact, many motorcycles made today are very quiet. And they could ALL be that way.

So why do we tolerate this abuse?

Re: Armed Forces Parade

Stollers clogged the sidewalk, parents cheered....God forbid someone has an opposing view on this BS site.I noticed you stayed for the entire event. Guess you weren't as traumatized as you lead us to believe. Then again, your probably the same guy who stops traffic to look at an accident on the side of the road.

Motorcycles Are Not A Crime!

Motorcycles are loud to be noticed which helps avoid being run into by gas guzzling cars and their inattentive cell phone talking drivers.


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