Misconception on the origin of the term “Cafe Racer”

Cafe Racer - Click to Enlarge

Cafe Racer – Click to Enlarge

We know a cafe racer is a stripped down motorcycle with low handle bars to put the rider in an extreme forward leaning position. There seems to be some confusion over how the term “cafe racer” came to be and why riders of these bikes prefer the forward riding position. I’m here to help.

Some say these bikes came to be called cafe racers because they were used by their owners to race from cafe to cafe, or make that “bar to bar.” No, it has nothing to do with bar hopping. It has everything to do with the Ace Cafe, a Northwest London truck stop in 1960’s England. British bikers, also called rockers, wanted bikes that could be made to go fast on their tight budgets. They bought the used bikes they could afford and stripped off as much equipment as they could to make the bike as light weight as possible. Engine, frame, lights and essential controls are typically all that was left when they were done.

A very light weight bike could make as much use as possible of available horsepower, and go really fast. Especially did these bikes make massive thrust from the starting line. So much so that the front wheel would jump off the ground if the rider gunned it from a standing start. This is where the forward leaning riding position comes from, an attempt to stop the bike from doing a wheelie when what was wanted was a straight away fast take off.

Since these bikes were being modified by kids with little money the easiest way to guarantee a forward leaning riding position that would transfer weight to the front wheel was to take the standard handlebars and turn them upside down.

Ton Up Patch - Click to Enlarge

Ton Up Patch – Click to Enlarge

These bikers called themselves the “ton up” boys. The “ton” was 100mph. If you’d created a bike that could do 100mph, it was called a ton and you were a ton up boy with a shoulder patch to go with it.

There was a special drill that you had to run to earn your ton up patch. First, you started a song on the juke box in the Ace Cafe. Then you hopped on your bike and took off on a prescribed route around the area that started and ended at the Ace Cafe. If you made it back before the song you’d put on the juke box ended, you earned your patch. Here’s why it’s called “ton up.” If you followed the course and didn’t cheat by taking a short cut [they monitored that to prevent cheating] you would necessarily have had to reach 100 mph on a certain stretch of the route.

Ducati Monster 1100S -  Click to Enlarge

Ducati Monster 1100S – Click to Enlarge

So why the name, “cafe racer?” First we must remember that Isle of Man TT racing has always been a big sport in England. The Ace Cafe was a truck stop, and truckers were TT Racing fans. They took umbrage at these silly “kids” on motor bikes thinking themselves authentic “racers.” One day one of the truckers meant to put them in their place by saying, “You blokes ain’t real racers, you’re just cafe racers.”

Thus, the Cafe Racer name was born.

It’s very popular at this moment and even an ancient-aged biker like me has a lovely one. Mine’s a factory model. The motorcycle industry is responding to the current demand for retro bikes.

Baltimore Burning

A lot of white people voted for Obama in 2008 because they were decidedly not racists and they believed that electing a black president would end racial strife once and for all.  They believed that if America elected the first black president, racial healing would occur.  Many of those 2008 voters withheld their vote for Obama in 2012, either by voting for Mitt Romney or by simply not voting at all, because they saw how the Democrats repeatedly attempted to deflect every criticism of Obama by calling it racism.

All presidents get criticized because we live in America where we have a right to speak freely and we are a people of diverse opinions and political viewpoints. Thus, when a president makes public policy on just about any subject there will be people and groups who disagree and will give voice to their objections. Obama’s policies are radical leftist and thus bound to elicit resistance from people who don’t care one whit that Obama is black.

When a political party indulges in the cheap tactic of race baiting to answer every question or complaint, racial healing is impossible.  They are stoking the fires of racial strife because false accusations of racism are so unfair and hard to defend against. Racism is widely held to be odious and vile by the majority of Americans. The mere allegation of racism creates not a presumption of innocence until proven guilty, but a presumption of guilt almost impossible to overcome.

Many blacks, perhaps a majority, are predisposed to believe someone is a racist if anyone in a position of power and influence says so.  Al Sharpton, with aid and comfort from Democrat politicians and bureaucrats, has made a career of race hustling. Racial hatred is the inevitable result of encouraging blacks to believe every untoward event in their lives is caused by white racism. Obama and Democrats everywhere see racial conflict as an opportunity to advance their political agendas.

A black president who was a better man than Obama would have tried to prevent every public dispute from being portrayed as a racial incident. A better man than Obama would have answered his critics by defending his policies with reason and logic. A better man than Obama would not have taken advantage of racial tension but would have denounced it.

Fifty-one years ago in 1964 Mississippi was burning with white racial hatred. How far have we come? Today Baltimore is burning with black racial hatred.  It was Democrats who were responsible for Mississippi burning. They are at it again in Baltimore.

Rush Limbaugh warned in 2008 that an Obama presidency would not end racial strife in America but would make it worse.  Not because Obama is Black, but because he is not an honorable man. We’ve seen with the George Zimmerman affair, the Ferguson riots and now the fires in Baltimore that Rush was more right than he knew.

Here is the 54-second video of Baltimore’s black Democrat mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake giving her “space to destroy” press conference:

Ms. Rawlings-Blake now denies she ever said what you heard her say in the above video.

This showed up in my email…

Estate Planning

A man was telling his buddy: “You won’t believe what happened last night.”

The man related that his daughter walked into the living room and said: “Dad, do not pay off my college tuition loan, cancel my allowance, throw away all my clothes and take my iPhone and laptop. In addition, please take all of my jewelry to Salvation Army.

“Then, sell my car, take my front door key away from me and lock me out of your house. Then, disown me and never talk to me again. And don’t forget to write me out of your will and leave my share to anyone you choose.”

“Holy Smokes,” replied the friend, “She actually said that?”

The father replied: “Well, she didn’t actually put it quite like that. What she said was: ‘Dad, meet my new boyfriend, Mohammed. We’re going to work together on Hillary’s 2016 election campaign.’ “

Yeah, this might be even worse than when a guy named Spike picked her up for the Senior Prom driving a van with a mattress in the back.

My senior year in high school I had a 1948 DeSoto.  It was a 4-door. Great car.

The best way to redistribute the wealth of the wealthy is to let them keep it

Let them keep it?  You might think that’s crazy. No, the most profound truths are usually just as counter intuitive.  Prepare for war in order to have peace, is another example that is profoundly true.

Allowing the wealthy to make their own decisions on how to spread their wealth around is equally profound because it is the only way to keep the government from destroying the engines of wealth creation.  Voluntary transactions among people are also profoundly more ethical and moral than government force because they are more efficient and provide fewer opportunities for graft.

Professional golfer Jordan Spieth tied or set a number of Augusta National records on his way to a dominant victory in the 79th edition of the Masters, racking up $1.8 million in prize money. Of course, he’ll have to share his winnings with the Federal government that will take about 40% of it. This will please the class warriors’ concerns over income inequality who no doubt believe that stripping Spieth of a large chunk of his money will help to “spread the wealth.”

John Tamny, author of a new book Popular Economics and editor of Real Clear Markets, says that a better way to spread the wealth would be to let Spieth keep his winnings.  He writes:

High levels of taxation on property and income are frequently justified by the [purely] emotional … presumption that the world around us is made better when politicians work to “spread the wealth,” or design the tax code to keep big fortunes from becoming too large or concentrated. The positives of such a view are debatable, but whether true or not is to plainly miss the point. If wealth redistribution is truly the goal, then the ideal scenario would be one in which Spieth holds on to as much of his Masters paycheck as possible.

Assuming what seems observably untrue, that Spieth is a wasteful, prodigal spender, wealth redistributors should seemingly rejoice such a scenario. Spieth could quickly spend the portion of the winnings he keeps on private jets, hotels, cars, and booze, and per the alleged Keynesian multiplier, expand the economy through aggressive consumption. Even better, the money wouldn’t have to sit in Washington in wait of politicians to vote on its final destination.

To see why it’s important to remember that there’s no such thing as idle wealth. Applied to Spieth, unless he intends to stuff his Masters winnings under a mattress, the $1.8 million he earned will quickly migrate to the hands of many people not named Jordan Spieth, and who are not nearly as rich as he is.

Best of all, and if polling data are to be believed, a scenario whereby Spieth is allowed to hold onto his wealth should please Americans of all political stripes. While Americans are divided politically, they’re united in their dislike of Congress. If so, it seems Americans would be much more sanguine about Spieth redistributing his wealth through market forces over the more forceful kind in which John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi dispose of his earnings.

Obama infamously said to Joe the Plumber during the 2008 campaign, “I believe everyone is better off if we spread the wealth around.”  Actually, that statement is false on its face. Not everybody is better off. It may be true that those who receive a bit of the wealth through government redistribution are somewhat better off when the get a share without doing anything to earn it, but the person who earned it and has it taken from him is decidedly not better off.

When taxes are lower and market forces are allowed to work, the wealth is spread more efficiently, not to mention more ethically.  It’s better for the long term health and happiness of those on the receiving end when they are afforded the opportunity to work and earn the piece they get.  It’s also a win-win because Jordan Spieth is also better off by keeping his winnings and making his own decisions of how to spend his money on his own wants and needs, and in his case especially, how and how much to give away to charitable causes.  Mr. Spieth is well known for his charitable giving.  Most of the wealthy are.

For anyone who has any doubts about the superiority of charity over government force as a way to help the poor can consult a plethora of books and studies on the subject.  A no better place to start is Tocqueville’s Memoir on Pauperism (1848).

Same-Sex Marriage and the Enlightenment

Joseph Bottum is author of An Anxious Age — The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America, a book I read and whose thesis I mostly but not entirely agree with.

As I understood what I was reading, In that book Mr. Bottum blames leftist politics for the decline in the mainstream protestant churches. They lost their congregations because they abandoned their mission of humane and intelligent, ethically serious and intellectually open religious teachings and adopted in its place the emotional victim group racial politics of modern left-wing liberalism. In essence, the mainstream churches became places for liberals to go to celebrate their own goodness and to condemn the supposed sins of others rather than to repent for their own sins. If that is what he meant then I agree.

But there are many comments in his book with which a conservative would likely disagree.  Just this week Bottum gave an example in an article he wrote about same-sex marriage at The Federalist:

”We get same-sex marriage, because there is literally no principled argument against it that doesn’t also undo the whole of the Enlightenment.”

I wrote this comment in response to Mr. Bottum:


It is not an Enlightenment principle that a tiny minority force a radical change in traditional institutions with storm trooper tactics. Homosexual marriage is not about equality of marriage because that already exists and always has. The push to ram a new definition of marriage down the throat of anyone who disagrees is just old time hatred and revenge. It’s a perfect example of liberal fascism.

Enlightenment, my eye.

The homosexual supremacists rampaging through America today have no claim on or right of comparison to the Age of Reason and Enlightenment, nor the Glorious Revolution or the American Revolution. They are the Jacobins of the French Revolution and the Great Fear.

Clearly, Mr. Bottum thinks those who disagree with same-sex marriage (that’s a clear majority of Americans, by the way) are just Don Quixote, quixotically tilting at windmills.  It’s not the American Spirit to back down from fundamental principles so easily.

Obama’s lawlessness threatens liberty and justice for all

The Divine Right of Kings was abolished on June 15, 1215 at Runnymede when King John signed the Magna Carta. English lawyer and judge Lord Denning (1899-1999) declared the Magna Carta “the greatest constitutional document of all times – the foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot.” It means the King is also bound by the Rule of Law, no less than the lowest peasant.

America’s founding fathers adopted this principle from the Magna Carta when they ratified the American Constitution as the Supreme Law of the Land. Barack Obama has shown little respect for that glorious and fundamental concept. He’s taking American down a dangerous course.

Glenn Reynolds, writing in his weekly USA Today column, says that obeying the law starts at the top. If politicians [and judges, I would add] don’t treat the law as worthy of respect no one should expect citizens to either. Reynolds points out that there are two reasons for people to obey the law. First is fear of consequences but if that were the only reason we would be living in a society where everyone would ignore the law whenever they believed they could get away with it. That would be an ugly society, says Reynolds, leading to anarchy and/or tyranny. A better reason is for people to obey the law because they want to. When “people are generally law-abiding, the law enforcement presence can be light, and people can be reasonably confident that their fellow citizens are honest.”

Under what conditions will people want to obey the law? Reynolds explains:

…for people to want to obey the law for reasons that go beyond avoiding punishment, several things have to be true. First, they must generally approve of the law: Maybe not of every individual provision, but they have to believe that, in general, the laws are just rather than unfair. Second, they have to feel reasonably confident that most others will obey the law, too: People like to feel like good citizens, but they don’t like to feel like suckers. Finally, they have to feel as if the people in charge also respect the law. Examples are set at the top, and if the government treats unwelcome laws as unworthy of respect, you can expect the populace to feel the same way.

It’s much better to live in a society in which the laws are just, and in which people follow them as much out of moral obligation as fear of consequences. But such a society requires a degree of self-discipline and self-restraint on the part of its members, and especially of its leaders. Does our political class possess these traits? If not, how long can we expect the rest of society to?

Obama’s willingness to use the United States Constitution for a doormat won’t end well for America if he isn’t stopped. The Democrats have no interest in stopping him, and the Republicans apparently have no stomach for stopping him. If Republicans don’t muster some fortitude soon, we’re in trouble.

Men, Women and Marriage

There now exists a coterie of books and articles on the phenomenon of young men losing all interest in commitment to women. These young men haven’t lost interest in sex, by any means, and they won’t anytime soon. But women aren’t demanding commitment before sex these days and men are fine with that.

Years of anti-male venom by feminists (“A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle”); unfair treatment of men in divorce court (men hit with inequitable division of marital property, excessive and unneeded alimony awards to women, huge child support obligations, false accusations of child sexual abuse by vindictive ex-wives), and all sorts of other financial and/or legal traps that await men when love unravels has convinced many of them that commitment is a fool’s game.

Women might also be happy with that state of affairs for a time, but quickly come to see it as a dead end. The man who won’t commit begins to appear as a loser and a jerk to a woman wanting more than a casual relationship. Both sexes are largely correct in their respective attitudes toward the other.

So what’s the answer to this? Bad news, there isn’t any. Marriage is obsolete now, except for homosexuals of course. It didn’t get this way without years of neglect by both sexes and the larger society and it’s legal and cultural structure.  All that used to be is now something else. It won’t become another thing within current time horizons.

For a look at how things used to be, check this out: Men and Marriage by George Gilder.

All the books and articles being written today won’t get us back to what was good in the past, at least not for those firmly embedded in the WAG Culture. They might be helpful to understanding, though. Here’s a sample for anyone wanting to get a handle on it:


The Rational Male

Men on Strike, Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage

Stand by Your Manhood: A Game Changer for Modern Men

The War Against Boys


Why men won’t get married anymore; sorry ladies, it’s all your fault

The denigration of men: Ridiculed, abused, exploited – the triumph of feminism has made today’s men second class citizens.

Interview with Peter Lloyd, author of Stand by Your Manhood:

Colorado Sheriffs 2014 CCW Statistics Report

CCW permits are issued by Colorado Sheriffs who are required to report the number of new permits issued, the number renewed, and the number revoked by them during the past year. The 2014 report is now out showing that in the past year sheriffs issued 21,874 new permits and 17,317 permits were renewed, for a total 40,898.

The total number of permits revoked for all reasons was 195 due to an arrest, 22 under the sheriff’s limited discretion allowed by law, 33 when it was found the permit holder was no longer a resident of Colorado, and 20 because the individual was adjudicated mentally incompetent.

Sheriffs in Colorado have shown a willingness to revoke a permit when warranted, and any police officer in Colorado is authorized to seize a permit from anyone the officer believes has done something to warrant revocation. The officer will normally return the permit to the sheriff who issued it along with an explanation of why it was seized.

Adding up the numbers above, total permits revoked for any cause was 270 in 2014.

The total number of permits outstanding in Colorado since the “shall issue” law went into effect in 2003 can be conservatively estimated to be no less than 176,000.  The number of new permits issued annually over that 11 year period has averaged about 16,000 per year.  Thus, the number of permits revoked in 2014 is equal to 0.15% of those outstanding (270÷176,000 = .001534). To say it another way, 1% would have been 1,760 revocations. 270 out of 176,000 is 15/100th of 1%..

CCW permit holders as a group are the most law abiding people on the planet.  Having a CCW permit often makes one even more conscious of obeying the law because they don’t want to lose the permit.

A well-armed society truly is a polite society.

The recent tearful wailing in Colorado’s State Capitol about CCW holders being likely to commit mass shootings in K-12 schools was a brainless and utterly ridiculous display of left-wing ignorance.  The same must be said of the comments on Thursday of Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn blaming Wisconsin’s CCW law for the crime wave currently holding his city in its grip.  The crime surge is largely due to gang activity and gang bangers who don’t apply for CCW permits and wouldn’t be issued one if they did.