A Casualty Of War

September 26, 2016

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A Casualty Of War

The motorcycle club world persists because it is a manifestation of what William James, the foremost American Pragmatist, called “The Moral Equivalent of War.”

“History is a bath of blood,” James, who considered himself to be a pacifist, wrote in 1910, approximately a century before the notion arose that men should evolve into women and women could evolve into men.

As We Were

“…inordinate ambitions are the soul of any patriotism, and the possibility of violent death the soul of all romance,” James thought, although no respectable intellectual would dare say today what James said then.

“The earlier men were hunting men, and to hunt a neighboring tribe, kill the males, loot the village and possess the females, was the most profitable, as well as the most exciting, way of living….. Modern war is so expensive that we feel trade to be a better avenue to plunder; but modern man inherits all the innate pugnacity and all the love of glory of his ancestors. Showing war’s irrationality and horror is of no effect on him. The horrors make the fascination. War is the strong life; it is life in extremis….”

“…weaklings and mollycoddles may not end by making everything else disappear from the face of nature…. Martial virtues must be the enduring cement; intrepidity, contempt of softness, surrender of private interest, obedience to command, must still remain the rock upon which states are built.”

Archaic notions of what men should be and how they should conduct themselves, what James called “the strong life,” persist on the motorcycle outlaw frontier. That may explain both the continuance of this counterculture and the public’s ongoing fascination with Sons of Anarchy, and the press coverage of Waco, and the sprouting of parodies and homages to the strong life like the Iron Order and the Iron Pigs, and the celebrity of George Christie, Jay Dobyns and Charles Falco. Men are not lambs but increasingly modern society insists that is what they should be. So the motorcycle outlaw world is endlessly fictionalized.

From within, outlaw bikers love each other like brothers in arms. From without, the public sees uninhibited violence.

Jeff Duke

That uninhibited violence claimed another life on Saturday. Jeff Duke, whom police eventually described as an associate of the Vagos Motorcycle Club from Georgetown, California was beset by three motorcyclists “wearing black leather,” as police put it, on Interstate 80, near Truckee, California which is not far from Reno where a motorcycle rally called “Street Vibrations” was being held. Duke was shot “multiple times” before he crashed. He was airlifted to a hospital but died enroute.

As is always the case with these incidents, the police are being cute. They initially declined to identify Duke as a member or affiliate of the Vagos. They refused to speculate about who might have killed him. “What we do know early in our investigation,” California Highway Patrol Officer Pete Mann said, “is that a group of motorcycles rode up along side this gentleman and opened fire.”

The last six weeks have been more violent than usual in the Southwest. The establishment press, caught between its conflicting roles as sensationalizer of gore and scourge of social nonconformity, hasn’t had much to say about it. Nevertheless, from time to time somebody who somebody loved dies anyway. It is the tragic side of the strong life. There is nothing fictional about it.


41 Responses to “A Casualty Of War”

  1. The Kraut Says:

    Respects and condolences to Jeff Duke, his family,friends and Brothers.

    Respect to those who warrant respect

    The Kraut

  2. Paladin Says:

    Condolences to all those that new, loved and cared for Mr. Duke.

    Long May He Ride,


  3. A A M D Says:

    There is nothing honorable or romantic about 3 cocksuckers gunning down a lone rider. Fuck the chickenshit Chicken Heads.

  4. Storyteller Says:

    R.I.P. Brother

  5. Mightyhog Says:

    Condolences to family and friends, good bye old friend and brother, may you rest in peace!!!!!!

  6. caretaker Says:

    aamd-Show some respect.

    Condolences to all that knew Mr.Duke. May he Ride In Peace.


  7. Jacqueline James Says:

    RIP..Jeff..Thank you for all your kind words an May you get your Tacos every Tuesday…

  8. AVAGOVFFV Says:

    RIP my Brother. Be sure to blaze it all Green and I’ll see ya when my number comes up.

    With a heavy heart I send my sincere condolences to all of those affected by the loss of Jeff may the grief pass quickly but have Jeff’s memory live on forever.

    Viva Los Vagos

  9. Potmetal Says:

    My deepest condolences to the friends and family of Mr. Duke. My their hearts be filled with joyful memories as their minds come to terms with this senslesss tragedy.


  10. East Coast 22 Says:

    RIP Brother. Condolences to your brothers and family.


  11. A A M D Says:

    @ caretaker

    Respect for what, for who? A man was murdered you stupid prick! So, who gets respect? The dead man? Yes. May he rest in peace. May his family and friends find peace. The murderers? 3 chickenshit cocksuckers gunning down a lone rider. Fuck them.

  12. TX_Biker Says:

    My condolences to his family and Brothers.

  13. IRISH PUNK Says:

    Thank you Rebel,

    RIP Jeff.


  14. Stickerman Says:


    I get it. I feel the same way. I think what @Caretaker was reacting to your first post where you skipped straight to #2.

    step 1- pay respects to the man and his family

    step 2- insult the chickenshit pussies that gunned him down.

    Put the person first to show respect. Sorta like wiping your feet (even if you know they’re clean) before you enter grandma’s house.

  15. OutofTheGame Says:

    Too simple to jump to conclusions. Things are not as they seem. This looks like a “Sum of All Fears” scenario. Just one man’s opinion. Good day.

  16. Bats Says:

    Casualty of War?

  17. Catfish Says:

    Rest In Peace

  18. Sieg Says:

    Respects to Jeff Duke, condolences to his family and Brothers.

    Life on the streets is war, never know when your number is up. If you have the privilege of going down fighting, at least you-and those left behind-have the satisfaction of knowing you got some. When you get ambushed and gunned-down,whether it’s by pigs or someone acting like them, it leaves a void that can only be filled by revenge.

    And so the circle remains unbroken.

    FTF / FTP

  19. Paladin Says:

    As has been said: If you’re in a fair fight, you’re doing it wrong.


  20. AVAGOVFFV Says:

    Paladin, I strongly disagree Sir with your fair fight post.

    Many years ago I was taught that drive by shootings are not a true 1% er or outlaws conduct. If that what has become the standard of our culture we’re fucked. Now we’ll beat the life out of one another cut a man or even blow a hole in someone within the threat zone as a last resort but I as a man will not tolerate or condone punk cowardly acts. Every man has to behave honorably and not bring shame to their organization. That should be the rule and not the exception.

    I remember a time that if you showed up on the yard with a drive by jacket your people inside handled business and you either died or PC’D out to hide with the baby rapists and snitch rat pukes.

    My rant for the early AM pre Friday.

    Viva Los Vagos

  21. swampy Says:

    Sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Jeff Duke.

    AAMD, this is not the place to jump to conclusions, point fingers or start shit.

  22. Base Says:

    Condolences to his family & friends.

    May justice prevail.


  23. Paladin Says:


    Although not a direct quote, my post was in reference to a John Steinbeck quote, which is: “If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck.” Warring factions have been ambushing each other since factions have been warring. Many have said that the violence that exists on the motorcycle outlaw frontier isn’t necessary. I believe that if it wasn’t necessary, it wouldn’t be a fact of life.

    My post is not an attempt to hijack this thread. As I do others that post on this site, I respect you and out of that respect I felt a reply was warranted. I meant no disrespect to Mr. Duke, or the club he was affiliated with. My prior post was just a statement of fact, nothing more.

    Long May You Ride,


  24. Irish 1%ER Says:

    I agree with you 100 percent on that RIP Patrick Eberhardt and Jeff Duke.

  25. dogbreath Says:

    Respects to Jeff Duke, condolences to his family, friends and Brothers.

  26. kiloDI Says:

    A casualty of war? He was gunned down in a drive by by a bunch of chickenshit punks! Jeff was a good man who will be missed rest in piece my friend. And for the cowards there is a special place in hell for you and I hope you get to look who ever sends you there in the eye so you can burn in hell knowing a real man sent you there!

  27. Drifter Says:

    Godspeed Mr. Duke………………

  28. WideGlide Says:

    Respects to the gentleman who was ambushed by 3 cowards, obviously to scared to pull him over and man up to him if that is what they needed to do. May his family find at least some peace in a situation that should never happen.

    “if your in a fair fight you did something wrong”

    I guess that shows the type of person doing the typing. I guess anyone that may know him should probably always have their back to a wall when near him.

    And anyone on here trying to make the smallest of statement about “not judging what happened”. Sorry but ANYTIME 3 guys shoot someone off their bike and kill them, they are cowards PERIOD, and to defend them only shows you think that their is a situation where 3 guys shooting a man off his bike is OK. That says a lot about you….

    Shiny Side Up……

  29. Dave Says:

    Well said, Wide Glide. Cowards indeed. Condolences to Mr. Duke, and I hope the people who did this are brought to justice.

  30. rollinnorth Says:

    Condolences to all who knew and loved him.

    FWIW, it’s the CHP saying, “that a group of motorcycles rode up along side this gentleman and opened fire.”
    Not condoning such actions; I would like to learn more about what happened from other / better sources. I realize, these days, that might never happen.

    Thanks to Rebel for spreading the word.


  31. AVAGOVFFV Says:

    Paladin, I get it, thank you Sir. I understand your message thanks for clarifying your position and opinion. I have made my position on this cowardly and vile act known to everyone that posts here some are even members of highly Respected Clubs.

    So my question or statement rather is.

    Is this the type of future we’re going to promote within our membership? Is this the behavior that’s accepted, condoned and rewarded? I surely hope not.

    There needs to be a stern and unequivocal message sent to not only our fellow members within every Club but also to the public that this is not who we are.If not our culture of being truly honorable 1% er outlaws is over and we’ve become the very thing we say we’re not and that would be defined as a culture of piece of shit gang bangers.

    This is not what I or many others before any of us were chosen to be when we were invited to the culture as prospects.

    Many wise words have been spoke here by men from other Clubs as well as supporters of those Clubs regarding this senseless and tragic death of a great guy. Are we just going to talk about it here till we move to the next story or take the opportunity and responsibility to talk honestly at the next church about these cowardly acts and promote to our people that this is not something we will tolerate in our ranks or have as part of our history? A wise grey beard said once that if we choose not to change or evolve we will face extinction by our own hand.

    Just my position on shit no one else’s but do encourage everyone to step up too and have that conversation.

    Viva Los Vagos

  32. OutofTheGame Says:

    A Vago-
    Since you want us to step up and have that conversation, let’s start with your club not doing due diligence & letting that scumbag Falco in, the guy in Vegas and the guy in Phoenix who started a
    gunfight; not no mention Jabbers.
    You’ve been babbling on for 3 years now & nothing has changed. Hey smart guy use your head here: 3 guys in black leathers? Really? According to whom? Has anyone checked who actually saw this happen? This sounds a lot like the guy who was killed after Laughlin..
    I’ve been out for a while and still am amazed that we don’t all wake up and realize that there is an outside force with a vested interest in all of us killing each other. Until you come to that realization, this is all nonsense and bloviating bs, which you seem to enjoy.
    Smarten Up.

  33. Paladin Says:

    AVAGOVFFV said:

    “A wise grey beard said once that if we choose not to change or evolve we will face extinction by our own hand.”

    I don’t know how wise I actually am, but I believe I may be the grey beard (actually white) that made that remark, and I still believe it to be true.

    There has always been violence between tribes and their respective members, those tribes that live out on what Rebel refers to as “the motorcycle outlaw frontier” are no different. The violence can cease only when territories are respected, agreements are honored, the feuds of the past are settled, and the government is acknowledged as the greatest enemy to all.

    There will always be violence among men of honor. Because such men hold themselves to a higher standard, they will accept nothing less from others. The problem arises when a member of one tribe dishonors a member of another. When this happens, both tribes become involved, starting a feud that can and will last for decades. Letting the individuals involved settle their differences between themselves might be a better solution.

    Mr. Duke was a good man. Any man that befriends animals is a good man. There are many good men living within the tribes that live out on the motorcycle outlaw frontier. When these men are lost, especially to violence, it hurts that particular tribe and its members.

    Those entities that become extinct do so because they can’t adapt to a changing environment, continue to do those things that reduce their numbers, or fail to recognize and therefore adapt to the tactics of a super predator. The tribes and their members that live out on the motorcycle outlaw frontier face all three.

    Long May You Ride,


  34. AVAGOVFFV Says:

    Paladin, We’ll said Sir and for the most part I do agree.

    Hopefully you continue to grow many more greys.

    My very best to you.

    To Out of the Game, First your insults don’t mean shit tough guy. Try being part of the solution instead of the problem.

    I’ve wasted all the fucking bandwidth I’m going to on you.

    Bless your heart.

    Viva Los Vagos

    Viva Los Vagos

  35. Dog Breath Says:

    @ OutofTheGame
    You really don’t know shit do you? Were you at any of those locations at the time of the instances. Do you know any real details or are you just repeating what your ol’ lady heard from one of her tricks? Yeah, Fuckstick were you in Reno that night? Did you see what happened? That fucking dumbshit Jabbers ran his mouth and he got fuckin’ punched in it. But did the eventual dead guy really need to shoot two people, pistol whip another and stomp yet another? FUCK YOU, YOU STUPID CUNT. Due diligence? I could go on for years. Yeah, lets have all your rejects sainted.

    Apologies for the rant.

  36. WheresMyBoots Says:

    Respects and condolences to those close to Jeff Duke.
    Ride In Peace.

    Respects, and Ride Free,


  37. OutofTheGame Says:

    I’m out Gentlemen. I’ve lost too many Brothers who have died, are in prison, or just walked away.
    Righteous Brothers whose lives were affected by the Neanderthal thinking from people like ‘Dog Breath’ (A name I somehow find entirely appropriate.)

    ‘Casualty of War?’ Yes. RIP Mr. Duke. My only appeal, as my first post attempted (and obviously failed) to elucidate is while charting a course of action take the emotion out of it, and get all of your facts straight.

  38. dogbreath Says:

    Not sure why the name Dog Breath appeared at the top of AVAGOVFFV’s post above, since it was signed at the bottom. Just to clarify though, it was not me, dogbreath, who made it. Although I do agree with the gist of it, I wasn’t there, I ain’t involved, and it ain’t my business.

    @OutOfTheGame – dogbreath, the moniker, is entirely appropriate. Fuck you for the implied slight.

  39. chromedome Says:


    magnificently put…….
    the circle must remain unbroken……


  40. Thomas Prines Says:

    How was Patrick Eberhardt killed? Honorably? In the fashion of a true outlaw? No, he was killed bye a coward punk from a Mexican street gang playing dress up! You’re not outlaws your cowards. It goes both ways…

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