The Stella Awards

Mudge – the WP Dad – sent me an e-mail with a list of the Stella Award winners. The awards, named for Stella Liebeck, are given yearly to those who somehow managed to win court cases and damages for really dumb stuff. In many cases the plaintiff was the cause of the injury or incident that caused them harm, physical or emotional.

In case you aren't familiar with Stella Liebeck, you might be familiar with her lawsuit. In 1992, Stella, then 79, spilled a cup of McDonald's coffee onto her lap, burning herself. A New Mexico jury awarded her $2.9 million in damages. While many have lambasted the judgment of the court, Stella has been wrongly abused by many out there.

Getting back to the e-mail from Mudge, the list he forwarded to me turned out to be bogus. Even so, they sounded pretty interesting. However, I have the real list for the 2005 Stella Awards, released back in January 2006.

2005 Runners-Up and Winner:

#7: Bob Dougherty. A prankster smeared glue on the toilet seat at the
Home Depot store in Louisville, Colo., causing Dougherty to stick to
it when he sat down. "This is not Home Depot's fault," he proclaimed,
yet the store graciously offered him $2,000 anyway. Dougherty
complained that offer is "insulting" and filed suit demanding $3

#6: Barbara Connors of Medfield, Mass. Connors was riding in a car driven
by her 70-year-old(!) son-in-law when they crashed into the
Connecticut River, and Connors sank with the car. Rescue divers
arrived within minutes and got her out alive, but Connors suffered
brain damage from her near-drowning. Sue the driver? Sure, we guess
that's reasonable. But she also sued the brave rescue workers who
risked their lives to save hers.

#5: Michelle Knepper of Vancouver, Wash. Knepper picked a doctor out of
the phone book to do her liposuction, and went ahead with the
procedure even though the doctor was only a dermatologist, not a
plastic surgeon. After having complications, she complained she never
would have chosen that doctor had she known he wasn't Board Certified
in the procedure. (She relied on the phonebook listing over asking the
doctor, or looking for a certificate on his wall?!) So she sued ...the
phone company! She won $1.2 million PLUS $375,000 for her husband for
"loss of spousal services and companionship."

#4: Rhonda Nichols. She says a wild bird "attacked" her outside a home
improvement store in Fairview Heights, Ill., causing head injuries.
That's right: OUTSIDE the store. Yet Nichols still held the Lowe's
store responsible for "allowing" wild birds to fly around free in the
air. She never reported the incident to the store, but still sued for
"at least" $100,000 in damages. In January 2006, the case was thrown
out of court.

#3: Barnard Lorence of Stuart, Fla. Lorence managed to overdraw his own
bank account. When the bank charged him a service fee for the
overdraft, he filed suit over his "stress and pain" and loss of sleep
over the fee. A few hundred thousand bucks, he says, will only amount
to a "slap on the wrist", whereas the $2 million he's suing for is
more like being "paddled". Kinky!

#2: Wanita "Renea" Young of Durango, Colo. Two neighborhood teens baked
cookies for their neighbors as an anonymous gesture of good will, but
Young got scared when she heard them on her front porch. They
apologized, in writing, but Young sued them anyway for causing her
distress, demanding $3,000. When she won(!!) $900, she crowed about it
in the newspaper and on national TV. Now, she's shocked (shocked!)
that everyone in town hates her for her spite, and is afraid she may
have to move. But hey: she won.

AND THE WINNER of the 2005 Stella Award: Christopher Roller of
Burnsville, Minn. Roller is mystified by professional magicians, so he
sued David Blaine and David Copperfield to demand they reveal their
secrets to him -- or else pay him 10 percent of their lifelong
earnings, which he figures amounts to $50 million for Copperfield and
$2 million for Blaine. The basis for his suit: Roller claims that the
magicians defy the laws of physics, and thus must be using "godly
powers" -- and since ROLLER is god (according to him), they're
"somehow" stealing that power from him.

TO CONFIRM THE VALIDITY OF THESE CASES, get more information on the True
Stella Awards, or sign up for a free e-mail subscription to new cases
as they are issued, see http://www.StellaAwards.com/2005.html

Copyright 2006 www.StellaAwards.com . This message may be forwarded as
long as it remains complete and unaltered.

You've got to love the stupidity that sometimes manifests itself in our legal system.

Burying Power Lines

Glenn Reynolds asked the question. Well, someone that Glenn read over at Slashdot asked the question first:

Why aren't power lines underground?

've thought about it many times, as has Glenn. After reading the numerous comments and replies to the Slashdot post, I realized that I had come to the same conclusion as many of those commenting.

In certain areas and certain applications it makes perfect sense to do that. In other areas and circumstances it makes no sense whatsoever.

For the most part, burying power and utility lines makes sense for a local neighborhood, the so-called “last mile”. This is particularly true of new construction, where the cost of burying the utilities will be a fraction of what it would cost after the fact. Retrofitting can be very costly and, unless circumstances demand, not very cost effective. In urban areas it is the de facto standard.

But burying the higher voltage feeder lines entail their own problems and costs. In this case it makes no sense to do so unless there are some overriding need that must be met.

Let's face it, nobody likes those ugly telephone poles and power lines, nor the high tension lines that stretch across the countryside. We all like to see neighborhoods and country lanes devoid of them. But they are a necessity.


A Message To Feminazis - Shut The Hell Up!

Raven touches upon a subject that has been a sore spot for me for a very long time – Feminazis. Actually, Raven does more than touch upon it. She beats it to a richly deserved death.

As she writes, “Feminists have ruined sex for what it's supposed to be.”

They have, over the years, tried very hard to revictimize women, saying that they aren't capable of consenting to anything a man might propose. Don't they realize how many women fought for equal rights over the decades in order to make their own choices, good or bad? Now they want to throw all of that away, insisting that women can't make those choices. Instead, it is men who must change, to become more like the women these radical feminists say women are: weak and unable to make their own choices.

That's just plain stupid.

Russians Looking For Payback

I wasn't surprised to hear that Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, has directed the security apparatus of the FSB (successor to the old KGB) to find and kill the murderers of four Russian diplomats in Iraq.

This may be nothing but urban legend, but if I recall correctly this won't be the first time that Russia, or in this case, the old Soviet Union has sought retribution for attacks against their diplomats.

It seems that some time during the 1980's that some members of one of the many groups vying fro control of Lebanon kidnapped and killed one or more members of the Soviet embassy in Beirut. Legend has it that the KGB tracked down the perpetrators and their families, then killed and dismembered them all, leaving the remains where they would be found. It was a message that terrorist organizations and their supporters understood loud and clear:

Kill our diplomats and we will kill you and your families. Don't screw with us.

After that, everybody left the Soviets alone.

I wonder if this will be a lesson the Russians will teach these Islamofascist Pinheads...again?


Harry Takes A Trip

Harry of Squaring The Boston Globe ventures into the belly of the beast – a tour of the Globe's facilities on Morrissey Boulevard.

A brave man is Harry.

Net Neutrality At Risk

Whether you realize it or not, the telecommunications carriers (ye olde telephone companies, or telcos) are trying very hard to make many of us second class citizens while at the same time charging us more for the privilege. They want tiered service for Internet services even though ISPs are already paying differing levels for service depending upon the bandwidth being provided. This is being pushed by the telcos in order to increase profits, in and of itself not a bad thing. But there are many who believe that such tiered service will be an act of “neutricide”, something that would be a Bad Thing™ for us all.

One such person trying to maintain net neutrality is Cory Doctorow.

Phone and cable companies are looking for the right to charge popular Internet sites like Google and Yahoo to carry data to customers. The big Internet companies, they argue, are getting a free ride, using lots of bandwidth to get to customers and not paying a fair price for it. This will only get worse, they say, as multimedia content becomes more popular, demanding more bandwidth.

This argument is rubbish. Internet companies already are paying for bandwidth from their providers, often the same companies that want to charge them yet again under their new proposals. And for these providers to be screaming for the protection of the free market is sheer hypocrisy--they themselves are creatures of government regulation, basing their business on government-granted extraordinary privileges.

Something must be done to protect net neutrality from phone and cable companies seeking to commit neutricide. These companies must be required to grant equal access to the Internet for all traffic. But these regulations will be tricky to write. Done badly, they'll stifle the competition they're trying to protect.

Why does network neutrality need protecting? Craigslist co-founder Craig Newmark addressed this point in an editorial he wrote for CNN.com: "Let's say you call Joe's Pizza, and the first thing you hear is a message saying you'll be connected in a minute or two, but if you want, you can be connected to Pizza Hut right away. That's not fair, right? You called Joe's and want some Joe's pizza."

It's a dumb idea to put the plumbers who laid a pipe in charge of who gets to use it. It's a way to ensure that incumbents with the deepest pockets will always be able to deliver a better service to the public, simply by degrading the quality of everyone else's offerings. If you want to ensure that no one ever gets to creatively destroy an industry the way that Amazon, eBay, Google, Yahoo, and others have done, just make paying rent to a phone company a prerequisite for doing business.

I don't know about you, but it would certainly rankle me if the 'net ended up something like what was described above.


Thoughts On A Sunday

The summer solstice has come and gone, meaning we are actually in summer now.

It's about time.

We have plans to spend a lot of time out on the lake over the next three months. We made a pretty good start today, with over three hours out on the lake with one of Deb's friends and her daughter. We even managed to take a dip near the Ellacoya State Park beach.


Cap'n Ed links to and comments upon posts made by Michael Ledeen and Andy McCarthy about the media's War on War, and particularly about the New York Times' effort to damage national security by telling the jihadis/harabahis how the government is tracking them through bank transactions.

Way to go, NYT.


And speaking of the NYT debacle, Michelle Malkin has a number of interesting photoshopped posters that gets the point across.


This ought to give Holocaust deniers something to think about.

(H/T D.C. Thornton)


Want to see the real cause of the oil shortage? Sacred Cow Burgers has a pretty good idea.

(H/T D.C. Thornton, again!)


BeezleBub and I managed to catch two movies over the weekend, one in the theater and one on DVD.

We caught Cars at the local megamulticineplex. Frankly, I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. The nice thing about it is that it was entertaining on two levels – one that kids understand and one that adults get. It is definitely a family movie.

We watched Eight Below on DVD. If you're unfamiliar with it, it's based on a true story about a team of sled dogs that were abandoned at an Antarctic research station. Six of the eight dogs managed to survive the Antarctic winter on their own. It may not sound like much of story premise, but it was one heck of a good movie.


I like animals. I really do. But I'm not willing to put the lives of people I don't know in to jeopardy in a misguided effort to save a turtle. But somebody else didn't seem to mind doing just that.

Some folks have absolutely no smarts whatsoever.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the 600 foot no wake zone has been repealed, boating season is in full swing, and where someone's vacation begins next weekend.


An Important Voice In Iraq Speaks

While many of the U.S. Senate Democrats are still discussing withdrawing our troops from Iraq, setting some kind of timetable, the Iraqi Foreign Minister says, “Nobody is for a withdrawal, even a timetable, for the troops.”

Though he says that the coalition has made mistakes, overall he believes things are going in the direction they need to in order for Iraq to emerge as a self-sufficient democracy.

The worst thing we could do is to pull out prematurely before Iraq is ready to stand on its own.

War For Oil? Yeah, Right...

How many times have we heard that the war in Iraq was a “War for Oil”? But looking at the facts, anybody should be able to figure out for themselves that Operation Iraqi Freedom was anything but.

In case you are one of the folks out there that still believes that Iraq was indeed a War for Oil, the other Weekend Pundit (Texas style) gives us some points to ponder.

1) Did the original Gulf War open additional oil reserves to the U.S.? Answer: No, in fact it tightened the market by reducing oil output from Iraq, previously a top supplier of U.S. oil.

2) Has the current war resulted in increased oil production in the Middle East? Answer: No, instead it has reduced Iraq’s oil output even further because of insurgent attacks on the oil industry in an effort to starve the fragile new government of a key resource.

3) Have oil prices improved as a result of either war? Answer: No, prices have skyrocketed as a result of a tightening market and increased worries over Middle East stability, terrorist attacks and U.S. military ambitions against Iran, Syria, Libya and other possible targets.

If this was a War for Oil, then we've failed miserably.


They Take All The Fun Out Of Fun

Anybody who has lived here in America for any length of time knows that Americans are probably the most litigious people on the face of the earth. We'll sue just about anybody at the drop of a hat. Heck, we'll sue the person that dropped the hat, the manufacturer of the hat, and the city where the person who dropped the hat happened to drop it. There are plenty of scumbag lawyers out there willing to help you do just that for a hefty cut of the winnings, of course.

That means that other lawyers need to prevent any possibility of anybody suing anyone for any reason by making sure that any condition that might cause injury, real or imagined, must be eliminated. That's the reason why we see so many warning labels in multiple languages telling us not to do so many different stupid things: Many of these 'stupid things' happen to be something that someone somewhere actually did, and then sued somebody else when they were hurt because they did the 'stupid thing'.

The problem is that now many of these preventative measures are sucking the joy and fun in life. As Steve Moore writes in this Opinion Journal piece, even the traditional use of a diving board at the local pool is in jeopardy.

I'm now an official victim of the trial lawyers. So are my kids and the 800 members of our community pool that opened this summer without a high diving board.

The three-meter board had been a fixture of our pool at Chesterbrook Swim Club in Fairfax County, Va., for as long as anyone can remember. But the county has declared that it can no longer afford to pay the liability insurance for it--and so we've been grounded.

Most of the parents and kids share my disappointment at being cheated out of one of the great joys of summertimes past. No high board means no more "atomic" cannonballs, can openers, jack knives and watermelons, the kind of attention-grabbing dives that boys love to perform, sending a quarter of the pool's water spraying onto unsuspecting sunbathers nearby. And no more graceful teenage girls either, performing double flips with a twist, entering the water with hardly a ripple.

So why can't we just have a sign that reads: "Jump off this board at your own risk"? Some of our club members, many of whom are lawyers, say the elimination of the high board is for the safety of "the children."

How long will it be before they go after floating lounge chairs, bicycles, rollerblades, or worse, walking shoes? Where does it all end? There are only a few ways to fight back.

One possible solution is one that Shakespeare had suggested.

“The first thing we do, let's all kill the lawyers.” - Henry V, Part II, Act IV, Scene II

Yes, a bit drastic, but I certainly have been tempted.

Maybe we need tort reform, or better yet, taking into account the intelligence of those actually filing suit. If the plaintiff is of average or above average intelligence and has done something stupid and injured themselves, they lose. That they failed to exercise common sense and tried to use a lawnmower to trim the hedge, in the process severing some fingers, does not give them license to sue the manufacturer or retailer of the lawnmower. Instead, it means they get nothing. Not one red cent. No one should be rewarded for their lack of common sense.

The mindless litigation must be stopped, otherwise we might all end up looking like Bib, the Michelin Man because of all of the protective gear and clothing we'll be forced to wear in order to even walk out our front door.


An Attempt To Pull The Rug Out

I've been listening with interest to the debate in the U.S Senate about our troops in Iraq and proposed troop withdrawals. Two bills, one requiring troops to leave Iraq in 2007, the other asking for a draw down with no deadline for total withdrawal, caused lively debate among the members of the Senate. The first bill, sponsored by Senators John Kerry (D- MA) and Russ Feinstein (D-WI), drew the most ire from both Republicans and Democrats.

Called the “Cut and Run” bill, it was lambasted by Democrats and Republicans alike, and voted down 86-13. But that hasn't deterred John Kerry from pushing for abandoning the Iraqis to the tender mercies of the insurgents. It seems he's forgotten what it is we did to the Vietnamese. He's also forgotten the 61 years that American troops have been stationed in Europe. That's 61 years after the end of World War II.

But then he's an expert at bailing out of a conflict. He certainly showed his savvy when he managed to come up with three Purple Hearts in only 4 months during his service in Vietnam, giving him a ticket home eight months early. At least one of those Purple Hearts came under questionable circumstances. Once he was home he then lied about the activities of troops in Vietnam during the Winter Soldier hearings, claiming to have witnessed atrocities in locations he'd never been. (Yes, I'm slamming Senator Kerry. Then again, he has proven himself to be a less than honorable veteran. It looks like he wants to extend his 'philosophy' to cover the men and women serving in Iraq.)

The second bill, derisively labeled the “Cut and Jog” bill, called for a reduction of troop strength in Iraq, but with an open ended commitment. It too received much deserved derision on the floor of the Senate. It was also defeated by a 60-39 margin, with much of the voting along party lines.

Listening to the statements made by a number of senators on the Senate floor, it became quite obvious that too many of the Democrats truly had no understand of how damaging these bills were. I also got the impression that a few of them didn't really care. It also became obvious to me that they didn't understand the will of the American people or that of the troops in Iraq.

Sen. Harry Reid (D- NV) says that “the direction of the war in Iraq must change direction, and change now.” The only directional change that I can see that he's talking about is to move away from victory and towards defeat. But isn't that what some Democrats and many of the Left want? I get the impression that they would shed crocodile tears if our efforts in Iraq failed as long as they got the chance to say “See? We told you so!” Is it possible that they can't stand the idea that maybe, just maybe, the US did the right thing in deposing a brutal dictator with dreams of becoming the next Saladin?

Over the next few months I expect to see the more leftist Hate-America-First Democrats show their true colors. As the mid-term elections approach, those suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome will go over the edge and most of America will see that they don't have Americans' best interests at heart.


The Dems Ignore History At Our Peril

It was George Santayana who said “Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.”It appears that Rep. John Murtha and Senator John Kerry, among a host of others, have chosen to ignore the lessons of Beirut and Somalia.

Every time we have cut-and-run from a seemingly difficult situation involving radical and/or ruthless totalitarian/fascist/militant groups, we have paid the price for such withdrawals with greater death and destruction at the hands of these groups, or those like them.

Murtha wants us to repeat the mistake made in Somalia when we pulled out before the job was done, giving the Islamofascist Pinheads the impression that we couldn't stomach a fight. That action led directly to the attacks on our embassies in Kenya and Mozambique, the bombing of the USS Cole, and then the attacks on 9/11. He seems to believe that repeating that particular mistake when it comes to Iraq will somehow keep us safe. It seems he is intent on snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, making sure that all of the effort, all of the sacrifices made to rid Iraq of a brutal dictatorship and bring democracy to Iraqis should be in vain. He wants a repeat of what we did to Vietnam – abandoning the people under our protection and leaving them vulnerable to the mercies of those who have no mercy.

This is not the action of someone looking out for the American people. This is the action of a collaborator, someone more sympathetic to the enemy than to their own countrymen, despite their protestations to the contrary.

Murtha's kindred spirit, John Kerry looks like he wants to do the same thing. But the Senate slapped him down, letting him know that they are not amused.

Over in the Senate, meanwhile, former Democratic standard bearer John Kerry was embarrassed Thursday when Republican Mitch McConnell offered for a vote on the floor the text of a withdrawal resolution that Mr. Kerry had been promoting. Democrats cried foul and helped reject the resolution by 93-6. But the vote was useful for exposing Democrats who say the U.S. should leave Iraq but don't want to be responsible for the consequences of their proposal.

Responsible for their actions and the consequences of those actions? My goodness, the Dems can't have that!

Should the lose-at-any-cost Dems ever get their way and force premature withdrawal of US armed forces from Iraq, they will of course feel they've done their duty, though it could be millions of Iraqis who will pay the price for such a stupid action. Somehow I doubt those same Democrats will feel any responsibility for delivering the Iraqi people into the hands of militant Islamists or unrecalcitrant Ba'athists.


Thoughts On A Sunday

Deb and I headed out on The Boat and over to Weirs Beach yesterday to walk Lakeside Avenue and become part of the thronging crowd at Laconia's Motorcycle Week. The photos seen in the post prior to this were taken during that outing.

We were also glad to make it up to Thurston's Marine in order to meet the hosts of our favorite morning radio show, Free Wings and Hot Beer, Free Hot and Beer Wings,....uh...Free Beer and Hot Wings. The local radio station, WWHQ - the Hawk, hosted them, setting them up so that they had a view of most of the activities from the radio station's RV.

Not a bad job if you can get it!


One of the downsides to Motorcycle Week is the lack of consideration by folks up here for the festivities, at least those who happen to be staying with friends who live nearby the activities. In this case our new neighbors, the ones that like to keep their place lit up like Fenway Park all night, had friends from south of the border staying with them during the weekend. That in and of itself wasn't the problem. It was the incessant noise – yelling, foul language, and motorcycle burnouts – that lasted until well past 3AM.

This morning's escapades required us and a number of other neighbors to call the local police to complain. When I called, I explained the problem to the dispatcher and, at one point, held the phone out the window so that she could hear it for herself. The noise was that loud.

Less then three minutes later a police cruiser pulled up their driveway. We could hear the police officer explaining the facts of life to the rowdy bunch. There were a few loud vocal complaints about having to quiet down, but in the end peace and quiet returned to the neighborhood by 4AM.


Today was also the day we installed the air conditioners here at The Manse. It was a 'Triple H' day in the Lakes Region – Hot, Hazy, and Humid.

We also spent part of the day out on the lake on The Boat, one of the better ways to beat the heat. A lot of other people had the same idea. Normally we don't venture out onto Winnipesaukee during weekend afternoons due to the rough water created by the wakes of the numerous boats out there, but we made an exception this time, keeping the speed slow and steady while enjoying the cooling lake breezes.

I know that Jay and Deb sought refuge at Jay's air conditioned office as it's even hotter down in the People's Republic of Massachusetts.


By 5PM many of the motorcyclists were packing up and leaving for home. By 6PM Lakeside Avenue was looking a bit bare on the TV.

And so ends another Motorcycle Week in Laconia.


Believe it or not, there are some Muslim clerics in Iran that get it. One of them is the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's grandson. He believes that the ruling mullah's have sold out the Iranian people and are addicted to holding power and will do what is necessary to stay in power.

(H/T Hud's Blog-o-rama)


Summer TV is looking interesting.

Both The 4400 and Dead Zone have returned on USA.

ABC Family debuts a new series, Kyle XY. It debuts next week.

I think these series will keep my withdrawal symptoms from Lost, Smallville, Stargate SG1, Stargate Atlantis, and Battlestar Galactica, to a minimum.


I wonder if Rep. Jack Murtha realizes that he has become nothing more than a mouthpiece for the deluded Left? To quote Bryan at Hot Air, “When does it become legitimate to question not only Rep. Murtha's patriotism, but his loyalty and even his sanity?”

I believe we are far beyond that point.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where summer is here a few days ahead of the solstice, the roar of motorcycles has faded off into the distance, and where we can finally have some peace and quiet.


As promised, Bill Whittle has posted the first chapter of his new book, An American Civilization.

The first chapter is titled Rafts.

At the end he asks one poignant question:

Which way are the rafts headed?

An excellent point to ponder.

Go there now. Read. Enjoy!


An American Civilization

Bill Whittle is back!

He has promised to start posting chapters of his upcoming book, An American Civilization, starting sometime later today. I, for one, will be waiting eagerly to see what this brilliant essayist has come up with this time.


A Brief Report - Bike Week Friday

While we didn't make it to the center of all of the Bike Week action, mainly Lakeside Avenue at Weirs Beach, we did motor on by on the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout, aka “The Boat”. We even managed to snap a few photos, which you can see below. (Unfortunately we had another mission at hand that took priority – putting gas into The Boat. We headed to the south end of Paugus Bay where the cheapest gas on the lake can be found. We paid $2.92/gal at Lakeport Landing while everyone else was selling it at between $3.25 and $3.29/gal.)

But be not disheartened as we shall return to the Weirs tomorrow morning with digital camera in hand. We plan to take loads of photos that will be posted here, somewhere. Of course, Deb has an ulterior motive for returning to the Weirs tomorrow – she wants to see Free Beer and Hot Wings, hosts of a syndicated radio morning show that we both listen to during the week. They will be broadcasting from the Weirs tomorrow and she wants to see them.

While the number of motorcyclists seemed below what we usually see at the beginning week, those numbers have swelled since Thursday morning to what we normally see during the latter half of Bike Week.

Bikes At Endicott Park.jpg

Motorcycles Parked At Endicott Park At The Weirs

Lakeside Avenue At The Beach.jpg

A View Of The Festivities On Lakeside Avenue At The Weirs As Seen From The Lake

Balloon Rides At The Weirs.jpg

Balloon Rides At The Weirs Give A Birds Eye View

Click on images for larger picture


A Moving Tribute To Fallen Marines

I read about Karla Comfort and her tribute to her fallen son, Lance Corporal John M. Holmason, and his comrades who died with him in Fallujah last December.

As Lee at Right Thinking wrote:

Note to Cindy Sheehan: This is what normal mothers do when their children die in a war. They honor them. They don’t go cavorting off to South America to stand in solidarity with communist dictators.


Bike Week Update

I've been remiss in my coverage of Motorcycle Week here in the Laconia area. I plan to make the trip to Weirs Beach over the next two days and take lots of pictures.

In the mean time, here are a number if links to articles covering a few of the activities:

Start of a new “tradition” for Bike Week – Bike Bash. The rain kept attendance down on the first day.

The hillclimb at Gunstock in Gilford was a rousing success, with spills, thrills, and few, if any, injuries. However it was the girls who were the big hit at the hillclimb.

Graffiti is one thing, but graffiti art is something else, particularly if this guy is the artist.

And a potpourri, including signs, worship services, gator meat, sharp objects, and sanctuaries from the occasional showers.


Search Engine Queries

Ben Kepple has another edition of “Your Search Engine Queries Answered”.

Just don't be drinking anything you don't want squirting out of your nostrils while reading his latest post.


The War On Terror And The U.S. Legal System

Jay Tea at Wizbang has inadvertently followed up on a thread that I wrote about here. Well, at least a tangential connection.

The left, over the last few decades, has grown more and more dependent on using the legal process to win their battles. Repeatedly rebuffed through the electoral and legislative systems, they now find their greatest successes when they can persuade one or a few judges to accept their arguments and impose their rulings on the populace. Witness the rise in prominence of advocacy groups like the ACLU, which pour the lion's share of their resources into litigation, not legislation. Or consider how gay marriage came about in Massachusetts, when four of seven justices on a single panel made a decision for an entire state of about 6.3 million people. Or in California, where ballot measures overwhelmingly passed by the people are struck down.

These incidents are symptoms, I believe, of the over-litigation of our society. The court system is seen as the panacea for all ills. Whatever the issue, the best solution is to simply take it to court and get a judge (or panel of judges) to decide.


By design, our legal system is reactive. It is punitive. It most often intervenes after a wrong has been committed, and acts to right it.

But in the war on terror, those are simply futile.

We know the names and identities of the 19 men who carried out the terrorist attacks in 9/11. By the legalistic model, they should be arrested, tried, and upon conviction punished for their deeds. But unfortunately, during the course of the attacks (indeed, as an essential part of the attacks), they placed themselves irrevocably beyond the reach of our legal system. They are literally answering to a higher authority.

Likewise, this mentality has been playing out over the death of Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. We found the terrorist leader and dropped a couple of bombs on him. He's dead. End of story.

But not to the supporters of the legalistic model. Why didn't we try to capture/apprehend/arrest him? Were any of those others killed innocents? How long did he live after the bombing? Did we try to give him medical treatment? Did we abuse him and make him suffer more during his last moments of life? Did we beat him? Did we execute him?

I have the same answer to all those questions: I don't care.

I think that many of those that Jay describes are living in some kind of a dream world. Most of the rest of us probably have the same reaction as Jay: We don't care.

Zarqawi is dead. We are alive. That's the way we wanted it.


Being Nice Doesn't Cut It

Jonah Goldberg illustrates once again why being nice to those wishing to kill you will not stay their hand. Instead, it merely shows them how weak you are and how unworthy of the death they will inflict upon you. It's something Canada is learning the hard way.

The presence of a profoundly evil, homegrown terror cell in Canada has understandably provoked a lot of soul-searching to our north. As one Canadian editorial put it: "We are Canada, peacekeepers to the world, everybody's nice guy. Who would want to harm us, and why?" Or as Audrey Macklin, a University of Toronto law professor, confessed to the L.A. Times, Canadians "picture themselves as being thought of as nicer than the United States." Why on earth would terrorists want to hurt a "nice" country? Well, for starters, nice isn't all it's cracked up to be. The frog who carried the scorpion on his back in Aesop's fable was nice. It didn't make the scorpion's sting any less poisonous.

Indeed, there's good reason to believe that niceness is part of the problem, not the solution. Many Canadians (and Americans and Europeans) cling to a deep-seated belief that more multiculturalism, more interfaith dialogue, more "understanding," more Western apologies, more acceptance of Sharia, more "niceness" will fix the problem.

Indeed. In fact this incident in Canada shows how multiculturalism has failed, breeding hatred and violence. Many of the problems that people came to places like Canada, the U.S. and western Europe to get away from have followed them to their new homes. In some cases the problems are even more virulent than from where they fled.

Being nice isn't the answer, as many have found. We shouldn't be tolerant of those wishing nothing more than to subjugate or kill us. We should be as intolerant as hell. If someone is offended by something that is part of our culture, that is guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, then that's just too damn bad. It isn't up to us to adjust our culture to appease the sensitivities of the followers of a brutal ideology. It is up to them to either live with it or to go away. Somehow many of these Islamofascist pinheads have come to believe that they can bomb and burn and kill their way to Paradise. It is a fallacy that has been used again and again to justify brutal, uncivilized acts all throughout history. They are just the latest deluded fools to fall for it, to buy the lie. It isn't until it's too late that they realize that they weren't doing God's work, but the work of His adversary, if they come to realize it at all. And if history can be used as a guide, they won't.


Thoughts On A Sunday

It wasn't the sound of an alarm clock that woke me this morning. Nor was it the sound of the wind rustling the leaves or the cries of impatient cats waiting to be fed.

It was the distant rumbling thunder of motorcycles.

Despite a rather slow start to Laconia's Motorcycle Week yesterday, they are out in force today. Of course, it helps that the weather is better today – no rain so far – and that it's expected to be drier, warmer, and sunnier of the next couple of days.

We might make it over to the center of activity sometime later today, Weirs Beach, coming in by sea rather than land. I will also be taking a few days off from work starting Wednesday to enjoy the festivities. As always, the Official Weekend Pundit Digital Camera will be with me, allowing me to share a few of the more alluring...uh...attractions at the rally.


As much as I enjoy being out on Lake Winnipesaukee, it's idiots like this that make me cringe when I hear about or witness their exploits.

What a putz.

We managed to head out onto the lake today and swung by where the incident linked above took place and I have a question: How are they gonna move that thing?


The Law of Unintended Consequences may come back to haunt Senator Ted Kennedy (D- Chivas).

In his efforts to kill the Cape Wind wind farm project off of Cape Cod, he may have derailed a number of other vital wind turbine projects elsewhere in the US.

So much for being a proponent of alternative energy projects.


I heard about this controversial film clip by movie maker Tim Alexander on NPR this morning. Titled “Diary of a Tired Black Man”, it raises the issue of why many black women are having problems maintaining relationships or marriages with black men. Tim Alexander explains:

First-time filmmaker Tim Alexander, who enjoys being provocative, says there's a disease out there that he calls the "angry black woman syndrome." He says it must be identified, diagnosed and treated.

Alexander believes African-American women who grew up in fatherless homes, hearing their aunts and grandmothers saying black men are no good -- and hearing that opinion reinforced in the media -- are now angry adult women.

"They grow up, deal with the wrong men, finally meet the right guy and don't know how to turn it off," Alexander says. "They are so used to fighting; it's the only way they know to have a relationship. So when a man is a good man, they think he's a punk."

Alexander has poked a sore spot within the black community, with many agreeing wholeheartedly with his take on the subject, and just as many vehemently disagreeing with it.

Is he on target with his film, or is he overstating the problem?


George Will writes that Al Gore is self-contradictory when it comes to two things: the consensus about human-caused global warming and whether he will be a candidate for President in 2008.

So what else is new?


The Democrats were courting bloggers at the YearlyKos blog convention in Las Vegas. Whether this will help them in the upcoming elections in November is anybody's guess. They should also be aware that bloggers aren't as easy to manipulate as the MSM. Any attempt to do so, by either party, is likely to backfire on them.


I made contact with an old friend I hadn't talked to in a few years. I was reading through posts on the Winnipesaukee.com forums and noticed that one particular participant on one of the forums dealing with cell service in the Lakes Region seemed familiar somehow. Reading her posts, she made references to a number of things that rang a bell, so I sent her a message and, lo-and-behold, I found out it was indeed my friend.

We plan to get together very soon and catch up on a number of things. It helps that she and her husband live right on the lake, meaning we can go by land or sea to get to their house.


It's dangerous for Deb and me when we watch HGTV. We get too damn many ideas of what we'd like to do here at The Manse. Things like a new bathroom, a new island for the kitchen, new counter tops, and so on. If we were both working three jobs we might be able to afford all of the things we'd like to do.

Like that's going to happen.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where Motorcycle Week is in full swing, the weather has cleared up, and where Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is still dead.


Let's Be Careful Out There

It's the start of Motorcycle Week here in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. This is the 83rd Annual gathering of motorcycle enthusiasts here in the Laconia area.

It can be a great time. Unfortunately, it can also be a deadly time.

Three motorcyclists one their way here from Connecticut and Massachusetts were killed in an accident in Stoddard, New Hampshire yesterday. While a few newspaper reports implied it was the accident was caused by a motorist driving an SUV, the state police reported that one of the motorcyclists had crossed the the double yellow line into the path of the SUV. The resulting collision caused a domino effect, resulting in all but one of the group of motorcycles to collide.

Folks on two and four wheels have got to be careful over the next ten days.

Back Up And Running

The main Weekend Pundit blog site is now back up and running!

Back Up Site

I doubt anyone will find this back up site any time soon, but that won't stop me from posting here. This is a bare bones blog. No comments. No trackbacks. Just posts. It will be the regular backup site for Weekend Pundit from now on. This site will contain identical posts to the main site, sans a few photos here and there.

Let's just hope that it won't take too long to get Blogmosis back up and running.


A Limited Renewal

It appears that our problems with the hosting service that carries Blogmosis should be cleared up soon. It was a PayPal conflict that has temporarily shut down the main Weekend Pundit blog site. (And people wonder why I hate PayPal!)

Since it seems that it's always a good idea to have backups, we're going to borrow an idea from Instapundit and use this site as our backup site

Is This Thing On?

It appears that I may have to revive this blog site as our regular Blog Hosts, Blogmosis, seems to have gone away. Stay tuned for further developments.