Thoughts On A Sunday

There was a somber event in Manchester, NH yesterday – the funeral services for slain Manchester Police Officer Michael Briggs. Thousands of police officers from around the nation attended.

Briggs was laid to rest with full military honors. Briggs once served in the Marine Corps.

(More reports, photos, and video can be found here.)


Talk about irony.

The man accused of killing officer Michael Briggs was saved by Briggs after a shooting three years ago.


The WP Family headed out in different directions yesterday.

Deb was down in the southern part of New Hampshire for the day, attending a training session.

BeezleBub and I were in Concord in the early afternoon for WP Nephew Michael's birthday. Later we headed down to the WP In-Laws in the Keene area so we could attend the annual Keene Pumpkin Festival. After sunset, over 24,000 jack o' lanterns were lit. They lined the streets, were set up on scaffolds, some of which towered into the night sky.

If you've never heard of it, it is an awesome sight. (A slide show can be seen here.)

While wandering around downtown Keene, we came across the police chief from our hometown. He and a small number of other officers from our town were helping keep the crowd of 80,000 people under control.


The November 7th elections are two weeks away and while the focus for many in New Hampshire have been the races for state and local elective offices, some are pushing hard to make sure that voters remember the two ballot initiatives that many see as far more important than who wins what office. The two ballot questions deal with amendments to the New Hampshire state constitution.

The first deals with modifying eminent domain to prevent the state or municipalities from taking private property for private development, such as happened in Kelo vs New London. The amendment would limit the taking of private property for public use only, things like schools, hospitals, roads, and so on.

The second tries to address the growing problem of towns and communities losing representation in the New Hampshire House as population grows and shifts. The amendment seeks to ensure that every community will have at least one representative in the House. (The New Hampshire House, also known as the General Court, has 400 members, making it the third largest legislative body in the West, behind only the US Congress and the British Parliament).

Each of these ballot questions require 66 2/3% of the voters voting in favor of the amendments in order for them to pass.

One group is making sure that everybody knows about the first question by running TV ads until election day in an effort to inform voters about the issue and to get out the vote.

Voters in 11 other states also will consider ballot questions next month to strengthen property rights. All are in response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that let New London, Conn., take a group of older homes along the city's waterfront for a private developer who wanted to build offices, a hotel and convention center. The city wanted to bolster its sagging economy and make itself more competitive with suburban communities that have more land available for similar projects.


Once I read this editorial in one of our local papers I knew I had to share it. It deftly defines a problem that we have today: we have become a 30-minute society.

This election season, at least as it involves seats in Congress, has taken on a myopic if not simplistic view of the problems that face the United States.

Eliminating turmoil in the Middle East is as easy as pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be solved if King Solomon simply cuts the baby in half.

Since there have been no terror attacks on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, we must be safe.

High fuel prices can be lowered by convicting Big Oil's corporate officers of price gouging and going green, overnight.

Making a college education affordable is as simple as making the government (other taxpayers) subsidize loans to students at below-market rates.

Rising health-care costs can be capped by allowing the U.S. government — the inventor of the $100 toilet seat and $10 nail — to take over the nation's health insurance system.

Everyone in Congress is corrupt and must have done something untoward to a page — or intern.

The list goes on.

One letter writer posed the theory that America has become a 30-minute society, that the problems of the world must, and can, be solved by the end of "The Simpsons" or, at worst, an hour long "Desperate Housewives."

It seems that too many people have no patience and want everything fixed now. My fear is that many will never learn the lesson that most of our problems can't be solved overnight and that to expect that they can be will leave many of them perpetually disappointed.


If you like dogs, you'll love this. It brought a tear to my eye.

(H/T James Hudnall>


The New England Patriots met up with the Bills in Buffalo today. Their first drive put them ahead 7-0. By the end of the game they lead 28-6. It was a tough game for Buffalo, and particularly their quarterback, Losman.

Next week the Pats go up against the Minnesota Vikings.


The Yankees are invading the South again.

But this time, rather than Union troops marching their way through the South, it's doughnuts. In this case, Dunkin' Donuts.

Dunkin' Donuts is making a concerted effort to muscle in on Krispy Kreme territory.

From its first store in Quincy, Mass., Dunkin' Donuts has become the quintessential Northeastern doughnut shop, with working-class credentials and obsessed customers.

But now the Canton, Mass.-based chain plans to expand south and west across the country, and that begs the question: Will Southerners, with their long-standing love of Krispy Kreme's sugar-glaze, find room for another doughnut?


Stan Parker, senior vice president of marketing for North Carolina-based Krispy Kreme, said many Southerners have grown up with their doughnuts and think of a trip to Krispy Kreme as more than just breakfast or a snack.

"For many people, Krispy Kreme has been part of their lives for a long time," he said.

Rosemary Evans was clearly in the Krispy Kreme camp as she shared a dozen doughnuts with her children on a recent Saturday morning.

"Dunkin' Donuts just don't have much flavor," said Evans, who grew up in Alabama. "These are just more moist. You can fold them up and stuff a whole one in your mouth."

Dunkin' Donuts fan Jack Lehnhart disagrees. "Wax doughnuts," he says about Krispy Kremes.

Having availed myself of both, I can say that I prefer the Dunkin' Donuts. But that's just my Yankee stubbornness, sticking with something I've known for decades.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the leaves are dropping from the trees, the last vestiges of summer have disappeared, and where preparations for winter are well under way.

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