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Uncommonly Sensible

Keeping the "anal" in analytical... (While trying to remain civilized)

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Location: United States

Friday, June 30, 2006

230 and counting...

By the time of the American Revolution, fireworks had long played a part in celebrating important events, having originated in China some 2,000 (or so) years ago.

It was natural that not only John Adams, but also many of his countrymen, should think of fireworks when Independence was declared.

The very first celebration of Independence Day was in 1777, six years before Americans knew whether the new nation would even survive the war...and fireworks were a part of that celebration.

There are a number of fireworks displays scheduled all over the country; several of them are listed HERE.

I'll be spending a long weekend in Virginia.

I will have some fireworks with me...

Friday, June 23, 2006

Artistic license?

ATLANTA - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

A worrisome superbug seen in prisoners and athletes is also showing up in people who get illegal tattoos, federal health officials said Thursday.

Forty-four tattoo customers in Ohio, Kentucky and Vermont developed skin infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The infections occurred in 2004 and 2005, and were traced to 13 unlicensed tattoo artists, according to an article in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

I've got several tattoos myself. Some say they are the desecration of my body, which can be considered a temple of God, according to certain teachings...personally, I consider it decoration instead.

Anyway, to the best of my (not inconsiderable) knowledge, all of my ink work has been applied by licensed practitioners using sanitary procedures.

When I started getting tattoos, way back in the 70's, nobody had ever heard of HIV/AIDS.

Nowadays there is some scary stuff out there that can be transmitted by a dirty needle, and it is the height of foolishness to risk infection for something which essentially constitutes a vain pursuit, as in the pursuit of vanity.

Besides the aforementioned HIV/AIDS there's hepatitis of various sorts, and now this so-called "superbug", amongst other things.

So I would hope that anyone considering getting a tattoo these days would want their tattooist to have an official license, not just the artistic variety...

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Click it or ticket?

I've got another idea: STICK IT!!!

"Big Brother" laws are unconstitutional...reminiscent of Nazism, Fascism, Socialism.
(Choose your "Ism")

Y'know, a "nanny state".

I have a (bad?) habit of flipping off those seatbelt signs, particularly when I'm riding my Harley. I'm wondering how long it will be before some "rocket scientist" figures out how to make me wear a seatbelt on my motorcycle.

Having recently returned from a vacation in New Hampshire, I thought I'd mention that according to my research they were the last holdout in the National Seatbelt Law "contest". Something consistent with their State Motto: "Live Free or Die".
(A friend of mine recently related a humorous paraphrase of that, "Live, freeze and die". Having experienced 32º Farenheit temperatures atop Mt. Washington in June, it makes sense to me. But I digress. I do that sometimes)

As for mandatory seatbelt laws, a number of people have something to say about them.

Some highlights follow...

"Click it or ticket" by Walter Williams

Virginia's secretary of transportation sent out a letter announcing the state's annual "Click It or Ticket" campaign May 22 through June 4. I responded to the secretary of transportation with my own letter that in part reads:

"Mr. Secretary: This is an example of the disgusting abuse of state power. Each of us owns himself, and it follows that we should have the liberty to take risks with our own lives but not that of others. That means it's a legitimate use of state power to mandate that cars have working brakes because if my car has poorly functioning brakes, I risk the lives of others and I have no right to do so. If I don't wear a seatbelt I risk my own life, which is well within my rights. As to your statement 'Lack of safety belt use is a growing public health issue that . . . also costs us all billions of dollars every year,' that's not a problem of liberty. It's a problem of socialism. No human should be coerced by the state to bear the medical expense, or any other expense, for his fellow man. In other words, the forcible use of one person to serve the purposes of another is morally offensive."

My letter went on to tell the secretary that I personally wear a seatbelt each time I drive; it's a good idea. However, because something is a good idea doesn't necessarily make a case for state compulsion. The justifications used for "Click It or Ticket" easily provide the template and soften us up for other forms of government control over our lives...

Read the whole article here

"Seatbelt Laws, Profiling and Restoring Liberty" by William J. Holdorf

State mandatory seatbelt harness laws are unconstitutional. They infringe on a person’s individual rights as guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, namely, the Fourth, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Such laws are an unwarranted intrusion by government into the personal lives of citizens; denies through prior restraint the right to determine a person’s own individual personal safety and health care standards for one’s own body, the ultimate private property, and forcefully, under threat, mandates the personal opinion of those in government.

Also, the use of a seatbelt is no real guarantee of safety. While some people might be saved in certain kinds of traffic accidents using a seatbelt, there is ample evidence that in other kinds of accidents some people have been more seriously injured and even killed only because of seatbelt use. Further, there is ample evidence that in certain kinds of accidents, some people have been saved from death only because a seatbelt was not used. It should be fully noted in the latter case, such a person is subject to a fine for not dying in the accident using a so-called safety device arbitrarily chosen by politicians...

Read the whole article here

Now we have advertisements, paid for by our tax dollars, informing us that our police forces will not be protecting us from or catching criminals. No. They will be on highways and byways, pulling over taxpayers to issue them another tax in the form of a ticket.

Don't you feel better now?!

My fellow Americans, we should all be up in arms over this law, as we should have been over the helmet laws for adult motorcycle riders. But keep sleeping and it will all be over soon.

LYCFYG (love your country, fear your government)

Read on...

Friday, June 09, 2006

Off to the races...

Bike Week? Which one?! There are several.

Laconia's bike week is the oldest running motorcycle rally, and happening now. Bikers and rally enthusiasts flock to the Lakes Region each June to partake of the sights, sounds, and attractions that have made the event a hit.

People from all walks of life and parts of the world make the trip to Laconia to enjoy the races, take a stroll down Weirs Boulevard, and take time off of their regular life to enjoy the freedom and excitement of the motorcyclist’s lifestyle. It's an interesting cross-section of Americana, including everyone from (lowlife) biker gangs to doctors and lawyers. Some folks only seem to get out on their motorcycles for events such as Laconia, so consequently a number of them have never learned to ride very well. Annoying to be around, but a fact of life at such times.

What began 90 years ago in 1916 really has a unique and colorful history, beginning as a race weekend. Back in the early years, the races were held at Belknap Recreation Area in Gilford. They were later moved to what is now the New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, where the races remain to this day.

Although the races are held outside the Lakes Region, Weirs Beach is the place to be. Nowadays the crowds are bigger, but many things remain the same. It has always been a free-spirited and fun-loving week of events, recreation, and excitement. It is a tradition, and part of the history of the area. This year’s festivities will continue the tradition.

There are a number of other motorcycle rallies, spread out all over the country.

Some of the biggest are as follows:

Daytona Bike Week (Held in March)

Myrtle Beach Bike Week (Held in May)

Laconia Bike Week (Held in June)

Sturgis Bike Week (Held in August)

Biketoberfest (Held in October)

There are other, smaller ones too:

Laughlin River Run (Held in April)

Americade (Held in June)

I've been to all of the aforementioned, save for the Laughlin Run.

OK, gotta go. I'll be back.

Well...I'm back. It was fun, as anticipated...

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Iraq's al-Qaida chief dead?

BAGHDAD - Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the mastermind behind hundreds of bombings, kidnappings and beheadings whose leadership of the insurgent group al- Qaeda in Iraq made him the most wanted man in the country, was killed Wednesday evening by an air strike near Baqubah, north of Baghdad, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Thursday.

The stated aim of the Jordanian-born Zarqawi, in addition to ousting U.S. and other forces from Iraq, was to foment bloody sectarian strife between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, a prospect that has become a grim reality over the past several months.

Zarqawi, a Sunni, was killed along with seven aides, officials said.

His killing is the most significant public triumph for the U.S.-led coalition since the 2003 capture of Saddam Hussein...

Jordanian-born terrorist mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is seen in these undated photos.

I certainly hope this announcement isn't premature. I'm also surprised that the Associated Press actually called him a "terrorist mastermind", instead of something wishy-washy like "insurgent leader".

The only thing better would be if we got Osama bin Laden.


Some say seeing is believing; others that you should believe nothing you hear, and only half of what you see.

Anyway, who says no news is good news?! Call me callous, but this news is good...

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Today's the BIG, BAD day!

(Ooh, I'm scared!!!)
OK, let's try this one, then:

(It's one way out of Philly)

Heh, heh. All right, I'll stop...

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Back to work...

AP: WASHINGTON - Cautious employers added just 75,000 new jobs in May, the fewest in seven months, in a fresh sign the national economy is losing momentum heading into summer.

Rising energy prices, higher borrowing costs and a cooling of the once red-hot housing market are the main forces shaping the slowdown in the country's overall economic activity. Those factors, along with sagging consumer confidence, are making companies wary of bulking up their payrolls in case the economy takes an unexpected turn for the worse, analysts said.

Taking a bit of the sting out of the sluggish job creation was the fact that the nation's unemployment rate dipped to 4.6 percent, the lowest in nearly 5 years.

I'm not looking for a new job, personally...but I will be returning to my old one after 7 weeks of medical leave, necessitated by the knee reconstruction surgery that I had in April, which was due to a skiing mishap.

However, it would appear that if I was seeking a new job, there are still some to be had.

The current unemployment rate is typically considered to reflect that portion of the populace who don't really want to work, for whatever reason, or those who cannot keep a job due to being unreliable.
(For whatever reason)

I'm certainly looking forward to earning my usual pay again, but other than the circumstances, I have enjoyed having the time off...

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