I Don't Care Who You Are...
CONCORD, N.H. -- The Live Free or Die state will stay that way -- at least when it comes to requiring adults to buckle up.
The state Senate voted 16-8 Thursday against a mandatory seat belt law for adults. New Hampshire is the only state without such a law.
CONCORD – On the eve of a major public policy vote at the State House, a state senator yesterday called on Gov. John Lynch to take a stand on legislation that would mandate the use of seatbelts for all drivers.
The governor's spokesman said Lynch remains undecided and is "talking to lawmakers and a lot of other people" about it.
A chief proponent of mandated seatbelt use, state Sen. Peter Burling, D-Cornish, said he expects a "close to losing" vote today on House Bill 802.
Republican Sen. Jack Barnes of Raymond, who opposes the bill, called on Lynch to state his opinion on the bill, but Burling declined to do so.
"This is fundamentally a legislative fight," Burling said, calling it "the interface between the way politics are played in this state and what I regard as common sense public health."
"It's hard to imagine how some of the major political institutions in this state, including the Union Leader, can really believe themselves when they set up the 'live free or die' argument versus the clear public benefit of dramatically reduced death and $48 million annual savings to the state budget in reduced Medicare and Medicaid expenditures," Burling said.
Burling admitted he is not optimistic about today's vote.
"There is a sense of sadness that lives will be lost and horrifying injuries will be incurred because as a culture, we continue to sort of accept the irrationality of the argument that it's my right to do something profoundly irresponsible," he said. "It's nuts."
The bill, which passed the House 153-140 on April 4, would make failure to wear a seatbelt a primary offense, which allows a police officer to stop and ticket anyone for not wearing one, or any driver who carries unbelted passengers. A first offense carries a $50 fine, while a second offense would cost $100.
The 24-member Senate has 14 Democrats and 10 Republicans. Most, but not all Democrats, favor the bill. Manchester Democratic Sens. Lou D'Allesandro and Betsi DiVries have stated their opposition. Senate Republican Leader Ted Gatsas, also of Manchester, said this week he is unaware of any Republicans who support it.
Lynch has not said how he feels about the bill. Spokesman Colin Manning said the governor is undecided and "speaking to lawmakers about it." Republican Barnes said he finds Lynch's non-position strange given that the seatbelt debate has been on the political radar screen in New Hampshire for many years and has sparked widespread attention.
Barnes said he voted to mandate that people wear seatbelts up to 18 years of age, but will not support a blanket mandate.
"I hear that I'm going to be joined by many of my colleagues," he said. "And I hear in the (State House) hallway that our governor does not want any part of this bill on his desk. And I'm feeling that many of my colleagues do not want to send it to his desk.
"I'm very surprised that the governor hasn't become involved in this. He has been very silent," Barnes noted.
D'Allesandro said it is "common sense" to wear a seatbelt, but it should not be mandated.
Predicting a "close vote," D'Allesandro said, "our law enforcement people have their hands full doing that what they do well, protecting people. We don't have enough police to go after the crime today. They are understaffed, and adding this responsibility I think would be inappropriate."
D'Allesandro said he doesn't necessarily believe that seatbelt use is lower in New Hampshire than other states.
At a hearing last week, the New Hampshire Highway Safety Agency said two surveys show the state at 64 percent usage, as compared to 16 percent 22 years ago.
Nationally, seatbelt mandates produce usage of close to 90 percent.
"Statistics don't lie, but liars can fabricate statistics," D'Allesandro said.
Sen. Bob Odell, R-Lempster, also said he will oppose the bill.
"We may be the last state in the country (not to require seatbelts for all drivers and passengers), but I think that people here have good judgment, and that there should be an education program.
"My grandchildren are more likely to harass me if I don't have it on than any police officer" said Odell.
Burling said that if the bill passes, "people will start wearing seatbelts at a 90 percent, rather than a 60 percent rate."
At a news conference Tuesday, a group called the Seatbelts for All Coalition, pointed out that 77 percent of those who died in car crashes in New Hampshire last year were not buckled. Coalition officials say that as many as 10 lives could be saved each year The group comprises 19 lawmakers, including Democratic Sens. Martha Fuller Clark of Portsmouth, Maggie Hassan of Exeter and Harold Janeway of Webster.
It also includes a host of interest groups, including the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police, the New Hampshire Police Association, the state hospital association and medical society.
New Hampshire is the last state in the union to allow its adult citizens the freedom to decide for themselves whether to wear a seat belt while on the public roads. Some call this a terrible negligence on the part of the state, which should protect the people from their own poor judgment. On the contrary, it is a reflection of the wisdom of New Hampshire's people.
Granite Staters always have been fiercely proud of their independence. They concede power to government only when absolutely necessary. So as a rule, regulations that restrict the behavior of citizens are reserved for those acts that violate the rights of others.
That is why we have no motorcycle helmet law. It would protect people from themselves only, not from others. The same goes for House Bill 802, which would mandate adult seat belt use. It would protect no one but the individual who chooses to leave his seat belt dangling by his side. As foolish a decision as that may be, it is his, not the state's, to make.
It is fitting that a seat belt is also known as a "personal restraint" device. One definition of "restraint" is "a deprivation of liberty." If New Hampshire passes HB 802, it will doubly deprive Granite Staters of their liberty.
When the state crosses that line and begins protecting adults from themselves, the people have lost their authority over the state. At once, there is no decision the state may not make regarding an individual's personal behavior. The people have conceded that power, and it is no longer theirs.
New Hampshire remains the "live free or die" state, and its people take that motto very seriously. Start telling them how to live their lives, and they will start telling you exactly where you can go.
Lawmakers considering voting for HB 802, pending in the Senate today, are forewarned. Vote for that bill and you vote against New Hampshire's most cherished value: individual liberty. It is a value the people still hold dear, and they are sure to show that in the next election.
CONCORD, N.H. -- Someone found mentally incompetent to stand trial in New Hampshire still may be competent to own guns, the state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.
The court overturned a Concord District Court ruling in which a man was denied his weapons after being found mentally incompetent to stand trial on theft, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges for an outburst at Division of Motor Vehicles headquarters in Concord three years ago.
Fred Thompson running for president
By: Mike Allen
May 30, 2007 08:23 AM EST
Fred Dalton Thompson is planning to enter the presidential race over the Fourth of July holiday, announcing that week that he has already raised several million dollars and is being backed by insiders from the past three Republican administrations, Thompson advisers told The Politico.
Campaign officials said they have every indication Thompson will declare his candidacy, but cautioned that he could still decide not to run or to postpone the announcement. Mark Corallo, the campaign spokesman, said: "He is seriously considering getting in and doing everything he has to do to come to a final decision."
Just talked to a Thompson source I'll call "TA3" (Thompson Associate 3). Much more coming shortly, but the first word was, there will not be a presidential announcement from Fred Thompson on July 4.
(The Politico got it wrong, it appears.)
MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) -- Presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton outlined a broad economic vision Tuesday, saying it's time to replace an "on your own" society with one based on shared responsibility and prosperity.
"From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs."
~ Karl Marx
The Democratic senator said what the Bush administration touts as an ownership society really is an "on your own" society that has widened the gap between rich and poor.
"I prefer a 'we're all in it together' society," she said. "I believe our government can once again work for all Americans. It can promote the great American tradition of opportunity for all and special privileges for none."
That means pairing growth with fairness, she said, to ensure that the middle-class succeeds in the global economy, not just corporate CEOs.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Can anyone be a New York Yankees fan and a Boston Red Sox fan and win the presidency?
Democratic candidate Bill Richardson wants to have it all.
"I'm a Red Sox fan," said the New Mexico governor, who was born in Pasadena, Calif., but spent his early childhood in Mexico City, where his father worked for a U.S. bank.
As a teenager, Richardson attended a boarding school in Concord, Mass., where he pitched on the baseball team — a sport he follows closely to this day. Richardson graduated from Tufts University in 1971 with a master's degree in international affairs. He also pitched a season in the Cape Cod summer league.
Questioned by The Associated Press this year, Richardson said if he were not running for president, his dream job would be playing for the Yankees — because of his childhood idol.
On Sunday, he explained further: "I've always been a Red Sox fan. But I said if I weren't running for president, I would like to be No. 7 — Mickey Mantle — playing center field for the New York Yankees.
"My favorite team has always been the Red Sox. I'm a Red Sox fan. End of session," he said." But, he added, "I'm also a Yankees fan."
After declaring his allegiance to both the Red Sox and the Yankees, Richardson joked: "This is the thing about me: I can bring people together. I can unify ... "
"Yankees fans and Red Sox fans?" interviewer Tim Russert asked.
"Yes," Richardson asserted.
"Not a chance," Russert shot back, laughing.
"People ask me why I left Washington, I said I longed for the realism and sincerity of Hollywood."
"I disagree with him on probably everything and I think he's an elitist who truly doesn't care for the common good."
Cohen pleaded guilty Tuesday to the October 2006 stop sign violation and was found guilty of the other charges following a 2½ hour trial, when five witnesses and Cohen offered testimony.
That testimony included two police officers and a civilian telling the court Cohen repeatedly asked arresting officers, "Don't you know who I am?"
"You can't arrest me. I am a very important community member," Cohen said, according to testimony by Officer Kuffer Kaltenborn.
WE THOUGHT we'd heard every lame, muddle-headed excuse a legislator could come up with for passing yet another law to erase yet another individual right. Then we heard Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-Exeter, try to explain why she's a Senate co-sponsor of House Bill 802, the bill to mandate seat belt use.
"I am not doing this because I think I know what's best for anybody else. But I do know what's best for me, as a seat-belt user, for my family members, as seat-belt users, for my constituents, who've asked me to support this bill," she said.
But wait, it gets better.
'Live free or die' just doesn't belong to one set of citizens, it belongs to all of us, so one person's behavior inhibits the freedoms of other people," she said. "This is about my freedom as well as the freedom of someone who doesn't want to use a seat belt."
CONCORD, N.H. -- A state Senate committee is recommending against requiring adult drivers in New Hampshire to wear seat belts.
Members of the Transportation and Interstate Cooperation Committee who voted against the bill Wednesday morning said requiring seatbelt use wouldn't necessarily prompt more people to use them and that educating drivers about why they should buckle up was a better plan.
Those voting for the requirement said if the bill doesn't pass, more people will be hurt or killed in New Hampshire crashes.
For weeks, former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., has been positioning himself for a 2008 White House run and all signs seem to be pointing to an announcement coming sometime before the end of the summer.
But as any good actor knows, timing is everything.
ABC News has confirmed that Thompson will strut his 6-foot-plus frame onto the set of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" for a June 12 appearance.
It's the one number we all learn to rely on in case of emergency. But what should you do if 911 doesn't work?
News 9 investigates a 911 system breakdown. Hear one local woman's frantic story and the backup plan everybody should know.
WASHINGTON - One in four younger U.S. Muslims say suicide bombings to defend their religion are acceptable at least in some circumstances, though most Muslim Americans overwhelmingly reject the tactic and are critical of Islamic extremism and al-Qaida, a poll says.
"Liberals always have an agenda ready to go – they're like firemen sleeping next to their boots."
(This girl should probably try supporting edumacation)
Law officers have praised a bank customer who pulled his gun and helped deputies capture a gunman who opened fire during a robbery of a Wachovia branch, killing two tellers and wounding two.
Chris Chappell, who was in the bank Monday morning getting $40 in change on the way to his job in Adger, fled the bank when gunshots rang out, drew a gun for which he has a concealed weapon permit, took cover by his sport utility vehicle and alerted deputies who came up.
The gunman, cornered by Chappell and the deputies when he tried to flee the bank with a hostage, stumbled and was shot by Deputy Alan Rhea.
"It's certainly commendable," Jefferson County Sheriff's Sgt. Randy Christian said. "It's obvious he played a key role in keeping the guy there until we could get there. It's a great testament of someone willing to take action."
"He kept him from escaping, and he gave deputies time to get to the scene," Bill Veitch, chief assistant district attorney, told The Birmingham News in its moment-by-moment account of the robbery and arrest.
LEAVENWORTH, Kan. -- Two adolescent boys are accused of wielding a concealed weapon -- a squirt gun wrapped in black electrical tape -- to steal cash from a discount store.
Mitt Romney supports the strict enforcement of gun laws. He is a supporter of the federal assault weapons ban. Mitt also believes in the rights of those who hunt to responsibly own and use firearms.
Mitt also believes in the rights of those who have graduated from high school to vote in local, state, and federal elections.
Mitt also believes in the rights of those who have been officially confirmed in the church of their choosing, and have made in-kind monetary contributions to the same, to freely practice religion.
Mitt also believes in the rights of those who scored higher that 500 on their verbal SAT's to speak out against, and petition, their government.
Mitt also believes in the rights of those who actually own their own home to be free from unlawful searches and seizures.
Mitt also believes in the rights of those who can afford their own attorneys to due process of law and a trial by a jury of their peers.
Did it come like that, or did you just "fill that in"?*
re: Stock #[redacted], 2006 Dodge Ram, white
Is this truck currently on your lot?
Happy Mother's Day Bruce,
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The most patriotic moments at Yankee Stadium can also be the most confining.
Seconds before “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America” are played, police officers, security guards and ushers turn their backs to the American flag in center field, stare at fans moving through the stands and ask them to stop. Across the stadium’s lower section, ushers stand every 20 feet to block the main aisle with chains.
As the songs are played or sung, the crowd appears motionless.
The national anthem has long been a pregame staple at sporting events. But after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Major League Baseball directed teams to play “God Bless America” before the bottom of the seventh inning at every game. Baseball scaled back the next season, telling teams they needed to play the song only on Sundays and holidays, which is still the case.
Only the Yankees continue to play “God Bless America” at every home game. They are also the only ones to use chains to prevent fans from moving during both songs, which concerns some civil liberties advocates.
Howard J. Rubenstein, the spokesman for the Yankees’ principal owner, George Steinbrenner, said the policy was an expression of patriotism.
“Mr. Steinbrenner wanted to do all games to remind the fans about how important it is to honor our nation, our service members, those that died on Sept. 11 and those fighting for our nation,” Rubenstein said in a telephone interview.
FRANCONIA, N.H. -- New Hampshire authorities said yesterday that they will not press charges against a former Marine who stepped into a deadly shooting and killed a 24-year-old high school dropout who had moments earlier fatally shot a police officer.
The former Marine, Gregory W. Floyd, 49, was driving with his son along Route 116 in Franconia on Friday night when he saw Liko Kenney, 24, shoot Franconia Police Corporal Bruce McKay, 48, four times in the torso. After Kenney drove his Toyota Celica over McKay as the officer lay on the ground, Floyd grabbed the officer's service weapon and shot and killed Kenney.
FRANCONIA, N.H. -- A Franconia police officer was shot and killed during a routine motor vehicle stop on Friday.
Authorities said the double shooting was the bloody climax of a long-simmering feud between McKay, a 12-year-veteran of the three-member department, and Kenney, a cousin of World Cup champion skier Bode Miller.
In 2003, Kenney was convicted of assaulting McKay, authorities said. Kenney had contended that McKay had assaulted him, breaking his jaw and leaving him in a coma, according to Bode Miller's father, Woody.
"It was a bad mixture waiting to happen," said Connie McKenzie , a nurse who said she had tried to ad minister CPR to McKay on the lawn in front of her 18th-century farmhouse on Route 116. "They hated each other."
New Hampshire's attorney general, Kelly A. Ayotte, said Floyd will not face charges because he was justified in using deadly force.
Floyd, who had been driving by in a Chevrolet Tahoe with his son, also named Gregory P. Floyd, saw the entire scene, Ayotte said. A video camera in McKay's cruiser also recorded the shooting, Ayotte said.
The elder Floyd drove his Tahoe into a spot between McKay and Kenney as a shield and told his son, who is in his late teens, to run to the officer's cruiser and radio for help.
The elder Floyd picked up McKay's gun from the ground and ordered Kenney to drop his weapon. Kenney refused, and Floyd saw Kenney appear to be reloading, Conte said. Floyd then shot and killed Kenney, Conte said.
WXYZ.com has obtained the mugshot of the man police say savagely beat and carjacked a 91-year-old World War II veteran. The attack was captured by a security camera, shocking video first aired yesterday on WXYZ.
Mr. Sims parked his 2005 Chevy Malibu in the parking lot of the store. Mr. Bradley asked Mr. Sims for a light for his cigarette and allegedly punched Mr. Sims multiple times in the face and neck. Mr. Bradley forced the keys from Mr. Sims hand and then hit Mr. Sims in the face and used the car door to knock Mr. Sims down on the ground.
Mr. Bradley drove away in the vehicle. Mr. Sims was assisted by citizens at the scene who called police.
Jack decides that maybe getting out of there would be a good idea. Generally speaking, getting into CTU is about the dumbest thing you can do, since it seems to be more open to traffic than Madonna’s thighs, so we have to agree with him on that one. They make their way to a ventilation shaft blocked by the Obligatory Rotating Fan of Doom™ that any show worth its salt (and, in this case, one decidedly not worth it) has to include as a block to the heroes’ progress.
What to do if you’re blocked by a fan, being pursued by heavily armed goons with automatic weapons while you yourself is armed only with a Glock with four rounds left in it and a fully functional automatic rifle?
Why, you stick the rifle in the fan, of course. After all, picking up some of the useless clutter littering the room and using that instead would be unfair.
Speaking of which: If you had, by now, gunned down about a dozen armed goons, wouldn't you have picked up a spare and a few extra magazines of ammo? If your answer is “yes”, forget about getting a job with Joel Surnow.
TALLAHASSEE - A woman seeking an abortion in Florida would have to wait 24 hours before going through with it under a bill passed Friday by the state House.
The proposal drew the ire of abortion rights supporters.
Rep. Kelly Skidmore said it was insulting that those pushing the bill thought women wouldn't deliberate the decision on their own. "It suggests that I would be so cavalier in coming to the decision to buy a handgun for self-defense that I should go back home and think it over, as if I were out shopping and walked by a gun shop and decided to pop in for a handcannon," said Skidmore, D-Boca Raton. "What an outrage."
Rep. Kelly Skidmore said it was insulting that those pushing the bill thought women wouldn't deliberate the decision on their own. "It suggests that I would be so cavalier in coming to the decision to terminate a pregnancy that I should go back home and think it over, as if I were out shopping and walked by a clinic and decided to pop in for an abortion," said Skidmore, D-Boca Raton. "What an outrage."
We left Lebanon at about 8am, and set off down I-44 towards Oklahoma…
...until I was stopped by a Missouri State Trooper for driving without plates and registration.
And here, Gentle Readers, is where the fun began.
When the next world-crushing disaster strikes — tsunami, quake, dirty bomb, whatever — one thing is certain: You're on your own. As hurricanes Katrina and Rita showed, help may not arrive for 72 hours. Don't fret. Wired has your back with these shopping lists for your DIY emergency kit. Because when everything goes to hell, you'll want gear that gives you an evolutionary advantage over your less-prepared neighbors. Clip and save; lock and load.
Some protesters wore white bio-hazard protective suits and others dressed as victims of
an overactive imagination combined with an steady diet of 50's science fiction moviesgenetic engineering.
About a dozen people gathered around lunchtime for the rally, which was organized by Exeter resident Ron Oplinus, director of the New Hampshire chapter of the Minutemen. He spent about a month organizing the event in response to Cinco de Mayo, Mexican independence day, and the pro-immigration rallies held throughout the country earlier this week.
BRENTWOOD, N.H. -- Two New Hampshire inmates who police said walked away from a work program on Thursday were back in custody Friday.
Police said Stephen Foti and Michael Saulnier, both 21, stole a car from the Rockingham County Nursing Home, where they were working as part of a program with the Rockingham County Jail.
Foti and Saulnier were arraigned Friday on charges of escape. Foti had four months left on his sentence, and Saulnier had 10 months left. Police said the new felony charges could carry sentences of three to seven years in prison.
Mayor Thomas M. Menino today joined Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York and Jerramiah Healy of Jersey City for a meeting of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. The coalition announced that 27 new mayors from New Jersey, led by founding member Mayor Healy of Jersey City, have joined the group, bringing membership to 214 mayors nationwide. The bi-partisan coalition also unveiled a new, targeted television advertising campaign aimed at the repeal of the “Tiahrt Amendment.”
The new television advertising campaign is the latest component of the coalition’s ProtectPolice.org media campaign and seeks the repeal of the Tiahrt Amendment, a piece of legislation that restricts the access of cities [read: meddling politicians - ed.] and law enforcement to gun trace data, an essential crime fighting tool.
At the federal level, we have moved in the wrong direction.
COPS monies have been slashed...
...and the NRA has successfully protected gun manufacturers...
...and killed the assault weapon ban.
Unbelievably, the NRA successfully inserted an amendment in the 2004 federal budget, through Congressman Todd Tiehrt [sic] (R-KS) that actually prevents the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) from providing gun tracing data to any local or state law enforcement agency.
"Let me be clear: neither the congressional language nor ATF rules prohibit the sharing of trace data with law enforcement conducting criminal investigations, or place any restrictions on the sharing of trace data with other jurisdictions once it is in the hands of state or local law enforcement. In fact, multi-jurisdictional trace data is also utilized by ATF and shared with fellow law-enforcement agencies to identify firearm-trafficking trends and leads. Additionally, nothing prohibits ATF from releasing our own reports that analyze trace-data trends that could be used by law enforcement."
"Mayor Bloomberg has been disingenuous at best and deliberately deceitful at worst," Gottlieb stated. "We're glad that Mr. Sullivan took the time to set the record straight. We've known Bloomberg wasn't telling the truth since he invented this trace data controversy, and Sullivan's explanation should close this matter for good."