Friday Reads: Unsafe at any speed

Good Morning!

I’m not sure if you’ve ever spent time near an abortion clinic during the crazy times but it’s something that will make you very afraid of going near images (1)some churches.  The whacko and danger factor are high.  So unbelievably high that I don’t think you can really appreciate it unless you’ve done some time as a clinic escort.  I certainly wish SCOTUS would’ve spent some time there before making this decision. The Buffer Zone idea is so reasonable that even the Supreme Court Building has one.  But, buffer zones are no longer constitutional at abortion clinics.  It will likely take more violence from the whackos to change some minds.

The Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously struck down a Massachusetts law that barred protests, counseling and other speech near abortion clinics.

“A painted line on the sidewalk is easy to enforce, but the prime objective of the First Amendment is not efficiency,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote in a majority opinion that was joined by the court’s four-member liberal wing.

The law, enacted in 2007, created 35-foot buffer zones around entrances to abortion clinics. State officials said the law was a response to a history of harassment and violence at abortion clinics in Massachusetts, including a shooting rampage at two facilities in 1994.

The Massachusetts law was challenged on First Amendment grounds by opponents of abortion who said they sought to have quiet conversations with women entering clinics to tell them about alternatives. “Petitioners are not protesters,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote.

The court was unanimous about the bottom line but divided on the reasoning, with Chief Justice Roberts writing a narrow opinion. The law blocked too much speech, he said, “sweeping in innocent individuals.”

I’m sure well see Martha Coakley find another way.  From the viewpoint of women down here in the south, even the whacko gauntlet would be a refreshing change from no clinics at all.

images (2)But anything still goes in the world of weaponry and the second amendment.  How about living in range of the Arkansas National Guard and artillery practice?

A Franklin County man has a large hole in his wall and other damage to his property,  after an artillery shell from Fort Chaffee hits his community.

“Then all of a sudden there was a tremendously loud boom,” said neighbor Susan Strobel.

People in Charleston who live close to Fort Chaffee are use to hearing explosions.

“I just assumed that they got some type of new weapon they were trying out,” said Strobel.

But this was the first time Bryan Martin had damage in his own backyard. ” I had a lot of damage to the roofs, to the siding, and holes and you could stick your fist into the brick”, said Bryan Martin.

According to Major Matt Snead with the Arkansas National Guard, an artillery shell was fired and hit east of Rattlesnake Canyon Road in Franklin County.

“The damage could have been lives,” said Martin.

According to Martin, around 3:00 p.m. on Thursday (June 5), the shell landed on his property and then exploded.

At least that was the National Guard. How about this guy in Oklahoma?
Please won’t you be my neighbor?

An Oklahoma home was damaged last weekend by a howitzer artillery shell fired from a gun range three miles away.

The artillery shell – which is 14.5 inches long and 3.5 inches across – crashed through an exterior wall, hit the ceiling, and damaged another wall while homeowner Gene Kelley and his wife were in another room, reported KOAM-TV.

“It’s unbelievable,” Kelley said. “Unless you were here to see it or see the pictures I’ve got, you would not believe how huge this thing is.”

Meanwhile, the Republican outreach to women and minorities and nearly every one else continues.ad_amc_gremlin_gt_red_1978

Gov. Paul LePage has long cast a wide net for programs that he says fit the definition of welfare. On Wednesday, in a media release written as an alternative take on new personal-income data from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis, he lumped Social Security and Medicare into that definition.

The federal data released Tuesday put Maine’s personal-income growth at 0.5 percent in the first three months of 2014, which ranked 39th nationally, last in New England and well below the national rate of 0.8 percent. One of the biggest reasons cited for the low ranking was Maine’s refusal to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

LePage, however, said in the media release that Maine’s net personal earnings increased by 0.8 percent, in line with other New England states and slightly higher than the national rate of net personal earnings, 0.7 percent.

The governor arrived at his number by excluding what the federal bureau calls “personal current transfer receipts” and dividends, interest and rental income.

Personal current transfer receipts include payments from the federal government to states for Social Security, Medicare, unemployment benefits and Medicaid expansion. Maine is one of only four states (Indiana, Tennessee and Wyoming are the others) where transfer receipts declined in the first quarter of this year. Nationally, transfer receipts grew by $41.1 billion.

LePage said he chose not to follow the federal bureau’s definition because it conceals welfare benefits.

“It doesn’t matter what liberals call these payments, it is welfare, pure and simple,” LePage said in the statement. “Liberals from the White House all the way down to Democratic leadership in Augusta believe that redistribution of wealth – taking money from hard-working taxpayers and giving it to a growing number of welfare recipients – is personal income. It’s not. It’s just more welfare expansion. Democrats can obfuscate the numbers any way they want. The fact is that we have created thousands of jobs, more Mainers are working, and their income is going up.”

1950_Hudson_Brochure-01 (Large)Fox News Pundits are melting down about how many Americans are getting excited about Soccer and the World Cup.

“I’m suspect,” Dr. Keith Ablow said Thursday on “Outnumbered” as the US men’s national team faced off against Germany. “I am suspect because, here’s the thing. Why, at a time when there are so many national and international issues of such prominence — I’m a little suspicious of yet another bread-and-circus routine. Let’s roll out the marijuana, pull back the laws, and get people even more crazy about yet another entertainment event.”

Ablow’s four female co-hosts weren’t buying it, interrupting him with protests of “what?” and “what’s wrong with you?”

“This is a way to distract people,” Ablow continued. “This is like Rome. I can see why Obama would love the World Cup –”

“What are you talking about?” interjected Kimberly Guilfoyle, who said her son plays soccer. “This is encouraging for kids to get out and play sports, and you can play soccer from a young age.”

Ablow continued to insist he found it odd that “people are playing games more than ever” when there are other pressing issues to pay attention to.

1958_Ford_Fairlane-28 (Large)Ann Coulter went even further.

Conservative pundit Ann Coulter is known for her questionable, often offensive rants, but her latest tirade is pure trolling of soccer fans everywhere.

In a syndicated column published less than 24 hours before what was perhaps the U.S. team’s most important game in nearly four years — when most soccer supporters were likely too busy and nervous to bother to respond to tired anti-soccer arguments –Coulter argued that a growing interest in the sport is a sign of America’s “moral decay.”

“Do they even have MVPs in soccer? Everyone just runs up and down the field and, every once in a while, a ball accidentally goes in,” Coulter writes, not bothering to check if her question actually has an answer (it does). “That’s when we’re supposed to go wild. I’m already asleep.”

Among the reasons Coulter says she thinks soccer is horrible: liberal moms love it; some games end in scoreless ties; you can’t use your hands; it’s foreign; and it’s like the metric system.

We wouldn’t have wasted the time rebutting Coulter earlier today, but with the U.S. now through to the next round, we’re here to help you understand just how stupid some of her claims are:

“I’ve held off on writing about soccer for a decade — or about the length of the average soccer game — so as not to offend anyone.”

We could have waited another 10 years, but it’s worth noting that World Cup soccer is actually almost always a 90-minute game, with a 15-minute halftime break and a few minutes added on for stoppage time. While games can go longer for extra time and possibly penalties in knockout rounds, game times are usually predictable, and much shorter than other major American sports, which have commercial breaks, timeouts and other general stoppages in play, which also halt the clock.

“There are no heroes, no losers, no accountability, and no child’s fragile self-esteem is bruised.”

Who gave these folks the keys to our government and the fourth estate?  Where exactly are they driving us?

What’s on you reading and blogging list today?


21 Comments on “Friday Reads: Unsafe at any speed”

  1. janicen says:

    I’ll be curious to see if buffer zones can still be enforced around political conventions. I seem to remember not hearing a peep about free speech when protesters were locked into free speech stockades during the Republican National Convention. I’m pretty sure the Dems do it now too.

    • dakinikat says:

      Or around meeting of the WTO or other controversial international group meetings;even the G9

    • NW Luna says:

      IIRC the Dems started doing it in 2004. Certainly 2008.

      • babama says:

        There was a protest pen at Dem 2000 in LA, though there was litigation that eventually moved it closer to the Staples Center. I can imagine they will continue in place at political and gov’t venues in the name of ‘security’. I wonder how this will affect restrictions on Westboro Baptist Church activities or movements like Occupy? The double standard doesn’t surprise me and I expect it to continue, after all, how long would the police tolerate open carry and Cliven Bundy type defiance of the law by young black men or a lesbian feminist militia? I remember the Planned Parenthood harassers from when I lived in Spokane. Part of how we got here is too many of us gave these types of groups and their tactics a pass for way too long. Civil rights, human rights have to be painstakingly won over time and then they have to be enshrined in culture, vigilantly defended, and perpetually maintained. Same as anything else we build to last. The work never ends and it is never a good idea to “declare victory and go home”.

        Maybe our consumption driven, instant gratification, passive entertainment culture plays a part too, eh?

        • dakinikat says:

          It’s the usual refusal to recognize that we actually have domestic terrorists and they are primarily of the religion of the majority.

        • dakinikat says:

          It seems domestic terrorists get to hide behind the first amendment because they also hide behind the majority religion.

  2. Pat Johnson says:

    For years I worked at a hospital that performed abortions. Every day a handful of the “religious” stood outside trying to block our way into work.

    They waved rosary beads, held crucifixes, sang songs, quoted scripture without a clue that most of the cars they surrounded were people simply trying to get to work. If anyone in those cars leaned on the horn or said anything back to the nutcases the swearing and threats poured forth. It was not a welcome sight each morning trying to maneuver around the “righteous” who took it upon themselves to “save our immortal souls”.

    Even after the injunction was issued prohibiting them from blocking the entryway they managed to make the morning experience “memorable”.

    I am sure these nuts are delighted to have the opportunity once again to stand out in the streets yelling and screaming “in the name of god”. Frightening.

    • dakinikat says:

      I used to volunteer for planned Parenthood. Those protestors are insane and frightening.

      • NW Luna says:

        So the Supreme Court gets to have its buffer zone, but not a medical clinic. What a double standard.

      • Mary Luke says:

        Yes, they are, Kat. I was on the Judicial Bypass Lawyer Referral Panel. I spoke to both of the receptionists who were shot and killed regularly. The Planned Parenthood clinic on Commonwealth Avenue is a fortress, but it is still on a major thoroughfare and the crazies are blocking traffic and pedestrians. It’s only a matter of time now until there’s more serious violence.

  3. joanelle says:

    I’m usually a pretty positive person, but this week seems to have put me over the top as far as how much stupidity I can take from our ‘leaders’. Your question “who gave these people the keys to our government and the fourth estate” is exactly what I asked myself yesterday afternoon. How did we get here? Why did the American people let it get so bad? What makes them accept this moronic behavior and not clamor – demand term limits?

    • NW Luna says:

      Well, the Fox News and Coulter drivel are from unelected pundits.

      I’m of two minds on term limits. It does clear the way for someone new, but also stops someone good from continuing. My congressional district rep, Jim McDermott, is jokingly called “Representative for life” as a compliment. He keeps getting re-elected because he is strongly liberal and sane-minded, and he represents a liberal district.

  4. Fannie says:

    Couple of stories – first one is Mark Mayfield, who was the Vice Chairman of the Ms. Tea Party, and charged with couple others regarding the photo of Thad Chocran’s wife in nursing home, was found shot to death. They say he shot himself. Why didn’t they see he was depressed, and needed help?

  5. Fannie says:

    Chief Crystal Moore of South Carolina being interviewed.

  6. NW Luna says:

    Visiting students taken aback by easy access to guns in U.S.

    This very violent month in Seattle has me remembering that conversation as I’ve been preparing to teach a class about American journalism to a group of South Asian students visiting the University of Washington.

    In the three weeks it’s taken me to finalize my syllabus two young men were shot and killed on Capitol Hill (one of them, Dwone Anderson-Young, was a recent graduate of the UW Department of Communication where I teach), a shooter at Seattle Pacific University killed one student and wounded two more, and a man was charged with threatening to shoot women on the UW campus and elsewhere. …

    There are a lot of stereotypes about guns in America clearly perpetuated by Hollywood, from the ubiquitous handgun in the bedside drawer (one student, from Nepal, assumes all Americans have one of these) to references to “cowboy movies.” But stereotypes aside, there’s genuine confusion about why guns are so easy to access in the United States. Talking with these international students made me realize just how terrorized Americans are by gun violence.

    “We don’t see these kinds of things happen in South Asian countries,” says Dipendra K.C. (who never spells out his last name to avoid revealing his caste). K.C., 24, is from Nepal — a country where guns are tightly controlled by the government. There’s a moment of thought before his classmate, Simran Bhui, 20, of India, pipes up to add: “We have other kinds of terrorism.”

    “Terrorism?” Bhui’s use of the word to describe gun violence in America momentarily stunned me and seemed extreme. But it got me thinking about how our sense of fear and awareness of risk is heightened when traveling. It also got me wondering if I’ve become desensitized to violence. Maybe Americans are being terrorized by gun violence.

    No “maybe” about it. It is terrorism.

  7. dakinikat says:

    Tired of hearing “anti-God, evolutionary explanations of the [Grand] Canyon’s formation”?

    Then Ken Ham, the head of Answers In Genesis and the Kentucky-based Creation Museum, has just the vacation for you:

    No matter where you go when visiting America’s national parks, city zoos, and other attractions, the religion of evolution and millions of years permeates the culture. To help combat these lies and proclaim the authority of God’s Word, every year Answers in Genesis partners with Canyon Ministries to hold creation raft trips through the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona. Canyon Ministries has been presenting the Grand Canyon from a biblical perspective since 1997. The trips were done while rafting through the canyon, showing guests firsthand the evidence of Creation and Noah’s Flood. But now Canyon Ministries has added something new.

    Last year, Canyon Ministries began providing land-based rim tours of the Grand Canyon along its South Rim, operating under the name A Different View Tours. Now, rather than go to the rim and hear the anti-God, evolutionary explanation of the Canyon’s formation, I encourage you to consider a tour with Canyon Ministries. It will provide you with a Bible-based presentation of the geology of the Canyon and how it confirms the Bible’s account of a global Flood and belief in a young earth. The teaching is very similar to what you would receive on a raft tour, and it is done in the comfort of a vehicle.
    Canyon Ministries, which holds that the “account of origins presented in Genesis occurred in the span of six consecutive twenty-four hour days six to ten thousand years ago,” attempted to have its Creationist material used by the National Parks Service but was rejected [PDF].

    – See more at:

    • NW Luna says:

      attempted to have its Creationist material used by the National Parks Service but was rejected

      Oh, that was funny!

  8. dakinikat says:

    This is unbelievable!

    GOP Candidate Charges Opponent Is Dead, Represented By A Body Double

  9. dakinikat says:

    From Susie Madrak:

    From Americans Against The Tea Party, another tragic accident by responsible gun owners:

    A responsible, gun owning Kentucky mom stepped outside, leaving her 5-year-old son alone with his new birthday present — a brand new, shiny loaded .22-cal. rifle — and his 2-year-old sister.

    Unfortunately, mom was outside just long enough for her son to fatally shoot his sister, Caroline Sparks, with his new present.

    Kentucky State Police Trooper Billy Gregory says that the shooting has been ruled an accident. “It’s just one of those nightmares,” he said, “a quick thing that happens when you turn your back.”

    He added that in the area it is not uncommon for parents to give their young children weapons. “In this part of the country, it’s not uncommon for a 5-year-old to have a gun or for a parent to pass one down to their kid,” he said.

    • NW Luna says:

      That’s why they don’t like contraception. They have to keep replacing the ones they kill with guns.

  10. RalphB says:

    Bob Somerby has been ripping the media a new ass for the past week over their Hillary Clinton coverage. He’s on fire.

    Please understand! There are sensible questions a person could ask about Clinton’s wealth, and about her policies and proposals. In truth, you’re very unlikely to see the press corps waste their time on the latter.

    (Clinton’s current project, Too Small to Fail, is designed to help low-income kids get a fairer shot at life. As has long been abundantly clear, most journalists would sell both grandmothers into white slavery before they would demean themselves by discussing a topic like that.)

    There are sensible questions a person could ask about Hillary Clinton’s wealth. That said, the problem of the press corps’ wealth is a much larger problem. These people are empty and deeply uncaring. They’re as out of touch with average people as humans have ever been.

    To state the obvious, their owners pay them to be that way!