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Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Saturday Morning News

Posted by on Sat, Jan 25, 2014 at 9:12 AM

Something Seems Weird About This Arson Investigation: And the Neighbors nightclub spokesman isn't happy.

We're In the Top Five... States with the widest pay gaps between men and women.

WHOA WHOA WHOA: In case you missed it, just 85 people have as much wealth as the bottom 3.5 billion people in the world combined. And the rich have stashed $18.5 trillion—that's roughly $3 trillion more than US GDP—in offshore tax havens, according to Oxfam. Next time you hear politicians complain they don't have money for schools, the poor, and public services, tell them to fuck off. The money's out there, hiding in plain sight.

Meanwhile, On the Streets: This account of growing up on the streets of Vancouver is a must-read.

Justin Bieber Committed Deportable Offenses: So why don't they deport him? A petition on the White House website to do just that has racked up 17,000+ signatures in just 48 hours.

Upset Over Doritos: SPD's public affairs officer Sean Whitcomb spearheaded the department's widely-heralded outreach efforts at Hempfest. Now an officer who disagreed with that approach is filing a complaint against him, alleging participating in the event "would have violated the officer’s political ideology."

Nine Killed On Revolution's Three Year Anniversary in Egypt: Things have gone seriously awry. Tahrir Square was the site of a state-managed march. "The core demands of the 2011 revolt—freedom and social justice—could only be heard in protests outside Tahrir, which were quickly muzzled by security forces." Reporter Sharif Abdel Koudous says the country is "awash in conformist state worship."

Today In Liberal Silliness, Part I: Groups like Planned Parenthood and the ACLU in Massachusetts have backed a law, now being contested at the Supreme Court, that makes it a crime to protest abortion within 35 feet of a clinic. That would set a dangerous precedent, and it's probably unconstitutional.

Today In Liberal Silliness, Part II: Politics as usual from President Obama. He nominated a big donor to his campaign to be Ambassador to Norway, even though the guy seems to know nothing about Norway.

This makes me laugh every time:

 

Comments (35) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
dnt trust me 1
My guess is that if you watched the video 5 times in a row, and as little as two or three times, you wouldn't laugh. Personally, I didn't laugh the first time. The accent, mannerisms, and "so on, and so on" are really good, but simply not humorous to me. If someone did this at a dinner party I was attending, it may be different, but for the video, I am party-pooper smileless.
Posted by dnt trust me on January 25, 2014 at 9:36 AM · Report this
disintegrator 2
That video was really dumb.
Posted by disintegrator on January 25, 2014 at 9:48 AM · Report this
fletc3her 3
The silly liberals felt the need to create a buffer zone around clinics which provide family planning services because protestors were blocking the doors and threatening violence. Prior to the buffer zone being enacted people who wanted to enter the clinic often had to be escorted in order to avoid confrontation. Abortion protestors' signs and speech can still be heard across the 35 foot gap and it is much easier to enforce than a roving 6 foot personal space buffer.

I do appreciate the irony of my opposition to Eyman's proposed buffer for signature gatherers. However, I think the history of violence against clinics which provide abortions deserves some consideration.
Posted by fletc3her on January 25, 2014 at 9:51 AM · Report this
4
They already have "free speech zones" (metal cages actually) blocks away for the political conventions. Not sure how they could be legal/constitutional but a 35 ft buffer not.
Posted by Upchuck on January 25, 2014 at 9:55 AM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 5
I know you're youngish male, Ansel, but buffer zone laws are neither "today" nor "silly".

They have existed in the US since 1993. There are 3 states and 7 cities where they exist & they're a really important tool for access to choice in areas where women have experienced physical violence, blocking entrance, pretending to be authorities and taking down personal information, etc. The Massachusetts law in question has existed since 2007, and it's actually just an expansion of a MA buffer zone law from 2000 (which was upheld by the Supreme Court).

The anti-choice bullies have lost a number of appeals on this, but they have an appealing plaintiff in it this time, which makes it dangerous in the way "Fisher" was. Even thoughtful progressives can think shallowly about this issue and end up not considering their privilege.

If you're interested in the perspective of women who use &/or work at WHCs, here's a place to start.

Posted by Canadian Nurse on January 25, 2014 at 9:56 AM · Report this
6
#4 - Why not put anti-abortion protesters in metal cages?
Posted by Barmy Fotheringay-Phipps on January 25, 2014 at 10:03 AM · Report this
7
Having enough beans to buy an inconsequential ambassadorship is the American Dream at its finest. The good old American Dream is alive and well.
Posted by tacky on January 25, 2014 at 10:08 AM · Report this
8
Clearly you've never been spit upon, screamed at, or rushed by a group of psychotic anti-abortionists as you try to enter a clinic for your yearly exam or to get your birth control pills, Ansel. Ah, male privilege, right? Must be nice to be able to judge things like that as silly since they don't pertain to you.
Canadian Nurse was nice. I'm not going to be. Fuck you.
Posted by StuckInUtah on January 25, 2014 at 10:10 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 9
I've said it before. The Mayor needs to get on this arsonist case and fast. This criminal suspect is a dangerous menace and nothing is being done and that's just fucking insane.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on January 25, 2014 at 10:11 AM · Report this
femwanderluster 10
@Anzel

Considering that the Supreme Court Justices themselves enjoy a buffer zone of 98'-200', it would be the height of hypocrisy to find such a zone unconstitutional--particularly, as there is no precedent of violence and assassination aimed at the justices as there is regarding women's health clinics, the doctors and other staff who work within them, as well as the patients.

But, yes, "liberal silliness." In memory of Dr George Tiller and others, I find you and your thoughtless politics "quaint".
Posted by femwanderluster on January 25, 2014 at 10:13 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 11
35 feet is more than enough room to hear people shouting and read their signs, but not close enough to physically black or assault someone.

Just like it is foolish to suggest the second amendment can not be limited, so it is foolish to suggest the first amendment is any different. Free speech does not mean you have the right to block people's entry into a building or physically threaten them for their disagreement/actions.

No one is blocking the ability of forced birthers to be heard or protest at facilities that offer abortion, just their ability to threaten and physically block people from using the facilities.

Check your privilege.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on January 25, 2014 at 10:15 AM · Report this
rob! 12
Mall shooting in Maryland. Three dead, possibly including the shooter.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-m…
Posted by rob! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZBdUceCL5U on January 25, 2014 at 10:17 AM · Report this
13
BTW Ansel - consider this scary action by nutcase picketers in Flagstaff, AZ.
http://hillarydavis.com/clips/picketersl…

Picketing a PP staffer. At home. Her unlisted address.
Anti-abortion picketers aren't your usual protest picketers; they are nutcases. They throw fake blood, they use physical violence, they see killing someone like George Tiller as a wonderful thing. They take pictures of people they see entering clinics, then try to "shame" them by posting their photos and trying to get them fired by their employer, alienate them from their family and friends, church or community, harassing them at home. But clearly you see a buffer zone from these fruitcakes is unnecessary.
Posted by StuckInUtah on January 25, 2014 at 10:21 AM · Report this
raindrop 14
When politicians vote against increased taxation, it's to preserve the wealth their constituents, or even the ability of them to say in their own homes when it comes to property taxes. So telling them to 'F*** off' is economically naïve and obnoxiously disingenuous.
Posted by raindrop on January 25, 2014 at 10:22 AM · Report this
15
@14 vs Slavoj Zizek Gets Personal video

Which one is more inane? You decide.
Posted by Smoke. Inhale. Still not funny. on January 25, 2014 at 11:06 AM · Report this
16
Could this be one of the criminal organizations the alleged anarchist was accused of attacking (their ATMs, that is)?

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/exclusive-…

Posted by sgt_doom on January 25, 2014 at 11:21 AM · Report this
17
Triple fail for Ansel Herz:
-Lame video
-Blind dismissive summary of clinic protection law status
(nicely responded to above by so many of you)
-ALL CAPS reference to an Oxfam report, but links to a story he himself wrote ( and I hoped that last sunday's linking to one of his own was an anomaly)

Please keep the morning news a twit-free zone

Posted by sylvielining on January 25, 2014 at 11:32 AM · Report this
18
Ansel, you sound like a dumb college freshMAN.

Go to the library, do a Google search and educate your ignorant, young ass about the history of these so-called "protestors" outside abortion clinics and learn how these mother-fuckers are nothing more than a pack of arsonists, terrorists and murderers and the cult of sycophants and cowards who celebrate them. Asking the bastards to move across the street is the LEAST that should be done to protect a woman's right to not be threatened and assaulted when she seeks basic health care.

The right to protest isn't sacrosanct and sure-the-fuck doesn't trump a woman's rights to privacy and safety in her body and choices, especially outside her god-damned doctor's office.
Posted by What The Fuck?! on January 25, 2014 at 11:35 AM · Report this
19
Why is everything about "privilege" now? I'm a man and I don't agree with this ding-dong and I also don't want to be associated with the "CHECK YOUR PRIVILEGE YOU CISDICKED DICK" bullshit. Can't people just be assholes on their own without these stupid Tumblr social justice labels that blanket entire groups of people just the same?
Posted by The CHZA on January 25, 2014 at 11:38 AM · Report this
20
@19 is right, folks.

Just because a group of white people wear white robes, march in formation and gather around a burning cross on your black neighbor's front lawn doesn't mean they're the Klan.

It probably just the On Fire For Christ Choir.
Posted by Privilege - don't leave home without it on January 25, 2014 at 11:59 AM · Report this
21
Glad to see Ansel will so flippantly throw women's rights under the bus. A misguided belief that this will protect his anarchist buddies ability to run around and break shit.
Posted by Senor Guy on January 25, 2014 at 12:36 PM · Report this
Ipso Facto 22
I think Ansel's point is that if we create buffer zones limiting abortion protests we set the precedent for buffer zones (and how wide?) around any protest (i.e. even the ones we agree with) and that has the potential to further restrict free speech and public assembly.

Or maybe this precedent already exists? femwandererluster (@10) mentions a protest buffer around the Supreme Court, and I recall the "free speech zones" near the party conventions. So maybe an abortion clinic buffer zone simply builds on that precedent.

Clearly there are many factors to consider here (yes, the safety of the clinic staff is paramount), but it seems most commenters in this thread are outright ignoring the potential of this law to undermine freedom of speech.

Did any of you even read the article Ansel linked to?

Ironically, a law championed by liberals could end up having dire implications for many liberal causes. Will Potter is a journalist and author of Green is the New Red: An Insider’s Account of a Social Movement Under Siege, which chronicles the political, legal, and public relations strategies that threaten even acts of nonviolent civil disobedience. He told me that the Massachusetts bill, “is setting the precedent of applying this approach to the animal rights and environmental movements.” Despite being pro-abortion rights, Potter says of the abortion clinic buffer zone, “I would oppose these kinds laws [because] it’s about restricting speech.” He points out that, “Oregon passed a law to allow loggers to sue protestors who disrupt business using the same kind of language…it’s identical…to [the Massachusetts law].”

If the Supreme Court were to uphold the Massachusetts law, it’s not hard to imagine businesses lobbying to create zones where union members are not allowed to speak, but workers for the business are. Businesses could use the same logic used in McCullen: the picketers are disrupting business and upsetting customers. So, government, please silence them—even though they are standing on a public sidewalk.

Potter described how liberal activists have made this mistake before. He said, “Back in the late 1990s…Planned Parenthood was using RICO statutes against anti-abortion protestors. A lot of civil rights people were saying this is going to come back around to us and sure enough RICO has been used against animal-rights protestors. The [lawsuits] have failed, but it costs mountains of cash to defend against.”
More...
Posted by Ipso Facto http://therealnews.com on January 25, 2014 at 2:53 PM · Report this
Ipso Facto 23
That's a pitch-perfect impression of Zizec.

That is fucking hilarious.
Posted by Ipso Facto http://therealnews.com on January 25, 2014 at 2:56 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 24
@11,

Forget checking his privilege, he should check his stupidity.

@22,

You too.

Also:

Politics as usual from President Obama. He nominated a big donor to his campaign to be Ambassador to Norway, even though the guy seems to know nothing about Norway.


Politics as usual, period. Ambassadorships to countries that don't actually need someone who knows something about the country (i.e. longstanding allies with no internal strife) have long been given to large donors, you nitwit.
Posted by keshmeshi on January 25, 2014 at 3:18 PM · Report this
25
Ansel, I want to reach out to you through the cloud of slog froth to tell you that you have to know things before you can be charmingly contrarian

Like, the slightest bit of research into received opinions is necessary before you can flout received opinions

Otherwise you just look like an idiot child
Posted by eptified on January 25, 2014 at 3:59 PM · Report this
26
@22
Threats, intimidation, and violence are not protected free speech. Making a buffer of a few feet helps protect people from this without denying anyone's speech rights otherwise.
Posted by Senor Guy on January 25, 2014 at 4:04 PM · Report this
Ipso Facto 27
@26) Threats, intimidation, and violence are already illegal, shall we outlaw them twice?

Shall we mandate a buffer around all protest activity, between the protesters and everyone else?

Who says 35 feet is enough (at the risk of echoing the anti-minimum wage increase crowd)? Why not 50? Why not 100?
Posted by Ipso Facto http://therealnews.com on January 25, 2014 at 5:00 PM · Report this
28
35 feet is basically across the street. No one's speech is being infringed upon at that distance. If you can't get your message across from the other side of the street, then you are doing it wrong. Or perhaps you are willing to trample a women's rights so some asshat anarchist can get up close to a building to smash its windows. That Is all you are trying to protect here.
Posted by Senor Guy on January 25, 2014 at 5:27 PM · Report this
29
@27 - yes, threats, intimidation, and violence are against the law. Want to know how many cops were around when trying to get through the protestor line to pick up my pills at PP? 0. That's ZERO. The cops were never there, even if we called to complain about being shoved around while being called fucking baby killers who were going to hell by these supposed Christians. The one time they showed up was when the clinic director called to report a protestor had a gun, and then they merely checked to see that the guy had a license. The anti-abortionists broke car windows, took photos of license plates, took photos of those of us who went in, took photos of staff members, cursed us, would deliberately block us from going past, would shove monkey fetus signs in our faces, and the cops wouldn't do jack shit. And all I needed were my fucking birth control pills so I didn't have 6-week long periods and I had to endure that each and every time, sometimes twice a month if my roommate and I decided to do the buddy system when we went. Imagine a young woman who was headed there for an abortion - either a wanted pregnancy with complications or an unintended pregnancy for whatever reason, but already upset and in a fragile state of mind and then having to deal with that?
So yes, the buffer zones are absolutely necessary around abortion clinics. They are not the same as other protests. And they sure as hell are not liberal silliness.
Posted by StuckInUtah on January 25, 2014 at 8:35 PM · Report this
30
@6, good idea.

Posted by sarah70 on January 25, 2014 at 10:08 PM · Report this
31
35ft is too little. Make it at least 60 ft or more. Why should women in stressful situations also have to deal with the personal problems of religious wackos?
Posted by anon1256 on January 25, 2014 at 10:45 PM · Report this
32
How about taking pictures of the protesters? Make videos of them being cartoonish jerks and post them online. I would love to see these modern Neanderthals for Christ in action. Get in their faces and post it in Tumblr. I'm sure it'd get some page hits.

And Ansel, you're wrong. And the buffer zone, by the sounds of the justices, is going away.
Posted by floater on January 25, 2014 at 10:49 PM · Report this
pragmatic 33
About pay disparity, from the article:

The disparity rankings are based on median weekly earnings across the full spectrum of the economy, and do not measure pay differences when men and women do the same job.

In other words, Washington’s pay disparity may say more about the jobs and career tracks that men and women pursue than any perceived discrimination in salary negotiations.


The real issue is not enough women are in better paying careers more than any pay discrimination.
Posted by pragmatic on January 26, 2014 at 8:52 AM · Report this
34
Local police and FBI seem to have little trouble staffing year-round investigations into groups known for such horrors as vandalizing inanimate objects that are seen as symbols of capitalism. But when it comes to these anti-abortion terrorists, those same law enforcement agents toss up their hands and wait for people to pass laws restricting speech.

If people are being harassed and assaulted outside women's health clinics, we should tell the cops to stop investigating Bank of America's precious windows and start protecting people. If the anti-abortion crowd are so dangerous that the police can't keep the peace with them around, put a goddamned grand jury on that case.
Posted by Phil M http://twitter.com/pmocek on January 26, 2014 at 10:08 AM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 35
They've passed far worse laws & "local ordinances" to protect the Republican conventions. Scott Walker did far worse to prevent protestors from entering the Capitol. He even banned little flags because the sticks they're stapled to are dangerous. You can still enter w/ a loaded gun, of course.

I believe there are three tiers for Ambassadors. The first tier are the 'high-level' ones, for the countries that require extra diplomacy & espionage. The Ambassadors you don't want fucking up: Russia, China, Israel, Egypt, etc. Then there are the second-tier, for your allies that are important to keep a close eye on. UK, France, Japan, South Korea. These require skill, but are extremely cushy. Usually are given as rewards to long-term diplomats and politicians. Finally, there's the third-tier: the countries where all you need is a rubber-stamp. These go to people like the new Ambassador to Norway: Political allies & contributors. It's a standard reward, and the practice goes back centuries, across the world.
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on January 26, 2014 at 7:39 PM · Report this

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