Traffic Tickets vs Life

A Police Officer in Paden, OK pulled over an ambulance with a patient inside to issue a traffic citation (Huffington Post).

WTF?

Despite being told that the woman in the ambulance needed to get to the hospital, the trooper insisted that one of the paramedics be detained in his car. When he tried to handcuff a paramedic, a fight ensued, which was filmed by the husband of the patient.

What happened to priorities?

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The Problem With Calling Abortion Murder

Let’s say I said administrators at a school were routinely picking out high school students teachers didn’t like, and killing them.  Let’s say in addition, they had the full complicity of our legal system.  Would you be in the streets protesting?  Would you be writing articles or blog posts?  Or would you be in that school trying to rescue the kids, and shooting the administrators?

The problem with lying and calling abortion murder is that it leads directly to shit like this: An abortion provider was shot to death in Kansas.

Make no mistake about it, calling abortion murder is a lie.  One that anti-choice activists do not believe:
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Opposing Gay Marriage in a Recession

One of the best arguments against Gay Marriage I’ve heard from Rob Thomas (emphasis mine):

Still, I’m amazed at the audacity of a small, misdirected group of the ultra-conservative Christian right wing, to spend millions of dollars, in a recession, on advertisements to stop two men or women who love each other from being able to be married, but when you present any opposition to them, they accuse you of attacking their religion.

I had not thought of that angle.  What does it say about those pouring money into opposing gay marriage, during a recession, that they’d rather prevent people from enjoying equal rights than reach out to the poor and the meek and help those in need?

As an added bonus, he adds:

Isn’t it funny that the people who are the quickest to take someone’s basic rights to happiness are always the loudest to scream when someone attacks their right to do so?

Amen.

One of thehttp://melinda.toomojo.com/

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Why Sotomayor is the Perfect Obama Nominee

In an excellent post one 10 Things You Should Know (about Sotomayor), number 7 is quite revealing (Huffington Post):

Sotomayor’s record on two key hot button cultural issues is thin. But, quite notably, her sole opinion regarding abortion was in line with the anti-abortion movement’s position.

That said, pro-choice groups hailed her nomination, with Planned Parenthood declaring that she “understands the importance of ensuring that our Supreme Court justices respect precedent while also protecting our civil liberties.”

What?  Her one ruling is anti-choice, and pro-choicers are supporting her?

Sotomayor has also not ruled on any cases involving gay civil rights, but gay legal activists described her positively

Does this remind anyone of the early supporters of Obama?  Who said he was amazing yet avoided specifics?

Sonia Sotomayor does have a plus, she has an incredibly impressive about of judicial experience.  But the broad bipartisan support she has enjoyed thus far, along with her relative silence in a long career on key social issues, leaves me wondering whether Obama is simply going to replace retiring justices with centrists.  I wonder why Democrats are excited by Sotomayor when I read something like this:

Additionally, the White House points out, “Known as a moderate on the court, Sotomayor often forges consensus and agreeing with her more conservative nominees far more frequently than she disagrees with them. In cases where Sotomayor and at least one judge appointed by a Republican president were on the three-judge panel, Sotomayor and the Republican appointee(s) agreed on the outcome 95% of the time.”

That’s staggering!  With “centrists” like that on a court staffed with die hard conservatives appointed by Bush, what impact will that have on laws in this country for years to come?

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Mitt Romney Doesn’t Understand the Courts

Mitt Romney’s weak attack on Sotomayer shows a startling failure to understand her statement or our judicial system.  And this guy wanted to be President?!

Romney said (via CNN):

“The nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court is troubling. Her public statements make it clear she has an expansive view of the role of the judiciary. Historically, the Court is where judges interpret the Constitution and apply the law. It should never be the place “where policy is made,” as Judge Sotomayor has said. Like any nominee, she deserves a fair and thorough hearing. What the American public deserves is a judge who will put the law above her own personal political philosophy.”

Her comment in full context (emphasis mine):

“All of the legal defense funds out there, they are looking for people with court of appeals experience because the court of appeals is where policy is made,” she said, laughing a bit through the next part: “And I know this is on tape and I should never say that because we don’t make law. I know. Okay, I know. I’m not promoting it. I’m not advocating it. I know.”

The thing is, she’s right (Huffington Post):

“She’s not wrong,” said Jeffrey Segal, a professor of law at Stony Brook University. “Of course they make policy… You can, on one hand, say Congress makes the law and the court interprets it. But on the other hand the law is not always clear. And in clarifying those laws, the courts make policy.”

As Segal noted, one of the most recent cases heard by the Supreme Court — itself a court of appeals — involves the strip search of a 13-year-old who school officials believed was carrying ibuprofen. “There is no clear knowing statement whether officials can be sued for that sort of behavior,” he noted. “So when justices come up with a decision on that, they would be making policy.”

What Sotomayor was doing was acknowledging a reality of our current legal system.  She wasn’t advocating for it.  That’s a pretty important distinction Mitt Romney failed to grasp.

Obama’s GM Gaffe

Obama’s strong words on GM may come back to bite him (BBC):

“Our auto industry is the foundation for economies all across the Midwest,” Mr Obama said.

“Had we allowed GM or Chrysler simply to liquidate that would have been a huge anti-stimulus on the economy as a whole, and could have dragged us even deeper into recession or even depression.”

Now its looking like GM will go bankrupt after all (Huffington Post).

Both GM and Chrysler are in danger of liquidation.  Their loss will be terrible, and it will hurt the economies of the midwest, surely.  But a depression?  That’s on par with Biden’s stay off planes and trains gaffe.  Since the so called invisible hand of the market seems to be driven largely by fear or greed, Obama’s heightened rhetorical flourish may come at an unfortunate cost:  the realization that economic prophecies are self-fulfilling.  Let’s hope not.

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Traveling Food

The past two weeks were spent in Davis CA, San Francisco CA, and Chicago CA.  On my journeys I tried out my new camera phone whenever I ate someplace delicious.  So I have a few random shots to share!

So here comes some food blogging:

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