Abortion Protestors Need To Stop Harassing Women At Madison Clinics

There are many avenues one can take concerning a political disagreement.  One can contact an elected official, write a letter to the local newspaper, or even seek office themself to affect change.  But when it comes to the physical act of harassing people who are legally operating within the bounds of the law there can be no defense of such behavior.

That is why I am very much in favor of the news from Madison Alderperson Lisa Subeck.

If her idea passes muster with the city council there will be a buffer zone located as the various clinics in Madison that will allow the entrances for women who seek health care services not to be intimidated or worse by protestors.  I suspect that the most important site in the city to be covered by such a law would be the East Side abortion clinic.

I am not using this post to weigh the merits of Roe v. Wade.  What I will, however, very strongly point out is that the 1973 landmark ruling is the law of the land, and to pretend that there are protestors who think themselves wiser or more learned than those who ruled from the high bench is simply preposterous.  They may have grievances and differences with the ruling, and that is fine.  But let those differences be noted in the proper forums.  The face-to-face protesting at health clinics is NOT the place to register complaints with the court ruling or the law of the land.

As such I am very much in favor of the action proposed by Subeck that would protect patients and employees from protesters with a protective zone within 160 feet of health clinics so that coming and going to clinics could occur without obstruction.  Some 20(?)  years ago I witnessed a group of protestors at a downtown location chanting and carrying signs decrying abortion.  What struck me then, and what I still recall now was more than the passion of their feelings, but their anger.  That anger should not be on display at clinics when women are entering and exiting.   All too often in our society we see where uncontrolled anger can lead.

The proposal, if passed in the weeks to come, would limit a protestor coming within 8 feet of a person so not to be able to engage in all the colorful ways their political theatre is played out.  The law would also not allow for signs if on a public way or sidewalk within the 160-foot-protective zone.

It would seem to me that in 2014 we might have progressed to the point where such new laws were not needed.  But that has been proven not to be the case.  As such the Madison City Council needs to get behind Subeck’s proposal and make sure it is enacted.

Wausau Correct To Demand Bartenders Limit Drinking On Job

UPDATE–After feeling the heat from the all-powerful Tavern League of Wisconsin Wausau Mayor Jim Tipple vetoed this sober server ordinance Wednesday, fewer than 24 hours after the Wausau City Council approved it.  That is a shame, and shows who shines the shoes of the league.

There are times when it comes to the issues surrounding Wisconsin’s drinking culture I sense those making arguments to curtail problems associated with alcohol are merely spitting into the wind.  No one is really listening, it seems, as the attitudes run so deep in a state where taverns and beer are seemingly a part of every-day society.

That is why I was so surprised and heartened to read that Wausau has done something positive when it comes to drinking and driving.  Something I have long felt is a part of the answer to how this state can reduce the number of drunk drivers.

The amount Wausau bartenders can drink on the job now will be limited, the Wausau City Council decided Tuesday night in an 8-2 vote.  The new ordinance makes it illegal for servers and their supervisors to drink on the job beyond the point of a 0.04 percent blood-alcohol content.

The ordinance will allow police officers to ask servers or their supervisors who are “reasonably suspected of being under the influence” to take a preliminary breath test. Those with a blood alcohol content of 0.04 percent or higher would be considered intoxicated, and the officer could cite the tavern’s owner for allowing an intoxicated employee to work.

There is no doubt that Wisconsin is awash in beer and alcohol sales, along with the deadly side-effects of too many intoxicated people on the roads.  One can pick up almost any edition of the paper, be a state edition or one that covers one of our many counties and come across too many stories about drunk driving accidents.

This blog has often posted about the ways to curtail the number of senseless deaths by creating laws that work to stem the problem.  One way I have advocated Wisconsin can achieve our objective is to make sure that those who serve drinks at taverns are stone sober.  Only then can sound judgments be made about who should, and should not be served. I suspect in a number of bars this is one contributing factor to over-serving patrons.

While I strongly supported a requirement that people serving alcohol have none of it in their system as proposed in a past legislative session by Rep. Josh Zepnick I am still content with the news from Wausau.  Forward movement is being made on the issue as a whole when it comes to bartenders and the amount they can drink.

I have long argued that those who own the bars, and pour the drinks, need to be held more accountable for their customers who leave with too much alcohol in their system. If a person pouring the drinks has a full sense of his/her surroundings they might be better able to determine who should, and should not, be buying another glass. There must be accountability by tavern owners for what they not only pour into a glass, but also pour out into the streets who then get behind a wheel.

Some will think this new ordinance heavy-handed.  However I think many of the average citizens in this state who care about public safety and are concerned about the problems that come with excessive alcohol use will see this in a different light.  Perhaps all the talking about these issues can produce positive results.  Let us work to keep this ball rolling in community after community.

The Issue Numbering For The New York Times Off By 500 From 1898 To 2000

OK, this is the nerdy side coming to full light.  (But hey, this is my blog, right?)  From The Atlantic.

Nobody knows exactly how it happened, but somehow, between February 6, 1898, and February 7, 1898, the issue numbering for The New York Times got a little … off.

It’s easy enough to imagine the scene: A worker, late at night, setting the paper’s front-page type. He takes out the type from the preceding day’s paper. He looks at the issue number—14,499—and adds one. He gets 15,000.

Perhaps he misread the number, and thought he saw 14,999 in its place. Or perhaps he’d had a long night, and just wasn’t thinking straight. Who knows? What we know is that he put 15,000 as the issue number for the next day, and nobody noticed.

And nobody noticed the next day, nor the next day, nor the next.

In fact, nobody noticed until 1999, when a news assistant at the Times, Aaron Donovan got suspicious. On the first day of 2000, the Times issued a correction with an explanatory note:

The error came to light recently when Aaron Donovan, a news assistant, became curious about the numbering, which he updates nightly when working at the news desk. He wondered about the potential for self-perpetuating error. Using a spreadsheet program, he calculated the number of days since The Times’s founding, on Sept. 18, 1851.

Through the newspaper’s archives, he learned that in its first 500 weeks, The Times published no Sunday issue. Then, for 2,296 weeks from April 1861 to April 1905, the Sunday issue was treated as an extension of the Saturday paper, bearing its number. In the early days, the paper skipped publication on a few holidays. No issues were published for 88 days during a strike in 1978. (During five earlier labor disputes, unpublished issues were assigned numbers, sometimes because catch-up editions were later produced for the archives.)

Finally, by scanning books of historic front pages and reels of microfilm, Mr. Donovan zeroed in on the date of the 500-issue gap.


Having Some Fun With Governor Christie And ‘Bridgegate’

This is just a fun read.

This is what I need from you. I need you on the phone to my people at the Port Authority. I need a spot on the next season of “Biggest Loser.” I need a picture of the Governor and his family stuck in traffic. I need an unstained tie. I need a lot of concealer. And I need a coffee with six sugars. NOW.

This looks bad. I know this looks bad. You have the entire greater New York press corps outside your door, and they’re not going to accept “Oh, sorry, the buzzer’s acting weird.” And all of them—every one—they only have one question, and it’s the same question, and it isn’t about you doing a duet with a popular New Jersey rock star. Because right now your best-case scenario is you were incompetent. And your worst-case scenario is Hillary Clinton getting a rabbit.

I need everything you’ve got on Bridget Anne Kelly. Parking tickets. Does she use family events as free child care? Does she ever “reply all” to e-mails? Has she cut off her own ear and sent it to her father so he would think that she had been kidnapped? The more we can make this woman look like someone in a movie who is only pretending to be human but is actually a robot or alien, the more you can think about the chairs in the Oval Office.