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A Guide to Walking on a Crowded New York City Sidewalk

Posted by libhom Friday, February 16, 2007 0 comments

Note: This blog is usually about politics, media, and cultural issues, but I needed to get this off of my chest.

Walking on a sidewalk in a crowded city is much different than in suburbia where you usually have the sidewalk to yourself. Yet, some people are totally clueless about this distinction.

Most of these things should be obvious, but some people just don’t get them. So, here goes.

1) If you are walking slowly, walk at the side of the sidewalk. Slow walkers often will place themselves so that they block as much of the sidewalk as possible. That is comparable to taking up two lanes on an expressway.

2) If you are walking with people, try to walk single-file. Definitely, do not walk with more than two people in a row, no matter how interesting you think your conversations are. Remember, there are lots of other people using the sidewalk to commute.

3) Whenever possible, walk on the right side of the sidewalk. That way, you do not end up getting in other people’s way, and they don’t get in your way (if they are smart enough to do this).

4) A cell phone (or IPod etc.) is no excuse for walking in manner that gets in the way of others. You are not entitled to walk in the middle of the sidewalk, stop suddenly, or do other stupid things because you are distracted. If you can’t handle walking with a cell phone, don’t.

5) It is not cool, tough or any other positive thing to deliberately walk in someone else’s way to make them move. If you do that, you are just an idiot.

6) Do not walk your bike on the sidewalk, and certainly don’t ride it on the sidewalk.

7) Do not lock and leave your bike on a busy sidewalk. It is in the way.

8) If you are walking with your dog, never tie the dog to parking meter (or other thing with a poll) and then leave. This is awful for several reasons. It is cruel to the frightened animal. The dog is in the way of pedestrians. The dog poses a danger to pedestrians. (Remember, it is terrified and alone and won’t behave the way it does when you are around.) Pedestrians also pose a danger to the dog.

9) Don’t break through lines of people waiting for buses to jaywalk. Go around the lines, and then jaywalk.

Texas Gets an “F" on Choice

Posted by libhom Saturday, February 03, 2007 4 comments


NARAL has released a report that grades states on the right-to-choose on abortion. Not shockingly, Texas received an F. One particular quote from the report is especially disturbing.

93 percent of Texas counties have no abortion provider.

Other facts about Texas and abortion rights.
  • Texas' Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General all oppose the right to choose on abortion.

  • The Texas state House and Senate both have anti-choice majorities.

  • Texas has a 24 mandatory delay for women after they contact doctors for abortions.

  • Texas law requires that abortions be provided by physicians, even though trained midwives, nurse practitioners, physician assistants are perfectly cable of performing abortions safely.

  • Texas discriminates against low-income women by refusing to provide abortion coverage with regular medical coverage for the poor.

  • Texas law requires parental consent and notice (except with permission of a judge) for teenage girls, despite the fact that many fundamentalist Christians will emotionally and physically abuse daughters who want abortions and many anti-choice judges are dishonest.

  • Texas regulates abortion providers more heavily than other medical providers.

  • Texas mandates that women seeking abortions be given highly biased information (propaganda) about abortion and Texas law.


The last point is appalling because the mandates discuss the risks of abortions, but not the higher risks of full-term pregnancies. Planned Parenthood points out:
Overall, the risk of death from childbirth is 11 times greater than the risk of death from abortion up to 20 weeks of pregnancy. After 20 weeks, the risk of death from abortion is about the same as the risk of death from childbirth.

If Texas law mandated the kind of accurate, balanced information Planned Parenthood provides, no one would object. However, the Christian Right has gotten Texas to mandate attempting to deceive women on the relative risks of abortion and pregnancy in order to try to intimidate women who want abortions. This is dishonest and morally wrong.

A larger problem is that restrictions on abortion are often presented and covered individually and not in any depth. On first glance, abortion restrictions sometimes seem reasonable, but the details always prove otherwise. Of course, these restrictions do not function in isolation. They are part of a coordinated campaign by the Christian Taliban to make abortion bureaucratically difficult or even practically impossible. When they are combined with the campaigns of intimidation against abortion providers and their landlords by militant, Christian fundamentalists along with outright acts of terrorism, it is hardly surprising that the overwhelming majority of Texas counties have no abortion services.

Learn about your state and other states by going to NARAL's full report. The “State Profiles” are particularly interesting, but there is national and other information as well.

Protests Planned for the 4th Anniversary of Iraq Disaster

Posted by libhom Thursday, February 01, 2007 2 comments

United for Peace and Justice has a listing of protests planned for the fourth anniversary of the Bush regime's terrible war in Iraq.

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