Demonstration Rules Change Near Manassas Women’s Clinic

Manassas City Police Chief Skinner has changed a few rules for demonstrators along the Sudley Road/Forestwood Corridor. Over the summer, Chief Skinner had several complaints about signs and protestors blocking the line of vision of drivers attempting to pull out onto Sudley Road. As a result, the chief, in conjunction with the city attorney and city manager, devised some new rules, with safety as the main goal.

The demonstration site was moved so no one’s vision was blocked. Additionally “City ordinance limits the number of signs demonstrators may use at any one time to five. The signs must not exceed 24 by 36 inches and may be attached to wooden handles with no sharp ends, Skinner said. ”

Protestors requested to go down onto private property. Skinner explained that the property owner will not permit demonstrations there.

As long as everyone has to go by the same rules, no one should mind these safety conscious rules. Chief Skinner appears to have gone above and beyond the call of duty. He has contacted the people who demonstrate most frequently and explained why he arrived at the decision he did. Some folks have complained to the City Council about first amendment rights. That seems like quite a stretch. I would hate to think someone was in a automobile accident because I just had to exercise my rights.

Full story in the Manassas News and Messenger @

Shep Smith Sets the Record Straight on Public Option

Shep Smith is the maverick for sure on Fox News. He took on Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) over saying calling the public option a government take-over. Smith tried to explain to Senator Barrasso that every vote against public option was a vote for the insurance companies.

Meanwhile, Wellpoint, the largest health care company in the United States, who encouraged its workers to lobby against health care reform, has just announced it will cut benefits and increase their employees’ premiums. Nice way to say thank you. Meanwhile, the CEO made just under $10 million dollars in 2008. Wellpoint, is the parent company for Blue Cross Blue Shield in some unholy alliance, also does not pay dividends to its stock holders. Full story at Huffington Post.

Shep Smith always surprises us with his intolerance for right wing bs. He finally says enough is enough!

Anti-War Protestors are Back

Substitute ‘Obama’ for ‘Bush’ and ‘Afghanistan’ for ‘Iraq’ and it will look like nothing has changed. Even Cindy Sheehan was there and was arrested. As if the far right wasn’t giving President Obama a hard time, now the anti-war protestors are getting in the act.

The protestors all wore bright orange jump suits and pretended to die on the sidewalk, acted out being water-boarded, carried coffins, chanted slogans, and carried pictures of war injured children.

According to the Washington Post:

Several of the demonstrators had T-shirts showing a missile labeled “Obomba” and the question “Is it really OK if Obama does it?”

Besides those wording changes, the only other difference was the spiffy new natural-gas-powered Metrobus that arrived to take those arrested for processing. It said “Special” on the front and, on the side, had a McDonald’s ad with the slogan “Commander-in-Beef.”

If the commander in beef had been watching from a window, he would have had reason for concern. Not the demonstrators themselves: They were Green Party types with some self-proclaimed socialists thrown in, and they had never been enthusiastic Obama supporters to start with. What the president should worry about is whether these activists are indicators of bigger things to come if he sides with his generals and decides to bulk up the U.S. force in Afghanistan

It all sounds like politics as usual. I asked contributor Kelly3406 his opinion on current events in Afghanistan. I hope he doesn’t mind me moving his response to a major post:

Our long-term security requires us to do the counter-insurgency mission proposed by MacChrystal AND the counter-terrorism mission proposed by Biden. This past weekend’s deadly battle in Afghanistan proved that the Taliban can create numerical superiority in the tribal regions where the counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism missions would be waged. This shows that we will need many, many more troops (50K). In the short term, there will be a lot more casualties

If I heard correctly tonight, that is pretty much what the president is going to do.