Patterico's Pontifications


Police Flatten Tires of Guy Speeding to Take Pregnant Wife to Hospital

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 3:44 pm

Then again, they didn’t know that’s what he was doing:

FORT DODGE, Iowa– Police started to pursue a speeding SUV on Highway 7 near the town of Manson in Calhoun County, but the car’s occupants had a good reason for going over the speed limit.

Ben and Rachel Kohnen were heading to the hospital in Fort Dodge at about 4:00 a.m. Tuesday morning. He admits that he was going about 30 miles over the speed limit when they passed the officer.

“He starts following me and he turns on his lights an my wife says we can’t pull over. The baby is coming now,” said the driver, Ben Kohnen of Pomeroy.


As they approached the outskirts of Fort Dodge, authorities were waiting for them.

“They had thrown out the tire spikes and so all four tires, I run over those and all four tires go flat,” said Ben Kohnen.

The Kohnens say they were ordered to the ground and held at gunpoint until police realized this was an emergency. Rachel was rushed to the hospital and nearly 10 pound, Hazel, was born an hour later.

Apparently the wife tried calling 911 but was too hysterical to be understood.

Opine away. Consider not assuming perfect knowledge on the cops’ part as you do so.

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Texas Voter I.D. Law In Upcoming Midterm Elections

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:45 pm

[guest post by Dana]

The U.S. Supreme Court this morning decided that Texas can continue enforcing its controversial voter identification law for the upcoming Nov. 4 midterm elections. This in spite of challenges by the U.S. Dept. of Justice. There was no explanation of the ruling provided from the court’s majority. Dissenting were Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Writing a scathing dissent, Justice Ginsburg opined:

The greatest threat to public confidence in elections in this case is the prospect of enforcing a purposefully discriminatory law, one that likely imposes an unconstitutional poll tax and risks denying the right to vote to hundreds of thousands of eligible voters.

Last week, President Obama appointee U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos ruled that the law would discourage and deter minority voters, the majority of whom are black and Hispanic, as well as referring to it as an unconstitutional poll tax. Justice Ginsburg continued the line of thought:

The potential magnitude of racially discriminatory voter disenfranchisement counseled hesitation before disturbing the District Court’s findings and final judgment. Senate Bill 14 may prevent more than 600,000 registered Texas voters (about 4.5% of all registered voters) from voting in person for lack of compliant identification. A sharply disproportionate percentage of those voters are African-American or Hispanic.

(As a reminder, Texas allows for seven forms of acceptable identification. Also, if voting by mail, one does not have to submit a photo ID.)


President Obama: Quit Being Hysterical About Ebola, People!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:47 am

[guest post by Dana]

Attempting to quell Americans’ growing concern and fear about an Ebola outbreak here at home, President Obama addressed the issue this morning:

This is a serious disease, but we can’t give in to hysteria or fear-because that only makes it harder to get people the accurate information they need. We have to be guided by the science. We have to remember the basic facts.

First, what we’re seeing now is not an “outbreak” or an “epidemic” of Ebola in America. We’re a nation of more than 300 million people. To date, we’ve seen three cases of Ebola diagnosed here-the man who contracted the disease in Liberia, came here and sadly died; the two courageous nurses who were infected while they were treating him … As our public health experts point out, every year thousands of Americans die from the flu.

Second, Ebola is actually a difficult disease to catch. It’s not transmitted through the air like the flu. You cannot get it from just riding on a plane or a bus. The only way that a person can contract the disease is by coming into direct contact with the bodily fluids of somebody who is already showing symptoms. I’ve met and hugged some of the doctors and nurses who’ve treated Ebola patients. I’ve met with an Ebola patient who recovered, right in the Oval Office. And I’m fine.

Third, we know how to fight this disease. We know the protocols. And we know that when they’re followed, they work.

The president also addressed the increasing demand to impose a travel ban from the worst-hit countries:

Finally, we can’t just cut ourselves off from West Africa, where this disease is raging. Our medical experts tell us that the best way to stop this disease is to stop it at its source-before it spreads even wider and becomes even more difficult to contain. Trying to seal off an entire region of the world-if that were even possible-could actually make the situation worse. It would make it harder to move health workers and supplies back and forth. Experience shows that it could also cause people in the affected region to change their travel, to evade screening, and make the disease even harder to track.

(Of course, it just isn’t possible that putting a temporary hold on issuing visas and instituting a travel ban from West Africa might just benefit Americans more than risking the continued spread of Ebola in our country! And, maybe even keep us safer!)

What one man sees as hysteria another man sees as reasonable caution.

(emphasis added)


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