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Category Archive for ‘Hot Headlines’

How to Lose Friends and Influence Counter Protests

Fluffy afternoon clouds

See Texas state house protests.

There seems to be a tempest in a teapot in the Texas the past few weeks.  A successful filibuster in the Texas state senate ast week prevented the passage of SB5, even thought it had enough votes to pass on its own merits. A new proposal was drafteted and SB1′s key points are as follows:

  • Protects an unborn child rights earlier at 5 months instead of 6 months.
  • Raises the standard of care requirements at abortion facilities to be the same as ambulatory surgical centers, which provide cataract surgery, ear tubes, and carpal tunnel surgery, all of which have less risk of hemorrhaging than an induced abortion.
  • Raises the standard of care requirement for physicians that provide abortion services by requiring that these physicians have admitting privileges at a local hospital within 30 miles. Admitting privileges are a general quality indicator of peer review and competence for physicians. All current abortion facilities in Texas are within 30 miles of a secular hospital.  More than half of known abortion providers in Texas already have admitting privileges.
  • Ensures that the standard of care for the use of Ru-486, also known as Mifepristone, is within FDA requirements and the guidelines of the American Congress of OB/Gyns. This means you must receive both doses of the drug at a safe abortion facility and follow up within 14 days of the last dose. It also means you can not use, this drug after 7 weeks.
  • This bill DOES NOT close down abortion facilities, shut down women’s health clinics, or cut women’s health services.

Measured, balanced and safe for women. Far less restrictive than our European counterparts.

Since the filibuster erupted, there have been two dueling sides camped out at the Texas State House.  I’ve been watching closely to see how both sides would present their case within the context of a public protest.  The following are my observations on the presentation and messaging of both sides and how this will reverberatein the Texas state house and across the nation.

The pro life movement galvanized its forces after the filibuster and asking them to don blue shirts.  A good choice in color as blue is seen as trustworthy, dependable, and committed.  They pro life supporters assembled to pray, sing Amazing Grace, present articulate and passionate testimonies. I did not spot on obsenitites on any sign held by them or their children – the messages were compelling and on point.

The predominate Twitter hashtag used by the prolife crowd #Stand4Life has been very active the past few weeks. This hashtag has trended nationally during this debate in Texas.

What I can observe is the pro-life side has a cohesive positive message paired with likeable supporters who consistently present compelling counter reasoning to the abortion on demand supporters.  In truth, this SB5 has the votes to pass in the Senate. It passed out the Texas House with four more votes than the preceeding bill. This shift in votes is a telling sign that pro life messaging is working.

The counter protesters are those supporting abortion on demand and aim to stop SB5 in the senate.   Their color choice is orange, a contrasting color to blue.  So far, supporters have donned bloody butcher aprons, let children hold signs with abusive language, and dragged grumpy cat into this fray. They sporatically break into chants of  ‘Hail Satan‘ around the capitol building. Yes, there have been arrests within the orange division.

Oh yes, the hail satan meme has its own hashtag on Twitter aptly named #hailsatan and has been disavowed by those who practice satanism.

From a marketing and messaging perspective, all I can see is a flaming train wreck. I did not embed the images from the orange crowd because they are not safe for work or when children, friends and family are around.  This is a huge problem if the images you are presenting have to be shielded from different age and social groups. The message being broadcast needs to be cast as broadly as possible, the images breaking the surface are not ones you can share widely.

Just when I thought this mess could not get worse. It did. Enter the idea of #BroChoice.  @Popehat tweeted exactly what I was thinking when I first came across this meme on Twitter.

This final image represents to me what flushing your message down the toilet looks like.

SB5 will pass but the resounding change will be in the public perception of both sides of this issue. I like vibrant debates on issues. In this case there is a clear winner from a marketing/messaging standpoint – Life wins in Texas.

Beguiling blue

UPDATE: 7/13/2013 – Love wins.  By a vote of 19 to 11 HB2 is finally passed.

What are your thoughts on the messaging strategies employed by both sides? Do you feel their message has been adequately conveyed to the public?


Meet the New Pope – Francis 1


First pope from the Americas and first Jesuit to become Pope.  Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now called Pope Francis 1 hails from Argentina and is no friend of Christina Kirchner and those of her ilk. This should make for some interesting conversations in the near future.

Also, the new Pope Tweets!

Source: latimes.com via Tania on Pinterest


All Nighter in Congress



Army-Navy Game 2012


Go Navy!

Go Navy Beat Army

Beat Army!

Congratulations to the Naval Academy Midshipmen in their victory over the West Point Cadets in today’s Army/Navy football game. With a score of 17-13, the Midshipmen have won the C-I-C award for the best record in games among the three academies.


Buster’s 4th Adopt-a-versary!

It has been four years since Buster was adopted into his forever home. Where has the time gone? He still is the handsome, well mannered dog I encountered during a routine vet visit for my other puffball – Tiny. Buster or Mayo found his way to my veterinarian after he was surrendered by a motorist who witnessed a dog dodging moving cars on a very busy highway and was able to safely rescue the dog from certain death.

It only took a day to decide to bring this sweet boy home.  He immediately got to work on making himself comfortable after scarfing down Tiny’s food. She was not pleased at all with that behavior and to this day she makes a point to bark annoyingly at Buster while he eats his dog food.

Below the cut are a sampling of photos of Buster through the years. I’d have more photos but I quickly discovered that he is extremely camera shy. It takes a bit of work to snap a good photo of Buster, but I’ve managed to capture a few of them for your perusal.



August 20th – Help Celebrate My Birthday with an Act of Kindness

Tomorrow is the day to help celebrate my birthday!
Colorful Cupcakes

For those wondering – the only gift I ask is an act of kindness done in my name on my birthday – August 20th. Wherever you are in the world on August 20th; dedicate a moment, a few hours or the entire day to an act of kindness. Volunteer at an animal shelter, hug your parents, check on an elderly neighbor, donate books, clothing, or food where needed. Indeed, use the day to do what you love. Let me know what you have done on August 20th – leave a comment, link a photo or a blog post sharing your act of kindness.

A big thank you to long time reader, Trevor Hilton, for volunteering to donate blood tomorrow. That truly is a life-saving gift.  THANK YOU!


2012 SheROX Triathlon – UPDATE!


Photo credit: tompoe – flickr

From Runner to Triathlete in 2:15:17!

What a great day to be a triathlete. I want to thank all my running buddies and photo friends who took time out of their busy schedule to cheer me on during this event.  Your cheers kept me going and I will ever be grateful for your support today.

Yes, I did promise a race recap and one shall be posted tomorrow, tonight I want to savor my accomplishment.


The Coors – Leave Me Breathless

Awesome summertime song:

So go on, go on
Come on leave me breathless
Tempt me, tease me
‘Till I can’t deny this
Loving feeling
Let me long for your kiss
Go on, go on
Yeah come on


Colorado Movieplex Massacre

Moonlit Moonflower

12 killed and 58 injured in a brutal surprise attack on moviegoers attending a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. The assailant, 24 year old James Holmes disguised himself as ‘the Joker’, a mortal enemy of Batman in the comic series before using tear gas to stun and disorient moviegoers before opening fire on them. In addition, authorities were notified by the assailant that his apartment was rigged with explosives. What horror this man was planning.

I cannot wrap my mind around the despicable actions of this broken young man. By what process did he lose his humanity? As I write this post, I’m not certain I want to know his why; as if there can be acceptable reason for the bloody execution of innocents.

My heart and thoughts are with the families of the victims and all those who were in the theater. Words seem such inadequate comfort for this senseless tragedy.


Tonight on the Snark Factor

Listen live to the Snark Factor every Wednesday night at 1opm EST on FTR Radio where I will be joining Fingers Malloy, Irish Duke to bring news bites at the top of the hour followed by sparkling chats with invited guests. If you are a fan of my blog, you’ll know that I have an eclectic taste in news of the day.

On tap for Wednesday night:

Romney Loves Florida

Google kills Picnik - does this provide an opening for GIMP to be the preeminent free simple photo editor?

I’m rocking the Triathlon in 2012 –   Via TeamUSA.org - “Since 2000 female USA Triathlon membership has grown from 27 percent of the total of the annual members to more than 37 percent at the end of 2010. Factors leading to this growth are society’s acceptance of “active” women, women feeling more comfortable living an active lifestyle, the growth of women’s-only events like the Danskin and Trek Triathlon Series, and races focusing on charity involvement and fundraising.”

Philly Occupy refuses to endorse the first OccupyPhilly Democrat Congressional candidate.   Who says OccupyPhilly is pure political partisanship….

Ahem..contrary to urban legend, the device pictured below is NOT a tricorder:

Huge display for a sports watch

Please do not attempt to communicate in Klingon with people wearing this device, as you know Klingons are imaginary characters that do not exist in reality.

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