archives

whining less

This category contains 57 posts

You Have A Constitutional Right To Take Photos Of Police, Federal Court Affirms

Photographing and filming police officers in public is a constitutional right protected by the First Amendment. That’s what a federal appeals court unanimously affirmed this week in cases involving Philadelphia officers retaliating against citizens pointing cameras at them.

Slate reports that the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling was for two cases. In one, a woman named Amanda Geraci was restrained across the neck by a police officer while trying to film the arrest of an anti-fracking protester. In the second, a Temple undergraduate named Richard Fields was handcuffed and prosecuted after trying to film officers breaking up a house party.

A District Court previously had ruled that both Geraci and Fields had engaged in “conduct” only and not “expressive conduct,” and that therefore their filming wasn’t a First Amendment “freedom of speech” issue. But in Friday’s ruling, the Federal Appeals Court disagreed.

“Every Circuit Court of Appeals to address this issue […] has held that there is a First Amendment right to record police activity in public,” the judges write in their opinion. “Today we join this growing consensus. Simply put, the First Amendment protects the act of photographing, filming, or otherwise recording police officers conducting their official duties in public.”

“The First Amendment protects actual photos, videos, and recordings, […] and for this protection to have meaning the Amendment must also protect the act of creating that material.”

“We ask much of our police,” the judges write in the closing statements. “They can be our shelter from the storm. Yet officers are public officials carrying out public functions, and the First Amendment requires them to bear bystanders recording their actions. This is vital to promote the access that fosters free discussion of governmental actions, especially when that discussion benefits not only citizens but the officers themselves.”

So there you have it: police officers don’t have the right to squash free speech by ordering you to stop shooting photos of them in public.


Image credits: Header illustration based on photo by Elvert Barnes and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

h/t John Gwillam, Facebook

IT’S ABOUT TIME!

Don’t you always hate it when Rights you believed to be self-evident truths have to work their way up the judicial chain just to be affirmed as valid?

Of course, this hasn’t yet reached The Supreme Court(!)

Who knows?

And The ‘Adventure’ Continues, Part Seis(?)

In our last episode (spoken aloud in Don Adams’ Maxwell Smart voice…)

It was determined I do NOT have a blot clot in my lower right leg (twice!), although the leg remains enlarged.  Not painful, but engorged.  And hard(?) in spots.

I’ve an appointment later in the month with a vascular specialist.  Who knows?

The rash I had has largely dissipated (after THREE 5 day courses of Prednisone – thank you very much!) as well as a slow, agonizing decrease of the itch that accompanied it.  Rash gone, still itching.

But,  the itch has FINALLY gone away.

Roomie continues to suffer from her chronic health problems associated with asthma, COPD, congestive heart failure and emphysema.  And NO, she had never smoked tobacco!

She had, however, worked in plant greenhouses and beauty salons (with many of their toxic chemicals) for most of her adult life.

And she is continuing to recover from her shoulder surgery and is getting physical therapy for the same.

Will she be returning to work?  Who knows?

We could use the money – but at further risk to her health?

YES!  The shower leak has been repaired!  The hole in the living room ceiling?  Not so much.

roughly 3′ x 4′

Apparently, the contractor and the insurance adjuster disagree regarding the amount to be paid.  Or WHEN this is to be done…

I still possess the dead Oldsmobile in my parking space, now growing spiderwebs.  There are ‘complications’ with selling it (not to mention I’ve been offered much less than I thought it worth!)  Perhaps donation IS the best route(?)

AND, just to add to the fun – during daylight hours one may not exit the front door to the townhouse in safety.  The bees who have taken up residence in the tall bush adjacent to the door have become, well, more populous and hyper-vigilant!

Fortunately, this is an HOA problem.

Unfortunately, this is an HOA problem.

When this will get resolved?  Who knows?

(I’ll just walk around the back way to get the mail, thank you very much!)

The ‘Adventure’ continues…

And The ‘Adventure’ Continues…

(in our last episode…)

Let’s see…Heart pain (NOT!), a rash, leg edema, J’s health, water from the upstairs shower into the downstairs…

THAT’S IT!

(It’s been a busy month!)

Shower leakage!  We’ve not taken a shower for seven days.  Not that we don’t want to.  Water began coming through the ceiling into the downstairs, and continuing to bathe in that manner just seemed imprudent.

My washcloth and I have become VERY close.

Call the insurance company, you say?  Sure, why not?  Not having the $500 deductible at hand was a bit of an issue.  Fortunately, my very kind and generous Sister stepped up with a surprise gift allowing us to begin the process of again being able to get clean!  Thanks, EL!

Of course, the process is never easy.  The plumber says first they must check for residual moisture and damage before beginning.  And, due to the age of J’s home, asbestos. 

ANOTHER $400.

Fortunately, the company who removes the ceiling (and maybe the shower pan) tells us they can eat that cost (the insurance does not cover it!)!  Whew!

This morning comes the asbestos test.  If negative, the above company may remove the ceiling w/o further adieu, and the plumbers may begin repair this afternoon.

If not…perhaps another day or two of asbestos remediation is involved.

Sigh.

At least things are in process.

Thanks, again, Sis!

As to the other ongoing issues…

J’s health.  She has many health issues, some of which are chronic.  And is seeing many physicians monthly.  She IS recovering nicely from her rotator cuff surgery, and is currently involved in physical therapy for the same.  Our thanks to you all again for your kind wishes and help!

NO heart or chest pain.  The hospital said I was diagnosed ‘non-cardiac chest pain’ – which means they don’t know, could have been gas or muscle-related.

The rash.  I finished my second 5-day run of prednisone, and the rash returned.  Going to the pharmacy today to get a third course of graduated prednisone – so when I stop, it tapers off (per the Doctor).  If that doesn’t do it, then onto a specialist.

Sigh.

The leg edema.  I completed a 10-day course of broad spectrum antibiotics, and it seems to have improved the appearance and size of the leg remarkably!  The Doctor has me picking up a diuretic to hopefully complete the job.  Coupled with orange juice.

The proximate cause of either the rash or edema?  They’ve no idea.

I’m posting this early, as the itching kept me awake, even with the loratadine I’m taking.  Anxiously awaiting the pharmacy opening @ 0900 to obtain the additional meds.

Well, that’s it from us here in The Valley of the Sun.  Hope you all are doing better than we?

Don’t Do Anything Rash! (The Adventure Continues…)

SO…

I go to see my primary doctor yesterday afternoon.  She confirms ‘yes’, I DO have a rash of undetermined origin, now permeating most of my body.  My edema in my right calf is of significant size, and has NOT diminished when horizontal.

She prescribes a synthetic corticosteroid to deal with the rash.  She is MORE concerned about the edema.

She sends me to a diagnostic center for an ultrasound of the leg.  (I must drive myself, as J. is still recovering from her shoulder surgery and cannot drive.)

It’s either this, or she admits me to the hospital.  She’s concerned I might have a blood clot(!)

So, it’s back from central Phoenix to Chandler (nearer to where I live) for the imaging.  It’s approaching 1700, but they are waiting for me. (My doc has pull!)

I wore sandals I don’t usually wear, so she could get a better look at my legs and feet (wrestling with socks and ‘Ed’ the really big shoe can be difficult when swollen.  The sandals are uncomfortable and make driving difficult.

And I cannot afford to Uber.

J. is with me for moral support and to listen to my cursing.

Finally, we find the place and I get the ultrasound.  NO CLOTS!  😛  They contact my doc, who prescribes a broad spectrum antibiotic and schedules me to return Friday @ 1300 for follow-up.  She does this all herself and makes certain she speaks with me about diet to accompany the antibiotic.  Initially, I missed her call (loud surroundings) and she called back and left a message.  Then she kept calling until she could speak with me personally.

I have a great physician!

The Good News is I picked up the meds.  The Bad News is neither is recommended for evening use.  So, another night of calamine lotion looms.

I think I received three hours of sleep.  J. has another physical therapy appointment this afternoon.  AND I TOOK MY FIRST PREDNISONE THIS MORNING!  😛

C’mon work!

Time will tell.  It’s been about two hours, and I feel slightly less itchy.  (Perhaps that’s just wishful thinking?)

I will keep everyone advised.  (No Clots – Hooray!)  😛

Last Minute Louis™ Visits Once Again!

(Last Minute Louis™ is the moniker I’ve given myself for procrastinating)

So, here it is again.  Tax time.

The government giveth and the government taketh away.

INCOME TAX IS THEFT!  Period.

Having said that, being on disability, I don’t generally get taxed.  Of course, I don’t get paid much, either.

And, as most of it comes from the government, they could decide at any moment to take it back, or stop giving it to me.

Regardless, I must file stoopid paperwork under penalty of law this time of year, showing how poor I really am.

I may make up to $1000 a month over my stipends, and not lose benefits – like someone would hire a 64-year-old cripple with many health problems, including the need to recline every couple of hours!

Sigh.

I DID finish the requisite forms and efiled last night about 1915 hours.

Having no real property, assets or income, I pay nothing.  And am receiving nothing in return.

The State of Arizona does see fit to give the lowly $25.00 in return.  Of course, it cost me $10.00 to file!

And a couple hours of combing through meaningless paperwork.

Is it any wonder I’m a Last Minute Louis™?

 

In Need Of A Guffaw…

March, being a normally sucky month, coupled with financial tightness brought about by my roomie being off work due to having had surgery, I feel the need…

The need for GUFFAWS!

After all, this blog is entitled Guffaw in AZ !

Happy St. Patrick’s Day 

Most of you know this is a bad time of year for me.

I’ve not happily celebrated this holiday for years.  I remember prepping my daughter on Friday for school, making certain she had something green on.

Then, the weekend occurred. (1995)

But, I saw a cartoon on FB recently, that made me chuckle. Guess that means I am healing (?)

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, on a Friday, just as it was 22 years ago.  Most Fridays (in recent memory) I wear a red shirt, as I am a member of the Red Shirt Society.  (NO, not the Italian militia, Southern white supremacist group, or an expendable Star Trek guy!)

It would be awesome if everyone wore RED Shirts every Friday in honor of our military who are deployed. WE as American citizen’s need to keep our Veterans and Military close to our heart and in our prayers.

R – Remember
E – Everyone
D – Deployed

But today, in deference to my celebrating the holiday for the first time in 22 years, I am wearing the GREEN!  (Orangemen, of course, are acceptable, too – this IS The United States!)  🙂

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY, EVERYONE! – O’Guffaw

 

Irony

or sick comedy.  I don’t know which.

One if my many maladies is I have arthritis.  It seems to rear it’s ugly head in colder, more humid weather.

Fortunately, I live in a (mostly) dry desert.  😛

I went to the grocery yesterday, and reviewed the over-the-counter preparations. (A through G?)

Most were made of menthol, along with some kind of delivery system – cream, aerosol, etc.  I already have some Icy (something) at home.  For me, it doesn’t work as advertised, it just burns.  😦

Then I saw this cream made with emu oil.  Another preparation which had been recommended to me.  Preparation E?

I happily spent the $12 and took the 4 ounce jar home.

Remember TRIOPENIN?  From SNL?  The pill bottle of pain medication impossible for the elderly person to open, eventually ending in a hammer breaking the bottle?

I thought it was real!

This simple jar with a simple screw-top lid.  Instructions state do not use if the safety seal is broken.  If I could unscrew the lid, I could verify the seal was intact, or not!

ALAS.

Banging the jar lid on the counter.  Pounding the lid with the jar upside down. Submerging the top of the jar in hot water to make it expand.  Vice grips and a large ‘C’ clamp.

Nada. 

I began wondering if some teenager superglued the lid shut, as a painful prank?

EVENTUALLY, some combination of the efforts above prevailed, coupled with prying between the jar and the lid with the sharp edge of a Buck-type knife.

THEN, of course, I had to remove the safety seal.  No, it had not been molested.

And, I finally got to the emu-oil preparation.  Initial trials are moderately successful.    We will see about the longer term.

I’m now wondering if ALL the jars are similarly sealed?

Crap…

not this brand

not this brand

FTC – I purchased the cream, then had to painfully wrestle with it, just to get it open.  That should be enough for you.

 

It’s Here! 

Thanks to your generosity!  The electronic controller for our lift chair is here, is installed and actually WORKS!

The chair now not only lifts the operator, but can recline fully to horizontal.

This means Judy will have a place to sleep and recover following her shoulder surgery.

She will also be getting an ‘ice jacket’ which is to help with the pain.

We cannot say thank you enough! 

The Twelve Labors Of Hercules 

Hardly. 

But trying, nevertheless.

With my knee being ‘iffy’, and The Horrible Chair, just going downstairs can be a challenge.

And, when my roommate having breathing difficulties and sometimes staying in bed, it’s up to me to be  (as my Father would label himself) the chief cook and bottle washer!

That is, take care of the livestock and fetch medicines, water, soda and food for the ‘infirmed’.

I’ve no complaint about so doing – after all, it was my roommate who saved me from possibly having to live on the street with my income decreased and I lost my home.

The ‘problem’ (and this is a joke, folks) is the livestock in question sometimes makes it difficult to do chores.  Because, they, too, want attention.

Or just to be in the way!

The first hurdle is (are?) the stairs.  I know, not livestock.  But just going down them can be painful.  And sometimes the kitten (Belle) plays the ‘can I trip him on the stairs’ game.  (Does this count as a second hurdle?)

Belle

Belle

Hurdle Two – the Cage.  (In no way resembling Star Trek-TOS episode!)  We have taken to giving the livestock the run of the downstairs.  We used to pen up the older dogs in the downstairs bath-as a makeshift kennel.  And that worked for many years.  But, as they have aged (both 16 now), their hearing and vision has diminished.  And D.J., especially, gets scared in the dark when he cannot move about freely.  This wouldn’t be a problem, except he starts barking.  One yelp every eight seconds or so.  ALL NIGHT.  Or until he finally falls asleep.  The yelping resumes when he awakens – even at 0300!  Letting them go free gives them enough ambient light to patrol the downstairs and see enough not to bark.

D.J.

D.J.

Unless, of course, a stray cat appears in the back yard.  No plan is perfect.

(Back to the cage)  We have a ‘cage’ kennel we have used for Lola (the puppy-now two, but forever nicknamed as such) which also is just the right size to block the dogs from going upstairs.  They are supposed to use the designated paper by the back door, but sometimes they like to sneak to the upper landing.  And we don’t like that.

Lola

Lola

SO, I’ve descended the stairs, and prepare to move The Cage out-of-the-way, when Gracie becomes involved.  She likes to sit on top of said cage and add an addition three or four metric tons to it’s weight.  HER nickname is BAC – for Big Ass Cat!  Plus, she can be kinda snotty if asked to move and might hiss at you!

Gracie aka B.A.C.

Gracie aka B.A.C.

Now that we’ve made it down the stairs, and moved the cage, there’s the kitten, again.  No, she’s not gone away.  If I walk past The Horrible Chair, she will jump up on the seat and demand tribute!  Which means flopping over and belly rubs!  (the cat, not me)  I must admit this is not much of a trial, and rubbing the belly of a purring kitten is quite pleasant.  😛

tribute

tribute

She can continue with an additional trial, following me incessantly and meowing tiny mews, until I either fill up the water, the food, or change the cat box.  She always lets me know.  But every time I walk by The Horrible Chair I must pay!  🙂

Okay, okay!  I know.  Animals are a blessing, and three (or four) interactions with them first thing in the morning is great! (Except for the B.A.C.!)

And four is not twelve.  Perhaps I need to rethink this.  But The Three or Four Challenges of Hercules just doesn’t have the same ring to it.  😛

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…