Musings From the Bench

musings from the bench-2A couple of weeks ago the SCOTUS struck down a Massachusetts law aimed at establishing a 35-foot buffer zone around women’s health centers preventing protesters from blocking the entrances by calling the law unconstitutional because it prevented the right of free speech of the protesters. Well, the Massachusetts State Senate has fought back by passing a bill designed to tighten security around abortion centers.

The bill would allow police to disperse groups who are blocking the entrance and after the written order is given, those individuals would have to stay at least 25-feet away from the center’s entrance for up to 8 hours. The 25-foot boundary has to be clearly marked and the new regulations must be posted.The bill also prohibits anyone intentionally injuring, intimidating or attempting to injure or intimidate anyone entering or exiting the building using force or the threat of force. It would also ban anyone from stopping a vehicle’s access to the parking lot.

It seems to me the only difference between this bill and the law that SCOTUS struck down is the number of feet in the buffer zone.

According to Senate President Therese Murray, “the bill will restore the basic rights that all women are entitled to when it comes to how they take care of their health while meeting the concerns of the court.” However, Eleanor McCullen, the woman who successfully challenged the old buffer zone law and calls herself “a sidewalk counselor who seeks to talk with women one-on-one outside the clinics to persuade them against seeking an abortion” goes on to say, “She’s about to go in and destroy her child. This is a life-changing decision and I am there to say good morning, how can I help you?”

The bill has passed the Senate and is now on its way to the House. Should it pass the House it will make its way to Governor Deval Patrick. And should he sign that bill into law, Eleanor McCullen vows to go back to court. And so it goes….


Governor Deval Patrick was asked last week whether Massachusetts would benative-americans-white-people willing to provide temporary shelter to some of the immigrant Central American children while they are being processed for deportation or reuniting with their families in the United States. The request was for space of up to 90,000 square feet to be used for up to 4 months to accommodate up to 1,000 stranded children for up to 35 days who would eat, sleep, play and go to school in the facility all at federal government expense, not state.

Now a lot of things have to line up for this to happen, but two locations in Massachusetts have been selected. Camp Edwards at Joint Base Cape Cod in Bourne and Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee. As I said, the responsibility for this will be the federal government’s so it’s up to the US Health and Human Services to vet both locations for suitability, choose which, if either, to use, make any suggestions for improvements, and handle staffing.

Governor Patrick said he made his decision to say yes for two reasons: love of country and lessons of faith. I wish him luck as two obstacles seem to be in his way.

1. House Speaker John Boehner’s refusal to call a vote on the immigration bill, and

2. At least from the standpoint of Westover Air Reserve Base, according to Master Sgt. Andrew S. Biscoe the commanders would like to help, but all of the rooms that are on the base are occupied on the weekend by reservists.

Biscoe goes on to say WARB has limited facilities and open land, but there are security concerns.

Chicopee Mayor Kos said the proposal makes no sense and that he understands the humanitarian concerns that brought about the Governor’s offer but military already looked into the possibility of housing immigrant children at active bases, and determined it would not work.

Too bad Alcatraz and Ellis Island are now museums.


Shoe-Shine-boy-in-Bolivia-Child-Labor-PovertyKids in Bolivia don’t have it much better. A report in the business section of our local paper says Bolivia is on the verge of legalizing child labor. The Bolivian Congress has approved the proposal to lower the minimum working age from 14 to 10. That’s right, 10. All that is needed now is President Evo Morales’ signature.

They (the bill’s sponsors) say many poor families in Bolivia have no other choice than for their kids to work and the bill offers working children safeguards. Under the legislation, 10-year olds will be able to work just as long as they are under a parents supervision and also attend school.


I don’t know about you, but I find these three stories depressing as hell. Howpuppies_25 about something upbeat to cleanse the brain, heart and soul.

A not-for-profit group called Pets for Vets out of Los Angeles has begun a program to help abandoned pets and veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. The dogs are given a second chance at life and the soldiers get a new outlook with many of them depression free. The group is hoping to expand the program to cities outside of LA. Lord knows we won’t be running out of abandoned pets or post traumatic vets in this country any time soon.


Most people would say cats are self-absorbed creatures and I would be one of them, but in this case it was the cat that saved the day.

cat-07-02A fire broke out in the bedroom of the cat owner (although I defy anyone to say they truly OWN a cat) and while the dog slept the cat jumped on the man’s chest and started batting at him until he woke up. Upon seeing the fire, the man woke his wife and the dog and all four of them made it out of the house safely and he called 9-1-1. Now it could be the cat saw the flames and smelled the smoke and figured it was time for food, I don’t know, but the cat is taking the credit for saving all involved….including the dog.


A little more this and that…..

Finding it difficult to talk to your doctor sometimes? It can be difficult for them too, in a different way.

Dr.: Do you have any medical conditions?

Patient: No.

Dr.: Are you sure you’ve never been told you have any diseases?

Patient: Never.

Dr.: What medications do you take?

Patient: Insulin…..for my diabetes.


A mom brought her kids to the ER after they ate all their Halloween candy because they had tummy aches. They were still eating Reese’s peanut butter cups when they were in the exam room. The Dr. had to explain to her that they need to cut back on the candy and she looked at him like he had three heads.



Thanks for reading. Until next time.






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About Jane Gray 58 Articles
Born in the '50s, grew up in the '60s, got married in the '70s. Gave birth in the '80s and started collecting social security in 2013. My time is my own and I don't mind sharing my opinions on everything with everybody. I hate injustice, the truth is easier to remember than a lie. I like the New England Patriots, the Boston Celtics, the New York Mets, and that English futbol team from Liverpool.


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