Posts Tagged ‘ Block ’

Video: Occupiers use kids to block DC Convention Center

Isn’t it great when families get together for quality time? Take a break from TV and game consoles and go out together for a fun evening, like strolling through the park, going to the zoo, or … blocking doors at political events? Stephen Gutowski found the toddler shields deployed at Occupy DC, and wondered what idiot would put two small children in harm’s way.

Meet Mom and a few of her friends:

Stephen reports that only one protester even questioned the decision to put children near the door — and she told Stephen that she probably shouldn’t give an interview. Everyone else insisted in loud and nearly incoherent voices that the AFP conference that took place was victimizing the children, and not Mom and the rest of the protesters that put them in the middle of a security scuffle. According to a later e-mail I got from Stephen, one DC street also started victimizing these same children, so our candidate for Mother of the Year put them in the middle of a blockade of the street.

John Hinderaker and Stacy McCain have more video from the AFP “Defending the American Dream” conference that Occupy DC targeted yesterday that shows the scope of the danger in which these toddlers were placed — danger, it must be noted, that came entirely from the Occupiers themselves.  Ed Frank looks at it from a different perspective in an interview he did with a wheelchair-bound woman who could not exit the convention center because Occupiers were blocking the exit:

The protesters are yelling, “This is what democracy looks like!”, but that’s absurd. There is a very big difference between democracy and mob rule, as the interview subject tells Frank. This is an attempt by a small coterie of radicals to silence free speech and free association through intimidation and threats of violence. Occupiers had every right to picket on the sidewalks; they have no right to block ingress or egress to the building.

And one has to wonder where the fire marshal was when this took place. Blocking egress from a building is a fire hazard, and had the DC Convention Center left construction materials in front of that door even for a short period of time, the facility would have faced fines and no small amount of shaming from the FD.  That made this a matter for the city’s police and fire departments, not for security around the facility.  If a fire had started in the building, there would have been a whole lot of people injured at those exits, including the two toddlers that Mommy Dearest apparently hopes to martyr for the cause.

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Ford MyKey Now To Allow Parents To Block Teen Calls/Texts

This was more or less bound to happen, given all the high-profile awareness campaigns about distracted driving and teens being the riskiest group of drivers engaging in talking on cell phones and texting behind the wheel. Ford is modifying the MyKey “Do Not Disturb” function to give parents the ability to block all incoming texts and calls while their teens are driving.2012 Ford Explorer-Ginger Ale

2012 Ford Explorer-Ginger Ale

New parental control launches on 2012 Ford Explorer

While the “Do Not Disturb” feature is already present on 2011 Ford vehicles equipped with SYNC and MyFord Touch, the automaker will add the parental blocking ability to inbound texts and calls to teens’ phones beginning with the 2012 Ford Explorer early next year.

How the blocking feature works

The operation of the new feature is relatively seamless. When hooked up to SYNC, this new feature blocks incoming calls and text messages from a Bluetooth-paired mobile phone and diverts calls to voicemail and saves texts on the device for the teen driver to view later.

Teens can still make voice-activated outgoing calls, and the SYNC 911 Assist feature can make calls in the case of an emergency.

To see how the new technology works, check out the video below.

Potential teen backlash?

How will teens react to the new parental control over incoming texts and calls? Well, it has to be better from the teens’ perspective than their parents demanding that they turn off the phone. Teens are also pretty savvy about the issue of distracted driving, given the amount of air time and news coverage in the past year. Furthermore, research studies prove that distracted driving caused by preoccupation with texting and calls is particularly risky for young, inexperienced drivers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advised that teens are more likely than other drivers to take risks such as speeding, which is a contributing factor in 30 percent of motor vehicle crashes resulting in fatalities.

Other studies have shown that teens do not yet possess the skills required to be able to control the vehicle they’re driving in assessing driving situations, potential threats and hazards, even navigating during inclement weather. Adding in the distraction of texting and taking calls and that risk is just compounded.

Our take is that there’s no doubt that some teens may feel that their freedom has been a bit curtailed, but parents can and should use this as an opportunity to talk about the importance of keeping their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel while driving. No phone call or text is worth even a second or two of distracted attention. Driving isn’t a right. It’s a privilege.