March 16th, 2012

Pride & Prejudice

'We Have No Choice': One Woman's Ordeal with Texas' New Sonogram Law

Halfway through my pregnancy, I learned that my baby was ill. Profoundly so. My doctor gave us the news kindly, but still, my husband and I weren’t prepared. Just a few minutes earlier, we’d been smiling giddily at fellow expectant parents as we waited for the doctor to see us. In a sonography room smelling faintly of lemongrass, I’d just had gel rubbed on my stomach, just seen blots on the screen become tiny hands. For a brief, exultant moment, we’d seen our son—a brother for our 2-year-old girl.

Yet now my doctor was looking grim and, with chair pulled close, was speaking of alarming things. “I’m worried about your baby’s head shape,” she said. “I want you to see a specialist—now.”

My husband looked angry, and maybe I did too, but it was astonishment more than anger. Ours was a profound disbelief that something so bad might happen to people who think themselves charmed. We already had one healthy child and had expected good fortune to give us two.

Instead, before I’d even known I was pregnant, a molecular flaw had determined that our son’s brain, spine and legs wouldn’t develop correctly. If he were to make it to term—something our doctor couldn’t guarantee—he’d need a lifetime of medical care. From the moment he was born, my doctor told us, our son would suffer greatly.

So, softly, haltingly, my husband asked about termination.
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buffy spike black&violet by gilkurtisctx

New Hanover Commissioners choose not to accept family planning funds

Following opinions on public funding of contraceptives, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to turn down a state family planning grant that would cover contraceptive supplies along with other medical services related to family planning.

Commissioner Rick Catlin, who represents the commissioners on the county’s health board, said he also voted against accepting the funds when the item was on the health board’s agenda.

He said he was concerned with answers to questions he asked about the funds.

“The answers that I got were that there were patients that were not being responsible with existing family planning that was being offered and that this would provide a more reliable solution for those people,” Catlin said at Monday afternoon’s commissioners meeting.

He added that he had an issue with “using taxpayer dollars to fund someone’s irresponsibility.”

The county’s health department was awarded $8,899 in family planning funds that would “provide medical services related to family planning including physician’s consultation, examination, prescription, continuing supervision, laboratory examination and contraceptive supplies,” according to a budget amendment item included in documents for Monday’s commissioners meeting. The county was not required to match the state grant.

Chairman Ted Davis said he thought it was a sad day when “taxpayers are asked to pay money to buy for contraceptives” for women having sex without planning responsibly.

“If these young women were responsible people and didn’t have the sex to begin with, we wouldn’t be in this situation,” Davis said.

Commissioner Jonathan Barfield said he was “one of those abstinence guys” and agreed with Davis’ comment.

No one made a motion to accept the funds. Instead, Catlin made a motion not to accept the funds.

Catlin said during the discussion that his views had nothing to do with discussions about contraceptives on the national level, which have included whether religious institutions should be required to offer birth control coverage.

Source: StarNews

Where do I begin? BC *IS BEING RESPONSIBLE*, you dumbfucks. And wow - way to pin it all on the women! God's teeth.

ETA: From diesa_j in comments: There was a public rally here last night and over a hundred protestors showed up to tell the county commissioners what they thought of the outcome of the vote and commissioners have agreed to to re-vote at April's meeting.

And from aznlax39: Commissioners to reconsider Health Department's funding request. "They're reconsidering the grant on April 2nd because of the shitstorm it caused. Back pedal harder, Davis. Oh, and Jonathan Barfield's (one of the Commissioners) wife showed him what's up and he apparently changed his mind on it too. Apparently withholding marital favors works wonders.

oh holy shit
  • chaya

Clooney Arrested At Protest At Sudanese Embassy

WASHINGTON (WUSA/AP) - Actor George Clooney and his father Nick have been arrested at a protest at the Sudanese Embassy in Washington.

The protesters accuse Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir, of provoking a humanitarian crisis and blocking food and aid from entering the Nuba Mountains in the county's border region with South Sudan.

Clooney and others, including Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia and NAACP President Ben Jealous, were arrested after being warned three times not to cross a police line outside the embassy. They were handcuffed and placed into the back of a U.S. Secret Service van.

Clooney said earlier that he hopes to draw more attention to the issue and that if action is not taken in the next three to four months "we're going to have a real humanitarian disaster."

Source has some video and a slideshow.

edit: Great troll face, or GREATEST troll face?

leviathans in the womb

Ugandan Gay Rights Group Sues U.S. Evangelist

Dozens marched Wednesday in Springfield, Mass., to the coffee shop of an evangelist accused of inciting persecution in Uganda.

A Ugandan gay rights group filed suit against an American evangelist, Scott Lively, in federal court in Massachusetts on Wednesday, accusing him of violating international law by inciting the persecution of gay men and lesbians in Uganda.

The lawsuit maintains that beginning in 2002, Mr. Lively conspired with religious and political leaders in Uganda to whip up anti-gay hysteria with warnings that gay people would sodomize African children and corrupt their culture.

The Ugandan legislature considered a bill in 2009, proposed by one of Mr. Lively’s Ugandan contacts, that would have imposed the death sentence for the “offense of homosexuality.” That bill languished after an outcry from the United States and European nations that are among major aid donors to Uganda, but was reintroduced last month.

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NGL I am not surprised by this at all. I'm blanking on exactly where I read it (probably a public health class I took in grad school?), but I know I've read about how US evangelicals have fucked around promoting ~abstinence~ in Uganda to the point that the HIV/AIDS contraction rate, which was steadily decreasing, is now increasing again.

Ex-Rutgers student convicted of hate crime, invasion of privacy in webcam spying case


By By GEOFF MULVIHILL, Associated Press

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. -- A former Rutgers University student accused of using a webcam to spy on his gay roommate's love life was convicted of all counts Friday in a case that exploded into the headlines when the victim of the snooping committed suicide by throwing himself off a bridge.

Dharun Ravi, 20, shook his head slightly after the guilty verdicts were read for all 15 counts, including bias intimidation – a hate crime that was based on the victim's sexual orientation – and invasion of privacy.

He could get years in prison – and could be deported to his native India, even though he has lived legally in the U.S. since he was a little boy – for his part in an act that cast a spotlight on teen suicide and anti-gay bullying and illustrated the Internet's potential for tormenting others.

Prosecutors said that Ravi set up a webcam in his dorm room in September 2010 and captured his roommate, Tyler Clementi, kissing another man, then tweeted about it and excitedly tried to catch Clementi in the act again two days later. About a half-dozen students were believed to have seen the live video of the kissing.


source has more.

Republican Wisconsin Senator resigns

State Sen. Galloway to resign, leaving Senate split

Madison - State Sen. Pam Galloway, who faces a recall election this summer, plans to resign from the Senate shortly, leaving an even split between Republicans and Democrats.

"After a great deal of thought and consideration, I've decided to put the needs of my family first," the Wausau Republican said in a statement Friday. "My family has experienced multiple, sudden and serious health issues, which require my full attention. Unfortunately, this situation is not compatible with fulfilling my obligations as state Senator or running for re-election at this time."

Her statement did not say when her resignation would take effect, and her office said she was not available for an interview. She plans to speak to voters in her district on Sunday.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said Galloway's departure was not influenced by her impending recall election and that he was confident she could have defeated Rep. Donna Seidel (D-Wausau) in the recall election.

"It doesn't change my plans," Seidel said of Galloway's planned resignation. "People really believe their concerns have not been addressed and their values have not been paid attention to. They want Wisconsin back."

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destroy me

Moo cows, moo problems - Leftist, Union Propoganda for kids!

How lucky we are that conservative watchdogs are out there to protect us from "Click, Clack, Moo"?

In not many pages and a kid-friendly font, "Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type" tells the story of some dairy cows who find an old typewriter in the barn and teach themselves to type. ("Click, clack, moo. Click, clack, moo. Clickety clack moo.") Empowered by their new skill, the cows type a letter to the farmer asking for electric blankets because it's cold in the barn. When he refuses, the cows go on strike and refuse to give milk. After tense negotiations a compromise is reached -- the cows get their blankets, the farmer, his milk. But then the other animals learn to type, too.

That's right. "Click, Clack, Moo" is leftist, agitating union propaganda. For kids. Should that be Click, Clack, Mao?

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OMG. I cannot. I am totally out of cans. I don't even know what to say.
mus | like a bird in a cage

It's so beautiful, I could cry

Invisible Children Co-Founder Detained: SDPD

A co-founder for Invisible Children was detained in Pacific Beach Thursday night for being drunk in public and masturbating, according to San Diego Police Department.

Jason Russell, 33, was allegedly found masturbating in public, vandalizing cars and possibly under the influence of something, according to Lt. Andra Brown. He was detained at the intersection of Ingraham Street and Riviera Road.

Brown said Russell was acting very strange.

Police said they received several calls yesterday at 11:30 a.m. of a man in various stages of undress, running through traffic and screaming. Police described him as "in his underwear."

Several people attempted to calm him down and when officers arrived they said he was cooperative.

Professor Mike Williams tells NBC 7 the awareness Kony 2012 is bringing to Africa is great, but he cautions that awareness out of context can be dangerous.

The same group that sparked a viral humanitarian video was once just a few San Diego friends with a camera they got off of eBay. Steven Luke asked Bob Goff, a Point Loma attorney and Ugandan consul to the United States to weigh in on the issues brought up in the Kony 2012 video created by Invisible Children.

Russell is one of the the founders responsible for the "Kony 2012" video that went viral last week. He is described on the organization's website as a co-founder and "our grand storyteller and dreamer." Russell is also described as a Christian and father to two children who wants to have nine more children with his wife he calls his "best friend for over 23 years."

The video "Kony 2012" calls for the capture of the Ugandan LRA leader who's fighting tactic involves kidnapping and torturing the country's innocent children.

Russell spoke with NBCSanDiego explaining how the movement was exploding at the organization's headquarters in San Diego.

"There are hundreds and thousands of propaganda - posters, stickers, buttons, t-shirts, that we are putting in boxes and are shipping all over the world," Russell said in a March 8 interview

Da Good Book

Sunday meter proposal draws ire of San Francisco churches

A proposal to expand parking meter enforcement to Sundays has drawn the ire of local churches and other places of worship.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is exploring options to make up its two-year projected budget deficit of $53.2 million. Enforcing parking meters on Sundays, an initiative that would generate $2.8 million annually, has received support from several members of the agency’s board of directors.

Speaking before the board on Tuesday, Rev. James Delange, a board member with the San Francisco Interfaith Council, said the proposal would force churchgoers and others to constantly trek out to the street to feed their meters.

Faced with this concern, the SFMTA board said that meter times near churches could be extended to accommodate longer periods of stay.

“They could pay long enough to go to Mass, perform their rosary and still have time for the pancake breakfast,” said Joel Ramos, an SFMTA board member who has voiced support for the plan.

Ramos said the proposal would actually make it easier for churchgoers to park, since many local residents leave their cars at metered spots all day on Sunday.

However, Michael Pappas, executive director of the Interfaith Council, said the meters would be a financial hardship for churchgoers. Many of The City’s churches also act as social service sites and food pantries, meaning they’re catering to members who are low-income or strapped for money.

“Quite honestly, it would be too much to ask these members to pay for parking every week,” said Pappas. “I think it would have a tremendous impact on attendance at services.”

Amos Brown, a pastor with Third Baptist Church, said the proposal was a “hostile, negative measure against faith communities in The City.”

“San Francisco prides itself on being an inclusive, diverse city,” said Brown. “But this measure is suggesting that people of faith are not welcome here.”

Pappas and the Interfaith Council, which represents 800 congregations in The City, wrote a letter to SFMTA board chairman Tom Nolan, asking him to abandon the parking meter plan.

Still, there is momentum for Sunday meter enforcement. Ramos said that averting service cuts and fare increases for Muni passengers are the top priorities for the SFMTA board, and that extending parking meter hours could accomplish that goal. During the agency’s board meeting on Tuesday, five of the agency’s six members said they would support the Sunday meter enforcement proposal, or at least the possibility of looking into it further.

The agency is expected to vote on its finalized budget proposal on April 3. Until then, it will continue to discuss the idea of the Sunday meter initiative. The SFMTA staff has not made a recommendation on the Sunday meter proposal.

The economics of Sunday parking:

$19.6M Projected budget deficit for fiscal year starting July 1

$2.8M Annual revenue that could be gained from Sunday meter enforcement

$816.4M Projected total budget for upcoming fiscal year

San Francisco Examiner

The Curious Case of Trayvon Martin (trigger warning: gun violence)

I wasn't sure if this had been posted yet, but it is finally get some national attention. I am disgusted. I am angry. I weep for this boy's family.

The Curious Case of Trayvon Martin


“He said that Tray was gone.”

That’s how Sybrina Fulton, her voice full of ache, told me she found out that her 17-year-old son, Trayvon Martin, had died. In a wrenching telephone call, the boy’s father, who had taken him to visit a friend, told her that Trayvon had been gunned down in a gated townhouse community in Sanford, Fla., outside Orlando.

“He said, ‘Somebody shot Trayvon and killed him.’ And I was like, ‘Are you sure?’ ” Fulton continued in disbelief. “I said ‘How do you know that’s Trayvon?’ And he said because they showed him a picture.”

That was Feb. 27, one day after Trayvon was shot. The father thought that he was missing, according to the family’s lawyer, Benjamin Crump, but the boy’s body had actually been taken to the medical examiner’s office and listed as a John Doe.

The father called the Missing Persons Unit. No luck. Then he called 911. The police asked the father to describe the boy, after which they sent officers to the house where the father was staying. There they showed him a picture of the boy with blood coming out of his mouth.

This is a nightmare scenario for any parent, and the events leading to Trayvon’s death offer little comfort — and pose many questions.

Trayvon had left the house he and his father were visiting to walk to the local 7-Eleven. On his way back, he caught the attention of George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old neighborhood watch captain, who was in a sport-utility vehicle. Zimmerman called the police because the boy looked “real suspicious,” according to a 911 call released late Friday. The operator told Zimmerman that officers were being dispatched and not to pursue the boy.

Zimmerman apparently pursued him anyway, at some point getting out of his car and confronting the boy. Trayvon had a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea. Zimmerman had a 9 millimeter handgun.

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Link to 911 tapes released:

Darren/People Photoshoot

Santorum: "I didn't ~really~ mean that Puerto Ricans should just speak English!"

Rick Santorum Walks Back Puerto Rico Remarks
By KASIE HUNT 03/15/12 04:22 PM ET

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Rick Santorum came to Puerto Rico and promptly waded into the emotional debate over the role English should play in the island's future, sparking a furor that led the former Pennsylvania senator to insist his remarks were misreported.

Santorum was forced to repeatedly clarify remarks he made Wednesday, when he said English would have to be the "main language" for Puerto Rico to become a state.

"I never said only English should be spoken here. Never did I even intimate that," Santorum told local reporters gathered in El Capitolio, the island's Capitol building. "What I said was that English had to be spoken as well as other – obviously Spanish is going to be spoken, this would be a bilingual country."

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Also, not related, but this is another good article: Rick Santorum Calls Himself 'Senador Puertorriqueño' In Puerto Rico
Pride & Prejudice

US governor tells women “you just have to close your eyes” before mandatory ultrasound

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has some advice for women who don’t want to have a mandatory ultrasound before they terminate their pregnancy:

“You just have to close your eyes. As long as it’s on the exterior and not the interior.”

This year alone, in the USA, over 10 states have passed or been working on bills forcing women to receive an ultrasound before having an abortion.

The only objective of these bills is to wholly restrict American women’s constitutionally-protected right to abortion.

They also block women’s ability to make their own decisions about their reproductive health by placing the government in between a woman and her doctor.

The Women’s Right to Know Act, as the Pennsylvania bill is dubbed, would require women seeking an abortion to get an ultrasound within 24 hours of undergoing the procedure.

No financial support for these ultrasounds – which could cost over $300 in some cases – is being offered to women seeking an abortion.

A legislative representative from The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania (ACLU-PA) said: “The governor’s statement shows a lack of understanding of medicine and women’s reproductive health issues.” The ACLU-PA is opposed to the bill becoming law.

The bill is on hold in the State House this week because medical associations have voiced concerns about the measure.

According to a new Quinnipiac University poll, 48 per cent of Pennsylvania voters oppose the ultrasound bill with 42 per cent in favour, and 64 per cent of voters oppose requiring transvaginal ultrasounds.