Patterico's Pontifications

7/31/2015

Hillary’s Problematic Yoga Emails

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:05 am

[guest post by Dana]

Because nothing raises security alarms like “yoga routines”:

The U.S. intelligence community is bracing for the possibility that former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private email account contains hundreds of revelations of classified information from spy agencies and is taking steps to contain any damage to national security, according to documents and interviews Thursday.

The top lawmakers on the House and Senate intelligence committee have been notified in recent days that the extent of classified information on Mrs. Clinton’s private email server was likely far more extensive than the four emails publicly acknowledged last week as containing some sensitive spy agency secrets.

–Dana

A Question Of Backyard Privacy

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:36 am

[guest post by Dana]

After learning about the two sisters who violated the privacy of a woman texting her paramour while she sat next to her husband at a baseball game, here are a couple of stories about backyard privacy – or the lack thereof…

It all started when a Kentucky father took steps to protect his family’s privacy from a different kind of snooping. William Meredith shot down a drone that was hovering over his backyard where his daughter was sunbathing. He was then arrested first degree wanton endangerment and first degree criminal mischief for firing his gun off. The drone was not confiscated:

“Sunday afternoon, the kids – my girls – were out on the back deck, and the neighbors were out in their yard,” Merideth said. “And they come in and said, ‘Dad, there’s a drone out here, flying over everybody’s yard.'”

Merideth’s neighbors saw it too.

“It was just hovering above our house and it stayed for a few moments and then she finally waved and it took off,” said neighbor Kim VanMeter.

VanMeter has a 16-year-old daughter who lays out at their pool. She says a drone hovering with a camera is creepy and weird.

“I just think you should have privacy in your own backyard,” she said.

Merideth agrees and said he had to go see for himself.

“Well, I came out and it was down by the neighbor’s house, about 10 feet off the ground, looking under their canopy that they’ve got under their back yard,” Merideth said. “I went and got my shotgun and I said, ‘I’m not going to do anything unless it’s directly over my property.’”

That moment soon arrived, he said.

“Within a minute or so, here it came,” he said. “It was hovering over top of my property, and I shot it out of the sky.”

“I didn’t shoot across the road, I didn’t shoot across my neighbor’s fences, I shot directly into the air,” he added.

Merideth is defending himself:

“He didn’t just fly over,” he said. “If he had been moving and just kept moving, that would have been one thing — but when he come directly over our heads, and just hovered there, I felt like I had the right.”

“You know, when you’re in your own property, within a six-foot privacy fence, you have the expectation of privacy,” he said. “We don’t know if he was looking at the girls. We don’t know if he was looking for something to steal. To me, it was the same as trespassing.”

For now, Merideth says he’s planning on pursuing legal action against the owners of the drone.

“We’re not going to let it go,” he said. “I believe there are rules that need to be put into place and the situation needs to be addressed because everyone I’ve spoke to, including police, have said they would have done the same thing.”

Another question of backyard privacy occurred when police were called by an alarmed neighbor who witnessed his 81-year old neighbor behaving oddly in his own backyard:

An 81-year-old local man was arrested after police said he was spotted “humping” a bush in the buff.

Wallace Berg, of Russell Road, was charged with second-degree breach of peace and public indecency. He was released after posting a $10,000 bond.

Police said they received a call from a neighbor complaining that Berg was walking around his backyard with no clothes on. They said the neighbor took some video of Berg’s actions, which he later showed them.

After witnessing the bush incident, police said the neighbor told them he confronted Berg who, “stopped the indecent behavior, covered himself with a grill cover, apologized to him and then went into the house.”

Police said Berg had been standing in plain view of anyone who happened to be in the area at the time.

–Dana

7/30/2015

What’s The Difference Between A Democrat And A Socialist?

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:50 pm

[guest post by Dana]

It’s funny when the DNC Chair can’t come up with an answer.

“What is the difference between a Democrat and a socialist?” MSNBC host Chris Matthews asked Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D., Fla.).

“Uh,” Wasserman-Schultz responded.

“I used to think there was a big difference,” Matthews said. “What do you think?”

“The difference between—the real question is what’s the difference between being a Democrat and being a Republican,” Wasserman-Schultz said.

Matthews didn’t let her off easily.

“Yeah but what’s the big difference between being a Democrat and being a socialist?” Matthews said. “You’re the chairwoman of the Democratic Party. Tell me the difference between you and a socialist.”

“The relevant debate that we’ll be having over the course of this campaign is what’s the difference between being a Democrat and being a Republican,” Wasserman-Schultz repeated.

–Dana

Fourth Planned Parenthood Video: It Just Gets Worse

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:11 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Consider this a warning:

In the video, actors posing as representatives from a human biologics company meet with Ginde at the abortion-clinic headquarters of PPRM in Denver to discuss a potential partnership to harvest fetal organs. When the actors request intact fetal specimens, Ginde reveals that in PPRM’s abortion practice, “Sometimes, if we get, if someone delivers before we get to see them for a procedure, then we are intact.”

Since PPRM does not use digoxin or other feticide in its 2nd trimester procedures, any intact deliveries before an abortion are potentially born-alive infants under federal law (1 USC 8).

They are harvesting organs from live births.

Further, the discussion of the illegality of their business is discussed:

Dr. Savita Ginde, negotiating a fetal body parts deal, agreeing multiple times to illicit pricing per body part harvested, and suggesting ways to avoid legal consequences.

When the buyers ask Ginde if “compensation could be specific to the specimen?” Ginde agrees, “Okay.” Later on in the abortion clinic’s pathological laboratory, standing over an aborted fetus, Ginde responds to the buyer’s suggestion of paying per body part harvested, rather than a standard flat fee for the entire case: “I think a per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it.”

Ginde also suggests ways for Planned Parenthood to cover-up its criminal and public relations liability for the sale of aborted body parts. “Putting it under ‘research’ gives us a little bit of an overhang over the whole thing,” Ginde remarks. “If you have someone in a really anti state who’s going to be doing this for you, they’re probably going to get caught.”

Ginde implies that PPRM’s lawyer, Kevin Paul, is helping the affiliate skirt the fetal tissue law: “He’s got it figured out that he knows that even if, because we talked to him in the beginning, you know, we were like, ‘We don’t want to get called on,’ you know, ‘selling fetal parts across states.’” The buyers ask, “And you feel confident that they’re building those layers?” to which Ginde replies, “I’m confident that our Legal will make sure we’re not put in that situation.”

And lastly, while examining fetal remains:

GINDE: Here’s a —

MEDICAL ASSISTANT 1: Wow.

GINDE: — stomach, and heart, and the kidney and adrenal. I don’t know what else is in there. Arms.

MEDICAL ASSISTANT 2: I don’t see the legs. Did you see the legs? Another boy!

Meanwhile, the White House addressed the videos today claiming they were made by “extremists on the right” as Josh Earnest parroted Planned Parenthood talking points:

“There’s ample reason to think that this is merely the tried and true tactic that we have seen from some extremists on the right to edit this video and selectively release an edited version of the video that grossly distorts the position of the person who is actually speaking on the video,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said. “And Planned Parenthood has indicated that’s what has occurred here.”

Further, on Monday the Senate will vote to defund Planned Parenthood. Given that 60 votes are needed for it to pass and Democrats are staunchly against it, there is little hope of success. However, conservative Republicans intend to demand the defunding plan be folded into a spending bill needed to avoid a government shutdown this fall.

–Dana

Hillary Clinton Flip-Flops On Planned Parenthood Videos

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:09 am

[guest post by Dana]

Just one week ago, Hillary Clinton went on record and condemned the “attack against women’s rights to choose” after the release of the second Planned Parenthood video:

“I don’t have all the facts but Planned Parenthood has apologized for the insensitivity of the employee who was taped and they will continue to answer questions for Congress and others, but for more than a century Planned Parenthood has provided essential services for women,” Clinton declared Thursday. “Not just reproductive health services, including access to affordable family planning, but cancer screenings, for example and other health checkup.”

The Democratic presidential candidate also called it “unfortunate” that the taxpayer-funded organization has endured such “concerted attacks” for its abortion practices.

“I think it is unfortunate that Planned Parenthood had been the object of such a concerted attacks for so many years and it’s really an attack against women’s rights to choose, to make the most personal, difficult decisions that any women would face based on her faith and her medical advice that she is given,” Clinton explained. “So I am hoping that this situation will not further undermine the very important services that Planned Parenthood provides.”

Now, for some mysterious reason, Clinton called the videos “disturbing” during an interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader:

“I have seen pictures from them and I obviously find them disturbing,” the Democratic presidential hopeful said during a sit-down interview Tuesday with the New Hampshire Union Leader.

“Planned Parenthood is answering questions and will continue to answer questions. I think there are two points to make,” Clinton said. “One, Planned Parenthood for more than a century has done a lot of really good work for women: cancer screenings, family planning, all kinds of health services. And this raises not questions about Planned Parenthood so much as it raises questions about the whole process, that is, not just involving Planned Parenthood, but many institutions in our country.”

“And if there’s going to be any kind of congressional inquiry, it should look at everything and not just one part of it,” she said.

Clinton did not watch the released videos and yet up until yesterday’s interview, she staunchly supported Planned Parenthood and condemned the “attacks” on the organization. Now she is disturbed by the pictures she has seen and barely offers Planned Parenthood any cover. How to explain the shift? It’s not as if Planned Parenthood has all of a sudden started doing anything different from their ordinary routine of barbarity. Their mission statement has not changed. Their philosophy of empowering women with uh, quality healthcare has not changed. Something has to explain Clinton’s change of mind. Well, given that Clinton wants the presidency more than anything and is willing to do anything to secure it, I think she has become aware of some internal polling data that suggests her primary supporters have seen the videos and as a result, their view of Planned Parenthood has changed to some degree. That, of course, means that Clinton’s view of Planned Parenthood must change. Looking around, I see I am not alone in this assessment:

Hillary Clinton does only what the polling tells her to do. And since her target demographic is women, that must mean that somewhere, some messaging data has turned up a shift even among Hillary’s hardcore liberals.

–Dana

7/29/2015

Some Lives Matter, Some Lives Just Don’t

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:53 pm

[guest post by Dana]

For those who don’t know about nationally adored Cecil the Lion, here’s a brief recap: A dentist from Minnesota went to Zimbabwe and paid $50,000 to go on a guided hunting expedition. Apparently the guides and Dr. Palmer were able to lure Cecil out of the Hwange National Park, where it had protected status, and onto a neighboring game farm. Then, according to guides, Dr. Palmer killed the 13 year old lion with a bow and arrow. As a result, Dr. Palmer now faces charges of poaching. This week, Dr. Palmer apologized saying that he believed the hunt was a legal hunt and the he regretted killing such a protected and adored animal. Not good enough. He is not only at the center of a raging debate about the ethics of big-game hunting, but is also the target of threats and verbal attacks. As a result, Dr. Palmer has kept his office closed for the past few days, directing patients to see other dentists. Outside of his office, beyond the memorial set up for Cecil, protesters carried signs reading KILLER. Protester Lori Peterson explained: “These animals need a voice.”

Now the cries of Cecil have reached Capitol Hill and 4th District Rep. Betty McCollum is seeking justice for the lost lion and is calling for a federal investigation into his death:

“To bait and kill a threatened animal, like this African lion, for sport cannot be called hunting, but rather a disgraceful display of callous cruelty.”

“For those of us committed to ending poaching of iconic African species I strongly believe the U.S. Attorneys’ Office and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should investigate whether U.S. laws were violated related to conspiracy, bribery of foreign officials, and the illegal hunting of a protected species or animal,” McCollum said.

She added that she would actively pursue a legislative path to protecting other endangered animals in Africa and elsewhere.

Answering the unasked question, no, McCollum has not demanded a federal investigation into Planned Parenthood nor has she sought justice for any babies being crushed and dismembered. For that matter, if protester Lori Peterson’s Facebook page is any sort of reference, she too has been silent, making no impassioned statements about animals babies needing a voice but making plenty of pleas to protect animals…

Once more, we’re slapped in the face by the cold reality that in the baby slaughterhouses, a baby in the womb’s value comes only in death and dismemberment. Cecil, lucky lion that he was, had the value that all of God’s creature do, but was also anthropomorphized and ascribed a higher worth and status by untold numbers who not only loved him but diligently worked to make sure he was legally protected and kept from harm. Ironically, it is the lion being mourned by people everywhere, including politicians, those shouting our bodies, ourselves and those who desperately want us to believe that evil is not what we see and know to be true. Unsurprisingly, Cecil is quickly becoming the embodiment and quintessential symbol of the blameless: the one whose life was cruelly ended by the hands of a brutal man. This while the smallest miracles of innocence, whose tiny heartbeats echo God, are easily ignored.

We have lost our way.

–Dana

Update by JD

Lions > babies

University Claims Not Using The Word “American” Will Move Us Closer To A Full Democracy

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:26 am

[guest post by Dana]

Yet another institution of higher education seeks to strangle free speech in the name of unbiased and “inclusive excellence”:

“American,” “illegal alien,” “foreigners,” “mothering,” and “fathering” are just a handful of words deemed “problematic” by the University of New Hampshire’s Bias-Free Language Guide.

According to the university’s website, the guide “is meant to invite inclusive excellence in [the] campus community.”

Terms also considered problematic include: “elders,” “senior citizen,” “overweight,” “speech impediment,” “dumb,” “sexual preference,” “manpower,” “freshmen,” “mailman,” and “chairman,” in addition to many others. Tweet This

The guide defines words such as “homosexual” as “problematic,” offering “Same Gender Loving” as a more inclusive substitute. Similarly, a lack of gender-neutral bathrooms is, according to the university, “ciscentrism.”

The university defines “ciscentrism” as “[a] pervasive and institutionalized system that places transgender people in the ‘other’ category and treats their needs and identities as less important than those of cisgender people.”

“Ciscentrism,” according to the university, “includes the lack of gender-neutral restrooms, locker rooms, and residences.”

Saying “American” to reference Americans is also problematic. The guide encourages the use of the more inclusive substitutes “U.S. citizen” or “Resident of the U.S.”

The guide clarifies that saying “illegal alien” is also problematic. While “undocumented immigrant” is acceptable, the guide recommends saying “person seeking asylum,” or “refugee,” instead. Even saying “foreigners” is problematic; the preferred term is “international people.”

Using the word “Caucasian” is considered problematic as well, and should be discontinued in favor of “European-American individuals.” The guide also states that the notion of race is “a social construct…that was designed to maintain slavery.”

The guide also discourages the use of “mothering” or “fathering,” so as to “avoid gendering a non-gendered activity.”

–Dana

7/28/2015

Third Planned Parenthood Video: Show Me The Money, Show Me The Parts

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:55 pm

[guest post by Dana]

The Center for Medical Progress has released a third video in which a Planned Parenthood vice president discusses per-organ pricing, a doctor admits to a long-standing relationship with a “middleman” company and a former “procurement technician” for Planned Parenthood explains how the organization profits from harvesting fetal parts:

The undercover footage catches the Vice President and Medical Director of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (PPRM) in Denver, Colorado, Dr. Savita Ginde. PPRM is one of the largest and wealthiest Planned Parenthood affiliates and operates abortion clinics and abortion referral centers in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Nevada.

Standing in the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic pathology laboratory, where the bodies of babies are brought after abortions, Ginde concludes that payment per organ removed from an aborted baby will be the most beneficial to Planned Parenthood: “I think a per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it.”

The second part of the new video catches Dr. Katherine Sheehan, Medical Director emerita of Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest in San Diego, who describes her affiliate’s long-time relationship with Advanced Bioscience Resources, a middleman company that has been providing aborted fetal organs since 1989.

She says: “We’ve been using them for over 10 years, really a long time, you know, just kind of renegotiated the contract. They’re doing the big government-level collections and things like that.”

And of course, it’s all about the money:

A technician who said she worked for a company that partnered with Planned Parenthood to harvest fetal tissue said there’s “incentive to try and get the hard stuff ‘cause you’re going to get more money,” in the latest undercover video targeting Planned Parenthood.

“For whatever we could procure, they would get a certain percentage,” said Holly O’Donnell, identified as an ex-procurement technician for StemExpress, a Placerville, Calif., company. “The main nurse was always trying to make sure we got our specimens. No one else really cared, but the main nurse did because she knew that Planned Parenthood was getting compensated.”

O’Donnell said she worked for six months identifying pregnant women at Planned Parenthood who met the standards for fetal tissue orders and then helped to harvest fetal body parts after abortions at Planned Parenthood facilities.

StemExpress “supplies human blood, tissue products, primary cells and other clinical specimens to biomedical researchers around the world,” according to its website.

O’Donnell describes the company a different way.

“StemExpress is a company that hires procurement techs to draw blood and dissect dead fetuses and sell the parts to researchers,” she said. “They’ve partnered with Planned Parenthood and they get part of the money because we pay them to use their facilities. And they get paid from it. They do get some kind of benefit.”

The graphic video once again shows how detached and calloused those involved with fetal organ harvesting become: two lab techs are shown picking through fetal tissue with tweezers in an effort to find the organs of an aborted baby. After one of the techs picks out a pair of intact kidneys someone off-camera laughs and says, “Five stars!”

Three videos released finds Planned Parenthood in crisis mode:

Planned Parenthood has enlisted high-profile Washington public relations firm SKDKnickerbocker as it scrambles to deal with the ongoing scandal and release of a third undercover video Tuesday showing a clinic’s staff handling fetal tissue after an abortion.

The additional PR firepower reflects the growing pressure on the women’s health organization amid building GOP calls to cut its $540 million in government funding.

SKDKnickerbocker is no newbie to working on Planned Parenthood issues. The Democratically aligned firm is run by well-connected operatives, including Anita Dunn and Hilary Rosen. It also worked with the group during the 2012 election cycle, according to SKDKnickerbocker’s website.

–Dana

Ted Rall Dumped by L.A. Times for Dishonesty

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:17 pm

Well, it’s not like I didn’t tell them, repeatedly.

FOR THE RECORD

In a May 11 post on The Times’ OpinionLA blog, Ted Rall — a freelance cartoonist whose work appears regularly in The Times — described an incident in which he was stopped for jaywalking on Melrose Avenue in 2001. Rall said he was thrown up against a wall, handcuffed and roughed up by an LAPD motorcycle policeman who also threw his driver’s license into the sewer. Rall also wrote that dozens of onlookers shouted in protest at the officer’s conduct.

Since then, the Los Angeles Police Department has provided records about the incident, including a complaint Rall filed at the time. An audiotape of the encounter recorded by the police officer does not back up Rall’s assertions; it gives no indication that there was physical violence of any sort by the policeman or that Rall’s license was thrown into the sewer or that he was handcuffed. Nor is there any evidence on the recording of a crowd of shouting onlookers.

In Rall’s initial complaint to the LAPD, he describes the incident without mentioning any physical violence or handcuffing but says that the police officer was “belligerent and hostile” and that he threw Rall’s license into the “gutter.” The tape depicts a polite interaction.

In addition, Rall wrote in his blog post that the LAPD dismissed his complaint without ever contacting him. Department records show that internal affairs investigators made repeated attempts to contact Rall, without success.

Asked to explain these inconsistencies, Rall said he stands by his blog post.

However, the recording and other evidence provided by the LAPD raise serious questions about the accuracy of Rall’s blog post. Based on this, the piece should not have been published.

Rall’s future work will not appear in The Times.

Good riddance. But again: it’s not like they weren’t already on notice.

Boy Scouts Of America Bows To LGBT, But Not Enough

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:35 am

[guest post by Dana]

Bowing to pressure from LGBT groups:

The Boy Scouts of America decided Monday to allow openly gay men and women to be volunteer leaders and work in the organization’s offices, a major concession by the group in a protracted battle between the Boy Scouts of America and LGBT activists.

The decision was prodded by gay rights groups threatening lawsuits against the organization and has caused consistent infighting in the organization

An exemption provided for local groups (religious based) will remain in place:

“Chartered organizations will continue to select their adult leaders and religious chartered organizations may continue to use religious beliefs as criteria for selecting adult leaders, including matters of sexuality,” the Boy Scouts of America said in a statement. “This change allows Scouting’s members and parents to select local units, chartered to organizations with similar beliefs, that best meet the needs of their families. This change also respects the right of religious chartered organizations to choose adult volunteer leaders whose beliefs are consistent with their own.

And, as you would expect, LGBT groups remain dissatisfied because of the exemption:

“Today’s vote by the Boy Scouts of America to allow gay, lesbian and bisexual adults to work and volunteer is a welcome step toward erasing a stain on this important organization,” Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said in a statement. “But including an exemption for troops sponsored by religious organizations undermines and diminishes the historic nature of today’s decision. Discrimination should have no place in the Boy Scouts, period.”

–Dana

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