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Tennessee Bill May Expose Identities Of Women Seeking Abortions

Source: Think Progress

Tennessee lawmakers will consider a controversial measure on Wednesday that could intimidate women seeking abortions by requiring that the names of doctors who perform the procedures be published online. The legislation, known as the Life Defense Act of 2012 or House Bill 3808, would restrict access to the procedure in two ways:


But the measure goes beyond existing reporting requirements and could undermine women’s right to privacy by allowing opponents to identify — harass and intimidate — patients who undergo the procedure.

The state’s Department of Health already reports information on the age, race, education, and number of children of women who receive abortions, and aggregates the data by region, “making it impossible for others to figure out who underwent an abortion procedure.” This bill, however, would require the department “to release patient data broken down by county” and could “reveal the identities of some women who receive abortions, particularly in small, rural communities.” “I think in some small communities that woman would be identified,” State Rep. Gary Odom (D) warned when a subcommittee advanced the measure earlier this month. “I think that by publicizing this, it would have serious consequences. … We know what has happened to physicians who perform abortions that there has been violence. … There could be violence against the women. … This is a dangerous piece of legislation. … I think this is full of meanness.”

Abortion providers could also be at risk, as abortion foes would now have a comprehensive list of the names of the doctors who perform the procedure. “In an environment where doctors are victims of violence — and we’ve had physicians who provide abortion care murdered in the past few years — I think this is an attempt to intimidate and allow for providers to be terrorized,” said Jeff Teague, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee.


(emphasis mine)

Half the Sky Trailer (The Global War on Women)

Half the Sky, a multi-part documentary series based on the bestselling book by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, will air on PBS October 1st & 2nd, 2012, and internationally in 2013. The series follows Kristof and celebrity activists America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union and Olivia Wilde as they travel throughout the developing world to introduce women and girls who are living under some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable—and fighting bravely to change them. With an introduction by George Clooney and incisive analysis led by WuDunn and a host of other experts including Hillary Clinton, Desmond Tutu, Madeleine Albright and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the series features intimate, dramatic and immediate stories of struggle that reflect viable and sustainable options for empowerment and offer an actionable blueprint for transformation. See halfskymovement.org for more information.

From the website:

The central moral challenge of our time has reached a tipping point. Just as slavery was the defining struggle of the nineteenth century and totalitarianism that of the twentieth, the fight to end the oppression of women and girls worldwide defines ours. Embedded in the linked problems of sex trafficking and forced prostitution, gender-based violence, and maternal mortality (which still needlessly claims one woman every ninety seconds) is the single most vital opportunity of our time—and all over the world, women are seizing it. From Somaliland to Cambodia to Afghanistan, oppression is being confronted and real, meaningful solutions are being fashioned—through health care, education and economic empowerment for women and girls. Change is happening, and it’s happening now.

In 2009, with the acclaimed bestselling book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide (already in its 25th printing in hardback alone), journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn took on this urgent moral challenge and encouraged readers all over the world to join the burgeoning movement for change. Now, a landmark transmedia project—inspired by Kristof and WuDunn’s work and also entitled HALF THE SKY—promises to amplify the book’s impact. Ignited by a high-profile national television event, HALF THE SKY is fueled by a host of significant multi-platform initiatives. This includes:

The Series

A 4-hour television series for PBS and international broadcast, shot in ten countries: Cambodia, Kenya, India, Sierra Leone, Somaliland, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Liberia and the U.S. Traveling with intrepid reporter Nicholas Kristof and A-list celebrity activists America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union and Olivia Wilde, the series introduces women and girls who are living under some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable—and fighting bravely to change them. Their intimate, dramatic and immediate stories of struggle reflect viable and sustainable options for empowerment and offer an actionable blueprint for transformation.


Imma boop your head!

Watch: Occupiers Set Up Living Room in Bank of America

Source: Mother Jones

Occupiers have tried to squat in bank lobbies before, but never with as much style as this crew from Occupy Wall Street:

Notice how the occupiers look like they are having fun, instead of foaming with anger? "That was completely conscious," says Nelini Stamp, an organizer with Occupy Wall Street whose mother lost her home to Bank of America in 2006. "This is not a shutdown. We want to make light of the situation but also carry the message that this is a serious thing."

The creators of the video are members of Occupy Wall Street's Fight BAC group (BAC stands for "Bank of America), which formed two months ago to highlight the bank's foreclosure practices and too-big-to-fail business model. They're coordinating March 15th protests against the BofA in Manhattan; Phoenix; Danbury, CT; and Sarasota, FL. Many of them come from the anti-foreclosure group Occupy Homes, which is holding a national week of action starting today. The #M15 events are online at FTheBanks.org ("F" stands for "Foreclose"—or "a different thing if you use your imagination," Stamp says).

And yeah, in case you were wondering, $230 billion is how much taxpayers spent bailing out Bank of America.



Moments in time: Watch sculpture series 2 (UC Davis pepper spray incident)

Source: Dominic Wilcox

Dominic Wilcox has created a series of miniature time-based sculptures using a collection of vintage mechanical watches and customised model figures. By attaching tiny figures onto the second and minute hands of each watch, Wilcox has made unique, animated scenes from everyday observations and imagined situations.


"I find it disturbing when people in positions of power abuse it and lose any sense of humanity. I was shocked to see the footage of the pepper spraying of people sitting in a peaceful protest at UC Davis. I felt a need to capture this incident in time."


Santorum Says He'll Reach Out To Minority Communities By Talking About Something Other Than Food...

Source: TPM

TROY, MICHIGAN -- At a speech before a tea party crowd brought here by Americans For Prosperity Saturday, Rick Santorum promised to attract votes in minority communities by promising them something other than food stamps.

"[I'll] talk to minority communities not about giving them more food stamps and government dependency, but about creating jobs so that they can participate in the rise of this country," Santorum told the crowd. The line drew big applause from the overwhelmingly white audience.

Connecting minorities too food stamps -- or at least appearing to do so -- has landed Santorum in hot water before. Back in Iowa, he was caught on tape saying what appeared to be "I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money. I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money and provide for themselves and their families."

He later explained he was saying "blah people".


Move Your Money: San Francisco Churches Move $10 Million From Wells Fargo

Source: Think Progress

Angry at the Wall Street banks that were at the center of the financial meltdown, Americans have spent the last six months moving their money to credit unions and community banks in unprecedented numbers. More than 650,000 people moved to credit unions in one month last year, and 5.6 million Americans switched banks in the last three months.

Religious organizations have been at the forefront of movements to get consumers to move their money. The New Bottom Line, a coalition of faith groups, pledged to move $1 billion this year, and before Thanksgiving, churches moved $55 million away from Wall Street banks with pledges to remove as much as $100 million more. This week, churches in San Francisco announced they were moving another $10 million, Faith in Public Life reports:

This week, a group of clergy in San Francisco added another $10 million to that total with an Ash Wednesday press conference calling on Wells Fargo to put an immediate freeze on its foreclosures and repent for their misconduct.

<snip (video at link)>

Wells Fargo issued a statement on the protest, saying, “We make every effort to avoid foreclosure.” The bank’s practices, however, tell a different story. Last July, it foreclosed on a family after telling it to skip payments in order to get a loan modification. It was found to have engaged in discriminatory lending practices, investigated for illegal foreclosures on military veterans, and fined for its subprime lending practices.


Lawsuit filed over UC-Davis pepper-spraying incident

Source: McClatchy

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The inevitable civil rights lawsuit over campus police pepper-spraying student demonstrators squarely in the face while they sat in a line on the University of California, Davis quad was filed Wednesday in Sacramento federal court.

Targeting Chancellor Linda Katehi, a number of her top staff and campus police, 19 students or former students claim excessive force was used to break up a peaceful assembly on Nov. 18 "because of the demonstration's message and who was delivering it."

A group had set up tents on the quad the day before and were engaged in a discussion and study of "university privatization, tuition hikes, and their relation to other issues ... and to consider what they could do to change conditions which had brought people together in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement," the complaint states.

Plaintiff David Buscho, a 22-year-old mechanical engineering major from San Rafael, was among those sprayed. He said Wednesday he was protesting tuition hikes and cuts in state funding for higher education.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/02/22/139694/lawsuit-filed-over-pepper-spraying.html#storylink=cpy

Cop Identified in Scott Olsen Incident?

Source: East Bay Express


One of the most indelible images of the Occupy movement to date is that of Marine veteran Scott Olsen being carried away from a skirmish line of riot police at 14th Street and Broadway on October 25 in Oakland. Stunned and bleeding from an ugly gash on his forehead, the 24-year-old Wisconsin native had been struck in the head by an unknown projectile during the first salvo of tear gas, flash-bang grenades, and less-than-lethal munitions fired at hundreds of Occupy Oakland supporters facing off against Oakland police and several other Bay Area law enforcement agencies called in on mutual aid.


But an extensive review of video footage and Oakland Police Department records by this reporter indicates that Robert Roche, an acting sergeant in the Oakland Police Department and member of OPD's "Tango Teams," threw the flash-bang at Olsen and his rescuers. It's also not the first time that Roche's actions have come under scrutiny. Police records show that Roche had previously killed three people in the line of duty.

In one clip of footage shot on October 25 by KTVU, the camera zooms in on a helmeted, gas-mask wearing officer in OPD insignia pointing a shotgun at the crowd. Olsen's inert body is also visible in front of the barriers. Another video clip shows the same officer training his shotgun on the crowd, lowering the firearm as a crowd gathers around Olsen, and stepping back behind a line of San Francisco sheriff's deputies on the barricade line. A grenade is then tossed at Olsen's body as rescuers arrive.


OPD's "Tango teams," or tactical teams, have been at the heart of some of the most intense clashes of the Occupy Oakland movement (see "Oakland Used Violent Cops Against Occupy," 12/21/2012). Aside from the Olsen incident, video from the evening of the November 2 General Strike shows an unidentified OPD officer wearing a rucksack emblazoned with "Tango Team" striking US Army veteran Kayvan Sabeghi with a baton. Sabeghi was later hospitalized for a ruptured spleen.


Mitt Romney: "The Trees Are the Right Height"

YouTube description (afscme): Mitt Romney's recent pandering speech in Michigan sounded awfully familiar. Just as Will Ferrell's character Ron Burgundy in the movie Anchorman might have asked, "Mitt, are you just naming things you see in the state and saying you love them?"

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