Tag: Champaign IL

The women of America are leading the opposition to Donald Trump

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Sign carried by a participant in the Madison, Wisconsin Women’s March (Photo taken by Kari Nelson and provided by Sarah Lloyd)

Ladies and gentlemen, the opposition to President Donald Trump is officially here!

Earlier today, millions of people across the United States and on all seven continents around the world (including Antarctica!) participated in Women’s Marches in Washington, D.C. and numerous other locales. The Women’s Marches are the single largest action by the women’s rights movement that I have witnessed in my lifetime by far.

Although I was unable to attend any of the Women’s Marches, here are some observations from the Women’s Marches (all of these are courtesy of either social media of participants or news sources with an online operation of some kind):

The opposition to Donald Trump is not going to be led by a single person. It’s going to be led by a large segment of the American people.

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Meet America’s Worst Political Pundit: Tom Kacich

Tom Kacich Hillary Biden Clip
Worst political punditry ever. (Clip from front page feature by Tom Kacich in the February 3, 2016 edition of The News-Gazette)

Most people reading this blog are not familiar with who Tom Kacich is. No, he’s not related to Republican presidential candidate John Kasich (last names are pronounced identically, but are spelled differently). He’s a political pundit for The News-Gazette, a Champaign, Illinois-based newspaper.

In his thoughts about the aftermath of the Iowa Democratic Caucuses (picture right), Kacich said two things that completely defy any kind of logic that isn’t of the political pundit class in this country.

First, Kacich said that, after an expected loss in the New Hampshire Primary to Bernie Sanders, Hillary’s campaign “should be rescued by a number of primaries and caucuses in more friendly states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, and South Carolina. While a few of those states, such as Alabama, Arkansas, and South Carolina (all Deep South states) should be some of Hillary’s strongest areas, the other three are not solidly for Hillary. While Hillary still has a sizable lead in Nevada, it wouldn’t be out of the question for Bernie to pull off a win there, especially given Hillary’s “abuela” blunder late last year. Regarding Minnesota and Massachusetts, those states are not strongly favorable for Hillary at all. Minnesota should favor Bernie to some degree, especially if he were to run up a huge margin in the Iron Range region of the state and not get blown out of the water in the Minneapolis/St. Paul region. Massachusetts should favor Bernie, especially since Western Massachusetts is politically similar to Bernie’s home state of Vermont.

Second, Kacich said that, if Hillary’s campaign begins to tank in a significant way, a movement to draft Joe Biden into the presidential race could commence. There are several major problems with that claim. First, Biden has already said that he’s not running. Second, the only way that Biden could enter the presidential race now is through a convention challenge, and I’m not sure if Democratic National Committee (DNC) rules even allow for that. Third, it is extremely unlikely that no candidate will get an outright majority of delegates on the first convention ballot. In the unlikely instance that neither Hillary nor Bernie secure a majority of delegates, it will probably play out in a manner similar to the 1980 Democratic National Convention, where Ted Kennedy requested a free vote of delegates, despite the fact that Jimmy Carter had a majority of pledged delegates. The free vote was denied, and Carter won the nomination.

The fact that Tom Kacich can’t even mention Bernie Sanders by name, and is an absolutely awful pundit, shows how awful The News-Gazette is. No wonder why they’re giving out two-week free trials to people in East Central Illinois…

Crisis pregnancy center in my home county in Illinois caught violating patient privacy by local media

The Women’s Care Clinic of Danville (WCC), a crisis pregnancy center located in Danville, Illinois, which is located in Vermilion County, posted pictures of the sonogram of a pregnant woman’s fetus on their Facebook page and stated that the woman had scheduled an abortion and wanted people to pray that the woman would change her mind and not had the pregnancy terminated.

WCIA-TV, the CBS affiliate in Champaign, ran a segment on one of their local newscasts earlier today calling WCC out for violating patient privacy. While I’m not going to directly link to the article about this story on their website, illinoishomepage.net, as the online article includes a video that shows the sonogram in question, and it would be unethical for me to post or link to anything containing the sonogram in question, this is from their online article, titled “Clinic’s post causes privacy concerns” and dated February 11, 2015:

A picture of an unborn baby is causing controversy online. An area clinic posted what leaders say was a picture from a patient’s sonogram. It’s raising the issue of privacy. The clinic took the post down the same day it went up.

The Women’s Care Clinic of Danville says the image was removed because comments were “too negative.” The post shows a sonogram picture stating the baby’s mother had scheduled an abortion and asked people to pray she would change her mind.

But, clinic managers say they don’t know if the picture is an actual sonogram from the patient mentioned in the post. They say they didn’t identify who it was, so it wasn’t an invasion of privacy, adding clients agree any images can be used for promotion or education.

WCIA’s online article went on to describe WCC as an organization that “provides counseling and support groups for post-abortion” and that WCC stated that “asking for prayers for certain clients” is normal operating procedure for them.

Here’s my thoughts about this:

  • WCIA used a considerable amount of anti-abortion framing in their TV report about the WCC posting a sonogram online, which is not surprising given the fact that WCIA’s local newscasts have a heavy right-wing bias. For example, “Picture of an unborn baby” is not the medically correct term for a sonogram of a fetus; “sonogram of a fetus” is the medically correct term for that. Also, the reason why comments on WCC’s Facebook page got “too negative” is because WCC operates in a highly unethical manner, and those who made “negative” comments on their Facebook page were rightfully criticizing them for operating in a highly unethical manner.
  • WCIA is just as guilty as WCC is of violating patient privacy since they showed the sonogram, both on television and online, in fact, one could argue that WCIA is even more guilty of violating patient privacy than WCC is, since I’m guessing that a local newscast on WCIA has a considerably larger audience than WCC’s Facebook page, even though WCIA is located in what I’d call a medium-small local TV market.
  • While WCIA didn’t explicitly refer to WCC as a “crisis pregnancy center”, they did mention that WCC regularly asks people to pray that their patients who are considering whether or not to have an abortion decide not to terminate a pregnancy and offer post-abortion counseling, which is a huge indicator to me that WCC is a crisis pregnancy center, regardless of whether or not they refer to themselves as such. Crisis pregnancy centers are organizations that claim to be legitimate women’s health clinics, when, in reality, they’re actually organizations that are primarily set up to shame pregnant women by, among other tactics, doing everything possible to discourage pregnant women who want to have abortions from getting abortions and spreading false information about women’s reproductive health. While I don’t know if WCC is doing the latter, it’s obvious to me that they’re doing the former.
  • Regardless of whether or not the names of patients are disclosed, it’s still highly unethical and an invasion of medical privacy for a women’s health clinic of any kind to publicly post sonograms or other types of medical records for promotional purposes.

Every effort should be made to shut down these unethical, woman-shaming crisis pregnancy centers across the country and make legitimate women’s health clinics available in areas of this country where women would currently have to travel long distances in order to get to a legitimate women’s health clinic.