Tag: post

My April Fools blog post has received over 4,000 views, over 1,000 Facebook shares, and international attention

Early this morning, I published a satirical April Fools blog post about Republicans in the Wisconsin State Legislature wanting to legally ban curling in Wisconsin. In reality, Wisconsin Republicans currently have no intention of banning curling in the Badger State, so curling is safe in Wisconsin, at least for now.

However, my April Fools blog post has received an unusually large amount of attention for a small-time blog like The Progressive Midwesterner. In fact, my April Fools post has received, by far, the most attention of any blog post I’ve written in this blog’s history. My April Fools post has received over 4,000 page views, has been shared over 1,000 times on Facebook, and has even received international attention via a favorable review of my post in an online article by Yahoo! Sports Canada. Don Landry, the author of the Yahoo! Sports Canada piece on curling-related April Fools jokes, wrote that I did a “nice job” with my April Fools post, and he also praised me for “densifying it with the kind of paragraph you’d expect to see in a typical legislative story and the interest groups involved in its debate”.

The Progressive Midwesterner will resume its normal operation of providing commentary on actual political and non-political happenings in Illinois, Wisconsin, and elsewhere tomorrow.

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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.

Illinois Republican Congressman Aaron Schock surrounds himself with a racist press secretary

Benjamin Cole, a former Baptist minister and mouthpiece for the energy industry who is now the senior adviser for policy and communications (i.e., press secretary) for Republican Congressman Aaron Schock of Peoria, Illinois, made racist Facebook posts referring to black people as “animals” and “hood rats” and wanting his D.C. neighborhood to gentrify (i.e., run the blacks, other minorities, and poor people out of the neighborhood):

While I strongly believe that shooting people and using or threatening to use a glass bottle as a weapon is highly unacceptable, referring to blacks as “animals” and hood rats” and calling for blacks, other minorities, and poor people to be run out of a neighborhood is racist and also highly unacceptable. Black people are not animals or rats, they’re people.

It’s been one scandal after another for Aaron Schock recently. First, he apparently violated congressional ethics laws by recently having his office decorated in the lavish style of the Lord Grantham’s room on the British TV series Downton Abbey, which airs in the United Kingdom on the British TV network ITV and is televised by many PBS public television stations here in the United States as part of the Masterpiece anthology series, and now his spokesman has been exposed as as a vile racist.

Racism in the Democratic Party: Missouri State Representative Keith English wants to ship anti-racial profiling protesters to Mexico

Protesters calling for an end to racial profiling by police officers in Missouri and elsewhere in the United States who are marching from Ferguson, Missouri, where unarmed teenager Michael Brown was shot and killed by then-Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, have been the target of racist attacks.

However, this time, those racist attacks are coming from a Democrat.

Keith English, a Democratic member of the Missouri House of Representatives from Florissant (located near Ferguson in northern St. Louis County), posted a map to his Facebook page showing a line from somewhere in or near Kansas City, Missouri to somewhere in or near Monterrey, Mexico, located in the Mexican state of Nuevo León. In his Facebook post (which has since been deleted, although a screengrab of the Facebook post was posted on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch website), English remarked that he was giving the map to the protesters to “help in their cause”.

I’m certain that the protesters have zero use for English’s map and view his map and Facebook post as racist. For Keith English to publicly state that he thinks that people who want to eliminate racial profiling by police officers in Missouri and elsewhere in this country, including many of his own constituents, should be shipped to a foreign country is extremely offensive. Racism should not be tolerated in the Democratic Party, and English should be expelled from the Democratic caucus of the Missouri House of Representatives. Should English run for another term in office in 2016 as a Democrat, progressives should run a Democratic primary challenger against him.