Antiabortion activist videos crooked abortionists
Killing that baby comes first for them and they would rather cover up crime than notify the girl's parents
The girl's voice in the videotape is tiny and tentative. She is talking to a nursing aide in a Planned Parenthood clinic in Bloomington, Ind. The girl wants an abortion. The aide explains that the girl will need a parent's consent because she is only 13. The girl balks; she does not want to name the father. "Cause, I mean, he would be in really big trouble," says the girl. Her boyfriend, she explains, is 31.
The aide drops her head into her hands. "In the state of Indiana," says the aide, "when anyone has had intercourse and they are age 13 or younger . . . it has to be reported to Child Protective Services."
There is a 60-second gap in the tape, according to the running timer on the video. What happens next is meant to be explosive. "OK," says the aide, "I didn't hear the age. I don't want to know the age. It could be reported as rape. And that's child abuse."
"So if I just say I don't know who the father was, but he's one of the guys at school or something?" asks the girl. "Right," says the aide, who has just stepped into a carefully laid trap.
As it happens, the boyfriend does not exist. The girl is not pregnant. Nor is she 13. She is Lila Rose, a 20-year-old UCLA history major with a little voice and a bold plan to expose what she and many abortion foes see as Planned Parenthood's wrongdoings. Since 2006, Rose has orchestrated undercover "stings" at Planned Parenthood clinics in Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Bloomington, Tucson, Phoenix and Memphis.
Surreptitiously videotaping their interactions, she and a friend have posed as abortion-seeking teens impregnated by older men. The videos -- boiled down to five minutes, with portentous music and fast cuts to heighten the drama -- are posted on Rose's website, LiveAction.org, and YouTube.
Rose's strategy -- accusing Planned Parenthood of failing to report suspected statutory rapes -- is not a new one in the antiabortion trenches. But the new-media twist on the idea has put her front and center of a new generation. "There is this stereotype of who we pro-life leaders are, and for the most part it would be white middle-aged religious men trying to impose their will on women," said the Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition. "So now with Lila, you bring this young, fresh college student that completely blows any stereotypes away. No one is going to accuse Lila of being mean, vindictive and harsh."
Rose's goal is to undermine legal abortion by showing that Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortions in the country, abets sexual exploitation by counseling pregnant minors to lie about the ages of their adult boyfriends. Planned Parenthood officials strenuously deny the charge. Protecting minors is a crucial part of their mission, they say, but with 30,000 employees and volunteers and 850 clinics, they say, mistakes are inevitable.
Abortion is not likely to be outlawed any time soon, but Rose's work is having an impact, particularly on a local level, where abortion foes are increasingly focusing their efforts. On Wednesday, Tennessee lawmakers said they would seek to end a $721,000 contract with Planned Parenthood, citing outrage over what they saw in a video Rose had posted two days earlier from a Memphis clinic. She posed there in July as a 14-year-old impregnated by a 31-year-old; a Planned Parenthood staffer says, "Just say you have a boyfriend, 17 years old, whatever."
Last month, the Orange County Board of Supervisors voted to suspend a grant worth nearly $300,000 to Planned Parenthood that was earmarked for sex education, not abortions. A conservative Tustin businessman raised the issue with Supervisor John Moorlach after meeting Rose and seeing her videos.
Last year, after the Indiana videos were posted on Rose's website, Bloomington's Herald Times reported that the nurse's aide seen on the tape had been fired. A second Planned Parenthood staffer, in Indianapolis, resigned: Rose's tape appeared to show that employee directing the young woman across the state line to a clinic in Illinois, which doesn't have a parental consent law.
A grand jury is investigating whether Planned Parenthood violated the law, said Mario Massillamany, a spokesman for the prosecutor of Marion County, where Indianapolis is located. "After we stated we were conducting an investigation, they hired a group to conduct better training for their staff," he added.
EU judges want Sharia law applied in British courts
Judges could be forced to bow to Sharia law in some divorce cases heard in Britain. An EU plan calls for family courts across Europe to hear cases using the laws of whichever country the couple involved have close links to. That could mean a court in England handling a case within the French legal framework, or even applying the laws of Saudi Arabia to a husband and wife living in Britain.
The Centre for Social Justice think tank today attacked the so-called Rome III reform as ludicrous. It warned it would slow down cases, increase costs and lead to unjust results. However, in a report it says existing arrangements are 'anti-family'.
Currently, a couple from different EU states can have their divorce heard in the first country where one of them files divorce papers. Because different states offer varying financial advantages to spouses in terms of division of wealth, the resulting 'race to court' in the best jurisdiction discourages couples from trying to save their marriage, it says.
The report calls for a simpler solution, with each country applying its own laws and cases being heard in the country where the couple have the closest connection. At least nine EU states - not including the UK - are said to want to push ahead with the Rome III plan.
Britain: Give us back our private lives
As Labour unveils plans to monitor every one of our phone calls and emails, it is time to demand an end to state snooping. "Your moves are monitored by your bus tickets. There are CCTV cameras on every building and computer chips on the rubbish bin – and they can tell a lot about your life by studying your rubbish ...Security has got absurd."
The Russian journalist Irada Zeinalova wasn't talking about Putin's Russia. She wasn't even talking about life in the old Soviet Union. She was talking about Britain today.
Mrs Zeinalova has lived in Britain for several years. But she doesn't like the level of intrusion into her private life that she experiences. Many native Britons take the same view. An increasing number of people resent the constant surveillance that has become common in many cities in Britain. Britain has more security cameras per head of population than anywhere else in the world: each one is justified, at least by those who have installed it, by the role it plays in detecting and reducing crime.
Just as insidious is the amount of data the state now holds on its citizens – and the Government last week unveiled plans to hold still more, because your every phone call, email and visit to a website will be monitored by the state.
Some of the material the state collects, such as tax and pension details, is an unavoidable part of the bureaucracy necessary to run a modern state. Other databases are also, in principle, uncontentious: doctors cannot treat you effectively if they do not know your medical history, for instance, so the keeping of medical records is beneficial rather than harmful.
Still other databases – the violent offender and sex offender registers, for example – can be said to have a role in fighting crime. But there is a slippery slope here, and it leads to a state of permanent police supervision of everyone. "Preventing and detecting crime" can be used as a justification for expanding databases and surveillance almost indefinitely. And it has been. The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) defines and regulates spying by government bodies. As the Home Office's latest consultation paper on RIPA reveals, at least 42 government departments and organisations are entitled to spy on the public. They include such bodies as the Charity Commission, the Department for Environment, and the Department of Work and Pensions. If you include local authorities who are also allowed to spy on you, there are more than 400 government agencies entitled to snoop.
The Government says that such organisations are involved in ensuring that people comply with the law. It adds that the police cannot be required to do everything: they simply do not have the resources. Ministers stress that we have no reason to be worried. They insist that those "with nothing to hide have nothing to fear". The problem is that everybody has something to hide: some degree of privacy is necessary for human dignity – as Jacqui Smith, of all people, should now know, after what happened to her husband. [Exposed as a porn addict]
The protections against any government department using surveillance unjustifiably are, in theory, considerable. Public authorities have to be "satisfied" that surveillance is "necessary and proportionate". Officials are meant to "consider the impact of these techniques on the privacy of those under investigation". Public authorities who use surveillance are "subject to independent inspection". The practice, however, has been very different. Officials frequently seem to think that they are justified in spying on private citizens if they suspect them of any violation, however apparently insignificant. That explains the hundreds of hours spent secretly observing whether people have been recycling correctly, or have let their dogs foul the pavement.
But it has not been the independent inspectors who have revealed such abuses. It has been newspapers such as The Sunday Telegraph. The checks and balances have clearly not worked: 183 councils have used surveillance powers 10,288 times over the past five years. Only in one in 10 cases has the result been a successful prosecution, caution or even a fixed penalty notice.
Given past practice, is it possible to believe that an effective system of regulation can be put in place? If you think it is, you will accept the ministers' argument that surveillance can be restricted to cases where it is "necessary and proportionate". If you do not, then you will agree that the only way to halt our slide towards a version of Orwell's Big Brother is to curb the power of state officials to order surveillance, restricting it to cases where national security is clearly at stake, and to the agencies that are dedicated to that purpose.
The increasing amount of spying raises another problem: how to ensure that the data will not fall into the wrong hands. The Government promises to safeguard our privacy but it has not been able to do so. For example, even Gordon Brown's medical records have recently been accessed by a doctor who had no reason to look at them. Officials also enter data wrongly into data bases. People have been wrongly identified as criminals, as benefit cheats or frauds.
The fallibility of state officials may be the biggest threat. In the 18 months since computer disks containing the records of all 25 million families receiving child benefit were lost by officials, at least a dozen other departments have admitted to losing vital personal data on millions of people. Should the data fall into the hands of criminals, the potential for damage is immense.
Neither of these problems has deterred the Government from increasing the spying powers of state organisations. Under the rubric of "data modernisation", Labour is committed to expanding the databases it holds on the population, and so the state's capacity for surveillance. The "Intercept Modernisation Programme" will store details of all of our phone calls, text messages, emails and visits to internet sites; the "National Identity Register" will store biometric data on each of us; "eBorders" will keep a record on each time anyone leaves or arrives in Britain ... The list of "data modernisation" programmes continues to grow. If all of them come to fruition, it will mean that in Britain private life, at least as we know it, will become a thing of the past.
We might all be safer. But the price of that greater security will be the destruction of privacy – and a significant amount of human dignity.
Australia: Appalling black-run grocery stores in black communities
More Federal intervention? Nope. The Leftists will just talk and do nothing
In one Queensland community, a packet of pasta costs $4, a kilo of tomatoes is worth almost $9 and deodorant is sold for more than $10. But the food is often out of date and the store is unclean.
In a damning submission to a federal parliamentary inquiry into indigenous community stores, Lockhart River residents say people have fallen ill after eating poor-quality food from a local store. The submission - compiled by Royal Flying Doctor Service employees on behalf of Lockhart River residents - accuses the community store of stocking "mouldy" bread, "rotten" fruit, frozen vegetables which have been defrosted and refrozen and meat that tastes like "cardboard" when cooked. The submission complains about a lack of healthy quick meal options, no pricing on some goods and a filthy store environment.
A comparison of prices shows Lockhart River residents pay up to seven times more than shoppers in Cairns for some common items. Tomatoes, for example, cost $2.45 kg in Cairns, but $8.66 kg at Lockhart River. The cheapest pasta in Lockhart River costs $4.02 for a 500g packet, but the same product could be bought in Cairns for 59c.
A submission from the Kowanyama community on Cape York says its store also sells out-of-date foods with prices up to three times those in Cairns. It says complaints are generally ignored. Supporting those submissions, the Australian Red Cross has told the inquiry such "exorbitant" prices are unjust. "The poorest people in the country are forced to endure the highest prices in the country," the submission says.
According to the Red Cross, the situation has directly contributed to malnutrition and chronic disease in Australia's indigenous population. The inquiry will hold public hearings in the Northern Territory this week.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.