Wednesday, March 29, 2017

In California, Undercover Video of Abortion Clinics, Bad; But For Smog Tests, Great!

    This week, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra charged two pro-life activists from the Center for Medical Progress who recorded secret video of Planned Parenthood representatives discussing selling baby parts from abortion. The two are charged with 15 felonies for violating privacy laws (a questionable decision in and of itself, as I noted on Twitter.)
    Becerra replaced Kamala Harris as CA's attorney general when Harris was elected to the US Senate in 2016. Harris began the investigation of the CMP's secret videos, including arranging an FBI raid of one of the defendant's homes.
    Harris, however, has not always taken a dim view of undercover video. In a 2014, Harris used undercover surveillance video to nab a... smog test scofflaw (scoughlaw?).

    So undercover video to reveal abortion industry misconduct and fraud: bad! Smog test fraud? Good! Thanks, California.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Company That Put Up Fearless Girl Statue Has 5 Women on 28 Person Leadership Team

State Street Global Advisors has not responded to a request for comment.

Short Summary of Obamacare and Proposed 'Repeal and Replace'

1) Congress passes law to give lots of people free stuff.
2) Congress considers repealing law.
3) Headlines: People will lose free stuff.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Los Angeles Health Center HIV Awareness Campaign: 'F*** Without Fear'

    The Los Angeles LGBT Center kicked off its provocative "F*ck Without Fear" campaign in January, ostensibly to "raise awareness for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) as a safe and effective tool to prevent HIV infection." "PrEP" is a medication regimen that, according to the LGBT Center, can "reduce the risk of HIV infection by up to 99 percent," if used correctly.
    The campaign plans to use community events, targeted ads, a “Paint the Town Blue” partnership with West Hollywood and Hollywood bar, a "Banjee Ball" sponsorship (a "vogue dance and runway event with live music performances"), and even an Andrew Christian-designed “Fearless F*cker” t-shirt on sale at the designer's flagship store in West Hollywood with sales benefiting the PrEP center.

Photo source: newnownext.com
    In 2015, $350,000 was awarded to the LA LGBT Center by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for a "high impact HIV prevention project." When asked if CDC funds were being used for the current campaign, a CDC spokesperson said after a delay of a few days that "it takes a little time to untangle the various federal funding streams," but finally replied that the "CDC has confirmed with the LA LGBT Center that non-CDC funding was used for the PrEP awareness campaign."
    When asked how the $350,000 grant was used, the CDC said that the funds went towards "HIV testing –  including recruitment, outreach, linkage to care, navigation services and essential support services, ARTAS – which is an Antiretroviral Linkage to Care management intervention, Every Dose Every Day – a medicine adherence intervention for HIV positive persons, and Mpowerment – a community level behavior intervention for high-risk HIV-negative persons."
    After initially responding to an email, a LA LGBT Center spokesperson did not reply to follow up inquiries about the source of the current campaign funding or how the $350,000 grant awarded from 2015 was used.
    In the past three years alone, the LA LGBT Center has received over $13 million in federal grants and contracts, much of the money through HHS, but also from Housing and Urban Development and the Justice Department, among others. The Center has already received more than half a million dollars in fiscal year 2017 from Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) related to a 2013 Obamacare-related award. According to its annual report, the LA LGBT Center is largely funded through private and corporate donations (including Wells Fargo and Toyota), but also a variety of federal and state grants.
   Other HHS funds in the past have been awarded to the LA LGBT Center for:
  • Child Welfare Research Training or Demonstration
  • Outpatient Early Intervention Services with Respect to HIV Disease
  • Transitional Living for Homeless Youth
   The Center calls its message "sex-positive" with "raw, real language to get people’s attention and spur conversation. 
“We’ve got the tools to not only end the fear of HIV, but to end it as an epidemic. Those at risk have to know about the tools, though, and they need honest information about them,” said Center Chief of Staff Darrel Cummings. “Our campaign provides the truth about PrEP, the information and support to help people get a prescription, and a reminder that condoms are necessary to prevent other sexually transmitted diseases.”
    Numerous state and federal government websites (CDC, Department of Education, HUD, and even the National Park Service) link to the LA LGBT Center website relative to a variety of programs the center offers.
    Although the LA LGBT Center links to the CDC website for more information regarding PrEP, a CDC spokesperson replied only that the CDC "was not involved in the development or evaluation of the campaign" when asked about the soundness or appropriateness of the F*ck Without Fear message.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Heads Up

    When I used to listen to Rush Limbaugh, there were times when he would warn listeners that he was going to be talking about something they might not want to hear or they might not want their children to hear. He'd advise them to turn off their radios for a few minutes, and then count down, "five... four... three..." He'd say, I don't want anyone complaining, because I warned you...
    I am going to post something soon for which I am giving a similar caution. For years, I have had on this site a "I have a fairly low tolerance for bad/crude language" warning posted over there (--->), and this coming post certainly fits the bill, but I think it's important enough to post anyway.
    This warning post may come across as disingenuous hype designed to get more attention, but (unless I am self-deceiving,) it's really not.
    In any case, don't say I didn't warn you...

Thursday, December 15, 2016

President-Elect Trump Selling 'Official' 45th President Merchandise

    Donald Trump will not be inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States until January 20, 2017, but that isn't stopping the president-elect from selling "President of the United States of America - Trump / Pence" stickers, t-shirts and buttons. The presidential products have similar descriptions, but all of them say "Show your support for the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump."

    The "President of the United States" merchandise is distinct from the "president-elect" merchandise that the Trump Campaign also began selling post-election.  Notably the "President" t-shirt says "2016" even though Trump will not assume the title until next year.
    The Trump is also selling the "Official USA 45th Presidential Hat":

    Although the hat is marketed as the "Official USA 45th Presidential" hat, the funds will fund Trump's campaign, not the USA.
    The president-elect's transition team did not respond to a request for comment on Trump's apparent trading on the office of the president for financial gain.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Kerry: 'I Fault My Country For... Not Stepping Up Sufficiently, Financially and Otherwise'

    Secretary of State John Kerry received the Medal for Leadership from the London-based Benjamin Franklin House last week for his work as a US diplomat, but took the opportunity to scold his country for "not stepping up sufficiently, financially and otherwise" to deal with world problems. The remarks seem curious coming in the context of the closing months of Kerry's fours years as secretary of state and Barack Obama's eight years as president.
    Kerry spoke of population growth, climate change and global "conflict and governance" issues, but assured his audience that "[a]ll of this is manageable if we lead, if we step up, if the Western world will do the things that we have in our capacity to do".
And the world right now is in need of leadership as never before, perhaps. I can’t – hard to say “never before” when you’re in London and Winston Churchill did what he did, but we have serious, monumental kinds of problems that we face, which is a clash of technology and modernity and culture and religion, and a group of people who are so nihilistic that there’s not even an ideology around which they organize themselves. They just want to destroy and take you back to a place where you have to live according to what they say and what they ordain, and it changes. Who knows when or how – there’s no rhyme or reason except for their brutality and their hate for people who represent something different.
So I look at a world where the population is going to go from 6 billion to 9 billion, where the planet is warming at a rate that is beyond alarming, where we see conflict and governance that are deeply troubling, notwithstanding our best efforts to build capacity and so forth. So – but all of this is changeable. All of this is manageable if we lead, if we step up, if the Western world will do the things that we have in our capacity to do. And I fault my country and others for, frankly, not stepping up sufficiently, financially and otherwise. We’re the richest country on the face of the planet. We have $18 trillion economy, yet we put only one penny of every single dollar that we spend into everything we do around the world. It doesn’t make sense when you see millions of children who need to be educated, people who need to be kept out of the clutches of these nihilists. It’s a major challenge. [emphasis added]
    The secretary of state also appeared to take a veiled shot at Britain's decision to leave the European union:
And finally, I’m glad to receive this because I believe that this is a special moment in world history where regardless of how you manage Brexit, we need to show leadership together going forward on every issue from climate change to the oceans, which you mentioned, Sir Bob, to the vexing challenge of religious exploitation and terrorism. [emphasis added]
    Kerry noted he was "really honored to receive this [award] for probably – well, several reasons, but first and foremost the special relationship between [Britain and the US]," and that while he "will soon be leaving being Secretary, [this award] will stay with me as a down payment on the things I need to do with the rest of my life."