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Planned Parenthood vindicated: Makers of fraudulent videos indicted

first_imgIn a dramatic turnaround, two of the right-wingers who created a fraudulent series of videos designed to discredit and ultimately destroy Planned Parenthood, the largest nonprofit health care provider for poor and working women in the U.S., were indicted on Jan. 25.The charges grew out of a two-month investigation of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast by a Houston grand jury to determine if Planned Parenthood had engaged in the illegal sale of fetal tissue for profit. That is what the deceptively edited videos created by the so-called Center for Medical Progress attempted to show when they were released last July.Once it became obvious to the grand jury that Planned Parenthood was blameless, the evidence revealed that the right-wing group CMP had engaged in many illegal practices — including falsely presenting CMP as a biological research group, registered with the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity in order to receive unlimited, anonymous donations. Rather, it is a front group for an anti-abortion sting operation.Two CMP videographers, David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, were charged with second-degree felonies, which carry a 20-year sentence in Texas, for tampering with government records — creating phony driver’s licenses in order to gain access to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast and interview providers there. Daleiden was also charged with trying to procure human fetal tissue for pay.An article posted on Oliver Willis’ blog, “Who’s Behind the Center for Medical Progress?” reveals the nefarious web of anti-abortion, Christian zealots and domestic terrorists behind the misnamed “Center for Medical Progress.” (oliverwillis.com, July 30, 2015)David Daleiden honed his skills creating fraudulent videos as “director of research” for the virulent anti-abortion Live Action group, founded by Lily Rose in 2004. The group produced a series of anti-choice videos from 2010-13 that accused abortion clinic providers and workers of illegal and unethical practices. The videos and the organization have since been widely discredited. Willis conjectures that it’s “actually possible” that CMP is a cover for Live Action.Operation Rescue, one of the most vocal, reactionary anti-choice groups with ties to white-supremacist, racist, right-wing groups, worked “in consultation” with CMP on the videos. Troy Newman, OR president and board member of CMP — who “retired” after the indictments — defended Paul Hill, who was convicted of murder in the 2003 killing of Dr. John Britton and James Barnett outside a Pensacola, Fla., abortion clinic. OR said such murders are “justifiable” to protect the unborn. Newman advocates and practices terrorism in many forms, including stalking, harassing and intimidating clinic workers, patients and escorts.Cheryl Sullenger, OR senior policy advisor, served time for attempting to bomb a clinic in San Diego and aided Scott Roeder, who killed abortion provider Dr. George Tiller in his church in Wichita, Kan., in 2009.The most alarming aspect of the fraudulent videos is that many right-wing legislators in Congress and various states, as well as reactionary presidential candidates, lauded the videos and promoted a national campaign to defund Planned Parenthood. That would endanger basic health care delivery for millions of poor and working women, disproportionately women of color, immigrants, homeless women, young women, victims of domestic violence and terrorism, women living in rural areas, and women with disabilities.Planned Parenthood was also subjected to terrorism, including several instances of arson and three murders at a clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo.; a series of insulting Congressional hearings; and investigations in a dozen states, which produced no charges.On Jan. 15, Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit in San Francisco federal district court against the CMP, alleging that the group, by setting up a fake tissue procurement company and using fake identities to set up private meetings, engaged in wire and mail fraud violation, unlawfully invaded Planned Parenthood’s privacy, and engaged in illegal secret recording and trespassing.While legal, safe abortion has been the law of the land for the past 43 years, all women’s right to exert control over their own bodies is far from guaranteed. This spring the Supreme Court is hearing the first case about abortion rights in 25 years. The struggle for reproductive justice continues.Kathy Durkin contributed to this article.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Ahmed Villa became the Champion of FFC

first_imgNineteen year old BiH fighter Ahmed Villa last night won against the Hungarian Viktor Halmi and became the champion of FFC in the lightweight category.According to Fightsite.hr, Vila went with no respect towards the experienced FFC champion and crashed him after 15 seconds. The opponent was trying to get to the guillotine, but without success. However, sometime later he turned and hit Villa several times with his elbows. By the end of the round, there was a lot of transitions, but Villa was active and dangerous, especially at the end of the round, when he did the classic “grinder” control and thus ensured the first round in his favor.In the second round, Villa continued in the same pace and crashed the opponent. He had control for two minutes, but without serious kicks, after which Halmi managed to turn, but half a minute later Grant Waterman brought fighters back on their feet.The first minute of the final round passed in quite a few inactive stand-up, after which the young Bosnian fighter went to bring the opponent down and succeeded, but Halmi managed to catch the guillotine, which was not strong enough. Soon after that, Villa moved to the lateral position where he was looking for his chance, and when Halmi attempted to change the position, he let his back opened to Villa.Villa had the advantage until the end of the round, and welcomed the end in a dominant position.At the end of the fight, the official announcer announced the judge’s decision, and our Ahmed Vila became the new FFC champion in lightweight category and as nineteen year old who was not even supposed to fight just 2 days ago.(Source: klix.ba)last_img read more

Westport Winery Adds Arboretum

first_imgSubmitted by Westport WineryWestport Winery and Vineyards by-the-Sea co-owners, Blain and Kim Roberts, will create Grays Harbor County’s first arboretum on 40 acres located across State Route 105 from their winery and vineyard. The property was purchased from Rayonier, a global forest products company, in 2012. Westport will be the first winery in the United States to create its own arboretum.The Roberts decided to dedicate the parcel to sustainable use for recreation and science on the suggestion of Don Tapio (Agriculture and Community Horticulture Agent for Grays Harbor and Thurston Counties). “We want to create a unique wilderness interface featuring great photographic and wildlife viewing opportunities, along with information on preserving native plants, eliminating noxious weeds, and incorporating ornamental collections within a timber environment,” said Blain Roberts.An arboretum is a living museum that often includes a botanical garden containing documented specific collections of plants. The goals of this effort include community engagement, plant conservation within the living wilderness, and creating a symbiotic relationship between people, plants and wildlife. The property’s zoning allows for its use as a park and is planted in timber. There are twenty-two arboretums or botanical gardens in Washington State, the nearest of which is located in Tacoma. It is typical for these gardens to start as private properties and to be works in process for generations.Since the winery contributes a portion of the proceeds from each of its wines to selected local charitable organizations, the Roberts plan to enlist some of these groups in the project. Kim Roberts said, “In one day I observed twenty-five different bird species on the property. We hope to work with Grays Harbor Audubon to record the avian species on the site, create better habitat, and teach others how to better appreciate the diversity.” Other groups the winery has supported and hopes to enlist are Grays Harbor and Pacific County Master Gardeners, the Twin Harbors Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and Grays Harbor Ducks Unlimited.Blain added, “Our focus, since we began the winery, has been to express our passion for this community by making great wine. In the process, we have had the privilege of developing deep relationships with these organizations and have collaborated with them on many fundraisers. This is another incredible opportunity for us to work with others who share our passion,”The couple’s adult children, Carrie, Westport Winery’s general manager, and Dana, head winemaker, echo their parents’ enthusiasm for the enterprise. Since acquiring the property both have spent time exploring and evaluating the land’s potential. Carrie Roberts said, “Our family has always loved the outdoors and it’s natural that we adopt this property as a new project.” For Dana the connection to the land is equally important, “We were raised to love our community, love the land, and love the entrepreneurial spirit. It’s just who we are and how we think.”At what will be known as the Westport Winery Arboretum, the Roberts plan to begin with a focus on collecting Japanese maples, conifers, rock plants, ferns, moss, lilacs, heather, azalea, rhododendron, and wildflowers. Each collection will be strategically placed to integrate with the varied terrain and habitat of the property including the individual needs of the plant harmonized within the site and aesthetically pleasing landscape design. Kim Roberts, who has two degrees in architecture from Washington State University, will lead the design process.In 2007, it was Tapio who advised the Roberts, “Plant a vineyard and build a winery.” Since then the couple have enlisted his advice and passion for plants throughout their project as they developed a destination winery complete with a plant nursery, display gardens, restaurant and bakery. Because Tapio has his own Christmas tree farm, the Roberts will honor his intellectual contributions to the project by naming one section of the arboretum the Tapio Conifer Collection. In his professional capacity Tapio provides leadership to the Master Gardener Program in Pacific, Grays Harbor and Thurston Counties. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Floriculture from Washington State University and a Masters of Agriculture degree from the University of Idaho. Tapio is also the author of the book More Than A Green Thumb which is available at Westport Winery.According to Tapio, “One more indication of the generosity of the Robert’s family to our community is their commitment to establish the area’s first arboretum with a focus on plants indigenous to our coastal area. In addition to being a place for plant collections, I hope the arboretum will provide a outdoor teaching laboratory for both youth and adults wanting to learn more about the plants that do well in our coastal climate. Having a place set aside in which plants can be nurtured to grow and mature is perhaps the finest gift that can be given to local gardeners, educators and others wanting to learn more our local plant communities. Their legacy with creating an arboretum will span the generations.”As part of this project, the winery staff and volunteers will start by identifying and preserving the existing native species while eliminating noxious and invasive plants. They will then thoughtfully add plants to the collection while labeling and documenting the Latin and common names, date and source of acquisition, and possible usage. This information is then available for educational use by schools and other organizations, as recreational stimulus, and simply for the pleasure of learning. In the near future the family plans to open the project for public viewing on an invitational basis as the plants are established.Westport Winery was named Washington Winery to Watch in 2011 by Wine Press Northwest and has been voted Best Northwest Destination Winery and Wine Tour twice by King 5 Evening Magazine. The Roberts family was selected as one of the top three small family businesses in Washington in 2012 by Seattle Business Magazine.Westport Winery, Restaurant, Bakery and Nursery are open daily at 11a.m. The winery serves lunch daily from 11 am. to 4 pm. and dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings from 4 p.m. to 8.p.m. The winery with its unique grape maze, extraordinary outdoor sculptures, and display gardens is located on the corner of Highway 105 and South Arbor Road halfway between Westport and Aberdeen. For more information call Westport Winery at 360-648-2224. Facebook0Tweet0Pin0last_img read more