Last Week Tonight: Crisis Pregnancy Centers

In this edition of “Last Week Tonight,” John exposes the deception practiced by so-called “Crisis Pregnancy Centers,” which are vehemently against women’s rights to choose.

The tactics those places use are eerily similar to online sites which promise medical treatment and / or counseling, but are really a cover for some con artist to get money for nothing.

So Much Ugliness…

You just have to wonder what the fuck is going on in the world these days. I stay informed because keeping one’s head in the sand isn’t a solution for anything, so I check out what goes on in the USA and around the world – and sometimes I regret doing so. Here’s what happened in the past week:

On Friday, 20 September, 13 people were injured in a shooting at a park in Chicago, Illinois. A 3-year-old boy was the youngest victim, who was shot in the cheek but expected to survive. From the BBC:

Rev Corey Brooks shows three-year-old Deonta Howard recovering from a gunshot wound at Mt Sinai Hospital in Chicago 23 September 2013

“A three-year-old boy and several others were in a critical condition after the attack in a park on the city’s south side.

Witnesses said one or two gunmen opened fire. Police told local media the boy was the most seriously hurt.

Chicago saw more murders last year than New York City, which has a population three times bigger.

Julian Harris told the Chicago Sun-Times that his three-year-old nephew was wounded in the cheek after gang members opened fire at him and others.

“They hit the light pole next to me but I ducked down and ran into the house,” Mr. Harris said. “They’ve been coming round here looking for people to shoot every night.”

The dozen or so injured in the shooting at Cornell Square Park ranged in age from 15 to 41.

An unnamed neighbour told the Chicago Tribune: “Man, it was a lot of shots. Man, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. A little boy got hit in the face.”

On Friday, Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy told the Associated Press news agency an assault-style weapon with a high-capacity magazine was used in the shooting.

Supt. McCarthy said several victims are believed to be gang members and that investigators suspect the attack to be gang-related.

Firefighters used hoses to wash blood off the basketball court once police had finished examining the crime scene.

Chicago police officer Amina Greer said 10 ambulances were needed to transport victims to nearby hospitals following the shooting at 22:00 local time (03:00 GMT) on Thursday.

At least two other minors, ages 15 and 17, were among the victims, according to media reports.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement: “Senseless and brazen acts of violence have no place in Chicago and betray all that we stand for.

“The perpetrators of this crime will be brought to justice and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

At the time of this post, four young men have been charged with the crime.

Prabhjot Singh, a Sikh professor at Columbia University and prominent advocate, was attacked and beaten by a group of youths in New York City, who yelled anti-Muslim slurs and they kicked him in the body and face on Monday, 23 September. More from Al-Jazeera:

“NEW YORK — A Columbia University professor was attacked by a group of 15 to 20 young men on bicycles Saturday in Harlem in an alleged hate crime against Sikhs.

Police said one of the men pulled Prabhjot Singh’s beard while the teenagers yelled “get Osama” and “terrorist.” Singh, who wears a turban and is a public advocate for interfaith dialogue, was kicked several times to the body and face.

“There were about 20 of them,” Singh said. “A few surrounded me, started punching me and pulling my beard.” He was hospitalized for his injuries and received surgery for a possible fracture in his left jaw, according to a statement.

Amardeep Singh, program director of the Sikh Coalition, a national advocacy organization founded after 9/11, said the incident is a part of systematic discrimination against Sikhs in the United States.

“What happened did not happen in a vacuum,” he said. “Here in New York City, we regularly receive reports that Sikh school children are called ‘bin Laden’ or ‘terrorist’ by classmates and sometimes endure physical violence.”

Sikhs have suffered from a spate of attacks in recent years based on prejudices against their religion. A recent Stanford University survey showed that 70 percent of turban wearers in the U.S. are misidentified as Muslim (48 percent), Hindu, Buddhist or Shinto.

Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded in the Punjab region of India in the late 15th century and has no ties to Islam.”

It’s just so senseless and sickening. Things like this make my blood boil, especially when there are unthinking asshats who dismiss, diminish, and justify things like this whilst screaming about some “anti-white racism” bogeyman they’ve created in their tiny minds.

A soldier moves to take up a position outside an upscale shopping mall, seen background, in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday 21 September 2013.

In Nairobi, Kenya, the Westgate Shopping Mall was stormed by al-Shabab militants who used grenades and guns to lay siege to the building, killing 68 people and injuring dozens more. This happened on Saturday, 21 September, but it took a few days for local forces to end the siege. The BBC and Al-Jazeera had a lot coverage of these incidents, more so than most other national sites I looked at. Sadly, renowned Ghanaian poet and statesman Kofi Awoonor was one of the victims of that attack:

“John Dramani Mahama on Sunday said in a statement: “I am shocked to hear the death of Professor Kofi Awoonor in the Nairobi mall terrorist attack. Such a sad twist of fate.”

Awoonor, 78, was killed and his son wounded at the Westgate mall, Ghana’s Deputy Information Minister Felix Kwakye Ofosu said. He added that Awoonor’s son has been discharged from the hospital.

Awoonor was scheduled to appear at the Storymoja Hay literary festival in Nairobi on Saturday.

Kwame Dawes, a cousin of Awoonor as well as a poet who was in Nairobi at the time of the attack, said Awoonor and his son were separated when the shooting started.

“I think the son went to pick up something at the mall. Professor Awoonor was in the parking garage waiting for him,” Dawes told the AFP news agency. 

“The son was shot while he was inside the mall. We don’t know at what point the professor was shot.”

Religious extremism is certainly nothing new, and it’s interesting to note that the social constructs meant to divide all people, whether they are politics, religion, ‘race’ and/or ‘class’ – they are the ones which people question the least and believe the most. As long as these constructs go unquestioned and unchallenged, things like this will become more and more commonplace everywhere. You’d think that we all would want better for ourselves! Aren’t we tired of occurrences like this? Life is so precious…why it’s meaningless to some people, I’ll never know.

Last but not least, I read about the 1813 racist text messages between two teachers in Pennsylvania on the Field Negro blog the other day. Those disgusting texts are shocking, to say the least…sadly, I can’t say that I’m surprised by them. Anyone who believes that people who are teachers, doctors, attorneys, first responders, or any other so-called ‘public employee’ can’t possibly be racist is a deluded fool. I’ve experienced racism at the hands of people in those professions at one time or another during my life, so this latest incident is nothing new. I wonder when others will stop pretending to be shocked at the racism that is prevalent in this country – I would guess that those who are surprised aren’t old enough to know better…it’s really nothing new under the sun.

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