February 3, 2011

AP’s Crary Does All He Can to Instill Doubt About LiveAction.org’s Planned Parenthood Sting Video

Poor Associated Press National Writer David Crary. He doesn’t seem to like what LiveAction.org did at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Perth Amboy, New Jersey in mid-January, and wants to make sure his readers leave his writeup with some level of doubt about the legitimacy of the group’s undercover video showing a clinic manager willing to provide assistance to a pimp for his underage hookers.

His report yesterday, with an accompanying headline seemingly designed to avoid identifying the video’s content opened thusly (bold is mine):

New video seeks to discredit Planned Parenthood

An anti-abortion group Tuesday released undercover video taken in its latest attempt to discredit Planned Parenthood – footage of operatives posing as a pimp and a prostitute seeking health services at a New Jersey clinic.

The group releasing the video, Live Action, said it depicted a clinic employee offering to help cover up a sex ring so that its prostitutes could receive health services. Planned Parenthood said it had promptly notified law enforcement authorities after the visit, but it also said it was investigating whether the clinic employee in the video may have violated some of the organization’s policies.

Just in case readers didn’t get the point of “said it depicted” the first time, Crary tries to insert doubt elsewhere in his report as follows:

On Tuesday, Live Action released a video that it said was taken Jan. 13 at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Perth Amboy, N.J.

In the video, a woman identified as the clinic manager converses with a man and a woman posing as sex traffickers regarding their interest in accessing contraception, abortions and sexually transmitted-disease testing for underage prostitutes.

As depicted in the video, the clinic manager advises that the underage girls could lie about their age to lessen the chance of triggering an investigation once they sought health services.

“For the most part, we want as little information as possible,” the employee says, according to the video.

The video also depicts the employee suggesting that prostitutes could get cheaper contraception by claiming they were students.

Yeah, just kind of play along that they’re students – we want to make it look as legit as possible,” the woman identified as the clinic manager says.

Live Action said it was making available both edited and unedited versions of the video.

We wouldn’t want anybody thinking that this video is 100% real — even though Planned Parenthood has made no attempt to deny that the incident took place — now do we?

The video’s location and the identity of the clinic’s manager should been easily verifiable. There seems to be a pretty good chance that the name of the manager was known by the time Crary wrote his report.

Crary & Co. at the AP are going to have to work up another “please don’t read this, and if you do, please don’t believe it” writeup, as LiveAction released a second video “it says” is from a Richmond, Virginia Planned Parenthood clinic.

The AP headline for what is for the moment a brief story relating to the Richmond video is: “Anti-abortion group video targets Virginia clinic.” Gosh, I thought “targeting” people or organizations was supposed to be a bad thing.

Like it or not, it seems that David Crary & Co. might be on this story for a while. LiveAction.org’s second video, like the first, ends with “To Be Continued.”

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Planned Parenthood, Pimps, and Underage Prostitutes: ‘To Be Continued’ Continues

Filed under: Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:21 am

In reference to the sting discussed in this Tuesday post (“Planned Parenthood Aids Pimp’s Underage Sex Ring”), a Daily Caller report carried at Yahoo! News had this yesterday:

Planned Parenthood fires employee caught engaging in nefarious behavior in undercover video

… Phyllis Kinsler, chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Central New Jersey, said that she and her colleagues were appalled after viewing the video.

“We were profoundly shocked when we viewed the videotape released this morning, which depicted an employee of one of our health centers behaving in a repugnant manner that is inconsistent with our standards of care and is completely unacceptable,” Kinsler said.

… Planned Parenthood has called Woodruff’s actions an isolated incident

Isolated, Schmisolated (Warning: obviously R-rated topic) —

LifeNews.com describes:

A second videotape has been released showing a Planned Parenthood abortion business covering up an alleged sex trafficking ring. The first tape showed staffers in New Jersey engaged in the coverup and this one features a clinic in Virginia.

The undercover investigation sponsored by the pro-life group Live Action features the same setup in this second video: a sex ring operator and one of his prostitutes visit the Richmond Planned Parenthood abortion center looking for information about how to obtain abortions for the minor girls they allegedly illegally brought to the United State.

The new Richmond video presents a similar scenario as the New Jersey video. A man posing as a pimp and accompanied by his “bottom girl” seek assistance for getting abortions, STD testing and birth control for girls they “manage” as sex workers, who are from out of the country and as young as 14 to 15 years old.

One again, the sting operation has Planned Parenthood officials willing to bend over backwards to get abortions for the victimized girls and, in this case, bragging about how they can undermine the judicial bypass provision in the Virginia parental notification law to get a judge to approve the secret abortions on the sex slaves.

SayAnything comments:

… Planned Parenthood and its apologists say their goal is to keep abortion “safe, legal and rare” but nothing could be further from the truth. Planned Parenthood profits mightily from abortions and seeks to do as many as possible. That’s why they support legislation that allows children to get abortions without telling their parents. That’s why they support legislation that allows children to be escorted across state lines to get an abortion.

That’s why their employees are willing to look the other way when an admitted pimp comes in to organize abortions for his underage hookers.

God bless Lila Rose.

It’s apparently not over, according to the video’s end:

ToBeContinued

Lickety-Split Links (020311, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 9:22 am

The instinctive reaction to this (HT Politics Extra) is that it’s a too-little, too-late marker being laid down to prevent further necessary structural changes (i.e., “We’ve done our part, now go away”):

(Ohio) Public workers to pay more if pension plan passes

More than 1.1 million state and local government workers — teachers, police officers, firefighters and others — will have to work longer before they are eligible to retire, and many will have to pay more toward their pensions, according to plans presented Wednesday by the five public retirement systems.

When I was last fully up on the details, the fundamental problem in the public plans was that those who work for 10, 15, or even 20 years and leave for another line of work get nothing, or darned close to it, which works to unduly enrich those who stay on until retirement. All employees should vest 100% in their contributions, their employer contributions, and all earnings after a fairly brief employment term (three years max).

Where were these ideas last year, and the year before, and the year before, when the Legislature decided it had to retroactively raise taxes instead? It looks like the Legislature didn’t want to hear about them, because they were engaging in a mutually agreeable collective cop-out:

The issue languished during 2010, a gubernatorial and legislative election year when candidates didn’t want to be pinned down on what they knew would be unpopular decisions back home.

Translation: We can’t govern, because we have to make sure we get reelected first.

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Robert Redford is a Natural — at being an eco-hypocrite (HT Hot Air).

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Reasons to dump Indiana Senator Dick Lugar, from Adam Graham at Pajamas Media:

1) He’s Fiscally Irresponsible.
2) He’s a Foe of the Second Amendment.
3) He Supports Amnesty and He’s Weak on Illegal Immigration.
4) His Version of Bipartisanship Is Going Along with the Democrats.
5) We Can Do Better.

The guess here is that if Mike Pence would decide to go after Lugar in a primary, Indiana’s senior senator would choose to retire. Let’s find out, Mike.

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Crony capitalism (HT Instapundit):

The Obama administration will spare a stalled power plant project in California from the newest federal limits on greenhouse gases and conventional air pollution.

… The proposed Avenal Energy project will be a combined-cycle generating plant consisting of two natural gas-fired General Electric 7FA Gas Turbines with Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSG) and one General Electric Steam Turbine.

Imagine that.

Positivity: Scripps Research scientists convert skin cells to beating heart cells

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:59 am

From La Jolla, California (HT FuturePundit via Instapundit; bolds are mine):

Scripps Research Institute scientists have converted adult skin cells directly into beating heart cells efficiently without having to first go through the laborious process of generating embryonic-like stem cells. The powerful general technology platform could lead to new treatments for a range of diseases and injuries involving cell loss or damage, such as heart disease, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease.

The work was published January 30, 2011, in an advance, online issue of Nature Cell Biology.

“This work represents a new paradigm in stem cell reprogramming,” said Scripps Research Associate Professor Sheng Ding, Ph.D., who led the study. “We hope it helps overcome major safety and other technical hurdles currently associated with some types of stem cell therapies.”

Making Stem Cells

As the human body develops, embryonic-like stem cells multiply and transform themselves into more mature cell types through a process known as differentiation, producing all of the body’s different cell types and tissues. Past the embryonic stage, however, the human body has limited capacity to generate new cells to replace ones that have been lost or damaged.

Thus, scientists have been trying to develop ways to “reprogram” adult human cells back to a more embryonic-like, or pluripotent, state, from which they are able to divide and then change into any of the body’s cell types. Using these techniques, scientists aim to someday be able to take a patient’s own cells, say skin cells, change them into heart or brain cells, and then insert them back into the patient to fix damaged tissues. In 2006, Japanese scientists reported that they could reprogram mouse skin cells to become pluripotent simply by inserting a set of four genes into the cells.

Although the technology to generate these cells, dubbed induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, represents a major advance, there are some hurdles to overcome before it can be adapted to therapies.

“It takes a long time to generate iPS cells and then differentiate them into tissue-specific functional cell types,” said Ding, “and it’s a tedious process. Also, what you generate is not ideal.”

Specifically, it takes some two to four weeks for scientists to create iPS cells from skin cells and the process is far from efficient, with only one cell out of thousands making the complete transformation. Furthermore, once scientists obtain iPS cells, they then have to go through the tricky procedure of inducing the iPS cells to differentiate into desired types of cells, which takes an additional two to four weeks.

In addition, the process of generating mature cells from iPS cells is not foolproof. When, for example, scientists induce iPS cells to become heart cells, the resulting cells are a mix of heart cells and some lingering iPS cells. Scientists are concerned that giving these new heart cells (along with the remaining pluripotent cells) to patients might be dangerous. When pluripotent cells are injected in mice, they cause cancer-like growths.

Because of these concerns, Ding and colleagues decided to try to tweak the process by completely bypassing the iPS stage and going directly from one type of mature cell (a skin cell) to another (a heart cell).

Bypassing the Stem Cell Stage

The team introduced the same four genes initially used to make iPS cells into adult skin fibroblast cells, but instead of letting the genes be continuously active in cells for several weeks, they switched off their activities just after a few days, long before the cells had turned into iPS cells. Once the four genes were switched off, the scientists gave a signal to the cells to make them turn into heart cells.

“In 11 days, we went from skin cells to beating heart cells in a dish,” said Ding. “It was phenomenal to see.”

Ding points out the protocol is fundamentally different from what has been done by other scientists in the past and notes that giving the cells a different kind of signal could turn them into brain cells or pancreatic cells.

“It is like launching a rocket,” he said. “Until now, people thought you needed to first land the rocket on the moon and then from there you could go to other planets. But here we show that just after the launch you can redirect the rocket to another planet without having to first go to the moon. This is a totally new paradigm.” …

Go here for the rest of the press release.

If this works, this April 23, 2007 prediction comes true (it’s arguably a done deal already):

Write it down: 5 years, even 10 years from now, ESCR (embryonic stem cell research) will still be almost nothing but promise, while other SCR will at a minimum have done another 5-10 years of blocking and tackling, and may itself achieve all the breakthroughs Hail Mary black-hole ESCR promises — *someday*. That would include pluripotency, as there are beyond-early indications that ASCRs can be trained to be pluripotent. If realized, that achievement would, and should, consign life-taking ESCR to the ash heap of history.

Ya just gotta have faith: