FERGUSON, Mo. — Thousands have been protesting the police killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. He was due to start college just days after he was shot dead in broad daylight. Police left his bleeding corpse in the middle of the street for over four hours, behind police tape, as neighbors gathered and looked on in horror. Outraged citizens protested, and police brutally cracked down on them. Clad in paramilitary gear and using armored vehicles, they shot tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and flash-bang grenades, aiming automatic weapons at protesters. Scores of peaceful protesters, as well as journalists, have been arrested.

The protests have raged along Ferguson’s West Florissant Avenue. Four miles south of the protest’s ground zero, along the same street, in the quietude of Calvary Cemetery, lies Dred Scott, the man born a slave who famously fought for his freedom in the courts. The Dred Scott decision of 1857 is considered by many to be the worst one in the history of the U.S. Supreme Court. It ruled that African-Americans, whether slave or free, could not be citizens, ever.
Scott was born into slavery in Virginia around 1799 (the same year noted Virginia slaveholder President George Washington died). Scott’s owner moved from Virginia, taking him to Missouri, a slave state. He was sold to John Emerson, a surgeon in the U.S. Army. In 1847, Scott sued Emerson for his freedom in a St. Louis court. Scott and his family prevailed, winning their freedom, only to have the decision overturned by the Missouri Supreme Court. The case then went to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Do I have to give permission for my health records to be in an HIE? from World Privacy Forum on Vimeo.

A health care provider does not need your permission to share your medical information for treatment purposes within an HIE, just as a doctor does not need permission to send your records via fax to another doctor for treatment purposes. This is true even if your health record is going to a doctor you have never met before. The idea is that this information is shared only when necessary and only for treatment purposes. However, some HIEs, recognizing that HIEs involve many more patients and new methods of sharing, do give patients the ability to opt out of the HIE.

Taken from the video series at World Privacy Forum.

John Oliver makes many points that individuals have been making for the past 5-10 years.

In the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, John Oliver explores the racial inequality in treatment by police as well as the increasing militarization of America’s local police forces.

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NARAL Pro-Choice Texas and Progress Texas released a video containing audio from “Keeping Abortion Facilities Closed,” a training hosted by anti-abortion groups at the State Capitol on August 4, 2014. The video reveals the methods anti-abortion activists currently employ to physically intimidate women from accessing safe and legal abortion care in Texas.

The disturbing tactics outlined by the four speakers in the video include: identifying and monitoring patients, providers and clinic staff, lining sidewalks outside clinics to dissuade patients from entering clinics, tracking and cataloguing the physical descriptions and car license plates of patients, and searching tax records to find locations of new abortion providers.

From the Austin Chronicle:

The audio, from NARAL Pro-Choice Texas and Progress Texas, was recorded during a training session at the Capitol hosted by several anti-abortion groups. Entitled, “Keeping Abortion Facilities Closed,” the recording reveals the disturbing lengths anti-abortion advocates take to track, monitor and intimidate abortion providers, clinic staff, and patients.

For instance, Karen Garnett of the Catholic Pro-Life Committee of North Texas instructs the audience on how to track license plates as well as car make, model, and description of the patients visiting abortion clinics and lauds causing cancelled abortion procedures by “lining the sidewalks” of abortion clinics. “You track license plates […] coming into any abortion facility. We have a very sophisticated spreadsheet. This way you can track whether or not a client comes back.”

Another speaker refers to monitoring the percentage of abortion clinic closures as “keeping score” and cites the number of clinic staffers who quit, to applause. The “poorer ones,” she said, heard the abortion clinic in their area was going to close and visited an anti-choice crisis pregnancy center instead. “God is good,” she said.

If you want to know how vile their tactics are, read some of the comments here.

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