Clinic Escort Training – Twin Cities, Minnesota

Whole Women’s Health-Twin Cities – the clinic where I escort – is holding a call for volunteers and escort training tomorrow morning. This will be our second open call, and unlike this past winter, the weather will actually be above freezing!

Five people in vests standing in a room with a statement stenciled on the wall nearby, "We are not a gang in the usual sense of the term, we are a gang for justice. – Gulabi Gang"

Some of the Whole Women’s Health clinic escort team.

If you are interested in volunteering with the clinic as an escort – or maybe you have an interest in getting involved in other ways – come on down to Whole Women’s Health tomorrow morning at 7am. There will be coffee and donuts (first come, first serve), a Do and Don’ts of Clinic Escorting training, and a then a chance to observe on the sidewalk and have antis lecture you on the evils of abortion!

Now who doesn’t want that?

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Cross-Country Connections: Transportation

Cross-Country Connections is a Biodork weekly blog entry dedicated to telling stories in pictures of three family members – me, my sister and Mom – living in different locations across the country. Every week we choose a different theme and then take or contribute a personal photo that fits the theme. This week’s theme is Transportation.

From Erin in Rockville, Maryland:

Electric scooter parked in front of trees.

My scooter used to be my daily ride. I miss it dearly.

From Mom in Hagerstown, Maryland: 

Mom sitting in front of the Hogwart's Express at Universal Studios

Me in front of the Hogwarts Express!

From me in Minneapolis, Minnesota:

Black hearse parked outside of Valleyfair amusement park, decorated with the word "Haunt" and a skeleton driver

Valleyfair, the local amusement park, does a Halloween theme in September-October every year. The black hearse parked outside the front entrance doesn’t look quite as spooky in the daytime.

 

I’m coming to Oz!

The most amazing thing has happened: I’ve been asked to go to Australia for work! Work-covered plane tickets! A chance to meet new people in my company and customers who use our products in a different geography! A chance to work and temporarily live in a radically different location! It’s like winning the lottery – except still having to work.

I leave Minneapolis on October 31st (no Halloween parties for me *sniff* I’ll get over it BECAUSE AUSTRALIA), and I’ll be all over the place for two and a half weeks: Melbourne and then across to Western Australia to work in Perth and Kalgoorlie. I’m thrilled to be able to represent my company, and to see different parts of a country that I never imagined I would be able to visit any time in the near future.

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Dammit, Justice Scalia.

Last Wednesday WashingtonTimes.com reported on Justice Scalia’s recent speaking engagement at Colorado Christian University. And boy did he have a lot to say. From the Washington Times:

“I think the main fight is to dissuade Americans from what the secularists are trying to persuade them to be true: that the separation of church and state means that the government cannot favor religion over nonreligion,” Justice Scalia said.

“That’s a possible way to run a political system. The Europeans run it that way,” Justice Scalia said. “And if the American people want to do it, I suppose they can enact that by statute. But to say that’s what the Constitution requires is utterly absurd.”

Ascuze me?

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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Two weeks ago the Hubby and I flew down to Orlando, Florida to spend a week with my Mom at Universal Studios.

We stayed at a hotel on the Universal park campus and were a short bus ride away from the gates. The hotel is called Cabana Bay Beach Resort and it was… an experience. It’s styled after Vegas resorts of the 1950s-60s: classic cars parked outside of the main entrance, posters bearing over-the-top Beaver Cleaveresque-like messages like “Have a SWELL day” plastered up throughout the hallways and elevators, 50s music and retro commercials playing in the main dining area, a Jack LaLanne exercise studio and a bowling alley.

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Religious Freedom Restoration Act

I hadn’t given much thought to the legal basis upon which Hobby Lobby and similar corporations are fighting against birth control for their employees. I knew that it had to do claims that their religious freedom was being threatened, and I assumed that this must have something to do the First Amendment, which reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

It was as I was listening to the most recent RH Reality Cast yesterday morning that I heard Amanda Marcotte mention that these recent attacks are not appeals to the First Amendment. What, what? Marcotte was interviewing Gretchen Borchelt, Senior Counsel and Director of State Reproductive Health Policy at the National Women’s Law Center, and they were discussing corporate-driven lawsuits attacking employee access to contraception. It was here that I learned that these types of lawsuits are not direct appeals to constitutional freedoms, but to a federal law called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA, pronounced by Marcotte as “Riffrah”).

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