Wednesday, October 29, 2014
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -
A Chicago alderman may be in hot water after she offered people the chance to win prizes if they vote.
Fifth Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston has since pulled the post off her Facebook page, but not after it caught the attention of the Cook County State's .
FOX 32 News went to the Southside of Hairston to see if they're really handing out prizes for voting.
The post on the alderman's Facebook page went up Monday telling residents they could win raffle prizes if they go to the polls.
Hairston's instructions: “Vote--you're eligible no matter the candidate, then put their name and contact information on the back of their voter receipt.... And stop by the Fifth Ward office and drop it off.”
Among the raffle prizes were gift cards from area , including Walgreens, Potbelly's and Starbucks. Plus, $100 visa gift cards.
FOX 32 showed the Facebook post to election attorney Burt Odelson.
Article 29-1 bans the practice of vote-buying, and carries a class four felony.
"That section is very specific that you cannot offer anything, money or anything of value, to entice someone to vote one way or another, or just to vote," Odelson added.
FOX 32 News caught up with the Alderman at City Hall on a break from budget hearings.
Ald. Leslie Hairston: "Well, that is not exactly it."
Dane: "How am I wrong?"
Hairston: "The post is now gone."
Dane: "Well the post was up for some time."
Hairston: "And now it's gone."
Indeed, the raffle post had disappeared from Hairston's Facebook page by early afternoon.
Dane: "Do you understand why people became alarmed about this?"
Hairston: "When we found out we took it down."
Later, Hairston issued the following statement:
"...my only intent was to encourage people to exercise their right to vote... There was no subterfuge involved at . It may not have been well thought out, but it was well intentioned."
"It is a throwback to the old hinky dink days to tell you the truth when it was commonplace to buy a person's vote. When it was a big joke. But this is Chicago," Odelson said.
A spokesperson for Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez told FOX 32 News their election fraud unit was made aware of the post and has opened an investigation.
By the way, Hairston's office said no one had entered the raffle by the time it was taken down Tuesday afternoon.
Post birth abortion, nee murder, the progressives dream gaining traction. The selfishness of the left.
by MAIREAD MCARDLE - THOMAS AQUINAS COLLEGE on OCTOBER 29, 2014
A trend seen by prolife activists that frequently engage college students on campuses nationwide is the growing acceptance of post-birth abortion, or killing the infant after he or she is born, campus prolife outreach leaders tell The College Fix.
Anecdotal evidence by leaders of prolife groups such as Created Equal and Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust said in interviews that not only do they see more college students willing to say they support post-birth abortion, but some students even suggest children up to 4 or 5-years-old can also be killed, because they are not yet “self aware.”
“We encounter people who think it is morally acceptable to kill babies after birth on a regular basis at almost every campus we visit,” said Mark Harrington, director of Created Equal. “While this viewpoint is still seen as shocking by most people, it is becoming increasingly popular.”
Campuses where the high school, college students, local activists and staff members of Created Equal have encountered this opinion include Purdue, University of Minnesota, and University of Central Florida. And at Ohio State earlier this year, the group captured a debate on videobetween one of its members and an older woman on campus who defended infanticide.
“This is the whole problem with devaluing human life at any stage—it will naturally grow to include other groups of humans; in this case, born humans as well as preborn humans,” Harrington said. “[I] talked with one young man at the University of Minnesota who thought it was alright to kill children if they were under the age of 5 years old, as he did not consider them persons until that age.”
Kristina Garza, spokeswoman for Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, a prolife organization that often sets up anti-abortion displays on campuses along the West Coast, said her group also frequently encounters college students who accept infanticide.
“For those who are firmly for abortion, because they understand it kills a human being, it’s very easy for them to accept killing a human being after birth,” Garza said. “There is this notion that is common on campus, that it’s OK to kill babies because somehow we don’t become human until we are self aware.”
“A common number that is going around is 4 years old,” she adds.
As for the trend, Garza said there’s an explanation for it. For one, the arguments put forth by Peter Singer and other philosophers who support infanticide are given as reading assignments to college students.
Singer wrote in 1979 that “human babies are not born self-aware, or capable of grasping that they exist over time. They are not persons … [therefore] the life of a newborn is of less value than the life of a pig, a dog, or a chimpanzee.”
“He has been saying things like this since the 70s, but I think it has been more recently that this type of ideology is being promoted on college campuses,” Garza said. “When he said this stuff, there was a very select few who accepted it. But nowadays, we have become so desensitized, and college students lacking in a moral fiber easily accept this kind of strange ideology.”
But prolife advocacy and engagement on campuses has helped turn students away from pro-choice stances, she adds.
“While the number of students who believe it is OK with killing children after birth is growing, the number of students who accept that life beings at conception is also growing, and that is growing at a larger and faster rate than those who accept infanticide,” Garza said.
“The trends I am seeing is it’s not so much students are better grounded in morals, it’s that we as a prolife movement have done our job in presenting a better argument, and we are pushing people out of the middle,” she said. “We are seeing more students who see the logic and choose to be anti-abortion.”
Yet staunch opposition to the prolife philosphy remains.
Asked about the incident at Ohio State, at which a woman responded to a prolife display by defending infanticide, a pro-abortion activism group at the campus stated its views were similar to those of the woman in the clip.
“As for post-birth abortion, I would imagine that my colleagues would think the ‘post-birth’ part was largely irrelevant, as we believe very strongly in abortion on demand, without apology, and it’s plain and simple that we should look to the woman’s morals and not shove our opinions where they, frankly, don’t belong,” Devin Deitsch, leader of VOX: Voices for Planned Parenthood at Ohio State University, said in an email to The College Fix.
“Speaking as the primary leader of VOX, I assure you we are very pro-choice,” Deitsch also noted. “… We are not here to advocate for women to get abortions, we advocate for her ability to make that choice without fear, heckling, or barriers. Essentially, we ask for a woman (and her body) to be respected. Nothing more, nothing less.”
College Fix reporter Mairead McArdle is a student at Thomas Aquinas College.
By Michelle Nichols and Umaru Fofana
MONROVIA/FREETOWN (Reuters) - Australia became the first developed country on Tuesday to shut its borders to citizens of the countries worst-hit by the West African Ebola outbreak, a move those states said stigmatized healthy people and would make it harder to fight the disease.
Australia's ban on visas for citizens of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea followed decisions by the U.S. military to quarantine soldiers returning from an Ebola response mission and some U.S. states to isolate aid workers. The United Nations said such measures could discourage vital relief work, making it harder to stop the spread of the deadly virus.
"Anything that will dissuade foreign trained personnel from coming here to West Africa and joining us on the frontline to fight the fight would be very, very unfortunate," Anthony Banbury, head of the U.N. Ebola Emergency Response Mission (UNMEER), told Reuters in the Ghanaian capital Accra.
Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf urged Australia to reconsider its travel ban.
"Anytime there's stigmatization, there's quarantine, there's exclusion of people, many of whom are just normal, then those of us who are fighting this epidemic, when we face that, we get very sad," she told a news conference.
Neighboring Sierra Leone called the Australian move draconian.
"It is discriminatory in that ... it is not (going) after Ebola but rather it is ... against the 24 million citizens of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea," Information Minister Alpha Kanu told Reuters. "Certainly, it is not the right way to go."
The virus has killed almost 5,000 people since March, mostly in those three countries. Nine U.S. cases have prompted states such as New York and New Jersey to ignore federal advice and quarantine all health workers returning from the region.
A Texas nurse who caught Ebola in the United States while treating an infected Liberian patient left hospital on Tuesday after being declared free of the disease.
"I'm so grateful to be well, a smiling Amber Vinson, 29, told reporters at Emory University Hospital before hugging the doctors and nurses who treated her for two weeks.
The arrival of the disease in the United States has prompted fierce debate there and in other developed countries about the best measures to prevent its spread.
The World Health Organization says overly restrictive quarantines and travel bans will put people off volunteering to go to Africa, where relief workers are needed to help improve a health system to deal with the disease.
"We desperately need international health workers ... They are really the key to this response,” WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said.
World Bank chief Jim Yong Kim said the three worst hit countries needed 5,000 overseas health workers at any one time.
"Those health workers cannot work continuously: there needs to be a rotation. So we will need many thousands of health workers over the next months to a year in order to bring this epidemic under control," he said an African Union meeting in Ethiopia. "Right now, I am very much worried where we will find those health workers."
Even African countries with no Ebola cases have been angered by policies being implemented in richer countries.
"Western countries are creating mass panic which is unhelpful in containing a contagious disease like Ebola," said Ugandan government spokesman Ofwono Opondo.
"If they create mass panic ... this fear will eventually spread beyond ordinary people to health workers or people who transport the sick and then what will happen? Entire populations will be wiped out."
Eighty-two people who had contact with a toddler who died of Ebola in Mali last week are being monitored, the WHO said, but no new cases have been reported there.
Mali became the sixth West African country to report a case of the disease. Senegal and Nigeria both stopped the virus by tracking down people who had had contact with those who brought it into their country and monitoring them for symptoms.
American soldiers returning from West Africa are being isolated, even if they show no symptoms and are not believed to have been exposed to the virus.
Army said Chief of Staff General Raymond Odierno ordered the 21-day monitoring period "to ensure soldiers, family members and their surrounding communities are confident that we are taking all steps necessary to protect their health".
ADOPT AND ADAPT
Dr. Jeff Duchin, chairman of the public health committee of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, said the isolation was not a necessary step. "From a public health perspective, we would not feel that isolation is appropriate," he said.
The decision goes well beyond established military protocols and came as President Barack Obama's administration sought to discourage quarantines being imposed by some U.S. states.
Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), called for isolation of people at the highest risk for Ebola infection but said most returning medical workers would require monitoring without isolation.
"At CDC, we base our decisions on science and experience ... And as the science and experience changes, we adopt and adapt our guidelines and recommendations," Frieden said.
Australia has not recorded a case of Ebola despite a number of scares, and conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott has so far resisted repeated requests to send medical personnel to help battle the outbreak on the ground.
Adam Kamradt-Scott, of the University of Sydney's Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity, said the travel ban would do nothing to protect the country from Ebola while potentially having a negative public health impact by creating a climate of panic.
Medical professionals say Ebola is difficult to catch. It is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids from an infected person and not transmitted by asymptomatic people.