Blogger Sightings and Stuff

Whoever keeps searching for me by first and last name: Hello. Just email me already. And if I don’t like you, fucking quit it.

The other night I took a long walk trying to alleviate some of the tension I am feeling over student teaching. I took my usual walk to campus with my headphones and inappropriate shoes and hit up a coffee shop for some lemon tea. I got indoors and, as usual, started sweating my ass off as soon as my skin felt air conditioning.

Over to my left I heard, “Is *whisper whisper* girl *whisper whisper* blog? Hurry!”

I glanced over and saw three or four people sitting on some couches with a laptop, looking at me and looking at the laptop. One of them had craned his head around to stare.

Yes, the non-LiveJournal community in this town is that small. Additionally, I believe I and this blog are being used as an example in the English department by certain people who shall not be named.

I sneered back at them. Who said too much time on the internet makes one antisocial?

Posted in Blogging, Vanity | Tagged | 16 Comments

Precedence and Abortion

Supreme Court nominee John Roberts said Tuesday that the landmark 1973 ruling on abortion was “settled as a precedent of the court” as he was immediately pressed to address the divisive issue on the second day of his confirmation hearings.

“It’s settled as a precedent of the court, entitled to respect under principles of stare decisis,” the concept that long-settled decisions should be given extra weight, Roberts told the Senate Judiciary Committee…

“There’s nothing in my personal views based on faith or other sources that would prevent me from applying the precedent of the court faithfully under the principles of stare decisis,” Roberts said.

Stare decisis is Latin for “to stand by a decision” and legally translates into the doctrine that says courts are bound by previous decisions, or precedents, particularly when a case has been decided by a higher court.

Questioned about rights of privacy, the appellate judge cited various amendments of the Constitution that he said protect those rights, and said, “I do think the right to privacy is protected under the Constitution in various ways.”

Specter, a moderate Republican who supports abortion rights, asked if the Roe v. Wade decision was a “super-duper precedent” in light of efforts to overturn it.

Roberts noted that the Supreme Court itself upheld the basics of Roe v. Wade in a 1992 case, Casey v. Planned Parenthood.

“That, I think, is the decision that any judge in this area would begin with,” Roberts said.

Still not buying it, judge-for-life.

Posted in Politics, Reproductive Rights | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Against the Odds

A great post at Abortion Clinic Days documents one woman’s choice. She’s 17 years old, and already a parent to a special-needs child.

It’s a definite must-read; just ignore all the ridiculous anti-choice comments.

Posted in Reproductive Rights | Tagged | 25 Comments

Trying to get it…

A post over at Dawn Eden’s anti-choice-to-the-extreme blog has generated a lot of interesting comments — and helped me to further understand the complete disconnect between the anti-choice/anti-sex crowd and the pro-choice/sex-positive group.

Contracepting couples are denying the life-giving aspect of themselves, rendering their copulation as sterile as masturbation. Oh, heck, it feels good, and it’s a bonding experience, but it is not the total selfless giving of a totally open conjugal union.

So if you don’t want to get pregnant, you’re using your partner as a vibrator. This is doubly insulting, since we all know that masturbation is evil.

My question is, wouldn’t this logic make sex-for-baby-making equally bad? Because if you’re only doing it for the purpose of getting pregnant because you want a child, you’re not exactly being totally selfless, are you?

The avoidance of death does not justify immoral actions when there are other ways of getting around it. IF a woman gets pregnant, her life MIGHT be in peril, ASSUMING there is nothing surgery can do to save her. I suppose continence would be irresponsible. It IS irresponsible for a man to get a vasectomy even here, because his wife might die for just about any reason at any time. Vasectomy might save a man from an infection, but I have no idea how it’s supposed to keep someone else from dying. He might want to re-marry, especially if they had young children, and he and his new wife might want to have children.

I don’t think it’s wonderful for a man to have a vasectomy and reverse it all in honor of a woman. I think it’s sick, and it reminds me of the practice of wives jumping on the husband’s funeral pyre. In a way the very notion of a marriage vow shows you love something more than husband or wife, or what would you be swearing by? Even marital love has definite limitations, and some which people might actually not want.

Limitations of marriage: using contraceptives or getting a vastectomy to prevent your wife’s death from pregnancy complications. Because, hey, she might die anyway! And then you might have to get your vastectomy reversed so that you can impregnate your new wife, who you will certainly need to marry ASAP if you have young children from Dead Wife 1 (it’s not like you can be expected to care for them). And doing things to save your wife’s life may be construed as actually “honoring” her, and that’s just sick.

My point, however badly stated, was that if a woman is likely to die from sexual intercourse, she should not engage in it. Vasectomies and contraception are not necessary because it is not necessary that even married people have sex.

To clarify, this guy is responding to a woman who said that she would likely die from another pregnancy, and so her husband had a vastecomy. They are both, apparently, selfish heathens who should just give up sex entirely.

Posted in Reproductive Rights | Tagged | 25 Comments


I just wrote a huge post and lost it. I give up.

Posted in Blogging | 16 Comments

Too Much Reverence

There is way too much reverence in Blog World today. Because we all need a bit of irreverence sometimes, an old punk song:

Detention – Dead Rock n’ Rollers

For some reason, the lines about Jim Carroll and John Lennon are especially satisfying.

For more generally palatable listening, see David Pajo who is very clearly channeling the ghost of Elliott Smith:

Pajo – Icicles
Pajo – War is Dead
Pajo – Let Me Bleed

Posted in Music | Comments Off on Too Much Reverence

Nope, Can’t Be Racism

Last week, Rep. Richard Baker (R-LA) of Baton Rouge was overheard telling lobbyists:

“We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn’t do it, but God did.”

Backtracking, Baker later said “he didn’t intend flippancy but has long wanted to improve low-income housing.”

Again, what the hell are they going to do with New Orleans?

Posted in Race & Ethnicity | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Quiet War On Abortion, Plus Dems

The Dems are signing on for their support of national Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP laws). If the acronym is new to you, here is a background:

For years, the anti-abortion movement has pressed its case with noisy demonstrations that blocked clinics, with high-profile legislation that directly challenged the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, and in some cases with violence, including the assassination of physicians. But 28 years after Roe, with public support of abortion rights running high, the movement has adopted what might be called a stealth strategy: to chip away at abortion rights, slowly and discreetly, with low-profile legislation and lawsuits that stop short of trying to outlaw the procedure.

The new tactic is to bombard providers with a barrage of costly rules. In addition to the civil-liability law, Louisiana has tried to slap abortion providers with extra-stringent building codes that regulate everything from the width of hallways in clinics to the angles and jet types for drinking fountains. Abortion opponents want to create small, expensive obstacles that cumulatively make it harder for clinics to offer services—or, in the words of one right-to-life leader, to create an environment “where abortion may indeed be perfectly legal, but no one can get one.” Not only does the tactic have the benefit of generating little public attention, but it also allows anti-abortion activists to couch the issue in terms of a woman’s welfare—for example, the right of a patient to sue her physician for unlimited sums.

“This is certainly one campaign that’s gaining increasing popularity as a way to hammer at abortion providers: to do it under the guise of caring about women’s health,” says Linda Rosenthal, a staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy in New York. “That’s a pretty palatable starting point. Of course, everybody cares about women’s health. But the way these regulations translate is onerous.”

The stealth strategy is being deployed nationwide, from Utah to Connecticut. But it’s Louisiana that serves as the incubator for the rest of the nation, the state where anti-abortion activists develop innovative measures to test on a state legislature where Catholics and Southern Baptists predominate.

An attempted example includes a “civil-liability” law that would have allowed any woman who regretted her abortion to sue the providing doctors any time within the ten years afterward, not only for any emotional or physical damages she may have faced, but also for “damages occasioned by the unborn child.” With no limits to the amount doctors could be ordered to pay, one big judgment in favor of a woman who regretted her abortion could drive an entire clinic out of business. In some cases they exempt abortion providers who perform less than some specified number or percentage of abortions in their practices, thus exempting private practices and faulting free clinics.

Other examples that have passed include excluding midwives and nurse practitioners from those qualified to perform abortions, even though their training with abortion is that of a physician. In other cases, they require all private and free clinics that provide abortion to have facilities comparable to a hospital, which are unnecessary to the procedure and often too expensive for clinics to procure.

Plenty of Democrats are in support of these measures, in part because it doesn’t look outright anti-choice to voters undereducated on anti practices, and in part because it sends a coded message of “morality” to anti-choice voters who might vote Democratic. If you’ll notice, all of these Democrats pictured are men, perfectly willing to sacrifice women’s rights and autonomy for political gain.

All of this is so maddening — morality exists in the hearts and minds of people, it cannot be legislated. Keep this in mind as the John Roberts nomination moves toward confirmation. He is no friend of women, no friend of minorities.

via Media Girl

Posted in Health, Politics, Religion, Reproductive Rights, Sex | Tagged , , | 46 Comments

Breaking News

Satire is a fine art:

WASHINGTON, SEPTEMBER 9 – As the grim body count climbs in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and its consequent flooding, fingers are increasingly being pointed at a pattern of systemic negligience by representatives of an entire political party. And some observers are saying that the problem goes all the way to the top.

“As far as I’m concerned, every single Democratic politician bears the blame for the shocking death toll in this disaster,” Secretary of State Condimelda Rice told Creek Running North. “Every single objective observer warned them starting in 2000 that the Bush Administration would wreak havoc on the fabric of this country. They did nothing to combat us, nor even to mitigate the worst effects of our actions after the fact. We have gutted this nation’s wealth and destroyed its infrastructure, and they did nothing but stand by and watch it happen. They had the skills, they had the manpower to do something about the damage we were sure to cause, and yet they have just sat on their hands for five long years.”

Vice President Dick Cheney echoed Secretary Rice’s remarks. Speaking to CRN from a fortified pro shop at the Cheyenne Mountain Country Club, he said “Their opposition to anything we do is so ineffective and weak-willed, that for two years I’ve had to tell myself to go fuck myself. If you ask me, that’s not the America I know.”

Well done, Chris. Read the rest.

Posted in Politics | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

FEMA Needs to Tell People What It Intends for Their Homes

Kathryn Cramer has been all over the Katrina story with NOLA disaster, tracking water levels in specific parts of the city using satellite photos and other amazing feats of technology.

In doing so much work with individuals locating their homes, she has made some compelling observations:

The question is this: How much of New Orleans does FEMA plan to restore, and how much does it plan to simply replace? And if the houses are replaced with something else, are they to be replaced for their original owners? Or will the land be taken by eminent domain and redistributed?

Although she has found some vague information on the FEMA timeline for general “debris removal”:

[i]t’s not clear to me whether this time-line applies (or even could be applied) to the cleanup of New Orleans. But now that Michael Brown is out of the way, presumably some plan for the future of New Orleans is coming together.

Whole neighborhoods will need to be torn down entirely. We know this. It’s obvious from up there in orbit where Digital Globes satellites live. But how many neighborhoods? And who will decide? Will FEMA tell you in advance if your house is to be razed, or only after the fact? FEMA needs to make its plans public as soon as possible.

…before the real looting begins. Bureaucratic looting of people’s lives, property, and wealth.

Read the rest and tour her amazing research abilities in the Katrina archives.

The disaster has raised many questions all over the political landscape. The bloggers at Whirled View have also come up with many strong observations about the efficiency of the government response and what this means in the future.

Living Below Water: The history of a sinking city.
Yeah, There’s Going To Be More: When a city that was built on a landfill is flooded.
Plenty of Troops?: “Sows ears cannot be turned into silk purses indefinitely.”
Preparedness: Why we have to anticipate disasters ahead of time. (We might even have to use thing handy little thing called science.)

Posted in Politics, Recommended | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Bend It Like Peek Peek

A bit of cat fandom on my end. Every time I see this cat’s photostream I laugh out loud.

Peek Peek is surly, fluffy, and can’t possibly be a real animal. I mean, look at him. In this picture, he’s sort of melting into the sofa like a Hershey’s kiss.

This definitely inspires me to find a persian sometime in the future. With a face like that, what’s not to love (or laugh at)?

Bend It Like Peek Peek originally uploaded by bokeh.

More Friday Cat Blogging: Because my house is weird.
Continue reading

Posted in Recommended | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Susan Wood, an Interview

The Village Voice has a great interview with Susan Wood, the former director of the FDA’s Office of Women’s Health, who resigned after a sneaky move to keep the morning-after pill, called Plan B, off pharmacy shelves even after some called it the “safest product they had seen in years.”

Who made the decision to postpone selling Plan B in pharmacies?
I don’t know. It did not appear to me that any of the professional staff were involved. At every level of the review process, we agreed that this was safe, effective, and appropriate for over-the-counter use. The decision was not made in the usual passage.

Opponents call Plan B an “abortion pill.” Is there any logic to this?
The only connection this product has with abortions is that it prevents them. The public debate baffles me. It’s extraordinary. Plan B delays ovulation. No matter when you believe life or pregnancy begins, this product is unlikely to ever involve a fertilized egg.

Italicized emphasis mine.

via Feministing

Posted in Health, Politics, Reproductive Rights, Sex | Tagged , , , | 29 Comments