Friday, July 24, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Why George Tiller's murder matters
Susan Hill, President of the National Women's Health Foundation, who knew Dr. Tiller for over two decades and referred girls and women to his clinic, said in a phone interview, "We always sent the really tragic cases to Tiller." Those included women diagnosed with cancer who needed abortions to qualify for chemotherapy, women who learned late in their pregnancies that their wanted babies had fatal illnesses, and rape victims so young they didn't realize they were pregnant for months
A commenter at the blog Balloon Juice told the story of finding out in the eighth month of his wife's pregnancy that she was carrying conjoined twins. "Conjoined twins alone is not what was so difficult but the way they were joined meant that at best only one child would survive the surgery to separate them and the survivor would more than likely live a brief and painful life filled with surgery and organ transplants." They chose to terminate the much-wanted pregnancy, rather than bring a child into the world only to suffer and die. "The nightmare of our decision and the aftermath was only made bearable by the warmth and compassion of Dr. Tiller and his remarkable staff." A commenter on Metafilter tells a similar story: "My wife and I spent a week in Dr. Tiller's care after we learned our 21 week fetus had a severe defect incompatible with life. The laws in our state prevented us from ending the pregnancy there, and Dr. Tiller was one of maybe three choices in the whole nation at that gestational age." He went on to share his memories of Dr. Tiller. "I remember him firmly stating that he regarded the abortion debate in the US to be about the control of women's sexuality and reproduction. I remember he spent over six hours in one-on-one care with my wife when there was concern she had an infection. We're talking about a physician here. Six hours."
The trauma of receiving such a diagnosis is only compounded by the difficulty of obtaining a late-term abortion. Writes one woman, "The reality is that finding a doctor to do this procedure in the late second or third trimester is almost impossible. For me, the reality was that at the most painful time of my life I had to travel out of state, stay in a hotel room and face hostile protesters in order to carry out this most personal of choices." Another writes, "I had to fly to Kansas to have the procedure done. It was a five-day out patient procedure that cost us almost $9,000 after all was said and done. I am hurt and angry at the state of Maryland for taking away my right to allow my daughter to die in peace ... I was appalled that Maryland did not have a quality-of-life addendum to the late-term termination law." Susan Hill says enduring the expense and stress of travel is the only option for most women who need late abortions in the U.S. "The restrictions under the Bush administration made it impossible for most states to allow abortions past 16 weeks. All the southern states are restricted tremendously. A few places in New York, if it was medically necessary, could possibly do it, but the paperwork was unbelievable, and there was no time left. That's why they referred people to Tiller. And for that he lost his life. "
Hill last spoke to Dr. Tiller two weeks ago, not long after the Women's Health Center was vandalized, and she asked the 67-year-old why he didn't retire in the face of increasing harassment, after already having been shot in both arms and seen his clinic bombed. "Because I can't leave these women," he told her. "Those are the words I'm always going to remember from him. He just believed that when he left, they wouldn't get any kind of care." Unfortunately, it seems he may have been right. I asked Hill where women who need late-term abortions can go now, and her response was bleak. "There's Warren Hern, out in Boulder, Colorado, but he doesn't go as far as Dr. Tiller went." When it comes to those "really tragic cases," Hill said the harsh truth is, "We don't know where we're going to send them."
I've pretty much quoted the entirety of this article.
Update 6/9/09: Looks like George Tiller's clinic will closes permanently.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Live Free or Die
Which is why this story brings a sense of joy to my heart;
Last week, she [Molly the cow] successfully dodged her fate of being reincarnated as umpteen New York cheeseburgers when she bolted from a Queens slaughterhouse and proceeded to star in her very own wild west cattle drive up 109th Avenue.Which reminds me of this incident of years gone past.
For a moment Molly's life hung in the balance. Would she be returned to the slaughterhouse or rewarded for her hutzpah? Whether as a nod to her new found fame or as an act of true altruism, her owner relinquished the 400-pound dairy queen to animal-care workers and the promise of greener pastures.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
I will decline to answer that officer.
My brother who is an attorney recommend to me at a young age, to never talk to cops. If they want to interview you, just clam up and ask to speak to a lawyer, regardless if you have done something wrong or not.
But cops are very good at making you talk. For example, what do you say to a question like "Do you know how fast your were going?"
a) Yes (you sound like an ass)
b) No (you sound incompetent)
c) 99 (you just confessed)
d) 35 (you're lying)
e) Nothing (you sound like an ass again)
This 27 minute video I found on youtube (skip part two, it is informative, though only mildy interesting) might help you understand why a simple statement like, 'I decline to answer that question', or a return asking 'Am I legally obligated to answer that?' is your best bet. It'll piss off the cop but they are trying to get you to say something that will, in the end, cost you money and time.
Remember we all have a job to do. The job of the police job is to catch criminals, and with a literally an unknown number of laws on the books, we are all criminals. Even telling the truth to the police about a crime you did not commit can have consequences.
It is our job to protect the constitution by exercising our rights, including the right to not incriminate oneself, even or especially if you are 'innocent'. We protect the constitution but using the rights granted in the constitution. Those rights are eroded when we choose to not exercise them.
(The next post will be about something mellow like unicorn power and related subjects.)
Monday, May 11, 2009
And for all you non-designers I'd recommend it as well, just get and idea of the ubiquitousness of the use of the font and also to get and idea of the world before Helvetica (BH as it were).
It is a netflix watch-it-now movie and is pretty short at 80 minutes.
More on the Helvetica font can be found on wikipedia.
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Finally, non-barrier male contraception?
An injection for men appears to be just as effective at preventing pregnancy as the birth control pill, finds new research that could revolutionize contraception.
In testing in China, only one man in 100 fathered a child while on the injections, the study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism reports.
The contraceptive is a form of testosterone that is injected into the buttocks once a month. It works by temporarily blocking sperm production.