Category Archives: news and views


One of the comments on my last post…

Relax. If you did a little research you would find that “Forcible Rape” is a simple case of redundancy. All rape is forcible and is still covered by the bill.

This is my opinion but I would guess that the representative added the word forcible to give emphasis to the term rape.

Yeah, I’m not ready to relax. Not when this country hasn’t decided clearly whether or not a woman has the right to end her pregnancy.  I still have quite a few questions.

If abortion is going to be legal in case of rape or incest…

  • Isn’t a baby conceived by rape  just as alive as a baby conceived consensually?
  • Will doctors need to see a “permission slip” of some kind before performing abortions?  Who signs it, the police, the judge, the doctor or nurse who administered the rape kit?
  • What if a woman is raped after consensual sex? Will she have to convince someone that the baby is the rapist’s? Who will she have to convince?
  • What if a woman lies to obtain an abortion? What would the penalty be and would the doctor suffer any penalty?

If abortion were illegal altogether…

  • How would law enforcement make sure abortions weren’t happening? Reviewing medical records? Stationing officers in doctor’s offices? periodic pregnancy tests? Monitored pregnancies?
  • would it be illegal to perform abortion or to receive one? It’s like the prohibition question. It was illegal to sell alcohol, but there was still demand for it.
  • Would pregnancy tests be administered to women leaving the country? If we left pregnant and came back, well, not pregnant, would we be accused of abortion? Would we have to document miscarriage?
  • Would miscarriages caused by carelessness (drug use, fighting, strenuous exercises) be considered abortion? What would the penalty be?

Even though I feel sad at abortions, I feel like the only way to outlaw them would be to turn women into incubators, forever monitored and controlled. When I hear stories like this, where a woman and her husband were harassed for seeking a medically necessary abortion, I feel like women’s health and choices are coming under fire and if we don’t speak up, we eventually won’t have any control.




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My note to Steve Chabot

The text of an email I just sent to Congressman Steve Chabot:

I am calling to express my disapproval of provisions in H. R. 3. The “forcible rape” provision is vague, scary, and sexist. What is FORCIBLE? Is there any other kind of rape? What about coercion, sex slavery, drugged and disabled women? What about women who submit to sexual abuse for fear that their children will be killed? What about the landlord who threatened to evict a woman who wouldn’t have sex with him? Was that woman “forcibly raped”? What is the definition? Should I have fought back? Should I have sustained broken bones, a perineal tear? Should I have gotten his DNA under my fingernails and between my teeth? Should the police believe me? Should the nurses at the hospital believe me? Do I have to press charges? Do I have to see the rapist convicted? Although I don’t believe federal health funding should cover elective abortions, I consider the “forcible rape” provision terrifying, disgusting, and a setback to the way women are treated in this country. I also consider it a sop to “kinda choice” voters who believe a rape victim should have access to an abortion, but not women who had consensual sex. But who consents to being unconscious during sex? Who consents to living in a tent in a man’s backyard for years? What are you doing? What have you supported, with the tacit support of this neighborhood and congressional district? I am from Westwood. I’ve met you a few times, not just in congressional campaigning, but at the Walgreens in the bottled water aisle. I’ve shaken your hand, you’ve hugged my child. I refuse to believe that you are the kind of person who thinks that victims who didn’t fight back aren’t real victims. Prove me right. Revoke your support for this heinous bill.



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Google “Censorship”

Is Google Censoring? Image Courtesy of

Got a tweet from @kephir about Google censoring search results. Kephir is the go-to tweeter for inconvenient truths. I wondered what I would be disappointed/illuminated by now?

I click the link and find out that Google is making it harder to search for torrents.

But are they? If you start typing the word torrent, it won’t show any of those “auto-complete” results it normally does. It’s not impossible to search the term though. I wouldn’t call it “censorship”. I’d call it a punk-ass move by Google to make the record companies happy. Hell, if I can google “bit torrent”, can’t I just go to the website?

I imagine the possibilities. What if I write a book someone doesn’t like? What if my planned roman a clef hits too close to home for someone? What if someone can’t remember the title, types in what they remember, and don’t get anything? That would aggravate me. Will politicians start paying for “auto-search disabling” as part of their ad campaigns?

Google is the first name in search right now. Lots of websites use Google to let you search within their sites. Will that be disabled/modified at Google’s pleasure, influenced by other powerful groups?

We don’t have to use Google. We don’t have to let anybody keep information from us. But I realize that a lot of people, not so informed, will lose access to some information if Google decides they don’t deserve access to it.

So now what?

  • Do you use Google or other search engines? Which, why, and how important is your choice?
  • Do you use torrents or similar programs?
  • Anything else you think I should know?

Comments very much appreciated.

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In Defense of “Shadow Scholars”

Ed Dante has written nursing papers, military strategy papers, even reports on academic integrity. He’s the shadow scholar, employed by a term paper mill. He made $66,000 in 2010.

He’s my idol.

I got into paper writing to help a friend. I was bored, I missed reading and learning. I find that writing papers helps me learn more than taking online classes. The format of those classes tends to encourage “in one ear and out the other” thinking, digesting knowledge by rote and spitting it out. It’s frustrating, and I see why people don’t like doing it.

I’ve written for a preschool teacher, a sociologist, and someone studying to be a midwife. They’re parents with kids who need repeated trips to a medical specialist. They’re entrepreneurs who couldn’t miss out on an expansion opportunity. They’re overscheduled students who forgot to take a freshman year science class which is currently biting them in the ass.

This comment in the Chronicle article aggravated me (italics mine).

I think that schools and even paper-writers like the author have very little blame here. If students cheat, they are left with a diploma with little practical knowledge behind it. At which point three things will happen: they will do nothing with their degree and just continue to be a useless rich person, they will get hired and fail to get promoted because they cannot do their job competently in spite of their degree, or they will get promoted based on their degree not their performance – which is the fault of the employer.

I propose a fourth option for my clients: they will graduate and do their jobs well, because ‘lesbian healthcare’ and the ‘American economy under Bush’ had nothing to do with their jobs. I’d trust my clients to watch my children, deliver my children, or do whatever a sociologist could do for me. I know the classes I’m taking and papers I’m writing for them are peripheral to their education. My clients don’t want me to take their important classes. They’d rather be there. My work allows them to be there.

Viva la Shadow Scholar!


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