Monthly Archives: September 2008

One of the funniest things I have ever read

I love Heart even more now.

I think that Meatloaf comment may be the best insult I have ever read. If someone said that to me, I would cry.

Seriously, what are they thinking? Did you all know that Jackson Browne is suing the McCain campaign for using one of his songs IN A COMMERCIAL without permission. That is stealing. What a great example of ethics and reform, Republicans! If college students are being hauled out of their dorm rooms for downloading MP3s without permission, what the hell do they think they are doing? Todd Palin, Karl Rove, ignore those sub poenas. McCain’s campaign, ignore those copyright laws. Just don’t try to blow that reform nonsense smoke up our asses anymore.

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And Iraq and the South Africa, so on and such as

Sarah Palin is starting to remind me of Miss South Carolina
Watch this horrible clip

Uh, you have got to be kidding. It’s like someone put the Republican platform in a blender.

“Palin [on tape]: That’s why I say, I, like every American I’m speaking with, we’re ill about this position that we have been put in where it is the taxpayers looking to bailout. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are [glances down] concerned about the healthcare reform that is needed [glances down] to help shore up our economy. [glances down] Helping the—oh, it’s got to be about job creation, too, shoring up our economy and putting it back on the right track. So healthcare reform [glances down] and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions and tax relief [glances down] for Americans, and trade we’ve—we’ve got to see trade as opportunity, not as a competitive, um, scary thing, but 1 in 5 jobs being created in the trade sector today. We’ve got to look at that as more opportunity. All those things under the umbrella of job creation. This bailout [is a part of that].”

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Ack! Methane chimneys

This is an old fashioned tinfoil hat post.

Scientists have discovered methane chimneys in the arctic. Apparently our man made climate change has actually blown the lid off trapped greenhouse gases. That may explain why the climate has been worsening even faster than predicted.

Maybe we should study this more and do nothing. Hmm, Republicans? Still upset about Gore’s Nobel Prize? Just slather on more sunscreen and ignore it some more.

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When you least expect it…

When I got in the car this morning, I was a little exhausted. I had a quiz on Sunday, a written and practical midterm on osteopathic manipulation and principles and practice on Monday, not to mention it was Z’s 4th birthday, which involved cupcakes at school and a special dinner and cake at home. I have a respiratory system final tomorrow that I was up late studying for last night. So, when I got in the car this morning, I actually turned off NPR. I have been such a news junkie lately I have even listened to CNN in the car. But today I wasn’t up for it. So I put on music.

Well, sometimes the universe has other plans. I heard “When the President Talks to God” by Bright Eyes. It didn’t lift me out of my funk about the political situation, but at least I got to hear a witty and brilliant song by a band I already loved.

When the president talks to God
Are the conversations brief or long?
Does he ask to rape our women’s rights
And send poor farm kids off to die?
Does God suggest an oil hike
When the president talks to God?

When the president talks to God
Are the consonants all hard or soft?
Is he resolute all down the line?
Is every issue black or white?
Does what God say ever change his mind
When the president talks to God?

When the president talks to God
Does he fake that drawl or merely nod?
Agree which convicts should be killed?
Where prisons should be built and filled?
Which voter fraud must be concealed
When the president talks to God?

When the president talks to God
I wonder which one plays the better cop
We should find some jobs. the ghetto’s broke
No, they’re lazy, George, I say we don’t
Just give ‘em more liquor stores and dirty coke
That’s what God recommends

When the president talks to God
Do they drink near beer and go play golf
While they pick which countries to invade
Which Muslim souls still can be saved?
I guess god just calls a spade a spade
When the president talks to God

When the president talks to God
Does he ever think that maybe he’s not?
That that voice is just inside his head
When he kneels next to the presidential bed
Does he ever smell his own bullshit
When the president talks to God?

I doubt it

I doubt it

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Mommy wars bingo

Please go to the new, even better Mommy Wars Bingo card.

I was inspired by anti-feminist bingo and white liberal bingo. Play along on your favorite message board or blog comment thread!

Thank you Vee for helping me with the techie stuff. Funny, I had to switch my blog design to fit the gameboard, and before I went to her blog to get the link, I switched to the same design she has! Hey, it’s one of the few templates that would allow the wide gameboard, and I am not tech savvy enough to adjust the widths on the other templates.

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Tugging at the heart strings

I hate it when graphic, difficult medical situations are manipulated by anti-choice wing nuts to tug at the heart strings of people who would otherwise be a good fit for a democratic vote, based on their soft heartedness. Some classmates of mine seem to be concerned that Obama supports “infanticide.”

You can read all about the bill he opposed here at factcheck.org, but in a nutshell, it was one of those anti-choice bills that try to take isolated incidents in medicine and define the entire abortion debate with their gross misrepresentations and disgusting insistence on playing some sort of “what’s grosser than gross?” contest with women’s rights and medical ethics. If first trimester abortion is one of the most common medical procedures in the country, and late term abortions make up a minute fraction, about 4% according to the Guttmacher institute of abortions, why do they get so much attention?

In the link above, anti-choice activist Jill Stanek claims that she was not allowed to “save” a 22 week gestational age Down syndrome fetus from a termination of pregnancy. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics:

“Nevertheless, most neonatologists would agree that survival of infants younger than approximately 22 to 23 weeks’ estimated gestational age is universally dismal and that resuscitative efforts should not be undertaken when a neonate is born at this point in pregnancy.”

Illinois law already protects viable infants. With Stanek’s definition, the American Academy of Pediatrics are baby killers too.

This is the same woman who rails against the birth control pill constantly. She has issues.

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Florida’s gay adoption ban overturned!!

It is about damn time!

It was overturned by a judge in Key West, of course.

Now Rosie can come back.

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Rachel Maddow show!

I am watching the third day of the new Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC. Yippee! I have been a fan since she was on Unfiltered.

She just said, “Tinfoil hats are lighting up across the country.”

Swoon!

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While I am freshly annoyed

We had a seemingly endless HIV seminar at school today. The last speaker was an ob/gyn professor at our school that I do not see eye to eye with on a lot of issues. He horrified me the first time I met him, when he was speaking to our interest group about malpractice, and he was grotesquely imitating a child with cerebral palsy.

He is known for pushing elective cesarean on his patients. He bragged about it to us, saying he can be “in and out in twenty minutes” and not have to wait for twenty hours of labor. He called that “labor sitting” and said “I’m not a glorified midwife.” What’s worse is that he teaches the public health classes on maternal health.

So, back to today. He lectured on HIV in pregnancy. He said that HIV is on the rise in heterosexual women in our community due to anonymous internet sex parties. You know why? Because one man at his wife’s job as a doctor at the local department of health STD clinic said he had sex with 100 partners in one month. When she asked him how he managed to have so many partners, he told her he went to these anonymous orgies he found out about on the internet. He is HIV+ and has syphilis. He said everybody at the party assumes you are positive.

I really doubt most of the HIV+ women in our county got exposed at anonymous sex parties. He joked around about it for about five minutes. He mocked HIV+ women and painted them as aberrant perverts. I would never want to get HIV tested in his office. The previous lecturer said most HIV positive women are exposed through intravenous drug using sexual partners.

He went on to talk about testing women during pregnancy for HIV. He mocked the reasons that women might not want to get tested. He said he would tell them that he wouldn’t deliver them. “Isn’t that unethical?” he said in a squeaky voice. “Maybe,” he said, and shrugged his shoulders. “That’s what makes medicine fun.” Then he added, “No one is going to push me around.”

Now, let me reiterate that I support HIV testing and think everyone should get tested, pregnant or not. But I also support the right of someone to refuse testing, and I don’t think women lose rights just because they happen to be pregnant. Every sexually active person has the possibility of passing on HIV if they are positive, not just pregnant women. Vertical transmission is a shame, and pregnancy is a great opportunity to prevent HIV transmission. I believe in opt out policies in which every pregnant woman is offered HIV testing equally, and it is refusable.

Private practitioners should be allowed to decide the scopes of their practice. If he does not want to deliver women who won’t get an HIV test, that is his choice. I think it can be ethical as long as he refers her to someone who will deliver her. He seemed to indicate that he would deliver a woman who was HIV+. So, why can’t he treat an untested woman as if she were positive?

The issue I see with this is the slippery slope. If he treats her as if she was positive, (or if she does test positive) can she refuse AZT? Can she refuse a cesarean? Can she refuse giving her child AZT? I am not advocating refusing AZT, but if mothers can refuse to give chemotherapy and blood transfusions to their children, they should be able to refuse AZT. I think a sensitive practitioner would offer her more than once, ask her what her hesitations are, and try to work with her on the issue.

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The Palin stuff

I have spent more time Googling John McCain’s VP pick Sarah Palin this weekend than studying. Mostly because I didn’t know much about her. (I could say the same for McCain, apparently.)

I am going to mostly keep above the fray. First of all, because there is a perfectly wonderful article written about her, scandal wise and the shame of it all, by Rebecca Traister at Salon.com. Other political journalists are covering her political gaffes and convenient contradictions, of which there have already been many.

What I wanted to talk about has something to do with the pregnancy (sorry, Rebecca, I can’t resist talking about the uterus.) I don’t want to talk about any rumors about her pregnancy, or cast any shame on her daughter. Strictly from an obstetrical point of view, I want to take her version of her labor and delivery with Trig at face value and trust her. Trust her to tell the truth, maybe. But trust her judgment if it is indeed true?

From the Anchorage Daily News,

“EARLY ARRIVAL

Palin was in Texas last week for an energy conference of the National Governors Association when she experienced signs of early labor. She wasn’t due for another month.

Early Thursday — she thinks it was around 4 a.m. Texas time — she consulted with her doctor, family physician Cathy Baldwin-Johnson, who is based in the Valley and has delivered lots of babies, including Piper, Palin’s 7-year-old.

Palin said she felt fine but had leaked amniotic fluid and also felt some contractions that seemed different from the false labor she had been having for months.

“I said I am going to stay for the day. I have a speech I was determined to give,” Palin said. She gave the luncheon keynote address for the energy conference.

Palin kept in close contact with Baldwin-Johnson. The contractions slowed to one or two an hour, “which is not active labor,” the doctor said.

“Things were already settling down when she talked to me,” Baldwin-Johnson said. Palin did not ask for a medical OK to fly, the doctor said.

“I don’t think it was unreasonable for her to continue to travel back,” Baldwin-Johnson said.

So the Palins flew on Alaska Airlines from Dallas to Anchorage, stopping in Seattle and checking with the doctor along the way.

“I am not a glutton for pain and punishment. I would have never wanted to travel had I been fully engaged in labor,” Palin said. After four kids, the governor said, she knew what labor felt like, and she wasn’t in labor.”

Still, a Sacramento, Calif., obstetrician who is active in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said when a pregnant woman’s water breaks, she should go right to the hospital because of the risk of infection. That’s true even if the amniotic fluid simply leaks out, said Dr. Laurie Gregg.”

Uh, excuse me? Her water was leaking, she was feeling contractions, and she has had four previous children, and she delivered a speech and then took TWO airplane flights and then DROVE past hospitals with NICUs to go to her small town doctor? I can’t believe she flew at 36 weeks, even without contractions and ruptured waters!

Not only is there the risk of infection, but broken waters and contractions are usually the sign of progressive labor, even if the contractions aren’t frequent. Once the membranes are ruptured, 90% of women are in active labor within 24 hours, and most women deliver within that time. Especially a multip (a woman who has had several children before.) There is no way her doctor in Alaska could tell over the phone if Palin’s waters were indeed ruptured or if she was dilating.

Any health care practitioner worth her license would have advised her to immediately go, get a test with Nitrazine paper to see if her membranes were indeed ruptured, and get a vaginal check to see how much she was dilated.

Palin and her doctor both apparently knew the baby had chromosomal abnormalities and may have been born with serious defects, which are common in babies with Down Syndrome. What if she gave birth on the plane? She didn’t even alert the airline that she was pregnant, much less 8 months pregnant, with broken waters and contractions and a baby with known abnormalities. Any mother with premature rupture of membranes should be treated as an emergency, and this pregnancy had the extra twist of the Down diagnosis.

This is a glaring example of extremely poor judgment. This is the sort of anti-science, anti-thinking, headstrong nonsense that has embroiled our country for the last eight years. We don’t need a vice president (or president, for that matter) who thinks mother’s intuition and her faith are more important than appropriate medical standards of care. This is an extreme situation. She was the governor when she behaved like this, and put her life and the life of her son recklessly in danger. Not to mention, she put the other passengers and employees of the flights she was on in an unfair position. And according to her, she had no compelling reason travel from one end of North America to the other. She did have a compelling reason to get to a hospital as soon as possible.

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