October 2007

Update: Retry on the mailbag posting – with new and improved links. 

It’s pouring here at Planned Parenthood.

Specifically, right this minute, it’s pouring in Kansas, where a particularly venomous district attorney has just filed 107 baseless charges against Planned Parenthood in court. And the anti-choice fringe is asking Congress to suspend $300 million in federal funding for our affiliates’ health care services until the case is settled.

Unbelievable. You can help here.
This news comes on the heels of an unprecedented series of attacks on Planned Parenthood.
Last week, the rain fell on us in Washington, DC, where one U.S. senator called us out by name in an amendment that would have limited birth control funding for health centers like ours.Throughout this month, the anti-choice fringe is showering our clinics with protesters during its “40 Days for Life” campaign, which our own Emily X is documenting in painfully vivid pictures and videos here.And then, there’s President Bush’s appointment last week of an anti-birth control hardliner to be in charge of U.S. family planning policy. And let’s not forget our epic fight in Illinois last month to open our Aurora health center.This unprecedented storm — these attacks on Planned Parenthood and the women we serve — are relentless, and are on the move across the country with no signs of stopping.

We’ve been at this work for more than 90 years, and if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s when to ask for help. And it’s now. Here’s what you should know about Kansas, where we most need your support today:First, it is especially hard to provide reproductive health care in Kansas, and the people who run our clinics there are among the most committed I’ve ever met. The opposition they face every day is astounding.

The local district attorney who filed these charges has spent nearly his entire career trying to shut down Planned Parenthood. He hasn’t succeeded, nor will he succeed now.

But he is succeeding in turning what’s happening in Kansas into a national effort to shut us down. Even worse, he’s diverting much-needed resources from serving women to mounting a legal defense. It makes me very angry.

Sometimes we ask you to take action, sometimes to volunteer. [You can help today by donating]

We need to fight the 107 charges the local district attorney has filed. We need to keep Congress from even considering cutting $300 million in our funding. And we need to do it fast, so that we can shut down this outrageous effort before it gains any more momentum.You can see and hear more from workers at clinics being targeted by the anti-choice “40 Days for Life” campaign on the blog posted by Planned Parenthood employee Emily X. It’s some tough but inspiring reading. She has been signing her blog posts like this: I am Emily X. I am Planned Parenthood. You know what? You are Planned Parenthood, too.Thank you for being there for us today. We’ll keep you posted about how you can help as this crisis evolves.


Cecile Richards
President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America


Poached from Shakespeare’s sister– find five phrases that result in your blog being the top google hit:

1) finding good friends after 30

2) Tuesday Cheese Post

3) bad baklava is criminal

4) right to caretake

5) personal dementors.

Sadly, this exercise has shown me that I need to step up on the substantive posts – I blame my thumb injury as my substance has sadly declined since summer ended.  I must get writing (oh, and thinking would be good too)!

Ooh, kinky.

Sorry folks, this does not involve unusual applications of soft cheese to enhance, uh, interpersonal activities.

Rather, prompted by my promotion from cheese blatherer to cheese scholar by CharleyCarps, I wanted to inform you of the new dream future reality as proposed by mr. jolt: 

He will use his academic career to score visiting professorships (and/or sabbaticals) in places that make yummy cheese (think Spain, New Zealand, etc., etc.).  I will use our time abroad to eat scads of cheese and write pithy books that are cheese-centered travelogues.  The boys will learn other languages and finally appreciate cheeses other than the orange kind that comes with a box of pasta.*

Hmm, now if only I could get the cheese-travelogue book contract to support this new way of life. . .

 *To be fair, BB does like a mild goat cheese.  LB, however, barely tolerates parmesan on his spaghetti, and rebels when mac&chz is presented with the non-neon-orange form of chemical cheese.

What tonks said.

 Oh, and this comment by Rep. Starks too.

I may regret saying this, but if you think I’m being an asshole, or a clueless privileged twit, please tell me. 

Thank you, that is all.

For most of my adult/voting-age life, I lived in states that mostly reflected my political outlook and views.   Not that these states were anywhere near perfect (ha!), but they were generally progressive and had significant, if not dominating, liberal populations in the areas in which I was living.

Now, I live in a purply-red pinprick in a vast sea of red.  There are blue areas in my state, I just don’t live anywhere near them.  The first couple of years we lived here, with all the horrible crap going on in the national and international levels, I did not engage at all at the local level.  I paid attention only to national elections and events (pres, senators, etc.).  I am finding, however, that I am slowly becoming pulled into the community around me, partly due to some very cool people I’ve come to know that are very active in state politics and organizing.  It takes time to become invested in a community and learn what the fights are.

It’s a very different experience fighting or talking about issues when one knows that few people around you agree.  There is the slow accumulation of comments heard from people that appears to indicate sympathy toward different sorts of views, that, in some respects is probably similar to finding allies when one is LGBTQ and not obviously out (I’m guessing).*  When you are not in an openly-friendly pro-whatever-you-are community, you tend to be careful about what you say to whom, at least in work/business/certain social contexts.  For me, anyway, I have not volunteered my opinions as freely as I would in a more receptive environment.  I dunno, maybe I’m just chickenshit.  It also forces one to figure out, in a way not necessary when one is in the majority, how to argue one’s position as opposed to coast on general agreement and nitpick over minor disagreements.

As much as I know, or have read about experiences about being on the outside looking in, and despite my experiences as a woman, this is a bit different.  I’m pretty obviously a woman (not every woman is, but I am), but it’s not as though you’d know my political leanings just by looking at me.  So it’s been an education, and I hope has given me more understanding of those in similar positions.

The blogosphere has been a livesaver, particularly until I found my fellow travelers and allies, as I imagine it is for millions all over.  Iit’s frustrating that basic rights I took for granted elsewhere simply do not exist here and what little there is has to be protected earnestly to continue to have any viability.  It is a good wake-up call to live in a community where one is not concerned mainly with trying to challenge the ballot petition sheets of one’s competing sub/sub/sub splinter group of the local version of the democratic party.  (Yes, I have done this in my former life; it ain’t fun and it ain’t pretty and it gave me a strong distaste for local-level politics).

Anyway, stay tuned for my adventures in becoming more politically active in my community.

*By the way, I do not mean to imply that a ‘choice’ about political views is anything at all like an internal imperative about what one’s sexuality is; I mean only to compare an experience of being in a minority group that isn’t necessarily identifiable by obvious physical indicators.   Perhaps this only shows how sheltered I’ve been in my earlier liberal enclaves.  

Out of weird curiousity, I googled myself today (my real life persona).  I was expecting not much.  The first time I ever did it, about three years ago, I popped up on the first page with a martindalehubbell directory listing (it’s a directory of attorneys) for myself in my old firm and some publications I co-authored while there.  In addition, having a common name, there were other listings I don’t remember.

Sometime last year I googled again and my old attorney listing was gone.  My entire persona had disappeared, but someone with my name was apparently a champion at some type of sport I’d never heard of and couldn’t make sense of.  But they were really good, so ok.

Today, I googled again and there is an actual domain name with my name in it, which name I apparently share with a minor celebrity (who, now having their own website, is apparently not as minor as they were last year).  In addition, there are two blogs, apparently run by another person who shares my name, who unlike me, is blogging under their name and not pseudonymously.

For some reason, I am most perturbed by the fact that someone else is blogging under my name, even though it’s a name that I have never used online and no one who reads this blog would associate with me and no one who reads those blogs would associate with me either virtually or in real life.  But it bugs me all the same.

The internetz is weird sometimes.

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