On Friday, as the nation grieved the mass shooting in Newtown, a mother blogged about her fears for her 13-year-old son, Michael:
I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me.A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books. His 7 and 9 year old siblings knew the safety plan—they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to. I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me.That conflict ended with three burly police officers and a paramedic wrestling my son onto a gurney for an expensive ambulance ride to the local emergency room. The mental hospital didn’t have any beds that day, and Michael calmed down nicely in the ER, so they sent us home with a prescription for Zyprexa and a follow-up visit with a local pediatric psychiatrist.
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It was inevitable that the Good Men Project, the nation's leading source of sensitive rape apologism, would spark a parody website.
You might think that a site that gives an anonymous self-described rapist a platform to argue that a little rape is acceptable collateral damage for a party hearty lifestyle is beyond parody, but the bloggers at the Real Good Men Project are giving it their best shot. Check RGMP to learn how subway flashers are do community service--they're like blood donors, but for penises.
In that spirit, I'm launching the Good Bears Project, inspired by this video of waving bears from Buzzfeed, captioned: "Watch all these happy bears wave at you. Are you waving back? I hope so, because they are being pretty friendly."
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Anti-choice billboards are so 1973. Today's clever product-placement pro-lifer is blazing new ground: Wire coathangers bearing the "Choose Life" message.
Robin Marty of RH Reality Check reports:
What's worse is that this seems to be an ongoing effort. Reports of the "choose life" coat hangers already were on the internet back in March of 2011, when Joe.My.God posted a picture of the hanger then. And before that on Regretsy in 2010. So despite over two years of attention, the business continues to think this is an excellent cross-advertising campaign. In fact, the practice was losing them customers as far back as August of 2010, but still the dry-cleaner continues to use hangers as a place to offer inappropriate propaganda.
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Anti-rape activist Alyssa Royse sure is gullible. Her friend told her that he didn't know it was rape to stick his penis in a sleeping woman. He swore he had no idea before he went ahead and did it. Royse believed him.
She agrees that her friend committed rape but she maintains that, "The problem isn’t even that he’s a rapist." (Tell that to the victim.)
In Alyssa's view, the problem is that our society confuses men about when it's appropriate to stick their penises in women. How ironic that an anti-rape activist is friends with the only person on the planet who doesn't know that sex with an unconscious person is rape.
Royse thinks it's understandable that her friend would be confused. His victim had been flirting with him for weeks and she seemed interested in having sex with him that night, that is, before she fell asleep:
To a large degree, my friend thought he was doing what was expected. And while he was wrong, weeks of flirting, provocative dancing and intimate innuendo led him to believe that sex was the logical conclusion of their social intercourse. Many people watching it unfold would have thought that, too.
Let's try a thought experiment:
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Prudie was doing so well this week, but she's reverting to her old bad habits. A nanny wrote in to complain about a 65-year-old single mother of twins who's obviously not coping very well:
I am a nursing student who has worked as a part-time nanny for the past two years for adorable twin 4-year-olds. Their mother is 65 years old. She had them with the help of a fertility clinic. I've stayed with her this long solely for the sake of the children. She is single and is majorly in over her head. She has been in three car accidents with the twins in the last 18 months. She wasn't even able to take them for an outing by herself until they were 3 years old because she said she couldn't handle it. Her neighbors and parents of the twins’ classmates have enquired about the situation because they just can’t believe their eyes. She has nannies six days a week, often working 12-hour shifts. She doesn't eat dinner with the children and rarely puts them to bed. What kind of doctor would allow this to happen? She will be nearly 80 years old when they are graduating high school! There are no other family members involved and I can't imagine what’s ahead. The twins need me but I'm reaching the end of my rope and don’t know how long I can stay involved.
—When To Say “When”
Prudie jumps to the conclusion that she's a selfish old biddie who doesn't love her kids: "Ordering up a pair of designer babies you have no interest in raising as a way to prove your youth hasn’t fled is monstrous." I guess that's one hypothesis, but maybe she's just struggling.
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Today, the New York Post ran a front-page photo of a 58-year-old man about to be crushed by the Q train, having been pushed onto the subway track. The headline reads: "Doomed: Pushed on to the Subway Track, This Man is About to Die." If you want to see it, here it is.
As a photojournalist, a lot of things bother me about this cover, starting with the fact that the Post published it. To add insult to injury, they ran it with a headline that underscored the purient value of the photograph itself, rather than the underlying news event. The news is that an innocent man was pushed onto the subway tracks, but the headline is about how creepy it is to be looking at a photograph of a human being facing imminent death.
The photographer, R Umar Abbasi, claims that he didn't really mean to take the picture, he was just trying to signal the subway driver with his flash. That sounds like bullshit to me. It's a sharp, well-composed image. Why would he think a flash would help get the driver's attention better than waving his arms and yelling? You know, the universal signal for "Stop, there's someone on the track!"
It sounds like Abbasi's trying to sidestep ethical questions about why he was snapping pictures instead of trying to help the guy. His account makes it sound like the image was an unintended byproduct of his attempt to help. Talk about trying to have it both ways.
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Everything is a travesty with you, Congress. Last Thursday, the House Oversight Committee held a hearing to rehash long-discredited claims that vaccines cause autism.
In the latest hearing, Burton sounds like a crackpot conspiracy theorist, to be honest, saying he knows—better than thousands of scientists who have spent their careers investigating these topics—that thimerosal causes neurological disorders (including autism). He goes on for some time about mercury (as does Rep. Dennis Kucinitch (D-Ohio) starting at 21:44 in the video), making it clear he doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about. For example, very few vaccines still use mercury, and the ones that do use it in tiny amounts and in a form that does not accumulate in the body.
Talking about the danger of mercury in vaccines is like talking about the danger of having hydrogen—an explosive element!—in water. It’s nonsense.
Not to be outdone, Rep. Bill Posey (R) took a page from the Jenny McCarthy playbook, and asked a CDC expert why her agency hasn't tried vaccinating some kids and not others and comparing their autism rates.
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I don't always agree with Dear Prudie's advice, but she got this Christmas conundrum exactly right:
Q. Sexy Santa-Suit Scandal: My boyfriend "Nick" and I have a holiday tradition where I dress up as Mrs. Claus and he dresses up as Santa and we role play. My costume is from an adult shop and is very suggestive while his is just a regular Santa suit. The thing is this year he has decided to volunteer for a well-known charity standing on the street dressed as Santa to collect donations from passersby, and he wants to use our role-play suit! I told him I want him to get a different suit for his charity work, and reserve the other one for its own special purpose, but he's been dismissive of the idea, saying a proper Santa suit is expensive and that he doesn't want to spend the money unnecessarily. I'm considering just going and buying him one myself, but I don't want to seem pushy. Would I be over the line in insisting he doesn't use his naughty suit to be nice for charity?
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Dr. Amy Tuteur has excerpted some choice passages from "From Calling to Courtroom: A Survival Guide for Midwives," a 2004 legal handbook for midwives. One of the big legal concerns for HBMs is getting busted for practicing medicine without a license. Unlike certified nurse midwives, who are highly trained professionals, homebirth midwives may have little or no formal training.
That's why the state takes a dim view of HBMs injecting drugs or, God forbid, performing any kind of surgery. Some, like Elizabeth Camp, choose to ignore the law. In the book, Camp advises that outlaw midwives to lie to their patients (and falisfy their charts) to avoid prosecution:
In the future my motto is, “No witnesses”. If I ever have to cut an episiotomy to save a baby’s life, I would ask everyone to turn their backs and turn off all video cameras. I would say to the mother, “I’m sorry, I had to TEAR you to deliver your baby quickly." I do not carry Pitocin anymore. For those midwives who do carry Pitocin, I would advise them to never admit it to anyone who has the ability to testify (that is, anyone except your husband). If a midwife ever feels the need to inject Pitocin or administer any kind of drug, such as Methergine, she should refer to such substances as “minerals.”
Camp recommends cutting a patient with scissors and telling her she tore on her own. She recommends injecting Pitocin and calling it "minerals."
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A man assaulted a U.S. Army vet in a wheelchair on Halloween night because he mistook the uniform and the chair for an offensive "wounded veteran" costume.