May 26th, 2009 | Uncategorized


In the flurry of emails I just received about Prop 8 being upheld in CA, there was one offering these very clever stickers. You can get one here, from a group called Credo Action.

I have no doubt that in the end, the side with the best graphic design will triumph.

250 Responses to “californication”

  1. hairball_of_hope says:

    Great conflict begets great art. Good thing we’ve got AB on our side.

    (Goes back to DTWOF-withdrawal pangs)

  2. martinet says:

    Oh, bless them. Credo Action is run by Credo Mobile, my cell-phone provider. I’ve had their phone service since October and I’ve been very happy with it, and they donate a percentage to progressive causes. And now they have good graphic design too. Couldn’t be better. If anyone wants to switch cell phone carriers, I’d recommend Credo any day.

  3. Kate L says:

    The state of Kansas spent a lot of money a few years ago to come up with a state slogan. They settled on: “Kansas: as big as you think”. Following the passage of a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and all civil unions (and apparently dissolving all comon law marriages in the state), a new bumper sticker appeared. It said, “Kansas: as bigoted as you think”. I don’t the think the state ended up using its expensive new slogan after that.

  4. Kate L says:

    The conservative press seems perplexed that the California supreme court did not try to nullify same-sex marriages that happened in California prior to the amendment. What did they expect – an ex post facto ruling? That would REALLY be an activist court! Perhaps the conservative press would also like to see all married same-sex couples chased out of the state by mobs with pitchforks and torches? Hey, I’m from Kansas. I find ridicule of another state that also deserves it curiously refreshing!

  5. Heidi says:

    Well, if graphic design is the deciding factor, then surely we cannot fail.

    As someone who got married in SF in 2004, when I lived there, I can only imagine how angry people would be if they had their marriage nullified by the state of California a second time. That’s part of the reason we didn’t rush back and get married AGAIN last year while it was legal. This pretty much settles the fact that we’re going to be getting re-married in Vermont, not California. We can’t wait around forever…we have our 10th anniversiary coming up next year.

  6. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kate L

    They must have used a focus group that had never been to Texas. Texas is big. Having driven across much of Kansas (beware that nasty truck stop coffee on I-70 somewhare between KC and Topeka), “big” isn’t the adjective that comes to mind when I think of KS. “Flat” is more like it.

    Yeah, I know you’re in the Flint Hills. Hills, not mountains.

    You’d think the marketing folks would have used a focus group of non-Kansans to come up with the slogan. Something that plays on the non-Kansan stereotypes of tornadoes, the Wizard of Oz, lots of corn, wind, and wacko bigoted clerics, etc.

    Perhaps one of the following:

    Kansas: There’s no place like home.

    Kansas: My house dropped from the sky here.

    Kansas: Twisted clerics even the Wicked Witch can’t stand.

    Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like Kansas.

    Kansas: It’s not as flat as you think.

  7. hairball_of_hope says:

    Preview/edit please!!! That’s supposed to be “somewhere.”

  8. Renee S. says:

    I just keep laughing. Thanks!

  9. kate the kid says:

    KS is about as flat as OH, in the glaciated areas…i was surprised when i went through it as an adult.

    i of at least 1 person in CA who voted “for” who thoguht she was voting “against”…what a pain in the fanny. prop 8 should never have gotten that far.

    hope it goes as it needs to go and gets overturned.


  10. Ellen O. says:

    I wonder what the graphic for “I oppose ALL marriage” would be? Anyone remember what Mo wrote on her protest sign for the marriage rally in her town?

    Personally, my logo is “I’m burnt out on the clamor for gay marriage.” I think there would be a piece of burnt toast in there.

    I miss the revolution.

  11. Lori in NYC says:

    I love Credo! It’s a great phone company.

  12. hairball_of_hope says:


    How is Credo’s coverage in NYC metro area? I wouldn’t mind switching from Verizon, but not at the expense of lousy coverage.

  13. ksbel6 says:

    I think we should start banning marriages that do not result in offspring production within 5 years, and those that involve atheists or agnoatics, and those that involve massive age differences, and those that involve…wait, who voted for banning all marriage? I’m with that person.

  14. ksbel6 says:

    So, anyone out there ever heard of, yep, I’m not making this up, bacon flavored vodka? ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Andrew B says:

    Ellen O: “De-privilege all coupled relationships”. It’s in the novella in “Invasion”.

    That sticker is clever, but two things come to mind.

    1. I support gay marriage strictly on equal rights grounds. Otherwise, I’m with Mo and Ellen.

    2. Presumably we’re to read the sticker as “I love love”. If you are going to get married, the last person you want to marry is someone who is in love with love. Such a person is in love with the thrill, the newness, with her or his own capacity for desire. It won’t last. You had better find a person who wants to form a lasting partnership with you. If love is involved, it had better be love of you — not love of love.

  16. Renee S. says:

    I think I have heard of vodka flavored bacon…

  17. hairball_of_hope says:


    Yup, NY Mag had an piece on “Bakon Vodka” last month:

  18. clarke in says:

    I think one of our downtown watering holes came up with a cocktail using bacon flavoured liquor of some sort – probably vodka. Had something to do with putting bacon fat in the liquor bottle and then straining it out using a Brita filter. Must go find link.

  19. DeLand, that was AWESOME.
    Cathartic indeed.
    Here, I’m re-posting it in this nice embedded format to encourage clicking through.

    This gives me hope for the future.

  20. Renee S. says:

    Jus’ Wunnerful, wunnerful!

  21. Feminista says:

    @martinet or anyone else–Do you know how to get out of a contract to switch to Credo Mobile? I have QWest now.

  22. j.b.t. says:

    Wow! Fun video. It made me rethink Lily Allen, too. I didn’t realize she was interesting.


  23. Ready2Agitate says:

    Another good day/bad day ~ sigh! ๐Ÿ™

    Good = Sonya Sotomayor
    Bad = Prop (H)8 upheld (wtf?!)

    Good = Barack Obama
    Bad = Prop 8 (wtf?!)

    Good = blog to watch out for features ultra-fun FU video
    Bad = Prop 8 (wut the…)

  24. Mary E says:

    That video was awesome… my girlfriend plays that song all the time…

    BUT I think that the knowledge that BACON VODKA EXISTS has just made my brain explode.

    @Andrew B on “I love love”… I totally agree with what you’re saying… but I think, in the same sentiment as “stop the hate! no on 8!” bumper stickers and such, the “I <3 <3” could just be saying that everybody should just love everyone else for who they are.

    Also, I love love… because I think it makes the world a better place! But I don’t think that changes the way I approach relationships… Though I agree, a lot of people seem to care more about being in a relationship than they care about the person they’re in a relationship with. And that is silly.

    (Sorry if any of that didn’t make sense… like I said, my brain exploded a few minutes ago. I think it’s time to go to bed.)

  25. Ready2Agitate says:

    oop – that’s SonIa, your honor! ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. Antoinette says:

    DeLand, thanks! That link perked up my whole morning, and I’ll be whistling the jaunty little tune all day long.

  27. notpeanut says:

    @ Feminista

    Credo (usually/ sometimes/ always?) has a deal in which they buy out your existing contract, up to $200.

  28. julissa says:

    hahaha. the side with the best graphic design. well, good think we have you on our side ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. ksbel6 says:

    I absolutely love that video. Can’t wait to show it to my offspring when she arrives later.

  30. Ginjoint says:

    DeLand and Alison, thanks so much for that. It helped. And yeah, I didn’t realize Lily Allen had something to say, given her rep. I think I’ll send that video to my mom, who’s very supportive, but who has her Republican boyfriend visiting for the week. (They’ve agreed to no longer discuss politics, for obvious reasons.) She can watch the video as it cranks on the Bose speakers I hooked up to her computer.

    To Kate L. – one of the best license plates I ever saw was from Kansas. They said “TOTO TOO.”

  31. Timmytee says:

    @ Ellen O: Was it “Down With All Privileged Couple Status!!”–something like that? Wasn’t Mo humorously out of touch with the rest of the rally? I don’t remember which episode, though I looked back through some of them (and got pleasantly side-tracked into several other DTWOF story lines).
    Dan Savage posted that someone has figured out how yesterday’s Cal decision is actually a back-door VICTORY for gay mariage (misspelling noted–check it out at The Stranger[dot]com’s Dan Savage blog–“SLOG”, as they call it, sorry I don’t know how to embed stuff). The legal stuff is pretty convoluted, but seems to make sense.

  32. DeLand DeLakes says:

    Yay, thanks for posting a better link, Alison! I’m glad people seem to like this video as much as I do. ๐Ÿ™‚

    And you should feel hopeful. I’m in the under-thirty set (for a while longer, anyway), and it really seems like young people are joining the ranks of the friends of the friends of Dorothy in growing numbers. We shall overcome!

    @ Timmytree- back door, huh huh huh.

  33. iara says:

    That video was the coolest!
    back to bumper stickers, how about “I 8 8”

  34. Kate L says:

    Driving west of here on Interstate 70 (if I were in California, I’d call it “The 70”), it’s over 500 miles (over 800 km) to the nearest large city (Denver, Colorado) and most of that distance is in Kansas. I remember driving to Colorado Springs once, and as I approached the city, I thought to myself, “What’s that hole in the sky???”. It turned out to be the silhouette of Pikes Peak in the Rocky Mountain front range, with an elevation of over 14,000 ft. (over 4300 m). Eastern Colorado is as flat as western Kansas until you reach the Rockies.

    It wasn’t all that long ago I that I was (I found out later) the champion door-to-door campaigner against the Kansas version of the anti-gay marriage amendment here in my little home town. My friends back east thought I was going to be killed doing this, but there was only one time when I thought that the young woman I was campaigning with and I were in real physical danger (that’s why we campaigned in pairs, btw). AND, despite being outsepnt by the local conservative churces, we very nearly defeated the amendment here in town. What I found out while campaigning may be instructive to others who face similar battles: it did not matter if the people I spoke with knew of any openly gay or lesbian people; it did not matter if the people I spoke with had thought about gay marriage at all. Most of the people I met simply did not want to see the government dictate that a whole group of their fellow citizens were forbidden to make such arraignments for themselves. It was a libertarian way of thinking that seemed very widespread, once they had thought about it.

    The strategy of our local group could have worked statewide, had it been implemented statewide. There was supposedly a state organization that was fighting against the amendment, but let’s just say they were ineffective and leave it at that.

  35. geogeek says:

    I just read through some of the last post and have to thank the person who posted “Call me Shamu” – first out-loud laugh in days and days for me.

  36. LizGig says:

    Lily Allen is fab. Points must go to someone who thinks to rhyme ‘Tesco’ and ‘al fresco’ (Tesco, however, is not fab.) And extra points must go for writing an upbeat, hummable, stick-in-your-head song against homophobia. Much more effective than Chumbawamba.

  37. Kate L says:

    delayed response to ksbel6 and bacon-flavored vodka:

    I’m off the taste of bacon. The last time I even picked up a package of bacon at the store, it was like hairball was there telling me to put it down and back away slowly…

    Great video, Deland! But is it wrong of me to keep rewatching it just to see that fit young woman in the gray tank top?

  38. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kate L

    Oh go ahead and eat that nitrate-filled bacon. All those presrvatives and saturated fat are soooo good for you. Don’t stop eating it on account of me.

    (Said with my best Jewish mother guilt-inducing voice. Guilt-tripping is a competitive sport in my family.)

  39. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kate L

    Oh go ahead and eat that nitrate-filled bacon. All those preservatives and saturated fat are soooo good for you. Don’t stop eating it on account of me.

    (Said with my best Jewish mother guilt-inducing voice. Guilt-tripping is a competitive sport in my family.)

  40. hairball_of_hope says:

    Damn… how did I end up with two posts, the first with a typo?

  41. Kate L says:

    (Reveling in guilt-induced nostalgia). ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kate L

    Ahhh… guilt-induced nostalgia. The only tribe that competes with Jewish mothers for inducing guilt are Catholic mothers.

    (Did I win the prize?)

  43. hairball_of_hope says:


    For some reason, “Moby Dick” seems to have the most sequel parodies. Here’s one from earlier today that I liked:

    Call me Ish-female. โ€”From Moby Jane (sequel to Moby Dick by Herman Melville)

    The contest is running until tomorrow (Thursday 5/28/09). Still time to submit your brilliant entries at

  44. hairball_of_hope says:

    Same sex marriage makes for strange legal bedfellows… Theodore Olsen and David Boies are representing two gay/lesbian couples in a Federal lawsuit challenging California’s Prop 8:

  45. ksbel6 says:

    @Kate L: wouldn’t Kansas City be closer to you than 500 miles? Maybe you don’t consider that a big city?

  46. Duncan says:

    “Remember the war against Franco —
    That’s the kind where each of us belongs!
    Though he may have won all the battles,
    We had all the good songs!”

    –Tom Lehrer, “The Folk Song Army”

  47. Selene in MO says:

    @ iara – how about “I H8 8”?

    BTW, Credo (formerly Working Assets) can also provide your long distance – they’ve been my provider since – oh, I think 1990. And they send you coupons for Ben & Jerry’s. Another perk.

    @ h_o_h – Don’t forget that catholic mothers are great for manipulation, too – and I don’t mean your physical spine – –

  48. iara says:

    @selene in MO – do you mean “I H8 H8”? I guess that’s better than “I 8 8”, which, come to think of it can only be justified through a French accent.

  49. Selene in MO says:

    Or a bad cockney accent!! My daughter is fluent in french (and a francophile to boot) so she would argue the french accent thing – –

    I was thinking that it translated into “I hate (prop) 8”. but it really like “I hate hate”. Matter of fact, I could do that in MO – we only have 6 characters to work with…..

  50. Ready2Agitate says:

    But I REALLY hate 8 (more than I hate hate). Yes, quelle contradiction!

  51. meldyke says:

    OMG my wifey and I *so* needed that video tonight! We’re in the process of getting screwed by a mortgage company as we try to buy our first house…. can we send this link to our so-called agent????? Thanks for posting this!!! I guess things could be worse… we could be getting screwed by our mortgage company AND live in CA where our very legal CT marriage wouldn’t count. To everyone in CA – the fight is not over and you have support EVERYWHERE. xoxoxo

  52. iara says:

    so, we have some interesting combinations:

    I 8 8

    I H8 H8

    I H8 8

    The only one that doesn’t work is I 8 H8, but I am sure someone here will dream up some interpretation.

    Or we could try something like:

    so then H=1 and … I am afraid I am going off on a tangent.

  53. Aunt Soozie says:

    Ellen O… I wanna get a t shirt that says..
    I’m burnt out on the clamor for Gay Marriage
    on one side
    and on the other
    I miss the revolution
    with a sideways frowny face…
    just to make it hip and current and all : (

    then the counter t shirt would be…
    (what was the Emma Goldman thing about dancing and revolution…?)
    yeah, a t-shirt with a photo two women in chairs being hoisted up by a bunch of formally dressed people with the caption below;
    if I can’t be lifted up on a chair in a white lacy gown with a schmatte in my hand while my guests dance to hava nagila and another woman is doing ditto and holding the other end of said schmatte and if it’s not all legal and binding and stuff? I’m not coming to your revolution…
    But I like the Ellen O T-Shirt better.

  54. Aunt Soozie says:

    then again… until we scrap and revise the whole system… I still envy that free health insurance I missed out on for 16 years that all the hetero partners of employees where my ex worked were enjoying… and then there’s that social security thing… oh well, social security is gonna go bankrupt soon and then I can go back to simply coveting the surviving spouse retirement plan benefits…

  55. hairball_of_hope says:

    Said Emma, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.”

    A zillion years ago in my tech days, we had a large specialized processing system with the acronym EMMA (don’t remember what it stood for). I pasted a picture of Emma Goldman on it, and folks used to ask me if that was my grandmother or other relative. “Mein mishpochah,” I’d answer cryptically, leaving them scratching their heads (no Yiddish speakers then or now at work).

    * Mein mishpochah = my family. In this case, not literally of course. But always better to leave them guessing than to have to explain who Emma Goldman was. Even after the movie “Reds” came out, they didn’t understand who the Maureen Stapleton character was.

  56. Kate L says:

    hairball – If only Ted Olsen had used his powers for good 9 years ago in Gore vs. Bush!

    ksbel6 – Yes! Kansas City is big!!! I had not thought of it in this context until your post!!! (It is about 100 miles (160 km) east of here. All of that distance on “The 70” (Interstate Highway 70) is in Kansas.

  57. DeLand DeLakes says:

    On the other popular topic here:

    Just last night I quaffed down a Bacon Manhattan (bacon-infused whiskey) at the Town Talk Diner in Minneapolis. All I can say is that it is delicious (that is, if you dig big-girl drinks.) ๐Ÿ˜‰

  58. Renee S. says:

    Vodka infused Bacon recipe:

    Drizzle a teaspoon of vodka over cooked bacon.
    Throw away the bacon and teaspoon of vodka.
    Drink what’s left in the bottle.

  59. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kate L

    I’ve often wondered if Olsen had any regrets about Gore v. Bush, given his personal losses on 9/11/01. His wife Barbara, a noted conservative talking head, was on the plane that crashed into the Pentagon. It was her cell call to Ted that alerted the White House that the plane had been hijacked. The only reason she was on that particular flight was because she opted to stay home an extra day because 9/11 is Ted’s birthday. I wonder if on some level he feels guilty or responsible, and did all the magical thinking rewinds/do-overs that Joan Didion so accurately described.

    No matter how vehemently I disagree with both of their politics, on a human level I really feel bad for them. I can’t imagine how he made it through that time, especially in the thick of the Bush Administration’s bogus “war on terror.”

    I knew someone on that flight (Bob Speisman). His daughter Tara, a student at Georgetown, was profiled in two Washington Post articles about 9/11 relatives. She’s another person whom I imagine is carrying around a ton of “what-ifs” in her life.

  60. Maggie Jochild says:

    It’s equally possible that Ted Olson has not changed a lick in his politics (no evidence that he has) and has signed on to the court case because if it goes to the current SCOTUS, lesbian/gay marriage WILL be struck down and then it’s a federal thing, not something states can decide for themselves. Such a ruling will take us 20 years or more to undo. Think Dred Scott.

    Yep, I don’t trust the guy at all. And yep, the Right Wing is that devious.

  61. Ready2Agitate says:

    I just went to wiki to learn abt Ted Olson. fwiw, his new wife (his fourth, cough!) is a registered Democrat who donated to Obama’s campaign. Course that’s also called ‘covering your bases.’

    Completely off-topic, I just wanted to tell Shawn, if you’re still following this madcap crowd of crazy escapades – that I actually like that we can’t preview our comments – it allows a more real experience, one that doesn’t expect perfect punctuation, speling, and non-typo’s. In other words, I like this bunch best in all its imperfection – warts and all. ๐Ÿ™‚

  62. Feminista says:

    @r2a–For once we disagree. I prefer to preview. I take pride in my writing,however informal,and am mortified when a typo sneaks in.

    @hoh–You continue to amaze and amuse me. I wrote a research paper on Emma Goldman for my first women’s studies class in fall 1971. Within the next 4 years,most left feminists I knew were quoting Emma; some even named their pets after her. I also took a labor history seminar concurrent with the above class,and focused on women in the labor movement.Both courses sparked my academic & political directions for many years. And I still love to dance; don’t get to nearly enough these days.

    I enjoyed Reds,too,and was familiar w/nearly all the characters (in both senses of the word). I thought,however,that Diane Keaton and Warren Beatty shouldn’t have played Louise and John respectively.The famous couple were ordinary-looking people. Other than that small quibble,I liked the film; it provided political validation in the early dark days of the Reagan era.

  63. hairball_of_hope says:


    Thanks for the praise, but I must demur. I have both volumes of Goldnan’s autobiography “Living My Life” on my shelf because a friend gave them to me as a gift 30+ years ago, telling me that I had to read all about this woman who inspired her so much. It was my good fortune (or good taste) in friends that introduced me to Emma.

    Haven’t run into this friend in about eight or nine years, but I got a chuckle not long ago when I spotted some promos for the 30th anniversary of the first G/L March on Washington (we did not include B & T folks in those days, and the G came before L). On the 29-year-old flyer for the documentary film about that first march, was a picture of the two of us marching in DC. Oh to be so young and innocent again….

  64. hairball_of_hope says:


    Another thought about Emma just crossed my mind… I remember arguing with my friend about Alexander Berkman. I argued that Emma, despite her impeccable feminist credentials, let Berkman walk all over her in a very unliberated male fashion. I wanted to throw the autobiography across the room reading about her relationship with Berkman. What’s your educated take on him?

  65. hairball_of_hope says:


    I too, respectfully disagree. Count me in on the “I am mortified by my typos” club. Was your typo on “spelling” above intentional, or just the universe having fun with you?

  66. hairball_of_hope says:


    Hey, Olsen was married four times because there are no laws prohibiting him from marrying the person he loves. Some of us might also have as many legal spouses if the laws in this country weren’t so stupid.

    But I’m firmly in the camp of Therry, who wrote that she’d marry her cat St. Jerome if she could. ๐Ÿ™‚

  67. Feminista says:

    @hoh– My thoughts:Goldman,Berkman and their comrades were trying new kinds of relationships at a time when women were still considered property,couldn’t vote,had minimal or no access to birth control,etc. And of course women of color were treated worse. Goldman considered marriage tantamount to servitude,and after divorcing her impotent and brutal husband, took & left lovers as she saw fit.

    Berkman (AKA Sasha) was certainly better than Goldman’s ex-husband,or any other male lover she had. Sasha was miles ahead of most men at the time,though,and they remained life-long friends. Perhaps they were better friends than lovers. I have read that each had same-sex relationships at some point,and EG spoke openly about what we’d now call LGB rights. The woman was about a century ahead of her time!

    What made me most upset when reading the 2 volumne autobio were the abuse by ex-husband & Johann Most,as well as Goldman’s many imprisonments for her political beliefs and actions. After reading these books,I decided I’d never marry,in part in solidarity with LG folks. Ultimately I did at 39,after a whirlwind romance of 12 years.(!) We wrote our own vows which quoted Marge Piercy and Ira Wood,affirmed our longtime social justice commitments,and had the kind of wedding we wanted.

    Both EG & Margaret Sanger devoted a great deal of time to issues of contraception,but the radical EG was punished much more severely. Each women had nursing training,yet EG took more risks,performing abortions for poor women.

    @@Anyone interested in learning about more about Victorian era sexuality,reproductive rights and women’s suffrage should look at Marge Piercy’s Sex Wars. Among the many new things Piercy discovered when researching the historical novel was that after the advent of galvanized rubber,enterprising women manufactured condoms in their own kitchens in NYC (and probably other places).

  68. hairball_of_hope says:

    Slight erratum there… that would be vulcanized rubber sheeting, not galvanized. Galvanization is the process of treating ferrous metals with another metal (e.g. zinc) to prevent corrosion and rust.

    But I got the idea. I didn’t know that about condoms. I had assumed that homemade condoms used sausage casings, which were made from animal intestines, and fairly accessible to women of all economic classes.

    I’m also a fan of Piercy, mostly of her poetry. Among the Piercy oddments on my shelves is a book of Jewish-themed poems and prayers, “The Art of Blessing the Day.” Haven’t read “Sex Wars,” I think the last thing of hers I read was her memoir “Sleeping With Cats.”

  69. hairball_of_hope says:


    I like your vodka recipe. Definitely throw away the teaspoon and the bacon.

    Once upon a time I used to keep a small bottle of vodka in the freezer with lemon and lime peels floating in the vodka. Drank sips of it neat. Tasty stuff, and cheap.

    Better all those overpriced designer vodkas that fought for marketshare in the irrationally exuberant 90s and 00s, each one with a more subliminally suggestive bottle and backpage advertisement than the next. (Absolut… Skyy… Grey Goose… etc.)

    I’m convinced the average vodka snob can’t tell the difference between Stoli and Everclear in a blind taste test. And definitely no one can tell the difference in the typical mixed drink.

    But in these stressful economic times, folks are going back to comfort foods and cheap drinks. Meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, bacon.

    So now they’re mixing vodka with a comfort food (bacon). I’ll hold out for the macaroni-and-cheese cocktail, that’s about my speed in the comfort food department.

  70. Feminista says:

    @hoh: Didn’t know you were a Vulcan!

    Yes,*vulcanized* rubber was used to make condoms cheaper and stronger than their predecessors.In Victorian times they were advertised in men’s magazines, along with pornography. Kitchen manufacturers often sold their wares to brothels. But the average woman had no knowledge of contraception,given these distrubtion methods,and after the passage of the Comstock laws,advertising and buying contraceptives became illegal. Piercy portrays Comstock as a 19th Century right-wing religious zealot not unlike those of the past 20 years.

    Rich women got abortions from doctors after-hours; poor and working-class women utilized the services of the local midwife/clandestine abortionist. Margaret Sanger brought back the diaphragm from a European trip in the 1910s,though it remained difficult to obtain for many years. As late the early 60s,a woman had to have a wedding ring in order to be fitted for a diaphragm at a doctor’s office.

    Earlier condoms made from sheep or pig intestines,or linen sheaths dating to the 1600s,were considered “men’s business”,and they controlled the production and distribution.

    Thus endeth the lesson on the history of production to prevent reproduction.

    Re: Piercy’s poetry. I also have The Art of Blessing the Day,and the quotes I mentioned above come from that book. I’ve read all her non-poetry books,nearly sequentially. My late husband said that I should be president of the Marge Piercy fan club!

  71. Renee S. says:


    I enthusiastically agree with you about the vodka!

    When the vodka name-droppers used to ask me which brand of vodka I preferred, I enjoyed watching their writhing faces as I told them, “Why, Betty’s Vodka, of course!”

  72. Dr. Empirical says:

    The difference in taste between Stoli and Everclear is quite obvious to me! The really crappy brands of vodka (and Everclear) have sufficient impurities in them that they taste different, and give more excruciating hangovers.

    On the other hand, vodka is essentially ethanol and water, and once you get above Supermarket Brand, they’re generally pure enough that all you’re getting is ethanol and water, so if you go for the name brands, you’re really just paying for a fancy bottle.

    On the Post Preview issue: I probably wouldn’t use such a thing. While I tend to be careful in my choice of words, I prefer to allow charitable souls to assume my misspellings are really just typos.

  73. ksbel6 says:

    @hoh: We always have a bottle of vodka in the freezer ๐Ÿ™‚

    @Kate L: Kansas City is where I grew up, and I go back there quite often to visit family and friends.

  74. Ready2Agitate says:

    Oh me, oh my, both HoH & Feminista are in disagreement with my ‘no-need-for-a-preview-button’ stance. (Just add Maggie Jochild, and I’d be sunk by blows from three insanely smart women.) If I was as clever as Aunt Soozie, I’d have a quippy retort opposing the oppression of all who eschew proofreading in favor of other habits, not to mention the marginalized who take odd pleasure at improper punctuation & spelling (yes, Hairball, I was goofing on ya’s with “speling”). But alas, I’m only left to say this: As long as we are “charitable souls,” per Dr. E., who will accept each others’ choice to preview or not to preview (premeditated or not premeditated), then my needs are met. ๐Ÿ™‚

    (Hey, I’m noticing red squiggle lines under misspelled — or otherwise audacious – words. Is that new?)

    Feminista, thank you for teaching me on Emma Goldman – such a vital piece of our collective herstory. Separately, I didn’t realize you’d co-wooed with your husband for 12 years before marriage. Making it even sadder that he passed away. He must have been a special person to have been your betrothed.

    And HoHope, I did think twice re: what’s wrong with having 4 marriages re: Ted Olsen, but somehow it fit with a stereotype of male gender privilege. So that’s why I {{coughed}} (as Mo was often want to do). But far be it for me to know how best to have a r-ship with one’s SO, or SO’s – some say – 4th time’s the charm! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  75. Ready2Agitate says:

    ps I think Rachel says vodka is a drink for wusses, or something like that. It’s in one of her how-to-make-a-drink vids.

  76. hairball_of_hope says:


    I learned the vodka lesson early on. Back in poor college student days, I worked in a lab where we had access to anhydrous ethanol. Most ethanol (ethyl alcohol) is adulterated (denatured is the term used on the label) so it can’t be consumed and thus, does not have to be sealed with the tax stamps and be regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and/or the local state alcohol authorities.

    Anhydrous ethanol is pure 100% (200 proof) ethyl alcohol, it has the tax stamp seals, but it’s way too potent to drink as is. So we’d swipe a half liter bottle of the stuff and dilute it with water 1.3 or 1.2 to 1, making well over a liter of 86 or 90 proof vodka. Lots of good parties in the dorms from that stuff.

    Do you know the story of how “premium” vodka marketing got started in the US? Blame it on Nixon, the GOP, and the Soviets.

    Back when Nixon engaged in dรฉtente with the USSR and China, he took delegations of business people along with him to these two countries to sign deals allowing their products to be sold.

    In the USSR, Pepsi signed an exclusive deal. Pepsi was a mostly GOP-leaning company. In the PRC, Coca-Cola signed a similar exclusive deal. Coke was a Dem-leaning company. This was Nixon’s idea of being apolitical. It was thought at the time that Pepsi got the better deal, even though there were more potential consumers in China, because the USSR economy was so much more advanced than China’s in the early 1970s.

    The USSR did not have hard currency to pay for the Pepsi, and they weren’t going to give up a fungible commodity such as gold, diamonds, or oil to pay Pepsi. So they bartered an ordinary pedestrian commodity brand of local vodka named Stolichnaya.

    Pepsi didn’t know squat about the liquor business, but they did know how to market products. They touted this odd Russian vodka as a rare and super-premium item, the genuine article from Russia. They charged a ridiculously high price for it to increase its cachet, and maximize their profits.

    Thus was born the “premium” vodka market segment. Charging absurd prices for essentially tasteless identical products, sold to label-conscious insecure people with no tastebuds.

    Eventually, the makers of these “premium” vodkas started flavoring their essentially identical tasteless products to distinguish them from one another (all those Absolut flavors on the back shelf of the bar are testament to this).

    The irony of this story is that in time, Coke got the much better financial deal. They made much more money in China than Pepsi ever did in the USSR.

    End of vodka story.

  77. j.b.t. says:

    OMG – Deland, the Town Talk has BACON Manhattans??? I’m so there.

    Hairball – you can get nitrate-free bacon. And saturated fat was unfairly maligned for too long. Medicine is now waking up to the fact that the lipid hypothesis was incorrect to begin with. You can read an article I wrote about it here – it’s the one called “Another look at fats and heart disease”

    I don’t know how to embed links.

    Bacon’s actually a great source of vitamin D, deficiency of which is widespread among Americans due to misguided advice to avoid animal fats.


  78. j.b.t. says:

    Hey – it worked!

  79. Ready2Agitate says:

    wow Jennette – real food for thought! I’ve been hearing more & more abt the good old fashioned fats being better for ya. (Oh, and did I mention I’m reading B. Kingsolver’s ‘Animal, Vegetable, Mineral’? kidding – I’m a broken record, I know. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) Anyway, she makes some good pro-carnivory arguments. More food for thought for this 25+ year lacto-ovo (with a host of medical “issues”). Thx for the insights!

  80. Ready2Agitate says:

    … er, Miracle, that is. (heh. bit in the backside, I am!)

  81. Alex K says:

    Blogjack: Sarah Waters, THE LITTLE STRANGER.

    In this week’s SPECTATOR — oh, I know, Ian; but until we are familiar with the classist enemy, how can we defeat her? — from Philip Hensher an immensely laudatory review. Hensher both is clever and requires that books meet high standards. Please visit to see THE LITTLE STRANGER, and Waters’ literary career, through a very sharp pair of eyes.

  82. Scarlet Pimpernel says:

    Is anybody else familiar with Zubrowka vodka? It’s a Polish brand, sometimes called “Buffalo vodka” because of the huge pic of a bison on the label. According to my Polish friends it’s one of the better brands, but apparently outside Poland it’s obscure enough that even my well-travelled father-in-law thought it was hooch. There are a couple of blades of buffalo grass in the bottle (a grass that is supposedly the favorite eatin’ of the Polish Bison), and it gives the vodka a delicate aroma that some people describe as vanilla-y and others as cinnamon-y.

    I myself am a long-time fan of the discarding-bacon recipe above (although in my usual version, you discard the orange juice), but I’ve seen the most hardened vodka-haters polish off (no pun intended) most of a bottle of Zubrowka – and neat, not as longdrinks.

  83. Maggie Jochild says:

    R2A, I’d use a preview option, fasure. If I remembered, that is. If I didn’t remember, then I’d have TWO reasons to castigate myself, the original typo and then not proofreading. But I’m a blogger by profession, and I not only use spellcheck and proofread options diligently, I tend to rewrite several times. Because having someone read your material, having it published instantly, globally, and for all time, is an extreme privilege. My responsibility is to do everything I can to make it right. That ethic doesn’t necessarily extend to comments on blogs, unless you’re a little driven.

    Speaking of driven: I enjoyed the National Spelling Bee last night despite the maunderings of Tom Bergeron and the absolutely pointless insertion of Shawn Johnson (or however you spell her name) into the mix. And this year, I was able to spell more words than in the past. Like, all the medical terms (herniorrhapy, iliopsoas), because I’m a medical transcriptionist for money. And huisache, a tree native to Texas but also when my mom died, she was living on Huisache Circle. I won’t spoil the ending, in case you haven’t seen it, but the contender I was rooting for won, and after having been fairly expressionless, when they hit the championship make-yer-heart-stop words, he/she began grinning every time their word was announced, because she/he fucking KNEW it. And when he/she spelled that last word and there was no *ding*, she/let out a whoop and then began crying. Wahoo!

    Re bacon: I’ve been eating far less of it, along with most pork products, because I am boycotting all pig coming from CFA’s, particularly Smithfield in all its incarnations. Which means, since I live in poverty and in fact all my food is paid for by donations from others, that I can only afford to buy clean pork on a rare basis. Still, a little bit of bacon added to the requisite beans and grains goes a very long way.

    And, speaking of food revolutions and Pepsi, has anybody here tried the new Pepsi Throwback? Made with real sugar instead of corn syrup or fructose or whatever. I’m old enough to remember when soft drinks were all made with sugar. It’s a trial balloon Pepsi is running, no doubt to see how folks respond. I can’t get my hands on any, because others do my shopping and they haven’t found it. Since fructose and corn syrup are, I believe, far worse for our bodies than plain old sugar, and since they are both ubiquitous and heavily dependent on oil for production, I look forward to the transition away from them.

  84. Andrew B says:

    The ability to preview posts would help people avoid posting bad HTML. That has sometimes been a problem. If one were available, I would use the preview button when posting a comment containing HTML markup.

    I have never tried Stoli, but I can certainly taste the difference between decent vodka and bargain basement stuff in a mixed drink. HoH, given that the issue is purity, your story about drinking lab alcohol supports the case for better vodka, at least up to a point. Your lab alcohol was surely much more pure than bargain vodka. That’s no defense of the stratospherically expensive brands, but it does argue for a difference in quality between the low and medium ends.

  85. Dr. Empirical says:

    Largely irrelevant vodka anecdote:

    I occasionally enjoy some of the flavored vodkas on the rocks, although I don’t think much of the authentic spiced stuff they serve in Russia. I had to laugh, though, when Absolut introduced Vanilla Vodka. See, back during prohibition, one of the few legal sources of alcohol was vanilla extract. People with no other option would buy a couple dozen bottles of the extract and drink it for its “medicinal” value. All well and good, except that this drove up demand so much that the manufacturers couldn’t keep up, so they began adulterating the product.

    The chemical they used to stretch out the product was fine in the small doses that would be used for baking and stuff, but when consumed in large quantities it led to a neurological disorder characterized by violent tremors, like an advanced case of Parkinson’s disease. These symptoms were known as “The Jakes.”

    The reason I know this is that there are dozens of old blues songs about people with the jakes, such as Lightning Hopkins’ “I Don’t Want No Jake-Head Woman ‘Round Me.” It was such a common phenomenon that people made up songs about it!

    Vanilla martinis were a brief fad in my household, always consumed with old-time blues on the stereo. When bacon vodka makes it to the east coast, I’ll try a bottle.

    I wonder what music should accompany it?

  86. Maggie Jochild says:

    Arrggh — I mispelled herniorrhaphy above! Ironically funny.

  87. iara says:

    I really don’t see how having a preview option is going to help people with they’re more embarrassing typos.

  88. Kate L says:


    I have a sister who lives in a Kansas City suburb. I have not seen her in 7 years, although we shared a room for the first ten years of my life.

  89. Ian says:

    @Alex K: The Spectator? Just buy the Daily Telegraph, it’s cheaper! It’s ok, I was brought up by a right-wing family, and I have occasional lapses into the right-wing press.

    The other downer for me is this week I spent a few days in Leicester, where I attended university and the feminist women’s bookshop where I discovered Dykes to Watch Out For (and a whole world of radical politics that I never knew previously existed) seems to have vanished. ๐Ÿ™ So double-bummer along with Prop 8.

    Thanks to Deland (and AB) for posting that very cathartic indeed vidjo! (And doesn’t France have some cute guys???). A new anthem has arrived! I loathe and despise Lilly’s father, and was prepared to dismiss Lilly Allen, but she’s surprised me with this album. I may have to invest … ๐Ÿ˜‰

  90. iara says:

    @Ian: how sad about the Leicester Madwimmen

  91. Ready2Agitate says:

    @Maggie ~ dang, I did say insanely smart, din’t I? Sheesh! (and I never woulda caught that misspell).

    Hooch. Jakes. Terms I ain’t heard in awhile. (Sorry for coopting slang that’s not organically my own.)

    Maggie – “clean pork” – I got a sudden humor from thinking, would that be kosher pork?

  92. Maggie Jochild says:

    Kosher pork — reminds me of a line from Seinfeld, about how Jews can only eat pork that’s been blessed by a rabbi.

    And is it mispell or misspell? Yeah, I could look it up but what’s this blog for if not a superior reference work?

  93. Alex K says:

    @ Ian: TELEGRAPH… not so much. I’m a DAILY MAIL kind of girl.

  94. Aunt Soozie says:

    iara… cute.
    I thought today was going to be a blue day…
    all gloom and rain
    but then I saw a whole pile of fluffy ducklings sleeping in the grass after dropping the kid at school… and a second group of ducklings taking a walk through puddles with their mama… and then…
    on my way home from work…
    I stopped traffic so a GIANT turtle could cross the road without getting smooshed by cars. it’s natural kingdom Friday here in NJ.

  95. Aunt Soozie says:

    you know, I meant that I dropped the kid off at school.. not that the ducklings piled up for a nap in the grass after dropping my kid off at school… yeah, preview button… : )

  96. judybusy says:

    Love the talk about Emma Goldman. I grew up on a Minnesota farm, and due to unfortunate economics, ended up having to drop out of college in the middle of my sophomore year. I did what any sensible 19-year-old would do: got a job as a nanny in Manhattan. The couple I worked for were labor attorneys and man, did they have a library. Goldman’s autobiography was in it and was one of many influential books that literally changed my life. Thanks for jogging the ole brain!

  97. Timmytee says:

    @ Aunt Soozie: Oh…I thought you meant the ducklings droppped one of THEIR kids off at school. Thanks for clearing that up for us…;-) Best wishes.

  98. Aunt Soozie says:

    : ) hope everyone has a good weekend… ducklings or otherwise!!

  99. indigirl says:

    hey check it out, over at sugarbutch they are nominating “hot butches of 2009”, & several people have nominated alison:

  100. C. says:

    Oh… Credo uses Sprint’s network, so if anyone has trouble with Sprint coverage, that would continue.

  101. Ian says:

    @Alex K: The Daily Mail? You just made me gasp with horror! ๐Ÿ˜‰ (For those not in the know, it’s the British tabloid that supported Hitler right up until September 1939 when Neville Chamberlain declared war on Germany. And it’s really not improved very much. Peanuts deserved to be run in a better newspaper to be quite honest.

    @iara: I know – very sad. I hope it’s just moved off the High Street and still survives somewhere.

  102. ksbel6 says:

    Finally got to have my kid watch the Lilly Allen video, and she LOVED it! At the end I asked her who her favorite person was and she said, “that awesome old lady flipping off the camera” which made us laugh all over again, because she was my favorite too!

    @Kate L: That is too bad about your sister. I’m going to spend next week with mine (and her VERY Baptist husband and two kids) because while she is in education, she is an administrator and therefore has to work a few extra weeks (before and after the school year). I however, am very free, so almost every summer my kid and I stay with them for a week and I take all the kids to cool places in KC while my sister has to work. BTW, her kids think I am without a doubt, the coolest adult ever. But, of course, they are living in a strict household…”eat every bite on your plate or you’re not leaving the table”…my mother and I got in an argument over that once. She claimed that my sister’s kids were “learning how to eat.” That really made me laugh, which made my mother more upset. Anyway, I have always had my kid try bites, but when she is finished, she is finished. So, after about 12 years of this very well thought out experiment, my child eats any raw vegetable you put in front of her (including eating turnips like apples) and doesn’t bother with a piece of cake at birthday parties, while my sister’s kids can’t wait to devour all types of sweets and if you put a package of cookies in front of them, they will literally eat them all. I’m not going to show my mother the data until all three of them have graduated from college, but I’m pretty sure my kid is going to win the “which child actually learned how to eat well” battle ๐Ÿ™‚ My point was, you should talk to your sister. Surely there is some common ground you can find to tread on lightly!

    Anyone else watching the Women’s College World Series (fastpitch softball)? Amazing athletes!

  103. Feminista says:

    @r2a–Aw shucks,ma’am. I appreciate the kind words about my mini-lecture on EG & my beloved.Richard and I met at a Portland International Day Steering Committee. Our last demo together was on May Day 2003;he died 6 weeks later,the same night as our daughter’s 8th grade graduation.
    Re spelling bees:

    1) This year’s winner got enough $ for at least 2-3 years of college. Maybe some day academic awards will equal athletic scholarships.

    2) I came in second at our all-school spelling bee when I was in 5th grade. Jon Peterson won by correctly spelling “melancholy.” No prize,just a moment of recognition. I’m happy to that he was a conscientious objector during the American (Viet Nam) war and later became a carpenter. It would have been infuriating to lose to the classmate who cheated on his social studies quizzes & later became a spook for the CIA (I’m not making this up).

  104. Maggie Jochild says:

    Add “spook” as a spy to hooch and jakes as wonderfully evocative words we don’t hear enough.

  105. Ready2Agitate says:

    OK spelling bee-worthy smart wimmin: It’s Misspell.

    Now off to enjoy the hot butches of 2009 over at sugarbutch.

  106. Feminista says:

    @R2A–Your wouldn’t want to be mis-taken (or even Ms.taken).

    judybusy–glad to be a memory-jogger. Sometimes my memory jogs,other times it keeps up with me.

  107. Alex K says:

    @ Ian: Say what you like, mate, the TELEGRAPH doesn’t carry next week’s EASTENDERS highlights. With pictures! And the DAILY MAIL does…

    There’s also the wonderful FEMAIL section, where I can keep up on the slebs.

    And the TELEGRAPH tries to sweep important news under the carpet. For instance, in today’s MAIL: “Married City banker who turned 15-year-old girl ping pong prodigy into ‘sex slave’ jailed”. Now there’s a headline! Or when Danielle Lloyd was glassed by two girls at that nightclub, blood ALL OVER: Only the MAIL gave deep background on Danielle. “Upon finishing school, she decided to pursue a dual career in modelling and as a beautician specialising in massage. She is a qualified nail technician.” No, you won’t find the essentials in the TELEGRAPH.

  108. Finsbury Parker says:

    @ Alex K: Oh no, thought this blog was the one place I could get away from the Daily Hate! (aka Daily Mail for those lucky enough to be unfamiliar with it . . .)

    What am I to do? Gorgeous Saturday here in London and I’m laid up with HUGE period pains. Wah.

  109. iara says:

    @finsbury parker -omg, huge period pains, i am fortunately done with that (yay menopause!), but here is my “wisdom of menopause” garnered through many years of excruciating suffering:
    1) It is especially important to keep your feet warm, I don’t understand why.
    2) Nice hot bath is the best non-drug way to take the edge off the pain
    3) If your pain is such that you throw up anything you drink, try to swallow the medicine without water
    4) Most effective non-prescription drug that I know: Aleve (US) containing something called naproxen sodium. In Canada it used to be that you needed a prescription for this (I don’t know if it is still so) and it was called Anaprox. I don’t know what it is called in Europe. It is far more effective than Tylenol (acetaminophen in US, paracetamol in Europe), which is fairly effective if taken before the pain gets really bad, or in conjunction with the hot bath.

  110. Finsbury Parker says:

    Thanks @iara. Nice hot bath is imminent. On Ibuprofen at the minute, hoping things will subside soon and I can go out and lounge in the park.

  111. iara says:

    @ksbel6: I am so with you on the issue of “learning to eat well”!
    I once read a study of little kids that were offered two similar drinks to choose from. The actual drinks were varied from trial to trial, but they were just labeled A and B. They were told that they could only have drink B after they had drink A. When they were asked afterward which drink tasted better, the overwhelming majority picked drink B, regardless of what it actually was. This makes so much sense, doesn’t it? All the foods that are used as rewards end up being the ones that kids think they like best – I think this psychological dimension makes us stop tasting things. So, when my daughter was small and would say “I hate this, I won’t eat it” I would just say “sorry you don’t like it, I guess you will have to skip dinner and just have dessert” – to which she would protest “this is not fair!”

  112. Ginjoint says:

    Har. Somebody over at Sugarbutch who nominated Alison talked about her “stunning blue eyes.” Who knew?

  113. ksbel6 says:

    JFYI…naproxin sodium is the best pain killer out there, but you have to be careful with it (I think you’re only supposed to take 1 pill every 12 hours or something) because it is associated with an increased chance of stroke. I know some folks take Tylenol or Motrin by the handfuls, you don’t want to do that with Aleve.

  114. Ginjoint says:

    I mean, not that you don’t have stunning eyes, Bechdel, but they sure look brown to me. Or am I wrong?

  115. ksbel6 says:

    I agree Ginjoint, they’re either brown or dark green.

    Did anyone else see the segment on GMA this morning about the group at The University of Chicago called something along the lines of “Manpower”? Apparently the boys are scared that the girls are going to take over and they don’t want to go down without a fight. It is a fact that more women graduate from college than men these days…but still…talk about paranoid.

  116. ksbel6 says:

    Oh, but maybe at some point Bechdel wore those “change your eye color” contacts? ๐Ÿ™‚

  117. Ginjoint says:

    Ksbel – that was on the Chicago Tribune’s homepage for a few days; I actually sent that link to several people. The group is called “Men in Power.” Pathetic.

  118. NLC says:

    […]Somebody over at Sugarbutch who nominated Alison talked about her โ€œstunning blue eyes.โ€[…]
    […] but they sure look brown to me.[…]
    […] theyโ€™re either brown or dark green.[…]
    […] maybe at some point Bechdel wore those โ€œchange your eye colorโ€ […]

    One would think after all those hours inking “Fun Home” that they would be a pale turquoise-green aqua-wash.

  119. Andrew B says:

    Mmm… As I recall, that wash was applied digitally during the publication process. I don’t think it was present in the pen and ink originals. But that raises another possibility. Given that Alison is a virtual rather than a real presence to nearly all of us, and given how easy it is to change eye colors in image editing programs, her eyes can be whatever color we like. Personally, I’m picturing something along the lines of burnt ochre. Why? Just because, that’s why. (Holly, Liza, Susan, anyone else who actually knows Alison will have to live with the boring real color.)

  120. iara says:

    boring… BORING ??? Andrew B, take that back!

    (ok, I know you didn’t mean it like that, but I had to protest)

  121. Maggie Jochild says:

    The soundtrack to this turn in the thread will, of course, be Crystal Gayle singing — well, you know.

  122. hairball_of_hope says:

    For those who have no idea what song Maggie is referring to (probably under-40 folks)…

    I’m another one who would never have guessed sparkling blues with that crop of dark hair on AB’s head. I don’t think I’ve seen a photo of Alison sans lunettes, so perhaps we’ve never really had a good look at them peepers via the blog.

    I don’t think the color-changing contacts are in play here. If someone is going to go to all the trouble of sticking foreign objects on her eyeballs, a) she wouldn’t get a non-refractive set of contacts that required the continued use of glasses, and b) she wouldn’t be hiding the color-enhanced irises behind the aforementioned glasses.

    Just my two cents. And my Vulcanized brain at work (Feminista, there’s a bit of Spock in my brain, both Mr. and Dr.).

  123. hairball_of_hope says:

    @ksbel6, Kate L

    re: Estranged (and strange) siblings

    Best piece of advice I ever got on this topic was from a friend who told me, “Those kids are no more responsible for who their father is than you are for yours. You don’t have to like your brother. But you shouldn’t make your nieces pay the price. They are their own individual selves, and you can have completely different and independent relationships with them, despite the details of your relationship with him. And if you’re not in their lives, all they will know of you is what he tells them. Do you want that?”

    So, I go to the obligatory family events. I’m polite and cordial to the folks I’d rather not talk to. I talk (and listen) to my nieces and their peers instead. I talk to my sister-in-law’s family who carry no such historical and emotional baggage for me. And then I go back home with a headache and month’s worth of fodder for my therapist. ๐Ÿ™

    I’ll let you know how the latest implementation of that advice works out when I get back from tomorrow’s graduation party.

  124. ksbel6 says:

    re: siblings, to those that care: I just think it is important for the two kids to know someone that doesn’t fit any of the stereotypes they are being raised to believe to be true. They actually attend a church where women are not allowed on the pulpet/alter/I’m not sure what it is called because I haven’t been in a church for so long/but that stage like thing in the front where all the important people stand. So I spend lots of time telling the boy he doesn’t get to make every decision and telling the girl she does ๐Ÿ™‚ I suppose I could be setting him up to join a club about men losing their power, but it is a risk I’m willing to take. Anyway, I agree HOH, I spend much more time around the kids than I do the adults.

  125. Ian says:

    @ksbel: The place the priest speaks from is the pulpit and the altar is where you’ve got a cross/crucifix and usually looks like a table. If I remember rightly that is.

    In regard to siblings, if you just don’t get on for reasons of personality/political clash, then you should go to big family functions. However, if like me you have a dysfunctional, abusive family, you stay away. Or am I stating the obvious here? There are people who’ll stick through some awful shit for the sake of keeping the family together and sometimes it ain’t worth it.

    Me, I decided to stay away for the sake of my own mental health and replaced them with an extended family of people who actually like me instead! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  126. bean says:

    chiming in late as always…

    1. lily allen is AWESOME and if i weren’t in the camp with the folks who want to stop marrying and start a revolution, i’d say lily allen should marry ME. (obligatory qualification: i love love, romance, and even ceremony. i hate the state, and i hate a world that privileges couples and makes single people feel like shit.)

    2. that being said: don’t knock chumbawamba. sure, their homophobia song isn’t as catchy as lily allen’s, but can lily allen do this:
    (warning: disturbing images of nazis follow)

    3. i love emma goldman as much as the next anarca-jew-dyke, but she never said it:

    4. on vodka, i have no opinion.

  127. Kelli says:

    I believe that a good alternative to “stage” would be “dais.”

  128. Ginjoint says:

    Dr. George Tiller, an abortion provider in Wichita, Kansas, was shot and killed this morning in his church.

    Fuck this world.

  129. shadocat says:

    Ginjoint, I just read about this on Yahoo—I skimmed all the TV channels,and there’s not even a mention of this. Is this all Dr. Tiller’s killing is to them, “just another murder”? Because this is huge—and scary.

  130. Ted says:

    Here’s a link to a Huffpost story on the murder.

  131. Ginjoint says:

    They’ve got the murderous piece of shit who shot him in custody.

    Operation Rescue has denounced the murder, calling it “cowardly.” Bull-fucking-shit. Their website has a picture of Dr. Tiller in flames, calling him “Dr. Death.” Oh my God, I hope this sets the fundies back decades.

    What an incredibly brave man. He helped women who desperately needed it, and put his own safety second. Now that is a hero. I gotta go cry some more…

  132. hairball_of_hope says:

    Wow… I just got home from the family shindig and now I read this horrible piece of news. Puts my family nonsense into sharp perspective.

    One of the AP reports quoted Troy Newman, head of Operation Rescue as condemning the killing (yeah right), but Newman referred to the doctor as “Mr. Tiller.” Excuse me?

    And of course, about 20 wackos from Fred Phelps’ Westboro church protested at the scene, and pro-choice protesters shouted back at them.


  133. iara says:

    I 8 8, I h8 h8, whatever!

  134. C. says:

    I gladly concede that the design is better that the awkward “1 man + 1 woman” material the enemy trumps out.

  135. Kate L says:

    CNN Headline News had the murder of Dr. Tiller as their lead story yesterday (Sunday) afternoon, while Fox News ignored it for such things as an interview with the Republican governor of Nevada, who was demanding that President Obama apologize for saying “There’s no place like Las Vegas for a =quick= visit” when he visited the city recently. Perhaps the governor wants visitors to stay long enough to deplete their bank accouonts. I tuned into the Fox News interview late, so I don’t know if the Fox News on-air personality asked the governor about the Nevada legislature overriding his veto of a bill legalizing gay marriage in the state.

  136. Maggie Jochild says:

    Re Dr. Tiller’s death: I want to offer a couple of links for y’all. One is Sara Robinson’s post at Orcinus (a blog that tracks Right Wing hate groups better than anybody else except the Southern Poverty Law Center), called Jesus’s Jihadis.

    Sara and her husband Evan are currently in Washington DC, and Evan wrote a post about an impromptu vigil for Dr. Tiller in DC last night, with some amazing photos. His post is up at Group New Blog. I’d give you a link but two sets of HTMI will disappear this comment down the rabbithole — however, Alison has kindly placed a link to Group News Blog down at the bottom right corner of her front page here.

    And — I also have a post up at Group News Blog, but it’s to share a letter I received last night from Charlotte Taft. Charlotte opened the first reproductive rights clinic (the Routh Street Clinic) in the state of Texas that offered abortions and abortion counseling, back in the early days which were as scary as these are becoming again. She broke more ground in this area than we can quite know, and I have first-hand experience with how much she helped women who had to make this difficult decision. She was a close friend of Dr. Tiller, and her letter to me is what I put in my post, because it says it all.

    And let me interject here: In Texas, the lion’s share of opening the first reproductive rights centers, the battered women’s shelters, and the mothers’ rights groups, was done by lesbians. We knew it was OUR issue, whether or not we were the target group. Yeah, Ellen, I miss the Revolution too, when all issues were linked and trying to be “like everybody else” was simply not the fucking issue.

  137. hairball_of_hope says:


    I recall the lesbian purges at NOW because it was felt that lesbians in positions of power somehow gave credibility for the MSM to marginalize/ignore the NOW message for women’s equality.

    Always pisses me off when one oppressed group oppresses another in turn.

    To quote Sojourner Truth, “And ain’t I a woman?”

  138. Kate L says:

    I am pleased to report that the University of Kansas (where I earned my PhD) has just named Dr. Bernadette Gray-Little, a 64-year-old African-American woman, as its new chancellor. Chancellor Gray-Little, a former professor of psychology, had been executive vice-chancellor and provost of the University of North Carolina. The KU student newspaper has a story on the new chancellor, as well as another story on the vigil held on the KU campus last night in memory of Dr. George Tiller. About 200 people attended.

  139. Feminista says:

    Right to Life by Marge Piercy (1979)

    I will choose what enters me,what becomes flesh of my flesh.
    Without choice,no politics,no ethics lives. I am not your
    cornfield,not your uranium mine,not your calf for fattening,
    nor your cow for milking.

    You may not use me as your factory.
    Priests and legislators do not hold shares in my womb or my mind.

    This is my body. If I give it to you
    I want it back. My life
    is a non-negotiable demand.

  140. grrljock says:


    Thank you for sharing the poem. It is a slight soothing balm to my aching heart.

    The murder of Dr. Tiller illustrates how pointless any attempt to appease the anti-abortion/women/children side is. They are emboldened when the Far Right fills the government ranks, and lash out when the Vaguely Left is in power.

    In my year or so as a patient escort at a Planned Parenthood (in TX) I heard all sorts of vile, disgusting lies spouted off by demonstrators. I therefore have only respect and admiration to the staff, nurses, and doctors who do reproductive rights work every day.

  141. DeLand DeLakes says:

    Anti-choice fanatics like Regina Dinwiddie of Kansas City, MO and Dave Leach of Des Moines wrote and published a public statement calling for and justifying the murder of abortion providers. People like Randall Terry of Operation Rescue led the movement that continually stalked, harassed, threatened and attacked Dr. Tiller for decades. These people, who have called for the murder of individuals in the name of God, are terrorists and should be tried and convicted as such.

  142. Kate L says:

    On a lighter note, my photo really, really DOES appear in the current (June 2009) issue of Liberty Press, the LGBT weekly for Kansas. I’m holding an anti-Fred Phelps sign at K-State’s recent graduation. I have short dark hair, glasses, and I’m wearing a dark t-shirt and jeans. Having said that, I just checked on-line, and the December, 2008 Liberty Press is still up as the current issue!!! ๐Ÿ™

  143. bean says:

    i heard recently that mallwart’s refuses to carry the morning after pill in their pharmacies. i think this is as important a reproductive rights issue, if not as sensational, as murdering a doctor. institutional sexism: still alive and well, and still inextricably tied to capitalism and the class divide.

    @grrljock and the “Vaguely Left.” tee hee. when’s he gonna reverse his stand on the death penalty?

  144. hairball_of_hope says:


    Are you sure your info about Walmart is current? Everything I’ve read and Googled says that Walmart bowed to pressure (and a lawsuit) and started carrying the Plan B emergency contraception in 2006.

  145. j.b.t. says:

    Feminista, Thank you so much for the poem.

    I’ve felt sick since reading about Dr. TIller’s murder, and I can’t stand how much hatred I find inside my own self toward the “Christian” Right.

    Deland, I appreciated your thoughts about Operation Rescue et al as terrorists. Anyone know if there are any legal groups out there that could prosecute them?

    Maggie, Thank you for Charlotte’s letter. Lots to think about.


  146. bean says:

    HOH – hmm…was talking about this with a friend earlier, and she mentioned it, so, no, haven’t done the research myself, but now will check and report back. i found it startling when she said it, though, because there are a lot of people who seem to have access to walmarts, but not to cities, or reproductive health clinics or that sort of thing.

    either way, it’s kind of sad to me that communities rely on things like walmart to provide their basic services, but i guess it’s better than nothing…i dream of the day when we can count on every community having their own independent community health clinic, sort of the same way you can pretty much assume that if there’s a town, there’s gonna be a mcdonalds.

  147. shadocat says:

    I’ve been pretty quiet here lately, due to some personal issues I’m dealing with, but I’ve never stopped reading. I just feel moved to say thank you to Maggie for her essay and Charlotte’s letter, and thank you, Feminista, for the poetry and your passion. This cruel event has just shattered me to the core; it has made me ashamed and sad for my part of the country(K.C. area and west to Wichita).

    I haven’t been to Wichita for a couple of months, and excuse me if I’m repeating only a rumor, but I read elsewhere on the web that there was a large billboard in Wichita with Dr. Tiller’s picture on it, and the words, “Why Is This Man Still Alive?”. I know there are some locals blogging here–can anyone tell me if this is true? In view of the fact that I’ve seen billboards around here with the most graphic pictures and their forced-pregnancy minded bullshit, I would not be suprised.

  148. Ginjoint says:

    Feminista, thanks for that poem. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard it, and it helped.

    The website Feministe has a lot of coverage on this, but the most important post is I think one titled “In Honor of Dr. Tiller,” and it lists several organizations you might wish to donate to, if you can, in memory of the good doc:

    I’m tired, but I want to read Maggie’s post after I eat something. I’ve been so angry I’m exhausted. I can’t imagine what the family and staff of Dr. Tiller are going through.

  149. Feminista says:

    @Right to Life–Glad this poem was meaningful to some of you. It’s as relevant now as it was 30 years ago when she wrote it,which is sad. The good news,though,is we have a pro-choice president at last.

    I found Democracy Now! coverage today on Dr.Tiller to be thorough and thoughtful.

  150. bean says:

    HOH, thanks for the correction. found this article from the New England Journal of Medicine:

    apparantly, they were able to sue in Massachusetts because of a “regulation requiring pharmacies to stock all ‘commonly prescribed medications’ necessary to ‘meet the needs of the community.'”

  151. hairball_of_hope says:


    Haven’t found images of the billboard you referenced, but the Operation Rescue folks put these up on I-35 in Oklahoma in 2006:

  152. shadocat says:


    You’re not going to believe this, but I go by a very similar sign every day on my way to work—which is coincidently right outside of Merriam, Ks., Scott Roeder’s hometown.

  153. DeLand DeLakes says:

    j.b.t., I’m not a lawyer, and I only dabble in law in my own academic practice, but it seems to me that there have to be legal consequences for putting out what is essentially a fatwah on a person’s life, which is what Dinwiddie, Leach et. all did with their statement justifying the murder of abortion doctors. As for how people like Terry and his cabal get away with blatantly stalking and harassing doctors and clinic workers, I can only conclude that this is blatant negligence on the part of the state and the federal government. These people ought to be legally barred from coming anywhere near abortion providers and their places of work.

  154. ksbel6 says:

    I’m just sick.

  155. Ready2Agitate says:

    heartbroken and angry.

    (this, by the way, is what I wrote on a sign in December 1994, for the vigil for the 2 women receptionists who were brutally gunned down inside two Boston family planning clinics). (The gunman, John Salvi, is serving 2 life terms in prison.)

    It’s 15 years later, or 30 for Marge Piercy, or 50, or 100, WHEN

    Will read Maggie’s posts later.
    (Shadocat – nice to hear from you.)

  156. Ready2Agitate says:

    ps sorry – got lost over at Sugarbutch for a bit (smile), but thanks for posting the feministe url, Ginjoint – hadn’t logged in there in awhile and thoroughly cathartic. Ugh.

  157. m.pigou says:

    Believe me, I am pro-choice. And believe me, I am apalled by the murder of Dr. Tiller.

    Nevertheless, I am rather surprised to see the shared enthousiasm about abortion on this blog. According to usually reliable European newspapers Dr. Tiller committed abortions on the request of women who had been more than six months pregnant. That means aborting a viable foetus. In Europe this is not allowed, and I quite understand why.
    Quoting Piercyโ€™s โ€œRight to Lifeโ€ (I will choose what enters me, what becomes flesh of my flesh) seems hopelessly out of place in this context.

  158. ksbel6 says:

    @m.pigou: The situation of each individual is never black and white. I’m quite certain I could compose a hypothetical where you would agree that a late term abortion would be the best solution.

  159. Ginjoint says:

    m.pigou, get a fucking clue. Really.

    NO ONE has “enthusiasm” for abortion. Dr. Tiller performed these abortions because either or both the woman or the fetus involved were hopelessly ill. If you go to that website I mentioned above,, you will find stories from and about the women he helped. Late-term abortions are not done lightly. You can find these stories of people under excruciating circumstances all over the net, if you bother to look.

    And I really have to wonder exactly how pro-choice you are when you use the phrase “committed abortions.” What the hell is that all about?!

    As you’ve noticed, I’m not even attempting to be polite. When you step into a room of people grieving the loss of a man who actually put the needs of women before his own safety, and try to shame us, you forfeit the right to polite discourse. So, go take five fucking minutes on the internet and educate yourself before opening your sanctimonious piehole.

  160. Ginjoint says:

    …and what if the woman or the fetus involved weren’t hopelessly ill? What if the woman was pregnant due to rape, and for a variety of possible reasons (psychological trauma, abortion not available near her home), hadn’t had an abortion performed earlier? While I am not “enthusiastic” about abortion, I also refuse to consider it a “bad” thing, worthy of even the smallest amount of shame.

  161. Mentor says:


  162. Ginjoint says:

    I know, I know…I thought I would hear from you. However, I do hope the throat-clearing is aimed at m.pigou as well, for the reasons I stated above.

  163. Ginjoint says:

    As in, I don’t appreciate being shamed for grieving about the loss of someone who looked out for women and their needs.

  164. hairball_of_hope says:

    Ginjoint, I understand your anger. Ok, FUCKING anger. If I might be so presumptuous as to speak for others, I think many of us here are fucking angry, fucking hurt. Devastated. We’re with you on this. Really.

    The availability of legal safe abortion, whether or not any of us has actually had to personally avail ourselves of those services, is important to us. Critical to us. Life-changing to us. Life-preserving to us.

    Some of us might not be here if not for the availability of legal safe abortion. Some of our nearest and dearest (and some of us who are old enough), might not be here without the courageous women and men who performed abortions while it was illegal in the US.

    Any woman with child-bearing capacity, regardless of sexual orientation, is only one crime away from needing the services of safe legal abortion. It’s not a heterosexual-only issue.

    Your words speak volumes. If I could give you a hug across the ether, I would.

    But please, please, channel your anger into eloquence. Channel your anger into action.

    Anger, no matter how valid, no matter at whom or what it is directed, is ultimately internally corrosive. Anger has a voracious appetite for its host. It’s exhausting. It’s consuming.

    We need you on this Earth, Ginjoint. Take care of that inner Hothead Paisan.

    … errrwhoooo… (sound of linguistic police sirens pulling you over…)

    I feel compelled to comment on your observation about the word “committed”, as in “committed abortions.”

    M. Pigou is not a native English speaker, from what I’ve gleaned. Even with my bad French (trรจs mauvais… uh, trรจs merdique), I see that the nuances of verb usage between “performed” and “committed” are likely a grey area in the thought process from French to English. So give her (?) a break on that one, ok?

  165. Ginjoint says:


    I’m just fine with my eloquence or, in your view, the lack thereof, hairball.

    I’m also fine with not letting anger consume me. I don’t.

    I’m also just fine with no longer bothering to be a good girl and prettying up my language and minding my manners for someone who cannot credit women with the wisdom of sovereignty over their own bodies. (I will add, this is a particularly prickly issue when it’s a male doing the shushing, because I was not sweet enough when speaking of rights over my own body. Yanno, having these arguments for years and years and years does tend to wear a lady down!) If that gets me banned from this site, so be it. I’m fine with that too.

  166. hairball_of_hope says:


    I wasn’t saying you weren’t eloquent. You are. And while I’m likely guilty of projecting my own inner Hothead Paisan issues with anger onto your post, you did write that the anger exhausted you, which is why was attempting to convey the message about the long-term pernicious effects of anger. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Still working on it (and I have the therapy bills to prove it).

    Who’s the male shushing you here? Last time I checked, I came with all the standard female equipment. All OEM parts.

    Also, without being too personally revealing here, I need to say that I fit into multiple categories of the “… some of us might not be here…” in my post above, directly and indirectly.

    The long-distance hug still stands. Pax.

  167. Maggie Jochild says:

    I’m all with Ginjoint in asking — nay, demanding — that folks either be fully informed about topics on which they are seeking to pass a judgment OR that they ask a question first. If they don’t, then their judgment is open to argument. Heated argument, if the judgment wounds.

    I’ve been there with a woman who had to have an abortion because she (a married mother who experienced birth control failure, but so what if she hadn’t been) faced dying if she did not, or almost certainly giving birth to a nonviable child if she was able to carry to term. Despite that reality, her (and my) grief was earth-rendering. If she had not discovered her pregnancy early, she’d have needed the services of Dr. Tiller. Now there is only one or perhaps two such physicians available in the U.S.

    The point of this assassination was to stop us from having access to certain kinds of help, and ultimately to stop women from having domain over their own bodies. The folks who scream about the rights of fetuses do not accord women and girls the right to real sex education or to birth control either.

    Outrage is not necessarily anger. Determination and talking back to hate is not necessarily corrosive. Silence and shame do far more damage, both to us individually and especially to the level of apathy in this country, which has brought us to this point.

    We are being warred upon. This is sexual terrorism. As a pacifist, what is available to me is language and putting my own heart on the line. I NEED to hear from those like Ginjoint so I know I’m not alone.

  168. Feminista says:

    @m.pigou–A little background on Marge Piercy,who wrote the poem I submitted.

    At age 18,after her freshman year at Univ.of Michigan,she became pregnant by a boyfriend who refused to wear a condom.
    This was 1956,and she wanted desperately to continue the education which would take her out of a neighborhood in Detroit,MI where she’d already knew classmates who died on the streets. Lacking other resources,she self-aborted and almost bled to death; it took her months to recover.

    Fortunately she finished university and received the English at age 22. The world is much richer for her excellent novels,poetry and memoirs and non-fiction.

  169. ksbel6 says:

    @Ginjoint: if you were banned from the site, that would suck. I’m still pulling for you with the crush ๐Ÿ™‚

    @shadocat: good to see you posting, bummer it had to be over such a crappy issue, hope everything works out for you.

  170. Ginjoint says:

    HOH, I was referring to “Mentor” re: the shushing.

    Maggie, you’re right about the apathy – and I’m guilty of being part of that. We need some of the energy of the ’60s and ’70s around these parts. And thanks for your eloquence once again perfectly nailing it.

    Feminista, I didn’t know that about Marge Piercy; that makes the poem even more powerful. I am going to forward that poem to a lot of women I know, with that explanation included.

    Ksbel – the crush – oy, it continues to cause angst in the nethers! (And in my brain as well.) I really, really don’t think anything is going to come of it (except me), as she’s married. Happily, from what I can tell, but I don’t know much. And shado, I’m glad to see you back too. I hope things are smoothing out for you.

  171. ksbel6 says:

    @Ginjoint: That marriage thing is an important bit of information. Kids? That always complicates things even more. Well, as long as you can get some kicks without actually causing anyone any pain, I guess that’s good?

    Here’s a positive note for everyone…we got a 7 week old kitten (that was headed for euthenization (sp?)) last week. He is full of energy and keeps us hopping at every turn. We have a “cat tree house” on the way ๐Ÿ™‚

  172. Ginjoint says:

    Oh, did I previously leave out the marriage bit? Oops! No kids, though. And congrats on the new kitten!

  173. Kate L says:

    Fox News is outdoing itself with self-fascination (or fasci-something) with regard to the murder of Dr. Tiller. Bill O’Reilly of Fox News has implied that it’s only the “liberal media” and “Fox News haters” (his words) that are critizing the conservative press for stirring up anti-Tiller hatred, and O’Reilly calls everyone from Arianna Huffington to -I am not making this up- Kansas City Star newspaper columnist Mark Hendricks “liberal media” for saying that conservative pundits encouraged what happened).

    What has Dr. Maddow said about the murder? I can’t tune her in because MSNBC is still blacked out like a premium channel on my local cable system. I try to tune it in, but I feel like an East Berliner listening to Radio Free Europe during the Cold War (image of Kate L in the basement, desperately tuning a short wave radio while the Stasi radio detection van closes in on her location).

  174. hairball_of_hope says:

    (…image of Kate clandestinely tuning in RFE, shortwave aerial disguised as outdoor clothesline, plotting her escape from the DDR…)

    Come out of the basement, it’s time to end your Dr. Maddow deprivation. I think you ought to look into DirectTV and/or Dish Network. It’s possible to get every channel you could ever want (including over-the-air local broadcast channels for a few bucks/month extra), and it’s usually way cheaper than the equivalent from your local cable monopoly. All you need is a clear shot at the southwestern sky to mount and aim the dish antenna.

    Dish and DTV have different tiers/packages, one is more sports-oriented than the other (I forget which one), but they’re really hot to get cable customers and you should be able to snag a good deal that includes MSNBC for about $25/month, free installation, and free converter boxes for two TVs.

  175. m.pigou says:

    1) I am not a native speaker, hence my lack in subtlety and eloquence. Sorry for that.
    2) I am not a man. At least, not officially.

    In case of abortion, especially abortion on a viable foetus, we cannot simple speak of the rights of one person; we should always consider the rights of the two persons involved, mother and child.
    And yes, of course I know ( I am not uninformed, not ignorant and not malicious) that there are situations in which one is forced to take terrible and cruel decisions. But still, I am surprised that no one cared to mention the existence of the child. And I am even more surprised that my memento causes such an agression amongst some of you.
    I mean this: I am honestly surprised.
    In open discussions I usually do not get insulted when I state my point of view.

  176. shadocat says:

    This just in—the Sedgewick Co. prosecutor is NOT seeking the death penalty for Scott Roeder, as his crime “does not fit the criteria”. So my question is, what the hell IS the criteria for a cold-blooded, pre-meditated murder?

    Thanks ksbel, Ginjoint and others for the kind words; I’ve been dealing with a bunch of health-stuff for some time now, all the while trying to keep working. Most days it takes all my energy just to read the blogs, let alone try to comment. But this thing—Maggie’s correct, it really is an act of war against us.

    Only heard a bit of La Maddow last night, but from the little I heard, she seems to be in the same frame of mind as most of the commenters here (or is it commentORS…hell, I can’t remember anymore). Must watch her tonight, I’m sure she has much more to say. And ksbel, congrats on your new kitty! I know if it wasn’t for my “furry kids” I wouldn’t be able to get through some days,,,

  177. Ellen O. says:

    Here is some of what Rachel Maddow has to say…

    In my opinion, if Operation Rescue and similar groups spent half as much time distributing free birth control, incarcerating rapists, encouraging gay and lesbian, and teaching non-reproductive methods of having sex as they did terrorizing women and assassinating doctors, there would be a lot less need for abortions.

    But that’s not very likely, is it?

    I think some anti-choice people are concerned about fetuses. But I think many more just want to keep women powerless.

  178. Ellen O. says:

    Ah, above that should have been “encouraging gay and lesbian sex.” I guess that is SO far-fetched my fingers could not even type it.

  179. Maggie Jochild says:

    Shado, I’m opposed to all murder, so I can’t argue for the death penalty. And the wild injustice you’re reporting to us is part of why: It only gets used against the poor, the non-white, or those not privileged by the dominant system. More stringent laws will not stop them killing us. We have to have a bigger solution.

    I say, instead, try him under terrorism charges and send him to a federal lock-up for the rest of his life.

    M.Pigou, I for one was not overlooking the existence of a child. But in the pregnancies Dr. Tiller terminated, a significant portion of the time, the fetus was either not going to live through/after birth or would live only briefly, in terrible pain, missing a brain, vital organs, a digestive tract, or other horrific lack. In the remaining instances, carrying to term and giving birth would, according to several medical opinions, result in the mother’s death. I can barely imagine being a mother having to make such a decision, but never ever would I presume she was “not considering the child”. How can you make that assumption about her, or about us? Possibly the language barrier is playing a large role here, I’m considering that. So I’m legitimately asking what you hear that makes you think any of us are not considering the fact that a child is in the picture — including the children that mother may already have, may be the only provider for.

    The assumption that ANYONE has an abortion thoughtlessly, without care for all concerned, is deeply offensive to me and sounds to me like woman-hating — you know, we can’t think well without a man’s morality guiding us.

    Also, I haven’t done the research (I leave it to HOH, our expert researcher) but I seriously doubt most European provisions prohibit termination of late pregnancy if carrying to term will kill the mother and/or the baby, or result in a non-viable birth. The term “late-pregnancy” or “partial-birth” abortion is a deliberate misnomer used by the murderous Right to conceal what is actually occurring, and occurring only extremely rarely, after all other options are exhausted and several physicians have concurred in the diagnosis.

  180. Ginjoint says:

    m.pigou, in case you missed it: I was not referring to you when I spoke of being silenced by a man. Scroll up and see my earlier comment.

    What is your point, exactly? That, in your opinion, we were just too damn concerned about the doctor and his family, and WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN, MY GOD THE CHILDREN?! Because if that is your point, then yes, you are uninformed, and you are insensitive to the point of ridiculousness. And oh? I will always, always value the life of a woman over a fetus she is carrying. Always.

    You came and attempted to shame us, and then have the nerve to act surprised when I reacted angrily. Please don’t hand me a line about your lack of eloquence due to English not being your native tongue – your English seems just fine to me, and I think you knew exactly what you were saying. If your feelings were hurt, too damn bad. As Maggie alluded to, sitting back politely is part of what got us into this mess. If you’re going to throw out judgements like that, be prepared for people to fight back. Take your “memento” and sh….

    O.K., enough. I’m done wasting time.

  181. Ginjoint says:

    O.K., apparently I’m not. Maggie, thanks for bringing up the “thoughtless abortion” meme. I started to address it, then deleted it in an attempt to shorten my post. Honestly…as if any woman, including those in this forum, wouldn’t be thinking about the child involved…Jesus tapdancing Christ.

  182. Ginjoint says:

    Kate L, thanks for that image of you in the basement. I needed that laugh. And Ellen, for the fingers.

    Wait, that came out wrong.

  183. hairball_of_hope says:

    @m. pigou

    Ok, let’s start with the concept of a fetus being a child. That’s the first place I have a problem with the assumptions behind your question.

    (… digs into the recesses of her brain for Anatomy & Physiology 120, and Embryology 230 …)

    Fertilization… you know the drill. Spermatozoan and ovum say hello, etc.

    An amorphous bunch of cells form a blastula via mitosis.

    That is not a child. That is not a person. That is a bunch of cells.

    Blastula implants on uterine wall, angiogenesis, placental development. Still not a child or person.

    Cells begin differentiation into distinct types and structures. Not a child or person.

    I could go on here, but you get the drift. Do you consider this bunch of cells a person when the gametic nuclei fuse? When the bunch of cells implant? When certain structures such as the neural tube form? What stage of embryonic development defines the line where this clump of cells becomes a person?

    Some folks use viability outside the womb as the criterion. That’s no answer.

    Until the advent of specialized neonatal technologies in the past 35 years or so, fetuses prior to about the 32nd week were not viable. Technology has changed that, it’s now earlier.

    But only for fetuses which happen to be born in a first-world country with access to expensive and advanced health care, and in a specialized neonatal intensive care unit. A 28-week old fetus is not likely to be viable outside the womb in Zimbabwe, but is likely to be viable in the US if the mother has access to the aforementioned neonatal care. Does that make the Zimbabwean fetus not a person?

    For me, the real issue is the idea implicit in your assumptions of this fetus having rights, and in particular, assuming that these rights are equal to or greater than the mother’s rights.

    I don’t buy that for one minute.

    At what point does this bunch of cells acquire rights? And if the fetus has rights, how can the rights of the yet-unborn fetus override the rights of the mother?

    I realize that reasonable and thoughtful people can disagree on these issues. Many of us are guided in our opinions on this by our spiritual, religious, and political convictions. We carry the baggage of history and culture into our personal decisions. We have personal history that shapes our beliefs.

    My religious and political convictions, along with my personal history, lead me to ascribe to the woman all rights and decisions regarding the fetus. Note that I’ve intentionally excluded the male from any rights or decision-making authority. It’s her body, not his.

    Your views likely differ. Different cultural and historical influences, probably different spiritual and religious influences, different personal history.

    Understand that no woman makes the choice of having an abortion lightly. An unwanted or unexpected pregnancy is not something that a woman intends to have. But her life, her body, her health (mental as well as physical), and her wishes must be paramount in the choice.

    That’s why there must be a choice. No woman should be forced to have an abortion, and no woman should be forced to bear a child.

    Reproductive freedom is a basic human right.

    We can agree to disagree. And we can disagree while remaining respectful of one another. Just don’t let that disagreement force me to carry a child to term that I didn’t intend to bring to this planet.

    (… goes back to wishing she were as articulate and smart as Rachel Maddow … and perhaps a bit of a wish that she were as hot as Dr. Maddow …)

  184. Renee S. says:

    I’m chuckling gleefully.
    Thank you, Ginjoint, for you’re saying out loud what we are all thinking to ourselves.

    @mpigou: quoting you: “Quoting Piercyโ€™s โ€œRight to Lifeโ€ (I will choose what enters me, what becomes flesh of my flesh) seems hopelessly out of place in this context.”
    Why do you think that it is out of place?

  185. Renee S. says:

    @HOH ditto on Rachel Maddow

  186. hairball_of_hope says:


    Wikipedia has a pretty comprehensive table of abortion laws in various nations:

    I’m chuckling at your characterization of me as an expert researcher. I was once described (endearingly) as a “cesspool of useless information.”

    Infomaniac – guilty as charged.

    I was a library rat as a kid. Adults always came to me for information, because they knew if I didn’t know something off the top of my head, I could find it out in the library. Even in our present era of Google, folks ask me to find stuff on the Internet for them.

    Useless information? I seem to have a lock on it. Information that could make money and allow me to retire comfortably? Haven’t got a clue.

    I acquire information the way dogs acquire fleas. I just pick it up along the way, without any good use for it, other than satisfying my innate (or perhaps inane) curiosity about things. I haven’t a clue how to make a nickel from all that damn info.

    No… librarian is not my calling. For starters, I’d have to shush myself. My voice is too damn loud for me to be a librarian. I could hawk beer at the ballpark with this voice.

  187. Ginjoint says:

    HOH, I have one word for you, and that word is Jeopardy.

  188. hairball_of_hope says:


    Too many TV and popular culture questions on Jeopardy these days, and I’m hopeless on that stuff.

    When “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” first hit the airwaves, a whole bunch of people tried to get me to go on, and I actually considered it. The idea of having lifeline people I could call for those TV and celebrity questions seemed ok. But then I got cold feet. I didn’t want to make an ass of myself on TV. I feared I would freeze under the glare of TV lights.

    I’m the person whose brain froze in one of my first job interviews many years ago, couldn’t solve a basic series circuit Ohm’s Law problem which involved dividing 110 by 55. Finally, I said the answer was 2. “Two what?” asked the interviewer. “Uh… amps, uh watts, uh ohms!” I stammered. Hia eyebrows went up. “Oh sorry, I guess I’m nervous. Amps.”

    P.S. I got the job. I laugh about it now, but I know that could happen to me at any time.

  189. ksbel6 says:

    You are all awesome, and in case I haven’t typed it lately, I love this blog!

    Oh, and HOH, just to add to your useless information list, Donald Duck’s middle name is Fauntleroy. You can look it up. It is on his draft card in an episode about him going off to fight in WWII. There, now go on Jeopardy, you will certainly win tons of money ๐Ÿ™‚

    @Ginjoint: maybe you did mention “married” earlier and in my positive vibes being sent your way I blocked it…oops. Oh well, since there aren’t any fetuses involved, you should totally just get her to leave him ๐Ÿ˜‰

  190. hairball_of_hope says:


    And look it up I did…

    (… goes back to her Pavlovian existence of salivating when the dinner bell is rung …)

  191. j.b.t. says:

    m.pigou – pardonnez mon Francais, s.v.p… mais je veux vous dire que il y’a les gens ici que vous comprendre!

    C’mon, folks – I don’t think m.pigou was trying to be offensive in any way. I read the post as meaning – hey, I’m pro-choice, but a 6 month old fetus makes me hesitate or feel weird or something, and I need more information.

    Thank you, Maggie, for supplying the information.

    m.pigou – j’espere que vous nous joindre encore. Wow… been 15 years since I lived in France and my French feels gone! Sad!


  192. j.b.t. says:

    Just went back and looked at the R. Maddow bit – it’s just like Deland was saying!

    Why why why aren’t these people being prosecuted by the law as the terrorists they are?


  193. hairball_of_hope says:


    Almost forgot… Mazel Tov on the kitten!

    No need for the cat tree house once he figures out how to climb up your bookcases, tossing volumes at your head as he climbs.

    At this age, you’ll probably find him sleeping in the laundry basket, particularly when you have a nice warm load of clean clothes just waiting to be covered in cat fur.

  194. Andrew B says:

    Ginjoint, this blog would be a hell of a lot less fun without you. Who else is going to ask us to invent phony English country names for Chicago?

    M.Pigou, I too was offended by your remarks. I’m not sure to what extent this is due to language, culture, or genuinely deep disagreement about the issues. I tried to write a response but it was very long and I’m afraid I’ll just make you feel attacked again. If you think it would be helpful I will try to explain more about why I was offended.

  195. shadocat says:

    Maggie—I’m not for the death penalty either, and I think your idea on the prosecution of Roeder is a good one. My reaction to the prosecutor’s decision had to do with my misunderstanding of Kansas law. I suspected the D.A. was being easy on Roeder, but I have since found out the death penalty in Kansas is reserved for those who have commited multiple murders, murdered a child, or other especially heinous acts. I too, hope Roeder spends the rest of his life in a federal prison.

  196. hairball_of_hope says:


    Let me add my greetings to the chorus welcoming you back.

    Roeder is being held on state charges, therefore his incarceration after conviction would be in a Kansas state prison, not Federal.

    From what I’ve read, Federal prison conditions tend to be better than state and local prisons. I hope they find a dark hole in the Kansas system and lock him up there for life, without chance of parole.

    I’m wondering about the trial. It will be difficult, if not impossible, to find a jury pool that has not heard about this case. This might be one of the few times that a defendant does not ask for a change of venue; I’m guessing the jury pool in Wichita might be more favorable to him than in KC. Unless he opts for Topeka, which would be even more favorable for him.

  197. Ready2Agitate says:

    Hear hear Andrew! This is hitting a raw nerve for me. I’m kind of horrified to see feminists/lesbian feminists on this blog debating whether being pro-choice (‘I choose what enters my body’) equals being “insensitive to fetuses” — or worse, to not valuing children (!). Absolutely Not.

    I sure hope it’s not an age gap I’m witnessing. It would sadden me deeply if young feminists had not honing their pro-choice politics enough to understand the implications of vital public policies that allow women to control their reproduction. (Personal policy – well, that’s a whole separate affair: “If you’re against abortion, don’t have one”).

    Comments suggesting that women who make the difficult choice to abort a pregnancy “aren’t considering the children” make me want to reclaim the slogan: “Abortion on demand! And without apology!” If our lives are at stake (and it seems, nay it has been shown to be, true), then we can’t be apologists for our sisters who make this choice.

    (And I only hope that mp is not some russian, etc. needing to incite acrimony for the sake of some weird narcissistic thrill.) (mp, if you are legit, apologies for musing on whether or not are a POTWTTBOPH.)

    j.b.t. – I think you were generous in your interpretation (“makes me feel weird or something and I need more info” is quite different from consistent expressions of “surprise”). I found the comments less personally self-reflective and more divisive in the context of another colossal loss/step backward for humankind (yes: HUMANKIND!).

  198. Ready2Agitate says:

    sorry – i’m unintelligible – as I said: a raw nerve.


    I won’t be told it’s one or the other, no matter how many people (and misogynists) say so.

  199. Feminista says:

    Ready2Agitate–Right arm (: and Right on! You’re in the spririt of Emma Goldman here–I see a speech in the works. You’d do well at a Boston area rally.

    I’m planning to do a collage and possibly an article on the latest turn in reproductive rights.

    As an adoptive parent,cool grandma,and all-round rabble-rouser,I am proudly PRO-CHOICE/PRO-CHILD/PRO-ADOPTION.

    HoH–My dad used to say I was a “compendium of incidental information”,a characteristic he passed on to my sister (who in turn passed it on to her offspring) and me. In family discussions,he insisted we be able to explain our views and cite our sources. And if I were Sydney’s nemesis Betsy Gilhooley,I’d make some Latin puns. But I’m not.

    Knowledge is Power!

  200. Dr. Empirical says:

    @ksbel6: The “E” in “Wile E. Coyote” is for “Ethelbert.”

  201. Alex K says:

    Blogjack again — from THE ECONOMIST this time. (Oh, Ian, STOP JUDGING ME, dingbing it. **grin**)

    This week’s number contains a note on a visit to the Herge museum newly opened near Louvain — review, summarised, “thumbs up”: The cartoonist employed a staff among whose duties were to photograph him in various poses that his cartoon characters would assume. He then cartooned from the photographs.

    Reminds me of AB… not just the Tintin quiff, either!

  202. Alex K says:

    And, just to throw another dart at the map, this post is from the Buda side of Budapest. It’s lovely here.

  203. Timmytee says:

    “Donald F. Duck”? I love it.

  204. ksbel6 says:

    @Dr. E: I actually know that one too, it’s just that one more people seem to know since the “E” gives them reasons to go looking. Fewer seem to know about Fauntleroy.

    I have always argued that if they would fix the adoption system in this coutry, it would be a much more viable choice. Do you guys remember that in Arkansas, no cohabitating/nonmarried couple can legally adopt kids now? This country is just obsessed with “protecting” kids that need to be adopted and not worried about the fact that those kids just want a family. It doesn’t have to be a perfect one. But, again, that doesn’t mean I won’t always be pro-choice. I truly believe deep down that the second abortion rights are off the table, birth control will be next. And since 1 in 100,000 women (in the U.S) die due to complications with either the pregnancy, or the birth, no birth control would be a death sentence for women.

    As a teacher, I can tell you what we really need is birth control education at about age 15. And really thorough education. Telling them not to have sex will not work.

  205. Ginjoint says:

    Alex, that’s really interesting about the photographs – GMTA, I guess. And Budapest? Sweet. I hope you’re having a great time. I went to the website for that Herge museum – – and oooh, I’d love to get into the store at that place. Architecturally, it’s, uh, interesting.

    Ksbel, no, you didn’t block the marriage part. It’s me doing that, for fantasy and convenience’s sake.

    In theremin news, last night the Ovation channel had a two-hour program on the dude himself and his wonderful invention. Apologies for not giving a heads-up ’bout that.

  206. hairball_of_hope says:


    My Latin is limited, but I’d love the puns. If Acilius ever comes up for air from his honeymoon, he’d be the Latin expert around here.

    True Latin story: About 20 years ago, I had a tech management job where my boss would send us out to customers to “wave the flag.” That is, if there was an important customer, or a customer with some recurring tech problem, he would dispatch a low or mid-level tech management person (in this case, me) to calm the customer down and show how much we really cared about fixing their problems (“waving the flag”), while our tech would actually repair the system. Of course, sometimes we got involved in the problem diagnosis, and sometimes we had to intervene when our bone-headed techs screwed something up, so it wasn’t all customer relations.

    On this particular occasion, I showed up at a customer site with our tier 2 tech and we found that the customer hadn’t done any of the required basic calibrations and procedures in the year and a half they had the system. Imagine buying a car and not changing the oil, checking tire pressure, etc. for a year and a half. Sort of really basic like that.

    My tech opened up the system control unit and there was so much dust and dirt in it, it looked like a Chia Pet farm. DUH. No wonder it didn’t work. He vacuumed out the crud, did the basic calibrations, tested it, and all was well.

    No job is done until the paperwork is complete. What to write in the customer’s log book? The customer is always right, can’t write that they’re a bunch of ignorant dopes who don’t know how to use a vacuum cleaner. My tech wrote that he performed a calibration. I wrote three words underneath in Latin from Julius Caesar, “Veni, vidi, vici.” (“I came, I saw, I conquered.” In classical Latin, it’s pronounced WAY-NEE, WEE-DEE, WEE-KEE.)

    I made a photocopy of the log book page, and dropped it off in my boss’ inbox when I got back to the office later that day.

    Arriving at work the next morning, coffee and pastry in hand, my boss sees the light go on in my office and calls me on the phone. He wants to see me. Now. Uh-oh,

    “I got a call from the [customer X] manager. What did you do to his system?”

    “Did you read the copy of the log I left in your box? Ralph opened it up and found all this dust anc junk in it, he vacuumed it, calibrated it, and ran diagnostics. Why? Is something not working?”

    “He called me demanding to know why his folks didn’t have access to this special calibration procedure you did to his system.”

    “What special procedure?”

    “He wanted the VEE-NEE, VEE-DEE calibration procedure.”

    I nearly spit my coffee out across his desk. My boss cracked up. He was a Catholic alter boy pre-Vatican II, so he knew his Latin.

    “What did you tell him?”

    “I told him it was a restricted proprietary Tier 3 diagnostic, and in any case, it was way too complicated for his staff.”

  207. NLC says:

    I’ve always been fond of the T-shirt I saw some years back:


  208. hairball_of_hope says:


    Theremin? Cool. It deserves better than the weird woo-woo music in horror films.

    I assume they showed Clara Rockmore playing the original theremin. Robert Moog traced out the wiring of it and rebuilt it for her in the 1970s, and she started performing again.

    I once heard her recording of Villa-Lobos’ “Bachianas Brasileira” followed by Renee Fleming singing it. Amazing comparison. Her nephew, Bob Sherman, hosts a couple of radio shows here in NYC, one on the classical station WQXR featuring young musicians, the other a folk music program on college station WFUV. He gave an interview about Clara on the local NPR affiliate, telling the story of the time he messed around with her theremin when he was a kid. Obviously, he lived to tell the tale.

  209. Renee S. says:


    Ha!!!! I love it!

    Merda taurorum animas conturbit!

    not a latin maven, I looked it up….

  210. Renee S. says:

    Gay Pride Month

    Did you see this? I wonder if we can now roll dykes on the White House Lawn every June 1st….

  211. hairball_of_hope says:


    “At the international level, I have joined efforts at the United Nations to decriminalize homosexuality around the world. Here at home, I continue to support measures to bring the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans. These measures include enhancing hate crimes laws, supporting civil unions and Federal rights for LGBT couples, outlawing discrimination in the workplace, ensuring adoption rights, and ending the existing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in a way that strengthens our Armed Forces and our national security.”

    Yeah, I know it’s only boilerplate and blather, but still it makes me feel good. Now let’s hold him to his words.

  212. Renee S. says:

    Yes, I would like the full spectrum of equal rights, hold the mustard, please.

  213. hairball_of_hope says:


    I got the bullshit part, I had to look up the rest. Cute.

    Do you listen to the Car Talk guys? They had a funny segment where one read a phrase in Latin and the other one had to figure it out.

    Omnia dicta fortiori, si dicta Latina. (Everything sounds more impressive if said in Latin.)

  214. Renee S. says:

    Funny, my linguistics professor used to say something similar:

    If you want to sound intelligent, always use words that are Latin in origin.

  215. Dr. Empirical says:

    Jim Lowe of the Electric Prunes played a little theremin when I saw them last spring. He didn’t really play a melody, though, he just did some tricks.

    Best use of a theremin I’ve ever seen live was by a percussion player in Victor Wooten’s touring band. He ran the signal through a distortion pedal and used the theremin as a rhythm instrument, like a phonograph scratch in a ’70s hip-hop group.

  216. Renee S. says:

    Clara Rockmore

    wow! Thanks for the fountain of knowledge, HOH.

    Check her out:

    I love her face, both she and music are beautiful.

  217. Kate L says:


    Dish TV instead of the cable company that blocks MSNBC? A satellite antenna on my house that receives signals from geosynchronous orbit? Wow, that sounds like something from the 21st century! Oh, wait a minute…

  218. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kate L

    Actually, it’s 20th century technology which requires a bit of prehistoric technology in winter. You have to brush the snow out of the dish, or some of that nice parabolic signal reflection won’t hit the LNB. So make sure you locate the dish somewhere that you can reach with a broom.

  219. Maggie Jochild says:

    hey, y’all, sorry for vanishing for 24 hours. have been sick as a dawg, vomited off and on for 8 hours. i’m still puny but had to come log on, if only briefly.

    there’s a website that lets you create your own personal motto or slogan in latin. it’s kinda limited but still fun:

    in the late 70s/early 80s in the bay area, we political dykes often sang a song (especially at rallies and marchies) that went
    My body’s nobody’s body but mine
    You run your own body
    Let me run mine

    i think maybe it was by bonnie lockhart. ring a bell, anybody?

    okay, time for tea and watching something that isn’t a cooking show on tv.

  220. hairball_of_hope says:


    (… living up to my nerdling expectations …)

    Nope, the song was written by Canadian psychologist Peter Alsop. The lyrics are posted here:

    And in the continuation of a long-lost theme, the music publisher is Moose School Music (BMI).

  221. hairball_of_hope says:


    Cute Latin motto generator, but sort of limited. The “Mad Libs” format was ok (e.g. “From/out of [noun], [noun]”), but the list of nouns and verbs were too conventional. I guess there isn’t much call for a Latin motto equivalent of “From mashed potatoes, dinner” or perhaps “From beer, hangover.”

    De-clique-ification note for non-USAnians: Mad Libs are a series of pre-written stories with some key words replaced by blanks. The user(s) (usually a bunch of kids) are instructed to fill in the blanks with the appropriate part of speech for each blank: verb, noun, adjective, adverb. Mad Libs is played by the group generating the list of words in advance without any knowledge of the story. One kid then reads the story, substituting the words from the list. The more preposterous the words, the better.

    The Mad Libs format is like a steno pad, one story per page, bound at the top. They are yet another product from the demented minds at Mad Magazine.

    Forget elementary school English… everything I learned about the parts of speech, I learned from playing Mad Libs.

  222. hairball_of_hope says:

    More women move into positions of power…

    The Indian Parliament has elected its first female speaker, Meira Kumar. Of particular note, she is a member of the Dalit caste, usually known to non-Indians as the untouchables.

  223. hairball_of_hope says:


    New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch has just signed the same sex marriage bill into law.

  224. Renee S. says:


    Presidential Gay Pride Month, An “untouchable” female Indian speaker, and now a piece of the “full spectrum of equal rights” in New Hampshire.

    Ain’t Life Grand?

    Now, if we could only do something about those terrorist right-to-lifers!

  225. Ian says:

    @Alex K: How far you stray … ๐Ÿ˜‰ Only joking – I read the right wing capitalists. After all, who else knows as much about the markets?

  226. hairball_of_hope says:

    Add this to the pile o’ good news…

    Reuters is reporting that Harvard has created an endowed chair in LGBT studies, the F.O. Matthiessen Visiting Professorship, named after a closeted former Harvard department chair.

  227. Ready2Agitate says:

    Peter Alsop is a children’s musician, no?

    Wait – here it is from wpedia (which also says Peter’s wife is the daughter of Will Geer):

    Peter Alsop is an American children’s musician whose songs try to help kids deal with life. The range of subjects includes fear of sleep, dealing with loss, dealing with invasion of privacy, being called “gay” for showing emotion, gender differences, individual tastes, dealing with disabilities, and respect for others.

    Alsop’s lyrics sometimes deal with subjects related to sexuality: “It’s Only a Wee-Wee, So What’s the Big Deal?”, “It’s My Penis”, “Hopelessly Heterosexual” and “Don’t Stick Your Hand Down My Pants Just ‘Cause We’re in Love”. These songs appear on disc two of a double CD collection entitled Sex and Sexuality.

  228. Ready2Agitate says:

    (not Canadian, not a psychologist, from what I can tell. Shoot, though, is Hairball ever wrong? I doubt it…)

  229. Acilius says:

    @h_o_h: Thanks for mentioning me! The missus and I spent our honeymoon in Seattle, we were there when the governor of Washington State signed the new civil union law. That law may not have the word “marriage” in it, but it has enough of the substance that the LGBT-friendly Capitol Hill district of Seattle (where we stayed) was an extra jolly place for a couple of days.

    I love the theremin! Has everyone seen the documentary about Lev Termin, THEREMIN: AN ELECTRONIC ODYSSEY? I think it was released in 1999. Termin himself had a life story that was too improbable for fiction, but Clara Rockmore almost steals the movie. Her project as a musician was open to question- it always seems to me that her goal was to show that the theremin can do just what a violin can do, which would be interesting if the world had run out of violins. But she was an irresistibly captivating stage presence. At least I find her so. Watching her play the theremin I feel myself drawn into the space between her and the instrument, held there by its electricity.

  230. hairball_of_hope says:


    I stand corrected. Peter Alsop is an *American* psychologist and children’s musician. I don’t know why I thought he was Canadian… maybe it was the Moose School Music.

    Peter’s bio from his website describes him as follows:

    Who is Peter Alsop?

    – an educational psychologist who writes great songs for kids

    – a national lecturer, humorist and motivational speaker

    – winner of seven Best Childrenโ€™s Album awards

    – a Dad with an open mind and a sense of humor

    – a video producer, feature film director and actor

    – an organizational consultant

    – a Certified Experiential Therapist

  231. hairball_of_hope says:


    Welcome back to our merry band of Latin-lusting linguaphiles. Hope you got a few chuckles out of the latest posts.

    Clara Rockmore was indeed trying to demonstrate the theremin was a serious instrument, as serious as the violin which she no longer could play, due to some unspecified physical ailment.

    According to her nephew Bob Sherman, Rockmore had perfect pitch, which greatly aided her ability to play this touchless instrument. Sherman’s mother, Nadia Reisenberg, often accompanied Rockmore on piano.

    I don’t know if her theremin’s tonal range was especially well-suited for the violin repertoire, or it was simply Rockmore’s musical training and familiarity with the violin canon that led her to play the traditional violin works with the theremin.

    In the Villa-Lobos piece I mentioned above, the theremin is playing the part written for the soprano voice, which is actually written for the soprano to sound like a violin. That’s why it was interesting to me to hear the comparison between Rockmore playing theremin and Renee Fleming singing it.

  232. Maggie Jochild says:

    Ah, “It’s Only A Wee-Wee!” Another song my merry band of steel-toed-boots, police-car-burning dyke revolutionaries loved to sing together!

    Ever so pertinent today:
    The moment you’re born
    Grown-ups look where you pee
    To try and tell you
    What you ought to be
    Girls pink and quiet
    Boys noisy and blue
    It seems like a dumb way
    To tell what to do

    It’s only a wee-wee
    So what’s the big deal
    It’s only a wee-wee
    So what’s the big fuss
    It’s only a wee-wee
    And everyone’s got one
    There’s better things to dicuss


    On a side note: Will Geer, aforementioned father-in-law, was a closeted gay until late in life. Otherwise known as Grandpa Walton.

  233. Kate L says:


    Broom – related

    Broom? The one I fly when I wear my pointed black hat? (Image of Kate silhouetted against the full moon). ๐Ÿ™‚

  234. Therry and ST. Jerome says:

    Oh thank God! St. Jerome and I can start planning our wedding — NH just became a state that says LBGTs can marry each other. I haven’t got a link to post, but google or cuil it and you’ll see. I’m sitting at the computer keeping my foot elevated, recovering from foot surgery on Monday. I’m sorry I am so late to the viable fetus thread, I was going to say that I don’t consider a fetus viable until it has tenure.

  235. Kate L says:

    Here in Kansas last night, I attended a local rally in memory of Dr. George Tiller. Today, Fox News is running a story on-line that says the man accused of murdering Dr. Tiller is complaining that he is “being treated like a criminal”. No, I am not making this up…,2933,525150,00.html

  236. Renee S. says:

    I think our government should put a bank freeze on all the abortion terrorist groups’ funds. I think it is still legal to do so.

  237. Feminista says:

    @Maggie et al re: Will Geer

    Will Geer and Gay rights pioneer Harry Hay met in Hollywood & were lovers in the early 40s; both were leftist activists. Geer played the Anglo sheriff in the early 50s epic Salt of the Earth.The film dealt with race,gender and class issues in a small AZ mining community. The director and producer were HUAC victims,so the movie was filmed secretly;cinematographer Haskell Wexler,who somehow escaped blacklisting,worked on the film after Midnight at his regular workplace.

    The man who played the Anglo organizer was a union organizer in real life; my sister met him in 1976 when they both taught at San Diego State Univ.(now CSU-San Diego).The character Esperanza was a well-known Mexican actress who encountered problems with U.S. immigration. The rest of the cast were Latin@ & Anglo locals. It’s amazing the movie was able to finish production. Sadly,due to virulent anti-communism,anti-unionism,etc.,it only showed briefly in so.CA.

    The film got rediscovered in the early-70s in feminist and left circles. I showed it to my women’s studies classes in the 80s. It’s now available on DVD,and has made its way into some public schools.

  238. Feminista says:

    Oops,that should read Hay & Geer became lovers in the 1930s.

  239. Vouyer says:

    I haven’t posted despite reading this blog for years, but after all of this, I have to say….

    A fetus not having rights until it gets tenure had the soymilk spurting out my nose.

  240. Ready2Agitate says:

    Yeah, I found it very cool that Geer’s daughter married an artist/psychologist who writes anti-homophobic, anti-sexist, anti-genderist kids song.

    Maggie, yer last post makes me hope that your mauvais malaise of the stomach is abating — and the fire is returning to your cheeks!

  241. Em says:

    If you want to see The Rachel Maddow Show, you can always watch online here:
    or you can download her show as a podcast on iTunes (which is how I get it.)

  242. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kate L

    You can also read the show transcripts online at, which is what I do because streaming media (among other things) are blocked by the IT dweebs at my job.

  243. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kate L

    I’ll race you at the drag strip with my souped up O-Cedar.

    (… lends new meaning to the term, “Eat my dust” …)

  244. Maggie Jochild says:

    Thanks for the kind words, all. I am indeed back upright (though not yet on my broom), still a little porely but writing again which is all that ever matters.

    Thanks, Feminista, for the info about Will Geer. Yep I was one of those in the lefty/dyke circles of the 70s who watched Salt Of The Earth several times, but I didn’t make the Will Geer connection. And Harry Hay, what a trip. I wish we had phalanxes of radical faeries at the front of every public action these days. Followed by woman-loving overalls-wearing dykes who sing children’s songs and won’t settle for less than utter revolution.

    Now on to the thread above, as this one sinks slowly into memory…

  245. Ginjoint says:

    Sorry for not responding sooner, Maggie – I had some long work hours. Yeesh. What you went through sounds miserable. I’m very glad to hear you’re back on your feet, however tentatively.

  246. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kate L

    Quoting Roeder’s interview for Fox News: “I haven’t been convicted of anything and I am being treated as a criminal,” he said in a telephone conversation that lasted about three minutes.

    Well, that fits the definition of chutzpah. And menadacity, on the part of Fox News. They’re all rah-rah in support of that thug Sheriff Joe Arpaio to put unconvicted prisoners awaiting trial in pink jumpsuits and tents in the Arizona desert sun, and feed them rotten green balogna, but this guy’s comments get reported as if he’s a sainted martyr. Oh wait, according the Fox News, he *is* a sainted martyr.

    A pox on their broadcast signal.

    (…flies off on her broom in search of eye of newt to dump in the bubbling cauldron…)

  247. hairball_of_hope says:

    Damn, that’s supposed to be bologna. PREVIEW!

    (… resisting that Latin editorial proofreading directive, ‘STET’ …)

  248. Feminista says:

    @@Maggie–Glad your health is better,and your sense of humor intact.

    Since I taught Salt of the Earth,I’ve seen the film over a dozen times. I still cry at the end; it’s so poignant. And I cry softly at other moving films like the Life and Time of Rosie the Riveter,The Women of Summer,The Grapes of Wrath,etc.

    When I related the above to the fairest,most political and principled dept.chair I’ve ever had,she replied,”I cry at documentary movies,my mother cries at weddings.”

    Re: Harry Hay. I enjoyed seeing the documentary about his life made ca.2002,and he remained radical and non-assimilationist to the end.

    The Radical Faeries have an annual summer retreat at Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat Center. One of the BB worker owners invited first invited them, enjoying the gatherings until his death a few years ago.

  249. Feminista says:

    Aak,I need the preview device. Even with proofreading,some errors creep in.