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November 22, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving

I probably won't post between now and next week because of the Thanksgiving holiday. I want to wish all my American readers a happy Turkey Day. I'm looking forward to dessert - a pear torte. My mouth waters now just thinking about it.

Posted on November 22, 2004 at 05:27 PM | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack

November 19, 2004

Friday Cat Blogging

Sorry, the camera is still on the fritz so no pix of Lucky today. He needs a break anyhow. He's already the center of attention around here and he lets that get to his head. ;)

Some cat news:

I've never had a problem with my cats climbing the Christmas tree, but for those who do, this is the product for you if the water spray bottle doesn't work: "The new StayAway canister from Contech Electronics combines a battery-operated motion-detection device that senses a pet prowling nearby and activates a burst of compressed air and a one-second warning screech."

I have no updates about the mountain lion sightings in Massachusetts, but there have been mountain lion sightings in New Jersey.

Yet another serval that wandered from its home has been found, only to bolt again. I keep reading stories about these big cats (my favorite of the big cats, by the way) wandering away from home. It's leading me to believe that they should not be kept as pets. I would likely donate money to a cause that protects these cats rather than buy one for my personal pleasure. Keeping one as a pet just doesn't seem right.

Posted on November 19, 2004 at 01:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Teen Convicted Of Attempted Murder For Shooting His Pregnant Girlfriend At A Women's Health Clinic

I have written here before about 17 year-old Jeffrey Cameron Fitzhenry, the teenager who shot his pregnant girlfriend while she waited at a women's health clinic. The 16 year old girl is paralyzed from the shooting. He shot her because she was trying to get an abortion. He had told a witness who regularly petitioned against abortion at that clinic that "I agree with you, I'm against abortion too. But my girlfriend is going to try to have an abortion against my will, and I'm going to try to stop her.’"

I have just learned that Fitzhenry was convicted of attempted murder.

I read this comment from someone who posts on a mailing list I'm on regarding the girl:

"Quadriplegics do not live a normal life span, and usually die of infections from ulcers, so it is entirely possible that this man deprived his age 16 years ex-girlfriend of 60 or more years of life."

Posted on November 19, 2004 at 12:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (35) | TrackBack

Pennsylvania: Survey of Domestic Violence Victim Service Agencies

Survey of Domestic Violence Victim Service Agencies

Domestic violence and sexual assault know no boundaries. According to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, in 2003, more than 39,300 rural residents sought assistance, or 11.6 clients for every 1,000 rural residents. In urban areas, nearly 94,400 persons sought assistance, or 10.6 clients for every 1,000 urban residents.

Statewide, this assistance was provided by 81 local domestic violence (DV) and sexual assault (SA) agencies. These agencies assist clients with counseling, medical and legal accompaniment/advocacy, referrals to other agencies, and additional services. To provide these services, local agencies receive both federal and state funding, along with donations from county government, community groups, businesses and individuals.

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania was interested in learning more about the unique challenges and opportunities facing rural DV and SA agencies and in comparing rural agencies to urban agencies.

In February 2004, the Center surveyed the directors of the state's 81 domestic violence and sexual assault service agencies. The survey response rate was 43 percent, and respondents included both rural and urban providers. While the sample size was relatively small, the survey revealed that rural agencies face financial and community awareness challenges. It also found that rural and urban directors differ in their opinions on how SA and DV cases are handled by the police, medical professionals, and courts.

For a copy of the survey results, Survey of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault Victim Service Agencies, call the Center for Rural Pennsylvania at (717) 787-9555 or email info@ruralpa.org.

Posted on November 19, 2004 at 12:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 18, 2004

Child Abuse & Neglect: Dissociative Identity Disorder

Child Abuse & Neglect:
Dissociative Identity Disorder

Author: Muhammad Waseem, MD, Coauthor(s):
Richard M Switzer, Jr, MD

"Research statistics have revealed an astonishing incidence of trauma, including childhood physical and sexual abuse, in the histories of both psychiatric patients and the general population. The deleterious effects of childhood abusive experiences on growth and development have been well documented and are associated with a variety of later mental health problems. Diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder is not usually made until adulthood, long after the extreme maltreatment thought to engender the condition has passed. Therefore, although a consensus exists that the most common cause of the disorder is early, ongoing, extreme physical and/or sexual abuse, accounts of such abuse are
usually provided retrospectively by the patient and lack objective verification. Researchers have shown that, in many instances, borderline personality disorder, multiple personality disorder (MPD), and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in adulthood may be traced to childhood abuse."

http://www.emedicine.com/ped/topic2651.htm

Posted on November 18, 2004 at 06:36 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

November 17, 2004

Child Abusers Escape Punishment

Child Abusers "Escape Punishment"

The vast majority of paedophiles continue to evade justice with conviction rates falling despite soaring levels of recorded child sex abuse, according to research published today.

Thinktank the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) warned that the failure to improve the conviction rate for child sex offences meant that paedophiles were undeterred from applying to work with children.

It called for stricter vetting procedures to identify potential abusers, recommending that boarding schools, care homes and youth prisons rigorously investigate applicants' life histories and references, rather than just relying on police checks.

The foundation also backed calls by the Soham vetting inquiry to improve the recording, handling and sharing of "soft" information about suspected sex offenders, such as allegations of abuse and unsuccessful prosecutions. Sir Michael Bichard's inquiry into how Soham murderer Ian Huntley got a job as a school caretaker revealed that one of the police forces that vetted him had deleted records of allegations of underage sex and rape from its child protection database. As a result the risk he posed to young girls was not identified.

Posted on November 17, 2004 at 04:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Another Example of Stupendous Idiocy

Sometimes I wonder how ostensibly sensible people can come up with crap like this. A Texas school district has decided to do away with "The Woman Is Requested To Pay" Day because of supposedly "homosexual overtones." It's one of those school spirit days most schools have. This one gave "boys and girls a chance to reverse social roles and let older girls invite boys on dates, open doors, and pay for sodas." Girls could dress as boys and boys could dress as girls. [via Feministing.]

Doing away with this tradition because, in the words of one parent, it is a "stepping stone to sin" is as stupid as the Indiana congressman who wants to change the name of an Interstate 69 extension to "a more moral sounding number." [via Pinko Feminist Hellcat.]

What will replace "The Woman Is Requested To Pay" Day?

"Camo Day." Kids from elementary to high school age will dress "with black boots and Army camouflage."

Check out the photo at Feministing.

So while "homosexual overtones" won't be allowed, kids can dress like commandos that kill other people.

Blows my mind.

Posted on November 17, 2004 at 03:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

More on Pharmacists Refusing To Fill Birth Control Prescriptions

Julie Lacey stopped at her local pharmacy to get a refill for birth control pills that she had been getting for years, and the pharmacist refused to fill out her prescription. He didn't believe in birth control.

Of special interest:

Mississippi enacted a sweeping statute that went into effect in July that allows health care providers, including pharmacists, to not participate in procedures that go against their conscience. South Dakota and Arkansas already had laws that protect a pharmacist's right to dispense medicines. Ten other states considered similar bills this year.

The American Pharmacists Association, with 50,000 members, has a policy that says druggists can refuse to fill prescriptions if they object on moral grounds, but they must make arrangements so a patient can still get the pills. Yet some pharmacists have refused to hand the prescription to another druggist to fill.

Posted on November 17, 2004 at 01:57 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

November 16, 2004

Books I'm Reading

Has anyone ever read "The Wizard of Earthsea," by Ursula K. Le Guin? I got it from the library yesterday. It's been made into a mini-series for the Sci-Fi Channel, and I want to read the book before it airs. The previews for the mini-series look very good. I'm sure I'll enjoy the book.

I'm in the middle of "Ender's Game" right now. I read it about five years ago, and I'm reading it again because Orson Scott Card is going to be the Guest of Honor at next year's Boskone (an SF convention). I hope to attend as a guest speaker. I know liberals and progressives aren't too thrilled with Card because of articles he's written favoring Bush and the war in Iraq. It's certainly interesting to read "Ender's Game" again now, in light of our current political climate. I'll probably have to read the sequels, too.

My son has to read "The Scarlet Letter" for school and he's.... thrilled. Heh. It's only fitting since Nathaniel Hawthorne lived in Salem, Massachusetts, which isn't far from my home.

Posted on November 16, 2004 at 09:07 AM | Permalink | Comments (14)

The Spread of HIV Amongst Black Women

A very interesting and informative post from a blog new to me,Black Feminism, about the spread of HIV amongst black women. Suggestions reasons for this spread are "poverty, non-disclosing MSM, and the high rate of black male incarceration. Cohen quotes Phil Wilson, executive director of the Black AIDS Institute in Los Angeles."

"[Wilson suggests] that the single biggest driver of the heterosexual spread to black women is the incarceration of black men. "The prison industry in America is an almost exact replication of the mining industry in South Africa, where you take large groups of men and move them from their families for an extended period of time," says Wilson. As studies conducted in South Africa have shown, men who leave their homes for the mines often have new sexual partners — as do the women they leave behind. The increased sexual mixing spreads HIV in both the migrant men and their regular partners. When they return home, the men may infect their regular partners—or vice versa. This pattern of sexual networking is called concurrent partnering, which means that relationships overlap, and there’s nothing that HIV likes more."

Black Feminism is a contributor to Feminist Blogs. That's how I found it.

Posted on November 16, 2004 at 08:52 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)