Repeal of the Bush "Abortion Rule"

The administration will publish notice of its intention to repeal the "Religious Belief and Moral Conviction Medical Care" Bush administration rule.

The alleged reason for the Bush administration rule was to regulate discrimination in the course of assisting in the performance of any health service in general, and abortion in particular, based on religious belief and moral conviction.

Adhering to the strict science standards we've all come to expect from the Bush administration, here are the terms not defined in the Bush era rule: "abortion", "discrimination", "religious belief and moral conviction", and "health service."

On the other hand, the rule is quite detailed when it comes to who's covered by it. Basically everything from hospitals to labs and State and local governments, to everybody, from physicians to snowplow operators working a hospital parking lot.

According to the White House:

...Obama supports a "carefully crafted" conscience clause — not Bush's version.

"He believes this issue requires a balance between the rights of providers and the health of women and their families, a balance that the last-minute Bush rule appears to upset," the statement said.

The administration will review comments from the public before making a final decision. Options range from repealing the regulation to writing a new one with a narrower scope.

Since federal law has long forbidden discrimination against health care professionals who refuse proper care to reproductive-age female patients or provide referrals for them on religious or moral grounds, we'll just have to wait and see if the Obama administration decides to add some more unnecessary regulations to the existing pile of "conscience clause" regulations.

The Abortions Are Coming! The Abortions Are Coming!

Q: Which state declares [something to do with] abortion an imminent threat to public peace, health, and safety?

A: Arkansas.

Q: Which state legislature has 35 abortion-related bills pending?

A: West Virginia.

Q: Which state has just declared tumors to be individual human being persons?

A: North Dakota.

Q: Which blogger thinks abortions will be sooo banned in this country in the near future?

A: Me.Me.Me.

Open Letter to Rep. Chuck Damschen

Dear Rep. Chuck Damschen,

I am contacting you to voice my support for your response to Jesus’ General letter. I am in complete agreement with your admonition to first grasp understanding of how and when life begins and how and when it ends before having a say in such matters.

So, since you get to legislate these matters, when *you* get a chance, study up on the facts of life and:

1. Define life.

2. Explain complete moles.

3. Justify why the only product of conception doing all the, you know, person stuff (breathing, circulating, excreting) in utero has not been granted full civil-rights. (Discriminate much against placental-Americans?)

In closing, on behalf of any organism with the genome of homo sapiens of North Dakota, as well as any and all egg-, sperm-, mole-, and placenta-Americans, I salute you!

Dog Zen

It's Monday morning, time for Rule of Dog.

Dog Zen

Just because this Monday is a holiday doesn't mean you can't use a smile from the Rule of Dog.

NYC Jewish Street Patrol Decides If Crime Worthy of Police Attention

The Christian Science Monitor has an article on Jewish volunteer civilian patrols (Shmira, Shomrim) who police Brooklyn enclaves densely populated by religious Jews:

Shomrim is not your typical neighborhood watch. For starters, the groups have a 24-hour hot line and dispatcher, their own marked vehicles, and a track record for dealing with everything from assault and battery to domestic violence.

The reporter wonders if these patrols truly serve the public interest. An odd thing to ponder since the people involved with these patrols make it quite clear whose interests they represent:

Community leaders also worry about the police getting involved and locking up someone who might not deserve it. When it comes to Jew-on-Jew crime, Crown Heights Shomrim will always consult a rabbi before involving the police.

What public interest? As long as the Sky Fairy is in charge, all's well with the world.

In all fairness, I should disclose my bias. You see, where I live there's hardly any crime, what with the Muslim Neighborhood Brotherhood volunteers policing the area during the week, and the Communist People's Sector patrol on weekend duty. Between the Koran and Mao's little red book you can hardly take a breath without the act being deemed a crime and the police called in to investigate.

A Perfect Love Story For Valentine's Day

The story of Sam and her new boyfriend Bob.

And here's Sam before the rescue:

And Sam's new home:

I Want To Be Just Like Bernard Madoff

If we were just like Bernard L. Madoff, we, too, could violate the law and fleece people of $50 billion and then magnanimously agree, from the confines of our sumptuous Upper East Side residence, to restrain ourselves from violating certain antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws, have our assests frozen, and, maybe at some time in the future, pay some interest and civil penalties.

But we're nowhere near as special as Mr. Madoff. Should any of us decide to engage in criminal activity and/or be grossly incompetent at our jobs it'll be off with our heads!

Dog Zen

Your Monday morning Rule of Dog.

Afghan's Islamic Winter

Photo by TKnoxB

Just a reminder of what we're fighting for in Afghanistan:


The courts in Afghanistan, an Islamic state, are empowered to apply Shariah law when there are no applicable existing statutes.


People's Rights

In January 2008, a court sentenced a journalism student to death for blasphemy for asking questions about women's rights under Islam. An appeals court reduced the sentence to 20 years in prison. His lawyers appealed again and the case is pending.

Sen. John Cornyn Supports Burning On Urination

Sen. John Cornyn opposes funding STD prevention. He says those funds would be better spent buying modern equipment for the National Guard and Reserve forces.

Sen. Cornyn might be a sadomasochist but people in the military are just too important (not to mention cute; see below) to entrust twits like Sen. Cornyn with their well-being.

First, people in the military are not immune to, you know, STIs. And by "not immune" I mean they have staggering STIs rates for such a controlled environment:

Of the 4 STIs, CT [chlamydia] rates have remained the highest, ranging from 95 to 1600 (per 100,000 person-years). Among the 4 military services, the Army reported the highest rates for all 4 STIs (CT rate, 2006: 1598.2; GC [gonorrhea] rate, 2006: 342.3; NGU [non-gonococcal urethritis] rate, 2006: 61.4; TP [syphilis] rate, 2006: 7.5). Annual CT and GC rates were consistently higher among women less than 25 years of age in comparison to men of the same age; NGU rates consistently higher among men; and TP rates generally higher among men. Reporting and screening requirements varied between services.

Second, super-duper military equipment is not all that effective against burning on urination and a pungent penile discharge. Education, condoms, and meds are much more effective.

(YT via)

Dog Zen

This Monday morning you must be very quite when you go over to Rule of Dog for your weekly smile.

Pregnant While On The Pill

Photo by Lew57

Becoming pregnant, while on the Pill, with twins. Twice! And you thought you had a bad day:

Proud mother Carly O'Brien has beaten odds of 11.3 million to one to give birth to two sets of twins - despite being on the contraceptive pill.

The 22-year-old and her partner John Grant, 28, were amazed when she gave birth to her first set of twins Brandon and Daisy.

Now, two years on, Carly has stunned experts by giving birth to another miracle set of twins - Dylan and Lilly.


Carly, from Portsmouth, Hants, had been using the contraceptive pill since she was 17 and never imagined she could get pregnant while using it.

She and John, who installs air conditioning units, had been together for only a year and having children had not crossed their minds.

But when Carly missed a period and started being sick, she may be pregnant.

A pregnancy test confirmed it but it wasn't until her 12 week scan she discovered she was carrying twins.


New mum Carly was overjoyed with her two children and, certain she did not want any more, she opted for a stronger contraceptive pill, which had to be taken twice a day.

But, just 18 months later, when Carly missed a period she couldn't believe the supposedly impossible had happened again.

A six-week scan revealed she was again carrying twins - beating odds of more than 11 million to one.

She said: 'I just couldn't believe it and didn't know how it could have happened to me again - especially as I was on a stronger pill.

Now, after the first pregnancy while on the Pill, what could Ms. O'Brien have done to lessen the chance of another contraceptive failure?

Option 1: Double-up.

While the simultaneous use of two methods of birth control, for example the Pill and a male condom, sounds great in theory, it can be problematic. A lot of couples, especially those in long-term, monogamous relationships, are not too keen on using a condom; the risk of noncompliance is quite high.

Option 2: Change Birth Control Methods

This is the one I would've advised. When you've already experienced a failure while taking the Pill, and with twins and no desire to become pregnant again it's time to move on to a more reliable birth control method.

For the Pill, the first year typical-use failure is ~8%.

Compare that with the typical-use failure for the most effective methods:

- Implants (Implanon) 0.05% and IUDs (Mirena, CuT) 0.2% and 0.8%, respectively

- Male sterilization 0.15%

- Depo-Provera 3%


Blood-type Harassment

Did you know that in Japan "Tell me your blood type and I'll tell you who you are." is more than just a cheesy pick-up line?

TOKYO – In Japan, "What's your type?" is much more than small talk; it can be a paramount question in everything from matchmaking to getting a job.

By type, the Japanese mean blood type, and no amount of scientific debunking can kill a widely held notion that blood tells all.


Matchmaking agencies provide blood-type compatibility tests, and some companies make decisions about assignments based on employees' blood types.

Children at some kindergartens are divided up by blood type, and the women's softball team that won gold at the Beijing Olympics used the theory to customize each player's training.

Not all see the craze as harmless fun, and the Japanese now have a term, "bura-hara," meaning blood-type harassment.

And, despite repeated warnings, many employers continue to ask blood types at job interviews, said Junichi Wadayama, an official at the Health, Welfare and Labor Ministry.

"It's so widespread that most people, even company officials, are not aware that asking blood types could lead to discrimination," Wadayama said.

Blood types, determined by the proteins in the blood, have nothing to do with personality, said Satoru Kikuchi, associate professor of psychology at Shinshu University.

"It's simply sham science," he said. "The idea encourages people to judge others by the blood types, without trying to understand them as human beings. It's like racism."

NYC Tourists, Pay Attention!

You, the slow-walking sidewalk blocker are considered Public Enemy No. 1 and I couldn't agree more.

Now, don't get me wrong. I do appreciate the business they bring to the city, I don't mind at all giving them directions or the occasional bus map, and, for personal reasons, I have a very soft spot for city tourists. [Seeing a group of tourists in my neighborhood about one week after 9/11 helped me get some perspective and snap out of a traumatic daze.]

But, the moment I find myself behind some slow-walking sidewalk blocking tourists I totally lose it. I just can't help it. All I want to do is to shout at them and make them show me where exactly in their tourist pamphlet does it say it's OK to walk slowly and be totally oblivious to the locals. Must be something in the city air, I guess.