In the 1,800-year-old letter, written mainly in Greek, the soldier serving in a Roman legion in Europe tells his family he is desperate to hear from them and that he is going to request leave to make the long journey home to see them.
I had a patient in the clinic who really did not want an abortion but who had no resources to cover the costs of prenatal care or childbirth. She was single and without insurance coverage but made just enough money to be ineligible for state assistance. She already had outstanding bills at the hospital and with the local ob-gyn practice. No doctor would see her without payment up front.
We were willing to do the abortion for a reduced rate or for free if necessary. But she really didn’t want an abortion. Once I understood her situation, I went to the phone and called the local ‘crisis pregnancy center.’
"Hello, this is Dr. Wicklund."
Dead silence. I might as well have said I was Satan.
"Hello?" I said again. "This is Dr. Wicklund."
"Hello," very tentatively, followed by another long silence.
"I need help with a patient," I said. She came to me for an abortion, but really doesn’t want one. What she really needs is someone to do her prenatal care and birth for free."
"What do you expect us to do?"
I let that hang for a minute.
This Common Secret, Susan Wicklund
Crisis Pregnancy Centers often disguise themselves as medical facilities, with advertisements offering “help” with an unplanned pregnancy. Their main goal is to keep the pregnant person from having an abortion at all costs. Usually, all they’ll give you is a free pregnancy test, some baby clothes, and maybe a box of diapers.
The patient referred to in the quote was given free prenatal care and did not have to pay the financial cost of childbirth by a local anti-choice doctor. She would often stop by Dr. Wicklund’s office to let her know how she was doing:
"He (the doctor) always moans and groans about being tricked into [doing this]," she says. "Then he goes off on these tirades against abortion."
Okay, this pisses me off more than that “religious freedom” bill passing in the state legislature. While that bill was fucked up, this is straight up ruining lives and even killing people. Not to mention the fact the law enforcement is collaborating with a religious organization.
Rules: In a text post, list ten books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard - they don’t have to be “right” or “great” works, just the ones that have touched you. Tag ten friends,…
1. Black Elk Speaks (John G. Neihardt): I was originally an architecture major at Penn State, but I always loved studying cultures. After reading this book I couldn’t stop thinking about studying anthropology. So I did and now I am an archaeologist. I suppose I’ll never forgive Neihardt for that.
2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams): The whole series, really. It basically reinforced my weird sense of humor which also allowed me to be less self-conscious about that.
3. god is not Great (Christopher Hitchens): I have been a non-believer for a long time, but only whispered the word “atheist” due to the near universal negative reactions I would receive. Even back when I was “the nice kind of atheist” (see: “knew my place and never asked tough questions” <— actually said to me by a friend former friend). Hitchens didn’t convince of anything other than to speak up. I wrote about that influence after his death.
4. 1984 (George Orwell): I ended up reading this rather “late” for someone that likes to read. I was in my early 20’s and it was about 6 months before 9/11 happened. Then the world changed and we slid a little (or a lot) closer to Orwell’s world. I think it teaches the reader to question the intentions of those that want to protect you from something by not allowing you to comprehend what that something is. Slavery of the mind through fear.
5. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley): Same as above, but slavery of the mind through pleasure. American culture straddles these two notions, doesn’t it?
6. Night (Elie Wiesel): Awakened me to the horrors that humans can inflict upon each other and helped me shed my early (learned) passive bigotry.
7. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (Michael Chabon): Just a great work of fiction. I’m not even a comic book reader, but this book really is amazing.
8. I Am Legend (Richard Matheson): Be careful in your righteous crusades lest you become someone else’s monster.
Also, screw you Will Smith.
9. Doubt: A History (Jennifer Michael Hecht): An amazing and broad history of religious doubt throughout many traditions. One of those things everyone should read to understand the diversity of human thought and that not everyone in the past was so monolithically religious. Much of that history has been painted over with an Abrahamic brush.
10. Survivor (Chuck Palahniuk): Nowadays I really dislike Palahniuk’s books, but this one still comes to mind as one I enjoyed (Fight Club is too easy). Choke was a close second here.
11. The Beach (Alex Garland): Please excuse the following cliché: Horrible movie/Amazing book. I read this while conducting an archaeological survey around Caracol, Belize and lived in a thatch hut with no electricity or running water for two months. There was no other book more perfect to discover (from my hut mate) than that one. We…well we went a little insane during that time running around the rainforest
12. The Holy Bible (man): Can’t deny how influential it is. I have read it front to back twice. Once when I was in my early teens as I desperately tried to cling to the religion of my family (preacher’s kid!) even though I never really had faith. Read it again years later after studying history, anthropology, biology, philosophy, etc.to confirm that it was as worthless as I remembered. Yup.
I personally don’t like tagging people for this kind of thing, but it would be interesting to see what others would list. If they want. No pressure. Whatever.
“Forget stardust—you are iron. Your blood is nothing but ferrous liquid. When you bleed, you reek of rust. It is iron that fills your heart and sits in your veins. And what is iron, really, unless it’s forged?
Polite reminder that iron is formed in the cores of the most massive stars before they explode as supernova. You are iron, you are stardust, you were created in flames which were seen across the Universe. If that isn’t strong, then I don’t know what is.
Worried that Darren Aronofsky’s adaptation of Noah might be somewhat disconcerting to Bible aficionados â and justifiably so, since there are four-armed albino angel giants running around â Paramount has decided to address the religious backlash before it starts by adding a disclaimer to all of Noah’s ads, promos, and more.
Disclaimer: Though the events presented in this movie never occurred, it is being presented very close to what is depicted in the source material. Any feelings of anxiety or embarrassment at the absurdities and heinousness of this “cornerstone of faith” should begin a process of revaluation of why this horrific myth is considered true, moral, or in any way appropriate for children.
Heather Linebaugh, who worked with the U.S. Air Force until last year, writes a first-person account of the drone program she used to directly deal with:
But here’s the thing: I may not have been on the ground in Afghanistan, but I watched parts of the conflict in great detail on a screen for days on end. I know the feeling you experience when you see someone die. Horrifying barely covers it. And when you are exposed to it over and over again it becomes like a small video, embedded in your head, forever on repeat, causing psychological pain and suffering that many people will hopefully never experience. UAV troops are victim to not only the haunting memories of this work that they carry with them, but also the guilt of always being a little unsure of how accurate their confirmations of weapons or identification of hostile individuals were.
Of course, we are trained to not experience these feelings, and we fight it, and become bitter. Some troops seek help in mental health clinics provided by the military, but we are limited on who we can talk to and where, because of the secrecy of our missions. I find it interesting that the suicide statistics in this career field aren’t reported, nor are the data on how many troops working in UAV positions are heavily medicated for depression, sleep disorders and anxiety.
One problem Linebaugh points out is that the technology, as advanced as it is, isn’t nearly as good as it could be. “We always wonder if we killed the right people, if we endangered the wrong people, if we destroyed an innocent civilian’s life all because of a bad image or angle.” she said.