Today’s Crime Stories: Theft, Murder, and. . .Midwifery?

St. Vincent’s hospital in Greenwich Village was one of the few hospitals in NYC that was willing to support midwives who do home births. But now it’s closing, and that means about half of the midwives in New York will either have to stop practicing, or practice illegally.

This is happening because of a stupid law that says midwives need to have a “Written Practice Agreement” from a doctor in order to perform a delivery at home. Then if there’s a problem with the birth, that’s the hospital they go to. This law is totally unnecessary, because midwives obviously have a backup hospital in mind when they deliver a baby at home. Just like you know what hospital you might need to go to before you go skydiving. But for some reason, the law insists on treating childbirth like it’s an illness, not a natural part of human life that most often doesn’t require any time in a hospital.

Why was St. Vincent’s one of the only hospitals with doctors who are willing to sign such an agreement? There’s a huge stigma in the medical community against supporting midwives. Why’s there stigma? No reason except misogyny and greed. The medical profession is in the pocket of the pharmaceutical companies, who are rather keen on making sure pregnant women are pumped as full of drugs as possible during childbirth, even when those drugs are dangerous and unnecessary.

We talk a lot about giving women control of their own bodies when it comes to abortion, but what about when they’re actually having a child?  It’s incredibly important to take action now so home birth in NYC doesn’t essentially become a crime. Take action here and protect women’s choice in childbirth!

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Ninja Attacks Student in Milwaukee

April 30, 2010 Problems No Comments

This is no joke. Some 16 year-old dressed as a ninja slashed some kids head to the “white meat.” #nonviolenceplease

check the video after the jump.

… Continue Reading

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Why Do Anti-Environmentalists Fear the Earth Will Be Overrun by Cows?

April 29, 2010 Front Page, Solutions No Comments

In ten years of environmentally-motivated vegetarianism, I’ve had a lot of conversations about my choice with a wide range of non-vegetarians, some with valid arguments against it and some whose views are not so impressive (and plenty who just really, really like bacon). A common argument among the less, er, “bright” anti-vegetarians has been “if everyone stopped eating meat, what would happen to all the domesticated cows?”

I expect this sort of argument from the riff raff , but I never thought someone with the title of “Professor” would be quite that inane. But in this month’s edition of Foreign Policy Magazine, Professor Robert Paarlberg argues that organic farming is a bad idea because “To supply enough organic fertilizer, the U.S. cattle population would have to increase roughly fivefold.”

Five times as many cows! They’ll terrorize the populace! I can’t believe I have to say this, but nobody is expecting all farms to go organic at once. The point of the slow food movement is that our food systems need to be gradually restructured in a way that makes basic, intuitive sense, so we’re no longer wasting energy and decreasing food quality by shipping our vegetables thousands of miles for no good reason. So don’t freak out about impending doom via cow attack, just keep buying local.

P.S. I realize Paarlberg’s argument is a bit more complex than that one bit of idiocy, but it’s a long article full of inaccuracies, half-truths and general misunderstanding of the slow food movement, and I haven’t got all day.

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Like Cool Breezes Do.

April 29, 2010 Front Page No Comments

While the Gulf of Mexico is facing one of the biggest environmental disasters we’ve seen since the Exxon Valdez spill, there’s some clean energy news coming out of the northeast United States. Specifically, Cape Cod and the islands.

Having spent many a summer on the Cape as a kid, I’m excited to hear news that the controversial Cape Wind project was approved today. Sure, it may have taken 9 years, but it’s a massive first step in declaring American energy independence. And in light of the recent oil spill and coal mine tragedy, this comes as timely and refreshing news (you’ve got to wonder if those disasters were the tipping point needed to approve the project).

Cape Wind is a massive wind farm project 5 miles off the coast. The energy produced by the farm will power 75% of homes and businesses on Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. Windmills will span 24 square miles, roughly the size of Manhattan, with their blades rising more than 400 feet above the water.

Many of the project’s opponents (who are promising several years of appeals) argued that the farm will be a blight on the historic landscape and make boating difficult. But to be fair, according to the video below, windmills are also scary. And “look like a robot”. So there’s that.

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