A glimmer of sanity in Kansas

Scales of justice
Scales of justice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Associated Press reports that the Kansas Supreme Court has indefinitely suspended the law license of anti-abortion crusading former KS Attorney General (2003-2007) Phil Kilne. During his time as Attorney General, and throughout a subsequent stint as Johnson County District Attorney, Kline aggressively attacked Planned Parenthood and abortion provider Dr. George Tiller. The intensity of that relentless battle led to the killing of Dr. Tiller by anti-abortion activist Scott Roeder on a Sunday morning in May, 2009.

No one is pinning blame for the murder of the widely-beloved physician on the anti-abortion obsessed former attorney. But Planned Parenthood supporters and pro-choice activists have to be cheering the small light that’s now shining on Kline’s egregious misconduct. The 154-page Supreme Court decision lists 11 specific violations of the state’s Rules of Professional Conduct committed by Kline while he was in office. As county D.A., for example, he filed 107 criminal charges against the Planned Parenthood clinic, all of which were subsequently dropped.

Third-trimester abortions, which are performed by fewer than a handful of providers in the U.S., are in many ways the hardest to defend, for those of us committed to protection of women’s reproductive rights. But I can absolutely promise that no one chooses a late-term abortion without strong, urgent and very personal reason. It’s a complex procedure with attendant complex effects. But Dr. Tiller chose to offer this procedure to women in need, and others are working hard to preserve the right as part of his legacy.

A new documentary, “After Tiller,” just opened in the San Francisco Bay area. It focuses on the four physicians who now openly offer late-term abortions. Film maker Martha Shane, co-director with Lana Wilson, is in town and speaking at a Q&A session following today’s showing at the Roxie Theater (where I’ll simultaneously be signing copies of Perilous Times.) The event is sponsored by Trust Women Silver Ribbon campaign.

Which brings me full circle back to Phil Kline. Obsessed with his conviction that abortion is a sin and must be banned, Kline brought excessive, unnecessary and costly disruption to Planned Parenthood services — which extend far, far beyond abortion: counseling, breast cancer screening, free screening for STD, contraception, countless services critical to boys and girls, men and women in the area. It was cruelty bordering on the insane to those countless innocent people in need of such services. So as I head over to the Roxie I am personally grateful for the Kansas Supreme Court and the note of sanity it has now brought to the state.

“Pre-Born”: curbing women’s rights through semantics

“Pre-born”?? What’s in a word?

Recent stories out of my formerly-beloved longtime home state of Georgia are all about the newly passed law protecting the pre-born. Hello? When did a fetus become not a fetus? When did children get split into two categories, the born and the unborn?

The semantic gymnastics have little to do with reality, but everything to do with women’s rights. Women’s rights are marching backwards so fast, in so many ways, in so many areas, it’s getting impossible to keep track. In Kansas, for instance, women don’t even have the right to hear the truth from their physicians – who are now required to tell them that if they have an abortion it might put them at risk for breast cancer, a rumor which has no proven scientific basis. But it helps narrow women’s options. Elevating the fetus to a protected status simply means demoting the woman carrying it to a status of being without rights or choices.

A fetus is a fetus is a fetus. It resides within a living, post-born woman. This is called pregnancy. No one, absolutely no one, not one living soul anywhere on the planet knows the full circumstances of that pregnancy other than the woman.

What in the world is with all these men (OK, and a lot of women who similarly cannot know the circumstances of someone else’s pregnancy) and their obsession with denial of women’s rights? Do they know about wars, poverty, global warming, hunger, homelessness, abused children……………

Who In The World Falls For These Scams?

I just received a fascinating e-mail from Mr. Michael Jones, who addressed me as his Dear Friend, and identified himself as director of his “bank here in the UK.” Mr. Jones was eager to share 30% of the nine million eight hundred pound windfall he had just uncovered… you can fill in the rest. What impressed me the most with Mr. Jones’ kind letter was the fact that there were at least one or two grammatical, spelling or otherwise glaring errors per sentence. I mean, don’t these guys know about Spellcheck?

The whole thing was ridiculous enough for me to want to RSVP, but I resisted that temptation. I simultaneously wanted to Do Something, but my husband assured me the old Nigerian e-mail scam is bigger than I am and it’s not likely I will be able to stop it.

Do people really fall for these things? It must happen. Somebody, I also presume, buys mortgages from telemarketers or they wouldn’t call me up 15 times a day. However, surfing around for more on Mr. Jones and his colleagues I was happy to discover a website that is way ahead of me:

Nigerian scam artists have wised up to the fact that many of us no longer get taken in by the Nigerian email scam from phony government or bank officials offering to split multi-million dollar fortunes or inheritances, or Nigerian scams involving forged overpayment checks that require us to send untraceable money-wires back to them.

So, they’ve developed new ways to try to convince us that their money-grubbing cons are really genuine.

New variations of the so-called Nigerian 419 scam (named for the section of the Nigerian constitution that deals with this crime) appear almost weekly.

Some of them are pretty clever. But with the right degree of healthy skepticism, you can still see through them.

We’ve got the low-down on three new tricks (or variations of existing Nigerian scams) to help you spot them.


After bogus checks, prepare for forged cash.

Those checks that came with letters telling us we’d won a lottery or had been selected to become mystery shoppers are so yesterday.

Today’s Nigerian scammers try to convince us with the “real” thing — $100 bills.

In a new trick, seen for the first time in Kansas in April this year, a scammer sent $3,000 worth of forged bills to a man and asked him to use it to buy a Moneygram.

The victim had been corresponding by email supposedly with a woman in Nigeria. He received the “cash” from a person claiming to be the woman’s uncle, who asked him to send the Moneygram to her so she could come to the US.

He fell for it, but the forgery was spotted at the Moneygram office.

A few days later, a Nevada man tried the same thing, after receiving $3,000 of forged notes. He was told he could keep $500 and tried to buy a $2,500 Moneygram with the remainder.

Action: Watch out for more of these tricks in the coming months. Bluntly, never send Moneygrams on behalf of someone you don’t know, whether you receive cash or a check.

I’m glad to know there’s somebody out there watching. I think I’ll pass on Mr. Jones’ offer.

via 8 Cunning New Nigerian Scams Aim to Convince You They’re Real.