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A New Venture
May 22nd, 2011 by Dr Karma

As you all know, I don’t blog as often as I should. This month, I’ve had a totally valid excuse–I’ve been writing an article that’s due on Time Travel in Star Trek. It’s left little time for anything else.

It’s also affected all my dreams. I’m having time travel dreams and nightmares nightly. Am hoping that when I turn the bugger in this week, they’ll stop.

Of course, those who’ve missed my musings can catch the bi-monthly movie column at www.matchflick.com (upcoming: Hitchhiker’s Guide). My work at matchflick is out of pure love for movies–even though I’ve been doing the column for years, I don’t get paid anything for it. I haven’t even so much gotten one free movie ticket or press pass to WonderCon. Oh, well.

That’s why I agreed to follow Denise Du Vernay’s suggestion of joining her as an examiner on www.examiner.com. Denise is the Chicago Best Friends Examiner. I’m now the Davis/Sacramento Sci-Fi Examiner.

(Want a similar gig? Ask us about it!)

Examiner expects bi-weekly entries, but they get to be pretty short. The hardest thing about writing for them is that they discourage first person. I broke that guideline a few minutes ago on a new post, but it would have been weird to talk about myself in third.

Friends, Examiner actually pays us when you click on and read our articles. I think three views gets us a shiny new penny, but a penny is better than no penny.

Forgive me, then, for sometimes reminding you that Denise has articles here: http://www.examiner.com/best-friends-in-chicago/denise-du-vernay

Mine are here: http://www.examiner.com/scifi-in-sacramento/karma-waltonen

We’re both taking suggestions for content, by the way!

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I think I have this whole blogging thing backward
Jun 2nd, 2009 by Dr Karma

It occurs to me that the life blood of a blogger is bad news–all the better to bitch about.  I even advise my students to write about something that bothers them if they want to be able to write a good quantity of work.

Yet when I’m stressed out and tired, the last thing I want to do is blog.  I don’t want to whine & I don’t (always) want to rant.

So what’s the news that’s keeping me from writing?  Telling myself that I lived on next year’s wages in grad school, and then remembering that in grad school, I had student loans to supplement that income (and a decided lack of student loan payments).

Dealing with the panic of some of my students (you see, one class is worried because if they don’t pass, they get kicked out).  They really should have worried nine weeks ago.  And turned all the papers/homework in.  I mean, if failing a class gets you kicked out, don’t you attempt to do the work?

Finally, people shooting abortion doctors.  I have wanted to write about this because I have a lot to say.  I have not wanted to write about this because I’m afraid that once I get going, I won’t be able to stop.  Here’s a very short version of my thoughts.

They killed abortion doctors where I grew up (in Pensacola, FL).  It didn’t stop girls from getting pregnant and it didn’t stop people from getting abortions.  All it does is make it really difficult for a certain group of people to call themselves pro-life.  Oh, and kill someone, which that Bible thing sometimes says is wrong (not always, though–the people who shoot doctors are reading the Old Testament, but not the parts of the Old Testament where God kills babies, as he is wont to do).

Speaking of nomenclature, I would like to go on record as saying that we pro-choicers are not pro-abortion.

Even if someone is super-callous, they don’t want women having to have procedures that are potentially life-threatening (though not as dangerous as carrying to term) and usually cost more than they can manage.  No one wants more surgery.

I don’t know any super-callous people, though.  I simply know a bunch of people who know that you don’t reduce abortion by shooting doctors or by outlawing it.  Any medical historian can tell you that it was easier to find someone to perform an abortion when it was illegal (you didn’t have to find a doctor–women through the centuries have passed abortitives down with the family recipes (birth control and abortion are not just tools of single women–married women have used them to control their family planning for ages)).

What does reduce abortion?  Making sure that we reduce unintended pregnancy.  Remember that abstinence teaching doesn’t work, as studies show.  But comprehensive sex education does.  And so does providing people with affordable and effective birth control.  And so does making it easier to carry a child to term and to raise it–right now, the financial and social burden of an unwanted child can be galaxies greater than the burden of not carrying a child to term.

I have a PhD and a gifted child, but people still judge me because I had him young and alone.  Amazingly, it’s mostly the pro-life people who think they get to judge me, but only because I made the choice they preferred, carrying with me the evidence.  If I’d made a different decision, they wouldn’t get to have this attitude with me, because the last seventeen years of my life would have been very different.

We all want fewer abortions.  I just think that my way will actually work better than the “don’t have sex, but if you do, don’t use birth control” method currently so popular among “pro-lifers.”

If you actually want to save lives, take the guns away from the crazy fringe people and fight for sex ed and birth control.

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