Abortion is murder?

Now that abortion is a hot topic again, some right wing Republicans are trying to be “moderate” on the question. They say they oppose abortion because it’s “murder,” but would allow it in cases of rape, incest, or danger to the life of the mother. But if they REALLY think abortion is murder, isn’t it a moral contradiction to say “murder” is okay in cases of rape or incest?

Todd Akin only expressed what the official GOP position is and has been, and he’s highlighted the corner they’ve painted themselves into with the “abortion is murder” rhetoric.

Another short circuit is when you corner someone who says abortion is murder and should be illegal, and ask them what they’d like the punishment to be for the woman who has one. Most of the time they don’t have an answer, but if they REALLY believed abortion is murder they should be able to give some kind of quick, clear answer. Some manage to say, “A fine, maybe?” Well then, that’s a person who doesn’t REALLY believe abortion is murder.

Take abortion out of the language of the question and ask someone what the legal penalty for murder should be, and the most likely answer you’ll get is death or life in prison. Certainly not “a fine, maybe?”

But there are extremists who really, really, really believe abortion is murder. They’re the ones willing to kill doctors and blow up clinics.

Say when: The right to end your life with dignity

What Tony Scott did was shocking, and certainly emotionally wrenching for his family and friends and anyone who witnessed his jumping from the Vincent Thomas Bridge, but facing inoperable brain cancer he chose to not suffer but to go out the way he wanted.

It’s a pity that we don’t have a humane recourse, to be able to go to our doctor and ask for the same mercy we show to a pet who is suffering and won’t get better. People should have the right to say when.

Getting a good night’s sleep for tinnitus sufferers is hard, but absolutely necessary

It’s a vicious cycle. The worse the tinnitus gets, the less you sleep. The less you sleep, the worse the tinnitus gets.

Restful sleep is extremely important when you have this condition, but it gets more and more difficult to get it. This article has some damn good advice, though.

Getting a good night’s sleep can sometimes be difficult for people with tinnitus. The following information is pulled from Dhyan Cassie, Au.D.’s two-part article on “Getting a Good Night’s Sleep” to help provide tips and helpful information on how to get better rest.

Tips to Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

Set a schedule:
Try to get up at the same time every day, even if you have slept poorly, and start your day off with some exercise – do this regularly and early in the day, as you want to avoid aerobic exercise close to bedtime. Don’t nap, but if you are accustomed to naps, try not to sleep longer than 30 minutes and nap early in the day. Work toward a regular bedtime, but don’t go to bed until you are sleepy. Create a pre-bedtime routine where you make the hour or so before bedtime as calm and relaxing as possible (Ex: take a hot bath, read).

Separate your sleeping environment:
Keep your work, study and other non-sleep activities in another room. Jot down all your concerns, worries, plans and “to-do” lists in a different room before going to bed and hold disagreements and difficult conversations elsewhere.

Adjust your settings:
Make your bedroom dark (heavy drapes and eyeshades can be helpful), comfortable (for chronic pain, try pillows, wedges or a softer/harder mattress to support better sleeping posture), cool and quiet as possible. Avoid distractions – turn your alarm clock away from your bed.

Avoid silence:
The soothing sound of rain or a waterfall from a tabletop-size sound machine will provide external input for your auditory pathway and help distract your brain from the tinnitus. Other sounds that people have reported as soothing: fans, dehumidifier, radio static, aquariums or other white noise from a sound machine. Visit ATA.org/sound for examples of soothing sounds and see what works best for you.

Food:
Don’t go to bed either very hungry or very full. A snack of complex carbohydrates (fruit, vegetables and whole grains) plus foods that contain the amino acid tryptophan  (dairy, soy and nuts) can help you sleep. Examples: apple pie + ice cream; whole grain cereal + milk; oatmeal cookies + a glass of milk.

Alcohol, caffeine and nicotine:
Don’t use alcohol as a sleep aid. After it clears your system, the second half of the night is likely to be restless. Avoid caffeine in the afternoon or evening (try avoiding it entirely for two weeks and see if it makes a difference in your tinnitus and in your sleep), and avoid smoking, particularly in the hours close to retiring, as nicotine is a stimulant.

Learn to relax:
If you find that you are having trouble falling asleep after about 15 minutes, try practicing one of these relaxation techniques: progressive muscle relaxation (systematically tensing and relaxing groups of muscles), deep breathing through the diaphragm, visual imagery relaxation (focusing on a pleasant image). Also, learn an approach to physical and mental relaxation such as yoga, meditation or self-hypnosis that works for you and practice it during the day, not just at bedtime.

Talk to your doctor:
If your sleep problem persists, there may be an underlying cause that can be successfully treated so be sure to discuss your sleep problem with your physician who can investigate possible causes such as pain, sleep apnea, leg movements or the effects of medication.