The Seattle Weekly blog reports that a 31-year-old Seattle man, Graydon R. Smith, in jail awaiting trial on domestic violence charges had previously admitted to making his 19-year-old girlfriend sign a contract giving him permission to beat her up anywhere but on her pregnant belly. Yes, he forced his teenage girlfriend to sign a contract intended to legalize his freedom to assault her when the whim took him.
Back in April, Smith's girlfriend called the police stating that her boyfriend had threatened to kill her. She told them that she believed this was a real threat, because he'd assaulted her and forced her to sign a contract permitting him to attack her. So police gave Smith a ring, and while he denied making the death threats, he readily owned up to requiring the abuse contract. In a display of severe problems with our legal system, law enforcement went oh, sure, an abuse contract, that's not suspicious at all, and decided not to arrest him. (emphasis added)
At the end of last month, they were called again, this time by Smith's stepfather, who was punched when he tried to stop his stepson from choking his girlfriend. Police arrived to find the girlfriend bleeding severely. This time, they did what they should have done in the first place, and which would have spared the pregnant teenager further violence: they arrested Smith.
2) Dr. Dix P. Poppas, Cornell University
Alternet reports: . . .the head of the pediatric urology department at Cornell University's New York Presbyterian Hospital -- which is often ranked among the top 10 hospitals in the country -- has been operating on young girls who suffer from what he (and likely the girls' guardians) have decided is "clitorimegaly," or oversized clitorises.
In order to relieve these girls from what seems like little more than a cosmestic issue, Dr. Dix P. Poppas cuts out parts of the clitoris' shaft, saving the glans, or tip, for reattachment. Poppas triumphantly calls the procedure -- rebranded a clitoroplasty -- a "nerve sparing" one unlike the FGMs practiced in other countries.
How does the good doctor know that nerves have been spared? Well, Poppas and his nurse practitioner developed a series of sensory followup tests involving Q-tips, their fingernails and vibrators. But don't worry, a family member was always present in the room. As the resulting journal article notes, management of such situations requires a "compassionate and multidisciplinary approach."
3) Gail Posner, Late of Miami Beach, Florida:
When Ms. Posner died in March at age 67, Conchita and two other dogs inherited the right to live in her seven-bedroom, $8.3 million Miami Beach mansion, their comfort ensured by a $3 million trust fund.
In a 2009 interview with a blogger for browardpalmbeach.com, Ms. Posner said Conchita typically accompanied her on lunch dates and then shopping. Ms. Posner said she at one point considered getting the dog her own Range Rover, for transportation to the animal's weekly spa appointments for manicures and pedicures, but Ms. Posner decided to get herself a new car and gave the dog her gold Cadillac Escalade, she told the blogger.
(editor's note: by the way, she never earned a goddamned cent of that money. She inherited it from her late father, who was, according to the Wall Street Journal, "A master of the hostile takeover who became one of America's highest-paid executives, Mr. Posner pleaded no contest to tax evasion charges in 1987 and was later barred from involvement with public companies.")