Profile Of The Killer

Ken AshfordCrime, Women's IssuesLeave a Comment

They've caught the guy who shot and killed Dr. Tiller. According to KWCH-TV: Deputy Chief Tom Stolz w/ Wichita Police Dept. says Dr. Tiller died of a single gunshot wound. The Associated Press says the man detained in the Kansas City area is 51-year-old Scott Roeder of Merriam, Kansas, according to Law Enforcement authorities in the area. Roeder has not been formally … Read More

Right Response, Wrong Response

Ken AshfordCrime, Women's IssuesLeave a Comment

National Right To Life Committee: WASHINGTON – The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the nation's largest pro-life group, today condemned the killing of Dr. George Tiller.  The following statement may be attributed to NRLC Executive Director, David N. O'Steen, Ph.D.: National Right to Life extends its sympathies to Dr. Tiller's family over this loss of life. Further, the National Right to … Read More

This Is Terrorism

Ken AshfordCrime, Women's IssuesLeave a Comment

Ann Friedman: Dr. George Tiller, an outspoken advocate for abortion rights and one of the few late-term abortion providers in the country, was shot dead in church this morning.Cara Kulwicki writes at Feministe: This is the first time an abortion provider has been murdered in over a decade. I have friends who work in abortion clinics. This is terrorism. And right now, I just don't … Read More

RIP Milvina Dean

Ken AshfordHistoryLeave a Comment

98 years ago today, the Titanic was launched. And we know what happened a couple of weeks later. 706 passengers survived.  And the last survivor of the Titanic died this morning.  She was 97.  Milvina Dean was just over two months at the time of the sinking.  She was in lifeboat 13. She was in the news a few months ago … Read More

Ugly America

Ken AshfordBreaking News, Crime, Women's Issues1 Comment

By now, you may have heard about the killing of Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, Kansas this morning.  It took place in (of all places) a church. Dr. George Tiller has long been a target (literally and figuratively) of the religious right, Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, and others because he performs late term abortions.  As Amanda Marcotte wrote: [Tiller] is … Read More

This Day In Theatre History

Ken AshfordHistory, TheatreLeave a Comment

250 years ago today: On this day [May 31] in 1759, lawmakers in Pennsylvania adopt a law forbidding the performance of plays. The law was adopted in response to pressure from religious groups, particularly Baptists, who found theatrical performances immoral. Anyone found guilty of putting on a play was fined 500 pounds. Fuckin' religious right.

Fatal Attraction: The Original Ending

Ken AshfordYoutubeLeave a Comment

Alex Forrest (Glenn Close) doesn't try to kill Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas).  No bathtub scene.  In the original version, she exacts her revenge in a different way. Test audiences hated the original ending (shown below), so the cast was called back together to reshoot the ending as we now know it. But here's how it originally went.  If you're a … Read More

Tom Goldstein Reviews Sotomayor’s Decisions

Ken AshfordRace, Supreme CourtLeave a Comment

Over at SCOTUSblog, Tom Goldstein notes all proverbial ink being spilled over Sotomayor's race, along with the implicit and explicit statements that her supposed bias will prevent her from judicating equally and fairly. So he decided to do something novel: It seems to me that there is an infinitely simpler and more accurate way of figuring out whether Judge Sotomayor decides cases … Read More

Jon & Kate and Child Labor Laws

Ken AshfordCourts/Law, Popular Culture1 Comment

First, a disclosure: I hate reality TV.  And I never even heard of "Jon & Kate Plus 8", the popular TLC reality series, until a week ago.  Apparently, it is a reality show about Jon and Kate Gosselin, a Pennsylvania husband and wife, as they raise their eight young children, including 8-year-old twins and sextuplets who just turned 5. An interesting legal … Read More

Ending This Once And For All

Ken AshfordSupreme CourtLeave a Comment

Rich Tucker at Townhall, saying succinctily what many on the right are saying about Sonia Sotomayor: “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life,” she said back then. Oh? She seems to be saying a person’s … Read More

Quote Of The Day

Ken AshfordSex/Morality/Family ValuesLeave a Comment

"It's like, `Oh great, we made the cut.'" — David Hyde Pierce, on the California Supreme Court ruling (Pierce was one of the 18,000 same-sex couples who wed in California, and whose gay marriage remains valid despite the recent court ruling)

In Honor Of Sonia Sotomayor

Ken AshfordSupreme CourtLeave a Comment

Rita Morena and a cast of racists put their bigotry to music… Meanwhile, a small chorus of conservatives are coming out urging that Republican opposers of Sotomayor show restraint, and get away from the silly "racist" name-calling.  Even the Wall Street Journal is saying, "Republicans, Let's Play Grown-Up", to which John Cole responds: Does anyone honestly think they can dial … Read More

Dear Michael Steele

Ken AshfordRepublicansLeave a Comment

I read your article in Politico.  I see you were trying to strike a theme: Republicans have engaged in some healthy soul-searching since Election Day, trying to come to grips with our minority status and debating the best way forward…. To accomplish this goal Republicans are turning a corner in three important ways: First, the Republican Party will be forward-looking … Read More


Ken AshfordPopular CultureLeave a Comment

…meaning "indifferent or lukewarm especially in matters of religion". That was the winning word in last night's Scripps 82nd Annual National Spelling Bee: Thirteen-year-old Kavya Shivashankar of Olathe, Kansas, spelled "laodicean," Thursday night to take top honors in the 82nd annual Scripps National Spelling Bee. The eighth-grader won $40,000 in cash and prizes for nailing the final word. Pronounced lay-odd-uh-see-an, the … Read More

Downfall Redux

Ken AshfordYoutubeLeave a Comment

One of my favorite internet memes is to take the bunker scene from the film Downfall (a German movie about the last days of Hitler, which was nominated in 2005 for the Academy Award, Best Foreign Language Film) and add "better" subtitles.  It's that simple, but the results are often laugh-out-loud funny. Here is one entitled "Real Estate Downfall": In this one, Hitler reacts … Read More