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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


Jesse Doc Wendel: "Bite me"

Oh my

Thanks (i think) to Jesse for this find

RapeX -- The Anti-Rape Female Condom

Patented, developed in Africa, the RapeX condom has 25 fish-like teeth which can only be removed by a doctor once they clamp down and attach to the head and shaft of the penis of the rapist. "I want this guy to be identified. I want a way that will prove that penetration took place," said Ehlers (the woman who invented RapeX.)

Ehlers believes the moments of initial pain will give women an opportunity to escape. In the latest crime statistics, South Africa recorded 54,926 rape cases, giving it one of the worst sexual assault records in the world. And as is well known, only a fraction of rapes are reported.

In what I think is one of the stupidest controversies I've ever heard, people are arguing over whether RapeX is a medieval device built on a hatred of men or whether it is an easy-to-use invention that could free millions of South African women from fear of rape.

What part of forcible rape means your johnson may get glomped onto by sharp knives don't you understand? I fully believe in non-violence in almost all circumstances. For those rare circumstances, it's important to keep Hubris Sonic and the Teams available (and their counterparts in the other services.) It's also critical I believe that people can protect themselves, and hand to the Gods, protection just doesn't get more personal than the RapeX condom. (Yes, even more personal than a Glock.)

As the father of three daughters, and as someone whom has taken care of sexual assault victims many many times, this is a wonderful invention. Will someone, somewhere, get pranged with it in an act of revenge? You bet. And we have laws which deal with domestic violence, just as if she took a bat to his head, or zapped him with one of those cute little pink tasers.

Africa is a nation where women are not generally respected, where rape is sometimes used as a weapon of state against nations, in violation of not simply basic UN rights for all human beings, but specifically in ways which earn those ordering and participating invitations to the Hague. Rape as an act of the state is a war crime, designed not just to destroy the will of a people, but to foster children by a different gene pool upon the losing side.

Anything to help stop the raping of girls, of young women, of women, is good. And if a few penises are lacerated along the way, well, fuck them.

- posted by Jesse "Doc" Wendel