Saturday, November 18, 2006

Of Corporations and Contraception...

So, to begin with, I have some good news. The large and important paper I have been working on of late is at long last finished. It turned out to be a bit more complicated and technical than I had originally thought it would be, but it is also better. I will be able to send it out next week, which is just great. Now to the business at hand.

I have noticed a rather curious phenomenon and I would be interested to know if anyone has seen anything similar. It appears to me that large corporate entities are scanning blogs, looking for references to themselves. Some time ago, I put up a post that included a reference to the Halliburton Corporation. To my surprise, when I was reviewing the hits on the blog the following day, I noticed that the blog had had a visit from someone logged into the Halliburton system (or at least, from a machine which was in their IP block). I thought that this was a little curious, but did not think too much about it.

Now, something similar has happened again. In my last post, I made reference to the Entergy Corporation. On the day following my putting up the post, in my logs I find a visit from a machine in an IP block registered to Entergy! From these two bit of evidence (a weak basis, as yet), it seems plausible to hypothesise that at least these two large corporations are keeping an eye on the blog arena to see what is being said about them. I find this a bit worrying. What I am interested in doing is seeing whether anyone else has noticed anything similar. If so, it might be interesting to compile a list of companies that scan the blogs, so as to produce plenty of false positives for them -- For example Halliburton and Entergy New Orleans fall in love!".

Recently, the Bush administration announced their choice of the person to head the federal Office of of Population Affairs. They have chosen one Eric Keroack. The Washington Post has a story about this announcement here. Now although a rather obscure sounding federal office, the Office of Population Affairs falls under the Department of Health and Human Services. It is the office with responsibility for, according to their website,

"...a wide range of reproductive health topics, including adolescent pregnancy, family planning, and sterilization, as well as other population issues."

So, Eric Keroack is going to be the new 'Contraception King'. So, who the hell is this dude? It turns out he is an obstetrician-gynecologist, who is also the medical director for A Woman's Concern, a nonprofit group based in Massachusetts. On the face of it, on the basis of these facts, he sounds like a reasonable choice for the position (at least, for a man). However, a little further research reveals some rather worrying additional facts.

It turns out that a brief review of the web site of A Women's Concern reveals that they are eager to inform women of the dangers associated with abortions. They also preach the virtue of abstinence! This is not a good sign. To make matter worse, it seems that this guy get cited in approving terms on the web site Now this is truly scary. So, it seems that Bush's appointed Federal 'Contraception King' does not in fact approve on contraception at all! How nuts is that? It sounds to me a bit like asking a teetotal Baptist to organise a frat house keg party, or asking a Quaker Pacifist to head up military policy. It seems to me that everybody, men and women alike, should be sending checks to Planned Parenthood before Bush's boy outlaws safe sex altogether!

The CP


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