Drug Stores Nix Rolling Stone

rolling stoneYou’re not going to find the newest issue on the shelves of your local drug stores.

CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens have said they will not stock the issue, which features a large photo of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover. The feature story on Tsarnaev looks into “how a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam, and became a monster.”

Many people are up in arms about the magazine’s move. This morning, I saw someone post about it on Facebook who refused to name the magazine because she was so sick over the cover story. Some say it’s idolizing some who may have committed a heinous crime on American soil (you’ll note me using the terms “may have” or “suspected” as at this time he has been charged but not convicted). Do I think the magazine is idolizing him? No. This is the same picture that other media outlets have run. Maybe people think it’s OK for them to run it because they’re more “legitimate” news sources than Rolling Stone?

CVS posted the following statement on its Facebook page:

CVS/pharmacy has decided not to sell the current issue of Rolling Stone featuring a cover photo of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect. As a company with deep roots in New England and a strong presence in Boston, we believe this is the right decision out of respect for the victims of the attack and their loved ones.

In a note at the beginning of the online version of the article, Rolling Stone’s editors show their sympathy for those affected by the bombing.

Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and our thoughts are always with them and their families. The cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone’s long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day. The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is young, and in the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens.

I may be in the minority on this, but I don’t have a problem with the article. Rolling Stone isn’t just a music magazine – it runs journalistic pieces. And, as a journalist, I can tell you that this is one of the best written in-depth articles I’ve read in a while. It takes a good look at Tsarnaev, a boy who was called a good kid with “no cracks at all”, and how he became a “monster”.

Should it have been the magazine’s cover story? I’m not sure. I’m not a regular Rolling Stone reader, so I don’t know how they treated cases like this in the past (though  I was told suspected criminals like this never made the cover), but I do think it’s a story that needs to be covered. It’s news.

What do you think? Do you side with Rolling Stone or the stores who won’t carry its new issue?

The Rains Came Down and the Floods Came Up

(All photos courtesy of www.ajc.com)

It’s been a devastating few days here in metro Atlanta. Storms that raged through our area on Sunday and Monday (not to mention the rain we had all last week) wreaked havoc and caused nine deaths. In downtown Atlanta, the downtown connector, where Interstates 75 and 85 merge, was closed because of water covering the road, and photos showed drivers sitting on top of their cars waiting to be rescued. Interstate 285, which circles the city of Atlanta, was closed; Interstate 575, which parallels Interstate 75, was closed for almost 24 hours; and Interstate 20 in Douglas County, where my in-laws live, was closed until 12:30 p.m. today.

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Interstate 75 was flooded at rush hour on Monday afternoon.

Close to 20 inches of rain fell in the metro area. Weather forecasters say 12-18 inches fell in Douglas County, which was one of the counties that took the brunt of the storm. My in-laws have been home from work for the last two days, and my father-in-law barely made it onto I-285 before it was shut down Monday night. Not only was the interstate closed in their county, but parts of the roads in their subdivision were washed away, making it harder to get out. One woman died was found on the road you turn off of into their subdivision.

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A washed out road in Douglas County.

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A flooded Nissan car dealership in Douglas County.

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A flooded road in Douglas County.

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A view of flooding in Douglas County.

In Gwinnett County, on the other side of Atlanta where Rachel and Dave live, the flooding was insane, much of it coming from the swollen Yellow River. Their basement flooded, but luckily the rest of their house was fine, even though their road flooded. The other section of their road was closed off, and from what I heard, the road they would take to get to the hospital where they’re delivering was flooded. It’s a good thing she didn’t go into labor! These pictures of of a flooded subdivision near where Rachel and Dave live.

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We were so blessed in our county. Yes, we had heavy storms roll through, but our damage was so minimal compared to the other metro areas. We had approximately 25 houses that flooded and a handful of streets closed. That’s it. No injuries, no fatalities. We were lucky. And, this has really made me feel lucky that we live on a hill. Sure, our hill is hell to walk up when we go out to exercise, but it sure kept our house safe from flooding, and for that I am very grateful.

My heart hurts for the families of those who died in the flooding. Reading some of their stories today made me tear up. One woman’s car got caught in the flooding in Gwinnett County as she drove to work very early Monday morning. The darkness made it difficult for her to see the water on the road until it was too late. Her car was swept away and lodged behind a house, and though she stayed on the phone with a 911 dispatcher until the water rose, it took emergency responders more than two hours to get to her because of the flooding and other issues.

And, in Carroll County, which is just to the west of where my in-laws live, a 2-year-old boy was swept from his father’s arms as he clung to a tree, trying to save himself and his son. His family of four barely escaped their mobile home before it was taken off its foundation and swept away. His wife held onto a tree and their 1-year-old son, and they were stuck for about six hours before being rescued. I think that story really hit me the hardest since I’m about to be a parent. I can only imagine the pain those parents are going through.

The rain has stopped for now, though it’s expected to return tomorrow and last through the weekend. It’s not supposed to be nearly as bad as what we’ve already experienced. I sure hope not. It’s going to take a long time to repair what’s already been damaged.

When IVF goes Wrong

One of the fears in the back of my mind ever since our embryo transfer is of the wrong embryos being tranferred. One other couple had their transfer the same day as us, and it would be an obvious mixup as they are of a different race. I joke about it from time to time and, while I really don’t think anything went wrong, I think this kind of fear is natural.

Today, Joe sent me a story on CNN about a couple that found out their fertility clinic transferred the wrong embryos. They actually found out during the phone call telling them they were pregnant. I can just hear it now: “Congratuations! You’re pregnant! Unfortunately….we transferred the wrong embryos, and the baby isn’t yours.”

Nothing was said about this woman’s embryos, and I’m assuming that means the other woman did not get pregnant. Yet, this couple said they decided instantly that she would carry the baby to term and then give it to its biological parents. Amazing and selfless? Absolutely.

The story had close to 200 comments, and I read every single one of them. Most praised this couple for not aborting the baby, but many were incredibly negative about IVF, going as far as to say that people who pursue IVF are selfish and if they can’t get pregnant naturally they should just accept it and adopt. They were also attacked because this is her fourth pregnancy, and apparently wanting to have more than one child is selfish. Here are a few of my favorites:

“To the self-righteous leaving comments: IVF is going to stunt us biologically. There is generally a good reason why people are infertile, and most of them should not propagate their impaired genes. I, like others, applaud the couple for not killing the baby; I, like some others, am disappointed in their decision to try to dilute the gene pool to begin with. Whether you believe in macro-evolution or not, micro-evolution has been demonstrated within a life time, and certainly within recorded history. By diluting the gene pool with individuals biologically unfit to conceive, you are hurting humanity. Please stop it. I don’t challenge your right to have children; I challenge your sense of entitlement to procreate at the expensive of everyone else.”

“for real doc!!??? and for real ppl??!! if ur not meant to have kids accept it and move on… this is what happen when u want to go against what God gives u!!!”

“Why would you go to such lengths for a fourth child anyway? Isn’t this world crowded enough? IVF is such a selfish, self-serving medical procedure. If you can’t have babies naturally, take one of the plentiful unwanted children that exist all around the world.”

“If I were she, I’d abort immediately. If I were the biological mother, I’d insist on an abortion. No other woman would be allowed to carry my embryo! This isn’t a “gift”; she is depriving the real mother of carrying her own child. I’d never take a biological child handed to me, carried by a surrogate. And both sets of parents should shut down that clinic, and find out who got their other embryos. They could all have other children out there that they don’t know about. Everyone who has had a pregnancy out of that clinic should have a DNA test immediately.”

“I am glad you are doing this for that couple. People should learn that if you can’t conceive you need to just accept it or adopt. Things happen for a reason and too many people try to play God. These people had 3 kids already AND she had difficult pregnancies. At least she’s redeeming herself from her original selfishness.”

Those comments blew me away. I’m pretty sure none of them have ever had to deal with fertility issues; if so, I’m sure they wouldn’t be saying that they just need to accept it. IVF does not create children with impaired genes. Fertilization occurs just as it would inside the body. The only difference is that an embryologist is assisting. I’m assuming that commenter doesn’t realize that miscarriages in pregnancies occur because of something wrong with the embryo’s genetics. Yes, there are babies who are still born with genetic abnormalities, but I don’t believe that IVF increases that.

And really? It’s selfish to want to carry your own child? I guess I’m selfish, then, because not only did I want to experience carrying my own child, but I would like to have more than one. I’d love to see how these commenters would change their tunes after being told they could never get pregnant naturally.

What’s selfish is the number of women who commented and said that if they were in this position they would abort. As much as I know it would hurt to know that I’m carrying someone else’s child, I would never abort. It’s not the child’s fault. And how can you say that what this woman is doing isn’t a gift? The other woman obviously had fertility issues too, so even though she didn’t carry her own child, she’s going to get to be a mother. That’s the greatest gift you can give anyone.

Wanted: Money to Support 14 Kids

When the story about Nadya Suleman’s octuplets broke, the woman who already is the mother of six children went on NBC’s Today Show to tell America that she can support her children and would not be asking for money.

Now, she’s launched a Web site asking for donations to help care for her 14 children. Before having the octuplets, she was on food stamps and her mother paid her bills and cared for her children. She says she’s “gone” when her daughter gets out of the hospital.

This whole story makes me angry. Suleman has her priorities screwed up by hiring a publicist over a nanny and trying to fuel her obsession with Angelina Jolie by having so many children and undergoing plastic surgery to look more like the actress.

I’m angry because everyone now lumps all women who go through IVF in with Suleman. She makes everyone who has or will go through IVF look bad. Listeners calling into a popular Atlanta radio station bad mouthed all infertile women going through IVF and said that procedure should not be allowed. Sure, it shouldn’t be allowed to occur if eight embryos are transferred. Most clinics won’t transfer more than two to prevent this kind of situation from happening.

And, I’m angry for her children. With 14 children being raised in a single-parent household, there will be hardly any individual attention for those kids, and that kind of attention, in my opinion, is necessary for growth and development. And, with a mother on food stamps and living in her parents’ rundown three-bedroom home, what kind of life will those children have?

The Inauguration, Legoland Style

I heard about this last night on the radio, and as soon as I got home I had to look it up to see for myself. The folks at Legoland out in Carlsbad, California, created a replica of yesterday’s presidential inauguration. OUT OF LEGOS, PEOPLE. I think it’s pretty freakin awesome, and it’s amazing how much detail they put into it. I totally want to work at Legoland now.

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You can see more pictures here. So, what do you think??

Lobbying for Legislation

I’m getting involved in the upcoming legislative session. Tonight, I’m meeting with one of our state legislators to discuss the possibility of infertility legislation being introduced. Currently, 12 states require insurance companies to offer some kind of coverage for infertility treatments. Three states have a “mandate to offer”, which means the insurance companies there are required to offer coverage and employers can decide whether or not to purchase that coverage. Last night, I found infertility legislation that had been introduced last year but for some reason didn’t make it to the house floor for a vote. It bums me out to know that if it had passed last session I would be covered, but at least now this gives me a good starting place and should make this battle easier. Obviously someone else thinks this is an issue too.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while. It’s an issue that hits home since I have been battling infertility and now my husband and I are planning on having IVF next spring. It’s expensive and will make things tight next year, but for millions of couples, it’s either pay $10,000-$15,000 or not have a child. It’s not fair, but sometimes that’s how things go.

I have an issue with insurance companies refusing to cover infertility treatments. Their argument is that such treatments aren’t life threatening. I have news for them — neither are most of the procedures and treatments they do cover.

Going through this is hard. It’s embarrassing. I know it shouldn’t be, but it is. I’m the only person in my family to deal with this, and that makes it really difficult. But now I can make a difference. I can hopefully help spur a change. It won’t help me this time around, but hopefully it can help many other women who otherwise would have to figure out how to pay the thousands of dollars to have the baby they yearn for.