seeking knowledge and laughter, putting a bullseye on inaccuracy

Istanbul Photos

In 2014, I spent a week from late August - early September in Istanbul for the Internet Governance Forum. A few highlights below and more photos in the full gallery.

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Cookie Day 2014

Photos from Cookie Day of one year past, and on doorstep of Cookie Day 2015... full gallery here.

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Visiting Club Ruch - 2014

Many Mitchell's descended on Club Ruch during the summery of 2014 along with Autumn, James, and little Emilia Full gallery here.

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Stockholm Late in Winter for Work

I had a great opportunity to travel to Stockholm to speak about municipal networks (video here and here) as well as a chance to hang out with a friend - we visited Fotografiska, a great photography museum. A few photos here.

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Fall Doggy Walk on Summit

Michelle took the dogs on a little walk after we cheered Mike and Kimmi on when they ran the marathon (marathon photos here). Gallery of Michelle and pups here.

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Spring at the Harders

Another fun spring weekend up north with Michelle's parents. Some highlights on Flickr and the full gallery here.

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War on Contraception

I just can't shake the feeling that many of the people most crusading against abortions would actually oppose living in a world where sex education and available effective contraceptives dramatically decrease the number of abortions. Many of these people are simply opposed to other people having sex (especially anything that might be considered deviant, dear me!) for reasons I simply do not understand.

As an example, take this article from Mother Jones on an innovative and successful program in Colorado that has reduced the number of abortions without limiting the freedom of women to control their own bodies.

Seven years later, the program has been, by most measures, a huge success. Teen birthrates are dropping across the country, but Colorado's has fallen faster than the nationwide average, allowing it to leapfrog 11 spots in the national rankings. Between 2010 and 2012, the state estimates, 4,300 to 9,700 births to women on the state's Medicaid program that would have otherwise occurred did not—saving Medicaid between $49 million and $111 million. The state's abortion rate has also cratered, falling 42 percent among women ages 15 to 19 and 18 percent among women ages 20 to 24 between 2009 and 2012.

But some have decided that IUD use is basically an abortion. That this is contrary to the scientific understanding of how IUDs work isn't the point - we are certainly used to people refusing to listen to science. I'm in the midst of reading the excellent book How We Got to Now and the history of doctors refusing to wash their hands prior to delivering babies was jaw-dropping. No one likes changing their mind about how things work.

The larger problem I have with opposing IUDs because they supposedly cause an abortion (which they do not) is the idea that in balancing the rights of a human adult (or in some cases teen) woman against a collection of a few hundred cells, society should side with the thing that has more in common with an amoeba than a human. It gives you a sense of just how much these people value women... and yes, I know that many of them are women. Doesn't change how little they value women.

If those who opposed abortions cared first and foremost about stopping abortions, they would be doing everything possible to minimize potential pregnancy among those who are not ready to be parents (or do not wish to have additional children). But most of them are not, and in fact, a stunning majority of them actually encourage abstinence-only education, which has been shown to lead to higher numbers of unwanted pregnancies. But this isn't really about abortion, it is about how great it feels to engage in a holier-than-thou righteous crusade. And that seems to be a very human characteristic.

Backyard Beagles ... and a Red Ball

Conner and Moxie playing out back - full gallery here and some highlights on Flickr.

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Visiting the Klinks at Pedernales State Park

Every year, I have an event in Austin dealing with broadband policy and I try to take some extra time while there to catch up with Eric and Chanda, often at a state park or two and over some great bbq. Full gallery of photos here - most of the shots are from Pedernales State Park.

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Dog Wrestling, 2014

Conner and Moxie love to play - they can go hours playing without aggravating each other. Usually when I try to take photos, they stop because Moxie gets all shy. But I finally got my camera on a play day and snapped some shots before they stopped. Full gallery here and some highlights here.

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