Critics: Under Palin, Wasilla charged rape victims for exam

From McClatchy:

Two state leaders lashed out at the public record of Gov. Sarah Palin on Wednesday as witnesses in a new “Alaska Mythbusters” forum coordinated by supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Speaking to a teleconference audience of reporters around the nation, former Gov. Tony Knowles and current Ketchikan Mayor Bob Weinstein — both Democrats — accused Palin of misleading the public in her new role as the vice presidential running mate of Arizona Sen. John McCain.

While some of their complaints have already been aired, Knowles broke new ground while answering a reporter’s question on whether Wasilla forced rape victims to pay for their own forensic tests when Palin was mayor.

True, Knowles said.

Eight years ago, complaints about charging rape victims for medical exams in Wasilla prompted the Alaska Legislature to pass a bill — signed into law by Knowles — that banned the practice statewide.

“There was one town in Alaska that was charging victims for this, and that was Wasilla,” Knowles said

A May 23, 2000, article in Wasilla’s newspaper, The Frontiersman, noted that Alaska State Troopers and most municipal police agencies regularly pay for such exams, which cost between $300 and $1,200 apiece.

“(But) the Wasilla police department does charge the victims of sexual assault for the tests,” the newspaper reported.

And of course, she opposes abortions for rape victims.

Why are Classical Music Concerts So Serious?

From the New Yorker:

The modern classical-music performance, as audiences have come to know it and sometimes to love it, adheres to a fairly rigid format. The music usually begins a few minutes after eight, listeners having taken their seats beforehand to peruse program notes or chat with neighbors. The evening falls into two halves, each lasting around forty-five or fifty minutes. An orchestral concert often proceeds from overture or short tone poem to solo concerto, and then to a symphony or some other major statement; a solo recital builds up to a big sonata or a virtuoso showpiece. The audience is expected to remain quiet for the duration of each work, and those who applaud between movements may face embarrassment. Around ten o’clock, the audience claps for two or three minutes, the performers bow two or three times, and all go home. Opera has a slightly looser code—the length of the evening depends on the composer’s whims, and the audience makes its feelings known with sporadic applause and very occasional boos—but there, too, an atmosphere of high seriousness prevails.

Most people are aware that this clockwork routine—reassuringly dependable or drearily predictable, depending on whom you ask—is of recent origin, and that before 1900 concerts assumed a quite different form. It’s always a shock, though, to confront the difference in all its particulars.

(via Metafilter)

Sept. 11, 1822: Church Admits It’s Not All About Us

From Wired:

1822: The College of Cardinals finally caves in to the hard facts of science, saying that the “publication of works treating of the motion of the Earth and the stability of the sun, in accordance with the opinion of modern astronomers, is permitted.”

It represented a major shift in dogma for the Catholic Church, a concession that the Earth, in fact, might revolve around the sun. Unfortunately, it came 189 years too late to do Galileo Galilei any good.

Still, it would take another 13 years, until 1835, before Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems — the work in which he defends the heliocentric theory — would be removed from the Vatican’s list of banned books.