While I have been a vocal critic of Palin, for many reasons. The ones that irks me the most is her position on rape. I guess after having two great women in my life go through this ordeal made me very sensitive to this issue. While I do not wish to go through their stories this article pretty much summed up my experience how I felt about it: In June of 1986, when I was a 17 year old Junior in High School, my girlfriend at the time was kidnapped by a stranger while walking in the woods behind her house. After beating her nearly unconscious, he tied her up, dragged her through a swamp into a secluded area - and then brutally raped and beat her for an hour and a half. I was supposed to meet her at her house that afternoon, but she decided to take a walk down to a nearby pond where we would occasionally hang out. Thankfully, before she left her house, she told her mother to tell me where she had gone - and on learning that she was there, I headed down to meet her. Little did I know at the time that events soon to transpire would change both of our lives forever. As I walked down the railroad tracks toward the pond, the strangest thing happened to me. Over the years, I have had great difficulty explaining this and putting it into words. Maybe it was a moment of supremely heightened intuition? Maybe it was supernatural or divine? Whatever it was, before I even arrived on the scene I had an overpowering sensation that there was something very very wrong. Keep in mind here, that in spite of my tendencies toward occassional bout of Irish over-sentamentality, that I am not into New Age rituals, crystals, astrology or supernatural abilities, etc., Actually, one of my favorite tv shows is Penn and Teller's Bullshit (in spite of its conservative tendencies). But I digress. When I noticed that my girlfriend was no where to be found, instead of yelling out her name, which would have tipped off her attacker of my presence, I whistled. A familiar whistle that I knew she would recognize as mine. Initially, she did not respond. And I actually started to walk away. But I had an overpowering sense that I was supposed to turn around and go back - so I did. And this time, when she heard the whistle, she screamed as loud as she could. It was an absolute, blood curdling scream of horror, that even now, 22 years later, I can still hear. Her attacker of course responded by punching her so hard that I could hear the crushing sound of bone on flesh from nearly 100 yards away - as thought they were standing beside me. He then grabbed what he could of his clothes and ran off to hide in the woods. In that single instant, I realized that both she and I were in a fight for our lives. I picked up the heaviest thing I could find, - a branch, and charged as fast and hard as I could through the woods screaming her name and looking for her. Those who know me personally know me to be a peaceful and gentle soul (in spite of my sometimes snarky and bombastic style here on Kos). But as I ran into the woods, for the first and only time in my life, it occurred to me that I was about to either: a) kill another person or persons, or; b) die fighting. It took me forever to get through the trees, bushes, branches and water that separated us, but when I found my girlfriend, she was standing naked, hands tied behind her back, duct tape dangling from her face. Her face was covered in her own blood, and her nose, lips, and eyes were so swollen and black-and-blue that she was nearly unrecognizable. I untied her and dressed her as quickly as possible, and then carried her most of the way back to my car. We drove immediately to the hospital, where we were met by the most amazing, most sensitive, caring professional nurses, doctors and police detectives that one could ever hope to deal with in a situation like this. I have to give props to the ER staff of the Maine Medical Center, their rape crisis team, and the detectives of the Portland Police department. We were just kids, going through a nightmare, and they were spectacular beyond measure. The relatively good news in this story is that: The perpetrator was eventually captured, tried, convicted and sent to prison, where he is still locked up. (Unfortunately he is scheduled to be released some time next year and will almost certainly re-offend). My exgirlfriend (who I obviously still stay in touch with) has been able to heal and overcome her ordeal and trauma. Yes, it took a long time, and I'll bet she still has her moments - but by her own account, she has learned to cope, and moved on. She is an amazing person. But of course, the first days, weeks and months after this ordeal were a complete and utter nightmare for both of us, and our families. And every single time I hear about Sarah Palin's opposition to abortion - even in the case of rape, or I hear about her opposition to rape kits that include the morning after pill, or I hear about her making rape victims pay for their own rape kits - my Irish blood starts to fucking boils. Think of it this way, if you haven't already - what if this happened to your 17 year old child and his or her boyfriend or girlfriend? What if they faced an unspeakable horror or tragedy like this - only to face the sanctimony, ignorance and cruelty of a government led by the likes of Sarah Palin? Charging victims of rape for the cost of their rape kit is akin to executing a political prisoner and then sending the family a bill for cost of the bullet. And expecting that they would carry a baby to term after an ordeal like this? There are no words to describe this........ I don't care if you are a Republican or Democrat. I don't think that any of us want to live in a country that would dare to do such a thing to its own citizens.