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Miscellaneous Thoughts (a.k.a. The Ranting Corner)
Friday, 1 April 2005
Ho. Lee. Mother.
President Apologizes for War, Admits 'It Was a Major Mistake...One of Many, I Might Add'
Bush vows to be "more honest" and to "read more."

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 1:01 PM EST
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Thursday, 31 March 2005
Terri Schiavo Dies
I?d say thank God except I know better. I know that the politicians and the pundits will continue to use this poor woman?s pathetic excuse for a life (and I say that with all due respect ? her life at the end was a sad and pathetic excuse for a life, nothing I would want for myself or a loved one, certainly) to push their own agendas.

Now comes the hard part, though. The circus has to pack up. The media has to shut the lights off. Michael Schiavo has to somehow move on from all this. What should have been, at best, a gut-wrenching decision to end 16 years of torment turned into a witch-hunt whose only purpose was to burn Michael at the stake. This was a guy who after more than a decade of watching his wife lie in a bed without the use of her brain or body, made a very difficult decision. And was then punished for it.

I?d like to direct your attention to two really good articles by Dr. Arthur Caplan. The first was written a few days ago and the second came out today. And now I?d like to stop, and wait to see what happens next.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 2:21 PM EST
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Go Home!
Can someone tell me please: who the hell invited Mariah Carey back to the party? And who the hell is responsible for this catastrophe of a dress?

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 10:22 AM EST
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A Ramble Through the Sick Ward
I have always been possessed with a freakish Puritanical Work Ethic (thanks a lot mom and dad). Yesterday I had to leave work early though, because the doctor's office had a 3 o?clock cancellation and I?m sick. Truth be told I?ve been a walking snot-fest since last Thursday.

So I left work at 12 and went home for some rest. I got no sleep the night before last because I was constantly either sneezing or coughing or blowing my nose. The sheer volume of used snot rags spilling over the side of the little wastebasket on my side of the bed is something akin to the snow-topped peaks of Kilimanjaro.

But I digress.

The doctor we see is Dr. Ramos but we refer to her as the Peanut Doctor because she?s so tiny. The peanut doctor is always patient with me even though she only sees me when I?m tired and sick and miserable. She?s the only doctor I?ve ever had as an adult who doesn?t incorrectly alter my first name into a sort of half-nickname.

So the peanut doctor examined me and told me very kindly that I have an upper respiratory infection. Sigh. I really hate being sick. Did I mention that?

After leaving the doctor?s I stopped at CVS to fill my prescription for antibiotics.

While I waited for them to fill it I walked down the street and picked up the dry cleaning. You know you?re an adult when you have a weekly dry cleaning bill. The sick was weighing me down and I felt exhausted, beaten and miserable.

After I?d put the clothes into the car and went back into CVS I felt the misery shift into a kind of hostility. The hostility was directed at the antibiotics and, indirectly, at the peanut doctor. In my head was the irrational thought, ?This had better freaking work because I am damn sick of this!? How original. Sick of being sick.

So I went home, took the first dose of my script and then waited with my ever-growing hostility to feel better. At 5:15 pm I thought, ?Okay I took the pills and hour ago. Exactly when are they supposed to start working?? I had this same conversation with myself at 6:15 too and again at 7. By then, though, I was able to tentatively say that I was starting to feel better. I wasn?t as snot-ridden and my ears were popping the way they should again. There is nothing worse than trying to get your ears to pop when they don?t want to. Okay there are plenty of worse things but you know what I mean.

In any event I spent the hours waiting to feel better by reading Anne Lamott?s new book Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith. I like Anne Lamott?s version of Christianity. She never takes it or herself too seriously and I think that is the great problem with many Christians today.

James Dobson, for instance, strikes me as an unrelenting and very angry man. And smug. If there?s one thing I hate its smugness.

Good thing I?m utter perfection, huh? I must be feeling better if my trademark self-deprecating humor is back. So I?ll leave you with this thought: if it?s only to combat the smugness of the world try not to take yourself too seriously. And stay healthy. This upper respiratory mofo is not to be trifled with.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 9:20 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 31 March 2005 11:51 AM EST
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Tuesday, 29 March 2005
Jackson Prays With Terri Schiavo's Parents
Now Playing: Tori Amos
I saw this headline and thought, "What the hell is Michael Jackson doing in Florida?"

Of course, this is the wrong Jackson. Is it my imagination, though, or didn't Jesse Jackson step down from public life because he's some baby daddy?

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 1:14 PM EST
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Monday, 28 March 2005
Idiots for Terri
Now Playing: Sheryl Crow
This week's Top Ten Conservative Idiots list is all about Terri Schiavo and the shameless pandering of the Right.

Not only is it heavily documented with all those pesky facts that some Republicans hate so much, but it's also extremley well written, which makes for an entertaining read. Enjoy.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 3:42 PM EST
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Block the Fox
Now Playing: Jimmy Buffet
Tired of the same old tabloid headlines from Fox "News"? The Associated Press has just brought something to my attention that may be just what you're looking for:

It's not that Sam Kimery objects to the views expressed on Fox News. The creator of the "Fox Blocker" contends the channel is not news at all.

Kimery figures he's sold about 100 of the little silver bits of metal that screw into the back of most televisions, allowing people to filter Fox News from their sets, since its August debut.

The Tulsa, Okla., resident also has received thousands of e-mails, both angry and complimentary as well as a few death threats.

"Apparently the making of terroristic threats against those who don't share your views is a high art form among a certain core audience," said Kimery, 45.

Formerly a registered Republican, even a precinct captain, Kimery became an independent in the 1990s when he said the state party stopped taking input from its everyday members.

Kimery now contends Fox News' top-level management dictates a conservative journalistic bias, that inaccuracies are never retracted, and what winds up on the air is more opinion than news. "I might as well be reading tabloids out of the grocery store," he says. "Anything to get a rise out of the viewer and to reinforce certain retrograde notions."

A Fox spokeswoman at the station's New York headquarters said the channel's ratings speak for themselves. For the first three months of this year, Fox has been averaging 1.62 million viewers in prime-time, compared with CNN's 805,000, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Kimery's motives go deeper than preventing people from watching the channel, which he acknowledges can be done without the Blocker. But he likens his device to burning a draft card, a tangible example of disagreement.

And he's taking this message to the network's advertisers. After buying the $8.95 device online, would-be blockers are shown a letter that they can send to advertisers via the Fox Blocker site.

"The point is not to block the channel or block free speech but to raise awareness," said Kimery, who works in the tech industry.

Kimery doesn't use the device himself; his remote is programmed to only a half-dozen channels. Plus he occasionally feels the need to tune into Fox News for something "especially heinous."

Business could pick up since the blocker was alluded to in a recent episode of the ABC drama "Boston Legal." The show's original script mentioned Fox News, but ABC had the references removed.

The boisterous conversations on Fox News may be why the station is so popular, said Matthew Felling, media director for the Center for Media and Public Affairs, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media watchdog group. And despite a perception that Fox leans to the right, Felling said, that doesn't mean people who lean left should tune out.

"It's tough to engage in an argument when you're not participating in it," Felling said. "It's just one more layer in the wall that the right and the left are building in between each other."

It's so simple and yet so perfect! The Fox Blocker. I love it!

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 12:09 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 28 March 2005 12:15 PM EST
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Right to Life?
Now Playing: Tori Amos
Overall, I?ve been trying like hell to stay out of the whole Terry Schiavo thing. Should she live, should she die, should the entire country be involved in the decision making process? I don?t have the answers but I?ve just discovered someone (thanks to my husband) who summarizes in a fairly succinct way my feelings on the whole debacle:

Against my own logic, something about ending Terri Schiavo's life feels wrong. When those who stand with her parents (including both Bushes) say they believe in compassion and erring on the side of life, they almost convince me. Where they lose me, I guess, is when they try equating this with pure murder and dragging in inadmissible religious arguments. I also don't see them "erring on the side of life" regarding so many other people in this world -- many of them, more "alive" than Terri Schiavo will ever be and perhaps a better investment of our limited national compassion. Which is another reason I don't think I should have a vote on Terri's fate. I don't know what it would be. But it would probably be something impractical like, "I vote to feed Terri Schiavo if we don't stop there. Let's pass a law that we feed everyone who's in danger of starving to death."

It truly is a mystery to me how so-called Christian Republicans are able to grandstand over this poor brain-damaged woman and yet, the poor and the homeless, the uninsured and the elderly continue to struggle on a daily basis. I don?t see George or Jeb Bush jumping on those bandwagons. If you want to use a ?right to life? argument, then you have make sure it applies to everyone, and not just to those people who are politically expedient.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 8:56 AM EST
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Saturday, 26 March 2005
Aniston Files for Divorce
I'm not sure what to say about this. I know it's not the end of the world, but it still feels like the end of an era.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 6:57 PM EST
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Friday, 25 March 2005
New Music
Now Playing: Keren Ann Zeidel
I've just discovered a new singer who's so freaking awesome that I just have to share. Rolling Stone's review of her latest album can be found here, if you'd like to read it, but Keren Ann Zeidel has got the most wonderful voice I've heard in a long time. Check her out. You'll thank me.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 10:36 AM EST
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