Thursday, March 25, 2010

Why Do People Give These Yahoos Money?

     Oh, my, Godde. How...when...why? Another 200 survivors of abuse at the hands of Roman Catholic clergy have come to light, this time a group of boys who attended a residential school for the deaf.
      Why didn't the "good" (said snarkily) people at the Vatican do anything about it? There was an office set up to handle these matters, wasn't there? And Pope Benedict, wasn't he part of it?
      Yes, and it's looking more and more as if he used his post to cover allegations up as quickly and quietly as possible. Both when he was a cardinal and now as pope.
       Yes, this is the church that ran ads to coax the strayed back into the fold. This is the religion that enslaves women with the threat of hell for standing up for their reproductive rights; the one that pays lip service to the sanctity and dignity of human life.
      Right. Oh, did I mention that they blocked scientific progress by putting Galileo on trial and burning the astronomer who figured out that the earth rotates around the sun?
       But all that aside, they're crying persecution. Victims have filed civil suits, unable to get the justice deserved in criminal courts. After all, it was just a sin. Just because it caused long standing damage to the victims' souls doesn't mean it was anything otherwise.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Random Equinox Thoughts

     Listening to WNIJ for the Saturday Blues as I write. 
     Worked on the outline for my e-mag, Swan and Iris.
     Been snowing and raining by turns, driven by a steady northwest wind. It's melting, but it's not how most people would choose to usher in spring. I really wanted to at least get the cold weather crops in, the spinach and the chard and the radishes. But it's ok.  I have a chicken in the crock-pot with leeks, carrots, and celery. Will be ready about 6 or so. Yum. 
      Will likely get some seeds going in the nifty little peat pots, anyway.
      It's called growth. 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Colonoscopy Broadcasting System

    "We wanted to show viewers that a colonoscopy wasn't that bad," said one of the people at CBS News. "The Early Show" host Harry Smith volunteered to go live with his yesterday. Just what people want to see first thing in the morning: the insides of a large intestine.
     Let me see if I have this straight. You have to fast for the better part of a day, drink a gallon of a high-powered laxative, deal with its consequences, undergo general anesthesia, have a fiber optic camera stuck up an unspeakable place, and the general public is supposed to believe that it's "not that bad?" 
    This is not something you do because you're 50.
    This is not something you do because a public figure has taken it up as a personal crusade due to experience. Ms. Couric, I tip my hat to you, and send belated condolences in reference to your late husband. But due to the invasive nature of the procedure, both physically and insurance-wise, it had best be considered carefully.
     The inconvenience, discomfort, tagging by insurance companies, and risks would be acceptable if someone had started showing disquieting symptoms (bleeding, constipation or diarrhea problems) or had a strong family history of colorectal cancer. It might be warranted under those circumstances.
    One friend of mine became severely dehydrated. An acquaintance who had end-stage pancreatic cancer was in the hospital. They insisted that she needed a colonoscopy, even though nothing could be done if beyond pallative measures had it spread there. It reeked of insurance money.
    Despite the serious consequences, the procedure has been the basis of plot lines on "Two and a Half Men," a show I tolerate for The Spouse's sake. I give the writers credit for making it funny.
    One also has to give credit to whoever thought up the Colonoscopy Sweepstakes, where CBS picked up the tab for one and for your stay at a swanky hotel in Manhattan. Being confined to a bathroom is just how I'd want to spend my time in one of the world's great cities.
    Paging Dr. Freud.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ask Not For Whom the Guitar Swings; It Swings For Thee

    Oh, I wish that I could be a grownup about this. But I can't. So I won't.
    This morning, I listened to Stephanie Miller ( ) on the way to walk Orion at the park. She reported on the latest political scandal involving an uber-Republican Congressional rep from California. After doing everything in his power to block passage of anything remotely in favor of equal rights for LGBTs, the rep in question was involuntarily outed. Seems that there was this little matter of a DUI as he was leaving the district's premier gay bar with a new (cough) friend.
    The choice to reveal one's orientation is highly personal and emotional. In a perfect world, there would be cake and champagne to validate and celebrate. I feel some compassion that the foot of fate booted him from the confines of the closet. However, it's tempered by his anti-gay anti-equality voting record. Some might say it's God's judgement. Other might say it's a slice of karmic pie for kowtowing to the party fringe. Freud called it a "reaction formation," where one has some component of themselves that they find so appalling that they go into total denial about having it, but see it everywhere in everyone else and make it a focal point for their self-hatred.
    I just hope he can learn to accept himself as he is. Had he the grace and courage to do that, he would have spared himself a lot of embarrassment and untold others a lot of pain.
    This may have been the first noteworthy scandal of the year, but I'll bet not the last.  Last summer, we had Gov. Mark Sanford (R-one of the Carolinas and one of the Right Wing's darlings) who'd invented the cover story of hiking in the wilderness while actually leaving the country to visit his mistress in Argentina. Thoroughly ticked, his staff pretty much threw him to the press lions in the hall outside his office as tourists looked on so he could explain himself to the world. Jenny, his wife, skipped the festivities and moved out shortly afterwards.
    Will we have anything to top the resignation of an alderman in one of the O'Hare suburbs?  Seems that there was this day when he invited two (cough) personal recreation consultants (cough) over to his house. While he (cough) received services from the consultants in the kids' playroom, his wife walked in on them. At a loss for words, Mrs. Alderman cold cocked him with a Hanna Montana toy guitar.
      I wait to see how that will be topped.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I'll Probably Go 4'x10' This Year

    The garden patch lies still and dormant under the ratty white blanket of snow.
We'll start shortly with chard, a hardy cold weather crop, in the pots by the back door. Then leaf lettuce and herbs. Then the holy grail of home gardening will take its rightful place:

     The tomato. Why we don't jump out windows during the winter. The real ones, not the pallid windshield-cracking denuded tennis balls that cause one to rethink objections to canned.
     The ones worthy of being savored with an optional sprinkling of salt. Tuck seedlings into fertilized ground and stand back except to water and pull weeds. We had them until mid-October last year, along with a glut of zucchini.
     Maybe we could get them to Thanksgiving this year.