Monday, February 28, 2005

Waaaaaay Too Much Information

You learn the weirdest things when you check your Sitemeter. Apparently I'm the #1 result ( or at least one of my posts is) if you google "american folklore about farting".

Good News, Bad News

The good news:
The Lad was just at the pediatrician's today, and tipped the scales at 9 lbs. 4 oz. Per the doc, we can now let him sleep until he wakes up instead of waking him to eat every 3-4 hours.

The bad news: She's checking his blood for anemia because he continues to have apneas. However, she suspects it's caused by the quick, shallow breaths he makes when he's hungry and isn't even apnea.

The WORSE news:
I am unable to comply with requests for pictures as I have managed to damage our digital video camera (I use it for stills too). I have a service contract for it, so I'm hoping Circuit City can repair it, but for now it means I don't get to play "Papa"-razzi.
Thanks for the Memory to NW Republican.

If you thought that Washington had cornered the market on election corruption in the Pacific Northwest, you thought wrong:

Secretary of State Bill Bradbury was the recipient of thirteen letters from the state GOP detailing alleged election laws violations, including two candidates, Senator Joanne Verger and Senator Laurie Monnes-Anderson, who spent tens of thousands of dollars of in-kind donations not reported until after the election.
Other campaign in - kind donations received by a number of legislators, including Ryan Deckert, also violated election laws, according to the Oregon GOP.
Laundered campaign money was received by Judy Steigler ($12,300) and others.
Representative Chuck Riley neglected to report $2,000 of media buy expenditures.

The same Bill Bradbury (D) who obstructed the efforts to put Nader on Oregon's ballot.

Oh, I'm sure he'll get right on this.

The Consent of the Governed

Thanks for the Memory to a member of my church for forwarding the following link to me.

On the 17th, William Federer presented an excellent essay over at TownHall regarding the Terry Schiavo case. I commend it to you now. Usually I try to avoid Nazi comparisons when discussing politics (I think the rhetorical tendency to equate ones opponents with the Nazis is usually a cop-out), but in this case, I can see the parallels, especially since Federer actually compares the current situation to attitudes in the Pre-Nazi Weimar Republic. He argues, I believe rightly, that the precendent set erodes further our society's belief in the sanctity of life, and esptablishes a precedent by which those in power can determine who should and shouldn't live based on some esoteric scale of their relative worth as a human.

Terry's case isn't about letting someone who is already dead be removed from life support. It isn't about letting a teminal patient "die with dignity". It's about someone deciding she should die because her life isn't "worth living" anymore. And that is a frightening precedent to set. Furthermore, it flies in the face of the philosophy on which our nation is founded:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

(Bold added)


Do these words no longer mean anything to us? If we decide that Terry is better off dead because she has suffered brain damage, because her mental capacity is diminished, we have refuted the "truth" that she is our equal, and that her right to life is inalienable. If we deny these truths in her case, what's to stop us from denying them in other cases? And once we've gone there, how long will it be until these truths are no longer self-evident whatsoever? What protection do any of us have under the law at that point?

Electric Sheep

(A Movie Review -- SPOILER)

TFR and I rented and Watched I, Robot this weekend. I had avoided it because I had heard it plays pretty loose with Aasimov's original story, and assumed this meant it wasn't very good. I tend to be a purist when it comes to such matters (I'm still trying to forgive myself for enjoying LOtR), but I have never actually read the original novel, so I gave in and we watched it.

Altogether a pretty entertaining movie. It's morte of an action flick set in a sci fi background than a true SF movie. The issues raised by the Three Laws are actually, within the context of this movie, little more than a vehicle for delivering the car chases, gun battles, super-gee-wiz FX. The "villain" is supposedly taking over as a logical extension of the Three Laws, yet is blithely violating them in her willingness to eliminate those who stand in her way. And the ending was predictable, since the moment they introduced "VIKI" I knew they'd have to destroy her. There's a fine line between foreshadowing and telegraphic the plot.

All in all, it's a diverting movie and lots of fun to watch, but don't expect it to make you think as much as it tries to.