Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Tell Me Again What a Good Job They're Doing Fighting Terrorists
A friend sends me this:

A move by U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft to subpoena the medical records of 40 patients who received so-called partial-birth abortions at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago was halted—at least temporarily—when a Chicago federal judge quashed the information request.
The ruling is the first in a series of subpoenas by the U.S. Justice Department seeking the medical records of patients from seven physicians and at least five hospitals, Crain's sister publication Modern Healthcare has learned. Besides Northwestern, Mr. Ashcroft is seeking patient records from University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers in Ann Arbor; Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia, owned by Tenet Healthcare Corp.; Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medical Center of New York Presbyterian Hospital both of which are part of the New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System; and an unidentified San Francisco-area hospital.


The move seems to be the first move towards punishing the patients of doctors challenging the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act. Although the Attorney General's office claims that this was not meant to identify patients, the judge was not receptive. At best, the judge wrote, the government is seeking possible impeachment material. The Justice department, in the meanwhile is " reviewing the ruling in light of our commitment to defending the law banning partial-birth abortions.”

Get it through your heads, people. Your safety and security is secondary to their pursuit of their fundamentalist agenda. Terrorist be damned--they've got bigger fish to fry.

You. Me. Any of us who do not buy into their religion.


Monday, February 09, 2004

Hating George Bush
The latest meme of the conservative blogosphere is that those of us who oppose the president's policies do it out of some irrational hatred of the man. In fact, some say that we have the same irrational hatred on George Bush that Republicans had of Bill Clinton (at least I'm glad they're admitting it).

For my part, at least, I'd like to say that I don't hate George Bush. I don't hate anyone, that I can think of; it's too time-consuming and unproductive. I can cheerfully disagree with anyone about almost anything and still go home at the end of the day with nary a darkling feeling in my heart.

However, I will admit that George Bush is not my favorite person in the whole world, but I have reasons. Clear reasons that you might not agree with, but cannot claim to be irrational:

1. He comes across as the most incurious person I've ever encountered. My mother, with a fourth grade education, seems more engaged with the world than the President of the United States. It's not a single thing that I can point to; maybe it's just that I have yet to hear the man give an unscripted talk about any subject, off the cuff. Heck, maybe I was spoiled by da Arkansaw houn'. But the feeling still persists that Bush doesn't know and doesn't want to know.

2. He's the biggest failure I've ever known who was propelled to success by others...and still insists that he did it himself. OK, I guess that in his world view, being a successful hustler of other people's money is "doing it himself". But I grew up in a family where success by predicated on hard work and honesty. My grandfather turned down one million dollars (in 1946!) to help throw and election; and my father, who is eligible for veteran's benefits because he was briefly drafted during the Korean war while he was living in Long Island (local board #4, Freeport), will not even touch a penny. He says he didn't fight, he doesn't deserve it and that's that. With that background, you can imagine how I feel about Bush's continual use of his family connections to pull his fat off the fire...and trumpet those rescues as successes.

3. He believes in a God that gives me the willies, and wants to impose Him on the rest of us. It's the second part that makes me unhappy, not the first. You can worship Yog Soggoth for all I care; that's what "freedom of religion" means. The only thing you CANNOT do is force me to follow your God's dictates. Bush seems to want to set this country on the road to a fundamentalist Christian theocracy. I can't imagine a more ignominious end to the United States of America.

4. He thinks of America as the Great World Penis, able to screw anyone at any time, and loves being the one doing the screwing, giving no thought for the enemies he is making. Look, we are the biggest sumbitches in the valley; that's reality. But even the biggest sumbitch can be brought low if enough little people swarm over him.

There's a short story, I can't think of the author right now, where a sorcerer is asked why he just doesn't change this annoying putz into a frog, and he replies that frogs multiply at a great rate, and he would rather deal with one idiot than a thousand frogs. We are making frogs right and left with our barging about and our grandchildren will pay the price, one way or another.

There you are. Four reasons why I don't like Mr. Bush as president. But I do not hate him. I wish him a long life and happiness...back in Crawford.