Thursday, July 05, 2007

Waiting For My Real Life To Begin

-I'm glad I came, but just the same, I must be going.
Hello, I Must Be Going sung by Groucho Marx

I have been watching reruns of the half-hour comedy show Scrubs on The Comedy Channel for awhile now. I never saw it the first time around and after seeing my first episode last Spring I thought to myself, "How did I not watch this, even once, when it was on NBC?"
Maybe because when it first came on I thought it was just another hospital show in a long line of hospital shows. Maybe because it was a half hour show so I wrote it off as just another moronic situation comedy. Well, if I did, I was wrong on both counts. Although it is a hospital show, it is not like any other hospital show I have seen and it is definitely not a situation comedy. It is funny and quirky- characteristics that I appreciate in my comedy. It also can make you think.

The main character, J. D., narrates the show for us and lets us in on his thoughts and daydreams. A couple of weeks ago I watched an episode where a patient that J. D. is fond of dies and his reaction to it is to daydream that she and the rest of his co-workers are in a musical number:

Any minute now,
My ship is coming in
I'll keep checking the horizon
I'll stand on the bow,
Feel the waves come crashing
Come crashing down, down, down, on me

And you say, be still my love
Open up your heart
Let the light shine in
Don't you understand
I already have a plan
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

My real life to begin
Don't you understand
I already have a plan
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

On a clear day, I can see
See a very long way

At that moment I had an epiphany. For the past four years I have been wasting time waiting for my real life to begin. I have dreams that I hope will come true but I have not been doing what I need to make that those dreams become reality. Part of the problem is this blog. It takes up so much of my time and energy that I don't have the time or energy left over for what I need to be doing. So, for that reason I have decided to stop blogging. I am not sure it this is for good but I do know it will be for the rest of the summer and most likely until the end of the year. I want to thank all my blog friends for stopping by to read what I've written and I want to let you know that I still will be checking in on your blogs even though I won't be posting on my own.

Take care, everyone.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th Of July

The second and third paragraphs of Federalist No. 47 dated Wednesday, January 30, 1788 written by a future president of the United States, James Madison:

(The Federalist Papers were a series of articles written between October 1787 and August 1788 arguing in favor of the ratification of the Constitution of the United States.)
One of the principal objections inculcated by the more respectable adversaries to the Constitution, is its supposed violation of the political maxim, that the legislative, executive, and judiciary departments ought to be separate and distinct. In the structure of the federal government, no regard, it is said, seems to have been paid to this essential precaution in favor of liberty. The several departments of power are distributed and blended in such a manner as at once to destroy all symmetry and beauty of form, and to expose some of the essential parts of the edifice to the danger of being crushed by the disproportionate weight of other parts.

No political truth is certainly of greater intrinsic value, or is stamped with the authority of more enlightened patrons of liberty, than that on which the objection is founded. The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, selfappointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny. Were the federal Constitution, therefore, really chargeable with the accumulation of power, or with a mixture of powers, having a dangerous tendency to such an accumulation, no further arguments would be necessary to inspire a universal reprobation of the system.

First, second, and final paragraphs from Keith Olberman's Special Comments segment of his show Countdown last night:
“I didn’t vote for him,” an American once said, “But he’s my president, and I hope he does a good job.”

That—on this eve of the 4th of July—is the essence of this democracy, in 17 words. And that is what President Bush threw away yesterday in commuting the sentence of Lewis “Scooter” Libby.

It is nearly July 4th, Mr. Bush, the commemoration of the moment we Americans decided that rather than live under a King who made up the laws, or erased them, or ignored them—or commuted the sentences of those rightly convicted under them—we would force our independence, and regain our sacred freedoms.

We of this time—and our leaders in Congress, of both parties—must now live up to those standards which echo through our history: Pressure, negotiate, impeach—get you, Mr. Bush, and Mr. Cheney, two men who are now perilous to our Democracy, away from its helm.

For you, Mr. Bush, and for Mr. Cheney, there is a lesser task. You need merely achieve a very low threshold indeed. Display just that iota of patriotism which Richard Nixon showed, on August 9th, 1974.


And give us someone—anyone—about whom all of us might yet be able to quote John Wayne, and say, “I didn’t vote for him, but he’s my president, and I hope he does a good job.”

Full Olberman statement here.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Scorpion and the Frog

- a fable by anonymous.

One day, a scorpion looked around at the mountain where he lived and decided that he wanted a change. So he set out on a journey through the forests and hills. He climbed over rocks and under vines and kept going until he reached a river. The river was wide and swift, and the scorpion stopped to reconsider the situation. He couldn't see any way across. So he ran upriver and then checked down river, all the while thinking that he might have to turn back. Suddenly, he saw a frog sitting in the rushes by the bank of the stream on the other side of the river. He decided to ask the frog for help getting across the stream.

"Hellooo Mr. Frog!" called the scorpion across the water, "Would you be so kind as to give me a ride on your back across the river?"

"Well now, Mr. Scorpion! How do I know that if I try to help you, you won't try to kill me?" the frog hesitantly asked.

"Because," the scorpion replied, "if I try to kill you, then I would die too, for you see I cannot swim!"

Now this seemed to make sense to the frog. But he asked,"What about when I get close to the bank? You could still try to kill me and get back to the shore!"

"This is true," agreed the scorpion, "but then I wouldn't be able to get to the other side of the river!"

"Alright do I know you won't just wait till we get to the other side and THEN kill me?" said the frog.

"Ahh...," crooned the scorpion, "because you see, once you've taken me to the other side of this river, I will be so grateful for your help, that it would hardly be fair to reward you with death, now would it?!"

So the frog agreed to take the scorpion across the river. He swam over to the bank and settled himself near the mud to pick up his passenger. The scorpion crawled onto the frog's back, his sharp claws prickling into the frog's soft hide, and the frog slid into the river. The muddy water swirled around them, but the frog stayed near the surface so the scorpion would not drown. He kicked strongly through the first half of the stream, his flippers paddling wildly against the current. Halfway across the river, the frog suddenly felt a sharp sting in his back and, out of the corner of his eye, saw the scorpion remove his stinger from the frog's back. A deadening numbness began to creep into his limbs.

"You fool!" croaked the frog, "Now we shall both die! Why on earth did you do that?"

The scorpion shrugged, and did a little jig on the drownings frog's back, "I could not help myself. It is my nature."

Then they both sank into the muddy waters of the swiftly flowing river.

Since we (the American people) are the frog and he (President Bush) is the scorpion I find the outrage that so many people are exhibiting in the wake of his decision to commute "Scooter" Libby's "sentence a bit disingenuous. This isn't the first time that Bush or his rodent sidekick Cheney has totally disregarded the laws of the land in order to get or do whatever they wanted. We all also know Bush will keep on doing things like this as long as he is in office. Why?

He just can't help himself. It's his nature.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Terrorism And The Media

Is it the extremist, or the media, that blow things up?

It's both. The "all news all the time" channels have decided to move on from 24/7 coverage of Paris Hilton and the release of the iPhone to 24/7 coverage of the failed car bombing attempt in London and the amateur attempt to blow-up the terminal at Glasgow airport. This morning I tuned into CNN news right in the middle of what I first thought was a report of a bomb attack at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Glasgow. A small jolt of panic coursed through me. More terrorist attacks? No, two controlled detonations set off by the bomb squad.

The next piece of earth shattering news? One of the terrorist in the airport explosion was a doctor! How could any doctor be part of a terrorist plot? Lots of discussion on this point. Not one reporter points out that this should not be that surprising since Che Guevara, Norman Bethune, and George Hatem were all doctors. Extreme ideology has no educational or class boundaries.

All news is not earth shattering. A terrorist suspect being a doctor does not deserve the kind of "in depth reporting" that the attempted car bombing of a city does. There is HEADLINE NEWS and then there is fill up the rest of the paper news. The problem with 24/7 news channels is that most of their news is fill up the rest of the paper news treated like headline news. They have been doing this so long they don't seem to know the difference between the two anymore and because they don't know the difference neither does most of the public watching them.

What is even more disturbing is the way they play up the real news stories. Terrorist are everywhere! Danger is everywhere! There is difference between keeping the public informed and scaremongering. When will these news channels learn that?