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The Share Bear:

Sights: The Princess Bride,
Gross Pointe Blank, Monty Python, Say Anything

Sounds: Caedmon's Call, Waterdeep, Jump, Little Children, Peter Gabriel, The Flaming Lips, Neutral Milk Hotel, Old Blind Dogs, The Jeff Greer Band, Jars of Clay, Jason Mraz, Maroon 5, Seven Nations, Dog's Eye View, Legendary Pink Dots, the Gin Blossoms, Del Amitri, and tons and tons more...

Authors: C.S. Lewis, Melanie Rawn, Douglas Adams, Chuck Palahniuk, Patricia Wrede, John Steinbeck, and Stephen Lawhead is rapidly climbing the list...

Interests: Music, reading, writing, singing, and generally being far too solitary for my own good.

Favorite old romance movie: Breakfast At Tiffany's

Favorite smells: Rain, dirt, snow, fresh-cut grass, baby shampoo, mint, garlic, rosemary, basil... pretty much all herbs, and my boyfriend

Favorite holiday: Canada Day

If I was an animal, I'd be a: Penguin. Or kakapo. Some kind of flightless bird.

Marital status: Duh. Spoken for.

Saturday, March 20, 2004
But what about the health care crises?!

Recently there was an infant who underwent eight organ transplants. Yes, eight - or, for those of you whose attention spans are -- ooh, look, a butterfly! -- too short to read the long-hand, that's 8 organs. This young girl, at 7 months of age, has broken the record for most organ transplants, and is now looking at a likely full recovery, with doctors saying she is doing "very well", after having received an almost complete digestive system.

"When these children survive the surgery and do well, they can do perfectly well."

Alessia's condition was diagnosed through a scan while she was still in the womb.

It would have been fatal if untreated.

Dr Tzakis said the first year would be critical to Alessia's survival, but is so far doing well.

"The child is quite well," he said.

"She is in her mother's arms and she is being fed through the new intestines."

Now, that's an amazing story in itself, but not why I write this. The child, and her parents, are Italians, who came here specifically for this surgery. Why? Because, with all their socialised health care goodies, lack of competition does not -REPEAT, DOES NOT - make good doctors, or surgeons, or nurses, or musicians or garbage collectors or chocolateers. Trust me, you're gonna work a lot harder, and excell a lot faster, if your butt is on the line with every stroke of the scalpel.

So next time you talk about how socialising health care will be the only way to solve the supposed health-care crisis, I want you to picture this little girl and consider; if not for American doctors, nurses and medical professionals in all fields, would she even have a chance?

And one more point about socialized health care before I turn in for the night (yes, it's only 10:40 PM, but I am le tired). Firstly, while about 30% of Americans are without health insurance, only about 10% are without health care. Of those 10%, roughly 70% have ACCESS to free health care which they do not take advantage of. To paraphrase Larry Elder, the laws of supply and demand are not too "lowly" for persons in the medical profession. And, to quote Neal Boortz, "you may think that you have a right to health care. After all, Hillary said so, didn't she? But you cannot receive health care unless some doctor or health practitioner surrenders some of his time - his life - to you. He may be willing to do this for compensation, but that's his choice. You have no "right" to his time or property. You have no right to his or any other person's life or to any portion thereof." And I'll add onto that. You have no right to demand that I, the tax payer, fund your trip to the OB-GYN for a new diaphragm, or your visit with the cosmetic surgeon to outline your sex reasignment therapy. You do not have the right to force me, or anyone else, to pay to have that "rectally-lodged foreign object" removed. Nor do I have the right to make the government force you to pay for my anemia and thyroid tests.

The only right anyone has is the right to be left the hell alone.

Thursday, March 18, 2004
Follow in Kerry's footsteps: Buy the fake endorsement of a foreign country!

With much thanks to The Spin Killer, a fantastic website.
Did you ever know that you're my hero?

I know I've been somewhat distracted from my blog lately, and posting other peoples' columns is a real cop-out. I assure you all that I'm sorry for being neglectful, and I've got ideas - oh yes, I have ideas - for some really good columns. Remember, you'll read them here first!

Thanks to everyone who checks up my blog on a regular basis. I really do appreciate it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004
It's all relative

Is 5.6 percent a low figure, or a high one? Depends. If only 5.6 percent of hamburgers are discovered to contain meat, that’s way low. But if 5.6 percent of teachers are using their students as drug mules in elaborate Asian heroin importing schemes, that’s sort of high.

We’re comparing apples and oranges here. Or junkies and burgers. What if we compare similar or identical figures on the same subject, and from the same source?

Here’s CNN in July 1996, as the Clinton-Dole election approached:

Economists didn't expect June's unemployment rate to be much different from May's, which was an already-low 5.6 percent. But in fact, it did fall -- to 5.3 percent. The unemployment rate hasn't been that low since June 1990.

So 5.6 percent is “already-low”. Now here’s CNN in December 2001:

The U.S. unemployment rate jumped to 5.7 percent in November - the highest in six years - as employers cut hundreds of thousands more jobs in response to the first recession in a decade in the world's largest economy.

Can you “jump” to a figure 0.1 percent above that already defined as “low”? More from CNN, this time in March 2002:

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent in February and businesses added jobs for the first time since last summer, the government said Friday, as the labor market began to recover from a downturn that led to more than a million job cuts in 2001.

The jobless rate fell from 5.6 percent in January as employers added 66,000 jobs to payrolls ...

That should read “fell from an already-low 5.6 percent in January”, surely. In January, CNN’s Mark Gongloff decided that an unemployment rate of 5.7 percent was bad news for Bush:

Though the unemployment rate posted a surprising decline, and many economists believe the job market will improve in 2004, Friday's report probably will keep Fed policy-makers on hold and may put some political pressure on President Bush.

A weak job market could prove tough for President Bush as the November election approaches.

Gongloff repeated his line about Bush’s election chances earlier this month when a familiar number appeared:

The unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent, the lowest level since January 2002, from 5.7 percent in December.

A weak job market could prove tough for President Bush as the November election approaches.

Why? It didn’t for Clinton.

(Ed. Note: I think it's especially important to question WHO falls under the category of "unemployment". In America, if you're of working age (most states' age for minor workers is 16 +), but do not, in fact, have a job, you are STILL added to the "unemployment" pool. Likewise if you're a full-time student who chooses education over a job. Also, standards of living for the average "unemployed" person in America are still BETTER than those of a working person in Europe. Just a few random factoids before I lay my pretty little dead (Freudian slip) head down to sleep. G'night everybody.)

Monday, March 15, 2004
No Kidding

Besides the obvious absurdity of a comedienne asserting that liberals are never listened to or taken seriously in the media, especially if they're actors (almost, you might say, laughably absurd *ba-dum-chis*), there was one thing in this article that truly stuck out to me:

She leavens her indictment with periodic punch lines, saying reporters covering demonstrations "always interview the guy who says, 'The government has put a microchip in your dental fillings.' . . . It's disgusting that we know more about Winona Ryder's trial than we do about the Iraqi people."

Now... and I'm no genius here, just a spectator, mind, I'm just going off the words of extremely reliable scorces (directly from Iraqis, for example), but... they're happy we're there. David, my eldest brother, was telling us stories of the Iraqi people regularly bringing them food, and the children giving them Christmas gifts and cards. That's... not usually something you do for someone you hate and want out of your country.

Here's a message for Ms. Garofalo: Under Saddam, millions of Iraqis died. Since the beginning of the war, yes, hundreds of Iraqis have died. Comparitively, about the same number as would have died under the current rule (assuming, of course, Saddam continued his reign of horror and death and didn't decide to put on paper pants and hand out flowers at air port terminals). The difference being, the majority of dead Iraqis killed at the hands of American soldiers were MILITANTS, and not civilians. Yes, some innocents have died, but let's be clear, here: Innocents were the ONLY people Saddam killed. Those loyal to him (militant soldiers) were taken care of. Why else would they want to join their military? "I'm going to gladly sign up to kill my own brotheren, slaughter my children, rape my country and get paid peanuts to do so! Ahan del Allah! Praise be to Saddam!" Come on, let's be reasonable, here.

Yes, some Iraqis have died, which is a sad fact. The soldiers at whose hands they died will have that as their burden to bear for the rest of their lives. But let's not dehumanize either side by claiming to know what either side thinks or feels, without knowing them personally. Sure, there are some Iraqis who are upset at our being there, but in the long run, which is a better solution: The Iraqis with Saddam 10, 20 years from now, or Iraq without Saddam?

Sunday, March 14, 2004
Boy like me, Man like you

By: Rich Mullins

You was a baby like I was once
You was cryin' in the early mornin'
You was born in a stable Lord
Reid Memorial is where I was born
They wrapped You in swaddling clothes
Me they dressed in baby blue

But I was twelve years old in the meeting house
Listening to the old men pray
And I was tryin' hard to figure out
What it was that they was tryin' to say
There You were in the temple
They said You weren't old enough
To know the things You knew

Well did You grow up hungry
Did You grow up fast
Did the little girls giggle when You walked past
Did You wonder what it was that made them laugh
And did they tell You stories 'bout the saints of old
Stories about their faith
They say stories like that make a boy grow bold
Stories like that make a man walk straight

And You was a boy like I was once
But was You a boy like me
Well I grew up around Indiana
You grew up around Galilee
And if I ever really do grow up
Lord I want to grow up and be just like You

Well did You wrestle with a dog and lick his nose
Did You play beneath the spray of a water hose
Did You ever make angels in the winter snow
And did they tell You stories 'bout the saints of old
Stories about their faith
They say stories like that make a boy grow bold
Stories like that make a man walk straight

Did You ever get scared playing hide and seek
Did You try not to cry when You scraped Your knee
Did You ever skip a rock across a quiet creek
And did they tell You stories 'bout the saints of old
Stories about their faith
They say stories like that make a boy grow bold
Stories like that make a man walk straight

And I really may just grow up and be like You someday
The deepest times are the hardest

This weekend has been, well, nice. My eldest brother is visiting, and it's the first time I've seen him since seeing him off at the airport, en route to Iraq.

One of the best things about life is how often it changes; the new adventures, excitements, horizons, barriers to break down and walls to build. But a sweeter thing still is how often it stays the same. He's still my brother, still with his quick, goofy grin and clear blue eyes. He's got the trademark "Man on Leave" goatee, and his skin's maybe a little darker than I remember. Hair's a bit longer. But the way that I remember him is exactly how he is.

Mom once told me that the reason Dave and I don't get along very well is because we're so alike. When she said that I got downright angry; I'm nothing like him! Now, the more and more I think about it, the more I realise a mother knows her children better than they do. Dave and I are both quiet; both hot-tempered, but quick to joke; both musical. Our interests are different; I don't think I'll ever look at a car with pure, unadulterated adoration, and I don't see him pouring over political books with a ferver afforded few other things, while listening to Mozart. And maybe we'll never be "close" like I and my other brother are. But for now it's enough to know that no matter what, Dave'll always be my brother.

The Passion

Oh come on, don't look at me like you didn't see this one coming.

I saw The Passion of the Christ yesterday, and, well, all I can say is, it was exactly what I was expecting. You could tell it was made by a Catholic. There was a lot of focus on Mary, and the spectre of Evil walked easily through the maddening crowds. There was a character not in the Bible (Claudia, Pilate's wife), as well as minor characters unnamed in the movie (a woman comes to clean Jesus' face as he carries his cross through the village). There were flash-backs to Jesus' works and memories; when He saved the harlot, Him playfully teasing His mother. I think that's what I liked most about the movie, it made Jesus seem more like a man and less like God. We tend to forget that He WAS both. He was a real man with real memories and real hopes and fears and dreams and friends. He was not only A Man, but The Man, the Son of Man, who bore the sins of every man. He suffered the most absolute pain, and humiliation, and terror, so that we would know, when we are there, that He's been here before us and is with us. The arguement has been made, "The crucifixion of Christ was easy; He's God, after all, and can do all things." Yes, but He was also Man, and a Man from which God turned his face so that He could carry all the sins of the world. He went to the deepest, darkest, lonliest places, so He could be there when we arrived. No greater love than this.

My thoughts were not only with Jesus, but with Judas, the man because of whom all this began. I wondered about his life, his betrayal, his past. Was he disappointed that the savior he'd expected didn't bring an Earthly Kingdom of God? Did he truly love his Lord and Rabbi? Did he have free will? At what moment did he realise what he'd done? Who did he tell? Was he alone when he died? Did he have friends and family who missed him, or were they disappointed in him? Did Mary forgive him in the end?

My thoughts were not only with Judas, but with Mary, the mother of the Son of God, the woman whose flesh and blood was borne in the Man of Men. Did she know her little child would be the sacrificial lamb of all? Did she beg Him to save Himself, knowing that He wouldn't, and couldn't? Did she forgive Peter, the man who denied Jesus? Did she fogive Judas, the man who betrayed Him? Did she wrap her sleeping child in His death garbs, fearing never to see him again? Did the Roam soldiers see her, and take pity on her when her Son reached his end?

My thoughts were not only with Mary, but with the Roman soldiers, the men without whom salvation through Jesus would be impossible. They recognised that He was a Holy Man, but did they know He was the true Son of God and King of the Jews? Did they repent of their sins and go and sin no more? Did they weep when they saw what they had done? Were they changed? Did the Roman whose ear was cut off and then restored by Christ recognise what was happening?

And did the Pharisees repent when they saw the veil torn? And did the Eleven know their Master would return, or did they doubt? And did the child who was brought back to life by The Life, and Lazaras, beloved friend of Yeshua, did they know what had happened and did Jesus visit them, too? Did all those who were healed and restored by Jesus believe in Him and follow His teachings? Did Jesus laugh to reveal Himself to His Diciples? Did they embrace? Did Judas meet his Lord in Heaven? Did the criminal on the cross beside The Lord dance on the streets of gold that very day?

There's so much about the life and death of Christ that remains a mystery that we may never know until the end of our own stories. But this movie is one which serves to reveal a part of the life of Jesus which many never consider otherwise. Maybe we'll all think about Him a bit differently now.

P.S. This movie is very anti-Roman, and should not be viewed by non-Romans as an excuse to incite anti-Romanicism. Also, it should not be shown in Rome, Italy.



My Wish List

Hatful of Rain - Del Amitri

The Silver Hand - Stephen Lawhead

I Love My Geek t-shirt

Little Tux t-shirt

Binary clock

Plush Tux

Caffeine blanket

ThinkGeek Caffeine sampler

A case of Jones FufuBerry soda

Real Life t-shirt

Sean Manatee

Airman's Girl t-shirt

"The M1 does my talking for me!" hoodie

Lori Chaffer - 1 Beginning

Rock for Life hoodie

Abortionists love unborn babies raglan

Terror Alert Level

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