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Sunday, March 20, 2005

Moral Idiocy

What on earth is happening in the United States of America? It cannot be true that the US Congress has become involved in such a personal issue as what is happening in Florida. The House of Representatives is crazy. I can only hope that the member of the Senate will vote the issue down and bring some sensibility to what can only be described as an insane use of Federal power. Politicians have taken what is a personal tragedy and twisted it into a national drama that is perverse and disgusting. This is not the stuff which serves the national honour.

Can you imagine what the possibilities are for the future with a Federal government taking on case after case pursuing public support for emotional and emotive issues? The precedent is alarming. And it would seem that at the end of the day the courts can again intervene and decide that the legislation now being passed will untimately be thrown out as unconstitutional. Americans living at home have a lot to be concerned about here. Isn't it about time that the country should come to grips with the fact that it is NOT the worst thing in the world to die. And sometimes it really really is a blessing. In the meantime the personal tragedy will continue with no end in sight until the next victim for public humilation is found.

What can possibly be gained by keeping this poor girl in a vegetative state in that state. Life must go on and so must death come when it should. It would seem in this case that she is being forced to live instead of being allowed to die. This is a sad and tragic story. There is no happy ending, but there could be a peaceful and dignified death.

The government is now a threat to its people. The country is bordering on a nervous breakdown and could collapse under the strain of wisdomless leadership and lack of moral judgment. What should be a government of the people, by the people and for the people is becoming a government of extremest buffoons intent on implementing their narrow vision to the detriment of freedom, liberty, and moral character.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Grumpily thankful and falling apart

I watched 'Grumpy Old Women' last night -- again. Enjoyed it again! Related to lots of it -- again. It's been written about before many times, the terrible realization that life is zooming by, but that inside we still feel that we are the same person.

But of course we are not. It's just that I don't feel inside that I am 'old'. Outside though everything is falling apart. At the end of January I went for a check up -- if my husband hadn't been encouraging this I never would have gone. But now that I am back in England, I can afford to do this sort of thing again. Soon there appeared in the mail a letter from the doctor's surgery to please make an appointment as soon as possible. Oh, joy.

"You are diabetic", said the doctor -- well the first thing she said was, "there are a lot of things wrong with you!" In addition to the diabetes, I have an underactive thyroid and signs of liver problems. After a great deal of discussion with other doctors in the practice it was deemed that we would try to bring down the sugar count by diet. The doctor was 'relieved' to hear that I did have more than the 'good-for-you' amount of wine as otherwise my 'liver' indicators would be very worrying.

You see, this is one of the problems. I can't quite get my head around the fact that my body is showing signs of collapse (aging, etc) because for years and years whenever I thought I ought to see a doctor because of this or that complaint -- the results always confirmed that there was nothing wrong with me. In fact I usually ended up feeling that I was 'wasting' the doctors' time. Now that I'm older and "wiser" the last thing I want is to have anything to do with a doctor!

So now my social calendar is infused with varying types of medical appointments. And I actually have spent some time on the Internet looking up various illnesses and am probably going to turn into one of these boring people who talks about her ailments too much of the time.

But I do have the great fortune to be an NHS patient. I don't have to pay for my drugs -- even though I'm not 60 until June. This because I have to take medication for an underactive thyroid! Yes, there are certain illnesses that mean you don't have to pay £6.40 for each precription. I'm also fortunate to be registered with a great surgery with great doctors and nurses and dieticians. Yes, they are busy and it sometimes takes a long time for an appointment -- but they've just moved into brand new 'digs' and take preventive medicine very seriously.

One thing more -- at least I only have to worry about my health and what to do about it and I don't have to worry about how to pay the bills.

Friday, March 11, 2005

The Wondrous Spectacle of Debate

Something wonderful is happening right now in Britain. In fact, Great Britain, because what is happening is one of the many things that make this country ''Great".

As I write, there is a battle between the two houses of government about fundamental democratic issues. One house is of the elected, the other has traditionally become one that 'advises' that 'warns', but in the end 'defers' to the wishes of the 'democratically' chosen. It is ironic that it should be the 'Lords' so concerned and so protective of the country's democratic history, decomcratic well-being. It is ironic that our democratically elected house should demand passage of a bill that will set such a precedent for the denial of its citizens the ancient right to a trial -- ad infinitum.

Time and again since my arrival in the United Kingdom, I have been impressed by the unelected House of Lords. It seems to me that while there is often a great deal of 'huffery' and 'puffery'; while there is a smattering -- maybe more than a smattering -- of pomp and red capes with ermine trimming, and yes, there really is a Woolsack -- most of the Lords who attend day after day, really believe the government and its role are important and very often above politics. The truth is there is a place for 'wisdom', for these guardians of what a government has been and should be and what questions need to be pondered about long and hard. It is a peculiarity of the system that the Lords is less politically corrupt from not needing to be elected. And more democratic because the entire group is entitled to participate in the debate and to vote.

I have goosebumps watching the parade between the houses as one says aye and the other nay and back and forth down the ancient corridors they travel to-ing and fro-ing, debating the foundation of western culture, the rights of man. It's important. It's everything we are; everything we've become. It brings tears to my eyes.

Bravo! Well done! Thank you.