One thing that I really admire and envy about the blogs I read is how you folks are able to scan the plethora of news for juicy and infuriating tidbits and then distill the information in a concise manner with added pithy commentary.
In the spirit of your collective (yet highly individualistic) coolness, I'm going to offer a few quick thoughts for (hopefully) easier digestion than my usual prattling essays:
Andrea Yates gets a new trial. I'm sure that post-partum depression is real, but it is still no excuse to murder your children (or anybody else's children). I also do not believe in psychologically treating murderers -- seems like a smoke screen and another way for society to blur the lines between right and wrong. Nor do I believe (in most cases) in the death penalty. I do think that every murderer should be locked up without any possibility of parole for the rest of his or her life. If Psycho Yates were really a "victim" of post-partum depression, then she should have no need for a stay in the looney bin -- i.e. if her hormones made her do it, then those should (four and a half years after her unspeakable crime) be calmed down by now. Do not give her any meds to cloud her memory -- simply lock her away with a clear mind for the rest of her life to contemplate the young lives she brutally took. Have you ever read a re-telling of the way she ruthlessly drowned them? Her oldest child, Noah, having seen his younger siblings drowned, tried to run from her, and then she collared him and forced him face down in the bathtub -- filled with the other children's feces and vomit. And yet he still struggled to come up for air and said, "I'm sorry Mommy," before she forced his head down again. Can you imagine the terror that encompassed that poor little boy's last moments on earth? Can you imagine calling a cold-blooded killer such as she merely a "caring mother suffering from post-partum depression"? And I am really sick of people out there blaming Mr. Yates as much or even more for his children's murders as Psycho Yates. Since when is a poor guy's going to work everyday to support his wife and children with shelter, food, and clothing such a condemnable act? Only in some sort of warped, alternate, man-hating reality where men can do nothing right -- ever. If women are such amazing, brilliant, strong, rational, independent creatures, then why do so many feminists immediately blame the closest man around when a woman does something unbelievably evil? Funny how women love to be victims when it suits them.
I heard a March of Dimes commercial this morning on the radio. Their new fight is against premature birth -- preventing it, helping premature babies, finding out why premature birth is on the rise. My husband commented that "[the babies] probably just want to get out before they are aborted." Many true words are spoken in jest.
Well, in my state, Washington, the elections last night proved disappointing. The state legislature had rammed through a 9 1/2¢ per gallon gas tax earlier this year (soon after the illegitimately elected governor, Christine "We'll Keep Re-Counting the Ballots Until I Win" Gregoire, began her reign). Normally, in WA, all tax increases need to be put the people for a vote, except when there is an "state of emergency." This is how we got Safeco "The $500 Million Ballpark for a Team That Has Never Made it to The World Series" Field after the voters rejected publicly funding it -- twice. The enlightened legislators decided that the prospect of the Mariner's leaving Seattle was a "state of emergency," and*presto* funding was secured. Queen C promised no tax increases (which, for a Dem, is like promising not to breathe) during her campaign against (decent, wonderful, pro-life businessman) Dino Rossi. Luckily for her, she discovered an "state of emergency" regarding transportation soon after she stole the office. Whoo-hoo! Stick it to the commuters! The 9 1/2¢ was to "fund transportation projects." Ah, the political bliss of nebulous promises. The thing is that Western Washington really does have a "state of emergency" regarding transportation. This area has outgrown its infrastructure in a big way. Driving anywhere is an exercise in temple-pulsating frustration. But no one in the state government was willing to specify how much of the increase was to fund which projects. They threw out a bunch of ideas, but did not analyze them in relation to alleviating congestion and cutting commuting times. There was, and I know this will shock you, absolutely no spending accountability. So, a bunch of taxpayers (many from outside the traffic-clogged counties of King, Pierce and Snohomish, who would be paying for Western Washington's transportation projects while not receiving any benefit from them) put forth an initiative to repeal the gas tax -- Initiative 912. This ruffled the feathers of a few big turkeys in Olympia, and they started a massive anti-912 campaign based in many lies and false promises (a.k.a. lies) about how we need new and expanded roads (we do!) and how if 912 passed we would only have more and worse of the same. So, they scared enough people within the populous counties that the whole state got screwed over by 912's being defeated last night. 912 was never about not funding transportation -- anyone who drives a car (even someone who only drives one day a week such as I) knows that we need to create, repair, and widen roads. 912 was about holding bureaucrats responsible for the money they appropriate and spend. Now, the politicos have their 9 1/2¢ validated, and there is still no accountability for how the money will be spent and on what projects. Knowing the proclivities of the commies up here, I figure that most will be spent on public transportation boondoggles (see: Seattle Monorail Project -- that monster having received a final stake in the heart last night in a rare moment of Seattle sanity -- still $150 million in the hole with the car tab tax for funding outliving the ill-conceived project for a few more years -- haven't these people ever seen The Simpsons? "What's that word?" "Monorail!"). Also, Ron Sims of CAO fame was re-elected as King County Executive. I'm beginning to hate this state, despite its excellent weather. Well, it's good to know that we're out of here soon.
Intelligent Design. Our local ABC affiliate, KOMO, is running a special tonight at 11 PM on intelligent design. I can only imagine their take on the controversy. Even before I was a Christian, I always thought that the theory of random evolution was pretty silly. It just didn't fit with the order of the universe around me, or answer the hows of complex biological structures like eyes, the liver, the human brain. When would evolving into a human not be beneficial to an ape? Why aren't cats smarter after all these years? Of course, maybe it is pretty smart after all to find some sucker species to let you live in their homes where you can sleep all day on a down comforter and be fed and petted. Maybe cats have achieved the highest level of evolution! I still accept parts of evolutionary theory, but I mostly hold to creationism. Intelligent design seems to be a middle theory. What do you all think? I've often thought that The Bible, while true, is in many ways a "Reader's Digest" version of historical truth -- i.e. it's "everything we need to know at this point." I've always liked its description as Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. To echo the ending of John's Gospel account, would the true, complete history of earthly time be revealed by God, the world itself would not hold books enough to record it.
The first year is always the hardest -- at least that is what I am thinking. We are trying to extricate ourselves this year from the Christmas Present Merry-Go-Round on which we've been spinning with family and friends for years. Basically, the exchange of presents within our intimate circle has become a ridiculous cycle of "Look! I Got You a Gift!" banality and undue stress. This year, we have really felt that the Lord has placed in our hearts the knowledge that it is time to say, "enough is enough." So, we're bowing out with as much grace as possible. We'll only be giving gifts to the munchkins we know (the only ones who really get pure, unmitigated pleasure from Christmas presents anyhow) and charities this year. It's been very awkward to try to broach this subject, but everyone's seemed rather relieved thus far. I bet most of them have been feeling the same way for years too. These people know that we love them 365 days a year -- and, hopefully, we are showing that love more than one day a year anyway. We really just want to concentrate on the non- and not-so-commercial aspects of Christmas -- the celebration of Advent, the beautiful decorations, the music, the tree, the church services, the Christmas pageant, the Christmas cards, the joy of family traditions, the sharing of His love and the material blessings He has given with the less fortunate (which seems to me the way that Jesus would most want us to celebrate His arrival) -- rather than the dilemma of finding gifts for people who already have so much.
Anyway, those are some things that have been on my heart and mind this morning. Talk to y'all later -- or, as they say in The Prisoner, "Be seeing you."