It has become sweltering hot here today! Near 88, thick humidity...too much like dead of summer in the South. We had an outbreak of storms, tornado warnings before noon, but then hot sunshine, warm wind. I went on my bike ride around one o'clock, and got sweaty! Fortunately though, I did have the park trail all to myself, and it's mostly shaded.
Yesterday at the dentist proved one of those weird experiences, where you learn stuff you don't really want to know from the dental technician. In this case, the tech is a mid-30s woman, and over the past couple of years, I've learned her whole life history and current circumstances. She talks while you have your mouth propped open, and all you can do is grunt in reply. You learn a lot, and I guess it's therapy for her, but sometimes I disagree with her assumptions and simply cannot respond.
For example, a couple years ago she and her husband 'bought' one of those Chinese babies. That may seem harsh criticism, but frankly, why didn't they adopt a child here in the USA? I mean, sure, they may have had to take an older child, or one with special needs, or even one that had come from an abusive home...but they are supposed to be "good Christians" (their Baptist church helps set up the Chinese adoptions!), so why not look for a child that is truly needy? But no, what they wanted was a pristine newborn, a baby, so they could take the easier path to parenthood. She is a diabetic, so I assume she didn't want to have a child; her husband was married before, and already has two kids. At any rate, I've had to sit there through all the trials and tribulations of her saga of buying the Chinese baby, when I so often just wanted to tell her how utterly disgusting I find that whole thing when there are SO MANY children right here in the USA in need of good homes.
Then yesterday she got called to the phone right in the middle of my cleaning; had my teeth in the process of cleansing with that gritty stuff. The daycare was calling, wanted to know why her husband was late in picking up the Chinese kid. Another kid raised in childcare, which makes you wonder about whether this kid will turn out to be a normal person or not. I was nearly ready to gag by the time she finally got back! Ladies, here's a clue: If you are going to work, for goodness sakes, DO NOT commit such offenses. Or better yet, stay at home with the kid till it's in first grade! Or how about this: Why have kids at all? IF you want a job/career, leave the child-bearing/raising to women who can afford to stay home and be mothers! Or marry a man who is willing to stay home and be a house-husband. Personally, I DO NOT have any patience for your parenting roles IF I'm paying for your job performance!!
To top all this off, the tech starts telling me about a woman from their church who took an overdose of pills the previous night. I did manage to ask the woman's age: 33; and if she was divorced or something, to trigger the suicide attempt. Turns out the woman's husband had been in an awful motorcycle wreck several months back, and was paralyzed from the neck down. No wonder the poor woman tried to kill herself. She was probably getting all kinds of crappy guilt trips among the church people, saying things like, "God never puts more on us than we can bear." And all that made her feel MORE guilty for not being strong enough to handle the burden alone. So instead of seeking some REAL help, as in counseling and/or someone to come in and give her a little relief from the workload, she probably felt backed into a corner, with no way out EXCEPT suicide. Then the tech has the nerve to say to me, "You know, Satan whispers all these evil thoughts into our minds when we're weak..." I felt like slapping some sense into her, but instead, I just grunted. Such is what life is like, living in the Bible-belt South.
I think people want to make sense out of life, and this is WHY religion was created. But it is downright scary to hear stuff like that, where they try to twist everything into a sick version of either God or Satan or Bible-babble for an explanation. In fact, I have always considered it dangerous and a threat to rational reasoning...and the real possibility of human extinction via religious violence. There's not a dime's worth of difference between radical, extremist Islam and rabid Christianity, in my opinion. I have faced the truth a long time ago: LIFE makes no sense whatsoever. It's full of contradictions, bad and good stuff happening randomly, etc. Only in fiction does life makes some sort of sense, but as we all know, fiction is NOT reality! Unfortunately, religious crazies take the Bible for literal truth.
And now I'll close with this ditty about GW's legacy thus far (found on the net):
In the three years George W. Bush has been in office, we've had the biggest annual deficit in US history. We've had the most private bankruptcies filed in any 12-month period in US history. We've had the biggest drop in the history of the stock market. We've had the most foreclosures in any 12-month period in US history. In his first two years in office, over two million Americans lost their jobs; simultaneously, he's cut unemployment benefits for more out-of-work Americans than any president in US history. He's the first president in US history to have all 50 states of the Union simultaneously go bankrupt while in office.
He's the first president in US history to enter office with a criminal record. In his first year in office, he set the all-time record for most days on vacation by any president in US history. He's also set the record for most campaign fundraising trips than any other president in US history. He's appointed more convicted criminals to administration positions than any president in US history. He's held the least amount of press conferences than any president since the invention of television. He's signed more laws and executive orders amending the Constitution than any president in US history. Members of Bush's cabinet are the richest of any administration in US history. He's the all-time world record holder for most corporate campaign donations. He has the least amount of congressional oversight than any presidential administration in US history. He's spent more money on focus groups than any president in US history.
He set the all-time record for most people worldwide to simultaneously take to the streets to protest an individual person (15 million people). He's dissolved more international treaties than any president in US history. He's the first president in US history to order an attack of a sovereign nation. He's the first president in US history to prompt the United Nations to remove the US from the human rights commission. He's the first president in US history to refuse United Nations election inspectors (during the 2002 US elections). With his policy of 'disengagement,' he's created the most hostile Israeli-Palestine relations in at least thirty years. He's the first US president in history to have a majority of the people of Europe (71 percent) view a US president as the biggest threat to world peace and stability. He's the first US president in history to have the people of South Korea more threatened by the US than by North Korea.
And last but certainly not least, he's revoked more civil liberties for Americans than any other president in US history.
And he still has over a year left in office.
Now that IS scary! And we all know he's a religious crazy, so anything is liable to happen. :-(