Saturday, March 19, 2005

Pennsylvania? Indiana? South Carolina?
I had not been paying too much attention to the Terri Schiavo case in Florida, at least not until the noise around it rose to a crescendo impossible to ignore. I was amused to note that Bill Frist weighed in yesterday with his medical diagnosis of Schiavo--this from a cardiologist by trade who claimed last year not to know whether AIDS could be transmitted through tears and sweat. (Quote of the Day, from Marshall Whitman of the DLC: "I suspect that Senator Frist has his eye more on the Iowa caucus than the Hippocratic Oath.") Of course, Frist and his pals in the Senate also wanted to subpoena Schiavo to testify before something-or-other about something-or-other, despite the fact that the woman has been a potted plant for 10 years--so I am not sure I'd see Frist for a hangnail, let alone anything more significant.

As far as the politics of the affair, I tend to agree with the post at Daily Kos suggesting that the wailing and rending of garments amongst the wingnuts makes them look loony even to people not normally disposed to see them that way. On a personal level, I think Harry Shearer (yes, that Harry Shearer), guest-blogging for Josh Marshall (who's getting married this weekend), probably had the most appropriate take:
Part of what's so dispiriting about this place at this time is the sense that, in a totally non-economic sense, the public sector is crowding out the private sector. . . . Laci and Scott Peterson were private people having a private tragedy. Their lives were literally none of our business. Same with this family.
As for me, I woke up this morning wondering how many people die each day, prematurely, for want of good nutrition or health insurance or because they were poisoned by something in the environment--or blown up by insurgents in Iraq--and how come so few of the people gnashing their teeth over Terri Schiavo seem to give a rat's ass about their right to life.

Four-Day Fever: On a far lighter note, I am one of those people who doesn't become a basketball fan until NCAA tournament time. For two weeks in March, I am transformed into someone who can tell you that a number-12 seed has beaten a number-5 in 16 of the last 17 years, and who Taylor Coppenrath is. And this morning I got very excited when I learned that Wisconsin's presumed opponent in the second round, Kansas, took the gaspipe against Bucknell last night, and Bucknell will be a far easier opponent for the Badgers tomorrow. I actually called downstairs to The Mrs., "We could be goin' to the Sweet Sixteen!" The paradox of this is that once the Sweet Sixteen is winnowed to the Final Four, I am back to not caring. I haven't watched a Final Four game since Wisconsin was in it five years ago, and I haven't watched the national championship game since one of those Duke/UNLV shootouts in the early 90s.

But even in my temporary frenzy, I haven't gone completely over the edge. I still don't know where Bucknell is located.

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