I'm blaming everything on the fact that I've had bronchitis for a week. Even all the stuff that didn't happen two weeks before I caught bronchitis. Seriously, though, I have been very sick, just lying in bed and sleeping and not doing much trying to get this thing to go away. I've been to the doc three times. Antibiotics, steroid shots, breathing treatments, oh my. One night I was wheezing so much that Joan wanted to take me to the emergency room. I haven't been in the pool for eight days and my chlorine content is dangerously low.
And there was all that other stuff, the starting the new job, the getting Obamacare, the sister coming to visit soon, the cat's little health crisis (well, it's not that much of a crisis, just that he keeps losing weight and we don't know why). And then came the hot dry winds from the west of Texas, which are enough like the Santa Anas in California that they threw me into the same funk. And thus begat the spring cold, which became the spring bronchitis. The last time I was this sick, it was 2006 and I had pneumonia. Missed two weeks of work (!). Luckily I worked for the Feds at the time, and they have pretty strict rules about firing people that seem not to apply to the rest o' the human race. Not so now, and it's just that, you know, it's kinda embarrassing when you're in your third week of a new job and you have to call in sick two days. My first job out of college, I ended up in the hospital (!) on my third day of work, with abscessed tonsils (don't ask, it was gross). Missed two weeks there, too. But I kept the job. Stayed there for four years, in fact. So I've been lucky, I guess.
I've also been lucky in that the world's as fucked up as ever, so it's not like I lack for source material here. Now we've managed to lose an entire airliner. Yes, I know the Navy sometimes loses aircraft carriers, but that's usually just on paper. Although, considering how big the world is and how small airplanes are, it's really kind of odd that this doesn't happen all the time. Flying's pretty safe, you guys. Speaking as a kid who rode around in a four-seater Piper Apache with Captain Dad at the wheel (yes, once in a while he let me drive), in which everything that could have gone wrong did and yet I'm still here, big airliners are really safe. What's not so safe are cargo ships. Did you know, that for every WEEK that goes by on this planet, we lose two cargo ships? Two ships. A week. Not the local bulk cruisers mind you, I'm talking about the big Corellian ships now. That's over 25,000 tons of freight, on average, just gone. To say nothing of the crews, which I guess are considered expendable because most of them are from that other part of the world that we don't care much about and anyway, their skin isn't white. But seriously. Two ships. A week. If that were two airliners a week, do you think we'd be paying attention?
In other news, despite a bunch of State legislators jumping all over it and the Right To Life getting involved, Justina Pelletier is still in State custody in Massachusetts. She's been very sick, has been to the ER twice in the last two weeks, and one commenter wondered if the State wasn't just waiting for her to die, since if she's still in custody then, the State can order no autopsy and say, "Oh, well, she died of pneumonia, too bad." It's a grim but possible theory. A decision was expected last Monday. Then Friday. Now Tuesday. Boy, if I was waiting to hear if I got to go home with my parents I'd sure want the Judge to keep not issuing a ruling. (Recap: She's 15. She's been in State custody for fourteen months. She's seen her parents less than once a week, hasn't seen her sisters or friends at all and spent most of that time on a locked psych ward with no cell phone, no Internet, no TV. So she couldn't communicate anything that was happening to her? Or for her supposed personal safety? Anyway, it all started when her parents disagreed with her doctors.)
Ironically, I think there are going to be changes in the law coming out of this case. I'd like one of them to be that parents have the absolute right to choose medical care for their children absent obvious, malicious harm, that second opinions should be legally required if they're asked for, and that every hospital has to convene its ethics committee (they all have them, and you can ask for one) any time something like this happens, before anybody can call the authorities or make any final decisions about treatment. What's even more ironic is that while all these resources are being poured into this one case, there are hundreds, maybe thousands of children in Massachusetts who legitimately need to be separated from their abusive families as soon as possible. But, as usual, there aren't enough beds in foster care, the evidence is sketchy, the social workers are in a damned if you do, damned if you don't position and foster care isn't necessarily going to be any better, considering these statistics. Kids in foster care are almost always appointed a guardian by the Court, but either none of them are doing their jobs or the civil rights of their clients are simply not a priority. I promise you, if you tried to put an adult in a psych ward for over a year, insurance would pull out, there'd be Federal lawsuits and Glenn Beck would even raise his voice. Oh, wait, he did. Never mind.
People, be nice to each other. It's been a rough week. Signing off.