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October 19, 2002
The Bush Dyslexicon (Miller) (2)

The Bush Dyslexicon

So, my month-long bout with a tricky sinus infection having abated (have you ever had someone follow you around for two weeks, jamming a railroad spike into your ear? Then don't talk.), I found myself with the energy to dip into Mark Crispin Miller's The Bush Dyslexicon and so far I'm finding that I'm not disappointed.

In fact, I'm pleasantly and appreciatively surprised to find that the 75-page first chapter is an attempt to provide a biographical and historical framework through which to evaluate the succeeding 200 pages of malapropisms, grammatical irregularities, and downright scary glimpses into the President's psyche.

I'd have paid the full $24.95 retail price for the first chapter alone.

In fact, this first chapter is all I've had the chance to finish so far and judging by the number of Post-It flags decorating the pages (a post-it means, "go and research this"), I've already gotten more than my money's worth in terms of things to think about.

I've never been a fan of the anti-intellectual movement in this country and Miller spotlights our current President as a shining example of why we should all fear the advent of any more "Hey! I'm stupid just like you!" candidates for office. Oftentimes used as a political ploy, an artificial way of bonding with "the common folk," it's all-too real in the case of George W. Miller's position is that this is less as an indicator of his basic intelligence than as a reflection of his silver-spooned, drunken, frat boy approach to life.

I should add that I'm less convinced than Miller seems to be that the Bushleaguer is more intelligent than he appears. I'd hardly think an aptitude for dirty political tricks and the ability to hold a grudge long past the time it starts to smell proves the existence of an above-average intelligence level. Or even an average one, but Miller has convinced me, however reluctantly, that our current President does possess an average amount of intelligence, no matter how carefully Bush managed to avoid using it for the acquisition of grammar, vocabulary, history, or some basic familiarity with the structure and purpose of our system of government.

I, along with millions of others, have always been very skeptical of the so-called "liberal bias" of the press and Miller satisfactorily debunks that myth by pinpointing a mere handful of the career-killing shenanigans the Bushleaguer has engaged in, all of which are thoroughly documented from unimpeachable sources and none of which have received one-tenth the mass media coverage that Bill Clinton's blow job received.


Buy the book. If you can't afford to buy it, borrow it. If you own it, lend it out.

And don't forget to vote.

Posted by AnneZook at 05:28 PM | Comments (0)
October 17, 2002
Designer Disabilities...to go with those

Designer Disabilities...to go with those new jeans

Hmph. I guess it had to happen. Designer babies are in the news.

Specifically, the question of whether or not physicians should help people who want to make babies with what are today considered handicaps in everyday life. (ID peevish PASSWORD peevish)

"A deaf lesbian couple in the U.S. have deliberately created a deaf child by selecting as a sperm donor a deaf friend with five generations of deafness in his family, according to a report in the Oct. 5 issue of the British Medical Journal. Both members of the couple are mental health professionals who view their deafness and communication by signing not as a disability, but as defining their unique cultural identity."

A "unique cultural identity", hmmm?

Y'know, I don't know about that. I mean, I don't agree at all with the idea of people trying to create some kind of "super babies" but I'm not sure about "building in" what I'd consider to be a handicap, either.

I can see it now...it's like a science fiction novel. Some day we'll have a society stratified not by money but by genetic selection. Those who have "chosen" deafness, or had it chosen for them, versus those who have had blindness or dwarfism chosen for them. And somewhere in the shadows will live a vocal minority of people who just have babies...whatever babies they have, defying the cultural fad for design-your-own children. They will, of course, be persecuted and treated as dangerous, "back-to-nature" radicals.

It's an interesting article, and well worth reading. (For what it's worth, the doctor interviewed comes out firmly on the side of medicine confining itself to treating disease and not becoming a shopping mall for designing custom offspring.)


In other medicine-related news, how many of you have ever thought about Hepatitis C?

This disease is as deadly as AIDS and even less treatable. As a matter of fact, some experts have announced that the number of Hepatitis C victims already outnumbers the number of AIDS-infected people worldwide.

You can check out epidemic.org for interesting information. It's a little out of date, which means little except that the number of infected worldwide has climbed since this website was published.

Like the AIDS virus, most people infected with HepC, up to 170,000,000 people (that's 170 million) worldwide, don't know. By the time they develop symptoms, the disease is moving toward the final stages.

And, like AIDS, a lot more can be done for someone in the early stages than later on.

I'm just saying. If you're scheduled for a physical, why not fork over the extra bucks and get tested?

Posted by AnneZook at 12:23 PM | Comments (0)