Tags: rant


(no subject)

Would you look at that. It's winter again.

Occasionally NY weather does fulfill the old joke/prophecy: "In New York City you get all four seasons... sometimes in the same week."

And in the space of 9 days, we've went from winter to spring to summer to fall and back to winter again.

The Big Political Post

Holy crap, the elections are almost here. How did that happen?

I've been full of random thoughts that I wanted to throw out on LJ for consumption, but I always figured I'd do it later. I guess now IS later. I think I'll skip the random thoughts part for now and go straight into my dillema.

I had such high hopes at the start of the election. I liked both major candidates. They were among the best of the top end of field, and both represented a break from the party establishment.

But now, after watching the debates and the speeches, I'm throughly disappointed in both of them. Instead of wanting to vote for them both, I don't want to vote for either.
I know they both have to appeal to their voter base, but the blandness of their campaigns, the lack of new ideas, the arguing over past votes instead of focusing on the pressing issues, the constant harping on things that really have no basis on the campaign (Bill Ayers, Palin's buying new clothes to campaign in, etc etc) have all worn me down, to the point that I'm filled with loathing at the thought of pulling a lever for either one.

Breaking it down, I think McCain would make the more competent President over all. He's got an excellent track record on many issues, (especially on government spending) and even when I disagreed with him, I respected him. Obama really is too inexperienced for the job. But then McCain picked Palin, who not only is even less experienced then Obama, but holds political positions that scare me. It's not unreasonable to worry about him dying in office, and we don't need 4 more years of W. with lipstick.
I'm not very fond of Biden either. He's a better choice, and his foreign policy experience is a huge plus for Obama... but one of my favorite things about Obama is his tech platform, and Biden is HORRIBLE on that issue.

On the issues over all, I find myself agreeing with Obama far more then with McCain. Off the top of my head, I think McCain would be the better choice to run the wars we're in, and I like his energy policy somewhat more. He'll probably be better on Israel. I don't like gun control, and while I'm pro-Unions, the so-called "Employee Free Choice Act" is a horrible idea.
But on most issues, I'm with Obama. I like his tax plan better, he has an actual technology platform, he's pro Net Neutrality, he'll improve our standing in the world, he's a social liberal, and so on and so forth. I also think we need a Democrat picking the next few Supreme Court justices to bring some balance back to the bench.

But I don't feel that comfortable with a Democratic President and a heavily Democratic Congress. I like the idea mostly out of Schadenfruede - after the mess the Republicans and the neo-cons made of this country for the 6 years they held full power, they deserve to lose power and lose heavily. (Though I feel sorry for McCain on that - he's never been part of the neo-con wing, or friends with Bush, but if he loses, he's going to lose because of them. I would have happily voted for him in 2000 over Bush or Gore, and the nation would be in far better shape for it. If only he was running the 2000 campaign now.) But I can't stand the current Democratic heads of the House and Senate - they're both incompetent and wrong headed on so many things. (I like Obama far far more then I like Reed or Pelosi.)

A large Democratic majority with a Democratic president will have the ability to push a lot of their ideas through. I worry, though, that instead of focusing on the ideas of the Democratic party that I like, they'll be busy passing the parts of the Democratic platform that I dislike, leaving us with all the badness 6 years of Republican dominance gave us, combined with the worst parts of Democratic governance.

And I don't think they'll reduce federal power, restore the rights the Bush administration has been trying to strip from us for 7 years, and bring back freedom to this country. I fear they'll wind up making this even more of a nanny government instead. Instead of getting rid of the Patriot act, they'll expand it; instead of legalizing marijuana, they'll ban cigarettes. Instead of having more liberty, we'll move another notch closer to fascism.

And even if the Democrats act perfectly for the next 4 years, I doubt we'll be recovered from the damage the Bush Administration has done to this country. Things will still be rough, and voters will respond by voting the Democrats out - it'll be bad for the party in the long run.

McCain, on the other hand, is actually pretty good at bipartisanship (especially compared to the rest of the Republican party under the Bushes) and with a Democratic congress could counter each others excesses.

Normally, I'd vote for a 3rd party candidate, if for no other reason then that this country desperately needs to break free of a two-party system.
But I don't like any of the third part candidates this year either!

The Libertarians are usually my 3rd party choice, but their nominee this year is a right-wing nutcase for Georgia.
The Green Party's nominee is a left-wing nutcase from Georgia.
The Constitution Party is just nuts in general.
And Ralph Nader should go back to consumer advocacy, where he can actually do a lot of good for this country.

So, in the end, I'm left with no one I particularly want to vote for. At least I can console myself that no matter who gets elected, they'll be a million times better then the moron who's run the country into the ground over the last 8 years, or either of his opponents in the last two elections.

In the mean time, I find myself wishing Bloomberg had run for President. He seems to be exactly the kind of person we need in office right now, and with the current financial mess and the poor campaigns being run, he'd have a real shot at winning. Instead, he's busy staining his legacy by making an end run around the voter will on term limits... but that's a different topic for a different post on a different election.

Please feel free to argue with me or others here, (as long as you still love each other afterwards!) and please feel free to try and convince me who I should vote for. Remember that this post is mostly off the top of my head, and may be edited every time I look at it for the next few hours...

(BTW, if anyone knows of any good Election Result parties, please let me know of them. This is the sort of thing I prefer to watch and discuss with others while they happen...)

It's enough to drive a man MAD

Not terribly surprisingly, upon my return, my answering machine was filled with messages. The very last one was possibly the most important, and certainly the most disturbing.

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Now most of the day is shot, I'm exhausted and pissed, in no mood to spend any time on the phone returning all my other calls, and I'm no closer to finding who or what this message was about. For all I know, someone I care about (or at least am acquainted with) is sitting straightjacketed in a padded room somewhere in Manhattan, rocking back and forth, crying and convulsing, with my name on their tongue, wondering why their one phone call went unanswered, wondering when I'm going to come and save them.
thoughtful, sad

Follow up

I saw the doctor, and he said I might have whiplash. His offical diagnosis seems to be "Bad Luck". I asked him how many car accidents his average patient gets into in a lifetime - he said it was the same amount as get bitten by ticks in the city - zero. Appearently, I'm filling up other people's quotas now. He gave me more painkillers, to treat both this and my aching knee. Whoopie. No muscle relaxants, which is odd, since that's mostly what I had to use to treat whiplash last time. (Not to mention I'm not throughly sick and tired of them like I am with the Vicodin, and they have no bothersome side effects like opoiods do.)

I went to the physical therapist later for my regular visit to work on my knee, and as per doctor's instructions I had him check out my neck and shoulders too. His conclusion (echoed by the other PT there, who treated me for whiplash last time) is that I likely have some soft tissue damage, and probably whiplash. I'll probably get treated for both injuries at the same time, which is perversely convenient.

This is so frustrating. I hadn't completely healed from the whiplash from the 2005 accident when I got run over last year. And now, while I'm still healing from that, I get whiplash again!!!! I had just, in the last month, started doing things that for years I had been prevented from doing due to the whiplash, like crunches or riding a roller coaster.

The PT who treated me last time says he doesn't think this injury is nearly as bad as the previous; it's back to front instead of side to side, and it happened at a lower speed. At the same time, though, our car was stopped when we were hit, and I started hurting a lot quicker this time. But I'm also getting treated a lot faster, too. I just hope, either way, that I heal up real quickly. I can't stand be injured any more.

Another f#%&ing car accident.

That's right, it happened again.

I had a good, productive day, cleaning some of the apartment and starting to tackle the backlog of work that built up while my friend and then my brother were over. As the day wound down, I went out to see my friend Bird, who's moving to California in a few weeks. This was likely the last time I was to be seeing her before her departure. We went to Rockaway Beach, and sat for a hour smoking cloves and talking and watching the surf.

On the way back, we were driving North on the Van Wyck when we ran into heavy traffic due to construction. Bird was driving my family car, because my knee was aching and she had been complaining that she was a much better driver then I was. We decided to get off at the next exit and take side streets home. Traffic was stop and go, and right after we made that decision, it just STOPPED, suddenly. Bird slammed on the brakes, narrowly avoiding hitting the car ahead of us. The car behind us wasn't so quick, and smashed into our rear end.

The cops came refreshingly fast, but were (as always) asses. They didn't want to bother with an accident report, and kept discouraging it (telling Bird her insurance rates would go up, despite it very clearly not being her fault) and when both drivers said they didn't want to fill it out, they got back into their cruiser and left. My father, who's car it is, wanted me to get an accident report, but apparently the car's owner's wishes don't matter, only the desire of the driver.

As far as accidents go, this wasn't the worst. None of us appear hurt, though there's always the danger of whiplash, and I'm going to go to the doctor tomorrow and get checked out. My neck is aching where I had whiplash after the 2005 accident, but that might just be psychosomatic. I'm more worried about Bird, who doesn't have health insurance and is about to move cross-country. My car was mostly undamaged; the bumper was scratched and slightly dented. The trunk opened and shut fine. The other guy had the worst of it, with his front end smashed in. He was able to drive it off the highway, but I have no idea how much non-cosmetic damage there will be.

This was an unhappy end to an otherwise happy night. It's weird - I never let anyone else drive because of worries about an accident, and the one time I do... there's an accident. And I'm wondering, once again, why I keep getting into so many accidents. Do I have some sort of latent magnetic superpowers, that I attract cars to me? I'm averaging one car accident a year since I've started driving. Haven't I had more then my share already?!?

Does this make any more sense to anyone else?

Now I know very little about Hannah Montana other then she's the current favorite of young girls with little taste and lots of parental money to spend, but what the hell is the current fuss about??

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And the worst part is that the photographer is the one getting blamed! Not the parents (and grandmother, and teacher) who were present and approved, not the editors who picked that photo to run, not the TV and newspapers that plastered it everywhere and made sure everyone knew about it, but the artist. Is this a further example of anti-intellectualism in this country? Of moral scolds defining deviancy up? Is this another example of pedophille-paranioa? Or has 100 years of "Modern" art so desensitized people to our collective cultural history that the beauty and similarity of this picture to classical portraits are utterly lost on the average American?

thoughtful, sad

The new Orthopedist

Monday, I was finally able to see a new Orthopedist. After the last one screwed me over by postponing my surgery until I was no longer covered by my insurance, I decided it was time for a change.

It's been a year now, since I was hit by that car, and while everything else has been healing well, my right knee hasn't. I still can't walk normally, and every day I'm in varying amounts of pain.

The new one gave me a brief examination, and told me my problem is a torn meniscus. I was hoping for surgery right away, but he wants me to finish up my current round of physical therapy first. (This is immensely frustrating, as after a month of trying to get approval for the therapy, I only started it last week. If I had gotten approval right away, I'd be almost done with it right now, and if it had been delayed just one more week, I wouldn't have started it yet and it wouldn't be an obstacle to surgery.)

He also wants me to put an ice pack on my knee every day to see if that helps. He explained that I could either have a large tear, and hence lots of pain, or possibly a small tear with a large swelling area. If it's a small tear, the ice would bring the swelling down to a small area, and it might even then be able to heal by itself. (This doesn't explain why all the anti-inflammatories I've had to take over the last year haven't had a similar effect.)

I still need to find out who did the MRI on my knee a year ago, as for some reason that information is not included with the MRI itself. I also need to get the X-Rays and doctors note from my old orthopedist.

I have my next appointment at the beginning of April. If surgery is decided on then, I wouldn't be able to get it until after Passover, in the beginning of May.

This means that I likely won't be walking normally until the Summer.

I'm really sick of this. It's been a year, now, and I'm still not healed, and a large part of it is due to constant postponements due to doctor BS, health insurance BS, and lots and lots of circumstances outside of my control. And now, with my hopes up, it's been put off again. I'm sick of being a cripple. This has to end.

The rest of this week has consisted to visiting other doctors for other issues. I think I've had enough of doctors for now...