October 15th, 2002

abstract butterfly

What brake from yonder window lights

In theory, I would have thought being an attorney meant that the claims adjuster would be a little more apt to return my call about my small fender bender. Every time I hear one more well-meaning-but-dead-wrong conservative talk about a lawsuit crisis in this country, I remember how I can't get my insurance carrier to return my calls. Now I'll have to write some demand letter, and ratchet things up, and it's so needless, because all the carrier has to do is its job. It's almost as bad as buying software.

I am getting really busy again. Busy is good, but soon I must fire up the dreaded lists of things to do to a greater extent than usual. I will soon be working weekends again, but I must get a recording date with scottm scheduled before I do so.

I mailed off the payment for the cheap faux didjeridoo today, and then tonight's mail included wonderful ebay dollars from around the world. In addition, voodoukween not only renewed our long-running handwritten journal exchange, but enclosed a cool artistic blank journal. I feel particularly grand.

A cool post by marstokyo has put me in heart to once again resume my endless battle to convince paypal that I am who I am. When I moved from CA to TX, Bank of America insisted that they had to replace my check card in CA with another check card here in TX, because its software for different locations was incompatible (a bank merger thing, apparently). The whole concept somehow convinced paypal that my CA card had been reported stolen, causing them to ask me to re-document my life over and over to them. I believe I am one fax from solution, which is very comforting, because I am bored of being unable to use my paypal account. I don't pay for on line auctions via paypal that often, but it's nice to be able to paypal a payment. I would not be so irritated, except that this is literally a change of address issue, and yet I must re-document my life.

Lest my whole post become an endless saga of "Mr. Frustrated Consumer, JD", I'll move on to a few issues of general import, but also of a concerned rant-ish nature. The Bali news is disheartening. Terrorists blowing up people in bars "to make a point" is just indefensible. Those who try to "rationalize" their misconduct concern me--I've seen far too much west-bashing as a knee jerk reaction to such incidents. You know, the "if only we understood, then we'd get why" stuff. I don't get why. I never will. You don't blow up non-combatants in disco dance halls. What kind of mind could imagine that killing a bunch of Aussie 20somethings will "send a message" to anyone? It's terribly sad, and I hope those terrorist cells are ferreted out and dealt with in accord with the rule of law.

Meanwhile, I see Congress is moved to act by the horrors of the sniper incident. I am glad to see anything arise to give flesh and blood to the problems in our gun-crazed country. But a nagging bit of my Scots Irish southern blood says that if this sniping were happening in Arkansas or east Texas, there'd be no
congressional speeches, no calls for weapon legislation, and a much less intensive effort. Does crime have to occur to middle class people in DC before we realize that unregulated gun sales are bad? Also, without meaning to carp, the news headline on the AOL news that "now it's personal" because the latest victim is FBI
is offensive to me. Was it less personal when it was merely 9 non-law-enforcement random victims? Was it less "personal" for those bereaved families?

The sniper and any accomplices are beneath contempt. I think what bugs me most is that they will be found, they will be dealt with, and then some kid will build a website about them. People will clamor to buy the books about them. They'll make TV movies about them. Let's make a few movies about nurses and teachers and firemen. I am inclined to say 9/11 taught me nothing--but perhaps it taught me that life is too short to lionize snipers. Right now we can't get enough people to go through nursing school, because until the last year or two, as a society, we'd rather hire temp nurses than address their needs for pay and respect. Now we're finally make the first steps at change,but if we as a nation spent one ounce of the time we spend on documenting domestic terror on
nurses and teachers and police folks and such, what a better world it would be.

All we can really do is pray--pray that snipers are apprehended, pray for the families of disco revellers killed by madmen, pray for
a breath of compassion in our heavy breathing world.