August 1, 2007 10:03 am

To Hell in a Handbasket

Do you ever get the feeling that the United States is going to hell in a handbasket? Or is that just me?

I know it’s a product of reading the news, which is always remarkably sensationalist. JK Rowling talked about the Harry Potter books and said she felt compelled to kill off parents to show how truly evil Lord Voldemort is, and the headline was “Rowling says, ‘I wanted to kill parents.'” Seriously? I mean, I suppose it worked because I clicked on it, but couldn’t it have been something else a bit less… punch you in the face?

Then I see things like pharmacists suing over dispensing the morning-after pill or stories of women fleeing to a hospital directly after being raped only to be told that because of the hospital’s religious affiliation, they would not be receiving emergency contraception. To me, this is a blatant disregard for one of the most important duties of a doctor: CARE FOR THE PATIENT. So what if you don’t like the idea of someone preventing a possible pregnancy as a result of a rape? Why punish the woman? It seems as though these doctors (or pharmacists) value the possible life of an unborn child more than the living, breathing, troubled woman. Why else would they refuse to dispense it, even on religious grounds? What they are saying is “We do not care for your future, or how you intend to cope with this traumatic event, or the possible outcome of a baby and what that will mean for you or your life. We just want that possibility of a baby kept alive.” Or, I guess alternatively they are saying “Even though you and your doctor have chosen what is best for you, I think I know better, and I don’t trust you to make your own decisions regarding your future.” Either way it’s infuriating and demeaning. ETA: Proposed new bill in Ohio requires women to get a man’s permission for an abortion. As though we didn’t have enough of a patriarchy to begin with.

A recent study says religious doctors are no more likely to help the poor or underprivileged than non-religious doctors. Interesting, no?

There also seems to be a rash of news stories like “Two children found dead in trash bags under sink” or that awful story about the lady with four (dead) premature fetuses in her house, of varying ages, who was only discovered because she was admitted to the hospital with heavy bleeding presumably after delivering one of them early.

And then this new thing I don’t really understand about Rupert Murdoch and the Dow Jones? And something about the Wall Street Journal? Whatever it is, it sounded bad, like he might be gaining control of another media outlet. If that’s true, I think it’s awfully sad since it’s already so hard to get even moderately unbiased information. Monopolies are rarely helpful to society.

Ohio election records from 2004 have mysteriously disappeared. Which is awesome, you know, because they could have proved the election was stolen. Dick Cheney recently claimed he can ignore executive orders because he is not part of the executive branch, but now he does not like to say he is in one branch or the other. He’s also defending Justice Alberto Gonzales throughout his whole scandal. Seriously guys, does it not end? (ETA: Cheney believes Bush will be remembered fondly on his deathbed. Are they all delusional?)

I know a lot of people abstain from reading the news, and I think that’s commendable. I have to ask though, how the heck do you stay on top of everything? I don’t like being uninformed or ignorant about current issues, but I also don’t like to be bombarded with insane, sensationalist crap all the time. I do generally prefer the BBC news website over MSNBC, just because I feel like they’re more objective since they’re not actually within the US, but where else do you go to get news?

And why are there so many political scandals lately? Is anybody on the level anymore? I am feeling disheartened and rant-y about the US lately.

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  • George says:

    Thanks for saying something.

    I feel the same way and all of those same stories crossed my radar.

    I stick to to try and get mostly unbiased info.

    It’s mostly the major media outlets that have failed us. Either this is the beginning of the fall, or the pendulum will swing back.

    Take Action.

  • Meggan says:

    @LKVY: GENIUS. Thank you. That article is like a breath of fresh air. And intriguing as well, because it further goes to show the lack of mental processing going on with the protesters.

  • Amanda says:

    O_o woaaah. A man’s permission to get an abortion?! Refusing emergency contraception!?!

    I think the entire religious thing has gone waaaaay outta hand in the US. Religion and politics shouldn’t mix; but unfortunately they do. Thank god (hahaa) I don’t live in the US – no offense to those who do.