Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Fetus Cult Strikes Again!

North Dakota has suffered population loss for decades. Sitting atop a column of states that comprise the geographic backbone of the lower forty-eight, one possible reason might be that it offers its residents the most extreme weather of any state in the union.

Long, brutal winters and hot, dry summers punish those foolish-enough to attempt eking out a living in the state’s agriculture-based economy. True, the oil shale boom in Williston has brought much-needed revenue, but only a few see this as anything but a temporary spike.

The population density of North Dakota continues to be rivaled only by South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. Oil shale or not, North Dakota is a windswept, lonely place. It’s Scotland without the coastline and single-malt whiskey.

Perhaps this is the reason the state’s legislature has seen fit to enact the nation’s most restrictive abortion legislation. North Dakota is desperate to replace a population that, if it isn’t calling U-Haul, is dying.

Repopulation efforts nonwithstanding, I’m having a hard time reconciling conservative’s fetus obsession with their abject refusal to enact a ban on assault weapons.

Let me get this straight: at six weeks, North Dakota conservatives are according a fertilized egg the rights and stature of a human being, even as congressional conservatives refuse to restrict—in any way—the means available to kill it.

(Abortion excepted, of course.)

But shred that human being with an automatic weapon dispersing 400 rounds a minute? Fine. Great. Have at it.

In fact, conservatives maintain that possessing the means to do so is our most vital constitutional right and needs to be zealously guarded.

I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I just can’t get my brain around this.

It's obviously too small to be a Republican.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

You and Your Job

In my ongoing efforts to supply you, the valued Square Peg reader, with timely and relevant blog content, I offer this highly-scientific profile builder designed to articulate your feelings about work.

It will tell you whether it's time to look for a new job or get measured for a boardroom-ready designer suit. You need only to respond to the statements below to discover if you and your job are just a tawdry one-night hook-up or a bona fide LTR.

Read each of the eleven statements and choose the true or false answer that best matches your feelings. Hint: first responses are usually best.

01. Work is a continual annoyance, like a stone in your shoe which cannot be removed. True or false.

02. Only kidney stones pass more painfully than time at work. True or false.

03. When you exit the building at the end of the day, you look skywards, spread your arms in supplication and beseech an uncaring and spiteful god with the words “What did I ever do?” True or false.

04. You’ve ceased listening to Highway to Hell because it bears an uncomfortable resemblance to your drive to work. True or false.

05. Every day you don’t claw your eyes out in sheer agony is a small, but significant, victory. True or false.

06. Sartre’s concept that hell is your co-workers (admittedly a rough translation) may be truer than anyone suspects. True or false.

07. Only a proctologist sees more assholes than you do. True or false.

08. You understand the significance of the German expression arbeit macht frei, and wonder that your employer hasn’t inscribed it on the walls of the cafeteria. True or false.

09. Horrible Bosses isn’t a comedy, it’s a documentary. True or false.

10. Inducing internal organ failure has become a reasonable alternative to getting up and going to work tomorrow. True or false.

11. You are troubled by recurring dreams of animals chewing off their limbs to escape a trap. True or false.


For each true response, give yourself three points. For each false, zero. Total your points and match the total to the profiles below.

00 – 00 Once, you were upset at work. But you don’t remember why. You wonder why you’re paid, because you’d work for free. Work is fun. Like a puzzle. And you like puzzles. And singing songs. And just having fun. At least until your meds wear off.

03 – 12 Stealing office supplies provides temporary, short-term relief only. It’s not a cure. In other words, when you find yourself in a hole, put down the shovel. It’s time to update the resume and begin the search for new employment.

15 – 21 You regularly experience significant discomfort at work. Ditto the realization that sleep aids and anti-depressants only camouflage symptoms. Time to increase your dosage, find a good therapist and ramp-up your search.

24 – 33 Elvis isn’t the only one who’s left the building, is he? Let’s face it: at this point, quitting is just a formality. Like our favorite besotted and jump-suited singer, you left the building a long time ago.

Monday, March 4, 2013


Eighty-seven year-old Lorraine Bayless lived in the Glenwood Gardens senior care facility in Bakersfield, CA. She was there because she needed care.

More specifically, due to her advanced age she was vulnerable and there was a great probability she would one day be in immediate need of emergency medical assistance.

That day arrived when Ms. Bayless collapsed last Tuesday.

A nurse at the facility called 9-1-1 and requested an ambulance. After dispatching a medical team, the operator asked the nurse to provide CPR in the interim.

That nurse refused.

The operator, seemingly the only party aware of the severity of the situation, attempted again to get the nurse to perform CPR. And again the nurse refused.

With her increasingly-desperate entreaties falling on deaf ears, the operator asked if there was someone—anyone—at the facility who would be willing to perform CPR.

The nurse's cold-blooded response was “Not at this time.”

The nurse cited corporate policy which states that in such instances, on-site personnel only call 9-1-1 and wait with the afflicted resident until emergency personnel arrive.

Which means there would never be a time when someone would be willing to perform CPR on Ms. Bayless.

The heartless, barren reality of this incident is that Ms. Bayless could have collapsed alone in a cheap apartment with the same result.

But with assisted living facilities often costing over a hundred-thousand dollars a year, shouldn’t people like Ms. Bayless have expected something more than “I’ll call 9-1-1”?

Like a little CPR if you drop, unconscious, to the floor?

The enormous sums of cash that collect where medicine and health care are practiced make these so-called providers popular targets for law suits—both legitimate and illegitimate.

And that concern is no doubt responsible for Glenwood Gardens’ “hands off” policy, which is best described as if we don’t touch her—they can’t sue.

Anyone still feel American business is being smothered by excessive government regulation?