a recent television quitter

Here's what one of my friends had to say about recently quitting television:

(22:01:44) I don't know if I told you this, but a while back [my wife] and I got rid of cable
(22:01:59) We don't have rabbit ears, so other than internet news we really don't get any kind of TV exposure...
(22:02:22) While in Odessa (and briefly while we were in New Orleans together) I tried to watch a bit of TV...
(22:02:35) ...and it's the most colossal sucking void I could ever want to avoid.
(22:03:09) The news is worthless, nothing but human interest stories and a few ultimately meaningless stories beaten into a mush through repetition that's then poured into the viewer's skull.
(22:03:54) There's no real analysis - MSNBC and Fox News are both horribly shrill propaganda mills. yes, the latter's worse than the former, but that's like condemning one piece of shit because it smells worse and is a little runnier than the other.
(22:04:20) I knew it was bad before, but being away from it for so long just o_o

g1 linux ad-hoc wifi problem

I can't seem to get my rooted tmobile G1 and my Linux laptop to see each other properly in wifi ad-hoc mode. It works just fine between the G1 and a Mac Mini. The laptop has a Broadcom 4311 chipset, linux-, the b43 driver, running in amd64 mode. When I run Kismet I can see a bunch of packets emanating from the G1 on the proper channel and essid and everything. But when I try to connect, it switches from channel 11 to channel 1 and neither DHCP nor static IP work for pinging the G1. Help, anyone?

EDIT: Before I couldn't get Linux to connect to anything in ad-hoc mode. The trick is to iwconfig ad-hoc mode, then ifconfig up, THEN iwconfig ESSID. Setting the ESSID before ifconfig up dooms the attempt. Now, I can get the Linux laptop to connect to an adhoc network created by the Mac Mini, but I still can't get the laptop to connect to the G1.

EDIT: The config file tiwlan.ini inside of the tether-1.6.tar package has a space at the end of the line. So instead of an ESSID of "G1" it is actually set to "G1 ". Argh! I even installed the binary horror of NDISWRAPPER and got it running as part of testing everything I could! Looks like b43 was working just fine all along.

Euthanasia Part 5: Perspectives

The Hippocratic Oath
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I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion.
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Jewish Thought

"...The message of Judaism is that one must struggle until the last breath of life. Until the last moment, one has to live and rejoice and give thanks to the Creator..."
Dr Rachamim Melamed-Cohen, Jewsweek, March 2002
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The Catechism of the Catholic Church

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2277 Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable.
Thus an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator. The error of judgment into which one can fall in good faith does not change the nature of this murderous act, which must always be forbidden and excluded.
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Buddhist Lessons

[Excerpts from] Educating Compassion
by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
[full original at]

The Vinaya cites cases where monks tell a sick person to focus his thoughts on dying, in the belief that death would be better than the miserable state of his life. The sick person does as they advise, he dies as a result, and the Buddha expels the monks from the monkhood. Thus, from the Buddha's perspective, encouraging a sick person to relax her grip on life or to give up the will to live would not count as an act of compassion. Instead of trying to ease the patient's transition to death, the Buddha focused on easing his or her insight into suffering and its end.
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Euthanasia Part 4: Economics -- Pressure to Choose Suicide

Wednesday June 4, 2008
Oregon Offers to Pay to Kill, but Not to Treat Cancer Patient
By Tim Waggoner

SALEM, Oregon, June 4, 2008 ( - Lung cancer patient, Barbara Wagner, was recently notified that her oncologist-prescribed medication that would slow the growth of cancer would not be covered by the Oregon Health Plan; the plan, however, she was informed, would cover doctor-assisted suicide should she wish to kill herself.
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Excerpts from
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Saha [chairman of the commission that sets policy for the Oregon Health Plan] said state health officials do not consider whether it is cheaper for someone in the health plan to die than live. However, he admitted they must consider the state's limited dollars when dealing with a case such as Wagner's.

Euthanasia Part 3: Involuntary -- Murdering The Unwilling (at

Posted on Mon, Oct. 11, 2004
Euthanasia debate in Europe focuses on children
Knight Ridder Newspapers

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A parent's role is limited under the protocol. While experts and critics familiar with the policy said a parent's wishes to let a child live or die naturally most likely would be considered, they note that the decision must be professional, so rests with doctors.
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Opponents of expanding euthanasia to the young cite a recent Dutch court ruling against punishment for a doctor who injected fatal drugs into an elderly woman after she told him she didn't want to die.

The court determined that he'd made "an error of judgment," but had acted "honorably and according to conscience."

News reports say that since that decision some elderly hospital patients are carrying written appeals not to be euthanized. A German company has proposed a nursing home just across the border from the Netherlands that would be promoted to aging Dutch residents as a safe haven in a country where euthanasia is illegal and likely to remain so.
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Euthanasia part 2: Nonvoluntary -- Killing Babies

Now They Want to Euthanize Children
by Wesley J. Smith
09/13/2004 12:00:00 AM

FIRST, Dutch euthanasia advocates said that patient killing will be limited to the competent, terminally ill who ask for it. Then, when doctors began euthanizing patients who clearly were not terminally ill, sweat not, they soothed: medicalized killing will be limited to competent people with incurable illnesses or disabilities. Then, when doctors began killing patients who were depressed but not physically ill, not to worry, they told us: only competent depressed people whose desire to commit suicide is "rational" will have their deaths facilitated. Then, when doctors began killing incompetent people, such as those with Alzheimer's, it's all under control, they crooned: non-voluntary killing will be limited to patients who would have asked for it if they were competent.

And now they want to euthanize children.

part1Collapse ) According to the report, doctors were killing approximately 8 percent of all infants who died each year in the Netherlands. That amounts to approximately 80-90 per year. Of these, one-third would have lived more than a month. At least 10-15 of these killings involved infants who did not require life-sustaining treatment to stay alive. The study found that a shocking 45 percent of neo-natologists and 31 percent of pediatricians who responded to questionnaires had killed infants.

It took the Dutch almost 30 years for their medical practices to fall to the point that Dutch doctors are able to engage in the kind of euthanasia activities that got some German doctors hanged after Nuremberg. For those who object to this assertion by claiming that German doctors killed disabled babies during World War II without consent of parents, so too do many Dutch doctors: Approximately 21 percent of the infant euthanasia deaths occurred without request or consent of parents. Moreover, since when did parents attain the moral right to have their children killed?
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Euthanasia Part 1: Voluntary -- the Dutch experience

29 April 1996
Summary for Congressional Subcommittee on the Constitution

Suicide, Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia:
Lessons From the Dutch Experience

Herbert Hendin, M.D.

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In the spring of 1993 a Dutch court in Assen ruled that a psychiatrist was justified in assisting in the suicide of his patient, a physically healthy but grief-stricken 50-year-old social worker who was mourning the death of her son and who came to the psychiatrist saying she wanted death, not treatment. I had a chance to spend about seven hours interviewing the psychiatrist involved. Without going into the details of the case which I have discussed elsewhere, it is worth noting that the psychiatrist assisted in the patient's suicide a little over two months after she came to see him, about four months after her younger son died of cancer at 20. Discussion of the case centered around whether the psychiatrist, supported by experts, was right in his contention that the woman suffered from an understandable and untreatable grief. Although no one should underestimate the grief of a mother who has lost a beloved child, life offers ways to cope with such grief and time alone was likely to have altered her mood.

The Dutch Supreme Court which ruled on the Assen Case in June 1994 agreed with the lower courts in affirming that mental suffering can be grounds for euthanasia, but felt that in the absence of physical illness a psychiatric consultant should have actually seen the patient. Since it felt that in all other regards the psychiatrist had behaved responsibly it imposed no punishment. Since the consultation can easily be obtained from a sympathetic colleague, it offers the patient little protection. The case was seen as a triumph by euthanasia advocates since it legally established mental suffering as a basis for euthanasia.

Over the past two decades, the Netherlands has moved from assisted suicide to euthanasia, from euthanasia for the terminally ill to euthanasia for the chronically ill, from euthanasia for physical illness to euthanasia for psychological distress and from voluntary euthanasia to nonvoluntary and involuntary euthanasia.

Once the Dutch accepted assisted suicide it was not possible legally or morally to deny more active medical help i.e. euthanasia to those who could not effect their own deaths. Nor could they deny assisted suicide or euthanasia to the chronically ill who have longer to suffer than the terminally ill or to those who have psychological pain not associated with physical disease. To do so would be a form of discrimination. Involuntary euthanasia has been justified as necessitated by the need to make decisions for patients not competent to choose for themselves.

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last year's news, stirred up by ongoing controversy, and still relevant

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If you were to wake up one morning and discover that someone had left an unwanted baby on your doorstep, would it be acceptable to simply leave it there, knowing that it would die?

Or imagine you were a doctor and immediately after giving birth a woman in your care decided that they she didn't want her child anymore. Would it be morally permissible for you to decide to not give it the care it required and to simply allow it to die from neglect?

Of course no one would answer "yes" to these questions, right?

Don't be so sure, because if Barack Obama were to have his way, these questions might not be so cut and dry.

In 2000, a nurse at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill., exposed the fact that while she was working at the hospital, babies who had survived abortion attempts were simply being left to die alone in a utility room.

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