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Sunday, March 23, 2003

I'm Back

I haven't blogged in the past week for two reasons:

1. I've been spending much of my spare computer time working on taxes. Yes, it's that time of year again. Back when I was single and poor, it only took a few minutes to fill out the one-page form. Now that I'm married, own a home, have various business expenses and am (slightly) less poor, I have several forms I have to fill out.

I can't complain, though. The people I've consulted at the Internal Revenue Service are actually pretty helpful and courteous. Imagine that; the dreaded IRS isn't so bad after all.

2. When I'm not working, doing taxes or feeding my caffeine addiction, I'm catching up on war news.

I won't go into any opinions here other than to say I hope it's over fast. Today was a very bad day for the Americans and Engish, not to mention average non-Saddam-connected Iraqis.

Mary and were watching Peter Jennings on the ABC nightly news, and someone had made the BAD decision to have the mother of an American POW talk with Peter by phone LIVE during the broadcast.

This is the kind of emotional pandering you'd expect from local news channels. You know, a reporter shoves a microphone in the face of someone and says, "Hey, Zeke, your mobile home just got blown away by that tornado. How do you feel?"

Or they interview the weeping widow of a policeman shot in the line of duty. You know, the reporter gets the anguish on tape, and the news that night has "personal drama."

They could have taped the POW mother's comments earlier for broadcast on the news. But no. Millions of us in North America had to hear this poor woman's grief, and Peter damn near cried, too.

I found myself talking to the television. "Peter, cut it. Move on. Call her back after the news to talk privately, but don't put her through this."

(Sigh.)


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