The Rant 

Wait a minute. I am an expert. It seems that everyone who writes about anything and gets it published is an expert, and you get to go on national television and talk about that subject for 26 seconds. I just saw a writer do that on the national news, just before an actress got more than 26 seconds because she has written a book that she says "is a celebration of my womanhood." Yes, she was serious. It had something to do with being impacted by a lot of things. But back to this expert thing. This was some clown who had written an article for Time magazine about teenage eating habits. Or at least the habits of those teenagers who aren't too freaked out by life to eat. His big claim was that teenagers who eat at home with their families are less likely to smoke, drink alcohol, and use drugs than those who don't eat at home with their families. Obviously, he never had dinner at my family's house. (There's a story here somewhere about Quaaludes and pork chops, but I won't go into it.) My favorite part was that when the writer was being introduced, some camera magic was taking place and invisible hands were flipping through the pages of the magazine. And while the cheerful little music was playing and the expert was being introduced to talk about how great it is for teenagers to eat with their families, the flipping pages showed "Haditha" in a headline just before landing on the story about the teenagers. Haditha, of course, is the city where members of the U.S. military allegedly executed a lot of civilian Iraqis, including women and children. First, we attack the wrong country, and now we are attacking the wrong people in that country? I mentioned my disdain for this war to a friend the other day (this guy and I never talk politics) and his reply was, "Well, we can't just up and leave all those people now." I almost said that we'd better leave them now before they all get killed by the U.S. military. Oh, I know. This is just the bad part of the news. There is a lot of progress going on over there while we stay the course. Whatever. Tell that to the mother of one of the toddlers who got killed. No, wait. She was killed too. It's a good thing Mr. Bush kept all this to himself for a few months until the media got hold of it and he kind of, well, had to talk about it. And now, three years into this, he wants the military to study "core values"? I'd love to see the handbook on this. Uh, if you see a 2-year-old boy, it's very likely not a good idea to kill him. That would be good for starters. Maybe he'll have his henchwoman Condi go over there and help them out of this one. Of course, how seriously can you take a person who was busy buying thousand-dollar Italian leather shoes during the flood after Hurricane Katrina but still won't spend the money to get her teeth fixed? But I digress. She's just too easy a target, and I spend way too much of my time writing about her. I was writing about happy American teenagers eating with their families to stay off drugs and I started wandering again. I do that often. I probably should have had more family dinners as a teenager. Like the Bush twins. Speaking of easy targets, where have those little heathens been hiding out? No more Vogue photo spreads? No more margarita parties? No more shouting at their security guards to leave them alone while they're on their way to a wrestling match? It's like they have disappeared. Same with that pill-popping niece, Jeb's daughter. Where has she gone? Permanent rehab? Daddy hiding her away so he can run for president in 2008 and hurry Armageddon along its path? I guess we'll just have to wait and see ... if it doesn't happen before then, given the way things are going.

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