Today was perfect (apart from a long and nerve-racking drive in on icy roads). Nothing much happened, and the attendings didn’t try to teach very much. Enough residents were gone to clinic that I got my own computer, and got to sit and knit and read medical blogs and Federal Vision websites. (This very esoteric tempest in the teapot of conservative Reformed theology is very confusing to me; I’m just concluding that I like what they say, when I come across a clearer exposition of their beliefs, and am surprised and horrified all over again; it’s like climbing into a cold pool very slowly.)

Somehow our family volunteered itself to sing a song in church sometime soon. This will be quite an innovation for our conservative Presbyterian church, which barely tolerates non-psalmodic hymnody and piano accompaniment. We’re going to sing a psalm, a capella, so that should be ok. Trick is, I don’t know how to sing. It’s really not fair that I love music, especially vocal music, and am completely incapable of carrying a tune. I can’t even tell whether my voice and the piano are matching, or not; let alone whether I’m in harmony with the rest of the family, when we haven’t got a piano. I think the tunes sound better when the intervals are slightly diminished, and a few sharps and flats are added, but the rest of the family disagrees. We’re negotiating a truce, where they will sing as loudly as I wish I could, and I will keep quiet in the background. This is where having lots of children in the family really helps.

I took a little notice of domestic events, and listened to Sean Hannity on the way home:
- How is it possible to convict Border Patrol agents for patrolling the border? This is one of the most tragic travesties of justice I’ve heard about in recent days.
- What makes Congress think that it has the authority to pass a resolution telling the President how to run the war? They should either withdraw funding, and be responsible for the consequences, or run for the job of Commander-in-chief and see if they can get a mandate, or else be quiet. Right now most of the senators are just dogs in the manger, trying to have their cake and eat it too: the pleasure and fame of grandstanding, without any actual responsibility.
- Speaking of usurping authority: Gov. Rick Perry’s unilateral decision to require the Gardasil vaccine for schoolgirls is objectionable on so many levels, as it tramples on the jurisdiction of both the legislature and parents. HPV is not in the same category as measles and diphtheria, which can be transmitted between very small children, and without any knowledge or choice on the part of the carrier or the recipient. HPV is primarily transmitted as the result of specific actions of individuals with some capacity to choose (however ill-exercised). You don’t require herd immunity for it. And in any case, some public discussion ought to be allowed.
- All the presidential candidates are very interesting characters, and this should be an exciting election season. But I’m not sure I can sustain interest, let alone passion, over a two-year long campaign. And I’m an ex-political junkie. I hate to think what the attitude of the general population is going to be by the time November 2008 gets here.
- Much as I object to his politics and her politics and character, the prospect of the first (potential) black or female president is fascinating. Somebody should push Condi Rice into the ring, and then we could do both at once, and I could even vote for her.
- The global warming police are coming out in force. On which subject see this eloquent speech by Michael Crichton, whose book State of Fear does a good job of combining thriller plotting with good science (and footnotes).

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