Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Happy 4th of July!

In the spirit of patriotism, here are a few inspiring words from John F. Kennedy's inaugural address:

"We observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom -- symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning -- signifying renewal, as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed nearly a century and three-quarters ago.

The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe -- the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans -- born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage, and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world...."

"...So let us begin anew -- remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.

Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.

Let both sides, for the first time, formulate serious and precise proposals for the inspection and control of arms, and bring the absolute power to destroy other nations under the absolute control of all nations.

Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce.

Let both sides unite to heed, in all corners of the earth, the command of Isaiah -- to "undo the heavy burdens, and [to] let the oppressed go free."

And, if a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join in creating a new endeavor -- not a new balance of power, but a new world of law -- where the strong are just, and the weak secure, and the peace preserved.

All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days; nor in the life of this Administration; nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.

In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe.

Now the trumpet summons us again -- not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need -- not as a call to battle, though embattled we are -- but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, "rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation,"² a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself..."

"...The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it. And the glow from that fire can truly light the world."

Sunday, July 2, 2006

People have an absolute right to just sit there.

Alas, yet another disorder has been found to be adversely affecting people who would otherwise be normal, were it not for this debilitating disorder. It is known as Motivational Deficiency Disorder, or MoDeD. This disorder explains why many people have the tendency to be sluggish and move very little for long periods of time. Some are in fact bedridden by this horrible disorder. In extreme cases, it is fatal because the condition reduces the motivation to breathe. Those suffering from this illness should not be labeled by others in society as "lazy" or "sloth-like." Doctors familiar with this disorder argue that, "People have an absolute right to just sit there."

If you haven't already guessed, this disorder isn't real. It was published in the British Medical Journal on April Fool's to bring attention to the ever-growing number of syndromes and disorders stemming from ordinary conditions that are now being recognized by the medical community so they can be treated with medication. ADD (otherwise known as the active, energetic child who probably needs to spend more time running around) and social anxiety disorder (otherwise known as shyness??) are just a couple off the top of my head. If you feel you have some quirky behaviors that might need treatment, you can even take a quiz online to help you find out, so you can become more "normal." Then you can hand over gobs of all that extra money you have to the pharmaceutical companies in order to treat your odd or annoying behaviors.


Disclaimer: I do understand there are legitimate sufferers of extreme cases of certain real disorders and that is not what I'm talking about in my little rant here.