Thursday, May 26, 2011

10 Minutes is 9 min. 50 seconds Too Many

Hey everyone, SHIT! (So Happy It's Thursday)

Hope you're all having a wonderful day. T-minus 2 months and counting until Baby Andersen arrives. Trine and I are very excited about the birth of our son. Not sure how much blogging I will be doing for a while, so I am just trying to get some thoughts down before all of my thoughts are consumed by the baby. Here's a few of them!

Ke$ha $uck$

This morning at the gym, a Kesha song came on the overhead speaker. As I vomited just a little bit into my mouth, I thought of something I read recently:

On , there was an article about how Kesha, despite actually making music that I wouldn’t force a deaf person to sit through, is actually a big rock n’ roll fan. Ok, so am I supposed to be impressed by this? On a website whose main audience is musicians and fans of rock n’ roll music, why should we care about this, especially when her music is the furthest thing from rock n’ roll. She could be the biggest metal head out there, she still makes horrific music. If you ask me, her main influences seem to be Lady Gaga and the sounds of a sick cat being tortured through auto-tune.

In full disclosure, I have only heard 2 or 3 songs from Kesha, so about 10 minutes, which happens to be 9 minutes and 50 seconds more than I needed to realize this woman’s music is the soundtrack to being eaten alive from the inside out by some sorta of horrifying bacteria.

Oh speaking of bacteria, if she brushes her teeth with Jack Daniels, I can't imagine her oral hygeine being all that good.

By the way, what exactly does it mean to wake up feeling like P. Diddy? How does a white girl wake up feeling like a rich black man? Did she wake up missing Biggie Smalls? Did she perhaps wake up thinking about sampling a classic rock song into some awful inane hip hop song? I’d like some clarification. Wait, no I don’t. I just want her to go away.

Motorcyclists Need to Watch out for Me

So after the gym, I began driving to work. On my way I saw a bumper sticker saying “Watch out for Motorcycles”, which reminded me a bumper sticker I saw that said “Look Twice for Motorcycles” and sometimes electronic billboards on the highways display similar warnings. I shake my head at this. I don’t know about other places in this country, but down here in lovely south Florida, motorcyclists do not give a flying fuck. The weave in and out of traffic at 90 mph, they drive in the breakdown lane, they avoid and break traffic laws, and many of them don’t wear a helmet while doing so. Now I have no desire to cause any accidents, but I guess I just chuckle at the idea of being warned to take care for the safety of these people, when they obviously don’t care about their own safety. Am I reading it wrong? Maybe the bumper stickers are to warn those in cars to watch out, i.e. "Watch Out for Motorcyles Or You Might Get Killed."

Can you google "Guilty"?

So down here in Florida, there is a trial going on for a woman named Casey Anthony who allegedly (and in this case “allegedly” can be swapped out with “obviously”) killed her young daughter. This is, oddly, not the worst thing that I’ve heard of a parent down here doing to their child.

Now, young Caylee went missing in June 2008 after leaving her grandparent’s house with her murderer…err, mother. Her grandmother reported her missing in July 2008. Casey Anthony, in between clubbing and hot body contests, told police that her daughter was taken by a babysitter…one that no other friend or family member had ever seen. In fact, the so-called babysitter denies even knowing Casey or Caylee Anthony. Oops.

An old boyfriend testified that during the time Caylee was supposedly missing, Casey never mentioned it to anyone. An entry in Casey’s diary at around the time the child would have died talks about having no regrest and finally being happy, but hoping everything turns out ok. Now, they can’t 100 % confirm Casey wrote it, or that it was in reference to the death of her child, but come on, seriously?

Caylee’s remains were found that December near Anthony’s house. Duct tape and pastic bags were also found in Casey Anthony’s home. They also found traces of possible human decomposition and chloroform in the trunk of her car. So she obviously called up Scott Peterson for some advice on how to avoid detection. In addition, her computer apparently had google searches of the terms "neck breaking," "how to make chloroform," and "death". She should have googled "getting rid of evidence".

They defense has already started playing the “She was sexually abused” card saying she was diddled by her dad. Sad, and all, but not a defense for killing her child. This is probably right before they bring out the big guns: the pretty white girl defense. Nevertheless, I am curious to see where this one goes.

So there you go. Why I hate Kesha and why I would make an awful juror.

Have a nice weekend everyone!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Organ Donation & Transplantation: Separating the Myths from the Facts, or Don’t Believe Anything You See on Grey’s Anatomy

First off, I need to thank my wife, Trine, for supplying me with the information here. She’s a med student, and has been immersed in the world of organ donation & transplantation since she received her liver transplant at age 2. I am relatively new to this whole business. Long story very short: I was born with a liver disorder called Biliary Atresia, had surgery has a baby, and it held until I was 26 years old, in the summer of 2007. Then everything changed. My liver began to fail, and I was told I needed a liver transplant in order to save my life. In May 2008, just about three years ago, I received my transplant. I had about 6 months of post-transplant complications, but have been doing great since then. I’ve gotten the chance to talk to a lot of folks about my experience and about organ donation in general. Many of these people have sick or transplanted children, and it’s pretty cool to be able to offer inspiration or helpful words to people going through what I went through.

But there’s a lot of bullshit out there, especially in the way organ donation & transplantation is portrayed in your favorite medical dramas on TV. For example, Grey’s Anatomy. I start throwing things when I see doctors on TV screaming at a dead boy’s parents about how they have to donate their dead son’s organs right now, in order to save the life of a young girl, etc, etc, I just turn to Trine and say, “Well, we just lost another bunch of organ donors.” Sadly, many people believe what they see on TV. Right now, I am trying to say that when it comes to organ donation & transplantation, please DON’T.

Myth: I am too old to be a donor.

Fact: Anyone can be a potential donor regardless of age or race. Each potential donor is referred to the local organ recovery agency to evaluate if they are medically eligible to donate. Currently, patients with a history of malignancy, HIV, or Hepatitis B Surface Antigen are not eligible donors.

Myth: Only abdominal organs can be transplanted.

Fact: Transplantable organs include: Liver, Heart, Lungs, Kidneys, Pancreas, and Small Bowel. You can also donate tissues and bone marrow.

Myth: If I’m an organ donor, the doctors won’t work as hard to save me.

Fact: If you are sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, the number one priority is to save your life. Organ, eye and tissue donation can only be considered after you are deceased. No investigative or oversight agency has ever found evidence of poorer care in organ donors occurring. It is not standard procedure for the paramedics or emergency department doctors to look for a donor card. Though, they may steal your Dave and Buster’s card. A patient cannot be considered for organ donation if they don’t have a breathing tube in place and stabilized blood pressure.

Myth: Saying, “I’d like to donate my organ to her, if you know what I mean” is a hilarious and clever way of saying you’d like to have sex with a woman

Fact: Is it not.

Myth: They’ll take out my organs before I’m dead.

Fact: Donation is not offered to a family until a patient is dead by every clinical definition. “Brain death” is the medically, legally, and morally accepted determination of death. That means that there is no blood flow or oxygen to the brain. The brain is no longer functioning in any capacity and never will again, not unlike the audience at an average Oprah show taping. Two licensed physicians must make the diagnosis before the organ donation process can begin.

Fact: There are two types of cadaveric organ donation– donation after brain death and donation after cardiac death.

Brain death is defined as the complete and irreversible loss of all brain function including the brain stem. Donation after brain death is the classic model of organ donation and what most people think of.

Donation after cardiac death is offered to families after they have made the independent decision to withdrawal artificial support of their loved one. The patient is brought into the O.R., artificial support is withdrawn, and asystole ensues. Several minutes after asystole, the organs are recovered for transplantation. Asystole is a fancy-pants way of saying “the patient has flat lined.”

Myth: Rich and famous people get moved to the top of the waiting list.

Fact: When you are on the waiting list for an organ, what really counts is the severity of your illness, time spent waiting, blood type, and other important medical information. The system of allocation does not factor wealth or social status. Race, gender, age, income, or celebrity status is never considered when determining who receives an organ. Please note this does not apply those in Arizona. If you live in Arizona, and you need a transplant, and you are not rich, then you are screwed.

Myth: Criminals steal organs to sell on the black market.

Fact: It is illegal to sell an organ. It is possible to give a kidney, liver, or lung while living. However, as George Lopez’s wife is finding out, you can not ask for it back in the divorce. A doctor found performing a transplant of stolen or sold organs would have their medical license revoked. There are no documented cases of stolen organs and there is not a black market for organs in the United States. There is, however, an active market in other countries. So, if you have functioning organs, it’s best not to travel outside of the United States.

Myth: My religion doesn’t approve of organ donation and transplantation.

Fact: All major religions in the United States support organ, eye, and tissue donation and see it as the final act of love and generosity toward others. Also, some made-up religions do, too. May the Fonz be with you.

Myth: I want to have an open casket funeral, therefore I can’t be an organ donor.

Fact: An open casket funeral is possible for organ, eye, and tissue donors. Through the entire donation process the body is treated with care, respect, and dignity. Which is a nice change, considering people who are alive aren't always treated with care, respect, and dignity.

Myth: Organ donation will add to my hospital bill.

Fact: There is no cost to the donor or their family for organ or tissue donation. Sadly, I know someone who was told this for years by a friend, and it stopped them from being an organ donor for a very long time.

Fact: 18 people die every day waiting for the gift of life. To register as a potential organ donor, visit today!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Thoughts on the Death of Osama bin Laden

Note: This blog is based on the assumption the Osama bin Laden is dead at the hands of the U.S. Military under the guidance of President Barack Obama this past week. If you believe bin Laden's been dead for years, or that there is some big conspiracy at hand, there's really no point in reading. I am one to question authority, and I do not blindly follow. But in this case, I have to have faith in the fact that what Obama has said is the truth, because believing otherswise would make my head explode. And I truly do not see the point in lying about either bin Laden being dead or when he was killed. It is an impeachable offense and I would be the first to speak out against President Obama if it came to light that had lied about the events of Sunday night.

Sunday night’s shocking announcement of the killing and capture (of the body) of Osama bin Laden has set off a fury of emotions, thoughts and theories. So I have decided to weigh in on some of the discussions that I have observed via the internet and news media.

First off, is it right, in this instance, to celebrate the death of another human being?

Generally, relishing in the murder of a man is not a becoming trait for anyone. I am not sure I can tell people the correct way to ”celebrate” Osama bin Laden’s death. I choose to celebrate in the abstract: a man who is responsible for the murder of thousands of Americans is no longer able to do harm. I am not na├»ve enough to think this brings any kind of end to terrorism, but it is a victory nevertheless. Perhaps it even brings closure to those who lost loved ones on 9/11. I did not lose anyone on 9/11, so I cannot rightfully tell a person who lost a wife/husband/son/daughter, etc not to celebrate that the man responsible for their loved one’s death is now dead. It has to be quite a cathartic feeling to know what it’s like to lose a loved one to murder, but to wish that kind of sadness of someone else. However, in emotional times like this, you can excuse someone who was directly victimized by bin Laden if they are happy that he’s dead. I mean, this guy was as evil as evil gets. True, his death does not change things a ton. It certainly doesn’t bring back those killed on 9/11, or those soldiers who have lost their lives over the past 10 years fighting for this country. Nor does it put an end to terrorism. It may, in fact, bring on retaliation and more terrorist acts. Time will tell. I know some have said they’d rather that we capture and imprison bin Laden, as that could be worse than death. Maybe true, but I personally do not think that this country should have to waste the resources making him comfortable, protected, and paying for his meals and medical care.

People are going to react to his death in different ways. The only reaction that I seriously question is that of a douche bag sports star coming to the defense of bin Laden. I think of those videos of American’s being be-headed and think, “Yeah, I guess we really should hear the terrorists’ side of the story.” Oh wait, that’s right: We have. Osama bin Laden openly stated he was the mastermind behind 9/11 and encouraged more killing of Americans. But I can see how you need some clarity, you moron. Shut the fuck up and go play your stupid football game. If someone wants the opinion of a complete jackass, we know where to find you.

Quick Aside: Thanks to the wonderful "comment" features on various articles, I've read people say that we (Americans) have brought on the wrath of the terrorists, and hatred by other countries, through our lifestyles, our screwed up values, priorities, arrogance, ignorance, etc. I will freely admit there are a lot of things and people that I do not like in this country. There are many negative things you can attribute to America and Americans. But I don't see how you can defend a person, or group, who use terror, violence, and murder to get their point across.

Secondly, Osama bin Laden was un-armed at the time of his death and capture.

I've read some other people's blogs and thoughts regarding the idea that the U.S. didn't follow it's own laws, shooting an unarmed man, not giving bin Laden due process, his day in court, a run through the judicial system. I'm having a true battle of "reason" versus "yeah, but this terrorist fuck killed over 3,000 unarmed people and wouldn't hesitate for a second to kill any of us reading this at any time" and struggling to empathize with bin Laden for not getting his Miranda rights read to him. I know this is just another issue that will divide folks, but I just don't see any other way his apprehension could have ended.

Thirdly, it sickens me that there’s been so much debate about who deserves credit for Osama bin Laden’s death.

The Bush fan boys are throwing furniture in their apartments at the idea that President Obama is not crediting George W. for bin Laden’s capture. Get over it, and go cry in your Cheerios. For better or worse, George W. is not the president anymore. Love him or hate him, Barack Obama is the current president of the United States. He is in office, he is the current commander in chief, and therefore he was the one to rightfully address the nation regarding the killing of Osama bin Laden. This was a team effort between the Obama administration and the US military. Pres. Obama didn’t make the kill shot, a solider did. Perhaps that man needs to be credited. Or perhaps the American people should be credited for electing a man who had the balls to go after bin Laden for real. And just to point out, bin Laden apparently lived at Casa de bin Laden for 6 years. If my math is correct, George W. Bush was president 6 years ago. He had his chance.

And by the way, if George W. does deserve credit, does that mean if the Al Qaeda retaliate and commit a terrorist act, than I can blame George W? Because you can’t have it both ways.

I gotta say one of the more disturbing things that I read was that the terrorists who the U.S. water boarded deserved more credit than President Obama. These people were murderers and criminals. They did not divulge information out of the goodness of their heart. They did not have a change of heart while watching a Lifetime movie one night. They were tortured into providing information. Whether you agree with the use of water boarding is not the point. The idea that saying the terrorists deserve more credit than the president is appalling, and certainly not something you’d be saying if ole’ George Dub-yah was the one in office.

The capture and killing of Osama bin Laden should not be credited to any one person. Will Obama use this during his re-election campaign? Probably. And I am sure many will use this in considering whether or not to vote for him in 2012. What kind of impact will Osama’s death have on people’s overall assessment of Barack Obama as a president? I guess that remains to be seen. I am not trying to say that President Obama is the best president ever. I freely admit that a lot of the hope and positivity surrounding him during the election seems to have subsided, and many people have been wondering exactly what Obama has really accomplished during his time in office. He may not go down as the most effectual president in history, but this is a proud moment for him, and for America.

Finally, should the US military release pics of Osama bin Laden’s dead body?

Now, I admit, though I am not much of a conspiracy theorist, I did find it strange that even before some could fully wrap our brains around the death of bin Laden, he had been dumped at sea. I think this was out of respect for bin Laden’s religion, which dictates burial within 24 hours. I admit I was a little put off at the idea of paying this man any respect. I know some people are trying to say bin Laden’s been dead for years, and this was some sort of re-election tactic on behalf of President Obama. Do I know for a fact that is not true? No, but that would one hell of a conspiracy and awful way to lie to the American people (almost like lying about WMD's to justify a war). I cannot deny that I, like many, would like some proof, and a picture of the body seems to be it. So there’s been debate over releasing pics of bin Laden’s dead body.

In 99.9% of cases, I’d say that is distasteful. In this case, I can see both sides. Perhaps seeing the pics would silence some doubters. It may also shock and outrage, especially since sometimes death photos don’t always resemble how the person looked alive, which could always create more controversy. It could also inflame anti-American sentiments from the Islamic communities, and not only those who sided with bin Laden. DNA tests and pics of the body are not going to dissuade conspiracy theorists from thinking that bin Laden has been dead for a while now. There is no perfect decision. Releasing the photos, or not, will each have their own set of consequences. Perhaps it would be wise to leak the photo through a website or media outlet where people can seek it out if they want, instead of splatter it all over the papers? Perhaps release a version of the photo that shows his face, but is censored to limit the gore. Or maybe just release the photo un-doctored to hammer the point home that Osama Bin Laden is dead. Or don’t release it at all. I just don’t think there’s one right decision.

Note: This was written before Pres. Obama announced he will not be releasing the pictures. So there it is. It's a decision that will flame the fires of the conspiracy theorists and more anti-Obama sentiment. But would releasing the pictures do more good? I can't say. It was a tough decision and one that I am glad I did not have to make.

As with many of the issues surrounding Osama bin Laden’s death, there is no one way to handle things that will please everyone. I guess it just shocks me at how divided people seem over this issue. America is not a perfect nation, but it’s a damn good one, especially when compared to some of the terror and oppression that rule other countries. Bin Laden’s death was a victory for this country, regardless of who you want to credit for it, or if you celebrate his death, or celebrate simply the idea that a very evil man is no longer able to terrorize people. Yes, finally, 8 years after we were told “Mission Accomplished,” the mission actually was accomplished.