Saturday, March 12, 2005

Reality tv

The repulsive 15-year-long battle over the brain-dead body of Terri Schiavo continues. Just when you think it can’t get any more distasteful, a businessman has offered her husband $1 million not to pull the plug.

State-run Iraqi tv has a daily program featuring the confessions of captured insurgents. Some of them show signs of having been beaten up, and this week one died after his 15 minutes were up.

Tax collectors in Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh, in an interesting variation on the old Indian custom of “sitting dharna,” have hired drummers to play, constantly, outside the homes of tax-defaulters. Don’t tell the Republicans, or they’ll stick a provision in the bankruptcy bill letting credit card companies do that to debtors too.

A tiny unregarded AP story Friday reported that 37 people killed themselves in 2004 under Oregon’s assisted-suicide law, which is a drop from the previous year. The average age of the... customers was 64. I support assisted suicide, but I hope someone is properly monitoring this program because the possibilities for abuse are so great.

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