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2003-04-16 | 12:42 p.m.

Today when I was picking up Jasper from preschool, we got a handout describing a local service effort to collect supplies for care packages to send to troops in the Middle East--people who are from this area. I couldn't help but look at the list and think, "Geez, seventy-five billion dollars, and they don't even give these people toothpaste or toilet paper?"

Still, we'll probably put a few things together to send. I try to remind myself, through gritted teeth, that it's not their fault the government is being run by criminals. Though of course, some people would argue that what the troops are doing is criminal in its own right. I know the flag-wavers wouldn't agree, of course, but by the criteria of human rights organizations, killing a civilian counts as pretty significant violation of their human rights. It's bigger than, say, throwing them in jail for no good reason or even pulling out their fingernails. Right now, the Iraq Body Count site is reporting a minimum of 1400 dead Iraqi civilians as a result of the war. Remember the Nazi commanders who were tried and convicted at Nuremberg? Most Americans thought that was a good idea back in 1945. The U.S. hadn't entered WWII lightly. Many thought we had waited too long. Banana-boat imperialism was so nineteenth-century. Americans could not imagine their country undertaking a war for specious reasons, much less being led to war by a president who not only wasn't a veteran but had gone AWOL from his National Guard unit for more than a year. He just never showed up for duty. Though he never left U.S. soil during the Vietnam era, he has had the audacity to claim he went to war. In January 2002, he was quoted in the Houston Chronicle as having said, "I've been to war. I've raised twins. If I had a choice, I'd rather go to war."

Anyway, that's why the U.S. government was so adamant that they would not be bound by the judgments of an international court and put our soldiers at risk of being tried for war crimes. Because somebody in the Bush administration understands what war crimes are.

I got a couple of interesting hits from search engines today. One was for what not to do after the colposcopy and the other was for dead mom gives birth.

I think I know what prompted the latter search. Two bodies have been found near the Berkeley Marina this week. One was an adult female and the other was a newborn baby boy with his umbilical cord still attached. Though the identities have not been confirmed, the presumption is that the woman is Laci Peterson, from Modesto, who was eight months pregnant when she disappeared on Christmas Eve. Her husband told the police he had been fishing at the Berkeley Marina that day, and the police have already conducted numerous searches of the Bay, looking for her body. Still, the husband has not been charged.

I, too, have wondered how it is possible that the baby washed ashore. Is it possible that Laci Peterson went into labor as she was drowning and gave birth? Did Scott Peterson cut the child out of her dead body? I apologize for the gruesome nature of this post, but these are the things I think about. Hope you're not reading this over your lunch.

Thanks to everyone who has left me comments in the last few days, especially Puppett, who really helped me put popularity and readership in perspective. I love your comments, everybody! Keep 'em coming!

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