Friday, January 25, 2008

Quotes From Around Yon Blogosphere

It remains to be seen if illegal substances played a part in Heath Ledger's death, but judging from the reports of the prescription drugs found in his apartment, to his own descriptions of sleepless nights, I'm gonna guess insomnia has played some role.

Anyone who's struggled with insomnia (or been denied kip by a new-born, snoring relative or neighbour doing Victoria Bitter marriage counselling) knows it's as close as you can get to a living hell; especially if you have to be somewhere and function the next day.

You lie in bed, completely exhausted but can't shut off your brain; you get anxious because you can't sleep and when you look at the clock and it says 3am, the anxiety deepens, then you stress out or get angry, further lessening your chances of snoozing.

That's when a lot of people, including myself, reach for the sleeping tablet in the hope of snatching some sanity-saving zeds and in the US, particularly New York, the hottest pill on the market is Ambien aka Stilnox

The trouble with most sleeping pills is the "hangover" the next morning which can be worse than not having slept at all - you wake feeling like your head is filled with Clag hobby glue and half the day can escape as you drift into work still dreamy.

It's not surprising that when Ambien (called Stilnox here in Australia) came on the market and users spoke of its miracle powers, insomniac consumers rushed to get on. "You just drift off into a nice sleep, and when you wake up in the morning, you're not groggy. It's fabulous, I couldn't live without it," said Liz Withers, in a 2005 New York Observer article.


Who would dare say that Hillary — the lone woman in a field of men — should campaign alone? Pandering to neanderthalic misogynists would be political suicide, and I don’t see anyone that stupid in the field for either party.

But of course, Bill isn’t your average spouse, is he? Or maybe I’ve been missing the screaming headlines produced every time Elizabeth Edwards or Michelle Obama or Cindy McCain speak.


In attacking Barack Obama, the ex-President has gone past embarrassing into his own kind of seductive swiftboating.

Is there any difference in twisting the record of someone who opposed the Iraq war from Day One on behalf of an opponent who voted for it from smearing a man who fought and bled in Vietnam to benefit someone who dodged serving there?


The implicit promise of Hillary Clinton's presidential candidacy was that she had learned from Clinton I. In her, Americans would have a candidate who had been in the very center of White House decision-making. And the very fact that so much had gone wrong was added value. She is nothing if not a good learner, and — the story went — she had discovered at great price where all the landmines lay, both in the presidency and her own character. And she had forged a separate political identity in seven years in the Senate. During an era when the challenges to a new president could be sudden and overwhelming — and here Hillary isn't ashamed to play the terror card — she was uniquely prepared to hit the ground running and achieve the greatest do-over in American history.

Now, Bill's role as Chief Attack Dog undermines all that. If he's all over her campaign, he's going to be all over her administration. Instead of the original promise of the thoroughly educated Hillary, we're being offered the worst-case scenario — that the pair of them are going to return to Pennsylvania Avenue and recreate the old Clinton chaos.


Of the 100 sitting senators, 16 have run for president. Since John F. Kennedy won the presidency in 1960, becoming only the second person elected from the Senate to the White House, 47 senators have unsuccessfully sought residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.


That lovable cuddly senior Democrat, Senator Harry Reid, is still determined to give President Bush exactly what he wants in terms of telecom immunity. That is to say, our Harry thinks it is a wonderfully excellent idea for Congress to decree that the telecom companies which broke the law by agreeing to violate the privacy rights of their customers, and furnishing information about them and their telephone and/or internet communications to the federal government without proper legal authorization, should be retroactively protected from lawsuits for aforesaid illegal actions. Before anyone even knows exactly what illegal actions the telecoms may have actually engaged in. It’s a secret, blanket cover-up form of amnesty, that’s what it is. And amnesty, as we all know, is a very bad word; it may well be the only 4-letter word that takes 7 letters to spell. However, for some strange reason, this guy is standing up and saying: "I’m Harry Reid, and I approve this sh*t."


Airlines can make more money selling 70 airplanes worth of tickets per hour than they could if they limited themselves to the 60 airplanes per hour that the runway can handle. In fairness to the airlines, it’s not in their interest to limit themselves. It is easier to sell the tickets and blame the delays on the weather or the "antiquated" air traffic control system. Especially if the flying public doesn't understand runway capacity limits and therefore fails to notice that the "antiquated" air traffic control system is delivering more airplanes to the runways than the runways can handle.


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