For the first time in quite a few days I have the windows open in my house and the air conditioning turned off. Not only does that save my electric bill, but it's a lot quieter here. Plus the breeze is comfortable.
As I write this I am watching CNN watching an interesting piece about airline and the fees they charge travelers who buy plane tickets. I'm glad I don't travel by plane much; the last time I flew anywhere was in 2007. It is ridiculous that airlines are charging such high fees for, among other things, carry-on luggage. There are other things that airlines charge for, including checked baggage, buying tickets from other than the ticket counter in an airport (this makes no sense to me), and transfers (I can't argue with this one; airline tickets are non-refundable in most cases). It makes me shake my head.
If I have to travel any distance from now on, I'll look into alternative means of transport, including driving myself. Train travel would be preferable, however; you can sleep in the seats. That's hard to do when you're driving.
In other news, there are massive protests happening in Anaheim, California because police shot what apparently was an unarmed gang member. Some of the footage I'm seeing is a bit graphic, including police dogs going after unarmed protesters. The family of the victim is planning to sue the city of Anaheim for wrongful death; they contend that he wasn't doing anything when he was shot.
But were they there, and do they really know what happened? Is the whole story being told? I think that remains to be seen, and I'm sure that there will be more to follow.
Of course there is still considerable coverage on the shootings in Aurora, Colorado. Looking at the court footage of the defendant, James Holmes, he looks really dazed. Martha and I talked about this last night; I had remarked that I thought he was medicated. She made a really good point that, even though it seemed that his actions may have been pre-meditated, he could have suffered a psychotic break at some point in the past that threw him into whatever mode his mind was in when he allegedly did what he did.
I hadn't really thought of that, but it has merit. There are many instances a crime was committed by someone who was thought to have had a break of some sort where the acts committed were planned.
I especially feel bad for the Medley family. Caleb Medley and his pregnant wife, Katie, went to the screening. He was shot in the head, losing an eye and suffering brain damage. He is in a medically-induced coma. Katie was not injured, and she gave birth to a baby boy yesterday. A small miracle in the midst of terrible suffering.
The continuing events in Syria are hard to watch because of the impact they could potentially have on the rest of the region. It can now be classified as a civil war due to the numbers of people that have taken up arms against the government forces. The dead potentially can become more numerous than the living, and the destruction - and the violence - spreads. One of the questions that seems to come up often enough is why the UN (and, by proxy, the US) doesn't intervene. As I see it, the answer, and the reasoning, both simple and complex at the same time. First, the simple: it is a civil war. At least in principle, sovereign nations should be allowed to take care of their own business, no matter how tragic the outcome is. The complex problems that can (and usually do) happen take place when nations on the outside of the fight take sides. The future consequences can be destructive to both the nation in conflict as well as those nations who pick a side.
As addicted as I am to it, stories like this make me hate watching the news.
A local story made national news: an individual who worked at Exeter Hospital's Cardiac Catheterization lab was arrested and charged as a "serial infector." David Kwiatkowski, 32, was found to be "Patient Zero" in a Hepatitis C outbreak earlier this year, found to originate in the Cath Lab. The testing has expanded to the non Cardio-Vascular OR as well as the Intensive Care Unit. Apparently there are approximately 6,000 people who are being looked at as potential victims, just in Exeter Hospital's case. This guy worked in hospitals in 5 other states, including the Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore.
I know people who work at Exeter Hospital. And I feel bad for them because the backlash will affect everyone who works there. And if this man is indeed guilty (remember, everyone who is charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty...) I hope he gets whacked with the most severe punishment possible.