Thursday, April 29, 2004

Ask The Experts

My wife found a friend to babysit our son, and we went with the baby to an ask-the-experts forum on ALS. I was underwhelmed because the event was pitched at the level of the general public. It was very slow, and thin on content. Plus too many riffs about the-slide-show-on-my-laptop-is-not-working (every presenter had this problem). But at least I had the serenity to realize that my expectations for a past-and-furious technical discussion with hot questions from the floor were out of line. My wife correctly pointed out that if I wanted that, I should have gone to another recent event aimed at the researcher community.

So I told myself that I was there to absorb the personalities of the presenters, and feel reassured. I didn't. They all seemed frivolous. My reaction was: My future is in the hands of these clowns? That's probably unfair. But there are lots of researchers, and lots of really promising work being done in the lab. I plan on living in an active, self-mobile way for five year at minimum and probably more than 10. So I will be around for the advances in treatment, and the cure.

There were only three people in wheelchairs and they all smiled at my daughter as she toddled around in her pink pajamas. My daughter was the star of the show. The cute thing was that when we arrived, my wife and I put on name tags and then the baby sat up in her stroller, made an urgent noise, and began patting herself on the chest. She wanted one too. So we made one for her. She wound up walking around with it on her back.

Following up on that woman soldier in Iraq, she amply demonstrates the principle that the respect and thanks that we should have for the sacrifice our soldiers make does not mean that we have to support without question the leaders who deploy those brave soldiers around the world. Indeed, our duty is to use our freedom to challenge our leaders. (You heard that here first):

Monday, April 26th, 2004:

I don’t believe that the current Administration cares about those soldiers, though. Talk is cheap. This Administration talks a lot about us, asks a great deal of us----and does nothing but make things harder and harder for us. Cutting VA benefits? Cutting the size of the force so that more work can be asked of fewer soldiers? Their arrogance astounds me.

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by