Michael Axelrod: ‘Yes, bananas are wonderful. I generally eat a banana after vigorous exercise to replace the lost potassium. And yes indeed that potassium makes those bananas radioactive, but not so radioactive as granite. If you stand near the granite statutes in the Capitol rotunda, say six hours a day, you will come close to the allowed exposure for radiation workers. A cargo container full of bananas will look like someone is trying to smuggle a nuclear weapon into the country. And this is a problem for the homeland security folks.’


John Lemon: ‘I’ve had an internet checking account with them since 2000. If I keep a $1500 balance, the checking is free, is interest bearing (insignificant now but it paid a promotional 6% when I opened the account) and the on-line bill pay is free. The only down side is that they take five days or so to post deposits of over $1000. Totally legit.’


President Bush, surrounded by proud male legislators (no females) – who feel they know best about motherhood and medicine – signed what is loosely known as the partial birth abortion ban yesterday. A friend who has performed one writes:

Ken Ahonen: ‘As an emergency physician, I once took care of a 20-year-old woman (a girl, really) who was pregnant. Because of her pregnancy, she developed uncontrollable seizures that threatened her life. She, her husband, and her parents were informed that the only way to save her life was to stop the seizures. The only way to stop the seizures was to deliver the baby….right away.

‘The problem is, the baby was too young to live on its own, even if put on life support. If delivered, the baby would surely die, but the young mother would live. So everyone decided to terminate the pregnancy and save the life of the 20 year old woman. It was a decision that was made by the woman, her husband, her parents, me and the obstetrician, not the government.

‘The delivery went smoothly and quickly, and the woman lived. The obstetrician said that she most likely can have a normal pregnancy in the future, should she choose it.

‘Now here is the good part of the story: the government had no part in this decision. It was all decided by the woman herself, along with advice from her husband, her family and her doctors.

‘The anti-abortionists have termed this procedure ‘Partial-Birth Abortion’ to generate public support against abortions and to empower the government to make these all-important decisions for women. This procedure should rather be called Life Saving Termination of Pregnancy, because that is what it is.

‘The baby in this case was delivered by C-section, as they usually are in late terms, since this is the safest way for the mother. The suction and skull crushing thing is another wrong dramatization created by anti-abortionists. Though the procedure exists, it is basically not ever done like that. (Ew!) After C-section, the baby is never deliberately killed. If the baby is less than 24 weeks and therefore ‘non-viable’ it is placed in a bowl and sent to the pathology lab to look for abnormalities. If 24 weeks or more, then resuscitation is attempted and often successful.’

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