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Dear Viewers,

On Tuesday, we took a mini road trip to a New Carrolton, Maryland Ramada Inn. It is about 15 miles from D.C. (between D.C. and Baltimore) and is one of the locations where Iraqis can vote in the upcoming Iraqi election (search). I have attached pictures to the blog today for you to see — click on the photo essay link in the photo box above. The pics are the "behind the scenes" to the video that we shot and, as usual, are very casual pics, but will show you things you will not see elsewhere — e.g. a close up of a security badge that is required of the media to wear.

We shot professional video and will show the video sometime this week during our show since we want you to see where the Iraqis register and vote here in this country. I interviewed one of the people in charge of the polling place so that you can learn how this election will be conducted here.

There are a few things that struck me as "odd" — e.g. Iraqi-Americans who voted during OUR November election and who were born in Iraq can also vote in this Iraqi election. I also thought that a basement of a Ramada Inn as an odd place to vote —- I guess I was expecting something more elegant or ceremonious for such an extraordinary event in history. I expected security and there was security — but not many people were there to register to vote. The registration area was almost empty if not empty except for poll workers. I have read articles that the turnout is much lower than expected.

As for the video I shot for you at the inaugural ball last week and which I had hope to post for you on this site, I am still struggling with how to get it off my computer ... maybe today will be my lucky day as I have more advice from people who know how to do this. You have no idea how many hours I have worked on this problem. I am hopeful I can get this video off my computer and on the blog before the next presidential election … which, at the rate I am going, seems when I will finally conquer the computer. The worst part about this is that I am spending all this time on something which is probably not that great to begin with! It is simply some video of the ball that no one aired on the television and I thought you might want to see it.

Last night we did a segment on Cindy Margolis (search) and infertility. For those of you who missed the segment, click on the link in the video box above to watch the interview. Her segment generated many e-mails — here are a random selection:

E-mail No. 1

I watch your show most every night. I found great interest tonight as I watched Cindy talk of her struggle to have a child. I too have been there … still there after 3 years. She is right, it is very costly to do in-vitro. I have 2 friends that did this and both paid over $20,000, for one round, with a 35% chance of it working. As much as it would be worth it if it worked, we just can’t bring ourselves to do it because of the thought of it not working. This IS a very heart-wrenching journey as Cindy said. I totally relate ... she IS very fortunate that she was able to go with in-vitro. Thanks for having Cindy on and speaking of this.

E-mail No. 2

Dear Greta, Producers and Staff,
"PUKE" ... sorry, but there's no better way to express my sentiments regarding the segment on Cindy Margolis and her "infertility solutions." Myself, having experienced infertility, chose NOT to become a mother via expensive and invasive procedures involving huge amounts of unnatural hormone therapy, unnatural insemination procedures, nor the use of surrogates. Not only are these methods self-serving and based in narcissism, but I shudder to think of the after effects (years later) of the large amounts of these fertility drugs on a woman's body. I'm sure we'll see an increase in ovarian cancers among this age group in years to come.
After only a few "rounds" of artificial insemination, my husband and I chose our route to parenthood through international adoption. We have done it twice and are blissfully blessed with our sons, Nicholas and Lucas, whom we adopted from Guatemala in 1999 and 2004 respectively. They are truly our gifts from God. We cannot imagine what our lives would have been like had we not brought them home.
It's a shame that infertile couples pursue parenthood through such artificial means as in vitro insemination and the use of surrogates. It's bizarre and illustrates how obsessed couples have become in duplicating themselves. Fifty years ago, such procedures did not exist. What would these self-absorbed individuals have done then?
With so many GORGEOUS, healthy, beautiful and brilliant children in the world needing homes, I often wonder what compels couples to pursue having "their own biological children" at any cost. The risks are high ... the cost prohibitive ... the results a crap shoot. For the cost of 1.5 in vitro attempts, these couples can be guaranteed parenthood through adoption. But, I guess they are more interested in creating little, biological clones of themselves — at any cost — in lieu of embracing a child to parent and love. I guess this is what defines parenthood to these shallow individuals.
Being a good mother or father has nothing at all to do with genetics (nature) and everything to do with nurture. When I look at, hold and kiss my two beautiful babies I feel SO blessed. Blessed that I've been chosen to give wonderful children — who had no one — all the unconditional love and caring my heart can give. I watch them grow. I help them learn. I love them beyond words.
My children are MY blessings. I now thank God daily for my infertility for had I gotten pregnant I would not have my boys to love and cherish. I further count my blessings that I am NOT like Ms. Margolis: for if I had her "values," I would have missed out on two of the most precious little people in the world and the boys that I was meant to call my sons.
My condolences to Ms. Margolis and her husband for their narcissism and shallowness. Their pursuit of parenthood is so misguided and has it's roots in self absorption. From my own life experience with fertility I can say with conviction, "they've completely missed the boat on this one."
Denise Burne Fein
Moorestown, NJ

E-mail No. 3

Hi Greta!
It is NOT the fault of insurance companies that women today are waiting until they are older to have children! It's a proven fact the older a female is the weaker the eggs are and the more difficult it is to conceive! Another example of people not wanting to take personal responsibility for choices they make! I don't think I should have to pay higher rates because of HER choices!
Seattle, WA

E-mail No. 4

Greta, I hate to say this, but I believe the reason for "unexplained infertility" is because the young women of today have had a minimum of eight sexual partners, and have had numerous vaginal infections prior to marriage! Check with your sister, I believe I am correct! I know of several young women who have had the same problems conceiving and they have been with numerous partners! A study should be done.
Kathleen DiCenso
Scottsdale, AZ

E-mail No. 5

Dear Greta,
I watch your show to stay up on the latest stories. Two nights in a row I've been subjected to seeing pictures of a stripper (Monday) and tonight the photos of "most downloaded woman."
I'm not sure if this is typical for your show; I don't remember seeing this kind of material before. You're show is better than that.
I just want to let you know that if this kind of material continues, I will no longer watch your show. I'll turn off FOX News after "Hannity & Colmes."
Thank you,
Eileen Haupt

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