Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
And, in another bizzare turn of events, Michael Schiavo's incredibly glib attorney George Felos - who by his grotesque smirk of the past few days I take to mean that he must be contemplating the perecentage he'll get from signing a book deal for his client - announced that both he and Michael Schiavo insist on an autopsy after Terri's passing, ostensibly to clear his client's good name of charges of spousal abuse. Of course, standard autotopsies are conducted to determine the cause of death, and not the extent of the deceased's brain function. We already know how Terri Schiavo will have died: starvation and dehydration, by the orders of her loving husband, and the court system, and the smug JD who aided and abetted him in his crimes. (I just had a thought: maybe Judge Greer could do the autopsy; he couldn't do any worse at that than he did as an judge in this case.)
Something that I've found increasingly disturbing is how the MSM has portrayed the Schindler family. And not only that, but how little attention the Major Media has given to the Schindler's reports of Terri's condition. They merely say that Terri is PVS, that Michael wants to respect her wishes to die, and that the parents think she 'can improve.' Very little context is given, and the parent's opinion is made to sound ridiculous.
When lefty blogs like Daily Kos mock and condemn those who might keep Terri alive, those writers make bombastic statements to the effect that we are all morons, those of us who won't face the fact that Terri has been brain dead for years. But her Parents tell a vastly different story: that even now, as death approaches, Terri has cognition, that she feels and knows what is happening to her.
So, we have the ghoulish George Felos announces glibly that Terri feels nothing, and has been effectively dead for a decade and a half. But her parents and family and other doctors insist otherwise. One side is more than mistaken: one of them is lying. Morever, the lies of that side deserve to classified as Damned Lies. And I don't view the Schindler's as liars. (As the old saying goes, if it walks like a duck, and quacks like one, it must be...)
I have been thinking alot about this whole sordid affair over the past few days, wondering if perhaps I haven't gone overboard in my outrage, wondering if perhaps I've been too hasty in my willingness to pronounce Michael Schiavo and George Felos and Judge Greer to be not just wrong, but evil. Then I come back to my senses and am left with the unmistakeble conclusion: whether they started out that way, these men have now been consumed by the evil they have done to Terri, and they have become evil men.
I DO think that I've been a little harsh on leftists, as a group. Yes, the left-wing media, and the leftist campus establishment, and the leftist ACLU have spearheaded the drive to kill Terri. But there have also been many brave lefties who've spoken out against the murder of Terri Schiavo. We mustn't forget that.
And paradoxically, there has been a significant number of those on the center/right who have either been unwilling to speak out, or have said that, while they personally disapprove, it's not something the government has any business getting involved in. (Sound familiar?)
I will continue to applaud any allies where they may be found in this fight. This isn't a Christian/Pagan, Left/Right, Black/White, Rich/Poor issue. This is a life and death issue, it's a light and dark issue, it's a right and wrong issue. And no matter how outraged lefties might be that I should call it like that, I can do no other.
May God bless and comfort Terri as she goes to Him.
UPDATE: I wrote this last night, in a state of sleeplessness, and thought I had saved it, unfinished, as a draft. And, since Blogger was acting up again, I was unable to review the post to correct spelling and grammer errors last night. To my chagrin, when I checked my blog this afternoon, I saw that the post had been published. In any case, I have tried to correct much of the mistakes, and I apologize for having posted such a confused mess.
Probably. It's what he does best. But even if he's late on the draw, at least he's speaking out:
US civil rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson visited the hospice where Schiavo is being cared for and said she was being inhumanely "starved to death" and urged Florida lawmakers to take action.
And you really oughta give him credit for that much.
Probably. It's what he does best. But even if he's late on the draw, at least he's speaking out:
US civil rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson visited the hospice where Schiavo is being cared for and said she was being inhumanely "starved to death" and urged Florida lawmakers to take action.
Monday, March 28, 2005
Sunday, March 27, 2005
A lefty padre explains in his sermon today why those who would wish to prevent Terri Schiavo from being starved to death - and who claim to advocate a 'Culture Of Life' - are confused, at the very least. They are actually peddling a 'Culture Of Death.' Really. Read on:
I raise Ms Schiavo's situation not because I want to commend a particular stance on whether she should or should not be allowed to die. That would be presumptuous of me, given that this is a personal matter between her family and her doctors. It is an ethical dilemma that, unfortunately, is not unique. It is repeated throughout hospitals in the developed world every day. We have the luxury, I suppose I would call it the terrible luxury of being able to keep our loved ones existing on heart/lung machines indefinitely, or to keep pumping nutrition into those who are, for all intents and purposes, brain dead. Most people in the world don't have that luxury. Many people can't even get access to safe drinking water, much less even minimally appropriate health care. In certain places in the world I have beaten the odds of survival by having seen my fortieth birthday.
So, I have a few questions for those on the streets, in the media, and in the legislatures who have invested so much time, energy, and money into this personal family tragedy through appeals to a "culture of life." Is a culture of life encouraged when the poor continue to fall ill and die because of inadequate access to health care? Is a culture of life nurtured when governments and corporations facilitate the destruction of the ecological systems that make life itself possible? Is a culture of life celebrated when we are encouraged to value that which we can buy, rather than those whom we could love? Is a culture of life embraced when people die as a result of terrorism and war, crushing poverty, and preventable diseases? With all due respect, I think I would have to call that something else. A culture of death, perhaps? Focussing [sic] on individual life-and-death tragedies is a sideshow at best, a diversion from what I believe are true culture of life issues. Sadly, I don't expect to see the media or legislators rushing to deal with them.
And, for once, I have nothing to say.
Saturday, March 26, 2005
While the MSM have been silent and/or wrong on nearly every point of its coverage, The Empire Journal has been fearless in its reporting on the Terri Schiavo story, including coverage of judicial corruption, and violations of Florida and Federal laws. If there are - as there should be - hearings by Congress into the starvation-murder of Terri Schiavo and the multiple violations of her civil and human rights, The Empire Journal's staff will certainly be called as witnesses. Read their thorough and disturbing coverage of the story here.
Editorial from LifeSiteNews, 03-24-2005, reprinted with permission:
Thursday March 24, 2005
Editorial - The Terri Schiavo Case - Generation X's Roe vs. Wade
As we commit this reflection to writing, Terri Schindler-Schiavo has spent the past five days without food and water. A federal judge refuses to grant the injunction requested by Terri's parents. This injunction would see the handicapped woman's feeding tube reinserted as the federal courts review her case.
Terri's survival is now a matter of Divine providence. For even if her feeding tube was restored, only a miracle could prevent Terri's organs from suffering irreversible damage after five days without nutrition and hydration.
All of the undersigned are Catholics in full communion with Rome. We denounce this slow and painful execution of Terri Schindler-Schiavo. We denounce this execution as gravely immoral, fundamentally unjust, and a gross violation of the Natural Law.
Pope John Paul II stated a little over a year ago that nutrition and hydration, even when administered through medical assistance, remain 'a natural means of preserving life, not a medical act.' In short, eating and drinking are common to every living human. 'Death by starvation or dehydration is, in fact, the only possible outcome as a result of their withdrawal,' the Holy Father continued. 'In this sense it ends up becoming, if done knowingly and willingly, true and proper euthanasia by omission.' Thus we denounce the starvation and dehydration of Terri Schindler-Schiavo as the deliberate euthanasia of a disabled woman.
Moreover, we denounce this execution as gravely immoral. The culture of death alleges that Terri is in a persistently vegetative state. We respond with the following proclaimed by the Holy Father: 'Even our brothers and sisters who find themselves in the clinical condition of a 'vegetative state' retain their human dignity in all its fullness.' In other words, Terri is a human person. She is part of God's creation and she enjoys the dignity common to every human person. No human power possesses the moral authority to pass judgment upon Terri's life. For as the Holy Father reminds us, 'The value of a man's life cannot be made subordinate to any judgment of its quality expressed by other men.'
Euthanasia is neither a matter of personal choice nor a matter of private morality. 'Whatever its motives and means,' article 2277 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, 'direct euthanasia consists is putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable.' To this teaching, the Holy Father adds: 'The evaluation of probabilities, founded on waning hopes for recovery when the vegetative state is prolonged beyond a year, cannot ethically justify the cessation or interruption of minimal care for the patient, including nutrition and hydration.' In short, Terri's disability and medical condition do not negate her essential dignity as a human person. Nor do Terri's disability and medical condition limit her fundamental right to life.
Each of the undersigned was born during the 1970s. As members of Generation-X, each of us survived the abortion holocaust ensuing from Roe vs. Wade. A quarter of our generation did not. In the name of medical privacy and personal choice, a quarter of our generation found itself butchered in the womb. Abortion has claimed more lives among our generation than the combined effort of AIDS, drugs, and gang violence.
Yet our blood has not satiated the culture of death. In the name of medical privacy and personal choice, the culture of death now seeks the blood of our elderly, our disabled, and our terminally ill. Like Roe vs. Wade, the execution of Terri Schindler-Schiavo is a defining moment in the culture war. It sets a precedent whereby our society no longer judges our elderly, our disabled, and our terminally ill as fully human.
Terri represents every North American with special needs. In allowing an estranged husband to insist upon the execution of his disabled wife, and in allowing an activist judiciary to sanction such an execution because of the woman's medical condition, we allow society to redefine the essence of our humanity. For society now judges each of us by our perceived productivity; our potential contribution to society must now meet some external quantitative standard. Otherwise society judges our quality of life as unworthy of quantity of life.
An old adage comes to mind: Those who fail to understand history are doomed to repeat its mistakes. This mistake is all too reminiscent of German eugenics in 1933, as well as the politics of abortion initiated by Roe vs. Wade in 1973. In our collective arrogance, we as a society refuse to learn from these mistakes. Thus we endanger the ten percent of our population with special needs. And if we may draw a lesson from modern history, what begins as reckless endangerment will soon entrench itself as social obligation. For as Fr. Richard John Neuhaus reminds us, 'Where orthodoxy is optional it will soon be prohibited.' Conversely, we have learned from the culture war over abortion and the homosexual agenda that the opposite is also true: Where immorality is tolerated it will soon be imposed.
'First you kill those who want to die,' forewarns the American Catholic ecumenist Dr. Bill Cork. 'Then you kill those whose family wants them to die, then those where one family member wants them to die, and then those whose families want them to live. Finally, you kill those who want to live but who get in the way of the state.'
The starvation and dehydration of Terri Schindler-Schiavo is nothing short of a diabolical attack upon the delicate wonder and beauty inherent in human life. This includes the lives of the elderly, the disabled, and the terminally ill. It is a moral catastrophe of which the consequences will equal or exceed Roe vs. Wade. For in as much as we starve Terri of food and water, we starve our society of all that makes us civilized.
Pete Vere, JCL
Catholic Author and Canonist
Catholic Social and Political Commentator
Catholic Author and Activist
Michael Trueman, JCL, MDiv
Catholic Author and Canonist
Catholic Author and Social Commentator
Canadian Pro-Life Political Lobbyist
I. Shawn McElhinney
Catholic Social and Political Commentator
Editor, the Interim Newspaper
(c) Copyright: LifeSiteNews.com is a production of Interim Publishing. Permission to republish is granted (with limitation*) but acknowledgement of source is *REQUIRED* (use LifeSiteNews.com).
Doing what liberal Mainline Protestant Church leaders will not, Ralph Nader - no friend of pro-life conservatives - speaks out:
Consumer advocate Ralph Nader says a "profound injustice is being inflicted on Terri Schiavo," and he is urging the Florida courts, Gov. Jeb Bush and concerned citizens to take any legal action available to let the brain-damaged woman live.
STARVATION: DAY 9
Criminal probes reportedly shut down despite investigators' concerns.
SSJ, indeed: Florida Judge [Greer] Nixes Schiavo Parents' [last] Request.
Just remember, my friends, God is bigger than all this. It may be too late for Terri's life to be saved, but - if you pray - pray that Judge Greer may yet repent of the massive evil he has done in this matter. And if he is not brought to account in this world, and does not repent - as I hope will yet happen - he will then have to answer to God on his day of judgement, where the mercy the judge has denied Terri will be denied him. Pray, then for Terri, and for the judge, as well as for all the others culpable in this tragic miscarriage of justice.
Friday, March 25, 2005
Zimp has the list: Violations of Florida Statutes against Terri Schiavo.
The battle, like many public policy disputes, has been tangled in politics and snarled in finger-pointing. But beyond that, it has been a rare display of all the institutions of democracy at work at the same time.
Not a pretty sight, says Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University.
"It is in fact an object lesson on democracy; it just doesn't happen to be a good lesson," he said.
Congressional intervention, he said, flies in the face of the Founding Fathers' intention to give most rights and powers to the states.
"I believe that the framers would be horrified," Turley said. Even so, he allowed, "it is impressive to see judges holding such a uniform line against tremendous pressure from Congress."
Steven Gey, a professor of constitutional law at Florida State University, said it was as if "the Founding Fathers anticipated precisely this kind of situation."
"What you see is the legislature — both federal and state level — rushing into a situation where they don't have adequate grasp of the facts or the law and then you see the courts doing things correctly, very deliberately going through the facts."
Correctly. Deliberately. Facts. I should have known better. I thought we were dealing with an SSJ. But fortunately for us, judges do things correctly - and deliberately. And all the time I was worried about judicial tyranny. How dare the other two branches of government try to assert their powers? But the good news, I guess, is that lefties are now all for Federalism and States' Rights.
In a recent New England Journal of Medicine study, hospice nurses rated the deaths of terminally ill people who voluntarily stopped eating and drinking. On a scale of zero to nine, with the highest number being "a very good death," their average rating was eight.
Well, that's a relief.
In their hollow criticism, however, there is a kernel of truth: there are similar stories like Terri's being played out all over the country, every day. Feeding tubes are pulled under dubious circumstances by persons of ill-will, with the imprimatur of the court. And we are silent. Truth is, we don't become outraged because we don't know about most of such cases, and it's hard to learn the facts. That may need to change.
The Terri Schiavo story has captured the imagination of millions due to diligence of her parents and the blogging community and the churches who've cared. For many of us, is the first real exposure we've had to the duplicity of the judiciary, and the insidious nature of the Culture of Death that has had its grip on this nation since the Supreme Court rendered its judgement in Roe v. Wade, in 1973.
I view the whole sad episode as one of the two things:
1) a clarion call to arms for people of morals and decency - Christians, Muslims, Jews, or even Atheists - to speak more forcefully through the political process, to ensure that what Hugh Hewitt calls SSJ's (stubborn, stupid judges) are removed from, and no longer confirmed to, the judiciary. We need wise judges in our courts, so the rights of the handicapped will be protected. And, we need better laws.
2) the death throes of morality and decency in this country, a kind of Kristallnacht of the national soul, in which we go into a free-fall of moral collapse, and end up being just a large, English-speaking North American version of the Netherlands.
We get to choose. We must choose.
In fairness, for all of my passion, and for my desire that Jeb Bush would lead the charge into the hospice to rescue Terri, Governor Bush has chosen to follow the legal process, even when that process itself is behaving in a patently illegal and immoral fashion. He does not respect the behavior of evil men in robes, but he appears to respect their office. And, as frustrating as that is, it is itself encouraging, in some small way. It will only be through those who respect the law - unlike Judge Greer - that we will be able to come back out of this moral desert.
Evolving Standards of decency" saved Christopher Simmons's life; they weren't enough to save Terri Schiavo.
From In The Agora:
It's worthwhile to dig a bit deeper in the supposed "GOP talking points" where Republican Senators allegedly admit to fighting for Schiavo for political purposes. John Hinderaker has, among others, been asking interesting questions. The "unsigned" memo isn't composed of real "talking points," nor is it in standard format for memo operating procedure. No reporter has been able to offer evidence of its authenticity. As further proof to suggest the memo may be fake, the title says that it's tied to S.529, a bill concerning a US anti-doping agency, not Terri. There may be an explanation for all of this, but as Hinderaker says, "the burden now is clearly on ABC and the Washington Post to explain why they are not the victims of a hoax."There's alot more at the In The Agora link above, and Powerline has been covering the story, as well.
But, as of this AM, there is now one mention of the Terri Schiavo story on the ELCA website, on a youth page seemingly designed to promote discussion of the issues of Death and Dying. It takes no real stand on the subject, mostly regurgitating the same facts we've read in the Mainstream Media for weeks, but seems rather biased in favor of Michael Schiavo.
Thursday, March 24, 2005
I suspect I've annoyed some of the regular readers of this blog, who are no doubt regular readers because of the eclectic mix that I usually serve up. And I suspect I have lost a few readers in the process - not too many, but I'm sure there have been some. I hope, in time, they will come back. Ironic, then, that this past week I ended up with more traffic to this blog than I've ever had in any one week period, since I started it last September.
This past weekend I wrote up a piece on how the Mainline Liberal Protestant denominations - usually so focused on 'peace and justice' issues as to ignore clear teachings of the scriptures - have been found to have been AWOL on the subject of the killing of Terri Schiavo. Captain's Quarters and several other blogs of note linked to the piece, sending several hundred hits this way in less than 24 hours.
It was nice to know that the piece was being read by so many, but for me it was bittersweet. One of the things that many new bloggers hope for is more hits, for a larger audience, to move up in the Blogosphere's ecosystem rating. I will admit that I am not immune to that. So here my blog was being being read by more people than have ever read it before in any similar period of time, and I found myself feeling a bit sad about it.
Don't misunderstand. I appreciated the fact the Captain Ed and others linked to my piece, and I appreciated the fact that so many people came, and read and lingered. But mostly, all I could think of was how I hoped that they took this seriously, that they fully understood the implications of the fact that the church of their birth or their choice has chosen to be completely absent from this national debate, that those churches have chosen to stay quiet on this very important story, that those churches have gone AWOL on the killing of Terri Schiavo.
And from WND, Wendesday, 03-23-2005:
STARVATION: DAY 6
State could rescue Terri despite judge's denial
Florida Department of Children and Families says law permits action without judicial OK
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
George Felos, Michael Schiavo's attorney and proxy in the slow-motion murder of Terri Schiavo, said the following today, about attempts by Governor Jeb Bush to authorize Florida Children and Family workers to protect Terri as a vulnerable adult:
"It saddens me greatly that we have to run to court to get court orders to protect Terri Schiavo from the abuse of the state of Florida," Felos said. "The conduct of the executive branch of the state of Florida has been reprehensible in this case."
OK, I get it now. It's those who want to save Terri's life who are guilty of abusing her. Well, I've said it before: can Hell burn hot enough?
UPDATE: Sounding smarmy, as usual, Felos mocks those who would try to thrwat his client's plans to see Terri dead:
"Attorney George Felos also urged Terri's parents to end their legal quest to keep their daughter alive: "I think their time would be better served in reflection," Felos told a press conference."
"Felos called for people to move into Easter weekend in a "frame of contemplation. I think if there's anything Mrs. Schiavo would want -- she would want that."
You know, George is probably right. I'm sure that probably is what Terri would want. And I'm also pretty sure she'd want a large fee to be paid to George Felos to help Michael kill her, paid for out of the settlement money that was supposed to provide for her care. And, now, let me guess: she told that to Michael - and only Michael - years and years ago, while they were watching a TV show about a brain-damaged woman whose husband was assisted in killing his wife by a smarmy-sounding lawyer. Yeah, George is probably right.
[Michael] Schiavo Defends Terri's Right-to-Die Book, Movie Rights.
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
And, as is usually the case, Doug writes brilliantly on
the subject, linked below:
-Terri Schiavo - A Perfect Storm
-Terri Schiavo - Yes, It's Personal
-Do The American People Vastly Support Michael Schiavo?
-Terri Schiavo - Public Perceptions of the Judiciary
-Countering Some Common Arguments Against Saving Terri Schiavo's Life
-To Michael Totten Regarding Terri Schiavo
Monday, March 21, 2005
(In our righteous indignation at the shameless obstruction of the voice vote yesterday by several Democrat Congressmen, let us not overlook the fact that nearly half of the Democrat Congressmen and Congresswomen who voted last night did so on the side of decency. They are to be commended, and they should be thanked. They should also be invited to leave their party and come over to the other side of the aisle.)
Sunday, March 20, 2005
(Incredibly, in the story linked above, the Associated Press still can't get the story right, repeating the tired refrain that Terri has been in a Persistant Vegetative State for 15 years, despite ample evidence to the contrary. To the MSM: we will not soon forget this. And where was Nick Coleman?)
Saturday, March 19, 2005
I spent some time this evening reading through the websites belonging to some of the largest Christian denominations in the country, both so-called mainline churches, as well as others like the Southern Baptists and Assemblies of God, and of course, the website of the Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church.
I wanted to read what each of them might have to say about the Terri Schiavo story. I was particularly interested to read what the mainline churches had to offer, since they preach 'Peace And Justice' issues to exclusion of nearly all else. What story in recent memory better exemplifies the need for moral clarity and justice?
I was, sadly, not surprised at much of what I found:
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA): nothing. They did offer ideas on how to decorate Easter Baskets, by making a donation to their World Hunger Appeal. But there's nothing at all about a fellow Christian woman in the United States being starved to death by her husband. A search of their website for 'Schiavo' returned zero matches.
Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS): nothing on the front page. A search of their site for 'Schiavo' returned two matches, one to something called Mercy Notes, which appears to be a fact-sheet written in February 2005, outlining the facts of Terri's situation, in clear language. It seems that, unlike their larger Lutheran sibling, some in the LCMS strongly condemn the killing of Terri Schiavo.
Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (PCUSA): nothing. There is, however, a link to a page called Justice Is Yummy, celebrating the end of a boycott involving farmworkers. Apparently there's only just so much food-related justice to go around. A search of their website for 'Schiavo' returned one match, to a story on the importance of having a living will.
United Methodist Church (UMC): nothing. They are - and rightly so - upset about the lack of potable water in Mozambique. But there's nothing on their site about Terri Schiavo being denied hydration. A search of their news service for 'Schiavo' returned zero matches.
United Church of Christ (UCC): nothing. This offspring of the Congregationalist movement from the Reformed stream is one of the most liberal Christian denominations, heavily involved in 'Peace And Justice" issues. They do have a link on their main web page to news stories announcing "Taco Bell boycott ends victoriously," and "UCC leader says Focus on the Family's anti-tolerance stance 'leads to bullying on the playground." A search of their news service for 'Schiavo' returned zero matches.
The Episcopal Church in America (ECUSA): nothing. I went to their news service page, and still found nothing. The ECUSA does have priorities and concerns, however. They are very upset about the oil drilling set to begin in ANWAR that was approved by Congress this past week, and they have on their website lots of links to stories about churches conducting same-sex union blessings, of which they appear to approve. A search of their site for 'Schiavo' returned zero matches.
American Baptist Church (AMC): nothing. They appear quite proud of themselves - as they should be - for raising alot of money for Tsunami victims. But their policy statements on Death and Dying are troubling, at the very least. A search of their site for 'Schiavo' returned zero matches.
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOA): nothing. Their website homepage seems to be mostly devoted to communication with the faithful over issues related to church life. A search of their site for 'Schiavo' returned zero matches.
Mennonite Church USA: nothing. This is the grand-daddy of 'Peace And Justice' denominations, strongly anti-war and known for its stands on Social Justice issues. A search of their site for 'Schiavo' returned zero matches.
Assemblies of God (AG): nothing is mentioned on the main page, but when I entered 'Schiavo' in their search window, 184 links were displayed, mostly links to stories that appeared to be sympathetic to Terri's plight.
Southern Baptist Convention (SBC): multiple links to stories on the Terri Schiavo tragedy. The SBC appears to be supportive of Terri and her family.
Latter Day Saints (LDS): nothing. I realize that there is a great deal of controversy as to whether the LDS should even be included with Christian Churches, but I listed them here because they have 10 million members who at least wish to be known as Christians in the community-at-large. A search of their site for 'Schiavo' returned zero matches.
Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA): nothing. Like the LDS, the UUA is considered by most Christians to be so far outside the mainstream of Christianity as to cast serious doubts as to whether they should be included on a list of Christian Churches. The UUA itself would likely disassociate itself from most other Christian bodies. But they descend from the Congregationalist movement, and consider themselves to be great upholders of human and civil rights. Their main page celebrates a California court ruling supporting same-sex marriage, with several links to other stories on the subject; it appears they strongly approve. But a search of their site for 'Schiavo' returned zero matches.
The Florida Catholic Conference: links to the Bishop's statement about the Terri Schiavo affair, with multiple links on many aspects of the case.
The United States Conference of Cathlic Bishops: one link to a statement strongly supporting Congressional action to save the life of Terri Schiavo,
I could go on and on, listing other denominations but to what end? It's clear that the only large Christian bodies that care about the life and death of Terri Schiavo are the conservative evangelical churches and the Roman Catholic Church. The so-called mainline liberal protestants proclaim their commitment to 'Peace And Justice' issues with great sound and fury. But when it isn't a left-wing political cause in play, it would appear they have no opinions, at all.
Don't mistake my meaning. I am not saying there are no left-wingers who are just as outraged as I am by what is happening to Terri; there probably are. Left-wingers are quite sensitive to human rights issues. In addition to all the other angles, this story is a human rights story, too. And what's more, what is happening to Terri is a crime. Additionally, I don't mean to indict every member of those denominations. There are remnant faithful in most of them.
But my point is about the religious response from those who call themselves Christian. The information above clearly illustrates to me the ethical and moral torpitude of the mainline denominations. They cannot side with Terri in this fight because they long ago cast their denominational lots in with the Culture of Death in Western Society. Their denominational crusades for 'Peace and Justice' are a thin smokescreen for advancing a collectivist agenda for the future, the very agenda that brought us to the moral precipice we've been peering into in this country since January of 1973.
I can only take comfort in knowing that, while the leaders of the above-named offending denominations may never be called to account by men, they most certainly will have to answer to The Almighty. They will learn about True Justice on that day. And they will have to hope for some of the Mercy that is being denied Terri Schiavo.
We owe a word of thanks to the Democrats, quoted from the story linked above:
At a news conference after the Senate session Saturday, Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, thanked the Democratic leadership for cooperating on an expedited procedure to consider the legislation. He singled out Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Carl Levin of Michigan as two who had reservations about the bill, but agreed not to use Senate rules or traditions to block its consideration.
Michael Schiavo, in the meantime, continues to whine:
"I feel like the government has just trampled all over my personal life," he said on CNN's "Larry King Live" on Friday. "It is uncomprehensible that a government can walk all over somebody's private judicial matter, because of their own personal feelings."
Please don't imagine that I have no personal knowledge of brain damage, feeding tubes, paralysis and dying: in fact, later today or tomorrow, I will try to write up the story of my mother's debilitating stroke in 1997; of the 30 months she spent in a nursing home in a paralyzed state; how the family had someone with her nearly every single day of those months, without fail; how I spent many days acting as my mother's representative, and eventually her executor; how she - and we - made the difficult decision to not pursue aggressive medical treatment of her additional strokes; how she was given extensive therapy, at our insistence, and regained some limited faculties that allowed her some pleasures and dignity - what has been denied Terri for 15 years; and how I never, never, never ever would have allowed her feeding tube to be removed, even while she was dying. No, don't imagine I do not know.
All I can say is that if you have enjoyed this blog in the past, but find that my posting rabidly on the subject of Terri's impending death bothers or offends you, please take a break and come back in a few days. I value and appreciate those who read what I have to write and say, regardless of whether you necessarily agree with me. I read your blogs, and I thank you for reading mine. It is my style to blog on many things, and soon enough I will, again.
But, for a short season, this is my passion. Right now, I'm incensed, and I have very little else on my mind. In the next few days, Terri Schiavo's life is either going to be saved by brave, and good, and decent people, or she will die. Either way, I pray her suffering won't be long.
Friday, March 18, 2005
Thursday, March 17, 2005
(Katie Couric interviewed two of the jurors this AM on the Today show and asked them if they felt Blake was innocent, or just 'not guilty.' They both replied Not Guilty. Katie pressed the point with one of the jurors, asking again if he thought Blake was innocent. The juror replied: 'That's debatable.')
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
I also spent a few minutes viewing various scenes from the Best of Johnny Carson DVD set my buddy Sola-man gave me last weekend. Migawd! It's not so much that I'd entirely forgotten how perfect Carson's timing was, but seeing some of his classic moments again, after many years of being off the air, reminded me again of how good an entertainer he was.
Housecleaning: I have spent a good deal of energy not using the real names of persons I know from real life in my blog. I'm a little strange that way, I guess, but it just seems prudent. On other hand, it can make it hard to write about them. I hereby announce that my wife shall continue to be referred to as Mrs. Muzzy, but my kids shall be granted initials: AE, for the five year-old, and LK, for the two year-old. There's a method to the madness, but it's my madness. Mostly, it'll help me keep things straight in my own skull when I write.
So, with the nomenclature settled, on with it, then.
I took AE to the zoo this past weekend on an adventure. I'd told her that I'd take her on a shopping adventure - everything is better when it's an adventure, you see - at Target or Walmart, but she wanted a zoo adventure.
Saint Paul has one of the finest small urban zoos in the country, with free admission, and open 365 days a year. It has undergone a complete renovation since when I was a kid. The old zoo had little tiny cages, not much bigger than a small shed, where pathetic and mangy big cats and bears would pace and sleep.
Today all the animals have habitats that allow them to roam. There are lions and tigers and pumas and snow leopards, brown and polar bears, seals and sea lions, giraffes and zebras and kudos and sables, various kinds of apes and macaques. The zoo is even in the process of building a large, walk-through jungle habitat, where birds will fly freely overhead. It's a nice place.
After our zoo adventure, I was still going to try to get to Target or some such place, but AE still would have nothing of it. She said she wanted to just go home, that she was tired. But on our way home we passed an Ace Hardware store, and I remembered that I needed to look for a couple of items. I told AE that there might not be anything she'd enjoy inside, but that they served free popcorn in the store; that was enough to get her bounding out of the car.
I wasn't able to find what I was looking for, so I just browsed for a couple of minutes. But when it came time to go, AE wanted to linger. She was having a grand time checking out the various links of chain, spools of rope, bins of bolts and nuts and various sundry sheathed axes, poles and rakes. Finally, as we were leaving, she turned to me and announced: "Dad, you were quite mistaken. There are many things here that a kid like me would enjoy." Never assume. Indeed.
This past Sunday night Mrs. Muzzy and I went out for dinner with one of my old college room-mates and his wife. They are moving away to Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, where he is taking a new job. I've known both of them for years, and was pleased when I got married that my wife and my buddy's wife became good friends. Although they have family here, and we will see them when they come back regularly, no doubt, I am really going to miss them.
(I actually had the honor of introducing my buddy and his now-wife, many years ago. My two room-mates and I went on a triple-date - all First Dates, I might add - in the Fall of 1980, with some girls I knew. We all went to the movies as a group, really, but we quickly paired off into three couples. Two of the couples that evening ended up getting married; my date moved away - promptly - to Arizona.)
My buddy and his wife are godparents to both my daughters, and I've watched both their kids grow up, over the years. When we stopped over to their house this past weekend, I was surprised by the winsome nearly-15 year-old lass who came out to the living-room to greet us. Mon Dieu! Wasn't she was just their little girl, oh, last year, n'est ce pas?
Actually, she turned five on the day Mrs. Muzzy and I got married, nearly ten years ago. I still vividly remember handing her a little present at our reception and having the assembled throng sing Happy Birthday to her. And now she's almost nearly all grown up. Her older brother, whom I recall babysitting when he was but a toddler, will be twenty this year. They grow up so fast; it makes the head spin. I suspect others - and I - will be saying the same things about my little girls, soon enough.
I wrote in one of Hugh Hewitt's Symposia that I recommended Tom Wolfe's "Bonfire Of The Vanities," as a good work of fiction, but that I'd been as yet unable to plow through Wolfe's "A Man In Full." Well, I decided I wasn't going to outgrow my lazy streak, so I finally laid hands on a Books-On-Tape copy - abridged, of course - which I have now listened through, start to finish. The taped version is actually quite good, and I may yet try to read the printed novel. It captures the essence of the 1980's in Atlanta, much in the same way "The Right Stuff" captured the late 1950's and early 1960's. If you're looking for a good modern novel, give it a try. (And, I gotta say, it's inspired me to want to tackle "I Am Charlotte Simmons," too, despite several bad reviews I've read.)
Well, I suppose that's enough for one post.
It wasn't bad, but it wasn't really good, either. There were some ok performances, and no one was truly horrible.
Only two stood out: Nadia Turner and Bo Bice. They were both amazing, and I'd say if they dropped out of the competition today, both would be signed by major labels in less than a week. Right now, as things stand - and if God is just - it'll come down to just the two of them on the last performance night.
But God doesn't get to call or text his vote for the next American Idol; that is left to us mortals. So I voted 7 times for Nadia, last night, and tried another half-dozen times, but never got through to vote for Bo. The lines were busy, busy, busy.
The rest of the pack? I thought Scott was pretty good, as was Anwar. Vonzell did an ok job. Constantine was awight, but not great. Mikalah looked like she was competing in Drag Queen Nite, at a Gay Bar. (I don't think Mikalah will last another four weeks, but I think she has enough of fan base to keep her around till at least the final eight. But she is really starting to wear on my heinie.) I actually thought Anthony was pretty good. Jessica did a credible job. Carrie was completely underwhelming. Niko just felt all wrong, grabbing his crotch and singing Michael Jackson. What was he thinking? And Lindsey was really pretty bad, singing half-heartedly that she should 'knock on wood.' That may be the only hope she has.
So, who should go tonight? It really has to be between Lindsey and Niko. Neither is Idol-worthy, and they both need to go. But, since Niko got a second chance last night, I'm expecting his fans to vote in high enough numbers to keep him around for another week or two. It comes down to Lindsey, then. She needs to be given the hook. She is pretty, she sings well enough for the car or the shower, but not for national TV. At least she'll get to sing on the summer tour and make a little moolah off the deal.
In the end, I'm going to say that Nadia should win. She has the chops, and I think she will be able to do well as the theme nights come and go. But Bo is a better singer, and he will give her a run for her money. I'm telling you, it really needs to come down to those two.
Ah, the wonders that await us if we could only socialize our medical system, a la Great Britain. Not quite eight years ago a young lady there was born with what doctors diagnosed as isolated bulbar palsy. This malady prevented her from properly swallowing, and for her entire life she had to be fed through a tube directly into her stomach.
Recently, her family learned that doctors at Stanford University were treating this condition, so the family, friends and community ponied up nearly $20,000 to send the young lady to the U.S. for treatment. Lo and behold, the unsocialized doctors at Stanford could find nothing wrong with her. Nothing. That's right, she's now eating normally for the first time in her life. Though she now suffers from other medical problems resulting from the original misdiagnosis, we're sure she'll be just fine once she gets back to the land of "civilized" medicine and British cuisine.
From the states, as The Patriot recently reported, the Utah state legislature has been on the verge of repudiating the No Child Left Behind Act. In the name of state and local control, Utah was willing to forego $116 million in federal aid. The effort unanimously passed the State House and had sufficient votes to pass the Senate. But at the request of the White House, Utah's Republican governor has managed to postpone the Senate's vote. "We must go forward, but out of respect for President Bush and our governor, we are going to give another month for negotiation," state Rep. Margaret Dayton said. We share Mrs. Dayton's respect for President Bush, but our highest respect is for the Constitution, which gives no place to federal control of education. It is absolutely essential that the states prove themselves willing to give up federal funding in the name of federalism. Here, we would urge Utah not to cave to pressure from Washington.
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Ratdog is coming to town on Monday, April 28th, 2005.
What? The name doesn't ring a bell?
Bob Weir, founding member of the Greatful Dead, formed Ratdog as a side venture, in 1995. After the death of Jerry Garcia, The Dead disbanded - except for occasional shows - and since then, Ratdog has been Weir's fulltime gig.
So, here's the Very Cool part: my cousin is in the band, and I just got an email from my brother to the effect that our cuz has offered to score us tickets for the show. I'm there.
Caetano Veloso, for those unfamiliar, is a Brazilian musical icon, a star roughly equivalent in the heavens of Brazilian music to what Bob Dylan is in the US. (Indeed, like Dylan, Caetano also caused a ruckus in Brazil, when he 'went electric,' in the late 1960's.)
For the length of his career, Caetano has been an a powerful force in advancing the popularity of MPB (Musica Popular Brasileira), and, together with fellow Baiano Gilberto Gil, was co-founder of the influential Brazilian Tropicalia movement, in the mid '60's.
Still, Caetano has always had a fascination with the English language, and even recorded an album of original material in English. while living in political exile in London, in 1969.
On A Foreign Sound, he sings entirely in English, and covers artists as diverse as Cole Porter and Bob Dylan; he even does a eeire and spooky-sounding cover of Nirvana's 'Come As You Are.' Nearly 60 years of age, Caetano still looks youthful, and his voice has never sounded better.
As for Bebel Gilberto, I've been a huge fan of her famous father's music for years, but I didn't really think I'd like her stuff. I guess I feared that recently-deceased techno uber-producer Suba's electronica chill-factor would overwhelm the warmth of her voice. But I was pleasantly surprised.
(I have several CD's of Brazilian electronica and - while I'm not a great fan or sage - I'm no stranger to the genre, itself. I actually own some stuff by Boards of Canada, Sigur Ros, Four Tet and, of course, Radiohead. I must say, it's interesting, but sometimes all the blips and loops put me off.)
Tanto Tempo is basically a Bossa Nova album, with modest electronica underpinnings. It's a delightfully mellow collection of tunes that carry enough modern production to appeal to those under 30, yet sounds traditional enough to garner kudos from their parents. I'm sufficiently impressed to make her new album one of my next purchases.
You can hear samples of songs from both albums at the links above. And, in case you still wonder, I wholeheartedly recommend both collections.
"Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him". Quote (Act III, Scene II).
"But, for my own part, it was Greek to me". - Julius Caesar Quote (Act I, Scene II).
"A dish fit for the gods". Quote (Act II, Scene I).
"Cry "Havoc," and let slip the dogs of war". Julius Caesar Quote (Act III, Sc. I).
"Et tu, Brute!" Quote (Act III, Scene I).
"Men at some time are masters of their fates: The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings". - (Quote Act I, Scene II).
"Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more". Quote (Act III, Scene II).
"Beware the ides of March". - (Quote Act I, Scene II).
"This was the noblest Roman of them all". - (Quote Act V, Sc. V).
"When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept: Ambition should be made of sterner stuff". - (Quote Act III, Sc. II).
"Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous" Julius Quote (Act I, Scene II).
"For Brutus is an honourable man; So are they all, all honourable men". - (Quote Act III, Sc. II).
"As he was valiant, I honour him; but, as he was ambitious, I slew him" . Quote (Act III, Sc. II).
"Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once. Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, it seems to me most strange that men should fear; Seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come". Julius Caesar Quote (Act II, Scene II).
Read the whole play here.
Monday, March 14, 2005
The Leftmedia lost one of its biggest stars Wednesday night. It was the end of an error when SeeBS talkinghead Dan Rather bowed out. As the broadcast wound to an end and CBS employees lovingly gathered 'round, Rather bid farewell to his handful of remaining viewers with a tear-jerking homily and left them with the single word, "Courage." Bob Schieffer, anchor of "Face The Nation," will replace the irreplaceable Gunga Dan.
Rather, described by CBS as a "lightning rod for conservatives" (we prefer to think of him as a "soft target"), lost his job over the almost farcical story he insisted on airing last September -- a pack of partisan fabrications that supposedly proved that the President was AWOL during his stint in the Texas Air National Guard. Rather's smoking gun, a memo "written" in May, 1972, on a magic typewriter that could produce superscripts 20 years before their time, was found to be phony almost instantaneously by bloggers everywhere. In the end, Rather's most notable contribution to journalism may well turn out to be the gigantic boost he provided the blogosphere with this beaut of a story. Defiant to the end, and never one to let the facts get in the way of good journalism, Dan has yet to concede that the memo was a fake. (For a compendium of Rather funny cartoons, link here)
Sunday, March 13, 2005
(And while you're at CT, check out their weblog.)
Saturday, March 12, 2005
So, they are planning to do what Lefties always do when they get Mad-As H*ll: conduct a worldwide event on the First of May - that doesn't leave them much time to learn the words to L'Internationale - to Protest The Stolen Election. But, to make sure you know that they are Patriotic Americans, they will also gladly sell you lots of stuff.
From the above-linked story, Mr. Schiavo's attorney responds:
"Michael has said over and over again that this case is not about money for him," Felos said, according to the Associated Press. "It's about carrying out his wife's wishes. There is no amount of money anyone can offer that will cause him to turn his back on his wife."
He's right, it would so appear, about his client not turning his back on his wife. It seems his client is willing to kill his wife while looking her straight in the eye. May God have mercy on his soul.
So, take a gander for yourselves and see if you don't agree with me. Enjoy:
The first link is to a cartoon by a Harper's contributor that is simply bizarre. I think the cartoonist might have been trying to say... Nope, it still don't make no sense: Jesus Piggy.
The second link is to a page on the DU, with a number of Bush-Bashing cartoons. There are one or two nearly-clever ones, but the rest are just insipid. Not only are they not witty, worse yet, they aren't funny: Take the Banana!.
Now, if you want some gentle low-brow humor at the prez's expense, guaranteed to put a smile on yer mug, get into the Wayback Machine and re-visit the Dubya Dance, instead.
Friday, March 11, 2005
Thursday, March 10, 2005
(Sounds to me like the Mainlines are more concerned about the loss of Federal Government funding for the various Social Service projects they 'charitably' provide. I thought the they were big supporters of the seperation of Church and State. Maybe not, when there's money involved.)
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
All in all, I thought the article was not bad. I sat down tonight and wrote an email to the Strib writer Eric Black, which I reproduce below, for your reading pleasure and edification:
I wish to commend you for what was overall a fairly good article on Blogging in today's Star Tribune. From my own experience speaking with people, your article will have been the first time many of your readers will have heard the term used at all. So, thanks and congratulations to you and your editors for taking the time to put together the story.
And, in spite of the fact that there are those at the Strib - St. Nick, among them - who have been highly dismissive of the Blogosphere - the paper is also to be commended for the paper's blog listing, mentioned in your article. I had stumbled on the listing quite by accident several months back, and immediately listed my blog. Being the OCD type I am, I check my blog logs regularly, and I notice several people daily reaching my blog from my Strib listing, presumably for the first time. So thank to you and yours for that additional exposure.
That said, I do have something I wish to clarify:
As Chad The Elder of Fraters Libertas pointed out today on his Blog, the idea of the Hewitt-led swarm on the Strib was never really taken seriously by most of Minnesota Organization of Blogs (MOB) members, and I was a little disappointed to see that your article made it sound like it had been. Most MOB bloggers I know thought it was a bit too much, and either ignored it or made light of the idea at the time. I realize that your research for this type of story probably goes back weeks, but if you'd read the local blogs recently, you'd have realized that Hewitt's idea was not going to come to anything.
Hugh Hewitt is widely admired in conservative blogging circles. He has acted as a booster for the Blogosphere in general, and conservative blogs, in particular. He also has spent a good deal of time in the Twin Cities; I suspect he follows the Strib rather closely.
Still, as much respect as there is for Hugh, both locally and nationally, few of the bloggers I know walk lock-step behind him. He may act as a pace car at times, but he doesn't set the agenda for the Blogosphere. He is sometimes prone to being a bit of a prankster, sometimes he is full of a tad too much bombast, and sometimes he is simply wrong. (Not often wrong, though.)
Understand, most of us blog because we like the notion of being Mountain Men and Women of ideas. We may not be quite loners, but we like thinking and writing our own stuff. Of course there's a social aspect to it, and we form friendships around our hobby and obsession. But most bloggers who are serious about their blogs like the independence it gives them. We don't want editors.
(I assure you, my blog is most certainly a hobby for me; I don't make a dime off my daily written barrage of words. If I wanted to write - for free - what someone else OK'd for me, I'd be writing for a school or church newsletter or some such outlet.)
As for the idea of the blog swarm, I submit to you that what appears to be a swarm of blogs going after a subject or idea is actually a rather organic event, in which like-minded individuals pursue an objective, each for his (or her) own reasons and motivations. The swam has mass and movement and a goal, but is entirely without structure.
The swarm only forms - and is successful - if each of those participants is convinced to join and participte. And, when the objective is met, the participants stand down, and continue as they were, blogging their own thoughts and ideas and lives. Alliances are constantly drawn and re-drawn, with no more real permanance than the pages we link to in our blogs.
Anyway, I do thank you for taking to time to give some exposure to the Blogosphere.
Bo Bice and Anwar Robinson were outstanding, but the rest were fair to middlin', with the obvious exception of Travis Tucker, who was horrid. Even if one is a great performer, trying to channel Bobby Brown - and make him likable in 2005 - is not an easy task; Travis was not up to it.
I'm picking Mr. Tucker and the OK-but-nothing-special Nikko Smith to go this week, although Constantine Maroulis may be in trouble, if his groupies didn't call in. His Police tune was awight, but won't win him any awards.
Nadia Turner was astounding, absolutely mind-blowingly great, doing some old Otis Redding funk. Jumpin' Jehosaphat, she was good! Simon was right, she reminded every bit a young Tina Turner - as Paula would say, she brought it. The only other standout of the night was a fine bluesy number from Jessica Sierra. Neither of the above-mentioned ladies were on my short-list, going into the final 24, but I'm very impressed with both of them.
The Bad? Janay Castine emailed in her performance, in ASCII-only: it was bad, abysmal, wretched. She's got to be put out of our misery. If this had been Showtime At The Apollo, she'd have been boo'd off the stage in tears. The rest were OK, at best, with Mikalah Gordon delivering a suprisingly tepid performance. Still, I say she goes through to the next round.
The ones to leave this week, then, are: Janay Castine, and the pretty and sweet, but utterly forgettable Lindsey Cardinale.
But, as you know, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.