Thursday, March 31, 2005

Terri's Dead, & The Left Is In Hiding

Following a brave two-week struggle against the court-ordered torture and death sentence forced upon her, Terri Schiavo finally succumbed this morning. She was 41 years old.

Evidently determined to be a scumbag to her very end, HINO (husband-in-name-only) Michael Schiavo had her family thrown out of her room as the end neared:

Terri Schiavo's family was prevented from being at her bedside when she died this morning shortly after 9 a.m. EST at a Pinellas Park, Fla., hospice, a family spokesman said.

"Unfortunately, just 10 or so minutes before she died we were told we had to leave the room because there would be an assessment of her condition and because her husband, Michael, wanted to be in the room," said Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, in quotes first reported by Fox News.

Michael Schiavo flatly rejected the Schindlers' request to be with their daughter in her final moments, Pavone said, adding, "His heartless cruelty continued until the end."
Now will come the so-called "autopsy," where any possibility of unearthing evidence of Michael Schiavo's possible physical abuse of his wife will be expunged from the "official" record in much the same way as the claim of Terri being in a "persistent vegetative state" was inserted, and with as much veracity. From there her remains will be carbonized, buried like nuclear waste, and the ground above them paved and salted over, as though she had never existed at all.

Big Media is already busily constructing that false reality:

On Wednesday night two of the three major TV networks did not even bother to lead their evening news programs with the most controversial story of our day.

Both the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams led their shows with news stories other than the Schiavo case. Only ABC’s World News Tonight began its program with a full report on the latest developments in the Schiavo case.

CBS featured the Schiavo story as its second feature.

But NBC’s news broadcast wins the award for its effort to downplay the controversy.

Williams first led his program with a report on the Supreme Court’s decision to allow workers expanded rights in claiming age discrimination. He followed that with a report on the pope and his feeding tube.

Williams then simply offered a brief "update" on the Schiavo case narrated by Williams himself. No field report on the most-talked-about story in America, including the major story of the federal appeals court rejecting the Schindler family for the second time.

Why are the media elites in New York so cool to the Terri Schiavo story? Perhaps it’s not pleasant to cover the first court-sanctioned effort to starve to death a U.S. citizen.

The thing is, I don't think that the necromaniacs will be able to help themselves. They'll celebrate this "triumph," this "victory over the religious right," and all but parade around the country with Terri Schiavo's severed head on a stake. Much like every other variety of pagan revelry, their excesses will accept no bounds or tolerate even the slightest modesty or decorum. And they will make of themselves in the process the most effective pro-life advertisement their enemies could ever hope to promulgate.

When you alienate Ralph Nader, Jesse Jackson, and Bill Clinton over to the side of the "snake-handlers" even before Terri's "blessed passing," that ought to be a clue that maybe a lower profile, and even a little feigned shame, or at the very least sober circumspection, might be in order for the sake of your cause.

Nah, probably not.

Lucidity From A Mummified "Vegetable"

Is it any wonder Big Media is running a blackout on Terri Schiavo's last days and hours? Especially since she retains an awareness of the world around her even in the delirium of advanced starvation and dehydration?

Friar Paul O’Donnell, spiritual adviser to Bob and Mary Schindler, said Florida hospice patient Terri Schiavo - under court order to be starved and dehydrated to death - received a visit from her father, Bob Schindler, and an old girlfriend of hers Sunday night, resulting in an "extraordinary” reaction to the latter.

Identified only as Sherry, the friend, according to an account in the Miami Herald, reminisced about their old times dancing and partying together.

According to the Herald, O’Donnell said Schiavo "raised her hands up and was moving and started making guttural sounds - like she does when she talks to her mother."

"Everyone is willing to write this woman’s obituary except one person and that’s Terri Schiavo," Friar O’Donnell said Sunday after the visit at the Pinellas Park facility.

Oh, yeah, sure, that was just a "reflex action." Uh-huh.

But, hey, why is Mrs. Schiavo being administered morphine? The hospice staff claims it isn't for pain, but to "ease her convulsions." But would a "vegetable" really be aware of either? I'm, you know, just asking.

Besides, what does it matter how she meets her court-ordered demise? She's been officially declared a boneless sack of skin anyway. If her scumbag husband wanted to, he could have Terri's corpse skinned, use the epidermis to craft some handsome lampshades, and have the rest of the remains scattered and splattered wherever veterinary hospitals dispose of animal carcasses, right? Or maybe auction off her organs on eBay? Bone fragments or teeth as souvenier collector's items, perhaps? Heck, since he's having the body cremated, he could sell several dozen little packets of Terri's ashes. I mean, Judge Greer's courthouse must have a gift shop.

What, this is getting too macabre for you? How much more so could it get? At least this way there'd be some honesty from the death cult. Their Orwellian BS is getting really, really annoying.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Final VBC Missionary Update (for now)

The importance of prayer was one of the key principles brought out by Valley Bible Church Missions Conference keynote speaker Kameel Kilada. The church body had a chance to put that into practice on the closing night of the conference, when the attending missionaries shared prayer requests.

Roger & Diana Ward / TEAM - Mexico

The Ward's desire as missionaries to Mexico is to aid in the planting of national churches. Their specific duty has been working in the Church, training, discipleship, counseling, and youth ministry, with the goal of equipping the nationals to do carry on the ministry. Roger & Diana work in the Church La Paz de Cristo in Baja California Sur, and are looking forward to returning to La Paz in August to continue their ministry.

Praise for their first missionary term. Please pray for phnysical and emotional strength. Pray for wisdom in prioritizing their time. Pray that they would be a blessing while on furlough. Pray for training of leaders. Pray for a camp to be started. Pray for guidance in the future. Pray for some of their children remaining Stateside.

So How DO We Take Back the Courts?

I've been pondering that question a lot of late. Actually, I've been pondering it for years; it's only been in the last two weeks that I've begun to formulate some revisions to my former thinking on the matter.

For years - certainly since I neared adulthood and, not coincidentally, broke my political cherry in the watershed election of Ronald Reagan to the presidency in 1980 - the conventional wisdom on the Right has been that in order to drag the Judiciary back within its constitutional fetters, all that was necessary was to elect conservative presidents who would, in turn, appoint constitutionalists to the federal bench. This strategy extended clear back to the Nixon days in reaction to the riotous excesses of the SCOTUS of Earl Warren.

That that Chief Justice was appointed by a Republican president should have been a pre-emptive clue that this strategy wasn't a panacea.

We're up to five GOP Chief Executives since the current era of Republican predominance of the Executive Branch commenced in 1968. But their record of cleaning out the legislative breed of jurist has been spotty at best. For every Rehnquist or Burger or Scalia or Thomas we've gotten a Stevens or Souter or O'Connor or Kennedy. And that's just the high-profile SCOTUS appointments; the ones at the district and appellate levels can't have been much better overall, "judging" by the degree to which the "Olympian" mentality still dominates both the courts and the wider civic and popular culture.

The name "Bork" should be on the debit side of that ledger. That it isn't, and has become a reprehensible verb instead, highlights the additional obstacles that have been thrown in the path of judicial reform by attrition as left-wing power has waned and the Right has supplanted it in the halls of what is hollowly known as "Beltway power."

Judge Robert Bork was denied the SCOTUS seat that eventually went to the aforementioned Justice Kennedy on straight ideological grounds. Justice Thomas, also aforementioned, was almost denied based upon a scurrilous smear. However, these battles took place in a Senate still under Democrat control, and a majority still significantly leavened with responsible Donks not compromised by or sold out to the left kook fringe.

The last four years, that kook fringe has completely taken over the now-minority party and has raised the ante in this brass-knuckled partisan conflict by first shooting down President Bush's nominees in committee, and then bypassing the Amendment process to extra-legally graft a supermajority requirement into Article II, Section II of the Constitution (the REAL "nuclear option). And those are merely appellate choices, thus dramatically broadening the field of a war whose description as such is becoming less and less metaphorical by the day.

So, just to take a moment to summarize, conservative presidents have only been randomly successful in purging judicial imperialism, and the DisLoyal Opposition, increasingly dependent upon the undemocratic courts to continue their domestic rule of the country, are pulling out all the stops, whether within or beyond the law, to eliminate even serendipity as a possibility.

It was into this maelstrom that the Terri Schiavo controversy pinwheeled.

The Schiavo case is one that, were the injustice one of a left-wing bent (in other words, if the Florida state courts had ruled against Michael Schiavo's determination to exterminate his infirm wife), would have been a cause celebre to rival Roe v. Wade. It would doubtless have gone all the way to Olympus itself, where either Justice O'Connor or Justice Kennedy (or perhaps both) would have consulted Tanzanian tribal custom or Belgian snuff magazines or the Little Red Book of Mao to bolster their personal opinion that spousal homicide be given civil rights status as part of the "law of the land."

But Judge George Greer didn't rule against Michael Schiavo's grisly wishes. And when he ordered Terri Schiavo's feeding tube disconnected once and for all, it galvanized both sides of the controversy nationwide.

Congress, in its constitutionally-mandated role to protect "life, liberty, and property" under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, passed emergency legislation mandating federal court de novo review of the facts of the case in order to ensure that Mrs. Schiavo received due process of law. This would also, per SOP in such instances, have restored her nutrition and hydration at least until the review of the facts - ALL of them - was completed.

But federal district court Judge James Whittemore did a very brazen thing that, in retrospect, should not have been a surprise: he disobeyed the law and substituted his own judgment instead. Rather than issue a stay on Mrs. Schiavo's execution to conduct the de novo review as instructed, he blatantly defied the clearly expressed will of the Legislative and Executive Branches and allowed her railroading by the Greer court to stand. What's more, both the Eleventh Circuit and the SCOTUS (represented by Justice Kennedy, naturally) affirmed him.

Naturally, the death cult went berserk - at Congress' intervention. The "arguments" they mustered (which are distilling down into a vicious personal smear campaign against House Majority Leader Tom DeLay) are the usual hysterically silly nonsense and don't merit going into here (especially when I've done so repeatedly over the past fortnight - you may sift through our archives at your leisure).

But in the realm of grown-up debate (i.e. on the center-right), two schools of thought coalesced.

One declared, in essence, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"

In theoretical terms, this is a conflict between the separate powers of Florida government, as the judicial and executive branches have different opinions about what the Florida constitution requires. But in practical terms, Terri's life hangs in the balance: If the Florida supreme court prevails, she dies. If Governor Bush prevails, she lives. It is a mistake to believe that the courts have the ultimate say as to what a constitution means. Every governor is bound by oath to uphold and protect his state constitution. In the case of Florida, the constitution Mr. Bush pledged to defend declares that, "All natural persons, female and male alike, are equal before the law and have inalienable rights, among which are the right to enjoy and defend life and liberty..." If the governor believes that he and the Florida legislature possess the constitutional authority and duty to save Terri's life, then he is bound by his oath of office to do so.

The "auxiliary precautions" of Florida government — in this case the Florida supreme court — have failed Terri Schiavo. It is time, therefore, for Governor Bush to execute the law and protect her rights, and, in turn, he should take responsibility for his actions. Using the state police powers, Governor Bush can order the feeding tube reinserted. His defense will be that he and a majority of the Florida legislature believe the Florida Constitution requires nothing less. Some will argue that Governor Bush will be violating the law. We think he will not be violating the law, but if he is judged to have done so, it will be in the tradition of Martin Luther King, Jr., who answered to a higher law than a judge's opinion. In so doing, King showed respect for the man-made law by willingly going to jail (on a Good Friday); Governor Bush may have to face impeachment because of his decision.

In taking these extraordinary steps to save an innocent life, Governor Bush should be judged not by the opinion of the Florida supreme court, a co-equal branch of the Florida government, but by the opinions of his political superiors, the people of Florida. If they disagree with their governor, they are indeed free to act through their elected representatives and impeach him. Or they can vindicate him if they think he is right. But he should not be cowed into inaction — he should not allow an innocent woman to be starved to death — because of an opinion of a court he believes to be wrong and unconstitutional.

Governor Jeb Bush may find it difficult to protect Terri's rights without risking impeachment. But in the great American experiment in republican government, much is demanded of those who are charged with protecting the rights of the people. Governor Bush pledged to uphold the Florida constitution as he understands it, not as it is understood by some Florida judges. He is the rightful representative of the people of Florida and he is the chief executive, in whom the power is vested to execute the law and protect the rights of citizens. He should use that power to protect Terri's natural right to live, and he should do so now.

The above wasn't chanted through a loudspeaker outside Terri Schiavo's hospice, or printed on a flyer distributed by Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry - it was penned by no less than former Education Secretary and Drug Czar William Bennett, along with Claremont Institute president Brian T. Kennedy. Not exactly non-mainstream public/political figures.

Their conclusion is that the courts are wrong, demonstrably so, and Jeb Bush should right that wrong with the powers invested in him as the duly elected governor of Florida. And if there are political consequences to his actions, in the form of an attempt, successful or otherwise, to impeach him, or a collapse in public support for the GOP in Florida, then at least the will of the people would be being expressed, rather than overridden by overreaching judicial despots. And, of course, the same would be true if the people of Florida overwhelmingly backed Governor Bush's actions, which would leave the courts outflanked, de-fanged, and chastened, as they powerfully deserve to be.

The other view on the Right could be coined the "anti-vigilante" stance. Ed Morrissey is in this camp:

[W]e have to draw a line here, and that line is the law.

The governor and the President have done all that they can do within the law. They cannot execute any action not authorized by current law or by action of the legislative branch. Neither can they use the law-enforcement resources at their command to simply overrule a judge's decision. Governor Bush swore an oath to uphold and enforce the law, even those with which he disagrees, and he has done his best to create law to allow him to act in this circumstance. He was not successful.

In our haste to save an innocent life, we cannot demand that our executives turn into dictators for just a few moments. Dictatorships don't work that way, and neither do democracies. Imagine what would happen if Jeb Bush took Reverend Mahoney's advice. Terri's life might be saved - for a week or two. Snatching Terri illegally from the hospice and holding her somewhere in violation of a court order [c]ould result in Bush's impeachment, and likely federal intervention in Florida. The state police probably would refuse the illegal order anyway. If Bush did take Terri, she would be right back to where she was last Friday as soon as the rule of law returned to Florida - which would mean she would once again start the process of dehydration as soon as that happened.

We cannot allow our passions for Terri and the Schindlers to overload our respect for the law which protects us from an overpowerful executive branch. Reverend Mahoney calls for little less than an armed coup d'etat in Florida, one in which Bush would make both the legislature and the judiciary completely irrelevant by the use of force. I cannot imagine a more dangerous and terrible outcome from this tragedy than that, especially since in the end it will have only the effect of momentarily delaying Terri's torturous death.

For my own take, I must admit that I'm torn between the two.

I'm temperamentally inclined toward the Morrissey position. All things being equal, it's never a good idea to go off half-cocked, not look before you leap, or otherwise make monumental decisions based on emotion over reason, in the roiled passions of the moment. Such impetuousness is what gave rise to the "the law of unintended consequences" in the first place. And there is always a bigger picture to consider beyond the immediate circumstances. If it is remotely possible to work "within the system" to effect the reforms that system desperately needs, respect for that system requires that we do so.

However, that stance of prudence and sobriety is belied by a very straightforward question: what if its very premise is no longer valid?

Go back and look at the highlighted portions of both quotes, particularly Morrissey's. Virtually the entirety of his objection to taking down the courts several (dozen) notches is predicated on a completely misdirected fear: that if the Executive Branch in Florida merely reasserted its constitutional authority against a dictatorial Judicial Branch, the Executive would be carrying out "an armed coup d'etat" and making itself into a "dictatorship."

But the core problem is precisely that the Judiciary has already done so. Via what is so antiseptically described as "judicial activism" it has usurped the Legislative power to create new law rather than just interpret law legitimately enacted, and as spectacularly illustrated in the Schiavo tragedy, it has usurped the Executive power by ordering state agencies to not enforce state laws that proscribe the very action Judge Greer has decreed. And it answers any attempt to counter them "within the system" by resorting to its monopoly on defining what the law "really" says, and otherwise simply ignoring it.

And by themselves defying the congressionally mandate of de novo review of the facts of the Schiavo case - in other words, breaking federal law - the federal courts have made themselves a party to the same bloodless gaveled takeover.

Prior to the past two weeks, I subscribed to the conventional wisdom that with control of the elected branches of government, conservatives could rein in the Judiciary via attrition - in other words, work within the system. Now I'm not so sure. Certainly the Democrat filibuster of President Bush's appellate nominees should be broken forthwith, but it's the imperious culture that infuses the Judicial Branch, seemingly at all levels, that needs to be fumigated. And I question whether that's fully possible absent some watershed act of, yes, civil disobedience, to give voice to the public demand that the courts stop their headlong drive toward the status of un-elected oligarchy and relinquish the unconstitutional power they've pilfered from the other two elected branches, and from the people themselves. I don't know any other way for the Legislative and Executive to do so besides direct reassertion, letting the political chips fall where they may.

The next rhetorical question asks itself: Would there ever be a better, more visible opportunity for this high-stakes showdown than the Terri Schiavo case? And if not here and now, when and where?

Besides, it's not as if that very thing wasn't done in the very recent past, and successfully - only in the service of a left-wing cause celebre.

Five years ago the name dominating the airwaves was Elian Gonzales, the tyke who had escaped Castro's Cuban island dungeon with his mother, who didn't survive the raft voyage across the Florida straits. Five years ago the same left vs. right battle royal raged over his disposition - either stay with his expatriate relatives or be shipped back to Cuba at the purported behest of his father (and the real demand of his "other" father, Fidel).

The difference is that five years ago, the Florida courts sided with Elian's extended family instead of Castro and his AmeriLeft sympathizers.

Did the Clinton administration "abide by the law," "respect the system," or refrain from an "armed coup d'tat"? Hell, no; they carried out an armed commando raid, seized the boy, and shipped him back into communist slavery. Castro's secret police couldn't have done it any better.

What I don't recall from any on the left side of that imbroglio is any concern over what that action would, or did, do to the authority of the courts to "safeguard our rights," or the damage it caused to the "separation of powers," to say nothing of "federalism" and "states' rights."

In Terri's case, it's all moot, anyway, as both Bush brothers have already declared themselves to be impotent before the awesome power of Florida's, and our country's, true rulers.

Maybe Captain Ed is right. Maybe it's still possible to drag our Republic back from this accelerating slide into adjudicative serfdom by conventional means. Certainly we shouldn't stop trying those avenues. They may yet succeed.

But after the state-sanctioned torture and murder of Terri Schiavo, I'm now unconvinced that more "unconventional" alternatives might not need to be considered, and perhaps sooner rather than later.

And there lies the gift-wrapped vehicle for that showdown, being allowed to alternately gout blood from every orifice and shrivel, her civil rights and very personhood stripped from her, and all for no better reason than that she is unable to speak for herself.

Terri Schiavo is a symbol, alright - of the state of American domestic self-government.

UPDATE: Captain Ed is righteously indignant at Eleventh Circuit Judge Stanley Birch openly declaring what we already know to be the Judiciary's monarchical attitude toward the people and their elected representatives:

Talk about judicial arrogance! Not only did the Eleventh Circuit openly disregard the law written by Congress, this justice arrogantly tells the other equal branches that the only branch guaranteeing a free people is the one not accountable to the will of the electorate....

Birch's comment demonstrates that this out-of-control judiciary constitutes the main threat to the Founding Fathers' blueprint. They have set themselves up as a star chamber, an unelected group of secular mullahs determining which laws they choose to observe and which they choose to ignore. The arrogance of this written opinion will resonate through all nominations to the federal court over the next several years.

A case of demanding the ends yet denying the means. Appointing "judges [who] will start respecting the power of the people's representatives to write and enact laws, and the duty of the judiciary to follow them" into the insatiable power-lusting maw of the same unreformed, unchastened oligarchy will only produce that many more gavel-pounders who end up "growing" on the bench - assuming Republicans are ever willing to do what it takes to get these nominees up or down Senate votes.

By all means, keep appointing one conservative constitutionalist after another. But the existing Judiciary and its imperious, extraconstitutional culture must be taken on, and taken down, for any kind of comprehensive reform to be meaningfully realized. And that cannot happen as long as the elected branches keep deferring, and knuckling under to, our self-appointed robed overlords with every successive judicial power grab.

This crisis cannot be resolved without a confrontation between the branches. Maybe not sending in the state police for a gun battle outside a Florida hospice, but certainly explicit limitation of appellate jurisdiction, and impeachment of sitting judges and justices as necessary. Only by the victory in that confrontation of the two elected branches can all three once again be "separate but equal."

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Just as our LORD was in the tomb on Saturday, so I took a break from the (let's be honest) depressing state-sanctioned murder of Terri Schiavo [Satu]rday. Pity her family doesn't have that luxury, and never will.

What follows in this post will be some of what I like to call "three-dot monte" items. The posts after this one will summarize the various areas of this harrowingly precedent setting victory for euthanasia and the possible final descent of American culture down the slippery slope of Nazi bioethics.

~ ~ ~

Terri Schiavo's collapse may not have been due to an "eating disorder," but domestic abuse instead.

Terri Schiavo had a bad fight with her husband the night before she was discovered unconscious in the hallway of her St. Petersberg, Florida home fifteen years ago, and intended to seek a divorce, a close friend said Friday.

"They were talking about divorce at the time that Terri collapsed," Jackie Rhodes told Fox News Channel's Fox & Friends. Rhodes became a friend of Ms. Schiavo's when they worked together at an insurance company.

On the night of their marital blow-up, Rhodes said Terri caller her about the fight.

"I said, do you want me to come over?" Schiavo said no, saying that she'd just spoken to her brother and was going to go see him.

"If you want me to come over later - if you want to come over to my house, just call, " Rhodes remembers saying. "I'll do whatever you need."

Rhodes said the fight came as Terri and Michael considered splitting up.

"They were talking about a divorce at the time that Terri collapsed, and I do feel they were headed for divorce," Rhodes said.

Apparently Rhodes wasn't the only one who knew the Schiavos' marriage was unraveling.

When Michael filed a malpractice suit after Terri's accident, Rhodes said:

"The malpractice attorney followed me down the hall at the courthouse and told me that it was important that I did not mention that they were discussing divorce during this trial, because it would impact the court's decision."

She said the attorney didn't get the divorce info from her.

"Someone else told the malpractice attorney about that because I had not talked to him prior to that," Rhodes said.

Interesting timing, no? Particularly in light of some reports showing her brain injury manifesting itself several days after she was hospitalized, and being most likely the product of a severe blow to her head.

Was Terri crippled as a result of spousal foul play? If so, that would certainly add a big additional reason to why Michael Schiavo didn't want to take any chances on her recovering, and did want her permanently silenced.

~ ~ ~

Whether or not scumbag husband tried to off his wife and failed, Judge George Greer is certainly finishing the job with relish.

I bet you didn't know that the courts (at least in Florida) could order a state agency to not enforce the law. [BLEEP]ing amazing, isn't it?

The Florida judge presiding over the Terri Schiavo case ordered the state agency charged with protecting vulnerable adults to make no attempt to take the brain-injured woman into protective custody late Wednesday. The order appears to be in direct contradiction to a state statute that requires the agency to act.

One member of the media asked if the state Department of Children and Families (DCF) planned to take Terri Schiavo into protective custody, remove her from the hospice where she is being dehydrated and starved to death or try to reinsert her feeding and hydration tube. "We are looking at every potential opportunity to be of assistance," replied DCF Secretary Lucy Hadi.

That response apparently prompted the attorney for Terri's estranged husband and legal guardian, Michael Schiavo, to contact Pinellas County Circuit Court Judge George Greer, requesting a court order barring the state from acting. Noted "right-to-die" attorney, author and activist George Felos argued during a court hearing later Wednesday that DCF had "no more power than ... a person walking down the street," to place Terri in protective custody.

Felos, as you might expect, is full of crap:

Florida statute 415.1051...states, "If it appears that the vulnerable adult ... is likely to incur a risk of death or serious physical injury if such person is not immediately removed from the premises, then the representative of the department shall transport or arrange for the transportation of the vulnerable adult to an appropriate medical or protective services facility in order to provide emergency protective services."

Jennifer Lima-Smith, an attorney for the DCF, reminded Greer that the agency does not need his permission in advance to act.

"The law allows the department to exercise both emergency protective services - intervention and emergency removal - either one or both," Lima-Smith told Greer.

Well, that settles the question, right?

In a sane world, yes; but here's the rub:

The statute also appears to specifically exempt DCF from an otherwise enforceable mandate to seek Michael Schiavo's permission to remove Terri.

"If the vulnerable adult's caregiver or guardian is present, the protective investigator must seek the caregiver's or guardian's consent ... before the vulnerable adult may be removed from the premises," the law states, "unless the protective investigator suspects that the vulnerable adult's caregiver or guardian has caused the abuse, neglect, or exploitation."

What then is the problem? The very fact that any and all testimony that would have highlighted Michael Schiavo's abuse, neglect, and exploitation of his brain-damaged wife has been pointedly and deliberately excluded and ignored by Judge Greer (see the nurses' complaints here). And, of course, had this not been the case, Terri Schiavo wouldn't be shriveling up in the first place.

DCF could liberate her anyway, but....

The only authorization or requirement for the involvement of the courts in an emergency intervention or removal comes after DCF has taken its action. "The department shall, within 24 hours after providing or arranging for emergency removal of the vulnerable adult, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, petition the court for an order authorizing emergency protective services."

Judge Greer, of course, would never grant such authorization. So the most that Terri could receive would be a light snack before her starvation and dehydration was resumed.

Be thankful, dear readers, that I edited out Felos' gibbering about Terri's "civil rights being violated" by her slow, agonizing murder being interrupted. I may just have spared your monitors a barrage of bricks, or worse.

~ ~ ~

While the blue-state propaganda apparatus was doing its part to manipulate a public stamp of approval on Terri Schiavo's execution, guess who spoke up on her behalf from the wrong side of the tracks?

Consumer advocate Ralph Nader says a "profound injustice is being inflicted on Terri Schiavo," and he is urging the Florida courts, Governor Jeb Bush and concerned citizens to take any legal action available to let the brain-damaged woman live.

In a joint statement, Nader and Wesley J. Smith, author of the book Culture of Death: The Assault on Medical Ethics in America, enumerated what they see as the many injustices in the Schiavo case.

They said the courts, under "color of law," have imposed a slow death by dehydration on Terri, giving every benefit of the doubt to her death, rather than her continued life.

This outrageous order proves that the courts are not merely permitting medical treatment to be withheld, it has ordered her to be made dead," Nader and Smith said.

Nader and Smith said the court is imposing "process over justice." They said new evidence should allow for a new trial - which was the point of the federal legislation.

Wow, who knew Nader was a "holy roller"? I guess what they say about stopped clocks is true after all.

Pity the strangeness of the bedfellows can't be a decisive factor - otherwise Terri would not only survive, but make a full recovery.

UPDATE: Clintonoid Lanny Davis and Joe Lieberman have joined the life bandwagon as well.

UPDATE/BUMP TO 3/29: You can add the Sinister Minister to that list.

Never, EVER thought I'd find myself on the same side of ANYthing as Ralph Nader and Jesse Jackson. I guess the Rancid Crabtree corollary really does hold true: "Iffin' ya stays in one place long enough, jist about everythang'll come by 'least once."

UPDATE III: And Bill Clinton, too? When did he ever schtup Terri Schiavo?

LA Times' Smear of Tom DeLay a Big Mistake

If the Far Left/Big Media objective is to "Gingrich" Tom DeLay, I would think that they would know better than to get personal like this:

On Sunday the Los Angeles Times published a report detailing the death of DeLay's father - suggesting that the Republican House majority leader, when faced with a case similar to Terri Schiavo's, allowed his father to die.

According to the Times, in 1988 DeLay's father, Charles, was allowed to die after suffering severe injuries in an accident that over a 27-day period left him in a coma with no hope of recovery.

His family told doctors not to connect him to life support systems that would have kept him alive artificially. Charles died soon thereafter.

"Doctors conducted a series of tests, including scans of his head, face, neck and abdomen," the Times reported, adding that the doctors checked for lung damage and performed a tracheotomy to assist his breathing but were unable to prevent steady deterioration.

In the end his organs began to fail. "His family and physicians confronted the dreaded choice so many other Americans have faced: to make heroic efforts or to let the end come," the Times wrote.

"Daddy did not want to be a vegetable," one of his daughters-in-law at the time told the Times. "There was no decision for the family to make. He made it for them."

The LAT report is getting wide play from the media and was published on the AP wire. Is DeLay guilty of hypocrisy?

Two words: "hell" and "no."

Note the highlighted phrases above. I highlighted them because none of them apply to Terri Schiavo - or at least they didn't before Judge George Greer ordered her starved and mummified.

There is substantial evidence suggesting that she was not, nor had she ever been, in a "persistent vegetative state." Moreover, she has never been in a coma, or on "life support," as Big Media polling questions have mendaciously claimed in order to manipulate the results they wanted to dishonestly portray the public as being pro-euthanasia. She was no more being kept "artificially alive" than is Stephen Hawking, or was Christopher Reeve, two other people with crippling injuries who were/are unable to feed (or do much else for) themselves, and yet nobody has ever suggested that they were/are "vegetables," or should be "allowed to die."

Yet, anyway.

Indeed, the only way in which Terri Schiavo differed is that her handicap prevented her from speaking for herself, thus leaving her at the mercy of a husband who may have wanted her dead from the beginning and a court system that was only too happy to help him finish her off.

This is what the LA Times equates to the lethal injuries suffered by Tom DeLay's dad that killed him before they ever had a chance to "plug him in," let alone pull the plug. This is the LA Times' way of either accusing the House Majority Leader of rank hypocrisy, or calling him a lying, murdering scumbag every bit as bad - oh, yes, this is the LA Times we're talking about, isn't it? - exponentially worse than Michael Schiavo.

To call this despicable is to euphemize obsequiously. To call it surprising or unexpected would be hopelessly naïve. DeLay must have known a "story" like this was coming. But that doesn't make it any easier to be prepared for it, or have such a personal tragedy "scandalized" and rubbed in his face, as though he did something immoral by going the extra mile to provide Terri Schiavo - and the thousands of other severely handicapped Americans across the country in similar situations that she symbolizes - with the due process of law that she had heretofore been denied.

DeLay couldn't have saved his father seventeen years ago. He did the right thing in trying to save Terri Schiavo a week ago. He knows both of these things, and so does anybody who bothers to get the other side of the Schiavo story.

But there is an unwritten rule, not just of politics, but of life: whatever dispute you have with somebody, leave their family out of it. That is the Rubicon that, once crossed, can turn mere disagreements into blood feuds.

I've opined previously that Tom DeLay is made of sterner stuff than Newt Gingrich was. And even then it took the DisLoyal Opposition three and a half years to finally bring down Mr. Newt. Going personal like this will only help ensure that DeLay digs in that much deeper, and that his GOP colleagues will rally around him.

And yet another episode of desperate Donk overreach will snap back in their snouts.


The Reason for Hillary's Terricentric Silence?

Maybe this is why the former first lady, junior senator from New York, and wannabe POTUS has gone to ground over the past ten days:

[I]n September 1993, while appearing before Congress to sell her ill-fated health care reform plan, Mrs. Clinton suggested that she wanted to make it easier to deny long term care to patients like Terri Schiavo who have little chance of recovery.

I think there should be a discussion in this country about what is appropriate care . . . with more thought and more concern about both the human and the economic cost," she told the Senate Finance Committee.

Referring to her own health care plan, Hillary explained:

"If we do this health care reform right [we can] create the kind of security we're talking about so that people will know that they're not being denied treatment for any reason other than it is not appropriate, it will not enhance or save the quality of life."

Mrs. Clinton hinted that she thought that even patients who were not necessarily terminally ill should be denied life-saving treatment - citing the case of a 92-year-old cardiac patient:

"The hospital administrator of a very large hospital came to me as a part of a group visiting, as a delegation brought in by the member of Congress," she told the Senate. "And he said that he had recently asked one of his cardiac surgeons why the cardiac surgeon had admitted a 92-year-old man for a quadruple bypass."

"And the cardiac surgeon had said, 'Well, because he was referred to me by the cardiologist who refers me all of my cases, and I didn't want to say no because he might send his cases to another cardiac surgeon.'

"And the hospital administrator said, 'Well, do you think it was medically appropriate for you to accept this surgery?' And he said, 'No, it wasn't appropriate or necessary, but that's the way the system works.'"

I think we can be confident that this is what Mrs. Clinton truly believes about euthanasia, and that she resides firmly and resoundingly in the snuffer camp. Just as she knows that she has to pick up at least four million "red"-state votes in 2008 if she is to reach the lifelong ambition for which she's put up with that hash-tooting lothario for the past thirty-five years, and that the former and the latter are not remotely compatible.

When Congress starts work on a bill to address the need to protect the rights of the disabled who are under guardianship, don't be surprised to see the dragon lady as one of its prominent co-sponsors, even as she contemplates ways around it once she's securely ensconced in the Oval Office.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Terripalooza II

In his moment of triumph, when it no longer matters, Michael Schiavo is getting sloppy.

In a bizarre statement on the day Terri Schiavo's feeding tube was disconnected, Michael Schiavo seemed to inadvertently admit that he had no idea what his wife would have wanted if she became incapacitated.During an appearance on CNN's Larry King Live, Michael was asked if he could appreciate the distress of Terri's parents:

"Yes, I do," he replied, according to a CNN transcript. "But this is not about them, it's about Terri. And I've also said that in court. We didn't know what Terri wanted, but this is what we want."

A slip most Freudian. 'Tis a pity he didn't say this in court; perhaps then his wife wouldn't be dying right now.

~ ~ ~

None can claim to be surprised at how Michael Schiavo pissed away the bulk of the funds from his medical malpractice settlement on the legal battle to rub out his wife instead of the care and rehabilitation for which it was originally earmarked. Nor is it surprising that the scumbag is lying about it.

[Michael Schaivo's] attorneys say today most of the money designated for Terri is gone, spent on her care and legal bills.

One of his lawyers, Deborah Bushnell, told the AP that more than half of the $700,000 designated from the malpractice award for Terri's care has been spent for that purpose, with the rest going toward litigation.

But that statement is at odds with records that show that lawyers - not medical care - ate up most of the expenditures and have been paid directly from Terri's Medical Trust fund, with the approval of Judge George Greer.

Schiavo's grinning devilspawn shyster, George Felos - who enjoyed likening Terri to a "houseplant" and clearly was out to make a name for himself, including a book deal - has walked away with nearly four hundred grand alone.

All in a day's work, I suppose. Problem is, that line of work used to be limited to the Mafia.

~ ~ ~

Which isn't to say that Felos isn't a roaring liar as well. In order to have pulled off this state-sanctioned homicide, he pretty much had to be.

But, lord, does he bring a disgusting, stomach-turning style to the endeavor.

After going more than eight days without food and water, starving Terri Schiavo looks "beautiful," the attorney for her husband, who appears to have won the battle to force her death, told reporters on Saturday."

She looked beautiful," attorney George Felos said, emerging from a visit to her room. He claimed that Terri was "resting comfortably."

"In all the years I've seen Mrs. Schiavo, I have never seen such a look of peace and beauty upon her," he insisted.

Felos's comments were sharply at odds with accounts from her family and their lawyers, who say her eyes are sunken, her skin is flaking and that she's bleeding from the eyes and mouth.

"It's like someone who is coming out of a bunker in Auschwitz," Terri's sister, Suzanne Vitadamo, told reporters Saturday.

I simply ask you, dear readers: given what is being done to this poor woman, which description makes more sense?

Terri's brother, Bobby Schindler, asks the $64 question:

"This is heinous what's happening, absolutely heinous - this is absolutely barbaric," her brother, Bobby Schindler, complained. "If she is in fact dying so peacefully and easily, why not allow a camera in there to videotape it?" he said.

Why not, indeed.

There's a special place in hell for creatures like George Felos. And if it's full, he'd merit a new wing all by himself.

Inevitable Comparisons

If the snuffers and hemlockers and Christophobes don't like their cheerleading of Terri Schiavo's murder to be compared to Nazi and communist mass-murders of the past, well, let them repent of their grievous sins.

In the mean time, if the shoe fits....

Remember that statement about politics making strange bedfellows? Perhaps such is the case with liberal activists who want Terri to die from starvation and the Nazis who killed 13 million people.

As it turns out, starvation was the primary means of killing unwanted peoples.

Shortly after World War II, a U.S. congressional committee investigated the Nazi Holocaust and found that starvation was the main instrument of torture in the concentration camps.

The Committee notes the prisoners' daily diet "consisted generally of about one-half of a pound of black bread per day and a bowl of watery soup for noon and night, and not always that."

The report continued: "Notwithstanding the deliberate starvation program inflicted upon these prisoners by lack of adequate food, we found no evidence that the people of Germany as a whole were suffering from any lack of sufficient food or clothing. The contrast was so striking that the only conclusion which we could reach was that the starvation of the inmates of these camps was deliberate."

But, according to the New York Times, starving innocent people to death isn't so bad after all - indeed, the victims can actually get off on it:

A Times article relating to Schiavo’s death cited several "experts” who offered the new view on starvation.

"From the data that is available, it is not a horrific thing at all," Dr. Linda Emanuel, the founder of the Education for Physicians in End-of-Life Care Project at Northwestern University, told the New York Times.

The Times also cites Dr. Sean Morrison, a professor of geriatrics and palliative care at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, who insists that starvation victims "generally slip into a peaceful coma."

"It's very quiet, it's very dignified – it's very gentle," he adds.

Funny, though, that the Geneva Convention, as well as many other "multilateralist" international institutions, don't hold that same benign, favorable view of involuntary starvation:

To begin with, there is the long-standing and internationally accepted Geneva Convention: "The prohibition to starve civilians as a ‘method of warfare’ is included in Article 54 of Protocol I and Article 14 of Protocol II."

According to the International Criminal Court, starvation as a means of killing is a war crime. The Court noted: "Intentionally using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare by depriving them of objects indispensable to their survival, including willfully impeding relief supplies as provided for under the Geneva Conventions' is a serious violation of the laws and customs of war [52]."

The liberal human rights organization Amnesty International has long cited starvation as inhumane.

In a report by the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, regarding the "Definition of the Right to Food," the commission recommended "the right to food and nutrition was a human right." The commission also advocated "the right to food in emergency situations" should "be taken into account," to "include the obligation of states to grant access to impartial humanitarian organizations to provide food aid and other humanitarian assistance."

Yes, yes, Terri Schiavo is only one woman. But so was "Jane Roe," and her lone case resulted in the massacre of over forty million unborn children since 1973. And, to close the loop, the concentration camps of Auschwitz, Treblinka, Bergen-Belsen, Dachau, and others had their origins in the notion of society deciding unilaterally that some lives "weren't worth living." And then that category was expanded and expanded, from terminal illness to incapacitation to birth defects, and ultimately, to the "wrong" race, ethnicity, politics, and religion.

Even the Holocaust didn't happen overnight. That it happened at all is an indication that the cultural soil in which it sank its malignant roots had been cultivated to the point where the roots took hold rather than being rejected.

Lawrence Henry asked last week in the American Spectator if the Schiavo atrocity will be the long-anticipated tipping point past which an aroused American public will finally overthrow the imperial judiciary and reclaim their government and society from the left-wing extremist "elites" that have hijacked it against their will.

A good question. Perhaps it will.

But there's a reason why the frog in the pan of boiling water doesn't leap to safety. And it's the same reason why one should expect that we, the people, will shrug, forget about Terri Schiavo after a few weeks or months, and get used to state-sanctioned euthanasia just as we have state-sanctioned fetuscide.

And if we arrive at the point of an American "final solution" and trains running day and night shipping "undesirables" to the Alaskan gulag? Forget it - any who objected would be the first ones herded into the cattlecars. "For their own good," of course.

Maybe they'd call it "the Terri Schiavo Express."

The Morals of the Schiavo Case

Orson Scott Card, a columnist for the Rhinoceros Times in Greensboro, NC, and the proprietor of the web siteThe Ornery American, put it better than I could ever have hoped to express.

Every last syllable of his piece is pure gold, but here are a few excerpts:

~ ~ ~

Once you plunge out onto that slippery slope of allowing the killing of another human organism for no better reason than personal convenience, it’s so hard to find a handhold to let you climb back up.

Yet it’s the proponents of legalized killing who whine about the “slippery slope.”

Are there times when it is justified to take a human life?

I believe so — and so do most people. Self-defense, defense of the helpless and innocent, aborting a baby to save the life of the mother; there’s almost always a trade-off, choosing one life over another.

In fact, under traditional law, there is more of a case for killing Terry Schiavo’s husband in order to save her from him than there is for killing the brain-damaged woman in the first place.

~ ~ ~

Whenever somebody wants to kill someone else, he will find excuses to justify the act. Most often, he will claim that his would-be victim is “not really human,” not a person.

It is precisely because of this human tendency that a decent society must go to extra effort, must draw the line firmly at a much earlier point, in order to prevent the killing of innocents. Especially those who are utterly incapable of speaking for themselves.

Inability to plead for your life should not be sufficient grounds for killing you.

If this woman can be murdered, with the active help of the courts that granted permission and blocked legislators from changing the law, then who is safe?

~ ~ ~

Once we accept the premise that it’s permissible — or even noble — to kill the helpless, then where do we draw the line?

If a civilization ceases protecting the weak and innocent from the strong and selfish, then what, precisely, is civilization for?

Imagine a woman who had an abortion but also had a couple of children who lived. What would we think of her if she ever said — or thought — “I only wish I’d aborted the others”?

We know exactly what we think of people who murder children — their own or other people’s.

How is Terry Schiavo not eligible for the special protection we give to children? Just because it’s an injury that makes her as helpless as a newborn; just because she doesn’t seem to have the potential of “growing out of it”; how dare we let her be murdered — and call ourselves civilized?

And if the judiciary actively conspires in the murder of such innocents, who will protect them then?

~ ~ ~

We have forgotten how to be appropriately outraged. We can see people frothing at the mouth both for and against a promiscuous President, we can see people furious that others eat meat or wear fur or drill for oil in frozen wastelands — but starve a lone and helpless woman in the hospital, and...where is the rage at such a wrong?

We talk about how terrible it is, and then shrug and say, “But what can I do?”

Why do we let the hypothetical trump the real?

We do it with our current abortion law: In order to save hypothetical women who might die from illegal back-alley abortions, we allow the killing of millions of separate human organisms for no better reason than their erstwhile parents’ convenience.

Likewise, because Terry Schiavo might hypothetically prefer death to her current state, we seem poised to allow the very real woman to be starved to death despite the desperate concern of her family who want her to be kept alive.

It is death that trumps life in this twisted, sick, upside down version of America we live in now.

Thus evil wins over and corrupts a whole society, because by our silence or inaction, our selfishness or laziness, we conspire in the slaughter of the innocents.

What is our quality of life, as a civilization, when this is what we tolerate?

Miss Liberty’s promise is false after all. Send us no more “huddled masses yearning to breathe.” There is no such right in our country anymore, and no one left to protect it.

We have nothing to teach the world if we let this murder be carried out before our eyes, with the consent of our judges.

If only Terry Schiavo had been convicted of some crime. Then the governor could stay her execution.

If she starves to death, something dies in all of us; and not a small thing, either, unless we have made it small by our lack of compassion for the helpless.

~ ~ ~

A veritable smorgasbord for thought, no?

At least as a sort of cultural epilogue to ponder when it's our turn to be snuffed for the offense of confronting the "elites" with other forms of "inconvenience."

It'll be interesting to see how Michael Schiavo invests whatever portion of his fading wife's tort damages he hasn't already squandered in legal fees to finish her off. Between him and his two necromaniacal cohorts, crematorium stocks may be soon entering a bull market.

The Politics of the Schiavo Case

As Jeffrey Bell & Frank Cannon set forth in the Weekly Standard, the Left and their Big Media allies are deluding themselves into another political minefield. Or, in their words, the Right has "lost a battle, but will win the war."

The starvation/dehydration of Terri Schiavo at the command of her husband [and its blessing] by federal and state courts, over the objection of the legislative and executive branches of government in Washington and Florida, is the upholding of a private killing for private purposes, not of government-sponsored mass killing. But the national scope of the controversy means that perhaps tens of thousands of feeding tubes all over the country have become far more precarious.

It was a substantive policy victory for forces opposed to the right to life (it doesn't seem accurate, in this instance, to describe these forces as "pro-choice"), but it may be a victory they come to regret. For one thing, in content it was far more an extension of the implications of legalized abortion than of assisted suicide.

That matters because the tide of public opinion has long since turned against abortion on demand, as evinced by even Hillary Clinton making token gestures of reconciliation with the pro-life movement. Why else did Democrats adapt a "keep quiet" strategy a week ago when the emergency legislation mandating federal review of the Schiavo case was enacted - with roughly 50% minority party support?

The murder of Terri Schiavo takes that factor one step further, however, because while abortion on demand has been rationalized as a "medical procedure" which merely "removes a mass of cellular tissue" - and the life snuffed out is not visible, and therefore easier to reduce to an abstraction - in this instance, it is a real, live, breathing, otherwise healthy, adult human being who is being eradicated, not by her own choice, as her scumbag husband and his death's head shyster keep mendaciously and infuriatingly insisting, but his. And as more and more facts come out - about the circumstances of Terri's original injury, the possibility that she was physically assaulted by Michael, the concommitant insistence on his part that her remains be immediately cremated to, possibly, destroy evidence of same, the fact that she has never been in a "persistant vegetative state" and Micheal refused to allow any tests that might prove his central contention false, the blatant conflict of interest on Judge George Greer's part - the death cult and all its left-wing cheerleaders who went to such ghoulishly gleeful excess in rooting for Terri Schiavo's execution will have effectively and efficiently buried themselves with such arrogant and obnoxious overreaching.

This has definite implications for the judicial confirmation wars, raising those stakes even higher, if that were possible. And it certainly wouldn't seem to enhance the chances of any "red" states turning "blue" any time soom.

The only caveat for Republicans is whether they will recognize the political opportunity set before them as readily as they recognized the moral rightness of what they did a week ago. The latter was an attempt to save one victim; the former can save the tens of thousands of other Terris all over the country whose survival has, thanks to the Three Horsemen, become far more precarious.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

The Legalities of the Schiavo Case

Because she was railroaded by the kangaroo trial court, and the federal courts disobeyed the expressed instructions of Congress, Terri Schiavo has been denied due process of law:

Terri Schiavo has been ordered by a state judge to be killed by starvation and dehydration. The order implicates her Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights not to be deprived of life absent due process of law — the courts that have examined this case do not dispute this indisputable point. I believe it is unquestionably the law of the United States — today, already, without any need to change the law for Terri's benefit — that due process mandates that no person may be deprived of life by state action unless every factual predicate legally necessary to validate the state action has been proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

The main consideration is that an American is being killed by a court order based on fact-finding so palpably unreliable there cannot even be the pretense that the due-process yardstick our country has long demanded in death cases was used. No one contends the Florida court required proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Put another way, if PVS were considered a crime Terri had been indicted for, rather than a condition she is afflicted by, the record in this case would have been laughed out of court five minutes after an appellate tribunal started looking at it. Not because the proof was inadequate, although it surely was. Simply because the wrong standard was used. If a Florida court tried to deprive a person of life based on facts establishing capital murder that had been proved only by clear and convincing evidence, the editorial pages would be teeming with condemnation. Both the ACLU and the death-penalty bar would be lined up for miles outside the Supreme Court in anger over a due-process outrage. And they'd be right.

In the United States, we require proof beyond a reasonable doubt on all facts necessary to the judgment before someone is killed by the machinery of the justice system. Nothing less will do.

Not anymore. Andrew McCarthy sets forth the clear and present danger of this outrage thusly:

As a matter of constitutional due process, this is unacceptable. Indeed, we should be frightened by it, because if here, in a matter literally of life and death, we are losing reasonable doubt — a core protection for Americans against excessive state action — we are sure to lose it in other areas as well.

We don't toss around terms like "judicial tyranny" just to vent, after all. Let the so-called "states' rights" worrywarts chew that one over for a spell. Might give 'em some desperately needed restoration of perspective.

Pity it won't save Terri Schiavo, though. Michael Schiavo's robed hit man has seen to that.

What If This Was Your Daughter?

First, read this story.

The setting is this - the mother of a fourteen year old girl learns that her daughter has become pregnant, and that she has been taken to an abortuary by the mother of the teenage boy that knocked her up. The girl's mother goes to the abortuary to take her daughter home:

She took a seat near the main desk and said, "I was told I could not prove my daughter was there so I began calling her name. A medical tech at the clinic told me , 'It's your daughter's rights, it's her body. You have no rights.'"

After continuing to call out her daughter's name and telling her "don't do it," authorities were called and the mother was arrested.

The 14-year old told her mother she could hear her but when she asked employees to give her mother a message, they came back to the room and told her that her mother had left.

Mark Noonan over at GOP Bloggers raises points that ought to be gapingly obvious, and would have been in just about any other time before our own:

If I were to go down to a nearby school and take a 14 year old who was not my child or legal ward, wouldn't that be kidnapping? A 14 year old cannot legally consent to go with me, nor can the school consent to having a non-legal guardian take a child.

The girl is 14 and she certainly was pregnant: I believe that the age of consent is not 14. If a person beneath the age of consent has sex, isn't this statutory rape?

I cannot imagine that it is legal for any person or institution (other than legal authorities given custody of a child) to deny access to a person's minor child.

And yet was the boy's mother arrested? No. Was the boy arrested? No. Was anybody at the abortuary arrested? No.

Was the girl's mother arrested? Yes.

The question I ask at the top cannot be easily or lightly dismissed. Even if you're as pro-abortion as can be (and assuming that such a person could even allow any child spawned by them to live to be born), can you, as a parent, remotely countenance or approve of a stranger whisking away your own child (including pulling her out of school by pretending to be her mother) without your knowledge of either the act itself or that she's pregnant for what is still Orwellianly described as a "medical procedure"? Even if you would have taken her to get sliced & diced yourself, wouldn't you consider that to be your own perogative as a parent?

I will freely admit that it's been a long time since my college business law courses, but I seem to recall that the age of majority is eighteen, which includes the right to make binding contracts. Fourteen seems to be below that legal threshold, as it is also below the age of sexual consent. So, legally speaking, when that abortuary "med tech" insolently tossed off to the girl's mother that, "It's your daugher's rights, it's her body; you have no rights," s/he was flatly wrong, because a fourteen-year-old hasn't any rights, and the parent, as legal guardian, does have the right to control the "medical" treatment his/her child receives.

Except, it would seem, where abortion on demand is involved.

This (if you'll pardon my lapse into French) is bullshit.

I hope this girl's mother sues the school and this abortuary and the boyfriend's mother for every dime they've collectively got. HOW DARE they? Between the school's negligence, the boy's mother's deception and, arguably, kidnapping, and the abortuary's refusal to allow the girl to communicate with her (real) mom despite her request to do so (arguably wrongful imprisonment), how is it possible that the only person who ended up "being taken downtown" was the girl's mother?

And what about the girl herself? Charlie Johnson asked that very question:

Many complained of coercion by a boyfriend. Scared and young, they were afraid to talk to their parents. Many said that the abortion clinics spoke in terms of a “blob of tissue” or a “clump of cells” and that the reality of the child did not hit home until after the abortion was over. Some spoke of seeing tiny body parts and shrinking in horror.

Almost all agonized over a sense of abandonment after it was over. The abortion counselors had no more to offer after the abortion was finished. Boyfriends abandoned them. They felt they would be a pariah if they ever spoke of the matter to family or church support groups. And almost all expressed a sense of betrayal that they had been young and what was going to happen had been misrepresented to them. There was a tremendous sense of guilt.

Certainly, legislators have good reasons to protect minors when there is a case of suspected home abuse. But home abuse is not the only form of exploitation of minors. If the allegations in this situation are correct, legislatures will certainly want to re-examine existing law to protect children from abuse from all quarters.

The ultimate victim is, of course, the unborn child that was dismembered in the womb. The unconscionably outrageous events swirling around this particular fetuscide are symptomatic of the unreasoning, murderous zealotry that drives the pro-abortion movement, and the death culture in which it malignantly resides.

Make no mistake - this girl and her deceased offspring are victims every bit as much as Terri Schiavo, just as the boy's mother and the abortuary "med techs" are of a scaly kind with Michael Schiavo, George Felos, and George Greer. And it would appear that they are willing to go to any lengths necessary to advance their macabre, nihilistic cause.

It would be a bit cheeky to call this a "battle to the death." "Battle against death" doesn't really fit because death (the physical variety, anyway) is inevitable.

"Battle for life"...yes, that's the ticket.

But if that's too sweeping or melodramatic for you, just think of it as the battle for your children against those who would drag them away from you for unspeakable purposes.

Just about every parent should be able to get behind that.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

First Condimania, Now "Draft Cheney"?

The Los Angeles Times (via Newsmax) has "picked up" on the conservative boomlet calling for Dick Cheney to run to succeed President Bush in 2008.

Like Fred Barnes in the Weekly Standard and Lawrence Kudlow of National Review Online, Tod Lindberg of the Washington Times has taken up the theme of the growing phenomenon of "Cheneymania.”

Unabashed Cheney-ites argue that the Veep with gravitas is the perfect candidate to preserve Bush's legacy.

The Cheney fan club, says the Times, fears a repeat of the George H.W. Bush administration, in which, they feel, an ideologically fainthearted successor betrayed the purity of the mighty Reagan revolution.

Barnes points out that Cheney would be perceived as the ideal keeper of the Bush flame since he "helped Bush formulate” his agenda.

And if Big Time sticks to his long-expressed disinclination to oblige his supporters?

Says Barnes, "If the president let it be known he thinks Cheney would be the best person to succeed him - that would be enough to release Cheney from his promise not to run.”

As to the famous disinterest by Cheney in following his boss into the Oval Office, here is Lindberg’s very personal take:

"If there were no realistic possibility of the vice president going along, the person I was sitting next to at dinner the other day would surely have taken my mention of the Barnes article as occasion to knock the idea down. That didn't happen. On the contrary.”

Even the NY Times' Jonathan Chait, no fan of Cheney or his drafters, thinks it could happen:

"It may have seemed to the outside world that we all woke up one day, long before the first Republican primary, to discover that the entire GOP establishment had coalesced all at once around Bush. In fact, Bush's anointing resulted from just the sort of subterranean machinations that we're seeing today.”

I think it's another pipedream.

Just as I am dubious of a Condoleezza Rice candidacy in 2008, so I am of a Dick Cheney run. As with Condi, the veep has repeatedly indicated that he will not run. Maybe he'll change his mind at some point, but there's no reason to believe that will happen. Second, just as Condi is severely handicapped by her never having run for any elective office, so Cheney has one, and potentially two, big drawbacks working against him.

One is that, let's face it, the man has no charisma. The veep would be arguably the dullest, dryest personality to head a major party ticket since Michael Dukakis. And for all that some (like Rush Limbaugh) argue that presidential elections are decided on issues, the truth is that issues only matter to the extent that the "beauty contest" aspect is a wash. And given the extreme likelihood of Hillary Clinton being the Deathocrat nominee next time around, poor old Dick would be completely outclassed.

The other, far from certain but a possibility to be taken into consideration, is that by late '07/early '08, the public will be suffering from political fatigue borne of the DisLoyal Opposition's endless warfare against George W. Bush and the GOP majority. After eight years of constant upheaval and acrimony - to say nothing of any major setbacks in the GWOT like another al Qaeda strike inside the U.S. - the electorate may be ready to "pull a Spain" and pull the proverbial covers over its head, just to "take a breather" of peace and quiet for a few years. And in that equation, just about any Republican would be standing on the wrong side of the voters' mood, to say nothing of George Bush's designated successor.

What this "fantasy politicking" suggests to me is that the GOP base is looking at the likely candidate field for '08 and isn't impressed with any of them. If there were any obvious names, like Ronald Reagan was in 1980 and Dubya was in 2000, it seems to me there wouldn't be this indulgence in dreaming about candidacies that will never see the light of day.

And if Dick Cheney - essentially Phil Gramm without the twang - is now the "dream" pick....

Well, there's one more reason to get ready for President Hillary.

Tell Me I Didn't See This

What is this, some sort of sick joke?

Former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James A. Baker III are teaming up to head a star-studded study commission that will recommend improvements to the nation's federal election system.

The bipartisan panel, announced Thursday by American University's Center for Democracy and Election Management, is charged with examining such matters as the disputed 2000 presidential election.

"I am concerned about the state of our electoral system and believe we need to improve it," said Carter, a Democrat whose Carter Center in Atlanta has monitored dozens of elections around the world. "There is much we could learn from other democracies and from our own citizens."
Yeah, like the Palestinians or Hugo Chavez, I suppose. Carter helped to "monitor" those election travesties, even as he was skeptical of Ukraine's Orange Revolution that rightfully overturned yet another ballot-box stuffing robbery that Mr. Peanut was perfectly willing to endorse.

It would be nice to think that perhaps the arguably worst president in American history would take a serious look at the staggeringly brazen perfidy and corruption of his own party, both in Florida 2000 and last year in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Wisconsin, among other places. But he's a Deathocrat, which means this laughably mislabeled "bipartisan" commission will strictly pursue the paranoid conspiracy nonsense promulgated by the ultra-left and produce recommendations that will have the effect of making it even more difficult to insure the integrity of our election process - from which, of course, only Deathocrats will benefit.

Similarly, it would be a comfort to believe that the ostensible Republicans on this "bipartisan" panel could be relied upon to stoutly resist their DisLoyal counterparts. But the three members mentioned in the AP story - James Baker, former New York congresswoman Susan Molinari-Paxon, and Bush41 Commerce Secretary Robert Mosbacher - are RINOs all. They're just there for appearance's sake - it's Carter, ex-senator (love the sound of that) Tom Daschle, and former Indiana congressman Lee Hamilton (late of the equally unhelpful 9/11 commission) who will be calling the shots.

One can only hope that this commission's conclusions will be ignored as readily as such products usually are. But there is no convincing reason to take that comfort, either.

It may, however, end up being the answer to a trivia question for future generations: "How did Hugo Chavez manage to take over America?"

The answer on the other side of the card? "It was an inside job."

Harry Reid Has Been Assimilated

If anybody had any doubts about in which direction congressional Deathocrats were going to go - the ostensible centrism purportedly personified by Senate Minority Leader "Dirty Harry" Reid or the crazoid left-wing extremism of DNC Chairman Howie Dean, that question has been drearily answered.

The recent spate of down-and-dirty vitriol by Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada has earned the admiration of Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean, reports the Boston Globe.

Reid’s diatribes against Federal Reserve Board chairman, Alan Greenspan - "political hack" - and President Bush and his team - "drunk with power" – are reportedly just what the doctor ordered

"He’s honest and direct, which is what Governor Dean likes," enthused Laura Gross, a spokeswoman for Dean.

Translation: Reid is acting like a total asshole. That's what Dr. Demented - and the loathesome Deathocrat base who loves him - likes.

It would seem that Reid didn't put up much resistance to joining the Tinfoil Hat Collective.

According to the report, Reid and Dean have been in close phone contact these last few weeks, among other things, fashioning a media blitz designed to help torpedo Bush plans for private Social Security accounts.

Resistance, in this case, was indeed futile. Though that's not how this story tries to make it look.

Pundits express some surprise at the alliance, noting Reid’s history of having reservations about the former Vermont governor becoming the face of the
Democratic Party:

"I’m not sure Howard Dean is the answer to our problems," Reid said during the committee race. "For right or wrong, Howard Dean is recognized as part of the left, the antiwar crowd. I’m not sure we need more acrimony."

But that was then...

And this was inevitable.

The Globe piece goes on to speculate about how the Donks' scorched-earth strategy will play in the '06 elections, but as usual their Deathocrat-centric focus causes them to miss the point. It isn't what their party does that will matter in the next midterms, but how the Republicans react to it. If the GOP slaps down Dean, Reid & Co. by getting Social Security reform passed and the judicial filibuster blockade broken, all the lib rage in the world won't keep them from adding to their majorities. If 'Pubbies cave on these matters of utmost importance to their base, the base will stay home a year from November, and their majorities will erode or vanish altogether.

One thing seems certain: just because the "days of rage" of the last election didn't produce a Deathocrat victory doesn't mean the DisLoyal Opposition is going to abandon that strategy. To the contrary, they're going to keep getting louder, more extreme, and more hateful. If Republicans think they can't, or don't wish to, handle that, they better figure out a way to do so, because if that politicocultural mindset is ever rewarded at the polls, America really will be reprising 1930s Germany.

Only question will be whether our new "fuehrer" will sport a fondness for pantsuits.

Just Like a Scooby-Doo Villain

Oh, what I wouldn't give to see an American UN Secretary-General - other than for the United States to withdraw from the UN altogether. Then maybe, just maybe, this sort of whiny anti-American petulance could be purged from that misbegotten "internationalist" body once and for all.

Former United Nations chief Boutros Boutros-Ghali is blaming the oil-for-food scandal on "right-wing politicians" in the United States, saying they are merely using it as a tool to damage the world body's reputation.

Reuters reports that Boutros-Ghali, who served as U.N. secretary-general from 1991 to 1996, also has said current chief Kofi Annan should stay right where he is.
Yeah, how dare the leaders of the only country on the face of the planet with the power and resources to keep that den of thugs and thieves from ignominious collapse and irrelevance object to the rampant corruption and moral turpitude that has done so much to bolster the UN's reputation. Why can't they just keep their mouths shut and their checkbook open?

Well, it turns out that Boutros Boutros-by Ghali doesn't have clean hands himself:

[T]he program's director, Benon Sevan, has been "accused of steering an Iraq oil allocation to a cousin of Boutros-Ghali," said Reuters. "The cousin, who owned a small trading company, earned $1.5 million from the transaction."
Nothing like a little self-interested ass-covering to make one "doth protest too much."

None of the apparent evidence seems to matter to Boutros-Ghali, however. He blamed conservative American politicians instead of the U.N., Iraqi and corporate bureaucrats who either administered or took part in the program.

"The American right has seized this scandal as a weapon against the United Nations. It's a scandal created ad hoc. It's not me asserting this, it's clear to everyone," he said, in quotes picked up by Italy's La Republica newspaper.
What's clear to everyone who isn't already as corrupt and morally vacant as BBG is that he's blustering in frustration at his betters who caught him with his hand in one helluva big cookie jar.

Reminds me of the end of every Scooby-Doo cartoon ever written, where the crook who impersonated the ghost, before he's taken away by the cops, always says, "And I'd have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for these meddling kids!"

In this case, the "meddling kids" are even bigger than BBG's cookie jar.

Friday, March 25, 2005


One of the biggest frauds being perpetrated by Big Media about Terri Schiavo’s slow, agonizing execution for the crime of being alive is that her execution isn’t agonizing, but rather “peaceful” and “dignified.”

Here, via Wittingshire, is historian Nathaniel Philbrick’s first-hand observations of the effects of death by dehydration:

In 1906, W.J. McGee, Director of the St. Louis Public museum, published one of the most detailed and graphic descriptions of the ravages of extreme dehydration ever recorded. McGee's account was based on the experiences of Pablo Valencia, a forty-year-old sailor-turned-prospector, who survived almost seven days in the Arizona desert without water....

Saliva becomes thick and foul-tasting; the tongue clings irritatingly to the teeth and the roof of the mouth....A lump seems to form in the throat...severe pain is felt in the head and neck. The face feels full due to the shrinking of the skin. Hearing is affected, and many people begin to hallucinate...[then come] the agonies of a mouth that has ceased to generate saliva. The tongue hardens into what McGee describes as "a senseless weight, swinging on the still-soft root and striking foreignly against the teeth." Speech becomes impossible, although sufferers have been known to moan and bellow.

Next is the "blood sweats" phase, involving "a progressive mummification of the initially living body." The tongue swells to such proportions that it squeezes past the jaws. The eyelids crack and the eyeballs begin to weep tears of blood. The throat is so swollen that breathing becomes difficult, creating an incongruous yet terrifying sense of drowning.

Finally...there is living death, the state into which Pablo Valencia had entered when McGee discovered him on a desert trail, crawling on his hands and knees: "His lips had disappeared as if amputated, leaving low edges of blackened tissue; his teeth and gums projected like those of a skinned animal, but the flesh was black and dry as a hank of jerky; his nose was withered and shrunken to half its length, and the nostril-lining showing black; his eyes were set in a winkless stare, with surrounding skin so contracted as to expose the conjunctiva, itself as black as the gums...; his skin [had] generally turned a ghastly purplish yet ashen gray, with great livid blotches and streaks; his lower legs and feet...were torn and scratched by contact with thorns and sharp rocks, yet even the freshest cuts were so many scratches in dry leather, without trace of blood" (Philbrick, 126-128).

This is what’s being done to Terri Schiavo.

Funny, of all the adjectives I can think of to describe it, “peaceful” and “dignified” don’t seem to make the list.

[HT: GOP Bloggers]

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Soros Bankrolling "Gingriching" of Tom DeLay

The Hill has the scoop (via Newmax):

The concentrated assault on House Majority Leader Tom DeLay by Democrats and their media allies hasn't just happened - it is largely the work of a shadowy group of liberal organizations, all backed by one man: George Soros.

Billionaire George Soros has been working behind the scenes with liberal anti-Bush groups dominated by longtime Democrat activists.

According to The Hill newspaper, Republican researchers have connected Soros, members of pressure groups posing as "government watchdog groups" and loaded with Democrat activists, and top Hill Democrats in the attacks on DeLay and the House Ethics Committee.

"The research shows that members of these groups’ boards have contributed tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates and political organizations and several of their staff members have previously worked for Democrats," The Hill reported, adding that they "have also accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Open Society Institute, an organization founded by Soros, who spent millions trying to defeat President Bush in last year’s election."
It's hard for me not to shrug at this. To coin an aphorism, birds fly, fish swim, sharks eat, and Democrats scandal-monger. They've been trying to recreate Watergate ever since, well, Watergate, and having failed yet again in last year's presidential campaign, now they're trying to reprise what ended up being the four-year war of attrition that finally drove Newt Gingrich from the Speakership.

And they appear sufficiently submerged in their own wishful thinking to be actually believing they'll succeed:

"The DeLay scandal is getting to the point where House Republicans just won’t be able to withstand much more,” a Democrat aide bragged to The Hill. "With every story that is written, it becomes more clear that House Republicans are risking their political futures by associating themselves with him. When literally hundreds of stories about the GOP leader’s shoddy ethics are appearing in nearly every local and regional paper across the country, you can’t blame voters for painting them all with the same brush."
Except, of course, that there isn't any "DeLay scandal." Just the usual barrage of empty, unsubstantiated charges, amplified by Big Media, to operate as a sort of public relations Chinese water torture, the object of which is to make the target so "controversial" that his colleagues will heave him overboard to get the jackals off their backs. As though one or more of them won't be "next." Too bad for them "the Hammer" is made of sterner stuff than Mr. Newt was.

Ol' GS had a busy day. He also had a conviction for insider trading upheld in France, of all places. But Dems don't care how he got his money, just so they get continued access to an unlimited stream of it.

Ed Morrissey pegs Soros quite nicely:

I find it amusing anyway that the man who funds the anti-globalist, anti-capitalist Left made his money through currency speculation and apparently some more-than-clever stock transactions in the international market. He escaped to the West from Hungary with next to nothing and made billions by manipulating capital on a global basis. However, once he had his fortune secured, he has appeared intent on making sure that no one gets afforded the same chances he had to succeed.

Of course George Soros is a hypocrite - he's a left-winger. But he and his misbegotten ideological gang-bangers were taught a lesson last year: you still can't buy an American presidential election if your name isn't Clinton. So now he's down-grading to a House Majority Leader instead.

Makes you wonder how far down the food chain he's willing to go to finally score a scalp.

Let all dogcatchers beware: you have been warned.

VBC Missionary News

The importance of prayer was one of the key principles brought out by Valley Bible Church Missions Conference keynote speaker Kameel Kilada. The church body had a chance to put that into practice on the closing night of the conference, when the attending missionaries shared prayer requests. I've been (for the most part) posting one per day over the past couple of weeks. Now we're in the home stretch.

Steve & Brenda Van Horn / International Training and Equipping Ministries

Dr. Steve Van Horn is the founder and president of ITEM. ITEM was established as an international ministry in 2003, although Steve initiated it in 1998 in Nairobi while teaching theology there. ITEM exists to provide training for pastors and church leaders in the world who do not have easy access to formal theological education.

Please pray as the Van Horns begin full-time ministry in March. Pray for needed funding. Pray for their enthusiasm and passion to remain strong. Pray as they seek to establish validation for the mission through reputable, respected men on their Board of Directors. Pray for Mark and MaryAnn Hoover, raising support. Pray for more teachers and trainers.

Were Republicans Just Bluffing?

Dave Eberhart over at Newmax asks a very salient question: What ever happened to those congressional subpeonas?

Congress and the Bush Administration could still save Terri Schiavo – if they would simply enforce legal subpoenas that were issued last week demanding that Congress be allowed to interview Terri and others in the controversial matter. Those congressional subpoenas, however, have been wantonly ignored by a Florida state judge and local authorities in a brazen act.

But experts say they could still be enforced by federal marshals if the U.S. Justice Department sought to act. These all-but-forgotten subpoenas - if finally honored - could still force authorities to preserve the life of Schiavo, without question the most vital witness in hang-fire Congressional hearings delving into her treatment and the treatment of all incapacitated adults.

So why haven’t the same Bill Frist and Tom DeLay who were issuing threats of jail time against Judge George Greer for his defiance of the law just six days ago followed through on them in the slightest?

Good question.

So far all they’ve done is judge-shop:

Instead of immediately moving to hold Greer and all subpoenaed parties in contempt of Congress after the Judge and others clearly had tampered with the witness and evidence, that is the feeding tube was removed, the House committee asked another lower state court to recognize the subpoena.

The House committee also quietly asked the U.S. Supreme Court to order the feeding tube reinserted while it appealed in lower courts to have its subpoenas recognized.

The Supreme Court would not issue such an order.

One could conclude that GOP leaders’ first mistake was relying on the federal courts to be any more honorable or ethical than their Florida counterparts. De novo review of the facts in the Schiavo case was one thing, and definitely necessary, but the imperative – indeed, the raison d’etre of the entire exercise last weekend – was to get that feeding tube reattached. Since the federal judiciary has now punted, the only other alternative is to enforce these subpoenas and send U.S. marshals to take Mrs. Schiavo into protective custody.

And yet:

In fact, Congress has failed to begin even the most preliminary step – the reporting of a resolution declaring subpoenaed parties in contempt of Congress.

I’ve tended to agree with Jim Geraghty that this unspeakable episode won’t change the political alignments much, if any, and that to the extent it did it would be to the further detriment of the Deathocrats. But Hill ‘Pubbies may be starving themselves between the proverbial two bales of hay. By issuing blustering high-profile threats a week ago and then quietly and meekly slinking away from them now, Frist and DeLay and the boys run the risk of making themselves look impotent in the face of a “little judge sitting in a state district court in Florida.” And if they won’t ultimately cross Judge Greer – who obviously thought they were bluffing – what credibility does that leave them when going up against Dirty Harry, Crazy Nancy, and co., who most certaintly aren’t bluffing in their scorched earth threats on judges, Social Security reform, etc.?

If Frist and DeLay’s bold posturing was designed to play to the GOP base, it seems almost impossibly stupid for them to be sitting on their hands now. If it was designed to save Terri Schiavo, it makes even less sense, because she’s been shriveling up for almost a week and hasn’t much time left.

I’m afraid that for Republicans, this is a case of “in for a penny, in for a pound.”

And “folding” isn’t an option.