It ain’t over when it’s over

It ain’t over when it’s over

: If you think media has overdosed on coverage of the Schiavo case, just wait until she dies. What should be a sad moment in a tragic story, a private mourning for her family — yes, all the family — will become, instead, a most public spectacle, you can be sure.

The rhetoric of the people before the cameras in Florida and Washington has gotten hotter and hotter. The crowds in Florida are growing. I fear the Schiavo riots, I really do.

There are a lot of ministers and people trumpeting Christianity down there. I hope some of them remember that this is a religion of forgiveness, grace, and peace — remember that turning the other cheek thing, folks. Unfortunately, though, it is the men of the cloth who’ve been the angriest on TV.

I’ll bet we’ll see shrines beyond those for Elian Gonzalez. This story will not end soon.

What I’m really afraid of is that Fox will bring back John Edwards, the flim-flam TV man who says he talks to the dead — yes, they interviewed even him on this story. Then we’ll hear Terri speak.

Jon Stewart says: “The Schiavo feeding tube will soon be removed from the cable news networks.” (Make sure to watch it.)

Now, of course, I was part of that feeding frenzy, doing reports on what the blogs said about Schiavo for MSNBC. I did that once, earlier in the story, and found lots of prayers and really nothing being said on the other side; there wasn’t an other side online TV wants another side. They asked me to do it again, later, and I protested that we wouldn’t see anything new, just more prayers; we wouldn’t see two sides and cable news wants two sides. But I was wrong. In the meantime, Congress got involved; the story was now not just a media spectacle but also a political spectacle. Now there was plenty of talk on the blogs about the politics, the ethics, living wills, media. The comments in this blog alone exploded with discussion. The people were indeed talking about the story. So I reported it… more than once. (I leave it to you to judge my culpability in adding to the spectacle.)

Last night on Connected, I was glad to see Ron Reagan go after the people who’ve issued the most inflammatory rhetoric, accusing the judges in the case of wanting to murder Schiavo. Ron also asked one of the guests during the same segment in which I reported, again, on what the blogs were saying: Is media overdoing this; is this spectacle media’s fault? I think he was as shocked as I was at the answer: The guest said no; the people were talking about this case and so it’s OK for media to talk about it.

Hmmm. Chicken: Meet egg.

This, we are learning, is the nature of 24-hour news. It’s no longer about picking the top stories and packaging them in a paper or a show. I’ve said before that we used to wait for the news to come to us and now the news waits for us to come to it. So now we turn on the TV and expect to see the hottest story. And each cable channel fears being the one on right then without the hottest story. So we all get the hottest story all the time. And the problem is that all “hottest stories” become equal: war = Terri Schiavo = Michael Jackson.

I’m not sure what the solution to that is. I’d like to see one of them try a format that guarantees the rest of the news, what else is happening in the world. I’d watch that.

In the meantime, in the Schiavo story, I hope we see some restraint from the participants and from the media. We’ll see….

  • http://RuthCalvo Ruth

    There is something ironic about the coincidence of the Schiavo tragedy with the season of Easter. When the clergy is usually guiding its flock to think of rebirth and the blessings of Christ, what a sad spectacle that for public consumption the politicized clergy is talking of violence and sowing divisiveness.

  • -asx-

    Riots would be a terrible thing, but Fox News, and other conservative voices, are really egging on their followers and fanning the flames.
    They are inciting mob rule to overthrow our system of government (under which the courts have the final say on the interpretation of the law).
    Do you think George or Jeb Bush will start a constitutional crisis and take Schiavo into custody on this Good Friday?

  • -asx-

    I see that the two links I posted above both open in the little tiny Haloscan comments window, which is unfortunate. But if you want to see those pages, just Right-Click on the links and select “Open in New Window.” That will overcome the problem.
    The liberal blogs have been doing an outstanding job covering this very important story, particularly Steve Gilliard. Here’s a sample:

    WHERE IS THE PRESIDENT?
    He started this mess and he sees this thing spinning wildly out of control, and like the coward he is, has nothing to say. He signed the bill, a sham bill, and he has yet to say one word about respecting the rule of law and the judiciary. This is unacceptable in the extreme. The president is not suposed to let his radical right allies rant about ignoring the rule of law and acting like a fascist mob. He could kill this talk in one interview.
    Is Bush and his brother going to let a tragedy strike? Things in Florida are getting scarier by the day, the Schindler’s allies lie about Michael Schiavo like there were no libel laws or court cases. This mess is harming his party immeasurably. Yet he and the rational people in the GOP remain silent, as if this can be controlled. They seem to be smoking around a fuel dump and tossing the smokes in the air.
    [...]
    Rove may be clever, but this, this is a nightmare speeding downhill with no brakes and a sharp turn at the bottom. Even worse, some of the folks on the train are tossing shit out of the windows to go faster.

    Read the rest at http://stevegilliard.blogspot.com/

  • http://sluggoneedsanap.blogspot.com/ Sluggo

    It’s very useful to describe topics you don’t want to be discussed in such apocalyptic terms. Anything to get it off the table. Constitutional crisis? Please. The rhetoric on both sides is overheated, but still, this is an issue worth discussion. One can argue the wisdom of decisions of the players in this drama without pretending this was a unique legislative moment or that one is the only thing standing between the constitution and slavering hoards of religious fanatics. Calm down. The nation is safe. She’ll be dead in a couple days.

  • http://badhairblog.blogspot.com Fausta

    Hoping for restraint in the media tells me you’re an optimist. We even get re-enactments of Michael Jackson’s proceedings on E!, which is disgraceful.

  • sabrina

    I hate to be morbid here, but has anyone given any thought to what will happen if she dies on Easter Sunday?
    Living here in Florida, I am really beginning to worry that we are witnessing a train wreck in slow motion.
    I said it before on another thread…
    I hope this doesn’t get as bad as this could.

  • Mike

    I fear the Schiavo riots, I really do.
    They are inciting mob rule to overthrow our system of government (under which the courts have the final say on the interpretation of the law).

    Do you think George or Jeb Bush will start a constitutional crisis and take Schiavo into custody on this Good Friday?

    Talk about your hysterical screeds. Come on, do you want me to think that her death is going to send the country into some mass revolt? Are you serious? Besides, if you believe the polls people have been citing than most of the country doesn’t care. Constitutional crisis?? Please. Take your doom and gloom somewhere else.

  • Mike

    I fear the Schiavo riots, I really do.
    They are inciting mob rule to overthrow our system of government (under which the courts have the final say on the interpretation of the law).

    Do you think George or Jeb Bush will start a constitutional crisis and take Schiavo into custody on this Good Friday?

    Talk about your hysterical screeds. Come on, do you want me to think that her death is going to send the country into some mass revolt? Are you serious? Besides, if you believe the polls people have been citing than most of the country doesn’t care. Constitutional crisis?? Please. Take your doom and gloom somewhere else.

  • Mike

    sorry about the double post.

  • Kat

    (I hate to be morbid here, but has anyone given any thought to what will happen if she dies on Easter Sunday?) And what exactly is morbid about dying on Easter Sunday? Are you being a drama queen or do you have a point?

  • Mike

    Sabrina, I think if you’re trying to make some sort of symbolic Christian/Catholic connection to her death, it would be more symbolic for her to die today, Good Friday. Jesus was resurrected on Easter Sunday, he died on Good Friday.

  • http://hubris.typepad.com Hubris

    asx,
    Is Ralph Nader part of the sinister right-wing cabal that is plotting to cause a constitutional crisis? That’s kinda weird, isn’t it?

  • sabrina

    Wow Kat, how unnecessarily rude of you.
    You think I’m being a “drama queen” because I am concerned that Terri dying on one of the holiest days of the year might not just drive some of the fringe over the edge.
    I don’t think we’re in any danger of a constitutional crisis here, but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be rioting and a great deal of civil unrest if she dies – and if it happens on Sunday I think it will make that possibility more likely.

  • sabrina

    Good point Mike, and I do realize that. But yes, the symbolism is what I was referring to.

  • Kat

    I still do not see how that can be described as ‘morbid’. Unless the people who want her dead celebrate death, while I celebrate resurrection and life.

  • http://RuthCalvo Ruth

    sabrina:
    As you noted, Easter is a sad time for anyone to die, and somewhat ominous in view of the dissension here – and also, yes, unneccessarily rude to jump on your sincere posting as if it were some sort of tastelessness.
    In Catholic circles, it is a matter of tension as well that the Pope hovers so near to his death.
    Hubris:
    Thanks for the Naderism. Actually, if you recall the percentage of vote that he raked off in 2000, he’s been there for constitutional crisis before. Without his 2 – 3%, Florida’s election would not have been sent to the SC.

  • Kat

    Well, I know the Pope will die naturally, and if he died on Easter Sunday, I certainly don’t see the difference of his dying on that day as any other. It certainly causes no tension in me that he may die on Easter Sunday, and I am Catholic. People die on Easter Sunday every year–it does not make it any sadder or any easier for their families. It certainly isn’t ‘morbid’.

  • http://hubris.typepad.com Hubris

    Hi Ruth,
    In order to protect Nader’s feelings, let’s say that the other candidates raked off 97-98% of the vote.

  • Mike

    I would actually hold to the view that if Terri was to die any day of this holy weekend that those of faith would view it as a sympathetic act of God and not something to get enraged about.

  • sabrina

    Kat, apparently you are under the misapprehension that I meant her death on Easter Sunday was morbid. That is not what I said.
    If you read my statement, I said : “I hate to be morbid”. Did you see the “I” there?
    I meant I didn’t want to be insensitive by bringing up the subject of her death and the potential symbolism of it with regards to Easter.
    I realize everyones nerves are raw over this, but you are being intentionally confrontational.

  • Kat

    I’m sorry, but I fail to see the potential symbolism–Jesus was put to death on Friday, not Sunday. On Sunday, I imagine the only thing you will witness is millions of Christians across the Nation united in prayer for Terri….and those who starved her to death.

  • http://misterpundit.blogspot.com MisterPundit

    I hope some of them remember that this is a religion of forgiveness, grace, and peace — remember that turning the other cheek thing, folks. Unfortunately, though, it is the men of the cloth who’ve been the angriest on TV.
    Jeff, you’re being silly. You can’t effect change by being silent in the face of injustice. I’m not religious, but I agree with the church on this issue, and I support their right to speak out. Why the church is always expected to just shut up and keep on “turning the other cheek” about everything is beyond me. Can you imagine if MLK simply kept on turning the other cheek?

  • Mumblix Grumph

    No riots.
    Jeff, the people who are on the “losing side” of this debate won’t be incensed enough to riot, they will be heartbroken. They are honestly concerned for this woman who is being STARVED TO DEATH with the blessing of the State. These aren’t the rioting kind. A shmuck or two might do something stupid, that does not a make a riot.

  • http://sloppydawg.blogspot.com SloppyDawg

    How disgusting is this?
    Who’s doing the politicizing now?

  • http://thebronxblogger.blogspot.com Matthew Goggins

    Here’ a poignant story from today’s online Wall Street Journal:
    http://www.opinionjournal.com/taste/?id=110006469
    Still Beautiful, Still Human
    Why bother keeping her alive? they wondered–about my mother.

    BY LUCETTE LAGNADO
    Friday, March 25, 2005 12:01 a.m. EST
    In the innocent smile, the movements, the curled helpless hands of Terri Schiavo, I see my mother. In the desperation of Terri’s mother to keep her daughter alive, I see myself and my own desperation to keep my mother alive. In the stance adopted by Terri’s husband–that she has no business being alive–I see the world I faced back in the early 1990s, when the pro-death movement was relatively young and the culture of death not nearly as pervasive as it is today.
    As debates rage on Ms. Schiavo’s fitness to live, questions about the value of a human life emerge front and center. First, the young woman is said to be all but dead. An army of bioethicists then appear on TV to declare that Terri in fact died 15 years ago. It isn’t hard to go from there to rationalizing the move to deny her food and water. Why keep Terri alive? Why bother? She hasn’t really been alive for years, we are told.
    My mother, Edith, was actually in worse shape than Terri, who at least can breathe on her own. Edith could not–she depended on a ventilator that, after she left the hospital, was installed in the apartment we shared. Nor could she move her arms or legs, and her memory and speech were gone. That made her a perfect candidate for the mercy-killing squads I found lurking everywhere within the medical and social-work establishment.
    Why keep Edith alive? Why bother?
    Those were the questions that confronted me back then, and I recall feeling bewildered by them, by their insidious nature. I tried to respond as soberly as I could. My mother, a clerk at the Brooklyn Public Library, hadn’t harmed anyone, I said. She might not be able to move or talk or argue, but she could still feel.
    And she was still an intensely lovable and loving human being.
    I could hug Edith and see her smile that adorable half-smile that was all she could muster after her series of strokes. And, oh, how she loved it when a kindly nurse’s aide fluffed her pillows or took the trouble to give her hair a good washing. The aide would dip a washcloth into the basin of hot soapy water and proceed to scrub and gently massage her head. My mother seemed so happy; it was a small act that brought her immense pleasure and comfort.
    I realized that the greatest danger was that Edith would be dehumanized, would cease to be a person to those around her. My challenge became to persuade doctors, nurses and ordinary visitors to see my mother as a human being–not merely as a stroke victim, a quadriplegic or, cruelest of all, a “vegetable.”
    I made it a priority each morning to comb her hair and put a silk bow in it. I would hold up a mirror and point out how lovely she looked.
    The bow was large, and pink, and it gave my mother an oddly festive look, as if she were on her way to a party. Even in her 60s, Edith was pretty, with the large brown eyes of a doll on a shelf, and the effect of this motionless woman sitting there impeccably coiffed was arresting. That piece of pink silk worked wonders–mostly in changing the discourse. She became known in and out of the hospital as “The Lady With the Bow.” Nurses bestowed on her extra doses of Tender Loving Care. Doctors spent extra minutes by her bedside, moved by her beauty.
    That is when I realized that the stroke had not robbed Edith of her charm. Or her fundamental humanity.
    I glimpse the same charm and the same humanity in Terri Schiavo–though the advocates of the culture of death have sought to rob her of both.
    Their most powerful weapon has been language. Think of the recurrent phrase “persistent vegetative state” that we’ve heard to describe Terri. What it conjures, of course, is a turnip, say, or a piece of broccoli. If Terri is a vegetable, she can’t possibly be human. She can’t feel, or think, or care what we do to her.
    She is not even really alive, or so we’ve been told by the legion of camera-loving bioethicists. If we believe them, we need not worry about the effects of withholding food or water. We can persuade ourselves that hers is a merciful death. A vegetable doesn’t feel hunger pangs, does it?
    As for that haunting clip that we have all seen dozens of times, where Terri appears to move and respond–well, they are “involuntary” movements. It is all a mirage, this sense we get watching that she is so intensely alive, her head moving about, seemingly trying to communicate. Don’t believe what you see, the medical experts inform us. Believe, instead, the husband who must have her dead, who has made a nice new life for himself with a woman and children.
    And then there is the contretemps over Terri’s dependence on “artificial feeding.” Suddenly a simple feeding tube, a venerable technology that has saved countless people in rough patches, has been made to seem evil and suspect. Yet I’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t at some point needed “artificial” feeding of one kind or another. How about that night in the ER when you required an IV to get liquids and nutrients because you couldn’t eat normally? Should feeding by an IV also be challenged because it isn’t “natural”?
    Edith, too, depended on a feeding tube. She lived at home with me at the time. What struck me was the tube’s sublime simplicity. Of all the gadgets we had to keep my mother going, it was the simplest–far easier to handle than the ventilator or, for that matter, the IV. A nurse would pour cans of liquid food into a plastic bag every few hours; the liquid then flowed through the tube and into her stomach.
    No high-tech stuff. No massive expenditures of money. A stunningly easy, effective piece of life-saving technology. Yet in the Schiavo affair, those same forces that usually muster support by attacking ventilators and other costly and complex technologies that “prolong” life are now casting a suspicious eye on this benign tool that costs a few dollars to administer. Technically, Terri should have been a very tough case for the pro-death brigades.
    In the wake of the Terri Schiavo ordeal, we are now treated to published accounts of children recalling how they denied their own parents nutrition. “Defining deviancy down” was the phrase coined by Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan to describe a society that had lost its moral compass and lowered its capacity for outrage. The phrase seems perfect to describe the middle- and upper-middle-class children who have surfaced to boast of how they ended their parents’ lives–as if it had been somehow an act of valor. It is also a chillingly apt description of a society that, in the name of the law, forces a young woman to die of thirst and to starve even as we watch.
    With all due respect to the lawyers, the husband, the courts and the neurologists, I prefer to heed the lessons I learned observing my mother in her pink bow. She, who enjoyed and reveled in the smallest act of kindness–a sweet word, a gentle embrace, the feel of sudsy shampoo on her hair–would have been bewildered by the barbaric show we have been witnessing in the hospice in Florida.
    [Ms. Lagnado, a Wall Street Journal reporter, is working on a memoir of her father for Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins.]

  • http://blog.reidreport.com ReidBlog

    talk about Easter Sunday irony, one band of righties has taken to comparing Gov. Jeb Bush — who is ideologically ONE OF THEM, to Pontius Pilate:
    “…A pro-life group called Crossroads agrees that Gov. Bush has done a great deal on Terri’s behalf.”But how will history remember him if Terri dies? Likely, as a weak, moral coward, who did not have the courage to save a helpless, dying woman from those who so vehemently wished to take her life,” the group said in a press release.
    Crossroad noted that nearly 2000 years ago this week, Pontius Pilate “stood by and did nothing in the face of determined evil as it took the life” of one innocent man.
    “Pilate simply lacked the moral courage that is occasionally demanded of one who governs, Crossroads said.The group said Pilate was not filled with hate — but in the end, he “chose not to risk his office to save the ‘insignificant’ [Christ]…”

  • http://wuzzadem.typepad.com/wuz/2005/03/so_close.html BT

    Just Sad

  • http://blog.reidreport.com ReidBlog

    …hate to get sappy and personal, but when my mother died of cancer when I was in high school, she left no will. And even though my father was thousands of miles away, in another country, living with another woman with whom he has five children (whose ages are interspersed with those of my brother, sister and me), the courts and state authorities in Colorado sought him out as the authority to turn to, regarding what to do with the house, the cars,and us.
    This despite the fact that we knew FAR MORE about her, her wishes, her hopes, and her wants, than he possibly could. He is not Michael Schiavo — and did not become a registered nurse in order to care for her for more than a decade. Much the contrary — he did absolutely nothing. But because they were still married, he was the legal party ENTITLED to make decisions. We had to go through a complicated, expensive legal process to prove that he had been notified of everything, from funeral arrangements, to disposition of her home, etc., to custody of my younger brother, who was still a child.
    It sucked, but the law is the law, and generally, people follow it, like it or not. In this case, the Schindlers, for whom I feel sympathy, and their ideological representatives have decided to go above and around the law. They are being used by cynical fake conservatives (theocrats in disguise), anti-abortion zealots like Randall Terry, demogogues like Rev. Pat Mahoney, and the MEDIA, which has sold itself down-river to try and pander, daily and slavishly, to the “faith and values” crowd.” If it weren’t for the polls, Id think this country had truly gone mad.
    And having worked in a newsroom, I can tell you that this gravy train will go right off the frigging tracks if that poor woman dies on Easter Sunday. Can you say “continuous team coverage…?”

  • http://blog.reidreport.com ReidBlog

    And before Kat tells me off, the point I’m making is that husbands have legal precedence in nearly all cases of decedants and near decedants, not that Terri Schiavo is a house or a car… :)

  • Kat

    And I have a problem with a husband being deemed legal if he abandoned a wife for another woman. You can’t play hubby to multiple wives–at that point you give up your legal husband status. That is if the law made any frigging sense. If Michael took care of his wife, then please save me from his kind of care, should I never it.

  • -asx-

    Hubris said:
    Is Ralph Nader part of the sinister right-wing cabal that is plotting to cause a constitutional crisis? That’s kinda weird, isn’t it?
    Ralph Nader is not on the right; he is a leftist. But he is lending support to what is almost entirely a right-wing cause.
    Are you attempting to obscure the fact that it is primarily (almost entirely) the right (and the extreme fringe of the right at that) that is agitating against the Schiavo decisions?

  • -asx-

    In this case, the Schindlers, for whom I feel sympathy, and their ideological representatives have decided to go above and around the law. They are being used by cynical fake conservatives (theocrats in disguise), anti-abortion zealots like Randall Terry, demogogues like Rev. Pat Mahoney, and the MEDIA, which has sold itself down-river to try and pander, daily and slavishly, to the “faith and values” crowd.” If it weren’t for the polls, Id think this country had truly gone mad.
    Reidblog,
    Beautifully said. And, good point about “if it weren’t for the polls.” Judging by the lopsided media coverage, you’d think there was popular opposition to the rule of law, even though polls indicate that the overwhelming majority of Americas actually DO think George/Jeb/Frist/Delay are wrong to stick the heavy hand of government into people’s private affairs.

  • -asx-

    There seems to be a lot of discussion about whether this is, or will be, a “Constitutional crisis.” I would like to clarify that I did not say this is, yet, a Constitutional crisis.
    But if George or Jeb should choose to break the law and ignore 24 court rulings by sending in troops or cops to kidnap Terri Schiavo, that would, by definition, be a Constitutional crisis.
    A Constitutional crisis is not defined by how agitated or concerned you feel. It is not defined by whether you agree or disagree. A Constitutional crisis would occur, however, if one branch of goverment (say, the Executive) ignored the rule of law and took matters into its own hands.
    Republicans talked a lot about the “rule of law” when Clinton was President, but suddenly they want to throw out the Constitution.
    That hasn’t happened yet, but it won’t surprise me if it does, sometime today or on Easter.

  • http://thebronxblogger.blogspot.com Matthew Goggins

    Reidblog,
    Ms. Schiavo’s parents haven’t done anything illegal or extra-legal.
    I’m not a disguised theocrat, I’m an atheist.
    Florida law does not authorize a guardian or health-care surrogate to withdraw life support without clear and convincing evidence that the ward herself wanted to or would want to end life support.
    Judge Greer ignored the law by allowing Ms. Schiavo’s husband to stop hydrating and feeding her.

  • http://thebronxblogger.blogspot.com Matthew Goggins

    Florida Statute 765.404 (3):
    (3) Before exercising the incapacitated patient’s rights to select or decline health care, the proxy must comply with the provisions of ss. 765.205 and 765.305, except that a proxy’s decision to withhold or withdraw life-prolonging procedures must be supported by clear and convincing evidence that the decision would have been the one the patient would have chosen had the patient been competent or, if there is no indication of what the patient would have chosen, that the decision is in the patient’s best interest.
    [Emphasis added.]

  • http://thebronxblogger.blogspot.com Matthew Goggins

    Florida Statute 765.309 Mercy killing or euthanasia not authorized; suicide distinguished.–
    (1) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to condone, authorize, or approve mercy killing or euthanasia, or to permit any affirmative or deliberate act or omission to end life other than to permit the natural process of dying.

  • http://thebronxblogger.blogspot.com Matthew Goggins

    Florida Statute 765.101 Definitions.–As used in this chapter:
    (12) “Persistent vegetative state” means a permanent and irreversible condition of unconsciousness in which there is:
    (a) The absence of voluntary action or cognitive behavior of any kind.
    (b) An inability to communicate or interact purposefully with the environment.

  • plunge

    “Florida law does not authorize a guardian or health-care surrogate to withdraw life support without clear and convincing evidence that the ward herself wanted to or would want to end life support.
    Judge Greer ignored the law by allowing Ms. Schiavo’s husband to stop hydrating and feeding her.”
    You once seemed reasonable, now you’re just a liar. Every court so far has agreed with Greer that there WAS clear and convincing evidence. And Mrs. Schiavo’s husband (how did she get to be Ms. again?) is not the one not hydrating or feeding her. Her doctors are the ones not doing that, based on a court order regarding her wishes.

  • james

    Terry Schiavo’s body does not constitute a human being, but rather a biological entity surviving by way of a robust brain stem which keeps the heart beating and maintains bodily functions.
    The things that made her uniquely human are gone and have been for 15 years. She can’t think or feel (physically or emotionally) and has no cognitive brain activity whatsoever.
    End of story — figuratively and literally. It’s time to move on.

  • http://hubris.typepad.com Hubris

    Are you attempting to obscure the fact that it is primarily (almost entirely) the right (and the extreme fringe of the right at that) that is agitating against the Schiavo decisions?
    Nope, I’m trying to explain to you that folks’ motivations here might not be limited to a personal investment in the upcoming fascist redesign of AmeriKKKa.

  • -asx-

    Pluge,
    Thank you for saying what I was going to say. Matthew cites the law on “clear and convincing evidence.” But he cannot and will not accept the fact that in our nation (which, personally, I love and am devoted to protecting), disputes over interpretation of law are adjudictated and resolved by the courts.
    Matthew has every right to disagree with the decision of the courts, but if he proposes we take extra-Constitutional steps (such as having Jeb or George kidnap Mrs. Schiave), he is showing his contempt for our Constitution and our American way of life.
    It is ironic that he quotes Florida state law as though it were Scripture, but he flouts the highest law in the land, the US Constitution.
    What good are a few state level statutes if you throw out our Founding Document?

  • -asx-

    … folks’ motivations here might not be limited to a personal investment in the upcoming fascist redesign of AmeriKKKa.
    And I’ll buy that. At the grassroots level, I agree most people are sincere and have no grand designs on destroying America.
    But I think the people who are propelling this controversy — the Republican party leadership — have a very different set of motives. Note that none of these concern Mrs. Schiavo herself:
    (1) Distract people from the Bush Administration’s Culture of Death political agenda, which limits access to health care, Medicare, Veterans benefits; and damages our health by weakening environmental protections and other consumer protections.
    (2) Fuel the far-right’s hatred of the courts. The courts are the last bastion of sanity, the last check against the Republican agenda, and therefore the last major opponent to be taken down.
    (3) Fund-raising gold. See today’s New York Times. Terri Schiavo is already being prostituted (against her will, I might add) for fundraising campaigns by Republicans. (Revolting.)
    (4) This helps to preserve Republicans’ outsider cred. They control almost every level of power in society, but after losing a battle like this to the courts, they can continue to pretend to be the outsiders, representing people under seige by the liberals.
    (5) It helps to distract from everything George has screwed up — the budget, the war, the cost of living, the decline of access to health care, the trade deficit and budget deficit.
    There. Now you know what’s really going on.
    Glad I could help.

  • http://thebronxblogger.blogspot.com Matthew Goggins

    Asx,
    What the heck are you talking about? When did I say anyone should kidnap Ms. Schiavo?
    James,
    You might be absolutely right about Ms. Schiavo’s physical and mental condition.
    But it seems to me, and to several doctors and neurologists, that Ms. Schiavo may in fact be minimally conscious as opposed to vegetative. That’s one reason why the Congress and the President authorized a de novo review by the federal courts.
    Plunge,
    Judge Greer made the initial findings of fact in the case, including that there was clear and convincing evidence that Ms. Schiavo wanted to be euthanized by withdrawing her feeding tube.
    Based on my reading of the court documents, Judge Greer reached this conclusion through speculation, not through clear and convincing evidence. The appellate courts reaffirmed Judge Greer’s finding of facts. But it would have been highly unusual for any appellate court to second-guess Judge Greer’s discretion in these findings, even if he had made an error.
    Shame on you for calling me a liar.
    Everyone who’s commenting:
    Attacking Republicans as fascists is:
    1) Stupid: Republicans are no more fascist than Democrats.
    2) Immoral: It trivializes the evil of the real fascists, Hitler, Mussolini, and their followers.
    3) Incredibly tacky and mean-spirited: Some people are trying to hold a discussion about a brain-damaged woman who is slowly dying right now, and all some people seem concerned about is debating like schoolyard children.

  • http://hubris.typepad.com Hubris

    asx,
    You don’t believe that some of the Republicans might actually be guided by their beliefs on the merits of this issue? After all, many Democrats voted for the measure last week. IF one believes that someone is being starved to death (and I’m not trying to debate the issue, just speak to their beliefs) without what they feel would be adequate proof of that person’s actual wishes, they might find that even more revolting than those organizations (not the Republican party if I recall the NYT article correctly) using the Schiavo images to raise money.
    You’re a tad cynical, I think. I guess we’ll just disagree on the subject.

  • Eileen

    ~I am amazed by some here who are so staunchly adamant Terri is only a shell, or that her ‘body does not constitute a human being’. On February 8, 2005, a NYT article titled “Signs of Awareness in Brain Injured Patients”, http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/08/science/08coma.html?ex=1111899600&en=887922080ec3aecc&ei=5070&pagewanted=1&ei=5094&en=7bd8be3a1cf7cde8&hp&ex=1107925200&oref=login&partner=homepage
    stated in part:
    “A better understanding of brain patterns in minimally conscious patients should also help cut down on misdiagnosis by doctors, Dr. Fins said. He said one study had found that as many as 30 percent of patients identified as being unaware, in a persistently vegetative state, were not. They were minimally conscious.”
    ~To address asx’ claim that “it is primarily (almost entirely) the right (and the extreme fringe of the right at that) that is agitating against the Schiavo decisions”: I suppose that accounts for why 48 of the 203 Aye votes (~25%) in the House were registered by Democrats, and the fact that the Senate Unanimously voted for passage of the Schiavo bill. http://www.govtrack.us/congress/vote.xpd?vote=h2005-90

  • Mike

    asx, now you’re just being ridiculous. Don’t forget your obligations at Democratic Undergroud!

  • tonynoboloney

    This is incredible, some of you are calling this a constitutional crises, others are saying to expect riots in the streets, while still others believe jeb & g.w. should call in the malitia. WOW !!. I assure you the country has been up against bigger dilemmas than that of poor “ms.Shiavo”. In the end most republicans will see this as “our side” affirming life, and doing the right thing by not trying to trump the Florida supreme courts decision. And the democrats will come off as “anti-life leftists” as they are already identified by the right on the abortion issue. Poor Terry will still die, and there will be a media frenzy for about a week, Time magizine will pick her as “person of the year” with a cover story & BIOGRAPHY will do a story on her life a few months later. Then we will move on and the left will continue to bash the right (and visa versa), I doubt the story will even be an “also ran” when it comes to the 08 election. RIOT !! CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS !! give me a break. TONY

  • john 3:16

    If Terry dies on Easter, it will definitely be a metaphor for Christ’s crucifixion ñ and, taken in conjunction with events in Iraq and the Middle East, the latest and strongest sign of the beginning of the End Times.
    Jesus is coming — and boy is he mad.

  • plunge

    “Based on my reading of the court documents, Judge Greer reached this conclusion through speculation, not through clear and convincing evidence. The appellate courts reaffirmed Judge Greer’s finding of facts. But it would have been highly unusual for any appellate court to second-guess Judge Greer’s discretion in these findings, even if he had made an error.”
    However, they didn’t simply find no fault: they reviewed the case and affirmed his decision.
    “Shame on you for calling me a liar.”
    Someone who takes a case in which every court in the land affirms as clear and convincing and then describes it as “ignoring the law” without noting that this is their opinion and not the finding of the courts: that person is lying. Lying about the law, and misleading people about the facts of the case. The Florida Supreme Court established in Browing that a person’s wishes can be decided by oral testimony: precisely what happened here. Here’s Browning:
    “Oral evidence, considered alone, may constitute clear and convincing evidence. However, the surrogate would bear the burden of proof if a decision based on purely oral evidence is challenged.
    Because the only issue before the court is a determination of the patient’s wishes, challenges generally would be limited to that issue. For example, there may be challenges to claims that the declaration was not executed knowingly, willingly, and without undue influence; that the patient had changed his or her mind after executing the declaration; that the declaration was ambiguous; that the conditions or limitations contained in the declaration were not satisfied; that the surrogate or proxy was the one actually designated; and, of course, that there was a reasonable probability that the patient would regain competency. When the only evidence of intent is an oral declaration, the accuracy and reliability of the declarant’s oral expression of intent also may be challenged.”
    You may well argue that Greer decided wrongly. That’s your opinion. But what is not legitimate to argue is that he ignored the law. What law are you citing that he ignored? The court case took on precisely the issue of whether Terri’s various statements were consistent with her wishes. You disagree with the finding. But you also want to make others think the law was violated in reaching that finding. That’s a lie.

  • Derek

    Ins’t it amazing how kat knows EVERYTHING? Thank God we have her here—to tell us the meaining of big words like moribund and explain the ressueraction to us and reveal the inner motivations of a man like Michael Schiavo whom I’ll wager she’s never met—but knows everything about.
    The bottom line is people like her and our wingnut president (whose approval rating has bottomed out at a new all-time low on the heels of his ill-conceived exploitation of the Schiavo case) want to tell YOU how to live YOUR life. They have no respect for any system—our constitutional one or any other one—that chooses not to agree with them.
    I do not know the people involved in the Schiavo case—I know it is heatbraking. And that too many people (like you Kat) are blathering on about it with ulterior agendas. Shame on you. But then, Republicans like her speak the word of God while the rest of us follow the tired processess laid out in the Constitution. The Taliban would be proud of you, Kat. Rail on!

  • Derek

    Plunge btw is right. Dead on. And sober and polite.
    tonybaloney, the Schivo case is not a constitutional crisis on its own. But if the executive branch decides to respect the decisions made by the judiciary——legal, binding, constitutional, and final decisions— and acts illegally to take Mrs. Schiavo from the hospice, then what would you call it?

  • Derek

    And Sabrina, if you’re new to the site, you’ll get used to Kat. She knows EVERYTHING about EVERY subject (especially liberals), quite tiresomely and quite rudely lectures everyone about it. No one pays her any mind.

  • owl

    This is something for everyone.
    After 15 years, Terri gets out of the bed by dying. Of course if she was in crisis, I would have liked to have seen it happen before 15 years. If not, it seems rather severe to me to starve her to death.
    The husband has exercised his ultimate rights. Make that dual rights since he has two wives. After all, 15 years of deciding when and if his in-laws can visit with HIS lawful wife, should make him happy. Now he decides HIS wife’s time is up. Of course, it is a shame she didn’t co-operate with some life or death medical crisis. Then it wouldn’t have seemed so harsh and hypocritical……15 years, 2 attempts and now the starving.
    Everyone gets to see the ultimate fringe “Religious Nuts” on display and take a good “God swipe”. Think MisterPundit pointed out that even Jeff couldn’t resist. And better watch those riots. After all, what could be worse than to be a Jew or Christian on a rampage?
    Oh, and the politics of it. About a million times I have heard about the Republicans using Terri for political reasons. Strange that. I actually notice the “cat ate the cream whiskers” with the big grins, on all the anti-Bush faces. Strange that.
    And the Courts. Sure something in it for them. They are allowed to really look international. They can’t kill that 17 year old that tied up, transported and threw the live person to their death. No, this one is a lot easier. After all, Terri can’t exactly rise up.
    Something in it for everyone. But there is something that STINKS when a husband of a few years, living with a common law wife, siring 2 children, can decide…..when and if Terri’s family even visits. This is the crux of the matter that sticks in everyone’s craw.
    There was a slogan used in the Scott Peterson case…”Divorce is an option, not murder”. I don’t view this thing in any religious context. I consider it an OUTRAGE that the law allows that husband to be her guardian. A total outrage. And for God’s sake, don’t hook her up again after putting her through all this, regardless of right or wrong. Everyone find a heart.
    And her parents? Surely this has been enough cruel punishment to inflict upon any parent. Even for the husband that was mad at the Dad.

  • http://RuthCalvo Ruth

    Perhaps the ultimate worthwhile result of this dispute will be the desensitivations of ‘life’ issues. The cruelty being inflicted on the poor remnants of Terri Schiavo are multifold.
    Imagine yourself lying in a hospital bed, twisted into a small and hooked up replica of what you were, not participating, (and as all the medical experts relied on by the courts, which rely on medical experts constantly and know which are trustworthy), used as a manipulated piece of scenery. If she were truly loved she would have been let go on to heaven a long time ago. If anyone truly believes Terri Schiavo’s ‘life’ is better than God’s presence, they should not be allowed in any church ever again.

  • Derek

    Well, Owl, it’s just an OUTRAGE that when men and women marry, they become each other’s closest next of kin. How outrageous! I thought when people moved out and got married their parents didn’t make decisions for them anymore.
    I have profound sympahty for Mrs. Schiavo’s parents. But I also think it’s indecent to villify a man I don’t know anything about on hearsay. Maybe I’m just old fashioned. (Hell, I would prefer my wife to make decisions about me if I were profoundly ill, that’s what a throwback to the last century I am!)
    Luckily, we now have the GOP and you, owl, to decide when husbands and wives have the right to make life-and-death decisions for each other and when they don’t.
    Since you seem to know the figures and facts in this case so well, however, I’m comfrotable throwing out decisions of the Supreme Court (always so interested in its international celbrity) the state courts, the district courts and appeals courts made over fifteen years and having you decide who’s right and who’s wrong. Thanks for chipping in and solving the problem for us.

  • http://hubris.typepad.com Hubris

    But if the executive branch decides to respect the decisions made by the judiciary——legal, binding, constitutional, and final decisions— and acts illegally to take Mrs. Schiavo from the hospice, then what would you call it?
    A crisis, as I would if Martians come in and zap the original Constitution to smithereens. Let me know if either thing happens.

  • Derek

    “But if the executive branch decides [not] to respect the decisions made by the judiciary——legal, binding, constitutional, and final decisions— and acts illegally to take Mrs. Schiavo from the hospice, then what would you call it?”
    Correct, Hubris, no crisis if it doesn’t happen. Thanks for the clarification.

  • EG

    Correction please: That’s John Edward NOT John Edwards.

  • Lynn

    None of us are privy to every detail of this case. Even those who do know all there is to know, are having trouble with the complexity and ramifications.
    I don’t know enough about this sort of thing medically or spiritually to have firm conclusions.
    I’ve just been observing.
    Worth a look I think………are these thoughts emailed to me from a loved one.
    ____________
    …..thinking about how all this Right to Die/Living Will stuff came about. You may remember the Karen Ann Quinlin case–the teen that in the 70s went comatose and the fact that in that instance the parents wanted to pull the plug and the courts wouldn’t let them
    (how times have changed!).
    Then actually many religious leaders came out in favor of what the parents wanted to do because the technology of keeping a person alive beyond what was seen as the natural course/course of God’s will was felt to be unnatural and not allowing God’s will to prevail.
    At that time I guess feeding tubes and all these other “heroic” means were considered new and there was concern about where would this all would end and was this interfering with the natural course of death and, by extension, God’s will.
    A lot of the laws on the books now regarding court intervention (actually preventing court intervention) are a result of that case which argued for the right to a natural death.
    Prior to this technology, this was how people died when they refused or couldn’t eat or drink.
    _______________
    It would be impossible to mandate that three or four working lives be dedicated with only public compenstation for each and every person that is declared to be in the state that the Courts just ruled on.
    HOWEVER:
    I wouldn’t think that to mean it can’t be allowed, given that a family exists wanting to voluntarily assume any burden, and the funds to do it are already in place.
    Seems only logical to let a Mom and Dad care for their son or daughter at ANY point in their life when they can’t and no one else will, and vice versa.
    Re: complexities of husband vs. parents etc. – the husband has abandoned the role of caring for Terri in any way that counts, and now fills a husbandly role to another woman, the mother of his children. He can’t be a husband to both, – his husband role to Terri should be forfeit.
    As for the issue of “ending her suffering”..in the starvation and thirst issue they declared she is incapable of suffering. She either is or she isn’t. If she can’t be suffering with the tubes out, she isn’t suffering with them in.
    JMHO
    I truly feel for those who have been called upon to resolve this.

  • http://RuthCalvo Ruth

    There is a rather simple principle involved in lettting a spouse make decisions for a spouse, that they have CHOSEN each other. My relatives however dear, were visited upon me.
    Derek:
    Good thinking all around.
    Your message of advice to sabrina … I sent her an email message to the same effect, and within minutes my virus detecter had to stop a message with a virus directed to me. She hasn’t been heard from since.
    I suspect as others have before, that these ‘identities’ are part not of a network of believers, but of a movement that wishes to be destructive to those not sharing its beliefs.

  • http://RuthCalvo Ruth

    I said ‘beliefs’, but I mean ‘agenda’.

  • owl

    Hey Derek, I certainly don’t mind making the husband the villian. That is who I consider the true villian in this farce.
    The law doesn’t care what is right or wrong, only the rules written in the book. That is what is so rotten. We have to depend upon all the players to make it work, and even then, with it being the best around, it still STINKS sometimes.
    This is one of those times. Change the attitude of the husband….all winners.
    And you think the husband that has a life, another wife, kids, etc should trump the “parents for life”? You basing that on that little rule written in the book or a moral judgement? I call it a conflict of interest, myself.

  • kevinp

    Jeff;
    For those who think hyperbole in the Schiavo matter is strictly a “right wing” problem,check out Mo Dowds recent column. She starts off by claiming that we are living in a theocracy and that the church’s are taking over the government. If remarks about “constitutional crisis” and “riots” are examples of clear headed left wing thinking then I better check out the definition of hyperbole again. And when the Mayor of San Francisco unilaterally started performing gay marriages in direct violation of California Law I don’t remember a huge outcry from the left. I am sure there were some but many were at the head of the cheerleading squad.

  • franky

    With this little spectacle of the Republicans joyously jumping on the body of Terri Shiavo, Dowd is not the only person talking about theocracies.
    “This Republican Party of Lincoln has become a party of theocracy,” Representative Christopher Shays of Conneticut. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/23/politics/23repubs.html?
    And of course rile a mob up and the nutjobs come out of the woodwork, such as the man who was arrested trying to steal a gun so he could “take some action and rescue Terri Schiavo”, as reported now on http://www.drudgereport.com (jeff why is ne_wsday.com questionable content?)
    If anything happens to Michael Shiavo I would consider all those around the country who are calling him a murderer at least partly responsible.
    I should state that I have absolute sympathy for the parents and am sure that the vast majority of those who are trying to keep Terri alive are acting out of what they feel are the best interests for the woman (of course, not so attractive is that people keep sending children to try and give water – that is a blatant attempt to stir up more anger with the “look they’re now arresting children”). What is unforgivable is how cynical the right-wing has been in using this issue as a political football. Of course the concept of shame or decency withered away in the republican party some time ago.

  • kevinP

    franky;
    Since you seem to agree with Dowd that we are living in a theocracy, which group of Church officials are running our country. Is it the Pope? Is it Falwell? Is it the new leader of the Episcopal Church? If they are running the country why is abortion still legal? Why is Terri Schiavo still not receiving food or water? Why are mosques still allowed to operate? Has a religous test been instituted for all judges and politicians? Have the blue laws been put back on the books. Why can I still watch Will and Grace? Why was the symbol of the cross removed from the seal of the County of L.A.? What crede is the official creed of the Country? Catholic? Baptist? Methodist? Orthodox or Reform Judaism?If I eat meat on Good Friday will I be arrested? Will the artist who made the classic Piss Christ be burned at the stake? Since we are obviously living in a theocracy you must have some realistic answers to these questions.Or have all these things already happened and has Rove put us believers in Democracy in some state of suspended animation?

  • http://www.godsowndrunk.blogspot.com Richard

    Kevin-
    The problem I have with your San Francisco marriage analogy is twofold; first, the left has never been known as the party to champion limited government powers, the Republicans are supposed to as one of their core principles (in fact, the DEFENITION of “conservative”). Secondly, the courts rightly slapped him down and declared the marriages void. The Schiavo case involves years of judicial reviews and rulings- you know, the rule of law.

  • kevinP

    Richard:
    My point is when Newsome took the laws into his own hands by violating the law against gay marriages there were very few members on the left crying constitutional crisis, very few were accusing him of not using the ballot box or the courthouse methods of change, very few members of the left who are now converts to states rights and the sanctity of the law were ripping into the extra legal tactics he used. In fact he was praised for doing something that the right hasn’t done yet. Jeb Bush has not used his police powers. The Congress at least put it up to a vote where both paarties were allowed to participate. And the law was only a request for a de nova review of the case, it did not order Florida to put the feeding tube back. And didn’t the courts “smack down” Congress and JB so why is that an excuse for Newsome but not for the republicans? I am not saying that there isn’t a large degree of diiference from the normal rhetoric of the party. And there was some rips of Newsome from the left. But not much. And the fact that the courts rejected his actions does not mean that his actions were not extra legal and unilateral. My main point is that both parties and both wings of the body politic are not always ideologically pure in their actions.

  • kevinP

    Richard;
    One more point. If the left, to borrow your words, has never been the champion of limited government and states rights isn’t their use of those terms just as cynical as the rights sudden rejection of them?

  • http://RuthCalvo Ruth

    What’s so wrong with making the issue here the object of it:
    Imagine yourself lying in a hospital bed, twisted into a small and hooked up replica of what you were, not participating, (and as all the medical experts relied on by the courts, which rely on medical experts constantly and know which are trustworthy), used as a manipulated piece of scenery. If she were truly loved she would have been let go on to heaven a long time ago. If anyone truly believes Terri Schiavo’s ‘life’ is better than God’s presence, they should not be allowed in any church ever again.
    Is this so hard to deal with. and do we have any real beliefs or are we all about dialogue.

  • http://www.edicius.org eddy

    What I find terribly odd is this…
    People are vilifying Michael Schiavo all over the place in this case, particularly the far-right. Michael Schiavo, despite now living with another woman, is Terri Schiavo’s husband.
    Now let’s skip to the whole ‘sanctity of marriage’ thing that the right was so adamant about during the election. Apparently, the sanctity of marriage is so important enough to them that they don’t want homosexuals joining the club. Okay, that’s their belief and they’re entitled to it, no matter how much I may disagree.
    Now, back to vilifying Michael Schiavo. Wait a second, though…what about the sanctity of marriage? And that so-called sanctity, allegedly derived from the Bible, states that the women is beholden to the man upon marriage and that basically, any affairs of the wife are answerable only by the husband.
    You can’t have it both ways, people. Either marriage is sacred…or it isn’t. Make up your damn minds.

  • http://RuthCalvo Ruth

    Hey, let’s refer to Leon Kas, Chmn of the pres’s Council on BioEthics who said it was ok (on cloning) I THINK WE NEED TO HAVE SOME MODERATION SOMEWHERE.

  • http://hubris.typepad.com Hubris

    Michael Schiavo, despite now living with another woman, is Terri Schiavo’s husband.
    ——-
    You can’t have it both ways, people. Either marriage is sacred…or it isn’t. Make up your damn minds.
    You’re right, you can’t have things both ways. So should it be that it’s fine for him to move on? Or that their marriage is still sacred?
    I don’t really care either way, but for you to hold the two views simultaneously (while accusing others of being inconsistent) is kind of interesting.

  • -asx-

    I don’t really care either way, but for you to hold the two views simultaneously (while accusing others of being inconsistent) is kind of interesting.
    It may be “kind of interesting,” but you know what? Having an affair, even an active affair, does not terminal spousal rights. That’s the law.
    If you’re interested, here’s more on this topic.
    Furthermore, it is grotesque and disgusting to expect Michael Schiavo to remain celebate for 15 years.

  • http://hubris.typepad.com Hubris

    Geez, asx, care to dismount from your high horse a minute?
    You’re talking about the legal definition (and attendant rights) of marriage, whereas I was responding to a comment about marriage being sacred. Two different things. Sure, you could still assert your legal rights, but you’re probably not still into the “sacred” bond thing with the other person if you’re tapping someone else’s ass right after you finish your visit. That doesn’t mean you don’t still care and even still love the other person, but I think the “sacred” thing is out the window.
    As for deciding whether someone doing that is disgusting, or the idea of them remaining celibate is disgusting, I don’t really feel like it’s my call. I guess you do.

  • http://thebronxblogger.blogspot.com Matthew Goggins

    Plunge, you write,
    You may well argue that Greer decided wrongly. That’s your opinion. But what is not legitimate to argue is that he ignored the law. What law are you citing that he ignored? The court case took on precisely the issue of whether Terri’s various statements were consistent with her wishes. You disagree with the finding. But you also want to make others think the law was violated in reaching that finding. That’s a lie.
    He ignored Florida Statue 765:
    http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=Ch0765/ch0765.htm
    He ignored the letter of the law, by using speculation as the basis for determining Ms. Schiavo’s intent, whereas the law requires clear and convincing evidence. He also ignored the spirit of the law, which demands that a health-care surrogate, in situations where there is uncertainty or confusion, err on the side of protecting or prolonging life.
    I wouldn’t say Judge Greer “violated” the law. He ignored it, or disregarded it. Perhaps the least inflammatory way of putting would be, “I’m afraid that the facts might indicate something of a misinterpretation of the law on the part of the trial judge.”
    You are correct, Plunge, when you point out that the state appellate courts did not merely find no fault, but actually affirmatively upheld Judge Greer’s findings. But that is what I said too:
    The appellate courts reaffirmed Judge Greer’s finding of facts. But it would have been highly unusual for any appellate court to second-guess Judge Greer’s discretion in these findings, even if he had made an error.
    You are also correct when you say that hearsay evidence is admissible. I didn’t say Judge Greer should have ruled the hearsay testimony inadmissible. I said he reached conclusions from that testimony that were speculative. Florida Statute 765 does not allow speculative conclusions to form the basis of life-support decisions.
    Even if Ms. Schiavo’s husband had produced videotape of Ms. Schiavo making each and every one of the alleged quotes, those quotes would not have provided a basis for divining Ms. Schiavo’s intentions. The quotes were casual remarks Ms. Schiavo made about someone else’s terminal illness. They expressed Ms. Schiavo’s revulsion at the idea of having one’s life prolonged indefinitely on artificial life support. As such, they were emotional reactions, and not necessarily statements of policy or a commitment to refuse treatment in a similar situation.
    I don’t know anyone who looks at someone in a chronic critical care situation and doesn’t think, “Oh, I don’t want that to ever happen to me!” That doesn’t mean everyone wants to pull the plug on life support when they find themselves in those circumstances.
    Plunge, the ironic thing about your calling me a liar is that I didn’t have any opinion about Judge Greer and his rulings until you personally referred me to the website Abstract Appeal last Saturday. By following links provided by Abstract Appeal, I was able to read court documents and Jay Wolfson’s Guardian Ad Litem report. It was only then that I started to have enough information to form opinions on the court proceedings.
    By the way, calling someone a liar is an insult. If you think somone is lying, you might want to poke holes in their evidence or their arguments. Saying “That’s a lie!” comes off as overheated and unfair.

  • http://thebronxblogger.blogspot.com Matthew Goggins

    Here’s a clickable link to Florida Statute 765:
    Florida Statute 765

  • -asx-

    For anyone who still doubts that we are treading on dangerous ground, read this:
    Police ‘showdown’ averted
    And remember that it is Republican leadership that has brought the country to this point, for purely cynical and selfish reasons that really have nothing to do with Terri Schiavo.
    Clip:
    Police ‘showdown’ averted
    BY CAROL MARBIN MILLER
    cmarbin@herald.com
    Hours after a judge ordered that Terri Schiavo was not to be removed from her hospice, a team of state agents were en route to seize her and have her feeding tube reinserted — but they stopped short when local police told them they would enforce the judge’s order, The Herald has learned.
    Agents of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement told police in Pinellas Park, the small town where Schiavo lies at Hospice Woodside, on Thursday that they were on the way to take her to a hospital to resume her feeding.
    For a brief period, local police, who have officers at the hospice to keep protesters out, prepared for what sources called “a showdown.”
    In the end, the squad from the FDLE and the Department of Children & Families backed down, apparently concerned about confronting local police outside the hospice.

  • -asx-

    Matthew, Hubris, (or anyone else who wishes to answer),
    I’d like to ask you a question. Given that the courts are not going to grant the parents what they want, what do you think should happen next? What would you like to see happen? Specifically, what do you think the executives (George Bush and Jeb Bush) and legislatures (US Congress and Florida Congress) should do next, if anything?
    I guess what I’m really getting at is this: Are you willing to accept the ruling and judgement of the courts? Or do you think the courts’ rulings are intolerable and must be overturned?

  • Derek

    At least owl, an idiot, admits to wanting to villify a man she (he?) doesn’t know. There’s Christian decency for you. And Hubris:
    From Miami Herald: “Hours after a judge ordered that Terri Schiavo was not to be removed from her hospice, a team of state agents were en route to seize her and have her feeding tube reinserted — but they stopped short when local police told them they would enforce the judge’s order, The Herald has learned.”
    Martians due to land tomorrow….

  • http://RuthCalvo Ruth

    Today’s news reports that Terri Schiavo’s parents are ceasing their efforts in the courts. That is a very positive sign, maybe they accept divine guidance, but surely they are lowering the hostilities here.
    asx:
    Prayer would be a good, and even timely, effort.

  • Kat

    Our little Derek, continuing his character assassinations if he disagrees with you. Pretending he knows everything and if you don’t agree, you are deemed an idiot. Accuses others of unChristian behaviour, while the refers to Owl and others as idiots, etc. What an immature little child!

  • http://hubris.typepad.com Hubris

    asx,
    I think that since all the legal avenues have been exhausted, she should be allowed to die. I just think it’s a shame.
    Derek,
    Duuude! I’m totally retreating to my underground bunker! ; )
    By the way, villification is an essential element of satire.

  • Derek

    Hubris: A bunker sounds like a good idea….because when this poor woman does finally die, the media storm’s gonna be unbearable. Another necessary element for satire: today’s GOP. Of course, who needs satire when you have a reality like this?

  • Derek

    And: Ruth is right.

  • Kat

    A study by a media watchdog group indicates television stories of the life-and-death battle of Terri Schiavo are slanted against the brain-injured woman.
    The Media Research Center found the three broadcast network evening newscasts “have tilted their recent coverage of the Terri Schiavo case in ways that bolster her husband Michael’s arguments that the severely disabled woman is in an irreversible vegetative state and had clearly expressed a desire to die.”
    It says network reporters “have attempted to debunk arguments made by her parents ñ namely that some doctors believe she could be helped and that Mrs. Schiavo, a Catholic, would not want her feeding tube disconnected.”
    MRC examined 31 evening newscasts from Thursday, March 17, the day before her feeding tube was removed, through Monday, March 21.
    The study also shows 60 percent of soundbites, including reporter comments, “presented Michael Schiavo’s case that Terry Schiavo should die, compared with just 40 percent offering the counter-arguments of her parents. Not a single story was devoted to a skeptical look at Schiavo and whether he was acting in his wife’s best interests, but all three networks ran stories rejecting [Terri's parents'] view that their daughter could possibly be helped.”

  • http://hubris.typepad.com Hubris

    Derek,
    As has been pointed out previously, this is not strictly a partisan affair (see the vote breakdown in Congress).

  • franky

    kevinp,
    Didn’t the quote I put refer to the Republican party as a party of theocracy and not America as a theocracy? Sorry I wasn’t clearer and then it would have saved you the time of writing out 15 different examples that were irrelevant to what I wrote.
    Kat, are you really accussing others of character assassination?

  • Derek

    Kat languishes in a persistant partisan state, franky; it’s irreversible. She provides comic relief from the weighty matters before us.
    From CBS poll: “68 percent of white evangelicals are against reinserting Terri feeding tube.” They must have been swayed by all that libaeral media bias.
    At least the American public remains sane, unlike the fringe hysterics who want to tell us all how to live.
    Hubris: Yeah, I know some Dems voted for this. But it didn’t really become a sideshow till W. waded in with Congress along as sidekick. I actually believe many on both sides voted their conscience here. But it was still ill-advised to micro-legislate such a personal matter.

  • Kat

    Yes, Derek, we are not supposed to have an opinion, that goes against yours–otherwise we are fringe hysterics and idiots. Ever looked in a mirror lately? Aren’t you a fringe hysteric yourself?
    Weighty matters—that’s cute.

  • Derek

    Mullah Kat speaks—the rest of us laugh!

  • Kat

    No, the mullahs allow only one opinion, disagree and it’s you’re an idiot and off with your head? But calling me names is dealing with a real weighty matter. That could be true if you are a weighty tucker bag of variolar wild ox dross.

  • kevinP

    franky;
    Dowd claimed we were living in a theocracy. Plus how has the democratic structure of the republican party changed into a theocracy. Do they still vote? Go back to all my list of questions and tell me which of them has been implemented.The theocracy charge is exactly the type of overheated hyperbole that is suppossed to be the purview of the right. It fits right into the Bush-Hitler cliche.Check out today’s Iran or 12th century Europe. Those were and are theocracys. Please tell me how our country(dowd) or the Republican Party(you) is now a theocracy. Please answer those questions that might be silly but would be the evidence of a true theocracy and not just rhetorical overkill.

  • http://RuthCalvo Ruth

    Derek:
    Thanks. Sorry if I get somewhat hysterical watching a passel of evangelicals trying to ratchet up a growing furor about keeping alive some one who really deserves a peaceful death, releasing her soul from ‘this earthly’ scene.
    And see the latest post from JJ, a conservative radio host has seen the light. It’s a miracle!

  • owl

    I guess this idiot (as Derek calls me)believes this complex issue is being painted by the MSM and even the blogs, as something it isn’t.
    Look at that crowd outside and the way the media (MSM and the blogs)portray them. Some are just sincere people in their religious belief about “LIFE”. Some sound like the stereotype religious, zealots that people against religion always use as their own little models. Regardless, they all seem like a peaceful bunch. I do not have a problem with this type of GANG brawls.
    Eddy wants to know if I don’t consider marriage sacred. Yep. But I don’t give much weight to that First marriage that lasted less time than his Second common law marriage, which produced his children. Instead, I give the weight to a lifetime of parents.
    But what you are either unable to understand or just refuse to…..I said “I am not looking at this from a religious viewpoint”. But you keep wanting to paint me into some stereotype religious zealot mode.
    I accept the Courts ruling, as I would accept any of the 3 branches of government taking her. Equal in this case because the Courts have practiced gross negligence. I am not a lawyer but it’s a fact…..the Courts were unacceptable negligent in this case from a MORAL viewpoint. I did not say religious viewpoint.
    If Terri “wanted to die” and expressed her wishes as such, why the hell did the Court make her live this way for 15 years? Unacceptable. Unacceptable and gross negligence. Cruel.
    If Terri would want to live, starving her to death is a punishment, inflicted by the Courts. Unacceptable and more cruel than is allowed by any other death penalty case.
    So which is it? The only dog I have in this fight is the way the Court is handling this entire case. Say it out loud….”kill this woman” and give her the same right to lethal injection as our convicted killers. Or, acknowledge that after 15 years, the Court should give her to her parents.
    If the Court decides to sentence Terri to death, why is she not entitled to her lethal injection? Some things are just too cruel…..the way the Courts have handled this, is the perfect example.

  • Jim S

    owl, just because the courts don’t agree with you doesn’t mean that they are wrong or that they’ve been negligent. Just because you believe it doesn’t make it a fact.
    Kat is a far right wing fanatic and every post of hers reflects that fact. The organization she quotes to prove her point about media bias always says the same thing if the media doesn’t simper and go along with everything the conservative movement wants. Always. Sometimes the right wing is correct on an issue and Kat can sound reasonable. But she’s always a good little foot soldier for the far right and never expresses an opinion outside of its range.
    The Schiavo case is sad beyond words. But I’ve tracked down a fair amount of information and actually taken the time to read it. This included several of the court decisions (the full text of them), pictures of Terri Schiavo’s CT scan, the 38 page report by the guardian ad litem appointed by Governor Bush and some facts about the doctors who support the Schindler’s position (ideology trumping science in every case I’ve found) and definitely feel that she is beyond any hope of recovery and that the court findings concerning that have been fair and that they did their best to make them so. The most ridiculous attempt to provide validation is the constant trumpeting of one doctor’s status as a “Nobel price nominee” when the nomination consists of a letter written in 1999 by his strongly pro-life congressman to nominate him and I have no doubt that the “nomination” is based solely on his support of the Schindlers.

  • Kat

    But yet lawyers and doctors who are pro euthanasia are supposed to be accepted by me. Just because this doctor is pro life ,he is automatically wrong, in your far left fanatic opinion?

  • http://duneview.blogspot.com/ Duneview

    “This is a tragedy, and it’s become a circus. Name-calling just makes you one of the clowns.” – Glenn Reynolds

  • franky

    Kevinp,
    Perhaps your question would be better posed to the member of the Rpublican party who said that quote I posted. But a party of theocracy would be one where people believe that a society should be run in accordance with religious teachings. Given the republicans deference to views of an apparently small number of relgiious fundamentalists (see poll that shows majority disapprove of republicans handling of the Terri case), it seems that the Republicans are well on their way to becoming just that. Of course the elevation of people such as Ralph Reed, Jerry Falwell etc certainly doesn’t help the idea of a secular society.
    Kat’s post on media bias reveals the interesting changes the right are attempting to impose on the media – the right insists that if they have an opinion it be treated as equal regardless of the facts. All medical evidence I’ve seen appears to demonstrate Terri’s condition is irrecoverable, yet if one quack can be found to support the other side then the media must treat the two sides as equal in validity. In the right’s mind, to reach a judgement on the overwhelming evidence is to demonstrate bias. So evolution and creationism are to be treated equally, etc. etc.
    Of course her post also reflects the need for the right to feel persecuted, to feel that despite their control of congress, senate, white house, they remain a persecuted minority (see also Delay’s comments on how conservatives are once again under attack).
    Jim S, I have yet to see Kat right on any issue in her history posting here (unless of course every democrat really does turn out to be a member of Al-Qeda, in which case she’s definitely right).

  • franky

    Duneview,
    To see Reynolds protest about name-calling is slightly unsettling. Wasn’t he the one who said of anti-war protestors that: they’re not anti-war they’re pro the other side (sorry, that’s a paraphrase).

  • Kat

    Franky, you are a liar–I know Jeff is a Democrat and he’s as far from being al queda as you are close to being a terrorist ass kisser. I have many Democrat friends–they are nothing like you, thank God. They are all intelligent.
    I have yet to seeFranky right on any issue in his history posting here (unless of course every Republican really does turn out to be a religious nut job, in which case he’s definitely right).

  • franky

    Oh kat, please let me be one of your friends too. It will be so cool – we can chat about topical issues, go out for coffee with your other democrat friends. promise me you’ll think about it at least.

  • owl

    Asking the same question: Why is it acceptable for the Court to make Terri live this way for 15 years. Is her condition an automatic 15 year sentence? What about probation or is this a 15 year, 3 strikes you are out law?
    Something about all this just STINKS. If she was able to live 15 years and the Court thought that was okay, what changed?????????
    Okay, life is not fair and neither are all our laws and Courts, nor the people administrating them. Three parties with conflicting interests. Ex-husband, Terri, Parents. Why the hell is it right for her to live in this shape for 15 years and not now? Anyone? Show me the light. I say the Court failed all three parties.

  • kevinP

    Franky:
    I get it. If a party allows people of faith to participate in the democratic process of voting then they are a theocracy.Maybe we should have a secular test like the Church of England did for centuries in which you had to swear an oath to the Church of England instead we will have an oath to the Secular Orthodoxy. Pat Robertson would love to be President. He doesn’t run because he knows he would lose the Republican Primary just like he did when he tried before. You have yet to point out any action that has been put into force that compares to any theocracy in the history of the world. even the Schiavo case proves my point. In any theocracy she would have already been put back on food and water. As far as gay marriage even Oregon, a blue state that went for Kerry voted against gay marriage. The fact that people of faith are allowed to participate in the democratic proceess is no proof of a theocracy. The fact that Shays has little influence in the Republican Party is evidence of his lack of ability, not some repressive system that is keeping his ideas shackled. Many of those people you mentioned are ripping Jeb Bush for not sending in the troops. If they were in controll of the party then why can’t they impose their will? Because this country,Dowd, or the Republican Party, you and Shay, is not or is not becoming a theocracy. The theocracy slur is no different then the Bush -Hitler slur. It just shows ignorance of history and what theocracy and nazism truly are. By throwing those terms around all you do is confuse what the true meaning of those terms are. And all this leads me back to one of my original points. The left is just as capable as the right for paranoid ravings and overheated rhetoric. You are starting to sound like the Anti-Clinton death list and black helicopter crowd.

  • franky

    kevinp,
    That the extreme wings of the republican party cannot get what it wants shows that this country is not a theocracy and I don’t think will become one (at least anytime soon). But to mention the fundamentalist wing of the republican party hardly qualifies me as a member of the tinfoil hat crowd. The midnight passing of bills to support a single woman is reflective of the growing ascendancy of the fudnamentalist right and their lack of concern in trampling over legal precedents etc (and of course to the spinelessness of many democracts worried they would get caught on the wrong side of the culture war again). I used to respect one wing of the REpublican party that seemed wedded to the letter of the constitution, but now I worry that when most republican legislators are confronted with a conflict between their reading of the bible and the constitution it will be the constitution that is set to one side.
    I think you misunderstand my mentioning of Robertson, Reed et al, it wasn’t that they should be excluded, but rather the power they wield within the party and how much the rest of the party defers to them on decisions (for instance, can you imagine someone winning the republican primaries of 2008 who might be ambivalent on abortion?). For God’s sake, much of middle east policy seems rooted in readings of the bible.
    You ask about the people ripping on Bush? do you really think Delay and Bush wouldn’t support sending in the police if they thought they could get away with it? No, like rats they retain some sense of self-preservation, but I have no doubt that when they feel ready to do it, they’ll do it in a heartbeat.

  • http://RuthCalvo Ruth

    owl:
    I have tried not to dwell on this too much, but in the articles I’ve read it seems the court has been involved in this for at least 8 years. So it’s not quite the fact that this is a sudden development after 15 years. It has been a long ongoing court proceeding, which has been prolonged artificially (forgive me, couldn’t help the wry wording) by Congress’s action.
    And I can’t see how you call this ‘living’. An elderly relative of mine proved this to me by pulling out her own IV’s, to try to end her life. A lifelong Catholic, she still couldn’t abide the artificial prolonging of her own life, and sinned in her own mind to end it. That took an awful crying need in her, and when it comes my time I certainly want my wishes honored to let me go.
    Was it a mistake to start treating Terri Schiavo in the first place? I can’t think that is true. But I have heard before that after a year of unconsciousness it is highly unlikely that there is consciousness left to return to. And after five, totally unheard of. I am sure the courts have reviewed any testimony any experts produced, and have made the best judgment they could on the best evidence they had.

  • owl

    Okay, last post on this subject.
    Since I do NOT consider this to be:
    1. A religious issue
    nor
    2. A political issue
    I can’t find the answer. I think it probably lies with:
    1. A husband that took 7 years to remember what Terri said.
    2. One single judge that overlooked the fact that said husband “remembered” 7yrs late.
    3. 7 yrs late, 1 judge decides her “quality”
    of life is insufficient, so orders starvation. So on 3rd starving….
    4. Congress and President pass a law that orders that 1 judge’s opinion to be confirmed by a court reviewing all facts (All 19 previous judges ONLY reviewed if the law was followed, NOT how that 1 judge looked at the facts)
    5. All Courts decided not to follow this new law.
    I go back to orginal questions. Why did it take the husband 7 years to remember? Why did the Court think it was okay to keep her alive for 15 years? Why was only 1 judge’s opinion (NOT 19) trump a new law? How can you order starvation for someone that looks alive, after 15 years? Why would you even think about considering a husband’s opinion that could not bother to remember for 7 years, that has a conflict of interest?
    True quadmire. I am not absolutely in favor of keeping her alive, but I KNOW I am NOT in favor of keeping her alive 15 yrs and THEN ordering starvation as the solution.
    The COURTS failed.

  • kevinP

    Franky:
    You started off great and then you did go into tinfoil territory. What Bible verse did Bush refer to when he authorized the plane sales to Pakistan. What part of the bible did Rice use when she warned Sharon not to follow thru with the expanded development of the settlements? The arrogance of the idea that if someone is religous they are automatically drooling morons is incredible. The democrats were the first to lead the regime change idea for Iraq under Clinton. Were they under the evil influence of the gospels? I have family members who do not agree with me on Bush’s middle east policy, some are religous, some are not.Some agree with me.Kerry stated that his policy of being against the death penalty was based in his Catholic faith. Is he trying to make the country into a theocracy?If you want to argue the middle east policy thats fine. But when you start by saying that people who do not share your view on God or the absense of God are somehow wrong from the start of the argument you are doing the very thing that theocracies do. They eliminate people from the start because of their religous or non religous views.As far as abortion there is no more diversity in the democratic party then there is on the flip side of the republican party. Issues such as abortion and gay amrriage of course will bring strong feelings into the dicussion. You seem to be saying that anyone who doesn’t share your take on them should be excluded from influence or participation in the democratic process. I am ok with you being on one side or the other. I may disagree with you but I don’t try to kick you out of the discussion or say that your points have to be automatically ignored because of any particular form of belief.That is what theocracy style governments do. They find out what is the basis of your idea’s and then exclude you if they don’t match theirs. As long as their is the right to vote, an independebt judiciary, a free press, and private property rights this country will never be a theocracy. Name me a country where there is more religous freedom? The fact that people of faith won elections does not constitute a theocracy unless they eliminate the right to vote, repress people who want to practice a faith other then theirs, or repress people who don’t have any faith at all.I am a registered independent. If Kerry had won I would not have claimed that we are now a totalitarian state. If he put people who’s idea’s on religion were opposite of mine into powerfull positions I would not claim that my right to practice my idea’s were being repressed. I would have said that my side of the political divde had lost and that I needed to work harder to convince peole that I knew to my side of the equation.That is how democracy works.

  • -asx-

    Owl said:
    One single judge that overlooked the fact that said husband “remembered” 7yrs late.
    This is the newest talking point from the conservatives: one tyrannical judge imposed his will on the whole country, despite the popularly elected president and Congress.
    But it’s bullshit.
    This case was extensively reviewed all the way up to the Supreme Court. The views on “one judge” were uphelp by many other judges up the line, and was upheld 4 times in the US Supreme Court — the same Court, incidentally, that appointed George Bush to his office in the first place.
    Saying that this is all being done by “one judge” is clearly an attempt to attack the judicial branch of government, to undermine Americans’ faith in their system and to agitate against our judiciary.
    Besides Judge Greer, this judgement was upheld by 9 members of the Florida Supreme Court, 12 members of the 11th Circuit Court, 9 members of the US Supreme Court, and numerous other courts.
    I don’t want to call you a liar, owl, so I will just say you are willfully distorting the truth.

  • http://RuthCalvo Ruth

    asx:
    Nice of you. For the most part, I have gotten to the point of ignoring posts from those who persist in substituting their own words for mine and then arguing with their own words, or who use obviously false premises to support their own purported views.
    Are there really so many of these argumentative right wingers who flock to JJ’s site, or is it possible that there is a constant cloning of identities at play here? which has been suggested to me by those who are particularly amused when these right wing posts start complimenting each other on their ‘rational’ and ‘well-researched’ etc. arguments.
    I got a kick out of a particular rw’er who proclaimed she worked in a legal field, who has neither before nor since shown any familiarity with the workings of courts or law.
    I don’t mean to suggest not entering into serious discussions, but there seems to be a lot of wasting of energies and intelligence here on those who are not capable of the same.

  • http://hubris.typepad.com Hubris

    Yes, Ruth, what problems in argumentation you describe are only confined to the “right wingers” here. Or maybe not so much. Take a look back through the threads.

  • Kat

    And of course, a right wing lawyer like Eileen just doesn’t know anything about law. You did mean her, didn’t your, Ruth. She can’t be RW and actually be an intelligent lawyer, can she now?

  • http://RuthCalvo Ruth

    Hubris:
    Quite possibly my views are confined to rw’s because those are the ones that get thrown at me. Of course, I do tend to be on the other side. I shall try to pay more attention to weakness in reasoned viewpoints. (Yawn) Sure I will.
    Loved hearing the Chairman of the Pres’s Council on Bioethics saying at Holy Cross that treating death as a disease to be cured raises the question of whether it matters not so much how long one lives as how well one lives. (He was arguing against curing illness by stem cell research.)
    Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, eh? (Ambrose Bierce, a renowned Baltimore crank.)

  • http://hubris.typepad.com Hubris

    What always makes me yawn is the “conservatives are like _____, while liberals are like _____” observations. They strike me as about as interesting as “black people are like _____, while white people are like ______” stuff. Or as interesting as a David Brooks article, in other words.
    PS I thought that quote was originally from Ralph Waldo Emerson, but I won’t be trapped by consistency if you show I’ve been laboring under a misapprehension. Did he steal it from Bierce? I think their life-spans overlapped a good deal (again, I could be wrong).
    PSPS The Bush administration’s consistency, or lack thereof, is of little consequence to me when forming my opinion on a subject. My thoughts are my own.

  • http://thebronxblogger.blogspot.com Matthew Goggins

    Asx, you wrote,
    Given that the courts are not going to grant the parents what they want, what do you think should happen next? What would you like to see happen? Specifically, what do you think the executives (George Bush and Jeb Bush) and legislatures (US Congress and Florida Congress) should do next, if anything?
    I guess what I’m really getting at is this: Are you willing to accept the ruling and judgement of the courts? Or do you think the courts’ rulings are intolerable and must be overturned?
    What should be done?
    The courts have spoken, including the Supreme Court of the United States, and the Supreme Court of the State of Florida. Ms. Schiavo has been told to die, and that is what is going to happen. No one should go in there and try to kidnap her or overpower the police guard. Everyone should respect the rule of law and accept what seems to many, like myself, to be a bad outcome.
    But part of the meaning of Ms. Schiavo’s life is that the love of her parents, and the persistence of her husband, have highlighted for the whole nation the inadequacies of how we adjudicate end-of-life care issues.
    Part of her legacy is that we will be newly committed to figuring out what to do with folks whose quality-of-life has been drastically changed by severe disability and/or terminal illness. So in a real sense, Ms. Schiavo will live on even after she passes away. I hope everyone involved will take comfort and strength from this.

  • Derek

    Mercifully Owl (who curses the courts for not keeping Mrs. Schiavo alive now and then curses them for having put her through living hell for fifteen years) has posted his or her final post.
    Now if only Mullah kat would be so kind—there must be some clown parade out there she can lead down to Florida or wherever her partisan puppet masters decide the next battle against liberalism and evil lies.
    “What always makes me yawn is the “conservatives are like _____, while liberals are like _____” observations. They strike me as about as interesting as “black people are like _____, while white people are like ______” stuff. Or as interesting as a David Brooks article, in other words.”
    Hubris is exactly right here, on all counts. Also on Emerson. And it’s FOOLISH consistency, to complete the quote—but Ruth certainly is correct in pointing it out and correct in all her posts. Sanity is a breath of fresh air these days.

  • Eileen

    Ruth, you’ve hurled one insult too many my way. If you were in my living room, you’d simply be shown the door.
    “I got a kick out of a particular rw’er who proclaimed she worked in a legal field, who has neither before nor since shown any familiarity with the workings of courts or law.”
    Well, I’ve been away for awhile and come back to this. Yes, Ruth, I have a J.D. degree from Loyola, L.A. Not here to waste my time on you to the extent of elaborating on 30 years of experience in various fields of law, including litigation of many kinds in both civil and criminal law, and in business. I am not a licensed or currently practicing attorney, and have never stated otherwise. But I have a doctorate in law, Ruth, and a helluva lot of experience in the legal field. What do you have? And you should know that there are several licensed or perhaps retired conservative lawyers which comment here frequently as well. You haven’t been around long enough to realize it yet, and nor do I plan to clue you in as to who they are.
    You have proven your lack of legal knowledge and training in too many ways to count. No J.D. would ever push people to create their own wills because they’ve Actually Studied Probate Law and know the pitfalls for those who attempt it (not to mention for their relatives and loved ones). Apparently you worked as a paralegal for awhile, but that doesn’t make you Queen Ruth of Probate Law. I truly tried to gently dissuade you from giving bogus advise, but you stuck to it like a dog with a bone, hurling insults all the way. That I don’t choose to respond to every stupid remark you make, or engage in base attacks such as you do in almost every post doesn’t mean RUTH WINS. Get it? I’ve also had it with your goading, your astoundingly misplaced arrogance, and your, snide, rude and insulting remarks.
    I don’t have the time or inclination to educate you regarding every ridiculous misstatement you make. GET IT?

  • Derek

    Wow. Never ever question a lawyer’s credentials. Especially one with a doctorate. “I paid good money for dem degrees! I’m smart!” Hell hath no fury like it….

  • Eileen

    Don’t worry, Derek, you and Ruth clearly find comfort in each other, so all is not lost.

  • Derek

    Nah—I liked Ruth at first. But then you pointed out she was only a lowly paralegal. Not good enough for me with my elitist tastes. However, Dr. Eileen, you sound like a fiery wench…..

  • http://RuthCalvo Ruth

    May Easter bring you all the grace of God.

  • http://RuthCalvo Ruth

    Derek:
    You shouldn’t listen to the idiots. there are three national laws which I originated, have worked as a legislative assistant on Capitol Hill and in a state legislature. Don’t feel at all comfortable with the workings of lawyers, who seek to circumvent the laws.

  • Kat

    There you go again, Ruthie, addressing the issues, instead of mudslinging insults. In one breath she talks about the Grace of God and in the next calls opponents, idiots. Happy Easter to you too, Ruth. May you not choke on your own hypocrisy.

  • http://RuthCalvo Ruth

    Derek:
    Ralph W. Emerson originates the hobgoblin of littgle minds quote: please let me know your source? Sorry, I’ve been aware of Bierce from childhood.

  • http://hubris.typepad.com Hubris

    Emerson wrote it in Self-Reliance.

  • http://RuthCalvo Ruth

    right you are and I thank you:
    A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.

  • Kat

    So when you are advising people to pray and saying{May Easter bring you all the grace of God} are you being smallminded or a hypocrite.

  • Derek

    Mullah kat never tires!