by Jeff Jarvis
Libertarian liberation (on the Schiavo case)
: On last night’s Connected on MSNBC in the segment about blogs and the Schiavo case, I noted that liberals hadn’t had much to say until Congress and Bush invaded and politicized the case (see Kevin Drum on a “nauseating …abuse of Congressional power,” and individ and Dude Abides: “Here we have another instance of our President taking a “complex issue” and boiling it down to black and white. Did we elect him President, or did we elect him Moralist?”). On the inappropriateness of Congress’ politicizing the matter, Ron Reagan and Monica Crowley agreed (as did I).
I also said that libertarians were siding with Michael Schiavo because they oppose government imposing unwanted treatment on us; I mentioned Samizdata and Virginia Postrel (who’d been on the network saying this shortly before I was on). Monica asked whether this was causing a split in the red-state blogs.
I replied that this case will prove libertarians’ argument that they’re not conservatives; they’re their own thing.
: Other links from all the MSNBC segments:
: Catscape saying that Scott Petersen will have a more merciful death (and he emailed me today wondering how the heck I had found him… I replied: Technorati and Pubsub).
: Wesley J Smith saying that it has been hard to kill Terri Schiavo because the videos of her on the internet humanized her.
: RepublicanUnionGuy wishing President Bush could issue an executive order sparing her life; if Clinton could pardon felons, he asks, can’t Bush do this? And he adds: “I thought I married badly.”
: La Shawn Barber wishing for a blogger swarm to somehow save Schiavo.
: Musing Minds asking: “What is the standard of proof required to ends someone’s life? What should it be? In the criminal context it’s “beyond a reasonable doubt”…. What is the weighty factor that sits opposite life on the scale of justice? What is the harm in keeping her alive?”
: Ace of Spades saying “this is not the typical right-to-die case.”
: Mansfield Fox wishing for a stay from the Supreme Court or for Jeb Bush to send in the National Guard (!).
: My stand on Schiavo, by the way: I agree with the liberal bloggers that Congress is way out of line. I agree with the libertarian bloggers that this has long been settled in the law and in the courts.
Personally, I’m still not sure where I would stand for myself. I do believe that we have the right not to have treatment. I do believe that the law is clear giving a spouse the right to decide in a case where clear instructions are not left. But on a medical level, I do think it’s cruel to starve a person but the answer is not, I think, to keep them alive in a vegetative state forever but instead to bring death quickly and mercifully with narcotics.
: UPDATE: The evening news just said that Congress is trying to keep her alive to push this to the federal courts. Congress was out of line and is now even further out of line.
: LATER: Tom Watson says:
Tom DeLay needs to keep Terri Schiavo alive in the worst way, because her tragic plight is a political feeding tube for his comatose, scandal-ridden career.
Jim Wolcott says:
Just as bad is the almost pornographic glee with which ghouls like Dan Burton and Bill Frist and Peggy Noonan insist that Schiavo is a conscious being because she smiles and responds. They’re treating this poor woman as if she were their personal pet rock. I suprised Peggy hasn’t urged canonization for Terri, to declare her the first martyred saint of euthanasia.
One of the side-effects of the 2004 election revealed by this despicable exploitative schmaltzfest is that the media has to tippytoe around making any disparaging remarks about religious fervor and its pathologies.
(By the way, in that same post, Wolcott proudly wears the mantle of Eeyore.)
‘News itself rules the kingdom now’
: The Wall Street Journal’s Dan Henninger notes the end of the anchor era:
For all the pious right-mindedness that gushed out of the three networks, Barbara Walters and Lesley Stahl never had a snowball’s chance of sitting in those anchor chairs, while now most of cable’s anchors seem to be women.
I was just thinking that. On cable news — especially on MSNBC — men are in the minority. For those keeping count… Dan also says:
This week, when grand images poured out of Lebanon of a million people massed against an occupier, it was reported by whichever cable anchor was on shift that hour. News itself rules the kingdom now, so there’s no longer much call for an Anchorman Chronicles. Goodnight, Peter. Goodnight, Tom. Goodnight, Dan.
Make them follow the money
: After I posted about the Advance Democracy bill, I kept thinking that we’re not using the economic power of the developed world in the right way to spread democracy and freedom.
Simply put: We should be rewarding countries that are democracies and withholding those rewards from countries that are not.
Now here’s CNBC’s Larry Kudlow on the same topic (my emphasis):
Thereís no question Paul Wolfowitz would make a fine World Bank president. But letís be clear: the issues confronting the Bank are financial and economic in nature. Crucially, the Bank has to quit making loans to third world countries with totalitarian leaders who steal the money and never undertake appropriate reforms. New steel mills and mining factories will only work within the context of a free-market environment that emphasizes private property laws and other conditionality requirements, such as tax, regulatory, and trade liberalization. Bank lending policies must emphasize capitalist conditionality. And hopefully Mr. Wolfowitz will ask why the Bank should make loans to dictators and despots. In other words, freedom and democracy should be a condition of bank aid. Bank policies should be consistent with Mr. Bushís broader pro-democracy and pro-freedom foreign policy vision….
: Still catching up…. See also Kudlow’s post applauding the Ebbers jury:
Their conviction of Mr. Ebbers was a great victory for investors and the general public. The Ebberís jury contributed to a new era of rising standards for corporate ethics….
The dumbo defense is finito.