And Rachel Lucas provided the humor for me, although it appears to have been unintentional. Heh.
A quadraplegic able to control artificial limbs by mental powers alone. Science fiction you say? Not anymore.
My wife just called to inform me that Terri Schiavo passed away. Her ordeal has now ended, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the issue for this country is just beginning.
Update: Jeff Goldstein expresses an opinion that I agree with one hundred percent:
I’ve said on numerous occasions now that were Terri Schiavo my daughter, I’d be storming the hospice with a bottle of Gatorade and a box of donuts. I’d force the cops to shoot me or put me down with a taser gun, if only to draw more attention and sympathy to my cause.
He goes on to mention that he would do so with full awareness that his actions would be considered unlawful, based on court decisions. Yeah, I'd be aware of it too, but I wouldn't give a f*ck. You pull the plug on one of my children and you'd damn well better enter the witness protection program. I'd let God handle the forgiving because I'd be too busy setting up the meeting.
From Richard Brookhiser:
The hardest case for the culture of life is capital punishment. Some of those who wanted Terri Schiavo to live were distressed that President Bush could not simply reach down and pardon her. He couldn’t do that because of her innocence; pardons are for the likes of Marc Rich, not for the guiltless.
Ugh. And I'll be treated to the spectacle of Scott Peterson's endless federal appeals for the next twenty years or so. Just to clarify, he did get convicted in a state court, right? So what the fuck is he doing appealing in federal court? To make certain that his civil rights haven't been violated? I'm very confused by this intrusion of the federal courts into a state matter. Very, very confused.
First, from Dylan Thomas:
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And from Tennyson:
Sunset and evening star
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For though from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.
And yes, these two poems are in keeping with my theme the last couple of weeks.
And this time it's from Harvey. Excerpt:
During the course of your marriage, your wife will - from time to time - say something thoughtless and brutal to you, and you will be tempted to exercise your power.
You are correct, oh great one.
When Liberals want to legislate what you’re allowed to drive or what you should eat or how much support you can give to a political candidate or what you can or can’t say, they are doing it for altruistic reasons. The excesses of the Left are to be excused because these folks operate from the higher moral ground and the benefit of the greater wisdom and intelligence gained from that perspective.
In a different West Coast conversation, I complained to another Liberal friend about some of the Left’s tone concerning the 2004 elections. I thought it insulting to hear those “red state” voters caricatured as red-necked rubes. My friend asked, “Well, don’t you think that people who live in large urban areas, who travel and read and speak other languages are better able to make informed choices?” It turns out it is superiority, not familiarity, which breeds contempt.
And will until after Terri breathes her last.
Noted right-wing Christian activist Ralph Nader[/sarcasm] had this to say:
"First of all, it was a series of casual remarks that her husband and her husband's siblings alleged they heard — so they are parties and interested," attorney, consumer activist, and Green-party presidential nominee Ralph Nader recently said. "We have no way of knowing that she wants this done at all, or might have changed her mind from the position that she may — or may not — have articulated as a young woman."
Nader adds: "It's one thing to have consent when the patient is overwhelmed with ventilators, and dialysis, and heart pumps, but it's quite another when there are non-heroic ministrations — in this case simply a feeding and water tube — and not having explicit consent or even credible consent — in ending her life."
Nader calls this situation "court-imposed homicide." He continues: "There are police in her room 24 hours a day, and if her mother would come and dab her parched lips with a moist sponge, her mother would be arrested and taken away. That's how barbaric the local scene has become. And that introduces a coarseness throughout our society that is totally preventable, uncalled for, and inappropriate under the rule of law."
And from Jay Nordlinger:
I am asked — by readers — whether I think the Bushes have done enough. The answer is no. I am further asked whether Governor Jeb should go for the (Bill) Bennett option: Do what it takes to feed Mrs. Schiavo, risk impeachment and jail. Yes. There is more to being an American — and more to being a leader — than following the edicts of judges. At least, that's what I was taught in good ol' pinko Ann Arbor (and I believe it).
Jay also reprints letters from a couple of readers, including this one:
We have a granddaughter who was born very prematurely and suffered a brain bleed. At eleven, she's just learned to walk and can say a couple of words. This past Christmas was the first time she looked me in the eye and seemed to really acknowledge me. But every time I've ever said "I love you" to her, she has responded with a fierce hug. We love her so fiercely.
It terrifies me to think that if anything happened to this beautiful young girl, causing her to lose the little mobility and language she has, there could be people who would call her brain-dead and insist that she be killed. (Not her parents, that's for sure. I hate to think what her father would do if anyone tried to harm her.) . . .
That last sentence reminded me of a conversation that I had with my wife recently where I mentioned the little boy who was disconnected from a ventilator over his parents objections. Here was my response:
If anyone ever did that to one of my children, it would be the last thing he or she ever did>
Any threat to my family by someone will be interpreted by me as a request for assisted suicide, which request I will then make every effort fulfill. Questions to be asked much, much later.
Update: Andrea Harris has more:
Your aged and terminally ill relative who voluntarily refused food and nutrition and so died "peacefully" a couple of days later has nothing to do with the Schaivo situation. People dying of terminal diseases reach a point where they can no longer take in nutrition; in fact, it becomes a torment to them. Terri Schiavo was not dying from a terminal disease.
Your dying relative/friend/patient who was hooked up to a heart/lung machine but who showed no signs of brain activity after extensive tests, and who therefore had their "plug pulled" because they were not going to recover, have nothing to do with the Terri Schiavo case. Terri Schiavo's heart and lungs worked just fine.
The many people talking about how awful it would be to live "like that." Since none of these people really have any way of knowing exactly how awful life without much of a brain would be, this sort of speculation comes down on the side of "idle notions" and we should not be basing life and death actions on such twaddle.
Update: Gerard offers some insight into this horrible spectacle being played out before our eyes. Excerpt:
I take up that question and repeat: "What good does it do to kill this woman?"
As all can see, but nobody can stop, the killing of Mrs. Schiavo, for all the legalisms and philosophies blown in to obscure the simple fact of her death by starvation, the stark answer is: "It does no good at all."
"It does no good at all."
The discussion now and in the days to follow until the last stroke of doom will not cancel out one word of that answer.
Update: I decided against mentioning the fact that Jesse Jackson had joined Ralph Nader in opposing the crime being committed against Terri Shiavo due in part to my fear that the Apocalypse was nigh, and the next people I'd being seeing were the Four Horsemen. Misha is not so circumspect:
As a way of introducing yet another member to the Imperial Family, Suspension of Disbelief, we want you to know that we were damn near falling out of our throne when we read that Jesse Hi-Jackson had finally fallen down on the right side of an issue.
We hope it didn't hurt. No, really we do.
Now, if y'all will have His Majesty excused. We need to go check if the seas have turned into blood yet.
Update: As I expected, the 11th Circuit has declined to hear the case. What I did find entertaining was an excerpt from the majority opinion:
"Any further action by our court or the district court would be improper," wrote Judge Stanley F. Birch Jr., who was appointed by former President Bush. "While the members of her family and the members of Congress have acted in a way that is both fervent and sincere, the time has come for dispassionate discharge of duty."
Birch went on to scold President Bush and Congress for their attempts to intervene in the judicial process, by saying: "In resolving the Schiavo controversy, it is my judgment that, despite sincere and altruistic motivation, the legislative and executive branches of our government have acted in a manner demonstrably at odds with our Founding Fathers' blueprint for the governance of a free people — our Constitution."
No word on how he feels about the judiciary establishing themselves as beings above reproach or review.
Update: Captain Ed voices his opinion in the matter:
Talk about judicial arrogance! Not only did the Eleventh Circuit openly disregard the law written by Congress, this justice arrogantly tells the other equal branches that the only branch guaranteeing a free people is the one not accountable to the will of the electorate. Bear in mind that none of the courts that reviewed this case after the passage of the emergency legislation found it unconstitutional; that at least would have put the court on record. Instead, the judiciary simply and contemptuously disregarded a law which to this moment remains legal and valid.
If Birch thinks that this law constitutes such a serious threat to the Republic, then the court should have ruled it unconstitutional. However, that would have meant a hearing on its merits, which the 11th Circuit cravenly refused to provide. Birch instead reacted in keeping with the hyperinflated notion of the judiciary in modern times as a superlegislature with veto power over actions taken by the other two branches without any due process whatsoever.
Birch's comment demonstrates that this out-of-control judiciary constitutes the main threat to the Founding Fathers' blueprint. They have set themselves up as a star chamber, an unelected group of secular mullahs determining which laws they choose to observe and which they choose to ignore. The arrogance of this written opinion will resonate through all nominations to the federal court over the next several years. It will motivate us to ensure that judges nominated will start respecting the power of the people's representatives to write and enact laws, and the duty of the judiciary to follow them or to specify their unconstitutional nature in the explicit text of the Constitution itself.
In the meantime, perhaps the Senate may want to read this opinion closely and discuss impeaching Justice Birch for his inability to apply the laws of Congress as required. This statement should provide all the proof necessary.
Received via email:
Jesus was wandering around Jerusalem when He decided that He really needed a new robe. After looking around for a while, He saw a sign for Finkelstein, the Tailor. So, He went in and made the necessary arrangements to have Finkelstein prepare a new robe for Him. A few days later, when the robe was finished, Jesus tried it on and it was a perfect fit!
He asked how much He owed, but Finkelstein brushed him off: "No, no, no, for the Son of God? There's no charge! However, may I ask for a small favor?" Whenever you give a sermon, perhaps you could just mention that your nice new robe was made by Finkelstein, the Tailor."
Jesus readily agreed and as promised, extolled the virtues of His Finkelstein robe whenever He spoke to the masses.
A few months later, while Jesus was again walking through Jerusalem, He happened to walk past the Finkelstein shop and noted a huge line of people waiting for Finkelstein robes.
He pushed his way through the crowd to speak to him and as soon as Finkelstein spotted Him he said: "Jesus, Jesus, look what you've done for my business! Would you consider a partnership?"
"Certainly," replied Jesus. "Jesus & Finkelstein it is."
"Oh, no, no," said Finkelstein. "Finkelstein & Jesus." After all, I am the craftsman."
The two of them debated this for some time. Their discussion was long and spirited but ultimately fruitful, and they finally came up with a mutually acceptable compromise.
A few days later, the new sign went up over Finkelstein's shop.
Can you guess what it read?
Are you sure you want to know?
Here it comes...
Don't say you weren't warned...... (check extended entry)
LORD & TAYLOR
Eat this sandwich for breakfast, and Hardee's Monster Thickburger for lunch and dinner; your cardiologist will finally be able to build that chalet in Vail.
So Frank J. and SarahK are getting hitched. Hip-hip-hooray!
Stop by and wish them both well.
Harriet McBride Johnson types up a gem at Slate. Excerpt:
My emotional response is powerful, but at bottom it's not important. It's no more important than anyone else's, not what matters. The things that ought to matter have become obscured in our communal clash of gut reactions. Here are 10 of them:
1. Ms. Schiavo is not terminally ill. She has lived in her current condition for 15 years. This is not about end-of-life decision-making. The question is whether she should be killed by starvation and dehydration.
2. Ms. Schiavo is not dependent on life support. Her lungs, kidneys, heart, and digestive systems work fine. Just as she uses a wheelchair for mobility, she uses a tube for eating and drinking. Feeding Ms. Schiavo is not difficult, painful, or in any way heroic. Feeding tubes are a very simple piece of adaptive equipment, and the fact that Ms. Schiavo eats through a tube should have nothing to do with whether she should live or die.
6. Ms. Schiavo, like all people, incapacitated or not, has a federal constitutional right not to be deprived of her life without due process of law.
7. In addition to the rights all people enjoy, Ms. Schiavo has a statutory right under the Americans With Disabilities Act not to be treated differently because of her disability. Obviously, Florida law would not allow a husband to kill a nondisabled wife by starvation and dehydration; killing is not ordinarily considered a private family concern or a matter of choice. It is Ms. Schiavo's disability that makes her killing different in the eyes of the Florida courts. Because the state is overtly drawing lines based on disability, it has the burden under the ADA of justifying those lines.
And still, she's being killed. At this point, I can only hope for a quick death.
One more thing: saw a report that Terri is being given morphine "for the pain". What fucking pain? If she's an honest to God vegetable, then she can't feel anything. If she's physically suffering, then she's being tortured to death; making her comfortable doesn't absolve anyone from that fact.
Update: Mark Steyn is-as usual- far more eloquent. Excerpt:
We all have friends who are passionate about some activity -- They say, ''I live to ski,'' or dance, or play the cello. Then something happens and they can't. The ones I've known fall into two broad camps: There are those who give up and consider what's left of their lives a waste of time; and there are those who say they've learned to appreciate simple pleasures, like the morning sun through the spring blossom dappling their room each morning. Most of us roll our eyes and think, ''What a loser, mooning on about the blossom. He used to be a Hollywood vice president, for Pete's sake.''
But that's easy for us to say. We can't know which camp we'd fall into until it happens to us. And it behooves us to maintain a certain modesty about presuming to speak for others -- even those we know well. Example: ''Driving down there, I remember distinctly thinking that Chris would rather not live than be in this condition.'' That's Barbara Johnson recalling the 1995 accident of her son Christopher Reeve. Her instinct was to pull the plug; his was to live.
As to arguments about ''Congressional overreaching'' and ''states' rights,'' which is more likely? That Congress will use this precedent to pass bills keeping you -- yes, you, Joe Schmoe of 37 Elm Street -- alive till your 118th birthday. Or that the various third parties who intrude between patient and doctor in the American system -- next of kin, HMOs, insurers -- will see the Schiavo case as an important benchmark in what's already a drift toward a culture of convenience euthanasia. Here's a thought: Where do you go to get a living-will kit saying that in the event of a hideous accident I don't want to be put to death by a Florida judge or the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals? And, if you had such a living will, would any U.S. court recognize it?
What he said.
Now women will be able to grow their own breast implants, rather than relying on artificial ones. The real scientific application, of course, is that new organs could potentially be grown. Excerpt:
About 15,000 women had cosmetic surgery last year, according to figures from the British Association of Aesthetic and Plastic Surgeons, up from 9,916 in 2003. In the US, about 6.2 million people need plastic surgery for medical reasons, mostly following the removal of a tumour. The same number again have plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons. Professor Mao has developed a method of isolating the patient's stem cells, culturing them into a fatty tissue mass, and then building it around a "scaffold" of the correct shape for breasts or lips.
Professor Mao said he first took adipose stem cells from a human donor and isolated the fat-generating cells. These were mixed with a chemical, hydrogel, "which can be moulded into any given shape or dimension". Hydrogel is a lightweight material licensed for use in medicine.
Notice anything interesting about the paragraph above? No embryonic stem cells were used. I'm certain that Katie Couric, Matt Lauer, Peter Jenning and Tom Brokaw will lead with that fact. Any. Minute. Now.
Many people refer to the Republicans as the "party of the stupid". That comparison is offensive. To stupid people. President Bush is actually chastizing US citizens for trying to uphold the law of this country? Is this fucking bizarro world? Rhetorical question, of course, because we're allowing an innocent, disabled woman to be starved to death.
Listen, I oppose vigilantism as much as anyone, probably more than most, but these people aren't "taking the law into their own hands"™ , they are trying to protect the laws that our elected officials swore an oath to uphold. This reminds me of the argument that I had with some friends over the Guardian Angels, the group of self-nominated crime fighters patrolling the streets of some wretched neighborhood. My misguided friends stated repeatedly that these people were THLITOH. However, I believe that they were missing the bigger picture. The US Constitution serves not only as the basis for the laws of this country, it serves as a social contract between the government and its citizens. When the government fails to hold up its end of the bargain(i.e., protecting its citizens from criminals by refusing to send officers into crime-ridden areas), the citizens have the right- and the obligation- to take whatever means necessary to defend themselves. A social contract, just like any other, can be considered void when one party neglects to honor their end of the agreement. Since the fed's have chosen to not uphold the laws they're duty bound to protect, the citizens must do so. And listening to elected officials bemoan those efforts makes me want to fucking puke.
Fametracker audits William Shatner's career. Not surprisingly, Billy-boy gets the big thumbs up in the end. Excerpt:
As a result, Shatner is so damned awesome, so abundantly unexpected, so fucking necessary, he's practically Biblical. It would be an insult to Shatner to compare him to some other celebrity and suggest they are equivalents. There's only one other celebrity who comes to mind as being even one iota as cool as Shatner, in the way that Shatner is cool, and that's Leslie Nielsen. And the only way that Leslie Nielsen could ever be even remotely as cool as Shatner is if he'd spent the first half of his career flying around the cosmos banging space broads on Styrofoam rocks.
Couldn't have said it better myself.
I'd send in the frigging national guard with a medic and reinsert the feeding tube, politics be damned. I might get impeached, I might get kicked out of office, but I'd be damned if someone in my state would be fucking starved and dehydrated to death while I was in charge. Judge Greer wants to stop me? Have him send in his own fucking troops to stop me.
Update: John Kass decides to stop using euphymisms:
I'd rather consider a photograph of Terri and her parents, her mother stroking her face, and Terri's eyes looking up at her, almost smiling, perhaps involuntarily. Perhaps she feels nothing, but her parents feel it. They want to care for her and should be allowed to. But the law says no, the state has decreed, and hands are clean.
I wouldn't want to live that way. And I'm writing something down to inform my wife that if I am ever like that, they should let me die. But there was nothing in writing for Terri. And her parents want to care for her. Still, she's being killed.
So let's not cheapen this by avoiding what is happening to Terri Schiavo. Let's use a real word, the kind of word that repels the bureaucrat in each of us, not some insect's word, but an ugly word that stands on two feet, a word of consequence, a word with some real blood to it:
Thanks Spoons for the link.
Update: Soon to be the last in this series. SCOTUS, predictably, declined to hear the appeal. Only thing left is whatever will Governor Bush can muster.
I expect Terri to die either today or tomorrow. The life expectancy of this country will also begin to die with her, as we will have made, as a society, the following decisions:
1) the government has life and death power over us all
2) members of the judiciary are now the final arbiter of all things, not just those that relate to the law
Funny. My civics/social studies classes were years ago, but I could have sworn that the legislature, executive and judicial branches were supposed to be co-equal. I guess this is truly the case of one branch being more equal than the others.
Update: Seems like I'm not the only one that feels this way. Excerpt:
But here comes the "right to die" crowd trying to put Terri to death saying that no legislature or executive agency can do anything that might even stall the court for one minute because that would violate "separation of powers". The court has given the big "f*ck you" to all other government branches saying "we've made our decision, this woman dies and there is nothing you can do about it".
Well kids, it strikes me that the courts no longer recognize checks and balances as any restriction on what they can do, even in putting someone to death. Can we honestly say that this is a Republic? Where is the democracy of one man in a robe ordering someone to death and allowing no other branches of government, much less a jury of peers, have any say in the matter?
When and if Terri dies, the Republic is buried with her. We're in a juristocracy then.
Update: And of course no discussion would be complete with input from the spot-on Moxie. Excerpt:
So, if a feeding tube is considered "life support" and ordered removed and if what I've read is true -- Terri is capable of eating if someone feeds her -- why aren't her parents allowed to provide their daughter with sustenance?
To me this implies that the idea is not to remove "life support" but rather to outright murder her.
I wasn't sure what to think of Governor Bush's mention of DCF taking protective custody of Terri Schiavo, but I know what I think of Judge Greer's "NO" in response, especially since the statutory power exists for the state of Florida to assume custodial rights(I guess). I believe President Andrew Jackson said it best, when the SCOTUS of his time issued a ruling that he opposed:
"Well, John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it."
Update: Ann Coulter and I are on the same page here. Scary.
Hey Judge Greer! How many national guardsmen answer to you? Just curious.
Update: Jonah Goldberg offers his opinions on this subject. Excerpt:
Even so, there's a particularly important lesson here for Democrats. The Republicans had a serious advantage in this debate: They had a real argument about the specific merits of this particular case and why it should be an exception to the rule. Meanwhile, liberals were nearly silent on why Terri should die, opting instead for cheap ad hominem. Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, for example, contented himself to impugning the motives of conservatives and making "jokes" about Frist lacking a brain and Schiavo being no more alive than a zygote. But, most of all, liberals mocked conservative "hypocrisy." That's certainly fair game in politics, but pointing out how others inconsistently apply their own principles is not a substitute for having principles of your own.
The Schiavo incident demonstrates that conservatives are going to use their legitimate power under the Constitution to act on their convictions. Obviously, pro-life conservative convictions will be different than pro-choice liberal ones. If liberals don't like that, they'd better come up with a better strategy than simply borrowing arguments they never believed themselves.
You might be able to find them here.
Sir George gives what might be the most eloquent defense of my position with regards to Terri Schiavo. I'm not snipping any of it; you should read the whole thing.
Update: Vox offers his opinion:
A number of you have asked me why I haven't commented on the Schiavo case. There's a few reasons, the primary one is that I don't find it either surprising or very interesting. What else would you expect once the usual drums began booming and it became obvious that the step from abortion to euthanasia was in the cards? Second, I view this as a lose-lose situation. Increasing central government power in order to save "just one life" strikes me as the usual liberal-socialist tactic and doing the wrong thing for the right thing usually doesn't turn out very well. If it is determined that the ultimate power over life and death rests with the federal government, well, that just doesn't sound very positive at all.
In the end, I suppose I see this sort of thing as a tar baby trap for conservatives.
Update: And one more thought from Captain Ed. Excerpt:
The failure of the federal courts to acknowledge the demand from Congress for a de novo consideration of the case will result in the killing of a non-terminal disabled person who left no instructions on her care other than a offhand comment after a movie remembered suddenly years later by her husband. A de novo order means that the federal court should have started from scratch in the case, ordering new testimony and medical tests. It would have had the effect of removing Judge George Greer as Terri's guardian ad litem, a role he assumed inappropriately as the only finder of fact in the entire Florida process.
The federal court has instead decided to disregard the clear language and intent of the emergency bill passed by Congress and abstain from a new process of finding fact in Terri's case. In doing so, they will allow a non-terminal, disabled woman to die a slow death on the word of an estranged husband and his years-long repressed memory. It will be the first federal endorsement of euthanasia, a precedent setting case that will allow for the disposal of many such disabled people in the future.
Update: Andy McCarthy offers some thoughtful legal analysis about the denied appeal. Excerpt:
Judge Wilson also disputed his colleagues’ conclusion that the Schindlers could not succeed on the merits — the finding on which the refusal to grant the injunction on ordinary grounds was based. Particularly when the irreparable finality of death looms, he argued, a party seeking an injunction need not “establish that he can hit a home run, only that he can get on base, with a possibility of scoring later.” Here, Terri’s parents have raised significant due process issues: the fairness and impartiality of the state trial, the fact that Terri did not have independent counsel, the denial of equal protection, and unjustified burdens on her free exercise of religion. Again, it was the manifest purport of Terri’s Law that these claims be fully and carefully considered in the federal courts before Terri’s death could be brought about by a state legal process.
The case now proceeds on two probable tracks: an appeal to the entire Eleventh Circuit sitting en banc, and an application to Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy (the Circuit Justice for the Eleventh Circuit) for an emergency stay with a reinsertion of the feeding tube. Judge Wilson has given them a compass.
Meanwhile, Terri has been starving and dehydrating for over 110 hours.
Not certain that you'll like Linux? How about an operating system and a complete of applications that boots and runs directly from your CD-ROM drive, allowing you to become familiar with Linux before making the switch? Still not sold? How about if I told you it's free?
I've been testing Knoppix(donwloaded the ISO image and burned the CD with DVD Decrypter) for a few weeks now and am very pleased.
I saw this story and am anxiously waiting for ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN to lead with this potential medical breakthrough. Any. Minute. Now.
So a federal judge denied the Schindlers' appeal to reinsert the feeding tube into Terri. Even if the 11th Circuit grants the TRO, which is doubtful, the odds of Terri surviving have become remote. Four days without food or water do bad things to people. And when the end comes, a man will have been given license to kill his wife and acted upon said license.
There are thousands of children in this country right now suffering from cerebral palsy who are probably on the same physical and intellectual level as Terri Schiavo. Many of them are incapable of feeding themselves and are receiving food and water via tubes. So far, there hasn't been a movement to remove those tubes. Once the Schiavo case becomes a historical footnote, though, the court precedent will have been set. You might think that I'm full of shit, but I've watched too many ridiculous court decisions become the legal bedrock for other ridiculous decision. Mark my words: this country of plenty has now placed a market value on a human life, and it's the low, low price of inconvenience.
Some people are claiming that Congress shouldn't get involved in our day to day activities. Please. Federal regulations control how much water my toilet can use to flush; my shower head is limited by how much water can pass through it per second thanks to the feds. And those cans of hair spray and spray paint in my house? There are federal laws regulating how far I should hold them from objects and what motion I should use( 4-6 inches, using a side-to-side motion). I purposely hold the cans 10 inches away and move it in a circle. For some reason, I think a lot of these new true believers in federalism fully supported those nitpicky intrusions into my life. So yeah, color me skeptical that their current mood will last.
I'll say it now, and I'll have said my piece on this whole horrible episode: goodbye Terri. You deserved better from us. May you find the peace and comfort in the next life. Godspeed.
Update: Rachel Lucas is in fine rant mode today. Excerpt:
Now that I know that in America, many many people (mostly liberals) are totally fine with starving living things to death - specifically, living things with "rights", which would imply some sort of sentience or consciousness or soul but apparently that includes vegetables - I've been thinking of all sorts of practical applications of that belief.
Let's see. I have a dog named Sunny, as many of you know. I signed a contract at the pound taking responsibility for her and I clearly am her legal "next of kin." Now, it's very likely that some day, Sunny will have arthritis in her hips and legs, and she might eventually be unable to move around on her own.
So! Who knows Sunny better than me? No one! So you must take my word for it when I say that I "know" Sunny would not want to suffer from arthritis to the point that she couldn't even walk around. Really, she wouldn't. I am telling you.
So here's my idea to (1) save time and money, (2) to fulfill Sunny's "wishes", and (3) to enforce her "rights": when she gets to the point where the arthritis in her hips and legs is so severe that she can't even stand up and/or walk over to the food and water bowls....WE JUST LET HER LAY THERE AND DIE!!
It's fucking brilliant, I tell you.
After all. We won't actually be "killing" her. We'll just be letting her die naturally, exactly as she would if she were in the wild. Do you think that if she lived in the woods like wolves and raccoons and squirrels do, that anyone would bring her food and water when she became crippled? Fuck no! So why should we? This is nature, folks. It is Sunny's right to die a natural, peaceful death, unsullied by human or medical intervention.
It will probably only take 7 to 14 days for her heart to give up and stop beating. Her lips and eyes might get kind of dry, but I can slather Vaseline all over her face so she's not too uncomfortable towards the end. You know, while she STARVES TO GODDAMN DEATH LIKE WE COULDN'T EVEN LEGALLY INFLICT UPON SOMEONE LIKE ADOLF FUCKING HITLER.
Update: And from KJL comes the following email she received from O. Carter Snead, general council for the Council on Bioethics. I'm excerpting the whole thing because it's well worth the read:
The state of Florida, through its judiciary, has ordered the termination of Terri Schiavo's life. This is an interest clearly protected by the due process clause of the 14th Amendment. Thus, before Florida can order such action, it must accord Schiavo with the full measure of process that is due to her. Unfortunately, a review of the record shows that such process was never provided.
The courts in Florida were charged, first and foremost, with discerning what T. Schiavo would have chosen under the present circumstances ("substituted judgment"). Florida law provides a complex system of procedural safeguards for this determination, including a "clear and convincing" evidence standard (the highest in all of civil law), and a presumption that the now-incapacitated patient would choose to live, in exercising her constitutional right to accept or refuse life-sustaining treatment. Moreover, Florida law requires that a guardian be appointed in circumstances such as these to represent the interests of the patient...
...The procedural irregularities that tainted the handling of Ms. Schiavo's case include...:
The court's failure to appoint a guardian ad litem (following 1998);
The court's usurpation of the guardian's role (in direct violation of Florida law);
The court's reliance upon insufficient evidence regarding T. Schiavo's wishes (namely, the recollection of her husband that T. Schiavo's had made ambiguous, casual remarks about "not wanting to be a burden" many years prior, in a wholly unrelated context);
The court's refusal to consider probative evidence of T. Schiavo's wishes (namely, witness testimony that Mr. Schiavo was lying and that he had never, in fact, discussed end-of-life care with T. Schiavo); and
On remand, the court's shifting of the burden to the Schindlers to demonstrate that T. Schiavo would have wanted treatment under the present circumstances (inverting the logic of the Florida laws).
These irregularities make it impossible to conclude that T. Schiavo's wishes under the present circumstances were proven by "clear and convincing" evidence, particularly in light of the presumption (under Florida law) that she would have chosen to receive life sustaining treatment. Any claim, therefore, that re-insertion of the tube is contrary to Terri's wishes (and thus an encroachment upon her right to refuse treatment) is groundless. We simply do not yet know what her wishes would have been.
The recently passed S.686 gives the Middle District of Florida jurisdiction to hear a suit or claim by or on behalf of T. Schiavo "for alleged violation of any right of T.M. Schiavo under the Constitution or laws of the US relating to the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain her life." It gives third parties the standing to bring such claims. And, most importantly for present purposes, it empowers the federal court to determine, DE NOVO, "any claim of a violation of any right of T. Schiavo within the scope of this Act, NOTWITHSTANDNG ANY PRIOR STATE COURT DETERMINATION AND REGARDLESS FO WHETHER SUCH A CLAIM HAS PREVIOUSLY BEEN RAISED, CONSIDERED, OR DECIDED IN STATE COURT PROCEEDINGS."
Thus, its seems highly improper for the federal court to determine on the basis of a two hour hearing that the Schindler family would not likely be successful on the merits in an entirely new trial, complete with extensive discovery, etc.
Nope, nothing to see here. Move along, please.
Update: These will end after Terri finally dies, but I had to post a link to Patterico's column. Excerpt:
In other words, although this witness originally seemed credible, the judge decided that she was not credible largely because he believed that Karen Ann Quinlan had already died in 1982 – while the witness had Terri Schiavo saying Karen Ann Quinlan was alive. But Karen Ann Quinlan died in 1985, not 1976 as Judge Greer appears to have believed.
Based largely on this mistake in dates, Greer rejected the testimony of Meyer in favor of that of Michael Schiavo, his brother, and his sister-in-law, who apparently testified that Schiavo had said she wouldn’t want to be “hooked to a machine” (is a feeding tube a “machine"?).
It’s hard to admit you’re wrong, and when this was pointed out to Judge Greer five years later, he wrote that it made no difference to his credibility analysis when Quinlan had died. As I read the language quoted above, it made a big difference to him. Greer just didn’t want to admit it.
...there was the original computer geek. Interesting story about a guy that I was only dimly aware of.
This is cool: a recap of each of the NCAA men's basketball tournaments since the tourney's inception.
Stop by and offer Harvey your condolences. He just helped bury his best friend of 25 years.
Twelve years ago I had to bury the first person who befriended me when I moved to Virginia. He wasn't my best friend, but at one time he was my only friend. When I received word that he had died, I didn't know how to respond; 33 years of life didn't seem long enough, but that's all he was given. His impish grin and devilish sense of humor survive only in our minds and hearts. It's not enough, not nearly enough, but it's all we have. And I'm glad for the memories, however tinged with pain they might be.
In last week's episode of Boston Legal, one of Denny Crane's[William Shatner] longtime friends was diagnosed with ALS. What struck me was Shatner's (paraphrased)comment with James Spader at the end:
People don't tell others that they care about them enough. We should do that more often.
Make certain that if you love someone, you tell them. Today. There's no guarantee that tomorrow will come for both of you.
Mark Steyn is, as usual, on his game, and this time he has that fetid cesspool of corruption known as the UN in his sights. Excerpt:
OK, I get the hang of this game. Sending Bolton to be U.N. ambassador is like . . . putting Sudan and Zimbabwe on the Human Rights Commission. Or letting Saddam's Iraq chair the U.N. Conference on Disarmament. Or sending a bunch of child-sex fiends to man U.N. operations in the Congo. And the Central African Republic. And Sierra Leone, and Burundi, Liberia, Haiti, Kosovo, and pretty much everywhere else.
All of which happened without the U.N. fetishists running around shrieking hysterically. Why should America be the only country not to enjoy an uproarious joke at the U.N.'s expense?
Part two: And this one is from Victor David Hanson. VDH takes on the whole Chimpy McSmirkyBusHitler business. Excerpt:
So what gives with this crazy popular analogy — one that on a typical Internet Google search of “Bush” + “Hitler” yields about 1,350,000 matches?
One explanation is simply the ignorance of the icons of our popular culture. A Linda Ronstadt, Garrison Keillor, or Harold Pinter knows nothing much of the encompassing evil of Hitler’s regime, its execution of the mentally ill and disabled, the systematic cleansing of the non-Aryans from Europe, or mass executions and starvation of Soviet prisoners. Like Prince Harry parading around in his ridiculous Nazi costume, quarter-educated celebrities who have some talent for song or verse know only that name-dropping “Hitler” or his associates gets them some shock value that their pedestrian rants otherwise would not warrant.
Ignorance and arrogance are a lethal combination. Nowhere do we see that more clearly among writers and performers who pontificate as historians when they know nothing about history.
Patterico poses the following question: who will take the pledge?
If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules.
As I mentioned rather profanely before, I will not alter my blog behavior one iota if the
dickheads-that-are powers-that-be decide that they don't want to hear any more commentary from the little people. You remember them, the US citizens: they were in all the papers. Even that little scrap that Congress has seen fit to wipe their collective asses with, the US Constitution.
I realize that I could simply convert my site into an ALL ANAL SEX!!! ALL THE TIME WITH BARNYARD ANIMALS DOING TEENAGE SLUTS!!!! and then I'd be safe. Hmmm, what to do, what to do. Should I retool my blog to discuss bestiality, necrophilia and hardcore porn to stay safe, or continue with my usual staple of stale jokes and political commentary, and potentially end up violating, umm, I have no idea what, since the regulation would be fragantly illegal.
Short answer: fuck 'em.
I'm in, and I hope that everyone in this country is with me. If not, I weep for our future.
Update: Stephen Macklin of Hold The Mayo made the following comment:
My blog will change in response to FEC rules. No more quizzes, no more book or movie memes. All political advocacy all the time.
I stand corrected.
I've been following the Terri Schiavo case for a long time and have been troubled by the inconsistent testimony given. My first assumption was that Michael Schiavo believed that he knew what was best for his wife. Although I think that removing food and water from a human who is otherwise NOT sustained by life support is, well, murder, I can vaguely understand how someone might not agree with the opinion. Anyway, the more that I find out about the actual facts in the case, rather than the legal boilerplate farted out by the Judge Greer and Michael Schiavo's lawyer, the more I'm convinced that Michael wants to kill his wife in a horribly painful way and is looking for the state's blessing on this course of action. Reverend Robert Johansen has more. Excerpt:
Many people believe that Terri Schiavo has had “the best of care,” and that everything has been tried by way of rehabilitation. This belief is false. In fact, Terri has had no attempts at therapy or rehabilitation since 1992, and very little had been done up to that point. Terri has not even had the physical therapy most doctors would regard as normative for someone in her condition. The result is that Terri suffers from severe muscle contractures, which have caused her body to become contorted. Physical therapy could remedy this, but husband Michael has refused to provide it.
Terri has also suffered from what many professionals would regard as neglect. She had to have several teeth extracted last year because of severe decay. This decay was caused by a lack of basic dental hygiene, such as tooth-brushing. She also developed decubitus (skin) ulcers on her buttocks and thighs. These ulcers can be prevented by a simple regimen of regular turning: a basic nursing task that any certified nurse’s aide can perform. The presence of these easily preventable ulcers is a classic sign of neglect. Bob and Mary Schindler have repeatedly complained of Terri’s neglect, and have sought to remove Michael as guardian on that basis. Judge Greer was unmoved by those complaints as well.
Terri’s diagnosis was arrived at without the benefit of testing that most neurologists would consider standard for diagnosing PVS. One such test is MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). MRI is widely used today, even for ailments as simple as knee injuries — but Terri has never had one. Michael has repeatedly refused to consent to one. The neurologists I have spoken to have reacted with shock upon learning this fact. One such neurologist is Dr. Peter Morin. He is a researcher specializing in degenerative brain diseases, and has both an M.D. and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Boston University.
In the course of my conversation with Dr. Morin, he made reference to the standard use of MRI and PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans to diagnose the extent of brain injuries. He seemed to assume that these had been done for Terri. I stopped him and told him that these tests have never been done for her; that Michael had refused them.
There was a moment of dead silence.
“That’s criminal,” he said, and then asked, in a tone of utter incredulity: “How can he continue as guardian? People are deliberating over this woman’s life and death and there’s been no MRI or PET?” He drew a reasonable conclusion: “These people [Michael Schiavo, George Felos, and Judge Greer] don’t want the information.”
I don't really believe in karma, but in Michael Schiavo's case, I hope it exists. I want him licking the ass of the bacterium on the anus of dung beetles in his next life. And the life after that. And the life after that...
Update: Andy McCarthy has a great piece over at National Review Online. His point is that we treat mass murderers better than a defenseless, innocent woman. I reiterate: starving and dehydrating someone to death is fucking NOT in their best interest.
Update: Gerard weighs in with a typically thoughtful post. He includes the current mindset infecting today's society wherein the political is personal, the party uber alles.
Update: From Spoons:
"If Jeb Bush were a truly courageous man, he'd send in the national guard to stand in the hospital room door and insure that those ghouls don't get to kill Terri Schiavo in cold blood."
And still more from Spoons, whose blue language is waaayyyy too mild for my tastes.
Update: Lileks weighs in as well. Excerpt:
I’ll stop here before someone feels compelled to send an email comparing Terry Schiavo to Spock in that horrible episode in which his brain was gone – but even then, you’ll note, they beamed down and looked around for the damn thing. In short: err on the side of life is not a bad motto to keep in mind. This seems simple enough. I respect those who nod, count to three, and offer a soft “however” so that we may refine the particulars. But I don’t have much time for those who hear “err on the side of life” and automatically bristle, because they hear the voice of someone who, damn their black and God-addled brain, once sent $10 to a politician who opposed parental notification law that did not have a judicial review.
You may not always agree with that sort of person. You may have no need for them. But you never think you have need of any chocks until you're in the truck, and you realize it's rolling down the hill. Backwards.
Update: from Jonah Goldberg:
Look, I've had a very bad week which has distracted me from all of this Schiavo stuff. I need to read and think more about all of it. But I think it's fair to say I'm not exactly on the same page with a lot of my conservative friends and colleagues on many of the issues involved. I'll write more on the issue later. But I have to say I'm disgusted with the faux moral outrage from liberals who are stunned by the idea that the federal government might get involved in issues like this. This is the party which danced a jig over the Violence Against Women Act and which has defined a vast swath of its political raison d'etre around the idea that the federal government should jealously guard the right to abortion and the right to appeal a death sentence in federal courts. And it is now scandalized that the Republican Party is trying to prevent a state court from killing a woman. It's okay for Washington to meddle when a husband slaps his wife, but it's outrageous when Washington tries to stop a husband from killing his wife? It's mandatory that a federal judge make sure a minority isn't passed-over for a promotion, but it's a rejection of the rule of law for a federal judge to make sure that a woman isn't wrongfully starved to death? Thanks to the hard work of Democrats states can't set their own drinking age or voting age, but suddenly state judges should be The Word of God when it comes to slowly killing citizens. I don't get it.
I do think conservative Republicans are at a minimum inconsistent in their sudden love of the fourteenth amendment and an activist federal government. But liberals are no less inconsistent in their sudden love of states' rights on such issues. The difference is that Republicans are embracing a principle they've spent some time upholding -- a culture of life -- while Democrats are spending most of their time whining about the "hypocrisy" of their opponents. I would respect the Democrats more if they had the courage to argue that Terri should die. That is their position.
Ann Althouse offers a slightly different perspective on the federalism issue.
Update: One final link, and this time it's to Hog On Ice. Excerpt:
Thanks to liberals, I live in a state where I can be prosecuted for cutting a mangrove tree that pops up and obstructs my boat dock, but Michael Schiavo can kill his wife, with what appears to be inadequate reason, and not even pay a fine. People call Terri Schiavo a vegetable. Would that it were so. In Florida, the law protects vegetation.
We need to investigate Terri’s condition. We need to investigate Michael Schiavo’s motivation. We need to be reminded—forcefully—that the value of a life is not related to how closely that life approximates an ideal existence. Brain-damaged people—at least those who are capable of consciousness—are human. They are human. Not one of us is any better than they are. Terri Schiavo is not three-fifths of a person or half a person or a third of a person. She is either a complete person or a dead body kept warm by artificial means. She should be presumed alive until proven otherwise. The burden of proof should be on those who want to starve her, not on her or her anguished parents.
Terri Schiavo is the Rosa Parks of the disabled. And the terrifying thing is that, like Rosa Parks, she has untold peers who have been less fortunate than she. Rosa Parks was arrested, but in the end, she was vindicated. But how many blacks were thrown off of buses before she made the news? And how many Terri Schiavos have been quietly disposed of?
She deserves a fighting chance and due process, not a death warrant issued by a kangaroo court. And maybe if the medical tests go her way, she’ll get to live as long as an average murderer appealing a death sentence.
Update: I lied. Sue me. I should have checked in at Victory Soap before declaring that I was finished.
Update: And Graumagus weighs in, too. Excerpt:
That said, the sticking point in this whole affair for me is the fact that, in 15 years, this woman's husband would not allow a MRI or PET scan to be done.
I'm sorry people, those of you who are screaming 'She's brain dead! The EEG and CAT scans blah blah" let me tell you something:
THEY CAN BE WRONG.
In 1996 my father had a very nasty left side stroke. The CAT scan showed a brain bleed the size of a fist and the EEG basically said he went from hard boiled to scrambled.
They said it was surprising he even survived
They told us it would be a miracle if he ever spoke again.
They told us he'd never walk again.
They were wrong.
His MRI came back and showed that the damage wasn't nearly as bad as was shown even on a subsequent CAT scan (after the MRI)
My father was speaking within two weeks and walking within three months. Now he speaks fine, walks with a cane, drives, and bitch/pisses/and moans about shit just as badly as he used to pre-stroke.
My point is, how can they advocate pulling this woman's feeding tube without even doing all of the basic necessary medical tests to properly diagnose her condition? That shit is criminal.
Yeah. It is.
The best sports week in this country tips off in less than one hour. As much as I love the NFL, there is no sporting event that I enjoy more than the NCAA men's basketball tournament, especially the first couple of rounds. Expect glass slippers to be plentiful as some "who?" colleges punch a few of the big name progams squarely in the jaw. My predictions? Well, since I've submitted 2 separate pools, I will give two answers:
Final Four #1: Oklahoma St., Gonzaga, Duke and UNC. Duke vs. Ok. St. in the final, Duke winning their fourth title.
Final Four #2: Illinois, Gonzaga(stop your bitching), Duke and UNC. Duke vs. Gonzaga in the final, Gonzaga turning the world of college basketball on its head by winning it all.
And now for the obligatory top ten(received via email, so I don't know the source):
Top 10 ways to lose your NCAA tourney pool
10. Look for the winner of the play-in game to ride that momentum all the way to St. Louis.
9. Account for anticipated hostile takeover by NIT field of 32 in your bracket.
8. Years of grade inflation and legacy admissions finally yield an Ivy League national championship.
7. When filling out your bracket, ask yourself: what would Christopher Lowell do?
6. Instead of doing a bracket, download witty ring-tones!
5. Channel your wishes for a USC-Auburn football match-up onto your NCAA bracket.
4. It's Boston's year — expect an M.I.T-Radcliffe final.
3. When in doubt, go with traditional powers like Indiana and UCLA.
2. According to the Chinese calendar, 2005 is the year of the rooster. As such, the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers look unstoppable.
1. That transvestite will not only knock out Tonya Harding, but also make the Final Four.
Italy officially announced their membership, joining France and Germany in the Axis of Weasels. Neal Boortz calls them "the tortellini-eating surrender donkeys of Italy ".
Hey, Germany and Italy should get along great, seeing as how they've been staunch allies in the past. France will just keep making white flags. At least it's some sort of contribution, right?
It's finally here! The 3rd annual IEAPD has arrived. Bacon for breakfast; hamburger for lunch; and something that used to be alive but is now dead and roasted for dinner(I haven't determined which one of God's creatures to ingest tonight). Want meat recipes? Go here for generic recipes, or A Small Victory for holiday specific culinary delights.
Meat: it's what's for dinner.
Read this and be afraid. Very afraid.
Apparently some of them are former Secretary Generals of the UN, one of whom has taken time out of his busy schedule of drinking wine, eathing quiche and applauding Cuba's exemplary treatment of political prisoners to make the following statement about the USA:
"It's a totalitarian regime."
Pot, I don't believe that you've been formally introduced. Meet the kettle.
Acidman's mother has finally passed away. Stop by and pay your respects, if you're so inclined.
This year's edition of the DIT(Duke Invitational Tournament) ended the way most of them have the last seven years: Duke wins.
Interesting season for Duke. After last season, Chris Duhon graduated, Luol Deng turned pro after one season and a committed high school senior entered the NBA draft and was drafted in the first round. Duke looked, by talent, to be a middle of the pack ACC team. That Kreezeeyouwishky guy sure can coach, though. This season is quite possibly his greatest coaching job at Duke. Ever. I'm quite pleased at how things have turned out.
Having said all that, I don't believe that they're likely to make the Final Four this year; Syracuse could give Duke fits in the Sweet Sixteen. My guess is that UNC will be the ACC team that goes the distance. I'm looking forward to being proved wrong. On both counts.
At least, according to this little video. ::shudder::
Image and link via Wizbang. Finally the US Government has found a cause that unites the right and the left.
Let them know with whom they are dealing: the people of the United States of America. Sign the petition.
I cannot believe that this is the 31st installment. Where did the last 31 weeks go?.
Clemson leads UNC by 6 win 6:31 to go. Do you believe in miracles...(to be continued)...
Nope. UNC by 7. Shucks.
I don't know about the rest of them, but Bill Press is still writing columns. When I saw the title, Let us all now praise Dan Rather, I knew that there would be big laughs in store. Let's get started checking out the (in)voluntary chuckles that Bill offers:
Pity poor conservatives. They won't have Dan Rather to kick around anymore.
Obligatory Nixon reference. In 5248 AD, Democrats will still be bringing up Tricky Dick. Hey, I'm not fond of the guy. At least the right has the intellectual honesty to decry misdeeds by Republicans.
With dignity and grace, Rather said goodbye as CBS News anchor on March 9.
BUAHAHAHA! ::wiping tears from my eyes:: You might think that that would be the funniest line in the whole article, but you'd be wrong. On we go.
Was Dan Rather perfect? No. Did he make mistakes? Yes. But Dan Rather didn't deserve the nonstop barrage of attacks from intolerant right-wingers.
Because God knows that only intolerant right-wingers believe that attempting to foist forgeries onto the public is wrong. Maybe Bill can start a movement to canonize Dan.
The Media Research Center, for example, on its website, accuses Dan Rather of displaying an "outrageous" liberal bias. Their evidence?
Or this one, last August: "The Republican convention opens in New York to renominate George W. Bush and showcase the party's quote 'moderate side.' Will voters buy it?"
If that's liberal bias, I'm an astronaut.
Hey Bill! How was the moon? But wait, there's more!
In both cases, Rather did nothing more than tell the truth.
You know what? I can't continue. I like science fiction and fantasy as much as the next guy, but there should be some semblance of logic in the storyline; there just isn't much here.
1 pk Graham crackers 2 Vanilla instant pudding mix - (large boxes) 4 c Milk 1 lg Cool whip; (lrg container) 1/4 c cocoa; (1 in) 4 oz Butter or margarine; (1 in) 1 cn sweetened-condensed milk Mix pudding and milk - stir as box directs. Add the Cool Whip. Place 15 cracker squares on the bottom of a 9 X 13-inch pan. Add 1/2 of the pudding mix. Place another 15 crackers on top. Add the remaining pudding. Top with another 15 crackers. Mix together cocoa, oleo or butter and the can of sweetened condensed milk. Blend over heat until together. Place this mixture on top of crackers. Refrigerate.
Childhood: That time of life when you make funny faces in the mirror.
Middle age: That time of life when the mirror gets even.
Okay folks, it's time for the 3rd annual International Eat an Animal for PETA Day, courtesy of Meryl Yourish. I plan on doing my part; there's going to be a barnyard somewhere missing a lot of its animals on March 15.
Meryl also mentions a possible gathering of Richmond area bloggers for IEAPD: the sequel on March 19. I was looking forward to the possibility of actually meeting some others, but it looks like that day is fully booked with extended family activities, as we're throwing a baby shower for my niece.
A young black child grows up living in abject poverty and ends up in jail. No, wait: he made his first million by age 13. Check out his story.
Bugmenot login/password: firstname.lastname@example.org/password
Yes, the password is password.
When one combatant is unarmed
Powerline makes some amusing statements about the Kinsley/Estrich dustup. Excerpt:
Kinsley is an extremely clever liberal who almost always has something interesting to say. Estrich is just a liberal.
If Kurtz's account is accurate, then Estrich has been trying to force her way onto the L.A. Times' op-ed page by threatening Kinsley. Becoming ever more shrill as Kinsley declined to buckle under, she eventually claimed that Kinsley's illness (he suffers from Parkinson's) is affecting his brain, judgment and ability to do his job. Estrich also compared Kinsley to Harvard president Lawrence Summers, but the comparison is unfair. Unlike Summers, Kinsley is apparently capable of standing up to angry feminists.
The temperature in Richmond, VA, yesterday was 710F. Right now, it's snowing to beat the band. Um, WTF?
"There's a 5-year-old child here," Mirabelli said. "Imagine how a child feels when your father says he feels emotionally damaged by your birth."
Imagine how he feels about finding out he had a child conceived by hummer.
I have tremendous respect for Hugh Hewitt, but I think he's gone off the rails here. Excerpt:
Many correspondents ask why I haven't rushed to join in the condemnation of the FEC's move to shut down the blogs. Answer: I have been teaching the First Amendment for a decade, and it isn't going to happen because it would be patently and obviously unconstitutional to classify the content of a political blog --which is essentially a cyber-newspaper-- as within the purview of the FEC. ... I think the conversation was useful, but not nearly as important as some think. Commissioner Smith's a very smart guy, and he got what he probably set out to get: An early warning to the FEC staff that it is silly beyond words to attempt such a thing. And blatantly unconstitutional.
Professor Hewitt probably uttered the following words a couple of years back:
I have been teaching the First Amendment for a decade, and McCain-Feingold isn't going to happen because it would be patently and obviously unconstitutional to limit what and when groups can say during an election season. Remember five little words: "Congress shall make no law..."
Whew. I feel so much better now knowing that Congress and SCOTUS would never pass and uphold such a law. Would they?
Bruce Bethke casually demolishes "the Insufferable Liberal" during a debate about abortion. Excerpt:
"What about brain-stem babies? What if the child was severely deformed, to the point that it had absolutely no prospect for ever living a normal life? Doesn't the child's quality of life factor into this?"
It could. But then, by the same principle, you'd euthanize Alzheimer's patients, people who were severely disfigured in fires or car accidents, and quite likely, Stephen Hawking. Do you also advocate doing that?
He paused for barely a moment, then smiled triumphantly and played his trump card. "What if your daughter was raped and got pregnant?"
I would be furious, vindictive, and very troubled and sad. It would be extremely difficult. But you know, under American law, we do not execute children for the crimes of their fathers.
To all you guys out there:
When you were growing up, did you ever have a really hot, young teacher that you fantasized about endlessly. Okay, stop lying; we know that you did. Anyway, this woman is soooo not that girl.
Ever read someone's blog for a while and then just assume that they're actually IN your blogroll? No? Lying bastard. Anyway, I tried to click on my blogroll link to One Happy Dog Speaks when I discovered that whoops! it wasn't there. Oh well. It's fixed now.
Hey US government! I hear that you're thinking of regulating the content on my blog, especially if I link to the campaign site of a political candidate. Since I don't hear any rumbling that porn/bestiality/snuff film sites need regulating, let me be the first in line to deliver a great big FUCK YOU!!!! to you. Feel free to kiss my lily-white ass, you butt-licking, money-grabbing, elistist, power-hungry, dickwads. McCain-Feingold, and its subsequent illegal approval by SCOTUS, was and is an abomination. You don't like what I say? It hurts your widdle feelings? Tough shit. Grow a pair and take it like the scum-sucking, yellow-bellied pieces of general douchebaggery that you are.
Oh, and in case I forgot to mention it: blow me.
Update: The Puppy Blender has a link to a radio station in Texas that is willing to credential any blogger that applies as a journalist for that station. Good on 'em for sticking their fingers in the eye of our
lord and masters elected leaders who want us to bow down and bend over at their whim who aren't that thrilled when we point out that they are all as useless as tits on a bull. No offense intended to any bovine hermaphrodites.
Update: Captain Ed is far more eloquent in his open letter to the Senate and forgoing the use of blue language that I employed above. It's all worth reading, of course, but the following caught my eye:
The effect of this would have been to force me to shut down my blog, or convert it to something else. In fact, it would have caused me less legal heartache to convert my site to a porn blog and do nothing but post hard-core pictures all day long. In the twisted environment of the McCain-Feingold Act, that kind of website would enjoy greater First Amendment protection than my political speech, a result for which every single Senator should feel shame and outrage.
From my rant above: Since I don't hear any rumbling that porn/bestiality/snuff film sites need regulating...
It's a good day for me when Ed Morrisey espouses the same opinion that I do. Captain Ed may not be as happy with this turn of events.
Update: Check in at Redstate to keep abreast of the latest developments in this saga.
COCK: “Well, I can’t presume to speak for the White House, but were it up to me, I’d slap myself across Frank Lautenberg’s stupid face a couple of times, then challenge that wizened old fruit to a pissing contest. Because at least that would serve the purpose of cutting right to the chase, don’t you think? But on a practical level, I’d suggest to those Senators pushing for an investigation into the backgrounds of White House reporters that they’d better be careful what they wish for. Or pretty soon you’ll hear Drudge pushing a WorldNetDaily story of Helen Thomas’ 1977 fling with Billy Jean King, complete with what would likely be the most horrific pictures ever to be posted publically.”
Lileks on freakin' fire. Excerpt:
For a modern analogue, albeit a broad and inexact one, you could be worried about the SCOTUS decision on the death penalty. It upended laws concerning the execution of juvies because five judges didn’t much like the law, and were alarmed to find it was out of step with the direction of the drift of the emanations of the penumbra of several judicial decisions in Europe. I’m not all that keen on the death penalty; I think it lets them off the hook. I want killers to die in jail, alone, forgotten, with their last meal consisting of steak-flavored mush and Sanka. But the reasonings don’t seem based in that pesky Constitution itself, and the very idea of using foreign law as some sort of guide for American law unnerves me as much as it angers me. I know: let’s use Iranian law to settle the constitutionality of divorce, right now. Someone bring a case.
There’s a certain mindset that sees Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction and sees no problem; there’s another that sees a dank crude stupid S&M routine at the Superbowl and groups it with a flash of teat on a cable movie. I don’t want either group setting the standards. Think of it this way: broadcast TV and radio is the front porch; cable and movies and satellite radio is the living room with the curtains down. We can all censure the man who stands on his own porch and moons the world while employing the full panoply of English cursewords. We have no business parting the curtains to see if he’s in the comfy chair reading Henry Miller.
Might be time for me to re-read Tropic of Capricorn and Tropic of Cancer whilst I still can.
Since I occassionally post jokes mocking the distaff among us, I decided to offer some equal time today. What follows was received via email today:
Once upon a time there was a female brain cell which by mistake happened to end up in a man's head. She looked around nervously but it was all empty and quiet. "Hello?" she cried, but no answer.
"Is there anyone here?" she cried a little louder, but still no answer.
Now the female brain cell started to feel alone and scared and yelled at the top of her voice HELLO, IS THERE ANYONE HERE?"
Then she heard a very faint voice from far, far away..."We're down here."
Orson Scott Card has a real gem of a column that I highly recommend. Excerpt:
In Schwartz's book, serious decision-makers are largely divided into two broad groups: Maximizers and Satisficers. (Awkward as the latter word is, it was needed and you get used to it.)
Satisficers are people who have high standards, but once those standards have been met, they decide and act and don't look back.
Maximizers, however, are committed to finding the best -- the best quality, the best features, the best price.
I'm a satisficer in almost everything. For instance, I can only wear cotton, linen, silk, or acrylic, and have to avoid wool and polyester. So when I'm looking for sweaters, most of them aren't acceptable. I won't "make do" with a sweater that will make me break out in a rash.
However, once I've found a sweater made of the right stuff, in my size, at a price I can afford, and with a shape and color that I want to wear, I simply buy it and stop looking for more. I don't care if I see a similar sweater later at a lower price; I won't even notice, because I'm not looking any more.
Satisficers can be fussy; but, once they make a choice, they're done. They move on.
Maximizers, however, are never done. Because they are committed to making the best possible choice, they can never say "good enough" and move on. Instead, they put off their decision longer and longer, constantly looking for even better possibilities.
And when they do make a choice, they still keep looking, inwardly beating themselves up over their choice whenever they find one that might have been better.
Maximizers are never satisfied because no matter what they choose, they can find a reason why their choice was wrong and they've somehow failed.
And now the dreaded words:
vomit-flavored jellybeans read it all.
Time for a collection of errata, bizarre stories and generally useless information. Here we go:
What do you call a medical student who graduates last in his class? This guy. Excerpt:
World's Shortest Attention Span A New York City jury in January awarded $450,000 in damages to a professional dancer whose career was ended in 2001 after surgery by Dr. Andrew Feldman at St. Vincent's Hospital. In a pre-op meeting, the dancer described the discomfort in his right knee, and Dr. Feldman wrote a large "X" on the spot of the pain, but 20 minutes later, he mistakenly cut into the man's until-then-healthy left knee. [New York Post, 1-21-05]
How you know that you've really pissed off Santa:
In other freakish news, today(my birthday), March 1, is . . . . . National Pig Day and Peanut Butter Lover's Day.
Some models in Thailand were fined for having their chests massaged. I'm not certain that I see what the problem is.
Okay, I get that dogs are a man's best friend, but a spouse?
Heh. I think a lot of schoolboys will find this story interesting. Girls' locker room, here we come!
Moose receives assertiveness training. Ookkaaayyyy.
A law student passes the class that allows him to graduate. On the 40th attempt. I think the government already has a position ready for him.
Kind of gives new meaning to the expression, "Oh shit!"
Proof that natural selection doesn't always work. Moron.
A little eye candy. Because I can.
So The Amityville Horror has been remade. Cool. I still think that the original was one of the creepiest movies I've ever seen, but I'm looking forward to seeing the new one. The trailer looks pretty good. Then again. most trailers do, even when the movie in question blows chunks.