"In cases like this one, where there are serious questions and substantial doubts, our society, our laws and our courts should have a presumption in favor of life."
-- President George W. Bush, March 21st, 2005
If you don't think this is an opening salvo of logic to allow the cultural conservative wing of the GOP political monopoly in Washington, D.C. to begin eroding individual liberties, state's rights, and constitutional protections in order to jumpstart their previously stymied religious social agenda upon America, you're simply not paying attention.
House Majority Leader, Tom DeLay -- who seems to have missed his calling as an Evangelical Preacher -- held a press conference on Sunday about the original, wide-reaching and typically misnamed House bill given to the Senate entitled "The Protection of Incapacited Persons Act of 2005," after subpoenas demanding that Terri Shiavo (et al) appear before a House Reform Committee were wisely rejected as nonsense by the judiciary involved.
Had those original subpoenas been given any legal standing, we'd all be sliding down the slippery slope of political or theocractic ideology. Why? It would set a dangerous legal precedent giving the the legislative branch of government the power to meddle in the private lives of anyone's situation whom the politicians deemed to be politically beneficial to them.
It might not have appliedtoyourownsituation should you live outside the President's brother's state, but what might follow? Excuse me, Ms. American citizen, you can not have an abortion -- for we, the now-powerful selected, have decided that you must carry that baby to term because we have issued a subpoena for your zygote-yet-unnamed to appear before us. Sounds ridiculous? Not when you consider what just happened in the recent actions of the U.S. legislative branch of government.
If Tom Delay's support of House Committees is so faithful, perhaps he should stop throwing his political weight around that blocks his own appearance before the House Ethics Committee. Apparently Tom DeLay's version of ethics is simply selective to his ability to get re-elected. Evangelicals in his district seem to be very selective in his morality -- charges of stealing, lying, and cheating are forgiveable -- but God forbid someone should exercise their right to die with dignity.
Everyone is talking about poor Terri Shiavo. Living in Metro Detroit during the heyday of Jack Kervorkian and Geoffrey Feiger's right-to-die activities, I saw some pretty underhanded shit by the so-called moral majority camp. Kervorkian may be in jail, Feiger may be left to be animated about legal issues on cable news, but at least I got to exercise my electoral right and toss the Oakland County persecutor, Richard Thompson, into the has-been category of politicians.
I'm torn by the Shiavo case. As a Libertarian, I don't want you or the government telling me how to kill myself, when to kill myself, or praying about why I feel like doing it. At the same time, I know there are people like Scott Peterson running around our spinning ball of mud who think killing their spouse is a better option than coughing up half their cash in a divorce. Whether or not this poor woman's husband falls into that category of sociopaths is not something I can answer.
If you think a Living Will will magically solve this Shiavo conundrum, think again. I asked my mother to make her wishes known in a Living Will. I spent hours going through the matrix of medical scenarios and actions to be taken on the Living Will with her.
Even though she expressed her wishes to have all life saving methods be used (She even said, "I don't care if they break all my ribs giving me CPR, do it, the ribs can heal"), signed the form, and it was even notarized -- some months later her doctor pulled her off all pain medication one day. He allowed her to suffer and then asked her if she wanted to end the pain, and if so, sign here -- with a fucking X -- reversing her wishes on her Living Will, under obvious duress.
I got a voicemail message from the attending physician about it. Even though I rushed down to the hospital to dispute the situation with the staff -- Living Will in hand -- she died. If you think politicians are slimy ass-covering trolls, try dealing with the healthcare industry in Florida. The only reason Shiavo is still alive to be argued over is because of a multi-million dollar lawsuit and some headline-grabbing, vote-hungry politicians eating this shit up like free hot wings at Hooters.
Welcome to Swamp Gas in the Imajica. Similar to the You Can't Make This Shit Up (YCMTSU) section, Swamp Gas will focus solely on news and items of interest in the sunshine state of Florida.
They say, "All the nuts in America roll downhill to Florida," so let's just see how true that phrase really is.
Click on the Swamp Gas logo for the smelly menu.
Swamp Gas v. 005
Suspended Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said the charges that he and three others violated state law are without merit and are politically motivated.
Dyer, Circuit Judge Alan Apte, Dyer's campaign manager Patti Sharp and campaign consultant Ezzie Thomas are charged with violating a law enacted after Miami's 1998 mayoral election was thrown out because of fraud committed in the collection of absentee ballots. A grand jury indicted them Thursday.
Two Florida lawmakers want to ban the use of electric shock guns in the state until it can be determined whether they are safe. The shock usually renders someone momentarily senseless, but there have been cases in which people have died.
Proposed legislation would provide $1.5 million for a study.
Another proposed law would ban use of Taser guns on schoolchildren. The action was taken after reports of school security officers using Taser guns on children.
The family of a bedridden nursing home patient who died after being bitten by hundreds of fire ants will get almost $2 million under a settlement with the home's owner. Griffith, 73, had been recuperating from surgery at the Atlantic Shores nursing home for a month when ants swarmed the retired postal worker's bed and bit him in the early hours of July 26, 2001.
A 90-year-old woman who survived a 2002 fire ant attack at a Bradenton nursing home won a $1.2 million verdict last year, but the company that owned the home had gone broke and it was unlikely that she would ever collect.
Yesterday was International Women's Day. I know this because Google told me so by having a female symbol in its logo. Otherwise, I would have missed all the hoopla on my way to download some porn.
I'll postpone any musings on the details for the care and maintenance of a happy penis for another day and stick to this topic. Believe it or not, as a bricklayer, I wasn't exposed to very many credit hours of instruction about Women's Studies. Well, except perhaps the on-the-job training of how to properly cat-call from a scaffolding high above the sidewalk or how to pick up bored cubicle muffins in the local bar.
Unlike my Leisure Suit Larry activities, International Women's Day has a history going back to the turn of the last century. And, as my happy little image above suggests, it also has a direct connection with the world today.
Widely recognized as two of the most powerful women of influence in the world, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and First Lady Laura Bush had something to share with the class on this auspicious day. Apparently, it seems that IWD really is more than just a fake Google observance.
Christine, from Ms. Magazine blog, had a great blockquote from an AP report that put some perspective on the issues for me:
Nafis Sadik, a special adviser on AIDS to Secretary-General Kofi Annan and former head of the U.N. Population Fund, said governments spend more than $900 billion on the military while the world's richest countries spend less than $70 billion on development assistance and only about $3 billion of that amount goes to gender equality programs.
"What contributes more to security, $3 billion invested in women or the $900 billion squandered on weapons?" Sadik said to loud applause. "It is time for political leaders to stop talking about peace and really start investing in it."
When you break it down like that, it's fairly clear we might do better as a species promoting some maternal instincts on our happy little spinning ball of mud. But, I knew that already.
My mom was a single parent and was one of those Rosie the Riveter ladies. She was too smart, and rebellious, and graduated from some shithole public school in Detroit when she was sixteen years old. Her mother raised her and an older sister in the height of the Great Depression, after Mr. Happy Grandad bailed on Grandma for the perceived greener pastures of England in the 1930s.
I think my mom and aunt loved that stupid lame-ass, because it's a family rule, but I never met him because he died in Belfast while I was doing Ronald Reagan's work on the border with the "Evil Empire" of that time period.