I had a lengthy, serious entry planned for today about the Patriotic Act provisions that are making people nuts. It's a long, technically legal and politically nasty topic. While it's an important topic, it's as exciting as reading the dictionary. I'll save that for the next time I get motivated.
More appropriate might be the photo I snapped out on the lake today, since Terri Schiavo is in the twilight of her mortal existence. While I may come across as funny, sarcastic, or even offensive to most people who read the blog -- I was actually thinking about this poor woman today -- as I went on my first fishing trip since I was ten years old.
While I didn't catch any fish myself, I did get a few good images. I put some of them here, and I may add more as I go through my files. If you like nature scenes, feel free to check out the little album I've started there.
Since this poor Schiavo woman may indeed be dead by the time you read this entry, I won't bother with too many legal or politically-themed topics. I'm not going to cite any Bible verses either. At the same time, I do have several things that continue to puzzle me, even now:
If the Pro-life Evangelicals are supposedly Christian, why would they float all these terrible rumors out in the media about Terri Schiavo's husband -- about greed, abuse, broken bones, and murder plots?
If the Pro-Life pundits are so strong in their belief for their protection of the institution of marriage -- to deny same-sex couples that same standing -- why are they suddenly against the spouse of this woman and his rights and responsibilities?
Why are Pro-Life people sending death threats to Terri Schiavo's husband, Judge Greer and others not parroting the far-right social agenda?
Why won't these Pro-Life people turn their keen, judgemental eye upon the pro-war neocons in the Bush administration whose policies have caused the death of tens of thousands of people? Are Muslims dying everyday not worthy of a little protest? I wonder.
While I may wonder about these things until Theocracy is the new form of U.S. government, there is no doubt that the political and social ripples of the Terri Schiavo case will continue after her death. In practical matters, this case has raised some awareness of end-of-life issues among millions of people. One never knows when this sunset may indeed be the last one to enjoy.
You are a traveller of dimensions unreal
You can see what you hear, and taste what you feel.
-- from Hair Trigger, Grayspaces.
Welcome to the 21st century, Pilgrim. We seem to have a paradox. While science and technology is on an exponential path of new discoveries and promise for the future, the common social thinking of the most powerful nation on the planet faithfully holds onto its religious apocalyptic vision.
Is there no middle ground? Have I over-simplified our choices?
Please remember to cite specific New Scientist article URLs when making any comments. This page is updated constantly.
"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.