Thursday, March 31, 2005

Death by kindness

Terri Schiavo died at about 9:00 am today.

It took about 1:45 for Dan Flynn to post on it; I was flattered that he borrowed my term for the process. It took an additional 70 minutes for one of my more disreputable bug relatives to spit on the poor woman's grave. (It's the second comment in the list.)

I should probably go away for a few hours and calm down, instead of posting the following bright red comments in reply:

sf - "I guess then when you're in the same position that Terri Schiavo was in then we can let you live the rest of your life as you wish with a feeding tube."

Really? Are you sure you wouldn't just assume otherwise and starve us to death too? Isn't it the whole point that we wanted to give her a chance?

"The hypocrisy of the right-wing is amazing. This isn't about a right-to-life as one is being made to believe."

Oh, horsefeathers.

"This issue is being used as a wedge issue by the right and its not doing well in terms of polls."

Because polls are all that you need to decide whether 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness' is, in fact, the animating principle of the US Constitution, and a worthy goal to continue to right for.

"Politicizing this issue and using it to promote a certain agenda is shameless."

Agreed. The way George Felos and Mike Schiavo's experts pushed this as a right-to-die issue, forwarding the forced-euthanasia agenda - sickening. And heck, we know that Jesse Jackson, Ralph Nader, and the Village Voice are just grandstanding by agreeing with conservatives and jumping in on Terri's side in this.

"Sure.. every citizen has a right-to-live ..."

Except for this one?

"... and I feel deep sorrow for the parents of Terri Schiavo yet the hypocrisy is mind-boggling. What about the right for health care for everyone or the right that no one should live in poverty or how about a states-right?"

Of these three, O Legal One, only 'states rights' is in the Constitution - it's the Tenth Amendment, long ignored by many of the same people crying States Rights Now! Even then, Andy McCarthy of NRO had the excellent point that the Left, in saying 'states' rights,' is really only supporting the right of the courts, since the Florida Legislature also passed laws to protect Terri but the courts struck them down.

"Even better is the fact that the judges involved weren't merely liberals but they were also conservatives acting in ways termed "judicial murder" or "judicial tyranny". This wasn't an abortion by any means and to label it that or call it an abortion is blasphemy."

Oh, by all means, we DARE NOT blaspheme the holy name of Abortion! Give me a break.

"This was nothing but a giant media circus about a woman who suffered dearly. We as citizens do not know what she was feeling or if she felt anything in the first place. We aren't the experts nor are we armed with the facts to prove otherwise."

What kind of an expert do you have to be not to want to starve to death? Only the elite legal and medical minds can determine a person's worth? And you can't claim that she suffered dearly while claiming that we couldn't know what she felt. Geez, make some sense, could you?

"President Bush says government should "err on the side of life"... Really??? Then what is that he said as governor of Texas... Oh yeah... That in the matters of life and death complexities he trusted the courts."

And here it comes...

"Hmm... did he say the courts? Now.. the courts aren't trusted because they don't err on the side of life yet err on the blueprint of the US constitution."

Sure - hearsay evidence and biased testimony are so trustworthy that dozens of affidavits and contrary evidence are ruled inadmissable; and advances in science that could prove or disprove the previous findings are not only not made, but actively forbidden. That sounds impartial and trustworthy?

"He made those comments when presiding over and personally reviewing death penalty cases. He trusted the courts judgements."

It's a lot harder to find someone guilty of murder and sentence him to death than it was for Judge Greer to do Michael Schiavo's bidding, and there is much more legal remedy available to the death row inmate than there was for Terri.

"How about the people denied adequate medical care or organ transplants and thus life under Medicaid which is under the knife constantly when it comes to the Bush budget. Even better lets address the genocide in Darfur? Where was Pres. Bush and our government then?"

I think they were fighting a rather important war, limiting our options for intervention. They haven't been utterly useless: you can try reading a little something. Or something else. And if they were, it doesn't let them off the hook elsewhere. While you're reading, why don't you also go over the Constitution to see where health care is guaranteed to every citizen by the federal government.

"That would've sided with a right-to-life policy yet the overwhelming evidence shows that hypocrisy prevails here and that this was an issue used to politicize a religious and moral ethic."

There's an old saying that hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue. I'd rather that somebody gets one thing right than everything wrong.

[sf quotes Dan Flynn]: But a life that makes us feel bad, that bothers us, that inconveniences us--that is a life that should be killed. Isn't that the message of this whole sad affair? [and then continues]: The message isn't simple and its more complicated.

Sure, you're just a big ball of nuance here, aren't you?

"I wished that Michael Schiavo had given up his rights to the parents a long time ago however the courts consistently ruled in the favor of the law and the laws of the land."

For some people wishing wasn't enough and they fought through legal means. And both Florida's legislature and the Congress passed laws that were promptly tossed by the courts in favor of what was already done.

"It is a sad affair when the battle is between legality and morality, which is what this is whole circus was about? Right?"

Sure is. Legal 1, Terri Schiavo 0. Hip hip frickin' hooray, Spitter.

"Now... Terri Schiavo may rest in peace like the rest of America would've rested had they been in that same position themselves."

This is so ridiculous, let me simply let you disprove yourself: "I guess then when you're in the same position that Terri Schiavo was in then we can let you live the rest of your life as you wish with a feeding tube."

Terri, God willing, does rest in peace. She got there through a two-week torture session mandated by a court, the ultimate in government intrusion.


Therese Z said...

Good comment dissection.

This sounds naive, I know, but it almost doesn't seem possible, does it? More like we were caught up in an episode of "Dallas" where it sort of seemed real. Say it out loud: a woman was legally tortured to death in Florida in 2005.

(Side note: I really hope Jeb Bush isn't blamed for not breaking the law, taking his future in his hands, and riding in with troopers to her rescue. Whatever weak decisions got made earlier, with or without his help, I think he did what he could, and certainly felt badly. Have I missed something?)

Anonymous said...

Jeb&Gw are looking for votes and that is all, they do not care about you or me they are pushing for what they believe in .The courts did the right things they are charged with This sad case was a family case for the courts NOT the goverment.

nightfly said...

[This comment is by a visitor named Bean. I deleted the original for language concerns, but I post this cleaned-up version in its place. - NF]

Eh. . . slow news week.

I didn't even follow this story very well until I learned that Congress threatened the separation of powers by trying to thwart the courts ruling. That's interesting and yet another symptom of our failing beuraucracy.

Theocracy is definitely in. Trumpeting the morale high ground and wailing cries of indignation while stuffing your pockets is the order of the Bush administration.

In relative terms, Terri Schavo was merely a snot, piss, and s*** producing fleshbag at the end of her days, so the concern around this story is not "Poor Terri!" but:

What would a reversal of the decision do to euthanasia? Would it mean that I could be forced to some meaningless existence for 15 years or have to endure the same meaningless existence of a partner and the costs of maintaing it?

What would Congress interfering do to the separation of powers? Would Congress effectively create a coup d'etat whenever they disagree with the Court's interpretations of the Constitution? Where would such a breakdown of our system lead us?

Not that I expect to do anything meaninful in my life. . . not meaningful to the human race. I'm not studying to cure cancer or training to be a diplomat, but here is a question I'd like an answer to:

Do you think Ms. Schiavo's life is worth the problems that might result from the actions of this vigilante Congress?

I'd ask you to keep in mind the freedoms the balance protects and the number of people who have died to protect those freedoms.

nightfly said...

[And now, a personal reply.]

Bean - if you value death over life, you can make your wishes known, durably, to be executed along with you if you feel unworthy of your own life. Terri never really had that chance, unless you believe her husband's hearsay testimony and a diagnosis that was itself made by an advocate for euthanasia. Said diagnosis was hotly contested by Terri's daily caretakers and many other doctors.

Overturning this particular decision would not affect anyone whose wishes were already clear. It may not have even saved Terri's life - she could have been re-evaluated and PVS could have been confirmed by simply ordering further tests. But in any case, starving someone to death in the interests of 'death with dignity' is a cruel oxymoron.

And do you think the Congress interfered with the separation of powers by passing a law? Or by defnining the jurisdiction of federal courts, a power specifically granted Congress in Article III, section 2? Or by enforcing Article VI, section 2? ("This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof... shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.")

Believe me, I do keep in mind the excessive power of the federal government. I find that as a practical matter, their 20-30% cut of our income, seized before we can touch a dime, restricts our liberties far more subtly and completely. They then spend that money on all sorts of things that they have no Constitutional power to regulate or legislate; in just about every case they would be better off letting private organizations handle it.

This, however, is a case of life or death to a citizen of the Republic - a Fifth Amendment issue, specifically involving Congress. This is the sort of thing I do want them to legislate, and especially for the 'fleshbags,' since they can't speak for themselves anymore. Her worth wasn't bound up in her abilty to move, speak, or think - certainly not to her parents, and not even to Mike Schiavo. She didn't need to do anything meaningful, any more than you plan to do, to be afforded the same protection under law that you enjoy.

nightfly said...

And by the way - a family case for the courts but NOT the government? Did I miss the law that made courts a free-standing organization unanswerable to the people? Are we electing a figurehead Congress now?

The Barking Spider said...

Can anyone name a Dem politico who would campaign on Terri's "right to die" on '06? My Senator Bill Nelson coughed loudly during the voice vote and then jumped into the biggest hole he could find. My congressman and Dem gov candidate in FL Jim Davis bleated a little about the sanctity of marriage, voted against the measure and then jumped into the second biggest hole available. With the exception of a few godless Losertarians, most of the LOCAL Tampa Bay media was mildly in favor of not starving the woman to death. It also helps that they think Felos is a fruitcake. Today Felos denied that Terri starved to death. (What, she get hit by a bus?)

Death with dignity? Watch the oldtimer in the Vatican show us all how it's done.

Mr. Bingley said...

a theocracy?


only if you consider the trinity to be me, myself, and i.