Shots Across the Bow

A Reality Based Blog

 
Thursday, March 31, 2005

Terri has Died

I guess that puts the Pope next on the "Right to Die" hit list.

Posted by Rich
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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

There’s a Reason why Florida is Becoming Known as the “Persistently Vegitative State.

Let's face it folks, the last few years haven't been too kind to the Sunshine State.
  • An inability to read simple declarative sentences causes much trouble in deciding which hole to punch in a piece of paper, a task completed admirably by 1st graders outside the state of Florida.
  • A collective weakness of limb and/or spirit made it too difficult to tear the hole in said pieces of paper.
  • Frequently losing track of minor wards of the court in foster homes with abusive/neglectful parents.
  • Starving a brain damaged woman to death based on a statement made by her husband, a man with a concubine and two children who stands to gain roughly a million dollars with her death.


It can't get much worse can it?

I wouldn't be writing this if it couldn't.

Now, they are giving morphine to the starving woman to counter the effects of the pain they claim she can't feel or perceive that she feels, despite the fact that they previously claimed that starvation is not painful, but euphoric!

Is there a sane person left in Florida? When I see Jesse Jackson standing in support of Jeb Bush, I have to wonder if we really are living in the end times.

Posted by Rich
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Monday, March 28, 2005

Midlife Crises Aren’t Just for Men Anymore

My sister just bought a motorcycle. Well, it's almost a motorcycle anyway, a 250cc Honda. It's barely a step above a moped, but sadly, it's still more motorcycle than I own presently, so I guess I can't give her too much grief.

Except she's my sister, so I will anyway!

She called me from her car on the way home, all excited and dying to tell me about it.

"Guess what we just bought?" she asked.

"Umm, a 33 foot motor home!"

"Nope."

"A 16 foot motor boat."

"Nope, but you're on the right track!"

"A motorcycle."

"Damn, you're good!"

I am.

I went over to see it that night, and she proudly showed it off, sitting on the porch and rolling it a few inches back and forth. While I was their, her husband taught her how to start it up and shift from neutral to first, and although getting from first back to neutral was a little tricky for her, she picked it up quickly. Part of the problem was the Hello Kitty slippers she was wearing at the time, but I promised I wouldn't say anything about that, so don't let on I told you, OK?

Anyway, she rolled back and forth on the porch for awhile, and once she got her confidence up, she decided to actually put the bike in gear and drive on the porch. I suggested she might want to move into the grass which had two advantages. First, it was softer and if she dropped the bike, there would be less damage to both her and the bike itself. Second, the porch had very large 4x4s supporting the roof that made for significant obstructions in her path. Generally, bones break before lumber, which is not a good thing when a motorcylce is involved. For reasons I'm not allowed to mention (cough the slippers cough) she decided against going out on the grass, and contented herself with pushing the bike backwards on the porch, then riding forward for a few feet. Unfortunately she didn't have a helmet yet, so she had to borrow my nephew's Sponge Bob bike helmet so she was safe and trendy!

It was a thrilling display of braking prowess as she navigated the front porch at the blistering pace of an iceberg in December.

Well, I'd had about all the excitement I could handle for one night, so I went on home while she rode up and down the porch. I talked to her yesterday and she finally did venture out in the yard, and although second gear remains uncharted territory, she's logged an amazing 4 miles around her front yard. The only way my brother in law would have been prouder is if he could have figured out a way to attach a lawn mower to the back of the bike, saving him 3 hours of work later this afternoon.

Well, she loves her new bike, and I can't say as I blame her, even if I do give her a hard time about it. She's managed to do what I've only talked about doing. And I'm sure that in time, she'll adjust nicely to her new ride, and begin to act accordingly. Why today, she went out and did what any self respecting new biker babe would do.

She went to get her nails done.

She's a wild one, my sister.

Posted by Rich
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Sunday, March 27, 2005

Questions on Life and Death

As Terri Schiavo experiences the "euphoria" of starvation and dehydration (What a cheap high! Who knew? No need to shoot up heroin or smoke crack, just skip a few meals and ride that Magic Carpet!) those of us who are still allowed to live in this world ought to take a moment or two and discuss just exactly who decides who lives or dies, and what criteria, if any, should be used to make that decision.

First up on our dance card is the question, who gets to make the call? In the Schiavo case, the court made it pretty clear that, in the absence of contradicting evidence, like, say, a written, witnessed, and notarized document in triplicate saying "Please don't let my husband kill me," the spouse has the power of life and death over their partner.

Gives a whole new meaning to "Till death do us part!"

But what if there is no spouse? Who makes the call then? Well, if there's a Living Will that designates a Health Care Agent or Trustee, then all is well; we have somebody who will be responsible for making the tough calls. But what if like Terri, there is no Living Will, no Trustee? Who makes the call then?

Well in the absence of any close family or designated representative, our state courts are always happy to step in and take a keen interest in the well being of the terminally ill. Remember, these are the same state courts where the judge assigned to look out for Terri's best interests remarked how "irritating" it was that she wasn't dead yet. Kinda harsh, don't you think? But then again, this is a role a state agency can probably handle, since terminal patients are very rarely mobile, so the state can't lose them like they do foster children.

It would be embarrassing to lose a patient who was in a persistent vegetative state, don't you think?

OK, so we have those helpful folks from the government happy to help lookout for those who are unable to speak for themselves. Under what circumstance can the courts decide that the terminally ill should be allowed to starve to death?

Well, that's the tough question, isn't it? I mean, once you allocate to yourself the power of life and death, you really ought to exercise that power carefully and consistently right? There's shouldn't be anything capricious about the ability to end another human being's existence. It's a good thing our courts and judges are so dependable; they never make mistakes, or errors of judgment. And they’re so even handed. A prisoner in prison facing life with no possibility of parole quite accurately determines his life is no longer worth living and goes on a hunger strike. A judge then orders that he be force fed, so he cannot die.

I guess we don’t want him to die in prison until he dies in prison. (As a side note, isn’t it funny how the some of the same folks who want to kill babies before they’re born and kill the terminally ill before their time don’t want to kill criminals who damn well deserve to die?)

Anyway, I think we can all agree that when a person has flat lined that their functional life is over, right? No brain activity means no person; seems simple enough. And the brain is the seat of identity; the precedent has already been set over on the other end of life, birth. A baby isn't a baby until the head is delivered; that's the law, so it follows that once the brain is broken, the person is gone. Anything left is simply biochemical reflexes. Shut 'em down and let's go get in a quick 18 holes before dinner.

But what about cases where the patient hasn't flat lined? Say, the autonomic system is still functioning; the lungs breathe, the heart beats, the colon produces fecal matter, and the endocrine system continues to regulate bodily functions. The central nervous system may be closed for business, but the body is still ready to go. Do we condemn the unfortunate patient to a long life of torture, or do we, mercifully, kindly, and with great compassion, starve them to death?

I know it's a tough call, but when you decide to play God, that goes with the territory.

Fortunately, this call too has already been made, as we've seen recently. The body may be strong, but if the mind is gone, save a couple of kilowatts by pulling the plug. It's the compassionate, environmentally friendly thing to do.

But is it really? Despite the press reports of how wonderful dehydration and starvation really are, most of us are a bit squeamish when it comes to something resembling torture. Come to think of it, maybe that's the technique they should have used in Abu Ghraib. Don't take embarrassing pictures, just let the prisoners starve for a week or two. They'll be so euphoric, I'm sure they'd be happy to tell the interrogator everything he wanted to know. And since we all now know just how pleasant it is to starve, nobody could complain that we were being cruel!

But really, Americans are just too squeamish when it comes to killing. It's odd when you think about it; after all, all we hear about is how violent we are. Yet we're unable to recognize that when a life is no longer worth living, the merciful thing to do is end it quickly and painlessly. And if starvation were so euphoric, why would the hospice need to administer morphine to Terri? So, what we need to do next is stop shilly shallying around with this whole starvation thing and just give the poor patient a lethal injection. If we're gonna kill'em, do it quickly and efficiently; we could use the bed space.

Now comes the really fun part boys and girls. We've decided that a partial loss of brain function is worth a death sentence; just how partial do we want to go? Now, I don't want to fall afoul of Godwin's Law here, but there was a group of folks in Europe who did some work along these lines and again, while we can all agree that their solution was a trifle extreme, at least they made an effort to address the problem. So using their solution as an upper boundary, how low shall we go?

For myself, I wouldn't be happy living with, say, half the intelligence I have right now. And since I'm smarter than the average bear, let's bump that up to less than 60% for the average joe. So in my opinion, a 40% reduction in brain function might be grounds for a court order for euthanasia.

Look, I know it's difficult to pin a hard number on something like this, but the only alternative is to rule individually on each case, and that's just not the way the law works. We set precedents and the next judge follows them. That's why a judge has stacks of books in his office and a legal research team; because a case decided in 1947 about a boy and his horse knocking down an old lady on her way to the bingo parlor has a distinct bearing on whether or not a woman today lives or dies.

It's all about precedents, and how they are set. Just think about it; if each judge decided a case like this independent of other judges, you'd have little Mikie Schiavo wannabees moving from state to state searching for a judge who accepts the least amount of brain damage before ordering euthanasia. Heck, I could name some judges who would consider the act of voting Republican alone as definitive evidence of the need for a mercy killing.

Now I know what you're all thinking:

"Rich, this all sounds great, and I'm glad we're having this discussion, but you know it'll never happen. Those poor helpless people will have families who'll get lawyers and governor's and Presidents to step in and defend their rights. After all, this is America; we defend the weak and the voiceless, right?"

Yeah, that's what the Schindlers thought too.

See, here's the bottom line when it comes to politics and politicians; unless they happen to be registered Democrats residing in Cook County, Illinois, the dead/brain dead don't vote. Very few politicians are going to stake their political careers on helping a non-voter. To further insure the lack of political interference, any pol who tries to derail the euthanasia express is going to be tarred with the “American Taliban” brush, rendering him ineffectual as he tries to salvage his political career. But the most important reason is simply this; the majority of Americans agree with this. They think it is perfectly fine for a judge to say that this person’s life is not worth living, therefore they must die. So like I said when I started this piece, all that’s left now is to work out the details. Or as the old joke goes, “We’ve already settled what you are; now we’re just negotiating a price.”

No my friends, in this case, the lid has already been lifted and the only thing left inside this Pandora’s box is a nasty dose of the clap.

Posted by Rich
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Friday, March 25, 2005

Sign of a Weak Argument

So, either we allow Terri Shiavo to starve to death or we are living under an American Taliban?

Please!

Look, there's plenty of valid points on the other side of this thing that you can argue; why make hyperbolic comparisons that only reveal the depth of your ignorance, or your hatred?

To be specific, I"m referring to Dowd, Cole, and, as I heard on the radio this morning, Neil Boortz, who proclaimed that Congress and the President, in attempting to get a full federal review of a case that stinks to high heaven of politics and conflict of interest, had moved America one step closer to theocracy. Let me ask Mr. Boortz one simple question: Is it possible to care about justice for another human being, to speak out in defense of them when they are voiceless, without being a crazed religious fanatic!

Of course it is.

By the way, regarding the corrosive effects euthanasia has on the human character, I heard a guy on the radio today call Terri "nothing but a boat anchor" to her husband.

If I ever find myself in agreement with folks who have that attitude, I will immediately rethink every position I've ever taken.

Posted by Rich
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Terri Schiavo:  Why do I Care?

UPDATE 3/28 After I wrote the post below, I found this article written by a young man with cerebral palsy who was almost euthanized as an infant. My fears are not far fetched or for the future; they're real and they're happening right now.

When I talk about this whole mess, that's one of the more common responses I get.

"Rich, why do you care so much? Why are you so emotionally involved with somebody you've never met?"

Now I could lie and say this is all about the principles involved, that life should be favored over death whenever there's doubt, that the state should not be involved in determining who lives and dies, but all of that, while intellectually compelling, is not the whole story.

I have some personal experience.

In the early 1940's a baby girl was born. The labor was very difficult, and eventually, the doctor had to use forceps to assist in the delivery. She stayed with her mother in the hospital for a few days, as was the practice back then before accountants and lawyers took over the practice of medicine, then went home.

She appeared to be a normal baby, crankier than most, but it wasn't too long before her family realized that all was not well. She was their second child, and she wasn't progressing lke her older sister did before her. As her parents concerns grew, they took her back to the doctor for tests and exams to find out just what was wrong.

The diagnosis was severe spastic cerebral palsy, a virtual death sentence at the time. They were told that children with CP invariably were also mentally retarded, and had a very short life expectancy. They were told that she would take 24 hour a day care, would likely never be able to care for herself, walk, or even talk. They were told that their best course of action was to put her into an institution and forget they ever had her.

Now they were a wealthy family, and they went to the best doctors and specialists money could buy, but the advice was generally the same, albeit delivered less brutally.

"Put her away, and forget you ever had her."

And at the time, everything they said was true. Babies with CP were routinely institutionalized, and did have a short life span, and did show signs of mental retardation. Of course, we know today that many of those symptoms were caused by the institutionalization, and not the CP.

The family rejected the prevailing medical opinion, and brought their baby girl back home. There were very few physical therapists dealing with CP cases like the little girl's so her mother invented exercises for her, like constantly chewing gum to strengthen her jaws and teach her coordination. Her mother constantly urged her on towards independence, accepting nothing less than her daughter's very best efforts. Her baby may have been born handicapped, but nobody was ever going to call her a cripple.

It was a long hard road, filled with setbacks and crises, and hospitalizations as the family fought to keep their little girl alive. There are many today who with a similar prognosis would say to let the child die, let her suffering end. Her quality of life will always be too low; she'll never be happy.

The little girl grew up and quickly demonstrated that prognosis was wildly inaccurate. She learned to talk and to walk, and to be a contributing part of the household. She did chores, went to school, and pretty much did everything other girls her age did, although slower, and with tremendous difficulty. There were no signs of retardation, or any other mental defect of any kind.

Her mother died of cancer when the girl was in her 20's, but her daughter had already learned to be fiercely independent. She moved away from home across the state, to live her own life. She made adjustments and accommodations as needed to make it work, but she did make it work.

And the prediction of a short life span? Also wrong. She's still going strong, in her 60's and still living on her own, although she does need some assistance now as she's gotten older and complications from the CP have begun to creep up on her, but she is still as feisty and stubborn as always.

The girl I talking about is my aunt, and it's because my grandmother utterly rejected the advice of the medical establishment that she lived to baby-sit my brother. sister and I as we grew up. Doctors, particularly when they're being influenced by lawyers and accountants aren't always right.

*********************

Last year, my father died.

He died from kidney and liver failure brought on by advanced cirrhosis caused by hard living and hemochromatosis.

I sat with him in the hospital on his last day. He was doped up on Ativan and barely aware of who was there, but he woke up enough to know when I spoke to him, even though he could barely speak back. His skin was yellow with jaundice as he lay there in the hospital bed, his mouth wide open. The doctor was wanting to take a scan of his abdomen, so the nurses wanted him to drink some contrasting fluid. He wasn't really awake enough to drink, so my mom and I had to keep trying to wake him up and get him to sip at the cup, but he was so far out of it he would start choking.

I don't know how aware he was of what was going on around him; the Ativan had him pretty out of it, but you could get him to respond if you spoke loudly and slowly. I'll never know if he was really out of it, or fully aware, but unable to speak, and that question will haunt me for the rest of my life.

There was no dignity in his final hours; he was completely incontinent, so the nurses had to catheterize him. He still messed the bed, so they had to come in and clean him up hourly. My mom and I would help them roll him over so they could change the sheets, or help clean him up while they got a new gown or diaper.

As the day passed and we sat there with him, he kept trying to get out of bed, to go to the bathroom on his own. We would tell him that he had a catheter in, but he'd try to get up anyway. He wouldn't say anything, and I'll never know if he heard us, or knew what was going on, but I would have to take his feet and put them back into the bed as he tried to climb out.

The doctors gave us conflicting information. The attending said he was improving; that we didn't need to worry. But Dad's internist told a completely different story. Even if Dad pulled through this crisis, it was a matter of months at most before he would be gone.

Dad didn't pull through. I went home about 9PM, and got a call from the hospital a few hours later. It was Mom, and she told me to get there soon. She said he was having a crisis and that the doctor's wanted to know if she wanted to put him on life support or not. Dad had a living will that specified that he didn't want heroic measures taken if he was terminal, but since there was some disagreement between the doctors about how terminal would be defined, they went to my mother for clarification.

Mom asked me what I thought she should do.

I sat and thought for at least a couple of hours or so; at least it felt that way although in truth it was only a few seconds.

"We know what he would have wanted," I said. "He wrote it down."

I heard the doubt and the tension leave her voice as she said I was right, we did know. I hung up the phone, took a quick shower, and left the house but by the time I got to the hospital, it was all over.

In a way, I had just helped kill my father.

Except he had a living will. He left clear instructions on what he wanted done in just this kind of situation. Without that piece of paper, would I have had the strength to make the same call, even if he had told us that was what he wanted? And if I did have the strength, would I have been able to handle the guilt involved with allowing my father to die?

I don't know.

I do know that the existence of that piece of paper lets me go back to sleep at night when I wake up staring at the ceiling, wondering of I gave the right answer to my mom on that early morning last year.

*****************

So why do I care so much about a woman I never met, and will never know? Because I do know her. She’s my aunt, written off by the doctors and the lawyers struggling to survive despite their pessimism. She’s my dad, trapped inside a body that has failed her, unable to speak for herself, and without that precious piece of paper telling us what she wanted to happen. We have the word of her husband, but because of his actions and statements, his word is suspect, and cannot be relied on.

So that leaves us with a terrible choice, and no clear guidance other than our consciences. And my conscience tells me that if a person has left clear instructions that they do not wish to live under certain conditions, then those instructions must be honored. If they haven’t left those clear instructions, then it is our duty as a society, as a nation, as courts and hospitals and doctors and caregivers, to favor life over death.

It’s the only right answer.

Posted by Rich
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Thursday, March 24, 2005

First Some Housekeeping

Just for fun, I checked my site stats to see what kind of readership I had killed with my sporadic writing lately. Imagine my surprise to see that without an Instalanch, my daily visits have climbed from roughly 700 per day to 1700 per day.

Now, I think I write fairly well, but this just can't be right. So I investigated deeper and what I found out is that several other bloggers have linked to certain images I've posted in the past, most commonly images from 9/11. I'd noticed a couple of pages a few months ago, but I didn't worry about it because it really wasn't a drain on my bandwidth.

Well there must be a lot of folks linking it now because I have used 13 G of bandwidth this month. While I'd love to keep supporting other bloggers, I'm not going to pay any extra bandwidth charges to do so. So those pictures will be removed from the entries. If you've linked to them, that's why they aren't working anymore.

Posted by Rich
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So, it’s Death After All For Terri

So we've now heard from every court in the land and letting a brain-damaged, not brain dead (The appropriate diagnostic tests to determine brain death or PVS for that matter were never performed per her husbands orders) but brain damaged woman starve to death is legal.

So now we have to answer the next question: what level of brain damage merits a death sentence? Hell, I wouldn't want to live with a 70% cognitive loss (and I'll leave that term unefined, so should we make that the cut-off? In the absence of incotrovertible proof, we shall assume that anybody who suffers a cognitive loss of greater than 70% shall be a candidate for court ordered euthanization.

Yeah, that's the ticket.

And yeah, I'm angry about this. Look, I'm as uncomfortable as the rest of you when it comes to federal intervention into medical treatment, and I'm a big proponent of State's Rights and a very limited federal government. But when the state government takes no action to prevent a gross miscarriage of justice, resulting in the tprturous death of a brain damaged woman who cannot speak for herself, then, damn it, somebody has to step in.

And for the next person who comes up to me and tells me that dying of dehydration/starvation is not torturous, I will duck tape you to a chair, gag you, and let you experience that euphoria for a couple of weeks and see just how "euphoric" it is.

Tell you what, the next time somebody comes to my door seeking help for the starving children in Ethiopia or Botswana or wherever the next crisis of the minute occurs, I'll just tell them that starving to death is a very "euphoric" experience, and since those kids have no real expectation for a quality of life that I would deem suitable, that they're better off dead anyway.

What kind of country are we that we get more outraged over drilling for oil on a postage stamp sized piece of land than we do over allowing a human being to starve to death?

Addendum to my living will: I do not want to be starved to death or dehydrated. Period. If you want to give me a euphoric death, give me two beautiful women, an overdose of Viagra, and about a half an hour, and I'll be as euphoric as it is possible to be.

Posted by Rich
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Monday, March 21, 2005

To Live or Die

In America, to execute a criminal by lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment, but to allow a brain damaged woman to starve to death is merciful.

Can somebody explain that so it makes any kind of sense?

Let's start simply, and then work our way to the more complex issues, shall we?

First, Terri Schiavo did not have a living will, or a health trust, or any form of legal documentation stating her wishes should she become incapacitated. Whatever caused her to collapse took her completely by surprise and totally unprepared. If nothing else, that should be a lesson to all of us to prepare a living will. I'll go public right here and now and state that, should I become incapacited, I name Cary Harwood Hailey as trustee for my healthcare. In the event she is unable to serve, I name Marian Hailey Phillips as first alternate, and George Edward Hailey Jr. as second alternate. If I am brain dead, or in a persistent vegetative state, I order all life supporting equipment to be removed, turned off, or disabled, and that I be allowed to die painlessly, with some small shred of dignity.

Terri's husband, Mike Schiavo has stated that Terri would not have wanted to be kept alive on life support, and that she told him so. Terri's parents say the opposite. With no documentation, we are left to balance the competing claims, an impossibly difficult task. That being the case, doesn't basic prudence and decency demand that we side with supporting a life rather than snuffing one out?

And let's be honest about this for a minute; removing Terri's feeding tube is not "allowing her to die." It's killing her. We are taking an action that we know with 100% certainty will result in her death. She dies through our action. That's killing, folks, plain and simple. If we are going to kill somebody, shouldn't we be certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that that's what they would have wanted? Can anybody in this case state with that degree of certainty that this is what Terri would want?

If not, we have to side with life.

So why is the other side pushing so hard to kill her?

For Judge George Greer and attorney George Felos, this isn't about Terri's wishes, or what's best for her; it's about creating euthanasia law. George Felos first came to prominance in the Browning case, where a Florida woman was being kept alive on life support despite having a living will. Before that case was settled, the woman died of natural causes, but shortly thereafter, the Florida Supeme Court ruled that witholding feeding from people with living wills was legal.

So Felos got what he wanted, right?

Nope, with the Schiavo case, he's moving another step forward. Now he's pressing for the right to withhold life giving care, even food and water, in the absence of a living will, based on the unsupported, unsubstantiated claim of a relative, even when that claim is disputed by other members of the immediate family.

Now if that thought doesn't scare the crap out of you, you haven't really thought about it. What if you believe that suicide is a mortal sin, and that requesting to be taken off life support is suicide? And suppose your closest family member does not believe as you do, and decides that your suffering should not be prolonged.

Should they have the power(note carefully I did not say the "right") to go against your wishes and have your life support turned off? Accoding to Felos, they should, and that's just wrong.

The next case, and this is a prediction, but I'll bet money on it, that Felos takes will be that of a person in a PVS without a close relative or advocate. Having won the power of life and death for a family member, he will next try to give that same power to a court appointed guardian who may not even be related to the patient. Is there anyone reading this who feels comfortable with the idea of a bureaucrat deciding whether you should live or die? Hell, I don't even trust them with my paycheck!

But you know, this picture gets even murkier when you get more details. Little things like the fact that Gearge Felos was a long time member of the board of directors at the very hospise the Terri's is housed in. That means that the doctors who have certified her medical condition for the courts work for, or used to work for, the man who is advocating her death. This also begs the question of why a Terri is being kept in a hospice, a facility designed to help terminal patients die with some peace and dignity? She's not terminal; she's severely disabled. The hospice clearly does not have the facilities to give her the treatment she needs. It's a place to die, not a place to recover.

Maybe I'm just overly suspicious; maybe she's still getting good care and treatment despite the limitations of the hospice envoronment.

Here are a few facts.

Terri has never has an MRI or PET scan, two standard diagnostic tools used to determine the amount and severity of brain damage. Why would such an obvious tool be withheld? Mike Schiavo has refused permission.

Terri's basic grooming and health needs are being neglected. Her body is being allowed to slowly decay away, almost as if somebody believes that the worse off she is, the easier it will be to convince a court to kill her.

Her husband has refused to allow any therapy, or any attempts to see if she can learn to eat without the feeding tubes. He has limited access to her parents, to outside doctors, basically to anyone who might possibly hinder his wish to end his wife's life.

Her husband has refused to spend funds awarded and earmarked for her treatment on treatment, instead paying Felos over $200,000 trying to withhold treatment.

Her husband has refused to divorce Terri, allowing her parents to assume the financial burdern for her care and treatment, as they have requested time and time again, even though he is now in a new relationship, with children.

And in all of this, he has the complete cooperation of Judge Greer who is on record as calling Terri's continued existence, "irritating."

God forbid I ever irritate a judge!

In short, the actions of Mike Schiavo, Judge Greer, and George Felos make it very clear that none of them care about what is best for Terri; only what is best for themsleves. George Felos wants to extend the right of the state to decide when people should die. Judge Greeer wants to make a name for himself by creating new law. And Mike Schiavo just wants Terri to die.

And caught in all of this is a woman who will now be allowed to die of hunger and thirst, painfully and slowly.

It's an abomination.

Posted by Rich
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Friday, March 18, 2005

Sorry for the SIlence, but I’m about to Make Up for It!

But I've been busier than usual trying to make a dollar or two, fend off the flu, and take care of my family, so when the pressure m,ounts and something has to give, well, this is one of the first things that gets put on hold.

But never fear folks, as things get back to normal, I'll be back, stronger than ever, despite any attempts by the Federal government to put restrictions on my speech.
The remainder of this post will be a rant, and will contain longuage I don't ordinarily use, so it will be below the fold.


Posted by Rich
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Thursday, March 03, 2005

Scooped by the Main Stream Media

Alrighty boys, you got us licked. I'm gonna throw in the towel. Y'all were right all along. We pajama clad bloggers wouldn't know a real story if it jumped up and bit us on our Barcalounger shaped behinds. BUt you guys, you professional journalists, you really know how to go out and get a story, don't you.

Yeah, while we're out here sitting in the comfort of our own homes, spouting off quickly researched and linked commentary, you're out there in the trenches, getting the real story.
Updated: 4:39 p.m. ET March 2, 2005

MIAMI - A former topless dancer who was famously cleared of battering a Florida nightclub patron with her “crazy big” breasts has shed her oversized silicone implants and put one of them up for auction on eBay.


Now that's a reporter with a nose for news. Well, maybe not a nose, but some bodily appendage. Yep, Reuters certainly does some fine reporting.

Of course, the fun doesn't end there. After carefully reading the article, I found this amusing disclaimer at the bottom:
Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters.

Whyu is that amusing? Because it appears directly above a link to print a copy of the story, and another link to e-mail it to a friend.

Is a permalink "written permission?"

Now then, now that I know how the big guys get their stories, I think I'm going to get into investigative journalism myself, and head down to the local "Gentleman's Club", and conduct some field research.

Posted by Rich
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