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Saturday, April 02, 2005

Another Great has Moved On - Pope John Paul II, 1920-2005

*I had this saved as a post meant for yesterday, but trying to get my laptop to function with my office network settings was nigh impossible. The time stamp reflects when I wrote it. *


Pope John Paul II died today, and I am left completely bereft of words. I mean, how can you sum up the life of a man so incredible in a post? Fortunately, someone else has put it much more eloquently than I could in a post on All Along the Blogtower.

Reuters has some key highlights of his life. What a life it was.

God Bless you, Pope John Paul II. You served the world well.
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Friday, April 01, 2005

Words and Political Wrestling

For all the verbal and political wrangling that has gone on for the last few weeks, I have to give majorly-huge amounts of credit to the political Left for being so tolerant and respectful of people who "erred on the side of life" when it came to the entire Terri Schiavo deal, and of discourse in general.

April Fools.

Something that has been percolating at the back of my mind the last few days is a distinct lack of respect the Left has had for those who have a different opinion of them - coming out full bore within the last week. Not once has someone had the stones to come to this blog and give their own opinion and argument for or against Terri Schiavo's feeding tube being removed (despite my leaving this site address in all comments at all blogs I comment in, and I'm not the kind of person to just delete comments because I don't agree with someone), but instead I get sniped by a commenter like this at another blog, who don't bother to argue the case with me here, but instead just sort of wave me and others off as being some sort of "fly off the handle" type of person. He just conveniently ignores the fact that I was angry about someone being starved to death like some sort of second (or third) class citizen, and labels me as someone who is a knee-jerk reactionary flamethrower. Wow, you are remarkably astute. Naturally, he expects to have gotten away with it too, thinking I wouldn't take him to task for that later on in that thread (surprise!). Not surprisingly, he still hasn't commented once on anything here.

What is really vexing is the largely shoddy press coverage, and their own hand-waving label-making, is getting a complete pass by a lot of people. As Michelle Malkin points out, the Media seems to think that people who support the ideals of living and of having a moral society are these rather quaint, pre-packaged little novelties. In their classic Lazy-As-Hell reporting, they sloppily paint a few people with a couple of screws loose as being part and parcel of an entire movement. Yup, they're just so quaint, those Christers, with their whole "right to life" and "respect life" crazy Rovian-esque mantra. The only time I've ever seen a liberal respect life was when a Republican was looking to fight terrorism. "We must respect the sovereignty and the lives of that country!" they hem and haw, "What right do we have to force a dictatorship to play by the rules it agreed to?" Good heavens, stop the presses! A Republican has the temerity to demand that a dictatorship play by the rules it had agreed to play by! Good grief, and then they have the cahones to request that a federal court give a serious look at a "right to die" case and see if the evidence was clear and convincing, and that the standards of law had been applied correctly! What the hell is up with them - fighting terrorism, and for the cause of living? Yet I don't see reality divorcees like PETA members being painted as quaint or as pre-packaged hilarity while they run around in lettuce leaves to protest, I don't know, bug zappers or something. Heaven forbid they adopt a well-reasoned platform for their ideas - lettuce is a hell of a lot more cheaper to acquire and cardboard and Sharpie markers are plentiful.

I somehow don't think you can be considered anything other than a childish inarticulate idiot when you throw salad dressing in the face of someone with whom you disagree strongly. I mean, wow, what are you going to do next? Write some more cookie-cutter political slam poetry? I so live in fear of your stylin' rhymes, whenever you're not ripping them off of someone else. It amazes me that the level of discourse for some has boiled down to soundbites, slam poetry, and sight gags - like some sort of horrible human bee-hive of blithering insanity and gotcha moments. Nobody wants to argue about the merits of a cause or a big case, they just want to lash out at things, then others chortle to themselves like nerds in a basement. These people can't handle being adults, so they throw tantrums like children when things don't go their way. It makes me seriously wish there was a way to administer a maturity test at 16, 18, and 21 to see if everyone is ready to wear their Big Boy/Girl Pants, or if they should maybe stay away from the roads, alcohol, and each other, lest they have a scuffle in the sandbox over those big bad politicians. I outgrew being a smug asshole the day after 9/11 because I was one of the few that realized that I had it unbelievably good in my life (as my parents, correctly, insisted I did) prior to then, and that I and others would need to work hard to preserve that kind of life and eliminate the ones that wanted to violate it. I stopped having time to play gotcha games with people who didn't want to grow up, they wanted to stay a kid and be in this coccoon of No New Ideas Allowed, giving them license to be petulant and smug.

I mean, do you really think you're being clever by being a major-league asshole here?

(hat tip Wuzzadem.com)

That isn't even an argument, that is a leftist being like a snarky twelve year old. Yet, were a right-winger to do something similar, or even less so, it's like they called their target a sad-sack-sonofabitch who kicks puppies and is therefore an effigy of an entire movement. "Burn the Brownshirted Witch!" they'd cry.

But hey, comparing a President to Adolf Hitler is just so fashionably chic, who needs to argue like a high-brow human being, with all those troublesome premises and facts and evidence? Oh, I don't know, people who spend more time fashioning a cogent argument that's longer than two lines on a t-shirt? Someone who really does have an opinion, and wouldn't mind (and would most likely welcome) a reasoned debate with someone who is open to ideas and doesn't operate on the fumes of Groupthink? I have yet to find someone on campus or elsewhere that can go for more than five minutes without saying "idiot", "moron", or "stupid" in a description of someone or their political ideals.

Instead it was a lot of acrimony and, frankly, frighteningly shallow and callous attitudes towards the plight of a woman who had to die of starvation and dehydration. How is it tolerant and progressive when the ones that claim to be tolerant otherwise are holding up signs with another "Oh ho! Gotcha now, Dubya!" type message? How is it "progressive" to let a judicial decision otherwise kill a woman by starving her? What kind of "progress" is letting the judiciary take a step backwards into barbarism? Do they even know what it means to be progressive any more?

More importantly, will they ever learn to be that way again?
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Thursday, March 31, 2005

Terri Schiavo Has Died.

It pretty much says it all. The Schindlers last ditch appeal was denied, and news come around 10 today that Terri Schiavo has finally succumbed to dehydration and starvation. What infuriates me was Michael Schiavo denying Terri's family from being with her in her last minutes.

What a monster. I'm beyond disgusted with this man and he'll pay for it when he, one day, becomes old and infirm. Bastard.

This pretty much ends a long, convulted chapter in public history, and it wasn't something anyone would have ever wanted. Talk about bitter endings. God Bless you, Theresa Marie Schindler Schiavo.

Wizbang has a small photo tribute, and I will probably update later on today with more tributes and thoughts.
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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

A Ray of Hope?

OK, call me a damned liar, but I just couldn't ignore this story. News has broken today that the 11th Court of Appeals will open another hearing to the Schindlers - this time with them taking up the argument that previous rulings only acted to re-confirm if the law was applied correctly to Terri's case, as well as arguing that none of the courts looked at whether the "clear and convincing" evidence was, in fact, all that clear or convincing. This news comes after Terri has spent nearly 13 days without food or water, and the Schindlers are hoping that a restraining order will be issued to order the feeding tube re-inserted while the court considers the case. The pessimist in me is saying that this will be yet another fruitless motion, but the optimist is giddy with the idea that the evidence is finally being looked at with a fresh set of eyes instead of rulings re-affirming the application of law to Terri's case. I'm holding out hope that something will be done here.

Meanwhile, CBS manages to burn itself with another fake document's story, by publishing Terri Schiavo's obituary (despite her being, you know, not dead and all). It's wonderful to see how far-reaching their scope of knowledge is at this moment. Dumbasses.

Wizbang has a little round-up of Terri Schiavo news and commentary here.
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Monday, March 28, 2005

Enough.

Easter Sunday marks, roughly, the tenth day that Terri Schiavo has gone without food or water since the court order to remove her feeding tube last Friday. With legal options thoroughly exhausted, even the Schindler's are largely acknowledging that Terri doesn't have much of a chance of judicial relief. They've been urging supporters / protestors to not try and storm the hospice to bring food or water, whereby getting themselves or, in some cases, children arrested. That is absolutely aggravating - sending a child to do something like that that puts them at risk. No political / social movement should ever do that, but that's for another day.

The good news out of this is that Terri has been allowed (I write this with gritted teeth) to receive Communion, as part of a sort of last sacred rite before she dies. That, to me and I'm sure many others, is a relief that he religious beliefs are finally being respected. It only took, what, fifteen years?

CNN and Fox report that Terri supporters are going to Washington to demand that Congress enforce their subpoenas , which were squashed as soon as they were ordered by the courts. Frankly, I don't see the point, and I don't think they're going to go very far with this. The very thing that they swore they were not going to do - play politics in regards to Terri Schiavo - is going to start happening the picosecond they enter any congressional or executive office to state their case. Let's face facts : thirty appeals in the courts didn't net any results for the Schindlers and, despite Congress' effort to give them the avenue of taking their case to the federal courts, they are unlikely to succeed even now.

I don't like saying it as much as anyone else, but Terri Schiavo is going to die of starvation. She will hopefully just quietly slip into a coma, quietly pass from this world, and meet the Lord. That is the best that we can hope and pray for her to happen. Yes, how she died will be absurd, unbearable to think of in a country where that sort of thing is heresy in the public canon. Breaking the law by trying to break into the hospice, placing a bounty on a judge's head, or holding up a gun store to lead an armed invasion does not further the cause. Just stop, please.

Terri Schiavo will, barring a miracle and change of heart in the judiciary, die of starvation. She will pass from a lack of food and water, but she will not have died from a lack of love and concern from her family, her friends, and those who have supported her and her family throughout this entire ordeal. We can only marvel at the level of support those people have shown for her.

This will, in all likelihood, be the last post I will have on this subject - I don't see this going on for much longer, and I don't feel like I can change many opinions by being upset any more. I, personally, want to thank the other bloggers who have put up their own thoughts on this subject, and have followed it for as long as they have. I know that not everyone agrees with what was said here, elsewhere, or wherever - that can be considered water under the bridge as far as I'm concerned. I can only hope and pray that those who have lost their way, or have taken a controversial tack (political mud-slinging, namely), can find their way back. I know I've done a bit of mud-slinging on my own, and I regret doing that. I let myself get too caught up in the emotion of the story, and not so much as the reality - something I'll have to work harder to avoid later on.

At the end of the day, I still remember that I blogged about this because I cared about what happened to someone - and that was what was most important to me. Happy Easter, everyone.
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