The Raving Theist

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Goodbye, Terri

March 26, 2005 | 80 Comments

The religious right, it is said, is conspiring to trample Terri’s rights, to defeat Terri’s wishes. But whatever the cynicism and hypocrisy of its leaders (and I agree there is plenty), I think the attitude held among those clamoring for her death is at least as religious. If Ms. Schindler-Schiavo is what their premises insist — a faux-human husk — she is not a thing capable of having wishes or rights. She is not in a position to hate her predicament or desire a way out of it. To say it is humane it kill her is to assume she is capable of appreciating humanity. To say she should be allowed to die with dignity is to assume that she is somehow more capable of demanding dignity than a corpse.

Indeed, the very reason that starvation has been allowed as the method for her demise is that she is well beyond suffering. If there was courage behind that conviction the expedient of a lethal injection or a bullet to the brain would be employed. Or, better yet, she’d be buried still breathing.

As I said here, I think she should be given the benefit of the doubt. There is no great harm in preserving her life. Nor is some great principle, some grand universal moral imperative, served by killing her. Keep in mind that it is nothing more than a wish of her husband. If he wished otherwise no one would have heard of her and certainly no one would be extolling the virtues of her death.

Keeping her alive is expensive, perhaps; a tube must be filled and her body cleaned. But the argument has little force in a nation awash in iPods and plagued by obesity. We can listen to one less song and eat one less hamburger. We can build more hospitals and still spend the money to save that little girl trapped in a well, or that woman trapped in her own body. And we are all safer in a nation populated by people like my friend Ashli, who (whatever their delusions about the afterlife), so madly embrace life in all its forms and at all its stages rather than give the presumption to death.

Terri will die on Easter and much will be made of that timing by people you detest. However tempted, I will not be mocking them here.

Comments

80 Responses to “Goodbye, Terri”

  1. Joe
    March 26th, 2005 @ 7:43 pm

    “If Ms. Schindler-Schiavo is what their premises insist — a faux-human husk — she is not a thing capable of having wishes or rights. She is not in a position to hate her predicament or desire a way out of it.”

    Same argument can be used against removing tubes or respirators from those with living wills. So what if it is on paper? She can’t have any wishes right now. We can also ignore regular wills – if you’re dead, you can’t care what happens to your CDs. Right?

    Only problem is, we don’t follow wills because they express preferences of the dead or vegetative *now*. We follow them because they express preferences articulated in the past about future situations. Just because a person is incapable of having a preference now doesn’t mean we should ignore their last known, last expressed (and relevant) preference. If we do, we are trampling on their wishes.

    “To say it is humane it kill her is to assume she is capable of appreciating humanity.”

    No, it’s to say that she is capable of suffering – that would be why we speak of “humane” and “inhumane” treatment of animals. She still seems to have enough brain left to experience physical suffering.

    “Indeed, the very reason that starvation has been allowed as the method for her demise is that she is well beyond suffering.”

    Gee, I thought it was because a lethal injection is illegal still? Must have missed a law change somewhere…

    “Keep in mind that it is nothing more than a wish of her husband.”

    Keep in mind that this is her wish, as her husband and other witnesses testified to. That’s a principle worth preserving: your preferences about how you are to be cared for will be followed.

  2. simbol
    March 26th, 2005 @ 8:12 pm

    why Mr Schiavo don’t let terri’s parents to look after her?

    He would lose nothing. He said there is not a penny for him if terry dies and this seems to be true. Also he can divorce and marry his new companion straightening the life of two siblings. And nobody is going to criticize him for doing that. Besides, brother Bush is willy to foot the bill.

    Since there is not a known will, and since for terri apparently there is no difference to stay or to die, shouldn’t it be more merciful to the parents of terri allowing them to care for her if that is what they want? After all they are the parents.

    I think this mr. schiavo is willfully scrambling his own life.

  3. Spurius Furius
    March 26th, 2005 @ 10:15 pm

    But that is what bothers me about this whole thing, Simbol. He stands to gain nothing if she dies, and has given up a 7 figure “bribe” to let the parents have her. The only rational conclusion that I can draw from this is that Terri really did tell him she did not want to be kept alive and he is respecting her wishes. Why else would he put up with all this shit? If this is the case, he is a beter person than me, if not, he is a sick twisted fuck. We’ll never know because there are probably two victims of this sad tale, Terri and the truth!

  4. jayson
    March 26th, 2005 @ 11:12 pm

    you by far are my favorite atheist.

  5. goob
    March 27th, 2005 @ 12:15 am

    Let her die, or kill her. It is a disgrace to have a human “live” like that. Her neocortex is gone, disconnected from the lizard brain, so there’s no hope for her. Cast the cost aside, this is deeper than money.

  6. joanie
    March 27th, 2005 @ 1:41 am

    Terri was awarded nearly one million dollars by a malpractice jury and an out-of-court malpractice settlement which was designated for future medical expenses. Of these funds, less than $50,000 remains today. The financial records revealing how Terri

  7. Eva
    March 27th, 2005 @ 7:12 am

    a houseplant is more alive than a vegetable…..

    joanie, you are so very nuts!!!!

  8. D'Man
    March 27th, 2005 @ 10:20 am

    “Testimony provided by members of the Schindler family included very personal statements about their desire and intention to ensure that Theresa remain alive. Throughout the course of the litigation, deposition and trial testimony by members of the Schindler family voiced the disturbing belief that they would keep Theresa alive at any and all costs. Nearly gruesome examples were given, eliciting agreement by family members that in the event Theresa should contract diabetes and subsequent gangrene in each of her limbs, they would agree to amputate each limb, and would then, were she to be diagnosed with heart disease, perform open heart surgery. There was additional, difficult testimony that appeared to establish that despite the sad and undesirable condition of Theresa, the parents still derived joy from having her alive, even if Theresa might not be at all aware of her environment given the persistent vegetative state. Within the testimony, as part of the hypotheticals presented, Schindler family members stated that even if Theresa had told them of her intention to have artificial nutrition withdrawn, they would not do it. Throughout this painful and difficult trial, the family acknowledged that Theresa was in a diagnosed persistent vegetative state.”

    http://abstractappeal.com/schiavo/WolfsonReport.pdf

    Pretty sick…..

  9. D'Man
    March 27th, 2005 @ 10:20 am

    “Testimony provided by members of the Schindler family included very personal statements about their desire and intention to ensure that Theresa remain alive. Throughout the course of the litigation, deposition and trial testimony by members of the Schindler family voiced the disturbing belief that they would keep Theresa alive at any and all costs. Nearly gruesome examples were given, eliciting agreement by family members that in the event Theresa should contract diabetes and subsequent gangrene in each of her limbs, they would agree to amputate each limb, and would then, were she to be diagnosed with heart disease, perform open heart surgery. There was additional, difficult testimony that appeared to establish that despite the sad and undesirable condition of Theresa, the parents still derived joy from having her alive, even if Theresa might not be at all aware of her environment given the persistent vegetative state. Within the testimony, as part of the hypotheticals presented, Schindler family members stated that even if Theresa had told them of her intention to have artificial nutrition withdrawn, they would not do it. Throughout this painful and difficult trial, the family acknowledged that Theresa was in a diagnosed persistent vegetative state.”

    http://abstractappeal.com/schiavo/WolfsonReport.pdf

    Pretty sick…..

  10. D'Man
    March 27th, 2005 @ 10:20 am

    “Testimony provided by members of the Schindler family included very personal statements about their desire and intention to ensure that Theresa remain alive. Throughout the course of the litigation, deposition and trial testimony by members of the Schindler family voiced the disturbing belief that they would keep Theresa alive at any and all costs. Nearly gruesome examples were given, eliciting agreement by family members that in the event Theresa should contract diabetes and subsequent gangrene in each of her limbs, they would agree to amputate each limb, and would then, were she to be diagnosed with heart disease, perform open heart surgery. There was additional, difficult testimony that appeared to establish that despite the sad and undesirable condition of Theresa, the parents still derived joy from having her alive, even if Theresa might not be at all aware of her environment given the persistent vegetative state. Within the testimony, as part of the hypotheticals presented, Schindler family members stated that even if Theresa had told them of her intention to have artificial nutrition withdrawn, they would not do it. Throughout this painful and difficult trial, the family acknowledged that Theresa was in a diagnosed persistent vegetative state.”

    http://abstractappeal.com/schiavo/WolfsonReport.pdf

    Pretty sick…..

  11. D'Man
    March 27th, 2005 @ 10:20 am

    “Testimony provided by members of the Schindler family included very personal statements about their desire and intention to ensure that Theresa remain alive. Throughout the course of the litigation, deposition and trial testimony by members of the Schindler family voiced the disturbing belief that they would keep Theresa alive at any and all costs. Nearly gruesome examples were given, eliciting agreement by family members that in the event Theresa should contract diabetes and subsequent gangrene in each of her limbs, they would agree to amputate each limb, and would then, were she to be diagnosed with heart disease, perform open heart surgery. There was additional, difficult testimony that appeared to establish that despite the sad and undesirable condition of Theresa, the parents still derived joy from having her alive, even if Theresa might not be at all aware of her environment given the persistent vegetative state. Within the testimony, as part of the hypotheticals presented, Schindler family members stated that even if Theresa had told them of her intention to have artificial nutrition withdrawn, they would not do it. Throughout this painful and difficult trial, the family acknowledged that Theresa was in a diagnosed persistent vegetative state.”

    http://abstractappeal.com/schiavo/WolfsonReport.pdf

    Pretty sick…..

  12. D'Man
    March 27th, 2005 @ 10:20 am

    “Testimony provided by members of the Schindler family included very personal statements about their desire and intention to ensure that Theresa remain alive. Throughout the course of the litigation, deposition and trial testimony by members of the Schindler family voiced the disturbing belief that they would keep Theresa alive at any and all costs. Nearly gruesome examples were given, eliciting agreement by family members that in the event Theresa should contract diabetes and subsequent gangrene in each of her limbs, they would agree to amputate each limb, and would then, were she to be diagnosed with heart disease, perform open heart surgery. There was additional, difficult testimony that appeared to establish that despite the sad and undesirable condition of Theresa, the parents still derived joy from having her alive, even if Theresa might not be at all aware of her environment given the persistent vegetative state. Within the testimony, as part of the hypotheticals presented, Schindler family members stated that even if Theresa had told them of her intention to have artificial nutrition withdrawn, they would not do it. Throughout this painful and difficult trial, the family acknowledged that Theresa was in a diagnosed persistent vegetative state.”

    http://abstractappeal.com/schiavo/WolfsonReport.pdf

    Pretty sick…..

  13. Trevor Blake
    March 27th, 2005 @ 10:56 am

    If TS has rights, they are supreme. TS requested no support. If TS is without rights, then the rights of her caretaker are supreme. Her caretaker requested no support, based on TS’ request of no support. The outcome is the same.

  14. Trevor Blake
    March 27th, 2005 @ 10:56 am

    If TS has rights, they are supreme. TS requested no support. If TS is without rights, then the rights of her caretaker are supreme. Her caretaker requested no support, based on TS’ request of no support. The outcome is the same.

  15. Strange Doctrines
    March 27th, 2005 @ 11:04 am

    “To say she should be allowed to die with dignity is to assume that she is somehow more capable of demanding dignity than a corpse.”

    Well, in fact many people behave the same way with corpses. Think of all the money spent on coffins, embalming, funeral finery and family plots.

    Anyway, in my mind, to keep her body alive is an indignity to the memory of the person she once was. The sooner her mindless body is allowed to die, the sooner her husband can confine his memories of her to a time when she had the dignity of personhood. Unless he is a very bad person, he deserves no less than that kind of peace.

  16. Dada Saves
    March 27th, 2005 @ 11:05 am

    simbol asks, “why Mr Schiavo don’t let terri’s parents to look after her?”

    Because Mr Schiavo is trying — against all odds — to honor his wife’s wishes. Terri’s parents are trying to undermine those wishes.

    “He would lose nothing. He said there is not a penny for him if terry dies and this seems to be true.”

    Get it? He’s not acting to gain anything other than to carry out his wife’s wishes.

    “Since there is not a known will, and since for terri apparently there is no difference to stay or to die, shouldn’t it be more merciful to the parents of terri allowing them to care for her if that is what they want? After all they are the parents.”

    The courts have agreed that Terri’s intentions were to end artificial life support under these circumstances. Why should her parents have the right to thwart her proven intentions? They would if Terri were a child, but she aint.

    “I think this mr. schiavo is willfully scrambling his own life.”

    Why? Maybe he’s just a good man who loved his wife and is going way, way beyond the call of duty to see to it that her decisions about her fate are carried out — now that she is helpless to do so.

  17. Viole
    March 27th, 2005 @ 11:08 am

    This is not about Terri Schiavo. Fifteen years ago, it was, but today it is nothing more than a cheap political stunt that is failing miserably. Jeb Bush has, on multiple occasions, attempted drastic solutions, beginning the the involvement of the Florida legislature in what was an entirely personal issue. Even worse is congress getting involved, writing a law that applies to one person and one person only.

    Issues like this are fueling the change of the United States of America into a fascist country. Interference of government in the lives of its citizens, disregard of the rule of law by the executive branch, and corporate control of the government are all on the rise.

    Keep your guns handy, atheists, because it looks like you’re gonna need ‘em.

  18. Erik
    March 27th, 2005 @ 11:16 am

    You’re way off on this one, RA.

    The point isn’t whether a person’s wishes are fulfilled once they die or have become unable to feel or think. The point is what you do with your life and property when you are able to feel and think, knowing that when you die or become completely disabled, your wishes will govern the disposition of your body and your property.

    If I know, for example, that all the money and property I have saved over a lifetime will pass directly to the state as opposed to the people of my choosing, I would very likely spend it all and try to lose the last cent at my last breath. Similarly, if I had no say over the disposition of my body upon death or disability, I would be tempted, if I could predict this event were coming, to off myself in defiance. Hell, if I felt that the state has decided it owns my body (leaving aside discussions of the military draft), I’d be tempted to leave.

    That’s why this Schiavo thing bugs the crap outta me. It is to me fundamentally an issue for the living and our relationship with state power.

  19. PirateRo
    March 27th, 2005 @ 11:28 am

    While I really like the idea that this fellow is a sick, twisted fuck, I’m afraid I have to disagree.

    I think he’s standing by his bride. And I think that he recognizes what goes on around him as the lunatic fringe trying to advance an agenda at his expense. Instead of being cowed by the whirlwind of idiocy, he towers over it.

    I find him to be a courageous person of firm conviction and I like to think I would measure myself in that light. It’s something that really makes the religious groups very angry, because he’s standing in their way like a boulder, highlighting their lack of morality and the cowardice of their choice of life regardless of the implications for those they affect and regardless of any choice.

    I also congradulate the courts for keeping true to their principles and while I certainly did not appreciate Congress or that moron in the White House passing unconstitutional nonsense, I acknowledge that they were cowards enough not to value their own magical sky god story above their personal and political careers. And this helps everyone identify that they are also using this tragic event to further their own political gains at the expense of the craven, uneducated and unwashed.

    Terri’s dad has found receptive voices in many areas and in greater numbers than anyone thought possible. It seems that when it comes down to it, Americans are, indeed, courageous.

    I just wish they could take that last step with equal conviction and move completely away from magical solutions. It is a with a firm reliance on basic research, engineering, math and the biological sciences organized around evolution that will carry the day in the end. Not magical sky gods.

    And in the end, either we will take that step forward with courage and conviction or we will be fodder for those other countries that do.

    Paved, America makes an ideal airport for the rest of the planet.

  20. freddy
    March 27th, 2005 @ 1:05 pm

    I think it’s fine for people to criticize the law governing this case. But, like it or not, the law was followed, which is why I think it’s disingenuous to argue that Terri’s rights were trampled. Terri’s rights were followed just as the law dictates. I haven’t seen anyone who has spoken on the pro-feeding tube side of this issue suggest what the law should be as far as who should get to decide whether a person who doesn’t have a living will is taken off life support if it shouldn’t be the spouse. The only solution I have heard is that the person should be left on life support if there is disagreement between the parents and the spouse. This essentially gives veto powers to either of the parties even if the person has expressed their wish to die if they were ever in such a state clearly to the other party, which hardly seems like a good solution. I think the most intelligent commentary on the case has been written by Dahlia Lithwick, an editor and legal expert at Slate (click here and here for the articles).

  21. David
    March 27th, 2005 @ 1:05 pm

    The RA is, unfortunately, a member of the “culture of life” that would subsume the will of a fully living Terri, as testified to by her Husband, to the voiceless non-will of the present day zombie Terri. This same perverted culture would enslave a women for nine months to the dangerous work a creating a new human because of some mystical human potential embodied in the chemical reactions of a zygote. Come on RA, free yourself from the last bonds of superstition; join the true culture of life that celebrates the active, willful, living of life by humans.

  22. DP
    March 27th, 2005 @ 5:42 pm

    To quote noted fundamentalist Ralph Nader on this matter: “The courts not only are refusing her tube feeding, but have ordered that no attempts be made to provide her water or food by mouth. Terri swallows her own saliva. Spoon feeding is not medical treatment. This outrageous order proves that the courts are not merely permitting medical treatment to be withheld, it has ordered her to be made dead.”

    TRA believes that because there is no heaven or hell, our lives are precious and should be treasured as long as possible. There’s no contradiction in that. All of us, not just Terri Schiavo, will be dead for a long, long time. Where there is any doubt whatsoever about our wishes; where there is a loved one willing to take care of us; and where, if the fact-finders are to be believed, there is no consciousness anyway — what’s the harm of erring on the side of life for a few more months or years? Especially when an eternity of death awaits no matter what.

    Michael Schiavo may well be sincere. But so are Mrs. Schiavo’s parents. The problem is a law that allows hearsay (the 26-year-old Terri clearly expressed her desire to die in these circumstances — right?) for the obvious purpose of allowing the state to terminate uneconomic lives.

    What’s next? Alzheimer’s patients? The retarded? People in wheelchairs? Maybe not tomorrow, but over time, where will it stop?

    You don’t need to believe that Terri Schiavo may someday make a miracle recovery to think that drawing a bright line that providing food and water to someone isn’t “life support”; that needing help to be fed and hydrated doesn’t qualify as a reason for extermination.

    Indeed, one would hope that you don’t need to believe in miracles at all.

  23. omni
    March 27th, 2005 @ 10:39 pm

    Viole, no offense intended, but you sound dumber every time you post.

  24. Eclectic Guru
    March 28th, 2005 @ 1:31 am

    I think Omni is afraid of Viole’s guns.

  25. Amuzisme
    March 28th, 2005 @ 2:01 am

    Bravo Atheist Joe. :-)

    I would like to add my own ramblings below (perhaps then I can finally sleep).

    Things I Just Don’t Get (by a pro-choice, pro-death penalty, pro-assisted suicide atheist)

    (Permission to cross-post far and wide in the hopes that the “right” people might see this.)

    I don’t get how everybody who isn’t Terri Schindler seems to know how she feels and what she wants. I don’t get how so many people can impose their own (likely changeable) thoughts, feelings, and will upon her.

    I don’t get why, if Ms. Schindler cannot feel the pain of starvation, it is presumed that her continued living is “painful,” and necessitates the ending of her ‘misery’ by her absentee (i.e., virtually remarried) husband (who stands to inherit a great deal of money by his disabled wife’s demise).

    I don’t get why, if the above is true (that she feels no pain, whether dying or *living*) her parents cannot keep Ms. Schindler in their care if only as the largest, most expensive houseplant, if it’s not hurting anyone and in the process helping them and perhaps giving Terri a simple (if unlikely) chance to recover (if only minutely) via the therapy her *loving* husband has refused her.

    I don’t get how studies have proven that persistent vegetative states are often misdiagnosed, and that many patients assumed by their own doctors to be ‘hopeless cases,’ eventually are correctly diagnosed as being cognizant (though not necessarily visibly so to the point that the untrained eye would recognize), yet this has not been taken into account with Ms. Schindler.

    I don’t get why those who respect Terri’s right to die do not question the veracity of those who maintain that was her wish. I don’t get why nobody has addressed the potential motives behind Mr. Schiavo’s abject insistence that his wife die. I don’t get why, if this were a husband of a woman who was not so seriously disabled (a husband who for all intents and purposes has remarried, procreated with his new common-law wife twice, and faces a potential inheritance from his original wife’s death) would more surely be suspect, yet isn’t here. I don’t get why those who are legally fighting for Ms. Schindler’s death (Mr. Schiavo, his family and lawyers) are also those who will financially benefit by its occurrence, and nobody sees this as a conflict of interest in Mr. Schiavo’s assumption of the role as Terri’s legal guardian.

    I don’t get why it was only after Ms. Schindler’s feeding tube was initially re-inserted (and her life saved from his initial attempt at liberating himself of her), that Mr. Schiavo switched to the “oh, yeah, by the way, Terri *told* me she wanted to be starved to death” tactic to rid himself of his financial and emotional burden. I don’t get why it isn’t questioned that perhaps he wants to end her life simply so he can get on with his own life with his new family.

    I don’t get why, if hearsay is not allowed in any court of law I know of, the courts are ordering this woman’s (likely) slow and torturous death on the basis of hearsay of what Ms. Schindler is alleged to have said only to Mr. Schiavo and his family/friends. I don’t get why, in this case, hearsay is somehow legally acceptable.

    I just don’t get why people blindly follow self-assigned religious, medical, and legal ‘experts’ (particularly in matters of life and death).

    I don’t get why it can take decades of appeals to enforce a death row inmate’s execution, yet Ms. Schindler has received no such legal support, and she has committed no crime.

    I don’t get why those who don’t believe in an afterlife, don’t want to give this woman the best chance she can get at this one. (See pain note above.)

    Conversely, I don’t get why the Je$u$ freaks, who are so keen on getting into Heaven, are so opposed to Ms. Schindler’s doing so. If it is because the god that some of them worship doesn’t allow murder victims into his realm, I don’t get why they choose to worship such a diety to begin with.

    But I digress…

    I don’t get why, as a culture, we go out of our way to keep the homeless, POWs, foreign children, stray animals, and others of the ilk who might suffer such fate, from starvation, yet it’s the preferred route of death for this woman who has food and water readily available, but is just not able to consume it without help.

    I don’t get why, if the court order was to remove her feeding tube (thereby preventing keeping her on artificial life support as is alleged as something she did not want), Terri isn’t even allowed to have a drink of water from a glass, which, though she may not be able to swallow, is at least a non-invasive attempt to hydrate her. I thought the court order was to remove the feeding tube, not actually outright kill the woman if she could possibly survive otherwise.

    I don’t get why “Terri told me she should wouldn’t want to be kept alive by machines,” somehow legally constitutes the specificity of exactly *which* machines she meant. In many cases the person speaking is referring to respirators that are more apt to indicate zero chance of recovery since the person cannot even breathe on their own (unlike Terri). I don’t get how many DNR protocols only cover resuscitative therapies and respiratory and cardiac care, yet it is assumed that Ms. Schindler’s alleged statement is somehow determined to refer to more than this. I don’t get why it is simply assumed (again purely through hearsay) that Terri specified that she did not want to be fed and hydrated (particularly if she assumed someone would be providing recuperative therapy for her).

    I don’t get why we humanely euthanize dogs and cats, and even serial killers, yet we advocate such a cruel and unusual punishment as starvation for someone whose only ‘crime’ was getting sick. I don’t get why, if her *loving* husband really wants her to die, he doesn’t campaign for lethal injection (heck, even suffocation via pillow over her face would be kinder; unless, of course, if she truly cannot feel pain, in which case, see houseplant point above).

    I don’t get why, if a person can be starved to death based on the hearsay of others, DNRs and living wills are even necessary. I thought that was why we had living wills. I am all for the right die, even assisted dying, as long as it is what someone truly wants. I thought we had living wills to enforce our wishes, and without them it was generally assumed we would want the best care available to us allowing the greatest chance available for recovery. I don’t get why, since Ms. Schindler did not put her desires in writing, how it is legally viable to put her to a death she likely didn’t even foresee, let alone desire. I don’t get why we just assume this is what Terri wanted (again, see hearsay and what Mr. Schiavo stands to gain points above).

    I just don’t get why, if Ms. Schindler cannot be rehabilitated in the least, she isn’t given a death as humane and peaceful as that which is facing Osama Bin Laden when he is caught.

    I don’t get why nobody has taken into account the fact that had Terry Wallis and others who have suffered from much longer-term ‘persistent vegetative states’ than Ms. Schindler, would have been considered murdered (in retrospect) had they been forbidden food and water, given that they’ve recovered. I don’t get why, if it’s possible (however unlikely) Terri could recover (as did Mr. Wallis), how killing her now doesn’t, in some way, equate murder. I don’t get why, even though the Wallis case is quite different from Ms. Schindler’s, it isn’t apparent (by their conflicting diagnoses alone) that doctors (and most certainly lawyers and clergy) are not all-knowing of what is best for a person.

    I don’t get why eight various medical professionals and six neurologists have testified that Ms. Schindler is not in a persistent vegetative state, yet she is being asked to suffer the pain of a death that most people wouldn’t wish on an animal. I don’t get why if even one doctor thinks she’s either remotely cognizant and/or capable of even a minor recovery (to the point that she is again cognizant), that the majority of people involved in the litigation do not wish to err on the side of life. (Again, see point #2 above). I also really don’t get why, if there is even the remotest possibility she can feel any pain, Ms. Schindler is not as humanely euthanized as are our most heinous serial killers.

    I don’t get why no one sees Ms. Schindler’s state as a more viable form for resuscitation via future technology than those completely biologically deceased in cryogenic chambers. I don’t get why no one can foresee a potential ‘cure’ down the road if Ms. Schindler is kept alive. (Ok, I admit I am reaching with this one .)

    I don’t get why Mr. Schiavo can’t set a date, at which time the plug finally be pulled, if every last ditch attempt at therapy fails. I don’t get how giving Terri between one-to-five years of intensive therapy, at her parents’ financial and emotional expense, could possibly hurt. I don’t get how, if she is truly dead already, waiting a little while longer (during intensive therapy) should be an issue.

    I don’t get why nobody is concerned for others in similar circumstances and what the future may hold for them. I don’t get why people don’t seem to be able to foresee where this might lead (that being the routine euthanasia of others in similar situations, including you and I after suffering a stroke and becoming a burden on our families, or even after an unsuspected murder attempt by a spouse who could then use the courts to finish the job). I don’t get why no one else sees the minimal jump from euthanizing the severely disabled to the moderately disabled, eventually to those we just aren’t comfortable having around. I just don’t get how people don’t see how easy it would be for this to happen to them.

    I don’t get why, if Mr. Schiavo really *does* still love his wife, he wouldn’t take all of the above into account and allow Ms. Schindler at least the minimal chance to live.

    Appended 3/27/05

    I finally *do* get why foreign nations hold the United States in such contempt. That we can starve to death a young woman who left no written orders to do so completely compromises the logical ‘ethics’ of abortion, euthanasia, and the death penalty. As a nation, we just seem to be fixated with killing people–even when they are innocent of any crime, and there is the remotest possibility they don’t wish to die.

    I finally *do* get that atheists and the religious right can actually be on the same page and even stand together for a cause. Atheists are oft unjustly accused of being ‘morally inferior’ to fundamental religionists. Though I never thought I’d see the day, nor am I comfortable to be in any way associated with the religious number, I finally get that when something is truly, fundamentally wrong (such as federally-mandated murder of a seriously disabled person who is guilty of no crime) the religiously deluded and freethinking logicians can actually stand together. It is a shame that once we finally agree, we, united, have no voice.

  26. Mark D. Fulwiler
    March 28th, 2005 @ 2:23 am

    Jesus Fucking H. Christ, the courts have determined, after reviewing all of the evidence, that Mrs. Schiavo would not want to be kept alive in her current condition. Her higher brain functions are gone and she has no chance of recovery. She is essentially dead already. This case is about respecting Mrs. Schiavo’s wishes. Let the woman die in peace.

  27. Viole
    March 28th, 2005 @ 10:39 am

    Oh, I’m not offended, Omni. I already think you’re a twit.

    The opinion that George W. Bush is creating a fascist country is by no means radical, or foolish, especially by the standards of most American’s who think we’re collectively blessed by god. Anyone who thinks fascism is impossible here hasn’t read up on the rise of previous fascist states.

    One characteristic of fascism is the belief that the state is more important than the individual. I don’t consider that Bush knows what he’s doing, but this whole Schiavo case is putting the interests of the state above those of the individual.

    Regardless of what you believe to be Terri’s wishes, Michael should have some say in her future. I will grant you two things; Michael stands to gain access to forty thousand dollars, all that remains of the settlement provided for Terri’s maintenance. Second, her death will allow Michael to marry the woman with who he has been living, a woman who has clearly put up with much to be with Michael.

    There is no evidence of abuse or head injury. Her condition is the result of loss of blood circulation to the brain due to a heart attack. Which can be traced to a potassium imbalance from an eating disorder. Her cerebral cortex is largely non-existent.

    With every day that has passed for the last fifteen years, her chance of recovery has gone down. There are no new treatments that can help her, and no evidence that her brain activity is any higher than originally thought. The only people who disagree is noted fanatic Terry Randall, cardiologist and Senator Dr. Frist, and a man who once had his congressman say he should get a nobel prize.

    No, Omni, I don’t think I’m stupid. Wrong, maybe, but not stupid.

  28. AK
    March 28th, 2005 @ 11:32 am

    Bush clearly is a fascist bastard.

    “there ought to be limits on freedom”

    “a dictatorship would be easier”

  29. joanie
    March 28th, 2005 @ 11:47 am

    Regarding post #7 Eva, thanks.

  30. freddy
    March 28th, 2005 @ 11:53 am

    Getting back to the original subject – I have a question to ask the pro-feeding tube people out there. It seems to me that what is behind the movement to keep Terri Shiavo on life support is the assumption that the state of life is all-good and the state of death is evil. I would call it a fetishization of life. While I think a healthy respect for life is important for a functional society, it’s not obvious to me why anyone, atheist or theist, would have those particular value judgments about life and death on a personal level. That is, as an atheist, I believe when I die, I will be no more. I will not regret the life I missed or the things I’m not doing because I’m not living, I will just not be. Of course, theists have their own beliefs about the afterlife. Anyway, my point is that either Terri Shiavo will cease to be or she will be going to Heaven (or Valhalla or what have you) when she passes. Neither of these options strikes me as “evil” or bad for Ms. Shiavo. Certainly the friends and family left behind after death will feel heartache, but I just don’t see the rationale behind the thinking that Ms. Shiavo’s death would be a terrible, horrible thing for her. I’ve attempted to get RA to detail for me the reason for his belief that human life, in all its forms (fetal state, child state, adult state, sick state) is an all-good, and why death is an all-evil, and he hasn’t done that, so if one of the other pro-tubers could tell me, I would like to know, because at the fundamental level, I feel like that is what I really don’t understand about the pro-life movement and this pro-tube movement.

  31. Tenspace
    March 28th, 2005 @ 12:12 pm

    Who has information that contradicts Michael Schiavo’s claim that Terri would not want to be kept alive in her state? She abused her body (bulimia), suffered the consequences, and now she is the new messiah for everyone whose lives are so boring that they must involve themselves in the lives of others?

    Two weeks after my wife entered a hepatic coma (caused by acetominiphen and alcoholism) I signed the DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order. I spent every day by her bed, playing her favorite songs, talking about the day’s events, and telling her how great our son’s holding out. We had discussed our wishes should something like this happen. She did not want to be kept alive artificially. The doctor suggested we wait a couple of weeks before removing the life support equipment. She started showing signs of recovery a week before we were to execute the DNR.

    After nearly three months of coma, she awoke. It was another two weeks before she knew who she was. It took another month of physical therapy before she could walk.

    Now, she’s active for three or four days, then she’s down for a week. I spend thousands of dollars a month on prescriptions, doctors, MRI’s, etc. She’ll never be the same – she takes a medicine regimen daily that would probably kill most of us. We haven’t been intimate in nearly eight years. But I still stand by her. I still honor my commitment we made the day we married. I expect Michael Schiavo is doing the same.

    So, for those who ostracize Mr. Schiavo for his stance, I ask you to put yourself in his place. His wife has no cerebral cortex – nothing but spinal fluid sits where her higher functions, those that separate her from animals, normally reside. This woman has no chance of recovery.

    Would you let your own selfish needs to prevail over the daily suffering this woman goes through? Her parents made that choice. They would rather see her body, warm and breathing, for the rest of *their* days, than accept the loss that happened thirteen years ago.

    Ask yourself what you would do if the love of your life had no brain left.

    Tenspace

  32. MBains
    March 28th, 2005 @ 2:10 pm

    Sheesh RA… Let her live. Let her die. I wouldn’t care either IF she hadn’t made the decision before the whole mess arose. It is NOT, contrary to your prejudiced Pro-Life Anti-Sanity stand on this and similar matters, her HUSBANDS decision. It is HERS.

    Until you or anyone else can provide proof to the contrary, I think the Schindlers should pay back every last dime their religious nutterdumbfuckary has cost the governments of both Florida and the US. Hhhmmm… I’d be happy to see Nutter Jeb and the Dubbya Nut pick up the bill though. LOL! Like THAT will happen!

    Bottom line: If YOU want to persist in a Vegetative State should the heinous occasopm arise, I wish you, and your Health Care Provider, no ill will. As for me: DNR! It is the Moral thing to do.

    (OK… Now to read the other comments…)

  33. leon
    March 28th, 2005 @ 2:45 pm

    Terri Shiavo’s brain scan

    http://codeblueblog.blogs.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/ct_scan_terri.png

    See the dark area in the middle? That area is dead. If you don’t see the problem then you have a problem.

  34. Matt
    March 28th, 2005 @ 4:01 pm

    All right, I read about 10 comments and am now skipping them rest to make my only point: don’t presume that the husband is telling the truth. The only witnesses to this alleged orally-stated living will is Michael Schiavo, his brother and the wife of another of his brothers. Not her parents, her friends, her siblings or other relations. Funny, too, don’t you think, that Michael never said a word about this alleged “wish” until after the medmal settlement? The guy has long been accused of abusing her, which make account for her broken bones and even her present condition. He is refusing an autopsy and says he will have her remains creamated and buried in PA, away from her family. Is he trying to cover up something? That might explain his eagerness for her to die (See the affadavits given by Terri’s former nurses). The more you learn about the husband, the more you’ll see how much this case stinks.

  35. glenstonecottage
    March 28th, 2005 @ 5:40 pm

    My perspective is a little different on this.

    I say, what the hell, Congress should make this into a true test case and ORDER the Rev. Benny Hinn, or whatever ‘thumper they choose, to go directly to Terri’s room and perform a miracle: bring Terri back to regular life as we know it.

    And if that miracle does occur, then all the atheists in USA would thenceforth be ordered by Congress to apologize to the ‘thumpers for mocking their bizarre, primitive, superstitious beliefs.

    But if the miracle does not occur, then the ‘thumpers should be ordered to apologize to us atheists for mocking our thoughtful, intelligent, principled lack of belief.

    What do you say, Joanie? Can we all agree on this?

  36. Michael C
    March 28th, 2005 @ 7:07 pm

    Viole is an idiot if he thinks we’re becoming a fascist country under the Bush Administration. He needs to read F. A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom and learn what actually gives rise to the fascist state before he continues to make a fool of himself on peoples’ blogs.

  37. Viole
    March 28th, 2005 @ 8:12 pm

    Um… Michael, I’m a she. And, unlike you, I understand that the past isn’t a guide to the future. There is no single path to fascism. Franco used popular revolution. Hitler used German law.

    It isn’t the method of its establishment which makes a government; it is the actions of said government. America is displaying the fourteen traits of fascism. If you wish to deny that, deny it. But try to do it without resorting to insults.

  38. Michael C
    March 28th, 2005 @ 9:59 pm

    “I’m a she.”

    Notwithstanding, you still don’t know what you’re talking about. I’d get a real kick out of reading your list of fascist traits the US is supposedly displaying, if you care to so amuse me.

    I’m imagining something along the lines of: A system of government marked by centralization of authority (Republicans, check) under a dictator (Bush, check), stringent socioeconomic controls (rejection of Kyoto Accord, check), suppression of the opposition through terror (Fox News, check) and censorship (Dixie Chicks, check), and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism (war in Iraq, check) and racism (war on terror, check).

    Call me when Bush or the Republican-led Congress begins nationalizing the means of production.

  39. Mark D. Fulwiler
    March 28th, 2005 @ 10:02 pm

    “The only witnesses to this alleged orally-stated living will is Michael Schiavo, his brother and the wife of another of his brothers.”

    How many fucking witnesses do you need? 500?

  40. Michael C
    March 28th, 2005 @ 10:11 pm

    Mark, how about one witness not related to the guy who profits from her death?

  41. fred evil
    March 28th, 2005 @ 11:15 pm

    Michael C – Thanks for essentially proving the point of the coming Fascist state in post #34….you don’t have to be at the bottom of the slippery slope to recognize it for what it is….Any other ‘reporters’ for hire?

    Matt – Setting aside the fact that bulemia is known to cause similar appearances in bone scans as breaks do (I can only assume you’re talking about the bone density scans at this point), plus the complete LACK of any medical records of ANY broken bones re: Terri – there has been, to my knowledge, no legal proof/accusations that Michael Schiavo laid a finger on his wife, do you have any documentation to back it up, or just more hysterical rhetoric? Oh, and Michael Schiavo IS going to have an autopsy done…

    And as for the lawyer who is insisting that Terri SPOKE…..there are scummy people in this world, but to play the Schindler’s emotions like that is beyond contemptible, even at best, Terri is in a “Minimally concious state” and there’s no chance at all she can speak in that condition either…

    On a less reactionary note, I have wondered why Michael didn’t just give in to having her kept by her parents, and let them take her….why does he care? He has a life now, with another woman, and a couple of kids, why give half a rat turd about Terri…? The only conclusion I can come to, is that he actually does love her, and wants to give her the only thing he can at this point, peace of body, since there is no mind left to rest at ease…….I certainly wouldn’t want to remain in the condition for FIFTEEN years….who would be so insistent on abusing what is at this point an empty shell? That’s beyond twisted, beyond sick, straight into the realm of paranoid-delusional….on the part of people who believe it! Come on, the chick he’s supposed to be abusing is DEAD, the heart beats, the lungs move, but the brain is GONE…she can’t even swallow on her own! Let these ignorant fools who want to give her a glass of water in, they’ll drown her!!

    Oh, and one giant F-U to the government, and all the jerks who voted for the Terri bill in congress, your turn’s coming kiddies!

  42. Mark D. Fulwiler
    March 29th, 2005 @ 12:28 am

    It’s just a lie that Michael Schiavo will make money off his wife’s death, and certainly his brother and sister-in-law have no way to directly profit from it. In any case, testimony from relatives is often admitted in court.

  43. Viole
    March 29th, 2005 @ 12:41 am

    Well, you hit seven out of fourteen. Not bad, but not a passing score. Especially considering the interesting declaration that you wish to know when the government begins to nationalize the very corporations it is beholden to. Nationalization is not a trait of fascism, but socialism. I refer you to point 9:

    Corporate Power is Protected – The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

    Nationalization is possible–so long as the industry profits the few–but it is by no means a characteristic of fascism.

    I might be wrong, and America might not be a proto-fascist state. Even if we are, there’s no reason why we can’t turn around with enough effort. It’s awfully hard to tell anything from the inside, but I can tell you that I am neither blind nor an idiot.

  44. Michael C
    March 29th, 2005 @ 1:32 am

    Nationalization is not a trait of fascism, but socialism.

    Ah, but socialism is the predecessor of fascism (from Mussolini on down), which is Hayek’s thesis; that communists, fascists and socialists were all made of the same timber and that their common enemy was those who believed in individual freedom.

    I’m still waiting to be convinced that we are living in a proto-fascist state.

  45. joanie
    March 29th, 2005 @ 8:42 am

    This is “Life On Life’s Terms”-PERIOD. Referring to #31-NO, Benny Hinn will get is so-called reward one day. And you will for sure get your proof, one day. As a former Hospice nurse, I donot think she was terminal. Medicare Hospice guidelines state that a patient has to be certified by a doc to have six months or less to live. Hello! can you say fifteen years? Why was she in a Hospice in the first place? Whatever evil intent, if any, by the husband will be known one day. It is an accounting principle. ONE DAY- every knee will bow……all evil will be reconciled. This includes ole’ Benny H., M. Shiavo (if he is guilty), and proof will be beyond a doubt that there is a God and His Son is Jesus.

  46. Viole
    March 29th, 2005 @ 8:46 am

    Don’t wait around for me to convince you. Fascism arose in Europe as a direct response to socialism. In America, current attitudes are running highly anti-labor, which makes the illusion of socialism unnecessary. Confusing socialism and fascism is just plain ignorant. I hope that book you referenced above isn’t the only one you’ve read on the subject.

  47. Hairball
    March 29th, 2005 @ 8:58 am

    I’m surprised that no one has brought up the fact the pope, who’s pretty damn close to physical death himself, has weighed in on this, calling it murder. This, coming from a man who has been supportive of all the pedophilliac priests and who supports keeping women uneducated, barefoot and pregnant(just like his peers in the Wahabist mosques), is the final straw for me.
    I propose that our vaunted military, who know where all the bars and hookers can be found, but can’t find OBL, capture this old fart, take him to Guantanamo, and tell the guards/fellow prisoners to have fun while awaiting trial for crimes against humanity. We should ask that everyone who has been molested by any christian leader(after all, the church is one) file their claims now, and award them the money seized from the Vatican. Announce that the US will not allow a new pope to be elected until every last dollar of the claims has been paid, along with a generous legal bill. Put in a good, intelligent, atheistic administrator to oversee the dismantling of the catholic church.
    It beats going after magical WMDs.
    BTW, I’m ex USAF, and very conservative on most things. But I’m tired of my wife’s friends saying that “god will find you a new job.” These are the same idiots that think Terri’s husband is a murderer.

  48. joanie
    March 29th, 2005 @ 8:58 am

    “Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

  49. Michael C
    March 29th, 2005 @ 9:09 am

    You’re hilarious, Viole. Fascism wouldn’t haven taken hold in Nazi Germany, Italy, Iraq, etc. without socialism as the precurser. But I guess some people will always refuse to see what is right in front of their face.

  50. gwen
    March 29th, 2005 @ 10:38 am

    The comment is made many times that as a PVS diagnosed patient she will feel no pain… I have to wonder then why the morphine drip?

  51. Viole
    March 29th, 2005 @ 10:44 am

    Of course Michael. That’s because it was a response to socialism. Have you not been reading what I post? I’ve said this before. I’m smart enough to realize that fascism does not require a genuine socialist movement, merely the threat of one. Not necessarily even a real threat, a perceived one will do.

    You’re clearly not interested in debate, so I don’t know why I’m bothering. I’ll just call you a twit, and ignore you from now on.

  52. DamnRight
    March 29th, 2005 @ 10:46 am

    Maybe the gov’t should be subsidizing cryogenics… these people obviously wish to be “kept alive”… are we really keeping TS “alive”… or are we simply maintaining some body functions… I remember a chicken whose head was cut off, that they kept alive for a long time by dropping food down it’s neck hole… come on, let’s all get behind the keep Ted Williams alive campaign…

  53. Michael C.
    March 29th, 2005 @ 11:00 am

    Now who’s resorting to insults, Viole? I’ve read you very clearly, but you aren’t reading me. I spent seven years reading various liberal claptrap (not unlike the link you provided above), but when confronted with a scholarly work that conflicts with your leftist worldview, you dismiss it as “ignorant,” having never read it. Why? Probably because you feel that if it was worth reading your liberal professors would have assigned it to you. You’re a sheep, Viole, and not a very bright one at that.

    Viole? Is that French?

  54. ocmpoma
    March 29th, 2005 @ 11:12 am

    gwen –

    NGS has a short story about it here: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/03/0328_050328_schiavo.html

    The last paragraph states that the morphine is to reassure her relatives who think that she is not in a PVS that she will feel no pain.

  55. joanie
    March 29th, 2005 @ 11:29 am

    Again, as a former Hospice Nurse we NEVER gave pain meds to patients to “reassure the family”. We gave pain meds because DEATH is painful.

  56. hermesten
    March 29th, 2005 @ 11:46 am

    Michael C, you sound like the kind of guy who thinks the Shrub is a “conservative.” For starters, why don’t you stop sitting around waiting to be convinced, and try some basic research into how fascism is defined, with particular attention to the Italian roots of the word, and its relationship to the corporate state.

    Now, on your wildly ignorant claims about socialism and fascism –from Wikipedia: “fascism developed in opposition to socialism and communism, although some early Fascists were themselves former Marxists. In 1923, Mussolini declared in The Doctrine of Fascism:

    … Fascism [is] the complete opposite of… Marxian Socialism, the materialist conception of the history of human civilization can be explained simply through the conflict of interests among the various social groups and by the change and development in the means and instruments of production…. ”

    Furthermore, fascism is loosely defined by certain characteristics such as: nationalism (oh yeah, it’s patriotism when we do it, nationalism when everyone else does it); the use of propaganda and censorship to suppress political opposition (like maybe lying the country into war with tall tales about WMD’s, free-speech zones, arresting people for wearing anti-Shrub t-shirts, cleansing motorcade routes of all signs of opposition, “public” meetings only with pre-selected supporters asking scripted questions, fake reporters and fake news, etc, etc, etc); and corporatism (but I guess it’s not like Shrub promotes corporate over individual interests……ha ha ha ha).

    And you think Viole is ignorant? I guess there are none so blind as those who will not see. You young-Republicans who think today’s Bible beating Bush-worshipping authoritarians represent traditional conservative values crack me up. You guys have the same breathtaking comprehension of current events demonstrated in the 30

  57. Eclectic Guru
    March 29th, 2005 @ 11:49 am

    Liberal claptrap. Liberal professors. Are you french?

    Funny funny stuff, Michael C. Nice scapegoating.

    And I was almost with you until you went that direction. I’m just glad you revealed your true colors in the end.

    How did you happen upon this book? Was it a random purchase from a book store? Did a professor suggest it to you? Are you personally familiar with the author? Did you read about it in some other publication? Did you see it on the news?

  58. hermesten
    March 29th, 2005 @ 11:56 am

    And Mr. Michael C., don’t bother to cite Hayek, I’ve read lots of the traditional conservative and libertarian literature, including The Road to Serfdom, and other Hayek works, not to mention von Mises and Rothbard (Human Action, and Man, Economy, and State, among others such as Belloc’s “The Servile State”).

  59. Eclectic Guru
    March 29th, 2005 @ 12:05 pm

    Regardless of whether the United States is on the road to Fascism or not, it is clearly on a very bad path.

    The fact that people use terms like liberal and progressive as insults is really sad to me. I think that, more than anything, speaks to the corruption of ideology that has taken place in the United States. What sad and twisted little minds we are producing thanks to political and religious propaganda.

    I will tell you this. The next person that gets in my face with reactionary anti-liberal anti-progressive anti-humanistic claptrap is going to regret it.

    I am close to my breaking point.

  60. hermesten
    March 29th, 2005 @ 12:13 pm

    Eclectic, then you’d better not read what Andrew Sullivan has to say about how the religious nutters have used this case to hijack the political system to further their theocratic agenda (not that I’m an Andrew Sullivan fan or anything, but he does seem to be part of the more rational right). That, coupled with recent news about how Bible Beating pharmacists should have the right to deprive you of legal prescription drugs that they personally don’t think you should have, and the Michigan proposal to give doctors the right to deny medical treatment to homosexuals, just might put you over.

    Anyone with any sense should be very afraid of what these religious zealots have in store for us if they are allowed to get their way.

  61. hermesten
    March 29th, 2005 @ 12:32 pm

    Also, Mr. M.C., to follow-up on the trail paved by the Eclectic Guru: where I went to college there were no “liberal” professors (or at least I never had one); no one spouted liberal claptrap (not professors OR studends); and I’m not French (though I am thinking about buying an apartment in Paris).

  62. Michael C.
    March 29th, 2005 @ 12:32 pm

    Herm, I was waiting for Viole to prove her allegation that our present government is showing traits of fascism (obviously I don’t accept the premise at face value). I guess she found the argument too difficult to make without looking like a kook, a worry with which you don’t seem to be burdened.

    Now, on your wildly ignorant claims about socialism and fascism. …don’t bother to cite Hayek, I’ve read lots of the traditional conservative and libertarian literature, including The Road to Serfdom…

    If you have, then you know Hayek argued that communism, socialism and fascism, while each considered the others to be heretics, are all closely related, competing for the same recruits and united in their penchant for totalitarian methods and opposition to individual freedoms. I think where we got off track is in the role that the central direction of economic activity has played in the rise of fascist movements, notwithstanding its opposition to organized labor. You and Viole reject this, Hayek doesn’t. I could go in to detail about this, but as someone familiar with Hayek, you already know his argument.

    I think we all agree on the definition of fascism, just not on the presence of those traits in our current government. Your claims about WMD “lies,” government suppression of dissent and comparison of me to the Hitler Youth, tell me all I need to know about your own intelligence and reasonableness.

  63. hermesten
    March 29th, 2005 @ 1:08 pm

    Mr. M.C., if you do indeed agree on the definition of fascism, but you can’t see those traits in our current government, then there would appear to be only a couple of choices to describe you: 1) you’re a Bush myrmidon; or, 2) you’re stupid, and you don’t appear to be stupid, even though you do appear to be ignorant, arrogant, and insulting. In your very first sentence of your very first post on this thread you said: “Viole is an idiot if [he] (sic) believes we’re becoming a fascist country under the Bush administration.” Personally, after such a remark, I find it amusing that you are offended by being compared, and merely in terms of cluelessness, to Hiter’s young myrmidons. It’s wonderfully amusing how all you neocon hacks start a dialogue by hurling personal insults and then recoil with indignity when those you insults respond without kissing your ass.

    This is a big big reach, based solely on your slavish Bush worship (which, admittedly, is based primarily on the thin reed of your apparent ability to “believe” in Bush and maintain for yourself the fantasy, in spite of abundant evdience to the contrary, that Bush told the truth about Iraq), but let me take a wild guess: you’re also a big supporter of the war in Iraq, and wars in general, but like those whom you apparently admire, who in their time had “priorities” other than actually fighting themselves, prefer the safety of the US to the dangerous streets of Bagdad or Kabul. –another laptop bombadier.

    The most pathetic thing about people like you is that if someone labeled as a “democrat” or a “liberal” did half the shit Bush has done, you and your buddies over at FreeRepublic would be whining about how they were destroying the country.

  64. ocmpoma
    March 29th, 2005 @ 1:09 pm

    “We gave pain meds because DEATH is painful.”
    Why? What’s a little pain to a person who is going to die shortly? What are they going to do – sue? They’re going to be dead. Pain medication is given so that others (including the doctors) can tell themselves that the patient’s death is going to be ‘painless’ and ‘peaceful’ – to make the knowledge that they are basically sitting there watching someone else die easier to bear. The meds sure ain’t for the dying, except to keep them from twitching involuntarily, perhaps. But we could just strap them down for that, couldn’t we? No, pain meds are for everybody but a dying person.

  65. Michael C.
    March 29th, 2005 @ 1:29 pm

    Herm, you’re right about my first comment. I regret making it. Point well taken.

    But I don’t believe I’ve discussed Bush at all, have I? So I don’t know where you come up with my “slavish Bush worship”. He certainly hasn’t been conservative in his economic policies and I probably wouldn’t have voted for him in the last election had there been a viable alternative. I do, however, support our efforts in Iraq and the broader war on terror. If you want to debate that I would be happy to, and without the vitriol this time.

    As for my “priorities” during times of war, I’m a veteran of the first Gulf War, having enlisted in the Army (11B) after high school.

  66. hermesten
    March 29th, 2005 @ 2:10 pm

    Mr. MC, of course, on here, anyone can claim to be anything or anybody, but given how you have stated your service, I have no reason not to believe you, and I apologize for anything derogatory, stated or implied, by my laptop bombadier remarks.

    As to the “slavish Bush” worship and similar remarks –they were, as I said, a big big reach, based on a very slender reed (and read), and I accept that in so reaching I am in error. Given where I’ve lived and where I’ve worked, I don’t know that I’ve ever met a real live liberal (or at least anyone admitting to be one), and many of the people I know who seem to share your views worship Bush, by which I mean, for the most part, that they are less concerned with principle than they are with tribe. In other words, the very same thing they would condemn in the leader of another tribe they accept from the leader of their own tribe. So when I cite things like Bush lying about WMD in Iraq, for which there is an abundance of evidence, and a person responds by saying I’m a kook, I’m inclined to think that such a person is motivated more by dogma or identification with the tribe, than by principle or reason.

    For the record, though I don’t subsrcibe to any particular dogma, and completely reject the phony left-right paradigm, I am probably closer in orientation to “libertarian” than any other political label. And I am particularly befuddled by people who read people like Hayek and yet sound, at least superficially, like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, or the even more execrable Ann Coulter. This is why I suggested the writing of people like Paul Craig Roberts and Lew Rockwell.

  67. Frank
    March 29th, 2005 @ 2:34 pm

    I also highly recommend Lew Rockwell. I stop by http://www.lewrockwell.com every day (on my way to lock horns with the atheists at RA).

  68. Sharona
    March 29th, 2005 @ 3:11 pm

    I think Molly Ivans has some good comments about this issue:

    http://www.freepress.org/columns/display/1/2005/1097

    Basically, the rule of law has prevailed. Let’s stop making a fucking spectacle of the thing.

  69. ocmpoma
    March 29th, 2005 @ 3:26 pm

    And by the way, anyone have something besides empty assertions that there is a morphine drip? No? Thought not.
    ‘Cause I’ve got an empty assertion here that there isn’t one.

  70. simbol
    March 29th, 2005 @ 4:48 pm

    From ANATOMY OF FACISM by Robert Paxton:

    …”Facism exists at the level of Stage One within all democratic countries-not excluding the United Sates. “Giving up free institutions”, especially the freedoms of unpopular groups, is recurrently attractive to citizens of Western democracies, including some Americans. We know from tracing its path that fascism does not require a spectacular “march” on some capital to take root; seemingly anodyne decisions to tolerate lawless treatment of national “enemies” is enough. Sometimes very close to classical fascism has reached Stage Two in a few deeply troubled societies. Its further progress is not inevitable, however. Further fascist advances toward power depend in part upon the severity of a crisis, but also very largely upon human choices, especially he choices of those holding, economic, social and political power. Determining the appropriate response to facist gains is not easy, since its cycle is no likely to repeat itself blindly. We stand a much better chance of responding wisely, however, if we understand how facism succeeded in the past”

    I believe that mature facist and comunist states difers only but deeply, in two aspects:
    comunists are not racists. Facists are.
    facists respect private property but under strong state control of the economy. You Know what communists do (exclude china).

    For the rest I don’t see big diferences.

    Don’t forget that at the begining, italian and german facists were socialists.

  71. hermesten
    March 29th, 2005 @ 5:35 pm

    Simbol, I sort of both agree and disagree with you about differences between fascism and communism. I disagree on the details, for instance that fascists are necessarily racists, or that fascists necessarily respect private property, but I think arguing about the differences that do exist is like arguing about whether it’s better to be blind or deaf. What I’m talking about when I use the term fascism is a form of authoritarianism. The particular form of authoritarianism that is developing in the United States has more in common with fascism than it does with communism, and Americans who are inclined to support authoritarianism are largely comfortable with fascism (though they object to the term because of its historical association with Hitler). If there was another term besides fascism that better communicated the direction we’re headed, or the developing position of the individual with respect to the State, I’d use it.

    I’m more concerned about how State power affects my life than I am about the academic distinctions between one manisfestation of State power and another. Andrew Sullivan, no “liberal” or “lefty,” makes some pretty good points about how this particular situation is being used by people, such as Bennett, et al, who want to aquire State power to further a larger political and religious agenda at the expense of all of us.

  72. simbol
    March 29th, 2005 @ 6:47 pm

    Hermesten.

    Don’t worry about disagreements over definition of facism. Facism is quite difficult to define. That’s why the term is no longer a useful noun but a gun for smearing political enemies from the right or fom the left.

    A good way to grasp the term is reading Umberto Eco’s FIVE MORAL PIECES, where Eco explains what he calls Ur-facism and why is so difficult to define facism.

    But beyond theory, ideology or definitions, stand the FACTS.

    And the facts are that facism and comunism share:

    mass murder, mass deportation, political cleansing (racial and political cleansing in facism),imperial expansionism, concentration camps, torture,cult of personality, no free press, puppet unions, only one party, cowed populations, hindered economies, controled culture, and a long etcetera that you can summarise as Social Engineering.

    I’m no american, so I cannot be as aware as you are over the american political landscape. So, in that matter I respect your opinion but may be I can give you some consolation telling you that, according to R.Paxton,some traits of facism are present in all western democratic societies and that it seems to be ineluctable in a free political climate. It’s like HIV. Those who have it must pray no to develop AIDS. In this case, “to pray” is to figth the facist temptation.

  73. joanie
    March 29th, 2005 @ 8:28 pm
  74. Casey
    March 30th, 2005 @ 2:07 am

    As of a day ago, there was no morphine drip. There were two administrations of lowest dose morphine suppositories for what the nursing staff perceived as possible expressions of discomfort, and those expressions disappeared. This is per Schiavo’s lawyer who comes out once in a while to clear up some rumors, and who generally speaks humbly and intelligently. Too often I see especially Fox talkers continue to repeat very old and always bizarre rumors about the Schiavos and their supporters. It’s as though they deliberately hold their ears when Schiavo and his lawyer speak.

    About this blog: there are lots of bright people here, but I wonder why. The RA apparently does not respond to his readers, and his positions are of a kind of “atheism” I find dubious. Much of the power the gullible are willing to hand over to their idea of god is simply, in RA’s hands, greedily stuffed secretly in all his pockets and probably under his bed. Who, after all, but a power tripper wants to tell a woman what to do with her body? (Yeah, RA’s anti-abortion.) And here we have Terri Schiavo (a woman) to whom RA thinks we should extend the benefit of a doubt – by keeping her “alive”, as though by patronizing her in this way we shower her with blessings and a chance at a life better than the one she’s “living”. If there is indeed a benefit to be given, it is NOT to doubt that she told her husband and others she would not want to “live” as she’s been “living”. It should not be difficult to extend this benefit of a doubt, since it has been adjudicated endlessly for seven years now, and has been judged to be true.

    I wonder how many of the thousands of living wills being written now specify that the writers would not mind a life like Terri Schiavo’s. Bet not many. I wonder if the RA, himself, would want that kind of life. Guess what? We will never know, because we are all schmucks and he is, um, god.

  75. sillygoosesuzy
    March 30th, 2005 @ 4:33 am

    Hey yall…. GET A LIFE!!!
    QUOTE:
    “Eva said:
    a houseplant is more alive than a vegetable…..

    joanie, you are so very nuts!!!!

    EVA- GET A JOB!!!!!

  76. Michael C
    March 30th, 2005 @ 11:18 am

    Well said, Simbol.

  77. Rip
    March 31st, 2005 @ 9:58 am

    Strange argument. Even if Terri wasn’t brain-dead, what sort of a life is it to be locked inside a useless body? What do we do in the future, when it becomes feasible to maintain people long-since brain dead and past 100 on life support? “No, sorry Mr Smith, we can’t admit your daughter to hospital for another 200 years – all our beds are occupied by human husks with tubes stuck in them.” There is always an economic argument for sensible allocation of resources, both for and within health care.

    Since Terri is brain dead, can’t therefore be regarded (rationally, that is) as operatively “human”, and it has been determined that her body should be allowed to die, it seems little short of macabre, not to say disrespectful of the memory of her as human, to withhold a fatal dose of nembutol. But I can sort of understand that in a nation addicted to the death penalty, there is a taint attached to lethal injections that makes the “pro-life” lobby a little squirmy in the tummy. O, and what was that about Terri’s express wishes?

  78. hermesten
    March 31st, 2005 @ 11:08 am

    “I can sort of understand that in a nation addicted to the death penalty, there is a taint attached to lethal injections that makes the “pro-life” lobby a little squirmy in the tummy.”

    That may be a part of it, but I think it’s also a matter of control –most specifically, preventing the individual from having control over his own life. When you execute someone on death row, you’re denying them control. This is a special case, so the match is a little rough, but when you allow assisted suicide you’re allowing the individual to have control –the ulimtate control– in deciding when and how they will die. The “pro-life” lobby is primarily religious, and religion is man’s biggest control system, so the “pro-life” lobby is more of a pro-control lobby; they don’t have any problem with killing in general –say, bombing women and children in foreign countries.

  79. joanie
    March 31st, 2005 @ 4:40 pm

    I wonder why Terri was in a Hospice to begin with. She was not terminal. There are many people in nursing homes who have feeding tubes, and they are not terminal. I guess they are next. But then again they generate the almighty dollar. Nursing homes have very little overhead because usually there is one nurse to 100 or so patients. I am guessing Terri’s fate was in part about the almighty dollar as well. From what I have read, there was little money left to take care of her.

  80. julie
    March 31st, 2005 @ 10:37 pm

    joanie said:I wonder why Terri was in a Hospice to begin with.She was not terminal. There are many people in nursing homes who have feeding tubes, and they are not terminal.

    We’re ALL terminal. Some are just closer to the end of life than others. Wonder if TS had renal failure after years of an eating disorder, not to mention the past 13 days without food or water? Who knows when THAT would have become an issue if she were still being fed. Wonder if they would have fought as hard to put her on dialysis as to reinsert the tube. Hopefully because of the national attention, more people will participate in advance care planning. 50% of patients are incapable of participating in end-of-life decisions when the time comes and less than 15% of hospitalized patients survive CPR and return to previous functional levels.

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