Monday, May 30, 2005

People Try to Read too Much into too Many Things

Some folks have too much time on their hands. There is no basis for the Georger Bush-Annikin Skyewalker analogies floationg around, but float they do like the biggest chunks in the septic tank. So far I like the comments of both Michael Graham and both The Cassandra Page weigh in. Here is Michael's in its entirety:

Osama bin Laden, Jedi Master

As an unapologetic Star Wars geek, I have a message for my fellow conservatives who refuse to see Episode III: Revenge of the Sith because they’re bothered by George Lucas’ politics:

If you think his politics are offensive, wait until you see his writing and directing.

The only reason Episode III is getting good reviews is because it’s being compared to Lucas’ horrific work in episodes one and two. I’ve seen porn movies with more realistic dialogue than you’ll find in Mr. Lucas’ films, and which generally made more sense.

So if you’re looking for a reason to skip Revenge of the Sith, there are plenty of them — Hayden Christensen’s acting is a great one — but don’t make the mistake of taking the “politics” of the movie seriously. It’s not worth it.

Yes, there are liberals out there who see reflections of the Bush administration’s foreign policy in the Star Wars saga. At the art house grand opening I attended, the left-leaning audience murmured approvingly when Natalie Portman’s character intoned, “This is how liberty dies: with thundering applause.” And yes, I’ve seen the ad urging that we save the Republic from the Revenge of the Frist.

But it’s all nonsense. The politics of Star Wars simply don’t fit the politics of the War on Terror, unless you’re really, really stupid.

And speaking of George Lucas …

When asked directly about the “Darth W” comparisons, Mr. Lucas was honest enough to point out that he wrote the original nine-part Star Wars saga during the Vietnam era. “When I wrote it [Sith], Iraq didn’t exist,” Lucas said.

But then he went on to connect the dots himself, warning that “throughout history, leaders have used threats from outside as a means of wresting greater control over their country, dimming democracy … I hope that situation never arises in our country. Maybe the film will awaken people to this danger.”

Mr. Lucas added: “The parallels between what we did in Vietnam and what we’re doing in Iraq now are unbelievable.”

They’re not just unbelievable, George. They’re total fantasy.

To make the Iraq equals Vietnam mathematics work (note that Lucas, like liberals everywhere, always leaves out Afghanistan), you have to believe that we’ve lost the war in Iraq; that the elections never happened and the Sunnis haven’t decided to join the political process; and that Iraq will be less free in the future than it was under Saddam Hussein.

Does anyone believe that, even in Hollywood?

Then there’s the idea that the Evil Empire of Emperor Palpatine represents the Evil America of George W. Bush. To make this parallel work, you have to believe that somebody inside the American government is, a la Darth Sidious, secretly conducting a fictitious war against his own country as an excuse to expand the government’s power.

This only makes sense if you believe that 9/11 was government-invented fiction, that there is no terrorist threat and never has been. Is anyone irrational enough to believe that?

OK, OK. Other than Michael Moore, does anyone believe it?

Sure, Anakin echoes the Bush doctrine when he tells Obi-Wan, “If you’re not with me, you’re my enemy,” but in the case of al Qaeda, there really IS an enemy. If you don’t believe me (or George W), ask the thousands of people injured in the first World Trade Center bombing or the subsequent bombings of our embassies, war ships and barracks before Sept. 11, 2001.

I suppose it’s possible to believe that all these attacks were orchestrated by the CIA or the Mossad. Hey, if you can believe Ewan McGregor is going to age into Alec Guinness before Luke Skywalker turns 20, it’s possible to believe just about anything.

And by the way, if the Bush haters are right and W is Darth, doesn’t that make al Qaeda the Jedi? And so Luke Skywalker is … Osama bin Laden?

This is the revealing point of the whole Star Wars/Bush wars worldview: To be a George Lucas liberal means believing that all violence is equal. A hundred thousand imperial storm troopers take over the Republic and end democracy; a hundred thousand American soldiers topple a dictator and bring democracy — whatever. To the enlightened Hollywood Left, it’s all the same.

The fact that America’s military actions in Iraq brought an end to the violent, brutal, terror-fostering regime of Saddam Hussein is irrelevant. America is powerful. America uses force. America is the Evil Empire. Period.

Murder, slaughter, self-defense, democratic revolution — really, once the bullets start to fly (or the blasters start firing, if you prefer), what’s the difference, right? Darth is W is Hitler is Churchill is FDR. The only difference among Iraq or Normandy Beach or Cornwallis’ surrender at Yorktown is the color of the uniforms.

That is, if you believe the politics of Episode III. If you cheered when Obi-Wan assured us that, “Only the Sith think in absolutes.”

I prefer the politics of the original Star Wars, when idealistic young friends risked death to do the right thing, and the murderous Darth Vader was merely “a master of evil.”

In that world, as in the real one, there are some actions that are absolutely good and absolutely evil, and you don’t need George Lucas to tell the difference. Even if he could.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Dear Kos, The Word is, "Context"

The fine people at the Daily Kos (I refuse to link to them) are extatic. The FBI supposedly supports Newsweek's account of events at Guantanamo. If you look at what they are citing you find they they apparently slept through the class about context.Michelle Malkin: GUANTANAMO BAY: THE REST OF THE STORY points out that what Kos et al are claiming as vendication for Newsweek are nothing more than what the detainees were claiming.
This brings up a point about context. Pne of the things that my exegesis professor, the late Dr. Robert Lyon used to pound into our thick heads was three letters, C.I.E.: Context Is Everything. You can't just lift out the words that suit you and divorce them from the context in which they were said/written. If I say something like, "If you were to say to me, 'It was God who dictated the mass murderer's actions', then I would have to say I don't believe in God." you cannot report, "J Rob doesn't believe in God" because that is not what I said.
The second problem with the folk at Kos is that they are subscribing to the same fallacy they would deride a fundamentalist Christian for. Namely the idea that reporting/portrayal is the same thing as endorsement/advocacy. Again, context is everything. The report they cite does nothing more or less than report what some detainees have claimed. It does not substantiate the claims at all.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

I Think This Speaks for Itself

In Leaving the left / I can no longer abide the simpering voices of self-styled progressives -- people who once championed solidarity Keith Thompson describes the same processes that I went through though I went through the same during the 80's (obviously events in Iraq and Afghanistan weren't factors for me). It is a great read.
Thanks to Sister Toldja

Sure Newsweek was Reckless, but...

Cao makes an excellant point in Cao’s Blog � Newsweek. Not to absolve Newsweek because they were reckless in their reporting of things at Gitmo. One thing we must always bear in mind is that we are at war with a group that looks for an excuse to kill, even if they have to fabricate it.
Speaking of fabrications, one of the commenters to Cao's piece there has been a claime that the information about the Koran abuse came from the International Red Cross. The commenter said that they could find nothing about it on their website. I am currently checking the site so see if there is something hiding somewhere. I agree with the commenter that if they were the source of the information there would be something on the site. I did however, find out something interesting. If you Google search to references of ICRC allegations of Koran abuse at Guantanamo you get a tone of links...none of them to to the ICRC's site in the first six pages (that is far as I got). I did find links to Daily Kos and Smirking Chimp and other moonbats along with CNN and Reuters, but not to ICRC. One would think that they would have it prominently featured somewhere. Of course there was also no mention of the Muslim desecration of the Church of the Nativity.

Friday, May 20, 2005

A Great Idea for Interreligious and Ideological Dialogue

BlogsforTerri has a great post regarding dialogue with those of a differing point of view. We have all seen cases where discourse turned ugly. Here is the "Dialogue Decalogue" by Leonard Swidler:

FIRST COMMANDMENT: The primary purpose of dialogue is to learn, that is, to change and grow in the perception and understanding of reality, and then to act accordingly. Minimally, the very fact that I learn that my dialogue partner believes "this" rather than "that" proportionally changes my attitude toward her; and a change in my attitude is a significant change in me. We enter into dialogue so that we can learn, change, and grow, not so we can force change on the other, as one hopes to do in debate--a hope realized in inverse proportion to the frequency and ferocity with which debate is entered into. On the other hand, because in dialogue each partner comes with the intention of learning and changing herself, one's partner in fact will also change. Thus the goal of debate, and much more, is accomplished far more effectively by dialogue.

SECOND COMMANDMENT: Interreligious, interideological dialogue must be a two-sided project--within each religious or ideological community and between religious or ideological communities. Because of the "corporate" nature of interreligious dialogue, and since the primary goal of dialogue is that each partner learn and change himself, it is also necessary that each participant enter into dialogue not only with his partner across the faith line--the Lutheran with the Anglican, for example--but also with his coreligionists, with his fellow Lutherans, to share with them the fruits of the interreligious dialogue. Only thus can the whole community eventually learn and change, moving toward an ever more perceptive insight into reality.

THIRD COMMANDMENT: Each participant must come to the dialogue with complete honesty and sincerity. It should be made clear in what direction the major and minor thrusts of the tradition move, what the future shifts might be, and, if necessary, where the participant has difficulties with her own tradition. No false fronts have any place in dialogue.

Conversely--each participant must assume a similar complete honesty and sincerity in the other partners. Not only will the absence of sincerity prevent dialogue from happening, but the absence of the assumption of the partner's sincerity will do so as well. In brief: no trust, no dialogue.

FOURTH COMMANDMENT: In interreligious, interideological dialogue we must not compare our ideals with our partner's practice, but rather our ideals with our partner's ideals, our practice with our partner's practice.

FIFTH COMMANDMENT: Each participant must define himself. Only the Jew, for example, can define what it means to be a Jew. The rest can only describe what it looks like from the outside. Moreover, because dialogue is a dynamic medium, as each participant learns, he will change and hence continually deepen, expand, and modify his self-definition as a Jew--being careful to remain in constant dialogue with fellow Jews. Thus it is mandatory that each dialogue partner define what it means to be an authentic member of his own tradition.

Conversely--the one interpreted must be able to recognize herself in the interpretation. This is the golden rule of interreligious hermeneutics, as has been often reiterated by the "apostle of interreligious dialogue," Raimundo Panikkar. For the sake of understanding, each dialogue participant will naturally attempt to express for herself what she thinks is the meaning of the partner's statement; the partner must be able to recognize herself in that expression. The advocate of "a world theology," Wilfred Cantwell Smith, would add that the expression must also be verifiable by critical observers who are not involved.

SIXTH COMMANDMENT: Each participant must come to the dialogue with no hard-and-fast assumptions as to where the points of disagreement are. Rather, each partner should not only listen to the other partner with openness and sympathy but also attempt to agree with the dialogue partner as far as is possible while still maintaining integrity with his own tradition; where he absolutely can agree no further without violating his own integrity, precisely there is the real point of disagreement--which most often turns out to be different from the point of disagreement that was falsely assumed ahead of time.

SEVENTH COMMANDMENT: Dialogue can take place only between equals, or par cum pari as the Second Vatican Council[1] put it. Both must come to learn from each other. Therefore, if, for example, the Muslim views Hinduism as inferior, or if the Hindu views Islam as inferior, there will be no dialogue. If authentic interreligious, interideological dialogue between Muslims and Hindus is to occur, then both the Muslim and the Hindu must come mainly to learn from each other; only then will it be "equal with equal," par cum pari. This rule also indicates that there can be no such thing as a one-way dialogue. For example, Jewish-Christian discussions begun in the 1960s were mainly only prolegomena to inter- religious dialogue. Understandably and properly, the Jews came to these exchanges only to teach Christians, although the Christians came mainly to learn. But, if authentic interreligious dialogue between Christians and Jews is to occur, then the Jews must also come mainly to learn; only then will it too be par cum pari.

EIGHTH COMMANDMENT: Dialogue can take place only on the basis of mutual trust. Although interreligious, interideological dialogue must occur with some kind of "corporate" dimension, that is, the participants must be involved as members of a religious or ideological community--for instance, as Marxists or Taoists--it is also fundamentally true that it is only persons who can enter into dialogue. But a dialogue among persons can be built only on personal trust. Hence it is wise not to tackle the most difficult problems in the beginning, but rather to approach first those issues most likely to provide some common ground, thereby establishing the basis of human trust. Then, gradually, as this personal trust deepens and expands, the more thorny matters can be undertaken. Thus, as in learning we move from the known to the unknown, so in dialogue we proceed from commonly held matters--which, given our mutual ignorance resulting from centuries of hostility, will take us quite some time to discover fully--to discuss matters of disagreement.

NINTH COMMANDMENT: Persons entering into interreligious, interideological dialogue must be at least minimally self-critical of both themselves and their own religious or ideological traditions. A lack of such self-criticism implies that one's own tradition already has all the correct answers. Such an attitude makes dialogue not only unnecessary, but even impossible, since we enter into dialogue primarily so we can learn--which obviously is impossible if our tradition has never made a misstep, if it has all the right answers. To be sure, in interreligious, interideological dialogue one must stand within a religious or ideological tradition with integrity and conviction, but such integrity and conviction must include, not exclude, a healthy self-criticism. Without it there can be no dialogue--and, indeed, no integrity.

TENTH COMMANDMENT: Each participant eventually must attempt to experience the partner's religion or ideology "from within"; for a religion or ideology is not merely something of the head, but also of the spirit, heart, and "whole being," individual and communal. John Dunne here speaks of "passing over" into another's religious or ideological experience and then coming back enlightened, broadened, and deepened. As Raimundo Panikkar notes, "To know what a religion says, we must understand what it says, but for this we must somehow believe in what it says": for example, "A Christian will never fully understand Hinduism if he is not, in one way or another, converted to Hinduism. Nor will a Hindu ever fully understand Christianity unless he, in one way or another, becomes Christian."

Feed back?

More "Genuine Native American Art"

The faux not really Ward Churchill Yeah, I know it is redundant) who posts at Huffington's Toast has outdone himself with Huffington’s Toast � Am I an Indian? Ute be Surprised. I found this thanks to Michelle Malkin

Thursday, May 19, 2005

You Do not Get This in the Large Multiplexes

I have never done anything like this. I went to the midnight showing of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. Now I was not going to Columbia to see it at that hour. I would not have gotten home til after 3:00 AM. As it turns out I would have also spent at least 50% more (assuming I got the tickets at face value). It turned out the mom-and-pop theatre around the corner from my house was showing it and was only charging their usual admission price of five bucks a pop. Some of my son's friends at church had paid scalpers $15 a head to go to Columbia to see it. They missed out on the fun. Now the Little Theatre was built in the early-mid Twentieth Century. The interior can best be described as on-the-cheap art deco. It is currenbtly owned by a couple in thier mid-40's. It is a nice, quaint family friendly place that shows first-run movies at a good price. Keep your multiplexes. I wish more movie houses were like this. You get intangibles here you don't get there. First of all, nobody had to settle for a bad seat, I don't think there were fifty people in the place. Then came the other nice little "small town" touches. After the trailers started they stopped the projector twice to get the sound right. They announced this by yelling the announcement from the projection booth (I love this place). The trailers were for Stealth,Batman Begins and The Fantastic Four (the two latter are the ones I'm most interested in). But once it started, the movie came off without a hitch. Just a nice, cozy little "crowd"
As to the movie itself, I thought it was the best of the three "prequels" and second best of the six. That is all I am going to say about it right now (mainly I am too lazy to write a spoiler warning. For now I will leave you with these words from that classic parody, Hardware Wars, "You'll laugh! You'll cry! You'll kiss three bucks good bye![yeah, I know it's much more than that now]"

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Why Newsweek's Half-Hearted Apology is not Enough

Michelle Malkin has an excellant piece in Jewish World Review about the disservice that "our" news media is doing to our servicepeople in the war zone. She also has been keeping up with it on her own site

When you think about it, why was the alleged desecration of a Quran even news? Oh, I am aware of Newsweek's claime that is important for people to understand what is going on, the good the bad and the ugly. I agree. What leaves me scratching my head is their lack of consistancy. Anybody remember how Palestinian Muslims desecrated the Church of the Nativity a few years back? If you do remember you did not read about it in the pages of Newsweek. Now, I have heard this on my local radio station and have not been able to coroborate it, but it has been alleged that Newsweek did NOT run the retraction in their Arabic edition. Anybody shed any light on this?

Don't Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out

Occasionally when checking the referring sites from SiteMeter I come across a referral from (I intentionally did not link this) I discovered it it linked to a rather odious blog titled "Terri Schiavo's Blog". This site was perpetrated by by a thanatocrat with a sense of humor more sick than your average thanatocrat's. Up until Teri's death this poltroon's posts were, "mnnnghhh". Then after she died the post was, "Hey things are great up here, why did yu take so long to let me go". He even has the Blogs for Teri blogroll on it.
Well, as of the 16th, the owner of this abomination is calling it quits. As part of his farewell address he said this:
I'm glad there are people like you out there who have the ability to recognize a joke when they see one and laugh at it without shame. People who believe that if there is a God, he probably doesn't care that much if they laugh at someone else's misfortune once in a while. I'm not saying you should go out and make a habit of laughing at cripples and retards,[emphasis added] but if you slip up every now and then, you probably won't go to hell for it.

This drivel is brought to us by one Jacob Young of Montreal, Canada. Unfortunately his "Outbursts" blog doesn't seem to be going anywhere soon (fortunately he only seems to post once a month on the thing). I guess he has found some more wholesome ways of entertaining pulling the wings off flies. Well Jacob, don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Monday, May 16, 2005

While This is not really News... is about time somebody put this message out to be read.MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy � Blog Archive � “The Jewish Canary” does just that. More on this later, but in the meantime follow the above link then follow the link you find there.

Tell That to the Families of Those Killed

Newsweek apologizes for story on Quran is an event that never should have had to happen. Fifteen deaths can be laid at their door because they had a great story from a "previously reliable source". I see that Newsweek staffers were trained at the New York Times School of Fact Checking

Sunday, May 15, 2005

I Didn't Think He Could Sink any Lower

I guess Senate Majority Sleazer, Harry Reid thought This would slip beneath the radar. I am of course talking about his little smear tactic of referring to judicial nominees' confidential FBI files. Files he is not supposed to have access to in the first place! The worst part is he is not even making specific charges, he is doing nothing more or less than smearing by vague innuendo. Senator McCarthy lives! acording to Captain Ed,

"Worse than that, he has now floated a non-specific charge of malfeasance against Henry Saad against which Saad cannot defend. Saad himself cannot review his file, which contains anything anyone ever said about him to the FBI during his background check, regardless of whether it was true or not. Even those few Republicans who have defended judicial nominees against Reid's normal smears of "extremism" cannot offer defenses based on the FBI file, because to do so would be to break the same security clearance regulations Reid did in making this statement."
Aldaynet - Chairman of the Republican Attack Squad reminds us, "Senate rules state that only members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senators from the nominees home state are allowed to see this FBI memo".
I get the feeling that maybe Reid thought he might get a pass on this because people might attribute it to his being the buffoon that he is. Sadly, his buffoonery is detrimental to the well-being of deliberative process. Reid is interested in nothing more or less than scoring chesp political points with the buffoon voting block of this country. The ones who are impressed by this type of political thuggery.
I agree with Aldaynet that Powerline said it best, "But it can't be a good thing for a party to be led by men who have so little judgment or self-control. We said not long ago that Howard Dean is a ticking time-bomb for the Democrats. It looks now as though Harry Reid is in the same category."

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Unethical Conduct by Harry Reid. What Else is New?

While I have not had much use for the New york Post since their dismissal of Dawn Eden, I have to admit that DEMOCRATIC SLEAZE FESTrightly points out that Harry Reid should be up before the Senate Ethics Committee for publicly discussing a confidential FBI report he was not even supposed to have access to in the first place. The only ones with access to those reports are members of the judiciary committee and the senators from the home state of the nominee. Reid is neither on the judiciary committee nor from the home state of the nominee in question. Somebody has some explaining to do.

What Better Way to Expose Arianna for the Twit She Is

What a Wonderful Week! is found on what has to be the best parody blog I have seen in some time. Huffington's Toast skewers, of course Huffington Post. Who, by the way had a tag line like my original, "Serving conservative opinions since...well, a few days ago". Now when I did that I was taking a minor dig at those who herald themselves by how long they have been at it. Somebody needs to tell Ari that putting that up with a straight face in your first week just makes you sound pretentious. Then again that has never stopped Arianna. That is why I love this site. It parodies her elitist attitude perfectly, not to mention the blog's style (which looks more like an aggregator than a blog).
Now, some of Ari's apologists will whine that Huffington's Toast current has the comments disabled. Interesting criticism from defenders of a blog with no comments...not even a trackback.
Check out Huffington's Toast. You'll be glad you did.(Hey, Arianna! I can turn a cliche too)

Friday, May 13, 2005

Conyers and Lampley: Arrogant Stupidity in Action

Jackson's Junction: Ohio: Conyers' Questions & Lampley's Ignorance is a great read that I was direct to as I was reading Michelle Malkin. As I was reading I could only think that these two (Conyers and Lampley) are either willfully ignorant or just plain stupid. I cannot vote for Conyers, just help expose him as the moron he is. Jim Lampley...well my dislike for him goes back to the 70's when he was calling college football games for ABC. He was an annoying twit. I began to actively dislike him in 1984 when south Carolina was having its best season ever. The Gamecocks appeared headed to the Orange Bowl...then they lost to Navy. Before that game Lampley and the equally odious and annoying Beano Cook announced that the Orange Bowl had an under-the-table agreement with USC (the real one that predates the pretender on the left coast) that they would get the bid even if they lost to Navy. Well, the 'Cocks went to the Gator much for Jim Lampley's competence. He made that crap up and he knew it.
I see he is still making stuff up as he goes along.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

"He's not a young man. I hope he doesn't end up having a heart attack over this"

Acquaintances Suspect 'a Big Honest Mistake' , says the WaPo headline about "Jim" Schaeffer. Schaeffer flew over the restricted airspace that is the District of Columbia and was almost shot down..
Now I can appreciate that he is most likely the good guy his friends and neighbors say he is., But the no flying over DC is not a secret. And I am fairly sure most people would not confuse the area around the nation's capitol with North Carolina (his destination).My headline is a quote taken from the story. I wonder if he realizes that for a few minutes that a heart attack was the least of his worries

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Mortimer Snerd and the NEA

When I was a kid I used to love to see Edgar Bergan work. True he was on the last years of his life but he was hilarious. Charlie McCarthy and Effie Klinker were good but I always rather liked Mortimer Snerd. Mort has to be one of my favorite vent dolls. I remember one particular routine where mortimer was singing in that famous idiot voice, "Dum, dum, da dee dumm..." Then he would say, "They sure don't like lyrics like that anymore." The joke, of course, is that they never did. Which brings me to the NEA.
The current SC Superintendant of Education, Inez Tannenbaum, is the NEA's Mortimer Snerd. She sits on the lap saying what the NEA wants her to say."We are making progress", "We are improving" and "Give us more money". And if anybody points out that we are still # 50 we hear from Mortimer errrr...Inez, "How dare you criticize our children and teachers." Just like Mortimer's, "They don't write lyrics like that anymore" Sorry, Inez. It was funny when Mortimer did it but not in this case.
Speaking of Mortimer Snerd, this brings us to
Lawrence O'Donnel's performance with Cathy Seipp of Cathy's World on Dennis Miller. Mr. O'Donnel, notorious for his I'm-smarter-than-thow attitude toward any who disagree with him was rather adamantly defending the notion that ALL teachers in California are great teachers. Either Mr. O'Donnel is delusional or the NEA is paying him well to make an assinine statement like this, "Every single teacher my daughter has had has been a GREAT teacher." What that probably means that they hold all the same political views that he does and endoctrinates children accordingly.
If you look at O'Donnel's right fist in the pic you will see the reason for this passage:
"Actually, I felt that he might indeed have hit me if no one had been watching. Maybe all this was just a canny act of camera-hogging on O'Donnell's part, cleverly designed to focus more air time on himself. But that throbbing neck vein seemed like a sign of sincerely self-righteous fury. "
Yep, just another Mortimer Snerd for the NEA.
HT:Michelle Malkin

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Throwing Mud at the Fence and See what Sticks

Ann Coulter has more on the Losers' continuing harangue against tom DeLay and John Bolton. From phoney "concerned Republicans" against DeLay to their fear that Bolton might say something mean to a slave-trading genocidal dictator from the Sudan. The funny thing about the phoney Republican in Texas, turns out she is a substitute teacher. Wonderful, Peggy Hill is the Losers' top operative in Texas. Now if they can only do that in other states.

Should be Required Reading for Those who think Food and Water are Medical Treatment

Hydration and Nutrition--A Basic Human Need, Not an Option of Medical Care by Carolyn F. Gerstner should be read for those who think that food and water are medical treatment. Sadly, the pro-euthanasia crowd is unlikely to change its mind on this since the seem to mindlessly believe everything George Felos and Dr. Cranford say on the subject.

A Basic Human Need, Not an Option of Medical Care
By Carolyn F. Gerster, M.D.

There has been a recent striking reversal of the previous almost universal consensus concerning a patient's right to receive nutrition and hydration even when surgical or highly technological medical intervention was discontinued as ineffective, after consultation with the patient or family.

The reasons that food and water should not be considered an option of medical care are summarized as follows:

1. All patients, no matter how severe or hopeless their illness, have the basic right to nursing care, emotional support, food, and water.

2. Hydration and nutrition are biological necessities. Food and water are not medications. We go into the kitchen, not to the pharmacy, for dinner.

3. Unlike all other modalities of care (e.g., antibiotics, cardiac drugs, etc.), the withdrawal of hydration and nutrition is universally fatal. Death will occur within a predictable time, usually within 10 to 14 days. There are no survivors. This means the doctor, not the disease, kills the patient. Withdrawal of water is essentially a homicidal act. A hospital is an inappropriate place to kill a patient. The lethal impact of the order to withdraw fluids is well understood by nurses, hospice staff, and hospital personnel. It is neither fair nor appropriate to involve health care professionals in hastening the death of a patient.

4. Unlike respirators, dialysis, and other technology, "artificially administered" nutrition and hydration are not burdensome or painful. If long-term support is contemplated, a percutaneous gastrostomy (done by a gastroenterologist, not a surgeon) offers the alleviation of hunger and thirst without discomfort. There is no substance to the argument that fluid may represent a risk to some patients. In instances of renal or cardiac failure or cerebral edema (swelling of the brain), hydration may be temporarily decreased but is not discontinued.

5. The cost of a gastronomy feeding, itself, is minimal. In some cases, the formula may be simply prepared in a blender. Family or nursing home personnel may administer the feeding. The patient may resume oral feedings if he or she improves.

6. Death by dehydration is protracted and painful for the patient (if conscious) and for the family and hospital staff in all cases. One need only recall photos from the Ethiopian famine to realize the enormity of the act. Since the only purpose of stopping hydration and nutrition is to hasten death, it is only rational that euthanasia proponents will promote "death by injection" as a humane alternative. Such has been the argument of Derek Humphry, the past executive director of the Hemlock Society, in promoting "assisted suicide." It is illegal in Arizona to starve a horse or dog to death. Surely human beings deserve the same protection.

7. Continuing hydration allows a "time buffer" in the event that an error has been made in diagnosis. Doctors are not omnipotent. Most physicians have had the personal experience of patient survival or improvement despite their initial diagnosis of terminal illness or irreversible coma. Once the patient is put to death by dehydration, it is too late for the doctor to rectify the error.

8. The potential for abuse in allowing death by dehydration is undeniable, given the interest in reducing the cost of health care and concern of some family members that their inheritance not be devoured by hospital costs. Those most vulnerable are the elderly, the physically and mentally impaired, and the poor. We already had a 1987 example in Tucson, Arizona, of a surrogate appointed by the county to make a life or death decision regarding withdrawal of fluids, even though the surrogate had never known the incompetent patient.

9. There is no evidence that most patients desire their lives to be shortened. There is, in fact, very strong evidence that patients, once actually confronted with a terminal illness or serious illness, want intervention to delay death. An American Journal of Psychiatry article (143:2, February 1986) cited an interview of 44 terminally ill patients. The majority (34) never wished death to come early. All the remaining 10 were found to be suffering from clinical depressive disease. (Three had been suicidal before their illnesses.)

A 1998 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association involved 160 patients age 55 or older who underwent treatment in the intensive care unit (ICU) at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, during a one-year period. Of these patients, 74% would be completely willing to undergo intensive care again, even if it meant their lives would be prolonged for as little as one month. Twenty-two percent expressed a desire for ICU treatment dependent upon the duration of survival. Only 4% were unwilling to repeat heroic life-sustaining treatment.

As a physician treating a large percentage of elderly and seriously ill patients over the past 35 years, I have had only five persons ask that no life-prolonging treatment be given as death approached. I have had no patient ask that nutrition be discontinued.

Carolyn Gerster, M.D., is vice chairman of the National Right to Life Medical Ethics Committee and chairman of the board for Arizona Right to Life. For more information about NRLC's "Will to Live," go to

HT:Blogs for Terri

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Follow the Link and Read This: Crystal Clear: One Finder of Fact

Crystal Clear: One Finder of Fact says all that needs to be right now. I will be commenting more as I read the book, but for now this is the best comment.

Just too Sick for Words

And Rightly So! � Aborted Baby is Born Alive… is an appalling story that I just cannot find words to comment right now. All I can say right now is, we had know this was coming one day, even though we hoped against it.

Rotten Second Generation Dillitante Brats

No, this is not a new comic book.
Cao’s Blog � Jihad comes to Smalltown USA -Part 2 started out as a here-we-go-again type read. Let us face it, the bending over forward for Islamists in out schools has almost reached the that's-not-news level. Then I saw it...the naming of the much-hated "other" high school of the district. Well, that is no longer true as there is another high school in the district, but when I graduated from Chapin High in 1976 Irmo was the other high school in the district. It was much bigger than us (Irmo was 4-A and Chapin was 2-A at the time). To give you an idea of how bad it was, in 1976 Chapin Elementary was in a building that should have been condemned several years earlier. The superintendant at the time thought practice fields for Irmo high was a more pressing need for the district.
Well, 29 years and another high school later (btw, Chapin did eventually get the new elementary school) nothing has changed. True there is a new superintendent, but he is even worse. When a private citizen publicly questioned a number of...well questionable actions by the board, rather than answer the questions, he took out an attack ad against the woman. He called it an "open letter", but it was an attack ad just the same. And Irmo is still populated by dillitante brats on both sides of the desk. According to the article presented in the above link, students in an IHS history class were required to:
Irmo High School were required as part of a history class to:

"· Create a pamphlet to teach people about Islam.

· Extensive discussion of the five pillars of Islam.

· Listen to a presentation by an Orthodox Christian priest who informed the students that all religions are based on Islam."

That last part should get said teacher fired for incompetence and the priest should be defrocked for the same reason.
There is much more to this post and to the article, but the part about IHS just hit too close.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Why is This Person a School Administrator?

Student gets suspended because his mother called him from Iraq. She can only call once a month and this one fell during his lunch period. Unfortunately a teacher saw him and tried to take the phone. The upshot of it is, he was suspended for the rest of the year and will likely be failing because of it. That in and of itself is galling.
What really frosts me is this from an asistant principle, "They're not supposed to use them for conversating [emphasis mine] back and forth during school because if they were allowed to do that, they could be text messaging each other for test questions."
Conversating? I am surprised he didn't throw in "irregardless" while he was at it. We have people in responsible positions in schools who ues non-existant words while denying a kid contact with his military mother (and I would not be surprised if that was an unspoken issue) then wonder why people are down on public schools.
This is abominable on so many levels!
I cannot say I would not have gotten disorderly under the circumstances. I rather like John Bambenek's take on it. Joe Gandelman has some updates and follow up.
HT:Michelle Malkin

Thursday, May 05, 2005

What Does One Have to do with the Other?

STLtoday: The runaway bride may have run into common sense,By Betty Cuniberti is fairly interesting. It starts off with, and mainly focuses on Jennifer Wilbanks and her runaway bride saga. Now I agree that her wedding sounded a bit excessive...okay a lot excessive. Whether her disappearance was result of a sense of shame at her own (most likely mother's) excesses is a fair question, and one she is going to have to come to grips with.
On this point I am with the columnist. Then comes the point where the column takes a hard left turn into (thereby earning it the appelation "Wierdest Column of the day" from Michelle Malkin)...The Twilight Zone. I was a bit suspicious when I came on the following about half way through, "It is getting curiouser and curiouser how a society being reshaped by moral-values voters has landed on the doorstep of a new Gilded Age, a Wonderland where poor folks in wheelchairs get shoved out in the proverbial street without much fuss." First of all, most of the "moral-values voters" I know do not applaud the kind of nuptual excesses that are done today. From there came the obligatory attack on the Reagan administration.
Then comes this: "...divorce rates in Red states are 27 percent higher than in Blue states, according to U.S. census numbers crunched by Mother Jones[sic]." The writer leaves out is certain information that would be valuable in interpreting the data. I would like to know if the blue states have a higher rate of people cohabiting without marriage (which is likely the case). The split up of those couples would not be caounted as a divorce. Secondly, if I wanted to make such a statement and it have any credibility, I certainly would not hang my hat on "... numbers crunched by Mother Jones[sic]" I would want to see the formulae and methodology used by Mother Jones. I wouyld also want to see who wrote the piece. Given that rag's animosity toward anything traditional or conservative any conclusions it arrived at are suspect in the extreme.
The column then closes with this:
"Someone should mail Ryan Kelly the photo from last Sunday's Post-Dispatch of the $950,000 Frontenac mansion where Missouri Rep. T. Scott Muschany used to bed down, he being one of 58 House members who voted to strip subsidized health coverage from 90,000 poor folks, while voting against cutting their own state subsidized health insurance. In Muschany's case, taxpayers are happy to chip in $9,492 for his health-care insurance; barely enough to dry clean the chateau drapes, for all I know."
Again, what does one have to do with the other. Last time I looked Jennifer Wilbanks is not a US representative. Secondly, you do not state whether or not the Frontenac is a hotel or the man's home.
All of a sudden, I feel like my IQ has dropped from writing a response to this drivel.

I trackbacked to the open trackback thread on My Vast Right-wing Conspiracy

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

No, This was not in the 700 Club Newsletter

When Columnists Cry 'Jihad' is a great read. It looks at the alrmist columnists who accuse Christians in the US of wanting to impose a theocracy on the country. As far as I know, there are a few that do, but those dominionists represent a minority of American Chrisendom. Just follow the link to the and give it a read. No, that is not a typo, this excellant piece appears in WaPo. Kudos to John McCandlish Phillips. And Kudos to the Post.
I know that there will be those who view the POst's publishing of this as a form of tokenism. My experience of the kind of tokenism they refer to, the usually find the most rabid and irrational voice they can find in order to set up a "straw man". To the Post's credit they found a sensible and well spoken piece to rebut the alarmists that have been dominating their pages as well as those of others.
HT:Michelle Malkin

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

SC's Busy 6th District Congressman

My oh my, what is Jim Clyburn to do? When he is not trying to erect another monument to himself, it seems he is doing the exact same thing that he and his party are bitching about Tom Delay according to the AP report.
HT:Michelle Malkin

As if the Award I Gave Him Was not Enough

Blogs for Terri has a link to Schiavo Judge To Be Honored - from It seems that Judge Vlad George Greer is being given the Special Justice Award by the Pasco Bar Association. I had to resist the temptation to base this post on the euphemistic use of "special" in referring to the mentally hadnicapped as that would have been rather tasteless. Then again the Pasco Bar Association have elevated tastelessness to new depths with this award. I guess it's the thanatocrats way of saying "Nyah! Nyah! We won" to the rest of us.
"His professionalism and integrity was punctuated by the way he handled the Schiavo case,[ quotation marks] said Alan Scott Miller, a New Port Richey lawyer and member of the West Pasco Bar Association." Apparently the Pasco Bar Association has been associating in too many bars and has forgotten what "integrity" means. If the man had any integrity he would have recused himself because of the involvement of the hospice he used to be a director of.
This is not the first "lifetime achievement" award Vlad Greer has recieved for his work on the Schiavo case. As you may recall, I gave him a lifetime achievement "Get Your Head Outta There Award" back on February 26. Here it is again for those who missed it"

UPDATE: Crystal Clear has picked up on this as well.

BREAKING NEWS: Planned Parenthood Flouting Illinois Law for Fun and Profit

Ravings of John C. A. Bambenek: BREAKING NEWS: Planned Parenthood Flouting Illinois Law for Fun and Profit contains information of the Illinois branch of Maggie Sanger's organization dispensing the morning after pill with no prescription knowing it will be stockpiled. Does anybody expect any different from the group who shields pedophiles and statutory rapists?
PP has become a great source for outrage du jour. I am sick of seeing these eugenic thanatocrats being held up as heroes. All they do is pretend they have the high moral ground by holding out exceptional circumstances (rape, incest and threat to mother's health/life) as if they are the rule. It is time they were called on it.
You can't claim that the birth process can be fatal then claim an exception for it when talking about a procedure that prolongs it in order to carry it out (partial birth abortion). Then again, in this debate, no one ever seems to require them to use logic. They are simply allowed to duck the question altogether by making ad hominem attacks on the people who raise the questions.

HT:The Dawn Patrol

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Not Your Average Blog Post

Cao’s Blog � Feminist dogma is, in my opinion, something more than your average blog post. This is an excellant compendium of radical feminist thought. It also links to a similar, more detailed page in Fathers for Life. Both expose, among other things, a feminism so virulent and vendictive as to make Rosemary Radford Reuther look mainstream. While a case could possibly be made for "proof texting", I honestly cannot envision a context where any of the quotes could be construed as good for humanity. While it is true that all feminists are man-haters, they must come to grips with their existance and stop denying it..
Having said that, those of us who identify ourselves as orthodox Christians also have to acknowledge that there are those in the faith who do embrace a kind of come-to-Jesus-and-check-your-brain-at-the-door outlook who are just as much in error as those whom they fight with. I am referring to knee-jerk reactions more than doctrinal stance. Like it or not, and this applies both to Christians as well as feminists, we have to acknowledgethat our rabid bretheren and sisteren exist.
Does this excuse the demonizing of Christians? Not in the least. But if it is wrong for one side to use an extreme example to protray an oppononent, it is wrong for all sides. It is intellectually dishonest and does nothing to facilitate coming together as a people.