Sunday, March 27, 2005
One of the crazier ideas is mentioned by John Fund. I had read yesterday that some were proposing that Jeb Bush order his law enforcement guys "take" Terri over the objection of whichever law enforcement agency is enforcing the Court's orders. Crazy, Crazy, Crazy.
We are a Nation of Laws. As bad as many Court decisions are, we still must obey them. I do think the Judiciary has become too powerful. I would like to see more "Balance" in our 'Balance of Power'. I agree with Bork that the Courts have become too concerned with politics. It is horrible that the Supreme Court today is basing their rulings on International Opinion. The Law is very much imperfect. Today, it is failing Terri Schiavo badly.
But with all that said, we simply cannot endorse vigilantism in the taking of Terri--even if it is motivated by those who wish to save her. And we certainly cannot endorse vigilantism by our law enforcement agencies. Just because those on the Right have the purest of motives, and because Clinton and Reno did it (and apparently got away with it), does not mean abducting Terri to save her is right in any way.
What I mean by mentioning this is that I have absolutely no idea of what I'm doing here. My last computer class was in 1976, and I think I got a 'C'. We ran rack upon rack of punch cards through a reader to get the mainframe to do the simplest of tasks. Blogger has conveniently placed some keyboard shortcuts on the "Create Post" window frames, but once I get much beyond that, I don' know nuttin'. I guess I could break down and buy a book or something, but we'll just have to see if I want to go to that extreme.
So, if you're exploring my site, and find that the top two links on my links sidebar work, but the remainder don't--you'll know why. The template came with a "Google News" link, and two "Edit Me" links. I tried to add a number of my favorite sites, but they're coming up as bad links. I'll work on a fix later, but just chalk these up to ignorance and in-experience.
Update: Not two minutes after I put up this post, I found my problem. When I pasted in my new favorite, I left it with two "http's". Eureka! I have found it!
Friday, March 25, 2005
I've been following this issue out there on the blogs and columns, and via Steven Green and one of the local talk-radio guys I listen to, Barry Young, I was directed to this Charles Krauthammer column. Dr. Krauthammer just about sums up my thoughts.
There is so much wrong here, and far too many people are inserting their own agendas into this story for me to believe much good will be achieved out of Terri Schiavo's story. The obvious exception is that her story has inspired many to begin a discussion with their loved ones on what their wishes are with regard to extreme medical care, and more importantly, getting those wishes written down, either formally through a living-will, or informally via another method. Perhaps this will be Terri's legacy.
But, as I said, there are so many who are wrong here. I have partially followed what Rush has been saying here. He's obviously fallen into the trap of believing that if we could only pass a federal law, that the courts would have to defer to the wishes of the Schindlers. Hannity is deep into this hole. This Congressional and Presidential activism is coming from the guys who decry judicial activism. I can still listen to Rush, as he gets beyond this from time to time, but I've largely given up on Hannity. Yesterday he was doing his show from Florida--deeply pandering to those with pro-life sensibilities.
Similarly, Fox News has become "All Terri, All Day". I cannot bring myself to change the channel (as CNN, MSNBC, etc are still unacceptable), but their reporting has become far too repetitious. Today, they are emphasizing the connection to Good Friday, and are furthering the Left's belief that the 'Religious Right' is controlling the media.
The Republicans in Congress and President Bush have, in some ways, had their hands tied here. The right thing for them to have done would have been to complain mightily about how unfairly the State of Florida's courts are treating Terri, and then acknowledge that none of that makes this a federal issue. But instead, they tipped their hats to the Religious Right, and passed that ineffective law. Are the Religious Right that important to the Republicans? Now we know.
Michael Schiavo has been excoriated by most of those on the Right. There are many stories out there about how much money he's made or might make through his wife's death--stories that are undoubtedly lacking in full truth. That he has avoided the media here is both sensible and has lead to what we know of him. I believe he knows that he cannot be fairly treated by the media, so why indulge them at all? But, by not getting his story out there, he allows those who are willing to speak to the media to set the tone of the story. All this said, he is a flawed character in this story. That he has moved onto another relationship, and has fathered two children with this other woman is both admirable, and makes his representation of Terri's wishes suspect.
Barry Young made a point yesterday which bears repeating: The Courts in this issue are Courts of Law, not Courts of Compassion or Courts of "What's Right". They have to answer the central question: Which party--Michael Schiavo or the Schindlers--best represents Terri's wishes. In the absence of written evidence of her wishes, they have to defer to the law. The Courts too, have been excoriated by the media and many on the Right. They want Compassion, which the Courts cannot deliver.
However, the Law should allow some compassion here. That the best the Law might allow is to starve this poor woman is a travesty. I mean, the contents of a Last Meal is one of the few compassions we offer to someone the Law is about to execute. We had to put down one of our beloved dogs last year. The right way to euthanize a pet is to make them as comfortable as possible as you relieve them of their suffering. The Law ought to have similar latitude when dealing with someone like Terri. Not that it would have helped Terri--without written evidence of her wishes, but perhaps Dr. Kervorkian was right.
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Instead, I have to again wonder: Why do we insist that schools be gun-free?
One of the striking articles I read after the Columbine tragedy was that police SWAT teams--in my memory, it was Scottsdale's--consider it a success if only 30 kids are killed in a school-shooting event. If the police can evacuate the rest of a school, and contain the shooters, then they've done the best they can do.
Here's the other thing: This event has 9 dead/14 wounded (at the latest count), and Columbine had 15 dead/20 wounded. What these two events have in common--beyond that they were done in gun-free school zones--is that those responsible were complete amateurs. Why we expect that Beslan-style attack on a school would not result in--well--Beslan-scale casualties, is beyond me. Or--do we just bury our heads deeper in the pillow and hope that it will all somehow just go away?
And yet we still insist that banning guns from schools--for the kids, don't cha' know--will enhance school safety.
Now before anyone begins to think that I'm endorsing arming kids on school grounds--don't even go there.
The whole process of raising a child is about slowly adding freedoms so that you end up with a functioning adult somewhere around the age of 21. A child of...
- One-can't decide what to wear today.
- Five-can't decide on what time to go to bed.
- Ten-can't decide what TV or movies are appropriate.
- Fifteen-can't drive.
- Seventeen-can't vote.
- Twenty-can't drink.
I am in no way implying that children ought to have access to guns while at school (other than potentially through supervised gun-training programs). What I am suggesting is that it is time that we consider arming willing and trained teachers and staff.
Waiting for the SWAT team to arrive is too late. Not that I don't want them to come--I do. But I hope we're beginning to understand that having the tools available to do something--before the professionals arrive--might prevent the scale of the tragedy from being as large as it otherwise might be.
Update I guess I should have predicted this, but on the Today Show, they just finished talking about whether they had metal-detectors or cameras at the school. Does anyone else wonder at the futility of protecting yourself with a metal-detector?
Friday, March 18, 2005
There sits some of Baseball's current-day finest--Curt Schilling, and Rafael Palmeiro. I didn't catch him, but I see from this news report that Frank Thomas was there briefly via video-conference. Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa were also there. I separate them because these two are great ball-players who have stained their careers. It was great to watch them a couple of years ago when they were dueling for the homerun title. Since then, Sosa has not helped himself with his corked bat problem, and McGuire took a "Hey--it ain't illegal to use Andro--So what's everybody's problem?" attitude when word leaked of how he got so big.
Oh--Jose Canseco was there too. I could write a bunch on him, but I'll just leave it at: He's a slimeball. He's just about as bad as Pete Rose.
But the biggest losers in the crowd were sitting on the other side of the room. Why--Oh Why--does the Nation's business require that Congress insert itself into how many asterisks might be found in Baseball's record books, I'll never know. I mean we've got a friggin' war to run, democracies all through the Mid-East to stand up, Social Security to save, to decide on whether to drill in ANWR and whether the R's in the Senate ought to go "Nuclear" and get Bush's judges through their house. And we have to stop all this and spend the Nation's Valuable Time to browbeat some baseball jocks about their positions as role models to the Youth of America.
So thank you, John McCain. For inserting yourself into yet another issue that Congress shouldn't deal with.
Friday, March 11, 2005
Thursday, March 10, 2005
I love New Orleans. In the French Quarter, you can find about a thousand great restaurants. If you want to get stupid drunk, Bourbon Street is for you. The French Market is always fun. You can ride the streetcar out to their Historic District and see wonderfully restored Victorian homes. What's not to like about San Diego? Wonderful climate, easy-going people, and seafood. Seattle's nice too. A little too hippy-dippy for my tastes, but great restaurants are bountiful. Oh--and have you heard? They make good coffee there! I have enjoyed more entertainment for free on the streets of New York City than I've paid good money for in many venues. [However, on my last trip it was absolutely freezing. Fifteen degrees or so, and winds gusting to 40mph. Brrrr!] Of course, this is just a partial list, but I think you get the idea. There are lots of places that I enjoy travelling to.
However, the place I really like travelling to is--no surprise--home. This is where the people I love live. Contrary to the image of many of those who've never visited Arizona, our deserts are beautiful...especially this year. We finally got a decent rainfall this winter, and the desert flowers are just about in their prime. Our woodlands--yes we have woodlands--are filled with snow. Spring Training is in full swing.
But best of all is my home. Not that the house is all that great, because it's not. It is of late 70's vintage complete with harvest gold counter-tops. We worry every summer whether our heatpumps will last another year. The pool is nice, but takes work to keep up. However, our best asset is that our home sits in the middle of an acre of orange trees. I have 55 trees now in full bloom. The sweetness of the air outside is something I simply cannot describe. Our fruit is now gone (absent one tree), but fresh fruit like I have in my backyard simply cannot be found in a grocery store. I love it here.