Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Confirmed: Strib Editorial Board Shows No High Level Brain Function

I'm still not sure what Dementee meant with his controversial "regurgitated monkey spleen" comment, but it does describe the Strib's lead editorial today fairly well:

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The world has since changed utterly, as the strange political kidnapping of Terri Schiavo makes plain. Perhaps the only gladness to be gleaned from this mad story is that the hostage herself is not really around to witness her exploitation. But Americans should be embarrassed on her behalf to see Washington's right-wing radicals seize this permanently unconscious woman for a totalitarian fibfest.

Speaking of fibfests, you're about to be treated to one:

Totalitarian? What else can we call a government that elbows its way to a deathbed to dictate whether or not its occupant shall be allowed to die naturally?

TIME OUT! Let's go to the law in question (hat tip to Doug for saving me the work) that is the purported "elbow" of the government, which I'm sure the Strib editorial board did not bother to read.

The key provisions:

SECTION 1. ***

The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida shall have jurisdiction to hear, determine, and render judgment on a suit or claim by or on behalf of Theresa Marie Schiavo for the alleged violation of any right of Theresa Marie Schiavo under the Constitution or laws of the United States relating to the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain her life.

I'll translate for those of you that write editorials for the Strib: Congress here grants jurisdiction to the Federal Court in the appropriate district to hear this particular case pursuant to the authority granted to it in Article III of the constitution (another legal document that the Strib editors are unfamiliar with).

SEC. 2. ***

In such a suit, the District Court shall determine de novo any claim of a violation of any right of Theresa Marie Schiavo within the scope of this Act, notwithstanding any prior State court determination and regardless of whether such a claim has previously been raised, considered, or decided in State court proceedings.

This merely means that the court may make independent findings of fact and conclusions of law. It is not bound by the findings of the state courts. This is necessary since there has become known additional evidence since those actions have run their course. And finally:

SEC. 5. ***

Upon the filing of a suit or claim under this Act, the District Court may issue a stay of any State court order authorizing or directing the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain the life of Theresa Marie Schiavo pending the determination of the suit.

(Emphasis mine). The highlighted word indicates that any preliminary injunctive relief is solely in the discretion of the court.

To sum up, what "Terri's law" does is: grant jurisdiction for an alternative jurisdiction to hear this case, should Terri's family choose to pursue it. It does NOT order feeding tubes to be plugged back in, for Terri's "wishes" (as if anybody conclusively knows what they are) to be disregarded, or anything else that intrudes on some imagined "personal decision".

Back to the regurgitated monkey spleen:

Where is the conservatism in insisting that a woman be interminably fed through a stomach tube -- despite her expressed wishes to the contrary?

Please document these "wishes to the contrary". You can't. Why? Because these so-called wishes were conveniently remembered by Terri's husband after his big malpractice suit was settled. Before that time, he testified that he needed gobs and gobs of money for Terri's long-term care and therapy.

But the folks at the Strib are apparently too intelligent for that to register as something suspicious. Hell, it's not nearly as obvious as a gay-escort-fake-reporter asking softball questions or anything. Continuing:

And how can America's chief champions of "the sanctity of marriage" justify their brazen intrusion into the personal lives of Terri Schiavo and husband Michael?

See the law above: no government intrusion. Just providing another avenue for remedy, should the Schindlers choose to accept it. You guys are either stupid, disingenuous, evil or all three.
Sustained by a feeding tube for 15 years, Terri Schiavo has no meaningful brain function.

Like the Strib editorial writers (oh like I could resist that hanging curveball!).

About this there is no medical dispute -- no matter what her parents may imagine they see in her reflexive grimaces. Though even her husband had difficulty coming to terms with the fact that his wife would forever linger in a persistent vegetative state, he ultimately resolved to honor his wife's declared wishes and direct that her feeding tube be removed.

Again, please document these declared wishes. They seem to have come out of nowhere after Michael found himself a new honey. Hey, death is cheaper than divorce!

That was years ago. Soon after, Terri and Michael Schiavo were swept into an absurd political drama in which facts seem to play no role. Never mind that Michael Schiavo's every act has been in keeping with law and common medical practice.


If not Terri's wishes, whatever those are.

***

And so it is that House Majority Leader Tom Delay, R-Texas, has seen fit to call Michael Schiavo's attempt to honor his wife's wishes "an act of medical terrorism" and of "homicide" -- a characterization so vile it may qualify as slander.

Hmmm. So the Strib is cognizant of slander laws. I'll bet, with all the stuff that the Strib has written about DeLay over the years, that he might end up owning it.

Don't change a thing, Tom. I need the material.

President Bush was so determined to "save Terri" that he winged his way back from vacation to sign a law tossing her destiny into the federal courts.

It's a silly obstructionist game, and if American liberty means anything, it will soon end.

If we can't starve the cripples and other undesirables. That sounds vaguely familiar...

Federal court is the wrong place for reviewing state policy,

...unless it's an abortion law...

and in any case this controversy raises no unresolved matter.

See my definition of de novo review above. At this point, all matters are re-unresolved.

But forget protocol: Thanks to Washington's bosses, the private business of a Florida man and his vegetative wife is headed for a trip through the federal court system. For Terri and Michael Schiavo, it's likely to be a victory tour: In ruling after ruling, the nation's courts have emphasized that individuals, not government, should make decisions about personal medical matters.

Again, you doofusses, read the fricking law. The government made no decisions about personal medical matters.

How can the champions of "small government" -- the very authors of this vulgar, tyrannical escapade -- possibly disagree?

It's hard not to disagree when this is the best argument you can muster. Ignoring critical facts. Lying about others. Mischaracterizing legislation. The only thing that is a vulgar, tyrannical escapade was this editorial.

The issue is not keeping Schiavo alive for its own sake. The issue is whether Terri would want the feeding tube pulled or if her "husband" wants her dead for convenience's sake. If that's "vulgar" to some elitist editorialists, then maybe their plugs should be pulled.

Bogus Doug has loads and loads more on the Schiavo story. Go there and keep scrolling.

Radio host Glenn Beck had an illuminating interview with Terri Schiavo's brother. You can listen to it here for free (Windows Media Player required).

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