The Powers That Blog

While we keep track of politics at a certain level, this is not a poliblog, nor a warblog. Maybe "eclectiblog" is a good description, as we note thoughts on topics from art to parenting to whatever comes to mind.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Terri is dead

After 14 days of torture, Terri Shindler-Schiavo finally succumbed to her court ordered execution by dehydration and starvation this morning.

The judicial branch of our government ordered an innocent disabled citizen to be summarily executed in the most horrendous manner.

Terri held on as long as she could. Many people who had the power to end her torture and save her life were given repeated opportunities do so. They turned down all opportunities. I think this is significant. Many judges in Florida and Atlanta, as well as on the US Supreme Court have blood on their hands.

Quite a few legislators in Florida also have Terri's death on their conscience. They may appear to be moving on, but they carry this crime with them.

Every single police officer who guarded the Woodside Hospice is tainted. These are the people who faithfully guarded Terri's room and searched her family to make sure they didn't smuggle in any water or food for Terri. These are the people who arrested the protestors who attempted to walk into the Hospice carrying water to offer to Terri. I wonder how they go home to their families every day. I wonder how they even sleep at night.

People at the Woodside Hospice are also implicated in Terri's death. After all, they were the ones who actually carried out the procedures that lead to Terri's death.

The US Congress made the most valiant effort to save Terri, in my opinion. Still, I think the presence of people in the Congress who wanted Terri dead may have hindered the emergency bill passed on Palm Sunday from truly being effective. They all know who they are, and they too have blood on their hands.

There has been much debate over whether or not the Bush brothers ought to have intervened despite the court orders and despite what the procedures were. I don't have a real answer to that question. When Jeb Bush attempted to send in the DCF to take custody of Terri last Wednesday, Judge Greer was tipped off and he responded by issuing a broad restraining order, which the police force of Pinellas Park pledged to uphold. Any further action on Jeb Bush's part could have lead to a showdown at the hospice leading to violence. I can understand why he backed down, but I can't say I respect that decision. Both a governor and a president take an oath to uphold the Constitution. The Constitution prominently states that all people have an inaleable right to life. Terri's inaleable right to life was not upheld by either her governor or her president. In that respect, neither Jeb Bush, nor George Bush fully lived up to their oaths to uphold the Constitution. In the end, they too allowed Terri to die.

Although I tried to save Terri's life by calling on the people who had any real authority to use it, in the end she still died. Should I have done more? What do I do now? Am I in some way responsible for her death as well? I mean, how did we get to this point as a nation, where our government can order the death of an innocent citizen? What do ordinary citizens like Terri's parents do when evil people are in power? What does your voice matter when activist judges can flip off Congress, the governor and the president?

Terri Schiavo is dead, killed by court order. In America. This is only the beginning of something truly awful.

We can't bring Terri back. But for the sake of our children we must fight this "something truly awful" the forces of the Culture of Death are hoping to usher in with her death. Please do not give up this fight. Take the time to mourn. Then find your place in this war and fight for all you're worth. As always, much more information can be found at BlogsForTerri.

Cross-posted at BlogsForTerri

Saturday, March 26, 2005


All appeals for Terri have been exhausted. Her parents have decided not to file any more appeals. What's the use anyway, the judges just keep saying no. Things life E-V-I-D-E-N-C-E don't matter in the slightest to them. Hey, if the media repeats PVS often enough, doesn't that make it true? Terri's breathing is becoming more labored. Just how long can someone last without water anyway? Even someone with such a passionate desire to live as Terri Schiavo. No one can ever tell me this woman did not want to live. No one can ever tell me this woman did not have something to tell us. A message we will never hear in this life.

Earlier in the week one of Rush Limbaugh's callers said it best: Regardless of the outcome, Terri's life has more meaning than all those judges. The caller went on to say how her ordeal shows us that all the stuff that goes on in between elections really does matter, especially which judges get appointed.

Terri's life has so much meaning. I've worked to bring her justice for the past few weeks, and I know it has fundamentally and deeply changed me. I can't quite say how, but I know I am not the same person I once was. It's as if I just woke up from a coma to a world where it is legal to subject our most vulnerable citizens to death by dehydration. I learned today that Terri Schiavo's case is not the first in this country. It will not be the last. I wish I didn't know this, but I know that indifference to this could cost my life or that of my loved ones.

The right-to-die people today are saying this is a situation that should stay within a family, as opposed to being dragged through the courts. It won't be long before they try to wrest that decision away from the family. This is a step in the relentless march of the Culture of Death, and it is only a step.

Many things need to change in our country, and I have so many ideas going through my mind as to where I can dedicate my energy. No doubt, those ideas will soon coalesce into concrete thoughts and a plan of action.

But for now, I am broken-hearted beyond what I can describe. I never had the priviledge of meeting Terri. I was so hoping she would finally be given the chance to receive the therapy she'd long been denied, and recover her ability to communicate beyond a few basic words. I know she has an incredible story to tell. I believe she has been conscious and with us these past fifteen years, fully aware of everything that's gone on, yet unable to tell us. I have so longed to hear what it is that has sustained her through those long years of living in limbo, where everyone who believed in her was barred from helping her, and the only one who had any power used it to torment her. I believe it was her relationship with Jesus that sustained her through her life of suffering. She must be so close to Him, as He has been the only one who could truly listen to her thoughts these long years. I was hoping one day I would get a glimpse of her inner life and in that way learn something about my own life.

Instead the forces of evil in this world who want to destroy everything good are almost at the point of silencing Terri Schiavo forever--at least in this life. These are the same forces that crucified Jesus 2,000 years ago. He had never done anything hurtful to anyone. He was the ultimate expression of love. And evil could only respond in one way: KILL. Everything beautiful and noble must be destroyed. Terri is beautiful and amazing and vulnerable. For that, she must die in one of the most cruel ways imaginable.

"A sword shall pierce your heart." Those were Simeon's words to Mary the day she brought Baby Jesus into the temple for his circumcision. Thirty-three years later, she would watch helplessly as the Roman soldiers, egged on by the crowds, subjected her beloved son to a barbaric, shameful death. I ask her in these next days to embrace Mary Schindler as she witnesses the death of her daughter. This is a sorrow that is too deep and too heartrending to bear alone. Only a mother who has gone through it can understand what it is like. It is a sorrow no mother should ever have to endure. I am a mother myself and just the thought horrifies me.

What a horrible, cruel world we live in. Such a world in need of redemption. Terri was a bright light in this world. People who knew her always talk about the way she laughed. Even while she lay starving, she joked with her parents. Now she cries. She knows what's happening to her. It wasn't supposed to end this way.

But Terri has left her mark on all of us. I know that in some way, I will hold her in my heart for the rest of my life.

Terri Schiavo

Posted by Hello

In response to my letter

In response to my letter to my congresscritters, ADamiani responded in textbook case of how to post a polite disagreement on someone else's blog:

ADamiani said...

Wait-- in what way, precisely, are the judges violating the law? The passage of an extraordinary measure wresting the case out of the hands of the states was intended to grant the parents the right to petition for a de novo hearing to determine if Terry Schaivo's (sic) medical rights had been violated. They have not been denied this. The parents further petitioned for a temporary restraining order premised-- in their filing- on alleged process violations by Judge Greer (among other grounds), rather than Public Law 109.3. These were found to be without merit-- essentially that there was no grounds for appeal. This ruling has been upheld in its each successive court it has been appealed to.

The Judiciary branch is, by intent, the final authority on what the laws passed by congress and the president actually mean, and where they apply. That is in many ways its primary, perhaps only function. This has been the case since Marbury v. Madison, over 200 years ago. Are you seriously advocating removing an entire branch of government -- on both the federal and state level-- because you don't agree with their decisions? Supreme Court justices are life appointments, constitutionally speaking, they cannot be removed without ignoring the plaintext of that document. What you suggest is tantamount to suggesting we overthrow the president or dissolve congress on policy grounds.

Don't you think you might be taking this a tiny bit too far?

I think that's worth a thread in and of itself. I see two major points to address here. First, without quibbling over phrasing, why do I think the law was violated here, and second, do I really think it's a good idea to remove an entire branch of our government?

As to the first question, within the way our legal system works right now, I'll freely admit it's not possible to say that any judge has violated any law by any ruling. If a law says "this shall happen" and a judge interprets it to mean "this shall not happen", who can challenge them? They, after all, decide the meaning of the law, the extent of its application, and the consequences. That is the practical result of the idea that the judiciary has the final say over what the law means and how it applies. The same would be true no matter what branch of the government had the absolute final say.

If my analysis stays entirely within the current legal thought system, then I cannot come to the conclusion that anything has gone wrong here, or in any other case that has ever or will ever occur. A judge handed down his judgement, and that's the way it is.

Reading over that last paragraph, I realize it's starting to sound pedantic, even a little sarcastic, but that's genuinely not my intent. If I can think of a better way to write these thoughts, I'll replace what I just wrote. I'm only trying to state the cold, hard reality of limiting my analysis to the thought-process of systematic legal thinking. I'm a scientist, and in my work I deal strictly with the consequences of putting biological materials under defined chemical conditions. Within that system of thinking, it's not possible for me to say that I love my wife, or that a confluent monolayer of BHK-21 cells is beautiful. Both are true, but they have no meaning within the thinking of science. In the same way, the current legal process of thinking does not allow for the idea that a judge violated any law by any ruling. (A higher court judge can overturn a ruling, but that's not the same thing - until they do so, the lower court ruling is the law of the land, and there's no legal consequence for having gotten it wrong.)

So my sense that something has gone wrong here has to do with something outside the accepted process of generating legal rulings. The same is true of the sense that caused Congress to make an extraordinary attempt at intervention (after all, as you point out in another comment, many judges had already sided with Michael Schiavo). Now that I come to think of it, the same is true of any time Congress makes a new law. If the current law can and does cover all situations (which is one of assumptions judges make in scouring the legal texts to determine a ruling) then what point is there in making new ones? (Okay, idea for yet another thread - the fact that each branch of government operates on the basis of very different assumptions, and it is the contradictions between these assumptions that leads to their conflicts, and that it is the recognition of the differences of assumption that avoids a sort of war between the branches and allows the balancing of powers. But I'm drifting off topic. The point of this paragraph was an introduction to my stepping outside the processes and procedures of U.S. courts and asking the more general question, what is law and what do we expect of it?)

So, stepping outside of the current U.S. legal system in order to analyze the source of my current nausea, I have to ask what is law, anyway? I've mused about this somewhat before, and the thought that is relevant here is that law is simply the expectations of a society, codified. All societies have expectations for behavior, but why bother writing them down? Not, I think, for the sake of justice, but for the sake of predictability. Writing down the expectations gives everyone the chance to find out beforehand if they do x, the consequence will be y. No one has to be in the dark about the likely outcome of deciding to do things a little differently.

In the decliningly Christian West, we have the additional cultural expectation that our laws will not only whimsically decide utterly trivial questions like which side of the road everyone is expected to drive on, but will increasingly reflect Justice with a capital J, the Higher Moral Standard with a capital HMS. This adds a substantial burden to our thinking about laws and legal proceedings because in addition to the question "What does the law say?" we automatically ask the question "and is that Right and Just and Good?"

Hmmm, my next paragraph was a lengthy defense of the idea that no matter how detailed the laws of a particular culture, there will always be ways to cheat the system by using the rules of the system. And adding to that the difficulty that our English language is capable of such frightening subtlety and flexibility that no matter how tightly you wrap a legal net around a person, they can always rhetorically pry apart some of the strands to force an arm through (or Terri Schiavo's case wouldn't have gone all the way through the federal system to the Supreme Court, what, three times now? Or is it four?). And that this is part of the reason it is so important to pay attention to the recognizeable intent of the law as well as the strict phrasing. Well, this is getting lengthy enough. Maybe I'll spin off another post on that subject.

So to answer your first question, "in what way, precisely, are judges violating the law?", I have to say that they are violating the expectations of our society from which those laws arise. We expect all evidence to be weighed in small matters, and far more so in cases of life and death. In a very real sense, the case of Terri Schiavo has been about the question of whether new evidence should be weighed in a new hearing or not, especially when a judge has already made a decision. We expect those with conflicts of interest to either resign them or step aside (recuse themselves - is that the legal term?) from a position of decisionmaking authority. We expect hearsay evidence to be given a very light weight in comparison to objective, measurable facts. We expect judges to avoid cherry-picking the testimony of supposedly disinterested professional observers. We expect that standard medical tests will be performed and the results applied to actual legal and medical definitions when deciding medical cases.

All of those expectations, and more, have been violated. From Congress' perspective, I think they expected her feeding tube to be reinserted and that the evidence that went unconsidered by Greer would be given the weight it would normally receive. (Of course, cynical representatives may have done exactly what they needed to do to bring about this outcome, satisfying the courts that they are unchallenged, and at the same time convincing us unsophisticated JesusLanders that they really did hear us - I don't dismiss the possibility out of hand.) That expectation was dismissed so brutally that I think Congress has little choice but to conclude that their law was broken - broken like a stick.

Since I'm running out of time here, I'll try to be more brief with your second question. "Are you seriously advocating removing an entire branch of government -- on both the federal and state level-- because you don't agree with their decisions?" The answer is "no" to a couple of different senses of the question, and "yes" to one way of looking at it.

Simply because I don't agree with their decisions? No, but that's not what I think is happening here. I don't simply think they have made a bad decision, which can happen to anyone, I think they have violated the basic assumptions and expectations that our law - and indeed, their power within the system - is built on.

On both the federal and state level? Not really, I think state-level judges are generally a bit more circumspect about their roles and the limitations on their power (having to run for election injects a certain humility). It takes a special kind of state judge to laugh and flip the bird at a Congressional subpoena.

Removing an entire branch? No, I don't think that's necessary, but I don't have any problem with removing the people in that branch who have violated the basic foundations of our assumed social contract ("we hold these truths to be self-evident", as an example of the assumed social contract). Every branch of government over time has assumed to itself powers not strictly (or even remotely) granted by the constitution. The Judiciary's claim to final authority over all interpretation and extent of laws is just one example. I rather doubt the founding fathers intended the President to be able to commit massive numbers of soldiers to invading another country without ever asking for a declaration of war from Congress. I rather doubt they would have nodded their heads in sage agreement at the wisdom of Congress in maintaining a legal state of emergency for decades so they could (legally) spend money well beyond revenue. The arrogant actions of the Executive Branch in Viet Nam produced significant rips in the fabric of our society, and very much threatened the ability of that branch to later perform military actions foreseen constitutionally. We're still repairing the damage from that fiasco. The current arrogance in the judiciary threatens the same sort of damage (I think worse). And eventually Congressional arrogance over spending may put us in a hole we can't climb out of.

The violations of the well-developed expectations of our society by any branch of government cause real and serious damage to the fabric of our society. We've had one President resign over the damage he caused, and numerous legislators have been forced to leave office before they got to the point where they could cause irreparable harm. I don't see anything special about the Judiciary in this matter.

Although I've answered "no, but" to most senses of your question, I have to answer yes to one of them. Do I advocate massive intervention? Sure, if that's what it takes. Our whole system is based on a massive intervention where the executive branch was downgraded from King to President. I don't see anything special about the Judiciary in this matter either.

What I don't advocate is pretending that the system is working as expected. I don't really care what the solution is, as long as it isn't playing pretend. I'd be perfectly happy to see the entire Supreme Court removed and replaced over this. Since I think part of the problem is that legalese has become divorced from the situations that cause legislators to call for new laws, I'd be perfectly happy to hear the President say "Since the Courts seem to lack the education necessary to understand the plain message of the laws passed by Congress and signed by the President, I'm withdrawing all of my judicial nominees and replacing their names with current sitting Senators and Representatives, so we'll have people who understand how and why the laws were passed." (If someone who wanted to be a Federal judge had to get themselves elected to a legislative office first, I think that would weed out a lot of idiots.) I'd be perfectly happy to see a fourth branch of government, one that in late-night homebrew tasting sessions I've called the "Fifth Grade Branch", meaning a branch of government that has the authority to study whether a given law is understandable to the average fifth grader, and if not, to declare it unconstitutional as written.

You see, the greatest danger that I see looming isn't that Terri Schiavo has been treated unjustly, but that most of us see the legal system as highly unpredictable. The law is just our expectations, codified. And if the legal system consistently comes up with rulings that leave people scratching their heads, it is doomed to collapse from sheer lack of support. Anarchy is far more dangerous to us than a single unjust Judge Greer, but men like him are smilingly waving us down a very dark road.

What is the next step?

This has been a brutal, bitter hard week for anyone trying to save Terri Schiavo from cruel and powerful men. There are still a few chances left, and I am thankful and heartened to see the Schindler family still pursuing those options. Who knows, some powerful person may yet find the courage to act justly.

But if the cowardly delaying tactics of courts and legislators succeed in their clear aim of murdering Terri Schiavo, I want to ask my fellow bloggers not to give up this fight. There are helpless others who will soon have the knives at their throats, and we can't simply leave them to the mercy of men like Greer.

So what do we do for the next target of judicial homicide? In spite of the callous recalcitrance of the courts, there are some encouraging events we need to build on. I want to ask for help figuring out what went right, as well as what went wrong, so we can be more effective more quickly. (Blogs For Terri can't take comments right now because of the current massive traffic, but when the media has lost interest and the trolls have moved their graffiti efforts to other blogs, we need to have a longer conversation about this. In the meantime, you're welcome to leave comments on our blog and I'm sure any of the other blogs on the BFT blogroll.)

First encouraging sign, there is evidence that the much-overused dichotomy between Left and Right has bent and cracked in this case. Had we been able to break through the consistent media mantra that Terri is PVS, it might have shattered completely.

Second, both the Legislative and Executive branches of our federal government came together in an extraordinary fashion to try to break through judicial stonewalling. And it wasn't a party-line vote, either.

Third, there have been some judges - not enough yet, but we need to acknowledge them - who tried to stop this insanity. Is there any way we can give them a louder voice?

It will obviously be tempting to focus entirely on what (we think) went wrong. Strategies could have been modified, statements could be worded slightly differently. There is a lot of talk even now about this legal phrase, that legal twist, some other slight variation on the scenario that might have tipped the balance. Personally, I'm unconvinced that slight variations on the theme would have been enough. The recalcitrance of the courts has to be dealt with on a deeper, longer-term level.

We've made some important allies here and seen some extraordinary events. I would appreciate ideas on how to build on those advances for the next time a judge's hands are at the throat of an innocent helpless disabled person.

Cross-posted on BFT.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Email Media Outlets

UPDATE (04/08/2005): I have modified Sherri's list by removing email addresses that are no longer valid. Here is the updated list:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

This comes from Sherri. It's certainly worth a shot. Check back with her for more information:

Cross-posted on BFT.

According to news reports, Attorney Gibbs has filed a motion today with Judge Greer on testimony about Terri's attempt to communicate last Friday (March 18, 2005) that she wants to live.Judge Greer asked why it took so long for this claim to come before him....(I will refrain from the obvious answer here.)

There are several media accounts of this information that was made available ON THAT SAME DAY!I have chatted with other bloggers--- this is the plan....The fact that Terri tried to say "I want to live," LAST Friday is documented in several places....We need to FLOOD the Media with links to these stories.

This will get the information FLOODING! If you are a blogger-- BLOG IT!

EVERYONE EMAIL THE LINKS! This will back-up the filing of Attorney Gibbs that THIS DID HAPPEN!

Once this info is out to back-up Gibbs, they cannot claim that it was made up today!!!

Here are some of the links:


I will be updating with those email addresses to make it easier!!!

Update: Here are a few email addresses (LOL):
Send a letter to the editor:
Hannity & ColmesSean Hannity
Hannity & Colmes
Alan Colmes
More will be coming!!!
GOT MAIL??,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


Contact Florida DCF

This comes right from BFT.

March 25, 2005
DCF Contact Information -ACTION ALERT

That shouldn't be happening! Tell people to pressure DCF to take Terri into protective custody! They told Greer they didn't need his permission- make them act!

Contact info for DCF

Lucy D. Hadi, Secretary 1317 Winewood Blvd.Building 1, Room 202Tallahassee, Florida32399-0700 Phone: (850) 487-1111

HT: Jacqueline

What Terri is Enduring

The following are notes taken from another time that Terri's feeding tube was removed. This is very similar to what she is enduring now.
HT: Sherri.

On Oct. 27, 2003, Michael Schiavo, the husband of the cognitively disabled Florida woman, Terri Schindler-Schiavo, appeared on Larry King Live to explain why he was fighting so hard to remove his wife’s feeding tube.
His appearance was only days after the Florida legislature intervened to have Terri’s feeding tube reinserted for the second time in two years.
Michael Schiavo insisted that he wanted to help his wife "die with dignity." He told King: "It’s painless, and probably the most natural way to die. It is a very easy way to die — probably the second best way to die, the first being an aneurysm."

At the same time he was speaking on national television, Terri’s medical file contained a document prescribing for her a slow and painful death by starvation and dehydration. Called an "Exit Protocol," the document contains explicit instructions for how Terri will be treated during the grisly series of events that will occur should the courts decide to withdraw her feeding tube. Terri’s fate remains an active issue in both the Florida state and U.S. federal courts.

The nurse who discovered the Exit Protocol, Cheryl Ford, R.N., a Tampa nurse, was reviewing Terri’s medical file at the request of the Schindler family when she found the document. For the benefit of our readers, Ford agreed to explain this document in detail. [Editor’s note: The protocol, in bold print, is followed by Ford’s comments.]

• Patient Care Notes— The Hospice of Florida Suncoast — 4/19/01 — Clinical Pharmacy — Re: Medication review and symptom management. The patient is a 37-year-old woman in a vegetative state with no apparent signs of distress. Enteral tube-feeding to be discontinued on 4/20/01.

"This is a very critical piece of information from a nurse’s point of view," Ford said. "We have a patient with no apparent signs of distress, yet enteral tube feeding is going to be discontinued on 4/20/01. This is murder. And it’s premeditated murder, because look at the dates — notes were prepared the day before the tube was supposed to be withdrawn."

What would make the death more difficult is that Terri is a healthy woman, weighing approximately 138.5 pounds, which means she will endure longer than other patients who are in the midst of a natural-death process.

"I was an oncology (cancer) nurse," Ford said. "These people are very weak and gaunt. Their bodies are already shutting down, and their tube feedings are withdrawn when their body systems can no longer handle it. But Terri is not a cancer patient — that’s what bothers me. She’s a healthy young woman."

• Upon discontinuation of enteral feeding the following signs/symptoms may or may not occur. The following is a brief list of symptoms for which to monitor and recommended interventions.

• Monitor symptoms of pain/discomfort. If noted, medicate with Naproxen rectal suppository 375 mg. Q8 prn ["Q8 prn" means eight times a day as needed]. If someone in a persistent vegetative state cannot feel pain, as Michael Schiavo and his attorney, George Felos, have consistently told the world, why do Terri’s charts tell nurses how to treat her for pain?

According to Ford, that is because Terri can and will feel pain during this process — and a lot of it. "Think about what hunger pains are like if you haven’t eaten in a while," Ford said. "You start to get that gnawing feeling, almost a burning in your stomach. Most people don’t extend themselves into the depths of hunger. They grab a cracker or bread if they’re out shopping for a while just to make themselves feel better." Terri would not have this option, however. "Within several hours, she’ll start to feel this kind of hunger pain," Ford said.
Dehydration would only add to the discomfort: "When she starts going into the dehydration stage, her metabolism will start to change. Her electrolytes will get imbalanced. She’s going to get uncomfortable and will start to writhe. "Advance a couple days without food or water. Now her mouth is parched, her lips, her gums, her tongue will start to crack and bleed. The nasal cavities will start to dry, crack and bleed. The stomach will get dry and shrink, causing vomiting and heaving," Ford said.

• Pulmonary (a) Inability to clear secretions — reposition and swab mouth, consider scopolamine patch behind ear every 3 days. "When you first go into dehydration, your body will automatically compensate by making saliva. But when she gets into the stage where the stomach shrinks and nausea begins, they’re going to stick a patch behind her ear for the nausea. What the patch also does is dehydrate you by taking away this fluid."

(b) Dyspnea — nebulize low dose 2-5 mg. Morphine sulfate Q4 prn [four times a day as needed]. "Dyspnea is when you have difficulty breathing. What they’re going to do is use a nebulizer the way you might use for asthmatics — only instead of giving a histamine to help her breathe, they’re going to give Terri morphine sulfate, which only suppresses respiration more. In the later phases she’ll start gasping for air."

In seven to nine days, as most of her body fluids are lost, her blood pressure will go down and her heart rate will rise. The blood will be shunted to the central part of the body from the periphery of the body, so that usually two to three days prior to death, the hands and feet become extremely cold. They become mottled and have a bluish appearance. The eyes will become so dry the patient can’t move them anymore because there will be fluid in them.

• Multifocal myoclonus or terminal agitation [sometimes caused by electrolyte imbalance]. Consider diazepam rectal administration 5-10 mg. May repeat in 4 hours if not resolved then daily — twice daily as needed.

Multifocal myoclonus means seizures taking place in various parts of the body. "Because of the electrolyte imbalance, Terri will begin to have seizures," Ford said. "She’ll start to twitch. You don’t see this in an oncology patient because they’re already dehydrated. Even the elderly, who are going into the natural process of death, their bodies are doing what God created them to do — slow down.

"Our job as health-care professionals at this point is to understand the death process and to oblige the process God has given these people to help them in comfort measures — palliative care — not to enhance death. But Terri’s not terminal," Ford said. "What they’re doing here is starving a healthy person to death. This is the only reason why she’ll go into multifocal myoclonus."

• Grand Mal seizure, which is highly unlikely given current conditions and lack of contributing factors (meds) [medication]. Recommend diazepam 15 mg. rectally as indicated in seizure management orders.

"If she happens to make it into a grand mal seizure, they will give her 15 mg. of valium. … The valium won’t make this easier, it will just help to bring her to death faster, because she won’t have the ability to fight her way out of it," Ford said. "Her body will not be in good shape at this point. You wouldn’t look at her and say she was comfortable. She’s been without food and water for a long time. She’s pretty much withered, her skin is broken down, her metabolism is broken down, her kidneys haven’t received anything. Her body is reacting to the lack of food." At this point, death is imminent.

During the Oct. 2003 tube withdrawal, Ford saw Terri before the process began. "They started off by dressing her in wool sweaters and long pants, then wrapped her in a wool blanket — to ‘sweat her out’ — to make her deyhdrate faster," Ford said. She was horrified, especially because it was only October and it’s still hot in Florida in October.

"This is not a painless or dignified way to die," Ford said. "It’s against the law to dehydrate and starve to death a prisoner on death row. Why should we allow it to be done to a disabled woman — or anybody?" The cruelty Ford has seen Terri endure is "not even believable," she said. "In this case, Dr. Kevorkian would be more humane than what they intend to do to Terri."

Contact Susan Brinkmann at or (215) 965-4615.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Well Said, Ann!

I couldn't say it better. Here is Ann Coulter's argument for why Florida Governor Jeb Bush should intervene and immediately take Terri Schiavo into protective custody despite opposition from Judge Greer.

Why Bush even bothered to seek permission to intervene from Judge Greer is beyond me! It's like asking Scott Peterson (convicted of brutally murduring his wife and child) to set the parameters for his trial and sentencing! How about Governor Bush just step down and appoint Judge Greer to be governor instead. I mean, it's obvious who has the real power!

Governor Bush can be reached at 850-488-4441. Email him at . Ask him to intervene and take Terri into protective custody. More information on BFT.

Terri Schiavo is being slowly tortured to death. Going on seven days without food and water. Note to all those slimy "experts" who crawled out of the woodwork to tell us all how serene and euphoric death by dehydration is: You try it, and give me your blow by blow account of how it feels.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Do not allow this to stand

My letter to my Senator (since all the phone lines are jammed):

This cannot be allowed to stand.

Three Thirteen judges have tried to crush a law passed by Congress and signed by the President asking them to do as the voters have requested: consider all the evidence available in deciding the Terri Schiavo case.

The judiciary must learn that "independent" does not mean "unaccountable". They cannot simply decide that they do not have to follow a law. They cannot simply decide that following a few procedures negates the law intended to protect the innocent. They cannot simply decide that they can afford to delay a reckoning because the star witness will likely die during the delay.

And the Legislative and Executive Branches can no longer afford to ignore the Judicial culture that has set itself up as the whimsical final authority over what Congress and the President mean by the laws passed.

Do not allow this to stand.

I support any largely nonviolent means you may take to bring these judges in front of Congress, expose their judicial arrogance and incompetence, and permanently remove them from the practice of law. Undoubtedly lawyer-judges will argue that any procedure undertaken is not lawful -- I really don't care. We do not allow the accused to be the trial judge, and these judges should not be allowed to stand in judgement of procedures designed to curb their arrogance and incompetence. If you have to remove the entire Supreme Court all at once, including Justice Scalia, do it. Some will complain of a "chilling effect" on justices. I do not want a chilling effect. I want judges locked in glaciers, frozen with fear of making judgements contrary to the purpose and principles of the laws we the voters ask you the congress to pass.

Terri Schiavo is starving. Do not allow this to stand.


From Brian J. Noggle...

Pleasepleaseplease do not reach a precedent-setting judicial decision based on what the blogosphere says.

Agreed. And pleasepleaseplease do not reach a judicial decision based on what Congress says.

Or the President.

Or the voters who keep calling their representatives.

Or heaven forbid, the actual laws violated here.

And the worst possible thing of all would be to look at all the evidence. We really cannot have that. Please.

<Do I really need the /sarcasm tag?>

Postscript: Sarcasm directed at the judges, not Noggle. But there are plenty of people under the mistaken impression that the evidence has had its day in court, and their cries of "Let her starve already!" are enabling judges to shirk their duty to weigh evidence, instead of cherry-picking the evidence they like.

Contact Florida Senators!

Terri Schiavo, who has been without food and water for almost six days now, has been again let down by a Federal Court. The Florida Legislature may be able to help her by passing a bill that will require more compelling evidence of a wish to die in order to remove sustenance. Please go here for a list of key Florida Senators to contact. These Senators need to know where America stands. Please take a few minutes of your time to email them. Then make every effort to contact them by phone.

Terri Schiavo is being tortured to death.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Starving Cows seems to be a crime...

Hat tip: Amsiriano

Amsiriano comments:
It's World Hypocrisy Day!

March 22, 2005 06:59 A rancher in Florida has
been arrested for starving a bunch of cows. But, hey, let's give this guy a break! After all, maybe he took his cue from what his own state is doing to Terri Schindler.

(AP)IMMOKALEE -- A fourth-generation rancher who said he ran out of money to buy feed for his livestock has been charged with 120 felony counts of animal cruelty, authorities say.

Michael Lee Swails, 47, of Immokalee, was arrested Thursday in connection with the discovery of dead, dying or severely malnourished cows on his ranch last year.

The whole thing's not much longer, but I think you get the point. Was this in Florida? Oh, yes, it was.

Cross-posted at BlogsForTerri.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Judge Stalls, Terri Continues to Starve

It's worse than I thought. Attorney David Gibbs filed the motion to restore Terri's feeding tube as soon as President Bush signed the emergency bill passed by Congress, and Judge Whittemore didn't hold a hearing until almost 5:30pm EST! Then he declined to rule, and I suppose went home. Terri is starting to get really dehydrated; her skin is cracking.

Either way the judge rules, an appeal will be filed by whoever didn't get their way. However, if the judge doesn't rule, it would be much more complicated to file an appeal. It seems to me this judge is going to wait and wait and hope Terri dies before he gets around to a ruling.

I tell you, our courts have really gotten out of control. Hugh Hewitt (or was it Sean Hannity?) had a great comment on his radio show today, that one result of this whole ordeal is that people are starting to see just how indifferent to evidence and justice our judges have become.

I am starting to get really discouraged. I and many other Americans have worked very hard to contact our Senators and Representatives about our support for Terri. And our elected officials acted on her behalf. The only problem is they threw the ball right back in the judicial court (pun intended). And we have seen again and again that the judges can not be trusted to uphold justice.

The worst feeling is the incredible sense of helplessness. An innocent disabled woman is being killed slowly and painfully and I find myself once again emailing a brick wall. But at least I am in good health and had enough to eat and drink today.

Terri Schiavo is suffering from hunger and dehydration. How much longer can she hang on?

Another Judge to Decide Terri Schiavo's Fate

Congress worked hard all weekend to come to an agreement, President Bush cut his vacation short to sign a bill, us ordinary citizens spent the entire weekend emailing and calling our congressmen, Governor Bush, President Bush and anyone else we could think of to please spare Terri Schiavo's life. And all for what? So yet another judge could decide whether or not to grant her parents' request to reinsert her feeding tube?

All this hard work just so her fate could be put back in the hands of the courts? There is ample evidence that Judge Greer is corrupt. Yet the Florida DCA refused to grant Terri a stay of execution in order to allow for an investigation. This makes me wonder if the DCA judge(s) isn't also corrupt. What confidence does anyone that this judge in Tampa, Clinton appointee Judge James Whittemore isn't corrupt as well? I'm talking about the judge who gets to decide tday if it's OK to start giving Terri food and water again.

Why must this always be subjected to the courts? Congress issued a federal subpoena which requires Terri to be protected as a witness. I don't have any indication that Congress is enforcing this subpoena. Governor Bush has the authority to take Terri into protective custody via Florida Statute 417 415.1051(2). Why isn't he invoking that statute? I understand President Bush has similar authority to protect Terri. I understand he wants to work with Congress and he did sign the bill. Only so the Schindler's attorney can now ask a judge permission to end Terri's torture.

I thought it was a given that once the bill was signed early this morning, Terri's life would automatically be protected while her case is being investigated. Well, only if a judge says so.

Terri has now been hungry and thirsty for four days. Let's hope she can hold out long enough while our government plays lackey to the courts.

Terri Schiavo is being tortured to death.

Latest on Terri Schiavo

The latest right now is that President Bush has signed the bill to protect her, and AG Alberto Gonzales has been formally asked to initiate an investigation. Please visit BlogsForTerri for more information.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Michael Schiavo Fits the Profile of Abusive Husband

Go here to find out all about the loving husband who only wants what's best for his wife.

You can find additional supporting documents here.

Keep up with BlogsForTerri for the latest on which congressmen need some extra convincing to pass the incapacitated persons legal protection bill.

Terri Schiavo is being tortured to death.

Terri Groggy and Unresponsive: High fever last night likely due to infection caused by improper removal of the feeding tube

I copied this directly from BlogsForTerri. Terri is really suffering right now. You would be too if you had no food or water for three days and a high fever.

Terri Groggy and Unresponsive: High fever last night likely due to infection caused by improper removal of the feeding tube
According to a trusted source, Terri developed a high fever last night, most likely due to infection caused by improper removal of the feeding tube... she is groggy and unresponsive, and may not make it much longer.

Please if you have a fax machine take a moment and contact by fax the offices of Congressman Robert Wexler: 19th District of Florida - FAX 202 225-5974Email here
and Earl Blumenauer - FAX 202 225-8941, Email here

Their voice mails are already full! These two are going to oppose the legislation today that will save Terri Schiavo. Please stress the following: (copy and paste if needed or write your own message)

This is NOT about interfering in states' rights. It is the job of the Federal Government to ensure that State Law is followed and that Terri Schiavo and others like her receive their right of due process, which to this point, has been denied. The federal amendment will ensure that Terri and other disabled people like her will receive a review of the procedures followed by state courts - a right everyone is entitled to, especially in matters of life and death.

Please stand up for the life of those who are unable to speak for themselves and pass the Incapacitated Persons' Legal Protection Act without delay. To allow Terri to die based on the hearsay testimony of a husband who has abandoned her, a lawyer who is a euthanasia advocate - and a judge who has allowed both state and federal law to be broken would be a gross travesty of justice. Judicial tyranny in this country must end!!

Symbolic Stand for Terri

Megan, a fellow blogger came up with this brilliant idea: let's send food and water to Terri right at the Hospice where she is currently being starved. You can read more by visiting her blog. Megan does not exactly fit the profile of right-wing pro-life conservative. It's great to welcome her to Terri's cause.

The address where Terri is being kept is:

Woodside Hospice House
6770 102nd Avenue
Pinellas Park, FL 33782-2909
phone (727) 541-4199

A good online grocery store to use is NetGrocer.

BlogsForTerri is on this as well, so you can find updates there.

Terri Schiavo is starving.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Evidence of Impropriety

UPDATE: Related post here on BlogsForTerri.

If you have any doubts that there has been and continues to be some serious legal impropriety in Terri Schiavo's case, check out this series of accounts written by someone who actually worked for Terri's lawyers and knows her parents. Much of the information presented here can be easily corroborated.

This person writes further down that she is pro-choice and supportive of a right to die provided a living will is in place. I mention this just to show that this is not just a cause taken up by the pro-life/anti-abortion crowd.

Terri Schiavo is starving.

Some Concise Facts for Congress

UPDATE: crossposted at Blogs For Terri.

It's looking like congressional action is the most likely hope for Terri right now. Soon, the US house and senate are going to vote on a compromised bill that will insure Terri gets an appeal in federal courts.

I think it's important to emphasize these facts in contacting our congressmen:

1. Terri has not been given an MRI or PET scan, two tests that are required to properly diagnose PVS. In addition, there is a lot of evidence that she is more responsive than someone in PVS would be. She is reported to have pleaded for her life as best she can the day her feeding tube was removed.
2. Michael Schiavo has been lax on numerous guardianship laws, and therefore, needs to be removed as Terri's guardian.
3. Judge Greer has allowed Michael to be lax on numerous guardianship laws, and therefore, needs to be removed as the judge on her case.
4. There are witnesses who have written court affidavits that indicate Michael has been abusive and neglectful of his wife since her collapse, and possibly even before.
5. Terri has never had a chance to receive appropriate medical care and therapy, per Michael's orders. Therefore, we have no way of knowing what her recovery possibilities are. She ought to at least be given a chance at therapy under her parents' care.

Terri deserves to have all of this and more properly investigated before she is killed. Let's keep contacting our congressmen. They need to hear us.

Terri Schiavo is starving.


Bobby Schindler, Terri's brother, is asking all of Terri's supporters to keep contacting their representatives and senators all weekend long. Those of you who read this blog, please take a few minutes of your time to ask your congressmen to use their voter-given authority to save Terri's life.

Michael Schiavo's attorney George Felos has already gone on TV asking people who want Terri dead to do the same.

On a slightly different note, I have finally had it with ABC News consistent distortion and misrepresentation of Terri's ordeal. I have contacted my local radio station and asked them to please get rid of ABC News and find a news provider that will actually report news. I have also written to ABC News to register my complaint. I know my little letter won't mean anything unless many others also write their local media outlets with the same request.

We're all doing what we can to get the truth out about Terri, but we are up against a lot of misinformation.

Terri Schiavo is starving.

Friday, March 18, 2005


Well, it's happened again. Not even a congressional subpoena is going to stop a state judge from continuing with his intention to kill Terri Schiavo.

I've been listening to the radio all day, at least the part of the day when I wasn't emailing or trying to call people involved in the case. And every half-hour I have to listen to the news segments decrying how cruel it would be for anyone to force Terri to have her feeding tube reinserted. Never mind that she had to have suffered in getting it removed. How cruel and inconsiderate it would be to force her to undergo any more medical treatment, or even force her to eat. Michael Schiavo's attorney likened the congressional subpoena to thuggery.

You'd think from listening to the news that this congressional subpoena was some last ditch stunt by some publicity-seeking congressman. Actually, the congressmen involved issued the subpoena because I asked them to. No, I didn't ask them to subpoena Terri Schiavo to appear as a witness. It would have never occurred to me. But I did write my representative and senators asking them to do everything they can to save Terri's life. And this subpoena is what they came up with. They would get a chance to interract with Terri first hand and meanwhile she would receive the protection offered federal witnesses. What they did is perfectly legal. My elected officials were doing what I and thousands of other voters were asking them to do: save Terri Schiavo.

So Judge Greer decided to disregard the subpoena, and ordered Terri's feeding tube removed anyway. One judge gets to place himself above the will of the people who elected these congressmen who decided to act based on their constituents' wishes. If this doesn't tell you we have a huge problem with runaway judges, I don't know what will.

It's finally come to the point in this country of government for the people by the people where I cannot do one thing about this travesty. My representative powers as an ordinary citizen are limited to voting, contacting my senators and representatives, contacting other senators and representatives, and writing. And our government was set up such that this ought to be enough. I can't go to Florida and protest what's going on. And I shouldn't have to. The fact that enough of us have contacted our congressmen to prompt them to try to intervene on Terri's behalf should have at least postponed her court ordered starvation.

But it didn't. The courts trump the will of the people. The courts trump the laws of congress. If the courts don't like a law, all they have to do is declare it unconstitutional and that's that. Right now, we have a court in California declaring that California cannot have a law that bans gay marriage. Never mind that this law was on the ballot and passed with an overwhelming majority. Five or fewer judges get to overturn the will of millions of voters. I honestly don't feel that strongly about gay marriage--if the people really want it, then fine, as long as it's the people who want it. But I do resent the judges declaring that the people of California are not allowed to prohibit it by majority rule.

Almost fifteen years ago, I had a conversation with a friend who had been involved in getting a referendum allowing abortion in her state to be overwhelmingly voted down. Initially, it looked like this referendum permitting abortion was going to pass by a majority. She and others organized a phone campaign where they asked people if they knew a few basic facts about pregnancy--things like when the heart starts beating (8 weeks), when the nervous system is formed (12 weeks), and other facts like that. When the referendum went to a vote, it was voted down overwhelmingly. Evidently the phone campaign worked. The voters in that state did not want abortion.

A few months later, Roe vs. Wade was decided. Five judges decided that the will of at least a million voters meant absolutely nothing. I'm sure this happend in other states as well. All that hard work, all the long hours on the phone, all that money spent on the campaign, all those voters who took the trouble to get informed on the issue and vote on it. All for nothing. The courts trump all.

A friend of mine mentioned the Jim Crow laws that caused the African-Americans to suffer discrimination, and many lost their lives to lynch mobs. So I looked it up. It turns out the Supreme Court had a role in that as well. There was a law passed in Congress called the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which provided "That all persons ... shall be entitled to full and equal enjoyment of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of inns, public conveyances on land or water, theaters, and other places of public amusement." This law at least made a start in upholding the rights of African-Americans to be treated with the respect of citizens. Would you know it, the Supreme Court declared that unconstitutional. This opened up the door to lots of discriminatory legislation including the Jim Crow laws. It then took 90 years for African-Americans to be legally protected against discrimination.

A doctor wrote BlogsForTerri earlier today saying that if Terri Schiavo dies, we should contact the office of the Medical Examiner and demand an autopsy to determine both the immediate and proximate cause of her death. Michael Schiavo wants an immediate cremation. If it comes to that, and I pray it doesn't, I will certainly contact the ME. But I know it won't make any difference. Judge Greer will simply order an immediate cremation and that will be that. The courts trump all.

I know as I write this that certain representatives are still at work trying to figure out another way to save Terri's life. There will be some more sessions on Monday. They are trying everything. After all, their constituents have asked them to. Meanwhile, Terri will not be receiving any food or water. No doubt, Judge Greer will disregard whatever else our elected officials try to throw at him.

The question is, will one judge continue to be able to trump the will of the people and our elected officials? Will the courts continue to trump all? Or will this case be what finally sounds the alarm that our judges have gotten out of control? Is there going to be a way to curb their power--power that they have gradually acquired over the course of many years? Or is it too late? Have we ultimately replaced rule by a monarchy under the British with an entrenched judicial tyranny? Maybe.

I am coming to terms with the realization that I have been disenfranchised.

Terri Schiavo is starving.

More Judicial Tyranny

Judge Greer reinstated the order to remove Terri Schiavo's feeding tube. This is despite the subpoena of Terri as a witness.

It doesn't look like this is final, yet. There are other people involved in trying to sort out the legal stuff. BlogsForTerri is urging us to keep calling the US congressmen.

I'd really like to know where the petition to impeach Judge Greer is at.

Subpoenas Are On Their Way!

Some good news! I copied this directly from BlogsForTerri:

Subpoenas on Their Way!
Fox News is reporting that House Government Reform Committee lawyers are on their way to Florida to deliver subpoenas to Michael Schiavo, to the Schindlers, (Terri's parents), and to two doctors and the hospice administrator where she now lives. The subpoenas call these people, and Terri, as witnesses and also require that her feeding and hydration not be suspended until they can investigate the case. It is very significant that Terri is named as a witness, because there are laws to protect federal witnesses.

Also, the House and the Senate have delayed their Easter recess to take up these issues.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Florida DCA Says No

So much for giving the courts a chance. The Florida District Court of Appeals refused to grant a 60 day stay for Terri Schiavo to give the Department of Children and Families adequate time to investigate the evidence of abuse and neglect against Terri.

When I went to the Empire Journal to read the original story, I learned their website was recently hacked and many of their stories about Terri Schiavo were deleted.

All is not lost, however. As I write this, the US senate is going to decide whether to pass the bill the house just passed unanimously--the one that would give disabled people certain rights currently afforded convicted criminals. If the bill passes on time, it should be enough to stop Terri's execution scheduled for tomorrow. Also, there is a lot going on in the Florida legislature. Some bills are in the process of being passed into law there, and Governor Bush will sign them right away. This too could stop Terri's scheduled starvation.

I also heard on the Rush Limbaugh show this morning some comments about the nuclear option. Apparently the Republicans in the US Senate are getting fed up with the Democrats filibustering every single judicial nominee that Bush has appointed. Some Democrat senators are joining up with to get that killed. Hey, the liberals can't win elections and they can't pass legislation, so all they have left is foisting their wishes on us through their activist judges. And it's these activist judges that are really wreaking havoc on society. I, your humble blogger, am certainly sick of these activist judges, in Florida and elsewhere.

Please keep up with BlogsForTerri to get the latest news on her case. There's a lot going on, and Richard and Tim are doing an amazing job of staying on top of it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

There's Still Hope

The Florida Department of Children and Families is appealing Judge Greer's decision to deny its request to postpone Terri Schiavo's starvation by 60 days while they investigate the allegations of abuse and neglect. There will be a hearing this Thursday at 5:00 pm. The article is here and I found this out from Sherri's blog.

One thing I find amusing (in a sick sort of way) about the article is that Judge Greer gave as his reasons for denying the DCF's request for 60 days: "All of the things (the witness) ticked off ... were all issues that have been in open court in front of the media and in the court files which the media has access to." I don't know if what he said is even true, but if it is, I certainly haven't noticed the mainstream media running with any of it.

I really feel bad for Terri and her family, that they are so much at the mercy of the courts--courts who cannot even be trusted to uphold existing law. On the other hand, not every single judge is corrupted, and right now, this is the system available to them. Let's hope the judge who hears this case is a good one.

Planned Parenthood Sues Indiana

I found this story this morning in the Evansville Courier & Press. Apparently, there is a law in Indiana that states that having sex with someone under the age of 14 is child molestation, even if the person under 14 consents. Several Planned Parenthood centers in Indiana provided "reproductive health services paid for by Medicaid" to some 12 and 13 year old girls. The attorney general of Indiana, Steve Carter, felt he had reason to believe that the Planned Parenthood clinics serving these girls were not reporting their sexual activity. Since in Indiana, having sex with someone under the age of 14 is considered child molestation, a medical practitioner who is aware of a 12 or 13-year old girl having sex would be obligated to report it as an incidence of abuse. So Carter requested to see the medical records of some minors as part of his investigation. After turning over eight such records, Carter asked to see about 70 more. So Planned Parenthood is now suing the state of Indiana claiming a violation of privacy. Let the games begin...

In the interest of full disclosure, I should say that I would be perfectly happy if Planned Parenthood ceased to exist starting today. But that aside, this little story concerns me because it is yet another example of how people who are not able to garner enough voter support to pass legislation are using the courts to foist it on the rest of us. In this case, Indiana law says that it's illegal to have sex if you're under the age of 14, and that if you know of someone under 14 having sex, you are supposed to report it as child molestation. Whether you agree or disagree, that is current Indiana law. If you are a publicly funded organization claiming to serve the public, which Planned Parenthood is believed to be, at the very least, you should be respectful of the laws in the jurisdiction under which you operate. If you disagree with those laws, then you can pressure your congressman to sponsor a bill to change one or more of them. Or, you can start a petition to get it on the public ballot. Instead, what I am seeing more and more is that if you don't like the law, you ignore it, and then when the law begins to come down on you, you sue. And there will be no shortage of activist judges who will just declare that particular law unconstitutional. No representation, no voting, no due process. Suddenly, the law is deemed unconstitutional by some judge. No doubt, that is what will happen here. I doubt anyone trying to introduce legislation making it legal for kids under 14 to have sex will get very far. Who in their right mind would vote for such a thing? But for those who think kids should start having sex as soon as they can spell the word, there will always be activist judges.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Breaking Information on Terri Schiavo's Case

For some interesting and previously unpublished news on Terri Schiavo, I refer you to Sherri's blog. She is currently working through a number of files on the case that she was able to obtain, and she's publishing a series on them as she's going through them. Of course, please also check BlogsForTerri for the latest news on the effort to save her life.

Friday, March 04, 2005

My Letter to my Representative

I just emailed this letter to my representative regarding the Incapacitated Person's Legal Protection Act that Rep. Weldon from Florida is planning to introduce to the US House the week of March 6. You can read more about this bill here and I found it via this post on BlogsForTerri. We need as many people as possible to write your representative and ask them to vote yes on this bill. Feel free to use or modify my letter for this purpose. Before I copy the letter, let me again stress that much, much more information is available at BlogsForTerri--more than this humble blogger can possibly keep up with. There is a lot you can still do to help save her life, so please visit BlogsForTerri to find out how. OK, here's the letter:

Rep. Dave Weldon from Florida is planning to introduce a bill called the Incapacitated Persons Legal Protection Act the week of March 6. My understanding of this bill is that it would provide people like Terri Schiavo the opportunity to have their case fully reviewed by an impartial court before anyone can order them killed. At this time, convicted criminals on death row have more legal protection than severely disabled people like Terri Schiavo who have committed no crime. This bill seeks to increase the legal protection for the innocent and disabled. Please vote yes on the Incapacitated Persons Legal Protection Act.

Many of us are deeply concerned about Terri Schiavo and the fact that the judge on her case for the past few years has several times ordered her death by starvation. At this time, he has ordered her death once again by having her feeding tube removed this March 18.

There are several reasons why I am concerned about what happens to Terri Schiavo. The most compelling reason for me right now is that there is enough evidence to indicate the possibility that Terri's husband--the one who has been seeking her death all these years--was physically abusive towards Terri and that it was one of his attacks which lead to her mysterious collapse in 1990. Furthermore, there is more evidence that he has been extremely neglectful of his wife since the collapse. People who worked with Terri at the various facilities where she has lived have stated that Michael has refused to allow her to receive even routine therapy and some medical treatment, and that he has been vocal about his desire that she die soon. None of this has been investigated yet, so I don't want to outright accuse Michael Schiavo of this, but the fact that it hasn't been investigated is something I am concerned about.

I'm very much concerned that there is a possibility that an abusive husband attacked his wife to the point of severely injuring her, then not only did he get away with it, but he gets the Florida courts to finish the job for him. This is what would happen if Michael gets his way and Terri gets killed. This is not a possibility I'm willing to live with. I know that no bill can possibly put an end to all domestic violence; but neither should domestic violence be allowed to be legally cloaked in the guise of "My wife wouldn't want to live like this, so let's end it now."

Many people see the Terri Schiavo case as a right to die issue--i.e., who would want to go on living with severely impaired mental function. While I personally do not believe in a right for an individual to hasten their own or anyone else's death for any reason, I don't see Terri Schiavo's case as a right to die issue. I see it more as a situation where a woman, Terri Schiavo, has been victimized and denied all sorts of rights for the past fifteen years by a husband of questionable character and a judge who refuses to even look at any evidence that would render a different outcome in her case. To put it bluntly, there is some major injustice going on at Terri Schiavo's expense.

In that light, please do all you can to use your influence in the US House to help Terri and her family gain justice. Please vote yes on the bill I mentioned above. And if there is anything else you can to for Terri and for people like her, please do it.

This is really important.

Thank you for your consideration and action.