Churchill Update

Ward Churchill’s jackassery has been overshadowed recently, but the report on his behavior is now out at the Blogger News Network. The Instapundit comments that “the bottom line is that he’s in trouble for research fraud, etc., but not for his ‘little Eichmanns’ statement.”

Which is, IMHO, as it should be. Academic tenure should protect all speech, however controversial, however idiotic, however offensive. The real question should be how he got tenure in the first damned place.

Judge Greer, Unwelcome Baptist

Saw this via Outside the Beltway:

Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge George Greer left his church last week after the pastor wrote him a letter suggesting “it might be easier for all of us” if he leave.

Greer, whose orders on the Terri Schiavo case have brought him criticism, is a Southern Baptist who attended Calvary Baptist Church in Clearwater.

Though he had other unrelated problems with the church, Greer’s attendance faltered after a Baptist publication the church supported criticized his decisions in the Schiavo case. He stopped his donations to the church, but remained a member. He briefly discussed his relationship with the church in a March 6 St. Petersburg Times article.

Four days later, Calvary Pastor William Rice wrote Greer a letter: “I am not asking you to do this, but since you have taken the initiative of withdrawal, and since your connection with Calvary continues to be a point of concern, it would seem the logical and, I would say, biblical course.”

Rice’s letter became public when he sent a copy to the Clearwater courthouse. Rice also said the church supports keeping Schiavo alive, though he said he was “truly saddened and embarrassed by the level of harassment and vitriolic nature of so many comments that purportedly come from people of faith.”

Rice, who has been pastor at the church for five months, added: “But you must know that in all likelihood it is this case which will define your career and this case that you will remember in the waning days of life. I hope you can find a way to side with the angels and become an answer to the prayers of thousands.”

Greer responded with a letter severing his relationship with the church.

More Nonsense

David Winston, a Republican ‘Strategist,’ was just on Connected Coast to Coast, and started his opposition to allowing Terri to die with the following:

“I think we can all agree that Michael Schaivo is a questionable character…”

No. NO! AND NO, DAMNIT! I don’t f-ing agree he is a questionable character. I think he is a normal guy who was very in love with his wife. His wife hid her bulimia from him, it is a disease that thrives on secrecy, and then had a heart attack which caused grievous amounts of brain damage. I think he then, for years, held out hope that she would recover, but then decided this was not possible, and has tried to carry through with what he believed, through conversation and experience, were his wife’s intent.

Along the way, he fell in love with someone else- not out of infidelity, because Terri is for all intents dead and always will be, but because he just did. Someone being a loving husband, decent caretaker, and good father- that is how these jackasses define ‘questionable character.’

None of us can live up to these standards. Lying hacks. All of them.

Fortunately, Ron Reagan and Craig Crawford jumped in and shut this crap down right quick.

Crawfor just had him for lunch again, when Winston tried to say this wasn’t a right-to-die case. It most certainly is- it is not a euthanasia case, Mr. Winston.

Stupidity is Bi-Partisan

Let’s just keep in mind that depsite my recent distaste for the behavior of Republicans, stupidity is still a bi-partisan issue. Exhibit A:

Does the “culture of life” extend to the victims of gun violence?

That’s the question critics are asking after President Bush’s contrasting responses to the two events dominating national attention this week.

Although Bush made a special trip back to Washington from vacation to sign legislation offering a new federal right of appeal to Terri Schiavo’s parents, the president and his aides have said almost nothing about the mass shooting in Red Lake, Minn. the deadliest outbreak of school violence since the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in Littleton, Colo…

Bush’s responses to the Schiavo case and the school shootings track with the preferences of two of his core constituencies.

Conservative Christians pressed Bush to intervene for Schiavo, while the National Rifle Assn. and other gun-owner groups generally look to minimize the relevance of political responses to mass shootings.

“It seems callous to talk about politics or to try to push a legislative agenda on the back of this heart-rending crime,” the NRA’s chief spokesman, Andrew Arulanandam, said in response to the Minnesota shootings.

There is enough dumb out there to hold both parties back.

Entertainment Plans

I am depressed and have a headache, and I am thinking seriously about going out and getting a bottle of Laphroiag and a couple Padrons. IN that spirit, I ask you:

What are you reading?
What is in your DVD player?
CD Player?
X-Box (or other console- I have X-box)?

What are your plans for the Easter weekend?

*** Update ***

Forgot to add this:

Reading: Some crappy pulp fiction by Robert Ludlum, the name of which I don’t remember.
DVD Player: Deadline (documentary about Death Row)
CD Player: Les Claypool and the Holy Mackerels
X-Box: Just finished Knights of the Old Republic and Knights of the Old Republic II, which may be the greatest RPG games since the original Deus Ex (PC) and one of my all-time favorites, Vampire: The Masquerade. I am eagerly awaiting Jade Empire and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, but right now I am just biding time with Star Wars: Battlefront and the exceptionally made Brothers in Arms. If any of you have any games that were like KOTOR, please let me know. I hated Morrowind.

Easter plans- nothing special.


I knew I was going to get comments and emails like this:

I’ve enjoyed your site in the past, John, but despite the fact that I’m satisfied if not 100% comfortable with the outcome of the case, your latest diatribe is so hateful and indefensibly stupid that I’m afraid you’ve lost me as a reader. The commentary at INDC and Protein Wisdom has a similar ideological flavor to yours, but lacks the utter contempt for religious conservatives who’ve in good faith come down on a different side of a difficult issue.

First things first- INDC and Protein Wisdom are great sites- I think Jeff Goldstein is a frigging genius.

Now, on to the real point of the comment:

…your latest diatribe is so hateful and indefensibly stupid that I’m afraid you’ve lost me as a reader. The commentary at INDC and Protein Wisdom has a similar ideological flavor to yours, but lacks the utter contempt for religious conservatives who’ve in good faith come down on a different side of a difficult issue.

My commentary may be perceived as hateful, but it shouldn’t be. I have a deep respect for the deeply religious. My father is deeply religious, and I have worked with and been taught by and befriended numerous deeply religious people. In fact, if you read all of the posts I have made on the Schiavo issue, I have repeatedly pointed out that there are, in my opinion, a great number of deeply religious people who probably do care about Terri Schaivo.

The post below is not about them, but rather, it is about he statist theocrats like Rick Santorum, Tom Delay, Randall Terry, Pat Robertson, who are now trying to impose their version of morality on the rest of us, and ruining our system of democracy in the process.

I recognize a distinction- if I am wrong, nad there is no distinction, well, then never mind. They can all go to hell and I don’t care how many of you are offended, because this is not, and will not become, a theocracy. But I think there is a distinction between the power-grabbing holy rollers I have mentioned and your average church-going individual.

Just like I think there is a distinction between ‘killing Terri Schiavo’ and letting her die. Just like I think there is a difference between life and being alive.

And the reason I think that is because I am right. Religious people are just that- religious people. Big government statist theocrats are the people I am railing against. Some more evidence:

The 11th Hour Coalition to Save Terri Schiavo’s Life has issued the following statement in response to the latest news regarding the efforts to save Terri Schiavo’s life:

Gov. Jeb Bush should stop entertaining the obstructionist actions of Judge George Greer and take immediate action as the head of Florida’s executive branch to stop the premeditated murder of Terri Schiavo. Judge Greer is in contempt of a congressional subpoena and has ignored a federal law. His recent decisions regarding Terri’s best interests continue to demonstrate that he is, at best, prejudiced, and, at worst, a judicial tyrant.

Jeb Bush does not need Judge Greer’s permission to execute his duties as governor. The U.S. Constitution and Florida’s Constitution provide for a balance of power between the judicial, legislative and executive branches. There should be little question as to the activist nature of Florida’s judicial branch. Therefore, Gov. Bush has the duty, the power and the absolute obligation to immediately take Terri in protective custody and restore her access to nutrition and hydration.

It is more than simply ironic that Terri’s plight unfolds during the holiest week on the Christian calendar. In President Bush’s recent attempt to wash his hands of this matter, he stated he can do no more as the head of the executive branch. This is simply untrue. President Bush not only has the power, but the obligation to use his police powers to put an end to this national tragedy.

Holy Thursday marks the beginning of Christ’s Passion, and we are reminded of His warning that half measures are simply not enough; we must stand guard against the enemy. The blood of this innocent woman will be on those who had the power to save her, but did not.

We implore Gov. Jeb Bush to act decisively by ordering the Florida state troopers to take Terri Schiavo into protective custody and restore her food and water. It is hardly unique that this type of action be taken; the Civil Rights struggle of the 1960s serves as just one example.

On the original Good Friday, Jesus — the Lamb of God — was put to death for the sins of others. As we commemorate Good Friday, let us prevent the death of another innocent lamb because of the inaction of others.

I am not the one out of line or unhinged, here. My sin is seeing these people for what they are.

Thank Goodness

Spring is in the air, and something is a happening down in Georgia.

How Far Will They Go To Kill Conservatism?

The other day, in a conversation with my father, I stated that I was really afraid how far the radicals in my party would go to make sure that Terri Schiavo remains a bed-bound vegetable for the next 40 years. I had predicted that they would convince/coerce someone in the law enforcement community to arrest and charge Michael Schiavo with abuse (or anything, really). They then could ‘rescue’ Terri, because allowing her to die would be ‘destroying evidence.’

I predicted this would be their avenue of attack after they lost in the Appeals Court, because we had already seen the whisper campaigns starting several days ago. The loudmouth talking heads from NRL, the bully-boy lawyers, the life-at-all costs fanatics had all raised the possibility that Michael Schiavo somehow caused her condition. Hell- even moderates were saying things like ‘He does have a conflict of interest with all that insurance money involved,’ despite the fact that there is no money and the new standard they have just created for all beneficiaries of life insurance policies. If you are a beneficiary in ANYONE’s life insurance policy, your judgement and honesty are now in question- because you stand to ‘gain.’

Sick bastards- defining losing your wife as a ‘gain,’ but all is fair in politics, right? And that is what this is- politics and symbolism on the right to life battlefield. I have said it before- this is jihad for these folks. They don’t give two hoots in hell about Terri Schiavo- this is about abortion, religion, and most of all, about power and control. Their concept of morality is king, you see- your behavior in the bedroom, your choice in sexual partner, your desires about end of life decisions, abortion, even the medication you use to ease the pain when you are dying of terminal diseases- their religious text should have authority over you, and if all these ‘small-government strict constructionists states right’s advocates’ have to attain that through government proxy, so be it.

How radical are these folks? I predicted they would charge Schiavo with a crime. I was wrong. Instead, their full-on assault of the judiciary at both the state and federal level as well as their perversion of the legislative branches, and their misuse of the Federal and State Executive branches by Brothers Bush was not enough, and now they are attempting to use state level agencies, the ones relied upon for the non-partisan delivery of services, as a weapon:

The Florida judge presiding over the Terri Schiavo case ordered the state agency charged with protecting vulnerable adults to make no attempt to take the brain-injured woman into protective custody late Wednesday. The order appears to be in direct contradiction to a state statute that requires the agency to act…

One member of the media asked if the state Department of Children and Families (DCF) planned to take Terri Schiavo into protective custody, remove her from the hospice where she is being dehydrated and starved to death or try to reinsert her feeding and hydration tube.

“We are looking at every potential opportunity to be of assistance,” replied DCF Secretary Lucy Hadi.

That response apparently prompted the attorney for Terri’s estranged husband and legal guardian, Michael Schiavo, to contact Pinellas County Circuit Court Judge George Greer, requesting a court order barring the state from acting. Noted “right-to-die” attorney, author and activist George Felos argued during a court hearing later Wednesday that DCF had “no more power than … a person walking down the street,” to place Terri in protective custody.

The objective reality of Terri Schiavo’s sad medical condition is immaterial, and what is important is winning this battle in the war for ‘life at all costs.’ Therefore, an anonymous call to the DCF alleging abuse in the Schiavo case seems warranted to these zealots, who then bring forward yet another neurologist who diagnosed Schiavo via internet videotape (click here if you want to see this latest diagnosis simply annihilated by Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, another life-long Republican):

Mayo Clinic neurologist Dr. William Cheshire — who is also a member of the Florida’s Adult Protective Services team — said late Wednesday that Terri Schiavo “may have been misdiagnosed” by one court appointed doctor and two other physicians chosen by Michael Schiavo.

Those three doctors declared Terri to be in a persistent vegetative state (PVS), but Cheshire said, based on his examination of Terri and review of her records, she is more likely in a minimally conscious state (MCS). The term is a new diagnostic description that has come into acceptance since Terri was last examined.

All of a sudden, the hysterical slippery slope rhetoric of NARAL and NOW does not seem that unwarranted. As I write this, the Supreme Court has ruled against the reactionaries, adding yet another legal defeat (if these guys were a basketball team, they would be the LA Clippers), but I believe they will remain undeterred. God is on their side, you know, and they know what is best for all of us.

How radical are these people? Radical enough to make John Derbyshire seem downright moderate:

One of the depressing — I am not being facetious, it really does depress me — features of the past couple of days has been watching the talking-heads left-right programs on the telly and wishing I could cheer on the righty — the side of any argument I would instinctively support — but not being able to.

Watching Hannity & Colmes Tuesday night I found myself nursing a devout hope that if I ever enter a persistent vegetative state, Sean Hannity is nowhere in the neighborhood.

Amen, Derb. And if you still don’t understand how far astray these reactionaries are, read this:

But that question was not directly accosted by the judge, who said only that Terri’s rights had not been abrogated. It was unseemly for critics to compare her end with that of victims of the Nazi regime. There was never a more industrious inquiry, than in the Schiavo case, into the matter of rights formal and inchoate. It is simply wrong, whatever is felt about the eventual abandonment of her by her husband, to use the killing language. She was kept alive for fifteen years, underwent a hundred medical ministrations, all of them in service of an abstraction, which was that she wanted to stay alive. There are laws against force-feeding, and no one will know whether, if she had had the means to convey her will in the matter, she too would have said, Enough.

Welcome to Big Government, Morality Police edition, brought to you by Pat Robertson, Randall Terry, and company. And if you think it ends with Schiavo, you are misguided. The shock troops are being trained in the ways of war as we speak (more on this here from Talk Left):

Gabriel Keys (foreground) is arrested by police officers for trespassing in Pinellas Park, Florida, March 23, 2005. The young protester attempted to take a glass of water into the Woodside Hospice for the brain-damaged Terri Schiavo. A federal judge rejected a request from the parents of Schiavo to order her feeding tube reinserted, dealing a blow to attempts by the U.S. Congress and the White House to prolong her life. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

When Terri Schiavo is finally allowed to slip past her cruel fate and move on to a better place, she will not be the only one to have died this month. At another gravesite, this marker should be erected:

Barry Goldwater’s Conservatism in America


*** Update ***

You know what- I might as well face the fact that I owe Andrew Sullivan an apology. You were right, Andy. I was wrong.

*** Update #2 ***

William Bennett invokes Martin Luther King while advocating Gov. Bush send in troops. I think I am going to vomit. Or drink heavily.

*** Update #3 ***

So sayeth the Bull Moose:

However, of late, it appears that the right is losing its populist touch. The American people are clearly not buying social security privatization. The propeller heads at the right wing think tanks are evidently no more connected with the folks than their counterparts in the Harvard faculty lounge.

And the Schiavo case reveals a gap between public opinion and the worldview of the Republican social conservatives. Apparently, the religious right is not necessarily more representative of the general population than the “Beserkely” beads and sandals crowd. The right has taken on some of the worst characteristics of the New Left – morally self-righteous, making the personal, political and valuing ends over means. According to the ABC poll, even Evangelicals are almost evenly divided on the Schiavo case.

Conservatives are as intoxicated by power and hubris as liberals once were. Barry Goldwater would hardly recognize this crowd. And should the right lose its populist touch, the conservative moment may not last for much longer.

Trust the people.

*** Update ***

More here, here, here, here, and here.

Trackback Spammers Ate My Site

Apparently massive trackback spamming killed this place temporarily.

I have the information about the trackback spammers- anyone know anything about what legal options I have against these bastards?


BTW- Gary Farber is back and blogging up a storm.

New Email Addy

Using gmail now. Email address is off to the left.


Did I miss something?

Secretary General Kofi Annan on Monday will propose establishing new rules for the use of military force, adopting a tough anti-terrorism treaty that would punish suicide bombers, and overhauling the United Nation’s discredited human rights commission, according to a confidential draft of a report on U.N. reform.

The 63-page draft report represents Annan’s most ambitious effort to restore international confidence in an organization that has been traumatized by divisions over the Iraq war and battered by revelations of financial impropriety and sexual misconduct by its personnel.

Is it budget time at the UN?

I don’t know if any of these things wil come to pass, but conservatives would be wise to work with Annan to achieve these goals, and then get back to the business of shoving him out the door.

Redefining Extraordinary

This is the most annoying line of ‘reasoning’ in those fighting for the Schindler’ right to re-insert the feeding tubes:

A lot of her details are out thereand even a cursory reading makes clear there are questions in this caseover whether she has been fairly represented in court, over whether she has gotten the best care. But still the question people seem to fall back most on in deciding Schiavo should be allowed to die is I wouldnt want to be on all sorts of machines. I understand the instinct. But, Id argue, this woman deserves a focus on her specifics. Shes needs feeding. Shes not on all sorts of extraordinary machines. And theres a case out there that she has not had a decent shot at rehab, and the people who gave her life want to get it to her.

A tube surgically inserted into a patient’s stomache is an ‘extraordinary’ measure, from both a realistic standpoint, and from a legal standpoint in the state of Florida. Period.

Ever seen a feeding tube at McDonald’s? In your kitchen? Any restaurant? Hospital cafeteria. It is a medical procedure, and even K. Lo’s Catholic church agrees.

All Hail Dahlia

I oculd just kiss Dahlia Lithwick:

This congressional authority to simply override years of state court fact-finding brings with it other superpowers, including the power of gratuitous name-calling: Members of Congress unable to pronounce Schiavo’s name just last week are denouncing her husband as an adulterer and common law bigamist who withheld proper medical care from her. I wonder what they’d say about my parentingor yoursif they decided to make a federal case out of every domestic-custody dispute currently resolved in state court proceedings.

Members of Congress have apparently also had super-analytical powers conferred upon them, as well. Senate Majority Leader, and heart surgeon, Bill Frist felt confident last weekafter reviewing an hour of videotapein offering a medical diagnosis of Schiavo’s condition, blithely second-guessing the court-appointed neurologists who evaluated her for days and weeks. His colleagues are similarly self-appointed neurological experts. Years of painstaking litigation, assessment, and evaluation by state courts are dismissed by Tom DeLay as the activist doings of a “little judge sitting in a state district court in Florida.” Only the most extraordinary levels of congressional hubris could allow a group of elected citizens to substitute their personal medical, legal, and ethical judgments for those of the doctors, judges, and guardians who have been intimately involved with this heartbreakingly sad case for years…

This is not a slippery-slope case, where it’s a short hop from “executing” those in persistent vegetative conditions to killing anyone with a disability. This is a case in which an established right-to-refuse-treatment claim, litigated for years up and down through the appeals courts, is being thwarted by parents with no custodial claim to their child. By stepping in merely to sow doubt as to whom Terri Schiavo’s proper custodian might be, rather than creating some new constitutional right to a “culture of life,” Congress has simply called the existing legal regime into doubt without establishing a new one. This new law offers no clarity about what the new federal claims might be. It just forum-shops for a more tractable judge.

(Via Mark Kleiman)

This congressional action is hostile to the very principles of good government, hostile to medical science, hostile to the concept and of and legal rights afforded to marriage, and most of all, hostile to the best interests of Terri Schiavo.

Let The Villification Begin

Can’t say I didn’t warn you that they were going to come after Judge Whittmore. Let the smears begin:

The Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, who has sometimes commented on the case on behalf of the parents, said today: “The arrogance of Judge Whittemore is extraordinary. How dare he wait 24 hours to issue this ruling?”

Mr. Mahoney added: “He shows a profound lack of respect for the disabled of America by denying her her constitutional rights. He has robbed Terri’s legal team of literally a day and a half of the appeals process.”

He said the family was hopeful of a successful outcome in the appeals court, adding “Florida has just not been good on this.”

And the lunatic fringe is taking their cue:

Though valiant efforts have culminated this Palm Sunday weekend in both Congress and the President in seeking life for the 41-year-old, it appears as if once again America bows to one particular judge.

Its becoming a worn and wearisome tale, true? So-called “activist judges” are enjoying ruling the nation. I dont like such oblique terms as “activist.” I call them “immoral judges.” They usually end up on the side of the biblically unethical, hence the tag “immoral.”

Its like calling murderers global “insurgents.” Its also like calling the killing of babies in the womb “abortion.” I dont go for the gloss over terms.

I dont call an insurgent an “insurgent;” instead he or she is just as he or she is a killer, a slayer, a slaughterer, a murderer. An abortionist is not so much an “abortionist” as a mortal who scrapes out or scalds out or uses whatever means to do away with a real live baby inside a female body, hence the term “womb baby killer.”

Therefore, with Whittemore I fear the worst. It just could be that hes one of those ubiquitous immoral judges who will permit a woman to die as the rest of us watch, helpless. – Joseph Grant Swank, Jr., Pastor, New Hope Church

You can always count on the folks at the New Hope Church to tell it to us straight. Just like the National Right to Life folks:

Judge Whittemore has engaged in a gross abuse of judicial power, said Burke J. Balch, J.D., Director of the Powell Center for Medical Ethics of the National Right to Life Committee. Giving not even the slightest deference to an Act of Congress, without even allowing time for meaningful legal argument or consideration of evidence, Whittemore has ruled that Terri Schiavos death sentence must be carried out. Unless higher courts issue a stay on appeal, an innocent young woman will be denied what every mass murderer convicted in state court gets her day in federal court.

Barrelfishing. And, for the record, Judge Whittmore is no weak-kneed, lily-livered, dyed-in-the-wool liberal.

*** Update ***

And it continues:

Tuesday, March 22, 2005 10:48 a.m. EST
Santorum: Terri Ruling Defied Congress

U.S. District Judge James Whittemore has defied Congress by not staying Terri Schiavo’s starvation execution for the time it takes him to hold a full hearing on her case, a leading Republican senator said Tuesday.

“You have judicial tyranny here,” Santorum told WABC Radio in New York. “Congress passed a law that said that you had to look at this case. He simply thumbed his nose at Congress.”

“What the statute that [Whittemore] was dealing with said was that he shall hold a trial de novo,” the Pennsylvania Republican explained. “That means he has to hold a new trial. That’s what the statute said.”

“What he’s saying is, ‘I don’t have to hold a new trial because I’ve already determined that her rights have been protected,'” Santorum said.

“That’s nice for him to say that. But that’s not what Congress told him to do,” he added. “Judges should obey the law. And this judge – in my mind – simply ignored the law.”

More abject silliness here.