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» Thursday, March 31, 2005

Terri Schaivo : Rest in Peace

Terri Schaivo : Rest in Peace

    Mourning is the order of the day now.   Finally she may rest in peace.   Something the rest of us will savor after the furior and emotion of the moment has passed.   How long the extreme right wing drag this out is uncertain, but milage from this they hope will help their quest to pad judiciary with extremist candidates.   In the last few days their advocacy of anarchy is very disconcerting to say the least.   Most people opposed the intervention by the Federal Legeslative and Executive Branchs of our government.   This is not just a talking point for 10 sec blurbs on the cable-tv news sites. The radical right has it's work out in the open once again.   The proud boasting of neocons when it came to waving their flag in the election turned into a white flag of surrender when push came to shove, letter of the law is more powerful than any of extremist movement.   The stability of our way of life has evolved over the last two centuries of freedom and personal rights and will eventually weather the storm of corruption present in our country today.   With the framing of key words around 'personal rights' - 'dignity' - 'respect' --- a statement concerning the ordeal that played itself out in florida was summed up by my friend Anna.

Anna at Political Hardball writes :  
  Related link   ::   ::   Political Hardball  

One of the things that's bothered me about this "circus" is that it was allowed to take place right in front of the hospice. Terri Schiavo wasn't the only patient there. There are some other 70 terminal patients there. The purpose of a hospice is that people come there to die with dignity in peace and quiet and with their families around them. Other patients have died while all this was going on and their families didn't have the freedom to come and go and concentrate solely on their family member and help them while helping themselves at the same time. Instead, they had a mob of people - according to this article, a lot of whom are mentally unstable - and ugly signs and a heavy police presence to navigate to get to them. (What kind of "Christian" would make a sign referring to Michael Schiavo's "bastard children" who are now in danger of being killed by wackos along with their parents and are probably very aware of what's going on?) The patients themselves - instead of peace and quiet - have had to listen to the screaming and wailing from outside and threats to blow up the entire hospice with them and their families inside. I imagine there were family members AFRAID to go to the hospice with the constant threats of violence over the past weeks. One woman wasn't able to get there in time when her grandfather died because she had to navigate the crowd and go through security checks in order to get inside. She missed his death by one minute.

One of the "priests" - Pavone - came out this morning to the cameras and railed about Michael Schiavo and how "malicious" and "vicious" he was and how "badly he'd treated Terri's family" because he was in the room when she actually died and wouldn't let them be there at the same time. As a result of his words, the hospice and the judge and the Schiavos will probably get anothr round of death threats. Why would Michael Schiavo want to have Terri surrounded by people who hated each other and policemen in the room to be sure nothing violent happened while she was dying? HE wasn't responsible for the crowds and the police and the zealots and the bomb threats - he and his extended family are the ones now in danger of being killed by the people the Schindlers brought into the situation.

I just heard a member of the Florida legislature making a speech on the floor and referring to Terri as a "martyr". IMPO, she's nothing more to them than a political tool. We'll be seeing those horrible pictures of her that HER FAMILY distributed to the public on TV for years to come and her name will be invoked in the fight against "judicial activists" (read "judges who follow the law and rule accordingly but in ways RWers disagree with"). Michael Schiavo has tried to preserve her privacy and her dignity - knowing how SHE would feel about everybody seeing those tapes - but her family has shown no such reservation.

IMO, this woman and her husband and her family have been savaged and disrespected and most of all - USED - by people pretending to care about Terri and what happened to her and it won't be over for a long, long time.


» Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Neurologist Cranford confronted Scarborough

 Media Matters :: Link 
On the March 28 edition of MSNBC's Scarborough Country, host Joe Scarborough interviewed Dr. Ronald Cranford, one of the two neurologists selected by Michael Schiavo to examine Terri Schiavo pursuant to an October 2001 appellate court mandate. As part of that duty, Cranford "reviewed her medical records and personally conducted a neurological examination of Mrs. Schiavo," according to the June 2003 Florida appeals court review (pdf) of that hearing.

media mattters video (.wmv)   quicktime version (.mov)
Scarborough got more than he bargained for when he interrupted the reporter. He was going to slap this doctor in the face with talking points and instead got quite a 'talking to' from Dr. Cranford as noted at Steve Gilliard's blog post - Smackdown of the week.

» Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Delay : no morals, no ethics, no problem

From Daily KOS Dairies - Laughing Cat and Daily Delay comes news of the Delay Scandal.   No morals, no ethics, no problem seems to be the order of business for the republicans.   I guess Delay is just following in the footsteps of our war criminal president.   If you don't like the rules, change them.   Or better yet, just ignore them and international law when it gets in the way of your facist agenda.

A petition to oust Delay is available online as well as a petition for sanctions against Texas House Speaker Craddick.   Please take the time and let your voice be heard.

Blogs Don't Need Big Government

by Senator Russ Feingold at MyDD - 03-10-2005  

My kids often tease me about the time I pre-heated a toaster before putting some bread in to toast it. I deny it. I still maintain to this day that I DO know how to use a toaster, but I also admit to some not-so-brilliant moments with technology, if you can consider a toaster technology. But, today, even my kids would have to pause to give me a pat on the back for this first ever "Russ Feingold Blog Post."

I am enjoying reading many blogs, and am fascinated by their immediate reporting that is covering the important issues of the day. Many of the positive comments I have been lucky enough to read about my work relate to the fact that I was the only member of the U.S. Senate to oppose the USA PATRIOT Act. That experience taught me a lot, but one thing I learned for certain is that millions of ordinary citizens support efforts to make sure the government doesn't try to take more power than it needs. Resisting overreaching by the federal government is appropriate and, yes, even patriotic. I feel very strongly about this, and have made constitutional issues in general, and First Amendment issues in particular, one of the central focuses of my work in the U.S. Senate.

While the days of campus protests are not the same today as when I was in college, many people don't realize that campus protests are going on every day, all over the country, when thinking people, from all different states, generations, and ethnicities are drawn more and more to participate and exercise their First Amendment rights in an exciting venue: the Internet in general and blogs in particular.

As one of the main authors of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law, also known as BCRA, it is particularly difficult to hear the mistaken belief that the law was somehow an attack on our cherished First Amendment rights. It is not. The law was found to be constitutional and it accomplished what we wanted it to do without infringing on First Amendment rights: stopping Members of Congress from soliciting enormous campaign contributions from monied interests; and reducing the corrupting influence of big money donations. Despite the naysayers, and despite shamefully poor and often deliberately harmful interpretations of this law by the agency charged with enforcing campaign finance law, the Federal Election Commission, McCain-Feingold worked in the 2004 election.

McCain-Feingold and the blogs both had a positive impact on the 2004 election and many people don't realize how similar their impact truly was. Both the blogs and BCRA empowered average citizens. By channeling the power of average citizens to speak out on the Internet, the blogs revitalized the political process last year. In the same way, the power of small contributions was greatly increased by BCRA, and someone who could only send $5 or $50 to a political party has become a sought-after donor. Many parts of BCRA were handled irresponsibly by the FEC, and bloggers are understandably concerned that some members of the FEC may again try to cause trouble by overreaching in the area of free speech on the Internet.

So while I generally agree with the recent decision from Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly requiring the FEC to redo its rules relating to political communication on the Internet, I am also concerned that the FEC will again create unnecessary concern and confusion. Judge Kollar-Kotelly's decision was not a result of problems with BCRA. It was a result of poorly drafted FEC regulations that were challenged in court.

The FEC must tread carefully in the area of political communications on the Internet. Political news and commentary on the Internet are important, even vital, to our democracy, and becoming more so. For starters, the FEC should provide adequate protection for legitimate online journalists. Online journalists should be treated the same as other legitimate broadcast media, newspapers, etc. and, at this point, I don't see any reason why the FEC shouldn't include legitimate online journalists and bloggers in the "media exemption" rule.

The definitions and rules relating to "coordinated activity" should be clarified, so legitimate bloggers and journalists alike don't have to worry about vague rules for legitimate activity. Certainly linking to campaign websites, quoting from or republishing campaign materials and even providing a link for donations to a candidate, if done without compensation, should not cause a blogger to be deemed to have made a contribution to a campaign or trigger reporting requirements.

Also, the FEC should generally exempt independent, unpaid political activity by bloggers on the Internet. We must let this town square, which has added a significant dimension to our political process, continue to flourish. When the FEC issues a proposal on this issue later this month, rest assured that I will be reviewing it carefully and offering detailed comments.

At a time in the country when we need free and open discourse, when the Senate is rubber stamping a bankruptcy bill which hurts those who have no power, when the country is involved in a war with no timetable for an exit strategy, we must be able to speak our minds without fear of recrimination from the government.


» Saturday, March 12, 2005

1st Amendment, Journalism and the blogs

by the bloggers at Online Coalition - 03.12.05  

There's a bi-partisan petition at Online Coalition to allow bloggers to be protected under the 1st Amendment just as journalists in other media are.

This is very inportant and should be looked into by anyone concerned about this issue.


» Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Giuliana Sgrena - Kidnapped - Released - Victive of U.S.

The victim of an accidental firefight, Giuliana Sgrena (Search) lived to tell her story which is still unfolding.   Intelligence agent and hostage negotiator Nicola Calipari did not survive the incident.   On March 6, 2005 Sgrena tells personal account, My truth in the italian newspaper - 'il manifesto'.   Was Giuliana Sgrena Targeted? is the question brought up at Alternet by Danny Schechter, March 7, 2005.  

usa today   •   pandagon   •   atrios   •   maha blog   •   wapo   •


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