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Monday, April 04, 2005

Steyn on Schiavo again.

It is here, via Michelle Malkin. (Go to bugmenot.com if you don't want to register to read it... or just read on I have a lot of exerpts. Those of you, (if there are any... if there is even a single one...) who have read my numerous Schiavo posts might notice that Steyn and I agree pretty much down the line. In fact, he hits on the same major themes I have.
I haven't been posting lately because I've been down down down... I experienced a certain clarity of thought about this; I'm so SURE I'm right that it was wrong to kill her. I so rarely feel this sure of anything... So often this blogging is just a dumb pass time for me- playing devil's advocate- poking holes in bloated posts- throwing rocks at windows- sticking my tongue out- typing 'cause it makes my fingers feel good or something- not this time. This time it hurt. And it hasn't gone away. This incessant buzzing of semi-concious protest informs every thought I have. "Why did they kill her? Why? Get over it she's dead! But why did they kill her? WHY did they kill her? Who was she hurting? She's dead get over it. But why did they kill her? Are they evil? Good people do evil things, remember. She's dead move on. But why did they kill her? I don't fucking know!!! Leave it alone! But why did they kill her? Why did they kill her? Why did they kill her?" And now that she's dead there is no mourning, not real mourning... how can there be when there's no justice? "Why did they kill her? Shut up. Why did they kill her? I don't know and I really won't ever know so just be humble and understand there are things that you will NEVER really understand. Not emotionally. But why did they kill her? Stop asking! But why did they kill her?"
So what happens now? I can't shut the buzz off. Will it stop on its own, or will I grow so used to it that I can no longer sense it? And how many times, how many injustices, are ringing in my head, layered one atop the other, the latest still audible, the pile below still protesting and unheard? Am I to remain this tired?

Anyway, back to Steyn... (who was, by the way, LATE!!!)
Some highlights:

It is easy to mock the attendant ‘circus’, the cheapest laugh of the self-identified sophisticate. A 12-year-old boy has been arrested for attempting to offer Mrs Schiavo a glass of water. Ha-ha.

On the other hand, if one accepts the official version that the court is merely bringing to an end (after 15 years) the artificial prolongation of Mrs Schiavo’s life, since when has a glass of water been deemed medical treatment? In the public areas of Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater, the waiting journalists grab a Coke or a coffee or even a glass of water every half hour or so without anyone considering it ‘medical treatment’. That it is, uniquely, a crime to serve Mrs Schiavo a beverage underlines the court’s intent — not to cease the artificial prolongation of life but actively to cause her death.


...even though the probate judge declared Mrs Schiavo in a persistent vegetative state without troubling to visit her and without requiring any of the routine tests, such as an MRI scan. Indeed, her husband hasn’t permitted her to be tested for anything since 1993. Think about that: this woman is being put to death without any serious medical evaluation more recent than 12 years ago.

La-la-la, we don’t want to hear how the vegetable’s made....

Fortunately, if you want to execute someone who hasn’t committed a crime, you don’t need to worry with any of this ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ stuff. If an al-Qa’eda guy got shot up resisting capture in Afghanistan and required a feeding tube and the guards at Guantanamo yanked it out, you’d never hear the end of it from the American Civil Liberties Union and Amnesty International and all the rest. Even given the litigious nature of American society, it still strikes me as remarkable that someone can be literally sued to death, and at the hands of a probate judge. Unlike other condemned prisoners, there’s no hope of a last-minute reprieve from the governor. That’s to say, he did reprieve her, and so did the legislature, and the US Congress and President — and the Florida courts have declared them all irrelevant. So, unlike Death Row, there’s no call from the governor, and no quick painless lethal injection or electrocution or swift clean broken neck from the hangman’s noose, and certainly no last meal. On Tuesday, getting a little impatient with the longest slow-motion public execution in American history, CBS News accidentally posted Mrs Schiavo’s obit on their website complete with vivid details that have yet to occur — the parents at her bedside in the final moments, etc. In this, they seem to be in tune with their viewers: sad business, personal tragedy, no easy answers, prayers are with her family, yada yada, is it over yet?


Andrew Sullivan has dusted off his impeachment act and damned those of us opposed to Mrs Schiavo’s judicial murder as dogmatic extremist fundamentalist religious-right theocrats. If he’d stop his shrill bleating for a couple of minutes, he might notice that the ‘theocrats’ who want Terri Schiavo to live include Jesse Jackson, Ralph Nader and Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank, who’s not just a Democrat but a gay one.


Even if you believe in living wills, it’s hard to argue that Michael Schiavo’s wildly inconsistent statements of his wife’s casual remarks about living on a tube should have the force of one. I’d be irked to find I was being deported to Pyongyang on the grounds that, while watching a TV documentary late one night in 1987, I’d been heard to say, ‘Wow, you know it’d be kinda cool to go to North Korea, don’t you think?’ But the Florida legal system’s position remains — as a reader, Adrienne Follmer, paraphrased it to me the other day — ‘We don’t know for sure if this woman wanted to live so let’s starve her to death.’

La-la-la, still can’t hear you....


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