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22 March 2005

The Culture of Life

Lots of people are weighing in on the Terry Shiavo case. Rather than repeat them, I'll just let them do the talking:

Notes Streak:
KRT Wire | 03/21/2005 | Law Bush signed as Texas governor prompts cries of hypocrisy: "In 1999, then-Gov. Bush signed the Advance Directives Act, which lets a patient's surrogate make life-ending decisions on his or her behalf. The measure also allows Texas hospitals to disconnect patients from life-sustaining systems if a physician, in consultation with a hospital bioethics committee, concludes that the patient's condition is hopeless.

Bioethicists familiar with the Texas law said Monday that if the Schiavo case had occurred in Texas, her husband would be the legal decision-maker and, because he and her doctors agreed that she had no hope of recovery, her feeding tube would be disconnected.

'The Texas law signed in 1999 allowed next of kin to decide what the patient wanted, if competent,' said John Robertson, a University of Texas bioethicist.

While Congress and the White House were considering legislation recently in the Schiavo case, Bush's Texas law faced its first high-profile test. With the permission of a judge, a Houston hospital disconnected a critically ill infant from his breathing tube last week against his mother's wishes after doctors determined that continuing life support would be futile."

Let's just let this sink in. When he was governor, Bush signed legislation that allows the doctors to take people off life support, and this law was used against the Mother's wishes. No spouse to blame here. If you read what the White House said in response, they said that ""The legislation he signed (early Monday) is consistent with his views," McClellan said. "The (1999) legislation he signed into law actually provided new protections for patients ... prior to the passage of the '99 legislation that he signed, there were no protections."

Hear that? Down is up. Right is wrong, and George Bush is a seriously committed Christian. Oh, and one of the factors used in the Texas case is if there is money for the treatment. When it is gone, and there is no hope for recovery.... Unless, of course, you can make political miles.

So, to sum up: the Republicans and their conservative christian handlers believe in life:

a) especially when it is politically helpful
b) unless that person is dying from a treatable disease and just needs health insurance
c) or unless on death row with dubious evidence
Notes Rick at Cheaper Than Therapy:
Also according to the St. Pete Times, "on June 23, 2000, while still governor of Texas, George W. Bush allowed the execution of Gary Graham, a man whose claim to innocence was so strong that FIVE members of his own, notoriously sanguinary parole board had argued to spare Graham's life. So had four justices of the Supreme Court.'

'Graham's murder conviction depended entirely on his identification by a stranger who said she had seen him briefly through a car windshield from more than 30 feet away. Two eyewitnesses who had been closer to the shooting later said that Graham wasn't the killer, but they had never been interviewed by his court-appointed counsel and were not called to testify at his trial.'

'Graham was 17 when arrested, making him one of the last juvenile offenders to be executed anywhere on this planet. The senior warden of Huntsville prison at the time wrote later that it was the worst execution he had commanded; that Graham 'was extremely angry, and struggled until he was finally strapped down.'

'In washing his hands of Graham's innocence, Bush rationalized that Graham had committed other crimes. Indeed he had, and admitted them. But they did not justify his execution, given the shakey facts and the inherent unreliability of eyewitness identification."
And Jon Stewart at The Daily Show has some great insights, too.

Anyways, don't get me wrong. I'm all for supporting life. But the U.S. also killed one million Iraqi children with its economic sanctions between the Gulf War and the current one. So let's not lose perspective here. All life is important. Not just the ones that give Bush a couple of approval points.

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Comments on "The Culture of Life"


Blogger jvpastor said ... (3/23/2005 09:30:00 AM) : 

The daily show was great last night, I especially liked the interview with "Doctor of Ethics" stephen colbert.

John, "Are you a doctor of ethics, stephen?" Stephen, "i took some courses but I didn't finish."
(my paraphrase) Funny stuff, real funny, my wife couldn't sleep I was laughing so hard.


Blogger Wasp Jerky said ... (3/23/2005 05:56:00 PM) : 

I love Stephen Colbert.

We don't have cable, but fortunately Comedy Central is kind enough to post lots of clips. Otherwise Shareaza would be getting quite a workout. Have you read A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction? It's hysterical.


Anonymous adam said ... (3/23/2005 07:03:00 PM) : 

I love America the book. The funniest thing I've ever read. Stephen Colbert is easily the funniest "Senior. . ." they have on the show.


Blogger Wasp Jerky said ... (3/24/2005 08:44:00 AM) : 


Have you read Naked Famous People? Any good?


Blogger jvpastor said ... (3/24/2005 03:33:00 PM) : 

I haven't, is that stewart's book? I'm a fairly recent convert to the Daily show. I used to be more conservative...

Actually I converted a few years ago when I read Richard Hayes' ethics book, and pretty much became a pacifist.

Great comics...where are you getting them?


Anonymous adam said ... (3/24/2005 06:11:00 PM) : 

I've read the first couple of chapters. Its got some pretty funny stuff in it but all around I was a bit disappointed. He goes way over the top with some of his stories and they get more wordy than funny.


Anonymous adam said ... (3/24/2005 06:15:00 PM) : 

The title is actually "Naked Pictures of Famous People". I think it was Stewarts attempt to glean some profits off the coat tail of "AMERICA". Troubles me a bit, but I love Stewart so I'm going to pretend it never happened. How conservative republican christian of me is that?


Blogger Wasp Jerky said ... (3/24/2005 07:24:00 PM) : 


Thanks. I was too lazy to Google the book title. :) Actually, Naked Pictures of Famous People came first. I think it came out back before Stewart took over The Daily Show from Craig Kilborn. I don't think it sold very well. And even if it did, it's certainly selling a lot better now that America is doing so well.


Yep, both America the Book: A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction and Naked Pictures of Famous People were done by Stewart. America is beautifully funny. If you haven't seen it, it's a mock U.S. History, as told by The Daily Show. Naked Pictures appears to be long-winded essays.

The comics are from a couple of places. Get Your War On (the clip art ones) are from here. Lots of swearing and cynicism, but so funny. Boondocks is a syndicated daily strip. You can catch a few weeks of archives here.


Anonymous adam said ... (3/24/2005 07:30:00 PM) : 

didn't know that. I justed assumed since I never saw the book until after America was such a hit. Then it sat glimmering at the front of the book stores.


Blogger Wasp Jerky said ... (3/24/2005 07:33:00 PM) : 


Yeah, I've been in a couple of bookstores recently and it was plastered EVERYWHERE.


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