Saturday, April 30, 2005

Manufactured News Network 


(Possum Bake, N.C) Wendy's is facing another lawsuit after lab tests confirmed trace residues of actual meat were found in a woman's chili.

"I bit into my chili and there it was: meat. It's shocking," said Connie Vore, 36. "Like Teresa Heinz-Kerry, I've been eating at Wendy's for years, and I'd never been given any reason to suspect that the chili actually contained real meat--until now," she said.

Vore will be represented by the North Carolina law firm of Kay, O'Peck, Tate and Edwards, experts in indigestion, product liability and channeling the spirits of dead cows.

Other fast-food giants also braced themselves for the possibility of a run on such lawsuits. "At Taco Bell, we're always braced for the possibility of such runs," said spokesman Pepito Bismal.

(Humboldt County, CA) Environmental activists were angered today when the Ninth Circuit Court of Reversals ruled that in order to protect spotted-owls, Humboldt County must immediately cease clear-cutting its old-growth marijuana forests.

"Screw those winged-rats," said Tealpeace spokeswoman Rainbow Butterfly Sunshine Willow Brook Bay Unicorn-Silverstein, 62, of Bongwater Bay, CA.; "Let them nest in the K-Mart sign; I need my Chronic Bud!"

"This is an unfortunate ruling that pits the Constitutional Right to Life of owls against the Constitutional Rights of Log Cannabis Democrats," said Sierra Country Club spokesman Barry R. Reef.

"I mean, birds are important and all, but if push comes to shove, well, it's 'Bye-bye, Birdie'," puffed Reef.

(Albuquerque, NM) Days after being "married to the church", a Vatican City man disappeared while jogging, sparking an international manhunt--only to reappear 3 days later at a New Mexico 7-11.

A disheveled Joseph Ratzinger, 78, at first told police that he had been kidnapped, but later admitted that he had gotten cold feet over the stress of "this whole 'Pope' thing".

Police said he had taken a bus to Las Vegas, at first winning several dozen hands of video bingo. Beginning to think himself infallible, he then bet the Shroud of Turin at the roulette table and lost.

After being turned down for a job at a Vegas wedding chapel, he traveled to New Mexico where he ran out of money, finally placing a collect call to the College of Cardinals in Vatican City.

"We're just glad to have him back," warbled a red-faced Cardinal Sinuatus Rubrifrons. Quoting from the Book of Wayne, the prelate added "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas."

(Bologna, Italy) Italy's Minister of Finance Lenin V. Ponzi was forced to resign today after admitting that he paid $15 million for a Communist journalist--in a country where Communist journalists are a dime a dozen, or "a lire per lie", as they say in Italy.

Despite being shown satellite imagery which proved the getaway vehicle was traveling at 60 mph, the head of Italy's DMV, Fiat N. Lambourghini said "Impossible! Italian drivers are the safest, most thoughtful and courteous drivers in the whole world!"

Tragically however, no sooner had the words left his lips than he was struck down by a powerful lightening bolt out of a clear blue sky. Global warming is blamed.

UPDATE: This Just In!: Communist journalist Giuliana Sgrena has just admitted that she was not, in fact, a "hostage", but a collaborator with the insurgents, saying her plan was to fund the insurgency, bring down the Italian government and split the alliance.

After awakening a group of reporters at their seaside hotel, where they were still sleeping off the wine at noon, Sgrena told the assembled press "I never would have confessed if not for the relentless, dogged investigative reporters in the Main-Stream Media, who were determined to get at truth regardless of the political consequences." And then I woke up.

After learning Sgrena's confession, the Italian government withdrew its demand that American soldiers be found guilty, and instead demanded that they be drawn, quartered and then found guilty.

And now for the Really Important News; MNN's Hollywood Handshake:

(L.A. Freeway) American Idol judge Paula Abdul entered her fifth day of hysterical sobbing after contestant "Constantine" was voted off the show.

"Paula was doing better for a while," said Abdul's personal physician, Dr. Talbot Cynaumon, "until she received a condolence call from Halle Berry." Ms. Berry is said to still be blubbering uncontrollably two years after receiving her Academy Award.

Fellow 'Idol' judge Randy Jackson rated Abdul's performance as "Kinda' long and pitchy, dude," and Simon Cowell said "It rather reminds me of the sounds made by a cat left in a microwave on low for a week."

The show's producers said they expected Ms. Abdul to return to the show this week and fulfill her contractual obligation of "praising each and every performance and performer as the greatest thing since sliced bread".

In other show-biz news, "Rocky MCMXLVII" is set for production. In it, the aging champ will take on intellectual featherweight Michael Kinsley in a Cultural Death Match. To make the fight fair, however, the Stallone role will be played by Sly's mom.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

An Open Letter 


To: My Fellow News Manufacturers at the Times, the Post, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, PBS, et al.

From: Frank Lee "Diz" Durbing
CEO, Manufactured News Network

Re: Our "Get DeLay--Without Delay!" Campaign

Dear Friends,

It's truly an exciting time to be in the News Manufacturing business, and let me say how proud I am of each and every one of you for fabricating your news product to the highest industry specifications.

As you know, our "Get DeLay" Campaign has hit a snag. Unfortunately, as it turns out, if every Congressman who went on a junket with a lobbyist had to resign, there would be no Congress. With the possible exception of Ron Paul--who, as a libertarian, is undoubtedly growing pot in his basement. And on what do I base this charge? Why, nothing, of course--I'm a journalist.

Perhaps we could push for all of Congress to resign. That way, we could return this country to good governance--that is, rule by trial lawyer, judges and the Times' editorial page.

Our "Get Bolton" campaign has been going fairly well. We have had some success in impugning him on the serious, serious charge of having a funny moustache. However, our critics are pointing out, and rightly so, that Janet Reno, Donna Shalala and Ruth Bader Ginsberg also had funny moustaches. Can we get these gals to shave? Thoughts, anyone?

Let me take just a moment to congratulate you all on the successful conclusion of our recent "Get Terri" campaign. The courage and bravery you all exhibited in ganging-up on this helpless, disabled woman--well, it just chokes me up; you all deserve Profiles in Courage awards. By the way, this week Judge Greer will probably grant the widower Schiavo's motion to have the ashes exhumed and starved again "just to be sure"--how about a few editorials on behalf of these two great humanitarians in their hour of need? Let's show some compassion here, folks.

It has also come to my attention that some of you want to simplify your news-gathering and cut costs by simply inventing poll numbers. While I respect this impulse, let me urge you to conduct your polling in the time-honored traditions of journalism; first, misreport the facts. Then, slant the poll questions. After you reach the desired results, then report the poll as "news". That's how the pros do it. Be a pro.

In conclusion, while we have a lot on our plates, let's not forget our other campaigns; Our Magnificent Obsession--the "Get Wal-Mart" Campaign. Always the bizarre, cult-like fetish. Always.

And, most importantly, let's remember the campaign that will return us to power, the very Hinge of History on which rests the Entire Fate of Western Civilization and the Survival of the Free World; "Get Gannon!"

Now let's get out there and commit some journalism, people.


"Diz" Durbing
CEO, Manufactured News Network

Monday, April 25, 2005

No Compromise! 


--And I Don't Mean Tom DeLay.

A compromise on nominations has already been reached. It was debated for years and every Senator has already agreed to it.

It's called the Constitution.

It gives the President the right to nominate. It gives Senators, two from each state, the duty to advise and consent by majority vote. It gives the House no role except possibly for lower court judges: "...Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments."

The Constitution is already a compromise; that's what "balance" in "balance of powers" means. It strikes balances of powers between the three branches, between the federal government and the states and between the people and their government. And it specifically omits a super-majority vote for judicial nominees.

After calling it the Constitutional Option, will Republicans now say the Constitution is, after all, optional? If we get rolled on principle, we're done. A compromise now would graft a 3/5ths requirement on to the document for all time.

And prove us to be mere opportunists.

And make it all but impossible to get true Constitutionalists on the Court.

Don't sell out now.

No New Compromise!

Instead, let's honor the one we've already made;

our Constitution.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Rehnquist Gets It Rhong 


Remarks of Chief Justice William Rehnquist
Federal Judges Association Board of Directors Meeting
May 5, 2003

"...The second topic I would like to address is the recent efforts by some in Congress to look into downward departures in sentencing by federal judges, in particular our colleague Judge James Rosenbaum. We can all recognize that Congress has a legitimate interest in obtaining information which will assist in the legislative process. But the efforts to obtain information may not threaten judicial independence or the established principle that a judge's judicial acts cannot serve as a basis for his removal from office."

"It is well settled that not only the definition of what acts shall be criminal, but the prescription of what sentence or range of sentences shall be imposed on those found guilty of such acts, is a legislative function - in the federal system, it is for Congress. Congress has recently indicated rather strongly, by the Feeney Amendment, that it believes there have been too many downward departures from the Sentencing Guidelines. It has taken steps to reduce that number. Such a decision is for Congress, just as the enactment of the Sentencing Guidelines nearly twenty years ago was."

"The new law also provides for the collection of information about sentencing practices employed by federal judges throughout the country. This, too, is a legitimate sphere of congressional inquiry, in aid of its legislative authority. But one portion of the law provides for the collection of such information on an individualized judge-by-judge basis. This, it seems to me, is more troubling. For side-by-side with the broad authority of Congress to legislate and gather information in this area is the principle that federal judges may not be removed from office for their judicial acts."

"This principle is not set forth in the Constitution, which does grant federal judges tenure during good behavior and protection against diminution in salary. But the principle was established just about two centuries ago in the trial of Justice Samuel Chase of the Supreme Court by the Senate. Chase was one of those people who are intelligent and learned, but seriously lacking in judicial temperament. He showed marked partiality in at least one trial over which he presided, and regularly gave grand juries partisan federalist charges on current events."

"For this the House of Representatives, at President Thomas Jefferson's instigation, impeached him, and he was tried before the Senate in 1805. That body heard fifty witnesses over a course of ten full days. The Jeffersonian Republicans had more than a two-thirds majority in the body, and if they had voted as a block Chase would have been convicted and removed from office. Happily, they did not vote as a block; the article on which the House managers obtained the most votes to convict was the one dealing with his charges to the grand jury; there the vote to convict was nineteen to fifteen, a simple majority but short of the requisite two-thirds vote needed to convict."

"The significance of the outcome of the Chase trial cannot be overstated -- Chase's narrow escape from conviction in the Senate exemplified how close the development of an independent judiciary came to being stultified. Although the [Jeffersonian] Republicans [a.k.a. today's "Democrats"] had expounded grandiose theories about impeachment being a method by which the judiciary could be brought into line with prevailing political views, the case against Chase was tried on a basis of specific allegations of judicial misconduct. Nearly every act charged against him had been performed in the discharge of his judicial office. His behavior during the Callender trial was a good deal worse than most historians seem to realize, and the refusal of six of the Republican Senators to vote to convict even on this count surely cannot have been intended to condone Chase's acts. Instead it represented a judgement that impeachment should not be used to remove a judge for conduct in the exercise of his judicial duties. The political precedent set by Chase's acquittal has governed that day to this: a judge's judicial acts may not serve as a basis for impeachment."

"In the years since the Chase trial, eleven federal judges have been impeached. Of those, three were acquitted, two resigned rather than face trial, and six were convicted. One conviction -- that of Judge West H. Humphreys in 1862 -- was by default since he had accepted appointment as a Confederate judge in Tennessee. The other five convictions were for offenses involving financial improprieties, income tax evasion, and perjury -- misconduct far removed from judicial acts."

"But the principle that a judge may not be impeached for judicial acts does not mean that Congress cannot change the rules under which judges operate. Congress establishes the rules to be applied in sentencing; that is a legislative function. Judges apply those rules to individual cases; that is a judicial function. There can be no doubt that collecting information about how the sentencing guidelines, including downward departures, are applied in practice could aid Congress in making decisions about whether to legislate on these issues. There can also be no doubt that the subject matter of the questions, and whether they target the judicial decisions of individual federal judges, could amount to an unwarranted and ill-considered effort to intimidate individual judges in the performance of their judicial duties. We must hope that these inquiries are designed to obtain information in aid of the congressional legislative function, and will not trench upon judicial independence." ...

(Here is a brief list of impeachments and here is a historical overview by Justice Rehnquist).

The Chief Justice is correct that impeachment has not generally been used against judges for bad official acts. But according to the Constitution, there is not one standard for judges and another for executive and legislative officials:

Article II, Section 4:

"the President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors."

If anything, judges should be more susceptible to impeachment, as they have lifetime appointments and are not accountable through elections.

Justice Rehnquist says five times that a judge may not be removed from office for his judicial decisions. That can only be a prescription for slow-motion tyranny.

It means, for example, that the judges on the 9th Circuit, the most frivolous jurisdiction in the nation, whose decisions are universally and routinely overturned, can't be removed for their malpractice and judicial misdemeanor. Unless they were to, say, accept a bribe. Even if they ruled that California was henceforth Mexican territory or that every prisoner in California's jails must be released immediately.

Or suppose the Supreme Court lost their minds and ruled, once again, as they did when they lit the spark that plunged us into Civil War, that "the black man had no rights which any white man was bound to respect"? Or vice versa? No impeachment?

By implication, this would also mean that legislators and executive branch officials should not be subject to impeachment for their official acts either. Yet look how Richard Nixon's Articles of Impeachment begin:

"In his conduct of the office of President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States..."

In other words, he was to be impeached for his official acts.

If a President, say, ordered our troops to spring Saddam Hussein from jail and re-install him as president of Iraq, would we say that impeachment was simply out of the question?

Justice Rehnquist again:

"... the refusal of six of the Republican Senators to vote to convict even on this count surely cannot have been intended to condone Chase's acts. Instead it represented a judgement that impeachment should not be used to remove a judge for conduct in the exercise of his judicial duties. The political precedent set by Chase's acquittal has governed that day to this: a judge's judicial acts may not serve as a basis for impeachment."

I take a different lesson from that vote.

First, we don't know that those six senators made a judgement to exempt all judges for all time for their official acts. Perhaps they believed they were voting strictly on the merits of that individual case. Perhaps they merely liked the defendant. Or perhaps they were trying to set a "new tone". Regardless, the fact that they voted at all proves that they felt that they had the right to do so. That is, the right to pass judgement upon a jurist for his official actions.

Rehnquist's assertion is troubling, but at least he points out that immunity for official acts is not in the Constitution.

On the other hand, that fact something is not in the Constitution doesn't seem to trouble our judicial branch anymore. By what right do they claim to "harmonize" our Constitution with foreign constitutions, for example?

In reality, this is all but a moot issue.

A Congress that cannot bring itself to stand up to the Times, or to the vast, powerful Big Mohair Lobby, or even stand against the Free Speech depredations of McCain-Feingold is not going to impeach anybody.

Jefferson himself realized two centuries ago the deficiencies of impeachment, at least in regard to the judiciary:

"At the establishment of our constitutions, the judiciary bodies were supposed to be the most helpless and harmless members of the government. Experience, however, soon showed in what way they were to become the most dangerous; that the insufficiency of the means provided for their removal gave them a freehold and irresponsibility in office; that their decisions, seeming to concern individual suitors only, pass silent and unheeded by the public at large; that these decisions, nevertheless, become law by precedent, sapping, by little and little, the foundations of the constitution, and working its change by construction, before any one has perceived that that invisible and helpless worm has been busily employed in consuming its substance. In truth, man is not made to be trusted for life, if secured against all liability to account. "--Thomas Jefferson, letter to Monsieur A. Coray, Oct 31, 1823

Why should impeachment be in the arsenal of the people's liberties at all? Merely to prosecute judges who fix their own parking tickets on one scale or another? No. Let's look at a few random cases from recent history.

How about the case of the rapist Miranda? Here the court ruled that if you dropped out of high school to rob liquor stores, the cops owed you a civics lesson when arrested. You cannot calculate the number of additional rapes, robberies, murders and assaults inflicted on the American people by guilty felons who were released on Miranda technicalities.

Or the computer-generated child-porn case which caused Justice Kennedy to wax poetic about Shakespeare. Perhaps this is one of the internet-usages Tom DeLay objected to. Under Kennedy's ultra-uber-libertarian rationale, society may not inflict its values on society. Because no actual child was hurt while making these vile images, why, who are we to judge? We can ban cross-burnings because of their hateful incitement, yet we can't ban these most hateful and inciting of images, universally loathed by all peoples everywhere? Perhaps Kennedy hoped to be on his annual European Vacation when the children were raped. Couldn't we at least ban them 30 to 60 days before an election, sir?

And here's a decision that may have escaped your notice: 'Zadvydas'.

Suppose the United States does not have a repatriation agreement with Country X. Further suppose that the dictator of country X sends a number of spies or terrorists into this country illegally. Under this ruling, if we cannot prove their guilt in court, they cannot be held indefinitely on immigration charges and have a Constitutional Right to be paroled into American society!

I don't expect my views to prevail every time. But it seems to me that we're approaching what Jefferson called "a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinc[ing] a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism..." Jefferson's solution was revolution. Mine is to raise holy Hell. Because I've given my Consent to the Constitution, even if some of the Robes think they've outgrown it.

We know that judges have lifetime appointments.

We are told that Congress has absolutely no oversight role, even though the Constitution plainly says the Courts have jurisdiction "with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make."

We are told--also incorrectly--that the Courts have the absolute "last word" on the Constitution.

Now the Chief Justice tells us impeachment is out of the question, no matter how outrageous a judge's decision may be.

A lifetime job. No oversight by anyone. The "Last Word". And you can't be fired.

Is it any wonder that they have begun to think of themselves as Philosopher-Kings? Few mortals could resist such temptation--and these mortals haven't.

I support an independent judiciary.

What I do not support is a judiciary operating independently of the Constitution, accountable to no one. And that is exactly what we have today.

Impeachment may not be the answer. But I know what the question is:

Are we going to live as a free people, self-governing citizens in a constitutional republic...or shall we become mere subjects in some scheme of Judicial Monarchy--even one that professes the best of intentions?

To that, I have my answer.

What say you?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

It's Not a "Nuclear Option" 


And the Constitution isn't optional.

Unless you're a liberal.

"He (the President) shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint...Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers (lower court judges)..."

Treaties require Advice & consent.
Judges require Advice & consent.
Treaties require a super-majority.
Judges do not.

"Consent" for treaties= 2/3rds (67 votes)
"Consent" for judges=1/2 plus 1 (51 votes)

The Senate may no more insert a super-majority requirement for judges than they may remove the super-majority for treaties. The Senate has control of its rules, but the Constitution cannot be amended by those rules. They are twisting its meaning for political ends in order to secure a judiciary that will also twist its meanings for political ends.

Not to mention the fact that no actual filibuster takes place. No one is making speeches. They only announce their intention to do so and that is enough. They invoke the 60-vote cloture rule, in effect amending the Constitution to require a 3/5ths vote instead of a simple majority.

Even Jimmy Stewart (R.-Hollywood) actually speechified in the Dem's newly-favorite movie "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, Grows in Office and Earns Strange New Respect from the New York Times". And even that was a legislative--not judicial--filibuster over pork-barrel spending. If only.

In defense of these non-existent filibusters, Senator Byrd decries the loss of "unlimited debate"; but a real filibuster is not a debate. It is the very opposite of a debate--it's a monologue. Two questions:

If the elderly Byrd clutched his chest while actually attempting a filibuster, would that constitute an Angina Monologue?

And, more importantly,

...is our Constitution "optional"?

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Is it just me, or... 

...does a party that derives its power from manufactured consent via foundation money, elite media spin, academic bullying, judicial fiat, bureaucratic decree and massive voter fraud really deserve the name "Democratic"? --"Democrats" they're not.

...does John Kerry look like the Minute Man guy on the New England Patriots' helmet? That's him in his lucky CIA tri-corner. He'll prolly start claiming he won the Superbowl any day now.

...if he were a Minute Man, at least his military records would have been released by now. "Did you ever receive a dishonorable discharge, Senator?"--just one of the questions our Media keeps forgetting to ask.

...do you get the feeling that if Judge Greer were in charge of the Michael Jackson trial, he'd sentence him to to a term not exceeding puberty in Juvenile Hall?

...am I the only one who thought "Bill Clinton is going to Rome?--I had no idea the Pope was even married."

...does this make sense? Sen. Bill Nelson was holding up the President's EPA nominee because of a program that monitors babies whose parents use bug spray. Meanwhile, noted female-impersonator Hillary Clinton is holding up the President's FDA nominee because the agency hasn't approved a morning-after pill. In other words, they're worried one agency will expose babies to pesticides...and the other agency won't.

...have you seen 'Groundhog Day'? I've seen it...and seen it and seen it and seen it.

...are the Democrats so fearful of change that they'll nominate Joe Rogan for president?

...can't we treat terrorists at least as badly as we treat Fear Factor contestants? "Tell us where the explosives are, Marwan...or you'll have to drink this maggot-fly shake, eat these Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches and tie a perfect Windsor Knot with this pig uterus using only your tongue!"

...why do TV experts insist that torture never gets reliable results--yet we train our troops in techniques to resist it?

...since terrorists' have an Iron-Clad, Gold-Plated Constitutional Right Never To Be Made Uncomfortable In Any Way, did I miss Teddy the Hutt's denunciation of the recent insurgent attack on Abu Gharib?

And is it just me...or are we in danger forgetting this?

I refuse to forget...

but maybe it's just me.

Venezuela Dreamin' 


Miguel Octavio of The Devil's Excrement:

"President Chavez continued raising the specter of an external enemy Friday. This strategy of inducing fear and nationalistic feelings in the population is typical of autocratic regimes that want to hide the failure of their accomplishments. In this case, the Chavez administration has raised the fear of a US invasion which is seldom mentioned explicitly but is referred to as the “asymmetrical war”. The subject is brought up almost daily and is accompanied by the daily mention of the military reserve, which has quickly grown from an already exaggerated half a million men to two million in less than two weeks."

--A million-and-a-half...in two weeks?!

No doubt Chavez sees this enlarged Reserve as an extended Praetorian Guard, loyal not to Venezuela, but to his criminal regime. And certainly as a tool to subvert and bully Venezuela's neighbors. And all this in a country struggling to meet basic human needs.

Also noted: Cuba is generously assisting the regime in creating national ID cards for Venezuelans with IBM equipment.

Say your prayers and keep an eye on this one. And feel "free" to stop by Miguel's and offer your support.

Culture of Death? What Culture of Death? 

Oh; THAT Culture of Death.

If something called 'The Hemlock Society' isn't a Death Cult, what is?

The Sunday Times:

"Coroner seeks inquiry into ‘mass euthanasia’ at hospital--by Lois Rogers, Medical Editor

A CORONER is demanding a public inquiry into claims that 11 hospital patients were deliberately starved to death. He believes that it could be Britain’s first case of forced “mass euthanasia”.

Peter Ashworth, the coroner for Derby, will open an inquest later this year into the suspicious deaths at the city’s Kingsway hospital.

He considers the matter so serious that he has written to the Department of Health asking for the inquest to be superseded by a judicial inquiry with powers to investigate practices at the hospital.

There is now increasing concern across Britain about the way hospitals appear to be hastening the deaths of elderly patients. Police in Leeds and Hampshire are also looking into similar cases.

The 11 patients, all men aged between 65 and 93, died in the Rowsley ward for the elderly at Kingsway. A review of the cases, ordered by the coroner, found evidence that their deaths may have been speeded up by withholding sufficient food.

The allegations first surfaced after Jayne Drew, a healthcare assistant, alerted the hospital managers after the deaths of Simon Smith, 74, and Arthur Boddice, 81, in the summer of 1997.

Families of fellow patients at the hospital claimed that some staff had become so upset at seeing elderly people being starved that they had taken it upon themselves to feed them secretly.

One relative has described how it was distressing to see his father go without food. Andrew Hughson said his 75- year-old father, also called Andrew, would vainly stretch his hand towards meals being delivered to other patients.

“We kept being told that feeding him would be bad for his general health, and he was too frail to tell us otherwise,” he said." ...

And this from The Birmingham News:

"After days without water, nourishment, woman at UAB
Sunday--by VIVI ABRAMS News staff writer

An 81-year-old Georgia woman who went without nourishment and water more than a week [a.k.a. 'intentionally starved'] was airlifted from a LaGrange hospice to UAB Hospital Saturday to begin treatment, relatives said.

Ora Mae Magouirk suffered from a heart ailment and a LaGrange hospice was preparing her to die under orders from her physician and her grandchildren, Beth Gaddy and Michael Shane Magouirk, said nephew Kenneth Mullinax of Birmingham.

The grandchildren fought efforts to have her moved from the hospice. The dispute has divided the family, and Alabama relatives have begun to contact supporters and attorneys of Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged Florida woman who died last month after 15 years connected to a feeding tube.

Ora Mae Magouirk was awake and not in a persistent vegetative state, nor was she terminally ill, and her living will specified that she only wanted a feeding tube removed if she was in a coma or vegetative state, Mullinax said.

A LaGrange probate judge on Monday ordered three doctors, including one UAB cardiologist, to decide her future. They decided late Friday that the heart condition was treatable and had her airlifted Saturday morning, Mullinax said.

Mullinax said he is thrilled that his aunt is at UAB receiving care.

"Hospice is only for the dying, and my aunt has many more years to live," he said. "A crime was being committed by having a person in a hospice who was not terminally ill. I hope that this never ever happens again."" ...

And somewhere, a human flesh-eating bacteria named Felos, a blood-sucking vampire for a blood-sucking vampire, just stamped his feet in anger on being sent to bed without his dinner.

(Hat-tip: The Corner).

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Culture Warts 


Radioblogger caught Hugh Hewitt interviewing Mark Steyn:

"HH; Do you think the whole Terri Schiavo backdrop will have any impact on the Cardinal electors?

MS: I think that had a huge impact on people who think seriously about the issues of life. These are people who were chosen by John Paul II, and they understand that there's a level of decadence abroad in the western world. And that they are engaged in a struggle to hold the line until that can be reversed. And in that sense, this appalling case is really the starkest because of America's legalistic culture in a sense, because it wasn't just done quietly by a doctor as happens every day in the Netherlands. Because the entire power of the state, after all these various appeals, put her down like a dog, then I think that will have a great impact on people thinking about the culture of life and the need to sustain that through these dark times.

HH: You just used a phrase, which is very striking...the level of decadence abroad around the world. What do you mean by that?

MS: Well, because I think that essentially modern post-Christian Europe, and Canada, and large parts of the United States, too, have replaced the traditional impulses of civilization, which is to breed, and to prosper, and to expand and survive with a culture of narcissism. You know, I'd like to have, if you put it to me in those terms, I'd like to have meaningless, promiscuous sex, and just think about myself all day long, and all week long, and all year long. But in the end, when you prioritize that, you actually destroy the culture that enables it. It's a completely absurd culture and brazen. And that's what we've done."

More Steynliness, from a column in which Powerline gets a nod:

"The progressivists’ assumption is that gay marriage, like abortion, is inevitable, so the Pope might as well get with the programme. In that case, why bother with religion at all? The difference between the modern west’s Church of the Self and John Paul’s church is that the latter believes in the purpose of life. The Church of the Flavoured Condom, by contrast, believes that man is no more than the accumulation of his appetites, and so you might as well license them. Given what Aids has done to African mortality rates and what abortion has done to European demographics, John Paul II’s eternal truths look a lot more rational than those of the hyperrationalists at The New York Times."

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Goodbye, Karol 

Requiescat In Pacem, John Paul II, 1920-2005

"Thou shalt show me the path of life; in Thy presence is the fullness of joy, and at Thy right hand there is pleasure for evermore."

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Earth to Harvard 


Harvard president Laurence H. "Larry" Summers has been on the hot seat for some time.

First, he suggested that military service was honorable (*gasp*) and that the ROTC had a place on campus despite "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". Then he had the nerve to suggest the possibility that maybe Israel wasn't, you know, the absolute worst country in the world, let alone in the Middle East.

But when he mused aloud that men and women might think differently, the academic excrement finally impacted the electronically-rotating vanes. Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences voted "no confidence" in Summers as their campus-followers protested and jeered him. Not to mention that, as a former Sec. of the Treasury, Summers is a "technocrat" whose murder Ward Churchill has justified.

Now, to the Normal-American community--the great "Americo-normative" unwashed, if you will--the ideas expressed by Summers are entirely unremarkable. But to many of the faculty, as members of the Atheistic Left, these ideas are the closest thing to heresies they will ever encounter.

For example, we've got entire industries built around the fact that men and women think differently. If biology doesn't affect mental processes, then what the hell are PMS pills? We might as well take them off the market. Oh, wait...on second thought, nevermind. Forget I said that. For the Love of Gaia, please, DO NOT take PMS pills off the market...I'm begging you!

What was I thinking?

Anyway, Mr. Summers can be a bit hard to defend. He recently penned an Op-Ed supporting cloned-embryo stem-cell research.

Sorry, Larry; you may want more females involved in the hard sciences at Harvard, but growing them in petri dishes is not the answer. The Left doesn't trust NIKE to manufacture tennis shoes humanely...but now we're going to let corporations manufacture humans? And spare me the "ethics" riff; everytime you guys start practicing "ethics", the corpses start piling up.

And Mr. Summers has developed the disconcerting habit of--what's the word I'm looking for?--"groveling"--yes, that's it--before the faculty.

Roger Kimball expounds:

"It's a bit like one of those Warner Brothers cartoons in which some pathetic character--Elmer [Summers-]Fudd comes to mind--goes after the waskily [fakwulty] wabbit only to be outtwitted or at least outmaneuvered by the time the commercial break rolls around. Same thing happens in every episode, but the very predictability of the scenario adds to the comedy of the consummation. ...But of course one doesn't win by surrendering, one merely humiliates oneself and betrays the cause one pretends to be serving. That's the tragic element in the tragicomic farce."

The Fudd-analogy seems apt enough, but I refuse to compare the faculty to that great, great American, Mr. Bugs Bunny. No, in their quest to ban one of the few in their midst who can actually communicate with the outside world, they remind me more of Stalin, who shot everyone who ever came into contact with the West. Of course, they're not vicious killers like Stalin--tho' many have willingly provided an intellectual defense of vicious killers from Mao to Mumia.

And compared to our rigid, doctrinaire, myopic and cloistered faculty, Stalin was practically a free-thinker. There is more free-wheeling debate on the campuses of our military colleges than in the faculty lounge at Harvard.

They also bring to mind the militant gorillas and pontificating orangutans of "Planet of the Apes", bent on censuring Dr. Zira--ironically, a female chimp in the hard sciences--for communicating with an ordinary, lowly human played by Charlton Heston; "Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty academics!"

But more than anything, the out-of-touch Harvard faculty remind me of one of Margaret Mead's ficticious pygmy tribes, bent upon cannibalizing the only tribal member who can understand the strange tongue spoken by the missionaries and translate it to the tribe--the 'Laurence Tribe', I suppose.

Brian C. Anderson at City Journal notes some progress. That's good. It's high time to break the left/liberal stranglehold on academia. These institutions belong to all of us, and are not just one-party fiefdoms to keep otherwise unemployable leftist hacks off the welfare rolls.

Free Harvard Now!

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