Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

March 30, 2005

Slow learners…

Filed under: — Different River @ 9:19 pm

It seems that a “leaked” memo that ABC and the Washington Post reported had been circulated among Republican senators, claiming that the Schiavo case represented a great political opportunity, could well have been a fake. This from the Howard Kurtz in the Washington Post, not exactly a right-wing source:

While there is no hard evidence that the memo is fake, there are several strange things about it, including the basic fact that no one seems to know who wrote it and that the noncontroversial part of it is lifted from a Republican senator’s press release.

ABC and The Post say their reports on the Schiavo memo were accurate and carefully worded. The document caused a stir because it described the Schiavo controversy as “a great political issue” that would excite “the pro-life base” and be “a tough issue for Democrats,” singling out Florida’s Sen. Bill Nelson. Two days after the memo was reported, the Republican-controlled Congress approved a bill, signed by Bush, to transfer jurisdiction of Schiavo’s case from Florida courts to the federal judiciary in an effort to restore the brain-damaged woman’s feeding tube.

“There’s nothing on the face of the document to identify a source — not only is it unsigned, there’s no letterhead, no nothing,” Hinderaker said yesterday. “This is literally a piece of paper with stuff typed on it that could have been written by anyone.”

The controversy erupted March 18 when veteran correspondent Linda Douglass reported on “World News Tonight”: “ABC News has obtained talking points circulated among Republican senators, explaining why they should vote to intervene in the Schiavo case.”

Two days later, a Post article by Mike Allen and Manuel Roig-Franzia said: “An unsigned one-page memo, distributed to Republican senators, said the debate over Schiavo would appeal to the party’s base, or core, supporters.”

Virginia politics

Filed under: — Different River @ 9:07 pm

Commonwealth Conservative, a blog that covers Virginia politics (and claims to be the first blog run by an actual elected official), has finally covered something so local I actually know one of the people involved; that is primary races for the Virginia House of Delagates.

Our Delegate, Chap Petersen, has decided not to run for re-election to focus full-time on running for Lieutenant Governor. Running to replace him (and previously running to unseat him) is my friend Jim Kaplan. If you live in the 37th district (Fairfax, VA), please vote for Jim!

In Memoriam, Johnnie Cochran

Filed under: — Different River @ 8:42 pm

Johnnie Cochran has passed away. For those of you who don’t remember:

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., the charismatic attorney who became famous in the successful defense of football star O.J. Simpson on murder charges, died on Tuesday in Los Angeles of a brain tumor, spokespeople said.

In one of the defining moments of the trial, Simpson appeared unable to put on a pair of gloves connected to the double murder. Cochran famously admonished the jury, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”

He also told them the should acquit because one of the police investigators once used “the N-word.”

All I can say, really, is that I’d love to see Cochrane arguing his case before the Heavenly Court. Imagine him saying this to God (or St. Peter, if you’re a Christian): “I have been describes as a sinner unworthy of being admitted to Your presence. But that description is inaccurate — and if it doesn’t fit, you must admit!” :-)

(This thought is inspired by the confluence of Cochrane’s defense style in the O.J. trial, with the famous words of W. C. Fields, who was known as an agnostic but was seen reading the Bible on his deathbed. Asked why he would suddenly take up Bible reading in view of his agnostic beliefs, he is said to have responded, “I’m looking for a loophole.”)

(No disrespect to either Mr. Cochrane or Mr. Fields intended — though as Eugene Volokh and Ann Althouse point out, the law in this country would rather you speak ill of the dead than of the living. Yet another way “the law” backwards from reality. The living are considerably better able to defend themselves, but libel laws don’t apply to the dead.)

$100,000 for any neurologist who can diagnose PVS from a CT scan

Filed under: — Different River @ 5:54 pm

Dr. Thomas Boyle, the radiologist who analyzed Terri Schiavo’s CT scan here and said it’s no worse than those of some other people who actually walking and talking (if a bit impaired), has severely criticized the claims of some neurologists — especially Dr. Ronald Cranford, who claims to be a neurologist/bioethicist — that Terri is in PVS on the basis of that scan.

He is now offering a challenge: $100,000 to any neurologist involved in the Schiavo case who can diagnose PVS from a CT scan. And $125,000 for any neurologist who is also bioethicist. The rules:

To prove my point I am offering $100,000 on a $25,000 wager for ANY neurologist (and $125,000 for any neurologist/bioethicist) involved in Terri Schiavo’s case–including all the neurologists reviewed on television and in the newspapers who can accurately single out PVS patients from functioning patients with better than 60% accuracy on CT scans.

I will provide 100 single cuts from 100 different patient’s brain CT’s. All the neurologist has to do is say which ones represent patients with PVS and which do not.

If the neurologist can be right 6 out of 10 times he wins the $100,000.

Appeals Court that said Maybe this morning, says No now

Filed under: — Different River @ 5:44 pm

The 11th Circus Court of Appeals, in its latest act, said this morning it would hear the Schiavo case — and then said this afternoon that it wouldn’t.

How anyone is supposed to have any respect for the court system after all this, I don’t know. If anyone ever accuses me of “contempt of court” I’ll have to plead massively guilty, be I have total contempt for these courts. Oh wait, I shouldn’t say that, or they’ll call it a “reflex” and say I’m not allow to eat anymore. OK, I have no contempt for the courts — they are beneath that….

Pat Sajak has a blog

Filed under: — Different River @ 3:11 pm

Pat Sajak has a blog, and he’s not talking about spinning wheels of letters, either. Here’s his latest:

Recently, for example, I was discussing the United Sates Supreme Court with on of my many Liberal friends out in Los Angeles when she said, without any discernable embarrassment, that Justice Anton Scalia was “worse than Hitler”. Realizing she wasn’t alive during World War II and perhaps she may have been absent on those days when her schoolmates were studying Nazism, I reminded her of some of Hitler’s more egregious crimes against humanity, suggesting she may have overstated the case. She had not; Scalia was worse. As I often did when my parents threatened to send me to my room, I let the conversation die.

Aside from being rhetorically hysterical—and demeaning to the memory of those who suffered so terribly as a result of Hitler and the Nazis—it served to remind me of how difficult it is to have serious discussions about politics or social issues with committed members of the Left. They tend to do things like accusing members of the Right of sowing the seeds of hatred while, at the same time, comparing them to mass murderers. And they do this while completely missing the irony.

More examples follow.

(Hat tip: Jane Galt)

Priest threatened with arrest for giving communion

Filed under: — Different River @ 12:01 pm

Perhaps it’s just me, but I thoguht we had freedom of religion in this country, and that that freedom was protected by the First Amendment, which says,

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Now, I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t see anything in there about “unless a judge objects, in which case the police can arrest you” after the “free exercise thereof” part. Now I know a judge is not “Congress” making a law, but judges aren’t supposed to make laws in the first place, and the fourth and fourteenth amendments are supposed protect our rights against imposition by the other branches and the states.

Yet, we have this report, from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

Schiavo’s religion — Roman Catholicism — has always been a flashpoint in the seven-year legal battle between her parents and her husband. Her faith was so entwined in the legal fight that a judge issued an order dictating the exact number of times — once — that she could receive Holy Communion after her feeding tube was removed March 18.

But Monsignor Thaddeus Malanowski, who gave Schiavo her last authorized Holy Communion on Easter, said Tuesday that he had tried to defy the order during an afternoon visit to Schiavo’s hospice room. Bobby Schindler, Schiavo’s brother, said the three police officers in the room warned Malanowski that he would be arrested if he followed through on plans to place a drop of consecrated wine on Schiavo’s lips.

Holy Communion is one of four steps in the Catholic sacrament for the dying. Malanowski said he was able to perform the other three: granting absolution for sins, anointing the forehead and performing an apostolic blessing. He performed all four on Easter but said Schiavo should have the right to receive Holy Communion every day.

Supporters of the Schindlers accused the courts of infringing on Schiavo’s religious freedom.

Not one, but three police officers are sitting in a room to make sure a woman dies. To make sure no one feeds her. And to make sure no one does any religious ceremonies on her without the permission of the government.

Clearly, the only solution is to rescue this woman and protect her religious freedom by taking her to America …. waitaminute….

Is this America we live in?

Heck, even in Muslim countries, like the United Arab Emirates, there are Muslims who think she should be able to have communion.

Appeals Court to Hear Schiavo Review

Filed under: — Different River @ 9:42 am

Thirteen days after the feeding tube was pulled, and ten days after Congress required the federal courts to hear the Schiavo case, the 11th Circus Court of Appeals has finally agreed to hear it.

No hearing date set yet. Like I said before, I think they are trying to run out the clock. They would not do that for a convicted murderer.

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