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Saturday, June 18, 2005
TERRI 'THE REAL THING' SCHIAVO AGAIN
or, THE DEAD CAN'T DANCE

June 18 2005

Well, you'd think that with all of the time that's passed, and the final release of the autopsy the other day, the whole sad mess would have died down.

But no, sitting in Vancouver, watching the CBC news, I saw Jeb Bush, and Bill Frist, and spokesmonks for the Schindler family desperately spinning the findings to claim that they're STILL right, and that somehow they're going to still get political mileage out of their exploition of the late Mrs. Schiavo.

They get The Daily Show here, which is fascinating. It's on at midnight on one of the CBC news stations, and one wonders that such a peculiarly American political satire can be of interest to Canadians -- except, of course, that 90% of the Canadian population can still be found within 70 miles (I don't know what that is in kilometers) of the US border. One can keep pretty good tabs on what's happening in the USA here, which is more than you can say about the converse. It seems astonishing that the USA cares so little about the other countries that we share the continent with, but there you have it. For the first time in history, you actually have a fair chance of knowing who the Canadian Prime Minister is, and who the President of Mexico might be. A "fair" chance.

Well, Bill "Mr. Diagnosis" Frist didn't back off a bit on his phony diagnosis, claimed he'd never made it, and refused to address the coroner's assessment that Mrs. Schiavo was BLIND -- i.e. her supposed "reactions" in the carefully edited Schindler Video Bite that they show over and over again were as phony as a three dollar bill. Schiavo couldn't SEE the Schindlers, let alone react to them.

And Frist managed to show just what contempt he has for facts and science in the little dance of mendacity.

Those slimy photos of Schiavo continued, with the showing of her "living" self years ago, or else that horrible shot of the Schindlers' having put makeup and lipstick on the long-catatonic Mrs. Schiavo. WHY do the networks persist in presenting photos and footage that clearly are meant as pro-Schindler propaganda, even while they report that Mrs. Schiavo was as the courts and Mr. Schiavo had claimed?

But the piece de resistance was Jeb Bush -- a grayer and portlier Jeb -- who held a news conference to try and retroactively reopen the "case" against Mr. Schiavo, and find evidence that he'd done something to create or facilitate Mrs. Schiavo's "persistent vegetative state."

They ought to just cut their losses and move on, but no, they are so wedded -- pun intended -- to their phony beliefs that they can't let it go.

She's gone: ashes to ashes and dust to dust. And, with the exception of the family and the husband, none of the principals in the case ever knew Terri Schiavo as anything other than a shell. Frist and Bush did not -- that I am aware of -- ever actually see the empty flesh. No: this is ideological, cynically political and borderline psychotic.

Why do I say that? Well, let's look at what the dynamic is here: The Schindler family made the classic mistake of mistaking the Coke can for the Coca-Cola inside. The simple, undeniable truth is that Terri Schiavo ceased to be after she was without a heartbeat for over an hour following a collapse over a decade ago.

The undeniable truth is that those qualities that we ascribe to a sentent being were demonstrably and inescapably absent from the husk that Mrs. Schiavo represented after that. For a decade, family, priests, legislators, congresspersons, a governor and a president refused to accept that all-but-indisputable truth, and fought over the Coke can, even though the effervescense, the psyche -- literally, the breath -- had indisputably escaped the can.

The irony here is that so-called 'faith-based' people, who hold tenaciously to the invisible world of 'spirit' were aggressively welded to an utterly materialistic view of life: the Coke can is there, ergo the Coca-Cola must still be there. And it was the Coca-Cola that they were fighting for.

So, given the fact that the brain was half the size of a normal brain, and was non-functional, the materialistic bias has suddenly shifted to the esoteric arguments once more.

"They were only trying to take care of the Coke can," quoth the spokes-shaman.
"I never said that I diagnosed the possibility of recovery," lied the Good Doctor Frist -- demonstrably and indisputably an out-and-out lie.

"We must find out what happened," shifted the pudgy and immovable Governor Jeb "Clampett" Bush, without a noticable grinding of gears.

Suddenly, the entire materialistic rationale for the primacy of the Coke can had shifted to arguments about esoteric formulations of "life" or "morality" or even, hideously, post-facto presumptions of guilt in a case that had never been about the culpability of Mr. Schiavo.

And the agit-prop images from the Coke can crowd continue to run on TeeVee, giving purported credence to 'facts' that we now know to be false.

Get that? These are LIES. And, these are epistmological dodges and gymnastics that utterly belie any credible or moral stance with regard to the Coke can people.

The entity known as Terri Schiavo bubbled away into the unknown a decade before. No one charged any malice then, but now, now that the lies have been shown for what they are, suddenly, retroactively, and criminally, Mr. Schiavo, who -- it must be said -- has been remarkably consistent in his desire not to watch the Coke can rust and rot and replace the effervescence that he went to heroic lengths to reclaim, yes, Mr. Schiavo is the focus of the belligerence of those 'moral' bastards who refuse to accept simple, scientific facts.

They want a second opinion. They want to prosecute Mr. Schiavo. They want to sue somebody, ANYbody, rather than let it go. Even the Coke can is gone, but someone has to pay.

So, it was never about Terri Schiavo at all. It was about a self-deluded gaggle of fanatics, exploiting a tragedy, a brain-death, if you will, that never seems to have veered into an actual interest in the sentient entity involved.

It has only been about their IDEA of Terri Shiavo, the shell, the husk, the hulk rotting away in hospices.

And, "Christian" friends, is most assuredly a form of idolatry: worshipping the mentally constructed "idol" formed in the minds of the inquisitors, rather than the reality of the empty vessel before them.

But Terri Schiavo is a shell that can have marionette's strings attached, a pole stuck up her spine, and a ventriloquist's voice synch'ed to a manually operated jaw. The muppet can mouth the beliefs of the idolaters and an entire class of so-called believers can be duped into following along, even calling the puppet on a stick by the familiar "Terri" -- as though they actually "knew" her and cared about "her." If that worship of the latest Golden Calf is not blasphemous, then there is no such thing.

It's kind of like the fanatical adherence of the "pro-life" crowd, to whom the 'idol' of the cute little baby (which resembles a first-trimester mass of fetal tissue not at all) that is more important than a living, breathing, scared mother-to-may-be.

It is idolatry. And they are idolaters. As they demand that Genesis supplant Darwin because they have no appreciation of poetry, as they scream outside of abortion clinics conveiently forgetting that one in four human pregnancies ends in spontaneous abortion (making their God the Abortionist Supreme), conveniently accepting a Coke can as being the Coca-Cola it once held, their grven images supplant facts, reason, and common sense.

No one notes that their so-called "spiritual" bias is utterly materialistic, and that when materialistic science refutes them, they simply claim that they mysteriously are in possession of 'higher' knowledge.

But, having been shown as liars, why should anyone believe them now?

And yet too many do.

Courage.
.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
THE DAY OF THE WHINERS
or, I DON'T THINK WE'RE IN VIETNAM ANYMORE, TOTO. TOTO? TOTO?!?!

6-15-05

Well, CNN comes in in Canada. Today's top news stories -- aside from the junk news about the missing American Chickie -- were the Terri Schiavo autopsy, and the Gitmo controversy. In debate, the Gitmo contoversy would be termed a lack of clash. Either that, or simply a specious argument on the part of the Administration.

Pat Leahy, for the democratic sound bite, was saying that the whole Gitmo mess was an astonishing black eye to the US reputation as a leader in democracy and human rights. Leaving aside the self-congratulatory nature of the comments (and perhaps the patently false blush thereof -- we've been the dictators' best buddy in the world for decades, now), the RESPONSE was astonishing:

Well, we've gotten GOOD intelligence from our abusive methods, quoth Cheney and Rummy and the rest of the creepy corps that surround our idiot king, George III.

So, if you get GOOD information from torture and abuse, that's OK?

Yep, evidently.

It doesn't matter that it's prima fascie WRONG, and illegal to boot -- remember the war crimes section of USC 18 that I cited here a few days ago. The Geneva Convention is part of the US Code, a little nicety that the guys putting the boyz in the hoods conveniently like to forget.

And let's forget that these are a gaggle of goons whose uderstanding of little inconvenences like truth or facts is a tenuous matter at best. No: let's BELIEVE that by stripping people naked, subjecting them to sleep deprivation, "stress positions," canine attacks, and other non-tortures, we actually get the information that we need. Heck, then let's just forget that ridiculous Miranda warning, and due process and all the rest for domestic criminals. If beating them with hoses and saps gets us the goods on crooks, why then it's ALL OK!

Some of these Gitmo people have been living in chain-link cages (that most zoos would find inhumane) for up to three years. No charges, no counsel, no due process of law.

Held extra-territorially on the say-so of a factually-challenged administration that seems to speak entirely by negation -- if they say "clear skies" it means pollution, if they say "spreading democracy" it means subjugation and occupation -- our 'enemy combatants' are simply those who have displeased the agents of the administration. THAT is the only proposition that I can make which is self-evidently true and correct.

Think what that means.

It means that if YOU displease the mad king's goons, you have no rights. Right now, of course, it's supposedly extra-nationals (i.e. "foreigners") but that could easily change. Indeed, in at least one case, it has been a US citizen. They've kidnapped Canadian and Australian nationals. And, according to the local freebie paper here in Vancouver, Canadians are at least as afraid of George W. Bush as they are of Osama bin Laden. That's according to the latest polling data.

So, the Administration's response to the Gitmo revelations? It's OK. We got good infomation.

Zowie.

And then there's the Terri Schiavo autopsy. Seems that the coroner found that her brain was irreversably and massively damaged, that there was no sign of abuse or any of the other monstrous charges leveled at her husband by the lunatic Schindler family and their Catholic mafia cohorts. I mean, er, their "priests" and "brothers." Brother Something, their "spokesman" not having read the entire autopsy bravely allowed himself to be interviewed on CNN, to reassert, without any factual basis whatsoever that his "faith" in their line of bullsquash was not shaken in the least. They know what they know, whether the facts bear them out or not. Indeed, he'd only spoken to the attack shrike brother, Bobby, but he was certain that he knew what the Schindler's thought as well.

Faith is the knowledge of things unseen, said Saint Paul. Brother Paul, on the other hand, seemed to assert that faith is the knowledge of things obscene. What a comfort, especially with former Chief Inquisitor Joey Rats in charge of the billion-strong Catholic Church. It's good to know that Father Frank Pavone, and Brother Paul have his tacit if not explicit blessing.

There's GOT to be room for a couple of 'em in the Bush Administration. Both sets of fanatics share a similar sense of divine justification and a blatant disregard for uncomfortable facts.

But wait, as the knife commercial famously says, there's MORE!

On CNN, an intrepid reporter went along on a raid of a "suspected" insurgent's neighborhood.

The sense of deja vu was incredible. Here were the US troops allowing the Iraqi "security forces" to, for the first time, "lead" the raids.

Here were the native forces taking the lead in "counter-insurgency," questioning neighbors about the insurgents, about what they knew, and, according to the US military spokesman, they were aware of the insurgency, didn't like the insurgency, but were frightened to speak about the insurgency.

There was the photo op of the compassionate US corpsman, dressing the burn wounds of an Iraqi who, we were told, injured himself in a cement factory where he works. He was, again, we were told, grateful for the medical aid, but the locals were "wary" of US forces.

And I had to wonder how many times I heard this exact same report from Vietnam in the 1960s.

The Vietnamese regulars leading the search for VC in some hamlet, backed by the US troops (in an advisory capacity, and sporting enough firepower to render the South Vietnamese forces irrelevant, should anything actually occur). The questioning of the "wary" locals, and the photo op of some grandmother's wound being treated, or some cute kid being innoculated by the always compassionate "good guys": US. Er, I mean the U.S.

And, of course, this following the recent "successful" Vietnamese elections -- with a stellar turnout, of course.

But I wondered if the young CNN reporter had any sense of the leaden irony that this was not only a standard US news story from the Vietnam war (with only pictures and a few names changed), but that this had been the standard Soviet news story from the Afghanistan occupation of the 1980s.

Or that it had been the standard Chinese story from the invasion and occupation of Tibet in the 1950s. Et al, etcetera, ad infinitum.

Still, this HAS to be an irony-free zone, doesn't it? After all, we couldn't well be spreading democracy and winning "hearts and minds" without a childlike incomprehension of the ugly ironies from our recent past.

Then again, perhaps we could just pistol-whip the locals into talking.

After all, if we get "good intelligence" from it, it's OK, right?

Courage.
.
hart williams
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