Friday, January 14, 2005


Another College has gone around the bend...

For some reason, if the administration and staff at some colleges don't agree with your viewpoint, their tolerance for you goes right out of the window.

Florida College Bans The Passion of the Christ; Launches Campaign Against Free Speech


Don't think just because they signed a treaty in the Sudan that the problem's over

13 January 2005 The security situation in some areas of Sudan's South Darfur state is tense, the United Nations mission to the country reported today, after two attacks by unidentified armed militiamen earlier this week left at least one person dead.

On Tuesday armed men in one incident stopped two trucks from a non-governmental organization (NGO), robbed the passengers of their belongings and forced the convoy to return from the state's northwest to the capital Nyala. In the second attack, four armed men tried to force their way into a NGO guesthouse.

In a separate incident in North Darfur, also on Tuesday, the UN Advance Mission in Sudan (UNAMIS) said armed men fired at a truck marked with a NGO logo as it made its way to the town of Kabkabiya. No injuries were reported and the truck continued on its journey.

The round of attacks have occurred as Secretary-General Kofi Annan warns in his latest report to the Security Council on Darfur that the overall security situation in the war-torn region remains poor and political negotiations between the Sudanese Government and rebel groups have reached a stalemate.

The report says humanitarian workers are increasingly at risk of violent attacks, armed groups are re-arming in defiance of previous Council resolution, and the conflict appears to be spreading into the neighbouring state of Western Kordofan.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed and at least 1.85 million people forced from their homes since rebels took up arms against Khartoum in early 2003 in protest partly at the distribution of economic resources.


The Lie of Painless Death

This is a disturbing piece. A nurse has passed on and commented on for the Schindlers a medical protocal they had prepared for Terri Schindler's death. It puts to lie the concept that for a person that is mostly healthy, even if not mentally able to communicate easily, death by starvation and dehydration is NOT painless and peaceful.

• Upon discontinuation of enteral feeding the following signs/symptoms may or may not occur. The following is a brief list of symptoms for which to monitor and recommended interventions.

Monitor symptoms of pain/discomfort. If noted, medicate with Naproxen rectal suppository 375 mg. Q8 prn [“Q8 prn” means eight times a day as needed].
If someone in a persistent vegetative state cannot feel pain, as Michael Schiavo and his attorney, George Felos, have consistently told the world, why do Terri’s charts tell nurses how to treat her for pain?

According to Ford, that is because Terri can and will feel pain during this process — and a lot of it.

“Think about what hunger pains are like if you haven’t eaten in a while,” Ford said. “You start to get that gnawing feeling, almost a burning in your stomach. Most people don’t extend themselves into the depths of hunger. They grab a cracker or bread if they’re out shopping for a while just to make themselves feel better.”
Terri would not have this option, however. “Within several hours, she’ll start to feel this kind of hunger pain,” Ford said.

Dehydration would only add to the discomfort: “When she starts going into the dehydration stage, her metabolism will start to change. Her electrolytes will get imbalanced. She’s going to get uncomfortable and will start to writhe.
“Advance a couple days without food or water. Now her mouth is parched, her lips, her gums, her tongue will start to crack and bleed. The nasal cavities will start to dry, crack and bleed. The stomach will get dry and shrink, causing vomiting and heaving,” Ford said.

• Pulmonary
(a) Inability to clear secretions — reposition and swab mouth, consider scopolamine patch behind ear every 3 days.

“When you first go into dehydration, your body will automatically compensate by making saliva. But when she gets into the stage where the stomach shrinks and nausea begins, they’re going to stick a patch behind her ear for the nausea. What the patch also does is dehydrate you by taking away this fluid.”

(b) Dyspnea — nebulize low dose 2-5 mg. Morphine sulfate Q4 prn [four times a day as needed].

“Dyspnea is when you have difficulty breathing. What they’re going to do is use a nebulizer the way you might use for asthmatics — only instead of giving a histamine to help her breathe, they’re going to give Terri morphine sulfate, which only suppresses respiration more. In the later phases she’ll start gasping for air.”
In seven to nine days, as most of her body fluids are lost, her blood pressure will go down and her heart rate will rise. The blood will be shunted to the central part of the body from the periphery of the body, so that usually two to three days prior to death, the hands and feet become extremely cold. They become mottled and have a bluish appearance. The eyes will become so dry the patient can’t move them anymore because there will be fluid in them.

Multifocal myoclonus or terminal agitation [sometimes caused by electrolyte imbalance]. Consider diazepam rectal administration 5-10 mg. May repeat in 4 hours if not resolved then daily — twice daily as needed.

Multifocal myoclonus means seizures taking place in various parts of the body. “Because of the electrolyte imbalance, Terri will begin to have seizures,” Ford said. “She’ll start to twitch. You don’t see this in an oncology patient because they’re already dehydrated. Even the elderly, who are going into the natural process of death, their bodies are doing what God created them to do — slow down.
“Our job as health-care professionals at this point is to understand the death process and to oblige the process God has given these people to help them in comfort measures — palliative care — not to enhance death. But Terri’s not terminal,” Ford said. “What they’re doing here is starving a healthy person to death. This is the only reason why she’ll go into multifocal myoclonus.”

• Grand Mal seizure, which is highly unlikely given current conditions and lack of contributing factors (meds) [medication]. Recommend diazepam 15 mg. rectally as indicated in seizure management orders.

“If she happens to make it into a grand mal seizure, they will give her 15 mg. of valium. … The valium won’t make this easier, it will just help to bring her to death faster, because she won’t have the ability to fight her way out of it,” Ford said. “Her body will not be in good shape at this point. You wouldn’t look at her and say she was comfortable. She’s been without food and water for a long time. She’s pretty much withered, her skin is broken down, her metabolism is broken down, her kidneys haven’t received anything. Her body is reacting to the lack of food.”

At this point, death is imminent.

During the Oct. 2003 tube withdrawal, Ford saw Terri before the process began.

“They started off by dressing her in wool sweaters and long pants, then wrapped her in a wool blanket — to ‘sweat her out’ — to make her deyhdrate faster,” Ford said. She was horrified, especially because it was only October and it’s still hot in Florida in October.

“This is not a painless or dignified way to die,” Ford said. “It’s against the law to dehydrate and starve to death a prisoner on death row. Why should we allow it to be done to a disabled woman — or anybody?”

The cruelty Ford has seen Terri endure is “not even believable,” she said. “In this case, Dr. Kevorkian would be more humane than what they intend to do to Terri.”

Source: The CAtholic Standard and Times

Thursday, January 13, 2005


Niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Speak Out Against Abortion at Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, January 13, 2005 ( – Immediately following the January 24 US National March for Life in Washington, women who regret their abortions will speak at the Supreme Court. Guests include the national spokesperson for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, actress, model, author, Jennifer O'Neill and the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Alveda King.

The women will stand in front of the Supreme Court holding signs that say "I Regret My Abortion" and will be speaking about their abortion experience. will be reporting live from the March again this year. On Monday January 24, 2005 the rally for the March begins at noon followed by the March at 1pm. The women who regret their abortions will make their presentation beginning at 5pm., after the after the long procession of marchers have passed by the Supreme Court.

This is one of numerous events being held in January nationwide by the Silent No More Awareness Campaign.

The Campaign, a joint project of Priests for Life and NOEL, seeks to raise awareness about the harm abortion does to women and their families, and about the many healing programs available for post-aborted women. It is coordinated by Janet Morana, Associate Director of Priests for Life, and Georgette Forney, President of NOEL.

For more information, visit


Women who Regret their Abortions to Speak in Washington, D.C. Jan. 24 at the Supreme Court

Contact: Jerry Horn of Priests for Life, 540-220-0095

News Advisory:

WHAT: Women who Regret their Abortions to Speak in Washington, D.C.

WHEN: Jan. 24, 2005 at 5 p.m.

WHERE: The Supreme Court

Guests Include:

-- Actress, model, author, Jennifer O'Neill, our National Spokesperson

-- Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This is one of numerous events being held in January nationwide by the Silent No More Awareness Campaign ( ).

The women will stand holding signs that say "I Regret My Abortion" and will be speaking about their abortion experience.

The Campaign, a joint project of Priests for Life and NOEL seeks to raise awareness about the harm abortion does to women and their families, and about the many healing programs available. It is coordinated by Janet Morana, associate director of Priests for Life, and Georgette Forney, president of NOEL.

For more information, visit,

To schedule interviews contact, Jerry Horn at 540-220-0095

Source: Yahoo News

Wednesday, January 12, 2005


Opposing Views

Someone said this would be funny if it wasn't too often true.


National Academy of Sciences report on Gun Crime

Investor Business Daily is running a piece about the effectiveness of gun control legislation on gun crime. In it, I found the following comment, which is worth considering:

The 328-page report by the National Academy of Sciences is based on 253 journal articles, 99 books, 43 government publications, a survey of 80 gun-control laws and some of its own independent study.

It could find no evidence to support the conclusion that government restrictions on firearms reduces gun crime, gun violence and gun accidents.

As noted by John Lott Jr., resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and frequent contributor to this page, this stunning indictment of the ineffectiveness of gun-control laws was produced by a panel set up during the Clinton administration. All but one of its members were known before their appointments to favor gun control. No NRA shills here.

Interesting. Then the real question should be, what would work?

Tuesday, January 11, 2005


Roundup of things worth reading:

Doug Bandlow asks, "Can Democrats be pro-life?"

Being pro-life has been political death for any Democrat with national aspirations. Many on the left are unable to even contemplate a legitimate argument against legal abortion.

The satirical weblog "BlameBush!" recently seemed to speak for some abortion activists when it opined that "we must protect a Woman's Right to Choose and err on the side of inhumanity."

Which unfortunately captures the problem with the pro-abortion lobby: it does err "on the side of inhumanity." That is a strange position for a party that claims to speak for the poor and disadvantaged.

Newt Gingrich has a Walking Tour of God in Washington, D.C. included in his new book, Winning the Future.
Former House speaker Newt Gingrich says he "got fed up with people who argue that somehow the concept of the creator wasn't central to how the Founding Fathers understood America." So in a book being published today, he includes a 19-page "Walking Tour of God in Washington, D.C.," cataloging references to the Bible, Moses and a heavenly father on the Capitol, monuments and memorials.

Read more about the book here.

Political Lesson of the Day:

Mary Mapes is a great example of how obsession can blind one to the point of making fatal mistakes, especially in politics by letting yourself be blinded... John Podhoretz discusses this well:

Mapes wanted the story on the air. She wanted it desperately. The authors of the report say she was bewitched by competitive pressures (because other news organizations were on the story, too). They show that she displayed astonishingly poor judgment - and, in the aftermath of the story's airing, just kept lying through her teeth both to her superiors and to the report's authors.

But here's the thing. It doesn't matter whether CBS executives met in a room, twirled moustaches and gave each other high-fives about getting George Bush. What matters is that they turned their airwaves over to someone who was clearly in the grip of an obsession.

And here's the other thing. They were able to do such a thing because they did not see her obsession as an obsession - because, no doubt, most of them wanted it to be true, too.

That's what happens when you're blinded by bias. Thornburgh and Boccardi didn't want to say so. The world doesn't need them to say so. The world knows the truth.

Monday, January 10, 2005


Is Congressional civility possible?

I for one hope so, because people get more done when they learn to respect and work with each other's differences of opinions.

I am not the only ones hoping so. Two representatives, Ray LaHood, a Republican from Illinois, and David Skaggs, a Democrat from Colorado have stepped out and formed the Congressional Civility Caucus:

To get beyond childish bickering and address fundamental issues, we are organizing a Congressional Civility Caucus. Our goal is to create a bipartisan group of House members that will strive for civil debate in all of our work in Washington.

The House has tried this before. In 1997, a civility retreat for about 200 House members was organized by Reps. Ray LaHood, a Republican from Illinois, and David Skaggs, a Democrat from Colorado. Members met in Hershey, Pa., in March of that year and again in 1999, but attendance dwindled. Soon thereafter, it disbanded because of a lack of interest.

Civility in Congress means more than simply calling each other "the distinguished representative" or singing Kumbaya and holding hands. Our caucus will have teeth. We will not hesitate to take a stand when the tone in Washington becomes uncivil.

Though we will continue to disagree on issues, as members of the Civility Caucus, we will respect each others' points of view in those disagreements, compromise where we are able and work to pass common sense legislation where we find common ground.

We hope this caucus will change the current dynamics in the House by injecting a voice that rises above partisanship when politics becomes more about personal attacks than about serving our constituents. Our differences do matter. But philosophical differences need not become personal destruction.

Civility in politics shouldn't be restricted to occasional ceremonies where presidents stand together on stage. It needs to include members of Congress on opposite sides of the aisle working together every day and respecting each others' differing views.

We've got more important things to do than sling mud. After all, we have a country to run.

Godspeed and good luck to them both.


Supreme Court Lets Stand Florida's Gay Adoption Ban

The U.S. Supreme Court refused on Monday to hear a constitutional challenge to a 1977 Florida law that bans gays and lesbians from adopting children, the only such state law in the nation.

Read the details here.

Not being a lawyer, I am thinking that the this refusal lets the District Court finding stand which was that this was a matter for the Florida legislature, not the courts.



Here are some stories from today that I thought were worth paying attention to:

La Shawn Barber says some interesting things on Nick Coleman's complaining about the Blogosphere in Nick’s nasty bout with blog envy One noteworthy point:

Some blogs rival online newspaper readership, and anyone with an Internet connection and decent writing and research skills can compose continuous letters to the editor for an audience of thousands. Bloggers are doctors, lawyers, professors, police officers, pastors, writers, stay-at-home mothers and even guys in pajamas in their living rooms, and their online presence serves notice that shoddy research and reporting will not go unchallenged.

Here's a story about the UN and its track record for dealing with sexual misdeeds in its own ranks. In Morally Tainted, we learn:

That's not all. Since the 1990s, U.N. peacekeepers and officials themselves have been involved in the torture, rape and sexual-trafficking of children and adults: in Somalia, Bosnia, Cambodia and Congo.

The United Nations, and the international community, has a moral responsibility to radically reform the refugee system before millions more children are put in harm's way.

What is most disturbing is that U.N. peacekeepers and officials accused of abusing children and adults have rarely been prosecuted or even punished.

The United Nations says it can only send "bad apples" back to their home countries to be prosecuted. They have never acknowledged that the problem is systemic and widespread.

What is worse, the people in charge of peacekeeping where abuse has occurred have not been held accountable for their underlings' actions. Where public outrage has demanded it, they have been removed from their country of responsibility. But instead of being demoted they have been promoted.

Bill O'Reilly talks about the limits of dissent - when does dissent become disloyalty? He comes to this conclusion:

Believing that the Iraq war is wrong is legitimate dissent, and Stone might even be right, this may be an unwinnable situation. But feeling any kind of satisfaction when you hear of victories by the "insurgents" means you have crossed the line from dissent into disloyalty. Rationalizations walk. If you are rooting for the insurgents - you are one.

Sunday, January 09, 2005



FIRE stands for Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

The mission of FIRE is to defend and sustain individual rights at America's colleges and universities. These rights include freedom of speech, legal equality, due process, religious liberty, and sanctity of conscience -- the essential qualities of individual liberty and dignity. FIRE's core mission is to protect the unprotected and to educate the public and communities of concerned Americans about the threats to these rights on our campuses and about the means to preserve them.

If you are interested, check out their website.

Free speech and free inquiry is the basis of true academic freedom and the development of learning. Curtailing free speech is blindsiding your education in the name of ideology. Don't let them shortchange you!


Arab Student Gets the Treatment

I had talked about this young man before. He attends school at the Foothills College in California, and a professor of his advised him to get therapy after he wrote a pro-American essay.

Here is an update:

The essay question that Professor Woolcock gave his students that started the whole thing was this:

Dye and Zeigler contend that the Constitution of the United States was not ‘ordained and established’ by ‘the people’ as we have so often been led to believe. They contend instead that it was written by a small educated and wealthy elite in America who were representative of powerful economic and political interests. Analyze the US constitution (original document), and show how its formulation excluded the majority of the people living in America at that time, and how it was dominated by America's elite interest.”

As a person who was a member of academia, I find this already bad, because it doesn't allow for differing opinions. The professor wants only one type of result: Agree with me that American government is based on a fraudulent rhetoric.

If he had allowed an either/or view, this would be a great example of academic freedom at work. If he had said "Using the US Constitution as your source document, agree or disagree with Dye and Zeigler's view about the elitist structure of the constitution", it would have been a great think piece that would have required examining concepts and data.

Instead, the person charged with educating these people has chosen the low road of being indoctrinaire.

More than that, he has filed a grievance against the student for daring to bring his name to public attention.

Mr. Al-Qloushi tells us:
Professor Woolcock then filed a school grievance accusing me, under section 5 of Foothill’s grievance code, of an “act or threat of intimidation or general harassment.” If you are confused by this, so was I. Foothill’s Dean of Student Affairs, Don Dorsey, would not let me see the grievance as filed but he summarized it for me by saying, "Professor Woolcock feels harassed by your having mentioned his name to the media."

Yet instead of getting embittered by the process, he has taken the high road, of using dissent as a stepping stone against injustice to correct a wrong:

As a result of growing media attention I am told that Foothill’s Board of Trustees has received hundreds of e-mails. I came to this country to study American political institutions and I have certainly been getting a crash course. I’ve discovered that, as a tax-payer funded college, Foothill has a 5 member publicly elected Board of Trustees who care passionately about Education.

Ironically, as I was going through all of this I learned that California State Senator Bill Morrow was introducing the Academic Bill of Rights to the State Legislature to defend academic freedom and intellectual diversity on California’s campuses. As a result of my own experience and the many stories I have heard from other Foothill students, I am helping to form a chapter of Students for Academic Freedom to get my college and my state to adopt this bill. You can encourage Foothill’s Board of Trustees to pass the Academic Bill of Rights as official school policy by emailing them at

I applaud him. Think about this experience of his:
I remembered back to my high school in Kuwait. Many of my teachers were Palestinian; they hated America, they hated my worldview, and they did their best to brainwash me. I did not leave my country and my family to come to the United States to receive further brainwashing.
We need to stand up against people who would undercut the benefit of academic freedom and learning and know that higher education should be a place to enhance learning, to teach people to examine issues and foster free thinking, based on reasoned response, fact and truth, not to act like indoctrination centers.


Perception vs. Reality

A recent study has shown that journalists, by concentrating on the biggest spending electoral races, encourage widespread misperception. In a survey conducted by social scientists at MIT and Stanford, it was found that "people with less education (and thus lower tendency to read newspapers) had, on average, the most accurate estimates of the average amount of money spent in politics and the relative importance of interest groups."

Informed readers' opinions on the subject, on the other hand, closely tracked the lopsided reporting they'd been exposed to. They over-estimated the impact of corporate and PAC money; their estimates of amounts spent on campaigns was over seven times that actually spent.

So, on average, the people in the nation with the most accurate view of politics are the least informed. At least on this issue.

--Paul Jacob


Hate goes on, even in the middle of disaster

CNN reports:

Gunfire broke out in the city of Banda Aceh, while a deadly blast shook an area where relief workers are helping out in Sri Lanka, raising concern about the safety of foreign aid groups helping tsunami survivors.

Seems like for some, the insurgencies must go on, no matter that the people around them are aching and devastated and in need of putting their lives back together again, and the whole world is there to lend them a hand.

Sadness is man's ability to harm in the name of good...


Update on Sudan

Sudan's Vice President Ali Osman Taha and the country's main rebel leader John Garang signed a peace accord here Sunday ending Africa's longest-running conflict.

Taha and Garang inked the deal ending 21 years of civil war in their country at Kenya's Nyayo National Stadium with a host of African heads of state and others looking on. (source AFP vis ReliefWeb)

Yet this agreement really is not as comprehensive as some would like us to think, and does little or nothing to resolve the situation in Darfur. The International Rescue Committee notes:

Despite this peace agreement, insufficient attention has been given to the underlying causes of Sudan's conflict, contributing to continued fighting in Darfur and tensions in the Beja area in the east.

"In Darfur nearly two million people have been driven from their homes, continued abuses and unrelenting attacks are a tragic blight on the peace process.

A peace settlement that does not seriously address the causes of conflict in Darfur and other areas cannot be comprehensive, nor can it be sustained without community involvement. The crisis of governance, the lack of respect for human rights and the marginalisation of ordinary citizens that contributed to the war have also fostered new crises." said Gaigals

From the UN News Service
The senior United Nations envoy for Sudan today voiced concern that local authorities in the country's war-torn region of Darfur are increasingly harassing staff working for non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Jan Pronk, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Sudan, told a meeting of the Joint Implementation Mechanism (JIM), the body set up last year by the UN and Khartoum to deal with the crisis in Darfur, that Sudanese nationals working for NGOs were particularly likely to be harassed.

As Sudan: The Passion of the Present notes

Note, Khartoum has so much breathing space now, it seems unreal. No wonder Sudan's President is so excited, acting so magnanimously and offering to now "consider" power sharing with Darfur. Khartoum must think they did right all these years. They stole power through a gun barrel and now the peace deal legitimises them. They don't even have to completely withdraw their troops from southern Sudan for another 2.5 years.

Khartoum gives the impression of welcoming peace but what they are really welcoming is the heat being taken off them. It seems as though Darfur is back to square one. The past 22 months of hell -- costing around 400,000 lives and displacing millions of people -- and two U.N. Security Council resolutions threatening possible sanctions along with a bill signed by President Bush last month -- it's like none of it ever happened

Peace treaties come, treaties go, but the Darfur situation is really about a group that the government favors attacking a group without power. How this plays out requires more monitoring - and not taking off the pressure. More eyes are needed - watch with us!

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