Saturday, March 19, 2005


Interesting conundrum.

The only way that Michael Schaivo can claim that it is "distressing to Terri" that she is being kept alive against her wishes, would be if she IS aware of it--and if she IS aware of it, then she isn't a vegetable. If she is so brain damaged that she cannot feel the pain of death by dehydration and starvation, then she can't be distressed by being alive in the condition she's in. Therefore, the question becomes does he have the right to insist on death for someone that is cognizant of what is going on without their positive agreement to it?

Think about it.


Action Alert for Terri

Bobby Schindler has asked those of us who are following Terri's plight to pass on the following, and to take action:


This is an urgent congressional action alert from the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) in Washington, D.C., issued Friday, March 18, 2005, at noon EST. For further information, visit the NRLC website.

Please forward this message to your own lists.


Both the House and Senate have now passed bills that would give the Schindlers the opportunity to have their claims that their daughter's starvation violates her federal constitutional and statutory rights heard in a federal court. Unfortunately, the bills have significant differences in content. Both houses must pass the same version in order for the bill to be signed by the President and put into effect to save Terri.

Now, your help is needed TODAY to contact your Senators and Representatives and urge them to do whatever is necessary to resolve the differences between the two chambers and get a bill that will save Terri to the President’s desk before it is too late.

PLEASE ACT NOW! Under court order, Terri's feeding tube is scheduled to be removed at 1:00 pm EST today, Friday, March 18.

Contact your senators and U.S. representative. Simply type your zip code in the "Take Action Now" box.

Time is precious! Only a massive outpouring from constituents will move legislators to act quickly enough to give Terri her chance at life.

Read the text of the House-passed bill (H.R. 1332).

Read the text of the Senate-passed bill (S. 653).


They Made a Desert and Called it Mercy - Hubris, Projection, and Dehydration Therapy

We make a lot of assumptions about those who have been brain damaged the way Terri Schiavo has. We see them lying there, changed from the person they used to be to something different. No one wants to be there. We are repulsed, turned away, and think it is perhaps the worst of fates.

And yet how little we know about what's going on inside a person's head during all of this. We could learn more, like by using MRIs to see how much cognitive ability is really left, but too often in our rush to disassociate ourselves from the person lying there in the bed, we make judgements that are incorrect. Doctors are not immune to these feelings. There is case after case of persons who were encouraged to to what Michael Schiavo is finally getting to do to Terri, but they refused, and their loved one got better. The largest study of this problem was done in Britain, with a 40 percent misdiagnosis!

Hubris. To project our distaste about a certain life condition and then to declare, that the person cannot feel, cannot hear, cannot know what is happening because they cannot communicate. Lots of cases say this may not be true. Look at the case of Kate Adamson, who underwent something similar:

A decade ago, Mrs. Adamson, then 33, suffered a double brain stem stroke that left her completely paralyzed, unable even to blink. Inside though, she was fully cognitive, able to understand doctors telling her husband she would either die or wind up "a vegetable." She wanted to, but couldn't, scream out when "people talked about me as if I wasn't a person, as if I didn't exist. . . . It was like being trapped underground and you're praying that somebody is going to be able to find you."

During 70 days of intensive care, doctors fed Mrs. Adamson through a tube. Then her digestive system failed, forcing them to remove the tube until her body could again eliminate waste. For the next eight days, she learned what it feels like to starve.

Unable to communicate, she remembers the terror of being "on the inside screaming out, 'Feed me something! I don't want to die! . . . I'm alive! I'm a person in here! Do not let me starve!' The hunger pains were unbearable," she said. "I thought I was going insane."

On the ninth day, doctors reinserted her tube. Now at age 43, Ms. Adamson has regained most of her physical abilities and become an advocate for the disabled.

Source: World Magazine

But in a society that allows late term D&C abortions, where the unborn child, who is old enough to feel pain, is basically dismembered, and we provide no pain relief, why should we expect other? The hubris of our culture says if they cannot complain, it isn't happening.

Lord have mercy on us all.

Friday, March 18, 2005


Thought, Thirst, Mercy, Death, Darkness

I am thinking about Terri Schiavo tonight.

Have you ever been really thirsty? How dry your throat feels, how thick your tongue?

Now imagine laying there, not really able to move much, not really able to communicate well, yet alive and aware, and you feel that thirst building up. Other people have gone through this, been brain injured, in a something that looked like a pvs, gotten better and lived to tell about it. They knew exactly what was going on, yelled out in their heads and hearts about how it felt, how it hurt, how the dream of something to drink, the hunger, the thirst built up till it's an obsession never ending before their eyes - sometimes even with IV fluids.

Can anyone guarantee that unless they are SURE via significant MRI or PET type testing that a person really has too low a consciousness to experience dehydration, that people who are put down because someone else is horrified at their quality of life or wants to wrap up lose ends aren't merely in the "locked in" type condition and incommuncative?

A recent British study said that 40 percent of patients called PVS are misdiagnosed, and most get better.

Think about it. Laying there with a burning thirst and a body crying out for food. And you can't make anybody understand how much you need it.

If we did this to horses or cats or dogs, the world would be at our door, condemning us, threatening us in court, tearing down the walls to make us stop. But we are only doing it to our loved ones, our vunerable ones, our damaged ones, so it doesn't really count.

I want to know how can torturing the vunerable, something you would be prosecuted for if you did to an animal, be done as an act of righteous love in the name of mercy?


Those who Live at the Mercy of Others

The case of Terri Schiavo raises complex issues. Yet in instances like this one, where there are serious questions and substantial doubts, our society, our laws, and our courts should have a presumption in favor of life. Those who live at the mercy of others deserve our special care and concern. It should be our goal as a nation to build a culture of life, where all Americans are valued, welcomed, and protected - and that culture of life must extend to individuals with disabilities.

-George W. Bush

Not much more could be added to this.


Summers, Harvard and Freedom of Thought

Larry Summers received a "No Confidence" vote from the faculty of arts and sciences at Harvard.

Mostly, I believe it was for his daring to say that there is evidence to prove thatmen might be statisically more likely to do well in math and science than women(and even they admit it was a factor for the vote). There is evidence to back up his assertion.

But in the new dark age of intellectual dishonesty that our universities have created in the name of political correctness, where freedom of though is carefully channeled into acceptable areas, people have been throwing snit attacks.

Harvard is not a parlimentary style government, and Summers could weather the storm if he had the strength of character, but I suspect he will go. After spending months apologizing for stating a truth, I don't think he has what it takes to ride out the situation.

Mostly though, what makes me sad about this is that he hasn't been attacked by drumming up data to prove his statements wrong. He hasn't been argued to be an intellectual crackpot through superior use of data. What he said was taken as politically incorrect. One of his critics, hearing him speak said she was going to pass out or throw up.

Academic research by snit fit? Is truth supposed to fit our politics?

Thursday, March 17, 2005


University of Northern Colorado Story Confirmed

Indocrination vs. education strikes once again....

By Ryan Call--SAF Central Regional Coordinator--03/14/05

The student was a sophomore at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, enrolled in a three-credit Criminology course in the Sociology Department during the spring semester of 2003. The course was required for the "Criminal Justice Emphasis" for the Sociology B.A. degree. The course was taught by Assistant Professor Robert Dunkley, who is still with UNC as an Assistant Professor in the newly-formed Criminal Justice Department. The course is now offered through the Criminal Justice Department, as opposed to Sociology, which may explain why some members of the media failed to find it listed among the current course offerings in the Sociology Department at UNC.

Taken from the 2002-2003 UNC Course Catalog, the course description is as follows: "SOC 346 - Criminology. Prerequisite: SOC 100 or equivalent. Survey criminal behavior generally, including theories of causation, types of crime, extent of crime, law enforcement, criminal justice, punishment and treatment."

The final exam format was a four-question essay exam. The student recalls that the fourth exam question was phrased: "Explain why President Bush is a war criminal." The student instead answered the question by discussing why Saddam Hussein was a war criminal, and received a failing grade. The student, deeply upset by both the unfair and politically-loaded question, as well as her failing grade, contacted the department chair and filed a complaint to begin the official appeals process.

During the appeals process, the professor claimed the exam question read: "Explain why President Bush could be considered a war criminal." During the appeals process, however, the professor was unable to produce copies of either the final exam or the student's final exam essay, for which she had received a failing grade. The student reported that the reason given by the department chair and the dean was that it was Professor Dunkley's first semester teaching at UNC, and he didn't know he should have kept copies of the exam.

UNC President Kay Norton was both aware of and involved with the appeals process as it unfolded regarding this incident. In fact, when President Norton appeared along with the presidents from other top Colorado universities before a legislative hearing of the Joint Education Committee on September 9, 2004, not only did she acknowledge that she was aware of the situation, but she was able to describe to the members of the committee what steps the university had taken to deal with the student's complaints.

For an example of the press coverage of the September 2004 legislative hearing, see Valerie Richardson, "Academic Bias Cited at Colorado Schools," Washington Times, 10/9/2004, available at For example, the Washington Times article included information about a number of other students who shared examples of bias in the classroom, including an alarming report from a CU-Boulder law student who reported that his property law instructor, Professor David Hill, told his class during the first few days of class that '"the R in Republican stands for racist,' called Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas an 'Uncle Tom,' and when confronted about such remarks, said "there are plenty of other Nazis like you out there.'"

An audio file of the relevant portions of UNC President Norton's testimony can be heard here. In addition, the student has agreed to allow us to post a copy of letters she received from the department chair during the appeal's process. These letters, with only the student's name excised, will be posted as soon as the student returns from spring break.

The student is now a senior at UNC, but given both the current uproar involving Ward Churchill at CU-Boulder, as well as the fact that the student has recently been accepted to a graduate program, she is still reticent to reveal her name and we have agreed to respect her wishes.

Ryan Call, a regional director for Students for Academic Freedom spoke with the student just a couple of days ago to confirm her story, and is willing to speak with any member of the media who would like additional details or clarification. Ryan Call, a third-year law student at the University of Denver, may be contacted at In addition, Erin Bergstrom, who originally interviewed the student in 2003, has agreed to be contacted to verify the student's claims, and can be reached by contacting Ryan Call.

Monday, March 14, 2005



"Marriage is not about being loved. It is about loving." So says Bob Just in an excellent piece on the impact of divorce on our society, the hurt it generates, and the emotional and political implications of it. Read it.

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