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Thursday, March 31, 2005

More on a Sad Day
I heard the news this morning from Laura Ingraham on her Radio Show. God bless Laura for her passionate and persistent coverage of Terri Schindler-Schiavo's situation.

There will be many heroic persons remembered in this fight for life, but none more so than Terri herself, who fought on so valiantly for thirteen days denied water & food, after years of being denied proper treatment and therapy. Her mother, father, sister and brother have shown an incredible loyalty and love that has been such an inspiration. Those who've supported Terri and her family, the lawyers, the nurses and other witnesses and those who strove to get the truth out through the family's web site.

Those in public office and public advocacy in the state and federal legislative and executive branches who tried to make a difference. Because he has been so vilified, I want to single out TOM DELAY for his leading role. At the same time, as a reminder not to put people into ideological boxes, I need to commend Jesse Jackson, Ralph Nader, Senator Tom Harkin and others. Organizers in the prolife and disability rights movements persistently tried to defend Terri.

I've mentioned Laura Ingraham, who along with Sean Hannity and others courageously defied the conventional wisdom in the media and my fellow bloggers on the Internet who strove to get the truth out.

I'll probably go into other aspects of this in coming days. In the meantime, pray for Terri and her family, that the truth come out and justice be done without malice, and for our society to get beyond shallow thinking to protect the dignity of every human life at every stage and in every condition.

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Terri Schindler-Schiavo (1963-2005)
Terri died this morning of court ordered dehydration/starvation. I won't say that she 'passed away' because, in fact, she was pushed. Pray for Terri in eternal rest, pray for her family and pray for all of us. The work of Terri's fight will go on.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Example of Grace in Suffering
Pope John Paul II is using a feeding tube for part of his nutrition.
The statement Wednesday said John Paul spends "many hours" seated in an armchair, celebrates Mass in his private chapel and has work contacts with his aides "following directly the activities of the Holy See and the life of the church."

It said the pope continues "his slow and progressive convalescence" and that public audiences remain suspended.

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How Much Time Left?
Today brought A federal court setback and frustration of Jesse Jackson's efforts to win State Senate support for saving Terri Schiavo. Fr. Frank Pavone is saying on Hannity and Colmes that Terri's situation is not peaceful as some (i.e. George Felos) have claimed.

Meanwhile, a doctor says, if action is taken soon, it is not necessarily too late to rescue Terri.

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Maryland House Votes for Embryonic Stem Cells
The Maryland House of Delegates has voted to spend $23 million per year on embryonic stem cell research, despite objections that such research is unethical and less effective than promising alternatives.
"No research should ever be done at the expense of another life, yet that is what embryonic stem cell research does," the Baltimore Sun reported Democrat Anne Healey saying.

Healey and others said state money should only be used on adult stem cells, which are more ethical and have already produced dozens of treatments and cures.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Possible Hope in the Florida Senate?
I haven't often agreed with Jesse Jackson on anything, but I'll stand up and applaud him if he can pull this off! Rev. Jackson reports that he has persuaded two state senators to switch their votes toward supporting a bill to save Terri Schiavo. (One more vote would still be needed.) More details here from Blogs for Terri.

Let's pray they can act in time for Terri!

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Monday, March 28, 2005

She Still Fights to Live!
Bobby Schindler and Brother Paul O'Donnell on Hannity and Colmes tonight spoke of Terri's interactions with visitors today. Statistically, it is very late and Terri's fate does not look good, but she once said, "Where there's life, there's hope." We shouldn't give up on her.

Nat Hentoff describes the real facts behind Terri Schiavo's case, as opposed to the Old Media spin.
As a Feb. 28 letter to the Washington Times by Daniel John Sobieski asks: "Who's next? Alzheimer's victims? The elderly in nursing homes? The handicapped? . . . Will we be allowed to do to people what is illegal to do to dogs?" The courts and the ignorant coverage by most of the media of this crucial case have until now appallingly failed Terri Schiavo and the community of the disabled.
And who knows how many more innocent victims in the years ahead?

Meanwhile, Wesley Smith describes how the Internet has changed the dynamics in the fight for the lives of the vulnerable.
Terri Schiavo's story is a tragedy, and, for many, an outrage. But it holds a glimmer of hope for those with views that have traditionally received short shrift in the media--a category that decidedly includes those fighting to reverse the presumption of death enshrined in all too many state laws covering cases like Terri Schiavo's. Thanks to the new online media, these cases will never again be one-sided.

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Saturday, March 26, 2005

Easter
At this time when evil appears to be triumphing, we take heart in Jesus Christ's victory over death for all of us.

Link from www.truecatholic.org, artist not listed.

Brothers and sisters:
If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ your life appears,
then you too will appear with him in glory.
Col 3:1-4

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Letter to President Bush...
...I faxed early this morning.

Dear President Bush

The situation involving Terri Schiavo has implications well beyond the tragic situation of this disabled woman and her family. The rule of law and the fundamental culture of our civilization are on the line.

I stood on the Mall on January 20 and heard you boldly proclaim a goal of spreading democracy around the world. Yet, at this dark hour, many are wondering about the fate of democracy here at home.

Those that are seeking to end Terri’s life hide behind words about ‘states’ rights’ and ‘family matters’ while using unbridled judicial power to impose a profound cultural change threatening the dignity of human life. They have blatantly defied Congressional subpoenas and the legislation you signed into law early Monday morning. If this cultural coup is not faced down decisively, the lives of the disabled and frail, and indeed of all of us, will be left vulnerable.

I recall from my civics classes that it is the responsibility of the Executive Branch to enforce the law. This week I have been hearing a growing number of lawyers and scholars voicing the same responsibility and citing law and principle to back up their assertions. Most interesting is a section of Dr. Steven Krason's Book, "The Public Order and the Sacred Order" and an accompanying letter of introduction which states:

The immediate situation of Mrs. Terri Schiavo needs to be addressed; her right to life and other rights must be upheld by an immediate, definite exertion of executive power. Moreover, this case has long-run implications of the highest order for our constitutional regime. The usurpation of the power of the courts has been substantial for two generations. If this egregious assault on one innocent woman’s life is not stopped by the forceful exercise of executive power—the only way she can now be saved—then the usurpation will have reached a new level and will be more threatening and destructive in the future. This case, in some sense, can define the future of the American constitutional order.

The link to the letter and the chapter, which I understand have already been sent to Governor Bush, as the same principle applies at the state level, is

http://www.ngovoice.com/krason01.htm

Mr. President, you’ve given America and the world so much hope for the advancement of democracy and human dignity, but your moral authority is now on the line. Like the September 11, 2001 attacks on our nation, this is another defining moment in your Presidency to which you were called.

I urge you to promptly use your Constitutional executive power to protect Terri Schindler-Schiavo, and my prayers are with you as you face this grave moment which will determine the fate of our society.

Thank you for your attention.

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Friday, March 25, 2005

"I want to live!"
So much has happened. More court rejections. The Schindlers' lawyers have brought the evidence of Terri expressing her wish to live last week to Judge Greer. Straight Up with Sherri provide links to media accounts that appeared last week which I'm repeating here:

http://www.theempirejournal.com/0319054_terri_schiavo_says_she_w.htm

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=43383

http://straightupwsherri.blogspot.com/2005/03/terri-speaks.html#comments

See Sherri's link above for many e-mail addresses of media and public officials.

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Good Friday, 2005 A.D.
"We Thirst." PDF flyer from Defend Life.

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Thursday, March 24, 2005

Another Long Day
Several bad court decisions regarding Terri. Waiting again on the Federal 11th Circuit Court.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Call for Executive Action
Now it's the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals that is dawdling.

Attention is turning to what the Executive Branches of Florida and the U.S. can do to enforce EXISTING LAW to protect Terri. Here is an alert from Defend Life to contact both President Bush and Governor Bush, including references to U.S. and Florida law:

Is anyone surprised that a Clinton appointee has refused to provide relief to Terri despite the fact she is NOT in PVS? (It's immoral to kill a PVS patient as well, but that is another question.) FLORIDA LAW SAYS IT IS ILLEGAL TO USE ANY ACT OR OMISSION TO END LIFE!

The executive branch has ALWAYS been the key in this case, not the runaway activist judiciary. The governor or the president can still save Terri. They don't want to take the political heat. The governor can send in the National Guard. The president can send in the feds. It was done for integration, it surely can be done for Terri.
Here are affidavits from 2 nurses who took care of Terri Schaivo in the mid 1990's. Heidi Law and Carla Sauer Iyer. Terri is NOT in PVS.

CALL, FAX AND EMAIL THE GOVERNOR & PRESIDENT AND DEMAND THAT THEY DO THEIR JOB AND ENFORCE EXISTING FLORIDA AND FEDERAL LAW

Florida Law: 765.309 Mercy killing or euthanasia not authorized;(1) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to condone, authorize, or approve mercy killing or euthanasia, or to permit any affirmative or deliberate act or omission to end life other than to permit the natural process of dying.

Governor Jeb Bush
(850) 488-4441
Fax 850-487-0801
Email: jeb.bush@myflorida.com

Federal Law
Title 28 35.130(e)(2) Nothing in the Act or this part authorizes the representative or guardian of an individual with a disability to decline food, water, medical treatment, or medical services for that individual.

President Bush
Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414
FAX: 202-456-2461
Email: president@whitehouse.gov


PLEASE FORWARD PLEASE FORWARD PLEASE FORWARD

Here is my post from Saturday urging consideration of this course of action.

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Monday, March 21, 2005

Justice Delayed
The federal judge dawdles (or worse) while Terri suffers.

Meanwhile, a prominent neurologist who examined Terri Schiavo says that her condition might be significantly improved with proper therapy.
"The important thing for people to understand is that she can eat and swallow right now, said William Hammesfahr, a neurologist who has examined Schiavo. He is in many of the videos circulated through the news media showing that Schiavo is at times responsive and aware.

.....

Hammesfahr was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology in 1999 for his work in brain injury and stroke. He is a recognized expert in treating neurological disorders, having successfully treated thousands of patients using vasodilator therapy, which increases blood flow to the brain, thus healing conditions previously thought to be untreatable.

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Sunday, March 20, 2005

"Gut Wrenching" - Words of Terri's Brother...
...Bobby Schindler, as the Senate once again passes a compromise bill. The House debate will begin at 9 PM with the vote to take place just after midnight despite the obstructive efforts of a few members. (Yes, they're Democrats, but I don't want to make it a partisan issue, because some Democrats have apparently been quite cooperative with the efforts to save Terri Schiavo.)

W is back at the White House ready to sign once the bill passes Congress and the paperwork to take Terri's case to court has been filed and is ready to go.

BTW: There's been a problem with the banner linking to Terri's family's site, www.terrisfight.org. The link still works, but the banner appears as a broken icon. To make it clear I'm carrying the link, I've added it to the list of text links in the 'Links' column.

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Saturday, March 19, 2005

Patron Saints
At this critical time, I want to honor my two patron saints whose feast days occurred this week. Saint Joseph and Saint Patrick are known for their characteristic traits of leadership and protection, so praying for their intercession is very timely right now.

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Congress is Moving for Terri
House and Senate leaders have developed a compromise bill to protect Terri Schiavo and the Senate approved it this evening. The House is set to act tomorrow at 1 PM, and W would likely sign the final bill soon after.

It is gratifying to see Congressional leaders work to pull this together over the weekend and act on this time critical case. Credit is due to leaders on both sides of the aisle (including some who are apparently reality-challenged on other life issues) who put egos aside to protect Terri.

The legislation will bring one or more federal judges into the case, who will hopefully take the time to approach the case fairly, and are not handicapped by a persistently vegetative world view like some of the decision makers and media spinners so far. Continue to PRAY.

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Saving Terri: Let's Think 'Outside the Box'!
The alert continues to encourage Congress to get it's act together on a bill to allow Terri Schiavo's case access to the federal courts. While this effort must continue, we shouldn't pin all hope on this path. The Congressional subpoenas were flagrantly snubbed without consequence as the Supreme Court has refused to enforce them without comment, and I'm not sure the legislation would fare any better.

My understanding was that a Congressional subpoena carries the force of law in protecting potential witnesses. Also, I find it hard to believe with all the law in place (Americans with Disabilities Act, etc.), there aren't multiple clauses that should be used to protect Terri.

Now I recall from civics classes that it is the job of the executive branch to enforce the law. Not to ask the courts for permission to enforce the law, but to ENFORCE THE LAW! Let Michael Schiavo's attorneys and others try to challenge the executive actions in court.

I don't know how much this course of action has been considered already, but if it has not been thoroughly exhausted, President Bush should have the lawyers at the Justice Department working on this immediately (not waiting until Monday morning), researching all applicable law. (Likewise, Governor Jeb Bush should be taking similar action at the state level.)

I'm not claiming this is the only solution. Others probably have other ideas. Let's think 'out of the box' and put the best ideas into action!

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Friday, March 18, 2005

Travesty
After several days of intense legal and legislative wrangling, Terri Schindler-Schiavo's feeding tube has been removed, defying Congressional subpoenas to further investigate the case. I really don't no where to begin, there is no way to recount all the twists and turns, especially over the last couple of days.

A couple of things to remember:

-The Old Media are continuing to spew blatantly biased propaganda about Terri's case. The main point claimed by the Old media is that doctors overwhelmingly agree that Terri is in a so-called 'persistent vegetative state' with no hope of improvement. NOT TRUE. Numerous doctors, including highly qualified neurologists who examined her in person, have publicly testified to the contrary. Read Fr. Rob Johansen's detailed article on the lack of a complete medical evaluation of Terri's condition.

Once again, the lesson is, DON'T BELIEVE THE OLD MEDIA!. If you don't have time to investigate alternate sources of information about Terri's case, be skeptical of any judgments you are tempted to make based on Old Media spin.

-The fight is not over yet! Recall that Terri's tube was removed for a few days in 2001 and for six days in October 2003. Continue to PRAY and also watch for specific action alerts as legal and governmental efforts continue. Frequently updated sites include Terri's family's web site, ProLifeBlogs, Blogs for Terri and LifeNews.com.

A couple of notable quotes from history to remember as the fight for Terri continues:
"Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy." (British Prime Minister Winston Churchill during World War II)

"Failure is not an option!" (NASA's Apollo 13 Flight Director Gene Krantz)

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Sunday, March 13, 2005

Supporting the Incapacitated Person's Legal Protection Act
Here's the text of the letters I faxed to Senators Mikulski & Sarbanes and Rep. Van Hollen (substituting H. R. 1151 for S. 539 when writing to Rep. Van Hollen). Feel free to borrow this text when writing to your own senators and representative. For links to background on this bill to protect Terri Schiavo and other vulnerable disabled persons, click here.
I am writing to urge you to support and vote in favor of S. 539, the Incapacitated Person's Legal Protection Act. This bill will ensure that vulnerable disabled persons will have access to federal courts under the “Habeas Corpus” clause of the U.S. Constitution when their rights have not been sufficiently protected by state courts.

This issue takes on special urgency right now with the case of Terri Schindler-Schiavo in Florida, who is in danger of a cruel death by dehydration and starvation if justice is not provided quickly. The legislation is supported by many organizations concerned with human life and dignity including Not Dead Yet, Center on Self-Determination, Freedom Clearinghouse, Hospice Patients Alliance, Mouth Magazine, National Spinal Cord Injury Association, Society for Disability Studies and the World Association of Persons with Disabilities.

Once again, please vote for S. 539, the Incapacitated Person's Legal Protection Act. Thank you for your attention.

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More on Mike Griffin's Vision and NASA
NASA Watch links to some key documents where Dr. Griffin describes his views on implementing space exploration, and also to reaction to his nomination from some of key players in the space community.

Dr. Griffin's technical and management experience has won his nomination strong support from the space community and his bold vision for space is apparent in his prepared statement at a 2003 House Science Committee hearing.
So, recognizing that others may differ, for me the single overarching goal of human space flight is the human settlement of the solar system, and eventually beyond. I can think of no lesser purpose sufficient to justify the difficulty of the enterprise, and no greater purpose is possible.

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Friday, March 11, 2005

It's Michael Griffin...
...for NASA Administrator, according to the White House announcement this afternoon.

Mr. Griffin currently heads the Space Department at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. If confirmed by the Senate, he likely will push boldly to implement President Bush's plans for exploration of the Solar System. He will also have the opportunity to reconsider the options for the future of the Hubble Space Telescope. It's not clear where Mr. Griffin will come down on this question.

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Maryland Politics: Open Senate Seat
Senator Paul Sarbanes today announced that he will retire at the end of his term and not seek reelection next year.

Mr. Sarbanes' decision opens up next years Senate race in both parties. Of particular interest on the Republican side would be a possible run by Lt. Gov. Michael Steele. John J. Miller describes Mr. Steele's positions on life issues.
Catholicism explains two of the issues - abortion and the death penalty - on which Steele has disagreed publicly with Ehrlich. Whereas the governor is pro-choice, Steele is pro-life, even to the point of having qualms about rape and incest exceptions (which is the place where all principled pro-lifers find themselves, though most pro-life politicians have cut corners in order to make their commitments more palatable to voters). And whereas Ehrlich is a death-penalty proponent, Steele has announced grave concerns over its use.

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Thursday, March 10, 2005

Federal bill to aid Terri Schiavo and others introduced.
The bill is titled the Incapacitated Person's Legal Protection Act (H.R. 1151 in the House and S. 539 in the Senate), introduced by Rep. Dave Weldon and Senator Mel Martinez, both of Florida. More info on the bill here.

Now, every American can urge their own federal representative and senators to take action to protect Terri and other disabled persons.

The bill is strongly supported by disability rights advocates, according to LifeNews.com.
"The non-voluntary and involuntary starvation and dehydration of people with disabilities is a more prevalent problem than most people realize," the disabled rights group Not Dead Yet said in a joint statement with other organizations.

"The involvement and concern of disability groups in this issue may come as a surprise to many policymakers," the statement explained. "Unfortunately, the media has ignored the disability interests in what has been commonly and erroneously referred to as a 'right to die' issue."

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Saturday, March 05, 2005

Storming the Hill
Getting ready to participate Monday in this year's March Storm organized by ProSpace.

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Friday, March 04, 2005

Legislative Fight for Terri Goes National
A bill to be introduced in Congress would authorize Terri Schiavo and other incapacitated persons to take their case to the federal courts. National Right to Life provides a Q & A background on the proposed federal legislation.

This development will enable concerned citizens around the nation to become more directly involved in the fight for Terri's life.

Meanwhile, continue to check ProLifeBlogs and Blogs for Terri for updates on this and the rapidly changing developments in Florida.

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Chalk another accomplishment up for Steve Fossett-and for Burt Rutan
The GlobalFlyer completes solo round-the-world flight on Thursday.

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People Everywhere Just Want to Be Free
So goes a popular song from the late sixties, and in the 21st Century the people are getting their way in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Ukraine and now Lebanon.

Michael Ledeen takes a big picture look at the movement for freedom.

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