Right To Die, Right To Life

I read all of the comments on my previous post. I watched the video that Allie suggested I watch. My interpretation of that video was light years opposed to hers.

She saw a person capable of relating to the things around her. I saw the random grunts and cries that issue from someone in a persistant vegetative state.

I have been in the hospital room with someone in that condition. It is heartbreaking, and one wants to believe that those noises are coming in response to some stimulus one is providing, but it just isn't so. The groans coming from my father in law were just that. Groans. They were in response to the pain of breathing through a respirator.

If I were asked, and I am not, to decipher Ms. Schiavo's moans I would say that they are pleas to be let slip this mortal coil.
Which brings me to the (once more) faulty logic of the so-called Christians who rally to her hospice to beg for her life. If they believe in a just and righteous G-d, then they should be begging for Ms. Schiavo to be disconnected from life support so that their G-d can grant her healing via miracle.

If they don't think their G-d capable of a miracle, or merely disinclined to prove Himself for the likes of us non-believers, then they should be praying for her death so that she can be granted access to the perfect afterlife that they believe awaits her. Why would they want her to "live" like this when in their version of heaven, she can have her complete body back and attain bliss?

In some way or another, this brings me round to this article:

"Evolution Reference Hurts Volcano Movie"

"CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - IMAX theaters in several Southern cities have decided not to show a film on volcanoes out of concern that its references to evolution might offend those with fundamental religious beliefs." (Read the complete story)

I have a suggestion for all of us not offended by references to evolution (NOT A FUCKING THEORY, asshats) but offended by the ability of a vocal, religious minority to overthrow the rights of the many:

Boycott. Yes. Boycott. If IMAX refuses to show a movie because they don't want to offend the religious right who might boycott them if they do show the movie, then boycott IMAX for being craven cowards. Not just during the run of whatever they show in place of the volcano film, but until they grow a fucking spine. Ditto for anyone and anything else that caves to the right. If some business or other wants to keep the minority among their list of paying customers, then let that be their ONLY customer base.

If the basis for caving in to a threat of a boycott of the religious right is that the money is too great to lose, then let the entity that has caved discover how much more money there is to lose when they lose their integrity.

Which also ties in with this story referrenced in today's Dear Abby:

"The majority of high school students assign little or no value to the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment: freedom of the press, speech and religion." (read the complete story)

And it only gets worse, as 36 percent of them think newspapers should not be allowed to publish without government approval.

Back when I was still a Yellow Puppy, I started an independent student newspaper at my high school. It's title? "The First Amendment" and we published poetry and storied and things that had little to do with what the administration told us was fit to publish.

But that was the 1960s, when the SDS was in full flower, and to question authority was a duty of all youth. Now? Feh. All this latest generation wants is to be, like Ms. Schiavo, force fed what others tell them is the truth. G-d forbid they ever wake up.
Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/24 at 06:01 PM in As I See It Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/24 at 06:01 PM in Yellow Dog Politics

(7) Comments
#1. Posted by Becca on March 25, 2005

Y’know, after the drama w/ executive and legislative branches of the federal gov’t, I was about to lose all faith in this country…but thank goodness for the judicial branch! I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the various courts’ decisions over the past few days.  So much for those crazy “activist judges” out there trying to “legislate from the bench”—these judges have just been doing their jobs, and doing them well.

#2. Posted by Miss Bliss on March 25, 2005

I’m so sad that I honestly feel that most of those high school students don’t REALLY understand what they are saying.  My encounters with the average teen in recent years have proven out that they really are barely educated.  I bet each and everyone of them would change their opinion if it was clearly explained to them that their position could lead to no more Rock and Roll or Rap or Electronica or Christian Music or Video Games.  They have so little understanding of how these opinions of theirs could affect them personally.

My most paranoid self:  The Conservative Right has waged a long and very successful war on public education so that the voting population would not be able to determine what was in their own best interest.  Now what are we on the Left gonna do about it?  I honestly don’t know.

#3. Posted by Becca on March 25, 2005

Today’s teenagers seem to be overly mature in terms of pop culture (e.g. the way they dress, words they use, attitudes about sex, etc.) and exceedingly immature about everything else.

I haven’t thought this out completely, but I think I’d be in favor of all public high school students having to pass some kind of general knowledge test in order to graduate.  I suppose that sounds like a very “privatized” concept, kind of like forcing company employees to produce returns for the shareholders.  But it’s not like we’d be asking the schools to turn a “profit”—we’d just be requiring them to break even!

Another point to ponder…I wonder how the blame should be distributed among public schools, parents, and the kids themselves?  Or just culture in general that doesn’t value intelligence?

#4. Posted by Miz Shoes on March 25, 2005

Miss Bliss: way back in the late 80s when Ronald Reagan was president, one of the very first acts of his administration was to eviscerate public education funding. He is the patron saint of the New Right, and you are not being paranoid at all. A poorly educated public is a public easily led.

Becca: there is plenty of blame to go around. Parents are slack. Schools are slacker. Here in Florida the goal of education is to pass the standardized tests, and to teach kids how to take tests, not how to think.

#5. Posted by Becca on March 25, 2005

“...to pass the standardized tests, and to teach kids how to take tests, not how to think.”

And it’s so sad, ‘cause if you teach kids how to think, they’ll be able to think their way through the tests!

My best teachers/professors always focused on getting students to understand the concepts…then they’d put a completely new type of problem/question on the exam, and we’d have to use our knowledge of the underlying concepts to figure it out.  So many teachers just focus on teaching kids how to do a certain type of problem or whatever, instead of focusing on real understanding and thinking.  Oh well…

P.S.  I’m in Georgia now, and I went through the North Carolina public school system…so I am all too familiar with the general crappiness of public schools in the South!  It’s sad.

#6. Posted by MM on March 26, 2005

Well, this certainly has stirred up conversation around the country, if not the world. Of primary import seems to me to be that if you don’t want to live by force feeding or other tech life support you better have a living will that defines your desires in detail AND who has the authority over you.
But there are sooooo many “primary” imports to this snafu it is hard to get to the “big picture” which may be different with each individual depending on their intellectual ability (public uneducation) and religious education (oxy-moronic?). For those who THINK and look with more than their eyes, our country is on the slippery slope where chaos reigns, up is down, and intolerance is tolerated…curiouser and curiouser. The shrub signed into law in ‘99 a bill that says if you can’t pay then the hospital gets to cut you off of any and all medical care to support your life—you have 10 days to find a place to call home or you are OUT OF HERE cuz we ain’t paying your bill. Congress just passed the costs of medicare to the states and guess what, LOTS of folx are living on life support technology whose cost is covered by medicare as TS is. So, curious george said its okay to pull the tube, ventilator, etc. when you are destitute…and ya know, if you’re not destitute to begin with, you will be in short order and then you go bankrupt…ah, but nope, you can’t do that either anymore…sorry, the jig is up. AND, if you have found yourself in the sitution you are in to no fault of your own, but due to negligence you no longer have recourse in the courts cuz, guess what, congress in a not so special session said nope, you can’t sue those dudes with the deep pockets and single focus goals of the almighty bottom line. Nope, punitive damages are capped and more! And then there is the “torture and abuse” of lets see, oh yeah, those terrorists who were turned in for $500 rewards, those wives, sisters, and children who were picked up to entice the real terrorists to come in from the cold. And all those who just happened to be nearby when one of our smart bombs went off…geez, some were even lucky enough to have been nearby when the bombs in Fallujah were used which explode expelling lots of little bombs of phosphorous compounds that ignite into unextinguishable fire walls. Yep, life is certainly sacred, yes siree. And speaking of sacred, how about the sancity of marriage? Ever think about having your in-laws have the trump card over you and your spouse? That would be a distinct possiblity as an outcome of congresses Palm Sunday dalliance with TS. And speaking of dalliance and spouses, how about the unequal rights of people who love one another but are of the same sex? Huh? People, some of ya’ll need to wake up and smell the shit! The only sanctity of anything to those folx outside the hospice, on the courthouse steps, and in the halls of power is their own fucking point of view which directs them to create a world of black and white so we can shoot each others brains out, yell louder than someone else, might makes right, and give me your MONEY! They launch a war against terror and then out the CIA operative who has the intell network in the mideast up and running! They lie, they lie they lie, and then they use the morons of blind faith to distract from what they in power are doing which is draining the tub…and if you want an education or any kind of social service you can join the military…until you get injured, and if you did not choose the “right” arm of the military to join, you will be sent a bill for your treatment and sent packing onto the streets to join all the Vietnam Vets who make up a large portion of the homeless (portion is declining due to their deathrate though…letting them die? hmmmm…) Yep, our system of lawmaking is a sure bet, something we can rely on, and damn that Clinton guy who lied to us and put alllll those liberal advocate judges on the bench, one of which happens to be on the appellate bench that heard the TS case and was the ONLY discenting opinion and wanted TS to continue “life” as a veggie. And isn’t it curious how a scewed sense of body image that lead TS into this mess (she was bulimic ya know) now has her image, as a full care unfettered vegatable with vacant stare, and ghastly grimances plastered across national TV, newspaper front pages, etc. Don’t cha think she would HATE that!
So, with that stream of angst, my cat Emma died by car yesterday morning and I only want to turn back time.

#7. Posted by Reecie on March 28, 2005

“And isn’t it curious how a scewed sense of body image that lead TS into this mess (she was bulimic ya know) now has her image, as a full care unfettered vegatable with vacant stare, and ghastly grimances plastered across national TV, newspaper front pages, etc. Don’t cha think she would HATE that!”

God, I would. I know it’s shallow as hell, but that’s one of the things I keep thinking as the media obsesses over this. And I can’t help but think less of her parents for allowing it.

That poor woman.

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