Thursday, March 31, 2005

Terri Schiavo...Rest in Peace

At approximately 9 AM Thursday morning Terri Schiavo died a "calm, peaceful and gentle death," according to George Felos, Michael Schiavo's attorney. When the proverbial dust finally settles, the Schiavo case will go down in the books as one of the most bitter, most polarizing political and religious battles this country has ever seen. For months now our great nation has been hijacked by the religious right. We've been lectured, lambasted and lied to by some of the most self-righteous, sanctimonious, self-serving hypocrites to ever walk the face of the earth. The conservative Christians, as they are called, have succeeded in co-opting the Republican Party. The GOP, which used to stand for tradiational conservative principles (states' rights, limited government, deregulation, big business, family, etc), has become the Jesus Party. As such, they've masterfully succeeded in convincing almost 50% of the population--many blue collar and middle class people who desperately need medicaid, social security and other social services and programs-- to instead focus soley on whether two Gay men get married or whether a woman gets an abortion or whether families take brain-dead loved ones off life support. Michael Schiavo had a bounty on his head by these freaks; doctors who perform abortions have been murdered; pharmacists are refusing to fill birth-control prescriptions. What kind of America is this? Has our great Democracy struggled through 230 years only to morph into a theocracy? What happened to separation of powers, and separation of church and state? This is a wake up call, America. This is your time to reflect and to regroup. And to decide whether or not you want four more years of these radical religious fundamentalists running our country. These Jesus freaks, under the guise of brotherly love and love of God, would just as soon shoot you between the eyes for disgreeing with their fanatical religious beliefs. Terri Schiavo may now be gone, but her legacy lives on. Let her life, like her death, be a constant reminder that America stands for freedom, and that that freedom is worth fighting for in every corner of this great nation and against anyone or any group who attempts to abrogate that freedom. Andy

Monday, March 28, 2005

Do as I Say, Not as I Do

In 1988, 65-year-old drilling contractor, badly injured in a freak accident at his home, lie in a coma at Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas, kept alive by intravenous lines and oxygen equipment. Told by doctors that he'd basically be a "vegetable," the family agonized over life and death decisions. The man had previously voiced that he'd never want to endure such extraordinary medical procedures to prolong life. Yet there he was, being kept alive by a ventilator and other machines. With kidneys failing and no hope for survival, the family decided against connecting him to a dialysis machine. The chart at his bedside read: "Do Not Resuscitate." He died shortly thereafter. The man was Charles Ray Delay, father of then 41-year-old junior congressman from Texas, Tom Delay. Yes, the same Tom Delay who's been sanctimoniously front and center in the battle to keep Terri Schiavo alive. The same Tom Delay who's assailed a phalanx of non-partisan judges and Ms. Schiavo's husband Michael for committing "an act of barbarism" in removing her feeding tube. The same Tom Delay who, along with President Bush, believes we should always err on the side of life. The same Tom Delay who 10 days ago told an audience at the Family Research Council that Terri Schiavo was "a gift from God" in the religious right's struggle against the liberal elite. Notwithstanding the above, when it comes to decisions about life and death, Rep. Delay chose to keep these emotional matters in his family. It's unfortunate he feels so compelled to tell the rest of us what to do with ours. Andy

Sunday, March 27, 2005

The Bush Posse to the Rescue?

As the Terri Schiavo case nears it's 11th day following the removal of her feeding tube, it's become quite clear that the courts want nothing of this case. Not the Florida court, the U.S. appeals court or the grand dame of 'em all, the U.S. Supreme Court. But has that stopped the social conservatives from pushing onward? Fat chance. This issue is way too juicy to just let go without further fight. What to do? Convince Florida Governor Jeb Bush to round up the posse, hop on the horses and gallup over to take custody of Ms. Schiavo. Have you seen the demonstrators outside the Panellas Park hospice appealing to his sense of courage and masculinity? One sign incredibly read "Gov. Bush, if you were a real man you'd go and get Terri." Apparently real men are law-breaking rebels. Forget the rule of law, I guess. Forget the 30-odd judges and 6 courts who ruled to keep the feeding tube out. Let's look at these judges for a second. Judge George Greer of the Florida Circuit Court, who's been overseeing this case for 8 years, is a Republican and a Southern Baptist (however, it should be noted, just last month Greer withdrew his membership at Calvary Baptist Church in Clearwater at the urging of Pastor William Rice who's been critical of his rulings in the Schiavo case). He's so conservative that his friends have been heard to say that Greer is the religious right. Then there's Judge William Pryor, President Bush's controversial "recess appointment" to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, the same court which ruled against reinserting the feeding tube last week. Pryor, who could not get past the Democrats' filibustering in the Senate confirmation hearings last February, is famous for filing a Supreme Court brief comparing homosexuality to incest and pedophilia. Another right wing quack. And the U.S. Supreme Court, with Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justices Thomas and Scalia, isn't exactly a manufacturing plant for liberal thought either. My point? The social conservatives argue Ms. Schiavo's 14th amendment due process rights have been denied. This is absurd. Clearly, for eight years this poor woman's case has been dragged through court after court, multiple times, all with the same non-partisan verdict. And as illustrated above, even by some of the most right wing jurists in the nation. That's why it's so infuriating to watch the Jesus-juicers prodding Jeb Bush to take the law into his own hands, something the Bushie's have been known to do on occasion. These people apparently have no regard for the rule of law in our country, the foundation of our great nation and what separates us from the Third World. They would tearfully cheer the arrival of Lt. Colonel Bush and his Rough Riders as they strode into Panellas Park to rescue Ms. Schiavo, racing her back to the hospital to reinsert the feeding tube. They're so emotional and full of religious fervor that what the state, the courts, the husband, and what Terri Schiavo herself wants is of little matter. The question before us now is, will Gov. Bush respect the decisions of the courts he so forcefully thrust into this case, or will he pander to the fanatic base of the Republican Party. With the 2008 election right around the corner, looks like he has a tough decision to make. It should be noted that, according to CBS, CNN and other nationwide polls, roughtly 4/5 of Americans believe it was wrong for the U.S. Senate and President Bush to intervene in this case, and 2/3 believe removing the feeding tube was the right thing to do. The evangelicals polled just about equally. Politicians take note. Americans want you out of their lives, out of their marriages, and out of their bedrooms. Maybe this will help Jeb make up his mind. Andy

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Tom Delay is the Devil

Congressman Tom Delay. What more can we say about this bastion of ethics. This pillar of morality. This great defender of human life and citizen's rights. What can we say about him? Well, for starters, we can call him Lucifer. Because that's what he is. He's the devil, folks. The devil in devil's clothing. He's not even made the effort to mask himself in the proverbial sheep outfit. He's right there before our very eyes, in full devil gear, horns, pitchfork and all. Radiating that shiny red Texas heat. And, damn, he's proud; a proud little devil, that Tom Delay is. Proud to stand before Congress, the media, the American public, and show how no one but he has Terri Schiavo's best interests at heart. That he and he alone can and will be her savior. It's all about the sanctity of life, Delay tells us. And he ought to know, because he is the most sanctimonious little devil there is. He's also a fortunate little devil, mind you. He owes Terri Schiavo a great big thank you, because she unknowingly saved his hellish hide much like Robert Blake came to the rescue of Gary Condit. Nothing like a juicy murder to distract from another. And in the case of Devil Delay, he has Ms. Schiavo to thank for saving him from the weeks and months of grueling, embarrassing and potentially career-altering ethics charges. Timing is everything, they say. And for Devil Delay, the timing couldn't be better. Last Friday, speaking before the Jesus-juiced-up members of the Family Research Council, Devil Delay said "One thing that God has brought to us is Terri Schiavo to elevate the visibility of what's going on in America." He then went on to warn these God-fearing souls "The other side has figured out how to win and defeat the conservative movement, and that is to go after people personally, charge them with frivolous charges." Was that the Republican Party he was referring to? Because the last time I checked, "the other side," us, we Democrats, have won nothing! Nada. Zippo. Bupkis. Our little devil is a liar. He's a master manipulator. A divider. A self-serving, oligarchic megalomaniacal law-breaker. He's so evil he makes Dick Cheney look like a Boy Scout. So evil he makes President Bush appear like Jimmy Stewart in "It's a Wonderful Life." Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, told members of his group to support DeLay. "I challenge you to pray for him," Perkins said after DeLay's remarks. "I know the work that this man is doing ... I encourage you to stand with him." Perkins is right. Pray for this man. Pray for Devil Delay, because it's gonna be mighty hot where he's eventually headed. But most of all, pray for Terri Schiavo. Pray that she gets what she wants, not what you, I, Devil Delay, Bill Frist, Rick Santorum, Jeb Bush, the Schindlers or Michael Schiavo wants. She deserves at least that. Andy

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Terry Schiavo: Political Pawn of the Right

Well guess what? The Republican party is shamelessly politicizing the Terry Schiavo case. At least they're predictable. This newfound cause-celebre among the Right is riddled with hypocrisy: a party that historically champions states' rights wants this case decided in federal courts; a party that advocates limited government has thrust the US right smack into our homes and private lives in every way imaginable; Rep. Tom Delay uses this situation to divert attention from the hailstorm over alleged illegal and unethical fundraising tactics; Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Schiavo's self-appointed advocate in Washington, leads the charge for Tort Reform and limiting patients' recovery; the Republican-controlled Congress voted to cut $15 billion in Medicaid-- the very public health care program Schiavo relies on--from its new budget; a party that preaches "family values" and the sanctity of marriage de-legitimizes the bond between husband and wife and publicy discredits Michael Schiavo; and President Bush, in the biggest act of hypocrisy, has fully embraced the Schiavo case as a "right to life" issue yet signed a Texas law in 1999 that allows attending physicians and hospital ethics boards to pull the plug on patients even if that specifically contradicts patient or family wishes (let's also not forget Bush's fervent support of the death penalty). A bill, mind you, that resulted just last week in a 5-month-old child being taken off life support and allowed to die despite his mother's objections. Terry Schiavo has, sadly, become a political pawn. I am utterly disgusted and outraged. Andy

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Nathan Dean & Andy Ostroy Posted by Hello