Wah, wah, wah….

This morning on my way to work I flipped over to 770AM, the local “conservative talk” station, and Laura Ingraham was on, complaining about how conservatives are sick of seven Republican Supreme Court nominees continually “making the wrong choices on every issue.” As far as I’m concerned, these so-called conservatives (who are not conservatives at all, but Neo-Cons shilling for the Bush administration) have nothing to complain about, as the most activist decision these so-called “justices” have ever made was to appoint Bush to the office of President of the United States of America. After that, any decisions that happen to go in favor of Neo-Cons for the next forty or fifty years should be gravy.

It’s amazing to me how the Neo-Cons continue to overreach, not giving up on the “activist judges” mantra. It’s not enough that they control all three branches of government, now they complain that not every decision falls in their favor and that something has to be done about it? It’s like their team is winning a hockey game 9-1 and they’re complaining that the referee isn’t calling the marginal penalties their way, and that they’re impeded from scoring even more goals because of it. The difference is, of course, that this beat-down on the losing team has been much more serious in real life. Real people are dying, and families are suffering because of a poorly-argued decision by the Supreme Court on the 2000 election. Yet still they whine and complain.

So what set the off this time? Today’s decision that “two exhibits [of the Ten Commandments] in Kentucky crossed the line between separation of church and state because they promoted a religious message.” For this they stay up nights, tossing and turning over the state of the union. Never mind that people are dying in Iraq. Never mind that China is buying American oil companies. Never mind that North Korea is building nuclear weapons. Never mind that every child born has a $40K “birth tax” levied against him because of the blooming national debt. Never mind that millions of Americans don’t have basic health care. The important issue is that Neo-Cons have to rail against these justices, seven of whom were appointed by Republican presidents, because the court made a decision that they didn’t agree with.

Well folks, that’s life. Sometimes all the decisions don’t go your way. Perhaps it’s time to follow your own advice and just “get over it and move on?” After all, I hardly think not allowing a Ten Commandments display is roughly equivalent to taking the presidential election process out of the hands of ordinary citizens or even the House and Senate and making an historical decision that would “install” a president. If you expect us to “get over” that, the least you can do is to lead by example and just shut up when a couple of decisions made by YOUR appointees don’t go your way.

Another Apology Due

I just thought of someone else to whom the druggie Rush Limbaugh and the liar Sean Hannity and the thief Tom DeLay and the psychic surgeon Bill Frist can apologize… They can apologize to all the judges who made the correct decision, and who were subsequently put in harm’s way by the vicious statements made against them. And I think they should start with none other than Circuit Judge George Greer of Pinellas County, Florida, who was criminal judge #1 according to hate radio and Neo-Con bloggers.

Here are some quotes from just a few articles, complete with links:

Ignoring the Law: Terri Schiavo and Activist Judges

Terri?s court-ordered murder is the kind of atrocity we in this country like to believe only happens in other, less-enlightened places. … the real issue people should be talking about is the ramifications of the activist judges that made sure an innocent woman was starved to death. Judges must be held accountable for their blatant disregard for law. We must make sure that happens.

Activist Judge Greer Plays ‘God’ as Arbiter of Life and Death

Activist Judge Greer has subverted the law by rejecting mountains of evidence and medical information that would have saved Terri from husband Michael and attorney George Felos’ suspicious quest to have her murdered. … Terri Schiavo is non-terminal, non-PVS, she is not near death, she is not even sick. Terri can speak a few words and expresses joy and excitement at seeing her family. In fact, Terri can be trained from requiring the ‘feeding tube.’ Terri suffers from brain damage or cognitive disability, which can be treated and improved, although there are varying ‘opinions’ as to the degree of improvement expected.

Just a side note, that article is from “Catholic Culture,” and the author goes on to decry what she believes to be an emerging acceptance of the practice of euthanasia in the United States. How odd it was, then, that the very Catholic Church that supposedly condemns this practice, allowed a sick and dying pope to go back home to his apartment at the Vatican rather than to undergo further treatment at a hospital — treatment that could’ve extended his life.

Statements made by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX)

It causes a lot of people, including me, great distress to see judges use the authority that they have been given to make raw political or ideological decisions… I don’t know if there is a cause-and-effect connection, but we have seen some recent episodes of courthouse violence in this country. . . . And I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters, on some occasions, where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in, engage in violence. Certainly without any justification, but a concern that I have.

And, of course, I don’t even need to repeat the horrible things Tom DeLay said. Odd that he doesn’t have enough stuff to do defending himself that he can take all this time to point fingers at others.

No Apologies to Michael Schiavo

In case you haven’t heard, the autopsy results for Terri Schiavo are in. But, of course, the story is over now and none of the major press outlets wish to talk about it anymore. It’s typical, really. The mainstream conservative press likes to talk about all the barrels of “potential WMDs” found in Iraq, but then they don’t really want to use the space to print later that they were really full of pesticide for the farm on which they were found.

Getting back to Terri Schiavo, you might want to check out this story from WorldNetDaily, which is typical of the tales we heard from the political religious right, and talks about how the “horrible lie” perpetuated by Terri’s husband has had its desired effect —

Every time we turn on the television and hear the name Terri Schiavo, we are condescendingly reminded of her “persistent vegetative state.” Bob and Mary Schindler are blasted in newspaper opinion columns across the country for believing their daughter is still a human being capable of recovery and worthy of protection under the U.S. Constitution. All efforts to save her are in vain, the pundits tell us. She is beyond rehabilitation, beyond treatment and beyond hope.

All fine and good ? provided you ignore reality.

So just who was ignoring reality? We’ll see in a moment. Check out another quote from the article:

According to an account given by Barbara Weller, the real Terri Schiavo is entirely different from the image propagated by her estranged husband, the mainstream media and the “right-to-die” crowd. Weller recollects that Terri “was very purposeful and interactive” and appeared “very curious about the presence of obvious strangers” when she and Gibbs, accompanied by members from the Schindler family, first entered her room at the hospice.

“When her mother was close to her, Terri’s whole face lit up,” Weller continued. “She smiled. She looked directly at her mother and she made all sorts of happy sounds.

Let’s examine a couple statements in that last paragraph; “She looked directly at her mother,” “very curious about the presence of obvious strangers,” “When her mother was close to her, Terri’s whole face lit up.”

All these statements refer to Terri’s ability to see those in the room. Well, my friends, according to the official autopsy report released yesterday:

“Terri Schiavo was blind and half of her brain had been irreversibly destroyed when she died of dehydration on March 31, according to an autopsy report released Wednesday. ”No amount of therapy or treatment would have regenerated the massive loss of neurons,” said Pinellas-Pasco County Medical Examiner Dr. Jon Thogmartin, who led the autopsy team.

Do we now have to have an argument discrediting the autopsy team?

And what about the allegations that Michael Schiavo had beat his wife? If you recall, several people advanced the theory that Terri’s husband had abused her, since a bone scan taken a year after Terri was hospitalized showed she had “suffered a fracture.” According to this article:

[The medical examiner] said the medical evidence supported neither of those conclusions. When Terri Schiavo was admitted to the hospital after her collapse and resuscitation, she underwent 33 tests, none of which revealed any fractures or trauma, he said. Likewise, he noted that the irregularities in the bone scan a year later were consistent with osteoporosis brought on by her prolonged immobility, a common problem in patients with paralysis.

I can understand the parents not being able to muster an apology to Mr. Schiavo, but what about all the politicians who were only tangentially involved in the case? What about Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist, a former heart surgeon, who made his own diagnosis of Schiavo, disputing her own doctors, and claiming that “I question it based on a review of the video footage which I spent an hour or so looking at last night in my office. She certainly seems to respond to visual stimuli.”

What about Tom DeLay, who claimed that “She talks and she laughs and she expresses likes and discomforts. It won’t take a miracle to help Terri Schiavo. It will only take the medical care and therapy that patients require.”

After Terri was allowed to die peacefully, DeLay also mentioned that “”Mrs. Schiavo’s death is a moral poverty and a legal tragedy. This loss happened because our legal system did not protect the people who need protection most, and that will change. The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior…”

Well, Mr. DeLay, I’m not going to get into your other “behavior” here, but if you truly believe people must answer for their behavior, don’t you think you owe some people, including the judges in this case, an apology? It certainly seems like they got the story right, and you and so many other right-wing zealots got it very, very wrong.

Governator Shows His Backbone

Score one for Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger. Check out this story at Salon.com, which provides details of Arnold’s stand against his own party and the statements of one George W. Bush, where the “governator” notes, “the debate is over. We have the science. We see the threat. And we know the time for action is now!” A hearty congratulations on joining the side of good and righteousness. Hopefully this will inspire more GOP leaders to stand up against the party line.

US Citizens Widely Support Military Action in Darfur

Unless you’ve really been staying away from the news, you probably know that there is another genocide going on in Africa, this time in Darfur, where the Islamic government has decided to take a hardline stance against anti-government rebels by essentially embarking on a campaign of murder, rape, and destruction of entire villages to “suppress” the uprising. Of the approximately 40 million citizens of the Sudan, the majority are Sunni Muslim, while the rest are comprised of believers of indigenous religions and another very small number of Christians. A little background on the Sudan:

Military dictatorships favoring an Islamic-oriented government have dominated national politics since independence from the UK in 1956. Sudan has been embroiled in a civil war for all but 10 years of this period (1972-82). Since 1983, the war and war- and famine-related effects have led to more than 2 million deaths and over 4 million people displaced. The war pits the Arab/Muslim majority in Khartoum against the non-Muslim African rebels in the south. Since 1989, traditional northern Muslim parties have made common cause with the southern rebels and entered the war as a part of an anti-government alliance.

So civil war is nothing new to the country. What is different this time is that certain external governments are providing funds to the Sudanese government in return for access to its rich oil reserves, which only ensures that the Sudan has more resources to conduct the mass killing. Additionally, the genocide in Darfur has apparently been accelerated, with “U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland report[ing] an organized, ‘scorched-earth’ policy of ethnic cleansing in Darfur” as of April 2004. Continued reports from the region provide more evidence that we have another Bosnia on our hands.

After all the talk about how “Saddam gassed his own people,” an occurrence that happened over fifteen years ago, and with chemicals that the United States furnished him, shouldn’t this Bush administration — an administration that “values life” so much — be a little more concerned about what is going on in Darfur right now? Salon.com today references an ICG/Zogby poll that shows “over 80 percent of respondents said the U.S. should use its military assets to bolster African Union troops on the ground in Darfur,” proving once again that Americans are willing to sacrifice when there is a good reason to do so. The entire report can be found on www.crisisgroup.org. Among the most interesting findings:

Understandably, there was decidedly less support for putting U.S. combat troops on the ground, but the fact that almost 40 percent of respondents favoured this option at a time when the war in Iraq continues to rage and when no U.S. officials have advocated such an option, suggests a widespread belief among the American public that the United States has a fundamental responsibility to directly help protect civilian populations.

So what about it, Mr. Bush? Does your administration really value life? Or is that just lip service you pay to the religious right? It’s too bad we’re so committed militarily to what is now known to be an “optional” war, when our resources could be so much better spent actually protecting our own country, and bringing real help to those around the world who are looking to some major power in the world to pay attention and do something to stop the killing.

Oh, and one more thing Mr. Bush. I know you said you don’t read the newspapers, so you might not know what’s really going on over there. So just for you, here are some pictures. They’re not as nice and friendly as the illustrations in “My Pet Goat,” but I’m hoping you’ll look at them all the same.