Thursday, March 31, 2005

Now may she rest in peace.

And let us all move on with our lives. Terri Schiavo, 1963-2005.

"Or my name ain't

Nathan Arizona!"

What, she wants to give Terri a bone?

man, it's shooting fish in a barrel with these people.

i don't know about any of you,

but i'd be mortified if THIS is who I had on my side. Then again, I'm a goddamned rationalist.

And the best part? Judge Stanley Birch is a Bush 41 appointee.

and the conservative 11th Circuit judge savaged "Terri's Law.'

Federal Judge Condemns Intervention in Schiavo Case


The 11th Circuit court's decision, signed by Chief Judge J. L. Edmondson, was only a sentence long. But in a concurring opinion, Judge Stanley F. Birch Jr., appointed by the first President Bush in 1990, wrote that federal courts had no jurisdiction in the case and that the law enacted by Congress and President Bush allowing the Schindlers to seek a federal court review was unconstitutional.

"When the fervor of political passions moves the executive and legislative branches to act in ways inimical to basic constitutional principles, it is the duty of the judiciary to intervene," wrote Judge Birch, who has a reputation as consistently conservative. "If sacrifices to the independence of the judiciary are permitted today, precedent is established for the constitutional transgressions of tomorrow."

Judge Birch said he had not had time before now to consider the constitutionality of the law, which Congress passed and Mr. Bush signed before dawn March 21, because of "the rapid developments and sensitivities in this case." The 11th Circuit court considered and rejected several appeals from the Schindlers last week after Judge James D. Whittemore of Federal District Court in Tampa denied their motions.

In particular, Judge Birch wrote, a provision of the new law requiring a fresh federal review of all the evidence presented in the case made it unconstitutional. Because that provision constitutes "legislative dictation of how a federal court should exercise its judicial functions," he wrote, it "invades the province of the judiciary and violates the separation of powers principle."

David J. Garrow, a legal historian at Emory University who closely follows the 11th Circuit, said Judge Birch's opinion was striking because the judge was a conservative Republican, especially regarding social issues. Judge Birch wrote the ruling for a three-judge panel of the court last year unanimously upholding a Florida law that prohibits gay men and lesbians from adopting children.

"This is a Republican judge going out of his way to directly criticize the Congress and President Bush for what they've done," Mr. Garrow said.


From the NY Times

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Good to see somebody's getting something

out of this fucking circus:

Can we PLEASE stop this now?

U.S. Court Again Rejects Schiavo Appeal

By MITCH STACY, Associated Press Writer

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. - A federal appeals court raised a flicker of hope for the parents of Terri Schiavo, but snuffed it out Wednesday by firmly and resoundingly declining to intervene in the grueling legal battle.

"Any further action by our court or the district court would be improper," wrote Judge Stanley F. Birch Jr., one of the members of the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. "While the members of her family and the members of Congress have acted in a way that is both fervent and sincere, the time has come for dispassionate discharge of duty."

The judge went on to deliver a scathing attack on politicians who got involved in the case, saying the White House and lawmakers "have acted in a manner demonstrably at odds with our Founding Fathers' blueprint for the governance of a free people — our Constitution."

The ruling came as Schiavo, 41, began her 13th day without food and water. The brain-damaged woman was expected to survive one to two weeks after her feeding tube was removed by court order March 18. Her husband, Michael Schiavo, insists he is carrying out her wishes by having the tube pulled.


Yes, I'm sure that bullhorn provides a lot of peace and quiet for THE OTHER HOSPICE RESIDENTS!

Why are they reporting this as if it's a new occurrence?

Bush critics blocked from presidential events

By Ron Hutcheson, Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - Some of President Bush's supporters seem to be going overboard in their efforts to stifle dissent when he comes to town to talk about changing Social Security.

In Denver, three people say they were booted out of a presidential event last week even though they never uttered a peep, apparently because their car bore a bumper sticker denouncing the war in Iraq.

In Fargo, N.D., last month, local Republicans developed a blacklist of more than three dozen residents, including a city commissioner, who were to be banned from Bush's visit.

White House officials say they have nothing to do with the exclusions, which they blame on overzealous supporters.

"We welcome a diversity of views at the events," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Tuesday, although in fact participants at the events are carefully screened and dissenting voices are rare.

There was no welcome mat for Alex Young and his two companions when they showed up to see Bush on March 21 in Denver. Bush was there for one of a series of "conversations" about his plan to change Social Security.

Young and his friends, Karen Bauer and Leslie Weise, had barely gotten in the door before they were unceremoniously shown the exit by a man who refused to explain his actions. They thought he was a Secret Service agent because he had an earpiece and an official-looking lapel pin.

Young said he was later told by Secret Service officials that he and his friends had been ejected by a local Republican volunteer who'd been spurred to action by the bumper sticker on their car: "No More Blood for Oil."

"The thing that set them off was the bumper sticker," Young said in a telephone interview. "It was completely unprovoked. ... The whole time he was really pushing and shoving me. We were never told that only Republicans were invited."

Complaints about tight restrictions at Bush's events have become common. His presidential campaign used tight crowd-control screens last fall, and similar tactics now seem to be employed at official presidential stops, which unlike campaign events are paid for by taxpayers' dollars.

During Bush's Feb. 3 visit to Fargo, the local newspaper published a list of about 40 local residents who were supposed to be barred from the White House-sponsored event. City Commissioner Linda Coates, a Democrat, was on the list, along with her husband, Mike, but she got in anyway.

In a follow-up letter to the Fargo Forum newspaper, she called the attempted exclusion "one of those small dumb things" that is a symptom of a larger problem.

"It was jarring to realize that someone, somewhere, thought that making this list was the right thing to do. Sadly, the climate of keeping voices of disagreement at bay has become a well-known characteristic of this administration," she wrote.

In Denver, Young, a 25-year-old information-technology worker, acknowledges that he and his friends had initially intended to protest Bush's appearance. All wore "Stop the Lies" T-shirts under their outer clothing. They had planned to expose their shirts while shouting the slogan.

"It was kind of juvenile. When we got inside, we decided not to do that," he said.

Young said the man who ejected him had no way of knowing about the aborted protest because they kept their opinions to themselves during their brief time at the event. They got tickets to Bush's appearance through Rep. Bob Beauprez (news, bio, voting record), R-Colo., who handed them out without asking about party affiliation.

Still unclear is precisely who was behind the decision to eject the three people. Colorado Republican Party officials, the Secret Service and a spokesman for Beauprez all said they had nothing to do with it.

White House spokesman McClellan said: "My sense is that the volunteer felt that these individuals were coming to the event to disrupt it. If people are coming to the event to disrupt it, naturally they are going to be asked to leave."

But Dan Recht, a Denver lawyer says he's considering legal action on behalf of the ejected critics for what he sees as a violation of their free-speech rights. "They were punished for the speech that was on their bumper sticker," Recht said. "It just feels so un-American."

"Well, the Lump's in Afghanistan

right now, so why the hell not?"

"All the Cheneys are great writers."


Openly Gay Cheney Daughter Writing Memoir

By ELIZABETH LeSURE, Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK - Mary Cheney, daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, plans to publish a memoir under a new subdivision of Simon & Schuster devoted to conservative books, the company announced Tuesday.

Cheney, a top aide during her father's campaigns in 2000 and 2004, has drawn much political attention because she is openly gay. Her memoir is the first acquisition for Mary Matalin's publishing subdivision, Threshold.

Matalin, a Republican pundit and strategist, said the book would give Cheney a chance to give her own thoughts on the issue — something she couldn't do while working on the campaigns.

"All the Cheneys are great writers, and she's no exception," Matalin told The Associated Press. "What I have seen on paper so far is great."

Simon & Schuster Inc. did not say how much it paid.

"The first time I campaigned with my father, I was 8 years old," Cheney said in news release issued by Simon & Schuster. "I've been involved with campaigns as a family member, a staffer and, though I certainly never intended it, as a political target for the other side."



That is soooo righteous!"

Oh, great. Now EVERYBODY'S going to want one.

Pope Getting Nutrition From Tube in Nose

By VICTOR L. SIMPSON, Associated Press Writer

VATICAN CITY - Pope John Paul II is getting nutrition from a tube in his nose, the Vatican said Wednesday, shortly after the frail pontiff appeared at his window in St. Peter's Square and managed only a rasp when he tried to speak.

Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said the step was taken to "improve the pope's calorie intake" and so he can recover his strength. It was unclear when the tube was inserted but it was not visible when John Paul made his appearance.

The tube is not the only source of nutrition for the pope, a Vatican official said on condition of anonymity.


"Arrrgh! Brain freeze! No more slushies!"

"I'll take three of these rugs

and two girls to clean the upstairs bedrooms..."

The cynic in me suspects that

the 11th Circuit is using this latest review as a stalling tactic.

Court to Weigh Schiavo Emergency Motion

By RON WORD, Associated Press Writer

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. - A federal appeals court agreed to consider an emergency bid by Terri Schiavo's parents for a new hearing on whether to reconnect her feeding tube, raising their fading hopes of keeping the severely brain-damaged woman alive.

In its order late Tuesday, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals didn't say when it would decide whether to grant the hearing. It was not clear what effect reconnecting Terri Schiavo's feeding tube would have on her, as she approached her 13th day without nourishment.

The order issued allowed Bob and Mary Schindler to file the appeal, even though the court had set a March 26 deadline for doing so.

Its one-sentence order said: "The Appellant's emergency motion for leave to file out of time is granted." Twice last week, the court ruled against the Schindlers.

In requesting a new hearing, the Schindlers argued that a federal judge in Tampa should have considered the entire state court record and not whether previous Florida court rulings met legal standards under state law. It also stated that the Atlanta federal appellate court didn't consider whether there was enough "clear and convincing" evidence that Terri Schiavo would have chosen to die in her current condition.

Attorneys for the Schindlers didn't immediately return phone messages Wednesday. George Felos, Michael Schiavo's attorney, declined comment.

Time was running out for Schiavo, however. Bob Schindler described his daughter on Tuesday as "failing."

"She still looks pretty darn good under the circumstances," Schindler said. "You can see the impact of no food and water for 12 days. Her bodily functions are still working. We still have her."


Well, THAT was fucked up.

Blogger - really. Was that entirely necessary?

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

I never expected to see him here.

Rev. Jackson, looking for more face time?

I want to meet the twisted person

who took the time to create this blog.

Soooo wrong. Doesn't mean I'm not laughing morbidly.

Thanks, Bill L., for the heads up...or just lolling to one side, as the case may be!

"Heh, heh, i'm kinda

excited by this hottie right now. Better think about that ol' lump in the bed..."

Do not pass go.

Do not collect $200. Just read Paul Krugman today.

Just goes to show ya.

It ain't the getting there that's hard, it's the maintenance.

*props to the inimitable Todd A., who seems to have a never-ending supply of gross pix at the ready.

I'm not quite sure.

Is that a protest or an offer? He might want to include the over 1500 soldiers who've died in Iraq...

Hey, morons.

NYC ain't exactly your constituency. You might want to try pitching your "Nuremberg Trials" argument elsewhere. Fuckwits.

"Oh, for god's sake,

put me down, you idiot."

"Wow. That's some beard on that nun,"

Bush thought.

Sorry for the lack of photos.

Bush hasn't been making as much of a fool of himself as usual, Condi's not been wearing her Emeril Lagasse - 2025 outfits, and I'm buried under piles of work I need to get through before I head away for a much-needed vacay. I'll do my best not to neglect.

kiss, kiss!

Monday, March 28, 2005

Oh, semantics.

Schiavo nears death 11 days after removal of feeding tube

PINELLAS PARK, United States (AFP) - Terri Schiavo went into an 11th day without food with her parents and politicians who have pleaded her case apparently resigned to the fact that she will soon die.

A family spokesman said Schiavo was "alert" Monday despite having been given morphine, a painkiller widely used in a terminal patients final hours.


well, as alert as a person with no brain tissue can be.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Not the Next President of the United States!

only to be outdone by John Ashcroft, who lost to a dead guy, Jeb Bush's presidential aspirations have been torpedoed by a brain-dead woman.

"Get off my lawn, you ghouls!"

I hope Michael Schiavo has a big backyard, what with all of these self-appointed "consciences" cluttering his front yard.

She doesn't know how right she is.

for the wrong reasons.

Hello. We're the rest of the fucking country.

And the public backpedaling begins now.

Public displeasure prompts US politicians to tread gently in Schiavo case

WASHINGTON (AFP) - One week after the US Congress passed extraordinary legislation aimed at having Terry Schiavo's feeding tube reinserted, public displeasure appears to have prompted bill supporters to downplay the significance of their intervention.


But Schiavo appeared to be in her final hours early Monday after days without food and water following rulings by Florida and federal courts refusing to order her feeding tube reinserted -- despite the intervention from politicians in Washington.

Since then, several nationwide polls have registered broad public disapproval of the federal intervention.

In a poll by ABC News last week, 70 percent of respondents said congressional legislation moving the dispute to federal court was "inappropriate," while just 27 percent found the federal intervention "appropriate."

Public displeasure appears to have caught political Washington off guard after the Schiavo case became a rallying cry for conservatives and members of Christian anti-abortion groups, who believed their cause would gain traction because of the celebrated right-to-life case.

During hours of congressional debate leading up to the vote, the bill's mostly conservative lawmakers hailed the legislation as an important inroad in support of a "culture of life." On Sunday however they seemed to tread more cautiously.

"What Congress did, it seems to me, was not all that extraordinary," said Mitch McConnell, one of the Senate's top Republicans, on the Fox News Sunday program. He likened the lawmakers' intervention to the sort of judicial review that routinely takes place in death penalty cases.

"What we simply did was grant to the courts an opportunity to review the case -- something they do in habeas corpus petitions in death penalty cases all the time," he said adding, that at any rate, Republicans were no more culpable than Democrats in passing the legislation.


Critics weighing the potential political fallout have accused conservatives of demagoguing the tragedy -- especially after House Majority Leader Tom DeLay told a recent conservative gathering that Republicans could score easy points against Democrats because of the Schiavo case.

"One thing that God has brought to us is Terri Schiavo, to elevate the visibility of what's going on in America," DeLay told a meeting of the Family Research Council earlier this month.

"We have to do everything that is in our power to save Terri Schiavo and anybody else that may be in this kind of position," he said.


Representative Dave Weldon of Florida, one of the chief Republican backers of the Schiavo bill, blamed the media for the public's opposition, and said that on the "issue of life ... we, as conservatives, are always fighting an uphill battle.

"We have the media totally against us. The arguments are always presented in the headlines in language that works against us," he said on ABC television.


Yes, that's right. The media was calling for Terri to be snuffed ASAP. That's why all of the maudlin coverage was given to the Schindlers and vilified Michael Schiavo.

I fucking give up.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

I think God is too busy smacking himself on the forehead

saying, "Jesus Christ, how in my name did you people so thoroughly misinterpret what I said?"

The Schindlers, realizing that the only people who

supported them were crazed fundies and KKK members, asked them to go home.

Schiavo Family Asks Protesters to Go Home

By MIKE SCHNEIDER, Associated Press Writer

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. - With their hopes of a miracle fading and other options exhausted, Terri Schiavo's parents and siblings appeared quietly resigned Sunday and asked protesters to spend Easter with their families as the severely brain-damaged woman spent a ninth day without food and water.

Those outside the hospice where Terri Schiavo is being cared for were not as calm, with the first of what would be four morning arrests coming as ministers attempted to bring Schiavo Easter communion. About a half-dozen people in wheelchairs later got out of them and lay in the driveway, shouting "We're not dead yet!"

Police protecting the hospice were loudly heckled, prompting Schiavo's brother, Bobby Schindler, to come out and ask the protesters to tone down their behavior.

"We are not going to solve the problem today by getting arrested," he told the restless crowd of about three dozen people. "We can change laws, but we are not going to change them today. ... You are not speaking for our family."

A spokesman for the Schindlers denied a report from David Gibbs III, their lead lawyer, who told CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday that Schiavo has "passed where physically she would be able to recover."


it would've been nice if they'd realized that she wasn't going to recover a long time ago, before they hijacked our constitutional system of government.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

i'm missing the causal link here...

From today's Bobo's World:

"The central weakness of the liberal case is that it is morally thin. Once you say that it is up to individuals or families to draw their own lines separating life from existence, and reasonable people will differ, then you are taking a fundamental issue out of the realm of morality and into the realm of relativism and mere taste."

Shouldn't we define "whose" morality? It seems to me, these days especially, that morality itself is relative.

From here

Foolish Consistencies are the Hobgoblins of Small Minds.

Protests Outside Schiavo Hospice Chaotic

By JILL BARTON, Associated Press Writer

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. - Jennifer Johnson, barefoot and in her pajamas, ran to her grandfather's bedside once a hospice worker said his death was moments away. She got there — one minute too late. Johnson said the chaos outside the hospice where Terri Schiavo is dying kept her from saying goodbye.

When Johnson arrived, a police officer demanded identification; she had none. And after a hospice employee cleared her, another officer halted her for a search with a metal detector.

The delays lasted three to four minutes — the last of her grandfather's life.

"It's a terrible, extra obstacle to put in front of a family. ... Everything is about Schiavo," Johnson said. "It's all about her and in my family's case, it cost us dearly."

Woodside Hospice has 70 patients besides Schiavo, whose parents are desperately trying to have her feeding tube reconnected. Dozens of protesters have arrived from across the nation since the tube was removed March 18, and at least 15 have been arrested, prompting a police barricade around the facility and unprecedented security.

Family members visiting patients must pass through a police checkpoint to park, then show identification outside the door before another security screening inside. They also must walk by scores of signs decrying Schiavo's "crucifixion," "torture," and "starvation," plus navigate around hordes of media who have been camped outside.

"To have to maneuver through all of this and have a hostile environment outside when all they want is peace and quiet and to enjoy those few days they have left with a loved one is a horror," said Dr. Morton Getz, executive director of Douglas Gardens Hospice in Miami.

Getz said many people with a family member in a hospice have to make the same excruciating decision that courts have made for Schiavo.

"It's causing a lot of grief and questions in their own mind on whether they did the right thing," he said. "It's unconscionable to have a family member to be near the end stages of life and to get there, you have to walk through signs that say, 'Murderer.'"

Most protesters direct their signs and their chants against the courts and Michael Schiavo, Terri's husband, who insists she would not want to be kept alive artificially.

But walking through a hostile environment can only add stress to what's already an emotionally draining situation.

"It probably has the same psychological effect on the residents' families as it does on someone who is walking into an abortion clinic and facing signs and aggressive behavior," said Elizabeth Foley, a Florida International University law professor who specializes in bioethics.

Over the past few days, as Schiavo's parents' attempts to have their daughter's feeding tube reinserted repeatedly failed, signs outside the hospice have grown more desperate. Doctors have said Schiavo would probably die within a week or two of the feeding tube being removed.

Messages compare Michael Schiavo to Scott Peterson (news - web sites), convicted of killing his wife and unborn child in California, and John Evander Couey, who allegedly murdered a 9-year-old girl in Homosassa.

One woman in a wheelchair regularly moves up and down sidewalks in front of the hospice yelling in a megaphone, "We're disabled, not disposable!" and "Terri is a person, not a vegetable!"

Relatives of hospice residents say the clamor — intended to rattle Michael Schiavo — rattles their patience.

"It's a real pain in the neck," said Bill Douglass, whose mother-in-law is a resident. He said the only consolation is that she is "oblivious" to the outside scene.

Police and hospice officials say they are trying to minimize the intrusion on hospice residents and their families, and that the security measures are meant to protect the privacy and safety of all residents, not just Schiavo.

But Johnson, 24, said her 73-year-old grandfather, Thomas Bone, was restricted from moving freely around the hospice grounds during his final days. He died just hours after Terri Schiavo's feeding tube was removed and protests intensified.

"They've taken away hospice's greatest quality, that it is peaceful and serene and quiet and calming — and it's not fair," Johnson said.

Aaaah, remember when Britney Spears grabbed the


Britney Spears: Pregnant!

Britney Spears and her husband of seven months, Kevin Federline, are expecting a baby, Star can exclusively and definitively reveal!

The 23-year-old singer is three-months pregnant, according to sources close to the couple, and an official announcement confirming the happy news is expected to be released this weekend.

Sources say Britney has canceled all her future work engagements and is busy preparing for her new job - motherhood - when the baby arrives this fall.

Brit's made no secret of her desire to start a family since her marriage to Kevin Federline on Sept. 18 last year. Less than a month after the wedding, Britney was telling fans on her Web site,, how she longed for a baby, saying, "Being married is GREAT and I can't wait to start my family!" Now it looks like her dream has finally come true.

(snip wait for it folks, here it comes)

Father-to-be Kevin, 27, already has two children by his ex, Moesha star Shar Jackson - Kori, 2, and Kaleb, 8 months.

"He calls Brit 'my lady-in-waiting,'" says the source. "Kevin knows he's not going to get a moment's peace from now until the baby comes. He says what he really enjoys about her pregnancy is chugging beers and telling Brit 'You can't have one!'"


Now THAT is father material!

Can we get the reality check, please?

Schiavo's Parents Say She Tried to Speak

By MIKE SCHNEIDER, Associated Press Writer

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. - After a federal appeals court panel rebuffed them yet again, Terri Schiavo's parents made another desperate attempt to keep their brain-damaged daughter alive, telling a judge that she tried to say "I want to live" just minutes before her feeding tube was removed a week ago.

Pinellas Circuit Judge George Greer was expected to announce a decision by noon Saturday on the motion by Bob and Mary Schindler claiming their daughter said "AHHHHH" and "WAAAAAAA" when asked to repeat the phrase "I want to live."


I really do believe that Terri's parents need some serious psychological counseling.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Is that a Cadbury Creme Egg in your pocket?

Easter Bunny Gets Pummeled by Boy at Mall

BAY CITY, Mich. - The Easter Bunny is hopping mad. Bryan Johnson, who portrays the furry character at the Bay City Mall, says he was pummeled in an unprovoked attack on the job. Police say the attacker was a 12-year-old boy who sat on Johnson's lap the day before the March 18 incident.

Johnson, 18, suffered a bloody nose. He kept his cool during the attack, deeming it inappropriate for the Easter Bunny to fight back. But he's not willing to forgive and forget.

"They (the sheriff's deputies) told me it was up to me, and I feel that the boy should be prosecuted," Johnson told The Bay City Times.

Johnson told Bay County Sheriff's deputies that the boy hit him in the face at least six times before running away.

Bay County Sheriff John E. Miller said the youth has been in trouble in the past. The case will be forwarded to the Bay County prosecutor's office next week for action, he said.

Johnson, meanwhile, is back on the job at the mall, where he had been working as the Easter Bunny for about a week before the attack.

"I just like getting the kids to laugh and have fun," he said. His job is to get his picture taken with children and make them laugh. That can be difficult because he is not allowed to speak while in costume.

Johnson said his 12-year-old attacker seemed perfectly happy the day before the incident. "Yeah, he came up and said, 'Hi,' and was sitting on my lap and talking," Johnson said. "He seemed OK."

But when he saw Johnson the next day, the boy didn't want to talk.

"He just started hitting," Johnson said.

Whoo-boy. With friends like these...


I needed to take a break from the Schiavo spectacle.

Why do I find it hard to believe he nicked himself shaving?

You gotta give 'em props for persistence.

Schiavo's Parents Back in Federal Court

By KRISTEN WYATT, Associated Press Writer

ATLANTA - For the third time in four days, Terri Schiavo's parents asked the same federal appeals court to order the reinsertion of their brain-damaged daughter's feeding tube. Their move came hours after a federal judge refused the same request.

In their latest appeal to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, Bob and Mary Schindler argued that their daughter's due process and religious rights were being violated.

Attorneys for Schiavo's husband, Michael, have until about 5 p.m. to respond to the appeal. Michael Schiavo has said his wife has no hope for recovery and wouldn't want to be kept alive artificially.

The parent's latest appeal, which opens with the sentence, "This is a mercy killing case," asks the court to order the Florida hospice where Terri Schiavo is staying to immediately transport her by ambulance to a hospital for medical treatment to sustain her life.

The appeal also asks the case be returned to district court with orders for an evidentiary hearing.


Choose Life!

Man Tries to Steal Gun to 'Rescue Schiavo'

(03-25) 04:00 PST SEMINOLE, Fla. (AP) --

A man was arrested after trying to steal a weapon from a gun shop so he could "take some action and rescue Terri Schiavo," authorities said.

Michael W. Mitchell, of Rockford, Ill., entered Randall's Firearms Inc. in Seminole just before 6 p.m. Thursday with a box cutter and tried to steal a gun, said Marianne Pasha, a spokeswoman for the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

Mitchell, 50, told deputies he wanted to "take some action and rescue Terri Schiavo" after he visited the Pinellas Park hospice where she lives, Pasha said.

The feeding tube that has kept Schiavo alive for more than a decade was removed March 18 over objections from her parents. Schiavo's husband has said his wife would not want to be kept alive artificially.

Doctors have said she would probably die within a week or two of the tube being pulled.

Randy McKenzie, the owner of Randall's Firearms, said Mitchell pulled out the box cutter and broke the glass on a couple of display cases.

"He told me if I wasn't on Terri's side then I wasn't on God's side, either," McKenzie told The Associated Press.

McKenzie said he then pointed his own gun at Mitchell and ordered him to lie on the ground. But Mitchell fled out the store's back door before police arrived, he said.

Mitchell was later arrested in a parking lot and was scheduled to appear in court Friday. He was being held on $125,000 bond on charges of attempted armed robbery, aggravated assault and criminal mischief, officials said.

It was not known if he had a lawyer.

Seminole is about 5 miles west of Pinellas Park.

Because to do otherwise

would be somehow UN-American. Sheesh. Good to know that these fundies are George Michael fans.

Friday Big Little Kitty Blogging


* thanks to the omnipresent, omniscient GWPDA for the head's up!

And if this one shows up outside my hospice,

just drag her away by her feet:

and people wonder why I have such disdain

for organized religion? after mass, you have to give the priest a PEDICURE?

An open plea to DR visitors.

I consider you all extended family (or at least acquaintances) so I'm begging you: if, for whatever reason, I lapse into an irreversible coma, and my biological family wants to pull the plug, and THESE people show up:

Will you kick their asses for me? Thanks ever so much.

No. Nyet. Non. !no

In any language, the meaning is the same:

Federal Judge Nixes Schiavo's Feeding Tube

By MARK LONG, Associated Press Writer

TAMPA, Fla. - A federal judge refused Friday to order the reinsertion of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube, another in a string of defeats for the parents of the brain-damaged woman in their battle against her husband to keep her alive.

For a second time, U.S. District Judge James Whittemore ruled against the parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, who had asked him to grant their emergency request to restore her feeding tube while he considers a lawsuit they filed.

The tube was removed March 18 on a state judge's order that agreed with her husband, who has said she has no hope for recovery and wouldn't want to be kept alive artificially. The Schindlers believe their daughter could improve and wouldn't want to die.

As of Friday morning, Terri Schiavo, 41, had been without food or water for almost seven days and was showing signs of dehydration — flaky skin, dry tongue and lips, and sunken eyes, according to attorneys and friends of the Schindlers. Doctors have said she would probably die within a week or two of the tube being pulled.

On Thursday, Pinellas Circuit Judge George Greer denied Gov. Jeb Bush's request to let the state take Terri Schiavo into protective custody. Bush appealed to the 2nd District Court of Appeal.

Now let go of this poor woman. Let her go to whatever god she believed in. You'll get your book contract, don't worry.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

A head start on Friday catblogging

Baby tiger blogging.

Can we just give the game ball to Reason already?

Fla. Judge Won't Hear Schiavo Arguments

By MITCH STACY, Associated Press Writer

CLEARWATER, Fla. - A state judge and the U.S. Supreme Court refused Thursday to intervene in the case of Terri Schiavo, leaving the brain-damaged woman's parents with only the slimmest hopes in their fight to keep her alive.

Gov. Jeb Bush's request seeking custody cited new allegations of neglect and challenges the diagnoses that Schiavo is in a persistent vegetative state, but Pinellas Circuit Judge George Greer wasn't convinced and declined to hear Bush's arguments.

Greer's decision Thursday afternoon came hours after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to order her feeding tube reinserted. The decisions reduce chances for quick intervention to reconnect the tube, which was pulled last Friday. Doctors have said Schiavo, 41, likely would die in a week or two without nourishment.


For the sake of people suffering through this decision everywhere, enough.

Yup. Strike Five.

Supreme Court Refuses to Order Reinsertion of Feeding Tube

Now who's starting to look like the heartless ones out for their fifteen minutes?


Supreme Court Won't Hear Schiavo Case

By HOPE YEN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to order Terri Schiavo's feeding tube reinserted, rejecting a desperate appeal by her parents to keep their severely brain-damaged daughter alive.

The decision, announced in a terse one-page order, marked the end of a dramatic and disheartening four-day dash through the federal court system by Bob and Mary Schindler.

Justices did not explain their decision, which was at least the fifth time they have declined to get involved in the Schiavo case.

The feeding tube that has been keeping Schiavo alive at a hospice in Pinellas Park, Fla., was removed last Friday. Doctors at the time said that unless it is reinserted she will die in a week or two.

The high court's decision was the latest in a string of losses in state and federal courts for the Schindlers, who say their 41-year-old daughter faces an unjust and imminent death based on a decision by her husband to halt nourishment without proof of her consent.

The Schindlers' emergency high court filing also argued that Congress intended for Schiavo's tube to be reinserted, at least temporarily, when it passed an extraordinary bill last weekend giving federal courts authority to fully review her case.

In his response, Michael Schiavo urged justices not to intervene because his wife's case already has been endlessly litigated and at each turn courts have sided with him.

His filing also argued that Congress violated the Constitution when it passed the bill because the action was improperly intended to overturn state court rulings on the matter.

"That is not an exercise of legislative power, but trial by legislature," the filing said.

The Schindlers' appeal went first to Justice Anthony Kennedy, a Reagan appointee who has staked a moderate position on social issues. Kennedy has responsibility in the first instance for cases emanating from the Southern district that is home to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. He referred the Schiavo case to the full nine-member court.

The court's decision was not surprising. Not only had justices repeatedly declined to intervene in the Schiavo case on prior occasions, but they routinely defer to state courts on family law issues. Judges in various Florida courts have sided with Schiavo's husband in the 15 years since she suffered brain damage.

My next screenplay

"Weekend at Terri's."

Just saying.

"Donald, you're drunk.

Now give me the car keys."

Can someone explain to me the

difference between being in a persistent vegetative state and being "minimally conscious"? I don't get it.

As if you don't know where I stand....

Why have these pictures been so rare?

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Once again, reason rules.

Court Rejects Schiavo Parents' Request

By ELIOTT C. McLAUGHLIN, Associated Press Writer

ATLANTA - For the second time in less than a day, a federal appeals court Wednesday rejected a bid by Terri Schiavo's parents to have her feeding tube reinserted. Florida lawmakers, meanwhile, debated another last-ditch effort to prolong her life.

In a 10-2 decision, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused Bob and Mary Schindler's request for an "expedited rehearing" by the full court. A three-judge panel from the court ruled against the family earlier Wednesday.

The court did not immediately give an explanation for its decision. The parents have vowed to take their fight to the U.S. Supreme Court , which has refused to get involved previously.


Hey! I thought he spoke Spanish!

Oh, wait. He doesn't speak Canadian.

"Since we already circumvented the Constitution once..."

Bush: Feds Exhaust Options for Schiavo

By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writer

WACO, Texas - President Bush suggested Wednesday that he and Congress had done their best to help Terri Schiavo's parents prolong her life, and the White House said it has no further legal options.

"We felt like the actions taken with Congress was the best course of action," Bush said.

He spoke during a news conference with his counterparts from Canada and Mexico.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan later said, "There really are not other legal options available to us."

"We have explored all our options previously," McClellan said.


Asked what avenues might remain, Bush said, "Now we'll watch the courts make (their) decisions. But we looked at all options from the executive branch perspective."


Sounds to me like someone might be reading the writing on the wall, hmmmm?

"NAFTA.....blah blah blah....terrorism......

....hey, did he just say 'tacos'? I like tacos. Mmmmm....tacos..."

I can't resist.

"Monkey in the middle"?

*with special thanks to Matt O. for the tip!

Man, I need a sweater.

This place is feeling pretty drafty....

Army Likely Won't Meet Recruiting Goals

By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer

WASHINGTON - The Army expects to miss its recruiting goals again this month and next, Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey said Wednesday, and it is developing a new sales pitch that appeals to the patriotism of parents who have been reluctant to steer their children toward the Army.

"There is a forecast that we will not meet the monthly goal" for March and April, Harvey said at his first Pentagon news conference since becoming the Army's top civilian official last November.

In February the Army missed its monthly recruiting goal by 27 percent. That was the first time it had fallen short for any month since May 2000, and it underscored the difficulty the Army faces in signing up young men and women during time of war.


more here.

Oh, Christ on a Tempurpedic® Mattress.

I'm sure that the Supreme Court will weigh this news very heavily in favor of granting cert. Nothing is more persuasive to them than what stupid, ill-informed actors have to say.

Gibson & Heaton Get Fired Up Over Euthanasia Battle

Mel Gibson and actress Patricia Heaton are weighing in on a controversial US euthanasia battle, urging the husband of coma victim Terri Schiavo to sign over the care of his wife to her parents instead of fighting to let her die. The two pro-life campaigners are horrified that Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, seem to have lost a fight to have their daughter's feeding tube re-installed. Instead, a federal judge has awarded Schiavo's husband Michael the right to remove the tube, and let his wife literally starve to death. In a statement released yesterday, an angry Gibson has thrown his weight behind Schiavo's parents' ongoing fight. He fumes, "I fully support the efforts of Mr. and Mrs. Schindler to save their daughter... from a cruel starvation. Terri's husband should sign the care of his wife over to her parents so she can be properly cared for." And former Everybody Loves Raymond star Heaton is just as fired up about the euthanasia battle. She says, "I don't know how the courts allowed this to happen but it's a very, very dark day for people with disabilities. There's a woman, who is disabled, who is being starved to death. Terri Schiavo is not brain dead; she's alive, she's breathing, she's disabled. People on Death Row get more of a shot at appealing their sentence that Terri Schiavo is getting - and she hasn't committed any crime." Heaton even went so far as to call Schiavo's mother on Saturday - the day after her daughter's feeding tube was removed. She says, "She said they did this to Terri before and she lasted seven days before the tube was put back in... I don't think there's that much time left." Heaton is planning to fast on Good Friday to "show some solidarity".

I especially like it when the wingnuts

refer to Terri Schiavo's hospice as "Auschwitz." Nothing like having a sense of perspective.

What part of 'NO' don't you understand?

Bush Renews Call for Help in Schiavo Case

By MARK LONG, Associated Press Writer

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. - Their options dwindling after two failed federal court appeals, Terri Schiavo's parents and brother vowed Wednesday to take their fight to the U.S. Supreme Court (news - web sites) and state Legislature as the brain-damaged woman was in her fifth day without a feeding tube.

Gov. Jeb Bush renewed his call for the Legislature to step in and "spare Terri's life."

In a 2-1 ruling early Wednesday, a panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta said the parents, who have battled with son-in-law Michael Schiavo for years over the woman's fate, "failed to demonstrate a substantial case on the merits of any of their claims" that the feeding tube should be reinserted immediately.

"There is no denying the absolute tragedy that has befallen Mrs. Schiavo," the ruling by Judges Ed Carnes and Frank M. Hull said. "We all have our own family, our own loved ones, and our own children. However, we are called upon to make a collective, objective decision concerning a question of law."


In a Wednesday statement, the governor said he "could not be more disappointed in the decision announced this morning."

"Time is of the essence and I hope all who have the ability and duty to act in this case will do so with a sense of urgency," Gov. Bush said.


It's true.

Sometimes they do write themselves.

Perhaps this is the moment of overreaching.

and if the Supreme Court denies certiorari, what then, Mr. Bush?

Bush Role in Schiavo Case Bothers Right

By JESSE J. HOLLAND, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Not all conservatives are happy with the decision by Congress and President Bush to intervene in the Terri Schiavo case. Some leaders said Tuesday the new law allowing a federal court review of the case is an example of the big government they have always opposed.

"To simply say that the 'culture of life,' or whatever you call it means that we don't have to pay attention to the principles of federalism or separation of powers is certainly not a conservative viewpoint," said former Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga.

Allan Lichtman, who chairs the history department at American University in Washington, said the intervention of Congress and Bush to try to overturn the decision by Schiavo's husband not to prolong her life is the antithesis of several conservative principles.

"It contradicts a lot of what those behind it say they believe: the sanctity of the family, the sacred bond between husband and wife, the ability of all of us to make private decisions without the hand of government intervening, deference to states and localities as opposed to the centralized government," said Lichtman.

Terri Schiavo suffered brain damage in 1990 when her heart stopped briefly. She can breathe on her own, but has relied on a feeding tube to keep her alive since.

The feeding tube was removed Friday under a Florida court order, but Congress passed a law Monday requiring a federal court review of the case in the hope that the judge hearing it would order the tube reinserted. U.S. District Court Judge James Whittemore of Tampa rejected the plea of Schiavo's parents to do that.

The case evolved into a cause for social "right to life" conservatives who oppose abortion and euthanasia. Bush justified the action, saying the case was complex but that it was better to err on the side of life.

But Republican Sen. John Warner of Virginia voted against the legislation, saying it goes against the conservative principles of federalism.

"That the misfortunes of life vested upon Theresa Marie Schiavo are a human tragedy, no one can deny. I said my prayers, as did many Americans, as we attended religious services this Palm Sunday," he said. "I believe it unwise for the Congress to take from the state of Florida its constitutional responsibility to resolve the issues in this case."

David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, says he has mixed feelings about what Congress and Bush did.

Conservatives "who questioned the wisdom of the federal government reaching down and interfering with the state courts have a very valid point," Keene said. "In Congress, most conservatives have said, 'We're cognizant of that fact and that's why we have done this so narrowly because we don't think there's another choice.' But those who are concerned about precedent should be concerned about it."

Julian E. Zelizer, a Boston University history professor who specializes in congressional trends, said a conservative Republican movement that "built itself in the 1970s around attacking government has become the party of big government since 2000."

"Starting with the war against terrorism and climaxing with Congress intervening in this case, we see a GOP that is quite comfortable flexing the muscle of Washington, and a Democratic Party which is increasingly finding itself in favor of limiting government," Zelizer said.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Proof that you CAN function

with just a few shreds of cerebral cortex suspended in the gray aspic that was once your brain:

Couldn't they just wear dark suits and

sunglasses like other bodyguards?

Tuesday Pop Quiz

Compare and contrast:

Rick Santorum



Extra credit: Given the differentiations, if any, what are the sociopolitical implications of the photograph below?

(*with thanks to either Holden or Attaturk, whom I believe once likened SOMEBODY to Davey. Couldn't remember if it was Santorum or not.)

Shouldn't that kid be in class

or is protesting the Schiavo ruling part of the whole "home-schooling" initiative?

Thanks, Andy Partridge

for writing "Dear God" all those years ago. Listening to it on my iPod while reading about the Schiavo ruling.

Dear god,
Hope you got the letter,
And I pray you can make it better down here.
I don’t mean a big reduction in the price of beer,
But all the people that you made in your image,
See them starving on their feet,
’cause they don’t get enough to eat
From god,
I can’t believe in you.
Dear god,
Sorry to disturb you,
But I feel that I should be heard loud and clear.
We all need a big reduction in amount of tears,
And all the people that you made in your image,
See them fighting in the street,
’cause they can’t make opinions meet,
About god,
I can’t believe in you.
Did you make disease, and the diamond blue?
Did you make mankind after we made you?
And the devil too!
Dear god,
Don’t know if you noticed,
But your name is on a lot of quotes in this book.
Us crazy humans wrote it, you should take a look,
And all the people that you made in your image,
Still believing that junk is true.
Well I know it ain’t and so do you,
Dear god,
I can’t believe in,
I don’t believe in,
I won’t believe in heaven and hell.
No saints, no sinners,
No devil as well.
No pearly gates, no thorny crown.
You’re always letting us humans down.
The wars you bring, the babes you drown.
Those lost at sea and never found,
And it’s the same the whole world ’round.
The hurt I see helps to compound,
That the father, son and holy ghost,
Is just somebody’s unholy hoax,
And if you’re up there you’ll perceive,
That my heart’s here upon my sleeve.
If there’s one thing I don’t believe in...
It’s you,
Dear god.

© XTC Music

The NY Times gets it right.

From today's editorial page:

Congress's Midnight Frenzy

The sight of Congress and President Bush intruding into the sufferings of the Schiavo family was appalling. Washington had years to properly consider the agonizing dilemmas that cases like this one raise for uncounted, less publicized American families. But the Republican leadership did nothing until the issue ripened to a maximum moment for simplistic political exploitation.

Most Americans appreciate the complicated and sensitive concerns at stake here far better than the politicians. Whatever the range of opinion on the underlying issue, polls show that the public recoiled at the sight of elected officials racing to make hay of this family's private pain. Those findings only underline the hubris of the House majority leader, Tom DeLay, and the other G.O.P. leaders. Their egregious pandering was directed not at the bulk of the populace, but at their base vote among the evangelical and fundamentalist conservatives who have been demanding greater deference since working to deliver Republican victories last year.

The political timidity of potential opponents was woeful. No one dared even demand debate in the Senate. In the House, many opponents seemed simply to prefer to stay away. Arguments against the bill were led by Florida Democrats, who had the most reason to be offended by Congress's crude overriding of state government.

Sanctimonious rhetoric rang out about the value of each individual life even as a strategy memo was reported circulating among G.O.P. lawmakers cynically relishing the points to be scored with the right-to-life political machine in next year's elections. The rush to save Terri Schiavo was mixed with the urge to get rid of Senator Bill Nelson, the Florida Democrat who faces re-election next year.

"Hey, Dr. Frist!"

"You want a piece of me?"


Who switched Bobo's meds?"

Monday, March 21, 2005

"I want yoooou...

I want you so baaaaaad, babe..."

"Meet me back of the kitchen in 10 minutes.

I got a little benefit that needs personalizing."

My god! MiniCheney has switched sides!

Try not to look too closely.

Senator McCain and Chimpy McFlightsuit

fend off a wave of tomato-hurling seniors in Colorado:

Who knew Satan wore khakis?

Cheney crawls out from under his rock to pitch Social Security reform:

This week's refresher course

This is a cartoon bug:

And this is a lying, thieving, amoral bastard who kills bugs and the Constitution:

Any questions?