Culture: January 2005 Archives

Why say no to life?

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A few days ago I wrote a bit about Headline News's coverage of Terri Schindler-Schiavo and the U. S. Supreme Court refusal to hear an appeal in her case, apparently clearing the way for her husband Michael Schiavo to remove her feeding tube and allow her to starve to death.

Dawn Eden published a letter purporting to be from Michael Schiavo (actually it was a satirical piece written by her mom), which generated a lot of comment, including a protest by someone going by the handle "Tulsa Human", complaining that the piece is one-sided and unfair and ignores the "key fact" that "the courts have ruled consistently that Terri Schiavo is in a Persistent Vegetative State, and has been for over 14 years."

I replied in a comment:

I think I speak on behalf of many humane Tulsa humans in thinking that Rachel Rose's satire fits Michael Schiavo's public actions to a "T".

Mr. Schiavo's behavior bears an uncanny resemblance to the pro-abortion types who say a child would be better off dead than adopted out to a loving family. Terri has her parents and a whole community ready to care for her, if her husband would only let them. I understand that he has withheld money for rehabilitation, rehab that might have allowed her to regain the ability to swallow and restore her ability to function in other regards, and might yet if it were permitted to go forward. Someone explain to me why he doesn't step aside and hand her over to the care of those who love her.

It turns out he was given exactly that opportunity, under very generous conditions. Today, Terri's parents, the Schindlers, released the text of an offer (in PDF format) that they made to Michael Schiavo's lawyers back on October 26, 2004. In the letter, Terri's parents and sister ask Michael Schiavo to let them take her and care for her. In return, they would not seek any money from him, they would allow him to keep all the assets of the marriage, including the malpractice awards. If he chose to divorce Terri, he would still inherit, upon her death, any money he is now entitled to as her husband. Terri's parents would forego any legal action against Michael. Terri's parents would be open to any other term Michael might wish to include, short of paying for his "previous legal fees and costs." In short, he could wash his hands of the whole matter, move on with his life, and he would not lose any money in the bargain. For all the grief he has caused Terri's parents, this was an extremely generous offer for them to make, and clearly it was made with no other motive than to do all they can to save Terri's life and to seek to improve her condition.

Michael Schiavo's attorneys verbally refused the offer. Terri's parents hope that he will reconsider.

The website has a timeline of Terri's ordeal and addresses some of the myths in the case, including:

  • that she is in a persistent vegetative state -- she displays voluntary action and interacts with her environment
  • that she is on artificial life support -- as a letter to the Miami Herald (registration required) says, "There is nothing artificial about getting fed."
  • that years of therapy haven't helped -- her husband has denied her therapy since 1991.

Regarding Tulsa Human's claim about Terri being in a persistent vegetative state (PVS): This article from Crisis magazine describes one neurologist's observations from 12 hours spent testing Terri -- observations that are inconsistent with a PVS diagnosis.

Which war is bloodier?


The latest edition of Charles G. Hill's long-running series, "The Vent," is entitled, "When it's time for Roe to go."

He provides some useful perspective:

But consider this: in the first twenty-two months of the Iraq war, we suffered about 1400 troop deaths, all of whom were mourned. In twenty-two hours, about three thousand "fetuses" are put to death, and this is considered business as usual.

Now that's what's disturbing. Even some Democrats find it horrendous. The old mantra of "safe, legal and rare" fails on at least two counts: abortion is hardly rare, and if you happen to be the one aborted, it's not even slightly safe.

UPDATE: Don Danz sends along this comment:

There must be something with liberals not having a bloody clue. Your entry (Which war is bloodier?) made me think of an interview Jimmy Carter did with Chris Matthews on MSNBC's Hardball, where President Carter said that the Revolutionary War was "the most bloody war we've fought." The Revolutionary War is, of course, known for being the exact opposite--the least bloody war we've fought. The article is here. And, I blogged about it here.

"Television for Masochists"


I was getting a tire replaced today, and there was a Whirled from Friday in the waiting area, which was fine -- since I don't read the Whirled I hadn't seen it yet.

At the bottom of the front page of the Satellite section is a sharply-written column protesting the treatment of men on cable channels like Lifetime that target a female audience. The writer is Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences sophomore Hannah Hartney. (TSAS is a charter school.)

Fifteen-year-old Hannah has the genre nailed:

The channels have taglines such as “Television for Women,” which suggests an empowering, positive message for the ladies. Yet whenever I flip past that channel, I see women being “empowered” by being clocked over the head with a telephone, dragged around by her hair and being forced to listen “Television for Masochists” might be a more apt designation. Or perhaps, “Television for Femi-Nazis Who Fly into a Vicious Rage at the Slightest Whiff of Testosterone,” since Public Enemy No. 1 in the majority of these movies is the male half of the population.

According to this Menstrual Militia, if a woman is in any sort of relationship whatsoever with a red-blooded straight male, he will either:

A. Abuse her / her children
B. Kidnap her / her children
C. Squeeze the toothpaste from the top end of the tube instead of the bottom
D. Try to get her money . . .

. . . ergo proving that men are ruthless devils and should be shot on sight — but not until the end of the movie, of course, when he’s
holding your children hostage and the bad ’80s rock soundtrack is at its peak.

(If I were adhering to DNF*, I'd have a pithy closing observation, but I don't and so I can't.)

*Dustbury Normal Form.

"That's messed up"


I was in McDonald's multitasking lunch -- having a salad, reading Witness, and watching the big screen showing CNN Headline News out of the corner of my eye.

They ran a story about the Supreme Court's decision to deny certiorari in the case Jeb Bush v. Michael Schiavo. The Supreme Court's decision not to hear the case means Michael Schiavo will be able legally to murder his wife Terri by having her feeding tube removed and thus starving her to death. The Headline News story showed home video of Terri, with eyes open, smiling, reacting, at the same time the newsreader referred to her as "comatose."

A McDonald's employee, a young woman who was sweeping the floor nearby, saw and heard what I described, looked up at the TV, and said to no one in particular, "That's messed up."


A website devoted to saving Terri's life -- -- is down at the moment, swamped with traffic. You can read a statement from the Terri Schindler Schiavo foundation, responding to the Supreme Court decision here. And Ace has a few comments on the subject.

The crux of the matter


Dawn Eden has an article about Planned Parenthood's Teenwire website in Crux Magazine, a new online magazine on culture from a Christian perspective, aimed at young adults.

The article, "Everybody's Doing It" is a good overview of what Dawn has uncovered and reported on her blog about her research into what Planned Parenthood is telling teens (and younger) about sex. This quote from the middle of the article seems to some it all up:

At this point, one could be forgiven for thinking that Planned Parenthoodʼs goal is not to prevent teen pregnancy, but rather to sexualize children.

Dawn has a lot for you to read on her blog, including the playlist from her latest DJ gig and an account of a solo carriage ride through the streets of New York, still dressed up for Christmas.

(The title of the former entry, "The Night Ray Stevens Cleared the Dance Floor," reminds me of my one and only stint as a DJ, at a fraternity party the first week of my freshman year. I and another freshman -- who actually understood what a DJ was supposed to do -- filled in for a senior who had been injured in a bike accident. As the party moved into the wee hours, I was determined to chase the last few couples off the dance floor so I could go to bed. I was pretty sure that "I Am the Walrus," with lyrics like "Yellow matter custard dripping from a dead dog's eye," would kill whatever romance lingered in the air. But two or three couples were still out there, slow dancing, swaying back and forth, as if I were playing, "I Only Have Eyes for You.")

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Culture category from January 2005.

Culture: December 2004 is the previous archive.

Culture: February 2005 is the next archive.

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