Friday, February 25, 2005

Terri's church? (updated)


I'm happy to report that a Vatican cardinal has made a statement about the Schiavo case. The article below was the result of my own frustration in the matter. I still believe the voice from the Vatican should be much louder.


Let us observe a brutal irony.

The last few weeks have been trying for a couple of Catholics, both of whom seem to hang in the balance. One is given every excuse possible to continue "doing his job" no matter what his health looks like; the other is denied all normal means of recuperation and instead, every excuse is given to deny her that which she still has--her life.

What unites these two Catholics? Well, besides a supposed common doctrine of life, it seems nothing unites them. One may be allowed not only life, but even his occupation in spite of his failing health while the other is denied everything.

The Vatican has taken an extremely defensive stance, "strenuously" making light of the Pope's failing condition. Read the latest on the Pope here and note the zeal of the "aids and officials" in defending their master.

Anyone else confused? Why do they seem so desperate for him to keep his job when they could be desperate for a member of their church to keep her life?

I suggest it is time for the Catholic Church to reemploy their misspent energy. I suggest they speak out for the innocent, neglected member of their body and thereby start being wholly consistent with their creed. It's no wonder the judge has ruled that her Catholicism didn't have a part in her defense; how can it if the church itself won't support it?

My church knows exactly where we stand and I am confident that in such a case, they would defend me as they would defend their own hand or foot (yes, even their head) from destruction.

I know there are many in the Catholic Church who are fighting for Terri. I respect them and thank them. But where is the church itself. Where is the Vatican? Are they too busy making excuses to keep their "holy man" from unemployment to help make the case for Terri Schiavo's life?

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Staying the sword

Judges in Florida continue issuing temporary stays on the the removal of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube. It's like a temporary pardon from the hand executioner--ultimately, it can't go on forever like this because her parents can't appeal forever. The issues of guardianship continue to be questioned and closely examined. If the Schindlers (her parents) can gain guardianship, it will effectively end Michael Schiavo's diabolical intentions on his wife's life.

Remember to keep up to date with the right sources. I continue to be appalled at the misinformation that breezes around the news. The most infamous I heard and read today was the off-hand reference to Terri on ABC News as being on "artificial life support." What is so artificial about food!?

One word: Disgraceful.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Talking Terri

This morning I awoke with little on my mind except preparing for the County Council meeting tonight. I had posted last night on the Terri Schiavo crisis and was therefore surprised when it came up on the local morning talk show. The host was actually covering another legal issue in the state of Oregon and she seemed unaware of the new developments in the Schiavo case.

The question was about the ethics or morality of the matter among other things. The host is pro-life but often loses touch with the foundations of her beliefs. Today she had a lot of good callers to help her out though. Someone mentioned Terri Schiavo and then someone referred to her as being on life support--something utterly false.

I called in...I was the last caller on the show.

I knew my time would be really short so I talked as fast and as clearly as I could spit it out. Thinking back, I thank God it came out as well as it did. Even so, I didn't get the chance to plug about the recent crisis development. I can only pray, though, that I was able to at least correct some of the common errors that are so pervasive these days.

In related news
Tonight I added this blog to the Blogs for Terri listing and I can be found there already. They are doing all they can to tap into the new-found power of the blogosphere to rally public support. I think they already have public support despite the misinformation that reigns. It's just a matter of correcting the record and making this dinner table conversation in every American household.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Threat: Terri Schiavo in the balance

The latest word in the ongoing battle to stop the killing of Terri Schiavo is that Judge Greer has left the door open for Michael Schiavo to remove Terri's access to a feeding tube, beginning anew the slow starvation of his disabled wife at 1 p.m. tomorrow (the 22nd).

Here's the link for the latest details on The situation is critical. The following are some avenues for action courtesy of Pro-life Blogs:

Today, the courts rejected the pleas of Terri’s parents to stop her husband, Michael, from withholding food and water from her. He has promised to begin starving her tomorrow at 1 pm.

Most of you are aware that Terri is not a "vegetable" or "brain-dead" as Michael and his lawyers claim, but responds to others and is aware of her surroundings. She laughs, smiles and, according to her nurses, has a small vocabulary.

Terri is not on life support and is healthy. She needs help eating and is fed through a tube (helping someone eat and drink who is impaired has never been considered artificial life support).

While Michael asserts he is carrying out Terri's wishes, he waited until after he received a large sum of money from a lawsuit against her doctors before making this claim . During the lawsuit, he alleged negligence and motivated a financial award with the potential cost of Terri’s rehabilitation.

However, Terri has been denied rehabilitation that experts testify could allow her to eat and talk. The courts in Florida have consistently blocked appeals to give Terri proper tests and therapy that would improve her life.

Terri may not have the capabilities she once had, but she is no less valuable and no less a person.

Here is what you can do to help Terri:

Pray for Terri and her family.
Blog - communicate the truth about what is going on and rally support for Terri and the Schindlers.
Visit BlogsforTerri ( for information.
Deluge Gov. Jeb Bush with emails and phone calls. He has the power to intervene. Here is his contact information:

Governor Jeb Bush
850 / 488-4441
850 / 487-0801 (fax)

Support HB701(click here).

More Information at
That's the latest. Please spread the word and do your part to protect the innocent in this country.

It's important to note, also, that Mr. Schiavo has denied giving up guardianship, has denied her the rehabilitation that has been recommended by many experts, has denied any option besides his own word-of-mouth claim that she wanted to die. Terri's parents are, of course, fighting for guardianship. Read up on the situation as much as you can.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Justin and Jordan

This morning I took the round-about way to school so I could stop in on the shiny new Starbucks on Bakerview. It's a really nice place by comparison to the other locations and since it's right next to the freeway, I can still dash over to Western in short order...

The road I like to take to that area of town is called Northwest and meets up with Wiser Lake, where I live. Northwest ends up running south, parallel to the Guide (a state highway), and finally runs out of room somewhere in Bellingham. I like that route because it's calmer, it's got some pristine views further north and there's less traffic.

But today, as I was about to hit Ferndale, I noticed a sign surrounded by yellow ribbons, up on a hedge in front of a house, that said, "Welcome Home Justin!" I could just feel the joy shining from that house as I drove past. It helped that it was a bright, sunny morning and I was not seriously worried about anything. It struck me though, as I passed it how wonderful it must feel to be home in Whatcom County after what must have been a deployment overseas. How fortunate Justin must feel, even if his time back is only temporary.

I left campus about 3 p.m.

It was the usual route home, nothing much on my mind but the music and perhaps thoughts about when to get the next bunch of reading done. There's no school on Monday, of course, but I will still be busy preparing for the student council meeting on the 22nd (btw, that's also my 21st birthday). No matter though, life is normal... Then I noticed a little cross set up on the side of the road. As I passed I noticed it was a memorial, I assume to someone killed in a car accident, to someone named Jordan.

Immediately my mind flew back to the other memorial I had seen today and the irony of it all.

One person is fighting for his country and making it safely home to the family he loves. The other person seemed to be busy with his life--his harmless and simple life, traveling by car as we always do--but losing his life in the process.

I could go on about the number of deaths on American roads being higher than the death toll in Iraq...but that is not what struck me. What hit me was the decisive sovereignty of God so vivid on display. How carefree we live out our day-to-day affairs and then have the gall to be surprised when a soldier makes it home safely. Statistics being on my side, I shouldn't have to make this over-riding point: that any given situation we find ourselves in does not make us any more likely to die. On the contrary, it is only in a world of randomness and chance that we can possibly presume to think our short time here can be prolonged or shortened by our own actions. Practically speaking, I am not endorsing carelessness--Proverbs is clear: "he who is careless of his ways will die."

Still, there is nothing more profound than having this brought so vividly home to the mind and heart: God's ultimate control and wisdom are irrevocable; I am here by His bidding and at His bidding will I also leave in due time. Whether I am Jordan or Justin doesn't make any difference to Him.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Subtle images of life

How much are you affected by the music you hear or the movies you enjoy? For myself, I don't know. A good chunk of America now thinks Mr. Dobson from Focus on the Family condemns SpoungBob SquarePants as somehow pro-homosexual in nature. I don't think that has ever been Mr. Dobson's point as he makes clear in this fairly comprehensive piece, but neither is that what I want to talk about.

For those who do believe (like me) in some intrinsic influence of media on our personal views, negative or possitive, I think we would do well to recognize some movies and songs that slip under the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and NOW radar and could have some small influence on the public perception toward abortion.


Movie: "The Forgotten"
When it was released last fall, it didn't make a big splash but neither was it a big flop. The plot had a lot of potential but disappointing many people who wished it could have developed into the psychological thriller they expected.

Without going into too much detail, let me just say that the climax of the movie depends on one woman's ability to remember "the life that was in her" before the birth of her son. It was something I didn't really notice in the context of a prolife message at first until a friend pointed it out. It made the movie a little more worth seeing in hindsight.

Song: "My Name"
(Artist: George Canyon)

George Canyon is new to the country music stage, and even though he's a Canadian, he seems to do very well for himself on both sides of the border. Some of his first and recent singles include "A Good Day to Ride" and "I'll Never Do Better Than You." Over all, I've been very impressed with him and so far have never been disappointed with his product.

This time, though, I'm stunned. His new song "My Name" is the touching story of the tragedy and heartbreak of a miscarriage, told through the eyes of the unborn child. I heard it first a couple weeks ago and today I finally went online and watched the music video. It's just as moving as the music. At the end of the video they give the website of The Compassionate Friends, a national organization dedicated to helping bereaved parents. I've done a little reading from their site and I did not find any information on abortion. That said, I'm glad Mr. Canyon chose to honor bereaved parents with a story about an unborn child. By doing so, he really hit hard where it matters.

If you get the chance, listen to this song--I dare you not to cry.


Let's hope these images have the impact they deserve. Ultimately, I don't think there can be true healing without the gospel--something that is often missed in our zeal to staunch the tide of abortion. Yet, even so, it certainly can't do any harm to give Mr. Canyon's song its proper due.

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Thursday, February 10, 2005

A lot about livin' and a little 'bout libel

I was accused of libel for the first time today.

It came so unexpectedly that I was at first (and rightly) incredulous. The article was pretty well complete and I didn't expect any serious problems when it was vetted for errors. Then out of the blue I was cited on two counts of libel!

Here's a little background with certain details left to the imagination.

It was a commentary I was working on. It was the first one I had written for the Western Front and it was likewise the first conservative opinion to be voice on the editorial pages of the the Front this quarter. I will post a notice when the piece is in print and also online.

When I discussed the issue with one of (those people) who cited me for it, I found myself vacillating between two impulses. The first was to take the charge at face-value, suck it up and fix it; the second was induced partly by the realization that if I just took it for what it was worth, I would probably get seriously marked down, if not flunked, by (those people) who cited it, plus, even though the piece would run, it would be all the more stilted and stuffy for lack of one of the terms they wanted cut out.

What did I have to lose? My goal wasn't to get (this person) mad at me when (this person) was just trying to do (this person's) job. And yet, I was stung. I didn't like the idea that something like this was going to cost me points when I wasn't convinced I had done something wrong.

So I told (this person) I wasn't convinced it was libelous.

(This person) said we should take the matter to (higher person). To cut through the fat, (higher person) said it was ok and I didn't get my points cut. A happy ending and life goes on.

My conclusion:

Since the article was the first of its kind (conservative), it probably pushed (those people) out of their comfort zones and they just reacted. It was nothing personal. (This person) accepted the assessment of (higher person) very graciously. Although, graciousness or not, there's still no getting around the fact that my hackles still rise when I think back on it.

Crossposted at Western Washington Unraveled

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Late in the game

I just have to post this because something about my sanity depends on it.

I just returned from the County Council meeting. It ended up going till after 1 a.m. The big deal was the building moratorium again, but with a lovely array of twists and turns. It was nuts as usual, but this time it had the added perk of being boring. I can't get into all the details--I don't have time and I have a deadline in a little while. There's a story to write.

I gave a fellow student a ride home. He's a really interesting guy. He is the most despised student in the class and yet, after tonight, I am determined to have more respect for him. It's his conduct in the classroom which makes everyone talk behind his back and roll eyes at every little noise that he makes. The problem that most have with him is that he tends to ask really dumb questions and then make little noises when he hears something he thinks is interesting. He has something on the rest of us though:

He got a better grade than most of the class on our last County Council assignment. Tonight when we were talking on the way home, he mentioned how much work he put into it last time. He said he slept the whole night and woke up late in the morning. Then he spent two hours crafting the story that beat out most of the class. Most of us stayed up all night.

After dropping him off, I took the path home. I needed something to cleanse my mind of the 6 hour ordeal it had just endured. I turned the radio dial to a country station and came up with Terri Clark! There's nothing more unsophisticated than her, so I cranked it up, my mind needed a rest from stiff parliamentary order to which it had just been subjected.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Signs if triviality

The political blogging and linkage of this site with my other sites has been a discouragement to write anything that might not be "substantial" in nature. It's actually unfortunate in many ways because it makes me feel a bit constricted. On a similar note, I was a little put out recently when I discovered that the opinion editor on the Western Front doesn't allow first person style in commentary. I'm not sure I understand why. I've seen many columnists use that style and without it, it's hard not sound like a news article.

Bah, humbug

Life is good lately. The feeling of walking on a tight-rope over the Grand Canyon is stronger than it's ever been, and like the actual thing, it's quite a rush. This quarter has been markedly different than the one previous. To put it in perspective: I am sitting in the library right now on a checked-out laptop. This shouldn't be all that strange because it was one of my favorite places to write last quarter. Unfortunately, this is the first time I have done it since fall. That's really sad. Will you please bow your head with me for a little cry? It's this infernal reporter's schedule which keeps me from sitting down anywhere but Starbucks and computer labs.

Yesterday I found myself in the hot seat over something unrelated to school that I apparently forgotten. I found it was all I could do to bite my tongue instead of bite back. Afterward, my sinful, debased mind started going over possible gems of sarcastism that might have left me much lower in eyes of those people present. No, it's better to let it go. Besides the ungodliness of such a response, I should know by now that following through would only have added to the problem--as initially satisfying as it might have been.

A Concession
Last week I made an amazing concession: I watched a movie! True, the particular movie made it easier to do. I should consider myself fortunate that I am a minority among female siblings, for otherwise there might actually be movies in the house worth watching--and then where would my study time go? The movie this time was The Village. I finally got to see it again after watching it in the theater in the fall. I enjoyed it just as much or more this time. It's so good to pick up on some things and then find yourself asking more questions about it and feeling like you need to go back again--although, in this case, I don't know if I will ever make it back to it.

I'm going home now. It's a rare evening when I can do that this early (4:30).

Friday, February 04, 2005

A less unindoctrinated German

I used to wonder why there is so much venom in Europe towards America. The truth of the matter is, I've heard different reasons from different Europeans. Some say that they see Americans as "arrogant and greedy" (see second comment). Other's who are actually here--experienced America first hand, and have American friends--tend to take the pity stance and say we are a basically good people who are ruled by oil-loving, evil war mongers. I say that because I have met some foreign students and heard what others have had to say. My conclusion is that they are simply brainwashed by the European media influence. Is it possible to convince them that many American leaders are not too much different than the Americans they have met and claim are alright?

There are those who do see straight still. There are those in Europe--few though they are--who see through the smokescreen imposed by media elites. Mathias Döpfner is one such person. He's the Chief Executive of German publisher Axel Springer AG and has gained attention for his stirring attacks on European appeasement policies in the last century. This piece has been going around for a while I think. I got it by email but it's all over the place (Which is good. Here's the original German)

There's also a good German blogger you might want to check out as well. He posted a previous article by Mr. Döpfner here.

It's really refreshing to read something like this.

Crossposted at HWTR