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March 30, 2005

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Another data point:

In yesterday's New York Post, a generally party-line article on Terri Schiavo was followed by a NY Living Will form downloaded and published from the NY Bar Association. The default option on the form, mind you, is that the attending doctor "withhold or withdraw treatment that serves only to prolong the process of my dying."

Von - I have been having identical conversations over the last weeks. I don't know anyone, anyone, who doesn't think this is a travesty and a cruel, politically motivated intrusion into a private matter. I know there are proponents of the opposite viewpoint on the blogs, but I really don't know a single flesh and blood person who sides with the congressional GOP on this one (and yes, I know plenty of Bush voters). There is sympathy for both sides, but the predominant emotion I have found is disgust, and real revulsion at the godawful limbo Ms. Schiavo currently inhabits, leading to comments as you describe - never let that happen to me, pull the goddamn plug, keep my parents out of it, etc.

I have also gotten several requests to draw up durable POAs and AMDs for relatives (I'm a lawyer), and that is a very real silver lining.

Oh, and N.B.: Being a Republican is not now, and has never been, cool. Popular, yes. Cool, no. Republicans who want to be cool call themselves libertarians.

Republicans who want to be cool call themselves libertarians.

If we ever tire of our current tagline, I'd nominate this as its replacement! ;pp

Another unintended consequence of the Schiavo case: making people (even more) afraid of doctors. For example, last week a patient came late to an appointment in which we planned to draw his blood for an experiment. He explained that he was late because he had been watching the Schiavo case and it made him nervous about coming to the hospital. My first thought was something like "What does he think: I'm going to look at him and say 'Yep, it's a no-hoper. Fetch the guilletine?'"

Here was a reasonably healthy person (he has several well controlled chronic diseases, including the one we are studying, but nothing that's going to kill him this year or probably even this decade, certainly not requiring any life support) who was being asked to give blood. Not to undergo any risky treatments, not even to be evaluated as to his prognosis--just to give blood. Yet somehow he feared his situation would be comparable to Schiavo's. How is that possible? Just how is this case being covered in the mainstream media?

Republicans who want to be cool call themselves libertarians

they're deluding themselves. the only libertarians i know in real life are waaaayyyyy to serious about it - they are libertarians, and not much else. nothing cool about that.

They may call themselves that, but they aren't. Not by a long shot.

We got a will, living will, and durable power of attorney stuff drawn up shortly after kid #1 was born. So we're all set to die. (Er, maybe not ...)

Dark humor on the topic by Robert Friedman of the St. Petersburg Times: Living will is the best revenge.

Real hysteria: Andy Maskin's living will.

Real hysteria: Andy Maskin's living will.

That_is_priceless.

they're deluding themselves

Some of them aren't. I'd seriously call myself a libertarian if being a libertarian didn't make for such strange bedfellows.

I'd like to say I haven't talked to anyone in the last few weeks that isn't horrified by the Schiavo business, but my wife's Aunt has gone off the deep end on it, wanting Jeb to storm in with national guardsmen and snatch her up and save her, how Michael is trying to get away with murder, etc. Then again, she protests abortion clinics, so go figure. But aside from the pro-life operative, my slice of Indiana and Ohio has been in agreement with Von's experiences.

"Some of them aren't. I'd seriously call myself a libertarian if being a libertarian didn't make for such strange bedfellows."

And all of the theocrats and clerical elites are drawn to the Republican party because of the great pot-lucks or the prayer meetings and laying-of-hands?

Relevance, NeoDude? Sometimes your point, if there is one, is mostly if not entirely obscured by the snark.

"Some of them aren't. I'd seriously call myself a Rebublican if being a Republican didn't make for such strange bedfellows."

Sorry, for all the snark.

I'm reading and trolling between diaper changes, disputes and disciplining...so these snarky posts get rushed.

I'll try to be more Hemingway and less e.e. cummings.

Ah, diaper changes. That explains a lot. And you have no idea how much I'm holding back on the snark right now, given the opportunity.

Republican leadership's got not even a cockroach-sized leg up on the likes of Lyndon Larouche, as far as pure wierdness goes.

The democratic party does not pander to its LaRouchians like the Republicans pander to its theocrats.

(Snark away, I have a pretty thick skin, except when it comes to waging war.)

Well, the Democrats have one less to pander to, now that Jesse Jackson has, apparently, come over to the dork side of the farce.

That came out of left field...I think Nancy Grace got to him...defending and rationalizing the behaviour of a spoiled wealthy man, like Michael Jackson...maybe Shiavo is penance or something...however, he was cool when the Rainbow Coalition came onto to the scene.

Republicans who want to be cool call themselves libertarians

Nah, Republicans don't really give a crap about being cool.

So, von: just to get all analytical about it for a minute: I notice that of your ancedotal offerings (counting the "Husband/Wife" dialogue as one), six out of seven (or 85%) seem to (rather strenuously) disfavor keeping themselves "alive" in a vegetative state. Do you think that this is statistically significant (even given the small sample size)?
I would imagine so, and it would be interesting to see a real (not media-circus-driven) poll on how widespread this attitude is among the population as a whole.
I can't say with certainty from my own family experience, though, (which has been limited to discussions with my wife) since that has resulted in a 100% concurrence with the "pull the plug" position - YMMV, as usual.

Nah, Republicans don't really give a crap about being cool.

Said the grape-deprived fox...;ppp

Diane -- I expect any extended news story about somebody in a hospital and dying would have a similar effect -- it is not so much the particulars of the situation, just the "hospital - death" association. People are weird that way.

Republicans don't really give a crap about being cool

Exactly! That's kind of the point of Republicans. But your underlying semantic point is valid, so I amend my previous sentence, thus:

"Rightwingers who smoke pot call themselves libertarians."

Heh. I'd read that as "librarians", first time, which...didn't really compute.

"Rightwingers who smoke pot call themselves libertarians."

I like that. very fitting given the lifestyles of the few cult members I know.

slarti writes: "Republican leadership's got not even a cockroach-sized leg up on the likes of Lyndon Larouche, as far as pure wierdness goes."

Does Reverend Moon count as some form of unacknowledged "Republican leadership"?

He's certainly the skeleton in the GOP's closet.

Moon has more influence that LaRouche ever did. What major daily newspaper does LaRouche own?

But Moon is The Messiah.

He's certainly the skeleton in the GOP's closet.

A skeleton in the closet is something that others aren't aware of. Few are unaware that Moon is wealthy and influential. And an utter crackpot, sure.

But so far as I know, he hasn't run for President, nor does he occupy any position at all in the party. One might as well argue that George Soros holds a position of power in his party.

One might as well argue that George Soros holds a position of power in his party

The difference, of course, being that Soros has spent his time and money fighting for an open society.

Re. Rev. Moon,

Come, Bruce (Slart), surely you've seen this one?

Of course, Congressional Democrats as well as Republicans attended that little event, but then there's the ongoing subsidy of the Washington Times. In my view, that should count as a contribution to the Republican party.

The difference, of course, being that Soros has spent his time and money fighting for an open society.

Well, of course there's not much comparison between Soros and Moon, outside of wealth and influence. I'm occasionally stupid, but not that stupid.

In my view, that should count as a contribution to the Republican party.

Again, considering it's no secret at all who owns the Times or what his agenda is, it ought to be easy to calibrate accordingly. You keep tossing these things out as if they're news.

Slart, do you really think the average American voter who doesn't pay close attention to arcane political questions knows of Moon's connection a) to the Washington Times b) through the Times to the GOP?

Slarti: A skeleton in the closet is something that others aren't aware of. Few are unaware that Moon is wealthy and influential.

But how many are aware... oh, Mark Shawhan just asked the same question. Until I started hanging out on arcane political blogs, I had no idea Moon owned the Washington Times - though when I did, I figured that explained a lot about the Washington Times. ;-)

While Moon is far nuttier (and richer!) by several orders of magnitude, a better comparison figure in terms of disreputability and visibility would be Michael Moore, not George Soros.

The concept of this blog is (IMO) more funny than sick.

Most of the comments, though (at least on the thread I looked at), are more sick than funny.

through the Times to the GOP

You're going to have to tell me what you mean by this. Are you saying the Times controls the GOP, or the GOP controls the Times?

a better comparison figure in terms of disreputability and visibility would be Michael Moore, not George Soros.

Hmmm...Moore: less nutty (yes, this is me. Moore is only a minor-league nutball, but one with access to and inclination to use film to communicate his nuttiness); much more visible. Soros: much less nutty, fairly invisible. In those particular categories, I don't think either of the two are a decent comparison. But again, note that I wasn't comparing them in those categories.

A few years ago, I would have said that the left-wing Rev. Moon was Ted Turner, but he, himself, isn't all that influential anymore. But he is a) rich, b) nuts, and c) partisan, so there you have it.

I meant that since the Washington Times is fairly closely linked with the Republican Party, Moon's control of the Times results in _him_ being fairly closely linked with the Republican Party in important ways.

Look at what the Times used to print, conserning Republicans:

HOMOSEXUAL CHILD PROSTITUTION RING INVOLVING GEORGE BUSH SR

Do you think Moon was being like Jesus, writing stuff with his finger?

Or just a good old fashion shakedown?

since the Washington Times is fairly closely linked with the Republican Party

Again, you're going to have to explain that. Linked in what way?

Again, you're going to have to explain that. Linked in what way?

Axis of Evil?

Looks like Von's family has been morally and spiritually contaminated by the liberal culture of death.

(kidding)

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