Thursday, March 31, 2005

Terri Schiavo is dead

Terri Schiavo just died. I have no idea whether her parents were able to visit her once more before she died. I certainly hope so.

Let them inside

Like many fellow bloggers, I harbor strong, mixed feelings about the Terri Schiavo situation, but let's set aside politics and emotions for the moment. Shall we?

Headline News has just reported that police have denied Terri's parents, the Schindlers, from visiting her hospital room this morning. The parents' "spiritual advisor," meanwhile, says Terri has only hours to live. Surely the doctors would agree. Terri has been without food or water for nearly two weeks now.

Michael Schiavo has final say, I believe, on who gets to be with Terri during her final hours. I disagree with the avenues Terri's parents have taken in their attempts to have her feeding tube reinserted. Michael may very well be bitter about it all.

But this latest report is separate from the notion of Terri's right to live vs. her right to die, a battle that Michael has clearly won. Common decency, which many may argue favored Michael throughout this ordeal, now says he ought to let Terri's flesh and blood be at her side when she dies.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Looks like they weren't smart enough

Otherwise, the neocons would have let Terri Schiavo die, thus lending themselves the perfect political circumstances to justify the "nuclear option" for reasons I delineated in my last post.

No, they weren't smart enough. At least their political base wasn't. True to its impetuosity, the religious right surely inundated the neocon-jobs' e-mail inboxes these past 72 hours to halt Schiavo's death.

We can certainly count on some things when it comes to religious right grassroots. Strategy will always take a back seat to dogma.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Neoconservatives will use the Schiavo news to justify the "nuclear option"

Terri Schiavo's medical life support has been halted. Her feeding tube was removed about an hour ago.

The Associated Press reported on Pinellas Circuit Court Judge George Greer's ruling. Greer, a state judge, said he saw "no reason why lawmakers should step in. ...last-minute action by Congress doesn't overrule years of court rulings."

Many of my fellow bloggers have been covering this story. It is now time, kids, to anticipate and prepare our response to the sophistry sure to echo from the likes of Rush Limbaugh, FOX News et al.

That sophistry will draw on the right wing's established disdain for "judges who legislate from the bench." Trust me. Our friends over at those right-wing media outlets will find a way to portray Judge Greer as an activist, far-left judge who has, as so many other "liberal judges," decided to overstep his authority and legislate from the bench.

This is huge, folks. If we don't get it together with a bulletproof rebuttal and fast, debates over this story will pave the way for roughshod approval of extremist right-wing judges to the federal bench.

How? They will use this story to drum up fundamentalist right-wing Christian grassroots support to justify neoconservatives' pursuit of the so-called "nuclear option."

What is the "nuclear option"? The "nuclear option" would end a minority party's right to filibuster in the Senate.

Watch out. Controversial stuff like the Schiavo story has a way of snowballing these days into much larger things that fundamentally alter our way of life.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Canadian bloggers as entrepreneurs could be terrorists, you know...

The U.S.-Canadian border is secure. Checkpoints dotting the landscape are chock-full of savvy department of homeland security (DHS) agents who keep current with the news. On the cutting edge of knowledge, these DHS agents have heard of blogging and know all about certain things such as Web sites.


Yesterday, CBS MarketWatch reported just the story to make us think twice:

Blogger's tempest in Toronto

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- U.S. immigration authorities reportedly blocked a Canadian Web logger's efforts to travel to New York City to begin a six-week consulting assignment with a company about incorporating blogs into its business.

Jeremy Wright said he was halted at Toronto Pearson International Airport before dawn Wednesday and then searched, questioned for three hours and prevented from his taking his flight.

In a telephone interview, Wright recounted his experience: "The guy kept saying, 'What do you do for a living?' I said I'm a blog consultant. He said, 'What's blogging?' But he didn't have any context for what a Web site was. His response was, 'You can't make a living from blogging. Stop lying and tell me why you're really here.'"

Can blogging bring home the bacon? No. Just ask border patrol, whose squadrons are hard at work protecting us from the Canadian evildoers. Wright is a grave threat to national security, and I thank my lucky stars DHS was able to stop him in his tracks before it was too late.

When asked about the incident, the U.S. Homeland Security Department's office in Toronto replied, "no comment." The U.S. Consulate in Toronto did not respond to an inquiry within two hours.

Talk about profiling. Let's interrogate all those suspicious Canuks, shall we? It looks like the long arm of embarrassment has caught up with the long arm of the law, which has managed to ruin at least one promising business contract start for a promising entrepreneur:

Wright is the co-founder of InsideBlogging, a consulting firm, and the author of, a Web log about business and technology. He is also working on a book for McGraw-Hill on blogs in business.

"I would agree that blogging may not be a familiar concept to a border guard, but just because he doesn't know what it is doesn't means I can't make a living at it," Wright said. As for the six-week assignment that was drawing him to the states, he's recommended a friend for the job.

Hey, DHS. How about letting Wright into the country after all? It'll be good for the economy.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

For sweeps week, Scott Peterson's death sentence beats drilling in ANWR

No, it's not sweeps week. I don't even really understand what sweeps week means. During sweeps week, media behemoths must duke it out over ratings more ferociously than during non-sweeps weeks. The nuance beyond this simple explanation loses me.

Here are a few things I do understand.

If this week were a sweeps week, I would understand why the latest communiqué from a major network news local affiliate to my e-mail inbox can't wait to tell me all about how Scott Peterson has received the death penalty today for murdering his wife and their unborn child. I would also understand why the only word I've received this past week about today's final vote over oil drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) has been from Democratic members of Congress whose e-mail distribution lists include my address.

These nuances I understand. If this were sweeps week, Scott Peterson's death sentence would be preferable, in the name of ratings, to ANWR drilling.

And yet, I understand we are not in the midst of sweeps week. Without even the excuse of needing an extra-special dose of big ratings, big media should understand they have no good excuse for ignoring the ANWR vote. How I wish they would understand.

Friday, March 11, 2005


Remember college?

Remember how all the fraternities would have binge-drinking parties all weekend long?

Nobody was invited to these parties except "the brothers" and all the hot chicks they wanted to have sex with. You'd try to go to the party too, and some pooh-for-brains, inebriated jock would disparage you at the door and deny your request to enter.

I wonder how many of these losers went on to become swindling corporate CEOs, deadbeat dads, and lying politicians.

One thing is for certain: A bunch of fraternity brothers have been running America for far too long -- into the ground.

The AAA mooch

Friday evenings included, weekends offer a good 60 hours free from human interaction. I like to use this time wisely. It is why I didn't take my friend Melissa's call as I saw her name pop up on my cell phone display one Saturday afternoon many moons ago.

As I searched the local CD store for Jeff Beck's 1975 masterpiece, "Blow By Blow," the rarity of her call festered and nagged. Melissa never calls me on the weekend. What does she want?

I would never have gotten back to her until later that week had the novelty of her call worn off sooner, but, later that afternoon, my curiosity gave way to investigation. I relented and called her back.

"What's up?" I asked.

"Oh, yeah..." she replied. She giggled. "I locked myself out of my car earlier."

"Ha, ha, ha. Loser!" I said.

"Yeah, I know. Anyway, Danielle wasn't home. I was desperate to get into my car, and you were the next person I thought of."

"Nice…" I replied. The opportunity to tease Melissa was ripe.

"I was trying to see if there was some way I could use your AAA card to call them up," she explained. "Then you didn't answer, but I was able to figure something else out."

"You're a friggin' AAA mooch!"

A pause preceded her reply as she pondered what I had just said.

"Oh yeah, I get it…" she responded. "That's funny!"

We traded small talk before ending our call. I spotted the likeness of a frail '70s guitar god dressed in bellbottoms. Jeff Beck's image graced the cover of a CD jewel case on the rack. The title read: Blow By Blow. I grabbed the last used copy, sprinted for the cashier, paid the $7, and drove home.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Know-it-alls know nothing

Many say we humans have the capacity to understand all there is to know.

I disagree. It would mean we have boundless intellects.

We humans have a finite capability to learn and will one day reach that glass ceiling, a tinted window that marks the last stop along the trajectory of scientific inquiry.

On that day, we will have reached the limit of our ability to comprehend and explain. For what remains, our faith will guide us.

Divide and conquer

Honesty is the best policy not for the liars but for the masses who must suffer lies from on high.

Far-leftist liberals and right-ring christian conservatives might join forces in short order if only the powerful, rich, and godless would stop feigning faith, cease judging sanctimoniously, and just stick to hating without pretense.

In the name of pragmatism, a coalition of left and right might then agree to disagree on a few salient matters.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Blithe minds frolic

Even in our darkest hours’ past, America was always a leader unflinching, resolute, and wise, a beacon to the world. But a new era looms, one without that America’s stamp of approval. A shift threatens all remnants of the good will and camaraderie for which patient Americans have toiled.

This nation finds itself in a place. This place endangers the American experiment.

Americans, confident in their superiority, take their perennial standing among the world’s peoples for granted. We disregard our fortune. We misunderstand even our own legacies. We fail to ponder our place. We just assume.

A sensible nation is a humble one and retains its power. Land of the free, home of the brave is witness to an irony. Arrogance, misguided and carefree, will snatch from us the very thing that has filled us with obstinacy, bluster, and false pride. Prudence knocks at the powerful American’s door. It implores the American to exercise deference in leadership and respect for strength, but this new American scoffs.

So many of us don't care. So many others care only about us. Spoiled, blithe minds frolic in the vestiges of America’s swan song.