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Archive for March, 2005

March 31st 2005

It’s All About Money At The U.N.

On Tuesday, Kofi answered four questions after the second interim Volcker report supposedly cleared him of wrongdoing in the oil-for-food scandal. Two were about his son, one was about whether he’d quit, and one was about Section 2.2 funds.

I glossed over that last one when I posted earlier, but it’s been stuck in my craw (wherever that is) ever since. What it boils down to is this: The U.N. took money that was supposed to be used for humanitarian relief for Iraqi civilians under the heel of Saddam, and gave it to the familes of U.N. employees who were killed while on duty in Iraq.

The UN calls itself a humanitarian agency, but, to paraphrase the famous annonymous radio reporter on the scene when the Hindenberg burned and a little old lady who used to talk about Wendy’s hamburgers, where’s the humanity? What did the poor malnourished Iraqis do to deserve the reallocation of funds away from them? Was there no fat cat fund anywhere in the entire UN purse that could have tapped for the relatives of the dead UN employees? Or was it just easier and more greed-fulfilling to take oil-for-food money?

This episode is a good slice of what’s wrong with the UN, laid out on a sterile plate for all to see. And it’s not too appetizing.

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March 31st 2005

Painted Ladies


Painted Lady Butterfly
(actual size)

The beautiful, cool breezy Southern California skies are full of them. (And so, unfortunately, are the windshields and grilles of our cars.)

Boosted by the year’s incredible rains, a bumper crop of Painted Ladies is moving across the landscape, flittering, fluttering, being buffetted by even gentle breezes, yet, incredibly, they travel about 100 miles a day! They are moving in a northwesterly direction from Southern California’s deserts; the Santa Ana winds would fling them due west, but they battle against those strong gusts and move irrepressibly to the northwest.

Once they reach the coast, they will turn north, not stopping until the reach the lush rainforests of the Oregon coast. All along the way, they’re laying eggs, so in about a month, we’ll get another Painted Lady-burst.

I’m glad I’m not an evolutionist, attributing this wonderous fluttering to the mere chance of molecules and goo. How much better it is to thank God for this miracle of insane complexity in a simple life form. — especially on a day like today, when the insane complexity of our legal system snuffed a simple life.

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March 31st 2005

The Least Of These My Sisters

CSM reader David Bixby attached a comment to one of my earlier Terri Schiavo posts that has particular poignancy now that Terri has slipped away:

Here is something else Jesus said that I believe speaks to the Terri Schiavo situation:

“For I was hungry and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me anything to drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked and you gave me no clothing. I was sick and in prison and you didn’t visit me.”

Then they will reply, “Lord when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?” And he will answer, “I assure you, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.” And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.

Matthew 25: 41-46

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March 31st 2005

Judge Birch A Hero?

Not surprisingly, CBS disagrees with my view of Judge Stanley F. Birch, Jr., who “dispassionately” dispensed justice on the innocent Terri Schiavo, and blasted Bush and Congress for medling in the courts’ business. From Andrew Cohen at CBS News Courts Watch:

Forget Michael Schiavo and Bob Schindler. Forget the earnest protestors and the solemn hospice workers. Forget the dopey politicians and the greasy media consultants. Forget the angry preachers and the smug doctors. In the end, in my opinion, the only true unvarnished hero in the recent “legal” phase of the Terri Schiavo saga is 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stanley F. Birch, Jr. He is truly a profile in courage.

Cohen throws a lot of “those of us who believe” phrases into the piece — believers in non-partisanship, staying “above cheap politics,” non-ideological decision-making. Not once did Cohen state that he believes a philandering husband who stands to reap money and fame from his wife’s death should not speak for her. Not once did he say that he believes that dry procedure sometimes needs to be set aside and cases re-opened, especially given that the Schindlers were originally poorly represented, while Schiavo had the Death Lobby on his side.

Not once did Cohen say that he believed that if this was an execution of the usual sort, he’d be making exactly the same arguments the Schindlers made, and Judge Birch ignored.

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March 31st 2005

Terri Is Gone. God Rest Her Soul.

Just a few minutes ago, Terri Schiavo gave up her battle to live — it was a battle, you just know someone who wanted to die would not have held on as she had! — and slipped softly into the comforting arms of eternity, where there are no more tears for her.

Never have the words “God rest her soul” been more meaningful and resonant.

The Schindlers were denied access to their daughter as she died. Once Michael was sure she was gone, he let the people who loved Terri into her room to pray over her now dead body. Could there be a better illustration of how a little sin, a little lack of compassion, grows darker and crueler, unless it is confessed and repented?

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March 31st 2005

Again, Where’s the Bourguet Trial?

On a longshot, I just searched the Paris Match Web site for UN pedophile Didier Bourguet, who’s supposed to be on trial in France for amassing a huge collection of photos of himself having sex with underaged girls in Congo. Here’s what came up:

Votre recherche “Didier Bourguet” a renvoyé :
0 couvertures(s)
et
0 article(s)

I’m no French whiz, but it’s pretty clear that France’s leading newspaper has no coverage and no stories about what would no doubt be a sensational trial … if indeed there is to be a trial.

Update — I’m just a blogger in my pajamas, so it didn’t occur to me until this morning when I was all dressed up and ready for work, feeling much more professional and journalistic, to also search Le Monde for his name occurring anywhere in the paper in the last month. Same results, “aucun,” or “no.”

Aucun article publié “depuis un mois” avec le(s) mot(s) ou expression(s) “Didier et Bourguet” dans “tout l’élément” et classé par “pertinence“.

So France’s two largest papers have nothing to report on the UN’s most heinous child exploiting Peacekeeper. It makes the promises of reform seem hollow indeed.

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March 30th 2005

Constance Felos: Whoa!

We are told that attorneys and judges are better equipped to make the tough decisions than we are, and that an attorney convincing a judge to take a certain action is more likely to lead to good governance than would 535 elected representatives working to represent their constituents.

One attorney who has recently been involved in establishing important precedence is Constance Felos of Felos & Felos, the second fiddle on Michael Schiavo’s lead lawfirm. What are her credentials to be smarter than you? What makes her a better judge than you of who should live and who should die?

Beats me.

I just read this article from the Tampa Bay New Times authored by the female Felos and it did not encourage me regarding the counsel she might provide in life and death matters. It involves her father, who died of infections after gangrene formed following colon cancer surgery:

If one looks for the metaphysical cause of colon cancer one finds the following mental equivalents: carrying of past hatreds; deep, secret, long-standing resentment eating away at the self; inability to digest and move prior ‘toxic’ experiences out of the body. And the cause of a gangrenous condition is: mental morbidity, the drowning of joy with poisonous thoughts. [I'm glad she's a lawyer, not a doctor!] So, what really killed my father was his deep, secret resentment and hatred, his inability to forgive, and release his attachment to the belief that life is disappointing, shameful and unloving. He searched and searched for another ‘grandfather’ in the form of a doctor to save him. But, it could never happen because the only way to ‘save’ ourselves is to eliminate the real cause of the problem. That process occurs within the self, not in some outside source. [The "look within" set don't seem to get it. They say all are problems can be fixed by looking within -- but what's within? All the problems we're trying to fix! I much prefer looking outside, but she says:] No matter how long and hard we search for something outside of ourselves to heal us, we will always come up empty handed.

To her, the only way for Terri to be healed is to eliminate the cause of the problem. Since she is the cause of Constance’s client’s problem, she has to be eliminated. And since Terri apparently does not have the mental accuity to run through Connie’s convoluted, inward-looking thinking here, letting her die would obviously not be a problem for femFelos.

God save us from New Wavers.

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March 30th 2005

Schiavo Case As Tradition Vs. New Age

The second Felos in the moniker of Michael Schiavo’s death-seeking lawfirm is Constance Felos, a New Age lawyer who’s pretty darn goofy. Fortunately, Alan Sullivan, who blogs at Fresh Bilge, doesn’t just expose her; he ponders over her:

This culture clash has been represented as sectarian versus secular. If one looks at the principal characters, however, one finds two religions at war. There is nothing secular about ‘Kryon channeling‘ and the other nonsensical beliefs of Ms. Felos. The very traditional Schindler family and its allies have lost their court battle against the New Age elite that dominates many of the nation’s institutions, including the Democratic Party. That elite has supported Michael Schiavo. This schism between families aligns with the greater schism in the nation.

There are so many things about this tragedy that encapsulate the current state of the nation. That is, I truly believe, Terri’s purpose. She has made millions think deep, created revealing dialogs around the world, underscored the differences and let strange bedfellows cheer each other (“Bush Voters for Jesse”), and has been a clarion call for change.

It seems like that alone would be reason enough to save her.

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March 30th 2005

Good and Bad on the 11th Circuit

The 12 judges on the 11th Circuit didn’t disclose what the vote count was today on its decision to let Terri Schiavo die, but the split in the judges’ opinions was evident in their comments, as reported by MSNBC.

Speaking for the side that was unfortunately the majority, Judge Stanley Birch Jr. wrote that “the time had come for the dispassionate discharge of duty.”

To be dispassionate about this case is outside of my comprehension. Is his statement an indication of detached secular amorality, or is it just the process of creating a professional force field to protect him as he does a task he feels he is obligated to do, but really doesn’t want to? Whatever it is, it didn’t stop him from chiding Bush and the GOP congress:

“In resolving the Schiavo controversy, it is my judgment that, despite sincere and altruistic motivation, the legislative and executive branches of our government have acted in a manner demonstrably at odds with our Founding Fathers’ blueprint for the governance of a free people — our Constitution.”

The Founding Fathers obviously thought that some day the courts might get full of themselves and begin to take the governance of the nation into their own hands, and they provided powers to the Executive and Legislative to reduce that risk. Judge Birch apparently does not want to be so constrained — and indication that this is exactly the rigth time for extreme checks and balances

Those who wrote dissenting opinions sound much more human and humane than Birch. Judges Gerald Tjoflat and Charles R. Wilson, who also dissented the last time the Schiavo case came before the court, wrote:

“The relevant question here is whether a rational factfinder could have found by clear and convincing evidence that Mrs. Schiavo would have wanted nutrition and hydration to be withdrawn under these circumstances. The plaintiffs carry a heavy burden, but I do not believe that this question can be determined in this expedited fashion without a hearing on the merits.”

These judges see the case clearly: It is an exceptional case that is not entirely about the record before the court and the process that is normally followed. They see that the questions that are left hanging are too numerous and too troubling to be left unanswered just because they are coming into the process later than what is normally accepted.

Judges like Birch, attorneys like Felos, the heartless and cruel reaction by many liberals, the alliance with death forged by the Democrats — all this sinks my hope for America like nothing else in recent years. Oddly, the Rev. Jesse Jackson has restored some of that lost hope by separating himself from so many who have stood beside him and declaring that this slow death of a helpless woman is an outrage.

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March 30th 2005

The Great Kids At Vanguard

I spoke to a PR class at Vanguard University tonight about crisis communications, and just wanted to share with you that they were a great bunch of young students — earnest, attentive and engaged. And they all laughed when I made a Democrat joke!

Maybe it’s just Christian politeness (Vanguard is an Assemblies of God university), but this group was the nicest class of students I’ve ever spoken to.

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With Obama winning the presidency by seven percent, we can't blame the media. Their laudatory coverage and refusal to extensively probe into Obama's background and [lack of] experience was at best responsible for five percent of his vote, the pundits tell us. Here is a compilation of over 100 significant instances of pro-Obama/anti-McCain bias during the 2008 campaign.

For all 'Media Bias 2008' – Click Here

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