Current Events

Blogger is just not working well these days. We must labour under such primitive conditions, having only two computers, personal transportation, electricity, indoor plumbing, a roof over our heads and food in our cupboards and a very frustrating internet connection just now, but still, we strive on. We labour under these burdens with only a modicum of complaint, because that’s what America is all about, after all- enduring with only light complaining, enduring conditions that in most countries would be considered, well… wealth. Aren’t we brave.
But on to current events…

On the science front:
Scientific advances that may benefit the paralyzed-

This is really exciting. Using new technology called brain-computer interfaces, scientists hope one day to give the paralyzed the ability to control and move things through thought alone.

They’ve had success with chimps, and are now working with human beings. Already a man has been able to turn a television on and off and control the volume using only his mind (and about a zillion advances in computer technology, specialized brain surgery, and an implant in his skull, but still, this is very exciting stuff!).

It works because of an implant they call ‘Braingate.’ Cute, eh?
Matt Nagle is a paralyzed man working with them to test Braingate. According to the article, he “was given a general anaesthetic before a disc the size of a poker chip was cut from his skull. After making an incision in the brain’s protective membrane, a tiny array of 96 hair-thin electrodes, each protruding about a millimetre, was pressed onto the surface of his brain, just above a region of the sensory motor cortex that is home to the neuronal circuitry governing arm and hand movement. With the electrodes in position, the bony disc was replaced, leaving room for a tiny wire to connect the electrodes to a metal plate the size of a 10p piece that sits on Nagle’s head like a button.

To read brain signals from Nagle’s motor cortex, Donoghue’s researchers attach an amplifier to the metallic button on his head and run a cable to a computer. When he’s hooked up, the tiny voltages of the sparking neurons beneath the electrodes produce a series of brainwaves that dance on the computer screen.”

Oh, just read it all. Read this article about Matt Nagle and the research he’s helping with, too.

Keep in mind Christopher Nolan’s wise observation in The Eye of the Clock- today scientific advances make it possible for the very disabled to live lives nobody could have even dreamed about before, and yet we’re killing them. People like Christopher Nolan, Matt Nagle, and Terri Schiavo (may she rest in peace) pose no threat to any of us. They cannot harm us. They can enrich our lives and take us outside of ourselves. They can teach us much about service, compassion, and the spiritual growth that comes from thinking of others instead of ourselves- but these are lessons a generation of selfish children is unwilling to learn, so instead we starve them, dehydrate them, and decide we would not want to live like them, so obviously, they must die.

While on this subject, read “Terri isn’t the Only One” here.


Other news:

Via Lucianne: Syria wants to keep control in Lebanon

Scholars in The Common Room should be able to locate both these countries on a map (at a minimum).


Also via Lucianne: More on the UN Oil for Food Scandal

Michele Malkin is doing a great job staying on top of the ABC documents of dubious origin scandal. See what she has to say here, and be sure to check out the links she provides. You might write your weekly letters to the editor using the addresses she provides.

See also Powerline

You’ll want to read about Sandy Berger stealing and destroying classified documents- and getting away with a wrist slap, and, somehow, turning this around to rebound on the Republicans. Try Michele Malkin, CBS, Powerline, and Captain Ed.

Meditate upon the meanings of the words inadvertently, apparently, and accidentally as you read this cautionary tale. Do not try this at home!

Read Captain Ed’s update on the state of the EU

And just for fun, find out whether you write like a man or a woman (apparently I inadvertantly and accidentally write mostly like a man):

Gender writing test

Bonnet tip to Wittingshire.

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Compare & Contrast; No Other Comment

From a Yahoo headline:

Terri Schiavo Relatives Feud Over Burial

Excerpts from the body of the article:

Terri Schiavo’s ashes will be buried in an undisclosed location near Philadelphia so that her immediate family doesn’t show up and turn the burial into a media spectacle, a member of the Schiavo family said Thursday.
“If Mike knew they would come in peace, he would have no problem with it,” Scott Schiavo, Michael Schiavo’s brother, said during an interview at his home.

…Scott Schiavo said the ashes would be buried in a plot left by an aunt and uncle, but the family does not plan on providing the specficic location for the burial — underscoring the bitterness of the dispute.

Neither Terri Schiavo’s parents nor her siblings addressed the issue of her burial in their remarks to reporters in Florida on Thursday. A spiritual adviser to her parents, Paul O’Donnell, said they plan to hold a Roman Catholic Mass without her body sometime next week.

…Scott Schiavo expressed relief that his sister-in-law’s ordeal was over, and anger at those who have attacked the Schiavo family.

“This isn’t over by a long shot, We’re going to get our name right,” he said. “The world is going to know who Mike was, they’re going to know Mike wasn’t a beast.”

Via Certain Slant of Light, I found the following statement from the Schindler family at Blogs for Terri:

March 31, 2005
Statement of the Schindler Family
Pinellas Park, FL – As you are aware, Terri is now with God and she has been released from all earthly burdens. After these recent years of neglect at the hands of those who were supposed to protect and care for her, she is finally at peace with God for eternity. We are speaking on behalf of our entire family this evening as we share some thoughts and messages to the world regarding our sister and the courageous battle that was waged to save her life from starvation and dehydration.

We have a message for the volunteers that have helped our family:

Thank you for all that you’ve done for our family. Thank you to the hundreds of doctors who volunteered to help Terri. Thank you to the fifty doctors who provided statements under oath to help Terri. Thank you to the lawyers who stood for Terri’s life in the courtrooms of our nation. From running our family’s website, to driving us around, to making meals, to serving in so many ways—thank you to all of the volunteers who have been so kind to our family through all of this.

We have a message for the supporters and people praying worldwide:

Please continue to pray that God gives grace to our family as we go through this very difficult time. We know that many of you never had the privilege to personally know our wonderful sister, Terri, but we assure you that you can be proud of this remarkable woman who has captured the attention of the world. Following the example of the Lord Jesus, our family abhors any violence or any threats of violence. Threatening words dishonor our faith, our family, and our sister, Terri. We would ask that all those who support our family be completely kind in their words and deeds toward others.

We have a message to the media:

We appreciate your taking Terri’s case to the nation. Please afford our family privacy to grieve at this time.The patience and graciousness of the on-site media here at hospice has been deeply appreciated by our family.

We have a message to the many government officials who tried to help Terri:

Thank you for all that you’ve done. Our family will be forever grateful to all of the outstanding public servants who have tried to save Terri.

We have a message to all of the religious leaders who tried to help Terri:

Thank you to all people of faith who demonstrated love for Terri and strength of conviction to defend the sacredness of all human life as a precious gift from God.

Our family is highly honored that the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, would speak out so boldly on behalf of our sister, Terri.

We have a message of forgiveness:

Throughout this ordeal, we are reminded of the words of Jesus on the cross: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Our family seeks forgiveness for anything that we have done in standing for Terri’s life that has not demonstrated the love and compassion required of us by our faith.

We have a message to parents worldwide:

Our family would encourage parents to spend time with their children and to cherish each and every moment of each and every day with them as a precious gift from God.

We have a message to Terri from her family:

As a member of our family unable to speak for yourself, you spoke loudly. As a member of our family unable to stand under your own power, you stood with a grace and a dignity that made your family proud. Terri, we love you dearly, but we know that God loves you more than we do. We must accept your untimely death as God’s will.

Terri, your life and legacy will continue to live on, as the nation is now awakened to the plight of thousands of voiceless people with disabilities that were previously unnoticed. Your family intends to stand up for the other “Terri’s” around this nation and we will do all that we can to change the law so others won’t face the same fate that has befallen you.

We have a final thought to share:

Our family had hoped this day would never come, but as it has now arrived, we ask ourselves a question in these incredibly sad circumstances: What would the Lord Jesus ask us to do in a moment like this? In John’s Gospel, Jesus responded to the questions of the rabbis, who asked why a man had been born blind. He said: “it is so that the works of God might be made manifest through him.”

God’s plan for Terri is unfolding before our eyes. Our prayer at this time is that our Nation will remember the plight of persons with disabilities and commit within our hearts to defend their lives and their dignity for many generations to come

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By the will of various cosmic forces that have contaminated my internet connection, known as Bob, I have been denied access to the internet for almost 48 hours. Poor me. Poor Bob. He needs an antibiotic and a nap.

In all seriousness, there were many pleasant and trifling things I’d wanted to write, but they have lost their charm in the news of Terri’s death.
I want to say that in ten years the case will be dug up and torn apart and that the truth, as it has in the past, will come to light and that maybe, just maybe, we’ll hear the words “I’m sorry” from the nation’s collective mouth.
But in the first place, I fear that this is too optimistic a hope. Having planted our feet so firmly on the path of death and destruction, I have a feeling the road back to what we once were may be a very long one, and perhaps even one that will never be taken.
And in the second place, whether we ever say those words or not, Terri will not be here to hear them. In ten years we can say “We’re sorry” all we want, and books will be written about her that she’ll never read, music written in her honour that she’ll never hear, and all sorts of apologies uttered to her grave, but it will not bring her out of it.

It really doesn’t matter. That story is over. We wrote it, from beginning to end, and may God have mercy.

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Terri died, God rest her soul

Terri Schiavo died, as every single one of us would after being deprived of food and water for two weeks. According to, Michael Schiavo refused to permit her parents and her siblings to be with her during her last moments.

According to blogs for Terri:

March 31, 2005
Terri Schiavo Dead at 41
– CNSNews
After 14 days without food or water, Terri Schiavo died around 9:50 Thursday morning – shortly after her parents issued an emotional plea to be at her hospice bedside in her final moments of life.

Terri’s husband and legal guardian, Michael Schiavo, denied the Schindler family’s final request to be with Terri as she took her last breath.

But they saw her later: “Bobby, Suzanne, Mary and Bob are in there now at Terri’s bedside. They were denied access at the moment of her death,” said a family spokesman.

It was one of many requests denied the family in a two-week flurry of legal motions, all aimed at keeping Terri alive.

“Update: Michael Schiavo threw the Schindlers out of Terri’s room – trusted source. (I can’t post the rest of the message, and am biting my tongue to keep from saying what I really feel)

Update 2: Michael Schiavo denied Terri’s mother, father, sister and brother the right to be with her. He would not permit them into hospice even though it was her parents who brought her into this world. George Felos was seen going into her room with a large black bag and Michael Schiavo denied access to Bobby at 1AM this morning. – Cheryl Ford, R.N”

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