damnum absque injuria

February 7, 2006

Keeping Options Open

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 12:43 pm

Last month, we all heard about the sad case of Haleigh Poutre, the 11-year-old comatose beating victim the Massachusetts Department of Social “Services” was champing at the bit to kill. Now, court documents reveal that as early as September 19, a mere 6 days after the Department had gained custody of her (and a mere 8 days after she had been brought into the hospital in the first place), the Department was already in juvenile court seeking permission to kill her. Given that Haleigh started breathing the day after the Massachusetts Supreme “Judicial” Court granted the Department its license to kill, it would seem the Department has some ‘splainin’ to do. Reached for comment, Department spokesman Xrlq had this to say:

This is a very sad case, and at this juncture, it appears that something went horribly wrong. We are conducting a full investigation into this matter to determine who made the decision to seek permission to take Haleigh off life support prematurely, and why. Until our investigation is complete, we have no further comment except to say we wish Haleigh a full and speedy recovery, and that we had a death penalty so Jason Strickland, the monster who put her in her present state, could get the grisly fate both he and we very nearly inflicted on Haleigh.

Oh, wait, I almost forgot; Xrlq is a blogger in Southern California, not a spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Social Services. Their actual spokesman spokeswoman spokesperson person of spoke is Denise Monteiro, who had a somewhat different take on the issue:

Social services spokeswoman Denise Monteiro said the agency sought approval to remove Haleigh’s feeding tube and ventilator so they could have “options” in handling her case.

“Just because you get permission to remove life support doesn’t mean you’re going to do it,” she said.
[Emphasis added.]

Who says there is no “culture of death” in this country?

July 8, 2005

Florida AG: No Crime in Schiavo Case

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 12:58 pm

At the recommendation state attorney Bernie McCabe, Florida Governor Jeb Bush has ended the probe into Terri Schiavo’s collapse, concluding there is no evidence it was caused by a criminal act on the part of Michael Schiavo or anyone else. McCabe added that he thought the most likely explanation of Terri’s collapse was an eating disorder, while conveniently neglecting to mention (or, perhaps, while inconveniently having the Ass. Press leave that part of his quote out of the story) that Jon Thogmartin’s autopsy didn’t exactly bear that theory out, either. In the end, there is no evidence – and, in all likelihood, never will be – that Terri Schiavo’s death was caused by an act of violence, by an eating disorder, or by anything else. Given that, I guess there’s no real evidence she died at all. I think everyone on either side of the Schiavo controversy who has accused her of being dead owes her a big fat apology, but those crazy pro-Schiavo/anti-Schiavo/pro-Schiavo-but-I-mean-the-other-Schiavo activists will never do that, so maybe it’s time to let the Schiavo matter drop once and for all.

It’s not, however, time to drop the underlying issue: the law in Florida (and God knows how many other states) says that if you are incapacitated, you can be starved to death without an advance written directive as long as one judge who has never even met you becomes “clearly convinced” you would have wanted it that way. That’s insane. The law should be changed yesterday, or in the regular session, when no high-profile case is on anybody’s radar, and legislators are free to debate the niceties of a model law to their hearts’ content. Those are the conditions where good laws can be written, even if they seldom are. Unfortunately, that’s not what’s going to happen. Instead, politicians on both sides of the aisle are going to drop the issue like a hot potato, and do nothing until the next Terri Schiavo comes around.

June 20, 2005

“I Kept My Promise”

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 9:47 pm

I know I wasn’t going to blog about Terri Schiavo anymore, but that was because I naively assumed there wasn’t going to be any new news about her or Michael Schiavo. Silly me, I should have known better than that. Apparently, for St. Michael, it’s not enough just to get one’s way; one must seize every opportunity to rub more salt in everyone’s wounds whenever possible, even on her grave:

Isn’t that lovely? Everything, even Terri Schiavo’s grave, is about St. Michael. When his time comes, as inevitably it must for all (and no, strawtards, I’m not recommending that any of you go out and do anything to accelerate that process) I’ve got a headstone lined up for him, too. Just replace the name “John” with “Michael” and we’re good to go:

This story first ran at 10:47 PM EDT, a full two hours ago. Why the silence on the part of so many Michael Schiavo apologists?

UPDATE: I’ve razzed him on this issue in the past, but Joe Gandelman deserves credit where credit’s due. While other Schiavo apologists say nothing, defend the indefensible, or even twist the story around to make the Schindlers into the “disgusting, self-righteous ghouls” in this chapter of l’affaire Schiavo, Joe has the decency to buck his party line, calling a spade a spade and a cheap parting shot a cheap parting shot. Good for him.

UPDATE x2: Welcome, Patterico readers! And an especially hearty welcome to Richard “Cabeza” Bennett readers, assuming there are any. No, Sr. Cabeza, you don’t count.

UPDATE x3: Dean Esmay asks how much more like O.J. Michael Schiavo could possibly act.

June 17, 2005

My Last Word on Terri Schiavo

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 10:27 pm


OK, maybe I have three more after-last words: what they said.

June 16, 2005

Cole’s Law

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 10:06 pm

Yesterday morning, before the ink was dry on Terri Schiavo’s autopsy report, John Cole ranted and raved about the “silence” of the pro-tubists in response to yesterday’s autopsy report, which apparently was supposed to prove Michael Schiavo is a great guy and that there is absolutely no possibility he misstated his estranged wife’s supposed intent. Dean Esmay rightly called him on it, and later in comments, so did I:

I said last but I lied. Between my entry and the rest of the ones cited here, can you at least admit you were wrong to prattle about the “silence” of those of us Schiavo supporters who had the unmitigated gall to actually wait an hour or two before weighing in in the nonstory du jour?

To which John wisely responded:

Gee, you got me there. I guess I was a little too quick on the draw, wasn’t I? My bad. Next time I feel like publishing something like that, I’ll save it as a draft, wait a day or two to see if my position is justified, and if it is, I’ll post it then.

No, wait, I almost forgot; he didn’t say that. That’s probably what he should have said, mind you, but it’s not what he did say, which was this:

June 15, 2005

Michael Schiavo as Innocent as Jacko

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 12:34 pm

Today’s non-news dressed up as big news is that Terri Schiavo’s autopsy uncovered no evidence of abuse by Michael Schiavo. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to offer much evidence of anything else, either. While the Ass. Press reports on the lack of evidence of abuse and leaves it at that, FoxNews’s account is more comprehensive,* and shows the lack of evidence to corroborate any other explanation of Schiavo’s collapse, either:

The autopsy revealed there was no conclusive evidence that Schiavo had an eating disorder. Thogmartin said Schiavo reportedly drank a lot of tea and caffeine could have led to her collapse in 1990, but is unlikely.

“No one observed Mrs. Schiavo taking diet pills, binging or purging, or consuming laxatives,” Thogmartin told reporters.

Thogmartin said a review of hospital records of her collapse showed she had a diminished potassium level in her blood. But he said that did not prove she had an eating disorder, because the emergency treatment she received at the time could have affected the potassium level.

In other words, as best we can determine, Terri Schiavo’s tragic 1990 collapse was not caused by strangulation, an eating disorder, a caffeine overdose, or anything else. It just happened for no reason whatsoever, or at least, none we’ll ever know.

*Yes, Tim Lambert, my use of the word “comprehensive” does mean I am one of John R. Lott, Jr.’s “sock puppets.” It also means that Lott and I personally murdered 100,000 Iraqis with our own bare hands while anonymously reviewing their books on Amazon.

UPDATE: Patterico has more. If Patterico were some kind of jerk, he’d probably get mad at me for linking to his post and sending a trackback ping, but he’s not so I’m sure he won’t.

April 21, 2005

Schiavo Abused?

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 9:38 pm

PoliPundit has a summary of the abuse charges regarding Terri Schiavo. Unsurprisingly, it’s a bit more mixed than Moderate Boy’s account, although it does appear that the worst abuse charge – that Michael Schiavo physically attacked Terri to cause the 1990 incident – probably was not true.

April 17, 2005

Judge Lied, Terri Died

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 8:10 pm

Patterico proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Judge Whittemore and the Eleventh Circuit fell down on their job on the Terri Schiavo case.

April 8, 2005

Starving Patients is Trendy

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 6:57 am

Meet Mae Margourik. Like Terri Schiavo, she’s being starved to death by a court order. Unlike Terri Schiavo, however, she actually left a living will clarifying she did not wish to be starved under the circumstances. Also unlike Terri, all this is happening because an idiot judge who doesn’t even have a law degree appointed a guardian who isn’t even her next of kin. More here.

Thanks to Steve Sturm for the link.

UPDATE: There may be more (or less) than meets the eye. Stay tuned.

April 6, 2005

James Whittemore: Judges Exempt From Constitution

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 1:04 am

I initially overlooked this, as it rang stupid. I know, usually I catch stuff that seems stupid and bitch about it here, but this was different. Quite frankly, it was so stupid that I reflexively assumed it didn’t really mean what it meant. Picture the guy who got caught with his hands in the cookie jar and protests that “I didn’t do anything.” Of course he did something. The only question is what. So when that wizbang judge James Whittemore – you know, that brainiac whose ignorance of the phrase de novo probably cost Terri Schiavo her life – ruled that Judge Greer was not a state actor, I brushed it off, assuming he couldn’t possibly have actually meant that. Since then, however, in a lengthy and colorful debate with Patterico (commencing here), Patterico forced me to acknowledge what I initially overlooked: this lawtard really does believe that judges are not “state actors” for purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment or, by extension, the rest of the Constitution.

The issue came up in connection with the “state action doctrine,” a very basic rule of constitutional law that says in a nutshell that the Constitution (excepting slavery and bootlegging) applies only to government, not to private individuals. This may seem a little counterintuitive to nonlawyers, but when you think about it, not really. Everybody knows that the government can’t shut down the L.A. Times (no one said all good ideas were constitutional), but I can ban you from commenting on my site. Similarly, if you were to call into Heckle and Jeckle‘s afternoon screamfest and get shouted down and hung up on before getting to say your piece, you could not reasonably complain that your First Amendment right to free speech had been violated. All this would change, of course, if you were able to prove that the FCC put Heckle and/or Jeckle up to it. The reason is that the FCC, being a part of the state, is subject to the First Amendment. Heckle and Jeckle, by contrast, are not.

With that in mind, turn to Judge Whittemore’s second ruling, denying a temporary restraining order for the second time that would have kept Terri Schiavo alive. By now Counts 1-5 of the original complaint are gone. So be it. Ignore Counts 6-7, too; they’re silly. Count 8 is frightening as all hell – it holds that states may kill you without clear and convincing evidence of your intent, or any other evidence for that matter – but as a constitutional matter it is not necessarily wrong. Skip ahead to Count 9, though, and you’ll encounter this gem:

“Michael Schiavo and Judge Greer are not state actors.”



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