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Letters 3/31/05

Various - March 31st, 2005
A matter of life
Terri Schiavo‘s case illustrates the fact that the pro life issue has many more dimensions than the protection of the unborn. In this instance we have conflicting views concerning the medical state of this woman.
Several physicians who have examined her as well as a court-appointed guardian have determined her to be in a persistent vegetative state, meaning that she has no cognitive mental function left. Yet her parents claim that she responds to them with strong vocalizations and real emotion which indicates that Terri does have some mental abilities left. Given that there is some doubt as to her true mental state, should we not, as President Bush stated, err on the side of life in this matter?
This is one case where I believe the pro life movement is right on target. I am generally pro choice and known as such and I am generally known as a Democrat and a liberal. However anyone who can look at this case objectively and who has any sense of morality and ethics would agree that Terri Schiavo deserves another hearing and another opportunity to live. There is no proof that she wouldn‘t want such measures to be taken on her behalf. Her husband claims to have had a conversation regarding this issue with Terri almost 20 years ago and yet there is no proof of such a claim other than his own statements. In addition, Terri’s former husband has a financial interest in her demise and is living with a common law wife. His life would be made much simpler if Terri were to completely pass away from the scene.
I am appalled at the statements of those who are so caught up in the politics of this case that they can‘t see the larger moral issue involved. Those with such a hatred for President Bush and the pro life movement generally cannot even make the grudging admission that there are legitimate instances where the right to life does exist. To those who are pro choice, and I still count myself among them, I pose this question. Where is the choice for Terri Schiavo in this matter? Are we to completely starve this woman to death absent some document like a living will? Are we to take the word of her husband who has an obvious motive in discontinuing care?
I think it a misnomer to call those who react in such a knee jerk fashion against Terri Shiavo in this case “liberal.” There is nothing liberal about starving someone to death. There is nothing liberal about a callous disregard for human life. In this particular instance the true “liberals” are those in the pro life movement who are doing everything they can to keep this woman alive.

Brian R. Morgan • Gaylord

Smoking gun
Michael Schiavo admitted on Larry King Live that he didn’t know what Terri wanted. His lie about Terri’s wishes is the basis of the court’s approval of euthanizing Terri.
CNN Larry King Live, March 18, 2005:
Larry King: Do you understand how they feel?
Michael Schiavo: Yes, I do. But this is not about them, it’s about Terri. And I’ve also said that in court.
“We didn’t know what Terri wanted, but this is what we want...”

Julie Smithson • via email

Hypocrites all around
Congress is pulling out all the stops to save Terri Schiavo, but when it came to saving an Iraqi, they turned a blind eye, removed the inspectors and rushed into war. Robert Blake was acquitted, because nobody liked his wife Bonnie. Everybody loved Laci, so Scott got the death penalty, an honor killing, bureaucratic style. Terri is like a cat caught in a tree. If she were roadkill nobody would care, but her helplessness reveals our insecurity about life and death.
The church is still making scientific proclamations: Life begins at conception. Evolution proves that life comes from life, it does not “begin,” it “continues,” unless somebody interrupts it. Christ says to trust God, not reason, but nobody listens. Thou shall kill if one wants to. Corpses and munitions are piled high. We send our sons (and daughters) to war, and think suicide bombers are insane for plotting war during a time of peace.
All sides are delusional in their paranoia. Closed minds, closed hearts, and closed borders, all snuggled under a Homeland Security Blanket. Christ described the people and our leaders best: Straining on a gnat and swallowing a camel whole. Only the merciless will have need of mercy. May God have mercy on us all, as we have none for each other. If Christ were to return this week, then he would be crucified again by self-righteous pious fascists; not-so-innocent children that fear both the light and the dark.
When will we trust the spirit?

Steve Consilvio • via email

Fuddled facts
Senator Stabenow claims that Social Security is a great American success story, and it represents the best of American values (Express 3/24). Can you explain to me how a bankrupt system is a success? Can you show me the so-called Social Security “trust fund”? You can’t, Senator, because Democrats and Republicans SPENT the Social Security trust fund DECADES ago.
That is why our current Social Security taxes go to fund current Social Security recipients. Social Security was never intended to be a primary source of retirement, only a supplement. That is not a success story, that is a Ponzi scheme.
You purposely misrepresent current ideas to fix Social Security as “privatization.” Under the current proposal, there will always be a government run Social Security administration and you know it. Allowing your constituents to manage a portion of their own retirement money is not privatization, its freedom. As a matter of fact, there is already a similar plan available to federal employees called the “Thrift Savings Plan.”
Your so-called facts and figures completely ignore what will happen if we do nothing. You ignore the fact that most people build far more retirement security through 401K plans than Social Security ever will. You state that fixing social security will add $5 trillion to our national debt, yet you conveniently leave out that we already BORROW to pay current social security recipients. If you are so worried about deficits, Senator, maybe you could propose cutting a program or two. I won’t hold my breath.
In summary Senator Stabenow, your letter is nothing more than the same thing we have been hearing from Democrats for years. You never have and never will believe that your constituents can manage their own lives better than you and your friends in Washington. You have no new ideas other than raising taxes and no other response to fixing problems other than fear.
I can’t wait for November, 2006.

Steven Yenshaw • Williamsburg

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