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Passions in Poetry

Yes, Be Outraged

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Local Rebel
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0 posted 03-22-2005 09:48 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

The personal and private tragedy of Terri Schaivo put on public display has served two purposes.  First -- it illustrates that to culturally conservative Republicans the issue of Right to Life is even more important than Federalism.  Second -- it illustrates that the importance of the Right to Life issue is dependent upon how much political worth is attached to that life.

A GOP memo leaked to the Washington Post:
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2002213728_memo20.html

quote:

"This is an important moral issue, and the pro-life base will be excited that the Senate is debating this important issue," said the memo, reported by ABC News and later given to The Washington Post. "This is a great political issue, because Senator Nelson of Florida has already refused to become a co-sponsor and this is a tough issue for Democrats."



Taking this case through the justice system 26 times now over the last ten plus years is not surprising and should point out to us the importance of having a living will and specifically designating a personal health care representative.  But, making a political football out of this personal and private tragedy is obscene beyond politics.

Especially when we consider that in George Bush and Tom Delay's Texas -- Terri Schaivo would have been dead a long time ago.  Last Thursday in Texas it happened to Sun Hudson -- a six-month-old baby boy, who under the Texas Futile Care Law had his breathing tube removed by his physicians over the protests of his mother.  

The Texas Futile Care Law (signed into law by George W. Bush) says that a hospital can remove a patient from life support if it believes the care is futile, or, if they just can't pay for it.  Sun Hudson had a fatal congenital disease (um, don't all of us?) and his mother was unable to pay for his care.  She couldn't find another hospital that would take him -- so he was basically evicted.

Texas' malpractice award caps would have prevented Michael Schaivo from receiving an award big enough to fund the care she's received so far.  GOP cuts from Medicare to cover such funding would have made it difficult for the support to have been handled as well -- and then there is that issue of universal health care in America.

So, no matter what your political stripe, or if you're rooting for Terri or Michael -- however this debacle turns out -- remember the grandstanding politicians grilling baseball players and then waiting until the last second before the tube came out to pass a law and get it signed over the weekend.

[This message has been edited by Local Rebel (03-22-2005 10:19 PM).]

Denise
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1 posted 03-22-2005 10:26 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Right to Life trumps everything, LR, even Federalism.

And about the memo...it was on a plain sheet of paper, not letterhead of any kind and wasn't signed by anybody or initialed by anybody. I wouldn't be so quick to lay it at the feet of the Republicans, and then use it as proof that they are politicizing the issue. I wouldn't put it past some Democrats to be behind it in order to make it look political to discredit the initiative because they were against it, but knew they would lose during the vote since the bill had overwhelming bipartisan support.

The care that Terri has received so far, has been absolutely none, unless you consider warehousing care. And Medicaid has paid for that due to fraudulant claims that she was terminally ill with less than six months to live when she was placed into the hospice, of which George Felos was on the Board...that was over 5 years ago, and one of the aspects that is being investigated currently. Not one red cent of the jury award money went for its intended purpose - her care and rehabilitation. So far, $700,000 has gone to Felos and his fellow attorneys. None of it went for Terri's care at all. Judge Greer gave Michael permission to use Terri's funds for legal fees in his attempt to end her life.

I believe that there have been enough documented improprieties surrounding this issue to warrant a thorough investigation, especially since a life hangs in the balance, the life of someone who is not terminally ill.

While some find it outrageous that Congress would insert itself by allowing the family legal standing in order to allow them to try to save the life of their disabled daughter and sister, especially in light of all the documented impropriety in the State's handling of the case, I find it outrageous that some are framing this as an invasion of privacy and trampling of rights. I think this case cries out for a habeus corpus hearing before she is killed, just as convicted criminals are entitled to. I hope she gets it.  

Aenimal
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2 posted 03-22-2005 10:41 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

good to have ya back reb
Local Rebel
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3 posted 03-22-2005 10:48 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Denise said; "Right to Life trumps everything, LR, even Federalism."

Clearly to you and culturally conservative Republicans Denise.. but not all Republicans;

quote:

WASHINGTON, March 22 - The vote by Congress to allow the federal courts to take over the Terri Schiavo case has created distress among some conservatives who say that lawmakers violated a cornerstone of conservative philosophy by intervening in the ruling of a state court.

The emerging debate, carried out against a rush of court decisions and Congressional action, has highlighted a conflict of priorities among conservatives and signals tensions that Republicans are likely to face as Congressional leaders and President Bush push social issues over the next two years, party leaders say.

"This is a clash between the social conservatives and the process conservatives, and I would count myself a process conservative," said David Davenport of the Hoover Institute, a conservative research organization. "When a case like this has been heard by 19 judges in six courts and it's been appealed to the Supreme Court three times, the process has worked - even if it hasn't given the result that the social conservatives want. For Congress to step in really is a violation of federalism."
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/23/politics/23repubs.html ?ex=1269234000&en=b374f7629523357d&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland



I noted also that arch conservative George Will is also on the side of federalism on ABC's This Week on Sunday.

Also this seemed to be the case in the 2000 Republican platform;

" Medical decision-making should be in the hands of physicians and their patients." http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2000/conventions/republican/features/platform.00/#28

And in the 2004 Republican platform;

"We must attack the root causes of high health care costs by... putting patients and doctors in charge of medical decisions." http://www.gop.com/media/2004platform.pdf

You can disagree with the rights marriage confers on a husband or wife, you can disagree with the way Michael Schiavo has decided to handle this situation -- but isn't it supposed to be the doctor and the patients?

Where is the outrage for this guy?

quote:

March 10, 2005, 10:49PM

Right to Life backed law that irks wife
By RICK CASEY
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

Jannette Nikolouzos is angry with the Texas law that allows St. Luke's Hospital to unhook her husband from life support tomorrow.

"I'm so ashamed of my state that it executes civilians without criminal history," she told reporter Todd Ackerman.

She may be surprised to learn that National Right to Life, the organization that is helping to lead the fight to keep a Florida hospital from removing life support for Terri Schiavo, helped write the Texas law.

Spiro Nikolouzos had been unable to speak for some time, and was fed through a stomach tube by his wife at home. But she said he was able to recognize family members and show emotion. A month ago she rushed him to the hospital, where it was determined he had bleeding related to a shunt in his brain. He has been on a ventilator since.

Doctors apparently determined further care was futile. Under the law, the hospital's ethics committee met last week to consider the case, with Mrs. Nikolouzos able to participate. The committee, over her objection, agreed with the doctors.

She then had 10 days to find another facility to take her husband, while the hospital made a good-faith effort to do the same. When she was unable to find such a facility, she went to court.


'20 to 25' meetings

Judge Tony Lindsay expressed "most sincere sadness and apologies," but said the law required Nikolouzos show a reasonable expectation of finding an alternative facility before Lindsay could order the hospital to continue treatment it did not feel was advisable.

It's the same law under which another judge denied Wanda Hudson's request to force Texas Children's Hospital to maintain Sun Hudson on life support.

The law was passed in 1999 and amended two years ago. Acting as a negotiator for Houston-based Texas Right to Life, Burke Balch flew in from Washington "20 to 25 times" to sit at a table with represent-
atives of the Texas Hospital Association and other parties to negotiate the law and its amendment.

Balch is director of National Right to Life's Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics.

Right to Life was at the table partly because then-Gov. George W. Bush had vetoed a similar bill two years earlier at the request of some members of the religious right, according to its sponsor, then-Sen. Mike Moncrief, now mayor of Fort Worth.
http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/metropolitan/3079622




Thanks Raph--  I didn't know I left!
Aenimal
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4 posted 03-22-2005 10:58 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

lol. well i hadn't seen you around in awhile

Schiavo, Sun Hudson and the Texas Futile Care Law:
http://www.counterpunch.org/farley03222005.html
Local Rebel
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5 posted 03-22-2005 10:58 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

As the GOP-dominated Congress scrambled to keep Schiavo alive, it was disclosed that a memo distributed to Republican senators described the Schiavo case as a "great political issue" that could help the GOP with Christian conservatives in the 2006 midterm elections.

"This is an important moral issue and the pro-life base will be excited that the Senate is debating this important issue," according to the memo. Some GOP lawmakers decried the fact the memo was leaked. Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) said in a CNN interview that the Republican leadership in the House did not want to politicize the issue.

"I hope that we're not making this human tragedy a political issue," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
http://www.timesleader.com/mld/timesleader/news/politics/11188463.htm




Unsigned or not Denise -- the Republicans 'decried' that it was 'leaked' -- didn't say it wasn't theirs.
Local Rebel
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6 posted 03-22-2005 11:12 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

And yet one more reason why Terri Schaivo would be dead already in Texas!

quote:

WASHINGTON The federal law that President Bush signed early yesterday in an effort to prolong Terri Schiavo's life appears to contradict a right-to-die law that he signed as Texas governor, prompting cries of hypocrisy from congressional Democrats and some bioethicists.

In 1999, then-Gov. Bush signed the Advance Directives Act, which lets a patient's surrogate make life-ending decisions on his or her behalf. The measure also allows Texas hospitals to disconnect patients from life-sustaining systems if a physician, in consultation with a hospital bioethics committee, concludes that the patient's condition is hopeless.

Bioethicists familiar with the Texas law said yesterday that if the Schiavo case had occurred in Texas, her husband would be the legal decision-maker and, because he and her doctors agreed that she had no hope of recovery, her feeding tube would be disconnected.
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2002215324_texaslaw22.html



please don't misunderstand this thread Denise -- this is not a pull the plug thread -- this is a look at all the hypocrisy thread
Denise
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7 posted 03-23-2005 06:04 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I'm sure we don't have enough fingers and toes to count the many violations of Federalism. And yet the only time we hear an outcry about it from the Democrats is when a pro-life issue is involved. I'd say there is more than enough hypocrisy to go around.

I am personally against any law that would mandate pulling the plug on anybody. I am especially against pulling a feeding tube from someone who is by no one's definition ill, let alone terminally ill.
Tim
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8 posted 03-23-2005 08:36 AM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

It is safe to assume the Democrats will not decry the Roe v. Wade decision as a usurpation of states' rights?


LeeJ
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9 posted 03-23-2005 08:40 AM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

They have the nerve to do something like this, and yet....criminals on death row are given far more attention....

The other night on Animal Planet, I saw a dog that had been starved to death...it was the most god awful thing, the dog actually looked like it had died and been decaying....
The owner was severely punished, fined by the courts....

and yet, this???????

Not to mention the can of worms opened up by our so called leaders????

This is an outrage and circus....to say the least...how dare they???

How dare they!
Denise
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10 posted 03-23-2005 06:56 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Very safe, Tim. You will never see that development, I assure you.

If a State court says killing is okay, they are all for it. If a Federal court says killing is okay, they are all for it. If the State or Federal government comes down on the side of life, well look out. They are foaming at the mouth that  someone's rights are being violated. But killing never seems to violate anyone's rights, least of all the victims. I don't understand their thinking at all.

Unprecedented court orders (like an order to murder someone) deserve unprecedented action by one or more of the other two branches.

Judge Greer not only forbade a feeding tube, he forbade oral feeding and hydration as well. Would someone please care to explain to me how that is not murder? Murder is against the law, State and Federal law...unless a judge says it's okay? The Florida statutes forbid the witholding of oral food and water from the disabled. So how is Judge Greer's order not a violation of that law, and in fact murder?

He won't even allow the poor woman to have ice chips placed in her mouth.

Terri didn't have a feeding tube placed because she couldn't eat orally, she had it placed because she ate so slowly due to her disability that it was decided that it would be more expedient for the nursing staff, otherwise they would have to have staff spend most of the day feeding her three times a day to ensure that she received the proper nutrition. And shortly after the feeding tube was placed, her "loving" husband forbade any more food and drink by mouth, around the same time he forbade anyone from taking her outside for strolls in her wheelchair, trips with her family to the local mall, forbade family photos in her room and had them all removed, and forbade the raising of her window shades to let in light and allow her to look out.

This is the one situation where I would advocate breaking the law because someone's life is at stake.
Mistletoe Angel
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11 posted 03-24-2005 03:56 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

I suppose it's fair to say I have a unique stance on this intense debate.

There's several big things I can agree that also sicken me just as much as the abrupt removal of Terri's feeding tube before a full understanding and organization of the collective history of what has kept her alive, as well as the wishes of her loved ones without buying her time.

Look, I too am absolutely upset that we could allow this tug-of-war thing to go on for seven years, and for the case to go on for about 15 years now. It upsets me that the resolve has been long delayed.

I also believe none of us can really speak for Terri wholeheartedly. I can't, no one else here can't, neither political party can't. I suppose I'm just really sensitive about issues like this and believe two things, first being that we shouldn't allow anyone like her to die until we get a full, clear as possible understanding of the conditions like hers and a complete investigation and such, and secondly that the investigation and such should be productive, and shouldn't take this long.

I also believe there just isn't enough of a legislative cushion there for disabled or handicapped individuals who are struggling with their lives. I believe those like Terri who are struggling between life and death should, if they die, die with dignity. Understandably, the debate has only recently blown up and, regrettably, has become such a political mess, so with Terri arguably forming up this whole debate that can accelerate in popularity in the near future in terms of long-term survival and care, we have some work to be done for future cases like hers.

Denise and I share that kind of understand there. The area where Denise and I are divided is more in the political facet of this dilemma.

In my opinion, I believe the Schiavo case isn't at all about euthanasia (an issue I do express criticism of), abortion, etc. And it troubles me to see certain grassroots organizations seizing this case to further their own agenda. They can say what they want and everything, I respect that, but Terri's case I believe is separate from their agendas and it saddens me to see politics get infused into all of this this way.

Abortion, for instance, is a far more complex issue than many often approach it as. Being "pro-life" doesn't mean you're anti-abortion necessarily, as being "pro-choice" doesn't make you radically pro-abortion. I myself have been quiet about this issue, but the point here is, I guess I've been mostly because I find those labels to be disingenuous to a great extent and because I don't want to arouse much misunderstanding to my feel on this sensitive issue.

I absolutely favor abortion under some instances like when a woman's life is in danger, rape, etc, and under some other instances I don't agree. I just believe this issue isn't all about extremes, or you're on one side or the other, I believe there is a vast neutral ground here. And that makes me feel that I think we need to remember why Roe v. Wade was passed to begin with.

*

I absolutely agree, believe, and deserve conservatives should be upset about this issue, and I stand with them on the ground of the issue itself, politics aside.

I will, add, however, that I believe the approach some such politicians have been making to this case are wrong, and it will only hurt both them, as well as diminish the chances of Terri's survival.

Frankly, I'm very concerned about the opinion polls right now on this conflict since Congress intervened (I do believe if Terri wanted to testify before Congress then she had every right to).

As much as 82% said in a CBS News poll that Congress and the President shouldn't have gotten involved in the Schiavo matter, and Congress job disapproval has increased by five points since their last poll.

As a liberal, I find myself taking a special position of agreement with some conservatives on the issue itself, and believe much more should be done to comfort and respect those in long-term care, and to allow one to die without beginning to set the long-term care comfort standards in place and organize the case just is immoral in my heart. THAT'S the reason I'm in favor of having Terri's feeding tube returned to her, and has nothing to do with political agenda. I did say in the "outrage" thread that I supported how some House Republican leaders like DeLay (who generally I have a huge issue with in terms of his unethical history in politics) stepped up to the plate in the case and asked for a subpoena. Looking back I'm not quite sure of what I said, as I thought at the time that this case wouldn't explode like this just because a few politicians asked for some time.

I just also advise them in that I believe some (not all) have taken this the wrong way, and insist that we focus on the case itself in a pre-Congress fashion. I fear also, understanding the way this debate has now made it across all the major press headlines and such, that the way this political fashion has gotten tangled up here may be irreversible, and this may not only be an uphill battle, it feels as though we're struggling up the slant of a pyramid.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

Denise
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12 posted 03-24-2005 08:53 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

L.R. the act signed by Bush in 1999 did not give end-of-life decision making to hospitals. It gave it to the spouse (hopefully a spouse not in name only) or other next of kin in the absence of a spouse. It was amended in 2003 giving that decision making authority to the treating physician in concert with the hospital's ethics board. Bush had nothing to do with that.

Noah, I don't think Congress overstepped its bounds in applying the 14th Amendment to Terri's situation. She is in danger of being put to death by a State's court order, afterall. I think it is perfectly appropriate. If some liberals can "find" things all the time that don't even exist in the Constitution, what's wrong with an overhwelming bipartisan effort to actually use something that is in the Constitution in an attempt to ensure that a person's due process has not been violated by the State? I don't see how this is not euthenasia either. I don't even see how it isn't premediated murder.  

Local Rebel
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13 posted 03-24-2005 11:17 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

I don't know who's feeding you information Denise but you need to direct them to these two pages:
http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/statutes/docs/HS/content/htm/hs.002.00.000166.00.htm
http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlo/78R/billtext/HB03009S.HTM

Which show the actual Texas code and the amended text in 2003.  Specifically look at the section 166.046

My sincere condolences to you and the millions of others for whom this has been a truly heartwrenching battle -- I know that today was a significant disappointment for all of you.

Again -- let me re-iterate -- the direction of this thread does not involve the merits of the Shiavo case.
Denise
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14 posted 03-25-2005 05:47 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I heard it being discussed on television the other night, I think by a congressman or a senator.

I've read through both of the links and it certainly appears that much authority is given to the treating physician in conjunction with the ethics board and they can deny life sustaining treatment after 10 days of a review that finds life sustaining treatment as "inappropriate". So nice of them to attempt to arrange transport to another facility in the meantime, and inform you that you have the right to go to court to have a judge decide the issue. There is too much wiggle room in deciding what is or what is not approriate, and can also be used to deny treatment (including artificially supplied food and water) to people who are not terminal since it also references "conditions" from which there is expected to be no improvement. That could be applied to any permanently disabled person. I find that reprehensible.

It appears that when all is said and done it doesn't really matter what the patient or family member desires if the patient and ethics board disagrees. Very sad. I am very disappointed that Bush signed this.

I guess the only way to ensure that your wishes will be truly honored if you want to live and not be denied treatment, especially if you are not in a terminal condition, is to make sure you are checked into a Catholic hospital.

I wonder how many people knew about these laws in some states before now. I surely didn't. I wonder if it is only in Texas and Florida and how we can find out if our own states have such laws that give such far reaching authority to physicians and health care facilities, regardless of the patients' wishes and if they include food and water as "treatment" and lump disabled people in with terminally ill?

Awareness of this may be one good thing that has come out of the Terri Schiavo tragedy.
Mistletoe Angel
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15 posted 03-28-2005 05:24 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel



Yes, it looks like Terri's family has sadly just ran out of options since Jeb Bush has just stated that he believes he has done everything in his power to help Schiavo's family, and is heartbroken, but can't do more without breaking the law.

Indeed I do believe a lot of awareness is going to be generated following what looks like to be Terri's tragic passing! (sad sigh) Even in terms of opinion polls suggesting that most Americans would have made the same decision to remove a feeding tube if it was their own situation, and that we may still be in the minority anyway, I still find it quite relevant that there's about a twenty percent differentiation between those who believed it was wrong for Congress and others to intervene in the matter (like myself) and those who would have pulled the plug over similar circumstances. That tells me despite 4 in 5 Americans or so not agreeing with the role Congress played and all that even about 25% of Americans in that pocket will take this as a serious issue that is in dire need of dicussion and dispute; the issue of long-term care and hospitality.

It is tragic and even disgusting where poor Terri has been left off, and it looks like she's in her final hours now! (wipes a tear) But I do also have great hope though the cruel injustice of Terri will always leave a black scar in the world of justice, this case has gotten so much attention, so much grassroots momentum, that it can trigger the issue of long-term care and legislative cushioning for the disabled and handicapped like herself, so this sort of tragedy doesn't repeat itself.

Like I said previously, I, myself, am deeply saddened and sickened that for 15 years poor Terri and her family have had to sit around for hours at a time waiting for a beacon of light to come through and for this tug-of-war game in the courrts to end. I believe the irresponsibility was borderline insane all this time. All at once, however, I do also believe the way this case accelerated to the higher offices was also wrong, as I just find it heartbreaking to imagine one side with Terri's family pulling Terri's arms and the other side with Terri's husband pulling at Terri's legs, and in the end I believe it would inevitably only tear her and her chances apart.

That's all I feel. I understand the urgency so many activists that righteously reached out and prayed for her outside the hospice had for her, that after 15 years, what more could they do then ask for a national campaign to bring the case to mainstream? I just believe it should be resolved below the federal court level and when the grassroots has her in their hands, the more likely she could finally be saved.

Anyway, I've continued to pray for Terri and her parents every day. I feel for them very much!



Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

Denise
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16 posted 03-28-2005 08:56 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

If Jeb Bush were a person of moral integrity he would have done the right thing.

If George Bush were a person of moral integrity he would have done the right thing.

They both, when push comes to shove, have done nothing but put on a phoney compassionate display.

If Martin Luther King could defy an unjust law and stand against it for the civil rights of a segment of the population, The Bush boys could surely do the same to save an innocent woman from this travesty of justice. That they both chose to do nothing speaks volumes. I guess that executive pen gets a little too heavy sometimes.

Her blood will truly be on their hands as well as on all the others who have participated in this tragedy. I hope it haunts them all until their dying days.
Juju
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17 posted 03-30-2005 01:25 PM       View Profile for Juju   Email Juju   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Juju's Home Page   View IP for Juju

All I have to say is

If her family will pay for every thing
There is no written testimony
The husband should have no stance.
IN most cases (my dads a lawyer so they read this stuff) where The family will pay and There is no written testomony the person would go to the family. Being realistic

Being emotional. what is there to say. murder... happy L.R.! There is nothing I can do about it (for now)so I am just going to express my opinion and feed in to political agendas... I guess.

Any ways love yah all
Juju

Juju - 1.) a magic charm or fetish 2.)Magic 3.)A taboo connected woth the use of magic

The dictionary never lies.... I am magical (;

Denise
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18 posted 04-01-2005 11:59 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

http://www.nrlc.org/euthanasia/Terri/BushTexasLaw.html
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