Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Welcome to Scarborough fantasy land Posted by Hello

Terri Schiavo CT brain scan used in her diagnosis Posted by Hello
Above is a CT scan of Terri Schiavo’s brain that was part of the diagnosis process of Dr. Ron Cranford, a highly respected neurologist, who served on the ethics committee of the American Academy of Neurology. Dr. Cranford examined Mrs. Schiavo as part of the original trial. In describing the scan he said her brain showed very little but scar tissue and spinal fluid. An electroencephalogram measuring electrical activity in the thinking areas of her brain showed no evidence of continued function, he added. “It is totally flat—nothing, and this is very unusual,”Cranford said. “The vast majority of people in a persistent vegetative state show about 5% of normal brain activity.

Of the six other neurologists who have examined Schiavo , four agreed she was in a persistent vegetative state. The court rejected the diagnosis of the two dissenters, calling one of them a “self promoter” who “offered no names, no case studies, no videos and no test results” to support a claim that he could cure serious brain damage.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Doctor Bush reading their lips! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Shame on them all!!

If anyone had doubts that the inmates are now running the asylum, they should certainly be laid to rest after the Terri Schiavo debate of the last twenty four hours! Sadly, we have now seen how far President George W. Bush and the Republican majority will go in pandering to right wing religious fanatics. They were perfectly willing to scrap the core constitutional tenant of separation of powers in the most banal, venal political convulsion we have witnessed in recent history.

While George Bush was governor of Texas, he signed a law that basically let the state override the wishes of parents and withdraw life support from a family member in a permanent vegetative state. Yet here was the master of hypocrisy and deception prattling on about “erring on the side of life” and using the anti-abortion euphemism “culture of life”—to shore-up his political base.

Then there was the spectacle of DOCTOR Bill Frist—who is also the Senate Majority Leader—diagnosing Terri Schiavo as NOT in a vegetative state. And how did Dr. Frist reach this diagnosis? From looking at television clips. I wonder how many Republicans and Evangelicals would accept that standard of care from their primary doctors? I also wonder how many of Dr. Frist’s colleagues in the medical profession would support that means of judgment?

Meanwhile, television’s talking airheads, Sean Hannity and Joe Scarborough were assuring viewers that the majority of Americans support the position of Bush and Congressional Republicans. Of course Hannity and Scarborough have never been confused by the facts—and the facts are that in public opinion polls, Americans rejected the Bush-Republican position by margins of three and four to one. Shame on them all!!

Monday, March 21, 2005

Burn Baby Burn! Posted by Hello

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Tears from Foggy Bottom Swamp Posted by Hello

Pulling the plug on hypocracy

The Terri Schiavo debacle has produced more hypocrites per square inch of news space than Carter has liver pills! However, the Academy Award for hypocrisy must go to those Republican members of the U.S. Congress who are weeping crocodile tears over the removal of life support from a body that independent medical experts say has been in a persistent vegetative state for years.These are the same members of Congress who voted to facilitate an unnecessary pre-emptive war that has resulted in the death of over 1,500 Americans and an estimated 50 to 100 thousand Iraqis. Too bad we can't remove the political life support from these turkeys!

Atlanta shooting gets worse!

The Atlanta shooting story is even more damning to the courthouse cops as the circumstances of it are fleshed out! We now know that Nichols did not overpower the deputy and take a gun away from her! Rather, he overpowered her and took her keys away from her—then proceeded to take the gun from a lockbox. All of this was done under the surveillance lenses of television monitors that no one was watching!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Keystone Cops

Part of the tragedy of the Atlanta courtroom shootings is the ineptness of the local police in following common sense security and crime scene procedure. After the capture of Brian Nichols, Atlanta’s local law enforcement officials were on television alluding to the "good job" they did in apprehending the shooter. Right, and pigs fly in Atlanta!

The day before the shooting, police found two shanks (homemade knives) in Nichol's shoes. The day of the shooting their "good job" included no one watching the television monitors in the holding room and hallways from which Nichols launched his attacks.

Their "good job" included allowing a large muscular defendant, accused of a violent crime to be escorted by one female officer from the holding room to the courtroom.

Their "good job" included not securing the garage after attendants told police how to block the only exits.

After finding a reporter who had been pistol whipped and his green Honda commandeered,they put out an all points bulletin. Then, their "good job" failed to immediately secure and search the garage as a crime scene. While everyone was looking for a green Honda out on the roads of Atlanta, an attendant found it parked on an upper level of the garage.

To hear local and federal law enforcement tell it (with the aid of Ken and Barbie television reporting) their coordinated efforts brought the chase to an early conclusion. Right, and pigs fly in Atlanta!

Nichols was captured because of the courage and cool of one Ashley Smith, who’s 911 phone call served the shooter up on a platter.


On the Abrams Report on MSNBC, the program cut to Atlanta for comments by Joe (deep-think) Scarborough, the talking head apologist of Scarborough Country. How did Ashley Smith manage to do what she did? Joe offered the idea that Nichols, having seen the futile nature of his predicament simply made a cynical effort to humanize his persona , figuring that it might help when and if he was captured. Scarborough then speculated on how the reward money might be split–or if it should be awarded at all because of the wonderful job local and federal law enforcement did. When Abrams disabused him of minimizing Smiths courage and role in Nichols capture, Joe started backing and filling.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Heroines--real and contrived!

Heroism–like beauty– is sometimes only in the eye of the beholder. For example those who protested the war in Vietnam were considered heros by some—and traitors by others.

Martin Luther King is viewed as a hero by most Americans today—but yesterday, many considered him an agitator, if not a communist.

I found Joe Scarborough’s grudging concession that Ashley Smith did something minimally courageous in her seven hours as the hostage of Brian Nichols, most interestng.This is the same Joe (deep-think) Scarborough who embraced Jessica Lynch as a heroine of the Iraq war.

Private Lynch was riding in a humvee with an Army maintenance unit when it was ambushed in southern Iraq. Eleven of her fellow soldiers were killed; five others were taken captive and freed.

The story in the Washington Post reported: "Blond and waiflike, Lynch was taken prisoner and held separately for nine days before a dramatic nighttime rescue from her hospital bed by a covert U.S. Special Operations unit, Task Force 20. "

"Initial news reports, including those in The Washington Post, which cited unnamed U.S. officials with access to intelligence reports, described Lynch emptying her M-16 into Iraqi soldiers. The intelligence reports from intercepts and Iraqi informants said that Lynch fought fiercely, was stabbed and shot multiple times, and that she killed several of her assailants."

""She was fighting to the death," one of the officials was quoted as saying. "She did not want to be taken alive."

The only problem was ---that aside from the details of the ambush and the death and capture of her fellow soldiers---the report was not true. Private Lynch described her experience as being balled up in the fetal position trying to stay alive. In the crash of the humvee, she suffered major injuries-- multiple fractures and compression to her spine— and was knocked unconscious. She was taken by her captors and abandoned at an Iraqi hospital where she was well treated by doctors eager to turn her over to U.S. troops.

She was uneventfully taken from the hospital---that Iraqi forces had vacated a day earlier--- by a Special Operations “full scale rescue” complete with a television camera crew trotting along with the troops recording it like a Cops TV Show.

Joe Scarborough bought into the entire romanticized version, adding his own icing by speculating out loud on what kinds of torture Private Lynch might have had to endure at the hands of her Iraqi captors---which also turned out not to be true.

The above is not to denigrate Jessica Lynch or her service to her country in anyway. She has been honest in her limited memory of what happened and brave during the treatments of her injuries. To her credit she did not join in the hype and propaganda coming from the Bush Administration and right wing media--trying to serve up a moral boosting "heroine" story to counter war critics.

Both Jessica Lynch and Ashley Smith shared terrifying experiences and truly feared for their lives. Lynch was unconscious and had no choice as the events played out. Ashley Smith had to consciously overcome her fear and mobilize her faculties to meet the challenge. In her response to the situation, she demonstrated courage that by any definition was heroic. She deserves that adjective and she also deserves all of the reward money!

Saturday, March 12, 2005

hubris twins Posted by Hello

Friday, March 11, 2005

The National People’s Congress of China just passed a law that authorizes Beijing to take military action to keep Taiwan from pursuing formal independence. Sound familiar? Let me paraphrase that for you: " The U.S. Congress just passed a law that authorizes President Bush to take military action to keep Saddam Hussein from developing weapons of mass destruction."

Taiwan’s independence is no more a threat to China than Saddam Hussein was a threat to the United States (or the free world for that matter). But then, that’s not what the two resolutions were about in the first place. Both legislative actions were about hubris, arrogance and political ambitions.

The irony is that George Bush’s America claims the right of pre-emptive military action even when there is no imminent threat to our peace and security. On what basis should we be outraged when other nations make the same claim? It seems to me that is the dilemma for those who admire Bush’s "John Wayne" posture.
Is that the new international standard ---for China or any other nation that embraces President Bush's pre-emption foreign policy? A more interesting question is how many Bush Chicken Hawks are really willing to go to war to thwart China’s "pre-emptive ambitions?

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The Rooster is at it again! Posted by Hello