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Fear for the sheeple

“We agree that the plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate a substantial case on the merits of any of their claims. We also conclude that the district court’s carefully thought out decision to deny temporary relief in these circumstances is not an abuse of discretion.”
11th Circuit Judges Ed Carnes and Frank Hull, issuing their majority opinion, declining to order the reinsertion of Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube

“What Judge Whittemore did in his decision was to defend the ‘culture of freedom’ that each of us has to exercise control over our lives, and the circumstances of our own death.”
Howard Simon, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida

Thank god, this has held up so far. The surrealistic events over this case in the last few days leave you astonished at the state of our democracy. This is a train out of control, driven by the theocrat motormen, hurtling down the tracks about to fly off the rails, flattening the constitution, privacy rights, and — must I say it — the sanctity of marriage. It’s an institution that the Repug Congress feels is threatened more by queer folks that wish to partake in it, than this incredibly bold move to legislatively run over those civil marital priviliges at will. People need to be scared, but not of that lesbian couple living down the street.

It appears to be blowing up in their faces as a PR stunt, but the frightening aspect of the behavior of Congress and this President is that they have no fear of doing an end-run on the very “culture of family” that they claim to want to protect from government interference (excessive taxation, second amendment rights, cultivating an “ownership society,” etc.) when it suits their biblical perspective. It’s butting up against their “culture of life” that wants to control a woman’s womb and the hospital bed when people are aching over a private decision regarding medical options. We need to pummel the elected and unelected American Taliban with this over and over. (CNN):

If the federal courts decline to intervene in the Terri Schiavo case, Congress and Bush could pass and sign another law to try to keep the brain-damaged woman alive, said CNN legal analyst Kendall Coffey.

There is little precedent for Congress passing a law that would undo several years of court rulings, Coffey said.

The challenge congressional leaders would face, Coffey said, would be crafting legislation that would withstand U.S. Supreme Court scrutiny. Congress would need to be mindful of the constitutional provision of separation of powers, he said.

The sad truth is that too large a segment of the voting public fails to pay attention as their rights fritter away. They have been lulled into complacency by lazy media shacked to corporate masters interested in profits, not journalism, a lack of critical thinking skills in too many voters (encouraged by our test-focused education system) and a level of political corruption and manipulation that has left people totally disengaged and unmotivated to pay attention to this assault on our rights — they are the sheeple. Shakespeare’s Sister has a great essay on the urgency of this overall situation up over at Big Brass Blog that you need to read. A snippet:

Call me a conspiracy theorist, call me a pessimist, call me a radical, call me every name in the book. But it doesn’t change the reality that we are on the brink of losing that which is dear to us, perilously close to going over the edge, where the damage to our democracy becomes irreparable.

America is so big, and more importantly, so wealthy, that the average American experiences little difference in his or her day-to-day life regardless of who is president. It takes so very, very long for the reality of bad (or good) policy to affect personal circumstances—and even then, often such changes are untraceable for those who are not immersed in politics. Most people do not see, nor care about, the changes that are happening in our government; most people wouldn’t believe you if you tried to tell them. By the time they “get it,” it will be too late.

So what are we to do? We’ve recently discovered our ability to push stories into the mainstream media. It’s really our only chance. We must repeat over and over and over again that we will not let this stand; we must point out that this maneuver was not simply foolhardy or politically expedient, but in fact seditious; we must identify those who seek to destabilize our system of checks and balances as the treasonous opportunists that they truly are; we must make noise.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding