Eyes to See/Ears to Hear

In order to combat my annoyance over the unwillingness of media outlets to tell the truth and avoid letting their bias rule, as well as to have an outlet for my very (at times) wordy self, this blog has been created by yours truly. This will be an accounting of events in the world, my country, and my little piece of the world as best as I can see it, hear it, and relay it.

Location: United States

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Media Deception

Today the AP gives front page status to a headline stating that former NY Governor Mario Cuomo is cautioning the Republicans against changing the filibuster rules. The news item continues to share with its readers the wisdom that Mr. Cuomo puts forth in the weekly Democratic Party's radio address; the likes of which seem to be geared for nothing short of scaring people into thinking that the Republicans are trying to destroy the Senate, its traditions, and in the end of course, our Constitution. He makes the ludicrous statement that the Republicans

"are threatening to claim ownership of the Supreme Court and other federal courts, hoping to achieve political results on subjects like abortion, stem cells, the environment and civil rights that they cannot get from the proper political bodies"

and further:

the country will experience "exactly the kind of `tyranny of the majority' that James Madison had in mind,"

Firstly, even someone like myself, who is the layest of the layperson, knows that the reason why the Democrats are creating this unprecedented judicial filibuster is because they themselves are, by employing this spoiled-bratish "I can't get my way so no one can play" tactic, seeking to claim ownership of the Supreme Court and other federal courts!!! The are filibustering these nominess, not on the basis of their records, which are exemplary, but because they do NOT want anyone who doesn't support abortion seated on the Federal Bench! And anyone who agrees with the Democrats is devoting front page news headlines (AP, ABC, NBC, etc.), columns, and countless op eds to trying to paint the Republicans as tyrannical, anti-American people!

This is simply not true. The judicial filibuster, employed by the Senate Democrats, is itself unprecedented and destroys hundreds of years of the Senate tradition of 'advising and consenting' the Presidental court appointees. In fact, this is the right of the sitting president, that he gets to pick the judges of his choice. Rarely, if ever, has anything remotely resembling what is happening now, EVER happened in the Senate. So the Democrats who are employing this filibuster are the ones who are attempting to reduce our judiciary to 'tyranny', if of only the few, tyranny just the same.

Not only that people, but by invoking the 'nuclear' option to break this ridiculous freeze on the President's nominees, it does nothing but that, break the Democratic filibuster babies' hold on highly qualified, overwhelming approved by the American Bar and many of their peers, judicial nominees and allow them to go to the floor of the Senate for an up and down vote, the very thing that the Democrats DO NOT want, because they KNOW these exemplary candidates will get the votes THEY NEED to sit on the Federal Bench! IT DOES NOT AFFECT THE LEGISLATIVE FILIBUSTER AT ALL!! NOT A WHIT.

The media does the nation and its people a grave disservice by printing stories such as the one they did today. Either they themselves are unaware of the facts of the situation, or they are and have the same agenda as the filibustering Democratic Senators. We, the readers of such nonsense do ourselves and our country a grave disservice if we believe what the media puts forth as the truth pertaining to this situation.

Judicial Filibuster

Let us try understand very clearly what this whole filibuster on the judicial nominees is really all about. What is has to do with is the Democrats' (the ones who are filibustering) refusal to allow any judge who has a deep-seated belief in God, and the moral absolutes that often accompany such beliefs, to sit on the federal bench.

If anyone has listened to a fraction of the abusive line of questioning these nominees have endured, most notably Judge Janice Rogers Brown-an African American, they would be appalled at the accusatory tone and hostility of the questioning. Never mind that she has been an Associate Justice for the California Supreme Court with an impeccable record, as well as coming very highly recommended by the Bar Association and those who have worked with and alongside her for years. No, this doesn't count because of her personal beliefs. These Senate Democrats are not rejecting her nomination based on anything to do with her record, but rather with her personal views. That is clear bias, that if the shoe were on the other foot, there would be howlings heard all the way around the world, with a great deal of sympatheic media back-up too!

What seems to be forgotten is that this is an unprecedented action taken by the Democrats, who, like spoiled little children that cannot have their way, are not allowing these nominations the up and down vote that would surely grant them the appointments that they were nominated for: an up and down vote given to virtually every presidential court nominee in the history of this country under our Constitution!

Further, the legislative filibuster would not be affected at all by Senator Frist ending this pouting, but dangerous, game that Senator Reid is playing on behalf of big wheel abortion lobbyists who give much $$ and votes to their elections and they hope, re-elections. Indeed all it will do is allow these nominees the vote they deserve. A vote that will give them the seat on the Appeals Court that the President has EVERY RIGHT to appoint them to. A vote they continue to prevent, knowing they are wrong, but constantly and continually acting as if they are right.

These people say shame on the Republicans, but really it is shame on them for the trashing of these fine nominees before the entire country. Which is, of course, a whole other story, being that few actually look at who these candidates are, allowing Senator Reid to do their thinking for them. Think about it: to not allow a qualified candidate sit on the bench because they are opposed to abortion and to only allow those who are for abortion the appointment? Is that not bias of the same ilk as the one Senator Reid and his cohorts are employing? Alas, but we have no media crying out in horror at such intolerance and bias. We would though, if the shoe were on the other foot.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Filibuster

I would venture to guess that there are not too many newspaper reading Americans who know what exactly the filibuster is, or most especially the Democrats unconstitutional use of it to prevent excellent judges from sitting on the federal bench.

For one thing, appointing judges is the constitutional right of the sitting president, whether he is Bill Clinton or George Bush. Constititionally speaking, the Senate is merely suppose to 'advise and consent' and move the nominees to the Senate floor for a full up and down vote.

Not for nothing, but these judges are excellent judges with records to prove their consistent upholding of the Constitution as well as great bipartisan support. What the Democrats do not like is that they are 'conservative' in their personal views. Never mind that they are known for upholding the law and our constitution, this conservative lean has rendered them 'unfit' for a judgeship; though their records render them extremely well-qualified.

The filibuster is and was not intended to be used so that a couple of Democrats who are beholden to abortion rights groups can have their way. A commercial depicting a scene from 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington' erroneously tries to make a relation between the sneaky and underhanded behavior of Senate Committe Democrats and a legislative filibuster that Mr. Smith for a reason having to do with doing the 'right' thing; something the Democrats refuse to do in this situation. Instead they deliberately mislead the people and the media helps them in this deception by not reporting the truth regarding what is going on in Washington.

Today, hopefully, despite the infantile behavior of Senate Democrats, the rules will be changed regarding the appointing of President Bush's nominees, in that a majority vote will confirm them. This will in no way change the legislative filibuster, should one ever be necessary, and has nothing to do with this unconstitutional judicial filibuster.

Friday, April 01, 2005

It Should NEVER Have Happened

Quite often during this trial of the battle for Terri's life I have read of and personally encountered loads of misinformation as well as downright hostility towards those speaking in favor of sparing Terri's life. It has been awful to watch helplessly as court after court continued to uphold the death sentence that Terri was given. Some people have said 'she is a vegetable anyway and doesn't feel a thing' others have said 'she is not really a person' 'she is just a shell' she is not really there' and still others have said that her family was totally selfish. In my own personal experience I received the 'right-wing Christian' label, as if somehow holding the views and beliefs of whatever it is defines a 'right-wing Christian' my opinions and comments don't matter. Of course that isn't even a ripple on the surface of what Terri's family have endured as they have struggled to protect the most basic right of all human beings: the right to life.

Those who support the death sentence given to Terri seem to see justification in such a decision based on her physical state; or better yet, let us just say, based on their view of her physical state as well as what they read in the newspapers. I might venture to say that a large percentage of those who hold a 'death sentence' view for Terri received all their information from the newspapers. I don't state this as fact because I haven't researched it specifically, but am judging by the responses to Terri's situation via the comments people have made. They have ignored, at their own peril, the truth of what this horrific court decision has done. They have ignored, at their own peril, her court-ordered death by starvation and dehydration, deciding in their minds that because of Terri's physical and mental state this is a justifiable decision for the court to make. They have ignored, at their own peril, Terri's humanity, rendering her lacking in such, due to her physical and mental state. And just as important, they have ignored the real facts of the case, rendering their lay decisions based on a media that promotes this sort of thing, evident in their choice of headlines as well as the labeling of this story as a 'right to die' court case.

Terri did not pursue death, Michael pursued death, the death of Terri, and by one of the most horrible of deaths, and her family fought against it. Therefore right off the bat this is not a right to die. By titling it as such the news media sets it in the readers mind as something it is not. From Michael's opinion (and desires) to conflicting doctors opinions-and they can be as different as night and day-to her family's personal experiences with Terri, to the timeline of her life since the injury, to the court documents, there is a lot of information out there, as well as misinformation-from what constitutes a 'persistent vegetative state' to whether or not such a state is death worthy.

There is no denying that Terri was severely disabled by the tragedy that struck her so many years ago, but here is what all those opinions of lay people err, here is where her husband erred as well as the judges who rendered the death sentence pursued with such fervor by Michael: Terri was still a human being and to sentence a human being to death by purposely starving them goes against all of what we should stand for as her fellow human beings. We should put aside her physical and mental state, we should look closely at what exactly Michael bases his claim on, and we should err on the side of life, whether we understand the purpose of a life lived in Terri's condition or not. We should have, as a people, stood against our courts ordering Terri to be starved to death. It should NEVER have happened. And it only happened because Terri had no 'quality of life' as determined by those who were set against her being starved to death.

Her parents and brother and sister have been callously called selfish by those who obviously don't understand what unconditional love means. They knew her in a way that even Michael did not know her, and she had a worth to them, beyond what her physical and mental state would deem worthy to those who don't see any purpose or point in it. To call selfish, a family who continued to make Terri as active a part of their family as they possibly could is to totally misunderstand what it means to really love someone. They did not shrink away in disgust, or say to themselves or to the media 'I would rather be dead than live like that' 'what kind of life is that?' 'that is no life', etc. What they did instead was to love her anyway. They didn't try to hold onto Terri's life through 'misguided guilt' or whatever are some of the ridiculous reasons some have decided why her family tried to stop her death, what they were doing were trying to stop Terri from dying via a court order.

Our legislative branch of government got this right though, in stepping in to try and protect Terri's Constitutional right to life, and the judiciary, in a bold 'in your face' rebuked the Congress!! This is another clear example of an out of control judiciary. The judges in this case were supposed to be guided by the Constitution, which is quite clear on the life issue, but instead they decided to be misguided by their own personal views of an issue such as this and instead of protecting Terri's life, decided her life wasn't worth living. So, Congress did the right thing in legislating a review of the case. What they did was pass a bill that should have allowed Terri's case to be taken out of the 'death to Terri' camp and placed into a 'reasonable doubt' and 'what are Terri's rights' panel for a fresh review and close scruitiny of what in the world was happening in the Florida courts.

We all have our opinions on a wealth of subjects and this one is no exception. But this should have never happened to Terri. Her rights were totally ignored, bypassed, and deemed of no value by a court system designed to support her and fight for her right to life. If we think that this was okay, we are wrong in our thinking, because it should never be okay to court order a starvation death of a disabled person, no matter their level of disability.

[Quote] there should be a federal review in state cases where there are contested decisions to withhold feeding tubes from significantly disabled people. We also believe there should be a state-by-state reform of guardianship and health-care decision laws to safeguard the involuntary euthanasia of disabled people....Too many people with severe disabilities have been called “vegetables” – this is not only demeaning, but dehumanizing. When severely disabled people are stripped of life-dignity, the discussion too easily turns to death or the warehousing of that individual in a hospice.....there should be a “cognitive assessment review” as a minimal standard before a feeding tube is removed. When a person’s wishes are not documented, we should err on the side of life; we should assume that living is preferable over dying.......media discussions have centered around whether or not a severely disabled person is “going to get better some day” as though that fact is a criterion for life. However, for millions of Americans, disability is a fact of life; many will “never get better” by society’s standards. We assert that the quality of one’s life should never be a criteria to put them to death. Life is the most irreplaceable and fundamental condition of what it means to be human....Disabled people have the right to life. The moral fabric of our country will be strengthened as we support the right of all disabled people to humane treatment, rehabilitative therapy, and most of all, the right to life...Joni Eareckson Tada [/Quote]

She says it so well, but I bet because she herself is severely disabled many who read this and other views along this vein, will dismiss what statements such as these mean. It only further makes the case of my earlier experience with the 'right wing Christian' label, but it by no means makes the label makers right in not considering the truth of such things coming from a hands on view of the disability community such as Joni has.