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April 3, 2005

A Growing Collection of Possibilities

Topics: General

Cross-posted on Powers That Blog.

A little over a week ago, we posted an essay asking the question: what is the next step? to get us thinking about where we go from here. At the time we posted it, we were still hoping for a miracle to save Terri's life. That miracle never came, which makes our mission all the more urgent. There are others out there who are facing the same horrible possibility of being parched and starved to death if people don't stand up for them.

Terri's tragedy did much to illustrate a whole host of things that have gone wrong with our society and which have conspired against her. All of these issues need to be addressed at some point, and the question is where do we begin and what do we focus on? This essay is intended to be a summary of the issues that have been brought to light in the last few weeks along with some ideas for how to begin resolving them. I thought it would be beneficial to have them all in one place. I draw from my own thoughts, as well as the feedback we received to our post a week ago. I present these thoughts in no particular order.

 Identify everyone involved in killing Terri either by their actions or failure to act (from judges to politicians to police officers to hospice nurses, it can also include those medical experts who lied about Terri's mental state and told us starvation wasn't all that bad). I know Tim is already working on this "Wall of Shame" and it will be posted on BFT. Once these people have been all identified, we can systematically target them for a "career change," be it losing the next election, impeachment, loss of license, whatever is necessary to remove them from their current position of influence. This has to be very carefully distinguished from a harassment campaign. We go to the voters rather than protesting outside the homes of politicians or policemen. We go to professional medical societies rather than organizing a boycott of a particular team of doctors to pressure them to fire the perjurors.

 Demand a thorough investigation into all the irregularities surrounding Terri's death. Before writing this, I notice BFT already has plans for how to carry this out.

 Target the mainstream media for their continued lies and bias which no doubt contributed to Terri's demise. I've actually wanted to do this before I became aware of the urgency of Terri Schindler's plight. My understanding is that the media rely on income from their advertising sponsors, so urging the sponsors to stop buying advertising, possibly reinforced with boycotting of the products, could be an effective way to let the news networks know we do not appreciate their misleading coverage of events relating to Terri. We also have the option of boycotting those news networks directly.

 Examine reports of euthanasia (HT: Sherri) being practiced in medical centers, expose such places, and introduce legislation making it illegal.

 Encourage Congress to hold Greer accountable for ignoring the Congressional subpoenas and to hold the Federal judges accountable for refusing to hold a de novo trial for Terri, as asked by the American people via our elected senators and representatives.

 Look into the guardianship scandal in Florida (HT: Sherri), and take steps to expose and mitigate it.

 This is more along the lines of protecting yourself as an individual, but realize that each one of us needs to take charge of our own healthcare by educating ourselves and playing an active part in medical decisions. It is important to realize that medical facilities do not do everything with the patients' best interest in mind. The people at these facilities have desires and needs as well. While this isn't in and of itself evil, it is important to remember that when you are a patient, you need to be aware of what your needs are and advocate those needs. Some medical interventions are vital to saving your life; others are unnecessary and may lead to further problems later. An example of this is a feeding tube. It is more convenient and less time-consuming for staff to feed disabled patients with a feeding tube even if they can eat normally, and I have heard several anecdotes to back this up. In fact, according to one of the nurses caring for Terri, this happened to her, and we all know what happened next. So, if you are in a situation where a medical practitioner is recommending a certain medical intervention for you or a loved one, recognize that there may be other options which should be explored.

 Carefully examine the living will concept. As has been pointed out earlier, if you wish to be killed, a living will assures you will and no one can intervene. If you do not want to be killed, you need to consider other legal documentation. Various pro-life groups promote a Will to Live, and the Catholic Church provides a form that is in keeping with Catholic teaching (more information can be requested here).

 A commenter to our previous post suggested boycotting Florida tourism and products.

 This is a long term strategy. Some of us may need to rethink our childrearing practices. I have been dismayed by how easily it seems the police officers followed orders to guard the hospice from any water-bearing trespassers, how easily it seems the employees at the hospice went along with parching and starving one of their patients to death. They were following orders. That was also the excuse used by many Nazi soldiers during the Haulocost. According to author Gregory Popcak, Israel sponsored a study to learn the differences between the people who stood by while Jews were being hauled off to concentration camps and those people who defended them. The prominent difference between the two groups was how they were raised. Those who were raised in an authoritarian and punitive fashion were more likely to go along with the Nazi regime. Those who were raised by parents who reasoned with them, explained themselves, and welcomed questioning were more likely to defend the Jews. So, in relating to our children, are we raising them to conform absolutely to our authority as parents, or are we raising them to feel comfortable questioning and when called for, going against authority?

 There were some prominent media figures who stood up for Terri and her rights, people like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Hugh Hewitt and others. Unfortunately, it seemed to me they got on board too late. My heart just sank when Sean Hannity told of how he had just the night before read the sworn affidavits by Carla Iyer and Heidi Law, who had previously taken care of Terri. He said this on his radio show after Terri had already been without food and water for five days. He had just found out about those affidavits and was giving them as much coverage as he could. But they had been published on BFT for months already. I can't help but wonder how we might have been able to get this information to him sooner. These prominent talk show hosts can help us a lot, but they need to be brought on board much sooner if possible.

 Continue to remember Terri and tell her story. Don't let people forget what happened to her. Keep society aware. We are not shoving this under the rug and moving on.

 Several people commented that we need to demand Governor and President Bush to explain their ineffectiveness in saving Terri's life, particularly why they chose to not use their executive authority to protect her. A question was raised as to how President Bush is able to liberate women under duress around the world and yet was unable to save a woman under severe duress within his borders. I realize both Governor and President Bush were placed in difficult situations and did put forth substantial effort on Terri's behalf. I can logically understand their reasons for limiting their involvement. However, I can't help but think that what is going to be remembered is that they did not act effectively to uphold Terri's constitutional rights.

 Several people have suggested that we begin legislative efforts to protect life in non criminal cases. Right now, convicted criminals get lots of legal protection and will not be executed until they have been given every legal opportunity to have their death sentence repealed. This is a very good thing, and we have been warned against impuning our legal system for this. However, this thorough protection needs to be extended to those in hospitals and nursing homes who are unable to control their own fate.

 Another commenter suggested there needs to be reform in the area of accepted diagnosis and how to determine the right to live or die when no documentation of the patient's wishes is present. For example, I believe it should be mandatory for a complete battery of tests to be performed to obtain an accurate diagnosis (as was not done for Terri). It should also be mandatory that during the time it takes to make these life and death determinations by whatever means, the patient in question receive adequate and complete rehabilitative therapy and that the results of that therapy be admitted as evidence in the final decision. My opinion is that had Terri been given adequate therapy during the past 10 years or so, there would not have been any controversy over her mental state, or her tenacious desire to live. It would have been obvious to everyone that she was present with us and wanted to live.

 A simple matter that some have already started doing: refer to Terri by her maiden name of Schindler, rather than by her husband's name.

 Terri's death is not the first of its type (HT: Marie) in our nation. The wheels of euthanasia have started to turn years ago and have no doubt gained some momentum with Terri's death. This may be an uphill battle for a while.

 Of course, there is the overall problem of judicial tyranny, which needs to be addressed. After all, what use will all the legislative effort in the world be if judges choose to simply ignore that legislation as they did with Congress' emergency measure on Palm Sunday to grant Terri a new trial? As a society, we need to be more willing to question judges and hold them accountable for their decisions. Certainly, our legislative and executive branches need to be proactive about reigning in activist judges.

 Finally, one thing that disheartened me during the intensity of trying to restore Terri's water and food was the realization that there didn't seem to be adequate communication or teamwork among all the various organizations fighting for Terri's life. During the time that we were still hoping for the Florida legislature to come through for Terri, there was a list of ten senators that we were targeting for phone and letter campaigns. After this list had been posted on BFT for over a day, Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family was interviewed on Sean Hannity's radio show. Dr. Dobson mentioned that there were some senators who were more open to persuasion. A caller asked if there was a list anywhere and Dr. Dobson didn't even know who the key senators were. It wasn't long before Randall Terry weighed in with the same list posted on his website, but still, the fact that BFT had that list posted and other key players in this fight weren't aware of it bothered me. When I was emailing all my friends to invite them to help out in this struggle, I sent several emails to Dr. Dobson inviting him to coordinate his efforts with ours. I finally got a response the day before Terri died thanking me for standing up for Terri and informing me that they would pass along my letter. I share this not to disparage any of the great people fighting for Terri, but to point out that communication and teamwork among all of us was lacking. In future cases like this (make no mistake, there will be future cases), I would like to see some thought put into how we can truly coordinate our efforts and all work together. I will certainly be happy to pass along any suggestions you have.

This is the list I have come up with of ways to address the societal problems that have come to light through Terri's tragic ordeal. Please let me know if I have left anything out; my goal is to have as complete a list as possible compiled in one place. Also, this is meant to be a brainstorm, where all ideas are put on the table. Feel free to voice your disagreement to any one of these ideas, but let's not lose focus by getting sidetracked on a side issue. At some point in the very near future, we are going to need to decide where we want our organized efforts to focus. Some of us may individually take on other causes, and you choose the issue that you are most passionate about. I believe we will be most effective in uniting around one or two focal points. Once we are satisfied with the results, we can choose another area and focus on that.

Once we choose where and how we are going to organize our efforts, it is important that we take the time to learn who else is already working on this problem and work with them, rather than try to reinvent the wheel. For example, there already is a group of people working on reforming the Florida guardianship laws. I'm sure there must be hundreds of groups concerned about judicial tyranny. There probably is at least one organization already working on every single issue I brought up. I would appreciate you sending me any links to organizations you know of. Already, we have seen organizations and interest groups representing a wide variety of concerns uniting around the goal of saving Terri and others like her. We can definitely continue to build on and improve that momentum.

Thank you to everyone for all your hard work in trying to save Terri. Thank you for not giving up when she died. We are involved in a very important effort, and we want to do everything we can to help our effort succeed.

Posted by powersthatblog at April 3, 2005 8:56 PM

Articles Related to General:


I ask that everyone take a deep breath and keep our focus. BlogsForTerri is in active strategic planning with the Schindlers and the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation. Yes, other groups will be included, but much is going on in the background now, and much needs to be done but in a highly focused manner. Also, regarding the inclusion of other groups, BFT has and will continue to be very inclusive - but we wish to continue to be cautious and selective, going with quality and experience.

We have posted our objectives and announced that we are working with the Schindlers and their advisors. At the request of the Schindlers we are in a holding pattern for a few days here, while Terri's Mass is held on Tues. and other matters are being attended to.

Official policy statements for BlogsforTerri will be anounced as such, and will always, without exception, include the input and priorities of Terri's natural family who are the center of the loop. Such input has not been included in this post. If we are to accomplish our priorities, they must be targeted with a reasonable degree of potential for success. We continue to be contacted by various groups and just as fast as matters can be sorted out we will open them up for comments and suggestions - as well as requests for volunteers on specific aspects of our key targets.

I am most grateful, as are the Schindlers, for all of your hard work, both bloggers and readers. We have miles to go, so let's gather our thoughts, back off of our frustration and anger, and get ready for the tough mission ahead.


Posted by: Hyscience at April 3, 2005 9:26 PM

I am honestly concerned that the Schlinders can not respond as fast with their foundation. I say this because of the need for funds to cover their legal costs.

I can tell you what is starting to happen. Some of us have gone to the AP, filed official complaints about Greer and Felos with the approperiate places within Florida. I know there are petitions out there but the wording is outdated and we do not know when they will be filed.

I think there should be two crucial things done:

1) Get the three main players investigated (Greer, Felos and Schiavo)

2) Get the support set up to help others in this situation. To do this, you need to deal with the domestic abuse and disability angles.

Posted by: Julie at April 3, 2005 9:40 PM

Well said, and I agree. I think it is time to get past our anger and focus on the important topic for the sake of Terri's Legacy.

Where do we begin? I think we should take a closer look on Disability Act and to revise to make new Laws to protect them and protect their Life. To define Life and to examine the Living Will and among other things, but mostly on Disability Laws. We can also take a closer look on Ethuansia Laws, to the fact why Florida Laws failed in the way they did. Florida Law depicts that Mercy Killing is Illegal. We need to get an investigation and take a closer look to why this Law was not followed. We need tougher New Laws to prevent Mercy Killing and Euthanasia. Living Will specified for those who are Terminially Ill Only with Cancer and among serious Diseases. Not for Disabled or Brain Damaged, to the fact they are Healthy Body wise and breathing on their own. I think this is a place where we can start examining State Wide to protect the Disabled and Voiceless People.

Thank you for reminding me that anger is not the solution to the Problem, but rather Widsom is. God Bless you. It can be difficult to deal with Anger, and we have to learn how to deal with it in an effective way. Jesus teaches about Anger in Matthew 5:21 to 26. I've got to learn to keep my mouth closed but it is so Hard! Terri has taught me so much and I have learned so much about God's Widsom Words. Thank you.

Keep the Faith in the Lord.

Posted by: momforGod at April 3, 2005 9:46 PM

When I spoke to the AP, they made it clear that they know the facts (they have all the court records that we are able to access) but they have to give both sides the chance to speak.

Cnn is the news station that needs to be targeted the worst. Friday-Saturday they scrolled that Michael Schiavo said it was ok to have the autopsy when they showed the interview at the ME's office. Mr. Cafferty has been nothing but biased and unprofessional in this matter. One way we call can speak up is to cancel our cable subscriptions and explaining that such behavior is unexcusable.

Posted by: Julie at April 3, 2005 9:48 PM


Felos had his hand in changing the feeding tube into a life support need in 1999. It is corruption. You can look at the law as much as you want but if there is corruptnes, it doesn't really matter.

Posted by: Julie at April 3, 2005 9:51 PM

On my end, I am trying to maintain a dialogue with some of the Senators and reps that responded personally to my emails or calls. Many deserve our thanks and support (Rick Santorum and Dave Weldon are two that come to mind) and others deserve some gentle enlightenment.

As the Pope showed in his early career as a seminarian, some laws are unjust and need to be overturned. Can you imagine if he agreed with the status quo and never became a priest? He had to go into hiding in order to complete his studies. A man who kept God in his heart and managed effect vast changes in a communist society.

Some of the laws, and the courts in this land are full of corruption and of unjust laws. It is up to us to educate ourselves and to change what needs to be changed.

We are headed in the right direction. We must keep our eyes on God, who can light our paths, strenghten our resolve and give wisdom to our thinking. If not, we would be subject to the same forces that seem to control the anti-life(anti-Terri) movement - selfcenteredness rather than God-centeredness.

Posted by: I hope at April 3, 2005 10:09 PM

Here is the URL to file a complaint about Felos to the Florida bar:


You can mail your complaints about Judge Greer to:

Attention: Ms. Brooke Kennerly
Executive Director
Judicial Qualifications Commission
Room 102, Historic Capitol Building
Tallahassee, FL 32399-6000

You can read about how many corrupt judges Florida has at:


Posted by: Julie at April 3, 2005 11:17 PM

I am thankful that people are talking about "where do we go from here." There are many people that have been "awakened out of sleep" from Terri's death. I am one of them. As we blog and post comments it would be great to find a MAIN SOURCE to direct those that want to help. Would that be Blogs For Terri? I am ready to go to work to make changes. Organization and focus is of utmost importance, so we don't have a lot of concerned individuals running around in circles. I think there should be an investigation into the hospice where Terri died, among many, many other things.

Posted by: bethtopaz at April 3, 2005 11:20 PM

I have a suggestion that we have the motto: "Where there is life, there is hope".

This motto represents Theresa's Schindler's real wishes on the subject of any right to life or right to die. It tells me that she would not have said that she would rather be dead.

By adopting such a motto, we need to be able to focus more on the plight of the disabled, especially others who might be in the same position as Terri, not being able to communicate their real wishes.

I am going to disclose here the circumstances of my great-nephew's death in the womb and just prior to his birth. This happened in January 1996 at the time my niece was due to give birth to her first child. She had ended up in hospital because her waters had broken (I think). The baby did not come and she was sent home. She then went back to the hospital, and when she was examined was told that the baby's heart was weak. Instead of having an emergency caesar to ensure that the baby survived the attending staff chose to allow him to die in the womb. He was strangled by the umbilical cord.

A situation as I have just described should not have ever happened. A part of what needs to be done, I believe, is to put an end to frivolous malpractice suits that are costing all of us dearly. The Schiavo case is a prime example of how the courts can be abused by the bringing of a fraudulent malpractice suit by the guardian of Theresa. My niece and her husband did not file a lawsuit against the hospital and its doctors. I do not know how they were able to not do it.

I am mentioning the question of malpractice suits because they are the reason that in my nation, and in the USA we have a situation where a lot of good doctors are getting out of the profession because of the ambulance chasers. That in turn leaves doctors who are careless with the diagnosis.

What is on my mind is that there are doctors in training who are not being thorough in the way that they evaluate the cases of their patients. We need the doctors and nurses to be on board to put an end to situations where incorrect diagnoses are being made, to the detriment of the patients.

If there are doctors who are willing to take the life of a patient just because that patient is brain damaged then those doctors need to be weeded out of medicine. There must be more accountability in the future.

Also, we need to be proactive in ensuring that the public becomes very well informed about conditions such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia. The public needs to be informed about the signs and symptoms because early intervention is much better than letting things go until there is no hope for the person who has the eating disorder. We also need the education so that people will not automatically believe that someone is bulimic as in the case of Theresa Marie Schindler. A jury of peers in a malpractice suit needs to be well informed so that others cannot get away with this form of fraud. When I get a moment, I am intending to work on putting together information on bulimia and will place it on my blog (in progress - at the moment still in the head planning stage)

By adopting the motto: Where there is life, there is hope, we can achieve a quiet revolution in turning around the culture of death.

Where there is life there is hope and justice must prevail.

Posted by: Maggie4life at April 3, 2005 11:36 PM

I am encouraged that so many are moved to defend the rights of the disabled and medically-at-risk of our nation. You propose a multi-faced front to defend the right to life and I applaud that. As a special educator I bring to the table a few concerns from a not-so-different perspective.
1) We have a Constitution which , when interpretted accurately, does not exclude the disabled, and we have the American Disability Act, which is broad reaching and WHEN ENFORCED can be a powerful corrector of offences. We need to work for effective enforcement and enactment of these federal documents. I have heard it mentioned that if Terri's legal counsel in the begining had argued from the perspective of Disabled Rights that Terri would have faired better in the courts...I do not know, but we may all have to become well versed in ADA to do our cause justice. Even now , hardly any one is mentioning the extreme daily deprivation that Terri experienced through her isolation and exclusion from society ...this singularly escalated her deterioration over time. THIS in and of itself was a gross violation of standard care. It is not a moral, or ethical or constitutional issue ...it is just plain illegal via ADA.
2)We need to become aware of the pending "quality of life" issues that improve the living and treatment conditions of the disabled and the medically-at- risk. We need to exercise our muscle in the direction of demanding ENFORCEMENT of offenses..this means targeting the Executive branch of Government and informing Legistlatures to investigate.
3) We need to become well-recognized as advocates for the disabled and make ourselves known to those groups...Not Dead Yet . et al. They are keenly aware of the battles taking place federally and state based. We can become their servants and add range and clout to their message.
4)We need to stay closely aligned with ACLJ and be aware of current and pending litigation that poses a threat to "quality of life" and right to life issues for all Americans.
5)Getting the facts, spreading the truth to media and crucial spokesmen..must always be our means.

6)Without a central focus we will be indanger of dilluting ourselves. We have the potential to be as precise as surgical skill in slaying our foes; to be as powerful as a tornado's roar when voicing our demands to elected officials ; successfully touching the minds of the masses by making the media our vehicle.

We first and foremost we need a mission statement for our collective group which makes our purpose precise and clear. This will serve to be invaluable in the future by keeping us on target and of a singular mindset.

I think we have the potential to be as effective in defending the liberties and freedoms of our nation as the Sons of Liberty were 225 years ago...we can assemble without physiclly grouping, we can mobilize with the lightening speed of the internet and we can reach targets world-wide with the shining sword of words and wisdom of impassioned citizens. We must recognize our power and know that we can tilt the balance.
I had been an advocate for Terri for many years and had regularly made donations to the foundation followed the Schindler's perplexing legal journey. However, it was only after Bloggs for Terri came to be that the media, media personalities and politicians seemed to sit up and take notice....It was this group that made the difference-I believe that.
I know the Schindlers were overwhelmed and beyond grateful.
We will be better next time. We will be stronger and wiser.

Posted by: JoJoFox at April 4, 2005 12:28 AM

thats a great idea - i would like to see/ have a bumper sticker with Terri's photo on left side and Where there is hope there is life on the right

Posted by: keeka at April 4, 2005 12:34 AM

Where ther is life there is hope. I second that. Never has a statement been more true.
Uhmmmm, does anyone have any suggestions on what to put ont the Florida Bar grievance form for Felos up above? I was all for it until I read the bottom that asked me to swear that I KNOW these things to be true under penalty and purgery of law. Now, I believe what I believe to be true but it did not ask what I believe and-yes there are bigger issues out there, but I need some help wording this one.
Thank You

Posted by: alwayschooselife at April 4, 2005 2:55 AM

If we are going to work for judicial and political change, I believe we must realize how deeply embedded the euthanasia forces are throughout this culture. The foundations and organizations that lobby politicians and flood their campaigns with money; the foundations who influence universities with grants...one crash course on who they are and how they operate is available at: www.lifetree.org. We must educate ourselves in order to be effective. Among the euthanasia advocates: Robert Woods Johnson Foundation (PBS sponsor), George Soros, AARP (cancel your memberships now). How are we going to fight the bioethicists who advocate killing the disabled, elderly, or the imperfect newborn and who teach medical and nursing students in the universities?

I think we need to understand that the entities who support abortion are also the ones who support euthanasia; it stems from a utilitarian/nominalist view of society. Some disabled people who previously aligned themselves with the political left and its support of "choice in reproductive rights" (abortion) now see that once a society declares some people fair targets for killing, the list grows from either end (unborn, elderly) toward the middle (the rest of us). Also, the link between the New Age view of the world and euthanasia/abortion is strong; look at George Felos to see where that leads; he is just one of many of likeminded "legal healers" who want to heal us of our lives and bodies. And for the conservative leaders who, in my view, failed to use their legal authority to back up their own legislation and moral obligations, I would like to know who or what they were so afraid of. I am one who thinks Gov. Bush tipped his hand to Greer and lost Terri (the DCF fiasco) and I think President Bush "erred on the side of death", not life. How about some "freedom and democracy" over here? He didn't spend enough of his "political capital" on Terri, in my opinion.

Posted by: abigail at April 4, 2005 6:51 AM

Good morning,

Twenty some years ago I predicted that if we didn't stop abortion we would see this day. Well, we're now seeing this day. But over the course of the years fighting abortion, one group in particular came into being which has been so pleasing to God that where ever they go the crime rate drops. That group is Operation Rescue. Who knows what might have happened had they existed before Roe v Wade.

I would like to suggest that the cornerstone of every group which fights euthanasia be the spiritual twin of Operation Rescue. This fight will not be won by our efforts, but by God working through us. We grieve our loss of Terri and John Paul II now because WE lost them, and are considerably the poorer. But even as we fight to stop this evil and protect all peoples from it, we must remember that the michael shiavos, greers and felos' are also victims. They stand in grave danger of losing their souls, which is the worst possible danger. Even if we can't dredge from our hearts any compassion for these people, I hope we are capable of having compassion on Jesus who loves them, also, and grieves at their loss. For the sake of His sorrowful passion, pray for these, too; pray for miracles of healing and deliverance.

Aside from the already identified governmental systems, media and medical which have strayed so far from their purpose, there is also the public education system to be addressed. Children today are taught not to think, but to regurgitate what has been spoonfed them by an institution devoid of God on its premise (in spite of those Godly teachers who have been gagged) and lately occasionally fully in league with the devil. From sex ed which taught them how to do that which they ought not to have, they have gone on to teaching occultism in growing numbers of schools. Institutions of higher learning are the worst and out of these come our leaders, political, medical and journalistic.

I think that we need to pin down the meaning of things and quit arguing with anyone about them; as I have said before, we need to have a place in one spot with proven truths and the proofs and another place with proven lies and the proofs. This would constitute solid ground to fight from. The enemy has tampered with our language, so we are no longer able to communicate.

I would suggest a site entitled Terri's Legacy letters and articles therein about the hearts, minds and lives which have been touched and changed by her. Also a site entitled michael's legacy, holding the evil fruit which his victory has brought about.

And finally, I would suggest a thorough investigation into what went wrong with the judicial system, so that, having the correct diagnosis we can arrive at the correct cure.

Posted by: mary et. al. at April 4, 2005 7:19 AM

Here, here, Abigail,

I am another one who would like to know what the Bushes are so afraid of. We can think, well, they didn't care much for Terri, after all. But I can tell you one thing they care about VERY much: THEIR AUTHORITY.

An official who doesn't give a rap about their authority has just resigned from office.

Posted by: mary et. al. at April 4, 2005 7:24 AM

And would somebody get that on line living will off the list. Richard told the truth that the living will is a will to die. How can we straddle the fence like this?

Posted by: mary et. al. at April 4, 2005 7:27 AM

I like the bumper sticker idea but rather than plaster Terri on it, I suggest using the green ribbon that symbolized the support for her ordeal. I say this because many of those who knew Terri said she was shy and avoided the spotlight-- so the ribbon seems more respectful of that.
Lots of great ideas here! I'll get more into it in a bit, my son wants to use the PC now :)

Posted by: Foug at April 4, 2005 7:42 AM

I put this under the Zogby article, but it is so important I am going to put it here, as well.

Please, please, people, read this and THINK!

We have placed this issue of the life or death of innocent people, whether abortion or euthanasia, in the worst forum possible. At least, we have left it there; I'm sure the pro-death people put it there and we've been too stupid to get it out.

Courts were created to determine guilt or innocence and to decide what the sentence will be. Furthermore, it isn't the judge who determines guilt or innocence, but the jury. The judge merely presides over the evidentiary process and decides the sentence based on the jury's findings. The judge is further hindered by the maximum sentence set by congress.

The court system is about guilt, innocence, life, death or some punishment in between. The jury determines guilt or innocence and the judge ONLY ACTS WHEN A GUILTY VERDICT IS RENDERED. Without a jury to determine guilt or innocence, the judge can only exercise his power by determining whether to throw the book at the defendent or give him/her a lighter sentence.

This is our fault!!!

Posted by: mary et. al. at April 4, 2005 8:14 AM

While it is true that this effort was generated too late to be of successful use, the particular reason for the failure was that this was played as a partisan political issue in the blogs and hence the MSM.

The real power of the blogs is not as a collection of readers that can be swayed by anything that the primary author choses to write about, it is in collecting information, distilling it, and refuting bad arguments, sometimes even in generating good arguments. This was always going to be a national issue, so it was always going to be impossible to "out mobilize" the latent opposition. Ha! From the start we were looking for Congressional support.

So with that in mind, something can be learned from the MSM. While undeniably biased, they have generally learned to avoid obvious traps and snares. These entanglements latched unto this movement early and were never shaken so that when this issue perculated up to the MSM it came along with that baggage. Thus, this was protrayed as a partisan issue in the MSM from the start.

Meanwhile, obvious errors in the MSM were not immediately corrected and highlighted. This is one thing that blogs cab do well. Note that there was little synthesis of information, only aggregation of talent. Since there are different types of talent, in the future, one might facilitate through organization the products of these talents, e.g. legal reviews, philosophical, medical, religious, etc.

Finally, it is obvious that centralized leadership is impractical. Facilitation through aggregation, some central locus of activity (as was done well), and organization through association would have worked better. The blogroll was a good idea, but is should have been suborganized, validated, and might I suggest, not used as a bludgeon to stifle dissent during the development phase (which was short, but still necessary).

Posted by: deignan at April 4, 2005 8:44 AM

Does anyone know the significance of the green plaid ribbon? I can understand "green" being the color for life, but what about the "plaid"? Does anyone know?

Posted by: Sirena at April 4, 2005 11:13 AM

As an attorney, it seems to em the pro-life forces need to organize a network of attorneys who can effectively litigate against the right-to-die people such as George Felos. It appears that part of what happened here is the Schindler family simply got blind-sided by well-organized, well-funded lawyers on the pro-euthanasia
side. If that is true, there needs to be a well-organized, well-funded legal network standing at the ready on the pro-life side. If there is such a thing now, I'm not aware of it; if anyone knows of one please post a link.

Posted by: J. at April 4, 2005 12:52 PM

I know there's some sort of Coalition that has a group of lawyers that so just that, but I can't remember their name.

Posted by: Sirena at April 4, 2005 12:59 PM


There are a number of them. Jay Sekulow's organization comes to mind and they are very good.


You are an attorney, Would you please comment on my comment above, about the court being the wrong playing field for this issue.

Posted by: mary et. al. at April 4, 2005 1:10 PM

I am aware of Mr. Sekulow and the ACLJ, but my impression is they focus on a broader array of religious freedom issues, and not primarily on pro-life/euthanasia matters such as the Schiavo case.

Mary et al., your question requires a detailed answer. In general, I agree that courts are not the best forum to decide these issues, but the unfortunate reality is that the pro-death people are getting the results they want to achieve in the courts. IMHO this battle is one that has to be fought on a number of fronts -- courts/litigation, legislation, political, and last but not least in the educational system (e.g., law schools).

Posted by: J. at April 4, 2005 2:05 PM

There is also the Alliance Defense Fund, which was set up by several prominent leaders, including Dr. James Dobson, I believe. Here's their website:


Free Market Foundation and Liberty Legal Institute, founded by Kelly Shackleford might also be helpful. They fight for protecting our freedoms and strengthening families. Their website is


Posted by: ep4life at April 4, 2005 3:03 PM


Thank you for responding. Would you give it some more thought, please, and perhaps a little research. Above all I don't want to fall into, that's too bad but that's the way it is.

It seems to me that this landed in the judiciary by deliberate action of the pro-death people and by default on our part. They chose the ground so far, but why must we honor their choice? In any war a good general picks the ground. And we need to think of this in those terms.

Furthermore, Jesus is said to have been putting the axe to the root of the tree. Jesus knew not to hack down a tree one twig or limb at a time. When a tree has to go, you go for the root. In one sense, the judiciary is just fine, it's doing what it was created to do. But it was never, never created to adjudicate theological and philosophical questions, such as when life begins, what makes a person human, when is life not worth living, etc.

I am hoping and praying that others will begin to see the importance of this perspective and to investigate it seriously and not go on playing ball by the enemy's rules. Too many lives have been lost while we twiddled them away in a no win forum. Would someone please at least take a good long look at this?

Posted by: mary et. al. at April 4, 2005 3:25 PM

Has anyone heard if the insurance company that gave MS 1.7 million will investigate him for fraud? I realize that might be a waste of time considering MS can get away with murder and whatever else he pleases but I was just curious if they have been paying attention to this?!

Posted by: delphinius at April 4, 2005 3:31 PM

Jay Sekulow and the ACLJ: his remarks in a TV interview after the Schindlers were denied by the courts last week led me to think "no more money for you". He agreed that his hands were tied, legally. The Thomas More Law Center, on the other hand, kept fighting. The More center lawyers outlined over and over again to Gov. Bush's lawyers, how much power the Gov. had already; enough to take legal action. The Governor's people evidently decided to leave the reins of power lying on the big, dark mahogany table. I'll find a link to Thompson's letter outlining all the options available to Gov. Bush. The More center is based on Christian principles of jurisprudence;they operate with Higher law/man's law in mind. I embrace that but some may be put off. The More center is particularly keen on limiting the ACLU's attempts to keep any religious influence out of public life. And I agree with the Pope; Judeo-Christian principles have had a civilizing effect; the Founding Fathers thought so, too.

Posted by: abigail at April 4, 2005 3:40 PM


The link with the memos; Thompson showed Gov. Bush he had plenty of legal authority to take action, under the existing criminal laws. I think we lost Terri when her advocates kept returning to the corrupt judicial system that had ordered her death in the first place.

Posted by: abigail at April 4, 2005 5:46 PM

Bingo, Abigail,

God said not to go down and seek help from Egypt because if we did, both helper and helpee would fall and they would be no help, nor to any profit, but to confusion and reproach. Is. 30:1-5

Posted by: mary et. al. at April 4, 2005 5:59 PM

mary et al.,

I have given this a great deal of thought. You might want to read some of my thoughts on my blog linked below.

I agree with you to a point, altho I think at the present time, given the concentration of power that exists in the judicial branch of government (which concentration is due in no small part to the willful abandonment of Constitutional duties by the elected branches of government), there is a battle that does need to be fought in the courts.

But that is certainly not the only thing that needs to be done, as I posted above.

Posted by: J. at April 5, 2005 8:33 AM


Missed your blog link--find us somewhere today, tonight and join. We're going to pursue this thing to closure or I'm thrown off Blogs for bugging people too much. Ha! See you there, I hope.

Posted by: mary et. al. at April 5, 2005 10:47 AM