Caught My Eye, Crossed My Mind

Forrest mug (2)CROSSED MY MIND … Casey, Landon and I were able to work half days (in this line of work known as a traditional shifts) for a few days last week and visit family in Nashville. It is always good to get away from the newspaper business which can consume every waking moment as email alerts, text messages, social messages, phone calls, visits, letters, gun shots through our front storefront window (yes, happened last week) seldom allows us to have much personal family time. Though it wasn’t exactly vacation, it was enjoyable to get away from Northwest Ohio for a bit and spend Easter with family we only see a few times a year. This annual newspaper stretch from late March through our Graduation Tab can be extremely long, so here is hoping this little getaway was restful enough for us to put the accelerator to the floor and continue on until the summer slowdown.

CROSSED MY MIND … Terri Schiavo case – sad sad sad day in the history of this country. I saw a facebook post concerning this issue last week and talk about a flood of bad memories returning!
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A recap from Wikipedia: the Terri Schiavo case was a legal struggle involving prolonged life support. At issue was whether to carry out the decision of the husband of Teresa Marie “Terri” Schiavo to terminate life support for her. Terri was diagnosed by doctors as being in a persistent vegetative state. The highly publicized and prolonged series of legal challenges presented by her parents and by state and federal legislative intervention effected a seven-year delay before life support finally was terminated. Terri Schiavo collapsed in her St. Petersburg, Florida, home in full cardiac arrest on February 25, 1990. She suffered massive brain damage due to lack of oxygen and, after two and a half months in a coma, her diagnosis was changed to vegetative state. For the next few years doctors attempted speech and physical therapy and other experimental therapy, hoping to return her to a state of awareness. In 1998 Schiavo’s husband, Michael, petitioned the Sixth Circuit Court of Florida (Pinellas County), to remove her feeding tube He was opposed by Terri’s parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, who argued that she was conscious. The court determined that she would not wish to continue life-prolonging measures, and on April 24, 2001, her feeding tube was removed for the first time, only to be reinserted several days later. On February 25, 2005, a Pinellas County judge ordered the removal of Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube. Several appeals and federal government intervention followed, which included U.S. President George W. Bush returning to Washington D.C. to sign legislation designed to keep her alive. After all attempts at appeals through the federal court system upheld the original decision to remove the feeding tube, staff at the Pinellas Park hospice facility where Terri was being cared for disconnected the feeding tube on March 18, 2005, and she died on March 31, 2005. In all, the Schiavo case involved 14 appeals and numerous motions, petitions, and hearings in the Florida courts; five suits in federal district court; Florida legislation struck down by the Supreme Court of Florida; federal legislation (the Palm Sunday Compromise); and four denials of certiorari from the Supreme Court of the United States. The case also spurred highly visible activism from the pro-life movement and disability rights groups. Since Schiavo’s death, both her husband and her family have written books on their side of the case, and both have also been involved in activism over its larger issues.

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I was proud of our President and Congress in one moment, then horribly shocked in their lack of completing the mission at hand in the next. I was especially disappointed in Florida Governor Jeb Bush. If I was governor of the State of Florida, I would have sent the National Guard into that facility to allow doctors and family members to protect her and allow her to begin feeding/hydration. Note that I am not sure the visual of troops in full gear and guns in hand would be necessary to have achieved this. Room security could have accomplished the task (at least I would hope).

Yes, that sounds like a pretty strong measure, but so is the decision to allow judges and boards to terminate human life for any reason, much less when the U.S. President, Congress and generally speaking folks on both sides of the issue (let her live, let her die) agreed that murdering her via this method was a horrific act.

A local county judge should not have more power than Congress, the President and the Governor combined. As a reminder President Bush and Congress, which generally cannot vote on which ply of toilet paper to purchase, actually came together in unity against the actions taking place against Schiavo.

This was nothing but murder in my book. No matter whether folks believe Terri should have died or lived; starving her of water and food to death was simply in-humane. She followed balloons with her eyes and was still a human being. Her husband’s desire that she passed (against what her family desired) should not have occurred in this manner. I won’t even bring up the monetary benefits he stood to claim is she passed, wait, I just brought that up, sorry (not really).

I have read articles over the past two decades where humans with far worse brain injuries than Terri’s made an unexplained recovery, sometimes years after the injuries were sustained. Some credit these recoveries as medical miracles, others feel they were “praise God” moments. Either way, they have occurred and on more than one occasion.

What happens if we do not water our animals? Doctor Jack Kevorkian was put into prison because he comfortably helped people die with terminal diseases with family at their bed side and in comfort – peace – dignity. Our pets are humanely euthanised when veterinarians cannot assist them any longer and they are in pain. If a mother is carrying a child, even at a very young age in the development process in the womb, and somebody hurts that mother and the baby passes are additional charges not applied in our court systems?

Yet we allowed Terri to waste away with no liquids over weeks? Disgusting in my book.

I’m sure some in our audience will disagree with me on this opinion, but there are certain things in life in which my convictions and beliefs do not allow me to just look the other way (versus just keeping my opinion to myself surrounding less convicting matters).

CROSSED MY MIND … Thank you to our communities for your wonderful support! “The Village Reporter” facebook page hit 3,000 last week and “The Wauseon Reporter” is near 3,500. Pretty amazing when you consider the population of our small farm towns! You guys are awesome, it is an honor to serve you through Hometown News that has continued through several name changes and format modifications since the 1870’s.

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CAUGHT MY EYE … Dear Indiana Basketball, thanks for the great season. Oh ya, thanks for crushing our hopes for another National Championship banner by playing your worst basketball of the season in the tournament, LOL. This is where I remind myself that these are college kids getting their education, it is not about (or supposed to be about) just wins and loses.
Despite my Hoosiers going down early in the tournament, how much fun has it been to watch the Big 10 do well, numerous buzzer beater shots and teams like “Florida Gulf Coast A&M Ivy Tech State” (or whatever they were called) go further in the tournament than any other 15 seed in tournament history? What a great format college basketball has to determine the annual National Championship.

CROSSED MY MIND … As always, if you have a local news suggestion, please drop an email my way, we want to hear from you! I may be reached at either publisher@thevillagereporter.com or publisher@wauseonreporter.com.

 

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