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"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." Theodore Roosevelt

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Monday, March 21, 2005

Staggering Hypocrisy

Flip - [March 15 2003] a medical staffer at Texas Children's Hospital gently removed the breathing tube that had kept Sun Hudson alive since his Sept. 25 birth. Cradled by his mother, he took a few breaths, and died. "I talked to him, I told him that I loved him. Inside of me, my son is still alive," Wanda Hudson told reporters afterward. "This hospital was considered a miracle hospital. When it came to my son, they gave up in six months .... They made a terrible mistake." Sun's death marks the first time a hospital has been allowed by a U.S. judge to discontinue an infant's life-sustaining care against a parent's wishes, according to bioethical experts. A similar case involving a 68-year-old man in a chronic vegetative state at another Houston hospital is before a court now.

Sun Hudson was apparently certain to die, but was conscious. The hospital simply decided that it had better things to do than keeping the child alive, and the Texas courts upheld that decision after the penniless mother failed, during the 10-day window provided for by Texas law, to find another institution willing to take the child. Funny, this does not seem like a "culture of life" to me.

Flop - The US President, George Bush, has signed emergency legislation to prolong the life of a brain-damaged woman whose husband won the right to let her die. In an extraordinary intervention that has given strength to right-to-life groups, Congress rushed through a law to restore Terri Schiavo's feeding tube after a court ruled to remove it in accordance with her husband's wishes. Mr Bush cut short a holiday in Texas to sign the bill, allowing Mrs Schiavo's parents to apply to the Federal Court for her guardianship and keep her alive.

The case with Terri Schiavo appears to me nothing more than a disgusting political power play for the Bush administration to shore up the fanatical Christian base. The current polls show the majority of Americans (68% last I checked) believe that the husband should have the right to make the decision on whether or not to let her go. Looks like George's political capital is spent and he jumped the shark on this one.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Murder by Numbers

Two years later and it is shameful for what we have accomplished. The following is a partial list of what americanprogress.org has compiled:

200 - Lowest estimated number in billions of U.S. taxpayers dollars that have been spent on the war in Iraq

152,000 - Estimated
number of troops currently deployed in Iraq

1,511 -
U.S. troops killed in Iraq since the invasion

11,285 -
Americans wounded since the invasion was launched two years ago

21,100-39,300 -
Estimated number of Iraqi civilians killed since the invasion by violence from war and crime

176 -
Non-U.S. coalition troops killed in Iraq since the invasion

339 -
Coalition troops killed by Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)

70 - Daily average number
of insurgent attacks on coalition forces in February 2005

14 - Daily
average number of insurgent attacks on coalition forces in February 2004

18,000 -
Estimated number of insurgents in Iraq today

5,000 -
Estimated number of insurgents in Iraq in June 2003

40 - Percent of U.S. troops in Iraq that belong to the National Guard and Reserve

108 -
Millions of dollars in Halliburton overcharges hidden from international auditors by the Pentagon

9 -
Billions of dollars the Coalition Provisional Authority cannot account for of all funds dispensed for Iraq reconstruction

Take what you want, leave what you don't.

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