Thursday, March 31, 2005

Terri Schiavo died this morning, from what I hear, just a few hours before I go to press, so to speak.

People everywhere are saying that at least this case makes people more prepared for such an eventuality by leaving living wills. I agree with Ann Coulter, who remarks that the only good thing is that we have almost every liberal in the country on record as saying that we can pull the plug on them.

One of the main arguments I hear from people I know is "Just let me die" if they were in that situation. My answer is usually two things: I'll remember that, and you're not the one at the hospice in Pinella Park, Fl right now.

It's not an easy and practical thing to study, and therefore it is almost impossible to get statistics on, but death wishes, even when present, are usually not real. Not many people survive suicide attempts, but when they do, they usually admit that a desire to die is something which disappears completely when it gets down to the wire. Today there are, I think, only two living survivors of deliberate jumps off the Golden Gate Bridge, and both work either part time or full time as suicide prevention counselors.

By far the darkest thing about this whole case is that in their rush to kill her, the courts refused to hear relevant evidence, to wit the refusal to require or even allow a PET or MRI scan, which carried heavy weight on the subject of whether or not she was in a persistent vegetative state. I thought it used to be that however uninformed a judge might be on matters of precedent, the least that could be said is that all the evidence was considered. I think that just might have had something to do with the fact that Justice is painted blindfolded holding a scale.

Another thing that sort of pisses me off is this: Unless I discern a priestly vocation in the next couple of years, I will probably get married. I don't look forward to the meeting with her dad in which he asks me point blank if I'm going to give his daughter an overdose of insulin, live with someone else, and then kill her in order to get medical damages.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

I kind of wonder what this guys deal is.

Just kidding. I don't wonder at all, on the contrary I know all too well. A scorched-earth Bible thumper, usually right on theological matters and often right on political matters, but too quick to pessimism, too slow to optimism, and the obvious solution to every problem is to find someone to denounce in terms as hyperbolic as you like.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Went to visit some college friends of my parents this weekend. They live in San Diego. If Crowe wants me to blog something non-historical, he is in luck, since there are several things I've got.

First of all is the Matter of Terri Schiavo (SKYAH-vo, not SHIE-vo). Central to the case is that Michael Schiavo's word is apparently being taken for it that she would have wanted to be starved and dehydrated like a stubborn and unbending concentration camp victim (doesn't everyone?). I was thinking: Michael would not be legally allowed to go to the polls on election day and cast two votes, one on behalf of his wife since he knows what she would have wanted. But we can take it from him that she wants to die in a way that would considered 'cruel and unusual' by the constitution even if she had committed a capital crime. I'm still scratching my head about that.

Next thing. After decades of being completely useless and claiming to make it his business to stand up for the voiceless and oppressed, it appears Jesse Jackson is finally
doing just that. Now it might be a little better if he had gotten the idea of showing up a little earlier.

How about this: Do you think the left might start fighting for Terri if we told them she could be cured by their precious embryonic stem cells?

Lastly, I've now decided that simply sulking or spending the entire afternoon refuting them in my mind is no longer my method of choice for dealing with those masochistic occasions when I willfully read the letters and editorials in the New York Times. I now simply get it out of my system by scrawling sarcastic comments in the margin. I'm thinking of starting to use the stamp kit I got at boot camp. Of course, it's to the Times' shame that this is so easy for me. Even a slightly less nitwitted liberal paper might at least present arguments that can't be dismissed with a black ink stamp mark saying something like "CANNED" or "BOO HOO".

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

On this day in 1519...

Hernan Cortez made landfall in Mexico in his 11 ships and force of 500 or so men.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

I wonder if there is some sort of ribbon I rate for being the last Marine that knows how to write or type. From the base Newspaper: "In lieu of the recent DUI incidents, checkpoints will now be established."

From a much older issue: "Combat Center Morns Fallen Heroes."

Sunday, March 06, 2005

It's been far too long since I've fisked anything. It's starting to wear on me. I'm spoilin' for a fiskin'.

In other news, some drill instructors and an officer on Parris Island are being suspended because during swim qual, a recruit drowned the day after being grabbed by the collar and elbowed in the chest. Wow, drill instructors do that? Sheesh, I could have told you that. I sort of figured something was up when, as we were massing out the door of our squad bay, I saw our senior drill instructor choke-slamming two recruits at the same time against a rack.

I guess it's slightly different in this case, since The yelling and collar grabbing happened to have been caught by a TV crew who were there.

But some of these allegations of abuse are getting out of hand. The media can't get enough of his letters home. He says things like "My health is in jeopardy because we don't have enough time to eat..." Rubbish. I stuffed my face at boot camp.

He also complains of coughing a lot. Oh, I guess that was what I was doing all those times my lungs rapidly discharged air in an attempt to dislodge congestion or something of that sort. It's called 'recruits disease' and we all got it without exception.

He tried to get his parents to arrange for him to be taken out of training and brought home. Because of increasing concern, his DI's let him call home (usually reserved as a reward for high performance), whereupon he assured his parents that he was alright. Apparently his parents and a slew of letter-writers with nothing better to do are now throwing it about as plainly obvious fact that there should be some sort of 'e-z-kwit' program in place for recruits (not 'Marines' folks, recruits) who don't feel like they should be there, or that they 'made a mistake'.

Someone in my platoon peddled the 'made a mistake' line the second or third day we were there, and the female Lance Corporal he had spoken to told all of us, incredulously, "He's saying that this uniform I'm wearing is a mistake".

This all reminds me of a dream I had when I had been there less than a week or two. I've never told this dream to anyone, even in my letters home, but I have still never forgotten it. I was at boot camp, and apparently they had some sort of program where if you didn't like it, you could leave, but have your spot reserved if you chose to return within 48 hours. I took advantage of this program, went home, and began training as a volunteer firefighter. Eventually I decided that although it was easier, firefighting was not for me, I wanted to go back. So I went back to Parris Island. When I got there, however, something had happened. Either they had discontinued the program or it had been more than 48 hours, but when I got there, someone was sleeping in my rack and my stuff was nowhere to be seen. In addition to that, no one even recognized me or knew my name. I had lost out permanently, because apparently in my dream, simply reenlisting was not possible. I only got one opportunity, and now I had lost it. I woke up and experienced a feeling I never expected to feel and will never forget: The relief of waking to find myself still on Parris Island.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

"St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in inspection, be our protection..."

No kidding, I actually prayed this prayed for the first time on Thursday when we had a surprise barracks inspection.
I already posted this on Cacciaguida, but I'll post it here too. It's my entry in the game of typing up ten things you've done that your readers probably haven't.

1. Saw a movie for the first time starring someone I met the day before. (Forrest Gump).

2. Been a pedestrian bystander at a rear-end car accident involving my dad.

3. Been introduced to Judge Bork at my godfather's Christmas party when I was eleven.

4. Fell partway down a rabbit hole when I was five.

5. Served Mass at the Cathedral of Washington D.C. (Zorak and the O.O.'s wedding).

6. As a kid, played horsey on authentic Civil war cannons at the Manassas battlefield. (What else were they there for?)

7. Been asked by the umpire of my baseball game if I might be interested in playing on his football team.

8. Been to two MOS schools before I was in six months.

9. Scored a goal on my own team. (This is actually not unheard of among soccer players, especially young ones).

10. Played Cassius at age 11.

I'll go ahead and add one or two more, even though it breaks the perfect ten-ness of the list.

11. Been in the room where General Washington resigned his commission.

12. Passed up an opportunity to tour Independence Hall because I was looking for a tavern. (Bear in mind it was Tun Tavern).

13. Worn the same pair of shoes to walk the streets of Washington, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Cincinnatti, Indianapolis and Rome.

14. Seen the original pen and desk with which Admiral Nimitz accepted the Japanese surrender.

15. Sat down in a chair on exhibit at the Metropilitan Museum of Art in New York because I thought it was for weary gallery patrons. (Again, when I was little).

16. Seen the burial site of John Paul Jones.

That's all I can think of now. Btw, 11, 14 and 16 were when I was participating in a summer program at USNA.

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