A society of sheep

Thomas Jefferson once said, “The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government.”

And yet Terri Schiavo died of starvation and dehydration. Schiavo was the brain-damaged woman in Florida being kept alive by the “extreme medical measure” known as a feeding tube. Her parents have been locked in a legal battle with the woman’s pond-scum husband, Michael. Michael recently “won” the right to remove said tube and starve her to death—with the collusion of the state and federal judiciary.

In an extraordinary move by Congress, a special law was passed giving the parents the right to appeal. Critics charged the right-wing meanies with politicizing a “private family matter.” Yet contrary to popular belief, Congress had every authority to expand the power of the federal courts to hear the parents’ appeal. For the uninformed, that would be Article III of the U.S. Constitution.

In essence, all Congress did was grant the federal court the power to review the Schiavo case. That would be the same federal court that that has the power to review a state court’s actions in death penalty cases. And yet the “right-to-die” crowd would begrudge a brain-damaged woman the same rights that were afforded to serial killer John Wayne Gacy. The tragic part is that the law applies only in Schiavo’s case.

Still, where was the left-wing, Congress-should-mind-its-own-business crowd the week before?

At the request of ranking minority member Henry Waxman, D-Calif., the House Committee on Government Reform held hearings on steroid use in major league baseball.

Apparently, according to Waxman and his ilk, Congress can and should regulate every aspect of human activity, but if it gets involved with a woman being starved to death, well, that’s considered by him to be “a flagrant abuse of power.”

OK, that makes sense. Or perhaps it doesn’t. The last time I checked, “life” was specifically mentioned in the United States Constitution and its amendments. “Major league baseball” is conspicuously absent.

Still, much “to-do” has been made over the fact the case has been reviewed by 19-plus judges. Yet the standard of review was whether Florida Judge George Greer abused his discretion, not whether his ruling was correct and accurate. You may note that the last time Judge Greer gained some notoriety was when he denied an order of protection to a woman weeks before her husband stabbed her to death.So much for the infallibility of the courts.

And yet the “facts” as determined by Judge Greer are these: Terri would have wanted to be starved to death based on the testimony of her husband, who—according to the New York Times—didn’t recall her “clearly stated desire for death” until after a million-dollar settlement was paid out, and who was living with his “fiancée,” with whom he has two children.

Let’s see, who would you want to be your guardian in such a case? An adulterous spouse with a financial interest in seeing you dead or loving parents who want to care for their child?

And yet, who were the critics of the honorable and infallible Florida courts that granted custody of a little boy to Miami relatives? Oh yes, that would be Bill Clinton, who afterwards sent armed INS agents to seize the Cuban boy, Elián Gonzáles, from said relatives and return him to Cuba.

As French philosopher Bertrand de Jouvenel once wrote, “A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves.”