Tuesday, March 22, 2005


For decades California has been the source of odd trends that sometimes spread across the country. From strange political actions to tofu and Nehru jackets, California has become known for its behavioral oddities.

But now Florida is threatening to become the new home of the crazies. It has given us the spectacle of the wrangling over the fate of the young Cuban boy Elian Gonzales. The Florida voting in the presidential election of 2000 produced hanging chads, Jewish grandmothers voting for Pat Buchanan, recounts, and litigation culminating in the U.S. Supreme Court's unprecedented reversal of State court decisions.

While not as consequential as the 2000 election, the current dispute over a Terri Schiavo's right to die somehow elevated itself from a medical decision through Florida courts, its governor and legislature, all the way up to a special session of the U.S. Congress and a Presidential flight to Washington to sign the special bill.

Surely, turning the matter of a heart wrenching medical decision into a political farce qualifies as a legitimate challenge to California's position as our culture's twilight zone.

Sunday, March 20, 2005


As most people do anyway. The reason for dismissing this blog is that it is just a brief, angry rant against action that is hardly a tiny blip on the history screen.

What in the world is our U.S. Congress doing? Days of activity and a special Sunday session to deal with a medical matter involving a comatose woman? Although nowhere near as serious as other misguided actions of our government, this continues to make it difficult to have pride in ou government.

With a budget to pass, with extreme health care problems, with the Middle East, North Korea, a war in Iraq, and dangerous deficits, you would think that this august body could leave this issue alone. Even questions to baseball players are more worthy of congressional attention.

I don't know how the voting has gone, but, since this episode is a blatant attempt by Republicans to appeal to their evangelical base, the Democrats have an opportunity to take an act intelligent position. They should just state forcefully that this in an inappropriate matter for Congress and stay above the fray by abstaining.

Finally, there is no reason to have much faith in the proposed solution? Why should a Federal district judge's opinion be better than that of all the jurists who have dealt with this medical matter? Of course the issue is heart wrenching, but it has been decided. To be completely crass, suppose the district judge said it was time to end the wait, use a lethal injection?