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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Monday, March 28, 2005

We're Number 1! We're Number 1!

Well, we are number one in something. Girth. Rotundity. Butt.

A weighty problem for Va.
Residents here are getting fatter faster than in any other state
BY TAMMIE SMITH, TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER

How do I know if I'm obese?

The prevalence of adult obesity grew more in Virginia from 1990 to 2002 than it did in any other state in the nation.

Another way to put it: Virginians are getting fatter faster than adults in the rest of the country.

In 2002, 23.7 percent of adult Virginians were obese, based on a federal-state survey. That was up from 9.9 percent in 1990. The 13.8 percentage-point increase in obesity prevalence is bigger than reported in any other state, a state health official said after analyzing years of survey data.

"We know it's a problem," said Yedda Stancil, obesity prevention-physical activity coordinator at the Virginia Department of Health.

The data are based on the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a federal-state phone survey used to track health trends. The 1990 Virginia survey is based on interviews with 170 people. A total of 1,027 Virginians were interviewed for the 2002 data. (
link)

Good News On The War Front

This is the kind of news we've been waiting for (from the Washington Times):
Pentagon begins to see Iraq momentum shift
By Rowan Scarborough, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

In the privacy of their E-ring offices, senior Pentagon officials have begun to entertain thoughts that were unimaginable a year ago: Iraq is turning the corner.


Military officials and analysts say the clearing out of enemy-infested Fallujah in November, the Jan. 30 elections and the increasing willingness of Iraqis to fight and die for a democratic country are contributing to the momentum.

"This is still a tough fight. We don't want anyone to think that it is not," said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, a military analyst who strongly supports Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. "But the momentum is in our direction." (link)
President Bush has made history. Bill Clinton, in his last months in office, struggled to make for himself his "legacy." He would have done well to have tried to solve some of the world's problems, as exemplified by his successor, rather than try to make a few headlines.

Now he can only look on in wonder at what might have been.

Day Ten

The government of the United States of America, in collusion with that of the state of Florida, has denied Terri Schiavo food and water for nearly ten days. All who tried yesterday to take her a drink of water were arrested.

Bob Herbert, writing for the New York Times, doesn't even consider it a story. He's still worked up over the terrorists in Iraq being mistreated at Abu Ghraib prison. And we wonder how the law has been turned on its head.
Is No One Accountable?
By
BOB HERBERT

The Bush administration is desperately trying to keep the full story from emerging. But there is no longer any doubt that prisoners seized by the U.S. in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere have been killed, tortured, sexually humiliated and otherwise grotesquely abused.

These atrocities have been carried out in an atmosphere in which administration officials have routinely behaved as though they were above the law, and thus accountable to no one. People have been rounded up, stripped, shackled, beaten, incarcerated and in some cases killed, without being offered even the semblance of due process. No charges. No lawyers. No appeals. (
link)

'What Is Illegal To Do To Dogs'

Nat Hentoff, writing for the Washington Times (and a columnist for whom I have a tremendous amount of respect), has this to say about the Terri Schiavo murder:
Terri's Tragedy
By Nat Hentoff Published March 28, 2005

Despite some bitter and grossly uninformed Democratic opposition -- with the especially notable exception of Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, among other Democrats -- the congressional Republican leadership has, as of this writing, given Terri Schiavo, who has committed no crime, a chance to escape execution after having been again sentenced to death by Florida Circuit Court Judge George Greer, who steadfastly jettisoned due process in her case.

The fundamental issue in Terri's case is disability rights -- not the right to die. Throughout all the extensive media coverage of the case, there has been
only slight mention, but usually none at all, that nearly every major disability-rights organization has filed legal briefs to prevent what they and I regard as judicial murder. The protests are not only from pro-lifers and the Christian Right.

Mrs. Schiavo -- who collapsed in 1990 from what may have been a potassium imbalance that temporarily stopped her heart and cut oxygen to her brain -- has never been comatose, brain dead or in a persistent vegetative state, despite what some physicians have stated and others have denied. She is responsive not only to her parents, brother and sister; but also when a new lawyer comes into the room, she turns, as she hears an unfamiliar voice. I have statements from people who have seen her and whose credibility I have reason to trust as to her unmistakable responsiveness beyond mere reflexes.

She has not been attached to any machines, only to a small feeding tube by which she is fed three times a day.

The primary judge in her case, George Greer, has steadfastly found "clear and convincing evidence" to support the contention of her husbandand guardian, Michael Schiavo, that before she collapsed in 1990, she said she would not want to continue to live in the state she's been in for 15 years. The only source for this claim is Michael Schiavo and two of his relatives. However, one of Terri's best friends, DianeChristine Meyer, has testified in court that Terri told her forcefully she would, indeed, want to live if she could no longer express her wishes. Judge Greer discounted the testimony.

As to Michael Schiavo's credibility, he has long been living with another woman, with whom he's had two children. He has forbidden therapy or rehabilitation for Terri since 1991, or any further tests since 1993. Terri has never even had an MRI or PET scan, let alone a complete neurological examination.

As Republican majority leader, Dr. Bill Frist, who has had experience with disabled patients, said of Judge Greer on the Senate floor: "A Florida judge has ruled that Terri is in a persistent vegetative state. This same judge has denied a request for new testing and examinations of Terri by independent and qualified medical professionals. As a doctor, this troubles me. All the more so when the attorney for Terri's parents submitted 33 affidavits from doctors and other medical professionals that Terri should be re-evaluated." And a number of them believe that, with new tests and therapy, she may indeed improve.

Researchers supporting Terri allege Michael Schiavo has denied his wife, a Catholic, sacraments (an important rite in that religion), saying he doesn't want her to choke on the Communion wafer (his lawyer denies this). Yet he pressed for the removal of her feeding tube. On March 15, appearing on ABC-TV's "Nightline" in a disgracefully one-sided account of the case that should shame Ted Koppel (who wasn't on the show but was in charge), Michael Schiavo said that without the feeding tube, Terri "will drift off to a nice little sleep and eventually pass on and be with God."

In dread fact, Terri faces a horrific death from dehydration. In covering previous cases when feeding tubes have been removed, I've found out how terribly painful this way of dying is for someone like Terri who is not in a persistent vegetative state and can feel: By the eighth day, without water, her liver, spleen, kidneys, stomach, esophagus, tongue and eyeballs will swell and begin to crack.

All of her body's organs by her ninth or 10th day will have split and cracked. Not long after this agonizing ordeal, she will die.

Complicit in this egregious denial to Terri of due process and equal protection of the law has been the American Civil Liberties Union. It correctly called unconstitutional the Florida legislation pushed through by Gov. Jeb Bush in 2003 to reinsert the feeding tube because it applied to only one person.

But ever since, the ACLU has supported Michael Schiavo's insistence on putting Terri to death. It has not shown any awareness of her husband's blatant conflicts of interest with such results as his withdrawal of therapy and rehabilitation from her. However, the ACLU would insist that a death-row inmate receive vastly more civil liberties than Terri Schiavo has from the Florida courts.

As a Feb. 28 letter to the Washington Times by Daniel John Sobieski asks: "Who's next? Alzheimer's victims? The elderly in nursing homes? The handicapped? . . . Will we be allowed to do to people what is illegal to do to dogs?" The courts and the ignorant coverage by most of the media of this crucial case have until now appallingly failed Terri Schiavo and the community of the disabled.

And who knows how many more innocent victims in the years ahead? (
link)
Like I said.

Where Are The Feminists?

You might wonder where the National Organization For Women has been as Terri Schiavo is being starved to death. They're more interested in women in the abstract it would seem.

Not Their Kind of Woman
By
Andrew Cline, The American Spectator

The most visible graphic on the National Organization for Women's
website this past week is the one at the top right corner, which reads, "Support Women's Rights -- Contribute to NOW."

Browsing the site, one finds admonitions to support family leave policy, observe Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Health Awareness Week, and support a bill that would provide "emergency" contraceptives to rape victims.

Nowhere on the website of the nation's best-known women's rights group is there a single mention of Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged Florida woman who at this writing is starving to death after her husband ordered the removal of her feeding tube.

While the political battle over Schiavo's fate has reached a fever pitch in recent weeks, NOW has ignored it entirely, instead focusing on issues such as family leave and gay rights.

Amazingly, NOW has completely ignored Terri Schiavo, who would appear to be the ideal poster woman for left-wing feminists. There is evidence that the heart attack that brought on her brain damage may have been triggered by an eating disorder. Schiavo, who was overweight as an adolescent, had become obsessed with her weight. Her feeding tube was ordered removed by her husband, who has been living with another woman, with whom he has two children, for years. Yet the plight of this utterly defenseless woman dying on her husband's command has elicited not a word from top officials of the nation's top feminist organizations. (
link)
I have come to the understanding that liberals like those who gravitate to detached organizations like NOW really have no interest in the causes for which they claim allegiance. That's why you'll see them protest for lesbian rights but not lift a finger when a real-live woman is being abused beyond human understanding.

Therefore, pay them no mind. They prefer to be irrelevant.