Florida Pilot

A compendium of random thoughts from a former Washington Beltway insider who is now having a lot more fun flying small airplanes in Central Florida.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

mischief afoot in tallahassee?

So, the question of the hour is whether the Florida legislature, along with a duped and willing Governor Jeb Bush will again contravene the wishes of Terri Shiavo and prolong her existence in a persistent vegetative state?

Last time around (about 18 months ago), the legislature passed a hastily and poorly conceived private bill that was declared unconstitutional. This time, member of the Florida House are afoot with much more mischief, crafting another private bill but in the form of a broader measure that would deny the rights of many more Floridians. The governor, turning a deaf ear to Michael Shiavo's request that he actually consider the facts in this case, is ready to sign anything put in front of him.

The media, anxious to show this to be a real two-sided dispute have consistently published with a slant favoring the position of the Schindlers, Terri's conniving and controlling parents. In the view of the media, the option of the 19 or so "experts" collected by the Schindlers is considered to be equivalent to the actual medical specialists and experts that have examined Schiavo and concluded her condition offers no hope for recovery. The media generally don't mention that the Schindler "experts" are mostly charlatans and grifters, none of whom have actually examined the patient or read her medical history. The bottom line is that brain areas that have turned to fluid are not going to grow back and be restored to function any more than an amputated limb is. Perhaps the Schindlers really are clueless enough to believe what they say but no competent expert has agreed with them. The courts who have actually reviewed the evidence have consistently rules against the Schindlers. Their attempt to lobby the legislature to pass another bad private bill is based on their knowledge that the legislature (and this governor as well) are unlikely to consider any actual facts before going ahead.

Another wild card in the case is the insertion of Florida's gestapo-like Department against Children and Families. Generally operating with no effective oversight, this is a scary group of misfits, evidently anxious to curry favor with the governor.


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