Schiavo Case Leads Conservatives to Support Euthanasia

Re: Schiavo,” by John Derbyshire, The Corner, 15 June 2005,

More Derb

At the Atlanta bash last month, an audience member asked the panel whether the Schiavo case had caused any of us to change our minds about the underlying issues.

I piped up & said yes, the case had changed my mind in one respect. It had made me realise, a thing I never realised before, that I do favor euthanasia.

Ramesh asked me at some point why, if I were willing to see Mrs Schiavo have her feeding withdrawn so that she dehydrated to death over several days, I wasn’t willing to just have her given a lethal injection. I couldn’t think of any satisfactory answer to this, and haven’t been able to since; so in all honesty, I am bound to say I favor the lethal injection, in at least some cases.

Good point.

This is why federalism is important. So when one state legalizes something, an uninformed majority doesn’t snuff it out.

On the Rules of Engagement for Information Warfare White Paper

On the Rules of Engagement for Information Warfare,” by
Paco X. Nathan, et al, Symbiot, (from Whurleyvision through Slashdot).

Highly, highly recommended. Implicit referencing of OODA loops and everything. Read it.

In the context of increased globalization, international competitiveness, and other transnational issues, the threat of corporate-to-corporate hostilities cannot be ignored. For some enterprises, this category already represents the bulk of their security issues. In the context of rising levels of terrorist activity, including cells seeking out infrastructure targets, the motivation for sophisticated net-centric hostilities are steadily increasing. Another difficulty faced is the complexity of jurisdiction. For example, a firm in Europe may operate through a shell corporation located in the Caribbean to fund hostile network operations through an ISP located in Beijing, ultimately targeting a competitor in North America. Even with a complex attack such as this, the response in most cases must be determined and executed within seconds; which begs the question: what legal jurisdictions, if any, apply?

Also, in contrast to the typical marketing rhetoric of defensive security approaches, the application of graduated response has little correlation with the Hollywood stereotype of hackers; viewed from the perspective of the art of war, the traditional emphasis for information security assumes a perpetual state of contentious ground. This has not borne out in practice. Conversely, ROE procedures are introduced to engage the conflict between professionals in a transnational context..

… not to mention the emphasis on people over machines

In retrospect, the current thinking which has led to the defense-only approach may be due to over-emphasis placed on automated response in lieu of incorporating human authority into the intelligence cycle. Also the “computer emergency response team” model has suffered to some extent due to two factors: one being the categorical error in the art of war mentioned above, and another being perhaps its root cause, the reliance on email and newsgroups as communication modes, which tend to negate the effectiveness of multilateral response.

Kurds Have Had Enough

Guerrillas Kill 29 Iraqis Tuesday, Wound over 100 in North; 3 US Servicemen Dead; Kurds Abducting Arabs, Turkmen in Kirkuk,” by Juan Cole, Informed Comment, 15 June 2005,

Steve Fainaru and Anthony Shadid of the Washington Post report that the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Alliance of Kurdistan have used their police and security units in Kirkuk to kidnap hundreds of Arabs and Turkmen in the city. They have been held in prisons outside any legal framework, and some have been tortured. The two intrepid reporters have gotten hold of a US State Department memo on the issue:

‘A confidential State Department cable, obtained by The Washington Post and addressed to the White House, Pentagon and U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, said the “extra-judicial detentions” were part of a “concerted and widespread initiative” by Kurdish political parties “to exercise authority in Kirkuk in an increasingly provocative manner.” ‘

Kirkuk is a powderkeg. After the fall of Saddam, the city of about 1 million was estimated to be about 1/3 each Turkmen, Arab and Kurdish. But many Arabs have been chased out, and many Kurds have come into the city (in many cases returning to a place from which Saddam had expelled them). Fainaru and Shadid now seem to suggest that the Kurds are about 48 percent of the population, with Turkmen and Arabs a quarter each.

The kidnapping tactics extend to Mosul and perhaps to Tel Afar.

Arab on Kurdish violence could provoke a civil war. Kurdish on Turkmen violence could bring Turkey into northern Iraq, since Ankara sees itself as a protector of Iraq’s 750,000 Turkmen.

US military and Kurdish officials denied the abductions or said they had ended, but obviously the State Department does not agree, and Fainaru and Shadid find plenty of evidence that they are continuing.

Good. The 85% of Iraq has been terrorized by an ethnically-based civil war for years. A basic concern for the human rights of Iraqis demands that the 85% fight back.

Juan Cole’s ability to delay relay the horror of Iraq, warning of a (future) civil war, is breathtaking.

Kerry-Voting-Liberal Public-School Agitprop

The Quiet Crisis,” by Thomas Friedman, The World is Flat, 2005, ppg 270-273.

Agitation-Propaganda for reform of America’s socialist education system from Tom Friedman

While I think a dose of skepticism is always in order, I also think the skeptics would be wise to pay more heed to the flattening of the world and how quickly some of these trends could change. It is why I favor Shirley Ann Jackson’s approach: The sky is not falling today, but it might be in fifteen or twenty years if we don’t change our ways, and all signs are that we are not changing, especially in our public schools. Help is not on the way. The American education system from kindergarten through twelfth grade just is not stimulating enough youth people to want to go into science, math, and engineering

“We look at two things,” [Tracy Koon, Intel’s director of corporate affairs] continued. “We look at the fact that in disciplines that were relevant to our industry, the number of U.S. students graduating at the master’s and Ph.D. levels was declining in absolute numbers and relative to other countries. In our K to twelve we were doing okay at the fourth-grade level, we were doing middle-of-the-read in the eighth grade, and by the twelfth we were hovering near the bottom in international tests related to math. So the longer kids were in school, the dumber they were getting…”

If the longer meat was in a certain brand of refrigerator, the more spoiled it got, we would replace the refrigerator. If the longer patients were in a hospital, the sicker they got, we would close the hospital. But if the product is children in our socialist education system, some people think it’s acceptable.

Update: The rather less liberal Chirol adds…

In order to prevent massive social upheaval and instability, more people will need to have an increasingly better education to keep their heads above water. What does this mean for the US and Europe? Additionally, one must ask whether 100% employment is even possible (with the expected 2-5% unemployment) with today’s technological advanced. One thing is certain, the unskilled worker will continue to lose his job to the 3rd world and to new technology.

Female Iranian Protestors

Sending a Message,” by Michael Ledeen, The Corner, 14 June 2005,

Because “modesty” in Iran is enforced by law, the female Iranian protesters are dressed more conservatively than their Lebanese counterparts.


It’s been suggested that one can tell a lot about a movement by how its women dress. This actually makes sense. The treatment of women is a product of larger cultural shifts.


Update: Regime Change Iran had the pictures first. Hat-tip One Free Korea. Thanks for the reminder, Josh!

Grand Strategic Isolation Attack on France

Snow, Snow, Snow,” by Collounsbury, Lounsbury on MENA, 15 June 2005,

Collounsbury is confused as to why American Treasury Secretary Jack Snow’s is provoking the French

While I am sympathetic to his attack on the modish new fad among the French in re attacking “ultraliberalism” (i.e. proper free market economics that may undermine the French elite), what the bloody fuck was the point of this? No US official preaching in Bruxelles is going to change minds. Quite the opposite really.

This was…. really pointless and counterproductive. And dumb. Yes, sometimes telling the truth is dumb, but there it is.

Of course it will make the French more stubborn. That is the point.

America and Britain are trying to detach Germany from France. Franco-German integration has been a goal of Paris for years, and until the EU Constitution collapsed it looked very achievable. France wants Europe to serve her interests. America and Britain are against this, because those “Anglo-Saxon” nations want to maximize their own influence, better integrate Europe into the global economy, and and integrate the Eastern European states into Europe. With Snow’s words, Washington is counting on the French penchant for unilateralism to antagonize the Eastern European and Germans and so further Atlanticist goals. Britain is helping in her own ways

Derbyshire on Schiavo

RE: Schiavo,” by John Derbyshire, The Corner, 15 June 2005,

Great post by John Derbyshire in reaction to the latest Schiavo fuss. Emphasis mine

Some comments on that e-mail that seemed right to you, Kathryn:

Regardless of the severity of brain damage, it seems to me the moral principle still abides...”

Regardless? Regardless? So all those things we heard about Mrs. Schiavo’s condition not really being as bad as the husband & the doctors said, was just cynical propaganda? In fact, however bad her condition actually was, the right-to-life side would have held the same position? Then wasn’t it dishonest of them to raise the issue of Mrs. Schiavo’s actual neurological status? Even if she had had no functioning cerebral cortex at all (which seems, in fact, to have been pretty nearly the case) the right-to-lifers wouldn’t have budged — “regardless”? Which right-to-lifers — names, please — made this clear at the time? It sure wasn’t clear to me.

“1. No human life should be contingent as to whether or not another person gives it credibility or not.””

So if anyone, in any condition, has a metabolism that can be kept functioning somehow, that ought to be done, regardless (!) of what any person — spouse, parent, eminent neurosurgeon, judge — thinks? Start building some real big warehouses — you’re going to need them.

“2. If a family member wants to terminate a human life where the human in question is not able to speak for him or herself, and another family member wants to sustain that life, defer to the family member that wants to keep the human in question alive.””

This is not currently the law in the state of Florida. If the people of Florida, in their collective wisdom, would like it to be the law, get lobbying. It seems like a fair principle to me… provided you can iron out a definition of the term “family member” that will not produce results just as rancorous as the Schiavo case (which I doubt — see next point).

And what if ALL family members wish to terminate a Schiavo-type life? Should that life then be terminated, even in violation of our reader’s point (1)?

“3. A fortiori should this be the case where the family member wanting to keep the human in question alive is willing to care for that human in question. (in this case, the parents).””

What if the parents are both 90 years old? Prisoners in the state penitentiary? Only doubtfully of sound mind? Stand to gain financially from their caring? Etc., etc.

“4. It remains true, no matter how many different circumstances one raises, the only direct cause of Schiavo’s death was government action, i.e., a court order.””

At least two of the governments (if you mean, executive administrations) involved — the Florida govt. and the Feds — were trying every way they could to find some way around the laws — laws written and approved through elected representatives, according to state and federal constitutions. The laws won. May they ever do so. And may we ever remain free to change the laws when they no longer satisfy we, the people.

Conservatives for Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana This AM,” by Rich Brookhiser, The Corner, 15 June 2005,

From the conservative Catholic “hippies” at National Review

Anyone who wants to support the Hinchey- Rohrabacher bill allowing states to permit medical use of marijuana should call his congressman (see below).

Chemotherapy, which I had in 1992, wasn’t all bad. I looked very cool bald; it gave a nice grey perm when my hair came back (why couldn’t it bring more hair back? can’t they cut it with menoxydil?); and it did stop my unpleasant visitor.

But the nausea was not cool, and only the illegal drug worked once the legal ones had failed

John Walters says there is no medical evidence for marijuana’s effects. He is a liar or an ignoramus, probably both.

Agitprop Through Time

A bit more artistic than modern-day supreme court or academic agitation-propaganda

Juventudes Socialistas Unificadas. Secretariado de Propaganda. de Valencia. Secretariado de Propaganda ?Donsentir?s tu esto? Ayuda a la evacuaci?n.

Rough Translation: “Unified Socialist Youths. Secretaryship of Propaganda of Valencia. Secretaryship of Propaganda. Aid the evacuation.”

[C.N.T.] Comite de Defensa. Secci?n de Propaganda CNT AIT FAI campesionos; a las armas para conquistaria la libertad. y abrir los surcos de la sociedad futura.

Rough Translation: “To the arms for the conquest the freedom and to open the furrows of the future society.”