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Thursday, March 31, 2005

The Death Post - Don't Read If You're Queasy
From Reuters/Yahoo!:

Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged Florida woman at the heart of a wrenching dispute over her fate that drew in the U.S. Congress and President Bush, died on Thursday.

"Terri Schiavo has passed away just a little while ago," said Brother Paul O'Donnell, a Franciscan monk and spiritual adviser to the parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, who fought a seven-year legal battle to keep their daughter alive.

Schiavo, 41, died 13 days after her feeding tube was halted under order from a state court, and just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court rebuffed yet another appeal by her parents for the feeding to be restored.

Schiavo had been in what courts ruled was a "persistent vegetative state" since her heart briefly stopped in 1990, depriving her brain of oxygen.

Courts had long sided with her husband and legal guardian, Michael Schiavo, in ruling she would not have wanted to live in that condition and should be allowed to die.

From crosswalk.com:

A black conservative Wednesday criticized Rev. Jesse Jackson for his "late" support in the Terri Schiavo case.

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, founder and president of BOND (Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny), accused Jackson of "exploiting Terri Schiavo for personal gain."

"For Jackson to insert himself in this case in the final hours of Terri's life is the height of desperation. He is using this case to get himself back in the news, just as he has done in the Michael Jackson molestation case," Peterson said in a statement.

"Jesse Jackson is an opportunist and has no interest in helping Terri. He is exploiting her plight to push the liberal Democrat's agenda for socialized health care," added Peterson, who pointed out that Jackson used to be pro-life then changed his stance on abortion to "gain favor with the Democratic Party."

"Until Jesse Jackson repents for condoning the culture of death and the killing of millions of black babies in the black women's womb he cannot be trusted," concluded Peterson.

From advancedhealthplan.com:

Why would Death by STARVATION be an option in this case or any other. What is going on in this country? People are fined and sometimes even jailed for allowing animals to starve. How can DEATH By STARVATION even be CONSIDERED as a solution. This is MURDER by BTK (Bind - Torture - Kill). Terri Shiavo is bound in a body that isn't working properly, starvation causes such great pain and suffering and finally ... death. Those convicted of murder and sentenced to death many times have a choice of death by electric chair or lethal injection. Even IF Terri's choice had been death, would she have chosen Death by STARVATION? If it were me and I had a choice I would want an alternate method and my heart tells me that she would too. ~Vickie Barker

From the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children:

In October 1999, the government published its proposals to reform the law on mental incapacity, which have now been enshrined in its draft Mental Incapacity Bill. At that time it stated that "the Government wishes to make absolutely clear its complete opposition to euthanasia which is, and will remain illegal".

It is important to note that the government's definition of euthanasia is restricted to "a deliberate intervention undertaken with the express intention of ending a life." Note in contrast Pope John Paul II's words in Evangelium Vitae 65: "For a correct moral judgment on euthanasia, in the first place a clear definition is required. Euthanasia in the strict sense is understood to be an action or omission [my italics] which of itself and by intention causes death, with the purpose of eliminating all suffering.".

If the government was genuine in its opposition to euthanasia, it would recognise that the deliberate omission of tube-feeding to patients is euthanasia and it would ensure that the practice was outlawed. However, as well as the government's flawed definition of euthanasia, a subtle but significant change has occurred in the language of the government's denial of a euthanasia agenda....

The Government has conveniently ignored the fact that the pro-euthanasia agenda for the withholding and withdrawing of assisted food & fluids from patients - "passive" euthanasia - is inextricably linked with the agenda for lethal injections - "active" euthanasia.

Euthanasia advocates have long suggested that lethal injections should be preferred to starvation and dehydration. As long ago as 1984, pro-euthanasia bioethicist Dr Helgha Kuhse said: "If we can get people to accept the removal of all treatment and care--especially the removal of food and fluids--they will see what a painful way this is to die and then, in the patient's best interests, they will accept the lethal injection". It is no surprise that the pro-euthanasia Hemlock Society of Colorado (now euphemistically renamed "End-Of-Life Choices") endorses death through starvation as a form of euthanasia....

From deathrowspeaks.org:

In less than a month, Pope John Paul II will beatify Mother Teresa and, for those of us who considered her the Works of Mercy in action in an ever more selfish world, it will be a spiritual victory. Mother Teresa’s devotion to the poor and abandoned extended to all of humanity, not just to the Calcutta beggars she fed and comforted in their final moments of life.

Living and dying with dignity don’t come easy to the disenfranchised. In a Florida courthouse across the street from my place of work, a judge has determined that Terri Ann Schiavo, a young woman in a vegetative state, deserves to die of starvation on October 15, during the same week that Mother Teresa will be beatified. Despite the pleas of her parents, a judge will grant her husband’s request to end Schiavo’s life because she’s incapable of feeding herself. A judge who decided that a quadriplegic or a newborn similarly unable to find nourishment without assistance should die by starvation would be called a barbarian, but Schiavo is one of America’s Calcutta poor. She’s expendable and scheduled to begin the death process while Catholics worldwide celebrate Mother Teresa on October 19. Blessed Mother Teresa might have spent the day praying for those who would make it legal to impose death on Terri Ann Schiavo.

Sanitizing death is acceptable in America. Whether we make abortion acceptable by calling it “a woman’s right to choose” or pat ourselves on the back for doing away with the electric chair in favor of the more “humane” lethal injection, we kill and tell ourselves we’re not really not murderers. In my parish, homilies contain messages that abortion and euthanasia are sins against God but priests are uniformly silent about the death penalty. It’s easier to leave this tear in the Seamless Garment than to anger those who can’t fathom that God loves every sinner, even those who have murdered others.

After two World Wars, Aushwitz, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the fathers of the Second Vatican Council were compelled to develop the Church's understanding on war, punishment and death. Many of us choose to ignore what the Catechism, the Pope and Jesus Christ have said about the death penalty. Cradle Catholics who wouldn’t dream of eating a hamburger on Friday can make a distinction between an abortion that kills a child and an execution that kills an adult. The term you can bet you’ll hear in any discussion of the efficacy of the death penalty is “innocence.” A baby in the womb and the victim of a homicide are innocent; a killer is guilty and deserves what he or she gets. We can justify ending a life by pointing out guilt in the name of He who told the adulterous woman facing a death sentence, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your own way and from now on do not sin again.” (John 8:11)

Jesus was the Son of God, not a self-help guru with a bestseller on the New York Times list. Catholicism isn’t an asterisk religion that allows us to say “you shall not murder” only to abortionists, serial killers and terrorists and not to executioners employed by the state. Pope John Paul II called the death penalty “both cruel and unnecessary” during his visit to St. Louis in 1999. His choice of words wasn’t thoughtless. The United States is the only nation that can profess to carry enlightened ideas of freedom to other parts of the world and yet cling to state-sanctioned death. China, Iran, Syria and the United States are alone in the world in their stance for death. Every other nation has opted to impose life in prison on those who murder....

From noapathy.org:

In the early 1920s the renowned psychiatrist, Dr. Alfred Hoche, and the respected judge, Karl Binding, wrote The Release of the Destruction Of Life Devoid of Value. In their book they stated that those who were dying or were physically or mentally handicapped should be given the “mercy” of a painless death. They also pointed out the economic benefits of such a program.

“It was respected psychiatrists and pediatricians - not Nazi thugs - who killed 75% of the chronically ill in Germany. It began by killing German, non-Jewish persons suffering serious defects. In time, the reasons for killing became slighter - for example, `poorly formed ears,' bed wetters, and `difficult to educate.' An estimated 275,000 persons who had been in nursing homes, hospitals, and asylums were killed.”2

Germany's euthanasia movement also had its comforting phrases such as help for the dying and mercy deaths. “Realm's Committee for Scientific Approach to Severe Illness Due to Heredity and Constitution” was the harmless sounding name of an organization set up specifically for the killing of children....

C. Everett Koop, MD, Surgeon General of the United States, warns us about what lies ahead. “One could say without hesitation that we are at the crossroads of the corruption of medicine with the corruption of law. Corruption of law came first in this country with the US Supreme Court abortion decision of 1973. The corruption of medicine followed. In Germany in the 1930s the corruption of medicine came first. But the Holocaust could not have come about with the corruption of medicine alone. It took the corruption of law to make euthanasia legal. There is no doubt that if the doctors in Germany had stood for the right to life of every individual, the Holocaust at the very least would have been slowed down and minimized.”...

Only “viable” human beings who have the “capability of meaningful life” may, but need not, be protected by the state. - US Supreme court, January 22, 1973
The Supreme Court's ruling on abortion has not only devalued human life, but it has set in motion a mentality of death that reaches far beyond the womb. Francis Schaeffer wondered, “Will a society which has assumed the right to kill infants in the womb - because they are unwanted, imperfect, or merely inconvenient - have difficulty in assuming the right to kill other human beings, especially older adults who are judged unwanted, deemed imperfect physically or mentally, or considered a possible social nuisance?”

Abortion practices are being used to justify euthanasia. In the Atlantic Monthly it was argued that if the life of a Down's Syndrome baby can be “ended prenatal, why should it not be ended neonatally [just after birth]? The only difference between the fetus and the infant is that the infant breathes with its lungs.” Like it or not, this line of logic is correct. If we can kill babies before they are born, why not after?

Another shocking statement comes from a Nobel Prize winner: “If a child were not declared alive until three days after birth, then all parents could be allowed the choice that only a few are given under the present system. The doctor could allow the child to die if the parents so chose, and save a lot of misery and suffering. I believe this is the only rational and compassionate attitude to have.”...

From issues2000.org:

Rev. Jesse Jackson on Abortion

No stance on record.

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Sixteenth, C Sharp
Much happening in the last few days...European visitors...trip to Vegas...relative O.D.'ed...training with one of the two named experts in a particular field (sorry, confidential)...in other words, busy.

Plus, my Saturday night audioblogs apparently showed up as Monday audioblogs. Last I checked Henderson, Nevada was in the same time zone as California. Oh well...

Pictures at some point from the Vegas leg.

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Monday, March 28, 2005

this is an audio post - click to play

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this is an audio post - click to play

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Saturday, March 26, 2005

Yesterday's Controversy
From gotquestions.org:

The Bible does not specifically state which day of the week Jesus was crucified. The two most widely held views are Friday and Wednesday. Some, however, using a synthesis of both the Friday and Wednesday arguments, accept Thursday as the day.

Jesus said in Matthew 12:40 "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." Those who argue for a Friday crucifixion say that there is still a valid way in which He could have been considered in the grave for three days. In the Jewish mind of the First Century, part of day was considered as a full day. Since Jesus was in the grave for part of Friday, all of Saturday, and part of Sunday—He could be considered to have been in the grave for three days. One of the principal arguments for Friday is found in Mark 15:42 that notes that Jesus was crucified "the day before the Sabbath." If that was the weekly Sabbath, i.e. Saturday, then that fact leads to a Friday crucifixion. Another argument for Friday says that verses such as Matthew 16:21 and Luke 9:22 teach that Jesus would rise on the third day, therefore He wouldn't need to be in the grave a full three days and nights. But while some translations use "on the third day" for these verses, not all do and not everyone agrees that that is the best way to translate these verses. Furthermore, Mark 8:31 says that Jesus will be raised "after" three days.

The Thursday argument expands on the Friday view and argues mainly that there are too many events (some count as many as twenty) happening between Christ's burial and Sunday morning to occur from Friday evening to Sunday morning. They point out that this is especially a problem when the only full day between Friday and Sunday was Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath. An extra day or two eliminates that problem....

The Wednesday opinion states that there were two Sabbaths that week. After the first one (the one that occurred on the evening of the crucifixion, Mark 15:42; Luke 23:52-54) the women purchased spices--note that they made their purchase after the Sabbath (Mark 16:1). The Wednesday view holds that this "Sabbath" was the Passover (see Lev 16:29-31; 23:24-32, 39 where high holy days that are not necessarily the seventh day of the week are referred to as the Sabbath). The second Sabbath that week was the normal weekly Saturday. Note that in Luke 23:56, the women who had purchased spices after the first Sabbath, returned and prepared the spices then "rested on the Sabbath" (Luke 23:56). The argument states that they could not purchase the spices after the Sabbath, yet prepare those spices before the Sabbath—unless there were two Sabbaths....

Therefore, this view states, the only explanation that does not violate the biblical account of the women and the spices and holds to a literal understanding of Matthew 12:40, is that Christ was crucified on Wednesday. The Sabbath that was a high holy day (Passover) occurred on Thursday, the women purchased spices (after that) on Friday and returned and prepared the spices on the same day, they rested on Saturday which was the weekly Sabbath, then brought the spices to the tomb early Sunday. He was buried near sundown on Wednesday, which began Thursday in the Jewish calendar. Using a Jewish calendar, you have Thursday night (night one), Thursday day (day one), Friday night (night two), Friday day (day two), Saturday night (night three), Saturday day (day three). We don't know exactly when He rose, but we do know that it was before sunrise on Sunday...so He could have risen as early as just after sunset Saturday evening, which began the first day of the week to the Jews.

A possible problem with the Wednesday view is that the disciples who walked with Jesus on the road to Emmaus did so on "the same day" of His resurrection (Luke 24:13). The disciples, who do not recognize Jesus, tell Him of Jesus' crucifixion (24:21) and say that "today is the third day since these things happened" (24:22). Wednesday to Sunday is four days. A possible explanation is that they may have been counting since Wednesday evening at Christ's burial, which begins the Jewish Thursday, and Thursday to Sunday could be counted as three days.

In the grand scheme of things, it is not all that important to know what day of the week Christ was crucified. If it was very important then God's Word would have clearly communicated the day. What is important is that He did die, and that He physically, bodily rose from the dead. What is equally important is the reason He died—to take the punishment that all sinners deserve. John 3:16 and 3:36 both proclaim that believing, or putting your trust, in Him results in eternal life!

Roy A. Reinhold holds the Wednesday view:

What follows is a close examination of the biblical record, in which Jesus was killed on the 14th of Nisan in the afternoon, and the next day was the annual Sabbath, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. We shall also see from the biblical record that this annual Sabbath did not fall on the weekly Sabbath, in the year that Jesus died.

Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered Him, saying, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from You." But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; yet no sign shall be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster; so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." Matthew 12:38-40

But later on two came forward, and said, "This man stated, I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days." Matthew 26:61

Now on the next day, which is the one after the preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate, and said, "Sir, we remember that when he was still alive that deceiver said, 'After three days I am to rise again.' Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, lest the disciples come and steal Him away and say to the people, 'He has risen from the dead,' and the last deception be worse than the first." Pilate said to them, "You have a guard; go, make it secure as you know how." And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone. Matthew 27:62-66

The above verses show that Jesus had openly taught that the major sign that He was the Messiah was that He would die and three days later rise again. Even more clearly, He said that He would be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth....

In...John 19, we learn that the body of Jesus needed to be removed from the cross because the Sabbath was about to begin and that Sabbath was a high day or annual Sabbath. This is consistent with the other verses which teach that the day of preparation was the day that Jesus died. Now we only need to determine whether the annual Sabbath and weekly Sabbath fell on the same day, which would lead us to the conclusion that Jesus died on a Friday afternoon, shortly after 3 PM as commonly taught. If not, then He died on another day of the week....

There have been many noted believers in a Wednesday crucifixion, from the time of the early church until now. These include Epiphanus, Victorinus of Petau in 307 AD, Lactantius, Wescott, Cassiodorus, and Gregory of Tours. Later, Finis Dake and R.A. Torrey also believed in a Wednesday crucifixion. We now know that the Bible teaches a Wednesday crucifixion, so the reader now must face the facts of the Bible as compared to the traditions of men. At the same time, I say that this does not determine salvation, for I know that there will be millions who have believed the Friday crucifixion hoax and I will see them in heaven one day. Also, a superficial reading of the gospels does tend to lead one to the conclusion of a Friday crucifixion, when read separately, so one cannot blame the majority of believers for this false belief.

The learned reader might say that the Passover as kept today cannot fall on a Wednesday, in the Jewish calendar. That is the case today, but then neither does Firstfruits (wave offering) or the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) occur on the first day of the week in the Jewish calendar. The reason is a matter of history. There was a controversy between the Phariseean and Sadduceean way of keeping these important feast days. At the time of Jesus, the Sadducees were the high priests and kept the days according to our present Christian understanding from the Torah. For example, the Sadducees believed that Firstfruits always fell on the first day of the week, which meant that Pentecost also fell on the first day of the week. While the Pharisees believed that Firstfruits fell on the 16th of Abib/Nisan, the day after the annual Sabbath, leading to Pentecost on various days of the week. At the time of Jesus, the Sadduceean keeping of the feasts was in effect, but after the dispersion, the more numerous and stricter Pharisees perpetuated their understanding of Judaism. They were the ancestors of modern day Orthodox Jews and are the keepers of the calendar today. Their rules have supplanted the days as kept in the time of Jesus, even though these are minor rule changes. Please feel free to comment on this article by e-mail.

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Friday, March 25, 2005

Do You Know Jack About Golden Earring?
this is an audio post - click to play

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Pro Life vs. Pro Marriage
One interesting tidbit about the Terri Schiavo case is that it pits pro-lifers against pro-marriage people. Think about it - the pro-lifers are asking the parents, the Governor, the President, anybody to interfere with a marriage. Which I guess means that pro-lifers don't regard marriage as all that important.

family.org does look at pro-life and pro-marriage people as two distinct groups:

Now just think for a moment about strengthening marriage as a pro-life strategy. What if in 1973 pro-lifers had decided upon marriage education, marriage preparation, marriage enrichment, and divorce prevention as their primary strategy for reducing abortion? Imagine if they had been successful and in 1996, 75 percent of all women of childbearing age had been in healthy marriages. Had abortion rates held steady, there would have been 770,000 abortions in 1996, a net reduction of 596,000 abortions (44 percent). In short, one could confidently argue that investing in marriage is an excellent way to reduce the abortion rate....

It's just a hunch, but it seems that respect for the sanctity of marriage goes hand in hand with respect for the sanctity of life....

Well, under certain circumstances (again, from family.org):

The Bush administration is withdrawing from an agreement that gives an international court jurisdiction over the United states in reviewing death sentences meted out to aliens.

Some observers say the president is reasserting American constitutional authority over our laws. The United States originally complied with the World Court decision to review the death sentences of 51 Mexicans because they were not informed of their right to consult with their country's diplomats.

gotquestions.org has an interesting statement on marriage:

One sex is not exalted over another, but God did make man to be the head of the household, and the women are supposed to submit to the authority of their husbands....Christ loved the church (or His people) with compassion, mercy, forgiveness, respect, and selflessness; the same way husbands are supposed to love their wives....

We should never submit to our husbands if it requires disobeying God; the relationship we have with Him is the most important (Deut 6:5)....

Although women should submit to their husbands, the Bible also tells men several times how they are supposed to treat their wives. They are not to take on the role of the dictator, but show respect for his wife and her opinions as well....

When a husband and wife marry, they become one flesh and their body is now shared with their partner; it no longer belongs solely to him or herself....

So, Terri Schiavo's husband Michael can be overruled if he is disobeying God. Otherwise, his word prevails. But how can secular authorities argue that a husband is disobeying God, and therefore his wishes are not to be considered? Answer: talk long and loud about being pro-life, and ignore that nasty pro-marriage stuff.

Meanwhile, the world is divided about Michael:

Doctors have testified that 41-year-old Terri Schiavo is in a persistent vegetative state, the result of a collapse that deprived her brain of oxygen 15 years ago. Michael Schiavo insists that his wife told him she would never want to be kept alive artificially; for seven years he has fought her parents to carry out what he says would be her wish....

Through much of that time, he has been vilified — on talk shows and the Internet, and in protests in front of his own home — as an abuser, an adulterer, a murderer. But to friends and family, Michael Schiavo is just a well-meaning guy caught in an extraordinary situation.

Schiavo, also 41, was the youngest of five brothers brought up in the mass-produced suburb of Levittown, Pa....

The brothers were confirmed in the Lutheran church, though Sunday services weren’t always a priority, says Scott Schiavo, who still lives in Levittown....

After high school, Michael enrolled in nearby Bucks County Community College. It was there, in a sociology class, that he met Theresa Marie Schindler.

They were engaged just five months later and married in November 1984. After a year and a half, the couple moved to Florida for Terri’s work at an insurance company, and her parents followed them three months later. Michael Schiavo got work managing a restaurant.

Friends of Terri’s have said that Schiavo became possessive of his wife, tracking her movements and begrudging time she spent with her family. Terri had been overweight as a girl, and he reportedly rode her about her weight — and threatened to leave her if she got fat again.

Terri’s brother, Bobby, has said Terri was even contemplating leaving Schiavo. Scott Schiavo says he saw a happy couple....

Then, in the early morning of Feb. 25, 1990, Terri Schiavo collapsed, changing everything.

Initially, Michael Schiavo felt that his wife might benefit from therapy. He staged fund-raisers to pay for a flight to California for rehabilitation.

During a medical malpractice case in 1992, Schiavo testified that he was studying nursing at St. Petersburg College to better learn how to care for Terri....

When asked how he felt about being married to Terri in her current state, he said: “I feel wonderful. She’s my life, and I wouldn’t trade her for the world. ... I believe in the vows that I took with my wife. Through sickness, in health, for richer or poorer...."

But by 1993, Schiavo was fighting with his in-laws, Bob and Mary Schindler, over his wife’s care and guardianship. In a deposition, the ruggedly handsome Schiavo was forced to admit that he had already been involved in lengthy relationships with two women since his wife’s collapse. One of those women, a nursing assistant at the home where Terri was being cared for, told the Schindlers’ attorneys that Schiavo would “whine all the time” about how Terri’s illness had ruined his life, and that he couldn’t wait to collect the malpractice settlement. She described Schiavo as obsessive and claimed he stalked her for more than a year after their breakup.

Trudy Capone, who worked as a nurse at a home where Terri was treated in the early 1990s, says Michael Schiavo is “an evil, evil, evil man” who repeatedly told her that he and his wife had never discussed what to do if she was incapacitated. She says he was always asking, “What should I do?”

“This man is a liar,” Capone says.

That is not the Michael Schiavo who Jill Schad knows. A fellow nurse, Schad has known Schiavo for six years and has seen him on the job and with Terri. He strokes her hair and holds her hand and kisses her, Schad says....

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Not everyone conforms to the "one blog, one topic" model
I knew that I wasn't alone. Take Kevin Aylward's Wizbang (about):

I started Wizbang in April 2003 with no real goal or master plan, I just felt like talking - you know sort of like the Forrest Gump running thing....

Wizbang is a unique mix of news, politics, and entertainment. Wizbang has grown steadily into one of the most popular conservative weblogs on the Internet. Since its founding in April 2003, and has over 5 million unique visitors. Don't ask me to explain Wizbang's rise in popularity, but I imagine it's a function of topicality, humor, and insight.

Over the past year I've covered tons of topics, and I try hard to avoid becoming predictable....I've said before that Wizbang is whatever I feel like it should be that day, which is a philosophy that has served the site well to this point.

Sample post:

"A student who photographed his principal smoking outside a school building was allowed to return to class after initially being suspended for posting the photos on the Internet...."

The only environment Velasquez disrupted was the principal's smoking environment. Gotta hand it to the kid, she was p0w3d!!!

But wait, this one's better:

As winter's icy grip fades, we begin to see the first signs of spring. The geese return....And drunken high schoolers show up to dances.

When 15-20 students showed up (out of 450) at the annual Luau Dance in Belmont, Massachusetts, officials acted quickly. They carefully evaluated the situation, and calculated the absolutely worst way they could handle the situation. And in the time-honored traditions of public education, that's exactly what they did.

1) Overreact. They shut down the dance and called for ambulances. 14 ambulances. After fighting over the 6 drunken teenagers who could plausibly be taken to the hospital for intoxication, the other eight went back to their station.

2) Give the offenders a slap on the wrist. Monday morning, Belmont school officials gave twelve of the now-sober louts their punishment. For showing up at the dance intoxicated, in violation of several state laws, they decided to send a strong message. All the miscreants were given a one-day suspension.

3) Punish all the other students as well, so the offenders don't feel picked on. School officials over in Westwood decided they would learn a lesson from Belmont's problem. From now on, all students attending dances in Westwood will have to blow into breathalyzers ($300-$500 each)....

And in their spare time, the writers help out General Motors:

I'll tell you how to save Buick... The same way they saved the brand in the early 1980s. Horsepower.

In 1982 Buick introduced a limited edition Regal Grand National. It put Buick back on the map and saved them for another 2 decades. But unlike Ford who has (over)used (and so abused) the Mustang brand, Buick then walked away from it....

What GM should have done is put LS7 into a 25th Anniversary, limited edition Buick Grand National II. Instead, they put it into the Corvette which, lets review, is going to sell anyway. They could make a limited edition black and silver that would be on the cover of every car magazine. They would be sold before they even started production. With the exception of the Vet and the Camaro, GM has failed to really milk a product line like Ford has with the Mustang....

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Perhaps the Big Brother house would be better for Pat O'Brien right now
No contact with the outside world. That's what Big Brother promises, and usually delivers. If Pat O'Brien were in a Celebrity Big Brother house, instead of in rehab, he wouldn't have to read all of the articles written about him in the last few days.

From Gawker:

Insider host Pat O’Brien has entered rehab for alcohol abuse. Try to be sensitive; if your biggest competition was the legacy of John Tesh, you’d be marinating in tequila, too.

Interestingly enough, Patty’s Dry Journey comes just as a series of voicemails, allegedly featuring O’Brien enumerating some filthy fantasies, are making the internet rounds....Our permatan brother has donned his tinfoil hat to explore the coincidental timing of O’Brien’s media-free stint in recovery, but we all know rehab-as-damage-control is just impossible.

Defamer weighs in:

Apparently, Pat O’Brien is just like the rest of us and requires at least a bottle of Wild Turkey to get through an episode of The Insider, as the host has checked into rehab to battle an alcohol problem. O’Brien slipped a written statement announcing his dry vacation to the AP on Sunday and disappeared into the ether. Lest you worry that his absence will cripple the celebrity salad-tossing capabilities of the show, Lara Spencer, a woman we’ve never heard of, will fill in while O’Brien’s away. In a word: Whew....

Isn’t it weird that O’Brien’s taking his little trip just as a series of voicemails that allegedly feature O’Brien (or someone that sounds a lot like him) reciting his most creepily detailed erotic overtures for a female acquaintance (over and over and over again) have been spreading via e-mail? We’ve heard the voicemails, (and so have many readers, apparently)....But, you know, we don’t know for sure that it’s O’Brien’s voice, despite a little tale circulating with the voicemails about how O’Brien and the lucky lady on the receiving end of his phone naughties met. And even if it were O’Brien, he probably wouldn’t go hide in rehab until the whole non-thing blew over. Nah, The Insider wouldn’t roll like that. That’s just Crazy Talk™.

Plus, there's Dirty Flower:

The South Dakota Republican party has floated rumors that Pat O’Brien is interested in moving back to South Dakota and running for governor as a Democrat. As an involved Democrat I have seen nothing to back this claim up.

Still, if there is even a chance, I want to squash his chances now. We don’t need a quack Hollywood guy ruining our party. The New York Post says Pat O’Brien has a sex scandal to worry about....

The New York Post? Tell me more...

PAT O'Brien, the host of "The Insider" who entered rehab on Sunday, has more to worry about than sexually explicit voice-mail messages. There's a photograph, too.

An impeccable Left Coast source says that O'Brien's girlfriend, "Betsy," has an ex-husband who is in possession of a "compromising photograph" of the mustachioed broadcaster pleasuring himself.

"There's also an e-mail Pat O'Brien sent to Betsy laying out the framework for [having] an affair," said our source.

"It's like a blueprint, something in his file that he has sent out before."

Betsy is described as an attractive blond mother of two daughters. "She left her Pasadena husband when Pat seduced her," said the family friend.

The ex-husband is said to be well-off financially, but he might let the photo be sold to one of the supermarket weeklies — because he doesn't like O'Brien. "He's finished with the divorce and he's moved on," said our source.

Betsy figures prominently in voice mails that were posted Monday on the Internet, in which a man who sounds like O'Brien is heard trying to coax an unidentified woman into a threesome.

"Let's have [bleep]ing sex and drugs and just go crazy," the voice says in one of three messages, most of which is repetitive and unprintably graphic. "You're [bleep]ing sexy, I want to go crazy with you."

"You are so [bleep]ing hot . . . my girlfriend is so hot, you are so [bleep]ing hot. Please leave me a voice mail, leave me a voice mail. Bye."

In the third message, the voice says: "I am so [bleep]ing into you, but Betsy's so [bleep]ing jealous . . . I told Betsy you're into her and if you get this message just look at me and say yes. I want to [bleep] your [bleep] and get crazy. I don't know why I'm like this, but you have to be with Betsy, too."

O'Brien, who has one child with his wife, Linda, has taken Betsy out with him in public to many events over the past few months.

A spokesman for "The Insider" said O'Brien won't be coming back to the show "until he is better."

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Thursday, March 24, 2005

A Wardrobe Malfunction Or Something
I just discovered an error made in this blog on Friday, March 18.

In this post, I mentioned "Fortune Cookie Friday" and intended to link to http://taralynnjohnson.blogspot.com/. However, I put in the wrong URL, so the link went to a previously-cited post at Anomalous Noodge. No harm in that, but I meant to link to Tara.

So, everyone reading this is strongly encouraged - nay, COMMANDED - to go to http://taralynnjohnson.blogspot.com/. Now.

Just don't look for Fortune Cookie Friday. On March 21, Tara chose an alternative distribution method.

P.S. Have you visited http://taralynnjohnson.blogspot.com/ yet? If you did, perhaps you should visit it again. She may have posted something new in the last ten seconds.

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Smorgasbord, including Angi Taylor news!
Now that Blogpatrol is functional again, I can serve you by drawing upon my fount of all knowledge (old BBS joke) to answer those search requests that aren't necessarily fully answered in my blog.

"evil baby" Dominican Republic doctor mother die end of the world (Yahoo)

OK, maybe I can't help everyone. But perhaps Estephania, who named her blog after an applicable R.E.M. song, can help. Or perhaps not (old Usenet joke).

"angi taylor" radio (Google)

I FINALLY found something applicable. And yes, she is pregnant:

Angi Taylor is expecting a baby girl in early April.
The former Q102 morning co-host left the station in September, shortly after learning she was pregnant, to move to Chicago to be with boyfriend Dave Kampel.

Taylor says she’s looking back wistfully on her bikini picture from Philadelphia magazine last summer “as it’s the only reminder of the body I once had.”

She figured she’d chill for a while in Chicago until the baby was born, but has started doing voice-over work.

Angi’s not sure if she’ll go back to doing morning radio and her “4 a.m. wake-up calls are going to be coming in the form baby feedings instead.”

Taylor says she misses everyone and everything in Philly and that one of her cravings is for a decent cheesesteak, which cannot be found in Chicago.

Check THAT one off the list.

seduced mature fedorova (Google)

Not sure about this one. I have written about Oxana Federova, former Miss Universe, but someone who won Miss Universe in 2002 wouldn't be considered "mature" - except perhaps to Michael Jackson (for whome 15 year olds are apparently mature).

Tink Jenkins fullerton (Google)

The Tink in this blog is in Delaware, not Fullerton California.

Dave Kampel picture (Google)

Why? I think he looks about the same as before. Seriously, pregnant women should realize that pregnancy is a natural thing and that they are still beautiful and all that junk. End of public service announcement.

candice michelle (AOL)

I checked godaddy.com this morning and found no new commercials since the two new ones (Biker and Paparazzi) were added. (Click here to view them.) Candice is presumably continuing with her wrestling career.

krystal fernandez (Google)

Still with Van Earl and Andrew, now picking March Madness teams with her Krystal Ball.

canada senate subsidized haircuts (Google)

Sorry, but all that I know is that the father of one of my elementary school friends was a barber on Capitol Hill. And frankly, subsidized haircuts would be the least of my worries; it pales in comparison to the U.S. House banking scandal, or the Canadian senator who was "working" in a Mexican resort.

katelyn faber (Yahoo)

One of the sports radio stations announced today, "Kobe holds court in Denver." This was a reference to the Lakers' game in Denver tonight; despite Kobe's prior promise that the Lakers would make the playoffs, it's looking less and less likely. Meanwhile, the Rocky Mountain News reports the following (note that it used the name of Kobe's accuser):

A California man pleaded guilty Friday to threatening the woman who accused Kobe Bryant of rape and others involved in the Eagle County criminal case against the basketball star.

Cedric V. Augustine, 38, of Long Beach, entered the guilty plea before Colorado U.S. District Judge Lewis Babcock, who scheduled sentencing for June 2.

Augustine also admitted threatening Mark Hurlbert, the Eagle County district attorney, his family, accuser Katelyn Faber's family, the investigating detective and another witness.

"Augustine made approximately 70 threats over the course of five months, starting on July 18, 2003, and continuing, sometimes on a daily basis, through Nov. 16, 2003," the Colorado U.S. attorney's office said in a news release.

Two other men also have been convicted of making threats in the case.

krystal burger pictures (Google)

adult classified ads in ontario relating to sex (MSN)

Happy to help, I think. I searched the Daily Bulletin classifieds for ads including the word "sex," and got the following (note that this also searches other papers in the same group):

Attorneys - Bernstein, Barry O. - Barry O. Bernstein Murder sex crimes embezzlement writs and appeals. Expert 'AV' criminal trial attorney. Barry O. Bernstein. (800)99-LAW-11, (800)995-2911. www.lawcrime.com Murder sex crimes embezzlement writs and appeals. Expert 'AV' criminal trial attorney. Barry O. Bernstein. (800)99-LAW-11, (800)995-2911. www.lawcrime.com
View Print Ad

Location: CA Date: 3/24/2005
Source: San Bernardino Sun Category: Services
Adult Entertainment - San Berdoo Books - The Adult Shop/For Discriminating Adults/Le Sex Shoppe Your Sweet & Sassy Source for ADULT GIFTS On-Site Viewing Magazines Massage Aids Lingerie Incense/aroma Therapy Dvd s, Videos For Purchase Or Rent Sensual Candles Party Favors/Games 20% OFF with this ad! The Adult Shop 716 Tennessee Redlands (909) 335-7070 For Discriminating Adults 304 South E Street San Bernardino (909) 381-5114 Le Sex Shoppe 304 W. Highland Ave San Bernardino (909) 881-3583 Your Sweet & Sassy Source for ADULT GIFTS On- Site Viewing Magazines Massage Aids Lingerie Incense/ aroma Therapy Dvd s, Videos For Purchase Or ... View Image
View Print Ad

Location: CA Date: 3/24/2005
Source: San Bernardino Sun Category: Announcements
Advertising Services - Inland Empire Home Guide - Inland Empire Home Guide Distributed in 57 Stater Bros. Markets Racks are Restocked 3 Times a Week Published by The San Bernardino Sun For More Information Contact: Donna Gifford San Bernardino Office: (909) 386-3977 Tammy Begue, Ontario Office: (909) 483-8559 Cynthia Ortiz, Redlands Office: (909) 872-7438 All real estate advertised herein is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Act, which makes it illegal to advertise 'any preference, limitation or discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin, or intention to make any such preference or limitation, or ... View Image
View Print Ad

Location: CA Date: 3/24/2005
Source: San Bernardino Sun Category: Services
Rentals to Share - FAIR HOUSING NOTICE All roommates/real estate advertised herein is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Act, which makes it illegal to advertise any preference, limitation or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status or national origin or intention to make any such preferences, limitation or discrimination. The Daily News will not knowingly accept any advertising for roommates/real estate which is in violation of the law. If you have any questions or believe that you have been discriminated against, you may call the Department of Housing & Urban Development at 1 (800) 347-3739
Location: CA Date: 3/24/2005
Source: Los Angeles Daily News Category: Real Estate for Rent
Employment Opportunities - Whittier Hospital Medical Center - WHITTIER HOSPITAL MEDICAL CENTER We offer all the latest ways of caring for patients. Our focus is on leadership, growth and philanthropy. Whittier Hospital Medical Center is committed to equal employment opportunity as a sound business practice. Employment practices will not be influenced or affected by an applicant's or employee's race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability or any characteristic protected by law. With great quality service and innovative ways to care for patients the community feels safe in coming to our facility. Caring for our patients and getting ... View Image
View Print Ad

Location: CA Date: 3/24/2005
Source: San Gabriel Valley Tribune Category: Job Search
Pet Supplies - Marley's Pitstop - Desex And The City desex*and the city *make infertile, sterlize; to spay or neuter FREE Spay/Neuter Clinics* *For low-income residents who receive at least one form of social service or gevernment assistance L.A. COUNTY DOWNEY SHELTER Sunday, March 20 11258 S.Garfield Ave. Downey, CA 90242 SeX*and the Clty risilke in 'rtile, MicrIII;m. to sp.4 or nonie*r FREE Spay/Neuter Clinics* For lowanceme crude no who ra rate at least andorm al sonal arrace or gowrnment anistance L.A. COUNTY DOWNEY SHEI3'ER Sunday, March 20 11258 5. Garfkid Ave. Dow net. CA 90242 North - Nouth \1 ... View Image
View Print Ad

Location: CA Date: 3/20/2005
Source: San Gabriel Valley Tribune Category: Dogs
Public Notices - NOTICE INVITING SEALED BIDS FOR PARKETTE FOUNTAIN (TELEGRAPH ROAD AT LAUREL AVENUE) IN THE CITY OF SANTA FE SPRINGS PUBLIC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Community Development Commission of the City of Santa Springs as AGENCY, invites sealed bids for the above-stated project and will receive such bids in the City Clerk's office, City of Santa Fe Springs, 11710 Telegraph Road, Santa Fe Springs, California 90670, up to the hour of 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 5, 2005 at which time they will be publicly opened. This project involves furnishing all materials, equipment, tools, labor and incidentals as required by the plans, specifications, and contract documents to construct the Parkette Fountain improvements. This work consists of, but may not be limited to, clearing and grubbing, demolition, excavation, constructing a water fountain, masonry, tile work, PCC improvements, lighting and electrical, mechanical, plumbing, irrigation and landscaping, and all appurtenant work. Any contract entered into pursuant to this notice will incorporate the provisions of the State Labor Code. Pursuant to the provisions of Section 1773.2 of the Labor Code of the State of California, the minimum prevailing rate of per diem wages for each craft, classification or type of workman needed to execute the contract shall be those determined by the Director of Industrial Relations of the State of California, which are on file at the City Hall, City of Santa Fe Springs, 11710 Telegraph Road, Santa Fe Springs, California 90670, and are available for review by any interested party on request at City Hall. Attention is directed to the provisions of Section 1777.5 (Chapter 1411, Statutes of 1968) and 1777.5 of the Labor Code concerning the employment of apprentices by the Contractor or any such subcontractor under him. Affirmative action to ensure against discrimination in employment practices on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, religion, or handicap will also be required. The AGENCY will deduct retention from progress payments as specified in Section 9 of Part 1 - of the Special Provisions. The Contractor may substitute an escrow holder surety of equal value to the retention. The Contractor shall be beneficial owner of the surety and shall receive any interest thereon. Substitution of securities for monies withheld to ensure performance of this contract will be permitted pursuant to Government Code Section 4590. In entering into a public works contract, or a subcontract, to supply goods, services, or materials pursuant to a public works contract, the Contractor, or subcontractor, offers and agrees to assign to the awarding body all rights, title and interest in, and to, all causes of action it may have under Section 4 of the Clayton Act (15 U.S.C. Section 15) or under the Cartwright Act (Chapter 2 of Part 2 of Division 7 of the Business and Professions Code), arising from purchases of goods, services, or materials pursuant to the public works contract or the subcontract. This assignment shall be made and become effective at the time the awarding body tenders final payment to the Contractor, without further acknowledgment by the parties. Special attention is called to Section 7-3 of the Special Provisions regarding liability insurance requirements. The successful bidder will be held to strict compliance with those requirements. Contractors who cannot comply should not bid. Bids must be prepared on the approved original proposal forms in conformance with the Instructions to Bidders and submitted in a sealed envelope plainly marked on the outside. Plans and specifications must be purchased from or furnished by the City of Santa Fe Springs - no other company or agency has been given authorization to sell, duplicate or transfer Contract documents. Bid Proposals received from companies not on the official plan holders list, shall be not accepted. The bid must be accompanied by certified or cashier's check, or bidder's bond, made payable to the Community Development Commission of the City of Santa Fe Springs as AGENCY, for an amount no less than 10 percent of the amount bid. The successful bidder shall be licensed in accordance with provisions of the Business and Professions Code and shall possess either a valid State Contractor's License Class "A" or "B" at the time this contract is awarded. The successful Contractor and his subcontractors will also be required to possess business licenses from the City of Santa Fe Springs. The AGENCY reserves the right to reject any or all bids, to waive any irregularity and to take all bids under advisement for a period of 30 days. Bidders or their authorized agents are invited to be present for the opening of bids. Copies of the Plans, Specifications, and Contract Documents may be obtained at the office of the City Engineer of the City of Santa Fe Springs (between the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon and 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.), upon payment of thirty dollars ($30.00) per set, which sum is non-refundable. Before picking up the plans and specifications at the Public Works Department, it is requested that payment first be made to the City Finance Department. Plans and specifications will be based upon the showing of a valid receipt from the Finance Department. Written requests for plans and specifications may be accompanied by a check or money order in the amount of $45.00 per set, made payable to the City of Santa Fe Springs, and should be directed to: Department of Public Works, City of Santa Fe Springs, P.O. Box 2120, Santa Fe Springs, California 90670. (The additional charge of $15.00 per set is for mailing of plans and specifications. This fee shall not be waived). Plans and Specifications are expected to be available for purchase after March 8, 2005. Please call the below number to verify if available. The official Planholder's list will be posted to a link available through the City's website under www.santafesprings.org. Bid results will also be posted to the City's website. Further information regarding this project can be obtained by calling the Public Works Department, Engineering Division, at (562) 409-7540. BY ORDER OF the Community Development Commission of the City of Santa Fe Springs. ROBERT G. ORPIN, Executive Director Community Development Commission of the City of Santa Fe Springs Publish: March 21, 2005 Whittier Daily NewsAd No. 126139
Location: CA Date: 3/24/2005
Source: San Gabriel Valley Tribune Category: Announcements

Aren't you glad that Blogpatrol was fixed?

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Undeserved Popularity is Kewl, and Andrew Siciliano Can Be Funny
Until other people realize that they have to select a new counter display to get their Blogpatrol working, I am up in the Top 100 list of Blogpatrol users. At the moment, the first 20 entries in the Top 100 display looks like this:

The Top 100 Counters Of 15558 Users

Site Hits Stats
1 http://www.thehustlerdiaries.blogspot.com/ 136029 View
2 http://alex.moskalyuk.com 125070 View
3 http://metamuse.blogspot.com 93474
4 http://nomilk.blogspot.com 78053 View
5 http://antithesis98.blogspot.com/ 74788 View
6 http://www.applianceblog.com 73256
7 http://helpmebubby.blogspot.com 59420
8 http://trevorcook.typepad.com/weblog 41691 View
9 http://www.warpedthoughts.com 40579
10 http://blogborygmi.blogspot.com 40502 View
11 http://evilsciencechick.blogspot.com 34759 View
12 http://cine.blogspot.com 32426 View
13 http://oemperor.blogspot.com/ 31916
14 http://webezi.com 26025
15 http://www.carreirasolo.org 24373 View
16 http://www.thatwasfunny.com 24048 View
17 http://passionatelife.blogspot.com 23344 View
18 http://www.dearbuster.blogspot.com 21075 View
19 http://www.xanga.com/angelkitana 20807 View
20 http://sjthemom.blogspot.com 20326 View

This blog at number 13? Trust me, that will change soon.

However, if you happen to arrive here because of my (brief) appearance in Blogpatrol's Top 100 list, I should explain that this blog uses the aesthetic approach favored by the Beatles in the White Album (my favorite Beatles album), and also used by Depeche Mode in "Pleasure Little Treasure" (my least favorite Depeche Mode song). In other words, everything and the kitchen sink goes into this blog, which veers from conversations about Golden Earring to the Beastie Boys to Xuxa to Pat O'Brien in the blink of an eye, then suddenly displays a Disney's California Adventure picture right after that. Add blogging and IT discussions, and it becomes clear that this blog has no unified theme or purpose whatsoever. Except, of course, for keeping those Krystal Fernandez hits coming.

Which reminds me - this morning, Andrew Siciliano got into a great tongue-in-cheek rant about a golf tournament in Jacksonville, asking how they could possibly schedule a tournament in Jacksonville when the city has limited hotel facilities. (Perceptive minds will remember that such rants were voiced legitimately a couple of months ago, in reference to "The Big Game".

Random words: Savi Ranch vs. The Mighty Santa Ana. (Later.)

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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Rancho Cucamonga Quakes Radio Broadcasts
According to the Sports page at the KWRM 1370 website, the first Rancho Cucamonga Quakes radio broadcasts in 2005 will be as follows:

  • 4/7/2005 Thu RC Quakes @ Lake Elsinore Baseball 7pm

  • 4/8/2005 Fri Lake Elsinore @ RC Quakes Baseball 9pm

  • 4/9/2005 Sat Lake Elsinore @ RC Quakes Baseball 9pm

  • 4/10/2005 Sun Lake Elsinore @ RC Quakes Baseball 2pm

  • 4/11/2005 Mon Lancaster @ RC Quakes Baseball 7pm

  • 4/12/2005 Tue RC Quakes @ Modesto Baseball 7pm

  • 4/13/2005 Wed RC Quakes @ Modesto Baseball 7pm

  • 4/14/2005 Thu RC Quakes @ Modesto Baseball 7pm

  • 4/15/2005 Fri High Desert @ RC Quakes Baseball 930pm

  • 4/16/2005 Sat High Desert @ RC Quakes Baseball 7pm

  • 4/17/2005 Sun High Desert @ RC Quakes Baseball 2pm

  • 4/18/2005 Mon Lake Elsinore @ RC Quakes Baseball 7pm

  • 4/19/2005 Tue Lake Elsinore @ RC Quakes Baseball 7pm

  • 4/20/2005 Wed Lake Elsinore @ RC Quakes Baseball 7pm

Note that some of these games are tape delay due to other programming on KWRM.

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Paradise Pier at night. At Disney's California Adventure. March 20, 2005.
 Posted by Hello

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Paradise Pier at Disney's California Adventure. March 20, 2005. Posted by Hello

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Paradise Pier at Disney's California Adventure. March 20, 2005. Posted by Hello

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Paradise Pier at Disney's California Adventure. March 20, 2005. Posted by Hello

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Paradise Pier at Disney's California Adventure. March 20, 2005. Posted by Hello

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Ripped From This Week's Headlines
Courtesy Annika and defamer.com, I have discovered the blog I'm Stuck in Rehab With Pat O'Brien. Sample entry:

Played checkers with Pat O'Brien this morning. He's an intense competitor. Beat me four times in a row. I'm pretty good at checkers. It's rare that I get beaten. So I asked him what his secret was.

"I pretend you are Mark McGrath," he said.

"Oh," I said.

"You ever play in any competitive checkers tournaments?" I asked.

No answer.

"You prefer checkers over chess?" I asked him.

No answer. Instead he just sat there staring at me like he wanted to kick box.

"You still pretending I'm Mark McGrath?"

"Yes," he answered.

Then Pat O'Brien buried his face in his hands and cried.

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Update on Xuxa
From (who else?) askmen.com:

Maria da Graça Meneghel was born on March 27, 1963, in the town of Santa Rosa, a southern region of Brazil that was dominated by German and Italian immigrants. She was the youngest of seven children, five of whom survived. Big brother Bladimir gave her the moniker Xuxa, which stuck with her for life....

She knew she was big when the Brazilian edition of Playboy invited her for a photo shoot: in Brazil, posing for Playboy marks the pinnacle of a woman's career.

She was only 20 when she was given her own variety TV show, Clube da Criança (Children's Club). She was an instant hit: her candor on camera and her way with kids (they all received kisses) caught the attention of Latin America's media giant, Globo TV. In 1985, Globo TV took her as its own....

For seven years, Xou da Xuxa, her daily program on Globo, was a fixture on television....Each year Xuxa released an album of songs, selling a total of 14 million copies. Her third volume, in fact, passed the 3.2 million mark, earning her a place in the Guinness Book of World Records....

In 1989, Xuxa left the daily program for a Sunday-only game show. At the same time, she expanded to the rest of the continent with a Spanish album. That was followed by a Spanish-language show in Argentina, El Show de Xuxa, which was syndicated in 16 countries including the American Latin market....

Xuxa...was almost harmed in 1991, during a kidnapping attempt in São Paulo.

In 1992, she launched Xuxa Park, a show in Spain that she later brought home to Brazil. The next year she went after the American market with Xuxa, shown in 121 independent channels across the country. It would be her only failed project, hardly shown for one season....

Xuxa Só para Baixinhos (Xuxa Just For Kids) was a hit, and three other releases followed. The second won international praise and earned her the 2002 Latin Grammy for Best Children's Album. Ditto in 2003.

In 2004, she opened her own theme park in São Paulo, called O Mundo da Xuxa (Xuxa's World). She still records yearly albums for kids and runs her foundation, which provides shelter, education and food for needy children.

Xuxa lives in Rio de Janeiro with her daughter, and has homes in Buenos Aires, New York, the Hamptons, and Barcelona. She can never go out in public without an armed entourage.

who2.com includes this biography of Xuxa, noting that other children's TV hosts include Captain Kangaroo and Barney.

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Beastie Boys
To put the following in context, I remember reading an issue of MAXIMUMROCKNROLL in the early 1980s in which many letter writers emphasized that the Beastie Boys could not be hardcore because they were Sexist and that was Not Allowed according to the stringent rules of hardcore. Needless to say, they survived.

Incidentally, "Girls" is not one of my favorite songs from the Beastie Boys, to say the least. The Beastie Boys are kind of like Madonna - starting off OK, then really blowing your mind with their later efforts.

Again, from amg:

Diamond and Yauch formed the Beastie Boys...in 1981....The following year...the band met Horovitz....By early 1984...they had abandoned punk and turned their attention to rap.

In 1984, the Beasties joined forces with producer Rick Rubin, a heavy metal and hip-hop fan who had recently founded Def Jam Records with fellow New York University student Russell Simmons. Def Jam officially signed the Beastie Boys in 1985, and that year they had a hit single from the soundtrack to Krush Groove with "She's on It," a rap track that sampled AC/DC's "Back in Black" and suggested the approach of the group's forthcoming debut album. The Beasties received their first significant national exposure later in 1985, when they opened for Madonna on her Virgin Tour. The trio taunted the audience with profanity and were generally poorly received. One other major tour, as the openers for Run-D.M.C.'s ill-fated Raisin' Hell trek, followed before Licensed to Ill was released late in 1986. An amalgam of street beats, metal riffs, b-boy jokes, and satire, Licensed to Ill was interpreted as a mindless, obnoxious party record by many critics and conservative action groups, but that didn't stop the album from becoming the fastest-selling debut in Columbia Records' history, moving over 750,000 copies in its first six weeks. Much of that success was due to the single "Fight for Your Right (To Party)," which became a massive crossover success. In fact, Licensed to Ill became the biggest-selling rap album of the '80s, which generated much criticism from certain hip-hop fans who believed that the Beasties were merely cultural pirates. On the other side of the coin, the group was being attacked from the right, who claimed their lyrics were violent and sexist and that their concerts — which featured female audience members dancing in go-go cages and a giant inflatable penis, similar to what the Stones used in their mid-'70s concerts — caused even more outrage....

While much of the Beasties' exaggeratedly obnoxious behavior started out as a joke, it became a self-parody by the end of 1987, so it wasn't a surprise that the group decided to revamp their sound and image during the next two years....While in California, they met the production team the Dust Brothers, and they convinced the duo to use their prospective debut album as the basis for the Beasties' second album, Paul's Boutique. Densely layered with interweaving samples and pop culture references, the retro-funk-psychedelia of Paul's Boutique was entirely different than Licensed to Ill, and many observers weren't quite sure what to make of it....

Despite its poor commercial performance, Paul's Boutique gained a cult following, and its cut-and-paste sample techniques would later be hailed as visionary, especially after the Dust Brothers altered the approach for Beck's acclaimed 1996 album, Odelay....Alternating between old-school hip-hop, raw amateurish funk, and hardcore punk, Check Your Head was a less accomplished than Paul's Boutique, yet it was just as diverse. Furthermore, the burgeoning cult around the Beasties made the album a surprise Top 10 hit upon its spring 1992 release. "Jimmy James," "Pass the Mic," and "So Whatcha Want" were bigger hits on college and alternative rock radio than they were on rap radio, and the group suddenly became hip again....Essentially an extension of Check Your Head, [Ill Communication] debuted at number one upon its release, and the singles "Sabotage" and "Sure Shot" helped send it to double-platinum status....

Little snippets from icebergradio.com:

Horovitz, it transpired, was the son of dramatist Israel Horovitz, indicating that far from being the spawn of inner-city dystopia, the Beasties all came from privileged middle-class backgrounds....

Their debut album revealed a collision of bad attitudes, spearheaded by the raucous single "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)", and samples of everything from Led Zeppelin to the theme to Mister Ed. There was nothing self-conscious or sophisticated about the lyrics, Diamond and Yauch reeling off complaints about their parents confiscating their pornography or telling them to turn down the stereo. Somehow, however, it became an anthem for pseudo-rebellious youth everywhere, reaching US number 7 in December 1986, and UK number 11 in February 1987....

By the time follow-up singles "No Sleep Till Brooklyn" (number 14, May 1987) and "She's On It" (number 10, July 1987) charted in the UK, the Beastie Boys had become a media cause celebre....

By the time they reassembled on Capitol Records in 1989, the public, for the most part, had forgotten about them. Rap's ante had been significantly raised by the arrival of Public Enemy and NWA, yet Paul's Boutique remains one of the genre's most overlooked pieces, a complex reflection of pop culture that is infinitely more subtle than their debut....

The Beastie Boys' 1994 album Ill Communication was another successful voyage into inspired Beastie thuggism....The long-awaited Hello Nasty (a title inspired by their agent's telephone greeting), their first full studio album in four years, was a return to a more sparse, hip-hop-dominated sound after the funky feel of Ill Communication. The album debuted at US number 1 in August 1998, staying at the top for three weeks. It also became their first UK chart-topper....

The Beastie Boys returned after a six-year recording sabbatical with 2004"s To The 5 Boroughs. The album demonstrated the trio's enduring critical and commercial standing, receiving good reviews and debuting at the top of the US charts at the end of June....

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Golden Earring
From amg:

Best known in the U.S. for its hard rock material, Golden Earring has been the most popular homegrown band in the Netherlands since the mid-'60s, when they were primarily a pop group....1974's Moontan LP spawned the single "Radar Love," a Dutch number one, U.K. Top Ten, and U.S. number thirteen hit. The group toured America opening for the Doobie Brothers and Santana, but the lack of a follow-up ensured that their popularity remained short-lived in America....1982 saw a brief American comeback with the album Cut and the Top Ten single "Twilight Zone," but as before, Golden Earring could not sustain its momentum and faded away in the U.S. marketplace.

Also see radar-love.net.

Written by George Kooymans and Barry Hay, released by Golden Earring
on their 1973 album Moontan, Radar Love is the highlight in Dutch 70's
rock history....On this site you find information concerning 200+ cover versions of Radar Love by U2, R.E.M., Bryan Adams, Carlos Santana, the Alarm, Crowded House,
Def Leppard, White Lion, and many, less famous, others who recorded
this classic or played it live in concert. Further the site shows all kinds
of other ways this song has been used and abused.

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From amg:

The new lineup of Sweet signed to RCA Records in 1971, where they were placed under the direction of songwriters Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman. Chinn and Chapman wrote a number of light bubblegum pop songs for the group....Following "Funny Funny," the duo wrote five more Top 40 hits for the group — including "Little Willy" and "Wig-Wam Bam" — which were all lightweight bubblegum numbers loaded with double entendres....

By the summer of 1974, the members of Sweet had grown tired of the control Chinn and Chapman exerted over their career and decided to record without the duo....In the spring of 1975, Sweet had their first self-penned hit with "Fox on the Run," which reached the Top Ten in both the U.K. and the U.S.

There was also a completely different country song called "Fox on the Run," but I don't know the details.

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The Power to See Your Vest
From AP/Yahoo!:

Online journalists who published secrets about Apple Computer Inc. filed an appeal Tuesday in a case that could have broad implications for the media.

A California judge ruled March 11 that three independent online reporters may have to provide the identities of their confidential sources and that they weren't protected by "shield laws" that usually protect journalists.

In December, Apple sued 25 unnamed individuals, called "Does" and believed to be Apple employees, who leaked specifications about a product code-named "Asteroid" to Monish Bhatia, Jason O'Grady and another person who writes under the pseudonym Kasper Jade. Their articles appeared in the online publications Apple Insider and PowerPage....

Cupertino-based company...attorneys demanded that the reporters identify their sources....

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge James Kleinberg ruled in Apple's favor earlier this month, saying that reporters who published "stolen property" weren't entitled to protections.

On Tuesday, attorneys representing the journalists filed an appeal, as expected. They argued that the judge's ruling violated the First Amendment and that Apple should first subpoena its own employees or use sophisticated computer forensics to determine the sources of the leak before subpoenaing the journalists....

From Unpacking My Library:

Over the past month, in two courthouses on opposite coasts, the first shots were fired in what is likely to be a long and dramatic “battle over blogging.” In the U.S. District Court for Southern New York, City lawyers were demanding that the New York City Independent Media Center, (NYC IMC) turn over publicly available documents relating to an animal rights march in 2002. And in California, Apple Computer had decided to subpoena three bloggers over their publication of trade secrets obtained from anonymous sources. The two cases ended differently, and both rulings ultimately skirted the fundamental question of whether traditional journalistic privileges were available to grassroots journalists in an era of online media. Nevertheless, it seems obvious that while bloggers and more mainstream journalists might be reaching an uneasy truce, the legal and political worlds are just starting to grapple with fundamental questions brought about by the onset of the digital era....

In [the first case], the City demanded voluminous information, including all of the NYC IMC’s news reporting, emails, and web pages relating to the 2002 World Economic Forum....A US District Court judge agreed with NYC IMC that the material was of marginal relevance and also that the material was publicly available and thus obtainable by the City. Nevertheless, the judge did not directly address the question of reporters privilege, although he did not he dismiss the argument outright.

A second case in California that garnered wide publicity from the blogging community resulted in an equally murky outcome. According to LawBlog.com, “[California Judge] Kleinberg ruled in the Apple Computer, Inc. case that Monish Bhatia, Jason O'Grady and a third blogger with the pseudonym Kasper Jade were not protected by the First Amendment when they published trade secrets obtained from third parties about an unreleased Apple product code-named ‘Asteroid.’”

Based on the text of the judge’s ruling, UCLA Law Professor Eric Volokh concluded that the judge avoided the blogging question completely. “The judge did not deal with any possible subpoenas against the bloggers,” Volokh wrote. “He thus didn't decide whether bloggers are entitled to be treated the same as other journalists.”...

Does a reporter have the legal right not to disclose his or her anonymous sources to a federal grand jury? Although many Americans, and even some journalists, might answer “yes,” the constitutional basis for the privileging of journalistic sources rests more on custom than on legal precedent....

Over the past two years, a number of journalists have been fined and imprisoned over their refusal to reveal their anonymous sources, the most well known of whom, Judith Miller of the New York Times and Matthew Cooper of Time magazine, now face up to eighteen months in jail for their refusal to divulge who leaked the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame....

In the March / April 2005 issue of Columbia Journalism Review, Douglas McCollam reports that, during Miller and Cooper’s appeal of their sentence before the Circuit Court of Appeals, presiding judges seemed to struggle with the question of who would qualify for a reporter’s privilege. “If an Internet blogger was illegally leaked nuclear secrets and posted it on her Web site, would she be entitled to refuse to testify about her source? the judges wondered. Floyd Abrams [Cooper and Millers lawyer] soft-shoed a bit before conceding that, under the privilege he was seeking, she would.” McCollam wryly notes that, upon hearing Abrams’ answer, “a collective flinch rippled through the establishment media in the gallery.”

Fearful that the courts will conclusively strip away their constitutional protections, many media organizations have concluded that a Federal “shield law” represents their best defense against governmental harassment....Shield laws may not offer much protection for grassroots journalists, however.. As Jacob Weisberg of Slate puts it, “there's a big problem with journalist shield laws, which advocates have yet to answer. How do you decide who is a journalist? If you create a privilege that applies to a group, someone has to decide who belongs and who doesn't.”

New York State...has conclusively decided who gets protection from its Shield Law: professional journalists, and professional journalists only. A professional journalist, accord to the New York law, “shall mean one who, for gain or livelihood, is engaged in gathering, preparing, collecting, writing, editing, filming, taping or photographing of news … such person shall be someone performing said function either as a regular employee or as one otherwise professionally affiliated for gain or livelihood with such medium of communication.”...

In mid-March, the online technology journal CNet published an interview with Republican FEC commissioner Bradley Smith under the headline “The Coming Crackdown on Blogging.” In it, Smith warned that the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance law could soon force the FEC to start to regulate political activity on the internet. “In just a few months,” wrote CNet, “bloggers and news organizations could risk the wrath of the federal government if they improperly link to a campaign's Web site. Even forwarding a political candidate's press release to a mailing list, depending on the details, could be punished by fines.”

After days of on- and offline turmoil, Democratic FEC commissioner Ellen Weintraub took to the pages of CNet to tell bloggers to “chill out already.” “Reports of a Federal Election Commission plot to ‘crack down’ on blogging and e-mail are wildly exaggerated.” The very next day Senators McCain and Feingold issued a statement that noted, in part, that “the latest misinformation from the antireform crowd is the suggestion that our bill will require regulation of blogs and other Internet communications. This issue has nothing to with private citizens communicating on the Internet.”...

This reminds me of the Online Coalition thingie. Its blog links to a transcript of a speech by FEC Chairman Scott Thomas. Excerpts:

And for bloggers: Most won’t qualify as a political committee that must have a website disclaimer. And even those that display express advocacy or solicitation messages can escape disclaimer rules by working with a listserv where the recipients have indicated that they want to be on such lists....

So, now that the ball is back in the FEC’s court, what is it likely to do in this rulemaking? Well, there surely will be some consideration of regulating paid party corporate and union political advertising using the internet....On the other extreme, I doubt there will be any interest in treating what individuals do on their home computers as a coordinated communication. There is a very clear statutory exception for home volunteer activity, and the FEC has applied that consistently for several years now....

Right now, there is no clear exception from the independent expenditure reporting rules for persons engaging in independent express advocacy activity. They technically have to report independent expenditures if the cost exceeds $250 bucks....

Now, as for bloggers: there are some “cute” questions, I would call them. Those who just work with home computers to post text, or add links will remain free from coordinated communication rules, I predict. But I have seen the stories about campaigns paying bloggers to run banner ads. Those payments probably are already being reported by the campaigns, and the bloggers probably can successfully argue that they’re just acting as small-scale commercial vendors with no FICA obligations. I’ve seen stories about campaigns simply paying bloggers to run favorable postings....

Seriously, that starts to drift between the blogger serving as a commercial vendor, and the blogger, on the other hand, becoming a [emphasis] political committee that must register and report its receipts and disbursements for federal election activity. That sounds pretty scary, I know, but the definition of political committee is:

“...a group that raises more than $1000 dollars in contributions for the purpose of influencing federal elections...or that spends more than $1,000 dollars in expenditures for the purpose of influencing a federal election.”

It’s a pretty broad definition. Now, mercifully the Supreme Court has uh, said that a group’s “major purpose” must be influencing elections before the FEC can regulate it as a political committee. Uh, so...most bloggers, I presume, will be able to avoid political committee status. But I have to say, it’s not a particularly clean area of law, and we may have to spend some energy looking at that ugly issue....

We have shown at the FEC a willingness to extend the media exemption to some internet-based news services. But this media exception inquiry will go to the question of: “What is a periodical publication?” and “What is a legitimate press function?” It will also get into: “What is news?”...“What is commentary?”...“What is editorial content?”

I hope that when we put proposed rules out for comment, we can get help on how to define these concepts so that we allow for press freedom, but without letting prohibited source funding creep through the door.

So, when the 24th of this month comes around, you’ll see what the FEC is thinking about in this area. We have this proposed rulemaking on the agenda. We’re planning to approve at that point a, a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking wherein we will seek comment. Uh, I assure you that we have not made up our minds on anything yet, and that there is no reason to assume gloom and doom. We recognize that the internet has the potential to convey information at little or no cost, and without the dangers that have led to the campaign finance restrictions. We also recognize that the regulations we adopt, if done sloppily, could lead to massive evasions of the prohibitions on party soft money and corporate and union resources in federal elections.

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Service Oriented Architecture (My White Album Strategy May Be Getting Unwieldy)
(It's almost like "Pleasure Little Treasure," even - a bunch of junk thrown together with no apparent commonality. Oh well.)

From webservices.xml.com:

"Things should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." -- Albert Einstein....

Einstein made that famous statement many decades ago, and it's still relevant today for building superior software systems....

As we build more and more software systems, we see similar situations and patterns appearing. Naturally, we want to reuse the functionality of existing systems rather than building them from scratch....

[W]e cannot remove artificial dependencies, but we can reduce them. If the artificial dependencies among systems have been reduced, ideally, to their minimum, we have achieved loose coupling. In that sense, Einstein was just talking about was loose coupling. We might rework his famous principle thus: "Artificial dependencies should be reduced to the minimum but real dependencies should not be altered."...

Now we are able to define a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). SOA is an architectural style whose goal is to achieve loose coupling among interacting software agents. A service is a unit of work done by a service provider to achieve desired end results for a service consumer. Both provider and consumer are roles played by software agents on behalf of their owners.

This sounds a bit too abstract, but SOA is actually everywhere. Let's look at an example of SOA which is likely to be found in your living room. Take a CD for instance. If you want to play it, you put your CD into a CD player and the player plays it for you. The CD player offers a CD playing service. Which is nice because you can replace one CD player with another. You can play the same CD on a portable player or on your expensive stereo. They both offer the same CD playing service, but the quality of service is different.

The idea of SOA departs significantly from that of object oriented programming, which strongly suggests that you should bind data and its processing together. So, in object oriented programming style, every CD would come with its own player and they are not supposed to be separated. This sounds odd, but it's the way we have built many software systems....

The reason that we want someone else to do the work for us is that they are experts. Consuming a service is usually cheaper and more effective than doing the work ourselves. Most of us are smart enough to realize that we are not smart enough to be expert in everything. The same rule applies to building software systems. We call it "separation of concerns", and it is regarded as a principle of software engineering.

How does SOA achieve loose coupling among interacting software agents? It does so by employing two architectural constraints:

A small set of simple and ubiquitous interfaces to all participating software agents. Only generic semantics are encoded at the interfaces. The interfaces should be universally available for all providers and consumers.

Descriptive messages constrained by an extensible schema delivered through the interfaces. No, or only minimal, system behavior is prescribed by messages. A schema limits the vocabulary and structure of messages. An extensible schema allows new versions of services to be introduced without breaking existing services....

Everyone knows roughly what a "web service" is, but there is no universally accepted definition. The definition of web service has always been under hot debate within the W3C Web Services Architecture Working Group. Despite the difficulty of defining web services, it is generally accepted that a web service is a SOA with at least the following additional constraints:

Interfaces must be based on Internet protocols such as HTTP, FTP, and SMTP.

Except for binary data attachment, messages must be in XML....

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this is an audio post - click to play

P.S. Yes, "Squirrels" is a parody. Lyrics aqui.

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this is an audio post - click to play

P.S. Dated information here.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Those Who Remember History Are Like Y'Know Really Really Old And Stuff
From who2:

Karen Ann Quinlan was the first modern icon of the right-to-die debate. The 21-year-old Quinlan collapsed at a party after swallowing alcohol and the tranquilizer Valium on 14 April 1975. Doctors saved her life, but she suffered brain damage and lapsed into a "persistent vegetative state." Her family waged a much-publicized legal battle for the right to remove her life support machinery. They succeeded, but in a final twist, Quinlan kept breathing after the respirator was unplugged. She remained in a coma for almost 10 years in a New Jersey nursing home until her 1985 death.

Like Karen Ann Quinlan, Nancy Cruzan became a public figure after entering a "persistent vegetative state." A 1983 auto accident left Cruzan permanently unconscious and without any higher brain function, kept alive only by a feeding tube and steady medical care. Cruzan's family waged a legal battle to have her feeding tube removed; the case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled that the Cruzans had not provided "clear and convincing evidence" that Nancy Cruzan did not wish to have her life artificially preserved. The Cruzans later presented such evidence to the Missouri courts, which ruled in their favor in late 1990. The Cruzans stopped feeding Nancy in December of 1990, and she died later the same month.

From frb-law.com:

The advantages of a Living Will can be seen in several publicized cases. Nancy Cruzan, who did not have a Living Will, was kept alive for seven years despite repeated requests from her family that she be allowed to die. She was allowed to die in 1990 after a court determined there was "clear and convincing" evidence that she would not want to be kept alive in her vegetative state. On the other hand, the late Richard Nixon was not put on a ventilator specifically because he had a Living Will.

From dying.about.com:

1994....After the deaths of former President Richard Nixon and former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, it is reported that both had signed advance directives.

From the latest story at news.yahoo.com:

David Gibbs III, attorney for parents Bob and Mary Schindler, told the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (news - web sites) in Atlanta that the 41-year-old woman might die before they could get a chance to fully argue their case that her rights are being violated...."That would be a horrific intrusion upon Mrs. Schiavo's personal liberty," said the filing by Michael Schiavo's attorney, George Felos. He filed a response to the Schindlers' appeal and said he would go to the U.S. Supreme Court if the tube were ordered reconnected. The Schindlers have been locked for years in a battle with Schiavo's husband over whether her feeding tube should be disconnected. State courts have sided with Michael Schiavo, who insists his wife told him she would never want to be kept alive artificially.

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