"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Heaven knows, I'm the last person to be accusing anyone else of indifference. I don't pay attention to every tragedy in the news. All of us have lives to lead. And what can we do, anyway?
A very small thing we bloggers can do is to pass on stories that need to be told, to add our piece to the samizdat, as it were, in the hope a critical mass will be reached and the message will get through: Wake up!
And so, a couple of items:
The Sudan hasn't been on my front burner, certainly. It's been another name in a litany of sad places in the headlines. Nicholas Kristof's column today in the NYT brings home the horrors there. We can't say we didn't know.
Meantime, about Terri Schiavo: There are activists out there, more power to them, whose lives have revolved around her case. Mine hasn't.
But as the matter reaches a crisis point, I'm struck by the lack of interest shown by the mainstream media, medical ethicists, civil libertarians, and the big blogs.
A brain-damaged woman is about to be starved to death in what the papers keep referring to as a "right to die" case, or an "assisted suicide."
That she wants the "right to die" is asserted solely by the man who may well have been responsible for her injuries in the first place.
Where have the papers been on this? What about the abused-women's lobby, or the ACLU?
Why has her estranged husband been so bent on her termination? Why hasn't he simply divorced her and allowed her to be cared for by her parents?
The whole thing frankly smacks of OJ and Scott Peterson. If I were this woman's father and believed her husband was trying to kill her, I'd damned well be "meddlesome," too.
And removing Terri Schiavo's feeding tube is not a matter of letting this poor woman humanely pass on – it's a matter of starving her under protocols evocative of Death Row.
I suspect the editorialists who favor relieving this woman of her miserable existence as a blow for her personal freedom wouldn't leave their own pets without food or water for two weeks. What would be "humane" under the circumstances would simply be to execute her by lethal injection, or put a pillow over her face, or shoot her. Why don't they and get it over with?
Why, for that matter, didn't they do the same with Christopher Reeve? He couldn't feed himself, either. Or is it only brain-damaged people who are to be deprived of food and water?
How can newspapers worth their salt look at the Terri Schiavo case and come away simply with thumb-sucking nostrums about the need for living wills? Are deadline-harried reporters so wed to their story templates that they've lost the ability to discern? Does the newsroom automatically tune out Terri Schiavo's supporters as "pro-lifers" and hence, religious extremists to be ignored? Does the "right to die" extend beyond killing yourself to killing someone else for their own good – particularly if the "guardian" ordering the killing is a husband who may be finishing a job he'd already started?
(CBS/AP) A judge Wednesday extended a stay keeping brain-damaged Terri Schiavo's feeding tube in place, saying he needed time to decide whether her husband, who wants to let her die, is fit to be her guardian.
Pinellas Circuit Court Judge George Greer extended until Friday an emergency stay that was to expire Wednesday afternoon. He said he also needs more time to determine whether Terri Schiavo needs more medical tests to determine if she has greater mental capabilities than previously thought. #