Web www.theriverman.blogspot.com

Monday, February 28, 2005

Quote Of The Moment

There is " a flavor of mortality in lies, -- which is exactly what I hate and detest in the world -- what I want to forget."

-Marlow in Conrad's Heart of Darkness


Wednesday, February 23, 2005

To Be Or Not To Be

Terry Schindler-Schiavo. I've held off commenting on this case, but I feel I'd like to say a few things now.

First, I'd like to offer my compassion and sympathy to the family of this woman. Even without the death/life issue now extant, this is still a heartrending case. To have a loved one in that state of limbo must be torturous. I don't know what it feels like, and I'm glad I don't. Now I’m going to get into the part that some will probably find offensive.

(BTW, if you don’t know what I’m talking about…well…you must watch no news, just Google her name)

I’ll run down the basics: Terry is in a vegetative state and on a feeding tube. She breathes on her own. Her husband wants the food and water removed so she can die because, he says, that was her wish, not to live this way. Terry’s parents want to take her home and care for her there and get Michael out of Terry’s, and their, lives.

First, I believe we should ask ourselves, “Why is the husband so adamant that she be allowed to die?”. Some people thought money was the issue, some he didn’t want to care for her, some thought maybe he just wanted to find another woman.

According to the lawyers of Mr. Schiavo and the lawyers of the Schindler family, the husband, Michael, does stand to inherit some money from a settlement. However, the Schindler family has said Michael can have all that money if he would just stop trying to let her die.

Some have said that Michael wants Terry dead because he doesn’t want to care for her anymore. Well, her family has offered to take full custody and responsibility of Mrs. Schindler-Schiavo. So, that’s not it.

What about finding another woman? Well, he’s been living with another woman for a while, seven years actually. He has 2 children with her, and no one seems to care about that. So, that’s not it either.

Is it possible, just maybe, that he wants her to pass on because that was her wish? That’s what he claims, and I can find no other reason for him to be so unwavering that she be allowed to die.

Now, having said that, I do not state that as fact. It is my opinion based on my limited information here. But I do ask that people think about this rationally and not let themselves be blinded by emotion.

Also, under (at least) Florida law, the husband is the bearer of a wife’s last wishes. Legally, it’s his decision. The parents really don’t have a say. Again, not my words or my wishes, that’s just the law.

Next issue: Her state. One of the arguments of Terry’s parents is that she shouldn’t be allowed to die because she might get better. They say she responds to them, responds to things happening. Again, I base this on my limited knowledge of the case and what I’ve read on the subject (which is a fairly good bit, I think, for a not professionally). But she’s not coming back. She is not interacting, she is not responding. Mrs. Schindler-Schiavo is not in a coma. She isn’t knocked out. She is in a permanent vegetative state. Her brain is so damaged, physically. Parts of it are completely dead. It is not possible at all for her to return to us, as much as I HATE that that is true.

I’m sorry, but that is the case now. And there’s my take.

One final thing, there are allegations that the husband caused her brain damage somehow. I will be watching this. If any of this comes out to be true, then obviously my opinions would change concerning anything he has to do with her.


Monday, February 21, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson

Dead at age 67. He lived on his on terms. And he died the same way. Thompson took his life Sunday in his home in Colorado. I suppose his work here was done. Rest in peace.

My best to his family.


Thursday, February 17, 2005

For A Good Time Visit...


You'll have a blast. The funky fellas are just trying to "Create An Old Kind Of Christian". And apparently that means being virulently racist and myopic. Enjoy.


Friday, February 04, 2005

Pot: It’s Not Just for Breakfast Anymore!

I found this piece tonight as I was browsing through some old writings. I'm pretty sure i wrote it a couple of years ago for an assignment to write an essay on current events. I thought you might enjoy it. I hope I'm right. :)

“It’s the way I believe. It’s my core values.” This statement is given by Wes Stephensen, a voter in Las Vegas, and is quoted by Ed Vogel in an article entitled “State Votes to Reject Legalizing Marijuana.” The statement by Stephensen is made in response to a question concerning Question 9, a ballot proposition in Nevada that would legalize marijuana, and is published in the Nevada Review-Journal. That statement sums up the blind march that continues to work to keep sick people in pain here in the United States, the jails overcrowded, and the televisions flooded with lies. Question 9 would have allowed adults to possess as much as three ounces of marijuana. The initiative failed with 61 percent of voters opposing the issue. Notwithstanding this defeat, the fight to decriminalize marijuana wages on, and marijuana will eventually be legalized. Granted, there are problems with legalization. But the positives outweigh the negatives. If marijuana were legalized, it would be available to help those who need it for pain management, and, furthermore, the jails would become less crowded, and there would be no more danger involved than that which already exists from alcohol and tobacco.

There are many hundreds of thousands of people, if not millions, who suffer from chronic pain. Cancer, AIDS, and many other health problems can cause chronic pain. There are many of these people who cannot find relief through the use of traditional medicine. Their only respite is marijuana. There is no good argument that marijuana is more dangerous or addictive than the stronger prescription narcotics available. It is immoral to restrain those in chronic pain, many also terminally ill, from the only relief they can find. It is immoral to say that they are breaking the law simply by trying to cope, without causing any injury to other’s persons or property.

Of course, they are jailed, and jailed at an alarming rate. In several states, a first offender can get up to five years in prison. Under federal law, possessing a single marijuana cigarette or less is punishable by up to one year in prison and a $10,000 fine, the same penalty as possession of small amounts of heroin, cocaine or crack. Considering the fact that marijuana use does not significantly correlate to other crimes being committed by the user, these penalties are absurd. Beyond that, suppose fairness is no issue. It is common knowledge that the prisons here in America are beyond overcrowded. The penal system is being stretched to the breaking point. Sixty thousand individuals are behind bars for marijuana offenses at a cost to taxpayers of $1.2 billion per year. Yet, the government deems it necessary to jail thousands of more people per year, simply for possessing small amounts of a plant. A plant that, by all accounts, is all but harmless.

If one were to listen only to the anti-drug propaganda on the television and radio, one would believe that marijuana kills, that one joint will make that person stupid, that trying pot will make that person want to inject heroin. Nowhere in these ads, paid for by the alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drug companies by the way, is there much truth to be found. A common misconception is that marijuana is very dangerous to one’s health. Well, according to prestigious medical journals, the smoking of cannabis, even long-term, is not harmful to health. It would be, then, reasonable to judge cannabis to be no more of a threat than alcohol or tobacco. The fact is well known of the many thousands of people killed by alcohol and tobacco related accidents or health problems. Deaths due to marijuana use are very rare, limited only to cases of one’s doing something dangerous, driving for instance, while intoxicated. In most years, the number of deaths associated with marijuana may be counted on one hand. Concerning the “marijuana is the fuse” argument, The National Academy of Sciences finds there to be no conclusive evidence that marijuana use is directly linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs. The opinions of the anti-marijuana crusaders seem to be quickly running out of steam.

Marijuana is a drug. It has negative side affects, as well as positive ones. The issue of marijuana decriminalization and legislation should not be taken lightly. However, the current legislation seems rather barbaric and myopic, considering the arguments now coming from all sides. From the hippy communities of San Francisco and New York to the National Science Foundation and Health Canada, there is urging for the decriminalization of marijuana. No group or individual of note is saying that the government should take a laissez faire attitude with cannabis. It is a drug and should be regulated and watched. But, to prosecute the terminally ill for trying to make life bearable is to take a step back in the march toward compassion.


Thursday, February 03, 2005

Minor Change

You've noticed by now, I'm sure, that just above my postings is a little googlesearch thing and a small ad box.

I've added the search box for your convenience, and I've added the ad box for my wallet. So, if you've got any free time, please at least click on the add and take a look at what they've got. It'll get me a few pennies. I'd really appreciate it. I am so very poor.

Thank you all for your continued support,

The Riverman

Are You A Non-Liberal AND Non-Conservative Person?

Here's some food for thought from the genius mind of Ann Coulter.

(who, apparently, is starving to death for any thought whatsoever)

"The swing voters---I like to refer to them as the idiot voters because they don't have set philosophical principles. You're either a liberal or you're a conservative if you have an IQ above a toaster. "---Ann Coulter

Genius, man, genius.



Tuesday, February 01, 2005

in ten years i will have wasted a full half of my life i would like to say that i am sorry for having done this but i am not really sorry things are as they are and i am as i am and one half is as one quarter was and as three quarters will be would the wheel turn that long the concern of mine now is not so much what i have or have not done but rather who i am and am not it helps not that i know not who i am or am not nor am i further along in assessing this such a fool thing is man that finds himself useful when all the world knows that he is nowhere close to it wisdom is knowing ones part understanding that dirt is dirt wind is wind a king is a king one will be walked upon always the other never will be seen and the king will rule those willing to be tread upon

never should dirt fancy itself a king


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