The fatman chronicles--all hope renounce, ye lost, who enter here

"If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules."--Patterico's Pledge

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Cocktails For One, Appetizers For None

There is an organization, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, which calls itself Dignitas. Its motto? "Live with dignity, die with dignity." Its stated goal: to assist anyone who wants to die to commit suicide.

Recently, an unnamed, sixty-nine-year old woman from Augsberg, Bavaria, Germany, used the services of Dignatas to commit suicide and escape a slow, painful death from cirrhosis of the liver. Now this is legal in Switzerland, though not (I think) in Germany. But since the act took place in Zurich, there was no problem, right?

Well, not exactly. Seems the woman was suffering from depression, not cirrhosis. In fact, an autopsy conducted later in Germany showed that the woman was in good physical health, and that the medical report she used to convince Dignitas that she was dying had been falsified by her unnamed general physician.

Now the GP claims he "knows nothzing...nothzing!" (Sergeant Shultz, anyone?) and says he falsified the report so the woman could get time off from work. That'll be cold comfort to the unnamed doctor who helped the woman kill herself; he committed suicide.

Dignitas was founded by one Ludwig Minnelli, who had this to say:

"The doctor's report that I was given indicated the woman was suffering from cirrhosis of the liver as well as hepatitis. And in any case every person in Europe has the right to choose to die, even if they are not terminally ill."

Hans-Juergen Kolb, senior prosecutor for Augsberg has said that an investigation into both doctors has begun. ""We are co-operating with the Swiss authorities," said Kolb, according to the UK's Times on Line. "Post mortem reports have already shown that she was not suffering from irreversible liver damage, and if we find that her mental health was in doubt the charges could be more serious."" Hmmm...sounds like Dignitas and/or the GP needs a lawyer. I wonder if George Felos is available. (Michael Schiavo's attorney, for those of you with short memories.)

Dignitas was founded by Minnelli in 1998 and has helped four-hundred-fifty-three people commit suicide since then. An office in Hanover was opened last month, in the hopes of advancing Minnelli's pro-euthanasia agenda in Germany, which has generally resisted the pro-suicide/euthanasia movement in Europe (gee, I wonder why).

"Regional justice minister for Lower Saxony, Elisabeth Heister-Neumann, charged Minelli with being financially motivated. "Making poisonous cocktails available has deviated into pure business, and medical reports are being misused as an excuse," she emphasized."

No, I think she's wrong there. IMHO, people like Minelli and Felos do this for the thrill of knowing that they've taken a human life and that no one can touch them for it. Many even praise them for it. It must make them feel like gods.

In his own words,

"Minelli told the UK's Telegraph last year that Dignitas would gladly assist anyone to die, "irrespective of medical condition. It does not matter what people are suffering from, we do not refuse anyone.""

Creepy. But if you've got $2,400, a one-way ticket to Zurich, and you really want to get away from it all (literally), this could be the chance of a (much shorter) lifetime.

Linked to Wizbang's Carnival of the Trackbacks (I hope).

Friday, November 25, 2005

New Blogger

There's a new blog on the block called WORDS. The young woman behind WORDS is an extremely compelling writer. So far her subjects have included fear of firearms, drug and/or alcohol abuse problems and sexual abuse. She deserves a wider audience, so go on over there and give her one. And a few encouraging comments wouldn't hurt either.

h/t to alandp @ Blognomicon

Friday, November 18, 2005

An Open E-Mail To Rick Santorum

A copy of an e-mail I sent to Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) about this and this:

"I was both shocked and appalled by your craven decision to vote for S. Amendment 2518, which can accurately be described as the "Cowardly Senate Act ofSurrender of 2005." I always knew you were both arrogant and self-centered, even when I was volunteering for your 1994 Senate campaign and voting for you twice. But I also always thought you had a spine. Apparently I was wrong.

That, and voting for you, are mistakes I promise I won't make again."

Now I didn't bother sending any such message to Snarlin' Arlen Specter (R-PA) (he also voted for it) simply because I expected no better from him. I did expect better from lil' Ricky. So I guess it's time to make Santorum live up to the term limits pledge that was such an integral part of the GOP's *Contract With America* in 1994.

h/t to Mark at Decision '08 & Hugh Hewitt

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

In Their Own Words

Looks like someone finally woke 'em up over at GOP.com. Click on the big button marked "PLAY NOW".

(I hope they break this up into thirty-second commercials.)

Big h/t to Rightwingsparkle.

Update: The link to GOP.com now takes you to their homepage. This one will take you to their multi-media page; scroll down to *More Video* and click on *Play Now* for the video *Democrats: Dishonest on Iraq*. And while you're in there, check out the television commercial "Harry Reid and The Democrats: Dishonest on Iraq."

Monday, November 14, 2005

Calling Mr. Ripley

From WKMG, Local 6.com in Central (Orlando) Florida comes this:

"Thai Tourists Warned Of Sedative-Spitting Transvestites"

You've got to be kidding me.

"Members of a Thai transvestite gang have confessed to hiding strong sedatives in their mouths and spitting them down the throats of victims during deep kissing. Then they rob the drugged tourists."

No word on how the trannys managed to keep from being knocked out by the drugs themselves.

h/t to Paul at Wizbang

Saturday, November 12, 2005

I Did It!

I sent my very first trackblock to Wizbang's Carnival of the Trackbacks here, using Wizbang's Stand-Alone Trackback Tool, designed by Kevin Aylward, the Wizbang Commander-in-Chief. If not for that, I'd have been a year trying to figure it out (and probably would have failed).

Thanks, Kevin

Dear Congressman Doyle...

The following will be sent to my congressman, Rep. Michael Doyle (D-PA14).

Dear Mr. Doyle:

I have a small web log, or *blog* at http://htfdidthishappen.blogspot.com/ called the *The fatman chronicles--all hope renounce, ye lost, who enter here* and it has come to my attention that on November 3, 2005, the Online Freedom of Speech Act (H.R.1606) was brought before a roll-call vote of the House and that you voted against it. I was wondering why.

Could it be that you truly believed that leaving blogs unregulated would lead to obscene amounts of "soft" money being spent on them to affect elections? Like the $63,000,000 that George Soros, Herb and Marion Sandler and Peter Lewis spent on various 527's trying to beat George W. Bush last November?

Maybe you figured that if you threw us bloggers a bone like H.R. 4194, which won't offer protection to unincorporated bloggers, or to incorporated bloggers who endorse candidates or urge donations to them, that we would be happy with that and lick your boots in gratitude.

Of course, if bloggers had been effectively muzzled in 2004, the lie behind Dan Rather's and Mary Mapes' TANG memo forgeries would have gone undiscovered. And "news" organizations like ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Reuters, AP, Fox, the New York Times and the Washington Post would be able to keep their stranglehold on what gets into the news and how it's presented. But I'm sure those thoughts never crossed your mind.

Or maybe it's just a matter of another in the long line of back-bench lapdogs who've represented Pittsburgh following the orders of of a House leadership that seems very uncomfortable with anyone who speaks and disseminates anything other than the party line.

But I guess it doesn't really matter, since whatever you and/or the FEC do won't effect what I do. You see, I've taken the Pledge:

"If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules."

Now you may point out that the Supreme Court has already ruled on this, and that's true. But the Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that seperate-but-equal was also constitutionally acceptable. Fifty-eight years later, in Brown v. Board of Education, the Court reversed that abominable decision. Hopefully it won't take that long this time.

I'm posting this as an entry on my blog, along with any comments I may get.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

More Pearls Before Swine

The following is a question asked by a blogger called Socialist Swine, of the blog Capitalist Pig vs. Socialist Swine. I was going to reply at that blog, but as my reply got longer and longer in my head, I decided to do it here and then offer a link. (This is going to be a long one.)

"A question for my more right wing readers....

Tonight I was reading about Samuel Alito, the new SCOTUS nominee, and, from what I've read, it seems that Alito has historically seemed to be rather unfriendly to civil rights cases. While I was reading this it occurred to me that from my experience it seems that those who lean to the far right tend to oppose (or at least don't think much of) various civil rights laws and civil rights activists. So my question is, why is this? For what reason could anybody think that furthering the cause of civil rights is a bad idea?

-Socialist Swine"

Actually, SS, you're starting from a faulty premise; that most civil rights laws are used to further civil rights, when they're actually used to foster dependency among those that they're allegedly supposed to help.

Take affirmative action for example. When it was first introduced in the late sixties, the late Senator and Vice-President Hubert H. Humphrey swore that it would never become a quota system. Yet by the mid-seventies, that's exactly what it was. Non-profits, for-profit companies large and small and local, state and most federal government institutions (but not Congress; they exempted themselves) could be--and were--painted as racists and sued if they didn't hire enough minorities and promote them fast enough, regardless of qualifications. Later, this exercise in bean-counting was extended to women's rights as well, forcing, among other things, smaller colleges to cut mens' athletic programs in order to ensure that men weren't getting more opportunities to participate in such programs than women were. (Most such colleges didn't have the money to increase womens' programs.) Physical standards were lowered so women could get onto police forces and fire departments and into the military. This may sound good and fair in theory, but if you're a two hundred pound man overcome by smoke in a burning building, do you really want to trust your life to a one hundred pound fireperson, in the name of diversity and equal rights?

Then came lending laws. Banks and savings and loans were forced to relax the standards by which they determined the credit-worthiness of minorities and women. Never mind that this would drive up the number of defaults on loans. Just raise the interest rates and fees on the people who could repay their loans. And if that meant that some people had to forget about that new car or house because they couldn't afford the higher rates and fees, well them's the breaks, as my grandpappy would say. .

The long range effect of all this was to create a class of people who no longer felt it necessary to work to improve themselves. If they weren't strong enough, smart enough, well educated enough or ambitious enough, no problem. Just scream "Discrimination!" loud enough and long enough and someone like Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton would show up and shake somebody down for jobs and monetary damages (including a nice little cut for themselves, like that Anheuser-Busch wholesale beer distributorship in Chicago for Jonathon and Yusef Jackson).

Though less of a race issue and more one of social and economic class, welfare had the same effect. Entire generations have grown up not knowing anything but a system that was, to paraphrase the otherwise unlamented former U.S. Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders, designed by slave masters. Under the U.S. system, an unmarried woman with children who claims she doesn't know who the father(s) is/are qualifies for full cash and medical assistance and food stamps. If, on the other hand, she identifies the father and he's able-bodied and presumed employable, she may get cash, medical assistance and food stamps for a few months out of the year, depending on what state she lives in. You can guess what that's done to the percentage of kids growing up in single-parent households, especially among blacks. Boy grows up, fathers as many children by as many women as he wants and lets the state pay for it. Girl grows up, has as many children as she wants by anybody she wants and lets the state pay for it. They may not have set out to have kids like that, but that's what ends up happening. And there is no better way to ensure growing up in poverty than to be born into a single-parent household. Things are improving, thanks in no small part to the welfare reforms a Republican Congress managed to ram down Bill Clinton's throat in the mid-nineties, but it's going to take decades to undo the damage of Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society".

What's really galling is the education system in the U.S. Minorities and the poor in this country are pretty much at the mercy of the public system. And thanks to unions like the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), allied with liberals sitting on school boards across the nation, it's virtually impossible to enforce minimum competency standards on teachers and schools. And where do you think most of the poorly equipped schools and burned-out teachers end up? And throwing more money at the problem won't work. Last time I checked (admittedly, it's been several years), the U.S. spends more money per student on education than any industrialized country except Switzerland. Yet we routinely end up on the short end of every measuring stick used to determine how well educated our children are.

Then there are the so-called civil rights organizations like the ACLU, which has refined its scam into a work of art. Find a small-to-medium sized city that has something like, say, a cross in its city seal. Threaten to sue over separation of church and state issues. City agrees to remove the offending cross. ACLU then bills, and is paid by the city, for attorneys' fees and legal expenses. Nice work if you can get it. And Amnesty International, which used to do good work, lost me when they compared the treatment of Islamofascist prisoners at Gitmo to the horrors of the Soviet-era gulags. Being forced to sleep in a room with the air conditioner set to maximum is not the equivalent of being beaten, starved and worked to death in Siberia.

As for Judge Alito, liberals and outright leftists fear him because they think he's an originalist. A judge who bases his rulings on statutory and constitutional issues on what the statute or constitutional article or amendment says, not on what he thinks it should say. A judge who believes that laws should be made by the people and their elected representatives, not by an unelected and unaccountable judiciary issuing fiats from the bench. That's what they fear. Because they know that their agenda--a cradle-to-grave nanny state with them in charge--hasn't got a snowball's chance of being enacted by people who have to face the voters every two, four or six years. And they may be right about him. I certainly hope they are.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Religion Of Peace?!

An eight year old Iranian boy was caught stealing bread. This was his punishment.

Warning: This is not for the easily (or even not so easily) upset. I also wouldn't view this at work (unless you have your co-workers convinced you suffer from Tourette's Syndrome.)

@ Bare Knuckle Politics; h/ts to Canuckistan Chronicles & Stop The ACLU.

Update: It appears that I may have jumped the gun on this one. A number of commenters at Bare Knuckle Politics have suggested that what's happening in those photos isn't punishment, it's some form of sick, twisted, degenerate entertainment. But even if true, the perpetrators of this disgusting sideshow ought to be hung up by their ankles and flogged.