Friday, March 25, 2005

Shameless, absolutely shameless.

All I have to say is OH NO THEY DI'IN'T!

From the New York Times:

Conservatives Invoke Case in Fund-Raising Campaigns
By David D. Kirkpatrick
The New York Times

Friday 25 March 2005

Videotape of Terri Schiavo blinking at her parents has inspired donations from people around the country to the foundation set up to help pay for the family's legal battle. But many other groups are soliciting donations in her name as well, some for a much broader agenda.

"Help Save Terri Schiavo's Life!" says the Web site of the Traditional Values Coalition, a Christian conservative group best known for its campaigns against gay rights. Next to a link to the Web site of her parents' foundation is a pitch to "become an active supporter of the Traditional Values Coalition by pledging a monthly gift."

"What this issue has done is it has galvanized people the way nothing could have done in an off-election year," said Rev. Lou Sheldon, the founder of the group, acknowledging that the case of Ms. Schiavo, a severely brain-damaged Florida woman, had moved many to open up their checkbooks. "That is what I see as the blessing that dear Terri's life is offering to the conservative Christian movement in America."

Mr. Sheldon, whose organization is based in Anaheim, Calif., said his group had sent e-mail messages and direct mailings telling supporters to call elected officials about the Schiavo case and usually asking for donations as well.

Voice for Terri, a coalition of anti-abortion and Christian conservative groups, is one of several organizations that has sent e-mail messages and set up Web sites pointedly criticizing Ms. Schiavo's husband, Michael, who has fought for years to have his wife's feeding tube removed over the objections of her parents. Troy Newman, the president of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue and a spokesman for Voice for Terri, said the coalition was spending the money it raised to cover the costs of rallies, of hotel rooms and of rental cars for organizers of protests in Florida, and of e-mail and letter-writing campaigns.

"This is not something you make money off of," Mr. Newman said. "It is a tragedy."

The Web site of Ms. Schiavo's parents, Robert and Mary Schindler,, warns visitors that their foundation and Web site are the only legitimate places to contribute to her legal defense.

"Any other source that claims to be a fund-raising effort on her behalf should be brought to our attention here," the site says.

Paul Nelson, the president of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, which certifies the accounting of many of the best-known evangelical charities, said his organization frowned on groups raising money for causes peripheral to their work. And Mr. Nelson said any accusations or criticisms against Mr. Schiavo or others that were raised on Web sites and could not be proved would stretch his organization's requirement that all fund-raising be truthful.

None of these conservative groups would say how much they had raised so far by invoking the Schiavo case.

On a more positive note, here's one that helped me make sense of it all. Seems I'm not the only one who feels like giving up.

Is This A New Dark Age?
Little proof to the contrary that we are indeed in a very long, bleak tunnel. Is there any light?
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

Friday, March 25, 2005

Then come those times when you read about a 16-year-old girl slashing the throat of a 75-year-old woman for no apparent reason, a woman who was merely walking with her husband near a Berkeley public garden and it's right next to the one about the 16-year-old kid smiling and waving and donning a bulletproof vest before shooting nine people and himself to death in a remote, poverty-stricken region of Minnesota and you can feel the numbness like a wave.

And alongside that is the morbid and insipid case of poor Terry Schiavo and the equally insipid Bush evangelicals who trumpet the backward morality of maintaining her vegetative brain-dead state and the sad, tormented parents who can't face reality and the insidious GOP that has zero shame in using her decrepit body as a political football and that kowtows to its pseudo-religious contingency by making humiliating and rather illegal congressional maneuvers to try and keep a feeding tube in place and you just go, oh my God just stop already.

And it all seems to line up with one of those weird phases when everyone in your own life seems to be getting hit by something tragic or sad or somehow ridiculously painful -- a sister with a neck trauma, a best friend going through major depression, a parent struck by illness, certainly almost everyone on the progressive Left feeling sucker-punched and morally eviscerated -- friends and family and loved ones all seeming to suffer in ways you don't want to imagine and it's all against a backdrop of more war dead and more violence and the most bleak and Bush-ravaged era in recent American history and you say to yourself, what the hell is going on?

Because something in you knows. Something in you senses there is more at play right now in the world than mere depressing coincidence, that all the war and disease and brutality has more surrounding it than mere chance or fluke. Do you think? Do you feel it?

Posted by crimnos @ 6:44 PM