Thursday, October 23

Neil Postman, RIP

An obituary of this very important writer, teacher, and media critic may be found at Jay Rosen's provocative PressThink site. Rosen was Postman's colleague and friend on the faculty of New York University--and is a fine critic himself. Be sure to read his recent postings on blogging, Fox News, Terry Gross and Fresh Air, Bill O'Reilly, rants in the New York Times, and Al Franken's latest politico-comic screed. At any rate, don't miss Rosen's moving tribute of the author of such must-read books as Amusing Ourselves to Death, The Disappearance of Childhood, and Technopoly.

While you're at it, you might want to read Andrew Postman's eulogy of his dad. It too is more than a little telling--indeed, it makes all too clear that Neil Postman's death in some way impoverishes us all.

Infernal Devices

Just when you thought the nightmare was over, the wicked, perverse, and vile unleash new infernal devices. WorldNetDaily is reporting today that the case of Terri Schindler-Schiavo has taken another bizarre turn--a turn for the worse.

According to the WND special report the greatest fear of Terri's family and her attorney, Patricia Anderson has been realized when they learned that Michael Schiavo had removed his wife Terri from the hospital where she was taken to have her feeding tube reinstalled. He has instead clandestinely sent her off to a nearby hospice.

WND reports that, "Just hours earlier, Anderson--who has represented Robert and Mary Schindler in their decade-long legal battle with their son-in-law--told WorldNetDaily she was intensely concerned that Schiavo would remove Terri from the hospital before her condition was medically stabilized and she was rehydrated, in accordance with Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's executive order. This would be completely at odds with the purpose of Tuesday's special legislation by the Florida legislature that empowered Gov. Jeb Bush to order Schiavo's feeding tube reinserted, and halted the court-ordered death of the 39-year-old brain-disabled woman, whose husband had long sought to end her life. But Schiavo had done that several times in the past, most recently in August when Terri was shuttled back and forth on three separate occasions during bouts with pneumonia and other medical problems. Each time she was kept at Morton Plant only a few days and returned to the hospice in a much-weakened state. 'I don't have any doubt that she should be in intensive care at the hospital,' said Anderson. 'But the fact is, Michael's her guardian and if he withdraws his consent for them to treat her there's nothing they can do. Their hands are tied. This tells you a lot about him.'"

"Anderson said she felt that the hospital would have preferred to keep her before releasing her prematurely, but Schiavo is the one who must consent to treatment. 'If he revokes the consent and he is her legal guardian, their hands are tied,' she explained. 'They cannot continue to treat her without his consent. That is why the appointment of a guardian ad litem is so very crucial,' she added. Anderson said she saw Terri was being tube-fed when she was there, but there is no IV line supplying hydration, though she may have had sufficient fluid during the 24 hours she was at Morton Plant. Both parents and brother Bobby were with her, and she was responsive, though sleepy. 'That is why we need a guardian ad litem,' she added. 'That is what Terri's Bill is about. We've got to have a guardian ad litem to put a stop to that kind of hijinks, because Michael's primary objective is to kill her.'"

"Schiavo very nearly succeeded in his five-year quest to end his wife's life by court-approved starvation. With only a few hours remaining before she slipped beyond the point where she could be saved, Florida lawmakers Tuesday delivered to the governor legislation empowering him to order Schiavo's feeding tube reinserted, and Bush signed the life-saving law as well as an implementing executive order. Terri's Bill specifically directs the chief judge, David Demers of the 6th Judicial Circuit Court, to appoint a guardian ad litem to represent Terri "upon issuance of a stay," but he has not yet done so--a matter that Anderson views as a matter of urgency. 'Terri will be out of danger only when Michael is no longer her guardian and no longer has access to her,' she said bluntly."

Follow updates on this ongoing saga at or Terri's website at

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