Thursday, March 31, 2005

Today's Dumb Star Tribune Stuff

There are two items in today's Star Tribune that merit comment. The first is a Steve Sack cartoon criticizing, lo and behold, Jesse Jackson for being too eager to get himself in front of a TV camera. It's taken Sack and the Strib this long to notice? Of course it may be that he chose to side with Schindler family in the Schiavo mess, so the Strib may feel he's betrayed them. Don't worry folks, I'm sure he'll get back to his regular GOP-bashing very soon.

The second item is an extremely one-sided, somewhat incoherent editorial on the Terri Schiavo case. It seems to have the following points:

That Christian extremism is a danger to the United States. Their evidence - Paul Krugman says so, the people demonstrating in support of Terri Schiavo and her parents, Republican (but not Democratic) support for a law to request a Federal court review of her case, pharmacists who decide their conscience will not allow them to dispense birth control and morning after pills in the way the Strib approves of, and last but not least consideration of changing filibuster rules to end Democratic obstruction of appeals court judicial nominations. I fail to understand how that adds up to imminent theocracy, but we'll look at them just the same.

First , the Krugman argument. Krugman thinks anything GOP is extremist, and has a peculiar notion of what's dangerous. The idea of these various groups of people acting peacefully on their convictions seems to scare him (and the Strib) for some reason. After all neither the Strib nor Krugman objected to people acting on their disagreements with the Iraq war or globalization, or siding with Islamic fascists who oppose the very rights that liberals and the left claim to favor. And the Schiavo protestors were relatively polite, even. I didn't notice anyone advocating theocracy out there, for that matter Could it be the Strib and Krugman just have different standards for those who disagree with them?

As far as the pharmacists, I should point out to the Strib the pharmacists they mentioned can choose to act on their convictions just like those on the left. It's called civil disobedience and if they are willing to pay the legal price, it's none of the Strib's business.

In the case of the judicial nominations, an alternative to the Strib and DFL version is that a majority of the Senate would approve these judges but the minority Democrats abused Senate procedure to gain an unconstitutional veto over the president's choice of judges. The Strib seems to think only liberal judges can be trusted to follow the law, whereas in at least one case - that of Judge Prior, he showed himself quite capable of enforcing laws that he disagrees with in the case of judge Roy Moore (no relation to Michael). Rubbish. The filibuster is a creation of Senate rules, not the Constitution and if it is abused by the minority, one can expect the majority to do something to curb the abuse.

The other thing the Strib brings up is Dr. Ronald Cranford, who in their eyes is the sole medical authority on the condition of Terri Schiavo. Apparently he cannot be disputed because he won an argument with a TV commentator. What they don't mention is the numerous neurologists who disagreed with his evaluation of Ms. Schiavo( see one's opinion here ). Apparently in the Strib's eyes the opinion of a TV talking head is more representative of the "know-nothings and charlatans who are waging war on law and reason and science and medicine in the United States." I guess that means that if you disagree with the Strib, you are not a "learned" person. How condescending. How intolerant. And wrong.

Update: I've included a link to the Sack cartoon now that one is available. I also wonder if I shouldn't change to title of this post to something along the lines of "The Strib's Fear of Religious Faith" or something.

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