April 12, 2005

A Time for Everything.

My father taught me this: there's a time to talk things through, and then there's a time to put your tongue behind your teeth and get busy.

I have always been rather conservative, even during my relatively liberal minded twenties. I had a talent for making heads explode on either side of the coin: I was pro-choice, and pro-gun. I have no problem saying the Pledge of Allegiance with the words "Under God" included, and I have no problem with the idea of people praying in public, or in school -- even though I'm a practicing Pagan who follows what most neos call "Celtic Shamanism".

Throughout the nineties, I kept a weather eye on the Middle East, mostly because of Operation Desert Storm and because of the fact that yet another generation of young men from my family had gone to serve. Before that, Saddam Hussein, Palestine, and the various "Arab militant" groups playing kill-the-camel games out in the middle of BFE were fairly low on my radar. I cried and got angry on the day that the images of dead Kurdish children were televised on TV, and I joined my voice to those of groups calling for investigation into human rights' violations in the Middle East and Africa. I was as outraged as any liberal when the Taliban destroyed the Bamiyan Buddhas in early 2001. (Why was the Left outraged by the destruction of the statues, but nonplussed by the revelation of rape rooms and execution by paper shredder in Saddam's Iraq? Anyway...)

I supported lobby groups working to reintroduce the wolves to Yellowstone National Park.

I had to go to the firing range following the press coverage of the Black Hawk Down events in Mogadishu. I had to deal with the fact that I voted for Clinton in 1996. I was registered Democrat until the 2000 election, because I admired Thomas Jefferson so. Clinton and Gore changed all that. The implosion of the DNC following the 2000 election signed and sealed it.

I spent the summer following my graduation from high school, and then afternoons during my first two years of college, serving as a range safety officer in my father's gun store/indoor firing range. I wore tie-dye, and grew my hair to my waist. In the range, I made cops cringe and swallow hard when they saw my groupings: high and clustered around the carotid of all the paper perps.

I desperately wanted to help those less fortunate than me, and actually did a pretty good job at it by volunteering my time to various programs. I studied psychology and anthropology in college after a brief and abortive love affair with the theatre.

I never once believed that raising taxes actually resulted in helping the poor. I always believed that individual good works, performed by people of good heart, who wanted to provide the unfortunate with tools to achieve success were most effective.

This made veins pound in the temples of classmates and professors -- and it amused me greatly. My enjoyment of pissing off "bleeding hearts" started young and continues to this day. I hope I can pass on my particular flavor of perversity to the next generation.

I have always believed that gun control involves a steady eye and firm grip.

I believe that every issue must be examined in context of itself. Sometimes, this makes me seem inconsistent to those who don't know how my mind works.

Through the nineties, and until September 11, 2001, I led a most tranquil existence.

9/11 changed that.

I sat in horror with so many other Americans that day, and watched the coverage of the deaths of thousands of my brother and sister Americans. The images are still fresh in my mind, and instead of asking why this could happen, I became angry.

That anger still burns within me today.

I don't give a shit what excuses Islamic extremists give. From personal experience, I know enough about the way the world works to be absolutely certain that "opening dialogues" with bullies is counterproductive. When a bully fucks with you, you break his goddamned nose, and proceed to slowly, methodically, leave him so sick at the mere thought of you that you need never fear him again.

It's a matter of preference. Some people really, truly believe that working to understand someone will defuse their anger and lead to lasting peace.

I worked in mental healthcare too long to continue entertaining that pleasant fantasy. I don't coddle people who bring violence to me.

As a Pagan, I believe in self-determination, "If that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without." A Pagan doesn't need external forces to tell him or her what to think, or how to behave. The face of Divinity can be found internally, through focus and dedication. Every Pagan is a Priest or a Priestess. Real Pagans don't need intermediaries for interaction with God. There are few Pagan paths that don't demand that initiates know themselves well. Real paths will demand unblinking and savage self-knowledge of all your strengths and weaknesses. That requires accountability; responsibility.

That's pretty frickin' socially libertarian, if you ask me.

If you've been visiting this site for any length of time, it's because you've found something of value out here. I hope I've provided information of value, or at the very least, food for thought.

Civilization Calls was meant to be a call to arms. I wanted other Americans to look around and realize that, like it or not, our world has profoundly changed. There are people out there who want you and your children to die horribly, merely because you have the good fortune to live in one of the richest and freest nations on earth.

I wanted people to appreciate that: you're rich, you're free; there are no jack-booted thugs coming to take you away in the night, and if we can all work together and remain vigilant, there never will be.

Well, there are people who feel differently, and there are people who agree with me, and then there are the people who would just as soon go on playing ostrich because it's more comfortable, and then there are the contentious naysayers who tear everything and everyone down because their own souls are too small and impoverished to ever reach for something greater than themselves.

I have a dream in which my daughter smiles fondly out the window at her own grandchildren, who are running free and unafraid in the yard, playing in neighborhoods that are safe, and going to schools where history, rather than personal interpretation, is taught. She might have a firearm in reach; she might not, but at least she has the choice. Her body is her own, and she can save herself or send herself to hell according to her own lights, free of interference from authoritarians of any stripe.

As I wrote earlier: there's a time to talk about things, and a time to get busy and do them.

This blog has become a distraction from my doings.

Thank you all for stopping by. Thanks for the comments, the insight, the laughter, the education, and the frustration. I'll be maintaining a web presence in one way or another, probably for as long as the medium exists. But my political activities will be just that: active.

The grand and exasperating experiment I grandiloquently called "Civilization Calls" has come to an end. Civilization calls me to get busy saving it. I already know what I believe, and I'm going out to fight for it; to fight for those weaker than me. I'm going out to fight authoritarians and a runaway judicial system that's seemingly bent upon starving off the disabled and inconvenient. I'm going to go on defending the 2nd Amendment, and the Constitution in its purest form. I'm going to go out there and continue tangibly supporting the troops who are fighting to keep my daughter's future safe. I'm going to maintain my hearth, my heart, and my family. I'm going to be there for my friends. That's a promise.

It's all about tomorrow, folks. I'm going to do my best to make sure that it's free to spend in any way you please.

I'll be busy. I'll miss this. But you won't miss me -- I'll be visting your blogs, commenting, and exhorting you all to keep up the good fight.

With a glad heart, and high hopes for our future,

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posted by Linda at 11:02 PM : Comments (8)
» Catscape links with: She Has A Dream
April 11, 2005

Oh Really?

Catscape reveals that Mae Magouirk may not actually have been in any danger. (He has the roundup.)

This won't stop me from fighting against the growth of the kill-the-inconvenient movement in this country, but I wonder if Ken Mullinax has ever heard the tale of the boy who cried wolf?

I can honestly say that in this case, I have erred, but it was in the interest of life. The facts, as they were presented, made it seem that an elderly woman's advance directives were being ignored because a granddaughter decided that her myriad health conditions were too much and "who would want to live like that". Let me suggest that it may be errant for people to say that it's best to let someone 'go be with Jesus' when the human under discussion isn't terminal.

The Gods call us all home when it's time, and when that moment comes, no amount of supportive equipment is going to keep a human functioning in the flesh.

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posted by Linda at 07:38 PM : Comments (3)
» JackLewis.net links with: Mae Magouirk: Setting the record straight
April 09, 2005

BREAKING: Mae Is Receiving Nourishment

BlogsforTerri has breaking news: Mae has been taken out of the hospice, and airlifted to hospital, where she is currently receiving nourishment.


Her granddaughter is still trying to block efforts to save her life.

I know it's hard to reach officials on the weekend, but keep your eyes peeled, your prayers lifting, and your efforts ongoing. This is encouraging, but we haven't seen the end of the woods just yet.

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posted by Linda at 11:13 PM : Comments (1)
» Catscape links with: Starving Miss Mae
» JackLewis.net links with: Mae Magouirk: updated timeline and commentary
April 08, 2005

The details on Mae Magouirk

WorldNet Daily has the whole story so far.

This woman has been hanging on since March 28th.

Action Items:
Attorney General of the State of Georgia: Thurbert E. Baker
Phone: 404-656-3300
Fax: 404-657-8733
(He has no email. He must be contacted directly. Fax is preferable.)

Deputy Attorney General
Mary Beth Westmoreland
Criminal Justice Division
Phone: 404-656-3349
Fax: 404-651-6459

Georgia House of Representatives

Georgia Division of Aging Services

Office of Mayor Jeff Lukken
LaGrange, GA
Phone: 706-883-2010
Fax: 706-883-2020

Sherri has more.

BlogsforTerri has correspondence from the family to add perspective.

What is aortic dissection?
ANS: From Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia:

Aortic dissection is a condition in which there is bleeding into and along the wall of the aorta (the major artery from the heart). This condition may also involve abnormal widening or ballooning of the aorta (aneurysm).

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Aortic dissection involves bleeding into and along the wall of the aorta (the major artery from the heart), most often because of a tear or damage to the inner wall of the artery. This usually occurs in the thoracic (chest) portion of the aorta, but may also occur in the abdominal portion.

The exact cause is unknown, but risks include atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and high blood pressure. Traumatic injury is a major cause of aortic dissection, especially blunt trauma to the chest as can be caused by hitting the steering wheel of a car during an accident.

Aortic dissection may also be associated with other injury, infection, congenital (present from birth) weakness of the aorta, collagen disorders (such as Marfan's syndrome, pseudoxanthoma elasticum, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, relapsing polychondritis, or abdominal aortic aneurysm). Pregnancy, valve disorders (including aortic insufficiency), and coarctation of the aorta may also be associated with aortic dissection.

Aortic dissection occurs in approximately 2 out of every 10,000 people. It can affect anyone, but is most often seen in men aged 40 to 70.

Please see the article for the full discussion.

Let's keep something in mind: this woman is AWARE of what's going on. She is not comatose. She is not brain-damaged. There is no question that she is experiencing every single minute of her privation.

Now get off your butt and help me do something about this.

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posted by Linda at 07:52 PM : Comments (2)
» Catscape links with: Starving Miss Mae
April 07, 2005

Silatrell asks: Whatever Happened to Laissez Faire

Shawn at Silatrell weighs in on Congressional Hearings concerning digital music.

He makes good points.

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posted by Linda at 09:37 PM : Comments (0)

ALERT: Mae Magouirk in Georgia.

UPDATE: Sherri has a little more detail.

I'm still unsure what, exactly, is going on here, but have decided ( again invoking the catchphrase) to "err on the side of life".

As I learn more, I shall let you know.

She is not comatose, she is not vegetative, she is not terminal, and she is being starved and dehydrated to death.

BlogsforTerri has the alert here (with updates verifying its veracity), with immediate action items here.

I said Never Again, and I meant it.

The data that I have so far is from the post at BlogsforTerri. Points:
1. Mae is 85 years old, but is not terminal -- she has an aortic dissection, however, which her doctor says is contained.
2. Mae is not brain damaged or comatose.
3. Mae has a Living Will, stating that she wishes to be maintained.

She was moved to hospice by her granddaughter, who stated that she holds Mae Magourik's medical power of attorney, and who stated that her wishes for her grandmother are 'no nourishment'.

The hospice's in-house attorney checked Mrs. Magouirk's case file, and upon examining relevant documents, determined that the granddaughter does not have the durable power of attorney, and that Mae's Living Will ascertains that fluids and nourishment are only to be withheld is she slips into a coma or falls into a vegetative state.

According to the post at BlogsforTerri, Mae is alert.

This does beg a couple of questions:
1. If the hospice has determiend that the granddaughter does not hold power of attorney, and that an aware and competent patient desires treatment, why is Mae in danger? Why do they not simply provide nourishment, albeit in intubated form at this time?

2. Where are the police? If this as it appears, and we have a clear-cut case of patient abuse perpetrated by people without the legal authority to make decisions for her, why has she not been removed from danger?

I will try to get answers to these questions, and a complete understanding of the issue as the day progresses. I will update as I learn more. Please see the relevant post at BlogsforTerri for more detail.

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posted by Linda at 07:15 PM : Comments (0)
» JackLewis.net links with: Around the Blogosphere, SE
» CatHouse Chat links with: Dying of "convenience"
April 06, 2005

Justice: Kurdish Interim President for Iraq

Iraqis Elect Jalal Talabani Interim President

Jalal Talabani is a Kurd. Saddam watched on TV.

Read the entire article.

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posted by Linda at 05:45 PM : Comments (0)
April 05, 2005

NIST Report

NIST's report on the collapse of the WTC towers is up here.

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posted by Linda at 09:51 PM : Comments (0)

Cure for What Ails Ya

Whilst checking on the other members of the HCBA blogroll, I came across Greg's (mis)adventures with Windows upgrade paths.

I have a one word solution that'll probably get me kicked off the blogroll as an apostate:


You'll be glad you did. Aaaaand, as a matter of fact, although I just say it as coincidence (trust me! --L.), the husband and I have a G4 eMac up for sale. We're only selling it because he recently got a new G5 iMac.

It runs OS X. The Linux kernel makes it cool!

and the crickets go wild...

Well, I tried.

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posted by Linda at 07:55 PM : Comments (17)
» SILATRELL.NET links with: Civilization Calls: Cure for What Ails Ya
April 04, 2005

Living Will vs. Will to Live

Based on this discussion, I thought it appropriate to post links to samples of both a Living Will and a Will to Live.

Please note the different approach of each, and evaluate according to your own philosophy. After comparing the differences in language, I shall be discussing a Will to Live with my husband tonight.

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posted by Linda at 11:26 PM : Comments (0)
» My kids' Dad links with: My living will

Little Things That Mean So Much

I just got back from meeting my husband for lunch. Usually, we can't do this, but today we could because he's taking the afternoon off to help his parents finish the move into their new house.

We went to Wendy's, and only questioned our wisdom once the food was in front of us. After all, Wendy's recently became a member of the Horror Story Food Club; nevertheless, we agreed that the poor woman who found the appendage is probably set for life.

Which thought begs the question: should I institute a salute of sorts for folks who go out for fast food? Something in the spirit of "break a leg" or "merde"? From now on, I think I'll say, "Hope you find a finger!"

OK, that was in REALLY bad taste.

Abrupt segue:

I spent the weekend thinking about things, noting the passage of Pope John Paul II with sadness. It is true that I am a follower of the Gods of the Grove, but I respected the Pope as a man who had examined his own convictions, and stood by them unwaveringly. I admired him for his great integrity, serenity, and strength.

He was a Lion of the Church. Rest in Peace, Father.

Otherwise, I minded The Bean while my husband helped his parents move into their new house. My Father-in-Law is still aphasic, and his right arm is still very weak. However, he is walking much better on his own. I have no trouble understanding him, and wasted only a few minutes directing anger toward those moral deficients among us who would argue that his life is probably no longer worth living. Deciding that I had better things to do at the moment, I followed my daughter outside to play.

Nothing clears the mind like digging in the dirt, which allows the natural flow of nature to carry your concerns away. I wasn't planting anything at this point so much as joining my daughter while she played in the sandbox with absolute glee. I watched her and watched my Father-in-Law, and thought about things.

I thought of all the things I'd like to accomplish in the short term -- like laundry, and planting a few trees in the back yard, and then I thought of things I'd like to accomplish in the long-term -- like advocating for the rights of the voiceless disabled, to mention only one thing.

My friend, David at Ripples once paid me a high compliment when he noted that I have a passion for justice. He's right. I know what's right and what's wrong, and whereas some would argue that I'm setting myself up for a lifetime of disappointment by fighting for fairness, I still cannot mutely sit by and apathetically allow events to unfold without somehow trying to shape them in favor of freedom and justice.

From experience, I know that activism is hard, unyielding and exhausting work, but the horrific and tragic case of Terri Schiavo cannot be allowed to happen again. In cases where we are not ABSOLUTELY sure of the patient's real wishes, we MUST err on the side of life, and obstructionist concrete types like Judges Greer and Whittemore must learn that even they are accountable.

Social change comes about by the Will of the People, for the People, is passed into legislation by Congress, and is upheld by the Courts.

Legislators and lawgivers will do well to remember that in the days and months ahead.

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posted by Linda at 08:02 PM : Comments (9)