March 2005

Cheat Seeking missiles links to a posting at No Left Turns that catches best selling author Jared Diamond making outrageous claims about the beliefs of mining executives. Diamond writes:

Civilization as we know it would be impossible without oil, farm food, wood, or books, but oil executives, farmers, loggers, and book publishers nevertheless don’t cling to that quasi-religious fundamentalism of mine executives: ‘God put those metals there for the benefit of mankind, to be mined.’


The CEO and most officers of one of the major American mining companies are members of a church that teaches that God will soon arrive on Earth, hence if we can just postpone land reclamation for another 5 or 10 years it will then be irrelevant anyway.”

According to the Price Waterhouse Coopers survey of Global trends in the Mining Industry,

Reserves and resources are the life blood of the mining industry. As a result, they also play a large role in determining equity market values, as well as accounting profits. Indeed, much of the value of the mining industry is derived from reserves and resources that are not recorded on companies’ balance sheets.

Pretty obviously, a mining company that operated as if all business would end in 5 or 10 years would not be concerned about its reserves beyond that time frame. Yet, every major mining company is duty bound to ensure that it has reserves into the forseeable future. It if did not do that, its value would fall precipitously and it would no longer be a major mining company. While it may be true that some mining executive somewhere believes that God is going to arrive on Earth real soon now, it is patently obvious that no US mining company would operate on the basis of such a belief. Yet Diamond would have us believe that.

Of course, Diamond provides no citations or footnotes to support his slander.


Best of the Web reports that:

the Colorado Supreme Court has ruled. The latter high court threw out the death sentence of Robert Harlan, who murdered a cocktail waitress in 1995, because “jurors consulted the Bible in reaching a verdict,” the New York Times reports.

Apparently relying on the Bible was the defense counsel’s idea: “Lawyers for Mr. Harlan also specifically urged the jurors to consider biblical wisdom, according to the Supreme Court’s decision, with a request that they find mercy in their hearts as ‘God ultimately took mercy on Abraham.’ ” Instead, they went with the eye-for-an-eye precedent.

I suppose the next step on this slippery slope is to throw out all verdicts where witnesses put their hand on the Bible and swore to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, “so help me God.”

According to this Washington Times report:

Nine days of starvation and dehydration have put Mrs. Schiavo beyond “the point of no return,” and yesterday, she was put on a morphine drip to ease the pain of death. David Gibbs, attorney for Mrs. Schiavo’s parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, said Mrs. Schiavo’s health is “declining rapidly.”

But if she is in persistent vegetative state, why does she need morphine to ease the pain of death?

Hindrocket at Powerline Blog explains why the Schindler’s appeals were doomed to fail.

. The reason why appeals don’t often succeed is that all fact-finding is done in the trial court. If there is evidence to support the facts found by the judge or the jury, those facts are set in concrete from that point on. The question on appeal is only whether proper procedures were followed and the law was correctly applied. It is not hard to imagine that the Schindlers had no idea what they were getting into, and were ill-equipped, financially and otherwise, to fight a legal battle against their son-in-law. By the time they started garnering outside support, it was too late.

The “facts” had been cast in judicial stone. Congress, in its actions, tried to get the “facts” reviewed. As Hindrocket’s post notes, that attempt failed because

the federal district court took an unreasonably narrow view of the act, and simply deferred, once again, to the facts that Judge Greer found long ago.

So far as I can tell, from watching TV news (especially Fox News), the rest of the world is on hold while Terri Schiavo dies, Michael Jackson’s trial continues, and registered sex offenders kill again.

While these stories are newsworthy, they do not deserve the 24×7 coverage they have been given, not while the war against radical Islam continues across the globe.

Cheat Seeking Missiles links via Greenie Watch to Bill Bryson’s book, A Short History of Nearly Everything. Bryson writes:

Toward the end of the last big glaciation, some 12,000 years ago, Earth began to warm, and quite rapidly, but then abruptly plunged back into bitter cold for a thousand years or so. … At the end of this thousand- year onslaught, average temperatures leapt again, by as much as seven degrees in 20 years, which doesn’t sound terribly dramatic, but is equivalent to changing the climate of Scandinavia for that of the Mediterranean in just two decades.

These violent temperature fluctuations of the relatively recent past remain unexplained by climatologists. Yet, they presume to project the warming that has occured since the lowest point of the last little ice age a few hundred years ago foward into the indefinite future and attribute it all to man’s activities.

Should we be worried about burning fossil fuels? Well, the pollution that causes is nasty and needs to be reduced, but the CO2 it produces is simply returning it back from whence it came, the Earth’s atmosphere. A coal fired power plant is simply recycling carbon.

Laer, posting on that blog, notes that:

The 54-page brief lists 11 lawyers and three law firms, the American Civil Liberties Union, Felos & Felos, and Jenner & Block (at a pricey DC address). Such a legal team would bill at a cumulative rate approaching $5,000 an hour, and this 54-page hour-eater is just one of hundreds of filings that have been made to further Schiavo’s will to kill.

Good question. Schiavo has tried many times to have that feeding tube removed, as you can see from this timeline:

• Feb. 25, 1990: Terri Schiavo collapses in her home from possible potassium imbalance, temporarily stopping her heart and cutting off oxygen to her brain.

• November 1992: Schiavo’s husband, Michael, wins more than $1 million in a malpractice suit.

• July 29, 1993: Upset over Terri Schiavo’s care and the lawsuit money, her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, try to have Michael removed as Terri’s guardian. The case is later dismissed.

• Feb. 11, 2000: Circuit Judge George W. Greer approves Michael Schiavo’s request to have Terri’s feeding tube removed.

• April 2001: State and U.S. supreme courts refuse to intervene, and Terri Schiavo’s tube is removed, but another judge orders it reinserted two days later.

• Feb. 13, 2002: Mediation attempts fail, and Michael Schiavo again seeks permission to remove feeding tube.

• Nov. 22, 2002: After hearing medical testimony, Judge Greer finds no evidence that Terri Schiavo has any hope of recovery and again orders tube removed.

• Oct. 15, 2003: Tube removed for second time.

• Oct. 21, 2003: Gov. Jeb Bush signs hastily passed bill allowing him to intervene, then orders tube reinserted.

• Dec. 2, 2003: Independent guardian finds “no reasonable medical hope” that Schiavo will improve.

• Sept. 23, 2004: Florida Supreme Court strikes down “Terri’s Law” as unconstitutional.

Michael Schiavo seems over eager to kill off his wife. Some big guns share his eagerness. Why am I not surprised that the ACLU is among them?

Junkyard blog, in an impassioned post on the fate of Terri Schiavo, writes:

Terri Schiavo is starving to death right now. She does feel pain. This is not an abstraction–this is the intentional taking of a life based on the reasoning of a single judge whose flawed finding of fact several years ago put Schiavo’s life in jeopardy. That finding of fact, as to her medical condition, was definitely based on incomplete information, yet it has withstood a raft of appeals mostly because it all keeps coming back to the original flawed finding of fact and the original judge who made it. In that sense, the case is rather simple and a decent take on it can be obtained by a gaining a fairly cursory understanding of what did and did not enter into the original case. Namely, the finding that Terri Schiavo lives in a persistent vegatative state is based on a 45 minute examination by one doctor and a half hour examination by another, neither of whom ordered MRI or other tools routinely used to diagnose a PVS condition. That failure means that the diagnosis is at best incomplete and at worst may be evidence of malpractice. There is much more about Terri’s actual condition here, for anyone actually interested in the facts of this case.

If the original finding of fact was based on such a cursory examination then something is clearly wrong. Without an immediate re-evaluation using MRIs, Cat Scans and whatever other technology is appropriate, we will never know whether or not she was effectively brain dead. But sadly, it may now be too late.

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