Morning Roundup: Dignity in an undignified world

It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees, goes the quote attributed to Emiliano Zapata. It came to mind considering the case of the 14-year-old Jehovah’s Witness who chose to die rather than accept blood transfusions against his principles. Without a judge stepping in and saying the kid was old enough to make up his own mind, we might be back in yet another pointless, diversionary Terri Shiavo tug-of-war. Somehow the fact it never got to that says something about public opinion on the right to die. As Midnight Oil, reprising the Zapata quote in “Power and the Passion,” put it, “Sometimes you’ve got to take the hardest line.” And to think lead singer Peter Garrett has just been named Australia’s minister of the environment in the wake of Down Under’s anti-Bush election overhaul.

The kid knew what he was doing. He just wanted to die with dignity, his beliefs intact. You can argue endlessly about whether he was acting against his own eventual interests, whether he might, had he taken transfusions and survived, look back as an adult and be glad. But I’m not so sure. At 14 I was protesting the war and fighting the draft and listening to Dylan and pretty much had the mindset I do today, even if in a lot of ways I was completely clueless about life. So yeah, let the kid decide.

As an aside, searching the Zapata quote today (a far different experience than when I first researched it back in the day) says something about an incipient and encouraging youth awareness. A few years ago a Google search yielded only a few hits, and they all tagged Zapata (rightly so). Today the same search barely turns up the Mexican revolutionary’s name. Instead a raft of MySpace and other personal references show up, many posted by youth who obviously think the quote has some relevance to life in America today. As a meme, the phrase may give hope to aging lefties that hey, the kids are alright.

Richard McIver isn’t exactly walking tall himself, but another judge was probably considering dignity more than legal principle in (Times here, P-I there, both worth reading for their differences) withholding a video of the councilman taken the night of his arrest. The judge mumbled something about privacy rights and McIver not being informed he was being taped (like a camera or camcorder pointed in his face escaped notice?), but let’s face it, McIver is a decent guy who doesn’t deserve to be bandied about on the airwaves in a drunken stupor. Or whatever (since we probably will never see the thing). As for Jane Hague, potentially getting off on a technicality will do hardly anything to restore her dignity, which is pretty much shot forever.

The truth is, it’s near impossible to maintain dignity in public life these days, the Bush administration having so soiled the landscape. Public service has been turned into lackeydom and lickspittlehood, the latest evidence being the fearsome crusader called in to “investigate” Karl Rove. Turns out he is under investigation himself for all kinds of crap, including firing whistleblowers and “using government agencies to help re-elect Republicans.” And we are shocked, shocked at this revelation. Can you imagine this guy even getting up off his knees, let alone dying on his feet? I mean, just look at him. Orwell’s observation about people eventually getting the face they deserve comes to mind.

To end on a positive note, as we always try to do even in this season of commercialized, ersatz cheer, Obama’s comin’ to town! Now there’s a guy not only with dignity, but a face he deserves…

Comments

  1. 1

    klake spews:

    The kid knew what he was doing. He just wanted to die with dignity, his beliefs intact. You can argue endlessly about whether he was acting against his own eventual interests, whether he might, had he taken transfusions and survived, look back as an adult and be glad. But I’m not so sure. At 14 I was protesting the war and fighting the draft and listening to Dylan and pretty much had the mindset I do today, even if in a lot of ways I was completely clueless about life. So yeah, let the kid decide.

    Paul not much has change in thirty plus years in your life? You are still fighting the establishment protesting wars that our nation is involved in all over the world. Thank God; oops sorry I used a dirty word (God)there not a draft today your friends would have to swim the Frazer River into Canada. Yes you are honset about one thing you are realy completely clueless about life today as you were when at fourteen. The one thing we do disagree abut is Obama having any dignity. Anyone who sides with the Far Far Left has the digity and morals of a prostitute. I would much rather support Clinton and least you have a known tangible, but lacking in some areas.

  2. 3

    IAFF Fireman spews:

    “but let’s face it, McIver is a decent guy who doesn’t deserve to be bandied about on the airwaves in a drunken stupor. Or whatever (since we probably will never see the thing).”

    He beats his wife and you call him a decent guy? Maybe you should ask around and try to find out why the Firefighters Union tried so hard to defeat him. He has continually tried to cut staffing and the fire budget (Even succeeded a few times). But he is a Decent guy? Wow, your even more of a hypocrite than MaMa Hate.

  3. 4

    bma spews:

    It’s oddly ironic that klake demonstrates such a pathetic and cowardly lack of dignity, respect, and class in a post about dignity, respect, and class.

  4. 5

    klake spews:

    Lee says:

    Klake,
    If there was a draft today, the occupation of Iraq would be over by next week.
    Maybe it would, it is challenging to keep the cowards in front of you and not running off to support the enemies of this nation. But what the hell your friends would rather buy silk prayer rugs and pray five times a day. Your wives wear cloths that covers the complete body instead those sold by Nordstroms. Yep you like those good old days when women had their place in life. Bare footed, pregnant, and cooking your meals of mutton with rice. Yes Lee you can’t deal with a lady like Clinton, but you love Rosie.

  5. 6

    Puddybud spews:

    Paul looks like the Clinton News Network is trying to preserve it’s dignity in wake of the expose of the various Democrat supporter plants on the Republican CNN/YouTube debate last night.

    Rumor has it CNN received 5000 questions and at least 4 people were Moonbat! plants.

    You guys are soooooo weird!

  6. 8

    Poster Child spews:

    “swim the Frazer (sic) River”? really? So if there were a draft we’d annex the part of Canada between the current border and the (Fraser) river?

    Cool!

  7. 9

    Puddybud spews:

    Continuing Roger Rabbit AKA Pelletizer ™ rules of blogging:

    This is known about CNN and their dignity problem…

    1) Clinton supporting Gay General asked the military question
    2) Edwards supporter is the abortion questioner
    3) Obama supporter is the Log Cabin Republican questioner guy with a big nose
    4) Edwards-endorsing United Steelworkers supporter asked the lead toy question and a prominent union activist
    5) John Edwards supporter Journey was the concerned young undecided person Journey

  8. 10

    Puddybud spews:

    On the CNN rebroadcast they removed Gen’l Kerr and his military question. Don’t these idiots realize people are watching… and the print and Internet media would have it captured?

  9. 11

    Right Stuff spews:

    “The truth is, it’s near impossible to maintain dignity in public life these days, the Bush administration having so soiled the landscape”

    Please…… the “landscape” has been on a track of declining civility and partisanship for a long time, much longer than Bush has been in office.
    Your problem Paul is that you only see thru Democrat colored glasses. You are a great example of why the landscape is so partisan…such as labeling a drunk Democrat wife abuser “McIver is a decent guy” and a Republican drunk “will do hardly anything to restore her dignity, which is pretty much shot forever.”

    Get it, They both have personal Human Issues, Issues which in my mind compromise them and should take them out of public service, regardless of party affiliation.

    In other words
    Paul meet kettle.

  10. 17

    Puddybud spews:

    Fart-n-Art: I see you didn’t watch the debate last night. Many of the questions were Moonbat! plants chosen by CNN.

    I see your stupid gene just kicked in. I am stating facts are you are too stupid to comprehend them.

  11. 19

    Puddybud spews:

    To me liberals have this “I need to lie about myself gene to make myself presentable to the world”.

    Otherwise why would all of these exposed democrats have to lie about themselves in their Youtube entries which are now being given the light of day.

  12. 20

    spews:

    @5
    I can’t believe I’m arguing with klake, but I need a quick break from work here…

    Maybe it would, it is challenging to keep the cowards in front of you and not running off to support the enemies of this nation.

    That’s not why the occupation would end. The occupation would end because large numbers of Americans tolerate its continuance solely because no one they know will ever have to risk their lives for it.

    But what the hell your friends would rather buy silk prayer rugs and pray five times a day.

    I do have friends who have prayer rugs and pray five times a day. Why? Because I live in a diverse city in 2007 and I’m not a bigot.

    Your wives wear cloths that covers the complete body instead those sold by Nordstroms.

    Actually, my wife dresses fairly normally and shops at Nordstroms all the time.

    Yep you like those good old days when women had their place in life. Bare footed, pregnant, and cooking your meals of mutton with rice.

    Cuckoo…cuckoo…cuckoo

    Yes Lee you can’t deal with a lady like Clinton, but you love Rosie.

    Yeah, I love Rosie Greer. That guy was one hell of a football player. Klake, will you please get yourself to a therapist before you shoot up a mall food court?

  13. 21

    proud leftist spews:

    Puddy,
    Do the Republican candidates have some sort of immunity from Democrats asking them questions? For once, the boys got asked some tough questions, unlike the softballs they usually face from the MSM and their Republican audiences. Nice to see the Pathetic Eight squirm as they tried to dodge the truth.

  14. 22

    Right Stuff spews:

    proud leftist says:

    Puddy,
    Do the Republican candidates have some sort of immunity from Democrats asking them questions? For once, the boys got asked some tough questions, unlike the softballs they usually face from the MSM and their Republican audiences. Nice to see the Pathetic Eight squirm as they tried to dodge the truth.

    No they don’t and they should be proud and grateful to answer any question asked of them by any American….
    I think the point of the “uproar” here is that the Democrat candidates (cowardly so in my opinion) ducked a Fox News debate, while the Republicans had no reservations about strolling into the CNN (self proclaimed left biased)house.

    So in a nutshell,
    Republicans willing to debate in a left biased setting, Democrats not willing to do the same…

  15. 23

    Puddybud spews:

    Right Stuff it’s more than that.

    CNN/YouTube crafted this debate message as Republicans asking Republicans through the Internet. Now we find out 8 or more of the chosen participants are wolves (democrats) in sheep’s (Republicans) clothing.

    Proud Leftist – Usually your insight is much better than this. I am shocked and amazed on your question above.

    If the Republicans put forth themselves as Democrats on a Fox/YouTube debate (well they are too chicken to visit FOX Studios) and it came out as no they weren’t democrats, it would be on every news channel and every newspaper as lead stories and front page material. Because the opposite happened where is the leftist uproar?

    Nary a peep, nary a peep!

  16. 25

    Puddybud spews:

    Right Stuff: Remember Kos called it Clinton News Network so we on the right are free to use this moniker because it was “blessed” by the head whack-job lefty himself!

  17. 26

    proud leftist spews:

    RightStuff
    Actually, the GOP candidates did all in their power to dodge a YouTube debate. The initial debate was canceled, the official position being that a YouTube debate would be “undignified.” The candidates finally bowed to pressure and agreed to do the debate.

  18. 28

    Puddybud spews:

    So proud leftist what happened at CNN. Since Anderson Cooper said it wasn’t me (typical lefty diverting blame, maybe he should return back to the Mole Show), was this or convenient ineptness or creative incompetence or as I think callous capriciousness? You know, the standard knee-jerk liberal!!!?

  19. 29

    proud leftist spews:

    27
    CNN is not a liberal network. The home of Glenn Beck and Lou Dobbs hardly counts as leftist. CNN mostly fails to deliver straight news, erring as all the major networks do on the side of giving both sides of every issue even if one side is the lunatic fringe. Fox News, on the other hand, is decidedly partisan. So, your suggestion that the Republican candidates somehow were stepping into enemy territory by going on CNN is misguided.

  20. 31

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “You are still fighting the establishment protesting wars that our nation is involved in all over the world.”

    Yes, and so am I, and many others; thank God some of us didn’t lose our humanity and decency in the process of growing up.

    Of course, some of you never had any humanity or decency to begin with.

  21. 32

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “Oregon woman loses long-time Christmas tree …

    “CORVALLIS, Ore. — Mary Moran … awoke Wednesday to find that a long-needled pine the family had decorated for years was cut down and stolen during the night … the thief had fastidiously taken the lights from the tree, draping them on rocks around the tree’s raised bed.”

    Quoted under fair use; for complete story and/or copyright info see http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....len29.html

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: I’ll bet the thief votes Republican, too.

  22. 33

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Speaking of thieves …

    “The Politico’s Ben Smith is reporting that … Rudolph Giuliani billed obscure city agencies for travel expenses during his tenure as New York Mayor. Politico obtained documents on the brewing scandal via a Freedom of Information Law request. …

    “According to the story, Giuliani charged a variety of city agencies, including agencies responsible for regulating loft apartments, aiding the disabled and providing lawyers for indigent defendants, for hundreds of thousands in expenses related to Rudy’s travel to the Hamptons. When city auditors questioned the expenses, they were denied information by the mayor’s office, citing ‘security’ concerns.

    “The article stresses the link between the Hamptons trips and the Mayor’s extra-marital relationship with Judith Nathan, his current wife. …

    “The use of the lofts agency is an uncomfortable reminder of another sex scandal, former N.Y.C. Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik and erstwhile O.J. publisher Judith Regan’s dalliances at an apartment that was intended for use by weary police and rescue workers at Ground Zero. …

    “If city officials continue to investigate this, it could be a major hit to Giuliani’s status as the national front-runner.”

    Quoted under fair use; for complete article and/or copyright info see http://news.aol.com/political-.....0000000001

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: I’ll bet this thief votes Republican, too. P.S., according to an update, Hizzoner is blaming the cops; so much for the law-and-order party supporting their local police ….

  23. 34

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Trying to get a Republican to take responsibility for his actions is like trying to sell Girl Scout cookies to a shoplifter.

  24. 35

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The fishwrapper reports that British Petroleum has pleaded guilty to a federal environmental crime for failing to report an oil spill and will be fined $20 million. According to the article,

    “For years, the company denied allegations that a culture of cost-cutting was hurting the quality of maintenance …. But … federal prosecutors said … company documents and interviews with … employees told a different story. … Prosecutors estimate BP saved $9 million by choosing not to regularly clean and inspect two of its pipelines ….”

    In two other cases, the same company was fined over $350 million for manipulating midwestern energy markets and for a Texas refinery explosion that killed 15 people.

    Quoted under fair use; for complete article and/or copyright info see http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....il29m.html

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: These cases hint at what kind of society we’d live in if self-described “free market” government-haters got their way. In a nutshell … a polluted, dangerous, gangster society like Russia’s. Makes you wonder if rightwingers aren’t actually closet commies.

  25. 36

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I sure hope Guiliani is their nominee! I’d love to see them run a crooked mayor who paid for cheating on his wife by stealing public money from programs for the poor. The voters are sure to like that …

  26. 37

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @5 Kinda strange to hear a 5-year-old calling other people “cowards.” What war did you fight in, klake?

  27. 38

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @6 So? Are Republicans afraid of Democrats asking questions? They ought to be, because in a little over a year from now, they’re going to be getting a lot of questions from Democratic prosecutors.

  28. 39

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @7 Unlike the past and current crop of GOP candidates, pudwhacker, Kerry is an actual veteran of an actual war who served in actual combat and actually got shot at with actual bullets.

  29. 40

    Puddybud spews:

    Proud Leftist: Then I can use the same argument Fox News is not a conservative network.

    They have Greta Van Sustern, Geraldo Rivera, Alan Colmes and a host of paid democrats.

  30. 42

    klake spews:

    Roger Rabbit says:

    @7 Unlike the past and current crop of GOP candidates, pudwhacker, Kerry is an actual veteran of an actual war who served in actual combat and actually got shot at with actual bullets.

    So Roger; Kerry is now more quaified than Bill Clinton to run this country. Bill never served in this country military let alone the National Guard. Hate to break the news to you it really doesn’t matter, just as long you get voted into office as President.

  31. 43

    klake spews:

    Lee says:
    @5
    I can’t believe I’m arguing with klake, but I need a quick break from works here…

    Maybe it would, it is challenging to keep the cowards in front of you and not running off to support the enemies of this nation.

    That’s not why the occupation would end. The occupation would end because large numbers of Americans tolerate its continuance solely because no one they know will ever have to risk their lives for it.

    Well Lee if your friends would volunteer to serve in the military the draft would not be needed. Then they will know someone who would be at risk. Hell how about just introduces yourself to any solider wearing a uniform. You might find out they are really a part of the human race.

    But what the hell your friends would rather buy silk prayer rugs and pray five times a day.

    I do have friends who have prayer rugs and pray five times a day. Why? Because I live in a diverse city in 2007 and I’m not a bigot.

    Lee you miss the point; you might have friends that are Muslim but the statement refers anyone who support the Far Far Left really supports Osama bin Laden. If you support that crowd you are flying a white flag and will do anything the bin Laden crowd wants. Now you are free to purchase that silk prayer rug.

    Your wives wear clothes that covers the complete body instead those sold by Nordstrom’s.

    Actually, my wife dresses fairly normally and shops at Nordstrom’s all the time.

    Today she might dress in good fashion but under the Osama bin Laden she will have to cover her whole body in a black garment. Now you can hide all your wealth under her Leila Abaya and never fear it being stolen.
    Yep you like those good old days when women had their place in life. Bare footed, pregnant, and cooking your meals of mutton with rice.

    Cuckoo…cuckoo…cuckoo

    You claim to be liberal but your kind believes in keeping women confined to their old roles that date back fifty years. Lee does your wife brings home more money than you, do you stay home and raise your children? Now you Arab friends have really great dishes that contain mutton and rice, I could recommend a great place in Kuwait City.

    Yes Lee you can’t deal with a lady like Clinton, but you love Rosie.

    Yeah, I love Rosie Greer. That guy was one hell of a football player. Klake, will you please get yourself to a therapist before you shoot up a mall food court?

    Lee you don’t have to worry about me shooting up a shopping mall but might want to keep an eye on Seattle Jew. You like putting a spin on that last statement. Now Hillary Clinton is more progressive than to your own liking, but prefers your best friend Rosie O’Donnell who believes that Bush is responsible for 911.
    11/29/2007 at 11:29 am

  32. 44

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @11 Holy shit! Stop the presses! HA is a partisan blog! We don’t idolize Republicans here! If that’s what you’re looking for try Free Republic or the sucky little local wingnut blog.

  33. 45

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @40 “They have Greta Van Sustern, Geraldo Rivera, Alan Colmes and a host of paid democrats.”

    Those people are “Democrats”?

    HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR