Monday, March 21, 2005

Ever since the Washington Post's Reliable Source columnist Richard Leiby has praised this blog as a serious minded pursuit, with posts and stories about foreign affairs and media ("no picutres of nude male escorts"-- in apparent reference to my lack of coverage of the Jeff Gannon story), we have tried mightily to live up to the praise. It is only too easy at times, if one has some scruples-- any scruples actually-- to be the anti-Wonkette or anti-Drudge.

Striving to live up to those standards, I have shied away from commenting at all about the Terry Schiavo story... but in attempting to blog (or parody blogs, whatever this is, is still left to be determined), I did want to say this one thing:

As a journalist and a then-Alicia Patterson Foundation fellow, I investigated more than a decade ago the institutional conditions in which our mentally retarded citizens,
the mentally ill, prisoners, and the indigent aged live. By even the most conservative estimates, still to this day, thousands of them die needlessly each year due to shameful neglect, abuse, substandard medical care, and/or simply the indifference of the rest of us. If any one of those Congressmen pulling all nighters to have Terry Sciavo's feeding tube re-inserted, or any of those protesters down in Florida holding their vigils outside her hospital want to save the lives of our institutionalized mentally retarded, mentally ill, the aged, they can email me, or send a message here, or call me... whatever. There are any number of places they can volunteer, or things they can individually. If they want, I will even put some of them to work myself.

Update 10:54 P.M., March 21. Responding to the query of one reader, the above offer of finding volunteer work or other ways the protesters and Congressmen who are so disturbed by the Terry Schiavo affair can save lives... that was not just rhetoric. If anyone calls, I will hook them up with the right volunteer organization or provide them with other suggestions as to how they can go out and save a human life. I promise.

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