Actually, I would

This doesn’t actually have anything to do with the Schiavo case, but I thought John Derbyshire’s choice of analogies was somewhat amusing.

—[Reader] Why don’t you just come right out and say you want to kill Terri Schiavo?

—[JD] Because I am a person who tries to be scrupulous in my use of language. If I hear someone say: “I want to kill X,” that signifies to me that the speaker is in a certain state of mind. I am not at all in that state of mind. Fooling around with words gets us nowhere. Strictly speaking, keeping children confined in schools all day is a form of imprisonment. Strictly speaking, clipping my fingernails is a form of self-mutilation. (I believe there is a Hindu sect that refuses to clip fingernails on precisely these grounds.) Would you, or any sane person, actually use the words “imprisonment” and “self-mutilation” in those contexts? Of course not.

Apparently I am not sane, as I would ABSOLUTELY use the word “imprisonment” to refer to those hapless children sentenced to ride on the infamous Yellow Bus. I’d also use the words “brainwashed”, “intellectually crippled” and “scholastically deprived” as well.

And starving someone certainly is killing them. I doubt Derbyshire would have the same delicacy about it being a question of murder were someone to starve their infant daughter instead of their brain-damaged wife. Although it’s not fair to accuse him of wanting to kill Mrs. Schiavo either; like most Americans he simply doesn’t have a problem with someone else killing her. I can’t take too much exception to that, there’s a lot of people whose demise at another’s hand would not cause me to shed a single tear.

Washing their hands

From Drudge:

A federal appeals court refused early Wednesday to order the reinsertion of Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube, denying the latest emergency request by the severely brain-damaged woman’s parents to keep her alive.

A panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals said in a 2-1 ruling that the parents “failed to demonstrate a substantial case on the merits of any of their claims.”

You didn’t really think that President Bush and company were trying to save her, did you? If the president had any intention of doing so, he would have written an Executive Order. The Congressional gambit was simply a means of allowing the politicians to wash their hands of responsibility for her starvation.

Unborn, check.
Disabled, check.
Next up: the elderly.

Only a liberal can say it

Nicolas Kristof writes in the New York Times:

The hungry children and the families dying of AIDS here are gut-wrenching, but somehow what I find even more depressing is this: Many, many ordinary black Zimbabweans wish that they could get back the white racist government that oppressed them in the 1970’s.

“If we had the chance to go back to white rule, we’d do it,” said Solomon Dube, a peasant whose child was crying with hunger when I arrived in his village. “Life was easier then, and at least you could get food and a job.” Mr. Dube acknowledged that the white regime of Ian Smith was awful. But now he worries that his 3-year-old son will die of starvation, and he would rather put up with any indignity than witness that.

An elderly peasant in another village, Makupila Muzamba, said that hunger today is worse than ever before in his seven decades or so, and said: “I want the white man’s government to come back. … Even if whites were oppressing us, we could get jobs and things were cheap compared to today.”

His wife, Mugombo Mudenda, remembered that as a younger woman she used to eat meat, drink tea, use sugar and buy soap. But now she cannot even afford corn gruel. “I miss the days of white rule,” she said.

My respect for Kristof continues to grow as he fearlessly pursues the truth. I wonder how long it will take before he is disowned by the liberals he now considers his ideological peers, as he forces himself to confront the reality of facts versus hopelessly rootless theory. I don’t see this as a black versus white thing as do the Zimbabweans, though, I see it as the usual result of socialism practiced by any racial group without a capitalist host on which to leech.