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Thursday, March 31, 2005


In Memoriam Terri Schiavo

Terri Schiavo is dead. She died a slow, agonizing death of starvation and dehydration.

Michael Schiavo-You are the worst kind of murderer. All you had to do was sign over guardianship of Terri to her parents, who would have given her the care she needed, and then you could have gone on living with the woman you had two kids with-while still married to Terri! Nobody would have complained. Instead, you killed your wife, because she was an inconvenience. I hope nobody ever finds you an inconvenience; a useless eater.

All the judges involved in this case-You are murderers. You condemned an innocent women to die by starvation and dehydration. You would not have sentenced a mass murderer to die this way. Why did Terri have to?

All the people who were arrested trying to give Terri water-You are heroes. You set aside the law, and did what was right. Anyone who disagrees with me is welcome to explain the moral principle under which it is wrong to give water to somebody dying of thirst.

The legislators who passed Terri’s Law-I commend you for attempting to reign in the judiciary. If nothing else, this case has shown me that the American judiciary has gone out of control. Too bad your efforts to rein it in came to naught.

Bob and Mary Schindler-You have my deepest sympathies.

What needs to be done to prevent more Terri Schiavos-If somebody becomes incapacitated, and doesn’t have a living will, the courts must presume that the person would want to live. Whoever wants to kill her should have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt (not the current “clear and convinving” standard) that the person would want to die. Let’s give the incapacitated at least as much benefit of the doubt as we give criminals.

That’s all I have to say. I am thoroughly disgusted by this case.

Saturday, March 26, 2005


Prove It

I just read a news report about the Schiavo case. Apparently, there is a dispute over whether or not her tongue and eyes are bleeding. This dispute can be resolved simply-allow photos of her to be taken. But her husband’s attorney, George Felos, claims this would violate her privacy? Excuse me, Mr. Felos? You are starving this woman to death, and you expect us to believe you are concerned about her privacy?! Don’t insult out intelligence! Let us see this “calm” “peaceful” death you are imposing on her. What have you to hide?

Friday, March 25, 2005


Terri's Plea

I lie in a bed

In a dark room

Blinds drawn

Lights off

Like a prisoner in a dungeon.

Some people think I am not aware

But I am.

I can hear my husband ask “When is that bitch going to die?”

I can see them remove my feeding tube.

Oh, but for an hour of speech

Feed me!

Give me water!

I’m in pain!

I’m not dead yet, but I will be if I’m not fed!


Why is food and water “extraordinary” medical care?

Why do I have to die?

Why, Michael?

Why, judges?

Feed me, give me water!

This is my plea.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


Looking at the Moon

The moon shines in the sky

With a halo around it

Like a star of hope


On Terri Schiavo

The Schiavo case has attracted national attention. In this post, I will give my views on the matter.

I am a libertarian. I am pro choice, and I feel that, if somebody has signed an advance directive, their wishes should be respected. However, there is no advance directive in the Schiavo case. All we have is the word of an adulterous husband. If Michael Schiavo has his way, Terri will die a slow death by dehydration and starvation. If a murderer were condemned to die this way, the ACLU would be raising holy Hell. Where are they now that an innocent woman has been condemned to die this way? Michael Schiavo is living with another woman, and has had a child with her. Let him divorce Terri, who he does not seem to care much about. Then, guardianship would pass on to her parents, who would allow her to continue receiving the “extraordinary” treatment of food and water, and allow her to receive therapy that might allow her to communicate and swallow on her own, without the aid of a feeding tube, treatment her “husband” has denied her.

As a general matter of law, I think that, absent an advance directive, the presumption should be that the person wants to live, because all beings naturally preserve their own existence, insofar as they are able.

Monday, March 21, 2005


Walking to Dooling at Night

The half moon

Is shrouded by clouds

Like a demon

Lying in wait

Is this an ill omen?

Saturday, March 19, 2005


A Scene on Campus

Walking to dinner
A long goose flies by, honking
The half moon in the blue sky
The sun is setting.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


On Computer Crime

Computer crimes have been in the news a lot recently. By “computer crime”, I do not mean things like downloading a song off of eMule. When I say “computer crime” I mean “any action that deprives somebody of the use of their computer or data without their consent”. An example of this is the Blaster worm. The Blaster worm exploits vulnerability in the Microsoft Windows operating system. It caused $1.2 million in damage. The author of a variant of the Blaster worm got, for causing $1.2 million in damage, 18 months in prison-a year and a half in minimum security prison for causing $1.2 million dollars in damage! To me, this shows that society must take computer crimes much more seriously than we do now.
Some in the technology community is not on the government to punish these cybervandals, but rather on the users to secure their machines. This is wrong, for several reasons. As usability expert Jakob Nielsen points in an article on this subject, this sort of attitude is akin to the Wild West, where the answer to crime was that everyone carried a gun. This approach has been abandoned in favor of professional police forces to deal with criminals. So should it be with computer crimes. If somebody steals everything in your apartment, that person is fully criminally liable for his actions. It doesn’t matter if the door was unlocked or not. Nor should the level of security matter when it comes to tracking down and punishing computer criminals. Furthermore, it is impossible to fully secure one’s computer against cybervandals. Everyday, new vulnerabilities are discovered. Even Fortune 500 companies that spend millions on IT have trouble keeping up with them. It would be as if you had to secure your home against Al Qaeda’s best break in team. Of course, people are not expected to do that with their homes. Neither should people be expected to secure their computers against the world’s most experienced hackers.
Society must get serious about computer crime. I propose that if anybody deprives somebody of the use of their computer or data, it should be considered a theft, and dealt with accordingly. The federal penalty for theft is found in US Code Title 18 Part I Chapter 103 S 2111 “Whoever, within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, by force and violence, or by intimidation, takes or attempts to take from the person or presence of another anything of value, shall be imprisoned not more than fifteen years.” In other words, the penalty is up to 15 years in prison. I suggest we apply this to computer crimes. Sending worm and virus writers to federal prison (This would be a federal matter; because it would cross state lines), and to maximum security prison, not “Club Fed”, would send a strong message to cybervandals that their actions will not be excused or tolerated.


Eminent Domain

I read in Ted Rall's column that the city of New London, CT, is attempting to seize the home of an 86 year old woman. Now, the power of eminent domain does have its place. Schools, roads, etc, could not be built without it. However, we are not talking about schools and roads. New London wants to kick this woman out of the house she has lived in all her life to build "a 90-acre upscale development complex comprising high-priced hotels, housing, a health club and corporate offices". Rall does not take a position on this, but I will.
The only excuse for eminent domain is to take private property for public use. This is taking private property, for somebody else's private use. To me, governments acting as Mafia thugs, making "offers you can't refuse" is morally repugnant. If the developers want this woman's property, they can buy it from her without government coercion, and if she won't sell, then too bad. There is no such thing as a right to another individual's property. If you disagree, email me with your address; I'll be over to assert my right to all your stuff. After all, I'll probably make much better use of it.


Thoughts on the End of NYPD Blue

NYPD Blue ended yesterday.
I was a bit disappointed with the last show of the series-nobody died, they actually introduced two new people, everyone's life seemed to just go on. Even the case wasn't that interesting. NYPD Blue ended not with a bang, but a whimper.
Still, I will miss this show. I started watching it with my Dad in middle school, it was out father/son bonding. It ended when I am in college. Throughout college, that show was my fixed star. I could watch it, and know that, at the same time, my Dad was watching it too. Now that is over. Our lives are constantly in flux. I am reminded of the last portion of the Diamond Sutra:
"Like a falling star, like a bubble in a stream,
Like a flame in the wind, like frost in the sun,
Like a flash of lightning or a passing dream --
So should you understand the world of the ego."

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