Like many other bloggers, I took a vow to stick with Terri until it was all over. Something like prayer, I guess.... But now it's time to loosen up again. Not all that easy!
A bit earlier I described Terri's case as a useful polarizer, in that it pulls each person's compass in one direction or the other.
On closer inspection, the visible motion was somewhat one-sided.
Basically, we already knew who was pro-life. Some people took our side for secondary and strategic reasons; they were refreshingly honest about their purposes. The only real surprise to me was Ralph Nader, who appears to have no side motives.
It was the pro-death side that came out of the woodwork, with many surprises. The serious players, like Felos and the Hemlock Society, don't usually take part in public discourse. Their allies in the judiciary and the media were usually silent on the subject, until this case stirred their death-frenzy to a point where they could no longer maintain the facade of normalcy.
Back when I was 9 years old, my father (who was Commander of the local Naval Reserve post) brought home a set of obsolete ship-tracking information that he had been using for training purposes; he wanted to be sure the papers were properly burned. I thought it would be cool to sneak a few of the papers into my closet. Dad didn't think it was cool. For several days after that, I couldn't have stored any government papers -- or anything else -- in my pants. So, in a spirit of mercy and forgiveness appropriate to today's date, I'm glad to see that Sandy Burglar has received a more lenient punishment for stealing more important papers.
When bad things happen, and especially in the wake of some shocking crime, people always ask Why. More specifically, they always say these exact words:
"I just have one question: WHY????"
Well, I just have one question: Why does anyone feel impelled to ask such a dumb question?
There's no real mystery in either situation. For natural disasters, the "because" is always the same. Because some combination of tectonic plates or clouds happened to release plenty of energy at a location where it killed people.
With crimes, an honest answer from the criminal would reduce to either of these two "becauses":
(1) Because I'm stupid.
(2) Because I'm evil.
If you know anything at all about the perpetrator, you know which answer applies.