In Re: Terri Schiavo

Even in the Fifth Year of Bush II, the mind maintains its capacity for bogglement. Beyond observing the basic irony — that the right is committed to making the government keep its cotton-picking hands off you, except when your personal life is involved — what can you say? Just this, I guess: Woe betide you if your personal convictions don’t fall in line with the right/right-to-life/wacko Religion R Us agenda, because there’s no constitution or law or court or popular majority or concept of others’ privacy and freedom that will deter these folks from trying to substitute the alleged word of their god for all of the above. That’s all — I’m headed out to the ashes and sackcloth section of the local Seven-11 now.

(That’s all, actually, except for this interesting note on Schiavo from my brother John, received last night via the magic of the Internet:

“Dan: A small trivia fact: “schiavo” is the Italian word for “slave”. I was looking at an article about that poor woman in Florida and recognized the word from my days in Italy. I had met an old guy in Bibbiena, I still remember his name (Giuseppe Feri). Anyway, he was a WW2 vet that who had been sent into Yugoslavia as part of Mussolini’s star crossed invasion. He said –in Italian– that it really sucked, they starved and froze their asses off in 1940-41 until Hitler finally stepped to end the humiliation. But his troubles didn’t end there. He and his buddies were pressed-ganged

into the service of the Germans doing all their shit jobs. He said, ‘we were all schiave,’ the Italian plural for the word slave. He survived the war in this condition, making it back to his little town in Tuscany in 1945.

“Anyway, there seems to be a small bit of irony in the name of that woman, who is being tugged at by so many interested parties. Also, the Italians pronounce the word: ski-a-vo, not sha-vo. Exciting stuff, I’m sure.”)