Who Hijacked Our Country

Sunday, June 19, 2005

“Culture of Life”? Two Tales

The state of Florida has a split personality, and, to paraphrase Forrest Gump, you never know which one you’re gonna get. One of Florida’s personalities keeps hollering about a “Culture of Life.” Fetuses, embryonic cells, people who have been in a persistent vegetative state for decades — all sacred.

In the other Florida, a child can be killed in an accident at an amusement park, and the next day the same death-causing ride is just humming right along like nothing happened. No inspection, no investigation, just “OOPS, Sorry — Next!”

The Terri Schiavo Show used hundreds of thousands of manhours, cost the taxpayers God knows how much, and diverted valuable media attention away from Britney Spears and Michael Jackson. After an autopsy refuted all the claims of the American Taliban witchdoctors, Jeb Bush set a world record in a new Olympic event: dead-horse beating. He has ordered a prosecutor to investigate what happened 15 years ago when Terri Schiavo’s symptoms first appeared.

He’s just gonna keep flailing away at that horse carcass until his arms fall off (or until James Dobson tells him he can stop).

Florida state law prohibits government inspectors from closing down or even inspecting the rides inside a theme park. Fatal accident? Hmmm, we’ll look into it. As long as the accident victim wasn’t a fetus or a vegetable, it’s just business as usual.

The fatal accident occurred on the “Mission: Space” ride at Disney World in Orlando. A 4-year-old boy from Pennsylvania was killed. This probably isn’t grounds for a deep-pockets type of lawsuit, but shouldn’t it be looked into? Shouldn't future occurrences be prevented?

In Florida, the rides at carnivals and small amusement parks can be inspected by the state. The larger theme parks — with 1,000 or more employees — have been exempt from state oversight since 1989.


Blogger Snave said...

When he graduated college, Jeb must have gotten a degree in Dildography. Tom, the Forrest Gump quote you didn't mention (which I think applies quite nicely here) is "Stupid is as stupid does", of course.

I won't make a sweeping generalization and say that I think people of faith are stupid, because I think that is far from the truth. However, I admit that I seriously wonder about some of them when they diss science as much as they do. Of course adherents of religion have been dissing science for centuries, so why stop now... ?

When I heard about Jeb's sad ploy, I nearly regurgitated. Speaking of vomit, there is a good rude rant about the regurgitation of the Schiavo issue over at The Rude Pundit, at http://rudepundit.blogspot.com .

June 19, 2005 at 3:25 AM  
Anonymous Bee said...

Ahhhhhh....so THAT'S why Disneyworld was built in Florida - I knew it couldn't be for the temperate climate. I always knew there was a reason why I was hesitant to get on rides run by 13 year olds.

Culture of Life Schmulture of Schmife...it's all bull.

June 19, 2005 at 5:19 AM  
Blogger Brother Kenya said...

Maybe it's time to talk about some states seceding from the union. Florida, Texas, Alabama -- could be a pretty long list. If they won't do it, I'll agitate for California to secede instead. And we have our own theme parks!

June 19, 2005 at 8:17 AM  
Blogger Unadulterated Underdog said...

Gotta love Florida! For being such a "culture of life" down there in Fundyville they seem to have an awful cantankerous support for everyone's right to have a gun. They also seem to think that there doesn't need to be a law about how those guns are used. Those wonderful Fundies think that if someone feels threatened, they should be free to shoot. Wonderful people those guys.

June 19, 2005 at 1:29 PM  
Blogger I.M. Dedd said...

I am so totally with Brother Kenya. Maybe it's time for a great, big national DIVORCE. As in, I'll take California, Massachusetts, New York, Minnesota...you keep Alabama, Florida, Kansas, Texas, etc.

You know?

June 19, 2005 at 5:35 PM  
Anonymous pia said...

Always loved Florida, but..will never go to a theme park again--and am cool with New York and a few other states forming our own country!

June 19, 2005 at 8:01 PM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Snave: I was referring to "life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're gonna get."

The disconnect between their alleged value of all life, and their total dismissal of a tragic fatal accident, speaks a lot louder than all their rhetoric and Biblical quotes. I'll have to check out the Rude Pundit's column; he always tells it like it is, with no punches pulled.

Bee: Yeah, their "culture of life" doesn't add up to much after they've shown their true colors.

Brother Kenya: Yeah, maybe it's time for progressive states to go their separate ways from the Bible Belt. I hope it doesn't have to come to that, but you never know.

OK Democrat: Who knows when they value life and when they don't. They claim to be offended by accusations that they don't care about people once they're born, but it sure seems that way.

I.M. Dedd: Yup, the red and blue states may have to go their separate ways. I hope not, but it's not encouraging.

Pia: I'll sure think twice the next time I'm about to get on a ride at a theme park. But I'm reluctant to break off from the red states quite yet. I keep thinking there's hope for some residents of those states. Call me an optimist...

June 19, 2005 at 9:00 PM  
Blogger Toad734 said...

Figures, so who is responsible for these parks?

June 20, 2005 at 7:46 AM  
Blogger ~jay said...

puts a whole new spin on that Gabe Kaplan-appropriated line:

The average age in Miami is deceased.

they can keep their culture of "life;" but I'd rather be hooked up to a morphine dip than allowed to become a graceless media spectacle. ;-)


June 20, 2005 at 9:44 AM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Toad734: The companies who own the theme parks have the only authority. Who knows what role safety plays when the bottom line is so important.

~jay: I always liked that quote about Miami.

June 20, 2005 at 10:30 AM  
Blogger Francis W. Porretto said...

There's no statute of limitations on murder, you know -- and a death caused by a willful act is murder even if that death is separated from the act by a long interval. (The maximum interval varies from state to state.) As Florida's chief law enforcement officer, Governor Bush has a duty to see to it that any possible homicide is investigated as speedily as possible.

June 21, 2005 at 3:41 PM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Francis W. Porretto: And where's the "murder" you're talking about? A fatal accident at an amusement park, or a woman's vegetative medical condition which lasted for 15 years? They're both tragic occurrences but I don't see a murder anywhere.

June 21, 2005 at 5:41 PM  

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