O! Canada!

We'll never be so lucky to have someone of the quality of Justin Trudeau running our country. In the newspaper this year (April 15) was an article indicating that he has directed the federal government to craft a law guaranteeing the right of every Canadian full access to assisted suicide.

Back in 1970 with Viet Nam looming, I yearned for Canada, which generously offered life as an alternative. Now I praise it equally for offering escape from that. A government has no business dictating the biological liberty of the individual. Do you recall the line from Aleister Crowley's Liber Oz?
Man has the right...to die when and how he will. 
But here on this side of the border, well, cruelty has never been equaled in the history of the world. I'm thinking of the young woman who, having suffered a massive heart attack, was left in an irreversible persistent vegetative state. A collection of cells kept "alive" by a feeding tube, but no consciousness.

I'm thinking of a husband who so loved her that he had to fight (at great personal risk) the inhuman and inhumane cruelty of politicians and religionists. 

I'm thinking of the crass Florida legislature convening an emergency session to craft a "law" giving Jeb Bush sole authority over the disposition of the inert woman's destiny. The husband was presumably disqualified since he was acting from love alone.

I'm thinking of the malignant Senate Majority Leader ramming a "bill" through to make sure that goddamn feeding tube was inserted. A rather interesting vote, that: 3 in favor, 0 opposed. For you see, the remaining 97 senators were not even present on this late Sunday night. Congress was empty, including the hearts and brains of the three who voted. 

I'm thinking of the equally evil President rushing back from yet another of his "vacations" to sign that act into law at 1:11 am, Monday morning.

Think of it! The last 14 years of the woman's short 42 total, spent with no mentality, while idiots spewed nonsense on the sanctity of life. Pure evil. I doubt that length of time was what Hamlet had in mind when softly using the phrase "shuffling off."

And pure hypocrisy. According to the Los Angeles Times, (March 26, 2005), the Texas Representative who was also rattling sabers for good press, many years earlier allegedly decided to let his father die peacefully after a catastrophic tram accident leaving no hope of recovery. One more instance that "sauce for the goose" is a fallacy.

How about the years of harassment Dr. Kervorkian, one of the few altruists of our era, had to endure?

I've spoken highly in this blog and in my currently under-progress A Formalist's Apology of the high regard with which I hold axioms and axiomatic systems. I've always tried to make it clear that one chooses one's axioms for various reasons, none of which are absolute in nature. I mean after all, axioms are purely arbitrary when you come down to it. So shouldn't we should at least select them to do no harm? Religion is guaranteed to be the cruelest criterion. Haven't we had enough millennia of that to drive the point home yet?

Earlier this year, former presidential candidate Ben Carson indicated that a Muslim should be disqualified from running for president. Come on! As a doctor, the guy ought to understand triage. Suppose you've just lost a finger while using a buzz saw, simultaneously getting a bee sting on your ankle. Which are you going to ask an EMT to treat first?

Christianity is by far the most pressing evil this country should be concerned with.

While Vlad the Impaler might have personally accepted cruelty as a decent axiom, I certainly don't think he's a good role model for Presidents, Governors, Senate Majority Leaders or Members of Congress.

But back to the main theme. One thing that bothers me no end about the assisted suicide debate (even in Canada) is how consistent the legislators are in failing to respect that mental pain is just as real as physical pain.

By all means, if a person is in the agonizing throes of cancer, let him or her end it decently and be free of the torment. But shouldn't a person mentally anguished or simply tired of life equally be granted the freedom to say good-bye painlessly? Liber Oz suggests so.

I think in America, death is the great taboo, just as much as licking, atheism, and eschewing society are. (That's a cue for Texas to chime in again about the evils of putting a tongue where it shouldn't ought to be).

I still contend: there is something so liberating about finitude! Why does everyone run from it? Does the alchemist's solve et coagula mean nothing anymore?

Along these lines, let me invoke Hunter S. Thompson yet again:
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!"
The Greeks noted the contrapositive of this when they composed the myth of Tithonus. Closer to our time, and more grisly is the weird tale from Poe: The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar

Living forever is highly overrated. Living well is highly underrated.

Lord Byron opined:
Death, so called, is a thing which makes men weep, And yet a third of life is passed in sleep.
The trouble is, the christo-nazis who run Washington make so much racket that they won't let the rest of us get in any zzz's. I doubt Byron ever anticipated a government concerning itself with how we make our exit. But back to where I began this entry. 

O! Canada! I've always rather liked you. Well, except for one chap.

One night, on a visit to Toronto, a knock at my hotel door at 3:00 a.m. roused me suddenly. Because of the hour, I didn't bother to dress, deeming it an emergency. Nothing to be seen through the peephole, I whipped the door open, standing there in my underpants only. Looking down, I beheld a little shrimp of a guy, with a bowl haircut, holding a cocktail in a Dixie cup. He craned his head upward 'til our eyes locked and sputtered, "Oh! I thought there were some chicks in here." 

A stern glare sent him packing.  

So, apart from him, I admire Canada. Especially now that it is recognizing we each have the right to dictate how we depart as much as how we get to this point.

And not a bad climate either. Maybe my journey northward stopped short.

Next installment: The Atheist Pantheist 

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