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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Friday, September 9


Okay, I’m going to rant a little. Everyone needs a little rant time now and then.

We now have another situation that raises the question: Who has the right to die and who has the legal right to deny death? Jerika Bolen, a 14-year-old Wisconsinite, has spinal muscular atrophy type 2, a condition that allows only partial head and arm movement, and she’s been this way for all fourteen of her years, along with pain levels she describes as about seven on a one-to-ten scale on a good day, higher on a bad day. She want to have removed the ventilator that does most of her breathing for her. She wants to die. But because she’s only fourteen, those groups that oppose Right-to-Die wishes say she’s too young to make such a decision. Where is the morality in denying her right to die? Extraordinary measures have been used for fourteen years to keep her alive. But is what she has “living?” She doesn’t think so. Her parents don’t think so. Why should the courts or Right-to-Die opponents reserve the right to deny her wishes? Do too many of us today regard life as so sacred we must preserve it no matter how awful, how painful, how miserable that life is? Was Karen Quinlan’s “life” as a vegetable worth all the efforts to keep her body alive with a comatose brain? Did Brittany Maynard have the right to die instead of waiting the six months for a brain tumor to kill her painfully? Should Aruna Shanbaug, a Mumbai nurse, a victim in 1973 of a brutal beating and rape that left her brain-dead and vegetative, have been kept alive by extraordinary measures for four years? Is that humane, is that the only moral answer? Euthanasia means “good death,” and I certainly believe that some deaths are better than others.

We seem to living in a time when part of the world’s population is still looking backwards instead of forwards, when part of us is still clinging to ideas about life and death that are no longer valid. Part of us see the dangers of overpopulation and some apparently ignore it. We now have seven billion people on earth, with that number growing much too rapidly. And yet part of the world goes on breeding like rabbits because some religions and religious leaders say it’s God’s wish that we go forth and multiply. That may have been valid back when mankind was still struggling to maintain its grip on a hostile world. But not now. The anti-abortionists and Right-to-Lifers think that all fetuses from the moment of conception are sacred and must be allowed to live even when it’s medically shown that the fetus will be born with severe physical and/or mental defects. Are the tiny-headed, micro-cephalic Zika babies better off alive than dead? I don’t think so.

Too much of today’s religion is a backward instead of a forward look. The Jihadist terror groups would have all infidels dead, and would invoke on all people a return to the patriarchal social values that date back more than three centuries. The Catholic Church still insists on archaic sexual practices. The Bible Belt Creationists refuse to accept the obvious scientific proof that the earth is almost five billion years old, that man evolved from the sea, taking a parallel evolutionary path from apes and monkeys but still related to them.

We’re on the brink of a positive and a negative future, a fearful or a joyful future. The growth of Man’s knowledge is staggering compared to our continued ignorance. We’re right on the brink of possible immortality, of Star Trek voyages to other parts of the universe, of artificial intelligence that could solve the world’s hunger and need for water and energy sources, of other directions we can only dream about. But we’re also confronted by the world’s terrorist groups, by disease and hunger in the world, by weapons that could destroy the earth and all mankind.

So, which way will we go, good or bad? Will we step across that yawning brink to the positive side or will we fall into the pit of despair? I believe in the goodness of man and think we’ll make it to the good side.
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