Two brave emissaries from a strange and terrible place

Dudley Clendinen is a former editor at the AJC, among other places, although I do not know him personally. His time here in Atlanta did not coincide with mine.

Last year, Clendinen was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. In an essay in last weekend’s New York Times, he writes about how heartened he has been by the way his friends and relatives have rallied around him.

” … one, from Texas, put a hand on my thinning shoulder and appeared to study the ground where we were standing. He had flown in to see me.

“We need to go buy you a pistol, don’t we?” he asked quietly. He meant to shoot myself with.

“Yes, Sweet Thing,” I said, with a smile. “We do.”

I loved him for that.

As Clendinen notes, ALS — or “Lou,” as he calls it — is “not a kind disease.”

“The nerves and muscles pulse and twitch, and progressively, they die. From the outside, it looks like the ripple of piano keys in the muscles under my skin. From the inside, it feels like anxious butterflies, trying to get out. It starts in the hands and feet and works its way up and in, or it begins in the muscles of the mouth and throat and chest and abdomen, and works its way down and out. The second way is called bulbar, and that’s the way it is with me. We don’t live as long, because it affects our ability to breathe early on, and it just gets worse. “

Having thought about it long and hard, and having witnessed the long, drawn-out death of his mother, Clendinen has made a decision.

“If I choose to have the tracheotomy that I will need in the next several months to avoid choking and perhaps dying of aspiration pneumonia, the respirator and the staff and support system necessary to maintain me will easily cost half a million dollars a year. Whose half a million, I don’t know.

I’d rather die.”

No, Clendinen writes, he won’t do it by firearm. But he will do it, and has apparently made arrangements so that he’s ready when he decides the time has come.

Reading Clendinen’s essay, I couldn’t help but notice the contrast with the approach taken by another journalist, a man I did know. Brian Dickinson, the editorial page editor and columnist of the Providence (R.I.) Journal, was a man of charisma and talent. Like Clendinen, he was diagnosed with ALS.

Brian, however, chose to play it out all the way to the end. He lived for a decade after his initial diagnosis, a decade of decline and stubborn refusal. “Except for the fact that I can still manage a smile and still have full control of my eye muscles, I could almost be taken for some outlandish display in Madame Tussaud’s wax museum,” he wrote in 1998, six years into his sentence. In those last years, technology allowed Dickinson to communicate and even write regular columns through the blinking of his eyes.

“Combat against ALS is its own reward,” he wrote. “The disease now defines the terms of my existence. If I were to cave in too easily, I would be violating the terms of an implicit contract that I had with someone.”

I would not judge either man. The course each chose requires its own sort of bravery, and the decision they faced is perhaps the most personal, intimate decision that human intelligence allows or condemns us to make.
Like emissaries from a land we hope we never visit, Dickinson and Clendinen have each tried to tell us how it feels and what it means to face such a situation, but perhaps the most important lesson they teach is that human beings will respond to the same predicament very differently, and should be allowed the freedom to do so.

– Jay Bookman

341 comments Add your comment

Stonethrower

July 21st, 2011
8:39 am

Just take me out back and shoot me. It will save my family long term grief and money.

Mick

July 21st, 2011
8:44 am

Jay – nice diversion from our superficial political problems. Your health is your wealth, everyday is a holiday and every meal a banquet, if only more people would stop to smell the roses. My apologies for all the cliches…

Left wing management

July 21st, 2011
8:44 am

It’s all the Lilliputians fault

carlosgvv

July 21st, 2011
8:47 am

You would be amazed at how many “good Christians” woudl stand over these men and deny them the right to decide to end their suffering. They would not hesitate to impose their beliefs on them in the name of their “God of love”. Tea Party people in Congress have this kind of mentality, which explains this strange, crazy mess we now have in Washington.

Bosch

July 21st, 2011
8:47 am

but perhaps the most important lesson they teach is that human beings will respond to the same predicament very differently, and should be allowed the freedom to do so

Amen.

Nice column Jay. Very touching. I had a friend who died of ALS three years ago.

Capt. Orange - "Will Tan For Food (Or Bribes)"

July 21st, 2011
8:50 am

Jay did a column like this a few weeks ago — basically what would you decide to do, (a) bankrupt your family for your care or (b) decline and try to die with dignity. Hard choices.

Since most states frown upon assisted suicides, either way you look at it it’s a death sentence, one is long and slow, the other is short and quick, done at your own time, place, and discretion. While you can, everyone should make out their Living Wills.

jconservative

July 21st, 2011
8:53 am

Nice column Jay.

Freedom.

There is always some busybody who knows better. There is always some busybody with an agenda. There is always some busybody with an ideology.

Freedom is precious.

jt

July 21st, 2011
8:56 am

carlosgvv
.
It isn’t “good christians” denying them.
It is your beloved Federal overlords that makes it a crime to off yourself…………….bozo.

ByteMe

July 21st, 2011
8:57 am

Is this destined for the dead tree edition? It should.

Capt. Orange - "Will Tan For Food (Or Bribes)"

July 21st, 2011
8:57 am

You would be amazed at how many “good Christians” woudl stand over these men and deny them the right to decide to end their suffering. They would not hesitate to impose their beliefs on them

Blame the family, regardless of their beliefs; it’s hard to let a loved one go — it’s selfish and self serving, but it’s still hard. People believe that if there’s still life, then there’s still hope — no matter the quality of that life. I remember Terri Schiavo and how her family REFUSED to allow her to die and how they held on to a (wrong) belief that Terri was getting better and that she was cognizant and trying to communicate with them. In the end, they let her suffer needlessly for years, not for her sake, but for their own.

Peadawg

July 21st, 2011
8:57 am

Seems like a panel of “experts” appointed by Congress and the President, aka death panels, would be necessary in Brian’s case, eh Jay?

USinUK

July 21st, 2011
8:59 am

I second Bosch’s Amen and give you a Testify, as well.

having watched my mom lose her battle to lung cancer, I stand firmly in the “death with dignity” camp.

@@

July 21st, 2011
8:59 am

Living wills are the way to go. That can be read both ways.

USinUK

July 21st, 2011
9:00 am

Peadawg – I love how you totally ignore that hospitals and insurance companies already use “death panels”

Adam

July 21st, 2011
9:00 am

If you can’t have abortions, can’t kill yourself, and can’t have someone else HELP you kill yourself then because of illness then this is all leading to one place:

We need to provide health care and emotional/mental health care to everyone, and fund it properly. It’s the only way to ensure many reasons for abortions get reduced or eliminated, and that people don’t WANT to or feel the NEED to kill themselves.

USinUK

July 21st, 2011
9:01 am

jt – dearheart, laws like assisted suicide are the STATE level … not the federal.

nice try, though.

stands for decibels

July 21st, 2011
9:01 am

PD @ 8.57, and others, might be interested to know that such panels have been legislated into existence already.

like here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advance_Directives_Act

Adam

July 21st, 2011
9:01 am

Stonethrower: Just take me out back and shoot me. It will save my family long term grief and money.

And it also provides them with someone to sue so they can get even more money.

Normal

July 21st, 2011
9:02 am

I salute both men and there opposed point of views. As Capt. Orange said, it is indeed a hard choice. My choice would be to pass like Dudley. I think there is more dignity in that than trying to fight on. With ALS there are no miricles. Anyway, as I see it, death is just another adventure.

Peadawg

July 21st, 2011
9:02 am

” I love how you totally ignore that hospitals and insurance companies already use “death panels”” – No I don’t ignore it at all. But I trust them a lot more than a panel of “experts” appointed by Congress any day.

stands for decibels

July 21st, 2011
9:03 am

My apologies for all the cliches

well, for what it’s worth Mick, you already said pretty much all I was gonna say, myself, in direct response to Jay’s very thoughtful piece.

Bosch

July 21st, 2011
9:04 am

“It is your beloved Federal overlords that makes it a crime to off yourself”

Like Jeb Bush?

Adam

July 21st, 2011
9:05 am

Peadawg: So you think that people who work for a private company and profit from not giving out benefits are more trustworthy than those who are appointed by elected officials?

Normal

July 21st, 2011
9:05 am

USinUK,
Go easy on PeaDawg. He’s just a product of his enviroment.

carlosgvv

July 21st, 2011
9:05 am

jt

As USinUK pointed out, it is the “good Christians” at the State level who are denying them……dimwit

Bosch

July 21st, 2011
9:07 am

“But I trust them a lot more than a panel of “experts” appointed by Congress any day.”

Peadawg,

These “death panels” appointed by Congress are as imaginary as skittle pooping unicorns and you are smart enough to know it, but don’t let a good rant get in your way this morning.

Peadawg

July 21st, 2011
9:08 am

“These “death panels” appointed by Congress are as imaginary” – I realize that and I would like to keep it that way. Jay’s the one who advocated for it a couple of weeks/months ago in one of his columns.

kayaker 71

July 21st, 2011
9:09 am

Nice column, Bookman. You should write more of these.

Peadawg

July 21st, 2011
9:09 am

I was just mocking Jay with my initial comment, that’s all, Bosch.

Bosch

July 21st, 2011
9:10 am

“I realize that and I would like to keep it that way.”

Then why the hell Peadawg did you mention them as a reality?

TaxPayer

July 21st, 2011
9:11 am

What prompted the human interest story this fine morning.

ty webb

July 21st, 2011
9:11 am

touching stories…I only hope both men find peace in whatever is left of their days here.

poison pen

July 21st, 2011
9:11 am

Carlos, I think it’s the evil boogyman who is after us. Watch out…

Peadawg

July 21st, 2011
9:11 am

“Then why the hell Peadawg did you mention them as a reality?” – I never said they were real, Bosch. Refer to my 9:09.

TaxPayer

July 21st, 2011
9:12 am

poison pen

July 21st, 2011
9:13 am

kayaker 71

” Nice column, Bookman. You should write more of these.”

Nah, let’s leave these for Ann Landers.

Bosch

July 21st, 2011
9:13 am

No, Peadawg, I’ll refer to your 9:02

“But I trust them a lot more than a panel of “experts” appointed by Congress any day”

USinUK

July 21st, 2011
9:13 am

“But I trust them a lot more than a panel of “experts” appointed by Congress any day.”

:lol:

yes. you go right ahead and trust Corporate Insurance to make the right decision on YOUR care … I’m sure they’ll have your best interests in mind …

Brosephus

July 21st, 2011
9:14 am

USinner

According to jt, the Haiti and Chilean earthquakes were probably because of some federalie here in the US. We’re the cause of every problem in existence, and only Ron Paul, another cog in the fed wheel, will be the one who saves the day.

Personally, I don’t know how I would approach a situation like that. I wouldn’t want to be a financial drag on my family, but I don’t think I would give up without some fighting.

Marty Murray

July 21st, 2011
9:14 am

I more agree with Brian than with Dudley.

Truth be told, als is totally solvable using methods available today and if Brian could have held on a little longer he very well could have found that out.

Dudley, on the other hand, has been informed of that and has chosen to ignore that fact. That is something that one might take into account when considering Dudley’s path.

The bottom line is that if someone wants to stay or go, I guess that is basically up to the person. On the other hand, let’s be clear that what is going on is not up to als, because als is completely solvable and to think otherwise is to fool oneself.

Peadawg

July 21st, 2011
9:15 am

““But I trust them a lot more than a panel of “experts” appointed by Congress any day”” – You can refer to that all you want if it makes you happy. I never said they were real. Keep diggin’ though.

Bosch

July 21st, 2011
9:15 am

Brosephus,

“but I don’t think I would give up without some fighting”

I don’t think anyone would expect any different — this kind of situation is for the “we’ve done all we can” phase of a terminal illness.

Capt. Orange - "Will Tan For Food (Or Bribes)"

July 21st, 2011
9:16 am

Peadawg – I love how you totally ignore that hospitals and insurance companies already use “death panels”

She’s correct PDawg – they’re called “HMO’s”. If you cost too much to cure, they WILL find a clause in your coverage to off you.

Peadawg

July 21st, 2011
9:16 am

I’ll pull out the popcorn from yesterday, Bosch, while you keep trying.

USinUK

July 21st, 2011
9:16 am

Peadawg … dude. decaf.

you seem extra tense and sensitive today

kayaker 71

July 21st, 2011
9:16 am

poison pen,

Easy to say until it happens to you. As Bookman says, it would take a lot of strength to decide either way and either way is a struggle.

Bosch

July 21st, 2011
9:16 am

“I never said they were real. Keep diggin’ though”

And you can keep back peddling all you want.

poison pen

July 21st, 2011
9:18 am

USinUK, I can’t speak for you or anyone else, that being said, Aetna & Blue Cross have always come through for my wife & myself.
I have absolutely no complaints when it comes to my health care.
I guess the one in GB must not be so good.

Peadawg

July 21st, 2011
9:18 am

“you seem extra tense and sensitive today” – Nah I’m just having fun with y’all. I was mocking Jay originally and everyone jumps on it. Love it!!!

Stonethrower

July 21st, 2011
9:18 am

Adam

File a lawsuit for what?

USinUK

July 21st, 2011
9:18 am

Brocephus – I know … there’s a fine line – stay as long as you want, fight as hard as you can, but then find the time and place to go peacefully into that good night.

(and actually, taking a cue from downstairs, haiti wasn’t our fault – it was George Soros who dun it)

Brosephus

July 21st, 2011
9:18 am

Bosch

I understand. That’s the point where I refuse to become a financial drain on my family. I wouldn’t worry about it though, I know something would happen to take care of everything.

Peadawg

July 21st, 2011
9:19 am

“And you can keep back peddling all you want.” – I’ll be sitting right here in the same spot munching on my popcorn. Nom nom.

Capt. Orange - "Will Tan For Food (Or Bribes)"

July 21st, 2011
9:20 am

Nah, let’s leave these for Ann Landers.

Brrrrrrrr…….anyone else feel that cold chilling wind that just blew through here?

poison pen

July 21st, 2011
9:20 am

Kayacker 71

What is easy to say???????????

Brosephus

July 21st, 2011
9:20 am

USinner

Didn’t you know that the federal government is actually a shadow government funded by Soros???

USinUK

July 21st, 2011
9:21 am

poison – they’ve taken FAB care of my MIL here (rheumetoid arthritis and all the accompanying problems)

as far as corporate HC in the states goes, I’ve read hundreds of stories about people being denied coverage / denied drugs / denied treatment – they’ve testified before Congress – so, it happens and it happens in increasing numbers

poison pen

July 21st, 2011
9:21 am

Capt. It’s just Global Warming you feel.

Thomas

July 21st, 2011
9:22 am

Such an interesting topic. Amongst my multitude of personal failures was not following through with a promise to myself after surving a “non” survivable cancer a decade ago. The first is dignity in dying. We (society and patients) and docs spend so much emotional time and energy on this topic. The second is marijuana for medicinal purposes. As a a society we are so fixated on often inferior, as to effect, and much more addictive opiates such as morphine and its derivatives like percocet simply because they are prescribed and approved by the FDA.

God bless those suffering from tragic diseases such as ALS, MS, cancers, etc.

USinUK

July 21st, 2011
9:22 am

Brocephus – we forgot to include the “mwaaaahahahaha” evil laugh that you have to include whenever we mention He Who Controls Us All

Capt. Orange - "Will Tan For Food (Or Bribes)"

July 21st, 2011
9:22 am

(and actually, taking a cue from downstairs, haiti wasn’t our fault – it was George Soros who dun it)

Sorros and that evil Marxist Kenyan Manchurian Candidate Obama — don’t forget his machiavellian taint to the story. PS: Murdoch wasn’t even there when it happened, and if he was, he totally blames the people he put in charge.

poison pen

July 21st, 2011
9:23 am

USinUK,

Funny, I have never seen hundreds of stories about people being denied healthcare, care to list them?

Brosephus

July 21st, 2011
9:24 am

Oops… :o ops;

USinUK

July 21st, 2011
9:25 am

poison – then, you’re not paying attention.

Brosephus

July 21st, 2011
9:25 am

Merleliz

July 21st, 2011
9:26 am

When my beloved old dog was terminally ill, I took him to the vet for a peaceful ending to his wonderful life. It was painful to me, I suffered agonies of indecision, and grief beyond measure…but once his “quality of life” was gone, I fulfilled the final responsibility of pet ownership and I did not let him suffer.

How sad that no one will be able to do that for me.

I’ll take the gun…life is only worthwhile if you are capable of enjoying it.

Paul

July 21st, 2011
9:26 am

Solemn and thought-provoking, Jay.

I almost think some topics should be posted and closed to comments. Guess I’d have been better off reading the topic, then waiting to skim the comments.

USinUK

July 21st, 2011
9:27 am

http://bit.ly/oQGrkR

there’s a nice place to start browsing

USinUK

July 21st, 2011
9:28 am

Hi Paul –

meh. as always, some comments are better than others.

lynnie gal

July 21st, 2011
9:29 am

Of course this is a personal decision and society should honor the sanctity of whatever rational decision a person would make in facing a situation such as this. How can laws and society make that determination for anyone? If someone decides that the suffering isn’t worth their time left on this earth, if trying to live with such an illness will financially and emotionally shatter their loved ones, who are we to say that “rational suicide” is illegal or immoral?

TaxPayer

July 21st, 2011
9:29 am

I almost think some topics should be posted and closed to comments. Guess I’d have been better off reading the topic, then waiting to skim the comments.

I’ll second that emotion.

kayaker 71

July 21st, 2011
9:29 am

Helping to treat Hospice patients for many years gives you a window into a world that few of us healthy people see. So many conflicts, so much courage, decisions to be made by everyone involved….. all at a time when conflicts and decisions should be left for a better time. When the denial is finally swept away and reality sets in, things get better. “Dying is just a part of living, Forrest”. But sometimes that’s pretty hard to accept.

DwayneL

July 21st, 2011
9:30 am

A person should be able to take their own life if they’re ill.

Capt. Orange - "Will Tan For Food (Or Bribes)"

July 21st, 2011
9:30 am

thomas: The second is marijuana for medicinal purposes. As a a society we are so fixated on often inferior, as to effect, and much more addictive opiates such as morphine and its derivatives like percocet simply because they are prescribed and approved by the FDA.

Ahhh thomas, don’t put the total blame on the FDA — put it on the Drug Company Lobbyists, they along with the Gun lobby are the most powerful things in Washington. Something cheap, natural, and non-addictive as marijuana doesn’t stand a snow balls chance in hell against a Pfizer or a Merck Drug lobbyist. They pay off “some” people within the FDA to patent their expensive, ineffective drugs, (that have to recalled 5 years later — but hey in the interim they’ve made BILLIONS off of it), delude the public into thinking they actually need this drug to survive, the saturate the market and the world with their psuedo-cures; then they laugh at us, all the way to the bank………….

Brosephus

July 21st, 2011
9:30 am

Paul

What better way to expose ignorance in the full light that it deserves. Closing off comments allows that ignorance to continue to fester below the surface.

This is a touchy subject, but one that I think grownups can discuss without devolving into feces-slinging monkeys at the zoo.

USinUK

July 21st, 2011
9:32 am

kayaker – well said.

USinUK

July 21st, 2011
9:33 am

Brocephus – “This is a touchy subject, but one that I think grownups can discuss without devolving into feces-slinging monkeys at the zoo.”

grown-ups being the operative term.

Paul

July 21st, 2011
9:35 am

Brocephus

Yeah, I know.

But I’ve had enough of the ignorance for now.

Later -

FrankLeeDarling

July 21st, 2011
9:38 am

I helped assist a friend with ALS a few years ago,It was the worst thing to watch the deterioration from one of my good friends, to someone who it took hours to communicate simple things like “move my leg”.I don’t know what kind of choice he would have made but a dignified option needs to be there.

Capt. Orange - "Will Tan For Food (Or Bribes)"

July 21st, 2011
9:45 am

This is a touchy subject, but one that I think grownups can discuss without devolving into feces-slinging monkeys at the zoo

First time here huh? Good luck with that sentiment though.

stands for decibels

July 21st, 2011
9:45 am

When the denial is finally swept away and reality sets in, things get better. “Dying is just a part of living, Forrest”. But sometimes that’s pretty hard to accept.

Yes. Indeed.

Brosephus

July 21st, 2011
9:50 am

First time here huh? Good luck with that sentiment though.

Not by a long shot. However, I didn’t get to where I am in life by lowering my standards to those around me.

Patrick

July 21st, 2011
9:56 am

Very human, respectful, thought-provoking article, Jay. Thank you.

I’ve often said that I do not fear dying, but the thought of lingering alive while totally incapacitated scares the hell out of me.

delta burke

July 21st, 2011
9:57 am

I’d take a death panel over being treated like schiavo-another sad moment in right-wing christian history.

DawgDad

July 21st, 2011
9:57 am

The question IS political, very much so. The problem is if people are allowed to choose suicide then it puts them at much greater risk of people or the government coercing them into doing so. Assisted suicide is murder, morally at least. And, we are about a half-step away from the Fed encouraging people to do themselves in when they reach a certain age or medical condition. This is a very slippery slope, and with legal abortion as a society we’re about 3/4 down the tubes already.

Recon (2nd.and 3rd.)

July 21st, 2011
10:01 am

“but perhaps the most important lesson they teach is that human beings will respond to the same predicament very differently, and should be allowed the freedom to do so.”

Amen to that.

Capt. Orange - "Will Tan For Food (Or Bribes)"

July 21st, 2011
10:02 am

Sorry Bro – I was just being sarcastic – in general – not towards you specifically.

DawgDad

July 21st, 2011
10:03 am

Please explain how Schiavo is “another sad moment in right-wing [Christian with a capital C] history”. I’m a “right-wing Christian” and the handling of her case was terribly botched. More to do with legal entanglements than Christian theocracy.

delta burke

July 21st, 2011
10:05 am

why would christians insist on someone in a vegetative state, schiavo, be kept alive by machines when the pearly gates are one pull of the plug away. christians fear death because deep down they know God is a fallacy.

jt

July 21st, 2011
10:05 am

Enter your comments here

carlosgvv

July 21st, 2011
9:05 am
.
I stand corrected and I apologize for my snarkyness.
The problem lays with your State overlords…….as well it should. The Feds ARE constantly trying to nose their way into this most private business.
I suspect that if you or the Jay Bookmans of the world had their way, the federal overlords WOULD take the matter over………and probably………….subsidize it.

USinUK

July 21st, 2011
10:06 am

delta – 9:57 – gah … sad moment???

try shameful.

larry

July 21st, 2011
10:07 am

What this article means , to me , anyway, is that everyone needs to have a living will outlining what to do in case of terminal illness or of an emergency ( like a car wreck).

Like mine states that three doctors have to tell my wife or my daughter that there is no hope for me, which , in that case, let me go into that shining light . But if one or more says i have a fighting chance, keep me alive and kicking.

USinUK

July 21st, 2011
10:07 am

dawg – “More to do with legal entanglements than Christian theocracy.”

couldn’t disagree with you more on that one – once the politicians (ahem BOTH Bush brothers) got involved, it became a Right Wing Christian Nuttfest

clem

July 21st, 2011
10:08 am

jt you dumb arse, the fed overlords are controlled by chrisian principles for the most part

Capt. Orange - "Will Tan For Food (Or Bribes)"

July 21st, 2011
10:08 am

The question IS political, very much so. The problem is if people are allowed to choose suicide then it puts them at much greater risk of people or the government coercing them into doing so.

How can a terminally ill person, with no chance for recovery and/or a return to the quality of life that they are used to, be at a risk for coercion from the government? To me, they are more likely to be coerced by their family (into staying or going), than by the government.

Assisted suicide is murder, morally at least.

Why is it o.k. to put a dog or a horse out of its misery, but morally wrong to do so with a human being?

And, we are about a half-step away from the Fed encouraging people to do themselves in when they reach a certain age or medical condition.

I don’t understand that comment. Please elaborate.

This is a very slippery slope, and with legal abortion as a society we’re about 3/4 down the tubes already.

Again, please elaborate. Thanks.

Brosephus

July 21st, 2011
10:08 am

The question IS political, very much so. The problem is if people are allowed to choose suicide then it puts them at much greater risk of people or the government coercing them into doing so.

The question only becomes political when you allow politics to engulf and rule your life. People are already allowed such choices now. You can ingest alcohol until you end up with a liver harder than concrete, but the government has not once coerced people to drink?

Suicide is a moral issue but not a political one. If somebody has stage 4 cancer and decides they don’t want treatment, are you suggesting that they be forced to undergo treatment that they refuse to have? I agree with the idea that people should die with dignity. I, for one, do not want to be hooked up to machines for an indefinite period of time. When it’s my time to leave this body behind, I want to be able to go when it’s time.

USinUK

July 21st, 2011
10:09 am

“The Feds ARE constantly trying to nose their way into this most private business.
I suspect that if you or the Jay Bookmans of the world had their way, the federal overlords WOULD take the matter over………and probably………….subsidize it.”

Flights of Fancy … now leaving from Gate 13 …

All aboard Flights of Fancy … Destination … Delusionland.

Larry

July 21st, 2011
10:10 am

Good column Jay, thanks for not trying to tell us what we should do and who is right and who is wrong. Perhaps you can bring the same objectivity to the political pieces and there wouldn’t be so much animosity between your readers.

AmVet

July 21st, 2011
10:11 am

Having stood at the precipice and looked into the abyss, I can say unequivocally that everyday is for me a celebration. And the stories of these two men inspires me to keep on living with that attitude of gratitude.

Which of those two choices I would make, given their situations, I have no idea. But I do feel that when that time came, I would go with a great deal of peace in my heart no matter which road I take.

And great post, 71.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tw0P4lAaUfc

kayaker 71

July 21st, 2011
10:11 am

Schiavo was the biggest Christian clusterf*** of the century. It is absolutely none of the government’s or the Church’s business how family members make decisions for their own.