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All of the focus on Terry Schiavo had me thinking about endings and ethical considerations. There are public figures' deaths and private person's deaths like my own mother's death last year. I was, of course, much more affected by my mother's death than any public figures death. She suffered from Alzheimer's and hers was a death that brought to mind quality of life and when death is a better alternative to life.

Coincidentally, I ran into a childhood friend yesterday during a jog who I hadn't seen for ten years. His mother had also died last year, and he said it was simply time for it. Moreover, she was ready to move on, he told me, because the quality of her life had deteriorated so much.

Leaving aside the rightness or wrongness of the Iraq war, I will never understand how George W. Bush can claim to be a believer in the culture of life when his war has caused the death of thousands of Iraqi civilians and when we do little other than lip service to aiding Darfur. I do, however, understand Bush's reason for embracing the culture of life for political purposes to keep the support of Evangelicals.

Additionally, his opposition to developing new stem cell lines through blastocysts -- part of his culture of life -- may prevent the future relief of suffering from Alzheimer's like my mothers. Laura Bush deceptively claims that scientists don't believe a cure is around the corner for Alzheimer's if full stem cell research were allowed. While a cure isn't thought to be around the corner, there is agreement that stem cells are needed for research on Alzheimer's which might in turn relieve suffering by improving treatments. Regardless, my girlfriend's father has Parkinson's and this is a disease that is thought to be in line for a cure one day from stem cells. I'll quit before I start ranting.

Otherwise, it amused me for the Grim Reaper to drink a beer with Weez.