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It has taken me a couple of days to get over the results of the 2004 presidential election. I am quite disheartened that my cynical forebodings about the outcome of the U.S. election actually came true. The morning John Kerry conceded all my colleagues and co-workers were kind of gob-smacked, as down here in little New Zealand we had hoped that the Halliburton-Bin Laden led administration would not make it into a second term, but of course we completely underestimated the importance of "moral issues" for a large majority of US-citizens (calling them Americans would certainly outrage the Mexicans and Canadians).

As somebody who grew up in secular Europe, the misguided beliefsystem of these narrowminded, ultraconservative biblepushers is just not comprehensible: if you're a practising christian, shouldn't you vote for gay marriage, so all members of your community can have access to the same benefits of a union by two loving humans that is recognised by the state? Refusing a same sex couple the same rights as a heterosexual one must certainly not be in the spirit of the New Testament, but I might just be wrong.

The next big discrepancy for me is freedom: how can a nation that is so proud of their freedom of speech and expression re-elect a government that has presided over the biggest push to revoke exactly those constitutional rights? How naive does one have to be to believe that the Patriot Act is just a level-headed law to hunt down dangerous islamic terrorists?

The isolationist tendencies of their government are probably not something that people pick up who read USA Today and watch Foxnews, so you can't really blame them for being ignorant about their president's destructive foreign policy. All they know is that the French are cheese eating surrender monkeys and that the Brits are a nation of dentally challenged limeys who do what the US tells them. The rest of the world is an alien blur, populated by quaint folks stuck in the middleages ("Do you have refrigerators in New Zealand?" ) and enemies of the US.

I won't even comment on the environmental record of a government financed by Big Oil, but on electionday 2004 58,941,293 US citizens showed the rest of humanity their middle finger, and will probably hear in church on sunday that they've done well.

Half of the US electorate has disengaged from the rest of the world.

The world should turn its back on them and get on with it...

Hey. Yesterday was my 2 year e2 anniversary. In that time I have managed to write a whopping 9 nodes, at least one of those promising to node more. Guess that failed. (Hey, at least nobody can accuse me of Noding for Numbers..)

Quite a lot has happened since my last daylog; didn't get the results I needed for university, went to a different one through clearing. This didn't work out, for various reasons, so I came home and am now on a gap year. September 2005 will see me having another bash at higher education, this time studying German and Politics.

Just letting you all know that I am reading. There is some great stuff on this here site. Keep it up.

Peace out, y'all.

I witness one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life today.  But before I can tell you about it, I have to tell you what led up to it. 

Roughly four years ago, my father had to have esophageal surgery, but something went wrong during the surgery and he wound up with throat damage, two feeding tubes in his stomach and was bedridden for almost two years.  During those years, as throughout their whole marriage, my Mother never left his side.  If he was in the hospital, she would stay at his side 24 hours a day, she would sleep in a chair and has many times since that day.

Last summer, they diagnosed my Father with bladder cancer.  He also had a slight stroke, once again, Mom was by his side as she always was.  Taking care of Dad was a tedious process and very difficult at times, but we all do it because we love him.  From feeding him through his tube to having to clean him like a baby when he had an accident, Mom was always there for him.  No matter how tired she became from lack of sleep and from physical exhaustion you could not get her away from his side or break her spirit.

My parents have been married for over 57 years.  For as long as I can remember, Mom and Dad have always had a good relationship, both with themselves and with God, and have been in love with each other through their journey through life together.  Both of them are very religious and have always been involved with their church both as church members and in different positions within the church.  Faith, love, prayer, and friends have always been important to our family, especially Mom and Dad.

My parents have touched the lives of many people in one way or another.  From taking care of 5 nieces and nephews, raising them as their own, to adopting me and my sister and one biological child of their own, they raised us all without complaining. 

Over the last six months my father has become progressively worse, he is now in the Intensive Care Unit at our local hospital.  His living will said that he does not wish to be placed on life support and also says "do not resuscitate", and it's only a matter of waiting now for him to die.  The staff at the hospital is keeping him as comfortable as humanly possible.  If he is in pain, they make sure he gets a shot of Morphine and AtivanĀ® to ease the pain.  He had not opened his eyes for four days.  He has an IV via a pick line that is only supplying an antibiotic and a saline solution.

They attempted to get a feeding tube down his throat but he woke up and told them he didn't want it so they stopped.  He has been in so much pain for so long now that he often talked about "going home" and seeing his Mommy and DaddyMom sits at the side of his bed, sings him his favorite gospel songs, reads to him from the bible, and rubs his arms and head to comfort him when he seems to be in pain.

This brings us to one of the most beautiful acts of compassion and one of the most profound acts of love I have ever witnessed in my life. 

After Dad had told them he didn't want the feeding tube, my wife, Harmony and I were in the room with Mom and Dad.  Dad had been sleeping and hadn't opened his eyes since he went into hospital on November 1, 2004.  While she was sitting beside his bed with her chin down on one arm that was propped against the bedrail, she was rubbing the contour of his face as if she was memorizing it, Dad opened his eyes and stared directly at Mom for almost ten minutes.  He whispered to her "I love you", his eyes never losing focus of her face.  I could see in my Mother's eyes that at the moment he said that to her, she was falling in love with him all over again, as if they were a young couple in love.  Mom and Dad would tell each other they loved each other for the next ten minutes.  We didn't make a sound the whole time they were talking to each other.

We sat there quietly and witnessed this amazing act of a love renewing itself in the face of death.

Since my parents are both deeply religious and both have been saved and baptized, they are not afraid to die because they know they are going to heaven and will be together at another time for eternity.  Dad is still hanging on but it is just a matter of days now.  I love my Father and he and Harmony grew extremely close in the year and a half that we helped take care of him while he was bedridden.  None of us want to see him go, but we don't want to see him lying there in pain either.

We would like to thank everybody here who has been sending all those wonderful messages, and thank those of you who also said you will be praying for our family.

I've recently changed my mind about a few things, and one of them is the foundation of government. Essentially, we use government when we are convinced that we'd be worse off unless we ultimately resort to violence.

Our government uses violence as its foundation. Things have to be a certain way, they tell us, and to make them that way, those who refuse to comply must be dealt with, and if they cannot be made to comply without using violence, then violence is warranted. It is our acceptance of this claim that strips us of our liberty. I'm talking about psychological liberty, and it is the first liberty that a person must possess in order to have meaningful liberty in any other sense.

When you come to realize, as I have, that some time between birth and now, you no longer needed your parents, and that at the moment that happened, you became free, then you might begin to see that the government has stepped up to make us feel like children again, and we often accept and even embrace it, thereby giving up that freedom. We do it because having a parent makes us feel safe.

If you read Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes, you may begin to perceive the monster that the government really is. This perception is available through many other authors as well. It is very liberating merely to recognize the monster. You wil then be able to point out its monstrous qualities to others and they will often see it too, however briefly. You can then lead them toward a world view in which personal responsibility, and not violence, is the foundation for a civil, comfortable, productive, and peaceful society.

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