Thursday, November 4, 2010

Death is a Vast Mystery

Death is a vast mystery,
but there are two things
we can say about it:

It is absolutely certain
that we will die, and
It is uncertain when or
how we will die.

The only surety we have,
then, is this uncertainty
about the hour of our death,
which we seize upon as the
excuse to postpone facing
death directly.

~Sogyal Rinpoche

Of Note: There are several hundred people in the United States who know the date and time of death and must face death square-on. At the end of all appeals and last minute reprieves, criminals on death row prepare or have prepared for their time-certain deaths by hanging, injection, electrocution or firing squad. Few countries continue to utilize this form of punishment. Across the European Union, capital punishment is outlawed. Because of that restriction, a lawsuit has been brought in the UK on behalf of one man facing certain death in Tennessee in January. Why? In the one-two-three punch used to kill a death row inmate by injection, the barbiturate used to knock the prisoner unconscious, thiopental sodium, is not available at this moment from its solitary U.S. manufacturer and must be procured in Europe. According to an expert at the London-based human rights group, Reprieve: "There is a European regulation that you shouldn't export drugs that will or can be used in the course of execution." Thus, the organization and a London law firm have filed a lawsuit that is requesting the drug shipment be stopped. The lawsuit may be moot, however, when the U.S. manufacturer returns to shipping the chemical sometime next year. Whether the death penalty continues is the far bigger question and is the prerogative of individual states in the United States. Groups all over America have long fought for the overturning of this archaic form of punishment, which is based on the illusion that death is the end. One day the death penalty will be no more, nor will the murder that precipitated it in the first place. But between now and then, the punishment of killing for killing will continue to tarnish our nation.

Today's Weather Report: The rain arrived early this morning. Then, the sun popped out for a moment but was quickly hidden once again by thick clouds. At 36 degrees Fahrenheit, it is right on the cusp of snow or rain. A quick peek at the hunting cabin showed no sign of leakage, though it might not have rained hard enough to tell. I think the problem may be solved because there are few places not caulked on the offending corner. A dry interior is the ultimate goal. The lake is up a little further. Bogs along the shore are filling with water in places that haven't seen water the ten years I've been living here. The dogs that play in the bogs are coming in quite wet. Bet they are surprised that their former playground is not like it used to be.