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Archive for March 3rd, 2008

Twenty five years ago on this day, Cynthia Jefferies looked lovingly at her husband Arthur Koestler.

He was sick and  mentally decayed – the brilliant mind that wrote “Darkness at noon” was all but vanquished by Parkinson’s, the body was fighting a losing battle with leukamia. Yet, she knew that the essence of the man hadn’t yet gone away. And though diseased and a fraction of the person he used to be, he knew it too – and he had resolved many years ago to always remain the master of his fate.

She was healthy and only 55 – she would live many more years if she wanted to. For a moment she felt regret, why? She walked over to the window and looked out at their garden. It was overgrown and had the unmistakable signs of neglect. Yes, she had lost interest even in gardening, something that would have been unimaginable to her a year back. It was at that moment she realized with the final certainty of truth that the ties that bound them were far too strong.

She sat beside him – her lover, her soul-mate, her everything – and held him tight, full of fear and love. They cried and whispered to each other for the last time. She got up and scribbled her last words – “I cannot live without Arthur, despite certain inner resources.”

So it was on March 3, 1983 that Cynthia and Arthur each drank a glass of wine laced with barbiturates. They died a few minutes later.

Note: The above is merely my retelling of a certain event. As such it expresses my fantasies and prejudices. Whether the details are historically accurate or not is irrelevant.

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The New York times opines that if Barack Obama is elected, it will mark the first time that the president of the United States is a civil libertarian. Hmm…I’m not so sure.

Don’t get me wrong. There is no doubt that Obama stands closer to the ideal of individual freedom than either Clinton or McCain. But that’s not saying much. Clinton is the classic Liberal “let the government take care of you” Momma; McCain is more authoritarian than Rudy Giuliani and George Bush rolled into one (this is not to imply he will make a worse president than either of them).

Barack Obama on the other hand has displayed that at least on some issues (abortion, healthcare, Patriot Act, mandatory recording of interrogations), he favours choice and respects freedom. However, I will not go so far as to call him a civil libertarian. Not with this and this and this.

Nevertheless,  as I have said before, I hope Obama wins. Yes, I disagree with him on many issues — but he is better than the rest.

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