Sunday, November 09, 2003

I am sometimes shocked by the lengths people will go to spread fear, hatred and suspicion. No, check that, I am frequently shocked. This time was no exception.
Does anyone really belive that besides those who orchestrated the hit, that anyone else saw this coming?

Monday, October 06, 2003

Dawn Summers is now blogging here.

Friday, September 05, 2003

Blog Iran.
Sign up.

That is all.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Food for Thought

While we're still sort of on the subject of controversial but practical positions (see Bobby's post on sterilization below), I direct you to this article on AIDS medication in Africa from today's New York Times.

Semi-hidden as it was, the article highlights some significant facts -- namely, that despite what the Times calls "racial prejudice" (but is probably rooted more in practical fears common to all types of investment in very poor, unstable regions than in an abstract prejudice) about the consistency with which Africans are taking their pills, they're actually more responsible than Americans in that respect.

The main question is why, and the fascinating answer, according to this article, is as follows:
Though poor, more than 80 percent of the Ugandans had jobs, though most earned less than $50 a month. Most were women in their 30's, and paying $27 a month for their twice-a-day, three-drugs-in-one pill called Triomune, made by Cipla Ltd. of Bombay.

In many such cases, explained Dr. Merle A. Sande, a University of Utah medical school professor who also works in Uganda, the whole extended family, possibly with several infected members, will chip in so that one member will be saved to care for the children.

"If the whole family is pooling its resources to pay for you," he said, "you damn well better take your drugs.

"That's a whole different scenario from the U.S., where patients get free medicine, and if they change therapy, will let a month's worth go to waste."
The harsh economic truth speaks loud and clear: when people don't have to work for something, they take it for granted, with all the useless waste that goes along with it. I'm not saying we shouldn't help people in need. I am saying that it's still better, in both the short and the long run, economically and idealistically, to teach a man to fish. And it's high time we incorporated those thoughts into this country's public health policies.

[PS I believe there was an article in last week's Economist along the same lines, but addressing the issue of homelessness. I'll try to dig it out for a later update if anyone is interested.]
Hey, why hash it out in comments, when we have all this space to work with.

Being flown to an aircraft carrier and saying "mission accomplished" doesn't end a war.
I challenge anyone to quote Bush saying that a war was over. Firstly, and rightly, he referred to Iraq as a battle, as in Iraq is only one battle in a much bigger war. Just as Midway, Okinawa, all those pesky little islands in the Pacific, were battles (and much bloodier than Afghanistan and Iraq combined) in a much larger war. As Kashei points out in the comments below, the primary mission of removing Hussein from power was accomplished by that point.

And the swagger of a President saying "bring em on" will never bring peace.
Need I drag out the fly-paper analogy again? I have no problem with "bring 'em on." And "bring 'em on" decidedly wasn't intended to bring peace. It was meant to attract all the looneys and death-worshippers to a theater where they can be dealt with by professional soldiers, rather than dealt with by firemen, police and EMT crews mopping up human remains from the floor of a cafe or shopping mall.

That speech by Kerry was a long-winded serving of yesterday's leftovers. Hurts my eyes to read it and makes me thankful my ears didn't have to suffer through it.
Being flown to an aircraft carrier and saying "mission accomplished" doesn't end a war. And the swagger of a President saying "bring em on" will never bring peace.
Mission accomplished ? There is one family in Glasgow,several more in the U.S. and U.K, plus countless in Iraq who would not agree with that. GWs carrier speech may yet prove to the equivalent of his fathers famous "read my lips" blunder.
After the slickness of Clinton, the blandness of Gore, and the historical aberration that is G.W. Bush, the U.S. has finally thrown up someone seemingly genuine on the campaign trail. Sadly, this will probably exclude John Kerry from making any headway.
Who's Da Man ?

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

A controversial subject, and always dodgy for man to play god. Sterilisation was not invented, nor first implemented by the Nazis. The horrors of Nazi Germany and the holocaust consigned it to the dustbin in the West. With burgeoning welfare bills it is making a comeback. One country that did carry on with sterilisation post war was the bastion, and role model of Social Democracy, Sweden. It is a horrible subject, but I can't help but think it saves suffering in the long term. I could never advocate it getting done forcibly, but this voluntary scheme, I can't really argue with. Food for thought.
You don't say ! Jazz stars linked to mental illness. Name me a bunch of musicians who aren't messed up in some way and I will tell you the name of a dull, bland and uninteresting band. Can anyone name a musician/band with no hidden demons. The nearest I came was Charlie Watts from the Stones (if I had heros, he would be one). Deadpan, steady, not flash (but knows that he can be if recquired), likes the quiet life, and almost 40 years married. But crucially, he has drummed on some of the greatest rock and roll songs ever. Still, even Charlie had an overly fond relationship with the booze.

Monday, September 01, 2003

Is there no beginning to this mans comedic talents ?
Steve Martin buys a bicycle.

Friday, August 29, 2003

No! No! No!
Some want to give the U.N. greater control in Iraq. Absolutely not. As Mark Steyn says:

The Canal Hotel turned out to be a perfect microcosm of the UN: a group of naive internationalists refusing to take the murkier characters prowling the corridors at face value and concerned only to keep the US at arm’s length. Yet for Kofi Annan, the French, the Democratic party and the world’s media, the self-inflicted insanity of what happened to the UN in Baghdad apparently demonstrates the need for Washington to hand over more control of Iraq to the blue helmets because ‘they’ve got far more experience in these kinds of situations’.

Yeah, it's like hiring someone because he's got lots of experience listed on his resume, ignoring the fact that he's been fired from every one of those jobs for gross incompetence.
'Baby Bush' Born in Baghdad

Full name: George Bush Abdul Kader Faris Abed El-Hussein. And I'm told my future son D'Artagnan (yes, really) is going to get beat up on the playground.