Monday, December 13, 2004

Latest British outrage:

BRITAIN'S leading medical ethics expert has suggested that the frail and elderly should consider suicide to stop them becoming a financial burden on their families and society.



Now I knew when I moved to England that there were no gun rights here. And while I may think it is morally irresponsible, not to mention a gross violation of civil rights, that most police officers carry no weapons save for their torches, I accept this aspect of life in the UK. But now there are groups pushing to outlaw knives. KNIVES!!

I don't even know how that would work, couldn't people just stab one another with kitchen knives? Or maybe the ultra nanny state will step in and make all food pre-cut?

The so-called logic behind this move is that the number of murders committed using guns has gone down while deaths resulting from knife wounds has risen. Apparently no one sees that if people want to kill other people they will do so. Even if the government somehow manages to take away all the knives (which they can't) murderers will just find another weapon. Like cars or poison. Everything is a potential weapon and human are resourceful creatures so they will always find new and inventive ways to kill each other. No government can stop this from happening, the best they can do is try to limit it and punish people who still break reasonable laws (they might be aided in this endeavor if they themselves were allowed to carry weapons themselves). Surely this madness cannot actually be extended?

I really need to get off this godforsaken island. Now.

Actually I will get a temporary respite in 85 and a half hours when I board a plane to return to the USA. Not that I'm watching the clock or anything.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

I think I just may have a new favourite member of the Senate.

President Bush reached out to the famously contentious Republican Sen.-elect Tom Coburn of Oklahoma to congratulate him on being elected and to seek his support. The response was somewhat barbed. "Tom," said the president, "I'd appreciate your help." Coburn, a conservative who often clashed with the party leadership during his six years in the House (1995-2000), replied: "Mr. President, I'll be glad to help you cut spending." Like other conservatives, Coburn is unhappy with the increase in federal outlays during Republican control of both the presidency and Congress.

(Story courtesy of Robert Novak)

More on the Ukraine.

Charles Krauthammer has written a really good piece on Europe's reaction to the situation. He points out the inconsistencies in Europe's position on a democratic Ukraine versus their disdain for the notion of spreading democracy to the Middle East.

That is why this comity between America and Europe is only temporary. The Europeans essentially believe, to paraphrase Stalin, in democracy on one continent. As for democracy elsewhere, they really could not care less... Thus Zbigniew Brzezinski, a fierce opponent of the Bush administration's democracy project in Iraq, writes passionately about the importance of democracy in Ukraine and how, by example, it might have a domino effect, spreading democracy to neighboring Russia. Yet when Bush and Blair make a similar argument about the salutary effect of establishing a democracy in the Middle East -- and we might indeed have the first truly free election in the Middle East within two months if we persevere -- ``realist'' critics dismiss it as terminally naive.

But the double standard for behaviour on their own continent versus what is acceptable in the rest of the world is as old as time. After all, how many times has genocide been committed right under our noses since the West declared "never again"?

Go forth and read.