Saturday, February 26, 2005

First of all, let me unequivocally state that I am opposed to abortion activists using violence in any way to further their cause. For a variety of reasons, including the following:

a) It is morally wrong
b) It is illegal.
c) It doesn't work; its actually counter productive as it turns people against the cause and makes it easier for pro-abortionists to dismiss pro-lifers as crazy, irrational zealots.

Now that the disclaimers have been issued, I was pretty happy to see this as the lead article in the London Times this morning.

"Abortion clinics said last night that they feared a rise in US-style anti-abortion tactics and are being especially vigilant. Marie Stopes said that small groups of protesters already picket some of its clinics, blocking pregnant women as they attempt to enter and thrusting leaflets into their hands."

It goes on to talk about Christian Voice which it calls a fundamentalist group who is going to "target" abortion clinics. I said it before, but it bears repeating because I don't want anything to be misconstrued here, I don't think pro-life activists should kill people to make their point. And I don't even think I like Christian Voice, though I can't say definitively because I haven't had any real contact with them and I only know what I read in the press, which obviously doesn't like the organization.

But back to my point, it is good to see that there might be some sort of a debate emerging on the subject of abortion. Its something that seems to be completely accepted in the UK, there is no public discourse on the matter, despite the rising abortion rates. (There were 181,600 abortions in 2003, over 1,000 of which were girls under the age of 14.) I don't call this place the God-forsaken island for purely trivial reasons (although some of the reasons are not all that high minded, like the bad weather and lack of good gummy candy).

Britain has the lowest church attendance rate of any developed country in the world. Only 3% of its population is Muslim and yet more people attend Friday prayers than Sunday services. This in a country which once felt so strongly about its religion (or was it the divorce of its monarch) that it started its own religion and went to war over the whole thing. Even the presumed future head of the Anglican church is set to be married in a civil ceremony this spring.

All I'm saying is it would be nice for the Brits to at least question the abortion practices, debate is healthy and things don't have to be this way.

Also, Europeans in general might want to revisit the issue of abortion if for no other reason than they can't afford to lose this many people a year given their already declining birth rates. They are further crippling their nice welfare states one immoral act at a time.

Friday, February 25, 2005

I have always said that British children were ill behaved, even more so than kids in other countries particularly in the US. The ADD craze has now spread to this side of the Atlantic and kids are getting away with more than ever.

First of all, I'm not even sure that I believe its a real thing. And even if it is, it can't be as pervasive as recent trends suggest. But that is not the issue here, what strikes me as particularly wrong is the fact that British families can apparently claim money from the government if a child has ADD or its hyper-active cousin ADHD because its a disability. Tell me welfare isn't out of control; there have to be limits somewhere. Right?

More on religion, this bears repeating and I can't think of a better way to say it right now:

WHAT IS THE POPE TRYING TO TEACH? WHAT CAN A SICK POPE DO? [Michael Novak]Here's what I've been thinking on the topic: A Pope is not actually like the Commandant of the Marine Corps, there is really nothing he has to do except be. The church normally runs itself, its departments hum on. Only a few decisions await him, really. The church could go months without appointing new replacements for bishops. What a Pope does is be another Christ. What does Christ have to do, except be? And the comparative advantage of Christianity is that it roots itself in suffering, the suffering of age that each of us will undergo, of cancers and disabilities and mental illness in the family, the inescapable of every life. Secular humanism ignores these. Professor Rawls thinks Christian emphasis on suffering is life-denying. Not so. I think that's why so many people are touched by JPII. They know all about suffering, but nobody ever says how ennobling and transformative it can be. That it's quite all right to be ill and suffering. That it's a great and valuable gift. That it means a lot. That it's at the heart of things. In a way, the Pope is teaching more powerfully about Christianity and its comparative advantage than he ever has. The most important work of his life.

John Paul II is the public incarnation of the Roman Catholic Church, he should not resign from this most sacred of duties because of an illness. He is doing the work of God and he must do it the way God intended. He should not retreat from public life and hide in the shadows simply because his body has become weak, his heart is still strong. He is, and will remain, an inspirational figure in the world. He still has more to offer us.

May God bless him and keep him safe.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Msgr. Luigi Giussani, the founder of the Communion and Liberation movement, died early Tuesday morning, February 22, at the age of 82.

He will be greatly missed by the many people whose lives he has touched, especially those who have been transformed by the message he carried.

His works are inciteful and full of rich meaning. The Religious Sense is particularly moving.

And you can find out more about CL here.

R.I.P. and God bless you Don Giuss...

Word of the Day:

BLOGOTRY

Its a new word meaning blog bigotry and was reportedly coined by dangerousmeta by way of word association in the summer of 2002 (sooo long ago).

According to one of Jonah Goldberg's readers (Bud from Texas) it "refers to the New York Times' attitude toward blogs".

It should go without saying that I am opposed to blogotry in all its forms as I am quite fond of blogs. I even wrote a university term paper on the topic last year (A-). But to be honest the real reason I am posting about the matter is that there are now only two sites which come up when googling blogotry, Jonah predicts there will be thousands in a year, and I figured I would get in on the ground floor on this one.

Thank you to the Corner and the good people at National Review for keeping me up to date as usual. I love that magazine.

In fact, I am trying to become an intern there this summer. Here's hoping.

And speaking of this summer, I bought a one way ticket back to the good old US of A about two hours ago. So come May, I am getting off this godforsaken island.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

I hate the UN. For a lot of reasons, and as usual someone else has expressed part of my disdane in an entertaining and inciteful manner. Mark Steyn has a new piece in the Telegraph that does a good job of explaining at least part of why it is a bad organization. He begins:

It's a good basic axiom that if you take a quart of ice-cream and a quart of dog faeces and mix 'em together the result will taste more like the latter than the former. That's the problem with the UN. If you make the free nations and the thug states members of the same club, the danger isn't that they'll meet each other half-way but that the free world winds up going three-quarters, seven-eighths of the way.
Excellent point and I am glad Mr Steyn is writing once again.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

NO! NO! NO!

He cannot do this. He just can't.

What the hell is this administration thinking?

Maybe someone should send President Bush a memo about limited government and low taxes as part of the traditional Republican agenda.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

There is a story in the London Times today about a boy who survived three attempts at abortion and is now a healthy two year old. Odd story in general but the really bizzarre part comes farther along in the text, when a British doctor states:

“This mother went through extreme hardship waiting to see if her baby was going to make it. She was told to expect him to die so many times. I am full of admiration for her.”

Are you kidding me? Admiration isn't the emotion I had in mind. Are people supposed to admire individuals who fail in their attempt to end an innocent life and have to wait to see if the prospective victim lives?

The abortion debate in the US gets pretty heated but at least there is a debate. Here, no one seems to think that there might be something wrong with 3 attempts.

Seems kind of sad and maybe a little deranged to think of it this way but, as a continuation of yesterday's post, the NHS can't even do something like this competently.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

The British magazine the Spectator has an interesting cover story this week entitled:

Die in Britain, survive in the US
It asks the question, "Which is better — American or British medical care?" Personally I think the answer is rather obvious...
America of course for the slow witted among you. I have lived in both countries and I have been ill in both countries and the US has an overwhelmingly better system. Full stop. Sure you might have to pay more but on the up side you actually get better.
In the UK (or the god-forsaken island, as I like to call it) if you go to a GP they don't actually examine you. Basically you walk in and the doctor asks you what is wrong (not what your syptoms are, no they want you to tell them what is wrong with you) and then they either give you ridiculous advice and/or write you out a prescription. One of my friends was told to take apirin for toncilitis. She had to fly to the states to have them removed after a prolonged ordeal with doctors here. This is a country that doesn't even have Tylenol and none of their over the counter cold medicines work.
And now the EU has gotten involved and is outlawing certain vitamin and mineral supplements. But that is a rant best saved for another day.
Anyway, the point is that US free market healthcare is better than the socialized mess here in Britain. Sure its not perfect in America, but its definitely the least worst form of healthcare. And I know its an old argument but it is still very valid, without the "high" cost of drugs in the US the pharmacutical companies wouldn't make a return on their investment and thus they would stop innovating new drugs and ultimately people would suffer.
Viva la markets!!
I can't wait to come home.