Infant Euthanasia: The Netherlands was the first country to legalize euthanasia. Now we hear that not only have they submitted guidelines for euthanizing babies, but have been practicing infant euthanasia for some time. What's frightening is this:
The guideline says euthanasia is acceptable when the child's medical team and independent doctors agree the pain cannot be eased and there is no prospect for improvement, and when parents think it's best.
The problem that all countries with socialized medicine face is how much medical care should be provided given the limited funds and unlimited demand. In fact, this is a question all medical service providers and insurers must ask. But it seems to me that in a government run, single payer health-care system, the government gets to make the choices. It would seem to me that a government has to be particularly careful when it takes on this reponsibility that they not give even the appearance of using euthanasia protocols as a means of reducing the number of high maintenance patients. Because there may come a time when the parents aren't asked, only the government employed doctors. And there may come a time when the government decides that certain types of children, and people, should be euthanised...
Talking to Spirits: Being a well travelled 'netizen (mostly in pajamas) I hear things. The things I hear from paranoid Bush-haters are often along the lines that the country is in the hands of a fundamentalist evangelical warmonger who hears voices and thinks it's God talking to him. Now to my knowledge, Bush has never said he hears voices and thinks it's God talking. However, a soon-to-be-former news anchor who was the man in charge of a report that used forged documents to support a story damaging to the President during the Presidential campaign has admitted to listening, and talking to, dead people. In a telephone interview with journalist Ray Richmond, Dan Rather admitted
"Ed Murrow's ghost is here. I've seen him and talked to him on the third floor of this building many times late at night. And I can tell you that he's watching over us."
He also admitted to having a King Arthur complex:
"In my mind and the minds of the people I work with, this is a magical, mystical kingdom -- our version of Camelot. And we feel we are working at a kind of roundtable of King Arthur proportions. Now, it may be that this kingdom exists only in our minds. But that makes it no less real for those of us who live it every day."
King Arthur, as we all know, felt he was on a Mission From God. You know, like the Blues Brothers, only without the great music.
Fooling the Enemy: It turns out that the Pentagon used the media to fool the "insurgent" forces in Fallujah into thinking an attack was imminent. And it wasn't the first time. The media is worried that they have become a tool of war. Hello? McFly? You are.
Perhaps your real complaint is that some of you think you are a tool for the wrong side. Information is a critical aspect of any battlefield. Gaining information about enemy forces and movements while at the same time denying your enemy good information about you is essential. If you can fool your enemy into thinking you are doing one thing while you are really doing something else, that's even better. During WWII, prior to the invasion of France, the Allies put Gen Patton in charge of the phantom 1st Army and made damn sure the press covered his appointment and preparations for an attack on Calais. The Allies, of course, attacked at Normandy. And the media was used to fool the Nazis.
When the media endlessly plays photos of Abu Garhib and the Marine shooting in Fallujah, but gets coy about showing the beheading of Nick Berg and others, do not think that they are not a tool in the war. Just don't.