Saturday, April 27, 2002

OK, I can’t hold it in any longer: a German commits mass murder, how could it be?

I’m better now.

A Guardian columnist informed his readers that his birthday was coming up and the one thing he didn’t want was the CD-ROM, just out, of the complete public statements of Margaret Thatcher, 1945-1990. 14 million words. #293.75, which the columnist thought was a suspiciously specific price.

Speaking of suspiciously specific, how about Cardinal George’s comments about there being a difference between a paedophile and someone who, say, has sex with a consenting 16-year old girl when he’s drunk? I liked the line in the policy statement about throwing out only “notorious” child-molesters. My computer dictionary says notorious means widely known, which is what they were trying to avoid by moving them around. I also liked whichever cardinal that was who said that even celibate homosexuals couldn’t be priests because they wouldn’t be giving up anything good, like marriage and heterosexual sex, but something bad, like gay sex. Yup, trust the Catholic hierarchy to turn this into an opportunity for gay-bashing.

It didn’t make it into any of the three papers I just read, but the Pakistani supreme court rejected a bid to stop Musharaf’s referendum as being unconstitutional. I don’t know how you even go about applying constitutionality to a referendum to maintain in power someone who seized it unconstitutionally in the first place.

A piece in one of the British newspaper on Bush’s pushing of abstinence-only sex ed. gives the figure that the programs postpone sexual activity by 18 months, but fails to note (and I mention it now in case any article you’ve read has done the same) that when they do have sex, they’re much more likely to have unprotected sex, presumably because they’ve never been taught any better. Bush wants to spend $135 million per year on this.

A Daily Telegraph headline, which was a lot more interesting before I realized what it actually meant: Internet Kills off Porn “Dinosaurs”.

A new trend: storing cells of umbilical blood, containing stem cells useful if baby needs a transfusion or bone marrow transplant. Cost (in pounds, though it’s mostly an American practice): #1,000 plus 70 per year.

Ariel Sharon’s approval ratings have shot up since last month from 35% to 65%. Israel is only going to get nastier, you know. There’s a fair amount of talk about the Palestinians out-breeding the Israelis, but among the Israelis, it’s the religious fanatics who out-breed rabbits, and the last decade’s immigrants have mostly been from the outer Soviet republics and transfer their existing racist antipathies from Asians to Palestinians. Right now the country is as open-minded and liberal as it’s ever going to be again.

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