Thursday, November 25, 2004

Action on locusts

The Czech Republic approves pensions for former political prisoners, pro-rated.

Headline of the day: “Israel Demands Action on Locusts.” (Locusts are crossing the border from Egypt)

From the Daily Telegraph:
An Italian judge has ruled that an elderly married couple can divorce but should continue to live under the same roof - with the husband’s lover.

The decision by the high court in Pordenone near Venice was made after the wife filed for divorce, and asked for the marital home. But the judge said the house was big enough for “everyone to live in comfortably”.
Jonathan Steele has a cautionary article about Yushchenko personally, and about the forms of intervention by the US and EU in Ukraine’s election. And he’s correct that Mr Y is not the liberal reformer or democrat he’s being portrayed as, but it’s about the democratic process, not the candidate. And Steele’s suggestion of power-sharing is ridiculous.

A bunch of diplomats went to the Thanksgiving dinner of the US Ambassador to the UN food agencies in Rome, which right off sounds like a not-too-bright thing to do. They drew tickets at random, which divided them into 3 groups, 1 of which got a gourmet meal, 1 got some rice and beans, and 1 was shoved out of the house into the garden with a little bit of cold rice.

The Bush admin wanted to more than double federal spending on abstinence-only “education,” but only got a 30% increase. Studies of the programs at the state level have shown that they don’t work, but the Bushies have delayed releasing a national evaluation until 2006, saying that if Congress really loves and respects them, it won’t mind waiting. The assistant secretary of Health and Human Services in charge of abstinence funding is named...wait for it...Wade Horn. Oh, and a HHS spokesman is named Bill Pierce, which could also sound dirty.

I’ve just looked up Mr., um, Horn, and there are bigger problems with him than the funny name. The abstinence thing is part of his larger fatherhood (i.e., anti-feminist) agenda: he really hates the idea of single women bringing up children, and has advocated having the government pressure them to give up their children to be adopted by two-parent couples, for example by denying them housing, welfare and other benefits.

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