Thursday, December 22, 2011

Muslim baby adopted to prevent 'honor killing,' UK judges rule

When even British courts are taking atavisms like this seriously, that must count as progress.

"Inquiries of the police showed that (the baby's grandmother) had told them that if (the baby's grandfather) found out about the child, he would consider himself honor-bound to kill the child, (and the child's mother), (and the grandmother) herself and her other children."

The baby's father wanted the girl to live with him and his wife, but in July, High Court Family Division judge, Justice Parker, ruled that doing so would put her at "very significant risk".

If the family of the baby's mother discovered the truth about the child it could "provoke action to preserve the family's honor," Justice Parker said.

The values of rural Pakistan cannot integrate with those of Britain, and it is suicidal to continue to import these people.

Further musings on the passing of Christopher Hitchens from cancer

Hitchens, along with Nasim Nicholas Taleb, Peter Ackroyd, and doubtless other whom I can't think of at the moment, was one of the few people I admired whom I would nevertheless not want to meet. Why? Because I would be ashamed of myself for not being able to hold up my end of the conversation.

The best encomium I've read so far comes from the excellent general blogger Cobb:

Now that Christopher Hitchens is dead, the English speaking world is going to be able to get by with a little more bullshit.

Friday, December 16, 2011

RIP Christopher Hitchens

Not the least brave thing he did was to leave the herd of independent minds at The Nation, after 9/11, when they opted to withdraw all the more tightly into their proggy groupthink, rather than face up to the fact of The Jihad. Hitchens was almost alone among Leftists, in turning from a fair-weather foe into a foul-weather friend of the United States. The Left kept droning on about how bad America was, but how with enough "activism" it could be made better. Hitchens was shocked into realizing that America was a great good in the world--even if it were to become worse.

That's all I've got, really. Very sad. Search "Hitchens" in my blog's search box up to your left, if you want to see some earlier thought.

Have some quotes...

"When I mount the scaffold at last these will be my farewell words to the sheriff: Say what you will against me when I am gone, but don't forget to add, in common justice, that I was never converted to anything."
-- H. L. Mencken, Baltimore _Evening Sun_, June 12, 1922

"There's one thing that keeps surprising you about stormy old friends after they die--their silence."
-- Ben Hecht, Letters From Bohemia, 1964

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Seattle schools junk food ban is failing

Google's algorithm has been sending a lot of people here with their searches for junk food recently. I don't know why, but I bid you welcome, anyway.

Too bad.

The Seattle School District is considering rewriting a policy enacted in 2004 that removed junk food from public schools, citing the ban's huge cut to revenues used to fund school programs.

When the Seattle School Board first implemented the policy seven years ago, the district was placed on the cutting edge of the battle against childhood obesity. Fatty snacks like candy bars and fried chips were stripped from vending machines and replaced with orange juice, water and granola bars.

And, arguably worse:

This student behavior supports existing research on junk food in schools. Research published in November revealed that just banning soda from schools doesn't actually curb student consumption of sugary drinks. Across all states, whether they have no policy, ban sodas or ban all sugary drinks, students' out-of-school access and purchasing behavior of those beverages was unchanged.

Let those who cry "Nanny State" remember one thing, please: these are children we're talking about. Adults are supposed to make responsibl­e decisions on behalf of children, since they are not mature enough to make them on their own. The sugar and fat in junk food are addictive, so naturally kids will gravitate towards it. I've got nothing but disgust for Statists who try to forbid parents from buying Happy Meals for their children, that's just proggs getting too big for their britches. But schools are different, or should be. Costs? Yes, schools cost money to run. But let's not make a Faustian bargain with deep pocket sugar daddies (pun intended), and sacrifice the children's future health as a result.

Friday, December 02, 2011

San Francisco outfoxed by McDonalds

You may recall that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors banned McDonalds from giving away toys with their Happy Meals. This is because the BOS, good government nannies all, had decided that all those unlicensed parents were just too incompetent to keep their children away from the predations of an eeeeevil corprayshun like McDonalds. So, McDonalds is now charging ten cents extra for the toy, much to the flummoxment of nanny state proggs.

Okay, a number of things are at work here. Proggs feel themselves to be shouldered with the responsibility to run everyone else's affairs. Since proggs disapprove of commerce, feeling that everyone should really be knitting Mexican wedding shirts on some hippie commune instead, successful companies offend them. And since proggs believe that they are endowed with the wisdom to build, craft, plan, construct the perfect Erewhon society of the future, the natural, organically evolved society they live in also offends them. Also, as the general population gradually becomes accustomed to the idea that government should take over individual responsibilities, the government naturally looks for ways to both extend and entrench itself in this new role, and also to make its job easier. The more money government has to spend forcing people to get healthy, the less there is for other purposes. And there is also the psychological phenomenon known as transference. As California's astronomical debt burden crushes the state flat, acivists and the government avoids the problem by screaming louder and louder about trifles such as Happy Meals.

Kudos to McDonalds for not knuckling under. Let them be yet one more business chased out of California, rather than bow to these self-impressed social saviors.