Homosexual adoption

Filed under Politics

WND reports that recent research has shown that children raised in homosexual homes are seven times more likely to develop “non-heterosexual preferences” than other children. The discoveries are apparently also being covered up because they do not fit with the politically correct position, i.e. that homosexuality is hereditary not learned behavior.

I think it’s possible that there is a genetic connection, but I also find it very improbable. As homosexuals generally will not have children, it is unlikely that the genes would be passed on, so eventually they should disappear from the population. If it were a recessive trait carried by heterosexuals, it obviously does not provide a reproductive advantage (in fact, it is a disadvantage reproductively speaking), so you would think it would be selected out in that case as well. The research described in the WND report would seem to support the conclusion that homosexuality is indeed a learned behavior.

Longevity a mixed blessing for Japanese

Japan Today reports:

Japan on Friday welcomed the news it had topped the world longevity ratings, but with its citizens living increasingly longer lives it may soon become hard for the government to find enough young taxpayers to support them.

The statistics for 2007 published on Thursday by the World Health Organization put Japan on top of the longevity list, reporting that the average life expectancy was almost 83 years—86 years for women and 79 years for men—up from 81 years in 2000.

“A steady increase of Japan’s longevity reflects good medical care, nutrition and successful economic development, and that alone is a good thing,” Norie Handa, a Cabinet Office official in charge of aging issues, said Friday. “What we really have to look at is whether we can live long in good health, and peacefully.”

However, in a country where the birth rate has been declining for decades—the population fell by 51,000 last year, the sharpest decline ever—a longer life expectancy means a disproportionately large elderly population.

The number of people over the age of 65 has reached 22.5% of the population and in a dozen years will likely to surge to nearly 30%, according to government estimates.

By contrast, the percentage of children in Japan is expected to fall to below 11% in the next decade or so from the current 13%. The country already has the smallest percentage of children among 31 countries, trailing Germany and Italy, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications report.

According to the last statistics I read, however, 3 out of every 4 babies in Japan are aborted. That means Japan is aborting itself into extinction. The solution to their aging population is quite simple, actually: start encouraging women to carry their babies to term. It’s certainly a politically incorrect thing to suggest (I noticed that a comment suggesting just that has mysteriously disappeared from the above site), but it’s fairly obvious all the same.

Electricity is good

Just thought I’d share this interesting “demotivator” sign Jay Nordlinger mentioned in his blog today. It was created by a guy who works (poor soul) at a state environmental agency.

pic_nordlinger_042409

The best of intentions

Filed under Politics

The promises of people promoting socialized medicine sound good at first. It’s too bad they’re based on naïveté. A lot of liberals are promoting the British system as a positive example of government-run healthcare. British parliament member Daniel Hannan, however, warns us not to go down the same road.

HT: Flopping Aces

PETA loves (making money off) animals

I guess it’s easier and more profitable to put animals down than to actually do the hard work of finding homes for them.

…But now Peta – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals – is itself on the receiving end of angry words over its own treatment of animals after it emerged that the organisation put down 96 per cent of the animals handed into its American headquarters. Of 2,216 animals taken to its premises in Norfolk, Virginia, last year, 2,124 were put to sleep – almost six per day. Homes were found for just seven.

The high-profile charity, famous for its “I’d rather go naked than wear fur” campaigns, has euthanised more than 20,000 pets in the last decade, according to figures it has supplied to Virginia state officials.

But the organisation, which does not run its own animal adoption programme and does not accept animals into its care elsewhere, admitted to The Sunday Telegraph that some treatable and adoptable animals were also among those killed by lethal injection.

…Now critics of the group are accusing it of being more interested in using its $32 million annual budget to fund its campaigns against the fur and meat industries than helping the cats and dogs in its backyard.

Another comforting story about NHS

Filed under Politics
Comments Off on Another comforting story about NHS

Is there any hospital in the entire United States where between 400 and 1,200 people have died as the result of poor care in the span of three years? And then there’s the head of the World Health Organization who calculated that Britain has as many as 25,000 unnecessary cancer deaths a year because of under-provision of care. Sure, we’ve got our own problems, no one is denying that, but do we really want to drop one failed system for another? Let’s try something new, instead.

Patients admitted for emergency treatment at an NHS Trust were subjected to “shocking and appalling” care that included untrained receptionists carrying out medical checks and heart monitors being switched off, a report concluded today. The Healthcare Commission, the NHS standards watchdog, said that evidence suggested that as many as 400 deaths at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust could have been prevented and may have been the result of poor care.

That’s at a single hospital. I think a lot of people complaining about health care in the United States are unaware that “roughly 50 cents out of every dollar that you spend on health care now is spent by the government.” We spend more than any other country in the world per capita.

David Gratzer, M.D., a Canadian, believes that Americans have three choices:

I’ve only really found three choices for America. How can we deal with this financial crisis? One: Go back to managed care. Health spending largely pla­teaued in the mid-1990s. Sure, people were upset, but we actually contained costs.

Option number two: socialized medicine. Every other Western country has done it. You want to call it universal health care; you want to call it single-payer; whatever you want to call it. Steffie Wool­handler calls it the “cure.” I don’t.

Option number three: Let’s try something we don’t do a lot of in health care policy in the Unit­ed States: capitalism. Let’s do for health policy what we’ve done in the other five-sixths of the general economy.

He has five ideas for implementing option number three: Make health insurance like every other type of insurance, introduce government policies that foster competition, reform Medicaid, revisit Medicare and reconsider the role of the FDA. Visit the article for details.

Separating trackbacks from comments in WordPress 2.7

Filed under Blogging

Normally this isn’t a blog about blogging or blogging software, but I just upgraded my comment section, so bear with me for one more post on the topic. After implementing the new threaded comments feature, I realized I needed to separate trackbacks from comments, because it just doesn’t look nice to have them all together. I was able to do it without any hassle by following the instructions at the blog below:

Separating Pings from Comments in WordPress 2.7

Threaded comments in WordPress 2.7 and up

Filed under Blogging

It’s actually easier than you might think. Well, actually it’s not. But Chris Harrison has done all the dirty work, so all you have to do is follow his instructions:

The only problem I had was with li.bypostauthor not working, but a post by jeremyclark13 on the WordPress forums gave me the solution: put it at the end, because CSS rules are applied in order of appearance.

Now if I could only figure out why my blog comment form keeps “forgetting” people’s information…

Surprise, surprise: Common sense is just that

What are the chances that a married person who is faithful to his or her spouse is going to contract AIDS? Pretty much zero. Common sense would therefore tell you that the best way to avoid contracting AIDS would be to abstain from sexual intercourse outside the confines of marriage.

Apparently this is not so obvious to people like Rebecca Hodes, head of policy, communications and research for the Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa. WND reports that she “blasted the pope for not advocating wide access to condoms as a means of combating AIDS.” Commenting to the AP, she said, “His opposition to condoms conveys that religious dogma is more important to him than the lives of Africans.”

WND reports, however, that “a senior Harvard research scientist confirmed that Pope Benedict XVI, who endured heavy criticism for declaring that condom distribution programs worsen the AIDS epidemic in Africa, was actually correct.”

“There is,” Green added, “a consistent association shown by our best studies, including the U.S.-funded ‘Demographic Health Surveys,’ between greater availability and use of condoms and higher (not lower) HIV-infection rates. This may be due in part to a phenomenon known as risk compensation, meaning that when one uses a risk-reduction ‘technology’ such as condoms, one often loses the benefit (reduction in risk) by ‘compensating’ or taking greater chances than one would take without the risk-reduction technology.”

…In Uganda, according to a report in Science magazine, teaching about AIDS and promoting monogamy has led to a dramatic turnaround in the country’s AIDS epidemic.

“Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is preventable if populations are mobilized to avoid risk,” states the report’s summary. “Despite limited resources, Uganda has shown a 70 percent decline in HIV prevalence since the early 1990s, linked to a 60 percent reduction in casual sex. The response in Uganda appears to be distinctively associated with communication about [AIDS] through social networks. Despite substantial condom use and promotion of biomedical approaches, other African countries have shown neither similar behavioral responses nor HIV prevalence declines of the same scale. The Ugandan success is equivalent to a vaccine of 80 percent effectiveness.”

It would appear, then, that it is Ms. Hodes, not the Pope, who is more interested in dogma (in her case that of free sex) than in saving lives. Yet another case of a liberal projecting her own ulterior motives/character flaws onto others.

In the Footsteps of Paul

A recent trip to Greece piqued my interest in the history of Christianity. It also strengthened my conviction that Christianity is true. Some skeptics say that Jesus did not exist. The life and missionary work of Paul of Tarsus prove otherwise. You don’t even have to take into account the miraculous conversion experience where he went from persecutor to proselytizer. Paul’s missionary work started around A.D. 35-36, less than five years or so after Jesus was crucified. If, as some skeptics like to say, Paul was the true founder of Christianity, then surely Peter, one of Jesus’ most beloved disciples, would have rebuked him for changing Jesus’ message or lying about who Jesus was. Seeing as how they travelled together, there was certainly occasion to do so.

Anyway, I was delighted to see that there was a book offered in the Thomas Nelson Book Review club that showed the journeys of Paul in pictures. It is called In the Footsteps of Paul and is filled with beautiful photographs by renowned photographer Ken Duncan. The author/photographer traced Paul’s steps according to the book of Acts and has taken photographs of the modern day places mentioned. It really brings the story alive. The photographs are supplemented with Scripture and quotes from well-known Christians like Billy Graham, Beth Moore and Charles Spurgeon.

It’s not a meaty book that will shed light on doctrines or anything like that. It’s basically a book that you’d put on your coffee table, but with its pictures of Jerusalem, Damascus, Antioch, Athens, Rome and other cities Paul visited on his missionary journeys, it is great for getting a mental image to go along with the narrative provided in Acts. Of course, actually visiting those places in person is even better, but this is the next best thing.