"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

News sources say the darnedest things

Just a couple of interesting juxtapositions of quotes and information in news stories I noticed today.

First, this attempt to put a good face on things in Afghanistan:

"You look into the eyes of some of the soldiers and they have clearly grown up on this operation, " (Britian's top commander in Afghanistan Brig. Tim) Radford told reporters in London via a video link from Helmand.

Yes, Brigadier - and in the very next paragraph we find out how many of Britain's youth clearly won't be doing any more growing up as a result of this operation.

A total of 22 U.K. soldiers have died in July - many as the result of roadside bombs, and about half of them on missions other than Panther's Claw - raising new questions among the British people about the cost of the eight-year military campaign. Since 2001, 191 British service personnel have died in Afghanistan.

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Second, this sort of Libertarian-U.S. Republican approach to social welfare found in Japanese culture:

Toyoki Yoshida, 37, of Yoake no Kai (Daybreak Association), which assists people who are heavily in debt, said: "We've seen many cases of people who grit their teeth and fight on after losing their jobs. However, when these people spend the last of their unemployment benefits and savings, many choose to commit suicide."

It's hard to imagine another country or culture that would see bank bailouts and antirecession measures as a primary way of fighting suicide because killing yourself rather than going on welfare is considered a reasonable thing to do. The quote is from an article that very matter-of-factly points out that the suicide rate is up from last year and may break the record of 34,427 people taking their own lives set in 2003.

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And, of course, we can always count on Texas:

According to police, the 33-year-old Sanchez told the responding officers that she was “hearing voices” and that the “devil made her kill” her son – Scott Wesley Buchholtz Sanchez – who was born on June 30.
Chief McManus told reporters the mother confessed to eating parts of the child’s body but declined to give details. Earlier reports from the Associated Press said the mother had eaten the baby’s brains and bit off three of his toes.

Yeah, it wasn't anything scientific like untreated galloping post-partum depression or incipient schizophrenia - the woman who ate part of her own baby admitted that "the devil made her do it." (no offense to Flip Wilson) Thank God the United States doesn't have any kind of crazy Marxist socialist universal health care system that might have helped this woman get the treatment she needed or at least kept her and her baby in the hospital -- all she really needed was a good exorcism! Yep, she was crazy to believe in the devil, not like most of her fellow citizens.

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