All entries for March 2006

March 04, 2006

China's Military Spending LEAPS 14%!

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/4773358.stm

I'm guessing you're probably calm at the moment. You're drinking tea. Downloading the latest episode of the UK Aprrentice. You're eating dinner. But while you're sitting there feeling safe and happy… the Chinese have increased their military spending.

It's time to panic.

Wait… they've increased by 14% to about 20bn GBP (thanks Max x 2)? Or roughly what the UK spends each year.

Wait… they've a population of about 1.4 billion people in comparison to the UK's 60,000,000?

Tuts

The Evil Empire is at it again eh!


March 01, 2006

On American Idol…

It's not at all like other years this year. I've enjoyed watching American idol since season three (lambast me if you will!) but I never really saw it as anything more than an amateurish talent show… like the Club Med "Spectacles" with a bigger budget… The momentary "celebrities" are mostly quickly forgotten.

Last year there were some really talented folks. My favourites included Nikko, Vonzelle and Bo Bice.

But this year there is a real star. When he sings I can really connect with his voice. It's brilliant and it's a shame that he hasn't been discovered earlier. What's His name?

Taylor Hicks!

He's memorable. He's got his twitches. He's got the Southern (American) Gentlemen thing pegged down. He's awkward. He's fun. And he can sing!

I've been watching the show with my mate Ramzi and I said from the beginning I hoped he'd win the show and now I'm thinking he'll definately go on to win!

The two other notables in the show for me so far have been:

Bucky Covington: "Simple Kind of Man" by Lynard Skynard – I thought he was excellent singing this kind of music.

Chris Daughtry: "Wanted: Dead or Alive" – Yet another rocker and someone perfectly suited for singing rock songs.

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Both pro–choice and pro–responsibility…

There've been a fair few posts on the "pro-life"/"pro-choice" debates and the vote on the union motion…

An argument which repeatedly comes up is one articulated in Leigh Robinson's Blog

'Pro-choice' is NOT about silencing the people among us who think abortion is wrong. It is about giving the woman the CHOICE to make her own mind up – the key word here is choice. Each option is viewed with no bias and will be presented neutrally. Women will in no way be pushed in either direction, they will be given guidance on BOTH.

So the the question is should a woman have the choice between whether or not to keep or – and let's not mince words here – kill her child?

I have always been firmly of the belief that women should not have the right to kill or have their unborn-child killed unless there are extenuating circumstances. Namely:

1) The mother's life would be at severe risk if the pregnancy was continued.

2) The foetus was conceived as a result of a rape.

I do not see it valid to use abortion as a tool to escape responsibility and I find it ludicrous that at a university with some of the best and brightest minds in the nation, people are arguing that woman should have the right to shirk a responsibility they could have easily avoided.

We have a vast array of:

1) Well-developed and continuous sex-eduction.
2) Free contraceptives and access to free post-coital contraceptives.

In light of this it is very, very difficult to argue that women (generally) in this country can conceive by accident. We are not talking about the ins and outs of STDs (i.e. condoms won't fully protect you from HPV-6 aka Genital Warts which are very common and which have a 66% chance of being contracted from a single sexual encounter).... It is very well-known that should a man ejaculate inside the vagina, then a pregnancy can occur.

It frustrates me no-end that some women feel that despite the pre-coital knowledge of the risks involved with sexual intercourse and despite the availability of contraceptives they have the get-out-of-jail-free-card in the form of abortion.

Killing a foetus should never be an easy way out. Especially considering that the man has no choice in the matter (not many pro-choicers will argue that the man should have the choice as to whether or not his child will be killed or saved). It doubly frustrates me that should the woman exercise her choice to not kill her baby, then the man has legal obligations to fulfil with regards to the child. He can't take the choice to say "You know, I didn't want the kid. Sort it out yourself." And (as far as I know) he can't sue for an injunction or for specific performance with regards to the foetus.

I feel that on a moral basis abortion as a means of escaping responsibility should be illegal. And on a purely legal basis I think that the current stance on abortion really goes against the principles of English Law (of equality or of equity). I think that the law should be rectified to make sure that if an abortion does occur it occurs with mutual consent between the father and the mother.


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