Kevorkian To Be Released

One of my heroes, Dr. Jack Kevorkian, is to be released on parole from prison June 1, after serving over eight years of a 10- to 25-year sentence. He is the retired pathologist who was imprisoned over eight years ago for assisting a man to end his life. He is scheduled to appear on “60 Minutes” two days later, on June 3, 2007.

There is sure to be a lot of attention paid to his release; the media likes to sensationalize their reports about Dr. Kevorkian; they make up terms like “Dr. Death” and capitalize on the supposed “contradiction” of a physician assisting a patient to die.

Lost in the controversy is the concept of individual rights. It is each individual’s choice whether to keep on living. After all, whose life is it? If a person chooses to end his life, it is his right to hire a physician to help him end it in a way that is both painless and efficient. And, it is a doctor’s right to provide such help if he sees fit.

Life is sacred, the opponents of physician-assisted suicide say; it’s never right to purposely end it. They are right that life is sacred. That’s why it must be ended when it loses its value to the person concerned. The question then is, how best to end it. To prohibit a doctor of his choice from helping that person is to deny both of them their right to live as they choose.

–Ken

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Frying Pan to Fire

The short version: Islamic terrorists attack the United States over a period of years in a multitude of ways, culminating in the destruction of the World Trade Center and several thousand American lives.

Instead of focusing on what is needed for the future safety of Americans, our government attacks Afghanistan with bombs and food packets, and aids the setting up of a predominantly Islamic government. Then, our government overthrows Saddam Hussein — an obviously evil dictator — and replaces his regime with …an Islamic government.

The fact that the governments which our government is fostering are democracies is irrelevant to the safety of Americans. Our safety depends on the destruction of the Islamic terrorists, and that depends on destroying the states that support them. This will never be accomplished by “winning the hearts and minds” of the terrorists and their supporters, by setting up democracies in the countries that sponsor them, nor by “negotiating” with our avowed enemies.

When you are threatened (whether “you” refers to an individual or a country) you deal with the threat. You do not try to help your threatener become nice.

The attacks, over the years, on our embassies, the USS Cole, etc., climaxing (thus far) in the WTC destruction, have put the United States in very hot frying pan. With our government’s social work war policies, we are leaping headlong into the fire.

–Ken

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Sunnis? Shiites? Sheesh!

Shiites? Sunnis? It’s often been hard to keep them distinguished, in my mind. Iraq apparently has both varieties of Moslems and they hate each other and war upon each other, although both are sects of Islam. The government under Saddam Hussein was mostly Sunni, I believe.

I do know, from repetitions ad nauseum on the news, that the Shiites are in charge of Iraq’s new democratic government. I am pretty sure that the leadership in Iran is also Shiite. Both Iran and Iraq are Moslem, but Iran is not Arab.

Anyway, Condoleeza Rice says that
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/19/world/19rice.html?ex=1176091200&en=d36130c87b46aa2b&ei=5070
Iraq’s government (Shiite) sees itself as Arab. It wants a place in the Arab world (does the Arab League still exist?). She thinks the only way Iraq’s government would ally itself with Iran is if they are denied a place in the Arab world. So, I would guess that “our” policy is to encourage Iraq’s inclusion with other Arabs, thus adding to Iran’s isolation.

If our government would only do what it should — take Iran out of the picture — I wouldn’t have to get headaches trying to figure out all this tribal/religious folderol.

–Ken

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Go Get The Hostages!

The other day, Iran took 15 British sailors and marines prisoner in the Shatt Al-Arab. The Iranian government alleges the sailors were engaged in espionage.

What is the Shatt Al-Arab?

The Tigris and Euphrates have flowed through what is now Iraq since ancient times. The Shatt Al-Arab is the “waterway” that begins where they now come together, in southern Iraq, The Iranians call it the Arvandrud river. It runs for about 125 miles and discharges into the Persian Gulf. Approximately the last 35-40 miles at the southern end run along the disputed border between Iraq and Iran. This is apparently where the Britons were seized.

These Brits are part of a task force under the authority of the UN Security Council, and are there to “maintain security.” They had apparently just searched a merchant ship. They were taken to Tehran and, under “interrogation,” allegedly admitted to espionage.

I don’t know for sure, of course, what the sailors were actually doing, nor where the international boundary “should” be. What I do know is that the British government should demand the return of their citizens (which I understand they have done). Then, when Iran does not comply, Britain should go get them. The United States should back the British in this, thus making up in part for our failure to free our embassy in 1979 when the Iranians overran it and kept fifty-some people hostage for well over a year.

My prediction though (which doesn’t require a crystal ball), is that negotiation and appeasement will be the weapon of choice once again.

–Ken

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EFP’s

The news now is full of chatter about “explosively formed projectiles,” made in Iran, smuggled into Iraq for use against American troops. The effect of this chatter is an escalation of denials of hostile intentions toward Iran by Bush and his spokesmen.

Of course, Iran’s EFP’s are merely the latest of a long series of assaults against the United States. But they could have been a cited reason for finally unleashing our military and eliminating Iran as a threat. I would really like to understand the mentality that seeks to negotiate with murderous enemies rather than destroying them.

–Ken

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Media Bias?

The other day, Senator Joe Biden made what could be taken as a less-than-politically-correct remark about Black leaders. He referred to Barrack Obama, who had just announced for the Democratic nomination for President, as “clean,” implying that others are maybe not so much. The “others” might include Jesse Jackson, Charlie Rangel and Al Sharpton.

The reaction, as reported by the news media, has consisted of lots of chuckling and grinning. They say ol’ Joe put his foot in his mouth again, as though it was pretty funny, all right. Up to his old high jinks again, like, remember last year? Made that crack about Indians? And when Biden wanted to explain this gaff, what did he pick for a forum? A late night comedy talk show. Yep, it was downright funny.

Ask yourself what the media reaction would have been if Biden’s remark had been made by, say, Dick Cheney. There’d be no nudges and winks. The remark would be taken as evidence of the foulest of motives, not passed over as a simple mistaken word choice.

A few weeks ago, Teddy Kennedy was given a free pass for referring to Barrack Obama as, “Osama Obama.” Suppose President Bush, who is prone to occasional misspeaking, had made that mistake. What a field day the press would have had with that!

–Ken

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Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life

Several years ago, I tried to order this Oscar-nominated documentary on the life and career of Ayn Rand. Barnes & Noble disappointed me, saying that they did not have the movie, and were taking it off their website. Now, through the wonder of Netflix, I’ve finally had a chance to see it.

This film is very well put together; it’s easy to see why it received an Academy Award nomination. I found it inspiring, and highly recommend it to anyone interested in Ayn Rand and her approach to life.

–Ken

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