This is story from the US about infanticide and all that entails is without doubt the most horrific story in the developed world right now, but apart from Fox News and a few online websites the US media for the most part won’t cover it.
For this isn’t solely a story about babies having their heads severed, though it is that. It is also a story about a place where, according to the grand jury, women were sent to give birth into toilets; where a doctor casually spread gonorrhea and chlamydiae to unsuspecting women through the reuse of cheap, disposable instruments; an office where a 15-year-old administered anesthesia; an office where former workers admit to playing games when giving patients powerful narcotics; an office where white women were attended to by a doctor and black women were pawned off on clueless untrained staffers. Any single one of those things would itself make for a blockbuster news story. Is it even conceivable that an optometrist who attended to his white patients in a clean office while an intern took care of the black patients in a filthy room wouldn’t make national headlines?
But it isn’t even solely a story of a rogue clinic that’s awful in all sorts of sensational ways either. Multiple local and state agencies are implicated in an oversight failure that is epic in proportions! If I were a city editor for any Philadelphia newspaper the grand jury report would suggest a dozen major investigative projects I could undertake if I had the staff to support them. And I probably wouldn’t have the staff. But there is so much fodder for additional reporting.
There is, finally, the fact that abortion, one of the most hotly contested, polarizing debates in the country, is at the center of this case. It arguably informs the abortion debate in any number of ways, and has numerous plausible implications for abortion policy, including the oversight and regulation of clinics, the appropriateness of late-term abortions, the penalties for failing to report abuses, the statute of limitations for killings like those with which Gosnell is charged, whether staff should be legally culpable for the bad behavior of doctors under whom they work…
There’s just no end to it.
Don’t think for one moment this could never happen in Australia.
This is the headline from the Australian today about the US budget deal:
Crisis over, world looks to recovery as shares rise and dollar surges
Wrong! The sloppy report from the Australian continues.
“Under this law, more than 98 per cent of Americans and 97 per cent of small businesses will not see their income taxes go up,” he said. His comments came shortly after the US House of Representatives voted 257-167 to support a deal that had received overwhelming backing in the Senate in the early hours of the morning.
At the rate the US Federal government is accumulating debt, a new budget deal will be needed sometime in February 2013. Crisis not over, just diverted by two months. Furthermore,
Households making between $40,000 and $50,000 will face an average tax increase of $579 in 2013, according to the Tax Policy Center’s analysis. Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will face an average tax increase of $822.
The Australian experience with reforming gun laws has been no panacea for societal violence.
The New York Times has referred to Australia’s gun laws as a “road map” for the US, saying that “in the 18 years before the law, Australia suffered 13 mass shootings – but not one in the 14 years after the law took full effect.”
Except for the 2002 mass shooting at Monash University, which the NYT omitted and which therefore makes me question this entire ABC puff piece arguing for the USA to emulate Australian 1996 gun laws after the Port Arthur massacre (I can’t actually find any evidence to support the claim that Australia had 13 mass shootings in 18 years).
Rates of assaults rose steadily and remain high today at around 840 assaults per 100,000 people, about 230 assaults per 100,000 people higher than before 1996;
Homicides involving firearms as a percentage of total homicides peaked in 1969 and had been falling steadily before the 1996 gun laws were introduced. In fact, homicide incidents actually increased after 1996, reaching a post gun law reform peak level in 2002 before declining steadily after 2004.
Assaults and homicides using knives have increased.
Reforming gun laws therefore will not solve your crime problem. By all reports the person that perpetrated the mass murder in Connecticut had a psychiatric condition. Investing in mental health might be a start. Daily Mail as always provides some perspective:
….why did this son amongst all those tens of thousands of sons take his mother’s firearms illegally – Connecticut has the fourth toughest gun control laws in the US, and any 20-year old is banned from buying or carrying pistols – and turn into a mass murderer?
News reports say he had a history of mental instability. At least one report mentioned ‘mood altering drugs.’ That is likely. The presence of legal drugs, the kind prescribed by psychiatrists, in the blood of the killers has been a feature of mass murders in America.
Both of the Columbine High School killers, Eric Harris (described as ‘a classic psychopath’) and Dylan Klebold, were on psychotropic drugs.
So was 17-year old Jeff Weise, the 2005 Red Lake High School killer in Minnesota who killed nine people then committed suicide.
So was 19-year old Robert Hawkins who murdered eight people then killed himself in Nebraska in 2007.
More reality from Brendan O’Neill over at the Telegraph.
I see the culture of narcissism, taken to its extreme, not the culture of gun worship. Which rather suggests that the supposedly liberal politicians currently wringing their hands over the availability of guns in the US might want to shine the spotlight on themselves instead, and on the dislocated, atomised, self-regarding modern world they have had a hand in creating.
Well, the USA has voted for failure and mediocrity…. and around $21 trillion in Federal US debt in four years time and nearly $240 trillion in unfunded liabilities.
I think the implications for Australia are pretty clear. The USA is in terminal decline due to a sluggish economy, high taxes and high debt. All of which will increase the risk to Australia’s financial and national security.
Niall Ferguson has estimated, along with our economic historians, that when a country starts spending between 40 to 50 per cent of revenue on interest payments on debt then that country goes into terminal decline.
Habsburg Spain defaulted on all or part of its debt 14 times between 1557 and 1696 and also succumbed to inflation due to a surfeit of New World silver. Prerevolutionary France was spending 62 percent of royal revenue on debt service by 1788. The Ottoman Empire went the same way: interest payments and amortization rose from 15 percent of the budget in 1860 to 50 percent in 1875. And don’t forget the last great English-speaking empire. By the interwar years, interest payments were consuming 44 percent of the British budget, making it intensely difficult to rearm in the face of a new German threat.
While “Net interest” payments are only around 10 per cent of US government revenue, this excludes interest payments on debt held by GBEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the debt the US government has lent itself. If revenues remain stagnate and if inflation picks up, then essentially within about 10 years the US government will be getting close to Niall’s threshold.
Australia’s response? Low levels of government and private debt, less welfare and more spending on national defence. We need to prepare for a post-American world.
You think we have a scandal with Gillard apparently bearing a false witness on a Power of Attorney for her former boy friend Bruce Wilson? Well, we do; however, check out the massive Obama cover up of the Benghazi attack.
So Obama blames an old obscure YouTube video for the attack and Gillard blames Abbott’s anti-abortion stance for all of her own ills. Weird
I don’t think either MR or BO are particularly outstanding debaters, however BO was pitiful. Clearly BO is not used to someone challenging his perfect intellect. He has his mates in the MSM to thank for that.
Imagine BO in a HoR Question Time. He’d be crushed.
Free of the corrupt media’s filter; free of the spin, the lying fact-checkers, the gotchas, and the desperate effort to cover up any and all bad news that might hurt Obama — by every standard, every measure, every opinion, and every opinion poll, what we witnessed last night at the first presidential debate of 2012 was a commanding, dominating blow-out performance by Governor Mitt Romney…The real loser, though, was a corrupt mainstream media that had just spent months desperately crafting a Mitt Romney that doesn’t exist — a Mitt Romney voters would not find acceptable as president.
The same thing is happening here with Tony Abbott.
Is our own Newspoll engaging in the same tactic to try and create a media narrative?
In a recent Ohio Newspaper Assn. poll that had Obama up by five in Ohio, Romney was preferred by independents 54–25. Obama took independents by nine points in 2008. That’s a full 38 point swing away from Obama, yet he’s purportedly beating Romney by a greater margin than he beat McCain in 2008. Neat trick.