- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 21, 2007

St. Bono of Africa

“The G-8 should change its name to the G-9. Because if this year’s summit in Heiligendamm, Germany, was anything to go by, there’s a new member of the pack. —

“Who or what was this stately presence at Heiligendamm? It wasn’t a state at all, or even a pseudo-state like the Vatican. It was one Paul Hewson, better known as Bono. … He has gone from being the singer of really serious songs for Africa, who gyrated and screamed on the world stages provided by Live Aid in 1985 and Live 8 in 2005 to ‘raise awareness’ about African poverty, to the semi-official representative of the African poor, the widely recognized ‘conscience of Africa’ who is invited to put pressure on world leaders and hold them to account. …

“Bono is a celebrity colonialist. His patronizing campaign to single-handedly ‘save Africa’ is actually damaging the continent. It is painting Africa as a pathetic place whose wide-eyed, infantile populations need a loudmouth rock star to fight in their corner. … Alongside making fun of Bono, let us challenge today’s prostitution of African problems for the purposes of Western self-aggrandizement, which has led to his being crowned King of the Africans.”

Brendan O’Neill, writing on “Welcome to the People’s Republic of Bono,” June 13 in Spiked at www.spiked-online.com

Costs of choice

“Many academic studies have shown that legalized abortion, by encouraging premarital sex, increased the number of unplanned births, even outweighing the reduction in unplanned births due to abortion. …

“From the beginning of the abortion debate, those favoring abortion have pointed to the social costs of ‘unwanted’ children who simply won’t get the attention of ‘wanted’ ones. But there is a trade-off that has long been neglected. Abortion may eliminate ‘unwanted’ children, but it increases out-of-wedlock births and single parenthood. Unfortunately, the social consequences of illegitimacy dominated.

“Children born after liberalized abortion rules have suffered a series of problems, from problems at school to more crime. …

“Liberalized abortion might have made life easier for many, but like sex itself sometimes, it has had many unintended consequences.”

John R. Lott Jr., writing on “It’s Not Enough to Be ‘Wanted,’ ” Tuesday, in OpinionJournal.com

Sick leave

“I stopped watching ‘Sicko’ after it went into Michael Moore’s comfort zone of conspiracy theories and Republican-bashing. The early parts about health insurance companies aggressively looking for any pretext to deny coverage they were, in fact, lawfully contracted to provide were effective, I thought. Seems to me that if you are lucky enough to have health insurance, and to be paying for that service out of your own pocket (and if your employer pays, it’s still your pocket — that’s part of your salary), you have the right to expect them to actually give you full value on your premiums. …

“Many Americans don’t have health coverage. They know they’re not covered. That’s bad, but at least they know what they can expect (i.e., nothing).

“On the other hand, many Americans do have health coverage. They know they’re covered … except they’re not, not quite. They’re covered if and only if the insurer cannot contrive some reason to deny them coverage when they actually need it.”

from “Rejoinder To ‘Sicko’s‘ Boosterism of Canadian Health Care System,” Monday at Ace of Spades HQ (ace.mu.nu)

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