Friday, July 29, 2005

Some photos of my children

For those of you that visit me, you know I like to post pictures of my kiddies. They are growing so fast. Aiyaba will be 3 years old in Dec. The boys 2 next March.
Dancing at the campsite Posted by Picasa aiyana smile Posted by Picasa

Pointy hair day Posted by Picasa Tongue out! Posted by Picasa

Tommy with his sis's dress! Posted by Picasa knot on the forhead Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Where Was 007 on 07/07

In my travels, I have made a few friends from the U.K. and the following are a couple of e-mails I recieved after the 07/07 coordinated terrorist attack in London:

1. Sensitized Person Working a Security Detail in Iraq

Yes, this is our war. My father fought the Krauts, and we are engaged in a different but equally difficult and potentially hazardous endevour.
Let us prevail.
I will call you later.
(Name removed)

2. De-sensitized London Taxi Driver

Collected My (Thai) wife from work on Wednesday (07/06) and she told Me that tomorrow she had the day off "We go London tomorrow".

Thursday We walked to the Chatham train station and I purchased a day pass ticket for London which gives one unlimited travel on trains and buses in London,and it can only be purchased after 9.30 am.We got onto the 9.32 train to London and I had got My newspaper to read to pass the time on the journey,the leading story and pictures where about the joy of London winning the right to host the 2012 Olympic games,the paper was full of smileing faces.Just before entering greater London a woman in the row next to us answered her mobile,then she grabed the ticket inspecter and said "My daughter has told Me a bomb has exploded in London."(Name removed) asked me "What did she say"?"I answered "I am so bored."
Then more mobiles strarted ringing and more people where saying ,"a bomb has gone off in London."


Once again I saw the familair outline of London, Battersea Power station, London Eye, Thames river and I said to (Name removed),"Today we walk."(she thought it was another one of My jokes). We alighted at Victoria platform and the tanoy said,"No underground or buses in service." Outside the station where throngs of people milling about, so We walked and the pavements were busy with pedestrians as everybody was in the same position, instead of us normally getting the underground train We where above ground. Thank goodness I know My way around London so We had a slow walk to Kensington, past the many Embassies in the area and then past the science mueseum, and heard sirens blaring from special branch tearing around in their unmarked blue cars with detachable blue flashing lights on the car roofs.

We entered the Thai embassy, (Name removed) said "not many people here today". The normally crowded Thai embassey had very few customers today and the telivision was on BBC live news, and then we got an idea what had happened, it was all happening in another part of London. Sorted the official paper work and then left Embassy and strolled along and went into Harrods food hall, purchased Thai fruits for (Name removed) and prickley pears for Myself. I tried to explain to (Name removed) that this shop has a famous name, (blank look) and that I had visited it just days before the IRA had bombed it in 1983. We strolled through Knightsbridge and I saw a few copies of Yellow pages on the doorstep of apartments, so I picked up a copy. We got to Victoria station at 1 o'clock, and the police had shut it, I was non too pleased about this, typical overeaction of British police. So we went to a cafe to have something to eat, and it was in the new bus terminas that caters for Eastern European buses going to Poland, Slovakia and places nobody had heard of ten years ago. Guess what? Theses coaches where not aloud to go, Victoria coach station was also shut, so domestic coaches could not go. So hundreds of people where sitting around on suitcases,waiting.

I looked into my new Yellow pages and looked up Resterants, there is every type of restaurant in London from all over the world You can think of, Lebanese, Swiss, Etheopian, Egyption, planet alien , But no Bavarian. It is only when I travel abroad, that I can eat in a German restaurant. (Kein heir)

How are We going to get home , it looks like we maybe spending the night in a hotel.
Here I sat on the steps of a coach station and I am witnessing another historic day in London's history, and I am so bored, I don't want to be here. (and I know the media so well, Londoners are so stoic, English inner strength, the crap from Tony Blairs mouth)

Then another lot of very noisy paranoid police vechiles come screaming along, and they leap out and move us further away from the station. I mutter,"stupid wankers"

So I spot a barbers shop and go in for a haircut, may as well pass the time getting a haircut at London prices. The barber shop tele is tuned into the BBC news and there is only one subject London. Then G.Bush comes on and just as he opens his mouth the Barber grabes the remote and changes channels. Is Bush the most hated man on this planet?

Finally after a pointless wait, hey they open the station and how did I know the first train out was going to be packed. (Name removed) said that the people on the train where nervous, I didnt feel any nervousness in the air. I said "I renember when the IRA bombed London(1996) and I was living in a flat in London and all the closed doors in my flat blew open."

Eventually we got to Chatham station and I went to the ticket office and got a full refund on our tickets.
Now, we have our own 07/07.
No surprises there, 4 years ago I predicted it was coming and everyone agreed. The only surprise was that it took so long. There will be more.


Sunday, July 03, 2005

Philosophical vs. Moral Issues Leading to Euthinasia or Infanticide

Happy 4th of July and remember to answer the poll below...

The focus of this two (or 3) part post is the ethics of Euthinasia. A recent Princeton apointee, Peter Singer, a bioethics professor, has come under attack for his book "Practical Ethics". I will not restate all of the controversy of this book (or his previous books) as they are easily researchable. For this Post, I will tell you he advocates the "Mercy Killing" of newborns that are pre-disposed to a sub-standard life due to certain "Disabilities." He is the world's foremost proponent of utilitarianism, claiming that euthinasia of disabled infants is possible as..."Newborn human babies have no sense of their own existence over time". However in his 1985 book "Should the baby Live?", he claims it is not a "Utilitarian" philosphy , but the desire to save the child a lifetime of pain and suffering. Singer states that it is the parent that should make the decision to end the infant's suffering.

A recent study of Dutch practices shows an abnormally high rate of Doctors admitting to practicing infant euthanasia. The Associated Press also reported that a startling 73% doctors in one French study admitted to purposely euthanizing a baby by administering a drug cocktail at least once over the coarse of their practice. As much as 4% of U.S. doctors also will admit to it. Most of the studies are done to protect the annonimity of the physician to guarantee "honesty" in thier reply. But the issues of how and why they made the decision to end a baby's life is not stated. There was also no mention as to who made the decision to end the infant's life.

Fat Bastard's Position

Unless you live in a vacuum, most of you have thought about the ideas of mercy killing. We watch a war movie or a western where a badly wounded tough guy asks to be put out of his misery. Visions of pulling the plug on a loved one that is pleading for the pain to end and wondering if we could do it. The recent battles over Terri Schindler Schiavo by her husband and her parents has brought much attention back to this Philosophcal and Moral issue. There are pacts made by friends, where everyone promises to help each other if the quality life drops below a predetermined line. I have a friend that is in Iraq that is quite clear on the subject and what role he wants me to endure. There are a miriad of situations where I would consider ending my own life. The issue seems to come down to "Quality of Life vs. Quantity of Life" for most people.

But what about newborns? What line is to be drawn on their behalf? Should the government be allowed to make these decisions or draw the lines? There are groups out there to argue each and every aspect of this issue. From right-to-life all the way to right-to-death. Doctors and parents have been making the decision of euthinasia for newborns throughout history. It is a sad and horrible side of life that sparks emotions in all of us. When a baby is born in a condition of imminent death and is in pain, a Doctor may make a decision to save the baby from more pain and suffering and end its life pre-maturely. When the same doctor goes to the mother to discuss the issue, he may determine that the decision would cause her even more pain. I can not concieve that this is an easy decision for any medical professional to make.

For each of us the issue of euthinasia is influenced by our philosophical, moral and ethical beliefs. Each situation is unique to each person. The Teri Schiavo case is a perfect example. The parents view of Teri's situation was that of hope of some quality of life. The husband's view was that there was no quality to her life. Thousands of people took up positions and a very private situation became very public. In the same situation, I would have my wife or close friend make the decision to end or extend my "life", not my parents. My wife knows my every feeling and belief. She will make the decision based on my desires and our discussions, where as my parents may not have the same ability to determine my desires nor be able to let me go. There is a way to have your wishes known. A medical Durable Power of Attorney. Below is a couple of links to this form. Dont leave your future to chance or have your loved ones torn apart.

In closing, I'd like to state that separating philosophical views from moral views is next to impossible. Philosophy is just that. A philosophy, not a way of life. We need people like Peter Singer to help stimulate critical thinking which allows us analyse the outcomes of our decisions. I do not believe that he is correct in his views nor do I believe in a "utilitarian" way of life. But I do see the logic of some of his arguements. Fortunately logic does not dictate our lives.

An explaination of a MDPA can be found here