Paging George Orwell

September 1, 2008

Local councils in Britain are recruiting volunteer busybodies to spy on their neighbors:

Councils are recruiting ‘citizen snoopers’ to report litter louts, dog foulers and even people who fail to sort out their rubbish properly.

The ‘environment volunteers’ will also be responsible for encouraging neighbours to cut down on waste.

The move comes as local authorities dish out £100 fines to householders who leave out too much rubbish or fail to follow recycling rules.

It will fuel fears that Britain is lurching towards a Big Brother society, following the revelation this week that the Home Office is extending some police powers to council staff and private security guards.

Critics said the latest scheme could easily be abused and encourage a culture of bin spies and curtain twitchers.

Matthew Elliott, of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: ‘Snooping on your neighbours to report recycling infringements sounds like something straight out of the East German Stasi’s copybook.

Better watch out: that nosy neighbor-lady peeping through the curtains might just be taking notes!

(hat tip: Instapundit)


Watching the Gustav coverage on Fox raises a question

September 1, 2008

Is there any figure in TV journalism slimier than Geraldo Rivera?

Outside of the whole of MSNBC, that is.


Fat people cause global warming

September 1, 2008

Will Al Gore apologize for the damage he’s done? Thinking

(See? No mention of Sarah Palin… Oh, drat!)


Oh, the scandal! (Not.)

September 1, 2008

By now most of the world has heard that Sarah Palin’s teenaged daughter, Bristol, is five months pregnant. The McCain campaign released this statement:

"We have been blessed with five wonderful children who we love with all our heart and mean everything to us. Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. We’re proud of Bristol’s decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support.

"Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family. We ask the media to respect our daughter and Levi’s privacy as has always been the tradition of children of candidates."

In any normal situation, this wouldn’t be newsworthy. But, this isn’t a normal situation: it is a US presidential election year and thus the common rules of good taste are taken out back and shot. You see, the Palins had to make this statement because of the disgusting and scurrilous rumors that started on Far Left trash-blogs and spread to supposedly respectable bloggers and media. To protect their daughter and infant child from the attacks of the puerile Left, they had to make public something that should be the concern of no one but the families involved.

John McCain understands this. The campaign has stated that the pregnancy came out during the vetting process; judging from what I’ve seen of Sarah Palin, she probably told him up front, knowing that it could be a problem. I also find it very believable that he chose to respect the Palins’ privacy: the McCains themselves have been very private about their children, with only their daughter Meghan participating in the campaign.

But, put all that aside. There is no scandal here. Unmarried teenage pregnancy is a commonplace in America. It’s not the fact of the pregnancy that matters, but how the parents and their families handle the situation. The Palins are evangelical Christians who take a very pro-life stance. They acted on those beliefs when they learned their new son Trig would be born with Downs Syndrome, and they are doing that again when faced with Bristol’s pregnancy. In both cases I’ve seen nothing but a loving and supportive family, and I’m confident that Bristol, her fiance, and their child will have all the help they need to get through the inevitable tough times. This happened in my own family, when a relative became pregnant out of high school and out of wedlock. Today, she and her husband, the father, have a happy family with several children and have been married for over 20 years. With the right support, I see no reason the same can’t happen with Bristol and her new family.

Again, a baby is not a scandal, and the Palins are not hypocrites. Not living up to the responsibilities new life brings would be both scandalous and hypocritical, but there is nothing here to suggest that’s the case. This being an election year, politics are inevitably involved. But, I suspect this will rebound in McCain and Palin’s favor, as many, many American families can relate to similar situations of their own and will react in revulsion to the Left’s nauseating attacks.

FAIR IS FAIR DEPARTMENT: I’ve criticized him heavily and won’t vote for him, but good for Barack Obama for taking the high road on this.

LINKS: John Podhoretz tells one smearing blogger to choke on it and concludes God is just. More at Sister Toldjah, Blue Crab Boulevard, and Fausta’s blog; at Hot Air, Allahpundit has plenty of updates; Ann Althouse sees a anti-working mother attack and wonders if a man would be asked the same questions. A rebuttal to the Left’s charge that Palin is a hypocrite regarding contraception. Apparently the people of the Palins’ hometown, Wasilla, have known for quite a while and don’t think it’s anyone else’s business, either.

FINALLY: This wasn’t supposed to be an "all Palin, all the time" blog, but crap like this I can’t resist commenting on. That said, some foreign affairs palate-cleansers will be coming soon. Really.