I toyed with calling this Bookworm Beat the “May Day” edition, but because it was the ideology behind May Day that killed little Alfie Evans, just . . . no.
England has the highest teen pregnancy rate in Europe. The British government, faced with this problem, decided to act. Now, it might have acted by pushing abstinence and seeking ways to encourage intact families. Concerned, though, that this would have been just too Victorian and moralistic, the British government opted for a different approach: it decided to teach teenage girls how to have sex. The results were predictable (emphasis mine):
A multi-million pound initiative to reduce teenage pregnancies more than doubled the number of girls conceiving.
The Government-backed scheme tried to persuade teenage girls not to get pregnant by handing out condoms and teaching them about sex.
But research funded by the Department of Health shows that young women who attended the programme, at a cost of £2,500 each, were ‘significantly’ more likely to become pregnant than those on other youth programmes who were not given contraception and sex advice.
A total of 16 per cent of those on the Young People’s Development Programme conceived compared with just 6 per cent in other programmes.
The British government is not wholly to blame. Apparently it was modeling itself on a New York based program that also claimed that by having the government prepare girls to have commitment-free sex, it had reduced teen pregnancies. That seems to have been, to put it nicely, a lie:
The failed YPDP, launched in 2004, was based on a similar scheme in New York claimed to have significantly reduced teenage pregnancies.
However, attempts to replicate the work elsewhere in the U.S. did not lead to a fall in teenage pregnancies, casting doubt on the project as a whole.
I seem to recall reading that the D.A.R.E. anti-drug program that swept the nation had similar results. Rather than training kids away from drugs, it taught them to be more adept at using them.
Remind me again why people the world over, despite seeing the government fail time and time again when it tries to micromanage things, especially morality, are so desperate to place ever more power in government hands?
UPDATE: After a rather fraught night during which I dreamt that my beloved iPhone fell into a hippopotamus pool at the zoo (and, gosh, would I love to know the Freudian significance behind that one), it was a distinct pleasure to wake up and find all of you Hot Air visitors. Welcome! Your presence gives me the chance to break out the obligatory, but too infrequently used, “While you’re here, look around, see if you like and, as Jed Clampett would say, ‘Y’all come back now!'”
UPDATE II: Phibian took my dream and brought it to vivid life. You have to check it out!
Britain, which has shown a certain lack of spine when it comes to the Islamists on its shores, nevertheless stood up to Al Qaeda representative Abu Qatata. Britain, however, is no longer a sovereign nation. It handed over its sovereignty to the EU, which gets the final say in matters. And the EU thinks it was grossly unfair to prevent Qatada from getting his money:
European judges today overturned an order freezing the assets of Abu Qatada, the radical Muslim cleric, on the ground that its implementation breached his fundamental rights.
The ruling in the European Court of Justice is a further blow to the Government’s counter terror policies after the Law Lords’ judgment that suspects held under control orders must be given details of the allegations against them.
Qatada, once described as Osama bin Laden’s “spiritual ambassador” in Europe, was added to a United Nations sanctions blacklist freezing the funds of associates of Bin Laden, al-Qaeda or the Taleban.
The ruling today means that Qatada, currently being held in a top security prison pending deportation, will regain access to his accounts and any other assets in two months and ten days if the British Government does not appeal.
Even if one assumes the hypothetical that Abu Qatada is merely a British resident with bad ideas, and that Britain shouldn’t have deprived him of his money, I find it tragic that Britain is no longer a sovereign nation. Despite her stupidity in some things (the slave trade, letting her stubbornness lose America, siding with the Arabs in the Middle East, imperialism), she still had a shining moment as a light among nations (abandoning the slave trade, advancing the Enlightenment, holding out against Napoleonic and Nazi hegemony), and it hurts to see her as nothing more than a European vassal state.
UPDATE: By the way, will there still be an England when the women are swathed in mandatory Burkhas or when a Belgian bureaucrat sits at 10 Downing Street?
Work demands notwithstanding, I refuse to be the only conservative blog in America that doesn’t post this video of Daniel Hannan, MEP, savaging Gordon Brown’s economic policies — the same policies that Obama seeks to impose here, only on a larger scale. If this doesn’t have you standing up in your seat, screaming and cheering, then you need to hie yourself to a doctor, because you might be dead:
(Sadly, Hannan may be somewhat anomalous. Even as he speaks with tremendous clarity, strength, and intelligence, British schools are banishing history from their classrooms and citizens who suggest that gypsy campers might contribute to clean-up costs in their local-government sponsored encampments are being publicly branded as racists.)
We in America have become very introverted in the last few weeks, obsessively (and probably appropriately) focusing on our own upcoming elections. As we focus on those elections, it’s useful to remember what’s still out there:
Hardline female ‘preachers of hate’ are radicalising Muslim women at one of Britain’s top mosques. The Saudi Arabian preachers were secretly filmed ordering women to murder gays and ex-Muslims.
Undercover reporters from Channel 4’s Dispatches recorded the lectures in the women’s section of Regent’s Park Mosque in London.
An unnamed Saudi woman is seen mocking other religions – labelling Christianity ‘vile’ and an ‘abomination’. Another, known as ‘Angelique’, claims Britain is a ‘land of evil’.
The investigators attended lectures for two months at the mosque, which had promised a clean-up after another Dispatches probe just 18 months ago exposed it for spreading extreme Islamic views.
During one sermon, a woman called Um Amira says: ‘He is Muslim, and he gets out of Islam…what are we going to do? We kill him, kill, kill.’
In the programme, to be screened tomorrow, she adds that women adulterers should be stoned to death and people who have sex before marriage should get ‘100 lashes’.
Regent’s Park Mosque is one of the biggest and most prestigious Islamic institutions in the UK. Opened in 1944 by King George VI, it can hold up to 5,000 worshippers.
You can read the rest here.