Silence and Denial Don’t Work: Ireland, Malta, the European Union and the Lessons of Savita’s Death

By: Tuesday November 20, 2012 5:18 pm

Much has been said about the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar in Galway, Ireland last month. Even before seeing the outcome of the official investigation we can conclude that her death was the result of a combination of factors: inhumane laws, lack of guidelines on how to apply the laws that do exist, fear of prosecution on behalf of doctors, medical incompetence, influences of the most conservative wing of the Catholic Church over hospitals, and — as pointed out recently by Jodi Jacobson — a general climate of misogyny, poisoning both the medical establishment and society at large.


We Are All Savita Halappanavar: Catholic Hospital in Ireland Denies Woman Life-Saving Abortion

By: Thursday November 15, 2012 5:51 am

Savita [a Hindu] said: ‘I am neither Irish nor Catholic’ but they said there was nothing they could do.

Last month, a woman was admitted to a hospital in Galway, Ireland. She was 17 weeks pregnant with a wanted child. She was experiencing severe back pain. She was found to be miscarrying the pregnancy.

Within days, she was dead.

Why? Because she ended up in a Catholic hospital, governed by an ethic that even a non-viable fetus doomed to die is more important than a living, breathing 31-year-old woman.

It really is that simple.

Resetting the Market: Ireland’s Plan for Mass Mortgage Write-Downs

By: Tuesday October 9, 2012 9:32 am

Now, years later, the Irish government has resigned themselves to do what every country with a housing collapse ought to do – reset the market.

Apologizing for America, and Why

By: Thursday July 26, 2012 8:00 pm

It’s fitting, really, that Mitt Romney’s first significant experience in the Old World involved riding a bicycle, since his latest seems to require a helmet, with or without the bike. One thing we do know is that a gangly, draft-dodging 20-year old yammering about Golden Tablets and whatnot is considerably less newsworthy (and funny) than a presidential candidate (!) making an even bigger ass of himself, once the charm of youthful earnestness has long since been so utterly trampled under the stomping hooves of arrogant, plutocratic cluelessness. If he had any sense, Romney would try one of two things: A) Get his act together, or B) Make the trip onto a comedy tour, before it’s too late.

Spanish Bank Bailout Already Collapsing as Solution for Euro-Zone

By: Tuesday June 12, 2012 10:00 am

The pattern I’m seeing in Europe these days is that each “solution” is given less and less time to work before the markets go right back into crisis mode. And indeed, that’s where we are. The Spanish bank bailout lifted spirits on Friday, and by Monday everyone went back to the same worries. Global markets dipped. Spanish debt yields are soaring, approaching the 7% danger zone seen as impossible for sustained financial management of a sovereign. And now people are worried about Italy too.

Greece Nearing Deal on Sovereign Debt Haircut

By: Saturday January 21, 2012 7:40 am

In Greece, creditors and the government continued their work on a debt deal that would give a haircut to debt holders and set a new interest rate going forward, reducing Greece’s debt level. After hedge funds appeared to be playing a game of chicken by holding out on a deal, cooler heads may have prevailed.

61% Favor Idea of an Independent Presidential Candidate Running

By: Wednesday November 2, 2011 8:57 am

The American people are now very favorably inclined towards the idea of an independent presidential candidate challenging both Barack Obama and the eventual Republican nominee next year, according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll

The New America: Home Demolition Rises as “Solution” to Housing Crisis

By: Friday October 14, 2011 7:25 am

Foreclosures continue to increase, with 610,337 filings last quarter (that averages out to almost 2.5 million annually), and new default notices also increased 14%. And the foreclosure backlog continued to pile up, because banks cannot prove ownership of many of the homes. So some banks are finding it cheaper to just demolish foreclosed homes than pay to keep them up.

50 Years After the Start of the Berlin Wall, We’re Still Building Walls

By: Saturday August 13, 2011 9:00 am

Fifty years ago today, East German soldiers began overseeing the construction of the Berlin Wall. That wall came down in 1989, but as Der Spiegel reminds us, other walls remain elsewhere in the world.

Even more insidious, though, are the invisible walls we build with money and defend with lawyers, all in an attempt to defend the status quo and nail things down as they are right now.

Sorry, but life is like a river, and you can’t nail it down. Count me among those who yearn for life without such walls.

Benedict’s Choice for New Philly Archbishop Signals Increased Church vs. State Battles Ahead

By: Saturday July 23, 2011 10:00 am

This past week, Pope Benedict XVI named Denver Archbishop Charles J. Chaput to succeed Cardinal Justin Rigali as head of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. While this is an in-house decision of the Roman Catholic church, it will have major implications far beyond Philly, and reaches deeply into the broader political discussions in the US and beyond. Chaput is a leading conservative voice on church and state, and a strong defender of the church in general, and he’s stepping into the biggest church vs. state battle going on right now outside of Ireland.

Naming Chaput to head up the Philadelphia Archdiocese put one of Benedict’s most articulate and powerful voices front and center in those battles, and also changes the secular political calculus for 2012 in Pennsylvania and beyond.

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