Abortion foes breathe life into Pro-Choice ad

Abortion is illegal in Poland. To no one’s surprise this doesn’t mean abortions aren’t performed there, it’s just moved them to the back alleys – unless, of course, you’re rich. Or maybe not. A pro-abortion group has been up hanging posters which claim it’s cheaper (and less dangerous) to leave the country than to get one in country. And they did it using the MasterCard “Priceless” trope.

AdPlane ticket to England – 300 zloty. 

Accommodation – 240 zloty.

Abortion in a public clinic – 0 zloty.

Relief after a procedure carried out in decent conditions – priceless.

There’s a line at the bottom which reads: "For everything, you pay less than an underground abortion in Poland." (FYI: $1 = 2.81 zloty)

Some of the Brits have their knickers in a twist and claim this promotes “abortion tourism.” (Headlines like “NOW POLES GET FREE ABORTIONS ON NHS,” make me suspect the press has manufactured at least some of the alleged outrage.)

Several stories from UK news organizations include the following claim (or something much like it): “Thousands of Polish women travel to Britain for an abortion each year, taking advantage of the reciprocal agreement for the provision of free medical care under EU laws.” However the closest any of the reports come to citing the basis for this claim is by identifying it as coming from “A Polish source.

A church publication called The Trumpet says, “A report by the Polish Federation for Women and Family Planning stated that 10,000 Polish women had abortions in Britain in 2007—costing the National Health Service (nhs) between ₤5 and ₤10 million.” Oddly, the most recent report in English on the group’s website is dated 2002. Also it is hard for me to understand why a Polish group in favor of liberalization of the abortion laws would have calculated the cost of all this to the NHS. But what do I know?

Even if somehow these statistics were true, it means 2007 was a banner year. The UK’s Office of National Statistics said only 30 Polish women took this course of action in 2008.

The only truly priceless thing here is the free publicity all this has given to SROM, the group behind the ad. Hard to see how else a bunch of street posters in Lodz would be making international headlines.

The word of the year in American, English, German, Dutch, Austrian, Japanese, Chinese (Taiwan but NOT the People’s Republic) and William Safire

Well, the votes are in and whomever decides these things has spoken (unlike the Minnesota senatorial race. I say we just let the governor of Illinois decide) we now know what the words of the year are in many languages. Not surprisingly, they were all basically about one of two things: sex and money — except when they were about meat.

Winner: Safire.

Runner-up: Taiwan

High School Musical promo panties banned in UK

Mrs. CollateralDamage got the story:

Following objections by parents in Great Britian, Disney has stopped selling High School Musical themed panties for “tween” girls. The panties have the phrase “Dive In” emblazoned on them, prompting an uproar in the UK. According to Disney, the slogan is from the swimming pool scene featured in “High School Musical 2.”

That filthy, filthy mouse.

War On Terror brand suffers major setback as UK ends partnership

File under: Declare victory and go home.

The words “war on terror” will no longer be used by the British government to describe attacks on the public, the country’s chief prosecutor said Dec. 27. Sir Ken Macdonald said terrorist fanatics were not soldiers fighting a war but simply members of an aimless “death cult.” The Director of Public Prosecutions said: ‘We resist the language of warfare, and I think the government has moved on this. It no longer uses this sort of language.” … His remarks signal a change in emphasis across Whitehall, where the “war on terror” language has officially been ditched. Officials were concerned it could act as a recruiting tool for Al Qaeda, which is determined to manufacture a battle between Islam and the West.

NO WAR ON TERROR? But what brand will you use to scare the electorate with????

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Icons for a new economy: Piggy banks that explode or eat your money

Here’s something to buy while waiting for those tankers full of $100-a-barrel oil to arrive at the refineries:

bang1) The “Savings Bomb,” which goes on sale in Japan next week, “explodes” and scatters coins if users fail to save for a long time, toy manufacturer TOMY Co Ltd said Thursday.

2) Gobble and MeMe Money monsters are little chatterboxes that make hilarious and naughty comments after they eat up your precious coins and notes. Some thing like, “Money Money Money in my Tummy, Uurp!” in the tune of an Abba song. When you shove coins inside it mouth, it says, “Mmm…Jingle Jingle in my tummy” Not only this, if you don’t put your daily dose of coins, the monster gets frustrated and nags at passersby saying, “You make Gobble/MeMe angry!” monster

The US version will be named something much scarier, like The Federal Budget or The Heating Bill.

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