This might explain why so many women on Russian mail-order-bride websites have young children.

…So I hear.

Imagine if Bush sponsored an initiative called “Give birth to a patriot”:

The governor of a Russian province gave workers an afternoon off and told them to go home and multiply in the most direct attempt yet by officials seeking to tackle the country’s growing depopulation crisis…

In exchange for an afternoon of state-sponsored passion, his “Give birth to a patriot” campaign launched last week offers parents who give birth next year on June 12, Russia’s Independence Day, a range of incentives from a fridge or washing machine to a four-wheel-drive vehicle, depending on how many children the couple already has.

That’s one way to deal with demography. Here’s another way:

Britons suffering from depression could soon be legally helped to die in Switzerland if a test case in the country’s Supreme Court is successful next month.

Ludwig Minelli, the founder of Dignitas, the Zurich-based organisation that has helped 54 Britons to die, revealed yesterday that his group was seeking to overturn the Swiss law that allows them to assist only people with a terminal illness.

Captain Ed’s written an impassioned post condemning the Dignitas proposal. Me, I don’t know. To borrow an old line from the Simpsons: my conscience and common sense say “stop,” but my libertarianism cries — “proceed.”

These are weighty issues, though, requiring serious contemplation. I often find when grappling with a moral dilemma that staring at an appropriately solemn image can help concentrate my mind. The following was useful to me as I was writing this post. I hope it’ll be useful to you too.