February 29, 2012

‘African-Americans for Obama’ Revived; Media Double Standard Obvious

AAsForBHO2012It wouldn’t take more than a nanosecond for the establishment press and TV talking heads to rip into any white political candidate — Democrat or Republican — who carved out a web site devoted to “Whites for Candidate X.”

About a weeks ago, President Obama, with his powers of incumbency in tow, decided to revive something he created back in 2007: “African-Americans for Obama.” And, as seen in the Obama video which appears at the site and in what appears to be a new twist, the Obama campaign is driving a Mack through the alleged wall of separation between church and state by finding so-called “congregation captains” to maximize African-American support on his behalf. As would unfortunately be expected, the press has not covered campaign’s move; A Google News search on “African Americans for Obama” (in quotes) returns only 17 results, only four of which are arguably mainstream media items.

(more…)

Journal of Medical Ethics Paper: ‘After-Birth Abortion: Why Should the Baby Live?’

JMEBMJlogoOne thing you can say about an odious paper published at the misnamed Journal of Medical Ethics on February 23 (abstract; full text) is that at least its authors, Australians Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva, didn’t fall back on abortion-supporting American politicians’ obfuscating “choice” language in discussing what they advocate.

Here’s what the pair support: “… we need to assess facts in order to decide whether the same arguments that apply to killing a human fetus can also be consistently applied to killing a newborn human.” Their answer is “Yes, they should,” which means, based on state of current immoral law, that they advocate infanticide on demand. As offensive as their arguments supporting such a practice are, I also wish to note the arrogant “how dare you?” element of the reaction at the JME to the firestorm of outraged comments it has itself received and the criticisms posted elsewhere. But first, I have excerpted as much from the paper as I can stand without throwing up in disgust (Warning: Concepts presented will offend; bolds are mine; italics are in original):

… An examination of 18 European registries reveals that between 2005 and 2009 only the 64% of Down’s syndrome cases were diagnosed through prenatal testing. This percentage indicates that, considering only the European areas under examination, about 1700 infants were born with Down’s syndrome without parents being aware of it before birth.

to bring up such children might be an unbearable burden on the family and on society as a whole, when the state economically provides for their care. On these grounds, the fact that a fetus has the potential to become a person who will have an (at least) acceptable life is no reason for prohibiting abortion. Therefore, we argue that, when circumstances occur after birth such that they would have justified abortion, what we call after-birth abortion should be permissible.

In spite of the oxymoron in the expression, we propose to call this practice ‘after-birth abortion’, rather than ‘infanticide’, to emphasise that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus (on which ‘abortions’ in the traditional sense are performed) rather than to that of a child. Therefore, we claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be. Such circumstances include cases where the newborn has the potential to have an (at least) acceptable life, but the well-being of the family is at risk.

… The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus in the sense that both lack those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual.

Although fetuses and newborns are not persons, they are potential persons because they can develop, thanks to their own biological mechanisms, those properties which will make them ‘persons’ in the sense of ‘subjects of a moral right to life’: that is, the point at which they will be able to make aims and appreciate their own life.

The alleged right of individuals (such as fetuses and newborns) to develop their potentiality, which someone defends, is over-ridden by the interests of actual people (parents, family, society) to pursue their own well-being because, as we have just argued, merely potential people cannot be harmed by not being brought into existence.

It’s becoming all too clear that “ethicists” like Giubilini, Minerva, and other inexplicably influential people are careening down the slippery slope, on which those who warned against the consequences of allowing abortion on demand predicted society would head, at warp speed.

(more…)

4Q11 GDP: Revised From An Annualized +2.8% to +3.0%

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:36 am

From the Bureau of Economic Analysis full release:

Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property
located in the United States — increased at an annual rate of 3.0 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 (that is, from the third quarter to the fourth quarter), according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 1.8 percent.

Apparently, expectations were for an unchanged result. 3.0% was the initial expectation ahead of last month’s advance report. Zero Hedge thinks that ” if history is any precedent, it will be back down to 2.8%” in next month’s revision.

NYT’s David Brooks Goes Godwin in ‘First They Came’ Rant

In Tuesday’s New York Times print edition, supposed in-house conservative David Brooks ended his column bemoaning how the Republican base (nicknamed “wingers,” who are “Republicans on the extreme”) is ruining the “mainstream” Grand Old Party by violating a Godwin’s Law corollary, namely (rephrased for columnists) that whoever inappropriately alludes to the Nazi era in German automatically fails to make his point effectively.

Brooks final bark: “First they went after the Rockefeller Republicans, but I was not a Rockefeller Republican. Then they went after the compassionate conservatives, but I was not a compassionate conservative. Then they went after the mainstream conservatives, and there was no one left to speak for me.” Yep, he’s trying to claim he’s to the right of George W. Bush, but that he’s not sufficiently pure enough for today’s “wingers.” Sure, David.
(more…)

Slow ‘Recovery,’ Dire Consequences

What’s being sold as impressive and “normal” is unacceptable.

__________________________________________

Note: This column went up at Pajamas Media and was teased here at BizzyBlog on Monday.

__________________________________________

In December 2009, an Associated Press headline told us that the top business story of the year was “Recovery From Great Recession.” Readers of its text were informed that the previous year had seen the “Economy’s Fall — And Rebound.”

Twenty-six months later, the question I asked in response still resonates: “Rebound? What rebound?” Even though the American press has mostly pretended that they don’t exist, the unforgivable length of the post-recession malaise has caused an unprecedented growth in problems not seen since decades before most Americans were born.

If you’re looking for “good” news, the following sentence represents its full extent. For the first time in the ten quarters since the recession officially ended in June 2009, the private sector’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was larger than it was at its pre-recession peak, whether you define the recession’s beginning the way normal people do (two or more consecutive quarters of contraction, in this case beginning with the third quarter of 2008) or as the academics at the National Bureau of Economic Research whimsically determined it (December 2007):

GDPallVsPrivate4Q11asOfJan2012

IBDrecoveryGraphicUpdatedJan2012That’s nice, but as seen at the right in an updated version of a graphic originally posted at Investor’s Business Daily last year, even the overall recovery in GDP (including the government sector) which occurred during the third quarter of last year took three times as long as any recovery from any downturn since World War II.

Demonstrating that he may need to employ a ghostwriter to compose his personal correspondence in order to prevent him from going off-message, President Barack Obama informed a Maine constituent in June of last year that “It will probably take another year or two to fully dig our way out of this hole.”

This demonstrates that despite the public posturing, Obama knows full well that this nation hasn’t attained an economic recovery, and is in fact far from it.

Other benchmarks indicate how bad things really are, starting with per capita GDP. By Obama buddy Warren Buffett’s reckoning in September 2010, before the Oracle of Omaha decided to become the full-time Klingon of class warfare, we were still in a recession, and would stay in one “until real per capita GDP gets back to where it was before.” We’re probably at least a year from that threshold:

PerCapitaGDPchart4Q07to4Q11

Thus, we will have endured a half-decade of Buffett-defined recession.

The other major indicator that we have had a failure to recover is shown in the jobs numbers — not the ones relating to the overall picture, which are bad enough, but the ones breaking down part-time versus full-time employment. The following chart shows what has happened in those categories since what I have been calling the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy began at roughly May’s end in 2008. This was the point when decision-making investors, entrepreneurs, and businesspeople began running for cover as the ominous prospect that Obama might actually win the presidency and have a lapdog House Speaker and Senate Majority Leader at his beck and call became a likelihood:

JobLossesMay2008toJan2012

On the current trajectory, while Obama and his administration brag about the wonders they’ve supposedly achieved in the employment growth in the since early 2010, the economy is at least four years away from recovering the full-time jobs lost since the POR Economy began, even before considering population growth. If ObamaCare somehow survives Supreme Court challenges and congressional repeal efforts, we may see full-time employment plateau barely above where it is now.

The slow non-recovery is having dire consequences which will be felt for years. The establishment press, which fabricated the fiction that the truly roaring economy under Ronald Reagan in the 1980s was supposedly creating jobs for hamburger flippers and not much else, is virtually ignoring the frightening human cost of the worst economy since FDR dragged the country through the needlessly long-lasting depression of the 1930s. Instead, they play a colossally fraudulent game of “Let’s pretend things are just fine” with the Obama economy.

In mid-February, there was a press report about “tent cities.” No, not those erected by the pathetic losers and criminal trespassers of the Obama-endorsed Occupy movement, but places where one will find the desperately poor:

Tent cities have sprung up in and around at least 55 American cities – they represent the bleak reality of America’s poverty crisis.

… One of the largest tented camps is in Florida and is now home to around 300 people. Others have sprung up in New Jersey and Portland.

The media outlet which reported this phenomenon clearly broke ranks with the predominant press indifference. There’s a high likelihood that you never heard a word about this report, because it came from the BBC. Does anyone think that the U.S. media, which is so completely vested in Obama’s reelection that it might as well be an arm of Obama for America, is going to cover the tent city phenomenon and risk seeing them referred to as they should be, i.e., as “Obamavilles,” the 21st century incarnation of the Depression-era Hoovervilles?

Homeless advocacy groups have also gotten into the cover-up act, as illustrated in this paragraph from the 2012 The State of Homelessness in America report:

Chronic homelessness decreased by 3 percent from 110,911 in 2009 to 107,148 in 2011. The chronically homeless population has decreased by 13 percent since 2007. The decrease is associated with an increase in the number of permanent supportive housing beds from 188,636 in 2007 to 266,968 in 2011. Permanent supportive housing ends chronic homelessness.

Clever, eh? You wouldn’t know it from the excerpted paragraph, but “permanent supportive housing” is still a form of homelessness. Digging into the report to find comparable numbers, one finds that both kinds of homelessness combined have increased by over 9% during the past two years. What’s more, “The ‘doubled up’ population (people who live with friends, family or other nonrelatives for economic reasons) increased by 13 percent from 6 million in 2009 to 6.8 million in 2010.”

Meanwhile, millions of the long-term unemployed are seeing the skills which earned them middle-class standards of living dangerously erode in what is perhaps the greatest destruction of human capital this nation has ever seen. That doesn’t seem to be a problem to Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, who positively gushes over how government unemployment checks stimulate the economy.

A slowly recovering economy means that real estate values, which declined steeply during the downturn, are just staying there. If it weren’t for the administration’s failed housing market interventions, the homebuilding and resale industries, instead of treading water near their bottom, would be coming back quickly enough to justify a meaningful rebound in home values. That’s not happening, and it’s seriously harming the financial positions of millions of individuals and families.

A president with the gall to brag about the set of conditions just described and who wants us to believe, with press assistance, that this is the “new normal,” it’s the best we can hope for, and that we’d better get used to it, is one who deserves to be electorally thrown out of office on his insecure, oversized ears.

Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (022912)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:15 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

__________________________________________

Positivity: Medical miracle walks, competes after being told he couldn’t

Filed under: Health Care,Positivity — Tom @ 5:58 am

From Louisville (video at link):

Posted on February 25, 2012 at 12:13 AM
Updated Saturday, Feb 25 at 12:22 AM

He walked when doctors said he wouldn’t, and became a Division One pole vaulter when coaches said he couldn’t.

That special former UofL athlete is back in town on a mission to bring better health care to the state.

“I don’t know how to quit. I haven’t quit a day in my life. I wasn’t raised to fail,” said John Thomas Hall.

But there have been a few moments in John’s life where it would’ve been easier to throw in the towel. July 7, 1993, was one of those moments.

“I was an avid water skier. I was out working on a move that I’d seen on ESPN. I bailed really hard and broke my neck. C6, C7 fractured relocation. There was a severe bruise to my spinal cord,” he recalls.

At 16-years-old, John could only use his right arm. Told he’d never walk again, he powered through rehab one grueling step at a time.

John graduated in 2000, and decided he wanted to establish a foundation to support those suffering from paralysis. Named Team Walk On, the foundation started to thrive. Then John had another one of those throw in the towel moments.

“I found out I had contracted leukemia through a routine physical test. They found it in my left testicle. They removed that and I went through six months of treatment in the state of Indiana,” said John.

The man who beat paralysis would go on to beat cancer. But just five months later, the cancer returned.

“Death’s knocked at my door three times now. I know what it’s like and I’ve seen it up close. It’s no picnic,” said John.

Cancer free now for almost a year and a half, John’s journey has come full circle. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Video: Economic Freedom in America Today

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:01 am

Sobering, and appropriately critical where criticism is warranted: