January 26, 2016

Authoritarian Measures Fail to Stop the Bleeding in China (Updated)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:12 am

The Shanghai exchange has fallen to well below where it was before last year’s rally began:


Tuesday’s close at 2750 is well below the 3076 seen at the beginning of the rally, the dip to 2970 in September and the more recent dip before temporary stability of 2880.

Chinese authorities have blamed (and in some cases jailed) “speculators” and “malicious short-sellers.” Alleged high-frequency traders have also been jailed. Executives have “gone missing” — all to no avail.

The suspicion here is that in the next several months the situation get worse instead of better as more of the reality of the China’s sputtering economy become known — despite authorities’ attempts to suppress. Expect more journalists to also see the inside of jails.

Maybe the idea of trying to combine capitalism with heavy-handed, state-controlled central planning isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.


UPDATE, January 27, 1:15 a.m.: “China’s Shanghai Composite Index (Wednesday) shed 2.4 percent to 2,682.65, adding to Tuesday’s 6.4 percent loss. The Chinese benchmark has now given up almost all the gains made since December 2014.”

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (012616)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: The March for Life — Fight for What’s Right, Irrespective of the Odds

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Ken Blackwell at CNS News:

January 21, 2016 | 10:27 AM EST

It has been more than four decades since the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that the unborn were of no account. Precious life created in the image of God was treated as but an inconvenience to be removed “on demand.” A Constitution drafted by those who believed in life and liberty became a license to kill the most helpless and defenseless among us. The ruling greatly accelerated what Pope John Paul II termed the “culture of death.”

Although Roe’s most devastating impact remains the thousands upon thousands of babies never allowed to take their first breath, the high court decision also spurred a generation of liberal judicial activism which has malformed America’s Constitution and system of government. The problem is not energetic judges, but jurists who rewrite rather than enforce the Constitution. Today, the Court acts like a nine-member continuing constitutional convention.

An unwanted pregnancy is a significant burden. The reasons for one are many, and the political process is not the place to judge the reasons why. But abortion is not the answer. The consequences are rarely benign for women who abort their babies. Regrets are common, physical problems are real, and psychological harm can be great. The body seems to naturally rebel against efforts to destroy what it has created.

Yet a worse fate is reserved for the child, just months away from independent existence. No one has an obligation to conceive. And contraceptives are widely available. Indeed, the federal government now insists that they must be “free,” paid for by the rest of us. So there’s little reason for an unwanted pregnancy.

However, having created life, none of us, not even the mother, has a right to end it. There’s no need to argue theology about souls and biology about the beginning of life. We all know that starting with a fertilized egg yields a crying newborn nine months later. Once on the continuum of life there’s no excuse for ending it, except in truly extraordinary circumstances, such as a threat to the life of the mother. It is fine to talk about choice, but except in the thankfully rare case of rape, the choice was to have sex. The issue then is taking responsibility.

There’s something more. Although sometimes promoted in the name of liberation, abortion long has been directed against racial minorities. Indeed, years ago, a surprising number of “good ole’ boy” Southern legislators favored legal abortion because they imagined it would be used most by those they saw as undesirables, especially African-Americans.

Liberals today inadvertently follow in the footsteps of the apostles of Jim Crow.

Go here for the rest of Blackwell’s column.