July 31, 2018

Why Hasn’t the Press Reported That Paul Manafort Was Exonerated 8 Years Ago? Federal Prosecutors Led by ROD ROSENSTEIN Declined to Charge Him.

Okay, everyone. I want a show of hands (too bad I can’t see everyone participating).

How many of you know that Paul Manafort was exonerated by federal investigators who investigated his financial and tax affairs eight years ago?

I doubt that more than a couple of people, if any, raised their hands.

How can the press explain away its collective failure to prominently report this quite pertinent fact for NINE MONTHS?

A friend told many months ago that he had heard that Manafort had been exonerated years ago in a Fox News segment. (See Dictionary.com for the word’s definition. It fits the circumstances.)

I’ve searched for confirmation of this online (including at Fox) on and off for months. If it’s out there, it’s very well-hidden, because I haven’t found it.

A friend informed me late Tuesday morning that Fox’s Andrew Napolitano brought this point up again, with an additional twist, on that morning’s Fox & Friends.

Here it is:

Transcript:

ANDREW NAPOLITANO: Here’s Manafort’s defense: I was investigated for all this by the government eight years ago, and I was exonerated. And I’m going to put on the stand as my first witness the young lawyer who exonerated me.

You know who that young lawyer is? Rod Rosenstein.

STEVE DOOCY: What?

NAPOLITANO: Yes! So this is going to be quite a show if they succeed in getting Rosenstein, who now runs the Justice Department —

DOOCY: So why was I innocent then and guilty now?

NAPOLITANO: There you go.

You heard right. Manafort was “exonerated” by federal prosecutors led by Rod Rosenstein.

Napolitano made his points again, and more strongly, Tuesday afternoon in an interview with Fox’s Trish Regan:

Transcript:

NAPOLITANO: Paul Manafort’s lawyers are former federal prosecutors who are every bit as talented and experienced as the people on the other side of the courtroom.

One of their arguments is this: Paul Manafort was investigated by the federal government, by a team of federal prosecutors and FBI agents for all this stuff eight years ago, and they exonerated him.

And who was the young prosecutor that led that exoneration? Rod Rosenstein, who now runs the Justice Department.

And they have threatened to call Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein as their first witness and have him give to the jury all the reasons why he declined the prosecution of these charges eight years ago.

This all reeks of substantive (though not technical) double jeopardy, despite the Mueller team surely covering its tracks on this by claiming they found details in Manafort’s finances representing “something new.” This explains the charges of bank-fraud conspiracy and money-laundering conspiracy but NO tax charges, a matter National Review’s Andrew McCarthy who along with many others appears not to know about Manafort’s years-ago exoneration, considered a “a glaring omission in the indictment” when it was handed down last year.

The fact that Mueller thinks he can succeed in prosecuting Manafort would seem to suggest that Rosenstein’s team (with what my friend tells me was the acknowledged help of the IRS after it was approached by Mueller about anything it might have on Manafort mentioned in the Fox segment he saw months ago) conducted a sloppy or incomplete investigation eight years ago. If Mueller didn’t believe that, how can he defend indicting Manafort?

The big question for the media is why the Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post, and so many other news outlets appear to never have reported Manafort’s years-ago exoneration. I guarantee you that most Americans are unaware of it, and that if so informed, they would be shocked and in many cases angry that they’re only learning this now.

Even if they can prove they did note Manafort’s previous exoneration in late paragraphs in a few print and online reports, the press — especially CNN and MSNBC, which we should recall spent the entire day of Manafort’s indictment exclusively covering that story — would be treating any other defendant not associated with the Trump administration in a case like this very differently. They would certainly have mentioned something as important as a defendant’s previous exoneration from time to time during the past nine months.

As for Rosenstein, Mueller appears to have tried to keep Manafort’s lawyers from calling him as a witness by NOT including tax charges in the indictment. If so, the judge in this case needs to see through the charade and force Rosenstein to testify. If that doesn’t happen, Manafort, by definition, even if he’s ultimately found not guilty, will not have received a genuinely fair trial. The jury needs to hear from Rosenstein himself why Manafort was, in effect, “innocent then.”

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (073118)

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: Texas man thanks San Diego lifeguards who saved his life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From San Diego — a month old, but a great story worth noting:

Posted: Jun 21, 2018 1:34 AM EDT
Updated: Jun 21, 2018 10:42 AM EDT

A special reunion Wednesday between a Texas man and the San Diego lifeguards who saved his life.

On June 9th, Ian Black, 35, was in San Diego visiting his parents. He told News 8 he thought he was a decent swimmer, but he was no match for the high surf and strong rip currents off the coast of Windandsea beach.

Black said the rip current was so strong he panicked and ran out of energy. “I do remember yelling for help and gurgling. I thought that was it – I would do anything for a breath of air,” he said.

Nearby surfers saw Black head down in the water and pulled his body up onto their board. When he was pulled from the water, Black was not breathing and had no pulse.

Once on dry land, San Diego lifeguards James Earnest and Shane McIntyre began their efforts to revive Black. “He was unconscious, blue and had no pulse so we immediately initiated CPR,” said McIntyre.

Earnest and McIntyre said the surfers who pulled Black from the water played a critical role. “For us this is what we are paid to do, and everyone did the best they could,” said Earnest.

Black spent six days in the hospital. Two of the days he was in a medically induced coma. After being released, Black said he wanted to return to the lifeguard station in La Jolla to thank the men who saved him.

“They are my heroes. These people did incredible things to save my life. I got incredible lucky,” said Black.

McIntyre said, “to see that he is fully recovered, that really validates what we do.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

July 30, 2018

Blumer’s Bandwidth Burn (073018)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 10:11 am

Econoclasm Tidbit

The Wall Street Journal claims to have great news for those wishing to change careers — “Employers Drop Requirements As Job Market Tightens”:

Employers looking to tamp down hiring costs are left with three options: Offer more money upfront, lower their standards or retrain current staff in coding, procurement or other necessary skills. This marks a sharp reversal from the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis, when companies could be pickier.

Consider me skeptical. But if so, that’s the kind of “new normal” one likes to see.

_____________________________

Fact Check Folly

Politifact claims that Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s tweet that “Trump tax cut benefits all congressional districts, up to $44,697 per family” is only “Half True.”

McCarthy’s statement isn’t totally true, but that’s because it’s an understatement. The underlying Heritage Foundation study says that the “typical” family of four will save that much. In other words, $44,697 is not the upper limit, which was McCarthy’s contention. Politifact’s nitpicking Louis Jacobsen wouldn’t concede that fact, and instead went after Heritage for using average savings instead of median savings, totally missing the larger point.

_____________________________

Media Bias and Ignorance Briefs

Is the ability to avoid negative U.S. press scrutiny for stories like this one at the UK Guardian one of the reasons Jeff Bezos bought — and massively overpaid for — the Washington Post?:

Accidents at Amazon: workers left to suffer after warehouse injuries
Guardian investigation reveals numerous cases of Amazon workers being treated in ways that leave them homeless, unable to work or bereft of income after workplace accidents

The publisher of the New York Times is whining about President Donald Trump’s “deeply troubling anti-press rhetoric.”

Give me a break. The Times has given forums to columnists who have called Trump a “professional racist” (a lie), issued news reports which see (per a NewsBusters post) “deep-red racism everywhere” among his supporters (another lie), and has frequently published and promoted fake news almost exclusively targeting or attempting to discredit Trump and his supporters.

As such, the Times should be asking itself how much its serial smears and dishonesty have contributed to Liberal America’s political violence problem. Attacks and threats, predominantly against Republicans and conservatives (e.g., Steve Scalise and the roughly dozen Congressmen targeted last year; Rand Paul, the target of three threats on his life; and so many others), have become frighteningly routine.

Breitbart’s John Nolte has compiled a list of 538 acts of “Violence and Harassment Against Trump Supporters.” He calls them “media-approved,” which crosses into overwrought hyperbole — but not by much. “Mostly condoned and often excused” would be a sadly accurate term.

_____________________________

Social Media Suppression Watch

Washington Free Beacon“Twitter’s Statement About How They Don’t Shadow Ban Kinda Sounds Like They Shadow Ban.” Because they do.

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (073018)

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: 9th U.S. Circuit Court Of Appeals Ruling Is A Big Win For Gun Rights

Filed under: 2nd Amendment,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Bearing Arms (bolds are mine):

Posted at 5:15 pm on July 24, 2018

Two judges on a three-judge panel in the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to open carry on Tuesday.

The ruling overturned a lower district court’s decision that stated George Young, a man from Hawaii, did not have his Second Amendment right violated when authorities twice denied him a permit to carry a firearm outside of his home.

The summary of the court opinion is as follows:

Analyzing the text of the Second Amendment and reviewing the relevant history, including founding-era treatises and nineteenth century case law, the panel stated that it was unpersuaded by the County’s and the State’s argument that the Second Amendment only has force within the home. The panel stated that once identified as an individual right focused on self-defense, the right to bear arms must guarantee some right to self-defense in public. The panel held that because Hawaii law restricted plaintiff in exercising the right to carry a firearm openly, it burdened conduct protected by the Second Amendment.

The panel stated that restricting open carry to those whose job entails protecting life or property necessarily restricts open carry to a small and insulated subset of law-abiding citizens. The panel reasoned that the typical, law-abiding citizen in the State of Hawaii was entirely foreclosed from exercising the core Second Amendment right to bear arms for self-defense. The panel concluded that Hawaii’s limitation on the open carry of firearms to those “engaged in the protection of life and property” violated the core of the Second Amendment and was void under any level of scrutiny.

Go here for the rest one the column.

July 29, 2018

Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (072918)

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: World Youth Day contest welcomes Catholic filmmakers

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Panama City, Panama:

Jul 23, 2018 / 02:37 pm

A Catholic film ministry has opened a contest for the 2019 World Youth Day to encourage young cinematographers to create short movies promoting truth, beauty, and goodness.

“We’re looking for any opportunity to nurture the next generation of young movie makers, video artists, and those looking to showcase their story through the powerful medium of film,” said Suzanne Haugh, founder and director of Goodness Reigns.

The name of the contest is “Share the Story,” and includes four categories – top film for teens 18 and under, top film for adults over 18, best video with original music, and best profile of a current charity or missionary. The winner of each category will receive $1,000.

The contest is officially part of the World Youth Day 2019 in Panama City, Panama. Selected films will be shown at the youth event on January 22-27. The films can be up to 7 minutes long, and submissions for all categories are due by midnight October 15.

The submissions will be critiqued based on the filmmakers’ ability to communicate the message, engage with youth, develop original content, and prompt reflection.

The topics may include teachings of the Church, the lives of the saints, and stories from the bible. The films may also portray the sacraments, social justice concerns, and missionary outreach.

Goodness Reigns, a Kentucky-based organization, has participated in the previous three World Youth Days in Madrid, Rio, and Kraków. Organizers said the contest promotes a “missionary dynamism,” and also helps filmmakers improve their craft and build connections.

“If we can also help connect these budding directors to industry professionals who can help improve their craft or technique, then that’s a bonus!” said Haughs. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

July 28, 2018

Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (072818)

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: Hero eight-year-old schoolboys help find woman who had been missing for FIVE days concealed in their secret Dumfries hideout

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Kelton Parish, Scotland:

25th July 2018, 3:00 pm

Drew and Fergus, from Kelton, were out playing in their hideaway with sisters Josie and Megan on Friday night when they stumbled upon the 63-year-old

TWO hero eight-year-olds from Dumfries have been hailed by cops after they helped find a woman who had been missing for five days.

Drew and Fergus, from Kelton, were out playing in their hideaway with sisters Josie and Megan on Friday night when they stumbled upon the 63-year-old.

The quick-thinking lads alerted their parents immediately, who then phoned 999.

The woman was taken to hospital and officers say the boys “may well have saved her life”.

As a reward they were given a tour of their local police station with their proud parents.

A spokesperson for Police Scotland said: “We organised a special tour of Loreburn Street Police Station for 8 year olds Drew and Fergus last night after they helped us find a missing person. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

July 27, 2018

Prior-Quarter and Prior-Year Revisions to GDP: Biggest News Is Improvement in Reported Bush 43-Era Growth; Also, Obama Era Now Shows Three Quarterly Contractions

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:48 am

The government revised previously published quarterly and annual GDP figures today.

The earliest annual revision is to 1933 (!), reducing that year’s contraction to 1.2 percent. from 1.3 percent.

None of the roughly annual revisions from 1933-2004 are greater than 0.1 percent in either direction.

The quarterly revisions are another matter. They reach back to 1947, where the middle two quarters were revised down by a combined 1.0 points. Though they all largely offset, the size of individual quarterly revisions beginning in 1959 is pretty large. The absolute values of the revisions is almost 8 percent of the total of all values published in the past 60 years. It seems pretty stunning that we’d see that level of change in supposedly long-settled numbers after all this time.

Then there’s this with the annual revisions:

GDPrevsTo2005thru2009inJuly2018

Over a decade later, we’re learning that calendar 2005, 2006 and 2007 during the Bush 43 administration all had better growth than originally thought. Additionally, 2008 and 2009 weren’t as bad.

The quarterly breakdown of the revisions made during this period is also pretty telling:

GDPrevs4Q04thru4Q09inJuly2018

Commenting on each highlighted item:

  • The upward revision to 4Q04 means that the Bush 43 era turned in 5 quarters with growth as strong or stronger than the 4.1 percent 1Q18 growth reported today. During an 11-quarter stretch from 3Q03 to 1Q06, growth averaged 3.9 percent.
  • The 5.4 percent growth turned in during Q106 makes it the second Bush 43 quarter (along with 3Q03′s 7.0 percent) with growth greater than any quarter seen during the Obama era (its best, in Q214, was revised down today to 5.1 percent from 5.2 percent).
  • The press screamed about a recession being just around the corner in early 2007. The first-quarter revision to that year shows how ridiculous that was. (Aside: Especially considering the whining which came in during the Obama years about how first quarters were alleged being understated because of seasonal adjustment problems.
  • Though the middle quarters of 2007 were revised down, the fourth quarter was revised sharply upward to 2.5 percent. Yet the National Bureau of Economic Research still insists that the recession began in December 2007.
  • Revisions to the first two quarters of 2008 further weaken the NBER’s case that the recession was underway during that period. Simply put, how can you be in a recession during a quarter of 2.1 percent growth? The recession really didn’t begin until shortly before the third quarter began, which is exactly when I called it.
  • The change to 1Q09 shows that the recession Barack Obama inherited wasn’t as bad as the left has been insisting.
  • The improvement in recovery shown in the final two quarters of 2009 is nice to know, but the rest of the Obama era had a net 0.3-point decrement. The Obama era also now shows three quarters of contraction (Q311, at -0.1 percent, has been added to the two we already had in Q111 and Q114). Yet the press has consistently treated the Obama era as one of continuous but mediocre (their preferred term: “steady”) expansion. That’s horse manure.

Not shown above is how awful the second half of 2015 and all of 2016 were. Quarterly growth only averaged 1.65 percent during that period. The economy was weak going into the election, and the American people instinctively knew it.

UPDATE: Finally, I should also note that  1Q17 was revised up by 0.6 points, while Trump’s first three quarters in 2017 (Q2 through Q4) were revised down by a combined 1.1 points. I think a reasonable interpretation of this is that Trump’s election pumped more enthusiasm into the first-quarter economy than originally thought, but that enthusiasm only gets you so far. The new figures (3.0 percent, 2.8 percent, and 2.3 percent for Q2, Q3, and Q4) indicate that the economy needed the genuine juice of December’s tax cuts to stay on its feet and avoid a downturn.

Whether today’s 4.1 percent second-quarter 2018 growth figure is sustainable is obviously an open and crucial question. That said, imagine what the situation would be if the tax cuts hadn’t passed — and extending the sense of relief even further, if Hillary Clinton had been elected.

2Q18 Gross Domestic Product (072618): An Annualized +4.1 Percent; Fixed Corporate Investment and Exports Are Strong, Inventory Change a Significant Drag

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:11 am

NOTE: Also see the separate post on prior-year revisions published later today.

____________________________

OVERVIEW:

An unnamed fixed-income strategist contends at MarketWatch that “never has a reading of gross domestic product held so much significance.”

If that person is exaggerating, it’s not by much. Today’s report will be:

  • The first full-quarter referendum on the effectiveness of the tax cuts passed in December.
  • Because of delays in new policy implementation, inherited old policies, delays in key nominee confirmations and the like, the first report whose results finally can be almost completely assigned to Trump administration policies for credit (or blame).
  • The first revised look at how the economy fared during 2017 and early 2018 and during the latter (and perhaps even earlier) Obama years, since the report will also contain revised growth data going back several years.

PREDICTIONS:

  • Moody’s has an annualized 4.0 percent. Its CNBC consensus is 4.1 percent.
  • The Atlanta Federal Reserve has pulled back to 3.8 percent during the past few days.
  • The New York Federal Reserve’s GDP Nowcast model shows 2.69 percent; its last update was July 20.
  • IHS Macroeconomic Advisers, which was estimating 5.3 percent in late June based on the quarter’s first two months, now believes that the economy contracted by 0.2 percent in June (seriously). Though its latest report doesn’t have a published second-quarter growth percentage estimate, one can infer from its estimated GDP figures that the economy grew in raw terms by 0.92 percent in the second quarter, which annualizes to 3.7 percent.
  • A contrarian take at Zero Hedge quotes a Morgan Stanley prediction of 4.7 percent. The author believes that it will be artificially juiced because “exports have surged and inventories have swelled” on expectations that tariffs and trade tensions will make many raw materials and components more expensive in future quarters. The irony which shouldn’t be missed is that the press has spent much of the past 60 days looking for negative news about employment and commerce caused by trade tensions — and now the author of the ZH post says that it will cause (temporarily) good news, followed by weakness thereafter. It seems likely that the press will do a 180, swallow this “logic,” and use it to pooh-pooh today’s results, especially if they’re strong. CBS is already going there.

THE REVISIONS:

Three things to look for here are, first, the effect on previously reported quarters and years during the Obama era. I’m finding it hard to imagine that they’ll remain at even the largely mediocre levels previously reported, primarily because of serious dips in manufacturing orders and shipments during late 2014, all of 2015, and all of 2016 (note that the figures at the links are NOT adjusted for inflation).

Second, we’ll also see how the Trump era’s first five quarters get revised. I don’t expect to see much movement here, but if there is, I think it will be slightly upward.

Third, if the first quarter of 2018 gets revised up significantly, one could argue that it has taken away a bit of the growth everyone is expecting to see in the second quarter.

RELEASE:

The report will be here at 8:30 a.m. (full text with tables will be here). I’ve loaded all previous GDP growth figures into a spreadsheet, and IF the prior revisions are significant, I’ll post separately on them.

Below is the pre-release spreadsheet showing all quarters during Trump era, with today’s figures obviously not included and prior quarters not yet revised.

Fasten your seat belts.

UPDATE, 8:30 A.M: HERE IT IS —

Real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018 (table 1), according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP increased 2.2 percent (revised).

The Bureau emphasized that the second-quarter advance estimate released today is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency. The “second” estimate for the second quarter, based on more complete data, will be released on August 29, 2018.

The increase in real GDP in the second quarter reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), exports, nonresidential fixed investment, federal government spending, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by negative contributions from private inventory investment and residential fixed investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.

The acceleration in real GDP growth in the second quarter reflected accelerations in PCE and in exports, a smaller decrease in residential fixed investment, and accelerations in federal government spending and in state and local spending. These movements were partly offset by a downturn in private inventory investment and a deceleration in nonresidential fixed investment. Imports decelerated.

Current-dollar GDP increased 7.4 percent, or $361.5 billion, in the second quarter to a level of $20.4 trillion. In the first quarter, current-dollar GDP increased 4.3 percent, or $209.2 billion.

The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 2.3 percent in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 2.5 percent in the first quarter. The PCE price index increased 1.8 percent, compared with an increase of 2.5 percent. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 2.0 percent, compared with an increase of 2.2 percent.

Personal Income

Current-dollar personal income increased $183.7 billion in the second quarter, compared with an increase of $215.8 billion in the first quarter. Decelerations in wages and salaries, government social benefits, personal interest income, and nonfarm proprietors’ income were partly offset by accelerations in personal dividend income and rental income, a deceleration in contributions for government social insurance (a subtraction in the calculation of personal income), and an upturn in farm proprietors’ income.

Disposable personal income increased $167.5 billion, or 4.5 percent, in the second quarter, compared with an increase of $256.7 billion, or 7.0 percent, in the first quarter. Real disposable personal income increased 2.6 percent, compared with an increase of 4.4 percent.

Personal saving was $1,051.1 billion in the second quarter, compared with $1094.1 billion in the first quarter. The personal saving rate — personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income — was 6.8 percent in the second quarter, compared with 7.2 percent in the first quarter.

Updates for the first quarter of 2018

For the first quarter of 2018, real GDP is now estimated to have increased 2.2 percent (table 1); in the previously published estimates, first-quarter GDP was estimated to have increased 2.0 percent. The 0.2-percentage point upward revision to the percent change in first-quarter real GDP primarily reflected upward revisions to private inventory investment, nonresidential fixed investment, and federal government spending that were partly offset by downward revisions to PCE and residential fixed investment. Imports were revised down.

Real GDI is now estimated to have increased 3.9 percent in the first quarter (table 1); in the previously published estimates, first-quarter GDI was estimated to have increased 3.6 percent.

HERE IS the up-to-date components table:

GDPcomponentsThru2Q18at072718

The net loss over the five quarters is 0.3 points. Annualized growth during the five full quarters of the Trump era has been 2.87 percent.

As might be expected, there’s good and bad news here:

  • One item of very good news is Fixed Nonresidential Investment, which has been strong during the past six quarters, averaging a 0.95-point contribution during that time. The average during the eight quarters in 2015 and 2016 was only 0.07 points. That’s about as night-and-day as you can get. That said, I would hope that the 2Q18 number improves in future revisions, because increased domestic investment was one of the goals of December’s tax-law changes.
  • As explained earlier, the press is going to treat the increase in exports as a rush to beat anticipated tariffs and trade tensions. I’m not buying it, partially because I think that U.S. jawboning has led to less resistance to U.S. exports in other nations. But we’ll just have to see, especially because tensions with the EU have de-escalated in recent days.
  • On the downside, the negative inventory change is a surprise. That may be partially explained by the upward revision in that figure in the first quarter (from -0.01 published in June to the +0.27 seen above), but I have a hard time believing that the figure will remain as negative in the August and September revisions.
  • Also on the downside, residential investment is in the doldrums, and seems likely to remain there because of the debt overhang, especially with millennials.

The guess here is that August and September will show pretty small upward revisions. But I wouldn’t rule out a significant upside surprise if today’s inventory component is shown to be far too negative.

 

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (072718)

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: What #MeToo can learn from ‘Humanae vitae’

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

From Denver:

Jul 24, 2018 / 02:57 pm

Sex “untethered” from reproduction can mean “whatever individual men decide it means to them, even violence and power,” says law professor Helen Alvaré, adding that the #MeToo movement can learn from the wisdom expressed by Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical Humanae vitae.

“When even the very thought of children is far removed from sexual intimacy, sex struggles to serve the man and woman together. Why? Because the man and woman’s possible future — i.e., a child, a family, a marriage, extended kin, even love — is cut off from their present,” Alvaré wrote in the July issue of the Knights of Columbus’ Columbia Magazine.

“What Catholics are so concerned about when it comes to contraception,” Alvaré wrote, is “the breaking apart of what should be held together, with the result that sex loses its beautiful mutuality and becomes something else.”

Humanae vitae teaches that “a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods,” he wrote, “may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires.”

“This is more than a little relevant to the current #MeToo moment. Without descending into the detailed accusations of so many women, we can summarize #MeToo sex as a set of words and acts of a sexual nature done to project power or to gain pleasure for one person. It is the understatement of the year to say that these words and actions “lack mutuality” or a common — let alone good — end.”

Alvaré, cofounder of the movement Women Speak for Themselves, said that artificial contraception, which was expected to improve marital love and “free women,” has instead led to declining marriage rates and declining rates of happiness among women. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

July 26, 2018

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (072618)

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.