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Archive for January, 2011

The Law of Unintended Consequences Strikes Again

Posted by Nancy on January 31, 2011

I have been trying to rationalize why there has been unrest and riots in so many Middle Eastern countries this month. Admittedly they are all autocratic regimes, and the domino theory may explain the spread to some degree, but what started it? Was it planned by some nefarious behind-the-scenes force? Are these flash-mob riots started through Twitter and Facebook gone out of control?  Is it just an example of Murphy’s Law on steroids? 

The current riots in Egypt are not the only ones; the government has already fallen in Lebanon and there have been uprisings in Tunisia, Algeria, Yemen, and Jordan.  Saudi Arabia’s rulers have increased security around their palaces and the country’s oil fields, and there is talk of unrest spreading to Iran.  What is happening?

Larry Kudlow’s article in National Review may have the answer, and if he’s right United States policy shoulders some of the blame. 

We may be causing hunger around the world.

A few facts:
1. Food commodities worldwide are priced in U.S. dollars
2. The Federal Reserve has been printing trillions of excess dollars, causing worldwide inflation in the commodities markets.
3. The food market is up 36% over last year’s prices (8% this month alone).
4. Egypt is the world’s largest importer of wheat, and wheat’s price has risen 113% in the past year.
5. The average Egyptian spends up to 56% of their income on the acquisition of food.

Could longtime underlying resentment toward dictatorial governments + increasing inability to procure enough food to sustain life = riots?

The U.S. government is also culpable in another way. Environmentalists have been demanding independence from fossil fuels and increased dependence on sustainable fuel – like flex fuels made from mixing gasoline with ethanol.

Some more facts:
1. Ethanol is made from corn.
2. 33% of the 2010 production of U.S. corn was converted to ethanol for use in gas tanks.
3. 14% of the world’s production of corn in 2010 went into gas tanks.
4. The price of corn is up 70% over last year.

Our food prices are rising too, but we are a wealthy country.  We will feel a pinch in our budgets, but we will survive.  The questions are, will we continue to to knowingly cause worldwide inflation?  Will we continue to burn food while prices rise throughout the world?  Are we willing to allow people to go hungry and governments to fall in order to pay for our financial folly, or to meet some arbitrary environmental standard?

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Posted in Economy, Food | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

I Can’t Believe She Said That

Posted by Nancy on January 27, 2011

Posted in Obama, Politics | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Dr. Kermit Gosnell, Keeping Abortion Safe and Legal

Posted by Nancy on January 19, 2011

A Grand Jury in Philadelphia has released its report and recommendations on Dr. Kermit Gosnell, abortionist.  You can read it here, but it comes with a strong warning – it is not for the squeamish or faint of heart.  Here is how it begins:

This case is about a doctor who killed babies and endangered women.  What we mean is that he regularly and illegally delivered live, viable babies in the third trimester of pregnancy – and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors.  The medical practice by which he carried out this business was a filthy fraud in which he overdosed his patients with dangerous drugs, spread venereal disease among them with infected instruments, perforated their wombs and bowels – and, on at least two occasions, caused their deaths.  Philadelphia Grand Jury Report, p.1

It then goes into detail.  Over 250 pages of detail if you count the charges recommended by the jury .

Dr. Gosnell’s practice may have been a “filthy fraud,” but it was lucrative; one year he earned over $1.5 million.  Specializing in late term abortions that other doctors would not do, he set up his practice relying on the actions of unqualified employees in his absence.  It was they who administered the drugs to induce labor and the drugs to sedate patients into a stupor, while he showed up many hours later to complete the abortions.

Sometimes babies did not deliver and had to be removed by the doctor, with calamitous results.  In one instance Dr. Gosnell tore a patient’s cervix and colon and doctors in a hospital had to remove almost half a foot of her intestines.  In another he perforated a 19-year-old’s uterus requiring a hysterectomy.  He sent another patient home with fetal parts remaining insider her, and she was near death by the time she was admitted to the hospital.  Yet no one investigated Kermit Gosnell.

Pennsylvania is not a third-world country.  There were several oversight agencies that stumbled upon and should have shut down Kermit Gosnell long ago.  But none of them did, not even after Karnamaya Mongar’s death*.  In the end, Gosnell was only caught by accident, when police raided his offices to seize evidence of his illegal prescription selling.  Once law enforcement agents went in, they couldn’t help noticing the disgusting conditions, the dazed patients, the discarded fetuses.  That is why the complete regulatory collapse that occurred here is so inexcusable.  It should have taken only one look.  Philadelphia Grand Jury Report, p.8

The reason for that “complete regulatory collapse” is the politics of abortion.  In 1993 Pennsylvania stopped all inspections of abortion clinics so as not to put any barriers in the way of a woman’s right to have an abortion.  Once law enforcement agents became involved with the doctor and the press took notice the Department of Health suddenly discarded that philosophy and shut the clinic down within a week.

The Grand Jury Report recommends Kermit Gosnell be charged with seven counts of murder, two counts of infancticide, and numerous counts of other crimes, while regretting that he cannot be charged for the innumerable unproven murders staffers say they witnessed at his hands.

Four of his staffers are also being charged, most for committing murder at the clinic in the same manner he taught them.

Officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Health have now “lawyered up” with attorneys from a high priced law firm.  At taxpayer expense, of course.

*  When Karnamay Mongar stopped breathing on Dr. Gosnell’s operating table, likely from an overdose of Demerol, his staff eventually called paramedics who transported her to a hospital where she was declared dead.  No one investigated the doctor or his clinic, and he continued performing abortions.

Posted in News, That's outrageous | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Shootings in Tucson, But All’s Quiet in Hollywood

Posted by Nancy on January 16, 2011

Now that you mention it, have you noticed how most of the leftist Hollywood glitterati have been AWOL in blaming right wing extremists for the recent shootings in Tucson?  Seems a little out of character for people who usually would kill, er die, no um, push their way to the front of a line to get in front of a camera and blame conservative Americans for anything wrong in our society.  

Wonder why they have been so quiet this past week?  Could it be they don’t want anyone paying attention to the product they inflict on us on a regular basis?

Dennis Keohane makes some relevent points in his article at American Thinker, and gives two movies as examples. 

Shooter (2007)

Ned Beatty plays evil Senator Charles Meachum, a character who resembles Dick Cheney.  The senator is linked to the massacre of Ethiopian villagers in the interests of his “big oil” consortium.  The hero, a former military sniper played by Mark Wahlberg, kills the senator.

Try to imagine the reaction to a movie with an elected official shown as corrupt but who is also presented as being liberal on various positions (e.g., supports unions, subsidizing clean energy companies, auto industry bailouts) and is made to resemble Senator John Kerry or Vice President Biden.  Imagine the reaction if this character were killed by the movie’s hero.

Thomas de Zengotita, contributing editor at Harper’s Magazine, wrote this at the Huffington Post:  A really smart bit of left wing (I’m for it!) propaganda aimed at the Bush administration, the Iraq War and, especially, Dick Cheney…see the movie and tell me that Ned Beatty, as Montana Senator Charles F. Meachum, isn’t doing an SNL version of Dick Cheney. Then reflect on what happens to him in the movie…We are all entitled to fantasies of vengeance

David Edelstein, film critic for NPR’s Fresh Air and CBS Sunday Morning, wrote in New York Magazine:
Lefty peaceniks who object to the red-meat vigilante action genre on moral and political grounds but down deep wonder if they’d enjoy watching evil right-wing war criminals get their heads blown off should check out Shooter.
Writing of the film’s sniper hero who kills the Cheney lookalike Senator, Edelstein says he “doesn’t need subpoena power to do a little government housecleaning.”
 
Machete (2010)
 
In Machete, directed by Ethan Maniquis and Robert Rodriguez, Robert De Niro plays the evil right-wing Senator McLaughlin, who campaigns on securing the southern border while warning of an impending invasion of Mexican illegals.  In what is intended to be a humorous scene, the senator is killed during a battle on the border when his murderous anti-immigrant vigilante allies mistake him for a border-crossing Mexican.
 
Marshall Fine has written and reviewed films for USA Today, the LA Times, the New York Daily News, and the Huffington Post.  His review finds the movie entertaining, and note how he describes the murderous vigilante “types” that get their violent comeuppance at the end:
( … [Rodriguez] does point out the hypocrisy, hyperbole and fear-mongering of the right wing.) It’s mostly a backdrop and plot device to build to a massive final battle between Mexican-Americans and Tea Party types … Yes, there will be those who dismiss “Machete” … But that would be to deny both the wit and imagination that Rodriguez brings to this extravagantly entertaining movie.
 
While the NY Times has been at the forefront in blame-gaming the Tucson shootings, its review found nothing objectionable in this movie that had a senator killed…  [T]he Times has nothing but disdain and contempt for anyone who might find such objectionable:
McLaughlin (Robert De Niro), a Texas senator who campaigns on a rabid anti-immigration platform and whom Mr. De Niro plays as a crinkly-eyed, hate-spewing hybrid of Lyndon B. Johnson and George W. Bush; one campaign commercial compares illegal immigrants to cockroaches … The only viewers it is likely to upset are the same kind of people who once claimed that the purple Tinky Winky in “Teletubbies” promoted a gay agenda.
 
At the Daily Kos, Markos Moulitsas and writer after writer blamed the Tucson shootings on the right, and in particular Sarah Palin.  Oddly enough, some months ago, a Kos diarist named Dartagnan wrote about his concerns that Machete could possibly lead to violence, and as a result, he was accused in the comments of thinking like a fascist.  Dartagnan then made specific his concern that the movie will “glorify the killing of a U.S. Senator to avenge the treatment of illegal aliens[.]”
 
For that, Dartagnan was accused of racism and pandering to the right…  In short, concern that a movie showing the killing of a senator could possibly lead to real violence against elected officials was in short supply at Daily Kos.

Finally, a quick promotional ad before I close.  Make sure you don’t miss the exciting new film premiering at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.  Titled Hobo With A Shotgun and starring Rutger Hauer, it’s the story of a homeless man with a shotgun who becomes a vigilante hero

Yeah, and I’m pretty sure there are no subpoenas, police officers, juries, or judges involved before the Hobo shoots all the bad guys while becoming the movie’s hero.

Any more questions on what is driving our country toward violence?  Just make sure you watch what YOU say and don’t put any offensive symbols on YOUR maps.

 

Posted in National security, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Guess I’m Not An Average Elected Official

Posted by Nancy on January 15, 2011

What an interesting article, and what a dismaying result it shows.

For five years now, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute has been conducting a national survey to gauge the quality of civic education in the country. We’ve surveyed more than 30,000 Americans, most of them college students, but also a random sample of adults from all educational and demographic backgrounds.

Included in the adult sample was a small subset of Americans (165 in all) who, when asked, identified themselves as having been “successfully elected to government office at least once in their life” — which can include federal, state or local offices.

And those dismaying results are that the general public scores 5% higher on the test than those who have been elected to office at least once in their lifetime.  Of course, 54% as opposed to 49% still isn’t good.  Can you do better?

To read the entire article and take the quiz yourself click here.

Posted in American life, Politics, That's outrageous | Leave a Comment »