Hong Kong’s Free Market Capitalism makes Safer Baby Formula than China’s State Capitalism

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 11th, 2013

Week in Review

Kids coming out of American schools learn that capitalism is unfair.  And that greedy businesses will put their customers at great risk to make a buck.  For capitalism puts profits before people.  Which is why we need a government with expanding regulatory powers.  For government puts people before profits.  Like they do in China.  A favorite of those on the left who urge more government intervention into the private sector economy.  Like they do in China.  Where they have a booming economy thanks to wise government bureaucrats.  And safe and happy people because the government prevents those nasty profit-seeking businesses from ever harming a soul (see China’s Parents Crave Illegally Imported Baby Formula by Liza Lin and Julie Cruz posted 5/2/2013 on Bloomberg Businessweek).

For Hong Kong customs agents, baby formula is the new heroin. On March 1 a law went into effect limiting the amount of powdered milk travelers can carry out of Hong Kong to two 2-pound cans each. Since then, more people have been arrested for smuggling baby formula than were caught all of last year with heroin and cocaine…

Many Chinese parents are desperate to get their hands on foreign-made baby formula after numerous food safety scandals in recent years. In 2008 at least 22 Chinese companies were found to have sold dairy products containing melamine, a toxic chemical that can make diluted milk appear to have a higher protein content. Six babies died as a result. In 2011, China’s largest milk producer, China Mengniu Dairy, said in a statement that moldy cattle feed led to excessive toxin levels in its milk. Last year another large milk producer, Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group, recalled formula tainted with mercury. “Chinese consumers are so frightened and so sensitive to safety issues with milk powder that they are willing to pay a higher premium than consumers anywhere else,” says James Roy, a Shanghai-based senior analyst at China Market Research Group.

That willingness to pay has led to baby formula shortages in Hong Kong, where food safety standards are higher. The surge in Chinese demand has even hit foreign markets, where baby formula is often cheaper than in China. Over the past year, stores in Germany, the U.K., and New Zealand have put limits on all bulk purchases of formula, such as Danone’s (BN) Aptamil and Mead Johnson Nutrition’s (MJN) Enfamil.

Hong Kong favors free market capitalism.  While China prefers state capitalism.  Where the state regulates the private sector economy with the heavy hand of the government.  So, in Hong Kong you have the economic system that American schools teach students is bad.  Because they put profits before people.  While China has the economic system that the American schools teach is good.  Because they put people before profits.  And which one is better?  Well, food safety standards are higher in High Kong than in China.  Despite putting profits before people.

Or you could say that food safety standards are higher in High Kong BECAUSE they put profits before people.  Because if babies start dying after drinking a company’s baby formula people will exercise their free choice and buy another company’s baby formula.  A very strong incentive NOT to kill babies.  Because it would be bad for business.  And bad for profits.

Whereas in the ‘people before profits’ state capitalism of China if a company kills babies with its baby formula it’s no big deal.  For the state will just force their people to buy the tainted baby formula by putting import restrictions on safe baby formula.  So there is no incentive NOT to kill babies in China.

So which system is better?  If you base it on which protects their people better you have to go with Hong Kong.  For they’re not killing babies with their baby formula.  While the Chinese are.  Which is a lesson the American schools should be teaching.  Instead of the anti-capitalistic curriculum written by those Sixties’ radicals who actually preferred China the way it was under Chairman Mao.  Before state capitalism.  A time of true communist collectivism.  Where tainted baby formula was the least of their problems.  As they were busy setting famine records with their agricultural policies of forced collectivism.  Where they really put people before profits.  For there were no profits.  So things are better in China today.  For they do allow some profits.  But things aren’t as good as they are in Hong Kong.  Where they allow all the profit you can make.  And by putting profits before people the people come out ahead.  As do their babies.

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Did President Obama use the IRS to attack Enemies of his Administration during the 2012 Election?

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 11th, 2013

Week in Review

President Obama’s Treasury Department’s IRS is caught harassing perceived enemies of the Obama administration.  To help stifle their free speech during the 2012 election.  But they deny it was political.  And apologize (see IRS apologizes for targeting conservative groups by STEPHEN OHLEMACHER posted 5/10/2013 on the AP).

The Internal Revenue Service apologized Friday for what it acknowledged was “inappropriate” targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status.

IRS agents singled out dozens of organizations for additional reviews because they included the words “tea party” or “patriot” in their exemption applications, said Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups. In some cases, groups were asked for lists of donors, which violates IRS policy in most cases, she said…

About 75 groups were inappropriately targeted. None had their tax-exempt status revoked, Lerner said.

The IRS is an independent agency within the Treasury Department that enforces the nation’s tax laws. Revelations that the agency was targeting political groups because they were affiliated with a movement that is critical of President Barack Obama could become a new headache for the White House…

IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman told Congress in March 2012 that the IRS was not targeting groups based on politics.

How can this be anything but politics?  And a gross misuse of power?

The Obama administration would identify organizations with ‘Tea Party’ and ‘patriot’ in their name as enemies of the Obama administration.  For with every shooting or bombing on American soil the go-to people are the ‘anti-government’ Tea Party and patriot people.  Radical conservatives as they call them.  Of course it hasn’t yet turned out that a mass murderer was a radical conservative.  They have been either radical Islamists.  Or people with mental health problems.

After what we’ve learned about the Benghazi cover-up this past week is it really hard to believe that the Obama administration used the power of the IRS against political opponents?  President Nixon did that.  So why not President Obama?

Both President Obama and President Nixon lied to the American people to improve their reelection chances.  Who would have thought that the guy who wanted to be compared to FDR would actually be more like President Nixon?  Of course, with President Nixon there was a crime.  A break-in.  But no one died.  As they did in Benghazi.  Because the Obama administration just couldn’t grant the requests of Ambassador Stevens for more security after President Obama declared the War on Terror was over.  For the 2012 campaign message was that ‘Osama bin Laden was dead.  And General Motors is alive’.  With bin Laden gone al Qaeda was defeated.  At least that was what the Obama administration was saying.  After bin Laden’s death there were no more radical Islamists trying to kill Americans.  This was why we needed to vote for President Obama.  For he made the world a safer place.  And beefing up security in Benghazi wouldn’t help that message before the election.  So they denied Ambassador Steven’s request.  For what could possible happen?

A full-scale military assault.  That’s what.  Which was even worse to the Obama campaign than beefing up security.  The Obama administration couldn’t have this.  So they concocted the story about the anti-Islamic YouTube video and a spontaneous uprising.  And when the intelligence reports came in identifying an al Qaeda affiliated terrorist group they took their talking points and edited them down.  Pulling anything ‘militant Islamist’ out of them.  This despite the president of Libya confirming the al Qaeda connection.  This kept the Benghazi mess quiet through the election.  And what’s to say they might have set the IRS on their political opponents to help keep the Benghazi mess quiet through the election?

They lied about Benghazi.  So they’re probably lying about the IRS.  The very same people they’re putting in charge of the funding of Obamacare.  Who will be looking ever more closely at our employers.  And our personal lives.  But there’s nothing to worry about.  For the IRS would never use their power for political purposes.  Not with the most transparent presidency since the Nixon administration.  Well, perhaps not quite as transparent as the Nixon administration.  Then again, it’s probably one of the least transparent administrations in U.S. history.  In fact, the Nixon administration was probably more transparent and honest than the current administration.  Nixon may have lied.  But he didn’t leave his embassy staff unprotected.  So enemies of the United States could kill them.  And then lie to cover it up.

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Rise in Gun Ownership and Concealed Weapons Permits result in Decline in Gun Violence

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 11th, 2013

Week in Review

President Obama and the Democrats were furious over the defeat of proposed gun control legislation in the Senate.  Which is controlled by the Democrats.  But enough of the Senate Democrats broke ranks and voted with the Republicans.  Why?  Well, unlike President Obama, a lot of those Senate Democrats will be running in another election in 2014.  And they come from states that don’t believe the Democrats’ lie about out of control gun violence killing more of our kids than ever.  And why do they believe this?  Because contrary to popular belief gun violence has been falling for the last two decades (see With gun violence down, is America arming against an imagined threat? (+video) by Patrik Jonsson posted 5/8/2013 on The Christian Science Monitor).

As part of a broader trend of declining crime, gun violence in America – while still high relative to other Western countries – has dropped by 49 percent from 1993 to 2011, while nonfatal gun crimes dropped by 69 percent, according to the US Justice Department.

But that slow-motion decline in Americans turning guns on each other has failed to register with most people, only 12 percent of whom answered the question correctly when asked by the Pew Research Center in a poll released Tuesday. Some 56 percent of respondents said they believed that gun violence had actually increased over the last 20 years.

The reasons for the perception gap are manifold, including a steady stream of high profile shootings and massacres, an increased focus on crime by national media and cable networks, and partisan sniping about gun politics. But the gap is so huge, agrees D’Vera Cohn, a senior writer at Pew, in an AP interview, that it’s hard to explain…

Since 1993, the rate of gun violence dropped by the greatest degree in the 1990s and has stayed relatively stable since the early 2000s. But recent years have witnessed a dramatic shift in US gun culture, with millions of Americans getting certified to carry concealed weapons and women increasingly joining the ranks of gun owners.

An estimated 8 million Americans now have concealed weapons permits, and thousands wear guns openly in the 43 states that allow it. Atlanta Police Chief George Turner told the Monitor recently that urban police no longer automatically assume a citizen wearing a gun is in the process of committing a crime, as they did just a few years ago.

Gun ownership has increased.  The number of people carrying concealed weapons has increased.  And gun crime has decreased.  Hmm.  What could possible explain the fall in gun violence?  It’s a mystery all right.

The Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media have convinced 56% of the people that gun violence has increased these past two decades when it hasn’t.  But why would the Democrats do this?  And why would they push for gun control legislation when it appears more gun ownership actually makes it safer in the United States?  For some reason they are just hell-bent on getting rid of the Second Amendment.

Here’s something to consider.  What do people like Adam Lanza (Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting), James Holmes (Aurora theater shooting), Jared Loughner (Tucson supermarket parking lot shooting) and Seung-Hui Cho (Virginia Tech Shooting) have in common?  They shot unarmed men, women and children.  People who couldn’t shoot back.  Imagine if James Holmes picked a theater in Atlanta.  And how fast people would have returned his fire.  Sure, some will argue that they may have shot innocent people in the process of stopping a homicidal maniac.  But would they have killed 12 and wounded 58?  Probably not.  In fact, chances are that James Holmes probably never would have started shooting people in an Atlanta theater.  Because he would know that someone in that theater could shoot back.  Which is the last thing these people want.  Which is why they pick unarmed people to shoot.  And they don’t stop shooting until someone arrives on the scene with a gun.

Guns didn’t make these people kill.  They were all suffering from mental health problems.  They picked guns perhaps because they enjoyed those violent video games so much.  But here’s something else to consider.  These people were pretty smart.  All but one was attending or had attended college.  Who knows what kind of evil genius they might have turned into.  And what other weapon they may have chosen.  Or built.  Such as a bomb.  For one thing we’ve learned from the Boston Marathon bombing is that college kids can build bombs.  So we’d probably be better off trying to do something about our mental health system instead of trying to get rid of the Second Amendment.  For had we heeded the warning signs and taken these people off the streets Sandy Hook, Aurora, Tucson and Virginia Tech would not have happened.  That’s for certain.  But would banning guns have stopped these mentally troubled people from harming others?  Probably not.  For we can never be certain what these people would have done if we had left them on the streets walking among us even if there were no guns for them to use.

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The Tesla Model S is a Gorgeous Electric Car but You can’t take the Path Less Traveled in It

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 11th, 2013

Week in Review

The joy of the open road is taking the path less traveled.  How many of us taking a drive on a beautiful summer’s day turned down some country road on a whim?  Just because the scenery was beautiful?  Or because there was something interesting down at the end of that road?  That is the joy of the open road.  To travel without plans.  Where the driving is as good as the destination.  If not better.  This is what the electric car, though, cannot give us (see Tesla Model S receives near-perfect score from Consumer Reports by Eric Evarts posted 5/8/2013 on Consumer Reports).

There, we said it. The Tesla Model S outscores every other car in our test ratings. It does so even though it’s an electric car. In fact, it does so because it is electric…

The electric motor delivers impressive power, right now, and it is impressively efficient. The Model S uses about half the energy of a Toyota Prius every mile, and it has more than twice the range—about 200 miles—of any other electric car we’ve driven. Still,  you’ll have to plan ahead for longer trips; you won’t be taking it on a spontaneous jaunt from, say, New York to Cleveland any time soon. You won’t make it. Even with Tesla’s optional High Power Wall Connector, it takes about five hours to charge. On a standard 240-volt electric-car charger, it would take about 12 hours…

We paid $89,650 for our Model S, with the biggest available battery, the most seats available, and the fastest available optional chargers. Then we still had to pay another $1,200 for Tesla’s High Power Wall Connector.

That’s a lot of money.  And for what?  A range of 200 miles?  Which is something like 2-4 hours of driving time.  With stops of between 5-12 hours to recharge between those 200 miles.  That just doesn’t cut it.  The Model S is a gorgeous car.  But it has one serious flaw.  The joy of that beautiful car comes from driving it.  Not sitting at a charging station admiring it.

Cars are meant to be driven.  To take to the open road.  To go wherever that road may take you.  And when the weather or mood strikes you, you take the long-way home.  Instead of the 2 hours on the interstate you take the rambling secondary roads.  And get home when you get home.  Sometimes 4 hours later than you planned.  Because you could.  This is what people want from a gorgeous car.  They want to see the world from it.  Not just the commute to work.

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Our Daughters are Paying the Highest Price for the Democrats’ Sexual Revolution

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 11th, 2013

Week in Review

Parents spend a lot of time telling their kids ‘no’.  Telling them not to smoke, drink or do drugs.  And to wait until they are more mature before having sex.  That’s why the Democrat Party attracts the youth vote.  They are so not like their parents.

Democrats talk to our kids as if they are mature adults.  Who want to help them to have sex by providing free birth control and access to abortion.  Making the morning-after pill available to girls as young as 15 without a prescription.  Even making contraception a women’s health issue during the 2012 election.  Saying the Republicans wanted to make people pay for their own birth control.  Which was, of course, code for taking it away.

For Republicans wanted to force women into loveless marriages.  Turning them into baby factories.  They didn’t want to empower women.  They wanted to imprison women.  Because they hate women.  While the Democrats love women.  (Some more than others.)  Even encouraging them to explore their sexuality.  (Preferably with enlightened Democrats who love women).  Which was how you empowered a woman.  Letting her have consequence-free sex.  And if she develops a consequence there are things she could do to get rid of that consequence.  With all of these resources available courtesy of Democrats there was nothing limiting the amount of sex young people could have.  Making the Democrat Party the party for them.  Which is why the Democrats remain the party of women.  Even though their policies end up destroying women’s lives (see Sex Superbug Could Be ‘Worse Than AIDS’ by Mark Koba posted 5/2/2013 on CNBC).

An antibiotic-resistant strain of gonorrhea—now considered a superbug—has some analysts saying that the bacteria’s effects could match those of AIDS.

“This might be a lot worse than AIDS in the short run because the bacteria is more aggressive and will affect more people quickly,” said Alan Christianson, a doctor of naturopathic medicine…

“Getting gonorrhea from this strain might put someone into septic shock and death in a matter of days,” Christianson said. “This is very dangerous…”

According to the CDC, about 20 million a year contract a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and result in about $16 billion in medical costs. More than 800,000 of STD cases reported are gonorrhea infections, with most occurring in people between the ages of 15 and 24.

Gonorrhea is transmitted through unprotected sexual contact. Untreated, the disease can cause a number of health complications in women, including infertility. In men, the disease can be very painful and lead to sterility. It can also trigger other life-threatening illnesses, including heart infections.

Gonorrhea can be hard to detect. It often shows no symptoms in about half of women and in about 5 percent of men. Gonorrhea infection rates were at historic lows until two years ago, according to the CDC…

But Smith said more needs to be done. In a briefing on Capitol Hill last week, he urged Congress to target nearly $54 million in immediate funding to help find an antibiotic for HO41 and to conduct an education and public awareness campaign.

“I’m hopeful we’ll get the additional funds, but I can’t say for sure,” Smith said. “What I do know is we don’t have the resources to fight this as it stands now.”

Avoiding the disease completely is the best course, experts said.

We actually have an education and public awareness campaign.  We call it parenting.  And if the Democrats haven’t been undermining parents in their parenting perhaps these kids would listen to them.  But it’s hard to tell your kids to wait until you’re older and more mature before having sex when the government is providing free birth control in our high schools.  And providing the morning-after pill to girls as young as 15 without a doctor’s prescription or parental notice.  Because kids will be kids.

And then you have a liberal curriculum put together by the radicals of the Sixties.  Teaching them to be different than their parents.  Even blaming their greedy parents for trying to kill the planet with global warming.  And attacking religion and our traditions as backward relics of a medieval past.  The 1950s.  So thanks to government and our educational system our parents have little moral authority with their kids.  Who would much rather listen to their teachers, professors and government when it comes to sex.  Because they say it’s okay.  Which is why there has been an explosion in STDs (See Sex and the Superbug by Jerome Groopman posted 10/1/2012 on The New Yorker).

The sexual revolution of the nineteen-sixties ushered in rising rates of gonorrhea, as condoms, which effectively prevent transmission, were abandoned in favor of oral contraceptives. Only after the risk of death from AIDS began to increase, in the nineteen-eighties, did condom use again become a norm. A federally funded gonorrhea-control program, started in 1972, perhaps made a difference; by 1997, the number of yearly cases of gonorrhea reported to the C.D.C. had fallen by nearly three-quarters compared with its peak, in 1975. In 2009, the number of gonorrhea cases in the U.S. was at an all-time low. “Ten or fifteen years ago, we thought it was going to be eradicated in some Western countries,” Unemo told me…

The microbe carries specialized proteins that help it attach firmly to the surface of cells and other proteins that blunt a host’s immune-system response and prevent white blood cells from ingesting and degrading it. Together, these tools grant the gonococcus the ability to fasten to and invade the cells that line the human urethra, cervix, rectum, and throat, and the lining of the eyelid and eye.

In some respects, N. gonorrhoeae is a fragile organism; dry conditions, changes in temperature, and the ultraviolet rays in sunlight destroy it. As a result, it is transmitted only through intimate contact with body fluids; it doesn’t thrive on inanimate objects and can’t be picked up from toilet seats. Yet it is far more contagious than H.I.V. A woman who has unprotected sex with an H.I.V.-infected man has roughly a one-in-a-thousand chance of contracting the virus. The transmission rate among gay men having anal sex is an order of magnitude higher, about one in a hundred. In contrast, with gonorrhea a man has a twenty-five-per-cent chance of catching the microbe from an infected partner. For women, the odds are as high as sixty-six per cent.

The pill liberated women.  And many unsuspecting women did not believe they had to be careful anymore.  So they weren’t.  They took their oral contraceptives.  And if that failed they could get an abortion starting in 1973.  Making the Seventies a magical time for men who wanted to play the field.  And they did.  Spreading disease.  And it was the women who suffered the most from their sexual appetites.  As an infected man infects two out of three women he has sex with.

Interestingly, the resurgence in gonorrhea corresponded with the Democrats winning the White House in 2008.  With President Obama, Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House (until the 2010 midterm election) and Harry Read as majority leader in the Senate the country could move further to the left than ever before.  There was nothing the Republicans could do to stop them.  Case in point: Obamacare.  Which is replete with free preventative health care measures that include birth control and abortion.  The left was giddy with joy.  And apparently they celebrated their even more consequence-free sex lives, appropriately, in the sack.

In effect, the human pharynx is a spawning ground for resistance… And, because pharyngeal gonorrhea rarely produces symptoms, it is more likely both to go untreated and to be passed on unknowingly.

A driving factor behind the rise in gonorrhea infections, as well as the trend toward total antibiotic resistance, is our complacent attitude toward oral sex…

In many circles, however, especially since the era of H.I.V., oral sex has been embraced as a safe alternative to intercourse… Recent statistics from Los Angeles County suggest that the proportion of pharyngeal to genital gonorrhea cases among adolescents has increased sevenfold since 1988…

According to the C.D.C., adolescents and young adults account for nearly half of all new cases of sexually transmitted disease, even though the group represents just twenty-five per cent of the sexually active population. The adaptive nature of the gonococcus, coupled with the prevalence of unprotected oral sex, all but insures that drug-resistant gonorrhea will eventually take root in the general heterosexual population. Unemo warned, “When you get into the population of young heterosexuals, it can very quickly spread.”

It turns out that consequence-free sex has some serious consequences.  And these numbers are just shocking.  Only 25% of the sexually active population is responsible for nearly half of all new STDs.  The adolescents and young adults.  Who overwhelmingly vote Democrat.  A demographic exploited by the Democrats to remain in power.  No matter how many lives they destroy.  And yet they say the Republicans have a War on Women.  Those sexual prudes who want their kids to refrain from having as much sex as the Democrats are encouraging them to have.  Because they fear for the wellbeing of their children.  As they understand the risks of sexual activity.  They try to be good parents and protect their children.  Especially their daughters who are paying the highest price of the Democrats’ Sexual Revolution.  But it’s difficult to do when government and our educational system is fighting so strenuously to turn their kids against their parents.

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