Russia’s Annexation of Crimea is similar to the Democrat’s annexation of the American Health Care System

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 9th, 2014

Week in Review

In the movie Yellowbeard there was a scene at the docks where a guy was asking who wanted to join them on a well-paid, well-fed, adventure holiday on a modern rat-free, leak-proof ship.  Any volunteers were to just lie down on the ground with their eyes shut.  Then a guy hit them over the head.  Knocking them unconscious.  At which point they volunteered for that adventure holiday.  That’s one type of ‘democracy’.  Here’s another (see Ukraine Secession Referendum Does Not Have a ‘No’ Option by Noah Rayman posted 3/7/2014 on Time).

Crimea, which voted to put the question of secession from Ukraine to a referendum, has released a ballot with severely limited choices, and all of the options come with strings attached

“No” is not an option in the upcoming referendum in Crimea on whether to split from Ukraine…

The two questions, written in Russian, Ukrainian, and Crimean Tatar, ask:

•“Do you support joining Crimea with the Russian Federation as a citizen of the Russian Federation?”’

•“Do you support restoration of 1992 Crimean Constitution and Crimea’s status as a part of Ukraine?”

The current constitution states that the Crimean Constitution must be approved by the Ukrainian Parliament.  Meaning that any secession of the Crimean peninsula must be approved by the Ukrainian Parliament.  Which is why the second question, though it appears as a vote to stay a part of Ukraine, is basically the same as the first question.  For the 1992 Crimean Constitution removes the clause about any Crimean constitution having to be approved by the Ukrainian Parliament.

So what does this mean?  It basically means anyone who opposes the annexation of Crimea by Russia should just lie down on the ground with their eyes closed.  Forever.  Because however you vote (option 1, option 2 or no vote) Russia will annex the Crimea.  Even though current Ukrainian and Crimean law forbid this.  But that’s the advantage of being a former KGB dictator.  If you don’t like a law you just re-write it so you do.  Sort of like President Obama rewriting the Affordable Care Act some 29 times so it doesn’t harm the Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections.  So they can complete their annexation of the American health care system before the people can do something about it in the next election.

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Free Birth Control and Abortion on Demand creates a lot of Harm for Women

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 9th, 2014

Week in Review

According to the left an unborn fetus is nothing but a lump of cells that can be vacuumed out of a uterus anytime during a pregnancy.  It’s just no big deal.  An abortion.  Because ending a pregnancy is so trivial they can do them in abortion clinics that don’t meet the same certifications as hospitals or medical clinics.  So it would follow that if ending a pregnancy is no big deal that it must be no big deal for the woman getting an abortion, right?  Well, as it turns out it is a very big deal.  Such a big deal that a man is going to jail for tricking his girlfriend into getting pregnant.  A pregnancy she ended with a ‘no big deal’ abortion (see Man who sabotaged condoms guilty of sexual assault, top court rules by SEAN FINE posted 3/7/2014 on The Globe and Mail).

Men who sabotage condoms may turn an otherwise consensual act with a woman into sexual assault, and women who lie about using birth control have been left with some uncertainty about whether they, too, could face charges, under a Supreme Court ruling yesterday on deception before sex.

The court was unanimous that Craig Hutchinson of Nova Scotia was guilty of sexual assault for poking pin-sized holes in condoms because he hoped to keep his girlfriend from leaving him by getting her pregnant. His fraud carried such a risk of harm it nullified her consent, four of seven judges said. (She did become pregnant, but left him and had an abortion.) The risk to a woman who does not want to get pregnant is as serious in its way as the risk of HIV transmission from a partner who committed deception by failing to disclose their disease, the majority said.

“The concept of ‘harm’ does not encompass only bodily harm in the traditional sense of that term; it includes at least the sorts of profound changes in a woman’s body — changes that may be welcomed or changes that a woman may choose not to accept — resulting from pregnancy,” Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin and Justice Thomas Cromwell wrote, supported by Justice Marshall Rothstein and Justice Richard Wagner…

Peter Sankoff, a specialist in criminal law at the University of Alberta, said that psychological harm could in rare cases be a foundation for a future sexual assault claim by a man, say, whose condoms were sabotaged by a woman so she could have a baby. In a series of tweets, he said he knows many men who experienced an unwanted child, and as a result “spiralled downward” psychologically.

Others, including Michael Plaxton of the University of Saskatchewan law school, Sonia Lawrence of York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, and Luke Craggs, the lawyer for Mr. Hutchinson, disagreed, saying the court would limit charges to cases where there was bodily harm.

“My preliminary view is that the decision seems to have been carefully written such that women who lie about birth control don’t have the same jeopardy,” Mr. Craggs said in an interview. Mr. Hutchinson was found guilty at his trial and sentenced to 18 months in jail, but had been free on bail awaiting the Supreme Court ruling.

So if a woman poked holes into a condom there would be no crime.  Because it’s her body.  Even though it will change the man’s life greatly if she tricked him into having a baby with her.  For he must now provide financially for that child.  So her deception is okay while his deception is not.  So harm from deception is based on how the woman feels.  If she wants a baby and tricks her boyfriend that’s okay.  If she doesn’t want a baby and gets an abortion without telling her husband that’s okay, too.  And whatever the man wants, does or says is wrong.  Okay.  Got it.

Impregnating a woman against her will is wrong.  No one is going to argue in defense of that.  But if that woman gets an abortion where is the harm?  Unless abortions are a big deal.  And are very traumatic to a woman.  Or can cause some long-term health problems (say increase the incidence of breast cancer from interrupting the hormonal changes going on in her body).  Or leave her with an emotional scar years later when she thinks about the child that she aborted.  If these are real harms then wouldn’t all abortions be harmful?  If so then there should be no abortions at all.  And if a woman doesn’t want a child then she shouldn’t have sex.  That would ensure no harm would ever befall a woman caused by an unwanted pregnancy.  And she could never commit a potential crime by lying about being on the pill.

People used to be like that.  Responsible.  But providing free birth control and abortion on demand sure has changed that.  And opened up women to all sorts of harm.

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Did a Racist America vote for a Black President and 12 Years a Slave?

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 9th, 2014

Week in Review

On a recent Daily Show they did a skit about racism in America.  A lot of people say there is no more racism in this country.  So they showed how racist people were in their little sketch.  But with a black president one has to ask themselves is there structural racism in the United States?  Or were they finding racism where there really wasn’t any?  Perhaps we can ask a higher authority (see Oscars: ’12 Years a Slave’ puts spotlight on Hollywood’s approach to race by John Horn posted 3/4/2014 on the Los Angeles Times).

Was it ultimately a race about race?

The best picture Oscar is meant to honor the year’s greatest achievement in film, and “12 Years a Slave” had no shortage of supporters before winning the top honor Sunday. But for all the film’s artistry, the undercurrent of many “12 Years a Slave” conversations hinged on race and how Hollywood has for decades given short shrift to one of the most inglorious chapters in the nation’s history…

All the same, two Oscar voters privately admitted that they didn’t see “12 Years a Slave,” thinking it would be upsetting. But they said they voted for it anyway because, given the film’s social relevance, they felt obligated to do so…

Though most Oscar ceremonies carry a bit of suspense, the tension inside the Dolby Theatre on Sunday night was palpably different.

Would “Gravity,” an apolitical thriller about a space accident, return to earth with the best picture? Or would Oscar voters endorse “12 Years a Slave,” a film that many feared was so unsettling they put off viewing it until the last moment, if they watched it at all? Or as DeGeneres said in her opening monologue, “Possibility No. 1, ’12 Years a Slave’ wins best picture. Possibility No. 2, you’re all racists.”

Well, there you have it.  The movie 12 Years a Slave won.  Therefore, we are not racists.  It’s good to have settled that once and for all, isn’t it?

Imagine the poor filmmakers whose movies didn’t have to win the best picture Oscar to prove America wasn’t racist.  But I’m sure they’ll get over losing eventually.  I mean, what’s winning when there is the greater good to serve?  Besides, how important is winning an Oscar anyway?  It’s not like they have an annual ceremony where people are overwhelmed by emotion and have better career prospects after being honored by the Academy.  Well, come to think of it, there is.  So apparently winning an Oscar is a big deal.  Unless, that is, there is a social statement to make.  Then it means nothing to the people who lose even if they had a better picture.  While at the same time meaning everything to the winner.  Even if it’s only a social statement made with a potentially inferior film.

Of course we’ll never know what film was the best film.  Not when people vote for a film they’ve never watched because they felt it was the right thing to do.  Gee, do you think that’s how President Obama won both of his elections?  For it sure looked like people voted for him without ever looking at his record.  I mean, even the Nobel people awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama even though he didn’t do anything yet to earn it.  It was for the peace he was going to make.  A bit risky giving out awards for future achievement.  As we can see by the world becoming a less peaceful place during the Obama years.  Unrest in the Middle East.  Two uprisings in Egypt.  Civil War in Syria.  Al Qaeda in Iraq.  Air strikes in Libya.  Four dead Americans in Benghazi.  Drone strikes killing innocent civilians.  Iran working on a nuclear program.  North Korea testing rockets.  Russia invading Crimea.

Perhaps the Nobel people will ask for their Peace Prize back.  For unlike an Academy Award where the judging is subjective events on the ground are objective.  And real.  Whatever the Nobel people thought President Obama was going to do it is clear he didn’t do much to advance peace.  Making it look like the Nobel people voted for President Obama the same way some of the Academy members voted for 12 Years a Slave.  Because it seemed like it was the right thing to do.  Making a decision based solely on race.  Hmmm, making a decision based solely on race?  That reminds me of something.  I think there is a word for that.  What was that?  I can’t recall.  It just slipped my mind.

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Car Companies making more Electric Cars that people will not Buy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 9th, 2014

Week in Review

Auto makers are caving in to green paranoia.  Fooling themselves that electric cars are worth the investment (see Geneva Motor Show: Electric cars no longer the exception? by Theo Leggett posted 3/6/2014 on BBC News Business).

The Porsche Panamera S is quite a car. Sleek, powerful and aerodynamic, it’s capable of 167mph.

But that’s not all. The version on display here in Geneva is also able to travel for about 20 miles on nothing but battery power.

It is, of course, a hybrid. It has an electric motor sitting alongside a 3-litre petrol engine. It is fast, powerful and remarkably economical. Porsche claims it can drive for 91 miles on a single gallon of petrol.

Wow.  A whole 20 miles on battery.  A Ford Taurus with a full tank of gas will take you 522 miles on the expressway.  With heat or air conditioning.  In snow or rain.  Night or day.  That’s what the internal combustion engine gives you.  The ability to get into your car and drive.  Whenever.  Without worrying if you have enough charge in the battery.  Or whether you can risk running the heat or use the headlights when you’re running low on charge.   All you need is gasoline.  And when you’re low on gasoline you just have to spend about 10 minutes or so at a convenient gas station to refill your tank.  Something no battery can do.  For the fastest chargers (i.e., the highest voltage chargers) still require more than a half hour for a useful charge.

Now, under pressure from regulators around the world, carmakers have been working hard to reduce emissions and fuel consumption. So hybrids have become decidedly mainstream…

“There’s no doubt in our mind that it’s coming and it’s coming quickly and there is legislation supporting this in many cities.

“You can drive into London and pay zero congestion charge, for example. There are taxation incentives in the UK, but also in the US and Asia as well…

“We know our customers now,” he says, “and we remain totally convinced that electric cars have a strong, strong place in the market…”

Yet although sales of electric vehicles are growing rapidly, they remain a tiny fraction of the global total. For the moment, the internal combustion engine remains king.

The only thing causing electric cars to become mainstream is the coercion of government.  Legislation.  The only way you can make an electric car more attractive than a gasoline-powered car.  Also, just to get people to buy electric cars requires massive government subsidies.  No.  Hamburgers, fries and Coke are mainstream.  Because you don’t have to subsidize them or coerce people to buy them.  In fact they are so mainstream that some in government use legislation to try and stop people from buying them.

The internal combustion engine is king and will remain king until you can drive an electric car as carefree as a gasoline-powered car.  Until the electric car makers can give us the range and the ability to use our heaters and lights without sweating profusely as we sit in gridlock during a blizzard worrying whether we’ll ever make it home people just aren’t going to buy an electric car.  Because people want to know they will make it home safely.  And right now nothing does that better than the internal combustion engine.

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Abenomics appears to have Failed in Japan just as Keynesian Economics has Failed everywhere it has been Tried

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 9th, 2014

Week in Review

The Keynesians were applauding Shinzō Abe’s economic plans for Japan.  To end the never-ending deflationary spiral they’ve been in since the late Nineties.  His Abenomics included all the things Keynesians love to do.  And want to do in the United States.  Expand the money supply through inflationary monetary policy.  Devalue the yen to make their exports cheaper.  Lower interest rates into negative territory.  Quantitative easing.  And lots of government spending.  The kinds of things that just makes a Keynesian’s heart go pitter pat.

They kicked off Abenomics in 2013.  And how are things about a year later?  Not good (see Japan’s deficit hits record as economic growth slows posted 3/9/2014 on BBC News Business).

Japan’s current account deficit widened to a record 1.5tn yen ($15bn; £8.7bn) in January, the largest since records began in 1985.

In further bad news, the country’s economic growth figures were also revised downwards…

The sluggish growth and growing deficit come just before a planned sales tax increase, scheduled to take effect in April.

They did weaken the yen.  Making it worth less than other currencies so those currencies could get more yen when they exchanged their currencies to buy those Japanese exports.  Of course, when Japanese exchanged their yen for those other currencies they got less of those other currencies in return.  Requiring more yen to buy those now more expensive imports.  Thus increasing their trade deficit.

Japan is an island with a lot of people.  They have to import a lot of their food, energy and natural resources as they have little on their island.  So the weaker yen just made everything more expensive in Japan.  Which, of course, lowered GDP.  As those higher prices reduced the amount of buying their consumers could do.

Japan’s greatest problem is her aging population.  And they have just about the oldest population in the world.  As the youth have slammed the brakes on having children.  So you have massive waves of people leaving the workforce the government is supporting in retirement.  And fewer people entering the workforce to pay the taxes that support those retirees.  Which, of course, forces higher tax rates on those remaining in the workforce.  Further reducing the amount of buying their consumers can do.  And no amount of Abenomics can change that.

Abenomics did not deliver what the Keynesians thought it would.  Because Keynesian economics (aka demand-side economics) just doesn’t work.  If it did Japan never would have had a Lost Decade to begin with.  For it was Keynesian economics that gave Japan that asset price bubble in the first place.  Which burst and deflated into the Lost Decade.

What Japan needs is a return to classical economic principles.  Focusing more on the supply side.  Lower tax rates and reduce regulation.  Let the market set interest rates.  Restore the policies that introduced ‘Made in Japan’ to the world.  They need to make their capitalism more laissez-faire.  If they do they can create the kind of economic activity that just might be able to support the generation who created the ‘Made in Japan’ label in their retirement.  But you must have robust economic activity.  So robust that lower tax rates can produce greater tax revenue.  The supply-side economics way.

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