Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Erosion of Reason and Law

Where the law was formerly a bulwark for the rights of citizens, it has been turned into a malignant potion sanctioning assault and battery based on the beauty of cultural acceptance and acquiescence to religious law.

National Review posts the transcript from Penn:Well, having had the benefit of having spent over two-and-a-half years in a predominantly Muslim country, I think I know a little bit about the faith of Islam. In fact, I have a copy of the Koran here, and I would challenge you, sir, to show me where it says in the Koran that Mohammed arose and walked among the dead.

I am confident this will be a decision that will be overturned, but it sets a nasty precedent. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ethical Infanticide

is as much a paradox as icy fire. 

From The Blaze: " that in “circumstances occur[ing] after birth such that they would have justified abortion, what we call after-birth abortion should be permissible.”
The two are quick to note that they prefer the term “after-birth abortion“ as opposed to ”infanticide.” Why? Because it “[emphasizes] that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus (on which ‘abortions’ in the traditional sense are performed) rather than to that of a child.” "
Note carefully the attempt to change the terms of the discussion. As a wise father and friend once told me, once you can define the terms of the debate, victory is almost assured. Similar to the historical aversion to call the slaughter of innocent children genocide, murder or infanticide, this argument insults the intelligence of the hearer and debases the English language. Words mean things, and we have words to use for a reason. The word 'murder' is perfectly accurate to describe an abortion, as is the word 'infanticide' a precise accounting of the killing of children both while in the womb and outside of the womb. Once you use less precise, and correspondingly less appalling language to describe an action, the distinction between right and evil is easily abused. 
Literary people, I point you to Ernest Hemingway's 'Hills like White Elephants', in which a fictional couple has an entire discussion about killing their child, but speak only in euphemisms and vague terms, unable to cope with the reality of what exactly they are proposing to do, but still desirous of removing the complication from their life. 
With the importance of definitions in mind. let us proceed to the pulsing heart of this counter-ethical theory:
"Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life’. We take ‘person’ to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her."
The Orwellian double speak is remarkable, as once again is the abuse of language. By considering babies both in and out of the womb to be human beings, the discussion in regards to the validity of their murder should be finished. It is wrong to premeditate the murder of a human for merely existing. 
To present and hold the concept of a 'potential person' is in exact conflict with this reality. The child in the womb, or even the child who has been born, is a human being. Potential, eg, has yet to become, undermines the very humanity of babies, allowing us to mentally pare away the objections to this infanticide. To hinge the definition of 'person' upon the ability to attach value to, and experience loss of some value is equally vapid. To exist as a human is reason enough to have a moral right to continue with that existence, regardless of the ability to assign value and suffer loss. 
Let us recall that a baby will suffer loss in the event of his or her murder. This is a simple fact that will stand it's ground for generations to come as this manner of malarkey continually purloined. 
"Merely being human is not in itself a reason for ascribing someone a right to life."
Here we find the very marrow of this revolting stunt. That being a human and existing is not enough, in and of itself, to have a right to life. At this point of contention, those in favor of infanticide will often point to both the current existence of infanticide by abortion and capital punishment as moral grounds upon which a stand can be based. It is amusing to see serious people base arguments upon such sandy soil. In no case is the current legality of abortion a sanction for the morality of murdering children in womb. It is in fact the single most obvious example of the failings of this nation, as we freely destroy our children with reckless abandon. In the case of capital punishment, there is at least the strength of the argument that it is justice. While I disagree with the state ending the life of it's own citizens (which may well be it's own post later), it is a far more logical argument to make then the appropriateness of infanticide of children in an out of the womb. 
The baby in womb did not ask to be put there, he or she was brought forth by the action of two parties. (Wait for it, we will soon have objections of rape and incest, which are clearly superfluous to this discussion. In any event, there is no reason a child should be murdered for the wrongs of others.) I know it has become a cliche since it was spoken, but everyone who is for abortion and infanticide has already been born. 
The baby exists, and no matter what perceived harms or damages are, has a right to his or her continued existence by the very dint of having existed in the first place. This is a dark and dangerous world and universe we live in, and to trifle and destroy the small lives that come behind us is a abhorrent development in the minds of men. 

Remember that the root of the pro-infanticide argument lies in a redefining of the terms. Do not fear to present the real terms of the discussion, that we are talking of real people who are real children who are real babies, and we are talking of rationalizing the unjust murder of babies. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Fed Notices?

I don't know when this popped up, but it looks like Congressman Ron Paul and his book End The Fed have made enough noise the Central Bank of the United States aka the Federal Reserve, is paying attention

From the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pregnant Army Men

Stars and Stripes: "The Army is ordering its hardened combat veterans to wear fake breasts and empathy bellies so they can better understand how pregnant soldiers feel during physical training.
This week, 14 noncommissioned officers at Camp Zama took turns wearing the “pregnancy simulators” as they stretched, twisted and exercised during a three-day class that teaches them to serve as fitness instructors for pregnant soldiers and new mothers.
Army enlisted leaders all over the world are being ordered to take the Pregnancy Postpartum Physical Training Exercise Leaders Course, or PPPT, according to U.S. Army Medical Activity Japan health promotion educator Jana York."

When we begin the next war with a real opponent and wonder why our ground forces are continuously less effective then those of decades past, we will need to closely examine the effect of making our soldiers feel like pregnant women for the sake of keeping pregnant women in a combat zone. 

For those of you looking for causation to assail the current president, take note this began under the W administration.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

She had Handcuffs, Now She has a Coma

If you get bored, skip to 0:04. What we see is a 267lb police officer, chasing a 120lb girl out the front door of a police station. Danielle Maudsley was arrested and handcuffed without from a nonviolent traffic incident, and fled out the front door of the station when the opportunity presented itself. Daniel Cole then decided that in her handcuffed state 4 feet in front of him, she ought to be tasered to prevent escape.
End result?  Danielle cracked her head open upon the asphalt, and is now a 20 year old woman in a coma with little prospect of awakening. 

The reaction? 

From the Tampa Bay Times
"This week, two state agencies cleared Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Daniel Cole of any wrongdoing in the September incident, which occurred as Maudsley tried to escape from an FHP station in Pinellas Park.But several experts and researchers who reviewed reports and video of the incident said the case raises questions.
They are troubled that Cole tasered Maudsley, a suspect in two hit-and-run crashes who had drugs in her system, while she was handcuffed. They also noted that Cole was just steps behind Maudsley when he fired the Taser.
"It just doesn't make any sense," said Greg Connor, a professor at the University of Illinois Police Training Institute who specializes in use of force. "I don't see where it's going to be that hard to apprehend her.""

Lest we assume this is a 100% isolated incident, the use of Tasers by Police officers in Florida resulted in 65 deaths in the past 10 years, the second in the nation behind California's 92. This is an issue with the state. With reactions like this from state overseers, this will continue. 

Ron Paul on Babies Lives and Government Action

Good piece from CNS on Ron Paul and his views on the sanctity of life, the problem of the Federal Government stepping in and making law where it ought not, and his solution to this murderous system.

"We're not supposed to nationalize these problems" 
"While I am known for my defense of Liberty, I often say that you can’t have Liberty without Life," Paul continued. "I don't just believe life begins at conception; I know it as a scientific certainty. And I have sponsored bills in Congress to make this definition law.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Standard Auto & Manufacturing in America

The Atlantic's summary is quite good: 
"In the past decade, the flow of goods emerging from U.S. factories has risen by about a third. Factory employment has fallen by roughly the same fraction. The story of Standard Motor Products, a 92-year-old, family-run manufacturer based in Queens, sheds light on both phenomena. It’s a story of hustle, ingenuity, competitive success, and promise for America’s economy. It also illuminates why the jobs crisis will be so difficult to solve."

Something I thought was interesting is the increasing stratification of the manufacturing labor pool, as the skilled labor (Luke, who has some really remarkable mathematical prowess) progresses, and the unskilled laborer (Madie) can hope to hang on to her occupation. Clearly, the people who are driving to keep themselves competitive in the market are doing better, presumably indicating a healthy market situation. 

I was also impressed that even after the past several decades of growth in Chinese manufacturing, Standard Auto Parts is unable to acquire the precision needed outside of the US. After listening to a podcast with the author,

 (EconTalk with Prof. Russ Roberts of George Mason University, interviewed the author of this article, in many ways a superior learning experience to the article itself. Transcript after the jump) it impressed me how much innate skill is possessed by the skilled laborers such as Luke, and by the way US production systems are designed to accentuate the ability of these individuals. In contrast, much of the manufacturing that Standard also uses in china is unskilled, in the manner of tasks that can imparted through a days worth of training. 

To touch more strongly on a point made in this article, US manufacturing has grown, and is growing faster then almost any other part of the economy except energy. Meanwhile, we have been hammered about the death of american manufacturing in popular media.
The disconnect lies in the dishonesty of our political leadership and from displaced workers, as machines have been increasing the efficiency of some workers, but in so doing many unskilled workers have become to expensive to maintain on payroll. Just remember, next time you hear of the woebegone state of American manufacturing, we make more and have far fewer people tied up in the process of material fabrication. 


What we ought not claim to be, but appear to increasingly becoming:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dollar Multiplication

Turns out, dollar stores are pretty much everywhere.
Carpe Diem:"3. There are 5.6 dollar stores in the U.S. for every one Walmart.  "
What the implication of this is in your life, I do not know.

The Atlantic Cities also chimes in, with this helpful image of Dollar Store Density per 10,000 from a report by Colliers:
 "Dollar General, with 9,600 stores, positions itself as rural America’s convenience store. 
More than 70% of its stores serve communities with fewer than 20,000 residents
...In contrast, Family Dollar locates in urban, suburban, and rural areas, but less desirable areas 
of large markets, a.k.a. “food deserts,” are its sweet spot. Urban areas force convenience 
retailers to focus more on price to combat competition. "

The Coming War on General Computation

This is a really insightful speech by Cory Doctrow. Short Description:

"The copyright war was just the beginning

The last 20 years of Internet policy have been dominated by the copyright war, but the war turns out only to have been a skirmish. The coming century will be dominated by war against the general purpose computer, and the stakes are the freedom, fortune and privacy of the entire human race."

Video for eyes and ears and mind.
Transcript eyes and mind.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Capitalism Rules

Let there be no more question as to the effectiveness of the free market in meeting customer needs:

Introducing, the Obol. No more soggy cereal.
This really appears to be marvelous engineering to a long standing problem.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Moral Dangers of Non-Lethal Weapons

A really fascinating TED Talk by Stephen Coleman exploring the use of non-lethal arms by police forces, and in turn what we should expect if their usage is increased in military occupations.