Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

How experts make us dumb

Think for yourself! That’s a common sentiment promoted today especially in western civilization. While I notice the concept is frequently promoted I’m not sure the advice is put into practice much.

On the one hand atheism is said to be on the rise in the United States, and Europe is well known for reaching a post-Christian era. One might interpret this as an indication people actually are thinking for themselves. On the other hand, intellectual laziness is astronomically high and still growing, and so is fear of challenging a politically correct narrative.

Experts promote this tragedy in our society and the rest of us help them do it. Experts often try to make themselves appear sophisticated and smart by using elevated jargon when speaking to people outside their field of expertise. Of course it makes no sense using buzzwords for a highly specialized discipline when speaking to the uninitiated, at least not if the goal is to effectively communicate. But the goal evidently is not to effectively communicate. Instead the goal is often to intimidate or impress, or both.

Emotionally charged controversies are the preferred playground for this intellectual pretense. Experts in economics, the soft social sciences, physics, etc. often tout their credentials and experience in ways intended to discourage disagreement. Experts often see what they want to see and blithely dismiss dissenting views rather than discuss specifics. Granted, even experts are only human, so when they make mistakes they typically don’t want to admit it any more than you or I would. And when the general public treats the expert opinion with skepticism we should not be surprised to be met with some form of expertism: the allegation that because we are not experts in the field we cannot possibly know what we are talking about; so our views don’t count for much.

So we, the uneducated masses, apparently cannot know that one of the most basic things a medical professional ought to do before administering care to read the patient’s chart (failing to do this turns out to be an alarmingly common mistake). And we, being chronically uneducated, cannot know that a nation cannot pull itself out of an economic slump by spending its way into oblivion – since numerous experts insist it can.

So while experts try to bully the people into thinking we cannot know what we are talking about when we disagree with them, we the people often end up reinforcing this myth as well.

In physics, for example, Stephen Hawking, arguably one of the smartest people in the world, asserts the universe created itself out of nothing. Think about that. The cosmic equivalent of spontaneous generation is this expert’s preferred explanation about how the universe got here. And people who don’t understand the math, don’t know what he’s talking about, and most of whom haven’t even read his book The Grand Design blindly accept Hawking’s word for it. There is no empirical evidence of any kind supporting Hawking’s explanation. It isn’t even testable (which means it doesn’t qualify as science) and most people who accept this idea have never heard any criticism of it (from religious and secular people alike, from philosophical and scientific view points). Many people unquestioningly believe it simply because Hawking said it. So much for thinking for oneself. This is blind faith, the unthinking, mindless approach to the world which theists are typically accused of practicing. But because Hawking’s explanation doesn’t need God it automatically gains credibility where, scientifically speaking, it has not earned it.

Additionally, Hawking has pompously and erroneously argued that philosophy is dead. Of course, the unthinking masses willing to believe his theory of the universe are not likely to recognize the flaw in this philosophical argument. Merely saying “think about that statement” is not likely to have the intended effect so I’ll explain it.

The statement “philosophy is dead” is not something that can be scientifically tested. In fact, Hawking’s comment is itself not even a scientific statement, but a philosophical one. So he uses philosophy to claim philosophy is dead, thus proving his own statement false. Hawking, as brilliant a scientist as he is, makes basic, elementary errors in his philosophy. Instead of showing philosophy to be dead, Hawking reveals his own ignorance and bias on things outside the area of his expertise, and raises questions as to the reliability of his expertise as well. As Einstein said, the man of science makes a poor philosopher. Hawking proves this publicly for all the world to see.

Climate science suffers from much the same problem. Chris Landsea, former chief scientist at the National Hurricane Center, in 2005 resigned from his position with the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) due to the panel’s willingness to embrace poor science and political corruption of the scientific process. On the other side of the coin, the former chair of the IPCC Rajendra Pachauri (who resigned in 2015 due to sexual scandals) declared climate change is his religion. But if you were to suggest climate change has been happening for as long as the planet has existed you can be sure to be labeled a “denier” or “anti-science”. Climate science is riddled with propaganda and corruption, and dissent is punished. Yet we are supposed to think climate science is real science, pure and incorruptible. Look at how many stories we’ve read or seen touting global warming doctrine as if it were infallible, all with the knowledge we are likely to be ridiculed if not worse for challenging that doctrine. What else does it mean to claim “the science is settled” if not to try to stop people from thinking beyond the narrative?

We now have a narrative conflating the latest views of gender with civil rights. Anyone who bothers to question this narrative is instantly labeled a bigot. As with gay activists, transgender activist rely on bully tactics to silence those who dare think for themselves on these issues. The threat of ruination was the hallmark of activism on the gay marriage issue, where any independent thinking would be labeled as unthinking hatred and punished. The what 0.3 percent? of the population that may be transgender gets to force the rest of us to accommodate any number of questionable premises. Never mind if the majority are made uncomfortable; the concerns of 0.3 percent trump everyone else’s concerns. So don’t bother asking thoughtful questions like what happens if straight male pranksters or perverts (falsely claiming to identify as female) see this latest social issue as an opportunity to exploit? Recording video of women in the restroom or shower and posting it online is one of the less egregious problems we are inviting upon ourselves, but such a violation of privacy is no small thing. Yet as long as the rights of the 99.7 percent are ignored while we are misdirected with a questionable narrative, we can pretend everyone is being treated equally by the rash effort to change public policy to accommodate the ever changing feelings of a tiny minority.

Andrea Mitchell (NBC News) shows us another example of experts making people dumb. For months, Hillary Clinton has been playing the gender card to help her presidential campaign. She portrays herself as a defender of women. But because our society tends to blindly accept the dominant narrative of the major news sources (CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, NPR, NYT, etc.) most people simply forget what happened even a few weeks ago. For example, during the 1990s, when President Bill Clinton had his panoply of sex scandals (the allegations turned out to be true) Hillary defended her husband by defaming any woman who spoke up about the sexual abuse. We were told absurdities like a “vast rightwing conspiracy” was out to get her husband. Contrast that with her more recent comments about how survivors of sexual assault have the right to be heard and believed. Not only do many forget how Hillary treated survivors of sexual assault in the 1990s, there is one case in particular which receives little attention at all.

Juanita Broaddrick’s story got scant attention. President Clinton denied her allegation that he raped her. He also denied all the other allegations of various forms of sexual harassment and assault. Yet, this denial seems to be enough for Andrea Mitchell to think Broaddrick’s story has been “discredited”. When? How? By whom? Mitchell doesn’t seem to realize that hiding from a story is not the same as discrediting it.

In light of the Bill Cosby sex scandal I challenged some liberals on social media. I pointed out how they are surprisingly concerned with allegations against him, given their profound lack of interest in allegations against Bill Clinton. And this was confirmed, with admissions that they didn’t care about the allegations against the former president. Callous excuses such as “it was just one allegation” were thrown about.

But hold a second. The idea that women would lie about sexual issues like this was unconscionable prior to Bill Clinton’s presidency. For those who don’t recall the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court confirmation hearings, HBO is sure to skew your view of history even further with a loaded dramatization of questionable historical accuracy. In point of fact, the Clarence Thomas scandal received exactly the opposite response from liberals. There was little concern for evidence of any allegation. Instead, the concern was over the “seriousness of the charge”. The American people were supposed to believe women don’t lie about this sort of thing, so the allegations should be taken at face value, making Thomas unqualified to take a position on the SCOTUS. For President Clinton, we were told a man’s personal life doesn’t affect his professional life (his sexual abuse somehow does not disqualify him to be POTUS) and women apparently lie all the time about sexual abuse. So which narrative is true? Andrea Mitchell, acting as an expert in current events and women’s issues, would have you believe which ever narrative helps Hillary Clinton’s current campaign. So we are to ignore the defense of Hill and ignore Hillary’s recent comments about survivors of sexual assault, and pretend Broaddrick’s allegations have been “discredited” though no one can show me how this was done.

In western civilization experts now enjoy an air of respect traditionally reserved for religious leadership. These experts cultivate a religious veneration for their views, and the rest of us let them. Many will gladly keep themselves uninformed (not bothering to do their own homework) and blindly accept what they are told by these experts, whether they be scientific, economic, social, or political experts. And we have to contend with fear and retaliation for not blindly following the predominant narrative of the day. The combination of willful ignorance and unquestioning acceptance of certain points of view makes people dumb. And it happens everyday in our politically correct culture.

Many people keep acting as if they are intelligent and well informed by blindly following the experts. The rest of us commoners with a mere public education are frequently and smugly treated as nincompoops for daring to raise inconvenient questions, all while the virtues of public education are continually sung from the rafters by those same sheep who keeping buying what education experts are selling.

Given the frequent disagreement from among experts, even among those in the same field, perhaps blindly following them is not such an intelligent decision after all. It is stupid to say people who are thinking for themselves are not thinking, and stupid to say people who are blindly following the crowd are thinking for themselves. But what else should we expect from dumb people?

Please don’t be like that. Don’t be dumb.

corruption, culture, elitism, ideology, indoctrination, opinion, pandering, propaganda, tragedy

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Hiding from a story is not the same as discrediting it

original article: Andrea Mitchell Dismisses Clinton Rape Accusation as ‘Discredited’
May 19, 2016 by Kyle Drennen

On Thursday’s NBC Today, correspondent Andrea Mitchell was so deep in the tank for Hillary Clinton that the veteran reporter claimed a major scoop from her own network about Bill Clinton being accused of rape was a “discredited” story.

Mitchell was aghast that Donald Trump mentioned rape allegations against the former president during aWednesday night interview: “…last night, Trump fired a shot squarely at Clinton’s husband….using that word unprompted during an interview last night with Fox News’s Sean Hannity, bringing up a discredited and long-denied accusation against former President Bill Clinton…”

A soundbite played of Trump saying the word “rape,” but Mitchell couldn’t bring herself to utter the term. Co-hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie were similarly cryptic when teasing the segment. Earlier in the 7:30 a.m. ET hour, Lauer declared: “Up next, a word used by Donald Trump while talking about former President Bill Clinton that has him under fire this morning.” Minutes later, Guthrie noted: “Hillary Clinton’s camp going hard after Donald Trump…for a word that Trump used in an interview…”

NBC displayed the same squeamishness back on February 25, 1999, the day after then-investigative correspondentLisa Myers interviewed Juanita Broaddrick, who accused Clinton of raping her in 1978, during his first campaign for governor of Arkansas. At the time, Myers had to address concerns that the network initially forced her to sit on the story before “finally” allowing it on air.

Despite such a bombshell report coming on the heels of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Broaddrick’s claims received short shrift on the network news. A 2015 Media Research Center study detailed how the story was ignored by the Big Three, including NBC:

Well, consider that when then-President Bill Clinton was accused of rape, those same newscasts aired just four stories mentioning those charges during a 12-month period from March 1998 through March 1999.

The four: On March 28, 1998, the NBC Nightly News ran a full story on how Clinton, then the Attorney General of Arkansas, allegedly raped Juanita Broaddrick in a hotel room in 1978. Nightly News provided no further coverage; when NBC’s Lisa Myers taped an exclusive on-camera interview with Broaddrick for Dateline, anchor Tom Brokaw would only mention it in a brief promo at the end of his February 24, 1999 newscast.

The CBS Evening News ran a single report on Broaddrick’s charges during their Saturday, February 20, 1999 newscast. ABC mentioned the case in passing during a March 7, 1999 World News Sunday report about an interview given by whistleblower Linda Tripp; twelve days later, World News Tonight viewers saw a brief clip of then-White House correspondent Sam Donaldson questioning Clinton about the case at a March 19, 1999 news conference: “Can you tell us what your relationship with Ms. Broaddrick was?”

According to Nexis, there’s been no additional discussion of Broaddrick’s charge since then on the evening newscasts — not during Bill Clinton’s book tour, Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, or even as a point of reference in discussions of other scandals.

Even when Broaddrick herself took to social media early in 2016 to lament the Clintons once again being on the national stage during the presidential campaign, journalists like Mitchell made sure to censor the news. During a Wednesday interview with World Net Daily, Broaddrick recounted a brief phone call she had with Mitchell:

Juanita created a social media firestorm earlier this year by tweeting that she had been “dreading seeing my abuser on TV campaign trail for enabler wife … but his physical appearance reflects ghosts of past are catching up.” One of the many media figures who called her after this tweet was Andrea Mitchell of NBC. Because she’d had a positive experience with Lisa Myers with NBC back in 1999, Andrea Mitchell was one of the few calls Juanita returned in the aftermath of her trending tweets. Andrea Mitchell asked her just one question, listened to her answer, and told Juanita condescendingly, “We’re not going to air anything with you because you have nothing new to add.” Juanita felt bewildered by Andrea Mitchell’s dismissive attitude.

On Thursday, after Trump resurrected the story, Mitchell immediately parroted Clinton campaign spin waving reporters off the scandal:

Late last night, the Clinton campaign responded in a statement that read, “Trump is doing what he does best, attacking when he feels wounded and dragging the American people through the mud for his own gain. If that’s the kind of campaign he wants to run, that’s his choice.” Also accusing him of trying to change the subject from his refusal to release his taxes.

Wrapping up the report, Mitchell proclaimed: “NBC News has reached out to the Trump campaign this morning to ask why he brought up that long-denied Bill Clinton allegation. So far, no response.”

ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS This Morning fretted over Trump “rehashing” the “old” accussstions.

Watch women of “The View” defending sexual abuse of women

More reporters ignoring Hillary’s defense of her husband’s abuse of women, but piling on Trump

bias, censorship, corruption, Democrats, elitism, hypocrisy, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, news media, pandering, politics, progressive, propaganda, relativism, scandal, sex

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Our Constitutional Right to Privacy Is Missing From Bathroom Debate

original article: Our Constitutional Right to Privacy Is Missing From Bathroom Debate
May 17, 2016 by Matt Sharp

It should be common sense that every person is entitled to privacy when using the restroom, changing, or showering, but unfortunately, some have eliminated common sense from the discussion.

What else can explain the decision by dozens of school districts across the country, retailing giant Target, and even the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice to voluntarily adopt and promote policies that strip away privacy for everyone, allowing men into women’s restrooms and locker rooms, and vice versa?

Why does privacy even matter? Sure, our courts have recognized that it’s a constitutionally protected right. And our society has long structured itself around the need to allow privacy for the sexes in intimate settings. But why?

When discussing freedom of speech, one of our most precious rights, the Supreme Court has often emphasized that the right is most important for those whose speech is most vulnerable to censorship.

The majority’s views aren’t the ones that need protection. The minority’s views, the ones that may subject the speaker to abuse, are the ones that the First Amendment was designed to protect.

The same is true of the right to privacy. So who are the vulnerable ones in our society most in need of privacy?

Stephanie has several children that came to her through a foster program. Her children are beautiful, vibrant, and overflowing with joy.

If you met them on the street, you would never suspect that two of her daughters had suffered severe molestation and rape by men that they trusted. For these girls, feeling safe and secure in private settings—such as bedrooms, bathrooms, and locker rooms—is necessary to heal. And to feel safe, these girls need to know that their private spaces will not be invaded by a male.

You would think that the school these girls attend would be especially protective of them. You would be wrong.

The school voluntarily adopted a policy that would allow boys into the girls’ restrooms, locker rooms, and even hotel rooms on school trips. The school callously ignored Stephanie’s explanation that the presence of a boy in these private settings would be a trigger event for her daughters, causing severe psychological harm and setting back the progress they had made.

Stephanie was told, “It isn’t a big deal.”

Another mother, Verity, has a daughter with Down syndrome. As parents of these precious souls will tell you, their children are the best thing that has ever happened to them. But parenthood comes with challenges.

Verity wants her daughter to have independence and to be able to take care of herself. Her daughter, unfortunately, doesn’t always know how to handle every situation she encounters.

Verity naturally worries that, if her daughter is forced to share a restroom or locker room with a male, her daughter could be easily taken advantage of.

Separate facilities for boys and girls add an extra layer of protection for Verity’s daughter by preventing those with ill motives from taking advantage of open access to enter into women’s restrooms unquestioned.

There are millions of stories like Stephanie’s and Verity’s, millions of people for whom privacy is especially important in order to heal and to feel safe. By protecting privacy for everyone, we protect privacy for the most vulnerable among us.

So before we sacrifice this constitutionally protected right at the altar of gender identity politics, let us consider the consequences, especially when options exist to accommodate everyone without violating anyone’s privacy.

Let us consider the victims of sexual abuse, those with mental and physical challenges, and the young girls who simply do not want to be forced to change next to a boy.

For them, privacy is not a luxury. It is a necessity.

abuse, culture, diversity, extremism, ideology, indoctrination, political correctness, relativism, unintended consequences, victimization

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Tell me again who is waging culture war here

original article: NYC Hits Peak Gender Idiocy
May 18, 2016 by Rod Dreher

Not long ago, I was talking to a university-based research scientist in New York City about a particular project he’s working on. It was interesting stuff, and I said that his research might have fascinating implications for broader society in light of the radical and relatively swift changes in social norms around sex, marriage, and gender. Ever thought about exploring that? I asked.

The scientist said he wouldn’t even begin to think about it. In his work, he stays far away from anything related to race, sex, and gender, unless it can’t be avoided, and even then he treads very, very carefully. Too risky politically. You never know where the land mines are hidden. You could say something you think is entirely uncontroversial and scientifically neutral, but if someone decides to make trouble for you, and call you a racist, homophobe, transphobe, or whatever, it can ruin your academic career.

The Social Justice Warriors have done their work well. Especially in New York City.

Eugene Volokh reports that in NYC, the Human Rights Commission advises that you can be fined if you don’t refer to someone by the name and crackpot pronoun (“ze,” “hir”) that they prefer. How can you avoid trouble under the NYC Human Rights Law? Says the Commission:

Covered entities may avoid violations of the NYCHRL by creating a policy of asking everyone what their preferred gender pronoun is so that no individual is singled out for such questions and by updating their systems to allow all individuals to self-identify their names and genders. They should not limit the options for identification to male and female only.

Oh for freak’s sake. Volokh is not having it:

So people can basically force us — on pain of massive legal liability — to say what they want us to say, whether or not we want to endorse the political message associated with that term, and whether or not we think it’s a lie.

We have to use “ze,” a made-up word that carries an obvious political connotation (endorsement of the “non-binary” view of gender). We have to call people “him” and “her” even if we believe that people’s genders are determined by their biological sex and not by their self-perceptions — perceptions that, by the way, can rapidly change, for those who are “gender-fluid” — and that using terms tied to self-perception is basically a lie. (I myself am not sure whether people who are anatomically male, for example, but perceive themselves as female should be viewed as men or women; perhaps one day I’ll be persuaded that they should be viewed as women; my objection is to being forced to express that view.) We can’t be required to even display a license plate that says “Live Free or Die” on our car, if we object to the message; that’s what the court held in Wooley v. Maynard (1978). But New York is requiring people to actually say words that convey a message of approval of the view that gender is a matter of self-perception rather than anatomy, and that, as to “ze,” were deliberately created to convey that a message.

It’s much worse. If the patron of an establishment doesn’t comply with the law, the owner has to throw the patron out, on pain of having to pay a fine. And, according to the Commission’s guidance, it “can impose civil penalties up to $125,000 for violations, and up to $250,000 for violations that are the result of willful, wanton, or malicious conduct.”

They could ruin you if you failed to understand this bizarre gender babble, and apply it correctly.

Seriously, how does a business owner operate under these conditions, even a business owner who wants to do the right thing? Read Volokh’s entire piece to get a full appreciation of how lunatic this thing is. 

Could you imagine being a business owner in NYC under this fanaticism? “Terror is nothing more than speedy, severe and inflexible justice; it is thus an emanation of virtue,” said Robespierre. So it is with the Gender Robespierres. First they make us all lose our minds and our integrity by acquiescing in their bizarre fantasies, and then, if we don’t, they make us lose our livelihoods. (But not our heads; be thankful for small mercies.)

Volokh points out that this is not likely to remain in New York City, either. Think about that. Three of the scariest words in the English language are “Human Rights Commission.”

You know, liberal friends, next time you want to complain about how conservatives are the ones waging culture war, I want you to think about this.

abuse, bias, bigotry, culture, diversity, extremism, free speech, hypocrisy, ideology, indoctrination, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, oppression, political correctness, progressive, public policy, relativism, unintended consequences

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2 fatal mistakes made by Roe v. Wade

original article: 2 fatal mistakes made by Roe v. Wade
January 18, 2016 by KRISTI BURTON BROWN

Roe v. Wade has been the most fatal judicial decision in U.S. history. In the aftermath of Roe, 58 million babies have been aborted, whilecountless women have been irreparably damaged and families have been harmed and torn apart.

Roe was based on multiple mistakes, direct lies, and a rejection of accurate science, research, and the real Constitution. (Even Ruth Bader Ginsburg agrees that Roe was “heavy-handed judicial intervention [which] was difficult to justify.”) However, there are two particularly damaging mistakes – one made by the justices and one by the attorney who argued the case.

FATAL MISTAKE #1: The justices completely missed the intent of the 14th Amendment.

The justices behind Roe wrote that there was no constitutional basis for protecting preborn life. They rejected the 14th Amendment as a basis for protecting the preborn, even though it recognizes the right to life and equal protection for all persons.

They entirely failed to recognize the specific intent of the Congressional sponsors of the 14th Amendment. The intent – a key part of interpreting law – shows that the sponsors wanted to include future vulnerable and oppressed human beings in constitutional equal protection.

Representative John Bingham, a House sponsor, intended the Amendment to be applied universally – to any and every human being.[1] In a speech to Congress, prior to the passage of the 14th Amendment, he declared that the Constitution is “based upon the equality of the human race. Its primal object must be to protect each human being…”[2]

Senate sponsor Jacob Howard agreed that “the measure would apply to even the ‘humblest, the poorest, the most despised of the human race.’”[3] Representative H.D. Scott stated: “The strength of this Government…is in its willingness as well as ability to do equal and exact justice to every human being…”[4] He condemned justice being “made subservient to interest” and when the strong “can prey upon the weak and unfortunate with impunity.”[5]

Just as these statements applied to Black Americans at the time, they apply to the preborn now, just as they did on January 22, 1973, and at the time the 14 Amendment was passed. The Roe Court would have done well to recognize this clear and constitutional truth.

FATAL MISTAKE #2: The lawyer who argued Roe believed women needed abortion to be successful.

There are certainly things to admire about Sarah Weddington, the 26-year-old lawyer who successfully argued Roe v. Wade before the U.S. Supreme Court. At a very young age, she took on the entire nation to advocate for something she believed in. She didn’t let her age, gender, or inexperience stop her.

However, besides the fact that Weddington was on the completely wrong side of a human justice issue, she also has a sad story in her personal history. Before she married Ron Weddington, she became pregnant with their child in her final year of law school. Neither of them wanted children, and so the couple traveled over the border to Mexico, for an illegal abortion.

Weddington cites her ability to have an abortion as the reason she went on to have a career as a lawyer, and yet countless successful female attorneys have proven Weddington’s assertion wrong. Women are, in fact, able to be successful and to be mothers.

Erika Bachiochi, a feminist and former pro-choice attorney,  authored “Embodied Equality: Debunking Equality Arguments for Abortion Rights” for the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy. She also wrote about the real truth on abortion and women for CNN:

As a one-time abortion rights supporter, I well know the temptation to see the right to abortion as a representation of women’s equality. …

Abortion betrays women by having us believe that we must become like men — that is, not pregnant — to achieve parity with them, professionally, socially, educationally. . …

When we belittle the developing child in the womb, a scientific reality that most pro-choice advocates have come to admit, we belittle and distort that child’s mother. We make her out to be one with property rights over her developing unborn child (much as husbands once had property rights over their wives).

We give her the inhumane (but for 42 years, constitutionally protected) right to decide the fate of another human being, of a vulnerable child — her child — to whom she properly owes an affirmative duty of care. We do all this rather than offering her the myriad familial and social supports she needs, whatever her situation, and cherishing her role in the miracle of human life.

Conclusion

While these two fatal mistakes continue to cost millions of lives, we can each personally work to stop the damage. In our conversations with friends, on social media, on campus, and at our offices, clubs, churches, and groups, we can spread the truths that every human being – at every stage of development – deserves equal protection and that no woman needs to take her child’s life to succeed at life. We can actively and practically help women who make the choice for life.

As Carol Tobias, President of the National Right to Life Committee,says:  “As long as abortion is legal, pro-lifers will fight and never give up.”

Sources:
[1] CONG. GLOBE, 34th Cong., 3rd Sess. (1857)
[2] Id.
[3] SENATOR JACOB HOWARD, SPEECH INTRODUCING THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT, Speech delivered in the U.S. Senate, May 23, 1866
[4] CONG. GLOBE, 34th Cong., 3rd Sess. (1857)
[5] Id.

abortion, culture, feminism, history, ideology, indoctrination, judiciary, law, lies, progressive, propaganda, science

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Doctors give up on post-traumatic patient, how about euthanasia?

original article: Sex abuse victim in her 20s allowed to choose euthanasia in Holland after doctors decided her post-traumatic stress and other conditions were incurable
May 10, 2016 by STEVE DOUGHTY

A former victim of child sex abuse has ended her life under Dutch euthanasia laws because she could not live with her mental suffering.

The woman, in her twenties, was given a lethal injection after doctors and psychiatrists decided that her post-traumatic stress disorder and other conditions were incurable.

It went ahead despite improvements in the woman’s psychological condition after ‘intensive therapy’ two years ago, and even though doctors in the Netherlands accept that a demand for death from a psychiatric patient may be no more than a cry for help.

The woman, who has not been named, began to suffer from mental disorders 15 years ago following sexual abuse, according to the papers released by the Dutch Euthanasia Commission. The timescale means she was abused between the ages of five and 15.

News of her death angered anti-euthanasia MPs and disability campaigners in Britain. One Labour MP said it meant sex abuse victims were now being punished with death.

It comes at a time of continued controversy over assisted dying in Britain. A steady flow of people from this country travel to die legally at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland, and judges and the courts appear to be leaning in favour of making it legal to help someone to die.

Details of the Dutch case were released by authorities anxious to justify euthanasia laws and to demonstrate that mercy killings are carried out under full and correct medical supervision.

The papers said that the woman, who was killed last year, had post-traumatic stress disorder that was resistant to treatment. Her condition included severe anorexia, chronic depression and suicidal mood swings, tendencies to self-harm, hallucinations, obsessions and compulsions.

She also had physical difficulties and was almost entirely bedridden. Her psychiatrist said ‘there was no prospect or hope for her. The patient experienced her suffering as unbearable’.

However, the papers also disclosed that two years before her death the woman’s doctors called for a second opinion, and on the advice of the new doctors she had an intensive course of trauma therapy. ‘This treatment was temporarily partially successful,’ the documents said.

Treatment was abandoned last year after independent consultants were called in and said the case was hopeless.

The consultants also said that despite her ‘intolerable’ physical and mental suffering, chronic depression and mood swings, she was entirely competent to make the decision to take her own life.

The patient, they said, was ‘totally competent’ and there was ‘no major depression or other mood disorder which affected her thinking’. A final GP’s report approved the ‘termination of life’ order and the woman was killed by an injection of lethal drugs, the report said.

In Britain yesterday her case was condemned as ‘horrendous’ by Labour MP Robert Flello.

He said: ‘It almost sends the message that if you are the victim of abuse, and as a result you get a mental illness, you are punished by being killed, that the punishment for the crime of being a victim is death.

‘It serves to reinforce why any move towards legalising assisted suicide, or assisted dying, is so dangerous.’

Tory MP Fiona Bruce, chairman of the Parliamentary All-Party Pro-Life Group, said: ‘This tragic situation shows why euthanasia should never be legalised in this country. What this woman needed, at a desperate point in her young life, was help and support to overcome her problems, not the option of euthanasia.’

Nikki Kenward, of the disability rights group Distant Voices, said: ‘It is both horrifying and worrying that mental health professionals could regard euthanasia in any form as an answer to the complex and deep wounds that result from sexual abuse.’

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Liberal privilege is the new Jim Crow

Two recent articles published in surprising sources both acknowledge something conservatives have lamented for decades but liberals have simultaneously publicly denied yet knowingly enjoyed.

Over at Vox, in April, Emmett Rensin wrote a lengthy piece titled “The Smug Style in American Liberalism“. It’s an honest look at how elitist, intolerant, and downright contemptuous modern liberalism has become – quite the opposite of what liberals think themselves to be.

More recently, the New York Times published “A Confession of Liberal Intolerance” by Nicholas Kristof. Kristof’s shorter article goes one step further than Rensin in that he shows us examples of admitted discrimination among liberals, examples of real life and open discrimination based on political/social ideology. The contempt of modern liberalism comes through here as well as with Rensin’s piece, but Kristof may hit even closer to home, perhaps closer than many liberal readers can tolerate.

If you ever wondered how Jim Crow could have existed in America just look around today. Conservatives, especially evangelical conservatives, are the victims of this modern liberal discrimination. The two articles above make the case (for those willing to read them). Both of them are meant to address the issue in a way that helps liberals realize we would all be better off if they would practice what they preach about tolerance, open mindedness, and acceptance, acknowledging diversity of thought is possibly the most important kind. You can even find implications of fact that, because they insulate themselves from real conservatism, most liberals simply don’t know what conservatives actually believe, and are not interested in finding out. Ironically, the modern liberal preference for dealing in stereotypes prevents them from seeing, acknowledging, or even caring about the hate they cultivate and express.

While liberals often will quickly denounce any differing opinion as hate (try stating out loud that marriage is between one man and one woman, for example) they are typically blind to their own biases and hate when it comes to their attitudes toward conservatives. Accusing conservatives of something bad is one thing; being what you accuse conservatives of is quite another.

More:
Former Facebook Workers: We Routinely Suppressed Conservative News
May 9, 2016 by Michael Nunez

Claremont race activists targeted ‘Shady People of Color’ for not supporting radical agenda
May 9, 2016 by MARK SCHIERBECKER

abuse, bias, bigotry, bullies, conservative, culture, discrimination, diversity, elitism, hypocrisy, ideology, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, oppression, progressive, propaganda, relativism

Filed under: abuse, bias, bigotry, bullies, conservative, culture, discrimination, diversity, elitism, hypocrisy, ideology, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, oppression, progressive, propaganda, relativism

Obamacare Premium Hikes Expected in 2017

original article: Get Ready for Huge Obamacare Premium Hikes in 2017
April 21, 2016 by Eric Painin

Amid rising drug and health care costs and roiling market dynamics, the spokesperson for the nation’s health insurers is predicting substantial increases next year in Obamacare premiums and related costs.

Without venturing a specific percentage increase, Marilyn Tavenner, the president and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), said in an interview with Morning Consult that the culmination of market shifts and rising health care costs will force stark increases in health insurance rates in the coming year.

“I’ve been asked, what are the premiums going to look like?” she said. “I don’t know because it also varies by state, market, even within markets. But I think the overall trend is going to be higher than we saw previous years. That’s my big prediction.”

If Tavenner is right, Obamacare will jump dramatically—last year’s premium for the popular silver-level plan surged 11 percent on average. Although Tavenner didn’t mention deductibles, in 2016, some states saw jumps of 76 percent, while the average for a 27-year-old male on a silver plan was 8 percent.

The warning to consumers from Tavenner, the former administration official who headed the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and oversaw the disastrous launch of HealthCare.gov, the Obamacare website, comes at a time of growing uncertainty about the evolving makeup of the Obamacare health insurance market. With many insurers struggling to find profitability in the program, the collapse of nearly half of the 23 Obamacare insurance co-ops and this week’s announcement that giant UnitedHealth Group intends to pull out of most Obamacare markets across the country, anticipating future premiums and copayments is largely risky guesswork.

Premiums for the current 2016 season rose on average by 8 percent over the previous year, with 12.7 million Americans enrolling for coverage and government subsidies, according to CMS. Federal officials stress that the average rate doesn’t tell the whole story, and that in many cases after consumers shop around for the best price and government subsidies are applied, the actual premium increase is lower.

The Department of Health and Human Services did a study looking at what consumers were estimated to pay based on initial filings compared to what they actually paid. The study found that last year, the average cost of Obamacare marketplace coverage for people receiving tax credits went from $102 a month to $106 per month, a 4 percent change — despite warning from some of double-digit hikes.

Tavenner’s prediction may well be an opening gambit in the negotiations between the industry and insurance regulators about the 2017 premiums. As Morning Consult noted, many insurers have begun submitting opening bids on raising their premium rates and copayments, which will then be reviewed by the government and finalized this fall.

With a major presidential and congressional election looming this fall, the administration is doing all that it can to tamp down fears of major hikes next year in Obamacare insurance premiums and related out-of-pocket costs. Benjamin Wakana, a Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson, said on Thursday that changes in health care insurance rates are “not a reliable indicator” of what typical consumers on average will pay. “Marketplace consumers would do well to put little stock in those initial numbers,” he said in an email.

But Tavenner outlined several factors that she could put considerable pressure on premium prices next year. Those include:

  • A general rise in the nation’s health care tab. Overall, U.S. health care spending grew by 5.3 percent in 2014 – reaching an historic level of $3 trillion, after years of relative cost stability. Medical costs rise from year to year and will certainly affect the next round of premium hikes.
  • Soaring prescription drug prices. Insurers as well as government health care programs have been struggling to keep pace with rising drug prices, especially newer specialty drugs to treat the Hepatitis-C virus and cancer. Pfizer Inc., Amgen Inc., Allergan PLC and other companies have raised U.S. prices for scores of branded drugs since late December, with many of the increases between 9 percent and 10 percent, according to the Wall Street Journal .
  • The combination of market forces and limitations imposed by the Affordable Care Act will put enormous pressure on insurers to up their premiums. Under the law, there is a cap on insurers’ profits, companies are obliged to insure anyone regardless of their general health or pre-existing conditions, and the insurance plans must be structured in a certain way that often lead to losses.
  • Finally, two of three federal “risk mitigation” programs created under Obamacare are due to expire in 2017. Those programs were set up to protect insurers from huge, unexpected losses from providing health insurance on the Obamacare exchanges. UnitedHealth and other major insurers have found it difficult to accurately anticipate their costs in providing coverage to sicker or older Americans, and set premiums that were inadequate to cover their risks. Without those programs to fall back on, many companies likely will seek to jack up their premiums.

“It’s kind of a myriad of factors,” Tavenner said in predicting rising premium costs. “It’s not one factor.”

Clare Krusing, director of communications for AHIP, said in an interview on Thursday that health insurance companies “are working through” these factors right now in setting rates for the coming year and deciding whether to participate.

“Plans are just beginning to file their rates, and it’s a long process with state and federal regulators, until those are approved,” she added. “Certainly plans are going to evaluate market conditions and regulatory approvals, and that will all impact their participation overall” in Obamacare.

bureaucracy, crisis, economics, government, health care, legislation, medicine, nanny state, public policy, reform, tragedy, unintended consequences

Filed under: bureaucracy, crisis, economics, government, health care, legislation, medicine, nanny state, public policy, reform, tragedy, unintended consequences

Two climate studies published in Nature, one ignored

Media Censor New Study Debunking Climate Models
April 7, 2016 by Alatheia Larsen

Climate alarmists love flaunting “extreme” weather predictions to instill fear in the hearts of skeptics, but a new study deals yet another devastating blow to those predictions’ reliability.

Researchers at Stockholm University in Sweden published a study in the journal Nature on April 6, 2016, which found that climate model predictions for rainfall and drought extremes in the 20th Century “differed vastly” from what actually happened in the 20th Century. The climate models “overestimated the increase in wet and dry extremes,” meteorologist Anthony Watts reported on his blog Watts Up With That.

global weatherThe climate models that predicted inaccurately extreme weather are the same models being used to predict the alleged disastrous impacts of climate change in the future.

The Stockholm study examined rainfall data for the last 1,200 years, and found that “prominent seesaw patterns” of wetness and dryness occurred “under both warm and cold climate regimes.” In other words, historical weather patterns don’t support climate alarmists’ belief that global warming (now called climate change) directly causes extreme weather.

“Much of the change is not only driven by temperature, but some internal, more random variability,” the study’s lead researcher, Fredrik Ljungqvist, told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

“It’s therefore very, very hard also to predict (precipitation extremes) with models,” Ljungqvist continued, “It might be more difficult than often assumed to project into the future.”

Despite the study’s far-reaching implications, the media have so far censored its findings. None of the evening or morning news shows on ABC, NBC, or CBS mentioned the study. No other mainstream media outlets have written on the study either, as of noon on April 7.

The Los Angeles Times did however highlight a different study on April 7 from Nature which predicted sea level rise by the end of the 21st Century, proving journalists do pay attention to studies published by Nature. Just not ones they find inconvenient.

Past climate predictions, like the infamous “hockey stick” graph, have repeatedly been criticized, yet climate rhetoric continues to resurrect in the media.

A 2014 study found that since Al Gore’s climate apocalypse film An Inconvenient Truth, network coverage of “extreme weather” increased by nearly 1,000 percent. This same weather hysteria continued into 2016, despite climatologist reports that the weather patterns were simply “business as usual.”

bias, censorship, climate change, corruption, cover up, environment, greenhouse, hypocrisy, indoctrination, left wing, news media, science, study, weather

Filed under: bias, censorship, climate change, corruption, cover up, environment, greenhouse, hypocrisy, indoctrination, left wing, news media, science, study, weather

Maybe you can’t keep your health care plan after all

original article: ObamaCare may force employers to pull the plug on millions of health plans, CBO report finds
March 28, 2016 by FoxNews

In the latest report to undercut President Obama’s “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it” promise, the Congressional Budget Office projects millions of workers will leave employer-sponsored health plans over the next decade because of ObamaCare.

Some will opt to go on Medicaid, but others will be kicked off their company plans by employers who decide not to offer coverage anymore, according to a new CBO report titled,  “Federal Subsidies for Health Insurance Coverage for People Under Age 65: 2016 to 2026.”

“As a result of the ACA, between 4 million and 9 million fewer people are projected to have employment-based coverage each year from 2017 through 2026 than would have had such coverage if the ACA had never been enacted,” the report, released Thursday, said.

Employers now cover some 155 million people, about 57 percent of those under 65. That’s expected to decline to 152 million people in 2019. Ten years from now, employers will be covering about 54 percent of those under 65.

CBO said part of the shrinkage is attributable to the health care law: some workers may qualify for Medicaid, which is virtually free to them, and certain employers may decide not to offer coverage because a government-subsidized alternative is available.

Larger employers would face fines if they take that route.

But the agency also noted that employer coverage had been declining due to rising medical costs well before the health care law was passed, and that the trend continues.

The CBO also found that more people will enroll in Medicaid than previously predicted, though fewer will be covered through the public insurance marketplaces mandated by the Affordable Care Act.

The analysis underscores the view that the health care law is driving the nation’s gains in insurance coverage, which raises political risks for Republicans who would repeal it.

bureaucracy, crisis, economy, government, health care, law, legislation, nanny state, politics, public policy, reform, regulation, unintended consequences

Filed under: bureaucracy, crisis, economy, government, health care, law, legislation, nanny state, politics, public policy, reform, regulation, unintended consequences

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