Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

So the sun affects climate on this planet. Who knew?

original article: To The Horror Of Global Warming Alarmists, Global Cooling Is Here
May 26, 2013 by Peter Ferrara

Around 1250 A.D., historical records show, ice packs began showing up farther south in the North Atlantic. Glaciers also began expanding on Greenland, soon to threaten Norse settlements on the island. From 1275 to 1300 A.D., glaciers began expanding more broadly, according to radiocarbon dating of plants killed by the glacier growth. The period known today as the Little Ice Age was just starting to poke through.

Summers began cooling in Northern Europe after 1300 A.D., negatively impacting growing seasons, as reflected in the Great Famine of 1315 to 1317. Expanding glaciers and ice cover spreading across Greenland began driving the Norse settlers out. The last, surviving, written records of the Norse Greenland settlements, which had persisted for centuries, concern a marriage in 1408 A.D. in the church of Hvalsey, today the best preserved Norse ruin.

Colder winters began regularly freezing rivers and canals in Great Britain, the Netherlands and Northern France, with both the Thames in London and the Seine in Paris frozen solid annually. The first River Thames Frost Fair was held in 1607. In 1607-1608, early European settlers in North America reported ice persisting on Lake Superior until June. In January, 1658, a Swedish army marched across the ice to invade Copenhagen. By the end of the 17th century, famines had spread from northern France, across Norway and Sweden, to Finland and Estonia.

Reflecting its global scope, evidence of the Little Ice Age appears in the Southern Hemisphere as well. Sediment cores from Lake Malawi in southern Africa show colder weather from 1570 to 1820. A 3,000 year temperature reconstruction based on varying rates of stalagmite growth in a cave in South Africa also indicates a colder period from 1500 to 1800. A 1997 study comparing West Antarctic ice cores with the results of the Greenland Ice Sheet Project Two (GISP2) indicate a global Little Ice Age affecting the two ice sheets in tandem.

The Siple Dome, an ice dome roughly 100 km long and 100 km wide, about 100 km east of the Siple Coast of Antartica, also reflects effects of the Little Ice Age synchronously with the GISP2 record, as do sediment cores from the Bransfield Basin of the Antarctic Peninsula. Oxygen/isotope analysis from the Pacific Islands indicates a 1.5 degree Celsius temperature decline between 1270 and 1475 A.D.

The Franz Josef glacier on the west side of the Southern Alps of New Zealand advanced sharply during the period of the Little Ice Age, actually invading a rain forest at its maximum extent in the early 1700s. The Mueller glacier on the east side of New Zealand’s Southern Alps expanded to its maximum extent at roughly the same time.

Ice cores from the Andeas mountains in South America show a colder period from 1600 to 1800. Tree ring data from Patagonia in South America show cold periods from 1270 to 1380 and from 1520 to 1670. Spanish explorers noted the expansion of the San Rafael Glacier in Chile from 1675 to 1766, which continued into the 19th century.

The height of the Little Ice Age is generally dated as 1650 to 1850 A.D. The American Revolutionary Army under General George Washington shivered at Valley Forge in the winter of 1777-78, and New York harbor was frozen in the winter of 1780. Historic snowstorms struck Lisbon, Portugal in 1665, 1744 and 1886. Glaciers in Glacier National Park in Montana advanced until the late 18th or early 19th centuries. The last River Thames Frost Fair was held in 1814. The Little Ice Age phased out during the middle to late 19th century.

The Little Ice Age, following the historically warm temperatures of the Medieval Warm Period, which lasted from about AD 950 to 1250, has been attributed to natural cycles in solar activity, particularly sunspots. A period of sharply lower sunspot activity known as the Wolf Minimum began in 1280 and persisted for 70 years until 1350. That was followed by a period of even lower sunspot activity that lasted 90 years from 1460 to 1550 known as the Sporer Minimum. During the period 1645 to 1715, the low point of the Little Ice Age, the number of sunspots declined to zero for the entire time. This is known as the Maunder Minimum, named after English astronomer Walter Maunder. That was followed by the Dalton Minimum from 1790 to 1830, another period of well below normal sunspot activity.

The increase in global temperatures since the late 19th century just reflects the end of the Little Ice Age. The global temperature trends since then have followed not rising CO2 trends but the ocean temperature cycles of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). Every 20 to 30 years, the much colder water near the bottom of the oceans cycles up to the top, where it has a slight cooling effect on global temperatures until the sun warms that water. That warmed water then contributes to slightly warmer global temperatures, until the next churning cycle.

Those ocean temperature cycles, and the continued recovery from the Little Ice Age, are primarily why global temperatures rose from 1915 until 1945, when CO2 emissions were much lower than in recent years. The change to a cold ocean temperature cycle, primarily the PDO, is the main reason that global temperatures declined from 1945 until the late 1970s, despite the soaring CO2 emissions during that time from the postwar industrialization spreading across the globe.

The 20 to 30 year ocean temperature cycles turned back to warm from the late 1970s until the late 1990s, which is the primary reason that global temperatures warmed during this period. But that warming ended 15 years ago, and global temperatures have stopped increasing since then, if not actually cooled, even though global CO2 emissions have soared over this period. As The Economist magazine reported in March, “The world added roughly 100 billion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere between 2000 and 2010. That is about a quarter of all the CO2 put there by humanity since 1750.” Yet, still no warming during that time. That is because the CO2 greenhouse effect is weak and marginal compared to natural causes of global temperature changes.

At first the current stall out of global warming was due to the ocean cycles turning back to cold. But something much more ominous has developed over this period. Sunspots run in 11 year short term cycles, with longer cyclical trends of 90 and even 200 years. The number of sunspots declined substantially in the last 11 year cycle, after flattening out over the previous 20 years. But in the current cycle, sunspot activity has collapsed. NASA’s Science News report for January 8, 2013 states,

“Indeed, the sun could be on the threshold of a mini-Maunder event right now. Ongoing Solar Cycle 24 [the current short term 11 year cycle] is the weakest in more than 50 years. Moreover, there is (controversial) evidence of a long-term weakening trend in the magnetic field strength of sunspots. Matt Penn and William Livingston of the National Solar Observatory predict that by the time Solar Cycle 25 arrives, magnetic fields on the sun will be so weak that few if any sunspots will be formed. Independent lines of research involving helioseismology and surface polar fields tend to support their conclusion.”

That is even more significant because NASA’s climate science has been controlled for years by global warming hysteric James Hansen, who recently announced his retirement.

But this same concern is increasingly being echoed worldwide. The Voice of Russia reported on April 22, 2013,

“Global warming which has been the subject of so many discussions in recent years, may give way to global cooling. According to scientists from the Pulkovo Observatory in St.Petersburg, solar activity is waning, so the average yearly temperature will begin to decline as well. Scientists from Britain and the US chime in saying that forecasts for global cooling are far from groundless.”

That report quoted Yuri Nagovitsyn of the Pulkovo Observatory saying, “Evidently, solar activity is on the decrease. The 11-year cycle doesn’t bring about considerable climate change – only 1-2%. The impact of the 200-year cycle is greater – up to 50%. In this respect, we could be in for a cooling period that lasts 200-250 years.” In other words, another Little Ice Age.

The German Herald reported on March 31, 2013,

“German meteorologists say that the start of 2013 is now the coldest in 208 years – and now German media has quoted Russian scientist Dr Habibullo Abdussamatov from the St. Petersburg Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory [saying this] is proof as he said earlier that we are heading for a “Mini Ice Age.” Talking to German media the scientist who first made his prediction in 2005 said that after studying sunspots and their relationship with climate change on Earth, we are now on an ‘unavoidable advance towards a deep temperature drop.’”

Faith in Global Warming is collapsing in formerly staunch Europe following increasingly severe winters which have now started continuing into spring. Christopher Booker explained in The Sunday Telegraph on April 27, 2013,

“Here in Britain, where we had our fifth freezing winter in a row, the Central England Temperature record – according to an expert analysis on the US science blog Watts Up With That – shows that in this century, average winter temperatures have dropped by 1.45C, more than twice as much as their rise between 1850 and 1999, and twice as much as the entire net rise in global temperatures recorded in the 20th century.”

A news report from India (The Hindu April 22, 2013) stated, “March in Russia saw the harshest frosts in 50 years, with temperatures dropping to –25° Celsius in central parts of the country and –45° in the north. It was the coldest spring month in Moscow in half a century….Weathermen say spring is a full month behind schedule in Russia.” The news report summarized,

“Russia is famous for its biting frosts but this year, abnormally icy weather also hit much of Europe, the United States, China and India. Record snowfalls brought Kiev, capital of Ukraine, to a standstill for several days in late March, closed roads across many parts of Britain, buried thousands of sheep beneath six-metre deep snowdrifts in Northern Ireland, and left more than 1,000,000 homes without electricity in Poland. British authorities said March was the second coldest in its records dating back to 1910. China experienced the severest winter weather in 30 years and New Delhi in January recorded the lowest temperature in 44 years.”

Booker adds, “Last week it was reported that 3,318 places in the USA had recorded their lowest temperatures for this time of year since records began. Similar record cold was experienced by places in every province of Canada. So cold has the Russian winter been that Moscow had its deepest snowfall in 134 years of observations.”

Britain’s Met Office, an international cheerleading headquarters for global warming hysteria, did concede last December that there would be no further warming at least through 2017, which would make 20 years with no global warming. That reflects grudging recognition of the newly developing trends. But that reflects as well growing divergence between the reality of real world temperatures and the projections of the climate models at the foundation of the global warming alarmism of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Since those models have never been validated, they are not science at this point, but just made up fantasies. That is why, “In the 12 years to 2011, 11 out of 12 [global temperature]forecasts [of the Met Office] were too high — and… none were colder than [resulted],” as BBC climate correspondent Paul Hudson wrote in January.

Global warming was never going to be the problem that the Lysenkoists who have brought down western science made it out to be. Human emissions of CO2 are only 4 to 5% of total global emissions, counting natural causes. Much was made of the total atmospheric concentration of CO2 exceeding 400 parts per million. But if you asked the daffy NBC correspondent who hysterically reported on that what portion of the atmosphere 400 parts per million is, she transparently wouldn’t be able to tell you. One percent of the atmosphere would be 10,000 parts per million. The atmospheric concentrations of CO2 deep in the geologic past were much, much greater than today, yet life survived, and we have no record of any of the catastrophes the hysterics have claimed. Maybe that is because the temperature impact of increased concentrations of CO2 declines logarithmically. That means there is a natural limit to how much increased CO2 can effectively warm the planet, which would be well before any of the supposed climate catastrophes the warming hysterics have tried to use to shut down capitalist prosperity.

Yet, just last week, there was Washington Postcolumnist Eugene Robinson telling us, by way of attempting to tutor Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, “For the record, and for the umpteenth time, there is no ‘great amount of uncertainty’ about whether the planet is warming and why.” If you can read, and you have gotten this far in my column, you know why Robinson’s ignorance is just anotherWashington Post abuse of the First Amendment. Mr. Robinson, let me introduce you to the British Met Office, stalwart of Global Warming “science,” such as it is, which has already publicly confessed that we are already three quarters through 20 years of No Global Warming!

Booker could have been writing about Robinson when he concluded his Sunday Telegraph commentary by writing, “Has there ever in history been such an almighty disconnect between observable reality and the delusions of a political class that is quite impervious to any rational discussion?”

But there is a fundamental problem with the temperature records from this contentious period, when climate science crashed into political science. The land based records, which have been under the control of global warming alarmists at the British Met Office and the Hadley Centre Climate Research Unit, and at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the U.S., show much more warming during this period than the incorruptible satellite atmosphere temperature records. Those satellite records have been further confirmed by atmospheric weather balloons. But the land based records can be subject to tampering and falsification.

climate change, environment, global warming, history, ice sheets, science

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Woman Who Killed Her Baby Has Conviction Overturned, Court Says Six-Day-Old Baby Isn’t a Person

original article: Woman Who Killed Her Baby Has Conviction Overturned, Court Says Six-Day-Old Baby Isn’t a Person
October 30, 2015 by MICAIAH BILGER

A New York court recently ruled that a Long Island woman who killed her baby in a car accident cannot be convicted because her baby was not a person yet.

The Times Union reports Jennifer Jorgensen previously was found guilty of second-degree manslaughter for causing the death of her baby daughter in a car crash. She also was indicted for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and endangering the welfare of a child, according to the report.

Jorgensen was in her third trimester when the car accident occurred in May 2008. Her daughter was delivered by C-section after the head-on collision and died six days later, according to the report.

In October, the New York Court of Appeals reversed Jorgensen’s conviction, ruling that she was not guilty because she fatally injured her daughter before she was born.

The court ruling compared Jorgensen’s actions to self-induced abortion and called it an offense that is “no greater than a misdemeanor.”

According to the report:

“… the central question in the case was whether the state Legislature intended ‘to hold pregnant women criminally responsible for engaging in reckless conduct against themselves and their unborn fetuses, such that they should be subject to criminal liability for prenatal conduct that results in postnatal death? Under the current statutory scheme, the answer to this question is no.’”

Not all of the judges agreed on the ruling. In a dissent, Judge Eugene Fahey wrote, “I cannot join in a result that analyzes our statutes to determine that a six-day-old child is not a person.”

Conservative blogger Warner Todd Huston notes that as outrageous as the ruling may seem, the court is right that current state laws do not recognize unborn babies as “persons.” Jorgensen is no longer being held accountable for her baby’s death because, in the eyes of the state, her unborn daughter did not have the rights of personhood when her reckless behavior fatally injured her child.

Huston wrote, “In this case it is clearly the legislature’s fault, not the court’s, and shows how iffy it is to say that a human doesn’t count as human until after they are ‘born.’”

Currently in the U.S., 37 states recognize the unlawful killing of an unborn child as homicide in some circumstances, according to the National Right to Life Committee.

New York has two conflicting statutes about the protection of unborn children from violence, according to National Right to Life. One statute calls the killing of an unborn child after 24 weeks for reasons other than abortion “homicide.” However, a separate statutory provision defines the victim of a homicide as a “human being who has been born and is alive.”

JenniferJorgensen

abortion, babies, bureaucracy, government, ideology, legislature, political correctness, public policy, relativism, tragedy

Filed under: abortion, babies, bureaucracy, government, ideology, legislature, political correctness, public policy, relativism, tragedy

Why is Planned Parenthood interested in a local school board election?

original article: Is Planned Parenthood Targeting Schoolchildren?
October 28, 2015 by Jennifer Kerns

Why is Planned Parenthood interested in a local school board election in the battleground state of Colorado?

That is what parents and voters are asking themselves in Jefferson County, Colo., this week after Planned Parenthood waded into a local recall election aimed at ousting three Republican school board officials in the middle of their terms.

Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado, a non-profit 501(c)4 organization, has sent letters to voters asking them to become involved in the school board recalls by first signing the petition to recall their elected officials, then volunteering for the effort to oust their local school board members.

The Planned Parenthood affiliated organization has also endorsed some of the candidates who are running to replace the current school board members in an announcement titled, “Vote in the Election on November 3rd for Real Sex Ed!

The message is contrary to the one being pushed by recall proponents—which is that the recall campaign is about educating kids.

However, the Planned Parenthood group boasts of advancing “Colorado youths’ rights to real sex education and reproductive health care.” The group still opposes the state’s Parental Notification Act passed by the legislature in 2003 that requires parents of school-aged children under the age of 18 must be notified within 48 hours prior to abortion.

So what exactly does Planned Parenthood stand to gain from involvement in a local school board race?

Access, for one thing.

It turns out that Planned Parenthood is selling sex kits to local schools—including schools in the county in question—which Planned Parenthood’s own national website calls “Birth Control Training Kits.”

According to Planned Parenthood’s website, each of the kits contains 10 male condoms, two “female condoms,” one intrauterine contraceptive, one package of oral contraceptives, one “dental dam,” two samples of “water-based lubricants,” “cycle beads” for natural family planning purposes, one “Today” contraceptive sponge, one “syringe” containing a Depo Provera shot, and two vaginal contraceptive spermicidal films.

At least one local official in Jefferson County familiar with the kit reports that it includes a faux “Plan B” pill to familiarize school-aged students with “the morning after” pill.

In a statement given to The Daily Signal, Cathy Alderman, vice president of public affairs at Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, said:

Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado generally takes interest in school board races especially when extreme politicians attempt to block or restrict access to accurate, sound curricula including curricula related to the provision of complete, age-appropriate, medically-accurate, and culturally-sensitive sexual health education.

At $125 per kit per student, it stands to reason that Planned Parenthood may view access to schools not simply as an opportunity to educate, but rather as a lucrative business opportunity.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the population of children enrolled in school is expected to increase 6 percent through the school year 2024-2025—from 49.8 million to nearly 53 million.

In border states and near-border states, the increase is even higher at upwards of 10 percent and 15 percent growth. In Nevada, the increase in population growth of school-aged children is even higher, at 26 percent.

Not a bad business model, if you can get it.

Thus, as the population of schoolchildren grows in America and as Planned Parenthood seeks to educate schoolchildren about sex at increasingly younger ages, the opportunity exists for a long-term profit center for the organization, as well as a “cradle-to-grave” institutionalized dependence upon Planned Parenthood.

And that’s where the really big money comes in.

Each year, American taxpayers send an estimated $540 million in annual federal funds to Planned Parenthood affiliates.

While Planned Parenthood claims that those taxpayer funds are not used for abortions, the organization is demonstrably utilizing those funds to market their goods and services to schoolchildren.

It is not unreasonable to suggest that eventually, services provided to schoolchildren could include referrals for on-demand abortion services should the above-mentioned “Birth Control Training Kits” fail.

Think it couldn’t happen?

In politics, one needs only to “follow the money” to see why a national pro-abortion organization is so interested in a local school board recall election.

Does Planned Parenthood presume that if conservatives on a local school board were to fulfill the terms to which they were elected, they might eventually call into question Planned Parenthood’s active presence in local schools? Perhaps require that taxpayer funds no longer go toward sex education pushed by the group?

It certainly appears that way.

It appears that in addition to sex education, recall proponents are concerned about a number of other liberal issues. On their official website, proponents list upcoming battles like a laundry list of progressive fights such as “charter school accountability, religious school vouchers, AP U.S. history curriculum, discrimination and bullying [as it relates to transgender individuals, per Colorado law], sex education, confidential health services, collective bargaining agreements, vaccinations, STEM funding, and local control and national education standards.”

While the debate over Planned Parenthood funding continues around the country and on Capitol Hill, one thing is certain: the state’s local school board elections to be held in this swing state next Tuesday raise sincere questions about the involvement of Planned Parenthood and their liberal agenda inside our public schools.

Perhaps the most important question of all is, if Planned Parenthood succeeds in the battleground state of Colorado, which state’s schoolchildren will they attempt to influence next?

abortion, children, corruption, cronyism, culture, government, politics

Filed under: abortion, children, corruption, cronyism, culture, government, politics

Trigger warnings for everything except abortions?

In a culture where “trigger warnings” are becoming increasingly common, and considered justified and necessary, and ever more different aspects of life being subject to such warnings, one should question a few things. For example, why is the word “American” considered a negative term to be avoided so as to not cause offense on a college campus, a place once considered the most free-speech friendly area in America? At the same time there is also a strong resistance to abortion’s equivalent of PTSD.

Study after study shows a post traumatic stress disorder can and often does happen to women after having an abortion. If anything in civilian life is deserving of the widespread attention and sympathy of PTSD shouldn’t women who’ve had an abortion qualify?

But that is not what the purveyors of trigger warnings typically do. The advocates and administrators of trigger warning policies are usually opposed to acknowledging abortion is worthy of such consideration. The push for trigger warnings and the push against “micro-aggressions” is so strong the first amendment is routinely dismissed (and possibly considered pointless) in favor of the politically correct agenda. Yet while we are told abortion is a serious and deeply personal decision for women, we are supposed to dismiss stories of regret or even go to great lengths to distort reason in the defense of abortion.

From a news media conspicuously sympathetic to abortion to partisan politicians struggling to defend it, to propagandists being blatantly dishonest, it’s almost a miracle the issue is controversial at all.

If we truly care about women’s health we should be working to educate people on the unfavorable truths about abortion rather than hide or avoid them. We should be sympathetic to women who’ve had abortions rather than praise abortion in an attempt to remove any social stigma from the act of killing babies. We should be helping women make better choices in the first place rather than trying to retrain them to think like men, pursuing empty sex lives and discarding any consequences that may result from bad decisions.

But, no. Instead, we’re hearing calls for abortion on demand, at any time during pregnancy, and have this service provided for “free”. So not only is killing babies a right but a woman should be able to force everyone else to pay for it. What could possibly go wrong with this approach?

abortion, bias, cover up, culture, hypocrisy, ideology, indoctrination, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, relativism, tragedy

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If you think pro-life equals anti-choice you’re an idiot, and worse

A curious attitude among the vast majority of the “pro-choice” crowd is that a woman’s right to choose is typically treated as the only legitimate perspective on the matter. Those opposing the killing of babies are often treated as opposing women’s rights, as if opposing the killing of babies somehow equals opposing all women’s rights.

But that’s what myopia does to people. Having a small, narrow minded view of “rights” in this matter prevents the pro-choice crowd from seeing any possibility that the child in the womb has any rights to violate.

This is precisely the same problem encountered by abolitionists who tried to end slavery in the United States. Abolitionists argued that to demean any person by robbing them of humanity places us all in danger. After all, if the government can play semantic games with personhood with one group it can do the same with another. But the myopic view of slave holders required them to attack abolitionists. Rather than merely disagreeing, slavery supporters accused abolitionists of attacking all property rights, because “property rights” was the excuse championed by slavery’s supporters. Thus, in their mind, claiming it was constitutionally invalid to treat a person as property was tantamount to denying the right to property at all. To defenders of slavery the issue was never about oppression except when their right to enslave other people was at risk.

Such a dishonest tactic was necessary for slavery supporters because it became increasingly difficult to defend slavery as discussion continued, as it should. If discussion was minimized or stopped, slave holders would have no reason to defend the evil they practiced. So the best way to end debate on the matter was to shut up those who wanted to debate it. And the best way to do that was to demonize and marginalize those who opposed slavery. That included accusations of being anti-property rights, anti-self government, and even being on the wrong side of history.

Abraham Lincoln, in his speech on the Kansas-Nebraska Act, made an argument similar to what the pro-life movement argues today against abortion. In our modern age pro-lifers often argue that to have the “right” to kill your own babies is not freedom, but oppression, among other things. Lincoln argued against slavery in much the same way:

The doctrine of self-government is right—absolutely and eternally right—but it has no just application, as here attempted. Or perhaps I should rather say that whether it has such just application depends upon whether a negro is not or is a man. If he is not a man, why in that case, he who is a man may, as a matter of self-government, do just as he pleases with him. But if the negro is a man, is it not to that extent, a total destruction of self-government, to say that he too shall not govern himself? When the white man governs himself that is self-government; but when he governs himself, and also governs another man, that is more than self-government—that is despotism. If the negro is a man, why then my ancient faith teaches me that “all men are created equal;” and that there can be no moral right in connection with one man’s making a slave of another.

Not only do abortion activists shoehorn the issue into a “women’s rights” perspective, they also fraudulently force abortion into a scientific perspective, as if science was actually equipped to determine when personhood begins. [UPDATE: Science, Embryonic Autonomy, and the Question of When Life Begins]

It does a disservice to us all to ignore science or to treat opinion and fact as the same thing. In the first couple months the argument that the fetus is merely a blob of cells has some merit; but one still must choose to view it as “not a person” in development. It’s just as viable to believe the fetus at this stage is a person in development. Neither of these opinions are purely scientific – they are opinions. In fact, American law never official declared black people were people; and it shouldn’t have to.

But after the first couple months, for the remainder of the pregnancy, the child in the womb is not merely a blob of cells and cannot honestly be called such. A recent video was released showing abortion professionals attempting to train activists in defending abortion. One abortion professional actually suggested activists cease lying about the nature of the “person” in the womb and admit that after a certain period of time, the fetus is indeed a person, and that abortion is killing a person. The point of the training was to move past these vapid denials and teach activists how to divert the discussion to some other matter.

In a daytime TV talk show, which I find unworthy of being mentioned by name here, the show’s hosts recently ridiculed Dr. Ben Carson for his insistence that killing babies is a bad idea. But to those ridiculing him, they thought he was talking about controlling women. He wasn’t. No one fighting for a child’s right to live is fighting against “women’s rights”.
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What’s more, abortion supporters are acting as if women have a right that, in fact, no one has. While arguing for a woman’s right to choose the assumption is that women have the absolute right to control their own body. The problem is there is no such right.

Imagine this scenario: a 14 year old girl driving a car in the United States. This alone violates at least three laws: (1) there is an age requirement for driving the automobile (which she has not attained yet) and therefore she is (2) driving an automobile without a drivers license and (3) without auto insurance. In most places in the US these three laws are in effect, thus the 14 year old girl is violating all of them. But let’s add a few more details to this hypothetical. She is driving the car with an open beer bottle which violates at least two more laws: (4) under age drinking and (5) there is an open container of alcohol in the vehicle. Now imagine she is (6) driving without wearing a seat belt, (7) texting while driving, (8) driving faster than allowed on that particular stretch of road, (9) driving on the wrong side of the road, and (10) driving while nude.

I doubt all these things violate the law in all areas of the US, but in some places this fictional character is violating the law in all ten ways. And here’s the catch: if you’re reading this chances are you approve of at least one law alluded to in the hypothetical scenario. And since you support at least one of those laws, you support restricting what a person can or cannot do with their own body. No one has the absolute right to control their own body, and no one believes in such a thing.

So what’s so wrong with laws like these? It depends. Most people support such laws because of how they affect others. Admittedly, seeing a teenage girl driving naked could very well have a similar effect on other drivers as driving a car while texting or while drunk could have on the girl herself. It’s because of the effect on other people that most of us find ourselves willing to accept laws restricting our freedom. And that’s why abortion opponents oppose killing babies: because it’s KILLING PEOPLE!

Another lie abortion supports offer is that opponents want to force women to be mothers, completely ignoring the fact that pro-lifers frequently argue for adoption. No one arguing against abortion is arguing for the enslavement of women.

To the defenders of abortion the issue has never been about babies. The issue has always been about control of women, because being able to kill one’s own child is somehow deemed as empowerment and liberating, and a right. That’s how abortion supporters see it, and they are welcome to their view. But they are not entitled to define other people’s opinions. Their elitist stance drives them to pretend everyone treats abortion as about whatever abortion supporters say it is about. And they have to, because recognizing personhood for the child threatens the entire abortion economy and power structure, just like recognizing personhood for slaves threatened that of slavery.

Opponents of abortion are not interested in controlling women any more than opponents of slavery were opposed to property rights. To abortion opponents the issue has always been about babies. Those who call abortion opponents “anti-choice” are just as small minded and dishonest about abortion as slave owners were about abolitionists. I’m not asking or demanding abortion supporters agree with opponents, I’m merely asking supporters to stop lying about what opponents actually want and fight for. Purposefully misrepresenting your opposition makes you look like a fraud, and it makes you look incapable of tolerating dissenting points of view. And your reputation for being small minded and dishonest has had such a negative effect on your movement that even an abortion professional is suggesting you simply admit you support killing babies.

No one fighting against abortion is trying roll back women’s rights. If you can’t see that, you are either a blithering idiot or a liar. And possibly both. I’m talking to you, Chauncey DeVega.

abortion, babies, bias, elitism, fraud, government, history, hypocrisy, ideology, indoctrination, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, oppression, pandering, political correctness, pro-life, progressive, prolife, propaganda, scandal, victimization

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Seattle’s Minimum Wage Hike Is Underway. Hiring Has Slowed Already

original article: Seattle’s Minimum Wage Hike Is Underway. A Damning Chart Shows How That’s Working Out…
October 26, 2015 by PARKER LEE

Since Seattle, Washington’s Minimum Wage Ordinance went into effect on April 1, many have looked to the city as a sort of litmus test, specifically how the local economy is able to bear the weight of a $15 minimum wage.

Though the ordinance allows for the changes to become fully implemented over the next 3 or 7 years, depending on the size of the business, it has already proven to be too much for some owners to handle.

Now, as financial experts get a look at the newest hiring data from Washington, it appears that one particular Seattle sector is feeling the pinch of the historic measure in an eye-catching way.

Image Credit: AEI

Image Credit: AEI

Using employment data from the last five years, the American Enterprise Institute found that Washington state as a whole has seen an increase of about 5,800 restaurant jobs thus far in 2015, while Seattle has seen a decrease of 700 in the same time period.

It’s worth noting that Washington has one of the highest state minimum wages at $9.47, though it’s still significantly lower than Seattle’s.

Proponents of Seattle’s ordinance argue that the move is the correct course of action to address income inequality and to make the city’s high cost of living more manageable. But business owners like Ritu Shah Burnham would be likely to disagree.

Burnham was forced to close the doors of her Z Pizza restaurant because she simply couldn’t afford to stay open, despite her best efforts:

“I’ve let one person go since April 1, I’ve cut hours since April 1, I’ve taken them myself because I don’t pay myself..

I’ve also raised my prices a little bit, there’s no other way to do it.”

Though it’s too early to make a definitive call on the data, it certainly seems telling that Seattle’s seeing a decline in restaurant employment in a state that appears to otherwise be experiencing an industry boom.

economics, economy, government, left wing, liberalism, nanny state, progressive, public policy, reform, regulation, socialism, unintended consequences

Filed under: economics, economy, government, left wing, liberalism, nanny state, progressive, public policy, reform, regulation, socialism, unintended consequences

This is how cronyism works

original article: New York’s Taxi King Is Going Down
October 26, 2015 by Jared Meyer

People don’t deserve to be millionaires because they can get government to let them pick people’s pockets.

Evgeny “Gene” Freidman is no fan of Uber. The increasing popularity of this vehicle-for-hire (or ridesharing) company has lost him millions of dollars. He has even asked New York City taxpayers for a bailout. As difficult as bailing out the big banks was to swallow, bailing out a taxi mogul—who at one point owned more than 1,000 New York City taxi medallions—is an even harder sell. A bailout would be especially outrageous considering that Freidman and his financial backers are actively working to make consumers pay more for fewer options.

Freidman reluctantly took over his father’s modest yellow taxi business as a young man. He brought his experience in Russian finance to the industry, and started to accumulate increasing numbers of taxi medallions using highly leveraged financing. Freidman expanded a company with just a few taxis into a conglomeration of three- to five-car mini-fleets.

As Freidman’s taxi empire grew, he expanded into other cities, including New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Chicago. He gained control of hundreds more medallions that are also now in financial trouble. His willingness to bid on practically any medallion that came up for sale helped drive a rapid increase in medallion prices across the country.

Subprime Taxi Medallions

This model can work when times are good but, as the housing crisis showed, it has its dangers. It works until another technology emerges, consumers move on, and funding dries up.

This is where Uber comes in. Competition from Uber has left investors wondering how much the company will grow and what further effects its growth will have on taxis’ market share. While yellow taxi medallions were selling for $1.32 million as recently as May 2013, now they may be worth as little as $650,000.

This drastic drop in price has made the banks and credit unions that fund Freidman’s vast enterprise nervous. For example, his companies still owe around $750,000 for each medallion financed by Citibank. Without new loans to meet existing obligations and expand his fleet, Freidman’s companies became insolvent. This is why he sought the bailout and wants the government to support the medallion market by offering taxpayer-guaranteed loans.

Adding to this financing crunch, the lease rates Freidman now can charge taxi drivers who rent his cars have declined. Many taxi drivers switched to Uber, which offersincreased earning potential, flexible work schedules, and improved driver safety. Competition led Freidman to complain that he is no longer able to charge the city’s legal maximum lease rate. This is promising news for drivers, but problematic for Freidman’s income.

There’s Not Much Argument for a Monopoly

Medallions commanded such astronomical prices in New York because yellow taxis had, and still do have, a monopoly on street hails in Manhattan south of the northern boundary of Central Park. Ubers come rapidly, but they are not street hails, because people summon them beforehand with a smartphone. In cities across the country that also use a medallion system, the same reasoning applies. Government restricts the supply of taxis below the level of demand, and medallion owners reap the profits—all at the expense of consumers.

It is not just Freidman’s companies that are in trouble. The banks and credit unions that funded him and other medallion owners are also worried. Just four credit unions hold security interests in over 5,300 medallions, for which they are on the hook for about $2.5 billion. In the face of greater potential losses, these companies have resorted to calling people who work in policy (myself included) to try and convince researchers that Uber is illegal and needs to be banned.

The credit union argument progresses as follows:

  1. Yellow taxi medallion owners were granted a monopoly on street hails.
  2. For-hire vehicles are only allowed to offer pre-arranged rides.
  3. Uber uses street hails, not pre-arranged rides, to connect riders with its driver partners.
  4. Therefore, Uber is illegally using street hails, and this infringes on yellow taxi medallion owners’ government-granted monopoly.

If the third premise is true, this argument could hold some rule-of-law water. It is not.

The law governing New York City’s street hails date back to the Haas Act of 1937. This law restricted the number of New York yellow taxi medallions to 16,900, which was lowered and now stands at 13,437—even though the city’s population has grown byover 20 percent since 1940.

The Haas Act also set the stage for other common carrier regulations that apply to the taxi industry. These regulations place substantial limits and requirements on taxi owners and drivers in exchange for their monopoly privileges. For example, the city’s Transportation and Limousine Commission sets fare prices, and fares cannot change with increased demand for rides. This is one of the main reasons it is so difficult to hail a taxi in the rain or at the beginning of rush hour.

Updating regulations takes time, but New York City taxis were finally granted the ability to accept ride requests from smartphones (e-hails) early this year. Once taxis were allowed to accept e-hails, something they needed to compete with new technologies, four credit unions argued that the technology was now off-limits for Uber—the company that had popularized e-hails. They sued New York City for infringing upon medallion holders’ monopoly privileges.

This makes no sense. How can a decades-old law covering street hails be construed to cover ride requests made through smartphones? Anyone who has tried to hail a taxi on the side of the road, and then used Uber, knows that the two experiences are vastly different. Simply put, holding your hand up is not the same as pressing a button on your phone.

How to Save Taxis Without Squeezing People

The path forward is not to ban ridesharing or bail medallion owners out. It is to make taxis more like Ubers. This takes more than simply allowing taxis to accept e-hails. Rather, the only ways to save taxis are greater flexibility in pricing and service and increased competition.

As Uber’s rise has made obvious, when the crucial aspect of competition is missing from markets, established companies do not have to worry about improving their services to attract and keep customers. Regulations need to be continually modified and updated in light of new technology.  There is no reason to require New York taxis to have expensive (and annoying) Taxi TVs. Pointless mandates such as this only increase the cost of taxi rides.

Even with a relaxed regulatory framework that embraces ridesharing and competition, taxis will still have an advantage. No one is talking about taking away New York City’s yellow taxi monopoly on street hails. Applying antiquated laws and regulations to new technology is what laid the groundwork for the rise of Uber and other ridesharing services in the first place.

Everyone Shouldn’t Pay for Some People’s Bad Bets

Credit unions oppose allowing Uber to grow because they want to protect their investments. The Queens County Supreme Court ruled against the credit unions last month. The court found that the credit unions did not have a cause of action against the city and its Transportation and Limousine Commission. This was a major win for Uber and consumers, but a death-knell for Freidman’s business and its financers.

The whole yellow taxi financing model is crashing, along with medallion prices. After the ruling, Montauk Credit Union, one of the plaintiffs, was seized by the New York State Department of Financial Services because of “unsafe and unsound conditions.” The day that New York City’s proposed cap on Uber’s growth was defeated, 22 of Freidman’s mini-fleet companies filed for bankruptcy.

Even if medallion holders such as Freidman lost a lot of money, it does not follow that the public should subsidize their losses. The returns from a yellow taxi medallion in cities such as Philadelphia, Chicago, or New York far outpaced the stock market or gold for many years. The values of these medallions about doubled in each city from 2009 to 2013.

Investments carry risk, as Freidman knows from his background in finance. He made a poor calculation that the Manhattan yellow taxi street hail monopoly would continue to provide him enough future cash flow to satisfy bankers, who would loan him more money to expand his fleet. Freidman and his investors have no claim to a taxpayer-funded bailout to cover their poor business decisions. Perhaps they should consider investing in Uber instead.

bailout, corruption, cronyism, economics, funding, government, greed, hypocrisy, law, nanny state, public policy, regulation, taxes

Filed under: bailout, corruption, cronyism, economics, funding, government, greed, hypocrisy, law, nanny state, public policy, regulation, taxes

Prostitution, porn, and abortion: three sides of the same coin

original article: Prostitution, porn, and abortion: three sides of the same coin
September 25, 2015 by JONATHON VAN MAREN

Sept. 25, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Never in human history has there been a time in which the buying and selling of human flesh, in one form or another, has been more prevalent. Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. Pornography depicting the brutalization of women and girls is among the most popular material on the Internet. And abortion, the financed destruction of tiny human beings developing in the womb, claims the lives of almost 42 million pre-born children each year.

The first time I fully realized how dehumanizing the “sex trade” is was when I was a teenager, walking through the streets of Amsterdam with a student group from my school to visit the Church of Our Lord in the Attic, a hidden house church from the 1600s. What our teachers had not realized when they planned the tour, however, is that we had to cut directly through the infamous Red Light District in order to get there. As they rushed us down the cobblestone streets with more than a little panic, we gaped at an utterly foreign sight: Rows and rows of windows with scantily clad women, their fatigue painted over with thick layers of makeup and mechanical come-hither smiles, standing there. Like meat packages at a butcher shop, I remember thinking. Even the “souvenir” shops sold only human body parts—postcards featuring only breasts or bottoms, nothing else. A human meat market—one brothel owner even compared the tourists viewing the girls to men deciding which pizza to order.

More than 60% of the girls and women who work there report getting sexually assaulted.

The same thing struck me when traveling in Hungary earlier this year. My cousin and I arrived in Budapest from Belgrade at four in the morning and climbed into a taxi to find a hostel. The driver soon took us to a less than reputable area of the city in search of an establishment that still had rooms available. I wondered, stupidly, why there were so many young girls still walking about, even though it was dark and the sun was not even stirring. And then our taxi pulled up to a stop sign, and I made eye contact with one of them. Her blue eyes were flat and emotionless.

She was very young, and very pretty. She wore a light black jacket with a fur fringe, and painted-on pants that must have hurt to walk in. She must have been freezing—it was so ice-cold that every short breath came out in a puff of steam. An older woman, lounging against an abandoned storefront, barked something at her that I didn’t understand, and jerked her head towards me. She started to walk over to the car, gesturing at me and then to herself. And that’s when I realized that she’d been told to find out if I was a potential customer. I felt quite sick as we drove away, although I was naïve to be so surprised. Budapest, after all, is a sex tourist destination, an Eastern European Bangkok. I’d read about it. I’d just never come face to face with the reality—a girl who should have been in school, selling herself to strangers at the orders of others.

Those who defend legalized prostitution—although the differences between legal and illegal prostitution are few—defend it in much the same way that other horrible practices are defended. “Prostitution advocates often use the word ‘choice,’” as Benjamin Nolot of Exodus Cry, an anti-human trafficking organization, noted in his documentary Nefarious: Merchant of Souls.

Choice is a sacred word in a culture that worships individualism, and there is no cap on the number of lives that can be sacrificed to it. Joyce Arthur of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, herself a former stripper, occasionally takes time off from promoting abortion to advocate for the legalization of prostitution. “I see a lot of similarity between the issues,” she says. “Choice, my body is my own, autonomy, and all those good things.”

It should surprise no one that somebody who trumpets the destruction and misery of abortion should also laud an industry that specializes in the degradation of all those who engage with it. After all, this is the same Joyce Arthur who defended Planned Parenthood’s dealing in baby parts as a good thing, and even said that Canadian mothers, too, could offer to donate the dismembered body parts of their pre-born children to be used for research. With abortion, as with human trafficking, the pattern is the same: Humans are the sum of their parts, and humans are only valuable in so far as the monetary value of their bodies. Human bodies only serve the purpose of being useful to others.

Dr. Mary Anne Layden, who researches the links between pornography and human trafficking, put it this way: “This is a business and I think that a lot of pimps would stop doing this if there wasn’t any money involved, but it’s a business and as soon as you tell somebody it’s a product, as soon as you say this [is] something you buy, then this is something you can steal. Those two things are hooked. If you can buy it, you can steal it, and even better if you steal it because then you don’t pay for it. So the sexual exploitation industry, whether it’s strip clubs or prostitution or pornography, is where you buy it. Sexual violence is where you steal it – rape and child molestation and sexual harassment is where you steal it. So these things are all seamlessly connected. There isn’t a way to draw a bright line of demarcation between rape and prostitution and pornography and child molestation. There are not bright lines of demarcation.”

And when the intentionally sterile sex occasionally results in the production of a child, most pimps and rapists immediately avail themselves of the happy-to-help abortion industry. The mother’s body, in their mind, is only useful to serve the sexual needs of paying customers, not to nurture with love and tenderness the tiny, fragile body of her son or daughter. The sexual exploitation industries sell the bodies of women and girls to men, and the abortion industry waits patiently to destroy the unwanted sons and daughters of victims and rapists. Sometimes, they can sell the body parts of those sons and daughters to research firms. All body parts are put to good use. The market gods are happy.

A culture without morals meets capitalism without ethics, and what we have created is a commodity culture. Pornography dehumanizes women for a mass audience, and human trafficking and prostitution allows men to play out their fantasies in real life. When I interviewed anti-sex trafficking activist and Member of Parliament Joy Smith, she told me that pimps use today’s pornography to groom their victims into accepting assault—and that in studies done of johns, huge numbers of them report using prostitution so that they can live out fantasies they would never try on “real women.” And the abortionists, of course, can take care of any resulting children, since they are not, in the eyes of our culture, “real children.”

Commodity culture, with one trend played out over and over again: Objectification leads to dehumanization. Dehumanization leads to victimization.

It’s because our materialist society no longer believes in the soul. They’ve forgotten that we are not a body, we are a soul that has a body. Indeed, it is the soul that comes up time and time again when those who have been involved in the exploitation industries struggle to explain the depth and brutality of the damage that has been done. “Every time I sold myself, I felt like I was selling my soul,” said one former prostitute.” No one understands “the pain and destruction to a woman’s heart and soul” that is inflicted by the sex trade, explained Annie Lobert, a former sex worker. When I brought young women onto the porn sets, “I watched their souls die,” one former porn producer told me.

Again and again, former victims and former perpetrators struggle to find words to describe the destruction our commodity culture has wrought, and time and time again they find themselves drawn to words that beckon towards the transcendent. They know, because they have felt the pain and the horror, that human beings are not simply two randomly-ordered bodies of flesh coming together for brief pleasure. We are so much more than that. We were not built for abuse and degradation, but for love and dignity.

Many times throughout the history of humanity, we have forgotten these simple truths. And that is why, more than two hundred years after the great Christian abolitionist William Wilberforce triumphed in his battle against the slave trade, we are again fighting the same evils. We tossed out God and truth, and the pimps and flesh-peddlers came creeping back in. We announced that humans were simply animals, and human traffickers and pornographers obligingly treated them as such. We taught everyone that materialism explained everything, and that souls did not exist—and the abortionists nodded and busied their tools to begin the work of dismembering and discarding the soulless clumps of cells we once recognized as our perfectly created sons and daughters.

Things have never been perfect. Prostitution and infanticide are as old as time. But we used to recognize these things as awful practices that preyed on the most vulnerable, and sought to stamp them out. Now, we live in a culture that has abandoned the moral framework necessary to recognize transcendent concepts like the dignity of the human person, the sanctity of human life, and infinite preciousness of the human soul.

It is when we begin to recognize these things that, through the human rubble and sex-driven carnage, we can begin to turn to a place where we realize that the value of a human being cannot be monetized, and that to try such a thing is an evil that spawns unstoppable wickedness.

abortion, abuse, corruption, culture, ideology, philosophy, sex

Filed under: abortion, abuse, corruption, culture, ideology, philosophy, sex

Violent mob of topless pro-abort feminists assaults praying men, tries to burn Cathedral

original article: Shock Video: Violent mob of topless pro-abort feminists assaults praying men, tries to burn Cathedral
October 14, 2015 by Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.

WARNING: The video footage included below is shocking and contains violence and censored nudity. Viewer discretion is advised. 

Mar de Plata, October 13, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – A horrific and surreal scene unfolded Monday night outside the Cathedral of Mar de Plata in Argentina as hordes of women, many of them masked and half naked, violently assaulted a group of young men who stood outside the Cathedral of Mar de Plata praying and standing watch.

Such violence is becoming the norm for the annual March for Women in the Pope’s native land of Argentina, although this year’s violence seemed to be the most extreme yet, with the women turning their violence against the police, and even attempting to set the Cathedral on fire. 

The women tore down the outer gate of the cathedral and hurled glass bottles and feces at the young men standing guard. When they  attempted to burn down the Cathedral the police began taking measures to  disperse the hordes.

The local group Argentinos Alerta, which helped to organize the peaceful vigil in anticipation of the attack, issued a statement in which they thanked the police for dispatching forces to the Cathedral. The group noted that it was the first time that the police had made an effort to defend church property.

While similar protests have occurred recently in conjunction with the Annual March for Women, the level of violence appears to be increasing.

“There were very tense moments and when I arrived I witnessed families with young children crying trapped inside the church. It was a terrible thing,” stated Marcelo Di Pasqua the local chief of police in an interview with local TV.

A similarly disturbing video from the 2013 March for Women shows groups of women spray-painting the crotches and faces of groups of praying men linked arm-in-arm to protect the Cathedral, and using markers to paint their faces with Hitler-like moustaches. They also performed obscene sexual acts in front of them and pushed their breasts onto their faces, all the while shouting “get your rosaries out of our ovaries.”

Meanwhile, after this year’s event, the national press such as Clarin described the event as one of police brutality, highlighting only the fact that the police had to disperse the mob, barely describing the violence of the pro-abortion hordes.

In a press release “Catholics for a Free Choice” issued a statement repudiating the police for police brutality against the women.

The graphic videos show a completely different story, with the police and prayer warriors under constant assault from the radical feminists.

While the police and faithful came out bravely to defend the church form the aggressors, putting their bodies in the way of the hordes, it appears that the local Church hierarchy is not willing to do the same.

Father Gabriel Mestre, the Vicar of the Cathedral, stated that “one has to accept the dynamic and the dissent , and in fact in the Church we have to accept it because I think that more than half is in favor of legal abortion, and for that there are proper avenues, within a pluralistic and democratic society to generate policies which each from his ideological frame of reference considers as an appropriate way to progress, just like happened with ‘marriage’ equality or with divorce.”

abortion, abuse, culture, extremism, hate crime, ideology, left wing, liberalism, progressive, scandal, terrorism

Filed under: abortion, abuse, culture, extremism, hate crime, ideology, left wing, liberalism, progressive, scandal, terrorism

Will America listen to this baby’s story?

Abortion supporters have produced a book of a 3-year-old defending the abortion of his sister. It’s a work of fiction designed to remove the stigma of abortion.

Listen to the Baby Planned Parenthood Can’t Silence

abortion, pro-life, prolife, video

Filed under: abortion, pro-life, prolife, video

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