Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Will They Once Again Turn a Gift Into an Abortion?

It appears that the Conservatives have been handed a great gift in the form of “Obamacare.” If you think that the website debacle is bad, the emerging realization that there is NO “free healthcare,” NO vaunted “public option” (UNLESS you already qualify for Medicare or Medicaid), ONLY mandated health insurance with a range of policies, from “Bronze” thru “Silver” and “Gold,” all the way to “Platinum,” with those policies that come with higher premiums delivering a wider range of care AND much lower deductibles and those policies with lower premiums delivering a much more limited range of care, with much higher deductibles, often as high as $25,000 or more. That realization amounts to a gigantic “bait and switch,” a prodigious ripoff and it will almost certainly come with profound and far-ranging political and social ramifications.

Small and medium size businesses have long been screaming about the ACA’s costs, but now labor unions are crying too ( Big Labor is especially concerned that the collectively bargained, multi-employer insurance plans that more than 15 million unionized workers access under the Taft-Hartley Act may well be threatened under the ACA. Those plans currently allow workers like builders, plumbers, carpenters, etc. to change jobs among participating employers and stay in the same health-insurance plan. Because many of the jobs involve manual labor, the plans usually account for injuries and repetitive stresses, benefits that unions say their workers sought instead of higher wages.

However, under the Affordable Care Act, small companies can choose to stop covering such workers through the union agreements and send their workers to the state-based exchanges instead. The Fed’s claim is that trough these exchanges, workers COULD “pay lower premiums thanks to federal subsidies,” but many of these workers are now paying NO or very negligible premiums, as these plans are primarily financed by the Construction firms they work with.

Labor leaders are also concerned that even the workers who retain union plans will end up paying higher premiums, and since there will be fewer people in the plans, the coverage for those remaining members could very well become less comprehensive.

Wisely Senate Republicans, like Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) who introduced a bill last week specifically barring the White House from making any changes to the bill for organized labor, have sought to take full advantage of this crisis. Senator Thune and his cohorts rightly claim that any such changes or modifications for such Labor Unions would amount to a “backroom deal.”

“Union leaders are now awaking to the ugly reality of ObamaCare that most Americans have predicted all along, including higher health care costs,” Senator Thune said.

Not long ago, commentators on CBS News radio had speculated that the costs of the ACA could result in such an onerous tax burden and such a diminution in health care that “the government could be thrust into Republican hands for the rest of the Century.”

I personally find that highly unlikely.

First, a mere decade of GOP rule could (1) undo much of the entitlement ethos currently embraced by much of America and (2) show just how equally inept the GOP is, relative to the Democrats. BOTH political Parties are largely peopled by short-sighted, self-centered would-be “rulers” rather than statesmen or public servants.

Moreover, just as the Democrats have done with their post-Great Recession political gift, the Republicans will almost certainly find a way to fuck this gift up. Most likely, given their wont, they’ll probably screw it up by focusing on “social issues” like gays and abortion.

The one thing I've NEVER understood is how truly religious people could possibly embrace the Conservative, “fend-for-yourself” agenda. The SAME doctrine that declares “all life sacred,” also preaches that “aid to the destitute is mandated by Christian morality.”

I AM a Conservative, but I am NOT a “Christian,” certainly not in the contemporary sense of that word, so I am NOT burdened by the inane ethos that declares “ALL life sacred,” and DO NOT belief charity or alms is mandated by ANY moral code, “Christian,” or other, as such a code would make veritable slaves (true “public servants”) of the most productive among us.

IF you truly believe  things like, “God ‘blesses’ people with children,” you’re really not a Conservative at all, but you probably ARE an idiot!

In real life, no “god” micromanages life any more than such a god would “play dice.”

Children aren't “blessings” from any “god,” especially to those who can’t even adequately feed themselves without government aid. The 25 y/o woman (Tashika Turner) who lost 3 of her children in a South Bronx fire had run up nearly $4,000 in unpaid electric bills, which is why she’d resorted to using candles for light. Unfortunately she’d apparently left some of them burning as they all went to sleep. Children are NOT “blessings” to those who cannot even adequately take care of their own needs.

God does NOT “bless” people with children, people “bless” or “curse” themselves with them. You see, people don’t “pray” children into existence, they to put this most diplomatically...well, they fuck and often the byproduct of such copulations is children. Now-a-days, people mostly copulate (fuck) for recreation, as it’s a relatively cheap, somewhat exciting, or at least stimulating and abundantly available form of fun.

Suffice to say, mandated contraception for the dependent poor, coupled with clean, cheap and readily available abortions for those who want them would effectively eliminate such tragedies.

STILL, I have little doubt that once the GOP becomes both empowered and emboldened by the coming failure of “Obamacare,” the zealotry will once again pop out into the foreground to sabotage any potential success that Party might hope to achieve.

To the zealot, focusing on goofball and already lost “social issues,” like gays and abortion, is far more important than bringing much needed Libertarians and Independents back into the fold, so I have little doubt at all that the GOP will find a new wave of Chrstine O’Donnell’s, Sharon Angle’s and Todd Akin’s to turn this gift into a…well, into a political abortion.

And yes, while it’s true, I don’t much care for organized religion or religionists, for that matter, I have some very recent history (some connected with the names cited above) that backs my view up. Much as I have little use for religion or religious zealots, I don’t hate them either, I just wish they’d take to sliming the other side with their crazy ideas every once in a while.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Bill de Blasio Praises Racist Rabbi

Rabbi Chacham Ovadia Yosef

The next four years in New York City promise to offer a refreshing albeit dysfunctional departure from the Bloomberg “Nanny State,” at least if Bill de Blasio, the presumptive next Mayor follows through and actually wins the coming November election. He is heavily favored.

In response to a recent attack by a gang of bikers on an Asian couple driving through the Washington Heights section of Manhattan, he inanely suggested that police visit motorcycle clubs and “talk with the bikers.”

But perhaps even worse was de Blasio’s office recently issuing a statement hailing the “wisdom, charity and sensitivity” of a notorious Israeli rabbi who died Monday, October 7th, 2013. Over the years that Rabbi, Ovadia Yosef has made shocking remarks about non-Jews, blacks, Palestinians and even Jews.

More than 800,000 Israelis mourned 93-year-old Rabbi Chacham Ovadia Yosef, a spiritual leader, political force and former chief rabbi for Jews of Spanish, North African and Middle Eastern origin.

De Blasio praised Ovadia Yosef without mentioning that even the Anti-Defamation League had repudiated many of the rabbi’s hate-filled statements.

Bill de Blasio’s camp called Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s wisdom, charity and sensitivity “legendary.”

“Millions of people around the world lost a leader today in Rabbi Chacham Ovadia Yosef,” de Blasio, the public advocate and Democratic nominee for mayor, Tweeted and said in a statement, adding, “His wisdom, charity and sensitivity were legendary.”

But Yosef has drawn scathing criticism over the years for his stance on gays, Palestinians, non-Jews and even Holocaust victims.

In 2000, Yosef criticized the Nazis as “evil,” but in the same breath said the 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust because they were “reincarnations of the souls of sinners, people who transgressed and did all sorts of things which should not be done.”

“They had been reincarnated in order to atone,” Yosef said at the time.

In late 2005, Yosef blamed the death and destruction of Hurricane Katrina on the fact that the majority black population of New Orleans didn’t study the Torah.

“Tens of thousands have been killed,” he was quoted as saying in his weekly Saturday sermon.“All of this because they have no God.”

In a 2010 sermon he said that Abbas should “perish from the world,” but later apologized.

It was such inflammatory remarks that drew more nuanced responses to his passing in some corners — including from Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League.

Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota expressed condolences, while acknowledging that the rabbi “has made statements over time that were unfortunate.”

Lhota said he didn’t take issue with de Blasio’s unqualified statement — even though critics on Twitter did.

Gawker went a step further with a story that highlighted some of Yosef’s choice remarks headlined, “Bill de Blasio Mourns Death of Very Racist Rabbi.”

Included was a statement in 2010 that suggested that the purpose of non-Jews was to serve Jews.

“Goyim were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world — only to serve the people of Israel,” he was quoted as telling the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Wiley Norvell, a spokesman in de Blasio’s office, said his condolences weren’t meant to be a sign of outright support. “Bill, like the US ambassador to Israel, was offering his condolences, not an endorsement of his views,” said Norvell.

THIS promises to be a fun way to further discredit activist government, piling on its already stockpiled recent failings.


The Terribly Uncomfortable Truth About Standards

Recently there has been a spate of pieces about “race realism,” “race and intelligence,” and plain old “racism” itself.

ALL of those topics tend to boil down to the efficacy of standards.

The argument that race has little, if any impact on IQ has always appealed to me precisely because it undercuts the basis for lowering standards or instituting preferences for any groups based on poor performance. After all, (1) each exam is merely a “snapshot in time” subject to change at any moment and (2) counting by race and gender only exacerbates and fuels more tensions between groups.

After all, once we accept that race itself does not handicap someone cognitively, then ANY and ALL race-based remedies are invalid.

How about the argument that more American blacks are poor?

What about it?

That DOES NOT amount to a racial argument, nor lend itself to a race-based remedy.

I suppose we could argue the efficacy of a “needs-based” form of preferences, but I believe the evidence supporting such a scheme is lacking, given the fact that many great students and business leaders have come from impoverished backgrounds WITHOUT any such “help.”

What about the fact that “traditional physical standards” that are weighted heavily toward upper body strength “discriminate” against females, as attested by the recent spate of failings in the Marine Corps Officer Training course;

A Third Pair of Female Marine Lieutenants has Failed to Complete the Corps’

The Washington Times
Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

“Infantry Officer Course at Quantico, Va.
The Marine Corps Times embedded a reporter with the latest class of candidates. It reported Wednesday that one of the women was pulled for falling behind schedule. The other made it to the course’s end but did not meet its standards, as did six men, the newspaper said.

“Corps commanders have said they will not lower standards to ensure that women can qualify for direct ground combat units.”
I certainly hope that last line (Corps commanders have said they will not lower standards to ensure that women can qualify for direct ground combat units.) is true. After all, if women ARE truly equal, then there exists absolutely no reason why they shouldn’t be held to the same standards men are.

We’ve seen physical standards lowered and watered down for Police and Fire Departments across the country with predictably very poor results.

It had been complained that because of NYC’s Fire Department’s past (and continuing) focus on upper body strength, as few as under 1% of all females can expect to pass such physicals with high enough scores relative to males to expect to be hired.

Likewise the FDNY’s written criteria (written “exams” calibrated to 7th & 8th grade reading levels) have been accused of “discriminating” against (primarily) black applicants.

Apparently the problem with such standards is that they seem to show that NOT all people are equal in all areas. THAT is the terrible truth about standards, they expose the inherent inequality between individuals. Standards meant to compare individuals are NOT designed to compare groups, and those who do that, tend to be poor at math and logic skills and elicit a lack of even basic understanding of how and why such standards are valid.

It seems obvious that the clearest way to reduce racial and gender tensions is to simply hold ALL applicants to the highest possible standards, let the chips fall where they may and STOP counting by race and STOP inanely insisting that an equal proportion of females as males will be adept at Policing, firefighting or in combat units. Interestingly, you don’t see such a mad dash for females to get into mining, trucking or commercial fishing, as those professions appear dangerous WITHOUT the high profile natures of Policing, firefighting and they lack the “fast-track potential” of military combat units.

In short, I am encouraged by those here who take issue with the idea of a racial component to ability, as that view eliminates completely the primary reason for supporting race-based preferences and undermines the inane policy of “disparate impact,” based upon the view that things like race and gender DO hamper or handicap many high caliber applicants.

I am part of a group (Merit Matters) that has vigorously opposed the use of disparate impact and opposed ANY and ALL programs of race or gender-based preferences in either reemployment or College admissions.

ALL are welcome to join us:

For those who claim that, “Whoever is in charge of setting standards will set them to favor people who look like themselves,” t he SATs have proven incredibly accurate predictors of College performance. Sadly, although interestingly enough they tend to OVER-predict for blacks. They are NOT actually IQ tests, as IQ exams (like the Wonderlick, the Wexler & Stanford-Binet IQ tests, all test one’s ability to process information in different forms). In short all such standardized instruments are good at what they’re designed to do.

Moreover, Asian-Americans, as an example, are not only NOT hampered/held back by such standards (and neither Wexler, nor Stanford or Binet were Asian, nor was Carl Brigham, who developed the SAT), they greatly benefit from them AND are harmed by ANY and ALL race-based preference schemes...AND Asians look nothing like the people who designed those standards!

Interestingly enough the SAT exam was designed NOT to weed out non-patrician whites, quite the reverse; “In 1933, James Bryant Conant, on becoming president of Harvard, decided to start a new scholarship program for academically gifted boys who did not come from the Eastern boarding schools that were the regular suppliers of Harvard’s students. He gave Henry Chauncey, an assistant dean at Harvard, the task of finding a test to evaluate candidates for these scholarships. Chauncey met Carl Brigham, and came back to Conant with the recommendation that he use the SAT. Conant liked the test because he thought it measured pure intelligence, regardless of the quality of the taker’s high school education.”(
It sounds righteous to criticize such methods devised to include more diverse (economic and ethnic) groups as “tools of systemic discrimination,” but the facts don’t support such charges.

IF affirmative action were limited to “outreach and recruitment,” we could all support it without reservations (so long as that outreach & recruitment were based primarily on economic NOT ethnic considerations), however people of good conscience cannot really support the existing race-based segregated standards, at least not without quite a bit of cognitive dissonance and angst.

The only proper response to past discrimination is to eliminate discrimination going forward, NOT seeking to rationalize “more discrimination,” or “discrimination targeted toward a different group.”

I’m (at present) skeptical, but heartened that the Marines have, to date, refused to lower their combat physical standards to ostensibly pass more females through. Our Fire and Police Departments SHOULD be encouraged, not vilified to do the SAME.

I personally DO NOT believe that physical standards that emphasize upper body strength put an “unfair,” or at least not an unnecessary competitive burden on females. I believe that for such fields those physical standards are very much “job necessities.” SOME females will be able to compete. If that “some” is 3% or even 0.5%, what does that matter? What SHOULD matter is that the force is the BEST qualified overall.


What a Difference ATTITUDE Can Make!

A humorous comparison

By now everyone’s heard of Oprah Winfrey’s outrage over a “racist” Swiss store clerk, who, not recognizing her, refused to show her a $38,000 handbag, exclaiming “No expensive, it’s too expensive!”

According to Ms Winfrey, she asked a clerk to see a $38,000 Tom Ford bag behind a glass case, but “she says, ‘No, it’s too expensive.’

“She said, ‘No, no, no you want to see this one because that one will cost too much,” Winfrey recalled, with the clerk adding, “You won’t be able to afford that one.’
“She refused to get it…said Winfrey, then added ‘I don’t want to hurt your feelings,’ and I said,‘Okay, thank you so much, you’re probably right I can’t afford it.’ Now why does she do that?”

Indeed WHY would anyone not be willing to rake in a sale on a $38,000 handbag?! The store owner has claimed it came down to confusion over the clerk’s incomplete command of English. The clerk has said she only meant to offer her other choices of similar bags that cost less…something she claims to do for everyone.

Store owner Trudie Goetz publicly defended her employee, telling Reuters, “This is an absolute classic misunderstanding” possibly caused by the clerk’s imperfect command of English.”

When asked by the Swiss newspaper what should would say to Winfrey if she had the chance to talk to her again, the clerk responded: “I would apologize and say it was all a misunderstanding.” (

That perceived slight is, to Oprah Winfrey, a sure-fired bit of “racism,” after all, according to her own account “What else could it be?”

Funny story, a very similar thing happened to another big media star, albeit with a very different result.

A New York City hotel kicked out one of the stars of “Duck Dynasty” after an employee mistook him for a homeless man.

Appearing along with his family on “Live with Kelly and Michael” Wednesday morning, Jase Robertson described the incident.

“The first thing that happened to me at the hotel was I got escorted out,” Robertson said, joking that it was a “facial-profiling deal.” Robertson said that the hotel employee simply didn’t know who he was.

“I asked where the bathroom was and he said, ‘Right this way, sir.’ He was very nice,”Robertson explained. “He walked me outside, pointed down the road and said, ‘Good luck.’”

Robertson continued, “So I circled back around and my wife said, ‘What happened?’ and I just said I just got kicked out.”

Robertson took it in stride and didn’t blame the employee for the incident. Robertson continued to stay at the hotel despite the incident.

This would be funny if it weren’t so tragic. America has built up a massive grievance industry that actively encourages blacks and some others to blame everything bad in their lives on “racism.”

A person who believe they’re “poor because of racism,” proves that it’s behaviors, like the lack of skills, especially a lack of cognitive skills (a/k/a “stupidity”) that causes poverty, not misfortune.

Ironically enough that attitude itself (looking outward to blame others for our problems) amounts to a huge disadvantage to those who embrace it.

The ONLY way to change your circumstances is to improve yourself and if you blame your misfortunes on others and outside forces, you’ll never look inward to improve.

American Ideas Click Here!