Week in Review: June 28, 2013

 http://www.athenstalks.com/idiocracy-and-einstein http://www.athenstalks.com/idiocracy-and-einstein

This has been a busy week, work wise and news wise.  My attention to the news anymore is sporadic.  It is a mental health issue. I am convinced paying daily attention to the news is a leading contributor the dumbification of our society (Note: Made up word intentionally used) as we slide further towards making Idiocracy a reality.

Republican Socialist Texans:

More socialist than the lefties they fight.

Texas state Senator Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, did her version of a Rand Paul filibuster over a Texas bill designed to ban abortions after 20 weeks, require abortion clinics to be listed/rated as surgical centers, and require all doctors in said clinics to have admitting privileges at hospitals.  Conservative estimates peg ZERO state abortion clinics would meet new requirements thereby effectively prohibiting any legal abortion in the great state of Texas.

Governor Rick Perry’s rebuttal to Senator Wendy Davis successful filibuster.  Verbatim:

“Even the woman who filibustered the Senate the other day was born into
difficult circumstances,” said Perry. “She was the daughter of a single
woman, she was a teenage mother herself. She managed to eventually
graduate from Harvard Law School and serve in the Texas senate. It is
just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example that every
life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that
every life matters.”

With respect to that overly simplistic premise from Governor Perry, if everyone overcame the challenges of life in the example of Senator Wendy Davis,  no one would be obese, no one would be poor, no one would be unemployed or underemployed, no one would commit crime, no one would suffer the ravages of cancer, we would likely have colonies on Mars, the list goes on.

The reality however, is a bit different and its real.  I read through these new reports and come to the realization that politicians never think through the unintended consequences of their actions.  Their veracity to be “right” and drive their agenda blinds them of common sense.

Unintended Consequences

Unintended consequences are not evil or good, they just are.  I am highlighting one, that in my opinion, happened to be good.

One of the easiest examples is the Roe vs. Wade and its affect on lowering violent crime in the 1990’s.  That wasn’t the intent, nor do I believe anyone thought through this impact of this decision would have on our country 20 years later.

In 2001, a pair of economists, Donohue-Levitt,  wrote their hypothesis on this subject matter.  Briefly it states:

1. After abortion was legalized, the availability of abortions differed dramatically across states. In some states like North Dakota and in parts of the deep South, it was virtually impossible to get an abortion even after Roe v. Wade. If one compares states that had high abortion rates in the mid 1970s to states that had low abortion rates in the mid 1970s, you see the following patterns with crime. For the period from 1973-1988, the two sets of states (high abortion states and low abortion states) have nearly identical crime patterns. Note, that this is a period before the generations exposed to legalized abortion are old enough to do much crime. So this is exactly what the Donohue-Levitt theory predicts. But from the period 1985-1997, when the post Roe cohort is reaching peak crime ages, the high abortion states see a decline in crime of 30% relative to the low abortion states. Our original data ended in 1997. If one updated the study, the results would be similar.)

2) All of the decline in crime from 1985-1997 experienced by high abortion states relative to low abortion states is concentrated among the age groups born after Roe v. Wade. For people born before abortion legalization, there is no difference in the crime patterns for high abortion and low abortion states, just as the Donohue-Levitt theory predicts.

3) When we compare arrest rates of people born in the same state, just before and just after abortion legalization, we once again see the identical pattern of lower arrest rates for those born after legalization than before.

4) The evidence from Canada, Australia, and Romania also support the hypothesis that abortion reduces crime.

5) Studies have shown a reduction in infanticide, teen age drug use, and teen age childbearing consistent with the theory that abortion will reduce other social ills similar to crime.

These six points all support the hypothesis. There is one fact that, without more careful analysis, argues against the Donohue-Levitt story:

6) The homicide rate of young males (especially young Black males) temporarily skyrocketed in the late 1980s, especially in urban centers like Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington, DC, before returning to regular levels soon thereafter. These young males who were hitting their peak crime years were born right around the time abortion was legalized.

Source: http://www.freakonomics.com/2005/05/15/abortion-and-crime-who-should-you-believe/

When it comes to deciding who to believe, a politician or an economist, well, do I really have to spell it out for you?  While I’m at it, if you are not familiar, you need to be:


Snowden Playing 3D Chess

Hawaii to Hong Kong to the “transit terminal” in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International airport.

There is nothing more upsetting to our government than someone openly and deliberately choosing actions that are contrary to the states expectation of blind obedience of its population. Especially actions result in the embarrassment of the government.

At the first of the week all the talking heads were singing the tune of discrediting Snowden and trying to minimize what he actually had access to, how he was such a low level employee.  A low level employee with Top Secret Clearance.  Somehow low level employee and Top Secret Clearance seems a tad contradictory to me.  In terms of clearances, they go Confidential, Secret, Top Secret.

Sharing my favorite quotes from this affair so far:

From Ron Paul

 “My understanding is that espionage means giving secret or classified information to the enemy. Since Snowden shared information with the American people, his indictment for espionage could reveal (or confirm) that the US Government views you and me as the enemy.” -Ron Paul

Steve Wozniak

“I think he’s a hero,” said the 62-year-old Wozniak, who co-founded
Apple Computer with Steve Jobs and invented the Apple I and Apple II
personal computers that launched a technological revolution. “He’s a
hero to my beliefs about how the Constitution should work. I don’t think
the NSA has done one thing valuable for us, in this whole ‘Prism’
regard, that couldn’t have been done by following the Constitution and
doing it the old way.”

“I don’t think terrorism is war. I think terrorism is a crime. And by
using the word ‘war’ we’ve managed to use all these weird ways to say
the Constitution doesn’t apply in the case of a war. And I think Edward
Snowden is a hero because this came from his heart. And I really believe
he was giving up his whole life because he just felt so deeply about
honesty, about spying on Americans, and he wanted to tell us.”

Bruce Schneier

 “I believe that history will hail Snowden as a hero — his
whistle-blowing exposed a surveillance state and a secrecy machine run
amok. I’m less optimistic of how the present day will treat him, and
hope that the debate right now is less about the man and more about the
government he exposed.”

Say what you will about Snowden and is actions, there are not a lot of people who are willing to put their entire lively hood at risk for their convictions.  Would you?

Honesty Killed the Paula Dean Brand

In a deposition Paula Dean answered honestly that she has uttered the n-word.  She could have lied.  I’ll take the position, should have lied.  Had she done so, we wouldn’t have seen a week of corporate holier than thou implosion and death of the Paula Dean brand.  Even though I am not familiar with any of her now cancelled shows or her brand, I do feel sorry for her and what appears to me as a gross over reaction domino effect caused by the Food Network’s decision to effectively fire her.  Hopefully you learned your lesson Paula.  Your corporate masters do not want the truth.

Watching You

We have a couple of these posted in the office.  It represents the perfect blend of Aldus Huxley’s Brave New World and George Orwell’s 1984.  If you haven’t read, I strongly suggest you do.  Order of reading doesn’t matter.  Just read them.

Current Events News Opinion Politics

%d bloggers like this: