Sunday, October 28, 2012

There has been a great deal of talk in political circles lately on the topic of rape and abortion.  Several persons of note have publicly stated that there should be no exceptions for use of the medical procedure which was guaranteed by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade.  The most recent statement was by Indiana Senate Candidate Richard Mourdock who said that rape should not be an exception because if a pregnancy resulted from rape, the fetus should be thought of as  a gift from God.  Missouri Senate Candidate Todd Akin recently made a similar remark, arguing  in the case of a "legitimate rape" a woman's body will prevent conception so there is no need for a rape exemption.  And of course, during the Presidential Primary season, former Senator Rick Santorum opined that life begins at conception so abortion is murder.

Each of these men have stated that their opinions in this matter are a result of deeply held religious beliefs and buttressed by a powerful faith in the Almighty.

Well, first, let us note that all of these persons are men who can never get pregnant and leave it at that.

But if you are a believer (and I am) God works his will in the real world, so before you make such a firm conclusion, it is worthwhile to look at how the real world works.  Akin's remark turns out to simply not be true.  Rape victims do get pregnant at a rate that is consistent with other sexual activity.  And, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, scientific studies of the matter show that anywhere from 10% to 25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in a miscarriage.  This number cannot take into account the unknown and unknowable number of pregnancies that end in miscarriage without the mother ever knowing that she was, for one brief but unknown moment, pregnant.

Look here, God surely isn't murdering all of those babies.  I don't think he works that way.  In fact, I think it must be self-evident that a human life cannot begin at conception because God is not stupid.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


01/11/12 on Fangraphs


Comment From MarinerDan
Do you like the DH or would you prefer pitchers to hit in both leagues?

Dave Cameron:
I don't get why anyone likes watching pitchers hit.

From your mouth to God's ears.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

It Can't Be Said Better....

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain responded to a question about the Occupy Wall Street protests by saying, “Don’t blame the big banks. If you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself.”
Now pay attention while Heidi Schierholz explains for him (and maybe you) in simple words:

Here are the facts: This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released new data from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey showing that there were nearly 3.1 million job openings in August. However, we know from other BLS data that there were 14 million unemployed workers in August. In other words, there were nearly 11 million more job seekers than job openings.

The ratio of unemployed workers to job openings is now 4.6-to-1

Heidi Scheirholz, Economic Policy Institute. (emphasis added by poster)

Now, this is simple arithmetic. Do you suppose that the several other rich men who have made similar statements in the last year can't add it up? Or do they have another agenda, probably not in your best interests? See below.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

It can't be said better.....

Social Security is not a retirement account, it’s an anti-poverty program that provides some dignity to seniors.
via Balloon Juice... Nicolas Wilbur at Muddy Politics

It is structured as a mandatory personal retirement account with mandatory employer contributions to provide the "Security" part of the name. The funds are husbanded by the government to insulate them from losses that would be incurred along with gains from ordinary private investment accounts. Hence, again, the "Security" part of the name.

The "Social" Part?

See that red line? See where it drops from the highest poverty rate (over 1/3!!) to the lowest poverty rate? That's Social Security and Medicare. Screw with it in any of the ways the Republican Party is publicly advocating, such as making its funding mechanism individually insecure (private accounts) or increasing eligibility ages (for Social Security or Medicare) and you are headed back to the territory where seniors have the highest poverty rates. They need to make THAT case. Why should we do that? Or, maybe, we shouldn't do that....

The simple fix for Social Security is to raise the income cap. Given that even the low inflation rates in the long run have had significant effects, that, like fixing the Alternative Minimum Tax just makes sense. And then that is fixed and we aren't talking about condemning Grandma and Grandpa to a short, nasty retirement in poverty as a fix anymore, which is just stupid anyway. But that doesn't starve the beast until it can be drowned in a bathtub. And now you know why they don't want to make that case. So why do we want to starve THIS beast? It serves us and has served us well.

Starving the beast only makes sense when 'government' is an undefined bogeyman of undefined evilness. Good government makes our lives better. Less government does not equal good government unless it does, but they will not discuss whether this or that makes life better because then the 'beast' becomes 'cow, horse, dog' not 'wolf, minotaur, cyclops' and the picture of what tax cuts for all do for you and me becomes clear. Only the amoral and powerful thrive in an anarchy.