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Posts Tagged ‘News/politics’

A conversation with a client about China’s one-child policy

Posted by Lissa on July 6, 2012

For the most part, I don’t talk politics with our clients. Or rather, if they want to talk politics I’ll throw out interesting anecdotes or amusing stories either from their side of the aisle or that are politically neutral; it’s not my job or my place to convince a client that he or she is wrong.

But there are some topics on which I can’t just be neutral.

Mr. H is a zany, scatterbrained, all-around nice guy who jumps around from topic to topic like a little kid playing hopscotch. I mentioned my grandmother, who was born and grew up in China, and he immediately asked for the motivation behind Chinese young women coming to America. “I go to these Chinese restaurants and there are these women who just left their families behind and don’t speak more than few words of English and why do they do that? Is it because of the one-child policy?”

I allowed how the one-child policy was pretty terrible so I could certainly understand that being a motivating factor for some of these women. He interrupted to tell me that he thought the one-child policy made sense for China.

Um. No, I don’t keep my mouth shut on this.

In a very pleasant tone of voice, and without at all attacking him, his views or his statement, I told him that I understood the goal of the one-child policy. I understood the desirability of cutting down on population growth, especially since the few fertile parts of China were chronically overpopulated. However, the one-child policy did not make any sense economically, in that it led to one child having to support four grandparents in their old age, which is just financially and demographically impossible. Furthermore, while I could understand the desirability of Chinese people having fewer children, the actual policy as it was carried out and enforced was nothing short of monstrous.

He had no idea what I was talking about.

It’s not hard to find what I’m talking about. It *may* very well be desirable for the Chinese people as a whole to slow their population growth. But I invite any of my readers to click on these two links – hell, one will probably do it – and then argue that the policy is NOT evil.

Link 1
Link 2

An article from The Economist will give you the gist without inducing vomiting.

It’s not my place or my job to change people’s opinions. But it appears that opening people’s eyes to evil masquerading as public policy is something I have to do.

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Looking Glass News: the Romney Gift Registry

Posted by Lissa on June 27, 2012

I haven’t done this in a loooooong time, but let’s go back through the looking glass and pretend that the Republican candidate did this . . .

Governor and Republican Candidate Mitt Romney horrified people across the nation when he suggested that people donate to his campaign in lieu of birthday, wedding or anniversary presents.

“It’s creepy!” exclaimed Maureen Dowd. “What kind of weird, sick, religious cult does he belong to that he thinks we should give HIM money to mark important life events? Is THIS what the Mormon church calls normal?”

New York Times columnist Charles Blow was equally appalled. “Clearly, Governor Romney has no idea what is appropriate regarding private celebration and political panhandling. He should shove this idea in his magic underwear.”

Yale professor Harold Bloom wrote, “We have long been told to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s — and ONLY that. Governor Romney must think that birthday parties and weddings fall into this category. I can be forgiven for dreading a strengthening of theocracy in our civil culture.”

There are those who say that Romney simply misjudged how this marketing campaign would make him and his campaign appear to the average voter. However, the rest of us are quite sure that this is an evil and scurrilous attempt to insert himself, his faith, his church and his filthy polygamist beliefs into the daily lives of innocent Americans. For shame.

*Thanks to Walter Russell Mead for collecting the examples
**Seriously. Wouldn’t all your liberal friends and family find it creepy as hell if Romney did this?

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German environmentalists: The means justify the ends

Posted by Lissa on June 25, 2012

I wrote back in September 2010 about how, for some people and in some instances, the means justify the ends. I was exploring the idea that results are not necessary for those who thinks their motives and actions are so wonderful that the lack of results is the merest pettifogging detail.

I thought of that again when I read about the German environmentalist craze.

And I don’t mean psycho enviroweenies threatening to blow up animal testing facilities, or even Green party representatives. I mean the fervent adherence to practices that will “save the environment” . . . even though there’s no evidence they they do and, in fact, may have real-time practical consequences that do NOT help.

Two examples from the article:

I sort my garbage. There are four symmetrically arranged containers in front of my front door: a blue one for paper and a yellow one for plastic on the right, along with a brown one for compost and a gray one for everything else on the left. It doesn’t look very nice. It also stinks a little, especially on summer days when I wouldn’t mind sitting outside. But I know that I have to make sacrifices.

The German ordinance on packaging is respected, and the product recycling regulations are held in high esteem. According to the rules of Germany’s dual system of waste management, when yoghurt containers are put into the recycling bin, they have to be “completely empty,” “drop-free” and “spoon-clean.” Some people even put the containers in the dishwasher before stuffing them into a yellow recycling bag.

But then something strange happens. My yoghurt container, which I’ve carefully rinsed and sorted, isn’t recycled at all. In fact, it’s dumped into an incinerator with all the rest of the garbage and burned.

Yes, this is allowed. By law, the dual system is required to recycle exactly 36 percent of plastic waste. Waste disposal companies can do what they want — and what is most cost-effective for them — with the remaining 64 percent. As a result, much of it ends up in waste incinerators for what’s called “thermal recycling,” bringing the cycle to a sudden end.


The government is even teaching our smallest citizens how important it is to treat precious water responsibly. The Environment Ministry’s children’s website admonishes them to “Think about how you can save water! Taking a shower is better for the environment than taking a bath. Turn off the water when you’re soaping yourself. Never let the water run when you’re not using it. And maybe you can spend less time in the shower, too.”

This is all very well and good, but there’s only one problem: It stinks. Our street is filled with the stench of decay. It’s especially bad in the summer, when half of Berlin is under a cloud of gas. [snip]

Our consumption has declined so much that there is not enough water going through the pipes to wash away fecal matter, urine and food waste, causing blockages. The inert brown sludge sloshes back and forth in the pipes, which are now much too big, releasing its full aroma. [snip]

The waterworks must now periodically flush their pipes and conduits. The water we save with our low-flow toilets is simply being pumped directly through hoses into the sewage system below. On some days, an additional half a million cubic meters of tap water is run through the Berlin drainage system to ensure what officials call the “necessary flow rate.”

Germany has a lot of water. It has many rivers and lakes. The amount of rain that falls from the skies over Germany is five times as much as the entire water requirements of the entire population and industry. Less than 3 percent of the country’s water reserves would be enough to supply all households.

The obvious solution to our pipeline problems would be to use more water again. But that’s not how the Germans work.

Apparently Germans are so determined to “Do The Right Thing!” for Mother Earth that the actual results – which are not good for Mother Earth, the air, the land or each other – become unimportant.

Can you think of other examples where this phenomenon takes place? I can!!

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A law against sex-specific abortion, and my thoughts on it

Posted by Lissa on June 4, 2012

Lila Rose and Live Action recently conducted a sting showing Planned Parenthood counselors aiding and abetting sex selective abortions. That is, the visitor to the clinic explains that she wants to ultrasound the baby to determine gender (typically done at 20 weeks) so that she can abort it if it’s a girl.


So, first, I think we can all agree that aborting a baby on basis of a penis, or lack thereof, is disgusting. Morally degraded and degenerate. Anyone disagree?

That, I think, is pretty noncontroversial. So I’ll skip on the part where I might get tarred-and-feathered: I’m opposed to any law banning abortion on basis of sex. Because that descends into thoughtcrime.

I know, I know. Let me explain a few things.

1. I’m against second-trimester abortions in general. Unless there’s a strong medical reason that the mother needs an abortion, I disagree with the practice.

2. Sex can’t be determined until the 20th week. (For those of you not immersed in baby details 24/7 – there are 40 weeks in a pregnancy, so the second trimester begins about week 13.) Therefore, in my perfect world, the whole thing becomes a non-issue.

3. That being said, in our world, assuming that a second-trimester abortion is legal for any reason or no reason at all, it makes no sense to me to criminalize it because of a specific motivation behind taking the action. Think about it.

“I want to abort my baby if it turns out to be a girl.”

“That’s a federal crime, and you’ll go to jail!”

“Oh. Well, then, um, I might decide to abort my baby if I suddenly decide, at week 22, that my family can’t afford a kid at that time.”

“Okay then! Sounds great!”

Does that make sense to you?

Either it is legal to terminate a pregnancy/kill a baby (I’ll put it both ways) at four-to-five months old, or it’s not. If it’s legal, it’s legal for any reason behind the decision – finances, gender, morning sickness, whatever. If it’s illegal, then it’s illegal; the motive behind it doesn’t figure.

I’ve got more thoughts on abortion, but I’ll explore those in a later post. This is plenty to start me off on a Monday morning.

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Yes, we smashed a Nikki Haley pinata, but don’t worry, it’s all in good fun!

Posted by Lissa on June 1, 2012

I’ve had this open in my browser for a while but didn’t get around to sharing it. Did you know that the leader of the South Carolina AFL-CIO smashed a pinata with Nikki Haley’s face on it? Repeatedly?

But that’s not the part that made me giggle with hysterical glee. It was the reassurances that they weren’t MAD when they did it – so it’s all okay!! [emphasis mine]

“They made it and I would have played the game with them no matter it would have been pin the tail on the donkey with Nikki Haley’s face on it. I still would have played,” Dewitt told ABC News over the phone. “There was no ill intent. We were certainly have a good time. I’m not mad or angry.”

“We’ve been the brunt of her comments now for two years and that’s what the whole thing was. She’s been whacking at us over the last two years,” Dewitt, who has been president of the South Carolina AFL-CIO for the past 16 years and will retire at the end of June, continued. “Anyone that knows me knows there was no ill intent at all. Our folks don’t go to speeches with guns and things like that. We have very loving people in our unions who will take up money for people or a vet. We just heard these comments by the governor for over the two years. They were using a memoir of the last two years I’ve lived under her leadership.

NOW do you understand? It’s okay! They were happy shiny people when they smashed her face, not those evil gun-toting vet-hating wingnuts! So everything’s fine!!!

And one more dollop of humor for you: “Nikki Haley tries to capitalize off video of union leader.” Yes, really. That wily and evil Nikki Haley!!!

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President Obama: “Polish Death Camp”

Posted by Lissa on May 30, 2012


WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House said President Barack Obama misspoke on Tuesday when he referred to a “Polish death camp” while honoring a Polish war hero.
The president’s remark had drawn immediate complaints from Poles who said Obama should have called it a “German death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland,” to distinguish the perpetrators from the location. Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski called it a matter of “ignorance and incompetence.”


The Polish Embassy in Washington, on its website, has a “how-to guide” on concentration camps that states that references to Polish death camps are “factually incorrect slurs” that should be corrected.
The Associated Press Stylebook states that when referring to “World War II camps in countries occupied by Nazi Germany, do not use phrases like Polish death camps that confuse the location and the perpetrators. Use instead, for example, death camps in Nazi-occupied Poland.”

No wonder they so rarely let our President go off teleprompter.

I would like you to close your eyes for a moment and imagine the reactions had a President McCain said those exact words. I’m thinking words like “senile” and “incompetent” and “gratuitously insulting.”

Anyone can have a slip of the tongue. This happens to be a pretty dumb one, and I can’t help but feel it’s going to be buried by the mainstream media as much as possible.

Hat tip: Ace of Spades

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Did ANYONE actually think Pres Obama was against gay marriage?

Posted by Lissa on May 11, 2012

Anyone? Bueller?

I’m just curious. I know that my friends who are Obama fans confidently dismissed his stance against gay marriage. “Oh, everyone knows he’s for it, but he can’t say that and get elected, so he has to pretend he’s not,” they say assuredly. And I completely agree with them.

But if that were REALLY the case, then he wouldn’t have dithered this long. There must be SOME people out there who really thought he was against it.

So. Does y’all know anyone who was surprised when he made his about-face? Anyone at all?

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Posted by Lissa on May 8, 2012

People who believe in evolution in biology often believe in creationism in government. In other words, they believe that the universe and all the creatures in it could have evolved spontaneously, but that the economy is too complicated to operate without being directed by politicians.

Random Thoughts by Thomas Sowell

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Orwellian. OR-WELL-I-AN. Look it up.

Posted by Lissa on April 25, 2012

I guess I missed when 1984 was no longer required reading in high school. (That’s a lie. It wasn’t required by the time I went through. I read it for fun.) I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that someone – lots of someones – thought this was a GOOD idea.

Kicking off the week after the world somberly marked Holocaust Remembrance Day, President Obama marked the 67th year since the liberation of Europe’s death camps with the announcement today of his new Atrocities Prevention Board.

‘”Never again” is a challenge to nations,” Obama said. “It’s a bitter truth — too often, the world has failed to prevent the killing of innocents on a massive scale. And we are haunted by the atrocities that we did not stop and the lives we did not save.”

And if THAT doesn’t work, the President will have his staff send them a very angry letter. And it will arrive with postage due.

“Never again” should go hand-in-hand with “Molon Labe.”

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Al Sharpton went down to Florida

Posted by Lissa on March 26, 2012

Al Sharpton went down to Florida
He was looking for a story to steal
‘Cause this hustler of race
Never yet saw a case
In which racism wasn’t revealed.

(“The Devil went down to Georgia”, the Charlie Daniels band. Slightly altered.)

Oh boy. I have not wanted to touch the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman story with a ten foot pole. However, this blog is at least partially about news/politics, and it’s definitely about guns and gun rights, and this happened pretty damn close to me. Therefore, in no specific order, here are my random thoughts:

1. The “Stand your ground” law in Florida is a GOOD and SENSIBLE law. It is inherently stupid to insist that a victim, upon being attacked, must try to turn and run away before defending oneself. If I am carrying grocery sacks or a baby and someone rushes at me with a knife, it is stupidity of the highest order to demand that I turn my back and wait to get tackled from behind as I run before drawing a weapon to defend myself.

I want to point this out first and foremost. We don’t have all the facts at the moment, but whatever details emerge about the confrontation between Martin and Zimmerman does not change that the law is SENSIBLE and REASONABLE.

2. The “Stand your ground” law specifically exempts situations in which you provoke the violence against yourself, unless it’s actually becoming deadly violence. In Lissa’s-layman’s terms, if you start a fight and get your ass whupped, it’s no more than you deserve … UNLESS the person you started a fight with is actually about to kill your ass. You’re not required to lie there and get killed even if you were a stupid freakin’ jackhole who started the fight.

A lot of the next few points were either drawn from or partially formulated by this Ace post, which I recommend you read in its entirety.

3. The shot with LeBron and his friends in hoodies made me want to throw up. If you take that slant on the story, this evil white guy – WHITE, not Hispanic, dammit!! – followed a young black kid wearing a hoodie and gunned him down in cold blood . . . for the temerity of being a black male in a hoodie. I’ve seen Emmett Till mentioned. I would like everyone to join me in a collective vomit.

Read the 911 transcript (available at the Ace post). The way the media is spinning the story, you expect it to go something like this:

Zimmerman: There’s a suspicious kid in my neighborhood. He’s black and wearing a hoodie and therefore must by definition be a criminal and a drug fiend so I’m going to kill him.

Um, not so. The dispatcher ASKS Zimmerman whether Martin is “black, white or Hispanic” and then ASKS Zimmerman what Martin’s wearing. It was an attempt to get a physical description to give to the incoming cops.

4. All that being said, the story still looks pretty bad – innocent young black kid shot to death for looking suspicious. HOWEVER – and this is a BIG, HUGE “HOWEVER” – WE DON’T YET KNOW ALL THE FACTS. I think there are two basic likely scenarios:

a) Zimmerman accosted Martin and tried to detain him until the police arrived. Martin, seeing a strange man – obviously not a cop – grabbing at him resisted being detained and responded with physical violence deemed necessary to defend himself. Zimmerman, being on the losing end of the altercation, drew his weapon and killed Martin.

I’d think in this case that he would go to jail. It’s obviously not premeditated, but you can’t start a fight, draw a gun when you lose, and not get jail time.

b) Zimmerman confronted Martin (not accosted, confronted). Martin responded with physical violence; he initiated the fight. Zimmerman, assaulted and bleeding, drew his weapon and fired to defend himself.

In this situation – B – I personally think that Zimmerman acted stupidly. I don’t believe in walking up and confronting what you think is a potentially dangerous and drug-ridden criminal; it’s moronic and foolhardy. It is NOT, however, a crime. And however stupid and ill-advised it may be to walk up to someone and demand, “What are you doing here?? Are you a criminal??” or whatever it was Zimmerman said in this scenario, if Martin responded by attacking Zimmerman than he is morally justified in defending himself.

The last few points I’ll quote directly from Ace:

5. If the facts are as the media reports them, then it does seem like Zimmerman was following around a kid who wasn’t doing anything illegal at all. Then again, if the facts were as the media reported them, the Duke Lacrosse Team was guilty of violent gang-rape.

While the liberal media screams, once again, “Trust us, and forget all about our hitting the Panic Button time and time again before!,” some of us would like to see what the facts really are before coming to a conclusion.

6. As a general matter, and inescapably, the law of self-defense is a very thorny thicket. The media would like to simplify the law and simply declare that anyone who shoots anyone else is guilty of murder (because they would like to ban all guns, period, and this is a cutesy manner of achieving that goal through the back-door).

But these laws are inescapably thorny and these cases are inescapably very dependent on actual facts.

At the heart of every self-defense case are a pair of related questions: Did the defendant reasonably believe his safety was in jeopardy when he struck the fatal blow? And, based on the circumstances, did the defendant act lawfully, within the accepted safe-harbors for the use of lethal force in defending one’s life (or another’s life)?

Facts, not ginned up racial outrage or general anti-gun animus, answer these questions.

Given what we think we know (and remember, the media has lied before): it appears that the kid was unarmed, the guy can’t rely on self-defense to save his life.

Further, it appears (again, appears) that Zimmerman initiated the contact/confrontation, not the kid, so the “stand your ground” law is not even relevant in the case.

But that’s how it appears, at the moment, and for a whole year the media was pretty sure that drug-addled, mentally-imbalanced nightcrawler Crystal Gayle Mangum was a pretty solid citizen and dependable witness.

We’ll see how this plays.

Various inarticulate, charity-hire racists don’t need a sober assessment of the facts, because their conclusions are animated by racism — the party of the Disfavored Race is always guilty. (Even when the member of the Disfavored Race is only an honorary member of that Disfavored Race.)

Although America has brought shame to some racists, others flaunt their racism proudly.

We’ll have to do something about that. What is this, the 50s?

If I were the praying type, I would put Trayvon Martin, his family, George Zimmerman and his family all in my prayers. Since I’m not, I just feel sad and sorry and like the whole damn thing is a ***damned waste.

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