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Debating Abortion

In 538's summary of the GOP debate, I was struck by this item:

In his closing statement, Ben Carson said that since the debate had started, 200 abortions had been performed. That stat caught our ear. Turns out, he’s right. In 2011, according to the Guttmacher Institute, the abortion rate in the U.S. was 121 per hour, or 242 over the course of the debate.

According to the CDC, there were 730,322 legal abortions in the U.S in 2011. That breaks down to about 83 per hour, or close to 170 for the two-hour debate.

It's all good... for Bernie!!!

Curious if I remembered how the elections went in 2008, but after reviewing polls at RealClearPolitics, I decidedly didn't - Hillary had maintained a commanding 20 point lead up to Jan 5 - and then it collapsed in days as Obama surged.

That of course means nothing in particular this time, but we still have 2 months to go. It ain't over till it's over, redux. Good luck & good fighting.

Checks & no Balances

If you recall the times during the 2000 campaign when Bush claimed to responsibly hand back tax cut savings, with moderators never noting the discrepancies, these modern times should give you pause. What you might not have realized is that Bush's $1.9 trillion spend-fest is dwarfed by the current candidates' $6 to $11 trillion cost. [If only a Socialist wanted to break the budget by that amount, they'd be howling.] You'd be excused for not realizing this, how wacky their plans are, as this basic detail isn't much revealed by either the press or the media brainiacs moderating the "debates". You would think that part of a debate, as you learned somewhere around 8th grade debate class, was a "rebuttal", a point drilled home by references we'd crammed on, pre-internet, to fill 3x5" index cards in cardboard files to prepare for the fierce drilling of our opponents.

Post-trauma Disorder: none dare call it conspiracy?

If you want to start a fight, ask a bunch of Americans whether 9/11 was a conspiracy. Most will say no. If you then note that 19-20 people working together is by definition a conspiracy, they'll get pissed and say they thought you meant "government conspiracy". Which is not what they thought, since we don't know what individual gov workers from the FAA or INS or FBI might have helped the hijackers, eg who let them through the airport with boxcutters or who helped them scope out security. What they really mean is "not a HIGH government conspiracy" or some coordinated renegade group of spooks, no Ollie North and gang.

African Diaspora series?

A group is doing a Kickstarter for a crime series on the African Diaspora. I'm curious how folks think, whether an exploitive piece on Africans, a voyeuristic fearmongering piece on violence, refugee porn that takes off where Syrian & Libyan refugees stop, or a needed sociology study/angle on an interesting demographic. Benghazi moves to Ferguson or your weekly "The Good Lie"  movie spinoff?

Anyone have thoughts on this?

Documenting Evil: The Auschwitz Album

As part of the 70th commemoration of the end of WWII, I went to an exhibit of the Auschwitz Album. While movie directors have done an amazing job re-creating these awful scenes throughout the years, the actual photos of unphotogenic, unmadeup distressed masses being herded around as they struggle to manage their few belongings along with their friends & relatives is heartbreaking.

What's more astounding is this seminal horrific event came this close to having 0 photographic evidence even at this late date in the history of photography - only by accident did one of the inmates stumble across this unauthorized photo album a few hundred miles away. 

Identity: Caitlyn Jenner = Rachel Dolezal?

So perhaps I don't get inclusiveness, but I'm not sure I understand why a man can feel he's really a woman and we encourage his transition to she - but a woman says she feels she's black and has certainly played the role for a number of years, but in this case it's a scandal.

Hillary thru the Looking Glass

2 items I saw today re: how the media prism will focus on Hillary actions in different ways.

In #1, Ted Lipien notes that the blind Chinese dissident had distinctly commended Hillary while expressing disappointment with the Obama Administration - the former part left out of the Politico version as Voice of America sat on the translation.

Dr. Quinn's Koestler-like Energy Future Shock

We had an interesting guest appearance by Quinn re: the slide to renewables in perhaps 30-40 years.

Presuming this all goes as (un)planned and coal/oil/gas can mostly be phased out, it begs some interesting questions, what with nearly limitless almost-free energy (& electric cars, super-grids & presumably electric planes to go along with it)

1) what happens to our global warming concerns as we replace fossil fuels with non-CO2 & non-heat producing alternatives?

Venezuela a US Security Threat? Who knew?

Extending the Axis of Evil to a 4th Dimension, President Obama declared Venezuela a security threat because it has nuclear weapons  threatens our borders  hacks our computers  beheads American captives  spies on European leaders  occupied a peninsula assassinated opposition leaders is mean to protesters. Observers are unsure whether this meant to slow government moves towards socialism, or to get Maduro to supply troops to fight ISIS, something the other members of the evil club are doing.


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