Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Premature Babies, Infant Mortality, and Socialized Medicine

A recent report by Dr. Linda Halderman begins with the question:
Q: If socialized medicine is so bad, why are infant mortality rates higher in the U.S. than in other developed nations with government or single-payer health care?

A: U.S. infant mortality rates (deaths of infants <1 year of age per 1,000 live births) are sometimes cited as evidence of the failings of the U.S. system of health care delivery. Universal health care, it’s argued, is why babies do better in countries with socialized medicine.

But in fact, the main factors affecting early infant survival are birth weight and prematurity. The way that these factors are reported — and how such babies are treated statistically — tells a different story than what the numbers reveal.

Dr. Halderman goes on to handily destroy this broadly accepted myth of the global left, and I certainly suggest looking over the insurmountable case she presents.

Americans may remember this argument being brought up in the healthcare debate.  Proponents of the ObamaCare model, which more closely resembles a Euro or Canadian-style system, would suggest that since American infant mortality rates are higher than these other nations with more socialized healthcare, they must have better healthcare systems than America, right?  The implication is that these other nations are able to save more infants' lives, which is presumably evidence of a more efficient healthcare construct. 

But I guess that all just depends on what your definition of "life" is.  Americans recognize a life if it, well... lives.  Born.  Breathing.  Heartbeat.  Reacting to stimuli.  Any of these things.  It's not rocket science.

These other nations with socialized medicine only recognize an infant's life if it meets their standards of what they think "life" is- or at least what it should be for reporting purposes.  According to Dr. Halderman's report:

-Low birth weight infants are not counted against the “live birth” statistics for many countries reporting low infant mortality rates.

-Some of the countries reporting infant mortality rates lower than the U.S. classify babies as “stillborn” if they survive less than 24 hours whether or not such babies breathe, move, or have a beating heart at birth. **

And if an infant doesn't meet these state requirements it takes to be considered alive, can that infant ever really die?

Not according to the comrade that's tallying the low "infant mortality rates" that are touted as a measure of the success of state-run healthcare.

So do you really want socialized medicine, America? Where the state must first declare that your prematurely born baby meets the requirements of being considered a life and therefore worthy of saving before efforts are made and resources are dedicated to the task?  This is not fear mongering- and it's certainly not far-fetched.  Consider how Dr. Halderman concludes her report::

Too short to count?

In Switzerland and other parts of Europe, a baby born who is less than 30 centimeters long is not counted as a live birth. Therefore, unlike in the U.S., such high-risk infants cannot affect Swiss infant mortality rates.

Efforts to salvage these tiny babies reflect this classification. Since 2000, 42 of the world’s 52 surviving babies weighing less than 400g (0.9 lbs.) were born in the United States.

The parents of these children may view socialized medicine somewhat differently than its proponents.
Indeed.  They are certainly lucky for their children to have been born in the American healthcare system, rather than a single-payer or universal healthcare system that would have declared their child to have never existed at all.  Let us hope that the future may hold such joy for some lucky parents in America.

-William Sullivan

Thanks to Rick Moran of American Thinker

** Perhaps pertinent to note, 40% of all infant deaths result in the first 24 hours after birth.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Climate Science Fiction

America’s confidence in the scientific community was lightly rocked when the Guardian, an accredited British news outlet, claimed that NASA affiliated climate scientists at Penn State reported in a scientific study that “Aliens may destroy humanity to protect other civilizations.” Daily Mail Online made a similar report.

The Huffington Post was quick to refute the claim. So was Network World’s Michael Cooney. But they merely refute that it is a “NASA report.” Meaning to say, it was not a federally funded study, though one of the scientists is very clearly affiliated with NASA. Yet neither can refute that the scientific report exists. It is very real.

One of the authors of the report, Shawn Domagal-Goldman, apologized for touting his affiliation with NASA, which he undoubtedly employed to lend credence to the report’s findings. However, in his final disclaimer, he states: “I stand by the analysis in the paper.”

Here’s a sample of this “analysis,” which seems to present beneficial, neutral, and harmful outcomes to human interaction with extraterrestrials:

"A preemptive strike would be particularly likely in the early phases of our expansion because a civilisation may become increasingly difficult to destroy as it continues to expand. Humanity may just now be entering the period in which its rapid civilisational expansion could be detected by an ETI because our expansion is changing the composition of the Earth's atmosphere, via greenhouse gas emissions," the report states.

"Green" aliens might object to the environmental damage humans have caused on Earth and wipe us out to save the planet. "These scenarios give us reason to limit our growth and reduce our impact on global ecosystems. It would be particularly important for us to limit our emissions of greenhouse gases, since atmospheric composition can be observed from other planets," the authors write.
This “scientific report” has been at least limitedly accepted as “science,” evidenced by its ready availability through Cornell University Library online. So let me make sure I have this straight.  In modern academia, merely suggesting that eons ago a God could have been responsible for the Big Bang (an entirely obscure event that has no known catalyst) is an absurd suggestion worthy of expulsion from the scientific community. Yet suggesting that we change our way of life based upon the prospect that little green men could vaporize humanity on the grounds that we are not environmentally friendly? That is accredited science.

The “scientists” admit that it is a “highly speculative scenario.” But such “highly speculative scenarios” are the stuff of science fiction, not legitimate science. And indeed, the very same scenarios of this scientific study make up the canon of science fiction. The report relates that a beneficial result of alien interaction could result in innovations that could enhance the human experience. We’ve seen this before in a Twilight Zone episode called “The Gift” where an alien brings humanity a cure for cancer, and the film "Men In Black" suggests that this has already happened, resulting in Velcro and compact discs. Neutral outcomes to alien interaction could result in humanity being invited to a “Galactic Club” (the Federation of Star Trek?), or that aliens could become a nuisance as they do in "District 9," which the “scientists” even suggest as a point of reference for such potential interaction!

As far as harmful outcomes, we can infer from the outline of the report that there are two types of scenarios here: contact with selfish extraterrestrials, and Universalist extraterrestrials. We can assume that the selfish extraterrestrials would seek to eradicate humanity for resources or control of the planet (see: "Independence Day" and "War of the Worlds"). Universalist extraterrestrials, therefore, are the aforementioned intergalactic environmentalists that would come and destroy us because we are a threat to ourselves, the Earth, and alien beings. Because if advanced alien life forms exist, their understanding and ambition would probably fall in line perfectly with the intellectual elites of Earth, don’t you know.

Oh, and as fellow Political Palaver blogger Calvin Parker has reminded me, the latter plot is even lifted from the remake of “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” Seems to me that there isn’t an ounce of science or even originality in this report- only liberal borrowings from science fiction films.

Hasn’t the anthropogenic global warming nonsense done enough damage to the science fiction genre? It is responsible for "Waterworld," after all. Now it has to rip off science fiction by stealing its ideas and doomsday scenarios and presenting them as some new scientific theory?

Here’s what genuine science might have to say about the “speculative” prospects of alien life, as described by Rick Moran of American Thinker, referencing the study group SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). “Most experts believe that if aliens exist, their thought processes - logic, reason, perceptions - would be, well, ALIEN. They wouldn't reason the same way we do. And to ascribe a logical thought process (humans ruin their own planet therefore humans must be destroyed) to an unknown alien civilization is beyond idiocy. It enters the rarified milieu of the mentally deranged - people who would spend all day banging their heads against a wall if allowed.”

But that’s modern science for you- scientists banging their heads against a wall trying to prove to a disbelieving populace that carbon proliferation leads to dangerous warming trends and will ultimately lead to famine, scorched earth, dangerously rising sea levels, and now alien invasion. If academics really wanted to solve a mystery of the universe, perhaps they could figure out how these increasingly absurd studies suggesting the outrageous ramifications of anthropogenic climate change are continually passed off as “science.”

William Sullivan

Friday, August 19, 2011

Peer Into The Diseased Mind Of Farrakhan

Where terrorists are good men, and the murder of innocents is justified.

Courtesy of Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Silent Gasps of Free Speech in America

Robert Spencer and Pamela Gellar have been wrongfully slandered for inciting the Oslo murders, and where media outlets allow for liberal doses of condemnation, they have refused to allow them to defend themselves.

Free speech attacking critics of Islam? Loud as ever. The free speech of wrongully slandered critics of Islam? Thoroughly muted.

Except at American Thinker, which has published their rebuttal. I've read the works of Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, and have found it to be concise and well-supported criticism. They go to great lengths to proclaim an agenda of non-violence, and avoid generalizations that demonize all Muslims. They simply expose Islamic fanatacism that, thanks to a well-orchestrated PC government/media construct, flies under the radar of many Americans.

Please read and share.

William Sullivan

Norway, Free Speech, and the Counterjihad
By Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer

Ever since the heinous murders in Norway, we have been subjected to an unrelenting campaign of vilification. It appears that the Norway mass murderer Anders Breivik cited us, along with John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, Barack Obama and a host of others, in his lengthy cut-and-paste manifesto; despite that manifesto's ideological incoherence, his citations of our work have led to an international campaign to blame us for the massacre. The New York Times, NBC, the BBC, CNN, the Washington Post, many European publications, and a host of others have claimed that we are responsible for creating a climate of "hate" in which a Breivik was inevitable. This is not only false, but such charges against us challenge fundamental principles of the freedom of speech.

We submitted this present article defending ourselves to the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Washington Times, the New York Post, National Review, the American Spectator, the London Spectator, the Guardian, and the Wall Street Journal. Most ignored the submission altogether; National Review and the New York Post were the only ones who bothered to inform us that they were turning down the piece. The mainstream media was ready and eager to demonize us, but not so willing to give us a fair hearing and a chance to rebut their false charges.

In the first place, the claim that we are engaged in focusing hatred upon or engaged in demonizing any group is false. In fact, it is more true of our opponents' attacks on our own work than it is of anything we have said or done. We stand and have always stood against the evil of using violence for political and religious goals, and against all political and religious fanaticism. We stand and have always stood against the use of violence to advance any political agenda. We have stood consistently and still stand for the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, and the equality of rights of all people before the law. Anyone who sincerely upholds and wishes to defend those principles, whatever his creed or background, we count as an ally.

Those who claim that we have incited hatred that leads to violence are using an argument that can be used against themselves. Critics of American and NATO foreign policy should note that there have been numerous terror attacks committed by people who oppose that foreign policy. Are such critics responsible for creating a climate of hatred that led such people to commit terror attacks? In the 1960s, the Ku Klux Klan blamed Martin Luther King, Jr. for the Watts riots. King was steadfastly nonviolent, but he agreed with the political perspectives of the rioters. Was he then responsible for creating a climate of hatred that led to the riots? Was his righteous cause delegimitized by the fact that some departed from his express wishes and resorted to violence?

What's more, the media outlets that have blamed us for the Norway murders are practicing a double standard. Just days ago, a Muslim soldier in the U.S. Army, Pfc. Naser Abdo, was arrested with bomb materials. He admitted to plotting another jihad terror mass murder spree at Fort Hood in Texas, in support of Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan, who murdered thirteen Americans in a jihad attack there in November 2009. There have been dozens of such plots thwarted in recent years, and tens of thousands of jihad attacks worldwide. Yet there has been nothing remotely comparable to the intense and obsessive mainstream media coverage that we witnessed immediately after the Norway massacre. There has been no media attempt to determine the motivation behind this explosive plot at Fort Hood or the other jihad attacks. Why aren't Brian Williams, Anderson Cooper, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the BBC, and all the rest just as consumed as they were with the Norwegian killer's supposed motivations? Why aren't they investigating the ideology that incited this Muslim soldier to prepare a jihad attack, especially in light of his stated intent last year to fight "Islamophobia" and promote Islam as a "peaceful religion"?

Ultimately, the arguments that have been used to blame us for the Norway attacks can be used against anyone of any ideological perspective, and strike at the very heart of the freedom of speech. By their logic, no one should be critical of anything, for fear that some evil person will misunderstand that criticism and commit violence because of it. The mainstream media itself can be seen as inciting violence in its sharp criticism of our perspective: the murders of Theo van Gogh and Pim Fortuyn, as well as the multiple threats against Geert Wilders, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Wafa Sultan, and both of us, amply demonstrate that criticism of anti-jihadists can and does often lead to violence. Should that criticism thus be muted?

The constitutional protection of the freedom of speech is designed to protect controversial speech, including political dissent. Innocuous speech needs no protection. The truths that we enunciate are inconvenient for many to acknowledge, and the principles of freedom for which we stand are increasingly assailed. For that reason alone, the international media should be more circumspect in its demonization of us and our perspective; otherwise they may find, after having silenced all dissenting voices, that there is no one left who is able to stand up for the freedoms they now enjoy.

Original article may be found here.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Matt Damon's For Redistribution- Who'da Thunk It?

After all, Matt Damon is an admitted student of the works of Howard Zinn, who was outed after his death as a lifelong Communist. So should we really be surprised when Damon says that the rich need to be taxed more heavily for federal programs to remain afloat? It's about as shocking as the revelation that Oliver Stone believes in conspiracy theories.

I'll admit, though, Damon's pretty damn likeable. He clearly cares about children and the little guy,and believes in redistribution for the right reasons. But socialism has not repeatedly failed and been responsible for over 120 million deaths in the last century because its followers were bad guys. It has repeatedly failed and been responsible for over 120 million deaths in the last century because good men were misguided enough to hand over their liberty to a government that they believed to be benevolent. And Matt's just that misguided.

There is too much simply wrong in his controlled tirade to nitpick it all, from his ignorance of former tax legislation to his ignorance of how businesses reinvest profits and spur job growth. So just watch and shake your head at a nice guy looking very, very stupid.

William Sullivan

Matt Damon on debt limit: 'I'm so disgusted,' 'it's criminal' the wealthy are not paying more from Nicholas Ballasy on Vimeo.