07/21/17

Communiqués From The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy

By: Trevor Loudon | New Zeal

Communiqués From The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy is a great book.

When does the soul enter the human body? At birth? At conception? This is the only important question in the abortion debate.

Are human beings essentially spiritual in nature, as most, but not all, conservatives believe?

Or are humans (forget the “being” part) merely a collections of cells, as most, but not all socialists believe?

If you believe, as does Florida author Thomas C. Wigand, that man is spiritual in nature and that the soul enters the body at conception, then abortion is clearly wrong. Tom Wigand makes the case that few if any conservatives are making. That if man is spiritual in nature and that spirit enters the body the moment cells start replicating, then abortion must be immoral. Because at the moment of conception, we are no longer dealing with mere cells, part of a woman’s body, to be disposed of like hair or fingernail clippings, but a new autonomous spiritual being. Any anti-abortion argument that does not address the true nature of human life, will make no real headway.

Tom Wigand has written a great book. A book that deserves a lot more attention. Communiqués From The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy is available on Amazon and you should go there now and buy it. Also buy a copy for someone you know who can be swayed. A liberal niece, who has had a little too much indoctrination in her sociology classes. The “leaning conservative” friend, who needs a lot more philosophical ammunition to stiffen his spine, to make him a valuable soldier for our movement.

Tom Wigand’s Communiqués  cover so much ground. Everything from Alinskyism to abortion. “Crony capitalism” to communism. George Washington to George Soros. From the wisdom of the Founding Fathers and the Constitution they bequeathed to us, to the connivers, cowards and traitors of both parties seeking to undermine it. Tom’s opus examines the forces working to bring America down. He gives much needed encouragement to those seeking to uplift this great nation and to restore the Constitution that is the “soul” of this nation. “Communiques” examines what is wrong with America and clearly and succinctly explains how to fix it.

Tom Wigand is a very astute political analyst, a constitutional scholar, an entertaining and witty writer, a philosopher and a patriot. Tom is what they used to call a “Renaissance man” –  a student of life, well grounded and versed in all that makes us Western. A student of politics, philosophy, science, culture and Theology.

This all shows through in the depth of his writing.

If you’re a conservative who loves good writing and a great argument, a searcher for deeper philosophical grounding, a patriot who wants to better your country, or even a socialist who wants to understand the conservative worldview, buy this book today.

I personally recommend it.

07/21/17

A Mixed Market

By: Kent Engelke | Capitol Securities

At a casual glance, it appears most market participants have finally capitulated believing momentum based trading utilizing technology and capitalization is the one and only investment strategy, further capitulating believing “crowded trades” will become even more crowded. As stated the other day, the new definition of risk is as follows…if it is going up, it is not risky and if it is going down, it is risky.

As with all “fail safe” trading strategies, this one too shall fail, but the question is when and how much further will this trade go.

Commenting about yesterday’s market action, equities declined nominally following the expansion of the probe into President Trump’s business dealings, thus suggesting the inquiries into the administration are not market sensitive. Treasuries rallied on the headlines only to give up the vast majority of their gains by days’ end.

As stated above, the markets are completely driven by headlines and momentum. The financial system has great liquidity because of Fed policy, liquidity that has not gravitated to the real economy, but only to the largest capitalized names and the Treasury market.

At some juncture, the environment will change. Typically, a transition point occurs when all are convinced the current paradigm will remain forever.

What will happen today?

Last night, the foreign markets were down. London was down 0.03%, Paris was down 0.62% and Frankfurt was down 0.83%. China was down 0.21%, Japan was down 0.22% and Hang Sang was down 0.13%.

The Dow should open flat ahead of next week’s FOMC meeting and deluge of earnings. The 10-year is up 4/32 to yield 2.25%.

07/21/17

Pence is Right: Single-Payer Could Be The Death of Charlie Gard

By: Brian McNicoll | Accuracy in Media

Robert Klitzman, director of a masters program in bioethics at Columbia University, says Mike Pence’s comments on Charlie Gard are “alarming” because they seek to “undermine single-payer health systems.”

Pence “politicized a tragic story,” Klitzman said, when the vice president told Rush Limbaugh “the American people ought to reflect on the fact that for all the talk on the left about single payer, that’s where it takes us.”

Gard is the 11-month-old British boy suffering from Mitochondrial DNA Depletion Syndrome, a rare disease that would leave him severely and permanently cognitively disabled. His parents want to take him from a hospital in the UK to the United States for experimental treatments that experts say give him a 10 percent chance of survival.

Health officials in the UK have resisted this, saying his quality of life is unlikely ever to reach an acceptable level, and he should be put out of his misery, have his feeding tubes removed and be allowed to die.

Klitzman, author of a book entitled, “The Ethics Police? The Struggle to Make Human Research Safe,” doesn’t make an ethical argument. He says he thinks Charlie Gard’s parents should have the choice of bringing him to the U.S.

He takes issue with Pence’s linking of this controversy to single-payer. “Gard’s legal battles – and his family’s losses thus far – reflect the goals of the British and European court systems to prevent an infant from needless suffering, and not the costs or systems of care,” Klitzman writes. “Pence is suggesting the British judges are making their decisions because they are rationing health care. That is simply not the case.”

Of course, it is the case.

The British law that governs the National Health Service – the UK’s single-payer system – invests in the courts the responsibility of determining whether care can be withheld. Why else would it do this but to ensure money is not “wasted” on patients who have no hope of recovery?

There is no cost component to this particular decision. Gard’s story went viral weeks ago, and the money for the trip and treatment long since has been raised through crowd funding. But the system cannot make exceptions for Charlie Gard. Its decisions on who has hope of recovery, what constitutes recovery and reasonable hope are invested in courts whose decisions are driven – in part and probably in most – by cost.

Charlie Gard’s parents have long since determined they are willing to spend the time, money and patience to raise a child with diminished mental state. They have friends from all over the world now who would be willing to help. They have determined his life is worthwhile as is.

Carter Snead, director of the Center for Ethics and Culture and professor of law at Notre Dame, explained the problem thusly in a piece for CNN that sought to explain the Pope’s involvement:

“Pope Francis and Charlie’s parents seek to care for and comfort the patient the child now is, despite his perhaps permanently diminished state. Medical interventions that comfort or improve Charlie’s condition are seen as beneficial, even if they cannot restore his brain function to the preferred level.

“By contrast, the UK government and the hospital do not recognize any measure as beneficial that fails to give Charlie their idealized standard of cognitive function. Since they seem convinced that nothing can restore such functioning, the only ‘beneficial’ intervention is to terminate Charlie’s life-sustaining measures and for him to die.”

Klitzman compared the case to Terri Schiavo. In 1990, Schiavo, then in her late 20s, had a heart attack and suffered severe brain damage. Her parents were willing and able to keep her alive, but her husband claimed she had said she did not want to live on a feeding tube. He wanted to marry another woman but could not without resolving her situation.

Then-Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida signed “Terri’s law,” which ordered her feeding tube reinserted, but a court overturned the law. President Bush then signed a bill that transferred jurisdiction of her case to the federal government, but it too was overturned.

Imagine if you were Charlie Gard or Terri Schiavo. You are alive. You are feeling and experiencing things – Schiavo responded to verbal prompts – but you cannot express yourself.

Do you want the people who talk for you to be concerned about the costs or what your quality of life might be? Do you want others – whose charge is to save money – to judge what is comfortable enough for you to make life worthwhile?

Because that’s what single payer offers. It means decisions about life and death come down to costs. And even if private payers step up, once the system is in place, it must evaluate all such decisions on the same basis.

So who should speak on your behalf? Your loved ones who want what’s best for you? Or bean counters from the central office?