Obtuse Observer

April 5, 2013

Abortion Facts

Filed under: Abortion — Obtuse Observer @ 5:44 pm

fetusA newscaster today curiously said, “Pro-life advocates believe life begins at conception.”

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It is an odd thing to say because it implies, and may do so accurately, that pro-choice advocates do not believe life begins at conception.

This interesting language is part of the problem with the entire right to life debate.  To that end here are some facts that are not disputable.

  • Life, as a matter of biology and scientific fact, comes into existence when the embryo is created; at conception.
  • Abortion kills that innocent, unborn, human life.

That’s pretty much it.

The remainder of the debate is disputable and subject to widely varying opinion.

The disputes of opinion center on two key points

  • To what degree does society value that unborn life
  • At what point may the state intervene to prevent the mother from having her unborn baby aborted.

That’s pretty much it.  All the other topics can be located within that pretty simple and straight forward framework.

When some one argues, “it’s a fetus” or “it’s not a baby” they are trying to argue dehumanize the unborn baby the because let’s face it, killing an unborn baby is a pretty ugly act.  It is a method of self-delusion that they would have you share.  It denies the facts.

When some one argues, “it’s her body it’s her choice” they are arguing that the unborn life is of no value (never mind the tragic irony of denying the unborn baby any choice in the matter).

When some one argues, “if you don’t like abortion don’t have one” they are again arguing that the unborn has no value.  It is an attempt to end the argument without engaging facts or opinions.

When some one argues, “you’re a man this doesn’t directly effect you” … the unborn has no value (as well as ignoring the fact that babies cannot exist without a man involved at some point and engaging in the fallacy that if I am not directly impacted I cannot have an opinion.  OJ killing his wife didn’t directly effect me but I doubt anyone would dispute that it is reasonable for me to hold the opinion that it was wrong).  It is an attempt to preclude debate.

What legal abortion advocates must accept is that abortion kills a living, innocent unborn human life.  People can have widely varying opinions on how much they value that life and when or whether the state may or must intervene but they cannot dispute the facts.



March 25, 2013

Fair Share

Filed under: Income Tax — Obtuse Observer @ 2:07 pm

Utopian Idealist:               The rich should pay their fair share they must pay more in income taxes!

Realist:                                 But they already do pay more in total value of taxes collected as well as higher rates.

UI:                                          But they don’t pay enough and that is not fair.

Realist:                                 Why isn’t it enough or fair?

UI:                                          Because they have more money.

R:                                            It is unfair that they have more money?

UI:                                          Yes, that is unfair.

R:                                            It is unfair that some have more than others?

UI:                                          Yes.

R:                                            It is unfair because those with more took from those with less or it is unfair in some cosmological sense?

UI:                                          Yes, both.

R:                                            So, because it is unfair that X has more than Y government should take more of  X’s money?

UI:                                          Yes.

R:                                            So, because in case 1 these undifferentiated “takers- X” have taken from these unidentified “takees-Y” the government should

take more from X?

UI:                                          Yes.

R:                                            It doesn’t strike you as odd that you’ve imposed a financial penalty on X for a crime against an unidentified Y that lacks any

basis in fact?

UI:                                          It is unfair that they are rich, they must pay their fair share.

R:                                            And in case 2 you’ve declared a cosmic injustice is to be found in the disparity of resources between X and Y without any

temporal accounting for that disparity and declared that the government shall employ its taxing powers to right this cosmic


UI:                                          It is unfair that they are rich, they must pay their fair share.

R:                                            It doesn’t strike you as odd that you’ve substituted the IRS for God as the arbiter of cosmic justice?

UI:                                          It is unfair that they are rich, they must pay their fair share.

R:                                            Did you hear that Ole Miss knocked out the number 5 seed Wisconsin from the NCAA Tournament?

UI:                                          It is unfair that they are rich, they must pay their fair share.

R:                                            Want to go get a beer?

UI:                                          It is unfair that they are rich, they must pay their fair share.

February 26, 2013

Sequester Will Mean the End of the Universe

Filed under: Debt,Deficit,Sequestration — Tags: , , , — Obtuse Observer @ 4:00 pm

Barack Obama  Let me be clear.  Unless Republicans are willing to increase taxes on the rich, who, let’s face it, are already allowed to keep way too much of your money, we will face consequences of disastrous proportions.  Firefighters, police officers, teachers and day care workers will be out of a job.  Millions will go hungry.  Crime will escalate to distopian proportions.  Within weeks our satellites will begin hurtling from the sky.  They will land on the few remaining schools and day care centers crushing our children.  They will land on power plants, factories and juice bars.  These impacts will create firestorms that will grow and as these storms grow and consume cities, states and entire regions they will merge  causing predetermined and automated protocols to be triggered launching our nuclear arsenal.  The international retaliation will be certain, swift and will destroy the planet.  All this because of Republican intransigence and their stubborn determination to protect the rich and greedy.

sequestration_cuts_in_perspective 2Problem is, President Obama and his Chief of Staff Lew pushed for and got the sequestration legislation passed as noted by Bob Woodward - no friend of the right.  Problem is, those first responders, teachers etc are not federal employees.  Problem is, the President decides where to impose cuts in spending not Congress.  Problem is, the “cuts” actually amount to about $44B with the other $41B being cuts IN GROWTH of spending.  Problem is, in perspective $44B is small compared to the $224B we’ll spend on debt interest.  Problem is, $44B is small compared to the $845B deficit and downright miniscule when compared to the $3553B President Obama plans to spend in 2013.

The first step in solving a problem is admitting that we have a problem.  We have a spending problem.  We have a President in denial who is preaching doom that would be otherwise laughable if people weren’t buying the load he’s shoveling.

Sequestration chart source: Cato, Tad Dehaven, Sequestration Cuts in Perspective


Update 2/28/13:  Apparently the Obama Administration is upset with Mr. Woodward and a staffer yelled at him for half an hour and followed that meeting up with a threatening e-mail.  Story here.  Pure class guys…. pure class.

February 14, 2013

Abortion and ObamaCare Update

Filed under: Abortion,Affordable Care Act,Obamacare — Tags: , , — Obtuse Observer @ 11:48 am

Obama Care Communist ImageAccording to a recent article at least 21 states are using health insurance exchange authority granted under the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) to restrict abortion services by preventing insurance companies from paying for those services.


“If you like your healthcare plan, you’ll be able to keep your healthcare plan.  Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”

“Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any  form of tax increase.”

“I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits – either now or  in the future.”

“Obamacare will “cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $2,500  a year.”

“The new healthcare law will improve, not hurt, the quality of American  healthcare.”

“It’s not a government takeover: “I don’t believe that government can or  should run healthcare.”

“The state  health insurance exchanges will open on time.”

Take from The 7 Biggest ObamaCare Lies



February 6, 2013

Commie Pinkos in Texas? Really?

Filed under: Communism,Education,Socialism — Tags: , , — Obtuse Observer @ 2:02 pm

060213communistSixth grade students are being asked to design a flag for a new socialist nation.

Notice socialist/communist nations use symbolism on their flags representing various aspects of their economic system. Imagine a new socialist nation is creating a flag and you have been put in charge of creating a flag.  Use symbolism to represent aspects of socialism/communism on your flag. What kind of symbolism/colors would you use?

This just might ruffle some feather in the great State of Texas.

Article cited

Global Warming Follies

Filed under: Earthworm,Global Warming — Tags: , — Obtuse Observer @ 1:25 pm

common earthwormYou ever wonder if global warming advocates sit in small dark offices passing around a bong trying to one-up each other on dire predictions and absurd causes of global warming?

Today we here that earthworms are a factor in global warming:

Worms can increase emissions of one greenhouse gas while reducing emissions of  the other, the study says. Ideally, to work out the overall impact, scientists  need experiments that look at both gases at the same time.

I for one salute our new earthworm overlords and demand that our government provide every university with grant money to study this vital issue.

Smithsonian Blog Article


December 31, 2012

Fiscal Cliff?

$15.6T in $100 billsFacts:

Sequestration is set to cut $1.2T over the next decade (cut explained) while annual deficits are currently running at roughly that  amount.

Our national debt is around $16T

Unfunded mandates in Medicare, SS and federal pensions total in the neighborhood of $86T over that same decade.

The Fed is monetizing our debt through the policy of Quantitative Easing (printing, figuratively, money to buy debt, T-Bills, from the government) and purchasing toxic assets at the clip of $40B per month from Fannie and Freddie.  For video of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke explaining the policy with accompanying article explaining the practical implications of the policy click here.

Our bond rating has been downgraded and may be again.

Knowing these things… Does anyone think either party is serious in the slightest about addressing our long term financial brick wall… the one we’re flying toward at warp speed… that we’ll hit AFTER going over the cliff?  Me neither.  Lest anyone think I’m blaming a single party, I am not.  George Bush and the Congressional  Republicans started an absurd spending spree that candidate Obama called (correctly) “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic“.  Thing is, after getting elected he and the Congressional Democrats doubled down and hit the gas.  Now we have both parties unwilling to compromise.  They’ve both played an optics game that ignores reality and paints them into corners.  The GOP offers deduction reform to Obama that would generate the same revenue that rate increases would provide; Obama declines and sends his press secretary out to say the GOP isn’t serious.  Obama offers raising his tax increase floor.  The GOP declines.  Is either side serious?  We know the most likely outcome here.  We go over the cliff, the parties will posture for a while then work out an agreement that pretty much puts us in the same place we were in prior to the sequestration ordeal and claim victory.  Spending will resume, the debt ceiling raised and income tax rates will be raised on those making some number north of $400K per year. 

Our problem:  We are spending too much money.

Our solution:  Revenue most go up and spending must go down. 

How?  It is going to suck and  ain’t no one gonna be happy.  Current leadership in Congress and the Oval Office has demonstrated no interest in addressing the problem; they are behaving cowardly. 

Tax reform is needed.  We need more tax payers.  We need to gut the tax code and eliminate perverse incentives, deductions for politically preferred industries and the marriage penalty.  We can drop rates on that wider base of tax-payers to create a larger economic tax base through growth that will increase revenue.  As a practical matter politics will make this very hard and as hard as it will be, it will only get harder the longer we wait.  Too often we do not act until the option not to act has been eliminated.  

Entitlements must be reformed.  Medicare and SS need to have the benefits collection age bumped (grandfather in those close to collection – say 55 and older) and a means test applied. 

We must reform the bureaucratic system.  It is bloated, duplicative (and often greater), inefficient and an impediment to individuals and businesses.  The power of the bureaucracy to prevent reform of the bureaucracy is something to be greatly concerned about.   One thing history teaches us is that great civilizations acquire bloated bureaucracies that demand to be appeased (see China, the Ottoman Empire, Russia, Soviet Union etc).  They are reformed only with great pain and usually by despots, see Mao, Kemal  Ataturk, Peter the Great and Putin.  We can reform ours now or we can wait for it to become so onerous of a burden that we sacrifice our Republic in order to cede sufficient power to “great reformer” to reform it.  The latter is a much less attractive option, see Mao, Kemal  Ataturk, Peter the Great and Putin. 

Our bureaucracy is suffocating the middle class and furthering their dependence on government at an accelerating rate making them smaller as the bureaucracy grows larger.  Too often reform is opposed on the basis that it will harm the little guy.  History teaches us another lesson; the rich and powerful tend to stay on top even after radical change comes to a society; they tend to be invested in preserving the mechanisms that create and keep the small in place – not help them.  Don’t be fooled by claims that the government must be grown to protect the little guy from the big guy…. especially when the big guy is pedaling the claim.


November 26, 2012

Charlie Brown Christmas Offensive?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Obtuse Observer @ 6:06 pm

Another example that celebrating Christmas is OK if you don’t believe in God. Charlie Brown is offensive?  Really?

Link to story of atheist group complaining about A Charlie Brown Christmas



GOP 2016? Really?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Obtuse Observer @ 2:09 pm

I suppose it is never too early to start the discussion but for crying out loud… the biggest problem for the GOP is Republicans. 

I want an electable candidate. I want Republicans and Conservatives to disavow purity tests and see the bigger picture. Government IS the least bad alternative. Only because men are not angels do we suffer the predations of government… that being the case we should seek the least predatory government we can…. NOT ANGELS.

October 4, 2012

Al Gore, bless his heart.

Filed under: Al Gore,Barak Obama,Denver Debate — Obtuse Observer @ 2:46 pm

You can’t make this up.  Al Gore says Obama was off owing to altitude.

YouTube Preview Image


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