August 2011

The Critical Mind again apologizes for the sporadic posts this week, but Irene continues to take its toll. Best luck to all of you who were impacted.


The Washington Post has an op-ed piece by Michael Gerson called ‘Family planning as a pro life choice’. In it Gerson describes the work of a group of 6,000 women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to reduce maternal and infant mortality from child birth. Key to the success of the effort is the dissemination of information about and use of contraceptives. He writes:

“in places such as Bweremana, family planning is undeniably pro-life. When births are spaced more than 24 months apart, both mothers and children are dramatically more likely to survive. Family planning results not only in fewer births, but in fewer at-risk births, including those early and late in a woman’s fertility. When contraceptive prevalence is low, about 70 percent of all births involve serious risk. When prevalence is high, the figure is 35 percent.”

Congratulations are due to these women, who have overcome a culture of superstition and ignorance with a plan that saves lives. If only the people who are so virulently opposed to all that Planned Parenthood does because a small percent of its activities involves abortion (which is legal in the US and not funded with any tax payer money) could be as enlightened then we could have an adult conversation about sex and reproduction in the US.

But I am not holding my breath.



I'm Dick Cheney and every word in this Goddamn book is true

Dick Cheney’s book: “In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir” has hit the book shelves. If you want to read a book that is an accurate and critical assessment of the ex Vice-Presidents time in office this wouldn’t be it.

In fact I will save you the time and money of buying and reading the book by offering a synopsis.

“I am Dick Cheney. Everything good that happened while I was in office was due to me. Everything bad either didn’t actually happen or was beyond the control of the Administration.”

Here is an actual review of the book at ‘The Washington Post’. It is negative. But if you want to read a positive review go to any Conservative blog.




Michele Bachmann would have you believe that she is a good Christian but she does not love her neighbors if they are gay or illegal. Her positions against gays are well known and she continues to trot out the disproved claims of the costs of illegal immigration.

The truth about illegal immigration is very different in the reality based world. It is well summed up by Shikha Dalmia in a piece for called ‘Michele Bachmann’s Unholy Crusade

(To provide context, is a Libertarian group. Shikha Dalmia is a winner of the Bastiat prize – a Libertarian award for journalism. The judges have included Margaret Thatcher and Milton Friedman. This is not a ‘lefty’ journalist, writing for a socialist rag.)

Dalmia analyses the five lies of the anti-immigration lobby.

1. Illegal immigrants increase crime.

Statistically areas which see large increases in illegal aliens see decreases in crime, which makes sense as most illegals are here to find work.

2. Illegal immigrants take jobs away and depress wages.

Illegals take the jobs natives won’t do; as Georgia found out when its extreme anti-immigrant policy made it hard for farmers to take in the harvest. The farmers couldn’t increase wages and natives wouldn’t take the jobs.

3. Illegal immigrants mooch off welfare.

In fact, because they pay taxes and social security without being able to collect benefits, they are net contributers.

4. Illegal aliens ‘jump the line’.

There is no line to jump. There is no quota for unskilled workers to get green cards. Only skilled workers can get an H1-B visa which allows them to work here legally and pursue a green card. (And we don’t grant enough of those, forcing talented engineers etc. to work in competing countries.)

5. Without a wall Mexicans will flood the US.

Mexicans come here when there are jobs and go away when there aren’t. the best way to dry up illegal immigration would be to promote a recession.

But Bachmann and her kind don’t care. She knows evolution is a myth, climate change isn’t happening, gay marriage will lead to pederasty and illegal immigrants are a threat to the American way of life because facts are a distraction from the truth.



The ‘Commission on Wartime Contracting’ (an independent panel created by Congress in 2008) estimates that the Government, due to incompetence and fraud, overspent as much as $60 billion to fight the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The panel calls the estimate conservative.

What the panel didn’t include as wasted money is the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on fighting the unjustified war in Iraq at all. Not to mention the people killed.


Really? 8/29/11- Voodoo, Zombies, Bad Religion, Worse Religion and Rick Perry

August 29, 2011

The critical mind apologizes for the lack of recent  new material. TCM is also a victim of Irene. Hope all of you that were affected get dried out, power back and your roads fixed. VOODOO ECONOMICS CELEBRATES ITS 30th ANNIVERSARY 30 years ago Ronald Reagan ushered in a new age of fantasy economics with his […]

Read the full article →

Really? 8/25/11 – Romney, Rove, Regulation, Restrictions, Palin and Bull Semen

August 25, 2011

CAN THIS BE TRUE? On August 28th the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial will be dedicated on the Mall in Washington DC. You may not be familiar with the sculptor, in part because contemporary sculptors are not well-known. But more likely because he, Lei Yixin, is Chinese, not Chinese-American, but Chinese-Chinese. And to add to […]

Read the full article →

Conspiracy Theorists Take on The United Nations

August 24, 2011

The Conservatives cannot make up their mind about the United Nations. On the one hand they view the UN as body so useless it cannot be trusted to detect Saddam Hussein’s WMD; but on the other hand they claim that it is an organization so devious and powerful that it can direct and corrupt American […]

Read the full article →

The Last Refuge of a Scoundrel.

August 23, 2011

The Washington Times (an endless source of poorly reasoned right wing polemic) ran an opinion piece by Matt Barber (vice President of Liberty Council Action) called,  ‘Pride’ Vs. Patriotism. He declares: “To the modern Democratic National Committee, the mainstream media and other “progressive” outfits such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Poverty […]

Read the full article →

Really 8/21/11? Unscientific Elections, Soaking the Poor, Unscientific Geology

August 21, 2011

  IT’S THE MONEY STUPID – WHY WE DON’T ELECT THE BEST PERSON FOR THE JOB. Jon Hunstman is the former Governor of Utah, former ambassador to China and current candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. He has little chance of winning. He doesn’t have the name recognition or access to the Republican fund raising […]

Read the full article →

Really 8/18/11 – She’s back! Fear as a Marketing Strategy and Rick Perry Makes Stuff Up

August 18, 2011

A GOTCHA QUESTION FOR THE WITCH? Christine O’Donnell ran for the Senate in Delaware. As part of her campaign she ran an ad that denied she was a witch. What she didn’t mention was her extreme positions on masturbation, premarital sex and other confused religious beliefs. She, as apparently all politicians do – failed or […]

Read the full article →

People Say The Stupidest Things.

August 16, 2011

  AREAS OF EXPERTISE Warren Buffet said that the mega-rich should pay more in taxes and that higher capital gains taxes didn’t deter investment. That wasn’t a stupid thing to say. What was stupid was the reaction of John Ransom of who wrote: “Look, I’m an admirer of Warren Buffett’s investment accomplishments. But he […]

Read the full article →

Really 8/15/11? – How many nannies do we need? One grown-up, Diversity through a dark lens and Dominionism

August 15, 2011

THE NANNY STATE Why is it that people who go apoplectic over Government business regulations have no problem with the government banning books? In the latest example the Albermarle County (VA) school board banned the Sherlock Holmes tale ‘A Study in Scarlet’ from the 6th grade. A parent complained that the story had anti-mormon overtones. […]

Read the full article →