Friday, July 13, 2018

Despite what Republicans say, they're fine with CERTAIN babies dying ...

Metropolitan Museum of Art
     When Republicans natter on about being pro-life and wanting to save babies, they're really referring to undeveloped fetuses. The dewy smokescreen of theoretical babies is designed to hide, to themselves if no one else, what they are actually doing: trying to impose their 16th century sexual mores on the unwilling, using American law to force religious dogma upon women who vigorously reject it.
     Regarding actual babies in the living world, however, they don't mind if our government contributes to the death of babies, particularly babies who are darker skinned and in nations other than our own.
     At first, the United States balking at joining an international effort to encourage breast-feeding seems like just more Trump administration water-carrying for the short-term interests of large corporations, long-term implications be damned.
     The ghastly situation was outlined Monday in a front page story in the New York Times: World Health Assembly officials were stunned when the U.S. tried to water down a resolution encouraging breast-feeding.
     But look more closely, and you realize this is not an abstract, economic issue. Just as cigarette companies, faced with shrinking American markets, turn to the less-informed abroad, so infant formula companies push their products in poor countries, where it is often mixed with polluted water.
     Tens of thousands of real babies die every year because of infant formula marketing now being boosted by the United States.
     The story was so damning that our president hurried to dispatch his usual deceptive tweet.

The failing NY Times Fake News story today about breast feeding must be called out. The U.S. strongly supports breast feeding but we don’t believe women should be denied access to formula. Many women need this option because of malnutrition and poverty.
     Nobody suggests women be denied formula. And needless to say, Trump has the rest backward. Few, not many, women are so malnourished they're unable to breastfeed.

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  1. Mothers of infants need to use formula because of "poverty"? Does that mean that the manufacturers are giving it away free? Or that the U.S. (or the Trump Foundation) is going to underwrite it?

    BTW, Neil, I respectfully disagree that Trump's tweet was "deceptive." Deception implies a knowledge of the truth and an intention to subvert it. My take is that Trump is dumb enough to actually believe this and all the other ridiculous things he says and tweets. Remember, as George Constanza said: "It's not a lie if you believe it."

  2. Crony capitalism is something libertarians rail against endlessly. That is, corrupt organizations and corporations lobby for their own self interest, no matter the cost to others. Unfortunately this behavior is not limited to some Republicans and capitalism. Politicians in socialist countries are routinely corrupted by bribery and graft. Evil corporations in the developing world pay bribes so regulators ignore the problem of water being polluted. Breast-feeding just delays the day of reckoning that occurs when infants are weaned, and then join the rest of their people in consuming water that is not only polluted, but infected with deadly micro-organisms and parasites. There are many low cost and low tech devices that have been developed that can filter drinking water, making it much more safe. Bjørn Lomborg is an advocate of preforming cost benefit analysis when allocating resources to help the third world peoples. That is if money is available to invest, spend the money where it can save the most lives per dollar. Often filtering a village's drinking water is inexpensive and helps the most people in a big way. When it comes to not caring about the lives of poor people, hardcore environmentalist take the cake. Any money available for helping the developing world must be allocated to their pie in the sky projects like stopping global warming. Their disdain is apparent with the way they target people like Lemberg with personal attacks, and unjustified criticism. I've been critical of wealthy people who avoid taxes by transferring the bulk of their assets into charitable trusts. At least the Bill and Melissa Gate's Foundation put their wealth to good use directly helping people in poor countries. At least it's not going to waste funding the idiotic causes trumpeted by the current administration.

    1. Fixed it for you:

      "Crony capitalism is something libertarians practice endlessly. That is, corrupt organizations and corporations lobby for their own self interest, no matter the cost to others."

    2. There is a reason there are so few libertarian politicians in elective office. America has the best government money can buy, and for evil corporations, it's a buyers market.

    3. That and that utopianism has never been shown to work when implemented in the real world.

      Show me an example of a successful libertarian government anywhere, and I might take it seriously.

  3. I wonder which projects are pie in the sky. You are correct about the Gates foundation. Although I am sure they have squirreled plenty of money way in tax havens.

    1. One thing a developing country needs in order to grow is inexpensive and reliable electricity. If you construct factories that do things like can foods or refine ore locally, solar panels and wind turbines just don't cut the mustard. At some point in the development curve these green projects can be dabbled in, but when the world bank denies funding for critical infrastructure like coal or natural gas fired power plants they're just going to stay poor for a long time.

  4. A Victorian take on the breast feeding issue from Anthony Trollope:
    "Of course Lady Arabella could not suckle the young heir herself. Ladies Arabella never can. They are gifted with the powers of being mothers, but not nursing-mothers. Nature gives them bosoms for show but not for use."



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