Does Obama’s stimulus bill discriminate against men?

Check out this story from Hans Bader of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

It turns out that the $800 billion stimulus bill (porkulus-1) was altered in order to discriminate against the blue-collar men who are losing the lion’s share of jobs in the Democrat-caused recession.

Excerpt:

Christina Hoff Sommers points out that “of the 5.7 million jobs Americans lost between December 2007 and May 2009, nearly 80 percent had been held by men. . . .Men are bearing the brunt of the current economic crisis because they predominate in manufacturing and construction, the hardest-hit sectors, which have lost more than 3 million jobs since December 2007. Women, by contrast, are a majority in recession-resistant fields such as education and health care, which gained 588,000 jobs during the same period.”

But when the Administration floated the concept of “an ambitious . . . stimulus program to modernize roads, bridges, schools, electrical grids, public transportation, and dams” as a way of “reinvigorating the hardest-hit sectors of the economy,” “Women’s groups were appalled,” asking “Where are the New Jobs for Women?” and denouncing what they called “The Macho Stimulus Plan.”

And what did Obama do in response to this feminist pressure?

The Obama Administration quickly knuckled under to this pressure, replacing its recovery package with an $800 billion stimulus package that instead “skews job creation somewhat towards women” by spending money instead on social services like welfare that are administered mostly by female employees.

“A recent Associated Press story reports: ‘Stimulus Funds Go to Social Programs Over ‘Shovel-ready’ Projects.’ A team of six AP reporters who have been tracking the funds find that the $300 billion sent to the states is being used mainly for health care, education, unemployment benefits, food stamps, and other social services.” Or, as another AP report put it, “Stimulus Aid Favors Welfare, Not Work, Programs.”

The stimulus package also repealed welfare reform…

Read the whole thing. I think this is very interesting given the fact that it was these blue-collar unions who helped to get Obama elected. If there is a silver-lining to Obama’s socialism, this has to be it.

I think the most interesting question to ask about this story is: do single women, who voted for Obama 60-35, expect to find husbands and fathers for their children? Or will they all marry the government?

Understanding the effects of moral relativism on New Zealand schools

Previously, I had discussed why atheism is not able to ground the minimal requirements for rational moral behavior.

Now let’s see  an example of  the effects of not being able to make moral judgments about good and evil.

An example from the education system

I was reading over on the MandM blog, which is based in New Zealand and I found a post about the bullying problems that their 14-year-old son was having in his school. Schools are notorious breeding grounds for moral relativism – that is where young minds are brainwashed with “values clarification” programs. Students learn to make up their own values based on personal preferences.

Here is what happened to their son Christian:

Christian began attending Liston at the start of 2008 as a Year 9 student. Since that time he has been repeatedly bullied by other students. This bullying included being called names, threatened, being taunted about his medical condition (he has Aspergers Syndrome – see the attachment “medical condition”); he has been shoved, choked, hit, punched, knocked over, kicked, had his pants pulled down and has been dragged across the concrete while a student filmed him on his cell phone. During class, he has had objects thrown at him, he has been hit, punched, kicked, he has been knocked out of his desk, has had people steal his belongings, call him names and taunt him about his condition.

And this is what the teachers did:

Frequently the response of the teachers in these classes to these incidents has not been adequate, often it has been [to have] him moved instead of the bully.

To our knowledge, no student has been stood down, reported to the board of trustees or even had their parents phoned over the assaults and harassment they have committed against our son in his year and a half at Liston, including the repeat offenders.

And here’s what it means:

It seemed to us (aside from the repeat offenders) that as each bully was dealt with another one popped up to take his place. This suggested to us that a culture of bullying had developed within the school; that to the other students, bullying didn’t come with serious consequences: your parents didn’t get told, you were not at risk of being stood down and the teachers didn’t really view it as anything serious anyway when it happened in the classroom.

This is the problem with the moral relativism, which has become dominant as Christianity has retreated. It is irrational for an atheist to stand up to evil and injustice if it involves possible unpleasantness for them. The moral relativist, believes that there is no distinction between the victim and the bully – and this prevents the relativist from standing up to the bully and stopping their bullying.

You can see an example of this moral relativism going on right now with Obama and the Iranian dictators.

New Zealand’s anti-smacking law

It has been argued by family-values advocates that children need to form their conscience and moral sense by relating to their parents, especially their mother, at a very early age. Anxiety and aggression in children increases as the family is weakened or broken up by things like day care and no-fault divorce.

The disintegration of the family is aided by many progressive policies enacted by the political left. The left is wedded to moral relativism, because the left is secular. And they even desire to force moral relativism on families. What that means to parents is that the state can criminalize moral judgments with hate crime laws, restrictions on speech and even restrictions on parenting.

In New Zealand, the country is actually having a referendum about their “anti-smacking” law. The current law is that parents are prohibited from physically disciplining their children. I would think that this law would exacerbate the bullying problem in the schools. [Note: I fixed this paragraph to reflect the fact that the law is already in place, and the referendum is non-binding!]

UPDATE: I noticed a post about how Christians are allowed to make moral judgments, including judgments against bullies, also on MandM.

Peer-reviewed paper says there is no atheistic explanation for the Cambrian explosion

Story from the Discovery Institute.

A new peer-reviewed paper has been published that concludes that there is no material explanation for the massive amounts of information introduced during the Cambrian explosion, when all of the phyla came into being in the blink of an eye, geologically speaking, with no fossilized precursors.

Excerpt:

Thus, elucidating the materialistic basis of the Cambrian explosion has become more elusive, not less, the more we know about the event itself, and cannot be explained away by coupling extinction of intermediates with long stretches of geologic time, despite the contrary claims of some modern neo-Darwinists.

Once again, the progress of science brings light.

The DI post goes on to cite another passage from the paper:

Beginning some 555 million years ago the Earth’s biota changed in profound and fundamental ways, going from an essentially static system billions of years in existence to the one we find today, a dynamic and awesomely complex system whose origin seems to defy explanation. Part of the intrigue with the Cambrian explosion is that numerous animal phyla with very distinct body plans arrive on the scene in a geological blink of the eye, with little or no warning of what is to come in rocks that predate this interval of time. The abruptness of the transition between the ‘‘Precambrian’’ and the Cambrian was apparent right at the outset of our science with the publication of Murchison’s The Silurian System, a treatise that paradoxically set forth the research agenda for numerous paleontologists — in addition to serving as perennial fodder for creationists. The reasoning is simple — as explained on an intelligent-design t-shirt.

Fact: Forty phyla of complex animals suddenly appear in the fossil record, no forerunners, no transitional forms leading to them; ‘‘a major mystery,’’ a ‘‘challenge.’’ The Theory of Evolution – exploded again (idofcourse.com).

Although we would dispute the numbers, and aside from the last line, there is not much here that we would disagree with. Indeed, many of Darwin’s contemporaries shared these sentiments, and we assume — if Victorian fashion dictated — that they would have worn this same t-shirt with pride.

Here is the reference for the paper:

(Kevin J. Peterson, Michael R. Dietrich and Mark A. McPeek, “MicroRNAs and metazoan macroevolution: insights into canalization, complexity, and the Cambrian explosion,” BioEssays, Vol. 31 (7):736 – 747 (2009).)

I linked before to a bunch of easy-to-understand videos that explain the Cambrian explosion. That post has a link to another peer-reviewed research paper written by Stephen C. Meyer, on the Cambrian explosion.

Christian parents: be sure to encourage your children to do the best they can in science, and push them to go on to graduate school to earn their Ph.Ds. We really need to have people working on these problems who are not wedded to the pre-supposition of atheism. We need to have people who are open-minded and willing to go wherever the evidence leads.

Further study

One of my favorite resources on the origin of life is this interview from the University of California with former atheist and origin of life researcher Dean Kenyon. Kenyon, a professor of Biology at San Francisco State University, wrote the textbook on “chemical evolution”, which is the view that chemicals can arrange themselves in order to create the first living cell, without intervention.

This interview from the University of California with another origin of life researcher, Charles Thaxton, is also one of my favorites.

You’ll need Quicktime to see the videos, or buy the videos from ARN. (Kenyon, Thaxton) I have both of them – they rock!

Counting the cost of the Waxman-Markey energy tax

Update from the Heritage Foundation.

What happened:

The Waxman Markey Cap and Trade bill passed by a narrow margin tonight, 219 to 212 with 8 Republicans supporting and 44 Democrats voting against, hardly overwhelming support.

What it means:

The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis found that by 2035 gasoline prices would increase 58 percent, natural gas prices would increase 55 percent, home heating oil would increase 56 percent, and worst of all, electricity prices would jump 90 percent.

But the direct tax on household energy use is just the beginning. The energy tax also hits producers. As the higher production costs ripple through the economy, the household pocketbooks get hit again and again. When all the tax impacts have been added up, the average per-family-of-four costs rise by $2,979 per year. In the year 2035 alone, the cost is $4,609. And the costs per family for the whole energy tax aggregated from 2012 to 2035 are $71,493.

The eight Republicans who voted for it. (From Green Hell)

ECM sent me the findings of two more studies from The Beacon Hill Institute, at Suffolk University in Boston. The studies were linked by the American Spectator.

Excerpt:

“Contrary to the claims made in these studies, we found that the green job initiatives reviewed in each actually causes greater harm than good to the American economy and will cause growth to slow,” reported Paul Bachman, Director of Research at the Beacon Hill Institute, one of the report’s authors….

And:

If the United States were to cut emissions alone, with no cutbacks (relative to trend) by other countries, it would bear the full cost of abatement (PV = $3.85 trillion) while reaping only about $0.27 trillion in benefits. This represents a net cost, relative to doing nothing, of $3.42 trillion. It would cost the United States $154 billion by 2020 and $1.318 trillion by 2050.

Green Hell linked to a must-see video of Rep. John Boehner filibustering the bill in the House. No one has even read the 1200-page bill, or the 300-page amendment.

Gateway Pundit has a video of  Rep. Paul Broun trying to tell the House that global warming is junk science:

Gateway Pundit has a video of Rep. Tom Price requesting a moment of silence to recognize the 2 million plus who will lose their jobs for the sake of junk science and inflated egos.

The Western Experience talks about the experiences of other countries who have tried to enact similar laws.

What is totally sad in the bill’s passing is, like socialism, it has been a total failure wherever it has been tried. Across Europe and even down to Australia, this nonsense has been scrapped. The economist in Spain blamed their own version of a climate change bill on their tragically high unemployment rate of 18 percent. The government reports that for every “green job” created equaled two losses in other private sector jobs. Energy prices have skyrocketed and businesses find it too expensive to produce. Therefore, they pass on the costs by cutting back production, which are driving prices higher, and laying off employees, which are driving unemployment numbers higher. Sounds like a recipe for contraction.

Why can’t we learn from the mistakes of other countries?

Hot Air says that the bill will almost certainly die in the Senate.

Further study

Recently, I posted about the economic effects of the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill, including how it would impact individual families. I wrote about the true effects of Obama’s green jobs initiative, which will actually decrease employment instead of increasing it.

I also posted before about scientific dissent from global warming, the alleged melting polar ice caps, Obama’s planned tax hikes on oil and gas, deceptive alarmism to procure research funding, the alleged warming of the oceans, and the use of made-up crises in order to impose socialism. You can also read the testimony of a Princeton University physicist who is against global warming alarmism.

Friday night funny: Brian Regan and term limits

Reformed theology blogger Tim Challies had a post up about a funny CLEAN comedian named Brian Regan. This is really funny stuff.

Brian Regan goes to the doctor:

Brian Regan calls UPS for a pick-up:

Brian Regan goes to the grocery store:

Brian Regan goes to the emergency room, part 1 of 2:

Brian Regan goes to the emergency room, part 2 of 2:

I’ve driven myself to the emergency room for food poisoning, and was dismissed after 45 minutes. They told me stop breathing shallow and stop throwing up! So I did that. Then they sent me home.

One more: Brian Regan goes to the airport:

And for those who don’t get YouTube through their company’s proxy server, here is something funny from Frank J. of IMAO.us, on term limits. Inventing ridiculous things is what I find the most humorous.

Excerpt:

This whole Sanford mess reminds me of the main problem with politics: Politician. Apparently, normal people don’t want to go into politics, so we mainly gets weirdos. Fred Thompson used the Sanford incident to argue for term limits, the idea being if we have to have politicians, at least let’s not keep them around too long.

Here’s my idea: Kidnapping.

Happy Friday!

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

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