Sunday, November 05, 2017

US birth rates fall as deaths from age-related diseases climb according to the CDC's latest quarterly estimates

There is not much doubt that feminism plays a role in the birthrate reduction.  It has become accepted now that women should have a career -- and that means delayed child-rearing or even a complete abandonment of family creation. Some feminists even  criticize mothers as "Breeders". 

Women who are merely delaying childbirth also take a substantial risk that when they are "ready" for a baby one may not come -- even with IVF.  There are now a lot of woebegone women in that situation.

Another way in which feminism is anti-birth springs from the draconian divorce law that they have inspired.  Wise men are no longer prepared to take the risk of marriage.  There are of course still a lot of ex-nuptial births but there is no doubt that a marriage does encourage children.  It's what marriage was once all about.

But there is a silver lining to it all.  The group least likely to have children would have to be feminists themselves. So the genes of these unhappy women will be much less likely to be passed on. To a degree feminists will breed themselves out of existence  -- leaving the world a much happier place

Birth rates are down by more than two percent this year compared to this time last year

As birth rates in the US continue to decline, deaths from age-related diseases are on the rise this year, according to new quarterly estimates released by the CDC today.

Deaths from cancer and HIV, on the other hand, are estimated to continue their steady declines, underscoring the successes of innovative treatments in the US, and infant mortality remains stable.

The CDC's numbers so far for 2017 confirm trends in US population growth decline that scientists and statisticians have observed in recent years.

The new stats come as baby boomers reach old age, and people are waiting longer to conceive and having fewer children than previous generations.

The CDC’s quarterly estimates report that the since this time last year, the birth rate has fallen from 61.3 to 59.2 in the US.

Birth rates peaked in 1990, and rose back again to around 70 per every thousand women in the US in 2007.

The declining birth rates are likely driven by a significant reduction in teen pregnancies.

In 2016, the teen birth rate fell to a record low, falling nine percent from 2015.

While birth control is aiding in the prevention of unwanted pregnancies, many experts have expressed concern that over the growing number of men and women that are infertile, or choosing to wait to try to get pregnant until later in life when the odds of conception are lower.

These trends are also linked to the aging population, a fact borne out by the CDC’s most recent statistics.

Their data show an estimated increase in deaths due to the majority of age-related diseases. Alzheimer’s deaths, for example, have risen by 1.6 percent since this time last year, according to the CDC’s quarterly estimates.

Heart disease, hypertension and stroke deaths are estimated to be continually climbing.

The new data presents more encouraging statistics for some of the most vicious diseases that affect younger people.

Last year, seven new treatments for various forms of cancer were approved by the FDA. The CDC’s most recent data shows, encouragingly, that the rate of cancer deaths has fallen by nearly two percent in just one year.

Similarly, HIV deaths have been in decline in recent years, corresponding with the increased prevalence of effective antiretroviral treatments and, more immediately, the advent of preventative treatments like PrEP. Since this time last year, HIV deaths have fallen by 0.2 percent, according to the CDC.

Overall, the CDC estimates that the death rate for the US has risen nearly five percent just since last year. Infant mortality, meanwhile, remains stable, but taken together, the sets of data support widely-observed trends that the country’s population growth is slowing.


What the Reaction to John Kelly’s Civil War Remarks Says About Our Culture

What Jarrett Stepman says below is fine except that he fails to identify all the hatred as emanating from the Left only.  He claims it says something about "our" culture.  It does not.  What it says is that the Left are drifting further and further into irrationality and away from bipartisanship. They cannot be reasoned with. The neo-Communist Bernie Sanders is the future of the Democratic party.  And there are no greater haters than the Communists

Jesus famously said that no prophet is accepted in his hometown.  It turns out the Father of Our Country isn’t accepted in his home church. Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia, stepped into the larger debate over statues and history this week when it decided to remove plaques of President George Washington and Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee because they might make attendees feel “unsafe or unwelcome.”

But a cursory glance at history shows the foolishness of treating Washington this way.

During the Civil War, when Americans were killing each other by the hundreds of thousands, Washington’s estate at Mount Vernon was used as neutral ground by both sides to treat their wounded.

Washington’s appeal was universal even as the country was falling apart.

It may be a sign of the times that the most singularly unifying individual in our nation’s history is now considered an unwelcoming figure at the historic church he attended for much of his life.

But in the rapidly moving crusade against the sins of America’s past, Confederates are seamlessly lumped in with Founders.

In the Slip N’ Slide of slippery slopes, the movement that began by going after Lee and Jefferson Davis has now devolved to the point of expunging Presidents Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and now Washington.

All of these men have simply become stand-ins for the sins of modern America.

Reasonable people can debate the comparative merit of figures like Washington and Lee, but the rampant attacks on statues, plaques, and history itself should tell us that we are hardly engaged in a rational national discussion.

If you make a single, politically incorrect misstep in this debate, you will get swept up in the crusade along with the statues.

President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly, learned this the hard way.

Kelly weighed in on the Christ Church decision in an interview with Laura Ingraham and defended Lee, in particular, from attacks. Kelly said he thought Lee was “honorable” and that a “lack of compromise” ultimately led to the Civil War.

At one time, these statements may have been met with polite rebuttals or sparked a debate on the legacy of a war that took the lives of over half a million Americans.

Not in 2017. Kelly was immediately labeled ignorant, a defender of the Confederacy, and guilty of perpetuating racism.

It must be noted that Kelly’s opinion of Lee isn’t far removed from that of President Dwight Eisenhower, who kept a portrait of Lee (and Gen. Ulysses S. Grant) in his office.

Ike was no “Lost Cause” supporter, and in fact played a vital role in desegregating Southern schools. Yet, he wrote that Americans could continue to learn something from the Confederate general because “a nation of men of Lee’s calibre would be unconquerable in spirit and soul.”

It took a monumental effort to rebuild this country after the cataclysmic Civil War tore it into pieces and nearly destroyed it. It is a testament to the enduring greatness of the United States that we picked up the pieces and made it even greater than before in the century that followed.

Lee, like Lincoln, became a uniting figure for Americans—of many political persuasions—who represented the restoration of the union and rebirth of freedom under a single banner, no longer plagued by the cancer of slavery.

Kelly’s other statement about the lack of compromise leading to war, though disputable, would have been met with little opposition even just a few decades ago.

Shelby Foote, the famed historian who headlined the Ken Burns Civil War documentary in the 1990s, used those words, almost verbatim, in the series’ opening episode. Burns is certainly no right-winger.

The series of compromises made over the decades before the war may have both delayed the violence, but also made it inevitable. Ultimately, the slave states’ inability to compromise and accept the election of Lincoln sparked the war.

Again, there is much to debate about the Civil War, which, as Kelly’s detractors are so keen to scream out over and over again, was undoubtedly caused by the slavery issue.

However, the overreaction to the remarks shows why this country can’t have a healthy debate about statues and history. The ferocity and hysteria of ideological combat against the current administration is now being directed at complex eras, far removed from our own modern debates.

We have reached a sad, final moment in which the most unifying symbols of who we are as a people are considered “unwelcoming.”

Men like Washington, Lincoln, Lee, Christopher Columbus, and so many others have simply been recast as villains for the contemporary crusaders, whose attacks are becoming indiscriminate and whose aims could not be more petulant.


Time Magazine Grieves Trump's Gov't Depredation

Memo to Time: "The Wrecking Crew" is a characteristic and a term Republicans will gladly embrace.  

Big government defenders at Time magazine are lamenting the Trump administration’s focus on government deregulation. Using what they thought was a derogatory term, Time editors’ latest cover story directs their ire at “The Wrecking Crew” by complaining that “Trump’s Cabinet is dismantling government as we know it.” Oh, the humanity!

What, pray tell, do Time‘s editors imagine he was elected to do?

Newsbusters’ Tom Blumer writes, “Separate reports singled out EPA Director Scott Pruitt, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and HUD Secretary Ben Carson for scrutiny.” He observes, “Of course, none of Time‘s four articles pointed out that 'government as we know it’ has gone from spending just over $2 trillion per year to just shy of $4 trillion in the past 20 years. After taking inflation into account, that’s a 41 percent increase in real terms. Today’s ‘government as we know it’ doesn’t accomplish much more than it did 20 years ago — unless getting in the way of progress is considered an accomplishment.”

It’s a systemic problem, reaching far and wide in all aspects of government. For example: The federal government for decades has encroached on our education system and allocated billions of additional dollars to improve grades. The results are … underwhelming. Not only are grades not improving, but the increasingly dire situation in inner city schools has spurred the school choice movement. And who can blame the parents? In fairness, Time does give Betsy DeVos accolades for emphasizing a return to due process on the issue of campus rape. Nevertheless, as the cover bemoans, she is a member of “The Wrecking Crew” and must be stopped.

The same goes for Ben Carson. Time does ask the question, “How can the government help people in need by propping them up without becoming a crutch?” Nevertheless, as the cover bemoans, he is a member of “The Wrecking Crew” and must be stopped.

The editors show Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt no mercy, accusing him of coddling special interest groups and “weaken[ing] an agency designed to save lives.” He, above all else, is a critical member of “The Wrecking Crew.” Therefore, as the cover bemoans, he must be stopped.

Time may view these governmental changes and reforms as a train wreck, but its editors don’t seem to understand that “The Wrecking Crew” is a feature, not a bug. And it’s a term Republicans gladly embrace. It’s why voters picked Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton — because the status quo isn’t working. Meanwhile, Time continues wrecking its reputation.


Faith and reason inseparable

It amuses me how both Christians and atheists regard one-another as unreasonable.  Atheists regard Christians as unreasonable for believing in an invisible being and Christians regard atheists as unreasonable for denying that there was a  creator.  Knowing that juxtaposition helps make me very tolerant of Christians even though I am a thoroughgoing atheist -- JR

By Peter Kurti (Peter is an ordained minister in the Anglican Church of Australia)

Myths persist about the unreasonableness of religious belief — especially Christianity. Fashionable intellectuals pitch religion against science, saying rationality is the highest principle of the universe.

Overlooked is Christianity’s vital synthesis of the Greek philosophical tradition that gave rise precisely to the form of reason from which the intellectuals have attempted to divorce faith.

Far from being the enemy of reason, faith — as Greg Sheridan wrote last week — is the basis of reason. “Science tells us a great deal about how,” he said, “but nothing about why.”

For the discovery of truth to be more than a series of non-rational, subjective assumptions, we need to remember that religious faith needs to be a part of reasonable discourse.

Not only does Christian theology entail formal reasoning about God; the discipline of theology, as a form of reasoned enquiry, is foundational component of what we refer to as ‘the West’.

And emphasis on our minds’ ability to apprehend reality — including philosophical and religious truths — is woven into the very fabric of the West, says scholar of religion Samuel Gregg.

The concept of reason is broader than the limits of the empirically falsifiable, something emphasised by Pope Benedict XIV in his 2006 lecture delivered at Regensburg:

“The world’s profoundly religious cultures see this exclusion of the divine from the universality of reason as an attack on their more profound convictions,” Benedict said.

By the application of reason, human beings exercise the capacity both to comprehend and to shape their social reality, to exercise moral judgement, and to make reasonable choices.

In this way, human beings grow as reasonable people and so are able to build human communities which defend human dignity from the subversion of character and courage.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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