Friday, April 29, 2011

Paging Basil Hallward

Evidently the process by which Oscar Wilde's character Dorian Gray's friend Alan Campbell disposed of Basil Hallward's body is on its way to being used in California mortuaries.  Why?  Environmental reasons, of course, as you can't possibly bury a body, even in a casket, without destroying the environment.  Just look at any graveyard--not a blade of grass there, is there?

Wait a be fair, I don't see anything Biblically wrong with this--our Lord is going to give Jan Huss a resurrection body even after being burned at the stake, of course--but the logic they're using to promote this is not exactly there. So using a bunch of energy (greenhouse emissions of course) for hydrolysis is OK, but using the same energy to bury or cremate someone is not? 

My apologies, Ben, if I ruined part of the end of The Picture of Dorian Gray for you!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I don't get it, but I'm afraid I do

Evidently, President Obama has finally released a copy of his original long form birth certificate, and except for the fact it was signed three days after his birth, there appears to be nothing remarkable about it.  So he delayed two years and spent millions of dollars trying to avoid releasing it exactly why?  Unless this is a fraud of magnificent proportions, it speaks to a man who simply doesn't want to be open about who he is.

Update: Vox reports that at least one person analyzing the document claims that it's been modified digitally.  If sustained, this would fall into the "how NOT to settle a debate" category, I think, or possibly "did they learn nothing from Dan Rather's debacle?"

Update 2: Elmer reports that the document appears to have been put together in three layers.  Why on earth do this and open things up as an apparent fraud?

In other news, my local paper reported on a woman convicted of helping to get night vision goggles shipped to Iran.  She's evidently my neighbor now, and a number of things stick out.  First of all, evidently Shi'a Sharia isn't above using an agent who dresses in decidedly un-Iranian garb, to put it mildly, and so we are confronted with the reality that Islamists are willing to compromise their principles to go undercover.  The Teheran government is even using the woman's daughters in trying to get her released; they're obviously not embarassed by her!

Second, it's worth noting that efforts to extradite her and her husband from Austria failed--so once again, we apparently have a case where someone in Europe doesn't really see a problem with giving Iran's forces some of the same capabilities as the forces most likely to try to put a stop to Iran's nuclear program--the U.S. and Israel.  No problem, evidently, as Vienna isn't in range of Iranian bombers......yet.

One would think that the Austrians, of all people, would understand the problems inherent with appeasing anti-semitic despots, but apparently not in this case.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Now this is ironic.....

The Coast Guard is apparently reporting that the long term effects of last year's oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico are apparently "marginal."  Not negligible, but marginal, and of course that is wonderful news.

The irony?  Well, NOAA reports on the "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico resulting primarily from runoff from farm fields, and this indicates that the most dangerous thing to a healthy ecosystem there is......

....grain and ethanol subsidies.  So the environmentally "safe" fuel, ethanol, is apparently far more dangerous to our oceans than catastrophic disasters in petroleum production.

Federal loan sharks

The Wall Street Journal has this very interesting piece (H/T Traditional Catholicism) about how the federal government is into the loan sharking business with federally backed student loans.  More or less, in return for getting accepted into a school of your choice, they'll keep students in debt slavery for a lifetime with no possibility of release through bankruptcy--and after a certain time of delinquency, they tack on large penalties.  Even better--and the Gambinos never even dreamed of being able to do this--they will work to cancel professional accreditations and licenses for those who are delinquent. 

Now how that last thing will actually help people pay their loans is beyond me, but that is the law, and it's why that with approximately 25% default rates, a gross failure in any private loan scheme, they're evidently still turning a profit on the deal.  I dare suggest it's time to rein in the nation's nastiest loan sharks.

Guess I'd better watch my kneecaps now.  :^)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Why are gas prices so high?

Well, it's certainly not the only thing at work, but I would hazard a guess that part of the cause might be Presidents who decide to celebrate Earth Day by burning 53,000 gallons of jet fuel, about 50 times more petroleum than my family uses in a year.

And yes, using jet fuel does impede gasoline supplies; the "cracking" process converts the long hydrocarbon strands of kerosene into gasoline.

I thought I would do well by firing up the old chainsaw to cut down a tree for Earth Day, but I dare say that the President has me beat for mocking the intent of that day by a long shot.

H/T SayAnythingBlog.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What a truly awful way to die....

Apparently a hog farm in Minnesota is being sued because a worker died due to lack of oxygen while cleaning out one of their hog barns because nobody bothered to turn on the ventilation system while he went in there.

Now apart from the thought of how truly awful a way to die that would be, and how cruel it would be to fail to turn on fans for a worker cleaning out hog barns, what comes to my mind is that apparently, forced air ventilation is needed to keep enough oxygen in the air in these barns to sustain life.  Given that power outages and equipment failures do indeed occur in rural areas, that would seem to be a strong reason NOT to use this particular design for raising lifestock.

Things that me me go "hmmmm....."

Apparently, new Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel spent $800,000 defending his claims of Chicago residency in his mayoral campaign.  Couple this with the claim that President Obama has spent two million dollars defending himself against claims he wasn't born in this country, and it suggests that people have a far larger stake in public office than would be suggested by their salary.

And then I remember claims that former President Bill Clinton is getting $100-200,000 for a half hour speaking engagement (they pay that much to hear him lie?), and it all makes sense.  Cincinnatus must be rolling in his grave, so to speak.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Not that this is self-serving.....

Take a look at this article about the over-medication of young people for ADHD, and then contemplate an article from 2009 in Bicycling Magazine where it was noted that for one aspiring young competitive cyclist, "Riding is my Ritalin."  Now granted, ADHD can be very complex, but it does suggest that what is needed is not a renewed supply of ADHD drugs, but rather a vigorous game of "tag" or "basketball" during recess.

Or a nice ride.  But it's raining and snowing today, and I've got to be in my business clothes....sigh....

An example of what Wayne Alderson is trying to end......

......coming straight from the EPA.   How so?

Well, the attached testimony makes it clear that the EPA is trying to shove its regulations through, contrary to law I believe, without a good appraisal of the economic costs of their decision.

Now if economic costs were independent of ecological costs--and anyone who knows the economics of hybrid cars (talk to people in Brantford, Ontario, for example, about nickel mining for NiMetal hydride batteries) knows this isn't true--it would be one thing.  Reality is, however, that when people are impoverished, they simply cannot afford to take the steps to make their own personal environments better.  Just ask anyone who has ever traveled to a developing country--when you're worried about your next meal, little things like "insulating your house" and "sanitary sewers" go right out the window.  For that matter, they're very happy to have a motorbike with visible emissions--just like, quite frankly, I'm seeing a lot more rusted out cars with blue smoke coming out the tailpipe in our country these days.

In other words, what we have is not only a government agency without respect for the law and the citizens, but we also have a government agency which really doesn't understand how to do its job.  Their decision making process would likely make the environment dirtier due to the ways people would cope with its decisions.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Inspirational, but depressing

My wife was loaned a book "Stronger than Steel" by RC Sproul about the life of Wayne Alderson, and I had the privilege to read it this weekend.  More or less, it tracks the life of Mr. Alderson from poverty in a coal mining town to his leadership in a steel mill in Pennsylvania, where he managed to turn around a company from an 84 day strike to a quadrupling of sales and huge profit margins in less than two years.

How did he do it?  The book doesn't go into too many details, but more or less, it had a lot to do with treating employees with a bit of human dignity.  Some examples of basics he implemented were that managers ought to get to know line workers, manage by reason and consensus instead of by intimidation, stop using racial and ethnic slurs, and for managers to attempt some of the tasks that line workers were doing.

My response?  Consider me torn; it baffles to consider the idea that people would need to be told that it's a good, respectful thing for a man not to use racial slurs to his coworkers, or that managers ought to look a man in the eye and address him by the name he prefers.  On the other hand, I've seen a lot of "management by intimidation" in my days, and I'd love to see a lot more respect for people than I usually see at work.

Perhaps the best way of encapsulating the issue is to give "the end of the story," as Paul Harvey used to say.  After revolutionizing the way Pittron Steel did business and putting profits through the roof, Mr. Alderson was of course.......promoted, right?  Nope, the cynics were right; he was fired when the company which bought Pittron in 1974 was not ready to try a new way of management.

Sproul tries to put a nice light on it in noting that now Alderson was free to pursue a consulting business, and the book documents a number of successes he had.....for a time.  I looked up his current activities, and while it appears that he's still active, it's also clear that..... by intimidation is still alive and well, too.  Though most workplaces thankfully no longer have a place for racial slurs, workers will also tell you that their concerns are not exactly on the top of the list for management.  One might guess that truly implementing "value of the person" depends not on a seminar, but a heart change.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Shameless bragging and an unlikely Gospel tract

First of all, as dad to two of the contestants, let all three of my readers know that if you want to find a  group of 10-13 year olds who know dog breeds, diseases, showmanship, and so on better than any other group of 4-H members of the same age in Minnesota, you can find them in my town.  But I'm not bragging....yeah, right, who am I kidding?   They worked hard and did well, which was a lot of fun.

While accompanying them to the competition, I also found that a classic work of literature is indeed an unlikely Gospel tract, specifically Oscar Wilde's novel The Picture of Dorian GrayPrior to reading it, I knew it was a classic, I knew of Wilde's reputation for immorality, and I'd been told that the basic theme is that the picture gets older, but Dorian does not.

Those who know the real story--or for that matter have seen the 1945 film version (which takes some serious liberties)-- are of course aware that the greatest change in the picture is due to not his age, but rather his sin.  The book is peppered with Biblical references, including a wonderful passage where Gray notes that had he been forced to confront his sins, he might have repented in time before becoming nothing less than a moral monster.

All in all, it's a reasonable Gospel tract for those who will understand it--and alas, the papers at the time it was released did not contemplate this, but rather (per the Victorian spirit maybe?) concentrated on the debauchery common to almost all characters--the protagonist is not the only one who needs a work of art to show the results of ongoing sin, not by a long shot.

For that matter, I half wonder if the work is mildly autobiographical, as it begins with chapters that strongly reflect his homosexual acts of the time he wrote the book, countered by scathing descriptions of the lives of London "gentlemen" of the time.  Is Gray actually Wilde, and is Lord Henry actually Robert Ross--or vice versa?  Is the book really Wilde's plea to be released from his own passions--ironically just as he was to start indulging them most deeply--and was that plea repeated in his play Salome?  Do the objections of the critics result from real convictions, or were they because they recognized their sins skewered by Wilde?

Wilde alone knows, of course, but as for me, I came away from the book contemplating how good it might be if Christian filmmakers were to produce a new film version, this time more faithful to the original book.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Not a good sign.......

President Obama's biggest complaint about his job is apparently that the Oval Office does not have a "cool" phone with pop up screens and lots of buttons--apparently he's not up to speed on the concept that when you're dealing with foreign leaders through translators, it's not a terribly good idea to get distracted.

On the other hand, considering his political motives, maybe it's good that he gets distracted from time to time.  If we get him a cool phone, will he get so distracted that he won't do what he wanted to do to us?  We can only hope....

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Here's a good question

With the President being utterly clueless about the implications of the current welfare state--more or less that even if you taxed "the rich" (really, again, the currently prosperous) at 100%, there still wouldn't be enough to cover even our current deficit, let alone the tens of trillions of dollars in unfunded liabilities of Medicare and Social Security--we are left with what ought to be a terrifying question to anyone who reads and comprehends the actuarial reports of any welfare state:

What will happen when the welfare state is dismantled--either when it collapses of its own weight (my guess about the more likely scenario), or when politicians actually heed the warnings of the actuaries and scale it back?

Samuel Gregg gives  a stab at it, and by and large, I think he gets it right, and we'd better take it seriously.  More or less, at least half the nation has not figured out that there is no tax that can rescue programs whose unfunded liabilities exceed the entire wealth of the nation.  Barring mass repentance on their part leading to huge reforms in Medicare, Medicaid, welfare programs, and Social Security, the nation is headed for a financial collapse in the next few decades.  Actuarially, the question is when, not if.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

More (depressing) hilarity

Check out this bit courtesy of the Northern Muckraker.  Apparently the betters of British subjects have decided that fire extinguishers in apartment buildings actually constitute a fire hazard because people might use them against a fire. 

146 employees of the Triangle Shirtwaist factory were unavailable for comment.  No, depressingly, I am not making this up.

"The Rich can afford that!"

To no one's surprise, President Hoover Obama has proposed a repeal of the Bush era tax cuts for those earning more than $250,000 per year because "they can afford it."  Apart from the little fact that the prosperous often choose not to afford higher tax rates when they are imposed, and the fact that high income taxes hit primarily the prosperous, not those who are truly wealthy, there is a second, more important question that we ought to be asking; can those employed by the prosperous afford an end to the Bush tax cuts?

Seriously.  Can they afford it?   The prosperous, well, they can afford to pay 4% more in taxes--though it should be noted that this amounts to about a 7-8% cut in disposable income above $250,000 when FICA and state taxes are accounted for.   None of them will go hungry, most likely--though for a doctor with a lot of school debt, $250,000 doesn't go nearly as far as one would think.

On the other hand, it's the middle and lower classes that won't be employed because the prosperous didn't have money to start new businesses.  It's the middle and lower classes who build and sell the yachts, summer homes, and cars they won't be buying.  It's the middle and lower classes who work at and maintain the resorts and restaurants they won't be patronizing.  It's the middle and lower classes who won't be hired to do the lawn work, clean their homes, and care for their children.

Among Democrats, it's really popular for some reason to demonize those who are prosperous.  Perhaps they've never realized that when the prosperous use their wealth, it benefits us all.  Hopefully Mr. Hoover realizes this before it's too late.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Economic recovery?

Not if you believe the folks at the EIA, who note that gasoline usage is still down about 5% from its 2007 peaks and significantly below its 2009 levels.  Given that gasoline usage is a decent proxy for employment, this indicates that, as those who are watching the numbers of unemployed and discouraged workers refuse to budge (and even grow), the recent "drops" in the unemployment rate are illusory.

Good job, President Obama Hoover.  Suggest you read this before it's too late.  Hint; throwing tons of money away on PBS, Planned Parenthood, and the Chevy Volt actually increases unemployment because it is neither a truly public good, nor is it what the people would choose themselves.

Update: Rothbard's help cannot come soon enough, as apparently Mr. Soetoro is channeling FDR in 1937.

Ancient Israeli politics......

I'm reading through the books of Samuel currently, and it had always perplexed me why David kept Joab around--Joab being rather a "hothead" whose actions typically got David in trouble with his people.  If you doubt this, witness how easily Absalom won their hearts to usurp, albeit temporarily, the kingdom.  Then, perplexingly, David chooses Absalom's general, Amasa, as his general once Joab has defeated Amasa in open battle.  What is going on?

A key to this may be understanding who Joab (and his brothers Abishai and Asahel) was, and who Amasa was.  Joab was David's nephew, the son of his (presumably) older sister Zeruiah, and Amasa was David's brother-in-law, the husband of David's sister Abigail.  Given that David had seven brothers and at least two sisters, we can presume that he was most likely about 20 years younger than his oldest sibling, and hence Joab may have been close to David in age.  Amasa, on the other hand, was likely somewhat older.

Now how did the "sons of Zeruiah" come to David?  The Bible does not say specifically, but it's my guess that three young, hot-headed nephews of David came to that camp of 600 men out of support for David, and he felt morally obligated to keep them even when their actions got him into trouble.  Then, when Amasa stood up for Absalom, David had the only person he could choose to replace Joab; an older relative.

It's all speculation, of course, but it does seem likely that a lot of the achievement, and a lot of the trouble, of David's reign had to do with how his family stuck together.

Another judge who needs to go

....this time in Mississippi, where a judge has demanded the names and addresses of all homeschoolers in his judicial district without giving a legal explanation as to why.  If you're unclear as to why this is a legal issue, here's the text of the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

In other words, without a legal reason, the judge has no right whatsoever to demand this information.  Moreover, a judge who does not, apparently, understand this basic limitation of the 4th Amendment needs to be removed both from the bench and the bar, as he obviously does not understand the United States Constitution.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Easter Eggs

OK, so this particular egg ceased to be "just an egg" long before Easter, but I figured now would be a good time to warn the world to watch out for the newest Salathiel in my family.  And no, that's not my gallbladder again!

Thankfully, the Venture can seat eight!

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Another reminder, sad to say

Apparently, there was another gun tragedy today, where seven people (perhaps more) were killed in the Netherlands in a shooting spree.  The article notes that gun permits are difficult to obtain, but fully automatic weapons are routinely found during drug busts.  Yet more tragic evidence that gun control does not make people safer--as if any resident of Chicago, Washington DC, or New York City would have any doubt of this fact.  When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns--and unlike the "Wild West," that means they'll have carte blanche to kill as many people as they desire to kill.

Worth noting, of course, is that it's not clear that there were any mass killings in the real "Wild West" in frontier days, for the obvious reason that murdering a dozen people is difficult when the prospective victims are likely to be shooting back.

Friday, April 08, 2011

What could possibly go wrong, part....never mind.....

Apparently, a New York City judge has sentenced a prospective juror to indefinite jury service because she expressed racist views on a jury questionaire (H/T Bib. Chr).  Now let that one sink in a little bit.

First of all, I'd expect a judge to have some idea of what the 13th Amendment actually means, and how it would preclude this sort of thing.  So to put it mildly, Judge Garaufis needs to be removed from the bench and disbarred, as this is a pretty basic thing in the Constitution that anyone who lives anywhere near "Harlem" ought to appreciate.  Of course, Garaufis has some good company in the President, who also does not seem to appreciate the 13th Amendment, bizaarely, and some more in Charles Rangel, who seems to score a hypocrisy hat trick in not only being black and clueless about the 13th Amendment, but also grew up in the Jim Crow era, has a law degree, and lives in Harlem.

Next, any decent lawyer ought to appreciate what using "bigoted slave labor" on juries will do to any verdict arrived at by that jury--it's more or less an automatic mistrial any time the juror would be trying a case involving a hispanic, black, or asian defendant or victim, and a good shot at a mistrial ruling even when no-one of these racial/ethnic groups is involved.  Again, the Ivy League-educated jurist needs to be not only de-benched, but disbarred.

Don't they teach logic at Columbia Law anymore?

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Wrapping up the Bible and government.....

....evidently I do best starting with the NT and then working my way back through, but whatever.  There are two major things in the books of history that come to mind; first, Samuel's warning to Israel about what they were doing when they requested a king, and second, what Solomon did when his father had established peace in the land.

Let's start with a side note, though; none of the kings, at least when they could afford it, seems to have obeyed Deuteronomy 17's admonitions that a king ought not get a lot of gold, horses, and women, and none of them appears to have written out a copy of the law.  Witness Josiah's response at the finding of a copy of the law in the Temple--he acts as if he'd never seen it before--which alas was pretty much true.  Just as the public availability of the Scriptures was low between the Dark Ages and Gutenberg, so was the Word rare in the time of Israel's kings.  We ought to infer, then, that limitations imposed on government are only as meaningful as the citizens insist; the rule of law becomes the rule of men just as soon as the subjects and citizens don't hold their rulers to the law.  It's also worth remembering that the Old Testament concept of government was rule of law, not men.

But now to Samuel; he had judged Israel for a long time, and due (at least outwardly) to the misbehavior of his sons (as Eli's before him), the nation was asking for a king to fight their wars.  First, a bit about what was going on.

Was Samuel, though a priest, to have been the only one judging Israel, or was he, like Moses, to appoint other judges for the easier cases?  Was he to be calling the priests and levites--the Cohens and Levys--to their rightful office?  Samuel succeeded in judging Israel, but appears to have failed in reminding his own "class" of their duties.  In doing so, there were few who could call the 12 tribes to their rightful duty of national defense.  Assuming a population density of about 100 people per square km, we ought to assume that within an hour of a raid, up to 2000 men ought to have been able to walk the 5km to the affected town to repulse that raid.

If....if....if.....the judges of Israel had been able to convince the priests, Levites, and other people to take their duties under the Torah seriously.  It's really very similar to the situation in our country around the War of 1812; people simply could not be convinced to take their freedom seriously enough to fight for it.

Interestingly, though, this isn't how the Lord approaches Samuel; Samuel is told that they're rejecting Him, not him.  In other words, whatever Samuel did to call people to repentance, God knows that the people have hard hearts towards Him.  As a result, Samuel is to warn them that they will not only pay a tithe of taxes, but also will their children become the king's servants, and they will lose lands to the new king.  Keep in mind here that this tithe rightly belonged to God, and that God had granted the people title to their lands in perpetuity by their families.

Obviously, we don't have perpetual title to land here, but we can draw principles from this.  First of all, when we choose to increase the size of government, we may well be rejecting the tasks to which God has called us.  For example, the Torah, the Prophets, and the New Testament all tell individuals and churches to care for the poor and defenseless.  What, then, is a church doing if they decide to campaign to get more tax dollars allocated to the welfare state?

I'd suggest they're missing out on the blessings of personal and congregational charity, to put it mildly.

We also ought to infer that Samuel--and the Holy Spirit leading him--knew that Israel's hardness towards God would continue, and that this would lead to the king living....well, like the kings of the Gentiles/pagans, instead of the guidance of Deuteronomy.  We see that in the marble halls of our own government, really, as ever more resources are poured into the comforts of Congress and bureaucrats.

Going on to Solomon, we see what happens as the king sees himself as a king along the lines of the Gentiles.  Great tributes are exacted, and great taxes are levied.  Jerusalem found itself so full of gold that silver was thought of little value--there's some inflation for you, just as happened in Spain in the 1500s and 1600s.  Great cultural and academic works were started--often with conscripted/slave labor-- and the king found himself with 700 wives and 300 concubines--but interestingly, only one surviving son is named.  With all those wives offering sacrifices to pagan gods--perhaps including some of Solomon's children--the nation took on a pagan character.  Solomon himself gave the verdict of his reign; Vanitas, Vanitatum, et omnia vanitas.  It was all meaningless, and as we'd see from the previous notes, it was also contrary to God's instructions in Deuteronomy, but was entirely consistent with the practice of empire.

If you read just the parts when Solomon was alive, you'll miss what was really going on.  To see that, look at 1 Kings 12, where the northern tribes rebel against....the taxation and labor conscription that was needed to support Solomon's grand state.  Evidently, they had tea parties, too.  The grandeur that was Solomon's would then be gone in a generation--and the stiff necked people would setting in for a few centuries of ups and downs, just as they had had a few centuries of ups and downs prior to the kings.

What can we conclude? First of all, Samuel's warning and Solomon's empire demonstrate very clearly that when government gets bigger, it is often in a way that violates God's Word.  We see this today in funding for Planned Parenthood, the NEA, and other groups whose activities are a profound moral evil.

That said, a good survey of the Scriptures does leave Christian liberals with at least "plausible deniability" as they strive to expand government social spending. While there is no clear argument for government social spending, there is also no simple argument against it.

Except, of course, for "why would you ignore your responsibility to the poor by leaving their care to the government, which often does not care whether they make wise choices or not?  Why would you miss out on the blessings that come with obedience in this way?"

Having taken part in some charitable work over the years, I just might mention some stories that would show why so many prefer to "write a check" to the government instead of becoming personally involved.  But that later.

What would Henry VIII say.... the fact that apparently these days, the British royal family needs to consult family lawyers to put matters into order for the upcoming wedding of the crown prince and his intended.  Yes, things have come a long way since Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard.....

Monday, April 04, 2011

Let me get this straight.....

Some guy in Florida burns a Koran, to the vigorous opposition of everyone in American government who matters.  So people over in Afghanistan decide to kill over half a dozen innocents who had nothing to do with it.

Not the Taliban, evidently, but ordinary Afghans.  Now I understand that the burning of a book deemed holy is an offense, but it takes a special breed to argue that one's own offense entitles one to kill innocents.  We'll see how the moderate Muslim world reacts here.

Friday, April 01, 2011

And now, contra the nanny state....

....with evidence provided (of course) by the Obama administration.  How so? 

Well, apparently they are arguing that cutting foreign aid would result in the deaths of up to 70,000 children annually, apparently because the tin-horn dictators who receive foreign aid would never, ever consider using their own tax revenues to run anti-malaria programs, fund vaccination, or other things like that.  They have Kalishnikovs to buy for their armies, after all, and need to put their retirement funds into Swiss banks.   It's not like the lives of their subjects matter.

Which is to say that the Obama administration has unwittingly (as we'd expect) provided a justifcation not for continuing foreign aid, but for cutting it in toto, as it only serves to keep immoral clowns in their positions.

On a side note, if Dear Leader really wants to save the lives of children, why not simply cut off all federal funds to Planned Parenthood?  I bet that cutting a mere few hundred million dollars they receive annually would save tens of thousands of lives annually as they're not able to keep their abortuaries open.