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Libertarian Commentary on The News
By Nathan A. Barton 2012
Posted February 20, 2012

I’m not going to wait until next Thanksgiving to share and give thanks (to God!) for a lot of great things:
(1) Improved medical technology that, among other things, once more saved a very good friend from a very rare cancer, saved the life of a great-grandchild of dear and old friends, and keeps a lot of us staggering along day-by-day.
(2) The internet, bearer of both good and ill tidings, which lets me among other things make a living and help a lot of people in many different ways, while bringing me hours of thoughtful conversation with good friends and entertainment of all sorts. And lets me stay in touch with friends whom otherwise I would lose completely, as I have friends from high school and college who do not use it.
(3) Aerial and satellite photography, which lets me see and “visit” places I have been and enjoyed in the past, which I shall never in this life get to see again (most likely), and at the same time see places that I have missed in the past and enjoy the thrill of exploring and discovering new and old, around the world.
(4) Modern, cheap, weaponry and security technology, that lets me protect my family, my friends, and myself in a way not possible even twenty, let alone fifty or a hundred or thousand years ago. Hunting, battle, and assault rifles for less than an ounce of gold - tell THAT to the guy who sweated for years to be able to afford a Pennsylvania long rifle!
(5) Systems that let me check inside and outside my property (or a client’s) from hundreds of miles away - or thousands. Systems that control lights and appliances and heating and more automatically and even after power outages and worse! Fire suppression and alarm systems. Electronic fences.

Now, what do all these have in common? For many, they are cursed as allowing government and do-gooders and the nanny-state and tyrants everywhere to have an easier time of it.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

East Asian Front
Chinese Twitter Says Kim Jong-Un Was Assassinated This Morning In Beijing
(gawker.com)

The Chinese micro-blogging service Weibo has exploded with rumors that new North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un was assassinated today at the North Korean embassy in Beijing. Twitter death rumors are totally cross-cultural. Here's one version of the rumor, cleaned up from the --- Google translation: “According to reliable sources, North Korean leader [Kim Jong-Un was killed] in Beijing in February 10 2012, at 2 o'clock and 45 minutes. Unknown persons broke into his residence shot and were subsequently shot and killed by the bodyguard.”

The Daily Mail (UK) and other more reliable sources have come out saying this is rumor and sheer fabrication – or hoping – and saying that Weibo and Twitter fed off each other, spreading the story. I include this mostly because of one sarcastic comment on the Daily Mail site: "Apparently several shots were fired and struck Kim however it only caused a leak of air and fat. They simply couldn't find his actual body." That's the Robert Mugabe joke. Six bullets to the head--missed his brain by two feet. -- TerenceH, Rochester, Kent. But no, apparently the Kim Saga in North Korea is not yet over.

War on Some Drugs – American and home and European fronts
Latin American leaders demand U.S. legalize drugs
(Washington Post)

Latin American leaders have joined together to condemn the U.S. government for soaring drug violence in their countries, blaming the United States for the transnational cartels that have grown rich and powerful smuggling dope north and guns south.

Once more a cry for sanity – sure to be ignored.

Stupid cop tricks
Swamped by phone thefts, police call on cell providers to allow remote shutdowns
(Washington Post)

Police chiefs everywhere say that smartphone robberies are rocketing. They’ve offered cash rewards, set up decoy crews in subway stations and urged iPhone owners to be wary. But the robberies keep coming. Now, police are expressing their frustration in plain terms, publicly asking regulators and wireless-network operators to allow stolen devices to be shut down remotely through unique identification numbers within them.

It is not COPS that need this ability – it is the OWNERS of the cell phones.

First Citizen – Dissing the troops/Nanny state
Obama makes sure our soldiers eat their veggies
(AP)

Hold the mystery meat: Military mess halls soon will be serving more fruits, vegetables and low-fat dishes under the first program in 20 years to improve nutrition standards across the armed services. First lady Michelle Obama and Pentagon officials announced the effort Thursday.

Chalk up another victory for the political bagmen in the Pentagon and their worship of the First Citizen – as they again betray their oaths. This is bogus, and the justification even worse. Yes, physical standards are more lax today than 20 years ago and I am sure that troops overall are heavier – it comes with age, and I share that problem. But there are sound – VERY sound – military reasons for it. First, we have an aging force: we NEED and USE older people today than ever before. You never found 60 and 65-year-old majors and light-colonels and sergeants major running around 20, 30, or 40 years ago – but today we do and SHOULD value their experience and skills MORE than their body-mass-index and percent of body fat, and recognize that a fifty-year-old running a motor pool or reviewing recon photos doesn’t need the same strength and sheer physical endurance – or the same weight-standards – as a twenty-year-old humping 85 pounds of gear and ammo and weapons over a ridge 50 clicks from Kandahar. Second, look at society as a whole: this isn’t the WW2 generation that flirted with starvation in the 1930s – no, government subsidy and other welfare programs have produced a heavier, taller and (sadly) softer set of generations than this world has ever seen. Third, the military has become nothing (at least back stateside and too often in rear areas) a collection of lab rats for the Tranzis to experiment on – and this is just the latest.

Government meddling - Nazgul
Embalmer takes speech case to Mass. high court
(AP)

After his comments were published in The Boston Phoenix, the state board that licenses funeral directors and embalmers revoked his license. Now Schoeller is challenging that punishment before the highest court in Massachusetts, arguing the revocation violates his constitutional right to free speech. "I didn't lie about anything," he said. "I didn't say anything that was wrong."

He knows, I’m sure, that truth is often what gets you punished the most. Like when you tell the NEA-member teacher that her pet is cheating. I knew almost nothing about the funeral home industry until a few months ago when I started a project building a casket factory – but quickly found, from people IN the industry and on its edges just how corrupt and parasitical it was and is, and what a wonderful example of a government-sustained cartel it is. So this issue comes as no surprise. I hope he is able to bury them.

Political correctness
US Marines posed with Nazi symbol in Afghanistan
(Daily Telegraph)

A US Marine sniper team posed with a flag emblazoned with the symbol of the Nazi SS while on duty in Afghanistan, the Pentagon has admitted.

I’ve been following this for several days – it is actually an old event, and not the first nor will it be the last.

History and Civilization
Why the World Needs America
(Wall Street Journal)

History shows that world orders, including our own, are transient. They rise and fall, and the institutions they erect, the beliefs and "norms" that guide them, the economic systems they support—they rise and fall, too. The downfall of the Roman Empire brought an end not just to Roman rule but to Roman government and law and to an entire economic system stretching from Northern Europe to North Africa. Culture, the arts, even progress in science and technology, were set back for centuries. Modern history has followed a similar pattern. After the Napoleonic Wars of the early 19th century, British control of the seas and the balance of great powers on the European continent provided relative security and stability. Prosperity grew, personal freedoms expanded, and the world was knit more closely together by revolutions in commerce and communication. With the outbreak of World War I, the age of settled peace and advancing liberalism—of European civilization approaching its pinnacle—collapsed into an age of hyper-nationalism, despotism and economic calamity. The once-promising spread of democracy and liberalism halted and then reversed course, leaving a handful of outnumbered and besieged democracies living nervously in the shadow of fascist and totalitarian neighbors. The collapse of the British and European orders in the 20th century did not produce a new dark age—though if Nazi Germany and imperial Japan had prevailed, it might have—but the horrific conflict that it produced was, in its own way, just as devastating.

Definitely worth reading the entire article - more commentary than news, but itself news: even the WSJ is seeing an end towards which we are heading. For those who know history, this is a frightening tale.

Europe’s fall
S&P downgrades 34 Italian banks
(Reuters)

Rating agency Standard & Poor's downgraded 34 Italian banks on Friday, including heavyweights UniCredit (CRDI.MI) and Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP.MI), citing a reduced ability to roll over their wholesale debt and expected weak profitability.The move follows S&P's downgrade of Italy's sovereign rating last month to BBB+, part of a mass downgrade of nine euro zone countries.

The dominoes keep falling - and things in Greece were looking decidedly bad on Saturday. The whole mess is smouldering, and if some - just one - flame shows up, the entire continent may be engulfed. Far easier today than at any time since the big empires broke up in World War One: the Soviets maintained internal borders far more than the Austro-Hungarians, the Germans or the Czarists.

Europe’s fall
LIVE: The Greek Government Is Falling Apart
(Businessinsider.com)

Although hopes for a positive outcome in Greece were buoyed by news that Greek politicians had come to an agreement on austerity measures yesterday, that enthusiasm has quickly vanished. Eurozone finance ministers rejected the deal in its current form, saying that it still didn't go far enough in cutting down Greece's unsustainable public debts. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble estimated that Greece's public debt could remain as high as 136 percent of GDP in 2020 according to Bloomberg, despite strict stipulations that Greece bring its public debts down to 120 percent by that year. Markets are sour, the euro is diving, and suddenly the picture no longer looks rosy in Greece.

Some of us predicted this outcome the day the deal was announced in Athens – and it didn’t take very long, did it?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Russia alarmed over teen suicide rate
(The RawStory.com )

Top Russian psychiatrists on Friday called for urgent measures to battle the soaring teenage suicide rate, one of the world’s highest. The number of 15 to 19-year-olds taking their own lives is almost three times higher than the world average at 19 to 20 per 100,000, the health ministry’s chief psychiatrist Zurab Kekelidze told a round table in Moscow. Four thousand teenagers commit suicide every year, Russia’s presidential ombudsman for children, Pavel Astakhov, said Thursday.

This is comparable to death rates in the Indian nations of the United States, and probably for similar reasons: hopelessness, abuse, neglect, and lack of faith.

Crash of 2009
Why Is Gasoline Consumption Tanking
(Street Talk Live) by Charles Hugh Smith.

Gasoline deliveries reflect recession and growth. The recent drop in retail gasoline deliveries is signalling [sic] a sharp contraction ahead. Mish recently posted some intriguing charts depicting a significant decline in gasoline consumption. Then correspondent Joe R. forwarded me this stunning chart of gasoline retail deliveries, from the U.S. Energy Information Administration: (EIA) As Joe noted, this data is interesting because it is un-manipulated, that is, it is not "seasonally adjusted" or run through some black-box modifications like so much other government data. Retail gasoline deliveries, already well below 1980 levels, have absolutely fallen off a cliff. Is the plunge inventory-related, i.e. are storage facilities so full that retailers are simply putting off deliveries? Though I don't have data on hand to support this, I know from one of my correspondents who is in the gasoline distribution/delivery business that gasoline is very much a "just in time" commodity: gas stations are often close to running out of fuel when they get a delivery. Stations aren't holding huge quantities of surplus gasoline; that's not how the business works. Given the absence of "extra storage" in gas stations (and the fact that the number of gas stations has fallen dramatically since 1980), it is reasonable to conclude that retail delivery is largely a function of demand, i.e. gasoline consumption. Even if you dismiss the recent plunge as an outlier, the declines in retail gasoline deliveries are mind-boggling. If you look at the data from 1983 to 2011 on the link above, you will note that delivery declines align with recessions.

I am a heavy user of gasoline, over a three- to four-state area, and pay close attention. I also have some ties to the industry and know people in it, and all this is true. Be prepared – both to do without and to pay a lot – and to be involved in attempts to get it from you.

Islamic law: Afghan front
Afghans fret flight of hard cash a sign of things to come
(Reuters)

In the crush of people in Kabul's Shahzada money market, conspiracy theories are a currency as hard as the bundles of cash in the hands of bearded traders trying to divine their future. And the theory going around - amid the din of shouted exchange rates - is that Afghanistan's rich are preparing again to shift their money and lives from the country over fears of chaos or civil conflict after foreign troops leave.

Every indication is that we are seeing the same thing as happened in Vietnam in 1973-1975. For the same reasons. The hope of ending the tribal, Islamic society that makes up this nation and has for a millennium, is gone.

Politics 2012
Romney wins Maine, barely beating Paul
(Yahoo.com)

In Maine, Romney won just a plurality of the vote, suggesting he still has much work ahead to unite GOP voters behind his candidacy. He narrowly defeated Texas Rep. Ron Paul, capturing 39 percent to Paul's 36 percent of the vote, according to state Republican Chairman Charlie Webster. Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, who didn't actively campaign in Maine, won 18 percent and 6 percent respectively.

As the week went on, it became more evident that someone played a lot of games with the balloting and records, and that this difference (only a couple hundred votes) probably does not exist.

Mama's Note: The shocking thing to consider is that such fraud and manipulation is probably not limited to large population centers at all. There is credible evidence to suggest that such manipulation occurred in a small Republican caucus here in Wyoming. Only about 30 votes were cast, a voice vote unfortunately, but some participants are seriously questioning the "official" count. If you ever seriously thought your vote matters... think again.

First Citizen - Environists
Obama administration slows environmental rules as it weighs political cost
(Washington Post)

After pushing through some of the most sweeping and contentious environmental measures in years, the Obama administration has slowed action on several policies as it calculates what it should undertake before the end of the term.

This smells of more election year politics – trying to preserve a slice of the undecided vote and those businesses that haven’t yet been trashed. Hope it turns into a shipwreck.

Government war on faith – First Citizen
Bishops to Obama: No contraception compromise
( USA Today)

"When it comes to mandatory contraception coverage under the Affordable Care Act, the nation's Catholic bishops won't budge an inch. New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, initially said he would study President Obama's newest variation of the requirement. That didn't last long. Now, it's no sale unless the mandate is lifted from any person of faith who objects to facilitating contraception coverage for employees." (02/12/12)

The headline is Tom Knapp’s, and he hates organized religion more than he does government (which is saying something, so the headline is 180 out of whack: the First Citizen made it clear that HE is not going to compromise, just CALL it a compromise because he figures most Catholics are stupid enough to believe him and WANT to believe him and not the bishops. I’ve got somewhat more respect for the RC Church than for government – since the RC Church gave up most of its coercive techniques – but not THAT much more: still, in this case, I’m FIRMLY on the side of the bishops:

Theft by government – First Citizen lies and fables
Debt Has Climbed $4.47T Since Obama Released First Budget—Calling for ‘A New Era of Responsibility’
(CNSNews.com)

He meant, of course, a new era of responsibility of citizens and visitors and businesses to pay more in taxes now and apparently “forever and ever, amen.” As government takes on more and more responsibility: making sure that children are “fed properly” and that cows are properly counted and that everyone’s second homeland is America and that foreign rulers who are mean to their people and not too important to us are tracked down and raped and killed; those who work for that government (taxpayers) must take on more and more responsibility: generally in the form of paying taxes and buying government bonds to fuel more government. It is a nice simple philosophy and lifestyle that any III Dynasty Egyptian god-king or Mesopotamian heir of Sargon could understand and follow.

Politics 2012 – Culture wars: Killing babies
Conservatives Unite in Defiance: Obama’s Assault on Religious Liberty Must be Defeated
(CNSNews.com)

Oh, if only they WERE united: but they are not. “Ah,” thinks the First Lady, (emulating her heroine Mary Antoniette)”if only Conservatives had but one neck…” Too many conservatives, including 3 of the 4 surviving GOP candidates (I call two of them conservatives only as a matter of politeness instead of calling them liars to their face) are “Big-Government Conservatives” – a warped and sick concept that should make any “real” conservative violently ill. And just as many are incredibly foolish – like the virgins without the extra oil, and think that it is okay for the First Citizen to beat up on Catholics and Mormons and all those other strange sects, but WE are the true believers and will be protected – he can’t win without us. And they are right –at least as far as the winning part goes: if they continue to be insanely stupid and gutless, he will win with them. And FAR too many “conservatives” believe it is okay to kill babies, but just when they are being punished for their father’s sins: rape and incest.

Politics 2012 – Culture wars: Killing babies
'The President Has Not Changed His Position' on Contraceptive Mandate, WH Chief of Staff Says
(CNSNews.com)

Say, is he telling the truth for once? I see a lot of weasel words and tap-dancing, but it still comes out as “the government orders you to violate your religious beliefs by doing something you consider to be a grievous sin, but you must obey MEN rather than GOD.

Mama's Note: The problem is that religious belief is irrelevant in the long run... government has no legitimate power to order us to violate our self determined self interest in any way.

Medical and health
Big meals in "memory loss link" in elderly
( BBC News)

Too much is bad – too little is bad; in the elderly as well as children. As if we haven’t known this for a few thousand years.

Mama's Note: And only the individual and his/her family, perhaps in cooperation with trusted health care professionals, can decide what is too much or too little - if they even care.

Self Defense
Texas: Store owner shoots trespasser
(Click2Houston)

“Houston police said the 49-year-old owner of the New Land Food Store, 822 West Little York, called 911 at 9:30 p.m. Thursday and said a man was trespassing. Investigators said Terrance Hall, 33, was agitated when he entered the store and tried to get into a back room. When he couldn't, he climbed onto an ATM machine, over plexiglass and fell behind the counter, police said. During a confrontation, the store owner, Thom Vu, grabbed a gun and fired several shots, investigators said." (02/10/12)

Honestly, it doesn’t sound like he really needed to shoot: he could have let the guy continue to stumble around and just kicked him in the head – or even let him injure himself beyond reason.

War on some drugs
Singer Tony Bennett calls for legalizing drugs
(Rawstory.com via Freedom’s Phoenix)

In a speech reacting to the death of Whitney Houston, legendary singer Tony Bennett urged the U.S. government to legalize drugs once and for all. Bennett’s comments came at the Clive Davis pre-Grammy party where Houston was found dead a few hours before. “First it was Michael Jackson, then it was Amy Winehouse, and now the magnificent Whiteny [sic] Houston,” Bennett said, according to USA Today. “I would like every gentleman and lady in this room to commit themselves to get our government to legalize drugs. So they can be getting to a doctor, not to some gangsters who sell them up under the table. There’s enough going on, and it’s time to straighten out our own lives. We’re the greatest country in the world, and we should never forget that.”

Never mind that tens of thousands die – it has to be the “beautiful people” that die to cause statements like this. The more that buy into this, the more likely a consensus is to develop. Still, Whitney Houston is NO role model for drug legalization.

Politics 2012 – Culture wars: Killing babies
Notre Dame Faculty to Obama: ‘This Is a Grave Violation of Religious Freedom and Cannot Stand’
(CNSNews.com)

So why has the Notre Dame facility and administration supported the FedGov violation of so many OTHER freedoms? This university (and every Catholic-affiliated one that I know of) has given up its religious and every other kind of freedom a LONG time ago, when they started taking stolen money from the government.

Politics 2012 – Culture wars: Killing babies
Birth Control Is a Woman's 'Right,' Dems Say; It's Not About Birth Control, GOP Counters
(CNSNews.com)

Self defense is a human right – killing other humans for the sake of convenience or because their parents were rapists or abusers is NO one’s right. More and more it seems as if there MUST be a civil war (not a war between states), there is no need to look further for an issue: are we going to continue killing millions of children, or come up with ways to not do that? Yes, I know this matter is more complex than that, but the dividing lines tend to boil everything down to a very simple yes-or-no.

Striking back
Anonymous invites CIA, others to its weekend party
(CNet News)

"Anonymous is having a busy weekend. The loose-knit hacking collective, which last week scored a coup against the FBI, claimed yesterday to have taken down the CIA's Web site, in what appeared to be a distributed denial of service attack (one of the group's specialties, such relatively unsophisticated attacks paralyze Web servers with waves of data requests). The group also posted information it said was pilfered from police and government servers in Alabama, and, as blog RT reported, took down the Mexican Senate and Interior Ministry Web sites." (02/11/12)

Sounds like fun! I discovered that at least one federal agency is approaching three weeks without internet service or e-mail thanks to such attacks.

First Citizen’s Minions?/Master? – Nanny state
First Lady Reaches Out to Faith-Based Groups With Healthy Eating Video Challenge
(CNSNews.com)

Scripture warns us about this – people who use mundane things to lure people into sin. Somehow, I can see her as this sort of agent for dark powers.

Islamic wars: Arab Street Revolt
Muslim Brotherhood Warns U.S. Aid Cut May Affect Egypt’s Peace Treaty With Israel
(CNSNews.com)

Well, not ALL of us are so stupid as not to see this coming – or understand how US aid bought and continues to pay for Egyptian-Israeli peace. Why is it that we are so willing to try to buy friendship from some nations and groups and yet refuse to even offer friendship to others?

Politics 2012
Romney Edges Santorum in CPAC Straw Poll
(CNSNews.com)

And Paul was not allowed to be there – he is too liberal? Or does he just have too many principles?

Romney Highlights ‘Conservative Constants’ in CPAC Speech
(CNSNews.com)

I’m surprised he can even pronounce the word “constant” properly. He is not constant nor is he consistent. NOR is he a conservative. But he IS a politician.

Santorum: Rights Come From ‘Higher Authority,’ Not Government
(CNSNews.com)

Ah, but WHICH Higher Authority is Santorum referring to? A similar question should be (but won’t) asked of Romney: is his higher authority the General Authorities (of the CJCLdS) in Salt Lake or Heavenly Father. Some may claim he is a “social conservative” but I just see another flavor of “moderate” semi-socialist statist with a very few redeeming points. Much as I would LIKE to think he is not being hypocritical with this very true statement.

Politics 2012 – Culture wars: Killing babies
Catholic Bishops: Obama's Solution 'Is Unacceptable'
(CNSNews.com)

Good, I was afraid that they would cave. Their reputation, after all, is somewhat shady.

Islamic wars: Arab Street Revolt
Arab League Wants U.N. Peacekeepers in Syria
(CNSNEws.com)

This really does not sound kosher, to say the least. Perhaps they mean “Arab” troops under a UN authorization, but I cannot believe that Canadian or German or Italian or Japanese troops would be viewed as anything but yet another “crusade” against the Ummah.

Islamic war: killing for Allah – Tranzi stupidity
Saudi Arabia: Newspaper columnist could face death for insulting Muhammed on Twitter
(Daily Mail)

"A newspaper columnist could be the first person to face the death penalty for remarks he made on Twitter after he was arrested for allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad. Writer Hamza Kashgari fled his native Saudi Arabia for Malaysia after some Islamic clerics called for him to be put to death for his tweet. But the 23-year-old was arrested as soon as he arrived in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur on Thursday and was deported back to Saudi Arabia yesterday despite protests from human rights groups." (02/12/12)

What this story (and many others) did not report was this was done through INTERPOL – which could do the same thing in the US or any European or British country, based on various treaties. Indeed, based on treaties, a NON-Saudi, even an American or Brit, could be arrested and extradited for such a “crime.” See the details in one of Tuesday’s stories.

Europe’s collapse
Greece: Riots spread across Athens, buildings in flames
(Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

"Rioting spread across central Athens and buildings went up in flames amid mass protests, as lawmakers prepared to vote for a crucial debt deal needed to prevent bankruptcy. Clashes erupted across the city center after more than 100,000 protesters marched to parliament to rally against drastic austerity cuts that will force firing in the civil service and slash the minimum wage." (02/12/12)

Foreshadowing of next summer’s Occupy protests in the United States as things grow more dire? These protesters burn down historic buildings and create MORE damage which must be repaired – for the sake of more handouts, more welfare, and more destruction of their economy. Contrast these to the next ones.

Stealing liberty - reaction
Anti-ACTA protests erupt across Europe
(Reuters)

"Tens of thousands of protesters took part in rallies across Europe on Saturday against an international anti-piracy agreement they fear will curb their freedom to download movies and music for free and encourage Internet surveillance. More than 25,000 demonstrators braved freezing temperatures in German cities to march against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) while 4,000 Bulgarians in Sofia rallied against the agreement designed to strengthen the legal framework for intellectual property rights [sic]." (02/12/12)

Reuters’ stand on this is obvious – it is not so much about downloading for free as about surveillance and the extremist “IP rights” that this treaty forces on everyone. Notice that these are not reported, as burning buildings and demanding government handouts continue.

Theft by government – Congress in action
Global Evidence on Taxes and Economic Growth: Payroll Taxes Have No Effect
(TAX FOUNDATION)

There is no significant relationship between payroll taxes and long-term economic growth, based on OECD data on 34 member countries between 2000 and 2010...

You can view this several ways, but come to the same conclusion: the temporary cut in FICA is nothing but smoke and mirrors and allows them to avoid the REAL economic stimulus actions: cutting or ELIMINATING high personal and corporate income taxes.

Medical – Nanny State
Some Physicians Are Not Always Open or Honest With Patients
(HEALTH AFFAIRS)

Approximately one-third of physicians surveyed did not completely agree with disclosing serious medical errors to patients...

“We know better.” “You aren’t strong enough or know enough to understand it anyway.” “Eight or Forty-eight or Eighty-eight, they are just dumb patients who don’t need to be told.” The arrogance of the intellectual “priests” of medicine is a constant. Together with the greed of far too many, as the next story hints.

Medical – Stupid people
Hospitals Mine Their Patients' Records In Search Of Customers
(KAISER HEALTH NEWS)

When the Henry Ford Health System promoted mammograms last year in mailings to 30,000 women aged 40 or older, more than 5,700 responded -- 304 more than in the control group...

One of the wonderful “un-benefits” of making medicine into “health services” and making it big business instead of a traditionally professional service is this kind of activity to support the greed of administrators and political doctors and staff.

Government lies – Crash of 2012
The Bad News Behind the January Jobs Report
(FOX NEWS)

At the end of last year, the Congressional Budget Office cautioned that the official unemployment rate was about 1.25 percentage points lower than the real rate; in January, that gap was about 1.6 percentage points...

I am tired of rehashing this, but it needs to be said: we cannot trust any of these numbers, but have to look strictly at the world we see around us: in much of the nation jobs are very hard to find and businesses are sliding under at a rapid rate.

Seven Things to NEVER share to Facebook (or any other on-line site)
  • Birthdate and birthplace – even just the month and day!
  • Home Address, ESPECIALLY if you just talked about going to Disney World for a week
  • Vacation plans
  • Confessions: stupid or illegal things, pet ideas, “great deals,” etc.
  • Password OR password hints, even indirectly
  • Risky behaviors: want your insurance or gal interviewing you for a job to know you do this for fun?
  • Whether you own any weapons or have any food or supplies stored for emergencies.
Taken from several different news stories this week in professional journals.

Mama's Note: It's been true a long time, but with the most recent information spy grab by Google, all "social interaction" sites must now be viewed as seriously dangerous to your privacy - and maybe your life. Just remember that it doesn't really matter where you post it, nothing you put up on line, including unencrypted email, is in the least private. If you don't want anyone and everyone to know your business, don't broadcast it unencrypted.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Environists – Theft by government
EPA's Approaching Regulatory Avalanche
(TEXAS PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION)

Cumulatively, Environmental Protection Agency rules scheduled to become effective in the next three years could cost more than $1 trillion and destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs...

Add that to the trillions of dollars and millions of jobs cost in the past 40 years, and the amount is staggering – and the rate is increasing. They keep coming and coming and coming. And this doesn’t even include the way that EXISTING rules and regulations are reinterpreted to cause still MORE cost and prevent MORE work from getting done.

Stupid government
Increasing America's Competitiveness
(MERCATUS CENTER )

U.S. firms compete at a disadvantage to foreign competitors and the pervasive tax code incentivizes ends that are not optimal or efficient...

Proof once more that government interference in the market is bad – very bad.

Crash of 2009
Oil and Gas Boom Lifts U.S. Economy
(WALL STREET JOURNAL)

The use of new drilling techniques to tap oil and gas in shale rocks far underground helped add about 158,500 new oil and gas jobs over the past five years...

More than the billions of stimulus? Maybe. But I know that many, many thousands of jobs have never materialized or have been lost – thanks to government interference and environist stupidity. And I know that the US EXPORTS more gasoline than it uses at home – which means that SOME of that money lost in unbalanced trade is coming back. Yet the government refuses to recognize and allow this to happen more.

First Citizen – Theft by government (3 stories)
Obama: Not Raising Taxes is a Form of Government Spending
(CNSNews.com)

I am hardly the only one to point out that this is one proof of his arrogant attitude towards the people of the nation (and world) and his philosophy of government. EVERYTHING WE OWN is the “governments’) (because his god Lincoln stated government was “of the people, by the people, and for the people”?), and anything that they let us keep – even if they never took it from us before, is STILL spending by the government.

White House Underestimated 2012 Deficit by $769.5B--or 138 Percent
(CNSNews.com)

I am sure this was NOT a mistake – but an intentional lie. This is more than $2000 per man, woman and child in the nation – and what did it buy us? Apparently not enough, based on the next story.

Obama to Increase Federal Spending 53 Percent by 2022
(CNSNews.com)

Ah, yes, cutting government in his own special way. Seriously, government spending is somewhere between 33 and 50% of our gross national product, and he wants to kick it up to 50% or even 75%? Shall we be like the other nations around us, and have the government absorb EVERYTHING? We know it will have to come crashing down – sooner or later – but the later and the more spent, the more disastrous when it all falls.

First Citizen – Theft by government (Medical side: 2 stories)
25 Percent of Seniors to Face Highest Medicare Premiums Under Obama Budget
(CNSNews.com)

More theft, less services, and more excuses. Yet at the same time, see the next story!

Obama Budget to Spend 1.5 Times as Much on Health Care as on Defense
(CNSNews.com)

And we know that the military budget is way WAY too high, so what does this lead us to, given raises in what we have to pay out of pocket (and not just seniors)? Theft upon theft, fraud, corruption, and supporting an ever growing underclass. Including many seniors who pay NOTHING for Medicare or any other “insurance” plan but suck the public teat.

Abominable Act
Michelle Bachmann: ‘Every Single American Is Negatively Impacted by Obamacare’
(CNSNews.com)

Who? Seriously, this needs to be said frequently and loudly: too many people have forgotten. Not just the increased spending and deficits, the taxes that are not taxes, the fees that are not fees, and the fines that are not fines: more and more people are abandoning medical services as a profession, sick and tired of the whole mess. And then we have the various sneak things, like the contraceptive mandate.

Mama's Note: More and more people are also seeking natural alternatives to western medicine, drugs and doctors who work for the state. A little silver lining in the dark cloud. But yes, many of the best and most capable practitioners are abandoning ship... as has been happening for at least ten years. Find natural alternatives, and learn about wellness now... while you still can.

First Citizen’s minions
Obama Chief of Staff Misleads on How Budget Process Works in Senate
(CNSNews.com)

Is this being misleading or being stupid and NOT KNOWING how it works (or is supposed to, or both)?

Home front – Politics 2012
Santorum: Occupy Protesters Represent 'True Intolerance'
(CNSNews.com)

An excellent point, but too broad a paintbrush? There are still many different factions and opinions represented among these groups, although the bad publicity, the spectacularly bad eggs, and weather have driven out many of the fellow-travelers, and allowed the true radicals to dominate even more.

Stupid government tricks – Islamic war: Arab street revolts (3 stories)
State Dep’t Budget Seeks to Spend $770 Million on ‘Arab Spring’ Reforms in 11 Countries
(CNSNews.com)

Another way to waste money – trying to buy friends. The question is, of course, why are AMERICAN taxpayers supposed to pay for these reforms – and are they paying for reforms or paying bribes and tribute to the “new” Arab leaders?

Administration Seeks $4.1 Billion for Int’l Bodies, Including ‘Palestine’-Embracing UNESCO
(CNSNews.com)

This is, of course, in ADDITION to the Arab Spring money, the subsidies for Egyptian military and all the other initiatives around the world, and to the voluntary donation of billions by millions of Americans.

Egyptian Cabinet Minister Says U.S. Sought Chaos in Egypt
(CNSNews.com)

And of course, we see how our “generosity” is rewarded by those who gulp up this money. You can’t buy friendship – but you CAN buy hatred and distrust. I honestly don’t think we really sought chaos – just that our bureaucrats and Congress and the rest believe too many of their own lies.

Congress in action
GOP leaders drop key demand in payroll tax cut standoff
(CNN)

"In a sharp turnaround, House Republican leaders Monday dropped a key demand that the cost of extending the payroll tax cut be offset by spending cuts elsewhere in the budget. The decision removes a major obstacle to passage of the tax cut extension for the rest of the year -- a move that has been in question." (02/13/12)

Oh, courage, would you find any heart in which to dwell in the Capitol? Gutless wonders, and totally inept at being able to explain ANYthing to voters except “Me WANT YOUR vote.”

Europe’s Collapse
Why the EU Should Break Up
(THE AMERICAN)

The EU in its current form is almost certainly unsalvageable and the governments of France and Germany should give thought to their plans beyond the EU's recovery...

The last thing we want is a truly unified Europe, with or without the UK – but this is being used as an excuse to create just that: a united Europe that would of necessity be controlled from Berlin, with Paris as a secondary partner. Freedom in Europe might be lost for centuries. A break-up is best.

First Citizen
Obama Proposes Doubling Highway Spending on Military Savings
(Bloomberg, Via AASHTO Daily Brief)

Oh, really? What “military savings” – oh, the money that would have otherwise been used to keep killing Mesopotamians and Afghanis.

Stupid government tricks
GOP Revives Pipeline Push in Highway Bill
(The Hill, Via AASHTO Daily Brief)

They keep trying, but meanwhile they fill the bill with such a huge amount of lard that just reading the thing triggers a gout attack.

East Asian front - Revolt
China: Government officials flee Zhejiang village over land grab protests
(libcom.org)

"Another Chinese village, apparently inspired by the Wukan uprising of last year, has been protesting over land grabs, causing the local government officials to flee. Around 5000 villagers of East and West Panhe Villages, Cangnan County, in Zhejiang Province, are now reported to be running the village themselves." (02/12/12)

Thanks to Mary Lou Seymour for this one. I wonder just how terrified the local officials ARE? And what Beijing is planning? Roman style would have included crucifying at least every fifth or tenth villager: can the Red Chinese do any less than round-eyed barbarians?

Mama's Note: Running the village themselves, eh? :)

Self-defense
Houston Defensive Gun Use Story Lessons Fly In Face Of “Conventional Wisdom”
(Ammoland.com)

A good article worth reading.

Self defense – Local tyranny
NY: Marine guns for justice
Source: New York Post)

"Manhattan prosecutors have quietly offered a no-jail, misdemeanor deal to the retired young Marine facing a mandatory 3 1/2-year prison sentence after trying to check his Indiana-registered handgun at the Empire State Building, court papers reveal. But former TOW gunner Ryan Jerome -- who has garnered letter-writing support from hundreds of current and former Marines -- is saying no thanks and continues to ask that the case be dropped altogether." (02/13/12)

He is blessed that he has a lot of people willing to donate for his defense so that he can fight it. Too many of us would be forced to accept the plea bargain simply because we could not afford the legal fees. We pray that he wins this – AND a big chunk of change for their illegal actions.

Space
NASA eyes plan for deep-space outpost near the moon
(Fox News)

"NASA is pressing forward on assessing the value of a 'human-tended waypoint' near the far side of the moon -- one that would embrace international partnerships as well as commercial and academic participation, SPACE.com has learned. According to a Feb. 3 memo from William Gerstenmaier, NASA's associate administrator for human exploration and operations, a team is being formed to develop a cohesive plan for exploring a spot in space known as the Earth-moon libration point 2 (EML-2)." (02/13/12)

“There will be pie in the sky by and by – but you won’t be able to see it because it is hiding behind Luna.” I don’t hold my breath – NASA is virtually certain to be incapable of actually doing this.

Interpol Becoming Sharia International Police
(Godfather Politics)

Hamza Kashgari is a newspaper reporter from Saudi Arabia. He was in Malaysia when local police, acting on behalf of Interpol, detained and arrested him. Kashgari was then immediately returned to Saudi Arabia to face [blasphemy towards their Prophet] charges that carry the death penalty. …

Executive Order 13524 was issued by President Obama in December of 2009. Obama’s order conferred that Interpol has the privileges of a foreign diplomatic mission on many issues within the United States. McCarthy and others believe that Interpol could use Obama’s executive order to act on any red notices issued by foreign governments against US citizens. They say they would not be surprised to see Interpol agents arresting US citizens and deporting them to any country that issues a red notice against them. …Now add to this revelation of Interpol’s free reign in the US to the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act that gives the military the right to arrest and detain Americans without due process of law. …In fact, as it stands right now, any reporter or blogger such as myself who writes anything critical of Islam or Sharia law, could suddenly disappear from our homes, only to reappear in an Islamic court half way around the world and good old Uncle Sam won’t even bat an eyelash.

The author of the above makes an appeal to write/call Congress to get them to pass laws overriding the EC 13524. Don’t waste your time: they’ve had more than two years to do it, and they WON’T. Why? First, their heads are in the sand. Second, they WANT that kind of power and the chance to use Interpol (or some future international organization) as a scapegoat. Third, just by writing, YOU can add another listing to your existing one on the NDAA indefinite detention list, which Congress passed IN SPITE OF millions of people trying to get them to NOT vote on it. Face it, folks, you are (as the old crude saying goes) “screwed, blued, and tattooed.” The chains aren’t on your wrists and ankles yet, but can be with a single phone call or text-message. And there is NO statute of limitations on “blasphemy” in Shari’ah or Islam.

Government-run, theft-funded schools – Nannystate government
Food Police Invade North Carolina School
(Carolina Journal Online via Godfather Politics)

A preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School ate three chicken nuggets for lunch Jan. 30 because a state employee told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious. The girl’s turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the agent who was inspecting all lunch boxes in her More at Four classroom that day. The Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services requires all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs — including in-home day care centers — to meet USDA guidelines. That means lunches must consist of one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables, even if the lunches are brought from home.

Ironically, that is also almost exactly what I had for lunch before this: turkey (1 oz.) 2 slices American cheese, 2 slices whole wheat bread, apple juice, five or six potato chips. I put mustard (HONEY mustard) on the sandwich. Seems to me the meal punched all the tickets: meat, milk (cheese IS milk), bread, banana and apple juice (a fruit!). Maybe the teacher is stupid – many are.
But as Mama Liberty reminds me, the REAL crime here is not whether or not the meal is nutritious, but the POWER this stupid woman has to take a child’s food away from them period – or even to “inspect!” But we all know what my next words are: GET YOUR CHILDREN OUT OF THESE EVIL INSTITUTIONS. NOW!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Stupid government tricks
Obama Wants to Restore U.S. Funding for UNESCO, After It Admitted ‘Palestine’
(CNSNews.com)

He keeps his promises to the Arabs of Canaan better than to Americans

Stupid government tricks – Politics 2012/First Citizen
Hillary Clinton Announcing Climate Change Initiative -- After Big Donor Deserts Obama Over Climate Change
(CNSNews.com)

So there are some things more important than donors? Interesting.

First Citizen - Stupid government tricks
Meese: Obama Administration 'As Close to a Monarchy As Since Days Of George III'
(CNSNews.com)

Perhaps in image, but in substance, is there much difference between this one, Clinton’s, Nixon’s, or FDRs’s to name a few?

Stupid government tricks – First Citizen
Republican Senator: Obama Administration Is 'a Lawless Administration
(CNSNews.com)

This comes as no surprise, except that SOMEone in Congress has the guts to say it? Especially when it is the pot calling the kettle black? So, why aren’t they at least getting someone in the House of Representatives to introduce impeachment? GUTLESS.

First Citizen – World wars
Obama Says America More Respected Around World Under His Presidency
(CNSNews.com)

So now he’s a comedian?

Home front – East Asian front
Xi Jinping visits Iowa, where the diplomatic equivalent of love is in the air
(Washington Post)

Love is in the air in Iowa — or at least the diplomatic equivalent of it. When Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping arrived in this small town late Wednesday, carefully chosen welcoming gifts were on hand, nostalgic remembrances were on everyone’s lips and hearts all around were ready for the wooing.

Now, if Iowa is going to sign a treaty of eternal friendship and solidarity with Peking, I want South Dakota to get its nukes back, and to get some additional fighter aircraft in Sioux Falls: Sioux City and Des Moines are within very easy strike distance of South Dakota’s ONLY fighter aircraft: Ellsworth has only bombers and maybe some UAVs – no fighters.

Congress in action – Lawless government
Rep. Fortenberry: ‘We'll Let the Courts Decide’ If It's Constitutional to Force Companies to Provide Products for Free
(CNSNews.com)

You too can abdicate your responsibilities, just like Congress. What a joke. Almost as funny as the First Citizen.

First Citizen – Crash of 2009
Obama Talks Fairness in Competition for Jobs
(CNSNews.com)

Yes, we all know how well he talks – but don’t look at his actions. Or rather, DO.

Home front – Border jumpers – Stupid government
Napolitano: ‘A Small Number’ of Illegal Aliens Not Linked to Other Crimes Were Deported Last Year
(CNSNews.com)

Any is better than none? We used to have a FAR better way of dealing with those immigrants who turned out to be bad eggs: LOCAL people and their governments: town, city, county: took care of them. Sometimes it was a few days or weeks at hard labor, sometimes it was “useful public service” and sometimes it required a rope and scaffold, but for generations, we took care of it at home. Just as we did the bad eggs that were native-born.

Mama's Note: Amen...

Congress in action – Lawless government
Hoyer Won’t Say Whether Government Can Force Businesses to Provide a Product Free of Charge
(CNSNews.com)

Sly and cunning – just not very smart.

Sen. Conrad Dodges Question on Constitutionality of Mandating Health Insurers to Provide Contraceptives, Morning-After Pill
(CNSNews.com)

Smarter than Hoyer, at least.

HHS Secretary Grilled on Contraceptive Mandate: 'I Did Not Speak to the Catholic Bishops'
(CNSNews.com)

Why should she? You don’t have to personally deliver your orders to your slaves – that is what you have straw bosses and foremen for!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Stupid government markets
How Big Sugar Robs You
(The American)

A system of import quotas and domestic supply controls effectively doubles the price U.S. consumers pay for sugar and increases annual food costs by about $9 per person...

This is one of dozens of similarly “blessed” commodities that do not enjoy a free market. This one is particularly interesting, because it was artificially high food prices that caused (among other things) soft-drink producers to switch from sugar to high-fructose corn syrup, believed by many people to be even MORE evil than sugar as far as health. The consequences of government interference with our daily lives are horrible.

Stupid government markets
High-Risk Insurance Pools Short on Enrollees
(Politico)

About 45,000 people have signed up for the federally funded high-risk insurance pools -- well short of the 375,000 the Medicare actuary had predicted for the end of 2010...

An incompetent actuary who believes government propaganda? Probably – that, and who can afford it?

Theft by government
The Obama Budget
(Wall Street Journal)

The Obama administration predicts that the current fiscal year will see spending rise by $193 billion to $3.8 trillion -- the equivalent to 24.3 percent of gross domestic product...

This is the worst yet, and not only proving him a liar, but breaking still more promises. And I predict that Congress will scream a lot and do nothing.

Our right of self-defense - Northern neighbors
Canadians repeal long-gun registry
(National Post)

Thanks to Scott for this one. Good news, obviously, but what an incredibly painful and difficult and long process it was just to get back to something CLOSE to what Canadians once enjoyed (before 1968, as I recall). And given Canada’s system, how fragile this victory is.

Nanny-state:
Arizona: Supreme Court lets AHCCCS cuts stand
(Arizona Republic)

"The Arizona Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to review an appeal challenging cuts to the state's Medicaid program, letting stand an enrollment freeze that has locked thousands of poor residents out of government-paid health insurance. An estimated 100,000 childless adults will lose Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System coverage this fiscal year. The state has turned away an untold number since a lower-court judge allowed the cap to take effect in July." (02/16/12)

As Mama Liberty posted, "a good start." But my question is how long the FedGov will allow them to do this, and what actions will it take to force Arizona to change? Arizona is a favorite target of the First Citizen and his minions for a variety of things, and getting worse. As she pointed out: "Who knows... but that's sort of the point. It will be strange indeed if Arizona is the first state to seriously challenge the feds. But I'm all for it."

Nazgul - Politics 2012
Two justices suggest Citizens United ruling should be reconsidered in Montana case
(Washington Post)

Two Supreme Court justices suggested Friday that the court reconsider its controversial 2010 decision that allowed unlimited corporate and union spending in elections. The suggestion came as the court blocked a Montana Supreme Court decision upholding a century-old ban on corporate campaign spending in the state.

This should be very interesting, considering that there are still thousands of little movements that are trying to create chaos in order to “repeal” this decision. This is a tough argument for libertarians - well, for minarchists, at least. Do groups of people have FEWER or MORE rights than individuals? If people want to band together to donate money to political causes or candidates, are they any less able to do so than if they do it individually? But can we forbid artificial entities from claiming and exercising the same rights as humans? (Careful, all you science-fiction people out there! Robots, androids, cyborgs?) Is a political organization (like a political party) different from a commercial organization? Does it matter if a company has one or two or ten or ten thousand owners? If it is a partnership or a LLC or a corporation? Many states, even those who recognize the human right to carry arms and defend yourself and others, still have laws on the books (and enforced!) that prohibit “armed bodies” - or at least SOME kinds of armed bodies like mercenaries or vigilantes or certain kinds of security forces or war-parties. Is this right? I think Montana is wrong, but I can understand their reasoning and history - just as I think that Texas’ long standing prohibition on concealed carry was wrong but understood its reasoning and history. The problem is NOT with who pays for what campaigning and such - but the power that we let government have and continue to take from all of us. And I don’t trust the Nazgul to decide this morally.

No one should be forced to act against his conscience
(Sheldon Richman Future of Freedom Foundation)

"A question arises from the recent controversy between President Obama and the Catholic Church that aches for an answer: If Catholic institutions have a right to abstain from paying for what morally offends them, why don’t the rest of us?" (02/16/12)

Mama's Note: Exactly.

Nathan: Many of us are asking the same question. And why only in Catholic “groups” and not individual Catholics who work and pay for insurance through companies, or companies owned by Catholics? That IS the point of freedom: we ALL deserve and should enjoy liberty.

Abominable Act
HHS Allows Obamacare Modification in Only 7 of the 17 States That Requested One
(CNSNews.com)

Governing by men and not laws –Chicago politics.

The only natural law is the law of non-aggression. All other "laws" are made by men, so the difference vanishes.

Theft by government
'Feasibility Studies' for Tribal Clean Energy Projects Will Cost More Than Actual Projects
(CNSNews.com)

Not the first time this has happened. He wants to make sure that the money gets spread around enough in time for the election.

Stupid government – Government attack on faith
Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist and Jewish Leaders Swear Disobedience to HHS Contraception Mandate
(CNSNews.com)

Good – now how about a similar oath for ALL forms of tyranny – even if just limited to what is constitutionally-invalid? A good start.

Home Front – Local tyranny – Stupid people tricks
Federal Court Says 60 Churches Can Keep Meeting in NYC Public Schools – For Now
(CNSNews.com)

So, Bloomberg is thwarted – for now. But these churches STILL must answer the questions: Whom do they worship? God or government? Who provides for them? God or government? They must stop depending on the evils of human government to be able to worship and teach and practice their faith.

Italian police seize fake bonds worth a third of US national debt
 (VIDEO)
(Yahoo.com)
A huge batch of fake US Treasury bonds worth some $6 trillion – more than a third of the US national debt – has been seized by Italian police. Eight Italians have been arrested and accused of a large-scale international fraud. The Italian police seized six trillion dollars in FAKE US Treasury bonds - a face value of more than 1/3 of the total US public debt. It was being used in an attempt to swindle one or more Swiss banks, and Italy and Swiss authorities cooperated in the bust.

That is a staggering amount, and probably the reason it was detected: as far as I know, only China and the Social Security System own so much US debt. Of course, it isn’t a third - only about 5% of the REAL US Debt when you figure ALL the liabilities, like real people and real business must.

Mama's Note: As opposed to all of the other truly fake debt the US government admits to. None of it is truly the debt of ordinary people who did not ever agree to it, of course.

****************
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Nathan Barton
Written from the Four Corners, a land and community which has some (but not much) freedom left, but where even that liberty hangs by a thread. Nathan is a christian, a free-market anarchist, military officer, engineer, and writer. Feel free to contact him through The Price of Liberty.

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