Libertarian Commentary on the News, #15-02E: Fear

By Nathan Barton

A lot of fear floating around these days.  A lot of stories relate to that common problem.  We all have fears, and there is nothing wrong with that: it is when we let our fears drive our actions, when we lack the courage to deal with our fear and overcome it, that there is a problem, and that seems the situation in most of these stories.

Is the blue flu over? The NYPD says arrests, tickets picking up again after slowdown.  Mama Liberty: It will be interesting to see if the folks in NYC even notice… or what they do about it if so. Sadly, I fear that the people of the City have not enjoyed their relative freedom long enough to get too upset about again losing it… and their fears will rule them. Continue reading

Posted in Commentary on the News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The evils of natural gas

By Nathan Barton

You have a nice warm house.  That is a luxury that very few people had for millennia, at least if they didn’t live in the tropics or have servants. Used to be that people EXPECTED the interior of their houses to be at or below freezing on a winter morning. Older children often had the horrible chore of getting the fire started, putting on the wood or the coal or – nasty: the buffalo chips – in the stove or the fireplace to warm the place up.  Then they invented the automatic-feeding (supposedly) coal furnace, which could still be a VERY unpleasant thing to keep running (few people today in the Fifty States have ever had to deal with one of those awful things).

But then, like with air conditioning (at the other end of the human temperature scale), along came natural gas and its sister propane, and cousin fuel oil. Life changed, for the better, in a LOT of ways. Continue reading

Posted in Nathan's Rants | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Black is White (Was: Libertarian Commentary on the News, #15-02D)

by Nathan Barton

In a separate commentary, I wrote about the exposure of hypocrisy made possible by the Paris Massacre and its aftermath.  But I see that I was premature in understanding just HOW disgusting the aftermath can get.  On Monday the 12th, the White House Press Secretary had the unmitigated gall to stand up and proclaim that black is white, evil is good, and right is wrong.  Let me quote from the Daily Caller, which in turn quotes this Goebbels of the 21st Century speaking for the Fuehrer.  President Barack Obama has a moral responsibility to push back on the nation’s journalism community when it is planning to publish anti-jihadi articles that might cause a jihadi attack against the nation’s defense forces, the White House’s press secretary said Jan. 12. “The president … will not now be shy about expressing a view or taking the steps that are necessary to try to advocate for the safety and security of our men and women in uniform” whenever journalists’ work may provoke jihadist attacks, spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters at the White House’s daily briefing.” Continue reading

Posted in Commentary on the News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Charlie Hebdo and the Exposure of Hypocrisy

By Nathan Barton

Whatever else the Paris Massacre of the staff of Charlie Hebdo and the related killings at a kosher supermarket in Paris has done, it has again exposed the total hypocrisy of a whole lot of people.

Consider the response of Ami and Brit news networks (like CNN) who refuse to show the cover of the post-massacre edition of Charlie Hebdo, which has a caricature of the evil Prophet (peanut butter und honig) on it, going to great lengths to hide it.  They supposedly claim “I am Charlie” but don’t have the guts to do what the French satirical magazine did.  And it is guts, I’m sure: they don’t want to be a target of more “violent extremists.”

And consider the response of the French government, who while gloriously proclaiming their wonderful liberties, especially that of free speech for which these people supposedly died, are busy arresting people who have made comments that might, just might, be considered “Anti-Semitic.”  And at the same time trying to keep the Israeli prime minister from joining with other leaders from around the world in their great memorial and protest.  Liberty?  Fraternity? Equality?  Not in socialist, Tranzi, France. Continue reading

Posted in Nathan's Rants | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

What Happened To Vanilla?

By MamaLiberty

OK folks, I realize that this is totally unimportant, given the state of the country and all of the obvious evil and suffering in the world, but I’m having a hard time dealing with much of that this morning so I was thinking of other things…

My first cup of coffee is almost always just perfect, since I grind my own beans fresh, but since I’m frugal (yes, “scotch”), I make two cups at a time. The second cup tends to be old and cold after four hours, so I reheat it in the microwave. It has a funny taste black, so I add a little vanilla flavoring sometimes along with some half and half.  But it isn’t very satisfying these days.

What happened to the flavor of vanilla? I remember clearly the wonderful sweet, wholesome fragrance each time the bottle was opened in my mother’s kitchen. The taste was sweet and clean, exotically floral even, a real comfort flavor. I remember the same smell and taste as I baked and cooked for my little family in the early years.

I can’t remember when it changed….

Now there is little to indicate that “vanilla” is at all related to that ghostly memory. I find myself using less and less of it as the years go by. I’ve bought every kind imaginable, from the cheapest to the most expensive. I’ve purchased pure vanilla extract in a dozen forms, and even tried raw, whole vanilla bean.

Some time ago I realized that even commercial products that are supposedly “vanilla” flavored don’t taste like real vanilla now. They are sweet, probably much sweeter with sugar than they ever were, but the best of the “sweet” isn’t the vanilla flavor anymore. “Vanilla” cookies taste like sugared lard and cardboard. I don’t buy them, but stupidly tried one at the library open house last month.

None of it smells or tastes anything like I remember. So, is it the vanilla that has changed, or my perception of it? Oranges still taste like oranges, and even the imitation does a pretty good job of tasting like oranges. Same for coconut, chocolate and everything else I can think of. Taste imitation vanilla flavor, as well as those with real vanilla extract included, and even the pure vanilla extract for yourself… do they all taste more or less like motor oil smells to you?

At least the question might distract you a few moments from the blood and circus in NYC or France…

Posted in Mama's Rants | 10 Comments

Libertarian Commentary on the News, #15-02C: More on wars and cops, fear and risk

By Nathan Barton

A variety of news items today, starting with more on our Islamic wars, worldwide.

France and Israel mourned and honored heroes in last week’s murder of 17 people by French Islamist terrorists in the Paris area, as more and more people chimed that the attacks were NOT motivated by religion, using the fact that one of the victims and one of the heroes were apostate Muslims (How can a French cop NOT be apostate?  To say nothing of a clerk at a kosher supermarket?) Stateside, the big news was that the Fuehrer (or someone “high” in his administration) did not go to the services and the four-million-person (or 1.5-milion, depending on what you believe) protest in France, and ADMITTED that they may have made a mistake in not going. So Kerry is going to Paris on Thursday to no doubt do disgusting things and “win” the French back to be our friends.  (It might have been different if one of the victims had been black, I suppose. Or if the Jews hadn’t done it.) By the way, apparently the French president didn’t WANT the Israeli PM to come, and the Turkish Premier condemned Netanyahu for coming. Ah, isn’t it wonderful how people stand up against terrorism? Continue reading

Posted in Commentary on the News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Libertarian commentary on the news, #15-02B: Cop wars, Islamic wars, and more stupidity

By Nathan Barton

Good morning! Welcome to the Cop wars:

New York City police officers have been told not to take any vacation or sick days until the number of low-level arrests and summonses return to normal levels, according to a published report. According to the New York Post, officers in individual precincts are being ordered to hand in “activity sheets” to borough commanders. The sheets describe the number of arrests and summonses made during each officer’s shift.  Mama Liberty: The floggings will continue until morale improves…  I wonder just how many of these people will simply quit and go elsewhere? Not enough, probably, but some. And I wonder how long they will hold out this way. It’s actually amazing to see such defiance by the police. Nathan: I suspect many WILL come down with “blue flu” – how can they legally tell someone NOT to take sick leave?  And what does it matter whether they fill out one more form or not? Continue reading

Posted in Commentary on the News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I am NOT Charlie

By Nathan Barton

“I am NOT ‘Charlie’”

Really.  Within hours of the cold-blooded murder of a dozen people in the totally unarmed and virtually undefended offices of an “in your face” comic magazine in Paris, the signs started appearing: at first hand-made but quickly printed professionally.  “Je Suis Charlie” or “We Are Charlie” is a fad, a hash-tag, and an excuse for doing little or nothing else.

Fox News reported on this in a recent story “‘We are Charlie’: Tens of thousands march to honor victims of Paris attack.”  Mama Liberty pointed out: Not a word about any need to change the “gun free zones” to facilitate self defense. Not anything even close. No, I am NOT “Charlie.” I am armed. I don’t expect anyone else to defend my right to free speech, or anything else. Continue reading

Posted in Mama's Rants, Nathan's Rants | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Libertarian commentary on the news, #15-02A: Gas prices and more

By Nathan Barton

Good morning, and I hope you have a good week.  Last week was fixated on the Islamic war, especially the European front.  But there is other news, and here are a few topics: oil and fuel being of great interest.

In a recent commentary, I discussed news that the incoming Senate Transportation Committee chair (a GOP member) was considering a gasoline and diesel fuel tax hike.  But now, Boehner promises ‘No New Gas Taxes’. Several are asking, “Is this John Boehner turning a corner? Or is it simply John Boehner playing politics and jerking conservatives around? In a surprise move today the newly reelected Speaker of the House told reporters that he did not believe that gas taxes should be raised. The Washington Examiner chimed in with some good discussion, and I note that the average tax paid on motor fuel is nearly 1/3 of the total cost: like having a sales tax of 33% on buying goods.  Yes, now fuel prices are dropping (see the next story), but that can and WILL change. Continue reading

Posted in Commentary on the News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Islamic Wars Continue to Boil (was: Libertarian commentary on the news, #15-01H)

By Nathan Barton

Once again, I seem to be devoting much of the commentary to the war on the rest of the world by Muslims (yes, “some” Muslims) and the latest manifestation in France. We must remember, though, that what France is suffering is nothing compared to the daily, even hourly, bloodbath and terror that stalks the streets and villages of a half-dozen Muslim nations and nations with much larger Muslim minorities.  And it is also important to remember that it is not just non-Muslim cartoonists and cops that are the victims: most of the deaths in the Islamic wars are of other Muslims: they gleefully kill each other far more than they kill and wound western soldiers or police or whomever.  But at the same time, they seek to make more and more of the world their own, part of the Ummah, the Dar al-Islam: the lands of submission to Allah in which the Koran, the Haditha, and Shari’a rule. Continue reading

Posted in Commentary on the News | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments