The Militant Libertarian

I'm pissed off and I'm a libertarian. What else you wanna know?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Stossel and O'Reilly on Drug Legalization

Not that Stossel was allowed to get a word in with that jackass O'Reilly spewing CO2 interruptions every three seconds.
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Anarchy for All

The Best Plan: No Plan
by Larken Rose

Suppose you were given the task of coming up with a master plan to make sure that everyone in this country, all 300,000,000 or so of us, had enough food to eat. It's all up to you!

The first obvious question would be, "What do I have to work with?" You would need to know what resources would be available to you, what powers you would have, and so on. For example, if you had to work with what you now personally own, you wouldn't have a prayer. So how much of OTHER people's money would you be given for the project? And, if you're going to plan and manage the thing, you'll need control over all sorts of things, including all the farms, lots of trucks or trains to distribute food, all the buildings, equipment and personnel for distribution locations, and so on. Try to imagine what the price tag would have to be on such an endeavor. But even if you had all the money in the world, could you do it? Do you know enough about how everything works, and could you solve all the problems that might arise?

No. You still wouldn't have a prayer of making it work. Neither would any other individual, no matter how educated, knowledgeable, or wise. (When you think of centralized control of food production, think of the bread lines in Soviet Russia.) In short, the assigned task CAN'T BE DONE, not by you or anyone else, because no person has all the knowledge required to plan, organize, or carry out such a complex, massive operation.

Luckily, no one's trying to (in this country, anyway). But if even your best effort--or the best effort of any other person--would fail, and no one's even TRYING, why aren't we all starving? In short, we have a huge excess of food in this country, with a huge variety of products at an amazingly low price, at many thousands of locations across the country, precisely because there is NO "master plan."

But isn't that terrifying? There is NO centralized scheme to feed us all! No one is being forced to produce any food, or ship it anywhere. There is NO guarantee that YOU will have anything to eat tomorrow! No one is making sure we all have food! AAAAH!!!

So why do we? Why do we have, not merely enough food to survive (which by itself is an impressive accomplishment), but a huge variety of high-quality, low cost food, even in places hundreds of miles from where most kinds of food can be grown? There wasn't even a big, centralized, concerted effort TRYING to make that happen. So what made it happen?

A guy in Florida, who figured out a new way to keep bugs off his oranges, made it happen. But not by himself. A guy who started a little trucking company in Texas, who figured out how to make things run just a bit faster and more efficiently, made it happen. But not by himself. A farmer in Iowa, who put in the extra time to cultivate that extra field, made it happen. But not by himself. MILLIONS of individuals, not governed or guided by any central plan, most of them not even aware of the rest of the picture, made it happen. But if there was no master plan making them all do what they do, and making them all work together in harmony, what could possibly have made it all work?

Simple: the quest for PERSONAL GAIN. The amazingly complex arrangements, intricate organization, ongoing adaption and problem solving, all come from what is often termed "greed." (This is nothing new to those familiar with "Austrian" economics.) The self- interest of millions of individuals, most of whom know only their tiny little piece of the big picture, is capable of doing what no centralized plan ever has, or ever could.

But let's suppose you had all those people under your command. Let's suppose you could boss them around, and let's suppose they would all gladly obey. You STILL would do a horrendous job of things. (Don't feel bad; anyone else would, too.) You wouldn't know the best route for the trucker to take, or what time of day he should drive. You wouldn't know the best time to plant and harvest corn, or how to rotate the crops most efficiently. There would literally be MILLIONS of choices to be made, and in almost every case, you wouldn't have the first clue about the right way to do anything.

In a free market, each person's bottom line creates a constant incentive for each person to figure out and make better choices. The economics phenomenon known as "the market" quickly and automatic corrects most errors. But if YOU were making all the choices, and everyone below you was just blindly following orders, it would be a complete disaster. How much wheat should go to Chicago, as opposed to Orlando? Does Los Angeles need more corn than Detroit? How could you ever hope to answer every question about how much crop each farm will produce, how fast it will get to somewhere else, how much is needed there, and so on? Of course, you could always "delegate," by giving some other busy-body a smaller number of questions that he couldn't answer correctly either. Then you'd just have a bigger bureaucracy, with similar horrible results (and more opportunity for corruption).

Actually, there is ONE way you could accomplish the stated goal, but it's really radical. You could address the nation, and boldly proclaim, "I don't KNOW how to make everything work! Figure it out for yourselves!" In other words, you could advocate ANARCHY--a complete ABSENCE of a central plan, a total departure from the whole idea of centralized planning and control. In other words, you could do NOTHING, and achieve an infinitely better result than you could have accomplished any other way.

Americans have outstanding examples of how this works, in lots of different areas (food production, transportation technology, information technology, and so on). Nonetheless, there are still areas of life in which most Americans are terrified of the idea of NOT having things centrally managed and controlled (defense and road-building being two common examples). But the laws of economics don't CHANGE from one industry to another. Human nature doesn't function one way when it comes to roads and another way when it comes to cars. The arguments showing how idiotic it is to have "government" managing food production can be applied just as well to show how idiotic it is to have "government" managing ANYTHING.

Nonetheless, we now have millions of people discussing what centralized, authoritarian, forcibly-impose "plan" might fix health care. Last week the discussion was about which centralized, authoritarian, forcibly-imposed "plan" might fix the economy. And next week there will be some other crisis--real or imagined--for which the politicians will propose yet another "master plan."

If you think ANY centralized plan can make "health care" work, you don't understand human nature or economics. If you think ANY centralized plan can protect people from crime, you don't understand human nature or economics. If you think ANY centralized plan can lead to a prosperous country, you don't understand human nature or economics. In short, if you think that having a small group of people FORCIBLY CONTROLLING everyone else will ever make society better, you don't understand reality. And if you're scared to death of the alternative, especially when it's called "anarchy" (oh, heavens!), you need to grow up.

The next time you visit the local grocery store, take a good look around, because you'll be standing in ANARCHY!

(Actually, thanks to the myriad of "regulations" and "taxes" that interfere with food production and distribution in this country, what you see is really what voluntary interaction can achieve, even with a huge number of obstacles thrown in its way.)

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Obama's Real Death Panels

by Ted Rall, Yahoo! News

Shortly after 9/11, George W. Bush secretly signed two executive orders. Both violated basic constitutional protections as well as U.S. obligations under international treaties, yet both carried the force of law.

They still do.

The first order grants the president (and other officials, including the secretary of defense, the secretary of homeland security and presumably certain postal clerks) the right to declare anyone--including an American citizen--an "unlawful enemy combatant." A person so declared has no redress, no way to appeal, no ability to challenge that designation. Once a person has been named an enemy combatant, according to the Bush Administration--and now to the Obama Administration--he has no rights. He can be held without charges forever, tortured, you name it--well, actually, the president or the secretary of defense names it.

In the second covert executive order, Bush authorized the CIA to target and assassinate said "enemy combatants"--again, including American citizens.

These two documents first came into play on November 3, 2002, when a CIA-operated Predator drone plane violating Yemeni airspace fired a Hellfire missile at a car containing Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi, supposedly Al Qaeda's #1 man in Yemen at the time.

U.S. officials didn't know that an American citizen, Kamal Derwish, was riding along. (You know what they say about hitchhiking.) "The Bush administration said the killing of an American in this fashion was legal...this is legal because the president and his lawyers say so--it's not much more complicated than that," CBS News reported at the time. "I can assure you that no constitutional questions are raised here," said Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, after the CIA assassinations. "He's well within the balance of accepted practice and the letter of his constitutional authority."

It's right there in the Constitution between the right to tax and the repeal of Prohibition.

Anyway, Congress tried to clarify matters in the Military Commissions Act of 2006, part of which--the section that eliminated the writ of habeas corpus--got struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court last year. But the rest of the MCA remains in force, including a passage that defines an enemy combatant as anyone who provides "material support" to the "enemy." And who is the enemy? The enemy is anyone the president says it/he/she/they is.

Again, there is no distinction between foreigners and U.S. citizens.
Jose Padilla, the so-called would-be "dirty bomber" held in a Navy brig since 2002, was tried and convicted of such "material support" charges in 2007. (The government couldn't prosecute Padilla for their original dirty bomb charges because they had tortured him so severely that he had been reduced to mental mush.)

Now that times have supposedly changed, it's time to ask: why hasn't President Obama abrogated Bush's controversial executive orders? If Obama truly seeks a break with the lawlessness of the prior administration, what better way to enact it?

Simply put, no one man--not even a nice, articulate, charismatic one--ought to claim the right to suspend a person's constitutional rights. Not in America. Certainly no one man--not even a young, handsome, likeable one--should be able to have anyone he wants whacked. Even in dictatorships, the right of life and death is reserved for judges and juries operating under a system purportedly designed to support impartiality and a search for the truth.

But that's not the case here in the United States. In 2002 Scott Silliman, director of the Center on Law, Ethics and National Security at Duke University asked: "Could you put a Hellfire missile into a car in Washington, D.C., under [the Bush] theory? The answer is yes, you could."

Nothing much has changed since then. Obama has eliminated the use of the phrase "enemy combatant," but The New York Times reported that the change is merely meant to "symbolically separate the new administration from Bush detention policies." The words may have changed, but Obama attorney general Eric Holder's definition of who can and cannot be held, said the Times, is "not significantly different from the one used by the Bush administration."

These days, Obama has ramped up the assassination of political opponents of the U.S. and the U.S.-aligned authoritarian regime in Pakistan, deploying more Predator drone plane attacks than Bush. But that's just for now. Obama could still personally order a government agency to murder you.

Which is weird. But not nearly as weird as the fact that you probably don't care enough to do something about it.

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Friday, October 30, 2009

Make Your Own Flu Vaccine

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For the 2010 Census: Name and Address Only

(Congress Will Obey the Constitution When the People Demand It)
by Paul Galvin

Next year the country will go through another census. The people and the states – the creators and on-going sustainers of the federal government – have authorized this undertaking (U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 2). The census should be seen not as a burden but rather as an opportunity for Americans to practice self-government. Let me explain.

Our written Constitution embodies ideas to which every member of Congress has taken an Article VI oath to support. In taking their constitutional oath the members of Congress are joined by every member of the 50 state legislatures, every federal executive, legislative, judicial officer, and every executive, legislative, judicial officer of the 50 states, as well as all military personnel. That so many are required to take the oath "to support this Constitution" is ample evidence that the Framers thought their written document to be quite important, a belief shared by most Americans.

Our Constitution is written in clear, understandable English. Consider the census provision. "The [first] actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States [March, 1789], and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they [Congress] shall by Law direct." This allows Congress to count us, but only count us. The operative word, "Enumeration."

How then can we help Congress? By giving census officials your name and address, thereby counting you, but nothing more. By doing this simple task, you assist Congress and census officials fulfill their oath-taken duties "to support this Constitution."

We have agreed to be counted but the license ends there. With our consent Congress is authorized to count us for one purpose: to apportion among the states, as a function of population, the number of House representatives who will then speak for / represent the people on federal matters. That’s it. As to senators, the representatives for the states, no apportionment/enumeration scheme is necessary because no variable is involved: each state is entitled to two senators regardless of demographic or geographical size ("The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State"). These provisions are the result of the delegates’ debates on representation and their final agreement, often referenced as the Great (or Sherman’s) Compromise.

Readers will note that the Constitution simply authorizes an enumeration, a counting of heads. Not an enumeration by race, Hispanic ethnicity, personal relationships, or by the manner in which a person occupies his/her home ("tenure" in census-speak). Not an enumeration by one’s labor force status, by health insurance coverage, by disability status, by level of education. Not an enumeration of the number of bedrooms, kitchens, cars, distances/times traveled to work, school. Not an enumeration of the amount of income made, or by the answers to numerous other nosy questions found in the American Community Survey. Just a simple counting of the number of people. Madison’s extensive notes on the 1787 Convention contain not one word about the delegates spending any of their valuable time discussing the issues of race, Hispanic origins, personal relationships, or plumbing.

We can thus practice self-government by just giving name & address. Under our constitutional republican form of government the people are sovereign. We govern ourselves best by following our consensually-adopted Constitution, and demanding that Congress and all federal officials do similarly. readers understand that the federal government does not exist unto itself; that is, it is not a self-existing, perpetual entity. Its creation and its continued existence are subject entirely to the will of the two principals, the people themselves and the states, which allow it to remain in being.

"But," the statists will sputter, "the Constitution says that this counting may be done ‘in such Manner as they [Congress] shall by Law direct,’ and that allows us to get further information from and about you." This language merely goes to the mechanics of the counting (who will do it; when it is to be done; how, when results are to be reported; and so forth); it does not enlarge what may be counted. Constitutionally the only permitted enumeration is the number of people in the United States. Why? Because that count is the determinant for apportionment and therefore the only pertinent information needed. Not race, not ethnicity, not personal relationships, not housing tenure. The minimum information requested for the 1790 census – the number of persons in each household and the "Names of heads of families" (Public Law, March 1, 1790) – provided Congress with the necessary data to accomplish Congress’s first re-apportionment. Addresses and the names of other household occupants were not sought. This historical perspective is significant: the first census established precedent; was nearest to the date of the Constitution’s ratification; and is in straight alignment with the Framers’ purpose and plan. Regardless of which form you receive in the mail (your address is already known), the 10-question short form or the longer American Community Survey form, any busybody question beyond name and address has no bearing for apportionment. The ACS, sent out to different addresses on a monthly basis (even though the Constitution expressly authorizes only a single decennial census), is extraordinarily intrusive.

"But," the statists will stammer further, "Congress says you must give all this other information." Perhaps Congress has enacted something along those lines, but that is not to say that that law is itself lawful. As noted, we agreed to be counted, but that’s all. If the original grant of authority from the authors of the Constitution (the people and the states) does not allow or authorize Congress to enact such a law, then that so-called law is not law within the meaning of the Constitution because that purported enactment was not authorized in the first place. The Constitution’s Supremacy Clause (Article VI) states that purported federal law is considered authorized law only when made within the framework of the written Constitution ("This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; . . ."). Nowhere in this Constitution (a document of limitations) is there found any authority from us enabling Congress to ask about race, ethnicity, or household utility bills. "But, but, . . ., the necessary and proper clause encompasses these further census questions." Not so. The Necessary and Proper Clause (Article I, section 8) is not an independent grant of power standing on its own. It is at most a derivative power; before that clause may be used as justification for a federal law, primary authority must first be located elsewhere. As far as the census is concerned authority is found solely in the Article I provision noted above, and in that provision Congress is only allowed to count/enumerate us.(*) Nothing further; demanding the disclosure of race or Hispanic ethnicity or other information is not enumeration.

[(*) So that the forest doesn’t get lost among the trees: The authorization for the decennial counting of the American people is found in the article defining how the House of Representatives is to be composed. The provision is about those representatives, not about the people themselves. Only statist-minded controllers would take a provision defining the House of Representatives and turn it into an opportunity to conduct third-degree inquisitions of the country’s sovereigns, the people themselves.]

Using tired excuses we will be told that government needs this information to function. Really? The Framers didn’t think so; otherwise they would have placed that authority in the document. Further, if Congress believes itself in need of additional information about us, let Congress propose an amendment to the Constitution and pitch its case to the creators of the federal government – the people and the states – as to why further, intrusive personal information is needed in order to apportion House representation. The Framers were forward thinkers; they anticipated that the needs of the created government might change, providing to this end an amendment process (Article V).

"But, but, . . .," the statists will whine, "amending the Constitution is such a burdensome process. It’s so much easier for us to get this information by threatening citizens with fines and demanding it." To which we simply reply, "We the people expected that you read, understood, and agreed with the written Constitution before you voluntarily took your oath of office to support the people’s document. Did you cross your fingers? Is it your intention not to honor your constitutional oath?"

Name, address and number of occupants. The only information to be given in response to any letter or satchel-toting census bureaucrat demanding "Your information, please." We live more freely when all public officials obey the law. Let’s begin with the Constitution.

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Ever wonder why there was a big push to get GPS readings at your front door?

by Walter Burien

The government census has over the last year made a very big push to get GPS readings at your front door as many reading this are aware of.

When they came to your house they did not ask "any" questions that a census taker would normally ask such as how many live here; where are you from; what is your name; how old are you; how many children, the only thing they were assigned to do was take a GPS reading at the entrance to your property and at your front door.

I personally live way off the grid at this time. 14 miles out on dirt roads with my closest neighbor a 1/4 mile away and the next 5 miles away. I may see two or three cars a year out here from a venturesome explorer. But then three months ago there was an individual at my front gate taking a GPS reading. When he opened my gate to come inside I approached him. He said he was from the census, and he had his little census name tag clipped on his shirt.

Well, we chatted for a while, and as we did he walked over to my front door and took another GPS reading. Now I am getting a little suspicious and the red flags are triggering. He then started walking towards my other structures to take a GPS reading and at that point I told him: I did not mind him taking a GPS reading from my front gate but wanting to take a GPS reading from each entrance to each structure with him noting each structure on the reading and then a GPS reading of my fence area, and without asking "one" normal census question, I at that point told him to get off the property. He continued to try and take more GPS readings so I stood in front of him 10 inches from his face and said in a strong tone: "I guess you did not understand me, leave"

He then walked back to his SUV and left. Two days latter a woman came by and parked at my front gate. When I approached she tried to drive off but I intercepted her and said: "can I help you, are you lost?" She said she was a supervisor who worked for the census and she was checking the work of the person who was out there the day before and quickly drove off. I snapped a picture of her car as she sped away.

Well, to say the least, in all logic these occurrences were highly suspicious without "one" normal census question being asked and the only intent being the taking of specific GPS readings of entrances to structures. I checked with a few people who lived within seven miles of my location (there are about five) and they had the same experience so that alleviated my suspicion of sole targeting.

I had to ask myself WHY was the only interest being exact GPS readings at entrances to structures. My first thought was GPS satellite surveillance. My second thought was for ease of roundups of targeted populations if implemented.Both of those thought are probably correct.

This morning I happened to watch a video on MAV's and a chill came over me as a 1 + 1 = 2 equation became very clear of the GPS readings taken and MAV application as a control tool over the population for many a different applications. Scary was a mild word that came to mind.

I strongly recommend that each and every one of you watch this short 4 minute US Air Force video - It is your government and tax dollars at work and the final intent for use may just be for each and every one of us. No paranoia, just 1 + 1 = 2 on real application. But then nothing to be concerned about, our government would not do this to US, now would they?

You see, under war circumstances they can get away with use and testing these types of things. Under peace conditions, it would never be allowed. Keep in mind the tiny flash cards of today can hold 40 gigs of data processing information so the capabilities of these MAV devices are here today.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Afghanistan a Success – Time to Come Home!

by Karen Kwiatkowski

Eight years ago, the public objective was to displace the Taliban and create a non-al-Qaeda supporting "democracy" in Afghanistan.

For a moment, leave aside Washington’s more fundamental objectives in the military invasion of Afghanistan and the subsequent base-building – security for the trans-Afghanistan pipeline project, restoring the opium exports that had finally subsided under Taliban enforcement by early 2001, and improved military positions vis-à-vis Iran, Pakistan and Russia. The fossil fuel manipulations, drug money and maintaining a justification for our outsized military-industrial complex are not the topics here.

The Taliban, while initially displaced from Kabul, are regaining some political influence. We may claim "mission accomplished" because they are competing for influence in an Afghanistan that has other comparable politicized ethnicities – and the Taliban no longer receive significant support from al Qaeda or Osama bin Laden.

Osama who?

Yes, that’s what we are saying.

Afghans were infuriated, not just at this past summer’s flawed and corrupted election, but also at the previous elections that confirmed US satrap Hamid Karzai. Afghans have international support for their case against the US-manipulated election – and we should take the anger of Afghans as confirmation of our success in creating a democratic mindset there.

Afghans also understand some of the basics that our own founders and early Presidents grasped, and not just the successful use of insurgency tactics against a far better equipped and funded occupying army that wants to economically exploit and civilize them.

In a recent report on the morale troubles of our Marines in the agricultural Helmand region, reporters "…talked to the grey-bearded men in the village… Asked if they wanted a school or more doctors, all said such questions were a matter for those who own the fields."

A matter for those who owned the fields. In a nutshell, it is clear that these Afghans get it. Government, and collectively provided services and polices, should be by the people, of the people and for the people.

Of course, a few sentences later villagers in Helmand were surprised to hear of a new round of planned elections to be held. A villager is quoted "We never even heard of elections. If we had, I suppose we might have voted."

While some may have missed the recent election, we may still consider our public mission accomplished. Not only do Afghans understand how democracies should work, they appear to be ready and willing to participate in that iconic process of ballot-casting.

What more could we ask? The deed is done. Afghanistan is a success by our own standards, and while our public claims of a righteous invasion still sustainable.

Obama is right to wait until after popular resolution of Kabul’s leadership before adding even more troops, as is NATO. Had Afghanistan’s summer presidential election been fair, our satrap Karzai would not be in charge, and the Kabul government would already be purged (perhaps viciously) of US-linked politicos and appointees. The run-off, if conducted fairly, will contribute to the continued and irreversible reduction of US credibility. President Obama should assess this much as he would a Chicago election – and get out of Afghanistan while we can still claim a positive influence.

There is a reason the generals are not in charge of our country – by design, anyway. The Gates’ and McCrystals of the world are the real barbarians, personally and professionally locked on a treadmill that demands ever more blood and more glory, at any cost. With the publicly accepted mission in Afghanistan accomplished, Americans cannot afford to entertain the vain fantasies of flag officers who fear nothing but their own oblivion, and will sacrifice any number of lives and all measures of treasure in pursuit of personal relevance.

Thinking people everywhere see our Afghanistan experience as a crash of 20th-century American empire on the 21st-century rocks of reality. The contraction of our empire – happening today in monetary as well as military terms – is at least a full generation overdue. The false sustenance of a financial bubble corresponds with the failing sustenance of military empire. Our children are the first generation who are not citizens, but Caesar’s slaves, bound to a life of fear and labor, made bearable only by their inchoate dreams of freedom. The military-industrial complex, a benign tumor in the days of Eisenhower, has metastasized to the extent that generals run Washington and the fourth estate exists solely to serve the imperial machine.

Obama has a small window of opportunity to declare victory and take a step towards retroactively earning his Nobel peace prize. Afghanistan no longer threatens us, and they’d like their country back.

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Review: Fall of the Republic

by Militant Reviews

Fall of the Republic by Alex Jones, a documentary
I watched this movie expecting more of the same from Alex. In his last movie, The Obama Deception, I was pretty critical of the fact that that film was really just a rehash of his two older films with the name "Obama" thrown in to beef it up. Of course, that's an over-generalization, but it's how it was viewed by myself, who's seen all of Jones' films to-date.

This movie, which is a documentary of the pending takeover of the entire world's economic systems, is very different from Jones' earlier work. There are no angry crowds with Alex at their head screaming through a bullhorn. There's no confrontations with elected officials or other government types with a lot of questions and no answers.

Instead, this film is relatively sedate in its presentation. But it packs a huge punch.

I would say that this film is by far the best that Jones has done when it comes to pure documentary work. Most of the film is interviews with various experts, such as Gerald Celente, regarding how the financial oligarchs, the Banksters, and so forth have manipulated the system, created their own rules, and are busy ruining the world's economies so that they can replace them with one large, over-arching world banking system.

Obama is featured, but only as a puppet of the real controllers--which I think is more effective and gets the truth across much better. C-SPAN footage of Congress-critters lying, of Al Gore stating blatant untruths, of Obama saying one thing and signing another into law, of Bush, Cheney, the whole troop at Goldman Sachs, and on and on as they commit their acts of rape and pillage in broad daylight, right in front of us, while they use the Cult of Personality (currently Obama and Friends) to distract the public from their true machinations.

The film is definitely well-worth the watch, whether you're an Alex Jones fan or not. The evidence is all laid out, soberly, with no ranting, screaming, yelling, or any of Alex's other signatures.

In fact, that very soberness and the quiet way the information is given is probably the biggest wake up of the movie. The information is there, the news reports are shown, the video footage of the robber barons and their minions saying the words are presented, and the whole thing is laid out. Including a solution to save us all.

That presentation, the calm, quiet, clear-eyed way it's given, is very different from Jones' other films and is the very thing that makes this documentary so gripping.

Watch this movie. You can see it free on YouTube, free on, you can download it, buy it, trade it, whatever. It's available all over the place. Get it while you still can. Soon enough, this will be illegal too.

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Obama Will Sign Hate Crimes Bill Wednesday

by Rev. Ted Pike (10/27/09)

After 11 years and five defeats, the Anti-Defamation League’s federal hate crimes bill will be signed into law by President Obama. A representative of the Senate Armed Services Committee told me this morning that the White House has communicated its intention to pass the defense/hate bill. Homosexual and civil rights leaders are now being invited to witness the signing at 4:45 p.m. EST, followed by a reception to commemorate the occasion.

Despite heavy email protest to this moment, the President has been forced by Congress to go back on his promise to veto an excessive national defense authorization act, with hate bill attached. It is now clear Congress would simply have overridden his veto. With scores of Republicans supporting the defense/hate bill, the necessary two-thirds majority required for override could be easily marshaled.

America is now following hate law countries such as Canada, England, and Australia in erecting a bias-oriented justice system existing parallel to traditional law. The government will now become especially attuned to the question of whether bias has motivated a crime on the state level. If they decide it has, the federal government will have complete jurisdiction to enter the case, forcing states to obtain the verdict the government wants. If the state fails to do so, the government can force it to re-try the case until federal prosecutors are satisfied. Thus, federal law enforcement will be uniting tomorrow afternoon with local law enforcement in a seamless unity of jurisdiction and power — the definition of a police state. The 10th Amendment of the Constitution, reserving generous rights and protections to states, especially in law enforcement, will become irretrievably shattered.

Tomorrow, the 14th Amendment will suffer the same assault. The federal government will be empowered to discriminate against most Americans, granting initial law enforcement favoritism at least three levels higher to every form of sexual deviant (547 kinds of such deviancy are listed by the American Psychological Association). The majority of Americans will descend three levels lower in our rights and protections in the face of the accusation, “Hate crime!” Blacks, Jews, Latinos, and Muslims will enjoy the same federal preference in hate crimes law enforcement over the majority as will homosexuals.

As indictments are handed down by the government against alleged hate criminals in the months and years ahead, these cases will be appealed. Predominantly liberal judges will broaden this legislation, protecting minorities not only from physical hate crimes but from “verbal violence,” e.g., Biblical “hate speech.”

Thus, as of tomorrow at 4:45 p.m., despite ostensible safeguards of free speech within the hate law, including the Brownback amendment, the great momentum of this law will descend toward an end of free speech.

How could This Have Happened?

How could it be that legislation so destructive of our Constitution is now becoming reality? In the broadest perspective, it began when, with the rise of the Zionist movement a century ago, evangelical Christians made the unbiblical, heretical decision that there would be no allowance of inquiry into or criticism of matters Jewish that might instill controversy. This allowed the Jewish Anti-Defamation League in 1913 to begin a universal and systematic attempt, through media, the justice system, education, and government, to erode and tear down the pillars of Christian society and western civilization. (See, Who’s Behind the ‘Pedophile Protection Act?’)

If a parent grants immunity from scrutiny or criticism to a child, then within a year they will have created a spoiled brat and in five years a psychopath. It is not surprising then that, by granting anti-Christ Jews such immunity for at least a century, evangelicals have created a monster which now, through its empowerment to manufacture Orwellian legislation, is free to devour the hand that has fed it as well as the civilization which has given it protection.

Such protections provided by the Christian right have allowed ADL to not only create the whole idea of hate laws but to proliferate them uncontested to nearly 45 U.S. states during the 1990s. To this very moment, upon the threshold of passage of ADL’s federal hate crimes bill, this vilest of all political and religious organizations remains entirely unresisted and unexposed by Christian conservatism. Over the past century, the evangelical movement has laid out a red carpet and rolled it right into the Oval Office for delivery of ADL’s freedom-destroying hate crimes agenda.

Recently interviewed on a Christian talk show, I was asked by the host how evangelical leadership groups regard me. I replied that both they and ADL are terrified by my message. Having played a pivotal role in defeat of the hate bill four times over the past eight years, I am an obvious threat to ADL. But I also bring with me a testimony against misguided evangelical leadership over the past century. I bear witness that they and their fathers carry a heavy burden of guilt for having bidden Godspeed to those of whom Christ and the New Testament repeatedly warn Christians to beware: “the synagogue of Satan,” “those who say that they are Jews, and are not, but lie” (Rev. 2:9). Evangelicals have coddled, flattered, and sided with those whom Paul warns are “enemies” (Rom.11:28) “who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out; they are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men, hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved; with the result that they always fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them to the utmost” (I Thess. 2:14-16).

Not only have evangelical leaders unleashed the ADL juggernaut responsible for hate laws, but they have also assisted the rise of a Judaic one-world order, beginning in Israel, which will ultimately be presided over by Antichrist in Jerusalem. It will eventually change all times and laws and reduce to rubble all that Christ and true Christianity made possible (Dan. 7:25).

Do I regret that I have fought on, and led countless others to fight, months after all other major Christian “watchdog groups” went silent, waiting for the axe to fall?
Considering the staggering threat of this legislation, I could not live with myself or stand before God if I had not pursued every conceivable opportunity to defeat it until the bitter end.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Who the Hell Are You?

It seems there are a lot of new faces to the Militant Libertarian Blog (and Pony Show), so I figured I'd better re-introduce myself. I know the site isn't much. I realize it's poorly organized, there's no "About Me" or any of that sort of thing, and most of the stuff here is just regurgitated news items that I found interesting.

Ya, well, I'm not nearly as active in politics as I was when this site and blog started. If you do a Whois on, you'll see that it's been registered for several years.

I started this when I was younger, dumber, had more time on my hands, and was generally interested in shoving things into the establishment's faces. I got the idea of calling myself the Militant Libertarian because, at that time, I was on a crusade as a rabble-rouser, focused on the then-new USA PATRIOT Act, the Homeland Security Act, and such like.

The name sounded cool and was kind of funny. It's an oxymoron. Get it? Militant Libertarian? No? Well, I won't explain it to you. That's even less than funny. Notice that nobody explains George Carlin or Larry the Cable Guy's jokes. They're just funny. Dennis Miller? Nobody gets that crap. I bet even Miller is amazed that people pay him to say the malarky he comes up with.

Anyway, my real name is Aaron Turpen. At the time this site started, I was a freelance Web Developer, small business tech consultant, and coffee drinker. Someone talked me into joining the Libertarian Party of Utah and then later I forgot to show to a meeting, so I got elected to become Secretary of the LPUT.

That was my first and only foray into party politics. I left the LPUT and the LP national organization happily and with no regrets after completing a term as Secretary. I learned a valuable lesson: political parties have two roles.

First, they keep the plebes in line thinking they're "doing something" when all they're really doing is participating in a glorified debate club wherein everyone there is basically on the same page and just bitches about everyone who isn't also there.

Second, they give candidates a way to work those plebes into enough clout to get elected. Once elected, they more often than not completely forget their party affiliation. Now the LPUT wasn't particularly good at getting candidates elected, so this wasn't entirely true for them. Those that were elected actually did a good job. But nobody outside of the party and the tiny town that elected them noticed. So it was the same point.

Also during that time, I faced financial ruin as my business took a back seat to politics (which don't pay, unless you sell out). My wife was very sick at the time as well, so things weren't going very good. Eventually, I had to get a job and that pretty much nixed the political action.

I still wrote diatribes for this blog and did some things, but during my mundane work, I had plenty of time to think. So I did.

Politics are worthless. That was and is my conclusion. You can play their game (the establishment, that is) all you want, but you'll never win. They have the money, the candidates, and the money to win. We have nothing when we enter their arena and play by their rules. The Ron Paul campaign for President put the final peg in my political coffin. As a service to that campaign, by the way, I ran the website, which is now defunct.

So now I just educate people. I don't do too well with this site, though it's retained some impressive readership numbers. I'm surprised, frankly, since almost nothing here is original anymore. Guess I'm still doing something right somewhere, though.

What I do now is blog in other locations about specific subjects ( specifically), help my friend with his radio show (, and make a living doing what I know how to do best: write about stuff. I still write about politics, the New World Order, the Bankster Elites, etc., but a lot of what I write is ghost-written and published in other people's names. I don't mind that.

I do know that very soon, a site I've written a ton of content for will be going online. It will be like, but with a bigger punch and a TON of editorial content specifically about the NWO, the Banksters, and so forth. I'm glad to be a part of that, though it will not have my name on it much. I'll let you know when it premiers. I'll probably be grabbing stuff from there to repost here regularly, whether I wrote it or not.

Anyway, that's who I am. I don't rabble-rouse against the elected types anymore. Now I rabble-rouse against the idiots who think that putting them in office made some kind of difference.

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Forget the rush on that H1N1 swine flu vaccine; 62% of Americans have no intention of getting it anyway

LA Times (blog)

Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of Health and Human Services, who recently taught Americans the federally-approved way to sneeze this season, was on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

She was trying to explain widespread delays in the delivery of the H1N1 vaccine across the country.

Basically, of course, she said it wasn't the Obama administration's fault, that as soon as the vaccines come in, they're being shipped out immediately by the many thousands of doses.

You know how everyone talks about Americans not making things anymore, that so many manufacturing jobs, for instance, have been shipped overseas?

Well, Sebelius was essentially saying the same goes for flu-vaccine-making.

Four of the world's five makers are foreign. And we all think we know what that means.

Members of Congress could have been exploring this subject last winter when their latest automatic pay raises took effect.

Instead, Wednesday they expressed shock and dismay at the situation now that it's October and thousands are already falling ill with the H1N1 virus (see photo above, shown somewhat larger than life).

Also, Purdue University researchers reported the late deliveries may not matter because by the end of this year 63% of Americans will be infected anyway. So, too many doses, too late.

But wait! There's more.

This morning comes word from a new ABC News/Washington Post poll that almost four parents out of 10 do not believe the vaccine is safe and have no intention of allowing their children to receive it.

More than 60% of adults say they have no intention of getting the vaccine either.

Using an open-ended question, the poll also found the overwhelming reason for rejecting the vaccine this year despite federal warnings and mounting concern about the illness' seriousness was concern about side effects and disbelief in its safety, especially suspicions that it has been inadequately tested. Other reasons included general ignorance and a belief the illness was probably less serious than the danger of the vaccine.

So much for the persuasive powers of the U.S. federal government. Think about that for a minute: A whopping majority of Americans (62%) would rather risk illness than believe in their government's urgings of necessity and safety.

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The Very Busy Politicians in Washington DC

by Rep. Ron Paul

With a faltering economy, multiple wars, and the approaching demise of the dollar’s reserve status, there are more than enough problems to keep politicians in Washington working day and night. In between handing out cash for clunkers and nationalizing healthcare, the administration is busy sending more troops overseas, escalating existing wars, and seeking out excuses to start new wars. Congress is working on “urgent” legislation to address crises like healthcare reform and climate change. The reforms are so very urgent that legislation must pass swiftly with no time to read the bills even though the new laws wouldn’t take effect for several years! Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is busy dealing with our dollar crisis by printing up more dollars.

Yes, there certainly is a lot for Washington to do these days. Most, if not all, of what Washington is doing however, is more of what created the problems in the first place. Capitol Hill is filled with politicians running around putting out fires – but with gasoline. The truth is that all these fires keep so many powerful people employed and wealthy that it is not truly in many decision makers’ interests to be very effective problem-solvers. If Washington ran out of problems, think how many lobbyists would be out of a job, and how many special interest groups would just disband? Sadly, whatever is bad for the greater economy is good for the economy and job market in DC.

Of course, no form of government, not even one that respected its Constitutional restraints, would magically create a problem-free society. The question is: how should a society deal with its problems? The form of government that our founders envisioned, in which the federal government was strictly constrained by the Constitution, allows private citizens and communities to solve their own problems. The role of the government should be to protect contracts, punish fraud and violence through appropriate laws, law enforcement and the courts. Not a whole lot of laws or bureaucrats are really necessary to work on just that. Instead, new laws are constantly needed to fix the problems that previous unconstitutional laws created. We have ended up with an incomprehensible maze of laws and regulations that severely constrains the people and expands the government – the exact opposite of what our founders intended.

This is all because the Constitution is treated like a suggestion manual instead of the supreme law of the land. Under the Constitution, politicians’ hands are supposed to be tied in most of the areas they involve themselves in today. But somewhere along the line, politicians stepped out of Constitutional bounds and started pretending to solve our problems for us. All we have to show for it is more problems.

Today, Washington politicians can busily “solve” one problem, knowing that unintended consequences from that “solution” will keep them and their friends all very busy tomorrow. The people are ultimately left suffocating under the burden of Washington’s helping hands. It is coming to a point where our economy, our dollar, and indeed, the rest of the world have had about all the help from Washington that they can stand. The United States is headed the way of Rome and the Soviet Union, for the same reasons, unless we reverse the trend.

I continue to hope that enough Americans will realize that the true strength of our country doesn’t come from Washington, but rather the limitations placed on government in the Constitution. We must resolve to reverse the destructive course that we are on and then never again let big government problem-solving take over our lives and our country.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Top 5 Environmental Disasters Caused by Modern Man

by Aaron Turpen

Perhaps in 10,000 years when archeologists are digging up our cities and looking at our bones for classification, they’ll see our modern achievements and what we did to get them. Then, maybe, they’ll create a new classification of hominid for this period in man’s evolution and call us Homo Dumbassticus.

The museum plaques to describe the badly-rendered models of what we must have looked like (likely complete with 1970s Austin Powers outfits) will say things like:

Homo Dumbassticus, reigned during the Holocene and met his apex during 1950-2100AD. Marked by contrasts, this most modern of our predecessors had a large capacity for thought and reason, but evidence shows little capability for common sense or even awareness beyond self.

Thus we will be consigned to history. Not remembered for our intellectual heights, our artistic grandeur or our mighty technological achievements. Instead, we’ll be remembered as “those idiots that couldn’t tie a shoelace without blowing something up or dumping oil on it.” The good news is that they’ll probably have no idea who Al Gore is.

So, in order to speed along the progress of Homo Dumbassticus, I present here my top five worst environmental disasters caused by modern man. Each of these took place after the turn of the century (1900) and are all ecological and/or environmental disasters on a huge scale. The kind of scale that gets recorded in the fossil record and ice cores and tree rings and places like that.

Disaster #1: Modern Warfare
Gone are the glory days of war when men met mano-e-mano on the field of battle, clashing sword and shield, kicking and biting, and generally making war a personal affair. In those days, you really had to have a reason to go to war and risk death and dismemberment for your cause.

Nowadays, most people who die in warfare are civilians, not military personnel. Bombs, napalm, disease, biological, chemical, and nuclear attacks, and worse do most of the damage. We even have the audacity to call some of our munitions “smart.” As if anything intelligent is involved in slaughtering people and blowing stuff up.

Byproducts of our modern warfare include:

water contamination,
lots of unpronounceable chemicals being released into the atmosphere and earth when stuff gets burned, blown up, melted, etc.,
birth defects, sicknesses, long-term disabilities, and more (both human and animal),
churned earth, destroyed forests, ruined waterways, and general havoc on all ecosystems involved.
The worst part about war is that the people who most deserve to get killed in it usually don’t. The politicians, warmongers, genocidal maniacs, and military-industrial tycoons are usually spared the knife. It’s always the unwilling, the innocent, and the taxpayer who is levied with the heaviest price of war. Not to mention the environment and our planet’s natural resources. The good news? There isn’t any. Bad news? We seem to be ramping up our war efforts.

Disaster #2: Chernobyl
Some extraordinarily prime specimens of Homo Dumbassticus in Russia (then the USSR) decided that since they were going to shut down their nuclear power plant as part of its maintenance schedule, they should test a theory about cooling and nuclear reactions. I’m just surprised they didn’t try to photograph the event. Of course, for all we know, they did.

The result of this ill-conceived scientific inquiry? A huge reactor core meltdown, some fire, and our species trademark: an explosion.

Hiroshima? Bah, that was nothing compared to this. 400 times the radiation is released into the area, decimating whole towns and with radioactive clouds floating as far away as Ireland. Thousands of cancer cases, untold amounts of ecological destruction, and thirty years later, you still can’t go into the 30-kilometer dead zone. When those descendants of 10,000 year from now go there, it will still be a dead zone.

The good news? Not a single cockroach is known to have died.

Disaster #3: Oceanic Garbage Patches and Dead Zones
These are everywhere. The largest known oceanic dead zone is the Mississippi Delta, where the Mississippi River flows into the Gulf of Mexico. This dead zone is a stretch of coast from Houston, Texas all the way over to Louisiana that is so polluted that nearly nothing can grow there. Most of the pollution is farm runoff, in the form of excess nitrates from the over-use of synthetic nitrogen fertilization of soils, which runs into the Gulf and spurs the explosion of algae there. This algae robs the water of oxygen, making it uninhabitable for other plants, fish, and other marine life.

That is just one example of it. The Ganges River is another example of this. Physical garbage is nearly as bad, floating everywhere in the oceans.

The largest known patch of this garbage is the well-reported Pacific Gyre Garbage Patch at the left-center of the Pacific Ocean. Another large patch is known to exist in the garbage collection zone at the bottom-center of the area commonly known as the Bermuda Triangle.

The good news is that the oceanic dead zones are mostly solvable merely by stopping our incessant over-use of synthetic fertilizers and either moving to more organic methods (preferred, of course) or utilizing year-round growth methods to trap the fertilizers in the soil so they cannot runoff into streams and rivers.

The bad news is that those garbage heaps continue to grow and we don’t really have a realistic way to remove them. Although I’m sure some brainiac will invent a bomb to fix the problem. That is, after all, what we’re good at: blowing stuff up.

Disaster #4: Oil Spills
These happen constantly, though we usually only hear about the big, nasty, can-easily-be-blamed-on-BigOil ones. Smaller ones generally get ignored. Everyone, for instance, has probably heard of the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989, but few know that most of the oil pipelines in the TransCanadian and Alaskan Pipeline leak regularly. Not to mention the leaks caused by Disaster #1 in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Valdez dumped nearly 11 million gallons of crude onto the coast around Prince William Sound in Alaska. Don’t ask me why an American piece of land is named after a British Monarch. This makes as much sense as letting a drunken captain drive a huge oil tanker. Twenty-three years after the disaster, there is still an estimated 26,000 gallons of oil coating the shoreline.

Other recent oil spill disasters include the Pacific Adventurer spill in Australia. This wasn’t even an oil tanker, but was a cargo ship that lost several containers of ammonium nitrate (that’s lovely stuff) and dumped an unknown amount of oil that has covered about 37 miles of beach around Brisbane.

Another lovely event happened in Russia when ten ships broke apart and sank or ran aground during rough weather in the northern Black Sea region in 2007. 1.3 million gallons of fuel oil, an estimated half million gallons of diesel fuel, dumped cargo of various descriptions, and 7,150 tons of sulfur.

Those are just some of the events that happen yearly, dumping petroleum, interesting chemicals, and other envrionmentally-unfriendly things into the world’s oceans, rivers, and their ecosystems.

The good news? Peak oil. The bad news? We still use oil.

Disaster #5: The Ginormous Military-Agricultural-Pharmaceutical-Governmental Complex
Most of our modern actions as Homo Dumbassticus center around the conglomerations of military, agricultural, pharmaceutical, and governmental units. More often than not, these cabals work together to rip of everyone they can find, including Mother Earth.

They have no souls and are willing to explode chemical plants in Bhopal, India, so they can save a buck or two by not bothering with safety measures. They’re willing to ignore famine and disease in Africa and let people die because allowing those people to grow their own food and maybe take care of themselves might interfere with their governmental needs of warfare and land ownership.

They create diseases, spread them amongst the population, and then pretend it’s a natural “pandemic” and start pimping pharmaceuticals and vaccinations to “cure” them. Meanwhile, they patent and control basic chemicals and even natural fruit extracts and viciously attack anyone who says anything untowards about their “innovations.”

This happens while they cause yet more disease with their questionable agricultural methods, their meddling with natural processes, and their genetic modification of everything from plants to sheep. Then they destroy biodiversity by introducing their genetically modified organisms (GMO) and “accidentally” letting them blow foul. Then they have the audacity to sue neighboring farms for “growing” their patented seeds, despite the fact that those seeds blew over from their own fields.

The good news? People are beginning to see through these shams and tell them where to shove their schemes and patents. The bad news? They’re still going on.

Conclusion That’s my list of the epic disasters of Homo Dumbassticus. Take it or leave it and let me know what you think one way or the other. I’m going to go find a stick and some root grubs and see if I can blow something up.

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A Nobel Prize for Showing That Freedom Works

by John Stossel

Pundits and politicians act as if government can solve almost any problem. At the slightest hint of trouble, the ruling class reflexively assumes that knowledgeable, wise and public-spirited government regulators are capable of riding to the rescue. This certainly is the guiding philosophy of the Obama administration.

So how remarkable it is that this year's Nobel Memorial Prize in economics was shared by Elinor Ostrom, whose life's work demonstrates that politicians and bureaucrats are not nearly as good at solving problems as regular people. Ostrom, the first woman to win the prize (which she shared with Oliver Williamson of UC-Berkeley), is a political scientist at Indiana University. The selection committee said that she has "challenged the conventional wisdom that common property is poorly managed and should be either regulated by central authorities or privatized. Based on numerous studies of user-managed fish stocks, pastures, woods, lakes and groundwater basins, Ostrom concludes that the outcomes are, more often than not, better than predicted by standard theories. She observes that resource-users frequently develop sophisticated mechanisms for decision-making and rule enforcement to handle conflicts".

Ostrom's work concentrates on common-pool resources (CPR) like pastures and fisheries. Policymakers assume that such situations are plagued by free-rider problems, where all individuals have a strong incentive to use the resource to the fullest and no incentive to invest in order to enhance it. Analysts across the political spectrum theorize that only bureaucrats or owners of privatized units can efficiently manage such resources.

Few scholars actually venture into the field to see what people actually do when faced with free-rider problems. Ostrom did. It turns out that free people are not as helpless as the theorists believed.

She writes in her 1990 book, "Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action," that there is no shortage of real-world examples of "a self-governed common-property arrangement in which the rules have been devised and modified by the participants themselves and also are monitored and enforced by them."

In other words, free people work things out on their own.

Read the rest at Townhall.

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Burger King (Japan) offers Windows 7 Whopper with 7 beef patties for $7.77

by Mike Adams

(NaturalNews) What do you get when you combine a good operating system with a ridiculously bad idea of a burger? Burger King's news "Windows 7 Whopper," made with 7 beef patties and sold for ¥777 (Yen).

The seven-decker processed beef burger clocks in at 1,000 calories, reports FoxNews. It's offered only for 7 days as part of a publicity stunt to publicize the launch of Windows 7, the new PC operating system from Microsoft.

Stacked five inches high, it's not yet clear whether customers will be able to shove this burger down their throats in the way Microsoft did with Vista a few years back, but at least with Windows 7, Microsoft has reportedly overcome its failed Vista launch by creating a new operating system that accomplishes what Vista promised. It even features faster application load times and faster reboot speeds.

Speaking of rebooting, eating a 7-layer burger in one setting just might give customers their own "blue screen of death" gastronomical event requiring a complete digestive reboot. You might need 7 anti-diarrhea pills and 7 days of rest just to recover.

Even if your stomach can handle the Whopper 7, there's a larger question of whether the planet can: The factory production of beef requires enormous quantities of fresh water. According to the Water Education Foundation, a quarter-pound hamburger requires roughly 1,300 gallons of fresh water to produce (by the time you factor in all the water the cows drink, the water for the crops fed to cows, etc.).

This Windows 7 Whopper might be estimated at five times larger than a typical quarter pounder. Thus, if you do the math, this 7-layered Whopper could be using 7,000 gallons of water to produce (give or take, depending on the size of the patties). In a world running out of fresh water supplies (fossil water), that's a huge quantity to plow through in one meal.

And this doesn't even take into account the CO2 emissions from the transportation and production of the beef, nor the climate-harming effects of the methane produced from all the cow farts (cows fart 7 times each hour, I've been told). In all, the environmental destruction caused by the fast food hamburger industry is at least 7 times worse than what burger munchers might have ever suspected.

Don't have a cow, man!

What's really astonishing about this is why Microsoft would want to tie their reputation to the fast food burger industry. When you think of what's really involved in manufacturing burger beef -- hormone and antibiotics injections, cows standing knee-deep in fields of feces, grotesque slaughterhouses where diseased but alive cows are dropped into processing equipment with the help of forklifts -- it's not exactly the kind of thing a corporation would normally want associated with their high-tech product.

Maybe it's all part of a series of new slogans, such as:

"Windows 7 - We slaughter the competition!"

"Windows 7 - Now you can destroy the (computing) environment!"

"Windows 7 - Junk food for your PC."

"Windows 7 - We bet you're dying to try it!"

One can only imagine what deranged thoughts must have been bouncing around the heads of these Japanese Microsoft marketing executives. Perhaps for the launch of Windows 8, they'll team up with death row inmates and have "Windows 8 sponsors 8 days of capital punishment featuring 8 murderers who each raped and killed 8 people!"

That would only be slightly less offensive than sponsoring a 7-layer burger at Burger King.

But I suppose, in the end, the stunt worked. They got press on NaturalNews, after all, and even we can't deny that the Windows 7 operating system appears to be rock solid. But your stools won't be if you eat a 7-layered Whopper, probably.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Anarchy on PBS

Hat tip to Karen De Coster
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We're All Felons, Now

by Radley Balko
Perpetual public fear of crime has turned us all into criminals.

"There's no way to rule innocent men.
The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals.
Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them.
One declares so many things to be a crime
that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws."

—Ayn Rand

Violent crime is down America, across the board, spanning two decades. Earlier this month, the Justice Department announced that the incidence of reported rape had hit a 20-year low. Homicides are down, as are juvenile violence and crimes committed against children. Crime rates have been plummeting since the early 1990s to such an extent that explaining the drop has become something of an obsession among criminologists and sociologists.

Part of the drop can of course be explained by mass incarceration—America leads the world in the percentage of its population behind bars. Putting one in every 100 citizens in jail causes its own problems, and there's plenty of debate over just how much that incarceration has contributed to the fall in violent crime. But there's no question that we've put lots of people in prison over the last 20 years, the crime rate has fallen, and part of the public likely believes (with some justification) that there's a link betweent the two.

But there's something else going on too, picked up in the blogosphere last week by George Washington University political science Professor John Sides. According to Gallup, since 2002 the percentage of the American public who think violent crime is on the rise has been increasing, even as actual violent crime rates continue to fall. Sides notes that from 1989 to 2001, perception and reality somewhat went hand in hand. But 2002 to 2003 saw a 19 percent leap in public perceptions that violent crime was on the uptick, and the figure has been going up in the years since—to 74 percent today. What's going on?

From the time Richard Nixon made crime a national political issue in the 1970s, we've been conditioned by politicians and public officials to live in perpetual fear. Our baseline is that there's too much crime, and that we aren't doing enough about it. Despite that, there was an actually drop in public worry about crime that began in 1992 and continued until 2002. As noted, that drop corresponded with an actual decline in the national crime rate, something that hadn't happened in 30 years. That crime rates going down for the first time in a generation was something new, something worth noticing. The 1990s were also generally an optimistic decade. The economy was humming. We weren't engaged in any major wars. We didn't have many worries, period.

Post-2002, the national mood soured. Terrorism, obviously a form of violent crime, was all over the news. The economy slowed down. Illegal immigration once again became a national issue, along with the false assumption that undocumented immigrants bring violent crime. And so we returned to a state of fear, though the crime rate continued to fall.

These fluctuations in the Gallup poll are interesting, but it's worth noting that the percentage of respondents who believe violent crime is on the rise has dipped below 60 percent only three times since 1991. This, again, despite the fact that violent crime has been in decline over the entire period.

Fear makes for easy politics. It both wins votes and primes us to give government more power at the expense of personal liberty. And that's certainly true when it comes to crime. With the possible exception of an incumbent mayor, politicians only benefit from exaggerating the threat of violent crime. Senators, Congressmen, and even governors are rarely held responsible when the crime rate goes up. But they do win votes by proposing new powers for police and prosecutors to bring it down.

The result has been a one-way ratchet effect on crime policy. We're perpetually expanding police and prosecutorial power, a process only occasionally slowed by the courts. Congress and state legislatures rarely take old criminal statutes off the books, but they're always adding new ones. A 2008 report from the Heritage Foundation estimates that at the federal level alone, Congress has been adding about 55 new crimes to the federal criminal code each year since the 1980s. There are now about 4,500 separate federal crimes. And that doesn't include federal regulations, which are increasingly being enforced with criminal, not administrative, penalties. It also doesn't include the increasing leeway with which prosecutors can enforce broadly written federal conspiracy, racketeering, and money laundering laws. And this is before we even get to the states' criminal codes.

In his new book, the Boston-based civil liberties advocate and occasional Reason contributor Harvey Silverglate estimates that in 2009, the average American commits about three federal felonies per day. And yet, we aren’t a nation of degenerates. On the contrary, most social indicators have been moving in a positive direction for a generation. Silverglate argues we're committing these crimes unwittingly. The federal criminal code has become so vast and open to interpretation, Silverglate argues, that a U.S. Attorney can find a way to charge just about anyone with violating federal law. In fact, it's nearly impossible for some business owners to comply with one federal regulation without violating another one. We're no longer governed by laws, we're governed by the whims of lawyers.

Whatever one may think of Ayn Rand's political philosophy or ethics, her criminal justice prophecy has proven unsettlingly accurate: In our continuing eagerness to purge American society of crime, we've allowed the government to make us all into criminals.

Radley Balko is a senior editor at Reason magazine.

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American Healthcare Fascialism

by Thomas J. DiLorenzo

Some time ago I invented the phrase "fascialism" to describe the American system of political economy. Fascialism means an economy is part fascist, part socialist. Economic fascism has nothing to do with dictatorship, militarism, or bizarre racial theories. Fascism is a brand of socialism that was the economic system of Germany and Italy in the early 20th century. It was characterized by private enterprise, but private enterprise that was comprehensively regulated and regimented by the state, ostensibly "in the public interest" (as arbitrarily defined by the state).

Socialism started out meaning government ownership of the means of production, but it came to mean egalitarianism promoted by "progressive" taxation and the institutions of the welfare state, as F.A. Hayek stated in the preface to the 1976 edition of The Road to Serfdom. The problems of the American healthcare system are caused entirely by the fact that the government subjects the system to massive interventions, some of which are fascist in nature, while others are socialist.

In 1992, the Hoover Institution published an essay by Milton Friedman titled "Input and Output in Medical Care," in which Friedman documented how, at the beginning of the 20th century, about 90% of all American hospitals were private, for-profit enterprises. State and local governments then began taking over the hospital industry. So, by the early 1990s only about 10% of all American hospitals were private, for-profit enterprises. Socialism characterizes at least 90% of all hospitals. Many other hospitals have received government subsidies, and with the subsidies come reams of regulation, making them fascist by definition.

"The problems caused entirely by the fact that the government subjects the system to massive interventions, some of which are fascist in nature while others are socialist."
The effect of this vast government takeover of the hospital industry, Friedman documented, is what any student of the economics of bureaucracy should expect: the more that is spent on hospital care, the worse the quality and quantity of care become, thanks to the effects of governmental bureaucratization. According to Friedman, as governments took over an ever-larger share of the hospital industry (being exempt from antitrust laws), hospital personnel per occupied hospital bed quintupled, as cost per bed rose tenfold.

Friedman concluded that "Gammon's Law," named after British physician Max Gammon, "has been in full operation for U.S. hospitals since the end of World War II." Gammon's Law states that "In a bureaucratic system, increases in expenditure will be matched by a fall in production.… Such systems will act rather like 'black holes' in the economic universe, simultaneously sucking in resources, and shrinking in terms of … production." Dr. Gammon surely knew what he was talking about, having spent his career in the British National Health Service.

"The U.S. medical system, in large part, has become a socialist enterprise," Friedman ended. Friedman also once suggested a syllogism to explain the bizarre spectacle on display today of responding to problems caused by healthcare socialism with even more healthcare socialism.

The syllogism goes as follows:

Socialism has been a failure everywhere it has been tried;
Everyone knows this; and
Therefore, we need more socialism.
Layers of regulation plague every aspect of medical care and health insurance in America. In the health-insurance industry, for instance, each state imposes dozens of regulatory mandates on health insurers, requiring them to include coverage of everything from massage therapy to hair implants. The reason for mandates is that the message-therapy and hair-implant industries (and many others) hire lobbyists to bribe state legislators to require insurers to cover their particular practice if they want to sell insurance within a state. Among the states with the largest number of mandates as of 2009 are Rhode Island (70), Minnesota (68), Maryland (66), New Mexico (57), and Maine (55). Idaho has the fewest mandates (13), followed by Alabama (21), Utah (23), and Hawaii (24).

Each mandate increases the cost of health insurance and probably increases the typical health-insurance policy by hundreds, or thousands, of dollars yearly. This is a good example of healthcare fascism.

Government policy in the health-insurance industry applies both the brakes and the gas at the same time. While imposing onerous and cost-increasing regulations, government also limits legal liability in some cases where an insurer refuses to pay for a particular procedure or treatment that costs a patient his life. The state also creates state-wide cartels with laws prohibiting the portability of some aspects of health insurance. (For example, my employer-provided health insurance covers pharmaceuticals in Maryland, where I reside, but not in other states.)

Getting back to pure socialism, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veterans Administration hospitals socialize a very large portion of healthcare in America, with the same predictable results as the socialization of hospitals: runaway costs for decade after decade, coupled with massive fraud, as is often the case when politicians are enabled to spend other people's money. Even the federal government admits that there is currently about $60 billion in Medicare fraud. Since government always understates the cost of everything it does, it is likely that the real number is at least two or three times that amount.

Having taken over most of the hospital industry, government-run or government-subsidized hospitals have created regional monopoly power for themselves with so-called "certificate-of-need" (CON) regulation. How this regulatory scam works is that an existing hospital in an area will give itself the legal "right" to decide whether there is a legitimate "need" for more hospitals. They have given themselves, in other words, the right to veto new competition in the hospital industry. It is as if the Microsoft Corporation had a legal right to veto new competition in the computer industry.

"FDA bureaucrats are extremely risk averse."
Not surprisingly, research has shown that CON regulation has increased hospital costs. CON regulation is also used to block competition in various healthcare professions as well, from nursing to home healthcare. (I was once asked to assist several nurses in obtaining a CON license from the Fairfax County, Virginia government so that they could start up their own home healthcare business. The county government was already in the business itself, and vetoed their application, naturally.)

Physicians have long enjoyed a degree of monopoly power derived from state legislatures that delegate to the American Medical Association (the doctors' union) the "right" to limit entry into medical schools through accreditation. Only graduates of accredited (by the AMA) medical schools are licensed to practice medicine. The AMA has used these state-granted privileges to limit both the number of medical schools and the number of medical-school graduates. The reduced supply of doctors drives up the price of medical care and the income of AMA members. Hundreds of other health professions limit entry with the help of occupational licensing regulation, the primary effect of which is to create monopoly profits, not to ensure quality of care.

Government regulation of pharmaceuticals and medical devices, primarily by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), increases healthcare costs, denies the benefits of myriad helpful drugs and devices, and creates monopoly power. It has literally been responsible for the premature death of thousands of Americans who have been deprived of drugs that were long available to people in other countries.

FDA bureaucrats are extremely risk averse: On the one hand, it costs them nothing personally to delay a life-saving drug for years, if not decades, by demanding test after test. On the other hand, if they permit a drug to enter the marketplace that turns out to be dangerous, it is a public-relations disaster for the agency, which it does not want to be associated with. Consequently, the entrance of new drugs and medical devices onto the market is often delayed by years, costing many lives and inflicting much needless pain on those already suffering, while driving up prices.

The FDA also makes the market for pharmaceuticals less competitive by restricting what advertising may say for myriad drugs — even aspirin. New drugs do consumers no good if they do not know about them. Advertising restrictions imposed by the FDA, therefore, prop up the profits of incumbent drug marketers at the expense of newcomers in the industry and of consumers.

The government's legal system is also responsible for what used to be called "the liability crisis." The genesis of this crisis began in the 1960s. The government courts began accepting the Chicago School Law and Economics argument that assigning all liability in product-liability cases to manufacturers would be a good way to minimize the "social costs" of accidents. Manufacturers know more about products such as medical devices than anyone else, the argument went, so contract law and shared responsibility for accidents with the users of the products were thrown out the window.

So, when accidents occur, slick trial lawyers have had an easy time convincing dumbed-down juries to award millions, or hundreds of millions, of dollars in liability lawsuits. These lawsuits have bankrupted the manufacturers of many medical devices, while convincing others that the devices are too risky to make. The effect on the healthcare consumer is poorer healthcare and higher prices.

There are thousands of other government regulations and controls on all aspects of healthcare, even (or especially) the nursing-home industry. Like most regulation, it has little or no beneficial effect for the public. More often than not, it is part of a cartel arrangement by some group of medical practitioners who are in cahoots with federal, state, or local politicians who are always more than willing to sell their "constituents" down the river for a generous campaign "contribution."

The only sensible approach to healthcare "reform" would be massive privatization of America's socialized hospitals, combined with deregulation of the medical professions to introduce more competition, and deregulation of the health-insurance industry. Free-market competition would produce medical "miracles" the likes of which have never been seen, while dramatically lowering the cost of healthcare, just as it has done in every other industry where it is allowed to exist to any large degree.

This is not likely to happen in the United States, which at the moment seems hell-bent on descending into the abyss of socialism. Once some states begin seceding from the new American fascialistic state, however, there will be opportunities to restore healthcare freedom within them.

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

None dare call it fraud

What if we applied corporate standards to the “science” that is driving global warming policy?
by Paul Driessen, CFACT

Imagine the reaction if investment companies provided only rosy stock and economic data to prospective investors; manufacturers withheld chemical spill statistics from government regulators; or medical device and pharmaceutical companies doctored data on patients injured by their products.

Media frenzies, congressional hearings, regulatory investigations, fines and jail sentences would come faster than you can say Henry Waxman. If those same standards were applied to global warming alarmists, many of them would be fined, dismissed and imprisoned, sanity might prevail, and the House-Senate cap-and-tax freight train would come to a screeching halt.

Fortunately for alarmists, corporate standards do not apply – even though sloppiness, ineptitude, cherry-picking, exaggeration, deception, falsification, concealed or lost data, flawed studies and virtual fraud have become systemic and epidemic. Instead of being investigated and incarcerated, the perpetrators are revered and rewarded, receiving billions in research grants, mandates, subsidies and other profit-making opportunities.

On this bogus foundation Congress, EPA and the White House propose to legislate and regulate our nation’s energy and economic future. Understanding the scams is essential. Here are just a few of them.

Michael Mann’s hockey-stick-shaped historical temperature chart supposedly proved that twentieth century warming was “unprecedented” in the last 2000 years. After it became the centerpiece of the UN climate group’s 2001 Third Assessment Report, Canadian analysts Ross McKitrick and Steve McIntyre asked Mann to divulge his data and statistical algorithms. Mann refused. Ultimately, Mc-Mc, the National Science Foundation and investigators led by renowned statistician Edward Wegman found that the hockey stick was based on cherry-picked tree-ring data and a computer program that generated temperature spikes even when random numbers were fed into it. (1)

This year, another “unprecedented” warming study went down in flames. Lead scientist Keith Briffa managed to keep his tree-ring data secret for a decade, during which the study became a poster child for climate alarmism. Finally, McKitrick and McIntyre gained access to the data. Amazingly, there were 252 cores in the Yamal group, plus cores from other Siberian locations. Together, they showed no anomalous warming trend due to rising carbon dioxide levels. But Briffa selected just twelve cores, to “prove” a dramatic recent temperature spike, and chose three cores that “demonstrated” there had never been a Medieval Warm Period. It was a case study in how to lie with statistics. (2)

Meanwhile, scientists associated with Britain’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) also withheld temperature data and methods, while publishing papers that lent support to climate chaos claims, hydrocarbon taxes and restrictions, and renewable energy mandates. In response to one request, lead scientist Phil Jones replied testily: “Why should I make the data available, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?” Of course, that’s what the scientific method is all about – subjecting data, methods and analyses to rigorous testing, to confirm or refute theories and conclusions. When pressure to release the original data became too intense to ignore, the CRU finally claimed it had “lost” (destroyed?) all the original data. (3)

The supposedly “final” text of the IPCC’s 1995 Second Assessment Report emphasized that no studies had found clear evidence that observed climate changes could be attributed to greenhouse gases or other manmade causes. However, without the authors’ and reviewers’ knowledge or approval, lead author Dr. Ben Santer and alarmist colleagues revised the text and inserted the infamous assertion that there is “a discernable human influence” on Earth’s climate. (4)

Highly accurate satellite measurements show no significant global warming, whereas ground-based temperature stations show warming since 1978. However, half of the surface monitoring stations are located close to concrete and asphalt parking lots, window or industrial-size air conditioning exhausts, highways, airport tarmac and even jetliner engines – all of which skew the data upward. The White House, EPA, IPCC and Congress use the deceptive data anyway, to promote their agenda. (5)

With virtually no actual evidence to link CO2 and global warming, the climate chaos community has to rely increasingly on computer models. However, the models do a poor job of portraying an incredibly complex global climate system that scientists are only beginning to understand; assume carbon dioxide is a principle driving force; inadequately handle cloud, solar, precipitation, ocean currents and other critical factors; and incorporate assumptions and data that many experts say are inadequate or falsified. The models crank out (worst-case) climate change scenarios that often conflict with one another. Not one correctly forecast the planetarycooling that began earlier this century, as CO2 levels continued to climb.

Al Gore’s climate cataclysm movie is replete with assertions that are misleading, dishonest or what a British court chastised as “partisan” propaganda about melting ice caps, rising sea levels, hurricanes, malaria, “endangered” polar bears and other issues. But the film garnered him Oscar and Nobel awards, speaking and expert witness appearances, millions of dollars, and star status with UN and congressional interests that want to tax and penalize energy use and economic growth. Perhaps worse, a recent Society of Environmental Journalists meeting made it clear that those supposed professionals are solidly behind Mr. Gore and his apocalyptic beliefs, and will defend him against skeptics. (6)

These and other scandals have slipped past the peer review process that is supposed to prevent them and ensure sound science for a simple reason. Global warming disaster papers are written and reviewed by closely knit groups of scientists, who mutually support one another’s work. The same names appear in different orders on a series of “independent” reports, all of which depend on the same original data, as in the Yamal case. Scientific journals refuse to demand the researchers’ data and methodologies. And as in the case of Briffa, the IPCC and journals typically ignore and refuse to publish contrary studies.

Scandals like these prompted EPA career analyst Alan Carlin to prepare a detailed report, arguing that the agency should not find that CO2 “endangers” human health and welfare, because climate disaster predictions were not based on sound science. EPA suppressed his report and told Carlin not to talk to anyone outside his immediate office, on the ground that his “comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision,” which the agency supposedly would not make for several more weeks. (7)

The endless litany of scandals underscores the inconvenient truth about global warming hysteria. The White House, Congress and United Nations are imperiling our future on the basis of deceptive science, phony “evidence” and worthless computer models. The climate protection racket will enrich Al Gore, alarmist scientists who get the next $89 billion in US government research money, financial institutions that process trillion$$ in carbon trades, and certain companies, like those that recently left the US Chamber of Commerce. For everyone else, it will mean massive pain for no environmental gain. (8)

Still not angry and disgusted? Read Chris Horner’s Red Hot Lies, Lawrence Solomon’sFinancial Post articles, Steve Milloy’s Green Hell, and Benny Peiser’s CCNet daily climate policy review. Go to a premier showing of Not Evil Just Wrong. (9)

Then get on your telephone or computer, and tell your legislators and local media this nonsense has got to stop. It may be that none dare call it fraud – but it comes perilously close.

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