The big story on Drudge’s site on the evening of August 23 was this one: the records of Hillary Clinton’s meetings as Secretary of State reveal that half of the non-government people she met with gave donations to the Clinton Foundation.
Here is what the Associated Press article announced:
WASHINGTON (AP) — More than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money — either personally or through companies or groups — to the Clinton Foundation. It’s an extraordinary proportion indicating her possible ethics challenges if elected president.At least 85 of 154 people from private interests who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Clinton while she led the State Department donated to her family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs, according to a review of State Department calendars released so far to The Associated Press. Combined, the 85 donors contributed as much as $156 million. At least 40 donated more than $100,000 each, and 20 gave more than $1 million.
Well, here’s some more change you can believe in. Right, marijuana remains in the same league as heroin. Makes you wonder about the quality of heroin the Obama Administration is using. Because there is no way a sane person can conclude that marijuana should logically remain in the same category as heroin. Not that I think the government has any authority to decide what plants people may or may not ingest.
Listen, this whole “War On Drugs” has been justified by the ridiculous need to “protect” the children. Now, yes, this is an excuse the government uses. But it is an excuse they’ve been using for several things ever since it became a government priority to treat adults like children, too. I, for one, am rather tired of this child-centric culture we find ourselves in. Everything now is, “We need to do this for the kids…” from junk food to guns to tobacco. Three things every American should have access to without whiners and weenies sitting up there as the gatekeepers of it.
Right, look what this War On Drugs has led to. The government now wants to tax and regulate “junk food” and sodas. Some states already have. “What about childhood obesity?!” Hey, you know what? We didn’t have a lot of fat kids back in my childhood days. Because their parents didn’t molly-coddle them. They were told to go out and play—or chores would be found for them to do. No one said, “Mommy, I’m bored!” because Mommy would tell you to go mow the flippin’ yard. You were told to eat the vegetables on your plate—all of them—or you didn’t get dessert. Period. You didn’t get your own TV. Parents didn’t buy you soda and crap like that. You saved your allowance and rode your bike down to the store and got the soda and candy bar on your own dime. But because parents are too danged lazy to be parents, we need federal regulations, school programs at billions of dollars a pop, and several new sales taxes to make bratty, whiny children out of all of us.
How about tobacco? The government decided something needed to be “done” about that and now cops can strangle people to death if they violate those nifty new sales taxes. Back in my day, no teen had trouble getting cigarettes. Many chicks had boyfriends that were 18 and they’d get the smokes from those dudes. Of course, that was illegal, too, because the chicks were under 18 and sex between them and an 18 year old was statutory rape. Huh. By 17, my grandmother had been married a few years and had a kid. How about them apples? Right, how many people married right now would have been breaking the law had they met in high school? But we need to keep tobacco out of the hands of kids by making it harder for adults to buy. In my generation, if you found something in the hands of your kids that they were not supposed to have, you spanked them until they turned loose of it.
Guns, sure, we need to ban those for the kids. Except when the government needs to put their guns into the hands of kids and ship them off to die in another futile war someplace, am I correct? The government sits up there and says things like this: “More 18-year-olds have died from alcohol-related accidents than died in the Vietnam War!” Anyone notice the irony there? In order to find some shocking number of kids that died senseless deaths, the government had to reach back and use the casualty figures from a no-win war they shipped kids off to fight. Getting back to guns, you have to be 21 to buy a handgun. But between 18 and 21, you can be part of a tactical nuclear weapons crew in the United States military and incinerate hundreds of thousands of human beings if ordered to do so. Gosh, I suppose we can thank our lucky stars they’ll do it with a tactical nuclear weapon and not a handgun! Plus, they won’t be able to celebrate that mass murder with a good, stiff drink because they’re not old enough to drink alcohol, either.
See now, doesn’t the government do a stellar job of protecting our kids? Especially in the military where I saw teens abused, beaten, and finally, commit suicide except the government called that “good training”. Not to mention the female trainees raped by cadre at AIT. Little things the government only now admits some several frickin’ decades later. Yeah, see, that’s why you jokers put polished stainless steel mirrors in the barracks latrines. So trainees would not break glass from glass mirrors and slash their wrists with it. Tell me more about how much you really take care of the kids you deceive into “defending” this ridiculous little anthill you call the “greatest nation on Earth”. Great how? The suicide rate among teens?
See, the government thinks this all boils down to booze, junk food, smokes, weed, and guns. It doesn’t. It boils down to the fact that we’re living in a police state and no one wants to admit it. They think we ought to molly-coddle kids, not let parents spank them when they need it, and basically have them grow up in this bubble where everything is defined as “good” or “bad” by the government. Right, hey kids, don’t smoke, drink, eat junk food, or do bong hits because the government says that’s bad. But enlist in the army, pick up a weapon, and go shoot these people who’ve done you no harm just because the government tells you they are the “enemy”.
Our priorities are so backwards, we need a time warp to straighten them out. We need to go back to a time when it wasn’t any of the government’s danged business what adults did. Nor was it a policy to use kids as a reason to deny adults the things adults enjoy. Kids will get access to things regardless of laws. Here in Arizona, there’s some new group of “concerned parents” whining about medical marijuana, saying it needs to be made harder to acquire because the “kids” are getting a hold of it. Hey, look here. This is a medicine we are talking about. Since when does “kids getting a hold of it” dictate medical policy? Oh, right, just as soon as the government enters into it and rules against patients in favor of a bunch of snot-nosed brats in need of spankings and groundings. This isn’t a government issue, people. This is a parenting issue. And if those parents are too dang lazy to parent their own kids, then that speaks volumes about that family. But it should speak nothing of public policy. Period.
People already have to jump through hoops to get medical marijuana that they are not required to in order to have access to other medicines. Here goes the federal government a few days ago, telling us that “science” doesn’t back up claims as to the medical legitimacy of marijuana as a medicine. Oh, really? Is this not the same government that told us we could win the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Afghanistan War, and the Iraq War? Excuse me, but the Constitution does not back up any claims to the legitimacy of this government! And “science”?! Science recently gave us the wonderful “gifts” of nuclear weapons, nerve gas, and ballistic missiles able to deliver those splendid products of science to innocent people.
Here we have a government that decides that since some parents can’t parent their kids, then they’ll step in and parent all of us. But the reality is, the kids are just an excuse. Because if the government actually cared about those kids, they wouldn’t ship them off to die in some BS war someplace those kids can’t even find on a map. If they really cared about those kids, they wouldn’t have done atmospheric nuclear weapons testing so long that dangerous levels of Strontium 90 were found in the teeth of American kids during the 1950s. Yes, and we’ll never know what effect that’s had on the genetics of the generations which descended from them. Because the government controls that science, too, along with the “science” which claims marijuana is not a medicine despite it having been used as such by humanity for thousands of years.
Don’t give me any more of this crap about the kids. All we’re getting out of this “concern” is more laws, more regulations, more restrictions, more bans, and more taxes. And do you see any actual beneficial effect on these kids? No! Because guess what? If the parents in the home aren’t being parents, those kids will get a hold of anything those parents don’t care enough to punish them for having. What, the government thinks a sales tax on soda will keep kids from drinking a gallon of it a day? Ha! The parents are the ones buying it for them! The kids don’t care what it costs and the parents won’t want to put up with the whining, so they’ll just suck it up and pay the extra tax. Which, of course, is what the government knows. Easy money for the government to then squander on more useless government programs, studies, agencies, and employees.
If you want to be “concerned”, then be concerned in and for your own home. Not mine. Your kids don’t live in my house. So you have no business regulating what I do there. And if you’re worried about your kids getting a hold of something, then I highly recommend punishing them if you catch them. Of course, that’s probably illegal to say, too. I know, I know, it might damage their self-esteem to punish them. So you give them time-outs or sit them down and “talk” to them. How’s that working for you? Right, you ask the government to come in and help. Yeah, well, ask the government into YOUR home. I don’t need or want them in mine.
There. I said it. I know lots of people are thinking it. Sitting and watching screaming brats in public and the parents sit there and try reasoning with a 5-year-old like he’s 50 and not 5. That’s the whole problem. In my day, we got spanked. In this day, the government comes in to give all of us a time-out. The whole dang country in one massive time-out, grounded for things we didn’t do. Just because other people can’t discipline their kids. Well, hey, that’s not my problem, people. It’s well past time kids were not seen or heard as reasons for government nanny state intrusions into our adult lives. It’s time to cut the apron strings, people.
Omega-3 fatty acids are associated with a ridiculous number of health benefits. They’ve been shown to protect against skin cancer and skin infections, and help to protect the brain from various damages. But perhaps the most well-known health benefit associated with omega-3 fats is heart health, with a new study suggesting that omega-3 fatty acids may also help heart attack patients recover by improving heart functioning and reducing scarring in the heart muscle.
Source: Always Omega-3s
There is some conflicting research concerning omega-3 fatty acids, but multiple studies have shown that these fats – particularly fish oil – prevent heart disease.
Post-apocalyptic movies are popular for a reason. We live in a world that is brimming with long lines, bills, traffic jams, bureaucracy, and stressful jobs. So even though we intuitively understand that living in an apocalyptic hellscape would be an absolute horror show, in the back of our minds we kinda wish that we had an excuse to blow off all of our modern responsibilities.
In that sense, post-apocalyptic movies and TV shows provide the perfect fantasy for us. They give us loner protagonists wandering through the quiet, windswept ruins of our cities, scavenging for food and fighting off zombies instead of working day jobs. These films try to convince us that post-apocalyptic living is an arduous but simple feat, in much the same way that Old Western movies romanticized the pre-modern world.they melt down and bury millions of survivors under a radioactive cloud?
Then there are the 12,000 facilities around the country that store large quantities of toxic or flammable chemicals and reside close to residential areas. 2,500 of these sites contain chemicals in quantities that, if a catastrophic accident were to occur, could affect 10,000 to 1 million people each. And let’s not forget the 2.5 million miles of oil and gas pipelines that can be found in every state. They suffer hundreds of leaks and ruptures every year and are much more likely to explode when they aren’t maintained. That detail seems to be conveniently forgotten by post-apocalyptic films.
Data provided by PrisonStudies.org is helping shed light on America’s incarceration problem, demonstrating that only the small archipelago of Seychelles, located in the Indian Ocean off East Africa, has a higher incarceration rate than the U.S. But when studied carefully, the rates demonstrate yet another trend: America’s white prison population has been increasing in recent years while the number of blacks in prison has been dropping — and nobody is talking about it.
According to the Prison Policy Initiative, America holds “more than 2.3 million people in 1,719 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 942 juvenile correctional facilities, 3,283 local jails, and 79 Indian Country jails.” And while the racial disparities in the American justice system are well reported — especially considering one in every five people in jail is arrested for breaking drug-related laws — we are seldom asked to review imprisonment rates among other ethnic groups.
Data provided by the U.S. Department of Justice shows 0.5 percent of white U.S. residents were in prison in December 2013, placing the rate of incarceration among whites in America at 466 per 100,000 citizens.
When compared to the incarceration rates of other countries without regard for other ethnic groups, the rate of white prisoners in America is still higher than most. At 466 per 100,000 citizens in jail, America still has a place in the top ten list of countries with the largest prison population in the world if only the white population is taken into account.
Despite the trend, the media seldom discusses the high incarceration rate among whites.
In an article published earlier this year by the Washington Post, Keith Humphreys writes that “[t]here’s been a big decline in the black incarceration rate [in America], and almost nobody’s paying attention.”
In the article, Humphreys suggests that as the overall number of prisoners drops, the biggest winners are members of the black community. But hidden in plain sight is the new trend: the growth of incarceration rates among whites, both female and male.
According to the Washington Post article, the rate of incarceration among white women went from 34 per 100,000 in 2000 to 53 per 100,000 people in 2014. Among the black female community, 205 out of 100,000 were imprisoned in 2000 while nearly half that number (109 per 100,000) were imprisoned in 2014.
Among the black male population, 3,457 inmates per 100,000 people were imprisoned in 2000 while in 2014, there were 2,724 black inmates per 100,000 people. In 2000, there were 449 white inmates per 100,000 citizens while in 2014, the rate increased slightly with 465 inmates per 100,000.
Though rates of incarceration among the black population are still higher than other groups, the number of white prisoners has grown considerably over the past 15 years, prompting experts in the area to attempt to identify the causes behind the shift.
To Pew Charitable Trusts’ Adam Gelb, the director of the organization’s public safety performance project, “changes in drug use and enforcement over the past 15 years” could be responsible for this demographic shift.
“Methamphetamine, prescription opioid, and heroin epidemics have affected whites more than did the crack cocaine epidemic,” reported the Washington Post. In the 1980s and 1990s, incarceration rates among blacks increased because of the crack cocaine epidemic, a phenomenon that may be repeating itself now among whites.
But whether blacks, Latinos or whites go to jail more often is far from the most important point one should take from the data at hand. Instead, one should look into how the drug war has been exploited by law enforcement, placing a great number of low-level, nonviolent offenders in jail — at times for life — over drug-related laws.
It’s remarkable that I’ve been friends with Giang for nearly four decades. We’ve spent but a year in the same state and, frankly, have little in common. Giang studied computer science, business administration, and engineering technology. He makes more in a year than I do in ten. He drinks Bud Lite and recycles corny metaphors and analogies. A director of marketing, Giang actually told me, “I can sell a freezer to an Eskimo.”
Driving from California last week, Giang stayed at my sweltering apartment for two nights. Since he had never been to Philly, I took Giang to a decent cheesesteak joint, Independence Hall, and the Liberty Bell. Having spaced out in history classes, Giang had forgotten that Philly was the nation’s first capital and the War of Independence was against the Brits. No matter, Giang got snapshots of himself in front of the iconic sights.
I also showed Giang the Italian Market, Little Cambodia, Kensington, Penn’s Landing, South Street, Dirty Frank’s and Friendly Lounge. In Little Cambodia, we saw kebabs and other delicacies sold on the streets and in a park. It was too hot for volleyball. On a sidewalk, young and old tried to toss bean bags into a hole in a plywood board. We admired the exterior of a brightly painted Buddhist temple. Just like Vietnamese, Cambodians are often mischaracterized as “war refugees” although they have fled from the Communist peace.
What my friend really wanted to see was Fort Indiantown Gap. In 1975, Giang stayed there as an 11-year-old refugee. The same age, I was at Fort Chaffee in Arkansas.
It was good to get out of the city. The Pennsylvania landscape featured nothing dramatic. On Horseshoe Pike, we spotted a concrete chicken on a roof, some Amish clothesline, “trump / trump / trump” scrawled on the back of a highway sign, and that’s about it. Since Giang got the Amish and Hasidic Jews confused, I untangled for him their contrasting hair convictions, hat beliefs, horse notions and electricity theologies.
In 1975, the ride from Harrisburg Airport astounded the refugees. I translate an online account by one Hà Giang:
Each length of road took us further from everything we had left behind, and a step closer to our awaiting future, which to us at the time was extremely vague and unsettled. Our tenuous happiness was mixed with worries.
Though exhausted, no one could doze off because we had just slipped into a new world, as far as language, sceneries, sounds, colors, even the air, fragrances, everything around us was new, everything was different.
I strained to etch on my mind the first images of this country where I had just landed.
The wide road unfurling behind us, the novel one-story houses, way too wide compared to Vietnamese ones, though too low in height. I saw very few with tiles, and absolutely none with tin roofs.
Also, the houses here did not share walls but were comfortably situated on private plots of land, with their entrances not near sidewalks but receding way back behind lusciously green, square-angled lawns. Between one house and another there was no fence, only bushes sometimes, or absolutely no barrier at all, though looking closely, one could see that the grass color of one house was slightly different from another’s.
Such a long road, yet there was no human shadow, so that we had to wait forever to see one old man leisurely sweep a few leaves.
Oh what peace! Peace and serenity were my first impressions of the United States of America.
Pennsylvania was so different from bustling Saigon, crowded Saigon, chaotic Saigon, my Saigon already so distant. Oh Saigon, where are you now? And my parents, my friends, what are you doing there now?
Lost in thoughts, I didn’t even know the bus had turned onto a road leading to the main gates of Fort Indiantown Gap.
Another refugee writes that his time in the camp was “the most magical” of his life, such was his relief of escaping from Communism. By mid-June of 1975, there were 14,900 Vietnamese in Fort Indiantown Gap, and this transient community even had its own bilingual daily newspaper, Đất Lành/Good Land. (“Benign” is actually a better translation for “Lành.”) Vietnamese are big on newspapers. Wartime Saigon had about ten dailies at any time.
In spite of wartime censorship, massive propaganda, exorbitant taxing of newspapers and, occasionally, even imprisonment of journalists, South Vietnamese had access to a wider range of political opinions than Americans today. They also had many more political parties. There’s a saying, “Any two Vietnamese form a political party. Any three, a party and a faction.” No puppets or savages, Vietnamese took politics deadly seriously, because it was. In the end, though, they were just pawns of geopolitical schemers and war profiteers, same as the American soldiers who were sent over there.
Reviewing Apocalypse Now Redux for the Guardian, I point out how Coppola has scrubbed both spoken and written Vietnamese from a film he preposterously claims is not just about Vietnam, but “is Vietnam.”
Yours truly, “In Apocalypse Now, Vietnam is more or less one continuous jungle, with corpses casually dangling from trees, and arrows and spears flying out of the foliage. The arrow attack scene is lifted straight from Heart of Darkness, where a black river boat pilot is impaled by a spear […] As anyone who has been there will tell you, Vietnam is (and was during the war) grossly overpopulated. Rivers and roads are lined with settlements. The US, by comparison, is wilder. Another thing a visitor to Vietnam can readily see is the ubiquity of the written language—that is, of civilization. Signs and banners are everywhere. None of this is apparent in any of the panoramic shots of Apocalypse Now. Coppola hasn’t just withheld speech from the Vietnamese, he has also banned them from writing.”
Arriving in Indiantown Gap, Giang and I found the fort to be nearly deserted, with soldiers visible at only one building. As we browsed the rows of empty two-storied barracks, Giang blurted, “I’m getting emotional, man. I was here 41 years ago, and so was my future wife.” They’re divorced.
Giang wore a T-shirt, “Someone in Pennsylvania Love Me.” He had had 50 custom-made, one for each state. Thirty of them are grammatical, but the rest are missing an “s.” The native-born printer screwed up. Whenever Giang crosses a new state, he has his picture taken below the welcome sign. Not just methodical, my friend is anal.
Right outside the fort was an old timey restaurant, Funck’s, so that’s where we went for breakfast. An electrical sign flashed a waving flag, then “GOD BLESS THE USA.” By the cash register, there was a carousel with laminated signs of patriotic, inspirational or loving messages for sale. The clientele were mostly wholesome-looking families or soldiers in desert cammies. Perusing the menu, I learnt that “Honkey Eggs” had green peppers, onions and home fries mixed with two eggs and toast ($6.99). I searched for scrapple, found it then declared to the cheerful waitress, “This guy is from California and he’s never tried scrapple!” A scrapple faithful, I proselytize it at every chance.
As we waited for our food, Giang went to a convenience store next door and, chatting away, met a woman in her 60’s who had worked at the fort in 1975. After they hugged and took a photo, Giang invited Brenda to join us for breakfast. Since she couldn’t leave her shift, Giang bought her a Funck’s gift card as a token of thanks “for helping the Vietnamese.”
Steelton is 25 miles from Fort Indiantown Gap. In 2013, I met a man there who had been a guard at the refugee camp, “People were saying shit like, ‘These people killed my brother, they killed my father, and now you’re bringing them here.’ I was right there, I saw it, but things have changed, you know. Now you have all these Vietnamese businesses around here, all these restaurants.” Jackson was a black Vietnam vet who had done two tours.
The complexity of the Vietnam War is embodied by Phan Thi KimPhuc. History knows her as a nine-year-old victim of a napalm strike. Since the weapon was American, and the pilot South Vietnamese, Kim Phuc became a perfect symbol to the Vietnamese Communists because she seemingly vindicated them. Studying medicine in Cuba, Kim Phuc married another Vietnamese student, and they were allowed to honeymoon in Moscow. During the trip back to Havana, the couple deplaned in New Foundland and asked Canada for political asylum. Here’s a clear victim of an American bomb rejecting Communism to live in the West. There is absolutely no contradiction except to those who see the world in the most simplistic terms. Raised in a Godless state, Kim Phuc is also a devout Christian.
During the last Democratic National Convention, I saw many Bernie Sanders fans march around with red flags. Carrying a red flag and pumping his fist, a young man stood precariously on top of a seven-foot-tall chess piece. He was a pawn on top of a pawn. It is remarkable that Communism is still hip despite decades of unprecedented barbarity, much cultural heritage destroyed and millions of innocents imprisoned or killed. Across the West, it is distasteful to bring up Communist crimes, yet those by Nazis are relentlessly amplified. Holocaust museums and memorials greatly outnumber those devoted to the horrors of a movement to which Jews have contributed so greatly.
The US allied itself with Stalin, then fought Communism. It propped up Saddam Hussein, then murdered him. After bombing Hanoi, it now sells weapons to the same regime. In front of a huge Ho Chi Minh bust, Bush, Clinton, and Obama beamed. Freedom fighters will be redefined as terrorists or vice versa. When it comes to geopolitics, there is no ideological consistency. Only war is constant, and the flow of refugees.
Debating, voting or protesting, we are no more in charge of our destinies than the South Vietnamese.
The cost of healthcare in the U.S. is on an unsustainable trajectory. A report published in 2014 said, “economists predict in less than 3 years it will require 50% of the average U.S. household income to pay the costs of out-of-pocket expenses and health insurance for a family.” [Annals Family Medicine March 2012]
It is unforeseeable how insurance pools can sustain cancer treatment under the current treatment versus preventive paradigm. [Expert Reviews Pharmacoeconomics Outcomes Research 2015]
The current approach, the Affordable Care Act, to force young uninsured individuals to buy health insurance plans to pay for the healthcare costs of the infirm and aged, is obviously unsustainable also. [Annals Family Medicine May 2012]
An elementary school in Albuquerque, NM has a new policy to go along with the new school year. Just in case kids are gender confused, teachers are no longer allowed to address children as “boys and girls.”
After the Bathroom Hullabaloo of 2016, you would have thought that things might settle down and we could go about our business, peeing wherever we want to pee and that would be that.
No, now children as young as kindergarten age are being taught in classrooms in which teachers have been ordered to “eliminate gender.” According to a local report:
“Understand there are many ways to express gender.”First Grade
“Explain that there are many ways to express gender.”Second Grade
“Understand there is a range of gender roles and expression,” and “Understand importance of treating others with respect regarding gender expression.”
“Explain that gender roles can vary considerably,” and “Understand importance of treating others with respect regarding gender identity.”Fourth Grade
“Identify how friends and family can influence ideas regarding gender roles, identity, and expression,” and “Define sexual orientation.”Fifth Grade
“Describe how media, society, and culture can influence ideas regarding gender roles, identity, and expression,” and “Identify trusted adults to ask questions about gender identity and sexual orientation.”In the “Health Education Glossary,” “biological sex” is defined as:
“Based on chromosomes, hormones, and internal and external anatomy.”While “gender” is defined as:
“A social construct based on emotional, behavioral, and cultural characteristics attached to a person’s biological sex.”Further, gender is broken down into three subcategories:
Gender Expression: “The way someone outwardly expresses their gender.”Gender Identity: “Someone’s inner sense of their gender.”Gender Roles: “Social expectations about how people should act, think, or feel based on their assigned biological sex.”
What a festering crock of biologically-unsound baloney. If a kid isn’t “gender confused” before they start the class, they certainly will be by the time the miseducation system is done with them.
Heck, now it’s even a crime to use the wrong pronoun.
And just in case this isn’t confusing enough, one university has proclaimed it is illegal to use the wrong pronoun when referring to a transgender person. West Virginia University let 29,000 students know that “they are breaking federal law if they don’t agree to use the pronouns — including ‘he’ or ‘she,’ ‘zir’ or ‘hir’ etc. — preferred by each person.”
Criminal? It’s a federal crime now?????
You want to know why no one likes you?
This is why no one likes you and why people are mean to you.
Well, for those of us who aren’t gender confused, no need to worry. WVU has issued a handy chart with brand spankin’ new gender-free pronouns so that you don’t commit that heinous pronoun crime.
It’s all politically correct baloney. Just be nice.
For the record, I don’t care where you pee, who you love, or if you want to be the opposite gender. That’s your business – not mine. You shouldn’t be mistreated for any of those things. But at the same time, you can’t force everyone to tiptoe around you, either, carefully assessing their pronoun usage and awkwardly worrying that they are being somehow offensive. If you don’t want people to treat YOU like a criminal, you shouldn’t want to make pronoun usage a criminal offense.
We’ve crossed over the fine line of being accepting into the territory of being idiotic. We’re giving the perpetually butthurt brand new reasons to take umbrage, and we’re making linguistic changes based on the wishes of 0.3% of the population.
And what’s worse is the fact that we are confusing children about all of this stuff. Why this biology-defying curriculum even needs to be taught is beyond me.
What if we just teach our kids not to be jerks toward kids who are different or who have different types of families, and leave it at that?
Reprinted with permission from The Organic Prepper.
Originally published by AmmoLand.com.
USA – As part of my job, I’m constantly checking out new gun holsters. Dozens of them are in the holster rotation at any given time – literally.
After accumulating a couple of hundred gun holsters in the unused holster box, which has grown to several boxes, I thought it would be interesting to step back and examine what firearms holsters I’m using over the long haul.
Not which ones I should be using, or which ones the internet says I should be using, but what gets strapped on voluntarily on a regular basis and that I find are the most comfortable gun holsters.
I figured I would do this somewhat objectively as there might be some surprises when I was honest with myself about which ones got the nod more days than not. The super scientific plan was to look at the ones that had migrated to the top of my most commonly used holster drawer in my desk. I figured those were the ones really getting the most frequent use.
Honorable Comfortable Gun Holsters Mentions
I took a look at the next layer down to see what popped up. Two, in particular, get greater than average use.
First, when carrying a colossal gun, in this case, the FN FNX 45 Tactical with a Trijicon RMR sight, I use the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.0. It’s another hybrid design that’s highly configurable, as well as comfy. It’s made well, does a great job of keeping moisture from moving in either direction and most importantly, does a fantastic job of supporting and stabilizing a HUGE handgun. Why do I carry an FNX 45 Tactical?
Got me, I just like it. Don’t judge, OK? It’s not a daily thing, but once in a while you just have to go big or go home.
This Alien Gear Cloak Tuck does a nice job of supporting a large gun like this FN FNX 45 tactical in a comfortable gun holster.
The other one that gets plenty of use is a Galco Pocket Protector Holsters. This one is simple but effective. Made of steer hide with rough side out construction, I carry a Springfield Armory XD-S with it. It’s got a smooth draw and steel reinforced mouth for easy gun insertion. A comfortable gun holsters, the hook and flat based shaped of the leather keep the gun upright and the holster in your pocket, when you draw. It’s simple, but just works. I’ve been using this one forever.
Another worth a look in the comfortable gun holsters list is the CrossBreed Supertuck Deluxe Gun Holster. A comfortable IWB holster when you’re wearing a jacket or sweater.
Galco Pocket Protector Holsters : When carrying a Springfield Armory XD-S in the pocket, for a comfortable gun holsters, I almost always use a Galco Pocket Protector holster. : http://goo.gl/shxXJM
Going through this process was kind of enlightening. While the gun holsters that popped up on this list are all high quality, it was interesting to create a “top” list based on what I actually used most frequently as opposed to what is supposedly “the best.” You can develop all sorts of criteria as to what is the “best gun holster” or “most comfortable gun holster” based on retention features, gun fit, materials, clips, torture tests, or whatever else we can dream up.
I guess what really matters in a gun holster is what you use, provided it’s good enough to get the job done.
Reprinted with permission from AmmoLand.com.
Pistol rings, shooting keys, cigarette cases, and belt buckles – all these goofy gadgets are part of the traditional arsenal of secret agents and spy flicks. In fact, such weapons and gadgets appeared long before the first Bond movie came along in 1962.
SS belt buckle
The camouflaged devices were initially designed as a “last chance” means of protection against criminals. However, with the efficiency of such gadgets leaving much to be desired, wealthy citizens preferred more traditional Derringer pistols, canes with a sword hidden inside or just a whip.
A key gun
Keys were one of the first everyday objects to be converted to pistols as their hollow shaft could serve as a barrel. The oldest such weapon with a flintlock dates back to the 16th century.
Arms designers of old even managed to install a 3mm pistol inside an otherwise inconspicuous pocket watch. A 19th-century version switched the regular pinions and springs for a primitive trigger and a tiny barrel.
Small caliber “death rings”
The ring gun, a revolver mounted to a piece of hand jewelry, was very much in vogue in Europe during 1860-1870s. One such tiny pistol – a British-made seven shooter called “Femme Fatale” used 3.5-4.4mm bullets. To load, unload, or reload the handgun, the user had to take a small slotted jewelers screwdriver and remove the cylinder from the ring base.
SS belt buckle and Stalin’s grenade launcher
The Second World War gave camouflaged firearms a new lease on life. The SS belt buckle pistol (SS-Waffenakademie Koppelschlopistole) was arguably the best known such weapon. Designed by engineer Luis Marquis in 1942, it was an experimental firearm consisting of two or four 7.62mm or 5.6mm barrels and lockwork concealed within a Nazi belt buckle.
The barrels were 2″ long and the wearer needed to be very close to their target. After a lever was pressed, the spring-loaded buckle would pivot downwards, exposing the barrel.
The Nazi’s even developed portable grenade launcher designed expressly to kill Soviet leader Josef Stalin. The “Panzerknacke” was a 20mm steel tube strapped to the shooter’s right arm.
It fired rocket-propelled grenades capable of piercing a 30mm armor plate 30 meters away.
In 1944, Soviet NKVD agents confiscated one such Panzerknacke with nine grenades from a team of Nazi assassins on a mission to kill Stalin.
US Stinger and a sling gun
During the early 1940s, the US Office of Strategic Services (the forerunner of the CIA) came up with a flurry of strange looking shooting devices. One, called Little Joe, was a crossbow gun designed to take out sentinels and guard dogs without making any noise.
OSS armorers also came up with the Stinger single-shot shooting pen, which fired 5.6mm and 6.35mm Browning bullets and had an effective range of up to three meters. According to various estimates, some 40,000 Stingers were built during WWII.
Femme Fatale ring gun
© PHOTO: GREGG MARTIN AUCTIONS
Three-barreled silent cigarette case
The start of the Cold War forced arms designers on both sides of the Atlantic to devise grenade launching umbrellas, exploding radios, sleeve guns, etc. While many of these designs remained on paper, some eventually reached the factory floor.
During the 1950s, the Soviet KGB enlisted a team of engineers to design silent weapons to kill enemy agents. In 1955, Igor Stechkin designed a three-barreled cigarette case firing that fired 9mm low-noise bullets up to seven meters away.
The shooting cigarette case was eventually approved for use by Soviet secret agents, but whether it was actually put to use remains anyone’s guess.
Other weapons than guns have been used to kill, including a cyanide gas gun used by KGB officer Bogdan Stashinsky to assassinate two Ukrainian dissidents — Lev Rebet and Stepan Bandera.
A poison-tipped umbrella was used to kill Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov in London in 1978.
Reprinted from Sputnik News.
Scandal: Leaked documents released a few days ago provide juicy insider details of how a fabulously rich businessman has been using his money to influence elections in Europe, underwrite an extremist group, target U.S. citizens who disagreed with him, dictate foreign policy, and try to sway a Supreme Court ruling, among other things.Pretty compelling stuff, right?
Not if it involves leftist billionaire George Soros. In this case, the mainstream press couldn’t care less.
On Saturday, a group called DC Leaks posted more than 2,500 documents going back to 2008 that it pilfered from Soros’ Open Society Foundations’ servers. Since then, the mainstream media have shown zero interest in this gold mine of information.
We couldn’t find a single story on the New York Times, CNN, Washington Post, CBS News or other major news sites that even noted the existence of these leaked documents, let alone reported on what’s in them.
Indeed, the only news organization that appears to be diligently sifting through all the documents is the conservative Daily Caller, which as a result has filed a series of eye-opening reports.
So what could possibly explain the mainstream media’s disinterest?
Is the problem that the material is too boring or inconsequential? Hardly.
As we noted in this space on Monday, the leaked documents show how Soros’ far-flung international organizations attempted to manipulate Europe’s 2014 elections. The “List of European Elections 2014 Projects” details over 90 Soros efforts he had under way that year.
The documents reveal that Soros has poured nearly $4 million into anti-Israel groups, with a goal of “challenging Israel’s racist and anti-democratic policies.”
Here at home, they show that Soros proposed paying the Center for American Politics $200,000 to conduct a smear campaign against conservative activists.
More recently, an October 2015 document came to light showing that Soros’ Open Society U.S. Programs had donated $650,000 to “invest in technical assistance and support for the groups at the core of the burgeoning #BlackLivesMatter movement.” Since then, several BLM protests have turned violent.
That same document details how this group successfully used its “extensive networks” to pressure the Obama administration into increasing the number of refugees it would take to 100,000, despite concerns that Islamic terrorists could use the refugee program to infiltrate the U.S.
A separate memo details how Soros tried to use his clout to sway Supreme Court justices into approving President Obama’s unilateral effort to rewrite immigration law. “Grantees are seeking to influence the Justices (primarily via a sophisticated amicus briefs and media strategy) in hopes of securing a favorable ruling in U.S. v Texas,” the memo, dug up by the Daily Caller, states.
Anyone with this much power and influence demands close media scrutiny. Particularly when he has extremely close ties to the would-be next president of the United States.
This year alone, Soros has given $7 million to the Clinton-supporting Priorities USA super-PAC, and a total of $25 million to support Democrats and their causes, according to Politico.
And when Soros speaks, Clinton listens. A separate email released by WikiLeaks shows Soros giving what read like step-by-step instructions to then-Secretary of State Clinton on how to deal with unrest in Albania in early 2011, including a list of people who should be considered as candidates to become an official mediator sent to that country. Days later, the EU dispatched one of the people on Soros’ list.
Thomas Lifson, writing in the American Thinker blog, said “Soros got the U.S. and other accomplices to intervene in the internal affairs of a sovereign state…. How is this not huge news?”
If Soros were a rock-ribbed conservative who supported Republican candidates and causes, you can bet that a swarm of reporters would right now be lustily tearing into these documents determined to expose any and every shred of evidence of influence peddling and misdeeds.
But because Soros is a hard-core leftist, he apparently gets a pass. Shameful.
Reprinted from Zero Hedge.
“He was great, he was unreal – really, really good.”
“He had this kind of music that nobody else was doing. I thought he really had something crazy, something great. He was like a living poet.”
[Today’s first trivia question: both of the above statements were made, on separate occasions, by a famous Laurel Canyon musician of the 1960s era. Both quotes were offered up in praise of another Laurel Canyon musician. Award yourself five points for correctly identifying the person who made the remarks, and five for identifying who the statements refer to. The answers are at the end of this post.]
In the first chapter of this saga, we met a sampling of some of the most successful and influential rock music superstars who emerged from Laurel Canyon during its glory days. But these were, alas, more than just musicians and singers and songwriters who had come together in the canyon; they were destined to become the spokesmen and de facto leaders of a generation of disaffected youth (as Carl Gottlieb noted in David Crosby’s co-written autobiography, “the unprecedented mass appeal of the new rock ‘n’ roll gave the singers a voice in public affairs.”) That, of course, makes it all the more curious that these icons were, to an overwhelming degree, the sons and daughters of the military/intelligence complex and the scions of families that have wielded vast wealth and power in this country for a very long time.
When I recently presented to a friend a truncated summary of the information contained in the first installment of this series, said friend opted to play the devil’s advocate by suggesting that there was nothing necessarily nefarious in the fact that so many of these icons of a past generation hailed from military/intelligence families. Perhaps, he suggested, they had embarked on their chosen careers as a form of rebellion against the values of their parents. And that, I suppose, might be true in a couple of cases. But what are we to conclude from the fact that such an astonishing number of these folks (along with their girlfriends, wives, managers, etc.) hail from a similar background? Are we to believe that the only kids from that era who had musical talent were the sons and daughters of Navy Admirals, chemical warfare engineers and Air Force intelligence officers? Or are they just the only ones who were signed to lucrative contracts and relentlessly promoted by their labels and the media?
If these artists were rebelling against, rather than subtly promoting, the values of their parents, then why didn’t they ever speak out against the folks they were allegedly rebelling against? Why did Jim Morrison never denounce, or even mention, his father’s key role in escalating one of America’s bloodiest illegal wars? And why did Frank Zappa never pen a song exploring the horrors of chemical warfare (though he did pen a charming little ditty entitled “The Ritual Dance of the Child-Killer”)? And which Mamas and Papas song was it that laid waste to the values and actions of John Phillip’s parents and in-laws? And in which interview, exactly, did David Crosby and Stephen Stills disown the family values that they were raised with?
In the coming weeks, we will take a much closer look at these folks, as well as at many of their contemporaries, as we endeavor to determine how and why the youth ‘counterculture’ of the 1960s was given birth. According to virtually all the accounts that I have read, this was essentially a spontaneous, organic response to the war in Southeast Asia and to the prevailing social conditions of the time. ‘Conspiracy theorists,’ of course, have frequently opined that what began as a legitimate movement was at some point co-opted and undermined by intelligence operations such as CoIntelPro. Entire books, for example, have been written examining how presumably virtuous musical artists were subjected to FBI harassment and/or whacked by the CIA.
Here we will, as you have no doubt already ascertained, take a decidedly different approach. The question that we will be tackling is a more deeply troubling one: “what if the musicians themselves (and various other leaders and founders of the ‘movement’) were every bit as much a part of the intelligence community as the people who were supposedly harassing them?” What if, in other words, the entire youth culture of the 1960s was created not as a grass-roots challenge to the status quo, but as a cynical exercise in discrediting and marginalizing the budding anti-war movement and creating a fake opposition that could be easily controlled and led astray? And what if the harassment these folks were subjected to was largely a stage-managed show designed to give the leaders of the counterculture some much-needed ‘street cred’? What if, in reality, they were pretty much all playing on the same team?
I should probably mention here that, contrary to popular opinion, the ‘hippie’/’flower child’ movement was not synonymous with the anti-war movement. As time passed, there was, to be sure, a fair amount of overlap between the two ‘movements.’ And the mass media outlets, as is their wont, did their very best to portray the flower-power generation as the torch-bearers of the anti-war movement – because, after all, a ragtag band of unwashed, drug-fueled long-hairs sporting flowers and peace symbols was far easier to marginalize than, say, a bunch of respected college professors and their concerned students. The reality, however, is that the anti-war movement was already well underway before the first aspiring ‘hippie’ arrived in Laurel Canyon. The first Vietnam War ‘teach-in’ was held on the campus of the University of Michigan in March of 1965. The first organized walk on Washington occurred just a few weeks later. Needless to say, there were no ‘hippies’ in attendance at either event. That ‘problem’ would soon be rectified. And the anti-war crowd – those who were serious about ending the bloodshed in Vietnam, anyway – would be none too appreciative.
As Barry Miles has written in his coffee-table book, Hippie, there were some hippies involved in anti-war protests, “particularly after the police riot in Chicago in 1968 when so many people got injured, but on the whole the movement activists looked on hippies with disdain.” Peter Coyote, narrating the documentary “Hippies” on The History Channel, added that “Some on the left even theorized that the hippies were the end result of a plot by the CIA to neutralize the anti-war movement with LSD, turning potential protestors into self-absorbed naval-gazers.” An exasperated Abbie Hoffman once described the scene as he remembered it thusly: “There were all these activists, you know, Berkeley radicals, White Panthers … all trying to stop the war and change things for the better. Then we got flooded with all these ‘flower children’ who were into drugs and sex. Where the hell did the hippies come from?!”
As it turns out, they came, initially at least, from a rather private, isolated, largely self-contained neighborhood in Los Angeles known as Laurel Canyon (in contrast to the other canyons slicing through the Hollywood Hills, Laurel Canyon has its own market, the semi-famous Laurel Canyon Country Store; its own deli and cleaners; its own elementary school, the Wonderland School; its own boutique shops and salons; and, in more recent years, its own celebrity reprogramming rehab facility named, as you may have guessed, the Wonderland Center. During its heyday, the canyon even had its own management company, Lookout Management, to handle the talent. At one time, it even had its own newspaper.)
One other thing that I should add here, before getting too far along with this series, is that this has not been an easy line of research for me to conduct, primarily because I have been, for as long as I can remember, a huge fan of 1960s music and culture. Though I was born in 1960 and therefore didn’t come of age, so to speak, until the 1970s, I have always felt as though I was ripped off by being denied the opportunity to experience firsthand the era that I was so obviously meant to inhabit. During my high school and college years, while my peers were mostly into faceless corporate rock (think Journey, Foreigner, Kansas, Boston, etc.) and, perhaps worse yet, the twin horrors of New Wave and Disco music, I was faithfully spinning my Hendrix, Joplin and Doors albums (which I still have, or rather my eldest daughter still has, in the original vinyl versions) while my color organ (remember those?) competed with my black light and strobe light. I grew my hair long until well past the age when it should have been sheared off. I may have even strung beads across the doorway to my room, but it is possible that I am confusing my life with that of Greg Brady, who, as we all remember, once converted his dad’s home office into a groovy bachelor pad.
Anyway … as I have probably mentioned previously on more than one occasion, one of the most difficult aspects of this journey that I have been on for the last decade or so has been watching so many of my former idols and mentors fall by the wayside as it became increasingly clear to me that people who I once thought were the good guys were, in reality, something entirely different than what they appear to be. The first to fall, naturally enough, were the establishment figures – the politicians who I once, quite foolishly, looked up to as people who were fighting the good fight, within the confines of the system, to bring about real change. Though it now pains me to admit this, there was a time when I admired the likes of (egads!) George McGovern and Jimmy Carter, as well as (oops, excuse me for a moment; I seem to have just thrown up in my mouth a little bit) California pols Tom Hayden and Jerry Brown. I even had high hopes, oh-so-many-years-ago, for (am I really admitting this in print?) aspiring First Man Bill Clinton.
As the fall semester begins, parents, students, taxpayers and donors should be made aware of official college practices that should disgust us all.
Hampshire College will offer some of its students what the school euphemistically calls “identity-based housing.” That’s segregated housing for students who — because of their race, culture, gender or sexual orientation — have “historically experienced oppression.” I’d bet the rent money that Hampshire College will not offer Jewish, Irish, Polish, Chinese or Catholic students segregated housing. Because there is no group of people who have not faced oppression, Hampshire College is guilty of religious and ethnic discrimination in its housing segregation policy.
University of Connecticut administrators thinks that more black men will graduate if they spend more time together. According to Campus Reform, they are building a new residence hall to facilitate just that. Dr. Erik Hines, the faculty director for the program, said that the learning community “is a space for African-American men to … come together and validate their experiences that they may have on department offers a course called “Kayne vs. Everybody.” At Tufts University’s Experimental College, one can take a class called “Demystifying the Hipster.” Skidmore College’s sociology department offers “The Sociology of Miley Cyrus: Race, Class, Gender, and Media.” Frostburg State University’s physics department offers “The Science of Harry Potter,” where it examines some of the tale’s magic. Georgetown University offers “Philosophy and Star Trek,” arguing that “Star Trek is very philosophical” and adding, “What better way, then, to learn philosophy, than to watch Star Trek, read philosophy, and hash it all out in class?”
That these and other nonsense classes exist may reflect several things. There is the notion of shared educational governance, wherein presidents, and boards of trustees have a little say-so about what passes for a college education. The faculty runs the show. Students may be academic cripples and require such nonsense. Those are the most optimistic assessments. Or such academic nonsense may indeed reflect that presidents, academic administrators, faculty members and students actually believe that such classes have academic merit.
College administrators like to keep campus barbarism under wraps. One of the best means to throttle their hideous agenda is for students to use their electronic devices to expose it to public scrutiny.
Another anniversary of the U.S. military’s atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has come and gone, and once again the same rationalizations were repeated especially on the conservative talk radio shows.
But the majority of the American population continue to repeat their defense of murdering innocent human beings, including children. The conservatives, however, suffer especially from the cognitive dissonance of their claiming the importance of “protecting innocent human life” (such as with the abortion issue), yet they support the intentional targeting and mass murders of innocents.
“Well, we had to save the lives of U.S. soldiers…” in their hypothetical future ground battles which otherwise probably would never have happened. But, as a matter of military strategy, they say it was necessary to kill innocent children and their families who were of no threat to anyone.
So the collectivist-minded reasoning is that those innocent children were on “the other side,” not our side. So it’s okay to kill them.
Such rationalization of murdering innocents is out of collectivism, in which, even though those innocents “over there” were not involved in attacking us, because they happened to be within “enemy” territory, “we” had no choice but to disintegrate them.
Many people have a faith in the State that is so strong that they dare not question their collectivist rationalizations of their government’s murders of innocents.
But those conservatives who constantly preach about moral relativism in society are themselves guilty of it with that particular issue especially. Their defense of the Bush-Obama wars of the past 15 years is also rife with moral relativism.
This year’s Presidential campaign is another reminder of the denial of a collapsing society and specifically the federal government in Washington. The election is between the two major party central planners-wannabe on steroids, with some other candidates.
On “making America great again,” I don’t know how you can make an entire country or territory great when so many of its inhabitants obediently worship the centralized apparatus that stifles greatness, that kills opportunity, that enslaves the people.
For instance, have you ever really thought about a system such as taxation in which an agency demands something from you without any voluntary agreement, and threatens to put you in a cage or kill you if you don’t comply?
Sounds kinda like a gangster, doesn’t it? Hmm.
But most people are okay with that because they’ve been indoctrinated to be okay with it since their earliest days. But giving the federal government the power to exercise such a criminal racket over the people has certainly enabled further criminality (e.g. getting into two world wars and other subsequent wars, the New Deal, the Great Society, etc).
Unlike businesses in which their consumers patronize them voluntarily and it’s actually illegal to threaten consumers with a jail cell or death if they don’t comply, in contrast, the central planners of government may issue the threats and carry them out as well and they get away with it. You like that?
Speaking of America, should there really be a single entity with a population of over 300 million over a territory of several million square miles? Was it realistic in the first place?
As Friedrich A. Hayek wrote,
Agreement about a common purpose between a group of known people is clearly an idea that cannot be applied to a large society which includes people who do not know one another. The modern society and the modern economy have grown up through the recognition that this idea — which was fundamental to life in a small group — a face-to-face society, is simply inapplicable to large groups.
And I liked Jim Cox’s recent article on 50 seceding states. Decentralization is the answer to society’s problems which are mainly caused by central planning. America is itself a collectivist concept. A large territory of centralization of power.
I know, people rationalize the centralized racket with their hypnotized mantra of “common defense.”
Yeah, that’s working out well. That national defense apparatus in Washington has been starting wars of aggression, poking hornets’ nests and provoking foreigners, and making Americans less safe and more vulnerable.
In fact, I think that people are even worse now in their subservience, denial and ignorance. After Vietnam, especially after the Pentagon Papers, you would think that in 1991 when President George H.W. Bush wanted to start his war of aggression against Iraq, that the American people would not approve of it. But no.
As for “defense” and the federal tax-thieving and spending in general, we’re now talking about money in the trillions of dollars. But there’s no such thing as a “trillion.” It just doesn’t exist. And all those special interest groups in and around Washington are getting rich on phony money handed out by the Federal Reserve and the racketeers of Congress.
Really, the military and security contractors have been getting rich off the feds’ destruction of other countries and mass murders of foreigners. That’s “defense.”
But, after all the years now — decades, in fact — of Ron Paul’s advocacy of monetary freedom, especially during his last Presidential campaign in which his bills in Congress were getting much more media attention, the sheeple still have no idea of such alternatives and they’re fine with the government’s monetary monopoly that enables and empowers the politicians and banksters to fleece and rob them, shake them down and enslave them.
So besides government’s mass murders, wars, and money, my last issue concerning moral relativism, collectivism, and central planning is the immigration issue. I just don’t understand the conservatives who think they believe in free-market capitalism and private property rights, but when it comes to free markets in labor and employment, not so much.
While the conservatives and nationalists say they hate central planning, they love central planning in “national security” as mentioned above. But they also love it in the immigration issue. The opponents of a free market in labor and employment want the central planning bureaucrats in Washington to continue with their socialist immigration controls, regardless of the chaos such controls have caused for a half-century or more. Put armed guards and snipers on the government borders and build a government wall.
I know that some people suggest that the taxpayers “own” the property that is considered “public” property such as that around the nationalized border. But do they really support the U.S. government’s control over the lives of foreigners as well as markets involving labor and employment? Should the government arrest foreigners who are in the territory without a bureaucrat’s permission, and arrest the business people who employ them?
In contrast, in a free-market capitalist world, employers are free to hire whomever they determine to be the best workers for the wages agreed upon by the worker and the employer. Third-parties who interfere with those private contracts are intruders. Again, that’s in the world of free markets, not the world of government-controlled and centrally-planned markets.
When government borders and arbitrary bureaucratic regulations restrict markets, they are no longer free markets, in my view.
Now, as Walter Block noted in his essay, A Libertarian Case for Free Immigration (.pdf), if you are concerned about foreigners getting into the territory and getting on welfare, then that’s a case against the welfare state.
Abolishing the welfare state is what libertarians and conservatives should concentrate on there.
But preventing others from making a better life for themselves, people who have not harmed anyone should be solely the work of the criminal State and its immoral apparatchiks.
And if you are concerned about would-be terrorists infiltrating the territory or being brought in by the government planners themselves, the main contributors to the radical Islamic extremism are those government bureaucrats. Getting rid of those damn bureaucrats would be very helpful in that area as well.
Which brings me back to the issue of decentralization. Secession and decentralization are the morally right and practical answers to the problems society faces right now.
The problem is central planning and socialism. And for me personally, the Left‘s solutions of central planning and collectivism will further contribute to the societal collapse. I’d rather not have to live through that when it’s otherwise quite avoidable.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines hygiene as:
“Conditions or practices conducive to maintaining health and preventing disease, especially through cleanliness.”
During or following a disruptive event, life will be tough enough without having to worry about maintaining health and preventing disease. Why then, do I find the topic of a survival hygiene kit taking a backseat to articles about food, water, bug-out bags and life in the wilderness?
Today I plan to change that by sharing my own list of must-have items to keep me clean, healthy, and looking good. And lest you question the “looking good” part, rest assured I plan to explain why that is important when faced with a survival situation.
Here is my list, in no particular order.
Residents of Adams County, Idaho, should compel Sheriff Ryan Zollman – by nailing his feet to the floor, if necessary — to answer this question: Are you willing to tell Donna Yantis to her face that her husband Jack deserved to die?
If Zollman answers that question in the negative, he should be forced to answer this one: Are you willing to fire the deputies who perforated Jack Yantis with gunshots, even though they will be spared criminal prosecution because they killed an innocent man?
Assuming that Zollman isn’t willing to do either of the foregoing, he should candidly admit to the public supposedly served by his office that their lives are less valuable than those of his deputies; that the testimony of a local citizen is never to be credited when that citizen accuses deputies of misconduct; that the personal safety of his deputies is the only important consideration in any encounter with a member of the public; and that he is willing to protect the job security of deputies who have exhibited lethal incompetence even when this means putting the public at avoidable risk.
If he were any part of a man, Zollman would have fired Deputies Cody Roland and Brian Wood immediately after last November’s fatal shooting. Instead, he is accusing critics of his department of enlisting in the mythical “war on police.”
“It’s clear that in the nation, law enforcement, we’re under attack, and we just have a reason here in Adams County,” simpered Zollman in a television interview shortly after Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden made the entirely predictable announcement that Roland and Wood would not face criminal charges.
Zollman invites the public to pretend that the deputies, not the man they killed without cause or the prospect of facing accountability, are the victims, their egos gravely wounded by criticism from the public that has continued to pay their salaries and – for reasons that defy my understanding — retains an ingenuous belief in the legitimacy of their profession.
People who pursue a career in law enforcement rarely expose themselves to peril and are often burdened with an overdeveloped capacity for self-pity. From the moment the Adams County deputies gunned down a rancher in an act of criminally negligent homicide – after pleading with him to finish a dangerous task that exceeded their subsidized but inadequate skill-set – Zollman and his comrades made protection of the killers their highest priority.
To understand how law enforcement administrators would deal with an incident of this kind in a relatively civilized country, it’s useful to recall how Haraldur Johannessen, Reykjavik’s Chief of Police, reacted after his officers fatally shot a man who had been sniping at pedestrians from an apartment window. That December 2, 2013, the episode was the first fatal police shooting of a suspect by police in Iceland … well, in the entire history of that country since it achieved independence in 1944. “Police regret this incident and would like to extend their condolences to the family of the man,” Johannessen said during a press conference following the incident.
None of the officers involved in the raid regarded what they did as heroic. While acknowledging that deadly force had to be used to protect the public, several of the officers – soul-sick over their involvement in ending an irreplaceable human life – sought grief counseling. Their ability to see a violent criminal suspect as a fellow human being didn’t detract from their efficiency and professionalism.
I suspect that this is because police in Iceland, whatever else can be said about their training and professional conduct, have not been marinated in the same “No Hesitation” – “Officer Safety uber alles” indoctrination that is de rigueur for American law enforcement personnel, and that unlike their American counterparts Icelandic police are not protected by the pernicious legal fiction called “qualified immunity.”
The US(S)A is a country in which a police officer who risks his life by using non-lethal tactics to end a violent confrontation can be threatened with administrative punishment – or can find himself fired outright and subject to official retaliation for exposing the abusive behavior of his former comrades.
That the deputies who slaughtered Jack Yantis were never in substantial danger of prosecution was made clear by Zollman’s eagerness to reinstate them to patrol duty within days of the killing – long before the Attorney General had completed the cynical charade of an investigation. In late November, just two weeks after Yantis’s funeral, Zollman told the Idaho Statesman that the deputies would return “when they tell me they’re good to go. Some come back quicker, some come back later.”
The only practical consideration, apparently, was the emotional resilience of the killers. Zollman was prepared to put them back on patrol the moment they had overcome whatever trivial misgivings they may have had about killing the next time an opportunity presented itself.
Jack Yantis, obviously, is never coming back. His wife Donna, who was assaulted on the scene and shackled by the men who had just executed her husband, did rebound from the heart attack precipitated by the criminal actions of Zollman’s deputies, but she will never fully recover from the loss she suffered at their hands.
What happened to Yantis and his family, from Zollman’s perspective, was a shame. The real tragedy would be if the deputies who gunned him down and then left him to bleed to death were to lose their entitlements as members of the punitive caste.
While the Yantis family absorbed the horror of what Zollman’s deputies had done to them, Zollman – with the help of other local agencies – assigned tax-subsidized manpower to guard the homes of the men who killed him. This was done despite the fact that Wood was characterized by one of his colleagues as a “sociopath” capable of killing fellow officers if they were sent to arrest him.
At about that time, Wood was the subject of an “officer safety” flier, even though the public at large wasn’t warned of the danger he represented.
From this, we can learn everything necessary to know about the priorities of those who presume to rule us, but there is additional evidence to consider as well.
“Is he coming back as an Officer in Adams County and when?” asked Adams County resident Janet Fields of Tami J. Faulhaber, a Senior Investigator in the Idaho Attorney General’s office, in a May 2 email. The question referred to Deputy Roland, from whom Fields had received Facebook comments she considered threatening in nature.
“This seems to be getting worse as your Department allows the two officers that shot and killed Jack Yantis to walk around beating their chests,” Fields protested. “The people in this community, my husband and I are tired of being afraid of the very people who are supposed to be here to protect and serve us. I am tired of feeling like I have to have a tape recorder … every time I go to the grocery store in town or that our CCP [Concealed Carry Permit] may get us shot by the very people who issued them.”
Officials did take the concerns of local citizens into account – which is to say, they treated them as threats to the safety of the men who killed Jack Yantis.
“Paul – we have discussed here in the office a concern that we have for the safety of the officers when the announcement is made, regardless of what the decision is,” wrote Carl Ericson, Legal Counsel for the Idaho Risk Management Program, in a July 21 email to Paul Panther of the AG’s office. “There is a legitimate worry about possible vigilantism and it could pose a risk to the officers if charges are filed against them and they have not been taken into custody (or voluntarily surrendered) at the time the decision is announced. On the other hand, if no charges are being filed, they may want to leave town to protect themselves prior to the announcement of no charges…. It would be more difficult if they are given a heads up that no charges are being filed and they then start broadcasting it to the world before the announcement.”
Roland and Wood, who have been taking victory laps in the media, are not in danger of being lynched, and they never were. As noted previously, Roland and Wood were also never in serious danger of being charged, because of this killing – like every fatal officer-involved shooting– was investigated as an “assault on law enforcement.”
Rather than seeking to establish probable cause –as he would in any similar case not involving the State’s costumed enforcers – AG Wasden used the investigation to build a case against the dead victim.
To conclude that there was no basis for filing criminal charges against Roland and Wood is, inescapably, the same thing as concluding that Yantis deserved to die. If Roland and Wood had been acquitted following a trial, the public could reasonably conclude that the deputies were in the wrong, and that Yantis was an innocent victim, and that the evidence simply wasn’t adequate to support a conviction. Whether or not the deputies had been convicted of a crime (most likely manslaughter), there is a sense in which a trial was necessary to clear the name of their victim. By refusing to allow the prosecution to proceed, however, Wasden effectively convicted Jack Yantis of attempting, or at least threatening, to murder Deputies Roland and Wood–and in doing so he contradicts abundant evidence that should have been examined by a jury of Adams County citizens.
Jack Yantis must have been a criminal because otherwise, the deputies wouldn’t have killed him. That is Sheriff Zollman’s position on the issue. Is he willing to say this to Donna Yantis?
No one likes a nag.
Especially one that comes along for the ride.
Here are some I wish were optional.
I’m betting you do, too:
*The lawyered-up infotainment screen –
Most (and soon, all) new cars have an LCD infotainment screen, including a government-mandated backup camera. At start-up, the LCD screen will hit you with a warning screen whose cautions and advisories you usually have to “agree” to every single time before anything controlled by the screen can be accessed. It’s like being forced to read the label on a bottle of aspirins every single time you have a headache, then (somehow) acknowledging to Bayer that you know not to eat the entire contents of the bottle – and won’t sue them if you do – before the bottle allows you to have an aspirin.
You are also admonished to “check the surrounding area for safety.”
Where is he? Do you see him?
It gives me a headache.
These systems also do another annoying thing. Put the gear selector in Reverse and the volume of the stereo goes down.
Or even off.
Also for “safety,” of course.
Presumptive (and illiterate) idiot-proofing.
Conjured by the lawyers who now work side-by-side with the engineers who built your car.
The DRL-enabling/barely works parking brake –
Until about five years ago, it was possible to defeat the stupid always-on Daytime Running Lamps (DRLs) most new cars come with (it’s stupid to burn headlights when there’s no reason to, like the lack of daylight… or a funeral) by moving the parking brake handle up just one notch, which would kill the lights but not engage the brakes. Now – redesigned for “safety” – a pushy buzzer comes on if you try this, making it useless as a DRL defeat.
And the brake itself has been designed to have the feeblest of clamping power.
They build just enough tension into allow the brake to hold the car in place if the car is not moving at all. But not enough to lock up the rear wheels while the car’s moving – so no more Hollywood-style parking brake 180s.
Also for “safety.”
* The Curse of the Phantom Passenger –
New cars have “smart” air bags … with very dumb sensors.
They are built into the seat cushions and – supposedly – detect the presence of an occupant and (if he’s not buckled up for “safety”) trigger the seat belt buzzer to remind (hassle) them to do so. But the “smart” air bag sensors often can’t tell the difference between a human passenger and a bag of fast food burgers.
You have to buckle-up your double cheeseburger and fries – or figure out some other way to defeat the electronic imbecile.
Either that or put up with the endless ding! ding! ding! of the buckle-up buzzer.
Which, when you think about it, is distracting and so not very “safe.”
Although I rarely find myself agreeing with neoconservative foreign policy adviser Elliot Cohen, it happened last week, when Cohen in a controversial tweet inveighed against the pro-Trump Journal of American Greatness. Let me admit that I usually read this website publication with pleasure; and although, unlike its contributors, I am not a Straussian of any stripe, I concur with much of what I see there. The Journal’s defense of Trump against the hollow but widespread charge that he’s a “fascist” or a “menace to constitutional freedom,” typically coming from the Never-Trumpites, and its invocation of the Middle American patriotism of the mid-twentieth century (when I grew up in a country that I generally embraced) both resonate well with me. But Cohen is correct that much of the Journal’s operation goes on under the cloak of “anonymity.” Although the editors in response to Cohen claim that the contributors have already identified themselves, all I could discover on the website were the names of three hired editors. These employees, not surprisingly, have some association with Claremont University and/or with the mother shrine of the West Coast Straussians, the Claremont Institute.
Several months ago I was in communication with two distinguished former students of the late Harry Jaffa who expressed their enthusiasm for the Journal but who refused to name names. One of them (whose name I won’t divulge because he wouldn’t want me to) underlined the grave professional danger faced by anyone in his group if it became known that he or she wrote for the Journal. He made the website sound like an underground operation being carried on by endangered dissenters. Now one might understand why the multitude of Never-Trumpites attached to foundations or the academy would be more eager to have their names out there than someone who backs a figure now associated with the populist Right. This is especially true of some people of my acquaintance who ostentatiously display their hatred for Trump at the drop of a pin. Not at all coincidentally, these professional Trump-haters are living from the largess provided by neoconservative donors and think tanks. Perhaps if someone had offered me these plums when I was younger, I too would have sounded shrilly sycophantic. Fortunately for my integrity nobody did.
But what struck me last month while putting together a statement to be signed by scholars for Trump, is how few academics seconded my efforts. In the end, we landed up taking any professional who would append his signature, including a very enthusiastic physician from India who does emergency medicine in Miami. When History-Network recently provided a list of academic historians who were for or against Trump, only three of us, two septuagenarians (including me) and one octogenarian, declared themselves for the GOP presidential candidate. The other historians on the list, some of whom were establishment Republicans, went on a rampage tearing into the Donald. Needless to say, no West Coast Straussian historian threw in his lot with us; nor did anyone in this group offer his name to our publicized declaration of support, which History Network had no trouble discovering, thanks to Lewrockwell.com.
Now it’s entirely possible that some readers of and contributors to the Journal didn’t know of our efforts, while others may have been sitting on the fence in the matter of Donald J. Trump. But I suspect something else is at work here. Disciples of Jaffa of my acquaintance are not professionally endangered. They work at the Claremont Institute or at Claremont University or at such sympathetic institutions as Hillsdale College, whose president Larry P. Arnn is a fervent West Coast Straussian. It would seem that no group has less reason than these Straussians to feel insecure about where their next dollar is coming from. These people have their own well-heeled institutions and, perhaps even more significantly, have access to neoconservative publications and foundations. But that may be the rub. For many decades a cooperative relation has existed between West Coast Straussians and their now deceased mentor and mainstream Republican and neoconservative personalities and foundations. Claremont Review features almost exclusively writers drawn from this pool as well as their own coterie, while Hillsdale invites guest speakers from the same groups.
As a member of the Old Right I have never enjoyed access to either of these institutions; nor would I expect to. The connections of West Coast Straussians are entirely with the GOP-neoconservative establishment, and its members are treated generously by those with whom they network. Their names are seen again and again in National Review, Weekly Standard, and Wall Street Journal; and in all likelihood internships and entry level jobs in neoconservative foundations and publications are made available to young West Coast Straussians. Their basic teachings, e.g., that democratic equality is a foundational conservative principle and that the heroes of the Right should be the Great Emancipator, the anti-Nazi English leader Winston Churchill, and the Civil Rights champion Martin Luther King, are fully compatible with ideas that are now in fashion in the conservative movement. Although members of this group or sect keep insisting that they are somehow different from others in the movement (and perhaps more closely aligned to the Old Right), I’ve seen no evidence of this claim—until now.
The fact that some West Coast Straussians have broken from the fold and back Trump, however surreptitiously, represents a cataclysmic break from the neocon-GOP establishment party line. It places the rebels on the same side as paleoconservatives, paleolibertarians and the populist Right, the same groups that the neocons loathe and have worked tirelessly to defame. But where exactly do the West Coast Straussians (aka Jaffaites) go from here? They are bound at the hip with those they’re apparently beginning to break with. Personally, I doubt their present insurgency has much of a future, but I’d be delighted to be proven wrong.
Starting today, the Royal Bank of Scotland will become the first bank in the U.K. to impose a negative interest rate on depositors. The negative rate will apply only to corporate customers, including mutual fund managers and pension funds, holding deposits of certain foreign currencies including euros. This means that RBS—in which the U.K. government still maintains a majority ownership stake since its 2008 bailout—will actually charge these customers to “borrow” their deposits. A few weeks ago, RBS notified more than one million small-business customers that they could also be charged for deposits if the Bank of England lowered the target interest rate, which now stands at .25%, into negative territory. Experts are warning that the latest move by RBS would “set alarm bells ringing” among small businesses and ordinary customers. The stage is set for a glorious and long overdue old-fashioned bank run if the BOE ventures to push rates into negative territory.
Meanwhile in the eurozone, since the ECB rate cut the interest rate in March to minus 0.4%, banks have paid a total of about 2.64 billion euros to keep their funds on deposit at the eurozone’s 19 central banks. With European central bankers threatening further rate cuts, private financial institutions are exploring the feasibility of circumventing the charges by converting central bank electronic deposit credits into cash and storing it in nonbank facilities. The German insurance company Munich Re is reportedly already storing tens of millions of euros at “a manageable cost,” and Commerzbank, Germany’s second-biggest lender, is considering a similar option.
Of course, any significant movement to convert bank reserves into cash would undermine the goal of central bank rate cutting because the cost of holding bank reserves in cold hard cash would not respond to a change in interest rates, short-circuiting central bank efforts to stimulate further bank lending. More significant, if the movement to convert deposits into cash spreads to the nonbank public, it would bring down the fractional-reserve banking system in short order. And herein lies the real reason why prominent establishment economists are now leading the charge in the War on Cash. By abolishing cash, they seek to lock everyone’s money holdings into the fractional-reserve banking system and make the system completely run-proof for all time. This would preserve and strengthen the so-called “transmission mechanism” of monetary policy, whose central element is fractional-reserve bank lending, which creates new deposits out of thin air.
Not coincidentally, Harvard and former IMF economist Kenneth Rogoff has just published a book a few days ago bearing the lurid title The Curse of Cash. The book garners effusive praise in back-cover endorsements from leading professional economists such as Ben Bernanke, Alan Blinder, and Michael Woodford. Rogoff reportedly calls for the abolition of all cash, not merely large-denomination notes. While admitting that cash has some advantages, Rogoff makes the sensational claim that the bulk of the $1.4 trillion of US currency in circulation is used to facilitate tax evasion and to finance illegal activities like human trafficking and terrorism. Oh yes—Rogoff also argues that a cashless economy would make monetary policy more efficient by preventing savers from hoarding cash whenever central bankers—advised by sage macroeconomists like Rogoff—decide that the “natural” or optimal rate of interest for the economy has become deeply negative.
Cash is an unambiguously a blessing to productive workers, savers, and entrepreneurs who wish to protect their hard earned money from the crazed theories and swindling schemes promoted by statists like Rogoff and the central bankers he advises.
Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.
I am not unsympathetic to the Trump Movement as I too am a populist. That said, Trump is wrong about trade. Trump is the latest and loudest to tap into a nearly ineradicable strain of economic fallacy known as protectionism. Protectionism is, as Albert Jay Nock accurately stated, “the robbery of the domestic consumer by the domestic manufacturer.” The protectionist wants to use state violence to prevent people from making deals with manufacturers and retailers from outside the United States who sell products that are cheaper and/or better than those produced domestically. If the trade that is banned or discouraged by high tariffs involves a consumer good, the protectionist has obviously made that person poorer by forcing him to buy a more expensive or lower quality good. If the banned transaction involves a capital good, then the protectionist has weakened a domestic manufacturer by costing that firm revenue, resulting in lower investment and decreased employment.
In a fiat currency economy such as we have, dollars spent abroad must come back to the U. S. economy anyway in the form of purchases of goods, services, real estate or bonds. Thus, the protectionist also thwarts those generally beneficial transactions. I am indebted to Milton Freidman for this point. If on the other hand, those dollars sent abroad are buried or burned, then the failure to return them simply means that Americans become wealthier as they have sent mere pieces of paper abroad in exchange for valuable goods. The analysis would be different perhaps in a gold standard economy but we do not have one so it’s academic.
Whether they admit it or not, the protectionist is a species of progressive, one who believes that positive state action can improve human life in a given arena of activity. Like all progressives, the protectionist has no evidence for his position, merely assertions, beliefs, hopes, and dreams. Like all progressives, the protectionist has no theory of costs. Where would all those dollars mulcted out of the millions of victims of their policies have been spent instead and what multitudes of unknowable sacrifices have been imposed on the masses? We will never know. Progressives are concerned with fantasies, not facts.
None of this is to justify America’s current trade policies. They are often called “free trade” but that is a lie. Let’s call it managed or regulated trade designed by lobbyists to benefit their special interest clients. To argue that we are stuck with protectionism or managed trade is a false choice. Both are bad.
Now, let me tell you what really bothers me about protectionism. It distracts us from the real problem: the progressive big government albatross that sits on top of the average American worker. It creates a convenient foreign scapegoat to blame for misdeeds of the real villain: the Progressive State of America. The average American working in the private sector has about half of his income stolen from him by the state and is told how he can spend his half of his own money by thousands of inscrutable regulations and laws. If he wants to start a business, there are hundreds of taxes, fees, licenses and regulations he must overcome that did not exist when America become the world’s leading economy.
If he seeks employment, his choices are greatly reduced by a hostile business climate that interferes with business development, investment, hiring, and growth. He is born into the world with a load of federal debt spent by dead progressive politicians years ago. He is shunted into a daycare center at three months old by an economy with a shortage of jobs that can support a family with one income. Next, he ends up in a government-run juvenile detention and propaganda center for twelve years that does not prepare him for surviving in the real world. Finally, he is encouraged to run up college debt to pay for the absurdly-high salaries of professors and administrators. The average American faces a daily struggle to survive and a grim future if present trends are projected. China didn’t do any of this. Uncle Sam did.
What is Donald Trump’s solution to the decline of America caused by progressive big government? Make government bigger still and elites ever more powerful by impoverishing the average American even further by making him buy expensive domestic goods he doesn’t want. That’s not a very artful deal.
Populism is the belief in policies that benefit the average person. The only viable populist platform is liberty and the free market. Protectionism always was and always will be a policy that favors wealthy elites at the expense of the average American worker. Politics is a rich man’s sport.
Wake up Donald! “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”