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Research Papers


 

Medical Education in Nevada: A Tale of Two Medical Schools

(Posted 2/4/07)

    A look at medical education in Nevada, including discussion of residencies and recommendations on improving access, affordability, and quality healthcare for the state of Nevada. 

Introduction (Posted 2/4/07)

Nevada Medical School Profiles(Posted 2/4/07)

Nevada Residencies (Posted 2/4/07)

Discussion (Posted 2/4/07)

Recommendations (Posted 2/4/07)

Conclusion (Posted 2/4/07)

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A Charter School Tale

(posted 5/5/05)

    A fictional tale of a poor inner city black family told through the eyes of Mr. and Mrs. Jones as they discuss life before and after the passage of the 'Charter School Act'. Also included is a detailed discussion and analysis of Charter and Voucher legislation and a contribution from a former Charter school teacher. News articles with commentary elaborate on the realities of the patterns found in the story. 

Introduction (posted 6/2/05)

Main Story (posted 6/2/05)

Charter School Analysis (posted 6/2/05)

Charter School quotes (posted 6/2/05)

Charter School Teacher (posted 6/2/05)

Charter School Articles (posted 6/2/05)

Homeschooling Articles (posted 6/2/05)

D.C. Public Schools Articles (posted 6/2/05)

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Tsunami Tyranny 

(Posted 2/11/05)

    An examination of the true role of government in charity, causes of poverty, and a detailed analysis of the American response to the Tsunami tragedy viewed through the lens of our founding and Constitution..

Causes of Poverty in Developing Nations (posted 2/16/05)

The Founding of the United States, Wealth Creation, and the Constitutionality of Charity (posted 2/16/05)

 

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A Theory of God  

(posted 1/23/05)

    A metaphysical exploration of Religion, Consciousness, Free Will, Randomness, and, ultimately, the nature of God. Neuroscience, networking, and AI computing are discussed. 

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John Kerry and Foreign Policy

(posted 10/20/2004)

    A (relatively) brief summary of John Kerry's foreign policy. Eight different areas are examined and then overall patterns are assessed and conclusions reached. Written for the undecided voter or political novice.

Kerry and Vietnam (posted 4/16/05)

Kerry and South America (posted 4/16/05)

Allies and Alliances (posted 4/16/05)

Kerry and Israel (posted 4/16/05)

Kerry and North Korea, Iran (posted 4/16/05)

Kerry and Taiwan (posted 4/16/05)

Kerry and Haiti (posted 4/16/05)

Communism, UN, Conclusion (posted 4/16/05)

Kerry on Blogs (posted 4/16/05)*

John Kerry and Welfare Reform (posted 4/25/05)*

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Welfare; History, Results and Reform (posted9/2/04)   

    65 charts/graphs and 257 citations detail one of the most comprehensive overviews of Welfare. Hitting from historical, political, academic and ideological angles, I attempt to answer the most fundamental questions regarding this institution. 

International Poverty Rates (posted 9/21/04)    

Native Americans and Welfare (posted 9/24/04)

School Choice (posted 10/4/04)

Sweat Shops and Welfare (posted 10/4/04)

Summary with Chart Groups (posted 10/29/04)

African American Politics and Welfare (posted1/8/05)

Welfare in the Press today (posted 1/8/05)

Appalachia, San Joaquin vs. Senator Wellstone ( posted 1/8/05)

Social Workers and Welfare (posted 3/21/05)

Social Security and Welfare (posted 2/9/05)

The Minimum Wage (posted 4/17/05)

Poverty and Single Motherhood in Sweden (posted 4/20/04)

John Kerry and Welfare Reform (posted 4/25/05)

Urban Institute Rhetoric (posted 4/26/05)

Bill Cosby and Welfare (posted 5/12/05)

Early History of Welfare (posted 6/18/05)

About this Research (posted 6/18/05)

Culture and Welfare (posted 11/25/05)

The 'Poor' (posted 1/8/06)

The Children's Defense Fund (Posted 7/10/06)

The Great Depression (Posted 8/25/06)

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                    Fahrenheit 9/11   

(posted 7/9/04)

    I attended a viewing of this documentary and have compiled one of the most in-depth, reviews of this film available anywhere on the web (153 citations). I not only critique inaccuracies found throughout the film, but offer detailed background information omitted from the film and attempt to gauge in it's impact. 

The Draft Myth (posted 9/22/04) 

The Florida Recount (posted 10/29/04)

The War In Iraq (posted 10/29/0

Middle Eastern Governments and Causes of Terrorism
(posted 11/30/04)

The UN, Iraq, and Darfur (posted 5/20/05)

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Breaking Analysis


 

 

Why does America regulate the trade in raisins?
The Economist ^ | April 14, 2013 | The Economist Explains
 

 

 

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/10/07/proof-of-heaven-a-doctor-s-experience-with-the-afterlife.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/27/opinion/sunday/schizophrenic-not-stupid.html

 

 

 

Louisiana's bold bid to privatize schools

 

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-06-01/news/sns-rt-us-education-vouchersbre8501g0-20120601_1_voucher-students-private-schools-state-funding

 

youtube people are awesome

 

 

EPA Fines Companies Because They Didn’t Use A Fuel That Doesn’t Exist
Human Events ^ | 01/11/2012 | John Hayward
 

 

Feds shut down Amish farm for selling fresh milk
www.washingtontimes.com ^ | 02-13-2012 | By Stephen Dinan
 

 

Louisiana Forces Homeless Shelter To Destroy $8,000 Worth Of Deer Meat
CBS News ^ | 02-25-2013
 

 

 

 

 

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.55799cfbd389f865660da24bb02616c9.4f1&show_article=1

 

http://www.freep.com/article/20120107/NEWS15/201070303?google_editors_picks=true

 

An Argument for Ron Paul as the Conservative Alternative to Mitt Romney

If we on Freerepublic are serious about stopping Mitt Romney we need to consider what our options are. First and foremost, there does not seem to be a viable alternative emerging in Gingrich, Perry or Santorum. The cyclic nature of their poll numbers suggest people are not overly committed to any of them.

Perhaps because after initial approval, a deeper look at records and past statements reveals imperfect and flawed records and perceived lack of steadfast conservative principles.

Ron Paul voters are different, they are not going to support another candidate. Paul is going to get 10-15-20%, and most of those voters do not have a 'number 2'. Some are independents, a few confused democrats, a sizeable number of newcomers to the political process, and the greatest number being libertarian minded conservative and arch conservatives. 

These folks simply cannot fathom Santorum's Medicare expansion vote, right to work and other positions and Gingrich's healthcare, global warming flirtations etc... Many support Paul's proposal to cut $1 trillion from the deficit, abolish 5 cabinet agencies and eliminate the IRS.

Therefore, if the goal is to stop Romney from getting the nomination, it seem Paul is a likely choice because even a gain of 10-15% puts him equal or over Romney from his current.

Paul has a national organization in place and the only other candidate with enough funding (all individual donations) to challenge the front runner in all 50 states. There are multiple articles opining this.

However, many conservatives dislike Paul, we've heard the terms 'kook', 'surrender monkey'. The question is, do they dislike Romney more?

The main issues seems to be with Paul's foreign policy. In fact, at least here on Freerepublic, his domestic positions win constant accolades. The thought of Paul in Washignton vetoing every spending bill and generally mucking up the status quo warms many a conservative heart. If Paul wins the general election he will be able to accomplish at least part of his agenda in dramatically downsizing the Federal government, lowering regulations and taxes. We might also assume his son Rand, may be Vice President, perhaps assuaging concerns about his age.

Many conservatives who may not be fans of Paul, do admire Rand.

The last point is that conservatives may need to give Paul's foreign policy a second look. Do we really need to provide for the defense of Japan, Germany and South Korea, so they can spend money on social programs. Do we really need to be chasing down 'rouge' African leaders. Do we need troops in 130 countries around the world and thousands of bases.

Even if you don't agree with this, you still need to ask yourself is the Mitt Romney alternative better.

 

 

 

 

12/14/11 (By Travis)
One-day rehiring nets former Chicago labor leader a $158,000 city pension

9/21/11 Chicago Tribune

Most city workers spend decades in public service to build up modest pensions. But for former labor leader Dennis Gannon, the keys to securing a public pension were one day on the city payroll and some help from the Daley administration.

 

United States v Enmons

Maybe someone can explain this to me?

(Added to 'Unions')

 

 

 

 

 

 

12/14/11 (By Travis)

U.S. money is Taliban's No. 2 revenue source
CBS News ^ | David Martin

 

Mapping a superpower-sized military

11/28/11 Richard Johson

A great graph showing how widespread US military power is around the globe. Pax americana, or a waste of taxpayer dollars and US lives?

 

 

 

 

 

 

12/14/11 (By Travis)

DC Resident Fined Thousands For Not Recycling Cat Litter
Fox 5 - Washington D.C. ^ | December 13, 2011 | Matt Ackland

 

 

According to White, the inspector admitted to digging through trash looking for violations.
 

 

 

 

12/14/11 (By Travis)

My sincere apologies for such a long hiatus in posting. A lot has been going on which has kept me busy, work namely. I do have a bunch of political stories compiled over the past months which I will add and categorize. I will still post political stories, but am going to try to focus more on the spiritual and revamp that portion of this website. It seems nowadays there are innumerable voices speaking the sweet name of lady liberty...

 

In addition, the company hosting the 'comments' has apparently switched ownership and so we will loose all those. I'll find some a new one so I can host 'comments'. Hope all readers are well. :)

-Travis

 

 


 

3/26/11 (By Travis)

In Prison for Taking a Liar Loan

3/25/11 NYT

“Being the special agent that I am, I was wondering, how does a guy train for this because most people have to work from nine to five and it’s very difficult to train for this part-time.” (He also told the grand jurors that sometimes, when he sees somebody driving a Ferrari, he’ll check to see if they make enough money to afford it. When I called Mr. Nordlander and others at the I.R.S. to ask whether this was an appropriate way to choose subjects for criminal tax investigations, my questions were met with a stone wall of silence.)


Still convinced that Mr. Engle must be hiding income, Mr. Nordlander did undercover surveillance and took “Dumpster dives” into Mr. Engle’s garbage. He mainly discovered that Mr. Engle lived modestly.

In March 2009, still unsatisfied, Mr. Nordlander persuaded his superiors to send an attractive female undercover agent, Ellen Burrows, to meet Mr. Engle and see if she could get him to say something incriminating. In the course of several flirtatious encounters, she asked him about his investments.

Is this story for real? Is this how the IRS operates?
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3/26/11 (By Travis)

NPR executive calls tea party 'seriously racist,' most Americans 'uneducated'
3/8/11 CSM
Perhaps we will soon rid the US of 'state radio and television (PBS)'.

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3/26/11 (By Travis)

Welfare State: Handouts Make Up One-Third of U.S. Wages

3/8/11 CNBC

Government payouts—including Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance—make up more than a third of total wages and salaries of the U.S. population, a record figure that will only increase if action isn’t taken before the majority of Baby Boomers enter retirement.
 

At the very least, we can take solace in the fact that we’re not quite at the state welfare levels of Europe. In the U.K., social welfare benefits make up 44 percent of wages and salaries, according to TrimTabs’ Schnapp.
(Added to 'Welfare; History, Results and Reform')
 

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3/26/11 (By Travis)

Breast Milk Ice Cream Seized From London Store
NPR ^ | March 1, 2011 | Breast Milk Ice Cream Seized From London Store

"Selling foodstuffs made from another person's bodily fluids can lead to viruses being passed on and in this case, potentially hepatitis," said Brian Connell of the Westminster Council, according to Reuters.

According to the news agency, Icecreamists founder Matt O'Connor calls the council's concerns "complete rubbish."

"If the ice cream is not safe, then these mothers pose a serious risk to their babies," O'Connor told Reuters.

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3/26/11 (By Travis)

The Bureaucrat in your:

 

Pa. town: Family needs to mark land as grave site

3/24/11 AP

The commissioners in Colebrookdale Township, about 35 miles northwest of Philadelphia, say the Dodson family needs a zoning variance in case they move and want to come back to visit the boy's grave. The commissioners say the burial constitutes a zoning violation that could result in daily fines.
(Added to 'The Bureaucrat In Your... Grave Site')
 

Westport’s Swing Set Rules Get Second Look

3/23/11 the daily westport

In the application, Moskowitz said that eliminating play sets and swings sets from the definition of structure would "legalize literally hundreds of swing sets and play sets that are illegal by virtue of their encroachment upon side yard and/or front and rear yard setbacks."

(Added to 'The Bureaucrat In Your... Swing set')

 

 

Paul wants Government hands off his toilet

3/10/11 Politico


Paul continued on a string of attacks against federal regulations and labeled the lighting efficiency standards set by a 2007 energy law as just another government overreach.

“Light bulbs, refrigerators, toilets, you name it. You can’t go around your house without being told what to buy,” Paul said. “You restrict my purchases. You don’t care about my choices. You don’t care about the consumer.

“Frankly, my toilets don’t work in my house, and I blame you and people like you who want to tell me what I can install in my house,” Paul said. He added, “I find it insulting.

 

(Added to 'The Bureaucrat In Your... Toilet')

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2/20/11 (By Travis)

Mayor Pushing Police To Live In Detroit

2/7/11 CBS News

With all the problems facing Detroit... this is a solution.. to what?

 

An Epic Failure: Detroit Public Schools
Townhall.com ^ | February 10, 2011 | Kyle Olsen
 

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2/20/11 (By Travis)

Firefighters' sick-leave theater makes you laugh until you cry

2/3/11 LARJ

 

Nearly 40 percent of the firefighters took more than a month of sick leave in 2009.

 

One firefighter took 924 hours of sick leave, and 1,455 hours of overtime and callbacks, earning $195,000. Another claimed sick leave for 4½ months, yet worked 2,223 hours overtime, earning $232,187. This was one of the bums who put his misdeeds in an e-mail.
 

(Added to 'Unions')

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2/20/11 (By Travis)

'Egypt is Free,' crowds chant after Mubarak quits

2/11/11 chron.com

CAIRO — Cries of "Egypt is free" rang out and fireworks lit up the sky as hundreds of thousands danced, wept and prayed in joyful pandemonium after 18 days of peaceful pro-democracy protests forced President Hosni Mubarak to surrender power to the military, ending three decades of authoritarian rule.

Ecstatic protesters in Cairo's Tahrir, or Liberation, Square hoisted soldiers onto their shoulders Friday and families posed for pictures in front of tanks in streets flooded with people streaming out to celebrate. Strangers hugged each other, some fell to kiss the ground, and others stood stunned in disbelief.

Chants of "Hold your heads high, you're Egyptian" roared with each burst of fireworks overhead.

 

Around the capital of 18 million, cars honked their horns in celebration.

 

...they burst into wild cheers, waving flags and chanting "Allahu akbar," or "God is Great" and "the people have brought down the regime."
 

Throughout his rule, he showed a near obsession with stability, ensuring control through rigged elections, a constitution his regime wrote, a ruling party that monopolized the levers of state, and a hated police force accused of widespread torture.

"For 50 years, it was a police state and we adapted ourselves to it," he said.

 

 

Mubarak family fortune could reach 70bn say experts
2/4/11 BBC

 

So, if we take a step back, we might assume the United States would never support a dictator, a criminal, an organizer of a police state who amassed a great fortune from his own peoples pockets, impoverishing them?  Unfortunately we would be quite wrong:

 

Here is a link of every president meeting, shaking hands, and smiling with Mubarak: Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush and there are others with Reagan and Carter, all have sung his praises at some point.

 

We have heard Biden say Mubarak was not a dictator and Clinton and her diplomatic cohorts urge 'caution' and 'talks'. We have even heard Cheney say this even during the present revolution:

 

"He's been a good man, a good friend and ally to the United States," Cheney said. "We need to remember that."

The US has offered aid and money to states like Libya and is a strong ally of the Bahranian Royal Family, who shoot their own peaceably marching people.

 

So we might ask why do we do this? Why does the US support these dictators all over the world? It used to be communism, but we can't use that excuse anymore. Now it is terrorism, the 'Islamists' will take over. But what is it really?

 

It is, perhaps, the same reason we have a welfare state. Our elected officials and state department bureaucrats cannot simply 'do nothing', it is against human nature and our own egos to sit idly, so instead they 'travel' and 'make relationships' and 'undertake diplomacy', and write complex papers and try to 'advance American interests' and in so doing their good intentions enable the criminal leaders of countries around the globe and generate much ill will abroad.

 

As revolution spreads around the world, history is happening in front of our eyes. As the people shout "sic semper tyrannis!", I just wish the United States was on the right side of this history, and, in a sense, we are, for the first revolution was here.

 

Paul gets CPAC crowd on their feet

2/11/11 CNN

Paul, who ran a quixotic presidential bid in 2008 that caught fire with many fiscal conservatives and libertarians, added the crisis in Egypt is further proof American needs to disentangle from its foreign engagements.

"We need to do a lot less, a lot sooner, not only in Egypt, but around the world," he said. "The people don't like us propping up our dictators no more than we would like it if a foreign country propped up a dictator here."

 

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2/20/11 (By Travis)

Amazon closing TX center amid dispute (tax dispute!)

2/10/11

Clark said in his e-mail that the company also is scrapping plans "to build additional facilities and expand in Texas, bringing more than 1,000 new jobs and tens of millions of investment dollars to the state." Texas employees who are willing to relocate will be offered positions in other states, Clark said.
 

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2/20/11 (By Travis)

Swiss Vote to Keep Guns at Home

2/14/11 Wall Street Journal

Highest gun ownership but amongst the lowest amount of gun crimes?

 

Contrast this with the recent middle east violence, where citizens are not allowed to own guns, only the state has guns and the state is prepared to use them against its citizens to keep them subjected.

 

Wal-Mart Security Employees Fired for Disarming Store Gunman

2/15/11 AOL news

 

(Added to 'Guns and Crime'.)

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1/29/11 (By Travis)

Joe Biden says Egypt's Mubarak no dictator, he shouldn't step down...

1/27/11 Christian Science Monitor

Asked if he would characterize Mubarak as a dictator Biden responded: “Mubarak has been an ally of ours in a number of things. And he’s been very responsible on, relative to geopolitical interest in the region, the Middle East peace efforts; the actions Egypt has taken relative to normalizing relationship with – with Israel. … I would not refer to him as a dictator.”

 

Since the US provides about $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt a year, the repressive apparatus of the state is seen by many in Egypt as hand in glove with the US.

 

I am not sure what Egypt provides the United States that is worth our support of a tyrant and $1.3 billion a year in US tax dollars. The intellectuals at the state department may see Egypt as a piece in a complicated chess game, that 'non-diplomatic' folk just don't understand, however, the US would have more goodwill amongst the people in the middle east if we would stop supporting criminals like Mubarak, whose socialist policies have impoverished the people of the middle east from the beginning of times.

 

Ottawa faces uphill battle to expel Tunisian billionaire in Montreal

1/27/11 The Globe and mail

If his appeal fails, he could well claim refugee status, saying he would face persecution if he were made to return to his native Tunisia. It would be a strong claim, since the lavish lifestyle of Mr. Ben Ali’s family fueled the mass protests that toppled the regime.

A claimant can be excluded from the refugee determination system because of criminal activity – Mr. Trabelsi is accused of having amassed his wealth through corruption – but that too can be appealed.


These people were probably A-ok in Biden's book too.

 

Rep. Ron Paul, G.O.P. Loner, Comes In From Cold

1/12/10 NYT

As virtually all of Washington was declaring WikiLeaks’s disclosures of secret diplomatic cables an act of treason, Representative Ron Paul was applauding the organization for exposing the United States’ “delusional foreign policy.”
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1/29/11 (By Travis)

Cables Portray Expanded Reach of Drug Agency

12/10/2010 NYT

An interesting look at the state of the third world, and the united nations. A collection of criminals, petty power struggles of thuggish individuals. Although the same occurs here, the difference in scope makes all the difference.

 

Another look a the third world.

 

Sometimes, albeit more rarely, the savagery stems not from the government, but from individuals.

 

(Added to 'Causes of Poverty in Developing Nations')

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1/29/11 (By Travis)

US Government seizes BitTorrent Search Engine Domain and More

11/26/10 Torrent Freak

“My domain has been seized without any previous complaint or notice from any court!” the exasperated owner of Torrent-Finder told TorrentFreak this morning.

 

Government control over the internet is expanding.

(Added to 'The Internet')

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1/29/11 (By Travis)

 

Health News:

 

Placebos work, even when patients are in the know, study finds

1/22/10 LA Times

In what researchers call a novel 'mind-body' therapy, most patients in a study suffering from irritable bowel syndrome reported relief after receiving pills they were told contained no real medicine.

 

Man finds extreme healing eating parasitic worms

1/9/12/CNN

The patient contacted Weinstock to ask him to treat him with worms, but Weinstock said no, since it wasn't approved for general use by the Food and Drug Administration and could only be done experimentally.

Other doctors also told him no.

"One very famous parasitologist in New York told me he had patients who were immigrants, and he could get the eggs from their stool," he says. "But he told me for legal reasons he couldn't do it. I understood completely. What if something went wrong and I died? He'd be blamed."

 

The point of the above story is not the veracity of Mr Weinstock's claims, it is that creative patients and doctors are penalized by entities like the FDA and our medical legal system for being innovative. IMHO, lack of legal codification of the concept of self-ownership is the major impediment to medical advancements and cures. Luckily some patients and doctors don't give up, and travel overseas like Mr Weinstock.

 

 

Why Almost Everything You Hear About Medicine Is Wrong

1/24/11 NewsWeek

While modern medicine has made great strides and offers cures for many diseases and ailments, it is always prudent to show caution. Subjective medicine, where one is guided by what is right for ones own body and mind by introspection is surely more accurate than most of what we read.

 


Major Advance in MRI Allows Much Faster Brain Scans

1/6/11 Science Daily

The ability to scan the brain in under 400 milliseconds moves fMRI closer to electroencephalography (EEG) for capturing very rapid sequences of events in the brain.
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1/29/11 (By Travis)

WikiLeaks: Cuba banned Sicko for depicting 'mythical' healthcare system
The Guardian ^ | 17 December 2010 | Amelia Hill

The revelation, contained in a confidential US embassy cable released by WikiLeaks , is surprising, given that the film attempted to discredit the US healthcare system by highlighting what it claimed was the excellence of the Cuban system.

But the memo reveals that when the film was shown to a group of Cuban doctors, some became so "disturbed at the blatant misrepresentation of healthcare in Cuba that they left the room".

Castro's government apparently went on to ban the film because, the leaked cable claims, it "knows the film is a myth and does not want to risk a popular backlash by showing to Cubans facilities that are clearly not available to the vast majority of them."

(Added to 'US Government Health')

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1/29/11 (By Travis)

Bye Bye Blackbird: USDA acknowledges a hand in one mass bird death

1/20/11 CSM

Another useless government program.

 

Family charged 'death tax' for baby who lived one hour

1/15/11 King5.come

Government is here to help.

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1/29/11 (By Travis)

City puts a stop to homeless outreach
Couple must have proper permit to continue feeding dozens each day

1/13/11 Houston Chronicle

"I'm very passionate about what they're doing," she said. "Somebody needs to make sure our homeless people are being taken care of. ... We have to look as a city to see if there are other ways we can partner with people like this who are trying to help."

Must partner with the state....

 

 

Once we might have been inclined to give a quarter to a beggar. Now, however...we might tell him that the State has confiscated our quarter for his benefit, and that he might as well go to the State about it.

Albert Jay Nock
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1/29/11 (By Travis)

Feds Force Okla. Bank To Remove Crosses, Bible Verse

12/16/12 koco.com

Federal Reserve examiners come every four years to make sure banks are complying with a long list of regulations. The examiners came to Perkins last week. And the team from Kansas City deemed a Bible verse of the day, crosses on the teller’s counter and buttons that say "Merry Christmas, God With Us." were inappropriate. The Bible verse of the day on the bank's Internet site also had to be taken down

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1/29/11 (By Travis)

Obama meets with CEOs to urge them to start hiring

12/16/10 USA Today

This is like a lawnmower telling the grass to grow faster!

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1/29/11 (By Travis)

The ghost towns of China: Amazing satellite images show cities meant to be home to millions lying deserted

12/18/10 Daily Mail

Elaborate public buildings and open spaces are completely unused, with the exception of a few government vehicles near communist authority offices.


Some estimates put the number of empty homes at as many as 64 million, with up to 20 new cities being built every year in the country's vast swathes of free land.


The photographs have emerged as a Chinese government think tank warns that the country's real estate bubble is getting worse, with property prices in major cities overvalued by as much as 70 per cent.

 

The Chinese system contains a strong statist element, and the collapse of the Chinese bubble could herald the next major world recession.

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(Added to 'China')

 

 

 

 

 

11/21/10 (By Travis)

College Daze

9/1/2008 AEI

Abolish Public Schools
Townhall.com ^ | September 29, 2010 | Terry Jeffrey

President Barack Obama said on NBC on Monday he would like American children to spend more time in public schools. Here is a better idea: American children should spend no time in public schools.

(Added to 'College', and 'A Charter School Tale', respectively)

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11/21/10 (By Travis)

Lender seizes desperate borrowers' homes (Hard-money lending)
Seattle Times ^ | November 19, 2010 | Christine Willmsen
But has this guy helped more people save their homes then loose them?

The value of allowing people to freely contract.

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11/21/10 (By Travis)

Losses double for U.S. Postal Service

11/12/10 CNN money

The Postal Service said its net loss totaled $8.5 billion in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. That compares to a loss of $3.8 billion the prior year. The Postal Service delivered 170.6 billion pieces in its 2010 fiscal year, compared to 176.7 billion pieces the prior year.

(Added to 'The Post Office')

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11/21/10 (By Travis)

Happy Halloween! $1 billion in taxpayer money goes to the UNDEAD!
Washington Examiner ^ | 10/29/2010 | JP Freire

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11/21/10 (By Travis)

Blacks struggle with 72 percent unwed mothers rate

11/6/10 AP

17th paragraph down:

"...and welfare laws created a financial incentive for poor mothers to stay single."

(Added to 'Welfare; History, Results and Reform')

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Officials in Italy angry over remark by Fiat CEO



Read more: Officials in Italy angry over remark by Fiat CEO | freep.com | Detroit Free Press http://www.freep.com/article/20101026/BUSINESS01/10260339/Officials-in-Italy-angry-over-remark-by-Fiat-CEO#ixzz15xEVxHDm

11/21/10 (By Travis)
Officials in Italy angry over remark by Fiat CEO

10/26/2010

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said the Italian automaker would be better off without Italy and its balky unions, provoking an angry reaction Monday from some labor and government officials.

 

In addition, 'Job Bank programs, 12000 paid not to work' has been created with a permanent link for posterity.

(Added to 'Unions')

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10/13/10 (By Travis)

U.S. admits doing VD study on Guatemalans

10/2/10 AP

With Guatemala's permission, 696 men and women were exposed to syphilis or gonorrhea from prostitutes or deliberate inoculation, Wellesley College medical historian Susan Reverby reported.
 

This study was funded by the NIH, one wonders if people will look back 50 years from now and wonder why current studies are funded. Not that such studies, similar in scale, are being funded today, but one could argue mishief is still being done, with the corruption of science by the NIH continuing.

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10/13/10 (By Travis)

California Regulates Tire Pressure
California.gov ^ | 09/06/2010

(Added to 'the bureaucrat in your'...)

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10/13/10 (By Travis)

Michigan Democrats Told Their Fake Tea Party Is Illegal
Publius Forum ^ | 09/05/10 | Warner Todd Huston
For months various Democrats and union members have been trying to create a new political party in Michigan misleadingly named the "Tea Party" Party. 23 candidates had been slated from this Democrat dirty trick effort in order to confuse voters into imagining that they are voting for candidates that actually support Tea Party movement ideals.

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10/13/10 (By Travis)

Check's In The Mail
IBD Editorials ^ | September 8, 2010 | Investors Business Daily staff


The U.S. Postal Service expects to lose $7 billion in the current fiscal year and delivers less mail each year. It could use some fiscal austerity.

The union wants "more control over activities at work, more money, better benefits — we want more," Burrus told Government Executive magazine. "We will try to fashion our proposals to reflect the entitlement to more."

Entitlement to more? By what standard does he believe the workers of a failing "business" are entitled to more, let alone a job? Neither jobs nor high and ever-escalating wages are rights. But that's the union mindset: Demand more no matter what difficulties a business, or in this case a government-protected monopoly, is facing.

(Added to The Post Office and Unions)

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10/3/10 (By Travis)

Report: Michigan film subsidies come at a cost

9/19/10 freep.com

The state Treasury doled out $37.5 million in subsidies in 2009 and is expected to distribute about $100 million to the makers of TV and film productions in 2010. But the estimated additional state tax revenue generated by film-related economic activity comes to only $3.7 million in 2009 and $10.3 million in 2010, the report found.


An analysis of movie and TV job creation by the agency found that the average cost to the state per full time job in 2008 was $186,519, and $193,333 in 2009.

 

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10/13/10 (By Travis)
Secretary Gates Called Pastor Jones, Defense Department Confirms
ABCNews.com ^ | 09/09/2010 | Luis Martinez

Our secretary of defense is spending his time well, giving this guy some sort of credence by stooping to his level and pandering to the media coverage. The government of St Petersburg is trying to enforce 'burn ordinances' and charge the pastor with 'security' charges.  And CBS is not sure it is legal or not to burn Korans and this American Muslim does not either:

 

I am amazed at how millions of Americans who are decent and honorable can watch this happen. No matter how ugly the act the Constitution permits this, is not an acceptable excuse. The Constitution does not permit this. The Constitution forbids cruel and unusual punishment. For Muslims this is worse than torture.
 

The victim mentality, the creation of external enemies, whether based in religion or race, is not a practical mentality. As discussed, it is never really accurate to place blame on external events for one's own disorganized internal mental state.

 

The freedom to burn Korans, Bibles, Torahs, crosses or whatever else one wants to burn, is a freedom sacred only in America, where one is king of ones own castle, answering to no one, not even the secretary of defense.

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10/3/10 (By Travis)

Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds

10/1/10 Vanity Fair
As it turned out, what the Greeks wanted to do, once the lights went out and they were alone in the dark with a pile of borrowed money, was turn their government into a piñata stuffed with fantastic sums and give as many citizens as possible a whack at it. In just the past decade the wage bill of the Greek public sector has doubled, in real terms—and that number doesn’t take into account the bribes collected by public officials. The average government job pays almost three times the average private-sector job. The national railroad has annual revenues of 100 million euros against an annual wage bill of 400 million, plus 300 million euros in other expenses. The average state railroad employee earns 65,000 euros a year. Twenty years ago a successful businessman turned minister of finance named Stefanos Manos pointed out that it would be cheaper to put all Greece’s rail passengers into taxicabs: it’s still true. “We have a railroad company which is bankrupt beyond comprehension,” Manos put it to me. “And yet there isn’t a single private company in Greece with that kind of average pay.” The Greek public-school system is the site of breathtaking inefficiency: one of the lowest-ranked systems in Europe, it nonetheless employs four times as many teachers per pupil as the highest-ranked, Finland’s. Greeks who send their children to public schools simply assume that they will need to hire private tutors to make sure they actually learn something. Government ministers who have spent their lives in public service emerge from office able to afford multi-million-dollar mansions and two or three country homes.

An interesting article detailing the natural course of socialism, minus the intentions.

(Added to 'A Charter School Tale')

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9/4/10 (By Travis)

Book Review:

This is Burning Man by Brian Doherty

9/4/10

Fitting, that this book review is written on the night of the burning of the man, taking place now in a remote desert in northern Nevada. 'Burning man' is a 20 year old tradition, a gathering in a desert, where disparate groups of people come together to celebrate extreme tolerance, eccentricity, radical self expression, and ultimately all forms of freedom. It is a place where human creativity and self reliance are celebrated in any form imaginable.

 

It is the sociological phenoma of twenty thousand people coming together for a week without a government, in fact despite a government, the book is replete with example of the government nearly shutting down the festival multiple times for 'safety concerns' etc... Ultimately the event is only made possible by the large amount of money (bribe) given to the local governments bordering its location and the fact that it takes place about as far as possible from regulating authorities. A fitting testament to the libertarian ideology indeed.

 

(Added to 'Book Reviews')

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9/4/10 (By Travis)

City Council members propose $25 fee for garage sales in Dallas

dallasnews.com 9/1/10

Jasso and Caraway estimate the fee could bring in $500,000 next year, and they recommend the money go toward senior dental services, cultural affairs programs, graffiti removal and animal services.

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8/11/10 (By Travis)

Fermented tea kombucha vanishes on alcohol worries

7/14/10 Associated Press

Since last month, the government has been testing kombucha to determine if it should be labeled like beer or wine. Distributors and retailers like Whole Foods Inc. have removed the most popular form, raw kombucha, from stores, saying they won't restock until they know more.

 

The federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which is testing samples of kombucha brands to determine how it should be labeled, said each brand will be treated differently, depending on its alcohol content. It's not clear how long the investigation will take because regulators don't know how many companies produce kombucha, spokesman Art Resnick said.

 

"Should be a convenience store, not a government agency".

 

 

HANDS OFF OUR KOMBUCHA!

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8/11/10 (By Travis)

America's Ruling Class -- And the Perils of Revolution
Spectator.org ^ | July 2010 | Angelo M. Codevilla

The point is that a doctor, a building contractor, a janitor, or a schoolteacher counts in today's America insofar as he is part of the hierarchy of a sector organization affiliated with the ruling class.

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8/11/10 (By Travis)

6 Laws That Were Great On Paper (And Insane Everywhere Else)
Cracked.com ^ | Jun 30, 2010 | Robin O'Lachlan, Dave Easton

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8/11/10 (By Travis)

Egg on Their Faces - Government dietary advice often proves disastrous.
City Journal ^ | Summer 2010 | Steven Malanga

As increasingly sophisticated medicine focuses on tailoring therapies to individual needs, sweeping public pronouncements on health have become outdated at best and dangerous at worst. The best advice that government can give citizens is to develop their own diet and exercise regimes, adapted to their own physical circumstances after consultation with their doctors.

 

(Added to 'New Government Food Pyramid ')

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8/11/10 (By Travis)

Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operate

Oreganlive.com 4/8/10

"I understand the reason behind what they're doing and it's a neighborhood event, and they're trying to generate revenue," said Jon Kawaguchi, environmental health supervisor for the Multnomah County Health Department. "But we still need to put the public's health first."
 

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8/11/10 (By Travis)

Man with Lou Gehrig's makes extraordinary offer of his organs

CNN 7/29/10 "I am not suicidal," he says. "I just know that it is a matter of time before I die and wish to do a good thing for those people who have a good life expectancy"

 

His wishes will likely not come to fruition because of the government of the United States.

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8/11/10 (By Travis)

A deal to avert BlackBerry ban could set precedent

AP 8/7/10
A number of countries see the devices as a security threat because encrypted information sent on them is difficult, it not impossible, for local governments to monitor when it doesn't pass through domestic servers.

 

Such requests expose the socialism and tyranny of middle eastern countries.

 

(Added to 'Middle Eastern Governments and Causes of Terrorism')
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8/11/10 (By Travis)

U.S. Super Rich to Share Wealth

8/3/10 WSJ

On Wednesday, Mr. Buffett announced that 40 of America's wealthiest individuals and families, from former Citigroup Inc. leader Sandy Weill to hotel mogul Barron Hilton, have signed the "Giving Pledge."

Mr. Buffett and Mr. Gates in June had asked the individuals and families to publicly commit to give away at least half of their wealth within their lifetimes or after their deaths.

 

A self imposed 'tax rate' of at least 50%. Certainly they will spend it better than the government ever could. Why not give them the rest of their 36% the government has already taxed them and eliminate taxes? This sort of generosity dispels the notion that services and those in true need would go without. It reinforces the idea of human goodness and that a libertarian society truly is possible. That is, assuming one accepts the premise that such giving is beneficial in advancing society; one could easily argue that the real charity occurred when these individuals built their companies.

 

(Added to 'Required Reading')

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8/11/10 (By Travis)

Valedictorian Speaks Out Against Schooling in Graduation Speech

6/25/10 LewRockwell

Yet, here I stand, and I am supposed to be proud that I have completed this period of indoctrination. I will leave in the fall to go on to the next phase expected of me, in order to receive a paper document that certifies that I am capable of work. But I contend that I am a human being, a thinker, an adventurer – not a worker. A worker is someone who is trapped within repetition – a slave of the system set up before him. But now, I have successfully shown that I was the best slave. I did what I was told to the extreme. While others sat in class and doodled to later become great artists, I sat in class to take notes and become a great test-taker. While others would come to class without their homework done because they were reading about an interest of theirs, I never missed an assignment. While others were creating music and writing lyrics, I decided to do extra credit, even though I never needed it.

 

I have no clue about what I want to do with my life; I have no interests because I saw every subject of study as work, and I excelled at every subject just for the purpose of excelling, not learning.

 

(Added to 'A Charter School Tale')

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8/11/10 (By Travis)

G.M.’s Electric Lemon

NYT 7/29/10

For starters, G.M.’s vision turned into a car that costs $41,000 before relevant tax breaks ... but after billions of
dollars of government loans and grants for the Volt’s development and production.

 

Quantifying just how much taxpayer money will have been wasted on the hastily developed Volt is no easy feat. Start with the $50 billion bailout (without which none of this would have been necessary), add $240 million in Energy Department grants doled out to G.M. last summer, $150 million in federal money to the Volt’s Korean battery supplier, up to $1.5 billion in tax breaks for purchasers and other consumer incentives, and some significant portion of the $14 billion loan G.M. got in 2008 for “retooling” its plants, and you’ve got some idea of how much taxpayer cash is built into every Volt.

In the end, making the bailout work — whatever the cost — is the only good reason for buying a Volt.

 

(Added to Bailout Commentary')

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7/24/10 (By Travis)

EDITORIAL: The Kenya connection
Obama administration efforts in Africa may violate federal law

Washington times 7/16/10

"Do you know what kind of political campaign you can run with $23 million in Kenya, where you can buy even more with the dollar?" Mr. Smith asked. "If a foreign country came into New Jersey for a referendum and dropped $23 million for an outcome that I found antithetical to everything I believe in, I would be outraged."

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7/24/10 (By Travis)

Apple CEO on antenna problem: 'We aren't perfect'

7/17/10 yahoo

Consumer Reports magazine said covering the spot with a case or even a piece of duct tape alleviates the problem. It refused to give the iPhone 4 its "recommended" stamp of approval for that reason, and on Monday it urged Apple to compensate buyers and fix the problem. The company had been criticized about spotty iPhone service in the U.S. on AT&T Inc.'s network even before the newest model came out.


On Friday, in the company's first remarks following the magazine's report, Jobs said Apple was "stunned and upset and embarrassed."


The point of this article was to illustrate how effective consumer report, a private organization, is at causing change in industry. If government agencies and regulatory commissions were abolished, wouldn't similar private agencies step into the void and do an even better job, with a feedback loop directly to its consumers, rather than politicians and political appointment?

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7/24/10 (By Travis)

Congress acts, but bank bill has work ahead

7/16/10 yahoo

The legislation gives regulators latitude and time to come up with new rules, requires scores of studies and, in some instances, depends on international agreements falling into place.

 

A bill has been passed which no one knows what it will look like. Since government is incompetent, these 'studies' will be nonsensical, since bureaucrats have little experience or knowledge the final result will make little sense, confuse those in the industry and consumers and result in stagnation of these industries, and congress can deny culpability.

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7/24/10 (By Travis)

Bell City Manager Paid Twice President Obama's Salary Resigns
Robert Rizzo Earns Nearly $800,000, Will Become Highest-Paid Public Pensioner in Calif.

ABCnews 7/23/10

In the United States, the richest people used to be all in the private sector, often without political connection, one of the few countries in the world where this was true. In contrast, in Africa, nearly all the richest people in the continent are government officials, making their living from the theft of their 'constituents'.

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7/24/10 (By Travis)

RIP Robert Byrd, his legacy:

 

'Big Daddy' Byrd Brags About Pork

10/17/06 ClubForGrowth

 

Robert Byrd's Highways to Nowhere: Government pork hasn't made West Virginia prosperous.
Wall Street Journal ^ | 7/10/10 | BRIAN BOLDUC
Take Route 50. Thirty years ago, the federal government extended the route from two lanes to four with the hopes of spurring development. But hit the open road today and you'll notice it's just that—open. "You won't see another car for two hours," says Russell Sobel, a professor of economics at West Virginia University. "You can't just build roads and expect that things will happen. People who want to transport goods and services need to be there."

 

An analogy different only in scope:

Highways in North Korea

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7/24/10 (By Travis)

Anti-Trust & Monopoly with Dr Ron Paul & Dr Armentano (1/3)

1984, you tube

"If we are against monopoly we should stop using government to protect monopolies."

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7/24/10 (By Travis)

Australian drunk survives attempt to ride crocodile

 bbc 7/13/10

A drunk man who climbed into a crocodile enclosure in Australia and attempted to ride a 5m (16ft) long crocodile has survived his encounter.

The man staggered back to the pub bleeding heavily.
Pub manager Mark Phillips said staff told him that the man reappeared at about 11pm with bits of bark hanging off him and flesh gouged out of his limbs.

(Added to 'Humor')

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7/24/10 (By Travis)

Flying car production rolls forward

cnn 6/20/10

A highway-worthy airplane moves one step closer to production with a recent weight exemption approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.

 

The Transition still has to receive FAA certification and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration testing before it goes into production. The Transition completed more than 20 test flights last year.

 

I wonder if car/planes would probably already be on the road, for a much cheaper price, if it wasn't for the government.

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7/24/10 (By Travis)

Girl held captive for 18 years to get $20 mln from gov't

world 7/2

Government is now doling out money to any victim of any tragedy?

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7/24/10 (By Travis)

Britain's oldest married couple: He's 107 and she's 101 and they wed 77 years ago

mail 7/20/10

His wife has put the secret of their long-lasting marriage and relationship down to 'getting on with each other, a good diet, exercise, avoiding cigarettes - and a tot of whisky each night'.

But they admit to the occasional tiff - usually down to Mrs Tarrant not being able to decide what she wants her husband to cook for tea, or one of them putting the television on too loud.

'Having little rows is good for a relationship,' Mrs Tarrant said recently. 'It keeps it healthy.'

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6/28/10 (By Travis)

Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?
Self-identified liberals and Democrats do badly on questions of basic economics.

6/8/10 WSJ

The other questions were: 1) Mandatory licensing of professional services increases the prices of those services (unenlightened answer: disagree). 2) Overall, the standard of living is higher today than it was 30 years ago (unenlightened answer: disagree). 3) Rent control leads to housing shortages (unenlightened answer: disagree). 4) A company with the largest market share is a monopoly (unenlightened answer: agree). 5) Third World workers working for American companies overseas are being exploited (unenlightened answer: agree). 6) Free trade leads to unemployment (unenlightened answer: agree). 7) Minimum wage laws raise unemployment (unenlightened answer: disagree).

 

How did the six ideological groups do overall? Here they are, best to worst, with an average number of incorrect responses from 0 to 8: Very conservative, 1.30; Libertarian, 1.38; Conservative, 1.67; Moderate, 3.67; Liberal, 4.69; Progressive/very liberal, 5.26.

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6/28/10 (By Travis)

Australia's 100yo ping-pong star

6/12/10 abcnews

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6/28/10 (By Travis)

Journalism 'Reinvention' Smacks of Government Control, Critics Say
FOX News ^ | Published June 02, 2010 | By Joshua Rhett Miller

FTC officials began a project in May 2009 to consider the challenges the journalism industry faces in the digital age. The federal agency recently released a discussion draft titled "Potential Policy Recommendations to Support the Reinvention of Journalism," a 47-page document that outlines a major government push to rescue the country's flailing media platforms -- specifically newspapers, which have seen advertising revenues drop roughly 45 percent since 2000.

Among the numerous proposals mentioned in the document are:

-- the creation of a "journalism" division of AmeriCorps, the federal program that places 75,000 people with local and national nonprofit groups annually;

-- tax credits to news organizations for every journalist employed;

-- establishing citizenship news vouchers, which "would allow every American tax payer to allocate some amount of government funds to the non-profit media organization" of their choice;

-- increased funding for public radio and television;

-- providing grants to universities to conduct investigative journalism;

-- increased postal subsidies for newspapers and periodicals;

-- a 5 percent tax on consumer electronics, which would generate roughly $4 billion annually, to pay for increased public funding.

Why does the media need 'saving'?

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6/28/10 (By Travis)

A 'cascade' of brain activity as people die could explain near death experiences

5/30/10 telegraph

    In the research he used an electroencephalograph (EEG), a device that measures brain activity, to monitor seven terminally ill people.
    The medical purpose of the devices was to make sure that the patients, suffering from conditions such as cancer and heart failure, were sufficiently sedated to be out of pain.
    However, Dr Chawla noticed that moments before death the patients experienced a burst in brainwave activity lasting from 30 seconds to three minutes.
    The activity was similar to that seen in people who are fully conscious, even though the patients appeared asleep and had no blood pressure. Soon after the surge abated, they were pronounced dead.
    Dr Chawla’s research, published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine, is thought to be the first to suggest that near-death experiences have a particular physiological cause.
    Although it describes only seven patients, he says he has seen the same things happening “at least 50 times” as people die.

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6/28/10 (By Travis)

Small Businesses Threatened With 1099 Tax Form Tyranny...
NaturalNews.com ^ | Monday, May 24, 2010 | Mike Adams

According to a recent report from CNNMoney.com, the massive U.S. health care system overhaul includes more than just a transition to government-run medicine. A small section hidden away in the 2,409-page bill requires all businesses to send 1099 tax forms to every company or individual from which they purchased more than $600 in services and goods throughout the tax year, beginning on January 1, 2012.

As you'll see below, this new law threatens to cause a wave of paperwork chaos across the entire U.S. economy, stifling the operations of small businesses and driving more jobs overseas. |

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6/28/10 (By Travis)

Added to 'Quotes'

War: What you get when Governments are in charge
The World Wide Web: What you get when they're not.

~ James Oliver

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5/28/10 (By Travis)

Rand Paul, the Tea Partiers, incumbents

5/19/10 Washington Post

Congrats to the tea partiers, Rand Paul, and Kentucky!

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5/28/10 (By Travis)

Eyes flashing, robot conducts wedding in Tokyo

5/16/10 mywaynews

Japan has one of the most advanced robotics industries in the world, with the government actively supporting the field for future growth.

 

Shall we call it the 'robotic industrial complex'? :)

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5/28/10 (By Travis)

Texas doctors opting out of Medicare at alarming rate

5/17/10 Houston Chronicle

The uncertainty proved too much for Dr. Guy Culpepper, a Dallas-area family practice doctor who says he wrestled with his decision for years before opting out in March. It was, he said, the only way “he could stop getting bullied and take control of his practice.”

“You do Medicare for God and country because you lose money on it,” said Culpepper, a graduate of the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. “The only way to provide cost-effective care is outside the Medicare system, a system without constant paperwork and headaches and inadequate reimbursement.”

(Added to 'US Government Health')
 

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5/28/10 (By Travis)

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

Interesting statistics showing our gross national assets are 75 trillion, far outweighing our 13 trillion national debt and 16 trillion personal debt.

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5/28/10 (By Travis)

ATF agents describe fear of retaliation

5/27/10 CNN

It's a Monday morning, and Vince Cefalu just got into work at his more than $150,000-a-year-job as a special agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

"It's 9:30. This is what I affectionately refer to as the cage," Cefalu, 51, said. "I am sitting here with an empty in box and nothing to do. I'll keep you apprised."

 

    These sorts of jobs are more common than not throughout the government sector, and government propped up private sector, increasingly sucking the strength out of the economy.

 

    Ironically, we would probably be better off if the entire ATF bureaucracy followed Cegalu's lead!

"Should be a convenience store, not a government agency".

 

 

 

It appears even those in government recognize the ineptness of those in government:

 

U.S. Is Still Using Private Spy Ring, Despite Doubts

5/15/10 NYT

"..it appears that commanders in the field are in no rush to shut it down because some of the information has been highly valuable, particularly in protecting troops against enemy attacks."

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5/28/10 (By Travis)

Facebook’s Privacy Woes Make Little Impact on Growth

5/26/10 Bloomberg

Government, the biggest invader of privacy in our lives, considers itself the policer of the privacy between two freely contracting people. We must remember, the freedom to give up our privacy is a right too.

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5/28/10 (By Travis)

Money for Nothing

PJTV Nice music and healthcare parody in one.

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5/15/10 (By Travis)

Best and Worst States for Business 2010

3/29/10 Chief Executive

 

 

“Texas is pro-business with reasonable regulations,” one CEO respondent remarked, “while California is anti-business with anti-business regulations.” Another commented, “California is terrible. Even when we’ve paid their high taxes in full, they still treat every conversation as adversarial. It’s the most difficult state in the nation. We have actually walked away from business rather than deal with the government in Sacramento.” 

 

Little wonder then that while Texas gained over 848,000 net new residents in the last 10 years, according to the Census  Bureau, California lost 1.5 million. New York State’s net loss exceeded 1.6 million - the highest of any state. High-tax, big- government New Jersey ranked fourth, with a net loss of almost 460,000, enough to drop it from 10th to 11th place in population.

 

(Added to 'Voting with Your Feet')

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5/15/10 (By Travis)

US drug war has met none of its goals

5/13/10 AP

One could substitute, 'war on poverty' or any of the other so-called 'goals' and plans of government, for example the 'swine flue' farce and scare:

(U.S. has 71 million unused flu vaccine doses).

 

True achievement and advancement is attained by private citizens despite their government.

 

This week President Obama promised to "reduce drug use and the great damage it causes" with a new national policy that he said treats drug use more as a public health issue and focuses on prevention and treatment.

 

The more the plans fail, the more the planners plan.

- Ronald Reagan

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5/15/10 (By Travis)

'Made in China' brands now being faked by foreign copycats
http://business.globaltimes.cn/industries/2010-04/526203.html ^ | 04/27/10 | Lin Meilian
Should governments be involved in the copyright business and protection of intellectual property?

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5/15/10 (By Travis)

Southern Poverty Law Center’s ‘Enemies List’ a Fantasy
Pajamas Media ^ | April 26 | Robert Stacy McCain

Another example of the modern day 'civil rights movement' becoming more ideological and partisan than effective.

(Added to 'African American Politics and Welfare')

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5/15/10 (By Travis)

I am more interested in making the poor and middle class better off than I am in making the income distribution more equal.

Megan McArdle

(Added to "Inequality, Aid, and the Nature of Governments')

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4/25/10 (By Travis)

Not paying taxes is becoming a tempting idea
The Muskegon Chronicle ^ | April 22, 2010 | Steve Gunn

 

    I’m glad they weren’t around in the 1770s, when the original Tea Party figures like Samuel Adam and Benjamin Franklin had the nerve to question the taxing habits of the British crown, and take up arms against their distant rulers.

    I believe it was Thomas Jefferson who once said, it’s not only the right but the responsibility of the people to overthrow bloated governments every now and again.

    Sometimes revolution is the only message an oppressive government will understand. What better type of revolution than a bloodless one, where the people’s ultimate weapon is taking away the government’s credit card?

 

From a Michigan Newspaper, of all places.

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4/25/10 (By Travis)

FDA Raids Amish Farmer Dan Allgyer
4/22/10 freerepublic

(Added to 'Milk, It Does A Government Good')

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4/25/10 (By Travis)

Wynn's remarks rattle Las Vegas gaming-Says he might move his headquarters to enclave of Macau
Las Vegas Review-Journal ^ | 4-23-10 | HOWARD STUTZ
"The governmental policies in the United States of America are a damper, a wet blanket," Wynn said. "They retard investment; they retard job formation; they retard the creation of a better life for the citizens in spite of the rhetoric of the president."

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4/25/10 (By Travis)

Iceland volcano: UK airports reopen as BA claims shutdown 'unnecessary'

4/20/10 Telegraph

David Frost, the director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “When this is all over, a thorough review is clearly needed about how the authorities reacted.”

 

The question is why does government have the authority to close down airspaces? Surely the folks best at determining the safeness of the airspace are the airliners and their passengers.

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4/21/10 (By Travis)

GE: 7,000 tax returns, $0 U.S. tax bill

4/16/10 CNN.com

But GE isn't exactly escaping all tax-related pain: The company paid almost $23 billion in taxes to governments around the world from 2000 to 2009, Eisele said.

Plus, paying the accountants to crank out 7,000 tax returns can't be cheap.

In 2006, as the IRS ramped up its corporate e-filing program, the tax agency actually issued a celebratory press release when it processed GE's tax return. On paper, the return -- the nation's largest -- would have totaled a massive 24,000 pages. But instead, the IRS was able to upload the 237 MB document in under an hour.

Reading it, though, is apparently taking a bit longer. The IRS is currently auditing GE's tax returns for 2003-2007.

 

    The massive amount of taxes GE had been paying to governments around the world cuts into their growth and decreases the amount of people they can hire. Also, this story reflects the amazing complexity of the tax code and the compliance cost, which often, such as in this story, far outway the actual tax cost. We must also not forget the tax dollars spent to have the IRS 'audit' all these companies. There are truly no winners in this system.

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4/21/10 (By Travis)

Why work when I can get £42,000 in benefits a year AND drive a Mercedes?

4/13/10 dailymail

The Davey family's £815-a-week state handouts pay for a four-bedroom home, top-of-the-range mod cons and two vehicles including a Mercedes people carrier.
Father-of-seven Peter gave up work because he could make more living on benefits.
Yet he and his wife Claire are still not happy with their lot.
With an eighth child on the way, they are demanding a bigger house, courtesy of the taxpayer.
Mrs Davey has never had a full-time job while her 35-year-old husband gave up his post in administration nine years ago after realising they would be better off living off the state.
'It cost too much to carry on working as we were actually better off unemployed,' said Mr Davey.

(Added to 'Welfare; History, Results and Reform')

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4/21/10 (By Travis)

"The Federal Takeover of Higher Education Financing: Why Obama’s Boost Could Bust Taxpayers"
Townhall.com ^ | April 17, 2010 | Carl Horowitz
 

Another question, why should taxpayer be subsidizing anything, much less higher education, an institution of dubious value to many students?


(Added to 'College')

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4/21/10 (By Travis)

National Health Service bars woman after she saw private doctor
The Times (UK) ^ | April 18, 2010 | Isabel Oakeshott

Jenny Whitehead, a breast cancer survivor, paid £250 for an appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon after being told she would have to wait five months to see him on the NHS. He told her he would add her to his NHS waiting list for surgery.

She was barred from the list, however, and sent back to her GP. She must now find at least £10,000 for private surgery, or wait until the autumn for the NHS operation to remove a cyst on her spine.

(Added to 'British Healthcare')

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4/21/10 (By Travis)

FDA should regulate salt, panel says
Reuters ^

Because Americans get most of their sodium from processed and restaurant foods, it is not enough to simply tell them to eat less salt and regulation of the food industry is needed, the Institute of Medicine said.

The FDA is already putting together measures to do this, the Washington Post reported.

 

(Added to 'FDA Tyranny')

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4/21/10 (By Travis)

Doctor 'treated vulnerable MS patients with stem cells not meant for use on humans'

4/12/10 Daily Mail

    A doctor who exploited a group of 'vulnerable' multiple sclerosis patients used stem cells which were not designed for human use, a fitness to practise panel found.
    Nine men and women, most of whom were suffering from 'incurable conditions', visited Dr Robert Trossel 'desperate' to find some relief for their disease and prepared to raise large sums of money to fund their therapy.
    But the General Medical Council panel found Dr Trossel, 55, exaggerated the benefits of treatment which was based on 'anecdotal and aspirational information' and 'scientific research that had been carried out only on animals'.
    The Dutch-trained doctor also lacked the necessary knowledge to embark on the therapy, the panel said, while overstating his success rate at treating people with multiple sclerosis - a disabling neurological disease.

    In October 2006, he was ordered by the Dutch authorities to cease stem cell treatment, the GMC heard.

    If we consider the historical record, many of the greatest cures and discoveries were developed by people without great formal expertise in the field of discovery. Advancements were made by taking bold risk, unorthodox methods, and blind luck. In fact, a propensity for taking such risk is surely more important than any innate 'intelligence' of the inventor. Provided these MS patients were provided accurate information and fully consented to these procedures, there is little reason why governments and 'scientific' panels should be involved and stifle the next great cure.

 

     In this country the FDA and other government scientific and regulatory agencies often play the role of the cure killer.
 

(Added to 'FDA Tyranny')

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4/8/10 (By Travis)

Milton Friedman on Donahue 1979 (1/5)

5/7/09

Friedman, shows why he is unsurpassed in modern times in defending liberty. He cheerfully decapitates the ideas of a government-controlled economy, over a wide range of examples. His layman's explanation as to how government intervention and the Federal Reserve control of the money supply helped cause the Great Depression is simply outstanding.

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4/8/10 (By Travis)

Health insurers sue Mass. on rate denial

4/5/10 Boston.com

The well laid plans of Mitt Romney and the Massachusetts Democrats continue to run into problems. Denying insurers the right to raise rates when the market necessitates it will result in the companies leaving the state. If companies are charging too much then other companies are incentivized to enter the market and undercut the overcharging companies, taking over market share and forcing the overcharging companies to lowering their prices naturally.

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4/8/10 (By Travis)

U.S. government a big commercial real estate player

4/6/10 Washington Post

The government is expected to increase its Washington area payroll by as many as 100,000, according to Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit group that helps the federal government find workers.

 

A reminder of the proliferation of government under the current administration, continuing the growth under the previous one. This growth must come at the expense of the private sector and the general growth and wellbeing, financially and morally, of the American people.

 

Why a $14/hour employee costs $20

3/28/10 CNN.com

 

For Jim Garland, who owns a corporate aircraft cleaning and support services company, a $14 per hour worker has a true cost of $19.63 per hour, or about 40% more than base pay. This so-called "loaded rate" includes fixed expenses -- federal and state taxes, health insurance, workman's compensation, uniforms, and paid time off -- along with soft costs like the time spent training a new hire.

 

What if government had shelved their plans to spend trillions of dollars of corrupt and wasteful bailout plans and instead cut taxes and regulations on Jim's company enabling him to hire workers cheaper? Surely the later would be both infinitely cheaper and effective.

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4/8/10 (By Travis)

CEOs of bailed-out regional banks get raises

4/5/10 Reuters

Bear in mind both Republican and Democrat presidents and politicians on all sides of the aisle voted for these bailouts resulting in the corruption and stagnation of our statist financial system.

(Added to 'Bailout Commentary')

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4/8/10 (By Travis)

Health Care and Detroit: Killed By Government

3/24/10 LewRockewell.com

(Added to 'Detroit Michigan seen from Nevada')

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4/8/10 (By Travis)

Employees Urged to Seek Wage Rights
Wall Street Journal ^ | 4/6/2010 | Staff
The Labor Department is encouraging low-wage and immigrant workers to turn in employers who are shortchanging their pay, as part of an expanding effort to enforce wage and hour rules.

 

I guess it is too old fashioned to follow the old adage, 'if you're not happy seek a job elsewhere', instead the government is resorting to recruiting the populace as informants, differing only in degree from the methods akin to  KGB and Stasi type organizations.

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4/8/10 (By Travis)

Cancel the post office -- Bumbling agency will lose a quarter-trillion by decade's end
Washington Times ^ | March 31, 2010

 

The postman won't even ring once on weekends. In a desperate attempt to trim costs, the U.S. Postal Service is cutting off your Saturday service. This move is too little, too late for one of the fe

 

Like the rest of the federal government, the post office's fiscal troubles can be directly traced to its unionized bureaucracy. More than 80 percent of the postal budget is devoted to the agency's 581,070 career employees. Because a mandatory collective bargaining process determines wages, hours worked and workplace conditions, postal employees enjoy benefits even more exorbitant than what other federal employees receive.

 

Added to 'The Post Office'

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3/23/10 (By Travis)

Honesty May Not Be Your Best Census Policy

WSJ 1989 James Bovard

    The IRS in 1983 attempted (largely unsuccessfully) to combine census data with private mailing lists in order to track down people who don't file income taxes.

    Information on race and home ownership is used to discover allocations of housing units that are discriminatory under the Civil Rights Act of 1984.

    According to the General Accounting Office, one of the most frequent ways city governments use census information is to detect illegal two-family dwellings.

    Obviously, the people most likely to live in overcrowded situations are poor people, especially immigrants, who often cluster in the same neighborhood.

    ...events that occurred in 1942, when the Census Bureau provided the Army with a list of exactly how many Japanese-Americans lived in given neighborhoods, making it easy to round them up for internment during World War II.

 

    The constitutional purpose of the census is to determine the number of elected representatives from each state (and to sock it to the tax hiking states :)). The census has been corrupted and used by those in government for alternative nefarious reasons as described above, reminding us of its nature.

 

Our forefathers made one mistake. What they should have fought for was representation without taxation.

Fletcher Knebel

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3/23/10 (By Travis)

Tea Party Avoids Divisive Social Issues

3/12/10 NYT

    An excellent choice, Rome did not fall because of social issues, which are  best left to the local levels. Economic issues will break a nation and a people.

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3/23/10 (By Travis)

New standards in history class
Texas board endorses conservative-backed curriculum

3/13/10 chron

This political control of education, while generally liberally biased, is just as unsettling coming from the right. Better to leave this task to individual schools and corporations as described in 'A Charter School Tale'.

(Added to 'A Charter School Tale')

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3/23/10 (By Travis)

3/9/10 NYT

    Similar concerns have been raised about DREs. My personal opinion is that both DREs (prostatic) and PSA should be hesitantly employed except in high risk or symptomatic patients or at the discretion of a urologist.

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3/23/10 (By Travis)

J.D. Salinger and the Doctors of Tomorrow

2/25/10 Buckeye Surgeon

 

Although I have not read much Salinger, this is still a thoughtful and poetic piece on the practice of medicine.

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3/23/10 (By Travis)

A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you're looking down, you can't see something that's above you.

C.S. Lewis

 

 

There are four ways in which you can spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money. Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost. Then, I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch! Finally, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get. And that’s government. And that’s close to 40% of our national income.

Milton Friedman

 

(Added to 'Quotes')

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3/23/10 (By Travis)

Betrayal of 20,000 cancer patients: Rationing body rejects ten drugs that could have extended lives

3/14/10 Daily Mail
NICE, the National Institute of health and Clinical Excellence, promised a year ago to make it easier for drugs for rarer cancers to be approved.
But since then four drugs which could have benefited 16,000 people have been turned down outright and a further six which could have helped 4,000 more have been provisionally rejected.

(Added to 'British Healthcare')

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3/23/10 (By Travis)

Court takes up ban on fish pedicures
Associated Press ^ | March 22, 2010
(Added to 'The Bureaucrat In Your...")

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3/23/10 (By Travis)

Utah plans to take US land through eminent domain
Business Week ^ | March 10, 2010 | BROCK VERGAKIS
Ha, nice!

Added to 'Supreme Tyranny (Kelo)'

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3/23/10 (By Travis)

There is not a good permanent collection out there on Ron Paul refuting the 911 truth movement, so a webpage has been created here with his numerable clear quotes on this subject:

 

Ron Paul 911 Interviews

3/23/10 Neoperspectives.com

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3/10/10 (By Travis)

Offshoring Radiology Services to India

Journal of International Business Studies (date unknown >2006)

One U.K. radiologist suggested in an interview that patients in some rural areas could wait as long as a year for an MRI.

 

Yesterday I saw a patient receive a nonemergent MRI within hours of admission to the hospital.

(Added to 'British Healthcare')

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3/10/10 (By Travis)

Pa. coal town above mine fire claims massive fraud

3/9/10 Associated Press

Centralia was all but wiped off the map as the slow-burning mine fire that began in 1962 at the town dump spread to the network of mines beneath the town, threatening residents with poisonous gases and dangerous sinkholes. A $42 million government relocation program was largely completed by 1993, when officials invoked eminent domain to get dozens of holdouts to leave.

 

Eminent Domain for 'public safety'? This is the first I've heard of it.

(Added to 'Supreme Tyranny')

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3/10/10 (By Travis)

Activist ‘Green’ Lawyers Billing U.S. Millions in Fraudulent Attorney Fees

Pajamas Media 3/4/10

Since 1995, the federal government has neither tracked nor accounted for any of these attorney fee payments.

Nine national environmental activist groups alone have filed more than 3,300 suits, every single one seeking attorney fees. The groups have also charged as much as $650 per hour (a federal statutory cap usually limits attorney fees to $125 per hour).

In well over half of the cases, there was no court judgment in the environmental groups’ favor. In all cases, whether there was any possible environmental benefit from the litigation is highly questionable. Most cases were simply based upon an alleged failure to comply with a deadline or to follow a procedure.

A whistleblower who was employed for 30 years by the U.S. Forest Service told Pajamas Media:

Some organizations have built a business doing this and attacking the agencies on process, and then getting “reimbursed.”

<.>

The top ten highest grossing environmental executives all received at least $308,000 in compensation.

Environmental activist groups also have been among the most influential in throwing around political money. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, between 2000 and this year activist environmental political action committees have given $3.4 million in campaign contributions to candidates for federal office. About 87% of the money went to Democrats.

 

(Added to 'The Environment')

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3/10/10 (By Travis)

Beware of McCain's Freedom-Destroying Dietary Supplement Regulatory Bill

2/11/10 JBS.org

The last free section of the American Health Industry is now under attack.

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3/10/10 (By Travis)

Hillary urges rich Pakistanis to pay more tax

2/26/10 Dawn.com
“The very well-off” in Pakistan “do not pay their fair share for the services that are needed, in health and education primarily,” she observed.

Secretary Clinton said the US, along with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, was looking for ways to pressure nations that received loans and grants to broaden their tax base.

 

State Department spreading socialism abroad?

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3/10/10 (By Travis)
The Future of Money: It’s Flexible, Frictionless and (Almost) Free

Wired 2/22/10
 

What if people could transfer money over Twitter for next to nothing, simply by typing a username and a dollar amount?

 

Ivey immediately used it to link users’ Twitter accounts to their PayPal accounts, and his new company, Twitpay, took off. Today, the service has almost 15,000 users.

 

How long till this company runs afoul of federal and state regulator busy bodies? See our review of 'The PayPal Wars' under 'book reviews'.

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2/25/10 (By Travis)

Ron Paul People

2/22/10 Aconmag

A great article

(Added to 'Ron Paul 2008')

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2/25/10 (By Travis)

Semi takes man in a wheelchair on 50 MPH ride

6/8/07 wzzm13.com

Doctors Give Area Man Six Months To Pay

8/4/99 the onion

(Added to 'Humor')

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2/25/10 (By Travis)

The Chemist's War: The little-told story of how the U.S. government poisoned alcohol during Prohibition with deadly consequences

2/19/09 Slate

Frustrated that people continued to consume so much alcohol even after it was banned, federal officials had decided to try a different kind of enforcement. They ordered the poisoning of industrial alcohols manufactured in the United States, products regularly stolen by bootleggers and resold as drinkable spirits. The idea was to scare people into giving up illicit drinking. Instead, by the time Prohibition ended in 1933, the federal poisoning program, by some estimates, had killed at least 10,000 people.

 

Another crime of 'the state', reminds me of this quote:

 

After two world wars, countless smaller wars, mass murders, religious and racial persecution, several species of tyranny, punishing taxation, erosions of ancient liberties, debasement of money, and state-sponsored moral decadence, you’d think modern man would have drawn certain lessons about the modern State. All of us ought to talk about the State the way the Jews talk about Hitler. 

- Joseph Sobran

 

Many in the US do view the state as such:

 

CNN Poll: Majority says government a threat to citizens' rights

2/26/10 CNN

The survey indicates a partisan divide on the question: only 37 percent of Democrats, 63 percent of Independents and nearly 7 in 10 Republicans say the federal government poses a threat to the rights of Americans.

 

Still need to work on those democrats :)

 

The first article has been added to 'Social Conservatism' because prohibition comes from the same ideology at an earlier time.

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2/25/10 (By Travis)

Stafford Hospital caused ‘unimaginable suffering’

2/25/10

An independent inquiry found that managers at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust stopped providing safe care because they were preoccupied with government targets and cutting costs.

 

Staff shortages at Stafford Hospital meant that patients went unwashed for weeks, were left without food or drink and were even unable to get to the lavatory. Some lay in soiled sheets that relatives had to take home to wash, others developed infections or had falls, occasionally fatal.

(Added to 'British Healthcare')

 

'My heart, my choice,' Williams says, defending decision for U.S. heart surgery

2/22/10 Canadian Press

His doctors in Canada presented him with two options - a full or partial sternotomy, both of which would've required breaking bones, he said.

He advised him to seek treatment at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami.

Williams said Lamelas made an incision under his arm that didn't require any bone breakage.

"I wanted to get in, get out fast, get back to work in a short period of time," the premier said.

(Added to 'Canadian Healthcare')

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2/16/10 (By Travis)

My Country ‘Tis of Thee, Sweet Land of Dependency

2/12/10 BigGovernment

If you want to get depressed or angry, the New York Times has an article celebrating the effort by politicians at all levels of government to lure more people into the food stamp program. New York City is running ads in foreign languagues asking people to stick their snouts in the public trough. The City is even signing up prisoners when they get out of jail. The state of New York, meanwhile, actually set up quotas for enrolling new recipients. And on the federal level, there apparently is a program that gives states “bonuses” for putting more people on the dole. No wonder one out of every eight Americans is receiving food stamps.


(Added to 'Welfare; History, Results and Reform')

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2/16/10 (By Travis)

Americans Jailed in Haiti Send Disturbing Message

2/1/10 abc news

And the group's Haitian defense attorney, Edwin Coq, said Silsby knew the group couldn't remove the youngsters without proper paperwork. He characterized the other nine missionaries as unknowingly being caught up in actions they didn't understand.

Coq has now been accused of trying to bribe the missionaries' way out of jail and has been fired, the attorney who hired him said Saturday night.

Coq denied the allegation. He said the $60,000 he requested from the Americans' families was his fee.

 

Additional news stories contain interviews with some of the parents who said they were having difficulty caring for their children and freely gave them to the missionaries to help them attain a better life. This story is of interest because it ties in our (2/1 post) view about Haitian corruption and socialism causing the poverty in Haiti with government's role in limiting the adoption of children worldwide.

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2/16/10 (By Travis)

Homeschooling German Family Awarded Political Asylum in U.S., Where is U.S. Media?

2/1/10 Big Journalism

A federal immigration judge in Tennessee has awarded political asylum to a German couple that was threatened by the German government with having their children forcibly removed from their home because the couple chose homeschooling instead of sending them to state approved schools.
Uwe Romeike may now stay as a legal resident in Morrisstown, Tennessee, where the family moved in 2008 after being threatened by German authorities.

 

California Teachers Union Says Newly-Empowered Parents = "Mob Rule"
Independent Women's Forum ^ | February 11, 2010 | Vicki E. Murray, Ph.D

(Added to 'A Charter School Tale')

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2/16/10 (By Travis)

UN climate change panel based claims on student dissertation and magazine article

1/30/10 ABCnews

(Added to 'The Environment')

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2/16/10 (By Travis)

Inmates Gets Time Off Sentences for Taking Yoga
Can Yoga Transform a Criminal Into a Good Citizen?

1/20/10 ABC News

Murderers and thieves learn to meditate and breathe from some of the world's best yoga instructors like Swami Ramdev.

"So many of the prisoners have total life transformations and now they are very responsible citizens of the country and they become yoga teachers as well," said Ramdev through an interpreter. "They become the course of inspiration and respected citizens of their community."

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2/1/10 (By Travis)

Fla. woman fights ruling that kept her in hospital

1/26/10 Breitbart

These cases are always of interest, let us hope we keep the power of doctors and courts limited.

(Added to 'Government Kidnapping')

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2/1/10 (By Travis)

Poll: Fox most trusted name in news

1/27/09 Politico

Percent Trust:

Fox 49%

CNN 39%

CBS 32%

NBC 31%

 

Fox also had the lowest level of distrust: 37%.

 

Stats guaranteed to rile our friends on the left. :)

(Added to 'Media Bias')

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2/1/10 (By Travis)

Italian mobsters buck downturn, may target bourse

1/27/10 Reuters

Italy's mafia crime syndicates bucked the recession in 2009 to raise 'profits' by almost 8 percent with the financial crisis making companies and even the stock market even more vulnerable to cash-flush mobsters.

It estimated that the impact on business equalled about 7 percent of Italy's economic output, enjoying healthy growth in a year when the Italian economy shrank by almost 5 percent.

 

Isn't it ironic, the mob, a source of much suffering in many other ways, proves to be a stimulating instrument for the Italian economy. The mob is able to help so many Italian businesses because it is outside of the control of the government and exists purely as a traditional contractual entity, provided the contractual terms are truly provided in transparency to the businesses owners. In contrast to our own banking system:

 

Secret Banking Cabal Emerges From AIG Shadows

1/29/10 Bloomberg

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2/1/10 (By Travis)

Americans arrested taking children out of Haiti

1/30/10 Reuters

"This is totally illegal," said Yves Cristalin, Haiti's social affairs minister. "No children can leave Haiti without proper authorization and these people did not have that authorization."

 

"I was going to come back here to do the paperwork," Sillsby said. "They accuse us of children trafficking. This is something I would never do. We were not trying to do something wrong."

 

The governments of third world countries often use the well intentioned adoption attempts of westerners to extract $$$. The power of governments over adoptions has resulted in extreme difficulty in adopting children and negation of mutually beneficial transactions, surely resulting in increased suffering in children whom would otherwise improve their living standards.

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2/1/10 (By Travis)

Justice Dept.: Obama administration may take action on BCS

1/30/10 SI

In 2008, Obama said he was going to "to throw my weight around a little bit" to nudge college football toward a playoff system, a point that Hatch stressed when he urged Obama last fall to ask the department to investigate the BCS.

 

"This seemingly discriminatory action with regard to revenues and access have raised questions regarding whether the BCS potentially runs afoul of the nation's antitrust laws," he wrote.


Hatch, a Utah Republican, was steamed that his home state team was deprived of getting a chance to play for the title last year.

 

I'm glad our childish elected officials are addressing such pressing issues. DMV college football? Another reason to reject antitrust laws.

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2/1/10 (By Travis)

Cellphone Curbs May Not Decrease Car Crashes

1/30/10 WSJ

WASHINGTON—Laws that forbid motorists from using hand-held phones or texting while driving don't appear to result in a significant decrease in vehicle crashes, according to a new study by the Highway Loss Data Institute expected to be released Friday.

 

These sorts of social laws, generally, don't alter behavior. It is economic laws that play the greatest mischief, IMHO.

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1/21/10 (By Travis)

'Lifeless' prion proteins are 'capable of evolution'
BBC News ^ | 1 January 2010 | BBC News / Scripps Research Institute
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1/21/10 (By Travis)

Taco Bell founder dead at 86

1/18/10 LA times

Let us salute this man! :)

(Added to 'American Heroes')

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1/21/10 (By Travis)

World misled over Himalayan glacier meltdown

1/17/10

Two years ago the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a benchmark report that was claimed to incorporate the latest and most detailed research into the impact of global warming. A central claim was the world's glaciers were melting so fast that those in the Himalayas could vanish by 2035.

 

In the past few days the scientists behind the warning have admitted that it was based on a news story in the New Scientist, a popular science journal, published eight years before the IPCC's 2007 report.
It has also emerged that the New Scientist report was itself based on a short telephone interview with Syed Hasnain, a little-known Indian scientist then based at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.


Hasnain has since admitted that the claim was "speculation" and was not supported by any formal research. If confirmed it would be one of the most serious failures yet seen in climate research.

CRU ‘Scientist’ Got $540K ‘Stimulus’

 

(Added to 'The Environment')

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1/21/10 (By Travis)

California to Set Time Limit to See Doctors

1/19/10 WSJ

Regulations to be announced Wednesday require family practitioners in health maintenance organizations to see patients seeking an appointment within 10 business days. The deadline for specialists is 15 days.

    If the state decrees it, it shall be so? Do these politicians really believe they can alter the laws of economics they have created? What if Canada or Britain or some other country with socialized medicine decreeded a similar wait time? We actually saw what happened, in Britain the patients sat in ambulances or in a different area of the hospital so they would not count as 'waiting in the ER'.

(Added to 'US Government Health')

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1/21/10 (By Travis)

To Help Haiti, End Foreign Aid

1/19/10 WSJ

For Haitians, just about every conceivable aid scheme beyond immediate humanitarian relief will lead to more poverty, more corruption and less institutional capacity.

Don't Subsidize Haitian Corruption

1/19/10 Fox News

Neither Sachs nor Glover identified the chief culprit of current or past suffering in Haiti: intense corruption. Transparency International ranks Haiti as one of the most corrupt places on earth—only 7 of 180 countries have a worse ranking. The State Department’s human rights report on Haiti cites “severe corruption in all branches of government,” including serious police, judicial and voting improprieties. It notes that there were no charges even filed during the most recent year the report covered, despite plenty of investigations and evidence against senior officials.

 

The ultimate reason for the loss of life from the recent earthquake in Haiti is not the earthquake itself, but the underlying poverty of the country. Why is Haiti so vulnerable to natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes? Why do parts of Africa suffer from such serious 'droughts' and why does Chavez blame his electricity problems on 'drought'. The more modern and prosperous a country is the less its citizens are subject to the whims of the elements. Of course we are never completely free from the whims of nature, as seen by Hurricane Katrina (800 deaths) and Hurricane Andrew (25 deaths) here in the US, but surely such a large quake even in the most dense part of California would not cause such carnage as occurred in Haiti.

 

As mentioned in the dated 'Causes of Poverty in Developing Nations', the root cause of poverty in Haiti is lack of property rights, big government, corruption, and lack of freedom. For readers who recall Tsunami Tyranny, we already see, unfortunately, the same patterns emerging in Haiti. 'Aid', in the sense that we commonly define the term, will not help Haiti, and will likely only contribute to their longstanding suffering. Only raw ideology and political and economic reform can save the Haitian people and end the culture of dependence and poverty.

 

(Added to 'Tsunami Tyranny')

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1/21/10 (By Travis)

Chan: Lack of H1N1 vaccine demand surprising

1/19/10 Cidrap

The H1N1 influenza pandemic brought no "devastating surprises," but what has surprised public health agencies is the public's lack of interest in getting vaccinated, Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), said yesterday.

 

    Are the people smarter than the government expert agencies? :)

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1/03/10 (By Travis)

Mayo Clinic in Arizona to Stop Treating Some Medicare Patients

12/31/09 Bloomberg

The Mayo Clinic, praised by President Barack Obama as a national model for efficient health care, will stop accepting Medicare patients as of tomorrow at one of its primary-care clinics in Arizona, saying the U.S. government pays too little.

 

If Medicare and Medicaid continue to stubbornly resist opportunities to be scaled back politically, then perhaps they can be scaled back economically. It is hopeful the trend to relegate them to second class healthcare, similar to the public systems in Britain and Canada will continue. If participation in these government programs is shrunk by medical providers, the patients and doctors who opt out will surely be the winners.

(Added to 'US Government Health')

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1/03/10 (By Travis)

Dave Barry's year in review: 2009

1/2/10 Dave Barry's year in review

 

Happy New Year! We waited all year for this. :)

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1/03/10 (By Travis)

Homewood church candlelight Christmas services hit snag with fire laws
The Birmingham News ^ | 12/16/09 | Greg Garrison
 

Added to 'The Bureaucrat in your...'

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1/03/10 (By Travis)

Putting our economy in the hands of Chavez fans

12/12/09 Herald Sun

 

President Chavez brought the house down.
When he said the process in Copenhagen was “not democratic, it is not inclusive, but isn’t that the reality of our world, the world is really and imperial dictatorship…down with imperial dictatorships” he got a rousing round of applause.


When he said there was a “silent and terrible ghost in the room” and that ghost was called capitalism, the applause was deafening.


But then he wound up to his grand conclusion – 20 minutes after his 5 minute speaking time was supposed to have ended and after quoting everyone from Karl Marx to Jesus Christ - “our revolution seeks to help all people…socialism, the other ghost that is probably wandering around this room, that’s the way to save the planet, capitalism is the road to hell....let’s fight against capitalism and make it obey us.” He won a standing ovation.

 

Airborne fraction of C02 has not risen in past 150 years, new research finds

1/2/09 Examiner

New studies have found that most of the CO2 emitted by man does not stay in the atmosphere as previously believed. Instead, it is absorbed by terrestrial ecosystems and the oceans.

 

Added to 'The Environment'

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1/03/10 (By Travis)

Sovereign wealth funds on the hunt

12/23/09 Fortune

Sovereign wealth fund managers have reason to be hesitant. A notoriously secretive bunch with an estimated $3 trillion in assets, they have received unwanted attention over the last couple of years for making public missteps.

 

We should all be thankful the United States does not have a 'sovereign wealth fund', and that our oil companies are in private hands. Sovereign wealth funds, looted from the hard earned dollars of the citizens of said countries, represent a particularly egregious infringement of liberty.

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12/13/09 (By Travis)

US plan to round up wild horses draws opposition

12/7/09

    In recent years, the government has rounded up and relocated wild horses to other lands in the West. Helicopters are used to drive the mustangs toward cowboys with lassos. The cowboys then put the horses onto trucks.

    The BLM spent about $50 million this year to feed, corral and otherwise manage the nation's wild horses, up from $36 million last year. Without contraception or other such measures, mustang herds can double in size about every four years, authorities say.

 

    The government feeds the wild horses and then worries they will starve and then attempts to move them all around. This example of government trying to play God over nature accomplishes nothing and is a waste of taxpayer money.

 

Coal company cuts 500 jobs, blames environmentalists

12/9/09 Washington Times

(Added to 'The Environment')

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12/13/09 (By Travis)

Virgin's Branson unveils first commercial spaceship 

12/7/09 Reuters

"Subject to American government permission, we may well start developing a program to try to take people from continent to continent, you know, two hours from Los Angeles to Australia," Branson said in an interview with Reuters TV.

 

It is a matter of when, not if, such travel becomes possible and it will surely be done by a private company such as this, not NASA.

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12/13/09 (By Travis)

House to vote on letting bankruptcy judges modify loans

MarkWatch 12/10/09

    This story is illustrative of the consistent and increasing degradation of the basic right to contract. The right of two free people to come together and contract with each other, compiling their own terms of agreement, condition, and consequence, does not exist in many instances. The result is a decayed financial system with tendency towards a combination of restrictive credit, excessive risk taking, and financial collapse. Bankruptcy law is determined by state and federal government and is so lax (ie 'pro-consumer') that in some instances the financial benefits to running up huge credit cards bills and foreclosing on homes are outweighed only by individual moral conscious.

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12/13/09 (By Travis)

Health Department says Cody, the store Labrador, must go
The St Petersburg Times ^ | Dec 03, 2009 | Dominick Tao
The big beef
The Ottawa Citizen ^ | December 8, 2009 | David Gonczol

Two stories about big government infringing on the liberty of citizens.

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12/1/09 (By Travis)

Unquenchable, by Robert Glennon, a review

12/1/09 neoperspectives.com

 

In essence, this book describes the past, present, and future, of water policy in the United States. Glennon illustrates in extensive detail where we get our water, how we use it, treat it, conserve it, water law in the east/west and federal, various conflicts, and solutions over water and the merits of solutions to shortages.

 

Some interesting facts are the vast amounts of water used in the production of electricity, and in each pound of meat consumed. Glennon repudiates ethanol as an eco friendly substitute for gasoline, suggesting that ethanol is more polluting, especially when one accounts for the massive amount of water and fertilizer wasted on its production.

 

Also of mention is that of a certain type of recyclable toilet can be constructed/installed for $200 in California by a good plumber without following the state regulations, but the same thing costs over $2000 if it is done 'to code'.

 

It it only mentioned once, but on page 39 there is written this surprising sentence:

 

"... total water consumption in the United States actually went down slightly between 1980 and 2000."

 

This is attributed to a decline in manufacturing and also likely to a decrease in farming, and other efficiencies all across the board. How can there be a 'crisis' of water shortages and what appears to be increasing political fights over water when the total consumption is actually decreased?

 

Water, unfortunately, is under extreme political control, luckily mostly by municipalities and states. There is little reason to believe 'shortages' are due to anything other than how shortages always form, from government healthcare to soviet breadlines: the government preventing the private sector from attaining a commodity. This book did little to dissuade me from this admittedly priori assumption and even reinforced it. Glennon himself does not appear to share this belief, even if he does advocate for some form of what he calls 'market forces'.

 

In fact, 'Unquenchable' is replete with examples of government thwarting attempts by the private sector to expand the water supply in the fast growing drier states. Most devastatingly in aggregate appear to be environmental litigation. From stopping dams, canals, irrigation, desalination plants, development, and pretty much any large infrastructure project. Especially of interest are environmental litigations of manmade lakes and streams, that didn't exists until recently, but now can't be removed or modified!

 

The private sector has been remarkable in its ingenuity, drilling wills, which luckily, or unfortunately according to Glennon, are not heavily regulated. Especially of interest is the story of Aaron Million, who claims to have private financing available to bring water into Colorado, but is having difficulty navigating the byzantine legal and regulatory barriers to do so.

 

Readers may recall a recent 4/25 post below, which details how it is illegal in Colorado and Utah for citizens to collect their own rainwater, forcing folks to participate in the state monopoly. A further review of that story yields:

 

The city of Tucson, Ariz., which receives a meager 12 inches of rainfall in an average year (much of it coming in big downpours), decreed not only that collecting the rain is legal, but that all new commercial development starting in June 2010 must include a rainwater collection system.

 

These contradictions give merit to the old libertarian saying: "Whatever is not forbidden is mandatory."

 

Another criticism of 'Unquenchable' is little comparison to what is done in other countries, besides to say that US consumers have the cheapest water besides Canada in the developed world. And Glennon criticizes bottled water drinking in one chapter on one had while describing the unknown wastes and potential toxins in public water in another. It would also have been interesting to go more into detail regarding Atlanta's brief foray into token private ownership of water utilities.

 

I do agree with Glennon, who appears, ideologically, to be a moderate liberal, on the need for market based reform. The buying and selling of water rights, under the current state laws, without federal interventions, likely will produce good results, provided environmental and regulatory and state subsidies are removed. Utilities and water infrastructure should be sold to private companies, mandated conservation efforts should not be encouraged and instead will happen 'naturally' if the price of water is no longer subsidized and instead 'floats' at market price.

 

However, ultimately we might find the predictions of 'Unquenchable' analogous to the famous Paul Ehrlich vs. Julian Simon debate, most especially if government gets out of the way of the thirsty private sector.

 

(Added to 'Book Review')

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For more of these 'blog-type' posts, see Archives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topics

 


 

 

Job Bank programs, 12000 paid not to work

Unquenchable

Swine Flu Commentary

Dancing With the Stars

Intermediate Meditation

Beginning Meditation

The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne a review

Youthful Optimism and the Darkening Sky

Return of the Jedi

Bailout Commentary

Detroit Michigan seen from Nevada

Ron Paul Candidates on the March in NV

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: a Vision of the Future

The Libertarian Scare

Elephants Stampeding (and Donkeys Ditching Jackasses)

DO Day on the Hill, Round 3

Manifesting Revolution

The Mighty Tree

An analysis of energy and film

Sivananda Yoga Recordings

Pain and Suffering

Technology in the Age of Big Government

Ezekiel for an Hour

Excerpts (a listing of all excerpts)

The Conspiracy Theorists

SOMA Resolution on FDA approval

Wind in the Windy City (SOMA, AOA Chicago Convention)

DO Day on the Hill, Round 2

Restricting the body, Elevating the mind

A Tale of Two Tragedies (VA shooting)

Warning Concerning a King, a Biblical Perspective

New Leadership on HealthCare: a Presidential Forum

Christ In Life

In Pursuit of Happiness

Responsibility, Part II

Personal Responsibility, Mental 

Settling the Small Business Hype

Ron Paul 2008

Milk, It Does A Government Good

Optimism on Nov 8th

Personal Responsibility, Mental Responsibility

Airbus vs Boeing

Good Karma, Bad Karma?

Free Trade

Ideology, Emotion, and Reason

Ebay, Tax Cuts, and Capitalism

Israel Lebanon Conflict

Social Conservatism

Nevada Politics

Media Freedom

Amnesty From Government

The Bureaucrat In Your...

Medical Lobbying

RIP Carrie Largent

College

Communist Musings

FDA Tyranny

Optimism

Israel Palestine Conflict

The Post Office

French Riots

Gasoline and Government

Guns and Crime

Secondary Problems of Socialism

Club For Growth; Defending Liberty

Wal-Mart, Aiding America's Poor

Transportation Socialism

Voting with your Feet (Las Vegas Vs. Detroit)

Inequality, Aid, and the Nature of Governments

Academic Bias

The Internet

Chavez

USA and Freedom Abroad

American Heroes 

Government Condescension

China

Environment

Unions

Humor

Media Bias 

Government Kidnapping

British Health Care 

Canadian Health Care 

US Government Health

New Government Food Pyramid

Farm Subsidies 

The Minimum Wage

Supreme Tyranny (Kelo)

Charitable Corruption

Constitutional issues

 

 

 


 

 

Quick Links (personal favorites)

 

Club For Growth

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