Libertarian Commentary on the News, #14-45B: Winter is come!

by Nathan Barton

Good morning.

I just came through this: the Arctic chill which has settled across the “Upper Midwest” and Rockies has made it clear that Fall is over and Winter is here.  Monday morning was beautiful on the Front Range, while the Black Hills (at least the eastern part) got four inches of snow by sunrise and another six inches by sunset.  And blizzards in Denver Monday afternoon accompanied a plunge from the 50s to the teens.  And Tuesday, temperatures all down the front of the Rockies in Colorado were mid-teens, while the usually bitter cold San Luis Valley was in the upper 20s!  People are, I hope, prepared for a colder than usual November and December.  And, as the power grid becomes increasingly unstable and vulnerable, for power outages and shortages of supplies.  Are YOU ready?

Never mind that it is winter, and that is deadly all by itself in the great steppes of the western part of the former USSR.  The Ukraine Army is preparing for a possible rebel offensive, probably by launching its own spoiling offensive.  So that soldiers and civilians can die in the mud and snow: Ukraine claims that Russia is shipping troops and equipment into eastern Ukraine, a move that frankly makes no sense from the Russian point of view.

Oil and other commodity prices seem to have become less volatile in the past week, but still remain low, and I’ve seen (and taken advantage of) lower fuel prices recently: in some cities of Colorado gasoline is down to $2.83 a gallon and diesel to $3.45 a gallon: still way too high but much better than the past two years.  Every commentator has a different take on where fuel prices are going in the next six months to a year.  Same for gold and silver: it gets to be funny listening to ads for gold and silver firms who are not updating their ads quickly enough to keep up with fluctuation. It is important to remember that ANYthing in the news can cause a panic and rapid changes, up or down, within hours, and the best way to be prepared is to not let ourselves be distracted from taking care of ourselves, our families, friends, and businesses by ups and downs like gold prices.  Which is why I pay more attention to fuel costs!

The end of the era of Minimum Wage may soon be at hand. McDonald’s has begun experimenting with automated cashiers as a way to eliminate some of the staff that would be necessary to run their restaurants. If the news (being reported from several sources) is accurate, this could essentially end the debate over the minimum wage, as most minimum wage owners work in the fast food industry. A user on Reddit is reporting that McDonald’s has begun testing the automated cashiers at their store in Romeoville, Illinois. South Dakota was one of several states to pass new minimum wage laws in the election Tuesday, a self-defeating law if there ever was one. This has been in the works for several weeks, but we can expect a lot of states and even municipalities to outlaw it.  Remember that people have allowed the State of Oregon to outlaw self-service in pumping gasoline and diesel for more than THREE decades.

Mama’s Note: There is no actual “fast food” outlet in Newcastle right now. I don’t count the Subway sandwich place, nor the Pizza Hut in that category. The Taco John’s here closed last month and the building stands vacant. No loss, as far as I’m concerned, because I don’t eat out at all anymore, but it was actually fairly popular until the Maverick’s mini-mart thing went in across the street. And even more interesting is the fact that the Taco John’s was advertising for help just a week or so before it closed. Wonder what happened.

In Spain, the Madrid regime has (as expected) rejected Catalan self-determination after the vote showed overwhelming support for independence. “Spain’s government yesterday rejected Catalonia’s calls for self-determination after more than two million people took part in a symbolic vote on independence for the region. Catalonia’s leader reached out to Madrid for talks on a ‘definitive’ and binding vote, but the national government, which had tried to ban Sunday’s ballot, dug in its heels. ‘The right to self-determination … is not possible, neither under our constitution nor in any of the other democracies around us,’ Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria told parliament.” Tyranny always has its excuses for its actions.  Catalonia joined Spain originally almost six hundred years ago voluntarily for the benefits of mutual defense and trade and protection from (among other things) the Muslims who had tried repeatedly to conquer the Mediterranean lands and Europe.  If today, they see no advantage to remaining involuntarily in that union, it should be THEIR choice.  With this kind of response, the scene is set for many Catalans to do what the Basque have done for centuries and rebel against the central democratic tyranny (which is really not all that different from the old fascist tyranny, except in the matters of bloody hands) and set the stage for yet ANOTHER Spanish civil war.

The WaPo writes that the “Mormon church” (Church of Jesus Christ, Later-day Saints, or LDS) finally acknowledges founder Joseph Smith’s polygamy. Many Mormons have mixed feelings about a recent disclosure from the church, acknowledging for the first time that the religion’s founder Joseph Smith had as many as 40 wives in his lifetime, including teenagers.  The WaPo pretends that it has not been common knowledge for a very long time, and tries to impose 21st century sensibilities (certainly not “morals”) on the early and mid 1800s.  This shows the WaPo’s stupidity more than anything: if I am not mistaken, Joe’s letters to Emma (his “first” wife) about God commanding him to marry others is part of either Doctrines and Covenants or Pearl of Great Price, both essential LDS revealed scripture.  I do not know what the WaPo is seeking to push with this: perhaps now that they consider the “struggle” for so-called “homosexual marriage” to be over, they are pushing the effort to legalize polygamy as well, and not just for Muslims.

Mama’s Note: “Legalize” is irrelevant, actually. Marriage (as with everything else in the long run), as we’ve said, is nobody else’s business but the people involved. As long as nobody is coerced into participating, and nobody is robbed to support it, people can marry whoever and however many they wish.

Remember Ebola?  You know, that fad that was going to destroy American society?  Oh, yeah, that?  Well, it seems that in New York City, that doctor who had Ebola left the hospital, and honestly, was he really even sick?  Is there any treatment that he could not have gotten in a regular hospital or even a clinic?  According to there has been NO increase in the number of Ebola patients and NO deaths from Ebola in at least two weeks although the map shows more and more symbols (especially in the US) as people panic over it.  This guy, who apparently was not worried about spreading the illness in the Fifty States’ biggest city, ” urged support for those combating the virus at its West African epicenter.”  He had been the last Ebola patient under treatment nationwide, at least for now.

A Palestinian leader accuses Israel of religious war. Duh!  Who made it a religious war, about 1400 years ago, when Mohammed (peanut butter und honig) wiped out an entire Jewish tribe in Arabia because they refused to accept him as the Prophet?  And to admit that Ishmael and not Isaac was the “son of promise.” What dominant religion drove hundreds of thousands of people out of their homelands based on their religion?  Yes, I understand that the Nakbah saw hundreds of thousands of “Palestinian” Arabs, flee from their homes into refugee camps that are STILL just “camps” sixty+ years later, and that the Israelis were a big part of that, but today, there are Israeli citizens who are Arab, either Muslim or Christian, but how many Jews are “citizens” of “Palestine” or “Gaza” or Egypt or Jordan or Lebanon?  And how few “christians” are still left in those very lands, as compared to those in Israel? Fourteen hundred years later, Muslims across the world STILL wage a religious war, especially in Canaan. But not just there.

We see that bomb attacks kill 23 people in Mesopotamia [Iraq], again, yesterday.  Please note that there are no Jews (or at least no local Jews: I assume that various Western embassies and banks will have some as employees) in “Iraq” today to be blowing people up with bombs – or to be blown up by bombs.  There are fewer “christians” there all the time, and again, no report or evidence that it is christians doing this killing or dying.  No, it is MUSLIMS killing OTHER MUSLIMS and mostly over religious differences: Shi’a and Sunni and all the rest: or those who are not properly devout or religious or moral: your skirt is too short, woman, off with your head!

Mama’s Note: The truly puzzling thing is why the extreme crazies did not cull themselves from the herd long ago. So many hundreds of years, each generation producing at least a minimum number of people consumed with the desire to control and kill each other. It’s really sad.

About TPOL Nathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (a christian), Pahasapan (resident of the Black Hills), Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer, Evangelist. Successor to Lady Susan (Mama Liberty) at TPOL.
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