Libertarian Commentary on the News, 15 July 2015, #15-28D: This and that

By Nathan Barton

As I had a lot to discuss on the most recent bloodshed in the Islamic world and wars, here are comments on other news stories for the middle of the week.

Gee, political scientists (not political science, but “scientists” who are really politicians or similar parasites): the Christian Science Monitor (CSM) has a Report: Psychologists authorized CIA, DOD torture:  “A 542-page report released today found that the American Psychological Association collaborated with the Department of Defense by establishing an ethics policy that enabled torture. APA officials ‘had strong reasons to suspect abusive interrogations occurred,’ says the report, but they ‘intentionally and strategically avoided taking steps to learn information to confirm those suspicions … effectively hiding its head in the sand.’ The report also noted that APA Board member Diane Halpern urged that ‘we add data showing that torture is ineffective in obtaining good information,’ but her recommendation was ignored.”  I find certain people’s comments about this news to be hypocritical at best, as the APA is one of the major sources they cite for their claim that people are “born” homosexual and that homosexuality is not a perversion or a mental illness.  If we can’t trust the APA on torture, then WHY do we trust them on ANYthing?

Texas:  As Freedom Net Daily puts it (carrying a story from the St Louis Post-Dispatch, in Texas (and other states, especially New Mexico) the fast-food chain Whataburger invites mass murderers to dine. “An iconic Texas restaurant chain will not allow the open carrying of guns on its properties, and industry experts say other restaurants will likely take the same stand against a new state law legalizing the practice in many public places. Whataburger — with some 780 locations in 10 states — has drawn a mix of praise and rebuke since making the announcement this month, including a prediction of boycotts from one of the state’s leading advocates for gun rights.” [I agree with the FND editor’s note: Of course, they have every right to ban open carry in their restaurants. I just don’t want to hear them whining when a would-be killer decides Whataburger is a more inviting playground than some business that respects its customers and allows them to protect their own lives and safety – TLK]  Of course, it remains to be seen IF the various Whataburger franchise locations really do enforce the no-guns policy.  But as for me and my family, there are other places to get good hamburgers.

California: Drone over wildfire panics [sic] firefighters, according to CBS Sacramento “Authorities briefly grounded air tankers that were fighting a wildfire in Southern California on Sunday after a drone flew close to the blaze. The planes fighting a 35-acre fire on the edge of the San Bernardino National Forest were grounded for about eight minutes until the drone left the area, U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Carol Underhill said. … It was the fourth time in the last month that [panic over] a drone disrupted efforts to suppress a California wildfire.”

First, are these tanker pilots so incompetent that they cannot take into account another small aircraft in their area of operations?  Secondly, supposedly our much vaunted technology SHOULD be able to wrest control of the drone  from its controller. (I still have a hard time calling the operator of a drone or radio-controlled aircraft a “pilot.”) This is NOT a panic reaction, but a deliberate attempt to smear the operators of private drones.

Good news?  CNS News reports that Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a bill this week authorizing the state’s pharmacists to provide women over 18 with a 12-month supply of hormonal and oral contraceptives without a doctor’s prescription. California is the only other state with a similar law on the books, but it has not yet been implemented.  No surprise, but Planned Parenthood claims this is an attempt to make an end run around ObummerCare, which only provides for mandatory payment by insurance companies for doctor-prescribed contraceptives.  Seems to me this is a good but very tiny start: there are 100,000 different medications out there that need to have the benefit of separation of state and drugs (not that this is truly separated, with all the caveats of the law).

Not that $100 is worth very much ANYWHERE, but the Tax Foundation has an interesting article, “The Real Value of $100 in Each State,” talking about how Nominal Income and Real Income Vary By State. The Bureau of Economic Analysis has been tracking price parities between states and comparing it to the national average since 2013. They list the “Top Three States Where $100 Are Worth the Most”:

Mississippi ($115.21)

Arkansas ($114.29)

South Dakota ($114.16)

And the “Bottom” Three States [sic] Where $100 Are Worth the Least:

District of Columbia ($84.96)

Hawaii ($86.06)

New York ($86.73)

The source is Alan Cole and Scott Drenkard, of the Tax Foundation, July 8, 2015. That is about 30% difference between DC (with its high-income politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists, and corporate crony-executives) and “dirt-poor” Southern states (including “South” Dakota.)  When you go through the entire list, you see a direct correlation between high taxes and government spending and the lack of value of $100.

A couple weeks ago, Kansas started allowing people to carry concealed guns without a permit. And if it weren’t for that law, WIBW reported about three armed burglars who otherwise may very well have gotten away with their crime. “Tapley who carries his gun without a concealed carry permit says his heroics wouldn’t have been possible without Governor Brownback’s approval of the law that took effect just under 2 weeks ago on July 1. “That’s why Kansas made the law. So citizens can carry and protect themselves and others. I guess my instincts just took over,” said Tapley. All the cash and rifles stolen were recovered by the Topeka police.” The writer fails to point out that the Kansas position is the CONSTITUTIONAL position, the MORAL position, the position held by the Founding Fathers; Kansans do not need Brownback’s or anyone’s permission to carry a weapon, openly or concealed, to defend themselves and others.  Any state which requires such is, at best, an imperfect “land of liberty” so-called, and at worse, a tyranny denying people God-given freedoms.

What about national parks?  Just days after the squatter at 1600 PA created three more “national monuments” out of land already owned by the FedGov (if you believe in FedGov ownership), Daily Policy Digest has an interesting article entitled “Don’t Add More National Parks, Just Fix Them.”  While it makes a good number of points about the problems we have with the national park system, it does NOT suggest the proper solution, which is to privatize national parks so that not-for-profit, (mostly) non-political, private organizations can properly manage and maintain the wonderful lands and resources of the system.

Why do they think we are so stupid?  This is a question I asked a relative after he tried to pull the wool over my eyes in a very simple and easy to check problem.  And it is the same question I ask about Mother Jones magazine and their ridiculous article “debunking” myths about recycling.  All four of their “myths” are easily documented, and much as I hate big international corporations (Waste Management Inc. being a particularly bad actor that treats its employees, stockholders, and customers with the same contempt, and is nice only to regulators and their own HIGHER management), I hate this kind of bogus reporting and analysis even more.

New kinds of property, new kinds of thieving by the government:  As reported on Suzanne Posel’s Investigative News Headlines, social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter are “property” and can be “confiscated” by the government and given to someone else. A DEA agent who needs an “identity” to entrap drug dealers and users, or a former business partner and creditor and victor in a bankruptcy case.  My oh my, and did someone think there was liberty on the Internet? There is NOTHING that government cannot steal; not your good name, not your family members, not your inheritance or wealth or job or business, or even your very thoughts (if you are stupid enough to reveal them).

About tpolnathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (christian), Pahasapan, Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer.
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