Libertarian Commentary on the News, 08 August 2015, #15-31D: Government Messes and Other Evils

By Nathan Barton

Got a double helping of commentary today, but on just a few stories.  What a MESS government makes of things: but they aren’t the only evil we have to deal with.

Another week, another VA scandal. This one from South Dakota, although Russia Today and a good many other people cannot seem to recognize the difference between South and North Dakota. (Of course, one idiot thinks that the only “Hot Springs” is in Virginia. Goofs.) This time, during a renovation project, a bunch of records got inadvertently thrown into a dumpster, and then were recovered. Apparently with no loss of the data, but the risk was there. The VA has demonstrated its incompetence so often, that people assume the worst at all times, and are upset that the VA didn’t immediately hold a press conference in DC to announce that a couple of thousand records were accidentally thrown away for a while. Folks, the chances are that ALL the data in those records was completely compromised months ago in one of the many HUGE releases, and so this is just a duplicate. When we have to submit to government, we get this sort of mess, don’t we?

Speaking of government messes, the Planned Parenthood debacle continues. For once the WaPo seems to have a few things right about members of the Libertarian Party, as they discuss “Why Aren’t Libertarians Rejecting Rand Paul’s Fight Against Planned Parenthood.” Issues of political Libertarians and the Young Americans for Liberty aside, I see these accurate observations:

1. Even though Libertarians (and self-governors) differ in their overall view of abortion, they DO (at least as far as I know) agree that the government has NO BUSINESS stealing money from taxpayers to fund Planned Parenthood (or any other organization).

2. Libertarians ESPECIALLY do not think government should pay for abortions and abortion-related services, given how many people are opposed to abortion and believe it to be murder or at least killing people. Second, many Libertarians DO not believe that abortion is a natural human right any more than any aggressive killing is a right. And many of those, as the article points out, are younger libertarians that Rand Paul is attracting, even as a minarchist with strong conservative leanings.

3. Even though still tied to the idea that government is needed, more and more people are understanding that government is nothing but force and should have as little to do with real life as possible. More and more people are sick of it.

Another one of the ways government messes with real life when allowed to interfere. Zero Hedge discusses one such problem, where San Francisco rents are so insanely high that people pay $1000 a month to live in an 8 x 20 shipping container in a warehouse in Oakland, and feel grateful for the low cost. This is a combination of government-caused inflation, government regulations on everything from buildings to “rent control” to codes designed to limit opportunities and innovation. Sadly, too many people are addicted to SOMETHING in cities like the Bay Megalopolis to realize that they’d be far better off living someplace sane and with a lot less government (no places with no government, yet, sadly).

Government’s interference with the economy and technology, and therefore its attack on our living standards, way of life, and cost of living, is not limited to housing of course. Let us consider electrical power. (Prepare for a rampage, not just a rant.) Tom Knapp has a couple of snide comments about an article “Why uranium is your friend” from Heartland Institute by David Anderson “Is the jury still ‘out’ on nuclear power safety? Or is it ready to issue a verdict? Nuclear power, in the popular imagination, is dangerous because of one of its potential applications: Nuclear weapons. But for nuclear-generated electricity, should we be worried? A review in the U.K. medical journal Lancet, concludes that nuclear electricity is safer for workers than coal mining, for example.” [Knapp’s note in Freedom Net Daily: If nuclear power is so safe, I’m sure the nuclear power industry will be willing to pay for its own insurance instead of having Uncle Sugar guarantee it against liability for accidents, right? Right? (Anyone hear crickets?) – TLK] Tom’s stupidity is showing, again. He knows nothing about nuclear energy except what he has read off the back of a box of cereal, and therefore embraces the public, know-nothing fear of anything that has a level even close to background for those of us who live in the good parts of the world. He knows that his smart-aleck comment is nothing but a red herring. Utilities are and have been for decades parasites on the state. The insurance question is porkbarrel politics, and probably would not be allowed by Congress even if the utilities were stupid enough (in their own light) to reject it.

HIV/AIDS: Unmasking Falsehood, Bringing Truth to Light, at Lew Rockwell by Donald W. Miller, Jr., MD. “This article is taken from a talk I gave on HIV/AIDS at the 33rd annual meeting of the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness in Ontario, California last week (some of the slides that I used for this talk are put in here). It is based on a commentary I wrote titled ‘A Fallacy of Modern Medicine: the HIV/AIDS Hypothesis.’ [1] As I will show, this fallacy has done a great injustice to people who happen to test positive for HIV, to gay men in particular. It has caused the deaths of many thousands of these young men, becoming what one might call a homosexual holocaust.”

Mama’s Note: Long, but very important article. I’ve been aware of the HIV/AIDS myth for a long time, but it is good to see it here. Well written and documented.

Nathan’s thoughts: Like so many modern diseases and conditions, this become politicized from the git-go, and has gotten more and more muddled since. It really helps to have someone clearly state the situation. But we won’t be able to overcome the attitudes and “know-it-all” condition of much of the world, ESPECIALLY the health bureaucracy and the politicians, without a great deal of difficulty: indeed, I suspect that this civilization will fall first.

North Korea said Friday it will establish its own time zone next week by pulling back its current standard time by 30 minutes, according to Fox News Local time in North and South Korea and Japan is the same — GMT+9, set during Japan’s rule over what was single Korea from 1910 to 1945. The establishment of “Pyongyang time” is meant to root out the legacy of the Japanese colonial period, the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said. It said the new time zone will take effect Aug. 15 — the 70th anniversary of Korea’s liberation from Japanese rule at the end of World War II. “The wicked Japanese imperialists committed such unpardonable crimes as depriving Korea of even its standard time while mercilessly trampling down its land with 5,000-year-long history and culture and pursuing the unheard-of policy of obliterating the Korean nation,” the KCNA dispatch said.

Nathan: No doubt the Japanese imperial occupancy was evil, but I am curious just how many Koreans were deprived of their daily food, and what the comparative execution and death rates were during that 35 year period as compared to the sixty-five years of 1950-2015. Evil is evil, but sometimes the effects of the evil can be much greater. North Korea is an example of that.

Mama’s Note: And I wonder if they’ll establish their own set of gravity and other rules of physics next. The time zones, as they are now, truly do reflect the hopeless tangle of bureaucratic nonsense at times, but even a totally free society would have to come to terms with each other and agree on some sort of framework if they wanted to trade with each other.

Computers, of course, make it unnecessary to calculate the differences in your head, but even they will have a big chore if the time in a specific place is a moving target. The evil frog hermit in NK doesn’t really want the people to trade, so of course he could not care less. He looks as if he’s ripe for an early coronary event… we can hope anyway, but I suppose there’s more just like him standing in the wings.…

Nathan: Of course there are, and he is more evil and more stupid only in degree and not in kind from virtually ALL “dear leaders” and leaders and politicians and wannabe politicians and bureaucrats. We do need to remember that the current time zone system developed first in the United States, and was a VOLUNTARY COOPERATIVE effort by the railroads, especially the transcontinental railroads (Union Pacific/Central Pacific, Southern Pacific, Great Northern, and AT& Santa Fe) to make it possible to schedule trains and safely drive on single-track railroads. THEN the politicians got involved, and the current nonsense developed: “daylight savings time” and yo-yoing boundaries back and forth depending on the whim of voters or a three- or five-member board of county commissioners, And of course, when the idea caught on in Europe and Asia, it became even MORE political (and actually, much faster than in the Fifty States).

Not that other government actions are not in themselves both stupid and evil. Freedom Force reports that the City of Houston is carrying out theft of church buildings through the evil eminent domain process in the city’s long-blighted Fifth Ward, and many wonder if it is the mayor’s payback for opposing her transgender toilets ordinance and fighting her supoena of sermons and pamphlets from many of the city’s churches. Long before and ever since Kelo vs. New London, cities and other local governments and quasi-government agencies have been stealing land from homeowners and businesses, and yes, churches. This particular case seems a wee bit extreme even for that. Yes, it IS stealing even when a “fair price” is established by the lickspittle Nazgul in the court, and actually paid out. The fact that these churches have worked hard and long to provide services and improve the community is not needed to defend against this outrageous action, but just means that the theft is insult AND injury.

Raising the bid? Just how many killings does it take before a jury can decide the man is too dangerous to be allowed to live on the taxpayers’ dime. At least in Arapahoe County, Colorado, according to Emergency Email. The jury could NOT agree on the death penalty for James Holmes, who killed 12 in cold blood, and wounded 70. The same jury had already rejected claims that he was mentally ill or mentally disabled, and ruled that he was guilty of premeditated, pre-planned, and avidly sought murder by the dozen. But they decided that the taxpayers of Colorado can support this vicious, sick, immoral, and clearly unrepentant murderer for another 50 to 80 years, in Buena Vista or Canon City or some place much better than the graves of the victims, and even than the rehab and nursing homes of too many victims. (After spending a million or more on the trial.) Unless, of course, he escapes (or, despite claims of “no parole” to the contrary, is put on parole or some sort of supervised part-time release) and gets to do it all over again.

Ah! You remind me, he is a “felon” and isn’t allowed to buy or own guns! We’ll be safe, and it would be cruel to keep him in prison all his life, just as it would be cruel to execute him so that there is no risk of him doing it again. Ha. Anyone with ANY criminal connections can tell you exactly where, and probably a DOZEN places where, Holmes or anyone else can buy guns within a dozen miles of Canon City or any of the other lock-ups Colorado has, and not ONE of them have a BATFE registration or license, or bother to call the FBI for a background check. Because THEY are criminals, too. And maybe next time he’ll take a page from the Japanese or chemical suicides right here in the US, and use some kind of “chemical weapon of mass destruction,” or steal propane and diesel and fertilizer and make an IED (a “bomb”) that will kill EVERYONE in a theatre, or football stadium, or church building, or school. I understand (and agree) with many of the arguments against the death penalty. But this is exactly what justifies a death penalty. The big problem here was that we are three years PAST the time when the death penalty should have been dealt out: because NO one was armed in the “gun-free zone” EXCEPT the killer, he was not killed like the mad dog that he is. There is no justice served here. None.

Hmm. There is some truth to this even if it is published in the WaPo: Lawns are a soul-crushing timesuck and most of us would be better off without them, according to Christopher Ingraham. A recent essay by an Ohio woman who refuses to mow her lawn has struck a nerve. 1,300 people have weighed in with a comment on Sarah Baker’s tale of flaunting a neighborhood mowing ordinance in the face of a $1,000 fine.

As with eminent domain, here is an example of local tyranny writ small but with large impacts. The logic of these codes or ordinances is to “keep up neighborhood property values” which is supposedly good for everyone. I’m dealing (on behalf of a relative) with such a local ordinance and very nice code enforcement thug over issues of dead trees and too-tall grass (not being mowed often enough), and it is very debilitating. I wonder how many homeowners have literally died mowing their grass to meet local code? Admittedly, probably not as many as have starved to death in North Korea, and maybe not as many as have been gunned down by Houston cops, but still…

Mama’s Note: I’ve always wondered why the neighbors who are so worried about the property values do not volunteer to mow the lady’s grass! If it is truly important to them, they could at least collect a few bucks among themselves each week to pay one of their young people to perform this service. Whenever I hear someone complaining about how a neighbor keeps their place, whether the grass or trash or needed home repairs… why not get the neighborhood together and help each other? Neighbors did that when I was a child.

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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