Libertarian Commentary on the News, 24 August 2015, #15-34A: Fearmongering

By Nathan Barton

Fearmongering or a victory for vaping? Even while some government agencies and studies, like the Student Science News claims that vaping leads to increased rates of smoking for teens, the Adam Smith Institute reports that Public Health England “concludes there is no evidence that e-cigarettes are a gateway to lead children or non-smokers into smoking. On the contrary, they find that almost all of the 2.6 million vapers in Britain are current or ex-smokers using e-cigarettes to help them quit or to keep them from reverting. They found that increasing numbers, now nearly half the population, believe that vaping is as harmful or more harmful than are cigarettes, even though it is estimated to be only up to 5% as harmful. This could be because the anti-vapers trying to have it banned indoors or in public places have persuaded them that it is harmful.” Time Magazine chimes in, claiming that vaping is 95% more healthy and 40% cheaper than tobacco cigarettes, saving ex-smokers $1200 per year (and twice that in New York City, no doubt). Is this just a difference between Her Majesty’s subjects and “free” American teens? Or is the Student Society for Science just publishing propaganda garbage?

Mama’s Note: Just as soon as the same restrictions and taxes are applied to the vaporizer things, the busybodies will find something else to lie about. The object is control, not health, obviously.

More fear-mongering or real threat? First wolf pack in decades was spotted in Northern California. As Mama Liberty noted, California really is going to the dogs. For millennia, humans have been fighting with wolves for hunting and grazing territories, and by the mid-20th Century, the war apparently had been won in North America. But now, even while human populations explode here in the Fifty States, wolves seem to be adapting and again pushing back. Like their more adaptable cousins, coyotes, wolves are reestablishing themselves in old territories, threatening livestock and even wildlife, so is a threat to humans next?

Mama’s Note: The threat to humans is the inevitable round of loss to both wolves and government meddling, as well as continued destruction of private property. Farm and ranch land has been devoured by this and many another insanity for a very long time, and the few remaining may not last out the century, if that. How long before people understand this, and take steps to reverse it? Not as long as they accept any government as having that authority.

Who is telling the truth? Ted Cruz, generally considered to be a constitutional scholar (with more credentials and proof than the squatter in the White House), claims that “birthright citizenship” is embedded in the US Constitution, and would require a constitutional amendment (no doubt to be declared “unconstitutional” by the Nazgul). On the other hand, we have Mark Levin, ALSO recognized as a constitutional scholar, who flat-out states that birthright citizenship is yet ANOTHER example of how the Constitution is ignored and powers granted (and denied) which are NOT constitutional: that the present “tradition” of birthright citizenship is NOT required by the Constitution. CNS News publishes Levin’s remarks, and The Blaze details Cruz’s arguments. Most libertarians are in support of Cruz’s position, ironic, since Levin is far more libertarian than Cruz. But in the UK, a number of libertarians are questioning not just birthright citizenship (NOT practiced anywhere in the world but the Fifty States and Dominion of Canada) but the right of unrestricted immigration which is seen by many as a bedrock of libertarianism (classical liberalism). By the way, Timothy Taylor, who claims to resist “Authority!” agrees with Cruz; his logic is faulty in the extreme.

Mama’s Note: And then there is Ron Paul, who rightly says that this wouldn’t even be a question without the welfare/warfare state.

The nutcases are riding, the nutcases are riding. According to Mike Adams, the “Health Ranger” (well known for his bizarre rants on virtually everything), as published in Natural News, the destruction at the Chinese port of Tianjin was done by a secret American weapon, the “Rod of God.” The claim is that the kinetic strike killing 114 so far with many missing was “punishment” for the recent collapse of the Chinese stock market and devaluation of currency. Adams (NOT the professor of criminal justice in North Carolina) then goes on to spin a web of conspiracy theories, black helicopters, military occupation, and more. Reports from the very hour of the explosions in a dangerous goods warehouse in the huge port, as verified by reputable first-responder community members, are fairly clear: some people did some really stupid things around a whole bunch of dangerous chemicals and a fire started, got out of control, spread and then detonated a pretty large quantity of chemicals. The exact details might never be known, but the general sequence of events is pretty clear, and well-documented. No need for kinetic energy weapons: human stupidity is far more destructive. The physical evidence (including seismography and a good many photos and videos) supports the “stupid industrial accident” scenario and NOT a 5-kt-equivalent strike from space, no matter how cool that might be to some people.

Another study confirms it: Cannabis fights diabetes. Or so says Smell the Truth. A study in the journal Obesity found that regular cannabis users had a lower body mass index, lower fat percentages, and lower fasting insulin, adding to the growing body of research debunking the ‘fat, munchie-chomping stoner’ stereotype. Canadian researchers looked at 786 adults in the an Inuit community where more than half the population used cannabis. They found that cannabis use was statistically associated with lower BMI, and other metrics of obesity. The study mirrors findings of several others, including a French study in 2011, and a U.S. study in 2012 that concluded ‘marijuana use was independently associated with a lower prevalence of diabetes mellitus.’ The active ingredients in marijuana can spur appetite, but they also seem to confer a better, more efficient carbohydrate metabolism, researchers suspect. And how much difference will this make in the “War on Some Drugs?” I suspect not a SINGLE bit.

Mama’s Note: The problem with all these “studies” is that most, if not all of the OTHER factors involved are ignored or glossed over to “prove” their desired results. Most “research” done today is seriously questionable, even when done by formerly reliable people. And this whole “obesity” thing is just another tool used to control people. So no… it wouldn’t matter what these “studies” produced, the controllers are not about to let go. They’ve finally begun to understand that regulation and taxing gives them even better control than the threat of jail.

Is this a blow for the nanny state? NJ: Supreme Court says leaving a child alone in a car not automatically abusive. Raw Story reports that “Leaving a young child alone in a vehicle is not automatically abuse or neglect,” the New Jersse Supreme Court ruled Thursday in the case of a woman arrested for shopping while her 19-month-old daughter slept in her car. In a unanimous 7-0 decision, New Jersey’s highest court reversed an appeals court ruling last year that found the woman guilty of child endangerment because even though her daughter wasn’t harmed, simply leaving a child alone in a vehicle — even briefly — was enough to constitute abuse or neglect.

Mama’s Note: I’m glad this finally worked out for the lady, but suspect she is financially ruined anyway. All of these “laws” are written so broadly, so vague that the “courts” can define them however they please. The next person so charged, even if in very similar circumstances, will probably not be so lucky. Because that’s what happened here… the lady got lucky.

So, you think that the GOP is a SERIOUS alternative to Tranzi-dominated Democrats, at least at the state level? Read Paul Jacob’s latest “Common Sense” column. Republican-required referendum in Nevada now being overturned by Republican-controlled legislature. In November, Nevada Republicans scored a ‘stunning’ political sweep. The GOP incumbent governor rolled up a 40-point win, while the GOP gained majorities in both the Assembly and Senate — the first time Republicans have controlled all three since before the Great Depression. At the same time, voters crushed a ballot measure to create a 2-percent gross receipts tax on businesses taking in over $1 million, by a whopping 78–22 percent. Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) and GOP legislators opposed the tax. My tax-fighting friend Chuck Muth, president of Citizen Outreach, must be happy as a clam, living the easy life. No? Mere months after that vote, the solidly Republican state legislature passed — you guessed it – a gross receipts tax.” Yeah, hypocritical but TYPICAL!

Fear mongering or wise preparation? USA Today has a column warning us we are closer to nuclear bombs being used in anger than we have been since Japan surrendered in 1946, but that we CAN survive at least limited nuking, as we might expect from North Korea, Iran, or Pakistan, or maybe even France. True, but I still wonder just how much of this is just pure stirring the pot?

Couldn’t happen to a better guy. Fox News tells us about a “uniformed” police officer (sorry, I don’t consider embroidered polo shirts to be a “uniform” for anything but a fast-food employee) who was not allowed to come to Chuck E. Cheese’s with a pistol on his belt. Businesses (and homeowners) have a right to deny anyone entry to their property on ANY pretense. Why do “sworn officers” get a free ride, but real people do not?

Fear and panic, stupid government thugs: Media Research Center reports that California Lawmakers are moving forward with drone restrictions. This reminds me much of those municipalities who back in the early 1900s outlawed those confounded “horseless carriages” or limited them to the speed of a sick mare in foal.

Mama’s Note: I have mixed thoughts about drones myself. On the one hand, I would be tickled to see them employed to deliver packages and messages. They can watch livestock, and even help round them up most likely. There are lots of peaceful, non invasive things they could do. On the other hand, the potential for invasion of privacy and even attack are hard to ignore. The real fly in the ointment is, as always, government attempts to control everyone. I suspect we’ll have to live with the full spectrum of potential for drones, at least as long as we tolerate that control by government.

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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