Libertarian Commentary on the News, 10 Sep 2015, #15-36C: Government Excess

by Nathan Barton

How on earth?  CNS News reports that the FedGov “Bureau of Labor Statistics” reports that total Federal, State, and Local Governments (don’t know if that includes Tribal governments or not) employee numbers are 1.8 times that of manufacturing: 21,955,000 versus 12,329,000.  Incredible, and insane.  Yeah, some of those government jobs are definitely “productive” service and even “manufacturing” jobs. Those operating landfills, collecting trash, even repairing equipment and roads and such – but you can be sure that MOST are NOT. MOST are parasites. The growth of government is one factor. The other is that the Fifty States have FEWER manufacturing jobs today than the US did in 1941.  Yes, automation and increased productivity are a factor, but again, much of this is due to the nature of government. Jobs are pushed overseas not because it is more economical, but because government regulations make it more profitable. OH, by the way, this doesn’t include military personnel. The article points out that large numbers are engaged in “education” especially at the state and local level, an economic activity that government does NOT belong in.

Mama’s Note: Remember that services such as trash collection and road building/maintenance would be done better and much more economically by private enterprise. The governments simply create monopolies on these, if possible, or tie the private sector with so many rules and requirements that they wind up not effective or economically viable without government subsidies.

Stupidity demonstrated.  As the deadline looms to let women into combat positions (infantry, armor, artillery, engineers), Stars & Stripes reports that a Marine Corps test of an integrated combat task force is (though we can’t use the words) a FAILURE.  The task force (usually describing a unit consisting of 500 to 1100 troops (or Marines)) had integrated two dozen women in combat training (simulations) of which just TWO (that is only about 8 percent) made it through the end of the nine month test; five in training and four in stimulated combat.  Yes, two DID succeed, but the impact on unit cohesion and capabilities STILL suffered. The unit should NOT have been deployed to an active combat zone.  Never fear, all you feminist “libertarians” out there: the deadline to integrate will not change, I’m sure.

Mama’s Note: Seems to me to be silly to worry about this at all. Don’t see any signs of large numbers of ladies flocking to join. If these two survive, fine. If not, that’s just life. I really don’t see that a few women being involved will tilt the cohesion and capabilities of the whole US military effort, or that unit in particular. Of course, I don’t think the US military should even exist, so maybe I’m not the one to ask…

How much of this is due to government stupidity? Freedom Force discusses the most recent attack on a church meetinghouse, this one a fire bomb in New York City, that again injured no one and did little damage. Previous recent attacks reported in the news were in Las Cruces, New Mexico, so the presumption is that there is no direct connection. You cannot help but wonder if the reasons include any number of causes: resistance to “same-sex marriage” or opposition to Islam and Islamic “refugees” or just the general war on some religions waged by the current regime in DC. What? You don’t think government can get people to launch terror attacks like this? A high school teacher or college professor suggesting that their students might like to read a religious (christian) book is attacked vigorously as influence and coercion, but the constant drumbeat of condemnation OF religion by government officials is not?

Mama’s Note: Maybe part of the answer would be for all “religious” folks to actively prepare to defend themselves… But most of them look to that very government to do that instead. The religious folks need to seriously take full responsibility for themselves and their own safety. And, of course, keep their children out of government schools.

Now, maybe this is propaganda, or “hasbara” as a friend calls it, but Breitbart reports from the Greek island of Lesbos that refugees from Syria (fleeing both ISIS and the Assad regime) have flooded the island and turned it into a war zone, destroying the towns and pretty much everything else on the scenic island. Of course, the people of Lesbos, upset at the destruction of their 3,000 year old civilization’s artifacts and structures, are condemned by all right-minded people as being hatemongers, bigots, racists, Islamophobes and lacking – well, I can’t use the phrase “christian charity” in Europe, can I?

Lesbos is one of the Greek islands that accepted tens of thousands of refugees fleeing from Turkish ethnic cleansing at the time of the fall of the Ottoman Empire, when the “secular” government of the murdering thug Ataturk made Turkey safe for the Turks. The primary objection to the Greek minority in Anatolia was not their language or nationality or ethnicity, it was their religion (much as with the Armenians).

Despite this history, the people apparently have NOT met the “refugees” at the shore with guns blazing, but allowed them ashore. Now they are reaping the whirlwind. Like the woman whose deadbeat husband invites all his homeless friends to stay at their house. When the housewife finds the guests stealing the silver and destroying the furniture, and tries to get her husband or anyone else to help boot the miscreants out, SHE is condemned for being inhospitable and lack of compassion for the homeless. I expect the people of Hungary are experiencing much the same thing.

We are ALL GONNA DIE!  Yep, but according to All News Pipeline, much sooner than later, because of Fukushima.  Except… the data doesn’t add up.  In fact, the errors are so significant that it appears that they’ve been made up.

Mama’s Note: As with all such apocalyptic prophesy, the dates and the details are changed often, almost in direct proportion to the number of invented “facts” and ignored realities.

Some math is necessary.  The reports are almost always in CPM (counts per minute) from a Geiger counter.  Depending on how it is calibrated (what element and isotope) between 1080 and 1200 CPM equals a millirad/hour.  A millirad is 1/1000 of a “rad” which is an acronym for radiation absorbed dose; a unit of measurement of the absorbed dose of ionizing radiation.

It corresponds to an energy transfer of 100 ergs per gram of any absorbing material (including tissue). Radiation doses and background radiation are normally measured in millirads/hour, and annual exposure in millirads. You will also see it given in millirems/hour and millirems. A “rem” is aunit of effective absorbed dose of ionizing radiation in human tissue. It varies depending on the TYPE of radiation (alpha, beta, gamma, x-ray or neutron) but is (for beta and gamma) equal to the rad: rem=rad, millirem=millirad.

The fearmongers say that “normal” exposure in 5-20 cpm, or roughly 0.005 to 0.020 millirem/hour.  Converted to an annual basis, that is  44 to 175 millirems per year.

Huge?  Nope.  When you look up other references, legitimate ones like university science classes and laboratories, you find that in reality, background radiation varies from 5 to 60 CPM, with some places (due to altitude (cosmic radiation), naturally-occurring radioactive materials (NORM) in soil and rock, and other factors) up to at least 100 CPM average.  That is 0.1 millirems/hour, or 876 millirems in a year.  Colorado, for example, AVERAGES about 1180 millirems per year: that is equal to about 135 CPM.  And that is the AVERAGE: for those of us that live near uranium or thorium bearing formations or at higher altitudes (I am often at 7200 feet or higher), it is more. Radiation poisoning for most of us would require exposure to 50 rems (50,000 millirems) in a short time, like an hour.  To compare, a full-body CT scan is a 1 rem dose (1,000 millirems).

Folks, their bogus “alert” level of 100 CPM is NOT going to kill anyone, or at least not 99,999 out of 100,000 people, and it is highly unlikely to give anyone any measurable increase in potential for cancer.  This is a BOGUS fearmongering, and we’ve already spent too much time debunking it.

But I’ll go on. Secondly, their maps (like this one at Radiation Network, updated every five minutes) are full of errors.  They DO NOT SHOW anything at higher elevation than Denver at a mile high (5280 feet).  And their “nuclear sites” map is out of date by DECADES, and faked to boot. For example, the map shows four sites in the Dakotas: Minot, Fargo, Ellsworth (outside Rapid City) and Sioux Falls.  Three of these are missile and bomber bases: the Ellsworth missile fields were closed 25 years ago, and the nuclear bombs are incredibly well-shielded: there are no exposed radioactive materials.  And the only possible sources of such material in Sioux Falls were either the Sioux Falls Air Force Base (a logistics base which reportedly never had nukes) and the Pathfinder nuclear power plant: the air base was closed in the 1960s, the power plant converted to conventional (coal, I believe) power in the 1980s.  Same thing for the site shown north of Denver: Fort St. Vrain nuclear power station converted to conventional power decades ago.  Cheyenne is apparently F.E.Warren AFB: its missile fields are located across a big chunk of WY, CO, and NE, and the warheads are very well-shielded. These fearmongers HAVE a solution, of course: government control and monitoring, and elimination of all nuclear power plants, nuclear weapons, and… apparently burying all naturally-occurring radioactive materials under hundreds of feet of dirt. Gee, what a wonderful idea! Never mind that much of the mess was caused by government in the first place, including setting aside common law liability for government activities and contractors to government.

What is the solution to too much government? Apparently, according to the powers that be, as reported in Daily Policy Digest, MORE government. The feds are attempting to reduce Medicaid fraud via lock-in programs and prohibiting, among other things, automatic prescription refills, to keep people from finding multiple medical care providers and “stockpiling” prescriptions of powerful painkillers, or anything else. Of course, it would be racist and classist to JUST make these prohibitions apply to Medicaid recipients. It must apply to ALL medical patients. (Consider a relative of mine who is NOT eligible for Medicaid or Medicare but must pay her own way (or have family pay) for medical care and medications, and who could not find a doctor closer than 65 miles away. Apparently, these new rules will require that she go to the doctor (130 mile round trip, $120 “no-insurance” office visit cost) every three months to get her thyroid medication prescription renewed. (Another government regulation says that the shelf life of the medication is only about four months, so there is no such thing as an annual prescription allowed.) Ah, but this way, some of these Medicaid patients will be protected from themselves, and supposedly fraud will be reduced. Right.

Nothing racist here, is there? The Blaze tells the story of a white guy who submitted the same poetry three times to a competition, only to have it rejected, then submitted exactly the same poem under a Chinese nom de plume and instantly had it accepted for publication. Just why, the Blaze asks, do you suppose that happened? Gee, I don’t know. At least this is not apparently a problem directly due to government stupidity or excess government, for once. But the next one…

Why indeed not?  An Acton Institute blog raises the question, why CAN’T Kim Davis (that Dem county clerk in Kentucky) NOT have accommodation for religious beliefs and practices?  Why MUST the Supreme Court decision be forced down everyone’s throats without due process?  Why MUST she be branded as lawless by GOP and Dems alike?  (And by, amazingly, some libertarians?)  Worth pondering, and it points out that the judicial tyranny we endure today is far worse than that faced in 1774… in large part because so many opponents still accept its “legitimacy.” Acton also provides an excellent backgrounder explaining the entire Davis controversy.

Mama’s Note: Why is there any controversy to start with? I’m convinced it is merely one of so many power plays… people wanting to exercise power over other people, regardless of the cause. The base problem, of course, is the idea that government has any legitimate authority to regulate personal relationships at all, or to control the behavior of people in any way. The fact that some of those controllers “believe” in certain ways makes no difference. They are free to govern their own lives, but not other people.

Second, why in the world would those homosexual pairs insist on getting “permission” for their choices sanctioned by this individual? Why did they not go somewhere else to get their “license?” No, they wanted to control the particular person and office there, and force their beliefs on others. Both sides – and so many supporters on both sides – want control and are content to fight over it. Neither side is asking the hard questions about legitimate authority.

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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