The Collapse of America? The Dire Message of Mr. David Walker

This is a fascinating article. While I never trust predictions of spending out to 2030-40 much less 2017, it is interesting to note that he indicates Medicare is in arrears effective 2007. This is unsustainable spending, of course. It also speaks to a politician’s complete and utter incapability to make rational economic decisions in policy much less be able to extrapolate the bad or perverse effects of these idiotic policies. Imagine a suburban neighborhood in which an elected representative docked 50% from everybody’s pay to accommodate “services” and then not only insisted on borrowing but advanced large lines of credit in their name without their signature on the contract but they would be held liable for payment of the debt. The ne’er-do-well would be lynched in short order…unless he surrounded himself with a praetorian guard – much like our present occupiers in DC. -BB

A person who is in the pay of the government is not always free to speak publicly about the most pressing issues he confronts. Administrators who are appointed to perform specific tasks are generally not free to contradict or even to challenge policies. They often cannot advocate for specific proposals, even if they think that such proposals will be needed to prevent catastrophe.

When Dr. Alan Carlin, a federal Environmental Protection Agency official, wrote a report in March, 2009 that criticized the EPA’s process of formulating regulations, the report was squashed both internally and publicly. Emails from EPA officials state that “a very negative impact on our office” made use of the report impossible. To protect the bureaucracy, Dr. Carlin was told to cease his criticisms.

Such officials must often make a choice: to remain silent and keep their jobs, or to resign and speak the truth. Faced with this dilemma, on March 12, 2008, David Walker chose to resign.

David Walker is the former Comptroller General of the United States, and former head of the Government Accountability Office. As the nation’s chief accountant he was appointed by President Clinton. He resigned near the end of George W. Bush’s second term. He had no authority to decide how a single penny of government funds should be collected or distributed. His job was to count those funds.

Mr. Walker’s enormous range of mind extends far beyond a single budget year. His long-range perspective allows him to project fiscal trends decades into the future, and to assess, through simulations, the impacts of policy decisions beyond their immediate effects. He truly understands the economic maxim, promoted by Henry Hazlitt, to look beyond the visible effects of any given policy and to consider its unseen consequences.

When Walker plotted these trends, and considered demographics among many other factors, what he found was “chilling.” If fundamental reforms are not begun now, he concluded, the United States will experience a financial and political collapse comparable to the fall of Rome.

In a presentation to the National Press Foundation, January 17, 2008, Mr. Walker brought forth the following facts and projections:

1. From 1966 to 2006, the percentage of federal funds spent on Medicare rose from 1% to 19%. This trend will grow exponentially as millions of “baby boomers” enter the entitlement pool.

2. For the same period, spending for mandated government commitments rose from 26% to 53% of the total budget. The budget is increasingly out of the control of government officials.

3. As of 2007, Medicare is running in arrears. In 2017 Social Security will be in deficit. By the year 2040, Medicare and Social Security alone will be running annual deficits of nearly 900 billion dollars.

4. Medicare spending from now until 2032 will be 235% of economic growth. By 2040, Medicare will be spending about 10% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product annually, and the annual deficits of the United States will total some 20% of the total Gross Domestic Product.

The bottom line is this: mandated fiscal entitlements, projected into the future, are over 52,000 billion dollars. That will equal 90% of all household wealth in the U.S., and will place a burden of over 450 thousand dollars on every household in the land. This is almost ten times the present median household income level.

Mr. Walker concludes that “We face large and growing structural deficits largely due to known demographic trends and rising health care costs.” Further, “GAO’s simulations show that balancing the budget in 2040 could require actions as large as cutting total federal spending by 60 percent, or raising federal taxes to two times today’s level.”

To close the revenue gap through growth, the United States economy would need to expand in the double-digit range for the next seventy-five years. During the boom years of the 1990s, the economy grew at an average rate of 3.2%. Walker concludes, succinctly: “we cannot simply grow our way out of this problem.”

Health care entitlements constitute by far the largest single piece of this economic disaster. Those who think that creating thousands of billions of dollars in new government entitlements—in a health care bill that adds tens of millions of Americans to government programs—will do anything except hasten the coming bankruptcy are out of touch with reality.

See: http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=5631

Mr. Walker has taken his show on the road, in an attempt to educate Americans about the financial disaster they are creating. He was accompanied by both the Brookings Institute on the left, and the Heritage Foundation on the right. He stresses that this coming financial meltdown is known by everyone in Washington–but no one wants to acknowledge it.

The Rasmussen poll shows that almost twice as many Americans think that cutting the deficit, rather than health care reform, should be the president’s top priority. Another poll shows that twice as many people think that the reform legislation will drive up costs than think it will lower costs. Perhaps these Americans grasp Mr. Walker’s point better than their elected representatives do.

A nation that violates the rights of its citizens cannot, in the long run, escape the consequences of its moral failure. When a nation with the unique strength of the United States does so systematically and over decades, the results must necessarily be catastrophic. The dire economic forecast of David Walker illustrates the connection between the moral and the practical. To regain our economic viability we must regain our moral viability.

John David Lewis (website) is a Visiting Professor of Political Science, Duke University. He has been a Senior Research Scholar in History and Classics at the Social Philosophy and Policy Center, and an Anthem Fellow. He is a contributing writer for Capitalism Magazine, and a Consulting Editor for The Objective Standard.

Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior

My wife home-schools the remaining children we have at home. We have two in college now. As part of her networking, she will be hosting a six part practicum for fellow home-schoolers on Manners and Etiquette. I recalled that George Washington had devised a rather comprehensive list and tried to find it. Well, I found it and I rather liked the list even some are rather dated. Manners are the lubricant of civilization and as the always handsomely turned Fred Astaire said: “The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.”  For the men in the readership, please get a copy of Brad Miner’s book, “The Compleat Gentleman”, for a wonderful treatment on why being kind and mannerly is not emasculating.  -BB

By age sixteen, Washington had copied out by hand, 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation. They are based on a set of rules composed by French Jesuits in 1595. Presumably they were copied out as part of an exercise in penmanship assigned by young Washington’s schoolmaster. The first English translation of the French rules appeared in 1640, and are ascribed to Francis Hawkins the twelve-year-old son of a doctor.

Today many, if not all of these rules, sound a little fussy if not downright silly. It would be easy to dismiss them as outdated and appropriate to a time of powdered wigs and quills, but they reflect a focus that is increasingly difficult to find. They all have in common a focus on other people rather than the narrow focus of our own self-interests that we find so prevalent today. Fussy or not, they represent more than just manners. They are the small sacrifices that we should all be willing to make for the good of all and the sake of living together.

These rules proclaim our respect for others and in turn give us the gift of self-respect and heightened self-esteem.

Richard Brookhiser, in his book on Washington wrote that “all modern manners in the western world were originally aristocratic. Courtesy meant behavior appropriate to a court; chivalry comes from chevalier – a knight. Yet Washington was to dedicate himself to freeing America from a court’s control. Could manners survive the operation? Without realizing it, the Jesuits who wrote them, and the young man who copied them, were outlining and absorbing a system of courtesy appropriate to equals and near-equals. When the company for whom the decent behavior was to be performed expanded to the nation, Washington was ready. Parson Weems got this right, when he wrote that it was ‘no wonder every body honoured him who honoured every body.’”

The Rules:

1st Every Action done in Company, ought to be with Some Sign of Respect, to those that are Present.
2nd When in Company, put not your Hands to any Part of the Body, not usually Discovered.
3rd Show Nothing to your Friend that may affright him.
4th In the Presence of Others Sing not to yourself with a humming Noise, nor Drum with your Fingers or Feet.
5th If You Cough, Sneeze, Sigh, or Yawn, do it not Loud but Privately; and Speak not in your Yawning, but put Your handkerchief or Hand before your face and turn aside.
6th Sleep not when others Speak, Sit not when others stand, Speak not when you Should hold your Peace, walk not on when others Stop.
7th Put not off your Cloths in the presence of Others, nor go out your Chamber half Dressed.
8th At Play and at Fire its Good manners to Give Place to the last Commer, and affect not to Speak Louder than Ordinary.
9th Spit not in the Fire, nor Stoop low before it neither Put your Hands into the Flames to warm them, nor Set your Feet upon the Fire especially if there be meat before it.
10th When you Sit down, Keep your Feet firm and Even, without putting one on the other or Crossing them.
11th Shift not yourself in the Sight of others nor Gnaw your nails.
12th Shake not the head, Feet, or Legs roll not the Eyes lift not one eyebrow higher than the other wry not the mouth, and bedew no mans face with your Spittle, by approaching too near him when you Speak.
13th Kill no Vermin as Fleas, lice ticks &c in the Sight of Others, if you See any filth or thick Spittle put your foot Dexterously upon it if it be upon the Cloths of your Companions, Put it off privately, and if it be upon your own Cloths return Thanks to him who puts it off.
14th Turn not your Back to others especially in Speaking, Jog not the Table or Desk on which Another reads or writes, lean not upon any one.
15th Keep your Nails clean and Short, also your Hands and Teeth Clean yet without Showing any great Concern for them.
16th Do not Puff up the Cheeks, Loll not out the tongue rub the Hands, or beard, thrust out the lips, or bite them or keep the Lips too open or too Close.
17th Be no Flatterer, neither Play with any that delights not to be Play’d Withal.
18th Read no Letters, Books, or Papers in Company but when there is a Necessity for the doing of it you must ask leave: come not near the Books or Writings of Another so as to read them unless desired or give your opinion of them unasked also look not nigh when another is writing a Letter.
19th Let your Countenance be pleasant but in Serious Matters Somewhat grave.
20th The Gestures of the Body must be Suited to the discourse you are upon.
21st Reproach none for the Infirmities of Nature, nor Delight to Put them that have in mind thereof.
22nd Show not yourself glad at the Misfortune of another though he were your enemy.
23rd When you see a Crime punished, you may be inwardly Pleased; but always show Pity to the Suffering Offender.
24th Do not laugh too loud or too much at any Public Spectacle.
25th Superfluous Complements and all Affectation of Ceremony are to be avoided, yet where due they are not to be Neglected.
26th In Pulling off your Hat to Persons of Distinction, as Noblemen, Justices, Churchmen &c make a Reverence, bowing more or less according to the Custom of the Better Bred, and Quality of the Person. Amongst your equals expect not always that they Should begin with you first, but to Pull off the Hat when there is no need is Affectation, in the Manner of Saluting and resaluting in words keep to the most usual Custom.
27th Tis ill manners to bid one more eminent than yourself be covered as well as not to do it to whom it’s due Likewise he that makes too much haste to Put on his hat does not well, yet he ought to Put it on at the first, or at most the Second time of being asked; now what is herein Spoken, of Qualification in behavior in Saluting, ought also to be observed in taking of Place, and Sitting down for ceremonies without Bounds is troublesome.
28th If any one come to Speak to you while you are are Sitting Stand up though he be your Inferior, and when you Present Seats let it be to every one according to his Degree.
29th When you meet with one of Greater Quality than yourself, Stop, and retire especially if it be at a Door or any Straight place to give way for him to Pass.
30th In walking the highest Place in most Countries Seems to be on the right hand therefore Place yourself on the left of him whom you desire to Honor: but if three walk together the middest Place is the most Honorable the wall is usually given to the most worthy if two walk together.
31st If any one far Surpasses others, either in age, Estate, or Merit yet would give Place to a meaner than himself in his own lodging or elsewhere the one ought not to except it, So he on the other part should not use much earnestness nor offer it above once or twice.
32nd To one that is your equal, or not much inferior you are to give the chief Place in your Lodging and he to who ‘is offered ought at the first to refuse it but at the Second to accept though not without acknowledging his own unworthiness.
33rd They that are in Dignity or in office have in all places Precedency but whilst they are Young they ought to respect those that are their equals in Birth or other Qualities, though they have no Public charge.
34th It is good Manners to prefer them to whom we Speak before ourselves especially if they be above us with whom in no Sort we ought to begin.
35th Let your Discourse with Men of Business be Short and Comprehensive.
36th Artificers & Persons of low Degree ought not to use many ceremonies to Lords, or Others of high Degree but Respect and highly Honor them, and those of high Degree ought to treat them with affability & Courtesy, without Arrogance.
37th In speaking to men of Quality do not lean nor Look them full in the Face, nor approach too near them at lest Keep a full Pace from them.
38th In visiting the Sick, do not Presently play the Physician if you be not Knowing therein.
39th In writing or Speaking, give to every Person his due Title According to his Degree & the Custom of the Place.
40th Strive not with your Superiors in argument, but always Submit your Judgment to others with Modesty.
41st Undertake not to Teach your equal in the art himself Professes; it Savours of arrogance.
42nd Let thy ceremonies in Courtesy be proper to the Dignity of his place with whom thou converses for it is absurd to act the same with a Clown and a Prince.
43rd Do not express Joy before one sick or in pain for that contrary Passion will aggravate his Misery.
44th When a man does all he can though it Succeeds not well blame not him that did it.
45th Being to advise or reprehend any one, consider whether it ought to be in public or in Private; presently, or at Some other time in what terms to do it & in reproving Show no Sign of Cholar but do it with all Sweetness and Mildness.
46th Take all Admonitions thankfully in what Time or Place Soever given but afterwards not being culpable take a Time & Place convenient to let him him know it that gave them.
47th Mock not nor Jest at any thing of Importance break [n]o Jest that are Sharp Biting and if you Deliver any thing witty and Pleasant abstain from Laughing thereat yourself.
48th Wherein you reprove Another be unblameable yourself; for example is more prevalent than Precepts.
49th Use no Reproachful Language against any one neither Curse nor Revile.
50th Be not hasty to believe flying Reports to the Disparagement of any.
51st Wear not your Cloths, foul, ripped or Dusty but See they be Brushed once every day at least and take heed that you approach not to any Uncleaness.
52nd In your Apparel be Modest and endeavor to accommodate Nature, rather than to procure Admiration keep to the Fashion of your equals Such as are Civil and orderly with respect to Times and Places.
53rd Run not in the Streets, neither go too slowly nor with Mouth open go not Shaking your Arms kick not the earth with R feet, go not upon the Toes, nor in a Dancing fashion.
54th Play not the Peacock, looking every where about you, to See if you be well Decked, if your Shoes fit well if your Stockings sit neatly, and Cloths handsomely.
55th Eat not in the Streets, nor in the House, out of Season.
56th Associate yourself with Men of good Quality if you Esteem your own Reputation; for ‘is better to be alone than in bad Company.
57th In walking up and Down in a House, only with One in Company if he be Greater than yourself, at the first give him the Right hand and Stop not till he does and be not the first that turns, and when you do turn let it be with your face towards him, if he be a Man of Great Quality, walk not with him Cheek by Joul but Somewhat behind him; but yet in Such a Manner that he may easily Speak to you.
58th Let your Conversation be without Malice or Envy, for ‘is a Sign of a Tractable and Commendable Nature: And in all Causes of Passion admit Reason to Govern.
59th Never express anything unbecoming, nor Act against the Rules Moral before your inferiors.
60th Be not immodest in urging your Friends to Discover a Secret.
61st Utter not base and frivolous things amongst grave and Learned Men nor very Difficult Questions or Subjects, among the Ignorant or things hard to be believed, Stuff not your Discourse with Sentences amongst your Betters nor Equals.
62nd Speak not of doleful Things in a Time of Mirth or at the Table; Speak not of Melancholy Things as Death and Wounds, and if others Mention them Change if you can the Discourse tell not your Dreams, but to your intimate Friend.
63rd A Man ought not to value himself of his Achievements, or rare Qualities of wit; much less of his riches Virtue or Kindred.
64th Break not a Jest where none take pleasure in mirth Laugh not aloud, nor at all without Occasion, deride no mans Misfortune, though there Seem to be Some cause.
65th Speak not injurious Words neither in Jest nor Earnest Scoff at none although they give Occasion.
66th Be not froward but friendly and Courteous; the first to Salute hear and answer & be not Pensive when it’s a time to Converse.
67th Detract not from others neither be excessive in Commanding.
68th Go not thither, where you know not, whether you Shall be Welcome or not. Give not Advice without being Asked & when desired do it briefly.
69th If two contend together take not the part of either unconstrained; and be not obstinate in your own Opinion, in Things indifferent be of the Major Side.
70th Reprehend not the imperfections of others for that belongs to Parents Masters and Superiors.
71st Gaze not on the marks or blemishes of Others and ask not how they came. What you may Speak in Secret to your Friend deliver not before others.
72nd Speak not in an unknown Tongue in Company but in your own Language and that as those of Quality do and not as the Vulgar; Sublime matters treat Seriously.
73rd Think before you Speak pronounce not imperfectly nor bring out your Words too hastily but orderly & distinctly.
74th When Another Speaks be attentive your Self and disturb not the Audience if any hesitate in his Words help him not nor Prompt him without desired, Interrupt him not, nor Answer him till his Speech be ended.
75th In the midst of Discourse ask not of what one treateth but if you Perceive any Stop because of your coming you may well intreat him gently to Proceed: If a Person of Quality comes in while your Conversing it’s handsome to Repeat what was said before.
76th While you are talking, Point not with your Finger at him of Whom you Discourse nor Approach too near him to whom you talk especially to his face.
77th Treat with men at fit Times about Business & Whisper not in the Company of Others.
78th Make no Comparisons and if any of the Company be Commended for any brave act of Virtue, commend not another for the Same.
79th Be not apt to relate News if you know not the truth thereof. In Discoursing of things you Have heard Name not your Author always A Secret Discover not.
80th Be not Tedious in Discourse or in reading unless you find the Company pleased therewith.
81st Be not Curious to Know the Affairs of Others neither approach those that Speak in Private.
82nd Undertake not what you cannot Perform but be Careful to keep your Promise.
83rd When you deliver a matter do it without Passion & with Discretion, however mean the Person be you do it too.
84th When your Superiors talk to any Body hearken not neither Speak nor Laugh.
85th In Company of these of Higher Quality than yourself Speak not til you are asked a Question then Stand upright put of your Hat & Answer in few words.
86th In Disputes, be not So Desirous to Overcome as not to give Liberty to each one to deliver his Opinion and Submit to the Judgment of the Major Part especially if they are Judges of the Dispute.
87th Let thy carriage be such as becomes a Man Grave Settled and attentive to that which is spoken. Contradict not at every turn what others Say.
88th Be not tedious in Discourse, make not many Digressions, nor repeat often the Same manner of Discourse.
89th Speak not Evil of the absent for it is unjust.
90th Being Set at meat Scratch not neither Spit Cough or blow your Nose except there’s a Necessity for it.
91st Make no Show of taking great Delight in your Victuals, Feed not with Greediness; cut your Bread with a Knife, lean not on the Table neither find fault with what you Eat.
92nd Take no Salt or cut Bread with your Knife Greasy.
93rd Entertaining any one at the table, it is decent to present him with meat; Undertake not to help others undesired by the Master.
94th If you Soak bread in the Sauce let it be no more than what you put in your Mouth at a time and blow not your broth at Table but Stay till Cools of it Self.
95th Put not your meat to your Mouth with your Knife in your hand neither Spit forth the Stones of any fruit Pie upon a Dish nor Cast anything under the table.
96th It’s unbecoming to Stoop much to ones Meat Keep your Fingers clean & when foul wipe them on a Corner of your Table Napkin.
97th Put not another bit into your mouth till the former be swallowed. Let not your morsels be too big for the jowls.
98th Drink not nor talk with your mouth full; neither gaze about you while you are drinking.
99th Drink not too leisurely nor yet too hastily. Before and after drinking, wipe your lips; breath not then or ever with too great a noise, for its uncivil.
100th Cleanse not your teeth with the table cloth napkin, fork, or knife; but if others do it, let it be done without a peep to them.
101st Rinse not your mouth in the presence of others.
102nd It is out of use to call upon the company often to eat; nor need you drink to others every time you drink.
103rd In the company of your betters, be not longer in eating than they are; lay not your arm but only your hand upon the table.
104th It belongs to the chiefest in company to unfold his napkin and fall to meat first, but he ought then to begin in time & to dispatch with dexterity that the slowest may have time allowed him.
105th Be not angry at the table whatever happens & if you have reason to be so, show it not; put on a cheerful countenance especially if there be strangers, for good humor makes one dish of meat a feast.
106th Set not yourself at the upper of the table; but if it be your due or that the master of the house will have it so, contend not, least you should trouble the company.
107th If others talk at the table, be attentive but talk not with meat in your mouth.
108th When you speak of God or his attributes, let it be seriously & with reverence. Honor & obey your natural parents although they be poor.
109th Let your recreations be manful not sinful.
110th Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.

See:

http://www.foundationsmag.com/pvcivility.html

Get Out of Afghanistan and Everywhere Else by Jacob Hornberger

Bumper summed up the case for a non-interventionist America better than I ever could.  He ably demonstrates that minding your own business is a virtue not an eccentricity.  -BB

If there was ever a classic example of a quagmire, it has got to be Afghanistan. Hey, they’re going on 8 or 9 years of killing the terrorists and just now getting a good start. What began out as a quest to kill or capture Osama bin Laden has morphed into long-term occupation of the country.

Hardly a week goes by without reports of new deaths, including Afghani citizens and U.S. soldiers or allied foreign soldiers.

Yet, despite the constant death toll and the lack of a well-defined mission, the Pentagon insists on the importance of continuing the occupation of Afghanistan.

Why?

Because the Pentagon knows that if the troops were withdrawn from Afghanistan and the Middle East, Americans might well begin asking the questions they should have asked in 1989, when the Berlin Wall came crashing down and the Soviet Empire disintegrated: What do we need a huge standing military force for? What do we need an overseas empire for? What do we need the enormous expanse of military bases across America for? Indeed, what do we need the Pentagon for?

The fact is that despite deeply seeded fears and anxieties that the federal government has succeeded in engendering within the psyches of the American people, there is no nation on earth that has the military capability of invading and occupying the United States. To cross either the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans with an invasion force would require tens of thousands of ships and planes, a capability that is nonexistent among all foreign nations.

Of course, the big bugaboo that the Pentagon now uses to justify its existence (along with the enormous tax burden necessary to sustain its enormous military) is terrorism (as compared to communism, which was the bugaboo prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dismantling of the Soviet Empire).

But the threat of terrorism is a direct result of what the Pentagon did both prior to and after 9/11 as part of its aggressive, interventionist foreign policy in the Middle East. That threat has remained constant, of course, given the continuous killing of people in Iraq and Afghanistan for the last 8 years.

But the Pentagon knows that by withdrawing from Afghanistan and the Middle East, that constant threat of terrorist retaliation plummets. At that point, the only risk of terrorist retaliation would be from some disgruntled person whose family members or friends were killed by the U.S. military sometime in the past. There’s no need for an enormous military to deal with that possibility, and the Pentagon knows it.

If the Pentagon withdrew from the Middle East, military officials know that people might well ask, Why stop there? Why not withdraw from Europe? After all, the Cold War ended long ago. Why not withdraw from Japan? It surrendered soon after the atomic bombs were dropped. Why not withdraw from Korea? The war there ended decades ago. Why not withdraw from Africa? What business do the troops have there?

In fact, the only argument that the Pentagon will have left is the one it was making in 1989 to justify its continued existence: the drug war, especially in Latin America.

The Pentagon knows, however, that there are risks with that justification. One big risk is that people all over the world, including the United States, might finally decide to bring an end to this decrepit old war by legalizing drugs. Reputable and credible people from all over the world are now arguing that that is the only solution to the drug-war horror. In fact, in a move toward legalization Mexico recently legalized possession of small quantities of illicit drugs.

Moreover, the Pentagon knows that one of these days Latin Americans might start asking a discomforting question: If the American people will not permit the U.S. military to wage the war on drugs in the United States, why should Latin Americans permit it to wage the drug war in their countries?

The best way to avoid having Americans asking why we still need a big military force is simply to continue the occupation of Afghanistan. Not only does the occupation provide constant proof that there are still terrorists to kill, it also generates its own never-ending supply of terrorists. The Pentagon knows that under those circumstance people are less likely to question the existence of an enormous military, along with all the hundreds of billions of dollars necessary to support it.

See:

http://www.fff.org/blog/jghblog2009-08-27.asp

Vaccinations Will Kill You

The bottom line for me is that our family will not trust the government to stay ahead of the evolutionary curve of virus mutation. It is impossible. Polio never went away and was simply re-flagged as aseptic meningitis. You may tale whatever action you wish but I wold urge you to consider the body of evidence before leaping into yet another medical quagmire.  -BB

Hiding Polio Quotes
Diagnosis Polio [Polio now hides behind these names: Viral or aseptic meningitis, Guillaine Barre Syndrome (GBS), Chinese Paralytic syndrome, CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME, epidemic cholera, cholera morbus, spinal meningitis, spinal apoplexy, inhibitory palsy, intermittent fever, famine fever, worm fever, bilious remittent fever, ergotism, ME, post-polio syndrome, acute flaccid paralysis Synonyms for GBS]

See: flaccid paralysis Chinese Paralytic syndrome

“Polio has not been eradicated by vaccination, it is lurking behind a redefinition and new diagnostic names like viral or aseptic meningitis…….According to one of the 1997 issues of the MMWR, there are some 30,000 to 50,000 cases of viral meningitis per year in the United States alone. That’s where all those 30,000 – 50,000 cases of polio disappeared after the introduction of mass vaccination”—Viera Scheibner

“Today, various other forms of the the word “polio” are still used to describe the effects of poisoning, though usually with regard to paralysis in animals. A search of Medline (“polio” and “poison”) finds about 45 contemporary articles where poisoning causality is attributed to polio. The terminology found was: “polioencephalomalacia”, “poliomyelomalacia”, “polyradiculoneuritis”, “neurological picture similar to that of poliomyelitis”, “polioencephalomyelomalacia”, “lumbal poliomyelomalacia”, “cerebrocortical necrosis (polioencephalomalacia)”, “Lead poisoning in grey-headed fruit bats (Pteropus poliocephalus)”, “multifocal-poliomyelomalacia”, “spinal poliomalacia”, “Polio and high-sulfate diets”, “Atypical porcine enterovirus encephalomyelitis: possible interraction between enteroviruses and arsenicals”, “Polioencephalomalacia and photosensitization associated with Kochia scoparia consumption in range cattle”, “bovine polioencephalomalacia”. —Jim West, Health and Research Publications, http://www.geocities.com/harpub/

“The United States Public Health Bureau is extremely reticent about reporting diseases caused by vaccination but the report from 1922 to 1931 admitted that there had been 85 cases of post-vaccinal encephalitis, which DeKruif states “is the twin of infantile paralysis.””–Eleanor McBean

“Paralytic cases were not distinguished from non-paralytic cases until a recommendation was made by the Dominion Council of Health in 1949- The LCDC figures provided from 1952 and onward represent this administrative change: recording only those cases adhering to the requirements for a diagnosis of paralytic poliomyelitis. In a report released in June of 1959, another adminis­trative change was recommended by the Dominion Council of Health, further altering the way in which apparent cases of poliomyelitis would be reported. All non-paralytic cases of poliomyelitis were to be henceforth recorded as “meningitis, viral or aseptic,” a disease which itself only became reportable in 1952.” These two administrative changes effectively reduced the apparent incidence of poliomyelitis. In particular, since the latter change is temporally correlative to the introduction of the polio vaccines, the vaccines appear to have been responsible for a reduction in poliomyelitis cases when it is entirely possible that the administrative changes are primarily responsible.”–Catherine Diodati MA (Immunization History, Ethics, Law and Health p116)

Statistics on polio were manipulated. One such way was to redefine the disease, renaming it “viral or aseptic meningitis” or “cocksackie virus”. In one US county, for example, in July 1955 there were 273 cases of polio reported for 50 cases of asceptic meningitis, compared to 5 cases of polio in 1966 and 256 cases of aseptic meningitis. These new diagnostic guideline’s were issued by the CDC. If you object to polio vaccination, and you get polio–it is usually called “polio.” If you have been vaccinated and you get “polio”, it is called meningitis.

Beddow Bayly, author of the book “The Case Against Vaccination” said: “After vaccination was introduced, cases of aseptic meningitis were more often reported as a separate disease from polio, but such cases were counted as polio before the vaccine was introduced. The Ministry of Health admitted that the vaccine status of the individual is a guiding factor in diagnosis. If a person who is vaccinated contracts the disease, the disease is simply recorded under a different name.”

Coxsackievirus and echoviruses can cause paralytic syndromes that are clinically indistinguishable from paralytic poliomyelitis. (John H. Menkes, Textbook Of Child Neurology, 5th ed., page 420) http://www3.bcity.com/harpub/

The definition of ‘epidemic’ was changed from 20 cases/1000,000 to 35 cases/100,000. Pre-vaccination, cocksackie virus and aseptic meningitis were classified as polio; post-vaccination they were classified separately. In addition, non-paralytic polio cases were now reported as viral or aseptic meningitis.

“Ralf R. Scobey, M.D., president of the Poliomyelitis Research Institute. Inc. Syracuse, New York (in the Archives of Pediatrics, Sept. 1950) lists 170 diseases of polio-like symptoms and effects but with different names such as: epidemic cholera, cholera morbus, spinal meningitis, spinal apoplexy, inhibitory palsy, intermittent fever, famine fever, worm fever, bilious remittent fever, ergotism, etc. There are also such common nutritional deficiency diseases as beriberi, scurvy, Asiatic plague, pellagra, prison edema, acidosis etc.”–E. McBean

“Dr. Thomas Francis did not mention in his key evaluation of the 1954 Salk field trials that those who contracted polio after their first innoculation and before their second inoculation were placed in the “not-inoculated” list.’ (Maurice B. Bayly, The Story Of The Salk Anti-poliomyelitis Vaccine, 1956).

Dr. Buchwald responds that prior to the introduction of polio vaccinations in Germany, anyone was counted as having polio, even if they only had the virus in their feces. It is known, he goes on, that there are people who are healthy but who evacuate polio viruses when they go to the bathroom. Based on this criteria, the number of cases was approximately 4,000 per year. After the introduction of the vaccine, statistics included only those polio cases of people who were paralyzed for at least six weeks.–Testimony of Dr Buchwald MD

A former public health officer, Dr Ratner, reported that just before the introduction of the first polio vaccine the National Foundation For Infant Paralysis was paying physicians $25 for each reported diagnosis. “A patient would walk into a doctors office with a limp from an accident. He’d say he had a fever a few days ago…and guess what the diagnosis would be?” It was well known Paralytic polio cured itself 50% of the time within 60 days. After the Salk vaccine was introduced, the definition of polio was changed by the CDC. Now, in order to have paralytic polio, you had to have it longer than 60 days.

Because the Salk vaccine was promoted as being incapable of causing polio, cases that occurred following administration of the vaccine were denied, and excluded from the Vaccine injury table.

Dr. Bernard Greenberg, a biostatistics expert, was chairman of the Committee on Evaluation and Standards of the American Public Health Association during the 1950s. He testified at a panel discussion that was used as evidence for the congressional hearings on polio vaccine in 1962. During these hearings he elaborated on the problems associated with polio statistics and disputed claims for the vaccine’s effectiveness. He attributed the dramatic decline in polio cases to a change in reporting practices by physicians. Less cases were identified as polio after the vaccination for very specific reasons.
“Prior to 1954 any physician who reported paralytic poliomyelitis was doing his patient a service by way of subsidizing the cost of hospitalization and was being community-minded in reporting a communicable disease. The criterion of diagnosis at that time in most health departments followed the World Health Organization definition: “Spinal paralytic poliomyelitis: signs and symptoms of nonparalytic poliomyelitis with the addition of partial or complete paralysis of one or more muscle groups, detected on two examinations at least 24 hours apart.” Note that “two examinations at least 24 hours apart” was all that was required. Laboratory confirmation and presence of residual paralysis was not required.
In 1955 the criteria were changed to conform more closely to the definition used in the 1954 field trials: residual paralysis was determined 10 to 20 days after onset of illness and again 50 to 70 days after onset…. This change in definition meant that in 1955 we started reporting a new disease, namely, paralytic poliomyelitis with a longer-lasting paralysis. Furthermore, diagnostic procedures have continued to be refined. Coxsackie virus infections and aseptic meningitis have been distinguished from paralytic poliomyelitis. Prior to 1954 large numbers of these cases undoubtedly were mislabeled as paralytic poliomyelitis. Thus, simply by changes in diagnostic criteria, the number of paralytic cases was predetermined to decrease in 1955-1957, whether or not any vaccine was used.

Health officials convinced the Chinese to rename the bulk of their polio to Guillaine Barre Syndrome (GBS). A study found that the new disorder (Chinese Paralytic syndrome) and the GBS was really polio . After mass vaccination in 1971, reports of polio went down but GBS increased about 10 fold…….In the WHO polio vaccine eradication in the Americas, there were 930 cases of paralytic disease—all called polio. Five years later, at the end of the campaign, roughly 2000 cases of paralytic disease occurred—but only 6 of them were called polio (41). The rate of paralytic disease doubled, but the disease definition changed so drastically that hardly any of it was called polio any more.”—Greg Beattie

“They started vaccinating in 1985 (in the Americas). Within 4 months they had 350 cases…They caused a substantial, huge outbreak of polio but they started ‘discarding’ most of the cases (put as flaccid paralysis).”—Viera Scheibner, Ph.D.

Chronic Fatigue: A polio by another name http://www.sonic.net/melissk/polio1.html

CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME: THE HIDDEN POLIO EPIDEMIC by Dr. William Campbell Douglas

Bruno RL, et al. Parallels between post-polio fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome: a common pathophysiology? Am J Med. 1998 Sep 28;105(3A):66S-73S. PMID: 9790485; UI: 99005146.
Similarity of polio to pellagra, beriberi, and other deficiency diseases–Eleanor McBean

See:

http://www.whale.to/vaccine/polio1.html

‘I’ve never seen anything like this’: He ain’t seen nothin’ yet.?

Mike V hits it out of the park again. I did not realize the cosmetically offensive weapon wielded in AZ was brought by a black man. I am certain the collectivist media were aghast that this would happen but only because they don’t realize the original disarmament laws in this country were aimed at black folks defending themselves against depredations by those with guns. Tip of the iceberg, indeed… -BB

Jonathan Martin of the Politico.com profiles a Florida “blue dog” as he conducts town hall meetings on health care in the Panhandle here.

Some snippets:

Rep Allen Boyd (D-Fla.) is a skilled politician who has pretty much seen it all — a Deep South Democrat who’s managed to dispatch all opponents in his conservative-leaning Panhandle district since winning election in 1996. But as he fended off gnats buzzing through the August humidity after a morning fending off angry constituents at a town hall meeting here, Boyd confided that the depth of the unease spurred by the health care debate had caught him by surprise.

“They may be in a minority, but they are a larger minority than we’ve seen in the 20-plus years that I’ve been doing this,” said Boyd of the standing-room-only crowds who have been showing up to shout, boo, mutter and, in one case, hand him an actual stack of pink slips since he returned home for recess. “I’ve never seen anything like this.” . . . But for all the cries of Astroturf fakery and ginned-up crowds, a ground zero view in a district like Boyd’s underlines that a very real sense of anger and frustration is bubbling over as summer wanes. . .

“People are scared,” Boyd said twice, trying to explain what would drive his constituents away from home and work and out into the broiling Florida sun in the middle of the week to see their congressman.

I’ve been interviewed by a lot of reporters working on stories this past week and all of them are variations on a theme: “Why are (substitute convenient label here: gun owners, right-wingers, conservatives) so ANGRY?” And by angry they mean angry enough to train with weapons, go to a town hall armed, shout down their elected congressman, any of a thousand things that they see but cannot understand because it is not within their world view. They simply cannot comprehend.

I guess they ask me because I’m viewed as the quintessential “angry white male,” although why escapes me. ;-)

I try to explain, speaking slowly and using small words. It goes something like this:

Part of the interest in revitalizing the armed citizenry idea comes in part from the political threat to all our liberties, not just our firearms rights. The other motivation is the perception of an existential threat to the society, the nation and even to the civilization. I point out that when you have a government that engages in printing money and monetizing the debt, it is clear to anyone who knows a little history and economics that societies which have engaged in that suicidal behavior before have been plunged into chaos and tyranny. Can you say Weimar Republic? I knew you could.

And yes, this perception creates fear. It is a fear born of the realization that for a very long time, feckless, grasping leaders of both political parties have been paddling our nation’s canoe toward the falls as fast as they could go, with no thought for what lies at the bottom.

So those concerned with garden variety issues like the health care reform are motivated not just be worry over medical treatments or who’s going to pay for their medications. They see in it two very different competing visions of how society and government are supposed to work. And the Obamacare plan looks like tyranny to them. And worse, it looks like economically unsustainable tyranny.

Mussolini made the Italian people happy, or at least, less unhappy, about giving up their liberty because he made the trains run on time. Obama’s actions so far promise not only tyranny but inefficiency. Not just less freedom but more chaos. Where is the trade-off? There is none. It is as if Dumb and Dumber are running the show with iron fists (“AND YOU DAMN WELL BETTER TAKE IT IF YOU KNOW WHAT”S GOOD FOR YOU”).

Their actions violate both the rules of economics AND, more critically, the rule of law. When Obama takes over the auto industry, firing executives and stiffing creditors in violation of the rule of law, why, gunowners and ordinary people ask themselves, should we expect to be treated any differently?

Too, I said, this is the culmination of almost three decades of government misbehavior, over the reign of at least four imperial Presidents, and people have been paying attention. In the 70s and 80s, gun owners didn’t pay much attention to the militarization of the police and the excesses of the war on drugs, because those miscarriages of justice happened mostly in the cities, where the victims were black and poor. “Too bad,” we would say, “but they shouldn’t live in neighborhoods infested by criminals.”

Then came Ruby Ridge, Waco and a host of other lesser outrages and all of a sudden gun owners discovered what it was like to be poor and black. In the eyes of the Clintonistas WE were now the criminals. Just as a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged, a libertarian is a conservative whose rights have been violated by a predatory state, making him realize that maybe the ACLU had the germ of a good idea anyway — rights are for all, and if we want to be protected in our homes, our property and our liberty then maybe we ought to start watching out for the other guy’s rights, too.

This was why folks in the Constitutional Militia movement were among the loudest voices during the Bush years against both illegal immigration — which we viewed as horribly corrosive to the rule of law — and the ill-named PATRIOT Act. We knew, that just as the bad laws of the Weimar Republic laid the predicate for Hitler, Bush was preparing the way for whatever tyrant wannabe came after him. (We expected Hillary, we got Obama. Go figure.) There were some folks then who thought that waterboarding was just for Islamofascists. Now they have a different take on it.

(I’m just waiting for John Ashcroft to be drug off under the PATRIOT Act, shouting the whole way, “It doesn’t mean this! I helped write it, it wasn’t meant for this!”)

The Founders understood (at least after the Alien and Sedition Acts) that you should never pass a law that you wouldn’t be willing to see your own worst enemy enforce upon you.

The rule of constitutional law protects us all. Diminishment of the rule of law threatens us all. The Obamanoids are hacking root and branch at the rule of law, ergo, people are concerned, frightened and angry at the offenders. They want them, most of all, to stop.

And they are frightened by the dangerous hubris of any man who would say, “never let a good crisis go to waste.”

Here, the reporter always pipes up, “But isn’t it partly because Obama is black?”

I sigh, and ask, “Why is it all about race with you guys? Liberals are more obsessed about race than a Nazi Gauleiter.”

(This is where they always pipe up and tell me they’re not political. I invariably laugh.)

Look, I tell them. I mean really LOOK. Look who Obama has surrounded himself with. They’re Clintonistas, or worse. Personnel is policy. And the worst of these in our mind is not Rahm Emanuel — that faux tough guy from Chicago who thinks he’s got everyone by the balls, and will, until someone sticks a .45 in his face and he’s one expletive away from his brains being blown out, at which time he will break down in tears and whimper like a little girl — but rather Eric Holder, the nation’s new “top cop,” a term that makes us want to laugh and puke at the same time.

Look at HIS resume, I tell them. Look at it from our point of view. Holder participated at all levels of the Clinton cover-up machine, most especially Waco.

And Waco was the original sin. We saw what happened there. We noticed most especially that no one was held to account for mass murder but the victims themselves. We noticed, and we remember.

We understand that Waco Rules still apply. And we understand that it will be Eric Holder who does the applying.

Which is why we have put him, and them, on notice. There will be no more free Wacos.

This is what the political class, the elites of the country, do not give us credit for. We actually have the intelligence and the memory, to recognize patterns of governance over time, from decade to decade, AND have discussed these things, absorbed the lessons and made . . . let’s call them adjustments, in our thinking and our preparations.

Like I said, there will be no more free Wacos.

Contrary to our “better’s” sneers, people are actually smart. But most are so busy with their daily lives, that they don’t pay attention to politics, which they see as sordid and unworthy. But when people lose their jobs, and they see a crisis, then they pay attention. And when they pay attention, and they understand what is happening, they start flocking to town halls. And writing letters to the editors. And, some of the,. clean their rifles and await events.

It is ironic, I tell these reporters, that the same politicians who only yesterday were bemoaning that citizens weren’t involved, now cannot run away fast enough now that citizens ARE involved.

But give the people, our people, credit, I tell the reporters, they are not stupid. Angry? Yes. Afraid? Rightfully so. But not stupid.

“Our people,” the reporters always ask, picking up on the nuance, not “the people?”

No, I yell them. We are now two peoples, sharing a national border and a common laguage but little else. We are a divided nation, perhaps even more than in 1861. For example, if we cannot agree on the sanctity of life, does it matter that we agree on trivial stuff?

One people have a world-view that tells them that it is government from whom all blessings flow. For the other it is God and hard work and not necessarily in that order. One side wants the ability to tell the other side what to do and tries incessantly to get the government to do it. The other side simply wants to be left alone, for government to get out of the way of private enterprise, uphold the rule of law, and the right to life, liberty and property, and to otherwise keep its long nose stuck firmly on its ugly face and out of plain sight.

These are irreconcilable visions, I tell them. One or the other is going to win. It cannot be both.

You know, I point out, they call us gun nuts, fanatics, all manner of insulting things, dehumanizing things. And they call us racists. Why? I mean, the black guy in Phoenix was toting an AR and the media goes out of its way to crop the image so it is harder to tell he;s black. Why? Because their world view is able to grasp that theme, that narrative. No one who disagrees with them can possibly be rational because they believe themselves to be the ultimate rational people. And what does a “rational” society do with “irrational people?” They put them in an asylum. And if they are perceived to be armed and dangerous enough, they are killed.

Do you see no hope of avoiding conflict? they always ask. Yes, I say, if the other side sees the unintended consequences of their actions and backs down. This is a slim possibility, I tell them, but it is a possibility. It has, I point out, happened before.

Really, they ask skeptically, when?

In the 1960s with the advent of the Deacons for Defense and Justice, I tell them. Martin Luther king and others in the “non-violent” civil rights movement despaired of getting the federal government to enforce the laws it had passed. But then came the Deacons and the prospect of armed conflict with the local governments conrolled by the Klan and the White Citizens Councils. When the Deacons picked up their guns, it wasn’t just about the Klan beating heads with the cooperation of local police that they controlled anymore. Now the Deacons were going to shoot back. And, “well, would ya lookit that,” then the Feds decided they needed to get between and enforce those laws. Gandhi had NOTHING to do with it.

The Deacons said, “If you ain’t gonna do something about these murderous racist crackers, we will.” And the Feds said, “Well, if you feel that way about it . . .” and went in and did it.

Now, with people exercising their rights, going armed to public gatherings and town hall meetings, we see something we have not seen in a long time. I understand how liberals are astonished about it. I’m a little astonished myself. I didn’t know if we still had it in us to ACT like free people. Now it seems we do. So our hope is that they will back off. But will they?

You are looking at, I tell them, the tip of the iceberg. The people that the administration will find most troublesome as they go farther down this lawless, tyrannical road are not those who blog, or go to town meetings or write letters to the editor. If these folks get angered by events, they reassure themselves of their skills to handle what will come by going to the range and making sure their rifle is still sighted in or by putting back some more ammo or by teaching their teenage sons (and daughters) how to shoot, move and communicate.

In the unlikely event that the government is successful enough to imprison, silence or kill the last demonstrator, blogger and radio talk show host, it will be these people who emerge from the crowd, put a bullet in some henchman’s eye, and fade back again.

These people understand that having been “out-voted,” they can still vote. They are the rest of the iceberg upon which the great ship Leviathan, like Titanic, will of its own forward movement, rip out her hull below the waterline and sink to the bottom of history.

So, I tell them, the anger you see is not one tenth of the anger that’s out there. And that other none-tenths you will not see until it’s too late. So back off, I say, leave us the hell alone, and we won’t have to go down this bloody road.

I usually sum up the Three Percent doctrine this way:

We will not disarm.

You cannot convince us.

You cannot intimidate us.

You can try to kill us, if you think you can.

But remember, we’ll shoot back.

Your move.

– Mike
III

If you want to comment on this post, go here:

http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com/2009/08/ive-never-seen-anything-like-this-let.html

Secession, Five Years Later by Bill Buppert

Former Governor Lutrin was hard to find. Having served out his single term after shepherding Idaho from the corrupt and tyrannical claws of the rulers in DC and their agents throughout the land, he had quietly retired to his ranch near Sandpoint, ID in the northern panhandle in Year One of the Free State Alliance (FSA). The Alliance had expanded to embrace the former states of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Eastern Washington, Nevada and British Columbia joined two years later by Saskatchewan, Alberta, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon. The Alaskan Republic maintained very close ties with the FSA. Utah had gone her own way and established a Mormon theocracy. The West Coast states formed Pacifica but the Green Coalition which maintained tight control on the economy caused a brain-drain and economic collapse that splintered the coalition.

Since the break-up of these united States, all of California south of San Francisco had become part of the pan-Mexican rump state in Atzlan along with most of the American Southwest. Mexico has splintered into approximately ten separate states with alliances between the various 31 states that comprised Mexico ebbing and flowing on a daily basis. The decriminalization of drug laws in Pacifica and the Free State Alliance significantly weakened the strength of the Mexican drug cartels to finance their activities and the pan-Mexican economy started to flourish after nearly a century of economic and monetary penury.

Pacifica remained in force in the major cities like Portland and Seattle but had lost total control of the countryside in what had formerly been Washington and Oregon. The Dakotas finally allied with the Midwestern Alliance.

The American South had settled into an uneasy alliance with the United States Socialist Republic (USSR) which maintained their capital in the District of Columbia. Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire eventually broke away from the USSR to establish a system of Swiss-style cantons which the USSR battered for the first two years but eventually exhausted their ability to fight once the USSR economy collapsed into a miserable shambles that made Cuba look like 1990s Hong Kong.

Premiere Obama conceded defeat in an indirect fashion after assumption of his lifelong appointment at the circus-like Constitutional Convention in the USSR in 2012. The massive government intervention and adoption of total central planning had predictable results: the world’s first 100% marginal tax rate on the top fifty percent of earners had only surprised the Premiere’s Economic Council but no one else with the results. Tax receipts were down by 80% in the first year and disappeared in the second. Paul Krugman, the chairman of the council, was quoted as saying “[that] greed would be eliminated and a new man would emerge from the bold experiment.” The only thing that emerged were the tens of miles of refugees attempting to flee the USSR in the first year after which the borders were sealed and all the government’s guns were trained inward to prevent the citizens from escaping the latest economic nostrum – permanent employment in a government job assigned to you whether you liked it or not.

It is difficult to gauge how bad conditions are in the USSR. Like the Soviet Union during the twentieth century and Cuba afterwards, rumors were rampant. Gulags, reeducation camps, mass disappearances, famine and disease outbreaks were apparently the order of the day. Some of the crueler pundits referred to the Premiere as Kim Jong Obama and Barak Mugabe. Like the former northern part of the Koreas, it remains a rather strong military power but an economic basket case.

Fears of meddling on the part of China, Russia and Middle Eastern states proved to be unfounded as those nations grapple with their own economic and social collapse difficulties. While all manner of economic nonsense like Keynes and Marx were the “wave of the future” in the twentieth century, the twenty-first century is seeing a veritable renaissance in the works of Hayek, von Mises, Rothbard and Bastiat.

“It is almost as if the entire human race has finally awakened from the fever dream of the government supremacists who have inoculated them against freedom for five millennia and opened their eyes to the new possibilities” Mr. Lutrin insists as we gaze out over the huge forested valley outside his home near Sandpoint. He is fit and tanned and still participates in what some would term adrenal sports. He remains a devout Senior Instructor on the Appleseed Trail for the Revolutionary War Veterans Association teaching weekend marksmanship clinics throughout the FSA when he is not globetrotting. We are comfortably seated in a veranda near his workshop. Since retirement he has found lucrative work as a consultant around the world “deprogramming and devolving state industries into private hands” with his new venture firm, The Spooner Group. Asked if he misses being the governor of a state, he merely smirks and claims he would rather work for a living.

“Mr. Lutrin (he insists he not be referred to as governor), five years have passed since the first crisis which set the nation asunder and broke up the most powerful nation on the globe. On reflection, would you have done anything different?”

“No, my only regret is that I was left with a task that should have been done ten or a hundred years before me. I was asked recently who my favorite President was during the twentieth century and the only one I could come up with was Coolidge and possibly Harding. No one else even came close. The rest of the rascals were simply well-dressed pirates. Barry, a close economist friend of mine, claimed there was no such thing as governments, only interests…there is plenty of truth to that.”

“…but the bloodshed and misery which followed the wholesale destruction of the former Union when secession spread like wildfire…”

“Hold on, I am not the author of the naked aggression and sheer lunacy that emanated from the Federal government for most of its history after the War Between the States in the 1860s. What happened five years ago was inevitability and just so happened to occur on my watch. I take umbrage at your comparison because you are quite literally insisting that if a man sees a serial killer discharging his duties, I have an obligation to cower instead of cowboy up and stop it. Look, I come from five generations of Westerners who not only earned their living the hard way but tended to be resentful of any authority outside of the family. You could almost surmise that my Celtic blood gave me a predisposition to anti-authoritarianism. There are lines in the sand…”

“So you are justifying the civil war which broke out across the country?”

“I am an old-school libertarian, not a pacifist. I believe in the non-aggression axiom. No man has the right to start a fight but the aggrieved party damn sure has the right to put a stop to any visited upon him. You see, that may be one of the worst pathogens or memes the political class and its apologists has convinced people to believe – that they are utterly incapable of helping themselves unless they surrender their rights to a violent elite. John Wayne said it best if I recall: ‘I won’t be wronged, I won’t be insulted, and I won’t be laid a hand on. I don’t do these things to other people and I expect the same from them.’”

“That is rather simple…”

“I would like you to consider something. Imagine a society in which everyone took that to be the way proper folks behave. But think that there may be people who would ask themselves how they could take advantage of that. I am not talking about the entrepreneur or small business owner, I’m talking about the natural cross-section of humanity in which you have a certain group of folks for whom criminality and even psychopathy is simply the way they are wired or nurtured. Now some of those men would ask themselves how can I minimize risk and maximize gain? Here’s a pop quiz: what is the only group of criminals who have consistently evaded responsibility for their misbehavior, garnered tremendous rewards in money and prestige and, excepting rare instances like Nicolae Ceausescu, die abed fat and happy?

“I don’t…”

“Politicians. Throughout history with rare exceptions, they have been the decadent and greedy agents of death and destruction on humanity. 262 million corpses outside of warfare alone in the twentieth century stacked up as a paean to the Cult of the Politician. Hundreds of millions of humans hoodwinked into thinking that if only they would remit their fates to enlightened strangers, all the roads would be paved with gold and manna from heaven would provide succor for eternity. I think you would have to be a sociopath in the first place to want to rule over others.”

“But you were a politician. You were the governor of a state. Isn’t that rather hypocritical?”

“To a certain extent you are right. I compromised with the system and thought the only way to change it would be to wreck it from the inside. I did not enter office with the intention of secession and starting the whole ball of wax. Frankly, once I was in office, I could almost feel the sickness creeping over me. The feeling that maybe I could make a positive difference by punishing my fellow citizens to influence their behavior or using carrots and sticks on them as if they lab rats, as if I had the right to do so in the first place. Shame on me.

I had a constituent come to me one day and he and I had coffee together. Old and weather-beaten rancher who had seen the hard side of seventy years who put salt in his coffee. He was quite articulate and related a story to me. He asked me if I had ever had a difficult family member: alcohol or drug abuse, mentally retarded or a Down’s syndrome child. We both agreed we had. He made a very simple point: he said he would move heaven and earth to help his blood kin but even then a solution may not be available. In the end, no cure for Down’s or the son is not willing to give up his drink. No solution. Yet the politician’s siren song is that a group of disinterested strangers in a far-off castle will cure all these ills if the rancher would simply surrender a sizable portion of his wealth at gunpoint and be sanctioned by tens of thousands of laws he would have to obey on pain of death ultimately. Yet in the end, the politicians always make you worse off.”

“Certainly food for thought…”

“Look, we may be entering a new age here hundreds of years before I envisioned it possible. Men and women all over the globe may be waking up to the simple observation that empowering others to engage in violence or the threat of violence over their family and neighbors may be a distinctly unhealthy way to live.”

“Thank you, Governor Lutrin…”

“Please, call me Mr. Lutrin.”

See:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/buppert/buppert28.1.html

Baby Bush: The Worst President in History?

Doug Casey provides easy one-stop shopping to deliver the antivenin to any remaining Grand Old Politburo (GOP) friends you may still hang around with.    Just explain to them that you have no preference for evil when they posit that a lesser evil is always better.  -BB

Is it possible that Bush was actually the worst president ever? I’d say he’s a strong contender. He started out with a gigantic lie – that he would cut the size of government, reduce taxes, and stay out of foreign wars – and things got much worse from there. Let’s look at just some of the highpoints in the catalog of disasters the Bush regime created.

No Child Left Behind. Forget about abolishing the Department of Education. Bush made the federal government a much more intrusive and costly part of local schools.

Project Safe Neighborhoods. A draconian law that further guts the 2nd Amendment, like 20,000 other unconstitutional gun laws before it.

Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit. This the largest expansion of the welfare state since LBJ and will cost the already bankrupt Medicare system trillions more.

Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Possibly the most expensive and restrictive change to the securities laws since the ’30s. A major reason why companies will either stay private or go public outside the U.S.

Katrina. A total disaster of bureaucratic mismanagement, featuring martial law.

Ownership Society. The immediate root of the current financial crisis lies in Bush’s encouragement of easy credit to everybody and inflating the housing market.

Nationalizations and Bailouts. In response to the crisis he created, he nationalized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and passed by far the largest bailouts in U.S. history (until OBAMA!).

Free-Speech Zones. Originally a device for keeping war protesters away when Bush appeared on camera, they’re now used to herd in opponents.

The Patriot Act. This 132-page bill, presented for passage only 45 days after 9/11 (how is it possible to write something of that size and complexity in only 45 days?) basically allows the government to do whatever it wishes with its subjects. Warrantless searches. All kinds of communications monitoring. Greatly expanded asset forfeiture provisions.

The War on Terror. The scope of the War on Drugs (which Bush also expanded) is exceeded only by the war on nobody in particular but on a tactic. It’s become a cause of mass hysteria and an excuse for the government doing anything.

Invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Bush started two completely pointless, counterproductive, and immensely expensive wars, neither of which has any prospect of ending anytime soon.

Dept. of Homeland Security. This is the largest and most dangerous of all agencies, now with its own gigantic campus in Washington, DC. It will never go away and centralizes the functions of a police state.

Guantanamo. Hundreds of individuals, most of them (like the Uighurs recently in the news) guilty only of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, are incarcerated for years. A precedent is set for anyone who is accused of being an “enemy combatant” to be completely deprived of any rights at all.

Abu Ghraib and Torture. After imprisoning scores of thousands of foreign nationals, Bush made it a U.S. policy to use torture to extract information, based on a suspicion or nothing but a guard’s whim. This is certainly one of the most damaging things to the reputation of the U.S. ever. It says to the world, “We stand for nothing.”

The No-Fly List. His administration has placed the names of over a million people on this list, and it’s still growing at about 20,000 a month. I promise it will be used for other purposes in the future…

The TSA. Somehow the Bush cabal found 50,000 middle-aged people who were willing to go through their fellow citizens’ dirty laundry and take themselves quite seriously. God forbid you’re not polite to them…

Farm Subsidies. Farm subsidies are the antithesis of the free market. Rather than trying to abolish or cut them back, Bush signed a record $190 billion farm bill.

Legislative Free Ride. And he vetoed less of what Congress did than any other president in history.

See:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/casey/casey16.1.html

The States’ Rights Tradition Nobody Knows

Tom Woods hits it out of the park again.   The state sovereignty movement is a good start. America is an occupied nation and until we understand that basic predicament, we will continue to muddle about as our rights and liberties are stripped away wholesale.  -BB

Thomas Woods avers: “Many more examples of the ongoing relevance of the Principles of ’98 could be cited. In the midst of a dispute with the federal government over the Second Bank of the United States, the Ohio legislature voted to affirm the Principles of ’98. In 1825, Kentucky’s governor said: “When the general government encroaches upon the rights of the State, is it a safe principle to admit that a portion of the encroaching power shall have the right to determine finally whether an encroachment has been made or not? In fact, most of the encroachments made by the general government flow through the Supreme Court itself, the very tribunal which claims to be the final arbiter of all such disputes. What chance for justice have the States when the usurpers of their rights are made their judges? Just as much as individuals when judged by their oppressors. It is therefore believed to be the right, as it may hereafter become the duty of the State governments, to protect themselves from encroachments, and their citizens from oppression, by refusing obedience to the unconstitutional mandates of the federal judges.”

These are facts. They are facts that constitute a central part of antebellum American history. Yet to say that the standard American history text does not trace the influence of the Principles of ’98 over the course of the ensuing years, as I have done all too briefly here, would be the understatement of the century. The profession at large has essentially ignored the issue; other than Bill Watkins’ excellent study, you’d be hard-pressed to find a single book-length treatment of the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 over the past hundred years.”

Please see the rest at

http://www.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2009/03/04/the-states-rights-tradition-nobody-knows/

The Gate Keeper: A Tale of Hope, Change and Unintended Consequences

I love Mike V’s blog and recommend you visit it daily. I share his vision of the Three Percenter and think that assignation may be the bulwark to stand athwart the Marxoid invasion of America which has reached its apotheosis with Maobama. I am pleasantly surprised at the outrage that is cascading across America with the attempted completion of the government takeover of health provision (it started in the 1960′s).  -BB

(Author’s Note [Mike V]: My thanks to Big Mike Barlow for suggesting the idea.)

Scene the First
13 December 2012

Chuck fumbled with the keys, dropped them, snatched them up and, finally, got the door open. The hospice nurse, alerted by the noise, was already up and standing in the middle of the front room. One look at her careworn face told the story.

“I’m sorry Mr. Daniels,” she said anyway. “She’s gone.”

Chuck dropped his keys on the table as he always did, cognizant only of the thought that nothing would ever be the same again.

Theresa was dead, then. Killed by health care rationing.

They had known this was the way it was going to be. Theresa had even stood in the town meeting, oh, how long ago, and told the congressman that if the Health Care Bill passed as written that it would come to this. They never thought it would be her. But she had been right. Government health care killed her. Too late diagnosed. Finally treated, too little, too late. And then, at the last, the “gate keepers” refused to pay for an experimental treatment that had shown great promise. Too “unproven,” they said.

Now she was gone.

What was there left to say?

Maybe, just maybe, there was one thing.

Scene the Second
21 December 2012

The congressman was alone as he finished cleaning out the desk drawers in his local office. He’d laid off the rest of his staff, and even his secretary and part-time bed partner had gone, seeking other employment.

He had been defeated last month, by the revulsion and backlash created by the government-run health care system he had worked all his life to pass. Well, there was one thing he could hold onto. Like every other entitlement program ever made into law, they’d never repeal this one. Health care for all, the crown jewel of his legislative record, would never be repealed. The country was stuck with it now, and there was damn all his opponents could do about it.

The congressmen smiled, if bitterly. It was cold comfort for losing all those perks he had for so many years. But it was comfort.

The door to his office opened, and suddenly a man stood there. What the hell? I know I locked the front door.

“Who the hell are you?” the congressman demanded.

The man looked inoffensive enough. He had a beaten air about him. A sadness.

“I’m Theresa’s husband.”

“Who’s Teresa?” The congressman balked, wondering if this was a jealous husband. He never could remember names.

“Not Teresa, The-resa,” the man corrected.

“OK, who is she?”

“Just a woman you killed.”

“What the hell are you talking about? I never killed anybody. Who the hell are YOU?”

Chuck Daniels smiled then, and it was a smile that frightened the congressman to his core.

“Why, don’t you know? I’m your gate keeper.”

“Gate keeper? What the he . . .” His voice stopped, as he involuntarily sucked in air at the sight of the pistol.

Where had that come from? the congressman wondered dully. Looking at his death, he could think of nothing to say.

“And congressman?”

The congressman just looked at him.

“Application denied.”

The shot seemed impossibly loud, even in the palatial room.

Postscript: This little drama is currently being scripted by Nancy Pelosi and her pals in the Imperial City of DC. The dramatic license taken for its future possible unintended consequences is my own. Feel free to spread this as far and wide as you like. Just do it in its entirety, unedited, with the information below. Oh, and be sure to send one copy to your congress-critter. It is only fiction, after all. Certainly nothing could ever happen like this. You think?

Mike Vanderboegh
The alleged leader of a merry band of Three Percenters
PO Box 926
Pinson, AL 35126
GeorgeMason1776@aol.com
sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com

“Saakashvili preparing for another war” – deserted Georgian soldier

My friend, Chris M, happens to be an astute observer of many things, amongst which is the intrigue in Russia and beyond. He sent me this article with the comments that follow. I would simply say that the Greater Depression is going to find the Obamabots and their fellow-travelers in the War Party sniffing out another conflict to further the intrusion of the state into our lives. It is a sign of the times when Russian reporting may be more reliable than American. -BB

This article looks like it could be disinformation, but if true, would have many implications in the low-level intelligence coming out as of late. I theorized that all of this was initially about Israel gaining control of Caspian crude via the Ashkelon pipeline and essentially having their hand on the valve before it went to the Asian markets. Both as a means of controlling price and availability (and probably to source their own war machine as well). The response clearly indicated by Russia immediately shutting down the pipeline moving in, as well as, moving its largest carrier fleet and establishing its sole permanent warm-water port at Poti, as well as, position medium-range launchers in Syria, in effort to counter Amero-Israeli proxy-aggression. Essentially, “Don’t move, or the hostage gets it!”.

It looks as if either the entire stint was engineered to produce such a response so that the plan can advance to Phase Two or, the Russian response was underestimated so now the region is being reconfigured into yet another proxy war. This could be an attempt to create a Russian-military bloodletting (such as Afghanistan), or, perhaps the grand prize, WWIV. It seems to me that ultimately, WWIV is a mile-marker goal, and would be consistent with your concept of perpetual war being both good and necessary for the parasite to thrive in such times.  -CM

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A soldier who deserted the Georgian army and has now fled to Russia says US instructors are currently training Georgian soldiers for a war – just as they did before Georgia’s assault last year on South Ossetia.

Eduard Korotkov also spoke about Georgia’s military provocations against Russian peacekeepers prior to the Georgia-South Ossetia conflict, the weapons that the US supplied to Georgia, and Georgians’ shooting of POWs during the conflict.

Below is the transcript of what he said:

Eduard Korotkov: My name is Korotkov Eduard Igorevich, born on July 27, 1981. From August 2007 I served in the 4th brigade of the 42nd battalion in the Georgian army as head of my unit, with the rank of junior sergeant.

Question: Did you take part in any actions?

Eduard Korotkov: No, I did not. I had deserted earlier.

Question: You must have served in [Georgian] peacekeeping forces stationed in the Georgian–Ossetian conflict zone, just prior to the war. Please tell about that.

Eduard Korotkov: We were stationed in an area of the Ossetian village of Tsinuri – our entire company. We were training to carry out inspections of vehicles, ID documents and belongings, as well as how to stand on duty and use handguns and assault rifles – we had a whole arsenal there. We had a lot of weaponry.

We went to the top of a mountain to guard the village of Avreli. I recall an episode in December [2007] – don’t remember the exact date – we were told that something was starting in Abkhazia. In the place where our unit was stationed – on the mountain – there were Russian peacekeeping forces.

So we were trained how – during night time – should something come up, to quickly get out and be ahead of the Russians. Our mobile phones were taken away from everyone in the company and in the whole of the battalion amid talk of a war starting. We were prepared – additional ammunition was issued to us. We put additional bandages and medical supplies into our backpacks. So we were prepared.

Question: Against the Russians?

Eduard Korotkov: Against the Russians, because besides us there were only peacekeepers from Russia deployed there. No Ossetians.

A month later we were transferred to Nikozi [sic] from where we clandestinely moved to Igneti where an outpost of the Russian peacekeeping forces recorded the number of personnel and our weaponry. We stood there at night, along with Georgian interior special forces, amid the cold weather. They also had all kinds of weapons, the same as us – a whole arsenal sufficient for a battalion.

Question: Did they stage provocations?

Eduard Korotkov: Oh, yeah, they did. They [Georgian special forces] staged provocations, saying “Come on, shoot, shoot!”, “Don’t fear!” Exactly there and then, on the road we were on, which was later confirmed by our guys, it was from there they went.

Question: Started advancing on the village?

Eduard Korotkov: Yes.

Question: What can you recount particularly about the events of August 2008?

Eduard Korotkov: After the war I met my friends there – from Kakhteti. They said to me: “After you deserted the unit, American instructors came and conducted training for two months.” Various kinds of weapons were brought from the USA, including M-16 rifles that were distributed. There were also Hummer vehicles, containers. So, they [my friends] said, it was likely preparation for war.

And we were all saying – that no battalion was standing like ours, in those villages. That’s why we were sent first – to capture the villages of Nunitana and Nitaguli. After which we entered Tskhinval.

Question: Please tell us what you know about Russian pilots.

Eduard Korotkov: I don’t know much about Russian pilots, but I do know something. For instance, the one captured by the Georgian peacekeeping forces who was wounded. He was guarded by my friend who works in the Justice Department. In a hospital.

We heard about the second one, too. He was [captured] alive but was shot to death and buried somewhere – I don’t know where exactly. They tried not to leave traces, in order to avoid claims by the Russians. What I know is the one who was alive, was shot to death and buried. The other one was later exchanged for someone from the Georgian peacekeeping forces who was here in hospital.

Question: What are your plans for the future?

Eduard Korotkov: First, I think that I won’t be able to live in Georgia anymore. I want to ask the president of the Russian Federation to grant me Russian citizenship. I want to lead a normal life. I won’t return to Georgia anymore. And I am not going to. Let them take me there dead rather than get me to live there. They are all preoccupied with war preparations, training.

Question: For a war?

Eduard Korotkov: Yes, for a war. Instructors keep arriving for training in how to wage a war – to handle all kinds of weapons. There was a ship that arrived in Batumi with some weapons – tanks. There is talk all over the country that there will be a war again – Saakashvili is engaged in preparations. I don’t want to live there.

See: http://www.russiatoday.com/Top_News/2009-08-06/georgia-deserted-soldier-war.html

As the Old Saw Goes, All Politics is Local

Let’s make it that way:

“A movement based on the 10th amendment fundamentally changes the political landscape in favor of individual freedom.

Washington is selling servitude. Democrats are selling it outright as if servitude itself was a great product. Most Republicans are packaging it with just a dose of freedom so it goes down a little smoother. But when it comes to the fundamentals like smaller government and individual freedom neither party in Washington is representing us consistently. Both parties are using a horizontal marketing approach and this leaves “we the people” out. Let me explain.

In product marketing, you can position products for sale through a horizontal channel or a vertical channel. The national parties have broad horizontal platforms that work great when selling servitude because it allows them to pick and choose which “selling point” to highlight, which “product deficiencies” to hide and which controversial product features they can use to distract from the outright bugs in their product offering.

If you seek to bring a revolutionary product, such as freedom, to market then vertical marketing is key because it has the ability to capture a significant market share quickly and with minimal budget. The key to success is based on focus.

By focusing on a singular message our demands for more localized control of government will quickly be adopted in positions held by local politicians, followed by state politicians who are emboldened by a loud voice beating the same drum. Whether state politicians are driven to our message by greed or ideals the result is the same, a new ally with a legal precedent to counter federal abuse of power. This can happen in a dramatic way in the next election cycle.”

Read the rest at the Tenth Amendment Center

How Is America Going To End?

As most of you know, I have been writing about secession for years as the only means of liberation from DC. Now the entire chain of ideas of secession is becoming mainstream. Talk to your neighbors, friends and family and get the idea in people’s heads because the end is nigh and a bright new fabric of fissures is not going to tear America apart but renew it in a devolved, just and decentralized system of smaller nations and microstates.. I am thankful for Obamunism everyday because he brings us closer and closer to a new beginning. BB

Let’s say there’s an American revolution—who leaves first? Once the feds “start imposing just huge taxes,” Schiff says, the states that have to pay more in than they’re getting back out will pull their stars off the flag. Schiff lists Texas and California as potential pull-out candidates, whereas “Florida probably wants to stay because of all the Social Security money.”

If taxation doesn’t cause a mass revolt, economic polarization could yank everything apart. “The Sun Belt states and the interior West are growing faster than the Midwest,” says secession scholar Jason Sorens. “If they get rich enough, they might see their membership in the U.S. as burdensome if they have to support dying industries in Ohio and New York.” (Sorens apparently hasn’t considered the possibility that Cleveland and Buffalo will become America’s oases thanks to global warming.)

A place like Texas has the means to support itself as an independent country. What it needs is an ideological spark. Northern Italy’s Lega Nord could be a potential model. Rather than emphasize a linguistic or ethnic difference, the political party has espoused independence for economic reasons. In Italy’s 1996 general elections, the political party won 10 percent of the vote nationwide by calling on rich, conservative northerners to go it alone in a state called Padania. In the last eight years, Lega Nord has moderated its separatist rhetoric as it’s become a part of Silvio Berlusconi’s coalition government. (Still, the party is regularly accused of xenophobia.)

For secession to tear the United States to pieces, somebody has to jump first. “As states leave, more states want to leave,” Schiff says, “which is why the government will try to say you can’t leave, or we’ll invade you.” The Second Vermont Republic’s Thomas Naylor agrees that someone has to set a secessionist example. But Naylor doesn’t believe that the U.S. would try to “enslave free Vermont.” (His farcical suggestion: “They could burn all the maples and destroy all the black-and-white Holsteins.”) If American troops did invade Montpelier, he says, it would destroy America’s moral authority just as attempts to stamp out anti-Communist movements in the Soviet Bloc eventually undercut the USSR.

See the rest: http://www.slate.com/id/2224104

When Discussing Heath Care, Paul Krugman Should See A Doctor

My good friend, Scott, posted this recently and I could not have said it better. Not only is Krugman intellectually lazy and economically illiterate but these two qualifications make him a natural Nobel Laureate. Please visit Scott’s blog at: http://ourenemythestate.blogspot.com/2009/08/when-discussing-heath-care-paul-krugman.html.  -BB

Monday, August 3, 2009
On July 25, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman wrote a column entitled “Why markets can’t cure healthcare” in which he listed reasons for which the free market was unsuited for health care.

The tone of the column is condescending (or smug, perhaps? the difference escapes me), as he repeatedly knocks over the straw men he uses as “weaknesses” of the market in healthcare. However, I feel he mostly repeats the talking points uttered by those who favor of government-run healthcare, but — as is typical — without any data or sound analysis to justify his position. (Presumably, Krugman’s Nobel Prize grants him immunity from having to provide supporting evidence for any of his claims.)

Sadly, the New York Times closed the comment period for this column, so I’ll just share my thoughts here.

His first whopper is that the “big bucks are in triple coronary bypass surgery, not routine visits to the doctor’s office.”

Wrong, and not only a “little” wrong, but “a lot” wrong. As in “billions of dollars” wrong. In 2006 (the most recent year for which data is available), Medicare payments for all bypass surgery (not just triple-bypass surgery) totaled $2.9 billion.

By contrast, in the same year Medicare paid $13.5 billion for office visits of mild to complex decision-making. These office visits represent an enormous 12.2 percent of total Medicare payments to doctors for all services and procedures. In other words, one out of every eight dollars that Medicare paid physicians in 2006 went to Krugman’s piddling office visits.

So, Krugman’s unsubstantiated claim notwithstanding, the “big bucks” in healthcare are with office visits, which represent a dollar expense 450 percent greater than bypass surgery. (All data are from the CMS Data Compendium.)

Krugman later states that health care “must largely paid for by some kind of insurance,” and that “[c]onsumer choice is nonsense when it comes to health care. And you can’t just trust insurance companies either — they’re not in business for their health, or yours.”

Insurance is necessary for SOME — but by no means all — healthcare costs. And anyone who mentions “consumer choice” in the same sentence as “health care” is only displaying to the world how ignorant he is. Since the 1940s/1950s, employers have been given preferential tax treatment over individuals for purchasing health insurance, with the obvious result that virtually all Americans under age 65 obtain their health insurance from their employer. Most employers offer employees a limited number of insurance “choices” (in most cases, either an HMO or a PPO, and that is it), which do not even include some of the newer packages that are more appropriate for younger workers, such as health-savings accounts or high-deductible plans). So, the vast majority of “consumers” already have very little “choice” about which insurance policy they purchase.

Krugman’s comment about not being able to “trust” health insurance companies is specious and meaningless. Does that mean that people cannot “trust” their auto insurance companies, their life insurance companies, their homeowners’ insurance companies, etc.?

Insurance companies need to be regulated, to be sure. But, can you trust the government, either? And, if not, who is going to regulate the government? The answer: no one. Not when the government is making the rules that will govern oversight. I would rather take my chances with a greedy insurance company that has oversight — rather than the government, which will have no oversight, is subject to political pressure, and can always justify denying treatment for the greater good (i.e., taxpayers).

People who conduct business transactions based on “trust” — rather than on contracts — are destined to get fleeced, whether they are purchasing insurance or are purchasing a car. No one relies simply on “trust” when transacting with an insurance company, so Krugman’s claim is just utter, misleading nonsense that ignores every aspect of contract law, business, and economics — which is ironic, since the statement is coming from a Nobel Prize-winning economist.

Krugman states that “private insurance has much higher administrative costs than single-payer systems.”

The fact that private insurance companies cost more, administratively, than public-sector insurance is a convenient falsehood for those in favor of government-financed or -controlled healthcare.

In actuality, the so-called financial “advantages” that the government demonstrates over private insurers largely derive from outsourcing to private enterprises. As a result of the outsourcing, Medicare does not have to pay union wages, infrastructure costs, or leasing/rental fees. Additionally, Medicare spends very little on reviewing insurance claims, with the result that administrative costs are kept low, but fraud is rife in Medicare.

Lastly, Krugman states that “in health care, the free market just doesn’t work.”

If Krugman wants an example of how free-market principles work — and work well — in health care, he need look no further than a medical treatment in which government regulations are minimal, and insurance coverage is almost non-existent: laser eye surgery.

When laser-eye surgery first hit the market, costs exceeded $2,500 per eye. Approximately ten years later, per-eye costs had dropped to $1,000 per eye, with greatly improved quality.

That is how the free market works when not strictured by excess regulation: lower costs, improved quality, continuing innovation.

Mathematical Model Shows Why Defeating Insurgent Groups Like Taliban Is So Difficult

A rather interesting study that actually underestimates the impact on government bungling and violence in defeating resisters or insurgents. The key point to be divined is that the moment an insurgency gains strength, the government(s) will eventually have to negotiate to totally eradicate the resistance. Witness the Muslim resurgence in the Philippine island of Mindanao after the supposed total eradication the beginning of the twentieth century. Pop quiz: how many Muslim insurgencies have been defeated since the end of WWII (I call it the War to Save Josef Stalin)? Answer: zero. BB

ScienceDaily (July 17, 2009) — Insurgent groups like the Taliban can only be effectively engaged with timely and accurate military intelligence, and even good intelligence may only succeed in containing the insurgency, not defeating it, according to a new study.

The study is one of the first to combine military intelligence, attrition and civilian population behavior in a unified model of counterinsurgency dynamics.

The authors stress the role of obtaining intelligence about the insurgency. Absent intelligence, they write, not only can the insurgents escape unharmed and continue their violent attacks; but resultant poor government targeting causes innocent civilian deaths, which increases popular support for the insurgents and thus generates more recruits to the insurgency.

Recent attacks on Taliban strongholds by U.S. drones have shown that deaths among civilians may end up hindering American lead efforts, Kress notes. Ill-targeted actions taken by Israel and Colombia, for example, also have shown that unintended deaths among civilians have led to increased support for insurgents.

In their paper, the authors model the dynamic relations among intelligence, collateral casualties in the population, attrition, recruitment to the insurgency, and reinforcement to the government force.

Even under best-case assumptions regarding the government actions, they show that the government cannot totally eradicate an insurgency by force. The best it can do is containing it at a certain fixed level. The containment or stalemate points may be either fragile or stable. If the violence level is low, the containment point is fragile, in which case the insurgents can “break away” and eventually win. If the government commits large forces and applies a heavy hand (for example, the “surge” of United States forces in Iraq) then the stalemate point is stable.

The model and analysis, they write, represent a best case situation from the government perspective under the parameters put forward where (a) government force is steadily reinforced by new units, (b) it has unlimited endurance (it surrenders to the insurgents only when it is totally annihilated) and (c) the only recruitment to the insurgency is due to collateral casualties in the general population that generate resentment to the government, and therefore more recruits to the insurgency.

“If a government does keep its intelligence gathering capabilities high,” says Szechtman, “it can keep a hold on the insurgency, and after a while, when the insurgents realize they can’t win, a political compromise may be reached.”

That may be the most a government can expect, Kress and Szechtman warn.

——————————————————————————–

Journal references:

Moshe Kress and Roberto Szechtman. Why Defeating Insurgencies is Hard: The Effect of Intelligence in Counterinsurgency Operations — A Best-Case Scenario. Operations Research, (in press)
Jonathan David Farley. Evolutionary Dynamics of the Insurgency in Iraq: A Mathematical Model of the Battle for Hearts and Minds. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, Volume 30 (November 2007) , pp. 947 – 962
Adapted from materials provided by Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.
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http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2009/07/090716123316.htm

Skip the Happy Talk

Mr. Whitey hits the nail on the head. What this means is that until the government zeros out its massive overcrowding of available capital and calls off the regulatory dogs that feed on the carrion created by the state, failure is the ONLY option. BB

Skip the Happy Talk: This Depression is Just Beginning

By Mike Whitney

http://informationclearinghouse.info/article23182.htm

August 03, 2009 “Information Clearing House” — Too bad Pulitzers aren’t handed out for blog-entries. This year’s award would go to Zero Hedge for its “The ‘Money on the Sidelines’ Fallacy” post. This short entry shows why the economy will continue its downward slide and why the US consumer will not get off the mat and resume spending as he has in the past. The fact is the Net Wealth of US Households has “declined from a peak of $22 trillion to just under $12 trillion in early March.”

Ouch!

The problem is compounded by the fact that Total US Household debt, as of first quarter 2009, amounts to roughly $13 trillion, and has stayed within that range for the last 3 and a half years.

Zero Hedge:

“From the end of 2007 through Q1 of 2009, household equity has declined by 94%. Is it surprising that today’s GDP number would have been a complete debacle if the consumer had been left alone to prop the U.S. economy, on whom 70% of the economy is reliant? Obama pulled a Hail Mary with the stimulus: without it there would be no debate America is in a depression right now.” (http://www.zerohedge.com/article/money-sidelines-fallacy)

What does all this mean?

It means the consumer is down-for-the-count. His credit lines have been cut, his home equity eviscerated, and his checking account swimming in red ink. That spells trouble for an economy that’s 70% dependent on consumer spending for growth….which brings us to another interesting point. The uptick in GDP last quarter was almost entirely the result of the surge in government spending; ie “fiscal and monetary stimulus”. How long can that go on? How long will China keep slurping up US Treasuries rather than let their currency rise? Here’s a clip from the Wall Street Journal on Friday:

“Shaky auctions of Treasury notes this week reignited concerns about whether the government can attract buyers from China and elsewhere to soak up trillions in new debt.

A fuse was lit this week when traders noted China’s apparent absence from direct participation in two Treasury bond auctions. While China may have bought Treasurys just before the auctions, market participants read the country’s actions as a worrying sign that China and other foreign investors may be ratcheting back purchases at a time when the U.S. is seeking to fund a $1.8 trillion budget deficit.

This week alone, the U.S. deluged the bond market with more than $200 billion in record-size sales. The U.S. has had little trouble finding buyers in recent months. But that demand is fading, and the Treasury market has become volatile.”

Uncle Sam is goosing the bond market just like he is the stock market. (more on that later) Take a look at Treasury’s latest bit of chicanery which appeared in the back pages of the Wall Street Journal in June:

“The sudden increase in demand by foreign buyers for Treasurys, hailed as proof that the world’s central banks are still willing to help absorb the avalanche of supply, mightn’t be all that it seems.

When the government sells bonds, traders typically look at a group of buyers called indirect bidders, which includes foreign central banks, to divine overseas demand for U.S. debt. That demand has been rising recently, giving comfort to investors that foreign buyers will continue to finance the U.S.’s budget deficit.

But in a little-noticed switch on June 1, the Treasury changed the way it accounts for indirect bids, putting more buyers under that umbrella and boosting the portion of recent Treasury sales that the market perceived were being bought by foreigners.” (“Is foreign Demand as solid as it looks, Min zeng)

Hmmmm.

So, someone doesn’t want you and me to know that foreign demand has gone to the dogs. That’s not encouraging. So, they move the shells around the table and “Presto”—central banks and foreign investors can’t get enough of those fetid T-Bills. What a racket.

This is what happens when monetary policy is handed over to bank-vermin and Ponzi-scam artists. Anything goes!

The Zero Hedge article shows that homeowners used the equity in their homes to fuel the soaring stock market.

Zero Hedge: “Most interesting is the correlation between Money Market totals and the listed stock value since the March lows: a $2.7 trillion move in equities was accompanied by a less than $400 billion reduction in Money Market accounts!

Where, may we ask, did the balance of $2.3 trillion in purchasing power come from? Why the Federal Reserve of course, which directly and indirectly subsidized U.S. banks (and foreign ones through liquidity swaps) for roughly that amount. Apparently these banks promptly went on a buying spree to raise the all important equity market, so that the U.S. consumer who net equity was almost negative on March 31, could have some semblance of confidence back and would go ahead and max out his credit card. Alas, as one can see in the money multiplier and velocity of money metrics, U.S. consumers couldn’t care less about leveraging themselves any more.”

You read that right! Only $400 billion of that fantastic 6 month “green shoots” stock market rally came from money market accounts. The rest ($2.3 trillion) was laundered through the banks and other financial institutions to create the appearance of recovery and to raise equity for underwater banks rather than forcing them into receivership (which is where they belong) Bernanke probably knew that congress wouldn’t approve another TARP-type bailout for dodgy mortgage-backed assets, so he settled on this shifty plan instead. The only problem is, the banks are still broke, business investment is at historic lows, consumers are on the ropes, the unemployment lines are swelling, the homeless shelters are bulging, the pawn shops are bustling, tent cities are sprouting up everywhere, and according to MarketWatch, Corporate insiders have recently been selling their companies’ shares at a greater pace than at any time since the top of the bull market in the fall of 2007.”

Face it; the economy is in the crapper and Bernanke’s trickery hasn’t done a lick of good.

It’s been two years since the crisis began and nothing… NOTHING has been done to fix the banking system or force the banks to write-down their shi**y assets to market. But the losses are real and no amount of Congressionally approved accounting hanky-panky (like suspending mark-to-market) will change a bloody thing.

So, how bad will it get?

Well, it depends on whether the FDIC decides to continue to allow financial institutions like Corus and Guaranty Banks to operate with “negative Tier 1 ratio” hoping that all the green shoots happy talk can turn insolvent institutions into thriving mega-banks. “Abrakadabra”.

Karl Denninger explains this latest hoax in a recent entry on his site Market Ticker:

“So what’s going on here?

Simple: An enormous number of banks are holding loans at or close to “par” that really aren’t. They’re holding mortgages at massively-inflated values, even on defaulted properties, and this is why you are not seeing more foreclosure sales – that is, why inventory is being held back. If they sell it the accountants will force recognition of the loss, which will render them instantly insolvent, but so long as they “extend and pretend” they are marking these loans way, way above recovery value. The upshot of this is that these firms’ balance sheet claims on asset values are massively inflated, regulators know it, and they’re intentionally ignoring it.”

Bingo! It’s all 100% fakery conducted right under the nose of the Fed, the Treasury and the FDIC.

How many hundreds of banks are being kept on life-support because the FDIC is down to its last few farthings and doesn’t want to ignite a panic?

Stay tuned.

The banking system is insolvent and the fact that the politically-connected big banks talked their their friends at the Fed into pumping liquidity into equities so they could access the capital markets, doesn’t change matters for the hundreds of local and regional banks that will be caught in next year’s downdraft. Prepare for massive consolidation with G-Sax and JPM left to pick up former competitors for pennies on the dollar.

FIRING UP THE PRINTING PRESS

Keep in mind that Wall Street veterans knew from the very beginning that Bernanke’s quantitative easing (QE) was a load of malarkey intended to justify keeping toxic asset prices artificially high while pumping trillions into the stock market. Here’s former hedge fund manager Andy Kessler’s analysis way back in May:

“On March 18, the Federal Reserve announced it would purchase up to $300 billion of long-term bonds as well as $750 billion of mortgage-backed securities. Of all the Fed’s moves, this “quantitative easing” gets money into the economy the fastest — basically by cranking the handle of the printing press and flooding the market with dollars (in reality, with additional bank credit). Since these dollars are not going into home building, coal-fired electric plants or auto factories, they end up in the stock market.

A rising market means that banks are able to raise much-needed equity from private money funds instead of from the feds. …..It’s almost as if someone engineered a stock-market rally to entice private investors to fund the banks rather than taxpayers.” (Andy Kessler “Was it a Sucker’s Rally” Wall Street Journal)

What a swindle.

Bernanke’s had a good go-of-it, juicing the market through the backdoor and concealing–as much as possible–who is still buying US Treasuries. (who knows; maybe it’s the Fed buying its own paper offshore?!?) But what good will it do? The US consumer is broke; the tank is on empty. Household equity has declined by 94%, jobs are scarce, personal savings are rising, and families are cutting back and hunkering down. It will take a decade or more before household debt is whittled-away to a point where people can consume at pre-crisis levels. Another stock market bubble won’t change a damn thing. This Depression is just beginning.