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Growing up in the post-war era (after the Second World War), I never expected to live in the strange Kafkaesque world that exists today. The US government can assassinate any US citizen that the executive branch thinks could possibly be a “threat” to the US government, or throw the hapless citizen into a dungeon for the rest of his or her life without presenting any evidence to a court or obtaining a conviction of any crime, or send the “threat” to a puppet foreign state to be tortured until the “threat” confesses to a crime that never occurred or dies at the hands of “freedom and democracy” while professing innocence.
The fracking industry claims it will bring several hundred thousand jobs, and has minimal health and environmental risk. President Barack Obama in his January 2012 State of the Union, said he believes the development of natural gas as an energy source to replace fossil fuels could generate 600,000 jobs. However, research studies by economists Dr. Jannette M. Barth, Dr. Deborah Rogers, and others debunk the idea of significant job creation.
SWAT raids on dairies, CA fights back against GMOs & more
Diseased lungs, dead bodies, a man on a ventilator and mothers blowing smoke in their children’s faces are among the images that may end up on cigarette packs in the U.S.
Health officials are considering the striking pictures and accompanying messages in their effort to revamp tobacco warning labels.
By CARLA K. JOHNSON – AP Medical Writer
CHICAGO— A new analysis of U.S. health data links children’s attention-deficit disorder with exposure to common pesticides used on fruits and vegetables.
While the study couldn’t prove that pesticides used in agriculture contribute to childhood learning problems, experts said the research is persuasive.
“I would take it quite seriously,” said Virginia Rauh of Columbia University, who has studied prenatal exposure to pesticides and wasn’t involved in the new study.
More research will be needed to confirm the tie, she said.
Children may be especially prone to the health risks of pesticides because they’re still growing and they may consume more pesticide residue than adults relative to their body weight.
In the body, pesticides break down into compounds that can be measured in urine. Almost universally, the study found detectable levels: The compounds turned up in the urine of 94 percent of the children.
The kids with higher levels had increased chances of having ADHD, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, a common problem that causes students to have trouble in school. The findings were published Monday in Pediatrics.
The children may have eaten food treated with pesticides, breathed it in the air or swallowed it in their drinking water. The study didn’t determine how they were exposed. Experts said it’s likely children who don’t live near farms are exposed through what they eat.
“Exposure is practically ubiquitous. We’re all exposed,” said lead author Maryse Bouchard of the University of Montreal.
She said people can limit their exposure by eating organic produce. Frozen blueberries, strawberries and celery had more pesticide residue than other foods in one government report.
Read the rest of the report here.
by Melchior Palyi
hat tip: Mises Daily
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
[Excerpted from chapter 2 of Compulsory Medical Care and the Welfare State (1950)]
Obligatory health insurance started moderately enough — in Prussia. Compulsion under a law of 1845 was left in the hands of municipal administrations, with no government subsidy involved and no contributions from employers. The antisocialist law of 1878 suppressed many of labor’s voluntary associations for sickness benefits. The next step was the governmentalization of the associations’ functions.
It was no mere accident that the ideological forefathers of Nazism, Adolf Wagner and Eugen Dühring, happened to be the “brain trusters” behind Bismarck’s “nationalistic socialism to end international socialism,” using his own terms. When, on January 1, 1884, his compulsory sickness scheme went into operation it literally started a new era — a new age in the history of welfarism.
Bismarck’s role in modern history is rarely spoken of nowadays. Undoubtedly, his political and administrative “genius” has shaped history down to our times. His revolutionary innovation in welfare policy was preceded five years before, in 1879, by the imposition of a protective tariff that started Europe’s internecine commercial warfare which endures to this day. And it was followed by the introduction in 1889 of universal military service covering even the middle-aged manhood. This started a rearmament race leading into total wars with the objective of annihilating entire nations.
The shrewd Iron Chancellor — the dictator in constitutional disguise, quoting M.J. Bonn’s epigram — meant to kill several birds with one stone when he embarked on his program of appeasing labor. The reason, announced in the November 17, 1881, message of Kaiser Wilhelm I, to offer something positive to labor, not merely the repression of socialists by police force, may have been born of genuine worry over the unrest of the working classes due to the long depression that had engulfed Europe since 1875. But the true motive has been pointed out in the penetrating Bismarck biography (Vol. III, pp. 370–71) of Erich Eyck:
To his mind the State, by aiding the workers, should not only fulfill the duty ordered by religion, but it should obtain in particular a claim on their thankfulness, a gratitude that was to be shown by loyalty to the government and by loyal progovernment votes in elections.
In other words, it was the old-fashioned attempt of the monarchy to ally itself with the plebs against the “aristocracy” in between the two. However, the social-insurance legislation did not stop the Marxists from returning in increasing parliamentary strength. The attempt to subdue the socialist movement by appeasement ended in a political fiasco.
by Will Durst
Otto von Bismarck said, “Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.” Sausages? We would have loved to have seen some sausages. We would have killed for sausages. As any Wisconsin boy can tell you, sausages cooked indirectly over mesquite coals until crispy blistered, then slathered with Stadium Sauce and nestled in butter- grilled buns under a layer of fried onions can taste pretty darn yummy.
What we got was cut-rate, irate hot dogs. The ugly spectacle of Congressional wieners pummeling each other over health care was as appetizing as mixing snail guts and lizard tripe and cephalopod eyeballs with sour cream and yellow food dye then serving it on a fungus-covered bark chip. And no, I’m not talking about the spinach dip at The Olive Garden.
This isn’t a “pox on both their houses” deal either. Like psychic vultures sensing imminent putrefaction, Republicans amplified their pontificating protestations to a high- pitched squeal; piercing enough to annoy canines all across this great Northern Hemisphere of ours. In the throes of a pseudo-religious ecstasy, one Texas Republican chummed the waters by calling a Michigan Democrat “Baby Killer” on the floor of the House, frenzying his posse of nitwit accomplices into hurling the N-word, the F-word, half a dozen bricks, a handful of death threats, several mouths full of red hot spittle, gum wrappers, a jewel encrusted black ceramic bird (the stuff that dreams are made of, two faxed nooses and possibly a bullet.
The conservative party-line claimed their Neanderthals were simply playing catch-up to the health care proponents’ lead-mitten handling of the issue, and they suggested Democrats kill the bill to quell the rising tempers. That’s right. Fan the flames of stupidity then blame the other side for the scorching climate (different from global warming). If Republican gall were congealable, we could dam the Caribbean.
by Chuck Baldwin
hat tip: Chuck Baldwin Live
Fresh off his health care reform victory, President Barack Obama will quickly move to overturn the DOD’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy prohibiting sodomites from serving openly in the US military. He will also move to grant amnesty for millions of illegal aliens. These are Obama’s next two agenda items, as he attempts to fulfill his campaign promise to “remake America.”
Already the Pentagon has opened the door for women to serve alongside men aboard submarines, something the Navy has never allowed–for what should be obvious reasons. Furthermore, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates just this week closed the door on rank and file military personnel from “outing” homosexuals that they discover among the troops. This move is seen as a precursor to the soon-coming complete undoing of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
See Secretary Gates’ press conference at:
It is difficult for me to imagine that frontline troops could tolerate open homosexuals serving among them. Over the past 30 years, I have spoken with hundreds (literally) of active duty and retired frontline soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen, and I can unequivocally say that not one of them supported allowing sodomites to serve openly in the US military–especially in combat units. Not one! And the vast majority of them were also opposed to women serving in combat units.
march 24, 2010
The Senate health care bill just signed contains some exemptions to the “pay-or-play” mandate requiring purchase of Obamacare-approved health insurance or payment of a penalty fine. As Fox News has pointed out, for instance, the Amish are excused from the mandate:
So while most Americans would be required to sign up with insurance companies or government insurance plans, the church would serve as something of an informal insurance plan for the Amish.
Law experts say that kind of exemption withstands scrutiny.
“Here the statute is going to say that people who are conscientiously opposed to paying for health insurance don’t have to do it where the conscientious objection arises from religion,” said Mark Tushnet a Harvard law professor. “And that’s perfectly constitutional.”
Apparently, this exemption will apply similarly to believers in Islam, which considers health insurance – and, for that matter, any form of risk insurance – to be haraam (forbidden).
by: Michael Boldin
hat tip: Tenth Amendment Center
March 25, 2010
Governor Gary Herbert has made Utah the third state to pass the “Health Care Freedom Act” into law. House Bill 67 (HB67) was introduced by Rep. Carl Wimmer and passed the House and Senate by votes of 53-20 and 22-7, respectively.
The bill “prohibits a state agency or department from implementing federal health care reform passed by the United States Congress after March 1, 2010, unless a state agency reports to the Legislature regarding costs and impact on state reform efforts.” It authorizes the state legislature to specifically approve or deny implementation of federal health care legislation.
In short, it requires the state “to opt out of federal reform when the state determines that opting out is in the best interest of the citizens of the state.”
Governor Otter of Idaho signed similar legislation last week, and issued the following statement:
“Congress and the White House are working out their scheme for pushing through a healthcare ‘reform’ bill that has more pages than the U.S. Constitution has words. I guarantee you that not a single member of the House or Senate has a complete understanding of that legislation any more than they understood all the implications of the USA PATRIOT Act back in 2001,” Governor Otter said. “What the Idaho Health Freedom Act says is that the citizens of our state won’t be subject to another federal mandate or turn over another part of their life to government control.”
Yesterday, Governor McDonnell signed the Virginia Health Care Freedom Act, which passed the legislature there last month.
More than 2 dozen other states are considering similar legislation or state constitutional amendments to do the same. Many legislators and governors are calling for a federal lawsuit to affirm the principles of the state laws. But some constitutional scholars, including famed legal theorist Randy Barnett, have indicated that decades of precedent from the supreme court makes such legal challenges difficult, at best.