Powerhouse Texan says there’ll be no messin’ with Texas

DALLASFeb. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Texas native Monica Simmons has taken up the war cry of 25 House Republicans with a message for Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-FL) who called the Lone Star State “a crazy state” at last week’s meeting of the House Rules Committee.

These and countless other Texans won’t “Let It Go” and won’t “Shake It Off.” Hastings said “hell would freeze over” before he apologizes for blasting the state’s failure to participate in the Affordable Care Act.

Ms. Simmons’ North Texas neighbor Dr. Michael Burgess (R-TX) took strong exception to the disparaging remarks, and Rep. Pete SessionsDallas Republican and House Rules Committee Chair, launched into a floor speech on “Don’t Mess with Texas.”

But advertising executive Simmons is taking the high road to remedying the besmirching of her great state. “I’m shouting ‘Smile. You’re in Texas!’ to the world,” she declared.  “From Austin, to Dallas, to Houston, to El Paso—this campaign is about reminding each other how fortunate we are to be in this great state.”

Simmons wasted no time trademarking her big-hearted slogan.  “I want it to put a smile on everyone’s face across the state of Texas,” she said. And that’s not all. She believes it’s a fine companion to “Don’t Mess withTexas,” created more than 25 years ago as an anti-litter campaign slogan.  She’s in good company. Even eclectic singer Lyle Lovett sings, “That’s right, you’re not from Texas but Texas loves you anyway.”

What’s next for the “Smile” movement?  Simmons has just launched a new website, www.smileyoureintexas.com, where she’s encouraging supporters of the Lone Star State to share their Texas stories and pictures. They’ll also have the opportunity to browse from a selection of items featuring the motto to help spread the word and the smiles.

For more information visit www.smileyoureintexas.com.

Food Fight in Sarasota County Public Schools

The Sarasota County School Board some time ago voted to have Meatless Mondays, much to the chagrin of parents and students. At the February 3rd, 2015 school board meeting one school board member, after listening to parents and students, offered the board the opportunity to rethink its decision to dictate what students should and should not eat, making a motion to end Meatless Mondays (see video below). Three members of the school board rejected that motion. Why?

Wendy McElroy in her column “Eating Right: Your freedom to choose your food is sacred” writes:

Political correctness now drives the civics of food with bountiful nations attempting to dictate what people can eat and how much. Why? For their own good.

The public debate revolves around whether a particular food choice is healthy or not. The real debate is, “Who should choose: you or someone else?” The defense of food freedom needs to turn on the right of people to express themselves through dietary choices that reflect not only their preferences but also their judgment. Food is self-expression as much as music or literature is. If the government can control the flavors of life you choose to swallow, then it can control everything else.

The three school board members who believe that “government can control the flavors of life you choose to swallow” are Caroline Zucker, Jane Goodwin and Shirley Brown. Because of this food freedom died in Sarasota County’s public schools.

VIDEO: Sarasota County School Board Votes Against Student (Lunch) Choice:

But why is food freedom important to our children and parents? Because food is much more than a health matter.

McElroy notes, “The State uses two basic arguments to justify the micromanagement of what people eat. First, laws are necessary to force people to make healthy choices. This argument assumes that politically motivated bureaucrats know what is best for people better than they do themselves. Second, people’s unhealthy choices make them tax burdens on the socialized medical system. Having “relieved” or deprived people of the responsibility for their own medical maintenance, the State uses their dependence as an excuse to impose social control. It is important to counter both arguments, but doing so often ignores an equally essential point.”

“Food is not merely a matter of health or sustaining life. It is one of the main ways people express themselves in terms of culture, ethnicity, religion, psychology, family history, and pure preference. Food choices are personal; they define our identity as surely as choices in attire or music do,” writes McElroy.

The government’s increasing interference in food choice is often viewed as benevolent, because it is discussed in terms of health benefits. Food regulation is anything but benevolent. The government is not only trying to define who and what you are; it is, at the same time, trying to convince you that the denial of freedom is “for your own good.”

If you are what you eat, then food laws are an attempt to control your identity.

Meatless Monday is “local control of your child’s identity” courtesy of Sarasota County School Board members Zucker, Goodwin and Brown, nothing more and nothing less.

ABOUT WENDY MCELROY

Wendy McElroy (wendy@wendymcelroy.com) is an author, editor of iFeminists.com, and Research Fellow at The Independent Institute (Independent.org)

Obamacare Must Go!

Can anyone remember how awful the U.S. healthcare free market system was that it needed to be replaced by the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as ObamaCare? Can’t remember? That’s because it was ranked one of the best of the world and represented 17.9% of the nation’s economy in 2014. That’s down from the 20% it represented in 2009 when ObamaCare was foisted on Americans.

Heartland - Health Care NewsOne of the best ways to follow the ObamaCare story is via Health Care News, a monthly newspaper published by The Heartland Institute. The January issue begins with an article by Sean Parnell, the managing editor, reporting that ObamaCare enrollment is overstated by 400,000.

“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) once again lowered its estimate of the number of Americans enrolled in health plans through government exchanges in 2014. The 6.7 million enrollees who remain are far lower than the eight million touted in May at the end of the last open-enrollment period.”

ObamaCare has been a lie from the moment it was introduced for a vote, all 2,700 pages of it, to the present day. Everything President Obama said about it was a lie. As to its present enrollments, they keep dropping because some 900,000 who did sign up did not make the first premium payment or later stopped paying.

Michael Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, said the dropout rate is a troubling trend. “It means that potentially hundreds of thousands of Exchange enrollees are realizing they are better off waiting until they get sick to purchase coverage. If enough people come to that conclusion, the exchanges collapse.”

Elsewhere in this month’s edition, there is an article, “States Struggle to Fund Exchanges”, that reports on the difficulties that “states are experiencing difficulty in paying the ongoing costs of the exchanges, especially small states. “’The feds are asking us to do their jobs for them. We get saddled with the operating costs,’ said Edmund Haislmaier, senior research fellow for health care policy studies at The Heritage Foundation.” Some are imposing a two percent tax on the insurance companies which, of course, gets passed along to the consumer. Even so, the exchanges are not generating enough income to be maintained.

Why would anyone want ObamaCare insurance when its rates keep rising dramatically? In Nebraska the rates have nearly doubled and another article notes that “A 2014 study finds large numbers of doctors are declining to participate in health plans offered through exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, raising questions about whether people buying insurance through exchanges will be able to access health care in a timely manner.” One reason physicians gave was that they would have to hire additional staff “just to manage the insurance verification process.”

Dr. Kris Held, a Texas eye surgeon, said ObamaCare “fails to provide affordable health insurance and fails to provide access to actual medical care to more people, but succeeds in compounding existing health care costs and accessibility problems and creating new ones.”

Health Care News reports what few other news outlets have noted. “In Section 227 of the recently enacted ‘Cromnibus’ spending measure, Congress added critical but little-noticed language that prohibits the use of funds appropriated to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to pay for insurance company bailouts.” William Todd, an Ohio attorney, further noted that “Congress did not appropriate any separate funding for ‘bailouts.’” Todd predicted that “some insurers are likely to raise premiums to avoid losses, or they will simply stop offering policies on the exchanges altogether.”

The picture of ObamaCare failure emerging from these excerpts is a very true one. Its momentum, in fact, is gaining.

In mid-December, the Wall Street Journal opined that “With the Supreme Court due to rule on a major ObamaCare legal challenge by next summer, thoughts in Washington are turning to the practical and political response. If the Court does strike down insurance subsidies, the question for Republicans running Congress is whether they will try to fix the problems Democrats created, or merely allow ObamaCare damage to grow.”

King v. Burwell will be heard in March with a ruling likely in June. “Of the 5.4 million consumers on federal exchanges, some 87% drew subsidies in 2014, according to a Rand Corporation analysis.”

The Wall Street Journal recommended that “The immediate Republican goal should be to make insurance cheaper so people need less of a subsidy to obtain insurance. This means deregulating the exchanges, plank by plank. Devolve to states their traditional insurance oversight role, and allow them to enter into cross-border compacts to increase choice and competition. Allow insurers to sell any configuration of benefits to anyone, anywhere, and the private market will gradually heal.”

Or, to put it another way, eliminate ObamaCare entirely and return to the healthcare insurance system that had served Americans well until the White House decided that socialism was superior to capitalism.

The problem with the Affordable Care Act is that the cost of the insurance sold under the Act is not affordable and ObamaCare is actually causing hospitals and clinics to close their doors, thus reducing healthcare services for those who need them.

ObamaCare must go. If the Republicans in Congress did nothing more than repeal ObamaCare, the outcome of the 2016 election would be a predictable win no matter who their candidate will be. If not repeal, some separate actions must be taken such as eliminating the tax on medical instruments.

If the Republican Congress fails to take swift and deliberate action on ObamaCare between now and the 2016 elections, they will have defeated themselves.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Senator Ted Cruz: We need Bold, Positive Leadership

On Monday, January 12th, Sen. Cruz addressed the Heritage Foundation’s 2015 Conservative Policy Summit to discuss a bold, positive agenda for the new Congress. View video below.

What’s the Difference between Medical Marijuana and Marijuana-Based Medicines?

A new resource for those who misunderstand the differences between medical marijuana and marijuana-based medicines, an online resource is now available. The website is TheMarijuanaReport.org is a project of the non-profit group National Families in Action. The following is one of their reports:

What’s the Difference between Medical Marijuana and Marijuana-Based Medicines? This brief report summarizes key issues that surround 1) the science that supports marijuana-based medicines compared to 2) marijuana that is legalized for medical use by voters via ballot initiatives or by elected officials.

1. FDA Protection—This section describes how the Food and Drug Administration protects Americans from unsafe, ineffective drugs. All medicine-makers must prove their medicines are first safe and then effective to obtain FDA approval to market them to the public. Approval is gained by proving a drug is safe in animal testing, then proving it is effective in humans through randomized clinical trials.

2. Medical Marijuana—No producer has applied to FDA for approval of any medical marijuana (MMJ) product. Doctors cannot prescribe them and pharmacies cannot sell them. Doctors can only recommend them or certify that a patient has a disease/condition that laws claim MMJ will cure/relieve.

3. Marijuana-Based MedicinesMarinol® and Cesamet® are synthetic (man-made) THC, approved by FDA in the 1980s to treat chemotherapy-related nausea and AIDs wasting in patients who do not respond to standard medications. There is no need to legalize marijuana-based medicines. They are legal for patients to possess and use while taking part in research studies and clinical trials and with a prescription once the drugs are approved by FDA.

4. Marijuana Based Medicines Seeking FDA ApprovalSativex®, combined THC and CBD, and Epidiolex®, CBD, are in clinical trials in the US to treat advanced cancer pain and intractable epileptic seizures, respectively. The British firm GW Pharmaceuticals grows marijuana without the use of pesticides and purifies the THC and CBD extracted from the marijuana. Insys Therapeutics plans to begin clinical trials in 2015 of its marijuana-based medicine, synthetic CBD, to treat epileptic seizures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download The Difference between Medical Marijuana and Marijuana-Based Medicines.

With this edition of E-HighlightsNational Families in Action and partners, Project SAM and the Treatment Research Institute, welcome a number of new readers. We hope you enjoy this weekly e-newsletter to keep up-to-date with all aspects of the marijuana story.

ABOUT NATIONAL FAMILIES IN ACTION

National Families in Action (NFIA) is a nonprofit drug policy, education, and prevention organization founded in Atlanta in 1977. Learn more about marijuana at our new websiteThe Marijuana Report.Org and by subscribing to E-Highlights. Learn more about the difference between medical marijuana and marijuana-based medicines at The Marijuana Report.Org: Reports.

Eating Right: Your freedom to choose your food is sacred by Wendy McElroy

Food has always been political. Throughout history, armies have razed crops and demographics have shifted in response to hunger. Political correctness now drives the civics of food with bountiful nations attempting to dictate what people can eat and how much. Why? For their own good.

The public debate revolves around whether a particular food choice is healthy or not. The real debate is, “Who should choose: you or someone else?” The defense of food freedom needs to turn on the right of people to express themselves through dietary choices that reflect not only their preferences but also their judgment. Food is self-expression as much as music or literature is. If the government can control the flavors of life you choose to swallow, then it can control everything else.

Poe’s law comes alive

Poe’s law is an Internet adage. It says that without knowing the intent of an online poster, it is impossible to distinguish someone who is expressing an extreme position from someone else who is satirizing that extreme position. A recent news story blurs the line between parody and reality.

The parody goes by various names, including “Ordering a Pizza from Big Brother” and “Ordering a Pizza in 2015.” The gist: a pizza parlor with access to all of your personal information refuses to accept an order that is contraindicated by your finances, medical condition, or some other characteristic. The reality is expressed by a December 8 headline in the Telegraph that read, “The vending machine of the future is here, and it knows who you are.”

The Luce X2 Touch TV is the first commercial vending machine to use facial recognition technology to store data and interact with customers. The vending machines offer advantages to both buyers and sellers. A buyer could voluntarily store his preferences, and the machine could regularly restock those items. A seller could replace expensive employees and stores with machines. But the Telegraph points to possible disadvantages. Luce X2 “could refuse to vend a certain product based on a shopper’s age, medical record or dietary requirements.” Candy might be refused to the obese, sodas to schoolchildren. Since Luce X2 uses data-sharing cloud technology, going to another machine might not provide the anonymity that allows access.

The prospect of social control via vending machine sounds paranoid to some. But food regulations have become so intrusive and unreasonable as to become self-parodies. Michelle Obama’s unpopular school-lunch program has children across America tossing trays full of untouched food into extremely well-nourished wastebaskets. Recent menu-labeling laws require food vendors — from restaurants to theater popcorn stands — to provide information on calorie contents that next to no one will read. But the requirement does make fast food more expensive and so discourages its consumption, which may be the laws’ real purpose.

Even as food regulation verges on the absurd, many acquiesce on health grounds. Framing the issue as medical gives the government a strong advantage.

Food is much more than a health matter

The State uses two basic arguments to justify the micromanagement of what people eat. First, laws are necessary to force people to make healthy choices. This argument assumes that politically motivated bureaucrats know what is best for people better than they do themselves. Second, people’s unhealthy choices make them tax burdens on the socialized medical system. Having “relieved” or deprived people of the responsibility for their own medical maintenance, the State uses their dependence as an excuse to impose social control. It is important to counter both arguments, but doing so often ignores an equally essential point.

Food is not merely a matter of health or sustaining life. It is one of the main ways people express themselves in terms of culture, ethnicity, religion, psychology, family history, and pure preference. Food choices are personal; they define our identity as surely as choices in attire or music do.

Food is an integral aspect of transmitting culture and ethnicity. From Hungarian goulash to Italian sausage, from Indian curries to falafels, food expresses a family’s rich heritage. Recipes and cooking techniques are passed down from one generation to the next in an act that preserves the family bond; it preserves the culture itself.

Food is also a cultural ambassador through which diverse groups appreciate each other’s ethnicity. People who would never listen to Chinese music are able to mention dozens of their favorite Chinese dishes. A man who would never learn Spanish might cook pescado a la talla with the same ingredients a woman is using in Acapulco. A couple will return from visiting Germany and rave about its spaetzle and knackwurst. This cultural appreciation occurs naturally, without tax funding or government-mandated tolerance. Indeed, laws interrupt people’s appreciation of other cuisines.

Food can be a moral choice, as vegetarians and vegans know. It can be a part of religious doctrine, as any Orthodox Jew will tell you. It is a matter of ritual, as those who carve a turkey each Christmas or children who gather Halloween candy will gladly acknowledge. Food can even be a political statement, as those who prefer raw milk will attest.

As a psychological matter, food has been called “love.” A mother makes her son’s favorite meal or a cake to celebrate his birthday. A lover proposes marriage over a romantic dinner and a good wine. Women recover from a broken heart by emptying containers of ice cream. When a neighbor expresses sympathy for a death in someone’s family, she brings over a homemade casserole. At the funeral, there is a spread of food. At festivals, it is featured; for the Super Bowl, it is strategically placed between the couch and the TV.

Digestif

The diversity of plentiful food that every grocery store boasts should be a cause of pride, because it demonstrates not only financial prosperity, but also cultural richness. It showcases the range of choices in our affluent society.

Never mind that subsidies, taxes, and regulations already distort what we find at the supermarket and how much we pay for it. When government tries to dictate what we may eat or the manner in which we eat, it is tampering with our heritage, our ethnicity, our psychology, and our religious or political choices. The ability to control the food you put in your mouth is as fundamental a right as to control the words that come out of it.

The government’s increasing interference in food choice is often viewed as benevolent, because it is discussed in terms of health benefits. Food regulation is anything but benevolent. The government is not only trying to define who and what you are; it is, at the same time, trying to convince you that the denial of freedom is “for your own good.” If you are what you eat, then food laws are an attempt to control your identity.

ABOUT WENDY MCELROY

Contributing editor Wendy McElroy (wendy@wendymcelroy.com) is an author, editor of ifeminists.com, and Research Fellow at The Independent Institute (independent.org).

Black Sheriff Says if Black Lives Mattered They’d Protest at Abortion Clinics

david-a-clark-abortion-tweet1

For a larger view click on the image.

LifeNews.com’s Carole Novielli reports:

CNN’s Poppy Harlow interviewed Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke about the recent protests that some in the Black Community have sparked after the police related deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

Harlow asked the Sheriff, who has been on several news shows on Fox and others, about a tweet he sent out implying that if Black lives mattered the protesters would be outside abortion clinics because of the high numbers of black babies killed by abortion.

The tweet sent by Sheriff Clarke, a black man himself, was sent to Mitch Smith, Journalist in the Chicago bureau of The New York Times and read, “If only these faux protesters were asked by media about all the black on black killing or black babies aborted in US every year.“

Read more.

Watch the December 26, 2014 Poppy Harlow interview with Sheriff David Clarke on CNN:

EDITORS NOTE:  Statistics released by the CDC show that minorities are killed by abortion in disproportionate numbers. According to the most recent numbers, 36.2% of the total number of abortions recorded for race or ethnicity were reported on Black women. Mississippi, which currently has only one abortion clinic in the state, had the highest number of abortions reported on Black women at 63.4%.

Carole Novielli is the author of the blog Saynsumthn, where this article originally appeared.

Latest ‘Gay Disease’: Syphilis Is Predominantly a Homosexual Male Epidemic, CDC Reports

Catering to Promiscuous ‘Gays’ Is Big Business: The CDC revealed in 2014 that syphilis is now “predominantly” a homosexual male “epidemic.” Above is a photo of the homosexual bathhouse “Steamworks,” which sits prominently (at the 3246 address) on Halsted Street in the heart of Chicago’s homosexual “Boystown” neighborhood. ‘Homo-promiscuity’ is a major factor in the spread of syphilis, HIV and other STDs, but politically-speaking, orgiastic “gay” sex clubs like this one are apparently untouchable. AFTAH has long called for such perversion centers to be closed down in the name of public health, to no avail. Note the nondescript, windowless Steamworks building and the official “rainbow pillars” demarcating the city’s “gay-borhood.” 

One way that 2014 was not unique compared to previous years is that it brought further evidence of the destructiveness of homosexual behavior. In May, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that such a high percentage of new syphilis cases are linked to homosexuality-practicing males that it now considers syphilis “predominantly an MSM [men who have sex with men] epidemic.”

The health agency’s May 9, 2014 Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report (MMWR) [reprinted in PDF format HERE] found that almost 84 percent of primary and secondary syphilis cases reported in 2012 were among homosexual men (MSM)–up from 77 percent in 2009.

The report states (emphasis added):

“In 2012, primary and secondary syphilis cases in the 35 reporting areas that reported the sex of sex partners for [equal or greater than] 70% of male cases comprised 83.7% (13,113) of all nationwide cases. In those areas, the proportion of male primary and secondary syphilis cases attributed to MSM [men who have sex with men] increased from 77.0 (6,366) in 2009 to 83.9% (8,701) in 2012. Increases in incidence occurred among MSM of all ages and races/ethnicities from all regions. The greatest percentage increases occurred among Hispanics (53.4%, from 1,291 in 2009 to 1,980 in 2012) and whites (38.1%, 2,449 to 3,381), when compared with blacks (21.2%, 2,267 to 2,747)…By age group, the greatest percentage increases occurred among MSM aged 25-29 (53.2%m 1,073 to 1,644).”

In a separate section of the CDC MMWR report (p. 405, in the blue text box), the authors write (emphasis added):

“What is already known on this topic?
Rates of reported primary and secondary syphilis in the United States have increased since reaching historic lows in 2000. Cases of primary and secondary syphilis increasingly are among males, particularly men who have sex with men (MSM).

“What is added by this report?
Primary and secondary syphilis rates increased among men of all ages and races/ethnicities during 2005–2013, from 5.1 cases per 100,000 population in 2005 to 9.8 in 2013, when men accounted for 91.1% of all cases reported in the United States. Although rates remain highest among black men (28.1), recent increases were greatest among Hispanic and white men.Currently, syphilis is predominantly an MSM epidemic.”

Syphilis and HIV

The CDC MMWR reports that syphilis sores facilitate the spread of HIV–another disease that overwhelmingly and disproportionately affects homosexual and bisexual men:

“The increase in syphilis among MSM is a major public health concern, particularly because syphilis and the behaviors associated with acquiring it increase the likelihood of acquiring and transmitting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). There are reported rates of 50%–70% HIV coinfection among MSM infected with primary and secondary syphilis and high HIV seroconversion rates following primary and secondary syphilis infection (8). The resurgence of syphilis, coupled with its strong link with HIV, underscores the need for programs and providers to 1) urge safer sexual practices (e.g., reduce the number of sex partners, use latex condoms, and have a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has negative test results for sexually transmitted diseases);…”

Syphilis_Primary_chancre-penile-CDC

Syphilis and Male Homosexuality:Example of syphilis sore on the head of a penis, provided by a CDC Fact Sheet on Syphilis. In 2012, “Men who have Sex with Men” (MSM) made up almost 84 percent of primary and secondary syphilis cases in the U.S. See the blue text box  on page 405 of the CDC’s MMWR report–where it is stated that syphilis is “predominantly an MSM epidemic.”  Photo: CDC.

The CDC report continues (emphasis added):

“Annual syphilis surveillance data published in the just released 2011 STD Surveillance Report continue to emphasize the disproportionate burden of disease among gay and bisexual men. While the health problems caused by syphilis in adults are serious in their own right, it has been shown that the genital sores caused by syphilis make it easier to transmit and acquire HIV infection sexually. There is an estimated 2- to 5-fold increased risk of acquiring HIV if exposed to that infection when syphilis is present, and studies have also shown that syphilis will increase the viral load of someone who is already HIV infected. This is especially concerning, as data from several major cities throughout the country indicate that an average of four in 10 MSM with syphilis are also infected with HIV.”

What is syphilis?

Syphilis, according to the CDC, is “an STD that can cause long-term complications and/or death if not treated correctly. It “has been called ‘the great imitator’ because it has so many possible symptoms, many of which look like symptoms from other diseases,” the CDC Fact Sheet states.

The same Fact Sheet explains the three stages of syphilis as follows:

Primary Stage
During the first (primary) stage of syphilis, you may notice a single sore, but there may be multiple sores. The sore is the location where syphilis entered your body. The sore is usually firm, round, and painless. Because the sore is painless, it can easily go unnoticed. The sore lasts 3 to 6 weeks and heals regardless of whether or not you receive treatment. Even though the sore goes away, you must still receive treatment so your infection does not move to the secondary stage.

Secondary Stage
During the secondary stage, you may have skin rashes and/or sores in your mouth, vagina, or anus (also called mucous membrane lesions). This stage usually starts with a rash on one or more areas of your body. The rash can show up when your primary sore is healing or several weeks after the sore has healed. The rash can look like rough, red, or reddish brown spots on the palms of your hands and/or the bottoms of your feet. The rash usually won’t itch and it is sometimes so faint that you won’t notice it. Other symptoms you may have can include fever, swollen lymph glands, sore throat, patchy hair loss, headaches, weight loss, muscle aches, and fatigue (feeling very tired). The symptoms from this stage will go away whether or not you receive treatment. Without the right treatment, your infection will move to the latent and possibly late stages of syphilis.

Latent and Late Stages

The latent stage of syphilis begins when all of the symptoms you had earlier disappear. If you do not receive treatment, you can continue to have syphilis in your body for years without any signs or symptoms. Most people with untreated syphilis do not develop late stage syphilis. However, when it does happen it is very serious and would occur 10–30 years after your infection began. Symptoms of the late stage of syphilis include difficulty coordinating your muscle movements, paralysis (not able to move certain parts of your body), numbness, blindness, and dementia (mental disorder). In the late stages of syphilis, the disease damages your internal organs and can result in death.

steamworks_spring_break-1-300x291

‘‘Gay’ sex clubs: “Where the Boys Are”: this is an ad for the Chicago “gay” bathhouse “Steamworks.” Note the appeal to young homosexual men, and the offer of a “student discount.” Homosexual activists rarely discuss high-risk behaviors specifically associated with “gay” men in addressing issues like the FDA’s homosexual blood donation ban currently being debated in Washington, D.C. Click on graphic to enlarge.

MSM and the spread of syphilis

Homosexual male promiscuity is a key factor in the increasing rates of syphilis among “men who have sex with men,” according to the CDC and other sources. Among the “safer sex” practices routinely urged by the CDC is to “reduce the number of sexual partners.” Many “gay” men, such asJack Hart, testify to the high number of sexual partners available to homosexual men [see Hart quote HERE].

For more than a decade, this writer andAmericans For Truth have urged closure of homosexual bathhouses, where men go for anonymous sexual encounters with other men. But rather then face shutdown, these orgy-facilitating sex clubs are doing a booming business, as AIDS drugs have lessened the physical effects of the disease.

“Homo-promiscuity,” as we at AFTAH are calling it, is also evident in the spread of phone apps like Grindr that are used by homosexual men to “locate” a casual sex partner nearby–literally measuring the distance for a potential sex partner in feet.

Allow blood donations from ‘abstinent’ gay men?

Meanwhile, although the Food & Drug Administration is on the verge of ending the ban on blood donations by MSM (men who have sex with men) and replacing it with a stipulation that MSM must not have had sex with another man for the last 12 months before giving blood, homosexual activist groups are complaining that this “reform” does not go far enough:

“While this new policy is movement toward an optimal policy that reflects fundamental fairness and the best scientific research, it falls far short of an acceptable solution because it continues to stigmatize gay and bisexual men, preventing them from donating life-saving blood based solely on their sexual orientation, rather than a policy based on actual risk to the blood supply,” said David Stacy, HRC’s Government Affairs Director. “This new policy cannot be justified in light of current scientific research and updated blood screening technology. We will continue to work towards an eventual outcome that both minimizes risk to the blood supply and treats gay and bisexual men with the respect they deserve.”

The common thread of such policy statements by LGBTQueer activist groups like HRC is their focus on “sexual orientation” rather than high-risk homosexual behaviors–which suits their propaganda emphasis on “fairness,” “equality” and “discrimination.” In contrast, AFTAH and other conservatives have sought to educate the public on the extreme health risks associated with behaviors like rectal sex and “rimming” (oral-anal “sex”) that are popular among “gay” men–and a key factor in the prevalence of disease in this population.

Alas, as the facts surrounding sexual diseases like syphilis and HIV demonstrate, Nature does not treat all behaviors “equally.”

SOURCE: CDC report on syphilis: 

CDC-MMWR-5-9-14-Syphilis_402-406 –SYPHILIS-Section-only

VIDEO: Marijuana Does Kill

Kevin Sabet, a former adviser on drug policy to three presidents—Clinton, Bush and Obama—says despite popular fiction, marijuana does kill.

“Saying marijuana has never contributed to death or never killed anyone is like saying tobacco hasn’t killed anyone,” Kevin Sabet, president of Project SAM, told The Daily Signal after speaking at a Heritage Foundation event on marijuana policy. “In that same way, marijuana does kill people in the form of mental illness, suicide and car crashes.”

To learn more visit: http://dailysign.al/1AcnEcK

With Cromnibus passed, Boehner surrenders all leverage through 2015

Well, the “cromnibus” monster spending bill passed last night, and President Obama and Vice President Biden worked hard to get Democrat support — which they did not receive.

The funding measure passed and in doing so, the new incoming GOP majority will have little to no say in funding measures through the entire year — basically half of the new GOP majority Congress. A better approach would have been to execute a continuing resolution (CR) that went into February and then do appropriations by agency, funding what is essential by priority. Instead Obamacare is funded through October next year and funding to President Obama’s illegal immigration executive action — $2.5 billion. However, Speaker Boehner has declared that next February Congress will take up the illegal immigration fight, since the DHS is only funded through February. Whoopee.

In effect Speaker Boehner essentially surrendered the majority which the American people gave the House GOP and with it, the greatest leverage — the power of the purse. Some 1,800 pages, no doubt including pork, has passed which most did not read.

And what if the gambit Speaker Boehner has doesn’t work out next February? That’s the question The Hill asks, writing, “Even if Republicans shut down the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) next year, President Obama could still carry out his executive actions giving legal status to up to 5 million undocumented immigrants. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other GOP leaders have punted the funding fight over Obama’s immigration action to February, arguing their new majority will have more leverage to stop the plan dead in its tracks.”

RELATED ARTICLE: ‘Boehner and White House win’: Omnibus bill passes 219-206 – here are the 67 Republicans who voted NO

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on AllenBWest.com.

You’ve been Gruber’d, Stupid!

“No. I — I did not. Uhhh, I just heard about this… I — I get well briefed before I come out here. Uh, th-th-the fact that some advisor who never worked on our staff, uhh, expressed an opinion that, uhh, I completely disagree with wuh, uhh, in terms of the voters, is no reflection on the actual process that was run.” – President Obama replying to a question about Jonathan Gruber at the conclusion of the G-20 Conference in Brisbane, Australia.

Will the last name of the MIT professor identified as the “architect of ObamaCare” become a verb some day? Will people say “I’ve been Gruber’d? or “The government is “Grubering again”?

After all, when he admitted that ObamaCare’s passage was achieved by deceiving the Congressional Budget Office and the entire American public, turning his name into a synonym for lying is not unthinkable. Adding insult to injury, he said the voters were “stupid.”

Cartoon - Gruber and Obamacare

For a larger view click on the image.

How stupid was it for the Democrat-controlled Congress to pass a two-thousand page piece of legislation that none of them had read? (No Republican in Congress voted for it.) ObamaCare took over one-sixth of the U.S. economy and did something that makes me wonder why we even have a Supreme Court. It required people to buy a product whether they wanted to or not. If they didn’t, they would be subject to a penalty.

One way of the other, the federal government was going to squeeze you. The Court did conclude early on that ObamaCare was a tax, but don’t expect the mainstream media to tell you about all the other taxes hidden within it.

What surprises me about the Gruber revelations—available on YouTube to any journalist who wanted to investigate, but none did—is that there appears to be so little public outrage. An arrogant MIT professor who received $400,000 from the government and made millions as a consultant to the states who needed to understand ObamaCare, calls voters stupid and the initial reaction of the mainstream media was to ignore the story.

At the heart of the Gruber affair is the fact that Obama and his administration has been lying to the voters from the moment he began to campaign for the presidency. In virtually every respect, everything he has said for public consumption has been and is a lie.

In one scandal after another, Obama would have us believe he knew nothing about it. That is the response one might expect from a criminal rather than a President.

One has to ask why it would be difficult to repeal in full a piece of legislation that the President said would not cause Americans to lose their healthcare insurance if they preferred their current plan, that would not cause them to lose the care of a doctor they knew and trusted, and would save them money for premiums. The initial deception was to name the bill the Affordable Care Act.

Repeal would help ensure the solvency of Medicare and restore the private sector market for healthcare insurance.

This is a President who was elected twice, so maybe Prof. Gruber is right when he speaks of stupid voters. Not all, of course, but more than voted for Obama’s two opponents. As this is written over 45% of those polled these days continue to express approval for Obama’s performance in office. How stupid is that?

AA - Most Corrupt AdministrationWhat is so offensive about Gruber’s own revelations about the manner in which the bill was written and the lies that were told to get it passed is the incalculable misery it has caused millions of Americans.

It has caused the loss of jobs. It has forced others into part-time employment. It has caused companies to reconsider expanding to grow the economy. It has driven up the cost of healthcare insurance. It has impacted local hospitals and clinics to the point where some have closed their doors. It has caused many healthcare professionals to retire or cease practicing medicine.

I invite you to make a list of all the things you think the government should require you to purchase whether you want it or need it. Should you be required to own a bike and use it as an alternative to a car? (Yes, you must own auto insurance to defray the cost of accidents, just as you must pay a tax on gasoline to maintain our highway system.) Should you be required to wear a certain style or item of clothing? Should you be required to get married by a certain age? Should you be required to eat certain foods and avoid others?

A new study by the Legatum Institute in London ranked citizen’s perception of their personal freedom in a number of nations. Americans ranked way down the list at 21 out of 25, well below Canada, France, and Costa Rica to name just three. The study was based on a 2013 poll.

What is a stake here is (1) the absolute need for a trustworthy federal government and (2) the need to repeal a piece of legislation based entirely on lies. On a larger scale, the right to make your own decisions on matters not relevant to the governance of the nation should be regarded as sacred, it’s called liberty.

The Republican-controlled Congress and the Supreme Court are the two elements of our government that can and must provide a measure of protection against the deception that is practiced every day by President Obama and members of his administration. Let’s hope neither is “stupid” in the two years that remain.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

RELATED INFOGRAPHIC:

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Harry loves Gruber — Watch Reid lauding Gruber as the greatest economist and other lies about Obamacare

Not one of the trifecta publicly seen as the political leaders of the Democrat Party; Reid, Pelosi, and Obama never knew who Gruber was. The incredible, consistent, sociopathic lying by these three would be horribly appalling if it were not so damn serious. The sociopathic lying by Obama, Reid, and Pelosi, if not called-on and checked by someone who has the platform by which to do so, will collapse this nation.

The American People shouted loudly a couple of weeks ago: “STOP!” The American People overwhelmingly shouted: “SAVE OUR COUNTRY!” The American People shouted at the polling booths: “STOP the transformation of our country; STOP the Marxism dressed-up in all sorts of rags to make it look appealing!” The American People gave the Republican Party grand permission to STOP Reid, Pelosi, and Obama and call them on all their lies!”

Reid, Pelosi, and Obama are racing all over the place telling anyone who will listen, “I (We) didn’t know Gruber, or “he was not on staff” or other lies, lies, lies! STOP IT!! Someone needs to wash their mouths out with soap!! Sociopathic liars all. Just look at the youtube site below where…you guessed it, Reid is praising Gruber all over the place. Obama doesn’t know him, but he was in private meetings in the Oval with Obama. Gruber made close to $6-million dollars being paid to be this all-knowing, all-wise, political and economic consultant, as well as health-care expert. ENOUGH! Enough lies and other sociopathic behaviors. ENOUGH!

Harry Reid is all over the place claiming he doesn’t know Gruber. Well, heck, Harry…just watch the YouTube video below and listen to your own bellicose praising of the guy. By-the-way Harry, the date of your admiration speech was December 1, 2009, I believe it was a Tuesday.

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Jonathan Gruber’s Big, Benevolent Fraud by D.W. MacKenzie

Obamacare, the noble lie, and cognitive dissonance at MIT.

It seems that critics of the so-called Affordable Care Act (ACA ) have a new ally in our efforts to expose the deficiencies of the legislation: Jonathan Gruber.

This development comes as a surprise, because Gruber was the ACA’s primary architect. He has made public remarks that expose problems with the ACA’s adoption and future operation. However, Gruber still supports the ACA and labors under the idea that it can be fixed.

Gruber admits that the ACA is a kind of fraud — that is, it was deliberately written in a misleading way. The ACA was presented as a way to increase the affordability and accessibility of health care. In reality, the ACA is a transfer scheme.

If the ACA benefits Americans, why did it need to be misrepresented? According to Gruber, transparent spending and transparent taxing are impossible: “You just can’t do it.… Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.… Basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter.”

The ACA was written to hide the fact that it is designed as a transfer from healthier, younger people to less healthy, typically older people.

Why is a lack of transparency severely problematic? Because bureaucrats and politicians are supposed to serve the public in modern social-democratic welfare states. But why would we expect bureaucrats and politicians to actually serve the public?

Some scholars have suggested that competition in democratic elections can push politicians to serve the public, and elected politicians will therefore keep a watchful eye on bureaucrats. This is called the “median voter theorem.”

The problem is that political competition fails to discipline people in the public sector when governance is opaque. A well-informed electorate is a necessary condition for effective political competition.

Gruber is probably correct in saying that passing the ACA required misinforming the electorate. However, the opaque governance that Gruber lauds opens the door for large-scale waste and abuse by special interests. Opaque governance and a misinformed, or uniformed, electorate make it virtually certain that the ACA will be administered inefficiently, whatever one thinks of its merits.

Indeed, a lack of information causes adverse selection problems whereby the most corrupt people make the greatest efforts to rise in politics and within bureaucracies. Opaque governance thus guarantees abuse of the ACA by public officials and special interests.

What makes Gruber’s remarks particularly worthy of criticism is that he is employed as an economist — and at a top university. Worse still, he teaches public finance and policy at MIT: he really should understand the importance of transparency. And he does. Gruber is the author of Public Finance and Public Policy, chapter nine of which covers the median voter theorem. So, Gruber does understand the necessity of political openness and an informed electorate for efficiency in the public sector. Efficiency requires more than an informed electorate, but it is a necessary condition.

Anyone who understands even the basics of the median voter theorem knows full well that transparency is strictly required for efficiency. Anyone who simultaneously believes that transparency and opaqueness are both necessary for good public policy has cognitive dissonance. Jonathan Gruber has unwittingly helped reveal the incoherence of the case for the ACA.

Gruber is an economist who fancied himself able to reengineer dynamic markets through social policy. His conceit as a social engineer is matched by his disrespect for the American electorate. He thought that an opaque political process and obscure legal language could keep people in the dark. On top of that, Gruber fathered lies because he knew voters would reject the ACA if they were aware of the wrenching changes the legislation would bring. As his lies became obvious, he blamed poor legal phrasing for the federal government’s inability to hide the costly consequences of his transfer scheme behind the subsidies in the federal exchange.

It’s the conceit of the “nudger” — the classic case of an elite policymaker who thinks he is smart enough to design what’s best for you, even if you’re too stupid to understand why and too ignorant to check up on him.

Didn’t Gruber realize such monumental legislation would be under tremendous scrutiny? Didn’t he realize the painful economic effects would be felt by real voters with common sense? And didn’t he realize that it would only take pulling back one of the curtains to expose the totality of this Wizard-of-Oz-like scheme?

Fortunately, it has gotten much easier for people to become informed about the real facts concerning the ACA, as well as other social programs. Citizens will never be well-informed about all of the backroom politics and the internal operations of bureaucracies. But we can at least learn about their true nature in the abstract — and with regard to the ACA in particular.

Perhaps most importantly, we can be on the lookout for those claiming to be wizards in Washington.

20141117_mackenziethumbABOUT D.W. MACKENZIE

D. W. MacKenzie is an assistant professor of economics at Carroll College in Helena, Montana.

Welcome to EbolaCare — but the Website is Down

A well known phenomenon in the animal kingdom is that when taking over a new pride, a lion will sometimes kill all the cubs. We don’t know exactly what kind of feeling drives him in this bloody act, but there’s obviously a lack of attachment. Suffice it to say the problem can be summed up thus: it’s not his family.

America’s pride is falling. And few things illustrate this better than the open-borders mentality that has allowed foreigners to bring diseases — most notably Ebola but also EV-D68 and others — into our country.

There was a time when a threat such as Ebola would have inspired travel bans reflexively. Not today. In this enlightened age, Barack Obama and underlings such as CDC director Tom Frieden tell us, with a straight face, that such measures just wouldn’t work. They also claim that banning commercial flights would frustrate efforts to aid Ebola-affected nations and thus increase the long-term chances of an epidemic in the U.S.

Space constraints preclude me from exploring every detail of their argument, but the bottom line is that it’s fallacious. A travel ban combined with a policy of issuing no visas to citizens from affected nations, a prohibition against entry by any foreign national holding a passport with a stamp from one of them, and a mandatory quarantine for Americans returning from such countries absolutely would work. No, it wouldn’t reduce the chances of more Ebola cases reaching our shores to zero, but such a requirement is unreasonable. We can’t eliminate all murder, but we still see fit to minimize it by having necessary laws, police and a criminal-justice system.

As for aid, it goes without saying that medical professionals and other emergency workers would be granted travel clearance and that charter and military planes could ferry them where they needed to go. Moreover, we’ve isolated Americans who contracted Ebola, and no one claims it prevented us from giving them sufficient treatment.

In fact, the arguments against common sense and the common good are so obviously flawed that it’s clear they are not reasons, but rationalizations. So what really explains our leaders’ common senselessness? National Review’s Mark Krikorian put it well last month:

Much of our political class is simply uncomfortable with the idea that border and immigration controls should be used vigorously and unapologetically to protect Americans. You can hear the objections now: It would be xenophobic, it might stigmatize West Africans, those countries will object to our State Department that they’re being discriminated against.

This is what it boils down to. And there’s a reason why people such as Barack Obama don’t believe in using immigration controls “vigorously and unapologetically to protect Americans.”

People such as Obama are not American.

This has nothing to do with theories about where Obama was born; as Thomas Sowell recently pointed out, native American Benedict Arnold is one of our most infamous traitors, while people born overseas have sometimes risked their necks to defend America. Nor does it even just concern Obama, as the phenomenon in question is exhibited by millions. What it has to do with is attitude.

This brings me to an October Forbes article by evolutionary biologist J.V. Chamary in which he inveighs against travel bans, calling the desire for them understandable but “selfish.” Born in France to parents from Mauritius and now living in the U.K., Chamary is the epitome of the attitude in question; he’s an internationalist, a philanderer of nations and a citizen of the world. And the thinking goes like this: we’re all just people, whether in Sacramento or Sierra Leone, Livermore or Liberia. Why should “my” country’s needs be elevated above another’s? This is the “intellectual” point of view, the conclusion someone arrives at upon thinking deeply and recognizing the truth of George Bernard Shaw’s statement, “Patriotism is the belief your country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.”

Of course, it warrants noting that the affected West African nations have behaved just as “selfishly,” sometimes quarantining large areas within their borders to contain the Ebola. And neighboring African countries have been “selfish” enough to completely isolate the affected nations. We also might wonder how selfish it actually is if our concern is for others, our fellow Americans. But, no matter, Chamary has a point.

Not a good point — but a point.

Now let’s see if he actually believes it.

An easy way to find out is to ask: would you apply the same unselfish standard to your home? Would you temporarily house a couple of the people from affected nations who’ve been allowed to enter the U.S., thus exposing your children to them on a long-term basis?

When I briefly corresponded with Chamary and asked the above, his said it was a false dilemma that he was “unwilling to waste time addressing.” But it’s sufficiently analogous. Everything said about foreigners relative to Americans applies to outsiders relative to family members. We’re all just people; “undocumented family members” are children of God just like your documented family members. And what is God’s perspective (atheists can view this as a thought exercise), which is the highest perspective? He doesn’t gaze upon our blue orb and deem the Smiths more important than the Johnsons. Why, we could even say that “family patriotism is the belief your family should be prioritized over all other families because you were born in it,” couldn’t we, Mr. Barack Bernard Chamary? So why subordinate outsiders’ needs to your family’s?

This analogy is especially apt because a nation is an extension of the tribe, which in turn is an extension of the family. Yet it’s safe to say that Chamary, Obama and their fellow travelers would not endanger their families as they have the country. Why the different standards?

I suggest that their “enlightened,” citizen-of-the-world perspective isn’t the fruits of intellectualism at all, but is merely what feels right. The difference is that they’re emotionally attached to their families.

They’re not emotionally attached to America.

This is for a simple reason.

America is not their family.

Their pride lies elsewhere

Such people are not just internationalists; they sometimes feel more of a kinship with foreign nations than the one whose passport they happen to carry. And in the case of Obama, the antipathy for his passport place is so profound that he aims to eat the cubs. Or, at least, replace them via immigration.

This is why, even though a nation without secure borders is like a house without walls, Obama will keep his walls and open our borders. For some Americans this will mean death from disease and at the hands of illegal-alien criminals, but Obama doesn’t care. Lions, even cowardly ones, do what they do. And we’re not his family.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

When Government Spreads Disease: The 1906 Meat Inspection Act by Jeffrey A. Tucker

Government has been spoiling stuff since well before the TSA.

You know the old myth about the meat-packing industry. In 1906, Upton Sinclair came out with his book The Jungle, and it shocked the nation by documenting the horror of the meat-packing industry. People were being boiled in vats and sent to larders. Rat waste was mixed with meat. And so on.

As a result, the Federal Meat Inspection Act passed Congress, and consumers were saved from ghastly diseases. The lesson is that government is essential to stop private enterprise from poisoning us with its food.

To some extent, this mythology accounts for the wide support for government’s involvement in stopping Ebola today. Not only that, but the story is also the basis for the US Department of Agriculture’s food inspection efforts, the Food and Drug Administration’s regulation of medical drugs, the central plan that governs food production, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the legions of bureaucrats who inspect and badger enterprise every step of the way. It is the founding template for why government is involved in our food and health at all.

It’s all premised on the implausible idea that people who make and sell us food have no concern as to whether it makes us sick. It only takes a quick second, though, to realize that this idea just isn’t true. So long as there is a functioning, consumer-driven marketplace, customer focus, which presumably includes not killing you, is the best regulator. Producer reputation has been a huge feature of profitability, too. And hygiene was a huge feature of reputation — long before Yelp.

Lawrence Reed deals ably with other myths of the meat-packing industry. Sinclair’s book was not intended as a factual account. It was a fantasy rendered as a socialist screed. It did drum up support for regulation, but the real reason for the act’s passage was that the large Chicago meat packers realized that regulation would hurt their smaller competitors more than themselves. Meat inspections imposed costs that cartelized the industry. That’s why the largest players were the law’s biggest promoters. Such laws almost have more to do with benefiting elites than protecting the public.

Still, there is more to this little-known history that speaks to the entire basis for government management of health. The legislation required federal inspectors to be on site at all hours in every meat-packing plant. At the time, regulators came up with a shabby method for detecting bad meat, namely poking a rod into the meat and smelling the rod. If it came out smelling clean, they would poke the same rod into the next piece of meat and smell it again. They would do this throughout the entire plant.

But as Baylen J. Linnekin points out in “The Food-Safety Fallacy: More Regulation Doesn’t Necessarily Make Food Safer” (Northeastern University Law Journal, vol. 4, no. 1), this method was fundamentally flawed. You can’t necessarily detect pathogens in meat by smell. It takes a long time for bacteria to begin to stink. In the meantime, bacteria can spread disease through touch. The rod could pick up bacteria and transmit it from one piece of meat to another, and there was no way for inspectors to know about it. This method of testing meat most certainly spread any pathogens from bad meat to good meat, assuring that an entire plant became a house of pathogens rather than having them restricted to just one carcass.

As Linnekin explains:

USDA inspectors undoubtedly transmitted harmful bacteria from one contaminated piece of meat to other uncontaminated pieces in untold quantities and, consequently, were directly responsible for sickening untold numbers of Americans by their actions.

Poke-and-sniff — incredibly a centerpiece of the USDA’s meat inspection program until the late 1990s — was, in terms of its sheer efficiency at transmitting pathogens from infected meat to clean meat, nearly the ideal device. Add to this the fact that the USDA’s own inspectors were critical of the inspection regime from the start, and that the USDA abdicated its inspection role at hundreds of meat processors for nearly three decades, and it becomes quite apparent that instead of making food safer, poke-and-sniff made food and consumers less safe.

Yes, you read that right. Poke-and-sniff began in 1906 and was common until the 1990s. The USDA’s own website recounts the career of one meat inspector who praised the shift from the old practice, a practice that persisted longer than even Soviet communism.

When people teach about this history in a conventional classroom environment, they tell the story of meat-packing horror and the act’s passage. But there the story ends. There is a pervasive lack of curiosity about what happened next. Did the regulations achieve their aims? Did the situation improve, and, if so, was this improvement due to the regulations or to private innovations? Or did the problem get worse, and, if so, can the worsening be traced to the regulations themselves? These are the sorts of questions we need to ask.

As for why bad practices last and don’t get weeded out through experimentation, this is the way it is with regulations. Once a rule is in place, no one can seem to stop it, no matter how little sense it makes. You know this if you have ever been in the TSA line at the airport. The sheer irrationality strikes me every time — and it strikes the TSA employees, too. They are taking away bottles of shampoo but allowing lighters on planes. Sometimes they confiscate a corkscrew and other times not. They test your hands to make sure you haven’t been handling bombs, but the sheer implausibility is so apparent that the inspectors themselves can hardly keep a straight face.

Whenever government imposes a rule, it begins to operate as if on autopilot. No matter how brainless, damaging, irrational, or outmoded it happens to be, the rule ends up trumping the reasoning of the human mind. This becomes a very serious matter regarding health. Ruling this sector of life, you don’t want an overlord who is unresponsive to new information and new evidence and innovation — a regime that specializes in following a routine, no matter how bad, rather than improving itself with a testable goal in mind.

This is why in societies where governments rule, all things slip into a frozen state. This is why even today Cuba seems like a tableau of the 1950s. This is why when the curtain was pulled back on East Germany and the old Soviet Union, we found societies that seemed stuck in the past. This is why the postal service can’t seem to innovate and why public schools are still structured as if it were the 1970s. Once a government plan is established, it tends to stick, even when it is not achieving its aims.

The case of poke-and-sniff in meat-packing should serve as a warning for all government regulatory measures, whether designed to protect us from disease or bring us safety or any other reason. We live in a world of change and of growing knowledge. Our lives and well-being depend on economic systems that can respond to change, extract that growing knowledge, and enable it to be used in ways that serve human needs. A competitive market economy specializes in doing just that.

ABOUT JEFFREY A. TUCKER

Jeffrey Tucker is a distinguished fellow at FEE, CLO of the startup Liberty.me, and editor at Laissez Faire Books. Author of five books, he speaks at FEE summer seminars and other events.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of FEE and Shutterstock.