MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Buyer Beware: GMO Stevia Is Everywhere

Posted by M. C. on December 7, 2019

Maybe these lies and health risks would not be so prevalent if the FDA were not a non-elected body that made laws (regulations) in obvious violation of that dead letter Constitution.

For the sheeple out there the Constitution says only congress can make laws.

Yes, Yes I know…but the state of congress is another post.

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/12/06/gmo-stevia-sweetener.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

Story at-a-glance

  • Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana), a perennial shrub native to South America, has a long history of use as a natural sweetener. Steviol glycosides, including rebaudiosides A, D and M are what provide the sweet taste, with Reb A being the sweetest
  • Despite hundreds of years of safe use of stevia, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has labeled stevia leaf and crude stevia extracts “unsafe food additives,” granting GRAS status to certain high-purity steviol glycosides only
  • Genetically engineered (GE) versions of stevia have also received the green light for widespread and unregulated use in food
  • Cargill’s EverSweet contains Reb D and Reb M made from GE yeast fermentation, yet is marketed as “nonartificial”
  • If you want a stevia-based sweetener that is actually made from the plant, opposed to GE yeast, you have to make sure it’s certified organic or has been non-GMO verified

Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana), a perennial shrub native to South America, has a long history of use as a natural sweetener for food, medicines and beverages.1 Whole stevia contains a number of substances, including various stevioside compounds, rebaudiosides and glycoside.

Steviol glycosides, including rebaudioside A, rebaudioside D and rebaudioside M (Reb A, Reb D, Reb M respectively), are what provide the sweet taste, with Reb A being the sweetest.2 In its isolated, purified form, Reb A is 250 to 400 times sweeter than sugar.

Despite hundreds of years of safe use of stevia, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has labeled stevia leaf and crude stevia extracts “unsafe food additives,”3 granting GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status to certain high-purity steviol glycosides only.4

In 2007, Hain Celestial Group Inc., maker of Celestial Seasonings herbal teas, received a warning letter from the FDA saying the stevia used in some of their teas may be dangerous to blood sugar and reproductive, cardiovascular and renal systems.5

If this FDA action strikes you as backward, you’re not alone. More often than not, consuming whole plant products will be safer due to synergistic effects than using a single active ingredient by itself. Many suspect the FDA is protecting the sugar and artificial sweetener industries.

As noted by Rob McCaleb, president and founder of the Herb Research Foundation, “Sweetness is big money. Nobody wants to see something cheap and easy to grow on the market competing with the things they worked so hard to get approved.”6

Beware of Cargill’s Genetically Engineered ‘Stevia’

To this day, FDA considers whole stevia unsafe, while genetically engineered (GE) versions of stevia have received the green light for widespread and unregulated use in food. The FDA issued a GRAS No Objection letter for Cargill’s GE stevia product EverSweet in 2016.7

Even more ridiculous, Cargill’s GE stevia is being marketed as “nonartificial.” As reported by the nonprofit watchdog group U.S. Right to Know (USRTK) November 20, 2019:8

“The international food conglomerate Cargill is ramping up commercial-scale production of its genetically engineered sweetener, EverSweet, in a new $50 million production facility that began operating this week in Blair, Nebraska …

Cargill is marketing its new stevia substitute as ‘non-artificial.’ What does that mean? Consumers who click on the link provided in the press release will not get a straight answer.

The web page twists itself into knots trying to describe the new process, which involves genetically engineering yeast to convert sugar molecules into a substance that mimics the taste of stevia, as a ‘centuries old technique’ — without once mentioning genetic engineering or the genetic modified organisms (GMOS) used to make the product.”

In short, Cargill’s “nonartificial stevia” isn’t even derived from actual stevia. It’s a GE-derived synthetic biology product designed to mimic components of the real thing.9 While “inspired” by real stevia, EverSweet’s Reb M and Reb D components are made through GE yeast fermentation. Can it get any more artificial than that? As reported by Star Tribune:10

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Why Do Western Governments Favor Immigrant-invaders Over Law-abiding Citizens?

Posted by M. C. on December 7, 2019

In once Great Britain criminal jihadists are released early from prison because a “compassionate” justice system doesn’t want to marginalize the immigrant-invaders. It is only guiltless Julian Assange who is kept in prison.

Swedish women are afraid to leave their homes. According to some reports only 7% of immigrant-invader rapists are convicted. Conviction would make the poor dears feel unwanted and unappreciated. The idiot Swedish government actually works to attract gang-rapists into Sweden by advertising the benefits available to immigrant-invaders.

The presstitute media doesn’t report these stories out of fear of being labeled “white supremacist” or out of fear of validating “white supremacists’ concerns.”

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/12/05/why-do-western-governments-favor-immigrant-invaders-over-law-abiding-citizens/

Paul Craig Roberts

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has never represented Germans. She represents Washington, the CIA, and immigrant-invaders. Recently she gave a speech in the German parliament in which she put the right of immigrant-invaders not to be offended above the free speech of Germans. In Merkel’s sick mind, for German citizens to complain about the cost of supporting immigrant-invaders and the rape of German women by immigrant-invaders is offensive to the immigrant-invaders. She calls this spreading hatred and violating the dignity of immigrant-invaders. The violated dignity of raped German women is not her concern. Neither are the raped budgets of the German taxpayers. https://voiceofeurope.com/2019/12/merkel-claims-freedom-of-speech-must-be-limited-to-maintain-a-free-society/

In once Great Britain criminal jihadists are released early from prison because a “compassionate” justice system doesn’t want to marginalize the immigrant-invaders. It is only guiltless Julian Assange who is kept in prison.
https://www.rt.com/uk/474743-london-
bridge-suspect-released-early/

The hapless Swedish population are the Europeans who are the worst afflicted by the importation of diversity. Swedish women are afraid to leave their homes. According to some reports only 7% of immigrant-invader rapists are convicted. Conviction would make the poor dears feel unwanted and unappreciated. The idiot Swedish government actually works to attract gang-rapists into Sweden by advertising the benefits available to immigrant-invaders. Little doubt that the absence of punishment for rape ranks up there with free housing and food.

The advocates of immigrant-invaders say the high numbers of Swedish rapes are the result of Swedish husbands raping their Swedish wives. The official position is that only racists and white supremacists complain about immigrant-invader rapists. https://voiceofeurope.com/2019/10/swedish-dystopia-nearly-one-in-four-women-are-afraid-to-leave-their-homes-at-night/

Swedish “justice” lets rapists of 11-year old girl go free:
https://voiceofeurope.com/2018/11/11-year-old-girl-gang-raped-in-sweden-perpetrators-walk-free-and-laugh-in-her-face/

When the rare and light punishment of migrant-invaders for rape is compared to the destruction of white Julian Assange who was never even accused of rape, it is clear that justice in Sweden is race-based. I know of no statistics to consult, but I bet white ethnic Swedes who rape are punished more severely than immigrant-invaders.

When migrant-invaders gain citizenship, they feel freer to rape:
https://voiceofeurope.com/2018/10/migrant-celebrates-swedish-citizenship-by-raping-woman-and-tells-her-now-i-can-do-what-i-want/

https://www.hannenabintuherland.com/europa/a-turn-for-the-worse-for-the-rape-capital-of-the-west-feminist-sweden/

https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/5195/sweden-rape

12 year old undergoes endless rape by immigrant-invaders in UK:
https://voiceofeurope.com/2019/12/uk-12-year-old-girl-passed-around-like-a-piece-of-meat-by-middle-eastern-rape-gang/

South Africa now very dangerous for white population:
https://voiceofeurope.com/2018/10/straight-a-student-21-kidnapped-raped-and-murdered-by-south-african-gang/

The presstitute media doesn’t report these stories out of fear of being labeled “white supremacist” or out of fear of validating “white supremacists’ concerns.” Little doubt “white supremacist” will now be added to my collection of libelous labels bestowed on me by those determined to control their false explanations.

The Obama regime made sure Americans also experienced the joys of multiculturalism by importing large numbers of immigrant-invaders and dumping them on the taxpayers of American communities. There is suspicion that Obama used immigrant-invaders to build Democratic Party constituencies. Minnesota got a lot of Somalis, as did Maine. The presstitute media tell lies about how well it is going for everyone and how the immigrants are restoring and rebuilding declining America. Occasionally a bit of truth gets out: https://mainefirstmedia.com/2018/05/gang-of-somali-kids-attack-park-goers-in-lewiston/

The strength of a country is in the unity of the people, not in their division. It is extraordinary that as Washington becomes more aggressive abroad, it supports division at home. With Identity Politics teaching hatred, how is America’s multicultural military going to function? Try to imagine an Arab army consisting of Sunnis and Shiites. The soldiers would be too busy fighting one another to attend to the opposing army. A divided army is what Identity Politics will create for America.

Assimilation is required if a country of diverse ethnicities is not to become a Tower of Babel. In the US an English population was able to assimilate Irish, Italians, and Polish peoples by having periods of no immigration. Moreover, all were from a Christian European culture. Today the situation is much more challenging. Somalis and Muslims are culturally different from Western populations, and assimilation is considered racist white superiority. The result is separate populations with the recent arrivals claiming to be victims of the white population. It is a sign of insanity that everywhere in the Western world governments are trying to marry unassimilable ethnicities, many of whom are victims of the West’s bombing and invasion of their home countries, with Identity Politics. This is a recipe for the destruction of Western countries.

The leftwing thinks that this is a good thing. Just as libertarians think that people in government are evil but people in private business are good, the leftwing thinks that white people are evil, but people of color are good. For libertarians getting rid of government is the solution. For the leftwing getting rid of white people is the solution. We see, especially in Sweden and Germany, white governments favoring immigrants over the native ethnic Swedish and German populations.

I am sure that white ethnicities have much to answer for. For example, as soon as the war criminal Union generals Sherman and Sheridan destroyed the South, they turned on the native Plains Indians. To become acquainted with the crimes of the Union Army against America’s native populations, read The Long Death: The Last Days of the Plains Indians by Ralph K. Andrist. https://www.amazon.com/Long-Death-Last-Plains-Indians/dp/0806133082/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2VKQOC72YMBDI&keywords=the+long+death+the+last+days+of+the+plains+indians&qid=1575508971&s=books&sprefix=the+long+death%2Caps%2C366&sr=1-1

But blacks and Muslims also have much to answer for. In the 1994 Rwanda Genocide, the black Hutus killed one million black Tutsis. The religious divide between Sunni and Shiite has led to numerous deaths, and the lack of Arab unity has permitted Western and Israeli colonizers to dominate Muslim lands. The disunity of Arabs makes them impotent.

Identity Politics has invented the fake news of a “white race.” There is no more a white race than there is a black race. There are numerous white ethnicities, most of whom have been at war with one another for centuries. The same for blacks. The international black slave market was the creation of the black King of Dahomey’s slave wars. He sold his surplus first to Arabs and then to Europeans. Yet in Identity Politics, it is the nonexistent “white race” that is responsible for slavery.

Very few interest groups are served by truth. But many are served by lies. As interest groups control the media and the Internet, lies take precedence over truth. Truth-tellers are excoriated. Once they are labeled, usually falsely, “holocaust deniers,” their friends abandon them in order to survive. When former President Jimmy Carter’s book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid https://www.amazon.com/Palestine-Peace-Apartheid-Jimmy-Carter/dp/0743285034/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=Jimmy+Carter&qid=1575576459&s=books&sr=1-5 , was published, all the Jews on the Carter Center’s board resigned. The Israel Lobby branded Jimmy Carter an anti-semite.

It seems to me that Israel creates its own enemies by branding those who give Israel good advice “anti-semites” and “holocaust deniers.” Jimmy Carter gave Israel good advice, and the Israel Lobby demonized him.

According to world polls, the two most despised countries in the world are Israel and the United States. The rest of the world has reduced the “axis of evil” to Israel and America. Yet both governments advertise themselves as the “chosen people” who are above both their own law and international law. Both governments expect the rest of the world to submit to them.

One can understand the self-satisfaction of Israel. Of all the countries in the world, only the Israeli government has enough sense to prevent non-Jewish immigration. Israel is a land for Jews only. The Palestinian citizens of Israel are being prepared to be cast out of their citizenship or any effective utilization of such.

In terms of the values of today, one has to admire the steadfastness of the Israeli Zionists. They have conquered a land and built a country for Jews during the years that the European ethnicities have destroyed their own countries by making them “multi-cultural.” There is no such thing as multi-cultural Israel.

As a person accused of anti-semitism and being a holocaust denier despite my many Jewish friends and supporters and despite that I have never investigated The Holocaust, I attest to my admiration for Israel, a tiny state with a tiny population that is able to control the foreign and in many respects the domestic policy of the entirety of the Western world, most of the Arab world, and also parts of the foreign policy of the Russian government.

It is impossible not to admire Israel’s ability to dominate. Unlike former great empires, only Israel has been able to conquer the entirety of the Western world and also parts of the Russian government.

For such a tiny percentage of the world population to achieve such domination over the world suggests that they are indeed God’s Chosen People. By comparison, Americans are nothing. Americans don’t even count in the importance of things.

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Realism & Restraint The Campaign to Lie America Into World War II

Posted by M. C. on December 7, 2019

Home/Articles/Realism & Restraint/The Campaign to Lie America Into World War II

Before Pearl Harbor, there was an elaborate British influence operation of forged documents, fake news, and manipulation.

A World War II era poster showing portraits of Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill with the title “Liberators of The World”. The poster also shows the flags of the Allies, and the sinking of the Japanese battleship Haruna. (Photo by David J. & Janice L. Frent/Corbis via Getty Images)

Seventy-eight years ago, on December 6, 1941, the United States was at peace with world. The next morning, local time, the Empire of Japan bombed the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Four days later, Nazi Germany issued a declaration of war against the United States. The American people were now unalterably involved in a global conflict that would take the lives of over 400,000 of their native sons.

But before Japan opened this door to war, the United States had been the target of an elaborate, covert influence campaign meant to push public opinion, by hook or by crook, into supporting intervention on the side of the British. Conducted by the United Kingdom’s MI6 intelligence service, it involved sometimes witting (and often unwitting) collaboration with the highest echelons of the U.S. government and media establishment.

In the early summer of 1940, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill dispatched intelligence agent William Stephenson to North America to establish the innocuous-sounding British Security Coordination (BSC). The Canadian-born Stephenson was a World War I flying ace and wealthy industrialist who had been a close Churchill confidant for several years. Adopting the codename “Intrepid” during his operations, spymaster Stephenson served as the main inspiration for James Bond (whose creator, Ian Fleming, worked with the BSC).

The BSC’s base of operations was the 35th floor of Rockefeller Center in New York City, which it occupied rent-free. The influence campaign began in April 1941, employing hundreds of agents, including well-placed individuals in front groups, the government, and polling organizations.

Intrepid had his work cut out for him.

Entering 1941, upwards of 80 percent of Americans opposed U.S. intervention in the war in Europe, a sentiment expressed through the America First Committee. Founded in September 1940 by a group of Yale students (including Gerald Ford, Sargent Shriver, and future Supreme Court justice Potter Stewart), at its peak the organization had 800,000 dues paying members and 450 local chapters spread across the country.

“The America First Committee was taking the position that we should not be involved in foreign wars, as we were in World War I,” John V. Denson, a distinguished scholar at the Ludwig von Mises Institute and former circuit judge in Alabama, told The American Conservative. “There was a great deal of criticism of [Woodrow] Wilson taking us into World War I, so there was strong sentiment that we were tricked into that war and therefore that we needed to stay out of European wars. That was the America First position. We didn’t want England or anyone else dragging us into another war.”

This meant that a primary goal of the BSC was to disparage and harass those Americans opposed to entering World War II. But it couldn’t do this in the open. The Fight for Freedom Committee was (like the BSC) established in April 1941 and also headquartered at Rockefeller Center. There it announced that the United States ought to accept “the fact that we are at war, whether declared or undeclared.”

In September 1941, when North Dakota Senator Gerald Nye, an anti-interventionist and scourge of the armaments industry, gave a speech in Boston, Fight for Freedom demonstrators booed and heckled him while handing out 25,000 pamphlets labeling him an “appeaser and Nazi-lover.” Similarly, when New York Congressman Hamilton Fish III, an irritable thorn in Franklin Roosevelt’s side, held a rally in Milwaukee, a Fight for Freedom member interrupted his speech to hand him a placard: “Der Fuhrer thanks you for your loyalty.” Reporters, alerted ahead of time, made sure photos of the scene were reprinted nationwide.

When Charles Lindbergh, the aviator and the America First Committee’s most popular speaker, addressed a rally at Madison Square Garden in October 1941, Fight for Freedom attempted to sow confusion by printing duplicate tickets. Lindbergh still successfully spoke to over 20,000 supporters, not including an agent provocateur who tried to cause a stir by yelling, “Hang Roosevelt!” (In actuality, it would be Lindbergh’s infamous September 11 remarks in Des Moines that would do more to damage the non-interventionist cause than any of the BSC-orchestrated hijinks.)

A 1945 study by BSC historians described their efforts: “Personalities were discredited, their unsavory pasts were dug up, their utterances were printed and reprinted…. Little by little, a sense of guilt crept through the cities and across the states. The campaign took hold.”

The rest here

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The Saudi/U.S. Partnership: Evil Begets Evil

Posted by M. C. on December 7, 2019

In the process it has become the biggest humanitarian disaster in the world, all due to U.S aggressive intervention, with no compassion whatsoever shown toward the innocent people of Yemen.

The Saudi government kills many of its own citizens as well, and is continuing to murder record numbers by public beheadings every year. Mass beheadings are not uncommon after being charged with non-existent crimes, mostly by corrupt state courts. These charges are against anyone speaking out against the government…

Saudi Arabia. Our friend and perpetrator of 9/11.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/12/gary-d-barnett/the-saudi-us-partnership-evil-begets-evil/

By

Those who knowingly conspire with evil are evil themselves, and because this truth is irrefutable, hiding behind the false mask of exceptionalism only deepens that evil. Conspiracy to commit evil abounds, but some partnerships seem to have sprung out of the bowels of the nether world. One such union is that of the United States and Saudi Arabia, an alliance based only on greed, murder, and power.

Attempting to understand the American psyche concerning its obvious lust for war, and especially its worship of those who prosecute those wars, is difficult beyond reason. But the masses blind indifference toward this heinous and immoral marriage between Saudi Arabia and the United States belies all aspects of common sanity. On the surface, this is an absurd paradox, but considering the “leadership,” is it really? It would be difficult to compare the Saudi citizens to American citizens given the stark differences at many levels, but the leadership of these two countries is much more closely aligned, at least considering known agendas in common. Slime does mix well with slime.

Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy, and is run by the House of Saud, which is the ruling family of Saudi Arabia. The King and Prime Minister is Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, but he is incapacitated by dementia and is senile, and not in good health. He appointed his son, Muhammad bin Salman, Crown Prince in 2017, who is now heir-designate to the throne. He rules the country with an iron hand, and holds the positions of deputy prime minister, chairman of the Council of Political and Security Affairs, and the minister of defense. In other words, he controls politics, all security, vast sums of money, and the military. This is the essence of a powerful monarchy.

The situation in Saudi Arabia is very complicated, and many others are involved with what happened before and after the 2017 Saudi Purge that solidified the rise of Muhammad bin Salman. The partnership and love affair between Trump and the U.S. and Saudi Arabia is disturbing in every way, and that relationship includes Zionist Israel as well. This collusion has to do with oil, proxy wars, energy price manipulation, Middle East politics, technocracy planning, vast amounts of money, and future political and geopolitical conspiracy planning and probable war against Iran.

I am mainly concentrating here on the strange bedfellows that are Saudi Arabia and the United States. The Royal Family’s net worth is estimated to be 1.7 trillion dollars, and my guess is it is much higher. The U.S. buys oil from the Saudis and the Saudis are buying over $110 billion worth of arms from U.S. companies. The U.S., UK, and the rest of Europe supply 99% of Saudi’s weapons, weapons used for murder. 61% of those weapons come from America. These weapons are used against innocent countries, but concentrated in Yemen, where the Saudi’s have been murdering civilians in that country for the U.S. since 2015. This proxy war has been a genocide that was purposely orchestrated by the U.S. as an attack against Iranian interests, and is simply meant to stop any Iranian presence in Yemen. In the process it has become the biggest humanitarian disaster in the world, all due to U.S aggressive intervention, with no compassion whatsoever shown toward the innocent people of Yemen.

The Saudi government kills many of its own citizens as well, and is continuing to murder record numbers by public beheadings every year. Mass beheadings are not uncommon after being charged with non-existent crimes, mostly by corrupt state courts. These charges are against anyone speaking out against the government, against non-violent offenders who commit victimless crimes, including drug charges, and a multitude of others. Some of the other non-violent capital crimes include “Apostasy, treason, homosexuality, blasphemy, adultery, sorcery, witchcraft, and waging war on God.”

Saudi’s human rights record is beyond atrocious, including no free speech, incarceration without due process, limited or no basic freedoms for women and girls, no peaceful demonstrations, or practicing the “wrong” religious rites. Other punishment “includes amputations of hand and feet for robbery, and flogging for lesser crimes such as “sexual deviance” and drunkenness. In the 2000s, it was reported that women were sentenced to lashes for adultery; the women were actually victims of rape, but because they could not prove who the perpetrators were, they were deemed guilty of committing adultery.”

This is a major ally of the U.S. It is a murdering arm of American aggression against civilians. It is a recipient of U.S taxpayer aid, and is supplied its weapons by the U.S. and Europe. This is the same country that produced the alleged terrorists that supposedly committed the September 11 attacks, although the true story has never been told.

Saudi Arabia is the worst example of government abuse, of horrendous human rights violations, of misogyny and the brutal treatment of women, of total disrespect for life at every level of man and animal, of insatiable greed, of segregation, of racism, sexism, torture, and murder.

Saudi Arabia is the exact opposite of all that was good about the United States at its founding. Its policies defy morality and the sanctity of life, but the ignorant and indifferent American populace in their total hypocritical blindness says nothing and does nothing to stop the nefarious union of these countries via there beloved elected rulers. The U.S. has become its own enemy, and is now joined with evil. Evil begets evil, and so long as Americans allow this partnership to continue in their name, they are at fault, and responsible for these crimes against humanity. This relationship is not just based on oil, but is based on power and control. It is the essence of depravity, and should be ended without delay.

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The Benefits of Free Trade Are Canceled Out by Domestic Interventionism

Posted by M. C. on December 6, 2019

What no one recognizes is that the common reason for the breakdown of world economic relations is the combination of interventionist domestic policies and government-led, top-down, faulty trade integration, which serves only interest groups and is subject to perverse incentives.

https://mises.org/wire/benefits-free-trade-are-canceled-out-domestic-interventionism?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=c869db6738-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_21_2018_9_59_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-c869db6738-228343965

Foreign policy commentators live in their own bubble. The WTO’s credibility is gone and its survival uncertain due to its lack of impact on world trade over the last two decades. A China vs. USA trade war is still growing and the economic community of European states is in its worst-ever shape. Yet no one stops to wonder if all these failures have anything to do with the kind of economic integration they propose. In fact, the media is now childishly excited about the ASEAN-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a Trans-Pacific Partnership surrogate many years in the making.

What no one recognizes is that the common reason for the breakdown of world economic relations is the combination of interventionist domestic policies and government-led, top-down, faulty trade integration, which serves only interest groups and is subject to perverse incentives. The positive effects of inter-governmental multilateral trade agreements are minor at best. Their negative effects, however, such as stifling global trade, diversion of trade flows, or increasing red tape, have been growing at an alarming rate.

Trade agreements have thus become obsolete tokens of negotiation in larger geopolitical disputes, protectionist tools for managing and interfering with global trade flows. RCEP’s tentative provisions serve as a great illustration of the adulteration and vitiation of trade deals. For example, RCEP would allow and encourage poorer members to “proceed cautiously and gradually in lowering tariffs on manufactured goods… [over] adjustment periods of up to 25 years” (The Economist, 2019). However, it is precisely the poorer members of such agreements who benefit from reducing their tariffs to zero. According to Mises (1990), “their own policies are the main obstacle to any improvement and economic progress. There cannot be any question of imitating the technological procedures of the capitalistic countries if there is no capital available. Whence should this capital come if domestic capital formation as well as the inflow of foreign capital are sabotaged?”

RCEP would also allow India to “impose some sort of ‘safeguard’ tariffs if imports surged too sharply” (The Economist, 2019). In other words, India could easily withdraw their already weak commitment to this economic partnership without incurring any direct consequences — allowing them to have their managed trade cake and eat it too. However, despite this mollification, India remained reluctant to commit and Narendra Modi refused to sign the current draft agreement, citing the trade deficit with China, the danger to Indian farmers, Ghandi, and his own conscience.

Lastly, the text of the RCEP is littered with “non-committal phrases… [such as] “members shall endeavour to” rather than “members shall’” (The Economist, 2019). As The Economist argues, “in these sort of agreements do and do not are not the only options. There is plenty of “try” (The Economist, 2019). But no rose-colored glasses can make free trade anything but a black and white issue. To reference Yoda again, this is why you fail. Either trade is entirely free, and thus works to bring about prosperity and economic growth, or it is government-managed, thus not free, and bound only to bring about more intervention and economic distortions. In matters of economic freedom, there is no try.

Preparations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership are now 8 years old and 30 negotiation rounds have already taken place. A fantastic leap of faith is necessary to imagine that, once signed, this agreement will have any beneficial impact, or will indeed be managed efficiently. A leap of faith that should be impossible for any minimally informed and honest commentator. Sadly, much like true free trade agreements, there are few such left.

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The ‘Burn Pit’ Is The New Agent Orange Of Our Era

Posted by M. C. on December 6, 2019

The VA was dragged, kicking and screaming, to set up a registry for which veterans could voluntarily register what they believed to be burn pit-connected illnesses.

https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2019/12/04/the-burn-pit-is-the-new-agent-orange-of-our-era/


Kelley Beaucar Vlahos

Its a headline that should, by all appearances, be considered good news.” But somehow the November 18 declaration, VA announces plans to study military toxic exposures, connections to veteran illnesses,” just comes off as an Onion-esque parody.

Thats because the Veterans Affairs Department has been vowing to study” the effects of the ubiquitous “burn pits” on soldiers for more than a decade—so has the Pentagon. In fact, there have been tons of studies already, big and small, in both the public and private sectors. But like everything in Washington, launching one more study or task force allows the bureaucracy to stall real action—in this case, practical help for thousands of men and women who say theyre suffering from war-related illnesses.

Once upon a time, the lag time between when Vietnam veterans reported getting sick from Agent Orange exposure in the late 1970s to when the government began officially recognizing their illnesses, including cancer (in 1991), was considered the height of institutional inertia and neglect. In fact, many Vietnam veterans who did not fit the original parameters of the 1991 policy that made Agent Orange exposure a service-connected illness, affording them access to VA health care and disability compensation, are still fighting for their due.

But successive wars in the Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan have created two new generations of veterans who have been mostly denied VA health care and disability benefits for their toxic exposures overseas. In other words, waiting as long if not longer than their Vietnam counterparts has merely become the new normal.

This includes some 250,000 Persian Gulf veterans, now mostly in their 50s and 60s, who are suffering from a variety of mysterious health conditions many medical experts now believe resulted from their exposure to widely used pesticides, the pyridostigmine bromide pills taken by troops to protect against sarin gas, and actual sarin gas exposure during the 1991 war. Outside studies have been conducted for more than 20 years now, with many finding direct correlation between service and illness. The VA has stepped up in so far as there is a way for these veterans to file service-connected claims, but the way the requirements are set up, it is still very difficult to actually get approved. According to one explosive report, some 80 percent of Gulf veteransclaims were denied between 2010 and 2015.

Then there are the burn pits. For years after the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began, the U.S. military dumped all of the trash accumulating on its massive U.S. forward operating bases into unregulated, unfiltered, open air pits. These pits, often the size of football fields or larger, burned everything from broken down vehicles, batteries, styrofoam, medical waste, food, paint cans, tires, you name it. They burned day and night, notable for the smoky haze and big black angry plumes. Tens of thousands of troops and other personnel worked and lived right next to these pits, unprotected, and many complained about coughing up crud,” and getting sick right away when they arrived for the first time on base.

In one case, this author interviewed the wife of a soldier who, while stationed at Camp Taji in Iraq, began to lose all feeling in his feet. By 2009 he was home and confined to a wheelchair at the age of 49. VA doctors were flummoxed by his condition, finally diagnosing him with rheumatoid fibromyalgia. But his own neurologist believed, even at the time, that his condition was the result of nerve damage caused by toxic exposure.

That was 10 years ago. But now we know that there is fine particulate matter like heavy metals in the air around these unfiltered pits, and it was reported to Air Force officials as early as 2006 that it was an environmental health hazard. We know they sat on this information and even to this day will not acknowledge that the toxic air could be responsible for serious neurological and respiratory problems, not to mention cancer, among this cohort of  veterans.

Congress believed it enough to shut down the burn pits in late 2009 after the stories like the one above started flowing from veteransblogs and into their offices on Capitol Hill. But despite the order, burn pits are still being used in the war zone today.

The VA was dragged, kicking and screaming, to set up a registry for which veterans could voluntarily register what they believed to be burn pit-connected illnesses. Since 2014, some 187,630 veterans have signed up as of this October. Meanwhile, the media is now rife with stories about young veterans dying of cancer, of wasting away in wheelchairs and with ever-present oxygen masks. A new report shows a spike in cancer rates among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans seeking VA care.

A class action suit by 800 veterans who wanted to hold the private contractor Kellogg, Brown, & Root responsible for the conditions caused by the burn pits went all the way up to the Supreme Court, but the justices wouldnt hear the case.

Sadly, thanks to testing by private medical doctors, we know that the worst of the damage to vets is irreversible and that taking care of those who do not die as a result will cost the government billions over time. And here is the rub: between this generation, and that of the Persian Gulf veterans behind them, the VA is faced with liabilities that will stretch beyond today and decades into the future. There is every incentive to stall.

The American government should not have this luxury. When Washington made the decision to surge hundreds of thousands of troops into Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq, it also entered into a covenant of care with those service members. Yes, this covenant has been broken many times before, but there is no reason to normalize the practice.

Had the government cared enough to find out what it was spraying, firing, burning and asking our troops to ingest, instead of treating them like guinea pigs, or worse, disposable, they would not be staring down the barrel of a trillion dollar gun. But here we are. It is up to us as citizens and policy makers to force some action, and say that one more study” just wont cut it.

Be seeing you

VA asks for more veterans to sign up for Burn Pit Registry ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Realism & Restraint American Soldiers Are Not Bodyguards for Saudi Royals

Posted by M. C. on December 6, 2019

Doesn’t anyone remember these are the people that did 9/11?

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/american-soldiers-are-not-bodyguards-for-saudi-royals/

 

President Donald Trump believes in America First except when it comes to the Saudi royal family. Then it is Saudi Arabia first.

At the end of November, U.S. military leaders were in Riyadh negotiating the employment terms for the royal’s new bodyguards. That is, the plan for an expanded American military presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), including Patriot missiles, Sentinel radars, a THAAD air defense system, fighter aircraft, and other equipment, as well as personnel, who will eventually number around 3,000.

Why is the president, who has loudly insisted that allies do more to defend themselves, even more determined to handle Saudi Arabia’s security?

Of course, the royals themselves want American backing. Having grabbed control of their people’s wealth, they long have hired others to do the hard, unpleasant, and dangerous work—including the U.S. military.

The status-conscious KSA spends lavishly, especially on modern fighter jets. Last year Riyadh devoted $83 billion to the military. In 2017 defense expenditures ran $89 billion. That put the Kingdom in third place globally, after America and China. Alas, possession of fine equipment alone is not enough to ensure its good use.

In 2015 the Saudi regime attacked neighboring Yemen, one of the poorest nations on earth. De facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman, who became crown prince two years later, decided on war to reinstate a friendly ruler. Unfortunately, a campaign that was supposed to take a few weeks has lasted almost five years. Saudi pilots proved highly competent at slaughtering civilians, bombing weddings, funerals, hospitals, school buses, and markets. Humanitarian groups figure that three-quarters of the estimated 12,000 civilian deaths have resulted from air attacks—delivered by KSA aircraft provided, armed, guided, and, until recently, refueled by the U.S. The destruction of critical infrastructure has resulted in mass malnutrition and disease, which may have taken another 150,000 lives.

Nevertheless, the royals may prefer not to have a capable military, as it could threaten a system in which the few mulct the many. After all, who other than a prince receiving a state subsidy has much incentive to defend the corrupt, repressive, and decrepit monarchy? It might be worth joining the armed forces to collect a paycheck, but certainly not to risk one’s life on behalf of some man or woman (very) distantly related to the desert bandit named al-Saud who long ago defeated his rivals.

For the regime, the National Guard is most important, since its role is to protect the princely rulers from internal enemies. Also critical is the Pakistani military, which deploys upward of 20,000 troops in Saudi Arabia on “security duties.” Islamabad has found the arrangement to be profitable.

Although Trump criticized the Kingdom during the campaign, on taking office he promptly turned U.S. policy over to Riyadh. He apparently viewed the royals’ checks to munitions makers as de facto compensation for the Pentagon playing bodyguard. Yet the revenues are minor compared to America’s overall economy and offer little benefit to most Americans. Worse still, military cooperation entangles the U.S. in regional conflicts and Sunni-Shia confrontation, of which Yemen is the latest manifestation.

Now the U.S. role is further expanding. President Trump promised that the KSA would pay “100 percent of the cost” of the new deployment, but that doesn’t include the expense of creating the units being deployed. Even if it did, the Pentagon should not hire out personnel to rich states. The role of Americans in uniform should be to protect America, not to act as foreign mercenaries...

Washington’s tight embrace of the Saudi royals always was a mistake. The justification for even a looser association has dissipated over time. Today the relationship is frankly criminal, given the horrors being committed by Riyadh with U.S. assistance in Yemen.

The U.S. should bring its forces home from the Kingdom and shift Saudi Arabia’s defense burden back where it belongs, on the royal regime. If the president really believes in America First, he should stop putting Saudi Arabian interests before those of the U.S.

Be seeing you

Currency Rate in Pakistan: US Dollar, UK Pound, Saudi ...

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Climate and the Money Trail

Posted by M. C. on December 6, 2019

Back in 2010 the head of Working Group 3 of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Dr Otmar Edenhofer, told an interviewer, “…one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole.” Since then the economic policy strategy has become far more developed.

https://journal-neo.org/2019/09/25/climate-and-the-money-trail/

Author: F. William Engdahl

Climate. Now who wudda thought. The very mega-corporations and mega-billionaires behind the globalization of the world economy over recent decades, whose pursuit of shareholder value and cost reduction who have wreaked so much damage to our environment both in the industrial world and in the under-developed economies of Africa, Asia, Latin America, are the leading backers of the “grass roots” decarbonization movement from Sweden to Germany to the USA and beyond. Is it pangs of guilty conscience, or could it be a deeper agenda of the financialization of the very air we breathe and more?

Whatever one may believe about the dangers of CO2 and risks of global warming creating a global catastrophe of 1.5 to 2 degree Celsius average temperature rise in the next roughly 12 years, it is worth noting who is promoting the current flood of propaganda and climate activism.

Green Finance

Several years before Al Gore and others decided to use a young Swedish school girl to be the poster child for climate action urgency, or in the USA the call of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for a complete reorganization of the economy around a Green New Deal, the giants of finance began devising schemes for steering hundreds of billions of future funds to investments in often worthless “climate” companies.

In 2013 after years of careful preparation, a Swedish real estate company, Vasakronan, issued the first corporate “Green Bond.” They were followed by others including Apple, SNCF and the major French bank Credit Agricole. In November 2013 Elon Musk’s problem-riddled Tesla Energy issued the first solar asset-backed security. Today according to something called the Climate Bonds Initiative, more than $500 billion in such Green Bonds are outstanding. The creators of the bond idea state their aim is to win over a major share of the $45 trillion of assets under management globally which have made nominal commitment to invest in “climate friendly” projects.

Bonnie Prince Charles, future UK Monarch, along with the Bank of England and City of London finance have promoted “green financial instruments,” led by Green Bonds, to redirect pension plans and mutual funds towards green projects. A key player in the linking of world financial institutions with the Green Agenda is outgoing Bank of England head Mark Carney. In December 2015, the Bank for International Settlements’ Financial Stability Board (FSB), chaired then by Carney, created the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD), to advise “investors, lenders and insurance about climate related risks.” That was certainly a bizarre focus for world central bankers.

In 2016 the TCFD along with the City of London Corporation and the UK Government initiated the Green Finance Initiative, aiming to channel trillions of dollars to “green” investments. The central bankers of the FSB nominated 31 people to form the TCFD. Chaired by billionaire Michael Bloomberg of the financial wire, it includes key people from JP MorganChase; from BlackRock–one of the world’s biggest asset managers with almost $7 trillion; Barclays Bank; HSBC, the London-Hong Kong bank repeatedly fined for laundering drug and other black funds; Swiss Re, the world’s second largest reinsurance; China’s ICBC bank; Tata Steel, ENI oil, Dow Chemical, mining giant BHP Billington and David Blood of Al Gore’s Generation Investment LLC. In effect it seems the foxes are writing the rules for the new Green Hen House.

Bank of England’s Carney was also a key actor in efforts to make the City of London into the financial center of global Green Finance. The outgoing UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, in July 2019 released a White Paper, “Green Finance Strategy: Transforming Finance for a Greener Future.” The paper states, “One of the most influential initiatives to emerge is the Financial Stability Board’s private sector Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), supported by Mark Carney and chaired by Michael Bloomberg. This has been endorsed by institutions representing $118 trillion of assets globally.” There seems to be a plan here. The plan is the financialization of the entire world economy using fear of an end of world scenario to reach arbitrary aims such as “net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.”

Goldman Sachs Key Actor

The omnipresent Wall Street bank, Goldman Sachs, which spawned among others ECB outgoing President Mario Draghi and Bank of England head Carney, has just unveiled the first global index of top-ranking environmental stocks, done along with the London-based CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project. The CDP, notably, is financed by investors such as HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, American International Group, and State Street Corp.

The new index, called CDP Environment EW and CDP Eurozone EW, aims to lure investment funds, state pension systems such as the CalPERS (the California Public Employees’ Retirement System) and CalSTRS (the California State Teachers’ Retirement System) with a combined $600+ billion in assets, to invest in their carefully chosen targets. Top rated companies in the index include Alphabet which owns Google, Microsoft, ING Group, Diageo, Philips, Danone and, conveniently, Goldman Sachs.

Enter Greta, AOC and Co.

At this point events take on a cynical turn as we are confronted with wildly popular, heavily promoted climate activists such as Sweden’s Greta Thunberg or New York’s 29-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Green New Deal. However sincere these activists may be, there is a well-oiled financial machine behind promoting them for gain…

On October 17, 2018, days following the EU agreement at the One Planet Summit, Juncker’s EU signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Breakthrough Energy-Europe in which member corporations of Breakthrough Energy-Europe will have preferential access to any funding.

The members of Breakthrough Energy include Virgin Air’s Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Alibaba’s Jack Ma, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, HRH Prince Al-waleed bin Talal, Bridgewater Associates’ Ray Dalio; Julian Robertson of hedge fund giant, Tiger Management; David Rubenstein, founder Carlyle Group; George Soros, Chairman Soros Fund Management LLC; Masayoshi Son, founder Softbank, Japan. 

Make no mistake. When the most influential multinational corporations, the world’s largest institutional investors including BlackRock and Goldman Sachs, the UN, the World Bank, the Bank of England and other central banks of the BIS line up behind the financing of a so-called green Agenda, call it Green New Deal or what, it is time to look behind the surface of public climate activist campaigns to the actual agenda. The picture that emerges is the attempted financial reorganization of the world economy using climate, something the sun and its energy have orders of magnitude more to do with than mankind ever could—to try to convince us ordinary folk to make untold sacrifice to “save our planet.”..

Be seeing you

?u=https3.bp.blogspot.com-ZRPAY8qadAUW7qr0rVAdNIAAAAAAABelgnwFERD_MoHEk57V37H_GDGxXKTMwVzjTwCLcBGAss1600margareta-halvarsson-rothschilds-16-mins-expoDsing-the-http-www-snopes-com-george-soros-bring-down-us-im-24106648.png&f=1

 

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Pro Tip: Mentally Replace All Uses Of “Conspiracy Theorist” With “Iraq Rememberer”

Posted by M. C. on December 6, 2019

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/12/05/pro-tip-mentally-replace-all-uses-of-conspiracy-theorist-with-iraq-rememberer/

I watched the film Official Secrets the other day, which I highly recommend doing if you want to rekindle your rage about the unforgivable evil that was the Iraq invasion.

Which is a good thing to do, in my opinion. Absolutely nothing was ever done to address the fact that a million people were murdered with the assistance of government lies just a few short years ago; no new laws were passed mandating more government transparency or accountability with its military operations, no war crimes tribunals took place, no new policies were put into place. No one even got fired. In fact we’ve seen the exact opposite: the people responsible for unleashing that horror upon our species have been given prestigious jobs in government and media and the US government is currently collaborating with the UK to set the legal precedent for charging under the Espionage Act any journalist in the world who exposes US war crimes.

The corrupt mechanisms which gave rise to the Iraq invasion still exist currently, stronger than ever, and its consequences continue to ravage the region to this very day. The Iraq war isn’t some event that happened in the past; everything about it is still here with us, right now. So we should still be enraged. You don’t forgive and forget something that hasn’t even stopped, let alone been rectified.

Apart from the howling rage surging through my veins during the film, the other thing I experienced was the recurring thought, “This was a conspiracy. This is the thing that a conspiracy is.”

And, I mean, of course it is. How weird is it that we don’t use that word to describe what the architects of that war did? Conspiracy is defined as “a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful.” From the secret plan between the NSA and GCHQ to spy on and blackmail UN members into supporting the illegal invasion which is the subject of Official Secrets, to the mountain of other schemes and manipulations used by other government bodies to deceive the world about Iraq, it’s absolutely insane that that word is never used to describe the conspiracy within the Bush and Blair governments to manufacture the case for war.

The engineering of the Iraq war was a conspiracy, per any conceivable definition. So why isn’t that word reflexively used by everyone who talks about it?

Easy. Because we haven’t been trained to.

The use of the word “conspiracy” is studiously avoided by the narrative managers of the political/media class who are tasked with the assignment of teaching us how to think about our world, except when it is to be employed for its intended and authorised use: smearing skeptics of establishment narratives. The pejorative “conspiracy theory” has been such a useful weapon in inoculating the herd from dissident wrongthink that the propagandists do everything they can to avoid tainting their brand, even if it means refraining from using words for the things that they refer to.

This is why the word “collusion” was continuously and uniformly used throughout the entire Russiagate saga, for example. It was a narrative about a secret conspiracy between the highest levels of the US government and the Russian government to subvert the interests of the American people, yet the word “conspiracy” was meticulously replaced with “collusion” by everyone peddling that story.

Syria narrative managers on Twitter have been in meltdown for a week ever since the Rolling Stone podcast Useful Idiots featured oppositional journalist Max Blumenthal talking about the US-centralized empire’s involvement in the Syrian war and its pervasive propaganda campaign against that nation. The entire site has been swarming with high-visibility blue-checkmarked thought police demanding the heads of the show’s hosts Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper for giving this evil “conspiracy theorist” a platform to say we’re being deceived about yet another US-led regime change intervention in yet another Middle Eastern nation.

Narrative managers use the “conspiracy theorist” pejorative to shove skepticism of establishment narratives into the margins of political discourse, far away where it can’t contaminate the mainstream herd. Whenever you see a dissenting interpretation of events getting too close to mainstream circles, as with Blumenthal appearing on a Rolling Stone podcast, Tulsi Gabbard saying on national television that the US government has armed terrorists, or Tucker Carlson interviewing Jonathan Steele about the OPCW leaks, you see an intense campaign of shrieking outrage and public shaming geared at shoving those dissident narratives as far into the fringe as possible by branding them “conspiracy theories”.

My suggestion then is this: whenever you see the label “conspiracy theorist” being applied to anyone who questions an establishment narrative about Syria, Russia, Iran or wherever, just mentally swap it out for the term “Iraq rememberer”. When you see anyone shouting about “conspiracy theories”, mentally replace it with “Iraq remembering”. It makes it much easier to see what’s really going on: “Oh those damn Iraq rememberers! Why can’t they just trust their media and government about what’s happening in Syria instead of indulging in Iraq remembering?”

Powerful people and institutions secretly coordinating with each other to do evil things is the absolute worst-case scenario for the rest of the population; it is precisely the thing we fear when we allow people and institutions to have power over us. We need to be able to talk about that worst-case scenario occurring, especially since we know for a fact that it does indeed happen. Powerful people do conspire to inflict evil things upon the rest of us, and we do need to use thoughts and ideas to discuss how that might be happening. We are not meant to think about this, which is why we’re meant to forget about Iraq.

The Iraq invasion was like if a family were sitting around the dinner table one night, then the father stood up, decapitated his daughter with a steak knife, then sat back down and continued eating and everyone just went back to their meals and never talked about what happened. That’s how absolutely creepy and weird it is that the news churn just moved on after a conspiracy within the most powerful government in the world led to the murder of a million human beings, and now we’re all somehow only supposed to care about Trump’s rude tweets.

Never forget the Iraq war conspiracy, no matter how hard they try to make you. They did it before, they’ve done it again in Libya and Syria, and they’ll continue to attempt it in the future. When you sound the alarm about this they will call you a conspiracy theorist. All they’re really saying is that you’re one of those annoying pests who just won’t shut up and forget about Iraq.

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Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, checking out my podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following me on Steemitthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

 

 

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Doug Casey on the Crisis “Medicare for All” Will Cause

Posted by M. C. on December 6, 2019

https://internationalman.com/articles/doug-casey-on-the-crisis-medicare-for-all-will-cause/

by Doug Casey

…The system revolves around the FDA. In theory, it should protect the consumer, but in fact it does the opposite. The FDA should be renamed the Federal Death Authority, because it kills more people every year than the Defense Department does in a typical decade.

Why do I say that? For one thing, it takes 10 years for a new drug to be approved, and it averages not just $1 billion dollars, but now more than $2 billion for the typical drug to be approved—and only very few are ever approved. That’s because there’s only a minimal risk to the FDA in not approving them but a huge risk that they’ll be embarrassed if something goes wrong with one that is approved.

Second, the whole system is very bureaucratized. When you go to a doctor’s office, you’ll notice that probably half the staff is not engaged in delivering medical services. They’re shuffling papers: insurance forms, regulatory forms, and various cover-your-ass records.

Third, the medical system is law driven more than science driven. Doctors have to be very careful about what they say and do; the society has become very litigious. One of the major expenses of being a doctor is malpractice insurance. Particularly for some specialties.

There are thousands of lawyers in the US who specialize in suing doctors for real or imagined mistakes. For that reason, some specialists pay hundreds of thousands of dollars per year for their malpractice insurance.

Because of the dangers of being sued, doctors are practically forced to engage in defensive medicine. They prescribe all kinds of tests that don’t make sense, but they figure that it’s better to be safe than sorry—not for the patient’s sake but for the sake of a potential lawsuit.

All of this started with Franklin Delano Roosevelt. During World War II, he installed wage and price controls, and it was impossible for companies to give raises to workers. So they substituted benefits for cash, namely employer-paid medical insurance. One of the many disastrous distortions FDR cranked into the US economy.

On the bright side, despite these things, medical care has gotten much better because of advances in science and technology. The cost of medical care should have and would have been dropping—like the cost of computers—if not for State intervention. But that’s beside the point we’re discussing…

It’s a subtle corruption of the language to call “medical insurance” “health insurance.” It doesn’t insure your health. All it does is cover medical expenses. But they like to use the term “health care” because it sounds friendly and loving. “We’ll care for your health.” That sounds great! Sign me up! “Medical,” however, implies surgery, dangerous drugs, hospitals, and pain.

It’s a euphemism, and like all euphemisms, it’s dishonest. Health care or health insurance should always be called “medical insurance,” because it will at best cover your medical expenses. Calling it “health care” and saying it’s “free” is just dishonest marketing…

Doug Casey: To start with, the 34% of Americans who are “insured” through a government plan aren’t actually insured. They’re not paying market-based premiums based on actuarial tables—considering age, preexisting conditions, and the like—intended to spread the risk of serious sickness or injury.

Medicare and Medicaid are actually welfare programs. They have nothing to do with insurance. Using that term gives them and those who use them undeserved respect.

Medicaid is one hundred percent welfare, and Medicare is mostly a welfare program. They shouldn’t be termed “insurance.”

The important point is that they shouldn’t exist. Why should the State cover a person’s medical costs? If it should, maybe it should also cover their food, shelter, and clothing—oh, wait, I forgot, it does. And even the cost of their cellphones. But cars are also important. When someone’s car stops working, shouldn’t that be covered as well?

How about their dog? How about farm animals?

Is somebody else’s bad health a mortgage on my life?

Bad things happen. That’s why you buy insurance. If you can’t afford insurance, that means you managed your life badly. It’s not up to strangers to kiss it all and make it better for you.

Most diseases and many injuries are a result of people not taking care of themselves. They overeat, don’t exercise, use alcohol and drugs, and engage in bad lifestyles. Those are moral failures. I don’t want to pay for those people’s moral failures. Neither should you.

International Man: Over 59 million Americans are on Medicare. Bernie Sanders and other presidential candidates have made “Medicare for all” one of their biggest campaign promises.

What type of care can Americans expect to receive in a single-player system, with national coverage for all?

Doug Casey: It would mean disastrous and degenerating care.

They like to bring up Canada and Britain as examples—and they’re very good examples.

The medical systems of both countries are in crisis. If you need an operation, it can be delayed for many months, sometimes more than a year. Forget about something that’s noncritical. The reason is simple: When you have scarce commodities like a doctor’s time and medical equipment, they have to be rationed.

There are three ways you can ration a commodity. By dollars, time, or political connections. In other words, you can pay for it and get it when you want it. Or you can wait in line—for who knows for how long. Or if you’re a VIP with friends in high places, you’re moved to the front of the line.

In places like Canada and Britain, you hardly have a choice. The single payer determines if you get treated, when you get treated, and how you get treated.

Furthermore, if something is “free,” which care from a single payer supposedly is—although it’s paid for by taxes—everybody wants as much as they can get. And as with any free good, people won’t economize.

Certain people are going to live at the doctor’s office. It’s going to turn some people into hypochondriacs. The idea of Medicare for all—or for that matter, Medicare for oldsters—is stupid and uneconomic from every point of view. More important, it’s morally depraved, because it uses the State to force some people—namely doctors and productive people—to pay for those who were too imprudent to provide for their own care.

As a fringe benefit, it will destroy the medical system. Doctors will wind up as veritable government employees. That will discourage them from spending six years and hundreds of thousands to learn their trade. There will be a lot more demand but a much smaller supply of doctors. At the same time, the amount of capital available for developing new drugs, new technology, and basic research will collapse. Why? All governments today are running gigantic deficits. This is likely to get much worse. They’ll put off the important in favor of the urgent, and the results are inevitable…

Just the other day I got an email from someone in Aspen who’s a member of a luncheon group I attend. Most of the guys are typical Aspen rich guys. One member, who’s in temporary (I presume) financial straits, wrote that his dog has a type of operable cancer. But it’s an expensive operation, and he can’t afford to pay for it.

He’s asked the guys at the luncheon group and his other friends to contribute to the cost of the surgery.

I have zero doubt he’ll raise the money. I don’t believe in charity, for reasons I’ve spelled out in the past. But I sent him a hundred dollars.

I wouldn’t, however, send anything to someone in the Third World with a problem (not to mention the fact it’s probably a scam run by some Nigerians). There are roughly 7.5 billion people on this planet. They all have problems and would all like $100.

But I sent him $100 for his dog. Why?

The fact that I did might generate further good feelings between us. (He seems like a decent guy, although I don’t know him well.) If I had just sent it into the ether for the medical care of some person in Africa, as opposed to this man’s dog, I know I’d be getting nothing back for it. In fact, maybe the African is a member of Boko Haram and would want to kill me just on general principles. This is one of many reasons giving money to “charity” is usually a mistake. Giving to an individual, even as a test of their character, is much wiser

Frankly, sometimes you value the life of a dog more than the life of some poor person outside of your circle. And sometimes you should. If it were my dog, there’d be no question about it.

That’s what this whole thing about insurance, Medicare, and a single-payer system is all about. It’s up to individuals—not State bureaucrats, not “the system”—to decide who lives and who dies. Including you yourself.

Be seeing you

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