Mind your business.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Just So You Know: Government Run Health Care Could Cost You Your Penis

"A Swedish man was forced to have his penis amputated after waiting more than a year to learn he had cancer." Yeah- long lines matter. Think government can keep things flowing smoothly and efficiently? Really?

The rest of the article reports:

"After three weeks passed without the prescribed treatment alleviating the man’s condition, he was instructed to seek further treatment at Blekinge Hospital.

But it took five months before he was able to schedule an appointment at the hospital.

When he finally met with doctors at the hospital, the man was informed he had cancer and his penis would have to be removed."

When I posted this link with the title of this post as a caption on my Facebook page, a very pro-Obama friend of mine commented:

"I'm glad that nothing like this could ever happen in the United States (oh whoops:"

To which I replied:

"The United States? You mean where government runs health care and has been running it for decades?"

Always remember and remind people: we do not have a free market for health care / insurance or really much of anything in the United States. Our economy is tightly regulated by the government. That's a fact. End of argument.

Outrageous Story of TSA Vandalism

 "During one of those pat downs, the TSA goon even looked IN MY PANTS and UNDER MY SHIRT! My crime (that time)? The metal detector beeped when I walked through." In this truly outraging email, Humble Libertarian reader, Karen follows up her horrible experience in the quote above with a story of TSA vandalism that makes me livid:

Dear Wes,

I used to love to travel. Until recently. You know the rant - the TSA!

I was patted down on two separate trips even before this recent craziness. During one of those pat downs, the TSA goon even looked IN MY PANTS and UNDER MY SHIRT! My crime (that time)? The metal detector beeped when I walked through. I had NO metal on me - I was sure of it. A very thorough wanding (front, back, sides, and up between my legs) confirmed that I had no metal on me. Still, I was taken into the back room for the pat down. Naturally, nothing turned up.

Today I discovered another, lesser, cost of the TSA pat downs. I was actually breathing a sigh of relief that I made it through the TSA circus relatively unscathed, but it wasn't meant to be. Today's indignity is contained in the rant that I posted to FB which I will copy and paste below. I apologize that it is lengthy, and it is not a formal essay - it is a rant. But it is what is on my mind today since I am now on the other side of the country without a prescription medication I depend on.

Here it is:

It took the second incident for the light bulb to go off. But it did today.

Like almost everyone does and everyone is instructed to do, I carry all prescription (and non-prescription) medicines with me on the plane. A few months ago, while unpacking after a flight, I noticed that a bottle of liquid prescription medicine that I always take with me on trips had leaked all over the plastic bag I carry it in.

At the time, I wrote the spill off to being "one of those things" and called the doctor to have it refilled.

Fast forward to today. I was on another flight. As with the aforementioned flight from a few months ago, I carried my medicine on the flight with me. As with the aforementioned flight from a few months ago, I got to my destination and found that the entire contents of the bottle had leaked out. Which would be natural given the lid was *completely* off the bottle.

The medicine costs $90 for a 120 ml bottle.

This sort of thing had never happened before these two very recent incidents. I have literally traveled all over the world, by plane, train, and automobile, and carried this medicine with me and never had it leak out. I might have lost a bottle once, but never this.

Ah ha! Here's the light bulb moment: The difference between this trip and the countless similar trips over the past two decades is that in both of these instances the TSA tampered with my prescription medicine. I personally saw them rifle through my bags and open my prescription medicine and "test" it after it was flagged as "suspicious" by the TSA busy body at the X-ray machine - I guess to make sure I wasn't going to blow up the plane with it. (DO NOT get me started.)

During the first of the two trips, the TSA goon even broke the factory seal on some OTC liquid medicine I also routinely carry. When I said to him, "Uh, that's factory sealed!" he turned to me and, I promise he said this, sneered, "Yeah, so what? Terrorists know how to factory seal stuff too." (*sshole!)

Although I digress, let me also point out that the bottle that opened / spilled today was a brand new prescription. I filled it at Publix Supermarket yesterday (December 1) and had not even opened it.

It was in perfectly fine shape when I packed it. I assume it was also in perfectly fine shape when the TSA tampered with it.

My bad for not thinking to check anything and everything that the TSA thugs tampered with to make sure they were in the same shape as before being tampered with.

Maybe coincidence, but you be the judge. Decades of travel with this medicine and never a leak. Two trips in a few months in which the TSA opens / tampers with my prescription medicine and both times the medicine leaks, ruining the entire contents.

Lesson to everyone. Never assume the TSA won't ruin your stuff. Check every single thing they touch before you leave the "security" area.


And people want to put Washington in charge of our health care??

Filed by: W. E. Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Crushing Bastards: A New Libertarian Blog

A colleague of mine, John Logan Jones, whom I first met at the Young Americans for Liberty National Convention in Washington DC this summer, has started a new blog entitled Crushing Bastards and you should check it out.

He says on his about page:

'Today, the world is run by bastards. Most people in a position of power are there for their own benefit, or the benefit of powerful special interests. The bastards are in control and nobody is coming to save the Good People of Earth from their oppression. It is up to those of us who see this problem to do something about it...

To be clear, this blog’s purpose is not to encourage the ACTUAL, physical crushing of any bastards. Rather, it is to serve as a source of information to provide readers some of the information they may need to accomplish proverbial “crushing.” Exposing lies and hypocrisy is one VERY effective way to to crush bastards. This site exists as a way to empower the Good People of Earth to do something about these injustices. Together, we will crush the bastards.'

I challenge you to read that last sentence again without smiling.

Now I enjoyed talking to John this summer and we have stayed in touch since then, but I don't think he has ever told me what a badass he is. Check this out from his about page:

'My name is John Logan Jones and I hail from the state of Maine. From 2005 to 2009 I served as an Afghan-Pashto linguist and intelligence specialist in the US Air Force. During that time, I came face to face with the realization that the US Government was not the Constitutional Republic I learned about in government schools, but that it is, in fact, a modern empire ruled by special interests. Upon realizing this, I made the decision to leave military service to become an activist for individual liberty.'

Finally, I want to direct your attention to a logo design contest John has going on at Crushing Bastards. He can correct me if I'm wrong, but as of this posting, it looks to me like the contest is still open and the prize is a SILVER coin. Graphic designers have at it! Details here.

Filed by: W. E. Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Libertarian New Year's Resolutions

The late Harry Browne wrote a pretty good list of New Year's resolutions for libertarians to present themselves and their message to the world in an attractive and humble way. I like the one about not raising your voice in a discussion about politics. There's never any need for that. If you start raising your voice, you're getting too emotional and need to subtly change the subject.

Read the list of resolutions here.
Hat tip:  Lee Wrights 2012

Filed by: W. E. Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Thursday, December 30, 2010

"National Security?" video by Jack Hunter

In his most recent video "National Security?" Jack Hunter "The Southern Avenger," opines that the term "national security" has been bandied about so much that like the equally overused term "racism," it is losing its meaning altogether.

Filed by: Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

What C.S. Lewis Would Say About The War on Terror and the TSA's New Procedures

Before I submit the following C. S. Lewis quote (which is remarkably relevant to the issue of Islamic terrorism the world faces today), let me remind you that Lewis lived in a world far more terrifying than the one we inhabit today. The United States suffered a horrifying attack ten years ago and a few intermittent attacks in the following years, such as the Ft. Hood shooting, but consider for a moment, how widespread the devastation of World War II's air raids were on Europe's major cities.

The atomic bomb introduced another horror to the mind of mid-twentieth century man, and in his essay "On Living in an Atomic Age (1948)," C. S. Lewis wrote the following sage admonition:

"If we are going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things -- praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts -- not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They might break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds."

How easily we could apply Lewis' wisdom to terrorism! By simply replacing "atomic bomb" with "terrorism" we can surmise what Lewis might tell us today:

"If we are going to be destroyed by [a terrorist attack], let that [attack] when it comes find us doing sensible and human things -- praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts -- not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about [terrorism, or feeling up nuns and children in airports]. [Terrorists] might break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds."

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Get Real: WikiLeaks is NOT an Inside Job

"On the web are blog posts and columns that attempt to link Julian Assange and his WikiLeaks organization to Israel, or to the Rothschilds, or to the CIA. WikiLeaks, these pieces insist, is a psy-op designed to somehow help bring about the New World Order, to bolster the power elite at the expense of the rest of us, to undermine (or enhance, depending on who you read) American power or Israeli influence."

The rest of this article defends WikiLeaks against the absurd notion that it's an "inside job" even though the author believes 9-11 was an inside job... so all the smears against WikiLeaks are too far out even for a Truther. (And PS: I happen to like this Truther despite our disagreements on 9-11 and have featured his other works here before. In our e-mail correspondence on the matter I have never discussed 9-11 truth with someone so civil and reasonable in his disagreement with me over it.)

Check out Glen Allport's piece here.

Local Government Stupidity Contest

This post could be entitled, “So many bad decisions, so little time,” but let’s have some fun and turn it into a contest. Which bone-headed decision by a local government best exemplifies mindless bureaucracy, politically correct nonsense, and government waste?

Contestant Number One is an officer of the Baltimore County Natural Resources Police, who fined two men $90 each for the vicious, horrible, nasty crime of … (please don’t faint) … rescuing a deer. Yes, your eyes do not deceive you. Two hardened criminals used an inflatable raft to free a helpless animal, but they flouted the law by not wearing life jackets. Since I already did a blog post about a man being fined for rescuing a wounded deer, I guess the moral of the story is that bureaucrats don’t like Bambi.

Contestant Number Two is ...

Read the rest of Dan Mitchell's essay

Daniel J. Mitchell is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute

Filed by Grant Davies,
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles | Author's Page | Website

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010: The Year of the Tea Party

"Looking back on 2010, we'll all remember what a strange year it was. But while replete with iPads, vuvuzelas, Lady Gaga outfits, earthquakes, treacherous winter storms, Old Spice commercials, Taylor Swift, and YouTube videos of that 2-year-old Indonesian baby chain smoking, the single most significant event of 2010 might very well be the mobilization of the Tea Party protests into an electoral machine."

Find out which Republican Senators the Tea Party is targeting for intense primary challenges in 2012 by reading the rest of my article at CAIVN.

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Social Security is not "Insurance"

Perhaps the biggest media story of 2010 was the influence of Tea Party voters on the congressional landscape. The new congress comes to Capitol Hill with a mandate to end profligate spending and restore fiscal sanity, we are told. But when the House and Senate convene in January, the newly elected members will face tremendous pressure to maintain spending levels for entitlement programs. Even the most modest proposals to trim Social Security or Medicare spending will be met with howls of indignation and threats of voter revolt. Legislators who propose any kind of means testing or increased retirement ages can expect angry visits from senior citizen lobbyists ready to fund a candidate back home who supports the status quo.

But millions of Americans now realize that the status quo is an illusion that will not last even another 10 or 20 years. The federal government cannot continue to spend a trillion dollars more than it collects in revenue each year, because we are running out of creditors. Fiscal reality is setting in, and the consequences may be grim even if Congress finds the courage to take decisive action now.

Read the rest of Ron Paul's

Daryl Luna
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Glenn Greenwald Crushing State Supremacist Bastards on CNN

Our friends at Silver Underground have the story and the video here!

Ross Kenyon,
Assistant Editor, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Iraq Prime Minister: US To Leave On Schedule

In some big news out of Bahgdad, "Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ruled out the presence of any U.S. troops in Iraq after the end of 2011, saying his new government and the country's security forces were capable of confronting any remaining threats to Iraq's security, sovereignty and unity."

He further clarified that the last troops will leave by the appointed time at the end of 2011, and that,

"This agreement is not subject to extension, not subject to alteration. It is sealed."

So much for making good on that investment in the huge palace like US embassy recently built in Iraq.

It had been previously speculated that Obama realistically pulling out by 2012 was rather unlikely, that Iraq was to be a US positioning point for it's interventionist foreign policy.

Now, the agreement will have to go through, or Obama will face some serious conflict from Prime Minister al-Maliki and the Iraqi Parliament, "Mr. Maliki said the only way for any of the remaining 50,000 or so American soldiers to stay beyond 2011 would be for the two nations to negotiate—with the approval of Iraq's Parliament—a new Status of Forces Agreement, or SOFA, similar to the one concluded in 2008.
That deal took a year of protracted negotiations in the face of vehement opposition from many among Mr. Maliki's own Shiite constituency, and no repeat is expected."

Indeed, if the United States had other plans for Iraq, they'll have some trouble implementing them diplomatically.

Eric Sharp,
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles Author's Page

Monday, December 27, 2010

And I'd Have Gotten Away With It Too!

I made this yesterday just for fun. The fascinating thing about Julian Assange is that all the people are on all the wrong sides. "Conservatives" think he's some kind of miscreant when he's exposed how Washington has recklessly put our troops in danger, how it uses our tax money to bully other countries into accepting strict global carbon regulations, and that all their worst fears about Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State are actually true. Meanwhile "progressives" think he's a saint, but his information discredits their blind faith in the best intentions of our government.

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Amazing Rap Video About Julian Assange

Who let the Logs out!? Wikileaks drops 400,000 classified documents shedding new light on the Iraq war—the biggest leak of classified military documents in history—sending shockwaves across the Fourth Estate. Rap News marks the occasion by inviting into the studio the former US Secretary of Offense, Donald Rumsfeld. But what starts out as a conventional Rap News interview soon descends into mayhem as the live feed is hijacked by News World Order, eager to spin the record like a disc jockey on crack. Enter Bill O'Really, the champion of Fair & Balanced journalism, dragging us screaming into the No Spine Zone. Only divine intervention can save us now, from a fate worse than death. But beware of imitators; not all is what it seems to be! Join us for a rollercoaster episode of Rap News, featuring a very very special guest appearance.

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Friday, December 24, 2010

CBN Backpedals, Tries to "Clarify" Pat Robertson's Statements on Legalizing Marijuana

Here's some more in depth commentary I wrote for CAIVN on Pat Robertson's recent statements regarding the decriminalization of marijuana use. Apparently, Christian Broadcasting Network is trying to do some damage control and say that Robertson only advocated less strict sentencing, not full-blown decriminalization. That may or may not be his actual position, but in my most recent CAIVN column, I show that Robertson's recent statements were clearly and explicitly in favor of decriminalization.

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

The Faults of Fractional-Reserve Banking

"... Austrians therefore argue for privatizing money production, shutting down central banks, and letting the market decide what kind of money people want to use. Government wouldn't have to play any active role in the workings of a free-market monetary system.

One may hold the view that precious metals — in particular gold and silver, and to some extent copper — would be the freely chosen, universally accepted means of exchange. In other words, they could become money once people have a free choice in monetary matters.

However, Austrian economists wouldn't call for establishing a gold standard, let alone a gold standard with (government-sponsored) central banking: they would argue for free-market money, under which, presumably, gold would become the freely chosen money"

Read the rest of this article by at

Eric Sharp
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles Author's Page

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pat Robertson Supports Pot Legalization!

Reports (M) The New York Times: "Pat Robertson, the televangelist who once ran for president, said on his show 'The 700 Club' that he thought marijuana should be legalized."

Pat Robertson's exact words on the issue of decriminalizing marijuana were: "I’m not exactly for the use of drugs, don’t get me wrong, but I just believe that criminalizing marijuana, criminalizing the possession of a few ounces of pot, that kind of thing, it’s just, it’s costing us a fortune and it’s ruining young people. Young people go into prisons, they go in as youths and come out as hardened criminals. That’s not a good thing."

You can watch the full video of Pat Robertson explaining his surprising new stance on marijuana legalization below:

Though of course CBN News is backpedaling with the following statement:

"Dr. Robertson did not call for the decriminalization of marijuana. He was advocating that our government revisit the severity of the existing laws because mandatory drug sentences do harm to many young people who go to prison and come out as hardened criminals. He was also pointing out that these mandatory sentences needlessly cost our government millions of dollars when there are better approaches available. Dr. Robertson’s comments followed a CBN News story about a group of conservatives who have proven that faith-based rehabilitation for criminals has resulted in lower repeat offenders and saved the government millions of dollars. Dr. Robertson unequivocally stated that he is against the use of illegal drugs."

The Libertarian Allegory of Tron Legacy

I recently viewed Tron Legacy and was enamored with the message of freedom, individualism and anti-statism.

We can see this clearly through character analysis.

C.L.U.: the Statist and molder of systems and individuals
FLYNN SR.: the libertarian individualist (and Taoist)

(though I am covering the basic plot, heads up all the same)

Let's expound on this.

When Kevin Flynn created C.L.U., they both wanted to create the perfect system and vowed to do so together. However, when the ISOs came this all changed. The ISOs were spontaneously and inexplicably generated digital individuals. They are not programs like the other people in the movie. Quorra and Zuse are both ISOs.

Kevin Flynn realized that he could not create perfection around these dynamic individuals that needed to grow and make their own decisions.

C.L.U. on the otherhand saw their individuality as a imperfection in the system he was molding.
So he staged a coup, and systematically slaughtered all but a few of the ISOs in a mass genocide.

We see, from this point, the two characters develop very differently. C.L.U. grew into a staunch statist in his desire to create the perfect system, and under his control the Grid grew into a militaristic, controlled society where the individuals in it are subserviant.

To paraphrase Frédéric Bastiat, [right]
"To [C.L.U.], the relationship between [the System] and [himself] appears to be the same as the relationship between the clay and the potter."

Kevin on the other hand, retreating out of the range of C.L.U. and the programs, adopted a different approach. He learned that doing nothing was the best action, and fostered and nurtured the last remaining digital individual (ISO) Quorra. His outlook is very Taoistic, as reflected by the book on his shelf "Journey Without a Goal", seeing little need for micro-mangaging and shaping people into his will.

He has "... joined the ranks of the reformers, ... solely for the purpose of persuading them to leave people alone."
Instead of mold society he would rather, "Do nothing."

Undoubtedly Chaung Tzu would agree.

"The potter says: I can do what I will with clay. If I want it round, I use compasses; if rectangular, a square. The carpenter says: I can do what I will with wood. If I want it curved, I use an arc; if straight, a line. But on what grounds can we think that the natures of clay and wood desire this application of compasses and square, of arc and line? Nevertheless, every age extols Po Lo for his skill in managing horses, and potters and carpenters for their skill with clay and wood. Those who govern the empire make the same mistake."

What this clearly reveals is an allegory for the society as a whole. The Grid is a digital society that features the same personalities that wage the battle of ideas in our world. The lesson of Tron Legacy is that the individual cannot be suppressed and that the desire to mold and shape human beings is inherently violent and dangerous, both in the digital and real world.

Eric Sharp
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles Author's Page

Homeland Security - Stuck on Stupid

More fun for area commuters: Last Thursday, DC Metro officials announced that "anti-terrorism teams" will immediately begin conducting random bag searches.

Metro released plans for a similar scheme in October 2008, but never implemented it. That month, in an online chat with Washington Post readers, Transit Police Chief Michael Taborn was woefully short on straight answers.

"Can I carry my pocketknife?" an Alexandria resident asked, "and what if I'm returning from the supermarket with lighter fluid for my grill?" Owners of "contraband" will be "subject to prosecution," Taborn replied: "If you are unsure of whether a particular item is contraband, you should seek legal advice." So budget that into your travel time.

It's nice that the searches won't be as invasive as an airport porno-scanner or a Transportation Security Administration agent's cold rubber glove. But if .....

Gene Healy is a vice president at the Cato Institute and the author of The Cult of the Presidency.

Filed by Grant Davies,
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles | Author's Page | Website

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mises Institute of Canada

Last month, in November the Mises Institute of Canada was unveiled.
This is a historic moment for a nation so riddled with collectivism and socialism.
(Not that the US is in very much better condition)

To quote their About page
"The Ludwig Von Mises institute of Canada was founded in November of 2010 in order to spread the teachings of the Austrian School of Economics to Canada and around the world.

Please sign up to receive the Canadian Mises Daily in your in box.

It has been 80 years since the beginning of what later became known as the “great depression”. Canada made many of the same mistakes that the United States made when it came to economics and state intervention in the market that Herbert Hoover and FDR did.

A quote from R.B. Bennett (Conservative PM of Canada, August 7, 1930 – October 23, 1935) On his own Canadian take on the New Deal

“In my mind reform means government intervention. It means government control and regulation. It means the end of Laissez-faire …. I summon the power of the state to it’s support”

We are on the verge of another great depression as we speak, and the powers that be seem intent on making many of the same mistakes.

In this climate of stimulus packages, bailouts and the European social welfare state disintegrating before our eyes, we in Canada felt we could stand on the sidelines no longer. The teachings of the Austrian school need to be disseminated far and wide, so people can see through the machinations of our financial class and be provided the knowledge necessary to challenge those who would claim the right to control our economic lives.

Within these pages you will find the beginnings of the centre for Austrian school in Canada – we look forward to your contribution – whether as a reader, a writer, or simply a supporter of our vision."

Mises Canada has their own unique Canadian Mises Daily articles that you should subscribe to in addition to the US Mises Daily. They also have a unique book store coming in January.

This marks a turning point in Canadian history, let us turn our attention to Canada and their freedom for afterall the destinies of all free peoples are interlinked.

(Also, as a side note, I will be writing some of the Mises Daily there so sure to subscribe!)

Eric Sharp
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles Author's Page

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Will the Tea Party change anything?

"I think it's eerily like 1994. Not much will change." That's what Rich Hamblen told me about the 2010 midterm elections on our way to a political conference sponsored by the Los Angeles-based Tenth Amendment Center. And Rich would know. With decades of political activism under his belt, and a year of hard time for civil disobedience pertaining to a Second Amendment issue dear to his heart, the man has some serious street cred when it comes to politics.

Read the rest of my story at CAIVN.

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Distorting the Tax Policy Debate

George Orwell warned us about the use of “meaningless words” in politics, words that are endlessly repeated by sloganeering politicians until they have no meaning at all. Meaningless words certainly were on display during last week’s congressional debate over the latest tax bill.

Over and over again we heard trite, empty phrases like “tax cuts for the wealthiest 2%,” “tax giveaways,” “tax earmarks,” and “borrowing money to give to millionaires.” Time and time again the same falsehoods were presented as fact, and reported as such by a credulous media.

But all of these clichés about taxes are based on the presumption that government has a right to all of your income, and so government “gives” you something when it allows you to keep a portion of that income. To this mindset, tax cuts represent a “cost” to government. After all, they argue, money that really ought to go to the most noble of purposes-- wealth redistribution via taxation--is being kept by greedy people and corporations who just don’t want to pay their fair share.

Far too many Americans truly believe that tax cuts represent a government giveaway, indistinguishable from an outright subsidy or entitlement payment. To combat this mindset, we need to be clear with our language.

Read the rest of why Ron Paul voted for the bill at his latest edition of

Daryl Luna
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Monday, December 20, 2010

1st Amendment Alert - Fed Bans Christmas at The Payne County Bank

When I write semi-clever blog titles it is usually with the intention of "hooking you in" so I can blather on about some topic or the other. But this one is a little more serious even if some may accuse it of being slightly over the top.

This morning the Drudge Report carried a link to a story and news video from an Oklahoma news station which told the story of the Payne County Bank's run-in with the feds over their overtly religious celebration of a Christian holiday.

You know the one. It's the same one that has been renamed a hundred different things over the last few decades by the politically correct, the militantly secular, or the pitifully ashamed Christians in our society.

It's Christmas, not a "winter festival" or other PC happening. And despite the fact that many other folks celebrate parts of it, it's still a christian holy day.

As the above image explains, the US Congress (or its extensions such as the Federal Reserve) may not legally make a law (or regulation) which establishes a religion or prohibits the free exercise of one.

If the news report is correct, there is no doubt whatsoever that the described events fit the bill on this one. This isn't so called "public" property we are talking about here, it's a private enterprise and the celebration doesn't violate the rights of anyone.

According to the report, the bank had a "Bible verse of the day on it's web-site, crosses on the teller’s counter and buttons that say "Merry Christmas, God With Us." The examiners from the Kansas City Fed said they are "inappropriate." Which may make you wonder what exactly is appropriate for a religious holiday.

The Bible verse of the day on the bank's Internet site had to be taken down and the buttons taken off and the crosses removed.

The story went on to say "Specifically, the feds believed, the symbols violated the discouragement clause of Regulation B of the bank regulations. According to the clause, "...the use of words, symbols, models and other forms of communication ... express, imply or suggest a discriminatory preference or policy of exclusion."

"The feds interpret that to mean, for example, a Jew or Muslim or atheist may be offended and believe they may be discriminated against at this bank. It is an appearance of discrimination."

Normal people are not offended by religious practices of those of different faiths. But even if there are some, or even many who are, in this country you are not allowed to interfere in those practices as long as they violate no laws. Are we then to conclude that it is against the law to practice our religions openly in public at private businesses?

Do observant Jews have to remove their yarmulkes if they work in a bank? Do Muslim female bank tellers have to remove their hijab? This is the kind of concern that was scoffed at by those who advocate a large intrusive government when these "regulations" were first put into place.

What makes this different from any other private business? Because it's a bank in question? What about your local pub?

Try sitting down there for a brew and informing the bartender that you are offended or don't feel "included" because he has a "Merry Christmas" banner up on the back bar. Then tell him he will have to remove it because his regulator will pull his liquor license if he doesn't. Then see how long it takes Bruno on the next stool to change your seating arrangement.

This is a ski jump folks, not a slippery slope. Have a nice Winter Festival.

Grant Davies,
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles | Author's Page | Website

CNN and Tea Party Express to host "Tea Party Debate" in 2011

"With Republicans anxious to find a leader who can unify their party and mount a successful challenge to President Obama for the White House, CNN and the Tea Party Express are teaming up to host a 'Tea Party debate' next year during Labor Day week."

Find out what concerns me about their approach.

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Friday, December 17, 2010

Kill the Penny, or Kill the Bank?

The Canadian Senate finance committee has recently set about determining whether to do away with the penny. The committee has determined that a century of inflation has eroded the value and usefulness of the penny. Since 1908 the coin has lost 95% of it's value according to the statistics of the Bank of Canada.

There seems to be overall support for abolishing the penny (and the Senate too). After all, why maintain a useless and expensive coinage?

But I will submit that this discussion and conclusion misses the point that inflation caused this devaluation of the penny. And who, pray tell. is the master and supreme arbiter of inflation in Canada? Why none other than Mark Carney and his Bank of Canada of course.

Inflation has in effect killed the penny, so how much longer will it be until the loonie (Canadian dollar) is "revalued" and considered useless and valueless? Will it be 30 years? 20 years? Perhaps 10 years or less?

Why should Canadian's idly watch their money lose it's purchasing power? Why should Canadians sit on their hands as their savings are eaten away drop by drop like water from a leaking swimming pool? The reasonable conclusion is that it is the Bank of Canada, not the penny, that has become "valueless and useless".

Let there be a call from across the whole country to abolish the central bank of Canada!

Let there be rallies in every province outside of every Bank of Canada office and building this coming March 11th, the day that Bank opened its doors in 1935.

The era of central banking is coming to an end. The rising scrutiny toward central banks, increased respect of the Austrian School of economics [1] [2] [3], and the disastrous financial crisis in Europe are indications that the next century may well belong to the free-market.

Eric Sharp
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles Author's Page

Thursday, December 16, 2010

You Really Must Buy a Chevy Volt

No, this isn't an ad for the new Government Motors car, the Chevy Volt. In fact, the idea that anyone (not intellectually impaired) would actually buy one of these $41,000 turkeys with their own money is preposterous to me. Unless, of course, they MUST because it became against the law not to buy one.

The whole concept would have been ridiculous to even contemplate until just over a year ago. That is when the same government who took over GM, fired the president of the company, refused to pay off any of the bond holders who lent the company money, gave a huge ownership stake to their union buddies and started making political donations back to themselves decided that you really MUST buy health insurance as part of their takeover of the US healthcare industry.

Those of us who weren't consumed with excitement running up our legs over the recent election of Hopama and Company knew at the time that the whole scheme was unconstitutional (to say nothing of being completely immoral). But having seen GW Bush sign a clearly unconstitutional repeal of the first amendment (McCain/Feingold) and the Supreme Court of the US uphold the government taking of one woman's property in order to give it to connected real estate developers (Kelo v. City of New London),we also knew that the mere fact that something is unconstitutional doesn't mean much anymore.

That is, until yesterday when at least one rational federal judge decided that he agreed with us that the provision of the 2700 page Obamacare nightmare which mandated that citizens must buy government designed and approved health insurance was indeed unconstitutional. When Judge Henry E. Hudson made that ruling yesterday in the Commonwealth of Virginia's lawsuit against the federal government he became the first stumbling block for the law on it's road to the Supreme Court of the US, where the legal part of the citizens' resistance to the takeover will be decided.

So it occurred to me that while we wait for this legal drama to play out it might be time to think about what it will mean if the court decides that the government can force you to buy something it feels will be beneficial to others. Why not start with the (coal powered) electric car that Government Motors is pushing with $7,500 of taxpayer money in the form of tax rebates? I mean, even if it didn't help others, lots of people might buy a $41,000 car if they could get their neighbors to pay the first $7,500. But why take the chance that they might not when you can simply pass a law saying they MUST? (As in T. H. White's ant colony, "Everything Not Forbidden is Compulsory.")

After that the precedent will be set and the people may be forced to buy orange juice and health club memberships to supplement their health insurance. If so, they can drive to the mandatory health club in their mandatory Chevy Volts and live in mandatory good health until they finally die. Death being the only thing which is truly mandatory in a constitutional United States.

By Grant Davies,
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles | Author's Page | Website

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