Archive for the ‘Social Commentary’ Category

By R.C. Seely

CHINA HAS DECIDED TO IMPLEMENT A new prohibition in its “efforts to combat climate change” to phase out gas and diesel engine automobiles. While still in the planning stages, the projected timeline to no longer manufacture the vehicles is 2040. India, the UK and France have also signed on to similar policy changes.

Then there was the Hand-in-Hand hurricane relief fund raiser. This is a good thing, using a free market approach to help others, but they had to ruin it with their environmentalist lectures. Stevie Wonder called climate change skeptics “blind” or “unintelligent.” Insult them and lecture them on how brilliant you are because you follow the crowd, and you’re surprised they don’t respond in a positive manner. Go figure.

This is why I can’t support the Green agenda, the activist policy-makers see a problem and come up with a solution that will only make it worse. Not only is the ban on gas vehicles not going to solve the problem but the increased manufacturing of electric cars will make it worse. The manufacturing of an electric car creates more emissions than the gas vehicle would in its lifetime. And while the fundraiser did get $44 million how much could it have raised if they had kept it about the hurricane survivors and not the Green agenda? A GoFundMe effort got $6 billion and many other charities also totaled in the millions, all without the lectures.

So, what is the proper course? Go to the free market; eliminate all energy subsidies and lift the restrictions on alternative fuels. Let the energy sector figure out the most efficient model of fuel production. Getting rid of gasoline cars is not the answer, a viable alternative fuel market is.

Lastly, stop with the attacks on those of us asking questions. With the money and power to be gained from supporting Climate Cronyism, it’s not irresponsible to doubt the “good intentions” of those asking us to sacrifice, especially when they appear to not be willing to do so. Pope Francis recently said that “man is stupid” in reference to those asking questions. Spoken like a true theocratic Authoritarian. Quit talking down to those you disagree with and try listening to them for once. Since a few of the policies of the green movement make sense from an economic standard, they might be surprised.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture the most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.

By R.C. Seely

ONE OF THE FIRST VIDEOS I DID FOR MY YouTube channel Americanus Libertae Television (ALTV) was an opinion piece about gay marriage titled “A Random Thought.” To summarize, I don’t care what two consenting adults do as long as both are fully informed. What do I mean by “fully informed?” In this case, transgenders have a moral duty to disclose they are transgender to potential partners. The video was done as a joke, thinking the idea that someone would hide this is aburd. I was wrong there.

    Within the LGBT community are extremists who believe keeping others in the dark about formally being a dude is acceptable. Let me see if I have this clear: The gay community has been fighting for decades against “don’t ask, don’t tell” and have been successful in this, only to impose it on those they wish to hook up with? Is this a fair assessment? 

    These few unreasonable malcontents are willing to push back their movement for sex, and they are not even considering how dangerous this position is. Think this through a little bit, when the relationship gets physical and the decieved find out the little secret–how do you think he will react?  Oh what a funny joke… That was a good one! More than likely he will be justifiably angry and turn violent. That would be gays getting hurt, and the tricked incarcerated needlessly for a secret they shouldn’t have been keeping anyway. That was why “don’t ask, don’t tell” was a bad idea, it stiffled the discussion about the issue of homosexuality. Just because it makes you uncomfortable, pretending it doesn’t exist, won’t make it go away. And it’s not unreasonable to conclude these extremists validate their actions because of “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. They were forced to hide before, might as well capitalize on it now. 

    That’s also why Trump’s transgenders in the military ban should be thought through, what are the unintended consequences? One is that volunteers negate the need for the draft. As long as they wear the proper uniform in battle, let them fight. Besides, with the sentiments about homosexuals and women in the Middle East, seeing both in battle might deter a few fights. Hmmm… Maybe they are inferior but they got us on the retreat. The ban is currently the only justified reason for anger I can see. For the most part homosexuals are fairly well socially accepted. 

    While a fraction of the LGBT community supports the concept of “uninformed consent,” another wants to advance an policy that is even worse, to completely abolish consent entirely. Let’s take a bad idea and give it steriods! Essentially, this portion of the community is claiming it’s immoral for you to say no to their advances and you’re homophobic. That’s a good way to lose the support of the public. Homophobic is when voters support laws that are clearly discriminatory–bans them from employment opportunities because of being gay, “don’t ask, don’t tell”, or restrictions from adoptions–not making the distinction about who you let in your life and home. Not properly alarmed by this yet? Well, let’s just say every rapist and pedophile will be supporting this, because it’s the end of consent. That’s where this is heading.

    I personally support marriage equality, adoption rights for gays and the end of “don’t ask, don’t tell” because such stances protect others rights to decide for themselves and avoids provable harm to others. The most ethical choice is not to defend simply your rights but everyone’s rights. The only purpose for these laws is to divide us anyway, to keep us from examining the laws that cause provable harm. While we’re talking about transgenders in the military, we’re not discussing “full disclosure.” Marriage equality gets a lot of attention and our consent laws continue getting eroded. 

    Finally to the gay community, in the past there were discriminatory laws against you but your movement has achieved a great level of social acceptance, enjoy that and don’t embrace these new policies. These “Transaggression” policies are a ticking time bomb to all that has been gained and the clock is ticking.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV and has written books on pop culture. The most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.

By R.C. Seely

AS THE “MANIFEST DESTINY” MOVEMENT TOOK hold and the United States expanded into the South West of the continent, mining towns started cropping up and with the mining towns saloons and brothels. After the weeks work of digging for precious metals and resources such as coal, the miners wanted to unwind–have a few beers or shots of whiskey, play a few cards or spend the evening with one of the prostitutes. As these mining towns grew and brought in more respectable businesses and families, the need to isolate the more seedy parts of the mining towns became a priority, so they came up with “red light districts” a separated part of town for saloons and brothels. It worked quite well, until the towns grew into cities and isolation wasn’t enough, full on prohibition was the new way to go. So the red lights turned into the “black markets” and the violence that the respectable wanted contained now bleed all across their cities. Eventually the issue of vice management became the responsibility of the states and many brought drinking and gambling back, a couple even brought back prostitution.

Back then the red light districts were a social compromise for the safety of it’s citizens, today they are areas that put the citizens at higher risk. A trend to demonstrate your antimosity towards firearms is to replace the regular light bulb in the porch light with a red one. Basically you are advertising to the world that your home is a “gun-free zone.” That’s a really smart move! Hey criminals, why not hit this house, we don’t like violence of any kind and expect you to respect that. Because that how the real world works. Now to the way a criminal sees it: Hey these idiots just made my job way easier. I think Ill go there and do whatever I want. This should be fun.

If you’re against guns that’s fine, don’t get one but don’t let everyone know about it. Not only are you unnecessarily putting yourself at risk but you are putting the whole neighborhood at risk too. You think the intruders will assume that it’s just you who doesn’t have a gun on the block? They might think others feel the same as you and simply choose not to mark their house. A friendly piece of advice if you see red light come up in your street; get a quality alarm, a gun, a dog and sign advertising it all. Your home just become a marked target all because the progressives next door hate the NRA.

Even during the era of the original red light districts gun control was tried and had the same results as today. A few towns tried to outlaw carrying guns in city limits and it was the respectable who obeyed the laws and the cowboys and miners who did whatever they wanted. At least back then they didn’t go around with a sign “We don’t like guns and are completely unarmed. We make the perfect victims.” That’s basically what these people are saying.

I think every home should have at least one firearm, and everyone in that home should be trained in how to use it at the right age. It might be an attitude that is viewed as antiquated but it’s also the safest. Otherwise you are dependent on the police and a lot can happen in the time it takes for them to arrive. Doesn’t it make more sense for you to be able to handle the situation yourself? And having a gun in your home does deter intruders, a study by the CDC demonstrated that. The findings were that most gun deaths are suicides and then the criminals. Harvard replicated the study with the same results. But if you don’t feel comfortable with a gun in your home, don’t get one that’s fine. Don’t make it more difficult for others to get one though by supporting extended gun control measures that don’t work. All they do is make it harder for the law abiding to get protection and easier for the criminals, who still have the black market to turn to, to have their way. In a few places they have ordinances that the citizens are legally required to have a firearm in their homes. That’s just as wrong as these laws that inhibit others from obtaining their tool of self-preservation. Whether you want one or not should be your choice and yours alone. Now turn off that red light before you wake the neighbors.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV and has written books on pop culture. The most recent, Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available on Amazon.

By R.C. Seely

NEVER HAS A PRESIDENT CAUSED SUCH A RUCKUS WITH mere rhetoric as Donald Trump. Take his “fire and fury” remark to North Korea, threatening to react in kind if North Korea turns violent towards the US or other nations. Oh no, he’s saying he will retaliate! How is that any different from say, “the red line” for Syria by Obama? And so far Trump hasn’t added any new military interventions, sadly he hasn’t ended any either, but he hasn’t added any. Ending a few would be a welcome change. 

    Many were led to believe that because of his inflammatory campaign trail soliloquies he was essentially declaring war with the world. Trade wars maybe, but military entanglements, not really. The only exception could be his comments about Mexico. Continually saying he would have “the wall built and Mexico would be paying for it,” is a promise I hope no one expects to come to fruition. Iran is a slight possibility, if he rescinds the nuclear deal made by the previous administration. Personally the major issue I had with the Iran deal wasn’t the sanctions being lifted, more that we would be paying for another country’s nuclear development. That’s simply insane.

    If he ends up going to war with North Korea, Iran, Mexico or any other new country–on top of the list of Middle East nations we are currently still fighting from the Bush adminstration’s “War on Terror”–he will simply be continuing the tradition of almost every US President. While most statistics I question, the ones claiming “the US has been at war 222 years out of the 239 of it’s existence” sounds about right. That’s 93% of our history in conflict with other nations and itself. 

    The “anti-war” presidents were not an exception, ask Lybia how much of a “peaceful president” Barack Obama was. It hasn’t been the same since Gaddafi’s assassination. How about Bill Clinton’s trek of violence in Bosnia and Kosovo? Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt reneged on their promises to keep the country out of the World Wars. No president kept the US out of Korea or Vietnam. Why not? To look powerful in the eyes of the rest of the world is a part of it but also to accomplish their agendas without any barricades. 

    Despite knowing better US citizens are not all that reluctant to trade liberty for security, and war is an excellent excuse for spending and putting those pesky rights on hold. Why should we need a legal writ or warrant before having our homes searched–call a whistleblower a subversive and it’s considered acceptable. If you’re critical of the government, that’s the case anyway isn’t it? So what if you disagree with a police action in another nation, you’re getting drafted. You’re now officially a slave of the US government and no longer own your mind or body. If Hillary Clinton had won it would be both your sons and daughters getting drafted. That kind of implies she may have intended to start a fight. So much for the peaceful anti-war progressives of the United States.

    Not to defend his decision but the point is, if Trump does go after North Korea he is no different than any other president. At least he has demonstrated restraint so far, hopefully that status remains the same and the president does not go to war with North Korea. Another president to adopt this policy was Reagan, he didn’t have to start a war with the soviets and he openly called them the “evil empire.” That’s a foreign policy that works. Not off the dictator and force American values down the throats of every nation. Let’s not stir the hornets nest any more and instead leave the hornets alone unless they provoke us. It’s difficult to defend the “land of the free” title when in a perpetual state of warfare.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture, he most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.

By R.C. Seely

IN THE NINETIES IT WAS BEANIE BABIES, a market that when it went bust financially, hurt many who had expected it to be a long-term trend. The early 2000s gave us the “Tickle me Elmo” doll craze, that caused violence as determined consumers fought each other for their doll. Today we have similar product–one that I myself have made a modest investment in–with the Funko Pop figures. Will this be the next Beanie Babies or a substantial investment opportunity? I don’t know, only time will tell.

Fashion in general would be considered a “Fad Investment,” you spend lots of money at times, for an article of clothing that you will only wear once or until the trend ends. Not because you don’t like it or it’s in a state of disrepair but because you have to follow the crowd, that has already moved on. Bell bottoms gave way to baggie jeans, which moved over for skinny jeans. I hate skinny jeans and now they are everywhere. Worse still, is the material used, a nasty denim/spandex mutant fabric. Where are the natural advocates when they are needed? The major criticism here is that the retailers are choosing to cater to a single demographic. Like most trends, the skinny jeans are pretty much guaranteed to be temporary but for now it is an inconvenience. I doubt I’m alone in the hatred of this fabric.

Electronics–like clothing–are practical to an extent but it’s easy to make it a Fad Investment when obsessively buying the newest smart phone or a 3D HD TV or computer that has a feature that you won’t even use. But you must have it! This mindset makes even practical purchases a Fad Investment.

A little common sense in your purchases can help you avoid Fad Investing. For starters, if you have to mortgage your home to “complete the collection” then you might want to rethink your financial strategy. Gold or silver are a far better bet and will always retain some value. Precious metals have been around for thousands of years after all. Both are used in electronics currently so it’s naive to think gold and silver won’t be a sound investment in the future. The only real downside is that because of fiat currency the value is more organic and can be manipulated. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are also a better investment than those skinny jeans or the “the next must have toy.” Another way to steer clear of the Fad Investing is only purchase practical items–clothing and electronics for example–when replacing another product or has a feature that will be used regularly. If the purchase doesn’t break the bank or has genuine benefit for you, then go ahead and get it. As for me, after losing 10 pounds from going to the gym every day, it looks like I’ll just have to keep tightening my belt until the “flex skinny jeans” fad passes.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture and his most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.

By R.C. Seely

FEBRUARY OF 2017, ON THE WAY TO MY REGULAR workout a PT Cruiser with an Arizonia license plate hits into the driver’s side of my Mustang. At first it didn’t seem like a big deal–only appearing to be dented but still operable–on closer inspection it was far worse, the whole front of the car had shifted and the hood locked in place. The passenger side door scraping against the frame, when I opened it to get my bag, is how I found out. In short, the car that was paid off, that I  had for over ten years, what I considered really my first car, was totaled. That ended up being the least of my worries.

    Because of an error with the paperwork upon purchasing the vehicle, the title was in limbo. And when trying to figure out what had happened before, had lead nowhere. It’s difficult to raise hell when you don’t know where the foul up took place. Now back the present.

    So now I have two options: Wait for the settlement to get a new car, or get a new car now by borrowing the money for the down payment. Thankfully, I went the second route! The next couple of months were spent making phone call after phone call, multiple trips to the DMV, all because the dealership put the wrong bank down as the financier. The original financial institution petitioned for the loan turned it down and the mistake was never corrected. 

    Eventually the documentation that was needed was delivered, but not after being given the run around by both financial institutions, trying to cover their assets rather than deliver excellent customer service. Adding to the frustration was the day when–a couple months later–I got my first statement for the new car; before the settlement check! The insurance company kept calling about the missing title and I had to tell them, “I don’t have it or even know for sure where it is.” 

    Finally I got everything from the DMV and the Power of Attorney from the insurance company together and sent off. This headache would be over at last! A couple of weeks go by and another call from the insurance company–asking for the title! NO! You already have it! So thinking I got the wrong document–or that it was supposed to go to the DMV–I went back to the DMV, AGAIN! Just to discover that I had done everything right. So, I called the insurance company, AGAIN, only to find out that they had the copy of the title in their records. So I waited–expecting yet another problem to emerge. Then it happened, an email stating that the payment of $5,953 has been approved. Now it is over.

    So why am I telling you all this? Well, this is a site for social criticism and this is an event worthy of criticism! The anti-capitalists who read this will probably gloat. Oh look, this little libertarian, defender of free markets has to admit he was wrong. Yes! Actually, as a capitalist, I never said the market would solve all problems. Or that everyone in business are entirely ethical, many are not. Besides, part of what caused the complication was that there is a third party, in this case the DMV. That’s what happens when we invite federal “do-gooders” to try and fix things. They make them worse. When others get worked up about privatizing the post office, I’d prefer privatizing the DMV.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture, the most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.

By R.C. Seely

ALONG WITH UBER AND AIRBNB, THE MONOPOLIES to traditional markets have another rookie to bring competition to another market–housing. Like other monopolies, the status quo titans are not giving up their power without a fight and the standard weapon of choice is the law.

    From Curbed.com, a housing business website:

“Despite the growing enthusiasm for tiny houses, it still isn’t easy to legally build them for full time use. Zoning laws and building codes by and large, require a minimum square footage for new construction homes, and progress to reduce that square footage is slow. 

Cities and towns that have started to accommodate tiny houses have typically been pushed by grassroots organizers asking government officials for changes to local building and zoning codes.”

    A little about “tiny houses” you should know, they are either a type of recreational vehicle or have a solid foundation like regular buildings. It’s the ones with the foundation that seem to have state legislatures in a frenzy. Many states are only allowing tiny houses to build within a tiny house community, if at all. The strict construction codes have mostly come from the same source, the International Residential Code (IRC) with such requirements as 70 square feet for room size and 7 foot tall ceilings, and a minimum 1,000 square feet for construction, all fairly common zoning guidelines. Also absurd for tiny houses.

    “Construction codes tell you how to build your home,”Andrew Morrison, of Tiny House Build says. “Zoning depends on where you build your home.” There are some states choosing to embrace the movement. Certain counties in the states of California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon and Texas–but again still check out the zoning laws beforehand since it’s only select counties within those states. For more information, the American Tiny House Association has compiled a list of state regulations and state chapter leaders. They might even be of assistance in getting a variance for your state or county.

    The state of Utah might be joining the list, all with the help of the Utah based legal activist organization, The Libertas Instititute. Along with the other economic and civil causes on their long list, the right to build on your property free from the zoning gestapo. With the trend of the smaller dwellings popularity with millenials a reevaluation might end up being more than something to consider, but a necessity. Options for housing could help reinvigorate the housing market for the demographic most cynical about the idea of being home owners. Because of the economic incentive and not just the novelty of tiny houses, it appears to be more than “just a trend.” And the first step is to reconsider is the zoning laws. “There’s plenty of momentum to continue changing zoning regulations at the local level. But there’s movement on the national level, too. Tiny house advocates are currently pushing to include a tiny house code in the International Residential Code,” explains Morrison.

    Adapting the zoning and construction regulations would not only make sense economically but is protecting the homeowner’s right to utilize their property in the manner best for their needs. Control obsessed state and county legislatures shouldn’t have more say about what is built on your property or how you use it than you do. If you live in a planned community you have certain bylaws you agree to, that’s a voluntary transaction. You can always leave if you want or petition the board and your neighbors to change the rules. But you still had the choice. With these sort of laws you are robbed of that choice, whether it’s a traditional home or tiny one.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture, his most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available on Amazon

By R.C. Seely

AS MANY OF YOU HAVE PROBABLY FIGURED OUT, government health care is not going away any time soon and neither is the duopoly effort to take the credit–or blame, depending on who you ask–for the law. The republican party was running on the promise to repeal the law, but along the way it seems to have lost even the will to attempt that. There are a few GOP senators who hold strong in their opposition. Senators like Rand Paul and Thomas Massie seem perfectly fine with the notion of repeal and don’t replace. With the unfortunate rise in popularity of the law according to the polls, that scenario is becoming more unlikely. And the support for it has more to do with scare-mongering than the efficiency of the law, since the real world effectiveness is impossible to judge so early on. 

    The propaganda for the single-payer system is what’s truly effective and efficient. An email from Senator Elizabeth Warren describes “the fight to protect the Affordable Care Act is personal” and she’s going to give it everything… [she’s] got.” She is right on one point, more than likely “we all know someone–a cancer survivor, a mom who went into early labor, or a parent or grandparent who got Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s and needed help.” Problem is that a single-payer system won’t lower costs simply spreads them around and worse it stiffles medical innovations by handcuffing health care service providers with strict restrictions and burdensome paperwork.

    In the DNC Chair Tom Perez donation drive email, he recounts that “millions of Americans from every corner of this country made calls, sent emails and letters, rallied and protested” against the health care repeal. Former DNC Chair Donna Brazile claimed the Trump administration has “stripped away health care for tens of millions” and “left women without critical reproductive care.” Senator Al Franken has sent numerous emails condemning it, in one paraphrasing Mitch McConnell:

But here’s what Mitch McConnell is telling them: Relax. It’ll all blow over. The President will tweet something insane, and everyone will get distracted, and we can bring this bill back. Heck, by the next election, everyone will have forgotten how we took away tens of millions of people’s health care without so much as a public hearing. 

Well, not in exactly those words. But that’s what he’s thinking.”

    So Franken is a mind reader now? In another email Franken exercises his (lack of) an ability to come up with a nuanced response by rattling off a bunch of single word responses for Trumpcare, “contemptible” and “despicable” and “exercrable” are a sample. And we can’t leave CREDO out of the “health care crisis” discussion and their push for the implementation of “universal health care for all.” They make the revolutionaryesque war cry for democrats to “unite behind a bold and clear alternative [to Trumpcare] like Medicare for All, also known as ‘single-payer’ health care.” 

    As you can see there’s a lot of support for Obamacare and not for it’s repeal. But this is based on fear and misinformation, clouding the judgement of the nation’s citizens. Like a drug addict, Americans have gotten hooked on “free health care” and until the high crashes and it’s time for rehabilitation, we’re stuck with laws such as the ACA or the AHCA. The current proposed measure from the Trump administration is the Better Care Act but whether it’s really any better is still debatable. Another plan offered by the GOP comes from Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy. Considering the determination of gridlock by democrats, in regards to health care, even a compromise is not promising. But let’s push through the partisian distortion and reexamine this with the light of objectivity. Yes, there will be people who will be denied coverage or lose their existing coverage under what the republican plan ends up being, and it could be the CBO’s “24 million.” But people lost their coverage under Obamacare while he was still in office–millions of them–and many insurance companies are opting out of the exchanges. That trend will only continue the longer the ACA is place. The promise of “everyone being covered” has already been broken by Barack Obama.

    All the problems everyone is concerned about only get worse the more government gets involved in health care, since they treat you not as an individual but a number. A doctor in the free market system of medicine has to keep your business and so he looks out for your best interest. The government and it’s system has no such benevolent incentives, their interest is to get and expand control and what better way than through health care. That’s why control freak Saul Alinsky put it on the list, of Rules for Radicals. Whatever the republican plan is it’s surely going to have more to do with maintaining control of health care and branding it with an “R.” That’s not in the public’s best interest and we shouldn’t be coerced into a bad plan  out of scare tactics. After all “we have nothing to fear, but fear itself,” right?

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV and has written books about pop culture. His most recent book, Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.

By R.C. Seely

EVERY JULY 4TH WE CELEBRATE THE ANNUAL birthday of the United States of America. Against all greater odds this great nation was formed, to give the world an example of what freedom could be, or that’s what we were told. Where did it go wrong? To avoid the majority rules, it was built as an amalgamation of constitutional republic and democratic order. And it was working but somewhere we, the people failed. The majority started wanting “free stuff” and freedom became less important. That’s the entire reason Bernie Sanders was even in the running for president.

    The question is: Can people change their thinking and return to the path of individual choice and personal accountability? There have been a few positive signs. Another widely popular presidential contender was Rand Paul. While not a “true libertarian” he has always been an ally to the party and his presidency would have been a way for the Libertarian Party to get invited to the adult table. Talking to progressives who supported Sanders, Paul would have been a welcomed option and polls showed that he could have carried enough support from the Democrats and Republicans to have bested Clinton even without the “rigging from the electorial college.” Is this the last time that Rand will run? Or will he pick up where his father Ron left off? I hope so, either Paul would be a welcomed–and accurately named–the true “hope and change” president. Maine passed a “food sovereignty” law which means the cities and towns of the state “may regulate by ordinance local food systems, and the state shall recognize such ordinances.” It applies solely to local markets “who sell directly to the consumers” for the time being but it’s a start. Nevada joins the growing number of states that have full legalization of marijuana and have started selling. Uber and Lyft are also spreading, opening up into Alaska now, a very positive sign for the future of the shared economy. Oregon lifted a restriction that their bars couldn’t​ post their happy hour special prices. And love him or hate him, Gary Johnson brought attention to the Libertarian Party and more were considering the alternative. If not for the presidential debates commission upholding it’s ruling against third parties, who knows what could have happened. Oh well, maybe things will go better for the Larry Sharpe 2020 campaign.

    With the good comes the bad, such as Minneapolis passing the $15 minimum wage completely ignoring the consequences of it from Seattle. Obamacare is still not repealed and Trumpcare isn’t looking like a better option. How about repealed and don’t replace, let the market take over. TSA is talking about expanding their security measures but books are not included. So you won’t loose your place in that paperback but you also won’t be leaving the security lines anytime soon, so better stock up on reading material. Trump plans more punitive tariffs, making sure all your consumables are labeled “Made in America” putting it at prices you can’t afford. Trump continues his war on the media and in the Middle East, both which appear unending. As does the federal prohibition on marijuana so watch out for the feds when in a Las Vegas pot shop. 

    All the bad mentioned have one thing in common, the absence of independence and the adoption of the collective ideals. The abandonment of the independent soveriegn individual’s right of personal choice. Whenever a law is passed that robs the individual of their right to make a personal choice–as long as it doesn’t harm another–then this is a loss of freedom. We have to get out of the mindset that independence is about defending our choices; but instead defending everyone’s choices. As long as those choices don’t cause physical injury to another person or damage property–even if you find those choices morally reprehensible–stand up for another’s right to make those decisions free from unreasonable federal consequences. That is independence. 

    Keep in mind that someone, somewhere will find a personal choice you make objectionable and might find it proper to try to strip you of that right. Don’t be like them, be better. Anyone who does so is in the wrong, even if it’s for the right. Dictating your personal morality on others by supporting prohibitions and “sin taxes” are the easy ways to force society to conform to your norms. Besides the fact such laws are not effective, they are also a violation of the principles of liberty. The principles of America. There are also enormous costs of fortune and freedom because of these actions. I’m no anarchist and not advocating the abolishment of all government, just shrinking it back to it’s proper manageable size and scope. Much of what has been granted as the duties of the government can and should be managed in a far superior manner by the states, which is why our Constitution specifically stipulated that it was the state’s duties. That way it’s far easier for tyrants be to managed and individualism protected. This is not anarchy, this is not madness, this is independence!

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV and has written books about pop culture, his most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available on Amazon.

By R.C. Seely

“WARNING SIGNS OF UNSAFE OR LOW-VALUE CARE are detectable with existing data but often are overlooked,” charges Dr. Andrew M. Ibrahim. “Rather than duplicate and collect more data, health care leaders should renew their focus on better use of available data.” Sounds logical and makes perfect sense.

Ibrahim goes on to say, in his article for JAMA, that the laproscopic gastric band is one example of the necessity of more due diligence from the medical community in regards to safeguarding the public from faulty medical equipment.

“The advent, increase, and decrease of the laproscopic gastric band to treat morbid obesity … was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2001 and peaked in usuage in 2008. However, use of the device gradually declined as reports emerged describing complications and variable effectiveness [leading to the need to] … remove the device.” The FDA approved the device and the device failed, also makes sense. Under the FDA 100,000s of people die annually because of their guidelines keeping drug choices low. Dr. Ibrahim has more faith in the agency than I do.

“Before a class III medical device in the United States can be brought to market, it must undergo a series of premarket trials that are submitted by the FDA,” typically performed on a sample of sufferers of the condition being treated by “experienced clinicians.” But due to limited sample size and inefficient follow-up the trials results are somewhat unreliable. That is also true, most studies have extremely small samples making it difficult to properly gauge their merit as a measuring tool.

What’s the proposed solution? More post approval monitoring by the FDA. Increasing the awareness of the health care device manufacturers and hospital care givers of the monitoring system currently in place for medical devices, and encouraging faster reporting of malfunctions to the FDA. A congressional evaluation of the current system ended with concerns. Mostly tied to backlogs of data from so many reports coming in and not being addressed.

Another solution is increasing the number of medical devices with a “unique device identifier,” the before mentioned gastric band doesn’t have one. Obviously such a marker would make cataloguing complaints easier. “Legislation that would require all FDA approved devices to be trackable within data that are already collected could be a useful strategy to help ensure that … the warning signs of … widely adapted devices are not missed,” Ibrahim states. If Ibrahim is right, the news on solution number two is not great.

“The majority of medical devices used in practice today … cannot be identified within existing administrative data because they lack device specific … Current Procedural Terminology codes.” So the same agency that has such a horrible track record should be trusted with providing a situation to a problem they more than likely caused? Sorry doctor, but the FDA is not the right direction to turn for monitoring medical devices, they have difficult enough time with what they have to do now. Ready to explore free market alternatives yet?

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has written books about pop culture, the most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture of Victimizes Society is available on Amazon.