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.

 

By R.C. Seely

THIS YEAR I MADE THE DECISION TO improve myself and went back to the gym. It had been awhile, so I have been going for the high intensity workout and the results have already come quickly. I’ve also learned some lessons about athletes. To outsiders they may appear vain and self-absorbed–some simply are–but it’s also more pride in their accomplishment. Getting yourself to your prime physical condition is hard work–in my case a couple of hours at the gym, 5-6 days a week. So when the topic of “body-shaming” comes up, I don’t see it as a harmful thing. 

    Even before my rededication to a more healthy version of myself, I never really bought into the idea that body-shaming was all that bad, but in fact it can be beneficial. 

    Shame is a powerful social tool that should utilized and some people are just plain lazy. I’m not addressing those who work and work, spend their available time at the treadmill or elliptical, and have no results to show for it. That can be frustrating, and to them I say don’t get too discouraged; the world is full of superficial people. Don’t waste your time or energy on their opinions. What I don’t consider an acceptable excuse is when someone claims they have a lack of time for exercise, everyone wastes time, I do as well. We have more time to spare than other generations, just like they had more spare time than their previous generations, that’s what happens with technological advances. And that’s a cycle that is sure to continue.

    I work a full-time job and run MOJO Publishing alone, sometimes writing a couple of articles a week  and researching subjects for future articles and books. I joined the gym, in part, so that I could do this more easily. This gives me more time to use for practical purposes. But let’s look at the “lack of time” argument a little closer. With a full-time job, you work 40 hour weeks, 8 hour days (generally speaking) that only takes away 8 out of 24 hours in your day. Don’t want to do a two hour workout? Fine, let’s go a modest fifteen to thirty minutes. Even with the longer workout you still have most of your day available. Include sleep for–if you’re extremely lucky 6-8 hours, you still have a few hours left, if you wanted or needed a second job or simply wanted your “leisure” time. So time is not a real factor, what about desire?

    A lack of desire is the other leading excuse. The culture also makes sure to lessen desire by dismissing it with a claim of victimhood. One of the more tame was from CNN, citing, “These days, any signs of body imperfection, particularly being overweight, will bring down the wrath of society.” These days? We are told that our society is difficult for little girls–because they are constantly being bombarded by images of “the perfect woman” everywhere they look. On TV, in movies and magazines. That’s valid, or is it? You ever checkout the Men’s health magazines or clothing products packages? It’s men in their prime condition as well, so are men just more secure? And if so, why? Are women being handicapped as little girls by this well-meaning agenda to end body-shaming? Another demographic reportedly susceptable to this cultural epidemic is that of the gay community. Apparently the same issues of suicide attempts and bulemia affect them as well. So the same questions apply.

    Who knows, I don’t. What I am sure of, is that the current course of action in fighting body-shaming isn’t the right one. When former Playmate Dani Mathers was involved in an “invasion of privacy” incident, the internet considered it a “body-shaming case.” Mathers was wrong and she admitted it but her crime was secretly recording an elderly woman in the shower of the gym. Let’s keep that in perspective. I get worried about that when the attorney handling the case, LA City Attorney Mike Feuer, says in an interview with KTLA: “This case is really important to me … Body-shaming is humiliating. It devastates its victims. It tears down their self respect.” It’s feeding the idea that those who can improve themselves shouldn’t even bother, because you might hurt another’s feeling. It’s another push for a participation award. It encourages jealousy of others, rather than individual determination and drive. Instead of trying to shield little girls from these images of physical perfection maybe it would be better to tell them–work hard and you could have it. If you’re willing to put in the effort, and if not feel good that you tried. Failure is a part of life, and it’s always an option but it is what happens afterwards that truly defines us.

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

By R.C. Seely

NEVADA JOINED THE STATES TO FULLY LEGALIZE marijuana at the state level and it’s already seeing a problem come up, one that is very old and common–the monopoly. 

    From the Las Vegas Review Journal:

“A Carson City district court judge … refused to dismiss a lawsuit brought by liquor distributors against the Department of Taxation over the distribution of recreational marijuana to pot dispensaries…. One of those disputes involves the Department of Taxation’s intervention in a licensing process by liquor distributors in Clark County who were seeking to participate in the distribution process.

The decision could delay the start of recreational marijuana sales originally set for July 1 via the existing medical marijuana dispensaries operating throughout Nevada.

Issue is whether liquor distributors have the first right to distribute marijuana from grow facilities to the dispensaries.”

 

  According to the alcohol distributors the law clearly stipulates they get first shot and a temporary restraining order was issued against marijuana distributors from a lawsuit brought on by the Independent Alcohol Distributors of Nevada.

    It should be mentioned, that the tax agency had concerns of lack of interest by the alcohol distributors in the marijuana business–spokeswoman for the Department of Taxation, Stephanie Klapstein stated there was only one liquor wholesaler who applied for a license at the time the restraining order was issued, and it came the morning of the lawsuit–the attorney for the liquor distributors, Kevin Benson, claims five have applied for the licenses. It would be difficult to not see this as suspicious. But let’s leave Nevada for a moment and go to Iowa.

From Reason.com:

“In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, there is a fully outfitted outpatient surgical center that could be used to treat patients with eye problems and improve their vision.

It sits empty, unused, a monument to government imposed artificial restrictions on the supply of medical care.

The prohibition has nothing to do with Dr. Lee Birchansky, who owns the surgical center and the doctor’s office next door. He’s allowed to operate on patients at nearby hospitals, but he can’t do those same surgeries in the facilities that he owns.”

 

   So what’s the problem? The doctor has been the victim of a CON. No, not a scam artist, but a state sanctioned scam. The con in this case is Certificate of Need, so literally a CON. Essentially it’s a license that some states require the business to obtain demonstrating the need for the business or for the industry to expand in the area. It’s used by large companies to keep out competitors. “It is ridiculous that I have an outpatient surgery center that is … ready to go, but I have been denied a certificate of need four times because established hospitals do not want competition,” said Birchansky.

    In order to reopen Birchansky would need to obtain the CON from the Department of Public Health, which he would have to file another application and a $21,000 fee.

    All is not lost for Dr. Birchansky he has help. On Birchansky’s side is the Institute for Justice, a law firm noted for challenging such laws. “Patients and Doctors–not the government–are in the best position to decide what medical services are needed,” said Joshua House of the Institute. Also joining Birchansky in the right is Governor Terry Bradstad of Iowa, who fights to reform CON laws in the state. As for the marijuana distributors of Nevada, right now it appears they are stuck in legislative limbo. For now, the medical marijuana dispensaries will be serving as recreational distributors while all this gets sorted out. When going up against the monopolies, even a single victory is a great one and in time, maybe the Nevada Department of Taxation will see through the smoke.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. His latest book, Victims of White Male: Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available on Amazon.

By R.C. Seely

RECENTLY COMEDIAN KATHY GRIFFIN MADE a serious faux pas with a pictorial depiction of herself holding the severed head of Donald Trump and she unleashed a massive amount of backlash for it. Surprisingly it has not only been ardent Trump supporters to voice their disapproval but those who despise Trump as well. Chelsea Clinton, daughter of Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton referred to the picture as “vile and wrong.” In a Twitter post she went on to say “It is never funny to joke about killing a president.”

    CNN Communications tweeted “CNN has terminated our agreement with Kathy Griffin to appear on our New Year’s Eve program.” And this is not the only job opportunity rescended to Griffin, the company that produces the Squatty Potty–a line of toilet footstools, if you were curious–has also dropped her. In part of his statement, chief executive Bobby Edwards declared, “It was deeply inappropriate and runs contrary to the core values our company stands for.”

    It’s not only her career that could be in jeopardy for this stunt that Griffin admitted, she “went too far.” This has attracted the attention of the presidential body guards, the Secret Service. Tweeting that “threats against @SecretService protectees receive the highest priority of all our investigations.” Would you mind telling where the actual “threat” is? Griffin never said she was going to commit the actual beheading of the president, the picture could be loosely interpretive to that, but even that’s a bit of a stretch. And a statement of the death of political leaders in effigy is part of this country, even before the country in fact. To rally support of independence dummies of England’s King were basically tortured and “killed.” An act like this is at least partially responsible for the founding of this nation. Apparently the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) doesn’t see it this way. VFW Commander Brian Duffy, argues that it “was not humourous nor should it be protected speech or expression.” Well, the first part I do agree but not the second. I’m not going to dispute how much of an “incredibly revolting attack on the President of the United States,” as Duffy puts it, that this picture represents. It’s his right to say that and I support and defend that right. This is what Griffin’s critics get wrong, that because “their guy” is being figuratively assaulted that amounts the same thing as an actual assault. Did you know that you can get 10 years in prison for threatening the President? For threatening him! A bit excessive for a statement I’d say. I get it, the death–especially a successful assassination–of the President would send the nation into turmoil but this still seems extreme. And no matter what, if an assassin is truly dedicated to “getting rid of the tyrant,” they will find a way. Many in the past have sent letters to their intended victims before hand, but generally it’s been multiple volumes, not a single ill-advised letter or picture.

    Much of the criticism was aimed at how grotesque and not humourous the image. This Griffin admitted in her apology on Instagram, “I’m a comic. I cross the line. I move the line, then I cross it. I went way too far. The image is too disturbing…. It wasn’t funny. I get it.” Thing is, it was never really supposed to be funny. It was a satrical piece that was intentionally provocative. That’s​ why she collaborated with photographer Sheilds who has made his mark in the world of art through similar pieces. His comments confirm this, “she [Griffin] said, ‘I’d love to do something political. I’d love to make a statement.” Congratulations, Kathy Griffin you did just that.

    With freedom of speech comes the acceptance that, at times there are consequences. Some are valid like losing a job, others not so much, like losing your freedom because of a strictly hypothetical “threat.” Griffin and possibly her co-conspirator, Sheilds may have to suffer both. The first is simply part of the free market at work, second is part of the authoritarian state flexing it’s muscle. No one who truly believes in the First Amendment should be applauding the possibility of Griffin facing incarceration. It’s Sheilds that puts it the best, “I love the idea we have freedom of speech. The fact that I’m allowed to make an image like this says a lot. To me, that’s a powerful thing … nobody’s killed me for this image.” And hopefully it never comes to that.

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

By R.C. Seely

WHY DO WE CELEBRATE MEMORIAL DAY? IS it more than simply a Monday holiday? Yes, actually and it’s a tradition that goes a long ways back. 

    Despite being an American holiday the traditions go further back–before America–or even before Christianity. One of the earliest known accounts of honoring the fallen soldier was in 431 B.C., when the Athenian General Pericles delivered a speech that marked the dead of the Pellonesian War. The ancient Greeks and Romans performed similiar observations for their fallen warriors; with festivals, feasts and adorning the markers. 

    Even in the US, those who died in battle were honored with unofficial days of rememberance. The first organizers were the recently freed slaves. The particapants sang hymns, distributed flowers on the graves, and performed readings, dedicated to the “Martyrs of the Race Course.”

    The founder of the holiday–originally called “Deorations Day”–was the commander-in-cheif of the Union, John A. Logan, who issued a decree on May 30, 1868 that a nationwide day of rememberance should be observed for the 620,000 dead of the Civil War. On this “Decoration Day” flowers were to be placed on the graves of the war dead, same as today. 

    It’s speculated that Logan got the idea from the women’s groups who were already adorning the stones of Confederate soldiers. Even with all this, it was not marked as an official holiday until 1971 and at this time period it was somewhat controversial of a move because of the antimosity of the Vietnam War.

    No matter how you may feel about the cause, or the politicians promises that they will stay out of a war or the lie of it being “the war to end war”, it’s important to show respect for those offer the greatest sacrifice–their very lives. They put themselves in harm’s way because they view it as what is right. They do it for honor and they do it for freedom. The war or police action, might not be right, but the solider is as long as he conducts himself to protect others and deserves our respect. If you want to learn more check out, history.com “8 Things You May Not Know About Memorial Day”.

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