Also this week, on Coast to Coast AM, host Lisa Garr interviewed Dr. Marilyn Wedge, a family therapist who is critical of today’s establishment psychiatric clinicians and the schools’ quick and convenient diagnoses of ADHD and unnecessarily drugging up the kids. Dr. Wedge has written about why French kids don’t have ADHD, and has noted that there is no scientifically confirmed evidence of any biological cause of ADHD. Dr. Wedge has also been critical of the psychiatrists’ Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which to me contains mostly made-up “illnesses” for the pharmaceutical industry to justify marketing many poisonous and dangerous drugs to the unsuspecting public. (They are real shysters, in my view.) In this current interview she notes how the teachers and school bureaucrats are quick to diagnose and prescribe drugs rather than take the time to find out exactly what’s going on with the hyperactive or inattentive child at home that’s causing such emotional issues or distractions. She also brings up the child’s diet, and the problem with processed foods and the preservatives and food dyes which have been shown to negatively affect kids’ emotions and their behaviors. In fact, I would add, a common ADHD drug Adderall has quite a few side effects and could actually cause anxiety, temper issues, loss of sleep and restlessness. No surprise there. Dr. Wedge has written several books, including A Disease Called Childhood: Why ADHD Became an American Epidemic and Pills Are Not for Preschoolers: A Drug-Free Approach for Troubled Kids.
The NHK Symphony Orchestra is the orchestra of the publicly owned Japanese national public broadcasting corporation. Later this year, Paavo Järvi begins as the orchestra’s next chief conductor. The first video here is of the NHK Symphony from 1959, and the second video is of that orchestra probably within the past 2 or 3 years or so.
In the first video, composer Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), one of the most well-known and prominent composers of the 20th Century, conducts the NHK Symphony Orchestra in the suite from his own ballet, The Firebird, the 1945 version of the suite. (There are the original 1910 ballet and the three shorter musical versions for orchestra: 1911, 1919 and 1945.) Information on the Internet suggests that this first video is from a 1959 performance and takes place at the Osaka International Festival. The is only 14 years after the end of World War II, and a Japanese orchestra conducted by a Russian-French-American. (Stravinsky was Russian-born and both French-naturalized and American-naturalized.)
In the 2nd video, composer Krzysztof Penderecki (born 1933 in Poland), one of the world’s most prominent living composers of classical music, conducts the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (the “Ode to Joy” symphony). This performance is probably from within just the past few years. I doubt that any of the same players from the 1959 performance are also playing in the more recent performance. But I could be wrong.
In my recent post on Rand Paul’s views and political positions versus his father former Congressman Ron Paul’s views, I included several videos and a lot of links to various articles about the elder Dr. Paul’s statements and positions on the issues. The mainstream media seem to be referring to Rand Paul as “libertarian” just because Ron Paul is libertarian, even though Rand Paul has shown no particular adherence to the principles of libertarianism, such as the non-aggression principle, self-ownership, voluntaryism, non-interventionism, private property rights and contract rights, all of which are principles which the elder Dr. Paul definitely strongly believes in.
Robert Wenzel has a post on the neocons and the Left’s attacks and smears against Ron Paul and one of his ideological mentors Murray Rothbard. For those who may be supporting Rand Paul erroneously thinking that he shares his father’s libertarian views, Wenzel suggests reading Rothbard and Ron Paul’s works to get a good idea of those views favoring freedom. I actually was going to mention Ron Paul’s books and articles in my aforementioned post but I didn’t. So here are some of those writings.
Murray Polner has a very informative article on his experiences in dealing with neocons such as the late Irving Kristol, while working at the magazine Present Tense, a competitor of Commentary. He discusses how the early neocons went from left to right and their offspring (if you don’t mind my calling them that) became the shrill warmongers they are now.
I can see why Gillette has renamed its “Good News” disposable twin-blade razors as “Sensor 2,” because with them there’s no more good news in shaving. The quality of the blades has declined over the years and has made shaving very frustrating.
But at least I discovered the truth about shaving cream, however, thanks to Jeff Tucker’s article on the shaving cream racket. Shaving cream does something negative to the skin pores and causes the skin to react in a worse way to being shaved. I finally stopped using the shaving cream in November 2013, and things were much better.
Unfortunately over the past year it has continually gotten more and more frustrating. As I have seen on some forums and Amazon reviews of the razor products, these razor blades really have gotten duller in recent years, while the prices of the razors have skyrocketed. Another problem is that it seems that grey hairs for some reason are harder and more difficult to cut. And also it seems that there is more growth of hairs in one day than in the past. Is all this part of aging? I’m in my 50s now. But I refuse to grow a beard or mustache. No offense to those with facial hair, but I don’t like facial hair. I can’t believe I’m writing about this.
So I have tried other razors, Gillette and Schick. I haven’t tried Bic razors, because if their pens suck, then . . .But these more expensive razors such as “Mach 3″ or “Fusion” that are also not worth the price have 3 or 4 or 5 blades per razor. Apparently, the more blades the closer the shave with fewer strokes (and less irritation?). But the main problem with these is this pivoting razor head. It makes it difficult for me to control and maneuver the razor to keep it going flat along the skin. Instead it wants to dig into my face and irritate me more. Why do they all have to have this pivot? I can’t find one of these with a straight, non-pivoting razor head. And then there’s this lubricated strip thing they all have to have, including the ones that don’t say “sensitive,” etc. Who the hell thought of this lubricated strip? Do people like that and does that actually help? To me it just causes this gooey sticky stuff on the surface so it’s difficult for me to feel whether a section of face has gotten shaved as closely as I want it, and that’s frustrating as well.
Perhaps it’s the razor racket as well as the shaving cream racket. The razor makers are raising the prices but giving us lower quality blades, like they want to drive men into getting electric shavers instead. Which I also have, by the way, and no, the Remington Microscreen does not shave as close as a blade. These electric shavers suck as well. I’ve been using the aforementioned at various times since the mid-1980s. From then until the mid-1990s I was only using the electric shavers and returned to regular blade shaving in the mid-1990s. During the early ’90s I tried Braun and Norelco and they were even worse than the Remington. But now, after a couple new Remington shavers I have gotten in the past few years, I see that those have declined in quality as well.
I think that a lot of consumer products have also declined in recent years. The manufacturers are getting cheaper and cheaper (by cheaper I mean chintzy), such as with the duller blades on the razor that used to be, you know, “razor sharp.” So that’s the manufacturers’ fault. But also, I wonder just how dedicated the workers are to the products they are making, and really paying attention to what they are doing (and aren’t too high from smoking their joints on their lunch hour, etc., etc.). And that includes not only physical products on assembly lines but designing other kinds of products such as software. For example, I have seen in recent years when the computer manufacturers produce a new operating system or upgrade, more and more people have various new problems. Including Apple, in which you can see on forums people saying how Apple is not as good as it used to be as far as their new operating system upgrades, just no longer reliable, and people are sticking with the operating system they have. I think it’s a reflection of our society in general, the decline of Amerika.
But with these razors, they really are of lower quality. No more “Good News” razors.
Sen. Rand Paul has formally announced his run for President of the United States. Well, good luck to him, he’s going to need it.
It’s really hard to know exactly where he stands on the issues because he has been all over the map, just like Willard (a.k.a. “Mitt”) Romney in his two losing Presidential campaigns. I have a feeling that over the next several months, people will make fun of Rand in his Romney-like pandering to various groups.
Now, for some reason, many in the media have described Rand Paul as “libertarian” and have compared him to his father, former Congressman Ron Paul. But the two are quite different when it comes to consistency in one’s advocacy of liberty, free markets, and opposition to interventionism. The elder Dr. Paul’s views have been consistent and really haven’t changed in his 40+ years in and out of Congress.
For example, Rand Paul votes for sanctions on Iran. In fact, in his campaign launch speech this week, he stated that he was “concerned” over attempts to “prematurely halt sanctions.”
But when a government such as the U.S. government imposes sanctions on foreign populations, it really only affects the civilian people, not the government. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s the U.S. government and UN imposed sanctions on Iraq, which devastated the civilian population. The sanctions backfired because, to the Iraqis a foreign government (the U.S. government) was devastating their economy and infrastructure and they rallied around their leader even more.
In fact, Rand’s father Ron Paul has stated correctly that sanctions are an act of war.
Rand may complain about building roads and bridges in foreign nations with U.S. tax dollars, but in his “peace through strength” message I wonder if he has any comments on all the U.S. foreign military bases which his father Ron Paul has consistently urged be closed down and dismantled.
Here is Ron Paul, the elder Dr. Paul, from 2011. He was asked at about 3:00 into the video which U.S. military bases he would close overseas, and he is not afraid to say what needs to be said about that:
Now, if you’re one of those who believes that the U.S. government needs to have a “presence” overseas, or should provide defense for Europe or other areas, then I guess you probably have a Wilsonian view of things, and so you probably disagree with the early Americans who formed the United States of America.
If Rand Paul really were a “strict constitutionalist,” then he would have to agree with his father on the U.S. government’s empire overseas, as the U.S. Constitution doesn’t authorize the federal government to expand its apparatus onto foreign lands that are not U.S. territories. Article I Section 8 enumerates the various powers of the Congress, and establishing military bases in other countries is not one of them.
But I think that, constitutionally, Congress would have to purchase the land overseas where the expansionists in Congress want to place U.S. military bases. Or if there’s no purchase by voluntary contract, you could make the case that an actual conquest of particular foreign territory could justify the placing of such bases or other governmental apparatus. Has the U.S. government claimed Iraq or Afghanistan as U.S. territory? I think not. The U.S. armed forces conquered and have been occupying Iraq and Afghanistan (and for years now!), but haven’t claimed those places as U.S. territory. (How absurd that would be, anyway.)
Unfortunately, Rand Paul’s views on civil liberties are also not where libertarians would want them to be. Yes, he stood in the Senate chamber and filibustered against the U.S. government’s use of drones to kill Americans on U.S. territory. But my conclusion is that that might have been more of an opportunistic grandstanding move than a sincere concern for our civil liberties. In my view, if some of Rand Paul’s statements and off-the-cuff remarks are any indication, then he actually is clueless about what civil liberties, presumption of innocence, and freedom of speech are all about.
For instance, in 2011 while he was talking to Sean Hannity regarding government surveillance of alleged radical speakers, Rand Paul said this:
I’m not for profiling people on the color of their skin, or on their religion, but I would take into account where they’ve been traveling and perhaps, you might have to indirectly take into account whether or not they’ve been going to radical political speeches by religious leaders. It wouldn’t be that they are Islamic. But if someone is attending speeches from someone who is promoting the violent overthrow of our government, that’s really an offense that we should be going after — they should be deported or put in prison.
Law professor Eugene Volokh noted at the time that it would be clearly unconstitutional to imprison someone for merely attending a speech promoting the overthrow of the government. And civil liberties expert Glenn Greenwald pointed out that not only do people have a right to attend such a speech, but they have a right to actually give such a speech. Such a constitutionally-protected right was validated by the U.S. Supreme Court in its Brandenburg v. Ohio decision.
This is not an academic question. The right at stake here is absolutely vital. It is crucial to protect and preserve the right to argue that a government has become so tyrannical or dangerous that violence is justified against it. That, after all, was the argument on which the American Founding was based; it is pure political speech; and criminalizing the expression of that idea poses a grave danger to free speech generally and the specific ability to organize against abusive governments. To allow the government to punish citizens — let alone to kill them — because their political advocacy is threatening to the government is infinitely more dangerous than whatever ideas are being targeted for punishment, even if that idea is violent jihad.
However, as an aside, the American Founders did not promote “overthrowing” their British rulers. More accurately, they really promoted separating themselves — seceding — from the British, albeit violently, if necessary, in order to gain their independence and achieve self-governance (such as it was to become).
And here is what Rand Paul said about Bradley Manning (now known as Chelsea Manning), who released thousands of documents to WikiLeaks in 2010, and Edward Snowden, who revealed many NSA crimes to the public in 2013, as reported by EPJ:
“There do have to be laws to protect some secrets. I think if you’ve got the, you know, the plans on how to make a nuclear bomb that is a state secret. If you give that to the enemy, that is being treasonous,” said Rand, “Even if you reveal it, you just have to have laws against that. What Manning did was just willy-nilly, just released millions of pages of things and I think some people have said there is potentially some harm from that. You know individual agents that could have been killed or put at risk from this. So there is a problem with that. So I just can’t support that.”
If you are doing something for a political purpose; you know, in fact, in some ways the Snowden case is a little bit different,” said Paul, “But even with the Snowden case, I still think you have to have laws against what he did. So he did break the law.”
“Treasonous”! Sorry, it is those U.S. government bureaucrats and military personnel whose crimes have been exposed who are the treasonous ones, and who “broke the law”! For instance, here are the Afghanistan War logs, Iraq War logs, and the revelation of U.S. government diplomats spying on foreign diplomats and UN members, as revealed heroically by Manning. And here is the U.K. Guardian‘s dissection of the NSA’s treasonous crimes against their fellow Americans, as revealed by Edward Snowden. No detail too small for the criminal NSA, as detailed by the Guardian. And, regarding Manning, WikiLeaks and Snowden, I have pointed out here and here how We the People have a right to know about the crimes and corruption of our government bureaucrats.
Here is Rand’s father, Ron Paul, on Bradley Manning:
And here is Ron Paul on Edward Snowden:
And an important part of civil liberties, in my view, is freedom of speech and freedom of the Press, which is another area that Rand Paul does not seem to understand. His rude responses in recent interviews with Kelly Evans and Savannah Guthrie show that he is a politician who doesn’t like being asked questions to clarify his point of view or previous statements. And Rand’s allegedly attempting to get Abby Martin arrested or fired from RT, is cause for alarm, in my view.
When it comes to politicians who are seeking power and legal authority over our lives, it is the job of the Press to investigate and get answers to the who, what, where, when and why. And yes, there are times that some mainstream reporters and Internet-based journalists and bloggers can badger a government official or candidate for answers. And in most campaigns some of a candidate’s opponents’ campaign ads can also get testy and downright insulting, which ought to be protected in a free society. But all this is just what politicians have to deal with in a free society.
I hope that Rand Paul doesn’t agree with Dianne Feinstein regarding her anti-First Amendment media shield bill, her wanting the government to have the authority to determine who is or is not a legitimate journalist. As I wrote previously, anyone who wants to be a member of “the Press” has a right to do so. No “credentials,” no licensure or fee, no government approval! To know the truth, we truly need separation of the Press and State.
And more recently Rand Paul’s lawyers issued a legal cease order to TV stations to stop airing “defamatory” attack ads from political opponents. So it seems the younger Dr. Paul really is thin-skinned and doesn’t like being criticized. Contrast with the elder Dr. Paul’s Presidential campaigns, and the daily nonsense that was thrown at him by the media and by his opponents. Ron Paul certainly didn’t try to shut them up, that’s for sure.
On other issues, besides issues of war, national security and civil liberties, there are some areas of economy and government bureaucracy in which Rand Paul is not the “limited government” promoter he claims to be.
On the TSA, as Becky Akers pointed out, in 2012 Rand Paul came up with a bill to “privatize” the TSA, but the airport porno-scanners, gate-rapers and child molesters would still be under the control of the feds and the DHS. His father, however, Ron Paul would get rid of the TSA (and the DHS) completely and let each airport control its own security matters.
On the NSA, Rand Paul said, “I’m not against the NSA, I’m not against spying, I’m not against looking at phone records . . . I just want you to go to a judge, have an individual’s name and [get] a warrant. That’s what the Fourth Amendment says.”
Ron Paul, however, says, “Get rid of the NSA.” Period. (And the CIA, too!) That actually is the true libertarian view, whereas attempting to reform all these criminal agencies which can’t be reformed is how statists think. Perhaps he is more like Gary Johnson, “libertarian lite,” or just a plain old statist, who knows? Well, if Rand doesn’t win the GOP nomination for President, perhaps he can run on the Libertarian Party ticket.
So the statists want to keep the government as it is currently structured, but make reforms and rearrange the deck chairs. The elder Dr. Paul, however, had promised to repeal unconstitutional and immoral laws and dismantle the Leviathan apparatus, nearly root and branch.
Anyway, on to taxes. According to Robert Wenzel, Rand Paul wants to have a “fair tax.” And Rand told Erin Burnett of CNN that his tax “reforms” would close all loopholes and it would be “absolutely” okay if his reforms called for some people’s taxes to go up!
Meanwhile, Rand’s father Ron Paul says to “repeal the income tax and shutter the doors of the IRS once and for all.” Channelling his inner Rothbard, Dr. Paul recognizes taxation for what it is: Theft. And it’s theft because it’s involuntary and not a transaction based on voluntary contracts.
Regarding drugs, one thing that Ron Paul promised to do in his campaigns for President was to free all those in the prisons and jails for non-violent “offenses,” mainly drug-related, as well as legalizing all drugs. The elder Dr. Paul advocates not just self-ownership and each individual’s right to consume what one chooses, but also personal responsibility with those choices.
With the younger Dr. Paul, 15 years ago Rand had stated that he’ll “do everything to end the war on drugs,” but in more recent years has been pandering to the social conservatives, the evangelical wing of the GOP. Most recently he has sponsored legislation in the Senate, the CARERS Act, which would let the states legalize medical marijuana. But what about all the laws which criminalize non-medical marijuana?
According to DrugPolicy.org, the Act would also reschedule marijuana to Schedule II. “Schedule II”? But why are there any “schedules” for any drugs? And, as Laurence Vance has pointed out, the U.S. Constitution doesn’t authorize the federal government to get involved with drugs, period.
Now, if Rand Paul agrees with his father that it’s none of the government’s business what drugs people might be using, and that NO ONE should be in jail or harassed by police for it, then he should just say so publicly, and let the chips fall where they may.
This is one thing I really don’t like about politicians, they are so afraid of losing one damn vote that they can’t say what they really believe. And you can’t say that Ron Paul the elder Dr. Paul lost many votes because of his anti-drug-war position, because during the 2012 campaign he was winning head-to-head matchups against Barack Obama, in a Rasmussen Poll, a CBS News Poll, and an NBC News/Marist Poll as well. (Too bad Romney had to take the nomination away from the elder Dr. Paul! Why oh why must conservatives and Republicans always shoot themselves in the foot?! Doh!)
So it seems to me that while many libertarians’ instinct is with liberty as our pre-existing right, Rand Paul’s is with the State and the power it has over the people. How else can we explain his attempt to get Kentucky law changed to run for both Senate reelection and President at the same time, and when that failed, getting the Kentucky GOP to change the primary to a caucus as a way to get around the law?
So to me it appears that Rand Paul has alienated many non-interventionists, antiwar libertarians and conservatives, and civil liberties advocates as well. I really don’t think he has much of a chance at winning the Republican Presidential nomination.
Daniel McAdams informs us that the Toronto Symphony Orchestra has gone “full Stalin” in its cancelling performances with Ukrainian-born pianist Valentina Lisitsa, because of her Facebook and Twitter comments criticizing the neo-Nazi-sympathizing regime of Kiev. The Toronto Symphony management accuses her of “deeply offensive language” in her criticisms, and, according to the Globe and Mail, Ukrainian Canadian Congress President Paul Grod stated that Lisitsa “has been engaged in a long campaign on social media belittling, insulting and disparaging the people of Ukraine as they face direct military aggression at the hands of the Russian Federation,” even though all she has done apparently is express her opposition to the Kiev regime and its neo-Nazi leaders.
You see, we don’t really hear about the “neo-Nazi” aspect of the current Kiev rulers, because our stupid President and Congress are backing them. The mainstream media merely act as stenographers for their beloved Rulers in Washington. But, the truth is that you have to rely on alternative media sources to get accurate information which usually does not reflect what our government tells us. For example, Justin Raimondo recently explained some of the characters and organizations associated with the Kiev rulers:
Named after the first “president” of breakaway Chechnya, Dzhokhar Dudaev, the Dudayev Battalion was commanded by Isa Munayev, recently killed in a east Ukraine. Imbued with a fanatical hatred of the Russians, who are backing the rebels in the east, Munayev’s men also feel they are paying back a debt, since the ultra-nationalist Right Sector battalions now fighting for Kiev apparently helped the Chechens in the past. Right Sector is an openly neo-fascist paramilitary group which provided much of the muscle that made the coup against Viktor Yanukovych, former Ukrainian president, possible. Organized into various battalions, including the notorious Azov Brigade, they idolize the World War II collaborators with the Nazis, who fought Soviet troops: the ultra-nationalists have been accused of carrying out atrocities in the Donbass, as well as terrorizing their political opponents on the home front.
So all pianist Valentina Lisitsa has done is merely tell the truth of who the people in Kiev ruling over others in Ukraine really are. She didn’t call for violence or assassinations of neo-Nazis or of anyone, she merely expressed her views. What, concert pianists don’t have a right to express their opinions on matters of current events, especially which pertain to their home country? Apparently, the Toronto Symphony thinks not. Or did the Toronto Symphony management believe that Lisitsa’s comments could elicit violent protests from Ukrainian activists in Canada? It sounds to me as though they did not. It has to do with certain groups feeling “insulted.” (Or did they feel “triggered”?)
Alas, we live in a new age of intolerance, political correctness intolerance. Take conductor Leonard Bernstein, an outspoken political commentator and social activist, for example. During the 1950s McCarthy era, for instance, while Bernstein was pressured to sign an affidavit saying that he was not a communist, even though he had various associations and activities which may have suggested otherwise, and while in 1970 he and his wife Felicia hosted a gathering in their home supporting the controversial Black Panthers, I don’t recall hearing about any orchestra cancelling Bernstein’s appearances because of those outspoken views or political activities. One might argue that his concerts could have been banned had he not signed that affidavit in 1953. But times are different now, in which artists are banned merely for expressing an opinion about something.
Similar to what pianist Valentina Lisitsa has to endure from the Toronto Symphony, in 1982 the Boston Symphony Orchestra cancelled actress Vanessa Redgrave’s appearances because of her support for the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Supposedly the BSO management was concerned about protests and possible violence which might disrupt the performances. However, when Redgrave sued the BSO, the real concern of the management was revealed to be that they feared losing financial funding from Jewish donors.
Redgrave was also a victim of the “taking statements out of context” syndrome that some people seem to have, which may also apply to Ms. Lisitsa. Redgrave has expressed her opposition to Zionism as a “brutal, racist ideology,” and that the Israeli government is a “brutal, racist regime.” But Redgrave also has stated in her autobiography that “the struggle against antisemitism and for the self-determination of the Palestinians form a single whole.”
And Redgrave’s criticism of Israel really is appropriate. In an article I wrote last year, I mentioned that there certainly does seem to be a racist bent among many Israelis, and I linked to several polls in Israel which have shown that. But as I wrote in this recent article, you just can’t express any kind of criticism of Israel without being referred to by ignoramuses as “anti-Semite” or “self-hating Jew.” Israel is a subject of intolerant political correctness just as much as various issues we hear about on censored college campuses, and subjects such as “global warming,” and so on.
Pretty soon no one will be allowed to say anything about other people or countries or governments, or criticize racists, fascists, hypocrites or zombies. We just won’t be allowed to say anything, and total silence seems to be the desired end of the offendotrons.
I guess in pianist Valentina Lisitsa’s case you just can’t express criticism of those rulers of whatever country your own government ignorantly or corruptly supports, or which has the loudest and most influential activists supporting it. Anyway, here is an example of Valentina Lisitsa’s playing, without the Toronto Symphony (Who needs them, anyway?!), from Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata:
Laurence Vance responds to Barack Obama’s call to shrink the federal government’s “carbon footprint” (whatever the hell that is). And what a response! Vance gives a rundown of one government program after another that is not authorized by the Constitution and therefore its termination will thus help to shrink said “carbon footprint.”
Mikael Thalen says that the Kenyan college massacre could have been prevented by an armed citizenry. Thalen links to a Washington Post article on a Texas school district arming its teachers and putting up signs warning those intending harm, such as “ATTENTION: Please be aware that the staff at Argyle ISD are armed and may use whatever force is necessary to protect our students.” Is there anyone within the gun control movement who can imagine how many lives would have been saved at Sandy Hook had a teacher been armed?
You see, when a community depends on a government-run monopoly in security and policing, and at the same time disarms the people, you are asking for trouble. And when an entire population must submit to a centralized authority for protection from foreign aggressors, what you have really done is empower the Rulers who will eventually treat the people as suspects and prisoners. Here is a classic that addresses those issues: The Private Production of Defense by Hans-Hermann Hoppe.