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Author: scott lazarowitz

H1N1? Don’t Panic! Overreacting Government Bureaucrats? PANIC!!!

Is it really a good idea that the government mandate things like flu vaccines or H1N1 flu vaccines or any vaccines? No, it’s not a good idea. People have a right to choose what medications to take or what chemicals get injected in their bodies.

With the H1N1 flu this year and Federal and state governments’ overreactions, suggestions of martial law have been made, and these kind of threats of intrusions, along with the intrusions  health care fascists are threatening in the proposals for government medicine, is why we should be alarmed.

This news story here is about health care workers protesting mandatory H1N1 vaccines for lack of testing and/or reliability and safety, and also notes the overreaction of the government is similar to overreaction of the government in the past, such as in 1976 when more people were killed by swine flu vaccine than swine flu itself.

This news story is about studies questioning the effectiveness of the regular flu shot. And this article is about why the flu vaccine doesn’t really work.

Parents in New Jersey have been protesting the state’s mandating of flu vaccines for preschool children, and given how past government mandates of vaccines, such as that of HPV which caused deaths, as explained here by Karen De Coster, the parents have good reason to be angry.

First, people have a right to be left alone. They have a right to be presumed innocent, and presumed “in good health,” and otherwise left alone, especially by government. Sweeping mandates that affect everybody is not going to protect the public from any flu. ADVISING people of the best way to keep themselves healthy and to prevent colds, flu, H1N1 etc., is a good idea, but not forcing something on people, especially vaccines that have potentially dangerous chemicals that could be more harmful than the actual virus itself.

Hysteria and panic are emotions that can cause people to behave irrationally, and, given the irrationality of the Obama Administration in just about every policy it wants to force on us, as well as the Deval Patrick Administration in Massachusetts, we can do without it.

When Does Self-Ownership Begin?

Last week, S.M. Oliva wrote* for the Mises Economics Blog:

“Let’s say that, in fact, creation is a source of property rights. Does that mean parents have intellectual property rights in their children? After all, they created them.”

Since then, I’ve had some thoughts on that.

Parents can’t own their offspring, regardless of their labor they exerted  and “tools” they used, because their “product” happens to be another separate, individual human being.

Human beings inherently have natural, inalienable rights, among them the rights to life and liberty. Part of the right to life and liberty is the right of an individual to self-ownership. The right to self-ownership begins when the human being begins. But when does the human being’s life actually begin?

At the time of the  Roe v. Wade decision, the concept of “personhood” was brought up by Justice Harry Blackmun:

“(If the) suggestion of personhood [of the preborn] is established, the [abortion rights] case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment.”

I’ve seen references to “personhood,” “viability,” “sentience,” and “consciousness, “  and I have some questions.

What is the viability of a born baby? If baby is left alone for a particular amount of time, one cannot survive for very long, because at that early stage of development one is dependent on one’s caretakers for feeding. The same can be said of a 2-year-old, maybe even older children, although the older the child, the more able one is to go out and seek food, unless one is locked inside and can’t get out. Is there a difference between the viability of a born individual and an unborn individual (at whatever stage of development)?

What about “sentience” and “consciousness?” How do we know whether or not a two-month-old “fetus” or a 2-day-old “fetus” can have any physical sensation or conscious awareness? If it is important whether or not that individual has sentience or consciousness in considering whether that individual has any right to life and liberty, and self-ownership, then, what about a born human being or a grown adult who has a neurological disorder and has no “sentience” or who is in a “persistent vegetative state” and has no consciousness, but is still “alive” (or can be kept alive via artificial means)?

I can’t say for sure that a human life begins at conception (although I believe that to be the case and have believed that for 20 years now), but I can sure say without any doubt that, IF a human life begins at conception, then self-ownership begins at conception. And IF that actually were the case, then those of the female gender would have an extra burden–and responsibility–that those of the male gender just don’t have.

* Update, October 2014: Broken link preserved at the Wayback Machine.

Right to Bear Arms, Individual Rights, Public Health Hysteria and the Police State

Here is a question about the Second Amendment, which protects our right to bear arms, a right the Supreme Court recently reaffirmed as an individual’s right, particularly associated with one’s right to defend oneself from the aggression of others. However, the court specifically referred to the right existing within “one’s home.”

My question is this: If there are laws that forcibly disarm a citizen while outside of one’s home, such as while walking in public areas, and that citizen is attacked by some assailant and killed because of being disarmed by the state and thus unable to defend himself, the officials who engaged in that legal disarming, such as the legislators and the mayor or governor who signed it into law, can’t be charged with “aiding and abetting” or being “accessories” because of lack of “intent,” but can they be charged with “involuntary manslaughter?”

Didn’t the Founders create our Constitution and the Bill of Rights with the intention of protecting the individual from the state?

What would the American Founders have done if there were a “Royal Gun Control” policy? Would the Revolution have been possible?

Here is Will Grigg on some issues with local police in Support Your Local Sadist.

In Massachusetts, a bill passed both houses of the legislature in response to H1N1 Flu pandemic hysteria, that will give “authorities” the power to, without warrant, forcibly enter private homes of people suspected of having that illness, and either force vaccinations or “quarantine” them if they refuse, or they would face heavy fines and/or imprisonment. I don’t know if Gov. Patrick has signed it or intends to. It depends on how pro- or anti-civil liberties he is.

It is interesting how people on the left and Democrats were in the past very pro-civil liberties and individual rights. I think that’s changed.

And, with any further government or Federal government control over the entire health and medical care system, the police state mentality and hysteria might very well increase.

Michael Moore’s “Capitalism”

September 8, 2009

It is not surprising to see  someone like Michael Moore with a new film depicting the Wall St. Bailout as a “capitalist” action by government. He is displaying gross ignorance, which is typical of the Left.

And come and gone was the  controversy of Van Jones, described by some as a “communist,” as several of President Obama’s cronies have been described, such as long time Obama supporter and friend Bill Ayers, who described himself as a “small ‘c’ communist.”

There is little difference between communism and socialism, except that communism supposedly is the desired end result of a progressively socialist society (which is what ours is now, and getting worse), with the state having complete ownership of and control over all property and the means of production, which includes the people.

Capitalism, on the other hand, is a system in which the rights of the individual are recognized and protected by government. The United States is unique in that regard, in which we have a Constitution with a Bill of Rights, a document on which laws were to be made to protect those individual rights and, as declared in the Declaration of Independence, our natural “rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Capitalism is an economic system which recognizes those individual rights and private property rights and the right of freedom of trade and commerce. By its very nature, a socialist system violates those rights of private property and voluntary free trade, and, since the means of production includes the people, it therefore is a system of collective ownership of individual people and thus erases any idea of “individual” rights.

In socialism, the individual is owned by the collective and thus does not have any right to one’s own life and liberty. In socialism, the individual is a slave of the collective and of the state; only in capitalism does freedom of the individual exist.

Michael Moore does not realize that it is because of capitalist freedom that he earns a big profit from his films, from the people who voluntarily pay money to see them. That is an example of voluntary free trade among individuals that the force of socialism destroys.

However, because our country is a “mixed economy,” with some capitalist free trade allowed by the government, and some socialist-forced government confiscation of private wealth and earnings, half of Mr. Moore’s earnings are forcibly confiscated by the armed force of government and then redistributed to Wall St. executives and Big Banks and Big Finance and Big Mortgage, etc. That’s Socialism, NOT “capitalism”!

Mr. Moore and others would benefit by reading Mises’s Human Action and Socialism, Rand’s Capitalism the Unknown Ideal, and Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom.

“Promote the General Welfare”

While Walter Williams filled in for Rush Limbaugh yesterday, a caller asked about the phrase “promote the general welfare” in the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution.

I don’t know if the Founders meant by “promote” anything other than to advance or to further, but I see the word “promote” as in Merriam-Webster’s 1st definition,”to advance in station, rank or honor.” Maybe one can compare that to being “promoted” at one’s job. For example, the Founders created the Constitution “in order to,” among other things, “promote the general welfare” of the people of the United States, or to raise the standard of living as well as level of freedom of their posterity. Of course, when the very government the Founders created, which is sworn to uphold that very Constitution and its stated purposes in the Preamble, enacts laws and restrictions on the citizens’ freedom and creates burdens on Americans and siphons from them the fruits of their labor, then such a government is then violating the concept of “promoting” the citizens’ standard of living and their “general welfare,” and is thus demoting them.

There was so much progress in the 19th and 20th centuries, but then our Federal government inflicted  Americans with the income tax, and then created the Federal Reserve, and then the fascist New Deal, and several wars, etc.

Governments in America have caused the demoting of Americans, and we really must get back on track by dismantling all the enslavements and impoverishments that government has caused.

Big Medicine’s Control and Corruption

I was looking through Lew Rockwell‘s and Murray Rothbard‘s archives at LewRockwell.com, and found this great piece by Lew, Medical Control, Medical Corruption, from 1994.

It reinforces why we must continue to distrust the state, and continue to be skeptical of the Medical Industry, and, most of all, prevent their further partnership.

It also helps make it less surprising that the AMA endorses Obama’s medical fascism.

Government’s Intrusions

There has been a lot of talk of a “right to health care,” and I’d like to clarify that. You do have a right to seek medical treatment and a right to take care of your health, but you don’t have a right to force a doctor to treat you, or force your neighbors to pay for your medical treatment. What we need is a restoration of health freedom and a “separation of medicine and state.”

Also disturbing is this “Cyber Security” legislation that Sen. Jay Rockefeller is drafting, with the intention of giving President Obama the power to shut down private computers and networks. Government officials shouldn’t have that kind of power, nor should they have any kind of access into private citizens’ computers of networks. We need a “separation of Internet and state” as well.

Government has become increasingly intrusive and invasive in our private lives, and we really need to reverse that trend.

What’s been missing is any talk of our right to keep our personal lives private, whether it be our health matters or our computer usage, or anything that’s really none of the government’s business.

Can you imagine telling George Washington and Thomas Jefferson that the Federal government would have access into citizens’ private health information, and have control over it? They would say, “Not in our America.”

If we told the Founders of a future “computer age,” and informed them of what the Internet would be, I’m sure they would understand that intellectually, and they would say, “Of course the government should stay out of our computer and network matters–it’s none of their business.”

While the Fourth Amendment to the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution applies to “searches and seizures,” it still recognizes  “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects.”

Some of these people in government don’t seem to understand that we have a Bill of Rights to protect the individual citizen from the intrusions of government.

Defense of Limbaugh’s “Nazi” References

Here is a defense of  Rush Limbaugh’s recent unvarnished review of mid-20th Century history, particularly regarding the German Nazi Party’s similarities to modern day leftist agenda of socialism and fascism. The term “Nazi” when translated to English stands for “National Socialist German Workers’ Party.” (I know, I’ve already mentioned that in a recent post.) Rush wasn’t referring to the Holocaust, and accusations that Rush was “trivializing” the Holocaust were unfounded and undeserved. For those who still have painful memories or difficulties dealing with any references to WWII Germany, Harold Kushner’s When Bad Things Happen to Good People and Victor Frankl’s Man’s Search For Meaning can be helpful.

What is really being trivialized is the massive scope of the ObamaCare proposals, and the extent that it will allow government officials access into the most intimate and personal details of everyone’s private health and other matters. The legislative proposals in the House bill include giving the IRS and the Social Security Administration even more power than they already have. Americans have already given up so much freedom as we’ve allowed the government to have too much power.

It is not unreasonable to remind ourselves of how totalitarian dictators have come to power in this last century. Those of our fellow citizens who would become government officials can’t be trusted with power. That is why we have something called a Bill of Rights, a basis for laws to protect the individual from the state.

Do we really want to trust a known corrupt tax cheat like the current Treasury Secretary or a long-time head of the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association like the current HHS Secretary? And if people do not understand the connection that Rush Limbaugh is trying to make, they can read Ludwig von Mises’s Socialism.

We are constantly reminded in current events every day of how governments treat their own people, and how the world’s citizens treat each other, in many parts of Africa, in Iran and Saudi Arabia, and on the police blotters of every American city (and suburb).

When people say, in reference to the Holocaust, “It can’t happen here; this is America,” then I say they are in denial. We now have a culture of grownups who unfortunately are products of government-run schools, in which a blind trust of government and in fact a religious worship of the state is being indoctrinated. We have a culture of class- and race-based dehumanization. We have a new Supreme Court Justice who has in repeated statements devalued “white males” based on their race. Worse than that, we have a culture that devalues and dehumanizes human life only because of being unborn. And even when it is shown that adult stem cells are just as useful as embryonic stem cells in research, the pro-abortion groups still won’t let go of needing to use human embryos for  experiments. Those who are offended by a comparison of the dehumanizing involved in Dr. Mengele’s Nazi human experimentation with the dehumanizing involved with abortion and embryonic experimentation are also in denial.

No, I’m not comparing the researchers with Nazi experiments, but I am comparing the dehumanizing by both. Why is it so extremely necessary to some people to must use the embryonic stem cells, despite the equal usefulness of non-embryonic adult stem cells? It is almost of a ritualistic nature.

And all Rush Limbaugh is doing is pointing out the massive further loss of liberty we will have, and that it is unwise to let government have so much power over our lives.

It is illegal to forcibly institutionalize someone unless one is a danger to oneself or to others, but I fear that when we have ObamaCare, that might change.

Health Care and Respect for Others

August, 2009

Our government is supposed to reflect the will of the people.  But it is authoritarian when politicians attempt to force their will on the people, regardless of a majority of people in disagreement with it.

Recent polls have shown that a majority of Americans are happy with their health insurance and don’t want to change it, and that a majority of those without insurance are happy with that situation, too. President Obama, however, has been saying that he wants people to keep their current insurance, although the 1000+ page bill that he would sign into law would result in the contrary.

There seems to be a general lack of respect for others in our society, particularly by people in government. There are some people who seem to like power and who like to tell people what to do. There are people who want to use the political process to force their vision of a society onto the rest of us, a plan that doesn’t take into account all the individual differences in the lives of millions of different individuals.

At recent health care Town Hall meetings, shouting by opponents of government-run health care has interrupted members of Congress there. There have been conservative groups instructing their followers to deliberately shout down the Congressmen, which is not only disrespectful, it’s just plain obnoxious and counter-productive.

At a few of those meetings, there has been actual violence. One incident in particular, which was misreported in various media outlets, was a case of a Black conservative, Kenneth Gladney, beaten up and sent to the hospital by pro-government health care people. Gladney’s victimizing also included racial epithets directed at him.

Unfortunately, many of those Congressmen have either been untruthful about the proposals, or just plain ignorant because they haven’t taken the time to read the bill.  And much of this government-run scheme  would require some Americans to be taxed to fully fund the health care for others. Why, though, would President Obama want insurance for all Americans, even the irresponsible ones? Is it respectful of Americans who take care of themselves to force them to pay for the medical care of those who smoke like chimneys, eat like pigs and drink like a fish? I think not. That’s not only disrespectful, it’s immoral.

So far, President Obama still has not come to Mr. Gladney’s defense, as he came to the defense of a Black Harvard professor who accused a police officer of racism, a charge which has been overwhelmingly disproven. Could it be that the political views of the Black victim of actual physical violence are less important to Obama than the views of the Harvard professor? Which one is more deserving of his respect? They both should be.

A truly free country’s officials would respect the people’s right to know what’s actually proposed in Congress, as well as their right to question and protest those officials’ apparent disingenuousness. A truly free country allows citizens to choose their health insurance and their doctors, and those would actually be private matters.

Challenge Assumptions of Government and Money

We must question the long-held assumption that government ought to produce and administer the currency that we must use for trading. Government has been doing that for many generations, and it is just assumed that because that’s the way it’s been, then that’s the way it ought to be. However, we all have natural rights, among them the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In my opinion, individuals have the right to use whatever they want to as a means of trade. And whichever currencies become the most popular and valuable at whatever given time will lead over the competing currencies, some of which will fail and go out of business.

Economist Murray Rothbard advocated a “separation of money and state,” and believed that the money and banking system we have now is “legalized counterfeiting.” There should be no government involvement in the business of currency, because once some arbitrary force intrudes, it distorts the market of that commodity. That is the ongoing theme in  modern times of  every economic aspect of daily life. Government causes markets to become dysfunctional with its intrusions, and when government gets into the business of something-anything-it causes great distortions and devaluations, and the government’s production and control of the “dollar” is the best example of that. At some point the dollar will be worthless, if it isn’t already, and, because of the state-caused distortion, it has a domino effect on all economic activity, as we have seen now. So, it really is important to challenge assumptions that government must have a monopoly on our money supply.

Now, in an earlier post, I noted that former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan went from being an Ayn Rand capitalist to being a big government control freak. And now, we can plainly see that Greenspan’s successor, Ben Bernanke is clearly uncomfortable with any public scrutiny of the Federal Reserve. What has caused these grown adults to become so enmeshed with government power? That’s what it is–the power. When people get themselves in positions of power, of the armed officialdom of governmental power, it becomes addictive, like a drug. Can you imagine suggesting to Ben Bernanke the idea of not only ending the Fed, but ending the Dollar and privatizing currency altogether? He’d start to tremble and convulse like a heroin addict suffering from withdrawal.

We must challenge the assumptions that government should control our means of trade and that our elected and appointed political leaders have the citizens’ best interests at heart.

Economics, Freedom and Truth

A lot of my writing here has been in the category of economics, even though I didn’t really study that. Well, that’s not true. While I majored in psychology in college, I did take one economics course, but it was sooooooo boring–I learned nothing in that class. But I studied economics in the sense of really learning about it after college, mostly during the 1980s, by hearing people on the radio and on tapes, and reading various material–mostly libertarian-based periodicals.

Thank God Gene Burns was on WRKO for several years. He was the most pro-free market, pro-private property rights, pro-freedom of association advocate I’ve ever heard on the radio. Now, he is on KGO in San Francisco, but his show is just too late in the evening for me to hear now–oh, well. And it was through his show in ’87 and ’88 that I heard about Ron Paul, and was very fortunate to read some of Dr. Paul’s writings. (I was able to convince at least one person in ’88 to vote for Dr. Paul: one of my former psychology professors, who, after hearing Dr. Paul’s interview on the MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour, said it was the first time he had someone to vote for, not against, for president. Me, too.)

Also in that period, I had some audio cassette tapes, including a discussion between Ron Paul and economics professor Lawrence Reed, Money and the Federal Reserve, and a lecture by Prof. Reed, Trade Cycles: The Economics of Boom and Bust, and several lectures by philosopher Ayn Rand, mostly at the “Ford Hall Forum.” And some of my reading material at the time included periodicals such as Liberty, which I now see is still in publication and online, Reason magazine, also online, and the Freeman, also now online, which is a publication of the Foundation for Economic Education, whose current president is the aforementioned Prof. Reed. Other people who have influenced my thinking include the Future of Freedom Foundation‘s Jacob Hornberger, economics professor Walter E. Williams, who gives a common sense approach to economic matters in everyday life, as did the late economist Murray Rothbard. Economist Ludwig von Mises‘s writing, however, maybe was a bit too convoluted for me. Perhaps to really understand what he meant, it might’ve required taking those graduate level economics courses.

Also in the 1980s, Llewellyn Rockwell’s articles gave me a more fine-tuned understanding of private property rights. Mr. Rockwell’s website, LewRockwell.com, is probably one of the best sources of discussions on liberty out there. On LewRockwell.com, you can find articles by Ron Paul, finance professor Michael Rozeff, such as this recent one, Irrationality and Fascism in Government-Regulated Health Care, and articles by Donald Miller MD, such as the Austrian Cure for Economic Illness. Given that Dr. Miller’s main field of knowledge and practice has been in medicine for many years, he still knows economics better than probably most Harvard economists. And I say that because free market advocates think and report with reasoned analysis of actual truth of history and current events. In contrast, the economists of the Left, who oppose freedom and free markets, fantasize. Most of the people in the so-called mainstream news business also live in an irrational fantasy world, and that is why they seem to worship President Obama, their Messiah.

Unlike mainstream free market economists and the ones in the media, who deal mostly with the practicality of free markets vs. the impracticality of government-controlled markets, the people mentioned here in the first few paragraphs deal with the practicalities, but also with the morality of free market economics, as did Ayn Rand. It is moral to respect the freedom of people to trade voluntarily, and it is immoral to violate and interfere with people’s private matters and relationships. Yes, it’s that simple.

And the problem with those whose job it is to inform the public, the news reporters and anchors and writers and editors, besides living in their left-wing fantasy world, is now their having become such a propaganda machine for their worshipped politicians. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the left-biased mainstream news media no longer find answers to the who, what, why, when, where and how, because they don’t care to find those answers. Instead, they use their role as “journalists” to be an activist, and delve into the pro-government, pro-fascism propaganda that manipulates their and the general population’s emotions. Objectivity and truth are now foreign concepts to these people. Of course, I won’t name names, such as Brian Williams and Diane Sawyer, but I won’t name names here. Michael Graham’s show is called The Natural Truth because he really believes in getting at the truth. In the national news media, I can say Chris Wallace really does try to ask those both left and right politicians tough and necessary questions, because, as good ol’ Jerry Williams would say, getting a straight answer out of them is like a dentist trying to pull a tooth. Chris Wallace’s is the show that should be called Hardball. Most of those news people just let Mr. Obama get away with lying through his teeth. And Don Imus also interviews people on the left and right with more objectivity than most of the mainstream news media do.

Freedom and Truth are important.