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Month: November 2014

Protection vs. Endangerment

My latest article is posted today:

Well, the CPS vultures are out there, once again. This time in Seminole County, Florida. In June the county’s Child Protection Services bureaucrats took a 12-day-old baby away from his vegan Seventh Day Adventist mother who insisted on breastfeeding the baby, and, when the baby was losing weight the mother refused to take him to the hospital and instead she provided the baby with a supplemental vegan formula. That diet and method of healing was consistent with her religious beliefs, but her “doctor” believed otherwise, reported her to the “authorities” who arrested her, and had CPS seize her child.

The mother was actually charged with neglect. But this week a judge has decided to give custody back to the mother, Sarah Markham, as the judge agreed that Ms. Markham was not an “unfit mother.” Her attorney has stated that they hope police will drop the criminal charges against her as well.

Actually, in my view it is her doctor who reported her to CPS who is the real criminal here. By causing the baby to be taken out of his home and placed with strangers that doctor is the one who has compromised the baby’s health and security, and siccing government police on the mother is what I would consider a real case of endangerment of Sarah Markham as well.

Now, some people including some libertarians may have the view that society must nevertheless intervene to “save the child” from starvation because the child was losing weight as his mother’s breastfeeding wasn’t providing enough nutrition. But who is ultimately to decide what is best for the baby, the mother? The doctor or hospital? The government? Her neighbors?

This story reminds me of a more serious but somewhat similar situation from the 1980s, the Twitchell case. Remember that one? That was the case of the Christian Scientist couple, David and Ginger Twitchell, whose 2-year-old boy had an obstruction of the colon. The Twitchells chose to use prayer to heal their son as they rejected medical treatments, and when he died the couple were charged with and convicted of involuntary manslaughter. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court overturned the conviction, however.

I originally had the attitude of, “Well, those religious radicals allowed their baby to die in the name of their own religious beliefs, of course they’re guilty!” However, I changed my views on that the more I thought about it. And it was the late Gene Burns (1940-2013), former LP presidential candidate, whose discussion on his radio show convinced me to take the side of the parents, which is the side that Gene took. It really was a freedom issue.

Regarding the current case of Sarah Markham rejecting the doctors’ nutritional advice despite the baby’s losing weight, who is to say at that time that the doctors’ nutritional advice will actually be better for the baby? Who can tell the future as far as what will work? Should we base a forced treatment (and taking the baby away from his mother!) on the probability that the hospital’s nutritional treatments will be better for the baby? Modern medicine and doctors advice may be the better alternative most of the time, but not always. The problem here is that lack of a 100% guarantee that “doctor knows better,” as many of us know from our own experiences that there is plenty room for doubt there.

And in the case of the Twitchells, suppose these parents did take their child to the hospital which then had doctors surgically clear the child’s colon obstruction, but he nevertheless died? Yes, it does happen, and often, by the way.

This terrific Freeman article by A.M. Rogers explains several of these kinds of cases, with quite a few good examples which show that it is not always a good idea to rely on modern medicine, and which show that ultimately and morally, whatever the situation is medically, the parents really do have the ultimate moral authority to decide what’s best for their children.

However, as soon as the child is older and if the child himself is able to decide that he wants to try another alternative, then that is his right as well, even going against the parents wishes, such as if there are neighbors who have offered the child better food or if he wants to go to a doctor. I believe that Murray Rothbard promoted that same kind of right of self-direction in his Ethics of Liberty.

To conclude, if society is insistent on arresting and jailing parents for unconventional or alternative treatments of their children, then as the earlier Freeman article suggested, it would be equally and morally just to criminally charge doctors and hospitals whose modern medicine interventions also fail.

And in the case of Seventh Day Adventist and vegan Sarah Markham, it would also be just for her to insist on the arrest and prosecution of her “doctor” with charges of endangerment. He had her baby taken away by the vultures of CPS, and he also caused great risk to Sarah’s own life by having her arrested by government police who are notorious in their general lack of respect for the rights of innocent people.

Not Boring

Glenn Greenwald writes about the support Hillary Clinton is getting from Wall Street, neocons, the Israel Lobby, and otherwise supporters of the statist quo.

Wendy McElroy with an analysis of court journalists and war propaganda.

Trevor Timm on the U.S. government’s drive to make cyber security much less secure.

Mac Slavo discusses the first school to install a shooting detection system and how it won’t really make a difference.

Nadia Kayyali of Electronic Frontier Foundation has this post on the FBI’s vicious campaign to interfere with the civil rights movement of the 1960s and Martin Luther King, Jr. specifically.

Kurt Nimmo on middle school kids terrorized and traumatized by an unannounced active shooter drill.

Daniel McAdams discusses the Syria “Hero Boy” video revealed to be government propaganda.

Michael Tennant on the UN’s denial of using a Kenyan vaccination program for population control.

The U.K. Guardian with a story on U.K. human rights groups boycotting official inquiries into post-9/11 rendition and torture.

Eric Margolis writes about the mass slaughter of World War I.

William Grigg on the Oklahoma City bombing from 1995 and the FBI’s involvement and cover-up.

Robert Murphy has a good case against rent control.

Scott McConnell writes about Hillary Clinton’s Sheldon Adelson.

Some More Recent Items

Here are some important ideas to consider:

Jeff Deist provides some optimism for liberty.

Jacob Hornberger discusses one increasingly bad intervention after another in Iraq.

Wendy McElroy says that fractional reserve banking is not fraud.

James Bovard comments on how the Obamacare fraudsters rely on lies to pass their fascist agenda.

Philip Giraldi says that the CIA won the mid-term elections.

Andrew Napolitano has some questions for the new AG nominee.

Mac Slavo describes how Obama’s mental health screening in schools will ‘disarm’ gun rights: “databases to follow academic career and beyond.”

And Marcy Wheeler gives reasons to not support the “USA Freedom” Act.

And the Gynecologist says, “Thank you for your cervix” (And other news…)

Jacob Hornberger says that we should rid America of veterans, by dismantling the national security state and ending foreign interventionism.

And Laurence Vance says that Veterans Day should be renamed as “Worship the Veterans Day.”

It’s amazing the crazy, childish myths that people believe, such as “the troops are defending our freedom,” even though the truth is that they mainly have been invading other countries that were of no threat to us and murdering innocent people over there and provoking foreigners to retaliate and act against the rest of us. But the masses feel more comfort in believing the hysterical rantings of their Rulers, as irrational as they really are. So as American society and culture continue to decline, collectivism and narcissism (a.k.a. “American Exceptionalism”) and authoritarianism have been on the rise. And this, sadly, includes the childish and gullible sheeple’s bowing down to anyone in a uniform, especially military and police. It’s really the symbolism that turns people on, combined with their neanderthalish deference to authority and rejection of liberty, individualism, independence and freedom of thought and conscience. (btw, here is a classic by Arthur Silber: “No, I Do Not Support ‘The Troops’.”)

Also, Lew Rockwell asks, Can anarcho-capitalism work?

Philip Weiss has this extensive interview with Tzvia Thier, an Israeli-American who was a true believer Zionist turned skeptic turned Zionism critic.

Judy Morris says that the petro dollar = ISIS dollar, Saudi Arabia, Sunni Salafist Wahhabism, and U.S. foreign policy.

Sheldon Richman on the zombie sheeple who want to ban Uber from their communist Amerikan cities.

And Paul Craig Roberts responds to the most recent fake bin Laden story.

Whew! That’s enough for me!

Some More Recent Items

John Whitehead comments on the FBI: America’s secret police.

Radley Balko has more on our government criminals (but I repeat myself).

Glenn Greenwald on how many Islamic countries the U.S. government has bombed since 1980. (“Exceptional,” for sure.)

Laurence Vance on why he could never be elected to office.

Paul Craig Roberts on presidential crimes, then and now.

Frank Chodorov on if we quit voting.

Lenore Skenazy on Lena Dunham, sex offenders, and thyroid cancer.

Robert Murphy has some thoughts on anarchy, government, and says that no means no.

Ron Paul says that more guns plus less war equals real security.

Ryan McMaken on Catalonian secession.

Andrew Napolitano asks, More culture wars?

Wendy McElroy on Robert LeFevre

William Grigg says, offend the police, lose your job.

Post-Election Thoughts

Well, the sheeple have spoken. Actually, they’ve been speaking for a long time, and they love statism, and statists. Even though New Hampshire voters said “No!” to the male model Scott Brown, they nevertheless voted to reelect Democrat U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who allegedly personally coordinated with former IRS hack Lois Lerner to go after conservative groups. (Which I didn’t even know about until just now. Supposedly that came out on Monday.) The “Live Free or Die” State also voted to reelect Democrat Gov. Maggie Hassan, who supports increased tax spending on higher “education” and Medicaid expansion. You see, many of those limousine liberals in Massachusetts voted for more and more socialism and then escaped to New Hampshire, only to bring their totalitarianism with them. So much for the “Live Free or Die” State.

And in Massachusetts, Republican Charlie Half-Baker beat Democrat-Moonbat Martha Coakley, in a “squeaker.” And I call him “Charlie Half-Baker” because it was his own half-baked ideas involving so-called Medicaid “savings” in the early ’90s with the Gov. Bill Weld administration that were used as the basis for RomneyCare in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts. And as its CEO, he also got Harvard Pilgrim Health Care tax-funded bailouts, while his salary there tripled and he raised rates by 150%. Big Government-Big Business in Massachusetts just got Bigger and Bigger.

And I was wrong about the Republicans not taking over the U.S. Senate, as we now see that they will be doing that. But what good is that going to do? Because of the death-mongers in control, John McCain and Linsdey Graham et al, Congress will now sacrifice yet more hundreds or thousands of naive young dupes in the military to go over to Iraq again to die for no good reason. And the sheeple will support every bit of it, just as they obediently and ignorantly supported Dubya’s Iraq and Afghanistan quagmires. This article on Infowars asks if the new Republican majority will move to impeach Obama. And the answer is, of course they won’t take any action to impeach Obama. If they haven’t done anything by now, then they won’t do anything these next two years. That is because bloodthirsty Republicans want wars and more wars and they will want Obama to implement their wars. And also, given that Obama’s NSA and FBI and all points between are spying on Congress and others in government, then obviously if anyone discusses an intention to impeach Obama then they will be blackmailed into silence.

Election Day in 2014 Amerika: The sheeple have spoken.

Don’t Waste Your Time and Money

Jacob Hornberger has this commentary on how the massive amounts of money people are spending on these elections is a waste of money, and that regardless who is elected or which party is in control, nothing will change. As long as the welfare/warfare state apparatus, which is used to promote government power at the expense of freedom and prosperity, stays in place then things will only get worse.

After all, the conservatives were so pleased after the 2010 elections and all the gains they and the Tea Party made in Congress, but are things better now? Nope. The progressives were so pleased after Obama was elected in 2008, and then reelected in 2012, but are things better now? Nope. The “Reagan Revolution”? Yeah, right. Things never get better with statism, and elections can’t make statism “work,” and all the welfare/warfare state programs in place just can’t be “reformed.” I wish that more people could face the truth.

Update on Klinghoffer Opera

In February I wrote about the Metropolitan Opera’s scheduled performances in October of John Adams’s opera, The Death of Klinghoffer, in which I predicted that there would be protests on the streets of New York, and I was right. Here are some articles with reactions to the performances by those who actually attended (as opposed to the protesters who mainly reacted to hearing about the opera), and by those with thoughts about the opera that aren’t of the infantile, knee-jerk variety as we saw from the protesters.

The U.K. Guardian took four New Yorkers to the performance and each one, Moustafa Bayoumi, Kayla Epstein, Alan Yuhas, and Eli Valley, has a review.

The Met’s General Manager, Peter Gelb wrote an op-ed in the New York Post responding to the protesters and critics (which included death threats against him, by the way). In the op-ed, he shares his own experiences as a victim of Jewish-instigated terrorism in a New York office.

Jennifer Moses says that attempts to censor The Death of Klinghoffer are anti-Jewish. And Molly Crabapple compares some of the Klinghoffer protesters’ language to that of the Muslim protesters against Salman Rushdie’s novel, The Satanic Verses.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who (unlike the protesters) actually did go in to see the opera, said that no, it does not “glorify terrorism” as some protesters ignorantly claimed, and that no, it is not “anti-Semitic.”