Thursday, June 30, 2011

Has Public Schooling Failed?

This is a quotation from the book I reviewed yesterday, Market Education:
In 1841 Horace Mann, the godfather of American public schooling, promised: "Let the Common School be expanded to its capabilities, let it be worked with the efficiency of which it is susceptble, and nine tenths of the crimes in the penal code would become obsolete; the long catalogue of human ills would be abridged."

In 1998, the Los Angeles County School Board voted to arm its public school police with shotguns.

Has public schooling failed?
The question is rhetorical. I would have ended with: Public schooling has failed.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Book Review: Market Education: The Unknown History by Andrew J. Coulson

Amazon.com
I've been looking for this book for 20 years. It came out 10 years ago and I only recently heard of it. I've been looking for a book that makes the case for a completely free market education system, for separation of the state and education in the same way we have a separation of state and church. I've read some good books on different aspects of education and found some blogs and groups that discuss it from a free market perspective, but none of that comes close to Coulson's book.

It starts out a little slow with a survey of what parents and the general populace desire out of education, what they desire now and what they have desired historically and in different countries. Not the most exciting chapter but important for his later arguments. The second section (chapters 2 through 8) is the meat of the book, surveying the entire history of educational systems from Athens and Sparta to the medieval Arab world to the reformation in Europe to modern times. Reading these chapters will give you a whole new perspective on history, a much more integrated one, because education is in some ways the heart of civilization. It is the arena in which the greatest thinkers act and all thinkers are trained. In free countries, education has tended to be free promoting the expansion of knowledge, productivity and well-being. Parents want their children to learn and teachers want to make money teaching. Left free to do so the results have been astounding. In controlled economies, education has become an instrument of government propaganda. This has contributed to the failure of those societies as schools fail to satisfy teachers, students or parents.

The contrast between Sparta and Athens is especially striking, a contrast which also kicks off another favorite book of mine, Nothing Less than Victory. Sparta was a collectivist militaristic society that viewed individuals as fodder for the functioning and aspirations of the state. Children were taken from their parents at 7 and trained until adulthood in state 'schools' that thought them fighting skills and little else. Athens had a completely free education system, parents taught what they knew to their children and paid wandering teachers to teach the rest. The topics were wide ranging. Sparta produced no artists or intellectuals of note. Athens produced (or was a long-time home to) Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Thucydides, Xenophon, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes. The general freedom enjoyed in Athens also lead to a vibrant, commercially successful city.

This contrast between state controlled education and free education continues throughout the section giving a common thread to the entire history of the West. The Roman's took over much of Greek learning, but it was taught by slaves, who had no incentive to be effective teachers. When the republic failed and the empire took over, rulers increasingly regulated education toward the end of glorifying the emperor. Though Rome was the seat of civilization for a long time, it never really advanced it. With the rise of Christianity and the descent into the Dark Ages, interest in secular education waned. Justinian formally closed Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum 900 years after their founding. While the Dark Ages engulfed Europe, western learning had been transmitted to the Arab world and was alive and well. Education was private and unregulated and advances in the sciences and literature abounded. The Islamic state played little role in education for half a millenium, but in the eleventh century put its fist down and started supressing secular and non-muslim education. Fortunately, the Arabic and classical knowledge was filtering back into Europe as it was being eradicated in Arabia.

Coulson continues to trace education history through the reformation, enlightenment and to modern times, with fairly extensive discussions of the modern American and British education systems. Several chapters cover the ridiculous fads in public education like the New Math, as well as various attempts to reform public education systems. He discusses extensively the divisive role of public education that pits parents with different philosophies or religions against one another in a perennial battle for control over content. This never happens in free education environments, where secular and sectarian schools co-exist peacefully and benevolently. He touches only briefly on the role of unions.

After completing his survey Coulson states:
Looking back on the preceding chapters, one thing is eminently clear: All educational systems are not created equal. While some serve people's needs with admirable success, uniting families and communities, others marginalize parents, impose unpopular curricula, and cause animosity and social discord. Why? What makes some school systems so effective at doing the things we want them to do, while others languish between mediocrity and failure? The answer can be found in five interrelated traits that have characterized every consistently successful school system for the last two and a half thousand years: choice and financial responsibility for parents, and freedom, competition and the profit motive for schools--in essence, a free market in education.
His discussions of charter schools, tax credits and other half-attempts at reintroducing freedom into education are especially good. He points out why most of these half-measures will fail to produce dramatic improvements because most prohibit profit making on the part of schools and financial responsibility on the parents, in addition to retaining heavy state regulation of content.

If you're interested in education, you should read this book. If you're interested in history, read it. If you're interested in free markets, read it. I can't recommend it enough. Principals should require all their teachers read it, as should professors at the (useless) education schools. If we can reintroduce a free market in education our civilization could once again take off and achieve dramatic new heights.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Regulation Watch - 06-27-2011

General
  • Obama's New Corporatism: Advanced Manufacturing Parnerships. Just about every agency chipping in. http://bit.ly/iC6zr4
  • Free market regulation vs. federal state regulation. One federal regulator costs the economy 98 jobs and $6M in productivity. http://tinyurl.com/3clvkes
  • Congress continues to embolden the army of federal regulators with fill-in-the-blank-legislation. http://tinyurl.com/3zrtf8t
  • Apple turns 'big brother' patenting new technology that would enable law enforcement to turn off your camera. http://tinyurl.com/3g853xu
ATF
California
Education
  • Department of Education requires all colleges receiving federal money to hold "student conduct trials" over unwanted flirting or off-color jokes. Weren't these the guys that were saying last week they don't use swat teams to assault loan defaulters? Are they going to now issue  a statement saying they don't support militant egalitarian show trials of unadjusted 20-somethings? Don't send your kids to college people. http://tinyurl.com/3nbckp3
  • Interactive map of charter, voucher, tax credits by state. http://tinyurl.com/64lc3wj
  • Maryland now requires 'environmental proficiency' to graduate from high school. http://tinyurl.com/68tyaxb
Energy
EPA
FCC
  • FCC approves funding for telehealth services at rural hospitals. Another step to nationalizing rural internet service. http://bit.ly/kLiv3g 
  • FCC pushing rural broadband nationalization. Because according to egalitarianism, everyone must have the same internet speed and rural areas 'lag'. http://bit.ly/iTzQlK
  • That would be excellent! Bill to cut "public interest" as standard for FCC decisions, and curtail authority. Are people realizing that the "public interest" is just a bludgeon used to rob each of them of their private interests? http://tinyurl.com/3vvbank
FDA
  • That'll fix it! U.S. Senate bill designed to alert FDA to potential drug shortages. I'll save you some money. You're regulating drugs to death, there will be shortages and you won't be able to fix them by bureaucratic announcements. There. Free. http://tinyurl.com/3bewtqe
  • Sen. Hatch's special buddies in the supplementals field get a slice of freedom. Everyone else out in the cold. http://tinyurl.com/3wxlu92
FEC
FTC
HH&S
  • More gestapo tactics against Doctors that refuse to be sacrificial victims. Government agents plan to survey doctors anonymously to see who is refusing medicare patients. http://nyti.ms/l4fkwA
HUD
  • HUD to provide interest-free loans up to $50k. I love this line:"In some cases, the money will not have to be paid back." Interest and principle free loans! Once the welfare gets its hands on something none of the terms mean what they used to. http://tinyurl.com/3hb7xfc
Interior
Justice
  • DOJ investigating if The Home Depot is in violation of the 1933 Buy American Act requiring all materials utilized in public projects originate in the U.S. Thanks FDR. http://tinyurl.com/67kszms
NLRB
  • New rules to speed up union elections, cutting the time businesses have to mount anti-union campaigns. Especially since moves to unionize are sometimes secret. Sold as cutting 'unnecessary delays' http://tinyurl.com/44bnkhz
  • NLRB abuses authority. "Union workers most certainly have the right to strike, but they don't have a right to escape the consequences of striking, which is that employers may be persuaded to open up a shop elsewhere, including a right-to-work state such as South Carolina."http://tinyurl.com/3fndp4e
  • Unionized through regulation. http://tinyurl.com/67udas3  
  • Boeing complaint should be decided, not settled. http://tinyurl.com/3t3ztmp
  • While Boeing is grounded, Airbus is flying. http://tinyurl.com/6j8mhfa
  • NLRB attempt to unionize a Target fails. http://tinyurl.com/3kubv8q
SEC
  • SEC approves 'circuit breakers' for all stocks. If the government is trying to protect us against it, you can bet it'll happen in spades now. http://tinyurl.com/5t6hyqd
Texas
Transportation
Treasury
  • Private emails detail Obama administration involvement in cutting non-union worker pensions post-GM bailout. http://tinyurl.com/3j2x8ej
TSA
USDA
  • $3.9M fine threat against Missouri man for selling more than $500 in rabbits suspended if he will "Admit USDA has jurisdiction over his animal-raising activities." This is called sanction of the victim, which most every power luster desires as proof his racket is somehow moral. Which it is not. I hope the Dollarhites fight it. http://tinyurl.com/6bke6qe

    Friday, June 24, 2011

    Favorite Reads etc.

    UPDATE: I've copied this whole post to a page (separate tab at the top of the blog) and will be updating that.

    Here are my favorite books, series, podcasts, blogs and lectures. I will try to recommend only those books that I enjoy sufficiently to reread, usually multiple times, or that have dramatically improved my understanding of the world. I've mostly linked Amazon.com, but half.com sometimes has better deals. I will update as my views change or I find new ones. If you have recommendations, please comment or e-mail me. I'm always looking for good books and a good recommendation is about the best thing you could ever give me!

    Fiction
    Fantasy
    Science Fiction
    • Dune by Frank Herbert
    History
    Education
    Politics
    Economics
    Nutrition
    Science
    Philosophy
    Religion
    Law
    Unions

    News

    Currently reading The Logical Leap by David Harriman (06/24/2011)

    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    Collective Bargaining Applied to Free Speech

    Unions like to pretend that 'collective bargaining' is nothing more than a form of the freedom of association protected by the Constitution. This is patently false. To illustrate lets apply some of the 'safeguards' that the NLRA guarantees for collective bargaining to freedom of speech.

    First, what is collective bargaining? It is the right of employees to elect unions that their employers must bargain with. The employer has no right to impede the formation of the union. Once a union is elected by a majority of employees, the employer is forbidden from dealing with any union organized by a minority of employees. The logic of these restrictions and obligations is that without such safeguards, the right of workers to associate, to form an organization defending their interests would be meaningless. By this logic, the right to freely associate guaranteed by the Constitution as a negative right, i.e. a legal prohibition against anyone forcibly preventing their association, becomes a positive right, an obligation on the part of employers to e.g. turn over the use of their property to union organizers.

    What if we applied the same logic to the freedom of speech? As conceived in the Constitution, this right protects individuals (and corporations) in their free exercise of communication from coercive attempts to prevent them from speaking. It protects the pamphleteer from having his leaflets confiscated by the government, protects radio broadcaster from having his station nationalized, and protects the protester from being drug off to prison. It does not guarantee the pamphleteer free printing at Kinkos, nor the talk show host a radio station, nor can it compel a private property owner to host the protester on his porch.

    According to the collective bargaining logic though, this is stifling! Freedom to write is meaningless without a printing press and freedom to speak is meaningless without a radio station and audience, and freedom to protest is meaningless without a prime location to do it in. Collective Bargaining says that the freedom of speech isn't a negative right, its a positive right, imposing obligations on the printers, radio stations and property owners to provide the means of utilizing that freedom.

    Furthermore, says Collective Bargaining, "not only is my freedom of speech is meaningless without a venue, its meaningless without an audience. From this day forth I decree the following. If I gave a speech at your company to an audience, you shall invite me back every year to speak again to a similar sized audience. Any failure to supply an audience or proper audio equipment shall be punishable by fines. Any attempt to dissuade audience members from attending shall be considered retaliation against my speech and subject to fines. If sufficient employees can't be induced to attend by normal means, you shall be required to post notices in all public areas encouraging attendance. Also, if I attended any parties at your house, you shall be obliged to invite me back next year and supply guests to listen to me."

    Ridiculous? But this is exactly what collective bargaining is. Under the pretense of protecting freedom of association, collective bargaining forbids employers from firing unionizing employees, compels them to supply the means of voting, obliges them to let unionizing employees utilize the property and communication tools of the company, and should a majority vote for a union, obliges the employers to forever deal with that union and never negotiate with individual employees or minority unions. Is this any different than forcing people to attend lectures, forcing property owners to supply a venue and audio equipment or forcing individuals to talk to someone in order to protect freedom of speech? No it is not.

    Freedom of association can no more demand that employers negotiate with elected unions than freedom of speech can demand that audience members sit still and listen or be fined. Employers have the right to negotiate with whomever they choose, just like you have the right to listen to whomever you choose.

    Collective bargaining is nakedly coercion on the part of unions against the property, association and speech rights of employers (as well as against the association rights of all the non-union workers). Workers have the right to associate, by their own means and on their own time. Their only legitimate tools against an employer are public denunciations, boycotts of the employers products or quitting en masse. If they realize that their interests are not opposed to those of their employers, they might try what employee organizations did before the NLRA, i.e. become a non-confrontational voice for the employees on issues where the employers appreciate input. But this will never happen as long as unions wield the coercive power of collective bargaining.

    Monday, June 20, 2011

    Regulation Watch - 06-20-2011

    General
    • Obama the Luddite and several regulations and agencies he could cut to improve the market:  http://tinyurl.com/44vns7t
    • Obama puts major policies on hold while seeking 2nd term: http://on.wsj.com/jMb2gk
    • Is it surprising that the biggest advocates of regulating man's 'evil nature' are themselves the most corrupt? I think its called 'projection'. Weiner: http://tinyurl.com/3bx7vhp
    • Wisconsin Supreme Court reinstates law limiting collective bargaining of public workers: http://tinyurl.com/3o5thlr
    • Happy Magna Carta Day, celebrate the birth of due process and written law (as opposed to regulatory arbitrariness and infinitely interpretable verbiage and intentions): http://tinyurl.com/3npeevg

    ATF

    California
    Education
    Energy
    EPA
    • Arlington County to put energy labels on county buildings. '"Building energy labels have become required in Europe, and there's interest in the U.S. in this kind of transparency," County Energy Manager John Morrill said': http://bit.ly/lyGV8y
    • Agency pushes soft, pretend numbers to support bills and ignores real, devastating numbers about economic impacts: http://tinyurl.com/3qj2mqs
    • Agency takes Sacket's Idaho land, tells them they have no standing to challenge: http://tinyurl.com/3egc584 
    • (Perhaps relevant to the previous, Supreme Court rules that individuals do have standing to challenge federal laws as violations of state sovereignty under the 10th Amendment: http://tinyurl.com/3k7htzx)
    • Funny. EPA's Lisa Jackson says administration has nothing against coal, only against burning it: http://tinyurl.com/3zc3g9y
    FBI
    FCC
    • FCC playing games with registering its 'net neutrality' rules to avoid legal challenge: http://tinyurl.com/3rlq746
    • FCC issues report on decline of local news. Endorses 'libertarian-conservative' arguments and recommends less regulation...part of Obama's election hiatus?: http://tinyurl.com/3ey49kb
    FDA
    • Government regulates all aspects of drug development, marketing, manufacture and curtails patent rights. Is now concerned about drug shortages: http://bit.ly/liBT23
    • Good piece discussing reasons for drug shortages: http://tinyurl.com/3cgww4r
    • FDA proposes new regulations on sunscreen labels regarding UV protection: http://bit.ly/jn3Nur 
    • FDA ends 33 year effort to set standards for sun block labels, forbids 'sun block', 'waterproof' and 'sweat proof'. Brilliant. Wonder how much that cost. http://tinyurl.com/3vj9mcu
    HH&S
    IRS
    Kansas
    • Good! Kansas cuts public funding for the arts. Not unwelcome news to some level-headed artistic groups. Reported in NPR. lol: http://tinyurl.com/68atchc
    Labor
    • 'Workers advocates' push for new regulations of temporary workers, which will no doubt lead to less temp jobs. Good job 'workers advocates'! http://bit.ly/kXTudP
    Maryland
    • County officials first close down and fine lemonade stand $500. Then waive fee and simply move stand after public uproar (and finding the parents are politically connected?): http://bit.ly/mU1z0t
    NLRB
    • Hermain Cain attacks NLRB's Boeing action as direct assault on the free market system, hopes Boeing will fight it all the way to the Supreme Court: http://tinyurl.com/3g5pbmc
    Transportation
    Texas
    TSA

    Wednesday, June 15, 2011

    Is Retaliation Against Unionizers Unconstitutional?

    After the NLRB attacked Boeing for trying to open a plant in South Carolina, the outcry from business groups, Republican politicians and journalists was significant. Recently the leftist media has started a campaign defending the NLRB, including this piece from Politico.

    In it the author fails to distinguish between rights recognized in the Constitution and the provisions of the NLRA. He also implies (in the first bold sentence) that the debate is over whether the NLRB is "too protective" of rights, as opposed to whether the supposed "rights" defined by the NLRA actually exist. The implication of the sentence as written is that the Republicans don't want workers rights to be protected, and the NLRB does, which kind of puts the conclusion at the beginning of the argument.
    recently, Republicans decried the agency's attempt at law enforcement against Boeing. On Thursday, our committee is due to hold a hearing where Boeing most likely will be discussed, and the committee will question whether the NLRB is too protective of U.S. workers' constitutional and statutory rights.
    ...
    For more than 75 years, the National Labor Relations Act has provided Americans the right to band together in unions and bargain for a better life. The NLRB administers and enforces this law for workers and employers. It is illegal to retaliate against workers for exercising their rights under the act. Among other things, it prohibits employers from retaliating against workers for exercising their rights under the act.

    In the Boeing case, the allegations seem to amount to a case of unlawful retaliation. The company decided to move part of its Washington state operations to a non-union plant in South Carolina because, the company said, workers in Washington exercised their rights under the NLRA too much. Boeing spoke explicitly about the discriminatory reason for the move. A new production line in Washington will be eliminated as a result.

    While Boeing is free to locate work at any plant, including South Carolina, the law is clear that it is illegal to do so for discriminatory [retaliatory] reasons - taking away work from some workers, union or non-union, because they exercised their rights. The law should apply to megacorporations [eek!] just as it applies to small businesses and working people.

    Those affected by this alleged retaliation, assembly-line workers, filed an unfair labor practice charge against Boeing. After investigating, and attempting to get the parties to settle, the NLRB's acting general counsel issued a complaint against Boeing.

    Let us be clear. The Constitution does protect the right of employees to organize, i.e. associate, into unions. As long as that association does not involve the forced use of another's property or threats. The Constitution also protects the right of employers to contract with and associate with whom they please. Which means that they have a Constitutional right to refuse to deal with any person or union. Period. There is and can be no Constitutional protection against 'retaliation', if by that we mean some actions another free individual might take in response to our actions, as long as those actions are non-coercive.

    If, in response to an attempt at unionization, an employer shot an employee, that would be a heinous violation of the employees right to life. If the employer expelled him from company property, that would be completely consistent with his right to his property. If the employer refused to enter into a contract with the union, that would also be consistent with his right to associate and contract with whom he pleases. In other words the NLRA protections against 'retaliation', in so far as they refer to non-coercive retaliation, are unconstitutional. (Leftists have rarely distinguished between physical coercion and voluntary financial agreements, hence their ambiguous usage of such terms as 'retaliation', 'economic power', 'class oppression')

    'Retaliation' in the non-coercive sense is completely Constitutional and should be protected. Don't let the leftists, through linguistic slight-of-hand, make you think that the Constitution protects unions from 'retaliation'. In fact, they deserve the ultimate retaliation, repeal of the NLRA.

    Monday, June 13, 2011

    Regulation Watch - 06-13-2011

    There's lots of regulation news and commentary this week, maybe not the best time to try a new, longer format. Let me know if you prefer it or the older style. I'm including the U.N. this week with the following in mind: It is certainly unaccountable to US citizens, our representative is appointed by the President, and over the last few years it has been given the authority by our President to establish US policy (most notably in deciding to go to war with Lybia w/o congressional approval).

    General
    • Cedar Falls IA is considering a law that would require all businesses and many homes to install a lockbox with keys, giving government agents access to those properties. One hearing (video): http://bit.ly/jU4xma
    • Excellent piece by Paul Hsieh in PJM on the loss of freedom in healthcare, travel and personal protection, "Dude, Where's My Freedom": http://bit.ly/iLjq5c
    • Unable to sell its electric cars, Government Motors calls for higher gasoline prices: http://bit.ly/j2S6km 
    • Obama creates 'Rural Council'. Desperate attempt to buy rural votes ala FDR? Fuses vote buying, expanded entitlements and broadband nationalization: http://bit.ly/j8bvhP
    • Its embarrassing that Steve Jobs should have to get permission to build what he wants on his own property and answer to these small-time bureaucrats. Also disgusting that he would joke with them about destroying a legitimate concrete business nearby: http://bit.ly/jXwbvZ
    • Mercatus Center rating of freedom in the 50 states. NH, SD, IN....CA,NJ,NY: http://bit.ly/mvnugI
    • Stossel on the 'cancer of regulation': http://bit.ly/jiHje6
    • The government vs. 'arrogance', cruise ship passengers subjected to 7 hour security nightmare for complaining: http://tgr.ph/ier0PA

    Agriculture
    Arts
    • The National Endowment for the Arts has announced it will be giving grants for video game developers ranging from $10,000 to $200,000. Another brazen attempt of leftists and statists to influence and ultimately take over the computer/internet community, like they have the arts: http://bit.ly/lvf0ai
     ATF
    • Justice Department in a panic over upcoming hearings on BATF gunrunning operation. Good review of the known evidence: http://fxn.ws/iUSVtW
    • Gunrunner guns used to force down Mexican helicopter: http://bit.ly/koc1Qp
    California
    • California's Redevelopment Agencies, responsible in part for much eminent domain abuse, offer AB 1250, pretending to tighten the definition of "blight" but do no such thing. From PLF: http://bit.ly/iGYCi1
    • California Coastal Commission uses repeated trespassing as excuse to classify private property as public: http://bit.ly/mMLl9I
    • GSAL piece on the effects of laws on plastic bags, light bulbs and smart meters: http://bit.ly/iU6jfw
    • Small bit of good news. San Diego City Council loosens regulations on community gardens, subject to approval by the Coastal Commission of course: http://bit.ly/jtzOQN
    • California parent trigger law, allowing parents to vote for eliminating and replacing a failing school, under assault: http://bit.ly/jw5Gey
    • California legislators vote to exempt themselves from gun control laws: http://bit.ly/iyvJYP
    • Have you gotten the message that the Coastal Commission controls ALL activity on the coast. CCC approves navies plans: http://bit.ly/mwDQ1q
    • New bill moves to senate allowing state to deny insurance rate increases. Also known as price controls. Next, shortages: http://bit.ly/mwKt9I
    Commerce
    • The Washington Times recommends abolishing the Dept. of Commerce, "Its various bureaus dole out grants to politically favored projects, burden commerce with regulations and in some cases, try to kill off disfavored industries.": http://bit.ly/kQCyzY
    Connecticut
    • State's answer to high unemployment? More regulation! More requirements for paid sick leave: http://bit.ly/j2La0k
    DHS
      Education
      • Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has articulated what most of the regulatory heads have thought and done all along. He's unwilling to be guided by legislation and plans to act as an unaccountable law-making body in defiance of Congress, "Principals, superintendents and children cannot wait forever for the legislative process to work itself out,": http://on.wsj.com/khkwT7
      • Why is the government in the business of accrediting and licensing, otherwise known as creating cartels? American Bar Association to continue accrediting law schools despite 17 violations: http://bit.ly/jrIHqk
      • Department uses SWAT team to break in man's house and detain for hours. IBD editorial: http://bit.ly/j6HyNK
      Energy
      EPA
      FBI
      • Ellsberger on Nixon (vs. Bush/Obama): "He would probably also feel vindicated (and envious) that ALL the crimes he committed against me -- which forced his resignation facing impeachment -- are now legal": http://bit.ly/kLWC8n 
      • Cartoon history of the Patriot Act: http://bit.ly/j38TyY
      FCC
      • The good news is that the anti-First-Amendment Fairness Doctrine is being stricken from FCC's books. The bad news is that the many bureaucrats and politicians still want to resurrect it, especially on the internet: http://fxn.ws/jsTNJy
      • FCC regulating the volume of commercials: http://bit.ly/kfX6i1
      FDA
      • FDA sends U.S. Marshalls to confiscate elderberry juice, deams it 'unapproved drug': http://bit.ly/k5dGwX
      • The federal government has been encouraging generics as a means of taking hard-earned therapeutics away from their developers and giving them to the 'common good' for years. Should we be surprised that this strategy is backfiring and there are shortages developing? http://reut.rs/ktwgh3
      • Was it ever about the cancer? The sidestream smoke? Anything rational? eCigarettes still facing challenges after winning vs. FDA: http://bit.ly/jw7iVT
        Fed
        • China recognizes that Bernanke's inflationary policies are a form of default on our debt: http://yhoo.it/l41GGm
        • Prudent banks victimized for large, too-big-to-fail banks, seen and unseen in Dodd-Frank. Mish: http://bit.ly/ld8Ws6 
        Florida
        FTC
        • Why sports fans should be tea partiers. UFC investigated for anti-trust violations: http://bit.ly/iBkEzP
          HHS
          • 11th Circuit Court of Appeals hears administration appeal to Florida case that struck down Obamacare as unconstitutional: http://bit.ly/jwScqq
          • In above court case challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare, the administration characterized the challengers as defending the "Constitution of Ayn Rand". Thomas Bowden offers his analysis: http://bit.ly/kejNsQ
          • In another anti-Obamacare lawsuit challenging the creation of the Independent Payment Advisory Board which regulate healthcare expenditures and is explicitly unaccountable to Congress: http://bit.ly/mm5bQH  
          • Do you still doubt they want to control the world? From I Am John Galt on the IPAB: http://networkedblogs.com/iN6AG
          Justice
          NLRB
          • Tennessee trumps Wisconsin, outlaws collective coercive bargaining by teachers unions: http://bit.ly/mhRcHe
            New York
            • When government becomes the caregiver. Widespread abuse of the mentally disabled in New York. I'd bet money they're unionized as well. That would explain retaining the abusive employees: http://nyti.ms/l0XDSd
            TSA
            • Illustrating what it would look like if TSA-like regulations existed in the realm of religion, giving the illuminating comparison to how states opposed the real ID regulations and the feds backed down, and recommending pressuring local politicians: http://bit.ly/jpvuax
            • TSA rules requiring repeated handling and storage of weapons leads to firearm discharge midair: http://bit.ly/iHVGrf
            • Utah proposes banning TSA sexual assaults: http://bit.ly/jDekGv 
            UN
            Washington

                Saturday, June 11, 2011

                Movie: Burzynski

                This movie is available for free viewing this weekend, June 11-13 (2011). It tells the story of Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski and his decades of research on some simple molecules called antineoplastons. He has achieved some impressive results in uncontrolled trials. His therapies are promising, but haven't been tested in rigorous trials. That is part of the story.

                The other part of the story is the relentless attacks on Dr. Burzynski by the Texas Medical Board, the NCI and the FDA. All of these attacks ultimately came from the FDA, which cannot abide a new medical treatment developed by an individual.

                The story told in the movie exactly parallels the story of Henry Rearden in Atlas Shrugged, whose Rearden Metal is first attacked as dangerous by the media and State Science Institute and then confiscated (by blackmail) and given to the State Science Institute and "public spirited" steel companies. Neither had the brains to invent anything new.

                In Burzynski's case, as his treatments got more attention he first had his medical license attacked by the Texas Medical Board at the behest of the FDA, twice. They failed. The FDA commenced to persecute both the doctor (with 5 or 6 grand jury investigations, none leading to charges), and his patients. This cost Burzynski a great deal of money and inconvenience, but he survived. The NCI got into the mix, first attempting to discredit Burzynski, then pretending to conduct a clinical trial which they designed to fail, then participating in the patenting of Burzynski's already patented treatments in conjunction with a former consultant of Burzynski's and Elan Pharmaceuticals.

                Its a fascinating story and can't help but infuriate you. The FDA and the entire government establishment of science, medical boards, etc. will go to amazing lengths to persecute one man for  committing the unforgivable sin of inventing something new, not giving it up and proclaiming it good. Whatever the ultimate benefit of Burzynski's treatments, what the FDA, NCI and others have done to him is unforgivable. Their actions in this case alone are a powerful argument against government involvement in science or medicine.


                Burzynski: Cancer Is Serious Business from BurzynskiMovie on Vimeo.

                Monday, June 6, 2011

                Regulation Watch - 06-06-2011

                Obama's regulatory cuts come up way short
                Not even the bureaucrats like Obama, undercurrent of dissent and dislike at the CIA for example

                ATF: Guns being found in Mexico aren't sold in U.S. gun stores, they're coming from the U.S. gov't
                California: Poised to outlaw gold prospecting. So much for our history.
                California: Water cutoff for delta smelt is unconstitutional (Pacific Legal Foundation)
                California: New drought caused by regulation
                California: so far zero smelt caught in pumps this year, but pumps are still evil! 
                California: 'endangered' fairy shrimp could shut down human life in orange and san diego counties
                California: environmentalist lawyer attacks fireworks displays, hates the idea of humans having fun?
                Commerce: of course, nominee is a global warming fanatic
                DHS: testing 'pre-crime' detectors
                DHS: the false tradeoff between security and freedom
                Education: New for-profit college regulations draw ire of Democrats for being too weak
                Energy: After spending $15b in taxpayers and ratepayers money on Yucca Mountain, Obama admin withdraws permit
                Energy: If you're going to sell fort knox's gold, sell the strategic oil reserve too 
                Energy: This is what the fracking regulations are trying to kill, 3,000 new wells in southern texas next year
                Energy: Fracking battle moves to energy department
                Energy: execs argue states, not feds, should regulate fracking
                Energy: Palin: End all energy subsidies
                EPA: adopting California style labels
                EPA: FreedomWorks: End the regulatory train wreck that is Obama's EPA
                FBI: Timeline on the recent struggle against Patriot Act extension
                FCC: Net Neutrality push was in collusion with left-wing advocacy Free Press group
                FCC: Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) calls for countrywide nationalized broadband network, feigns concern for 'safety'
                FDA: to regulate iPhone medical apps
                FDA: propaganda poll supports FDA regulation of growing food, did the poll ask if people wanted the FDA regulating their carrot patch out back? or preventing them from trading seeds with neighbors?
                Fed: NY Sun supports Von NotHaus coinage of money
                HHS: Obama's solicitor general suggests people earn less money to avoid individual mandate. Is he telling us we should shrug?
                HHS: Feds pursue top execs individually, the opportunities for scape-goating are endless
                HHS: Physicians may quit rather than recertify
                HHS: Suppose Obama had tackled rising food prices by nationalizing all restaurants
                Interior: Salazar ditches administrative 'wildlands' designations and (kindof) acknowledges Congress's authority to make such laws
                Labor: Dept. invites public comment on regulatory reform. Please visit and tell them to cease operations
                NLRB: That Boeing plant that the NLRB wants to stop from being built...its employees voted to decertify the union a couple years back
                Transportation: New cars starting in June will have mandatory black box installed
                TSA: Rep. David Simpson's response to Murphy's threatening letter to congressmen
                TSA: Adam McManus on the Texas anti-groping bill, possibly alive in special session of congress
                TSA: Texans rally to support HB 41, anti-groping bill in special session
                TSA: House passes homeland security funding bill that freezes funding for new scanners and prevents unionization of TSA agents
                TSA: The time is now to resist the TSA, good discussion of Rosa Parks parallels
                USDA: Gov't replaces once useless, politicized food recommendation with another, ooooh is round!
                USPS: nears collapse