Category: Money & Economy

It’s messed up that a town meeting would even see the need to debate and legislate the right to choose one’s own nourishment…the very stuff that makes up our bodies.

But, welcome to fascist la-la land, aka modern-day America. Go Sedgwick!

My thanks to Kevin at Cryptogon for the link.

Brad of McBlog fame has penned a thoughtful little piece on living the “Frugalista Gulch” lifestyle – right where you are, in his case. Woohoo to you both, and welcome to the Outlaw crew!

When Wendy mentioned to me her “motivation #2” for the frugal philosophy — resisting the state — the first thing that popped into my mind was “Galt’s Gulch.” Because what we are doing is very similar to what John Galt and his fellows did when they went “on strike” and withdrew to Galt’s Gulch. We are denying the State and its army of leeches, not the product of our minds as such, but rather our productivity.

And Brad’s conclusion is right on…there are going to be thousands of “Frugalista Gulches.” Perhaps there already are.

(Thanks to Dave Gross at The Picket Line for the link!)

First, it was reported the other day that Hushmail, the web-based encrypted email provider, has caved to Canadian federal authorities and turned over twelve discs’ worth of email messages to and from alleged steroid dealers: Continue reading

I’ve seen this before – the Mogambo Guru, for one, has been known to claim it as a valid and founding prohibition on the U.S. government’s use of fiat currency. And today, Mike “Mish” Shedlock is saying it as well:

Now consider [the U.S.] Constitution, Article I, Section 10, Clause 1. No State shall…coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debt.

Well, yes, that’s what the Constitution says. “No State” shall make anything but precious metals into real money.

Remember, the Constitution created a federal government made up of the various States and binding them into a Union. Remember also that in Revolutionary and Articles of Confederation days, the various States were acting as traditional states do, as sovereign nations with their own militias, navies, and currencies.

This last made travel and commerce challenging and often confusing. So the Constitution settled things by prohibiting the States from putting out their own money anymore. (There’s apparently rather a debate historically and economically over how pleased the various States were at this, and whether or not it was forced down their throats. But that’s not relevant to this post.)

Anyway, I wonder why the Mogambos and Mishes don’t read the words of Article I, Section 10 more literally. This is one instance in which the feds spelled it out clearly right from the first. The States aren’t allowed to make “any Thing but gold and silver” legal tender. But there’s nothing I know of saying that the Congress and the federal government can’t do so.

And they know it well, and they’ve been doing it in spades. For years.

The only good thing about this is that it leaves more gold and silver for the rest of us – who know enough history to appreciate this excellent reminder from Mish, also in the post linked above:

All fiat currencies eventually go to zero, the only difference is the speed at which purchasing power declines. Gold has never gone to zero and never will either.

Well, Gene Logsdon does it again, this time with an entertaining and thoughtful piece on “bootleg” raw milk. You just gotta love this. Mr. Logsdon pokes fun at the “Milk Police” whose mandate has nothing to do with public health.

Selling raw milk, or bootleg milk as I call it, is a crime in some states, if you can believe that. If you break the law, the Milk Police will come knocking at your door. Mind you, they don’t care if you drink it or give it away. You just can’t sell it, which leads me to believe that they are more worried about protecting the monopoly of the pasteurized milk industry than protecting health.

As most of you probably know, dairy farmers who want to sell raw milk to people who want to drink raw milk, get around the prevailing power of the Milk Police by what they call herd share agreements. Customers buy shares in the cows and so as part owners, they are actually drinking their own milk. This subterfuge gives the Milk Police conniption fits. They issue woeful press releases that lead one to believe that civilization will collapse if people are allowed to drink raw milk, even though 28 states now allow it to be sold. The Milk Police try to take producers of herd-share milk to court like they were moonshiners.

Now, I’ve talked about this attitude thing before, but Mr. Logsdon’s blogpost has me thinking about it in a new way. I can’t even really explain how so, but it has to do with the sustained, cheerful humor and the simple choice not to grant the “Milk Police” any legitimacy. It’s a gentle, knowing, thoroughly enjoyable (and enjoyed!) laugh in their faces.

And somehow, it leaves me feeling renewed. Because it’s too easy for me, I realize, to become angered, outraged, offput by the actions of the various Police around today, mushrooming as they are. Mr. Logsdon (and others like him) offer delightful reminders that it doesn’t have to be so.

Hell, no. On the contrary, he gives me a friendly nudge as if to twinkle, “You’re free to dance through life even if ‘they’ expect you to cringe and crawl.”

And it occurs to me that the sustained twinkle is a result, and a function, of long practice and of endlessly repeated acquaintance with the tactics of the other side. It’s grace, born of great wisdom, repeated effort, and formidable patience – with a dash of Outlawish aliveness to spice up the mix.

According to the latest (May 4) email from the Natural Solutions Foundation, the organization that’s been fighting the FDA’s push to make vitamin and mineral supplements available only by prescription:

Although the FDA denied our request to extend the comment, failed to update its site or its comment tally, extended the comment period and then rescinded the extension (!), our collective voice won us a huge victory in Congress today. Because we rallied behind our health freedom and access to natural health products, every member of the Senate voting today heard us loud and clear and acted — without a single dissenting voice — to protect our health freedom!

And some very good news: Congress has accepted the following amendment to S.1082 – Enhancing Drug Safety and Innovation Act of 2007 – from Sen. Durbin.Sec. X08. Rule of Construction
Nothing in this title (or an amendment made by this title) shall be construed to affect–
(1) The regulation of dietary supplements under the Dietary Supplement
Health and Education Act; or
(2) The adverse event reporting system for dietary supplements created
under the Dietary Supplement and Nonprescription Drug Consumer Protection Act.

For now, then, it seems like the vitamin nazis are flummoxed. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer group of nazis.

It isn’t clear at the moment how complementary and alternative modalities (CAM) like massage and colonics will be affected, if at all. If I can find out, I’ll report about it here.

And massage therapy, and colonics, and chiropractic, and herbal and homeopathic remedies like Sambucol, if the FDA gets its way.

Wanna have to secure an appointment with, and pay your copayment to, your MD just to get a prescription for echinacea and vitamin C and zinc lozenges next time you feel a cold coming on? Or when you really need a good massage to de-stress?

Is there any reason why it’s your physician’s business if you do – other than the business of medico-pharmaceutical greed? Is there any reason why some backwards-thinking physician – who doesn’t believe there’s any worth to reflexology or homeopathic remedies or whatnot – should have the right to keep you from using them, if you think they’ll help you?

Think the FDA is doing this in the interests of public safety? Think again. Iatrogenic deaths – deaths caused directly by standard medical practices, practitioners, and facilitiesnumber as many as one million human beings per year in the U.S. alone.

When was the last time you heard of a million people in this country dying in one year at the hands of massage therapists or Reiki practitioners, or from taking St. John’s Wort?

F*cking .gov control freaks are now trying to regulate things that have been freely available to the lowliest for centuries…millennia, even. The Dead Sea Scrolls (in the E.B. Szekely translations) contain references to Jesus the Essene teaching followers how to do enemas.

It’s frankly almost beyond my imagination that these idiots think they can get away with such a sweeping prohibition. But they do think it. They managed it with ephedra. And if they don’t manage to kill all complementary and alternative modalities (CAMs), they might well make a big dent just from the compromises that are usually made in these cases.

Grow and roll your own, folks, and please, support your local soon-to-be “witches.” If you’re interested in taking the petition route, you can go here to learn more and to e-sign the protest, which is actually quite well written and supportive of a free market in healing choices:

The Natural Solutions Foundation favors a market approach to these issues and urges the FDA to reduce regulation to those minimum levels that will encourage the continued rapid development of CAM approaches. Especially when dealing with Dietary Supplements and Traditional Remedies, we are dealing with foods which, as foods, are presumed to be safe. There is no need for the high level of regulation that is required for the dangerous and invasive drugs and techniques of so-called “standard” medicine. Even with this stringent level of oversight, drugs are a major cause of death in every developed country while CAM remedies are an insignificant-to-absent cause of death world-wide. Rather, this is a situation where the public is best served by a policy of Laissez-Faire: allow CAM to develop freely in the public interest.

Throughout the world today people are looking to traditional methodologies and leading-edge CAM techniques because they offer alternatives to toxic, expensive drugs with their dangerous side effects, un-manageable and unreasonable costs and other invasive technologies of modern medicine. This search for alternatives is protected by the fundamental right of individuals to communicate and learn; to heal and be healed. This has been settled law for over a hundred years.

“The state has not restricted the cure of the body to the practice of medicine and surgery — allopathy, as it is termed, — nor required that, before anyone can be treated for any bodily ill, the physician must have acquired a competent knowledge of allopathy and be licensed by those skilled therein. To do that would be to limit progress by establishing allopathy as the state system of healing, and forbidding all others. This would be as foreign to our system as a state church for the cure of souls. All the state has done has been to enact that, when one wished to practice medicine or surgery, he must, as a protection to the public [not to the doctor], be examined and licensed by those skilled in surgery and medicine. To restrict all healing to that one kind — to allopathy, excluding homeopathy, osteopathy, and all other treatments — might be a protection to doctors in surgery and medicine; but that is not the object of the act, and might make it unconstitutional, because creating a monopoly.” North Carolina’s Supreme Court in State v MacKnight, 42 S.E. 580, 1902 at p 582.

Costs, safety and, most of all, liberty, require that the distinction be made and maintained by the FDA between “treatment” and “therapy” if the US Constitution and public are to be served.

(NOTE: There’s an April 30, 2007 deadline for the FDA’s “public comment period.” It feels like writing my Congressthing – knowing they don’t give a rat’s ass what I think – but I signed it anyway.)

P.S.: I know I said I’d follow up on the last post in my next one – but this took precedence. My apologies. I’m at work on the follow-up post right now and will post it as soon as I’ve finished.

Just recently, I came across the bloggy website of Ran Prieur. And was hooked. Ran’s the author of How to Drop Out, to which I linked in my farewell edition of Strike the Root last week. He’s also an accomplished Dumpster diver, and a budding gulcher with a piece of heaven somewhere out West, I gather.

Checking in with him this morning, I found him discussing ways to stave off infections under adverse circumstances – good stuff to know. And then he goes a step further – and this is what I just love about his perspective: Continue reading

In yesterday’s edition of Strike the Root, I linked to a piece by Mike Whitney in which the following quote appeared:

A shrewd economist and student of history like Greenspan knew exactly what the consequences of his low interest rates would be. The trap was set to lure in unsuspecting borrowers who felt they could augment their stagnant wages by joining the housing gold rush. It was a great way to mask a deteriorating economy by expanding personal debt.

I added in my blurb on the piece, “As an aside, whatever did co-opt the former rabid free-market Randite, Greenspan?”

Apropos of this, a reader called “Max” sent me a comment:

Taran, who of us can know that Greenspan ever renounced the teachings of Rand[?] Atlas Shrugged offered as theory ONE method to bring down the state, but perhaps Greenspan found another way. If the impending economic collapse should be as damaging as some predict, we will all be forced to face reality and the result of our choices.

Perhaps the maestro should be praised? Just a thought.

Max, that’s an intriguing suggestion. It’s certainly possible – and if you have evidence to back up your thought, I’d be very interested to see it. Frankly, though, my first reaction is that not even a total economic collapse will likely bring down the thing called State.

It didn’t in 1929. On the contrary, during the ensuing Great Depression (itself brought about in large part by the credit-creating, money-supply-inflating Federal Reserve), the statists du jour seized the moment and added to their power, and the state-idolatrizing sheeple loved it. FDR is lauded yet today by the unthinking majority, for “getting the country out of the Depression.”

Today, even were the US to fail outright, there’s a whole new North American Union being put into place to supersede it. The State in some form is fully planned to endure and to mushroom.

So I suspect the reality is closer to something Harry Schultz recently wrote:

When a possible leader or competent critic emerges in the US, he/she is immediately made a member of the CFR [Council on Foreign Relations], which thereby seals his/her lips. Or else! It’s a refinement of a Mafia policy. It’s done in a few other countries too, but not as widely or ruthlessly as in the US.

At that Wikipedia link on the CFR, Alan Greenspan is listed as a current member. Coincidence? Who knows?

(BTW, I highly recommend reading the entire quoted part of Schultz’s letter, in which he admits, “We’ve lost.”)  Also BTW, Max, are you the one and same Max from TCF?  Hiya, dude!

Another Atlas shrugging…

You wouldn’t normally think of State Farm Insurance as freedom outlaws. But in the face of what Mike Shedlock calls “failed Soviet command economics” in Mississippi, the insurer has chosen to do a rather Outlawish thing – in the sense of putting oneself outside the laws “they” want to force upon us:

State Farm, Mississippi’s largest homeowner insurer, said Wednesday it has had enough of the “untenable” legal and political climate in the state and is suspending writing new homeowners and commercial policies. The company said the suspension would begin Friday and continue until the business climate in the state is more palatable.

And bravo to ’em.