Category Archives: Security

Police Brutality, Riots, Racism, and Political Correctness Run Amok

The riots going on in various cities are troubling, and I don’t believe they have that much to do with racism. The riots mainly have to do with cops killing unarmed black people, which is not happening as often as the media tells us, but there are activists who are exploiting and exaggerating the racial conflict problem.

Please explain to me just how breaking windows and breaking into a business and looting and stealing from small business owners’ livelihoods and burning down businesses, burning cars and burning down the public library, have to do with a cop killing some guy? Or how it has to do with racism in America?

Why take your anger out on innocent people who haven’t harmed you and their livelihoods?

Some of the looted or destroyed businesses in Minneapolis were owned by black people or other minorities or immigrants. Some of them put signs in windows stating, “Black owned business,” or “Business owned by immigrants.” But no, those businesses got destroyed anyway.

During the 1960s the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. protested racial discrimination and injustice peacefully. He and others, hundreds of thousands of others, marched on Washington, and they did so peacefully. And they effected in getting the Civil Rights Act passed and repealing Jim Crow laws throughout the country.

However, they didn’t seem to change things with local police departments. In New York the police are known to harass and “stop and frisk” blacks and Hispanics and regardless if there were reasons to suspect someone of wrongdoing. (Repealing the drug laws and ending the failed “war on drugs” would go a long way in stopping many of those police abuses, but that’s for a different discussion.)

But why are things different now with protests, as compared to the Martin Luther King era? And while there is police brutality, that obviously should not be tolerated. The protests go beyond government violence against blacks and other minorities, and protesters are going after speech, including innocent, harmless speech. And for absurd political correctness reasons.

To show just how absurdly things have changed, and for the worse, now we have another example of political correctness run amok. It appears that UCLA’s political science department is investigating a lecturer for reading Dr. King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” to the class. And the letter includes the “N word,” which the lecturer also read out loud. Why would he not? Oooh, he said the “N word,” even though it was Dr. King who wrote the word, and not the lecturer using the word himself.

So the kids complained. And I’m not even going to write out the whole “N word,” you know what I mean. I don’t want this blog to be taken down. So I have to censor myself, because there are people out there who feel offended by every little word or sentence, so it seems.

And I’m Jewish, but if someone utters the “K word” I couldn’t care less. Or the “H word.” I really couldn’t care less, and those things don’t offend me. Why have people become so offended by everything?

Another example: Sacramento Kings play-by-play announcer, Grant Napear, was fired by the Kings and the radio station, because he tweeted, “All lives matter…” in response to a discussion on the Black Lives Matter movement. All he did was tweet, “All lives matter.”

What, not all lives matter? Why is that offensive? It’s like everything is “racist” now.

Sorry if I’m too rational for today’s “systemic” irrationality. And yes, it appears to be systemic now, the absurdity, the Orwellian nonsense. Racism, by the way, is not “systemic.” That is just not the case. Barack Obama couldn’t have gotten elected president and reelected president if the U.S. were a racist country. (And there are some people who believe that pointing that out is itself “racist.” Not exactly thinking people, quite frankly.)

But, “War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength.”

Speaking of “Orwellian,” one of my favorite libertarian bloggers, Robert Wenzel, has a post about police in various municipalities going overboard to show how they are NOT racists, by lying face down on the ground and “washing the feet” of Black Lives Matter organizers. Wenzel notes that this is an example of “early-stage Cultural Revolution of Mao’s China.” (I think it’s early stage nuttiness, if you don’t mind my saying that.)

And, regarding the police controversies I’m not a “hate-cops” person, or a “blue lives matter” person. In my world, no one would be above the law, including the enforcers of the law. But I don’t see all police as one group, because each of us is an individual.

We can’t say “white people this” or “black people that,” or “cops this or that,” because there are many good cops who probably have gone through their entire careers never having hurt anyone or even shot their guns while on duty.

Unfortunately, one psycho comes along and keeps his knee on someone’s neck and kills him. We have to weed out those ones, if there is to be a government monopoly on security. Perhaps consider privatizing that function?

Boris Johnson’s Quarantine of Innocents vs. Due Process

I wrote here recently that I didn’t want to write about this COVID stuff any more. However, I do have a few more important points that I wanted to make. For instance, I mentioned the importance of due process here and that needs to get more attention.

It appears that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson now wants to order travelers entering England to be placed in quarantine for 14 days. So, did something happen to Johnson’s judgment during the time he was in the hospital with COVID-19?

And this policy of involuntary house arrest applies to travelers (with a few exceptions) regardless of whether they are sick, whether they have symptoms or whether the government has evidence to believe that any one individual has the coronavirus and could be contagious.

According to the Independent,

travellers will be required to provide the address where they will spend the ensuing two weeks. Fines of £1,000 for those who breach self-isolation have been proposed.

Ms Patel will also set out arrangements for arriving travellers with no home to go to. They will be required to remain in accommodation arranged by the government.

So this policy that Boris Johnson the Brexiter has signed on to violates due process rights as well as innocent individuals’ right to privacy.

And we are talking about presumably innocent, non-threatening people here.

According to Wikipedia’s article on Due Process,

In clause 39 of Magna Carta, issued in 1215, John of England promised: “No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land.”

In the current conflict between fascism and freedom, if the government has a reason to suspect a specific individual of carrying some contagious disease, and has the evidence to prove it, there needs to be a trial in a legitimate court of law, in which the government presents the evidence or witness testimony against the accused, and the accused has a right to refute such evidence and present one’s own evidence or testimony in one’s defense.

But rather than doing things the morally and legally right way, it seems that Johnson wants to imprison travelers entering the country regardless of the government’s having any reason to suspect any specific individuals of carrying contagious diseases.

And let’s face it. Just how serious is COVID-19, really? The most recent studies including Stanford University and University of Miami have shown that the infection fatality rate is .1%, a tenth of one percent. That means that 99.9% of those who have the virus will not die from it.

The fascist lockdown, house arrest of the masses and other totalitarian policies inflicted by governments onto innocent people all over the world have all been based on panic, hysteria and ignorance, not reason and not science. It is shameful. I live in the U.S. and don’t really travel anyway, but I surely wouldn’t go to England or any place that would “welcome” me with a house arrest.

Don’t you know that you just don’t quarantine healthy people?

This whole situation these past few months has been a reminder of how enlightened our rulers are on the importance of due process.

Obesity and COVID-19

Speaking of Boris Johnson the Brexiter who had previously been opposed to the “nanny state” but is now apparently for the “nanny state,” one reason why he’s gone fascist in his travelers house arrest policy might be his own person experience in the hospital for several days fighting the COVID-19, in which only a tiny fraction of patients need to be hospitalized.

Now Johnson has changed his mind and believes the government should control or prohibit people from having sugary drinks, etc. But really he needs to focus on his own problems, and leave the rest of the people alone, in my opinion. He has admitted that the main reason for his having to be hospitalized was probably his obesity, being 5 feet and 9 inches tall and weighing what the British call “17 stone” (that I have not heard of before) that converts to about 238 pounds in the U.S.

Obesity is an underlying condition in nearly half of the COVID patients, according to the CDC. From what I’ve read, obese people have a lot of extra body fat which obstructs the lungs capacity to expand toward one’s normal breathing process. A respiratory disease like COVID-19 will further complicate matters for obese people.

There’s another good reason to lose the wight, eat more healthy foods and cut out the awful fast foods, processed foods and snacks and pastries, and exercise more. Not just Boris Johnson but all overweight people.

Congresscritters Want to Brand the People Like Cattle with a Medical “Patient ID”

There is an article by Dr. Jane Orient, MD, on the website of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons discussing the proposed national patient ID. As I have mentioned before, the AAPS is the decent version of the corrupt American Medical Association, a.k.a. AMA, the Establishment medicine group.

Dr. Orient says that the “Unique Patient Identifier” (UPI), as it would be called, would not work in the government’s attempt to deal with the nationwide opioid crisis. The claim is that addicts get their opioids from “doctor shopping,” yet, as Dr. Orient points out, 97% of the abused drugs are coming from a single doctor or from an illicit source.

Another desired purpose of the Patient ID is supposedly to prevent misidentifying a patient’s medical history and thus preventing medical errors. Are you kidding me? I personally experienced a lot of medical errors by ignorant doctors with their bad advice and bad prescription drugs!

And regarding how to prevent medical errors, Dr. Orient notes that “you need alert nurses and doctors—and the UPI is not going to fix the hazards of the electronic health record. The EHR, touted as the solution that will bring efficient, quality care, has created its own type of errors.”

And, “There may be critical gaps as patients withhold information they don’t want in a federal database. The new problem that brings the patient to the hospital won’t be in the old record—but may be the result of an old misdiagnosis that should be corrected instead of copied.”

Speaking of misdiagnoses, one study published in 2014 concluded that about 5% of medical diagnoses were in error, roughly 20 million people in the U.S.

However, prior to that, in 2013 a study at Johns Hopkins concluded that “diagnostic errors — not surgical mistakes or medication overdoses — accounted for the largest fraction” of malpractice claims. 28.6% of the claims were because of misdiagnosis. More recent studies showed that among malpractice claims 38% were due to misdiagnoses.

So I’ll bet the frequency of medical misdiagnosis is quit a bit higher than just 5%!

If the U.S. government forces any kind of “Medicare for All”  or  “single payer” (same thing) on us, then doctors will become essentially government employees or bureaucrats, so if that ever happens in America then expect that percentage of misdiagnoses to go up, up, up. (Because most government bureaucrats have no idea what they are doing!)

So, what the national “Unique Patient Identifier” would really amount to, and the real reason why government bureaucrats want this, is for tracking and surveillance of the people. Government bureaucrats like to have a lot of power and control, and that is why they don’t believe in privacy or medical freedom. And in medical care they don’t support the confidentiality between doctors and patients.

Will The Donald “Keep America Great”?

Donald Trump had his Big Announcement to run for reelection in 2020 to the cheers of thousands. Hooray! And in Orlando, no less, home of Walt Disney World. (Might as well.)

So, Trump says that he has already “made America great again” and so his new slogan will now be, “Keep America Great.” Well, I can’t see how this authoritarian militarist and police statist can “keep America great” when his anti-freedom actions and policies are in contrast to the freedom-loving policies of America’s founders.

So, besides being authoritarian, Trump also surrounds himself with crony corporatists, which is not to America’s benefit, that’s for sure.

For instance, the acting Secretary of Defense has been longtime Boeing executive Patrick Shanahan, that I had described as the “Secretary of Boeing” (i.e. conflict of interest much?). And now Shanahan is leaving because of questionable alleged behavior in his personal life, that being alleged domestic abuse and a controversial divorce.

Boeing is the #2 top military contractor.

And now Patrick Shanahan-Boeing is being replaced by Army secretary Mark Epser, who Donald Trump wants to be the official Secretary of Defense. Get this: After several years as cannon fodder for the Army, and as a military bureaucrat and then political flunky for Chuck Hagel, George W. Bush and Fred Thompson, Esper has been a lobbyist for … Raytheon, the #3 top military contractor. So, I guess that means that Esper will be the “Secretary of Raytheon.” But wait. Now that Raytheon will very likely merge with United Technologies, their new racket outfit may actually become the #1 top military contractor.

Ah, the old “climbing up the ladder of success” thing (at taxpayers’ expense, of course).

And I’m not going to call them “defense” contractors, because the wars or “campaigns” the U.S. military has been involved in have not been “defensive” but offensive. The Vietnamese, Iraqis, Afghans etc. did not come over to the U.S. and commit violence against anyone here. (The 9/11 hijackers were mostly Saudis, and there is now evidence that shows that the Saudi regime played a large role in the planning and carrying out of the 9/11 attacks. No Iraqis, no Afghans, despite all the propaganda of the warmongers in Washington.)

No, the U.S. government and military initiated wars of aggression against those countries and their people. And that’s the truth, now. I think that the truth is important. I try not to let government propaganda influence my thinking, whether it’s to do with wars or medical issues or vaccines, etc.

So, those corporations are not selling their products to the government for “defense,” it’s just the opposite.

Another bad outcome of the militarism and corporatism with the warmongering of the past 2 or 3 decades has been the police state. For example, the Patriot Act, which eviscerates the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments (and probably the Second, too) of the U.S. Constitution. In addition to the Patriot Act, the NDAA which empowers the feds and military to arrest and detain anyone for any reason. No due process.

But what has really been bothering me has been the conservatives and radio personalities who seem to love Donald Trump, and who have been talking endlessly how the FBI and DOJ have been abusing their powers to spy on the Trump campaign and attempting to get Trump impeached based on false accusations with no evidence of “Russian collusions,” and so on.

Which is all quite true, by the way. There is no evidence to back up any of those allegations, and the Mueller investigation said that. But there is evidence of the FBI and DOJ conspiring to abuse their Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) power to spy on their political opponents (Trump). All the facts of that will come out over the next year. Yes, let’s “investigate the investigators.”

However, when Sean Hannity and the rest of them are criticizing this “police state,” I cringe because they themselves are police statists in their support of the aforementioned Patriot Act, NDAA, DHS, ICE, etc.

Hannity is the worst of them (at least, the worst on the radio). For example, in response to school shootings, Hannity’s idea is to put military and local police in the schools. Okay, he really says “former” military and police, but the schools are already a police state, including teachers and administrators calling the police and arresting some little boy for drawing a picture of a gun or some such thing.

And I don’t know about this “former police and military” stuff, because they probably still retain that authoritarian and goonish attitude that’s required of armed government officers. So when a teenage kid might be acting up in the school hallway or being a little obnoxious, the “former” police or military soldier is very likely to go into “berserker” mode and probably shoot the darn kid! (Sometimes police and military people tend to go nutso, especially those with PTSD, and those who are gobbling up those steroids that have terrible aggression-related side effects.)

Unfortunately, Donald Trump seems to have that authoritarian mindset in his love of the government soldier and enforcer with the government badge and gun. I don’t see how he’s going to “make America great again,” or “keep America great” or whatever he’s saying now.

The Nixon-Hoover-Clinton-Bush-Obama-Trump police state has not made America great, only less so, because America was formed based on freedom and due process, not a police state.

And the Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama-Trump wars overseas and the failed and futile war on drugs have not made America great, only less so. The government steals so much from the people in taxes including the inflationary stealth tax, as the bureaucrats in Washington squander and squander trillions, making America less great. The Donald is continuing that trend, in my view.

Just Say “No” to a Medical Patient ID

Just a few days ago I wrote my post on whether or not to trust the government with our medical care (NO!). And now I see that the very dangerous people in Congress have voted to give themselves the authority to impose a “medical ID” or “Patient ID” onto each and every American. That’s in an amendment to bill H.R. 2740, according to former Congressman Ron Paul, who writes that when he was in Congress he sponsored the prohibition of this “unique patient identifier” in 1998. That is what they are repealing with this new amendment.

The bill now goes to the Senate. This new power of Congress will give the government and all its unconstitutional and police-state agencies total access to everyone’s personal, private medical information. The already shaky doctor-patient confidentiality relationship will be eliminated with this new power.

As Dr. Ron Paul wrote, “This system would also facilitate the collection of health information without a warrant by surveillance state operatives” and “allowing employers to examine a potential employee’s medical history.”

And Dr. Paul writes further: “Unscrupulous government officials could use medical information to harass those whose political activities challenge the status quo. Anyone who doubts this should ask themselves what a future J. Edgar Hoover or Lois Lerner would do with access to the medical information of those involved in political movements he wishes to silence.”

Now, we know from history time and again that government bureaucrats cannot be trusted with private, personal information of the people. Just imagine how people will now have to censor themselves at the doctor’s office as far as what personal information to share, some of which may be important and relevant in the diagnosis and treatment of a medical issue. It will be much worse if there is some kind of “Medicare for All” or single payer, or otherwise government-run health care. The government doctor will not be someone to trust, just like any other government agent.

Do We Live in a Police State?

Judge Andrew Napolitano says that the FBI raid on Roger Stone’s house was an example of a police state.

Roger Stone is a longtime Trump advisor and supporter, and is involved in the Russia-2016 election investigation. He is being accused by special counsel Robert Mueller of “witness tampering,” among some other “process crimes,” such as lying to Congress, but has no prior criminal record or record of violence. Therefore, an FBI raid on his home and terrorizing his family, with 19 FBI vehicles and 29 agents, was quite the overreach.

YA THINK??!

Now, I’m not a Trump supporter, nor a Roger Stone fan, but people have a right to presumption of innocence, due process, and, if they are not suspected of being violent criminals, then they shouldn’t be treated as such.

“Witness tampering”? How about all the times police and FBI intimidate and threaten suspects and witnesses to either give false confessions or possibly say things that are unclear and thereby give the authorities excuses to make up charges for innocent people? Talk about “witness tampering.”

There are other examples of the police state in the U.S., land of the free and home of the brave. I think the U.S. government’s border security has become a police state (google “100 mile Constitution-free zone”). These people are very short-sighted in that they refuse to see that U.S. government policies are causing the immigration problem, policies such as the drug prohibition (a.k.a. “war on drugs”) and U.S. government’s interventions south of the border that have “unintended consequences.”

And people who love freedom don’t insist on a government wall on the border.

Asset forfeiture is another example of the police state, in which government “law enforcement” may steal whatever cash or property they want from people and don’t even have to charge them with crimes. According to an investigation, police in South Carolina robbed people of $17 million over a 3-year period, and one-fifth of the victims were never arrested or charged with crimes.

Life Insurance Companies to Track Private Health Data

According to Nicholas West of Natural Blaze health news, life insurance companies now want to add fitness tracking data to all policies. That includes John Hancock, that will track your “fitness and health data through wearable devices and smartphones.”

I know that a lot of people will go along with this, because they don’t understand where exactly this could lead, especially with government involvement in health care. The article mentions the Affordable Care Act, which encourages employers to offer wellness incentives. And the article concludes with a reference to China’s “social credit score.”

Frankly, there’s too much intrusiveness by both government and the corporate sector in a country that supposedly prides itself on “greatness,” what was at first the greatness of freedom, particularly the right to be secure in one’s person, houses, papers and effects. How will things be 25 years from now, in America?