The Two Hands Of Big Brother: Losing Our Liberties Update

I began publishing my monthly newsletter The Bob Livingston Letter™ (subscription required) in 1969. The following is an excerpt from an article in the June 1999 issue in which I commented upon the burgeoning surveillance state which even then was increasingly viewing Americans as terrorists needing to be secretly spied upon. While Edward Snowden’s “revelations” of the depth and breadth of government spying on Americans surprised many, readers of The Bob Livingston Letter™ were long ago alerted to government spying programs. And, curiously, 15 years after the fact, Attorney General Eric Holder has just announced he’s going to “revive” the same Clinton-era anti-terror task force, as if the National Security Agency’s domestic spying program is inadequate to the task.

For those who do have a mind and spirit to resist, the U.S. government has proposed creating a Soviet-like KGB within the Department of Justice, ostensibly called a “National Terrorism Intelligence Center.” You are now a terrorist, you see, if you believe in self and local governments and States’ rights. This plan was first articulated in the Council on Foreign Relations journal, Foreign Affairs, by several authors, including the former Central Intelligence Agency director and deputy secretary of defense, John Deutch, and a Harvard professor, Ashton Carter, who occupies a chair sponsored by the notorious globalist-socialist Ford Foundation. They propose a centralized intelligence gathering and collection apparatus which would coordinate all such information for “U.S. government bodies, supporting defense and intelligence operations, and law enforcement agencies.”

In short, the center would combine the active intelligence gathering approach of the national security agencies, which are not legally constrained in their forcing investigations, with the domestic authority and investigative resources of law enforcement agencies. In other words, this super-agency would have no foreign or domestic constraints for snooping on and policing the American people.

The CFR writers claim the feel-good justification of such a huge organization would be “to protect established civil liberties.” Yet this super-agency “would be exempt from pretrial discovery in the trials of indicted criminals.” Whoops! So much for those vaunted civil liberties!

How close are we to actually having a U.S. Government KGB? Attorney General Janet “Johnny Waco” Reno has announced that:

… the Clinton administration is readying a new terrorism response plan to ensure a coordinated federal effort and to practice working with state and local authorities…

… an agreement with the Pentagon, the National Security Council and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to act as the lead agency for the preparedness program.

How have we come to this point, that free Americans could be viewed as terroristic enemies in the very nation their forefathers created? Part of the answer is that America has been subjected to a long-term, clever process of demoralization and destabilization from within…

More Court-Approved Torture Coming To Georgia?

Areas of Georgia may soon join metro Atlanta and the States of Tennessee and Wyoming as places that will allow officers to forcibly withdraw blood during traffic stops.

“We’re not out here to violate anybody’s rights,” said Powell Harrelson of the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and Metro Police, in a classic case of political doublespeak. That office is pushing for forced blood draws if a driver refuses to submit to a field sobriety test during a traffic stop. The Georgia Court of Appeals ruled the practice lawful in January.

State and local police have already planned Operation Thunder, a summer-long activity by State Troopers and local police that will saturate certain areas of the State with traffic checkpoints and stepped-up patrols.

Chatham County judges have not decided whether they will sign off on forced blood draws. The idea has drawn the ire of lawyers who say the State can make a sufficient case with dash-cam video and field sobriety tests. Under Georgia law, refusal to take a field sobriety results in an automatic one-year driver’s license suspension.

DUI attorney Doug Andrews told a Georgia television station he is worried about unintended consequences that might spring from inserting a needle into an unwilling driver’s arm. “They’re gonna hurt someone,” he said.

And it brings to mind how things got out of hand in New Mexico, when a man was stopped for running a stop sign and police thought that during questioning he clenched his buttocks in a suspicious manner.

Fourteen hours later, without granting his consent, the man had undergone X-rays, several rectal exams and a colonoscopy as police searched for drugs that were not there.

Forced medical procedures — whether blood draws or rectal exams — are torture and have no place in American jurisprudence. They are simply more signs of the burgeoning police state.

Diet Drinks Help Weight Loss? Fat Chance!

Another day, another farcical “study” on the “benefits” of drinking diet sodas.

This one, reported on Denver’s local CBS affiliate, claims drinking diet sodas is better for losing weight than drinking water. This is “good news for diet soda lovers who also want to drop some pounds,” the reporterette breathlessly proclaimed in her report.

According to the story, researchers at the University of Colorado took 300 people and divided them into two groups. Both groups followed a “diet and exercise program,” but one could drink zero-calorie beverages while the others were restricted to drinking only water. After 12 weeks, those who drank diet beverages lost an average of 13 pounds while the water drinkers lost an average of 9.

The report itself was not included with the CBS report, but is available here.

Researchers determined that there was a reduction in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in the group consuming diet beverages.

One interesting tidbit from the study, hunger increased slightly in the water group while it decreased in the diet soda group. But digging through the weeds, you find that study participants were all consumers of diet sodas prior to the study. That means the water-only group were undergoing a significantly greater lifestyle change to take part in the study.

Besides, the “study” measured weight loss only and did not take into account where the weight came from or whether the participants were healthier at the end of the study.

Diet sodas are in no way healthy, and they may be even more detrimental to health than regular sodas.

People who drink diet soda daily have a 61 percent higher risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack than those who drink no diet drinks, according to the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference. Researchers have concluded that drinking two or more sodas a day almost doubles your chances of developing kidney disease. And it’s worse for women.

The sweetener aspartame, commonly known as NutraSweet, is one of the most commonly used artificial sweeteners in diet beverages. It is a neurotoxin.

In the body it breaks down into phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol. When methanol is heated above 86 degrees F, it converts into formaldehyde. The human body’s resting temperature is 98.6 degrees F.

A University of Texas Health Center study found that the more diet sodas a person drank, the greater chance he had of becoming overweight. Artificial sweeteners disrupt the body’s ability to regulate calorie intake based on the sweetness of foods, according to an animal study by researchers at Purdue University.

Diet sodas are very acidic, and the acid dissolves tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay.

Oh, and buried at the bottom of CBS Denver’s story was this nugget: “The study was funded by the American Beverage Association.”

And this passes for journalism.

The Magical World Of Political Speech

“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” – George Orwell

I keep the above George Orwell quote near me at all times. It serves as a reminder to me to decipher political speech whenever I see or hear it.

Political speech contains magical properties. It mesmerizes the masses because it is more illusory than a David Copperfield grand finale.

But political speech is dangerous. While it sounds innocuous, it is as deadly as a bear trap hidden beneath the leaves or a siren singing her song. It can grab you suddenly, or it can ensnare you subtly. Either way, you learn too late that you have been conned and there is no escape.

The magic of political speech is not happenstance. There are change agents at work in the inner sanctums of power whose job it is to create special words and phrases that are used in political speech. Those words and phrases are repeated over and over by the elites in order to dumb us down and create a conditioned response.

The process of dumbing down and the conditioning of the mind to create a nation of good, obedient subjects loyal and subservient to political authority and to the legitimacy of the political order begins early on. We are now several generations into the plan by the elites to create a Nation of state-worshiping ignoramuses taught pseudo-history and inculcated with a loyalty to and dependence upon big government. For many — if not most — of the Nation’s young people below the age of 25, government provided them with most of their meals while the majority of their days were spent submitting to government authority figures (teachers/principals/school officers) in rigid, structured environments that dissuade original thought.

Also aiding the elites and politicians in this effort is an army of “journalists” who never stray far from the official line of the State apparatus. They are eager to spread their lies and half-truths because that ensures them their seats near (or even inside, in the case of the Barack Obama Administration) the halls of power. On that rare occasion one of them strays too far from the party line, retribution is swift and harsh (see Helen Thomas and Sharyl Attkisson). This discourages dissent.

Politicians have learned that the more lies they tell, the more lies we believe. And the more lies we believe, the more dependent we become. Conversely, the fewer myths, lies and deceptions we succumb to, the less dependent we are and, therefore, the more liberty we enjoy.

I long ago learned the power of propaganda. I have watched as otherwise intelligent and thoughtful people have had their minds so manipulated by political speech that they acted contrary to their own best interests without a second thought. It seems that organized and sophisticated propaganda is able to operate outside the threshold of intelligence. In other words, without some imperative to trigger inquiry, very intelligent people buy into lies and myths the same as the general population. The lies and myths then become conventional wisdom. The human mind rarely accepts a challenge to conventional wisdom.

When confronted with a challenge to the established belief system, the mind closes off. When this happens, the individual employs avoidance behavior, writes off the new knowledge as conspiracy theory and labels it as kooky, insane or stupid. The information is then dismissed, never to be considered again, even when the facts support the new knowledge. Psychologists call this quirk of human nature cognitive dissonance. It means the rejection of information not in harmony with previous beliefs.

The esoteric purpose of propaganda is to extract wealth and labor illegally as concealed involuntary servitude or to steal the people’s liberty right out from under them, and even have the populace to thank the thieves for doing so, especially if it is done under the guise of keeping the people “safe” or to “save the children” from some danger, real or imagined. Those who use propaganda to persuade the populace against their best interests create myths and sell them as benefits.

The elites also use distractions for this purpose. These distractions serve to draw the people’s attention away from the important issues and focus it on the mundane and the trivial, much as the illusionist uses sleight of hand. These distractions can be events that occur naturally or by chance, which are then seized upon by the elites. But sometimes the distractions are artificial creations — also called “false flag events” — designed and triggered for the specific purpose of refocusing the attention of the populace. (Bill Clinton’s bombing of a Sudanese aspirin factory at the time of his deposition in the Paula Jones case and at the peak of the Monica Lewinsky scandal is a prime example.)

Often, these distractions serve a dual purpose. For instance, the callous and senseless murder of six people by the mentally depraved Elliot Rodger on May 23 has mesmerized the populace. It has created some distraction away from the burgeoning Veterans Affairs scandal, the Internal Revenue Service scandal, the Benghazi scandal and the ongoing collapse of the economy and Obamacare. But more sinister is its use by the gun controllers and hoplophobes to once again attempt to advance their assault on the 2nd Amendment.

Congressman Steny Hoyer employed classic political speech (or doublethink) in announcing that Democrats will try to steal more 2nd Amendment liberties by expanding background checks on weapons purchases through an amendment to an upcoming bill. While acknowledging that expanded background checks would have made no difference in the Rodger case, Hoyer said Congress must do something. (By the way, half of Rodger’s victims were killed with knives and five of the 13 injured were struck with his car. Curiously, Hoyer did not call for background checks on knife and car purchases.)

There is nothing lawmakers love more than making laws, even when they know their laws won’t accomplish their stated purpose. This is particularly true of those laws that take more authority for the state, or if they enrich the fascist system. For lawmakers, the “unintended consequences” of their laws are just like gravy, because then they get to pass more laws to correct the unintended consequences. This, of course, leads to more “unintended consequences” and the passage of more laws.

Obama is a master of classic political speech. In a political fundraiser in Chicago last week, he moved from blaming George W. Bush for his problems and put the onus on the Founding Fathers.

According to Obama, he is unable to move his agenda forward because the Constitution requires each State be represented by two Senators. “Obviously, the nature of the Senate means that California has the same number of seats as Wyoming. That puts us at a disadvantage.”

This, of course, is nonsensical on its face and is pure argle-bargle. Democrats control the Senate 53-45 with one socialist and one independent, both of whom vote with Democrats. However, it reveals something of Obama’s true nature. That is, he wishes to be a dictator and he detests the republican system of government our Founders gave us, but which we have almost totally lost to fascism.

But of course, in the world of political speech, such tommyrot as this is accepted as great political philosophy and applauded by the sychophants and toadies.

Certainly, the current regime has not cornered the market on magical political speech and propaganda; but it has more weapons in its arsenal than any before it.

The Real Question

Commenting on Does The Tea Party Still Matter,
Dan says:
May 29, 2014 at 9:21 a.m.
The REAL question may be :
How many in the TEA Party have given up on the Republican establishment
after seeing the cheating and subterfuge that takes place within it.

Reply

Commenting on Are Americans Ready For A Revolution?,
Douglas W. Rodrigues says:
May 28, 2014 at 7:20 a.m.
A bloody civil war with the subversives being targeted first, will be the only thing that reverses the treason going on in Washington now. Washington is 99% corrupted, and is beyond help. Too much big money controlling the politicians. Too much voter cheating. Too much power mongering. Too little concern for the American citizens. Ironically, this situation is caused by the Americans themselves who haven’t a clue about who they vote for and are too stupid to understand the subversion and treason in Washington.
Reply

Obama Considered Deploying Military On Bundy Ranch

President Barack Obama considered deploying the U.S. military during the Cliven Bundy Ranch standoff in Nevada under the approbation of a Pentagon directive on military support to civilian authorities signed in 2010.

The Department of Defense directive provides U.S. commanders with the emergency authority to use military support to quell domestic disturbances where needed to “prevent significant loss of life or wanton destruction of property” and when “necessary to restore government function and public order.” A second condition is when Federal, State or local authorities “are unable or decline to provide adequate protection for federal property or federal governmental functions.”

The military assistance can include loans of arms, ammunition, vessels and aircraft, and also authorizes the use of drones in operations against domestic unrest, though it prohibits the use of armed drones.

The directive and information that Obama considered deploying the U.S. military in Nevada were revealed by Bill Gertz of The Washington Times Wednesday and famously ignored by the rest of the corporate establishment media. Deploying the military in a domestic law enforcement scenario is a violation of posse comitatus.

A defense official opposed to the directive told Gertz, “This appears to be the latest step in the administration’s decision to use force within the United States against its citizens.”

Actually it’s not the latest, though it may be the latest revealed. The regime has been arming alphabet soup agencies at an alarming rate, even as it works in nefarious and extra-legal ways to disarm law-abiding Americans and propagandizes against them. All the while, the regime is arming al-Qaida-linked terror groups in Libya, Syria and elsewhere, demonstrating exactly who the regime considers “terrorists.”

According to Gertz, defense analysts say there has been a buildup of military units within non-security-related Federal agencies, notably the creation of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams. “The buildup raises questions about whether the regime is undermining civil liberties under the guise of counterterrorism and counternarcotics efforts,” according to Gertz.

Agencies with SWAT teams include the Department of Agriculture, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Office of Personnel Management, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Education Department.

So not only has the regime assumed the authority to disappear Americans without trial or habeas corpus under the Congress-passed National Defense Authorization Act, it has assumed under a simple DoD secretary’s signature the authority — and granted it to military commanders — to attack Americans with wanton force if it determines they are a threat. And the second most powerful man in American government, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, has called Bundy supporters “domestic terrorists,” which crosses the threshold needed by the NDAA and the directive to deploy force against Americans standing up to government abuse and overreach.

9th Circuit Again Justifies Government’s Theft Of Property

Last July, I told you about a case involving California raisin growers and their battle with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Depression-era Raisin Administrative Committee. That case is now back in the news — and likely headed back to the Supreme Court — after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals again ruled in favor of the raisin cartel by upholding its authority to fix prices and steal half of a farmer’s raisin crop without compensation.

The case has been kicked around various courts for more than a decade. It began when California raisin growers Marvin and Lena Horne, owners of Raisin Valley Farms, decided they were tired of complying with crop set-asides established arbitrarily by a bunch of paper-shuffling government functionaries, especially once the government went back on its agreement and quit compensating them for what it took. In other words, the USDA quit just strong-arming farmers and resorted to strong-armed robbery — transferring their product to crony capitalist corporations like Minute Maid.

The Raisin Administrative Committee’s job is to fix raisin prices. So once farmers have an idea on the size of the year’s harvest, the Raisin Administrative Committee tells the farmers how much of their product they must place in a reserve pool (i.e., handed over to the king as tribute). That reserve pool cannot be sold in the United States and must be surrendered to raisin packers that then package and sell the raisins to the U.S. government for school lunch programs or at reduced prices overseas.

Farmers were to receive some compensation (though not market prices) for the raisins set aside. But thanks to dwindling profit margins, farmers weren’t compensated in 2003, even though 47 percent of their crop had to be handed over to the government.

Horne decided that if he packaged and sold his own raisins, rather than run them through the cartel, he could circumvent the order. Other raisin producers, sensing an opportunity to benefit from all their labor rather than only that portion the eggheaded bureaucrats thought they should, decided to follow suit.

The raisin cartel wasn’t happy with this tactic. The USDA promptly slapped the Hornes with fines and demanded payment for the raisins they didn’t surrender. Horne said the fines and payment totaled about $1 million — much more than he and his small farm could muster. So he sued.

The USDA, joined by crony corporations benefiting directly from the theft, argued the case had nothing to do with taking but was a case about the Hornes violating farming regulations. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, unsurprisingly, agreed with the USDA.

The Supreme Court, in a 9-0 decision, sent the case back to the 9th Circuit with orders to hear the case on its merits. It did; then it ruled against the Hornes again, claiming that “the Marketing Order (that sets the amount confiscated) ensures ‘orderly’ market conditions by regulating raisin supply.” Evidence that this has never been so, but that — like the Federal Reserve’s money printing — it has only produced price bubbles and bursts, was ignored. The ruling essentially means that government taking is not a taking if the government intends to compensate the victim, even if the victim is ultimately not compensated at all.

The 9th Circuit ruled the property taken was not “real property” such as land, but only involved the Horne’s “personal property.” The judges noted the Hornes could “avoid the reserve requirement… by planting different crops.”

If the Hornes take the case back to the Supreme Court as expected, it is one that is well worth watching. Government price fixing has historically benefited corporatocracy to the detriment of the American consumer by creating artificially high prices and food shortages. Recall that during the Depression, marketing orders under the New Deal philosophy of “managed abundance” and prosperity through “universal monopoly” and “universal scarcity” led to the destruction of crops and livestock while Americans were standing in food lines begging for food.

Even now, Americans pay artificially high prices on food because of regulations setting quotas on food production and because of subsidies to paid to farmers to grow (or not grow) one crop at the expense of another.

Minimum Wage Laws Kill Jobs

A business exists for one purpose: to provide profit for the shareholder(s). Failing that, every business will eventually close its doors.

To meet its purpose, that business must provide a good or service the public needs or wants at a price the consumer is willing to pay. This is economics broken down to its simplest form.

Over the past few months, there have been protests and strikes by fast food workers at various locations across the U.S. and in Europe for a higher minimum wage. They are operating under the false assumption that a business can pay its employees more than they return in productivity.

Anticipating a sharp rise in wages, the fast food industry is looking to alternatives to paying workers more than they are worth. It is turning to technology.

In 2011, McDonald’s deployed 7,000 kiosks in its European stores. Restaurants like Jimmy Johns, Potbelly and Wow Bao have already deployed on-site kiosks and mobile apps, enabling their customers to skip lines and place orders with a few finger taps and the swipe of a debit or credit card. The restaurant chains Chili’s and Applebee’s have also placed small kiosks on their tables that allow customers to order and pay without interacting with the human wait staff. Last month, Panera Bread announced it would bring in self-ordering kiosks and mobile ordering to all its locations over the next three years.

McDonald’s, which depends on drive-thru customers for about 75 percent of its American business, has begun testing mobile ordering in Salt Lake City and Austin, Texas. The company is apparently eschewing the kiosk idea in the U.S. because of the drive-thru traffic and for other reasons.

For the firm Nextep Systems, which specializes in touch-screen self-order systems, sales in 2013 were up 50 percent over 2012. According to a study by the University of Oxford, there is a 92 percent chance that all fast-food preparation and serving will soon be automated. Industry analysts predict at least a 5 percent to 10 percent drop in food industry employment in coming years.

Look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics employment data and you will see that food industry employment is one of the few sectors currently seeing consistent month-to-month hiring increases. A rise in the minimum wage will kill that growth.

By manipulating wages, government will hurt those it claims to be looking out for. Young, entry-level job seekers will see their employment prospects dwindle; and the young and the poor — the primary purchasers of fast food — will see their prices rise even more than demanded by food inflation, which is approaching double digits.

Missing ‘Red Eye’ In Children’s Photos May Be Sign Of Cancer

Red eye can be a photographic annoyance. Nowadays, even the most rudimentary photography software provides filters to remove it.

But if red eye never shows up in your children’s photographs, it might be a sign of a rare but serious form of eye cancer.

The cancer is called retinoblastoma (RB), and it is characterized by tumors that form inside the eye. It appears in about 350 babies and toddlers every year. Now, some Texas researchers believe that parents may be soon able to take the lead in spotting potential eye problems armed only with their smartphones.

Red eye appears in photographs when the camera flash reflects off the retina. Light from a healthy retina appears red or orange. But in the unhealthy eye, pupils appear white in flash photography.

Dr. Michael Hunt, a Fort Worth, Texas ophthalmologist, said white eye “can be anything from a problem with the cornea, to the eye being cloudy, or a problem with the retina or optic nerve.”

Interestingly, the link between lack of red eye and retinoblastoma was discovered not by researchers, but by parents of child diagnosed with the disease. Matt and Becky Foreman are parents of twin girls, Makenzie and Madison. When the girls were 6 months old, the Foremans began to notice that one of Makenzie’s eyes wasn’t developing like the other and had a “hollow” appearance. When physicians examined the eye, they discovered the RB and determined Makenzie would need chemotherapy and there was a chance the eye would have to be removed.

Looking back through their babies’ pictures for indications they might have missed something that would have warned them of their daughter’s condition, the Foremans noticed that Makenzie’s pupils appeared white, while Madison’s had the red glow.

Now a Baylor University chemist, whose son has RB, is trying to develop an app for the IPhone and IPad that will screen for the disease.

Not every instance of “white eye” is indicative of RB, so Baylor researchers are asking parents to submit photos with examples of red eye and white eye to their project so they can train the app to detect false positives. Photos can be sent to Bryan_Shaw@Baylor.edu.

A Memorial Day Message

Today is a day the Nation has set aside to remember those Americans who were lost on battlefields around the globe. Some were lost fighting for American freedoms and to preserve liberty; many more were lost fighting needless wars for the benefit of the elites. Regardless, the loss of those military members is equally painful to their family members, who must continue on despite the loss.

Longtime readers know that I oppose the expanding American empire and wars of aggression, including the expansion of the war on terror into countries that have not attacked the U.S. and pose no threat to do so. But I’m also mindful of the fact that many Americans have been convinced of the war’s necessity. Today is not the day to debate the merits of America’s wars.

Memorial Day began in May 1865, when newly freed slaves in Charleston, S.C., exhumed the bodies of Union soldiers from a mass grave at the Washington Race Course (today the location of Hampton Park) and gave them individual graves.

The following year, and each year thereafter on May 5, a Decoration Day observance was held in Waterloo, N.Y. To commemorate the occasion, the graves of fallen soldiers were decorated with flags and flowers in cities and towns and battlefield graveyards across the nation.

In 1882, the alternative name of Memorial Day was used, though it did not become commonly used until Federal law declared the day in 1967. In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill set the date as the last Monday in May rather than the more traditional day of celebration, May 30.

Personal Liberty Digest™ is a site that promotes discussion from all sides of the spectrum on a variety of topics. Unfortunately, some of the discussions devolve from rational debate to name-calling exercises in futility.

Let’s set aside our partisan ideas and ideologies today and recognize those who have fallen. If not for fate and circumstance, I might have been one of them. Remember, too, their families.

And don’t forget that we currently have members of the U.S. military fighting and dying in Afghanistan, patrolling the seas, standing at attention on the Korean Peninsula and guarding our embassies around the world. There are others stationed at nearly 1,000 bases around the world representing America’s interests.

Regardless of whether you support the wars in those places, the wars fought previously or the policies that require us to have troops stationed around the world, we must leave politics aside this day and remember those who chose to go where their Commander in Chief sent them and who did all they could to see their mission through.

Many Americans receive the day off, and it’s not unusual for them to spend the day at picnics, barbecues, the lake or the beach. As you enjoy this holiday, don’t forget the reason behind it.

Remember those who fell on the battlefields at Lexington, Concord and Valley Forge; at Ft. Meigs, Ft. George and Baltimore; at El Paso, Cerra Gordo and Mexico City; at Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, the Wilderness and outside Atlanta and Richmond; at San Juan Hill, Santiago de Cuba and Silva Heights; at Rheims, the Marne and Argonne; at Pearl Harbor, North Africa, Normandy, Guadalcanal, Ardennes and Midway; at Inchon, Chosin and Seoul; at Saigon, Hue, Hamburger Hill and An Loc; at Kuwait City, and Southern Iraq; at Mazar-e-sharif, southeastern Afghanistan, Qandahar, Marjah and Pashmul; at Nasiriya, Baghdad and Al-Anbar; and all the battlefields in between.

Last year, a reader provided a list of European cemeteries that hold the remains of American servicemen. Here they are, in alphabetical order, along with the number of Americans buried there:

  1. The American Cemetery at Aisne-Marne, France. (2,289)
  2. The American Cemetery at Ardennes, Belgium. (5,329)
  3. The American Cemetery at Brittany, France. (4,410)
  4. Brookwood, England – American Cemetery. (468)
  5. Cambridge, England. (3,812)
  6. Epinal, France – American Cemetery. (5,525)
  7. Flanders Field, Belgium. (368)
  8. Florence, Italy. (4,402)
  9. Henri-Chapelle, Belgium. (7,992)
  10. Lorraine, France. (10,489)
  11. Luxembourg, Luxembourg. (5,076)
  12. Margraten, The Netherlands. (8,301)
  13. Meuse-Argonne. (14,246)
  14. Normandy, France. (9,387)
  15. Oise-Aisne, France. (6,012)
  16. Rhone, France. (861)
  17. Sicily, Italy. (7861)
  18. Somme, France. (1,844)
  19. St. Mihiel, France. (4,153)
  20. Suresnes, France. (1,541)

Respectfully,
Bob Livingston

Bob Livingston

Surprise: Obama Lied… Again! Insurance Bailout Coming (Told You So)

Buried in hundreds of new Obamacare regulations and in yet another violation of Article I, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution, the Barack Obama regime has skirted Congress and created a bailout for insurance companies foundering in the bureaucratic tangle that is Obamacare.

For months, Administration officials have denied (i.e., lied about) charges by opponents they planned a “bailout” for insurance companies providing Obamacare coverage. It’s not so much a bailout as it is a subsidy (read: bribe) to get insurance companies to keep premiums artificially low and an attempt to salvage Democrat 2014 election prospects.

Even while making the bribe possible, the regime claims insurance companies won’t have to “substantially” increase premiums. But if they do, well.

“It’s absolutely paramount to keep premiums in check,” Len Nichols, a health economist at George Mason University who has advised officials working on the law, told The Los Angeles Times. And so they plan to steal more from the taxpayers to make it so.

Of course, this is no surprise to anyone who understands that the U.S. government is a fascist system. I told you it was coming 18 months ago.

But take heart: Obama Administration officials said the new regulations would not put taxpayers at risk. “We are confident this three-year program will not create a shortfall,” Health and Human Services spokeswoman Erin Shields Britt said in a statement. “However, we want to be clear that in the highly unlikely event of a shortfall, HHS will use appropriations as available to fill it.”

That’s comforting, given that Obamacare costs more than we were told it would cost, that Americans were promised they could keep their doctor and their healthcare coverage if they liked it, that unemployment would be down to 5.7 percent by late 2012, that Benghazi was caused by a video, that there was no targeting of conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service and that Obama learned of the Veterans Affairs scandal when he saw it in the news.

How can we help but believe it?

The Best Place To Live

Dear Bob,

I, and other people need to know where it’s best to live, not in the cities for sure.

What is it like in the farthest down east of Maine?

Why do you live in Alabama?

Roger S.
Olive Branch, Miss.

Dear Roger,

It is my opinion that it is best to move out of cities into a rural area that affords you the opportunity to grow your own food and livestock and have some modicum of security and privacy, especially when (not if) the dollar collapses. That will be a time of turmoil and hardship for the unprepared, city dwellers especially.

I am not familiar with the area around Maine, though I know the climate would not be suitable for me. I detest cold temperatures. I no longer live in Alabama, though it is where I was raised. I moved out of the U.S. five years ago and only occasionally come back to Alabama to visit family.

If you decide to move out of the U.S. and expatriate, I like (from what I know) the countries of Costa Rica, Singapore and the Bahamas. Uruguay would also be a choice country. Uruguay is about as big as Missouri and has a mostly Italian, German and English population. There is also a group of libertarians forming a community in Chili called Gault’s Gulch.

Best wishes,

Bob

More Progressive Hypocrisy

So progressives and hoplophobes (sorry for the redundancy) are lauding the fact that the restaurant Chiplotle has chosen to deny service to people exercising their 2nd Amendment right.

Yet those same progressives went apoplectic when a bakery owner and a photographer chose — for religious reasons — not to bake a cake or photograph homosexual weddings. Can you say hypocrisy?

In a free society, a business should be able to engage in a voluntary transaction or contract, or not, as the owner sees fit, just as the customer has the ability to choose whether to purchase a good or service from a particular business. If a business wants to refuse service to a person wielding a gun, good for it.

Likewise, if a business wants to refuse to perform a service for any other reason, the business should have that right as well.

To support one business’ decision to deny service but not the other is utter hypocrisy. But hypocrisy is the norm for progressives and statists.

To paraphrase Howard Dean, we have had enough of the politics of hate and anger and division. The left wants power so much they think it’s OK to win by taking away the right to bear arms. They are not American. They would be more comfortable in England or Australia.