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Obama’s “secret” list

Of the 860 rules or proposed rules that the Trump administration has killed, 179 came from what he called Mr. Obama’s “secret” list. As Trump aides combed through the books, they found pending proposals that included rules on hardwood plywood research and new requirements for contamination control in cattle slaughter operations.

“They had a bunch of things that they wanted to regulate,” Mr. Mulvaney said of the Obama administration’s first term. “They just didn’t want to tell you about it. They thought it would be bad for their re-election prospects in 2012, so they created a secret list of regs that were not disclosed to you folks. We are disclosing it.”

When Trump officials threatened to disclose the list, Mr. Mulvaney said, bureaucrats in various Cabinet agencies “came up with those 860 things that we got rid of.”

"Many have no idea how hard work can be. The same at my job. Even though they have the potential to be making at least $17 an hour after 2 years. Many want to work on their own terms which means showing up when they feel like it, as long as it doesn't interfere with their private or family/friend life, they want to pick and choose when they will work, leave when they want to. Go on vacation when they want to even though there are 150 people with seniority ahead of them.

They want a paycheck, just not the work that goes along with it."

(from comments below the article)

Best-Run States Are Low-Tax Republican, Worst-Run Are High-Tax Democratic

Several states, including Republican states, have decided to raise taxes this year to cover budget shortfalls. But a new study suggests that the states might find themselves in worse financial shape after the money starts rolling in.

According to the latest ranking of states by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, the most fiscally sound states in the nation are all low-tax, GOP strongholds, while the 10 least-solvent states are almost all high-tax and heavily Democratic.

"The killer previously had been arrested for two bank robberies but was sentenced to only 364 days in prison by the judge, because a sentence of 365 days (1 year) would have required deportation." Nice.

Leftist applaud a speech comprised almost entirely of Adolf Hitler quotes.

At the Impeach Trump March in Chicago 7/2/17. A group of protesters applaud a speech comprised almost entirely of Adolf Hitler quotes given by Shad Daley. This was 20 seconds after saying they need to fight fascism. After the speech, the organizing member of was desperate to get Shad more involved. Another wonderful example of how the left doesn't understand their own hypocrisy and ignorance.

Speech Transcript:
Ladies, Gentleman, and non-binary members of this congregation:
I would like to thank everyone for coming out today to support the constitutional rule of law, I stand here today, a veteran of these United States armed forces, and a proud 21st century patriot. I would like to take this opportunity to talk about this oppressive regime, and the repressive regime that constitutes capitalism as a whole.

We are Socialists, we are enemies of the capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with it's unfair salaries, rights it's unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions.

Benefit to the community precedes benefit to the individual... The state should retain supervision and each property owner should consider himself appointed by the state. It is his duty not to use his property against the interests of others among his own people. This is the crucial matter. This American Nation will always retain its right to control the owners of property... A policy of laissez faire in this sphere is not only cruelty to the individual guiltless victims but also to the nation as a whole.

For there is one thing we must never forget... the majority can never replace the man.

Life is like a mirror, if you frown at it, it frowns back, if you smile it returns the greeting.

Donald Trump seems to think that if you tell a big enough lie, and tell it frequently enough, that it will be believed. It’s not the truth that matters, but victory.

The doom of a nation can be averted only by a storm of flowing passion, but only those who are passionate themselves can arouse passion in others.

"We simply can’t allow backdoors in encryption"

The encryption debate ends now. As a society we simply can’t allow backdoors in encryption. Anyone who tells you otherwise has absolutely no idea how computers work.

Backdoors are a threat to the security of the entire world.

There is no more room for debate here, no more compromise.

As the Petya ransomware virus rampages across the planet, shutting down hospitals, schools and major businesses everywhere, obliterating data with a vengeance, we have all the proof we’ll ever need that nobody can build a backdoor and keep it safe. Why? Because Petya and WannaCry both use powerful exploits that the NSA kept secret for years.

Right up until they couldn’t.

And there’s more the come. The Shadow Brokers keep dumping cyberweapons from the NSA’s Pandora’s Box. Expect more viruses and damage to critical infrastructure.

The worst part is that this isn’t even surprising.

Eventually secrets will always leak from big, sprawling, bureaucratic entities. I want you to take a good long look at the list of US companies and agencies that were breached over the last decade. Go ahead. Take your time. Here’s a brief roundup of the world’s greatest hacking hits:

Internal Revenue Service
UK Ministry of Defense
UK Customs
U.S. Army
U.S. Department of Defense
Department of Veterans Affairs
Bank of America
Seventy different law enforcement agencies across the US
Florida Department of Juvenile Corrections
State of Texas
Democratic National Committee
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
JP Morgan Chase

And we’re going to leave the keys to a backdoor in the hands of people who can’t even keep their own houses locked?

That’s like handing a loaded gun to a raging derelict in NYC.

Ben Franklin said, “Three people can keep a secret, if two of them are dead.”

100% of tech experts agree we can’t build backdoors only the “good guys” get to use. It’s not even remotely possible.

This isn’t even the climate change debate. I’m talking 100% agreement, not 97%. There’s no wiggle room. If you’re a politician looking to hire a “red-blue team” to fake-debate this you won’t find a single real tech person who agrees with you. Not one. So don’t bother. You’ll find fools and other people who think that computers work like magic, powered by unicorns and pixie dust, or who march to talking points like Lemmings off a cliff. But you won’t find anyone who actually knows a thing about computers to agree with you.

Make no mistake: As soon as we cripple encryption with backdoors, we’ve built a ticking time bomb. We’ve sacrificed real safety for the illusion of safety, something we’ve gotten very good at as a society.

It’s not a question of if the keys to a backdoor get out, but when?

And when it does it will be a disaster for the entire world.

Nothing will be safe.

Banks will get raided with impunity and people’s entire life savings will vaporize in seconds. People will die as critical medical equipment seizes up in ransomware attacks that make today’s global assaults look like child’s play. Voting systems will collapse. Military communications will crumble.

And all because we’re no longer willing to accept risk in society. We’ve become so desperate to stop terrorism that we’ve lost our minds. We can’t make rational decisions anymore. We can no longer accept that there are always going to be bad people who do bad things.

The answer is not to punish everyone else, but to punish the people who did those bad things.

Instead, the prevailing “logic” is that we should cripple the entire system to give us the comfortable illusion that the bad guys will be easier to find. But they won’t. The Irish Republican Army blew up a lot of cafes in Britain in the 1960’s and 70’s long before we had encryption. The 9/11 scumbags didn’t have WhatsApp. They killed 3,000 people anyway. And still we have the UK’s Theresa May calling for backdoors, as well as the Australian government and the FBI in a coordinated attack on common sense.

You can spot a lying politician easily. If there’s a nasty attack, watch how the talking-heads pop onto TVs the very next day crying about the need to stop encryption. This makes them automatic liars because they’ll have no evidence encryption was even used in the attack. It’s literally impossible. Investigations don’t move that fast. So the only rational conclusion is they’re just exploiting a tragedy for their own agenda. That’s why after the Paris attacks in 2015, the talking-heads were out in force, only to find out the attackers used plain text messages.

But I’m not even saying that the bad guys won’t use encryption. They will and they do. ISIS built their own secure messaging app.

Here’s the thing though: I’m betting ISIS won’t be giving us the backdoor keys to their messaging app any time soon.

So how is mandating backdoors to WhatsApp going to help?

It’s not. Because the politicians know this isn’t about stopping terrorists. It’s about spying on average citizens and journalists and activists. It’s about being lazy. It’s about wanting centralized control of everything.

They can’t help it, it’s in their nature. A scorpion stings, even when the sting will sink them.

It’s real simple. If a politician is calling for backdoors, it’s for one of three reasons:

They have no idea how computers work
They’re willfully ignorant
They’re lying

My guess is that 99% fall into bullet point three because experts have been telling them this over and over and over since the 1990’s. They know this isn’t possible. They just don’t care. They’re willing to compromise the security of the whole world because of their stupidity. And that’s not just stupid, it’s dangerous.

They now use the boogeyman of terrorism to justify the passage of every single misguided and dangerously overreaching law.

Police can steal money from citizens for no reason like they’re a bunch of crooked Mexican cops rolling tourists at Spring Break. Intelligence agencies can spy on every single person with impunity, while a secret court gives them a rubber stamp 97.97% of the time. Homeland Security can hold people indefinitely without trial. Our tourism industry is crashing. Nobody wants to come to our country because getting through the door is now such a nightmare.

What the hell are we doing?

The Founding Fathers are rolling in their graves. They didn’t want Star Chambers and a complete lack of transparency from their leaders. That’s why they threw those stamps in the sea.

How much more ridiculous does it have to get before we wake up?

Aren’t we tired of compromising the rights and freedoms of everyone because of a few crazies? That’s like punishing everyone in the barracks because one guy snuck in a jelly doughnut. It makes no sense.

Fuck the terrorists.

We’re not supposed to change for them.

We’re supposed to go right on doing what we like, because it drives them crazy.

Living openly, drinking, smoking and screwing, speaking our minds, praying and worshiping whoever we want without fear.

Instead we’ve done the opposite.

We’ve compromised our freedoms across the board. We treat everyone in society like a child now.

By saying we need backdoors to stop terrorists, politicians are openly saying we need to compromise the security of banks, the stock market, hospitals, and the military. What sane person would think that’s a good idea?

Encryption is not the enemy. It’s essential to our national security. Insane, fanatical extremists are the enemy.

What the politicians can’t admit is that they can’t stop terrorism. Bad things happen in life. It’s horrible and awful and terrifying. We all wish there was a real answer. But there isn’t. And I’m not willing to pretend there is just because it makes me feel better.

Here’s a list of Islamic extremist attacks since the 1960s. Take a look at the list of countries. It’s pretty much every country on Earth. It doesn’t matter if we adopt the iron fist of authoritarianism, like China or Russia, or the completely open and flexible nature of democracy, it still happens.

But here’s the other thing the lying politicians won’t tell you. It doesn’t happen that often. Far from terrorists rampaging through the streets and streaming over the border with ease, your chance of dying in a terror attack is 1 in 3.6 million. Your chance of being killed by a refugee? Even less. A lot less. 1 in 3.6 billion. Chances of being killed by those illegal immigrants that idiots like Paul Ryan use to gin up everyone’s fear? 1 in 10.9 billion. That is the same as your chance of dying in a plane crash which is 1 in 11 billion.

You actually have a better chance of winning the lottery, than dying from an illegal immigrant.

By the way, you have a 1 in 114 chance of dying in a car wreck in your lifetime.

Hell, you’ve got a better chance of being hit by lightning than dying of terrorism. The chances are 1 in 161,856.

Oh and you have a 1 in 4 chance of dying of heart disease or cancer in your lifetime.

But we spend a paltry $10 billion a year on heart disease and cancer research and a trillion on trying to stop terrorism.

In other words, we focus all of our energy on the most improbable situations. I don’t know what else to call that but a catastrophic flaw in human reasoning.

And like all the others flaws in human reasoning, it’s pure cognitive dissonance. Blaming encryption for terror attacks is like blaming watermelons and the color green for your favorite team losing the Super Bowl.

Politicians are always looking for points to score, not real solutions. They look for any made-up phantom to blame for the chaotic and uncertain nature of life. It’s disgusting. Encryption is just another convenient scapegoat.

We need to start electing people who will deliver real, sane, competent solutions to problems, if such a person even exists. I’m not so sure. But I am sure of one thing:

The more we go down our current path of insane reasoning and fake fixes to real problems, the more lost we are.

The terrorists are winning.

Bin Laden didn’t just destroy two buildings and kill 3,000 people in cold blood.

He made us turn inwards and destroy ourselves.

"I saw suffering like I've never seen"

The violence that broke out Wednesday during Venezuela's Independence Day felt all too familiar. In fact, only last week I had seen for myself some of the chaos that has enveloped the country when I visited Caracas.
I was there to meet with local partners who have been begging for help in a humanitarian crisis that is still too often being overlooked. And, as I traveled around the city, I saw suffering and violence -- in plain view -- unlike any I had seen in all my years of working in active war and disaster zones.

I saw a young mother say goodbye to her 7-year-old daughter as a "fixer" (a paid smuggler) -- one of the few jobs in Venezuela growing in demand -- arranged to take the child into Colombia. The mother's tears blurred the view of her daughter and the man walking through one of five border checkpoints into the neighboring country and to an unclear future. I was waiting with her older daughter, a scared 12-year-old who was crying inconsolably because her sister had just been given away to a stranger.

But the mother faced a dilemma that many in the country are battling against. She cannot feed her family, which has been living off of one meal of corn flour a day, and believes that her youngest will have a higher chance of survival. She hopes someone on the other side will care for her child.

This scenario is one of the millions of equally tragic scenes unfolding right now in Venezuela. People are dying from lack of basic needs or being killed for speaking out against their poor living conditions. There are no operational medical facilities. For many, there is no medicine, there are no doctors, with scarce clean water leaving disease to fill the void.

The young people I spoke with told me that there are absolutely no jobs and no way to make money unless they engage in illegal activities. If children are not being sent off or given away to "fixers," then they are forced into prostitution or drug trafficking to survive.

From a rooftop, I watched a protest in the street that morphed into a combat zone.

Four white trucks with "GNB" on the hood shot what looked like tear gas into the crowd. What followed was utter chaos. People rushed the trucks, throwing anything they could find at the vehicles. The civilians seemed to have expected to be gassed because some wore makeshift masks made from swim goggles attached to water bottles stuffed with fabric that would hopefully offer some protection.
As the confrontation unfolded, I could see larger armored trucks approaching the area, and it was explained by my interpreter that they were mounted with water cannons that would be weaponized and used on the people. I was told it was time to leave -- quickly.

When preparing to go into Caracas, I knew it was extremely dangerous and violent. I was instructed never to have my phone out and warned that "People will kill you for it." Our movements were coordinated so that we would avoid being noticed because of the high number of kidnapping for ransoms of foreigners.

I'm a veteran of active war zones and volatile environments, but I found myself in the most violent city in the world.

Even with mass starvation made evident by everyone looking gaunt and wasting away -- resorting to eating garbage -- the government is not allowing aid to its people and is denying there is a crisis. NGOs that are trying to help have been accused of providing supplies, medicine, and food to people of the opposition -- protesters whom President Nicolas Maduro has labeled as terrorists.
Mere survival is challenging and with more and more people dying, the people are becoming desperate for change.

No one born in the past decade and a half remembers anything but dictatorship. Most lack a basic education, and when I ask them about their plans for the future, they tell me that they have no hope for a future if they stay in their country.

The lack of meaningful choices combined with witnessing their families and communities suffering, dying or being oppressed and imprisoned make the youth extremely vulnerable to the influence of organized crime and violent extremism. These criminal groups offer structure and purpose amidst chaos and anarchy and provide these young people something to fight for.

Gangs are using their networks to traffic essential food, medicine and water, which in turn only strengthens the rebel groups that control these routes -- the Colombian peace treaty with FARC has left a power and security vacuum, and various groups are trying to fill that void.

It's a worsening crisis that will have long-term and far-reaching consequences.
On my last day, I was relieved to be getting out of the country. But before I could get into the car that would take me to the "freedom bird," the one thing that we prepared to avoid, happened. I was stopped by a group of heavily armed men and accused of being a journalist. I prepared myself for the worst.

Journalists have been targeted, killed, robbed, beaten and detained at times just for being present. Foreign reporters have been denied entry into the country as the government wants to prevent the world from seeing what's happening.

The men were aggressive and rough and clearly "colectivos" who are pro-Maduro militants. They yelled at me demanding that I confess that I was a journalist and that I hand over any cameras or phones. After a torrent of pleading and convincing from my interpreter, they seized my phone and computer and took my flack vest.

This was not the first time I have been robbed or assaulted, but I was afraid. In the end, I got to leave. Venezuelans don't have that option.

"We have not exploited the countries from which these refugees are coming to Europe these days, we have not used their labour force and finally we have not invited them to Europe. We have a full moral right to say 'no'," Kaczynski said in a speech broadcast on television.

Last month the European Commission launched a legal case against Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic for refusing to take in asylum seekers, highlighting the feud within the 28-nation bloc over how to deal with migration.

Kaczynski, who has criticized the European Union's relocation schemes for migrants on many occasions, also said that the PiS could not be accused of being anti-European, as it backed Poland's joining the block in 2004 and now appreciates the inflow of EU funds.

"The fact that we appreciate them (the funds), does not mean that we have lost the right to various assessments, including those regarding the historical context," Kaczynski said, adding that Poland has never received any compensation for the losses it suffered during the Second World War.

How Government "fixed" healthcare

Today, we are constantly being told, the United States faces a health care crisis. Medical costs are too high, and health insurance is out of reach of the poor. The cause of this crisis is never made very clear, but the cure is obvious to nearly everybody: government must step in to solve the problem.

Eighty years ago, Americans were also told that their nation was facing a health care crisis. Then, however, the complaint was that medical costs were too low, and that health insurance was too accessible. But in that era, too, government stepped forward to solve the problem. And boy, did it solve it!

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, one of the primary sources of health care and health insurance for the working poor in Britain, Australia, and the United States was the fraternal society. Fraternal societies (called "friendly societies" in Britain and Australia) were voluntary mutual-aid associations. Their descendants survive among us today in the form of the Shriners, Elks, Masons, and similar organizations, but these no longer play the central role in American life they formerly did. As recently as 1920, over one-quarter of all adult Americans were members of fraternal societies. (The figure was still higher in Britain and Australia.) Fraternal societies were particularly popular among blacks and immigrants. (Indeed, Teddy Roosevelt's famous attack on "hyphenated Americans" was motivated in part by hostility to the immigrants' fraternal societies; he and other Progressives sought to "Americanize" immigrants by making them dependent for support on the democratic state, rather than on their own independent ethnic communities.)

The principle behind the fraternal societies was simple. A group of working-class people would form an association (or join a local branch, or "lodge," of an existing association) and pay monthly fees into the association's treasury; individual members would then be able to draw on the pooled resources in time of need. The fraternal societies thus operated as a form of self-help insurance company.

Turn-of-the-century America offered a dizzying array of fraternal societies to choose from. Some catered to a particular ethnic or religious group; others did not. Many offered entertainment and social life to their members, or engaged in community service. Some "fraternal" societies were run entirely by and for women. The kinds of services from which members could choose often varied as well, though the most commonly offered were life insurance, disability insurance, and "lodge practice."

"Lodge practice" refers to an arrangement, reminiscent of today's HMOs, whereby a particular society or lodge would contract with a doctor to provide medical care to its members. The doctor received a regular salary on a retainer basis, rather than charging per item; members would pay a yearly fee and then call on the doctor's services as needed. If medical services were found unsatisfactory, the doctor would be penalized, and the contract might not be renewed. Lodge members reportedly enjoyed the degree of customer control this system afforded them. And the tendency to overuse the physician's services was kept in check by the fraternal society's own "self-policing"; lodge members who wanted to avoid future increases in premiums were motivated to make sure that their fellow members were not abusing the system.

Most remarkable was the low cost at which these medical services were provided. At the turn of the century, the average cost of "lodge practice" to an individual member was between one and two dollars a year. A day's wage would pay for a year's worth of medical care. By contrast, the average cost of medical service on the regular market was between one and two dollars per visit. Yet licensed physicians, particularly those who did not come from "big name" medical schools, competed vigorously for lodge contracts, perhaps because of the security they offered; and this competition continued to keep costs low.

The response of the medical establishment, both in America and in Britain, was one of outrage; the institution of lodge practice was denounced in harsh language and apocalyptic tones. Such low fees, many doctors charged, were bankrupting the medical profession. Moreover, many saw it as a blow to the dignity of the profession that trained physicians should be eagerly bidding for the chance to serve as the hirelings of lower-class tradesmen. It was particularly detestable that such uneducated and socially inferior people should be permitted to set fees for the physicians' services, or to sit in judgment on professionals to determine whether their services had been satisfactory. The government, they demanded, must do something.

And so it did. In Britain, the state put an end to the "evil" of lodge practice by bringing health care under political control. Physicians' fees would now be determined by panels of trained professionals (i.e., the physicians themselves) rather than by ignorant patients. State-financed medical care edged out lodge practice; those who were being forced to pay taxes for "free" health care whether they wanted it or not had little incentive to pay extra for health care through the fraternal societies, rather than using the government care they had already paid for.

In America, it took longer for the nation's health care system to be socialized, so the medical establishment had to achieve its ends more indirectly; but the essential result was the same. Medical societies like the AMA imposed sanctions on doctors who dared to sign lodge practice contracts. This might have been less effective if such medical societies had not had access to government power; but in fact, thanks to governmental grants of privilege, they controlled the medical licensure procedure, thus ensuring that those in their disfavor would be denied the right to practice medicine.

Such licensure laws also offered the medical establishment a less overt way of combating lodge practice. It was during this period that the AMA made the requirements for medical licensure far more strict than they had previously been. Their reason, they claimed, was to raise the quality of medical care. But the result was that the number of physicians fell, competition dwindled, and medical fees rose; the vast pool of physicians bidding for lodge practice contracts had been abolished. As with any market good, artifical restrictions on supply created higher prices — a particular hardship for the working-class members of fraternal societies.

The final death blow to lodge practice was struck by the fraternal societies themselves. The National Fraternal Congress — attempting, like the AMA, to reap the benefits of cartelization — lobbied for laws decreeing a legal minimum on the rates fraternal societies could charge. Unfortunately for the lobbyists, the lobbying effort was successful; the unintended consequence was that the minimum rates laws made the services of fraternal societies no longer competitive. Thus the National Fraternal Congress' lobbying efforts, rather than creating a formidable mutual-aid cartel, simply destroyed the fraternal societies' market niche — and with it the opportunity for low-cost health care for the working poor.

Why do we have a crisis in health care costs today? Because government "solved" the last one. D

Whole Russia narrative is bullshit


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