Sunday, February 18, 2018


NY Lawmakers Demand Tide Pods Be Made to Look Less Delicious — Seriously

This article originally appeared at Anti-Media. 


Albany, NY — A pair of New York politicians has introduced legislation that would force consumer goods corporation Procter & Gamble to make their Tide Pod product less appetizing to human beings.

State Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, both Democrats, revealed their proposal at a joint press conference in New York’s capital city of Albany on Tuesday.

If passed, Senate bill S100A would require liquid detergent packets sold in the state of New York to be “designed in an opaque, uniform color that is not attractive to children and is not easily permeated by a child’s bite.”

The bill further states that each Tide Pod packet should be “enclosed in a separate, individual, non-permeable, child-resistant wrapper” and that the package they come in should have a warning label saying the product is “harmful if swallowed.”

And while S100A is being presented within a broader effort to protect kids, it’s clear the move was prompted by the “Tide Pod Challenge,” a recent social media trend that has young adults filming themselves deliberately ingesting the product.

In a letter the politicians sent to Procter & Gamble CEO David Taylor, Hoylman and Simotas refer to the “alarming social media stunt” as a “renewed opportunity” to tackle the “continuing problem” of people ingesting Tide Pods, accidental or otherwise.

On January 22, Taylor addressed the Tide Pod Challenge in a press release, stating:

“The possible life altering consequences of this act, seeking internet fame, can derail young people’s hopes and dreams and ultimately their health.”

Continuing, Taylor stated the obvious — that “even the most stringent standards and protocols, labels and warnings can’t prevent intentional abuse fueled by poor judgment and the desire for popularity.”

New York Assemblyman Joseph Errigo appeared to agree with Taylor, telling the NY Daily News that it’s not the job of manufacturers to protect people from themselves:

“There’s no easy way to spin it other than to say the people who are participating in this trend are old enough to know laundry detergent is not safe for consumption, and the people behind this legislation should know that it’s not the manufacturers who are to blame when people make stupid decisions with their products.”

News Roundup 2/8/18

  • US politicians have a history of using the military for propaganda. [Link]
  • The FDA makes Kratom illegal. [Link]
  • Senate leadership announce a bi-partisan budget agreement. [Link]
  • Ray McGovern and Tom Woods breakdown the importance of the Nunes Memo. [Link] Dan McAdams and James Bovard on the Nunes Memo. [Link]
  • SEAL Team 6 is under broad investigation after Green Beret was killed in Mali. [Link]
  • US Abrams tanks that were given to the Iraqi government, and worth $80 million, now belong to Iranian backed militias. [Link]
  • Syria accuses Israel of carrying out airstrikes outside of Damascus. The Syrians say the Israelis used Lebanese airspace. Syria claims to have intercepted the missiles. [Link]
  • US Army Lt Gen. Paul E. Funk tells reports in Manbij that US troops will remain in the city. [Link]
  • Patrick Cockburn explains how Turkey using former ISIS fighters in an anti-Kurdish militia. [Link]
  • CENTCOM says pro-Assad forces attacked the US-backed SDF. [Link]
  • 47,000 Yemeni have become displaced from the war in Yemen since December. [Link]

Chemical Weapons In Syria

I’ve just realized that “suspected chemical weapons use” is to American foreign policy as “waistband!” is to American domestic policy.

The War on Terror: A Global Catastrophe

I’m giving another talk for Thaddeus Russell‘s Renegade University on February 7th. Sign up now

News Roundup 2/7/18

  • Senator Grassley releases a memo on the FISA warrant application to spy on the Trump campaign. [Link]
  • A look at the mismanagement of US nuclear weapons contracts. [Link]
  • Mattis is pushing for the US to develop sea-based nuclear Cruise Missiles. [Link]
  • Trump is pushing for a military parade in DC. [Link]
  • A US soldier was found dead at a German train station. [Link]
  • Poland passes a new law preventing people from discussing Poland’s role in the Holicaust. [Link] Rex Tillerson responds [Link]
  • The Afghan War will cost the US $45 billion in 2018. [Link]
  • Elijah Magnier explains the Iranian influence in Iraq. [Link]
  • Over 100 civilians were killed by Russian and Syrian airstrikes in the Idlib Province in two weeks. [Link]
  • Seven civilians were killed by a US drone strike in Yemen. [Link]


Cops: Man Walked Into Our Parking Lot and Smashed 12 Cruisers With a Sledgehammer

This article originally appeared at Anti-Media. 


Dallas, TX — A Dallas man was arrested over the weekend after he allegedly walked into a downtown police station parking lot and smashed the windows and windshields of a dozen patrol cars with a sledgehammer.

Police say 58-year-old Gregory Simpson entered the lot of the Dallas Marshal’s Office at around 5 a.m. Sunday morning, proceeding to inflict thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to the squad cars.

According to local reports, an unnamed officer was alerted to Simpson’s actions and made the arrest. Simpson is being charged with criminal mischief, and his bond has been set at $50,000.

While a motive for the incident remains unknown, the Dallas Police Department says the sledgehammering of official property represents the latest in a series of attacks against officers and facilities in the city.

In June of 2015, a man opened fire on Dallas Police headquarters from an armored van, ramming the vehicle into a squad car before leading officers on a chase that ultimately resulted in his death.

In 2016, the city of Dallas made national headlines when a sniper killed five officers and wounded nine others during a rally against police violence. The subsequent standoff marked the first time in U.S. law enforcement history that a robot was used to kill a suspect.

Last year, the city’s bomb squad unit had to be called in after a suspicious package was left at the entrance of police headquarters, prompting an evacuation of the building. The package turned out to be harmless — just a bottle containing water.

However, these events, including this latest incident over the weekend, have Dallas police on edge. They say what’s needed for the protection of both officers and civilians is tighter security at department facilities.

Speaking of the Simpson incident, Dallas Police Association president Mike Mata told local FOX 4 the situation could’ve easily ended worse:

“We’re seeing this time and time again. An individual, who either has the onset or the mindset to either injure officers or injure property shows up…and we roll the dice. And we are lucky that he didn’t try to kill an officer or an officer didn’t have to kill him.”

Such a result, Mata told CBS DFW, would only exacerbate the community’s troubles further:

“We’re unfortunately gonna have to hurt somebody, injure them or possibly kill them. And who are they gonna blame? They’re gonna blame the police officer for having to do his duty.”

Last year, Dallas voters approved a nearly $7 million bond package to be used for security upgrades at department facilities. The projects are set to begin this spring but the rollout will take place over several years.

A Surreal Scene from American Healthcare

Scene:  A luncheon on Superbowl weekend at a resort in the foothills of the Catalina Mountains in metro Tucson, Ariz.  In attendance were about 200 patients of a local family physician, who hosted the luncheon to show his appreciation to his patients.

I’m not hallucinating.  This actually happened.   The doctor indeed thanked his patients with a luncheon.  I know, because my wife and I were there.

The physician was trim, fit, personable, gracious, and funny.  A transplanted Canadian, he joked that the reason he had become a doctor was that he wasn’t good enough at hockey to play the sport for a living.

The attendees also showed their appreciation to the doc.  Some stood up and recounted how he had saved their lives with his focus on wellness and the special care and time that he gives them.  It was quite moving.

A couple of attendees who knew that his birthday was the next day had arranged for a surprise birthday cake.  Everyone enthusiastically sang “Happy Birthday.”

As new patients, my wife and I had a delightful time at the luncheon and met some very interesting people, including a musician and his wife, who, along with their three children, had been seeing the doc for years and spoke very highly of him.

Attendees weren’t required to complete those ubiquitous and utterly useless and silly HIPPA forms before having lunch with the doc.  If the feds read this, he’ll probably be sued or lose his medical license.

What accounts for the mutual admiration between the doc and his patients?  A free market—or more accurately, a flicker of a market that hasn’t yet been extinguished by the government.

You see, the doc’s patients pay an annual fee to him for what is known as “concierge care.”  In return, they can get same-day appointments, have quality time with him during office visits, and get very thorough physicals and wellness advice.  It’s kind of like having a service contract with a HVAC company to maintain your air-conditioners, so that if they stop operating on a hot summer day, the company puts you at the front of the queue.

The concierge fee is in addition to what is paid to the doctor by third parties; that is, by insurance companies, employers, and the government.  The problem with these third-party payments throughout the medical industry is that they are counter to a true consumer market, where the consumer is king and businesses compete vigorously for the consumer’s business.  They are counter to a true consumer market because someone other than the patient pays the bill.

This situation is upside-down.  Medical care is much more important, personal, and intimate than, let’s say, car care, but there is a consumer market in car care but not medical care. Car owners have considerable options for getting their car serviced.  They can go to place that does quick oil changes, or, as I do, pay more at a dealership that has a comfortable waiting room, refreshments, and a loaner car if needed.

Is concierge care only for the rich?  Hardly.  It’s also for those of modest income who put a higher priority on medical care than on other purchases.  They’d rather forgo spending six bucks everyday at Starbucks or subscribing to a premium cable package than forgo getting personalized medical care.

What about the poor?  Isn’t it unfair that they can’t get concierge care?  Well, there is no reason that the poor couldn’t get concierge care, but this would take a complete revamp of the social-welfare system and conventional thinking.  First, it would require restricting public aid to the truly indigent or disabled; second, it would enable recipients of the aid to pay physicians directly with vouchers; third, it would remove government quotas on medical school admissions, so that the supply of docs would increase; and fourth, it would change the mindset about the use of coercion in America.

Regarding the fourth point, an elaboration:  The first impulse nowadays by those in government, academia, the media, and much of the public is to solve a social problem with government force.  The first impulse is not to ask how the problem might be solved without the use of force.  In healthcare this means that the first solution to the problem of the uninsured is to force everyone into a “same size fits all” program that is controlled directly or indirectly by the state through market-destroying regulations, tax policies, subsidies, and eavesdropping on what goes on between docs and patients.

Of course, I’m hallucinating to think that this will ever change.

News Roundup 2/6/18

  • Immigration agents have started ‘collateral arrests.’ Collateral arrests involve arresting everyone at a location, not just the person with a deportation order. [Link]
  • The Dow Jones drops 1,150 points. [Link]
  • An audit reveals that the Pentagon Logistics Agency lost track of $800 million. [Link]
  • A look into the growing Neo-Nazi movement in Ukraine. [Link]
  • Mehdi Hasan explains how the US coup in Iran led to blowback. [Link]
  • Israel began issuing deportation notices to African migrants. [Link]
  • Child trafficking is being weaponized in South Sudan. [Link]
  • 26 people were killed in two drone strikes in Afghanistan. Officials claim all those killed were Taliban. The second strike hit the site of the first strike an hour later. [Link]
  • An Iraqi official says the US will begin reducing troop numbers in Iraq.  [Link]
  • Eric Margolis talks about the madhouse in Syria. [Link]

What Causes the Boom Bust Cycle


Iran is Losing Influence in Iraq: Is Qassem Soleimani the Right Person?

Via the War Nerd, Elijah Magnier has an interesting article about tensions between the Iranians and the Abadi regime in Baghdad in the aftermath of Iraq War III. Interviewing him about it tomorrow.

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