Selective Anger At “Freeloaders”

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In my dialogues with defenders of statism, online and off, I routinely encounter people – usually though not always on the political right – who express feelings of anger, disgust, contempt, etc., toward those whom they characterize with terms like “lazy”, “bums”, “freeloaders”, “parasites”, “anti-social”, “welfare queens”, “druggies”, “illegals”, “junkies”, “leeches”, “the homeless”, “non-productive members of society”, etc. Most of the criticisms seem to boil down to resentment that the people who are the objects of their ire are in some way being assisted or provided for by government at the expense of others.

Are such feelings a step on the path toward libertarian enlightenment, or just narrow-minded self-justification? I’d like to think the former, and in some cases that may be the case, but I often have my doubts. Because from where I sit as a long-time observer of San Francisco politics and local political attitudes, the sad truth is that not just the folks who are often criticized in such terms, but the vast majority of the local population, appear, both from their voting habits and from their own comments, to want to be taken care of by the nanny-state in one way or another.

It is bitterly ironic, and hypocritical as hell, for anyone who wants government to provide them with “free” elementary schools, “free” libraries, “free” fire protection services, a “free” regulatory bureaucracy of immense scale and complexity that intrudes into everything from air travel to household pets, “free” enforcement of border controls and persecution of people who reside in or attempt to enter the U.S. without government permission, a “free” military whose budget is inching toward $1 trillion with hundreds of bases in other countries, “free” enforcement against people lying on sidewalks or sleeping in tents in the commons, etc., to look down their noses at somebody who wants “free” food stamps, “free” SSI, or “free” housing vouchers as being necessarily a much worse leech or parasite than themselves or their friends…

Before we judge anyone else too harshly, here’s an illuminating pair of questions for each of us to ask ourselves:

1) How much theft, and how much coercion, would be required for government to do the things that I want it to do?
2) How can I reduce the amounts of theft and coercion that I am effectively demanding?… (more)

These are some pretty profound statements from an anti-war “anarcho-capitalist” Libertarian.

 

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Congress Passes Measure to Protect Board that Monitors Nuclear Safety

by Rebecca Moss of Santa Fe New Mexican : propublica – excerpt

The Energy Department had taken steps to curtail the reach and authority of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board. New Mexico’s senators are fighting back.

This article was produced in partnership with The Santa Fe New Mexican, which is a member of the ProPublica Local Reporting Network.

Congress has moved to block an effort to weaken a federal board that oversees worker and public safety at nuclear facilities, adding language to an appropriations bill to prevent the agency from altering the board’s structure.

The bill also requires the Energy Department to answer questions from Congress about its recent attempts to limit the board’s access to information and change how the panel conducts its work…(more)

What a crazy world we live in. Today we get news of this move by the Energy Department to curtail the reach and authority of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board by cutting back on their budget, and news of a North South Korean agreement to move away from nuclear development.

From Fish to Humans, A Microplastic Invasion May Be Taking a Toll

By Andrea Thompson : scientificamerican – excerpt

Tiny bits of plastic have seeped into soil, fish and air, posing a threat to animal and human health

This is the second of a three-part series that examines our growing understanding of the scope and impacts of microplastics pollution.

Mark Browne had a suspicion. He hoped the samples of dried blood taken from a blue mussel and placed under a special microscope would tell him if he was correct. As a fuzzy, three-dimensional image of the mussel’s blood cells appeared, there they were, right in the middle—tiny specks of plastic… (more)

A Guide To The Far-Right Power Players Tearing Europe Apart

By Nick Robins-Early and Willa Frej : huffington – excpert

Here’s what happens when the radical right starts vying for power.

Elections across Europe this year have confirmed the surging popularity of far-right leaders.

While their liberal and conservative counterparts are in free fall, radical right parties are successfully exploiting public anxiety over migration, national identity and the failures of the establishment. After decades on the fringes, they’re forming governments, by themselves or in coalition.

“You’re seeing this very political, symbolic stand saying enough is enough,” said Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan, head of the international program at the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. “Those who believe that the system is not working are finding allies throughout Europe.”

These are some of the key leaders and parties seeking to reshape Europe in their own radical right image…

Hungary’s Victor Orban, Italy’s Matteo Salvini, Poland’s Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Austria’s Heinz-Christian Strache, Finland’s Jussi Halla-aho, Sweden’s Jimmie Akesson and Germany’s Alexander…(more)

 

Press Here: Solving gentrification that results from tech hiring practices.

pressheretv – excerpt (includes video)

https://www.pressheretv.com/oaklands-opportunity-zones/

Press Here looked at gentrification in our cities that is often blamed on the hiring practices of tech companies, and explores ways governments may use opportunity zones to change that legislatively. It appears there was some language written into Obama era federal legislation that set them up.

https://www.pressheretv.com/oaklands-opportunity-zones/

Oakland’s Opportunity Zones

Posted On: August 24, 2018
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Cross Culture Ventures’ Marlon Nichols encourages investing in under-served neighborhoods.

and

http:/Straight Talk for Startups

Straight Talk for Startups

Posted On: August 24, 2018
Posted In: , , , , , , ,
Kleiner Perkins’ Randy Komisar tells startups how to beat the odds.

You may want to respond on line at the source and share. These problems are plaguing cities everywhere, as property values and costs of living are rising at a much faster pace than wages.

Cannabis Is Creating A Boom For Biological Pesticides

By Janet Burns : forbes – excerpt

As legal cannabis farms take the spotlight, safer methods of pest control are also taking root in more ‘mainstream’ agriculture.

With more states enacting medicinal and adult recreational cannabis laws each year, health officials have increasingly warned about the potential hazards of products made from crops treated with certain chemicals. In particular, chemical pesticides have been identified as a threat to cannabis consumers’ health, with potential risks that can vary depending on whether products are eaten, smoked, vaped, or topically applied…

As such, cannabis has joined a broader conversation about the dangers of spraying the crops we grow. Just this month, health officials noted that current widely used pesticides can show up in popular food products at arguably unsafe levels, and are likely tied to the ongoing drop in environmentally critical bee populations (more)

Al Gore says Trump undoing environmental regs has done less ‘damage’ than he once feared

by Diana Stancy Correll : washingtonexaminer – excerpt

President Trump’s efforts to unravel environmental policies has not caused as much “damage” as former Vice President Al Gore once feared.

But Gore, a vocal environmental activist, remains wary for a number of reasons, including increased leeway on regulations for coal ash dumps, where toxic metals can be held, after Andrew Wheeler, the acting secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency, provided more flexibility to more than 400 U.S. coal-fired power plants.

“There are hundreds of other environmental procedures and regulations that Trump’s group has begun to undo,” he told the Associated Press. “So he’s doing some damage, but overall I would say less than I had feared.”… (more)

As this Al Gore points out the courts are protecting many of the EPA regulations and procedures that are under attack. These courts and the justices need to be protected and that should be a primary focus and consideration as voter return to the polls in November. Meanwhile, sorry to hear about the horrendously long red tide season in Florida, the major floods and New England and the devastating wildfires in the West. Too bad we can’t pipe fresh excess water from the East Coast to the West and find some algae eaters to clean up the Gulf. Meanwhile, some possible solution to preventing wildfires is coming from the historical knowledge of Native Americans.