GMOs are Safer Than “Natural” Hybrids

Peppermint, a hybrid of Spearmint and WatermintPeople try to claim that Genetically Modified Organisms, for example corn with a gene spliced in that helps it resist a disease, are somehow more dangerous, because we don’t know what other changes the splicing may have wrought.

The claim is made that that they are somehow “unproven” and could contain some surprise risk, but this is the opposite of the truth. Whenever you pollinate a plant normally, the seeds you get have hundreds, or thousands, of unknown factors in them, as they’re a random mix of two parent plants. Hybrids, for example, are an extreme case of this.

But a GMO is a known cultivar with a SINGLE gene moved. Not tens of thousands of genes moved at random, just a single one (or set of similarly chosen ones). It is the most KNOWN kind of modified plant, with the fewest surprise protein combinations possible.

Now if you have some spearmint, and some watermint, you might cross-pollinate them, and then who knows…some people might be specifically allergic to the resulting, unique cultivar (which we call peppermint). But if you move ONE gene from the watermint to the spearmint, you can know exactly what the results will be.

Today, Congress Will Kill 387 People

The arrogance of government is not only obvious and crazy, when it's ordering everyone to get up an hour's also fatal.

No, I don’t mean Congress will order the execution of 387 people today. I’d almost respect that more, because it’d be direct and therefore, in a sense, far more honest.

But, according to a snowballing body of science, the sleep deprivation you’re suffering today because of Daylight Saving Time ends up killing hundreds of people, and causing thousands of additional accidents…and government, like everyone else, is responsible for the consequences of the force they impose.

What’s more, after all that, Daylight Saving Time actually ends up wasting energy, instead of saving it.

While even the obsessively pro-big-government Washington Post says Daylight Saving Time is a Scam, and various usually-statist news sources run more articles each year outlining the harm it causes, like The Baltimore Sun, NBC, or the local news, what’s unusual is to see the death toll in real, human terms:

Sticking to only relatively conservative surveys, the stress caused by forcing 300,000,000 people to get up an hour earlier adds up to (1) a 10% increase in heart attacks for the first few days, (2) a 17% increase in traffic accidents for the first week, and (3) a 6% increase in workplace injuries.

Given (1)  500,000 heart attacks per year, (2) 34,000 automotive deaths per year, and some (3) 7,000 workplace deaths, that adds up to Daylight Saving Time causing a minimum of nearly four hundred needless deaths each year.

Of course this number is a rough guess, and simplified, but other surveys say it’s even higher, for example a 6% increase in heart attacks, but spread over a full week. That’s nearly six hundred deaths caused by DST, just from heart attacks.

I couldn’t find a solid number for the increase in suicides for this week every year, but let’s not forget that (4) little bonus.

And, as you probably have heard on the news by now, the trivial amount of lightbulb electricity saved is far less than the extra air conditioning electricity that DST causes people to waste. So it doesn’t even have a real reason to exist, in the first place.

Of course some government apologists will try to say blow off the death toll, denying responsibility. They will cry “but we’re not responsible for what people choose to do, even if our laws set the conditions! We’re not really killing those people”. But the consequences of their actions fall under what is called, in the world of  justice, the Felony Murder Rule:

If you commit a felony, therefore a really inexcusable crime, and because of the situation action created someone dies, you can be charged for murder, even if it clearly wasn’t your intention that he died.

In other words, when you commit a wrong, you become responsible for all of that wrong’s unintended consequences. A concept that’s a no-brainer to anyone who doesn’t belong to the political class.

This was true when government banned the disabling of airbags by short people who would be killed by them, and is true of them needlessly forcing every single person to get up an hour earlier for reasons that, themselves, are false in the first place.

Worried about Bed Bugs? Thank the EPA

The bed bugs should thank the EPA, for restoring them as a threat to the well-being of Americans

Yes, we all know that the DDT ban has caused the deaths of millions by malaria. But there’s something far more important to us in the US:

The scourge of bed bugs has been spreading like wildfire, and they are really unpleasant.

Bed bugs were pretty-much extinct in the US, by the early 1970s, killed off by DDT. There was a steady trickle of new invasions, from foreign countries, but they never were able to gain a foothold…

…well, at least not until the Gingrich Congress of passed the deceptively-named Food Quality Protection Act, in 1996. What Speaker Gingrich and Senator Santorum supported, contrary to their current claims of opposing Big Brotherment regulation, was a law massively expanding the EPA’s power, resulting in a ban of almost every remaining, human-safe pesticide that was useful against bed bugs.

There was once a large pool of pesticides we could rotate between to keep bedbugs down, like DDT. Thanks to some unscientific hysteria in the 1960s, by the early seventies DDT was effectively banned, when bed bugs had, for that time, built up something of a resistance to it anyway. Perhaps years later it could have been used again it not for the ban, but at least that left us with other defenses, like malathion, pyrethroids, chlorpyrifos, propoxur, and diazinon, which kept the bugs at bay…until the powers of the EPA were so dangerous expanded.

This allowed it to essentially ban propoxur, chlorpyrifos, and diazinon, and other treatments on pure speculation, using the deadly Precautionary Principle, but no hard science, and make malathion illegal for indoor use. Left with nothing to rotate with, pyrethroids have become less effective — they never were particularly good to begin with — and, ironically, are particularly harmful to humans.

Our lives are flooded with misery that is the fault of coercive government, but that we tend to blame on other things. When you try to open the door to some small business and it is locked, for example, you can blame the local government’s insane regulations, requiring all businesses to have a door that can be unlocked in case of a fire; which results in doors being needlessly locked in the first place. Don’t even get me started on how similar regulations regarding shoes have caused a modern plague of foot fungus problems.

In this case, the “mysterious” resurgence of bedbugs is thanks to the EPA…and thanks to guys like Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, who give it destructive new powers.

Arizona’s Death Panel?

It’s bad enough that the Federal government created its first actual death panels thirty years ago, with organ transplants.

But, shortly after the Obamacare plan set up conditions that are likely to cause rationing, we have an example of how government health care is forced to decide who lives and dies, because of rationing.

In order to stay within their budget, Arizona has been forced to limit who is allowed to get organ transplants…literally picking who lives and dies. Already, 98 people have been identified who will not be allowed to get these transplants on Medicaid. This is what government health care must, inherently, do. It’s not the fault of Arizona, but part of Medicaid’s very nature.

In the 1980s, the Federal government imposed a ban on paid organ transplants, creating such a shortage that panels had to be set up to decide who got the rationed transplants, while a majority of transplant patients die while waiting, with lists up to ten years long.

Now, they are being forced by a socialized health care program to cut off even the few who might get transplants, dooming them to die.

We need real health care reform, not more of the very same government intervention that has caused the problem in the first place.

A Victory for True Health Care Reform?

The White House, today, announced a series of four ostensible concessions to demands that health care actually be reformed, not simply nationalized.

This is an encouraging step, although currently little more than a gesture. If it went forward as-is, it would only be a pyrrhic victory…but it does show that the socialized proposal is in serious trouble.

Let’s check out the changes, and see what’s left to fix:

  • CORRUPTION: Sending investigators disguised as patients to uncover fraud and waste

We don’t think having more of a police state is really the right approach, but with up to a quarter of all socialized health coverage being wasted, it’s a start.

  • RUNAWAY LAWSUITS: Expanding medical malpractice reform pilot programs

This sounds right…but depends on what these “pilot programs” actually are.

  • WAAH? Increasing payments to Medicaid providers?

What? They finally acknowledge that Medicare/Medicaid is grossly corrupt, and now they want to increase the money they throw at the system? This is reminiscent of Bush throwing of taxpayer money at Louisiana after Katrina, which is just a mirror of what got Louisiana in that position in the first place.

  • OVERINSURANCE: Expanding the use of health savings accounts.

If they just put more money into the existing, fake medical savings account programs, they are only making the problem worse. At the moment, you are only allowed to save health care money for one year, then it is stolen from you by the government, and you start over. This means people are forced to squander millions on needless “health care” spending at the end of each year…driving up health care prices. What is needed is REAL medical savings accounts, where you keep the money indefinitely, and when it gets large enough, you can reduce your medical insurance into a cheap program that only covers unexpected disasters, and even roll over your medical savings account into a retirement account.

So does this mean that the current, socialized health care megabill should be accepted?

No, in fact it means we need to fight harder than ever.

The bill would still do far more harm than good.

It still is comprised almost entirely of the same kind of measures that caused the problems we have in the first place. Massive government spending that drives up prices, new regulations that bog down providers, expansions of full coverage insurance that strip away consumer power…and worse:

All of it in one massive Megabill, allowing them to fill it with pork and bad measures that one must accept in order to get ANY change at all.

Fine, Kill Your Baby, But Don’t Make Me Help

Uncle Sam Squandering Taxpayer DollarsThe proposed Health Care “Reform” law includes, apparently, the taxpayer funding of abortion somewhere in its thousands of pages. But many taxpayers believe abortion is murder.

Abortion may need to be legal, but this doesn’t mean that people who oppose it can be justly forced to pay for it.

The first amendment protects, in essence, our freedom of conscience. Certainly in regard to religious beliefs.

It’s ironic that abortionists like to say that abortion should be legal because of religious freedom; Some portion of those against abortion oppose it on religious grounds…

To the extent that religion is the motivation behind opposing abortion, the first amendment therefore bans government funding of abortion, because one should not be forced to violate their own religion.

Now I’m agnostic, and like Thomas Jefferson regarding slavery, I believe abortion cannot be banned, even though it’s the killing of a human baby…but despite those things, it is clear to me that forcing people who believe abortion is murder to fund that killing would be a holocaust-level evil.

Where the Hell Are Medical Savings Accounts?

chained caduceusThe actual problem with our failing health care system is that consumers have no control over it. Already, too much is paid for by middlemen like insurance companies and government. If Americans only paid 5% of their food bills, a cheeseburger would cost fifty bucks, too.

Why are people handing off control of their health care to middlemen? Because government imposes massive taxes on them, and then “rewards” them, with tax breaks, for paying needless insurance companies to cover their well-care, checkups, and minor problems while charging them triple what those will cost.

If you say “screw that, boss, I’ll take the cash instead of the health insurance”, you’re forced to pay taxes on the money, when the insurance was pre-tax.

The solution? (aside from cutting the massive tax burden)

Medical Savings Accounts.

Instead of giving the money to a middleman insurance company, you get to keep it yourself, to save for any medical needs. It is not taxed, and once you accumulate enough to cover any predictable needs, you roll the rest over into a retirement account each year. Meanwhile, you by a very cheap catastrophic insurance plan, that only covers unexpected, rare disasters like cancer and falling in a wood chipper. These can cost only a fraction of a harmful full-coverage plan.

This gives you control over your own health care, the ONLY way to cut costs. It also allows you to save for your retirement, freeing you from depending on the ridiculous, doomed social security system that will NOT be there when even Gen X retires.

Why do we not have this?

Ask your congressman.

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