Trump has used his powers for good, finally, but has he gone far enough? What's in the News with stories on healthcare rationing in the U.K., officer Payne is fired, TSA security theater, FDA condom regulations, bump stock ban coming, and the NYPD needs IT help. And, a Statists Gonna State segment on real slavery happening in America today. This episode is brought to you by Tom Woods's Liberty Classroom, helping you to become a smarter and more informed libertarian than ever before, for just 24 cents a day.

WHAT’S RUSTLING MY JIMMIES

[1:45]

Love him or hate him, Trump is not a libertarian and never will be, no matter how many libertarians supported him. However, even presidents like Bush, Obama, and Trump can accidentally do things that are good for the free market and for people. Such is the case with Trump on healthcare.

Trump has signed an executive order last week making some major and sweeping changes to health care in this country. Apparently, he took lessons from Obama on how to dictate health care through executive order, but at least Trump's order is better for the free market.

Let's talk about what this executive order actually does and see what those implications are.

WHAT'S IN THE NEWS

[5:35]

In speaking of healthcare news, to save money, the U.K. single-payer National Health Service recently announced it will ban obese patients from many surgeries for up to a year. Such rationing is apparently standard in single-payer healthcare systems.

In unicorn news, the unusual has happened, a police officer was actually fired for his actions on duty. Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown has fired one officer and demoted another in response to the July 26 arrest of University Hospital nurse Alex Wubbels, according to records obtained by The Salt Lake Tribune.

In security theater news, the Transportation Security Administration is enacting some new programs by further clamping down at airport security checkpoints around the U.S.

In government regulates everything news, the Food and Drug Administration apparently controls even the size of condoms in this country.

In never let a tragedy go to waste news, a bipartisan measure that would ban bump stocks was introduced in the US House of Representatives by 10 members of the Republican party and 10 members of the Democrat party.

In what the actual f* news, the New York Police Department apparently does not back up its evidence database, at all. 

STATISTS GONNA STATE

[21:07]

Judges around the country are sentencing defendants to slavery instead of prison under the guise of rehab. And, they're getting away with it, even though slavery is still illegal in this country, thanks to corruption, cronyism, and politics. 

 

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TEASER INTRO

Trump has used his powers for good, finally, but has he gone far enough? What's in the News with stories on healthcare rationing in the U.K., officer Payne is fired, TSA security theater, FDA condom regulations, bump stock ban coming, and the NYPD needs IT help. And, a Statists Gonna State segment on real slavery happening in America today. This episode is brought to you by Tom Woods's Liberty Classroom, helping you to become a smarter and more informed libertarian than ever before, for just 24 cents a day.

INTRO 

“Welcome to The LAVA Flow, channeling the flow of information to the Libertarian, Anarcho-capitalist, Voluntaryist, and Agorist community. Find us at thelavaflow.com. Here’s your host, Rodger Paxton.”

Thank you for joining me this week, home of the longest running lottery in the continental United States, initially determined by horse races at Rockingham Park in Salem to avoid federal anti-lottery laws, this is the show that will bring you the people, places, and events that everyone in the liberty revolution needs to know. You can catch me on Twitter @TheLAVAFlowPod.

This is episode seventy-three, Healthcare Changes, and it's Tuesday, October 24th, 2017, when there have already been more than 969 people killed by police this year and the United States Debt Clock shows us at 20 trillion, 425 billion, 957 million dollars in debt. What's Rustling My Jimmies this week? You're about to find out! Let’s Do It To It!

WHAT’S RUSTLING MY JIMMIES

Love him or hate him, Trump is not a libertarian and never will be, no matter how many libertarians supported him. However, even presidents like Bush, Obama, and Trump can accidentally do things that are good for the free market and for people. Such is the case with Trump on healthcare.

Trump has signed an executive order last week making some major and sweeping changes to health care in this country. Apparently, he took lessons from Obama on how to dictate health care through executive order, but at least Trump's order is better for the free market.

Let's talk about what this executive order actually does and see what those implications are.

Trump is directing the Labor Department to study how to make it easier for small businesses, and possibly individuals, to collectively buy health insurance through association health plans. Small employers may expand their ability to offer group coverage across state lines, providing them with a broader range of policies at lower rates. Competition is good, and this opens up competition, plain and simple. It also allows smaller organizations that are most impacted by Obamacare mandates to collectively negotiate prices as if they were larger companies, and presumably get lower rates.  This, in my opinion, is a step in the right direction.

The executive order will also allow more consumers to purchase short-term health insurance plans. It directs agencies to lengthen the coverage of these policies and permit renewals. They were originally designed to insure people for several months while they were between jobs or going through other life transitions. Some plans provided coverage for up to a year. The Obama administration last year limited the duration to 90 days. As far as I'm concerned, the government has no business telling a company or a consumer how long their contracts between themselves can be, but again, this is a step in the right direction. Another good thing about these short-term plans is that they are not subject to Obamacare's massive regulations, so they base rates on consumers' health background. just as you would expect to see in a free-market.

Trump's order also expands employers' ability to give workers cash to buy coverage elsewhere through tax-free funds in Health Savings Accounts. This will also open up competition as people will be able to shop around for the best healthcare for them instead of being lumped into a plan through their job. And, we all know what competition does to quality and price.

Rand Paul, the neo-libertarian darling, said that the executive order would come at zero cost to the taxpayer and would enable 28 million people "left behind" by Obamacare to purchase insurance cheaply. 

Trump's order is intended to create less regulated, less expensive alternatives to Obamacare. It is not an attempt to unwind the law so much as to work around it, providing options that don't exist under the current scheme, which has resulted in steady and significant increases in health insurance premiums and limited health insurance choices in many parts of the country. The order is less a direct attack on Obamacare and more of an attempt to escape its failings.

It will be a few months before the changes related to this executive order take effect and new plans start appearing in the market because now the Department of Labor and Health and Human Services have to figure out how to make it into a reality. The order tells those agencies to consider finding ways to expand association health plans and offers some broad suggests about how this might be accomplished but little in the way of specifics. 

What I'm hoping to see out of this executive order is that these new changes will lure enough relatively healthy people out of Obamacare markets, which will in-turn cause premiums to rise even higher and choices to decline. This would hopefully cause a massive backlash as people see the inevitability of Obamacare much sooner once taxpayers and insurance companies realize it is too expensive to maintain. But, what's more likely to happen is the next Democrat president will just wipe away these executive orders and nothing will change.

WHAT'S IN THE NEWS

In speaking of healthcare news, to save money, the U.K. single-payer National Health Service recently announced it will ban obese patients from many surgeries for up to a year. Such rationing is apparently standard in single-payer healthcare systems.

Known as "lifestyle rationing," the new British policy debunks the myth that single-payer systems deliver truly universal health care. The rule applies to patients with a body mass index of 30 or higher. It would hit a 5-foot-10 man who weighs more than 209 pounds, or a 5-foot-4 woman who weighs more than 174 pounds. These patients will have to wait a year or lose 10 percent of their weight before they can receive elective surgeries like hip or knee replacements.

The National Health Service in Britain believes such discriminatory rationing is the "best way of achieving maximum value from the limited resources available." So patients wait. More than 4 million are standing by for surgery – the highest figure in a decade.

The single-payer system in Canada is hardly better, particularly for patients seeking specialist care. According to the Fraser Institute, the median wait time between referral from a general practitioner and treatment by a specialist in 2016 was 20 weeks – the longest on record.

America's own experiment with single-payer – the Veterans Health Administration in the Department of Veterans Affairs – is a national embarrassment. A federal investigation found that more than 200 veterans died while waiting for care at a Phoenix VA facility in 2015. The same is true of almost 100 veterans at a Los Angeles VA hospital between October 2014 and August 2015.

Don't forget, folks, Democrats want single-payer health care here. The top two Democrats in the presidential race last year, Clinton and Sanders, have both called for it. Sanders recently introduced his "Medicare for All" bill, backed by 15 other Democrat senators, to create just such a system here. In addition, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is urging Democrats to make single-payer a centerpiece of their upcoming campaigns.

Supporters of single-payer health care should realize the error of their ways because single-payer isn't a shortcut to universal health care. As the experiences of other countries prove, it's a pathway to grotesque rationing, long waiting lines and needless suffering and death. 

In unicorn news, the unusual has happened, a police officer was actually fired for his actions on duty. Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown has fired one officer and demoted another in response to the July 26 arrest of University Hospital nurse Alex Wubbels, according to records obtained by The Salt Lake Tribune.

Detective Jeff Payne, who arrested Wubbels, was fired Tuesday. Payne’s watch commander the day of the confrontation, Lt. James Tracy, was demoted to police officer III effective Wednesday, according to the documents signed by Brown and sent to the men. Brown’s decision is the culmination of an internal affairs investigation that began a day after the confrontation between Wubbels and Payne. The probe ultimately found that both officers had violated a number of department policies.

Chief Brown wrote to Payne, “In examining your conduct, I am deeply troubled by your lack of sound professional judgment and your discourteous, disrespectful, and unwarranted behavior, which unnecessarily escalated a situation that could and should have been resolved in a manner far different from the course of action you chose to pursue.”

Brown was similarly critical of Tracy, saying his lack of judgment and leadership was “unacceptable,” and, “as a result, I no longer believe that you can retain a leadership position in the Department.”

Payne’s attorney, Greg Skordas, said Tuesday evening that he was disappointed with Brown’s decision and that his client wanted to appeal.  Skordas said, “I‘m really frustrated by the way this case has been processed. I do think that Salt Lake City did a fair job of doing the investigation, and I think that their findings are, by and large, accurate. But I think the chief reacted to a lot of public pressure and scrutiny in making a decision that doesn’t fit the conduct.”

And this is what it's going to take, folks, public pressure that doesn't let up. And, this balls of this attorney to think that it's bad for a public servant, the Chief here, to react to public pressure from the people he supposedly works for. I'm glad to see this unicorn of a result, but I hold no illusions that this is going to make anyone safer from officers in the future. We need dozens of such high-profile cases, hell, we need hundreds of them. Let's find another crooked cop to make famous as soon as possible.

***________________***

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***________________***

In security theater news, the Transportation Security Administration is enacting some new programs by further clamping down at airport security checkpoints around the U.S.

Instead of only requiring you to remove your laptop and liquids from your carry-on baggage, the TSA now requires air travelers to remove all electronics larger than a cell phone, which must be placed in a bin with nothing on top or below them. This essentially means that passenger will be required to remove anything with a battery for extra screening. The previous method often required two or three bins per person to accommodate the bevy of laptops, tablets, and liquids, even for non-techy travelers. The new method adds things like digital cameras, Bluetooth speakers, Kindles, spare batteries, and a whole lot more. 

The TSA is now recommending travelers arrive at least 90 minutes ahead of the scheduled departure time for domestic flights. Bank on three hours or more for international departures. This is just asinine. If this was run by a private organization that did not hold a monopoly on air travel security, they would be taking customer service into account as much as they do security, instead of being run by some bureaucrat on high who has no concept of customer service and wants us to believe that we are somehow safer because my fucking Kindle is in a separate bin. This is nonsense. I say jam them up. If you have to travel by air, request a pat-down instead of a body scan. Grind the gears to a fucking halt. As John Galt said in Atlas Shrugged, "stop the motor of the world."

In government regulates everything news, the Food and Drug Administration apparently controls even the size of condoms in this country. 

A company is making smaller condoms for American men, since the average size of 6.69 inches is too big. Recent CDC figures on condom use revealed just a third of single men use the rubber protection, and one of the most common reasons for non-users is that they 'slip off'.  Indeed, a study by Indiana University on almost 2,000 men revealed the average length is 5.57 inches - about an inch shorter than the standard condom size. 

Now the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates health industry standards, has conceded that there is a need for smaller condoms in a desperate bid to lower the rates of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies. The agency has made a policy change to allow manufacturing companies to make condoms of all sizes. In doing so, it has given the green light to myONE Perfect Fit, a custom brand of condoms made by Boston company Global Protection Corp, which has been lobbying for a change for more than seven years.

What the actual fuck? I mean, first of all, where the fuck does the FDA get the authority to define the size of a condom, and the authority to refuse to allow a company to make a different size for seven fucking years? But secondly, it took seven years for the FDA to concede that men lie about their penis size? This just shows how out of touch the FDA actually is. How hard is it to do a study for this? I hate to beat the same drum again, but do you think it would have taken a private organization expected to give accurate information to the public this long to come to this sort of conclusion? Of course not. The FDA protects no one. It is a danger to society. Can you image how many people may have contracted an STD due to an ill-fitting condom in the last seven years while the FDA twiddles their jimmies on this one?

***________________***

Don't forget that I am running a new contest through the month of October. I have a new email list set up where I can communicate with you guys about new episodes, new bonus content, share things with you guys, or anything else I could think of. I don't plan on sending a bunch of emails, just a handful each month, but it is a great way to stay in contact.

To sign up for the contest, all you have to do is go to thelavaflow.com/email and sign up. It really is that simple. Anyone signed up for this by the end of October will be entered to win the prize. The grand prize pack will include an exclusive The LAVA Flow Contest Winner t-shirt, a The LAVA Flow tote bag, one of my favorite libertarian books signed by the author, and a signed copy of the Liberty Force Comic #1 produced by Johnny Adams of the Johnny Rocket Launch Pad. There will only be one grand prize issued, but there will be 4 other prizes for randomly drawn contestants that will include a signed copy of the Liberty Force Comic #1. So, you have five chances to win this time!

So, make sure to get in on this today so you don't miss out! Sign up at thelavaflow.com/email now for your chance to win!

***_________________***

In never let a tragedy go to waste news, a bipartisan measure that would ban bump stocks was introduced in the US House of Representatives by 10 members of the Republican party and 10 members of the Democrat party.

The bill drafted by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R–Fla.) and Seth Moulton (D– Mass.) intends to make illegal bump stocks or "any part or combination of parts that is designed and functions to increase the rate of fire of a semi-automatic rifle." Binary triggers, which fires a round on both the pull and release of the trigger, would also likely be prohibited under this language, as would lighter triggers, and heavier recoil springs, both of which allow for a faster rate of fire.

What is shocking is just how broad the language of their bill is. The law promises to ban any part that increases the rate of fire from a semi-automatic weapon, meaning more than just bump stocks could be on the chopping block.

It was also an important first step to getting members of the two major parties to agree with anything having to do with controlling guns. Prominent Republicans and Second Amendment advocates, including the National Rifle Association, got in line to make their peace with legislation following the tragic shooting in Las Vegas. Fuck the NRA in the neck. I haven't been a member of the NRA since they compromised with Bill Clinton. If you're interested in a no-compromise gun lobby, check out the Gun Owners of America or the Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership.

This is the slippery slope uncompromising libertarians have worried about and that liberals hoped Congress would find itself negotiating. And even if it passes unanimously, the bill brings the nation no closer to preventing what happened in Las Vegas. Frankly, it is highly likely that the bump stock saved lives in this tragedy. Shooting with a bump stock is terribly inaccurate and hard to do. Had he not had a bump stock on his weapon, he would likely have been more effective in hitting targets that he was, especially at the distances he was shooting at. I, for one, am glad this moron had a bump stock on his weapon.

In what the actual fuck news, the New York Police Department apparently does not back up its evidence database, at all. If the database servers that power NYPD's Property and Evidence Tracking System (PETS)—designed and installed by Capgemini under a $25.5 million contract between 2009 and 2012—were to fail, all data on stored evidence would simply cease to exist.

I've been in information technology for over 20 years. That is one of the first things you learn. Backup always, backup often. 

Last year, NYPD’s Assistant Deputy Commissioner Robert Messner told the City Council's public safety committee that “attempts to perform the types of searches envisioned in the bill will lead to system crashes and significant delays during the intake and release process.” The claim was key to the department’s refusal to provide the data accounting for the approximately $6 million seized in cash and property every year.

City attorney Neil Giovanatti claimed that the NYPD doesn’t even have the technical capability to pull an audit report from its forfeiture database—because the system wasn’t designed to do that. As of 2013, the NYPD was carrying a balance sheet of more than $68 million in cash seized, and they can't audit that at all, apparently.

Since I work in healthcare IT, I know how burdensome the regulations the federal government put on private industries truly is. I also know the repercussions if those regulations aren't met. It is not pretty. Yet, apparently in New York anyway, they can't even get the government to follow basic and simple procedures to protect their data.

I want to apologize to you guys for my lack of spurts the last couple of weeks. My home has been invaded by guests back to back for weeks now, but it will be getting back to normal soon. Between my in-laws and my parents visiting, I've been swamped. Thanks for your patience!

STATISTS GONNA STATE

Judges around the country are sentencing defendants to slavery instead of prison under the guise of rehab. And, they're getting away with it, even though slavery is still illegal in this country, thanks to corruption, cronyism, and politics. 

Across the country, judges increasingly are sending defendants to rehab instead of prison or jail. These diversion courts have become the bedrock of criminal justice reform, aiming to transform lives and ease overcrowded prisons. But in the rush to spare people from prison, some judges are steering defendants into rehabs that are little more than lucrative work camps for private industry, an investigation by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting has found.

The programs promise freedom from addiction. Instead, they’ve turned thousands of men and women into indentured servants.

The beneficiaries of these programs span the country, from Fortune 500 companies to factories and local businesses. The defendants work at a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Oklahoma, a construction firm in Alabama, a nursing home in North Carolina.

Perhaps no rehab better exemplifies this allegiance to big business than CAAIR, Christian Alcoholics, and Addicts in Recovery. People called it “the Chicken Farm,” a rural retreat where defendants stayed for a year, got addiction treatment and learned to live more productive lives. Most were sent there by courts from across Oklahoma and neighboring states, part of the nationwide push to keep nonviolent offenders out of prison. It was started in 2007 by chicken company executives struggling to find workers. By forming a Christian rehab, they could supply plants with a cheap and captive labor force while helping men overcome their addictions.

At CAAIR, about 200 men live on a sprawling, grassy compound in northeastern Oklahoma, and most work full time, without pay, at Simmons Foods Inc., a company with annual revenue of $1.4 billion. They slaughter and process chickens for some of America’s largest retailers and restaurants, including Walmart, KFC, and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. They also make pet food for PetSmart and Rachael Ray’s Nutrish brand.

Men in the CAAIR program said their hands became gnarled after days spent hanging thousands of chickens from metal shackles. One man said he was burned with acid while hosing down a trailer. Others were maimed by machines or contracted serious bacterial infections. Those who were hurt and could no longer work often were kicked out of CAAIR and sent to prison, court records show. Most men worked through the pain, fearing the same fate.

Nate Turner, who graduated from CAAIR in 2015, said, “They work you to death. They work you every single day. It’s a work camp. They know people are desperate to get out of jail, and they’ll do whatever they can do to stay out of prison.”

The men also perform free labor for CAAIR’s founders, family, and friends. A group of men said they helped remodel the Wilkersons’ master bedroom. Another said he helped one of their daughters pack boxes and move. Still others worked on an egg farm owned by the Wilkersons’ other daughter.

What does CAAIR have to say about this? Jim Lovell, the organizations vice president of program management said, “If working 40 hours a week is a slave camp, then all of America is a slave camp." I guess he missed the part that people not in the CAAIR program actually get paid for those 40 hours of work. And, CAAIR is expecting even more slaves. They are planning their fourth dormitory for slaves, and this one will be the biggest dorm yet.

Please, someone, explain to me how this is different from a plantation in the south before Civil War. Our rulers are shifting the law, or ignoring the law, or both. to benefit their friends in the private sector at the expense of you and I. This is one of the most disgusting abuses of government power I've ever seen.

This article from Reveal News is horrific in its detail of abuses that happened to dozens of participants in the CAAIR program. It's a super long article but I recommend you read it if you can. There is a link to the article in the show notes to this episode at thelavaflow.com/73.

OUTRO

Thank you for listening to the show this week. As always, I need to thank my favorite director, Jessica, for her help with this show. For the show notes to this episode, where I put links and other information that has been on this show, go to thelavaflow.com/73.

I have five, yes, I said five new supporters of the show this week. Brian S. and Kelly M. pledged $1 per episode through Patreon. Thanks, Brian and Kelly! Every dollar counts! Stephanie P. and Jason M. pledged $2.50 per episode through Patreon! Thanks, Stephanie and Jason! You rock! And finally, Phil S. pledged $5 per episode through Patreon. Awesome! Thanks, Phil, and I hope to see you at next year's PorcFest too! 

Thanks to Brian, Kelly, Stephanie, Jason, Phil, and all of my awesome supporters, I am at... wait for it... $241 per episode or 96.4% of the way towards my next goal of $250. Only $9 per episode away, guys! I can't believe it! When I hit this next goal I will be bringing you a full episode of The LAVA Flow every single week instead of every other week. I know you want more content from me and I want to give it to you, so add your pledge today to help me bring you twice the LAVA Flow that you're getting today.

If you want more of the LAVA Flow, exercise your free-market muscles by going to http://thelavaflow.com/support and giving a per-episode donation of as little as a buck an episode using Federal Reserve Notes through Patreon or Bitcoin through Coinbase. I want to be able to bring you more content soon, so make sure to add your donation today to help make that happen!

I also want to thank Mike for sending me $5 in Bitcoin in a single donation. Thanks, Mike! And, finally, Charlie used my affiliate link to sign up for Coinbase at my affiliate link at thelavaflow.com/coinbase and bought at least $100 worth of Bitcoin. For that, he and I both got a free $10 in Bitcoin. You can get a free $10 too by going to thelavaflow.com/coinbase and buying your Bitcoin! Thanks, Charlie!

I also have a new Apple Podcast review this week.

If It It TCU said:

100% Libertarian! If you want an unwavering opinion from a libertarian perspective on current events, then this is a podcast for you. A complete 180 from those ding dongs at We Are Libertarians.

Thanks, TCU! I'm sure Chris Spangle is going to love hearing this one.

If you have a minute, please go to thelavaflow.com/apple and leave me a rating and a review. All the cool kids are doing it. Thank you to everyone who has left me a rating and a review so far. You guys rock!  To all of you who haven't, can you guys help me out and go leave a review for me? Go to thelavaflow.com/apple to do that now.

Until next time... keep striking the root.

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