Tuesday, September 18, 2018

2 PARAGRAPHS 4 LIBERTY: #167 “DEATH FROM BUREAUCRACY”

The article “When Cancer Was Conquerable” by Sarah Constantin in the June 2018 edition of Reason should be required reading for all voters!  In it Ms. Constantin documents how, over the years, the Food and Drug Administration has slowed down the process of creating new approaches to combatting cancer, and made them so highly expensive, that tens of thousands of cancer patients have probably and unnecessarily died as a result.  How is that?  Because, for example, in 1952, before the FDA’s intrusion into the Free Market, a chemist was able to run clinical trials on a new drug successfully to treat leukemia, and was able to have it on the market by 1953.  Similarly, two protocols to treat Hodgkin’s lymphoma were quickly brought to the market in the late 1960s, with the result that complete remission quickly went from barely above zero to 80 percent, with about 60 percent of those people never relapsing.  So now, as a result of this treatment, Hodgkin’s lymphoma is basically regarded as curable. But since those times, the FDA has bureaucratized the process so much that, for example, in 1985, when a new technique called Adoptive Cell Transfer was found to produce regressions in cancerous tumors, it took the FDA until 2017 to grant its approval for the technique to be used.  That’s 32 years!!

Under present-day FDA requirements, most medical tests must now be peer-reviewed, protocols which used to be used as guidelines are now mostly considered to be legally binding, and reporting has given rise to long questionnaires categorizing subjective symptoms along with the requirement of confirming blood tests.  And for what purpose?  As one researcher noted: “It is just not all that important if it was day 5 versus day 6 that the patient’s grade 1 fatigue improved, particularly when the patient then dies on day 40 of uncontrolled cancer.”  And, bluntly, when it comes down to it, shouldn’t patients have the right to choose to use an “experimental” drug, as long as the risks are fully explained?  And even if the drug doesn’t work, shouldn’t patients have the gratification of knowing that they at least helped to show what doesn’t work?  Furthermore, consider this literal fact, Free Market mechanisms alone would provide the proper level of care and protection, as long as risks are fully disclosed and drug makers are held to fully pay for wrongful harm they cause, and these goals are achieved by plaintiffs’ attorneys.  So, bottom line, isn’t the FDA unconscionably interfering in the Liberty of some truly sick people?  Shouldn’t this interference be stopped?

 

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)

2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President, along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Quote of the Week: “The kindest word in all the world is the unkind word, unsaid.” James Ransom (2003 –  2016)

By the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejamesgray, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!

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2 PARAGRAPHS 4 LIBERTY: #172 “Do We Care about Liberty?”

According to the Orange County Register, in May of this year the Director of National Intelligence reported publicly that the National Security Agency collected more than 350 million American call records in the year 2017.   That means that our government has collected records of the telephone numbers called and the time of day that phone calls and text messages were made, but not the content.  But  that is three times the number collected just the year before in 2016!    In addition, 129,080 non-Americans were targeted for “warrantless surveillance” under section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Act in 2017, up from 106,469 the year before and from 89,138 in the year 2013.  Of course, no need to worry because the people affected are non-Americans, right?  Well, no.  Actually, many American citizens can and are also caught up in these warrantless activities, in direct violation of our Fourth Amendment rights.

Recently there was a bi-partisan movement in Congress sponsored by Senators Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) better to control these section 702 activities.  But their bill was voted down, with many of our well known California members of Congress voting against the proposed greater protections.  Of course, it’s almost always politically popular for our elected representatives to show they are “keeping us safe.”  But where is the clamor for Liberty?  I am confident that I know what our country’s Founders would say about this situation, but what do you say?  Do you care?  Will you join me in trying to do something to protect our sacred Liberty?

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)

2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,

 along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

 

Quote of the Week: “Cheer up, things could get worse.”  So he cheered up and, sure enough, things got worse.

By the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejamesgray, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!

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2 PARAGRAPHS 4 LIBERTY: #173 “SOMETHING GOVERNMENT SHOULD DO”

Here’s something that governments should do: provide a system for honest information to be placed into the marketplace so that we as consumers, voters and taxpayers can see what our private choices are and how our tax money is being spent.  As such I support the present requirement that chain restaurants with more than a certain number of outlets provide information about calories and fat contents on their menus.  And I also applaud some legislation now in place in Michigan to require local governments and school districts each year to publish summary reports about public pensions and retiree healthcare plan debts, obligations and expenditures.  What we as consumers, voters and taxpayers do with that information is up to us.  But, from a practical standpoint, we simply don’t have the time or resources to gather this information by ourselves.  So mostly we are blind and often misled, which has allowed school district and public employee’s pension funds nationwide to be drastically underfunded.

     If investigative reporters, watchdog groups, voters and even caring politicians could be armed with accurate information about the status of these pension funds, many good things should result.  And then Liberty can work more effectively.  Honesty in labeling on private products and requirements to list ingredients have been around for decades, and have been effective. It is long since time for that approach to be expanded to other products and to government spending, entitlements and debts.  Governments are uniquely suited to make this needed information available to the public, and it is high time that we require them to do so.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)

2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,

along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

 

TShirt humor: “If a man speaks in a forest, and a woman can’t hear him, is he still wrong?”

(If you have some of your own TShirt humor, please pass it back to me so that it can be shared.)

By the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejamesgray, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!

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2 PARAGRAPHS 4 LIBERTY: #173 “SOMETHING GOVERNMENT SHOULD DO”

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     Here’s something that governments should do: provide a
system for honest information to be placed into the marketplace so that we as
consumers, voters and taxpayers can see what our private choices are and how
our tax money is being spent.  As such I
support the present requirement that chain restaurants with more than a certain
number of outlets provide information about calories and fat contents on their
menus.  And I also applaud some legislation
now in place in Michigan to require local governments and school districts each
year to publish summary reports about public pensions and retiree healthcare
plan debts, obligations and expenditures. 
What we as consumers, voters and taxpayers do with that information is
up to us.  But, from a practical
standpoint, we simply don’t have the time or resources to gather this
information by ourselves.  So mostly we
are blind and often misled, which has allowed school district and public
employee’s pension funds nationwide to be drastically underfunded.
     If
investigative reporters, watchdog groups, voters and even caring politicians could
be armed with accurate information about the status of these pension funds,
many good things should result.
  And then
Liberty can work more effectively.
 
Honesty in labeling on private products and requirements to list
ingredients have been around for decades, and have been effective. It is long
since time for that approach to be expanded to other products and to government
spending, entitlements and debts.
  Governments
are uniquely suited to make this needed information available to the public,
and it is high time that we require them to do so.

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Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)



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2012 Libertarian candidate
for Vice President, 

along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for
President 

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TShirt humor:
“If a man speaks in a forest, and a woman can’t hear him, is he still wrong?”
(If you have some of your own TShirt humor, please pass it
back to me so that it can be shared.) 
By the way, these columns are
now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejamesgray, and
wordpress at
judgejimgray@wordpress.com
Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word
about the importance of Liberty!

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2 PARAGRAPHS 4 LIBERTY: #174 “WOULD YOU TRADE PLACES WITH HENRY VIII?”

Let me ask you a question: if you could, would you change places with England’s Henry VIII?  He was obviously the top dog while he was King of England from 1509 until his death in 1547.  But he lived with an ulcerated wound and pus-filled boils on his legs and probably with undiagnosed gout.  And he probably died of the easily curable disease of scurvy, which is caused by not eating enough fruits and vegetables.  Plus, he lived in a drafty palace, and even in traveling 20 miles he was subjected to the ordeal of being bounced around in his horse-drawn carriage.  So, when you think about it, probably everyone reading these words has a better life than did Henry VIII.  (And, besides, who wants to have six wives . . . .)  How has it been possible for us to have such comparatively better lives?  The answer is technology, as spurred on by the Free Enterprise System.  In fact, over the last ten years more people have been raised out of poverty due to this system than ever before in the history of mankind.  So when people have Liberty that allows them to profit from their own labors and creativity, under an approach utilizing the wisdom of having economic decisions made by the pricing system instead of by government bureaucrats, they and the rest of the world prosper.  Yes, there still are problems under this approach, but the problems are controllable.

Unfortunately, many of our students are being taught today that the free enterprise system is our enemy. But that is simply not true.  So when that issue raises its head, provide the following example: when the Pilgrims on the Mayflower first landed at Plymouth they employed an approach of socialism, which basically provided “from everyone according to their abilities, to everyone according to their needs.”  The result?  Half of them starved to death in the first year.  But then when they shifted to a program of free enterprise, they thrived.  And that result has been true throughout our history.  Ask East Germany, North Korea, the Soviet Union, Cuba and China under Mao.  So don’t be bashful protecting our Liberty under the Free Enterprise System, because it increases our enjoyment, as well as our life expectancy

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)

2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,

along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

Judge-Jim-Gray

TShirt humor: I purchased a TShirt from a street vendor in St. Petersburg, Russia which said on the front under a sign of McDonald’s Golden Arches: “McLenin’s,” and on the back: “The Party’s Over.”

(If you have some of your own TShirt humor, please pass it back to me so that it can be shared.)

By the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejamesgray, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!

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2 PARAGRAPHS 4 LIBERTY: #174 “WOULD YOU TRADE PLACES WITH HENRY VIII?”

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     Let me ask you a question: if you could, would you change
places with England’s Henry VIII?  He was
obviously the top dog while he was King of England from 1509 until his death in
1547.  But he lived with an ulcerated
wound and pus-filled boils on his legs and probably with undiagnosed gout.  And he probably died of the easily curable
disease of scurvy, which is caused by not eating enough fruits and vegetables.  Plus, he lived in a drafty palace, and even in
traveling 20 miles he was subjected to the ordeal of being bounced around in
his horse-drawn carriage.  So, when you
think about it, probably everyone reading these words has a better life than
did Henry VIII.  (And, besides, who wants
to have six wives . . . .)  How has it
been possible for us to have such comparatively better lives?  The answer is technology, as spurred on by
the Free Enterprise System.  In fact,
over the last ten years more people have been raised out of poverty due to this
system than ever before in the history of mankind.  So when people have Liberty that allows them to
profit from their own labors and creativity, under an approach utilizing the wisdom of having
economic decisions made by the pricing system instead of by government
bureaucrats
,

they and the rest of the world prosper. 
Yes, there still are problems under this approach, but the problems are
controllable. 
     Unfortunately, many of our students
are being taught today that the free enterprise system is our enemy. But that
is simply not true.
  So when that issue
raises its head, provide the following example: when the Pilgrims on the
Mayflower first landed at Plymouth they employed an approach of socialism,
which basically provided “from everyone according to their abilities, to
everyone according to their needs.”
  The
result?
  Half of them starved to death in
the first year.
  But then when they
shifted to a program of free enterprise, they thrived.
  And that result has been true throughout our
history.
  Ask East Germany, North Korea, the
Soviet Union, Cuba and China under Mao.
  So
don’t be bashful protecting our Liberty under the Free Enterprise System,
because it increases our enjoyment, as well as our life expectancy

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Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)



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2012 Libertarian candidate
for Vice President, 

along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for
President 



TShirt humor: I purchased a TShirt from a street vendor in
St. Petersburg, Russia which said on the front under a sign of McDonald’s
Golden Arches: “McLenin’s,” and on the back: “The Party’s Over.”
(If you have some of your own TShirt humor, please pass it
back to me so that it can be shared.) 


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By the way, these columns are
now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejamesgray, and
wordpress at
judgejimgray@wordpress.com
Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word
about the importance of Liberty!




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2 PARAGRAPHS 4 LIBERTY: #170 “SOMETIMES WE ALL NEED MENTORING”

When I was a judge on the Municipal Court, a public defender I worked with once told me that, from his experience, the biggest antidote to prostitution was having a job.  That made sense to me so, with his assistance, I set up a probation calendar in which people convicted of prostitution were required to report back to my court and furnish proof that they had submitted their resumes to identified possible employers.  And this would continue until they had found a job and stayed at it for a month.  Well, I am gratified to say, it worked.  Then when probationers were successful in obtaining a job, I would put them on the calendar first where, each time the successful applicants recounted without exception about how much better their lives had become.  In fact, one of them said that she actually went back to prostitution on one occasion thereafter, and actually got sick to her stomach at the degradation. Of course, while these women (I never had any men on the program) were recounting their experiences, the other probationers were listening and, hopefully, being inspired.

Why bring up this situation in our 2 Paragraphs series?  Because sometimes all of us – older as well as younger – need some mentoring and inspiration to show us that we too can be successful or get back on track.  Yes, we all as adults at least should have the Liberty to go our own way, as long as that doesn’t wrongfully affect other adults from being able to doing the same.  But sometimes as we exercise that Liberty we need a booster shot.  Of course, by the way, all of us also have the Liberty to be that mentor.  And few things in life bring as much gratification!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)

2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,

along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

judgejimgray-ocreg-2011 (3)

Quote of the Week: “If you scare people to death, they’ll do anything you tell them to do.  Governments have known this since the dawn of time.”  Susan Shelley, Columnist

By the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejamesgray, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!

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