Sunday, July 24, 2016

Moose Ticks, Bad Winters for Deer, Ignorant Rural Bumpkins and Other Government Lies

By Jim Beers  

Whether you live in Minnesota or the Upper Rockies or on the West Coast or in the Carolinas or in the Southwest – as they say in poker, “READ ‘EM AND WEEP”! Wolves vs. Hunters datais an eye-opener.

Note the “wolves up/ deer (elk and moose too?) down” numbers by County and the tiny/tiny the presence of wolves “On reservations”. Could this indicate apparent “intolerance” (what do they do, just go “POOF”?) of wolves “on reservations”? If memory serves, weren’t the Native American communities all for “cooperating and partnering” with USFWS, often over state objections, to restore the “sacred” wolves?

As a cynical and suspicious old law enforcement guy, I suspect that the wolf that crossed the Lake Superior ice recently from Isle Royale National Park to reach a Minnesota “Reservation” on the mainland then met his demise from a bullet fired by a “reservation” or tribal member that subsequently went uncharged is not the only wolf to get his last glimpse of wolf habitat on some “reservation”. I apologize if this make me a bad person to think such things but so be it.

Such “crimes” have become like the (non?) prosecution of felonies in urban centers involving “protesting” minorities. That is to say such crimes are only vilified in the media and/or “taken to court” if you are white and male as with the currently “secret” Bundy prosecution in federal court using “terrorism” laws for a ranch family with just grievances about “taking property” and destruction of private property by a sister agency (BLM) of the USFWS. It is USFWS that placed, spread and protected wolves with stolen Millions (Excise Taxes from arms and ammunition) collected for and earmarked by law for State Wildlife Agency Programs that, even after a Government Audit to a House Resources Committee by the General Accounting Office verified the theft and unauthorized use of the money by federal bureaucrats. Then, to double the scandal, State Directors never even asked for the stolen millions to be replaced and all the USFWS managers not only went unpunished but went on to ever-greater careers and positions in lobby groups and federal bureaucracy down to the present day.

Let’s hear it for the State Wildlife Agencies and the Departments of Natural Resources and “our” hunting lobby organizations and “our” Universities that “partner”, lie, and finagle about this federal bureaucracy/federal law oppression of rural America! They are as big an apologist source for all this rural destruction as the White House et al is for illegal immigration and clandestine, unlimited placement in the US of “refugees” from Middle Eastern war zones full of people that will kill us but are described as harmless and deserving.
If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others. Thanks.

Jim Beers is a retired US Fish and life Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC. He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands. He has worked for the Utah Fish and Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC. He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish and Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority. He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

Jim Beers is available to speak or for consulting.

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Beware the Islamic Trojan Horse

By A.F. Branco July 24, 2016


Media shielding Islam from connection to terror

By John McMahon

Note the emphasis on mental illness and the omission of any reference to Islam. The Left is hard at work in the media. It is little wonder that the followers of Islam and the admirers of Muhammad develop mental health problems given that the Koran and the Hadith were written by a man subject to fits......Read more

Entire Russian olympic team will be banned from competing in Rio

By Rick Moran

The Daily Mail and other sources are reporting that the entire Russian olympic team of athletes - 387 sportsmen and sportswomen - will be banned by the International Olympic Committee from competing in the 2016 games that begin next month. The ban is the result of the Russian government's sponsorship of illegal doping of athletes. The entire Russian athletic association, from top to bottom, was involved in systematically violating international rules on illegal drugs and blood doping, where an athlete's blood supply is enriched with oxygen...... More

Wikileaks emails reveal DNC conspiracy in anti-Trump protests

By Thomas Lifson

The Democrats and the media allies understand politics as stagecraft, and do not hesitate to manufacture and market as genuine astroturf events when they think it is in their interest. They work together as “allies.” Alex Pfeiffer of The Daily Caller:
The release of Democratic National Committee emails by WikiLeaks Friday reveals that DNC officials planned anti-Donald Trump protests. In multiple emails DNC officials sign off and acknowledge the existence of two anti-Donald Trump protests in South Bend, IN. and Billings, MT. There are only hints of the magnitude of the conspiracy involved: Intern involvement with protests is mentioned twice in the leaked emails. DNC communications director Luis Miranda bemoaned photos of an empty anti-Trump protest in Washington, D.C. in one email chain. Miranda said: “Going forward, when our allies screw up and don’t deliver bodies in time, we either send all our interns out there or we stay away from it.. we don’t want to own a bad picture.”
So, who are these allies? .......Read here

A Third Stage for Civil Rights

By Larry Elgin

In the 1960s, as a law student, I became, successively, a writer for, and then the editor of my law school’s newspaper. In that capacity I began criticizing segregation. One could not write about segregation without saying that it was wrong and unjustifiable. As one of my professors put it, you could not acknowledge that blacks have a soul and justify segregation.

I soon went beyond writing about it. I was drawn into participating in the Civil Rights Movement. A friend of mine since high school, who was also a law school classmate, became active in the Movement and went frequently in that capacity into the heart of the Mississippi Delta, real Faulkner country. He was beaten up by the Klan. He was in the thick of the struggle. He persuaded a number of us fellow students to go down and assist in the Movement.

At one point, the authorities in Mississippi, under pressure from the federal courts, had to integrate the schools, but were still operating segregated school buses. My friend was following one of the buses to document this illegal segregation and the authorities arrested him. He was charged first with reckless driving and then that was altered (with a ball point pen as the trial began) into violation of a state statute making it a crime to follow a motor vehicle too closely. This was in Issaquena County, by the Yazoo River, in its county seat, Meyersville....... Read more

Liberal Failures are Killing America

By David Lawrence  @

Liberal Failure

A liberal is standing on a map of America stabbing it.  He is progressive. He is secular.  He is the die-is-cast for a lack of values.  He is one foot in the river and his face drowning in contradictions. A liberal commits himself to an ideology like Caesar crossing the Rubicon.  He is dedicated to secular stupidity. He can’t go back because no one has his back. He is surrounded by a group of traitors singing soft betrayals.  Liberals are Sirens singing Obama’s toneless concept of change. They are reformers destroying things as they are.  They are the reason you can’t get a good education at Harvard. ......

Mass Shooting Not Stopped by Germany’s Strict Gun Laws [VIDEO]

By Dave Jolly

Every time there is a mass shooting in the US, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other liberal Constitution haters blame guns and call for stricter gun control laws. I’ve yet to hear a liberal Democrat ever blame the evil and sin in men’s hearts as being responsible for mass shootings as it’s always the fault of guns and gun laws. Some liberals have even tried to pass legislation to make gun manufacturers liable for the violence of the criminal using their firearm. This makes as much sense as making General Motor liable for the actions of someone who intentionally uses a Chevy to run over someone, or making Ortho responsible for a wife using their bug poison to murder her husband.

Nevertheless, Hillary and Obama continually try to blame our lack of anti-Second Amendment laws for all of the mass shootings here in the US. They seem to ignore that many of the states and cities, like Chicago, that have the strictest gun control laws in the nation are also among the places with the highest rates of gun violence.

So let’s look at the mass shooting that just took place at the Munich, Germany shopping mall......To Read More...

Criminal Gang Hunting Pro-Trump Hispanics?

By Tim Brown

It’s no secret that illegals and many who are lawless in this country have been openly opposed to many of the things GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump has said and several of his policies. Now, it is being reported that the notorious Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang are intimidating pro-Trump delegates who are Hispanic.  At least one reporter is claiming to have spoken to several delegates who are being targeted by the gang, along with their families.

Wayne Madsen reports:......To

My Presidential Choice

I periodically get asked who should be in the White House.

Since I’m a policy wonk rather than a political pundit, I generally sidestep the question.

Though it probably isn’t too hard to figure out my preference if you peruse what I’ve written about previous presidents.

I’m a huge fan of both Ronald Reagan and Calvin Coolidge, for instance.

But I’m definitely not partisan. I’ve also said nice things about John F. Kennedy and even Bill Clinton.

And to further demonstrate my independence, it’s time for me to endorse another Democrat.
Yes, you read correctly. The person I want in the White House is….(drum roll, please)…the 22nd and 24th President of the United States, Grover Cleveland.

He’s mostly famous for being the only President to serve non-consecutive terms (he won in 1884, lost in 1888, and won again in 1992). And perhaps also for marrying a 21-year woman while in the White House.

But he should be remembered instead – and with great fondness – for his belief in classical liberal principles.

Let’s start with this blurb from his Wikipedia page.
Cleveland was the leader of the pro-business Bourbon Democrats who opposed high tariffs, Free Silver, inflation, imperialism, and subsidies to business, farmers, or veterans. His crusade for political reform and fiscal conservatism made him an icon for American conservatives of the era. Cleveland won praise for his honesty, self-reliance, integrity, and commitment to the principles of classical liberalism. He relentlessly fought political corruption, patronage, and bossism. …He also used his appointment powers to reduce the number of federal employees, as many departments had become bloated with political time-servers. …Cleveland used the veto far more often than any president up to that time.
Perhaps his most glorious moment came when he rejected the Texas Seed Bill.
After a drought had ruined crops in several Texas counties, Congress appropriated $10,000 to purchase seed grain for farmers there. Cleveland vetoed the expenditure. In his veto message, he espoused a theory of limited government:
I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the general government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. …the lesson should be constantly enforced that, though the people support the government, the government should not support the people. The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood.
Wow, can you imagine any President saying these words today?

President Cleveland’s steadfast behavior and sound principles have garnered him some well-deserved praise.

Writing for Investor’s Business Daily back in 2011, Paul Whitfield opined about Cleveland’s track record.
If free-market advocates could resurrect a U.S. president to deal with today’s problems, many would choose Grover Cleveland. …He vetoed hundreds of spending bills, refusing to succumb to political temptation whether it was wrapped in patriotism or sob stories. …Union military veterans had become a powerful special interest group. Expenditures on their pensions increased about 500% over 20 years… When Congress passed a bill granting pensions to veterans for injuries not caused by military service, he vetoed it. …He vetoed 414 bills during his eight years — 1885-89 and 1893-97 — in the White House, forcing Congress to curb its appetite for spending.
President Cleveland even had a libertarian approach to overseas entanglements.
Cleveland had a simple approach to foreign policy. He said America should “never get caught up in conflict with any foreign state unless attacked or otherwise provoked.”
Let’s go back even further in time. Here’s some of what Lawrence Reed wrote in 1996.
I give high marks to those presidents who actively sought to uphold the Constitution, and who worked to expand the frontiers of freedom. I’ll take a president who leaves us alone over one who can’t keep his hands out of other people’s pockets any day of the week. Honesty, frugality, candor, and a love for liberty are premium qualities in my kind of president. The one man among post-war presidents (post-Civil War, that is) who exemplified those qualities best was Grover Cleveland… Cleveland took a firm stand against a nascent welfare state. Frequent warnings against the redistributive nature of government were characteristic of his tenure. He regarded as a “serious danger” the notion that government should dispense favors and advantages to individuals or their businesses. …Disdainful of pork barrel politics, he felt that those who would use and gain from such projects should pay for them. …He rightly argued that tariffs stifle competition, raise prices, and violate the people’s freedom to patronize the sellers of their choice.
The article points out that Cleveland wasn’t perfect.

Indeed, the squalid Department of Agriculture was elevated to the Cabinet during his tenure.
But, on net, he pushed for liberty. Heck, look at this quote from President Cleveland, which Lawrence Reed shared in an article from 1999.
When more of the people’s sustenance is exacted through the form of taxation than is necessary to meet the just obligations of government and the expense of its economical administration, such exaction becomes ruthless extortion and a violation of the fundamental principles of a free government.
Wow. Taxation to fund beyond limited government equals “ruthless extortion.” That warms my libertarian heart!

Robert Higgs, the great economic historian, shared another great quote from President Cleveland.
Cleveland believed in keeping government expenditure at the minimum required to carry out essential constitutional functions. “When a man in office lays out a dollar in extravagance,” declared Cleveland, “he acts immorally by the people.”
Let’s begin to wrap up with some wisdom from Burton Folsom, who wrote about President Cleveland for the Freeman back in 2004.
For a U.S. president, one test of this courage is the willingness to veto bad bills— bills that spend too much money or that contradict Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution. In that test of character, perhaps no president passed more convincingly than Grover Cleveland… During Cleveland’s first term (1885–1889), he vetoed 414 bills, more than twice the total vetoed by all previous presidents. …Over half of Cleveland’s vetoes involved pensions to Civil War veterans. Congressmen, especially Republicans, were increasingly trying to funnel taxpayer dollars to unqualified veterans in hopes of capturing “the soldier vote.”
Sadly, politicians today not only go after the “soldier vote,” but also the “farmer vote,” the “elderly vote,” the “urban vote,” etc, etc, etc.

And we don’t have principled leaders like Grover Cleveland with a veto pen.

Let’s look at some historical budget data to understand how truly lucky the nation was during Cleveland’s era. During the 1880s, in his first term, total primary spending (which is total outlays minus expenditures for net interest) averaged just 1.7 percent of GDP.

And this was before the income tax was enacted. After all, there was no need to have a punitive levy when the fiscal burden of government was so small.

P.S. Barton Folsom was the narrator of the superb video from Prager University on government-controlled investment.

American Council on Science and Health

Bacteria From Your Pet’s Mouth: How Dangerous Is It? -With a reported mortality rate of 30 percent, awareness of susceptibility to Capnocytophaga canimorsus infection is important for immune-suppressed groups. But otherwise it's OK for your dog to lick you.
Read more
When at the Bar, Understand Red Faces and the ‘Asian Flush’ - The Asian Flush, also known as the Asian Glow, or Alcohol Flush Reaction, can be pretty debilitating. The condition is usually associated with red faces, and flushing of the neck area. But for some of Asian descent, it also results in symptoms such as heightened heart rate, headache, and nausea -- from consuming as little as one alcoholic drink. Read more
Cold Viruses Attack When Your Immune System Is Cold - A colder temperature slows down a viral-infected cell's ability to commit suicide. 
Read more
MEND: Pilot Study Reverses Cognitive Impairment of Alzheimer’s - A small pilot study detailed 10 cases of people with a particular gene. Patients who discontinued their personalized MEND protocol showed cognitive decline again, while those patients who remained had sustained improvement for up to four years later. Read more
This Caused Smoking to Drop 10% in a Year; Why Isn’t the CDC Cheering? - What's responsible for the sharp decline in smoking prevalence? The 13 percent smoking rate among 18-to-24-year olds last year is almost half as it was a decade ago. And the inescapable fact is that e-cigarettes, used by, among others, 2.5 million former smokers, are not impeding the dramatic, welcome decline in cigarette smoking. Read more
Europe Doesn't Care if Poor Countries Have Food or Money - Despite the common notion among Americans that Europe is a progressive, technologically advanced utopia, the reality is that the continent — when it comes to matters of science — is rather backward.  Read more
Zika: Are We Looking in the Wrong Direction? - Earlier this year, the CDC reported that the Zika virus can be transmitted through sexual contact and followed with recommendations for the its prevention. And yet, policy makers and the media are still keeping the focus of the conversation on mosquitoes. Read more
Hey Food Companies: Try Treating Women Like Adults - Most women aren’t ingrates who take their healthy children and fully-stocked kitchens for granted. And they absolutely don’t want to take away food choices from other mothers around the world – which is really the long game for the anti-GMO movement. Read more
Clinical Trial Reveals New Hope For Postpartum Depression - Early results from a phase II clinical trial shows promise for curbing postpartum depression (PPD), a rare but extreme mood disorder which affects new mothers. Read more
Necrobiome: There Is No Death With Dignity - What happens when we die? This question is both existential and biological. While scientists cannot address the first, they certainly can address the second. And what happens to your body after you die is not pretty.  Read more
Holmes: Self-made Billionaire or Con Artist? - Imagine walking into your local Walgreens and, following an almost undetectable pin-prick to the finger and a 10 minute wait, you learn that you are HIV negative, not pregnant, anemic and have a low platelet count. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? That snapshot into easy and inexpensive blood work was a vision that many people found enticing.  Read more
Zika: What the Hell is Going On? - Things do not make much sense with Zika. Given the advances in molecular biology and monitoring over the past 35 years, one might expect that getting the answers about another “new” pathogen, Zika, would be quick and easy. But, not in this case. All we know for sure is that the butler didn't do it. Read more
Let's Talk About the Bad Science Being Funded - We hold an idealized view that science is rarely fallible. Yet many fields are filled with publications of low-powered studies with perhaps the majority being wrong. Spectacular failures to replicate key scientific findings have been documented of late, particularly in biology, psychology and medicine. Read more
Is DEET Bad For You? A Very Good Time to Know -  Most Americans are going to be slathering ourselves in DEET this  summer. Given that, it is inevitable that many out there will to try  to scaremonger it. So, here is quick primer about its properties, with  special emphasis on safetyRead more
Gonorrhea Is On Its Way to Being Unstoppable - The issue of antibiotic resistance continues to rear its ugly  head with the CDC's recent release of a surveillance study on the  antimicrobial susceptibility of gonorrhea. The results are  troublingRead more

An Artificial Pancreas For Type 1 Diabetics? - Around three million Americans have type 1 diabetes. Type 1  diabetes results from a deficiency in insulin, which is produced by the  beta-islet cells of the pancreas. One future goal is an artificial  pancreas system that may help patients have better control in  preventing life-threatening hypoglycemic episodesRead more
Religious People Really Do Have More Children - People with large families want you to stop assuming they're  religious. A recent article discussed the plight of large secular families  that must answer questions from strangers who assume they’re  religious. Unfortunately for them, recent findings beg to differ.  Read more
The Last Statin Standing Sits Down - As reported in yesterday’s New York Times, Crestor, the only statin drug that still retained patent protection, has it no longer. From now on, you will be buying rosuvastatin—the generic name of the drug. Read more
I.V.F. Treatment Not Linked With Breast Cancer Risk - A series of studies during the past two decades suggest that the long-standing worry among women—that in vitro fertilization (IVF) carries an increased risk for breast cancer— has no merit. The most recent findings should help to put women at ease. Read more
Crystal Hefner's Decision Was Based on Bad Science - It is all over the news that Crystal Hefner, wife of Playboy entrepreneur Hugh Hefner, elected to have her breast implants removed because she believed that they “were slowly poisoning her.” Science is not on her side. Not even close. What is the source of information that drove her to this level of concern? If she has based her decision on the unsubstantiated belief that silicone polymers are toxic to humans, then her worry and fear is unwarranted. Read more
Working Toward a Vaccine For Chlamydia - Earlier this week the CDC created a panic among healthcare workers when they released data confirming growing resistance to the antibiotics used in the treatment of Gonorrhea. While it appears we are on our way to losing the battle against antibiotic resistance, not all hope is lost for the fight against another sexually transmitted infection (STI) – Chlamydia. Read more

For Somerville, MA it's Black Lives Matter, not All Lives

July 23, 2016 12

police officers that a Black Lives Matter banner be removed from City Hall and replaced with one that says “All Lives Matter.”  The sign above the main entrance to Somerville City Hall has been in place for nearly a year.   Somerville Police Employees Association President Michael McGrath writes in a letter sent Tuesday to Mayor Joseph Curtatone that officers are “deeply troubled” the current banner remains. The letter says it’s “inconceivable” and “demoralizing” that the banner remains, given recent attacks on police across the country.  Curtatone denied the request, saying in a statement that his “unwavering support for our police officers does not and cannot preempt our commitment to addressing systemic racism in our nation.”......To Read More....

Christian baker takes 'compulsion of speech' case to Supremes

Masterpiece Cakeshop owner appeals Colorado demand he promote 'gay marriage'

Bob Unruh

Jack Phillips, the baker whose Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado was targeted by homosexual activists over his religious beliefs, an attack then joined by the state of Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission, is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court to veto the state’s “outright compulsion of speech.”..... “The First Amendment prohibits the government from telling private citizens ‘what they must say,'”.......“Neither should CADA ban Jack Phillips’ polite declining to create a cake celebrating same-sex marriage on the religious grounds when he is happy to create other items for gay and lesbian clients.”

The Colorado state Supreme Court earlier, in a decision by a judge who boasts on a state website of being a homosexual-rights advocate through the Denver mayor’s “GLBT Commission” and three others, refused to intervene in the case....... Read more

Number of LA teachers in detention on the rise, as taxpayers foot ‘prohibitively expensive’ bill


A year ago, the Los Angeles Unified School District said it was taking steps to reduce the number of teachers relegated to “rubber rooms” — a derisive term for the place where school staff members land when accused of misconduct of one kind or another and are deemed unfit to be around students.  A year later, there are more staff in “teacher jail” than before, and it’s no easier to get rid of the really bad apples.  While the situation is not optimal for teachers or students, it’s even worse for the district, which continues to pay salaries to staff members who aren’t producing anything........“Hopefully, California’s Supreme Court will see that the state’s dismissal, tenure, and seniority laws violate students’ right to a quality education,” Izumi added...............Larry Sand, a former teacher and head of the California Teachers Empowerment Network, concurs with Izumi’s assessment.  “Due to the byzantine dismissal statutes that are in the state education code — the same union-mandated statutes the Vergara litigants are trying to rewrite — it is very difficult to get rid of an under-performing or even criminal teacher. It is also prohibitively expensive,” ........To Read More...

Research group says jobs keep inmates from returning to prison


Ex-cons need jobs.  That’s the simple takeaway from a new report by Florida TaxWatch, a non-partisan government watchdog.  The Tallahassee-based research institute released a criminal justice reform report this week in which it spotlights Florida’s high rate of recidivism, or when freed inmates relapse into criminal behavior and return to prison.   “Employment keeps people out of our prisons,” said Florida TaxWatch Center for Smart Justice Co-Chairman Kenneth Bell, who’s also a former state supreme court justice.

Putting released inmates to work would increase public safety and help combat Florida’s over-incarceration problem, the group contends. That problem, incidentally, is costing taxpayers billions.
Christopher Torres, a veteran state prosecutor-turned Tallahassee criminal defense attorney, agrees. Torres told in an interview that more of the funding pouring into the state criminal justice system needs to go towards teaching inmates job skills and trades.......To Read More....

'Allahu Akbar' gunman slaughters children in Munich

Gunman among 10 dead – used Facebook to lure victims to mall for planned terror attack

A gunman shouting “Allahu Akbar” burst out of a bathroom at a McDonald’s restaurant and opened fire on children before rampaging through a nearby shopping mall.  Ten are now confirmed dead, including the gunman, following the “shooting spree” at the shopping center in Munich, Germany.
Authorities have identified the shooter as Ali David Sonboly, 18, a taxi driver’s son who had both German and Iranian citizenship. He had been living in Munich two years.

Sonboly used an illegal Glock 9mm pistol and was carrying 300 rounds of ammunition in his backpack when he went on what police are calling a “classic shooting rampage”.  The pistol’s serial number had been removed and police are now trying to trace how he came in possession of it......... Read more

Colorado Dems: What does giving federal land to states mean?

By (@kyle_feldscher)

More than 20 Colorado Democrats want Donald Trump and the rest of his party to explain what they meant by returning all public lands to the states.  The GOP platform, adopted during the convention this week, calls for immediately passing legislation that would see the federal government transfer all public lands to the states. The group of Democrats, which includes Sen. Michael Bennet and three congressmen and women, wants to know the specifics of that proposal.  The group argued in the letter sent Friday that if the federal government transferred all of its land to Colorado it would amount to 23.9 million acres, about the size of Indiana. The Democrats want to know how maintaining those lands would be paid for......To Read More....

The Consequences of Militarized Police Forces

On Thursday 7 July 2016 during a Dallas protest of the killings of Philando Castle and Alton Sterling an attack on officers tasked to watch left five dead and an additional seven hospitalized. Politicians offered up meaningless platitudes and appear to use the attack as a method to gain exposure, offering up little in the way of understanding or real solutions. Additionally, media outlets are also missing the boat, claiming this attack is caused by racial tension.

However, the truth is far deeper than this and is, in fact, a natural consequence of the militarization of American police forces which in turn is the natural progression of police forces operated by the state.

The state, with greater concern of protecting its own power base and its own agents, have begun to outfit small rural towns with heavy military equipment, such as hotbeds of violence like Ames, Iowa, homicide rate of 0 last year and Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, homicide rate 0.

This is not including the rapid expansion of such military ordinance in larger cities around the country. The Department of Defense has looked to distribute 13,000 Mine Resistant military vehicles around the United States......To Read More....

My Take - Although I don't think anyone can be happy with the militarization of police forces and worse yet - federal bureaucracies - I think the concept of  free market police forces is as loony as a free market military. 

Obama is not a scientist. JAMA shouldn't pretend he is

The Journal of the American Medical Assn. recently published a very unusual article: a scientific study authored by a sitting president of the United States. That’s never happened before.
In a sense, it’s cool that President Obama cares enough about science to want to publish a paper in one of the world’s leading medical journals. But JAMA has set a bad precedent. The article, on healthcare reform in the United States, is problematic not only in its content but in the threat it poses to the integrity of scientific publishing.  Let’s set aside the debate on whether the specific numbers in the article are factual. (Of course, there is certainly room to question Obama’s data. The president writes that “[t]rends in healthcare costs … have been promising,” even though healthcare spending per capita continues to increase.)....To Read More....

Let’s Talk About The Bad Science Being Funded

Posted on by admin

Spectacular failures to replicate key scientific findings have been documented of late, particularly in biology, psychology and medicine.   A report on the issue, published in Nature this May, found that about 90% of some 1,576 researchers surveyed now believe there is a reproducibility crisis in science.

While this rightly tarnishes the public belief in science, it also has serious consequences for governments and philanthropic agencies that fund research, as well as the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors. It means they could be wasting billions of dollars on research each year.
One contributing factor is easily identified. It is the high rate of so-called false discoveries in the literature. They are false-positive findings and lead to the erroneous perception that a definitive scientific discovery has been made.

This high rate occurs because the studies that are published often have low statistical power to identify a genuine discovery when it is there, and the effects being sought are often small.
Further, dubious scientific practices boost the chance of finding a statistically significant result, usually at a probability of less than one in 20. In fact, our probability threshold for acceptance of a discovery should be more stringent, just as it is for discoveries of new particles in physics.
The English mathematician and the father of computing Charles Babbage noted the problem in his 1830 book Reflections on the Decline of Science in England, and on Some of Its Causes. He formally split these practices into “hoaxing, forging, trimming and cooking”.

‘Trimming and cooking’ the data today.....
Publish or perish .......
Good science suffers .....

We hold an idealized view that science is rarely fallible, particularly biology and medicine. Yet many fields are filled with publications of low-powered studies with perhaps the majority being wrong........To Read More....

Cry Havoc and Let Slip the Dogs of War

By Rich Kozlovich

Act Three, scene one of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar: "Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war".  In the middle ages the word havoc was used to give permission for armies to loot, plunder and usually rape in any town they conquered, and that's what's happening with local and federal prosecutors and State's Attorney's General....and more.

An article by Timothy Cama entitled, Exxon allies cry foul over law firm in climate probe, states:
Exxon Mobil Corp.’s allies are crying foul over the role of a law firm involved in the fight over the oil giant's history with climate change.  State attorneys general are looking into allegations Exxon knew its past stance denying climate change was wrong and committed fraud.  
But the investigation by the U.S. Virgin Islands is being conducted by Cohen Milstein Sellers and Toll, a Washington, D.C. law firm with an entire practice dedicated to helping state attorneys general with complex litigation.Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker (I) gave authority to Cohen Milstein attorney Linda Singer to investigate — on his behalf — whether Exxon committed fraud, in violation of territorial law....

From Exxon Mobil's point of view - and I think rightly so - “It’s a blueprint for how to shakedown and harass scores of individuals and groups who cannot afford to protect their rights against an abusive government lawsuit."......The author goes on to quote the prosecutor as saying in Exxon violated the anti-racketeering law of the territory of the Virgin Islands.  Really?

What I find unique is the company does no business in the Virgin Islands, so how can they be violating Virgin Island's anti-racketeering laws?  And using a legal theory that conduct outside the jurisdiction of the Virgin Islands impacts the health and well being of Virgin Islanders puts them in a position to prosecute anyone in the world for anything the prosecutors dislike.  Right?  Did I miss something there?

This whole thing about hiring outside attorneys may be problematic and needs to be dealt with, but corrupt thinking is the real issue.  The belief that  prosecutors can abuse their power to prosecute political enemies for political gain when there is no criminal behavior.

Former Ted Stevens case is one example of the corruption of the system by government prosecutors, where at least eight of whom were guilty of prosecutorial misconduct....and this is a trend all over the country today.  

In an article by  she writes regarding the Stevens case:
 "former prosecutor Sidney Powell .......argues that the forces that helped destroy Marsh were part of an increasingly rabid and unethical Justice Department that evolved after the collapse of Enron. The main problem with the Justice Department, she argues, is what one judge called "an epidemic of Brady violations in the land."....." federal prosecutors often break the so-called Brady rule, which requires them to turn over evidence that could work in the defendant's favor during the discovery phase of a case (when each side of a case turns over evidence to the other)."
The case was overturned but by then Stevens lost his re-election bid to retain his Senate seat, which  Marc Sheppard called a hijacked election.  Sheppard goes on to say: "And that appears to be but the tip of the corrupt iceberg.  Allegations also include witness relocation, failure to forward evidence to the FBI, improper investigation revelations and much more."

And what happened to these prosecutor's clearly illegal actions?
"Two prosecutors engaged in “reckless professional misconduct.” One received a 40-day suspension without pay; the other, a 15-day suspension without pay — “punishment” that pales next to the misconduct.....One supervisor in the department’s Public Integrity Section was found to have “exercised poor judgment by failing to supervise certain aspects of the disclosure process.” There was no punishment at all for the most senior prosecutor in the case.
This article goes on to say:
The department has said that such misconduct happens only rarely. But most times the defense does not find out when prosecutors hold back exculpatory evidence. The Innocence Project has shown in recent years that there is widespread injustice in our system and many wrongful convictions.
Then there was the case of Republican Representative Tom Delay who was accused of violating Texas campaign laws by Ronnie Earle, "the hyperpartisan Democratic prosecutor", who was the chief prosecutor of Travis County, Texas.

This article in the National Review states:
Knowing that his indictment was doomed, Mr. Earle scrambled to convene a new grand jury in order to secure additional charges. The second grand jury refused to cooperate and rejected Mr. Earle’s plea for a second indictment, issuing what is called a “no bill,” meaning a formal refusal to indict based on the evidence presented.  
Under normal Texas procedure, a no-bill document is made public on the day it is issued; Mr. Earle schemed to keep the grand jury’s rejection of his case secret until he could convene yet another grand jury.  
He found a brand-new one that had just been seated and, with the statute of limitations hanging over his head, wrung out of them indictments on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering after only a few hours of presenting his evidence. The refusal of the second grand jury to indict was kept secret until the third grand jury had done so.
This took 11 years and didn't get resolved until Third District Justice dismissed the case "finding... what is in theory a prosecution but is in fact a persecution."

What happened to Ronnie Earle?  In 2005 Tom Delay's legal team subpoenaed Earle saying, "I am determined to put on record the steps taken by you and your staff to obtain a replacement indictment against my client, Tom DeLay". 

In 2007 he retired as a prosecutor and then in 2010 had a failed run for pubic office.  In short - as far as I can tell, nothing has happened to him, when he should have been wearing prison orange. 

Probably the biggest and best known case involves Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin where Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, launched his infamous John Doe investigations, where they harassed and persecuted perfectly honest conservative citizens for exercising their Constitutional rights.  Not only were the prosecutors corrupt, the corruption was shared with Wisconsin's judiciary.   These John Doe investigations violently invaded people's homes as if they were drug dealers.

David French in his article, Wisconsin’s Shame: ‘I Thought It Was a Home Invasion’ he states:
As if the home invasion, the appropriation of private property, and the verbal abuse weren’t enough, next came ominous warnings. Don’t call your lawyer. Don’t tell anyone about this raid. Not even your mother, your father, or your closest friends. The entire neighborhood could see the police around their house, but they had to remain silent. This was not the “right to remain silent” as uttered by every cop on every legal drama on television — the right against self-incrimination. They couldn’t mount a public defense if they wanted — or even offer an explanation to family and friends.
As for Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm,....he's running for re-election and claiming his John Doe investigations were of the highest ethics and principles.  You may wish to review the 354 part series of Wisconsin's Secret War by

This corrupt thinking isn't just against public officials.

Michael Nifong was the prosecutor, in Durham County, North Carolina who prosecuted six Duke University lacrosse players. I remember reading at the time that Nifong wanted to continue in office for at least one more term in order to get his retirement benefits. He also had a strong black contingent he felt he had to appease in order to be reelected. This case was to be his “gold mine of free advertising” to promote his reelection.

This was clearly a racial case, and initially he had total and complete support from the leftist media and academia. The woman, who was a stripper and black, claimed she was raped by six white members of the 2005–2006 Duke Lacrosse team. Therefore the boys were white, they were rich, and they must be punished. Guilt or innocence was immaterial. The only problem was that the stripper who made the claims lied, and the boys really were innocent.

 But they were white, they were rich, and they must be punished.

As time went by it became clear that Nifong was also lying. He tried to hide, twist or manipulate the evidence, and after an investigation into his conduct was started the charges were dropped, and he was later referred to as a “rogue” prosecutor. Later he had his license to practice law stripped, he pleaded guilty to 27 of 32 charges against him, involving "dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation." Outrageously, he only served ‘one day’ in jail and was fined $500.00. The players families incurred $3 million in legal bills.

When he was sued by the families of the Duke players he actually asked the “state attorney general's office and the Administrative Office of the Courts to pay his legal fees and help defend him, but both offices refused on the grounds that Nifong's actions involved "fraud, corruption (and) malice."  “In response, Nifong's attorney quoted Nifong as saying, "I don't know why I continue to expect people to do the right thing."

All of a sudden “the right thing” became extremely important to him. It didn’t bother him that these boys would have spent years in prison if found guilty, and if they hadn’t been from wealthy families they would have. It is clear that the courts, the prosecutors and the police can’t be trusted to “do the right thing”.  The "right thing" would have been for him to have gone to jail for a lot more than one day.  A lot more.

This kind of thing is nothing more than abuse of power by government officials, and it goes beyond prosecutors.  The EPA the Wildlife Service, and the Corp of Army Engineers are equally guilty of violating fundamental Constitutional rights using the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act as two obvious examples.  These prosecutors and government bureaucrats have been unleashed by their leftist masters as their "dogs of war" crying "havoc" on the nation's citizens. 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

American Conservative Union on Cruz, Trump and Pence

Keeping the Poor Impoverished

Paul Driessen

We are just now entering the age of industrialization, newly elected President Rodrigo Duterte said recently, explaining why the Philippines will not ratify the Paris climate accords. “Now that we’re developing, you will impose a limit? That’s absurd. It’s being imposed upon us by the industrialized countries. They think they can dictate our destiny.”

More developing nations are taking the same stance – and rightly so. They increasingly understand that fossil fuels are needed to modernize, industrialize, and decrease poverty, malnutrition and disease. Many supported the 2015 Paris climate treaty for three reasons.

They are not required to reduce their oil, natural gas and coal use, economic development and greenhouse gas emissions, because doing so would prevent them from improving their people’s living standards.

They want the free technology transfers and trillions of dollars in climate “adaptation, mitigation and reparation” funds that now-wealthy nations promised to pay for alleged climate transgressions. But they now know those promises won’t be kept – especially by countries that absurdly insist on slashing their energy use, economic growth and job creation, while developing countries surge ahead.

Climate has always changed. It is far better to have energy, technology, modern housing and wealth to adapt to, survive, recover from and even thrive amid inevitable warming, cooling and weather events, than to forego these abilities (on the absurd assumption that humans can control climate and weather) – and be forced to confront nature’s onslaughts the way previous generations had to.
The November 7-18 Marrakech, Morocco UN climate conference (COP-22) thus promises to be a lot of hot air, just like its predecessors. Officially, its goal is to accelerate GHG emission reductions, “brainstorm” with government and business leaders to achieve “new levels of cooperation and technology sharing” (and subsidies), and embrace “urgent action” to help African and small island nations survive the supposed ravages of manmade droughts and rising seas.

The true purposes are to pressure industrialized nations to end most fossil fuel use by 2050; intentionally replace free enterprise capitalism with a “more equitable” system; “more fairly” redistribute the world’s wealth and natural resources; and ensure that poor countries develop “sustainably” and not “too much” – all under the direction and control of UN agencies and environmentalist pressure groups.
We might ask: Replace capitalism with what exactly? Dictatorial UN socialism? Redistribute what wealth exactly? After we’ve hobbled developed countries’ energy use, job creation and wealth creation, what will be left? As poor countries get rich, do you UN bureaucrats intend to take and redistribute their wealth to “less fortunate” nations that still fail to use fossil fuels or get rid of their kleptocratic leaders?

Africans are not endangered by manmade climate change. They are threatened by the same droughts and storms they have confronted for millennia, and by the same corrupt leaders who line their own pockets with climate and foreign aid cash, while doing nothing for their people and nothing to modernize their countries. Africa certainly does not need yet more callous corruption dictating its future.
Pacific islanders likewise face no greater perils from seas rising at seven inches per century, than they have from seas that rose 400 feet since the last Ice Age glaciers melted, and their coral islands kept pace with those ocean levels – unless they too fail to use fossil fuel (and nuclear) power to modernize.

The Morocco-Paris-Bali-Rio manmade climate chaos mantra may protect people and planet from climate hobgoblins conjured up by garbage in-garbage out computer models. But it will perpetuate energy and economic poverty, imposed on powerless populations by eco-imperialist US, EU and UN functionaries.
Virtually every other environmentalist dogma has similar effects.

Sustainability precepts demand that we somehow predict future technologies – and ensure that today’s resource needs “will not compromise” the completely unpredictable energy and raw material needs that those unpredictable technologies will introduce. They require that we safeguard the assumed needs of future generations, even when it means ignoring or compromising the needs of currentgenerations – including the needs, aspirations, health and welfare of the world’s poorest people.

Resource depletion claims routinely fail to account for hydraulic fracturing and other new technologies that increase energy and mineral supplies, reduce their costs – or decrease the need for previously essential commodities, as fiber optic cables reduced the need for copper.

Precautionary principles say we must focus on the risks of using chemicals, fossil fuels and other technologies – but never on the risks of not using them. We are required to emphasize minor, alleged, manageable, exaggerated or fabricated risks that a technology might cause, but ignore the risks it would reduce or prevent.

Because of illusory risks from biotechnology, we are to banish GMO Golden Rice and bananas that are rich in beta-carotene (which humans can convert into Vitamin A), and continue letting millions of children go blind or die. We are to accept millions more deaths from malaria, Zika, dengue, yellow fever and other diseases, because of imagined dangers of using DDT and insecticides. Must we also accept millions of cancer deaths, because of risks associated with radiation and chemo therapies?

Over the past three decades, fossil fuels helped 1.3 billion more people get electricity and escape deadly energy and economic poverty – over 830 million because of coal. China connected 99% of its population to the grid, also mostly with coal, enabling its average citizens to be ten times richer and live 32 years longer than five decades previously.

But another 1.2 billion people (the US, Canadian, Mexican and European populations combined) still do not have electricity. Another 2 billion have electrical power only sporadically and unpredictably and must still cook and heat with wood, charcoal and animal dung. Hundreds of millions get horribly sick and five million die every year from lung and intestinal diseases, due to breathing smoke from open fires and not having refrigeration, clean water and safe food. Because of climate “risks,” we are to let this continue.

Of course, as a young black California mother reminded me a few years ago, eco-imperialism is not just a developing country issue. It is a global problem. “Because of their paranoid fear of sprawl,” LaTonya told me, “elitist eco-imperialists employ endless regulations and restrictions that prevent upwardly-mobile people of color from improving their lot in life. Only we, the wealthy and privileged, they seem to insist, can live in nice homes and safe neighborhoods, have good jobs and enjoy modern lifestyles.”

These attitudes, mantras, ideologies and policies are callous, immoral, eco-imperialistic and genocidal. They inflict unconscionable crimes against humanity on the poorest among us. They must no longer be tolerated.

Rich nations used fossil fuels to advance science, create wondrous technologies beyond previous generations’ wildest imaginings, eradicate killer diseases, increase life expectancy from 46 in 1900 to 78 today, and give even poor families better living standards than kings and queens enjoyed a century ago.

Instead of holding poor nations and billions of less fortunate people back still more decades, we are ethically bound to do everything we can to encourage and assist them to throw off their shackles, and join us among the world’s wealthy, healthy, technologically advanced nations.

The Black Heroes Who Took Down the Freddie Gray Hoax

Posted by Daniel Greenfield Friday, July 22, 2016  4 Comments @ The Sultan Knish Blog
Judge Barry G. Williams once again handed the Freddie Gray lynch mob a decisive defeat, shredding the prosecution’s case against Lt. Brian Rice, the highest ranking police officer targeted by the mob.

Judge Williams stated firmly that, the court “cannot be swayed by sympathy, prejudice or public
opinion.” Instead he insisted that it had to follow the law. Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who became a national figure by heading the Freddie Gray lynch mob, did not even bother to show up. She knew what was coming. And she had no interest in following the law.

Unlike Mosby, who quickly became a national figure by championing the prosecution of six police officers after the accidental death of Freddie Gray, a drug dealer injured while being transported to the police station, or Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who supported giving the Baltimore rioters and looters supposedly angry over Gray’s death “space to destroy”, Williams remains strictly local.

And there’s a very good reason for that. It’s the same reason why the media that helped cause the Baltimore riots with their non-stop coverage of the Freddie Gray death haven’t been covering the trials.

Not only is their Freddie Gray hoax being destroyed, trial by trial, based on the lack of evidence, but the destroyer is an articulate and principled African-American judge. Worse still, Judge Williams had prosecuted police misconduct cases for the Justice Department. And when he takes apart the Gray hoax, as he has done in multiple trials, it’s from the standpoint of a uniquely qualified expert. You can see why the media is staying away.

The better part of Judge Williams’ verdicts can be summed up as laying out all the ways in which the prosecution failed to prove its case, did not even bother to prove its case or did not even understand what case it was trying to prove. As in Officer Nero’s verdict where Williams politely mentions that, “In order to convict the defendant of any of the charges under the theory of accomplice liability, the state would have to prove that a crime occurred... The state's theory from the beginning has been one of negligence, recklessness and disregard for duty and orders by this defendant. There has been no information presented at this trial that the defendant intended for any crime to happen.”

This is the judge’s concise explanation that the prosecution has no idea what it’s talking about. You can see why Marilyn Mosby hasn’t been bothering to show up.

The legal case against the six officers consisted of speculation, assumptions and innuendo. The case was baseless, but the fix was in from the White House to the residence of Baltimore’s mayor, and a bad judge would have let it pass. From the start, Judge Barry Williams insisted on sticking to the facts.

The law enforcement officers targeted by #BlackLivesMatter in the Freddie Gray hoax were black and white. Judge Williams treated them all fairly. He kept asking the prosecution the tough questions and the right questions, whether it was in the case of Officer Caesar Goodson, who is black, or Officer Edward Nero, who is white.

After Goodson’s trial, both men embraced. And Goodson was in attendance to hear Lt. Brian Rice’s verdict and then shook his hand in a fine example of blue lives solidarity across racial lines.

And meanwhile Judge Williams continued to stand up for the truth. He dismissed the prosecution’s “rough ride” meme in Goodson’s case as an “inflammatory term”. He asked the entirely common sense question, “If the doctors are not clear as to what would be happening at this point in time, how would the average person or officer without medical training know?"

In the latest case, he wondered whether the fact that Rice didn’t put on Gray’s seat belt made him, “guilty of these crimes”. And he insisted, above all else, that the facts had to be there. He would not rule based on assumptions or insinuations. He would not be a judicial activist. Instead, he said, “As the trier of fact, the court can't simply let things speak for themselves.”

Judge Williams has destroyed the Freddie Gray hoax by asking one question after another. By demanding to see the evidence and by following the law. Despite his devastating statements in court, he has sought no publicity and done no interviews on the case. Instead he did something that is at once ordinary and extraordinary. He did his job.

It’s why he will never be a national figure.

But Judge Williams is not the only African-American hero who shut down the Freddie Gray hoax. There was yet another courageous figure who will also never achieve a national profile because she did the right thing.

Detective Dawnyell Taylor was the lead detective in the Freddie Gray investigation. The prosecution handed her four pages to read to the grand jury right before her appearance. Detective Taylor found inaccurate and distorted statements there. Prosecutors then prevented her from answering questions and didn’t want her case notes on the investigation. So she turned them over to the defense. The notes included a medical examiner’s statement to her that Freddie Gray’s death was a “freakish accident, and that no human hands can cause this” despite claiming at trial that it was homicide.

The prosecution attempted to silence her again, but Judge Williams allowed her to testify.

In a disturbing moment in the courtroom, a member of the prosecution team insisted that she had been removed from the investigation. Detective Taylor replied, “You made the request, but you don't have the authority to remove me.” That moment summed up the corrupt machinery at work in Baltimore.

The Freddie Gray hoax was a rigged game. It took courage to expose it. And that’s what Judge Williams and Detective Taylor did. Despite the threat of riots and warnings of more violence, they did their jobs. Despite the damage to their careers for opposing the agenda of the national and local governments, they stood up for the truth. Despite the encouragement of the media, they did what was right.

The Freddie Gray hoax has made national figures out of hacks like Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby, but has left the heroes like Judge Barry Williams and Detective Dawnyell Taylor in the dark. And that is something that we should remedy.

Despite the claims of racism, the Freddie Gray hoax was fought in a mostly black city between black officials. Even half the police officers charged in the case were black. The Freddie Gray case came down not to black or white, but to telling the truth and doing the right thing. And we should remember that despite what we often see on the news, despite the riots and the murders of police officers, there were African-American heroes in Baltimore who stood between the #BlackLivesMatter lynch mob and the police.

Decline of Empire: Parallels Between the U.S. and Rome

By Doug Casey

But before continuing, please seat yourself comfortably. This article will necessarily cover exactly those things you’re never supposed to talk about—religion and politics—and do what you’re never supposed to do, namely, bad-mouth the military. There are good reasons for looking to Rome rather than any other civilization when trying to see where the U.S. is headed. Everyone knows Rome declined, but few people understand why. And, I think, even fewer realize that the U.S. is now well along the same path for pretty much the same reasons, which I’ll explore shortly.

Rome reached its peak of military power around the year 107 when Trajan completed the conquest of Dacia (the territory of modern Romania). With Dacia, the empire peaked in size, but I’d argue it was already past its peak by almost every other measure. The U.S. reached its peak relative to the world, and in some ways its absolute peak, as early as the 1950s. In 1950 this country produced 50% of the world’s GNP and 80% of its vehicles. Now it’s about 21% of world GNP and 5% of its vehicles. It owned two-thirds of the world’s gold reserves; now it holds one-fourth. It was, by a huge margin, the world’s biggest creditor, whereas now it’s the biggest debtor by a huge margin. The income of the average American was by far the highest in the world; today it ranks about eighth, and it’s slipping........ But it’s not just the U.S.—it’s Western civilization that’s in decline......To Read More...

My Take - As in all historical comparisons there's some valid and some not so valid observations -  leading to correct and incorrect conclusions.  This one is no different.  The reality is that successful civilizations all collapse giving enough time.  Time and attitude are the disintegrating forces of empire.  Rome became a massive welfare state, with total control by a central government, corrupting the entire system.  In short - they went broke, they were controlled by an incompetent elite, and they lost sight of who they were.

Hence, the Romans became lazy, demanding, and unwilling to serve in their own army. There's a reason why Roman armies were no longer Roman, but mostly Germanic in the Western Empire.  That's where the parallel should be obvious. Rome was a socialist state, and the people became selfish, as is explained by Dennis Prager here......

Time and attitude cause the disintegration of Rome based on those three foundational forces - they went broke, they were controlled by an incompetent elite, and they lost sight of who they were.  All other explanations and history about Rome's end are merely parts of the story.....which may or may not have any parallels with the U.S. or western civilization.  Some of what he says seems irrelevant and some of his conclusions seem inappropriate based on what he's saying.  But it's worth reading -  if for no other reason the history.  You may wish to look up the Battle of's worth reading also. 

One more thing.  I've read Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and he said one thing I think justified that massive work.  "We tolerate despotism because of the things we own." 

Just a thought!