Don’t Drink the Tap Water… or the Milk (It’s Not What You Think!)

By Chris Campbell

LFB Icon Don’t Drink the Tap Water… or the Milk (It’s Not What You Think!)

Pop Quiz Time: What do these twelve countries have in common?

  1. China
  2. Austria
  3. Belgium
  4. Sweden
  5. Netherlands
  6. Japan
  7. Finland
  8. France
  9. Greece
  10. Iceland
  11. Switzerland
  12. Germany
  13. Denmark
  14. Norway
  15. Hungary
  16. Israel

Think you know the answer?

Here it comes…

They have ALL banned water fluoridation.

But, wait…

I know what you’re thinking…

And no.

I’m not here to convince you that fluoride is bad or dangerous.

LFB Icon Don’t Drink the Tap Water… or the Milk (It’s Not What You Think!)The fluoride debate is incessant and never-ending…

With both sides citing somehow flawed studies that the other side cited to make their case. So we’re not going to get into whether or not fluoride is good or bad for you.

There’s actually a larger issue at hand.

When the government adds fluoride to the public water, it’s a medical treatment.

And since it’s extremely difficult to remove fluoride from the water, it’s essentially a forced medical treatment.

Seventy-two percent of Americans who use public facilities drink fluoridated water at the CDC’s “therapeutic” level.

When the government is forcibly treating 72 percent of the population — whether they need it or not — there’s a problem.

LFB Icon Don’t Drink the Tap Water… or the Milk (It’s Not What You Think!)Israel is the most recent country to ban all fluoridation…

Here’s what the director-general at Israel’s Health Ministry Arnon Afek quite correctly told The Jerusalem Post last August:

“Individuals have the right to decide if they want [fluoride] or not. We cannot force people… The ministry supported it for over 40 years, but this is a new era. The world has changed, and we can educate parents.”

Novel idea? Of course not. This debate has been raging for decades, as we’re sure you’re aware.

In fact, Dr. Arvid Carlsson, a 2000 Nobel laureate in medicine said as much all the way back in 1978:

“Water fluoridation goes against leading principles of pharmacotherapy, which is progressing from a stereotyped medication — of the type 1 tablet three times a day — to a much more individualized therapy as regards both dosage and selection of drugs. The addition of drugs to the drinking water means exactly the opposite of an individualized therapy.”

LFB Icon Don’t Drink the Tap Water… or the Milk (It’s Not What You Think!)And its main cause, preventing tooth decay, doesn’t really seem very effective.

According to one study conducted by the WHO, fluoridated and non-fluoridated countries alike have been seeing a downtrend in tooth decay for the past 40 years.

ToothDecayTrends 385x335 Don’t Drink the Tap Water… or the Milk (It’s Not What You Think!)

And on top of everything else, it sets a dangerous precedent.

If the public starts to accept water fluoridation as “normal,” what’s to stop the government from sprinkling in a cocktail of other drugs for our own good?

LFB Icon Don’t Drink the Tap Water… or the Milk (It’s Not What You Think!)You may remember when AstraZeneca floated the idea of putting statins in the U.S. water supply back in 2008…

“Experts think that this could prevent tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of heart attacks in the U.S. a year,” CNBC’s pharmaceutical “reporter” (see: shill) Mike Huckman crowed.

“And, as a side benefit,” he said, getting to his main point, “possibly help the bottom line of at least one major drugmaker.”

A side benefit, eh?

MHuckmanVid 500x277 Don’t Drink the Tap Water… or the Milk (It’s Not What You Think!)

To paraphrase Mr. Huckman: “AstraZeneca says look at this small stack of paper and mindlessly believe we >> READ MORE <<


How to Blow the Whistle (and Not Live to Tell the Tale)

By Chris Campbell

LFB Icon How to Blow the Whistle (and Not Live to Tell the Tale)

Are you thinking of becoming a whistleblower?

Are you considering exposing some heinous crime against humanity, yet you’re afraid the government might put you on a hit-list?

One hacker has your back.

All you have to do, he says, is give him your documents to hold. If you die, get jailed, or injured, he’ll automatically publish and distribute your secrets for you.

[Solid plan, eh? What could go wrong?]

DeadManZero 500x212 How to Blow the Whistle (and Not Live to Tell the Tale)

Dead Man Zero’s website in the “Deep Web”

“So what if something happens to you?” the front page of the website asks.

“Especially if you’re trying to do something good like blow the whistle on something evil or wrong in society or government. There should be consequences if you are hurt, jailed, or even killed for trying to render a genuine and risky service to our free society.

“Now,” it says, “you have some protection. If something happens to you, then your disclosures can be made public regardless.

LFB Icon How to Blow the Whistle (and Not Live to Tell the Tale)How does it work? It’s pretty simple.

  1. Upload your files to a cloud storage service
  2. Send the link, with the password, to Dead Man Zero
  3. Dead Man adds his own encryption for extra protection
  4. Dead Man sends you a link to a website for you to log in to

“If you don’t log back into it once a day, week or month (those are the options),” Vice magazine’s Motherboard blog reports, “your documents and respective password will be published on the site, and sent to a list of email addresses that you provide in advance; most likely journalists you trust to do the story justice, or your lawyer.

“The site can be accessed via a smartphone, assuming you can browse hidden services on it.”

Dead Man’s services cost 0.30 bitcoin, or a little over $100. According to the website, 399 bundles of documents have already been put under his protection.

At the time Vice reported on the article, 17 of them would be released if the whistleblower didn’t check in before 24 hours were up.

LFB Icon How to Blow the Whistle (and Not Live to Tell the Tale)Even Snowden had his own “dead man” drop in case anything happened to him…

There was one problem: It opened him up to being attacked by the people who wanted all the information to be free.

If you were to go the “dead man” route, though, we’d recommend finding someone you trust…

Rather than putting all your faith in a shadowy character on the Deep Web named Dead Man Zero.

Of course, you’re probably not planning on becoming a second Snowden. Even so, you should still consider how you’re going to keep your personal information private.

Lucky for you, there’s an easier way…

In only a few days from today, we’ll release a new report detailing step-by-step how to protect your private data from government snoops and malicious hackers.

More details to come. Until then, stay vigilant. You never know who is watching.

U0X3mQA How to Blow the Whistle (and Not Live to Tell the Tale)

Until tomorrow,

Chris Campbell



ISIS Sees Your White House and Wants it Painted Black

By Chris Campbell

LFB Icon ISIS Sees Your White House and Wants it Painted Black

Abu Usamah Somali, the self-proclaimed “spokesperson of ISIS,” is a Somali-Canadian by the name of Farah Mohamed Shirdon.

Shirdon made his debut foray into the public psyche in a video that went viral last April. In the video, he threatened Canada and America and ripped up his Canadian passport and threw it into a fire.

ShirdonVid 500x280 ISIS Sees Your White House and Wants it Painted Black

ISIS’ spokesperson is a former movie theater employee from Calgary

“We are coming and will destroy you,” Shirdon announced in the video, “this is a message for Canada and for all America.”

Though U.S. or Canadian “intelligence” couldn’t track him down after he fled from Canada to Syria (in fact, they even reported him dead)…

Somehow, Vice magazine was able to set up an interview with him. (So much for all that metadata, eh?)

Last week, Shirdon sat down with Shane Smith, the founder of the magazine.

In the interview, Shirdon claims to have joined ISIS on his own initiative, with no recruiter to speak of.

“No one spoke a single word to me,” he told Smith. “All I did, I opened the newspaper, I read the Koran — very easy.” (More on why this tidbit is important in a moment)

SpokesmanVid 500x277 ISIS Sees Your White House and Wants it Painted Black

LFB Icon ISIS Sees Your White House and Wants it Painted BlackHere are some highlights from the interview…

VICE: “Who are your biggest enemies right now? Who are you fighting right now?”

FARAH: “The world.”

FARAH: “Inshallah, we will make some attacks in New York soon… a lot of brothers there are mobilizing right now.”

VICE: “And what are they mobilizing for?”

[Farah smiles.]

FARAH: “Mobilizing for a brilliant attack, my friend.”

VICE: “I was just at a security conference and everyone is talking about ISIS and I’m saying, ‘Why is no one asking why they’re so popular? Why is no one asking why they’re getting so many foreign fighters?’”

FARAH: “The reason is we’re tired. We’re tired of oppression. All those threats that I made, put that all aside. We don’t want… no one likes fighting…

“Whatever regime attacks us, we will attack them. Let us be under attack. We love being under attack. I want jihad. Every single time I see a plane over my head, I become very happy. Maybe is the time that I will go and I will meet my lord.

“The only time we will stop is when the White House has a black flag over it. The only time we will stop is when we paint the White House black.”

LFB Icon ISIS Sees Your White House and Wants it Painted BlackWhy does ISIS want to “paint the White House black”?

Well, that’s the question, isn’t it? It’s also one that nobody in the “official” circles seems to be asking…

And another question…

Why are Muslims from all over the world flocking to join the cause?

Instead of pondering these things, our leaders jump at the chance to call for further violent intervention.

In fact, as of Friday, the Pentagon had already launched 43 airstrikes in Syria. And there’s no sign of stopping there.

“No one is under any illusion — under any illusions — that airstrikes alone will destroy ISIL,” Secretary >> READ MORE <<


Against the Libertarian Cold War

By Anthony Gregory

A controversy has arisen in the libertarian movement over the proper approach to the events concerning Russia, Ukraine, and Crimea. Like many such controversies, it has quickly polarized almost everyone, and has served as a proxy for long-standing factionalism within the movement. People quickly accuse each other of supporting Putin’s aggression or backing violent U.S. intervention. I myself have been accused of both kissing up to the Russian regime and dishing out State Department propaganda. This doesn’t itself show I have the right balance in my position, only that this feud has galvanized libertarians and hardened their rhetorical loyalties.

We might learn something from looking back at the 20th century. During the Cold War, most western critics of state power erred too far in one direction or the other. There were some whose opposition to U.S. wars led them to soften their assessment of communist aggression. Free-market and leftist lovers of peace both made this mistake. At the same time, many who favored economic and political liberty often let their anti-communism translate into support for American militarism and the security state. This confusion pervaded Americans across the spectrum.

We can all see this now: Yes, some antiwar Americans were obscenely soft on the communists. Well-meaning but foolish westerners said nice things about Lenin, Stalin, and Mao—and many of a more moderate tinge had no perspective of just how much worse international communism was than the U.S. system, at least as it concerned domestic affairs. Meanwhile, many libertarians and almost all conservatives ditched their supposed attachment to skepticism of government power and signed onto the U.S. Cold War effort. This American project included dozens of coups and interventions, the instruction of foreign secret police in unspeakable torture techniques, murderous carpet bombings that killed hundreds of thousands of peasants, and wars that indirectly brought about the Khmer Rouge and the rise of Islamist fundamentalism, both of which also became directly funded in the name of anti-communism.

It is easy to look back and see how westerners were wrong on both the Cold War and communist states—each of which killed millions of people and nearly brought the world to the brink of nuclear holocaust.

The stakes were so much higher then than in anything going on with Russia now. Imprecision in one’s moral assessment—either in defense of Nixon or Tito—was far more condemnable than criticizing Putin or Obama too harshly. The errors of almost all the great 20th century libertarians, free marketers, and peaceniks far exceeded any errors some might have today in their appraisal of NATO or Russia and Ukraine. And yet we forgive many people on both sides of that Cold War division. No one today actually thinks Hayek was a neocon or Rothbard a pinko.

Today’s polarization is all the more frustrating given that the bulk of American libertarians seem to agree on two major points: (1) the U.S. should not intervene in Eastern Europe and (2) Putin’s various power grabs are indefensible. Thus, most libertarians are not truly as divided as well-meaning Americans were >> READ MORE <<


Was Robin Hood a Marxist?

By BK Marcus

FreemanRobinHood300 Was Robin Hood a Marxist?

Simon Schama could use a dose of classical-liberal theory. Most of us can be forgiven for knowing Marxist theory better than the liberal tradition — it’s hard not to drink Marxism in with our schooling and culture — but popular historical narrative really does suffer by the omission of the “bourgeois historians” whom Marx himself credits as the precursors of his class theory.

In the BBC TV series A History of Britain, Schama asks about the English Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, “Was this a class war, then?” (A term, he explains parenthetically that “we’re not supposed to use since the official burial of Marxism.”) A pause, while the camera angle changes to closeup. “Yes,” he says plainly. “It was.”

“Not surprisingly,” writes Schama in the print version of A History of Britain, “it was in the second half of the fourteenth century that the legends of Robin Hood … first became genuinely popular.”

But as I write in “Class War in the Time of Robin Hood” in today’s Freeman, Schama is appealing to the wrong class theory if he wants to explain the mindset of the commoners marching on London in the 14th century.

I’m far from the first to offer a libertarian revision of Robin Hood’s politics, but where I focus on the ideology of his earliest historical audience, most other treatments focus on the particulars of the legend.

Some examples:

On the other hand, Ayn Rand seems to have been happy to leave Robin Hood to the socialists:

“It is said,” Rand has Ragnar Danneskjöld concede in Atlas Shrugged, that Robin Hood “fought against the looting rulers and returned the loot to those who had been robbed, but that is not the meaning of the legend which has survived.

What do you think: is Robin Hood worth claiming for our tradition?



Salon’s Seven Misconceptions About Libertarianism

By Akiva

Lately it has become fashionable for political partisans to bash libertarianism. These “critiques” are vacuous and do nothing but demonstrate that the authors haven’t bothered to do basic research about what libertarians believe and why.

A recent example of this is Salon’s list of 7 strange libertarian ideas. Every single one misses the mark and requires only a limited response. More in depth information on these issues can easily be found with Google.

  1. “Parents should be allowed to let their children starve to death.”
  2. First off, most libertarians don’t actually think this. The issue is a strawman. Second off, even the people who believe that parents have no obligations to their children also believe that other people should be allowed to take custody of the neglected kids and care for them.

  3. “We must deregulate companies like Uber, even when they cheat.”
  4. Libertarians don’t think taxis should be regulated either. So the idea that it’s unfair that Uber isn’t regulated while taxis are cuts the other way for us. Nor does libertarian opposition to regulation imply approval of Uber interfering with Lyft’s business operations. Rather, libertarians think that violations of terms of service should be private and not state matters.

  5. “We should eliminate Social Security and Medicare.”
  6. These are massive transfers of wealth from the young and poor to the old and rich. We oppose them b/c we oppose intervention and wealth transfers (and the state in general). Of course the practical way of getting rid of them does it in a way that phases them out without leaving the poor who do depend on them hanging.

  7. “Society doesn’t have the right to enforce basic justice in public places of business.”
  8. We believe that people have the right to do what they want as long as it doesn’t involve using aggression against others. That doesn’t mean that we think racism is okay, it just means that we don’t think that a civilized response to racism is threatening to shoot the racist or to lock him in a cage against his will unless he does what we want.

    Furthermore the argument Salon gives is wrong and circular. Wrong b/c the constitution doesn’t apply to private citizens and so private acts of discrimination can’t be “unconstitutional” (and for most of the country’s history, the constitution was read as preventing this kind of legislation). Circular b/c you can’t say it’s “against federal law” when the argument is about whether such a federal law should exist in the first place.

  9. “Selflessness is vile.”
  10. Objectivists go out of their way to make it clear that they aren’t libertarians. This is one of the areas where they disagree with most of us. Furthermore, Objectivists oppose altruism as a philosophical principle, but that doesn’t mean that they oppose helping others. So in principle, they can support aid workers and organizations like Doctors Without Boarders; they just don’t think that you should support them out of a sense of obligation to others.

  11. “Democracy is unacceptable, especially since we began feeding >> READ MORE <<


The Other Epidemic (and How to Stop it)

By Chris Campbell

hurrican reporter stopsign 300x193 The Other Epidemic (and How to Stop it)

“While I heartily subscribe to your premise of pursuing one’s dream,” one reader, Donald J., wrote, “there are alternate perspectives worth considering.”

[We're listening… go on.]

“Some wiseguy once said that life is what happens to you while you’re waiting for something better to come along. Milton put it a little more poetically in one of his sonnets when he wrote, ‘They also serve who only stand and wait.” And then there’s the more familiar, “Take time to smell the roses.’

Thanks for the wise words, Donald. You’re right. Sometimes, in the race to create the “next big thing,” we forget how important it is to slow down.

Much ink is spilled on how to be more organized… structured… efficient… productive… disruptive… and all those other lifestyle-“enhancing” buzzwords.

But not enough, we realize, on how to enjoy the fruits of your labor. On how to create a more balanced, holistic lifestyle.

There’s a relative drought of information, for example, on how to create a better work and family life balance. Or even the importance of it.

And, as you’ll see, it’s sorely needed (book idea! Anyone?).

LFB Icon The Other Epidemic (and How to Stop it)Brace yourself. A slew of shocking figures coming your way…

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average American male works about one month more a year than in 1976. Even more for the average woman.

On top of this, the U.S. is the only country in the Americas without a national paid parental leave benefit. The average is over 12 weeks anywhere outside of Europe… and 20 weeks in Europe.

Americans also don’t have “nurture days” per child until age 8, like in Denmark. Nor do we have year-long paid parental leaves for mothers and fathers, as in Iceland. A national three-month sabbatical policy, which Belgium enjoys? We can only dream.

According to the International Labor Organization, “Americans work 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers, 260 more hours per year than English workers, and 499 more hours per year than German workers.”

It’s no surprise to learn, then, that according to the BLS, the average productivity per American worker has increased 400% since 1950.

Even so, we’re not seeing the fruits of this added productivity.

Also, Americans don’t really fight for their working rights. We’re too busy working. And too afraid to upset the status quo and lose our jobs and livelihoods.

LFB Icon The Other Epidemic (and How to Stop it)Now here are the down-to-earth consequences…

As a result, studies show that many American men feel unwanted by their immediate family (because they work too much), underappreciated by their employer (because they don’t work enough), and hassled, tired, underpaid, and made to feel like a waste of space… an inconvenience to the younger members of the workplace.

And many American women, now that they’re working full-time and still taking on the lion’s share of domestic responsibilities, suffer from, as Katrina Alcorn writes in her book Maxed Out, “panic attacks and depressions, heart palpitations and hives, migraines and mysterious coughs that won’t go away.” All from constant stress, worry, overwhelm and exhaustion.

And, >>


Bitcoin: Buy Now or Forever Hold Your Peace

By Chris Campbell

MainstreamSearch 500x214 Bitcoin: Buy Now or Forever Hold Your Peace

“Many people dream of quitting their job, collecting their bags, and jetting off to a tropical paradise forever,” the CoinDesk blog we looked over this morning reads.

“Many people dream, but few people act. Gregory Simon is one of the few who decided to act.”

A couple years ago, Simon left a well-paying, 12-year career in the banking industry to travel full time.

After trekking through all of 2013 with his fiance, “we fell in love with Nicaragua for its natural beauty and kind people,” he said in an interview with CoinTelegraph.

It’s true (about Nicaragua). Many of us here at our Baltimore HQ have been, including myself, and have said the same. (You’ll learn why we go there on a regular basis in future episodes.)

LFB Icon Bitcoin: Buy Now or Forever Hold Your PeaceSimon loves “Nica” so much he’s decided to move there…

This year, he bought a 0.3-acre plot of land for himself and his fiancé in a town called San Juan Del Sur. His land is within a real estate development called Paradise Bay.

ParadiseBay 300x200 Bitcoin: Buy Now or Forever Hold Your Peace

But Nicaragua is only a small part of the story.

The bigger story is how Simon bought the Nicaraguan beachfront…

It wasn’t with dollars or córdobas…

He bought it using Bitcoin.

“By using BTC,” Simon told CoinDesk, “we were able to complete the transaction quickly, with no need to involve banks or other third-party intermediaries.”

Convincing the seller to accept Bitcoin was easy. Fast, no fees, and cut out the middleman? No problem.

LFB Icon Bitcoin: Buy Now or Forever Hold Your PeaceSimon isn’t just a casual Bitcoin user. He believes a revolution is afoot. And he wants to help push it over the edge…

“The current banking system is beyond immoral,” he told CoinDesk, explaining why he left his career in the field. “It takes advantage of the most helpless and poor people on Earth.

“I believe Bitcoin has the potential to revolutionize the money industry to a degree few people to date fully understand.”

And Nicaragua, he says, could be one good first step. Certain parts of Africa are currently leapfrogging over the need to install hard-wired cables in their mobile revolution. Nicaragua, he explained, could do the same with banking.

“Nicaragua is the second poorest country in Central America,” Simon explains. “Eighty-five percent of the population has no bank accounts or credit cards. Ten percent of the GDP is remittances from overseas.”

With Bitcoin, families will be able to send more money back home at a fraction of the cost. If you’ve used Western Union, you know international transfers aren’t cheap. With bitcoin, though, they are.

Then, Simon explains, millions of unbanked citizens will naturally flock to the digital doubloon, rather than going the more traditional routes.

What about the rest of the world? And what does it all mean for you?

LFB Icon Bitcoin: Buy Now or Forever Hold Your PeaceAs for the rest of the world: “Mainstream perception of Bitcoin, much like the crypto-currency itself, has been volatile,” Wired writes this week.

In November and December 2013, Bitcoin averaged 5 million Google searches per month. That was at its >> READ MORE <<


What Explains the Brutalism Uproar?

By Jeffrey Tucker

depositphotos 5457516 Trellick Tower London 300x225 What Explains the Brutalism Uproar?

“Best article I’ve read in decades.”

That’s the message I received from so many people when my article “Against Libertarian Brutalism” first appeared.

A day later, I started to receive a different message.

“This article is evil and you are evil for having written it.”

Actually, the critics didn’t quite say that in those words. Mostly the language of the article’s detractors is unprintable. If I had any doubts that my piece was necessary, the reactions, some of them give new meaning to the phrase “violent prose,” removed them all. In fact, many people said that they had no idea that brutalism was a big problem until they saw the egregious responses to my piece. Thus did the persistent and non-relevant question regarding against whom this article was written answer itself.

There was another reaction that I found amusing. It came down to: heck yeah brutalism! This reaction mostly stems from the coolness factor of the word. I can only assume that the people who said this didn’t really read the piece and hadn’t entirely understood just how precise, authentic, distorted, and fundamentally awful the brutalist worldview really is.

In general, I find the debate and frenzy to be great. A writer aspires to write a piece that achieves that.

Still, I’m still not entirely sure why the article excited such controversy. What worried me at first is that I had actually underestimated the influence of the brutalist perspective. But as I think about it, and look carefully at the opposition, it really does come down to about half a dozen people. They felt accused, from which I can only conclude that my description of the brutalist mind was more evocative than I knew.

This article began as a private study, a memo to myself, a reminder of why we are in the liberty business. We’ve all felt that need to tell the hard truth. Assert the raw and unadorned core repeatedly and dogmatically. React with righteous anger and fury, even without elaboration, to the point of being downright offensive. There is a role for this. Injustice in our midst — and there is so much of it — cries out for it.

I wouldn’t call this brutalist. I would call this righteous passion, and it is what we should feel when we look at ugly and immoral things like war, the prison state, mass surveillance, routine violations of people’s rights. The question is whether this style of argument defines us or whether we can go beyond it, not only to lash out in reaction — to dwell only in raw oppositional emotion — but also to see a broad and positive alternative.

What is the right balance? How can we cling to and rally around fundamental rights, even when the conclusions are discomforting, and, at the same time, maintain a broadness of mind to see the larger goal and dream of liberty itself?

I came to be intrigued at the analogy between a deeply distorted, but still interesting, school of architecture and certain trends and intellectual tendencies you see >> READ MORE <<



By BK Marcus

figwhitemensffffff.u2 300x188 privcheck

In a recent Freeman article, “Check Your Context,” columnist Sarah Skwire brought my attention to a popular meme on the political left, both online and off: “Check your privilege.”

At its gentlest, this is advice to raise our awareness of those aspects of our personal histories that may lead to complacent assumptions about how the world works, assumptions that may limit the scope of our moral imaginations.

When it is less gentle (which is often), it is a dismissal of the opinions of anyone who is insufficiently poor, or, more likely, insufficiently left-wing. [Read the rest of the article.]