Have you ever heard of a Certificate of Public Need (COPN)?
Don't worry, you're not alone. But just because you're not familiar with the term, most certainly doesn't mean that it doesn't affect you.
The concept was initiated in New York in 1964, which honestly, I don't find surprising.
The idea is that healthcare providers must provide government officials with proof that they actually have a need for particular hospital expansions or medical equipment purchases before they can actually make those improvements.
The theory behind COPNs is that when there is too much competition among healthcare providers, prices will continue to drop and drop until all of the healthcare providers in a particular area will lose money/go bankrupt. This in turn would lead to less healthcare availability in areas than there was before.
So, in other words, if I was just some random dude who wanted to start up "Aden's Mobile MRI Team", offering MRI scans for $100 a pop, I would have to first get a certificate of public need. The proper officials could then decide that, no, there's already one MRI machine in my town, and that there's no need for more. Therefore, my request could be denied, and my community would be denied my services.
The one remaining MRI machine, at the local hospital, would then be able to safely charge $5000 per scan.
Do you see the problem here?
The free market has been withdrawn, the state gets to decide who can do business, and competition has been killed. Prices can then be set exorbitantly by the victor, as they now have a virtual monopoly over their geographic region.
Are you a hospital administrator who wants to expand your emergency department's number of beds? Constantly getting overloaded on Saturdays? Welp, you better hope that your COPN gets approved, and that the proper officials do in fact deem that you do deserve those extra beds.
So then what happens?
A) Patients are shifted to empty floors on the hospital, where they are going to be cared for by staff that is not necessarily trained to care for their particular conditions. This in turn leads to a higher risk of medical accidents. If you have cancer, would you rather be treated by a oncology nurse, or by a diabetic-renal nurse?
B) There's the potential to be turned away from a hospital. What if you show up to a ER that's booked? Odds are you'll be redirected to the nearest hospital with available ER rooms. You better hope that you're heart attack can wait that long to be treated.
So do you see what I mean?
Is there any benefit that is gained whatsoever from state intervention in a free market? I'll leave you to decide that for yourself in this case.
There's been a ton of noteworthy events hitting the news the past week. Here's my thoughts on what's been going on:
Colt stops making AR-15s
I was blown away to hear this. I think that Colt's really shot themselves in the foot here (no pun intended). They're claiming that it's due to market demand. That because there are so many AR-15s out there right now, that they really don't have any market incentive to produce more.
I'm not really sure if I buy that or not. For starters, they're still making them for law enforcement and the military. Why is it that only civilian models are no longer being made? I've been told the reason they aren't making civilian models anymore is because they priced themselves out of a market.
Maybe there is something to that. I've always found Colt firearms to be prohibitively expensive. Regardless though, doesn't brand loyalty really play a factor? And AR-15s have been flying off the shelves the past several years. Why does nobody else seem to be having a problem?
That's why it makes me wonder if there isn't more to this; if it's a bowing to some sort of political pressure. I think that there's going to be a whole lot of others out there with similar suspicions, and I think they're going to start boycotting other Colt firearms as a result.
I really don't think this was a wise decision for Colt.
Hezbollah Spy Caught Scouting NYC
This is the making of every other spy movie ever. A sleeper cell agent that's been operating within the US for 10 years, scouting potential targets and gathering information the entire time.
He received explosive training, potentially attempted to assassinate a suspected Israeli spy. He showed up in the US in 2000.
All the Blackface Scandals
Am I the only one out there who doesn't really think this matters? If somebody wants to paint their body a different color, who cares? How many movies have revolved around this (e.g. White Chicks, Tropic Thunder, etc.)
I fail to see how this is in any way derogatory or racist to anybody.
What I do think is interesting is how the Left finally has to tear themselves apart on this one. "Oh yeah, some of our guys have done that too."
Somehow, major media seems to make it ok when they do it though.
Siberian Smallpox Explosion
Russia seems to have a knack for accidental events of this kind. Remember the 2016 anthrax outbreak among Siberian reindeer? www.foxnews.com/health/anthrax-outbreak-in-russia-kills-child-sends-dozens-to-hospital Biological warfare is creepy. If you really want to delve more into the history behind current biological warfare and germ agents, I highly recommend reading Ken Alibeck or Richard Preston.
Animals Matter Most
Further proof that modern society views animals on the same level, if not above human life. What good mother would place a vicious animal right beside their 3 year old son?
I really agree with Joel Salatin on this one. We've become so separated from the land - from how real life works - that we've developed a twisted view on animal life. When most peoples' daily interactions with animals only revolve around pets that are stuck in an apartment all day long, they think that every other wild animal out there is just the same as their precious Fifi.
My last post I tackled a bit of what you can do to avoid putting money into Big Grocer's (BG) pockets, if their politics make you sick to your stomach. You gotta eat, so boycotting them completely may seem out of the question, but I'll continue the alternatives here.
3) Learn to can and preserve your own food
As I mentioned in my last post, farmer's markets are often a big source of deals when it comes to buying in bulk. Buying a truckload of green beans though is not something that makes a whole lot of sense though if you don't know how to preserve that food.
Learning how to can and preserve your own food helps to bring freedom. And I mean that in the sense that you won't be dependent upon somebody else's food supply during winter if you have preserved your summer harvest. I'm a huge fan of Joel Salatin's books. You should check his work out.
(Probably Joel's two best books are Folks, This Ain't Normal and The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer. You can find them here amzn.to/32JQG8k and here amzn.to/300mdVS, respectively.)
One of the things that Salatin consistently points out is that the knowledge of food preservation was something that pretty much all of mankind was familiar with until the past 100 years. On top of that, having a full larder, root cellar, or at least a winter's worth of food stored in their house was also something that pretty much everybody did until the last 100 years or so (potentially a little less time).
Now, having more than a week's food supply stored in one's house is not only incredibly rare, but viewed as strange in today's society.
"But Aden! You're advocating for me to be a weirdo to my friends!"
Nope, not at all.
What I am advocating is being food independent, improving your food security through food storage, and potentially saving food money by canning your own food (Ben Falk points out how inflation affects food prices in his excellent book The Resilient Farm and Homestead. I recommend everybody with an interest in gardening/food security/homesteading read it. You can get it here: amzn.to/2Lwo8ZX)
And on top of all that, who says your friends have to know? How often do they come over rooting through your pantry?
4) Contact BG Management
Money talks. I absolutely agree with that, and if you incorporate my above thoughts, BG is going to take a serious financial hit. But sometime talking helps too, just so there's no confusion as to why sales seem to be slipping.
Emails and snail-mail letters are my two methods of choice here. I don't have the desire to spend an hour on hold on the phone. I can write a letter though and send it off real quick. The Left has been vocal, and that's why we're seeing the results that we're seeing with BG. Why can't we do the same?
5) Negative Social Media
I know that social media isn't very popular among most of my readers. Most of us prefer avoiding being monitored. But if you do engage in social media, why not use it for good? It seems that negative publicity is one of the main things that mega-corporations respond to, so why not plaster them with it if they're being ridiculous?
6) Find Alternative Big Grocers
Simple enough, right? You don't like what X has stated publicly? Then start shopping at Y, which hasn't stated anything against American freedom. Not much else to say right here.
Odds are you're not going to be able to break away from BG completely. Particularly if they're the only grocer in your vicinity. But, by just enacting a few of these options, you'll help to voice your opinion, increase your food security, and probably eat more healthier food as well. And if you don't do something, have you really any right to complain?
I boycott businesses that have come out publicly to be distinctly anti-American, or anti-freedom. If they voice those opinions, then they've lost this American's business, and I imagine I'm not alone in this self-imposed boycott. I can always find a similar retailer with similar goods that isn't politically naive.
At a point though, it begins to feel impossible. What do you do when it seems the majority of large companies you shop at have decided they no longer support the Bill of Rights?
Particularly, what do you do when your grocer decides such? I mean, you have to eat! So, what do you do? If you don't agree with your grocer politically, are you pretty much just screwed?
I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and I've come to several conclusions that work.
1) Grow your own food
This is the low hanging fruit here (no pun intended). If you don't like what your grocer is doing, growing your own food is the first, and most visible choice that you can turn to. Odds are if you're reading my work, you have more of a self-reliance mindset.
Growing your own food is not only one of the first things that you can do to improve your independence, but it'll provide you with plenty of healthy, organic food that is not only locally sourced, but cheap as well.
I've kept very accurate tabs on all the money I've put into my gardens every year, as well as all of the produce that has come out of my gardens every year. Even despite the cost of tools, lumber (I use raised beds), seeds, and soil, I always come out ahead by the end of the season when I look at how much grocery money my gardens have saved me.
Everything I grow is completely organic. No sprays or fertilizers of any kind (other than homemade compost). I record every egg, every chicken, every tomato, and every pound of lettuce that I get. I've gone to the grocery store to learn what the price would be of a gallon of organic greens, a dozen free range eggs, and a pound of raw honey. Last year, I grew a little over $1100 worth of food.
That's a dramatic amount of money, that required maybe 5 hours of work a week. And I don't even consider it work either. It's just fun physical activity that I get to tool around with at the end of a hectic work day.
Now imagine the punch to the pocketbook that could be achieved if everybody out there removed $1100/year from Big Grocer's hands. I totally understand that not everybody has the space or ability to work a garden, but even if you grew a few potted tomato plants, a potted herb garden, or whatever else, that's still a sizable fist of money that you're keeping from your grocer.
You wanna learn more about gardening?
I highly recommend reading these books...
Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew amzn.to/2ZZxqH2
Gaia's Garden by Toby Hemenway amzn.to/2O26VJD
The Resilient Farm and Homestead by Ben Falk amzn.to/2Lwo8ZX
2) Start utilizing local farmer markets
There's a number of reasons I like farmer's markets. The food you'll find there is local, meaning you're helping your local economy, eating food that most likely wasn't spray painted to look pretty after being trucked cross country, and the food probably wasn't grown overseas somewhere (there's potential health reasons there) .
Most likely you visit your Big Grocer once a week. Thankfully, farmer's markets are often open once a week (typically Saturdays) as well. So as far as number of visits, there really isn't any disadvantage there other than the forced time frame. Is there as large of a variety of foods to choose from at your local farmer's market compared to BG? By no means, but that'll cause one of two things: you'll eat healthier; or you'll still drastically diminish the amount of your cash that flows into BG's pockets. Most likely it'll be both.
Farmers rock. You can often score major deals at farmer's markets when you buy in bulk. Buy a bushel of corn, and odds are the farmer will financially thank you (in the way of a discount) for not making him have to take that bushel back home at the end of the day.
What do you do with a bushel of corn? Well, that brings me to my next point, which I'll tackle in a future post.
In the meantime, if you'd like to find a farmer's market near you, I highly recommend using one of these sites (particularly if your search engine isn't showing anything):
Sometimes I feel like I'm one of the few that remember.
About what that day was like.
About what they did to us.
About the pain they caused, the lives forever changed - ripped apart by death.
So I just had another piece published over at survivalblog.com, which judging by the comments, seems to be rather divisive.
Ways to make your smartphone to work for you harder in a disaster situation. The piece is basically a list of apps that could greatly enhance your ability to get out of a sticky situation.
I totally get that smartphones are the primary source of people tracking out there, and I am by no means a proponent of that.
BUT, I would still argue that the majority of people out there are going to have a smartphone on them at all times, even despite this knowledge, and that as a result we should make it work for us as hard as possible.
I'd argue that the majority of the population still uses a smartphone for the camera, GPS, social media marketing, work, and other related activities. Not everyone is willing to commit to having a steady stash of burners available at all times.
And that's the point I'm driving home. Yeah, being tracked is a bad thing, but if the majority of the population isn't going to get rid of their smartphones, why not get them to download apps that could potentially save their life in a disaster?
If you want to read the article for yourself, check it out at:
A number of large chains have recently announced that they're going to either quit selling particular types of ammo/rifles, or that they're no longer allowing US citizens to open carry within their stores.
I've noticed that they still carry cigarettes, dip, alcohol, prescription medications, OTC medications, spray paint, junk food, XXXL clothing, and forks though. Interesting how one particular inanimate object is evil and an endorsement of evil, but other inanimate objects with no free will of their own aren't, isn't it?
More stores to add to my "Do not shop" list.
My question is this: if I'm a stockholder at such a company, don't I have a right to be upset that the business is doing things to harm their sales?
I got my HAM Technician license some time ago after reading the Rawles' book Patriots. After a couple of months of researching into different radios, and watching a ton of Youtube, I finally decided to just bite the bullet and get a UV-5R.
I mainly wanted a mobile unit that I could rig into my truck, but price point and confusion (I still don't know what I'm doing) caused me to be a bit cautious before jumping off the high dive into the HAM radio world.
So from a complete beginner's perspective, what do I think about the UV-5R?
Looking at all that there's a whole lot more to the "con" list than there is with the "pros". But does that mean I hate the radio? By no means! Even despite all of the cons, given the chance, I would still choose this as my first radio. You simply can't beat the cost. Yeah, I know a lot of HAM purists hate the Chinese stuff - particularly Baofeng - but I would much rather learn what I like/don't like about HAM on a $25 handheld compared to a $1000 base station.
Don't let the vegans fool you: not eating meat isn't as healthy as you may think.
Another interesting study showing an increased risk of stroke among vegans/vegetarians out of 50,000 study subjects. A 20% higher risk to be precise.
Why might that be? Eating highly processed foods could be one reason. Being miserable may be another (there is a link between chronic mood and overall morbidity/mortality). 'Cuz if you ain't getting enough calories, odds are you're going go to be a rather miserable personality.
To check out the study, click here:
And if you want to see the link between mood and health, click here:
I teach a lot of nutrition classes. I was a personal trainer for 2 years. I've worked in the fitness industry for 6 years. I studied nutrition all through my undergrad. I've a master's where a good portion of my time was spent studying nutrition. And I hate the vegetarian/vegan diet.
Just because something is labeled as vegan or vegetarian doesn't necessarily mean that it's healthy. French fries, potato chips, candy, and a host of other foods that won't help you to reach your health/fitness goals (notice I avoid the term 'unhealthy'), can all be successfully labeled 'vegan'.
The food industry knows that the terms "vegan/vegetarian" is automatically viewed as healthy by the general public.
Which brings me to Beyond Meat.
When I first heard about it, I wasn't a huge fan.
I was happy to see that there are other people out there who agree with me.
Writer. News junkie. Personal Trainer. Farmer.