Hotel school aims to help build economy in war-plagued region

Building a hospitality school in an urban environment is one thing, but establishing a presence in an area plagued by a 70-year civil war is another. Developing and encouraging tourism in the Karen State of Burma (now Myanmar) has been a challenge for those hoping to revive the region—and financing options are hard to come by…

Positive Changes for Nepal

The month of May brought some very positive changes for Nepal. With the first round of local elections successfully held after almost 20 years, there is fresh hope and jubilation in people. Political parties have also generally accepted the results. Upholding people’s choices in this way is indeed a mature gesture from our political leaders. New challenges now lie ahead. Representative local governments shall be a novelty in the country, and flexing responsibility by those newly elected will come with its own set of learning curves. Similarly, growth rebounded to a two-decade high of 7.5%, albeit with many exogenous factors. Sustaining this growth is also another challenge for us. Our researcher has identified a number of fundamental pillars to create a conducive environment for sustaining this economic growth. A recent World Bank report also stresses that Nepal needs to seriously reform its policies and create more room for competition in order to sustain growth. Our commentaries on the need to remodel public education system, and malpractices committed by the petroleum sector monopoly further highlight this need to ensure competition. We are happy to see that idea of strategic partnership between Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) and Lufthansa, which our study also advocates as a necessary reform for making the NAC more competitive in the market, is gaining ground. Along this line, instatement of local governments within the new federal constitutional provisions lays down genuine reasons to be optimistic about inter-local government competition. The recently-unveiled fiscal budget (unlike past years) does not specify any new programs; however, it does give considerable financial responsibilities to local governments. Now that human capital is going to one of the greatest resources for any local jurisdiction, it will be particularly interesting to see what kinds of economic policies these local governments will adopt to retain and …

Why Civil Defense Still Matters

Doctors for Disaster Preparedness is a small group of top scientists and doctors who publish a newsletter and hold an annual meeting at different defense and nuclear sites. At meetings speakers cover issues relating to civil defense, diseases, new chemical/technological discoveries, and global climate issues. Speakers offer varied viewpoints and the group is often bitterly criticized for its unorthodox challenges to the medical establishment. Their last program, described in more detail below, shows the variety of speakers and topics covered. I have been attending meetings since the 1980s when I first wrote about nuclear war survival. Personally, I have always been interested in civil defense since studying in Germany in 1952, taking shortcuts to my classes through still bombed out city blocks. I was always amazed that “only” a million German civilians died from the bombing that flattened every single city. I even saw East Berlin, which was just rubble as far as the eye could see. Human beings are amazingly resilient. But the Germans also had built good bomb shelters. After 9/11, Dr. Jane Orient, who runs the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness, explained how American city fire departments were being supplied with useless radiation detectors measuring Millirem instead of Rems. They were based on the EPA’s incoherent threat levels, which have been obsolete since the 1950s. The EPA has since modified its threat levels by a factor of hundreds. Dr. Orient then donated higher-scale measuring detectors to her local Phoenix fire department. I attended the last meeting in Omaha, site of the Strategic Air Command, the military unit in charge of two-thirds of the Nuclear Triad. It had the usual complement of fascinating speakers and topics. Lectures at the meeting included “Freedom of Information Act in Climate Science,” “An Update on Emerging Diseases,” “Police, Fire and Civilian Emergency Medical Preparedness,” “Combatting …

The ambush of African philosophy: an exhumation of classical liberal principles in the evolution of Africa societies

Author: Ibraham B. Anoba Full paper available at the author’s webpage, here. Abstract The persistent resentment towards classical liberal principles especially individualism and free market in contemporary Africa, represents an outcome of decades of ambush against the ideology despite its clear connections with traditional African philosophy and relevance to the prosperity of modern African states. This work attempts to draw comparisons between social and economic organisation in traditional Africa and classical liberal principles. Contrary to literatures that portray the community as the real and only end in traditional African societies, elements like free trade; market economy; consensus; anarchy and limited governance negates this position. While tracing the cause of Africa’s cling to socialism and communism, this paper presents an ideological transition from pre-colonialism to nationalist and post-independent Africa. It concludes by demystifying the arguments of individualism as antithetical to African morality. It also justified the inevitability of classical liberal principles in modern Africa. Key words: Classical Liberalism; African Humanism; Ubuntu; Individualism; African Morality; Free Market INTRODUCTION There is rarely a fiercely contested ideology in Africa as classical liberalism – often relegated to capitalism. The annihilation of the African academia by radical-socialists and Marxian philosophers since the 20th century greatly influenced the presentation of the origins of African life as purely socialist. Whereas, later inquiries revealed philosophical patterns that correlates with classical liberalism and other ideas. They also debunked the universality of communalism and social welfarism in traditional Africa. Although, the social and economic structures in some traditional African communities were communally designed, only because communalism was seen as the formal and best means for societal organization based on factors like population, kinship, and tribal solidarity. On a broader spectrum, qualities like respect for individual happiness, personal interest and dignity were equally permitted. And in numerous communities as would be later revealed, …

A new free city near Thailand

Liberty International interviewed Kurt Hanson and Nigel Grier about the potential for a “free city” in Mu Aye Pu, near Thailand. Question: What is Mu Aye Pu? Kurt Hanson: Mu Aye Pu is a new settlement set up by the Karen people of Burma. It is situated on the banks of the Moei River, which forms the border between Thailand and Burma. Now that the war is over, the community is growing as Karen refugees trickle back from camps in Thailand. At present 300 people live at Mu Aye Pu, but our planned community will be home to 100,000 people. The area is blessed with plenty of fresh water and fertile agricultural land to support a large population, Nigel Grier: Also, its next door to the huge market of Thailand and just north of the booming border town of Mae Sot, which will soon have a major east-west highway build by ADB and international airport which will further drive growth in the area. So MAP is in a great location for development and to do business in. Question: Why is Mu Aye Pu an ideal place for this community? KH: Mu Aye Pu is in a unique position in that it is in the autonomous Karen area. The Karen settled the region of eastern Burma some 1,000 years ago having migrated from Mongolia to find a new home there. I recommend the book The Art of Not Being Governed by James Scott, which brilliantly explains how and why the Karen chose to remain stateless. The Karen prove that you can live and thrive without a state. Or, for a shorter read, I recommend this excellent paper by Edward Peter Stringham, Evidence from upland: Evidence from Upland Southeast Asia I’ve been involved in the free cities movement for quite some time and …

Sally Pipes: Obamacare in “death spiral”

Obamacare will soon “celebrate” its seventh anniversary, said Sally Pipes is President and CEO of Pacific Research Institute, who added, “I hope it will be its last.” Despite 54 percent of Americans being against Obamacare, along with many politicians, think tanks and liberty groups, the law persists. Sally said that once government entitlement programs are put in place, they are very difficult to get rid of. Instead, current reforms are centered around replace, repair, or re-tooling the Affordable Care Act. Sally mentioned that premiums have risen dramatically since Obamacare was put into place, and the only 11 million people are on the exchange. “We’ve turned over our whole healthcare system to cover 11 million people,” said Sally. Other trends include lower quality, reduced access to doctors, and an insurance market in, “a death spiral.” Watch the full video below:

John Mackey offers solutions to minimize time in government hospitals

“We are actually an incredibly unhealthy nation,” said John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market. John spoke at an event in Austin, Texas hosted by Liberty International. John pointed to obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and auto-immune diseases as examples, “They’re not infectious diseases. Those are dietary lifestyle diseases that we basically, we bring it upon ourselves.” “We can also avoid those diseases,” added John. According to John Mackey, the best way to avoid medical care is to take care of yourself, which may be an ideal way to minimize time in the government healthcare system, which John considers, “broken.” John said that Americans are getting fatter, “Over 71 percent of all adults are overweight now, and 38 percent are obese.” What’s worse, according to John, is that America is exporting a dietary pattern of obesity, and this is making the world more unhealthy. John listed sugars, oils and starchy foods that Americans have been over-consuming, and this has lead to an obesity epidemic and cancer. “Cancer is far more preventable than most people realize,” said John. The two highest risk factors are diet and tobacco, said John. But John suggested a healthier diet based on whole foods, “The Whole Foods Diet is basically arguing to eat 100 percent real foods.” The diet plan eliminates all processed foods, and increases reliance on plant based foods, while not necessarily eliminating animal foods. John suggested avoiding refined grains, flour, sugars and oils. For further detail on the Whole Foods Diet, click below to watch the entire video:  

Where is the anti-war left?

Talking heads on the both left and the right in America praised Trump’s decision to drop bombs on Syria, a move that could lead to unintended consequences and wars. But one group seemed strangely silent: the anti-war left. Where is the anti-war left? During the Bush years, libertarians and anti-war liberals became allies with a common goal: stop the wars. But ever since Obama was elected, the anti-war left has been strangely quiet. American liberals have been in denial for eight years as Obama increased drone wars and special operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan. Obama ended his bloody reign by dropping more than 26,000 bombs in 2016, giving himself the record for being at war longer than any U.S. President in history. Now that Trump is continuing Obama’s drone wars, the American political class seems confused about whether or not they should support Trump’s bombings in Syria. As Ann Coulter noted: “Cable news hosts gushed, ‘Trump became president of the United States tonight!’ On MSNBC, Brian Williams called the bombing ‘beautiful’ three times in less than a minute. Sen. Lindsey Graham (one of the ‘women of the Senate,’ according to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg) compared Trump to Reagan. The New York Times headlined an article, ‘On Syria Attack, Trump’s Heart Came First.’” A few anti-war democrats have been brave enough to speak against Trump’s military actions, such as Tulsi Gabbard, Bernie Sanders and Dennis Kucinich, but the voices have been marginalized by the now pro-war Democratic party. Pro-war Democrats attacked Tulsi for her skepticism over Trump’s decision to drop bombs on Syria. Democrat Howard Dean tweeted, “This is a disgrace. Gabbard should not be in Congress.” As the drumbeat continues to grow louder for a future American war with Syria and North Korea, libertarians are discovering …

Austin event a success!

Last month, Liberty International hosted a conference titled “Secrets to Preventing and Treating Disease in the Ever-Changing U.S. Health Care Landscape.” The one-day conference was held in Austin, Texas, and featured John MacKey, Mary Ruwart, Sally Pipes, Naomi Lopez-Bauman, Kyle Varner, and David Vequist. First, Sally Pipes gave an update on Obamacare, and discussed her plan to achieve affordable, accessible, quality care. Next, John Mackey, founder of Whole Foods, shared his ideas about nutrition, supplements and other aspects of healthy living. Mary Ruwart, Ph.D., gave a lunch seminar about little known “secrets” for early detection of disease, prevention ideas, treatment possibilities, and end of life options. After lunch, Naomi Lopez-Bauman gave an update on Right-to-Try policies, and patient autonomy. Kyle Varner, M.D. shared his research into medical tourism, which could help audience members find alternatives to American medicine. And finally, David Vequist, Ph.D. expanded on the conversation about medical tourism, patent consumerism, and free markets winning in health care. Stay tuned for a video of the conference, which will be posted soon! In the meantime, Liberty International announced the World Conference in Puerto Rico to be held on August 8-12. Click here for more information!