Sunday, 17 November 2013

Re: The Icon of Truth-Telling ...

Well, okay, I have an opinion that's just about about Bill Clinton and impeachment.  I remember there was an impeachment-related proceeding (I think it's technically the trial in the Senate) and it seemed that it was all about sex and whether he was telling lies or truths).  I've always thought that particular impeachment effort was a big waste of time.  But there was another matter that he might have been impeached about ...  I'll get to that in a minute.

When Clinton got elected I was happy and surprised.  At the time I felt he was my kind of president.  A few years later, a more knowledgeable friend told me that Clinton had improperly sold or given military secrets to China.  That one conversation was the only time I heard or read about that.  To me, improperly letting China have military secrets seems like it could be an important thing, perhaps worth impeaching about.

But what do we get?  A whole long show about sex and talk about sex, and nothing else.  I think it was just a disgusting waste of time.  I don't really care about whatever he does or says about that.  But they might have done something really worthwhile by trying to impeach him about military secrets going to China.  If they did that, the American people might learn something important about how their government works -- and that could lead to other worthwhile things.

Generally I think impeaching (meaning, having a trial of a high public official) is a good thing because it helps to hold powerful people accountable for how they exercise the power we give them.

If there were some situation where a lot of people died, and our government caused it, then that would be the kind of thing worth impeaching about.  So, when the Iraq war came along, and the reason for it kept changing and the big idea about "Weapons of Mass Destruction" turned out to look like a mistake, that would be the perfect thing to have one or more impeachments about.  The most obvious benefit to impeaching would be that the American people would learn something about how their government really works.  Maybe the impeached official (probably Bush or Cheney) would be found innocent, or maybe found guilty, but either way we would all be learning about the process by which wars get started.

And another thing:  There was a trial of Saddam Hussein.  I wasn't there but I think I understand something about it:  That trial was arranged in a way that prevented Saddam Hussein from speaking out.  And I think that's a really bad idea.  The big benefit of such trials should be that the way things work would be exposed to the public, and as a result, governments and societies would improve.  But by him being silenced, we were denied that discussion that would probably have revealed a lot about how things work.

Similarly, we were denied an open trial of Osama bin Laden.  So we missed out on that discussion too, and whatever it may have revealed about how things work.  All we got was scoring revenge points, while remaining ignorant and therefore just as vulnerable as before.

-jrl


On Sunday, November 17, 2013 4:46:02 PM UTC-8, MJ wrote:

The Icon of Truth-Telling ...
Butler Shaffer

Bill Clinton, has advised President Obama to tell the truth to the people about insurance coverage (or lack thereof). The network news-babblers who report this must either have either a tremendous sense of humor, or blockheadedness, to be able to pass this on to us with a straight face. �Tell the truth?� In the words of that great stand-up philosopher, the late George Carlin, the entire political structure would collapse if truth-telling really caught on.

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German town abolishes traffic lights and codes. Accidents are now almost non-existent!


German town abolishes traffic lights and codes. Accidents are now almost non-existent!
Bill Ottman
11/15/13

In this fascinating public experiment, a German town wanted to see what would happen to traffic flow if they got rid of street signs, lights and other restrictions.  The results are intuitive, but not what you would expect!  Everything got safer and faster.  Would this model hold true for other areas of infrastructure?  Drivers must give way to the left and not drive too fast.  That's the only rule.  Even the police love the new system, and best of all, people are safer on the road.  Drivers are much more aware and use eye contact and instincts.  People WANT to stop for other people and help things move more efficiently.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Sf-O5o4aqcs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nGCE6vI5j68


Source:
http://www.dw.de/european-towns-remove-traffic-signs-to-make-streets-safer/a-2143663-1


http://www.minds.com/blog/view/248215469679448064/german-town-abolishes-traffic-lights-and-codes-accidents-are-now-almost-non-existent

The Lawlessness of the ‘Fix’


November 16, 2013 4:00 AM
The Lawlessness of the 'Fix'
Insurance companies would be insane to offer plans that failed to comply with the ACA.
By Andrew C. McCarthy

Barack Obama could not have been more unequivocal. The telecommunications companies had to be punished for violating the letter of federal law. He didn't want to hear about how President Bush told them it was okay.

One laughs now remembering how Obama's base, the anti-anti-terrorist Left and its lawyer legions, used to call Bush the "imperial president" and thunder for his impeachment. Bush couldn't hold a candle to our incumbent Caligula. He had no idea, for example, that presidents can just "waive" inconvenient parts of congressional statutes, like FISA.

FISA governs foreign intelligence surveillance. It requires the executive branch to get a judicial warrant before it can eavesdrop on alien terrorists and other foreign agents who threaten national security. Nevertheless, after al-Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 Americans on 9/11, Bush directed the NSA to wiretap suspected jihadists without obtaining court permission. He pressed the telecoms to help the NSA carry out the program ­ stressing the imperative of protecting American lives during a crisis, assuring these private companies that they would face no legal jeopardy for complying with his request.

Oh no you don't, Obama and his base shrieked.

After the top-secret program was revealed, a paralyzing debate threatened to shut down American intelligence collection ­ at a time when we had troops in harm's way in two war theaters and jihadists continued plotting mass-murder attacks against our homeland. By late 2007, recognizing the desperate need to reopen foreign-intelligence operations, Congress was poised to pass a FISA overhaul that would clarify the NSA's surveillance authority. But passage was delayed for months because the hard Left refused to budge.

The Left's goal was to bleed the telecoms dry with lawsuits over Bush's warrantless surveillance program. Thus they pressured Democrats to block the passage of any FISA bill that would give telecoms the legal protection ­ in Obama parlance, the "waiver" ­ Bush had promised them. And the hard Left had a card to play: the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Then-senator Barack Obama, himself a hard Leftist and an opportunist (yes, that's redundant), realized that captivating the party's Marxist wing ­ the anti-business, blame-America-first activists ­ was vital to capturing the nomination. So he duly dispatched his top campaign spokesman to proclaim to the progressive media, "To be clear: Barack will support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies."

Of course, you must keep in mind that this is Barack Obama we're talking about ­ a.k.a. Barack "If You Like Your Health Insurance Plan You Can Keep Your Insurance Plan, $2,500 Premium Reductions, Obamacare Is Not a Tax, The Video Caused Benghazi, Raising the Debt Ceiling Is Unpatriotic, I Didn't Know About Fast and Furious Until I Read About It in the Newspapers" Obama. So naturally, after he snagged the nomination and it came time to appeal to the sane part of the country in the general election, he did his usual 180 and supported the FISA overhaul with retroactive immunity for the telecoms.

The purpose here is not to prove, yet again, that Obama is a fraud, which would be like proving that Detroit may be a tad mismanaged. The purpose is also not to establish, yet again, Obama's hypocrisy in condemning Bush's flouting of a single statute when, once he assumed power, Obama so systematically violated laws that you'd think the oath says, "Take care that the laws be faithlessly executed." The purpose is not even to reprise Thursday's remarkable press conference, at which Obama ­ in the very moment of his humiliation over serial lying ­ brazenly repeated some of his most notorious and resoundingly disproved whoppers: the claim that his oft-repeated promise about Americans being able to keep their health-insurance plans somehow "ended up being inaccurate" when it was willfully false; the claim that this lie affects only the 5 percent of Americans in the individual market when he has known for years (as John Hinderaker shows) that Obamacare would force the cancellation of tens of millions of employer-provided plans; and so on.

No, the purpose is to highlight how insouciantly lawless and transparently political the president's latest Obamacare "fix" is. I refer, of course, to Obama's magnanimous proclamation that he now deigns to permit insurers to issue policies made illegal by the Obamacare statute ­ at least until the Democrats can get through the 2014 elections. This was frivolous to the point of malfeasance.

Let's start with the basics. The president has no power to rewrite statutes ­ he is bereft of dictatorial power to legitimize what Congress has made a violation of law. This reflects our abiding conceit that we have "a government of laws and not of men," ascribed by John Adams to the 17th-century political theorist James Harrington. As Justice Antonin Scalia recounts, Adams provided the best elaboration of this principle when he enshrined it in the 1780 Massachusetts Constitution (my italics):

The legislative department shall never exercise the executive and judicial powers, or either of them: The executive shall never exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either of them: The judicial shall never exercise the legislative and executive powers, or either of them: to the end it may be a government of laws, and not of men.

Not only is a president barred from writing or rewriting laws; he is required to enforce them as Congress has written them. The only exception is when he has a good-faith reason to believe they are unconstitutional, a claim Obama can hardly make about Obamacare while crowing that the Supreme Court has upheld it. (Actually, the Supreme Court invalidated half of Obamacare ­ the state Medicaid mandate ­ and rejected Obama's Commerce Clause argument on the individual mandate, upholding it, at least for the time being, on a tax theory that Obama had indignantly disclaimed. But as we've seen, this is not a president who lets facts slow him down.)

Obama claims a power to enforce laws selectively under the doctrine of "prosecutorial discretion." This is merely an allocation doctrine, however: a commonsense acknowledgment that finite resources make it impossible to enforce every law equally. An administration, for example, might say, "DEA has finite resources, so we're going to focus on heroin trafficking rather than marijuana possession." This does not mean the administration is saying marijuana possession is no longer a crime; just that it has higher enforcement priorities and a limited budget. To the contrary, Obama has distorted the doctrine to claim, in effect, that illegalities he unilaterally chooses not to police are somehow no longer illegal ­ at least until the "waivers" he grants expire. (I would call the waivers capricious, but there really is a rigor to them ­ they expire after Election Day to protect Democrats from political accountability.)

Prosecutorial discretion is the fig leaf Obama uses to rationalize his noxious decision to relieve corporations, political cronies, and members of Congress from their Obamacare burdens while the rest of us are crushed under ours. It is also the hocus-pocus behind his latest fix. Panicked by millions who've lost coverage, sinking poll numbers, and jittery Democrats, the president is now purporting to allow insurance companies to ignore the law and reissue the policies Obamacare's mandates forced them to terminate.

But here is the problem: This "waiver" is irrelevant. Even if it were constitutionally proper for a president to flout Congress in the executive branch's enforcement practices, all that means is that the Obama administration will give insurers a pass until 2014. The Obama "waiver" does not change what Congress's law actually says, and therefore it has no bearing on the legal obligations attendant to the relationship between the insurer and the insured.

As a practical matter, it is nearly inconceivable that insurance companies would be able to reissue the canceled health-care plans. The process, as Avik Roy expertly explains, is too extensive and complex to complete in the few weeks between now and Obamacare's coverage deadline ­ something that an administration that can't, after three years, get a functioning website running should know. But even if it could be done, the insurance companies would be insane to offer plans that failed to comply with the letter of the Obamacare statute. Similarly, the state insurance commissioners would be insane to permit them, and Americans would be insane to buy them. The policies would be legally unenforceable.

As the telecoms learned, Bush's assurance that they'd be held harmless meant nothing once Obama and his base started urging warrantless wiretapping victims to sue. The companies spent untold millions in legal fees and costs. The health-insurance companies, too, would be deluged with lawsuits by insureds who claimed that the policies were illegal and wrongly denied coverage for this or that treatment. The insurance companies themselves would get into the act, filing suits to be compensated for payouts they'd made based on the illegal policies. The Obama "waiver" would avail them of nothing in a court, where a judge would be obliged to follow the law, not Dear Leader's enforcement preferences.

Obama's fix, moreover, has two other serious problems. First, when Bush gave assurances to the telecoms ­ the assurances that Obama ridiculed ­ he actually had a solid constitutional argument, supported by several court precedents, that his warrantless wiretapping program was legal. That is, because the Constitution vests the president with supremacy over foreign intelligence collection, Bush was not required to comply with FISA warrant provisions. The telecoms were thus able to contend that since Bush's request for eavesdropping assistance was legal, their compliance with it was legal. And still they were sued, repeatedly and aggressively.

By contrast, Obama has no constitutional leg to stand on in violating ­ and, by his waivers, encouraging violations of ­ the Obamacare law. The insurance companies have no hope of immunity.

Second, remember Senator Obama's posturing over whether he'd filibuster immunity for the telecoms? He was in the position to posture because Bush, like all American presidents until 2009, understood that only Congress can confer immunity from suit. That is why there was no overhaul of FISA until Democrats ­ under political pressure ­ finally stood down on their opposition to telecom immunity. The immunity became part of federal statutory law; it no longer depended on President Bush's mere assurances. Of course, that didn't stop the Obama Left from continuing to file lawsuits and thereby force the telecoms to spend millions to defend themselves; but at least the suits were dismissed and the damage contained.

In stark contrast, Obama is fighting any congressional tinkering with Obamacare for fear that the unpopular law will be gutted. So there will be no legislative immunity for the health-insurance companies ­ which means there will be no meaningful immunity, period.

Obama is a charlatan, but not a stupid one. He knows what he did on Thursday was a legal charade. His "waivers" are no more about law than Obamacare is about delivering quality health care. Thursday was a performance contrived to set the insurance companies up. With Americans boiling over coverage cancellations, Obama publicly called on the insurers to offer policies that he well knows his own law makes illegal and that his "waiver" is powerless to legitimize. He desperately hopes Americans will be gulled into blaming the insurance companies for the catastrophe he has wrought.

He would have gotten away with it a year ago. He won't get away with it now.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/364117/lawlessness-fix-andrew-c-mccarthy

The Icon of Truth-Telling ...


The Icon of Truth-Telling ...
Butler Shaffer

Bill Clinton, has advised President Obama to tell the truth to the people about insurance coverage (or lack thereof). The network news-babblers who report this must either have either a tremendous sense of humor, or blockheadedness, to be able to pass this on to us with a straight face. "Tell the truth?" In the words of that great stand-up philosopher, the late George Carlin, the entire political structure would collapse if truth-telling really caught on.

Veterans Day


Veterans Day
From Another Angle
Fred Reed
November 11, 2013

Note: WHile I try to read all email and answer what I can, and find almost all of it interesting and thoughtful, I get swamped. Nobody likes being ignored, and I don't like doing it, but sometimes it isn't avoidable. Apologies.

As I write, it is Veterans Day. Coincidentally last night, November tenth, the annual Marine Corps birthday party took place  at the Tratoria, a local Italian restaurant. I hadn´t gone before, not being much of a joiner, but went this time with Vi and Natalia. The assembled were nice people, well along in years, as am I. There were good food, patriotic speeches, and a birthday cake. We sang the Marine Corps Hymn, though "from the halls of Montezuma" was perhaps not a high point of diplomatic appropriateness in Mexico.

A camaraderie exists among Marines, into which I fit oddly. It starts with boot camp at Parris Island or, for the Hollywood Marines, at the recruit depot in San Diego. Men remember it because it was hard, demanding, a rite of passage to manhood. I understand that boot has been watered down as the country moves toward the goal of a non-violent Marine Corps, but in the Sixties it hadn´t been. If you got through it, you had done something, and you knew it. Those who hadn´t were an inferior species. We remember it with fondness, and a bond.

And then for Marines there are the wars, which we always have. I don´t know why. For most at the Tratoria, it was I suppose Southeast Asia. We had talk of sacrifice and duty. There is a romance to war that has called to men since well before the days of Marcus Aurelius wintering on the Rhine-Danube line, when Rome, not America, was Rome. War is another bond.

For me it was lying in the tropical night of Danang on top of a sand-bagged amtrac, LVT P5, big engine growling  at the idle, star shells flickering high and trailing white smoke that looked almost solid, rifle in hand, occasional spent bullets from the valley below zzzzzzzzzzzzzz! overhead. It was a time for men, of big events, away from the sorry life we would mostly retune to of offices and soft pogues for bosses.

So I understand when veterans get together and give patriotic speeches at a thousand Legion halls around the world. Yet, listening to the speeches, I wondered at the near total disconnect from reality. We Marines, I heard over and over, had made sacrifices "to protect our freedom."  Made sacrifices or been sacrificed? How exactly, I wondered, had remote wars against primitive societies on the other side of the world protected our freedom? As so often, I marveled at the automatic assumption that America is somehow more free than other places. How more free than Switzerland, Australia, Japan, Germany, or Holland? I feel freer in Mexico than in the growing police state to the north.

Most veterans in the Legion halls have had little contact with people in other countries, especially with the people of the countries where they have fought. I did. I covered the last year of the debacle in Vietnam, 1974-75, as a stringer for Army Times. A very green reporter cutting my teeth on a big story, I lived in $20-a-month rooms in back alleys, close to the bone.

There I found the Viets, the Cambodians, the Chinese to be likable sorts, damned interesting, caught up in a godawful tragedy not of their making and beyond their understanding. They didn´t understand about our freedom. They didn´t understand why half a million foreigners were in their country, bombing, shelling, napalming, burning, killing. Which is exactly what we were doing.

A decade of so back, I was visiting friends in Bangkok and decided to catch the train north to Nong Khai on the Thai-Lao border and spend a week in Laos. I took a room in a hotel on the Mekong, not much more than a large creek at that point. At a local pizzeria I met a young Lao woman who spoke English and, with her husband, ran a jackleg tour service. He had a car.

Laos was then, as it was during the war, a slow, hot, pleasant Asian backwater posing no threat to anyone at all. We drove through endless quiet, quiet, quiet, hot, hot, hot countryside to see what was there. At one point we stopped in Vientiane to talk to some of the young woman´s friends (I forget her name). They spoke English. She mentioned something about before her father died. What happened to him, I asked?

"He died fighting the Americans."

Wrong question.

How many Laos did we butcher for nothing, how many Vietnamese, how many Cambodians? Millions, literally. For nothing. Nothing.  How many Iraqis? Afghans? Pakistanis? If any of it preserved my freedom, I am unaware of it.

How many in the Legion halls, the Marine Corps birthdays­they are friendly, decent, likeable men­have any idea of this?

Cambodia: Another sleepy land of jungle and silence and horrendous death, thanks to protecting our freedom. During the siege, I lived on a rooftop apartment at 98 Jawaharlal Nehru Street, shared with Steve Hedder, a young stringer for Time or Newsweek, I forget which. Half of it was patio, open to the sky.

Here was more of the poisoned romance of war. Often we lay under the night, floating in a Nembutal haze, the smell of flower trees thick in the air and charcoal smells and low murmer of Khmer voices from neighboring roofs. There was the occasional whistling twitter of Chicom 107s sailing in from the swamps, kerboom, but we knew we were out of range. Oh yes.

There were living with us two young Khmer girls, perhaps sixteen, sisters I think of Steve's Cambodian wife Devi. They were pretty, slender, sweet kids. I could talk to them because they had learned French at the Alliance Francaise and mine, while it would have caused the entire nation of France to retch in three-part harmony, was adequate for communication.

The end came. Steve got Devi out in the evacuation, but not the girls. Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, a direct result of the destabilization of Southeast Asia by the US, took Phnom Penh.  The KR proceeded to kill, by torture, beating, starvation or overwork, anyone with soft hands­students, intellectuals, the middle class. The girls didn´t have a chance. Rifle-butted to death? Raped and bayoneted? Fell from exhaustion on the forced exodus from the city? I don´t know.

But please God, not Tuol Sleng, the torture operation set up by the KR in a former girls´ school. I went there many years later and wished I hadn´t. Far better to be raped and bayoneted.

[]

God knows how many of these poor innocents were tortured to death in Tuol Sleng, a place the CIA would love. After the war a friend found a picture of a former girlfriend in the death records. We are, however, still free.

The rest of the planet pays a high price for our freedom. This is no doubt justified because we are the city of the hill, a light to the nations, bringing democracy and human rights to a globe thirsty for improvement by us. I have just never seen it. I like the people at the Legion halls, at birthdays for the Marine Corps, but I may be a little less proud of what we did.


http://www.fredoneverything.net/Vets.shtml

The Economics of ObamaCare


The Economics of ObamaCare
Thursday, November 14, 2013
by Robert P. Murphy

Editor's Note: For a more detailed analysis of this topic, sign up for Dr. Murphy's 4-week online Mises Academy class, beginning November 20. The course will cover the standard arguments for government intervention in health care and health insurance, including the common claim that "socialized medicine works in Europe."

Near the end of Human Action Ludwig von Mises declared that it was the "primary civic duty" to learn the teachings of economics. The public's growing furor over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act -- popularly known as "ObamaCare" -- beautifully illustrates Mises's point. No one has any business being shocked -- shocked! -- that millions of Americans will lose their current health insurance (including the present, irritated, writer), because such an outcome was obvious all along. Furthermore, the hilarious snags with healthcare.gov are merely a sideshow; the true problems with ObamaCare run much deeper than a malfunctioning website.


The Basic Structure of "ObamaCare"

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was formally signed into law on March 23, 2010. There are numerous provisions that kick in at various stages, through 2020. For our purposes in this article, there are four key elements of the ACA that merit our attention:

  • Insurers are legally required to provide coverage to all applicants, regardless of medical history, with a partial "community rating" system for premiums, which means that insurers must set premiums based (mostly) on geography and age, rather than sex and (most) pre-existing conditions.
  • Health insurance policies must meet minimum standards (called "essential health benefits"), including no caps on annual or lifetime payments from the insurance companies for an individual policy.
  • Everyone is required to obtain health insurance, except for waivers granted for certain religious groups and those deemed to be unable to afford coverage. Government subsidies and state-based "health exchange markets" will be provided to assist individuals.
  • An "employer mandate" penalizes firms with 50 or more employees if they do not offer coverage for their full-time employees, defined as those working 30 or more hours per week.

Intended Consequences

There are reasons for the particular provisions above, which sound superficially sensible (if you don't know much about economics). Obviously, before the passage of the new law, there were millions of people without health insurance coverage. Although many of them were young and healthy -- thinking they could risk going without coverage -- many of them wanted coverage but couldn't obtain it, either because of the price or an outright refusal of coverage because of a pre-existing condition.

Now, given that the government wanted to mandate that health insurers provide coverage to all applicants, there had to be specific rules on what premiums they could charge, and minimums on the type of policies offered. Otherwise, the health insurers could say, "Fair enough, President Obama, we will indeed give a policy to any applicant -- even someone with brain cancer. It's just that the annual premium for people with brain cancer will be $2 million, and we will cap our total payment at $100 per year. Who wants to sign up? We're more than happy to comply with the new mandate."

Moving down the list, let's consider the individual mandate, which requires that (just about) every American carries health insurance. The reason for this provision is to avoid what's known as adverse selection. If health insurers were required to provide coverage to all applicants, with (partial) community rating, and if individuals retained the freedom to buy coverage or not, then the private health insurance companies would quickly go out of business. Healthy people could drop their coverage, saving on the hefty premiums each year, and then apply for health insurance whenever they got sick. This would be analogous to people buying car insurance only after they'd gotten in an accident; it clearly wouldn't work for any firm to offer insurance in this environment.

But, given that the government is going to mandate that (virtually) all individuals obtain health insurance, it was necessary to offer subsidies and other mechanisms to make sure this mandate was feasible.

Finally, the employer mandate was ostensibly included, in order to minimize the disruption to the existing system. In the absence of an employer mandate, people feared that employers would drop their original health insurance plans, telling their employees to sign up at the state-based "health exchanges." The reason for limiting the employer mandate to large firms (50 or more full-time employees) and their full-time employees (those working 30 or more hours) is that it would be unreasonable and counterproductive to impose such expensive requirements ­ which could be thousands of dollars annually, per worker ­ on small businesses or even a large firm concerning only its part-time workers.


The "Unintended" But Entirely Predictable Effects

We are now seeing many of the undesirable effects of the ACA. These are typically being described as "unintended." However, this adjective is a bit of a misnomer, since these outcomes were entirely predictable, and in fact were predicted by many free-market economists in the debate leading up to the passage of the ACA. Cynics can justifiably speculate that at least some of the proponents of the ACA knew full well the outcome would be untenable, leading the public to embrace even more federal intervention in health care down the road.

The most obvious result is a large spike in premiums for many people, once the mandates on health coverage are fully phased in. The biggest hit will occur in places that right now offer bare-bones catastrophic policies with large deductibles and low caps. For example, according to this CNN article, officials in Florida estimated that the premiums on a "silver" plan would rise anywhere from 7.6 percent to 58.8 percent, while officials in Ohio estimated an average increase of 41 percent.

Now even if the official amount that certain individuals pay for their health insurance goes down, the real question is whether this is more than offset by the increase in taxes necessary to cover all of the new subsidies to poor individuals who cannot afford to meet the individual mandate. Step back and look at the big picture: Under the ACA, suddenly millions of new people are going to be seeking more medical care than they did before. There's nothing in the new law that will magically create more doctors, hospitals, or MRI machines. Americans in general are going to pay for this, one way or another. Indeed, the huge increase in government responsibility for health spending will provide the justification for government-imposed rationing down the road -- as even Paul Krugman acknowledges when he cheekily calls for death panels. (Really, click on the link to see the video if you don't believe me.)


"But the President Said I Could Keep My Plan …"

Another predictable outcome is that many Americans will not be able to keep their previous plan. Millions of Americans who bought insurance in the individual market (i.e., not via their employer) will find that their plan doesn't meet the standards of ObamaCare. To keep premiums down, relatively young and healthy, self-employed individuals had "catastrophic" plans with high deductibles. These are no longer legally allowed. According to this Forbes article, as far back as 2010 (sic!) Obama officials were projecting that 93 million Americans had health insurance plans that would be unacceptable under ObamaCare.


Job Losses

Besides rate hikes (and ultimately, government rationing of medical care), another major downside of the ACA is the job losses it will cause. For example, here is an email that a fellow economist sent to Greg Mankiw of Harvard:

With the implementation of the ACA (Affordable Care Act) these institutions are giving notification to their part-time faculty that their individual teaching schedules will now be limited to three sections. At the college this will likely result in the cancellation of 20-25% of the class sections in economics, and I would assume other areas will have a similar result. The students are not fully aware of the situation and many will be surprised that their desire to get a college education is now being impacted by the need to avoid the full implementation of the ACA. [Emphasis added]

Even some labor leaders recognize the devastation ObamaCare would wreak on workers, protesting to the government that it would "destroy the foundation of the 40-hour work week."

This isn't rocket science, as they say. If the government has to force employers to provide a benefit to their employees, it means it's unprofitable; otherwise the employers would have already done it as part of their compensation package in order to attract quality workers. So if this costly, unprofitable employer mandate only applies to firms with 50 or more employees, and even then only applies to those employees who work 30 or more hours, then we shouldn't be shocked ­ shocked! ­ to discover firms not growing past 49 employees, and/or limiting people to 29 hours per week.




Register for "The Economics of Obamacare" here.

Robert Murphy is an adjunct scholar of the Mises Institute, where he teaches at the Mises Academy. He runs the blog Free Advice and is the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism, the Study Guide to "Man, Economy, and State with Power and Market," the "Human Action" Study Guide, The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal, and his newest book, Lessons for the Young Economist.

http://mises.org/daily/6587/The-Economics-of-ObamaCare

Rather Biased


Rather Biased
Charles Burris

Just as historical accounts in the old Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin would edit out any references to Leon Trotsky, so CBS News is editing out any references to its former news reporter and anchor Dan Rather in its " coverage" of the November 22, 1963 murder of John Kennedy.

For fifty years Dan Rather has been "Rather Biased" concerning the Kennedy assassination and the Warren Commission cover-up of what took place that day in Dallas. As a Dealey Plaza "eye-witness" to those tragic events, together with his tenacious adherence to the government's "official story" is what made (and launched) his CBS network news broadcasting career.

On November 22, 1963, a coup d'état by Lyndon Johnson and the highest echelons of the National Security State was accomplished with the brutal murder of President John F. Kennedy. Andrew Gavin Marshall has written an excellent and concise online summary article, " The National Security State and the Assassination of JFK," which compliments the definitive, path-breaking research of author James W. Douglass in JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters.

The "smoking gun" in the cover-up of the assassination is found in CIA Dispatch #1035-960 ( available online). This was the crucial covert directive to the CIA's Operation Mockingbird elite media assets to vigorously denounce critics of the Warren Commission Report as "conspiracy theorists." This is when that particular derogatory term of denunciation and disinformation entered the national conversation in an attempt to cut off and stifle informed debate on the president's murder because the path of evidence would lead directly to those elements behind the sinister cover-up.

These facts are discussed in detail in Lance deHaven-Smith's authoritative Conspiracy Theory in America (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press). Dr. Smith is a widely published scholar in peer-reviewed academic journals and is Professor in the Reubin O' D. Askew School of Public Administration and Policy at Florida State University in Tallahassee. DeHaven-Smith has appeared on Good Morning America, the Today Show, NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, CBS Nightly News with Dan Rather, the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and other national TV and radio shows.

The upcoming CBS line-up of "programing" (sans Dan Rather) will continue their five decades of disinformation, deceit, and duplicity regarding Kennedy's murder.

CBS chairman William Paley, Fred Friendly, and Edward R. Murrow were part of the Agency's Operation Mockingbird to provide deflection and cover for the CIA's 'family jewels' of the day. CBS News president Sig Mickelson (1954-61) was liaison to the CIA. Because of his frequent communications, Mickelson even had a direct private phone line installed to the Agency. CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite was a former military intelligence officer also connected within this elite nexus.

CIA director Allen Dulles (fired by JFK after the Bay of Pigs disaster and later the key member of the Warren Commission cover-up), CBS chairman William Paley, and CBS board director Senator Prescott Bush were intimate associates in various sociopolitical networks of the northeastern seaboard establishment found in Washington and New York during the days of the early Cold War. Whether they would meet in their elite private clubs, at the Harold Pratt House of the Council on Foreign Relations, or in Wall Street corporate and bank board rooms, these old birds of a feather flocked, connived, schemed, and conspired together.

Ironically it was Dan Rather's reporting on Prescott Bush's grandson which got him sacked from CBS. Investigative journalist Russ Baker's superb book, Family of Secrets, vindicated Rather in detailing George Walker Bush's AWOL absentee record and criminal behavior regarding the National Guard during the Viet Nam War. Baker also illuminated Prescott's son George Herbert Walker Bush's curious connections to the unfolding events in Dallas on November 22, 1963.

Obama was right !!!! Here is absolute proof of Muslim Science affecting all Americans !!! An absolute must see !!!

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President Kennedy's Visit To Tampa

It was fifty years ago tomorrow, when President Kennedy came to Tampa on (Pretty Much) a campaign visit.  Nevertheless, it was a memorable visit with several rousing speeches, and of course, what was to follow four days later in Dallas has overshadowed the President's Tampa visit.
 
Today,  fifty years later, the major street in downtown Tampa; and thoroughfare leading into and out of Tampa:  "Grand Central Avenue"  and "Layette Street" have since become Kennedy Blvd.   Where President Kennedy spoke in front of the University of Tampa now sits a statute and a commemorative memorial in honor of President Kennedy.
 
 
 

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Re: Scholastic - Biggest Children's Book Publisher Erases Israel From Map

I find this interesting in several ways:

In the last paragraph "Palestine" and "Israel" appear to be mentioned on a par with each other.  At other times, in other things I've read and heard, they are presented in a very uneven way, as if one is a nation and the other isn't, or as if one is legitimate and the other isn't.

When the lady drew the border for her son, which border did she draw?  Were the "Palestinian Territories" within it?

In the last paragraph, "Palestine" or "Palestinian" is referenced three times:  the words are:  "Palestinian researchers", "Palestinian school textbooks", and "Palestinian territories".  I notice these references, because one day a couple of people (both Zionists) were telling me that there's no such thing as Palestine or Palestinians.  

However, on another day, I was having lunch with a Palestinian.  A Jewish friend had referred me to him because I had mentioned to him that I wanted to meet more Palestinians.  (They knew each other from work.)  This Palestinian either identified himself as a Palestinian or would have if I had presumed to ask.  He was telling me he had grown up in the West Bank and described relationships among Jews, Palestinians, and the Israeli government.  

What's the meaning of this discrepancy in narratives:  some people say there is no such thing as Palestinians or Palestine, and other people refer to them all the time (and some apparently _are_ them)?  And how does it compare (with role reversal) with "erasing Israel from" maps?

I've heard that Israel demands that its neighbors acknowledge Israel's "right to exist".  Yet it seems to me that Israel does not acknowledge Palestine's right to exist.  Moreover, at least occasionally, "Israel" or its proponents fail to acknowledge, or even actively deny, that Palestine even exists at all, which I find shocking.

I believe there's a relationship between this situation, and the narrative in the Book of Joshua in the Old Testament.  What do readers think of it?

-jrl

On Thursday, November 14, 2013 8:43:49 AM UTC-8, Travis wrote:







Scholastic - Biggest Children's Book Publisher Erases Israel From Map

 

Arab textbooks are not the only ones erasing Israel from their maps. Scholastic, the world's largest publisher of children's books, has also eliminated the Jewish state in a book.

Geronimo Stilton children's series translated from Italian and published by Scholastic in 2012, tells the story of a group of investigative journalists involved in a treasure hunt in Egypt.

The story commences with a map of modern Egypt and its neighboring countries. While Sudan, Libya and Saudi Arabia appear clearly on the map, the territory of Israel is completely covered by Jordan, painted red. A line indicating the Israeli border with the Sinai Peninsula does appear in the book.

Adina Golombek, a Jerusalem resident who emigrated to Israel from Canada last year, said she was shocked to discover Israel's absence while reading the book with her 7-year-old son.

"I wanted to show my son where we lived in the Middle East, but it didn't say Israel on the map; instead it said Jordan," Golombek told The Times of Israel. "I showed him the problem and drew in the border of where Israel is today."

Founded in Pennsylvania in 1920, Scholastic has grown to become the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books through its book clubs, teaching resources and popular book fairs held inside many North American schools. The company has exclusive publishing rights for the Harry Potter series in the United States.

Kyle Good, a senior vice president for corporate communications at Scholastic, told The Times of Israel in an email that her company was looking into the possibility of amending the map in future editions of the book.

"The Geronimo Stilton series is published in Italy and Scholastic translates the books for the U.S. audience. I'm awaiting a response from the editorial team regarding the timing of reprints and whether this will be corrected. I will get back to you as soon as I have their response," Good wrote.

A recent study carried out by Israeli and Palestinian researchers found that 96 percent of Palestinian school textbooks did not mention Israel by name in their maps. Similarly, 87 percent of Israeli school textbooks did not designate the Palestinian Territories by name.



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On Thursday, November 14, 2013 8:43:49 AM UTC-8, Travis wrote:







Scholastic - Biggest Children's Book Publisher Erases Israel From Map

 

Arab textbooks are not the only ones erasing Israel from their maps. Scholastic, the world's largest publisher of children's books, has also eliminated the Jewish state in a book.

Geronimo Stilton children's series translated from Italian and published by Scholastic in 2012, tells the story of a group of investigative journalists involved in a treasure hunt in Egypt.

The story commences with a map of modern Egypt and its neighboring countries. While Sudan, Libya and Saudi Arabia appear clearly on the map, the territory of Israel is completely covered by Jordan, painted red. A line indicating the Israeli border with the Sinai Peninsula does appear in the book.

Adina Golombek, a Jerusalem resident who emigrated to Israel from Canada last year, said she was shocked to discover Israel's absence while reading the book with her 7-year-old son.

"I wanted to show my son where we lived in the Middle East, but it didn't say Israel on the map; instead it said Jordan," Golombek told The Times of Israel. "I showed him the problem and drew in the border of where Israel is today."

Founded in Pennsylvania in 1920, Scholastic has grown to become the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books through its book clubs, teaching resources and popular book fairs held inside many North American schools. The company has exclusive publishing rights for the Harry Potter series in the United States.

Kyle Good, a senior vice president for corporate communications at Scholastic, told The Times of Israel in an email that her company was looking into the possibility of amending the map in future editions of the book.

"The Geronimo Stilton series is published in Italy and Scholastic translates the books for the U.S. audience. I'm awaiting a response from the editorial team regarding the timing of reprints and whether this will be corrected. I will get back to you as soon as I have their response," Good wrote.

A recent study carried out by Israeli and Palestinian researchers found that 96 percent of Palestinian school textbooks did not mention Israel by name in their maps. Similarly, 87 percent of Israeli school textbooks did not designate the Palestinian Territories by name.



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Fwd: Boombox cartoons

 
 
So many of the political cartoonists present the liberal view of issues here is a conservative cartoonist's view of the world......fun to find and read for a change of pace.
 
Bill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

Re: Vladimir Putin's shortest speech

I am an avid minority everywhere I go.  Now I know that Russia is one more place not to emigrate to.

On Friday, November 15, 2013 7:04:13 AM UTC-8, Bill wrote:

 

 

 

 

 

Subject: Vladimir Putin's shortest speech

 

This is one time our elected leaders should pay attention to the advice of Vladimir Putin ... How scary is that?

On August 04, 2013, Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, addressed the Duma, (Russian Parliament), and gave a speech about the tensions with minorities in Russia :

"In Russia live like Russians. Any minority, from anywhere, if it wants to live in Russia, to work and eat in Russia, should speak Russian, and should respect the Russian laws. If they prefer Sharia Law, and live the life of Muslim's then we advise them to go to those places where that's the state law. Russia does not need Muslim minorities. Minorities need Russia , and we will not grant them special privileges, or try to change our laws to fit their desires, no matter how loud they yell 'discrimination'. We will not tolerate disrespect of our Russian culture .We better learn from the suicides of America, England, Holland, and France, if we are to survive as a nation. The Muslims are taking over those countries and they will not take over Russia. The Russian customs and traditions are not compatible with the lack of culture or the primitive ways Sharia Law and Muslims. When this honorable legislative body thinks of creating new laws, it should have in mind the Russian national interest first, observing that the Muslims Minorities Are Not Russians."

The politicians in the Duma gave Putin a five minute standing ovation.

 

 

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