Sunday, 5 January 2014

Obamacare and GOP Complacence


The Right Prescription
Obamacare and GOP Complacence
Overconfidence is lethal. So is division.
By David Catron – 12.30.13

The breathtaking ineptitude with which the Obama administration has implemented the Affordable Care Act provides the Republican Party a very real opportunity to make major gains in the upcoming midterm elections. A mere 60 days ago, the Democrats seemed well-positioned to hold on to its Senate Majority and perhaps even regain control of the House. Since then, according to a CNN/ORC survey released last week, the GOP has improved its standing among registered voters by 13 points: "Two months ago, Democrats held a 50%-42% advantage.... The new survey… indicates Republicans with a 49%-44% edge over the Democrats."

This is good news indeed, but some of the commentary offered by pundits and conservative activists concerning this trend threaten to infect Republican politicians and donors with a deadly strain of overconfidence. Rick Manning, of Americans for Limited Government, provided an all too typical example in a recent paean to Senator Ted Cruz for the Hill: "Fear of losing coverage, fear of significantly increased healthcare costs and fear of losing the doctor/patient relationship have become the table topic in households. These households know that Republicans… did everything possible to protect America from the impact of Obamacare."

Cruz does indeed deserve credit for his stand against Obamacare funding, but Manning's claim that Americans know the GOP "did everything possible" to protect them from ACA's ill effects is nonsense. The legacy news media reported the Cruz defunding story as an attempt by an out-of-control party, led by wild-eyed Tea Party radicals, to shut down the government in order to avoid providing health care to patients with pre-existing conditions. They would still be peddling that tale "above the fold" had it not been swamped by the tsunami of revelations about Obama administration incompetence relating to the rollout of Healthcare.gov.

Likewise, the fear of losing coverage that Manning cites is the result of a failure by the establishment press to control a story it would normally have spun against the insurance industry. This failure was largely due to the outrage of some media figures who were themselves victimized. Thus, we got some uncharacteristically honest reporting in the form of anecdotal stories about people who had received insurance cancellation letters. Even so, most of these reports were studiously vague about how many people have actually been affected, and whether the cancellations were necessitated by Obamacare or insurance industry greed.

Does media coverage really matter when so many real people are receiving cancellation notices? Yep. The MSM can influence their perception of who caused their sudden lack of coverage. The President and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius are already working hard to place blame for those cancellations squarely on the shoulders of "bad apples" in the insurance industry. And, the media are about to end their brief sojourn in the alien regions of reality. By spring, the MSM will be aiding and abetting the Democrat attempt to make the insurers the villains of this piece. Many Americans will believe such a story about an unpopular industry they already distrust.

In fact, some alleged journalists are already attempting to revise history on the administration's botched rollout of Obamacare as well as the spate of health policy cancellations. MEDIAite reports that some of the usual suspects have already begun shifting blame to the insurance industry: "MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell and NBC News Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd… agreed that the insurance industry has been unhelpful for the White House by citing the ACA and blaming President Barack Obama for problematic aspects of the nation's health care system that he was 'trying to fix.'"

In other words, because the establishment news media will return to form during 2014, the Republicans will have to "end run" them and communicate directly with the voters about the depredations of Obamacare. This should be obvious, but we're talking about the GOP. Since Reagan, Republicans have suffered from a learning disability where voter communication is concerned. And this election cycle is no exception. When they should be selling the electorate on the alternatives to Obamacare offered by their party, the Republican establishment seems bent on squandering valuable resources on internecine warfare.

Just last week, the New York Daily News reported that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce declared war on the party's conservative wing: "Tea Party challengers to establishment Republicans have a new foe ­ the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The chamber is pledging to spend $50 million in GOP primary fights to ward off right-wing candidates." A week earlier, the New York Times gleefully reported that Karl Rove's American Crossroads group and state-based conservative super PACs are engaged in a "quiet but intense struggle over money and influence." Neither the Republican Party nor the country can afford this nonsense.

If the GOP ignores the voters while engaging in an internal civil war, the Democrats and their media toadies will fill the information gap with propaganda. They will tell the electorate that all new entitlements are just as messy as Obamacare. Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich is already peddling this whopper, and he is not alone. If the Republicans don't refute such balderdash with the truth, many of the voters will buy it. People like Rep. Paul Ryan have offered workable alternatives to the chaos of Obamacare, but the voters won't know about such proposals if Republicans waste their resources fighting among themselves.

Has the disastrous rollout of Obamacare rendered the Republicans so complacent that they believe the voters will automatically embrace their party in 2014? The bumbling and dishonesty of the Obama administration has provided the GOP a real chance to win back the Senate and expand their majority in the House. Indeed, the Democrats take this threat so seriously that the Democratic National Committee has just sent out a desperate email suggesting that a GOP victory next fall means Obama will be impeached. Nonetheless, if the Republicans believe they already have the midterms in the bag, they truly are the "stupid party."

http://spectator.org/articles/57286/obamacare-and-gop-complacence

Dump the Contraception Mandate and All the Rest


TGIF:
Dump the Contraception Mandate and All the Rest
by Sheldon Richman
January 3, 2014

"Nowadays to be intelligible is to be found out." -- Oscar Wilde

In the wacky world of American politics, if you as an employer have a religious objection to paying for your employees' contraceptives, it is you who is contemptuous of religious freedom.

As the New York Times editorial board lectured a judge who thinks otherwise, "the threat to religious liberty comes from employers trying to impose their religious views on workers."

You read that correctly. Refusing to pay for other people's birth-control products -- more specifically, opposing a government mandate to pay -- is equivalent to imposing your religious views.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) mandates not only that employers provide comprehensive medical insurance to their full-time employees, but also that the coverage include contraceptives -- at no cost to employees. Because contraceptives are not found free in nature and insurance companies are for-profit businesses, not charitable foundations, this means that the explicit expense must be borne by employers.

This raises a host of issues. For example, if employers have to pay up front for their employees' contraceptives, the money will likely be subtracted from some other form of compensation, perhaps other noncash benefits. So employees will pay after all; they just won't realize it.

Moreover, the use of contraceptives is not an insurable event because it is a volitional action. Insurance was devised to provide financial protection against unlikely but costly happenings, such as major disease, fire, and storms. It was not supposed to be a way to get other people to pay for the routine things you want to buy.

Coverage for contraceptives is like fire insurance that covers arson committed by the policyholder. It's the kind of thing that only government can bring into existence -- by threatening those who fail to comply. The corruption of language is just one of many offenses here. (See my "Contraception: Insuring the Uninsurable.")

As we know, some employers have a religious objection to contraception and therefore believe that their freedom of conscience is violated by the mandate that compels them to pay for their employees' birth-control products. (Must I say that the validity of their moral views on contraception is irrelevant as far as justice is concerned?) When this objection was raised, the Obama administration came up with a confusing ­ and in the end, inconsequential -- "accommodation" for some religious organizations, but it fell far short of recognizing the right of all employers not to be forced to pay for other people's contraception. (Of course, much more than this should have been challenged.)

Now, in the last two weeks, the mandate has taken a hit in the courts. A U.S. district judge in Brooklyn issued an injunction in favor of affiliates of the Roman Catholic Diocese of New York. Then Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor temporarily exempted a Colorado order of nuns from the mandate to keep it from being hit with big fines.

These and similar cases filed by for-profit companies will end up in the Supreme Court, and there's no telling what will happen. Let's recall that the court has already ruled that the government can force each of us to buy medical insurance as long as the penalty for not doing so is called a tax.

We need to hold the mandate's advocates responsible for their base rhetoric. It is the government's decree -- not the employers who object to it -- that violates religious liberty. Those who favor the mandate say repeatedly that employers who would refuse to pay for their employees' contraceptives because of religious scruples would be denying women access to contraception. That is obviously a lie, sheer demagogy. No woman would be prohibited from obtaining contraceptive products because her employer refused to pay. Even if contraception were prohibitively expensive -- which it is not ­ merely abstaining from paying would not constitute denial of access.

People who make such demagogic statements know the difference between denying access and merely choosing not to foot the bill, but they hope we won't see the distinction. In other words, they insult our intelligence. (The news media are accomplices in this commission of base rhetoric. I'd like to know of one case in which a reporter asked Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, to defend her equation of the refusal to pay with the violation of the rights women.)

Next the mandate advocates throw up a smokescreen of irrelevancies, such as the benefits and widespread use of contraception. I call this irrelevant not because the claims are false, but because even if true, they do not justify compelling anyone to pay for someone else's contraception.

That is the only point at issue. On what grounds can the government justly require employers to pay for their employees' birth control services? There are none.

Finally, proponents of the mandate warn that if religious employers can opt out of paying for contraception, what's to keep any employer from claiming a conscientious objection to all Obamacare (or other) mandates?

Nothing, I hope. We should welcome it. Religious people who oppose contraception are not the only people with rights against the government. No one should be subjected to government mandates. The only thing any of us can be legitimately required to do is abstain from initiating force and fraud against others. Enforceable decrees that go beyond that simple prohibition violate our rights and have no place in a civil society.

http://fff.org/explore-freedom/article/tgif-dump-the-contraception-mandate/

Rep. Peter King (R-Tel Aviv) Calls Rand Paul a Liar . . .


January 5, 2014
Rep. Peter King (R-Tel Aviv) Calls Rand Paul a Liar . . .
Thomas DiLorenzo

. . . "who does not deserve to be in the U.S. Senate" and who "hates America" because Rand Paul defends the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Is there a bigger idiot in Washington than Peter King?

Fwd: DHS Bulletin: Self-identified Anarchist Extremists Target Urban Gentrification Sites with Arson







(U//FOUO) DHS Bulletin: Self-identified Anarchist Extremists Target Urban
Gentrification Sites with Arson
http://publicintelligence.net/dhs-anarchist-gentrification-arson/
January 4, 2014 in Department of Homeland Security

Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A), Homeland Counterterrorism
Division, Homegrown Violent Extremism Branch

    4 pages
    For Official Use Only
    July 23, 2013

Download

    (U//FOUO) This Note analyzes the recent use of arson by anarchist
extremists targeting urban development sites they describe as negatively
impacting lower income residents through "gentrification." This information
is provided to enable federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial law
enforcement; first responders; and private sector security officials to
identify, preempt, prevent, or respond to intentional acts targeting urban
development sites by anarchist extremist campaigns.

    (U//FOUO) We assess the use of arson by anarchist extremists to
specifically attack urban development sites they perceive as
"gentrification" is an escalation of tactics against this target set and a
departure from more traditional targets of violence-symbols of
globalization, political and economic summits, corporations, military
recruiting offices, and law enforcement. I&A judges that anarchist
extremists are likely to replicate this tactic due to their history of
sharing tactics, repeating targets, and the relative success of prior
attacks. We have moderate confidence in this judgment because the incident
information and historical patterns of criminal activity are credibly
sourced and plausible even though the number of new cases is limited.

    > (U//FOUO) Although environmental rights extremists-with whom anarchist
extremists often are associated and express solidarity-historically employed
arson at development sites in suburban or rural environments, anarchist
extremists in North America rarely have targeted urban development they
perceive as "gentrification" with arson. The reasons for this apparent
escalation to violence against this target set remain unknown.

    (U//FOUO) Individuals or groups claiming to be perpetrators of two
recent-but thus far unconnected--attacks in Vancouver, Canada and Seattle,
Washington, and a 2011 attack in Grand Rapids, Michigan, cited anarchist
extremist beliefs as the basis for their attacks on urban development
projects. None of the arsons resulted in injuries; however, the Vancouver
fire damaged adjacent homes, highlighting the potential for the tactic to
cause unintended death or serious injury.

    > (U//FOUO) Individuals calling themselves the "Anti-Gentrification
Front" (AGF) in May 2013 claimed credit for setting fire to a construction
site for new duplexes in Vancouver. The claim, posted to an anarchist web
forum, stated that the attack was motivated by "rising rent costs and
gentrification" in Vancouver. No arrests have been made.
    > (U//FOUO) Suspected anarchist extremists in February 2013 set fire to
a condominium development under construction in Seattle. An anonymous post
on an anarchist website took credit for the attack and claimed that they
were protesting "gentrification" developments in the city and expressed
solidarity with imprisoned anarchists. No arrests have been made.
    > (U//FOUO) Individuals set fire to an unfinished condominium in
February 2011 in Grand Rapids. A letter claiming responsibility three days
later cited "antigentrification" as motivation and threatened additional
actions, including robbery, assault, and kidnapping.

    (U//FOUO) Each of the three arsons was preceded by lower level criminal
activity or mischief involving anarchist or "anti-gentrification"
statements, suggesting a deliberate shift by perpetrators toward more
violent activities to oppose local urban development efforts. While we
remain concerned that the process of escalation from minor criminal acts to
more violent activities like arsons could be repeated, it also represents a
potential opportunity to interdict or prevent further arsons.

    > (U//FOUO) Before the Vancouver arson, the AGF claimed responsibility
in online communications for a number of low-level criminal actions,
including smashing the windows of a "yuppie" restaurant and Vancouver city
trucks; AGF claimed the targets of their attacks supported a specific
community plan promoting "gentrification." These crimes remain unsolved.
    > (U//FOUO) According to local media reporting, graffiti critical of
development efforts, such as "Gentrification Kills (sic)," appeared in
several areas of Seattle during the two years prior to the arson; however,
no claims of responsibility for the graffiti or connection to the arson have
been made.
    > (U//FOUO) The same neighborhood of Grand Rapids that was later
targeted by arson first experienced vandalism, including smashed windows and
graffiti critical of "gentrification" and anarchist symbols. These low-level
crimes occurred on the 25th day of each of the two months preceding the
arson, suggesting some connection. No arrests have been made.

    (U//FOUO) I&A is actively seeking additional reporting from law
enforcement about incidents of anarchist extremists targeting sites they
associate with "gentrification." We have no specific indications of ongoing
plotting against targets related to urban development but remain concerned
about the potential for further attacks of this nature.

    > (U//FOUO) Claims of responsibility have gained publicity among the
anarchist extremist community, which could inspire copycat attacks. Law
enforcement and first responders should be vigilant for signs of possible
preparation for arson, as well as for lesser criminal activity and vandalism
by anarchist extremists, which may be indicative of follow-on violent
activities.

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Fwd: NSA statement does not deny 'spying' on members of Congress






[[  You need hip boots just to listen to them on C-SPAN.  NSA guys must be wearing waders. ]]

 

NSA statement does not deny 'spying' on members of Congress

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/04/nsa-spying-bernie-sanders-members-congress?CMP=twt_gu

 

. Agency responds to questions from Senator Bernie Sanders

 

. Statement cites 'same privacy protections as all US persons'

    Spencer Ackerman in Washington and Martin Pengelly in New York

    theguardian.com, Saturday 4 January 2014 15.31 EST      

 

Vermont senator Bernie Sanders Vermont senator Bernie Sanders. Photograph:

Alison Redlich/AP

 

The National Security Agency on Saturday released a statement in answer to

questions from a senator about whether it "has spied, or is . currently

spying, on members of Congress or other American elected officials", in

which it did not deny collecting communications from legislators of the US

Congress to whom it says it is accountable.

 

In a letter dated 3 January, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont defined

"spying" as "gathering metadata on calls made from official or personal

phones, content from websites visited or emails sent, or collecting any

other data from a third party not made available to the general public in

the regular course of business".

 

The agency has been at the centre of political controversy since a former

contractor, Edward Snowden, released thousands of documents on its

activities to media outlets including the Guardian.

 

In its statement, which comes as the NSA gears up for a make-or-break

legislative battle over the scope of its surveillance powers, the agency

pointed to "privacy protections" which it says it keeps on all Americans'

phone records.

 

The statement read: "NSA's authorities to collect signals intelligence data

include procedures that protect the privacy of US persons. Such protections

are built into and cut across the entire process. Members of Congress have

the same privacy protections as all US persons. NSA is fully committed to

transparency with Congress. Our interaction with Congress has been extensive

both before and since the media disclosures began last June.

 

"We are reviewing Senator Sanders's letter now, and we will continue to work

to ensure that all members of Congress, including Senator Sanders, have

information about NSA's mission, authorities, and programs to fully inform

the discharge of their duties."

 

Soon after Sanders' letter was published, the director of national

intelligence, James Clapper, announced that the Foreign Intelligence

Surveillance (Fisa) Court, the body which exists to provide government

oversight of NSA surveillance activities, had renewed the domestic phone

records collection order for another 90 days.

 

On Saturday, the New York Times published a letter from Robert Litt, in

which the general counsel for the Office of National Intelligence denied

allegations that Clapper lied to Congress in March, when questioned about

NSA domestic surveillance.

 

Last month, two federal judges issued contradictory verdicts on whether such

NSA surveillance was constitutional. Judge Richard Leon said it was not

constitutional; Judge William Pauley said that it was.

 

==========================================

(F)AIR USE NOTICE: All original content and/or articles and graphics in this

message are copyrighted, unless specifically noted otherwise. All rights to

these copyrighted items are reserved. Articles and graphics have been placed

within for educational and discussion purposes only, in compliance with

"Fair Use" criteria established in Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976.

The principle of "Fair Use" was established as law by Section 107 of The

Copyright Act of 1976. "Fair Use" legally eliminates the need to obtain

permission or pay royalties for the use of previously copyrighted materials

if the purposes of display include "criticism, comment, news reporting,

teaching, scholarship, and research." Section 107 establishes four criteria

for determining whether the use of a work in any particular case qualifies

as a "fair use". A work used does not necessarily have to satisfy all four

criteria to qualify as an instance of "fair use". Rather, "fair use" is

determined by the overall extent to which the cited work does or does not

substantially satisfy the criteria in their totality. If you wish to use

copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you

must obtain permission from the copyright owner. For more information go to:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

 

THIS DOCUMENT MAY CONTAIN COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL. COPYING AND DISSEMINATION IS

PROHIBITED WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE COPYRIGHT OWNERS.

 

 

 

 

 



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Fwd: What Russian terrorists hope to accomplish ahead of Sochi Olympics







 

What Russian terrorists hope to accomplish ahead of Sochi Olympics

 

By Ariel Cohen, Ph.D.

http://www.heritage.org/research/commentary/2013/12/what-russian-terrorists-hope-to-accomplish-ahead-of-sochi-olympics

 

 

As Russians prepared to celebrate the New Year, two horrendous explosions shook the city of Volgograd. Monday's terrorist attacks -- both carried out by suicide bombers -- killed more than 30 people and injured more than 60 others. 

 

Given the severity of the injuries, the death count will surely climb. And new attacks are possible.

The bombings came just five weeks before the opening of the Winter Olympics at Sochi, a Russian city  that sits by the Black Sea. Many analysts view the bombings as an attempt to deter tourists and foreign leaders from attending the games.

 

Another explanation is that they were payback by Sunni radicals for Russia's support of Syrian dictator Bashar el-Assad. Last summer Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the spiritual guide of the Moslem Brotherhood, named Russia as the "Enemy #1 of Sunni Islam."

 

The tactics, the choice of targets, and the size of the bombs (more than 20 pounds of TNT) suggest multiple objectives: to kill as many Russians as possible, to destroy New Year's cheer, and to disrupt President Vladimir Putin's flagship project-the Sochi Olympics.

 

Putin's reaction has been muted thus far. He flew to the Russian Pacific Far East to celebrate the New Year with the victims of unprecedented floods there. He mentioned the attacks in his New Year address.

 

He also ordered Russian law enforcement agencies to tighten security measures. 

 

But he failed to address the nation on national TV immediately after the bombings, nor did he announce national days of mourning.

 

Volgograd has become a prime terrorist target in Russia. The bombings marked the sixth time Islamists have attacked the city.

 

A few years ago, female suicide bombers blew up two passenger planes flying from Moscow to Volgograd.

 

This past August, terrorists targeted police headquarters, but failed to execute the attack. On October 21, a female suicide bomber from Dagestan detonated her explosives in a passenger bus, killing five and injuring some

30 more.

 

Dagestan has become the epicenter of Islamist insurgency in the North Caucasus. The Russians have been unable to fully identify and neutralize the armed Salafi underground there. The political and religious struggle between traditional Caucasus Sufi Islam and the Wahhabi extremism imported from the Middle East continues, and the local elites and their Russian bosses do not know what to do.

 

A major player there is the Caucasus Emirate, a Salafi-Wahhabi terrorist organization with connections to al Qaeda and the Taliban. It is headed by Doku Umarov's, a man with a price on his head, courtesy of the UN and the U.S. 

 

Earlier this year Umarov declared that his forces would do everything possible to derail the Sochi games. In July, he cancelled the moratorium on strikes on Russian civilian targets he introduced in winter 2012. Now he urges his followers to attack the Winter Olympics in Sochi, which lies close to the North Caucasus.

 

In the run up to the Olympics, Russian authorities tried to assure the public that their war against terrorism is succeeding. Yesterday's attacks demonstrate that it is not. The separatists in the North Caucasus understand that they need to strike now, when the world's attention is riveted on Sochi.

 

The terrorists hope their attacks will serve multiple purposes. They aim to intimidate the Russians, gain support from fellow Moslems in the Caucasus, curry favor with Syrian extremists and their radical sponsors, and scare away tourists and foreign dignitaries.

 

Russia's leaders see terrorism as an unavoidable evil. They are collecting saliva from women in North Caucasus, so that the security services can use DNA analysis to identify bombers. It is a tacit admission that future attacks are inevitable.

 

Meanwhile, the region's security crisis and inter-religious and inter-ethnic conflict may have irreversibly shattered civic peace in Russia. Slavic and Christian Orthodox extremism has risen in response to expanding Salafi/Wahhabi influence and violence.

 

Increasingly in Russia, Muslims-especially Muslim youth-are seen and treated as aliens.  The North Caucasus are viewed as a kind of "internal abroad."

Instead of integrating Muslims into Russian culture and trying to boost tolerance and acceptance of Muslims among ethnic Russians, Moscow has kept pushing Muslims away-and into the hands of terrorist recruiters.

 

Moscow has never developed, much less implemented a strategy to end the Caucasus insurgency.  Instead, it has delegated responsibility for solving the problem to corrupt and authoritarian leaders like Chechnya President Ramzan Kadyrov.

 

Moscow-run security services do provide, however, poor intelligence work against terrorist targets and sloppy security procedures. (Bags, for example, are routinely not checked where they are supposed to be, and non-functioning metal detectors are used at transportation hubs.) Throw in rampant corruption among the secret police and law enforcement and you have all the ingredients needed for continuing security disasters.

 

As the world mourns the victims of Volgograd, it should brace itself for more-and bloodier-terror attacks in Russia, including during the Sochi Olympics.

 

Instead of antagonizing the West, Moscow would be better off expanding its security cooperation with countries that are successfully keeping terrorists at bay.

 

- Ariel Cohen, Ph.D. is Senior Research Fellow in Russian and Eurasian Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

 

Originally published by Fox News

 

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http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

 

THIS DOCUMENT MAY CONTAIN COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL. COPYING AND DISSEMINATION IS PROHIBITED WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE COPYRIGHT OWNERS.

 

 

 

 

 



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Fwd: Obama Supporting Rolling Stone Magazine Calls for Full-Blown Communism in America




More from the Traitor-in-Chief.



http://www.tpnn.com/2014/01/05/rolling-stone-magazine-calls-for-full-blown-communism-in-america/

 

Rolling Stone Magazine Calls for Full-Blown Communism in America

January 5, 2014 By Matthew Burke

Rolling Stone magazine pushes Communism.

Far-left rag Rolling Stone, well-known as a water-carrier for the Obama regime, has officially called for fundamentally transforming the USA into the USSR, insisting on utopian government mandates that would make Josef Stalin proud.

In an article that exhibits unfathomable unicorn-believing naiveté and unlimited faith in big government as lord, god and savior, the article, which starts out lamenting about the still terrible Obama economy, recommends five items that should be fought for by the "especially hard-hit" millennial generation:

1.  Guaranteed Work for Everybody
2.  Social Security for All
3.  Take Back the Land
4.  Make Everything Owned by Everybody
5.  A Public Bank in Every State 

Karl Marx would be so proud! It's surprising they left out putting a gold bar on the doorstep each morning that each citizen could wake up to.  

Under "Guaranteed Work for Everybody," Rolling Stone writes:

Unemployment blows. The easiest and most direct solution is for the government to guarantee that everyone who wants to contribute productively to society is able to earn a decent living in the public sector.

Of course there are ways to accomplish this, and it's been tried in communist countries before. We could pay one person to dig a hole, and pay another person to fill it. Or, playing on the Broken Window Fallacy, we could pay kids to throw rocks through windows. That would definitely provide some work for the glass and window industries. That would produce absolutely nothing beneficial for society. We could also just print trillions of dollars ad infinitum, paying people not to work (Wait a minute, we're already doing that). 

Under the second  Rolling Stones' recommendation to give us a government mandated fair and just society, Social Security for All, it even get progressively worse: 

But let's think even bigger. Because as much as unemployment blows, so do jobs. What if people didn't have to work to survive? Enter the jaw-droppingly simple idea of a universal basic income, in which the government would just add a sum sufficient for subsistence to everyone's bank account every month. A proposal along these lines has been gaining traction in Switzerland, and it's starting to get a lot of attention here, too.

The article goes on to articulate, in this fairy dust laden Marxist Utopia, where money grows on trees like Washington State apples (and this sort of defeat's the purpose of the article's first proposal), that pajama boy types should be able to lay around in Mommy's basement, playing Dungeons and Dragens all day, sipping on cocoa, and still get a government check every month, because after all, "as much as unemployment blows, so do jobs."

In the third plank, "Take Back the Land" (as if pajama boy owned any previously land that he/she can repossess), the Rolling Stone writer explains to us that "landlords blow," and that "they don't really do anything to earn their money." And the landlord, in the writer's "mind" didn't buy the property with their own money, money they worked for, but instead simply "just claim ownership and charge people who actually work for a living." Ownership of property is seen as getting a "free ride." Yet, somehow, paying people not to work, or confiscating money from someone who did the work, and redistributing it to someone who didn't, is somehow seen as noble rather than what it is, theft and plunder. 

This is nothing but a ruse to institute the communist's dream of destroying all private property, or as the first plank of Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto says, 

1. Abolition of private property and the application of all rents of land to public purposes. 

As absurd as this sounds, it actually goes along nicely with Liar-in-Chief,  Barack Obama's famous appalling communist line he spew to business owners: "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." The useful idiots and dupes that accepted this anti-American rhetoric seemingly includes Rolling Stone. They swallowed it hook, line, hammer and sickle. Rolling Stone cannot even pass this radically Marxist call to action to a rogue, lone writer. It was tweeted from their official Twitter account along with the insistence that "here are five urgent economic actions that millenials should be fighting for."

 



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No One Should Be Forced to Act against His Conscience


February 16, 2012
No One Should Be Forced to Act against His Conscience
by Sheldon Richman

A question arises from the recent controversy between President Obama and the Catholic Church that aches for an answer: If Catholic institutions have a right to abstain from paying for what morally offends them, why don't the rest of us?

The initial Obamacare rule held that all employers, in fulfilling their new legal requirement to provide health insurance to their employees, must include contraception (and other "preventive" health services) in the coverage at no cost. The Catholic Church teaches that contraception is sinful. The Department of Health and Human services was willing to exempt churches but not church-operated institutions that pursue a broader mission than religious teaching, such as colleges, hospitals, and charities. This brought protests from Catholic officials, who claim that their religious freedom would be infringed by a mandate that they buy services that they teach are morally abhorrent.

As the political controversy mounted, the Obama administration devised an "accommodation": those institutions would not have to pay for birth-control coverage; however, their insurers would still have to offer free contraception.

Many objections can be raised against this policy. In a society that thinks itself free, how dare the government force employers to provide health insurance? How dare it mandate that coverage include contraception ­ or any particular service? How dare it mandate that any coverage be free? (It can't really be free; the coverage necessarily reduces employees' cash wages.) How can contraception use be insurable when it is a chosen act, not the kind of low-probability, high-cost event that insurance was designed to protect against? Is there really a moral difference between forcing a Catholic institution to pay for employee contraception and forcing it to arrange a match between its employees and an insurer that will provide the contraception?

These questions are daggers at the heart of Obamacare. But let's leave them aside. What has gone largely unnoticed is that the principle invoked by the Catholic Church and largely endorsed by the public ­ that freedom of religion, as enshrined in the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment, rules out forcing a church to pay for what it regards as morally abhorrent ­ applies beyond this instance. If a Catholic institution should not be forced to pay for contraception because it regards birth control as morally repugnant, why should anyone be forced to pay for what he or she finds morally repugnant?

It does no good to say that the First Amendment is about religion. The Constitution and Bill of Rights did not create rights; they acknowledged preexisting rights. Moreover, we are entitled to make reasonable inferences from the framers' language, because they could hardly have created an exhaustive list of implications. For example, by specifying the free exercise of religion, the framers can't be construed as intending to exclude atheists from the protection of freedom of conscience.

Logic drives us to conclude that government should never compel anyone to act against his or her moral convictions. The good sense of this becomes clear when we get down to particulars. If a Catholic may not be forced to pay for birth control in violation of conscience, why should that Catholic ­ or anyone else ­ be compelled to finance mass murder in violation of conscience? No one can reasonably insist that personal convictions should be disregarded in the case of mass murder.

This is no hypothetical speculation. Americans have been forced, without their consultation ­ much less permission ­ to finance mass murder. It's called war, invasion, occupation, and special operations. U.S. military missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and elsewhere have directly or indirectly killed over a million people who never threatened Americans at home. Those missions have ruined the lives of hundreds of thousands more through injury and the destruction of their homes and societies.

The president of the United States refuses to take war with Iran off "the table" ostensibly because the Islamic republic won't end its nuclear-enrichment program ­ although the International Atomic Energy Agency says no weapons are being produced, and U.S. and Israeli officials say no decision to build a weapon has been made. War against Iran would constitute mass murder.

The U.S. government should be stopped from engaging in such brutality. But short of that, those with a conscientious objection should be free to opt out of financing these crimes.

http://fff.org/explore-freedom/article/forced-act-conscience/

How the USDA takes almost half of raisin farmers’ crop, Then fines them into bankruptcy if they don’t comply


How the USDA takes almost half of raisin farmers' crop, Then fines them into bankruptcy if they don't comply
By Nick Sorrentino
July 18, 2013

"Well, as through the world I've rambled, I've seen lots of funny men
Some rob you with a sixgun, some with a fountain pen" -- Woody Guthrie

Of course that good commie Woody Guthrie was talking about country banks which went under at almost the rate of farms in the 1930s.

No, nowadays the fountain pen is in the hand of a g man from Washington.

This is theft. It is robbery, and the bureaucrats make life hell for these people in our name. We fund the USDA.

And it's worse than just the government stealing just for the government. The government steals for the raisin packing industry which gets high quality product to sell overseas or to US school lunch programs at almost no cost.

The farmers in the below video said "enough" and started packing their own raisins in an effort to circumvent the red tape rape. The USDA said no dice and now these farmers are deep in the hole simply because they refused to give away half their crop for free.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=A8S4S49TyDk

http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org/2013/07/how-the-usda-steals-almost-half-of-raisin-farmers-crop-then-fines-them-into-bankruptcy-if-they-dont-comply/

Oregon Study Exposes Another ObamaCare Falsehood: Rather Than Reduce Unnecessary ER Use, Medicaid Increases It


1/02/2014
Oregon Study Exposes Another ObamaCare Falsehood: Rather Than Reduce Unnecessary ER Use, Medicaid Increases It
Michael F. Cannon

[O]ne of the areas where we can potentially see some saving is a lot of those patients are being seen in the emergency room anyway, and if we are increasing prevention, if we are increasing wellness programs, we're reducing the amount of emergency room care… -- President Barack Obama, June 25, 2009

[T]hose of us with health insurance are also paying a hidden and growing tax for those without it ­ about $1,000 per year that pays for somebody else's emergency room and charitable care…If there are affordable options and people still don't sign up for health insurance, it means we pay for these people's expensive emergency room visits. -- President Barack Obama, September 9, 2009

The final bill [will] make sure that people are getting the care they need and the checkups they need and the screenings they need before they get sick ­ which will save all of us money and reduce pressures on emergency rooms all across the country. -- President Barack Obama, December 15, 2009

You can't get those savings if those people are still going to the emergency room. -- President Barack Obama, March 3, 2010

[P]eople are no longer going to the emergency room and they now have good health care, they're now getting preventive care. -- President Barack Obama, September 24, 2013

[W]e're obviously pleased with developments in Ohio and in states across the country where the decision to expand Medicaid has been made, because…that creates enormous benefits for those states in terms of reducing costs in emergency rooms… -- White House spokesman Jay Carney, October 22, 2013

President Obama made a lot of promises in order to sell ObamaCare, and to protect the law from repeal, that have turned out to be false. He promised, "If you already have health insurance, the only thing that will change for you under this plan is the amount of money you will spend on premiums. That will be less." That turned out to be false. He promised, "in 2014, discriminating against anyone with a pre-existing condition will be prohibited." That too has proven false. He promised, "If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health-care plan, you will be able to keep your health-care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what."  False, false, and false. I could go on.

We can now add another falsehood to the pile. A landmark study called the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment has found that contrary to the president's assurances (see above), expanding health insurance to low-income households does not decrease their use of emergency rooms. Results from that experiment, published today in the journal Science, show expanding Medicaid to cover these households instead increases their emergency-room use by a sizable 40 percent.

This is a very big deal.

One of the ways the "Affordable Care Act" was supposed to make health care more affordable was by reducing unnecessary emergency-room use. As President Obama told it, the uninsured delay care until they are so sick that they end up in the emergency room. When they don't pay their ER bills, hospitals shift the cost to the insured through higher prices that increase our health insurance premiums. ObamaCare would catch illnesses sooner and treat them in less expensive settings. The resulting savings would be passed along to all consumers through less cost-shifting.

There was always a lot wrong with the president's line. For one, economists tend not to buy the cost-shifting story. Left-leaning groups like the Urban Institute and the Kaiser Family Foundation acknowledge that even if such cost-shifting exists, the president was vastly overstating the amount. As I wrote in 2008, " two recent studies -- one on doctors services by Jonathan Gruber and David Rodriguez, the other on hospital services in California by Glenn Melnick and Katya Fonkych -- show that the uninsured who do pay their bills more than make up for the uninsured who don't."

But there is also some logic to the president's story. It is theoretically possible that giving people free preventive and primary care through Medicaid could lead to more diseases being caught early, and therefore less reliance on emergency rooms.

Unfortunately, the hypothesis that free preventive and primary care would reduce ER use was largely untested. In contrast, the Law of Demand -- i.e., when the price of something like emergency-room services falls to zero, the quantity demanded will increase -- has been well-vetted.

The Oregon Health Insurance Experiment is the gold standard among studies on the effects of health insurance. It followed thousands of Oregon low-income adults who had been randomly assigned to receive either Medicaid or no health insurance coverage, and measured the differences between the two groups. Such random assignment allows researchers to isolate the effects of Medicaid without interference from potentially confounding variables present in other studies.

Writing in Science, the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment researchers found that Medicaid did increase the use of preventive and primary-care services, but emergency-room use rose as well. Over an 18-month period, 100 low-income, uninsured adults in the Portland area would visit the ER about once each, on average. When Medicaid made health care "free" these households, they made an additional 40 visits over that period -- a 40-percent increase.

The increase was entirely comprised people using the ER either for non-emergency medical needs, or for emergencies that could have been prevented with primary care. "Emergency department use increases even in classes of visits that might be most substitutable for other outpatient care," the authors wrote, "such as those during standard hours (on-hours) and those for 'non-emergent' and 'primary care treatable' conditions."

The authors also did a back-of-the-envelope calculation that "Medicaid increases annual spending in the emergency department by about $120 per covered individual." So if ObamaCare enrolls all 3.9 million individuals that it has so far identified as being eligible for Medicaid and SCHIP, the law could increase -- not reduce -- ER spending by something on the order of half a billion dollars per year. If all 50 states had implemented the law's Medicaid expansion, the additional ER spending might have hit $1 billion per year.

And it's not like the Obama administration can point to a whole lot of benefit for all that additional ER spending (and preventive-care spending, and primary-care spending, and…). The authors of this study note the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment has previously found that "Medicaid improved self-reported health and decreased depression in this population, but it did not produce statistically significant improvements in several different measures of physical health." (I discuss those findings here.)

Like past results from the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment, the finding that Medicaid increases emergency-room use deals another blow to the credibility of ObamaCare supporters, from President Obama all the way down to the governors and legislators in the 25 states that opted to implement the law's Medicaid expansion even after the Supreme Court made it optional. It also confirms the skepticism of officials in the other 25 states.

Has President Obama said anything about this law that was true?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelcannon/2014/01/02/oregon-study-exposes-another-obamacare-falsehood-rather-than-reduce-unnecessary-er-use-medicaid-increases-it/

Fwd: [New post] New York Will Be Destroyed By Socialist Bill De-Blasio




Brent P. posted: "E.T. Williams waxes particularly eloquent in this segment with his dire warning of impending doom for the denizens of New York City now under the communist leadership of Comrade Mayor Bill de Blasio. No one can be certain, at this time, what horrors await"

New post on therightplanet.com

New York Will Be Destroyed By Socialist Bill De-Blasio

by Brent P.

E.T. Williams waxes particularly eloquent in this segment with his dire warning of impending doom for the denizens of New York City now under the communist leadership of Comrade Mayor Bill de Blasio. No one can be certain, at this time, what horrors await the hapless citizens of New York City. But, rest assured, under […]

Read more of this post

Brent P. | January 4, 2014 at 3:18 am | URL: http://wp.me/p1SHGG-bYb

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Fwd: The United Nations Cesspool







http://tinyurl.com/kncjegc

The United Nations is so entrenched in global diplomatic affairs that its vile actions cannot be lightly dismissed, especially in light of the way it is used by the major powers

The United Nations Cesspool

By Alan Caruba  Sunday, January 5, 2014


I don't write much about the United Nations because it is everything that it is not supposed to be. It's supposed to be devoted to human rights and other noble and global aspirations. Instead it is a cesspool in which the worst of its member nations are sponsors of terror and other sins against mankind.

An article on Fox News reminded me of just how horrible, for the most part, the United Nations is despite its occasional usefulness. Anne Bayefsky writes extensively on the subject of human rights. She is a professor at York University, Toronto, Canada, and an adjunct professor at Touro College in New York. She has been honored for her work and I rank her as one of the most impressive and important women on the international scene today. Her article took a look back at 2013 and what to expect in 2014.

Lacking any leadership from the United States, a role it has played in international affairs since the end of World War Two, the world is spiraling toward the prospect of a Middle East cataclysm between its secular, moderate population and the insanity of Islamic fascism. As Bayefsky noted, "The U.N. Security Council adopted four legally-binding sanction resolutions on Iran in 2006. American diplomacy managed to extract even Russian and Chinese support for international laws that state 'Iran shall without further delay…suspend all enrichment related activities.'"

"And yet in 2013 President Obama decided to destroy that hard-won consensus, trash those legal obligations, and authorize Iran to continue enrichment activities." The U.S. agreement was joined by six world powers, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany, five of whom, other than Germany, are permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. Have they concluded that Iran cannot be stopped? Or should be allowed to join the nuclear club?

Iran has never ceased from regarding itself as at war with the U.S. and Israel. It has never ceased to threaten the existence of Israel. With nuclear arms and long-range missiles, it could destroy or inflict unimaginable damage to the nations who signed onto the deal.

This readiness to ignore the obvious can be seen as well in the composition of the U.N. Human Rights Council. In November, it elected China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Cuba as members. "Half the members of the Council are not even democracies", noted Bayefsky, "and Islamic states hold the balance of power by controlling the African and Asian blocs."

"In 2013, the Council criticized Israel more than any other state, almost twice as much as Syria and six times as much as Iran." That is the very definition of evil and insanity combined. After three years, 130,000 Syrians have been killed in its war and millions have fled to adjacent nations, often having to live in rudimentary camps. It is led by a dictator, Bashar Assad.

U.N. Watch, an independent group, noted that in 2013 the General Assembly "adopted 21 condemnatory resolutions against Israel, compared to 4 on the rest of the world combined." The U.N. Special Committee on Decolonization, charged with opposing the subjugation of peoples, "elected the murderous Syrian regime to a senior post."

"The U.N. Conference on Disarmament in May 2013 made Iran its president."

U.N. Watch noted that "UNESCO, which condemned no other country but Israel, and which was silent as Hamas bulldozed a world heritage site to make a terrorist training came, allowed Syria to sit as a judge on UNESCO's human rights committee."

These kinds of decisions and actions are part of a long litany of the United Nations' behavior that renders its charter a meaningless piece of paper. Recall that the U.N.'s creation began in the United States as World War Two was coming to an end. The secretary general of the conference that organized the U.N. was Alger Hiss, a Russian spy who held high posts in the FDR and Truman administrations.

The United Nations is so entrenched in global diplomatic affairs that its vile actions cannot be lightly dismissed, especially in light of the way it is used by the major powers.

Nothing good can come of this and 2014 may provide testimony to that prediction.

 



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