Lazy Google spiders
Google seems to have a very relaxed attitude to files that have been on the net for some time. Once they have indexed a file, they seem never to look at it again.
I once had a site with a crowd called 110mb.com and I put a lot of my files up there. Google duly noted that at the time. A couple of years ago, however, 110mb.com deleted my account for reasons known only to them. I was unfazed by that and simply put my files up elsewhere. But if you do a search for any of the files Google still refers you to the long-gone page. It amounts to a subtle form of censorship.
One would think that they would revisit every page at least once a year and take down references to pages no longer there. There are a lot of those on the net.
My current home page is here and you can access all my articles from there
MRC Ends Suit: Gov’t States It Isn't Enforcing Contraceptive Rule on Self-Certified Religious Group
The Media Research Center (MRC), a non-profit group that monitors liberal bias in the news media, announced today that it was ending its lawsuit to block the Obamacare contraceptive mandate because the organization is a self-certified religious entity and the federal government, through an Agreed Order of Dismissal, has affirmed “that it is not now enforcing, and has no plans to penalize or enforce the contraceptive mandate against the MRC,” reads a press release from the MRC.
“The Agreed Order of Dismissal is a major victory not only for the MRC, but any organization that believes in freedom of religion and the conscience rights of individuals to operate their enterprises free from the threat of government reprisal,” said MRC Founder and President Brent Bozell. “With this agreement, the MRC and its employees will continue to live and work according to our values and our firmly held belief that all human life is sacred.”
The regulation, issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, says that nearly all companies with more than 50 employees must offer health insurance that covers contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs, such as ella and Plan B, without co-payments.
The MRC, which has about 60 employees and is the parent organization of CNSNews.com, says the contraceptive mandate violates its religious beliefs. Back in May, the non-profit group said, “For nearly three decades, the MRC has been the nation’s premier defender of pro-life views and Judeo-Christian values from attacks by the liberal media.”
Its president and other employees “practice and live by Judeo-Christian values, and believe abortion, whether through the actions of an abortionist or a drug, is the taking of innocent human life,” said the MRC. “Under the First Amendment, the MRC and its employees have the right to practice and abide by their faith in their everyday lives including in the operations of their mission-oriented non-profit organization.”
Under the rules of the contraceptive mandate, churches, other “official” religious institutions, and “eligible organizations” are allowed to exempt themselves from the mandate through a “self-certification” process.
An employer can self-certify as an “eligible organization” if it opposes part or all of the mandate on religious grounds; operates as a non-profit; and holds itself out as a religious organization.
The MRC completed that “self-certification” but also filed suit against the HHS in April, asking the federal court for the Eastern District of Virginia to formally declare that the non-profit was exempt as an “eligible organization” because it is a religious group, a ruling that would also protect the MRC from crippling fines.
If an employer is not exempt from the contraceptive regulation, it must comply or face daily fines of $100 per employee. For the MRC, that potentially amounts to $4,562,000 a year. But the Agreed Order of Dismissal, according to the Oct. 6 press statement, “confirms that there is no imminent threat to the MRC from the government and leaves the MRC free to reopen the suit should the government challenge the MRC’s self-declared exemption in the future.”
Government Should Target ‘Bad Guys,’ Not Entire Industries, Trade Group Says
A group representing businesses that speed monetary transactions between consumers has taken a legal stand against Operation Choke Point, the secretive Obama administration effort to financially starve industries that are politically out of favor.
The Third Party Payment Processors Association filed a legal brief Friday in support of a lawsuit that challenges the Justice Department initiative’s use of federal banking regulators to pressure banks into closing the accounts of a variety of enterprises.
“They’re using regulation-examining authorities to coerce banks into dropping relationships that are politically unfavorable,” said Marsha Jones, president of the trade association.
The lawsuit, filed by the payday lending industry, accuses three of the government’s main financial regulatory bodies—the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve Bank and the Office of the Comptroller of Currency—of abusing their examination authority.
Their intent, the suit says, is “to enforce a de facto boycott” of industries the Obama administration considers objectionable.
Operation Choke Point, coordinated by the Justice Department under Attorney General Eric Holder, works by wielding the implied threat of government audits and other investigations, critics say.
Jones told The Daily Signal the trade group wanted to speak out to prevent the Justice Department from persuading the public that it targets only disreputable enterprises such as pornography, Ponzi schemes or even payday lending:
This isn’t about [only] payday lending, this is about going after third-party payment processors because it’s faster and less costly and easier than going after the bad merchants directly.
A House report concluded that the Justice Department initiative purposefully pressures financial institutions into denying legal businesses access to the very banking system they need to survive—simply because the administration doesn’t like them.
A third-party payment processor is a business—such as PayPal or a payroll depositor—that processes payments for other companies or customers through an independent bank.
Payment processors play a vital role in the economy by easing or making possible monetary transactions among consumers, merchants and financial institutions, Jones said.
The Third Party Payment Processors Association, a 30-member group that formed in 2013, says its mission is to help processors and banks operate “efficiently and compliantly” within today’s government regulatory environment.
The Justice Department, which has declined to speak to The Daily Signal about Operation Choke Point, contends that the campaign’s goal is to combat unlawful, mass-market consumer fraud.
Jones says she not only is fine with that, she’s willing to help:
"Go after the bad guys—we’ll help you find them through creating best practices. But don’t use the components of the payment system to try to sweep entire industries out of business."
Pawn shops, payday lenders, gun sellers and payment processors are among the legal enterprises overtly targeted by regulators at Justice’s behest
The payday industry representatives filed their suit June 5 in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.
They asked the court to set aside “certain informal guidance documents and other unlawful regulatory actions by FDIC, the [Federal Reserve] Board and OCC on the grounds that they exceed the agencies’ statutory authority.”
In July, after coming under congressional scrutiny, the FDIC took down online lists of “high risk” businesses, citing “misunderstandings” in which its guidance led to sudden decisions by banks to close accounts with established customers that fell under one or more of the listed categories.
Jones said industry experts believe the FDIC removed the lists simply as a “legal tactic,” so the regulatory agency could argue that the suit’s claims no longer apply. Even so, Jones said, removing the “high risk list” isn’t enough to end Operation Choke Point.
Without a court ruling against the practice, she and other critics of the government program say, banks will continue shutting out “high risk” customers to avoid government scrutiny. Otherwise, Jones said, silence “would basically be a nod to the regulators” that they have done nothing wrong.
“Operation Choke Point continues to be the greatest threat to consumer choice and freedom this country has ever seen,” said Brian Wise, senior adviser for the U.S. Consumer Coalition, a grassroots organization leading the fight against Choke Point.
In applauding the trade group’s friend-of-the court brief, Wise said he hopes the courts “uphold the standard of due process.”
The public, Wise said, should “demand that the administration, if they want to destroy an entire industry, do it through the legislative process [and] not through unilateral executive action.”
No Ebola Travel Ban: Dems Defend Obama Policy Through Silence
The UK’s Daily Mail reports that a teenager from West Africa who became sick while visiting Florida on holiday caused Jackson Memorial Hospital to go on high alert on Sunday amid fears that he may have the deadly Ebola virus.
This makes, by our count, the fourth Ebola “scare” since Liberian Thomas Duncan became the first person in the U.S. to be diagnosed with Ebola. All of these “scares” were due to allowing visitors, some of whom may have lied about their exposure to Ebola, into the United States from countries where the deadly virus is at epidemic proportions.
Yet, the Obama administration is not considering a ban on travelers from countries most affected by the deadly Ebola virus outbreak, the White House said on Monday.
"A travel ban is not something that we're currently considering," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters at a daily briefing. "We feel good about the measures that are already in place," he said according to Yahoo News.
Now here’s something from The Daily Mail report that should scare every voter in Florida.
The Florida Department of Health has requested 30 additional Ebola testing kits from the CDC to ensure that all of Florida’s public hospitals 'have the ability to test patients who county health officials and the CDC believe need to be tested for Ebola,' said Florida’s Governor Rick Scott.
The Daily Mail also reports that the Florida “Health Department also requested '100 units of additional high-level personal protective equipment to ensure the state is ready to backfill any county whose medical personnel develop a future need for these supplies.'”
In other words, due to Obama’s policy of keeping the border open to travelers from countries where the Ebola epidemic is raging, Floridians can expect MORE Ebola scares, not fewer, or better yet, no Ebola scares.
A normal American government would act immediately to eliminate the existential threat of this growing world epidemic, but the Obama administration is not a normal American government.
As we noted yesterday, the practical result of Obama’s immigration policies toward the sources of Ebola, whooping cough and Enterovirus 68 is a life or death threat to America’s children.
Through their silent support for Obama’s open borders policy Democrats are more than merely complicit in this existential threat to America’s national security – they are actively helping to advance it.
North Carolina Republican Senate candidate Thom Tillis is the only Republican Senate candidate we can find who has grasped that protecting Americans, and especially American children, from the looming health disaster of Obama’s lawless immigration policies is an important issue in the 2014 midterm election. Tillis demanded on Thursday a nationwide travel ban from the three hardest-hit Ebola hotspots: Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
Tillis’ call for a travel ban shows that his campaign has grasped the political and policy implications of Obama’s disastrous failure to enforce our immigration and health security laws – it is time for the Republicans to drive the message home, close the deal with the “security Mom” vote and win the election.
For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in). GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten.
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