Monday, October 06, 2014

Understanding Obamacare

Here is the 2500-page Affordable Care Act condensed to only 4 sentences...This probably says it as clearly as possible while  still being able to be understood (Author unknown)

1) In order to insure the uninsured, we first have to un-insure the insured.

2) Next, we require the newly uninsured to be re-insured

3) To re-insure the newly uninsured, they are required to pay extra charges to be re-insured.

4) The extra charges are required so that the original insured, who became uninsured, and then became re-insured, can pay enough extra so that the original uninsured can be insured, free of charge to them.


Ebola Fumble: Obama Fails to Use Legal Power to Deny Entry

As the Ebola epidemic has spread through West Africa over the last several months, President Obama has not used legal powers he possesses to help prevent the deadly virus from entering the United States.

Federal law gives the president the power to issue a proclamation to seal the borders to any class of aliens who pose a threat to the United States. The law is broad enough that Obama could have issued a proclamation months ago denying entry to any foreign national from the countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria or Liberia. Under the law, such a proclamation could have also included any passport holder who visited those countries as evidenced by visas or entry/exit stamps on the passport.

Section 1182 (f) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act gives the president this power, which the Obama administration has refused to use even as Ebola threatens Americans. The law states:

Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.

This means that Obama could, in the time it takes to write out a few paragraphs, stop the flow of people into American communities who have been exposed to Ebola in West Africa.

As I previously reported, four direct flights from Ebola ravaged nations fly into the United States. (PJ link to “Air Ebola“.) Passport checks could be conducted prior to boarding aircraft bound for the United States from foreign destinations.



British treasurer rails against charities’ ‘anti-business’ agenda and urges firms to stand up for the free market
George Osborne yesterday attacked some charities for being anti-business as he urged firms to put their heads ‘above the parapet’ and stick up for the free market.

The Chancellor said that for the first time since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the principles of enterprise and business as a force for widespread prosperity were ‘up for grabs’.

Speaking to business leaders at the Institute of Directors’ annual convention, he called on firms to counter an anti-free market movement led by trade unions and some charities.

‘You have to get out there and put the business argument,’ he said. ‘Because there are plenty of pressure groups, plenty of trade unions and plenty of charities and the like, that will put the counter view.

‘It is, I know, a difficult decision sometimes to put your head above the parapet, but that is the only way we are going to win this argument for an enterprising, business, low-tax economy that delivers prosperity for the people and generations to come.

‘There is a big argument in our country about our future, about whether we are a country that is for business, for enterprise, for the free market.

‘For the first time since my adult life, that is up for grabs. That issue felt it had been resolved when the Berlin Wall fell.

‘Politicians like Tony Blair from the left felt like they had understood that free markets create the taxes to fund public services and the like.

‘That argument has gone and you saw it with the very stark contrast between the two political conferences in the last two weeks, so I would urge the business community not to sit on the sidelines of the political debate that is going to happen over the next seven months.

‘It doesn’t mean you have to endorse a party, a party like the Conservatives, but it does mean you have to get out there and put the business argument… that is the only way we are going to win this argument for an enterprise, business low-tax economy which deliver prosperity for generations to come.’



Democraphobia & the Demise of Democracy in Western Societies

Democraphobia has morphed into a powerful uniting force, drawing together all those who fear the democratic power of the mainstream.  This includes both ends of the political spectrum as well as minority groups in society who perceive their values to be significantly at odds with the values of the democratic mainstream.

The Demise of Democracy

Democracy and freedom are declining around the world. Democracy of course, is dependent upon the right to make an informed democratic choice between genuine political alternatives.

As James Allan points out, democracy is under serious attack in countries like Australia, the USA, and New Zealand:

“Democracy in Decline charts how democracy is being diluted and restricted in five of the world’s oldest democracies – the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. James Allan targets four main, interconnected causes of decline – judicial activism, the transformation and growth of international law, the development of supranational organisations, and the presence of undemocratic elites… Identifying tactics used by lawyers, judges, and international bureaucrats to deny that any decline has occurred, Allan looks ahead to further deterioration caused by attacks on free speech, intolerant worldviews, internationalisation through treaties and conventions, and illegal immigration.”

And Freedom House agrees, noting that “Authoritarian regimes moved to weaken “the elements of democratic governance that pose the most serious threats to repressive and corrupt rule: independent civil society groups, a free press, and the rule of law.” Democracy is no more than illusion as  leaders “suppress all opposition even while maintaining the outward trappings of legality and democratic process (though quietly and insistently dismantling or dominating institutions that guarantee real pluralism, including legislatures, the judiciary, police and security forces, the media, civil society, and even the economy).”

The Rise and Rise of Democraphobia

Democraphobia, fear of democracy, or fear of the democratic power of the people, is a modern epidemic. According to Jeremy Rosen:

“Under the pretext of good relations, Western democracies are now scared to stand for their values. They have all but ceded the field of play out of fear. Democraphobia is not the fear of democracy, which exists in nondemocratic countries such as China or religiously dominated societies. Rather it is the even more craven fear of fighting for democracy. It is the political lust for power that is so strong that in pursuit of fundamentalist votes it betrays its own values……..With such cowardice now the norm, the values of free societies are being eroded. Democracy is feared because it insists on freedom, honesty, and fairness. But democracies themselves no longer stand for those values because they are frightened. They are frightened of their own values because they may have to fight for them and it is easier to give in and give up. That is why democraphobia is leading to the collapse of Western freedoms, just as lust for money has led to the collapse of Western finance. Recognizing the disease is the first step towards a cure.”

Democraphobia is in fact a powerful uniting force, drawing together all those who fear the democratic power of the people. This not only includes both ends of the political spectrum, whether socialistic democraphobia or libertarian democraphobia, but it may also include minority groups in society who perceive their values to be significantly at odds with the values of the democratic mainstream. As Will Wilkison points out regarding libertarian democraphobia:

“In any case, libertarians often display a confusing or confused reaction to democracy as it actually exists. The scheme laid out in most libertarian ideal theory is so distant from actual democratic practice that the whole existing system can seem by comparison a comprehensive injustice. When one’s ideal theory implies that politics is by its nature illegitimate and corrupt, one tends to develop a sharply disapproving attitude toward participation in politics. Lots of libertarians, for example, think it’s morally wrong to vote. (There are many structural reasons the Libertarian Party is hopeless, but here’s one reason libertarians tend to be at best half-hearted political activists.)………”

The results of democraphobia are rampant in Western politics. While our political leaders continue the illusion of democracy, every day we see their obsessive fears about the democratic powers of ordinary people. Legislative, electoral, and constitutional reforms are structured to stifle freedom and disenfranchise the people. And our politicians will readily jump into bed with any minority group who reject traditional  values in order to target their common enemy, the ordinary people.

Democraphobia is a morbid disease which is paralysing politicians and destroying our once great country. The people need to stand up for mainstream values, accept the democratic justification for those values and restore democracy



Government Agrees to Settlement for Raiding Reporter’s Home, Seizing Confidential Files

How one reporter turned a government raid on her home into a win for press freedom

An investigative reporter whose private files were illegally seized during a raid on her home will receive $50,000 as part of a settlement with the Department of Homeland Security.

Audrey Hudson, an award-winning journalist most recently at the Washington Times, told The Daily Signal she was awoken by her barking dog around 4:30 a.m. on Aug. 6, 2013, to discover armed government agents had descended on her property under the cover of darkness. The agents had a search warrant for her husband’s firearms. As they scoured the home, Hudson was read her Miranda rights.

While inside Hudson’s house, a U.S. Coast Guard agent confiscated documents that contained “confidential notes, draft articles, and other newsgathering materials” that Hudson never intended for anyone else to see. The documents included the identities of whistleblowers at the Department of Homeland Security. The Coast Guard is part of Homeland Security.

At the time, Hudson was investigating and reporting on Homeland Security, specifically its Federal Air Marshal Service and the Transportation Security Administration.

It wasn’t until weeks later that Hudson discovered the documents were missing—and even then only because a federal law-enforcement official told her she could pick up the files. Hudson notified the Washington Times, which took the government to court for violating the Privacy Protection Act.

This led to the settlement, which was first revealed by the Washington Times this week.

“The important thing about this settlement is that we did not let the government’s invasion of my privacy stand,” Hudson said. “We defended the rights of journalists to protect their sources from discovery by government security agencies, and that’s a victory for all journalists.”

The settlement required Homeland Security to pay $50,000 to Hudson, return the seized documents, promise that no copies had been made and any notes about them would be destroyed. In addition, it provides $25,000 to the Washington Times for attorney’s fees and requires the Coast Guard Investigative Service to initiate a review of and provide training on the federal Privacy Protection Act.

Hudson’s attorney, Mark Grannis of Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP, hailed the settlement as a victory for press freedom.

“The government has bent over backwards to assure us that the seizure of Ms. Hudson’s notes was just an error of judgment, not part of any organized effort to identify her sources,” Grannis said. “We hope that by bringing this claim we have helped to raise awareness within the government that reporters’ notes are legally protected from seizure in all but the most exceptional cases.”




Leftist Israeli journalist Amira Hass went to talk about Israel being an apartheid state at the Palestinian Bir-Zeit university... And got booted for being Jewish!  Hurray for liberal logic!  She is well-named.  "Hass" is of course German/Yiddish for "hate".  Hating your country is what Leftists do.

It couldn't happen to a more deserving nest of crooks: "The New York Times plans to eliminate about 100 newsroom jobs, as well as a smaller number of positions from its editorial and business operations.  Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the newspaper’s publisher, and Mark Thompson, its chief executive, said that in addition to the job cuts, NYT Opinion, a mobile app dedicated to opinion content, was shutting down because it was not attracting enough subscribers.  The reductions, they said, were intended to safeguard the newspaper’s long-term profitability.  “The job losses are necessary to control our costs"


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.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


No comments: