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A panel of judges has ruled that subsidies are no longer legal. For millions of Americans, this means they will immediately be slapped with charges up to $800 a month for what many are paying under a hundred…

They will drop their insurance out of necessity, or will be dropped for non-payment.

Republicans are celebrating this…

When the law was written in 2010 it was assumed that all states would do their own exchanges. In states that are doing their own exchanges, there will be no change. That is what the law says and as Republicans say: the law is law….

But for states like Delaware which rightly decided that the Federal exchange would be cheaper for its citizens because of the larger pool, that line in the law was never changed…. It says “state exchanges”… (Remember the law is alleged to be some 15,000 pages long, and is still, believe it or not, something I have not yet read….)

But in one line the word “state” is indeed there and that, according to this particular court, means that it is illegal for the federal exchanges to be subsidized… I have looked, and at this early moment just hours after the decision, there is no confirmation (just estimates) on how many insured that will affect…..

But to all you who were insured in the Federal exchange? Guess what? You got no Obama care….

Kaiser-State-Exchange-Map
Map courtesy of Kaiser

To hear the far extremist right saying “ha, ha, ha, suffer bitches” you can go here or here

Now…

On this same day, another Federal court in the same city, decided this was indeed legal. There were two cases before two different conservative courts, and we got two opposite decisions. It now goes up the next step and will probably hit the Supreme Court. Which should mean that IF insurance companies are willing, the Obamacare program can continue as is until struck down… But as we saw with Obamacare last November, when it comes to making money, private insurance companies are ruthless and lack heart…

Second… to fix this, all we need is a bill put forth, worded like this…. A bill: To amend the ACA Healthcare law by removing the word “state” and inserting “all or any”…..

That will happen in the Senate, but will never happen in the House…. Which is why, in whatever state you read this, you must get Democrats into your Congressional seat… IF you succeed, or if ENOUGH of you succeed, your insurance can and will continue… You will continue to be insured.

Remember it is just one stupid word so don’t be bulldozed by smart-assed Republicans gloating over the “rule of law” .,… (They don’t honor rule of law when it applies to one of their favored corporations….) It can easily be changed… but it must require people sympathetic to Obamacare for it to get passed….. Only Democrats can guarantee you your insurance will continue… Only Democrats.

You must, must make your vote count this November; you must make your friends, neighbors, church goers go to the polls in your behalf; unfriend them if necessary, bitches….. Your entire future depends on this one vote… Seriously, you could be dead next year thanks to your … Republican friends….

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Actually it was the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights act that brought this home…   The Civil Rights Act among many other things enforced the  role a Federal Government should have over the national character.  Prior, if the South behaved in one way, that was acceptable.  If the North behaved in another, that was acceptable…

The Civil Rights Act stated that some behaviors are indeed deemed not acceptable.  It dealt with opposing local laws, opposing local enforcements of segregation, and opposing  individual business practices  perpetuated by the wishes of small handfuls of individual business owners who like Hobby Lobbyists, thought they could do what they liked….

The Civil Rights Act in no uncertain terms, said:  No! We are a nation of principles embodied in our Constitution as well as our Declaration of Independence, and you cannot violate those principles in the name of “your” personal freedom….

Hobby Lobby sort of changes all that… The big fear is that it just opened a door so that corporations can freely do whatever they feel is best, and that any legislation voted and signed, now has no real impact upon them because they are after all: … corporations….  You have all read the slippery slope theories and so I won’t redo them.  But slippery slopes have a tendency to sometimes be idle warnings….  A lot of people walk on slippery slopes; very few fall off… In part that may be due to warnings from others that they are on slippery slopes and to be be careful…  Just like a road sign of a car with skid marks makes one say, “oh yeah, that’s right, it’s raining, I’d better take this curve slower.” and possibly affect the outcome of that turn….

But slippery slope or not, the Hobby Lobby decision does do this:  it says that what a government says you have to do, you don’t have to do, provided you can find a reason that is valid for you not doing so…

And that is rather Libertarian.

It makes one sigh that history is a lost art.  Because there were times in our history when Libertarianism indeed was the predominant philosophy…. So why was there never a Libertarian Party?   After all, one would think that a dominant philosophy would have a Libertarian Party, correct?

How soon we forget…..  The reason there was no libertarian party formed to compete against other parties is because during this time of Libertarianism, there was no structure of Government requiring organized parties….  Of course I am referring to the times under the Articles of Confederation….  When the idealism of throwing off the king of England, made the predominant meme that one of “not taking on a new authority to replace the role of the other”….

The reason we don’t have a Libertarian run government today, is because the reality turned out to be that it could not work.  It’s own beliefs worked against its own existence…  How can you have an effective government telling you what to do when your government was founded on its not being able to tell you what to do?….

So, America’s top citizens at that time scrapped the Confederation, established a Constitution, and today, we are still here…. Debating Libertarianism rampant in today’s court….

Just looking over the final stats, I did see that the percentage of  cases in which this Supreme Court decided things 5-4 were only 13%. Yet, its 9-0 decisions marked 65% of this year’s final tally.  So it is with a grain of salt that we should dismiss the entire court… In doing so we fail to see the wisdom behind having the third branch of government…  It allows for the last look.

This year the average age of the Supreme Court is 68….  it’s average composite would have been born in 1946… would have gone through grade school in the 50’s while segregation was perfectly legal, would have been a high school senior the year Kennedy was shot,  college would have structured by the military-industrial complex, being too soon they would have missed out on the protests of ’68 onward, would think Jersey Boys were the ultimate musical group ever, would never try drugs, would have been disappointed in the 70’s as that decade’s media ridiculed all the structure with which they grew up and made them iconoclasts inside their own world, would always fondly remember Mom at home and Dad always working to the bone, would be in their late 30’s when Reagan came into in office, and see in his grandfather qualities the fondness of the times they grew up, would be 45 when the Soviet Union imploded, 57 when we invaded Iraq, 62 when the Global Depression hit, and now stand at the cusp of 68…

Justice Kennedy.  The swing.  Appointed by a someone today dead 10 years, 27 days,  elected 34 years ago this November…. Thirty four years…  Ironically half a lifetime of a 68 year old.  In some cultures, a grandparent.   Who ironically, when that president was sworn in, the number one single was “Imagine”…..

Today, people under 20 years of age make up over a quarter of the U.S. population (27.3%), and people age 65 and over make up one-eighth (12.8%)…The national median age is 36.8 years…

So to say the Supreme Court is representative of all of America is bolderdash…  Nothing could be further from the truth… But perhaps that was exactly the point in how the Supreme Court came to have as much power as it does, now checking the other two branches?

Originally the Supreme Court was an appendage organ of the Constitution.  It’s power was sharpened only 30 years after the Constitution was founded when changes were being made by Congress and the Executive Branch, that woke up the Supreme Court and stirred it into saying,… “Hey, no!  That is not what the Constitution meant.  We were there! We know…”   It was kind of hard to refute that argument back then…  If you walked and talked with Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton, you probably had a better grasp on the  Constitution than some thirty year punk still green behind their ears….

It is a global common tendency of youth to dismiss the wisdom of their elders…  “You don’t know because you don’t live in our world now”, is a very common expression in most households of teenagers no matter what upbringing those old children have had. I fondly remember my frustration with my own parent’s conservatism, thinking they were incapable of thinking anything different what they had been told to think.  My children made me realize otherwise.  In fact, once I was seasoned I was surprised to learn that my parents thought they were the rebels dismissing the conservative attitudes their parents had bestowed, and were proud they were the cutting edge of liberal child-raising in their day… Furthermore, in candid discussions with my grandparents, I was quite surprise to hear how they threw out the patterns of THEIR parents and raised their children using the cutting liberalism of child raising in THEIR day…   Bottom line, my great grandparents must have been REALLY conservative…  And now, according to my children… I’m just like they were….

No one would let a child run a family.  No one should let a 30 year old run a business.  No one should have a 40 year old run a nation… But we do.  Rarely does it work….

Point is:  the Supreme Court will always play it’s role… That role is to look at fundamental changes and decide how they stack up to the Constitution…  As a periphery example of what could happen without this type of check, just review what happened to our own economy since the Bush tax cuts went into effect.  With a new crowd taking over our economy since 2000, dismissing the old tried and true policies, we have seen how destructive new untested fads can be… Imagine if an economic court of New Dealers had been present to say “NO, this is the 1920’s all over?”  Our national debt could be zero now.  The same is true in government.  Were Congress to become completely bought out, and sell our votes for arbitration, and there were no check?  The end of the world as we know it.

Will old geezers always be right?  No.

But if they are wrong, natural forces congeal and work harder to overturn the well-intentioned but error-filled decisions.  Slavery took a war.  Segregation took television beatings of a proud race to show us that intimidation would not work; beatings wouldn’t stop “being right” from moving forward.

But if the geezers are right, it stops bad right then and there….

Not to absolve the Supreme Court but their primary function isn’t to distinguish between “right” or “wrong”.  Their job specifically, is to see how our system of laws stacks up to our Constitution… by looking at one challenged law at a time.  Sometimes when they do, it comes up right…. and sometimes when they do, it doesn’t….

If you think the Court was wrong,  and if you think it is out of touch, YOU HAVE AN OBLIGATION  to vote Democratic in 2014, and to express to all others, both Republican and Democrat  the importance of THEIR voting democratic as well in 2014 to send this signal, and we will see, just how wrong this court is…. If you can’t get out the vote… then gee, maybe the court was right after all.

Which… as the framers of the Constitution intended, in the end, puts us, the American people….  firmly in charge of our government….

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delawares US Senator Chris Coons

I wasn’t going to say anything; obviously I’ve changed my mind as the controversy continues to swill around Chris Coon’s “no” vote against his putting a certain person who once represented a cop killer on the bench….

Chris has said this vote was difficult for him, and I think it would be for any of us finding ourselves in his position.  It is easy to have an opinion and act on it when sides are clearly divided.  As when it is you against them.

It is not so easy when your close friends are sharply divided, and half want you go go one way; the other half want you to go the next… When in that situation people develop formulas to guide them;  such as take a poll and alienate the lesser amount;  another is to check with those who are closest to you, and go the way they suggest.  A third is to flip a coin, since you lose either way and gain nothing.  A fourth is to skip the vote.  And a fifth, is to actually look inside yourself, weigh all the data you are privileged to see,  seek out the best and worst of both sides, then make a decision on what you think is best…

That last one is a doosey.

But that is what we elect our officials to do.  We can’t be there ourselves.  We have mouths to feed, bills to pay, bosses to satisfy, and spouses too mollify, and our duty is to pick who we think will do their best making these decisions in our absence…  Among leaders, we call it delegation. We delegate these decisions to someone else, and trust they make the correct and right ones.

If you read through Chris’s statement, the emotion jumps off the page that it wasn’t an easy decision for him.  None of us who throw invective bombs his way, ever sat down with the family of a fallen police officer and ask how they feel.   Therefore we only know half of the equation; and to be straight up, that half is the left-brained, logical side of the equation.  Respectfully, the lawyer who represents a client should not be pasted as being aligned to that client, because that, is what lawyers do…. Neither should a plumber be blamed because he once fixed Eric Bodenweiser’s faucet…  Same thing;  logically speaking;  it’s work, that’s all…

But tell me truthfully… did you just cringe when I mentioned fixing Eric Bodenweiser’s faucet?  If you were in a bar, and this great guy next to you suddenly spilled that story that he once went to that house, of that man, and took money from him,  speaking strictly for me, I would immediately begin looking for another conversationalist… I’m just being honest.  I don’t know why, it is completely illogical…. But there is just that stigma…. that kind that causes a shudder from the very inside of the heart, outward…

Again.  no offense to anyone in bringing up this description.  We all can agree it is just a example of human nature.  But it is a very “BIG” part of human nature….

Which means it plays into the equation because all of our transactions are human…   Those of us taking Coons to task probably did not look very deeply at the ramifications of having someone like that on the bench.  Would there be more jailhouse deaths of inmates, because cops felt the defendant would be let off and knew he was guilty?  Would there be less arrests because cops knew their charges would get pardoned anyway?  To be honest, probably not, but since those thoughts just ran through my mind I’m sure there are other out there affected similarly….

But what this huge controversy does manifest, no matter which side you happen to be on, is that this decision was tainted.  Either way, there is going to be this  stigma, one way or the other, to one party or the other, always attached to this appointment….

With every decision this judge would make, forever into the future, … that stigma would  get called into account.   Either one side or the other would be outraged with every decision being made, by a far greater degree than if those same exact decisions had been made by someone we’d never even heard of before….

And that is where leadership comes into play… Whereas weaker minds would pick and choose sides, debate back and forth whether the one side or the other should win out in the end,  the real leader looks at the big picture, charts the path forward over years and decades,  and says “what would make all this go away, and get ourselves returned back to business as  normal in the shortest possible time frame?”

When that becomes the parameter, the correct answer almost smacks you in the face; it is so clearly obvious what must be done….

Call it Chris’s Lawrence of Arabia moment;  when you see the big picture and know what it is you must do. There are bigger, more important battles that need fought.  Allowing a tempest in a teapot to derail the future of the entire nation is in no one’s best interest.  Someone else, who will do just as great of job sitting on that bench can be found….  By then, many new crises will be upon us, and we’ll all be fortunate we are not reliving this distraction, over, and over, and over….

We made it go away… Whether it was this guy, or another, or a woman who sat on that bench, would not make any probable difference to your life, or mine. There are a lot of people out there who think the way this ex-lawyer does, who have the same depth of feeling towards civil rights, and I’m sure another one can be found rather quickly..  To let that distract from imposing higher taxes on the wealthy, from standing up to brutality in sub-Saharan Africa, from protecting Social Security,  from fighting the corporate influence that is slowly choking off everything good we used to love about America, would be in error…  And we’d be willing to throw all that away for what?  Just for a puny public show to prove how tough we are that we can stand up to the Fraternal Order of Police and not back down?

There may be another time to do so.  For example to preserve our Miranda rights.  To protect habeas corpus would be another one.  To keep the 5th Amendment intact would be a third… Those are all worth losing political capital over.  Each of those make decisions that really matter, to not only ourselves, but future Americans down through the years as far as our eyes can see.

You aren’t standing in his shoes.  He is.  It is called “doing your job” and it is why we elected him; to sometimes even save us from ourselves when  necessary…

Oh, well, you can think what ever you want about him, do whatever you want;  it’s your right, I won’t say any more; there other far more pressing things needing my attention… But just remember this;  that if you were in his shoes, at that time, making that decision, would you simply fall back on your prejudices and pap philosophies, perhaps your political nature that automatically always chooses one side over the other?  Or… would you too, look at both sides, and figure out by yourself what America really needs at this point,  then do something constructive to move us in that direction?

.

A federal judge in Washington, D.C. today declared that the NSA’s mass phone records surveillance is likely unconstitutional, ruling that the plaintiff’s data should be purged from the system and prohibiting the NSA from collecting further phone records from the plaintiffs.

 “I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying it and analyzing it without judicial approval,”

The order was stayed pending appeal, but if the appeal does not overturn his decision, the injunction will go in effect at that time.

As is expressed by those NSA officials, including General Alexander, it’s head, a reading of the decision does indeed show the acquisition of every American’s personal data, was not accomplished by standing on any legal ground…

The excuses offered by the US Government, are extremely flimsy….

The judge noted:  the NSA’s data base has never truly served the purpose of rapidly identifying terrorists in a time sensitve investigation.

The Fourth Amendment is violated with every sweep…. .

The document in question was an 86-page opinion the FISA court had issued on October 3, 2011.

In it the FISA court states that the action requested by the NSA was unconstitutional. The FISA court was of the opinion this information needed to be disseminated to the public.

The Justice Department was due to file a court motion in June in its effort to keep secret an 86-page court opinion that determined that the government had violated the spirit of federal surveillance laws and engaged in unconstitutional spying.

So in a nutshell, we have the NSA committing an unconstitutional action.  We have the secret Federal court which incidentally only hears the NSA’s side of the argument, decide such action was NOT under the scope of the law, and was actually unconstitutional.  The court felt the public should know about this Constitutional violation, apparently because even they were shocked at its danger for democracy.

The Justice Department then filed suit to block the dissemination of knowledge to the American people, that the secret FISA court had determined that the NSA was going over and beyond its powers invested by the Fourth Amendment, and that it is therefore acting unconstitutionally.

So when our government does something unconstitutional and covers it up… what do we do?

Ironically, in East Germany, we have more privacy rights today than in the United States of America.

Where did we go wrong?  It’s all Patrick Leahy’s fault.  He got soft after standing up to the Joker in The Dark Knight and so now he isn’t standing up for Americans. Guess he figured he’s done his share.

Just read that the NSA is pressing for a Justice Dept. probe to find out who leaked the PRISM plan to the Guardian…   I’m slightly befuddled.  Why don’t they just look in their files?  They have the records.

The officers shot in the New Castle County Courthouse shooting speak out, for the first time since the tragic event, in support of the federal Bulletproof Vest Partnership.  Their vests were purchased at half the cost to Capitol Police through the federal Bulletproof Vest Partnership, which expired last summer. Senator Coons is fighting to bring the grant program back.Coons doesn’t believe law enforcement should have to stand on street corners with a tip cup to get funding.

“I think the federal government owes this to local and state law enforcement,”

So we will make them beg for dollars in a tin cup, but we are too cowardly to ban high capacity clips and assault weapons?

Do you know who the biggest pushers of these two bans are?  Not parents but our first responders…. They were during the 1990’s and are now the ones asking our legislators to do the right thing and step up to ban high capacity clips, and ban automatic weapons….

(Delaware Law will only regulate new purchases and will not impose any hardship whatsoever on current owners )….

But isn’t it the height of hypocrisy that we can’t muscle the stamina to help out a first responder with passing two trite pieces of legislation,  but we can certainly fan the flames to get press coverage of them begging for money so they can please, please have 14 times a better chance of living through a firefight?  Think about it.

Just ban the sale of high capacity clips and assault rifles…  Help a first responder out……

“Laws,” we said,
are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious belief and opinions, they may with practices. . . . Can a man excuse his practices to the contrary because of his religious belief? To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself.”

Based on this precedent, the Bishops of the Catholic Church, do not have to practice contraception on themselves, but should allow it’s use among all others.

On the green at Lexington, April 19th, 1775, two sides stood forth, eye to eye, musket to musket…. the tension, the silence, neither side wanting to be the one to strike first…..

Then, a shot was fired… and after all the muskets had discharged, each side blamed the other….. 8 Americans dead; one British wounded….

In their glee, after being mustered into General Assembly, their commanding officer allowed them to fire a victory shot….

It was premature…

By the time those troops had returned to Boston, 19 officers and 250 of Britain’s finest, would never experience another fine spring day….

TODAY, MEGAUPLOAD WAS TAKEN OUT….. To show the Entertainment Industry that politicians who were in their pocket, would not waver, the orders were unsealed … and FBI arrested 4 people, and shut down the server in Virginia….

The New York Times quoted FBI sources that this was the 13th largest entity on the Internet up to the moment it was shut down.

This was not a domain move. This was taken out; shut down. The IP addresses do not work.

Curious, with enough outrage, this could elevate Ron Paul’s candidacy. He is the only candidate today, protecting the Internet. He seems to be the only one who understands that the loss of liberty, is taken in tiny steps. The gassing of Jews during the Nazi Holocaust, was the culmination of a long chain of freak events, any of which a vigilant society COULD HAVE STOPPED…..

This could stop Obama in his tracks. This is the equivalent of taxing tea. Everyone uses the Internet.

Everyone has benefited from MegaUpload.

The shot has been fired. Time to line up on either side.

Case A: She was a single mom, working days as a medical assistant, and picking up shifts at a local restaurant… One night, after coming home almost empty-handed, she ranted on her Facebook page. Someone copied and alerted her employer. She lost her job.

Case B: Another local company, issued employee warnings to it’s entire labor force; “Don’t let a few moments on social media, cost you your job.”

Case C: Melissa Kellerman, after getting knocked over in yesterday’s game, had her twitter account pulled after commenting on it.


Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports

The Cowboys Organization, called her in, and ordered her to delete her account…. Here are the tweets she deleted….

Here are a list of comments that one sees in public media whenever this topic is broached….

Only a fool believes Facebook is private.

Don’t put anything on the internet you don’t want everyone to see.

Social Media is just that. Social. Don’t be shocked when your private life goes “social”….

And all those statements are true. When using the Internet, you need to be guarded lest your employer sees what you are saying…..

Now here’s an interesting question: WHY?

WHY DO EMPLOYERS HAVE THE RIGHT TO DICTATE INTERNET PROTOCOL?

The initial response is that they get to protect their image.
When someone says something on the Internet, it is publicly damaging if negative.

But why not people? Why can’t they be entitled to use their right to freedom of speech on the Internet?

If someone is complaining to another about being harassed by their superior, and it get forwarded and she gets fired, is that right?

If someone is complaining to another about improper mine safety and the deliberate non compliance of safety issues being forced upon them by management, and it gets forwarded and she gets fired, is that right?

If someone is complaining about being treated unfairly by their management team, and it gets forwarded and she gets fired, is that right?

Probably not.

The Internet is not private. but there can be reasonable assurances that some things on the Internet are private. Discussing topics on the Internet should be as safe as walking through the park, discussing items there… Sure, there could be someone behind the tree, listening to everything you say, but the fact that they had to hide behind a tree to hear it, means they weren’t legally entitled to the knowledge. Likewise someone could steal letters out of a mailbox. Someone could tap a phone. Someone would listen to your cell phone with a scanner… All of which are illegal.

But, reading someones private inbox message because it is on the Internet, is not…

It needs to be.

The law needs to catch up to technology. People are allowed to say what ever they want. That is guaranteed.

It is time that same right is canonized into America’s legal code. So that if a corporation acts aggressively upon someone’s free speech, that company stands to lose a year’s profit in damages and legal fees. That is the level of penalty required to protect the privacy of every American, when it comes to their using the Internet.

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