Karma and other stories

A woman in Idaho, an animal lover, killed a protected raptor, a Falcon, to save a duck. The woman saw the falcon take a duck out of midair.

RAPTOR RAPPED
An Idaho woman’s overzealous sympathy for the hunted over the hunter may land her in jail, The Coeur d’Alene Press reports. In January, Patti McDonald allegedly meted out a dose of unnatural selection when she came upon Hornet, a falcon owned by hunter Scott Dinger. In his investigation of the incident which reportedly led to the bird of prey’s demise, Craig Walker, an Idaho Department of Fish and Game regional conservation officer said his office received a phone call from an unidentified woman who said she saw a falcon take a duck from the air and then went to the aid of the duck and tried to scare away the falcon. When the falcon remained in place holding the duck, the woman said she removed a scarf that had beads on it and beat the bird. “The woman later stated that she had been very upset about the duck being injured, but felt bad about injuring someone’s pet, because she “beat the crap out of it really hard,” the report states. If found guilty, McDonald could be sentenced to a maximum of six months in jail and $5,000 in fines. — FOX Newsletter, March 17, 2015.

This reminds me of the report from a year or so ago when a woman who had hit a deer in a deer-crossing zone, wanted the signs moved so the deer would cross elsewhere.

Sigh…

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Tyranny begets legislation. The City of Columbia has passed some ordinances to block businesses from performing background checks on new employees. I supposed the city wants to make Columbia a safe place for criminals to live and pursue their profession. This, and other ordinances passed by cities around the state has prompted the legislature to respond.

Gowntown versus Capital City is a feud over local control in Missouri, Kansas

College-town politics don’t exactly match up with the increasingly conservative leanings of Missouri and Kansas.

That doesn’t stop leaders in the University of Missouri’s hometown from pushing on.

Since the beginning of December, the Columbia City Council has banned private businesses from conducting criminal background checks on job applicants and implemented regulations on ride-booking services such as Uber and Lyft.

It raised the age to buy cigarettes within the city to 21 and barred the indoor use of e-cigarettes.

Thirty miles south in Jefferson City, the Republican-dominated Missouri General Assembly has taken disdainful notice.

The implications of what happens next could be felt across the state, as a series of bills make their way through the legislature aimed at blocking or overturning local laws.

“This is about the role of government,” said Rep. Caleb Rowden, a Columbia Republican. “Columbia is off track and so we need to define the lines between the roles of local and state government.”

Several of the bills may be inspired by the actions of a college-town city council, but their impact won’t be confined to Columbia.

City, county and school district leaders have long complained about actions they deem as interfering with local control. But facing what some say is an unprecedented number of legislative challenges to their authority, local officials around the state are crying foul.

“Nobody knows local affairs better than the locals. Nobody is better able to respond to local needs better than the locals,” said Kansas City Mayor Sly James. “To have people, the majority of whom don’t live in the locale, trying to implement one-size-fits-all policies, I think is shortsighted and unwise at best.”

Columbia is a rabid enclave of ‘progressives’ in the middle of a conservative state. Like their counterparts in St. Louis and Kansas City, they want to impose their brand of liberal tyranny on their residents.  These are the same cities who fought tooth and claw against CCW and other conservative issues. Jackson County to this day imposes severe constraints on CCW applicants and those seeking a renewal in spite of state law. Columbia, like her two sister cities, continue to seek their version of progressive governance that further restricts our liberty and endangers our safety.

 

More unintended consequences

In the aftermath of 9-11 and the aircraft hijackings, the FAA issues some directives concerning aircraft structure and modifications to make similar hijackings more difficult. One of these changes was strengthening the cockpit door. Before 9-11, the door, if it existed, was of light aluminum. It was for crew privacy more than anything else. Afterwards the door was strengthened to prevent someone from simply kicking it open.

I had a thought about that door at the time. What would happen if it got stuck? Well, that’s now happened.

Delta: Pilot Locked Out Of Cockpit In Flight From MN To Las Vegas

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Delta Air Lines flight traveling from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Las Vegas has landed safely at its destination after the pilot was unable to reenter the cockpit, according to the airline.

According to a statement from Delta, prior to the plane’s final approach the captain was not able to enter the flight deck due to a door jam. The First Officer, or co-pilot, was able to then take control and land the aircraft safely without incident.

“A commercial aircraft can be landed with one pilot at the control and Delta pilots are fully trained to do so if the situation were to occur,” Delta said.

The door will be evaluated by Delta maintenance technicians.

Frankly, I’m surprised something like this hasn’t happened before. It may have on a non-passenger or cargo flight where it would have received much less notice. The problem with strengthening the door, making it more rigid, is that airplanes aren’t rigid. They flex.

On the tarmac, the wings and fuselage droop. The wings droop more with filled with fuel. In flight, the wings rise. If you look out the window in flight you can actually see the wings curve upward. The aircraft body, in flight and on the ground flexes in numerous ways.

When a plane is in flight, fuel is burned, air density changes with altitude and weather. The forces and stress on the aircraft changes and the aircraft flexes. People moving around inside changes the weight and balance of the aircraft. Sometimes cargo shifts slightly. All these changes could cause the new, stronger, cockpit door to get pinched in it’s frame. If the pilot has to visit the head (the restroom for you non-military folks), a sudden change of those stresses and forces could cause the cockpit door to bind behind the pilot…locking the pilot out and locking the copilot in.

The copilot is often as fully experienced as the pilot, only lacking flight hours and time in service to be bumped to pilot. In this circumstance, pity the poor copilot. The pilot is locked out, he’s locked in, and both have been swilling coffee for hours!

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Breaking news! Mitt Romney won’t run for Prez in 2016. Whoop! I also heard all his moneymen slithered off to back Jeb Bush. Other close advisors say Romney will support some new, unannounced candidate. Hope it’s not another RINO like Lindsay Grahamnesty.

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Ref yesterday’s post about the FCC. The FCC issued new regulations concerning internet speed. It actually does nothing except when it comes to reports concerning the number of people with access to “high-speed broadband internet.” When the facts don’t support the FCC’s agenda, change the labels to change the numbers to support the agenda!

New benchmark means 55 million Americans currently lack broadband access after chairman derides internet companies’ advertisement claims

The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday changed the definition of broadband to increase the threshold speed – a move that has already angered cable companies.

In a 3-2 vote, the commission approved a measure that increases the minimum standard for broadband speed, giving the agency more power to force internet service providers to improve their service.

The definition of broadband is set to be raised from 4 megabits per second (Mbps) to 25Mbps for downloads and 1Mbps to 3Mbps for uploads.

With that speed as the benchmark, significantly fewer Americans have access to high-speed broadband. Under the previous definition, 19 million Americans were without access; the new definition means that 55 million Americans – 17% of the population – now do not have access to high-speed broadband, according to the FCC’s 2015 Broadband Progress Report, which is in the final editing process but was cited at the hearing.

Under the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the FCC is responsible for ensuring that broadband “is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion”.

The FCC chairman, Tom Wheeler, had repeatedly expressed support for the proposal ahead of the vote. In his remarks at the vote meeting, he was critical of telecommunications companies including Verizon, Comcast and AT&T. He said these companies’ statements to the commission differ wildly from what they tell consumers – part of his testimony included an incredulous reading of advertisements promoting the company’s seemingly fast broadband speeds.

“Our challenge is not to hide behind self-serving lobbying statements, but to recognize reality,” said Wheeler. “And our challenge is to help make that reality available to all.”

The cable industry’s largest lobby group, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), said in a statement that changing the definition is an attempt by the FCC to expand its ability to regulate industry:

“While cable network internet speeds already meet and exceed the FCC’s new broadband description, we are troubled that the Commission majority has arbitrarily chosen a definition of broadband in its Section 706 report that ignores how millions of consumers currently access the Internet. Instead of an accurate assessment of America’s broadband marketplace and the needs and uses of consumers, the FCC action is industrial policy that is not faithful to Congress’s direction in Section 706 to assess the market, but a clear effort to justify and expand the bounds of the FCC’s own authority.”

US broadband speeds clock in as the 25th fastest in the world, according to analyst Ookla’s Net Index. Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan top the list. Countries including Finland, France and the Netherlands boast of higher speeds than the US.

In reality, this change affects those broadband providers that use DSL technology instead of the faster cable based methods used by Comcast, Time-Warner, and others. Telecommunication carriers like AT&T use DSL taking advantage of their embedded facilities, often 2-wire telephone cables to individual homes. The internet speed of DSL is less the further the home is from the carrier’s local central office or remote signal amplifiers.

If you read the comments by FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn who voted for the change, you’ll understand this is nothing more than political maneuvering to acquire more federal power over providers.

“What is crystal clear to me is that the broadband speeds of yesterday are woefully inadequate today and beyond,” said Clyburn. — The UK Guardian.

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, who opposed the change said this:

O’Rielly said he supports expanding broadband access but that the report relies on “intentionally flawed analysis”. He said that increasing the definition does not resolve broadband access because it does not include a plan to promote deployment in the areas lacking it.

“Selecting an artificially high standard and applying it in a way that is impossible to meet in order to reach all Americans certainly in the near term makes a mockery of a process that was supposed to provide an honest assessment of broadband deployment in the United States.” — The UK Guardian.

This is, in part, reminiscent of the Broadband fiasco here in Cass County—a federal solution is search of an issue. Millions wasted nation-wide on an agenda what couldn’t be supported by fact. There are methods to acquire broadband internet access where cable and DSL does not exist. Yes, it may be more expensive but it exists. The fallacy of government is to use taxpayer money to subsidize those few users.

Every day another federal agency sticks its foot into the political arena supporting some liberal agenda. And every day, I make another federal agency that has proved its worthlessness. The FCC is near the top of my list.

Cold War II

The adages goes, “those who fail to understand History are doomed to repeat it.” That is so true for our government. Obama and the dems have emasculated our military while destroying our economy. We are seeing a scenario reminiscent of mid-1980s, when Ronald Reagan’s plan to force the USSR into economic failure succeeded. The US won the Cold War by outspending the USSR—forcing them to compete until their spending ruined them.

This time around, the roles are reversed. The former USSR, the empire Putin wants to restore, is recovering from its economic collapse and it is rebuilding its military and returning to it’s expansionist history to restore the Russian Empire. We need only to look at the Crimea and the Ukraine for proof.

In fact, Putin’s Foreign Minister has announced the beginning of the next Cold War.

Russian Prime Minister: We Are ‘Approaching a Second Cold War’

7:08 AM, May 20, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER

Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev says that “we are slowly but surely approaching a second cold war.” He also said that U.S. President Barack Obama could be “more tactful politically” and that he’s disappointed in some of the decisions Obama has made.

“Yes, I believe that President Obama could be more tactful politically when discussing these issues. Some decisions taken by the US Administration are disappointing. We have indeed done a lot for Russian-US relations. I believe doing so was right. The agreements that we reached with America were useful. And I’m very sorry that everything that has been achieved is now being eliminated by these decisions. Basically, we are slowly but surely approaching a second cold war that nobody needs.

Medvedev continues about the incompetency of Obama. Putin and Medvedev would not be making these statements, pushing, being aggressive in the Crimea, sending ‘agent provocateurs’ into the Ukraine, if the United States had the ability and the determination to counter him.

When Ronald Reagan was president, we had a 600 ship navy, twelve carrier battle-groups, troops in Europe, commitments from our NATO allies requiring a level of competency in their militaries and navies, and an equally strong US Army, Air Force and Marine Corps.

Now, the democrats and Obama have created an unsustainable welfare state, reduced out military forces, destroying their morale with repeated back-to-back deployments and, when they can no longer meet the physical requirements, the veterans are discarded into a Veterans Administration that ignores their needs.

But Putin isn’t our only enemy. China looms in the west. They’ve made extraordinary territorial claims to vast segments of the western Pacific, imperialistically seizing resource rich areas from a number of neighboring countries—countries who, by treaty, look to the United States for defense.

http://i.imgur.com/m8Vuf.gif

China’s Exclusive Economic Zone

Just this week, we watched an approaching confrontation between China and Viet Nam. We don’t have any treaty obligations with Viet Nam, but we do with the Philippine Islands, Taiwan and Japan.

How an oil rig sparked anti-China riots in Vietnam

By Hilary Whiteman, CNN, May 19, 2014 — Updated 1307 GMT

http://thediplomat.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/thediplomat_2014-05-08_15-06-31-386x231.pngHong Kong (CNN) — When China’s state-owned oil company dispatched an oil rig to a contested area of the South China Sea it flicked a match on a long-smoldering dispute with its communist neighbor Vietnam.Analysts say Beijing must have known the move would elicit some reaction, but it clearly didn’t predict having to evacuate thousands of Chinese nationals desperate to put some distance between them and violent Vietnamese protests.“The whole episode seems to reek of miscalculation, perhaps by both sides, but it demonstrates how volatile how this region can be,” said Alexander Neill, Shangri-La Dialogue Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Asia (IISS).At issue is the positioning of an oil rig in waters claimed by both China and Vietnam. Vietnam claims the rig’s presence is “illegal” while China says it has every right to drill, and has castigated the Vietnamese government for failing to ensure the safety of its nationals.To understand the issue, it’s vital to look at the exact position of the rig.Where is the rig?In early May, Beijing announced the HD-981 rig would be parked at sea for exploratory work until mid-August. Owned by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), the rig is anchored in Lot 143, about 120 nautical miles east of Vietnam’s Ly Son Island and 180 nautical miles from China’s Hainan Island, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).Analysis co-authored by CSIS experts said China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs appears to be basing its right to be there on the assumption that one of the Paracel Islands, which it claims as its own, is 17 miles north, allowing it to claim its own continental shelf in the region.China calls the contested Paracel Islands the Xisha Islands, while in Vietnam they’re known as the Hoang Sa Islands.Vietnam says the rig site is clearly on its continental shelf, and moreover is in its Exclusive Economic Zone. Hanoi has demanded that China remove the offending rig, escort vessels from the region and hold talks to settle the issue.The Chinese rig was escorted to the region by naval vessels and fighter jets, drawing Vietnamese boats to the area and raising tensions at sea. The Vietnamese have accused Chinese vessels of ramming and blasting its boats with water cannon. The Chinese say any conflict was provoked by Vietnamese harassment.

The column was just updated with the following bullet points.
  • China evacuates thousands of nationals from Vietnam amid territorial dispute
  • Protests erupted after China’s state oil company sent a rig to disputed territory
  • Vietnam says the rig site is on its continental shelf and within its Exclusive Economic Zone
  • China says the rig will be there until mid-August, has sent ships to guard the site
Another report tells of Chinese troops massing on the border next to Viet Nam. The report states that “Conflict Between China And Vietnam Is Imminent.

Conflicts in the east with Putin, conflicts in the west with China and Obama and the dems, as well as our military and naval forces, are completely unprepared. I think we are entering another of those “interesting times” mentioned in the Chinese curse.

War Warnings

The United States was involved in two major, world-spanning, wars in the 20th Century. We had warnings before the start of each war…and, for the most part, ignored them.

Newt Gingrich, in a CNN column, writes about the parallels between our current foreign situation and that prior to World War One. Gingrich, in addition to his political experience, is also a Historian. He is seeing the same parallels that I’ve written about in past posts.

The twin dangers of the Ukraine crisis

By Newt Gingrich, April 23, 2014 — Updated 2221 GMT (0621 HKT)

Ukrainian troops take position near burning tires at a pro-Russian checkpoint in Slaviansk following an attack by Ukrainian soldiers on Thursday, April 24. Ukraine has seen a sharp rise in tensions since a new pro-European government took charge of the country in February.

 

(CNN) — This year is the centennial of the First World War. One-hundred years ago this month, in April 1914, no one thought there would be a war. But war began, triggered by events in Eastern Europe, by the end of July. It came as an enormous shock, in retrospect almost like the Titanic hitting an iceberg.

In the end, it shattered Europe, cost tens of millions of lives, bankrupted countries and changed forever those who survived the horrors.

A century later, our focus is again on Eastern Europe, the site of a regional conflict that threatens to entangle the world’s leading powers.

The situation in Ukraine is a perilous one, much more so than our current debate acknowledges.

In Russia, we are dealing with the largest country in the world geographically, a country that possesses thousands of nuclear weapons, plenty of ballistic missiles and a ruthlessly determined leader motivated by nationalism and an imperial drive: a leader who also has an entrenched machine capable of keeping him in power for a long time.

In Ukraine, we are dealing with an ally that fought alongside us in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a nation now threatened with conquest by a much stronger neighbor against which it cannot defend itself.

In Europe, we are dealing with a continent that for more than half a century has relied on the United States to guarantee peace, security and freedom. We have kept that promise through NATO, the alliance that war in Eastern Europe threatens seriously to undermine.

And in the United States, we are dealing with a nation weary of war after more than a decade spent in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a public wary of more armed intervention abroad.

We need a national debate on what our policy is going to be. And then we need to engage our friends in Europe on what our policy is going to be.

As retired former NATO Commander Gen. Wesley Clark and his colleague Dr. Phillip Karber, a former Defense Department official, detail in their recent report from Ukraine, the Obama Pentagon has adopted a position of not helping that country with any offensive weapons. Offensive weapons including, for example, Kevlar vests, night vision equipment and aviation fuel.

So while the United States has sent thousands of meals ready to eat (Army rations) to a country that is an agricultural exporter, the administration has refused to send even nonlethal equipment that would help Ukraine defend itself and possibly avert war.

Instead of sending military supplies to Ukraine, we hear talk of more sanctions. And yet, as I discuss in my podcast this week, I suspect it will be apparent very quickly that sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin are going to be irrelevant. He is a very tough man. He heads a very big country with immense natural resources. He can cause pain fully as much as his neighbors can cause him pain. He can block American shipments to Afghanistan from coming through Russia by the northern route. He can cut off natural gas flow to Western Europe. He has a veto at the U.N. Security Council, and can obstruct further sanctions against Iran.

This is a very difficult situation, and we are now in two enormous dangers. First, of the Obama administration doing too little, in which case the world will become less safe as we show weakness to our allies and the Russians seek to reconstitute the Soviet empire. And second, of doing things too clumsily, in which case, as one-hundred years ago, a bad combination of miscalculations, delusions, laws and alliances could land us in a war no one intends.

If you read popular history, you would believe that the US entered World War One because of the sinking of the RMS Lusitania. What you may not remember is that the Lusitania was sunk on May 7, 1915. The US did not enter the war until April 6, 1917—nearly two years later.

The reasons for the delay were many—mostly due to the incompetence of Woodrow Wilson and his alliance with various ‘Peace’ groups. Wilson was finally convinced to sign the declaration of war after a number of events, such as the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare, the Zimmerman letters that indicated the Axis powers were attempting an alliance with Mexico (an aftermath of Pershing’s pursuit of Pancho Villa) and other indications that the Axis powers would soon ignore the neutrality of the US and attack US assets and installations at home and abroad.

American Entry into World War I, 1917

On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson went before a joint session of Congress to request a declaration of war against Germany. Wilson cited Germany’s violation of its pledge to suspend unrestricted submarine warfare in the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and its attempts to entice Mexico into an alliance against the United States, as his reasons for declaring war. On April 4, 1917, the U.S. Senate voted in support of the measure to declare war on Germany. The House concurred two days later. The United States later declared war on Austria-Hungary on December 7, 1917. — Office of the Historian, US State Department.

The paragraph above is the official summary of our entry into WW1. There is a more extensive, and controversial, discussion on Wiki (accused of anti-German bias.)

What Gingrich’s article does is to compare parallels then and today. Is the Russian invasion of the Crimea similar to that of Austia-Hungary’s invasion of Serbia? Is the overthrow of Ukrainian President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, the parallel of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand?

Obama, in response to Putin’s actions in the Ukraine, is sending a few troops to Poland, a US and NATO ally. True, it’s only 600 Paratroops to participate in a joint exercise. Other Army companies will head to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Obama and others in the White House and in the Administration think these pittance of troops will block further aggression by Putin. Unfortunately, like those events leading to World War 1, those few troops could be a tripwire leading us into another war. And, like we were prior to those two world wars in the last century, we are, again, ill prepared to respond.

How do you like it now?

Obamacare is in force. Not surprisingly, there are…issues.  Yeah, let’s call them issues, it sounds so innocuous.

It seems some hospitals, attempting to use Obamacare, had problems. A surgeon, attempting to get permission to perform a surgery, spent hours trying to verify a patient’s insurance…and finally gave up.

Paperwork problems almost delayed suburban Chicago resident Sheri Zajcew’s scheduled surgery Thursday, but Dr. John Venetos decided to operate without a routine go-ahead from the insurance company. That was after Venetos’ office manager spent two hours on hold with the insurer Thursday, trying to get an answer about whether the patient needed prior authorization for the surgery. The office manager finally gave up.

“I’m not a happy camper,” said Nate Zajcew, the patient’s husband. The couple signed up for a Blue Cross Blue Shield bronze plan through the federal HealthCare.gov site on Dec. 16. — CBS News.

In other locations, people arriving for care at some ERs were left in frustration because the ER could not verify their insurance.

‘They had no idea if my insurance was active or not!': Obamacare confusion reigns as frustrated patients walk out of hospitals without treatment — UK Daily Mail.

  • MailOnline spoke with patients who were told they would have to pay their bills in full if they couldn’t prove they had insurance
  • One was faced with a $3,000 hospital room charge and opted to leave the hospital after experiencing chest pains
  • ‘Should I be in the hospital? Probably,’ she said
  • Another, coughing in the cold, walked out without receiving a needed chest x-ray
  • Consumers face sticker-shock from medical costs under the new Obamacare system, made worse if they can’t prove they’re insured
  • As many as one-third of new enrollees’ applications have seen problems when the government transmits them to insurance companies

No, it’s not an auspicious rollout for Obamacare. In fact, it’s so bad, the rats are jumping ship. A second Obamacare official quit this week.

The man who led Oregon’s problem-plagued health insurance exchange has submitted his resignation.

Rocky King has been on medical leave since Dec. 2. His resignation is effective at the end of his leave, March 5.

The news came in a letter sent by King to the board of Cover Oregon on Wednesday. The board wrote to the agency’s staff on Thursday that it would begin looking for a permanent director.

King is the second official connected to the exchange to resign. He came under fire when the online enrollment system failed to go live in October. Technical problems with the exchange have been an embarrassment to the state and forced Oregonians to apply using paper applications. The state had to hire or reassign nearly 500 people to process applications by hand. — FOXNews.

Even for libs, it is not going well. A woman, an icon for publicizing Obamacare was astounded to discover she could not afford insurance under Obamacare as she assumed

Assumed. When I was in the Air Force, I was quickly taught the consequences of ‘assume’. It is a lesson I’ve never forgotten. Perhaps if this lib had spent a few days in boot-camp, she, too, would have learned the consequences of ‘assuming.’

PORTLAND, Ore. (CBS Seattle/AP) — One Oregon mother says that she is unable to afford health insurance for her and her 18-month-old son because it’s too expensive.

Kate Holly, 33, tells KOIN-TV that she originally championed President Barack Obama’s signature health care law because she thought it would help people in her situation.

“I’ve been a cheerleader for the Affordable Care Act since I heard about it and I assumed that it was designed for people in my situation,” Holly, a freelance yoga instructor, told KOIN. “I was planning on using the Affordable Care Act and I had done the online calculator in advance to make sure I was going to be able to afford it.”

Holly’s husband works for a non-profit organization that pays for his health care, but the couple is unable to afford to have her and their son covered under his plan. And she’s been told their combined income is too much to qualify for a subsidized health care plan under Cover Oregon.

“It wasn’t until I started the process and got an agent that I started hearing from them I wasn’t going to qualify for subsidies because I qualify on my husband’s insurance,” she told KOIN.

Holly is hoping things work out but she doesn’t know if she will have health care for her and her son.

“I guess I’m hoping that I will find out there’s a way around this, but I don’t know yet,” Holly told KOIN.

It’s always a wake-up call to libs when they discover their assumptions are nothing more than vapor. Reality bites.

The Word

A word was spoken yesterday, in an open forum, by someone who is not a member of the media’s right-wing, extremist, whack-jobs. The speaker was Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute’s Director of Health Policy Studies. He was speaking before a congressional committee hearing about the constitutional limits imposed on the presidency and the implications of President Barack Obama’s disregard for implementing the Affordable Care Act (AKA, Obamacare – Crucis) as written. His statement was this:

“There is one last thing to which the people can resort if the government does not respect the restrains that the constitution places on the government,” Cannon said. “Abraham Lincoln talked about our right to alter our government or our revolutionary right to overthrow it.” — Mediate.

Revolution. Civil War. Scary words that should make everyone hearing or reading them have second thoughts on the consequences of their current, past and future actions. A second Civil War in the United States would make the Lebanese Civil War of the last century look like a walk in the park among cool breezes and playing children. No one who has seen war takes those words lightly, but they have now been spoken by a credible speaker, before a congressional committee. Once spoken, the words cannot be retracted.

The nation has been on this path for decades. It started under Reagan when the democrat congress passed laws to make differences in foreign policy a crime. An incident occurred call the Iran-Contra Affair. The prosecution of Ollie North was the result. North was convicted of accepting an illegal gratuity, obstruction of a congressional inquiry, and destruction of documents, but the ruling was overturned since he had been granted immunity.

From criminalizing differences of political policy to ignoring, failing to enforce law and selective enforcement of law, the democrat party has lead the country to this point—massive repeal of federal laws, abolishment of federal agencies used by democrats to persecute political opposition, and a restructure of the federal government to restore state sovereignty—or chaos and war.

The Republican Party has been an active partner in many of the actions of the democrats. They have ignored the wishes—the demands, of their constituents to maintain their personal positions of power in Washington. They are not guiltless, either.

Michael Cannon continued to say, before the congressional committee this final statement.

“That is certainly something that no one wants to contemplate,” he continued. “If the people come to believe that the government is no longer constrained by the laws then they will conclude that neither are they.”

“That is a very dangerous sort of thing for the president to do, to wantonly ignore the laws,” Cannon concluded, “to try to impose obligation upon people that the legislature did not approve.” — Mediate.

Have we reached the point in this country when law become irrelevant? Many believe so.

Peace…for our time

In 1938, after Germany invaded and incorporated Czechoslovakia into the German Reich, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain flew to Germany to make an agreement with Adolf Hitler to end Germany’s expansion in Europe. On his return to London, Chamberlain gave his famous speech saying he had gained, “peace for a time.”

barack_chamberlainOver the weekend, Obama announced an agreement created by Sec’y of State John Kerry with Iran to “halt” their nuclear weapons program. Of course, the agreement has no teeth and leaves Israel swinging, alone, in the breeze. As a consequence, Saudia Arabia, fearing a nuclear Iran, is in the process of buying some nukes of their own from Pakistan. The Saudis have split with Washington over the justifiable fear that if attacked by Iran, the US would do nothing.

Yes, peace…for a time. A year after Neville Chamberlain made his famous speech, Britain was at war with Germany. The events of this last week leads me to wonder what the coming year will bring in the Middle East. Israel has never announced whether it has nuclear weapons, nor has Israel signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that would allow outside inspectors to see if Israel really had any. That aside, some sources estimate that Israel has approximately 90 nuclear weapons with enough material to manufacture 150-200 more on short notice.

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Obamacare is heading back to SCOTUS again. This time for possible violations of the First Amendment. Obamacare requires individuals and corporations to buy and provide birth control for themselves and their employees regardless of religious opposition. Hobby Lobby has filed suit and that suit is going to the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court to decide whether to review ObamaCare contraception mandate

Associated Press

WASHINGTON –  President Barack Obama’s health care law is headed for a new Supreme Court showdown over companies’ religious objections to the law’s birth-control mandate.

Amid the troubled rollout of the health law, and 17 months after the justices upheld it, the Obama administration is defending a provision that requires most employers that offer health insurance to their workers to provide a range of preventive health benefits, including contraception.

Roughly 40 for-profit companies have sued, arguing they should not be forced to cover some or all forms of birth control because doing so would violate their religious beliefs.

Both sides want the justices to settle an issue that has divided lower courts. The high court could announce its decision whether to take up the topic as early as Tuesday, following its closed-door meeting.

Arguments probably would take place in late March with a decision expected in late June.

The key issue is whether profit-making corporations can assert religious beliefs under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Nearly four years ago, the justices expanded the concept of corporate “personhood,” saying in the Citizens United case that corporations have the right to participate in the political process the same way that individuals do.

The administration wants the court to hear its appeal of the Denver-based federal appeals court ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby, an Oklahoma City-based arts and crafts chain that calls itself a “biblically founded business” and is closed on Sundays. Founded in 1972, the company now operates more than 500 stores in 41 states and employs more than 13,000 full-time employees who are eligible for health insurance. The Green family, Hobby Lobby’s owners, also owns the Mardel Christian bookstore chain.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said corporations can be protected by the 1993 law in the same manner as individuals, and “that the contraceptive-coverage requirement substantially burdens Hobby Lobby and Mardel’s rights under” the law.

In its Supreme Court brief, the administration said the appeals court ruling was wrong and, if allowed to stand would make the law “a sword used to deny employees of for-profit commercial enterprises the benefits and protections of generally applicable laws.”

In two other cases, courts ruled for the administration. Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., a Pennsylvania company that employs 950 people in making wood cabinets, is owned by a Mennonite family. Autocam Corp. is a Michigan-based maker of auto parts and medical devices that employs more than 650 people in the U.S.

The companies that have sued over the mandate have objections to different forms of birth control. Conestoga Wood objects to the coverage of Plan B and Ella, two emergency contraceptives that work mostly by preventing ovulation. The FDA says on its website that Plan B  “may also work by preventing fertilization of an egg … or by preventing attachment (implantation) to the womb (uterus),” while Ella also may work by changing of the lining of the uterus so as to prevent implantation.

Hobby Lobby objects to those two forms of contraception as well as two types of intrauterine devices (IUDs). Its owners say they believe life begins at conception, and they oppose only birth control methods that can prevent implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus, but not other forms of contraception.

Autocam doesn’t want to pay for any contraception for its employees because of its owners’ Roman Catholic beliefs.

The article continues at the website. You can read it here.

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Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I wish you all have a great Holiday.