Category Archive 'Threats to Liberty'
19 Feb 2013
Elderly Americans? small children? mothers with their kids? pregnant women???
A company supplying targets for law enforcement training, selling to all sorts of federal agencies, is now offering a special”No Hesitation” line of targets featuring the kind of targets that, historically, only SS Einsatzgruppen were trained to kill.
This is the sort of story that sends me normally directly to Snopes, but it is for real. The link to the target company web-site is right below in the first sentence of the quotation.
Law Enforcement Targets, Inc. is a 21-year designer and full service provider of training targets for the DHS, the Justice Department and thousands of law enforcement agencies throughout the country.
The company’s website offers a line of “No More Hesitation” targets ”designed to give officers the experience of dealing with deadly force shooting scenarios with subjects that are not the norm during training.” The targets are, “meant to help the transition for officers who are faced with these highly unusual targets for the first time.”
The targets include “pregnant woman threat,” “older man with shotgun,” “older man in home with shotgun,” “older woman with gun,” “young school aged girl,” “young mother on playground,” and “little boy with real gun.”
Why are top training target suppliers for the government supplying the likes of the DHS with “non-traditional threat” targets of children, pregnant women, mothers in playgrounds, and elderly American gun owners unless there is a demand for such items?
This is particularly alarming given the fact that the Department of Homeland Security has purchased roughly 2 billion rounds of ammunition over the course of the last year, enough to wage a near 30 year war.
In comparison, during the height of active battle operations in Iraq, US soldiers used 5.5 million rounds of ammunition a month.
The DHS also purchased no less than 7,000 fully automatic assault rifles last September, labeling them “Personal Defense Weapons.”
The fact that targets of armed pregnant women, children, mothers in playgrounds, and American gun owners in general are being represented as “non traditional threats” “for the first time” is deeply concerning given the admitted preparations for civil unrest undertaken by Homeland Security as well as other federal agencies.
Read the whole thing.
14 Oct 2012
Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Nederlandse Spreekwoorden [Netherlandish Proverbs], also known as The Blue Cloak and The Folly of the World, 1559, Staatliche Museen, Berlin
Dan Greenfield has another absolutely brilliant essay on the contemporary tyranny based upon ressentiment.
[The] same noxious formula of the fight for equality shamelessly transmuted into special privilege has flowed into every struggle that models itself on the civil rights movement. And with each battle, freedom has been lost as a new layer of privilege and the regulations that protect that privilege have been added. We have long ago lost the presumption of innocence, now everyone is guilty of something and the power to wield that guilt like a whip is the ultimate privilege.
With a new wave of civil rights movements popping up every few years, backed by academic papers, grants from the Ford Foundation and “groundbreaking books” with confrontational titles, it is easy not to notice how little actual freedom we have. We spend so much time on the barricades fighting for the next wave of freedom that we are too community organized to realize how much freedom we have lost. We lost it while demanding more regulations to protect our freedom to be regulated from all the people who would take our freedom away from us by giving us back our rights as individuals.
He’s spot-on right. Look at the talk these days about “Marriage Equality.” What Marriage Equality means is a small minority is demanding the right to redefine the most basic and immemorial human institution in such a way as to cause the state to recognize and enforce the moral and social equality of homosexual relations. And if you go around insisting in retaining the freedom to think as you like on that particular subject, you are defined as the oppressor.
Read the whole thing.
16 Aug 2012
Left: .357 SIG JHP —Right: .40 S&W JPH
Back in March, the Department of Homeland Security put in an order for 450 million rounds of .40-caliber ammunition. (UPI).
Then, this month, DHS ordered another 750 million rounds of miscellaneous ammunition, “including 357 mag rounds that are able to penetrate walls.” (Prison Planet)
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is looking for 46,000 rounds of ammunition for the National Weather Service.
The National Weather Service stations in Ellsworth, Maine, and New Bedford, Mass., are slated to receive 16,000 rounds of .40 S&W jacketed hollow point (JHP) bullets. ...
6,000 rounds of S&W JHP will be sent to Wall, New Jersey and another 24,000 rounds of the same bullets will be handed over to the station in St. Petersburg, Florida.
St. Pete. is the only city that’s not receiving 100 or more paper targets to assist with training of agency issued sidearms.
Two hundred targets are going to Maine and Massachusetts, but only 100 to New Jersey. So, 46,000 rounds and 500 targets.
[N]ow the Social Security Administration is set to purchase 174,000 rounds of hollow point bullets that will be delivered to 41 locations across the country.
A solicitation posted by the SSA on the FedBizOpps website asks for contractors to supply 174,000 rounds of “.357 Sig 125 grain bonded jacketed hollow point pistol ammunition.” ...
the ammunition is to be shipped to 41 locations within 60 days of purchase. A separate spreadsheet lists those locations, which include the Social Security headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland as well as major cities across the country including Los Angeles, Detroit, Oklahoma City, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Denver, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Seattle.
DHS clearly is planning to have enough ammo on hand to deal with the Zombie Apocalypse or an invasion from Mars, but what on earth is the Weather Service planning to do with so much ammunition, and Social Security, too?
Irate Senior Citizen: “My SS check was late!”
Social Security bureaucrat: “BOOOM!”
Since all these cartridges are being ordered with Hollow Point bullets, it is clear that they are not planning to shoot any foreign enemies. All such adversaries would be covered by the Geneva Convention, which bans the use of expanding bullets.
16 Feb 2012
Just in case anyone missed the news story, here’s the link.
28 Sep 2011
“An unwarrantable act without vicious will is no crime at all.”—4 Bl. Comm. 21.
‘Historically, our substantive criminal law is based upon a theory of punishing the vicious will. It postulates a free agent confronted with a choice between doing right and doing wrong and choosing freely to do wrong.’—Pound, Introduction to Sayre, Cases on Criminal Law (1927).
The Wall Street Journal yesterday published an important article describing the impact of the ever-expanding number of federal crimes, commonly resulting from feel-good legislation passed recklessly with little serious consideration, on one of the fundamental principles of justice, genuine intent.
Even in Classical Antiquity, Roman justice recognized the principle that a defendant needed to possess actual intent to commit a crime to deserve conviction and punishment. In today’s United States, however, citizens cannot possibly be familiar the entire body of federal law and regulation, so the basic principle of mens rea, “a guilty mind,” is commonly eliminated by the dilution of standards.
For centuries, a bedrock principle of criminal law has held that people must know they are doing something wrong before they can be found guilty. The concept is known as mens rea, Latin for a “guilty mind.”
This legal protection is now being eroded as the U.S. federal criminal code dramatically swells. In recent decades, Congress has repeatedly crafted laws that weaken or disregard the notion of criminal intent. Today not only are there thousands more criminal laws than before, but it is easier to fall afoul of them.
As a result, what once might have been considered simply a mistake is now sometimes punishable by jail time.
Some of the cases described will make your blood boil with indignation.
This is the kind of article which proves the crucial importance of the Wall Street Journal to American society. The Journal commonly substitutes effectively for all the rest of the media combined in addressing the serious issues. Read the whole thing.
14 Jun 2011
Big Brother is coming soon to take away your 100w incandescent light bulbs, and he’s planning to remove the rest of them by 2014. Virginia Postrel explains that Congress and George W. Bush did one of their crony capitalism deals at the expense of your freedom of choice (and your interior decor).
When compact fluorescent light bulbs were new, promoters sold them as a market-oriented, win-win proposition. They were like “lite” beer: the same great illumination, for a fraction of the electric bill.
But, as with beer, not everyone was convinced. Some consumers didn’t like the high out-of-pocket cost. (A basic CFL runs about three times the initial price of the equivalent incandescent.) Some didn’t like that bulbs could take a while to build up to full intensity.
Some didn’t like the occasional flicker. And a lot didn’t like the light. Its bluish cast lacks the warmth of traditional incandescents and gives skin tones a somewhat deathly tinge. “Fluorescent is just not attractive,” a resolute restaurant designer once told me. “I don’t care what they say.” ...
By the end of last year, CFLs had managed to capture only 25 percent of the general-purpose light-bulb market—a decent business, sure, but hardly the radical transformation evangelists were going for. Most Americans, for most purposes, have stuck to traditional incandescents.
So the activists offended by the public’s presumed wastefulness took a more direct approach. They joined forces with the big bulb producers, who had an interest in replacing low-margin commodities with high-margin specialty wares, and, with help from Congress and President George W. Bush, banned the bulbs people prefer.
It was an inside job. Neither ordinary consumers nor even organized interior designers had a say. Lawmakers buried the ban in the 300-plus pages of the 2007 energy bill, and very few talked about it in public. It was crony capitalism with a touch of green.
Of such deals are Tea Parties born.
Read the whole thing.
24 May 2010
Arthur C. Brooks, president of the America Enterprise Institute, has an excellent editorial on the current struggle over America’s future between the 30% comprising the American left and the rest of us.
America faces a new culture war.
This is not the culture war of the 1990s. It is not a fight over guns, gays or abortion. Those old battles have been eclipsed by a new struggle between two competing visions of the country’s future. In one, America will continue to be an exceptional nation organized around the principles of free enterprise—limited government, a reliance on entrepreneurship and rewards determined by market forces. In the other, America will move toward European-style statism grounded in expanding bureaucracies, a managed economy and large-scale income redistribution. These visions are not reconcilable. We must choose.
It is not at all clear which side will prevail. The forces of big government are entrenched and enjoy the full arsenal of the administration’s money and influence. Our leaders in Washington, aided by the unprecedented economic crisis of recent years and the panic it induced, have seized the moment to introduce breathtaking expansions of state power in huge swaths of the economy, from the health-care takeover to the financial regulatory bill that the Senate approved Thursday. If these forces continue to prevail, America will cease to be a free enterprise nation.
I call this a culture war because free enterprise has been integral to American culture from the beginning, and it still lies at the core of our history and character. “A wise and frugal government,” Thomas Jefferson declared in his first inaugural address in 1801, “which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.” He later warned: “To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.” In other words, beware government’s economic control, and woe betide the redistributors.
Now, as then, entrepreneurship can flourish only in a culture where individuals are willing to innovate and exert leadership; where people enjoy the rewards and face the consequences of their decisions; and where we can gamble the security of the status quo for a chance of future success.
Yet, in his commencement address at Arizona State University on May 13, 2009, President Obama warned against precisely such impulses: “You’re taught to chase after all the usual brass rings; you try to be on this “who’s who” list or that Top 100 list; you chase after the big money and you figure out how big your corner office is; you worry about whether you have a fancy enough title or a fancy enough car. That’s the message that’s sent each and every day, or has been in our culture for far too long—that through material possessions, through a ruthless competition pursued only on your own behalf—that’s how you will measure success.” Such ambition, he cautioned, “may lead you to compromise your values and your principles.”
I appreciate the sentiment that money does not buy happiness. But for the president of the United States to actively warn young adults away from economic ambition is remarkable. And he makes clear that he seeks to change our culture. ...
[T]he real tipping point was the financial crisis, which began in 2008. The meltdown presented a golden opportunity for the 30 percent coalition to attack free enterprise openly and remake America in its own image.
And it seized that opportunity. While Republicans had no convincing explanation for the crisis, seemed responsible for it and had no obvious plans to fix it, the statists offered a full and compelling narrative. Ordinary Americans were not to blame for the financial collapse, nor was government. The real culprits were Wall Street and the Bush administration, which had gutted the regulatory system that was supposed to keep banks in line.
The solution was obvious: Vote for a new order to expand the powers of government to rein in the dangerous excesses of capitalism.
It was a convincing story. For a lot of panicky Americans, the prospect of a paternalistic government rescuing the nation from crisis seemed appealing as stock markets and home prices spiraled downward. According to this narrative, government was at fault in just one way: It wasn’t big enough. If only there had been more regulators watching the banks more closely, the case went, the economy wouldn’t have collapsed.
Yet in truth, it was government housing policy that was at the root of the crisis. Moreover, the financial sector—where the crisis began and where it has had the most serious impact—is already one of the most regulated parts of our economy. The chaos happened despite an extensive, intrusive regulatory framework, not because such a framework didn’t exist.
More government—including a super-empowered Federal Reserve, a consumer protection watchdog and greater state powers to wind down financial firms and police market risks—does not mean we will be safe. On the contrary, such changes would give us a false sense of security, especially when Washington, a primary culprit in the crisis, is creating and implementing the new rules.
The statist narrative also held that only massive deficit spending could restore economic growth. “If nothing is done, this recession could linger for years,” Obama warned a few days before taking office. “Only government can provide the short-term boost necessary to lift us from a recession this deep and severe. Only government can break the cycle that is crippling our economy.”
This proposition is as expensive as it is false. Recessions can and do end without the kind of stimulus we experienced, and attempts to shore up the economy with huge public spending often do little to improve matters and instead chain future generations with debt.
30 Apr 2010
When Republicans are doing bad things, you can count on democrats to offer to go them one better.
Democratic leaders have proposed requiring every worker in the nation to carry a national identification card with biometric information, such as a fingerprint, within the next six years, according to a draft of the measure.
The proposal is one of the biggest differences between the newest immigration reform proposal and legislation crafted by late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
The national ID program would be titled the Believe System, an acronym for Biometric Enrollment, Locally stored Information and Electronic Verification of Employment.
It would require all workers across the nation to carry a card with a digital encryption key that would have to match work authorization databases.
“The cardholder’s identity will be verified by matching the biometric identifier stored within the microprocessing chip on the card to the identifier provided by the cardholder that shall be read by the scanner used by the employer,” states the Democratic legislative proposal. ...
Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.), who has worked on the proposal and helped unveil it at a press conference Thursday, predicted the public has become more comfortable with the idea of a national identification card.
“The biometric identification card is a critical element here,” Durbin said. “For a long time it was resisted by many groups, but now we live in a world where we take off our shoes at the airport and pull out our identification.
“People understand that in this vulnerable world, we have to be able to present identification,” Durbin added. “We want it to be reliable, and I think that’s going to help us in this debate on immigration.”
Ezra Klein offers details of the democrat plan, and actually identifies the important irony. Note that all this does not give the ephebe Ezra any particular problem personally.
The Democrats’ immigration-reform proposal (pdf) is 26 pages long. Pages 8 through 18 are devoted to “ending illegal employment through biometric employment verification.” I don’t think the Democrats are going to like me calling this a biometric national ID card, as they go to great lengths to say that it is not a national ID card, and make it “unlawful for any person, corporation; organization local, state, or federal law enforcement officer; local or state government; or any other entity to require or even ask an individual cardholder to produce their social security card for any purpose other than electronic verification of employment eligibility and verification of identity for Social Security Administration purposes.”
But it’s still a biometric national ID card. It’s handed out by the Social Security Administration and employers are required to check it when hiring new employees. Essentially, if you want to participate in the American economy, you need this card. “Within five (5) years of the date of enactment, the fraud-proof social security card will serve as the sole acceptable document to be produced by an employee to an employer for employment verification purposes,” the bill says. “This requirement will exist even if the employer does not yet possess the capability to electronically verify the employee by scanning the card through a card reader.”
The theory here is simple: Illegal immigration is a problem because illegal immigrants can get jobs. As the bill says, “in order to prevent future waves of illegal immigration, this proposal recognizes that no matter what we do on the border, our ports of entry, and in the interior, we will not be completely effective unless we can prevent the hiring, recruitment, or referral of unauthorized aliens in America’s workplaces. Jobs are what draw illegal immigrants to the United States.” ...
The oddity of this strategy, of course, is that anti-immigration sentiments run highest among the same communities that are most opposed to national ID cards. Now, it’s also the case that if you’re going to support citizenship searches for people with Hispanic-looking shoes, it’s a bit odd to worry about an ID card to verify employment. But even so, without Republicans on the bill to give this strategy cover, it’ll be interesting to see whether the anti-immigrant right embraces the ID card as a way of staunching the flow of illegal immigrants or assails Democrats for trying to create a biometric police state.
06 Apr 2010
Glenn Whitman, at Cato Unbound, has a good essay on the Progressive’s newer, subtler strategy for running your life.
Instead of fighting major policy battles to secure the power needed to make you do what liberals think you should using naked force, clever persons on the left, like Cass Sunstein (recently appointed head of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs) recognize that the same results can largely be obtained by the application of much-easier-to-enact regulatory tweaks and nudges.
For as far back as memory reaches, people have been telling other people what’s good for them — and manipulating or forcing them to do it. But in recent years, a novel form of paternalism has emerged on the policy stage. Unlike the “old paternalism,” which sought to make people conform to religious or moralistic notions of goodness, the “new paternalism” seeks to make people better off by their own standards.
New paternalism has gone by many names, including “soft paternalism,” “libertarian paternalism,” and “asymmetric paternalism.” Whatever the name, it arose from the burgeoning field of behavioral economics, which studies the myriad ways in which real humans — unlike the agents who populate most economic models — deviate from pure rationality. Real people suffer from a variety of cognitive biases and errors, including lack of self-control, excessive optimism, status quo bias, susceptibility to framing of decisions, and so forth. To the extent such imperfections cause people to make choices inconsistent with their own best interests, paternalistic interventions promise to help them do better. ...
New paternalists, like many well-meaning advocates of expanded government, imagine conscientious policymakers carefully evaluating all the evidence, considering alternatives, consulting unbiased experts, and acting only when the benefits clearly outweigh the costs. That’s the idealized picture that comes to mind when Camerer, et al., call their perspective “a careful, cautious, and disciplined approach” to paternalism.
In political reality, legislators and bureaucrats face a constant stream of policy temptations, including both new policies and expansions of old ones. Rather than considering each new law on its merits, policymakers do what normal people do — they use simple heuristics and rules of thumb. They display what behavioral economists call extension neglect: the tendency to focus on “prototypes” instead of measuring the true degree and extent of a problem. In the paternalist context, the prototype citizens are chain-smokers and junk-food junkies. And the new paternalists have made sure the prototype policies are gentle nudges like reordering the food selections in cafeteria lines. These prototypes are, unfortunately, more likely to guide policy than studious consideration of behavioral economic research.
To make matters worse, policymakers will be influenced not only by supposedly neutral experts, but by special interests as well. Some will support policies for financial reasons — like milk producers who favor ever-greater restrictions on the availability of soft drinks, or financial services firms that favor ever-larger requirements for people to save and invest. Others will have a moral or ideological agenda, as in the case of temperance organizations (like Mothers Against Drunk Driving) or personal health advocates (like the Center for Science in the Public Interest). These groups may not share the new paternalists’ stated concern for the subjective preferences of targeted people.
24 Mar 2010
After Leviathan has seized control of health services and is picking up the tab for your health care, Patrick Basham notes, government intrusion into your personal life and government efforts to reform your bad habits will inevitably assume a lot more urgency. Methods of altering citizens’ behavior are likely to get a lot tougher than a new series of public service messages.
During the course of this decade we will witness a global battle over the fate of the nascent Bully State. The Bully State will be this decade’s ‘bad cop’ to the Nanny State’s ‘good cop’ of past decades.
The past generation of welfare statism saw the unduly protective Nanny State bleed into every sinew of our daily lives. Sociologist David Marsland explains that, ‘Once you have a big welfare state in place, the excuse for state nannying is infinite in scale’, he says. ‘This … continues the process of reducing self-reliance and handing responsibility for ourselves to external bodies.’
Yet, just when you thought things could not get worse, they did. Two years ago, Oxford University’s Nuffield Council of Bioethics published a seminal report that provided the international public health establishment with the explicit rationale for a dramatic change in the relationship between the citizen and the State.
Did anyone think national health care was really going to be free?
Hat tip to the News Junkie.
06 Dec 2009
John David Lewis, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Duke University, has actually read over the 1,990 “mindnumbing pages of legalese” constituting the democrats’ Health Care Bill.
Professor Lewis warns:
This legislation empowers the executive branch, namely the Secretary of Health and Human Services and a “Health Choices Commissioner,” to write thousands of pages of regulations, and to force Americans to comply with them. For every line in this bill, many pages of regulations will be written. As a result, the bureaucracy will expand, the final cost will be many times more than the original estimates—and the impact on American medicine will be devastating.
The overall result of this bill, if enacted, will be a complete government takeover of the health-care industry. ...
In many ways the bill is a convoluted, uncoordinated list of compromises between thousand of legislators, legislative aides, and lobbyists. Yet the bill has two main thrusts, with one central meaning. The first thrust is a massive increase in government power. The second is the total rejection of the free market. The central meaning of both is the repudiation of individual rights. No longer will Americans have the liberty to preserve their own lives in the way they judge best—from now on, they will have to conform to government controls on the most intimate details of their lives. ...
A text search of the bill reveals more than one hundred instances of language such as “the Secretary shall determine.”
He also quotes the House Republican Conference list of the contemporary democrat party’s attempt to revive the policies of George III, “erecting” what the Declaration of Independence complained of as “a multitude of New Offices” resulting in there being “sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.”
1. Retiree Reserve Trust Fund (Section 111(d), p. 61)
2. Grant program for wellness programs to small employers (Section 112, p. 62)
3. Grant program for State health access programs (Section 114, p. 72)
4. Program of administrative simplification (Section 115, p. 76)
5. Health Benefits Advisory Committee (Section 223, p. 111)
6. Health Choices Administration (Section 241, p. 131)
7. Qualified Health Benefits Plan Ombudsman (Section 244, p. 138)
8. Health Insurance Exchange (Section 201, p. 155)
9. Technical assistance to employees of small businesses buying Exchange coverage (Section 305(h), p. 191)
10. Insurance risk pooling to be established by Health Choices Commissioner (Section 306(b), p. 194)
11. Health Insurance Exchange Trust Fund (Section 307, p. 195)
12. State-based Health Insurance Exchanges (Section 308, p. 197)
13. Grant program for health insurance cooperatives (Section 310, p. 206)
14. “Public Health Insurance Option” (Section 321, p. 211)
15. Ombudsman for “Public Health Insurance Option” (Section 321(d), p. 213)
16. Account for receipts and disbursements for “Public Health Insurance Option” (Section 322(b), p. 215)
17. Tele health Advisory Committee (Section 1191 (b), p. 589)
18. Demonstration program providing for “culturally and linguistically appropriate services” (Sec 1222, p. 617)
19. Demonstration program for shared decision making using patient decision aids (Section 1236, p. 648)
20. Accountable Care Organization pilot program under Medicare (Section 1301, p. 653)
21. Independent patient-centered medical home pilot program under Medicare (Section 1302, p. 672)
22. Community-based medical home pilot program under Medicare (Section 1302(d), p. 681)
23. Independence at home demonstration program (Section 1312, p. 718)
24. Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research (Section 1401(a), p. 734)
25. Comparative Effectiveness Research Commission (Section 1401(a), p. 738)
26. Patient ombudsman for comparative effectiveness research (Section 1401(a), p. 753)
27. Q/A and performance improvement program for skilled nursing facilities (Section 1412 (b)(1), p. 784)
28. Q/A and performance improvement program for nursing facilities (Section 1412 (b)(2), p. 786)
29. Special focus facility program for skilled nursing facilities (Section 1413(a)(3), p. 796)
30. Special focus facility program for nursing facilities (Section 1413(b)(3), p. 804)
31. Independent monitor pilot program for skilled nursing facilities and nursing facilities (Section 1422, p. 859)
32. Demonstration program for approved teaching health centers for Medicare GME (Section 1502(d), p. 933)
33. Pilot program to develop anti-fraud compliance systems for Medicare providers (Section 1635, p. 978)
34. Special Inspector General for the Health Insurance Exchange (Section 1647, p. 1000)
35. Medical home pilot program under Medicaid (Section 1722, p. 1058)
36. Accountable Care Organization pilot program under Medicaid (Section 1730A, p. 1073)
37. Nursing facility supplemental payment program (Section 1745, p. 1106)
38. Demonstration program for Medicaid medical conditions for mental diseases (Sec 1787, p. 1149)
39. Comparative Effectiveness Research Trust Fund (Section 1802, p. 1162)
40. “Identifiable office or program” for “coordination between Medicare and Medicaid” (Section 1905, p. 1191)
41. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (Section 1907, p. 1198)
42. Public Health Investment Fund (Section 2002, p. 1214)
43. Scholarships for service in health professional needs areas (Section 2211, p. 1224)
44. Program for training medical residents in community-based settings (Section 2214, p. 1236)
45. Grant program for training in dentistry programs (Section 2215, p. 1240)
46. Public Health Workforce Corps (Section 2231, p. 1253)
47. Public health workforce scholarship program (Section 2231, p. 1254)
48. Public health workforce loan forgiveness program (Section 2231, p. 1258)
49. Grant program for innovations in interdisciplinary care (Section 2252, p. 1272)
50. Advisory Committee on Health Workforce Evaluation and Assessment (Section 2261, p. 1275)
51. Prevention and Wellness Trust (Section 2301, p. 1286)
52. Clinical Prevention Stakeholders Board (Section 2301, p. 1295)
53. Community Prevention Stakeholders Board (Section 2301, p. 1301)
54. Grant program for community prevention and wellness research (Section 2301, p. 1305)
55. Grant program for research and demonstration projects for wellness incentives (Section 2301, p. 1305)
56. Grant program for community prevention and wellness services (Section 2301, p. 1308)
57. Grant program for public health infrastructure (Section 2301, p. 1313)
58. Center for Quality Improvement (Section 2401, p. 1322)
59. Assistant Secretary for Health Information (Section 2402, p. 1330)
60. Grant program to support the operation of school-based health clinics (Section 2511, p. 1352)
61. Grant program for nurse-managed health centers (Section 2512, p. 1361)
62. Grants for labor-management programs for nursing training (Section 2521, p. 1372)
63. Grant program for interdisciplinary mental and behavioral health training (Section 2522, p. 1382)
64. “No Child Left Unimmunized Against Influenza” demonstration grant program (Section 2524, p. 1391)
65. Healthy Teen Initiative grant program regarding teen pregnancy (Section 2526, p. 1398)
66. Grant program for interdisciplinary training, education, and services for autism (Section 2527(a), p. 1402)
67. University centers for excellence in developmental disabilities education (Section 2527(b), p. 1410)
68. Grant program to implement medication therapy management services (Section 2528, p. 1412)
69. Grant program to promote positive health behaviors in underserved communities (Section 2530, p. 1422)
70. Grant program for State alternative medical liability laws (Section 2531, p. 1431)
71. Grant program to develop infant mortality programs (Section 2532, p. 1433)
72. Grant program to prepare secondary school students for health care training (Section 2533, p. 1437)
73. Grant program for community-based collaborative care (Section 2534, p. 1440)
74. Grant program for community-based overweight and obesity prevention (Section 2535, p. 1457)
75. Grant program for reducing the student-to-school nurse ratio (Section 2536, p. 1462)
76. Demonstration project of grants to medical-legal partnerships (Section 2537, p. 1464)
77. Center for Emergency Care (Section 2552, p. 1478)
78. Council for Emergency Care (Section 2552, p 1479)
79. Grant program to support demonstration programs for regionalized emergency care (Section 2553, p. 1480)
80. Grant program to assist veterans who wish to become EMT’s (Section 2554, p. 1487)
81. Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (Section 2562, p. 1494)
82. National Medical Device Registry (Section 2571, p. 1501)
83. CLASS Independence Fund (Section 2581, p. 1597)
84. CLASS Independence Fund Board of Trustees (Section 2581, p. 1598)
85. CLASS Independence Advisory Council (Section 2581, p. 1602)
86. Health and Human Services Coordinating Committee on Women’s Health (Section 2588, p. 1610)
87. National Women’s Health Information Center (Section 2588, p. 1611)
88. Centers for Disease Control Office of Women’s Health (Section 2588, p. 1614)
89. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Office of Women’s Health Research (Section 2588, p. 1617)
90. Health Resources and Services Administration Office of Women’s Health (Section 2588, p. 1618)
91. Food and Drug Administration Office of Women’s Health (Section 2588, p. 1621)
92. Personal Care Attendant Workforce Advisory Panel (Section 2589(a)(2), p. 1624)
93. Grant program for national health workforce online training (Section 2591, p. 1629)
94. Grant program to disseminate best practices on implementing health workforce (Section 2591, p. 1632)
95. Demonstration program for chronic shortages of health professionals (Section 3101, p. 1717)
96. Demonstration program for substance abuse counselor educational curricula (Section 3101, p. 1719)
97. Program of Indian community education on mental illness (Section 3101, p. 1722)
98. Intergovernmental Task Force on Indian environmental and nuclear hazards (Section 3101, p. 1754)
99. Office of Indian Men’s Health (Section 3101, p. 1765)
100. Indian Health facilities appropriation advisory board (Section 3101, p. 1774)
101. Indian Health facilities needs assessment workgroup (Section 3101, p. 1775)
102. Indian Health Service tribal facilities joint venture demonstration projects (Section 3101, p. 1809)
103. Urban youth treatment center demonstration project (Section 3101, p. 1873)
104. Grants to Urban Indian Organizations for diabetes prevention (Section 3101, p. 1874)
105. Grants to Urban Indian Organizations for health IT adoption (Section 3101, p. 1877)
106. Mental health technician training program (Section 3101, p. 1898)
107. Indian youth telemental health demonstration project (Section 3101, p. 1909)
108. Program for treatment of child sexual abuse victims and perpetrators (Section 3101, p. 1925)
109. Program for treatment of domestic violence and sexual abuse (Section 3101, p. 1927)
110. Native American Health and Wellness Foundation (Section 3103, p. 1966)
111. Committee for the Native American Health and Wellness Foundation (Section 3103, p. 1968)
25 Nov 2009
Barack Obama and the democrats in Congress did not turn the economy around with their massive spending stimulus package. Unemployment rates are high. They have not fixed the credit markets with bailouts. A new wave of foreclosures is underway. Home real estate prices are still in decline, nearly a quarter of American home owners are underwater on their mortgages, and the commercial real estate market is headed for complete disaster. Small businesses are experiencing a credit squeeze, which some economic authorities argue is attributable to government soaking up available credit for federal deficits.
As the US economy sinks, the democrats controlling Washington are attempting to hand it an anvil in the form of a staggering new health care entitlement. If a deficit burden reaching to the sky is not enough, we know that Congress has every intention of allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire, and proposals for new forms of taxation, a V.A.T. and even a special wartime surtax, have been floated. Coming up as well are plans for even yet another massive federal tax scheme involving mandatory purchases of carbon credits (at least for business not favored by federal exemptions) and dollar transfers to international bodies and/or Third World countries.
Most of us assumed that leftwing democrats want to do all these economically unfortunate things because they are clueless, childish, and subscribe to a worldview whose economic theories have everything backward. They are reckless, irresponsible, and just plain dumb.
But, it turns out there is a more sinister theory out there.
According to James Simpson, writing at American Thinker, democrat bad economics is deliberate. There is a conspiracy, and they have a plan.
The methodology is known as the Cloward-Piven Strategy, and we can all be grateful to David Horowitz and his Discover the Networks for originally exposing and explaining it to us. He describes it as:
The strategy of forcing political change through orchestrated crisis. The “Cloward-Piven Strategy” seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.
Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven were two lifelong members of Democratic Socialists of America who taught sociology at Columbia University (Piven later went on to City University of New York). In a May 1966 Nation magazine article titled “The Weight of the Poor,” they outlined their strategy, proposing to use grassroots radical organizations to push ever more strident demands for public services at all levels of government.
The result, they predicted, would be “a profound financial and political crisis” that would unleash “powerful forces … for major economic reform at the national level.” ...
The real goal of “health care” legislation, the real goal of “cap-and-trade,” and the real goal of the “stimulus” is to rip the guts out of our private economy and transfer wide swaths of it over to the government to control. Do not be deluded by the propaganda. These initiatives are vehicles for change. They are not goals in and of themselves except in their ability to deliver power. They and will make matters much worse, for that is their design.
This time, in addition to overwhelming the government with demands for services, Obama and the Democrats are overwhelming political opposition to their plans with a flood of apocalyptic legislation. Their ultimate goal is to leave us so discouraged, demoralized, and exhausted that we throw our hands up in defeat. As Barney Frank said, “the middle class will be too distracted to fight.”
I was smiling ironically, as I began assembling what I thought would make an amusing posting identifying a colorful and extremist line of accusation. But, as I reflect on the peculiarly self-destructive aspects of recent democrat political behavior, their strange willingness to defy the polls and ram through controversial measures in defiance of public opinion, I wonder if looking upon what they are doing as a form of the Cloward-Piven Strategy does not make sense.
It was the stock market crash that doomed Republican chances to defeat a relatively unknown, radical democrat last year. Chaos, fear, and uncertainty were precisely the reason that independent voters were willing to vote for Change, any kind of change, and took a flyer on Barack Hussein Obama. Chaos and economic bad news have been Barack Obama’s friends so far. Rahm Emanuel is famous for observing that he saw an empowering opportunity for the left in a serious crisis and was resolved not to waste that opportunity.
That Barney Frank “the middle class will be too distracted to fight” quotation may be a warning sign, though. I’ve been unable to verify it as a real statement made by the Congressman from Massachusetts. It turns up in large volume as a search result, but always from this same body of text.
08 Oct 2009
Walter Olson, at Overlawyered, responds to the new FTC guidelines on disclosure affecting bloggers.
Come to think of it, I usually link books mentioned using Amazon’s Associates program, but Amazon has not had a sale from one of those in a very long time, as best I can recall. Does that count as disclosing?
Publishers sometimes send me books in hopes I’ll review or at least mention them. I occasionally attend free advance screenings of new movies (typically law-related documentaries) that filmmakers hope I’ll write about. This site has an Amazon affiliate store which has from time to time provided me with commissions after readers click links and proceed to purchase items, though it’s been almost entirely inactive for years. I get invited to attend the odd institutional banquet whose hosts sometimes give away a free book or paperweight along with the hotel meal. I’ve been sent “cause” T-shirts and law firm/support service provider promotional kits over the years, pretty much a waste of effort since I don’t much care for wearing such T-shirts and am not exactly famed for posts that sing the praises of law firms or their service providers.
Under new Federal Trade Commission guidelines in the works for some time, I could apparently get in trouble for not disclosing these and similarly exciting things. In addition, the commission’s scrutiny will extend to areas less relevant to this site, such as targeted Google advertising and results-not-typical testimonials.
Robert Ambrogi at Legal Blog Watch finds it hard to see why the blogosphere has raised such a big fuss about these rules. After all, the rules (to be precise, “guidelines” backed by government lawyers with relevant enforcement powers) make clear that nondisclosure of a single minor freebie will not in itself suffice to trigger liability but instead will be counted “among several factors to be weighed” in evaluating the continuum of behavior by individuals engaging in social media (it seems the rules also apply to Twitter, Facebook, and guest appearances on talk shows, to name a few). FTC enforcers will engage in their own fact-specific, and inevitably subjective, balancing before deciding whether to press for fines or other penalties: in other words, instead of knowing whether you’re legally vulnerable or not, you get to guess.
Olson also quotes Ann Althouse, who identifies the crucial point here quite succinctly.
The most absurd part of it is the way the FTC is trying to make it okay by assuring us that they will be selective in deciding which writers on the internet to pursue. That is, they’ve deliberately made a grotesquely overbroad rule, enough to sweep so many of us into technical violations, but we’re supposed to feel soothed by the knowledge that government agents will decide who among us gets fined. No, no, no. Overbreath itself is a problem. And so is selective enforcement.
What do you suppose are the odds that Obama’s FTC is going to go after Kos for taking “consulting fees” (Kosola) from particular democrat candidates?
28 Jan 2009
John S. Theon, formerly chief of all weather and climate research for NASA, and James Hansen’s former boss, has just released a statement of his personal skepticism concerning the predictions of climate alarmist James Hansen and of climate models.
Hansen was never muzzled even though he violated NASA’s official agency position on climate forecasting (i.e., we did not know enough to forecast climate change or mankind’s effect on it).
[C]limate models are useless.
My own belief concerning anthropogenic climate change is that the models do not realistically simulate the climate system because there are many very important sub-grid scale processes that the models either replicate poorly or completely omit. Furthermore, some scientists have manipulated the observed data to justify their model results. In doing so, they neither explain what they have modified in the observations, nor explain how they did it. They have resisted making their work transparent so that it can be replicated independently by other scientists. This is clearly contrary to how science should be done. Thus there is no rational justification for using climate model forecasts to determine public policy.
But Dr. Theon and Senator Inhofe had better watch out. If James Hansen has his way, they as Global Warming deniers, along with the chief executives of energy companies, would be put on trial “for high crimes against humanity and nature.”
Hansen is a pioneer of a fascinating new political debating technique. You declare that your position is true and that if it fails to be accepted the consequences will be terrible, and therefore anyone opposing you is prosecutable for injuring the public interest by spreading lies.
I can picture certain Constitutional obstacles to such prosecutions myself, but some of the blogosphere’s leftwing nutroots, example: Kirk Murphy at FireDogLake, are calling Hansen’s proposal “a nice start.”
If prosecuting people who object to your theory is a nice start, presumably burning them at them at the stake for heresy or sending them to the death camps in Siberia is the logical finish.
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