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Dear Mr. Obama:
I'm planning to move my family and extended family into Mexico for my health, and I would like to ask you to assist me.
We're planning to simply walk across the border from the U.S. into Mexico , and we'll need your help to make a few arrangements.
We plan to skip all the legal stuff like visas, passports, immigration quotas and laws.
I'm sure they handle those things the same way you do here. So, would you mind telling your buddy, the President of Mexico, that I'm on my
Please let him know that I will be expecting the following:
1. Free medical care for my entire family.
2. English-speaking Government bureaucrats for all services I might
need, whether I use them or not.
3. Please print all Mexican Government forms in English.
4. I want my grandkids to be taught Spanish by English-speaking
5. Tell their schools they need to include classes on American culture
6. I want my grandkids to see the American flag on one of the flag
poles at their school.
7. Please plan to feed my grandkids at school for both breakfast and lunch.
8. I will need a local Mexican driver's license so I can get easy
access to government services.
9. I do plan to get a car and drive in Mexico, but I don't plan to
purchase car insurance, and I probably won't make any special effort
to learn local traffic laws.
10. In case one of the Mexican police officers does not get the memo
from their president to leave me alone, please be sure that every
patrol car has at least one English-speaking officer.
11. I plan to fly the U.S. flag from my housetop, put U.S. flag decals
on my car, and have a gigantic celebration on July 4th. I do not want
any complaints or negative comments from the locals.
12. I would also like to have a nice job without paying any taxes, or
have any labor or tax laws enforced on any business I may start.
13. Please have the president tell all the Mexican people to be
extremely nice and never say critical things about me or my family, or
about the strain we might place on their economy.
14. I want to receive free food stamps.
15. Naturally, I'll expect free rent subsidies.
16. I'll need income tax credits so that although I don't pay Mexican
taxes, I'll receive money from the government.
17. Please arrange it so that the Mexican Government pays $4,500.00 to
help me buy a new car.
18. Oh yes, I almost forgot, please enroll me free into the Mexican
Social Security program so that I'll get a monthly income in
I know this is an easy request because you already do all these things
for all of his people who walk over to the U.S. from Mexico. I am
sure that the President of Mexico won't mind returning the favor if
you ask him nicely.
Yeah, Ok, they have no clue. I call B.S.
Someone has replaced two American flags on the Brooklyn Bridge with mysterious white flags.
The white flags — international symbols of surrender — fluttered Tuesday from poles on the stone supports that hold cables above the bridge.
One of the flags, viewed via video, appeared to have faint traces of stars and stripes on it.
Police said it was not clear what time they were placed there — or by whom.
Several officers scaled the bridge and were seen lowering one of the flags around 11 a.m.
Traffic continued to inch along the bridge.
The bridge is one of the most heavily secured landmarks in the city, constantly monitored by security cameras.
The city's Department of Transportation was referring all queries to the NYPD
Cases of the chikungunya virus are appearing in the United States at a level that is far higher than anything health officials have seen in recent years, and now there are two confirmed cases of people that have not even traveled out of the country getting the virus. That means that the chikungunya virus is starting to spread in America, and once it starts spreading it is really hard to stop. Instead of spreading human to human, this virus actually spreads “person-to-mosquito-to-person”.
Cases of the chikungunya virus are appearing in the United States at a level that is far higher than anything health officials have seen in recent years, and now there are two confirmed cases of people that have not even traveled out of the country getting the virus. That means that the chikungunya virus is starting to spread in America, and once it starts spreading it is really hard to stop. Instead of spreading human to human, this virus actually spreads “person-to-mosquito-to-person”. If you live in an area of the country where there are a lot of mosquitos, you should pay close attention to this article. You do not want to get the chikungunya virus. According to Slate, the name of this virus “comes from a Makonde word meaning ‘that which bends up,’ referring to the contortions sufferers put themselves through due to intense joint pain.” That does not sound fun at all. Fortunately, the U.S. has not really been affected by this disease in recent years, but an epidemic has already been declared in Puerto Rico, and some experts are now saying that it is only a matter of time before we see one in the United States.
From 2006 to 2013, the largest number of cases of the chikungunya virus in the U.S. in a single year was just 65.
But by July 15th of this year there were already 357 reported cases, and health officials are bracing for the worst.
Of course, of biggest concern is what just happened in Florida. For the first time, health officials have isolated cases of the chikungunya virus that they know were transmitted locally…
U.S. health officials on Thursday confirmed two locally acquired cases of chikungunya in Florida. In Puerto Rico, the government has declared an epidemic of the mosquito-borne virus, with reports of more than 200 diagnosed cases since June 25 in San Juan and surrounding areas.
On Thursday, the CDC confirmed a 50-year-old male in Palm Beach, Fla. was diagnosed with the virus, and had not recently traveled outside the country. Florida state health officials are also reporting a 41-year-old woman in Miami Dade Country has been diagnosed with locally transmitted chikungunya. The CDC has not yet provided confirmation on the second case. Local transmission occurs when the insect bites a person with the infection and then transmits the virus by biting others.
So if you live in south Florida, you should really be trying to avoid mosquitos right about now.
But Florida is not the only state that is on high alert at this point.
Over in Texas, there have been five confirmed cases of the chikungunya virus so far. The following is an excerpt about one that was just discovered in Montgomery County…
The Montgomery County Public Health District is confirming their first case of the Chikungunya virus.
“The individual is a male teenager of Montgomery County who has recently traveled outside of the United States,” said Jennifer Nichols-Contella, Public Information Officer for the Montgomery County Public Health District.
And health officials in Kentucky were quite alarmed when they recently found a confirmed case in their state…
“We have been testing our first potential cases of Chikungunya virus in Kentucky residents who recently traveled to areas where the disease is present, and have received confirmation of one positive result so far,” said Dr. Kraig Humbaugh, state epidemiologist and DPH deputy commissioner.
Overall, there are now 30 states that have confirmed cases. In every case but the two in Florida mentioned above, it involved someone that had traveled internationally and came back…
The Center for Disease Control and state health departments are monitoring cases of Chikungunya, a virus that causes high fever, joint and muscle pain and headaches.
The virus has been reported in 153 cases linked to international travel, said Kristen Norlund, CDC spokeswoman, “meaning someone went to a place where the virus was circulating, got infected and then came back.”
Louisiana is one of 30 states with confirmed cases in residents who traveled internationally.
With so many cases already, it is going to be really difficult to keep a lid on this outbreak. All it is going to take is a few well-timed mosquito bites and we could be off to the races.
Fortunately, the chikungunya virus is usually not fatal. But if you do get it, you will probably remember the experience for the rest of your life…
With illness onset, the person develops high fever, chills, and joint pain, followed in some by a rash on the trunk, limbs and face lasting 3-4 days. Muscle and joint pain last about one week. Joint pain is often severe and in some people lasts longer, up to several months.
And just because it is usually not fatal does not mean that there would not be a lot of deaths during a full-blown epidemic. The following analysis is from an article about the virus by Jeff Danner…
The current epidemic in the Dominican Republic may provide some insight. Since chikungunya struck the Dominican Republic in early April, there have been almost 200,000 cases, an incidence rate of 20 per thousand for this nation of 10 million people. If the Southeast, with a population approximately 80 million, had the same incidence rate as the Dominican Republic, we would expect 1.5 million cases in the first 100 days of an epidemic. However, due to widespread availability of insect repellent here and our stay-inside-the-air-conditioned-space lifestyles, our incidence rate is likely to be lower. For the sake of argument, let’s assume our incidence rate will be 1/3 that of the Dominican Republic. This would translate to a half a million cases in the first hundred days, and we would then project approximately 10 million cases in the first year. With chikungunya’s fatality rate of 0.4%, an epidemic of this scale would kill 40,000, with fatalities being disproportionately among the very old and very young.
And the chikungunya virus is not the only virus carried by mosquitos that health officials are alarmed about this summer.
In Massachusetts, officials have confirmed a case of eastern equine encephalitis, which is fatal about a third of the time…
The Massachusetts Department of Health just confirmed that a July 15th laboratory test in Plymouth County has tested positive for EEE, a dangerous virus that can cause inflammation of the brain and in one third of cases, death.
Even though the only reported case of EEE in Massachusetts was more than 80 miles to our east, our chances in western Massachusetts of getting it just went up. But it probably wouldn’t be the mosquitoes bringing it here.
Birds are typically the long range carrier of triple E, taking the disease over many miles. Mosquitoes then bite the birds and become the local source for infection when they bite a human.
For decades, Americans really haven’t had to be concerned about the deadly diseases that are carried by mosquitos that cause so much problems in much of the rest of the world.
But now things are changing.
We are seeing very unusual disease outbreaks all over the planet, and the next great pandemic could be just around the corner.
Over in Africa, one of the worst outbreaks of the ebola virus ever recorded has already killed more than 600 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
If that virus ends up traveling over to the United States, it will make the chikungunya virus look like a Sunday picnic.
It has been a really long time since the U.S. has had to deal with a full-blown health crisis.
Hopefully the chikungunya virus will not turn into one.
But as the globe continues to become a smaller and more interconnected place, experts warn that it is only a matter of time before the next great pandemic hits us.
Court Rules That Subsidies in Obamacare's Federal Exchange are Illegal, Dealing Huge Legal Blow to Health Law
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit delivered a huge blow to Obamacare this morning, ruling that the insurance subsidies granted through the federally run health exchange, which covered 36 states for the first open enrollment period, are not allowed by the law.
The highly anticipated opinion in the case of Jacqueline Halbig v. Sylvia Mathews Burwell reversed a lower court ruling finding that federally run exchanges did have the authority to disburse subsidies.
Today's ruling vacates the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulation allowing the federal exchanges to give subsidies. The large majority of individuals, about 86 percent, in the federal exchange system received subsidies, and in those cases the subsidies covered about 76 percent of the premium on average.
The essence of the court's ruling is that, according to the law, those subsidies are illegal. They were always illegal, and the administration never had the authority to offer them. (According to an administration official, however, the subsidies will continue to flow throughout the appeals process.)
The court's ruling agreed with challengers who argued that the plain language of the law, which in multiple instances limits subsidies and credits to any "Exchange established by the State," does not allow subsidies to be disbursed in exchanges where a state declined to establish its own exchange and is instead run by the federal government. Basically, the federal government cannot step in and create and run an exchange that is somehow still an exchange established by a state.
"We conclude that appellants have the better of the argument: a federal Exchange is not an 'Exchange established by the State,' and [the relevant section of the law] does not authorize the IRS to provide tax credits for insurance purchased on federal Exchanges," the decision says.
The law "plainly makes subsidies available only on Exchanges established by states," the ruling says. "And in the absence of any contrary indications, that text is conclusive evidence of Congress’s intent. To hold otherwise would be to say that enacted legislation, on its own, does not command our respect—an utterly untenable proposition."
It's a major blow to the way the administration has chosen to implement the health law, and a victory for plain language legal interpretation as well.
Update: On a conference call this morning, Case Western University Law Professor Jonathan Adler, who was instrumental in laying the legal groundwork for the case, made the point that this is not the court changing the law. It is the court interpreting the law and its clear language. Which means that any of the ruling's effects, including the loss of subsidies, were built into the law when it was passed.
"If people lose those subsidies, it’s because the courts rule that those subsidies are and always have been unlawful," he said. The administration "never had the authority" to dish them out. "Halbig did not cause those effects. Those are the effects of the Affordable Care Act."
"If that causes dislocation, if that causes disruption, I think the responsibility lies with the IRS and the administration," Adler also said.
Update 2: A different circuit court ruled today that subsidies offered through federally run exchanges are authorized on the law. This creates a circuit court split, which increases, but does not guarantee, the chances of an eventual hearing by the Supreme Court. It is also possible, and arguably even more likely, that the circuit split will be dealt with via en banc review.
Now for the other side
If you're looking for a silver lining to this morning's ruling dealing a major blow to Obamacare (or rather a major blow to people getting subsidized policies in the states that didn't adopt exchanges), look to the full DC Circuit Court. Given its present make-up (helped along mightily by breaking the filibuster logjam) it seems highly, highly likely that the full DC Circuit will reverse this ruling. The problem is that the question then moves to the Supreme Court, which seems quite likely - given recent decisions - to turn it back again to some version of today's decision. In other words, at some point in the future it seems quite likely that the Supreme Court will gets its opportunity to gut the bill.
I say 'corruption' in the headline above because there is a point after which activist partisanship becomes so extreme that it amounts to corruption, in some ways more damaging than the venal or monetary corruption we normally imagine when we use the word. Corruption, in its original meaning, refers to rot, remember. And that is what we have here in spades.
The three judge panel has looked at a single clause which on its face does refer to exchanges set up by states. But to draw the conclusion it has, in this restrictive sense, you have to ignore the entirety of the rest of the statute, which clearly looks to a system in which the same subsidy regime would operate regardless of who set up the exchange. This is clear explicitly at some points and implicitly throughout. You also have the clear intent - stated now but more importantly stated by all at the time - that the law was intended to have the same subsidy regime for all exchanges.
Any suggestion that the law was intended to do anything else is absurd on its face.
But the two judges ruling in the majority in this case are essentially saying, "Who cares? You should have written this one sentence more clearly. End of story." And there's one tenet of statutory construction that says that's all you have to do. There are numerous others that point in the other direction.
As David says, maybe it is the Mother of All Drafting Errors, though I think you only get to that conclusion if you assume the judges enter the question as advocates against the law. Alas, that seems to be the case.
The subsidies for Americans in 36 states now look clearly to be at the tender mercies of the conservative majority on the Supreme Court. Now unless SCOTUS chooses to make what would clearly be an activist partisan decision of a pretty high order, all will be fine. But, c'mon, look who we're talking about.
It's only fair to say that John Roberts surprised everyone two years ago when he sided with the Court's liberal wing in upholding the individual mandate, viewed as a tax. But the 5 now have all they need to do major damage to the law.
How The White House Could Still Save Obamacare Even If It Loses In Court
Liberty or Laws?
Militia in Aid of Our Neighbors
Outpost of Freedom
July 26, 2014
Liberty or Laws?
Militia in Aid of Our Neighbors
Outpost of Freedom
July 26, 2014
In the previous article (Militia in Defense of the State http://outpost-of-freedom.com/blog/?p=864), we discussed the right of the People to defend themselves, if Congress, the President, and the governor of their state, all abrogate their responsibility to protect us from invasion. If the need therein suggested arises, we must first question whether the Congress, the President, or the governor of the state, by abrogating responsibility, allowing a foreign invasion, without challenge, have become "enemies, domestic", along side of the "enemies, foreign".
Regardless of how we perceive those in government who have failed in their responsibilities, the question will arise whether a person from one state has the right to go to another state, in aid of the militia of that second state. Given the current nature on the ongoing invasion, along the southern border, it would make sense to recognize that Ohio is not in need of immediate aid, though one of the border states (California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas) is. If someone from Ohio decided that he wished to aid his neighbor in Texas in dealing with the invasion, has he a right to go to their aid, either as an individual, or, as a member of a militia organization?
In a strict sense, and probably also in a lawful sense, the militia organization cannot go as an organization. Texas Government Code, § 437.209
FOREIGN TROOPS. A military force from another state, territory, or district, except a force that is on federal orders and acting as a part of the United States armed forces, may not enter this state without the permission of the governor. The governor may delegate the powers granted by this section to the adjutant general.
specifically forbids a militia unit from another state to enter, absent the permission from the governor or under federal orders.
However, if the members of the Ohio militia organization do choose to go to Texas to aid their neighbor, there is nothing that would prohibit their traveling together to visit the host, whether a property owner or a Texas militia organization, as long as they were going to Texas as individuals. Well, by what authority, or form of reasoning, do we come to that conclusion?
When the Framers wrote the Constitution, they provided something that had not been true, before that document was ratified. Had you gone from one state to another, you did not have any of the rights enjoyed by the citizens of that state, unless they gave them to you. However, the Framers, wishing to assure that any citizen could feel comfortable and safe, while traveling to another state of the Union, made provision so that citizens in one state, while traveling, would enjoy all of the privileges and immunities enjoyed by the citizens of the host state. The authority can be found in the federal Constitution at Article IV, § 2:
The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.
Now, if you were visiting Texas, and chose to assist that neighbor state in resisting the invasion of aliens, would it not afford you the "privilege" of joining the militia; and, "immunities" provided by law as a member of that Texas militia -- the same as afforded a Texan?
Your right as a citizen provides the lawful authority to aid your neighbor in repelling an invasion, so long as you enter the host state as a guest, or a visitor, and then decide to enroll in a Texas militia. The Texas laws and Constitution notwithstanding, the nature of the Union of States under the federal Constitution afford you that protection.
This article can be found on line at Liberty or Laws? -- Militia in Aid of Our Neighbor http://outpost-of-freedom.com/blog/?p=866
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