Saturday, October 5, 2013

Subject: Park Service ranger: “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can!

This is the tyranny that Thomas Jefferson was asked to write about in the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. Do we need to republish it?

"If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify."
--Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 33

Old-Pharts Waged 'All-Out Attack' Against Cruz & Lee! ^ | 4 Oct 2013, 3:46 PM PDT | Larry O'Connor

In an interview on Salem Radio's Hugh Hewitt Show, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) revealed that in a conference meeting of Republican Senators earlier this week, a group of Republicans waged an "all-out attack" on himself and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX):

Hewitt: There was, allegedly, a Republican Senate conference earlier this week where your colleague Ted Cruz took a lot of slings and arrows. Were you there, Sen. Lee?Lee: Yes, Yes! I was there and normally I don't comment at all on closed door meetings among Republican Senators. It's a pretty strict rule we follow. The one exception I'll make is in circumstances like this one where the contents of the meeting were leaked, deliberately, by several of my colleagues and leaked in a very one-sided way so I'm happy to tell you about it here.
Hewitt: Please do
Lee: It was an all-out attack against Ted Cruz and me. It was unflattering, it was unfair, it was demeaning. It was demeaning to Senator Ted Cruz and to me, but more than anything it was demeaning to those who engaged in the attack.
Hewitt: How many Senators rose to speak against you guys?
Lee: Quite a few, enough that I lost count. And you know I have to ask the question, you know, why were those who leaked this, and leaked this in a very unflattering, unfavorable way, why were they not willing to attach their names to those quotes?
You know Ted Cruz and I spoke after the meeting and we both concluded we would both be fine with the American people hearing and seeing exactly what we said in that meeting. But we're pretty sure that most of our colleagues would be very uncomfortable, and downright embarrassed if their constituents saw the way they were

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

OBAMACARE AND THE CONSTITUTION . . . Top eleven violations

September 4, 2013 | MrChips

Obamacare has little to do with health care. It is something else, altogether. As an article in The American Thinker so succinctly phrases it, “The legislation is a disgusting and tyrannical seizure of liberty from private business and the American individual.” Those liberties are prescribed in, and to some extent protected by, the U.S. Constitution. Which ones are violated? Well, it could be argued that just about every one of them, everything that follows the words “We the People.” Let’s take a look at a few. . .

(1) Clearly, the abortion coverage and the contraception mandates do infringe upon freedom of religion (1st Amendment), and are the focus of a number of current lawsuits brought by the University of Notre Dame, Franciscan University of Steubenville, and dozens of Catholic hospitals and organizations, including Priests for Life, The Archdiocese of New York, the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., and various individual dioceses across the country, all of whom have filed some 43 lawsuits against Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the Obama administration.
(2) Some businesses, which do not fall under the "religious employer" exemption, are seeking relief from the contraception coverage mandate (again, a 1st Amendment issue) because it is against the owner's religious beliefs. The following two cases are examples of corporate challenges currently winding their way through the court system . . . Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. et al., v. Sebelius – U.S. District Court, 10th Circuit, in Oklahoma City, filed Sept. 12, 2012 . . . Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation v. Sebelius – U.S. District Court, 3rd Circuit, in Philadelphia, filed Dec. 4, 2012
(3) Doctors having the ability to ask about firearms ownership and include your response in your "medical history" that is stored on-line and shared with the HHS bureaucracy infringes upon the freedom of thought and speech (1st Amendment) and upon the right to bear arms - that "shall not be infringed." (2nd Amendment).
(4) The Federal government (HHS/IRS) having full access to your bank account against your will, to make sure that you are paying your Obamacare premiums, infringes upon your right to be secure in your person, papers, and effects, as do unreasonable searches into personal health insurance records; Anyone familiar with financial matters knows that a prospectus is required before someone purchases anything, but to find out about Obamacare you have to give them all your personal information . . . Instead of being able to read what Financial Health Plans they are offering you must disclose who you are, first; it also infringes up on your right to due process (4th and 5th Amendments).
(5) Excessive fines, in the guise of the Obamacare penalty, violate the Constitutional promise contained in the words “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” (8th Amendment) The violation stems not only from the penalty, but also from mandating private citizens to purchase health insurance.
(6) Forcing you to purchase items (Obamacare) also infringes via rights not specifically enumerated in the Constitution and violates the Commerce Clause, the Takings Clause, the Presentment Clause (9th Amendment and 10th Amendment).
(7) The Federal government’s attempts to strong-arm the states also infringes upon the rights of the states in the Enumerated powers clause. The Constitution grants the federal government about thirty-five specific powers, eighteen in Article I, Section 8, and the rest scattered throughout the document. None of those powers authorize control of the health care system outside the District of Columbia and the federal territories. Furthermore, Congress may not commandeer state decision making in the service of federal goals. (10th Amendment).
(8) Why is Obamacare, via its mandate to buy insurance, not utterly illegal in that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”? (thirteenth Amendment). It is the federal government forcing people to “work” in finding an insurance policy – to take an “economically productive action for another, without compensation.” Is that not the definition of involuntary servitude? In fact, for the privilege of being forced to engage in “work” you also have to pay for a policy that you may or may not use. SCOTUS ruled in United States vs Reynolds that coercing a citizen to enter in to a contract (which is what a health insurance policy is) violates the “wheel of servitude” as defined by the 13th Amendment.
(9) Section 1 of The 14th Amendment to the Constitution says in part "nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, of property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Some proponents of federal health care have argued that every citizen must be treated equally, and the current health care system is an example of gross inequality that runs contrary to principles of the 14th Amendment. And how do you allow thousands of exemptions and special privileges for almost two million Americans who do not have to participate in Obamacare and reconcile that special treatment with equal protection of law for the other 299 million or more? (14th Amendment).
(10) The SCOTUS has defined the Obamacare penalty as a tax. As the National Review points out, “This is a direct tax on the middle class. It is clear that through its proposed $500 billion in tax increases, the $500 billion in Medicare cuts, and the individual mandates and regulations, Obamacare will swiftly harm our country.” As a tax increase, it is a big one. But, even if the Obama administration is now admitting the individual mandate is a tax, that still does not make the law constitutional. Rather than operating as a tax on income, the mandate is a tax on the person and is, therefore, a capitation tax. So the 16th Amendment’s grant of power to Congress to assess an income tax does not apply. The Constitution does allow Congress to assess a capitation tax, but that requires the tax be assessed evenly based on population. That is not how the Obamacare mandate works. It exempts and carves out far too many exceptions to past muster as a capitation tax. The Obamacare mandate may have been deemed a “tax” by Justice Roberts, but it is still unprecedented and unconstitutional even as a tax. (Sixteenth Amendment)
(11) The presidents’s own tinkering with the law, issuing executive orders to change it, modify it to suit his will, are clearly unconstitutional in and of themselves. He is not only violating the equal protection clause (14th Amendment) as he curries favor with his political friends and carves out special exemptions (See #9 above), but he is also re-writing established law in a way that is sweeping and discriminatory, which is not his prerogative. Article 1, Section 1: “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” We have a president, who should “preside.” We do not have a king, which brings us back, again, to the first words of the Constitution: “We the people.”
* * * * *
Further thoughts from the article in The American Thinker: Social Security was also highly unconstitutional, but there is little we can do about Social Security now, beyond minor reforms. Most Americans have invested if they've ever held a job, some are vested and collecting their expected returns, still others are collecting well beyond what they ever put in, and all the while politicians continually raid the Social Security piggybank. It's a staple of American life, however unconstitutional its genesis.
But it is because Social Security was passed, because Medicare was later implemented, because the welfare state has been ever-expanding, that progressives today think there is no harm, and that, indeed, it is their moral duty to facilitate the federal government's maintenance of the poor via wealth redistribution. They actually believe that taking money from those who have more and giving it to those who have less is the proper role of our federal government. This has been the role of a great many dictators and socialist legislatures throughout history, but one thing is beyond dispute: our founders never dreamed that this would be the role of the American government. For if the federal government has the right to tax for any purpose, what purpose does any other limitation upon the federal government's power in the Constitution have? Yet generations of progressives have bastardized the Constitution to suit their own ideological agenda, and as such, many Americans have forgotten the very core principles upon which our nation was founded.

Park Service ranger: “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can!

Hotair ^ 

When and how did the National Park Service become “the shock troops of the punitive bureaucracy”?

The Park Service appears to be closing streets on mere whim and caprice. The rangers even closed the parking lot at Mount Vernon, where the plantation home of George Washington is a favorite tourist destination. That was after they barred the new World War II Memorial on the Mall to veterans of World War II. But the government does not own Mount Vernon; it is privately owned by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. The ladies bought it years ago to preserve it as a national memorial. The feds closed access to the parking lots this week, even though the lots are jointly owned with the Mount Vernon ladies. The rangers are from the government, and they’re only here to help.
“It’s a cheap way to deal with the situation,” an angry Park Service ranger in Washington says of the harassment. “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.”
Sad to say, but there’s precedent here. The extent of the barricade mentality may have deepened over time, with some memorials being shuttered now that stayed open in ’95, but the NPS has apparently always been a lead actor in shutdown-theater pageantry. Andrew Stiles interviewed former Bush Interior Secretary Gale Norton about it, and she said it’s nothing new:
“The National Parks Service has a long history of dramatizing budget issues by inconveniencing the public,” she says. ”They often choose the most dramatic type of action in order to get their message across. It’s something I had to guard against when I was secretary — not letting them play budget games.“
NPS has engaged in such behavior for decades, Nortons says, recalling at least one occassion during the Reagan administraiton, in which she worked as an attorney for the parks service, when NPS decided to close Skyline Drive, a scenic highway running through Shenandoah National Park, in order to make a statement during an appropriations fight on Capitol Hill…
“Given the fact that they have closed so much, and acted so broadly, I imagine that decision was made at the highest levels of park service leadership, in cooperation with department leadership and the White House,” she says.

Feds Spare No Expense to Close Popular Tourist Sites

Semi-News/Semi-Satire ^ | 4 Oct 2013 | John Semmens

Determined to put a real “sting” into the shutdown of the federal government in the absence of Congressional passage of a continuing resolution, the federal government incurred the added expense of shuttering popular open-air tourist sites.
“Money isn't the issue,” National Parks Director Jonathan Jarvis insisted. “These parks are owned by the federal government. We say when they are open and when they are closed.”
As it turns out, the NPS exercised more authority than it has. The blockades included privately funded sites that the NPS “mistakenly believed” they had the right to close. The most prominent of these was Mount Vernon—the former home of George Washington that is now run by a privately funded foundation. For that matter, though it sits on federally owned land, the WWII memorial was also built with privately raised donations.
Not all of the blockades were successful. Washington, DC's World War II memorial was successfully invaded by a contingent of 80 and 90-year-old veterans. “We had White House authorization to use deadly force if necessary,” said Park Ranger Bob Weaver. “But without comprehensive gun control laws we couldn't be sure we wouldn't be outgunned. Let's not forget that some of these old guys stormed the beaches of Normandy facing down Nazi artillery and machine guns—firepower that, thus far, has been denied to us.”
Weaver didn't sound optimistic that the NPS's most recent ploy of wiring the barricades together would keep out the invading vets. “It's not barbed wire and we can't lay down a pattern of automatic weapons fire to deter the vets from penetrating the perimeter. Fortunately, this generation is dying off and future efforts to prevent unauthorized intrusions onto government property should go more smoothly.”
Out west, tourists are utilizing helicopter tours to bypass the government's closure of Grand Canyon National Park's roadway entrances. NPS Director Jarvis is pressing the President to declare a “no fly zone” over the Park. “The government owns the airspace over the Canyon just as much as the ground on which the park sits,” Jarvis contended. “If we say the Park is closed no one has the right to view any part of it by any means. Flying over our barricades to sneak a peek is like stealing. It's just plain wrong.
Meanwhile, the October 1st implementation of the Obamacare exchanges has been largely a bust. Computer glitches impeded those few who tried to access the program. Others were stunned to discover that they must first provide an array of personal data before being allowed to see details on the insurance packages offered. Those overcoming qualms learned that the plans offered were significantly more expensive than they had been led to believe—more costly than coverages available prior to the Affordable Care Act.
if you missed any of this week's other semi-news/semi-satire posts you can find them at...

Obamacare 'Navigators' Will Get $58 For Every Individual They Sign Up!

Forbes ^ | October 3, 2013 | Louis Goodman and Tim Norbeck

When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed, the Obama Administration envisioned that all states would implement the program as outlined in the law. However, unlike any federal program in recent history, 27 states have decided not to create a Health Insurance Exchange and instead let the federal government implement it at a cost in excess of $8 billion. This results in a “top down” payment system versus the “bottom up” approach the framers of the legislation expected.
What this means is that some states will have federal marketplaces, and others will have their own locally developed marketplaces for employers and patients. And because understanding the workings of this system and trying to identify and purchase a health insurance product is so complicated, the government is paying “navigators” to guide the uninsured through the maze being constructed to make health insurance more accessible. In California, for example, $673 million in federal money will be utilized to deploy 21,000 navigators to sign up people for the exchange. Reports indicate that each navigator will receive $58 for every person signed up.
How this technology will be used is another area that should be carefully monitored. The health insurance exchanges have the potential to become the largest personal database in U.S. history. Thoughtful dialogue is critical to determine how this collection of information will improve patient care.
Similarly, in our healthcare system, billions of dollars are being invested in electronic systems that collect all of our personal health information, but have brought no improvement to the delivery of quality care. They have, however, changed the way doctors and patients interact.
Now physicians are forced to spend up to half of a typical office visit hunched over a computer screen with their backs to the patient....
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Canadian firm hired to build troubled Obamacare exchanges (single-pay on the way)

Washington Examiner ^ | OCTOBER 4, 2013 | RICHARD POLLOCK

A Canadian tech firm that has provided service to that country's single-payer health care system is behind the glitch-ridden United States national health care exchange site

CGI Federal is a subsidiary of Montreal-based CGI Group. With offices in Fairfax, Va., the subsidiary has been a darling of the Obama administration, which since 2009 has bestowed it with $1.4 billion in federal contracts, according to

The "CGI" in the parent company's name stands for "Conseillers en Gestion et Informatique" in French, which roughly translates to "Information Systems and Management Consultants." However, the firm offers another translation: "Consultants to Government and Industry."

The company is deeply embedded in Canada’s single-payer system. CGI has provided IT services to the Canadian Ministries of Health in Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Saskatchewan, as well as to the national health provider, Health Canada, according to CGI's Canadian website.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Kentucky Marketplace: ‘WARNING: No Explicit or Implicit Expectation of Privacy’ [Obamacare Follies]

Washington Free Beacon ^ | 10/4/2013 | Elizabeth Harrington

The Kentucky Obamacare marketplace has no “expectation of privacy,” warning its prospective customers that their information can be monitored and shared with government bureaucrats.
When clicking “let’s get started” on the state-run health insurance marketplace “kynect,” the user is quickly prompted to a “WARNING NOTICE.”
“This is a government computer system and is the property of the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” it states. “It is for authorized use only regardless of time of day, location or method of access. “
“Users (authorized or unauthorized) have no explicit or implicit expectation of privacy,” the disclaimer reads. “Any or all uses of this system and all files on the system may be intercepted, monitored, recorded, copied, audited, inspected, and disclosed to authorized state government and law enforcement personnel, as well as authorized officials of other agencies, both domestic and foreign.”
Such information includes Social Security numbers. When calling kynect to enroll in the marketplace a person is told to have their Social Security card, immigration status, pay stubs, alimony payments, student loan information, and current health insurance information at the ready.
The kynect disclaimer says users information can be shared at the will of state government agencies.
“By using this system,” the warning states, “the user consents to such at the discretion of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”
“Unauthorized or improper use of this system may result in administrative disciplinary action and/or civil and criminal penalties,” it says. “The unauthorized disclosure of Data containing privacy or health data may result in criminal penalties under Federal authority.”
A spokesperson for kynect called the disclaimer “problematic,” and said it was a mistake.
“The disclaimer is a federal requirement intended to let all who come on the website know this is a governmental entity and sensitive information is contained within,” said Gwenda Bond, assistant communications director for the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, told the Washington Free Beacon.
“While the language sounds severe, it actually is a warning to those who might try to inappropriately use the website or any personal information contained within,” she said. “We appreciate you bringing this to our attention, and we are working to modify the language so the message is more clear.”
Bond said kynect will update its website to read: “This website is the property of the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange. This is to notify you that you are only authorized to use this site, or any information accessed through this site, for its intended purpose of assisting individuals, employers or employees in the selection or purchase of health plans or other benefits.”
“Unauthorized access or disclosure of personal and confidential information may be punishable by fines under state and federal law. Unauthorized access to this website or access in excess of your authorization may also be criminally punishable. The Commonwealth of Kentucky and the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange follow applicable federal and state guidelines to protect information from misuse or unauthorized access.”
Problems with the health insurance exchanges since their launch on Tuesday have been widespread, with reports of long wait times,glitches, and security concerns, with the disclosure of over 2,000 Social Security numbers in Minnesota.
The federal government is interested in sharing social and behavioral health data between agencies, the Free Beacon previously reported.