Posts Tagged ‘law’

No fine line

Friday, August 21st, 2015

A good read…

How To Spot And Critique Censorship Tropes In The Media’s Coverage Of Free Speech Controversies

“You have my disgust and disdain forever….”

Monday, December 21st, 2009

An open letter from Dr. Becky Hollibaugh of Friend, Nebraska to Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.):

Dear Senator Nelson:

I send this message under ?Tort Reform? because the current monstrosity you have pledged your support to says nothing whatsoever about Tort Reform. You have sold the physicians of Nebraska for zilch (zilch for us, but beaucoup federal bucks for you and the liberal partisans in this state). As a family practice physician in Small Town, Nebraska, I was counting on you to be the lone voice of Democratic sanity on this issue, but you sold me out. I will dedicate every spare minute of my time and every spare dollar I have to defeating you, should you run for re-election. The long hours I spent on my medical education and the long hours I spend treating my patients are nothing but chump change to you and your Democrat colleagues in Washington. I especially can?t wait for your equivocation and milquetoast evasion when your ?compromises? on the abortion language in the bill are silently erased or quietly (on-little-legislative-cat?s-feet) eviscerated in the House/Senate give-and-take. Go on: Bet me that you won?t wuss-out on this issue!

I know you won?t give two-seconds to this letter, but I had to write it. I?m a primary care doctor in YOUR state, and you sold me out. I didn?t slog through 4 years of college and 4 years of medical school and 3 years of residency just to have you hand my career and my patient/doctor relationships over to government lifers. Your gutless acquiescence to Obama and Harry Reid and ?Nanny? Pelosi will NOT be forgotten.

Thank you, Ben, for forcing doctors like me to earn less than the repairmen who fix our appliances. Case in point: We recently had our dishwasher fixed. The repairman who came to our house charged $65 just to come and ?diagnose? the problem, then charged another $180 to ?fix? the problem. You and your fellow lawmakers have fixed MY going rate (Medicare) at $35 per-visit. Thank you for securing such a ?lucrative? rate for me! Thank you so much for making me?someone with 8 years of education!?make less than a mechanic or appliance repair technichian. And thanks especially for falling in line with Obama and the rest of the Democrats to make such a socialist system permanent.

You have my disgust and disdain forever, you socialist-coddling coward.

Sincerely,
Becky F. Hollibaugh, D.O.
Warren Memorial Hospital
Ziimmerman Clinic
Friend, NE 68359

Good on you Doc!

Dr. Hollibaugh follows up with:

?To those who would accuse me of greed: I don?t make as much as you think I do. I give every one of my patients the very best care I can offer, regardless of their ability to pay. And I do NOT begrudge my mechanic or my appliance repairmen their salaries. Not one bit. I gladly pay them what I owe them. What you leftist idiots don?t understand is this: I am forced to accept $35 for an office visit by a medicaid or medicare patient. I. Can?t. Afford. It. On that enforced wage, I can?t pay my nurses. I can?t pay my billing secretaries. I can?t pay my receptionist. I. Can?t. Survive. On. Obamacare. Get it?! I. Can?t. Pay. My. Nurses. On. Ben. Nelson. Wages. Get it? I hope so. You think I?m greedy? I went to medical school as a former nurse at age 36. I have over $180,000 dollars in student loans. I. Can?t. Survive. On. Obamacare. I hope this helps. I don?t make as much as you might think. And most of what I earn goes to repaying my student loans. I love my little family medicine clinic in Friend. I love being a doctor in rural Nebraska. I love my patients and I love rural family medicine. But Ben Nelson sold me out. Thanks again for letting me vent. I?m not greedy. I don?t envy the wages of my blue-collar friends. But I can?t survive or pay my employees on Uncle Sam?s reimbursement rate for my services.

Personally I don’t care if the dictated price is enough for her to make a living. The government, flat out, has no place dictating how much money a citizen should be permitted to charge for their services. The government, flat out, has no right to dictate what products or services a citizen is required to purchase. Either of these is the illegal seizure of private property (money) by government fiat.

Obamacare doesn’t really kick in until 2013 or so. I personally will support and vote for any candidate who vows to repeal this monstrosity before then; and it appears to be about 60% of the populace who agrees with me. Goodbye, Democrats — you have dug your graves with this legislation.

Found at Michelle Malkin, via Matteo.

Righteous Anger

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

A very nice teardown of the health insurance legislation now going through the senate (Mike Rogers — R Mich. speaking):

Marred on slightly by the fact that the quote at the beginning was actually spoken by William Boetcker in 1916; though it is commonly, as here, mis-attributed to Abraham Lincoln.

The nice point he makes in this is just how much power over individuals’ lives this bill grants to government. It’s amazing to me that leftists will go on and on about the greed and corruption of big business, and at times also acknowledge that government is also corrupt, but then turn around and claim that the only group that can fix it is government.

Here’s the trick, folks: Government and business are, at times, both corrupt. It’s people. It’s powerful people, and power corrupts. Business is in it to make money, and government is in it to “make” votes. The difference is that I can turn down big business. Microsoft may be a massive company and control most of the world’s computers, but they can do *nothing* to force me to buy a Windows machine. If I don’t like the product I don’t have to buy it. But imagine if everyone had to use whatever operating system was most popular? Goodbye Mac, goodbye Linux. (Oh, and goodbye iPods, iPhones, and so forth, which wouldn’t exist because Apple would have been forced out of business years before they were invented.)

Government is like a business that can force you to buy their product — no matter how crappy it is, no matter how wasteful, no matter how poorly implemented. We’ve known for years that Social Security is going bankrupt. Virtually nobody my age believes that they’re every going to see a penny of what they’ve paid in to it, yet we have no choice but to continue paying in to this government “product”.

A common “straw man” argument against conservatives is that they claim that “government can’t do anything right”. That’s not the case, and not the claim. However, history has proven that government frequently gets it wrong — sometimes drastically, and tragically so — yet because it’s government we can’t choose not to buy that bad product.

(Note that despite the comparison, Microsoft products aren’t in the same league with the sheer crappitude that is Social Security, because any company that puts out product that bad ceases to exist in the private market. For a better comparison, imagine if Bernie Madoff could have forced anybody he wanted to invest in his scam: that’s Social Security in a nutshell.)

Ironically this came up to slap some liberals in the face when the Health Care bill was altered before the vote to prohibit funding for abortion. Pro-choice advocates were screaming that this was going to infringe on a woman’s right to an abortion… but why? Haven’t we been told repeatedly that everyone will be able to keep their current coverage? This bill will only help the uninsured? Their protests put the lie to the claim, and though I don’t agree with the specific problem they have (I’m pro-life), the principle of their problem is significant, and valid: if government controls it, then you are completely subject to the whims of government and politics. You no longer have control, and you no longer have freedom.

As goofy as health insurance sometimes is in this country, the companies still have to appeal to their customers. When government is in control, they are not accountable to you. You’re not a customer buying a product; you’re a subject, and they’re doing you a favor because it’s “free” — so quit complaining. It’s not like you have any other options.

And once you’ve handed over that power, good luck getting it back.

Video via Smallest Minority

Don’t Mess With Texas

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

First Idaho, now Texas. Perhaps with a little luck (and several million angry citizens), this will become a trend….

State of Texas
H.C.R. No. 50
By: Creighton
Filed: 02/17/2009

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads as follows: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”; and

WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal power as being that specifically granted by the Constitution of the United States and no more; and

WHEREAS, The scope of power defined by the Tenth Amendment means that the federal government was created by the states specifically to be an agent of the states; and

WHEREAS, Today, in 2009, the states are demonstrably treated as agents of the federal government; and

WHEREAS, Many federal laws are directly in violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; and

WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment assures that we, the people of the United States of America and each sovereign state in the Union of States, now have, and have always had, rights the federal government may not usurp; and

WHEREAS, Section 4, Article IV, of the Constitution says, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government,” and the Ninth Amendment states that “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”; and

WHEREAS, The United States Supreme Court has ruled in New York v. United States, 112 S. Ct. 2408 (1992), that congress may not simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the states; and

WHEREAS, A number of proposals from previous administrations and some now pending from the present administration and from congress may further violate the Constitution of the United States; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the 81st Legislature of the State of Texas hereby claim sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That this serve as notice and demand to the federal government, as our agent, to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That all compulsory federal legislation that directs states to comply under threat of civil or criminal penalties or sanctions or that requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding be prohibited or repealed; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That the Texas secretary of state forward official copies of this resolution to the president of the United States, to the speaker of the house of representatives and the president of the senate of the United States Congress, and to all the members of the Texas delegation to the congress with the request that this resolution be officially entered in the Congressional Record as a memorial to the Congress of the United States of America.

As a side note: someone else pointed out recently that Texas entered the Union by way of a treaty with the U. S. Federal Government, and as such, Texas has the legal authority to secede from the Union simply by ending the treaty.

(Hat Tip: Cold Fury)

Just One Law

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

We’ve all played the game where you sit back and answer the question — “If you found a genie in a bottle, and were granted one wish — what would it be?” Well, here’s my variation on the game. Would you like to play?

The Question:

If you could be President for five minutes, and had the power and authority to pass a single law — any law — what law would you pass?

The Rules:

  1. The law can only do one thing. It can perhaps be a far-reaching thing, but no “I would pass a law that bans/affirms abortion and ends/increases welfare and ends/wins the Iraq War and….” — that’s cheating. You can take one idea and make it the law of the land.
  2. Be specific. Don’t say “I would end poverty”. What one law would you pass to try to end poverty? A $100/hr. minimum wage? Government-provided jobs? What?
  3. Be realistic. No laws saying “Nobody will get sick ever again.” You’re President, not God. No magic.
  4. Assume your law will last. Unless you explicitly put in and end date or sunset provisions of some sort, assume your law will not be negated or overturned for.. say… ten years at least.

Got all that? Okay, with the rules being laid out, here is my law:

The Charity Identification Act of 2008

Henceforth all federal government handouts — that is, any federal program that transfers money, service, or assets in any form to people or organizations that have not explicitly earned said transfer, or any such transfers by extra-governmental organizations (e.g. private companies) if such transfers are required by law or mandate — shall have the word “Charity” appended to the beginning of the name of the program, and to the name of all such transfers. E.g. — “Charity Welfare”, “Charity Emergency Room Care”, “Charity housing subsidies”.

Reductions in fees or taxes actually paid are not counted as “transfers” under this law* — e.g. reduction in the amount of taxes due by individuals or organizations is not a “transfer” for the purposes of this law. However, “refund” payments greater than the receiver’s actual tax burden shall be included — e.g. “Charity Tax Rebates” to those who pay no taxes but receive a rebate.

Such transfers that are given in exchange for, or in consideration of, military service are exempted, e.g. the “G.I. Bill” or veterans’ health care.

Okay, that’s mine. What’s yours?

(You can play along in comments below or post at your own blog. If the latter, please link back to this original post. Thanks.)

*: This one could be abused, I know. I’m trying to figure out how it could be rephrased. “not counted as transfers if applied across the board?” It somehow needs to distinguish between regular tax cuts and targeted tax subsidies….

But… that was only supposed to hurt rich people….

Friday, August 29th, 2008

An interesting passage from Clayton Cramer’s blog on what happens when the government tries to “stick it to the rich”:

There is one problem driving not just HP, but a lot of other U.S. companies to constantly slashing workers. In 1993, Democrats in Congress showed how much they hated "rich people" by passing a law that prohibited corporations from deducting as business expenses any annual salary exceeding one million dollars–and the salaries of the next four highest paid officers. So large corporations started to compensate officers with stock options instead. This created a strong incentive for officers of the corporation to keep the stock price rising for the next few quarters–even if it destroyed the long-term viability of the company. Note that this didn't actually prevent corporations from compensating their officers quite generously. And in truth, Democrats weren't really trying to prevent that–they were just pretending to be on the side of the little guys, while continuing to cozy up to corporate fat cats. It just created perverse incentives for how to run a large corporation.

A company that is developing complex products will need several years from the start of the process to the point where the product starts to bring in revenue. Think of this as a tunnel: you put money in one end of the tunnel in 2004; it turns into a return on investment in 2008. The products that you start developing in 2005, won't give a return until 2009. Ditto for 2006 to 2010, 2007 to 2011, and 2008 to 2012. If your focus, because of your stock options, is driving up the stock price over the next several quarters, the temptation to go for short-term improvements is very, very strong.

Cutting spending this year may impair profitability in 2012–or maybe it won't. It's hard to tell. But you can almost guarantee that cutting spending on long-term projects this year will drive up the stock price for the next quarter or two. This is why layoffs often lead to higher stock prices. Corporate officers whose primary income is derived from stock options have a strong incentive to cut costs right now. I don't think that stock options are necessarily a bad thing. But it does encourage a short-term view of how to run a company.

On a different note (but from the same blog): Holy Crap. How is this guy a major party nominee?

Mayor Daley Vows to Fight Coming Plague of Law-Abiding Gun Owners

Friday, June 27th, 2008

Not much to add beyond the headline, except: why do so many people fear those who obey the law?

With leftist politicians, the answer is plain: They don’t like the “little people” having too much power, and they certainly don’t want them to be too self-reliant. Liberals’ er… socialists’ entire power base is built on people depending on government for what they need. The “public safety” claims are a sham, repudiated time and time again by real-world crime statistics anywhere gun control laws have been instituted or loosened. Ban guns, violent crime goes up. Allow concealed carry, violent crime goes down. Why? Criminals prefer disarmed victims, because they don’t like getting shot.

And to the Mayor of Washington, DC: Thank you for being a damned fool and pushing Keller all the way to the top.

Bought and paid for?

Monday, January 28th, 2008

So, I was a Fred Thompson supporter, but he dropped out. I’m looking at the remaining Republican candidates, and after consideration (mainly of whom I dislike the least), I’ve decided that the next best possibility is Mitt Romney. Interestingly, Mitt appears to be specifically courting disaffected Thompson supporters with a range of banner ads on his site, including this one:

FredHeads for Mitt - www.MITTROMNEY.com

Okay. Works for me.

Except… I don’t understand the necessity of that little bit of text at the bottom: “Paid for by Romney for President, Inc.”

Is there some legal requirement for him to put that on there, because his campaign created the banner? Because, as an image that is intended for people to take and put on their own personal websites, it sure makes it look as though Mitt’s campaign team has paid me to put the ad on my site. I assure you, they have not. As of this writing, there has never been a paid endorsement, of any kind, ever, on this web site — with the possible exception that the links on my book review pages are Amazon affiliate links (which in the several years they’ve been here have never earned me a dime….)

Does anybody know the answer to this? Is Romney’s campaign required to add that text? Or are they (foolishly) making it look as though nobody supports them on principle, but only for money?

Bang. You’re dead.

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

Why I will, never, ever promote or support any type of gun control, “reasonable” restrictions, or waiting periods….
(more…)

Copywrong

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

Jeff comments on a recent kerfuffle in which a Fox affiliate station in Texas did an “ambush” report on a gun owner. The video has been making the rounds in blogs, and the station has since tried very hard to clamp down on it — threatening legal action against people who show or distribute it. He states:

Claiming that ?they?re trying to send it down the memory hole? or saying that ?this is the video they don?t want you to see? utterly fails to justify your act of theft.

When you make a copy of that video, you?re stealing the television station?s property. Just as surely as you would be if you broke into their studio and stole the videotape.

I think there’s a distinction here, Jeff.

Fox was doing a report on gun owners. In the process, the report itself became news. People aren’t distributing this for the subject of the report (that is, guns), but because of the manner in which it was reported.

I see this entirely as fair use. If I post an appropriate clip of the video and talk about my opinion of their “ambush”, I am reporting about Fox itself.

“Here’s a report about gun control” would be stealing it. “Look at how they did this report” is fair use. Yes, context does matter. Invoking copyright to cover up something you did wrong doesn’t fly — or shouldn’t.

It reminds me a bit of Scientologists copyrighting their sacred texts, and then suing the crap out of anybody who says anything publicly about them. (Because to comment on them you actually have to show them to someone, and that violates their copyright….) (And as a side note: any religion that jealously hides what exactly it is they worship is deserving of suspicion.)

The NFL has (or had) a disclaimer on their broadcasts that claimed that (among other things) restating the events of the broadcast without permission was prohibited by copyright law. This is legally absurd, as you cannot copyright an event. That is, you can’t copyright something that happened. A law professor made a short documentary commenting on the legal absurdity of that disclaimer, and showed the disclaimer itself. They immediately sued her for copyright violation, for having shown the copyright statement.

In the United States, copyright is, legally speaking, not there for the sake of the creators directly, but for the good of society in advancing the creation of creative works.

Showing that newsclip might not be good for Fox’s business, but not for reasons covered by copyright. It’s bad because it harms their reputation, not because it steals their creative effort.

Or to put it another way, copyright is there so that creators can have the benefit of their creation, not so they can hide from their actions.