Saturday, October 9, 2010

Health Care Reform Helps Everybody - 2

In the first post of this series, Health Care Reform Helps Everybody, a guest post, we focused on the non-legal aspects of health care reform.

This post focuses on the legal aspects of the health care reform law.

Three cases are pending in which health care reform legislation (“Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”), which the president signed into law on March 23, 2010, is being challenged as being unconstitutional.

One is in Michigan, another in Virginia, the third one is pending in Florida.

Federal District Court Judge Steeh of the U.S. District Court for Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, in Case No. 10-CV-11156, Thomas More Law Center, et al. v Obama, has issued a decision upholding the law as constitutional.

The specific section that was at issue, and which is at issue in all three cases, is the requirement that everyone (a few exceptions apply) purchase a health care policy by 2014 or face a tax penalty which must be reported on the individual's tax form in 2015.

Three days after the bill was signed into law Dredd Blog covered the specific issue, stating:
The weakness in the neoCon case lies in a well worn path, already travelled by the states, that is in contrast, in basic principles, to their "you can't make me do it" argument.

Clearly states mandate auto insurance, which has been held constitutional, and not only that, it is actually universally mandated insurance coverage ("socialists did it!").

Those who advocated not having auto insurance raised the same "you can't make me do it" arguments, but lost because it is obvious that a requirement on everyone is not biased against anyone, and it benefits all of us.
(The Rise of The Machine Hypocrisy). This will not be the end of the matter, because the other federal district courts that are considering the issue are more conservative, sit in different federal circuits, and are likely to differ in whole or in part with Judge Steeh's decision.

Thus, in the final analysis, it will be The Supreme Five (Roberts, Alito, Thomas, Scalia, and Kennedy) who ultimately decide the issue, some years from now.

Bush v Gore may not be the end of The Conservative Coup in the federal judiciary.

UPDATE (10/15/10): A federal district court judge in Pensacola, Florida has issued a ruling in one of the other cases now pending, leaving an impression that he will hold the law unconstitutional. If so this would lead to appeals to two federal circuit courts of appeal, which could lead to a split in circuit decisions on the issue. That would open the door to a case in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Obama Et Alia Losing The W Compass?

I hope so, it needs to be trashed pronto ... a rejection of The W Compass would be welcome!

A leading Nevada Republican has rejected the crazy rantings of Harry Reid's Republican opponent in Nevada, endorsing Reid (D-NV) instead.

President Obama has stated he will not sign the Republican sponsored "signatures & documents" legislation that was secretly, in the sense of no public debate in the Senate, marched through the dark halls there at unSenate speed.

The people have stated in poll after poll for about a decade that the nation has been going in the Wrong direction (a.k.a. the W direction).

We pointed out the corrupt spirit seeping into government, noting an obvious case which spotlights the fact that The Right Is Wrong.

The W Compass has robbed the left and center, the majority, of representation in government while threatening to rob the democrats of sorely needed votes in the upcoming election.

The creator of the W compass is MOMCOM, a right wing institution & ideology.

The military is far right wing, the oil barons are far right wing, and the MSM is right leaning since it is owned by the 1% rich plunder barons.

MOMCOM is a right-wing entity that has spent billions of propaganda dollars and millions of propaganda words to convince us that we are a right wing nation.

We are NOT!

For a microcosm, allegory, or symbolic depiction, lets use the recent paper published in the PLoS scientific journal, recalling that U.S. bee colonies are mysteriously dying, which threatens the food supply of civilization itself.

The right-wing W virus has caused us to do what a virus combined with a microsporidia has done to bees:
The fact that the bees seem to fly off in all directions before they die has led Bromenshenk to theorize that their complex navigation system ... may somehow be damaged. Bromenshenk also told the New York Times that some kind of pathogen-triggered bee "insanity" may be at work.
(Time). Entire colonies of bees can be driven insane, so can cultures of people.

We really need to lose the W compass!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Confirmation of Dredd Blog Gulf Reports

Recall that a commission was set up by President Obama to study the handling of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico (The National Commission on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill).

That oil spill commission has now confirmed what Dredd Blog was reporting before, during, and after the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe.

From this blog's perspective we saw, about a month before the disaster, that the Obama Administration had lost its way by using The W Compass.

This blog sounded the alarms the very day that Obama said he was going to open offshore waters to deep water drilling for oil.

Yes, we saw that The Obama Administration had become adrift in an ocean of oil baron propaganda, that the drift was going to lead to a bad place, and that Obama's saying "the technology is now mature and is now quite safe" did not make it so.

When the Deepwater Horizon disaster struck about a month later, following the president's boasting on behalf of big oil, we foresaw that the federal government would panic and then go into propaganda mode because it had egg all over its face and oil all over the states weakened most by Katrina.

We gave a 65 million year history of disasters in the Gulf, kept up the pressure in the Danger Lurks In The Deep Water and Cleanup Begins In The Deep PR Waters.

Whew! that was a tiring span of time for all of us.

Now, it is being widely reported that the Oil Spill Commission is in general agreement with Dredd Blog on many of these issues.

So President Obama, are we really in good hands with the oil state?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Cuckoo's Egg Hatched Again - 2

We have been doing a series about the weakness in election systems brought on by the means and methods used to develop software / hardware systems empowering those election systems.

We associate election systems to a notion of freedom through our secular belief system.

When you come right down to it, "freedom" is a feeling, a powerful essence that was captured in an old Creme song:
Pom pom pom pom pom pom, I Feel Free

Feel when I dance with you,
We move like the sea.
You, you're all I want to know.
I feel free, I feel free, I feel free.

I can walk down the street, there's no one there
Though the pavements are one huge crowd.
I can drive down the road; my eyes don't see,
Though my mind wants to cry out loud.

I feel free, I feel free, I feel free.

I can walk down the street, there's no one there
Though the pavements are one huge crowd.
I can drive down the road; my eyes don't see,
Though my mind wants to cry out loud,
Though my mind wants to cry out loud.

Dance floor is like the sea,
Ceiling is the sky.
You're the sun and as you shine on me,
I feel free, I feel free, I feel free.
(I Feel, Creme). Governments are very, very, very well aware of this, so they use that knowledge to their advantage, not primarily for wee the people (a.k.a. "the public").

Joseph Stalin was one of the government players who was well aware of the reality. He touched upon it with a saying attributed to him: "The voters decide nothing, those who count the votes decide everything".

This nuanced revelation into the inner workings of his despotic mind means that as long as the voters feel everything is fine with their election system, you can make elections come out any way you want to so long as "you are counting" the votes. If the voters feel free, that is all that matters.

Over the past decade the U.S. government, after suffering a coup by neoCons of the right, has hammered the little people with feelings about security.

The "I feel fine" sentiment has been challenged incessantly with "I feel fear", the purpose being to direct tax dollars in the direction the neoCon government wanted to take the nation, wars and more wars.

They did all that initially through "winning elections" (The Supreme Court Five in Bush v Gore cast the deciding 5 votes).

Each and every time election officials feel all mavericky then want to go rogue by challenging anyone who doubts the security of their election system, that system gets its ass kicked pronto.

A recent episode under the skin, under the gaze, yes, under the feel good daze of the Washington D.C. crowd makes this abundantly clear:
The District of Columbia is conducting a pilot project to allow overseas and military voters to download and return absentee ballots over the Internet. Before opening the system to real voters, D.C. has been holding a test period in which they've invited the public to evaluate the system's security and usability.

This is exactly the kind of open, public testing that many of us in the e-voting security community — including me — have been encouraging vendors and municipalities to conduct. So I was glad to participate, even though the test was launched with only three days' notice. I assembled a team from the University of Michigan, including my PhD students, Eric Wustrow and Scott Wolchok, and Dawn Isabel, a member of the University of Michigan technical staff.

Within 36 hours of the system going live, our team had found and exploited a vulnerability that gave us almost total control of the server software, including the ability to change votes and reveal voters’ secret ballots. In this post, I’ll describe what we did, how we did it, and what it means for Internet voting.
(Hacked Egg Heads, emphasis added). The import of this is tremendous because easily hackable election systems like this are the most widely used systems across the land.

Just because election officials' being lax about voting machine integrity is an election crime, which is a State Crime Against Democracy (SCAD), that does not prevent SCAD after SCAD from happening, but neither does our addiction to feeling good no matter what is really happening.

Dr. David Jefferson of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, one who is scientifically aware of the vulnerability of electronic voting machines, praised the team who showed how easy it is for hackers to throw an election.

When the hacker team testified before the District of Columbia government officials at a public meeting last Friday, they also pointed out a shocker:
Halderman also reported that while he and his students had control of the system, they witnessed hackers from China and Iran prodding those routers and switches.
(Washington Post). The feeling I have about this is that we have foreign governments spending vast amounts on our elections, while at the same time they hack into our election computers.

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The End of MOMCOM?

We have reported the awareness the military has concerning the effect of global warming on military tactics and strategy.

We have reported on the imperialism induced by national addiction to oil, together with the growing tension all that brings to the table of foreign relations.

Still, somehow it seems out of place for MOMCOM to remove the "O" out of the name, to remove the oil from the military oil media complex doesn't it? (MGMCOM ... military green media complex?)

But evidently that is what is happening, albeit on a small scale for the time being:
The 150 Marines of Company I, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, will be the first to take renewable technology into a battle zone, where the new equipment will replace diesel and kerosene-based fuels that would ordinarily generate power to run their encampment.

Even as Congress has struggled unsuccessfully to pass an energy bill and many states have put renewable energy on hold because of the recession, the military this year has pushed rapidly forward. After a decade of waging wars in remote corners of the globe where fuel is not readily available, senior commanders have come to see overdependence on fossil fuel as a big liability, and renewable technologies — which have become more reliable and less expensive over the past few years — as providing a potential answer. These new types of renewable energy now account for only a small percentage of the power used by the armed forces, but military leaders plan to rapidly expand their use over the next decade.
(NY Times). The military showing more saavy than the congress underscores a travesty. Perhaps that will begin to change if the White House and military step out and set an example.

The military has controlled the development of a lot of science, so I am struggling to see a silver lining on the dark clouds approaching.

Perhaps the military could look at the notion of The Methanol Economy, as well as tidal generators for development within our existing infrastructure.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Corp Germ > Corp Seed > Corp Monster - 2

In the first post of this series, Corp Germ > Corp Seed > Corp Monster, Dredd Blog exposed the false notion of history which the neoCon Tea Baggers who use the term "free market" tend to have.

We noted that they are voracious practitioners of revisionist history so as to distort the writings, beliefs, and ideology of those historical figures they claim to be following.

In other Dredd Blog posts we equate these neoCon Tea Baggers to The Ferengi of Star Trek infamy.

Now that they have a majority of "brethren" on the Supreme Court they have decided to revolutionize, through what they claim to have disdain for - judicial activism, the constitutional law concerning The First Amendment.

Not only that, in so doing, they have dabbled into The Separation of Powers Doctrine in as much as they have removed from Congress the right to regulate corporate campaign contributions.

The Ferengi have now been unleashed upon Wee The People.

From the cases The Supreme Five Ferengi are taking on, it looks like that revolution of First Amendment Law may continue for a while.

Like the guy spinning the roulette wheel says, "where she stops nobody knows".

The next post in this series is here.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Water Everywhere But Here

The deadly serious nature of potable water supply was discussed in Global Warming & Potable Water over at the Ecocosmology Blog a while back.

Other deadly serious threats to civilization have been mentioned by Dredd Blog posts such as Embryonic Look At Civilization's Future - 2, along with a post urging us not to forget we have no way out but to address the serious immediate threats to the survival of civilization.

Now The Online Journal Nature points out that 80% of the Earth's population lives in unsecure potable water zones (if you don't subscribe to Nature, the article is discussed here and here).

The stark truth of the report is alarming:
The world's rivers are in crisis including in North America and Europe where governments have invested trillions of dollars to clean up freshwater supplies, a study showed Wednesday.

"Threats to human water security and biological diversity are pandemic," Charles Vorosmarty of the City University of New York, co-lead author of the report in the journal Nature, told Reuters.

The international team of scientists estimated that almost 80 percent of the world's population -- or about 5 billion people -- lived in areas with high levels of threat to water security, caused mainly by river mismanagement and pollution.
(Reuters, emphasis added). The propaganda of government (MOMCOM today) sells fear in the form of making the citizenry afraid of Islam, Communism, Socialism, and other Don Quixote type boogie men.

MOMCOM has been peddling security so as to be able to engage in wars for oil, yet MOMCOM really cares nothing for civilian concerns, seeing as how MOMCOM obsesses over violent solutions to every problem.

Governments are fiddling with madness while the people of all nations are rushed headlong toward unprecedented calamity.

They seem not to have the capacity to care for anything other than their own political career; they work to develop the capacity to stay in a complete state of denial about the deaths of hundreds of millions of the citizens of the Earth; they FAIL the test.