Constitution Free Zone

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Any one living there? Scary stuff. I just learned about it.
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....but you choose to keep it a secret from us??
nb
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I think I read that 66% of Americans live in these zones:
https://www.aclu.org/constitution-100-mile-border-zone
This is a vestige of the paranoia of 9/11 and will likely be headed to the Supreme Court for final adjudication. The Fourth Amendment guards against unreasonable search and seizure but historically that protection weakens when leaving or entering the country. I believe the adminstration contends that "border" extends 100 miles inland, but I don't see the Supreme Court supporting that contention.
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Bobby G.



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Robert Green wrote:

That 100 mile rule was first mentioned in 1953 ... hardly an outcome of 9/11 . HOWEVER the way they are pushing it is new , and is consistent with the militarization and increased aggressiveness of police agencies in general . It'd be nice if they were to restrict the area to 25 miles and channel that aggression towards the illegals they're supposed to be after .
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On Wed, 29 Jul 2015 18:16:51 -0400, "Robert Green"

You are a lot more optimistic then I am. I expect they will support it under the claim that the searches are minimally intrusive. Is it any different then the DUI checkpoints which they support?
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the

against

contends

That's a good point. Searching everyone is OK but just a few people not OK. I've got to say, I think that's up there with "money = speech" and "companies can have religious feelings, too!" Try paying the night shift at the local beer bottling plant with a speech instead of money and you'll see how out of bounds that decision was. (-:
I believe the drunk driver "mass searches" will eventually be invalidated because the same intrusion occurs whether singly or in groups. It's part of the overreaction to the drunk driving problem - a solution that's really unconstitutional justified by saving the lives of the young'uns.
The checkpoint searches are nowhere near as good as cops just sitting outside a bar at closing time looking for stumbling drunkards heading toward their cars. But bar owners continually protest cops "sitting" on their establishments and so checkpoints were born. Better to break the Constitution. (-: <sarcasm alert>
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Bobby G.



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Which, as you well know, is not remotely what was said. But hey let's have a fact free zone here, too. The court said that the OWNERS of a very few closely held companies can have religious feelings that, because so few own it, can be shown in their company.
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DUIs will largely end, wetherits from drinking, drug use, or other impariment soon:)
Equip all new vehicles with GPS and driver monitor
your vehicle will watch how your driving and call the police on you
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wrote:

With all of this hacking stuff, I think I am keeping my old car. If I get a new one, the first thing I would do is unplug the antennas and disable all of the transmitters. If the government wants to watch me, they will have to get off their ass and come look.
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wrote:

How many (or few) owners does it take for the ruling to apply? If it's mom and pop I guess that makes discrimination ok but what if it's Mom and her third cousin plus a step daughter and one's catholic, one's Lutheran and one's Hindu?
It was truly one of the stupidest SC rulings in a long time.
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I wasn't able to get a real clear idea of that in that the opinion just said "closely held". That is defined by theIRS as having at least 50% of the value of the stock held 5 or fewer (as with everything else government related there are some other things that apply, but that answers your questions. Since the Court did not suggest another definition, I would suspect that one would be operative. As for the other, that would be corporate decision so 50% of voting shares, however that works out. If Dad owns enough shares he can tell Mom, third cousin and the step daughter to get bent. Just like he could have on any other corporate governance issue.

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wrote: > > How many (or few) owners does it take for the ruling to apply? If

Which is why it's a test that's doomed because there isn't a human I know of that has a "belief sincerity" meter stuck in their forehead. It just seems terribly odd that the Founding Fathers would sanction this sort of test for the sincerity of a religious belief. It sounds like exactly the kind of business they wished to avoid. Assiduously.
The ruling ignores how Hobby Lobby squares paying income taxes without being able to decide which particular federal program they're going to support with the Obamacare tax, which they can slice and dice - if they are sincere enough. Jeez.
How, if they can't tell the IRS they won't pay taxes on something they morally disagree do they NOW get the option to pick and choose? It's a very bad ruling. Now they have been granted an exemption from paying a tax (Supreme court defined Obamacare that way) for religious reasons.
Don't look for internally inconsistent logic like this to stand very long. It's doomed like DOMA but its disciples don't know it. I suspect that unlike the Cecil the Lion case's more paranoid theorists, it IS very much meant to distract the religious right's activists. With an unprecedented 5 Catholics on the SC bench, it's not a surprise to see rulings that will likely stand only as long as they're still sitting, picking cases. When that changes, I suspect we'll see more rollbacks than Wal-Mart on Black Friday. (-: The court of the last few years clearly left the judicial rails a long time ago. Stare decisis went careening down after it.

For how long? Without setting a "bright line" it's merely an invitation to more judicial square dancing in the circuits that will eventually either draw that clear line or more likely eventually reverse or abandon the ruling. It's really only a meant as a "see, we still love you religious folks" gesture that's inconsistent with black letter law. They often reverse themselves later when it's clear society has moved on. Sometimes, they just quietly abandon the ruling as precedent to avoid embarrassing themselves.
I suspect this "carve out" will last only until someone points out that there's a religiously-based exemption to taxation that's being given to a for-profit enterprise, even if it's a relatively small one. It fails to pass not one but several common sense tests, the primary being that companies are more than just their owners and by definition can't have the monolithic beliefs required to be thought of as a single entity. At least not in the sense of holding real religious beliefs, as personal a subject and experience that there is.

I don't think the prior cut-and-dried aspects of incorporation would work the same way as the soon to be dismembered "closely held" test will. If religious dad own 55% of Pious Payless Pickles and atheist BOD members hold the rest, does that pass the test? The "closely-held" test is doomed like DOMA once Federal judges are flooded with "definitional" lawsuits seeking to find that bright line. Sooner or later *someone* will realize that it calls for the judges to somehow adjudicate the operation of another person's mind, expressed by their depth of faith. Now where did I put my trusty RMS Faithometer? Let's see, Atheist, Agnostic, Intelligent Design, Inquisition, Crusade, Branch Davidian, Jim Jones, Conquistador . . .
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On 08/03/2015 07:56 AM, Robert Green wrote:

I don't think such problems occur in countries where individuals pay for their own health insurance (they choose what coverage they want and are willing to pay for) or where (as in the UK) health care is funded out of general revenue.
Employers paying for employees' health insurance is an accident of US history, and the consequences are becoming apparent. Another unfortunate consequence is that far too many people don't realize just how expensive US health care is, because they don't see the insurance bill.
A few years ago I read where a US physician said, "The USA does not have a health-care system. It has a health-care industry that provides just enough health care to make people believe that it is in the health-care business rather than the money-making business" (quoted from memory).
Perce
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I do like point out that the system as we have it today is a direct result of the government taking the easy way out and pretending something was something that it wasn't.
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?Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive,
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<stuff snipped>

I suspect you're right. I always thought if the Feds *are* determined to give everyone healthcare, they should do it at the lowest cost to the taxpayer and that's clearly not the system we got. Medicare should have been expanded and given the right to negotiate drug and other prices because of their clout.

Doctors and hospital admins alike long ago learned how to pad those out with upcoding and little tricks like listing "MRS = $76.32" Which translates into "Mucous Recovery System" which further translates into "Box of Tissues."

And therein lies the greatest flaw. The motivations are completely wrong. A for-profit firm's primary duty is to make money for shareholders, not keep premium payers alive very long after they start having to pay out big claims payments.
My hope is the cluster-fu& system we have now eventually moves to one payer like Medicare because that would cost the taxpayers the least in the long run. I also believe (and realize it could never be implemented) people who want that basic level of care free have to have been vets or people who served in some sort of program like the Peace Corp or at the very least, sweeping streets for one or two years. The Israelis have a national service requirement and it seems to have served them well.
It's a bad idea to give people something for nothing and that's unfortunately what we're doing.
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Serious question. Do you know any stats that compare MCare with the other governmental systems or even with the private systems. I haven't seen any stats showing that Mcare is inherently better than the non-governmental when it comes to expenses, %of GDP used, etc., etc.
Although I will admit I have looked around too much since the late 1990s/

Yeah and Mcare takes care of that?
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wrote:

payer

long

who

service

I don't think such stats exist because the systems are too different. Private insurers can easily stall a sick elder patient until they're dead. Medicare pays for "heroic" measures long after they're doing any good. That end of life difference skews any comparison I've seen. I have seen reports that medical costs are dropping but pharmaceutical costs have more then eaten up any savings. If Medicare could negotiate prices the way the VA and the effing EuroUnion can, we would save the taxpayers a LOT of money.

I don't claim it does but this subsidized Obamacare isn't any kind of improvement other than removing some of the very evil tactics of health insurers (like recission over meaningless errors on application forms). I understand they are getting around the limitations imposed by Obamacare through some very creative techniques.
Medicare got here a long time ago. It was a reaction to seniors not being able to buy private insurance at reasonable (read: profitable) rates. There was no way to force elders into national service or the military to pay for Medicare but it's certainly something that can be arranged for future beneficiaries. The same problems will ensue. The young (mostly rightfully) don't need health insurance and so won't be interesting in a bargain that gives it to them for 2 years of national service.
I'll end this with a shout-out to the FDA official that managed to keep a hell of a lot of US children from being born with thalidomide flippers instead of arms and legs. She was reviled by the drug companies but stood her ground:
Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey, whose tireless efforts uncovered a link between the drug thalidomide and severe birth defects, has died at age 101.
In 1960, Kelsey was the new medical officer at the Food and Drug Administration when an application for FDA approval of the sedative Kevadon, the trade name of thalidomide, manufactured by drug company William S. Merrell Company of Cincinnati.
Thalidomide had already been sold to pregnant women in Europe and elsewhere as an anti-nausea drug to treat morning sickness, and Merrell wanted a license to do the same in the U.S.
As The New York Times reports, Kelsey asked for more information.
"Thus began a fateful test of wills. Merrell responded. Dr. Kelsey wanted more. Merrell complained to Dr. Kelsey's bosses, calling her a petty bureaucrat. She persisted. On it went. But by late 1961, the terrible evidence was pouring in." Thalidomide "was causing thousands of babies in Europe, Britain, Canada and the Middle East to be born with flipperlike arms and legs and other defects."
As The Washington Post adds, "[the] tragedy was largely averted in the United States, with much credit due to Kelsey. ... For a critical 19-month period, she fastidiously blocked its approval while drug company officials maligned her as a bureaucratic nitpicker."
The Post, in a front-page article published in 1962 described Kelsey as a "heroine" whose "skepticism and stubbornness ... prevented what could have been an appalling American tragedy."
Kelsey, a physician and pharmacologist, died on Aug. 7. Her daughter confirmed her death to The Washington Post, but did not cite a cause.
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That was my thought, too, but I had to ask.

The healthcare stuff bounces around a lot so it depends on what and when. The annual Healthcare Expenditures report found for 2013 (the latest on the website for the Office of the Actuary at MCare) Pharm prices went up 2.5% compared to 0.5% the year before. Physicians and clinical services went up 3.8% (4.5%) largely related to sequester and other "artificial" happenings. Hospitals went up 4.3% (5.7%). So Pharm spending went did not grow at a rate higher than these other two. I would also point out that prescription meds account for only about 10% of all health expenditures according to Mcare. It is hard to suggest that increases less than increases in other areas (especially given the small relative percentage of the hit) means that drugs are eating up any savings. Also, I am a little tired of the non negotiation of prices. While MCare can't those putting together Part D plans can and do negotiate just like they do for their "regular" insured. Many studies of the early years of Part D showed the impact, which has disipated over the years since you can only wring out excesses for a certain amount of time before they are no longer there. So, while technically, they can't negotiate, this really means just for in-hospital people and the vast majority of medication is spent outpatient.

Serious question: "I hear" could you be more specific?
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wrote: <stuff snipped>

The problem is that advocates for any side of an issue can construct reasonable sounding hypotheses that break down under even moderate scrutiny. Hell, even the most neutral of analysts has to start making assumptions about what various stats even mean and whether they were properly collected. From my experience in MilMed the likelihood of health and health spending data being accurately collected at the data input level is very, very low. I always look at the coding sheet at each visit to the MDs and the same procedures can be coded very differently depending on who's doing the classifying. In fact my wife suspects a little bit of upcoding going on. I suspect it's in the billion$. I guess I should look it up:
<<In 2013, that monetary loss in Medicare FFS is estimated at $33.2 billion (a rate of 9.3 percent), in addition to almost $7 billion in Medicare Advantage, $1.4 billion in the Part D drug program and $13.5 billion in Medicaid, totalling some $50 billion.>>
http://www.healthcarepayernews.com/content/medicare-medicaid-error-estimates-grew-2013
Oy!
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Heck these kinds of decisoins are made daily in the Courts. Juries assess the sincerity of remorse during sentencing, the sincerity of a person's testimony (admittedly among other things).

That was addressed by the Court. "If Lee were a RFRA case, the fundamental point would still be that there is no less restrictive alternative to the categorical requirement to pay taxes. Here, there is an alternative to the contraceptive mandate."

See above.

Most of this Court's cases could go that way. All of the 5-4 decisions and many of the 6-3 (even those you most vociferously agree with aren't on any firmer ground that his one. Don't suppose that just because there is a change your side will get to make it.

Don't quote understand your point. If you are talking about a bright line of definition, I am not sure how you get much brighter in this context than a long-standing IRS ruling and definition.

Asked and answered. There is no religiously based taxation exemption. Nothing in the opinion says they can get out of the tax implications of ACA. Just that they don't have to provide something like 4 out of 20 possible alternatives in this one area.

Yes. This is no different than any other corporate decision, so why would it be different.
The "closely-held" test is doomed like

Asked and answered. (grin).
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