Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Obama Adviser Jonathan Gruber In 2009: Obamacare Will NOT Be Affordable

President Obama’s health care adviser Jonathan Gruber said that the Affordable Care Act would definitely not be affordable while he was writing the bill with the White House.
Some 87 percent of people who just signed up for Obamacare are getting financial assistance to lower their premiums, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
As Gruber continues to withhold documents while he awaits a call-back for more testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in the new year, more shocking information is coming to light detailing the deceptions that went into the writing of the health-care law. (RELATED:Daily Caller Publishes First Video Of Gruber Calling The American People ‘Stupid’).
Gruber said that Obamacare had no cost controls in it and would not be affordable in an October 2009 policy brief, presented here exclusively by TheDC. At the time, Gruber had already personally counseled Obama in the Oval Office and served on Obama’s presidential transition team. Obama, meanwhile, told the American people that their premiums would go down dramatically.
“The problem is it starts to go hand in hand with the mandate; you can’t mandate insurance that’s not affordable. This is going to be a major issue,” Gruber admitted in an October 2, 2009 lecture, the transcript of which comprised the policy brief.

“So what’s different this time? Why are we closer than we’ve ever been before? Because there are no cost controls in these proposals. Because this bill’s about coverage. Which is good! Why should we hold 48 million uninsured people hostage to the fact that we don’t yet know how to control costs in a politically acceptable way? Let’s get the people covered and then let’s do cost control.”

Gruber also said that the only way to control costs is to effectively deny treatment.

“The real substance of cost control is all about a single thing: telling patients they can’t have something they want. It’s about telling patients, ‘That surgery doesn’t do any good, so if you want it you have to pay the full cost.’”

“There’s no reason the American health care system can’t be, ‘You can have whatever you want, you just have to pay for it.’ That’s what we do in other walks of life. We don’t say everyone has to have a large screen TV. If you want a large screen TV, you have to pay for it. Basically the notion would be to move to a level where everyone has a solid basic insurance level of coverage. Above that people pay on their own, without tax-subsidized dollars, to buy a higher level of coverage.”

And despite the president’s pitches to the contrary, Obama also knew that his health care bill was unlikely to control costs, Gruber said.
“I wish that President Obama could have stood up and said, ‘You know, I don’t know if this bill is going to control costs. It might, it might not. We’re doing our best. But let me tell you what it’s going to do…” Gruber said on a San Francisco podcast in 2012.
“If he could make that speech? Instead, he says ‘I’m going to pass a bill that will lower your health care costs.’ That sells. Now, I wish the world was different. I wish people cared about the 50 million uninsured in America…But, you know, they don’t. And I think, once again, I’m amazed politically that we got this bill through.”
History gives clues to Chief Justice Roberts' thinking on new Obamacare case

The Supreme Court's surprising decision to hear a new challenge to the Affordable Care Act has once again focused attention on Chief Justice John Roberts, who cast the deciding vote in a 2012 decision that saved Obamacare from being declared unconstitutional. Many court watchers expect that he will once again be the swing vote in deciding a case crucial to the healthcare law, this one involving questions about who qualifies for subsidies under the law. But Roberts' vote in a recent voting rights case suggests he might not step in to save the health law this time.
At issue in King vs. Burwell is a provision of the Affordable Care Act that authorizes subsidies in the form of tax credits for qualifying individuals who buy their insurance from exchanges "established by the state." But 34 states did not set up their own healthcare exchanges, opting instead, as the law allows, to send state residents to a federal exchange to buy insurance. The challengers argue that because this exchange was not created by a state, but rather by the federal government, people obtaining insurance through it are not entitled to subsidies.
There are strong reasons to reject this argument. First, the intent of the Affordable Care Act's drafters is clear. The text as a whole makes sense only if the provision in question is interpreted to include federal exchanges. At worst, the wording of the law might be considered ambiguous, and in ambiguous circumstances the court has said that it should defer to reasonable interpretations by the agency in charge of administering it. In this case, the IRS has interpreted the law to allow subsidies for those on federal exchanges. Finally, the court has a well-established tradition of looking to interpret laws so that they work and are coherent, a practice that long predates a recent tendency on the part of some justices to fixate on narrow snippets of statutory text.

But Roberts' vote in a recent voting rights case suggests he might not step in to save the health law this time. -

Still, it seems entirely possible that Roberts might focus narrowly this time on the snippet of the act extending subsidies only to those insured by exchanges "established by the state." One argument he might make in defense of that position is that Congress has the ability to go back and fix any unclear language through a revised statute.

Roberts telegraphed his willingness to take such an approach in the 2013 Shelby County vs. Holder case, which struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. The provision the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional defined which states had to get federal approval (or pre-clearance) before making changes to their voting laws. Roberts' opinion for the majority ordered the provision struck because it was based on old data. Congress, he reasoned, could simply update the formula to respond to "current conditions" if it wished to.

When Roberts wrote his Shelby County opinion, he knew full well that Congress would not update the coverage formula. Congress is polarized, and the issue was a political hot potato. Indeed, in the period since the opinion, a bill introduced to update the Voting Rights Act has gone nowhere. It is supported by Democrats and a sole Republican, Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.).

Although Congress used to come forward on a bipartisan basis to change laws in response to Supreme Court rulings, the number of such overrides has fallen to a trickle. From 1975 to 1990, Congress overrode an average of 12 Supreme Court decisions in each two-year congressional cycle. In the last decade, that number has fallen to 2.7 every two years, and there have been no significant overrides during the Obama presidency since Republicans took over the House of Representatives. During the last two years, perhaps owing to the intensity of the current political polarization and paralysis, overrides have been even rarer. I have identified just one override, which pertained to a single Indian tribe's right to certain tribal lands.

Even if Congress were to come together in a bipartisan way to override some statutory interpretations of the Supreme Court, there is no way it is going to override the Supreme Court on the Affordable Care Act. The House has voted dozens of times to repeal the healthcare law in its entirety; there is little chance it would step in now to save a law its members have so long maligned.

Roberts can point to many past cases in which court decisions have initiated a "dialogue" with Congress, which then stepped in with legislation to correct what it saw as errors in the court's interpretation of congressional statutes.

In today's fraught political environment, court-Congress dialogues are not generally possible. But that might not stop Roberts from citing the possibility of such a dialogue — especially if what he is really seeking is political cover and a chance to redeem his controversial earlier ruling on the Affordable Care Act with a new one that hobbles a key part of the law.

Sunday, December 21, 2014


If you like your health care plan, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has a Christmas surprise for you! When will this new present arrive? December 25th.
In an ongoing effort to keep Obamacare numbers elevated, CMS has embarked on the next step of its government takeover of healthcare.

It seems CMS is taking a page from Jonathan Gruber’s book; rather than allowing the “stupid” masses to make a decision on their own health plan, CMS has proposed a new rule that includes an overly reaching provision allowing CMS to re-enroll anyone who has not made the annual trek back to in a cheaper plan of CMS’ choosing.
That’s right, the government will choose your plan, perhaps limit access to your doctor, and ultimately make the decision on what is “best” for you.

Not to worry, just like Lady Justice, who wears a blindfold when determining guilt or innocence, CMS will use a blindfold to pick your plan. The agency will select your plan without knowing your medical history. They will do so without knowing if you are currently undergoing treatment or working with a specific doctor. They will do so without knowing your financial status. Despite the fact that the millions of people who already enrolled chose the plan that they believed was best for them.

CMS has laid the perfect trap: Sign up at one time in your life and we will never let you go. If you don’t continually re-enroll each and every year, CMS will keep you on the plan that it chooses because, after all, CMS knows what’s best and they always make the best decision. Oh, and if you don’t believe that, please go to the 600 million dollar website that will give you all kinds of testimonials handcrafted by MIT professors.

To be clear, a citizen will sign up once for a private plan with a healthcare provider, only to have that plan changed by the federal government. Moreover, CMS will change your plan after the open enrollment period ends, leaving you and your family stuck with a potentially unwanted plan for the year.
The only people that will be happier than the MIT economics professors and “government-knows-best” elitists will be the lawyers who will have the chance to litigate this bureaucratic fiasco. I actually just advised my son to change his studies to healthcare law.

The basic Constitutional question argued at the passing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was; Can the government force American citizens to purchase a product? Now the question has become; can the government change an individual’s private healthcare provider-without consent-just because that individual is silent and doesn’t opt-in to a new policy? The sound of silence is deafening and frightening.

Speaking of silence, CMS quietly opened a comment period on the new rule that extends until next week—ending on Christmas day.

With all due respect to the Jonathan Grubers of the world, the American people are smarter than this-they know this isn’t right. I sent a letter to CMS demanding they immediately strip this provision from the pending rule and abandon any future attempts to single-handedly choose Americans’ healthcare plans.

If not, the Republican House and Senate stands ready to take the action necessary to ensure CMS doesn’t further erode consumer choice in healthcare - as if the ACA already didn’t go far enough in doing so.

• Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) serves on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. In the 114th Congress, he will Chair the Subcommittee on Government Operations.

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MIAMI -- Cuban Americans reacted with mixed emotions to President Obama's announcement today that the U.S. was normalizing relations with Cuba after severing ties more than 50 years ago.

In the Little Havana neighborhood -- the unofficial political heart of this city, where more than half the population, 54%, is of Cuban descent -- hardliners protested with signs decrying Obama's move and chanting, "Traitor, traitor."

Carlos Munoz, a retired veterinarian who left Cuba in 1970, was among a group outside the well-known Cuban restaurant Versailles that was heated in opposition and disappointed by the historic move. Munoz said he felt betrayed by Obama's actions.

"We've been in the fight for Cuban independence for over 50 years, and we just got back-stabbed," said Munoz, 78.

Some Cuban Americans took solace in knowing that Alan Gross, an American arrested in Cuba in 2009 on espionage charges and released Wednesday on humanitarian grounds as part of the negotiations between the two countries, would soon be reunited with his family. Part of the agreement calls for the U.S. to release three Cubans imprisoned for spying.

"I'm happy they released that poor man who was going to die in that prison," said Miguel Saavedra, a mechanic who fled Cuba in 1965. "But this wasn't the way to do it." 

Osvaldo Hernandez, a 50-year-old orthopedic technician who left Cuba on a raft with 13 others in 1995, wondered why the president didn't use the military to recover Gross.

"Why didn't they send in the SEALS, like they've done in so many other countries?" he asked.

Saavedra and Hernandez are members of a group called Vigilia Mambisa, a collection of exiled Cubans who want to maintain the economic embargo against the Communist island and advocate stronger sanctions to remove the Castro regime.

On Wednesday, they said Obama basically handed Cuban President Raul Castro everything he ever wanted in exchange for no institutional changes in Cuba.

"Obama is on his knees in front of a terrorist regime," he said. "It's sad."

Cuban Americans who support the easing of sanctions against Cuba praised Obama's move.

"Today, the President has taken major strides to update our Cuba policy so that it better meets the challenges of the 21st century," Ric Herrero, executive director of #CubaNow, a group that supports normalizing relations with Cuba, said in a written statement. "The changes ... will make it easier to support the Cuban people as they take ownership of their destiny and craft a more democratic and independent future for themselves.

He singled out Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida for their opposition to opening relations with Cuba on the basis of not engaging with repressive regimes, pointing out that Rubio's staff and Menendez have traveled and met with officials in China, which also has been criticized for human rights abuses.

Herrero said the changes Obama announced, such as easing the travel ban to Cuba and allowing financial transactions between the two countries, will allow Americans to help support Cuban entrepreneurs and businesses.
The push for human rights in Cuba will happen as more Cubans are exposed to more people and ideas, he said.

"The Cuban people will be better equipped and supported in their desire to exercise their human rights, develop civil society institutions and hold their own government accountable," Herrero said.

In Naples, Fla., Cuban-born Adriana Infanzon, 65, hopes the move toward normalization "opens up the possibility for investments and a better life for the Cubans."

Infanzon, a Catholic Charities caseworker, sees Cuban immigrants daily. Looking back at their lives on the island, "Most don't complain about their (human) rights," Infanzon said. "They talk about having nothing to look forward to."

Palm Bay, Fla., Mayor William Capote, who came to the United States at age 8 with his parents aboard a "Freedom Flight" to Miami in 1970, is optimistic about the new relationship with Cuba.

"Hopefully, this will work out for the best," Capote said. ""When we talk about democracy, it's the availability that people from other countries come here for: to be able to go to school; to be able to do free enterprise; to start your own business; to have those opportunities that are afforded here in the U.S."

Capote said on his Facebook page Wednesday afternoon: "I support communication and dialogue that would help move my native homeland towards freedom and democracy. I hope we as a nation can embrace change and progress and focus on positive relations that empower the people of Cuba to be free and prosperous."

Alan Gross, the American contractor released from prison in Cuba after five years, made his first public statement. VPC

Attitudes among Cuban Americans have shifted over the past 15 years. Many younger people and those emigrating from the island recently support normalized relations between the U.S. and Cuba, said Fernand Amandi, managing partner for the polling firm Bendixen and Amandi International. In Miami, he says, Cubans tend to be more hardline against Cuba than other Cubans across the country.

For decades, he said, feelings in the Cuban American community were more monolithic as almost everyone supported the economic embargo and other sanctions.

"There's been a recalibration" in the Cuban American community, Amandi said, particularly among people under 45, whose lives were not upended as their parents' and grandparents' lives were when they fled Cuba after Fidel Castro took over in 1959.

For anyone under 45, today's announcement is the "most momentous" regarding relations between the two countries, he says.

Not all older Cubans opposed Obama's moves.

Antonio Garcia-Crews spent six years as a political prisoner in Cuba before fleeing for the United States in 1979. The immigration attorney in Altamonte Springs, Fla., far from the exile hotbed of Miami, said he came out of that prison realizing that the U.S. stance on Cuba was contributing to Castro's grip on the island.
"I realized that the Cuban government hid behind the embargo to maintain the repression against the Cuban people," said Garcia-Crews, 75. "The road we've been taking doesn't go anywhere. We have to find a new road, and this is the first step on that road, on the road to democracy. Because now, it removes the argument from the Cuban government that it's the victim."
Cuban-American politicians mostly fell in the hardliner camp, panning Obama for working with Raúl Castro, who they say heads an oppressive regime, while expressing relief that Gross was freed.

Menendez, the son of Cuban immigrants who left the island for New York City in 1953, said in a written statement, "President Obama's actions have vindicated the brutal behavior of the Cuban government."

He said Gross's release is a profound relief for his family but that he should have been released unconditionally five years ago.
"Let's be clear, this was not a 'humanitarian' act by the Castro regime," he said. "It was a swap of convicted spies for an innocent American."
"Trading Mr. Gross for three convicted criminals sets an extremely dangerous precedent," he said, adding that he worries that Wednesday's actions will put thousands of Americans who work overseas at risk if they are arrested and used by "rogue regimes" as bargaining chips.

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., said he, too, was "relieved" that Gross was freed, but he echoed the sentiments of many in Miami who said they were repulsed by how it came about.

Diaz-Balart said Obama gave Castro everything he wanted: full diplomatic relations, more access to U.S. money and broader ability to work with American companies. In exchange, Cuba has promised nothing, he said.

"This is the ultimate bailout," he said.

Cuba is reportedly freeing an additional 53 political prisoners as part of the deal, but Diaz-Balart said that was a trick Cuba has pulled several times before. He said thousands of people have been arrested for political purposes this year, so 53 release is a drop in the bucket.

He worried about the signal that he said Obama's move sends to the world.

"This will not only give a green light to Castro to continue to repress the Cuban people, but it is a very dangerous sign to other rogue regimes and terrorist organizations that President Obama will give you whatever you want," he said.

Saturday, December 20, 2014



Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Islamic fundamentalism is widely spread
WZB study shows significantly high numbers amongst Europe’s Muslims
Religious fundamentalism is not a marginal phenomenon in Western Europe. This conclusion is drawn in a study published by Ruud Koopmans from the WZB Berlin Social Science Center. The author analyzed data from a representative survey among immigrants and natives in six European countries. Two thirds of the Muslims interviewed say that religious rules are more important to them than the laws of the country in which they live. Three quarters of the respondents hold the opinion that there is only one legitimate interpretation of the Koran. 

These numbers are significantly higher than those from local Christians. Only 13 percent of this group put religious rules above national law; just under 20 percent refuse to accept differing interpretations of the Bible. For Ruud Koopmans, this powerful tendency toward Muslim religious fundamentalism is alarming: “Fundamentalism is not an innocent form of strict religiosity”, the sociologist says. “We find a strong correlation between religious fundamentalism – actually among both Christians and Muslims – and hostility toward out-groups like homosexuals or Jews.” Almost 60 percent of the Muslim respondents reject homosexuals as friends; 45 percent think that Jews cannot be trusted; and an equally large group believes that the West is out to destroy Islam. The Christians’ answers for comparison: As many as 9 percent are openly anti-Semitic; 13 percent do not want to have homosexuals as friends; and 23 percent think that Muslims aim to destroy Western culture.
The Six Country Immigrant Integration Comparative Survey collected data in more than 9,000 telephone interviews in Germany, France, Netherlands, Austria, Belgium and Sweden. The respondents were Turkish and Moroccan immigrants, as well as control groups of natives. This study is the first that allows analysis on an empirical base of the extent and impact of religious fundamentalism.
Ruud Koopmans’ article “Fundamentalism and out-group hostility. Comparing Muslims and Christians in Europe” has just been published in the December issue of the quarterly Wzb-Mitteiluhngen  The issue presents various contributions on migration and integration topics, mainly in German.

Presentation (PDF): Religious fundamentalism and out-group hostility among Muslims and Christians in Western Europe


$4.20 Per Pound: Price of Ground Beef Climbs to Another Record
December 17, 2014 - 9:24 AM

The average price of a pound of ground beef climbed to another record high -- $4.201 per pound -- in the United States in November, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

In August 2014, the average price for a pound of all types of ground beef topped $4 for the first time, hitting $4.013, according to the BLS. In September, the average price jumped to $4.096 per pound, and in October, the average price climbed to $4.154 per pound. In November, the average price hit the highest price ever recorded -- $4.201 per pound.

A year ago, in November 2013, the average price for a pound of ground beef was $3.477 per pound. Since then, the average price has increased 20.8 percent in one year.

Five years ago, in November 2009, the average price of a pound of ground beef was $2.062, according to the BLS. The price has since climbed by $2.139 per pound, or 103.7 percent.

The overall Consumer Price Index measures the relative change in the prices of a basket of goods and services relative to a basis of 100. Subordinate indexes measure the relative change in price for individual goods or services or categories of goods and services.

The price index for seasonally adjusted, uncooked ground beef hit an all-time high of 296.616 in November, up 1.4 percent from October when it was 292.588. In 1947, the earliest year in this index, it was 26.5.

“The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) declined 0.3 percent in November on a seasonally adjusted basis,” states BLS. “Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.3 percent before seasonal adjustment.”

“The food index rose 0.2 percent in November after increasing 0.1 percent in October,” states BLS. “The index for meats, poultry, fish and eggs increased 0.6 percent in November after declining in October. The index for beef and veal rose 0.8 percent, its tenth consecutive increase.”

The business and economic reporting of is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Anthony Johnson (c1600–1670) was an Angolan who achieved freedom in the early 17th century Colony of Virginia, where he became one of the first black property owners and slaveholders. Held as an indentured servant in 1621, he earned his freedom after several years, which was accompanied by a grant of land. He later became a successful tobacco farmer. Notably, he is recognized for attaining great wealth after having been an indentured servant.
Johnson was captured in his native Angola by an enemy tribe and sold to Arab slave traders. He was eventually sold as an indentured servant to a merchant working for the Virginia Company.[1]
He arrived in Virginia in 1621 aboard the James. The Virginia Muster (census) of 1624 lists his name as "Antonio not given," recorded as "a Negro" in the "notes" column.[2] There is some dispute among historians as to whether this was the Antonio later known as Anthony Johnson, as the census lists several "Antonios." This one is considered the most likely.[3]

Johnson was sold to a white planter named Bennet as an indentured servant to work on his Virginia tobacco farm. Servants typically worked under an indenture contract for four to seven years to pay off their passage, room, board, lodging and freedom dues. In the early colonial years, most Africans in the Thirteen Colonies were held under such contracts of indentured servitude. With the exception of those indentured for life, they were released after a contracted period with many of the indentured receiving land and equipment after their contracts expired or were bought out.[4]

Antonio almost lost his life in the Indian massacre of 1622when his master's plantation was attacked. The Powhatan, who were the Native Americans dominant in the Tidewater of Virginia, were upset at the encroachment of the colonists into their land. They attacked the settlement on Good Friday and killed 52 of the 57 men where Johnson worked.

The following year (1623) "Mary, a Negro" arrived from England aboard the ship Margaret. She was brought to work on the same plantation as Antonio, where she was the only woman. Antonio and Mary married and lived together for over forty years.[5]

Sometime after 1635, Antonio and Mary gained their freedom from indenture. Antonio changed his name to Anthony Johnson.[5] Johnson first enters the legal record as a free man when he purchased a calf in 1647.

Johnson took ownership of a large plot of farmland after he paid off his indentured contract by his labor.[6] On 24 July 1651, he acquired 250 acres (100 ha) of land under the head right system by buying the contracts of five indentured servants, one of whom was his son Richard Johnson. The land was located on the Great Naswattock Creek which flowed into the Pungoteague River in Northampton County, Virginia.:[7]

In 1652 "an unfortunate fire" caused "great losses" for the family, and Johnson applied to the courts for tax relief. The court not only reduced the family's taxes but on 28 February 1652, exempted his wife Mary and their two daughters from paying taxes at all "during their natural lives." At that time taxes were levied on people not property, and under the 1645 Virginia taxation act, "all negro men and women and all other men from the age of 16 to 60 shall be judged tithable."[7][8] It is unclear from the records why the Johnson women were exempted, but the change gave them the same social standing as white women, who were not taxed.[8] During the case, the justices noted that Anthony and Mary "have lived Inhabitants in Virginia (about thirty years)" and had been respected for their "hard labor and known service".[5]

When Johnson was released from servitude, he was legally recognized as a "free Negro." He developed a successful farm. In 1651 he owned 250 acres, and the services of four white and one black indentured servants. In 1653, John Casor, a black indentured servant whose contract Johnson appeared to have bought in the early 1640s, approached Captain Goldsmith, claiming his indenture had expired seven years earlier and that he was being held illegally by Johnson. A neighbor, Robert Parker, intervened and persuaded Johnson to free Casor.

Parker offered Casor work, and he signed a term of indenture to the planter. Johnson sued Parker in the Northampton Court in 1654 for the return of Casor. The court initially found in favor of Parker, but Johnson appealed. In 1655, the court reversed its ruling.[9] Finding that Anthony Johnson still "owned" John Casor, the court ordered that he be returned with the court dues paid by Robert Parker.[10]

This was the first instance of a judicial determination in the Thirteen Colonies holding that a person who had committed no crime could be held in servitude for life.[11][12][13][14][15]
Though Casor was the first person declared a slave in a civil case, there were both black and white indentured servants sentenced to lifetime servitude before him. Many historians describe indentured servant John Punch as the first documented slave, as he was sentenced to life in servitude as punishment for escaping in 1640.[16][17] The Punch case was significant because it established the disparity between his sentence as a negro and that of the two European indentured servants who escaped with him (one described as Dutch and one as a Scotchman). It is the first documented case in Virginia of an African sentenced to lifetime servitude. It is considered one of the first legal cases to make a racial distinction between black and white indentured servants.[18][19]

The Casor suit demonstrates the culture and mentality of planters in the mid-17th century. The individuals made assumptions about the society of Northampton County and their place in it. According to historians T.R. Breen and Stephen Innes, Casor believed that he could form a stronger relationship with his patron Robert Parker than Anthony Johnson had formed over the years with his patrons. Casor considered the dispute to be a matter of patron-client relationship, and this wrongful assumption ultimately lost him the court and the decision. Johnson knew that the local justices shared his basic belief in the sanctity of property. The judge sided with Johnson, although in future legal issues, race played a larger role.[20]
The Casor suit was an example of how difficult it was for Africans who were indentured servants to keep from being reduced to slavery. Most African immigrants could not read and had no knowledge of the English language. Planters found it easy to force them into slavery by refusing to acknowledge the completion of their indentured contracts.[21] This is what happened in Johnson v. Parker. Although Casor had two white planters who confirmed that he had completed his indentured contract with Johnson, the court still ruled in Johnson's favor.[22]
Later life

In 1657, Johnson’s white neighbor, Edmund Scarborough, forged a letter in which Johnson acknowledged a debt. Johnson did not contest the case. Although Johnson was illiterate and could not have written the letter, the court granted Scarborough 100 acres of Johnson’s land to pay off his "debt".[6]
In this early period, free blacks enjoyed "relative equality" with the white community. Around 20% of free blacks in Virginia at this time owned their own homes. By 1665, racism was becoming more common. The Virginia Colony had passed a law in 1662 that children were born with the status of their mother, according to the Roman principle of partus sequitur ventrem; therefore, all children of slave women were born into slavery, regardless of who their fathers were. This was a reversal of English common law, which held that for English subjects, children took the status of their father. Africans were considered foreigners and not English subjects.

Johnson moved his family to Somerset County, Maryland. He negotiated a lease on a 300-acre (120 ha) plot of land for ninety-nine years. Johnson used this land to start a tobacco farm, which he named Tories Vineyards.[23]


1 Horton (2002), p. 29.
2 Breen1980, p. 8.
3 Walsh, Lorena (2010). Motives of Honor, Pleasure, and Profit: Plantation Management in the Colonial Chesapeake, 1607-1763. Pg 115: UNC Press. ISBN 9780807832349.
4 Horton (2002), p. 26
5 a b c Breen (1980), p. 10.
6 a b Rodriguez, Junius. Slavery in the United States: A Social, Political, and Historical Encyclopedia, Volume 2. Pg 353: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781851095445.
7 a b Heinegg, Paul (2005). Free African Americans of North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina from the Colonial Period to about 1820, Volume 2. Pg 705: Genealogical Publishing. ISBN 9780806352824.
8 a b Breen, T. H. (2004). "Myne Owne Ground" : Race and Freedom on Virginia's Eastern Shore, 1640-1676. Pg 12: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199729050.
9 Walker, Juliet (2009). The History of Black Business in America: Capitalism, Race, Entrepreneurship, Volume 1. Pg 49: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 9780807832417.
10 Frank W. Sweet (July 2005). Legal History of the Color Line: The Rise and Triumph of the One-Drop Rule. Backintyme. p. 117. ISBN 978-0-939479-23-8. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
11 Federal Writers' Project(1954). Virginia: A Guide to the Old Dominion. Pg 76: US History Publishers. ISBN 9781603540452.
12 Danver, Steven (2010). Popular Controversies in World History. Pg 322: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781598840780.
13 Kozlowski, Darrell (2010). Colonialism: Key Concepts in American History. Pg 78: Infobase Publishing. ISBN 9781604132175.
14 Conway, John (2008). A Look at the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments: Slavery Abolished, Equal Protection Established. Pg 5: Enslow Publishers. ISBN 9781598450705.
15 Toppin, Edgar (2010). The Black American in United States History. Pg 46: Allyn & Bacon. ISBN 9781475961720.
16 Donoghue, John (2010). "Out of the Land of Bondage": The English Revolution and the Atlantic Origins of Abolition". The American Historical Review.
17 Russell, 29
18 Slavery and Indentured Servants Law Library of Congress
19 "Slave Laws". Virtual Jamestown. Retrieved 2013-11-04.
20 Breen and Innes, "Myne Owne Ground," p. 15
21 Foner, Philip S. (1980). "History of Black Americans: From Africa to the emergence of the cotton kingdom". Oxford University Press.
22Klein, 43-44.
23 Johnson (1999), Africans in America, p. 44.

Berlin, Ira.Many Thousands Gone, The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America, Harvard University Press, 1998.
Breen, Timothy and Stephen Innes. "Myne Own Ground" Race and Freedom on Virginia's Eastern Shore,1979/reprint 2004, 25th anniversary edition: Oxford University Press
Cox, Ryan Charles. "The Johnson Family: The Migratory Study of an African-American Family on the Eastern Shore", Delmarva Settlers, University of Maryland Salisbury, accessed 16 November 2012.
Horton, James Oliver and Lois E. Horton, Hard Road to Freedom: The Story of African America, Rutgers University Press, 2002.
Johnson, Charles; Patricia Smith, and the WGBHResearch Team, Africans in America: America's Journey Through Slavery, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1999.
"Anthony Johnson", Thinkport Library
Klein, Herbert S. Slavery in the Americas; A Comparative Study of Virginia and Cuba.
Nash, Gary B., Julie R. Jeffrey, John R. Howe, Peter J. Frederick, Allen F. Davis, and Allan M. Winkler. The American People: Creating a Nation and a Society. 6th ed. New York: Pearson, 2004. 74-75.
Matthews, Harry Bradshaw, The Family Legacy of Anthony Johnson: From Jamestown, VA to Somerset, MD, 1619-1995, Oneonta, NY: Sondhi Loimthongkul Center for Interdependence, Hartwick College, 1995.
Russell, Jack Henderson. The Free Negro in Virginia, 1619-1865, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1913
WPA Writers' Program, Virginia, Guide to The Old Dominion, Oxford University Press, NY, 1940 (p. 378)
External links
"Anthony Johnson", Africans in America,
"Anthony Johnson", Exploring Maryland's Roots


Society is a mirror of us … now "the mirror" is passé … people use their smart phones camera as a mirror … what a metaphor shift.
“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?”
Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Amazing Grace was written by a former slave trader John Newton …

Once sailing a ship full of slaves from Africa his ship was hid by a fierce storm… 

Newton feared for his life and got down on his knees and begged the good Lord to spare his life..He promised the Lord that if he would only spare his life he would change his ways a stop trading slaves … 

The storm calmed down and Newton wrote the song Amazing Grace, full of sorrow and love and hope that he would be forgiving of his sins.

One of the most powerful songs ever written and this is one of the most beautiful versions ever recorded.

Amazing Grace

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I'm found.
Was blind, but now I see.

'Twas grace that taught my heart to feel
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers toils and snares
We have already come
'Twas grace that brought us safe that far
And grace will lead us home

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I'm found.
Was blind, but now I see


We are constantly confronted with the lazy, the apathetic, the immoral, the indifferent, the irresponsible, and the disconnected — the signs of a decaying culture.
As they had a habit of saying throughout the interstellar empire of “Dune,” the spice must flow. Money is once more flowing out of Congress to all manner of follies and outrages, thanks to an omnibus spending bill that funds everything except Homeland Security through September of 2015 – throwing away every scrap of leverage the incoming Republican majority could possibly exercise against Emperor Obama, ensuring that no one outside the authors of Democrat Party fundraising email spam will be talking about shutdowns, and effectively neutering freshly-elected conservatives. The GOP leadership can get through another year with its favorite wheezy excuse for not standing up and fighting for anything: Our hands are tied. Sure, the knots are a bit clumsy, but that’s to be expected when you tie your own hands. It’ll be good enough for the permanent Beltway culture, which can have a very merry Christmas, riding their one-horse open sleighs down streets coated with a fresh blizzard of taxpayer dollars, jingling all the way.

Americans with some vague memory of how the system is supposed to work might be wondering what happened to the sober deliberation of budgets, the careful spending of every dollar, and even the basic rules of accounting. Welcome to the new millennium, old-timers! We don’t do things that way any more. Government by perpetual crisis is so much more exciting, and lucrative for the Ruling Class. Now we wait until the hands of the fiscal doomsday clock stand at one minute to midnight, and the political class has to fund everything with “emergency spending bills,” scribbled in blind haste and posted on glitchy websites for public review in a half-hearted ritual of “transparency.” We live in the shadow of the cromnibus, an appropriately clunky word that combines “continuing resolution” emergency tactics with “omnibus spending” irresponsibility. The Cromnibus is a flabby beast a gaping maw and many tentacles to feed itself, but it lacks eyes, ears, and a frontal lobe.

Anyone who raises the slightest objection to this panicky spending bonanza is denounced as a penny-pinching extremist monster who just wants to kill children, puppies, and kittens for fun, by shutting down the government that keeps them alive. You don’t want Obama to throw up barricades around your national parks and memorials again, do you? No? Then shut up and spend.

The sole reservation in the winder spending festival is the Department of Homeland Security – which, as Fox News explains, is only funded through February, so the GOP leadership can pretend it’s going to stage a huge fight over Obama’s illegal amnesty orders next year. This is supposed to mollify the starchy citizens who still care about antiquated notions like the rule of law, the separation of powers, the value of citizenship, and national security long enough for the Establishment to enjoy its holiday vacation.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


The Smartest President Ever Can't Drill His Way Out of This Problem
We have two cautionary tales from overseas today.

One of them is from Iran and the other is from France.

Both of them demonstrate how wrongheaded, obtuse and shortsighted Democrats are on their policies and prescriptions for what ails the county.

To battle unemployment France is considering a body of laws that would make it easier for French firms to hire people, including allowing shops to open on Sunday and relaxing labor laws that make it virtually impossible for French firms to fire someone.

If you get a job in France, you apparently get a job for life whether your employer is a private firm or the government.

“The measures include relaxing rules on Sunday and evening opening hours at retail stores; removing some restrictions on new bus lines to increase competition with the national rail operator, SNCF,” says the New York Times,“and opening up regulated professions including notaries and auctioneers to greater competition.”

How dynamic. What will the all-important notaries and auctioneers do now?

As a result of the screwed up labor laws few French firms are anxious to hire even when conditions are good.

But conditions aren’t good. France’s economy is barely avoiding recession, and there is a good likelihood that next year will bring a contraction in economic growth.

French president Francois Hollande, a socialist, says that he will not run for reelection if he can’t tame unemployment. The proposed laws are aimed at curbing unemployment in the country, which has gone up to 10.4 percent.

Previously the government cut payroll taxes to encourage companies to hire, but that just drew thousands of business owners into the streets to protest the labor laws that make it hard to fire people.

Ah, Christmas time in Paris. The rioting by businessmen just makes it seem complete, cozy and anti-Christian.

What can you say about a country where the business owners are the disenfranchised?

Just exactly why is Obama trying to impose this European social system on America?

And then there is Iran.

If oil prices are dropping you know that there is an Iranian mullah mad somewhere. And indeed the president of Iran Hassan Rouhani has accused Saudi Arabia of treachery for refusing to support OPEC production cuts.

"Iran and people of the region will not forget such conspiracies, or in other words, treachery against the interests of the Muslim world," says Rouhani.
The proposed cuts, which would be aimed at stopping the slide of oil prices for the OPEC cartel, are being debated at a time analysts from the oil exporting countries are expecting the weakest demand for their product in 12 years, according to Bloomberg television.

Saudi Arabia controls about one third of OPEC production. OPEC makes up about 40 percent of worldwide oil supply.

However with the U.S. producers increasing production of shale oil the world’s top economy has been able to cut back on demand from OPEC.

Thanks to shale oil extraction the U.S. Geological Survey estimates technically recoverable oil shale to be 2.6 trillion barrels here at home. That’s about ten times the proven reserves of Saudi Arabia.

By my own calculation that’s 400 years of supply for the US, assuming all of it was extracted, which of course is unlikely.

But even at a 50 percent extraction rate, that’s still 200 years of proven reserves.

As I have been arguing for years right on this page, shale oil will change geopolitics and our economy for the better.

From Bloomberg:

"We are entering a new era for oil prices, where the market itself will manage supply, no longer Saudi Arabia and OPEC," said Mike Wittner, the head of oil research at Societe Generale SA in New York. "It's huge. This is a signal that they're throwing in the towel. The markets have changed for many years to come."

The fracking boom has driven U.S. output to the highest in three decades, contributing to a global surplus that Venezuela yesterday estimated at 2 million barrels a day, more than the production of five OPEC members. Demand for the group's crude will fall every year until 2017 as U.S. supply expands, eroding its share of the global market to the lowest in more than a quarter century, according to the group's own estimates.

So who said we couldn’t drill our way out of the oil problem?

Oh yeah the Democrats did; more precisely, the smartest, greatest, gayest and saddest president we have ever had did.

Just count it as a another thing the smartest guy in the country knows nothing about. But we are past him.

For America, at this Christmas time, one has to ask what kind of country will we have if Obama’s successors, like Elizabeth Warren or Hillary Clinton have their way?

We’d have a country that looks more like France, and is more dependent upon the Saudis and the Iranians for energy than ever before just at a time when salvation seems nearest. Therein lies the problem for Obama, Hillary and Fauxcahontas. And they won't be able to just drill their way out of it by drilling the GOP.

They were wrong and we were right. It's time for someone from the Democrats to admit it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014



The full monty …

Sunday, December 7, 2014


Abandon Ship: Another Democratic Senator jumps into the "life boat" with Chuck F. Schumer and admits Obamacare Was a Mistake HOW MANY WILL END UP IN THE BOAT?
First came this frank and stunning analysis from Chuck Schumer, an evidently disgruntled member of Senate Democrats' leadership team. Now Iowa's Tom Harkin -- one of the ignominious 60 'yes' votes for Obamacare who will be replaced by conservative Republican Joni Ernst in January -- weighs in:
He wonders in hindsight whether the law was made overly complicated to satisfy the political concerns of a few Democratic centrists who have since left Congress. “We had the power to do it in a way that would have simplified healthcare, made it more efficient and made it less costly and we didn’t do it,” Harkin told The Hill. “So I look back and say we should have either done it the correct way or not done anything at all. “What we did is we muddle through and we got a system that is complex, convoluted, needs probably some corrections and still rewards the insurance companies extensively,” he added. … Harkin says in retrospect the Democratic-controlled Senate and House should have enacted a single-payer healthcare system or a public option to give the uninsured access to government-run health plans that compete with private insurance companies. “We had the votes in ’09. We had a huge majority in the House, we had 60 votes in the Senate,” he said.
Harkin regrets that Congressional Democrats didn't go for the gold and place the entire American healthcare system under complete government control. Because the feds have done such a bang-up job with government owned-and-operated healthcare systems for our veterans and Native Americans. And they've been terrific at keeping other massive single-payer-style systems solvent and sustainable.
Politically speaking, Harkin is delusional if he thinks Democrats, even with their huge majorities, could have imposed fully nationalized healthcare back in 2010. Harry Reid barely corralled the requisite 60 votes for Obamacare, and he needed to employ tawdry buy-offs and bargains to get there.
Nancy Pelosi barely overcame dozens of defections on Obamacare as it was written; she did not have the votes for a system-destroying "public option," let alone the full enchilada. Nevertheless, this is the second Senate Democrat to openly admit that the president's signature law was a political mistake and isn't working. One wonders how folks like Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, Mark Pryor, Kay Hagan, Mark Begich, Mark Udall and others must feel. They stuck their necks out for Team Obama, then got mowed down by irate voters, with Obamacare front and center. It's one thing to fall on your legislative sword for a controversial but needed and successful law. Instead, they parroted party lies about legislation that remains as widely unpopular as ever, and is actively hurting significantly more people than it's helping. Bravo, guys. Thomas Edsall wonders in the New York Times if Obamacare is "destroying the Democratic Party." He reviews in glorious detail the furious recriminations Schumer's assessment provoked by Obamacare's true believers, then looks ahead to future complications:

Of the 60 Democratic senators who voted for Obamacare in 2010, 28 are no longer in office.
 The electoral scorecard suggests that Schumer may have less opposition than anticipated to his bid to shift the central concern of the party to more overtly economic issues. Insofar as Democrats try to reduce hostility to Obamacare, they face two problems. The first is a Republican Party unwilling to support any legislation making the A.C.A. more palatable. The other is the danger that tinkering with any of the provisions that have provoked the strongest opposition could eviscerate the legislation … As if Democrats do not already have enough trouble, data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shows that many, if not most, of the seven million people who purchased insurance through the A.C.A. will either have to pay higher premiums or higher deductibles, or submit themselves to the complex process of switching plans.
Barring a stunning upset, that first number will grow to 29 on Saturday, when Mary Landrieu loses her re-election bid in Louisiana. That last bolded bit underscores the problem Democrats face. Coming attractions include more plan cancellations, higher premiums, rising costs, access shock -- and upheaval among the consumers who've supposedly been "helped" by the law. Kathleen Sebelius is taking a page from Jon Gruber's sneering arrogance playbook, explaining away Obamacare's unpopularity as a product of Americans' economic illiteracy. The truth is just the opposite. She and her colleagues made specific promises about the impact and outcomes the public should expect from the new law. They got all of the big stuff wrong, often on purpose. People actually aren't the idiots Democrats take them to be. They can easily understand when their premiums jump. They can see their fatter deductibles. They can read cancellation notices. They get angry when they can't keep their preferred plans and doctors, as promised. They can feel when access to care tightens up. Sebelius went on to joke that purchasing coverage through was akin to reserving airline tickets by fax -- and it's true that's failure was catastrophic and embarrassing (Harkin and other dyed-in-the-wool Leftists see the utter collapse of Obamacare's rollout and the horrible VA scandal, and are only convinced that the government needs more power and control). But the core problem with Obamacare is the law itself, not its delivery method. And the pack of lies on which it was built only compounds its defenders' credibility problem.