L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 128, July 2, 2001
From: "Oceanfront Viking Motel" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This came in my email and seemed to good to be true have you heard of it?
Subject: Enumerated Powers
Amendment to the Enumerated Powers
From: "Mike Lorrey" <email@example.com>
In response to Vin's column on the Patient's Bill of Rights Act, I'd like to address the primary problem faced by insurance customers: fine print creep. Just as the internet and computers increase the ability of any one individual to publish their opinions, they also seem to contribute to this form of contract 'feature creep', where corporate lawyers get to think up ever more complex ways of stating as confusingly as possible that their company is "going to screw you no matter what you do and there is nothing you can do about it, and everyone is doing it so you have no other options".
Moreover, how many people do you know that actually read the entirety of every contract they are presented with on the internet for every download or service or purchase? We all just click 'I Accept' and get on with our lives. We don't have time or the money to have all of these contracts gone over by a lawyer who is on our side, nor is there any 'robo-lawyer' on the internet to interpret these contracts for you.
HMO contracts are exactly the same. You can tell what part of the contract has the sphincter violating clauses too, by how small the fine print is and how close to the back of the contract it is. You know you are being screwed if they put all that stuff in the back and have you just sign up front, and no matter what, they will figure out some way to claim you were not covered.
Everyone is getting like that. For example, last year, my mother, who is an exec at a local hospital, was walking down the hall to deliver a patient's chart back to a doctor when she tripped on a heavy coating of floor wax, fell on her arm and received a spiral fracture on her humerus bone, which took 9 months to heal, requiring a plate and screws. The state workman's compensation office denied coverage, claiming that "she could have fallen anywhere."
The purpose of the PBORA is essentially to give us back some of the rights that were taken away from us when congress passed its original HMO legislation. I don't see this as a bad thing, nor is it 'inventing' rights. I wish that congress would give us back a lot more of our rights. Furthermore, if this contractomania is going to continue, we will need a bill to require that all contracts be written in 6th grade newspaper level english, or at least some standard that says that the grammatical grade level of a contract cannot exceed the rated comprehension of the signors or their legal representatives, or else it is invalid.
Michael Lorrey's very interesting article mentioned a Supreme Court case U.S. v. Urquidez-Verdugo involving the definition of "the people" as used in the U.S. Constitution.
I was interested in learning more about the decision, but I searched for it in vain. It turns out Mr. Lorrey accidently transposed the name. It's really United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez. Fascinating reading, and bears directly on a long-running argument about who "the people" in the second amendment are.
Thanks as always.
From: "Mike Lorrey" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thanks for the correction. I've seen it written of in both forms, and I think that I subconciously alphabetized the two names when I wrote the essay (then again, after the era of Rodham-Clinton, these hyphenated names really annoy me). This decision is indeed of paramount importance, which is likely why it is so assiduously ignored by the media and politicians. I consider this, along with US v Lopez and the slowly arriving US v. Emerson to be a trinity of cases to cite in future public interest lawsuits seeking the repeal of many thousands of state and federal regulations about gun control and many other issues. I just wish we had more lawyers on our side to do the vast amount of pro bono work that would be required. We need gun rights groups to focus far more on these court cases than on trying to bribe politicians with campaign contributions.
Dear Vin and TLE:
Well that's depressing!!
I love Vin. I have read his book and wait eagerly for his articles. To me Vin is the best advocate of freedom that we have today! But in his latest article Vin sounds more like a member of a chosen elite deserving of special status than he does a freedom advocate. With great freedom comes great responsibility, Vin demands the freedom and he shirks the responsibility like a welfare cheat.
If Vin is too lazy to sort his own mail (he admits this) and stupid enough to use an unaccountable GOVERNMENT MONOPOLY (the USPS) then maybe he would be better off with a service that hand delivers and picks up his bills (and wipes his ass too!).
He had plenty of options. One if Sprint was so bad he should have switched services sooner (he was with them 9 years afterall their poor service should not have been a shock). Two, he could have used a private company that would have guaranteed his payment was received in 24 hours (Fed Ex, UPS or Airborne Express). Sprint may have even allowed him to wire a payment via Western Union or MoneyGram (numerous locations in that gamblers debt haven Lost Wages). Why Vin chose to trust the government to get his already late bill to Sprint on time is beyond me and then he is going to blame Sprint when its late? That's absurd, is Vin not the same man who time and time again has warned us against trusting the government to do things for us?
GROW UP VIN! Sprint is not a government entity. You cannot rob it by refusing to pay your bill on time and get a FREE RIDE. You can stomp your feet and blame the Holocaust on them if you want to the fact remains that the bill didn't get paid on time because YOU failed to take responsibility. You have the freedom to go elsewhere, they have the right to cut off your service when you are too lazy to pay your bill ON TIME. You both exercised your freedoms. AIN'T IT GREAT? I doubt Sprint will miss another deadbeat customer anymore than you miss them.
C'mon Vin you know better!
With love and prayers.
From: "Mike Lorrey" <email@example.com>
While the story of the sellout of North Carolinians private gun sale rights is abominable, so far as I am aware, it is illegal at the federal level to utilize the Insta-Check system for any firearms sales not involving a federally licensed dealer, so the bill passed by the NC Senate mandating insta-checks for private sales is illegal at the federal level, and any use of this system by NC residents to check on private buyers in private sales to comply with state law, as described by Mr. Grass Roots will be considered a federal crime. This could create an interesting catch-22 situation between state and federal courts over states rights versus federal preemption (with the states rights advocates being curiously anti-gun). I predict that cooler heads will prevail when it is realized by somebody with intelligence (I know that is a stretch) at the state house that this is a catch-22 situation, and that it will be rectified in committee conference with the House. If the state merely means to mandate that the state police will perform their own insta-checks on pistol purchases (as they do up here in NH) and not access the federal system, then this of course becomes moot, but the writer referred to the FBI system in his article. Perhaps this can be clarified.
From: "jjodle" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Recently, I was pleasantly surprised to see Dr. Mary J. Ruwart gracing the front cover of the July issue of Life Extension magazine. Seems the good doctor has applied for the job of Commissioner of the FDA. Libertarians of long standing know that the LP gave her serious consideration as Andre Marrou's Vice-Presidential running mate back in í92, but that she lost out to Doctor Nancy Lord. I also know that she is one of the witnesses that Dr. Lord used to defeat the FDA in the Rodger Sless case.
I have never met Dr. Ruwart, but I have read her book, Healing Our World: The Other Piece of the Puzzle. I know the cover, with it's silly Chinese Yin-Yang symbol makes her look like some sort of New Age, 'touchie-feelie' type. Judging from her book she, none the less, possesses a great deal of common sense, respect for libertarian principles and the Constitution -- all of which are sorely missing at the FDA.
The real question is: Does Dr. Ruwart have the strength, the intelligence, dare I say it, the ovaries to deal with a deeply entrenched, corrupt, self-serving, less than loyal government bureaucracy? Or will she be Yes, Ministered? (Anyone familiar with PBS' satirical Yes, Minister knows how easily a well-meaning, but nonetheless, naive political appointee is easily out maneuvered by his support staff.
I hope she gets her chance to reform the FDA as it is another one of those lawless, don't give a damn about the Constitution, out-of-control agencies that is in dire need of privatization. Actually the current leadership is in dire need of some no-nonsense jail time as they are currently in contempt of court and in defiance of Congress.
Speaking of FDA lawlessness, in the late nineties a fellow libertarian by the name a Durk Pearson brought a First Amendment case against the FDA, demanding his right to print truthful, non misleading information, that is derived from the most prestigious peer reviewed journals (such as the Journal of the American Medical Association or the New England Journal of Medicine) on the outside of dietary supplements. The FDA lost the case in an 11-0 decision. (Pearson vs. Shalala, 164 F. 3d 650, 656) (see "Victory for Freedom of Speech" at http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag99/july99-cover.html) and was ordered to bring its regulations into compliance with the First Amendment. The FDA, being a power-crazed government agency, did not take this lying down. It appealed and on Feb. 2, 2001 it once again lost the case ("What's Wrong With the FDA?", Life Extension Magazine, May 2001, http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2001/may2001_cover_pearson2_1.html).
In the early nineties, Congress passed the Nutritional Labeling and Education Act which provided that vendors of vitamin and mineral supplements could print truthful, non-misleading info on their products. Later, Congress also passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act which also permitted the same thing.
The FDA -- much as F Troop [ATF] -- has been known to use a SWAT team against its fellow citizens who (Rodger Sless, for one example and http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag96/sept96_freedom.html for another story involving the Life Extension Foundation). I wish Dr. Ruwart luck in her attempt to become the next Commissioner. Somebody needs to bring this agency to heel.
Story about Dr. Ruwart:
Sign the on-line petition:
Take care everyone,
Will someone please tell me why the FDA needs a SWAT Team? Are food and drug companies running amok through out the land?