Obamacare Shafts Volunteer Firefighters; Local Cops Play NSA’s Game; Police Culture Permeates American Life; Rich Pay Taxes, Poor Collect; Mandatory Vaccinations In NYC; TSA Disarms Sock Monkey — Tuesday Morning News Roundup 12-10-2013

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Here is a collection of some of the stories making the Internet rounds this morning. Click the links for the full stories.

 

  • Count volunteer fire departments among the Obamacare-victimized. Rules governing the healthcare reform law championed by President Barack Obama could inadvertently suck in volunteer firefighting companies, meaning the departments or the towns that support them might be forced to offer health insurance coverage or pay a penalty if they don’t. Source: Sunshine State News…

 

  • Local police are increasingly able to scoop up large amounts of cellphone data using new technologies, including cell tower dumps and secret mobile devices known as Stingrays. Here’s a closer look at how police do it. Source: USA Today…

 

  • By now, the militarization of the police has advanced to the point where “the War on Crime” and “the War on Drugs” are no longer metaphors but bland understatements. There is the proliferation of heavily armed SWAT teams, even in small towns; the use of shock-and-awe tactics to bust small-time bookies; the no-knock raids to recover trace amounts of drugs that often result in the killing of family dogs, if not family members; and in communities where drug treatment programs once were key, the waging of a drug version of counterinsurgency war. Source: Mother Jones…

 

  • The top 40 percent of households by before-tax income actually paid 106.2 percent of the Nation’s net income taxes in 2010, according to a new study by the Congressional Budget Office. At the same time, households in the bottom 40 percent took in an average of $18,950 in what the CBO called “government transfers” in 2010. Source: CNS News…

 

  • Autism advocates are set to protest tomorrow against a quiet effort by Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration to require annual flu vaccinations for all New York City schoolchildren. On Wednesday, with just three weeks to go until he leaves office, Bloomberg’s controversial Board of Health is set to vote on new rules that would force children as young as 6 months old to be immunized each year before Dec. 31 if they attend licensed day care or preschool programs. Source: The New York Observer…

 

  • Transportation Security Agents agents in St. Louis disarmed Rooster Monkburn, a cowboy sock money, of his 2-inch toy gun after a woman brought the stuffed monkey through security. Agents said that it posed a threat because it could be confused for a real gun, according to local reports. “[The agent] said ‘this is a gun,’” said Phyllis May, recounting the experience to fly back to her home in Washington State. “I said no, it’s not a gun it’s a prop for my monkey.” Source: National Review…

 

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Personal Liberty News Desk