Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Obamacare "Navigators": Another Sebelius Snitch Brigade?  
By: Michelle Malkin / Townhall Columnist
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius controls a $54 million slush fund to hire thousands of "navigators," "in-person assisters" and counselors who will propagandize and enroll Obamacare recipients in government-run health insurance exchanges. This nanny-state navigator corps is the Mother of all Community Organizing Boondoggles. It's also yet another Obama threat to Americans' privacy.

A reminder about Secretary Sebelius' sordid snooping history is in order here. In August 2009, HHS and the White House Office of Health Reform called on their ground troops to report on fellow citizens who dared to criticize their federal health care takeover. Team Obama issued an all-points bulletin on the taxpayer-funded White House website soliciting informant emails. Remember?

"If you get an email or see something on the Web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to," the Obamacare overlords urged. The feds even singled out conservative Internet powerhouse Matt Drudge because he had featured a video compilation of Obama and other Democrats -- in their own words -- exposing the "public option" as a Trojan Horse for government-run health care and the elimination of private industry.

Texas GOP Sen. John Cornyn protested at the time that "these actions taken by your White House staff raise the specter of a data collection program." The flagging operation was shut down, but a plethora of federal disclosure exemptions protect the Obama administration from revealing what was collected, who was targeted and what was done with the database information.

White House lapdogs dismissed the concerns of conservatives as paranoid delusions. Now, fast-forward three years. In light of the draconian IRS witch hunt against tea party groups and the Justice Department's plundering of journalists' phone records and email accounts, every tax-subsidized Obama "outreach" initiative warrants heightened scrutiny.

Obamacare navigators will have access to highly personal data from potential "customers" to assess their "needs." That means income levels, birthdates, addresses, eligibility for government assistance, Social Security numbers and sensitive medical information. They'll be targeting both individuals and small businesses. Anyone they can lay their grubby hands on. Who's getting the navigator grants and training? "Community groups" in 33 states that naturally include socialized medicine-supporting unions and Saul Alinsky-steeped activist outfits.

On Capitol Hill last week, a top Obamacare official told GOP lawmakers that navigators will not be required to undergo background checks. Criminal records are not automatically disqualifying -- and that includes identity theft. The federal rule-makers will require online training of a measly 20 hours. Health care regulations watchdog Betsy McCaughey adds that navigators "don't have to know math or insurance, but rules announced April 5 specify you have to match the race, ethnicity and language preferences of the neighborhood that will be targeted."

The Obamacare navigator corps smacks of ACORN redux, stocked with demographically tailored Democratic Party recruitment operatives, not objective, informed insurance experts.

Sebelius and her enforcers promise strict neutrality and clean conduct. The bureaucrats say there will be severe consequences for violating citizens' privacy or breaking any other laws. Pffft. The Office of Special Counsel determined that Secretary Sebelius herself violated the federal Hatch Act prohibition on exploiting her HHS leadership position for partisan activity last fall. She then tried to cover up her breach after the fact by classifying the event in which she electioneered for Obama as a "personal" appearance.

Consequences? What consequences?

Sebelius has zero credibility when it comes to reining in overzealous partisans. But she's darned good at unleashing them. During the White House pressure campaign for Obamacare, Sebelius goaded her "brothers and sisters" from the brass-knuckled SEIU. SEIU goon Dennis Rivera joined her on a White House conference call in which he lambasted tea party activists as the "radical fringe" of "right-wingers" whose protests amounted to "terrorist tactics."

Now, the SEIU is on the board of directors of Enroll America, the left-wing, Obamacare advocacy nonprofit for whom shakedown artist Sebelius has been soliciting funds.

Sebelius' corruptocracy runs deep. While she was governor of Kansas, an independent inspector general reported that her appointed health policy board had "applied pressure to alter an audit report, restricted access to legal advice and threatened to fire her for meeting independently with legislators," according to the Topeka Capital-Journal.

Team Sebelius was also embroiled in a ruthless vendetta and obstruction campaign against then-GOP Attorney General Phill Kline, who unearthed damning evidence that the Sebelius administration had shredded key documents related to felony charges against Sebelius' abortion racketeering friends at Planned Parenthood.

Sebelius notoriously threatened private companies and insurers who increased rates to cope with Obamacare coverage mandates. She bullied private companies to meet discriminatory and arbitrary disclosure demands. And she lashed out at newspapers that dared to report on the true costs of the Obamacare regulatory leviathan.

You can't trust sleazy Sebelius to navigate anything with her broken ethical compass. This is worse than the fox guarding the henhouse. She has unfettered authority and a bottomless budget to weaponize legions more foxes who will serve as Obamacare's eyes and ears on the ground. The snitch brigade lives.

Last week, a guy named Barack Obama gave a speech in which he expressed appropriate concern about the abuse of government power in the name of fighting terrorism. Too bad he's not in a position to do anything about it.

Obama, who used to teach constitutional law at the University of Chicago, quoted James Madison's warning that "no nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare." Yet by declaring war against al-Qaida and its shifting and proliferating allies and offshoots -- groups that will not disappear or surrender anytime in the foreseeable future -- he has reinforced the rationale for a never-ending military struggle that sacrifices civil liberties on the altar of national security.

Regarding one especially controversial aspect of that struggle, the use of unmanned aircraft to execute people the president identifies as terrorists, Obama incoherently argues that such assassinations are legitimate acts of war and that they are governed by due process (at least when the targets are U.S. citizens). To make matters even more confusing, he says the requirements of due process can be met through secret deliberations within the executive branch.

Obama nevertheless raised the possibility of establishing "a special court to evaluate and authorize lethal action," which he said "has the benefit of bringing a third branch of government into the process but raises serious constitutional issues about presidential and judicial authority." In other words, the advantage of consulting a court is that it would subject Obama's death warrants to independent review; the disadvantage is that it would subject Obama's death warrants to independent review.

News outlets such as NBC, Time and The New York Times reported that Obama had announced stricter criteria for targeted killings. But his assurance that "we act against terrorists who pose a continuing and imminent threat to the American people" was consistent with the secret Justice Department white paper that NBC published last February, which defines "imminent threat" so loosely that it loses all force as an independent requirement for adding someone to the president's kill list.

In addition to worrying about his assassination program, which he said could "lead a president and his team to view drone strikes as a cure-all for terrorism" and "end up shielding our government from the public scrutiny that a troop deployment invites," Obama worried about his practice of indefinitely detaining people without charge. He called the military prison at Guantanamo Bay "a symbol around the world for an America that flouts the rule of law."

While it's true that Republican legislators have interfered with Obama's attempt to close Guantanamo, he has considerable leeway to reduce the prison's population without congressional approval, as he demonstrated by lifting a self-imposed moratorium on freeing Yemenis, who account for two-thirds of the 86 low-level detainees cleared for release. And even without Republican obstruction, Obama plans to keep some Guantanamo detainees in the legal limbo he decries as an affront to the rule of law -- just at a different location.

Similarly, the same president who has used the "state secrets" doctrine to block lawsuits by victims of torture and targets of warrantless surveillance also called for "careful constraints on the tools the government uses to protect sensitive information, such as the state secrets doctrine." Obama doubled down on the hypocrisy by condemning torture and calling for "privacy protections" (even while advocating an expansion of the government's snooping abilities)
What else about Obama's national security policies bothers Obama? "I'm troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable," he said, presumably referring to the FBI's use of administrative subpoenas to demand two months of Associated Press telephone records after the organization published a story about a foiled terrorist raid. Maybe he also had in mind the Justice Department's consideration of criminal charges against journalists who obtain classified information.

In short, Obama raised many valid points about executive power run amuck. If only he had the president's ear.

Pamela Geller: Obama surrenders

From Jihad Watch

In "Obama surrenders" at WND, May 26, Pamela Geller points out the obvious fact that Obama has never acknowledged: while the U.S. is not at war with Islam, as he constantly reminds us, a "significant part of Islam that is at war with us."
The president decided last Thursday – five years into his presidency – to finally address the gravest threat to our nation and the West in the wake of a bloody wave of jihad attacks under his sloppy and feckless watch. 
He said, “Victory will be measured in parents taking their kids to school; immigrants coming to our shores; fans taking in a ballgame; a veteran starting a business; a bustling city street.”
What does that even mean? He speaks of “victory” when he is the architect of defeat. He speaks of victory while the Fort Hood victims languish and slaughtering jihadist Nidal Hasan still has not been brought to trial, but has received more than a quarter-of-a-million dollars in compensation. He speaks of victory when he won’t even call the jihad attack on a London street “terrorism,” instead terming it “senseless violence.”
Jihad beheading victim Lee Rigby will receive the same tribute as soldiers who die in action, but Fort Hood jihad victims are victims of a “criminal act of single individual,” not international terrorism. Why would Obama authorize a drone hit on Anwar al-Awlaki (who never killed anyone) but not give the victims of his Islamic preachings the same military designation?
What is his plan? It’s to partner with Muslim Brotherhood groups in America that work feverishly to “eliminate and destroy” America from within. Obama said Thursday that “the best way to prevent violent extremism is to work with the Muslim American community – which has consistently rejected terrorism – to identify signs of radicalization, and partner with law enforcement when an individual is drifting toward violence.”
Work with the Muslim American community? Just as Obama said this, former Hamas-CAIR official Cyrus McGoldrick urged Muslims not to talk to law enforcement.
“And never let them in your home.” This is Hamas-CAIR’s policy as well. They urge Muslims not to cooperate with the authorities. Really, Obama? You’re counting on these Islamic supremacists?
Robert Spencer said, “The Muslim American community has consistently rejected terrorism? Four separate studies since 1998 have all found that 80 percent of U.S. mosques were teaching jihad, Islamic supremacism, and hatred and contempt for Jews and Christians. … And in the summer of 2011 came another study showing that only 19 percent of mosques in U.S. don’t teach jihad violence and/or Islamic supremacism.”
But Obama wants to work with the Muslim American community – despite the fact that all the major Muslim groups in the U.S. are linked in various ways to the Muslim Brotherhood, which is dedicated in its own words to “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within.” What’s his plan? To close Gitmo and release the killers, when we know the recidivism rate is extraordinarily high. He stands by his drone attacks while having denied the motive of jihadic doctrine. He is killing Americans and yet he whines that we “compromised our basic values – by using torture to interrogate our enemies.”

He is denigrating the Bush administration’s waterboarding of three killers that saved thousands of lives and led to the killing of Osama bin Laden. Our soldiers are waterboarded so they understand the process. Who does this poser think he’s kidding?
He kills people, spies on journalists and abandons our ambassador and other Americans in Libya, and he is preaching to us?
Obama says that there have been no large-scale attacks in the U.S. I disagree. Scores of large scale attacks were thwarted. That counts. And Fort Hood and Boston were large scale. Hundreds of people living with shrapnel, broken flesh and bone – and the dead.
Our delusional president claims our standing in the world is what it was. I beg to differ.
We are much weaker under his reign. Obama’s abandonment of our allies in Egypt, Libya, Israel and Eastern Europe has weakened our hegemony and influence in those regions. And he has effectively surrendered to the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Obama claims that “unrest in the Arab World has also allowed extremists to gain a foothold in countries like Libya and Syria.” That, too, is a deliberate misrepresentation of what happened. Obama backed jihadists. That’s what happened in the Muslim world. Did he think that backing jihadists in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and now Syria would end well?
What’s his plan? Why didn’t Obama mention that his administration scrubbed all counter terrorism materials and manuals of jihad and Islam – disarming law enforcement and counter terrorism officials? Where did that get us? Boston.
When Obama speaks of the threat on our shores, he only cites the rare non-Muslim attacks: “Finally, we face a real threat from radicalized individuals here in the United States. Whether it’s a shooter at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin; a plane flying into a building in Texas; or the extremists who killed 168 people at the federal building in Oklahoma City.”
He doesn’t say a word about the hundreds of thwarted, and in some cases successful, acts of jihad. He goes on to explain that jihadists are lying when they quote Quran chapter and verse and wage war in the case of Islam. Obama said, “This ideology is based on a lie, for the United States is not at war with Islam.” No, it is Obama who is lying about the ideology. And while we may not be at war with Islam, clearly there is a significant part of Islam that is at war with us. Are we going to fight back?

Iran's primary target not Israel?

See which countries are on hit list in any future war

House investigator subpoenas all communications on Benghazi ‘talking points’

House Republicans’ chief investigator issued a subpoena Tuesday for State Department documents that he said would shed light on how the administration wrote the “talking points” that were used to give a wrong impression of the September terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.
Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell E. Issa told Secretary of State John F. Kerry to provide all communications regarding the talking points from 10 department officials, including Victoria Nuland, who was chief spokeswoman at the time, and Deputy Secretary William Burns.

 “The State Department has not lived up to the administration’s broad and unambiguous promises of cooperation with Congress,” Mr. Issa said in a letter to Mr. Kerry that accompanied the subpena.

The White House released some emails two weeks ago that showed Ms. Nuland expressing reservations about some of the information in early versions of the talking points, which then were edited to delete references to al Qaeda. Mr. Issa said those emails only raise more questions about who else was involved in the editing process.

The final talking points used by Susan E. Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, five days after the Sept. 11 assault, linked the attack to protests in Cairo, reportedly fueled by anger against an American-made video denigrating Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.

The State Department said Tuesday that it “remains committed to working cooperatively with the Congress” and promised to “take stock of any new or outstanding requests for information, and determine the appropriate next steps.”

“All of us — in the administration, in the Congress, in the media — we should all be focused on the issue of protecting the American diplomats and development experts who are working every day to advance America’s national interest and global leadership,” department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said.

Republicans have charged that the administration altered the talking points to try to improve President Obama’s re-election chances by obfuscating al Qaeda links to the attack, which killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

“This is an evidence-based follow-up,” said committee spokesman Frederick R. Hill Jr., referring to the White House release May 15 of 100 pages of email printouts showing the voluminous interagency correspondence about what to say in the talking points.

The administration counters that the intelligence evaluation was fluid in the days immediately after the attack and that parts of the early draft of the talking points have been proved to be incorrect, justifying the editing.

Republicans say the emails already released show that officials at Foggy Bottom were trying to shield the State Department — and its leaders, principally Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton — from criticism for having ignored warnings about deteriorating security in Benghazi.

In one email among those released, Ms. Nuland, a career department official who was serving as spokeswoman, said early edits didn’t go far enough to “resolve all my issues or those of my building leadership.”

“It is very clear that there were broader discussions [about the talking points] within the State Department that have not yet been divulged,” Mr. Hill said.

In his letter, Mr. Issa said that despite Mr. Kerry’s pledges to be transparent with Congress, and the appointment of his chief of staff as the point man for document production, the committee’s requests have been “largely ignored.”

The subpoena gives the department until June 7 to comply.

The subpoena is the second Mr. Issa has issued during his investigation, which began more than eight months ago. Earlier this month, he issued one to the veteran career diplomat who led the State Department-chartered investigation into the assault, in which dozens of heavily armed extremists attacked first the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi and then a nearby CIA base known as the annex.

The subpoena to Thomas R. Pickering was withdrawn last week after the retired ambassador voluntarily agreed to be interviewed by House investigators behind closed doors.

The 10 officials whose communications were subpoenaed Tuesday are: Mr. Burns, Ms. Nuland, Principle Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Elizabeth Dibble, Acting Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Beth Jones, Undersecretary for Management Patrick Kennedy, Counselor and Chief of Staff to Mrs. Clinton Cheryl Mills, Deputy Secretary for Management Thomas Nides, Deputy Assistant Secretary Philippe Reines, Director of Policy Planning Jake Sullivan and Assistant Secretary for State for Legislative Affairs David Adams.

NewsmaxRep. Peter King: Holder May Be Guilty of Perjury

By Jim Meyers

  • 4
In an wide-ranging interview Tuesday with Newsmax TV's "The Steve Malzberg Show,"  King also discussed:
  • President Barack Obama's "moralizing" speech on the closing of Guantanamo Bay, saying the terror threat is more dangerous now than on 9/11;
  • The Obama administration's need to exercise "extreme caution" in evaluating the possible sale of Sprint Nextel Corp. to a foreign company.
King, a Republican from New York, was highly critical of Holder, who previously said he would never be part of targeting a reporter and didn't think it was good policy when he actually approved a search warrant on James Rosen.

The House Judiciary Committee reportedly is looking into whether he perjured himself in steadfastly denying a role in the Rosen subpoena when he OK'd the seizure of the Fox reporter's phone records.

King comments: "To me, on its face, that certainly could be perjury. And the reason I'm saying 'could be' — I know there's always precise standards to meet — that certainly warrants a full investigation as to whether or not perjury was committed there. There've been other people over the years indicted for perjury or tried for perjury on a lot less evidence than that."

Story continues below video.

King insists that the closing of Gitmo can fuel more terror acts against the United States.

"In many ways, the terror threat is more dangerous now than it was on Sept. 11, 2001, and for the president to be saying what he did last Thursday — somehow we can declare victory in this or we can phase it down — in many ways it's more dangerous.

"What we saw in Boston we've seen in London, we've seen in Paris; that is the face of al-Qaida. That is the face of Islamic jihad. [We need to] face up to it and realize that's going to be here for a long time, until we stop it, until we make sure that we have the strongest possible defenses and we're going on offense. We have to go out in front, we have to be preemptive, we have to stop them before they get to us."

Obama in his speech said the Muslim community is cooperative and wants to help. King doesn't entirely agree.

"The overwhelming majority of Muslims are good Americans. The fact is we've had case after case where there are plots coming from within the Muslim community where we have not gotten the assistance from the Muslim community," he says.

"For instance, it's my understanding, and this is what I've been told by law enforcement people, that when the picture of the two jihadists in Boston was put up, not one person in the mosque in Boston came forward to identify them. It's impossible to believe with the whole world knowing about what happened, the whole world looking at those faces, that not one person in that mosque recognized either one of those brothers.

"It's the reason why police and law enforcement have to use so many undercovers, why they have to penetrate into the community, because we are not getting the level of cooperation that we should be getting."

Finally, King said he is skeptical that a foreign company should own the third-largest cellphone provider in America. The Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Corp. announced in October that it was seeking approval from the United States for a $20 billion purchase of a 70 percent stake in Sprint.

SoftBank's bid has raised concerns due to the firm's close financial ties to the Chinese telecom company Huawei. In October 2012, the House Intelligence Committee, after an 11-month investigation, concluded that Huawei posed a major cybersecurity threat to U.S. intellectual property.

Last month Dish Network, an Englewood, Colo.-based satellite TV company, challenged SoftBank's bid for Sprint, offering $25.5 billion for the entire company.

Asked if the administration should use "extreme caution" in this matter in light of the cyber-warfare threat, King responds: "Absolutely. There's no doubt at all.

"This is a new form of warfare. It's a warfare that we have to accept. We have to accept that it's there and then go after it.

"What's going to happen in this particular case I can't say, but I can say we cannot allow corporate profits to come first. We have to make sure our national security, our homeland security is there and we have to do all we can to make sure that we are protecting our people against this type of cyberinvasion."

Rubio Focuses on Repealing Obamacare

rubio PSL2By JAVIER MANJARRES / The Shark Tank

Senator Marco Rubio is focused on repealing the “disaster” that is Obamacare over the coming months. Rubio announced his intentions to repeal Obamacare in his weekly constituent mailbox, where he read a letter from Larry in Orlando, Florida, in which Larry stating his concerns regarding Obamacare and the role the IRS will playing in the full implementation of the law.

 Rubio states that the IRS’ role in Obamacare is “chilling” because the agency that he says is either “targeting people because of their political views” or “incompetent,”  is on “the front lines” of enforcing the healthcare measure.
 “The IRS is deeply involved in implementing ObamaCare. They’re on the front lines of it. … The only answer to this is to repeal ObamaCare. It’s just one more reason why this law is going to be a disaster for our country. And in the months to come, I’m really going to focus on the issue of repealing ObamaCare because in addition to the IRS’s role there is all sorts of other problems with regards to ObamaCare that we need to answer-Senator Marco Rubio
Even heroes fall from grace 
By: Diane Sori

How sad it is when old warriors...old heroes...come to the realization that their day in the sun is over...their deeds remembered but NO longer their defining glory. How sad, but with courage and honor, some step down from positions held knowing the next generation of heroes and warriors stands at the gates ready to enter the battle.

But what's even sadder is when an old warrior and hero refuses to see the signs...refuses to step down as vanity takes over for common sense...and so the old warrior and hero carries on in a misguided attempt to capture their former glory, but instead their stubbornness defines them as an irrelevant fool...or worse.

Senator John McCain will always be a hero...a man of unquestionable valor who did during the Viet Nam War what few men would do...staying behind with his men knowing the horrors that awaited him...refusing his ticket home by honoring his oath of service. For this John McCain will always be a hero and this will NEVER be taken away from him.

But now this once great man has lost his way. Calling him a RINO is NOT quite right for he still is a man of conviction but his convictions have now become clouded NOT with age but with NOT understanding the true motives of the enemy we face today. Overstepping his bounds doing what his heart tells him to do instead of thinking his actions through...his actions and their ramifications...might take our country to a place we should NOT go nor should we be.

And so John McCain took it upon himself to try to broker an end to Syria's civil war by taking sides in a war where one side is as bad as the other. Forgetting the complexity of what's happening there..forgetting that this media so-called 'conflict' has already claimed almost 80,000 lives and counting... forgetting that of those deaths nearly 80% are civilians...forgetting that this 'conflict' has created more than a million refugees who have fled to neighboring countries...forgetting that both sides did this...both sides.

A million people without a home...a million people facing abject poverty...a million people with a score to settle for the nightmare engulfing their homeland these last two years has been fueled NOT from insiders... NOT from Syrians...but from foreign fighters, a majority of whom came from other conflicts in other countries...foreign fighters connected directly to or owing allegiance to al-Qaeda...the al-Qaeda that hides
behind masks and scarfs cowards that they are.

And these are the rebels who John McCain met with...rebels calling themselves the Free Syrian Army...just one of a group of rebels fighting the Assad regime but a group with strong ties to al-Qaeda. 
And with formal international discussions on Syria's civil war fast approaching (with US and Russia participating)...discussions whose goal is to create a framework for an interim government and arrange a cease-fire..this old warrior and hero had NO business meeting with forces seeking to overthrow Assad's government or meeting with anyone for that matter for he NOT a diplomat nor was he acting in official capacity...just a busy-buddy sticking his nose in where it didn't belong.

And something else McCain forgets...there are NO good guys in this war for most of the rebels are NOT interested in democracy or anything even close for their goal is to set-up an islamic theocracy in Syria complete with sharia law making a bad situation even worse. And Assad's regime is NO better for they are a brutal, anti-American government that has been involved in developing their own chemical and biological weapons...developing and using them if current reports are correct.

And the bottom line is that whomever eventually wins in Syria, the US gains NOTHING from the situation.

And John McCain, US Senator McCain, has now put himself into the middle of something we need to stay out of. Brokering deals with rebel leaders...rebel leaders who want the US to establish a no-fly zone, who want US anti-aircraft weapons and US airstrikes on Assad's forces, who want US airstrikes on Hezbollah compounds in Lebanon who are supporting Assad's NOT his job nor his place. And John McCain, in very misguided wisdom, leans towards giving them all they want, ignoring the bottom line that the Free Syrian Army wants the US to get involved in their civil war...for the US to fight their battles for them.

Let's really understand what's going on here...these people, these muslim barbarians, want our county to get involved in their county's civil war and John McCain, former warrior and hero, is willing to allow that to happen. McCain should know very well that airstrikes lead to boots on the ground, and boots on the ground lead to more American deaths at the hands of those very people out to kill us.

NO...these muslims in Syria are NOT worth one drop of American blood and except for Israel, the one Middle Eastern country that we must stand by and support at all costs...and with both sides in Syria being America's enemy...we need to let these muslims wage war on each other and kill each other off if need be, for these people on either side of the Syrian 'conflict' are NOT worth American blood...American blood that John McCain is seriously considering and recommending we give them.

And so like many old warriors and heroes, John McCain needs to realize that his day in the sun is over and that he needs to let our new warriors and heroes, the ones prepared for, as LTC Allen West says, 'the 21st century battlefield', let them make the decisions that could affect us all.