Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Age of Debt from Reason Magazine

I have been a fan of Reason Magazine for some time, their articles are interesting and intelligently written. Their collection of writers and contributors display keen minds and a level of perspicaciousness umatched in today's news media. In the latest issue there is an article written by Veronique de Rugy, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. The article, "The Age of Debt," succinctly discusses Barak Obama's version of fiscal responsibility, I know you will find it intriguing.

The Age Of Debt
Barak Obama's first budget promises "fiscal responsibility" - and delivers the opposite.
by Veronique de Rugy | June 2009

Beware when politicians promise “fiscal responsibility.” It’s pretty much a guarantee that every word that follows the phrase will be a lie. President Barack Obama’s first budget, entitled An Era of New Responsibility: Renewing America's Promises, is no exception to this rule. Every page comes with a promise to end budget tricks and save money by reforming procurement and cutting various types of waste, but the actual plan boosts spending and deploys gimmicks galore. If this is a new era, it’s one made of debt.

Promise No. 1: “While we have inherited record budget deficits and needed to pass a massive recovery and reinvestment plan…we must begin the hard choices necessary to restore fiscal discipline, cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term in office, and put our nation on sound fiscal footing.”

In fiscal year (FY) 2009, the deficit is projected to be $1.75 trillion. This amount is equal to the entire budget of the United States in FY 2000. The deficit represents 12.3 percent of gross domestic product and results from the federal government spending $3.9 trillion—an increase of 32 percent over 2008—while collecting less than $2.2 trillion in revenue. Most tellingly, the public debt stands at 58.7 percent of GDP, compared to 40.8 percent in 2008.

It is true, as Obama says, that he inherited most of the FY 2009 deficit. It was George W. Bush, with the support of most Republicans in Congress, who engineered a series of expensive bailouts and the federal takeover of the mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But it didn’t take long for Obama to add his own billions (see table): $789 billion in “stimulus” (25 percent of which will be spent in 2009), a promise to spend at least another $250 billion to “rescue” more financial institutions, and so on.

To fulfill his promise of “fiscal discipline,” the president would have to shave billions off the federal budget. Yet there are no real program cuts in his budget. Instead the president proposes to dramatically boost health care spending and add many new subsidies for energy companies, students, broadband Internet service, highspeed rail, and low-income Americans.

The result is an expansion of the federal government that will persist long after the current spike of stimulus and bailout spending. Based on government data and Obama’s proposed outlays through 2019, Figure 1 shows the dramatic increase in nonmilitary spending as a percentage of gross domestic product between 1990 and 2019. In 2019 nonmilitary spending would reach 17 percent of GDP. That’s 30 percent higher than at the end of the Clinton years.

And this chart understates Obama’s vision. First, it includes only a down payment for his forthcoming health care plans. Second, it assumes that “temporary” stimulus spending actually will be phased out. Which is not happening. Take the Environmental Protection Agency: Do we really believe that after getting a 92 percent increase in the “stimulus” and a 33.9 percent increase in 2010, the agency will let its budget increase drop to 0.7 percent in 2011?

Promise No. 2: “This budget does begin the hard work of bringing new levels of honesty and fairness to our government. It looks at a full 10 years, making good faith estimates about what costs we would incur; and it accounts for items that under the old rules could have been left out, making it appear that we had billions more to spend than we really do.”

To the president’s credit, this budget does contain some positive changes along these lines. For instance, it includes a number of items that the previous administration did not include in the regular budget, such as the cost of the Iraq war.

But the document is not free of tricks. First, Obama told Congress his budget team has “already identified $2 trillion in savings” to help tame record budget deficits. About half of those “savings” come from proposed tax increases. And the administration lists as “savings” until 2019 the annual $170 billion cost for Iraq, totaling nearly $1.5 trillion. Yet even the Bush administration planned on getting out of Iraq by 2012. Cutting spending that was not going to occur isn’t saving; it’s dissembling.

The president’s budget also claims cuts in discretionary spending by merely shifting several programs from one category of spending to another. One example is Pell Grant funding ($116 billion over 10 years), which is converted from a discretionary program to an entitlement. A recent memo from the House Budget Committee explains that “if these accounting changes were not applied, and the spending continued in the discretionary portion of the President’s budget, non-defense discretionary spending would be…$18 billion higher in 2009 [than what the administration claims] and $24 billion higher in 2010, and would rise to $34 billion higher in 2019.”

Finally, the budget relies on utterly unrealistic economic projections. Obama projects that the economy will be growing by 3.4 percent next year and by 6.2 percent in 2012. Those figures are several percentage points higher than any other reputable forecast.

That's bad news, because even Obama’s doctored projections still show gigantic deficits in our future, dwarfing even the deficits of the Bush years (see Figure 2). While President Obama promises a new era of responsibility, what he’s delivering is a continuation of President Bush’s fiscal recklessness—this time on steroids. Unfortunately, we already know the consequences: slower growth, more unemployment, a lower standard of living, and higher levels of poverty.

Contributing Editor Veronique de Rugy is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

As a side note the graphics did not come out too well when they were placed to fit, just click on them and you can view them at full scale.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Craig T. Nelson on Beck

Recently Craig T. Nelson visited Glenn Beck's program and gave an interesting interview. I was always a fan of Mr. Nelson and this interview cements my thoughts on this man. What would Hollywood be like if it had more people like him with common sense, as well as an understanding on the limited role of government as delineated by the Constitution?

Additionally there is a new widget on the top left, "Freedom Watch with Judge Napolitano." He has some great interviews on relevant topics so stay informed!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Constitutional Challenge of AIG

I recently received an email from a colleague that pertained to a lawsuit filed by the Thomas Moore Law Center. The lawsuit was filed against Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and the Federal Reserve Board, and below you can read this email in full. Truly an interesting read.

Trouble Brewing for AIG and Federal Government: Constitutional Challenge of AIG Bailout Allowed to Proceed

ANN ARBOR, MI – Proclaiming that times of crisis do not justify departure from the Constitution, Federal District Court Judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff allowed the lawsuit against Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and the Federal Reserve Board challenging the AIG bailout to proceed. The lawsuit was filed last December by the Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and attorney David Yerushalmi, an expert in security transactions and Shariah-compliant financing.

In his well-written and detailed analysis issued yesterday, Judge Zatkoff denied the request by the Obama administration’s Department of Justice to dismiss the lawsuit. The request was filed on behalf of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and the Federal Reserve Board – the named defendants in the case. In his ruling, the judge held that the lawsuit sufficiently alleged a federal constitutional challenge to the use of taxpayer money to fund AIG’s Islamic religious activities.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, commented, “It is outrageous that AIG has been using taxpayer money to promote Islam and Shariah law, which potentially provides support for terrorist activities aimed at killing Americans. Shariah law is the same law championed by Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban. It is the same law that prompted the 9/11 terrorist attacks on our soil that killed thousands of innocent Americans. We won this skirmish. But the war to stop the federal government from funding Islam and Shariah-compliant financing is far from over.”

In its request to dismiss the lawsuit, the DOJ argued that the plaintiff in the case, Kevin Murray, who is a former Marine and a federal taxpayer, lacked standing to bring the action. And even if he did have standing, DOJ argued that the use of the bailout money to fund AIG’s operations did not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The court disagreed, noting, in relevant part, the following:

"In this case, the fact that AIG is largely a secular entity is not dispositive: The question in an as-applied challenge is not whether the entity is of a religious character, but how it spends its grant. The circumstances of this case are historic, and the pressure upon the government to navigate this financial crisis is unfathomable. Times of crisis, however, do not justify departure from the Constitution. In this case, the United States government has a majority interest in AIG. AIG utilizes consolidated financing whereby all funds flow through a single port to support all of its activities, including Sharia-compliant financing. Pursuant to the EESA, the government has injected AIG with tens of billions of dollars, without restricting or tracking how this considerable sum of money is spent. At least two of AIG’s subsidiary companies practice Sharia-compliant financing, one of which was unveiled after the influx of government cash. After using the $40 billion from the government to pay down the $85 billion credit facility, the credit facility retained $60 billion in available credit, suggesting that AIG did not use all $40 billion consistent with its press release. Finally, after the government acquired a majority interest in AIG and contributed substantial funds to AIG for operational purposes, the government co-sponsored a forum entitled “Islamic Finance 101.” These facts, taken together, raise a question of whether the government’s involvement with AIG has created the effect of promoting religion and sufficiently raise Plaintiff’s claim beyond the speculative level, warranting dismissal inappropriate at this stage in the proceedings."

The lawsuit, which was filed in December of last year in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, is a constitutional challenge to that portion of the “Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008” (EESA) that appropriated $40 billion in taxpayer money to fund and financially support the federal government’s majority ownership interest in AIG, which engages in Shariah-based Islamic religious activities that are anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-Jewish.

According to the lawsuit, “The use of these taxpayer funds to approve, promote, endorse, support, and fund these Shariah-based Islamic religious activities violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of Murray, a former Marine who served honorably in harm’s way in Iraq to defend our country against Islamic terrorists. Murray objects to being forced as a taxpayer to contribute to the propagation of Islamic beliefs and practices predicated upon Shariah law, which is hostile to his Christian religion. He is being represented by Thomas More Law Center Trial Counsel Robert Muise and by David Yerushalmi, an associated attorney who is an expert in Shariah law and Shariah-compliant financing, as well as general counsel to the Center for Security Policy.

According to the lawsuit, through the use of taxpayer funds, the federal government acquired a majority ownership interest (nearly 80%) in AIG, and as part of the bailout, Congress appropriated and expended an additional $40 billion of taxpayer money to fund and financially support AIG and its financial activities. AIG, which is now a government owned company, engages in Shariah-compliant financing which subjects certain financial activities, including investments, to the dictates of Islamic law and the Islamic religion. This specifically includes any profits or interest obtained through such financial activities. AIG itself describes “Sharia” as “Islamic law based on the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet [Mohammed].”

With the aid of taxpayer funds provided by Congress, AIG employs a “Shariah Supervisory Committee,” which is comprised of the following members: Sheikh Nizam Yaquby from Bahrain, Dr. Mohammed Ali Elgari from Saudi Arabia, and Dr. Muhammed Imran Ashraf Usmani from Pakistan. Dr. Usmani is the son, student, and dedicated disciple of Mufti Taqi Usmani, who is the leading Shariah authority for Shariah-compliant finance in the world and the author of a book translated into English in 1999 that includes an entire chapter dedicated to explaining why a Western Muslim must engage in violent jihad against his own country or government. According to AIG, the role of its Shariah authority “is to review our operations, supervise its development of Islamic products, and determine Shariah compliance of these products and our investments.”

An important element of Shariah-compliant financing is a form of obligatory charitable contribution called zakat, which is a religious tax for assisting those that “struggle [jihad] for Allah.” The amount of this tax is between 2.5% and 20%, depending upon the source of the wealth. The zakat religious tax is used to financially support Islamic “charities,” some of which have ties to terrorist organizations that are hostile to the United States and all other “infidels,” which includes Christians and Jews.

The Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, an example of an Islamic “charity” that qualifies for receipt of the zakat, was recently convicted by a federal jury for providing millions of dollars to Islamic terrorist organizations. As a direct consequence of the taxpayer funds appropriated and expended to purchase and financially support AIG, the federal government is now the owner of a corporation engaged in the business of collecting religious taxes to fund interests adverse to the United States, Christians, Jews, and all other “infidels” under Islamic law.

Click here to read Judge Zatkoff's entire ruling.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Are You a Republican?

What does it mean to be a Republican? Left wingers will assert that they are fascist and only concerned with amassing money, power, and influence. To a certain degree I would have to capitulate, but I posit that the synonymity between the Republican politician and the average citizen is more divergent than people acknowledge. I, myself, am not a Republican in the party sense. I would have to refer to the term republicanism, which is the doctrine of governing a nation as a republic, and not a democracy. To explicate further, democracy has the characteristic dimension of majority rule, and that majority rule can become tyrannical and abuse the rights of the minority if the governmental aspect supersedes its authority. And in my opinion, we currently embody that description. As for my political complexion, I believe an intrinsical element of a republic is negative liberty; “the freedom from interference and coercion by other people,” or in Isaiah Berlin's words, “liberty in the negative sense involves an answer to the question: 'What is the area within which the subject — a person or group of persons — is or should be left to do or be what he is able to do or be, without interference by other persons.” Any restrictions that are self-evident are imposed by a person or authority, and not by some innate incapacity or causal agent in nature. However, as with most things in creation there are counterparts, and the obverse of negative liberty is positive liberty.

John Jay, in agreement with positive liberty, would disagree with me, as he states in Federalist Papers No.2: “Nothing is more certain than the indispensable necessity of Government, and it is equally undeniable, that whenever and however it is instituted, the people must cede to it some of their natural rights, in order to vest it with requisite powers.” Tibor Machan, who is a Libertarian, ripostes with the following in support of negative liberty: “...required for moral choice and, thus, for human flourishing," claiming that it "is secured when the rights of individual members of a human community to life, to voluntary action (or to liberty of conduct), and to property are universally respected, observed, and defended.” In furtherance, Isaiah Berlin eloquently stated that the unchecked advancement of positive liberty could invariably lead to a condition whereby the state could force upon its citizenry a certain way of life. The state would judge what was the most rational course of action and therefore determine that it's what the people should desire, whether or not it was actually coveted. In response author David Kelley wrote this about positive liberty, “...imposes on others positive obligations to which they did not consent and which cannot be traced to any voluntary act.”

When positive liberty surpasses negative liberty you have a condition paralleling Thomas Hobbes', Leviathan, which was a book that postulated a social contract and rule by an absolute sovereign. The citizenry mired in such a compact have ceded all of their rights under the auspices of monarchic rule. According to Hobbes the sovereign has twelve principle rights:

  1. because a successive covenant cannot override a prior one, the subjects cannot (lawfully) change the form of government.

  2. because the covenant forming the commonwealth is the subjects giving to the sovereign the right to act for them, the sovereign cannot possibly breach the covenant; and therefore the subjects can never argue to be freed from the covenant because of the actions of the sovereign.

  3. the selection of sovereign is (in theory) by majority vote; the minority have agreed to abide by this.

  4. every subject is author of the acts of the sovereign: hence the sovereign cannot injure any of his subjects, and cannot be accused of injustice.

  5. following this, the sovereign cannot justly be put to death by the subjects.

  6. because the purpose of the commonwealth is peace, and the sovereign has the right to do whatever he thinks necessary for the preserving of peace and security and prevention of discord, therefore the sovereign may judge what opinions and doctrines are averse; who shall be allowed to speak to multitudes; and who shall examine the doctrines of all books before they are published.

  7. to prescribe the rules of civil law and property.

  8. to be judge in all cases.

  9. to make war and peace as he sees fit; and to command the army.

  10. to choose counsellors, ministers, magistrates and officers.

  11. to reward with riches and honour; or to punish with corporal or pecuniary punishment or ignominy.

  12. to establish laws of honour and a scale of worth.

Do you see any similarities with our government? I will concede that the relationship may appear to be hyperbolized, but when viewed peripherally connections do begin to manifest themselves, so long as you orientate your attention towards the legislation instituted by governmental action. Meaning, the actions taken by our government have increased their power and influence, and the vehicle that manufactured this egregiousness has been noxious legislation. Their value, if any, is minute compared to the encroachment upon individual liberties. We have let them amass their puissance by removing ourselves from the equation, and sadly, has relegated us to a social contract void of any benefit. One only has to look at the actions of Congressman Waxman from California, as another example of the government superseding its boundaries. The Democrats hired a speed reader to read the “Energy and Climate Change bill,” a document in excess of nine-hundred pages. There is one caveat, he didn't finish it, and there was no real intent to do so (only reading an amendment). Jocularity ensued and all at our expense, are you still laughing? The bill went on to pass, as every other Democrat enforced legislation. Another act of a leviathan.

Still unconvinced? Immediacy of action has initiated governmental intervention, and our government has our best interests at heart, right? Inefficacy in government is well documented and to deny this principle infers a disingenuousness. I believe, through introspection, an individual can come to the conclusion that they know what's best for themselves, and through self-actuation, will themselves into a reality that aligns with their own principles. Such an individual repudiates the idea of imposing coercive action to cultivate their ideals, because they know negating the liberty of another makes you no better than the government. A Republic would do well to have a constituency such as this as its base composition.

In my next post I have asked two individuals a series of questions on current events and party ideals. I did not ask these particular individuals because they agree with me, but because they refuse to act like the proverbial sheep to the slaughterhouse. If you would like to participate please feel free to contact me. Liberty can become fragile when the foundation of individual sovereignty falls prey to political sacrifice.

In support of other bloggers to share their viewpoints, I would like to offer, the Conservative Hideout. Take some time and look at this blog, read some articles, and post some comments. Thank you.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Daniel Hannan On Bailouts

The following video pertains to Daniel Hannan, the Conservative MEP for South East England, citing the efficacy and reasoning for bailouts. Could our politicians use more of this understanding?

In support of other bloggers to share their viewpoints, I would like to offer, the Conservative Hideout. Take some time and look at this blog, read some articles, and post some comments. Thank you.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Abuse of Eminent Domain

It was recently reported in the news that our Federal Government has exercised its power, yet again, in the form of eminent domain. Before we progress let me briefly adumbrate on what eminent domain is; it is the right of the government, either State or Federal, to appropriate private property for public use, whilst issuing just compensation for said property. Reference to the specific application of eminent domain can be found in the 5th Amendment of the US Constitution;

“.... nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

These twelve little words have immense power, and many acts of venality have been perpetrated by demonstrating sufficient constitutionality. Would you view the following as a truism? Among the prescribed liberties and freedoms in a free society, the acquisition and subsequent sustainment of property is equally pertinent and of great import. Isn't economic liberty and the principles of free enterprise synonymous with the individual's right to accumulate all earnings that are a direct result of their labor? A just-compensation clause was implanted to secure a check on the aforementioned eminent domain, but to what effect this provision provides can be debated. It would be no surprise that abuse has occurred and it has been cloaked under the pretext of “public use.” Property has been divested by the confiscatory methods of political process and redistribution, which only protects certain beneficiaries who, with the support of political cyprian, maintain disproportionate puissance and exhortation over common citizens. Individual sovereignty will continue to exist so long as it does not interfere with the public need, public benefit, public interest, public welfare, or any other term you can find that supersedes the singularity.

The video below pertains the U.S. Government's acquisition of private land to construct a National monument to Flight 93.

Watch more FOX & Friends videos on AOL Video

So, what are your viewpoints? Recently a member of the Flight 93 Federal Advisory Committee, Somerset County Commissioner Pamela Tokar-Ickes, resigned from the board because she declined to acquiesce to the usage of eminent domain to purloin land from area property owners. While I am not saying that a memorial should be constructed, I am questioning the tactics and the amount of land needed for appropriation. Every action taken by the government creates collateral damage, and even though "just compensation" may be viewed as an equitable benefit, I cannot help but view this as enforced social justice. While the Families of Flight 93 may have the best of intentions, I cannot help but speculate on the response of those who were on the flight, and the usage of eminent domain to manifest a tribute for their actions.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

FREE Trial NRA Memberships

This will be a short post, I just wanted to pass on some news from the NRA. They are offering a one year trial membership for free, I have signed up and it appears to be legitimate. Below is the link that takes you to the sign up page, if you experience problems please let me know.

Trial Membership

Monday, May 4, 2009

When a Good Idea Causes Harm

Would you agree that people are motivated to do good, for their themselves as well the societal construct? I believe that the most basic elements of our personality are fundamentally good, but much harm has been propagated by one's concept of, “a good ideal.” Oftentimes their conception of what good is will lead them to the conclusion that if it is not adopted on mass; it should be obligated by coercion because such high ideals can only have a singular conclusion, which is a virtuous materialization of their generosity to a lesser beneficiary. Furthermore, when the one multiplies and becomes a unified body, and in turn becomes the principle, an ideal morphs and it is perverted into an ideology that permeates into every facet of your daily life. Surely, you must realize this as a relevant truism. Individualism is dead, we are in age of collective progressivism that only permits a restrictive form of individual sovereignty, in so much that a benefit to the aggregate can be yielded to advance the aforementioned ideal.

Their [collective progressivists] hope of moralistic uptopianism can be channeled by enacting legislation and the political enforcement of social justice. But in doing so they dangerously disregard a secondary byproduct of their quixotic prospicience, and that is, a perpetuated state of welfare dependence that doesn't foster a sense of personal responsibility. Why earn something yourself, and be in a better position to increase the standard of your life, if you know the government will just subsidize it for you? It is painfully obvious that the welfare state is nothing short of a cancerous tumor that is reaching inoperability. We fail to recognize that with every new government program the individual's sense of responsibility and core function are severely lessened. One will not engage in a pursuit of their own legitimacy if they know they can acquire benefits without the exertion of energy. This, in fact, describes a large portion of our society, but luckily there is another segment of our population who are competent and self-actuating. They refuse to be socially engineered to exist for the sake of others, the results of their efforts are their's alone and they believe in their indefeasible freedom to live by their own providence.

Collectivists will argue that this form of individuation is an archetype of selfishness and isolationism, but in reality, it is the obverse. Being a singularity merely conveys the understanding of having a participatory responsibility within society, and not that of a parasitic organism that feeds of the proletariat. Individuals are cogs in a much larger machine that requires every mechanism to be in use, functionality can only be assured in this manner, and they understand this premise. But even presented with this logic our current socio-political system moves forward with assimilation, and any representation of free will be supplanted with the “collective right.” Means of production, distribution, and exchange, whether yours or somebody elses, will be collectively owned and controlled by the state, this will ensure voluntary surrender and sacrifice to an “enforced equality.” Thus, individualism will continue to be denigrated and ostracized by the political left and their sycophantical Remilegia (sucker fish), all remnants will be swiftly disintegrated and the essence of one's self will revert to historical insignificance. All because someone had a good idea.

Can we not agree that within a very short time we have witnessed limited government slipping into antiquity? We are no longer a Republic, but a contrived state of dependency. Political hegemonism has fabricated a designed necessity for a welfare bureaucracy, and this indoctrination has been very pertinacious, so much so that most of us are left mentally desuetude. By having a good idea we were told what was better for us, through lethargy we have neglected to question and prohibit this leviathan from intensifying its grasp. Along the way we have failed to remember that government is not self-existent, but instituted by men for a limited purpose, all authority so prescribed or constituted is delegated and not presumed. Sadly, this Constitutional truism has also been eviscerated from our Republic gut as power has been sought beyond its original scope and confinement, abuses have occurred and liberties are increasingly restricted and or nullified. Just like GM our government is too big to fail, so I guess we will have to wait until someone else comes around with another good idea.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Swine Flu and Martial Law

The following story was taken from the Associated Press and explicates the state of Massachusetts' response to the Swine Flu outbreak. Read the text carefully, and then click on the link to read the actual bill. While this epidemic is cause for serious concern, governmental response always leads to the usurpation of individual liberties.

Swine Flu Martial Law Bill Clears Massachusetts Senate

It took corporate media swine flu hysteria to ram through a martial law bill in Massachusetts. S18 gives the Governor the power to authorize the deployment and use of force to distribute supplies and materials and local authorities will be allowed to enter private residences for investigation and to quarantine individuals.

The Associated Press reports:

The Massachusetts Senate has unanimously passed a pandemic flu preparation bill that has languished in the Legislature before the recent swine flu outbreak.

The 36-0 vote today sends the measure to the House. Both branches have taken it up in past years, but have not been able to agree on the details.

The new Senate version would allow the public health commissioner — in a public health emergency — to close or evacuate buildings, enter private property for investigations, and quarantine individuals.

The bill specifically mandates the following:

(1) to require the owner or occupier of premises to permit entry into and investigation of the premises;
(2) to close, direct, and compel the evacuation of, or to decontaminate or cause to be decontaminated any building or facility, and to allow the reopening of the building or facility when the danger has ended;
(3) to decontaminate or cause to be decontaminated, or to destroy any material;
(4) to restrict or prohibit assemblages of persons;
(5) to require a health care facility to provide services or the use of its facility, or to transfer the management and supervision of the health care facility to the department or to a local public health authority;
(6) to control ingress to and egress from any stricken or threatened public area, and the movement of persons and materials within the area;
(7) to adopt and enforce measures to provide for the safe disposal of infectious waste and human remains, provided that religious, cultural, family, and individual beliefs of the deceased person shall be followed to the extent possible when disposing of human remains, whenever that may be done without endangering the public health;
(8) to procure, take immediate possession from any source, store, or distribute any anti-toxins, serums, vaccines, immunizing agents, antibiotics, and other pharmaceutical agents or medical supplies located within the commonwealth as may be necessary to respond to the emergency;
(9) to require in-state health care providers to assist in the performance of vaccination, treatment, examination, or testing of any individual as a condition of licensure, authorization, or the ability to continue to function as a health care provider in the commonwealth

Any person who knowingly violates an order of the commissioner or his or her designee, or of a local public health authority or its designee, given to effectuate the purposes of this subsection shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or by a fine of note more than one thousand dollars, or both.