Mark Steyn on ‘The Biggest Issue of Our Time’

The Mark Steyn Club notes:

Longtime SteynOnline regulars will be familiar with the demographic thesis Mark outlined in his 2006 international bestseller America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It. Almost the entire developed world is mired in deathbed demography from which no functioning society has ever recovered. Meanwhile, there is a demographic tsunami underway from the non-functioning parts of the world, manifest in the ceaseless flotilla of boats crossing the Mediterranean every single day (and nothing to do with civil war in Syria).

Mark’s book was a big success a decade ago and remains in print. But it is a melancholy fact that most people in the western world remain entirely unaware of this remorseless arithmetic or its likely consequences. So this brand new SteynPost is a kind of primer on recent demographic developments, and where they lead.

Click below to watch:

Read more.

The Medical Cartel is Keeping Health Care Costs High by Travis Klavohn & Laura Williams

In 2010, the small town of Collegedale, Tennessee had the dubious distinction of having the highest prevalence of Type II Diabetes in the world. Without a single endocrinologist in the small town, those suffering from this preventable and treatable form of the disease were unable to gain access to the treatment they needed.

Dealing with this issue firsthand, a local employer who operates a donut manufacturing plant decided to dedicate a portion of his warehouse to be used as a health clinic. By hiring an endocrinologist from Chattanooga to travel to his warehouse a few days a week, his employees were finally able to receive the help they so desperately needed.

The employer reasoned that the prices associated with the hiring of an endocrinologist were actually less costly for the company than the insurance expenses related to the disease.

The donut maker’s free market solution solved the problem of constrained supply of medical professionals for his employees. But this disconnect between supply and demand exists far beyond Collegedale. In fact, the country is experiencing a shortage of doctors in virtually all specialties and every state, which begs the question, where are all the doctors?

A Choreographed Shortage of Care

Though few Americans realize it, health care is a monopoly. In the early 20th century, the American Medical Association (AMA) lobbied the Federal government to close all schools not approved by its own Council on Medical Education. They unfortunately succeeded and 30 percent of medical schools were closed within 30 years. The number of doctors has been artificially capped ever since.

The AMA also controls state boards of licensing, limiting the number of physicians in each state and preventing competitors from treating patients. The United States has 50 percent fewer practicing physicians per capita than Sweden or Germany. Unsurprisingly, US doctors also work fewer hours while earning much higher salaries.

Even as the US population and its demand for medical services continue to expand dramatically, the number of new doctors educated by “approved” schools and licensed by state boards hasn’t improved. In fact, two-thirds of highly qualified medical school applicants are turned away each year.

Licensing quotas and arbitrary caps set by state boards literally make it illegal to train a single additional candidate in the medical field. Inevitably, where there is a shortage, prices rise for everyone. This results in smaller and poorer markets being shut out altogether. Even if the additional physicians were “B list” doctors from sub par medical schools, smaller towns like Collegedale would still be better off with a “B-” doctor than no doctor at all.

Cartels Protecting Doctors 

Both directly or indirectly, the AMA also controls the prices paid to physicians, the licensing of physicians, the accreditation of medical schools, admittance into medical schools, and the payment policies of insurance companies. The AMA runs on membership fees, and its mission is protecting the interests of current doctors, not the American public.

Fewer doctors mean higher salaries, less competition, and more negotiating power for physicians. This is allowed to happen because physicians, like any other group of citizens, are free to associate and express their interests through donations.

What should outrage all US patients is the collusion of our government under the guise of protecting the public interest by requiring licenses and letting a cartel of campaign donors say who can have one.

Not only can the cartel set prices but the taxpayer is also forced to fund the muscle to shut down and jail those caught trying to circumvent the government-protected monopoly.

Similar federal regulatory monopolies prevent generic drugs from competing with big brands, block the building of new health care facilities, and limit health insurers to two or three per state. Our health care options shrink as special interests’ regulatory control grows resulting in fewer drugs, fewer doctors, fewer plans, and fewer choices.

Less Government, More Choices

Like US consumers in all markets, the residents of Collegedale need the freedom to access more health care choices. Allowing lobbyists to block out competition limits everyone’s choices and forces them to pay higher prices for less access to care.

If Americans want real choice, they need to demand that Congress end the AMA’s control of medical school enrollments and licensing. If more Americans could become doctors without first asking the government’s permission, more Americans could receive medical care without the state’s help.

Travis Klavohn

Travis Klavohn

Travis Klavohn is a management consultant, political activist for limited government, and a resident of Georgia’s 13th Congressional District. Follow his politics blog at www.travisklavohn.com.

Laura Williams

Laura Williams

Dr. Laura Williams teaches communication strategy to undergraduates and executives. She is a passionate advocate for critical thinking, individual liberties, and the Oxford Comma.

Google & Facebook Co-Sponsoring Protest of Pro-Life Women’s Healthcare Clinic

In the twentieth century, the U.S. government used anti-trust laws to dismantle U.S. corporations with far less money and infinitely far less power. Never in the history of mankind has such absolute power in the information battle-space been in the hands of so few. If the body politic understood this and the ramifications of inaction, they would be terrified. And rightly so.

Our events, social media pages, are scrubbed, censored and blacklisted. Shouting into the wilderness is not the freedom of speech. Talking to yourself is not freedom of speech.

The Sherman Antitrust Act ought to be used to break the monopoly Facebook wields over free speech in social networking sector. Thomas Lifson of the American Thinker sees the problem as I do and supports “legislation that requires social media to censor only direct threats, making it illegal to delete content on any other basis. Social media platforms must be viewpoint neutral.  That threat is necessary to counter the pressure Facebook obviously faces from Muslim governments like Pakistan’s. Losing a billion-plus-strong market like the 57 Muslim countries is obviously undesirable for Facebook, so its management is responding to pressure.”

The value of that market would have to be balanced against the value of markets like the United States that could stand up for free speech. By seeming to cave in to the demand that Islam be the only subject that cannot be discussed openly and honestly, anywhere in the world, Facebook is in the process of handing the first global triumph of sharia, enforcing its ban on blasphemy.

Pamela Geller: Social media First Amendment Lawsuit.

Google And Facebook Co-Sponsoring Protest Of Pro-Life Women’s Health Care Clinic
August 10, 2017: By Peter Hasson, Daily Caller:

Two of the most powerful companies in the world are co-sponsoring a protest against a pro-life women’s health care clinic that provides free medical services and counseling to pregnant women — just not abortions. Facebook and Google are co-sponsoring Netroots Nation, an annual gathering of progressive activists and political leaders that is targeting a pro-life organization, Human Coalition, and the health care clinics they operate under the name Cura, which provide free medical services and counseling for women with unplanned pregnancies…

Two of the most powerful companies in the world are co-sponsoring a protest against a pro-life women’s health care clinic that provides free medical services and counseling to pregnant women — just not abortions. Facebook and Google are co-sponsoring Netroots Nation, an annual gathering of progressive activists and political leaders that is targeting a pro-life organization, Human Coalition, and the health care clinics they operate under the name Cura, which provide free medical services and counseling for women with unplanned pregnancies…

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Geller Report.

Leading Pro-Trump Super PAC joins Ward for U.S. Senate campaign to defeat Jeff Flake

Dr. Kelli Ward, candidate for U.S. Senate Arizona.

TEMPE, Ariz /PRNewswire/ — Today the Ward for Senate campaign has announced that the founder and top operative of the largest Super PAC supporting the President in 2016, Great America PAC, have joined the campaign.  Eric Beach was founder and co-chair and Brent Lowder served as Executive Director of Great America PAC, which raised and spent nearly $30 million in support of President Trump’s candidacy in 2016.  The two respected operatives will help lead Kelli Ward’s campaign to defeat Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona in 2018.

“Eric and Brent are highly accomplished political operatives with strong track records of success.  They played an important role in the election of President Trump and are now committed to helping me to send Jeff Flake into retirement next year,” said Ward.  “We are excited to have them join the team and know they will have an immediate positive impact on our campaign.”

Kelli Ward is a strong, thoughtful leader and will be a hardworking, dedicated Senator in Washington that all Arizonans can be proud of,” said Beach.  “Senator Jeff Flake has continually failed Arizona and is more interested in selling his new book by attacking the President than actually serving his constituents and getting things done.  Arizona deserves far better from their Senator.”

VIDEO: Will Starbucks Test New Refugee Employees for Tuberculosis?

Michael Patrick Leahy at Breitbart called Starbucks to see if new refugee hires (see my post earlier) will be tested for TB as part of their employment screening. Surprise! No response!

From Breitbart:

Starbucks held a hiring event exclusively for refugees in El Cajon, California on Tuesday, part of its recently announced commitment to hire more than 10,000 refugees over the next five years.

El Cajon is located in San Diego County, where more than 20,000 refugees have have been resettled by the federal government in the past nine and a half years since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2008.

A 2013 study from a research team led by Dr. Timothy Rodwell, “an associate professor and physician in the Division of Global Health at UCSD [University of California at San Diego]” that “analyzed data from LTBI [latent tuberculosis infection] screening results of 4,280 refugees resettled in San Diego County between January 2010 and October 2012,” noted that “San Diego County, in California, is a leading refugee resettlement site, and it also has one of the highest rates of active TB in the country, with an incidence rate of 8.4 cases per 100 000 people in 2011.”

[….]

In other words, the incidence of active TB among the 4,280 refugees who were resettled in San Diego County between January 2010 and October 2012 was 327 per 100,000, more than 100 times greater than the incidence of active TB among the entire population of the United States in 2016.

Wow! I didn’t know this next bit!  Refugee contractors*** repeatedly tell the public that only those with latent TB are admitted to the US, but even if that is all we are admitting, that is still a risk for public health.

About four percent of the entire population of the United States tests positive for latent TB infection. Around 10 percent of those with LTBI will develop active TB at some point in their lives. The triggering mechanism to activate latent TB is not entirely understood, but high levels of stress, crowded living situations, poor public health practices, the presence of other diseases that lower the immune system, and behavioral conduct–such as smoking–appear to increase the chances of activation.

The 21.4 percent of refugees in the San Diego County study who tested positive for latent TB infection is about five times the national average.

Breitbart News contacted Starbucks to learn if their refugee hiring process will include mandatory testing for latent and active TB, but has not received a response.

Of course not!

Continue reading here.

See my ‘health issues’ category with hundreds of posts on refugee health problems including mental health issues.

For those who ask me all the time—what can I do?  Write to the White House and tell the President to tighten up admission requirements for migrants with communicable diseases.

If terrorism doesn’t scare you, TB might!

*** For new readers, the International Rescue Committee is one of the Federal contractors/middlemen/employment agencies/propagandists/lobbyists/community organizers? paid by you to place refugees in your towns and cities listed below.  Under the nine major contractors are hundreds of subcontractors.

The contractors income is largely dependent on taxpayer dollars based on the number of refugees admitted to the US, but they also receive myriad grants to service their “New Americans.”

If you are a good-hearted soul and think refugee resettlement is all about humanitarianism, think again! Big businesses/global corporations like Starbucks depend on the free flow of cheap (some call it slave) labor.

And, I have a question for you:  As a volunteer are you given instructions on how to spot communicable diseases like TB in the refugee community you are helping? (See symptoms at left).

The only way for real reform of how the US admits refugees is to remove these contractors/Leftwing activists/big business head hunters from the process.

RELATED ARTICLE: 43 Percent Latent TB Rates Among Sub-Saharan Refugees in San Diego County Interviewed for Jobs at Starbucks – Breitbart

Legalizing Pot Is a Bad Way to Promote Racial Equality

Two opinion pieces published this week, today in the Wall Street Journal and Monday in USA Today (see next story), challenge one of the marijuana lobby’s favorite assertions, advanced by Senator Cory Booker as the basis for a federal marijuana legalization bill he introduced last week.

Senator Booker’s bill, the Marijuana Justice Act, would encourage states to legalize pot for recreational use and withhold federal funds from those that don’t but incarcerate “low-income individuals and people of color for marijuana-related offences.” The senator says he believes nationwide legalization will end the racial disparity in US drug arrests.

Jason L. Riley, Wall Street Journal editorial board member, refutes this assertion. “Violent offences, not drug offences, drive incarceration rates, and blacks commit violent crimes at seven to 10 times the rate whites do,” Riley says. “Data from 2015, the most recent available, show that about 53 percent of people in state prisons (which house nearly 90 percent of the nation’s inmates) were imprisoned for violent crimes, 19 percent for property crimes, and just 16 percent for drug crimes.”

He says altering US drug laws would do little to change the racial make-up of people behind bars, adding that “marijuana offenders of any race occupy relatively few jail and prison cells, and the ones who do tend to be dealers.”

He quotes public defender James Forman who writes in his new book, Locking Up Our Own, “For every ten thousand people behind bars in America, only six are there because of marijuana possession.”

Read today’s Wall Street Journal editorial here.

Marijuana Devastated Colorado, Don’t Legalize It Nationally

USA Today opinion contributor Jeff Hunt, vice president of public policy at Colorado Christian University, also challenges the assertion that legalization will end racial disparities in the criminal justice system. He notes Coloradans heard similar promises in 2012 when citizens voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

He says black youth arrests for marijuana possession have increased 58 percent and Latino youth arrests have increased 29 percent since legalization, according to the Colorado Department of Public Safety. “This means that black and Latino youth are being arrested more for marijuana possession after it became legal,” he adds.

“In the years since,” he continues, “Colorado has seen an increase in marijuana-related traffic deaths, poison-control calls, and emergency-room visits. The marijuana black market has increased in Colorado, not decreased. And, numerous Colorado marijuana regulators have been indicted for corruption.”

Moreover, the state’s youth have the highest rate of marijuana use in the nation, 74 percent higher than the national average, he says.

“We’ve seen the effects in our neighborhoods in Colorado, and this is nothing we wish upon the nation,” he concludes.

Read USA Today opinion piece here.

Editorial note: The No More Drug War posters in the photo above are part of a campaign by the Drug Policy Alliance to legalize all illicit drugs. One of the organization’s platforms is based on its stated belief that Americans are guaranteed a constitutional right to use all addictive drugs, including heroin and methamphetamine.

71 Percent of All Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions for Youth Were for Marijuana in Washington State

The Northwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (NWHIDTA) has issued its second Marijuana Impact Report for the state of Washington since that state began implementing the recreational use of marijuana in July 2014. This massive report covers ten major areas; we highlight findings about youth here. Data for treatment admissions (above) pertain to the first quarter of 2016.

A few other highlights about youth include:

  • Sixty percent of statewide student expulsions and 49 percent of suspensions related to substance abuse specifically involved marijuana during the 2014-2015 school year.
  • Calls received by the Poison Center regarding marijuana-infused products increased 36 percent and calls involving marijuana oil increased 105 percent from 2014 to 2016.
  • Seventy-three percent of Poison Center calls regarding children under ages five specifically referred to 1- to 3-year-olds.

We are unable to provide a link to this new report today but will publish one as soon as the report is posted to the Internet.

About the Marijuana Report

The Marijuana Report is a weekly e-newsletter published by National Families in Action in partnership with SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana). Visit our website, The Marijuana Report.Org, to learn more about the marijuana story unfolding across the nation.

SUBSCRIBE to The Marijuana Report.
SUBSCRIBE to Spanish edition of The Marijuana Report.

About National Families in Action (NFIA)

NFIA consists of families, scientists, business leaders, physicians, addiction specialists, policymakers, and others committed to protecting children from addictive drugs. Our vision is:

  • Healthy, drug-free kids
  • Nurturing, addiction-free families
  • Scientifically accurate information and education
  • A nation free of Big Marijuana
  • Smart, safe, FDA-approved medicines developed from the cannabis plant (and other plants)
  • Expanded access to medicines in FDA clinical trials for children with epilepsy

About SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana)

SAM is a nonpartisan alliance of lawmakers, scientists and other concerned citizens who want to move beyond simplistic discussions of “incarceration versus legalization” when discussing marijuana use and instead focus on practical changes in marijuana policy that neither demonizes users nor legalizes the drug. SAM supports a treatment, health-first marijuana policy.  SAM has four main goals:

  • To inform public policy with the science of today’s marijuana.
  • To reduce the unintended consequences of current marijuana policies, such as lifelong stigma due to arrest.
  • To prevent the establishment of “Big Marijuana” – and a 21st-Century tobacco industry that would market marijuana to children.
  • To promote research of marijuana’s medical properties and produce, non-smoked, non-psychoactive pharmacy-attainable medications.

Reaping What We’ve Sown: Reproductive Rights versus Male Fertility

Anne Hendershott looks at the decline in male fertility, due partly to the Pill. Clearly, it’s time to consider the sociology and science surrounding the culture of “reproductive rights.”

The recent research revelation that sperm counts for men living in the West have plunged by 60 percent since 1971 provides readers of P. D. James’s great dystopian novel, The Children of Men, with a prediction of an unsettling future for a society that can no longer reproduce.  Set in Britain in 2021, James’s frightening fiction described a world of mass infertility among males – a world in which no children have been born in more than twenty-five years. In the novel, the last baby to be born is now an adult, and the population is growing steadily older. And, like today’s reality, James’s scientists have failed to find a cure – or even a cause – for the sterility.

Publishing their most recent findings in the journal Human Reproduction Update, the researchers – from Israel, the United States, Denmark, Brazil, and Spain – concluded that the total sperm count had fallen by 59.3 percent between 1971 and 2011 in Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand.

Some scientists are claiming that “modern living” has caused serious damage to men’s health. Pesticides, pollution, diet, stress, smoking, and obesity have all been plausibly associated with the problem.  But far fewer men smoke cigarettes than ever before, and the pollution and pesticide controls that the government has implemented in the past forty years have alleviated many of these risks.

Besides, during the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s, men faced much greater health risks from factory work during a time when there were no OSHA regulations on air quality. There were few fertility problems at that time as families were large – and no one worried about sperm counts.

Click here to read the rest of Professor Hendershott’s column . . . 

Anne Hendershott

Anne Hendershott is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. She is the author of The Politics of Deviance (Encounter Books).

Google Lobbyists Fighting Anti-Human Trafficking Legislation

Google lobbyists are blitzing members of the U.S. Congress to stop their efforts to combat online sex trafficking by amending section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) in the respective bills S. 1693 and H.R. 1865.

As currently interpreted by U.S. federal courts, Section 230 of the CDA grants broad immunity to Internet platforms for third-party posts, even to websites that intentionally facilitate sex trafficking online such as Backpage.com.

Research by Consumer Watchdog reveals that Google has provided millions of dollars to support Backpage’s legal defense. Much of that legal defense hinges on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA).

Moreover, a Harvard professor uncovered that in 2011 that Google earned over a billion dollars in revenue from unlawful advertising they had failed to block which included child sex trafficking.

Tech lobbyists are claiming that this law is an attack on free speech, but this is only an attack on criminal acts (read more myths vs facts about this legislation here.)

Google has an army of lobbyists and a trove of financial resources, so if you are fighting to defend women, children, and men from trafficking or prostitution or sexual violence then your voice is needed in this effort!

Ways you can take action:

  1.  Email your elected officials and ask them to support efforts to amend section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
  2.  Sign the petition to ask Google to stop defending websites that facilitate sex trafficking.
  3. Spread the word! Talk to your friends about this problem, ask any journalists you know to cover this story, and share the below graphics on social media.

Thank you for taking a stand!

RELATED ARTICLES:

Google Fires Diversity Manifesto Author James Damore For WrongThink

Google Fires Viewpoint Diversity Manifesto Author James Damore – Breitbart

Silencing ALL opposition voices: Inside The Media Matters Playbook | | Media Equalizer

These College Students Lost Access to Legal Pot – And Started Getting Better Grades

The most rigorous study to date shows that college students in the Netherlands who are denied access to “cannabis cafes,” do better academically than their peers who are allowed to frequent them.

The Dutch have permitted marijuana to be sold and consumed in cafes that are strictly regulated, may not sell other drugs or advertise, and are swiftly shut down if they fail to comply with regulations.

The Dutch town of Maastricht, which is close to the borders of Germany, Belgium, France, and Luxembourg, experienced a problem with drug tourism. People from those countries came to Maastrict to buy marijuana legally; those from Luxembourg and France created most of the problems. So Maastrict authorities denied citizens from Luxembourg and France access to the cafes.

But students from all five nations attend Maastrict University. The town’s policy change gave researchers a natural experiment to determine whether legalization vs. prohibition in the same student body makes a difference in their academic performance.

In fact, it does. Students banned from the cafes, who were less likely to use marijuana and suffer cognitive deficits from its use, experienced a 5 percent increase in their odds of passing their courses. The beneficial effect was even more pronounced for students at risk of dropping out.

The authors conclude:

We have investigated how restricting cannabis access affects student achievements, finding that the performance of students who lose legal access to cannabis substantially improves. Our analysis of underlying channels suggests that the effects are specifically driven by an improvement in numerical skills, which existing literature has found to be particularly impaired by cannabis consumption. This article provides the first causal evidence that restricting legal access to cannabis affects college students’ short-term study performance. We believe that our findings also imply that individuals change their consumption behavior when the legal status of a drug changes.

Read Washington Post article here. Read research paper here.

American Society of Addiction Medicine Faults Study Purporting to Show Marijuana is an Effective Substitute for Pain-Relieving Opioids

As the assertion continues that marijuana is a safe and effective alternate to opioids for pain relief, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) takes issue with the scientific validity of a new study that intensifies the claim.

“Cannabis as a Substitute for Opioid-Based Pain Relief,” a new study, “demonstrates several distortions that can and do arise with the current enthusiasm for cannabis as a panacea,” says William Haning, MD, editor-in-chief of ASAM Weekly.

Dr. Haning notes that Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research “is an online open access periodical published by an enterprise that captures specialty niches.”

He continues, “The article and the accompanying polemical editorial which asserts ‘that cannabis is a safe, non-addictive product,’ suffer from the illusion of balanced scientific inquiry.”

He goes on from there. Read his ASAM Weekly editorial here. Read Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research study here.

Economy Needs Workers, but Drug Tests Take a Toll

In an oddly titled article, which appears to blame drug testing rather than drug use, the New York Times reports that the middle-class factory jobs President Trump promised to bring back from overseas are going begging because applicants can’t pass drug tests.

“Indeed, the opioid epidemic and, to some extent, wider marijuana use are hitting businesses and the economy in ways that are beginning to be acknowledged by policy makers and other experts,” notes the article.

One expert says the drug issue keeps workers who are trapped in low-paying jobs from securing better-paying, blue-collar positions and a toehold in the middle class.

The Times, whose editorial board called for full marijuana legalization a few years ago, observes that “workplace considerations – not social conservatism or imposition of traditional mores – make employee drug use an issue.”

The owner of a boiler-making factory in Youngstown, Ohio, explains why. “The lightest product we make is 1,500 pounds, and they go up to 250,000 pounds. If something goes wrong, it won’t hurt our workers. It’ll kill them.”

Maybe traditional mores like safety concerns have value after all.

Read New York Times article here.

How the Legalization of Marijuana Affects Employee Drug Testing

Medical marijuana laws vary greatly from state to state. A few require employers to accommodate workers’ medical marijuana use when possible. Most don’t.

This map demonstrates the current status of the differing requirements of state marijuana laws.

Read blog entry here (second story).

Pattern of Marijuana Use During Adolescence May Impact Psychosocial Outcomes in Adulthood

Escalating marijuana use in adolescence may lead to higher rates of depression and lower educational achievement in adulthood, a new study published in Addictionfinds.

Researchers interviewed 159 boys and young men who were part of a longitudinal study of males at high risk for antisocial behaviors and other problems based on low income, family size, and gender.

At age 20, each participant reported whether and how much marijuana they used each year since they started. Their brains were also scanned.

The “boys who started occasionally using marijuana around 15 or 16 years old and had a dramatic increase in use by the time they were 19 had the greatest dysfunction in brain reward circuitry, the highest rates of depression, and the lowest educational achievements,” say the researchers.

“Though the results do not show a direct causal link,” they say, “it’s important to note that even though most people think marijuana isn’t harmful, it may have severe consequences for some people’s functioning, education, and mood.”

Read Science Daily article here. Read Addiction abstract here.

Marijuana and Vulnerability to Psychosis

Researchers at the University of Montreal, pictured above, find that going from occasional to weekly or daily marijuana use increases an adolescent’s risk of having recurrent, psychotic-like experiences by 159 percent.

Although marijuana causes many kinds of cognitive problems, “the development of inhibitory control was the only cognitive function negatively affected by an increase in marijuana use,” say the researchers.

“Our results show that while marijuana use is associated with a number of cognitive and mental health symptoms, only an increase in symptoms of depression — such as negative thoughts and low mood — could explain the relationship between marijuana use and increasing psychotic-like experiences in youth,” the lead researcher said.

Read Science Daily article here. Read Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatryabstract here.

Depression Among Young Teens Linked to Cannabis Use at 18

Young people (ages 12-15) with chronic or severe depression are at elevated risk of developing a marijuana-use disorder in later adolescence.

Researchers at the University of Washington, pictured above, collected data from 521 students recruited from four Seattle middle schools and conducted annual assessments of the students at ages 12-15 and then again at age 18.

The scientists found that a “one standard deviation increase” in cumulative depression during early adolescence produced a 50 percent higher likelihood of marijuana-use disorder at age 18.

They were surprised to see that the prevalence of both alcohol-use disorder and marijuana-use disorder were higher among their students than national averages. What effect marijuana legalization in Washington may have had on these outcomes is not clear.

They point out that a similar study in another state that has not legalized the drug would clarify the issue.

Read Science Daily article here. Read Addiction abstract here.

Note:

After publishing our story about Georgia Representative Allen Peake last week, we came across a video on Haleigh’s Hope Facebook page in which Rep. Peake explains how he is violating federal law by distributing a Schedule I drug throughout the state. We posted the video on The Marijuana Report’s Facebook page. You can see it here.

The Marijuana Report is a weekly e-newsletter published by National Families in Action in partnership with SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana). Visit our website, The Marijuana Report.Org, to learn more about the marijuana story unfolding across the nation.

SUBSCRIBE to The Marijuana Report.

SUBSCRIBE to Spanish edition of The Marijuana Report.

TAKE ACTION: Let Your Congress Members Know that You Support the Hearing Protection Act

As we’ve previously covered a number of times, the Hearing Protection Act (HPA) is a federal bill to reduce the burdensome and antiquated acquisition process for firearm suppressors.  The bill would eliminate the excessive wait times (sometimes as long as a year) and the burdensome tax on transferring or making a suppressor.

Support for the HPA among gun owners remains very strong.  The HPA has been one of the most viewed bills on Congress.gov since its introduction in January, and it has regularly been the most popular bill on the site.  But, now more than ever, Congress needs to hear this support.

As members of Congress return to their home states and districts for the August recess, they often focus on constituent services, so now is a very opportune time to contact your elected representatives.  

Please contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative and urge them to support and cosponsor the HPA

If they already are a cosponsor, please thank them for their support.

You can contact your member of Congress via our “Take Action” tool by clicking HERE, or use the Congressional switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

Are ‘Traitors’ Eligible for Reelection?

In 2018, all 435 U.S. House Members and 34 U.S. Senators are up for reelection. How many of them are “traitors” to their oath of office and why are they even eligible to run for reelection? Our laws are written to hold the political parties responsible for vetting their candidates. It’s up to “the people” to make sure they do it by filing a party challenge against anyone who shouldn’t appear on a primary ballot.

Every member of Congress is seated in power under this Oath of Office;

“I, AB, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

Every member of congress who violated this oath is a traitor to that oath, failing to bear true faith and allegiance to our Constitution and the people who elected them. No matter which party they claim as their political home, since when are traitors eligible for reelection? Once having violated their oath, are they in office legally, or are they just acting fraudulently under the color of law?

Traitor is defined in U.S. law as one who engages in acts of treason, sedition and/or subversion. Certainly, any elected or appointed official who proudly carries the banner of “Never-Trump” and works around the clock to undermine and subvert the will of 63 million Trump voters is engaged in sedition and subversion, especially when violating other laws in that process.

Every Governor, Mayor, State Legislator, City Council member, law enforcement agent and member of Congress who is acting to subvert Federal Immigration and Naturalization Laws, which have constitutional legal supremacy, is acting to undermine the Constitution in direct violation of their oaths of office. That is yet again, an act of sedition.

Through their criminal actions at all levels – subverting taxpayer funds by issuing drivers licenses (voter ID) to illegal aliens – creating sanctuary cities – giving free housing – financial aid, taxpayer funded health care, SSI and SSI disability to those without any legal right to be here, they undermine the Rule of Constitutional Law and violate their oaths.

These acts amount to a planned foreign invasion of the United States and if 63 million people show up for the 2018 primaries all over the country, they can end defacto immunity and begin to drain this sewer called government.

Article I of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the sole power to legislate and regulate immigration and naturalization in the United States, under the enumerated powers of Congress. Congress has legislated and everyone else is held accountable for the enforcement thereof.

WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE THE “TERM LIMITS”

435 House members have a two-year term limit and all of them are up for reelection in 2018. 100 Senate members have a six-year term limit and 34 of them are up for reelection in 2018, 25 Democrats and 9 Republicans.

The people” are supposed to provide “term limits” for those who refuse to keep their oath of office. Those who act to undermine a duly elected President and subvert the will of 63 million voters have no business running for reelection. Those who have already violated their oaths can’t be eligible to seek that office again, unless “the people” do nothing.

The North American Law Center (TNALC.org) has launched a national drive to “REPEAL AND REPLACE CONGRESS.” The first announcement pertains to the U.S. Senate, wherein “the people” have an opportunity to finish off Democrat influence in the Senate in 2018. TNALC will offer campaign target information and opposition research to those working on the ground to REPEAL AND REPLACE Congress.

The Center will soon issue information on House Republicans who have been working with House Democrats to thwart the will of their voters.

63 Million Strong

63 million American voters can do anything they set out to accomplish. They proved that in 2016 by defeating a record sixteen GOP primary challengers and “sure thing” Hillary Clinton to seize the people’s White House.

The same 63 million voters can take full control of Congress in 2018, if only they will work together to accomplish that goal. Building frustration with Congress and their leftist “fake news” media may provide the motivation they need to do exactly that…

A revolution to regain American control of America started in 2016 at the people’s White House. The leftist backlash was entirely predictable. The globalist left represented in both political parties today, was never going to leave a hundred-year effort to bring America to her knees without a fight. Something as unimportant in D.C. as “the will of the people,” was never going to deter the globalists from pursuing their agenda.

The people who took back the White House in 2016 must follow up by taking total control of Congress in 2018. All the marbles are in play and the stakes couldn’t be higher. If “the people” fail their 2018 mission, they will leave Trump a sitting duck for the balance of his term and make his reelection nearly impossible in 2020.

LET THE REVOLUTION RAGE ON!

RELATED ARTICLE: 7 Republicans voted to keep Obamacare — what they said then and did now

Healthcare Debate Gets it All Wrong by Jim Ley

In my former career, I administered the acquisition of healthcare coverage for more than 5,000 employees at a cost of more than $30 million annually. It was one of the fastest growing components of our budget and competed directly with our ability to provide raises to our employees. So I dug into the associated dynamics, looking for strategic leverage to keep some downward pressure on cost growth.

I have some educated sense for this issue. And the problem is not what political leaders have been talking about.

Obamacare or Trumpcare? I don’t care what you call it; only the naïve or those afflicted with partisan bias believe that either has anything to do with better healthcare. Whether it is the Democratic approach or the putative Republican attempt, there is one thing that is so clear that it is hard for me to understand why it is not talked about more.

Insurance is not healthcare

This 10-year conversation is about the movement of money to the benefit of one interest group or another – it is definitively not about my healthcare.

Both “solutions” are nothing more than attempts to increase the amount of federal influence over the movement of money within one sixth of the U.S. economy, the maintenance of the status quo as to how that money flows (at best) and efforts on behalf of a variety of interests to advance the status quo — that is, the flow of money — on their behalf.

If this were about actual healthcare, the patient and the service provider would be the chief interest being served and talked about. That is the system that would be targeted for reforming to the best results. But they are rarely discussed except in some rhetorical fashion that suits the politics of the blabbering head that spews the rhetoric.

Special interests drive the healthcare laws

The real interests that gain from the healthcare laws, in their rough order of influence, are as follows:

  • The health insurance industry
  • The pharmaceutical industry
  • Trial lawyers
  • Congress
  • The hospital industry
  • Medical equipment manufacturers
  • The federal health system (Medicare and Medicaid)
  • (With Obamacare) the State Medicare oligarchy
  • Health experts
  • Those elevated to the status of poor by Obamacare’s Medicare expansion

The interests that are hurt by the healthcare laws, from least to most:

  • Doctors
  • Safety net Medicare patients
  • The employed but uninsured public dependent on the private market
  • Workers insured through their employer

Limited space keeps me from commenting on each of these interests so I’ll just pick a few as examples.

At the top of the heap sits the insurance industry, hiding behind their self-produced rhetoric of risk associated with instability in the system. Not only did they benefit from Obamacare’s requirement that everyone must buy insurance, but in 2009 their industry lobbying arm created enough fear in the political realm that they leveraged a $165 billion subsidy from the Obama administration. No appropriation was ever made by Congress, and to date, this administrative act of appropriation has been declared illegal by the courts.

Note that all you hear on TV is “instability” in the system and the need to maintain an insurance industry subsidy — working hard to include in law what is currently judged illegal. Their talking points, emanating from the mouths of Congressmen and Senators, once again lead the debate and harken for the need for the feds to further mine the taxpayer wallet and remove risk from insurance companies; making them the big winners.

After all it is easier to “sell” you a product with less concern as to a buyer’s normal demand for quality for his/her dollar spent, when someone else, in this case the federal government, creates a product and demands its use without ever having to pay for it. The only worse situation would be if the feds actually paid for a product — with other people’s money in the form of taxes — that they would never use themselves as a consumer. In economic  transactional terms, that is called a third party system, but we would know it as the single-payer proposal.

The most value laden economic transaction is when you buy something for yourself with your own dollar. In that way you consciously make the decision between the quality of the purchase and the dollar spent. These third-party purchasing transactions, read as “single payer,” always produce the least value for the highest cost in any economic transaction. But they do produce some degree of certainty for those interests capable of positioning themselves correctly within the flow of cash.

Broken Medicaid is the example of single payer

Another lunacy created by Obamacare, and now wanting to be protected jealously by state governors who hungrily ate the poison apple, is the expansion of Medicaid.

Here you have what is supposed to be a safety net system, which is indeed structured as a safety net system, trying to become a system of normal healthcare access for an expanded group of consumers who have now been declared “in need.”

The craziness is that — aside from the taxpayer who is paying for this system out of general revenues, unlike Medicare which is supported by a specific tax — the person getting hurt the most is the truly indigent patient who has no other recourse than to use Medicaid.

Medicaid is such a broken system that over half of the doctors in the country will not take Medicaid patients. Adding more patients to an already broken system only ensures that those most in need will be those most hurt. All that the Medicaid bureaucrats can be glad for is that there is another broken federal healthcare system, the Veterans Administration, which sucks up all of the outrage oxygen when it comes to poor patient treatment.

Despite this track record, the Medicaid budget for the U.S has risen from 2% of the federal budget in the early 90s to almost 10% today — a 400% rise. It is often suggested that Medicare works well, and is a good example of a single payer system. Proponents of single payer don’t want to admit that the real model would be Medicaid.

How to know when it is about healthcare

You will know when there is a serious healthcare discussion when patent protection and generic drug time-to-market is seriously discussed. When tort reform is seriously advanced as a necessary component of healthcare reform.

When Medicaid decision making is granted to the states — where healthcare is most efficient and most constitutionally accomplished. When efforts like Health Savings and Health Savings Retirement Accounts are supported by tax credits. When healthcare benefits provided by employers are taxed if tax credits are not given for the Health Savings Accounts. When the days of the $300 aspirin disappear because more first-party purchase transactions keep the system transparent.

Why do you think that it costs dramatically less in inflation adjusted dollars for cosmetic services or veterinary services than it did 30 years ago? Simple, because they cannot hide behind the market-killing fog of second- and third-party transactions as means of obfuscating the corruption in the healthcare pricing system.

When those with preexisting conditions are supported by all of us, through risk pools managed by the states, possibly funded by taxes on employer provided healthcare benefits, you’ll know we’re really talking about healthcare for Americans.

The more that we move toward a direct relationship between the doctor and patient, the better the system will be.

The rhetoric and fear mongering that you hear screaming at you from your TV, radio and newspaper are nothing more than talking points from special interests seeking to prop up their position in this complex system. They are fighting tooth and nail to maintain themselves — not you — as a winner in the movement of almost $3 trillion.

ABOUT JIM LEY

Jim Ley has more than 35 years in public service, the last 25 of which were in top level administrative positions in two of the more dynamic counties in the U.S. Jim served two terms as President of the National Association of County administrators and was a leading “small government” voice in the profession. His administrative focus has been on financial sustainability and accountability to the taxpayer.

Related Healthcare Articles in The Revolutionary Act

Both Parties Want Federal Government Control of Healthcare

A True American Healthcare System

EXPLAINED: Government Healthcare is not Christian

HEALTHCARE REFORM: Freedom Is Its Own Indispensable Goal

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act.

On Technically Enhanced Man by James V. Schall, S.J.

James V. Schall, S.J. on the “progress” towards the integration of machines into humans. This seems very much a case of something we can do but shouldn’t.

Whether a technically enhanced Schall would be an improvement over the original version is probably something that I, though admittedly equipped with battery-powered hearing aids, do not have to worry about. But most other folks do. A nephew sent me a list of “The 50 Smartest Companies.” I did not quite know what to make of it.

So I sent a query to a friend who is up to speed on these things. He noted that a remarkable number of these “smartest” companies work on the human condition itself. The human “instrument” that is man’s body and mind can be radically improved.

Death of the automaton Talos, c. 350 B.C. National Archaeological Museum, Puglia, Italy.

Here is my friend’s summation:

“I think the big trend relative to tech innovation is technology as intertwined with human beings. And I don’t mean humans using technology. I refer to having technology inserted into our bodies – and brains – and even being directly connected with computers.”

People already have heart-pacers that need recharging every so often. Doctors today deftly perform operation with hand-extending robot devices. Presumably if a baby in the womb is diagnosed with a low IQ, some chip can be inserted into the little tyke to get him into Harvard when the time comes. We have watches that tell us how many miles we walk, calories we eat, and the vagaries of our blood pressure.

Computer mechanisms have become so small that they can be inserted anywhere from the brain to the big toe silently to perform the function for which they were designed. Soon, we can recharge our batteries by walking near an outlet. Batteries will last for decades. I had a watch battery that lasted five years.

Descartes thought that, while we could know nothing of reality outside of ourselves, we could construct even the human body so that we could not tell the difference between the real one and the one that was his own manufacture. How could he compare what he did not know with what he made?

Click here to read the rest of Father Schall’s column . . .

James V. Schall, S.J.

James V. Schall, S.J., who served as a professor at Georgetown University for thirty-five years, is one of the most prolific Catholic writers in America. Among his recent books are The Mind That Is Catholic, The Modern Age, Political Philosophy and Revelation: A Catholic Reading, Reasonable Pleasures, and, new from St. Augustine’s Press, Docilitas: On Teaching and Being Taught.

4th Annual Female Veterans Retreat

The 4th Annual Female Veterans Retreat will be held from September 14th to September 17th, 2017 at Day Spring Episcopal Conference Center, Ellenton, Florida.

This year’s retreat is being sponsored by Gold Coast Eagle Distributing Company/Budweiser, The Home Depot (Sarasota Store #0255 & Venice Store #0273), and BMW of Sarasota.  Without their assistance, our female veterans would be unable to attend this retreat for FREE!  If you would like to assist them in making these annual retreats and reunions happen for female veterans.

Please go to their GOFUNDME page (https://www.gofundme.com/femaleveteransunite) and donate or you may write out a check to FVU, P.O. Box 5403, Sarasota, FL  34237-5403.  All donations are tax deductible.

The founder of this event, Ms. Georgie Alfano-Cronk said that she is thrilled that the applications have recently come pouring in for this very important event. This retreat is a FREE event that is held annually at Day Spring Episcopal Conference Center in Ellenton, Florida in September for 4 days and 3 nights for our Women Warriors.

BMW of Sarasota

During this retreat, the women will do various projects and activities that will allow them to build the bonds of trust with other women veterans who have also “walked their same walk.”

Ms. Elizabeth Cereska, (Army, SP4), is now the secretary of this unique 501C3 corporation and became directly involved with these ladies after attending one of their retreats in 2015.  She said, “I have come such a long way myself.  I attended the retreat and I was amazed at how the facilitators were able to bring me out of my shell so quickly.  When I arrived at Day Springs for this retreat, I was very introverted.  I stayed to myself.  I turned my name tag around, and did not want to be in any of their pictures.  In looking back at the experience, I was probably a little bit angry.  I was angry that the VA had been unable to reach out to me and to resolve my individual concerns and I figured that these people would not be able to help me either. Boy; was I wrong.  Female veterans certainly are a different breed. We trained and served alongside the men, and then came home to become caregivers, wives, mothers, employees, and students.  Somewhere in that journey of a difficult and challenging transition, many of us lost our inner selves.  We have a tendency to be relentless and we want to be good role models within our communities…but where do we really fit in?  The “Vietnam Veterans” are truly the forgotten ones.

Dr. Jason Quintal

Dr. Jason Quintal & Associates, located at 5460 Lena Road, Suite 103, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34211 (941) 907-0525 provided me with better resources that I ever had access to within the VA system.  Female Veterans Unite gave me the opportunity to become a whole person again and that is why I have become a volunteer for this very rewarding corporation for women veterans.”

Ms. Georgie Alfano-Cronk, the founder of FVU, has been a volunteer in the Sarasota/Manatee community for over 17 years in many different capacities.  It was only during these last 8 years that Georgie has stepped up to the plate to focus all of her attention on “female veterans” and “homeless veterans” issues.  She is the “pit bull” behind the scenes.  She knows many of the issues that women veterans want to discuss because she herself served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.  “It has been extremely difficult for me.  When I got out of the service with my Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in 1976, there were no counseling services available to me.  I was 21 years old and knew that I had to step up to the plate in order to “survive and thrive” because if not, I was going to be left behind.  I had my entire life ahead of me and I had no idea how to face it while suffering from a major disability.

Because I did not want to just give up on my life, so then began my many trials and tribulations.  I absolutely know all of the various subject matter that female veterans want to discuss in our groups.  They include domestic violence, military sexual trauma, post-traumatic stress, substance abuse, healthy relationships, and VA benefits/resources.  And this is just some of what we cover at our retreats and reunions.   We want to be able to explore these topics in depth and to brainstorm solutions to our problems too.  Our veterans want to be able to have these discussions freely and to know that their issues will not be placed anywhere in their medical records!  Plus more times than I care to admit to; errors have been made in many of our VA medical records which just adds salt to our wounds.  Female Veterans Unite has strived to provide our attendees with a safe platform in order to address these sensitive issues.  Yes, we do expect to shed a few tears during our journey back home in September.   But I can guarantee to these women, that we will do more laughing and joking around, plus sharing lots of supportive hugs to get us through the rocky times!  Women Warriors are just that…we are surviving warriors who just refuse to give up.”

Left to right: Sponsor Hugh Shields, G. Alfano-Cronk, and Sponsor John Saputo

Ms. Jennifer Seybold, a former retreat attendee and Army veteran herself, is a volunteer who heads up the ladies Quilting Committee. Because of her dedication to the FVU cause, she makes each female veteran feel the “warmth of community love” by providing enough quilts so that each woman warrior will receive a quilt free of charge.  “It is important that our women military heroes feel important and appreciated by the community.  Along with the male soldiers, we also made that commitment to protect and defend our Country, and for many of us, we have paid a very high price for our years of enlistment.  Back in the earlier days, many of us women did not serve in combat or travel overseas as our younger female veterans are doing today; however we were the “support teams” back here in the States. Every day is a real challenge for me, but by being around other women veterans, I have more of a chance of continuing to build strong bonds that will last a lifetime for me”.

Patty Maybray, a former Air Force Veteran and the head of Human Resources at The Home Depot store in Venice (#0273), facilitates a special project that she chooses for the women each year. The Home Depot totally supplies all of the materials for her class, and because Patty is also a female veteran, she is able to get the women to open up and discuss their individual concerns while she teaches her DIY project.  The Home Depot (both the Sarasota & the Venice Store) has provided countless cases of water to keep the ladies completely hydrated during the retreat.  The Home Depot Stores are big supporters of our military personnel and the veteran organizations in our communities and can always be counted on to pitch in and help out our veterans!  If you have any questions about this event, please call (941) 266-2769 or (727) 807-6458.  And in the meantime, find a Women Warrior and thank her for her service to our Country.

This year’s retreat is being sponsored by Gold Coast Eagle Distributing Company/Budweiser, The Home Depot (Sarasota Store #0255 & Venice Store #0273), and BMW of Sarasota.  Without their assistance, our female veterans would be unable to attend this retreat for FREE!  If you would like to assist them in making these annual retreats and reunions happen for female veterans; please go to their GOFUNDME page (https://www.gofundme.com/femaleveteransunite) and donate or you may write out a check to FVU, P.O. Box 5403, Sarasota, FL  34237-5403.  All donations are tax deductible.

Trump Threatens to End Obamacare Bailouts

This past weekend, President Trump vowed to take administrative action to end two Obamacare bailouts if Congress doesn’t quickly repeal the failing healthcare law.

The first bailout is the exemption that President Obama helped give to Members of Congress and the second bailout is the subsidy program Obama created for health insurance companies.

And the best part about President Trump’s threat is that short of passing a new law, Congress can’t stop him.

Please show your support for this decision by sending a letter to President Trump urging him to end these bailouts.

There is no reason why Congress should have a special Obamacare exemption and there is no reason why the insurance companies that lobbied for Obamacare should get a taxpayer bailout.

If the DC establishment won’t take action to repeal Obamacare and provide true relief to the American people, then they should have to live under the law they passed and share the pain.

Many Republican lawmakers are afraid of what the Democrats and media will say about them if they repeal the law, but that pales in comparison to what the voters will do to Republicans at the ballot box if they allow it to continue.

Senator Ted Cruz was right when he said, “No party can remain in power by lying to the American people.” 

Please thank President Trump for being willing to end the Obamacare bailouts and urge him to make it happen.

These policies are unfair and should be terminated immediately.

Thank you for standing strong for freedom and for doing your part to make your voice heard in Washington.

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How Trump Could Force Congress and Its Staff to Live Under Obamacare

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