President of Sarasota Teachers Union calls Superintendent White’s bluff — sends out another ‘political email’

PUBLISHERS NOTE: I, Dr. Rich Swier, regret having used the term “illegal” in this and any other article to describe actions by Ms. Pat Gardner and the SC/TA.

Superintendent Lori White has been called out by the Sarasota Teacher/Classified Association (SC/TA) President Pat Gardner. Who will prevail? Many are calling this a direct challenge to Superintendent White’s leadership as the district Chief-Education-Officer.

As we reported SC/TA President Patricia “Pat” Gardner and SC/TA Treasurer Kevyn Fitzgerald, the union representative at Riverview High School, have been using the district official email service to repeatedly send out political and harassing messages to all district employees in violation of District policy. Superintendent White’s staff admitted that:

Outside of the SC/TA’s ability to communicate with the employees, you [Dr. Rich Swier] are correct that our procedures state that the district email system is not to be used for, among other things, political campaigning.

Superintendent White then sent a reminder to all employees of this prohibition. The reminder stated:

As our community is in the midst of a number of political campaigns, I want to remind all employees about the School Board’s Information Technology Guidelines and Procedures which prohibit, among other things, using the School Board’s email system for any communication that may be perceived as political campaigning. While I encourage all our employees to be civically engaged in the electoral process, this engagement should not occur on work hours, nor should the School Board’s email system be used for this purpose.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Pat210-302

Photo of Pat Gardner from SC/TA website.

Gardner has ignored Superintendent White’s reminder. Gardner and Fitzgerald sent out the following message in direct violation of School Board policy:

From: Fitzgerald Kevyn
Sent: Wednesday, October 08, 2014 2:14 PM
To: REDACTED
Subject: FW: Newlsletter – Info for Restricted Class

From: Gardner Pat
Sent: Wednesday, October 08, 2014 1:50 PM
Subject: Newlsletter – Info for Restricted Class

Please forward:

They’re running scared and starting to play dirty. I’m on the blogs today with a story that I’m doing illegal things by sending out email to my members. They used a picture of me from 12 years ago, so I’m feeling pretty good about that. Here I go again:

Get those absentee ballots in as soon as possible.

Our endorsed candidates are:

Charlie Crist – Governor
Ken Marsh – School Board District 1

Our suggested candidate is George Sheldon for Attorney General.

NO on Amendment 3.

We will be getting Ken Marsh signs in the office and will deliver them if you would like them or feel free to pick them up. Let us know if you would like any. Ken Marsh will be doing sign waving and I will try to send out his schedule if you would like to join them.

Have a great day.

Pat

What will Superintendent White do now?

We have sent a request to Superintendent White and have not received a response as of the posting of this column.

This is a test of Superintendent White’s leadership and her staff’s ability to enforce school board policy equally upon all district employees.

Supreme Court Decision to Refuse to Take Up Marriage Cases and its Impact in Florida

Florida Family Policy Council President, John Stemberger, released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s refusal to accept appeals in marriage cases involving only the five states of Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin:

“The Supreme Court decision to not rule on these lower court opinions, which undermine natural marriage and the rule of law, has no legal effect in Florida and is only legally binding in the five states where the appeal was brought. Florida’s opponents of natural marriage are trying to argue that the Attorney General and Florida courts should ignore the legitimate process and procedure and become social change agents. Unless and until a federal appeals court over Florida issues an adverse ruling, then Florida’s current valid marriage laws should continue to be upheld by the Attorney General and Florida judges alike. Further, no same-sex marriage licenses should be issued, and any decision otherwise by a Florida court or a clerk of court, would be irresponsible and illegitimate.

The high court’s failure to take this matter up is, in part, a disregard of it’s duty, but it is also an indication that they are not going to force a “one- size-fits-all” Roe v. Wade type decision on marriage around the country.

Over the last 15 years, more than 40 million Americans in more than 30 states have voted at the ballot box to define marriage as one man and one woman – the same definition of marriage used worldwide. In the last nano-second of human civilization, some U.S. judges have attempted to ignore and erase those votes. The Supreme Court risks losing enormous institutional legitimacy if they ignore biology, logic, anthropology, social science and the collective wisdom of human history, and overturn an act of direct democracy by such an overwhelming number of American voters who protected marriage in their state constitutions.

Marriage is about more than who you love; it’s about bringing together the two great halves of humanity, male and female– not gay and straight.

Also it’s important to recognize that legalizing same-sex marriage ignores and eliminates the importance of gender in society: it costs kids either a mom or a dad (who are not interchangeable), and it costs people of faith their First Amendment rights as government imposes the new definition across all aspects of society. States and counties that have so-called “non-discrimination” laws which cover sexual orientation are being used as weapons to punish people of faith, and mainly Christians, for failure to facilitate or host same sex marriage ceremonies. We as a state and a society need to carefully count those costs before we run headlong into this latest social experiment with marriage, which will have negative impact on so many areas of life and law.”

RELATED ARTICLES:

Justice Kennedy Blocks Gay Marriage Ruling in Idaho, Nevada

The Defense of Marriage Isn’t Over

Supreme Court Decision Will Lead to Gay Marriage in Five More States. Why That’s Wrong.

Text and Analysis of Florida Amendment 1: “The Water and Land Conservation Initiative”

Dan Peterson, Executive Director of the Coalition for Property Rights, provides the following detailed analysis of Florida Amendment 1:

BALLOT TITLE:

Water and Land Conservation – Dedicates funds to acquire and restore Florida conservation and recreation lands.

BALLOT SUMMARY:

Funds the Land Acquisition Trust Fund to acquire, restore, improve, and manage conservation lands including wetlands and forests; fish and wildlife habitat; lands protecting water resources and drinking water sources, including the Everglades, and the water quality of rivers, lakes, and streams; beaches and shores; outdoor recreational lands; working farms and ranches; and historic or geologic sites, by dedicating 33 percent of net revenues from the existing excise tax on documents for 20 years.

Amendment 1 alters SECTION 28. Land Acquisition Trust Fund to include:

a) Effective on July 1 of the year following passage of this amendment by the voters, and for a period of 20 years after that effective date, the Land Acquisition Trust Fund shall receive no less than 33 percent of net revenues derived from the existing excise tax on documents, as defined in the statutes in effect on January 1, 2012, as amended from time to time, or any successor or replacement tax, after the Department of Revenue first deducts a service charge to pay the costs of the collection and enforcement of the excise tax on documents. b) Funds in the Land Acquisition Trust Fund shall be expended only for the following purposes: 1) As provided by law, to finance or refinance: the acquisition and improvement of land, water areas, and related property interests, including conservation easements, and resources for conservation lands including wetlands, forests, and fish and wildlife habitat; wildlife management areas; lands that protect water resources and drinking water sources, including lands protecting the water quality and quantity of rivers, lakes, streams, springsheds, and lands providing recharge for groundwater and aquifer systems; lands in the Everglades Agricultural Area and the Everglades Protection Area, as defined in Article II, Section 7(b); beaches and shores; outdoor recreation lands, including recreational trails, parks, and urban open space; rural landscapes; working farms and ranches; historic or geologic sites; together with management, restoration of natural systems, and the enhancement of public access or recreational enjoyment of conservation lands. 2) To pay the debt service on bonds issued pursuant to Article VII, Section 11(e). c) The moneys deposited into the Land Acquisition Trust Fund, as defined by the statutes in effect on January 1, 2012, shall not be or become commingled with the General Revenue Fund of the state.

IMPACT ON PRIVATE PROPERTY

Amendment One departs From a Historical Philosophical Perspective of Private Property

In the first half of our nation’s history, it was the practice of the government to encourage private ownership through land grants and other such vehicles. This amendment reverses that tradition. It seems to embrace a philosophy found in this quote (a philosophy which is supported by many of the pro-conservation/sustainable development organizations):

“Land…cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market.

Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle…

Public control of land use is therefore indispensable to its protection as an asset…”

From the Preamble, UN Conference, Vancouver, Canada, 1976

Amendment One Departs From Our Founding Fathers’ Intent For Private Property

Our Founding Fathers placed safeguards into our Constitution as a hedge or safeguard against government tyranny. As a result, America became an exceptional and unique place on earth by virtue of being founded upon the right of private citizens to own and use property.

Amendment One dangerously opens the door for government to own and control more land. That means less land is owned and control by private property owners. This amendment presents an alternative view to that intended by our founding fathers.

Today, more than 50% of the American west is owned by government. In the state of Utah, 87% of the land is owned and controlled by the federal government. Despite efforts by the state to reclaim their land, the federal government refuses to return it.

Giving government large sums of money to buy land puts Florida on a trajectory similar to Utah. The intent of this amendment is primarily land acquisition for the purpose of conservation.

IMPACT ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT BUDGETS

As the amount of government owned lands increases, two things happen fiscally:

First, the amount of private lands on the tax rolls will be decreased. Therefore, tax revenues will decrease making less funding available for things like law enforcement, first responders, local services, infrastructure maintenance, and local education. Local governments will have to raise property taxes or take the rarely seen step of cutting their budgets.

Second, more taxpayer money will need to be diverted to pay for increased maintenance costs of ever increasing amounts of conservation lands. Currently, the state lacks money to maintain the properties owned by government.

Counties with the most land in government owned conservation lands, have the highest tax rates.

IMPACT ON THE STATE BUDGET

It is the Florida Legislature’s constitutional responsibility to work with the Governor to craft an annual balanced budget to meet the needs of our state. Through the Legislature, all the needs of the state are considered, debated, and approved by elected representatives. This is designed to address in a balanced way, the comprehensive state needs.

Amendment One restricts the Legislature’s ability and flexibility to budget or allocate funding for an array of state-wide critical needs such as transportation, education, affordable housing, and economic development, etc.

The purchase of land by government is a one-time expense. But, the maintenance of government property is a growing, on-going expense to also be remembered. As government ownership of land increases, so maintenance costs increase requiring more employees (and their pensions) , more facilities, and more equipment.

IMPACT ON THE STATE ECONOMY

Nearly one-third of Florida land is used for agriculture. Agriculture, including farming and ranching, is the backbone of our state’s economy providing jobs and produce. Amendment One names both for acquisition. The majority of lands put into conservation make little to no contribution to the economy.

As private land, with its real or potential contribution to our state’s economy, is removed from production, it moves from being a producer of revenue to becoming a user of revenue. Thus, the state’s economy is weakened. Less land in production means our state is less productive and less competitive in the world.

IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT

Today, more than 27% of Florida is already in conservation according to The Florida Natural Areas Inventory. Add lands for government facilities and the amount of land owned by government is more than 30%.

Florida has more land per square mile under government ownership than any other state east of the Mississippi River. The amount of government owned land will be greatly increased if a projected $18 B were to become available for additional land purchases.

Environmentalist groups have plans to purchase millions of additional acres for additional parks, wildlife refuges, wildlife corridors, forests and conservation areas, just to name a few. Amendment One supplies the cash to do so.

SUMMARY

Amendment One would be bad for Florida because it is an unneeded and harmful addition to the Florida Constitution. It will reduce the amount of privately owned property and negatively impact local revenues. It also intrudes on the legislature’s fiduciary responsibility to allocate our state’s revenues in the interests of our entire state.

Nearly one-third of our state is owned by government. Approximately another third is in agriculture. Documentary transaction stamps are already used to fund a number or environmental programs. The Florida Forever program continues to receive millions of dollars annually through the legislature to acquire conservation land. A growing economy already allows for more money to be allocated for government land purchases.

A more radical option should be considered. Doc stamps are expensive, adding significantly to the transaction costs of real estate. Why not reduce or eliminate the Doc Stamp tax altogether to help, in no small way, all Floridians to exercise their rights of property ownership?

Judge Richard Posner Ignores Empirical Evidence of Ex-’Gays,’ Wrongly Calls Homosexuality ‘Immutable’

Author of key “gay marriage” ruling espouses unproven “born gay” theory.

Judge Richard Posner needs to meet some EX-"gays.:

UNINFORMED: Judge Richard Posner needs to meet some EX-”gays.”

It is no small thing to accuse renowned legal scholar Richard Posner, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and author of a recent controversial ruling in favor of homosexual “marriage,” of being ignorant—but it appears that is the case when it comes to Posner’s assertion that homosexuality is “immutable.”

It has been said of the prolific Posner, author of nearly 40 books, that he ”writes the way other men breathe,” but apparently the judge has never breathed in the wonderful reality that many men and women have overcome the destructive pull of homosexuality in their lives. Posner writes in the Appeals Court decision September 4, 2014 striking down Wisconsin’s and Indiana’s pro-traditional marriage laws:

“The challenged laws discriminate against a minority defined by an immutable characteristic…And there is little doubt that sexual orientation, the ground of the [anti-“gay marriage”] discrimination, is an immutable (and probably an innate, in the sense of in-born) characteristic rather than a choice” [pages 7, 9]

Such simplistic and unproven assertions cover over a multitude of politically incorrect facts and nuances that contradict the “gay” activist claim that “sexual orientation”–itself a tendentious social construct–is inborn, innocuous and unchangeable. This false narrative conveniently serves homosexual activists who insist theirs is a “civil rights” movement akin to Black Americans’ noble struggle for equality.

The problem for LGBT advocates is that while race and ethnicity are truly immutable–there are no “ex-Blacks” or “former Hispanics”—some people do change their sexual self-identity and behavior. (Not to mention their “gender identity”—the transgender “T” in “LGBT”—which progressives reflexively regard as fluid.) There is ample evidence that many homosexuals “acquired” their identity as a defensive maladaptation to the abuse, alienation or other trauma they experienced during their childhood. One example: CNN’s Don Lemon, who considers himself proudly “gay”–despite acknowledging that as a young boy he was sexually molested by an older teenage male in his neighborhood.

David-Kyle-Foster-small

CHANGED MAN: Former homosexual David Kyle Foster runs the Christian “Mastering Life Ministries,” which teaches people “how to heal sexual brokenness”–including those trapped in homosexuality.

Perhaps Judge Posner could deepen his understanding of homosexuality by visiting PFOX’s “Ex-Gay Awareness Conference”today and tomorrow in Washington, D.C. There he could meet real, live *former* homosexuals like Greg Quinlan and Christopher Doyle–who give the lie to his claim of immutability.

Or Posner could simply watch ex-“gay” testimonies like David Kyle Foster’s online [click HERE or go to www.PurePassion.us].

Moreover, Posner should consider that it is not only conservative Christians who speak to the reality of ex-“gay” change and evolving “sexual orientation”: former “lesbian” Chirlane McCray abandoned that identity when she fell in love with and married the future Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio.

Lesbian author Camille Paglia said McCray’s lesbian past was ignored in the mayoral race “because it upsets the current ideological applecart. Everyone from the mainstream media to Lady Gaga is preaching the ‘born gay’ gospel, but nobody is born gay, and no scientific study claiming that has ever held up to later scrutiny.”

Judge Posner should take heed. He himself wrote in 1998: “It is the lack of an empirical footing that is and always has been the Achilles heel of constitutional law, not the lack of good constitutional theory.” (New York University Law Review“Against Constitutional Theory”).

Unfortunately, Posner has allowed his own bias in favor of “innate” homosexuality to negate the empirical evidence that “gayness” need not be permanent in a person’s life.

For information on AFTAH’s Oct. 25, 2014 banquet with Dr. Michael Brown CLICK HERE.

RELATED VIDEO:

Ladies and gentlemen I offer you some good ‘Gun Sense’

With more and more women and men arming themselves with the latest tricked out versions of the AR-15 (the AR stands for Armalite, the company that originally manufactured this rifle), it is time to make sure you are using “good gun sense” when selecting a self defense weapon to defend your home and family.

Ladies and gentlemen I ask you: Will your home invasion self defense plan protect you from a Democrat prosecutor?

I have some tips.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of VolkStudio Blog.

Oklahoma beheader asks that a Muslim be named as his court-appointed lawyer

oklahoma-workplace-beheading-300x215

Jah’Keem Yisrael mug shot.

From the looks of his booking photograph, the “recent convert” beheader Jah’Keem Yisrael has been a Muslim long enough to develop an impressive zebibah. And while the facilitators of mainstream media obfuscation are claiming that it was a simple case of workplace violence and pointing to Yisrael’s Christian-themed tattoos (when did he get them?) as evidence that he was not a doctrinaire Muslim, he asked for a Muslim to serve as his attorney. But all those who commit workplace violence do that, don’t they?

“Oklahoma beheading suspect transferred to jail; victim’s friend remembers she was ‘loved and liked by everyone,’” by Nina Golgowski, New York Daily News, October 1, 2014 (thanks to Steve):

An Oklahoma man accused of barbarically beheading a co-worker before attempting to kill another has been released from a hospital and transferred to jail where he’s being held without bail.

Alton Nolen, the 30-year-old Islamic convert charged with first-degree murder, is accused of maniacally decapitating 54-year-old grandmother Colleen Hufford, then attacking another employee at Vaughan Foods in Moore on Thursday.

He was released from a local hospital Wednesday after being treated for a bullet wound — inflicted by a gun-packing plant manager — and booked into the county jail around midday.
The 30-year-old is accused of beheading 54-year-old grandmother Colleen Hufford, pictured, who worked with him at Vaughan Foods in Moore, Okla. Colleen Hufford Memorial Fund The 30-year-old is accused of beheading 54-year-old grandmother Colleen Hufford, pictured, who worked with him at Vaughan Foods in Moore, Okla.

In his first court appearance, Nolen requested a Muslim to be named as his court-appointed lawyer.

Nolen’s transfer came as Hufford’s grieving relatives made their first public comments on the attack, saying in a statement that her violent death was difficult to comprehend but that they’re thankful for the support from friends and family.

Nolen is described as an Islamic convert who had a Facebook page under the name Jah’Keem Yisrael. The page has a picture of armed jihadis as the cover picture and numerous shots of other Islamist fighters. Facebook Nolen is described as an Islamic convert who had a Facebook page under the name Jah’Keem Yisrael. The page has a picture of armed jihadis as the cover picture and numerous shots of other Islamist fighters….

RELATED ARTICLES:

Imam of Boston Marathon jihadis’ mosque apologizes to Islamic State

Georgia: Muslim stabs sister for refusing to wear hijab

Portland, Oregon: Would-be Christmas tree lighting jihad mass murderer gets 30 years prison dawah

A Game Changer—Law Center Reveals National Strategy to Defend Traditional Marriage

Slider3-300x187

Pastor Emery Moss (L), Pastor Danny Holliday, and Evangelist Janet Boynes listen during the Thomas More Law Center press conference announcing national strategy to defend traditional marriage.

The Thomas More Law Center, a national, nonprofit public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, MI held a press conference yesterday to reveal its national legal strategy to combat the slew of recent federal court rulings which have overturned state laws defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center disclosed that a legal team has been formed to file friend-of-the-court briefs (amicus briefs) on behalf of a Coalition of African-American pastors and Christian leaders. The legal team consists of the Law Center’s senior trial counsel, Erin Mersino, and co-counsels William R. Wagner and John S. Kane of Lansing, MI.

Thompson explained, “In its briefs, the Law Center reflects the voice of a majority of African-Americans that discrimination because of one’s sexual preference is not the same thing as racial discrimination and that tradition and morality should not be discarded as a basis of the law; as the pro-homosexual judges have done in their opinions.”

Several pastors representing the African-American community spoke at the press conference, including Bishop Samuel Smith, and Pastors Danny Holliday and Emery Moss. Evangelist Janet Boynes, a former lesbian and a member of the group, also spoke. In eloquent and at times fiery words, they all defended the definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

Thus far, the Thomas More Law Center has filed 2 amicus briefs on behalf of the Coalition involving petitions for review in the US Supreme Court: Herbert v. Kitchen, an appeal of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals decision overturning Utah’s law defining traditional marriage and Rainey v. Bostic, an appeal of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision overturning Virginia’s law defining traditional marriage.

Additionally, the Thomas More Law Center has filed an amicus brief in Deboer v. Snyder, an appeal of a Detroit federal court decision overturning Michigan’s law on traditional marriage. That case is awaiting a ruling from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Slider-2

Bishop Samuel Smith strongly affirms traditional marriage during the Thomas More Law Center press conference announcing national strategy to defend traditional marriage.

Bishop Samuel Smith, of the Apostolic World Christian Fellowship consisting of 25, 000 churches worldwide representing over 5 million laity, stated: “Every once in a while, the homosexual agenda makes an effort to redefine morality, but history tells us, that every culture that has embraced a homosexual culture has suffered decadence, depravity, and decline.”

Pastor Danny Holliday, Pastor of Victory Baptist exclaimed, “We all know that the 14th Amendment was made because Black folk were considered as property. Gays have never been considered as property.”

Evangelist Janet Boynes, a former lesbian and member of the Coalition related from her own experience, “There is no substitution for the role of a father and a mother. I know this to be true. I was in a homosexual lifestyle with a woman who had two children and I tried to fulfill the role of a dad. As time went on, I realized that I wasn’t equipped nor built to be a daddy.”

Pastor Emery Moss, of Strictly Biblical, said, “The American Revolution had taxation without representation and we’re going to have marriage legislation without representation. It’s un-American and all Americans should stand up against it.”

Thompson commented, “The Law Center will continue to file amicus briefs in several significant cases concerning the definition of marriage in order to convey the unique voice of the African-American Christian community on this issue crucial to the survival of our families, culture and nation.”

Any pastor interested in joining the Coalition should contact the Thomas More Law Center.

Florida’s Marijuana Amendment 2: Every Parent’s Nightmare

This November a critical battle will be fought to challenge the heavily financed push for ‘medical marijuana’ in Florida, which is ripe with disinformation and loaded with power brokers ready to cash in, all at the expense of our youth.

Politics Behind the Bill

First, let’s examine the politics behind this ballot initiative. Mid-term elections are historically lackluster; however, more young voters are likely to turn out with this initiative being on the ballot. Ana Cruz, former executive director for the Florida Democrat Party has stated, “I wish it didn’t take medical marijuana on the ballot to motivate our young voters.” John Morgan, a major fundraiser for Obama and boss of Charlie Crist, who is running for governor, has been very visible stirring up young adults to show up to vote, using marijuana as the ‘lure.’

Big Business involvement

Funding for the legalization of marijuana and the ‘medical’ angle has come from a number of millionaire financiers, such as Peter B. Lewis and billionaire George Soros in an $80M drive across the country, funding such groups as Drug Policy Alliance, Marijuana Policy Project, United for Care and People United for Medical Marijuana. Make no mistake, this is not a “grassroots” project, but a “big business” opportunity and certainly doesn’t have arthritis ridden geriatric seniors or children with epilepsy in mind. Soros has gone on the record clearly stating that he supports the legalization of drugs, even crack cocaine. Billionaire Warren Buffet has also jumped on the bandwagon and has developed a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Cubic Designs, Inc., which promises many weed dispensaries, “Double your space: Grow your profits;” promoting mezzanine systems to expand their growing spaces for marijuana.

The entertainment industry has also taken hold with a new web based “Marijuana Reality Show,” preparing to launch in Denver that is designed to pitch products and services for the pot industry making them “millionaires.” As The New York Times has pointed out, the legal industry is expected to grow $2.6B this year. Let’s not be naïve, the “medical marijuana” push is not designed to help our chronically sick, pain stricken Americans, it’s glamorizing this controlled substance for our youth and big business is ready to profit from it.

Florida Lawmakers Approve Medical Marijuana, Charlotte’s Web

In addressing the issue of marijuana’s use to treat sick people, Florida’s Governor Scott recently signed into law a bill legalizing medical marijuana oil to treat epilepsy, cancer and Lou Gehrig’s disease. The “Charlotte’s Web” bill legalizes strains of marijuana that are high in CBD, which eases seizures in the brain, but low in THC, the compound that produces a high. Therefore, why is the ‘Medical Marijuana,’ Amendment 2 on the ballot?

Doctors, Law Enforcement and Other Professionals Sound Alarm

According to Dr. Lawrence Wilson, marijuana is now just as addictive as cocaine and heroin, for some people, especially teenagers. He discusses that the drug cartels, which have plenty of money, are breeding new marijuana hybrid plants with higher levels of THC, with other toxic chemicals in it. It is much stronger and more addicting. Furthermore, he claims that in states where the medical marijuana initiative was passed, such as California, Colorado and Montana, he found:

  • Marijuana went to drug abusers, teenagers, college students and not the seriously ill
  • In Montana, travelling marijuana caravans take “pot doctors” from town to town handing out medical marijuana cards
  • Traffic accidents increased; difficult to prosecute
  • Crime increased, because of violent behavior and the inability of many pot smokers to hold employment
  • Pot smokers gained unheard of impunity with employers and the law, because of the wording in the bill

Researchers at Northwestern U. have analyzed the relationship between casual use of marijuana and brain changes, finding that young adults who used cannabis just once or twice a week showed significant brain abnormalities in two important brain structures. Dr. Hans Breiter has found that heavy cannabis use caused similar brain abnormalities to those patients suffering from schizophrenia. The findings at Northwestern U. have determined that continued marijuana use leads to a condition called “amotivation syndrome,” a psychological condition that causes people to be less goal oriented and less focused in general. Other studies indicate that adolescents who started using marijuana before the age of 18, with continued use, experienced as much as an 8 point decline in IQ scores.

Furthermore, young women who engage in pot smoking when pregnant can increase their child’s risk of having permanent cognitive deficits, psychiatric disorders, anxiety and depression in addition to premature birth.

Societal Impact

In Colorado, over 37 people died across the state the first day the drug became legal, many more were not expected to survive. Dr. Jack Shepard, chief of surgery at St. Luke’s Hospital stated that, “It’s complete chaos here. I’ve put five college students in body bags since breakfast.” He further stated, “We are seeing cardiac arrests, multiple organ failures; by next week the death toll could go as high as 200.” A young lady in Colorado was quoted as saying that all her friends had marijuana cards, so it was always available.

Amendment 2 would allow marijuana to be sold in dispensaries, not in medically controlled facilities and with relaxed zoning laws, which means that they could crop up anywhere.

The general public should be concerned about these pot shops being a magnet for gangs and crime in their communities and the strain on their law enforcement’s operating budgets fighting the resulting criminal activity. Even the DEA admits that marijuana legalization “scares us.” James L. Capra, chief of operations has stated, “There are more dispensaries in Colorado than there are Starbucks.” He went on to say, “This is a bad experiment. It’s going to cost us in terms of social costs.”

To Learn More About This Issue Please Visit: www.Don’tLetFLGoToPot.com

References:

http://rt.com/usa/dea-against-marijuana-legalization-734/
http://dailycurrant.com/2014/01/02/marijuana-overdoses-kill-37-in-colorado-on-first-day-of-legalization/
http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/stateroundup/gov-scott-signs-charlottes-web-marijuana-bill-into-law/2184590
http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=977
http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/09/14/4348193/marc-caputo-the-politics-paradoxes.html
http://www.forthepeople.com/featured-news/john-morgan-and-medical-marijuana
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/04/03/Soros-Funding-Pot-Legalization
http://www.msnbc.com/hardball/medical-marijuana-oil-bills-approved-north-carolina-florida
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/02/us-usa-florida-marijuana-idUSBREA410W220140502
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/14/medical-marijuana-florida_n_5145686.html
http://rt.com/usa/dea-against-marijuana-legalization-734/
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/01/us/after-5-months-of-sales-colorado-sees-the-downside-of-a-legal-high.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/27/marijuana-while-pregnant-affects-babies-brain_n_4674820.html

http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/35647/The-Invisible-Hand-Cultivates-Cannabis/

http://.foxnews.com/health/2014/04/15/casual-marijuana-use-linked-with-brain-abnormalities
http://drlwilson.com/Articles/CANNABIS.htm

Holocaust Survivor’s Florida Guardianship Saga — Never Stops!

In August, 89-year-old Florida State Ward and Holocaust Survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto Marie Winkelman got another bill.  This time, Marie owes her attorney, Audrey Bear of Sarasota, more than $17,000.00 for services she provided to Marie from before she became Marie’s attorney until January 2014.  Amongst the multitudes of charges claimed by Bear are over $1,600.00 for the hours Bear, Marie, and Beverly Newman, elder advocate, spent together on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve, reviewing Marie’s case of gross guardianship abuse.

For four hours on December 31, 2013, Bear, Marie, and Newman discussed Marie’s appeal of the court order that ended her freedom as an independent woman and seized all of her bank accounts, investments, and a trust worth millions, pursuant to a mediated settlement agreement signed by Bear’s friends and fellow attorneys, Rebecca Proctor and Christopher Likens, in addition to attorneys Kimberly Bald and Barry Spivey.

On November 25, 2013, these attorneys had signed the mediated settlement agreement without Marie being present or even seeing the agreement, without any record being made of the secret mediation meeting held at attorney Gary Larsen’s office, and without Marie’s consent to its terms or her signature upon the document.

The secret meeting produced an agreement that was subsequently adopted by Probate Judge Deno Economou on December 3, 2013, without holding the mandatory incapacity evidentiary hearing, thus denying Marie her Constitutionally-guaranteed rights to due process.

The order issued by Judge Economou sealed Marie’s fate as a Ward of the State of Florida, removing all of her rights to her own trust account and placing her step-son-in-law, New Jersey resident and Rutgers financial administrator Robert Szychowski, in charge of gathering all of Marie’s assets into Sabal Trust Company, located in the same building with Szychowski’s attorney, Christopher Likens. Indeed, it was Likens who filed the original fraudulent documents in behalf of Szychowski to petition the court to declare Marie to be incapacitated and to put her into guardianship.

Although Bear charged Marie over $1,600.00 for the time she spent telling Marie about her rights to appeal the court order that stole her freedoms, Bear never filed the notice of appeal that she promised would be filed with the court that same day, when Marie gave Bear $400.00 in checks to pay for the appeal.  By failing to file the notice of appeal, Bear forever fatefully cost Marie her right to appeal.

Now, hundreds of thousands of dollars later, dozens of attorneys, guardians, psychiatrists, physicians, and other service providers have reaped windfall benefits from Marie’s guardianship.

Szychowski’s wife and sister-in-law, by order of the court, have become the permanent primary heirs of Marie’s trust, despite her fervent opposition to said provision, emanating from the mediated settlement agreement that improperly converted Marie’s trust from revocable to irrevocable and permitted Sabal Trust to pay enormous attorney bills and other bills directly from Marie’s trust without the statutorily-required court oversight and approval.

Despite Florida law that permits its Wards to be speedily released from State control upon a determination by a licensed physician that the Ward is not incapacitated, Marie’s Ward status has languished for 8 months after a psychiatrist found her to be capacitated. 

Thereafter, another psychiatrist concurred and filed multiple reports with the court declaring that Marie Winkelman can live independently; yet, the court has kept Marie in guardianship. Rutger’s long-time administrator has zealously opposed Marie Winkelman’s release from Florida guardianship and will fight Marie’s right to be free on September 22, 2014, at 10:00 AM, in a day-long battle before Judge Economou, when Szychowski’s lawyers, Likens and Bald, will interrogate the psychiatrists who have determined Marie to be capacitated.

Psychiatrist Matthew Nessetti, who has been paid over $15,000.00 from Marie’s trust to evaluate her, will be interrogated by Szychowski’s attorneys, costing Marie thousands of dollars per hour during the hearing. Meanwhile, Rutgers University has intransigently refused to accept numerous ethics complaints filed against its administrator, Robert Szychowski, who has cost his elderly step-mother-in-law endless grief for well over a year and a fortune in money that she diligently earned after the Nazis stole her childhood, family, and possessions from her as a child-victim of the Holocaust.

Will the one who escaped from the Warsaw Ghetto alone as a child ever escape guardianship, she wonders?

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Marie Winkleman  (left) with Dr. Beverly Newman. Those wishing to support Marie Winkelman at her guardianship trial may go to:

Courtroom 8B
Lynn N. Silvertooth Judicial Center
2002 Ringling Blvd.
Sarasota, Florida  34237
Judge Deno Economou
Monday, September 22, 2014, 10:00 AM

Warning to my fellow Jews: Miami Beach Hate Crimes

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Photo courtesy of YourJewishNews.com

Although they are not being classified as hate crimes, the following crimes against Jews and Jewish property are proliferating throughout Miami Beach:

  • a Rabbi was publicly executed on the Jewish Sabbath in a Jewish neighborhood walking to synagogue at 9:00 a.m. by two Black youths on foot (August 9,2014), who were never caught;
  • two blocks away, a synagogue was defaced with swastikas spray-painted in red and “HAMAS” written across its entrance (July 2014);
  • Jewish-owned cars were defaced with the words “HAMAS” and “JEW” written on them on the Jewish Sabbath (July 2014);
  • a Sephardic/Hispanic synagogue was defaced with “IRAQ” and swastikas painted on its entrance (September 2014);
  • a Publix in a Jewish area was defaced with “KKK” and swastikas painted on its wall (September 2014);
  • a Jewish ritual bath house was defaced with swastikas (September 2014); next door, a youth center was defaced (September 2014) and its yellow school buses were spray-painted with “KKK” (September 2014);
  • more swastikas were painted on a nearby street (September 2014); and the car of a Jewish mourner attending the memorial for the assassinated Rabbi had a swastika and Iron Cross carved into it during the service (August 2014).

This is the face of hate – to deface houses of worship and destroy the life of a clergyman.

But where, oh where, are the voices of outcry? Where are the ceaseless manhunts? Where is the FBI? Where is the Department of Justice? Where are the Jews, … and where are the Christians who will be the next victims? Have we never learned the ultimate lessons of the Holocaust? Hate will never stop of its own accord or volition. It must be obliterated before it obliterates the masses.

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Jewish youth center buses defaced. Photo courtesy of the Miami-Herald.

We begin obliterating hate crimes with voices raised loudly, tirelessly, relentlessly …. “Justice, justice shalt thou pursue,” commands the Bible. Divine justice streams and stems from human involvement in the pursuit of justice.

A Rabbi was riddled with bullets, synagogues are scarred with criminal symbols, cars and youth buses are defaced with hate signs, religious sites are attacked, Jewish neighborhoods are targeted, streets are filled with hate language, and stores in Jewish neighborhoods are painted with words of hate. Is there a pattern here? Jews beware, I beg you. Speak now or forevermore hold your peace.

FROM THE MIAMI BEACH POLICE DEPARTMENT WEBSITE’S SECTION ON HATE CRIMES:

In all reports the officer will note why this is a Hate Crime.  After reviewing the incident and determining that a Hate Crime was committed, the State Attorney’s Office will upgrade the crime one level as follows:

  • 3rd degree misdemeanor reclassified as a 2nd degree misdemeanor
  • 2nd degree misdemeanor reclassified as a 1st degree misdemeanor
  • 1st degree misdemeanor reclassified as a 3rd degree felony
  • 3rd degree felony reclassified as a 2nd degree felony
  • 2nd degree felony reclassified as a 1st degree felony
  • 1st degree felony reclassified as a Life Felony

Again an Officer in the State of Florida CANNOT charge anyone with a Federal Crime.

Miami Beach Police Department’s  Hate  Crime  Policy

The Department views all Hate Crimes as major and possibly organized acts which are given the highest investigative priority possible to ensure rapid apprehension of all persons involved. The Department will work closely with all supporting agencies to ensure that the crime committed will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Hate  Crimes  Hotline (305) 604-2110

POSTER - STRING OF MB HATE CRIMES V. JEWS

Dear Rick and Pam — as in Scott and Bondi

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AG Bondi and Governor Scott in Sarasota, FL.

Let me publicly reiterate my private conversations with each of you at your campaign rally on Labor Day. I am a laborer, a small business owner who works at least 60 hours a week six days per week and barely pays our family’s bills. I am also a strong advocate of elders and of children; thus, I vociferously support your combined efforts to cleanse Florida of pill mills and to “stop the pot” machine steamrolling over the Sunshine State, about to become the “Stoned State.”

Both of these issues are inextricably interwoven with each other and with another urgent elder issue – guardianship abuse. How so? The mentality that pushes pills to adults also pushes pot to our youth, in particular, and exploits our elders, by filling them with prescription drugs while in guardianship as Wards of the State of Florida. We call it chemical restraint. If there is one State Ward in Florida who is not under the influence of chemical restraints – anti-depressants and other psychotropics – it would be extraordinarily rare.

Typically, the State of Florida forcibly administers to each of its tens of thousands of Wards some or all of the following prescription drugs, commonly against the will of both the Wards and their families: Zoloft, Lorazepam, Clonidin, Lexapro, Seroquel, Ativan, Xanax, Risperdal, Haldol, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, … ad infinitum. If the names sound familiar, it is because these same drugs are part and parcel of the pill mills Florida has evicted from our borders. Why then are our beloved parents and grandparents victimized by court-authorized pill mills via guardianships?

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Beverly Newman speaking to Governor Scott.

At least equally hideous to the abusive use of chemical restraints on the elderly is the forcible immobilization of them through physical restraints, tethering frail elderly women and men to beds and chairs, such that they cannot move their bodies or limbs. On September 21, 2009, I personally witnessed both the chemical and physical restraint of my 89-year-old Father, Al Katz, at Manatee Memorial Hospital, against his will and mine.

From September 21 through September 24, with an emergency room diagnosis of cardiac and respiratory distress, my Father, a Ward of the State of Florida, was repeatedly drugged with Haldol, a narcotic that caused him to suffer vivid flashbacks to the tortures he endured as a slave laborer for seven years in the Holocaust. With each dosage of Haldol, Dad was infused with fear, which invariably led to what is known as four-point physical restraints on his wrists and ankles, tying him to the bed so that he could not move at all. Despite my pleas to cease the pill mill administration of Haldol to my Dad and to loosen the rigid physical restraints on him, which were causing him untold cardiac and respiratory stress, the Hospital staff did not relent.

Unknown to me at the time, Manatee Memorial Hospital had previously used the same chemical restraint, Haldol, and physical restraints on a patient whom it consequently buried due to cardiac arrest. During his Hospital stay for alcohol withdrawal in August 2007, Daniel Joseph Jordan, age 41. He entered the Hospital robust and left dead, a victim of torment; yet, two years later, the Hospital employed exactly the same measures on my Dad, a Ward of Florida, who miraculously survived after weeks of doctor-ordered chemical restraints, physical restraints, and isolation after his transfer to Manatee Memorial’s dark, deep basement.

The links between marijuana peddling, prescription pill mills, and guardianship abuse are based upon profit motives and a drug-culture mentality. We citizens of Florida call upon our Governor and our chief legal officer to cut the ties that bind these destructive forces in our State, which splinter our families and end human lives in immeasurable misery.

Why doesn’t America want to be sovereign?

There is an urgent need for the U.S. to recover its lost sovereignty, especially in terms of borders and immigration but also in more subtle ways such as freeing ourselves from UN Agenda 21 or Common Core in education. Part of our problem is the distorted idea of what sovereignty really is.

Some think national sovereignty is a possible encroachment on state and personal sovereignty. Some say that sovereignty was a term avoided by the Founders because they were conditioned to think it referred to sovereign kings and queens of Europe. These concerns raise the question of what sovereignty really is, and I hope herein to add a few grains to our understanding. There are several levels of sovereignty, which are, from lower to higher, essentially as follows:

  1. Popular sovereignty,
  2. State sovereignty,
  3. National sovereignty.

The founders did not eschew the notion of sovereignty, as some have worried. In fact, it is central to their founding idea as pointed out here. Nor does national sovereignty imply a loss of state sovereignty. The Tenth Amendment is dedicated to protecting state sovereignty. When I mentioned sovereignty above, I was referring to national sovereignty. National sovereignty is the concept that the national government is not beholden to any other outside country or entity and has the full right to decide its path and destiny.

But in the case of our political class, it is clear that they are following leadership that does not come from We the people. Mind you, it does not necessarily come from the UN or from any particular country. But there are bits and pieces of supranational ,and what could be called ‘foreign’ leadership in Washington.

Recent presidents have all had cabinet members who were members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) or the Trilateral Commission. According to Carroll Quigley, a liberal professor who taught at Georgetown, wrote in his book “Tragedy and Hope”:

“The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is the American Branch of a society which originated in England… (and) believes national boundaries should be obliterated and one-world rule established. I know of the operations of this network because I have studied it for twenty years, and was permitted in the early 1960’s to examine its papers and secret records…. I believe its role in history is significant enough to be known.”

Richard Haas, as president of the CFR, once wrote that it is time to “rethink” sovereignty. Only a person who does not want countries to be sovereign would think that way. Now you might say, “what’s wrong with that? The CFR is not part of our government, and even if the organization came from England, it is not making the US subservient to England.” All very true.

However, any organization, whether domestic or foreign, that seeks to weaken our national sovereignty, as Quigley describes above, is intentionally undermining the US as a sovereign nation, taking it closer to becoming part of a supranational entity, similar, for example, to the Soviet Union or the EU, whose member states were barred from making independent decisions (the people of EU nations are starting to push back against this authoritarian top-down rule). Yet all presidential cabinets have prominent members from this clearly subversive organization. This does not bode well for our national security or our freedom to shape our own destiny.

There are two aspects of sovereignty that are being undermined routinely by our national government, and they are: borders and immigration. Just as no household can survive for long if the owner leaves the doors wide open 24-7 and hangs a sign on the door “All welcome to enter any time. Help yourselves to furnishings and fridge contents,” no nation can claim sovereignty if it has no control over its borders or invites all and sundry to enter and stay, with or without ID and without any background checks. Spain, under Prime Minister Zapatero, of which Obama seems to be a reasonable facsimile, kept Spain’s borders notoriously wide open, giving rise to a concept dubbed the “call effect”, an unspoken invitation to illegal immigration, a phenomenon that, in our case has birthed the “children’s invasion” from Central America.

I did not mean to give short shrift to state sovereignty. State sovereignty has been unduly undermined, particularly since Lincoln and needs to be restored to its rightful place. For example, state authorities must annul federal laws that encroach on their sovereignty, as in the case of the Bundy ranch.

As for popular sovereignty, it was a concept held in high esteem by our Founders: Sadly, this concept has been so badly distorted in today’s America that there are groups of people who think they are free to drive cars with no plates or drivers licenses, citing the Constitution’s mention of free travel. Others insist that the Constitution gives them the right to buy, sell and take drugs. It also leads some to side with criminals who are shot by police in self-defense. Many “sovereign citizens” openly defy the law, declaring themselves sovereign when confronted by law enforcement. They have gotten the cart before the horse. You don’t acquire freedom simply by declaring yourself to be sovereign. The authorities do not give people special rights based on their ability to quote the Founders. I have known some who wound up behind bars and were forced to find a new hobby.

This warped concept of “sovereignty” has detracted from the overall concept of national sovereignty and is one reason why our national sovereignty has taken a back seat. 

Many fail to apprehend that no one is truly free in a nation that is not sovereign. If people can be deluded into believing that they are each a king or queen, then national sovereignty and winning back our lost national rights to exist are no longer a relevant issue for them. But the reality of the situation is that we are losing jobs and inviting dangerous criminals to our shores in ways that will not be sustainable for too much longer — in ways that will affect even “sovereign citizens.”

So far no national political party has arisen to make this issue of national sovereignty a central part of its platform. Both of the main ones are rushing to open our borders even further, using false mantras and excuses, such as pretending that building a border fence would lead us to become another Soviet Union, with its famous Iron Curtain, or suggesting that because Americans are all descended from foreigners, we should welcome foreigners without background checks or ID. Yet none of these bleeding heart idealists would think of requiring other nations to do likewise.

Americans across the political spectrum would say “we must respect the sovereignty of all nations.”What they mean is, all nations is the U.S.

Pinellas County Sheriff Gualtieri: Why I am against Florida marijuana Amendment 2

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri is helping lead an effort to defeat a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize medical marijuana. Both a lawman and an attorney, Gualtieri was appointed sheriff by Gov. Rick Scott in 2011. He was elected in his own right the following year.

Gualtieri started his career as a Pinellas deputy in 1982. Promoted to detective, he investigated international drug and money-laundering crimes and became an expert in electronic surveillance. In 1998, he left the sheriff’s office to study law, graduating from the Stetson University College of Law in 2002. After a stint at a private law firm, Gualtieri returned to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office as general counsel in 2006. He was appointed chief deputy by Sheriff Jim Coats in 2008 and performed both functions until Coats retired and Gualtieri became sheriff.

Gualtieri also is well versed in child welfare, since Pinellas is one of the six Florida counties where sheriff’s departments conduct their own child-protection investigations.

The News Service of Florida has five questions for Bob Gualtieri:

Q: Why have you joined the opposition to Amendment 2?

GUALTIERI: Well, I think at the end of the day, it’s bad for Florida because it’s going to create — this is not about medical marijuana. You know, first and foremost, that’s why I’m opposed to it. This is really about legalizing recreational use of marijuana.

What the proponents are really after — and people who need it for medical purposes – is the THC that is in marijuana. And THC is what gives people relief, pain relief, will enhance appetites for people that need their appetite enhanced. And for at least 15 years, there are synthetic forms of THC that are available in pill forms and by prescription from physicians that are FDA approved, in Marinol and these other pills that are out there, that give them that. And so this is not about providing pain relief or any other type of relief for people who are truly, acutely ill and who need this, because it’s available in pill form.

This is really about smoke-able form, recreational-use, social-purpose marijuana use, and legalizing it across the board. So I think this whole advocacy by the proponents is really subterfuge for general recreational legalization. This isn’t about medical purposes.

Q: Would you oppose any medical marijuana proposal on principle? Or is your opposition to Amendment 2 mostly driven by concerns that its wording leaves room for abuse?

GUALTIERI: It’s not on principle. When I talk about this, I say, “Let’s assume, one, that there is medical benefit to, quote, marijuana, to THC, and the other things that are in marijuana. As an example, Charlotte’s Web and the CBD (cannibinoid) to help alleviate or eliminate seizures, especially in kids — I have no problem with that whatsoever. And most especially with CBD or Charlotte’s Web — it’s being administered in oil forms, in non-smoke-able forms. That’s medicine. It has a benefit.

So I have no issue or debate or question about whether the contents can provide and has legitimate medicinal or medical purposes. So it’s not a philosophy, it’s not a categorical opposition to it. It’s … this amendment is not about medicine and being compassionate and recognizing that people have needs. This amendment is — the problem is the wording of the amendment, not just what’s in it but what’s not in it: The lack of regulation, the lack of control, the lack of a scheme that will prevent what we just went through with the prescription drug-abuse epidemic, and having these pot docs that show up next to these dispensaries, and you’ve got just, really, just wholesale abuse.

Which leads to the question that people often ask when I say that, “Okay, so why are you opposed to recreational use?” We as a country, we as a community, have a very serious addiction problem. We see this time and time again. Law enforcement cannot solve this drug-abuse problem across the board, because it’s an addiction problem. So if we tell our kids, “Don’t smoke, don’t engage in recreational use of drugs, why are we then, now, going to legalize just one more thing that — from a social standpoint — will say, “It’s OK, because we as a society have legalized it” — and give people one more thing to be addicted to, to abuse, to cause problems. So it’s not good.

Q: What do you think of the way the new Charlotte’s Web law is being implemented? Any improvements you could suggest?

GUALTIERI: I think that the Department of Health is doing a decent job in how they’re going about the hearings and the rule-making process. I know that we as sheriffs and the Florida Sheriffs Association have had an opportunity to have representatives at the hearings and provide input on the rule; in fact, we had a conference call on it yesterday.

And if there is going to have to be rule-making as a result of Amendment 2 passing, I’m encouraged by how the Department of Health is handling it. So I say, “So far, so good,” from what I see as to how it’s being handled.

Q: The six county sheriff’s departments that do their own child-abuse investigations finally got a boost in funding this year. How would you evaluate their status at this point — are they committed to continuing as child-protective investigators or is the jury still out? 

GUALTIERI: Well, what was done by the Legislature and by the governor this year to put in place a framework — other than a political framework of a money grab, so that we actually have measurements in place to determine the appropriate budgets for the sheriffs who are doing child protection — it’s fantastic. It’s a huge step in the right direction. We accomplished a lot by it. It’s going to help us to retain competent child protection investigators, recruit competent child protection investigators, and so I think it’s great. It’s fantastic. The key to it, though, is that it’s sustained and that it’s all sustainable.

I think that we’re — I know I am — again, very encouraged by it. I think it sends the right message to those of us who are providing the services for the protection of kids across Florida. But I think for everybody, since this is the first year of it under this new framework, I think we need to see a couple of years of using that same formula and making sure it is sustained under that formula before anybody is going to have a high level of confidence. Because there’s no assurance it doesn’t go back to some other way in future years.

I think we’ve made great progress with it, I’m very optimistic about, but I think we also need to ensure that it’s sustained.

Q: We’re seeing a lot of news lately about the militarization of local law-enforcement agencies. Is that something that concerns you, or do you think it’s being hyped up?

GUALTIERI: I think it’s a bunch of hype. We’ve had either the same or similar equipment for many, many years. It hasn’t been available in the volume or to the extent that it is (now), so you didn’t see as many agencies in the past having it, but we’ve had it for years.

It’s all about using it in the right way, using it responsibly. We picked up …on a 1033 program, we picked up this year six Humvees and two (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, known as MRAPs). We’ve had similar-type vehicles in the past, we’ve had them for years. There’s been no problem, there’s been no controversy, there’s been certainly no misuse of them. But when the time comes, and you need the resources, you need the assets — you need them now. You don’t need them tomorrow, it isn’t going to do you any good to start thinking about it. And so law enforcement needs rescue vehicles. If you have an officer or a deputy that’s been pinned down by gunfire, or a citizen, you need to be able to go in and get them out without somebody getting hurt. If you’ve got a sheet of water, you need to be able to get through it somehow in a storm.

So I think it’s a bunch of hype. I don’t think that it’s anything to get concerned about, and those of us that have had this equipment for years. Here, in the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, we purchased what’s called a GPV, or general purpose vehicle, which is similar to an MRAP. We purchased it back in, I think 2005, 2006 for $300,000. Served us well. We used it for SWAT situations and high-risk situations and rescues and all kinds of different things without any issues or controversy.

And we’ve got an MRAP — I think it’s a $900,000 vehicle — we paid, like, $2,000 for it. So it could be sitting on some lot out in Texas, collecting dust, or be put to use here and save us a considerable amount of money. We’ve had the equipment, we will have the equipment, regardless of whether it comes from military surplus or we get it straight from a vendor. …So I think this is just a bunch of hype based on recent events.

RELATED ARTICLE: Tallahassee Democrat Laura Yard: Medical groups oppose Amendment 2

Illinois Judges Block Citizens from Voting on Term Limits in November 2014 General Election

U.S. Term Limits Senior Fellow Paul Jacob once called the citizen initiative process “the political lifeblood of the people.”

“Without initiative and referendum the politicians can ignore the people and monopolize power,” he added.

Nowhere are Paul’s words more relevant right now than in the state of Illinois, where a citizen committee collected over 590,000 signatures to place a term limits and legislative reform question on the November ballot. If passed, it would have enacted solid eight-year term limits on the Illinois State House and State Senate and cut back on the overall size of the General Assembly.

But that was not to be. Last week, a corrupt alliance of career politicians and activist judges made sure that the term limits initiative would not appear on the ballot. After allies of 29-year Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan filed a lawsuit against the measure, a circuit court judge ruled it unconstitutional. Then an appeals court concurred with the county judge, and the state Supreme Court refused to hear a final appeal.

The judges, all with political ties to the Speaker, claimed the reforms didn’t make “structural and procedural changes” to the legislature. If term limits and altering the size of a legislative body aren’t “structural and procedural” fixes, then nothing will ever meet the definition. Clearly, this was a case of legislators exploiting any loophole they could find to delay the inevitable.

Now, citizens of the nation’s third most corrupt state are livid. Gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner, who also led the term limits initiative committee, tells voters in a new ad to take out their frustrations on Madigan and current Governor Pat Quinn at the ballot box.

Bruce Rauner is Chair of the Term Limits and Reform Committee and a candidate for Governor.

Elections are not term limits, so it remains to be seen whether citizens have the ability to throw out the political machine come November. If elected, Rauner will be able to push for a legislative referral on term limits or a rewrite of the state’s initiative law. Either option could be the magic bullet the state needs to finally free itself from career politicians.

The insider-dominated political atmosphere in Illinois is a cautionary tale for Congress and other states weighing whether to keep or enact term limits. A small group of leaders with indefinite terms will always block reforms that threaten its own power. Under term limits, surrender of power is structurally and procedurally a part of the legislature. Citizens have access to the lawmaking process without fear that self-interest will block the door.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is of Michael Madigan who has been Speaker of the Illinois House for 29 of the past 31 years. it was his associates who filed a lawsuit against the term limits and reform amendment.

Common Core: Law Center Develops Opt-Out Form for Parents

Amidst growing concerns from parents and teachers surrounding the Common Core State Standards and the Federal government’s control of classroom curriculum, the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) has prepared a Student Privacy Protection Request form for use by parents who wish to protect their children by opting-out of Common Core aligned curricula, data mining and the release of information concerning their children’s personal beliefs.

The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, MI, designed the comprehensive opt-out form for parents concerned about Common Core and who want to protect their children’s privacy from educational data mining. The form allows parents to choose which Common Core State Standards and data driven practices they do not want their children to be a part of, including standardized testing.

Click here to download a copy of the Student Privacy Protection Request form

The form allows parents to opt-out of sharing their child’s information with the federal government, as well as outside agencies and private contractors. Information which parents can opt-out of sharing ranges from test scores and religious and political beliefs, to biographic, biometric, and psychometric data, such as fingerprints, DNA and information related to children’s personality and aptitude.

Richard Thompson, TMLC President and Chief Counsel, commented, “The opt-out form is based on the constitutionally recognized fundamental right of parents to direct the education of their children and on federal statutes which were designed to protect student privacy.  Our Founding Fathers recognized the dangers to our freedoms posed by centralized control over public education.  However, today, all but a handful of state governments, enticed by millions of dollars in federal grants, are voluntarily inviting the federal government to take control of our public schools, imposing untested educational standards and obtaining personal information on children and their parents which would make any totalitarian government blush with envy.   We must ever keep in mind, ‘The philosophy of the classroom in one generation will become the philosophy of the government in the next.’ Clearly, Common Core is a threat to individual privacy and liberty, and to our Constitutional Republic.”

Religious and private school educators have also criticized Common Core. In a statement the Cardinal Newman Society, an organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of faithful Catholic education said, “This school reform effort is nothing short of a revolution in how education is provided, relying on a technocratic, top-down approach to setting national standards that, despite claims to the contrary, will drive curricula, teaching texts, and the content of standardized tests.  At its heart, the Common Core is a woefully inadequate set of standards in that it limits the understanding of education to a utilitarian ‘readiness for work’ mentality.”

Political Commentators Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin have repeatedly reported on the dangers and horrors of Common Core, with Malkin saying, “It’s about control, control and more control.”

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were developed under the supervision of the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to ensure that education and educational outcomes were consistent across the United States. The CCSS provides a set of standards they claim are “essential, rigorous, clear and specific, coherent, and internationally benchmarked.”

However, the CCSS have come under heavy fire since the beginning for a variety of grievances including: incomprehensible, political and inappropriate assignments; costly ties to big corporations; in-test advertising; the elimination of locally appropriate standards; and the emphasis placed on standardized testing.

In addition, with the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, whose educational value has not been demonstrated, also comes an alarming explosion of data mining within the classroom.  Student data are stored in databases designed to follow students from their entry into schools in pre-Kindergarten up through their entry into the workforce. These databases, through a complicated network of contracts and agreements, can then be shared with the federal government, contractors, researchers and other outside agencies. Testing corporations can then analyze the test data, produce recommendations for how to “remediate” student weaknesses, and then sell that information back to states and school districts.

These state databases, often referred to as P-20 systems, like Common Core are tied to federal funding, through the 2009 Federal Stimulus package and Race to the Top waivers, and in some instances can contain over 400 individual data points per student including health-care histories, income information, religious affiliations, voting status, blood type, likes and dislikes and homework completion. The data is then available to numerous public agencies. Despite federal student privacy protections guaranteed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the administration is paving the way for private entities to buy the data while the U.S. Department of Education is encouraging the shift from aggregate data collection to individual student data collection.

As a result of concerns expressed by a Michigan member of the TMLC regarding Common Core in March 2014, the Law Center began its study of the issues regarding the Common Core Standards.  The Student Privacy Protection Opt-Out Request was designed by the Thomas More Law Center as a result of that study.  It is available as a general reference and guide for all concerned parents.  However, each state has different laws that may impact educational issues differently.  Therefore, if parents are dealing with schools outside of the state of Michigan, it is important that they consult with a licensed attorney in their state for additional review and modifications of the opt-out form to comport with the laws of their respective states.

RELATED VIDEO: How Education Savings Accounts Are Empowering Families:

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

The Common Core: A Poor Choice for States – The Heartland Institute
Common Core Issues – Home School Legal Defense Association
Common Core: What’s Behind the Language – Rachel Alexander
Common Core – The Eagle Forum
10 Facts Every Catholic Should Know About the Common Core – Cardinal Newman Society