President Obama’s Stand on so-called “Homosexual Marriage” is Flawed in Two Ways

Anthony Verdugo, executive director of the Christian Family Coalition in Miami-Dade County, discusses President Barack Obama’s stand on gay marriage. Reported by Steve Rothaus / Miami Herald Staff. Video by Kristofer Rios / Miami Herald.

ABOUT THE CHRISTIAN FAMILY COALITION

The Vision And Mission: To empower Families at the grassroots level to give them a voice in their government again!

The Christian Family Coalition was founded with the purpose of serving as a voice for the pro-family citizens of Florida to ensure that our religious liberties are protected from government intrusion.

The Christian Family Coalition works to introduce pro-family legislation at the state and local levels of government. We inform and educate citizens on where candidates stand on the issues that affect the traditional family unit.

The Christian Family Coalition mission is:

  1. Proclaim our values in the public arena and in the media.
  2. Train Christian leaders for effective social and political action.
  3. Inform Christians about timely issues and pending legislation.
  4. Protest anti-Christian bias and defend the legal rights of Christians.

Cliches of Progressivism: Rich People Have an Obligation to Give Back by Lawrence W. Reed

For a society that has fed, clothed, housed, cared for, informed, entertained, and otherwise enriched more people at higher levels than any in the history of the planet, there sure is a lot of groundless guilt in America.

Manifestations of that guilt abound. The example that peeves me the most is the one we often hear from well-meaning philanthropists who adorn their charitable giving with this little chestnut: “I want to give something back.” It always sounds as though they’re apologizing for having been successful.

Translated, that statement means something like this: “I’ve accumulated some wealth over the years. Never mind how I did it, I just feel guilty for having done it. There’s something wrong with my having more than somebody else, but don’t ask me to explain how or why because it’s just a fuzzy, uneasy feeling on my part. Because I have something, I feel obligated to have less of it. It makes me feel good to give it away because doing so expunges me of the sin of having it in the first place. Now I’m a good guy, am I not?”

It was apparent to me how deeply ingrained this mindset has become when I visited the gravesite of John D. Rockefeller at Lakeview Cemetery in Cleveland a couple years ago. The wording on a nearby plaque commemorating the life of this remarkable entrepreneur implied that giving much of his fortune away was as worthy an achievement as building the great international enterprise, Standard Oil, that produced it in the first place. The history books most kids learn from these days go a step further. They routinely criticize people like Rockefeller for the wealth they created and for the profit motive, or self-interest, that played a part in their creating it, while lauding them for relieving themselves of the money.

More than once, philanthropists have bestowed contributions on my organization and explained they were “giving something back.” They meant that by giving to us, they were paying some debt to society at large. It turns out that, with few exceptions, these philanthropists really had not done anything wrong.

They made money in their lives, to be sure, but they didn’t steal it. They took risks they didn’t have to. They invested their own funds, or what they first borrowed and later paid back with interest. They created jobs, paid market wages to willing workers, and thereby generated livelihoods for thousands of families. They invented things that didn’t exist before, some of which saved lives and made us healthier. They manufactured products and provided services, for which they asked and received market prices.

They had willing and eager customers who came back for more again and again. They had stockholders to whom they had to offer favorable returns. They also had competitors and had to stay on top of things or lose out to them. They didn’t use force to get where they got; they relied on free exchange and voluntary contract. They paid their bills and debts in full. And every year they donated some of their profits to lots of community charities that no law required them to support. Not a one of them that I know ever did any jail time for anything.

So how is it that anybody can add all that up and still feel guilty? I suspect that if they are genuinely guilty of anything, it’s allowing themselves to be intimidated by the losers and the envious of the world, the people who are in the redistribution business either because they don’t know how to create anything or because they simply choose the easy way out. They just take what they want or hire politicians to take it for them.

Or like a few in the clergy who think that wealth is not made but simply “collected,” the redistributionists lay a guilt trip on people until they disgorge their lucre—notwithstanding the Tenth Commandment against coveting. Certainly, people of faith have an obligation to support their church, mosque, or synagogue, but that’s another matter and not at issue here.

A person who breaches a contract owes something, but it’s to the specific party on the other side of the deal. Steal someone else’s property and you owe it to the person you stole it from, not society, to give it back. Those obligations are real and they stem from a voluntary agreement in the first instance or from an immoral act of theft in the second. This business of “giving something back” simply because you earned it amounts to manufacturing mystical obligations where none exist. It turns the whole concept of “debt” on its head. To give it “back” means it wasn’t yours in the first place, but the creation of wealth through private initiative and voluntary exchange does not involve the expropriation of anyone’s rightful property.

How can it possibly be otherwise? By what rational measure does a successful person in a free market, who has made good on all his debts and obligations in the traditional sense, owe something further to a nebulous entity called “society”? If Entrepreneur X earns $1 billion and Entrepreneur Y earns $2 billion, would it make sense to say that Y should “give back” twice as much as X? And if so, who should decide to whom he owes it? Clearly, the whole notion of “giving something back” just because you have it is built on intellectual quicksand.

Successful people who earn their wealth through free and peaceful exchange may choose to give some of it away, but they’d be no less moral and no less debt-free if they gave away nothing. It cheapens the powerful charitable impulse that all but a few people possess to suggest that charity is equivalent to debt service or that it should be motivated by any degree of guilt or self-flagellation.

A partial list of those who honestly do have an obligation to give something back would include bank robbers, shoplifters, scam artists, deadbeats, and politicians who “bring home the bacon.” They have good reason to feel guilt, because they’re guilty.

But if you are an exemplar of the free and entrepreneurial society, one who has truly earned and husbanded what you have and one who has done nothing to injure the lives, property, or rights of others, you are a different breed altogether. When you give, you should do so because of the personal satisfaction you derive from supporting worthy causes, not because you need to salve a guilty conscience.

Lawrence W. Reed
President
Foundation for Economic Education

Summary

  • The innocent-sounding phrase, “I want to give back,” far too often implies guilt for having been productive or successful.
  • If you earned your wealth through free and voluntary exchange, don’t let others get away with making you feel guilty just because you have it.
  • The people who really should “give it back” are those to whom it doesn’t belong or who took it from others in the first place.
  • For further information, see:

“On Giving Back” by George C. Leef: http://tinyurl.com/lqd3lo6

“Give Up on Giving Back?” by Sandy Ikeda: http://tinyurl.com/or7jhh3

“Giving Back” by Steven Horwitz: http://tinyurl.com/pwqjqzw

20130918_larryreedauthorABOUT LAWRENCE W. REED

Lawrence W. (“Larry”) Reed became president of FEE in 2008 after serving as chairman of its board of trustees in the 1990s and both writing and speaking for FEE since the late 1970s. Prior to becoming FEE’s president, he served for 20 years as president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Michigan. He also taught economics full-time from 1977 to 1984 at Northwood University in Michigan and chaired its department of economics from 1982 to 1984.

EDITORS NOTE: Versions of this essay have previously appeared in FEE’s journal, The Freeman, under the title, “Who Owes What to Whom?”

The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) is proud to partner with Young America’s Foundation (YAF) to produce “Clichés of Progressivism,” a series of insightful commentaries covering topics of free enterprise, income inequality, and limited government.

Our society is inundated with half-truths and misconceptions about the economy in general and free enterprise in particular. The “Clichés of Progressivism” series is meant to equip students with the arguments necessary to inform debate and correct the record where bias and errors abound.

The antecedents to this collection are two classic FEE publications that YAF helped distribute in the past: Clichés of Politics, published in 1994, and the more influential Clichés of Socialism, which made its first appearance in 1962. Indeed, this new collection will contain a number of essays from those two earlier works, updated for the present day where necessary. Other entries first appeared in some version in FEE’s journal, The Freeman. Still others are brand new, never having appeared in print anywhere. They will be published weekly on the websites of both YAF and FEE: www.yaf.org and www.FEE.org until the series runs its course. A book will then be released in 2015 featuring the best of the essays, and will be widely distributed in schools and on college campuses.

See the index of the published chapters here.

Planned Parenthood To 15-year Old Girl: “Experiment by Pooping on Your Sex Partner”

Last Resistance reports, “[A] Planned Parenthood employee advises an undercover investigator, posing as a 15-year-old girl, on how to experiment with sexual bondage/sadomasochism, including gagging, whipping, defecation, emulating pornography, and going to sex stores to ‘get educated.'”

Footage was obtained by Live Action at Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains in Littleton and Lakewood, Colorado.

Watch this video of the encounter (WARNING: Material not suitable for children):

Extended footage at: http://www.PlannedParenthoodExposed.com

Growing Concern that Diseased Illegals are Headed to Florida

Florida resident Carol Hartman in an email to Congressman Daniel Webster voicing concerns that illegals are being housed in Orange County, FL asks:

What are you doing about this?

They are housing these illegals right in our own Apopka at the Hope Community Center. Not sure if your district covers the physical location of this center, but it really doesn’t matter, these illegal aliens are still in FL. Your vote/support or lack thereof affects everyone, so district doesn’t really matter. I do not see your name as a co-sponsor listed [on House Resolution 675] in the link below. Have you since joined as a co-sponsor since this article was written?

Please read the other [World Net Daily] article re: the seriousness of all kinds of diseases that are being spread throughout this country, jeopardizing our lives. You know they don’t sterilize the airplanes between flights, so who knows how many innocent people are carrying these diseases home to spread around.

After you read that article, the only conclusion you MUST come up with is to deport these illegals. The American citizens are not requesting anymore, we are demanding action, for our very lives are at stake.

Thank you for taking a positive stand for the American citizens.

EDITORS NOTE: The Hope CommUnity Center denies it is a “processing center”.

It appears Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Department of Health have the same concerns as does Hartman. The following letter from the Florida State Surgeon General was sent on July 18, 2014 to HHS and FEMA.

 July 18, 2014

Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Secretary                                              Craig Fugate, Administrator
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services                       Federal Emergency Management Agency
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.                                                   U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20201                                                                     500 C Street SW Washington, DC 20472

Secretary Burwell and Administrator Fugate:

The Florida Department of Health has received unconfirmed reports that the federal government is bringing unaccompanied minors from the border to Florida today. On July 17, we received unconfirmed information that dozens of children were being brought by plane into Miami on Friday. This same day, ABC news reported that “the federal government is so overwhelmed by the current tide of migrants crossing the border it cannot provide basic medical screening to all of these children before transporting them, often by air, to longer-term holding facilities across the country.” (Feds Struggling to Cope with Medical ‘Breakdown’ at the Border, ABC News, July 17, 2014.)

Specifically, ABC News reported that your Health and Human Services Department’s Director of Refugee Health said you, “identified a breakdown of the medical screening processes.” This breakdown was described in the news report as “a systemic failure of the handoff of these children between Customs Border Protection (CBP) and Health and Human Services (HHS).”

If these reports are accurate, this “systemic failure” in the federal system is extremely worrisome. In order to fulfill my duties as Florida’s State Surgeon General, I am asking you to immediately provide the below information. This information is urgently needed to guard the health and safety of Florida communities across our state and is vital to the well-being of those children from the border who may have come through the flawed federal system.

  • Will you notify the Florida Department of Health immediately of any current or future unaccompanied minors coming to, or placed in, Florida, including their current location?
  • Are you conducting health screenings both at the border and again at the time the children are placed in shelters?
  • What medical services, if any, were provided to any children placed in Florida?
  • Do you have any records of infectious diseases associated with the children currently in federal care in Florida?
  • Have any of the children been hospitalized in Florida with fevers accompanying their illnesses? If so, where are they being treated?

Because of the urgency of this request, this letter is being immediately emailed and faxed to you. I expect a prompt response to my request for information on existing unaccompanied minors in Florida and would like to stress the importance of future timely communications.

Sincerely,

John H. Armstrong, MD, FACS
State Surgeon General and Secretary
Florida Department of Health

This is not about immigration. It is about the federal government sanctioning of human trafficking on a massive scale. Some have called this crisis “human dumping.” The dumping ground is America.

UPDATE: Lyle J. Rapacki, Ph.D., Protective Intelligence and Assessment Specialist, reports —

Texas Governor Rick Perry will announce today at 2:00 p.m. at the Texas State Capitol, he has decided to act and deploy 1,000 Texas National Guard to the border in the Rio Grande Valley. Yesterday afternoon in Iowa, Governor Perry stated: “If the federal government does not do its constitutional duty to secure the Southern border of the United States, the state of Texas will do it.” The Texas National Guard troops will be deployed to the Rio Grande Valley along with an increase of Texas Department of Public Safety who already has been operating at the Texas border. The joint work by and between these two assets is to keep drug and human trafficking south of U.S. Highway 83 and with the goal of keeping smuggling from entering major highways to transport throughout the state. The cost of deployment of the Texas National Guard will be $12 million per month, with $9.8 million for personnel and vehicle costs and $2.4 million for deployment of additional helicopters. The “call-out” will be formalized today when the Governor makes the announcement, but it will take up to one month to reach full contingency.

This action raises a question as to whether or not the flow of illegals into Texas will now redirect to Arizona.

RELATED ARTICLES:

City Journal: Refugees bring numerous health problems with them to your towns; more reporting needed
Florida schools brace for flood of border kids – EAGnews.org
Gutiérrez: ‘I Think We Can Get 3 or 4, Maybe Even 5 Million People’ Amnesty via Executive Action (+video)
No-Brainer: The ‘BlueServo’ Solution To Border Insecurity
White House: We’ll Put Illegal Immigrants Wherever We Want, And We Won’t Tell You
Lie at Heart of “Immigration Reform” Exposed
The Border Crisis Stories the Networks Aren’t Telling You About – Media Research Center

Warning: Banana Republic Shakedown coming Next Week

Reuters reports:

“Central American leaders will ask U.S. President Barack Obama to support a regional and development security plan to stem the tide of illegal child migrants to the United States at a meeting next week, a Honduran minister said on Saturday.

Presidents of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras will meet with Obama on Friday to look for ways to curb a record breaking exodus of Central American children fleeing to the United to escape violence and poverty.”

The shakedown by these banana republic tin horn dictators called President is almost laughable because they are all complicit in coordinating the whole exodus scenario that started in 2011.

In early 2011 these same three countries met in Tegucigalpa and worked to coordinate efforts to offload some of their poverty populations to the United States and how to facilitate it. Since 2011 the numbers from the three countries have risen steadily to the avalanche in 2014. Without a doubt Obama’s Unconstitutional actions regarding young illegal aliens has been an additional catalyst of come to America and live.

Also aiding the transporting of the illegal aliens through Mexico are trains owned by a subsidiary of Kansas Southern Railway? Think anyone from our government has said “stop letting people hop the freight trains?”

Only two weeks or so ago Guatemala signed an agreement with Mexico to allow Guatemalans a 72 hour pass to move through Mexico on the way to Texas. Do these sound like countries that are trying to keep their people home or to offload them to the United States?

The solution is simple: Immediately stop all aid to the three banana republics trying to shake us down and Mexico for allowing the illegal aliens to pass through their country. Use that aid money to pay for some of the damages caused and do not give them any further aid until we have paid for the mess they helped make. Taxing citizens to pay for this two bit shakedown play by these clowns from Central America is unacceptable.

RELATED ARTICLE: Gutiérrez: ‘I Think We Can Get 3 or 4, Maybe Even 5 Million People’ Amnesty via Executive Action (+video)

Daytona Beach, Florida: Black homosexual babysitter rapes 11-year old boy — Caught in the act by father

There are those who believe that homosexuals are benign individuals just looking to be treated fairly. There are those who think homosexuals act responsibly when it comes to their sexual urges to engage in sex with others of the same sex. Well one 18-year old homosexual got his due from a father but not until after he raped an 11-year old who he was babysitting.

Initial reports are that the homosexual abuse has been going on since the victim was 8-years old. The little boy was bullied by the homosexual rapist to keep silent about their sexual activities. This trauma will be forever with the 11-year old.

Raymond Frolander (pictured above) is 18-years old and is a pederast, a lover of little boys. All pederasts are homosexuals. Multiple Florida news outlets are failing to properly identify the rapist as black and a homosexual.

BizPacReview reports:

Daytona Beach father beat an 18-year-old male babysitter unconscious when he returned home to find him sexually abusing his 11-year-old son.

Raymond Frolander was a trusted family friend and neighbor, Daytona News-Journal reported.

According to police, when the father caught Frolander in the bedroom molesting his son, he knocked him out and called 911. Police responded to the call at 1:07 a.m. Friday, according to News-Journal.

[ … ]

Frolander admitted to the abuse, which had allegedly been going on for three years and is being held without bond. Charged with sexual battery, he appeared in court Friday with his face badly beaten and his eyes almost swollen shut.

Video from GlobalNew24:

RELATED ARTICLE: Obama to Sign Order Barring Federal Discrimination against Gays (order contains no religious exemption)

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo of Raymond Frolander is courtesy of The UK Daily Mail.

Florida is a Top Ten State for Central American Illegal Settlement (infographic)

Nicole Rusenko, a senior designer at The Heritage Foundation, and Kelsey Harris, the visual editor at The Daily Signal, created an infographic that tells the immigration story. Note on the infographic that Florida is one of the top states for Central American illegals to migrate. There has been a 234% increase in illegals from Guatemala, Salvador and Honduras.

central american immigration infographic

For a larger printable version click on the image.

The 2% Solution: How Homosexuals are Fundamentally Transforming America

Of the total U.S. population only 1.6% identify themselves as homosexual or lesbian according to the National Health Interview Survey, the U.S. government’s premier tool for annually assessing Americans’ health and behaviors. The study found that 0.7 percent of Americans consider themselves bisexual.

So, how are homosexuals fundamentally transforming America? They are “sloseting” the 98.4% who are straight. They also have helpers in very high places.

The Urban Dictionary defines sloset as “an exceedingly lost and/or stupified person. Also; a person lost in a closet, a state of utter lostness.” It was not enough for homosexuals to come out of the closet, homosexuals had to put those who are straight into a closet of utter lostness. Homosexuals are creating an ever growing number of “slosets.” If you speak out against homosexuality you are labeled, denigrated and in some cases fired from your job.

I call this the 2% solution: Keep attacking those who are revolted by homosexual behavior, thereby creating more stupified straights.

AFP reports:

HIV infections are rising among gay men in many parts of the world, the World Health Organization warned Friday, urging all men who have sex with men to take antiretroviral drugs to prevent infection.”

“We are seeing exploding epidemics,” warned Gottfried Hirnschall, who heads WHO’s HIV department.

Infection rates are rising again among men who have sex with men — the group at the epicentre of AIDS pandemic when it first emerged 33 years ago, he told reporters in Geneva.

While images of skeletal men dying of AIDS in the 1980s pushed the world to act, a younger generation that has grown up among new treatments that make it possible to live with HIV are less focused on the disease, he suggested.

Today, this group is 19 times more likely than the general population to be infected by HIV, Hirnschall said.

This is not a prophylactic problem. This HIV pandemic is a sexual behavior problem. The WHO has the wrong focus. The issue is not to provide antiretroviral drugs so that homosexuals can continue their deadly sexual behaviors. It is critical to change their behavior, by doing so you reduce the health threat globally.

Every society has a responsibility to stop homosexuality, it will help those who exhibit this bad behavior and those who homosexuals may come in contact with, particularly young boys. Homosexuals are a danger to themselves and those they have sex with, male and female alike. In Florida 70% of know HIV/AIDS cases are due to males having sex with males (MSM). The question is how many women have been infected by bisexual men?

Homosexuals have friends in very high places. The top three are: President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (Democrat candidate of president) and current Secretary of State John Kerry. Each is in his or her own way are promoting homosexual and lesbian friendly policies. Homosexuality has become not only a national domestic social policy, it is the major thrust of U.S. foreign policy.

According to the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute, “To date, the Obama-Biden Administration has appointed more than 250 openly LGBT professionals to full-time and advisory positions in the executive branch; more than all known LGBT appointments of other presidential administrations combined.”

President Obama in a speech at the June 17th, 2014 Democrat National Committee LGBT gala noted, “Maybe no single issue divided our country more than same-sex marriage.  In fact, the Republican Party built their entire strategy for 2004 around this issue.  You remember?  They calculated that if they put constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage on state ballots, they’d turn out more voters, they’d win.  And they, frankly, were right.  People flocked to the polls.  Those amendments were on the ballots in 11 states.  They passed in every single one.”

Now we have activist judges overturning the will of the people in those states, which via constitutional amendments, have defined marriage as between one man and one woman,  the most recent in Florida.

There is push back against the “slosetification” of America and the world. Take Singapore for example. The Associated Press reports, “A children’s book inspired by a real-life story of two male penguins raising a baby chick in New York’s zoo has been deemed inappropriate by state-run Singapore libraries, and the conservative city-state’s information minister said he supports the decision to destroy all copies alongside two other titles. The National Library Board, which runs 26 public libraries in Singapore, pulled from the shelves and said it would “pulp” the copies of three titles, citing complaints their content goes against Singapore’s family values.”

The three books are “And Tango Makes Three,” about a male-male penguin couple in the Central Park Zoo; “The White Swan Express: A Story About Adoption,” which involves a lesbian couple; and “Who’s In My Family: All About Our Families.” Parents are speaking out against these books being used in public schools across America.

It is important for homosexuals and lesbian to slosetfy our children. Homosexuals love little boys, it is called pederasty. All pederasts are homosexuals.

Have you been slosetfied? If so, then you need to come out of the closet and work against the less than 2% who are forcing their behavior upon you and your children.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of The Washington Post.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Obama to Sign Order Barring Federal Discrimination against Gays (order contains no religious exemption)
NJ [homosexual] teacher faces prison for sex talk with students – New York News
Health survey gives government its first large-scale data on gay, bisexual population – The Washington Post
WHO warns HIV ‘exploding’ among gay men, urges preventive drugs
Singapore backs call to destroy gay-themed books – Yahoo News
‘Gay’ Agenda? What ‘Gay’ Agenda?
Teacher and pair of transvestites break into home, bludgeon owner – EAGnews.org
Nobody is ‘Born that Way,’ Gay Historians Say

BREAKING NEWS: Activist Florida Judge strikes down Marriage Amendment — AG Bondi files appeal

l_garciab

Judge Luis M. Garcia

Today, Thursday, July 17, 2014, Monroe Circuit Court Judge Luis M. Garcia released a written order granting Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment in the matter of Huntsman vs. Heavilin where homosexual bartenders filed suit arguing Florida’s Marriage Protection Amendment was unconstitutional. The Amendment, defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, was passed by Florida voters in 2008 by a 62% margin.

In his order, Judge Garcia did not “stay” (stop) the issuing of marriage licenses until the federal courts determine the constitutional issues, something many judges have done after similar rulings in other cases around the country.  As a result, the same-sex couple who served as Plaintiff’s and perhaps hundreds of others could be able to obtain marriage licenses in Monroe County, possibly as soon as this Tuesday, July 22, 2014, according to the judge’s ruling.  Unless the court recognizes the appeal filed by the Attorney General of the State of Florida as staying the order, licenses could be issued.  A stay would halt the issuing of same-sex marriage licenses in Monroe County until the federal courts can determine the constitutional issues surrounding this controversy.

Judge Garcia was appointed to the Monroe County Circuit Court by former Governor Jeb Bush in October 2000.

John Stemberger, President & General Counsel of the Florida Family Policy Council, who was the primary force spearheading the campaign to pass Florida’s Marriage Amendment in 2008, issued the following statement:

“Today’s ruling by Judge Garcia, in the Florida Keys, is a stunning act of legal arrogance and raw judicial activism.  With one stoke of a pen, a mere trial judge has attempted to overthrow an act of direct democracy by five million Floridians who defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman.  Judge Garcia has ignored the constitution, ignored the will of the people, and has asserted his own personal views over the rule of law.  This ruling is precisely what voters were trying to prevent when they overwhelmingly defined marriage in the Florida Constitution in 2008 by a 62% vote.

Judge Garcia’s reliance on the Windsor decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012 is wrong sided and completely misplaced. Windsor was a state’s rights decision and affirmed that each state has the right to define marriage.  Instead of relying on the constitution, Garcia joined the judicial stampede of other lower federal judges who have tried to override marriage laws based on no precedent other than their own political agendas.  The judge’s opinion that the motivation for passing the marriage amendment was animus and hatred is simply outrageous and insults five million Floridians.

We thank Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi for filing an immediate appeal to the court to stay its order until the federal courts can rule on the constitutional issues and appeal this insubordinate decision.”

Colorado Expert: Florida on the path to legalizing recreational pot

Marijuana policy expert joins the growing Don’t Let Florida Go to Pot coalition.

A Colorado expert who helped state officials there develop regulations after voters approved legalized marijuana is warning Floridians that they too could be on the path to legalizing recreational use of the drug if they support Amendment 2 in November, which would authorize marijuana under the guise of medicine.

Colorado made history in 2012 by becoming the first state to legalize recreational use of marijuana. But the story actually began 14 years earlier, when voters passed a constitutional amendment approving marijuana as a compassionate solution for desperately ill patients that led to massive fraud and abuse, said attorney Rachel O’Bryan, who was appointed to work on marijuana regulatory issues by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. O’Bryan now serves as spokesperson for Smart Colorado, a non-profit group, formed in 2013, dedicated to minimizing the negative consequences of legalizing pot in that state and especially its impact on youth.

After Colorado voters legalized marijuana as “medicine,” they saw how easy the drug was to obtain and how widely it was being used for recreational—rather than medicinal—purposes. So two years ago, they voted to totally legalize pot for anyone 21 or older as a way to bring back honesty to the state’s marijuana laws, O’Bryan said. She suggested that Floridians educate themselves on Colorado’s experience with legalizing marijuana, because the Sunshine State is on a very similar path.

“In November, Florida voters will be faced with a choice of legalizing marijuana for medical use. Voters should ask themselves now whether they want commercialized, recreational marijuana use legalized in Florida, because that is the direction Florida is headed with Amendment 2,” O’Bryan said.

O’Bryan spoke Wednesday during a news conference at the Florida Press Center in Tallahassee, where she was joined by Calvina Fay, executive director of the Drug Free America Foundation, Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger and representatives of the Don’t Let Florida Go to Pot coalition. O’Bryan announced that she is joining the growing coalition, which provides information to Floridians about the social, educational and health consequences of legalizing marijuana use.

“Rachel O’Bryan has witnessed firsthand what happened after Colorado voters legalized marijuana under the guise of medicine, and she has been in the trenches assisting her state in grappling with the many negative implications from that decision,” Sheriff Eslinger said. “The lessons she brings from Colorado are critical for Floridians to understand in order to make their own informed choices.”

O’Bryan pointed out that Florida’s Amendment 2 contains three “fatal flaws” that mimic problems with Colorado’s law that legalized marijuana under the guise of medicine—and that ultimately opened the door to legalizing recreational use of pot in that state.

First, Florida’s Amendment 2 allows for any medical condition to qualify for marijuana treatment by defining a “debilitating medical condition” as one that includes “other conditions for which a physician believes the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.” The likely result of this open-ended language is that individuals will use marijuana recreationally, despite the amendment’s stated intent not to allow this, O’Bryan said.

Colorado’s amendment legalizing marijuana as so-called medicine did the same thing by stating broadly that pot could be used to treat “severe pain.” As a result, Colorado’s patient registry statistics show that only one percent of patients use marijuana to treat HIV, AIDS, or glaucoma; only two percent list seizures; only three percent list cancer; while 94 percent list “severe pain,” a highly subjective, unverifiable condition.

Second, Florida’s Amendment 2 allows “medical” marijuana treatment centers to develop food products, even though most other types of medicines are not imbedded in food. These food products make it easier to discreetly consume marijuana, even on school property or at work. Colorado’s amendment legalizing marijuana as “medicine” also allowed food products. Today in Colorado, marijuana is infused in brownies, soda, breakfast cereals, cookies and snacks, cooking oil and salad dressings. Some “medical” marijuana companies are even buying children’s candies like Swedish Fish or Sour Patch Kids and spraying them with marijuana oil, O’Bryan said.

Third, Florida’s Amendment 2 places no age limits on “qualifying users” and also provides for user confidentiality. Coupled together, these two provisions open the door for Florida teenagers to be able to legally obtain marijuana without their parents being notified, O’Bryan said. This has significant social and educational implications for Florida’s youth, as long-term studies have shown that weekly marijuana use before age 18 is associated with a permanent decline in IQ.

Colorado’s amendment legalizing marijuana under the guise of medicine also placed no age limits on recipients, O’Bryan noted. As a result, the state has recently seen an explosion of “medical” marijuana users who are 18 to 20 years old. The number of people in this age range has increased by more than 46 percent since the end of 2012, while the state’s total “medical” marijuana patient registry only increased to two percent. Meanwhile, the latest Healthy Kids Colorado Survey found that 52 percent of high school seniors said it is “very easy” to get marijuana; 51 percent know someone with a medical marijuana card; and more than 11 percent said they had gotten marijuana within the previous 30 days from someone with a medical marijuana card.

O’Bryan noted the ballot summaries for proposed constitutional amendments in Florida are limited to just 75 words, which is typically all that voters read. Based on her expert interpretation of Florida’s Amendment 2, she said the ballot summary could read this way:

Allows for the use of marijuana for ANY medical condition. Allows teenagers to obtain marijuana without parental notification. Allows for the development of marijuana-infused foods, including candy and snacks that appeal to children. Does not recognize private property rights of landlords or condominium associations to prohibit the use of marijuana in multi-unit dwellings. Waives a patient’s right to medical malpractice claims against their physician related to their treatment with marijuana. 

“Would Florida voters still support this amendment if they had a full and accurate summary of what the amendment does?” O’Bryan asked.

Legalizing marijuana as a so-called “medicine” has literally changed the landscape in Colorado, especially Denver. Today, there are 493 pot shops in Colorado and 195 alone in Denver, where so-called medical marijuana shops now outnumber pharmacies, liquor stores, McDonald’s and Starbucks.

“Marijuana is smelled on the street and smoked in front yards,” O’Bryan said, adding this warning: “Florida voters, you may think you won’t go as far as Colorado and Washington, but you will be one step closer.”

ABOUT DRUG FREE AMERICA FOUNDATION, INC.

Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. is a national and international drug policy organization promoting effective and sound drug policies, education and prevention. www.dfaf.org.

For more information on Drug Free America Foundation, please visit www.dfaf.org, follow us on Twitter @DrugFreeAmerica and like DFAF on Facebook.

The Don’t Let Florida Go to Pot coalition is a collective effort of more than 100 local and state organizations to educate Floridians on the dangers of marijuana. From law enforcement to substance abuse groups, the coalition is working statewide to ensure public safety and the future of our youth. 

America’s poly-drug drift to “The world’s only fully industrialized Third World Nation”

Assassin: Word History Date of Origin 17th century:

Etymologically, an assassin is an ‘eater or smoker of hashish’, the drug cannabis. Arabic for ‘hashish-eater’ .One who kills for political or religious rather than personal motives.

In 1989 Secretary of Education Lauro Cavazos said, “We are in danger of becoming the world’s only fully industrialized Third World nation.” What does the ancient “assassin” etymology mean for today’s “medical marijuana” experiment, legal in fifteen states, Washington DC., and counting. I will here, patient reader, briefly tease out marijuana, pornography and sex trafficking as the industrialization of Third World religiosity.

My pot interest began in 1978, reading “Qat’s Cradle,” in Human Behavior. The U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare paid two jolly UCLA researchers to live two years in the Yemen Arab Republic studying, “What would life be like in a total drug culture?” The two reported a lethargic nation that grew a single crop–marijuana/qat—and that experienced widespread malnourishment, impoverishment and infant mortality. Everyone used.

Students chew liberally …. Children chew qat starting at seven or eight years of age … women …. have their own qat parties …. taxi drivers chew ..Politicians chew with politicians; religious leaders and scholars chew with their groups. Qat chewing even plays a role in the highest government circles.

From their two year long sojourn, our happy grantees concluded Americans should emulate this drug culture for Yemenites, they said, remain part of the “world economy.” The authors note Yemenite qat chewing as 400 years old. In the 19th century a traveler tried it and wrote:

The Yamini [sic] can go or several days without food, but not a single day without qat. Men and women and children, they all use it.

So, as conservative lawyers and ministers currently argue for pot legality, kindly stay with me on this. Drug apostles, “philanthropic” millionaires like Hugh Hefner, and billionaires like Peter Lewis, George Soros and similar venture capitalists financed marijuana legalization. Remember, before victims legally exposed big tobacco’s death rates and alcohol’s drunk-driving record, both industries controlled all mainline media. These “harms” emerged only after juries awarded millions to industry/advertising victims. Anticipate similar media censorship of pot harms.

Instead of the tragic Third World history of pot, we get pricey advertorials like the feature film, “It’s Complicated” where one film critic gushed, “director Nancy Meyers, and actors Meryl Streep, Steve Martin” and Alec Baldwin deserve awards for making marijuana “acceptable” in pop culture.

Sorry. When a hot new product gets “used” in a film, that is called an “advertorial” and it used to be illegitimate. The “using” star, director, writer, etc, commonly receives mucho gold to hawk the item—especially when it is supported by billions. GQ says:

I guess it began the moment medical-marijuana advocates began equating pot with something healthful and people started actually believing them….to treat nausea and headaches….

The GQ author says making it “healthy” sold pot, since folks think it’s no “more dangerous, than a bottle of spirulina…” Huffington Press’s Jason Silva says the “It’s Complicated” showed “successful, cosmopolitan adults enjoying a marijuana joint with no consequences.”

Well, if Streep, Martin and Baldwin’s pot acting promo didn’t pay more than their film salary their agents should be replaced forth with. Writing as though he is stoned, Silva adds, “Our 10,000 year relationship with cannabis can now exist without shame or rebellion. There are now more marijuana dispensaries in L.A. than there are Starbucks.”

Our” 10,000 year relationship with hashish? Americans? Silva shouldn’t smoke.

Our” cannabis “relationship,” roughly 50 years, was largely among criminals and then young, “educated” spoiled sex and drug rebels (see Woodstock’s shagged out chaos).

With U.S. marijuana use declining consistently “since the mid-1990s,” pot investors needed to lunch a media weed blitzkrieg with pricey celebrities snorting, (oops toking) in feature films like, “It’s Complicated,” “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” “[C]inema’s stoned age. Films featuring characters using marijuana have mushroomed.” says The Christian Science Monitor.

Silva reports, moms are “lighting up joints in Bryn Mawr and Squirrel Hill….Just ask Lisa….who works for a financial institution.” (She handles my money?) Lisa relaxes “with a joint” at night while the kiddos sleep.

Isn’t that inspiring? However, the Judeo-Christian religious proscriptions against mind altering drugs would have allowed “Lisa” and the Bryn Mar moms those leisurely swims in their back yard pools while their Third World sisters must still haul water from the well.

Remember, generations of Third World cultures relaxed “with a joint.” Arguably these “joints,” supported by religious worldviews, have kept its people impoverished.

Until recently, alcohol, relatively costly, morally proscribed (remember prohibition?) and water-soluble was the only intoxicant readily available to the Western masses.

Odysseus reported in The Odyssey, that the land of the “Lotus Eaters” induced a timeless drugged stupor. In The War on Drugs, researcher James Inciardi writes:

[R]eferences to marijuana appear in early Persian, Hindu, Greek, Arab and Chinese writings [and] chewing of coca had already been in Inca mythology for centuries.5

Despite rich national resources, indigenous peoples; Central Mexico, Costa Rica, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Morocco, Egypt, Yemen, Jamaica, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Fiji, etc, generally live in dire poverty with cultural acceptance of drugs always filtering down to children.

Marijuana and betel nut are common in most of Egypt and Asia. The Cree Indians tolerate harsh labor by chewing and brewing calamus or “rat root, 6 while Central Mexico to Costa Rica, hashish and thle-pela-kano (“Leaf of God”) keep the natives in bondage. Opium, heroin, hash oil and hashish are indigenously Asian. 10 Hashish controls people in North Africa, Pakistan to Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Nepal.

Nepal’s life expectancy, like other Third World countries, teeters at about 50 years of age along with its annual per capita income in 2010 of $1,250.[11]

Indigenous drugs produce poverty, early mortality and illiteracy, and largely explain what the west calls amotivational syndrome. All adult use always leaves children vulnerable to vile abuse, from entrapment into prostitution to parental sale of their children.

Globally, men increasingly promote drug use by spouse and consort to get more dangerous sex acts and to recruit and control prostitutes and now, to create pornography. Drug use is directly associated with increased rates of myriad venereal diseases including AIDS (due to promiscuity, vaginal, oral and anal sex, rape, etc), unmarried births, infanticide and abortion.

Returning to the definition of “Assassin,” survivors speaking at the Liberty University Law School symposium on Genocide and the Holocaust (February 14, 2011) described the blood curdling public massacres in Rwanda. It turns out that marijuana played a role in that wholesale slaughter. Perhaps the effects of grass, or poly drug use, is not always as “laid back” as affluent Merel Streep’s acting demonstrated.

An official report on “Six rapid assessments of alcohol and other substance use in populations displaced by conflict” identifies “alcohol, khat, benzodiazepine, opiate, and other substance use” as part of heinous massacres and “gender-based violence” in Rwanda and other warring nations:

“People who take drugs get reckless…. Alcohol and cannabis were….widely consumed by men and women of all ages…Cannabis was typically smoked….Ex-combatants and their friends are typically perceived as the main sellers and users of cannabis….to be brave and strong to fight or just to meet their everyday difficulties…to stop the bad dreams.”

Substance use….[caused] violence, particularly gender-based violence….fear of substances and crime – associated with ex-combatants – pervaded Monrovia.

In addition, combat….may promote use “to dull their fears and anxieties and to commit heinous atrocities”….[They used] opiates (mainly opium), cannabis (hashish) and tranquilisers….[Men used] hashish….tranquilisers were used by women….. one third of the women interviewed said that they knew someone who had a serious problem with hashish and gave accounts of domestic violence associated with its use.…Women….[gave] opium to children to keep them quiet….traditional and widespread.

The “Assassin” definition indicts “medical” or recreational marijuana.  Whatever, impairs the brain’s frontal “braking thermostat,” (described by neurologist Don Hilton as common to pornography users) impairs conscience and escalates abuse and gender based violence.

Still working within the “medical marijuana” paradigm, do consider the role of pornography and impotence as an unending pot gold mine. Police commonly find drugs, prostitution, and pornography together in raids. Indeed, the industrialization of Third World drugs raises the real issue of criminality associated with pornography induced impotence, child pornography and sex trafficking.

Cavazos intuited we were becoming a poly-drug nation, mixing alcohol, marijuana (exogenous drugs) and pornography (an endogenous drug). Based on the porn-drug nexus, with roughly 5,200 apparently protected Pentagon child pornography users, legal marijuana will further weaken our economy, governance and security, as officials increasingly succumb to blackmail, bribery, or even assassins, high on the thrill of killing for “political or religious” reasons.

For the nasty subtext in roughly 2 million web hits for “porn addict recovery,” is pornography’s erototoxic castration fallout. Fox news peeps at the coming issues; “Italian scientists have identified [impotence] as a worrying side-effect of watching too much pornography.”Gosh, auto-eroticism to “pictures” can deflate the male — libido? Shock! Surprise! Stunner!

Indeed, the Italian researchers say porn “can lead to a loss of libido, impotence and a notion of sex that is totally divorced from real-life relations.” (Shock again.) Their study of 28,000 Italian hunks opined porn use led to “sexual anorexia,” even by the “mid-twenties.” This suggests whatever “aids” the estimated 40% to 70% of American male porn sufferers is into castration gold—this is a failure that keeps on paying.

The takeaway here is that as Viagra’s defects emerged (headaches, heart attacks, sexual failure without the drug, etc) legal pot is moving to center stage, teasing out the marijuana-porn mix as nirvana–a smoking eros! Sample Psychology Today readers celebrating marijuana’s libido lifts as erotic gold.

“[T]he most intense sexual experiences I’ve ever had was [sic] fueled by weed, tequila and cocaine.”

“I try and get high with every girl that I’m going to have sex with.”

Once the word gets out….the conservative right will jump on the weed bandwagon and forget about Viagra….the tables are turning to grow for a profit, instead of prohibit for a profit.”

Former drug advocate, Andrew Weil, M.D. observed that “18 million American men” suffer from impotence. Well, since pornography sets millions up only to let them down, “medical” marijuana seems like the smoke whose time has come.

All things being equal, pornography stimulated impotence is the siren call to marijuana as yet another prison for eroding conscience, thus the loss of masculine agency.

REFERENCES:

[2] January 4, 1989 The Washington Times

[13] http://www.redicecreations.com/article.php?id=13802. Family North Carolina Magazine—January/February 2009 reported, “the greatest misconception from the drug legalization community is that marijuana can treat symptoms or illnesses which themselves can be the result of marijuana use….respiratory illnesses, immune system complications, and poor mental health….increased violence, traffic accidents, drug abuse, as well as poor grades and risky sexual behavior in youth….[impacting] pleasure, memory, thought, concentration, sensory time and perception, and coordinated movement.”2

The drug lobby knows pot is used to hook girls into sex and prostitution; that clouded pot smokers are on record as sexually abusing their own and other children, that stoned lawyers and financers lost their clients’ life savings and that some users have totaled the car and in it an entire family driving home from church.

[19] http://digg.com/news/lifestyle/Porn_can_cause_impotence. ’

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of Modkraft.

The nation of cowards and Eric Holder’s racial animus

In remarks made during a 2009 speech to honor Black History Month, Eric Holder said the country remains “voluntarily socially segregated.” Holder said, ”Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot in things racial, we have always been, and we, I believe, continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards. Though race-related issues continue to occupy a significant portion of our political discussion, and though there remain many unresolved racial issues in this nation, we, average Americans, simply do not talk enough with each other about things racial.”

And yesterday, he doubled down on that statement, saying that “racial animus” is behind the criticism of himself and the president.

Eric Himpton Holder Jr., in an administration of “firsts” — at least as far as race is concerned — is the first African-American or black American to hold the position of U.S. Attorney General. He serves at the pleasure of the first African-American or black American president, Barack Obama.

Anthony Renard Foxx (born April 30, 1971) is an African-American who has been the United States Secretary of Transportation since 2013. He served as the Mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, from 2009 to 2013. I choose to refer to him as “American” if I want to speak about him at all.

Then there is Jeh Johnson. I have never known anyone with this first name, but on December 23, 2013, Johnson was sworn in as the fourth U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security. The Washington Post reported that “Johnson, an African-American, would bring further racial diversity” to Obama’s Cabinet.

On October 29, 2009, the Senate unanimously confirmed President Barack Obama’s choice of Regina Benjamin for the position of Surgeon General of the United States and as a Medical Director in the regular corps of the Public Health Service. She is African-American as well, and is no longer in office, but is being replaced by another African-American yet to be confirmed.

I could continue on and add in Hispanic appointees, but hopefully you get the picture. It requires a level of talent, education, and “pluck of luck” or “friends in high places” to make it into these ranks, but it can and will continue to be done.

I ask you, do you see this diversity in the governing bodies of Europe, Canada or Latin America? What about in Asia? I will answer that: NOPE. And this diversity didn’t just begin with Obama — does anyone remember Condoleeza Rice or Colin Powell or Clarence Thomas or any of the other African-Americans who served in high places for other administrations?

So in what way is this country a “nation of cowards” or a “racist” nation? Perhaps because no one is willing to step up and say that this nation is 13 percent black or African-American and the African-American race is well represented in the ranks of government. There is no other country on the face of this earth with or without the population representation that can make the same claim. The cowardice comes in when not one person is willing to stand up and say this simple fact.

The president, his adviser Valerie Jarrett, and many of the people who surround him in an important way are all black or African-American. The representation by people “other than white males” is at an all time high — in fact the Democrats have a minority of the dreaded white males. Colleges and universities bend over backwards to make sure the “under-represented” are more than represented sometimes even to their detriment. And the racial detectives are still searching for clues to “hidden racism.” I think the latest target is the World Bank.

Last night watching Hannity on Fox News, a Caucasian woman was trying to explain why she was against the president’s actions, or inaction, on illegal immigration. She lost her son as a result of a head-on car accident involving a repeat offender illegal immigrant — who had no license or social security number. This woman’s precious son was DEAD and yet she found it necessary to exclaim that she was “not racist” when speaking about the president’s policies. This is the intended consequence of Holder’s statement, to make everyone uncomfortable in criticizing him or President Obama — and it is working, hence why they use race. I admit, she is better than me — much better, because the “ghost of Angela past” would have taken over my tongue with the loss of my child. God bless her.

We ARE a nation of cowards when we move our children to private schools because, as the Washington Post reported in March of this year, “Six decades after the Supreme Court mandated school integration, racial and gender disparities in school discipline stubbornly persist, according to a study by the civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Education. The report offers a snapshot of the experiences of 49 million students across the country from 2011 through 2012 and is based on data from all 97,000 public schools across the country. The findings are stark: Students of color, boys and girls, are suspended at three times the rate of white students, and the disparities begin in preschool.”

So, instead of confronting the reality almost three-quarters of these children grow up in single parent households, many with scant supervision, and are simply behaving in a “bad-assed” manner, it must instead be HIDDEN RACISM. We cower away FROM TELLING THE TRUTH. Teachers second-guess themselves, hold black or African-American students to a lower standard of behavior, as the well-mannered children of all races flee the public school system, and the teachers themselves become frequently assaulted “wardens” in an asylum.

So, what of these “kids” when they come out of high school? They become problem citizens, with very little socialization skills because of this tolerance and that becomes yet another problem for another day.

I’m not saying racism, sexism and all of the other “-isms” do not exist – of course they do. What I am saying is that to cower in the face of “wrong-doing” on all levels, whether it is to get votes or to live in fear of being called “racist” only sets back ALL civilization. We are living under that mantle right now.

More than one GOP member is afraid of his or her shadow — in large measure because of the unwarranted lack of diversity in their ranks. They grasp at straws, jumping from one color to the next or one sexual orientation to the next trying to show that they are not “like the others,” thus frustrating “the others” who were neither racist, sexist or homophobic to begin with.

The GOP reps are terrified to make a statement that something is unlawful and search for reasons or words to make excuses for inertia. “Let him have what he wants, he will own it” from the budget to the multitudes flooding the borders and many trillions of dollars in between. Just let him have his way has been the mantra because of the fear, this cowardice. We can paint it pretty and put a cherry on top but make no mistake “it is what it is.”

Makes you feel good to give it, but remember when you gave your kid the third helping of ice cream even though you knew it wasn’t going to be good and he vomited on your lap? Your child “owned it” but it was your fault — and it’s the same with this. Even when he (the president) owns it, you’ll get the blame because you gave it to him.

And as Eric Holder said yesterday, he won’t walk back his words because, why should he? You have been played.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on AllenBWest.com.

Time to rethink the national school based bullying campaign: Can bullying be a good thing?

When I went to public school during the 1960s in St. Louis, Missouri I experienced what was then called “peer pressure.” Today peer pressure has a new name – “bullying.” It is my experience that there are two kinds of peer pressure (bullying), the good kind and the bad kind.

Examples of positive peer pressure (bullying) include: don’t drink or use drugs, don’t drink and drive, don’t smoke, don’t have pre-marital sex, don’t hit anyone (unless in self-defense), don’t rob or steal, don’t cheat on tests, don’t lie, don’t play hooky (be a truant) from school, brush your teeth once a day (who likes a kid with bad breath and cavities?), etc. Examples of bad peer pressure are to bully students into engaging in any or all of these bad behaviors and many more.

What is the background and history of the bullying program in all public and some private K-12 schools?

In early 1993, Kevin Jennings authored the Education Committee report for the revolutionary Massachusetts ―Governor‘s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth titled Making Schools Safe for Gay and Lesbian Youth: Breaking the Silence in Schools and in Families. This was the template for the “Safe Schools” (bullying) programs in the Massachusetts Department of Education. Kevin Jennings, while President Obama’s former Safe Schools Czar from 2009 to 2011, expanded his anti-bullying campaign nation wide.

A recent example of the expansion of the on campus bullying campaign to off campus activities is in the Sarasota County Florida School Board policy 106.147. The policy states in part:

(d) Through the use of data or computer software that is accessed at a non school-related location, activity, function, or program or through the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned, leased, or used by a school district or school, if the bullying substantially interferes with or limits the victim’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or opportunities offered by a school or substantially disrupts the education process or orderly operation of a school. This paragraph does not require a school to staff or monitor any non school-related activity, function, or program. [Emphasis mine]

Dr. Beverly Newman, Ed.D. in an email to Darrell C. Reyka, Director, Safety and Security for Sarasota County Schools states:

“Perhaps I have misread or misinterpreted the language you are proposing relative to acts that are deemed to be ‘bullying,’ since I have the understanding that the school system is seeking legal authority for expansive surveillance of students on-site and off-site (through reporting mechanisms) to monitor and punish students. My concerns center around said expansive surveillance and its psychological and legal consequences to children, such that it can become a mass data collection system on students and easily revert to a system by which students are reported by other students, their parents, or someone else for acts that are unkind and/or unwise in a type of reverse bullying, if you will.

I know of no research that proves increased surveillance of children is psychologically sound for them or academically beneficial. It is my observation over decades of classroom and administrative experience that the opposite is true. Children do not benefit from perceiving themselves to be objects of scrutiny, rather than recipients of true concern for their total well-being. Technology can never convey this human quality to children.”

Is it time to rethink this policy being aggressively implemented in elementary, middle and high schools in Florida and across the United States? Many believe so.

Dr. Newman writes, “As a school administrator for dozens of years, I concluded that over-surveillance of students can be counterproductive to learning and good conduct, in that it is an ever-present challenge to those who relish their ability to be deceptive and sneaky. Starkly, the schools with the most sophisticated and extensive surveillance systems – even in affluent areas – did not receive the results they anticipated in improving either learning or student conduct.”

morality and obedience

Morality and obedience sign. For a larger view click on the photo.

“Morality is not a matter of electronic monitoring, but a matter of moral modeling and morale building. We do not build morale by keeping our children under the watchful ‘eyes’ of machines, instead of caring eyes of devoted parents and dedicated educators, who see a whole child in context rather than an isolated act out of context,” notes Dr. Newman.

A recent study found that ostracism is worse than bullying in adults. In the UK Mail Online Victoria Woollaston writes, “The famous quote claims the only thing in life worse than being talked about, is not being talked about – and a new study may have proved this to be the case. Being ignored at work has been found to be worse for a person’s health than people who are harassed or bullied. Researchers found that while most consider ostracism less harmful than bullying, feeling excluded is significantly more likely to lead job dissatisfaction, quitting and health problems.” Read more.

Is it time to rethink the issue of peer pressure in a good sense? It stopping bad behaviors early on in children a good thing? Should schools be encouraging, as many already are, avoiding bad behaviors that are unhealthy, harmful and wrong? Should only those who are encouraging bad behaviors be punished?

Educating yourself does not mean that you were stupid in the first place; it means that you are intelligent enough to know that there is plenty left to learn. Perhaps it is time to re-educate the educators and just let kids be kids.

A Soldiers Deck of Cards — My deck of cards is my Bible, my Calendar and my Almanac

My friend Jerry Fournier posted the below video on my Facebook page. After watching it I was speechless, awed and amazed by what Justin Flom, a young magician, did and the wondrous message he sent with his very special God given skills.

Please watch and share.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is of U.S. Soldiers with Bravo Company, 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment play cards during Operation Helmand Spider in Badula Qulp, Helmand Province, Afghanistan on March 1st, 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Efren Lopez/Released)

Here is an earlier version of “Deck Of Cards” narrated by Wink Martindale done in 1959:

Are We Missing the Meaning of the Wedding Parables, Expecting a Rapture? Matthew 24 & 25 Revisited

This is the first of a series of columns that looks at conditions prior to the wedding parable of Matthew 25. We will see that some of the events in Matthew 24 preceding the wedding parable support the start of trouble and tribulation before the wedding parable, though most Christians looking for a rapture expect it before tribulation. Could they be wrong?

In Matthew 13, the Great Teacher likens Bible truth to a treasure buried in a field, but as Christians, we can be like little kids scurrying to find Easter eggs (or a text that says what we want), oblivious to the surroundings or Biblical context.

So it is with the wedding parable of Matthew 25. We all would like to be among the five wise who get into the marriage, but we overlook its context suggested by the first word, “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be like 10 virgins…”

When is then? In the previous chapter, Matthew 24, Christ paints a broad picture of those events that bring us to His second coming. Many of them, like wars, famines, pestilence and earthquakes  have existed in every age. But after His coming in verses 30, 31, He gives five examples that, like the leaves on the fig tree, suggest that “summer is nigh” and His return “is near, even at the door.”

He said, “Now learn a parable of the fig tree.” What did He mean?

Christ cursed a barren fig tree in an acted parable. Flaunting its pretentious foliage, it was a symbol of the Jewish nation. The Savior wanted to show His disciples the cause and the certainty of Israel’s doom.

The Jewish nation had been specially favored by God and they claimed righteousness above other nations, but were corrupted by the love of the world, greed for gain, and they were full of hypocrisy. Like the fig tree, they were full of showy leaves but they had no fruit.

Christ’s act in cursing the barren fig tree is a warning to us today as suggested by His telling us to learn a parable of the fig tree.

“Some who think themselves excellent Christians do not understand what constitutes service for God. They plan and study to please themselves. They act only in reference to self. Time is of value to them only as they can gather for themselves. In all the affairs of life this is their object.” The Desire of Ages, p 584.

So it is that this once Christian nation is no longer Christian. Yes, we profess to be Christians. We believe the story of the gospels and want our children to understand what we were brought up to believe, but if we are honest with ourselves, from the days of Roe v Wade when a so-called Supreme Court yielded to popular demand for murdering the unborn because it wasn’t convenient, this nation has been going downhill at an ever-increasing speed, and like the Jewish nation, profession means nothing.

For an excellent commentary on the “signs of the times,” the reader may appreciate an online chapter from The Desire of Ages, a best-selling biography on the life of Christ that is cited above. 

EDITORS NOTE: The featured graphic is courtesy of the West Main Baptist Church.