Let the Children Suffer

Why does AIDS research get the lion’s share of medical research money?

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

Florida: GOP County Chairs unanimously vote to Oppose Pot Amendment

Saying it is filled with loopholes that would allow widespread access to pot, Republican county chairs voted unanimously Friday to oppose a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize medical marijuana.

Critics of the November ballot initiative, backed heavily by attorney and Charlie Crist supporter John B. Morgan, of Morgan & Morgan law firm, say the measure is so broadly written that it would allow people who don’t truly need medical marijuana to get it.

Others question the medicinal value of the drug.

“I do not want to see Florida turned into the pot capital of the world,” said Tony Ledbetter, Chairman of the Volusia County party.

The chairs also voted to oppose a proposed conservation amendment that would dedicate a share of real-estate tax revenues to efforts such as buying and preserving land.

Opponents say that measure would endanger property rights and tie the hands of the Legislature when lawmakers craft the state budget.

Here is the latest video ad featuring John (for the reefer) Morgan released by VoteNoOn2:

charlie-crist-john-morgan-in-florida-trend

Charlie Crist with John B. Morgan.

Ana Cruz, former executive director of the Florida Democratic Party, said, “I wish that it didn’t take medical marijuana on the ballot to motivate our young voters. But listen, we’ll take it any way we can get it.”

Ben Pollara, a Democratic fundraiser and campaign manager for the United for Care group, stated, “We want to be able to have our stereotypical, lazy pothead voters to be able to vote from their couch.”

As American essayist and novelist Charles Dudley Warner wrote, “Politics makes strange bedfellows.” In this case marijuana makes strange bedfellows.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Welfare Recipients Can Use Debit Cards for Marijuana
Black market boom lays bare a social divide in Colorado’s marijuana market | The Guardian
Parents Warn Against Synthetic Marijuana After 19-Year-Old Son Dies | KTLA
New marijuana drug ‘Wax’ looks and feels like lip balm – DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG
Man Allegedly Shoots Teen Over Stealing Marijuana – Huffington Post
Two Teens Arrested for Marijuana Burglary
Porterville, CA teens busted for drugs at school with intent to sell, cops say – ABC News
Girl eats father’s marijuana-laced bar – AP

A Different Opinion on Smart Meter “Phobia”

Recently someone sent me James Tracy’s blog on an editorial written by the Palm Beach PostSmart Media Phobia Sad, But Don’t Cut Power” regarding FP&L’s smart meters. The Palm Beach Post circulation covers the area for which FP&L maintains its headquarters. Essentially the editors feel that the Internet is a blessing and a curse because people, other than them, don’t know how to interpret data and they are reading things other than the mainstream media and are being “misinformed”. We apparently repeat these misunderstandings until they sound like “fact”.

The editorial goes on to repeat industry propaganda about how one can be continually exposed to smart meters for 375 years and that would equate to a 15-minute cell phone call. Dr. Tracy, in his blog post, details all the science he has previously provided FP&L that refutes such nonsense. I decided to call out the Palm Beach Post on other false information in their Op-Ed. Most likely they won’t print it, but luckily we have alternative media to by-pass their censorship power.

My response sent to the Palm Beach Post editorial was as follows.

Editors of the Palm Beach Post:

I am the lead petitioner in the action against the Florida Power & Light (FP&L) smart meter opt out fees currently before the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC). I read your editorial published September 4, 2014 and shook my head, as it is nothing but another corporate propaganda piece that spreads misinformation.

First, I take exception to the insinuation that I suffer from “lack of training to parse data”. I am a CPA and trained auditor. I know how to research, source and interpret data. I also have a background in the regulatory process having worked 11 years for a telephone company. I have handled complicated transactions such as the AT&T divestiture to the planning and implementation of Sarbanes – Oxley regulations for a multi-billion dollar company. I have spent about 10 hours per day, 5 days a week for two years reading every governmental and industry report on the smart grid and smart meters. My computer is now overloaded with downloads.

Second, it is not a fact that “the vast majority of FP&L’s approximately 4.6 million customers have “adopted the new technology without a second thought”. The truth is the vast majorities don’t even know they have a smart meter or what it does differently. But what is true is that the claims of the smart meter giving people information to help manage their energy are a lie, as the current information provided to customers is useless. This can be supported by FP&L’s disclosure that the vast majority of customers have yet to even access their silly Energy Dashboard. But I am sure the editors of this paper do so every day, correct?

Third, the biggest lie in your is this statement “The facts are clear: Smart meters lower everyone’s utility bills by reducing the need for trucks, fuel, and meter readers. They reduce the length and extent of power outages. They pose no credible threat to health.”

Smart meters do not reduce the length and extent of power outages – smart technologies (sensors on equipment like transformers and substations and smart switches on feeders) do provide this benefit.

Regarding your statements of “credible threat to health”, where have we heard that phrase before? Ah, yes, the tobacco industry used that phrase for decades quite successfully, didn’t they? Now let’s look at the credibility of FP&L’s lead consultant on smart meter health, Dr. Peter Valberg. He claims that there is no “credible” science that shows RF harm. Your readers should know that he also testified on behalf of Phillip Morris in their light cigarettes deceptive marketing case. His testimony essentially stated that light cigarettes were just not being smoked properly, and also that the tobacco studies performed by Philip Morris were consistent” with what was known to the outside scientific community. No deception, right? How “credible” is this guy? Your readers can decide but they should also do an internet search on the BioInitiative Report before they make their decision.

But most importantly, smart meters have not lowered your bills – not one penny – they have actually increased them. Let me count the ways:

First, the old meters had a net book value (NBV) of $75 million and an estimated useful life of approximately 36 years. FP&L wrote off $101 million (includes cost of removal) when they threw the perfectly operational old meters in the garbage. The annual depreciation charges for these meters were around $7 million per year ($249 Million Gross value/36 yrs). The approximate annual return on investment FP&L received on the NBV of $75 million, using 9.48% pre-tax cost of capital was $7 million.

Contrast that to now. The smart meter project capital is $645 million with an estimated useful life of 20 years (and if you believe the 20 yr life, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I can sell you). This equates to depreciation charges of about $32 million per year ($645M/20yrs). The return on investment FP&L will earn on this new smart meter capital will be about $61 million per year ($645M at 9.48%), decreasing by about $3 million each year to reflect the lower NBV from depreciation.

Second, FP&L current rates are based on a 2013 test year and the 2012 rate case settlement agreement keeps the rates the same until at least 2017. The 2013 test year reflects an overall net Operations & Maintenance (O&M) cost of $3.4 million for the smart meter project. (Funny, in 2009 they estimated that the year 2013 would produce a net O&M savings of $20 million. I guess the project is overrunning its budget.) FP&L recently testified that once the project was completed in 2013 there would be about $40 million annual net savings in O&M.

When rate case settlements are made they are made for a period of time. Each party looks at that period of time to determine if anything needs to be considered and factored in before the final settlement is agreed to and finalized. FP&L raised its hand high, saying, look over here, I have new plants coming on line in these outer years and we need to raise rates to recover our investment and such was granted. But did FP&L raise their hand or did the FPSC insist that the smart meter savings of $40 million, which would start to be realized during that period, also be accounted for? No. FP&L was not required to reduce the rates in the outer years to reflect the savings.

Third, lets not forget to count all the new costs that are being incurred that did not exist with those old analog meters. Now you have communication costs to send the data wirelessly back to FP&L, cyber-security costs, software license and maintenance fees, data storage costs, big data consultants, settlements on fires and property damage, more equipment to be damaged in storms and the list goes on.

So Palm Beach Editorial Board, please disclose to your readers your facts to support your claim that smart meters have lowered our utility bills. The miscellaneous tariffs for all these activities – service connects/disconnects, reconnects for non-payment – are EXACTLY the same as they were when FP&L didn’t have smart meters. FP&L’s 2013 test year also included significant manual meter-reading costs as they still had over 800 thousand meters left to install in their assumptions and those costs are still baked into our current rates.

Your readers can decide for themselves, if FP&L, who made NO disclosure in their rate case settlement agreement that they planned to file these smart meter opt out tariffs (despite smart meters being an issue in the rate case), is deserving of an additional $2 million a year in revenue from these customers when they are keeping the $40 million in savings for three years and overcharging smart meter customers for truck rolls they are no longer performing. Is FP&L violating the rate case settlement agreement by trying to change rates for services already provided at the date of that agreement?

From my vantage point – if they are deserving of the $2 million in additional revenue because the project is over and we need to recognize a new ‘cost of service” – then it is only fair to re-price all activities affected by this fact and reduce the rates for all customers by $40-45 million.

There is no financial payback for me as I have sunk tens of thousand of dollars into this effort and countless unpaid hours of time. I do so for two reasons – 1) the many “Friedman’s out there who have no voice and are being harmed by this product and 2) to expose the illegal coordination and fraud/deception that took place between FP&L and FPSC as it pertains to this project.

The documented audit trail of deception is as long as the distance from my house in Venice to Tallahassee. Quite frankly, the conduct of our FPSC that I discovered on this journey is more disturbing than FP&L’s. I will take that item up with our state legislators when they return to Tallahassee for the next session.

Drug Smuggler and John Morgan partner to legalize marijuana in Florida [+ Video]

Florida Amendment 2 has paired two men who have had run ins with the law – John B. Morgan, from Morgan and Morgan, and Robert Platshorn, a marijuana smuggler and leader of South Florida’s notorious “Black Tuna” gang.

0406-Cannabis-A

Robert Platshorn, marijuana smuggler and leader of the Black Tuna gang in Miami, FL.

According to Miami’s NBC News Channel 6 reporter Donna Rapado former drug smuggler Platshorn is leading “The Silver Tour” for medical marijuana. According to Rapado, “In the late 1970s, Robert Platshorn was a marijuana smuggler and leader of South Florida’s notorious ‘Black Tuna‘ gang.” The Black Tuna Gang is the name given to Robert Platshorn and Robert Meinster by the media and anti-drug agencies in Miami in the 1970s. They were responsible for bringing in a reported 500 tons of marijuana into the United States over the course of sixteen months.

Amendment 2 is not about using marijuana for medical purposes. Rather it is written to allow for the recreational use of pot in the Sunshine state. Something that Platshorn knows a lot about as a former marijuana smuggler.

In a Tallahassee Democrat op-ed Rachael O’Bryan writes:

I live in Denver, where marijuana dispensaries outnumber pharmacies, liquor stores, McDonald’s and Starbucks. When I walk and drive the streets of this beautiful Rocky Mountain city, I often encounter the smell of marijuana smoke. Marijuana users are not allowed to smoke openly and publicly, but a bench in the front yard is considered private property, allowing the smell to pollute the clean mountain air.

The problems in Colorado began 14 years ago with the passage of Amendment 20, legalizing medical marijuana. Abuse and fraud flourished under its provisions, because medical marijuana became easily available for recreational use.

[ … ]

Like Colorado’s Amendment 20, Florida’s Amendment 2 allows “medical marijuana treatment centers” to develop edibles. These food products have been developed intentionally to allow discreet consumption of marijuana in public places, at schools and in the workplace, and to introduce the product to a larger — younger — consumer base.

Brownies are passé. In Colorado, marijuana is sold in soda, salty snacks such as nuts, granola bars, breakfast cereals, cookies, rice cereal treats, cooking oil and even salad dressing. Some companies buy commercially available children’s candies such as Swedish fish, Sour Patch Kids, lollipops or lemon drops, and infuse them with marijuana; others make chocolate bars, Tootsie rolls and truffles.

So now in Colorado, parents who once taught their children not to take candy from a stranger must tell their children not to take candy from a friend, because it could very well contain marijuana. Our emergency rooms report a striking increase in children who have unintentionally ingested marijuana edibles and require medical treatment.

Here is the latest video ad featuring John (for the reefer) Morgan released by VoteNoOn2:

charlie-crist-john-morgan-in-florida-trend

Charlie Crist with John B. Morgan.

Ana Cruz, former executive director of the Florida Democratic Party, said, “I wish that it didn’t take medical marijuana on the ballot to motivate our young voters. But listen, we’ll take it any way we can get it.”

Ben Pollara, a Democratic fundraiser and campaign manager for the United for Care group, stated, “We want to be able to have our stereotypical, lazy pothead voters to be able to vote from their couch.”

As American essayist and novelist Charles Dudley Warner wrote, “Politics makes strange bedfellows.” In this case marijuana makes strange bedfellows.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Welfare Recipients Can Use Debit Cards for Marijuana

Black market boom lays bare a social divide in Colorado’s marijuana market | The Guardian

Parents Warn Against Synthetic Marijuana After 19-Year-Old Son Dies | KTLA

New marijuana drug ‘Wax’ looks and feels like lip balm – DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Man Allegedly Shoots Teen Over Stealing Marijuana – Huffington Post

Two Teens Arrested for Marijuana Burglary

Porterville, CA teens busted for drugs at school with intent to sell, cops say – ABC News

Girl eats father’s marijuana-laced bar – AP

Dear Rick and Pam — as in Scott and Bondi

SSPX0187

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?

SSPX0004

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.

History of ‘Medical’ Marijuana: The Strategy & The Scam

Who is behind the legalization of smoked pot as a medicine and why? Watch, listen and learn:

RELATED ARTICLES:

VIDEO: Here is John [potty mouth] Morgan the man behind marijuana legalization in Florida

STUDY: Marijuana Amendment 2 troubling for Florida teens

Why Florida does not need a Constitutional Amendment Legalizing Marijuana for Medical Use

VIDEO: Here is John [potty mouth] Morgan — The Man who wants Florida to go to Pot

morgan and obama

John Morgan with Barack Obama.

John Morgan of Morgan & Morgan was at a Yes on Amendment 2 rally captured in the below video. Morgan shows the real person behind the movement to legalize pot in Florida. Morgan appears with a drink in hand and begins a foul mouth rant about passing Amendment 2. He admits to doing a lot of pot illegally in Florida.

The crowd chants “For the Reefer” a play on the Morgan & Morgan slogan “For the People”. 

Amendment 2 is anything but for the people. The crowd got it right, it is “For the Reefer”. To read more about this vulgar and unprofessional rant check out Peter Schorsch’s article on the SaintPetersBlog.com. Schorsch reports, “In a video taken Thursday evening, Morgan –  drink in hand – is shown reminiscing about having a ‘marijuana buzz’ and smoking ‘a lot of grass’ when he had ‘got outside the border of Polk County’.”

obama smoking pot

Barack Obama smoking pot.

Democrat candidate for governor Charlie Crist is a partner in Morgan & Morgan’s Tampa office. Morgan and Crist have been long time friends and political allies. Morgan and Crist are allies of Barack Obama. I guess you could call them the Amendment 2 “choom gang”?

Maybe Floridians should be careful of John Morgan and what he is selling with Amendment 2? Perhaps voters should consider the friends Charlie Crist keeps? Birds of a feather flock together!

Yes on 2′ Campaign Chairman, John Morgan, unplugged and uncensored with subtitles. WARNING: THIS VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC LANGUAGE BROUGHT TO YOU BY JOHN MORGAN OF MORGAN & MORGAN:

Here is a billboard that asks a relevant question after viewing the video above.

antijohnmorganbillboard

Click on the image for a larger view.

RELATED ITEMS:

John Morgan’s Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous
The Morgans Host President Obama
John Morgan Mug Shot
Florida Democrat Candidate Raising Money from Trashy Talk Show Host, Cop Beater and Extreme Liberals

Not Just the VA: Another example of government failure in healthcare by Terree P. Summer

Jay Littlewolf, a 54-year-old man, said inadequate healthcare at the government clinic compounded his problems with a diabetic ulcer on his right foot. He said that at one point he was told the remedy was to cut off his toes. Instead, he sought private medical treatment in Billings, Montana. “I don’t like those comments when the podiatrist says he just wants to cut your toes off,” Littlewolf said. “I know there are alternatives. Common sense says that.” To date, Jay has spent $3,000 out of pocket and expects his total bill to exceed $20,000. He wants to be reimbursed—and pay the balance of the bill—but the government agency has refused.

“We are trained and born not to challenge the system,” he said. “I’m not trying to challenge the system. I just want my bills paid. I wanted to save my toes, my foot, my leg, my life. All I want to do is mow my darn lawn.”

Littlewolf’s story is reminiscent of the stories of neglect and incompetency at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the agency charged with caring for American veterans. Last April, news broke that the VA had serious problems. They came to light in its Phoenix  facility, where more than 40 veterans died while waiting for care. An internal audit released June 9, 2014, revealed that more than 120,000 veterans nationwide were left waiting or never got care and that pressures were placed on schedulers to use unofficial lists or engage in inappropriate practices to make waiting times appear more favorable. On June 11, 2014, the Federal Bureau of Investigation opened a criminal investigation of the VA.

Littlewolf, however, isn’t a veteran, and he was not dealing with the VA. Jay is a Native American and a member of the Northern Cheyenne reservation in Montana. He’s talking about the Indian Health Service (IHS), another federal government-operated healthcare system. When the scandal broke about the VA, the media, pundits, and politicians quickly concluded that the remedy for the VA’s ills was reform: more funding, regulation, and accountability. But the occurrence of the same problems at the IHS suggests that these sorts of problems may be endemic to government-run systems. Unfortunately, few are stepping up to recommend a more permanent fix than to enact reforms to the existing systems. What is needed is the privatization of healthcare services for those who suffer under government-controlled programs.

The IHS is familiar to me, as my grandfather was an IHS physician in Arizona. There are 22 tribes in my home state, and growing up there, I saw the issues facing Native Americans up close. The IHS has problems with long waits, inferior care, rationing, and lack of access—just as with the VA and with nationalized healthcare systems abroad. And, like the VA, when healthcare is under government control, it becomes inefficient and ineffective. Just ask Littlewolf.

In 2004, a report of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights unsurprisingly blamed the substandard care in the IHS on the usual culprits: lack of funding, hiring the wrong people, retention and recruiting of qualified healthcare providers, and maintenance of aging facilities. As usual, the report didn’t point to the real problem: the program itself.

As with all government programs, inevitably most of the funding goes to pay bureaucrats and administrators, leaving little money for medical staff salaries and treatment. Low salaries contribute to unfilled vacancies, poor retention, and low morale among staff, causing waiting lists and inferior treatment for patients. The IHS has job vacancy rates for healthcare professionals ranging from 12 percent to 32 percent.

Bureaucrats cover up their mistakes with phony documents, like those found in the VA scandal, showing that patients are being promptly treated. Ultimately, supporters of government control lament that if only the right people could be found to run the program, everything would be fine.

In order to justify their salaries, government administrators promulgate endless regulations, bogging down the treatment process with red tape. Additionally, the IHS has a bloated bureaucracy, with over 14,000 employees, including eight assistant surgeon generals, 439 “Director Grade” bureaucrats, and 601 “Senior Grade” bureaucrats. Yet, in 2005, per capita federal spending on patients by the IHS was only $2,130—half the amount spent on federal prisoners’ care.

In a move in the right direction, in 2008, U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), introduced an amendment to the Indian Health Care Improvement Act that would allow tribal members to choose from various healthcare coverage options, including the ability to purchase private health insurance. According to Senator Coburn, the IHS currently rations services on the basis of whether a particular service will save a “life or limb.” Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, Coburn’s amendment was voted down, 28 to 67.

While Coburn’s attempt at reform was laudable—and would have, at a minimum, provided an option for Native Americans seeking better health care—it didn’t really address the root of the problem. The only lasting solution that would ensure improvements in care and health outcomes would be the privatization of services to Native American tribes. I’m not confident that such a change is likely in the near future—for the IHS or for the VA. And, unfortunately, the problems that have plagued the VA and the IHS are harbingers of a future under our increasingly socialized healthcare system.

ABOUT TERREE P. SUMMER

Terree P. Summer is an economist and author specializing in healthcare and the federal budget. She is the author of What Has Government Done to Our Health Care? published by the Cato Institute (1992).

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of FEE and Shutterstock.

Paradise Lost — A ‘woman’s right to choose’

Choice is an important concept. There are good choices and bad choices. Women make both kinds of choices daily as they lead their daily lives, plan their careers and deal with friends and family. I believe that it is the uniquely “American woman” who has historically made the difference in what the United States chooses as its course, especially when it comes to social issues. As the women go so to goes the nation.

French historian and political scientist Alexis de Tocqueville in Democracy in America wrote, “I have no hesitation in saying that although the American woman never leaves her domestic sphere and is in some respects very dependent within it, nowhere does she enjoy a higher station. And if anyone asks me what I think the chief cause of the extraordinary prosperity and growing power of this nation, I should answer that it is due to the superiority of their women.” During and after WW II women began leaving the “domestic sphere” and started venturing into other spheres.

Question: Do American woman “enjoy a higher station” today than she did when Tocqueville wrote his observation? If not, why not?

The social battleground today is focused on the family. During de Tocqueville’s travels across America that is what he observed – the American family. This family was made up, by enlarge, of a mother, father and their biological children. That has changed significantly since the 1940s and reached its peak during the 1960s with the growth of the feminist movement in America.

im independent

Image courtesy of QuickMeme.com

According to Tavaana:

In 1960, the world of American women was limited in almost every respect, from family life to the workplace. A woman was expected to follow one path: to marry in her early 20s, start a family quickly, and devote her life to homemaking. As one woman at the time put it, “The female doesn’t really expect a lot from life. She’s here as someone’s keeper — her husband’s or her children’s.”

As such, wives bore the full load of housekeeping and child care, spending an average of 55 hours a week on domestic chores. They were legally subject to their husbands via “head and master laws,” and they had no legal right to any of their husbands’ earnings or property, aside from a limited right to “proper support”; husbands, however, would control their wives’ property and earnings.

If the marriage deteriorated, divorce was difficult to obtain, as “no-fault” divorce was not an option, forcing women to prove wrongdoing on the part of their husbands in order to get divorced.

[ … ]

In 1962, Betty Friedan’s book The Feminine Mystique captured the frustration and even the despair of a generation of college-educated housewives who felt trapped and unfulfilled. As one said, “I’m desperate. I begin to feel I have no personality. I’m a server of food and a putter-on of pants and a bedmaker, somebody who can be called on when you want something. But who am I?”

Friedan stunned the nation by contradicting the accepted wisdom that housewives were content to serve their families and by calling on women to seek fulfillment in work outside the home.

While Friedan’s writing largely spoke to an audience of educated, upper-middle-class white women, her work had such an impact that it is credited with sparking the “second wave” of the American feminist movement. [Emphasis added]

Today these barriers have been torn down, but what has been torn down with them? As Friedan asked, “Who am I?”

Today’s American woman is, by all available metrics, worse off than she was before the 1960s. If she is a single mother she still is a “server of food and putter-on of pants and a bedmaker.” But today she is alone, without the financial, emotional and physical support of a husband and a father of her children. This is particularly evident in minority communities but is becoming more the rule rather than the exception in the white community.

Today women are faced with choices as never before the feminist movement took control in America. The choices are bad ones. The ideal of income equality has not been fully realized, as we see more unmarried women living in poverty with children. So many choose to become dependent on the government, which does not pay well nor does it give women the freedom they longed for. Abortion is choosing to kill their unborn child. The real choice is whether or not to become pregnant. That has always been the key choice to be made. Another choice is to be married to the father of their child. Even that choice has been taken from them as men have become less receptive to marriage. Marriage, the great societal bastion of safety of women, is being torn down by the gay movement in the name of equality. But who suffers most from the destruction of the traditional family? Why women.

Many argue that women know who they were when Friedan wrote her book. Today they are not who they were. Paradise has been lost for most of America’s women. They have made their beds and now they must sleep in them.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Federal judge calls natural marriage supporters “savage”
American Humanist Association threaten GA high school prayers
Court orders Catholic workers to attend Jehovah’s Witness services

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

Big Fat Lies About Fat

Americans are obsessed with fat; either with eating it or being it. We’ve been told that we’re too fat and we’re told that eating fat is bad for you.

Being fat is your own business. You’ll feel better if you lose a few pounds, but you will enjoy your next meal if it has a fat content rather than being a bland cereal…which explains why so many cereals today have some surgery covering or content.

The fact is you can eat almost anything you like and remain a healthy weight if you just don’t eat too much of it. It’s not rocket science.

For politicians, however, controlling what we eat has become an obsession. A demented Democratic Representative, Rosa DeLauro, from Connecticut, has proposed a bill—the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tax Act—SWEET for short, that would penalize people one-cent for every teaspoon of sugar used in their drink of choice. It’s none of her business, let along the government’s, what you want to drink.

AA - New Food Plan to Fight ObesityThis obsession with what we eat has been personified by First Lady Michelle Obama who championed the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kinds Act that overhauled nutrition standards affecting more than thirty million children in schools around the nation.

It authorized the U.S. Department of Agriculture to set standards for all food and beverages sold during the school day. The law includes vending machines, snack cards, and daytime fundraisers. That now means that campus bake sales, the most popular fundraiser, now has to pay heed to a federal law that forbids selling cakes, cupcakes, or cookies.

Laws like this are a perfect example of how intrusive into the ordinary lives of Americans of all ages are laws that are slowly killing the concept of personal choice and personal freedom. They also demonstrate how wrong such laws are when they are written and passed by people who are clueless about nutrition.

A recent Gallup poll on “consumption habits” revealed that “Nearly twice as many Americans say they are actively trying to avoid fat in their diet (56%) as say they are actively avoiding carbohydrates (29%). However, fewer Americans are avoiding fat now more than a decade ago.”

Over the years as a book reviewer and avid reader, I have read “You Must Eat Meat” by Max Ernest Jutte, MD and Frank Murray, and “The Cholesterol Delusion” by Ernest N. Curtis, MD. Both books authoritatively debunk what Americans have repeatedly been told about meat and cholesterol, but my earliest advisor on these and other food related topics was Rebecca Caruba, my Mother, who taught gourmet cooking for three decades in local adult schools and who authored two cookbooks. She was a keen student of nutrition and early on warned students against margarine, telling them to use real butter and to enjoy all manner of meats, cheeses, and other foods we are constantly told are not good for us.

Cover - Big Fact SurpriseAt this point I want to add Nina Teicholz to the list of heroes like my Mother and the authors of the two books mentioned above. A skilled journalist, she has written a 479-page book, “The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet”. The fact that it includes nearly 140 pages of tiny, single-spaced notes regarding every detail in the book tells you why it took some nine years to write it.

Simply stated, everything Americans think they know about our diets is wrong, the result of a deliberate campaign to convince us that eating fat is bad for us when, in fact, creamy cheeses and sizzling steaks are the key to reversing the obesity, diabetes, and heart disease that affect too many Americans.

As William Davis, M.D., author of “Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight and Find Your Path Back to Health” said, “A page-turner story of science gone wrong…Misstep by misstep, blunder by blunder by blunder, Teicholz recounts the statistical cherry-picking, political finagling, and pseudo-scientific bully that brought us to yet another of the biggest mistakes in health and nutrition, the low-fat and low-saturated fat myth for heart health.”

The myth began in the 1950s with Ancel Benjamin Keys, a biologist and pathologist at the University of Minnesota. He was searching for the causes of heart disease. The nation was extremely fearful about it and the heart attack that President Eisenhower had while in office only added to their fears. Keys concluded that cholesterol was a major factor, but as Teicholz points out “It is a vital component of every cell membrane, controlling what goes in and out of the cell. It is responsible for the metabolism of sex hormones and is found at its highest concentration in the brain.”

Keys and other researchers, however, noting that cholesterol was the primary component of atherosclerotic plaques, assumed it to be “one of the main culprits in the development of coronary disease…This vivid and seemingly intuitive idea,” says Teicholz, “has stayed with us, even as the science has shown this characterization to be a highly simplistic and even inaccurate picture of the problem.” Keys would devote his life to advocating his misinterpretation of cholesterol and fat.

The problem with the word “fat” is that it has two very different meanings. One is the fat we eat and the other is the fat on our bodies. A book worth reading is “Fat: It’s Not What You Think” by Connie Leas, published in 2008 by Prometheus Books. As Ms. Teicholz notes, “A large number of experiments have since confirmed that restricting fat does nothing to slim people down (quite the reverse, actually), yet even so, the idea that there could be such a thing as ‘slimming fat’ will probably always seem to us like an oxymoron.”

I know that few will read Ms. Teicholz book, but you will surely welcome knowing that “saturated fat has not been demonstrated to lead to an increased risk of heart attacks for the great majority of people, and even the narrowing of the arteries has not been shown to predict a heart attack.”

The problem for all of us is that the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health both adopted the incorrect analysis of Keys et all, institutionalizing the diet-heart hypothesis and thus are setting the nutrition agenda.

My Mother cooked the most wonderful meals every day and more so on Sundays. She lived to 98 and my Father to 93, eating all manner of meat dishes along with fish and other choices. We all ate cheeses with gusto. And, yes, we loved pasta and Mother’s fabulous home baked breads and desserts. I am coming up soon on age 77 and my diet reflects what kept them alive and disease-free for all of their years.

If you or someone you know is seriously obsessed with their weight and health, recommend “The Big Fat Surprise” to them. I recommend it to you!

© Alan Caruba, 2014

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of WallpapersPlanet.com.

New York Federal Reserve: Higher Health Costs, More Part-Time Workers from Obamacare

Obamacare puts employers in a bind, two New York Federal Reserve surveys show. Employers’ health care costs continue to rise, and the health care law is driving them to hire more part-time labor, CNBC reports:

The median respondent to the N.Y. Fed surveys expects health coverage costs to jump by 10 percent next year, after seeing a similar percentage increase last year.

Not all firms surveyed said the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is to blame for those cost increases to date. But a majority did, and the percentage of businesses that predicted the ACA will hike such costs next year is even higher than those that said it did this year.

Obamacare’s higher costs will cascade down to consumers. The surveys found that “36 percent of manufacturers and 25 percent of service firms said they were hiking prices in response” to Obamacare’s effects.

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey polls New York State manufacturers, and the Business Leaders Survey polls service firms in the New York Federal Reserve District.

A June Gallup poll found that four in ten Americans are spending more on health care in 2014 than in 2013.

Let’s dig into the numbers.

When asked, “How would you say the ACA has affected the amount your firm is paying in health benefit costs per worker this year?” More than 73% of manufacturers and 58% of service firms said the health care law has increased costs this year.

Companies are also more pessimistic about Obamacare next year. Over 80% of manufacturers and 74% of service firms expect health plan costs to increase in 2015.

New York Federal Reserve Empire State Manufacturing and Business Leaders Surveys

Source: New York Federal Reserve. For a larger view click on the image.

Employers were also asked what effects Obamacare is having on their labor forces. Over 21% of manufacturers and nearly 17% of service firms say they reduced the number of employees because of the law, while only about 2% of each have hired more workers. What’s more, nearly 20% of both manufacturers and service firms say that Obamacare has pushed them to increase their proportion of part-time workers, but just under 5% of each type of firm said they have lowered them. Presumably this is due to the perverse incentives from Obamacare’s employer mandate.

This data fits with research from the Atlanta Federal Reserve that found that since the recession, 25% of firms have a greater share of part-time workers, while only 8% have a lower share. This data also fits with anecdotes from around the country of employers saying that they’re hiring more part-time workers because of Obamacare.

New York Federal Reserve Empire State Manufacturing and Business Leaders Surveys

Source: New York Federal Reserve. For a larger view click on the image.

The sad truth is the health care law is pushing higher health costs onto employers and incentivizing them to hire more part-time workers. Despite passing a law in 2010 loaded with rules, regulations, mandates, and taxes, health care reform is needed more than ever. For solutions that that will control health care costs, improve quality, and expand access, check out the U.S. Chamber’s Health Care Solutions Council report.

Follow Sean Hackbarth on Twitter at @seanhackbarth and the U.S. Chamber at @uschamber.

The War on Babies

The Democrats are angry that abortionists are being held to standards of cleanliness and professionalism…so guess what they did!

Testifying against a Florida bill that would require abortionists to provide emergency medical care to an infant who survives an abortion, Planned Parenthood lobbyist Alisa LaPolt Snow was asked point blank: “If a baby is born on a table as a result of a botched abortion, what would Planned Parenthood want to have happen to that child that is struggling for life?” She replied: “We believe that any decision that’s made should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician.”

Jaws in the committee room dropped. Asked again, she repeated her answer.

Dr. Gosnell’s clinic was called the “house of horrors.”  It was grimy, smelling of urine, blood splashed around and refrigerators containing baby body parts stored in jars.  It is incredible that his clinic was not inspected by the Department of Health for seventeen years.  The clinic was also a source of illegal drugs to many “patients.”

Gosnell initially came to the attention of law enforcement not because of his abortions but because he was running a “pill mill.”