The Obama vs. Obama Debates

While listening to a local talk-radio show recently, I heard a self-declared liberal caller tell the host, “You guys will go after Obama for anything.” I thought this was an interesting comment considering that devoted liberals will rarely challenge President Obama on anything!

Any reader of this website, or consumer of the variety of conservative and libertarian media outlets, will quickly realize that there are no sacred cows amongst true conservatives and libertarians. Conservative Review® dedicates a significant amount of its limited website space, its contributor’s time, and its financial resources to challenging not only President Obama, but Republicans as well. A simple search through Conservative Review’s archive will provide all of the evidence you need.

When will that “Road to Damascus” moment happen for the media/liberal establishment class? How many times are they going to be misled by President Obama before they mimic the conservative movement and wake up, realizing that they’re being manipulated for the gain of the political class? I recorded a podcast recently, which uses audio from President Obama to drive home this point. I called the episode the “Obama vs. Obama” debates. In it, I ask the question “If you are a supporter of President Obama, then which President Obama do you support?”

It’s stupefying how many times President Obama has publicly taken the exact opposite stance on an issue important to millions of Americans, yet retains unquestioned support on that issue from the same millions.

Although the list is long, here are just a few:

On Marriage

2004 President Obama said, “marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.”

2012 President Obama said, “For me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”

On Immigration

2013 President Obama said, an Executive Action bypassing the Congress would be “violating our laws” and would be “very difficult to defend legally.”

2014 President Obama said about an Executive Action bypassing the Congress “Today, I’m beginning a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress,”

On the Debt Ceiling

2006 Senator Obama said, “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government can’t pay its own bills. … I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”

2013 President Obama said, “I think if you look at the history, getting votes for the debt ceiling is always difficult, and budgets in this town are always difficult.”

On Executive Orders

2008 Candidate Obama said, “I take the Constitution very seriously. The biggest problems that we’re facing right now have to do with [the president] trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all. And that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m President of the United States of America.”

2013 President Obama said, “America does not stand still, and neither will I,” He continued. “So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do,”

And, the coup de grace, on Obamacare

2009 President Obama said, “No matter how we reform health care, I intend to keep this promise:  If you like your doctor, you’ll be able to keep your doctor; if you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan.”

2013 President Obama said, “What we said was, you can keep (your plan) if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.”

Clearly there is a level of serial dishonesty here and the dishonesty is not about largely inconsequential issues. These are significant issues affecting your life such as your healthcare, the breakdown of our Constitutional system of separated powers, who enters the country and how, and the financial health of the country. If you uncritically accept this dishonesty what else are you willing to accept?

Whenever I point out these dramatic inconsistencies to Obama supporters and I ask them which President Obama they support, they typically respond by redirecting the question as they say “Well; all presidents lie.” So, that’s it? Is this where we are as a country? Have we “evolved” to where President Obama has set a new standard of dishonesty to the point where we should no longer pay mind to being consistently lied to by the most powerful man in the world?

Nassim Nicholas Taleb points out in his book, The Black Swan, the risks of contagion in an information-rich society. Bad information spreads quickly in our new information environment but, when we ignore that information, and blindly accept what is told to us by the insider political class purely because of the partisan label they choose, we become what the founding fathers feared most, subjects.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the Conservative Review.

Florida ranked as the ‘Freest State in the Union’ — But…

What state is the freest? According to the John Locke Foundation, the answer is Florida. However, in some categories Florida is far from being ranked first. The John Locke Foundation ranked the states using four metrics: fiscal policy, education freedom, regulatory freedom and healthcare freedom. All of these metrics focus on government intervention into personal freedom.

The social issues, such as religious freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom to petition elected officials, were not measured. While this ranking is useful it is not complete. When the John Locke Foundation includes social freedoms then the index may have greater validity.

The George Mason University’s Mercatus Center “Freedom in the 50 States” gives a more complete analysis of freedom in each state. The Mercatus Center ranks Florida at 23rd on its freedom index. While Florida ranks first in the John Locke Foundation index it falls short in several areas. Florida ranks 45th in regulatory freedom and 30th in healthcare freedom according to the John Locke Foundation index. Mercatus Center ranks Florida as 36th in personal freedom and 32nd in regulatory freedom.

Michael Hausman from IJReview in a column titled “What States are the Freest? This Map Shows Americans Where to Go If They Crave Liberty” writes:

The John Locke Foundation just published its First In Freedom Index, a report that compares and ranks the relative freedom of all fifty states.

The North Carolina-based think tank says it has an institutional commitment to “individual liberty and limited, constitutional government,” weighed four different variables to compile the rankings.

The most significant consideration was fiscal policy, which measures taxes and budgetary measures. This aspect generated 50 percent of each state’s score, with 20 percent given each to education and regulatory policies, and the final 10 percent to health care policy.

[ … ]

The overall results from the report show:

  1. The ‘freest’ state is Florida, followed by Arizona, Indiana, South Dakota, and Georgia.
  2. The ‘least free’ state is New York, followed by New Jersey, California, West Virginia, and Kentucky.

Read more.

The map below shows the overall index ranking of each state:

freest states in the union

For a larger view click on the image.

Hausam includes in his column the George Mason University’s Mercatus Center “Freedom in the 50 States” map, which includes more than 200 economic and personal variables in their calculations.

RELATED ARTICLES:

You Might Be Surprised By Which State Grabbed the Top Spot for “Well-Being”

Freedom of Press Across the World, “Dramatically Worse,” U.S. Slips Further Behind

The 10 Best (and Worst) States to Find a Job

The Marijuana Report: If we can see the difference, why can’t we speak the difference?

The green tubes in the picture above contain a cannabinoid, one of more than 100 components scientists have identified in the marijuana plant. This particular cannabinoid is cannabidiol (CBD), or Epidiolex, which GW Pharmaceuticals extracts from the marijuana plant, purifies, and mixes in oil to treat children with rare forms of epilepsy. Some 98% of this medicine is CBD with trace amounts of other cannabinoids, including less than 0.2% of THC, the cannabinoid that produces a “high.” Epidiolex is in FDA clinical trials in the US and is expected to be approved soon. If it is, doctors will be able to prescribe it for children who suffer intractable seizures. No laws will need to be changed.

Pictured below Epidiolex is a marijuana plant. Add another 400 chemical components to the cannabinoids it contains. Few have been studied. Legalization advocates, and marijuana growers, processors, and distributors who stand to make fortunes, have convinced most Americans that this whole plant is medicine, or “medical marijuana.”

marijuana plant
But the promise for medicine lies in the plant’s cannabinoids, not the whole plant itself. That promise is being investigated by scientists who are studying cannabinoids in test tubes or in animals but, with rare exceptions, not yet in humans. That hasn’t stopped legalization advocates from claiming that the whole marijuana plant itself can produce a result in humans that a specific cannabinoid has produced in a test tube. But a test tube result is not a fact; it’s an indication that a scientist should take the next step in the research process. And a finding that a single cannabinoid has a specific effect in a test tube cannot be applied to the whole marijuana plant consumed by a human.
 
At the 2015 annual meeting of the National Association for the Advancement of Science (NAAS) last Saturday, researchers conducted a symposium titled “Cannabis and Medicine: A New Frontier in Therapeutics.” According to materials promoting the symposium and press accounts of it, the researchers used the terms “medical marijuana” and cannabinoids interchangeably, an odd thing for scientists, for whom precision matters, to do.
 
One, Dr. Igor Grant of the University of California, San Diego, asserted, “‘There is no evidence for long-term damaging effects [of marijuana use] in adults,’” according to an account of the symposium written for Science Magazine, the publication of the NAAS. “Preliminary data linking marijuana use to an increased risk of schizophrenia have not been supported by further studies.”
 
That was Saturday. Yesterday, The Lancet published a study by 23 scientists who found that daily use of high-potency marijuana (about 16% THC and no CBD) quintupled the risk of developing a schizophrenic-like psychosis and weekend use tripled the risk among people ages 18 to 65. A major finding of the study is that potency and frequency of use are critical to determining the effect of marijuana on mental health, factors, according to one report, that are often overlooked by doctors.
 
Ironically underscoring the need to be precise in our language is a dispute reported today in Oregon where medical marijuana growers have asked a legislator for a bill that will ban the growing of hemp in counties with large medical-marijuana grows. They fear hemp will pollinate their high-THC marijuana and turn it into low-grade, 60s pot. “It basically makes the medicine worthless,” one grower said.
 
Click here to read an account of the NAAS marijuana symposium.
Click here to read an account of The Lancet study.
Click here to read The Lancet study itself.
Click here to read the Oregon story.

ABOUT THE MARIJUANA REPORT:

The Marijuana Report.Org is published by the Marijuana Studies Program, a project of National Families in Action and its partners. The report is a news aggregator website that links browsers to daily news coverage of the marijuana issue. A one-page e-newsletter highlights key issues for subscribers each week. We are grateful to Monte Stiles, Derek Franklin, the Washington Association for Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention, and others who contribute stories to this website.

Hating Humanity by Opposing Science

They don’t want to admit it, but we know it’s true. There are countless organizations that hate humanity enough to do everything in their power to put a stop to anything that might benefit it. Their focus is on the use of science to improve and protect our lives.

A recent example is the discussion over the need to ensure youngsters are vaccinated against measles. When I was a child, the great fear parents had was polio and, when the vaccine was created against it, it ceased within my lifetime to be a major health threat. Measles, too, went from being a common disease in my youth to where it occurred rarely.

Even so, some idiots keep spreading the lie that vaccinations can cause autism. That was enough for some parents to fail to vaccinate their child. In other cases, children brought here from foreign nations where vaccination is not as widespread as here can and do cause outbreaks like the one at a California amusement park. It is occurring in other states as well. A disease like measles exists with a life force of its own to spread as widely and rapidly as possible.

FOE (2)On February 14, the Wall Street Journal carried an article, “First Genetically Modified Apple Approved for Sale in U.S.” The previous day I received an email from Friends of the Earth (FOE) citing the apple and bewailing the fact that “Like other GMO’s, this apple won’t be labeled and regulators are relying on assurance from the company that made the apple that it’s safe for human consumption and the environment.”

Why won’t it be labeled? Because it poses no harm to anyone’s health.

What FOE wants to do is create obstacles to genetically modified foods, but the World Health Organization is on record saying that “GM foods currently available on the international market have passed safety assessments and are not likely to present risks for human health. In addition, no effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of such foods by the general population in the countries where they have been approved.”

Listen to what a farmer has to say about GMOs. Larry Cochran is the president of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers. “Most people don’t even know what GMO stands for, but for me as a farmer it’s just another way of speeding up the breeding process. I have a boss, Mother Nature, who does her own form of GMO breeding, whether it’s new races of disease or insects that have evolved. She’s always changing the rules. If we in agriculture want to be able to feed the world’s population, we have to be able to grow more food on less land, and I believe GMOs can help me do that.”

In a December 31, 2014 commentary posted on the Daily Caller, Mischa Popoff, an expert on the organic food sector, the author of “Is it Organic?” and a policy advisor for The Heartland Institute, pointed out that “GMOs meanwhile have NEVER caused any health problem at any level.”

Popoff’s book reveals what a scam organic farming is and, if you have had a choice between organic or not in the supermarket, you will instantly realize organic is much more expensive. Why? Because it does not use GMOs or other means to protect their crops against drought, weeds, or insect predation.

“The real goal for organic activists,” says Popoff, “is to ban GMOs outright the way DDT was banned in 1972, a terrible move by these very same activists which resulted in more deaths from mosquito-borne malaria in the Third World than were cause by both world wars.”

Fear of GMOs is spread monthly by countless articles condemning genetic modification. As Amy Paturel notes in an article on WebMD.com, “The World Health Organization, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Medical Association all say these crops are safe as, and often safer than, foods changed the old-fashioned way, such as when a new plant is bred from two different types.”

The irony of all the efforts to scare people in the fashion that the Friends of the Earth and comparable groups are trying to do—calling for labeling of GMO foods—is that the new apple has received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The producer has voluntarily asked the Food and Drug Administration to likewise determine its safe consumption. What’s new about it? It does not turn brown after you cut it into slices by shutting off the enzyme that initiates the browning process. It also resists bruising. All good news for consumers.

It is essential that companies that purchase large quantities of food products not fall prey to the anti-GMO lies. A biotech potato, Simplot, is also less susceptible to black spots from bruising and has lower levels of sugar and asparagine. Despite DOA approval, McDonald’s decided not to use it and it is a company that buys 3.4 billion pounds of potatoes a year.

If farmers and ranchers are going to be able to feed the Earth’s human population of seven billion and growing, GMOs hold the key to avoiding widespread hunger while at the same time offering products like Golden Rice that would prevent a half million kids from going blind and dying every year due to Vitamin-A deficiency in the Third World.

As Patrick Moore, a Greenpeace co-founder who left the organization when he realized it was operating from an anti-science, anti-capitalism agenda, warns, “There is now an anti-intellectual element that doesn’t care about people. There is no logic or science involved—only ideology and ignorance.”

People live longer, healthier lives these days because of the discoveries of science. Genetic modification is just one of them. Vaccines are another. The Friends of the Earth and others who oppose such advances want you to die because they believe humans are a plague on the Earth.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Powerhouse Texan says there’ll be no messin’ with Texas

DALLASFeb. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Texas native Monica Simmons has taken up the war cry of 25 House Republicans with a message for Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-FL) who called the Lone Star State “a crazy state” at last week’s meeting of the House Rules Committee.

These and countless other Texans won’t “Let It Go” and won’t “Shake It Off.” Hastings said “hell would freeze over” before he apologizes for blasting the state’s failure to participate in the Affordable Care Act.

Ms. Simmons’ North Texas neighbor Dr. Michael Burgess (R-TX) took strong exception to the disparaging remarks, and Rep. Pete SessionsDallas Republican and House Rules Committee Chair, launched into a floor speech on “Don’t Mess with Texas.”

But advertising executive Simmons is taking the high road to remedying the besmirching of her great state. “I’m shouting ‘Smile. You’re in Texas!’ to the world,” she declared.  “From Austin, to Dallas, to Houston, to El Paso—this campaign is about reminding each other how fortunate we are to be in this great state.”

Simmons wasted no time trademarking her big-hearted slogan.  “I want it to put a smile on everyone’s face across the state of Texas,” she said. And that’s not all. She believes it’s a fine companion to “Don’t Mess withTexas,” created more than 25 years ago as an anti-litter campaign slogan.  She’s in good company. Even eclectic singer Lyle Lovett sings, “That’s right, you’re not from Texas but Texas loves you anyway.”

What’s next for the “Smile” movement?  Simmons has just launched a new website, www.smileyoureintexas.com, where she’s encouraging supporters of the Lone Star State to share their Texas stories and pictures. They’ll also have the opportunity to browse from a selection of items featuring the motto to help spread the word and the smiles.

For more information visit www.smileyoureintexas.com.

Food Fight in Sarasota County Public Schools

The Sarasota County School Board some time ago voted to have Meatless Mondays, much to the chagrin of parents and students. At the February 3rd, 2015 school board meeting one school board member, after listening to parents and students, offered the board the opportunity to rethink its decision to dictate what students should and should not eat, making a motion to end Meatless Mondays (see video below). Three members of the school board rejected that motion. Why?

Wendy McElroy in her column “Eating Right: Your freedom to choose your food is sacred” writes:

Political correctness now drives the civics of food with bountiful nations attempting to dictate what people can eat and how much. Why? For their own good.

The public debate revolves around whether a particular food choice is healthy or not. The real debate is, “Who should choose: you or someone else?” The defense of food freedom needs to turn on the right of people to express themselves through dietary choices that reflect not only their preferences but also their judgment. Food is self-expression as much as music or literature is. If the government can control the flavors of life you choose to swallow, then it can control everything else.

The three school board members who believe that “government can control the flavors of life you choose to swallow” are Caroline Zucker, Jane Goodwin and Shirley Brown. Because of this food freedom died in Sarasota County’s public schools.

VIDEO: Sarasota County School Board Votes Against Student (Lunch) Choice:

But why is food freedom important to our children and parents? Because food is much more than a health matter.

McElroy notes, “The State uses two basic arguments to justify the micromanagement of what people eat. First, laws are necessary to force people to make healthy choices. This argument assumes that politically motivated bureaucrats know what is best for people better than they do themselves. Second, people’s unhealthy choices make them tax burdens on the socialized medical system. Having “relieved” or deprived people of the responsibility for their own medical maintenance, the State uses their dependence as an excuse to impose social control. It is important to counter both arguments, but doing so often ignores an equally essential point.”

“Food is not merely a matter of health or sustaining life. It is one of the main ways people express themselves in terms of culture, ethnicity, religion, psychology, family history, and pure preference. Food choices are personal; they define our identity as surely as choices in attire or music do,” writes McElroy.

The government’s increasing interference in food choice is often viewed as benevolent, because it is discussed in terms of health benefits. Food regulation is anything but benevolent. The government is not only trying to define who and what you are; it is, at the same time, trying to convince you that the denial of freedom is “for your own good.”

If you are what you eat, then food laws are an attempt to control your identity.

Meatless Monday is “local control of your child’s identity” courtesy of Sarasota County School Board members Zucker, Goodwin and Brown, nothing more and nothing less.

ABOUT WENDY MCELROY

Wendy McElroy (wendy@wendymcelroy.com) is an author, editor of iFeminists.com, and Research Fellow at The Independent Institute (Independent.org)

Obamacare Must Go!

Can anyone remember how awful the U.S. healthcare free market system was that it needed to be replaced by the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as ObamaCare? Can’t remember? That’s because it was ranked one of the best of the world and represented 17.9% of the nation’s economy in 2014. That’s down from the 20% it represented in 2009 when ObamaCare was foisted on Americans.

Heartland - Health Care NewsOne of the best ways to follow the ObamaCare story is via Health Care News, a monthly newspaper published by The Heartland Institute. The January issue begins with an article by Sean Parnell, the managing editor, reporting that ObamaCare enrollment is overstated by 400,000.

“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) once again lowered its estimate of the number of Americans enrolled in health plans through government exchanges in 2014. The 6.7 million enrollees who remain are far lower than the eight million touted in May at the end of the last open-enrollment period.”

ObamaCare has been a lie from the moment it was introduced for a vote, all 2,700 pages of it, to the present day. Everything President Obama said about it was a lie. As to its present enrollments, they keep dropping because some 900,000 who did sign up did not make the first premium payment or later stopped paying.

Michael Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, said the dropout rate is a troubling trend. “It means that potentially hundreds of thousands of Exchange enrollees are realizing they are better off waiting until they get sick to purchase coverage. If enough people come to that conclusion, the exchanges collapse.”

Elsewhere in this month’s edition, there is an article, “States Struggle to Fund Exchanges”, that reports on the difficulties that “states are experiencing difficulty in paying the ongoing costs of the exchanges, especially small states. “’The feds are asking us to do their jobs for them. We get saddled with the operating costs,’ said Edmund Haislmaier, senior research fellow for health care policy studies at The Heritage Foundation.” Some are imposing a two percent tax on the insurance companies which, of course, gets passed along to the consumer. Even so, the exchanges are not generating enough income to be maintained.

Why would anyone want ObamaCare insurance when its rates keep rising dramatically? In Nebraska the rates have nearly doubled and another article notes that “A 2014 study finds large numbers of doctors are declining to participate in health plans offered through exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, raising questions about whether people buying insurance through exchanges will be able to access health care in a timely manner.” One reason physicians gave was that they would have to hire additional staff “just to manage the insurance verification process.”

Dr. Kris Held, a Texas eye surgeon, said ObamaCare “fails to provide affordable health insurance and fails to provide access to actual medical care to more people, but succeeds in compounding existing health care costs and accessibility problems and creating new ones.”

Health Care News reports what few other news outlets have noted. “In Section 227 of the recently enacted ‘Cromnibus’ spending measure, Congress added critical but little-noticed language that prohibits the use of funds appropriated to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to pay for insurance company bailouts.” William Todd, an Ohio attorney, further noted that “Congress did not appropriate any separate funding for ‘bailouts.’” Todd predicted that “some insurers are likely to raise premiums to avoid losses, or they will simply stop offering policies on the exchanges altogether.”

The picture of ObamaCare failure emerging from these excerpts is a very true one. Its momentum, in fact, is gaining.

In mid-December, the Wall Street Journal opined that “With the Supreme Court due to rule on a major ObamaCare legal challenge by next summer, thoughts in Washington are turning to the practical and political response. If the Court does strike down insurance subsidies, the question for Republicans running Congress is whether they will try to fix the problems Democrats created, or merely allow ObamaCare damage to grow.”

King v. Burwell will be heard in March with a ruling likely in June. “Of the 5.4 million consumers on federal exchanges, some 87% drew subsidies in 2014, according to a Rand Corporation analysis.”

The Wall Street Journal recommended that “The immediate Republican goal should be to make insurance cheaper so people need less of a subsidy to obtain insurance. This means deregulating the exchanges, plank by plank. Devolve to states their traditional insurance oversight role, and allow them to enter into cross-border compacts to increase choice and competition. Allow insurers to sell any configuration of benefits to anyone, anywhere, and the private market will gradually heal.”

Or, to put it another way, eliminate ObamaCare entirely and return to the healthcare insurance system that had served Americans well until the White House decided that socialism was superior to capitalism.

The problem with the Affordable Care Act is that the cost of the insurance sold under the Act is not affordable and ObamaCare is actually causing hospitals and clinics to close their doors, thus reducing healthcare services for those who need them.

ObamaCare must go. If the Republicans in Congress did nothing more than repeal ObamaCare, the outcome of the 2016 election would be a predictable win no matter who their candidate will be. If not repeal, some separate actions must be taken such as eliminating the tax on medical instruments.

If the Republican Congress fails to take swift and deliberate action on ObamaCare between now and the 2016 elections, they will have defeated themselves.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Senator Ted Cruz: We need Bold, Positive Leadership

On Monday, January 12th, Sen. Cruz addressed the Heritage Foundation’s 2015 Conservative Policy Summit to discuss a bold, positive agenda for the new Congress. View video below.

What’s the Difference between Medical Marijuana and Marijuana-Based Medicines?

A new resource for those who misunderstand the differences between medical marijuana and marijuana-based medicines, an online resource is now available. The website is TheMarijuanaReport.org is a project of the non-profit group National Families in Action. The following is one of their reports:

What’s the Difference between Medical Marijuana and Marijuana-Based Medicines? This brief report summarizes key issues that surround 1) the science that supports marijuana-based medicines compared to 2) marijuana that is legalized for medical use by voters via ballot initiatives or by elected officials.

1. FDA Protection—This section describes how the Food and Drug Administration protects Americans from unsafe, ineffective drugs. All medicine-makers must prove their medicines are first safe and then effective to obtain FDA approval to market them to the public. Approval is gained by proving a drug is safe in animal testing, then proving it is effective in humans through randomized clinical trials.

2. Medical Marijuana—No producer has applied to FDA for approval of any medical marijuana (MMJ) product. Doctors cannot prescribe them and pharmacies cannot sell them. Doctors can only recommend them or certify that a patient has a disease/condition that laws claim MMJ will cure/relieve.

3. Marijuana-Based MedicinesMarinol® and Cesamet® are synthetic (man-made) THC, approved by FDA in the 1980s to treat chemotherapy-related nausea and AIDs wasting in patients who do not respond to standard medications. There is no need to legalize marijuana-based medicines. They are legal for patients to possess and use while taking part in research studies and clinical trials and with a prescription once the drugs are approved by FDA.

4. Marijuana Based Medicines Seeking FDA ApprovalSativex®, combined THC and CBD, and Epidiolex®, CBD, are in clinical trials in the US to treat advanced cancer pain and intractable epileptic seizures, respectively. The British firm GW Pharmaceuticals grows marijuana without the use of pesticides and purifies the THC and CBD extracted from the marijuana. Insys Therapeutics plans to begin clinical trials in 2015 of its marijuana-based medicine, synthetic CBD, to treat epileptic seizures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download The Difference between Medical Marijuana and Marijuana-Based Medicines.

With this edition of E-HighlightsNational Families in Action and partners, Project SAM and the Treatment Research Institute, welcome a number of new readers. We hope you enjoy this weekly e-newsletter to keep up-to-date with all aspects of the marijuana story.

ABOUT NATIONAL FAMILIES IN ACTION

National Families in Action (NFIA) is a nonprofit drug policy, education, and prevention organization founded in Atlanta in 1977. Learn more about marijuana at our new websiteThe Marijuana Report.Org and by subscribing to E-Highlights. Learn more about the difference between medical marijuana and marijuana-based medicines at The Marijuana Report.Org: Reports.

Eating Right: Your freedom to choose your food is sacred by Wendy McElroy

Food has always been political. Throughout history, armies have razed crops and demographics have shifted in response to hunger. Political correctness now drives the civics of food with bountiful nations attempting to dictate what people can eat and how much. Why? For their own good.

The public debate revolves around whether a particular food choice is healthy or not. The real debate is, “Who should choose: you or someone else?” The defense of food freedom needs to turn on the right of people to express themselves through dietary choices that reflect not only their preferences but also their judgment. Food is self-expression as much as music or literature is. If the government can control the flavors of life you choose to swallow, then it can control everything else.

Poe’s law comes alive

Poe’s law is an Internet adage. It says that without knowing the intent of an online poster, it is impossible to distinguish someone who is expressing an extreme position from someone else who is satirizing that extreme position. A recent news story blurs the line between parody and reality.

The parody goes by various names, including “Ordering a Pizza from Big Brother” and “Ordering a Pizza in 2015.” The gist: a pizza parlor with access to all of your personal information refuses to accept an order that is contraindicated by your finances, medical condition, or some other characteristic. The reality is expressed by a December 8 headline in the Telegraph that read, “The vending machine of the future is here, and it knows who you are.”

The Luce X2 Touch TV is the first commercial vending machine to use facial recognition technology to store data and interact with customers. The vending machines offer advantages to both buyers and sellers. A buyer could voluntarily store his preferences, and the machine could regularly restock those items. A seller could replace expensive employees and stores with machines. But the Telegraph points to possible disadvantages. Luce X2 “could refuse to vend a certain product based on a shopper’s age, medical record or dietary requirements.” Candy might be refused to the obese, sodas to schoolchildren. Since Luce X2 uses data-sharing cloud technology, going to another machine might not provide the anonymity that allows access.

The prospect of social control via vending machine sounds paranoid to some. But food regulations have become so intrusive and unreasonable as to become self-parodies. Michelle Obama’s unpopular school-lunch program has children across America tossing trays full of untouched food into extremely well-nourished wastebaskets. Recent menu-labeling laws require food vendors — from restaurants to theater popcorn stands — to provide information on calorie contents that next to no one will read. But the requirement does make fast food more expensive and so discourages its consumption, which may be the laws’ real purpose.

Even as food regulation verges on the absurd, many acquiesce on health grounds. Framing the issue as medical gives the government a strong advantage.

Food is much more than a health matter

The State uses two basic arguments to justify the micromanagement of what people eat. First, laws are necessary to force people to make healthy choices. This argument assumes that politically motivated bureaucrats know what is best for people better than they do themselves. Second, people’s unhealthy choices make them tax burdens on the socialized medical system. Having “relieved” or deprived people of the responsibility for their own medical maintenance, the State uses their dependence as an excuse to impose social control. It is important to counter both arguments, but doing so often ignores an equally essential point.

Food is not merely a matter of health or sustaining life. It is one of the main ways people express themselves in terms of culture, ethnicity, religion, psychology, family history, and pure preference. Food choices are personal; they define our identity as surely as choices in attire or music do.

Food is an integral aspect of transmitting culture and ethnicity. From Hungarian goulash to Italian sausage, from Indian curries to falafels, food expresses a family’s rich heritage. Recipes and cooking techniques are passed down from one generation to the next in an act that preserves the family bond; it preserves the culture itself.

Food is also a cultural ambassador through which diverse groups appreciate each other’s ethnicity. People who would never listen to Chinese music are able to mention dozens of their favorite Chinese dishes. A man who would never learn Spanish might cook pescado a la talla with the same ingredients a woman is using in Acapulco. A couple will return from visiting Germany and rave about its spaetzle and knackwurst. This cultural appreciation occurs naturally, without tax funding or government-mandated tolerance. Indeed, laws interrupt people’s appreciation of other cuisines.

Food can be a moral choice, as vegetarians and vegans know. It can be a part of religious doctrine, as any Orthodox Jew will tell you. It is a matter of ritual, as those who carve a turkey each Christmas or children who gather Halloween candy will gladly acknowledge. Food can even be a political statement, as those who prefer raw milk will attest.

As a psychological matter, food has been called “love.” A mother makes her son’s favorite meal or a cake to celebrate his birthday. A lover proposes marriage over a romantic dinner and a good wine. Women recover from a broken heart by emptying containers of ice cream. When a neighbor expresses sympathy for a death in someone’s family, she brings over a homemade casserole. At the funeral, there is a spread of food. At festivals, it is featured; for the Super Bowl, it is strategically placed between the couch and the TV.

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The diversity of plentiful food that every grocery store boasts should be a cause of pride, because it demonstrates not only financial prosperity, but also cultural richness. It showcases the range of choices in our affluent society.

Never mind that subsidies, taxes, and regulations already distort what we find at the supermarket and how much we pay for it. When government tries to dictate what we may eat or the manner in which we eat, it is tampering with our heritage, our ethnicity, our psychology, and our religious or political choices. The ability to control the food you put in your mouth is as fundamental a right as to control the words that come out of it.

The government’s increasing interference in food choice is often viewed as benevolent, because it is discussed in terms of health benefits. Food regulation is anything but benevolent. The government is not only trying to define who and what you are; it is, at the same time, trying to convince you that the denial of freedom is “for your own good.” If you are what you eat, then food laws are an attempt to control your identity.

ABOUT WENDY MCELROY

Contributing editor Wendy McElroy (wendy@wendymcelroy.com) is an author, editor of ifeminists.com, and Research Fellow at The Independent Institute (independent.org).

Black Sheriff Says if Black Lives Mattered They’d Protest at Abortion Clinics

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For a larger view click on the image.

LifeNews.com’s Carole Novielli reports:

CNN’s Poppy Harlow interviewed Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke about the recent protests that some in the Black Community have sparked after the police related deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

Harlow asked the Sheriff, who has been on several news shows on Fox and others, about a tweet he sent out implying that if Black lives mattered the protesters would be outside abortion clinics because of the high numbers of black babies killed by abortion.

The tweet sent by Sheriff Clarke, a black man himself, was sent to Mitch Smith, Journalist in the Chicago bureau of The New York Times and read, “If only these faux protesters were asked by media about all the black on black killing or black babies aborted in US every year.“

Read more.

Watch the December 26, 2014 Poppy Harlow interview with Sheriff David Clarke on CNN:

EDITORS NOTE:  Statistics released by the CDC show that minorities are killed by abortion in disproportionate numbers. According to the most recent numbers, 36.2% of the total number of abortions recorded for race or ethnicity were reported on Black women. Mississippi, which currently has only one abortion clinic in the state, had the highest number of abortions reported on Black women at 63.4%.

Carole Novielli is the author of the blog Saynsumthn, where this article originally appeared.

Latest ‘Gay Disease’: Syphilis Is Predominantly a Homosexual Male Epidemic, CDC Reports

Catering to Promiscuous ‘Gays’ Is Big Business: The CDC revealed in 2014 that syphilis is now “predominantly” a homosexual male “epidemic.” Above is a photo of the homosexual bathhouse “Steamworks,” which sits prominently (at the 3246 address) on Halsted Street in the heart of Chicago’s homosexual “Boystown” neighborhood. ‘Homo-promiscuity’ is a major factor in the spread of syphilis, HIV and other STDs, but politically-speaking, orgiastic “gay” sex clubs like this one are apparently untouchable. AFTAH has long called for such perversion centers to be closed down in the name of public health, to no avail. Note the nondescript, windowless Steamworks building and the official “rainbow pillars” demarcating the city’s “gay-borhood.” 

One way that 2014 was not unique compared to previous years is that it brought further evidence of the destructiveness of homosexual behavior. In May, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that such a high percentage of new syphilis cases are linked to homosexuality-practicing males that it now considers syphilis “predominantly an MSM [men who have sex with men] epidemic.”

The health agency’s May 9, 2014 Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report (MMWR) [reprinted in PDF format HERE] found that almost 84 percent of primary and secondary syphilis cases reported in 2012 were among homosexual men (MSM)–up from 77 percent in 2009.

The report states (emphasis added):

“In 2012, primary and secondary syphilis cases in the 35 reporting areas that reported the sex of sex partners for [equal or greater than] 70% of male cases comprised 83.7% (13,113) of all nationwide cases. In those areas, the proportion of male primary and secondary syphilis cases attributed to MSM [men who have sex with men] increased from 77.0 (6,366) in 2009 to 83.9% (8,701) in 2012. Increases in incidence occurred among MSM of all ages and races/ethnicities from all regions. The greatest percentage increases occurred among Hispanics (53.4%, from 1,291 in 2009 to 1,980 in 2012) and whites (38.1%, 2,449 to 3,381), when compared with blacks (21.2%, 2,267 to 2,747)…By age group, the greatest percentage increases occurred among MSM aged 25-29 (53.2%m 1,073 to 1,644).”

In a separate section of the CDC MMWR report (p. 405, in the blue text box), the authors write (emphasis added):

“What is already known on this topic?
Rates of reported primary and secondary syphilis in the United States have increased since reaching historic lows in 2000. Cases of primary and secondary syphilis increasingly are among males, particularly men who have sex with men (MSM).

“What is added by this report?
Primary and secondary syphilis rates increased among men of all ages and races/ethnicities during 2005–2013, from 5.1 cases per 100,000 population in 2005 to 9.8 in 2013, when men accounted for 91.1% of all cases reported in the United States. Although rates remain highest among black men (28.1), recent increases were greatest among Hispanic and white men.Currently, syphilis is predominantly an MSM epidemic.”

Syphilis and HIV

The CDC MMWR reports that syphilis sores facilitate the spread of HIV–another disease that overwhelmingly and disproportionately affects homosexual and bisexual men:

“The increase in syphilis among MSM is a major public health concern, particularly because syphilis and the behaviors associated with acquiring it increase the likelihood of acquiring and transmitting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). There are reported rates of 50%–70% HIV coinfection among MSM infected with primary and secondary syphilis and high HIV seroconversion rates following primary and secondary syphilis infection (8). The resurgence of syphilis, coupled with its strong link with HIV, underscores the need for programs and providers to 1) urge safer sexual practices (e.g., reduce the number of sex partners, use latex condoms, and have a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has negative test results for sexually transmitted diseases);…”

Syphilis_Primary_chancre-penile-CDC

Syphilis and Male Homosexuality:Example of syphilis sore on the head of a penis, provided by a CDC Fact Sheet on Syphilis. In 2012, “Men who have Sex with Men” (MSM) made up almost 84 percent of primary and secondary syphilis cases in the U.S. See the blue text box  on page 405 of the CDC’s MMWR report–where it is stated that syphilis is “predominantly an MSM epidemic.”  Photo: CDC.

The CDC report continues (emphasis added):

“Annual syphilis surveillance data published in the just released 2011 STD Surveillance Report continue to emphasize the disproportionate burden of disease among gay and bisexual men. While the health problems caused by syphilis in adults are serious in their own right, it has been shown that the genital sores caused by syphilis make it easier to transmit and acquire HIV infection sexually. There is an estimated 2- to 5-fold increased risk of acquiring HIV if exposed to that infection when syphilis is present, and studies have also shown that syphilis will increase the viral load of someone who is already HIV infected. This is especially concerning, as data from several major cities throughout the country indicate that an average of four in 10 MSM with syphilis are also infected with HIV.”

What is syphilis?

Syphilis, according to the CDC, is “an STD that can cause long-term complications and/or death if not treated correctly. It “has been called ‘the great imitator’ because it has so many possible symptoms, many of which look like symptoms from other diseases,” the CDC Fact Sheet states.

The same Fact Sheet explains the three stages of syphilis as follows:

Primary Stage
During the first (primary) stage of syphilis, you may notice a single sore, but there may be multiple sores. The sore is the location where syphilis entered your body. The sore is usually firm, round, and painless. Because the sore is painless, it can easily go unnoticed. The sore lasts 3 to 6 weeks and heals regardless of whether or not you receive treatment. Even though the sore goes away, you must still receive treatment so your infection does not move to the secondary stage.

Secondary Stage
During the secondary stage, you may have skin rashes and/or sores in your mouth, vagina, or anus (also called mucous membrane lesions). This stage usually starts with a rash on one or more areas of your body. The rash can show up when your primary sore is healing or several weeks after the sore has healed. The rash can look like rough, red, or reddish brown spots on the palms of your hands and/or the bottoms of your feet. The rash usually won’t itch and it is sometimes so faint that you won’t notice it. Other symptoms you may have can include fever, swollen lymph glands, sore throat, patchy hair loss, headaches, weight loss, muscle aches, and fatigue (feeling very tired). The symptoms from this stage will go away whether or not you receive treatment. Without the right treatment, your infection will move to the latent and possibly late stages of syphilis.

Latent and Late Stages

The latent stage of syphilis begins when all of the symptoms you had earlier disappear. If you do not receive treatment, you can continue to have syphilis in your body for years without any signs or symptoms. Most people with untreated syphilis do not develop late stage syphilis. However, when it does happen it is very serious and would occur 10–30 years after your infection began. Symptoms of the late stage of syphilis include difficulty coordinating your muscle movements, paralysis (not able to move certain parts of your body), numbness, blindness, and dementia (mental disorder). In the late stages of syphilis, the disease damages your internal organs and can result in death.

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‘‘Gay’ sex clubs: “Where the Boys Are”: this is an ad for the Chicago “gay” bathhouse “Steamworks.” Note the appeal to young homosexual men, and the offer of a “student discount.” Homosexual activists rarely discuss high-risk behaviors specifically associated with “gay” men in addressing issues like the FDA’s homosexual blood donation ban currently being debated in Washington, D.C. Click on graphic to enlarge.

MSM and the spread of syphilis

Homosexual male promiscuity is a key factor in the increasing rates of syphilis among “men who have sex with men,” according to the CDC and other sources. Among the “safer sex” practices routinely urged by the CDC is to “reduce the number of sexual partners.” Many “gay” men, such asJack Hart, testify to the high number of sexual partners available to homosexual men [see Hart quote HERE].

For more than a decade, this writer andAmericans For Truth have urged closure of homosexual bathhouses, where men go for anonymous sexual encounters with other men. But rather then face shutdown, these orgy-facilitating sex clubs are doing a booming business, as AIDS drugs have lessened the physical effects of the disease.

“Homo-promiscuity,” as we at AFTAH are calling it, is also evident in the spread of phone apps like Grindr that are used by homosexual men to “locate” a casual sex partner nearby–literally measuring the distance for a potential sex partner in feet.

Allow blood donations from ‘abstinent’ gay men?

Meanwhile, although the Food & Drug Administration is on the verge of ending the ban on blood donations by MSM (men who have sex with men) and replacing it with a stipulation that MSM must not have had sex with another man for the last 12 months before giving blood, homosexual activist groups are complaining that this “reform” does not go far enough:

“While this new policy is movement toward an optimal policy that reflects fundamental fairness and the best scientific research, it falls far short of an acceptable solution because it continues to stigmatize gay and bisexual men, preventing them from donating life-saving blood based solely on their sexual orientation, rather than a policy based on actual risk to the blood supply,” said David Stacy, HRC’s Government Affairs Director. “This new policy cannot be justified in light of current scientific research and updated blood screening technology. We will continue to work towards an eventual outcome that both minimizes risk to the blood supply and treats gay and bisexual men with the respect they deserve.”

The common thread of such policy statements by LGBTQueer activist groups like HRC is their focus on “sexual orientation” rather than high-risk homosexual behaviors–which suits their propaganda emphasis on “fairness,” “equality” and “discrimination.” In contrast, AFTAH and other conservatives have sought to educate the public on the extreme health risks associated with behaviors like rectal sex and “rimming” (oral-anal “sex”) that are popular among “gay” men–and a key factor in the prevalence of disease in this population.

Alas, as the facts surrounding sexual diseases like syphilis and HIV demonstrate, Nature does not treat all behaviors “equally.”

SOURCE: CDC report on syphilis: 

CDC-MMWR-5-9-14-Syphilis_402-406 –SYPHILIS-Section-only

VIDEO: Marijuana Does Kill

Kevin Sabet, a former adviser on drug policy to three presidents—Clinton, Bush and Obama—says despite popular fiction, marijuana does kill.

“Saying marijuana has never contributed to death or never killed anyone is like saying tobacco hasn’t killed anyone,” Kevin Sabet, president of Project SAM, told The Daily Signal after speaking at a Heritage Foundation event on marijuana policy. “In that same way, marijuana does kill people in the form of mental illness, suicide and car crashes.”

To learn more visit: http://dailysign.al/1AcnEcK

With Cromnibus passed, Boehner surrenders all leverage through 2015

Well, the “cromnibus” monster spending bill passed last night, and President Obama and Vice President Biden worked hard to get Democrat support — which they did not receive.

The funding measure passed and in doing so, the new incoming GOP majority will have little to no say in funding measures through the entire year — basically half of the new GOP majority Congress. A better approach would have been to execute a continuing resolution (CR) that went into February and then do appropriations by agency, funding what is essential by priority. Instead Obamacare is funded through October next year and funding to President Obama’s illegal immigration executive action — $2.5 billion. However, Speaker Boehner has declared that next February Congress will take up the illegal immigration fight, since the DHS is only funded through February. Whoopee.

In effect Speaker Boehner essentially surrendered the majority which the American people gave the House GOP and with it, the greatest leverage — the power of the purse. Some 1,800 pages, no doubt including pork, has passed which most did not read.

And what if the gambit Speaker Boehner has doesn’t work out next February? That’s the question The Hill asks, writing, “Even if Republicans shut down the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) next year, President Obama could still carry out his executive actions giving legal status to up to 5 million undocumented immigrants. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other GOP leaders have punted the funding fight over Obama’s immigration action to February, arguing their new majority will have more leverage to stop the plan dead in its tracks.”

RELATED ARTICLE: ‘Boehner and White House win’: Omnibus bill passes 219-206 – here are the 67 Republicans who voted NO

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

You’ve been Gruber’d, Stupid!

“No. I — I did not. Uhhh, I just heard about this… I — I get well briefed before I come out here. Uh, th-th-the fact that some advisor who never worked on our staff, uhh, expressed an opinion that, uhh, I completely disagree with wuh, uhh, in terms of the voters, is no reflection on the actual process that was run.” – President Obama replying to a question about Jonathan Gruber at the conclusion of the G-20 Conference in Brisbane, Australia.

Will the last name of the MIT professor identified as the “architect of ObamaCare” become a verb some day? Will people say “I’ve been Gruber’d? or “The government is “Grubering again”?

After all, when he admitted that ObamaCare’s passage was achieved by deceiving the Congressional Budget Office and the entire American public, turning his name into a synonym for lying is not unthinkable. Adding insult to injury, he said the voters were “stupid.”

Cartoon - Gruber and Obamacare

For a larger view click on the image.

How stupid was it for the Democrat-controlled Congress to pass a two-thousand page piece of legislation that none of them had read? (No Republican in Congress voted for it.) ObamaCare took over one-sixth of the U.S. economy and did something that makes me wonder why we even have a Supreme Court. It required people to buy a product whether they wanted to or not. If they didn’t, they would be subject to a penalty.

One way of the other, the federal government was going to squeeze you. The Court did conclude early on that ObamaCare was a tax, but don’t expect the mainstream media to tell you about all the other taxes hidden within it.

What surprises me about the Gruber revelations—available on YouTube to any journalist who wanted to investigate, but none did—is that there appears to be so little public outrage. An arrogant MIT professor who received $400,000 from the government and made millions as a consultant to the states who needed to understand ObamaCare, calls voters stupid and the initial reaction of the mainstream media was to ignore the story.

At the heart of the Gruber affair is the fact that Obama and his administration has been lying to the voters from the moment he began to campaign for the presidency. In virtually every respect, everything he has said for public consumption has been and is a lie.

In one scandal after another, Obama would have us believe he knew nothing about it. That is the response one might expect from a criminal rather than a President.

One has to ask why it would be difficult to repeal in full a piece of legislation that the President said would not cause Americans to lose their healthcare insurance if they preferred their current plan, that would not cause them to lose the care of a doctor they knew and trusted, and would save them money for premiums. The initial deception was to name the bill the Affordable Care Act.

Repeal would help ensure the solvency of Medicare and restore the private sector market for healthcare insurance.

This is a President who was elected twice, so maybe Prof. Gruber is right when he speaks of stupid voters. Not all, of course, but more than voted for Obama’s two opponents. As this is written over 45% of those polled these days continue to express approval for Obama’s performance in office. How stupid is that?

AA - Most Corrupt AdministrationWhat is so offensive about Gruber’s own revelations about the manner in which the bill was written and the lies that were told to get it passed is the incalculable misery it has caused millions of Americans.

It has caused the loss of jobs. It has forced others into part-time employment. It has caused companies to reconsider expanding to grow the economy. It has driven up the cost of healthcare insurance. It has impacted local hospitals and clinics to the point where some have closed their doors. It has caused many healthcare professionals to retire or cease practicing medicine.

I invite you to make a list of all the things you think the government should require you to purchase whether you want it or need it. Should you be required to own a bike and use it as an alternative to a car? (Yes, you must own auto insurance to defray the cost of accidents, just as you must pay a tax on gasoline to maintain our highway system.) Should you be required to wear a certain style or item of clothing? Should you be required to get married by a certain age? Should you be required to eat certain foods and avoid others?

A new study by the Legatum Institute in London ranked citizen’s perception of their personal freedom in a number of nations. Americans ranked way down the list at 21 out of 25, well below Canada, France, and Costa Rica to name just three. The study was based on a 2013 poll.

What is a stake here is (1) the absolute need for a trustworthy federal government and (2) the need to repeal a piece of legislation based entirely on lies. On a larger scale, the right to make your own decisions on matters not relevant to the governance of the nation should be regarded as sacred, it’s called liberty.

The Republican-controlled Congress and the Supreme Court are the two elements of our government that can and must provide a measure of protection against the deception that is practiced every day by President Obama and members of his administration. Let’s hope neither is “stupid” in the two years that remain.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

RELATED INFOGRAPHIC:

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