Cuban doctors tired of ‘being slaves’ sue Cuban Government

As former Bill Clinton said, “It’s the economy stupid!” For the Cuban people it truly is the economy, stupid.

Perhaps a few of my first hand experiences during my visit to Cuba will help those who favor big government understand where “socialismo” leads.

One of the things some people, many of whom have never visited Cuba, tout is their “excellent” healthcare system. Let me explain about the Cuban single payer government healthcare system. First, every visitor to Cuba must purchase health insurance from the Cuban government. For example, the cost of my health insurance was automatically included in the price of my plane ticket. So how much does the Cuban government pay its doctors to provide universal healthcare? The salary of a doctor is $30 a month.

In 2013 Brazil hired 4,000 doctors from Cuba to “work in areas where medical services and physicians are scarce.” These Cuban doctors were to be paid approximately $30,000 a year to provide medical services to remote areas of Brazil. According to U.S. News & World Report, “Analysts say the export of medical services adds about $6 billion a year to Cuba’s economy.”

How does this work? Brazil paid the Cuban government the $30,000 annual salaries of the Cuban doctors and the Cuban government then paid the doctors $30 a month or $360 a year. This equates to an 83% profit for the Cuban government. Not surprisingly many of these Cuban doctors sought asylum in Brazil to be paid what they actually earned, $30,000.

In socialist governments the “minimum wage” inextricably becomes the prevailing wage.

 in his New York Times article “Cuban Doctors Revolt: ‘You Get Tired of Being a Slave’” reports:

RIO DE JANEIRO — In a rare act of collective defiance, scores of Cuban doctors working overseas to make money for their families and their country are suing to break ranks with the Cuban government, demanding to be released from what one judge called a “form of slave labor.”

Thousands of Cuban doctors work abroad under contracts with the Cuban authorities. Countries like Brazil pay the island’s Communist government millions of dollars every month to provide the medical services, effectively making the doctors Cuba’s most valuable export.

But the doctors get a small cut of that money, and a growing number of them in Brazil have begun to rebel. In the last year, at least 150 Cuban doctors have filed lawsuits in Brazilian courts to challenge the arrangement, demanding to be treated as independent contractors who earn full salaries, not agents of the Cuban state.

“When you leave Cuba for the first time, you discover many things that you had been blind to,” said Yaili Jiménez Gutierrez, one of the doctors who filed suit. “There comes a time when you get tired of being a slave.”

Read more.

What I observed is that the Cuban people have great potential if they are unleashed and allowed to earn what they are truly worth.

As one Cuban man put it to me, “the people have no love for their work.” They have no love for their work because Cuba needs a change in direction. This change in direction will only come when there is a change of the socialist regime.

RELATED ARTICLE: The Twelve Reasons Why Cuba Is A Terrorist Nation And Is A Security Treat To The USA

VIDEO: Conservative on ABC Panel talking Obamacare repeal, Norks and President Trump

I appeared on an ABC Channel 7 panel on another failure of Obamacare repeal, Trump and Russia and the North Koreans.

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EDITORS NOTE: This video originally appeared on The Revolutionary Act.

Voters Ask White House to Man up on Mandate

One of the things conservatives love about Donald Trump is that, unlike some Republicans, he doesn’t tiptoe through the tough issues. When the GOP didn’t have the spine to tackle Obama’s transgender military policy, he did it himself. When legislation protecting religious freedom never made onto the House or Senate floor, the White House issued its own executive order. If Trump could repeal Obamacare himself, he would. But that’s also why some people are left wondering — why hasn’t the White House dealt with the HHS contraceptive mandate with the same grit?

It’s not as if the president hasn’t staked out his position on the issue. Since the early days of the campaign, Trump made himself an ally of pro-lifers, living up to that promise almost every day of his eight months in office. Now, National Review wants to know, where is the follow-through voters are so used to seeing on something as fundamental as our freedom to believe?

“In June,” write Melanie Israel and Elizabeth Slattery, “a draft of the interim final rule regarding exemptions to the contraception mandate leaked to media. It indicated that the Trump administration intended to provide a definitive exemption for individuals, employers, and insurers with religious or moral objections to all or some of the onerous mandate. Overall, it seemed to offer an effective defense of religious liberty.”

“But then… nothing happened. The interim final rule was never published in the Federal Register. And the Trump administration has continued to defend the HHS mandate in court.”

“Every day that individuals, employers, and religious organizations are forced to choose between complying with the mandate or violating their sincere moral or religious beliefs is an affront to the religious liberty of all Americans.”

“You don’t have to share the Little Sisters’ beliefs to recognize that the government should not be able to force Americans to set aside their conscience when they step outside the four walls of a church to serve the poor, heal the sick, or educate the next generation.”

Donald Trump has given conservatives very little to complain about where his agenda is concerned. The president’s base understands, like we do, how the Left is blocking his initiatives and nominees, and how the GOP’s weak-kneed leaders are failing to move his priorities through the Senate. But where their patience is wearing thin is in areas like the HHS mandate and the DOJ’s guidance on religious liberty, which fall to the White House — and the White House alone. The president has made good on so many promises. We hope his streak continues on issues as fundamental as these.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


Also in the September 29 Washington Update:

Fall o’ the Leader? House Urges McConnell’s Ouster

Trump Courts Conservatives with Solid Judges

FRC in the Spotlight

Fall o’ the Leader? House Urges McConnell’s Ouster

If anyone’s ready to turn the page on September, it’s Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). The last few weeks haven’t exactly been kind to the Kentucky senator, who watched his own party set fire to the latest GOP health care repeal, blew millions of dollars on a losing effort in Alabama’s Senate runoff, and got blamed for all of it by Donald Trump. “He’s got his hands full,” said Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) in the understatement of the year.

But lately, Republicans are wondering if the party’s fate should be in his hands in the first place. After days of disappointments, voters aren’t the only ones peeved by the Senate leadership’s inability to move the conservative agenda forward. So are some Members of Congress. In the House, where leaders have kept up their end of the Obamacare, Planned Parenthood, tax, and budget bargains, “frustrating” doesn’t begin to describe members’ feelings. Despite their differences, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) has managed to send key bills to the Senate only to watch them die at the hands of a divided and disorganized caucus. After 10 years as the GOP’s top dog, some Republicans are saying it’s time for McConnell to call it quits.

Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker (R-N.C.) didn’t beat around the bush with his criticism, insisting earlier today that it’s in the party’s best interest for the Kentucky senator to retire. “I think he’s a huge part of the problem,” the RSC chief told NBC. “There’s a growing consensus that would be very happy if the fine senator from Kentucky called it a career.” McConnell’s counterpart wasn’t as blunt as Walker, but even Speaker Ryan was clear that tensions between the two chambers had hit a boiling point. “We’re really frustrated,” he told reporters. “Look,” he went on, “we passed 373 bills here in the House [and] 270-some are still in the Senate.” No wonder they’re irritated. The House’s pace is blowing past the marks it set in the Obama, Clinton, and both Bush administrations.

On his side of the Capitol, McConnell’s party is circling the wagons. “Mitch is sort of the symbol of our dysfunction,” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said, “but it’s not about Mitch, it’s about all of us.” Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson (R) pointed out the difficulty of the Leader’s job. “It’s hard herding cats. I don’t envy him his task, okay?” Few do. But leaders are chosen to rise above those challenges and unite their party. Senator McConnell has had a decade as the chamber’s top Republican to prove that he can. I respect McConnell, but there’s no excuse for faltering now — not when the GOP has the keys to Congress and the White House.

The Senate has been a graveyard for almost every promise made to voters. It’s time for a radical overhaul. And if Republicans won’t do it — voters will.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


Also in the September 29 Washington Update:

Trump Courts Conservatives with Solid Judges

Voters Ask White House to Man up on Mandate

RELATED ARTICLE: The Washington Corruption that is the ‘Swamp’

The Negative Infects of Sexual Liberalism

Most people probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about disease. And at least where STDs are concerned, maybe that’s part of the problem. For the last several years, sexually transmitted infections and diseases have exploded into one of the worse crises no one is talking about. Now, they’re almost impossible to ignore, with rates surging to record highs in young and old people alike. The outbreak of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis reached an astounding two million cases last year, “the highest number ever,” according to the Centers for Disease Control.

A whopping 1.6 million new cases cropped up in 2016, stoking the fears of the medical community that Americans aren’t taking the problem seriously enough. To the CDC, the statistics are even more alarming since some strains of gonorrhea are now untreatable.

Unfortunately, this is just another by-product of sexual liberalism that’s coming home to roost in a nation that’s spent the last eight years — not just encouraging, but funding— messages of irresponsibility. Instead of encouraging morality, Barack Obama used every second of his two terms to promote immorality. And for our libertarian friends the economic burden is nothing to sneeze at. Taxpayers sink almost $20 billion a year into treatments for these infections — most of them incurable, and all of them expensive. Now, sadly, it’s become part of the push for universal health care. The philosophy is simple: live however you want, and everyone else pays the price.

From bathroom policies to free birth control, we’ve sexualized our culture to the point that it’s actually killing us. Instead of ignoring the problem, it’s time for liberals to join conservatives in urging America to stop engaging in risky behavior that results in deadly consequences. Clearly, there needs to be a serious discussion of the long-term implications of the Left’s agenda of sexual-satisfaction-at any-cost — not just for individuals, but for society as a whole. The government has spent years (and even more taxpayer dollars) trying to solve a problem it helped created. How many more will we spend ignoring the real solution: restraint?


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.


Also in the September 27 Washington Update:

Senate GOP at Lose Ends in Alabama

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FRC in the Spotlight


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Judge Roy Moore Wins GOP’s Alabama Senate Runoff

Roy Moore, former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, defeats incumbent Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., in the race to decide who would battle Democrat nominee Doug Jones in the Dec. 12 special election.

Challenger Roy Moore soundly defeated incumbent Luther Strange in Tuesday’s runoff to choose the Republican nominee in Alabama’s U.S. Senate race.

With all precincts reporting after 11 p.m., Moore had 54.6 percent or 262,204 votes and Strange had 45.4 percent or 218,066 votes. The Associated Press called the race when results from about half the 2,286 precincts were in.

“Republican voters know who a person of principle is,” Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, told The Daily Signal in a pre-election interview predicting a victory for Moore, former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.

Moore will face Democrat Doug Jones in the Dec. 12 special election for the Senate seat vacated by Republican Jeff Sessions when he became attorney general in the Trump administration.

President Donald Trump had endorsed Strange, whom he considered loyal to his priorities.

Trump tweeted congratulations to Moore late Tuesday night:

“From the beginning of this campaign, my priority has been serving the people of Alabama,” Strange, the state’s former attorney general, said in a written concession statement. “Tomorrow, I will go back to work with President Trump and do all I can to advance his agenda over the next few weeks.”

In victory remarks in which he characteristically evoked faith in God, Moore said:

Together we can make America great. We can support the president. Don’t let anybody in the press think that because [Trump] supported my opponent I do not support him and support his agenda. As long as it’s constitutional, as long as it advances our society, our culture, our country, I will be supportive. … But we have to return the knowledge of God and the Constitution of the United States to the United States Congress.

The runoff Tuesday was set up when neither Strange nor Moore garnered 50 percent of the vote in a 10-candidate primary Aug. 15.  (Moore got 40 percent to Strange’s 33 percent, while Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., finished third with 20 percent.)

Republicans seek to preserve their slim 52-seat majority in the 100-seat Senate.

Moore tweeted as his victory became clear:

Democrats’ nominee Jones, 63, is a lawyer and former U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama appointed by President Bill Clinton. His campaign platform includes health care reform, environmental protections, civil rights, and criminal justice reform.

On  Feb. 9, then-Gov. Robert Bentley appointed Strange to the seat vacated when the Senate confirmed one of its own, Sessions, as attorney general.

Trump endorsed and stumped for Strange, but also said at a rally Friday night in Huntsville, Alabama, that he would work “like hell” to elect Moore should the challenger prevail.

“I might have made a mistake,” Trump said at one point. “I’ll be honest, I might have made a mistake.”

But the president added: “Luther [Strange] will definitely win.”

In the runoff, Moore, 70, presented himself as the true conservative, while Strange, 64, batted away accusations that he is too establishment. Moore had led in polls, but Strange appeared to be closing the gap.

Andrew Roth, vice president of government affairs at the Club for Growth, predicted in an interview with The Daily Signal that the runoff would be a bellwether for how state voters view progress in Congress.

“The way I view this race is that it’s more of an establishment versus anti-establishment race,” Roth said. “The issues, conservative or not, didn’t really play in this. The race is more about what voters want out of Congress and out of the Senate.”

Vice President Mike Pence, a former congressman from Indiana as well as that state’s governor, also endorsed Strange.

“Our president needs Luther Strange back in the United States Senate so he can finish the job,” Pence said Monday night at a rally at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. “I know Sen. Luther Strange will be there for our president, because he’s already been there.”

Sen. Luther Strange lost to challenger Roy Moore. (Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Newscom)

The Washington Examiner and other news outlets reported that the Senate Leadership Fund, a political action committee tied to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., filled Alabama’s TV and radio airwaves with millions of dollars worth of ads backing Strange and attacking Moore.

Moore’s high-profile supporters include Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and GOP vice presidential candidate, as well as former Trump White House aides Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka.

“A vote for Judge Moore isn’t a vote against the president,” Palin said Thursday night, adding:

It is a vote for the people’s agenda that elected the president. It’s for the big, beautiful movement that we’re all a part of. The president needs support to keep the promises that elected him. So we’re sending Trump someone who has our back, not Mitch McConnell’s … Make no mistake, ‘Big Luther’ is Mitch McConnell’s guy.

“While we were honored to have fought hard for Big Luther, Judge Roy Moore won this nomination fair and square and he has our support, as it is vital that we keep this seat in Republican hands,” the Senate Leadership Fund said in a formal acknowledgement of Strange’s loss Tuesday night.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, came out Monday in support of Moore.

“A Judge Moore win really would make sure that the Trump agenda gets implemented,” Meadows told Breitbart News, adding:

There’s all kinds of members of Congress and senators who will run, and they really run so incredibly strong like they have a backbone of steel, but they really have a backbone of a banana. You know, when it’s peeled back, it gets real mushy when they get to Washington, D.C. So we need to give them some steel. Judge Roy Moore has a backbone of steel.

Trump won Alabama in November with 62 percent of the vote.

Moore is perhaps best known for being removed twice as Alabama’s chief justice, first in 2003 for refusing to take down a Ten Commandments monument and again in 2016, after his re-election, for ordering judges not to issue licenses for same-sex marriages.

Moore’s campaign platform included support for limited government, immigration reform, a border wall, energy independence, and the military.

The Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund also endorsed Moore.

Martin, the Tea Party Patriots co-founder, told The Daily Signal before the polls opened that by choosing Moore, GOP voters would be “sending a message to Washington that they want someone they can count on to stick to their principles.”

A victory for Strange, she said, would be on account of Trump.

“Given President Trump’s endorsement, people in Alabama will think that Strange will support the president’s agenda,” Martin said.

The GOP runoff was a product of voter frustration with the status quo, the Club for Growth’s Roth said.

“The dysfunction in Washington has been around for so long that maybe, finally the voters have finally had enough,” Roth said, adding:

You certainly saw them express that in November when Trump won [and] you’re going to continue to see the voters express their anger until they get things fixed.

Ken McIntyre contributed to this report, which was updated to include candidate statements and final unofficial results.  

Rachel del Guidice

Rachel del Guidice is a reporter for The Daily Signal. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Forge Leadership Network, and The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. Send an email to Rachel. Twitter: @LRacheldG.

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Moore Victory Shows Populist Movement Bigger Than Trump. He Must Return To Lead It.

Frictional Characters Threaten GOP Repeal

There’s no such thing as a perfect piece of legislation. And for Republicans like Senator Rand Paul (Ky.), that’s been a hard reality to swallow. Like a lot of us, he wants nothing more than to scrap Obamacare completely and start over with a competitive, pro-life, free market system. But unfortunately, that’s no longer an option at this moment for the GOP after a summer of misfires and wasted opportunities. The clock is ticking. And the only thing Republicans have less of than time is voters’ patience. And both demand leaders act now.

In the plan from Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Republicans have a choice. They can vote “yes” and gut a significant portion of Obamacare and Planned Parenthood funding, or they can vote “no” and keep 100 percent of it. Apparently, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) prefers the latter, tweeting that he’s prepared to kill the GOP’s repeal a second time because it isn’t the product of “regular order.” (Neither, conservatives are quick to point out, was Obamacare.) “I think most of us are trying to figure out what the logic is,” Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) said. “We all know that some folks would rather have a bill that’s perfect. But I guess if we can’t have a bill that’s perfect, I’d rather have a bill that’s much better than what [the law] is today.”

And for a lot of Americans, this debate is about a lot more than dollars and cents. It’s about actual human lives, whose fate will literally be decided by what the Senate does in seven days. If the Graham-Cassidy bill fails, so does the GOP’s best shot at defunding Planned Parenthood. At a rally outside Senator Paul’s Kentucky office, Students for Life did their best to drive that urgency home. “The disastrous status quo that is Obamacare is harming families, using our taxpayer dollars to fund abortion and line the pockets of Planned Parenthood’s billion-dollar abortion industry,” said President Kristan Hawkins. Vice President Mike Pence agrees. “The president and I consider Senator Paul a friend,” he made clear. “He’s a good man, but he’s wrong about this.” And unless he changes his mind, thousands of future Americans will pay the price.

Meanwhile, in pockets across the country, the Left’s opposition “is again reaching jet-aircraft decibels of outrage,” the Wall Street Journal jokes. Armed with the usual misinformation, liberals are taking to the airwaves and social media to bash the effort, which they claim would leave 18 million uninsured. (Of course, they neglect to mention that at least half of those would be willfully uninsured after the bill scraps Obama’s individual mandate.)

Liberals are also making a big deal about voting on a bill without a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score. But what good was a CBO score for Obamacare? If you want a good laugh, read its prediction for the 2009 law – which, among other things, claimed Obamacare would reduce the U.S. deficit. Besides, “CBO forecasts are often wrong,” the Wall Street Journal editors point out. “In this case, they’d also be meaningless. The point of Graham-Cassidy is to allow states to experiment and tailor approaches to local populations. Some might try to expand Medicaid’s reach or even go single-payer. Others might tinker with reinsurance. The budget office can’t possibly know what 50 states would do or how that would affect coverage.”

While the two sides snipe back and forth, the issue is also starting to bleed into the Alabama Senate primary. Senator Luther Strange and Judge Roy Moore are locked in a heated runoff for Jeff Sessions’s old seat, and health care is front and center. In some press reports, the media is trying to paint Moore as an opponent of the Graham-Cassidy bill. But that’s absolutely not true. I spoke with him last night, and although he would prefer a full repeal of Obamacare, he sees the importance of in ending the forced partnership between taxpayers and Planned Parenthood. As far as he’s concerned, the GOP plan is a good first step.

For now, though, the focus will be on the senators who already have a vote. Make sure they cast the right one!

Contact your senators and urge them to start freeing America from the grip of Obama’s failed law.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.


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For Senate: Life Begins at 50… Votes

Republicans certainly have a flair for the dramatic. With less than four working days to kill Obamacare, Senate hallways are already empty. With their repeal bill still hanging in the balance, members left town late Tuesday to mark the Jewish holidays — adding even more suspense to next week’s September 30th deadline. Even now, Republican leaders aren’t sure where their party will land on the plan from Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.). Although the push seems to be gaining steam, the results are anything but certain — as Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) reminded everyone the last time around.

One thing’s for sure: it will be an anxious few days for Planned Parenthood. Apart from Barack Obama, Cecile Richards’s group has the most to lose — almost $400 million a year, to be exact. Like the string of reconciliation bills before it, the Graham-Cassidy measure guts 86 percent of the organization’s Medicaid funding, putting a huge dent in the forced partnership between taxpayers and America’s biggest abortion business. That should be a major motivating factor for dozens of pro-life senators, who understand that this is conservatives’ best shot at ending the government’s direct deposit to a scandal-ridden organization.

Even Planned Parenthood admits it performs more abortions (328,348 in 2015 alone) than basic breast exams. That’s not difficult to believe since overall health screenings have dropped by half since 2011. Even contraception counseling, the group’s bread-and-butter, fell by 136,244. So what, exactly, are taxpayers funding? Certainly not the “comprehensive care” Richards advertises. Or even the volume of care, since Planned Parenthood saw 100,000 fewer patients in 2015 than the year before.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to change Senator Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) mind. The Kentucky pro-lifer insists he won’t vote for the Graham-Cassidy bill, despite the thousands of unborn lives it could save. That’s frustrating position for plenty of conservatives to accept. Like a lot of pro-lifers, they think the GOP’s concern for these children should outweigh the repeal’s imperfections. Susan B. Anthony List blasted Paul for his “outright opposition to the bill, and his dismissiveness of the pro-life priorities within it is alarming and damaging.” It is, they argue, an “unacceptable position for a pro-life senator to have.”

On Twitter, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) made the case for us, snapping a photo of all of the pro-life language in the bill. “These flags mark all the abortion restrictions in the Republican repeal of Obamacare,” he tweeted. That can only help the GOP’s cause, based on the support from both sides for more limits on Planned Parenthood’s biggest moneymaker.

In a New York Magazine piece this week, liberals try to set the record straight on the real driving force behind the Graham-Cassidy bill. The motivation, Ed Kilgore points out, is:

“…generally assumed to be the potential fury of the GOP’s conservative base if Republicans break their promise to repeal Obamacare. But there’s another thing pushing them toward the abyss: One of the most powerful factions in the GOP and the conservative movement, the anti-abortion lobby, is backing Graham-Cassidy to the hilt. That’s because, like every other GOP repeal-and-replace bill, it temporarily defunds Planned Parenthood” and aims to prevent use of federal insurance-purchasing tax subsidies for polices that include abortion coverage.”

It’s funny. One minute the media says the social conservative movement is dead — the next, it’s complaining we’re too powerful. According to Democrats, it’s the latter. Republicans are “scared to death of a promise they may not keep to the Republican primary base,” Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said.

Let’s hope so. This is a make or break moment for the GOP, as pollster John McLaughlin’s report makes quite clear. Voters elected Republicans to keep their word on Obamacare — seven years’ worth of words, actually. This week, I am in Arizona speaking to supporters in Tucson and Phoenix, encouraging them to get their senators in line on the partial repeal of Obamacare.

Join them by reaching out to yours — before it’s too late!

For more on the debate, check out Ken Blackwell’s interview with Neil Cavuto on Fox Business Wednesday.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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How a Fraudulent Guardianship/Conservatorship Commences and Continues

This column examines conditions in Florida but the same problems exist in many states.

Step One: Eminent danger —The initial court petition

The professional guardian [or conservator], with the assistance of her attorneys, commences the embezzlement process by filing an emergency petition in the probate courts to become the “emergency” “temporary” guardian.

Florida guardianship statutes (Chapter 744), like many states, require that there be an “eminent danger” in order for the petitioner to become the “emergency temporary guardian.”

The guardian oftentimes fabricates the “eminent danger” by stating that there is a neighbor or relative or stranger who is taking advantage of the elderly person. In some cases, this may be a somewhat true statement, albeit an exaggerated claim. In most cases, upon further investigation, there has been no “eminent danger”whatsoever.

Step One takes away all of the victim’s civil rights and therefore gives the guardian and her attorneys full control over the victim and his or her assets.

Step Two: The examining committee

Once the professional guardian has taken control of the victim on a temporary basis (the emergency temporary guardianship order expires in 60 days [in Florida]) an examining committee of three medical “professionals” steps in to verify the allegation of mental incapacity. Oftentimes, the victim is administered a cocktail of psychotropic drugs to enhance the claims that he or she is incompetent.

“Ward” Elizabeth Faye Arnold, for instance, stated, “They put me on drugs that made me feel very drunk. I couldn’t even remember my name. Now that they have all my money, they don’t medicate me that way anymore.” One of the three medical professionals must be a psychiatrist and the victim is generally always found to be mentally incapacitated. The guardian usually has her own set of medical professionals that she utilizes on a regular basis. For instance, one professional guardian is married to a medical doctor and therefore has an entire fleet of medical professional associates available to her.

Back in the courtroom, soon after the three medical professionals file their reports, there is a capacity hearing. The victim seldom is permitted to attend this hearing. The judge quickly scans the medical examinations that “verify” that the victim is “mentally and/or physically incapacitated.” The judge then signs an order that gives the professional guardian full and permanent legal authority over the victim’s person and property.

Step Three: The “feast” begins

Property is sold for below market value and the deeds switch and switch several times. (kick backs are suspected). Bank accounts, annuities, stocks, and Certificates of Deposit are liquidated into one big guardianship account.

Out of this large bank account, the guardian is expected to pay all the victim’s, but bills oftentimes go unpaid.

How the victim’s money is spent

1. Attorney’s fees and guardianship fees for “services rendered to ‘Benefit’ the ‘Ward.”

A large part of the victim’s money is spent on attorney’s fees and guardian’s fees. As long as there is ample money in the victim’s guardianship account, the guardian and her attorney cohorts will file motion upon motion after motion to the courts, such as:

  • A motion to sell the ward’s furniture.
  • A motion to liquidate stocks and Certificates of Deposit.
  • A motion to transfer the ward to a different nursing home.
  • A motion to sell the ward’s homesteaded house.
  • A motion to open up a safety deposit box.

Each motion can cost the “ward” in excess of $2,000 because the motion must be written, researched, filed, and then a hearing is scheduled. Oftentimes, the motions cost more than what is being petitioned for.

2. Puffing the monthly budget

The guardian frequently doubles the monthly expenses then keeps the remainder.

3. Selling the “Ward’s” personal belongings for below market value then pocketing the difference

The guardian underestimates the amount of the sale of personal items, such as jewelry, paintings, and antiques, for the purpose of the court record inventories, then is free to keep the difference. There is little and often no court oversight.

4. Bills are simply not paid

Often times, the bills of the “ward” are not even paid. When the “ward” dies, the guardian simply places an ad in an obscure newspaper, if there is money left for an estate to be probated.Assuming creditors do not see the ad and file a claim against the estate within 30 days, their claims are forever barred and so the guardian was able to fool creditors and abscond with the money and not have to pay any of the bills. If she is caught, she simply pays the bills of the creditors who caught her. This frequently includes Medicaid.

5. Accounting is not accurate

The guardian can claim a much lower amount of liquid assets than what the victim is actually worth and then pocket the rest.

  • Julie Sweeten–$400,000.00 estate with an alleged $80,000.00 remaining when Sweeten died. More than $300,000.00 was spent in three years.
  • Louise A. Falvo started off with approximately $800,000.00. Two months into the guardianship, her guardian filed an accounting with the court stating that Falvo was worth only $672,000.00. Shortly thereafter, a bank statement from Bank of America stated that Falvo now had $449,000 after all accounts had been liquidated. So, approximately $200,000 turned up missing.

6. Fake wills

In this scenario, the guardian claimed that Julie Sweeten desired to leave her estate to her bank. A forged will was entered into the record. Wachovia Bank trustee was then given $80,000 from the uncontested, probated estate.

Step Four: The mysterious deaths

Once the funds have been spent, the “ward” oftentimes suddenly dies.

The “ward” dies when there is still plenty of money — if a huge probate battle can commence, thereby further enriching the attorneys and guardian.

Examples:

  • Carlisle Bosworth died soon after his $250,000 had been spent.
  • James Deaton — $5 million, three years in probate — $3 million in attorney’s fees with a pittance finally paid out to his family members.
  • Louise A. Falvo — suspected morphine sulfate overdose as cause of death; huge probate battle to enrich attorneys ensued even though her bank accounts were all Pay On Death/In Trust For (POD/ITF) to her daughter, so probate should have been completely unnecessary.

NASGA, National Association to Stop Guardianship Abuse, has adopted a three part theme to succinctly describe the legally sanctioned exploitative guardianship process:

Isolate, Medicate, Take the Estate.”

Predatory guardians: How courts are allowing professional guardians/conservators to rob your assets

Examples:

  • Marie Long was worth $1.3 million when she suffered a stroke and came under the “protection” of a professional guardian. Three short years later, she is penniless and subsisting off of a meager social security pension and Medicaid.
  • Louise A. Falvo, 91, had accumulated nearly one million dollars when she was placed under a guardianship that was commenced with a forgery of her daughter’s signature by a probate attorney. Within three months, Louise A. Falvo was dead. Two and a half years later, the guardianship remains open. The guardian and her attorneys have, to date, been awarded by the judge more than $350,000.00 of Falvo’s estate — “to benefit the ‘ward'” — who is deceased.
  • Corretta Brown was placed under guardianship when the Department of Children and Families discovered that her home was uninhabitable. Today, Brown is deceased, her assets have disappeared (more than $100,000), and all of her debts — totaling more than $75,000 in nursing home costs, remain unpaid. The professional guardian, it was discovered, was not licensed and has since fled the state of Florida with Brown’s assets.
  • Marie Sandusky signed a power of attorney to guarantee that her beloved daughter, and not her rejected son, would manage her financial affairs and health care directives. Today, Sandusky has a court-appointed guardian who has spent more than $300,000 of Sandusky’s money in attorney’s fees. The reason? Sandusky’s rebuked son hired an attorney and together they made false allegations against Sandusky’s beloved daughter. As the “wheels of justice” move forward, Sandusky’s money is legally used to fund the frivolous feud.
  • Debra Duffield, 58, has been under the control of a professional guardian for the last four years. She was only 54-years old when an involuntary guardianship was petitioned against her by a professional guardian who gleefully discovered (tipped off by a social worker) Duffield’s substantive worth when Duffield was hospitalized for anorexia and a broken hip. During the last four years, the vast majority of her assets have been converted to attorney and guardian fees. Duffield, who was diagnosed as merely bipolar, had allegedly been financially exploited by a friend — hence, the rationale for the guardianship. She is confined to a nursing home without rehabilitation. She sits in a bed, smelling of urine and fecal matter, watching television. The guardian and her attorney regularly and steadfastly bill her account for merely “reading her file” or checking on the latest whereabouts of her former girlfriend. Soon, Duffield, who once owned a fabulous house complete with expensive antiques, valuable imported rugs and fine paintings, will be penniless.

When you hear the word “professional guardian,” what do you think? Do you think of someone who protects the elderly? Assists them with their daily needs? Guarantees they are protected from financial exploitation and physical neglect?

Think again.

The pristine image of professional court-appointed guardians who allegedly protect the elderly is being challenged. Grass root organizations, such as the National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse (N.A.S.G.A.) and Advocates for National Guardianship Ethics and Reform (A.N.G.E.R.) are claiming that professional guardians, their attorneys — and even judges — need to be watched.

May 25, 2010. Latifa Ring of Elder Abuse Victims Advocates addressed the Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security stating, “… exploitation in guardianships is rampant. It is largely kept out of the public eye under the guise of ‘protection.'”

“Family members are portrayed as “Osama Bin Laden” or the devil incarnate,” David Newman said, a guardian reform advocate.

These “unproven and often false allegations” commence a flurry of legal activity that can only be likened to Charles Dickinson’s Bleakhouse. While family members are forced to spend thousands of dollars defending themselves against the false accusations, these same accusers — oftentimes, the professional guardians– handsomely profit from the legal havoc they create.

The guardians need to be watched

Take, for example, the recently widely publicized case of Clay Greene and Harold Scull, a gay couple who had cogently cohabitated together for more than 20 years, rendering mutual durable powers of attorney, wills, and other legal declarations upon one another. When Scull, 89, unexpectedly fell onto a stone patio, paramedics were called and the local sheriff department hastily alleged that Greene had intentionally shoved Scull to the ground. Yet, despite the fact that all charges were subsequently dropped, the public guardianship office for Sonoma County used the already disproved physical abuse allegation to commence an involuntary guardianship against Scull. Scull was removed to a nursing home, isolated him from Greene, and the couple’s jointly owned property which included valuable paintings, expensive Persian rugs, antiques, silverware, jewelry, and real estate — was sold for far less than appraised value — at least according to the court records. It was later discovered that the items had been sold for far more by the public guardianship office.

These types of guardianship irregularities have sparked a guardianship task force Special Committee on Aging, which reported, “…guardianship…has the potential of harming older adults rather than protecting them…The…continuing reports of the failure of courts…to prevent [financial] exploitation of incapacitated adults by their guardians have long been of concern to this Committee.”

Greene sued the public guardianship office who settled with him for approximately $600,000.00 just days before trial. Amy Todd-Gher, Greene’s attorney, stated:

“This victory sends an unmistakable message that all elders must be treated with respect and dignity…and that those who mistreat elders must be held accountable. [But] Even as we celebrate this victory…we are deeply troubled that the Sonoma [County] continues to refuse to take responsibility for their egregious misconduct…We urge every citizen…to demand more oversight of the Public Guardian’s office. They need to be watched.”

An alarmingly common practice

Is elder financial exploitation by professional guardians and their attorneys a commonplace occurrence? According to John Caravella, a former detective and office manager for Seniors vs. Crime, a special project of the Florida Attorney General’s Office, Gainesville, Florida, the answer is “Yes.”

Caravella became simultaneously intrigued and disturbed by the court-sanctioned practices of professional guardians on their “wards” (the legal term dubbed to those who have lost all of their civil rights under court-mandated guardianship) when one of his neighbors mysteriously disappeared shortly after receiving an inheritance of more than a quarter of a million dollars. The neighbor, referred to as “Adelle” in Caravella’s book, Marked for Destruction, had been falsely induced by a stock broker, whom she had consulted about her fledgling inheritance money, to sign papers that authorized a professional guardian and her attorney to manage Adele’s finances — if she should become mentally incapacitated. Within a few weeks, the guardian and her attorney petitioned the court alleging that Adele was not competent to manage her own affairs. The court authorized that she be stripped of all of her civil rights and placed in a nursing home. Soon thereafter, Adele’s recently acquired $250,000+ was quickly consumed by the attorney and guardian for “professional services” fees. And Adele soon passed away.

How it all begins

Kevin Gallagher had a trusted, longstanding pact with his beloved parents: When the time was “right,” he would make arrangements for their safe return to Maine where they would reside in assisted living. That “right time” came unexpectedly one day after Sunday services when Robert and Elsa Gallagher became slightly disoriented in traffic when they happen chanced upon orange cones in a road detour. Kevin and Lisa, delighted to hear that their parents were ready to journey home, began making all of the necessary arrangements. Kevin even phoned his estranged Orlando-based sister, Lori, and asked if she would simply “telephone” Mom and Dad during the interim. The sister, however, consulted the Yellow Pages and telephoned a company, Geriatric Care Management, that specializes in elder care.

The sheriffs arrive

Within 48 hours a professional guardian, and owner of the elder care company, arrived at the Gallagher’s doorstep with a court order and two deputy sheriffs. She had hastily petitioned to become the couple’s “emergency temporary guardian” after learning of their substantive assets. Upon her arrival, the couple were forcefully removed from their home and placed in separate nursing home facilities. Mrs. Gallagher, hysterical, secretly phoned her daughter-in-law, her speech slurred, crying for help. She had been forcibly administered psychotropic drugs. Three medical professionals quickly examined her while under the influence of the narcotics, and declared both she and her husband simultaneously 100% mentally incapacitated. The temporary guardian was then quickly appointed the permanent, plenary guardian.

The guardians first move was to encumber all of the couple’s assets.

The legal contest commences

Instead of making arrangements for their safe return home, Kevin Gallagher suddenly found himself furiously searching for Florida attorneys. Meanwhile, the guardian’s legal counsel quickly filed papers to block Kevin’s attempts at removing his parents from Florida to Maine. A hotly contested guardianship soon commenced with attorneys from both sides legally authorized to generously pay themselves from the Gallaghers’ assets.

“The story is always the same,” states Newman, a guardianship reform advocate. “A family member fights the guardianship; then the family member later ‘wins’ the contest — when all the assets have been spent in attorneys’ fees.”

Three years passed. Kevin found himself switching attorneys four times in an attempt to get the legal nightmare to stop

Then, suddenly, it did stop. Kevin was declared the winner of the contest.

All of the assets had been spent.

“They then placed my parents on a airplane with a single suitcase with a broken zipper,” Kevin stated. “Inside the suitcase were tattered clothes that had the names of other people in Magic Marker inside the clothes. Everything they had owned — even their clothes — had been sold or trashed by the guardian.”

Both Elsa and Robert died shortly after returning to Maine.

Family feud — or — an open invitation for fraud?

Corrine Branson, 82, had been happily living in Miami Beach with the daily assistance of a CNA when her grandson secretly petitioned the court to become his grandmother’s guardian. When Branson learned that she was to be moved into a nursing home, she quickly phoned her beloved daughter, aunt to the grandson, who had been granted a springing power of attorney many years before. Bonnie Reiter, with little knowledge of guardianships or guardianship law, quickly hired an attorney who suggested that a “professional guardian” be appointed during the interim legal contest.

It turned out that the guardian he suggested works with him on a regular basis. Reiter fired her attorney, hired another, and then moved for a court hearing which her mother planned to attend.

“Two weeks prior to the hearing, my mother ended up mysteriously dead,” Reiter stated.

The guardianship remained open after Branson’s death with Reiter, alone, having spent $130,000.00 in attorneys’ fees.

“They took more than $800,000 of my mother’s money in attorneys’ fees. The guardianship, in which my mother had never even been declared mentally incapacitated, lasted less than three months. This is a racketeering scheme that needs to be investigated. The F.B.I. should step in.”

Different names, same story

  • An Orange County court auditor discovered $50,000.00 missing three days before the ward died. The judge ordered an “Order to Show Cause.” Prior to the hearing, the guardian and her attorney simply brought back the missing money and placed it back with the court. The judge dropped the scheduled hearing.
  • Court records show that the guardian received $12,000 a month to pay the nursing home bills for Carlisle Bosworth. However, the skilled nursing home facility where he was placed charges only $6,000 a month. No investigation has ever been conducted regarding what happened to the extra $6,000 per month. Bosworth died shortly after all of his money had been spent.
  • Marion Copley was placed on Medicaid — even though her guardian sold her home for more than $250,000.
  • In another case a professional guardian petitioned the court to become an elderly woman’s guardian when she discovered the woman had no living relatives. She told the judge that the woman, who was still living independently in her home, had “bats flying all over the inside of the house.” The allegation resulted in a guardianship and the victim was removed from her home. Neighbors later stated that they had never seen “bats flying all over the house.”
  • In yet another case a professional guardian obtained a guardianship over Christian Van Beekum stating that neighbors had exploited him. A quick search of the property records showed that the neighbors who had allegedly exploited Van Beekum had actually sold their home and moved to another state six years prior.
  • James Deaton had owned an extensive coin collection, an expensive baseball card collection, and his deceased mother’s diamond rings and pearl necklaces, according to relatives. None of these items were ever listed on the guardian’s inventory report.
  • The Denver Post has several times( 2010, 2011 ) published investigative reports exposing the problems with the probate court there.
  • In July 2012 World News posted a video by Lisa Flurie and story about what has been done to her brother Mark in Florida probate courts. Links to many other stories of guardianship/conservatorship fraud are available there as well.

Law enforcement agents, social workers, and judges have been trained to maintain a watchful eye over exploitative family members. Yet no one seems to be guarding the guardians. Family members have complained to local law enforcement, the state attorneys’ office, and even the F.B.I.without any significant action being taken.

The problems grow worse with time as the courts become ever more dysfunctional.

The Hospital Gestapo: You May Never See Home Again

American hospitals have devised a scheme to guarantee they never get stuck with an unpaid bill.  It’s called guardianship.

Thinking of checking into a hospital?  Think again.  You may never see home again.

  •  Ginger Franklin, Hendersonville, Tennessee, fell down the stairs in her condo and suffered a bump on her head.  She was declared “temporarily mentally incapacitated” and a guardian was appointed through the courts.  Within six weeks, the guardian had sold Franklin’s home, car, furniture, and drained her bank account. Today, Franklin has her freedom back, but she is having to start all over.
  • Michael Kidd, 72, of Richardson, Texas, fell in his yard and broke a hip.  Now, he is living in Countryside Nursing Home with his wife.  Both were removed from their home when the state of Texas petitioned the courts claiming that the Kidds were mentally incompetent.  Their house sits vacant and neglected, with rotting food still remaining in the refrigerator.  The Kidds have been confined to a single room in the nursing home, while the state appointed guardian burns through their money an gives them a mere $60 a month spending allowance which they have been using to buy “real” food.
  • Robert Milton (not his real name) was taken to the hospital because he fell “one time too many” at his home, and although his stepson had been given power of attorney to make all of his health care decisions, a court-appointed corporate guardian placed Milton against his will in a nursing home where he is now isolated from his family and friends.  Meanwhile, his money is being spent as quickly as possible by the Orlando-based guardian and her attorneys.

Elderly couple kidnapped by Texas Adult Protective Services:

How It Commences

Joseph Niedesky (not his real name) was air lifted to a hospital in Orlando from Ocala by helicopter after he was the victim of a motorcycle crash.  But something went terribly wrong during Niedesky’s surgery and he aspirated on his own vomit, causing some brain injury. That’s when a corporate guardian was contacted by the hospital and appointed by the court as Niedesky’s full plenary, permanent guardian.

What Happens Next

The corporate guardian who petitioned the court stated in the court papers that Niedesky had no family.  In reality, Niedesky had been married for more than 20 years and had four teenage children.  It took more than two months for Niedesky’s wife to discover what had happened to her husband and where he was located.

The Family is Always Portrayed as the “Devil Incarnate”

What happened to Niedesky is becoming a commonplace occurrence in America.  A family member is rushed to the hospital.  Surgery occurs and something sometimes goes terribly wrong.  However, by quickly petitioning the courts for guardianship, the hospital avoids any kind of lawsuit for negligence or wrongful death.  Niedesky’s wife wanted to bring him home and get him out of the guardianship.  The guardian, however, kept moving Niedesky from location to location, city to city, until the statute of limitations for suing the hospital had expired.  Shortly after the statute of limitations ended, Niedsky just happened to die.

“The hospital saved itself millions in a lawsuit.  It is typical that shortly after the statute of limitations runs out, the ward just happens to suddenly die,” stated David Newman, Gainesville, Florida, a civil rights guardianship reform advocate.

Niedesky’s wife was portrayed in the court record as uncaring, incompetent, over-meddling, and negligent, and although these descriptors seem to be a contraction of terms, you will typically find the most cynical descriptions of family members in most court files where an involuntary guardianship has been granted by the courts to a total stranger.

For example, in Milton’s case, Milton’s stepson had been named long ago as his power of attorney and health care surrogate.  That designation, however, was destroyed by the court and the corporate guardian even accused the stepson of stealing several thousands over the years from his stepfather.  Today, Milton’s stepson, a 65 year old retired veteran, finds himself in a legal nightmare gathering bank records and hiring attorneys and forensic accountants to prove his innocence.  Meanwhile, the corporate guardian is spending Milton’s money like water.

The Other Scenario

Tom Griffith (not his real name) wonders why an Orlando-based corporate guardian would be interested in his father at all.

“He has no money.  All he gets is a small monthly cheque from Social Security of about $800.00.”

I explained to Griffith that his father has been marked for destruction and will mostly likely not be among the living in a very short period of time.  “We live in a country that is ruled by corporations, not the U.S. Constitution.  If there is not enough money for the nursing home to cover its expenses, there is ‘no reason’ to keep your father alive.”  I explained to Milton how Thomas Chada’s father was sent to him as a box of ashes and how other wards seem to always turn up “expired” shortly after a corporate guardian and her attorneys have burned through all of an elderly person’s money.

But in this case, Griffith said there was no reason to destroy his father.  “There is no money to gain.”

“Yes, but that is the point.  The corporate guardians have a symbiotic relationship with the nursing homes.  Sometimes, the nursing home gives them a wealthy resident that they can bilk.  At other times, the corporate guardian does them a favor by making premature end-of-life decisions when there is not enough finances to cover the elderly person’s day-to-day expenses.”

In the case of Griffith’s father, who just received quadruple open heart bypass surgery, it was determined that the ward, age 74, now needed dialysis, a very costly ongoing treatment.

“The doctors said my father does not want dialysis,”Milton stated.  “But I know my father wishes to live; he is only 74.”

“They probably got your father to sign such a statement without him even knowing what he was signing,” I explained.

Milton wanted to know what he could do to rescue his father out of this dangerous and life-threatening situation.

“You can hire an attorney, but you might end up spending more than $500,000.00 of your own money to become your father’s guardian.”

“I don’t have that kind of money,”Griffithdeclared, shocked.

It was obvious that the scenario I was describing was greatly upsetting Griffith.   Those of us who have already lived this scenario remember going through the predictable stage of “mental shock” followed by the overwhelming urge to seek justice—at any cost.  I explained to Griffith that he may find himself bankrupt as a result of trying to help his father out of this doomed guardianship situation.

My phone continues to ring as victims, desperate to find a solution, want to know what they can do.

In a country that is ruled by corporations and corporate greed, there will be no solution to The Guardianship Nightmare until a public uprising is so severe that these kinds of abominable– yet commonplace situations– will no longer be able to occur.

Why I and Other Lawmakers Should Live Under Obamacare by Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL)

For seven years, Republican candidates running for every office from president to dogcatcher campaigned on the need to repeal and replace Obamacare.

The spectacular collapse of the repeal effort in the Senate revealed that these promises were, at least for some senators, hollow.

As disappointing as the effort in the Senate was to witness, Congress cannot simply walk away from the promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. One surefire way to restart the repeal effort is simple: Make Congress live under Obamacare.

The actual text of Obamacare cancels the congressional health plans utilized by members of Congress and refers members to the Obamacare exchanges for their insurance needs.

The idea was that members should eat their own cooking. No special subsidies were provided. Indeed, traditional employer contributions are prohibited for anyone enrolled in an exchange.

However, in 2013, after consultation with congressional leaders, the Obama administration issued a legally dubious administrative rule that put Congress onto the D.C. small business exchange (which is meant for businesses with less than 50 employees) and conferred upon members a generous taxpayer subsidy.

This is contrary to the text of Obamacare and reeks of insider favoritism. The arrangement has protected Congress from the high cost of Obamacare while millions of Americans continue to struggle under the financial burdens of the law.

Currently, there are two sets of health care laws in the United States: one for the taxpayers, and one for the insider class.

Under current practice, the American people alone are expected to shoulder the costs of health care. Members of Congress are shielded from the costs of their own law by placing—contrary to law—the burden of subsidizing congressional insurance plans on the backs of taxpayers.

Requiring Congress to experience the burden of Obamacare as the rest of America has would provide the greatest incentive to quickly return to the effort to repeal this failed law.

Obamacare continues to crumble. Just last month, it was reported that over 800,000 Americans will lose their current coverage in 2018 due to health care companies pulling out of the exchanges.

Some counties only have one insurance provider in their exchange, wholly eliminating the potential for competition in the market to reduce prices. And, in some areas, there is no insurance provider participating in the exchanges at all.

Health care premiums are rising, and soaring deductibles have put affordable health insurance out of reach for many middle-class Americans.

Our constituents deserve meaningful reform that lowers premiums and expands care options. Yet, Congress has failed to deliver on these promises, all while continuing to reap unlawful taxpayer subsidies.

Everyday Americans do not have the same luxury of simply not complying with the law.

President Donald Trump can singlehandedly put an end to these illegal subsidies. Earlier this year, I sent a letter to the president explaining that blowing the whistle on this special deal will make members of Congress better understand the burdens of Obamacare and incentivize them to get to work on a good repeal and replace plan.

While I am encouraged that the president has indicated that revoking the 2013 rule is a negotiating option that remains on the table, I believe that these illegal subsidies should be eliminated immediately.

This is why I have submitted an amendment to the House’s upcoming spending bills that would defund the Obama administration’s special rule for Congress.

The American people should demand that members of Congress honor their promises to repeal Obamacare and insist that they live under the same laws as the rest of the people.

Portrait of Rep. Ron DeSantis

Ron DeSantis, a Republican, represents Florida’s 6th District. Twitter: 

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That is why it is our mission to ensure you receive accurate, timely, and reliable facts surrounding this politically charged battle on and off the Hill. The future of health care is important. Lives are at stake and patients deserve to know the facts and their rights.

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EDITORS NOTE: Under a legally dubious administrative rule from 2013, members of Congress and their staff are currently shielded from Obamacare by a taxpayer subsidy. The featured image is courtesy of iStock Photos. Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. But this can’t be done alone. Find out more >>

Your Son is Not as Safe as You Think at College by Pernas Juntos

Fall’s arrival brings students — America’s future — streaming into the hallowed halls of higher education.

For those of you directly engaged in funding one of these institutions, much of your thought is focused on classes, dorms, books, computers, software and trying to remove that stunned look from your face brought about by today’s tuition and dorm price tags. But there is undoubtedly some fear for the safety of your daughters, who will be exposed to binge parties, sexual peer pressure and some wild fraternities.

You should expand that to your sons as well.

Sexual assault on our campuses have greatly increased. Even the elite liberal-leaning Chronicle of Higher Education states, “The number of reported forcible sex crimes on campus increased from 2,200 in 2001 to 5,000 in 2013 (a 126 percent increase).”

I have worked with administration in higher education for more than 27 years. Campus sexual assaults have long been a fixture in campus life. Universities are never thrilled to talk about it, for good reason. They compete viciously for your son or daughter’s enrollment. Colleges and universities do their level best to lower the numbers of sexual assaults on their campuses. Both by encouraging reporting…and by hiding it.

College administrators play with the numbers

For example, many will consider any attack that takes place outside their strict ‘campus’ perimeters as not a campus assault. Even if it is one of their students walking back from classes to their dorm. Some fraternities and sororities are also placed off campus to lower on-campus sexual assault numbers. A perpetrator committing a crime on campus may even be passively allowed to walk off campus to make the arrest off campus.

And as we have seen with some of the more publicized sports figure arrests, institutions have many standards and protocols for different students accused of crimes — despite supposed ‘zero tolerance’ policies on sexual assault. They all do it to some degree. The argument is, if they didn’t, their campus would seem less safe than those who report student sexual assaults in a more selective way. All of this is hardly new, and we could make a great case that sexual assault awareness and reporting on campus is higher than it ever has been.

However, some groups — men, including gay men — seem to be discouraged from reporting.

Liberal/progressive ideology has taken over most administrations of higher education. Contrary to what many people believe, the real ideological power broker isn’t that gray-haired, pony-tailed, sandal-wearing professor. It’s an administration that holds the purse-strings and sets curriculum. With that ideology has come many changes in sexual behavior and identification on campus.

LGBT centers have sprung up on nearly every campus, bathrooms are sometimes open to both biological genders to cater to transgender persons, and students are openly encouraged to question their sexual identification. Women’s Gender Studies classes do a fantastic job of vilifying men, and in many cases encouraging alternative sexual identification and experimentation. Fresh off their successes activating students around gay marriage, sex on campus in all its different forms can seem not an issue, but rather the issue.

Young people have never been as sexualized as they are today on campuses. That brings issues of its own.

Tilting justice against white men

Liberalism/progressivism thrive on the collectivist notion of an oppressor and an oppressed. That view seems to be binary and set in stone, the oppressed can never be the oppressor and vice versa.

Your male son, especially your white male son, is viewed as the oppressor in every circumstance when the issue is against an ‘oppressed female’. His word simply does not carry the equal weight of his female counterparts. Any accusation against him by a female will almost certainly be treated as the truth.

That accusation can be a real problem for your son’s future. A quick look through Michigan State University’s Sexual Assault Program, for one example, shows not a single male staff member. However, this is the norm on sites I checked and not unique to MSU. A search of your Alma Mater will most likely show the same thing.

Imagine a large city police force that only has male sexual assault on-site councilors. Probably wouldn’t go over well. While campuses would argue that women are assaulted far more than men, that shouldn’t deny men from getting the help they need and deserve. That help should include the right to counsel with someone of your own gender. Yet many campuses view that as a non-issue.

We are a nation that should provide equal justice to any sexual assault victim. Especially on campus. But we don’t.

This issue has also manifests itself in a way that may not immediately jump to mind: the LGBT community itself.

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 46.4% lesbians, 74.9% bisexual women and 43.3% heterosexual women reported sexual violence other than rape during their lifetimes. On the flip side, 40.2% gay men, 47.4% bisexual men and 20.8% heterosexual men reported sexual violence other than rape during their lifetimes. That means that if your gay son, who has a more than 4 in 10 chances of being sexually assaulted in his life needs help, he must confide in a woman….or not report. Many do not.

On top of that, because he is a man in a center staffed by women advocates, he will most likely be viewed as the perpetrator in his time of trauma, at least until he establishes his case. He’s assumed guilty — as the victim. Even the liberal Huffington Post has posted opinion columns by gay advocates demanding more men, particularly gay men, to be on the staff of the sexual assault crisis centers.

Yet for now, that seems to fall on deaf ears. Students will continue to be oversexualized to promote agendas. Men, especially white men, will continue to be viewed as the default perpetrator on liberal campuses — which is most campuses. Gay people reporting sexual assaults doesn’t fit the agenda and reporting is not as encouraged as it should be.

Interracial couple assaults are also something that they do not want ‘over reported’. Those groups are to be portrayed in their group identity as better than the normal population and not as suffering the plagues of the rest of us. Statistics be damned. Sexual crisis centers are viewed by the administration, as being for women. Almost exclusively. Sadly, that leaves many victims in the cold.

Many of your sons are one accusation away from having their lives ruined. Many gay men will not receive the justice and counseling they deserve. Your son, gay or straight, is not as safe as you may think in a liberal institution. Something to think about when a university is courting your child.

Pernas Juntos, a pseudonym meaning “think together” in Spanish, has spent nearly three decades working in the administration of a major American university.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act. The featured image is a Stock Photo: Dreamstime.

Down With The Rainbow

Students are finally rebelling against the oppressive rainbow flag and I cheer them on!

RELATED ARTICLES: 

I’m a Pediatrician. How Transgender Ideology Has Infiltrated My Field and Produced Large-Scale Child Abuse.

Transgenderism: The Big Absurdity

The Humanitarian Hoax of Transgenders in the Military: Killing America With Kindness

The Demonic Nature of the Transgender Movement: The Devil, You Say? by Fr. Paul D. Scalia

U.S. Military is Not a Petri Dish for Transgender Experiments

A tweet that says it all!

Invasion of Europe news…..

It is so mind boggling to realize that supposedly smart people in Europe (Merkel, Macron, etc) cannot see what has happened to them.

Screenshot (789)

More babies please!

(And, come on, you can afford it! To save big don’t send them to an expensive college to be brainwashed!)

See my complete ‘Invasion of Europe’ archive here.

RELATED ARTICLE: South Carolina governor wants no refugees from six countries named in Trump travel ‘ban’

I’m a Pediatrician. How Transgender Ideology Has Infiltrated My Field and Produced Large-Scale Child Abuse.

Transgender politics have taken Americans by surprise, and caught some lawmakers off guard.

Just a few short years ago, not many could have imagined a high-profile showdown over transgender men and women’s access to single-sex bathrooms in North Carolina.

But transgender ideology is not just infecting our laws. It is intruding into the lives of the most innocent among us—children—and with the apparent growing support of the professional medical community.

As explained in my 2016 peer reviewed article, “Gender Dysphoria in Children and Suppression of Debate,” professionals who dare to question the unscientific party line of supporting gender transition therapy will find themselves maligned and out of a job.

I speak as someone intimately familiar with the pediatric and behavioral health communities and their practices. I am a mother of four who served 17 years as a board certified general pediatrician with a focus in child behavioral health prior to leaving clinical practice in 2012.

For the last 12 years, I have been a board member and researcher for the American College of Pediatricians, and for the last three years I have served as its president.

I also sat on the board of directors for the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity from 2010 to 2015. This organization of physicians and mental health professionals defends the right of patients to receive psychotherapy for sexual identity conflicts that is in line with their deeply held values based upon science and medical ethics.

I have witnessed an upending of the medical consensus on the nature of gender identity. What doctors once treated as a mental illness, the medical community now largely affirms and even promotes as normal.

Here’s a look at some of the changes.

The New Normal

Pediatric “gender clinics” are considered elite centers for affirming children who are distressed by their biological sex. This distressful condition, once dubbed gender identity disorder, was renamed “gender dysphoria” in 2013.

In 2014, there were 24 of these gender clinics, clustered chiefly along the east coast and in California. One year later, there were 40 across the nation.

With 215 pediatric residency programs now training future pediatricians in a transition-affirming protocol and treating gender-dysphoric children accordingly, gender clinics are bound to proliferate further.

Last summer, the federal government stated that it would not require Medicare and Medicaid to cover transition-affirming procedures for children or adults because medical experts at the Department of Health and Human Services found the risks were often too high, and the benefits too unclear.

Undeterred by these findings, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health has pressed ahead, claiming—without any evidence—that these procedures are “safe.”

Two leading pediatric associations—the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Pediatric Endocrine Society—have followed in lockstep, endorsing the transition affirmation approach even as the latter organization concedes within its own guidelines that the transition-affirming protocol is based on low evidence.

They even admit that the only strong evidence regarding this approach is its potential health risks to children.

The transition-affirming view holds that children who “consistently and persistently insist” that they are not the gender associated with their biological sex are innately transgender.

(The fact that in normal life and in psychiatry, anyone who “consistently and persistently insists” on anything else contrary to physical reality is considered either confused or delusional is conveniently ignored.)

The transition-affirming protocol tells parents to treat their children as the gender they desire, and to place them on puberty blockers around age 11 or 12 if they are gender dysphoric.

If by age 16, the children still insist that they are trapped in the wrong body, they are placed on cross-sex hormones, and biological girls may obtain a double mastectomy.

So-called “bottom surgeries,” or genital reassignment surgeries, are not recommended before age 18, though some surgeons have recently argued against this restriction.

The transition-affirming approach has been embraced by public institutions in media, education, and our legal system, and is now recommended by most national medical organizations.

There are exceptions to this movement, however, in addition to the American College of Pediatricians and the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice. These include the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations, the Catholic Medical Association, and the LGBT-affirming Youth Gender Professionals.

The transgender movement has gained legs in the medical community and in our culture by offering a deeply flawed narrative. The scientific research and facts tell a different story.

Here are some of those basic facts.

1. Twin studies prove no one is born “trapped in the body of the wrong sex.”

Some brain studies have suggested that some are born with a transgendered brain. But these studies are seriously flawed and prove no such thing.

Virtually everything about human beings is influenced by our DNA, but very few traits are hardwired from birth. All human behavior is a composite of varying degrees for nature and nurture.

Researchers routinely conduct twin studies to discern which factors (biological or nonbiological) contribute more to the expression of a particular trait. The best designed twin studies are those with the greatest number of subjects.

Identical twins contain 100 percent of the same DNA from conception and are exposed to the same prenatal hormones. So if genes and/or prenatal hormones contributed significantly to transgenderism, we should expect both twins to identify as transgender close to 100 percent of the time.

Skin color, for example, is determined by genes alone. Therefore, identical twins have the same skin color 100 percent of the time.

But in the largest study of twin transgender adults, published by Dr. Milton Diamond in 2013, only 28 percent of the identical twins both identified as transgender. Seventy-two percent of the time, they differed. (Diamond’s study reported 20 percent identifying as transgender, but his actual data demonstrate a 28 percent figure, as I note here in footnote 19.)

That 28 percent of identical twins both identified as transgender suggests a minimal biological predisposition, which means transgenderism will not manifest itself without outside nonbiological factors also impacting the individual during his lifetime.

The fact that the identical twins differed 72 percent of the time is highly significant because it means that at least 72 percent of what contributes to transgenderism in one twin consists of nonshared experiences after birth—that is, factors not rooted in biology.

Studies like this one prove that the belief in “innate gender identity”—the idea that “feminized” or “masculinized” brains can be trapped in the wrong body from before birth—is a myth that has no basis in science.

2. Gender identity is malleable, especially in young children.

Even the American Psychological Association’s Handbook of Sexuality and Psychology admits that prior to the widespread promotion of transition affirmation, 75 to 95 percent of pre-pubertal children who were distressed by their biological sex eventually outgrew that distress. The vast majority came to accept their biological sex by late adolescence after passing naturally through puberty.

But with transition affirmation now increasing in Western society, the number of children claiming distress over their gender—and their persistence over time—has dramatically increased. For example, the Gender Identity Development Service in the United Kingdom alone has seen a 2,000 percent increase in referrals since 2009.

3. Puberty blockers for gender dysphoria have not been proven safe.

Puberty blockers have been studied and found safe for the treatment of a medical disorder in children called precocious puberty (caused by the abnormal and unhealthy early secretion of a child’s pubertal hormones).

However, as a groundbreaking paper in The New Atlantis points out, we cannot infer from these studies whether or not these blockers are safe in physiologically normal children with gender dysphoria.

The authors note that there is some evidence for decreased bone mineralization, meaning an increased risk of bone fractures as young adults, potential increased risk of obesity and testicular cancer in boys, and an unknown impact upon psychological and cognitive development.

With regard to the latter, while we currently don’t have any extensive, long-term studies of children placed on blockers for gender dysphoria, studies conducted on adults from the past decade give cause for concern.

For example, in 2006 and 2007, the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology reported brain abnormalities in the area of memory and executive functioning among adult women who received blockers for gynecologic reasons. Similarly, many studies of men treated for prostate cancer with blockers also suggest the possibility of significant cognitive decline.

4. There are no cases in the scientific literature of gender-dysphoric children discontinuing blockers.

Most, if not all, children on puberty blockers go on to take cross-sex hormones (estrogen for biological boys, testosterone for biological girls). The only study to date to have followed pre-pubertal children who were socially affirmed and placed on blockers at a young age found that 100 percent of them claimed a transgender identity and chose cross-sex hormones.

This suggests that the medical protocol itself may lead children to identify as transgender.

There is an obvious self-fulfilling effect in helping children impersonate the opposite sex both biologically and socially. This is far from benign, since taking puberty blockers at age 12 or younger, followed by cross-sex hormones, sterilizes a child.

5. Cross-sex hormones are associated with dangerous health risks.

From studies of adults we know that the risks of cross-sex hormones include, but are not limited to, cardiac disease, high blood pressure, blood clots, strokes, diabetes, and cancers.

6. Neuroscience shows that adolescents lack the adult capacity needed for risk assessment.

Scientific data show that people under the age of 21 have less capacity to assess risks. There is a serious ethical problem in allowing irreversible, life-changing procedures to be performed on minors who are too young themselves to give valid consent.

7. There is no proof that affirmation prevents suicide in children.

Advocates of the transition-affirming protocol allege that suicide is the direct and inevitable consequence of withholding social affirmation and biological alterations from a gender-dysphoric child. In other words, those who do not endorse the transition-affirming protocol are essentially condemning gender-dysphoric children to suicide.

Yet as noted earlier, prior to the widespread promotion of transition affirmation, 75 to 95 percent of gender-dysphoric youth ended up happy with their biological sex after simply passing through puberty.

In addition, contrary to the claim of activists, there is no evidence that harassment and discrimination, let alone lack of affirmation, are the primary cause of suicide among any minority group. In fact, at least one study from 2008 found perceived discrimination by LGBT-identified individuals not to be causative.

Over 90 percent of people who commit suicide have a diagnosed mental disorder, and there is no evidence that gender-dysphoric children who commit suicide are any different. Many gender dysphoric children simply need therapy to get to the root of their depression, which very well may be the same problem triggering the gender dysphoria.

8. Transition-affirming protocol has not solved the problem of transgender suicide.

Adults who undergo sex reassignment—even in Sweden, which is among the most LGBT-affirming countries—have a suicide rate nearly 20 times greater than that of the general population. Clearly, sex reassignment is not the solution to gender dysphoria.

Bottom Line: Transition-Affirming Protocol Is Child Abuse

The crux of the matter is that while the transition-affirming movement purports to help children, it is inflicting a grave injustice on them and their nondysphoric peers.

These professionals are using the myth that people are born transgender to justify engaging in massive, uncontrolled, and unconsented experimentation on children who have a psychological condition that would otherwise resolve after puberty in the vast majority of cases.

Today’s institutions that promote transition affirmation are pushing children to impersonate the opposite sex, sending many of them down the path of puberty blockers, sterilization, the removal of healthy body parts, and untold psychological damage.

These harms constitute nothing less than institutionalized child abuse. Sound ethics demand an immediate end to the use of pubertal suppression, cross-sex hormones, and sex reassignment surgeries in children and adolescents, as well as an end to promoting gender ideology via school curricula and legislative policies.

It is time for our nation’s leaders and the silent majority of health professionals to learn exactly what is happening to our children, and unite to take action.

COMMENTARY BYPortrait of Michelle Cretella

Michelle Cretella, M.D., is president of the American College of Pediatricians, a national organization of pediatricians and other health care professionals dedicated to the health and well-being of children.

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EDITORS NOTE: Transition-affirming protocol tells parents to treat their children as the gender they desire, and to place them on puberty blockers at age 11 or 12 if they are gender dysphoric. Featured photo: iStock Photos. Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. But this can’t be done alone. Find out more >>