The Day After Hobby Lobby Decision, Supreme Court Rules For Another Corporation Challenging the HHS Mandate

The day after its ruling in Hobby Lobby, the US Supreme Court granted review of the Thomas More Law Center’s petition on behalf of Eden Foods and its president Michael Potter, vacated the judgment, and remanded the case back to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals for further consideration in light of the Hobby Lobby decision.

Click Here for Supreme Court Order

The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, MI, filed Eden Food’s initial challenge to the HHS Mandate in March 2013. After being denied a temporary injunction preventing enforcement of the HHS Mandate by a federal district court and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, TMLC filed a petition for review with the Supreme Court.  That petition had been held in abeyance pending the decision in the Hobby Lobby case.

Eden Foods, co-founded by Potter in the late 1960s, is the oldest natural food company in North America and the largest independent manufacturer of dry grocery organic foods.  In 2009, Eden Foods was selected as the best food company in the world by Better World Shopping Guide, which also acknowledged the company’s outstanding record in social and environmental responsibility. The company employs 150 employees.

For years, Michael Potter, a Roman Catholic, President and sole shareholder of Eden Foods Corporation, for religious reasons, had arranged for the Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance coverage he designed for his employees to specifically exclude coverage for contraception and abortifacients.  In accordance with his Catholic faith, Potter believes that any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation, whether as an end or means”—including abortifacients and contraception—is wrong.

The HHS Mandate forced Potter to make a choice between violating a foremost tenet of his faith or face fines up to $4.5 million per year.

Potter brought the lawsuit because he cannot compartmentalize his faith and his business practices.

Mr. Potter said in a statement, “We are grateful for the Hobby Lobby decision and look forward to further developments.”

TMLC Senior Trial Counsel Erin Mersino

Erin Mersino, TMLC’s Senior Trial Counsel who is handling the Eden Foods case commented on yesterday’s Supreme Court order, “The Supreme Court’s ruling in Hobby Lobby preserves the religious freedom we are guaranteed under the Constitution.  The HHS mandate required business owners to directly violate their faith.  The Supreme Court relied upon the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which was signed into law by President Clinton and passed in a bipartisan effort to protect our First Amendment rights, to strike down the mandate.  Under RFRA, the government has to establish a basis for substantially burdening one’s religious faith.  Here, the government failed to do so.”

Mersino continued, “Justice Ginsburg’s dissent and proposed parade of horribles has no basis in reality.  No flood gates have been opened.  The truth is that the Supreme Court struck down an unjust law.”

Celebrate Freedom from Rx Drugs: You Can Be Your Own Doctor If You Know the Cause — Most MDs Don’t

Medical textbooks are filled with diseases of “unknown etiology,” and if they don’t know the cause, how can the drug be the cure? Hippocrates was right–”Let your food be your medicine.”

For 40 years the drug industry has made trillions calling medical care ‘healthcare,’ creating the illusion of science and cure while hooking most people over 45 into bondage with drugs that don’t address the cause.

Medical textbooks are filled with diseases of “unknown etiology,” and if they don’t know the cause, how can the drug be the cure? It gives relief of symptoms but spells trouble later as every drug has a long list of adverse side effects that anyone can find in the Physicians Desk Reference at the public library.

Hippocrates was right–”Let your food be your medicine.” What we put in our mouths is usually the cause of medical symptoms. I offer my own example of how we do it to ourselves without recognizing the cause. I developed headaches and consulted the neurologist who taught medical students, only to be told that foods or beverages would be a very rare cause of my headaches.

I later learned the neurologist didn’t know when a colleague tested me and said I was allergic to wheat–bread, pasta, and pastry–foods I liked, but wasn’t smart enough to recognize the cause because my headaches were a delayed reaction.

If we become allergic to something, it acts like a poison to which we develop a tolerance. Tobacco is an example. People don’t get sick when they smoke. They get sick when they try to quit—symptoms come on withdrawal—like over the weekend when I wasn’t eating sandwiches that he took to work.

Many medical conditions are caused this way. It can be gastritis, colitis, arthritis—I had an executive say that sugar bothered his joints. Another one said cheese made his joints ache. A third said meat gave him arthritis. These were smart men who had figured it out on their own.

Symptoms care range from those of hypoglycemia to weakness, dizziness or muscle tension and insomnia and nervousness, or hyperactivity in kids.

My first case was an executive who was wiped out with fatigue and had all kinds of tests without finding the cause. But since she had hay fever, I thought she might have food allergies also, and asked her to avoid everything she ordinarily ate for a week.

She predictably got worse and then better. People can do this and one-by-one, add their regular food back into their diet one at a time, to see when they get their symptoms again.

If your doctor doesn’t know the cause, think food or chemicals because our bodies are built from what we put in our mouths, and we get a mountain load of chemicals with packaged food. If you have health problems, instead of reading the labels, don’t eat foods that came with labels until you sort out the cause.

Most people suffering medical problems could break free of the system with information from several chapters on diet that can be read online.  The author accurately described adverse drug reactions more than a century ago by saying that drugs change the form and location of the disease,

The author, Ellen White, was eulogized by Paul Harvey and Dr. Clive McCay wrote a six-page review and said there is “no better overall guide available today” (50+ years ago when he was head of nutrition  at Cornell University, but it’s still basically true.)

As a retired physician I am enjoying great health and freedom from medical care. I suggest reading Ellen White’s classic book on health and happiness on my website at http://ChooseABetterDestiny.com and viewing the best DVD I have found at http://RichardRuhling.com where visitors can see 5 minutes of it, including Dr. Esselstyn from the Cleveland Clinic on how to reverse cardiovascular disease.

How Government Makes Us Fatter by Jenna Robinson

The government, with its accomplices in the food lobby, has helped to make and keep us fat. Through subsidies and misguided food suggestions, Congress, the FDA, and the USDA have made it more difficult for Americans to make smarter dietary decisions.

It’s not as if we don’t care. Americans spend $33 billion annually on weight-loss products and services. At any given time, 45 percent of women and 30 percent of men in the United States are trying to lose weight. And yet Americans are more out of shape than ever.

Obesity is a major health risk in the United States, where 65 percent of adults are overweight. The prevalence of obesity rose from 14.5 percent in 1980 to 30.5 percent today. The percentage of children who are overweight is at an all-time high: 10.4 percent of two- to five-year-olds, 15.3 percent of six- to 11-year-olds, and 15.5 percent of 12- to 19-year-olds.

Misinformation

Remember the food pyramid? In 1982, government authorities told Americans to reduce fat consumption from 40 percent to 30 percent of daily intake—and we took their advice. Instead of fats, Americans began eating more carbohydrates: an increase of 57 grams per person from 1989 to today, according to UCSF Professor of Pediatrics Dr. Robert Lustig. Today, the typical American diet is about 50 percent carbohydrate, 15 percent protein, and 35 percent fat.

At the same time, a committee at the Food and Drug Administration awarded sugar “Generally Recognized As Safe” status—even for diabetics—despite internal dissent from the USDA’s Carbohydrate Nutrition Laboratory. As part of the 2011 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, Congress legislated that pizza sauce can count as a vegetable in school lunches.

Setting aside the issue of whether such government recommendations are correct, its actions as food nanny essentially absolve Americans from the responsibility of making their own nutrition decisions. In the 1990s, American women blindly gobbled up low-fat Snackwells desserts masquerading as sensible treats. After all, Snackwells cookies met government standards: They were low in fat and contained “safe” sugar. Parents send their kids to school assuming school lunch contains healthy fruits and vegetables—never stopping to ask what their kids are actually eating each day.

Government recommendations also dissuade private nutrition groups from attempting to compete with “official” advice. Consider Dr. Atkins’ critical reception when he wrote Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution; although a best-seller, it was panned by the nutrition establishment. The USDA’s Agricultural Resource Service still warns that the diet started out as a “gimmick” and hedges on whether it’s ultimately “worthwhile or worthless.”

Over the years, government recommendations have contributed to the replacement of lard with trans-fats (the latter of which are now considered deadly), the substitution of margarine for butter and back to butter again, and conflicting recommendations about eggs, orange juice, vitamins, certain types of fish, and the temperature at which it’s safe to eat meat. Is it any wonder that Americans are no closer to their health goals?

Subsi-diets

Farm subsidies reinforce the government’s recommendations. Most go to just a few crops: soy, corn, rice, and wheat—all of which can be converted into cheap, highly processed foods.

Take the case of corn. Starting in the mid-1980s, government subsidies made corn profitable for farmers even when market prices for corn were low. So farms across the Midwest began to produce it in abundance. Food companies funneled this cheap corn into the production of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as a replacement for more-expensive sugar—the price of which had been artificially sweetened by tariffs, import quotas, and subsidies meant to shut cheaper foreign suppliers out of the United States.

HFCS then made its way into previously unsweetened foods. Today, the average American eats 41.5 pounds of HFCS per year—financed by U.S. corn subsidies. That’s in addition to the 29 pounds of traditional sugar the USDA reports we eat on average.

Wheat, rice, and soy are turned into similarly processed food products. Wheat is extruded, robbing it of its protein, or milled and bleached into mineral-free white flour. Rice is stripped of its vitamin-packed bran to make it cook more quickly. Soybeans are mashed, pulped, extruded, and pressed into thousands of products.

And government subsidies make these foods very, very cheap—much cheaper than unsubsidized raw produce, fish, or meat. Naturally, Americans respond to these low prices by buying in bulk. Today, 23 percent of Americans’ grocery budgets go to processed foods and sweets (compared to 12 percent in 1982).

Getting Government Out of the Grocery Aisles

Nutrition is far from settled science. Various researchers recommend low-carb, vegetarian, vegan, “whole” food, or simple calorie-counting diets as the route to weight loss and improved health. But one thing is clear: Government interference is steering us in the wrong direction—toward sweetened and processed foods that no doctors, nutritionists, or researchers recommend. To improve the “Standard American Diet,” the first thing government can do is get out of the way.

ABOUT JENNA ROBINSON

Jenna Robinson is director of outreach at the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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

Florida: Pro-Marijuana Activist calls those who oppose its legalization “Nazis”

On June 26, 2014 representatives from the pro-marijuana group Florida CAN visited AMVets Post #301 in Ellington, FL to hold a forum on Amendment 2, a constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana in the Sunshine state for medical use. Support for Amendment 2 is dropping in the polls. Approximately twenty-five people attended the forum, of which six were veterans.

The title of the presentation was “Let’s Talk About It: Open Forum on Cannabis in Florida.” The “let’s talk about it” part of the forum was one sided. The event was not an open forum. There were no opposing views presented and those who raised questions about the known negative impacts of marijuana use, especially by children, were shut down. The wife of one veteran who attended asked some hard questions was confronted by members of the panel after the forum.

During the forum the panel members used emotion rather than facts on the use and abuse of marijuana to make their case. The used cherry picked data and made misleading, and possibly false statements, to those in attendance to push for passage of Amendment 2.

Watch this video by Kevin Sabet, President Obama’s former Drug Czar and author of “Reefer Sanity: Seven Great Myths About Marijuana.” After watching this video you will see how the forum panel members repeated some of these myths, like marijuana is harmless and non-addictive. To read all of the seven great myths about marijuana click here.

Kara Kampmeyer, President of Florida Angels of Mercy

Kara Kampmeyer, President of Florida Angels of Mercy

Panel members included: Kara Kampmeyer, President of Florida Angels of Mercy, Haydon Fouke a cancer survivor, Cathy Jordan and Robert Jordan, Mo Barnhart, CannaMom, Renee Petro, CannaMom, A.J. Bowman and Ryan another cancer survivor.

Kara Kampmeyer heads up the non-profit organization Florida Angels of Mercy to assist people in purchasing marijuana. It was Kampmeyer who stated that denying Floridians access to marijuana was akin to what “the Nazis did to the Jews.” She encouraged veterans to contact her if they need assistance with purchasing marijuana.

Mo Barnhart and her 3-year-old daughter Dahlia discussed the benefits of cannabis oil in treating her daughter’s brain cancer. After the forum Mo stated that while she was for using hemp oil to help Dahlia, she did not want her 12-year old son to have access to marijuana. She was against its general legalization.

Renee Petro said she was illegally utilizing hemp oil for her 12-year-old son. The Florida Department of Children and Families (FL-DCF) came to her house and questioned her children about her ability as a mother. Petro told them, “We are not criminals. As an American do we have rights? We do, but we don’t.” It appears FL-DCF gave her a pass for breaking the law by giving her children illegal drugs.

A.J. Bowman stated his concerns that even if Amendment 2 passes, Florida counties may opt-out as a “dry county?” Hayden Fouke stated, “I don’t care who uses it for whatever reason. There is a movement to keep cancer patients from having quality of life. We can’t let all the confusion of money at the last minute scare people.”

Fouke then said that marijuana is “the only drug on the market to improve the appetite.” He said, “I use a quarter of a brownie every day to kick-start my appetite.” At the same time Fouke said that marijuana helps people to lose weight, stating “From a patient standpoint, I can assure you that this [marijuana] works. It does not allow the (inaudible) in your stomach to hold the fat, so people who use marijuana have smaller waistlines. I am not some burned out hippie.” So which is it, a drug to gain weight or lose it?

Ryan, who shared his cancer story, believed that marijuana is the only reason he is still alive.

The moderator showed slides from 2011- Florida Medical Examiners Report summary of drug related deaths stating there are zero deaths from marijuana and marijuana is “Not a big gateway drug.” The facts are that the 2011 report shows 894 deaths from Cannabinoids and the 2012 report shows 384 deaths caused by Cannabinoids. According to the National Institute of Health Cannabinoids are the chemical components of cannabis (marijuana).

The following is a audio tape of the one hour forum:

Group Demands Schools Allow Children to Access Homosexual Internet Sites

Blake Neff from Freedom Outpost reports:

An advocacy group is calling for the federal government to loosen Internet filters in schools as a way to assist the homosexual community.

In a paper released Thursday, the LGBT Technology Partnership and Institute argues that the homosexual community has “particular needs” for the Internet that call for government action. In particular, the group is urging a reform of the government’s E-Rate policy that they say is blocking low-income individuals and students from accessing important LGBT resources and reaching out to other members of the homosexual community.

Read more.

Homosexuals are asking schools to open up a Pandora’s Box to internet pornography, LGBT pornography in particular. If the federal government forces this upon the states then children at school will have access to multiple homosexual dating and pornographic websites. If you Google the words “Internet gay sites” you will get 198,000,000 links. The top links are to gay dating sites like GayCupid.com (WARNING: this site contains materials not suitable for children or adults).

Dr. Judith Reisman has studied the impact of  pornography on individuals, families and society. In her column “The Porn Factor: The Path from Playboy to Sex Offender Is Well Traveled” Reisman writes:

Pornography and Pedophilia

From 1994 to 2007, at least 19 state legislatures in the U.S. passed laws named for a raped and murdered child. In my considered judgment, almost every lust-crime is now energized by pornography. There is plenty of evidence to back me up. For instance, in 1984, FBI Agent Ken Lanning testified about pedophiles’ use of pornography at a Senate hearing on the “Effect of Pornography on Women and Children”:

Adult pornography is also used, particularly with adolescent boy victims, to arouse and to lower inhibitions  …  A child who is reluctant to engage in sexual activity with an adult or to pose for sexually explicit photos can sometimes be convinced by viewing other children having “fun” participating in the activity … A third major use of child pornography collections is [for] blackmail … If the child threatens to tell his or her parents or the authorities, the existence of sexually explicit photographs can be an effective silencer. The pedophile threatens to show the pictures to parents, friends, or teachers if the child reveals their secret.

John Rabun, then Deputy Director of the National Center for Missing Children, stated at one of the hearings:

100 percent of the arrested pedophiles, child pornographers, pimps, what have you . . . had in their possession at the time of arrest, adult pornography. . . . [It was used] for their own sexual arousal . . . [and] particularly for the pedophiles, was a form of self-validation, “it is OK because I see it in other places. It must be all right, it is published nationally . . .”

On September 16, 1987, before the Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families in the House of Representatives, legal counselor Alan Sears testified:

In child pornography cases in Los Angeles County, police officers testified that since they began to ask the question, over 95 percent of the children involved in that activity had had pornography used as part of the softening up or the inhibition-lowering process to seduce them and induct them into this activity … [A] substantial number of the men who go on to be abusers were abused children themselves. Pornography plays a significant role in the training of our young people to become sexual abusers.

Detective Lt. Darrell Pope, Commanding Officer of the Michigan State Police Sex Crime Unit, testified at the same hearing:

[I]n 1977, I did a research project where I looked at 38,000 case histories [of sex crimes] and found that 41 percent of those reports indicated that, in fact, pornographic materials were used just prior to or during the actual act. (emphasis added).

Pope interviewed hundreds of sex offenders about their porn use, and “almost to a man,” the reply was: “I used it for one of several reasons: One, to encourage me.” Pope went on:

I can remember talking to one young man who was 19 years old; he said, “It excited me and then I got to thinking about it and I wanted to know how it felt.” … He wanted to know how it felt to rape a woman and kill her … And when we arrested this young man and searched his home, we found a pornographic magazine depicting this very thing that he had done.

This effort is just another step towards the recruitment of children for sex, homosexual sex. Nothing more, nothing less.

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Social Media used to promote pot to young boys and girls

“As most of you know, I do a lot of training regarding the influence of popular culture on drug use, especially as it relates to marijuana. Our children are surrounded by books, magazines, fashion, television, movies, music and the ever present celebrities [see Mia Farrow tweet above] who extol the virtues of pot. These factors, combined with the business of Big Marijuana, and pro-pot lobbying organizations that spend millions to sell the idea of surrendering to the drug culture, are undoing decades of drug education work in America – all while the federal government (and many states) turn a blind eye to the social, economic and legal chaos being inflicted upon us,” notes Jessica Spencer, Florida Statewide Coalition Director for VoteNo2.org.

In a new study, published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, new evidence has emerged regarding the prevalence of pro-pot messages through Twitter and other social media outlets.

pro pot tweetYouth Regularly receive Pro-marijuana Tweets

Hundreds of thousands of American youth are following marijuana-related Twitter accounts and getting pro-pot messages several times each day, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found.

The tweets are cause for concern, they said, because young people are thought to be especially responsive to social media influences. In addition, patterns of drug use tend to be established in a person’s late teens and early 20s.

In a study published online June 27 in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, the Washington University team analyzed messages tweeted from May 1 through Dec. 31, 2013, by a Twitter account called Weed Tweets@stillblazintho. Among pro-marijuana accounts, this one was selected because it has the most Twitter followers — about 1 million. During the eight-month study period, the account posted an average of 11 tweets per day.
“As people are becoming more accepting of marijuana use and two states have legalized the drug for recreational use, it is important to remember that it remains a dangerous drug of abuse,” said principal investigator Patricia A. Cavazos-Rehg, PhD. “I’ve been studying what is influencing attitudes to change dramatically and where people may be getting messages about marijuana that are leading them to believe the drug is not hazardous.”

Although 19 states now allow marijuana use for medical purposes, much of the evidence for its effectiveness remains anecdotal. Even as Americans are relaxing their attitudes about marijuana, in 2011 marijuana contributed to more than 455,000 emergency room visits in the United States, federal research shows. Some 13 percent of those patients were ages 12 to 17.

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For a larger view click on the image.

A majority of Americans favor legalizing recreational use of the drug, and 60 percent of high school seniors report they don’t believe regular marijuana use is harmful. A recent report from the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime said that more Americans are using cannabis as their perception of the health risk declines. The report stated that for youth and young adults, “more permissive cannabis regulations correlate with decreases in the perceived risk of use.”

Cavazos-Rehg said Twitter also is influencing young people’s attitudes about the drug. Studying Weed Tweets, the team counted 2,285 tweets during the eight-month study. Of those, 82 percent were positive about the drug, 18 percent were either neutral or did not focus on marijuana, and 0.3 percent expressed negative attitudes about it.

Many of the tweets were meant to be humorous. Others implied that marijuana helps a person feel good or relax, and some mentioned different ways to get high.

With the help of a data analysis firm, the investigators found that of those receiving the tweets, 73 percent were under 19. Fifty-four percent were 17 to 19 years old, and almost 20 percent were 16 or younger. About 22 percent were 20 to 24 years of age. Only 5 percent of the followers were 25 or older.

“These are risky ages when young people often begin experimentation with drugs,” explained Cavazos-Rehg, an assistant professor of psychiatry. “It’s an age when people are impressionable and when substance-use behaviors can transition into addiction. In other words, it’s a very risky time of life for people to be receiving messages like these.”

Cavazos-Rehg said it isn’t possible from this study to “connect the dots” between positive marijuana tweets and actual drug use, but she cites previous research linking substance use to messages from television and billboards. She suggested this also may apply to social media.

“Studies looking at media messages on traditional outlets like television, radio, billboards and magazines have shown that media messages can influence substance use and attitudes about substance use,” she said. “It’s likely a young person’s attitudes and behaviors may be influenced when he or she is receiving daily, ongoing messages of this sort.”

The researchers also learned that the Twitter account they tracked reached a high number of African-Americans and Hispanics compared with Caucasians. Almost 43 percent were African-American, and nearly 12 percent were Hispanic. In fact, among Hispanics, Weed Tweets ranked in the top 30 percent of all Twitter accounts followed.

“It was surprising to see that members of these minority groups were so much more likely than Caucasians to be receiving these messages,” Cavazos-Rehg said, adding that there is particular concern about African-Americans because their rates of marijuana abuse and dependence are about twice as high as the rate in Caucasians and Hispanics.

The findings point to the need for a discussion about the pro-drug messages young people receive, Cavazos-Rehg said.

“There are celebrities who tweet to hundreds of thousands of followers, and it turns out a Twitter handle that promotes substance use can be equally popular,” she said. “Because there’s not much regulation of social media platforms, that could lead to potentially harmful messages being distributed. Regulating this sort of thing is going to be challenging, but the more we can provide evidence that harmful messages are being received by vulnerable kids, the more likely it is we can have a discussion about the types of regulation that might be appropriate.”

This study was funded by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The Veterans Administration has never been run right

The massively expensive Veterans Administration (VA) is a perfect example of how the government is not able to efficiently perform private sector functions. The union based operations are and should be an embarrassment for anyone associated with them.

Senator Coburn yesterday released a report showing over 1,000 veterans died over a ten year period waiting for appointments and the VA paid out nearly a billion dollars in malpractice suits. Coburn also stated doctors at the VA hospitals only handle 1/6th the number of patients a private hospital does showing the union mentality is spread throughout the corrupt organization.

images-8There should be calls to disband the terrible government waste, fraud and abuse prevalent at the hospitals but Socialist Bernie Sanders says we need to increase the number of hospitals (another example of insanity by doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result) as if throwing more taxpayer money at a failed system will fix it.

The scary part is this is the service Obama and the other “progressives” (communists if you will) want eventually to force on all of us when Obamacare fails as is inevitable.

RELATED ARTICLE: Honolulu VA Still Worst in Nation–Wait Time 130 days

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo of Senator Coburn is courtesy of the Associated Press.

Politifact: Framers of Florida’s Medical Marijuana Amendment Repeatedly Kept Language Vague

Tallahassee, Fla. – The Vote No on 2 Campaign highlighted Politifact’s examination of the “drug dealer” loophole and whether obtaining permission to be a caregiver is easy.  As written, Amendment 2 only contains one requirement to become a caregiver – that the individual be 21 years of age or older.  Politifact determined that it would be “premature” to rate the claim because the framers of the Amendment repeatedly (and intentionally) kept Amendment 2 vague.

Politifact writes: “But when it comes to comparing whether it’s easier to obtain caregiver status than it is to get a drivers license, there’s just no way to know yet, since the amendment’s framers have repeatedly kept things vague.”

“Politifact reaffirmed what we have been saying all along: That the framers of this Amendment are intentionally misleading voters,” said Sarah Bascom, spokesperson for the Vote No on 2 Campaign.  “Amendment 2 is written so vaguely that it has created enormous loopholes, loopholes that are dangerous and will cause real harm to Floridians.”

“And, the drug dealer loophole, which allows so-called ‘caregivers’ to distribute pot to their ‘patients’ without requiring any prior medical training, is only the beginning,” said Bascom.  “Floridians deserve better.  They deserve to know the truth behind Amendment 2, not just a smoke and mirrors misinformation campaign led by proponents of Amendment 2 who really, ultimately want the full legalization of pot.”

Politifact also cites arguments from Vote No on 2 supporter and Constitutional Attorney Susan Kelsey who says: “The pivotal point is the distinction between what Amendment 2, as written, requires, and what may be implemented later.” Kelsey continued: “Our claim is that Amendment 2 itself does not impose any requirements on people seeking to be caregivers other than their age and their agreement to serve as caregivers.”

To read the full article, click here.

VOTE NO 2 CAMPAIGN LOGOABOUT VOTE NO ON 2 CAMPAIGN:

The Vote No on 2 Campaign is a grassroots campaign, bringing the truth about Amendment 2 to the voters of Florida.  Its coalition includes members of law enforcement, business leaders, constitutional law attorneys, doctors and other medical professionals, parents and Floridians from all walks of life.  Amendment 2 is simply a guise to legalize pot smoking in Florida and the goal of this campaign is to point out the loopholes and explain why this Amendment is bad for Florida.

For more information on the Vote No on 2 Campaign, please visit www.voteno2.org, follow on Twitter at @saynoamendment2 and on Facebook at FB.com/noonamendment2.

Florida Medical Marijuana Amendment 2: The Devil is in the Details

NoOn2.org is a grassroots campaign bringing the truth about Amendment 2 to the voters of Florida. The coalition includes members of law enforcement, business leaders, constitutional law attorneys, Doctors and other medical professionals, parents and Floridians from all walks of life.

Jessica Spencer Ed.D., CAP, CPP, Statewide Coalition Director for NoOn2.org states, “We know that Amendment 2 is simply a guise to legalize pot smoking in Florida and our goal is to point out the loopholes in the proposed Amendment.”

[youtube]http://youtu.be/fKS37A_S0MM[/youtube]

Historic VA Reform Passes U.S. Senate

In an historic move, the Senate passed the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014 (S.2450) last week-a compromise bill struck by Senator John McCain and Senator Bernie Sanders.

The deal, which incorporates three different VA reform bills, will allow veterans to seek healthcare at a private facility outside the VA healthcare system if they experience long wait times or live more than 40 miles from a VA facility. The legislation also makes it much easier to fire failing VA officials.

Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) applauds this historic legislation, and has been fighting for#VAaccountability from the start. CVA will continue to follow S.2450 as it makes its way towards the President in the near future. With that said, the fight is not yet over. Veterans are still facing outrageous wait times at the VA, and CVA will not stop fighting until our veterans get the #VAaccountability that they deserve.

Want to help CVA stand up for America’s heroes? Here’s what you can do to get involved:

CVA – Palatka
Tuesday, June 17, 5:00-8:00 PM
#FreedomPhoning for #VAacountability with the American Legion.
The American Legion Post # 45, 316 Osceola Street, Palatka, FL 32131 
RSVP here

CVA – North Florida 
Tuesday, June 17, 6-8 PM
Phone Bank w/ North Central Florida Tea Party
Columbia County Library – 308 NW Columbia Ave. Lake City, FL 32055 
RSVP here

CVA – Sarasota/Bradenton
Wednesday, June 18th, 5:30-8:00 PM
Airport Holiday Inn – 8009 15th St E. Sarasota Fl 34243 
RSVP here

CVA – Greater Tampa Bay (Brandon)
Monday, June 23rd, 10AM-12:30PM
Strike Team Training/Phone Bank.
Complimentary lunch will be served by CVA.
Holiday Inn Express – 510 Grand Regency Blvd., Brandon, FL 33510 
RSVP here

Florida Poll: Support for Medical Marijuana Amendment drops 18%

Tallahassee, Fla. – The Vote No on 2 Campaign today highlighted the recent poll that reported that 70 percent of Florida voters support a medical marijuana ballot initiative and shows an overall drop in support for Amendment 2.

“When the Quinnipiac University poll that showed 88 percent of Florida voters supporting adults legally using medical marijuana for medical purposes came out, the supporters of Amendment 2 latched onto it,” said Sarah Bascom, spokesperson for the Vote No on 2 Campaign. “And now, they have latched onto a new poll that shows that 70 percent of Florida voters support a constitutional amendment for medical marijuana.”

“Unfortunately, everyone has seemed to miss the real headline of the week – support for Amendment 2 has dropped a whopping 18 percent – showing that the efforts of the Vote No on 2 Campaign have already started to take hold,” said Bascom. “Where are the news reports about Amendment 2 dropping 18 points?  The backers of Amendment 2 cannot have it both ways.  They cannot trumpet 88 percent for weeks and then not admit that a drop of 18 percent is a significant shift.”

The Vote No on 2 Campaign is a grassroots campaign, bringing the truth about Amendment 2 to the voters of Florida.  Its coalition includes members of law enforcement, business leaders, constitutional law attorneys, doctors and other medical professionals, parents and Floridians from all walks of life.  Amendment 2 is simply a guise to legalize pot smoking in Florida and the goal of this campaign is to point out the loopholes and explain why this Amendment is bad for Florida.

For more information on the Vote No on 2 Campaign, please visit www.VoteNo2.org, follow on Twitter @saynoamendment2 or on Facebook FB.com/noonamendment2.

BREAKING: Homeland Security Police Caught Harassing Sick Veterans

The below listed BREAKING news press release was drafted in response to my column and related email titled, “OIG & FOIA REQUEST: Homeland Security Police Harassing and Intimidating Veterans at Mission Valley VA Clinic.

It is our position that the unannounced exercises conducted by the Federal Protective Services (FPS) at the VA Medical Facilities in Mission Valley, CA while Veteran patients were seeking medical support from doctors, was “oppressive” and was being conducted in violation of standard law enforcement practices and procedures (armed individuals wearing black, carrying weapons, wearing bullet proof vests, with leased guard dogs, helmets, dark glasses, while refusing to identify themselves,  threatened Veterans with arrest when they tried to take photos & asked the FPS Officers to identify themselves; there actions patrolling up and own corridors in the VA Medical Center frightened elderly patients & their wives).

The major concern is for the health of sick and elderly Veterans.  Heart patients could have suffered severe stress or could have had a heart attack from freight, PTSD patients may have been spurred to react in a self-destructive manner later on, very elderly & infirmed patients of WWII or Korean eras may with serious medical conditions were frightened by strange armed men in black walking in the corridors, some of the patients may have been affected mentally by so many armed men in black with dogs, and a certain number of patients arriving at the VA Medical facility in Mission Valley elected to avoid going to their medical appointments because of the overwhelming show of force and their vehicles blocking the parking lot.

Unannounced exercises should “never” be held at any facility by any law enforcement agency, management at the facility should have been alerted in advance so they could alert Veterans seeking medical care.  The media should have been alerted in advance to prevent confusion, and a Public Relations Officer from the FPS should have arrived with the team to respond to questions.   Badge numbers and IDs should have been provided to “any” US Citizens upon request, but it was reported that FPS Officers threatened and intimidates Veterans when they asked for IDs or tried to take photos.  Black cammies worn by FPS Officers may have been an attempt to emulate FBI SWAT Teams and their leaders may be watching too many macho Hollywood movies  (OD Greens would be more effective in all seasons and times of day).  Since it was an exercise and there was no threat of gunfire, there was no need for body armor, facial cover, helmets, and rifles.  There shouldn’t have been any interference with Veterans trying to enter & park to make their medical appointments  (FPS Officers did block the parking lot, interfering with Veterans trying to make their appointments on time).

Unannounced and announced exercises held at VA Medical facilities should “cease immediately”; Congress should prevent them from being conducted at any VA Medical facility anywhere in the nation. There are hundreds of thousands of government buildings throughout the nation where these type of exercises can be easily conducted without threatening the health and well-being of Veterans.  Congress should determine why the Obama administration has been targeting the relatively few VA Medical facilities in San Diego County, when there are thousands of other government building where those exercises can be conducted.  The management at DHS giving FPS Officers orders to conduct those exercises should be replaced, like the leadership at the VA is being replaced.  Veterans should not be bothered  while they are seeking medical treatment for injuries they may have sustained in the defense of the Republic.

Please review the below listed BREAKING news release that has more detailed information and was distributed to 15,000 recipients last night.

hls at vaBREAKING: Homeland Security Police Caught Harassing Sick Veterans

By Investigative Journalist, Benjamin Krause of DisabledVeterans.org

SAN DIEGO – Veterans were horrified while seeking VA health care on Wednesday when approached by Homeland Security police in an Operation Shield exercise. The exercise was for the purpose of “presence deterrence” at a VA health care facility in San Diego. Many veterans’ legal advocates are concerned about what this “presence deterrence” actually means and what is seeks to accomplish for veterans needing care.

According to reports, 20 officers from the DHS Federal Protective Service (FPS) dressed in full black combat gear crowded at the entrance of VA Mission Valley Health Care Clinic on Wednesday. These officers were not wearing any nametags and refused to identify themselves. Four bomb-sniffing dogs accompanied the secretive police group that arrived at the facility in 8 white SUVs, which then blocked all access to parking for disabled veterans. Veterans arriving for care were alarmed and some frightened away…

VA Mission Valley Health Care Clinic houses numerous service centers including a general practice clinic, psychiatric clinic, PTSD treatment clinic, and the disability compensation evaluation clinic. The impact of this event on veterans is disturbing.

The advocacy group, Honoring Our Troops (HRT), promptly wrote a formal complaint to VA OIG in Washington, DC after fielding numerous communications from veterans who were shocked by these recent federal secret police actions. OIG has yet to formally acknowledge receipt of their complaint since it was filed several days ago.

According to HRT’s OIG complaint, veterans on site were harassed and threatened when they took pictures and asked questions about this bizarre behavior. One veteran was threatened with a fine of $10,000 and arrest if he did not delete a photo he had taken. Another elderly veteran refused to enter the clinic with his wife. When the veteran’s wife asked a VA doctor about the action, she was told it was a “familiarization exercise.” Is this the new normal at VA facilities that veterans must become familiarized with and used to? And why? What justifies this kind of action by the Feds?

Captain Joseph John, USN (Ret), Chairman of Combat Veterans For Congress PAC, was not surprised when the report crossed his desk. After a cursory investigation, Capt. John concluded, “Due to [confidentiality] concerns, we can only get personnel in the office of Honoring Our Troops to tell us that the parties who witnessed the exercise [saw, which included] a retired Navy Chief, employees of the VA Medical Center, patients inside the building, etc., who witnessed armed FPS officers in SWAT gear with dogs on leash walking up and down the corridors inside the VA Medical Clinic in Mission Valley.”

Capt. John opposes unannounced police actions at VA Medical facilities that resemble “para-military exercises.” His deepest concerns are for elderly veterans with “heart conditions, suffering from PTSD, or elderly Veterans from the WWII or Korean era could be frightened and negatively affected by these [secret police] exercises in the middle of [their medical treatments].” For these reasons, Capt. John believes DHS and its FPS division “should be prevented from holding these para-military exercises at any VA Medical Center,” especially during patient treatment and service times during the day.

Since the OIG complaint, HRT received numerous threatening calls to their organization’s volunteers by individuals whom they believed were VA or DHS employees. Callers blasted the organization saying, “VA does not need this type of exposure right now; bringing this up will not help veterans.” Other harassing calls threatened the staff with stalking and investigations into their own personal conduct. According to HRT, the calls were all blocked to hide the caller’s phone number.

A spokesman for the San Diego VA Regional Office, Alejandro Mendio la Flores, verified this FPS police action and stated it was part of Operation Shield for “presence deterrence.” VA claims the official count of FPS officers was only 8, and that the FPS does not owe VA any explanation for its actions or training exercises — even if it affects a VA medical facility or its patients. Nor does DHS-FPS have to give VA any advance notice that these exercises will occur or get VA’s permission to conduct them. Just what is going on here?

VA already has in place a “patient security flag” procedure under VHA Directive 2010-053. Even though this procedure is completely illegal and occurs in secret VAMC staff councils behind closed doors, it is nevertheless the main device VA has created to deal with security issues with any veterans who give them reason to be concerned for potential violent incidents. The VA-OIG made a rather shocking report about this illegal procedure just last year — and any lawyer or judge who reads it would be horrified at the blatant “due process” violations, since veterans cannot know who made the complaints about them or in any way have a chance to refute or defend against false allegations by VA staff. See OIG Report No. 11-02585-129, March 7, 2013.

The questions that beg to be answered are: Why does DHS-FPS and VA think these preemptive “presence deterrence” exercises are needed to enhance or maintain security at VA medical and other facilities? What evidence does DHS-FPS and VA have to think this para-military behavior is even necessary and put the health of veterans at risk when arriving for a wide range of treatments? None of this makes any sense or seems to be well thought out. So what is the meaning of all of this?

Does DHS and VA have such callous disregard that they never considered the harmful impact such presence would have on veterans with serious physical and mental health disabilities for which they are coming to VA to get treatment?

VA constantly asserts they are striving to give veterans the best in health care. If that is true, why did they leave these questions out of their thinking? Is this the new veteran-centric care Secretary Sloan Gibson recently promised to the American public and veterans?

Mr. Mendio la Flores refused to answer additional questions on the concerns relating to whether or not any veterans were in fact harmed by these recent incidents. The House Committee on Veterans Affairs was asked for comment but was not able to reply to this writer prior to publication.

60,000 Illegal Alien Kid Invasion is Nothing!

Everyone’s panties are in a wad because 60,000 illegal alien kids showing up at one time to be let in the country. Do something cry the politicians to President Obama, who apparently by his inaction loves the chaos, as if this is a big deal . I’ll prove it isn’t.

In a small Mexican village of adobe huts and dirt paths lives brothers Juan and Jose who marry sisters Juanita and Maria. Juan and Juanita hear if they can get to the U.S. that life is easy, especially if Juanita, who is pregnant, can have her baby just across the border. They get across the unguarded border and Juanita gives birth to a baby named Pedro a day later. The baby is declared a U.S. citizen and the hospital writes off the cost of the delivery because Jose has no money. Officially they are the parents of a U.S. citizen most commonly known as an “Anchor Baby” because that is the key to welfare. Pedro is now on the Taxpayer’s dime until adulthood.

This event happens approximately 30,000 times every month amounting to billions of dollars a year taxpayers have to pay to support babies born to foreigners on our soil.

Sixty thousand illegal alien kids showing up at the border is equivalent to only about two months of illegal aliens giving birth in the U.S. If there was as much uproar about illegal alien births in the country then legislation might get passed.

Why haven’t the politicians amended the Immigration and Naturalization Act to end the misinterpretation? Call and ask. If they pass HR 140 Birthright Citizenship Act of 2013 into law it would end the insanity but for sure the Democrats won’t want to end it since citizenship to them is only a word.

democrats-liberals-illegal-aliens-border-crossing-motivational-posters-online

For a larger view click on the poster.

OIG & FOIA REQUEST: Homeland Security Police Harassing and Intimidating Veterans at Mission Valley VA Clinic

We contacted Honoring Our Troops this morning to check on the validity of the email with the above subject title. We were informed that the event was in fact an unannounced exercise conducted by the Federal Protective Service (FPS) with their bomb sniffing dogs (FPS is a part of DHS), the exercise was not conducted by DHS Police. We also learned from the VA Medical Clinic in Mission Valley that those exercises occur from at that facility from time to time, and it upsets the elderly and infirm Veterans there seeking medical services.

The email we received with Sarah Tipton’s name of origin, and forwarded was sent out from her computer by someone else in the office who had firsthand knowledge of the exercise, however because of privacy matters they wanted to maintain their confidentiality. Due to the same confidentiality concerns, we can only get personnel in the office of Honoring Our Troops to tell us that the parties who witnessed the exercise included a retired Navy Chiefs, employees of the VA Medical Center, patients inside the building, etc. who witnessed armed FPS officers walking up and down the corridors inside the VA Medical Clinic in Mission Valley.

The patriotic volunteers in the offices of Honoring Our Troops feel intimidated because of all the attention this has received and the intimidation & threatening phone calls they received from government employees who would not identify themselves; those volunteers only work in those offices to help Veterans and do not want to bring attention to themselves. It is our opinion that Veterans, possibly with heart conditions, suffering from PTSD, or elderly Veterans from the WWII or Korean era could be frightened and negatively affected by these para-military exercises in the middle of medical treatment; because of the seriousness of medical health reasons, FPS & DHS should be prevented from holding these para-military exercises at any VA medical Center. We did receive the below listed clarifying email from the offices of Honoring Our Troops:

“In response to your phone call and concerns.  It was confirmed that that FPS (Federal Protective Service) division of DHS (Dept of Homeland Security) police was conducting an unannounced random exercise at the VA Healthcare Clinic in Mission Valley in order to protect the federal employees and visitors to the facility. The exercise had the officers of FPS conducting an exercise that consisted of searching the clinic building and areas around the building.  FPS does not intend to harass or intimidate any veteran patients at the facility. The officers from FPS wear their black combat uniforms and body armor, for their safety and it is not meant to intimidate veterans or discourage veterans from using the VA Clinic.

Here is the link to the agency and their mission:

http://www.dhs.gov/federal-protective-service-0

Due to confidentiality and threatening nature of calls received, our sources cannot be revealed. We were only making a request for answers and had no intent to bring any unwanted attention in helping veterans in need.”

Rough Seas for Hawaii Gov. Abercrombie’s Obamacare Exchange

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s ObamaCare Exchange Is Most Expensive In Nation

News Release from Republican Governors Association May 20, 2014:

“Bad news is piling up for Governor Abercrombie’s Hawaii Health Connector. A recent study found Hawaii’s ObamaCare exchange is the most expensive per capita in the country, costing 26 times the national average. Hawaii’s exchange has already received $204 million in taxpayer dollars and is expected to need an additional $15 million a year. Plus, Hawaii’s two largest health insurers are reporting millions in losses due to ObamaCare fees, which one insurer said could raise premiums an average of 13 percent. Millions more in taxpayer money, low enrollment rates, higher premiums; It is clear ObamaCare is not working for Hawaii. ” – RGA Communications Director Gail Gitcho

[youtube]http://youtu.be/6_GOK42s2AsH[/youtube]

Hawaii Health Connector Costs 26 Times The National Average

Hawaii Health Connector, Hawaii’s ObamaCare Exchange, Is The Most Expensive In The Country. “Hawaii’s Obamacare exchange, the Hawaii Health Connector, costs the nation’s taxpayers the most per enrollee, according to a new study by Kaiser Health. Hawaii’s exchange, which has just more than 8,500 people registered, has a tab of about $23,899 per person.” (Malia Zimmerman, “Hawaii’s Obamacare Exchange Most Costly In Nation,” Watchdog.org, 5/15/14)

Hawaii’s Enrollment Cost Is 26 Times The National Average And 2 ½ Times The Cost Of The Second Most Expensive State. “Former U.S. Rep. Charles Djou, D-Hawaii [sic], noted Hawaii’s enrollment cost is 26 times the national average, 2 1/2 times the cost for the second most expensive state . . . and considerably more than the national average of $922 dollars per Obamacare enrollee.” (Malia Zimmerman, “Hawaii’s Obamacare Exchange Most Costly In Nation,”Watchdog.org, 5/15/14)

“According To The Study, Just 8,500 Hawaii Residents Signed Up For The Hawaii Health Connector, While 150,000 People Are Needed To Make The Program Self-Sustainable.”(Malia Zimmerman, “Hawaii’s Obamacare Exchange Most Costly In Nation,” Watchdog.org, 5/15/14)

Read more.