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FLORIDA: Patients who own guns are protected — 11th Curcuit rules in their favor

Anti-gun doctors in in the Sunshine State may be feeling a little queasy after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11thCircuit handed them a third straight loss in their ongoing challenge to a Florida law designed to protect patients from harassing and unwarranted grilling about firearm ownership. Should these symptoms persist, the physicians should note they have a simple and foolproof remedy: simply refrain from using the doctor-patient relationship to advance a non-medical ideological and political agenda.

The plaintiffs in the case, Wollschlaeger v. Gov. of Fla., assert that their First Amendment rights are being violated because the law prohibits them from documenting or inquiring into patients’ firearm ownership or harassing or discriminating against patients who own firearms. The law provides exceptions, however, for situations in which the doctors believe, in good faith, the actions are “necessary” or “relevant to the patient’s medical care or safety, or the safety of others.”

As we detailed earlier this year, the 11th Circuit has already issued two opinions against the plaintiffs. The original opinion characterized the regulated behavior more as conduct – i.e., medical practice – than pure speech. On its own initiative, the court later revisited that determination and revised the earlier opinion with a more detailed analysis of the law’s First Amendment implications. The second opinion held that even to the degree the law regulates speech protected by the First Amendment, the state has sufficient justification to curtail it. The court took into account the nature and context of the speech, the interests advanced by the law, and the law’s limited scope.

Following publication of the second opinion, however, the 11th Circuit asked the parties to submit further written arguments concerning how a recent U.S. Supreme Court case, Reed v. Town of Gilbert, might affect the way the case should be analyzed. In its latest opinion, the 11th Circuit finds that Reed might require a more stringent standard of review on the First Amendment issue than was used in its second opinion, but it goes on to hold that the challenged regulations nevertheless survive that review.

The third opinion also represents a relatively rare example of a regulation surviving “strict scrutiny” analysis in the face of a constitutional challenge. Strict scrutiny requires the state to show that the law furthers a “compelling interest” and that “the Act is narrowly tailored to advance that interest.”

The compelling interest identified by the 11th Circuit is “the State’s interest in regulating the practice of professions for the protection of the public,” and the protection of Second Amendment rights and privacy in particular. “We do not hesitate to conclude,” the court writes, “that states have a compelling interest in protecting the fundamental right to keep and bear arms.”

Regarding the tailoring prong of the analysis, the court dismisses the plaintiffs’ suggestion that they are not actually interfering with Second Amendment rights. “It is of course an interference with Second Amendment rights for a trusted physician to tell his patient – for no medically relevant reason whatsoever – that it is unsafe to own a gun.” The court also explains that the law focuses on subjects that, once entered into a patient’s medical record, could be used to “harass or profile” that individual, an outcome the Florida legislature has determined is contrary to public policy.

The court goes on to note the narrow scope of the law’s actual prohibitions and emphasizes that they are subject to “physicians’ own good-faith judgments about whether such inquiry or record-keeping is medically appropriate in the circumstances of a particular case.” “[W]hat narrower way to advance [the state’s interests in protecting privacy and chilling of Second Amendment rights] could there be,” the court asks rhetorically, “than by requiring physicians to base any inquiry or record-keeping about firearm ownership on a genuine, subjective determination of medical need?”

The court also rejects the plaintiffs’ claim that the law is unconstitutionally vague, deciding its text is “sufficiently clear that a person of common intelligence need not guess as to what it prohibits.” It also reiterates that “so long as a physician is operating in good faith within the boundaries of good medical practice, and is providing only firearm safety advice that is relevant and necessary, he need not fear discipline” under the law. In other words, competent, ethical doctors will not be adversely affected.

Throughout the history of this case, anti-gun doctors and their media collaborators have been committing rhetorical malpractice by misrepresenting the law’s scope, effects, and burdens in the court of public opinion. Fortunately, in the court of law, the 11th Circuit soberly and carefully judged the law for what it is: a means to prevent abuse of the doctor-patient relationship and exploitation of medicine’s prestige to browbeat Florida residents into giving up constitutional rights.

Thus, while the 11th Circuit’s analysis has changed in its various opinions, its message to Florida doctors has been consistent: Physician, control thyself and stick to patient care, and you will have nothing to fear from this law.

Can Cleveland Roberts III be Trusted to Lead the United Teachers of Dade?

RobertsEF

Cleveland Roberts III (left) with Emmanuel Fleurantin (foreground right).

Mr. Cleveland Roberts III has declared his candidacy for the presidency of the United Teachers of Dade as the leader of the Empower U caucus.

Upon contemplating the facts and all available evidence of Adobegate, a fair-minded person may conclude that Cleveland Roberts III is not fit to hold elective office within the United Teachers of Dade given his arguably questionable actions while steward at Miami Norland Senior High School in relation to having fellow steward and whistleblower Trevor Colestock displaced while proven test cheater and non-union member Brenda Muchnick returned to Norland in January 2014 with no outrage or objections from him.

How can one reasonably expect him to lead the United Teachers of Dade when he betrayed his own steward and lied about him in the process; one union member (Emmanuel Fleurantin) was fired while a non-union member (Brenda Muchnick) was given a meaningless 30 day suspension for the same crime; Mr. Colestock was, and still is, displaced for doing what was right; and Mr. Roberts remained completely silent?

If Mr. Roberts could not and would not defend his own members and steward at Miami Norland Senior High School, how can UTD members anywhere else depend on him to represent and/or defend them?

Could it also be that Mr. Roberts lied to the UTD membership at Norland about these events?

Mr. Roberts sent a letter to all the UTD members of Miami Norland SHS titled “Response to Trevor’s Blog” on September 10, 2013. Roberts in his letter wrote, “Due to the enormous amount of attention that this Testing incident has drawn to the school from the OIG, The Miami Herald, WSVN and Watchdogwire.com; and because I am mentioned in the online blog I am compelled to make a statement to you.”

Roberts stated, “I understand my job as a teacher and UTD Building Steward. I am not an agent for the Office of the Inspector General or the Office of the Auditor General. I do not investigate cases against my colleagues, I do not gather evidence against my co- workers, nor do I recommend that they not receive bonuses that are due to them for their hard work.  I am not a “Watchdog”. That is not my job!! I report incidents!”

Interestingly, contrary to evidence (emails sent between Mr. Roberts and Mr. Colestock and Mr. Gant’s Miami-Dade OIG Interview), Mr. Roberts writes, “I do not know the Inspector General nor do I call the Inspector General.  I do not encourage individuals to report to the Inspector General.  I also would not encourage anyone to go to the Inspector General’s office after they had already mailed the documents there before they had spoken to me.  (According to the article on Watchdog Wire).”

A month before Mr. Roberts made these statements to the Norland faculty and staff, Mr. Roberts emailed Mr. Colestock and Miami-Dade OIG Special Agents Lopez and Knigge confirming that he encouraged both Mr. Halligan and Mr. Gant to cooperate with the Miami-Dade OIG and come forward.

When Mr. Colestock replied back to the Norland faculty and staff rebutting Mr. Roberts’ falsehoods and offered his email as proof, Mr. Roberts emailed Mr. Colestock and the Miami-Dade OIG special agents back retracting his statement and calling it “a very serious lack of judgement on my part.”

Does Mr. Roberts consider doing the right thing, reporting test cheating, cooperating with law enforcement for the betterment of the school community and standing by a fellow union steward as a “very serious lack of judgement”?

Moreover, Mr. Gant in his interview with Miami-Dade OIG Special Agents Lopez and Knigge on May 17, 2012, told them that both Mr. Colestock and Mr. Roberts told him and Mr. Halligan to cooperate and come forward to the Miami-Dade OIG.

Caught in his lie by the OIG, Mr. Roberts decided to compound his error further at the faculty meeting later that day.

Confrontation with the facts usually shuts up falsehoods and befuddles one who lies.

As Mr. Colestock quashed the lie as the email attack did not work, Mr. Roberts had little options left at the end of this faculty meeting during the allotted ten minutes for union issues. Instead of having a JFK Profiles in Courage moment, which one would expect from the designated building steward who is also an athletic coach and pastor, in which he would have defended his role in exposing test cheating as required by state law and school board policies, he actually apologized for “letting people down,” as the situation “was not handled in-house and made the news,” and offered to resign from being a union steward.

According to this union leader, teachers are supposed to be quiet and cover it up; School Board Policies, state law, and Code of Ethics be damned!

Should a teacher engage in the cardinal sin of taking contractual and legal issues “outside of the building?” Teachers must lead by example, a good example. Like minded union members, can take the membership and the school out of this scandalous situation to a much better place. No one should be defending bad teachers!

This cheating scandal exposed a complete breakdown of institutional control as the principal and/or other school administrators did not rebut or refute the illegal actions and what was said at the faculty meeting, thereby being complicit in what was said and their actions. Cheating scandals make for a hostile working environment for those who desire compliance with the UTD contract and state laws.

Many faculty members refused to sign the petition seeking Mr. Colestock’s removal as steward for doing what was right. The petition was hand carried by a security monitor assigned to Mr. Roberts on school time. Twenty-nine members who associate with the “Adobegate” philosophy signed the petition. If these UTD members put as much effort into doing their jobs, Norland would be a much better school.

The petition went nowhere and related charges filed with UTD were dismissed.

Shortly afterwards, Mr. Roberts filed an unfounded civil rights complaint against Mr. Colestock which was dismissed shortly thereafter.

For those members running with Mr. Roberts in the Empower U caucus, why would you associate yourself with such a person with such a record and reputation?

As a UTD member and voter, why would you vote for Mr. Roberts after reading this and knowing now what you did not know before you read this article and the evidence?

Knowledge is power. Read, research, and vote wisely.

We report, you decide.

SOURCES:

http://watchdogwire.com/florida/2013/09/02/industry-exam-cheating-at-miami-norland-senior-high-school/

http://watchdogwire.com/florida/2013/09/13/school-librarian-attacked-for-exposing-fraud-in-miami-dade-schools/

http://watchdogwire.com/florida/2013/09/17/cheating-at-miami-norland-high-screw-up-and-cover-up/

http://watchdogwire.com/florida/2013/09/18/the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-in-miami-dade-schools/

http://watchdogwire.com/florida/2013/11/18/civil-rights-complaint-librarian-racially-motivated/

http://watchdogwire.com/florida/2013/11/21/miami-dade-school-board-gives-teacher-cheated-slap-wrist/

https://drrichswier.com/2014/01/20/troubling-jurisprudence-in-miami-dade-a-tale-of-two-teachers/

https://drrichswier.com/2014/07/31/miami-fl-court-upholds-firing-teacher-cheated-accomplice-returned-classroom/

https://drrichswier.com/2015/04/03/florida-and-georgia-a-tale-of-test-cheating-scandals-in-two-states/

https://drrichswier.com/2015/09/09/do-black-lives-matter-in-miami-dade-county-public-schools/

Florida Rep. Ray Pilon files legislation returning power to parents, teachers and school boards

Florida Citizens Alliance (FLCA) has been working on both a comprehensive bill to restore local K-12 education control and a focused curriculum bill to fix the loopholes in SB 864, passed in 2014 as FS 1006.283.

FLCA in a press release states:

We are very pleased to report that Senator Alan Hays and Representative Ray Pilon are championing companion bills to fix FS 1006.283 and its loopholes:  SB 1018 and HB 899.

The purpose/intent of the original SB 864 was to assign constitutional responsibility for all instructional materials to school boards, and require a transparent policy/process for school boards and parents to remove objectionable materials. Due to several loopholes in FS 1006.283, the spirit and intent of the original bill are currently being ignored by many school districts in Florida.

Here is a brief summary of the loopholes that the two companion bills (SB 1018 and HB 899) that are intended to “fix” FS 1006.283.

FLCA in an email states:

Please use the petition at right to send a “shout out” to Senator Hays and Representative Pilon, thanking them for their leadership, and to urge your Florida House Representative and Florida Senator to co-sponsor their respective versions of these bills.  The petition is also copying your local school board, asking them to aggressively support these companion bills.

FLCA is urging Florida parents, students and teachers to call their house representative and senator to ask that they co-sponsor these bills. Here are FLCA talking points you can use in your call.  Use these links to get appropriate phone numbers for the Florida House and Florida Senate. We strongly suggest that you call now (before Christmas) and again in January as the legislative cycle begins.

Passage of these companion bills will require an aggressive and sustained set of actions to garner support. Here is an expanded set of 5 actions that FLCA urges parents, students and teachers to put into practice in support of these companion bills.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA CITIZENS ALLIANCE:

The Florida Citizens’ Alliance (FLCA) is a coalition of citizens and grassroots groups working together through education, outreach and community involvement to advance the ideals and principles of liberty.  We believe these include but are not limited to individual rights, free markets, and limited government.

Florida Sheriff: ‘Be Ready And Be Armed For Active Shooter Incidents’ [Video]

iveySome very wise suggestions from a Law Enforcement Leader who get’s it.  while not stepping into politics steps away from those who march lockstep in the effort to disarm and render defenseless law abiding citizens.

It’s telling to note this man’s honesty and understanding when he refers to himself as an armed citizen.

The Florida Family Association reports in an email titled “CAIR plays roll in President Obama’s lecturing Americans over Islamophobia”:

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) issued a news release hours before President Obama’s December 6, 2015 national address titled “CAIR Asks President Obama to Condemn Islamophobia During Address to Nation on Terror. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, is calling on President Obama to include a condemnation of rising Islamophobia during tonight’s prime-time address to the nation …

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) issued a news release immediately following President Obama December 6, 2015 address titled “CAIR Welcomes President Obama’s Rejection of Islamophobia in Oval Office Address. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), today welcomed President Obama’s rejection of Islamophobia during tonight’s prime-time address to the nation … President Obama repudiated the view that there should be a war on Islam, acknowledged that the vast majority of the victims of terrorism are Muslims and that extremists are a “tiny fraction” of Muslims worldwide …

Islamization and radicalization are two distinct Islamist movements which threaten America. Islamization is the process of infiltrating and changing American public policy to conform to Sharia. Radicalization is the manifestation of the violence advocated by the Quran and perpetuated by Imams. Unfortunately, while radicalization garners the headlines the president and many elected officials, including Republicans, and a multitude of media moguls, including talking heads at Fox News, give Islamization a dangerous pass out of political correctness.

Politically correct public officials and media moguls call Islam a peaceful religion and say that most Muslims are moderate. However, the facts reported in the following surveys contradict such political correct supposition:

  • Eighty one (81%) percent of respondents to Al Jazeera survey say they support ISIS. In a recent survey conducted by AlJazeera.net, the website for the Al Jazeera Arabic channel, respondents overwhelmingly support the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, with 81% voting “YES” on whether they approved of ISIS’s conquests in the region. The poll, which asked in Arabic,“Do you support the organizing victories of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)?” has generated over 38,000 responses thus far, with only 19% of respondents voting “NO” to supporting ISIS.
  • Center for Security Policy “Poll of U.S. Muslims Reveals Ominous Levels Of Support For Islamic Supremacists’ Doctrine of Shariah, Jihad” was released on June 23, 2015.Nearly one-fifth of Muslim respondents said that the use of violence in the United States is justified in order to make shariah the law of this country. According to a new nationwide online survey (Below) of 600 Muslims living in the United States, significant minorities embrace supremacist notions that could pose a threat to America’s security and its constitutional form of government.   The numbers of potential jihadists among the majority of Muslims who appear not to be sympathetic to such notions raise a number of public policy choices that warrant careful consideration and urgent debate, including: the necessity for enhanced surveillance of Muslim communities; refugee resettlement, asylum and other immigration programs that are swelling their numbers and density; and the viability of so-called “countering violent extremism” initiatives that are supposed to stymie radicalization within those communities. Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., is the president of the Center for Security Policy.
  • Study finds that Sharia minded Imams recommended studying violence-positive texts in 84.5% of United States mosques. The study was conducted by Dr. Mordechai Kedar and David Yerushalmi, Esq. who are highly regarded experts on Sharia. David Yerushalmi, Esq. who runs the American Freedom Law Center with Robert J. Muise, Esq. is called The Man Behind the Anti-Shariah Movement … by the New York Times. Dr. Mordechai Kedar of Bar-Ilan University is an academic expert on the Israeli Arab population. Survey abstract: A random survey of 100 representative mosques in the U.S. was conducted to measure the correlation between Sharia adherence and dogma calling for violence against non-believers. Of the 100 mosques surveyed, 51% had texts on site rated as severely advocating violence; 30% had texts rated as moderately advocating violence; and 19% had no violent texts at all. Mosques that presented as Sharia adherent were more likely to feature violence-positive texts on site than were their non-Sharia-adherent counterparts. In 84.5% of the mosques, the imam recommended studying violence-positive texts. The leadership at Sharia-adherent mosques was more likely to recommend that a worshipper study violence-positive texts than leadership at non-Sharia-adherent mosques. Fifty-eight percent of the mosques invited imams known to promote violent jihad. The leadership of mosques that featured violence-positive literature was more likely to invite imams who were known to promote violent jihad than was the leadership of mosques that did not feature violence-positive literature on mosque premises.

During President Obama’s December 6, 2015 national address he irresponsibly scolded American’s who dare be afraid (ie Islamophobic) of Muslims who want to eliminate them simply because they are infidels. Obama’s scolding of rational American’s concern over Radicalization and Islamization reinforce political correctness which is dangerous to the public safety of all Americans. A neighbor of the two Islamists in San Bernardino witnessed them receiving suspicious packages which turned out to be used in their Jihad on innocent American citizens. The neighbor did not report the suspicious behavior out of fear of being labeled an Islamophobe. President Obama’s irresponsible address gave greater weight to erring not to be an Islamophobe over the public safety of Americans.

Multi-billionaire v. Multi-billionaire: Who will win?

Mike Fernandez is the multi billionaire founder of MBF Healthcare Partners, which is a private equity firm in Florida.

He lives in my home state and perhaps for good reason not just because he came here as a Cuban immigrant. It is a state on a track for an economic boom in housing and job growth.

Florida is flourishing and thriving and also recovering from the Obama – Charlie Crist era of brimstone and hail currently still being launched from the Mosque in Washington D.C., 5 times a day.

Thanks to Governor Rick Scott’s business sense and capitalist ideology businesses are flooding to the sunshine state with their capitalist cash flow. He, like Donald Trump are capitalists who surround themselves with very smart people who get things done and create jobs.

Mike Fernandez came to Florida after immigrating from Cuba in 1964 at the age of 12. He owns the 4,000 acre Little River Plantation and 25,000 acres of property in Alabama.

His charity work includes a family foundation that has given away tens of millions of dollars. He is a good man when it comes to philanthropy.

His political mindset on the other hand is way off in left field. Perhaps deep down inside he is a left-winger and stays in the closet.

He calls himself a conservative yet he backs Obama’s unconstitutional opening of diplomatic relations with Communist Cuba (Still not approved by the U.S. Congress) while his fellow Cubans still rot in jails for their beliefs not so much for their crimes.

Mr. Hernandez is so upset at the Republican majority who are behind Mr. Trump and not his man- cub Jeb Bush he is almost on his last wits end.

Remember Jeb is the guy trying to federalize our schools across the nation in step with Obama’s Common Core UN ideology.

Mr. Hernandez was also an early supporter of Mitt Romney. Mitt is the guy that laid the ground work for Obama care in Massachusetts. Follow the money. Mr. Hernandez is a health care magnate!

Mr. Hernandez is now running front page ads against Mr. Trump. Its a billionaire verses a billionaire. A match up in the political ring.

Mr. Trump just shrugs his shoulders and looks at his lead in the polls. He is not going to waste money paying for ads in newspapers to feed the Obama stenographers in the liberal media.

Who will win? I say Mr. Trump will win.

Mr. Hernandez compares Mr. Trump to Hitler and Mussolini and other nefarious characters in our history but excludes Fidel Castro from the line up. That my friends is unusual.

Castro is an enemy of freedom and perhaps Mr. Hernandez still has an affiliation with his cause. Just my opinion.

Why he even stated if given a choice we would vote for Hillary Clinton over Mr. Trump. Hillary.

Hillary got an ambassador, 2 Navy SEALs and an aid killed then his boy Jeb presented Hillary a Freedom Medal on the eve of that event. A slap in the face to freedom.

Perhaps Hilary was trying to cover up Obama’s gun running operation from Libya to his Islamic State army in Syria.

I am assuming Hillary can still operate as a president from a federal prison after she is jailed for using an insecure server to handle and transmit Top Secret information regarding the National Security of this nation.

Maybe she will just get away with a heavy fine and lose her security clearance. How does one perform one’s duties as the Commander-in-Chief without a security clearance?

If Mr. Hernandez is now behind Hillary because his boy is 30 points behind Mr. Trump perhaps he should send her some of his capital. Perhaps a pay pal transmission through her foundation. Mix it in with some of that Saudi money.

Mr. Fernandez may have the cash but Mr. Fernandez is too thin skinned for politics and should continue to stick to his philanthropic work which we salute. Great job.

He could not even handle a little jiving from some of Rick Scott’s superstars so he departed ways from Governor Scotts massive success bringing I am assuming his ball with him.

Mr. Trump cannot be bought, he cannot be influenced by corporate money, nobody owns him and he will be elected the next President of the United States. He will make America great again.

I wish Mr. Hernandez well and look forward to seeing his face when Mr. Trump gets sworn in on January 20th 2017.

Florida Senator Geraldine Thompson (D-Dist. 12) is a Term Limits Hero

On Nov. 17, the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee took up the Term Limits Convention bill (SM630). This is the bill that calls for a national amendment convention under Article V of the U.S. Constitution in order to enact Congressional term limits.

It started out fine but quickly went awry as the vice chair of the committee, Republican John Legg, suggested that the term limits convention may be part of a conspiracy to overthrow the constitution. He was followed by Sen. Jeff Clemens, a South Florida Democrat who has never shown any love for the second amendment, who asked if perhaps our right to bear arms could be threatened by consideration of Congressional term limits. What?

How the hearing took this this sour and darkly comical turn is unclear, but what is certain was that some senators wanted to talk about anything else that afternoon except for term limits. Perhaps the bipartisan popularity of the successful political reform makes it impossible for would-be professional politicians to tackle it in a straightforward manner. They have to obfuscate, confuse, baffle and confound to somehow malign a very simple issue that voters both understand and have long and positive experience with.

Just to be clear: A “convention to propose amendments” under Article V has no power whatever to make or change laws. According to Article V, it “shall” be convened upon the official calls of 2/3 (or 34) of the states. At the convention, delegates chosen and sent by the states can craft and suggest an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That’s it. To become law, three quarters (38) of the states have to ratify the amendment.

Sen. Joe Negron was about to suggest a tabling of the issue for a saner day, when Sen, Geraldine Thompson announced she intended to support the bill and wanted a vote. She got it, and SM630 passed its first Senate committee 5-4.

That Sen. Thompson, a Democrat, would save the day should not be surprising. Polling (Gallup 2013) shows that some 75% of Americans support Congressional term limits, including 65% of Democrats and 79% of independents.

Most special interests are not ideological but instead purely self-interested, representing corporations, professional organizations and unions that seek special favors and benefits from lawmakers and are willing to pay for them one way or another. Protecting individual Americans from corporate exploitation is a central message of Democratic campaign rhetoric. Term limits regularly sever the cozy relationships between special interest lobbyists and decision-makers and greatly reduce their influence.

There is also a self-interested — and completely legitimate — component of Florida Democratic support for term limits that is, currently, unique to the party. Florida (like some other Southern states) was once solidly blue and started to turn Republican long before that change was reflected in the legislature, as the power of incumbency prevented rotation in office and blocked the changes in the voters views to be expressed. The enactment of term limits speeded up the transition because it improved representation of the people through open seats, competitive elections and the introduction of new people and ideas.

Now that the Republicans are in a solid majority in Tallahassee, nearly every session a GOP bill to lengthen and weaken term limits is introduced in order to thwart electoral competition and protect their position. But when and if the pendulum swings back to the blue among the electorate, it will be the fluidity that comes with term limits that will ensure the voters’ will is reflected in a timely manner — not a generation later.

With her timely vote for term limits, Sen. Thompson struck a blow for the voters, her country and her party.

RELATED ARTICLE: Libertarian Party of Florida urging passage of Term Limits Convention bills

Florida: Term Limits Convention approaches next committee hurdle

Fresh from a 5-4 victory last week before the Florida Senate Ethics and Elections Committee and gaining several important endorsements, the Term Limits Convention bill (SM630) is headed to the Senate Rules Committee for a hearing and vote on Thursday, Dec. 3rd.

If it gets an OK from this committee, the next step is a vote on the floor of the Florida Senate! Hence, next week’s vote is critical.

Two of the pro-Congressional term limits votes from last week’s committee are on the Senate Rules Committee, Sens. Joe Negron and Garrett Richter. There are 9 Republicans and 4 Democrats on the committee.

While certainly no guarantee, this partisan breakdown bodes well for the bill as two important county Republican parties, Palm Beach and Osceola, recently passed resolutions endorsing the Term Limits Convention. The Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida officially endorsed the bills as well.

The Term Limits Convention bills (SM630 in the Florida Senate and HM417 in the House) are official applications for an amendment convention under Article V of the U.S. Constitution explicitly limited to Congressional term limits. If two-thirds of the states (34) call for such a convention, Article V states that Congress ‘shall’ convene it. There, delegates from all the states will craft a Congressional term limits amendment proposal that would be submitted to the states for ratification. If three-quarters (38) of the states do so, Congressional term limits will be added to the U.S. Constitution.

Click on each Senator’s name below to send them an email expressing your support for Congressional term limits and urging them to support SM630. Look for the Email This Senator radio button in the left-hand column.

The Florida Senate Rules Committee

Senator David Simmons (R), Chair  Winter Park
Sen. Darren Soto (D), Vice Chair  Kissimmee
Sen. Lizbeth Benaquisto (R)  Fort Myers
Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla (R)   Miami
Sen. Don Gaetz (R)   Destin
Sen. Bill Galvano (R)  Bradenton
Sen. Audrey Gibson (D)   Jacksonville
Sen. Arthenia L. Joyner (D)   Tampa
Sen. Jack Latvala (R)   Clearwater
Sen. Tom Lee (R)   Brandon
Sen. Bill Montford (D)   Montford
Sen. Joe Negron (R)   Palm City
Sen. Garrett Richter (R)   Naples

Florida: The Truth about Open Carry — Erroneous Claims Exposed

Many folks remember that during the fight to pass Florida’s Concealed Carry law, the Florida Sheriffs Association opposed concealed carry.  They literally said they didn’t like “hidden guns.”

At the time, open carry was legal in Florida and had been for decades.  They said if people were going to be allowed to carry guns, they needed to carry them openly so law enforcement officers could see them and know who had guns — they claimed it was a matter of officer safety.

Now, they have reversed positions.  They claim concealed carry is fine and they don’t mind concealed guns.  BUT, open carry is dangerous. They claim they won’t know the good guys from the bad guys, and one sheriff (now retired) said law enforcement would have to “draw down” and anybody carrying openly.  You’ve probably heard or read most of the rhetoric.

They always lead off saying they are strong Second Amendment supporters then proceed to explain why they OPPOSE Second Amendment rights.

The Constitution guarantees your right to keep and bear arms and it certainly doesn’t say you can only exercise your rights if your sheriff agrees with it.

Below are the facts about open carry — it is a rebuttal of some the latest claims.  You may also click here The Truth About Open Carry to download a copy for the fact sheet to share with others.

The Truth About The Open Carry Bill & the 45 States that Allow Open Carry

In recent Palm Beach Post Blog articles and a Tampa Bay Times Blog article, the Chairman of the Florida Sheriffs Association’s Legislative Committee (FSA) is quoted with some erroneous claims regarding the proposed open carry bill in Florida (SB-300 by Sen. Don Gaetz and HB-163 by Rep. Matt Gaetz).

In recent Palm Beach Post Blog articles and a Tampa Bay Times Blog article, the Chairman of the Florida Sheriffs Association’s Legislative Committee (FSA) is quoted with some erroneous claims regarding the proposed open carry bill in Florida (SB-300 by Sen. Don Gaetz and HB-163 by Rep. Matt Gaetz).

Below are some of those claims and our responses.

FSA CLAIM: “The bill as currently drafted is extremely broad, lacking limits on when, how or where firearms could be carried.”

FACT: The same provisions and restrictions that apply to concealed carry also apply to open carry (s.790.06).  Only a person with a license to carry concealed will be able to carry openly. Additionally, the improper exhibition of firearms law (s.790.10) applies whether carrying concealed or openly.

Further, because of these and other erroneous claims, a clarification amendment, to stop open carry opponents from continuing to make such false claims, was added to the bill in Senate Criminal Justice Committee the morning of 10/20/15 – We know the spokesman made that claim even AFTER the clarification amendment was added because the spokesman made reference to an amendment “that didn’t pass” in the same committee meeting.

Since the FSA spokesman obviously doesn’t want to believe the NRA’s data, the following data was provided by Florida Carry, Inc. – and their data confirms ours.

FSA CLAIM: “The bill’s proponents claim that 45 other states already allow open-carry. But that’s not really accurate.”

FACT:  To the contrary, it is accurate.   Forty-five (45) states allow open carry of firearms.  Varying restrictions on open carry in some states does not alter the fact that 45 states allow open carry.

  • 15 of 45 open carry states require a license to carry concealed or openly.
  • 30 of 45 open carry states do not require any license to carry openly.
  • 0 of 15 of the concealed carry license states require additional training to carry openly.
  • 0 of 45 states offer a separate “open carry” license.
  • 2 of 45 states require an open carry holster.  On 1/1/16 Texas will require a holster.
  • 0 of 45 states require a retention holster.
  • 5 of 15 are “may-issue” states where law enforcement issues licenses.
  • 15 of 15 states require the license holder to produce the license on lawful demand by a law enforcement officer.

FSA CLAIM: “… most open-carry states have strict rules about … producing the permit on demand.”

FACT: This is a red herring.  FLORIDA law already requires license holders to produce a license on demand by a law enforcement officer.  And for the record, all 15 states that require a license, require producing the license on lawful demand by a law enforcement officer.

FSA CLAIM:  “…[I]t’s ‘intellectually dishonest’ to say open carry laws are working in the 45 other states because there are so many variations in the laws and the demographics.

FACT: The open carry laws are working in 45 states. Opponents have presented no evidence to the contrary – no evidence that it isn’t working in any state and no evidence of problems in any state. These are just baseless allegations.  Simply because different states have variations in their laws does not in any way alter the fact that open carry is allowed and that it’s working.

FSA CLAIM:  “In Pennsylvania, for example, cities can opt out of its open carry law and some, including Philadelphia, do just that, Gualtieri said. Florida cities don’t have the option to opt out of a state law.”

FACT:  Pennsylvania DOES NOT allow cities to opt out of its open carry law. Pennsylvania does not require a license for a person to carry openly.  Philadelphia cannot “opt out” of the state open carry law.  Pennsylvania state law allows the city of Philadelphia (and only Philadelphia) to require a license to carry openly in Philadelphia.

FSA CLAIM:  As for demographics, “You can’t compare Sioux Falls, S.D. to downtown Miami or downtown Tampa or downtown Orlando,” Gualtieri said.

FACT: This argument is illogical and perhaps intentionally misleading. Seventy percent (70%) of the American public live in open carry states from all regions of the country.  Many of the 45 open carry states have large and diverse cities just like Florida and where you live geographically, whether it’s Trilby, FL or Fanning Springs, FL, you have the same constitutional rights as citizens who live in Miami, Tampa, or Orlando.

FSA CLAIM: “…the state’s trespass law gives businesses the right to ask anyone openly carrying a weapon to leave their property,” but they … “will be reluctant to tell a person wearing a .45 to leave.”

FACT: Posting signs prohibiting open carry inside a business establishment is a simple solution.  Proper notification will stop citizens from even entering the establishment.  Property owners already must post trespass signs to notify the public to stay off private property.

Businesses have the right to refuse service and evict anyone they wish unless it’s done on the basis of race, gender, or religion.  Further, it is common to see signs that say, “No shirt, no shoes – no service.”  Why are they reluctant to post signs saying, “No open carrying of firearms?”

FSA CLAIM: “..if you are McDonald’s you won’t be able to exclude somebody from putting their gun on the table and sitting there and eating.”

FACT: Again, any business may evict a customer for behavior they deem to be offensive, dangerous or inappropriate.   Further it is a criminal offense under s.790.10 to exhibit a firearm in a rude or careless manner.

Florida: Pensacola Yacht Club Embraces former Cuban Communist Naval Officer

This week the Communist sympathizers from the Pensacola Yacht Club set sail from Pensacola, Florida (imagine that) to meet up with Commodore Jose M. Diaz Escrich, a former member of Fidel Castro’s Communist Navy and  leader in his Communist Maritime forces.

The Pensacola News Journal on writing about this wonderful send off did not include the former Communist Navy Captains last name, but that’s okay nobody hides from the Senior Chief……I found it.

Escrich, one of Fidel Castro’ s closest military friends, was born on December 21, 1946 in the port city of Santiago de Cuba.  He entered into the formerly free Naval Academy of Cuba when he was 16 and worked for more than 25 years in the Communist Cuban Navy.

His duties included tracking down and arresting people trying to flee to Key West, Miami and other Florida cities to free themselves from the chains and bondage of Communism.

When the sailors from the Pensacola Yacht Club Show up in Havana Cuba the Castro – Communist Cuban Ministry of Tourism, will be on hand to recognize the participants’ efforts with gifts of flowers flown in from North Korea.

As of October  31st 2015 the number of political prisoners held in Cuba without due process or trial has climbed to 114, the opposition Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN) noted.

I wish the Pensacola Yacht Club leadership much success with their mission to bring American dollars to the Communist Island to aid and assist in the continued efforts of Fidel and Raul Castro to oppress their people.

If you would like to contact the Cuban Ministry of Tourism and ask about all the tourists that have disappeared over the years the contact information is listed below. I called them up and they got irritated when I asked if I could speak to Fidel.

I am now on the Cuban Communist Party leadership most wanted list of not welcome with a potential shot at becoming a political prisoner for free speech.

Happy Trails…… The Pensacola Yacht Club is not too happy with me either but they can kiss my free, red blooded, American, flag waving, hamburger eating, apple pie filled you know what.

For those readers wishing to contact the Cuban Ministry you may do so using these links;

National Tourism Organization HAVANACUBA

Plaza de la Revolucion Calle 3ra. N? 6 entre G y F. El vedado HAVANA,CUBA

Tel.: 0053 7 8327535, 8345283, 8365269

UPDATE: Who sponsored the Pensacola Yacht Club sail boat race to Communist Cuba?

The Pensacola Yacht Club have almost concluded their sail boat race to the port of Havana in the Communist controlled island of Cuba.

The trophies will be presented to the winner’s of this race by Commodore José Miguel Díaz Escrich of the Communist Cuban Navy (retired) .

Commodore Escrich worked his way up through the ranks to Commander in Castro’s Communist Navy working with anti-submarine ships and maritime legal issues…. rounding up dissidents trying to flee Cuba to freedom.

The Commodore then returned to the classroom in Cuba, first as a professor at the Communist Naval academy, then as a master’s degree student-candidate at the highest level in the naval academy of the former Soviet Union. How sweet is that ?

Returning to Cuba after four years, he worked in Naval Base Operations on the General Staff, focusing on international maritime and legal issues otherwise known as “Arresting and hunting down Cubans trying to flee the country”.

After 25 years in the Communist Cuban Navy, Commander Escrich then created the Club Náutico Internacional Hemingway de Cuba (Hemingway International Yacht Club of Cuba)

The Pensacola Yacht Clubs latest port of call.

Fidel Castro and Ernest Hemingway met and fished together in a 1960 Hemingway game fishing tournament, celebrated at the Barlovento Tourist Residence, later named Marina Hemingway. Thus the name of the Marina.

This is also where the American – Communist and author Hemingway presented the Communist Cuban dictator with several trophies. Three photographs of Ernest Hemingway hang in the yacht club’s office today, including one of Hemingway and his boat, Pilar, dated 27 May 1950.

Perhaps the Pensacola Yacht Club sailors will get a tour and pose for pictures also with the new crowd of Communists running the marina.

So the Pensacola Yacht Club have sanctioned, embraced and met with a former member of Castro’s Communist maritime forces whose job it was to capture and arrest fellow Cubans fleeing to safety in Florida. They are soon meeting this Communist to receive trophies and break bread with people that have to date arrested and imprisoned 114 political prisoners for wanting only to be free.

To ensure this event was a success (excluding the bad storm that blew in the following start of the sail boat race) the following companies are listed as sponsors to the Pensacola Yacht Club’s sail boat race to Communist Cuba:

  1. Frontier Motors Pensacola
  2. Technology Associates
  3. Zern Rigging Pensacola
  4. Schurr Sails Pensacola
  5. Weather Routing Inc.

There are currently 114 political prisoners held in Cuban prisons for speaking out against oppression and servitude. Some of which are in jail because of the Cuban naval forces led by Commodore Escrish the new friend of the Pensacola Yacht Club and its leadership.

Perhaps the companies I listed above would now like to offer sponsorship to the political prisoners held in Castro’s gulags next time around and now disassociate itself from the Pensacola Yacht Club, a team that affords hospitality and salutations to a member of Fidel Castro’s Communist Naval forces to satisfy what ? Who knows the answer to that…perhaps they can figure it out.

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

Donald Trump and Ben Carson Top the GOP field, Jeb Bush trails nationally and in Florida

SAINT LEO, FL /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Retired pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson has basically tied with billionaire businessman Donald Trump as the leading presidential candidate among likely Republican voters surveyed nationally by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute.

Meanwhile on the Democratic side, likely voters nationally again put Hillary Clinton in the lead.

Carson Makes Impressive Show in Crowded National Field
Among likely Republican voters nationwide, those polled said their favored candidate was: Donald Trump (22.7 percent); retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson (22.2 percent); U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, (11.1 percent); former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (8.4 percent); former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (5.8 percent); and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas (4.0 percent).

“We’re starting to see some ‘Trump fatigue’ setting in,” said Frank Orlando, instructor of political science atSaint Leo University. “Donald Trump thrives on the media attention. With the lull between debates and his upcoming ‘Saturday Night Live’ appearance (November 7), the soft-spoken, ‘anti-Trump’ candidate Ben Carson, has emerged as a viable candidate,” said Orlando.

Interestingly, Orlando noted, when support for Carson, Trump, and Fiorina are combined, 51 percent of the national likely Republicans voters support non-politicians. Orlando interpreted the collective sentiment as a signal that: “These voters would rather have people with no specific plans than people who they are afraid would let them down.”

Democratic Politics Continue to Favor Clinton
Among the likely Democratic voters nationwide, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton drew 54.8 percent of the respondents’ support. Since Vice President Joe Biden announced on October 21 that he will not run for president, the 15.8 percent of Democratic likely voters who favored him will likely become Clinton supporters, Orlando said. U.S. Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders was selected by 12 percent of the likely Democratic voters.

“Hillary’s still the horse in the Democratic race, and I think that [Vice President] Biden’s support will now gravitate to her,” stated Saint Leo’s Orlando. “It (Biden’s support) won’t jump to Bernie Sanders as he’s more of an anti-establishment candidate. At the same time, Sanders needs to be more aggressive in his attack on Clinton and increase his rhetoric.”

Florida Results Surprising

Among Florida likely Republican voters, Donald Trump is first (25.8 percent). Trump was followed in Florida by Senator Rubio (21.5 percent); then former Governor Jeb Bush (15.3 percent); and then Carson (14.7 percent). The margin of error was 7 percentage points, based on a sample of 163 respondents.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton has a substantial lead (50.9 percent). Senator Sanders pulled 13.3 percent. (Vice President Biden had 15.2 percent.) The margin of error for this question was plus or minus 7 percentage points, based on a sample of 165 likely Democratic voters in the state.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of the Associated Press.

Florida: Targeting Elder Guardianship Abuse [Video]

I had the opportunity to be interviewed by ABC’s I Team on guardianship abuse in Florida. Please take a few moments to learn about a hidden war against our senior citizens in the Sunshine state:

Florida Minority Leader supports parents who opt-out of standardized tests

Representative Mark Pafford (D – FL District 86), Minority Leader in the Florida House, stated this week that he supports parents who tell their children to opt-out of standardized assessment testing.

Florida Parents Against Common Core (FPACC) states, “Mr. Pafford wisely recognizes the overuse of assessments and testing in the State of Florida. Such overuse has indeed created a toxic environment between education stakeholders – students, parents, principals, superintendents, school board members, and residents. The trust and  confidence necessary for mutual cooperation, in search of moving the conversation forward regarding best processes and practices for curriculum and standards, is missing.”

For parents, testing and assessments, particularly the non-validated and improperly implemented Florida Standards Assessment, institute an environment of punishment versus an environment nurturing learning. For teachers, unreasonable and out-of-balance accountability measures, focused almost exclusively on student assessment scores, encourage an already acknowledged faulty methodology of  “teaching to the test”.

On September 25, 62 out of 67 Florida county education superintendents agreed with the Florida Association of District School Superintendents’ statement stating that the superintendents had “lost confidence” in the current accountability system for students and schools, which were largely based on the controversial Florida Standards Assessment. In a decision of concern for  students and teachers, the superintendents asked for suspension of the accountability system and a review.

Luz González, FPACC State Coordinator says, “While Florida Parents Against Common Core applauds the unity and aggressiveness of the  superintendents on the issue of easing the unreasonable burden on the adults in the “education room”, i.e. the teachers and administrators, we are vastly disappointed in the lack of similar concern for the well-being of the students in the same classroom.  We ask that they follow Representative Pafford’s lead by placing children, entrusted into their care, as their top priority.

After several years of parents attending school board meetings complaining about standards, curriculum, textbooks, and testing, after numerous hearings on parental and teacher concerns across the state and in Tallahassee, after a contentious Governor’s race where Common Core Standards were a critical divide in the voting population, the Florida Department of Education and its Commissioner Pam Stewart have provided unacceptable mediocre solutions to the ongoing crisis in education, both in standards and assessments. It has been band-aid after band-aid of ineffective management on education reform intentionally ignoring the many voices of those most concerned and closest to the student – the parent.”

Thus, importantly, Florida Parents Against Common Core parents are committed to alleviating the source, the root, the insidious virus of the massively abusive accountability structure – Common Core Standards.  Federal coercion combined with state legislature collusion have destroyed meaningful and necessary local control by developing a structural system where co-dependency of mandates, data, funding, waivers, standards, curriculum, and assessments are currently inexplicably & irrevocably tied between local and federal governments.  At this time, FPACC will contact all presidential candidates before the 2016 Florida Primary for their pledge, should they become President, to on their first day stop the federal implementation of Common Core Standards.

Education is most often the best tool for creating opportunity, prosperity, and happiness.  Let’s    treat each child like an individual, not with a cookie-cutter one-size-fits-all approach to learning. Let’s listen to each child’s learning needs, not increase grossly invasive stressors by forcing  inappropriate developmental education requirements. Let’s encourage proven and successful education tools in cooperation with promoting creativity and innovation, recognizing the   constantly evolving information highway technology world of today and tomorrow – all the while knowing that an individual student’s inherent aptitudes and skills should have preemptive value in the classroom.

Every child should have an individualized education plan.  Not a common one.

ABOUT FLORIDA PARENTS AGAINST COMMON CORE

Florida Parents Against Common Core was started by four mothers and grew into the State of Florida’s largest grassroots parent organization in opposition to the continued implementation of Common Core Standards. Laura Zorc, the organization’s former State and National Director from January 2013 to June 2015 is  currently serving on Governor Scott’s 11 member Keep Florida Learning State Committee.

Since October 1st, over 50 Muslim Syrians arrived in U.S. — Kentucky ‘welcomed’ the most

As we know, the Obama Administration is aiming to resettle 10,000 Syrians this year.  The resettlement contractors, including the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, are pushing for 100,000 (by the way, this post on the Bishops and 100,000 took off on social media in the last few days).

From the U.S. State Department’s Refugee Processing Center for October 1-October 15 (hat tip: Diane).

KY 12 Syrians

As we previously reported, 97% of the Syrians resettled to the U.S. in FY 2015 are Muslims.  Make no mistake, this is not about saving the persecuted Christians or Yazidis.

Related:  Have a look at this AP article about Syrians going to Michigan where the Republican governor is welcoming them (and wants many more).  It was only posted yesterday and has 2,786 comments already (as of this writing) with the vast majority opposed to what Governor Snyder is doing.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Uruguay: Syrian refugees have (already) worn out their welcome

Sweden: so much for socialism as capitalists use the system in refugee crisis to rake in the bucks

Big pow-wow of the refugee pushers and the no-borders gang coming up in December

Nashville World Relief office to give tour of local mosque/Islamic center

Florida Federation of Republican Women Elect New Statewide Leaders

ORLANDO, FL — The Florida Federation of Republican Women elected their 2016-2017 officers and statewide leaders at the FFRW 65th Anniversary and Biennial Convention in Orlando on October 10, 2015.

The common trait among the new statewide leaders is proven GOP activism.

GOP award-winning leader Dena DeCamp of Polk County was elected FFRW President. She is well known and recognized at the state and national level for her campaign leadership. DeCamp has served in FFRW leadership since 2009 as an award-winning local club president, District Manager, and as the Vice Chair of the Polk County Republican Party.

“Women are the majority of the vote here in Florida and nationwide. Fresh off of our 2014 sweeping victories, our Florida women are determined to once again lead the charge for the GOP in the 4th largest state in America. The FFRW is largest statewide political organization for women the members have elected a stellar team to lead our battleground team,” said Dena DeCamp.

Deborah Tamargo, REC Chairman of Hillsboro County, was elected as First VP; Jean Wingo of Walton County was elected as Second VP; Kim Carroll of Seminole County was elected as 3rd VP; Meg Merritt of Pasco County will serve as Secretary; and Suzie Loving of Duval County as Treasurer.

Elected Members at Large are Doris Cortese of Lee County, Patti Febro of Brevard County, and Kate Boland of Martin County. Rounding our the leadership team as FFRW District Executive is Beth Young of Brevard County.

District Representatives include Libby Hill, Okaloosa County; Dotty McPherson, Leon County; Laureen Pagel, Nassau County; Barbara Qualls, Sumter County; Mary Jane Anderson, Volusia County; Jennifer Wagner, Seminole County; Emma Runion, Hillsborough County; Carmen Salomee, Lee County; and Celeste Eliche, Broward County.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA FEDERATION OF REPUBLICAN WOMEN

The Florida Federation of Republican Women is celebrating 65 years of activism and is the largest women’s political organization in the state. Visit their website at: www.ffrw.net