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Anarchist Meets Governor at Starbucks, Demands Medicaid

GAINESVILLE, FL – Poverty-stricken anarchist Cara Jennings received a healthy dose of government oppression yesterday when wealthy Florida Governor Rick Scott strode into the Starbucks she was patronizing and began yelling at her about jobs.

Video footage [below] of the incident shows a wild and frantic Scott standing over Jennings and screaming about the “million jobs” he helped create since being elected in 2011. As beggared victim Jennings calmly tried to explain that the Governor “cut Medicaid so [she] couldn’t get Obamacare,” Scott unleashed a barrage of profanities.

The video goes on to show the governor rummaging through Jennings’ purse searching for birth control pills to steal, while Jennings helplessly points out that Scott “stripped women of access to public health care,” referencing the bill he signed days ago defunding Planned Parenthood. Her noble plea for sanity was met with flying spittle and sexist conservative talking points as the governor, who is wealthy because Jennings is penniless, threw Jennings’ Starbucks latte to the floor.

Jennings chose to leave the café rather than face continued abuse from Scott. She later posted on her Facebook page “This is why I’m an anarchist. Government needs to just give everyone medical care and abortions, and some other things I’ve had my eye on, and leave us alone.”

EDITORS NOTE: This political satire by Kilroy originally appeared on The Peoples Cube.

Are Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton now co-chairs of the #DumpTrump campaign?

On Tuesday, March 15th, Donald Trump won Florida, Missouri, Illinois and North Carolina. He lost to Governor Kasich in Ohio. Ted Cruz won no states outright.

florda primary votes by countyNo candidate for the GOP presidential nomination has ever failed to win the sunshine state. The same holds true in the general election.

The GOP must win Florida early in order to put a Republican in the White House on November 8th.

Click here for the 2016 Delegate Count & Primary Results

I received an email titled “One-on-one race” from the Ted Cruz campaign stating:

Tonight, there is no ambiguity.

I’m the only candidate that has defeated Trump outside my home state, that can unify all conservatives, and who has a pathway to win the delegates necessary to earn the nomination.

It appears that Ted Cruz has, along with Hillary Clinton, joined with those behind the #DumpTrump campaign. Among those groups that have made it their mission to dump Trump are Moveon.org, Black Lives Matter, La Raza, George Soros, the Republican establishment, the main stream media and the elite politicians inside the Washington D.C. beltway.

But can they dump Trump?

Neil Munro, from Breitbart in his column Three-Quarters of GOP Voters Back Donald Trump Nomination, if He Gets Most Delegates”  writes:

Three out of four Republicans believe the party establishment should support Donald Trump if he gets the nomination, whose voter support also has broken through the 50 percent mark, up from 44 percent in late February, according to a new poll from YouGov.

Only 13 percent of the party supporters — or just one in eight voters — say the establishment should oppose Trump if he is nominated, says the March 10 to 12 survey.

“If Trump should win … Republican voters, including those supporting other candidates, want the establishment to support him,” YouGov reported.

I have written in my column “Donald Trump is a ‘Christian Nationalist'”:

Donald Trump went from running a campaign, to heading a movement and is now leading an insurgency. Until today I could not define what was driving this insurgency. I may now have the answer.

Karl Marx wrote: “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people“.

Donald Trump is viewed by his followers as the heart of a heartless world, the soul fighting a soulless government and he understands that it is morals that drives him and the American dream. It is religion that is inextricably linked to politics in America. It is something citizens have not seen since the American Revolution.

Senator Ted Cruz does not have the momentum of Donald Trump. If Senator Cruz’s goal is to have just enough delegates to force a brokered convention then he may do more harm to the Republican Party, than good.

Hillary Clinton, the Democrat establishment candidate, has effectively stopped the Bernie insurgency. Should Senator Cruz continue to try to stop the growing Trump insurgency? By doing so will he alienate those who have voted in large numbers for Trump and cause the GOP to split?

It appears the GOP establishment, Hillary Clinton and Senator Cruz want a Republican house divided. Is that a winning political strategy for Republicans November? It certainly is for Democrats.

Time will tell if Donald Trump achieves the needed delegates to win the nomination outright. He is over half way there. As some have said, nothing can seem to stop the Trump Train.

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Donald Trump Super Tuesday Press Conference After Winning FL, IL, NC (3-15-16)

Curly Haugland, an unbound GOP delegate from North Dakota, on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” questioned why primaries and caucuses are even held. Haugland states, “We choose the nominee, not the voters“:

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The ‘Compassionate’ Bullying of the Left

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump © Mike Stone / Reuters.

Florida Governor Rick Scott Takes Action to Expedite Concealed Weapons Licenses for Military

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA — Alarmed by a shooting rampage in Tennessee that killed four Marines and a sailor, Gov. Rick Scott on Saturday issued an executive order designed to increase protections for members of the Florida National Guard.

Scott directed Adjutant Gen. Michael Calhoun to temporarily move National Guard members from six “storefront” recruitment centers to armories. Also, he ordered Calhoun to work with local law-enforcement agencies to arrange regular security checks of armories and said the state will expedite processing of new concealed-weapons licenses for members of the National Guard.

“We’re going to do everything we can to make sure that all of our National Guard members are safe,” Scott, who was scheduled to hold a late-afternoon news conference in West Palm Beach, said during a CNN interview.

The executive order said Guard members will be moved from the recruitment centers to armories until Calhoun “can fully evaluate and make recommendations for improving the security” of the centers. It said possible improvements could include installing bulletproof glass and enhancing video-surveillance equipment.

The move to expedite new concealed-weapons licenses would apply to Guard members who do not have such permits. Scott said during the CNN interview that the move is designed for “personal protection when they are not on duty.”

Scott issued the executive order two days after 24-year-old Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez opened fire at a military-recruiting center and a Navy Reserve facility in Chattanooga, Tenn. Abdulazeez, whose name has been spelled in different ways by news organizations, killed four Marines, and a Navy petty officer died early Saturday of wounds, according to the Washington Post.

The shooting spree has spurred investigations into whether Abdulazeez, who also died, had links to terrorist organizations. In a Twitter post Saturday, Florida House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, said he supported Scott’s executive order to “help protect our military from acts of terror.”

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, whose agency administers concealed-weapons licenses, issued a statement that said he is “fully committed to supporting our military members, and we look forward to expediting their concealed-weapon license applications.”

Florida: Governor Scott appoints first black Adjutant General

calhoun

Brigadier General Michael A. Calhoun

Brigadier General Michael A. Calhoun was the first African-American general officer in the Florida National Guard. Governor Rick Scott has appointed him to be the first Afro-American Adjutant General.  BG Calhone come up through the ranks from Miami, FL and was a pharmaceutical salesman. BG Calhoun is a Medical Service Corp branch officer who has been certified as a task force combat commander.  BG Calhoun will be moving up to Tallahassee the end of February.

Governor Scott announced that Brigadier General Michael A. Calhoun will become the Adjutant General of Florida on March 29, 2015. Major General Emmett Titshaw will retire at the end of March.

Governor Scott said, “As a Navy veteran, I am incredibly thankful for the sacrifices of our military, and I am grateful to Major General Emmett Titshaw for his years of service to our state and our country. Brigadier General Calhoun has selflessly served our country for more than 30 years and has proven his commitment to his fellow military men, women and families here in Florida. I am confident he will continue to serve our National Guard well and be an effective leader during any emergency event that may affect our state as the next Adjutant General of Florida.”

Brigadier General Michael A. Calhoun said, “I’m honored to be appointed Adjutant General of Florida by Governor Scott and to have the opportunity to continue serving my state, nation and fellow men and women of the Florida National Guard. Our state is stronger because of the service of the Florida National Guard, and we will remain dedicated to supporting and safeguarding Florida’s families and communities.”

Major General Emmett Titshaw said, “Brigadier General Calhoun is an exemplary leader with many years of experience who will guide the Florida National Guard to future successes through challenging times. Mike and Sophia care deeply about our Soldiers, Airmen, civilians and families and Gretchen and I offer our best wishes to them as they lead the Florida National Guard into the future.”

ABOUT BRIGADIER GENERAL MICHAEL A. CALHOUN

Brigadier General Calhoun has served as Assistant Adjutant General – Army, and Director of Joint Staff since July 2011. He also currently serves as Joint Task Force Commander and Dual Status Commander Designee. Brigadier General Calhoun has served in a variety of leadership roles for the Florida Army National Guard, including five commanding roles since 2006. Brigadier General Calhoun is a recipient of the Legion of Merit Medal, the Bronze Star Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Florida Distinguished Service Medal, Alabama Commendation Medal, and the Mississippi State Emergency Medal, as well as the Department of Defense African American History Month Recognition Award for his contributions to the Global War on Terrorism. He received his bachelor’s degree from Florida A&M University and his master’s degree from the U.S. Army War College.

RELATED ARTICLE: New Civilian Aide, from South Florida, to the Secretary of the Army invested | Article | The United States Army

Florida: Appeals Court OKs “Docs vs. Glocks” Law by Brandon Larrabee

A federal appeals court has upheld the state’s controversial “Docs vs. Glocks” bill, overturning an earlier court ruling that had blocked part of the law from being enforced.

In a 2-1 ruling, a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the state Legislature had the right to pass the law, which includes provisions restricting doctors and other medical providers from asking questions about gun ownership during medical visits.

“In order to protect patients, physicians have for millennia been subject to codes of conduct that define the practice of good medicine and affirm the responsibility physicians bear,” Judge Gerald Tjoflat wrote. “In keeping with these traditional codes of conduct — which almost universally mandate respect for patient privacy — the Act simply acknowledges that the practice of good medicine does not require interrogation about irrelevant, private matters.”

The majority found that the National Rifle Association-backed law, known as the Firearm Owners’ Privacy Act, “has only an incidental effect on physicians’ speech.”

The appeals court rejected a decision by U.S. District Court Judge Marcia Cooke, who ruled last year that the law was built largely on anecdotal evidence, and that legislators couldn’t prove that gun rights would be jeopardized or that patients who own firearms might face discrimination.

Supporters of the 2011 law say doctors might turn away patients who own guns or who wouldn’t answer questions about whether they did. Critics argue that doctors need to know what’s in a patient’s home so they can offer safety advice.

In a sharp dissent significantly longer than the majority opinion, Circuit Judge Charles Wilson said the law was an unconstitutional “gag order” that infringes on doctors’ rights.

“The holding reached today is unprecedented, as it essentially says that all licensed professionals have no First Amendment rights when they are speaking to their clients or patients in private,” Wilson said. “This in turn says that patients have no First Amendment right to receive information from licensed professionals — a frightening prospect.”

Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief opposing the law, said in a statement that his organization was “astounded” by the ruling.

“Today’s decision will keep doctors from asking reasonable questions and providing advice that could very well save lives,” Simon said. “We expect the doctors who filed this case to appeal this decision and that this decision will ultimately be overturned.”

The doctors could seek a full appellate court review or appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

This column is courtesy of the News Service of Florida from the Capital, Tallahassee by correspondent Brandon Larrabee, dated July 25, 2014.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Gun-maker Beretta Relocates U.S. Headquarters in Response to State’s New Firearms Restrictions
Colorado’s Experience Soundly Refutes Common Anti-gun Talking Point – Dr. Rich Swier

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of BeforeIt’sNews.com.

Florida Appeals Court says “NO” to homosexual “marriage” licenses in the state.

The Christian Family Coalition (CFC) Florida reports that the Florida Democratic League (FDL), and People United to Lead the Struggle for Equality (PULSE), two parties in the homosexual so-called “marriage” lawsuit,  filed more than 6,000 signatures with Miami-Dade County Clerk Harvey Ruvin calling on Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel to dismiss the pending discriminatory lawsuit.

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“In a nation of laws, no one can be above the law. What law gives Plaintiffs the right to arbitrarily,  declare a personal behavioral choice, be it sexual or otherwise, a constitutional “right,” and then file a sham lawsuit to force the rest of society to accept it as such?, said Florida Democratic League Chairman Dr. Eladio Jose Armesto.

“Six days ago, Monroe Circuit Judge Luis Garcia shocked voters when he arrogantly trashed the votes of nearly 8 million Floridians. The backlash to that corrupt decision was so great that over the last six days more than 6,000 Miami-Dade residents  signed a letter to Judge Zabel calling on her to dismiss this discriminatory lawsuit”, stated People United to Lead the Struggle for Equality (PULSE) Executive Director Nathaniel Wilcox.

“Undoubtedly, there is a growing backlash to the homosexual so-called ‘marriage’ lawsuit in Miami-Dade when 6,000 of those who elected Judge Zabel signed a letter in just days asking for the sham lawsuit’s dismissal. This is evidence of the growing anti-corruption backlash taking place”, concludes Anthony Verdugo, Founder and Executive Director, Christian Family Coalition (CFC) Florida.

COMMON CORE ACTION ALERT: Making Phone Calls Does “Make a Difference”!

I can tell you first hand that making these calls makes a huge difference as I just spent a good 15 minutes on the phone speaking to Robert Schulte (Assistant to Kim McDougal – Governor Rick Scott’s Education Policy Coordinator).

Call the Governor’s office at: (850) 717-9376 and you can speak directly to Robert, like I just did.

Robert Schulte was as professional, helpful and congenial as anyone could ask for. I picked his brain. I told him what I have done to fight Common Core these past 10 months; asked him some very pertinent questions about Common Core – with the most important one being: “Do phone calls like the one I am making to you, really matter and are they being recorded?” Robert answered my question by telling me: “Willy, every single call that we get in this office is tracked. We make notes as to what the call was about; what the topic was; and if it was a negative or positive call – in terms of an issue…such as Common Core”.

In case of phone calls about Common Core – which is the most talked about issue in Tallahassee right now – Robert told me that every single comment from callers are tracked and forwarded to Kim McDougal then, compiled and forwarded to the governor, himself. So, every call that we make, matters. Especially when they are “Calls Complaining about Common Core” – the “4 C’s. Those calls are tracked, counted and accounted for. So, PLEASE MAKE THESE PHONE CALLS!!! The more “negative” calls that the governor’s office receives about Common Core – the more of a chance we have in “reversing the Curse“. That is one reason why Governor Scott threw PARCC out of Florida several months ago. If we can put enough pressure on Governor Scott – he may just throw out Common Core once and for all…and he’s got a good throwing arm.

The most important topic that Robert and I spoke about was the “Elections in November”, as we all know that Governor Scott needs every single vote that he can muster. And, cutting to the chase, I asked Robert a simple question: “How important is Governor Scott’s decision to either implement Common Core in the state of Florida or to drop Common Core, altogether in regards to him being re-elected?” Knowing that we constituents hold Governor’s Scott’s votes, Robert told me that this controversy of Common Core weighs very heavy on whether Rick Scott will be re-elected. Friends: I know for a fact that this Common Core issue will either make or break Governor Scott and will be the determining factor of whether he gets another term as our governor of Florida.

So, please make these phone calls because they count…just like every one of our votes.

ACTION ITEM: HOW MUCH WILL COMMON CORE COST YOU?

Posted by Vic Cirillo

There has never been a fiscal study of how much it will cost to implement Common Core. No one really knows how much it will cost your local school district to implement CC. A few years ago the feds bribed Florida with “Race to the Top” money to get our politicians to agree to implement Common Core, but guess what? The Race to the Top money is almost gone so Common Core costs will have to be covered with new money. Is Tallahassee going to start giving more money to the schools? Maybe, but I wouldn’t hold your breath. Most likely new expenses will be unfunded mandates that your local school district will have to cover and they probably don’t have the money to do so. That means they will have to cut something else or get more taxes from you, all to implement an education curriculum whose merits have been shrouded in secrecy. Good public policy is done in the sunlight, not in secrecy. Florida has been conned, we need to tell our elected officials to back out of Common Core. The mood in Tallahassee is that many of our legislators are on the fence and they need to know that we the citizens don’t want liberal, ham-fisted, D.C. central planner’s data mining our kids and gaming the lesson plans to teach them to be good little servants of the state. These are OUR schools, the schools WE pay for, the schools WE elect school board members to govern, the schools WE and our neighbors send our children to, the FLORIDA schools, not the federal schools.

Legislative Subterfuge

Common Core Opponents just returning from Tallahassee report that after meetings with members of the House and Senate Education Committees on the issue of Common Core those legislators and their staff were all working off the same talking points to sidetrack and confuse those opposing Common Core, including the Governor’s office. The Florida Department of Education recently made minor adjustments to Common Core and Rep. Janet Adkins and the K-12 Subcommittee passed a bill (PCB TKS 14-01) , that removes references to Common Core and changes the name to the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards or Florida Standards. Remember that last year our Florida legislators redefined the term Next Generation Sunshine State Standards to include Common Core. This is just a change in semantics with no change in implementation. After just a couple of meetings, it would have been laughable if weren’t so sad that they actually think we will be fooled by their subterfuge. Despite minor changes to the standards and a new name, Common Core Standards are still moving forward in Florida.

SB 864 and HB 921 are end around bills designed to make the public believe they oppose Federal intrusion and Common Core standards (see below). If all the textbooks we have to choose from are aligned to Common Core, and the students’ tests will be based on Common Core, and schools and teachers will be graded on their students’ tests, there is still no choice for school districts but Common Core aligned curriculum, most of which is produced by Pearson PLC and the College Board.

Senate President Don Gaetz and Speaker Will Weatherford told us in person that these are the bills they support and they will not allow SB 1316 and HB 25 to be heard in Committee: Why Not? Because, Debby Mayfield’s bill HB 25, is the only bill that actually will stop Common Core, and they know it.

HB 25 is Representative Debbie Mayfield’s Stop Common Core bill. Its first committee stop is the House Education Appropriations Subcommittee chaired by Representative Eric Fresen. So far he is refusing to schedule the bill for a committee hearing. Call him at 850-717-5114 and demand that he schedule the bill for a hearing.

Representative Marlene O’Toole is Chair of the House Education committee. Call her at 850-717-5033 and tell her you support HB25 and want it heard in her committee.

SB1316 by Senator Evers is the Senate companion bill to HB25. Senator John Legg is the Chairman of the Senate Education Committee. Call Senator Legg at 850-487-5017 and tell him you support SB1316 and want it scheduled for a hearing in his committee.

Finally, call the Governor’s Education Policy Coordinator, Kim McDougal at 850-717-9376. You will get her assistant, Robert Schulte. Tell him you want to speak to Kim McDougal. He will want to take a message for her. Tell him to tell his boss, that her boss, the Governor, will pay a high price at the polls in November if he continues with the implementation of Common Core.

We must not go quietly! We must not go down without a fight! CALL TODAY!

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is courtesy of Holger.Ellgaard. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported2.5 Generic2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.

Open letter to FL Gov. Rick Scott: Common Core amounts to “Felony Assault of Child Abuse”

The implementation of Common Core State Standards in Florida is a heated topic. A growing number of parents, teachers, educators and concerned citizens are standing against its implementation. Over 25 county Republican Executive Committees and the Republican Party of Florida have passed resolutions against Common Core. Florida Governor Rick Scott has tried to silence the opposition but has failed so far. Even when the Florida Department of Education changed the name of common core to “Florida Standards”, we called it putting lipstick on a pig.

There are indications that if Scott does not state firmly that he is against Common Core and support FL Rep. Debbie Mayfield‘s proposed legislation HB 25, which stops implementation until certain actions are taken, he will lose his base. The same base that got him elected Governor as the non-establishment candidate. Governor Scott is up for reelection in November and some see his failure to oppose Common Core as pandering to teachers unions and Jeb Bush supporters for votes. His pandering strategy may backfire.

To understand just how angry people are we decided to post one of the dozens of email letters being sent to Governor Scott. The letters were prompted by a column we posted titled, “FL Governor Rick Scott pressures Republicans to not oppose Common Core.

Don Kempus from Orlando, in an open letter sent to Governor Rick Scott, states “Implementation of the CCSS amounts to Felony Assault of child abuse on the Charges to be  brought upon you as individuals and as legislators.” Kempus signs the letter as a “Patriot,  Oathkeeper and John Birch Society member.” When asked if he will file a lawsuit against Governor Scott, Kempus replied, “I will not file a lawsuit, but will be filing criminal charges thru a grand jury in the near future.”

Following is the full text of the Kempus letter sent to us.

Dear Governor

It seems to me that all, and I mean all of the current crop of so-called legislators (people who act upon but never read their bills they vote on) ,  don’t have the least bit of idea what the end result of the common core standards are about or what they will do to the school children of this state. Why not call a SPADE, a SPADE.? All you guys care about is getting money to be reelected and don’t give one iota about the children being affected by your actions. Implementation of the CCSS amounts to Felony Assault of child abuse on the Charges to be  brought upon you as individuals and as legislators. When the kids start graduating ( merely being passed thru) from high school to college, I guarantee you they will come back and sue all of you for the lack of an adequate education to live a life of freedom, liberty and a pursuit to happiness that will never be enjoyed due to their inherently taught ignorance of history and COMMON SENSE LIVING . You all should be ashamed of yourselves for implementing a program that you know absolutely nothing about. You have been sold a bill of goods from that socialist Jeb Bush who is making a ton of money and soliciting prestige for his connections while forcing the issue on implementing the CCSS. To me, this is treasonous extortion and blackmail. Goes along with his other crimes of fraud, deceit and theft of the public trust.

I defy any of you to give a brief explanation of the CCSS and what it is teaching our kids in the critical thought process without notes and in person.  It has been proven that they are being taught to come up with answers that have no correct answers to them. There are seniors coming out and openly decrying the damage this system is doing to their educational psyche. They are begging you to stop it now. The sad part about this is, you legislators are not listening. The kids are starting to cry to their parents about the problems with trying to learn something that has no answers. You have a bunch of egocentric state and federal government legislators forcing their will for the sake of the almighty dollar in their pockets. Over the past 100 years, we have taught a classical education strong enough to enable 4  generations of individuals to accomplish the impossible, make great advances in science, industry, medical  and strides in the health and welfare of the American people and created the greatest nation ever to live in the history of mankind. It was not until the Federal government put their fingers on the education of our children that the system began to fail. Add in the legislation of non-educators and we were on a road to ruination.

We put people on the moon for God’s sake and sent them countless times into space and back. This was not due to some Marxist/socialist, homocysteic and fascist ideology that is hell bent on destroying that which has made us great. This was done on the back of a hard working, capitalistic, free society that had hope, love and compassion for their fellow man and a strong will to do the right thing.  Now you want to openly coerce your local political organizations not to oppose a system that is proven to be destroying your kid’s education.  WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN,  WHERE IS THEIR VOICE?  WHO WILL LOOK OUT FOR THEM!!! I can tell you that many parents are waking up and you will eventually be sued for your gross negligence and malfeasance of office. We can prove that the CCSS is not state led, but extorted into place by a federal government that is openly extorting your permission to implement the program by dangling a few dollars in front of your noses.    Tell them to keep it and change how you measure the amount that the State of Florida should be paying to the Federal overreach. Do not pay them for overstepping their bounds.     The Federal DOJ is now going to tell you how to discipline our school children? What’s next? Telling the parents how to raise the children! Taking the kids and sending them off to factories and fields to do the work of slaves!! To what end? All for the rich corporate snobs that contribute illegal contributions is outrageous quantities to your so-called Super PACS. This will stop soon in the future as well. We are being made aware of the fraud and deceit in this program as well and will be fighting to change it. It is time as one potential Republican, Joshua Black said,  “ It is time to call out the government regulators and president for their treasonous actions, convict their guilt and have them openly hanged.” After we clean out Washington, we should also clean out the state and local frauds and liars as well.  Florida is a political disgrace. I also think we need to clean out the Curry’s and Scotts (removal of Finch without proper cause and investigation) out of office as well. They don’t have the right to silence and remove someone from the party, but have a right not to listen to them is they choose. Their latest actions are far worse than Mr. Black’s open truthful comments.

I urge you to pass Debbie Mayfield’s HB 25 and later get on the bandwagon to stop the Federal government’s projected attempts to take away our 2nd Amendment rights and not allow them to go to the U.N. We will not register our arms nor will we give them up to lawless regulations and legislators.  REMEMBER IT IS THE CHILDREN WHOM WE ARE LEGISLATING FOR, NOT JEB BUSH, NOT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, AND CERTAINLY NOT THE CORPORATE WORLD.    It boils down to who is more important,  Common Core or The Children????

Don Kepus,
Patriot,  Oathkeeper and John Birch Society member
Orlando, Florida

Governor Rick Scott was in Orlando last year to address the Americans For Prosperity 7th Annual Defending the American Dream Summit. Near the end of his prepared remarks he addressed education in Florida. At that point the shouts to “stop Common Core” became louder and louder. At one point the entire room of over 1,000 attendees began to applaud those heckling Governor Scott about Common Core.

Please watch Governor Scott’s remarks at the AFP summit. At 15:30 minutes into his talk he mentions education, at that point the heckling against Common Core began:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/id-BiBOa5Ho[/youtube]

On January 20, 2014 the Republican Party of Duval County Voted unanimously to Oppose Common Core Education Standards. Here is the official statement and video of event:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iapEzJ0m2VQ&feature=share&list=UUjs_N1FOYdTbwnAvTn4_pGw&index=1[/youtube]

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FL Reps. Edwards (D) and Gaetz (R) pushers of Drug Addiction in Children?

Florida Representative Katie Edwards (D-FL District 98) sent out an email quoting an article by the Sun Sentinel’s Susannah Bryan. The article states, “Two Florida representatives, Katie Edwards and Matt Gaetz, are taking steps to help families statewide gain access to a strain of marijuana that’s shown promise in treating children who suffer from seizures.” Representative Matt Gaetz is a Republican representing District 4. Gaetz is Chair of the House Criminal Justice Committee.

Bryan notes, “Although 21 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized medical marijuana, the federal government still lists cannabis as a highly addictive and dangerous ‘Schedule 1’ drug, along with heroin and LSD.”

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration:

Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence. Some examples of Schedule I drugs are: heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote.

Floridians must realize that what Edwards and Gaetz are really pushing: Drug addiction in minors.

gaetz mug shot

Matt Gaetz mug shot.

Gaetz was arrested for violating Statute 316.193-1DUI Alcohol or Drugs 1st offence, in Okaloosa County, FL in 2008. Gaetz was released after paying a $500 bond. So Gaetz has some personal experience with addiction? Not sure Floridians want this man telling us that children should be using marijuana. I guess being arrested qualifies you to be Chair of the Criminal Justice Committee.

Florida has a growing problem with drug abuse, especially among children. FL Attorney General Pam Bondi is concerned about drugs in general, including prescription and synthetic drugs sold in Florida. AG Bondi stated in an October press release, “I will remain vigilant in my efforts to keep these drugs off store shelves and will continue to outlaw emergent synthetic drug compounds. These drugs pose a serious threat to Floridians, particularly our youth. I thank the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for their continued partnership in the fight against synthetic drugs.”

The Tampa law firm of Morgan & Morgan is pushing the legalization of medical marijuana in Florida. Morgan & Morgan partner Charlie Crist is also promoting a medical marijuana amendment to the Florida Constitution.

Canada has decided to end their Marihuana Medical Access Program effective March 31, 2014. According to CBC News in Canada, “The Canadian Medical Association is worried that as large medical marijuana grow facilities get federal licences, more patients will be clamouring for a drug many doctors are uncomfortable prescribing. Starting April 1, medical marijuana users in Canada will no longer be able to grow their own. Instead, they’ll have to get pot from producers licensed by Health Canada.”

katie edwards

Katie Edwards

Dr. Louis Francescutti, president of the Canadian Medical Association, stated, “We’re asking them [Canadian doctors] to prescribe a product that really has not been tested as rigorously as any other product that’s out there and basically writing it with your eyes blindfolded and assuming all the risks that go with it.” Francescutti also has concerns about marijuana’s potential dangers, especially when there are other proven medications for controlling pain and nausea available.

The Providence Journal’s Ellen Jean Hurst writes, “Even though 20 states have passed laws legalizing medical marijuana, swayed in part by thousands of personal testimonies, current research hasn’t nailed down exactly if, and how, marijuana alleviates all the specific diseases the drug is being legalized to treat, experts say.” Hayes titled her column “Health effects of medical marijuana still hazy.”

The legalization of medical marijuana is the first step to the full legalization of marijuana in Florida, as happened in Colorado.

BizPac Review reports, “Amid the universal celebration of the legalized sale of recreational marijuana in Colorado this week, a two-year-old there has tested positive for pot.” Jason Salzman from the Huffington Post reports, “Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) delivered a major buzz kill on the radio Wednesday, saying he’s worried that pot legalization might keep Fortune 500 companies out of Colorado and drive down the state economy.” Gee how with that fit in with Governor Rick Scott’s “Here’s What’s Working” campaign?

Are Edwards and Gaetz nothing but drug pushers of the worst kind? Time will tell as we observe the downsides of drug use in other states and the iffy nature of its medical uses.

RELATED COLUMNS:

Will Colorado regret legalizing marijuana?

Alaska Group Takes Next Step to Legalize Marijuana

The Big Political Issue for 2014: “Income Equality”

Amy Payne from the Heritage Foundation reports, “Do a Google News search for ‘income inequality’ and it will remove any doubt that this is already the political issue of 2014.”

Both parties has been gearing up for months. The liberal Center for American Progress launched a new center devoted to the subject, and President Obama has been making it a centerpiece of his speeches. Even Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) and challenger former Governor, now Democrat candidate, Charlie Crist have made income inequality an issue in their campaigns.

“Get ready to hear about “fairness”—because some people make more money than others, and this isn’t fair. How can you sit by and watch this happen? What is the government going to do about it?”, writes Payne. “It’s a popular argument because everyone—even Warren Buffett—wants to make more money. When someone tells you that what you’re being paid isn’t fair, it’s easy to agree. And if that someone tells you that you can march in a protest and instantly make more money—well, that’s a lot quicker and easier than working toward your next promotion.”

Payne warns, “Quick and easy—that’s the allure of the left’s argument. But there are two things you should know about it.”

1. It’s too good to be true.

The income inequality outrage is based on the idea that the people at the bottom of the economic ladder are stuck there indefinitely. But America isn’t “Downton Abbey”—you’re not stuck in the place where you were born. The chauffeur’s son can become…whatever he wants to be in America.

This uniquely American advantage is called mobility. People can move up—and down—the income ladder. In fact, “the recent rise in income disparities has not caused a decline in upward mobility,” reported Heritage’s Rea Hederman and David Azerrad in an in-depth study of the issue. They debunked the foundation of the left’s assumptions:

Standards of living have increased for everyone—as have incomes—and mobility, however one measures it, remains robust. Simply put, how much the top 1 percent of the population earns has no bearing on whether the bottom 20 percent can move up.

A focus on minimum-wage workers can also be a red herring. Heritage’s James Sherk and John Ligon note that “Over two-thirds of workers starting out at the minimum wage earn more than that a year later.”

2. It hurts people.

The left’s income inequality argument has a sad and destructive irony: If it’s made into public policy, it makes it more difficult for people to get a job and achieve their American Dream.

President Obama and his allies in Congress are already pushing for a minimum wage increase in the new year. Heritage’s Sherk and Ligon are very clear when it comes to the possible consequences of doing this: It “would force employers to curtail hiring.”

Less hiring. Fewer job opportunities. That does not help the men and women looking for work, who need to put food on the table and shoes on their kids’ feet.

The New York Times notes, however, that the issue of the minimum wage could help liberal politicians looking for voter turnout in the upcoming midterm election. And that’s all it is: a political ploy that manipulates Americans in the name of power.

EDITORS NOTE: Income equality is all about coveting what someone else has. Coveting has been recognized for centuries as a powerful force for political and social evil. That is why it is a sin and one of the Bible’s Ten Commandments as written in Exodus 20 (NIV version):  “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

Common Core scandal: Medical and disciplinary reports on children hacked

As the Florida Department of Education, Governor Rick Scott, former Governor Jeb Bush and key Florida legislators move forward to implement Common Core State Standards in the sunshine state a database in Long Island’s Sachem School District is compromised.

Nancy Smith from Sunshine State News reports, “On Long Island earlier this month a hacker apparently was able to access records in the Sachem School District and leak personal student data to a web forum. The records included medical and disciplinary reports.” According to The Journal News, in Westchester, Rockland, Putnam counties, N.Y., the database uploads to Web Cloud run by inBloom, a nonprofit group funded by the Gates Foundation and supported by Amazon.

“Surprisingly, the breach didn’t come as a great shock to the community. Even before it transpired, parents and teachers were concerned about data collection and the potential of sharing it or stealing it,” writes Smith.  Also reported in The Journal News, “More than 20 districts in the Lower Hudson Valley have pulled out of New York’s participation in the federal Race to the Top initiative, hoping that doing so will allow them to withhold certain data. Since the state has said that this strategy will not work, districts are now writing to inBloom directly and requesting that their student records be deleted.”

Governor Scott has raised concerns about the data mining portion of Common Core but has not supported legislation to either delay or stop its implementation in Florida. Florida Representative Debbie Mayfield (R-FL District 54) has introduced HB 25 to delay implementation until the costs and impact of Common Core can be determined.

Dr. Karen Effrem, President of Education Liberty Watch.

Dr. Karen Effrem, President of Education Liberty Watch and a co-founder of the Florida Stop Common Core Coalition, and Randy Osborne, Director of Education for Heartland Research and the Florida Eagle Forum, did a Policy Analysis of Common Core in Florida. Effrem and Osborne state, “The Common Core standards, along with the aligned curriculum and the mining of nearly 400 data points reveal that the goal of the standards is not simply to improve academic achievement but also to instill federally determined attitudes and mindsets in students including political and religious beliefs. According to the US Department of Education, this will be carefully regulated through the extensive data-mining of both students and teachers using devices such as ‘facial expression cameras,’ ‘posture analysis seats,’ ‘a pressure mouse,’ and ‘wireless skin conductance sensors’ as well as the use of the actual assessments. The federal government asserts that to secure their definition of improving the quality of education, a student’s right to privacy may be sacrificed.”

Commenting on the Sachem School District data compromise Effrem states, “A number of standards will be used for the psychological training of children starting at a young age … One of the main goals for uniform national assessments is for the federal government to have access to highly personal individual student data. It isn’t just teachers and school officials who can request and get students’ records. It’s also ‘a contractor, consultant, volunteer, or other party to whom an agency or institution has outsourced institutional services or functions … Common Core completely strips the child of privacy.”

Dr. Effrem writes, “The utter failure of proponents of Common Core to make rational arguments about this imposed system of inferior, psychosocial workforce training standards, national tests and data collection has stimulated them to lash out to mock and marginalize anyone who opposes it. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has joined former Governor Jeb Bush and Senate President Don Gaetz in now bipartisan sneering derision of parental and citizen concerns. Duncan created a firestorm on Friday (11/15) with his mocking, racist attack on mothers that oppose Common Core: ‘It’s fascinating to me that some of the pushback is coming from, sort of, white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were, and that’s pretty scary. You’ve bet your house and where you live and everything on, ‘My child’s going to be prepared.’ That can be a punch in the gut.'” Duncan has since issued an apology for his remarks.

A new Facebook group, Moms Against Duncan (MAD), has almost 1600 members since then and the comments on Twitter have been overwhelmingly critical. Conservative columnists and liberal moms have joined together in righteous anger against these thoughtless remarks.

History tells us the larger the Common Core database becomes the more likely it will be target by those who would do children harm. Will Governor Scott and the proponents of Common Core listen to moms and take heed? Time will tell.

RELATED DOCUMENTS:

Comments on the Psychological and Developmental Aspects of the Florida’s Common Core Standards by Dr. Karen Effrem – Download PDF

Comments on Florida ELA Common Core Standards by Dr. Sandra Stotsky – Download PDF

Comments on FL Math Common Core Standards by Ze’ev Wurman – Download PDF

Florida veterans hit with massive property insurance rate increase on Veterans Day

Many of Florida’s 1.6 million veterans have their property insurance with United Services Automobile Association (USAA). USAA’s membership base is primarily active duty military, military retirees, veterans and their families. Over the Veterans Day weekend policyholders received their new USAA policies. Florida’s veterans were shocked that, for a second year in a row, they are being hit with a massive increase in property insurance rates. Most of Florida’s veterans are on a fixed income.

Senior Chief Geoff Ross USN (Ret.) from Navarre, Florida in an email to WDW – FL writes, “Today your friendly Senior Chief got into a pissing contest with his homeowners insurance company USAA. They just can’t stop jacking up my rates this time almost doubling my policy. So in my polite and cordial tone I called them up and politely told them where to shove their new rate. The lady actually was very nice and tried very hard not to lose me as a customer after 14 years with this company.”

A Sarasota County veteran who has been a member of USAA for thirty-nine years, saw the property insurance on his modest home go up $741.95. According to his USAA policy, “Of this amount, $693.26 is due to a rate increase, and $48.69 is due to other changes initiated by you or us.” Nothing changed on his home in 2013, which was built in 1990, and he changed nothing on his policy other than increase his deductibles in 2012 to reduce his premium. He raised his risk to keep his costs down, as he is on a fixed income.

WDW – FL contributor Ruth Roman wrote, “Flood insurance premiums for Floridians are expected to rise sharply as the result of new rate hikes which have gone into effect October 1, 2013.  ‘They are not aware of what is about to hit them,’ said Pattit Latshaw of St. Petersburg-based Wright National Flood Insurance Co., the largest underwriter of federal flood insurance in the U.S. The repercussions of these hikes will be devastating for homeowners and small businesses alike.”

When the Sarasota veteran contacted USAA about why the dramatic and costly increase he was referred to paragraph 6 of his policy which states in bold letters, “IN RESPONSE TO FLORIDA LEGISLATION SB1486, LAW AND ORDINANCE COVERAGE IS AN IMPORTANT COVERAGE THAT YOU MAY WISH TO PURCHASE. YOU MAY ALSO NEED TO CONSIDER THE PURCHASE OF FLOOD INSURANCE FROM THE NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM. WITHOUT THIS COVERAGE, YOU MAY HAVE UNCOVERED LOSSES. PLEASE DISCUSS THESE COVERAGES WITH YOUR INSURANCE AGENT.”

The Sarasota veteran’s USAA policy also states in paragraph 9, “Your policy does NOT cover loss due to flood from any source. For information about obtaining flood coverage from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), call USAA at (800) 531-8722, or contact the NFIP directly.”

The NFIP website states, “In 2012, the U.S. Congress passed the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 which calls on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and other agencies, to make a number of changes to the way the NFIP is run. As the law is implemented, some of these changes have already occurred, and others will be implemented in the coming months. Key provisions of the legislation will require the NFIP to raise rates to reflect true flood risk, make the program more financially stable, and change how Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) updates impact policyholders. The changes will mean premium rate increases for some – but not all — policyholders over time.”

Florida is hardest hit as it is both flood and hurricane prone. The Sarasota veterans home is not in, but is near, a floodplain. The Sarasota, Florida veteran also noted that his property insurance policy includes coverage for: Volcanic Eruption; Weight of Ice, Snow or Sleet; Explosion; Riot or Civil Commotion; and Aircraft.

If the Sarasota veteran’s home is not in a flood plain then what caused such a dramatic increase in his annual property insurance premium? Answer: Surcharges.

His USAA policy statement under “surcharges” lists the following:

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT FUND $2.00
FL HURRICANE CATASTROPHE FUND (FHCF) PREMIUM RECOUPMENT $276.45
FL HURRICANE CATASTROPHE EMERGENCY ASSESSMENT $48.51
CITIZENS EMERGENCY ASSESSMENT $37.32
FL INSURANCE GUARANTY ASSOCIATION RECOUPMENT $22.12

Total – $386.40

Chief Ross noted something else strange when talking with his USAA insurance agent.

ross fish pond

Chief Ross’ Koi fish pond. For a larger view click on the image.

“Well what was interesting was this fact. I put in a Koi fish pond a few years ago in my backyard. Its pretty cool and it has fed many Blue Herons in the past that swoop in and steal my aquatic buddies. But check this out. The lady on the phone said I have a beautiful house and my back yard is lovely with a lovely pond. Let me tell you boys and girls I did not tell my insurance company I put in a Koi pond. There is only one way you can see this feature due to my location and that is from the air,” notes Ross.

Ross concludes, “Using my superior skills of decisive intellect and previous life hanging out with CIA operators I conclude these people took aerial pictures of my house to see if I am adding improvements, pool, etc.I am so isolated out here surrounded by trees etc. the only way to see in my back is from above. I asked the lady how did she know I have a fish pond in my backyard and she did not reply. I could here her shuffling the pictures of my home around in her hand. Boys and girls if you have homeowners insurance with USAA and you put in a swimming pool or add on a new room they will know about it…… look above you for the satellite taking pictures. Skinny dippers beware.”

So veterans across Florida are faced with either paying the higher premiums, taking on more risk to reduce their property insurance rate or cancelling their USAA policy. Happy Veterans Day 2013!

Florida pro-gun Sheriff defeats anti-gun State Attorney

willie meggs

William “Willie” N. Meggs, State Attorney, 2nd Judicial Circuit

NRA-ILA notes in an email that Liberty County, Florida Sheriff Nick Finch, was “prosecuted for his actions in upholding the Second Amendment” by William “Willie” N. Meggs, the “anti-gun State Attorney for 2nd Judicial Circuit, Florida.”

Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack was at the trial of Sheriff Finch and wrote on the Oath Keepers website, “Today, October 31, 2013, Sheriff Nick Finch won his case in a farce of trial in Liberty County, Florida. Sheriff Finch was charged and arrested and booked into his own jail last June. Sheriff Finch had done something unheard of, yet noble and courageous. He nullified the arrest of a law abiding citizen who had the audacity of carrying a gun in his pocket. Sheriff Finch said ‘not on my watch.’ So the State moves in, arrests the Sheriff and re-arrests the citizen, Mr. Parish. The end result was Finch was removed from office and went to trial. Mr. Parish once again had the charges dropped, but he had to perform 50 hours of community service and pay $200.”

“Let’s be very clear here, neither man was guilty of anything! There were no victims and no evidence that a crime had ever occurred,” notes Sheriff Mack.

According to Joe Wolverton II, J.D. writing in The New American:

Minutes after noon on Thursday, October 31, an eight-person jury acquitted Sheriff Nick Finch of both charges against him. Finch, the sheriff of Liberty County, Florida, was accused of official misconduct and falsifying records. Finch maintained that he was simply standing up for the right of the people to keep and bear arms as protected by the Second Amendment.

The jury agreed, reaching its verdict in fewer than 90 minutes. Within minutes of being found not guilty, Sheriff Finch spoke with Governor Rick Scott, who reinstated Finch within hours.

“Sheriff Nick Finch will be reinstated immediately,” said Governor Scott in a written statement. “I would like to thank the members of the jury in Liberty County for their service in this trial. I would also like to thank Interim Sheriff Buddy Money for his service to the state of Florida.”

Wolverton notes, “Governor Scott’s persecution and prosecution of a sheriff standing up for the Second Amendment rights of citizens of his county is particularly questionable given the hostile climate that threatens the right to keep and bear arms nationally. It’s over now, though, and all is forgiven. The fact remains that Finch suffered substantial financial setbacks as a result of his removal and at press time, it was unclear whether Sheriff Finch would receive back pay for the four months he was suspended.”

Wolverton writes, “There is an additional disturbing aspect of the case not being commented on by other news outlets. Imagine that Sheriff Finch had released a man arrested and jailed for having openly preached Christianity in a public place. Would Governor Scott have been so hasty to remove Finch from office? Why would the rights protected by the Second Amendment be subordinate to those guaranteed by the First Amendment?”

This trial cost Sheriff Finch both his liberty and treasure. Sheriff Finch standing up for the US Constitution has made him a hero to supporters. Those who enforce the law are required to protect and defend the people and their Constitutional rights. Justice was served, but at a price.

Senator Dick Durbin attacks Florida’s stand your ground law

On October 29th, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing chaired by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), assistant Majority Leader, titled, “‘Stand Your Ground Laws’: Civil Rights and Public Safety Implications of the Expanded Use of Deadly Force.”

According to the NRA-ILA, “Present were several witnesses who attacked not only SYG laws, but also the Right-to-Carry, and even the American jury system.”

Ronald S. Sullivan, Clinical Professor of Law Harvard University.

NRA-ILA reports:

During his testimony, Harvard Law Professor Ronald Sullivan incorporated the themes of the previous witnesses and also shared his opinion of the highly publicized case involving George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin. Coming to a different conclusion than that of the jury who acquitted Zimmerman, Sullivan theorized that Zimmerman was motivated by racism and that he shot Martin as Martin was attempting to defend himself from attack. In a radical statement, Sullivan noted that as a result of the Zimmerman case, residents of Florida are led to believe “they can incorrectly profile young black children, kill them, and be protected by stand your ground laws.”

One of the witnesses who defended the right to self-defense was Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies at the Cato institute Illya Shapiro.  Shapiro’s testimony made clear that that the concept of no duty to retreat has been part of the American legal tradition dating back 150 years and that it is the law in 31 states. Shapiro went on to note that the Supreme Court enshrined the concept in federal law with the 1895 case of Beard v. United States, and that as an Illinois state senator, Barack Obama sponsored an expansion of the state’s self-defense laws.

Christopher Amore, a graduate of Brooklyn Law School and an associate at the law firm of Mound Cotton Wollan & Greengrass in New York, in the National Security Law Journal, published by George Mason University writes:

The concept of self-defense has long been a part of most legal systems. For example, the Bible endorses the principle of self-defense in its recognition of the right of the homeowner to kill the unlawful intruder. The Talmud acknowledges a right to use force against aggressors who threaten human interests, or threatened to kill. Saint Thomas Aquinas, a thirteenth century Italian Catholic priest and philosopher, reasoned that the purpose of using deadly force in self defense was not to kill, but rather to repel the attacker.

“[The] force had to be directed against the attack, not the attacker. The death was a side effect of the legitimate purpose rather than the goal itself.”

In 1688, English lawmakers, affirming the natural right for people to defend themselves, codified the right to bear arms in the Declaration of Right: “the Subjects which are Protestants may have Arms for their Defence suitable to their Conditions and as allowed by Law.” The Convention Parliament, the legislative body responsible for the drafting of the Declaration of Right, believed that the right to bear arms for the purpose of self-defense was one of the “true auntient and indubitable Rights and Liberties of the People.”

England’s recognition of the inherent right to self-defense in the seventeenth century would be echoed over three hundred years later by the United States Supreme Court. Interpreting this provision of the Declaration of Right in the landmark Second Amendment case District of Columbia v. Heller, the Court explained that “the right of having and using arms for self-preservation and defence” was necessary in order to protect “the natural right of resistance and self-preservation.”

Sanford Police Chief Cecil Smith. (Photo credit: News 13)

Guns.com reports, “Sanford Police Chief Cecil Smith announced this week that the city’s neighborhood watch program has been revamped and has now banned neighborhood watch members from carrying guns, local media reports…Opinions on the shooting – and the trial – remain a highly debated and heated topic, just as the program’s decision to ban firearms likely will be. The new rules and regulations of the neighborhood watch program, which will be announced at a community meeting next Tuesday, include prohibiting volunteers from pursuing any individual who they deem suspicious.”

Smith appears to be implementing procedures that not in accordance with Florida’s concealed carry and stand your ground statutes. The decision to carry and use deadly force is made by the individual.

Senator Christopher Smith, Democrat Minority Leader Florida Senate.

The Florida legislature will take up stand your ground during the 2014 legislative session. According to Robert M. Levy:

With the outcome of the George Zimmerman trial — in which he was acquitted in the shooting of a black teenager — some lawmakers are calling for a serious revision of Florida’s 2005 “stand your ground” self-defense law.

Following Trayvon Martin’s killing, Scott convened a task force to look at the law, but the panel did not recommend any major changes and none were achieved this year. But Senate Democratic leader Chris Smith of Fort Lauderdale has re-filed legislation [SB 0122] that would prevent individuals from “unreasonably escalating” a violent conflict and then claiming self-defense. The bill would also prevent a self-defense shield for individuals who chased someone down or left a safe place.

The bill also requires local law enforcement agencies to develop guidelines on neighborhood watch programs.

The House has agreed to hold hearings on the self-defense law, although the chairman of the panel has said he doesn’t support any changes to it.

Is disarming Floridians and weakening Florida’s stand your ground laws the best way to ensure “the natural right of resistance and self-preservation”? We expose, you decide.

CEO of Enterprise Florida gets hefty pay increase at the expense of taxpayers

Gray Swope, President and CEO of Enterprise Florida, Inc.

Enterprise Florida Inc.’s mission is to “[D]iversify Florida’s economy and create better-paying jobs for its citizens by supporting, attracting and helping to create globally competitive businesses in innovative, high-growth industries.”

According to Integrity Florida, The Tea Party Network, Americans for Prosperity – Florida and Progress Florida, the biggest better-paying job created for the next two years is that of Commerce Secretary and the President and CEO of Enterprise Florida, Inc. Gray Swope. Swope will now receive a base salary of $275,000 with a tier two incentive of $100,000. Additionally, Swope was given a two year contract with a severance (golden parachute) of  $137,500 if he is fired without cause by the Board of Directors. So who is on the board? Powerful business interests, Governor Scott, CFO Jeff Atwater, AG Pam Bondi, Secretary of State Ken Detzner and state Senator Nancy Detert.

Among the powerful business executives is Alex Glenn representing Duke Energy. WDW – FL reported that the Florida Public Service Commission recently voted 4 to 1 in favor of a settlement agreement that would make Duke Energy’s Florida customers pay $3.2 billion for the the broken Crystal River and the proposed-then-canceled Levy County nuclear power plants.

In a joint statement from Integrity Florida, The Tea Party Network, Americans for Prosperity – Florida and Progress Florida regarding the new Enterprise Florida contract for Commerce Secretary Gray Swoope (see page 17):

The culture of cronyism at Enterprise Florida where corporations buy their seats at the table and get taxpayer-funded deals in return is abhorred across the political spectrum. The pay raise is the board’s way to thank the commerce secretary for picking their companies for so many vendor contracts and subsidy deals. It is fiscally irresponsible for any state official to get a two-year contract and golden parachute near the end of a governor’s term.

Why did the board decide now was the right time for an exorbitant pay increase with more than 600,000 Floridians still looking for jobs? Most Florida employers who are creating private sector jobs are doing so without subsidies from taxpayers. Florida needs to work to build a business environment where every employer matters, not just the connected.

It is more interesting that Florida is considering legislation to create “Benefit Corporations”. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have passed Benefit Corporation legislation. There is a move to pass Benefit Corporation legislation in Florida.

According to the BenefitCorp.net website, “Certified B Corporations are leading a global movement to redefine success in business…Business, the most powerful man-made force on the planet, must create value for society, not just shareholders…Over 600 businesses have already joined our community, encouraging all companies to compete not just to be the best in the world, but to be the best for the world. As a result of our collective success, individuals and communities will enjoy greater economic opportunity, society will address its most challenging environmental problems, and more people will find fulfillment by bringing their whole selves to work.”

It may be that success may be defined as a seat at the government table in Florida?