(NEWSMAX) New gun control laws are unconstitutional, say scores of sheriffs throughout the country, and they are either refusing to enforce the statutes or have signaled that enforcement will be a very low priority, The New York Times reports.
In Colorado, a law passed by the Legislature that requires universal background checks and bans ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds is being challenged in a lawsuit by all but seven of the state’s 62 elected sheriffs who say it’s a violation of Second Amendment rights.
New laws in other states which were brought about as a result of the Newtown, Conn. school shootings, are also facing resistance, the Times reported Sunday.
In New York, two sheriffs have said publicly they would not enforce new gun laws, some of the toughest in the nation. In California, a delegation of sheriffs tried to convince Gov. Jerry Brown to veto gun bills that would ban semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines and lead ammunition for hunting, according to the Times.
“All law enforcement agencies consider the community standards — what is it that our community wishes us to focus on — and I can tell you our community is not worried one whit about background checks or high-capacity magazines,” Sheriff W. Pete Palmer of Chaffee County, Colo., told the Times.
Nevertheless, in Colorado, officials argue the laws are already having an effect. They point to figures that show, of the 3,445 background checks on private gun sales since the law went into effect on July 1, 70 people were denied weapons.
“Particularly on background checks, the numbers show the law is working,” Eric Brown, a spokesman for Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, told the Times.
Police chiefs in the state, particularly in urban areas, agree that the new laws are making an impact, saying most gun stores have stopped selling high-capacity magazines for personal use, though some continue to do so illegally.
Law enforcement officials, however, acknowledge that sheriffs have wide discretion in enforcing state laws. And while sheriffs could be removed for refusing to enforce state statutes, one expert suggests that many governors could be reluctant to use such powers.
“In my oath it says I’ll uphold the U.S. Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Colorado,” Sheriff John Cooke of Weld County told the Times. “It doesn’t say I have to uphold every law passed by the Legislature.”
(FEDERALJACK) People put in ovens, entire families kidnapped, Christians and Alawites executed – these horrifying reports come from the town of Adra north of the Syrian capital, which has been occupied by Islamist rebel groups. At least hundred people are said to have been massacred by the rebels – but as the Syrian army continues to liberate the city, that number is expected to rise.
Horrifying reports from a Syrian town suggest that entire families have been massacred by rebel fighters and also that civilians have been kidnapped and used as human shields. Al-Qaeda linked jihadists forced their way to Adra, which is just outside Damascus, launching a massive assault on residents which reportedly killed more than eighty people – including children.
(SGT REPORT) Our friend Mark S. Mann is back. He’s a cop, he’s in Connecticut and on the one year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary “event” in Newton, CT., Mark is taking us through the “official story” – and the “official report” on what happened on December 14, 2012. Nearly every single question we raised in our interview nearly one year ago, remains. But today, because of the actions and official claims of law enforcement – combined with sealed files and overwhelming levels of secrecy, we have even MORE questions about the events that is being used to target our Second Amendment rights.
(FOXNEWS) People in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico may not be grappling with the botched Obamacare website rollout, but the program could spell disaster for the island, which is facing a financial crisis and where half the population already is dependent on free health insurance, members of the island’s medical community warned.
Puerto Ricans, who are born U.S. citizens, do not enroll on the healthcare.gov because their government decided not to offer health-insurance exchanges, which offers private plans.
Instead, the Affordable Care Act, commonly dubbed Obamacare, has mostly arrived on the island in the form of a $6.3 billion social welfare check allocated to the government to continue to pay for its Medicaid and for its separate, free state-run insurance program called “Mi Salud,” between 2014 and 2019.
And that could be disastrous for Puerto Rico.
Roughly 1.7 million Puerto Ricans already depend on free health insurance in the island and local doctors are concerned that the additional financial infusion to the program will make the territory even more dependent on welfare.
Critics in the medical community said the move could prove to be a disaster, considering the U.S. territory is already deemed as the “Next Detroit” and “America’s Greece.”
The island’s government is over $70 billion in debt and about 45 percent of Puerto Ricans have incomes below the U.S. federal poverty line and nearly 40 percent of all households receive food stamps.
Despite the bleak economic outlook, Puerto Rico’s surprisingly low 7.2 percent uninsured rate is actually second-lowest compared to all states, behind Massachusetts.
“Our healthcare system is going to be entirely a welfare system,” warned Dr. Guillermo Tirada, an internal medicine specialist in Puerto Rico for 18 years. “It’s sad.”
Because of its U.S. territory status, Obamacare gave Puerto Rico the choice to either allocate $925 million dollars — of the total $6.3 billion package destined to the island — toward establishing health care insurance exchanges or to opt to use the money to fund its Medicaid program until 2019.
The nearly bankrupt government took the second option and is channeling the funds through “Mi Salud,” something critics like Dr. Tirada said was a wrong and desperate step in the government’s desperate search for temporary financial relief.
The move, critics said, takes Puerto Rico further away from a free market privatized health care system and speeds up the ongoing exodus of doctors, who are flocking to the U.S. mainland in search of higher salaries and better reimbursements from insurers.
According to Puerto Rico’s Medical Licensing and Studies Board, the number of doctors in Puerto Rico dropped by 13 percent in the last five years, from 11,397 to 9,950. The biggest loss was among primary care physicians and specialists.
Dr. Jesus Alvarez, a “maternal fetal medicine specialist,” left the island in April. He was one of just five MFM specialists on the island and is now working at Hackensack Medical Center in New Jersey.
“The reimbursement from Medicaid and Mi Salud is abysmal and the public hospitals don’t have the infrastructure to deal with an influx of patients and regulations,” Dr. Alvarez said. “For the physicians to survive, they can see 20 patients in one day in the U.S., but in Puerto Rico they have to see 50.”
Ricardo Rivera, Puerto Rico’s point person in managing the island’s Obamacare funding, denied that the objective is government-sponsored universal health care access.
“The end goal is to improve the economy,” he told Fox News Latino. “And as people find jobs they will move out of the ‘Mi Salud’ program and into private insurance plans.”
Another major concern for doctors like Alvarez and Tirada is that the Puerto Rican government has hired a third party private insurance company, Triple S, to handle claims, billing, and the ins and outs of the government’s public insurance program.
Tirada said putting Obamacare money in the hands of just one private insurance company is going to put profits ahead of patients and physicians.
“The more claims that get denied, the more money the government will save and the more money the private insurer will make,” Alvarez said.
But Rivera, who holds the position of executive director of the Puerto Rico Health Insurance Administration, said that he’s just as concerned about smart expenditures as anyone else.
“I’m in line with the doctors,” he said, adding that he currently has 16 auditing programs running through his office to make sure those under Medicaid and Mi Salud get quality services.
“I cannot just go on the word of a manage care organization, they have all the incentive in the world to lie to me,” he said.
For now, Puerto Rico has the funding to continue offering public health services, but with unemployment hovering around 15 percent and with 55 percent of the population out of the labor force, the question is how will the island sustain its health care system past 2019.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen but we’re not alone,” said Rivera. “We have 50 other states asking the same questions.”
Bottom line, he said, it’s about striking a balance.
“We are trying to approach how can we maximize all the resources around us and we need the private sector.”
(RT) Details of a highly secretive, multi-national trade agreement long in works have been published by WikiLeaks, and critics say there will be major repercussions for much of the modern world if it’s approved in this incarnation. The anti-secrecy group published on Wednesday a 95-page excerpt taken from a recent draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, a NAFTA-like agreement that is expected to encompass nations representing more than 40 percent of the world’s gross domestic product when it is finally approved: the United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei.
(TOWN HALL) Bill Clinton’s comments may have been the tipping point. Yesterday, the former president told an interviewer that the White House should keep its promise and honor its commitment on Obama’s infamous “keep your plan” pledge. And if there’s one person on planet earth whose reputation for honoring both the truth and personal commitments is – ahem – unimpeachable, it’s him. Snark aside, Clinton’s remarks were hugely impactful; not because he was expressing his own personal opinion, but because in doing so, he was extending a tacit permission slip to fellow Democrats. Message: It’s okay to abandon Obama by starting to dismantle big parts of this law. His wife, who is widely expected to run for president, had no comment on the matter.
(FEDERALJACK) Dylan Ratigan, the former MSNBC host got a rude awakening recently when his health insurance company spiked his policy rates to comply with Obamacare. Have you or someone you know been affected by Obamacare? Please let us know in the comments.
(FEDERALJACK) After Bill Elliott’s $150/mo plan was canceled as a result of the ACA, he found himself unable to burden his family with his new $1500.00/mo premium costs. He is choosing to pay the fine and “let nature take it’s course”.
(THE DAILY CALLER) The Navy Jack is the ‘don’t tread on me’ flag, one that has earned a revered place in America’s naval history and a beloved place in sailor’s hearts, through its use for over two centuries. This symbol of America’s naval ferocity has spanned our country’s entire existence, flying from the masts of the Continental Navy during the war of independence, to today’s War on Terror. In fact, an amendment to the Navy code called SECNAV Instruction 10520.6 clearly states that as of 31 May 2002 all ships are to fly the flag throughout the duration of the War on Terror.
So why would ranking SEAL commanders ban the historical symbol? Is the proverbial top bass banning the flag? Is President Obama?
Clearly the administration and sycophant “top brass” officers have degraded America’s military prestige; from hand-tying rules of engagement, to uniform regulations that make our military allegedly more compatible with foreign forces, to the banning of an awe-inspiring flag that traces its roots to the first U.S. Navy. We have a civilian-led military, but why should our ranking commanders be complicit in the administration’s war on it? Why don’t they stand up to Obama and his leftist cronies?
During my two deployments to Iraq, “Don’t Tread on Me” was a phrase seen on nearly every uniform and platoon space — including mine. From patches to flags to large paintings on concrete barriers, our commanders themselves wore the insignia on their sleeves — until now.
Perhaps this is why so many of my former teammates felt compelled to send me the email below. They may not be able to expose the administration’s travesty, but I can. The email, dated October 22, reads:
WARCOM and GROUP TWO/ONE have pushed out the uniform policy for NWU III and any patches worn on the sleeve.
All personnel are only authorized to wear the matching “AOR” American Flag patch on the right shoulder. You are no longer authorized to wear the “Don’t Tread On Me” patch.
Again the only patch authorized for wear is the American flag on the right shoulder. Please pass the word to all
Senior Enlisted Advisor
After reading the email, I first wondered, ‘why?’ (Actually, first I headed to the gym to take out my frustration and anger on some unsuspecting weights with the fury and intensity only a former Navy SEAL can exert.) Why would our leaders sell out our heritage? Why would they rob present and future sailors of our battle cry?
When a friend of mine asked his leadership the same question, he was told, “The Jack is too closely associated with radical groups.” We must assume that this thought policeman embedded in the SEAL community is speaking of the Tea Party, whose flag (which also dates from the American Revolution) depicts a snake with the same defiant slogan as The Navy Jack.
This begs yet another question: Who defines “radical group”? The last time I checked, allmilitary personnel are under oath to “support and defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” The Tea Party stands for constitutional rights and founding principles of civil liberties and limited government. Radical? Not unless you’re a leftist hell-bent on destroying the foundations of our country. Or as the President has stated as the objective of his presidency, “to fundamentally transform” America.
My friends asked me what they should do about this order. I answer them by saying, “You took an oath to defend this country from enemies foreign and domestic. Will you put your career before country? Will you put your career before your sacred oath?” I cannot tell anyone how to respond. I can tell you though that an enemy — foreign or domestic — that tries to take the Navy Jack from my uniform could only do so by ripping the patriotic patch from the uniform of my cold, dead body.
We all have choices to make. The Obama administration and the yes-men top brass have decided to wage war on our Navy’s heritage. Will the SEALs choose to defend that heritage and defy them, with all the impertinence the flag’s slogan implies? Or will they be tread upon?
(WASHINGTON FREE BEACON) The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is “mining” Facebook and Twitter to improve its social media footprint and to assess how Tweets can be used as “change-agents” for health behaviors.
The NLM, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), will have software installed on government computers that will store data from social media as part of a $30,000 project announced last week.
“The National Library of Medicine is the world’s largest biomedical library and makes its stored information available online at no charge to consumers, health professionals, and biomedical scientists through a diverse suite of resources,” the agency said in a contract posted on Oct. 23. “Evaluating how its databases and other resources are utilized is an important component of continuing quality improvement and has long been an on-going program of NLM management through a potpourri of monitoring tools.”
“The world-wide explosion in the use of social media provides a unique opportunity for sampling sentiment and use patterns of NLM’s ‘customers’ and for comparing NLM to other sources of health-related information,” the agency said.
“By examining relevant tweets and other comments,” the contract said, “NLM will gain insights to extent of use, context for which information was sought, and effects of various health-related announcements and events on usage patterns.”
Specifically, NLM will look at the “value of tweets and other messages as teaching tools and change-agents for health-relevant behavior.”
“The overarching objective of these studies is to obtain a richer understanding of how consumers, clinicians, researchers actually look for the health-related information they seek, and what they do with what they find,” NLM said in a response to frequently asked questions about the project.
OhMyGov Inc., a media company that specializes in the promotion of government agencies, will be paid $30,660 to monitor social media for NLM for one year.
The company will install software on computers at NLM headquarters in Bethesda, Md. to “maintain a comprehensive ‘universe’ of social media data.” Government bureaucrats will be trained on the software so they can search the database for health-related content.
“Content from Twitter, Facebook, blogs, news sites, discussion boards, video and image sharing sites will be maintained by the Contractor and kept up-to-date in a timely manner and made available for query by Government,” the contract said.
When asked by a vendor if they are interested in storing the data for “historical analysis,” NLM said “Yes.”
The project will also track NLM’s impact on social media in comparison to its “competitors,” which they define as Google, Mayo Clinic, and WebMD.
“Demographic characteristics” of Facebook and Twitter posts will be noted “to the extent permitted by privacy regulations.” NLM said they are interested in the location, number of followers, and academic degrees held by users.
The contractor OhMyGov Inc. is partially funded by the National Science Foundation, and a member of President Obama’s “Startup America Initiative,” a public-private partnership designed to spur entrepreneurship.
“The OhMyGov Media Monitoring and Policy Analysis system is the first and only business intelligence software completely politically focused,” according to the company’s website. “It provides real-time data mining, analysis, and visual analytics to uncover patterns in message uptake and critical insights into how issues are being characterized by Congress as well as the media, public, and key stakeholders.”
Requests for comment from NLM were not returned.