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Archive for: June 2015

Month: June 2015

The Supreme Courts have tossed out yet another unconstitutional attack on citizen’s rights to NOT be Christian. Not unlike the attacks on marriage equality, religious hypocrisy has once again trumpeted its bill of rights while simultaneously denying everyone else theirs. Unsurprisingly, conservative groups are still using the same tired arguments with the same uninspired talking points: That’s discriminatory against Christians!

Oh the hell that would follow if the government suddenly decided to fund a private Muslim school at least according to The Aspire New Brunswick.

For the past four years, the Douglas County School Board has been participating in a voucher program that provided public education dollars to parents looking to private school alternatives for their children. Sounds great, so what’s the catch? 9-out-of-10 students enrolled in the program chose private religious schools.

While this doesn’t seem THAT bad considering the school choice still must be accredited by the state, it creates a scary precedent. A precedent that erodes away the very freedom that Christians rise up in defense of every time someone says creationism shouldn’t be taught. This program uses taxpayer dollars to, albeit indirectly, fund religious institutions; a practice that is in direct violation of the separation of church and state.

That’s why the Colorado Supreme Court suspended the program after a suit was brought against the school board by the local teacher’s union. As Douglas County has already vowed for an appeal, let’s hope federal courts stand in support of the constitution and not waver to religious extremism.

The state of Texas passed a law in 2013 that has already reduced the number of abortion clinics in the state by better than 50%. Two years ago, 41 “family planning” clinics operated in the state primarily to perform abortions. In 2013, the legislature subsequently passed a law which requires physicians performing abortions to have the right to practice medicine in a local hospital. As such the requirement is common sense. Physicians operating private health care clinics have similar rights known in legalese as “privileges”. However, this is not the case with abortion practitioners. As a result, some clinics are forced to close down due to non-compliance stated Zeca Oliviers.

The law also mandates the abortion clinics themselves must have meet certain physical requirements similar to what are found in hospitals. This requirement alone is often well beyond the financial means of the clinic to fund. As a result, there are only 19 clinics operating in the state. While the high court takes up the challenge of the Texas law, the court ruled 5 to 4 to issue an injunction. Had the court denied the request, the total number of clinics would reduce to nine; Texas is the nation’s second largest state by population. It was conservative Justice Antonin Scalia that voted with the four liberal justices for an injunction. Justice Scalia certainly had his reasons for granting the injunction. That said, his support at the injunction should not necessarily be construed as support for striking down the Texas law.

As noted on Military.com on Friday, June 26, shortly after the decision by the Supreme Court of the United States to legalize same-sex unions across all 50 states, service men and women have suffered enough because of state bans. The spouses of many veterans who are in same-sex relationships have not been able to receive benefits because of the bans. Even though the military has recognized same-sex unions since 2013, couples had to provide a marriage certificate to receive benefits. Worse yet, some state veterans’ organizations refused to recognize the marriages resulting in a lot of unnecessary conflicts.

Currently active service men and women, in addition to veterans, deserve to be able to live in a country where they can receive all the freedoms and benefits offered those who did not fight and nearly die in service. James Dondero notes their spouses and children deserve to have all of the freedoms and benefits afforded to those in heterosexual relationships. Yet, for too long they have been died these basic human rights.

Although there has been a lot of opposition by some people, especially many conservatives, to homosexuals, bisexuals and others from the LGBT+ community serving in the military, and new opposition and anger about marriage rights, there can be little doubt that no one has the right to judge how service those who have fought bravely for our freedoms find happiness and love in their personal lives.

Once someone announces they are running for the presidency, everything they do from that moment on is up for public scrutiny as Brian Torchin stated. How they run their campaign is as important as why they are running it. So when a candidate appears to be pulling the wool over the eyes of the voters, they often take notice.

There have been rumors lately about more than one candidate, inviting paid people to sit in during their speeches. For the most part much of the public has lacked interest in those rumors, until it was revealed that such a company does exist. The company titled, “Rent A Crowd” gives their customer exactly what it sounds like, paid actors to fill up seats at public speeches and events. These actors are there to be seen looking interested and enthused over what the speaker has to say. They will portray a show of full support towards them and the issues at hand, no matter what those issues might be.

Now that people realize such a company exists there is some controversy. Bringing in crowds of people makes the speaker appear more important and more relevant. The public now has to make a choice. They must decide whether this is just another necessary part of gearing up for the elections. Or if perhaps these presidential hopefuls are in fact frauds and therefore lacking any of the relevancy that has been bestowed upon them.

For many years, there has been a discussion concerning the confederate flag. Although the Civil War ended in the 19th century, some states chose to adopt it as part of their state flag. This action has raised many eyebrows and offended many citizens as it flew for decades over many state capitals in the South. Finally, we can put the pain and heartache caused by this war behind us, which will unite us as a country.

Major retailers such as Walmart are pulling all their merchandise that displays the confederate flag from their stores nationwide. South Carolina has also decided to take down the flag, which has flown over their capital since its dedication. Alexei Beltyukov said that Kmart and Sears are also following this trend.

As the candidates for the 2016 Presidential Election begin to appear in the media, this issue will assuredly be discussed, and probably debated before Election Day. It seems at this point, most candidates are on board with the flag change due to the tragedy that caused this speedy action.

In the aftermath of the Charleston tragedy, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has made the decision to call for the removal of the Confederate Battle Flag from the grounds in front of the state capitol. In words that were poignant and direct, the governor, who is a first generation American from Indian Sikh parents, stated that though the Confederate symbol is an integral part of the state’s history, it is not part of its future. The governor made the comments with the presence and blessing of both the state’s senators, Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott. The latter is the state’s first African-American senator since the era of Reconstruction.

Following Gov. Haley’s remarks, the other 2016 GOP presidential contenders likewise weighed in with words of support stated Crunch Base. Media outlets had been reporting the candidates were hedging about the issue of taking the flag down. In all likelihood, the candidates were withholding their peace in deference to Governor Haley. South Carolina is a crucial primary state, and those seeking the GOP nomination were reluctant to intrude on a matter that is clearly South Carolina’s to resolve. Still, the governor’s call is not enough to remove the flag. It will take a super majority of two-thirds of the state legislature to approve. That said, Gov. Haley made it clear she will call a special assembly of the legislature to force the issue of a vote if she deems it necessary.

The FBI Arrested 46 Doctors And Nurses For Cheating Medicare Out Of $712 Million In Patient Care

Guess what? Doctors and nurses in 17 cities were caught cheating Medicare. What a surprise? If 46 doctors and nurses were caught in those cities, chances are there are more medical professionals getting payments from Medicare for services they didn’t provide. Medicare fraud happens every day in cities across the country. It’s an easy scam if you know how to play the system. There are so many ways to charge for one medical service and give another that has a lessor value.

The truth is; the medical profession is on the honor system. There are very few checks and balances in place to catch all the Medicare fraud that occurs. When one illegal billing practice is discovered another fraudulent one takes its place. Folks at FreedomPop agree that unfortunately greed runs rampant in the medical world, and it spreads like the diseases doctors and nurses battle daily.

In this particular group of raids, the FBI arrested 243 people for allegedly billing Medicare for $712 million worth of unnecessary patient care. That raid helps stop some people from cheating the system, but if the feds look deeper, that $712 million might just be a small slice of the funds collected by medical professionals for services they never performed.

Most initial polls were performed before Jeb’s actual announcement. The latest polls are measuring his impact since that date. At the time, he was behind both Rubio and Scott Walker. These candidates have serious flaws, and Jeb has always been seen as the only credible candidate. Scott Walker is a college dropout, and Rubio was never a serious candidate. It is the lack of credible candidates that would spur another Bush to run for the republican candidacy. However, Jeb has dominated the nightly news cycle even with a crowded field that includes people like Donald Trump. Upon Trump‘s announcement, he was seen as a threat for many of the other lesser known republican candidates because of the format that is used to determine which republican candidates will be able to participate in their primary’s debates.

However, since his announcement, Trump has lost almost all of the initial steam. He now polls near the bottom of the pack. This is a relief for many establishment republicans that see Trump as significant distraction because of his flamboyance and rhetoric. Candidates like Trump were widely blamed for many of the losses that prevented republicans from obtaining the Senate much earlier. The establishment forces have mobilized against many of their efforts to drag the Republican Party severely to the left since those mid-term fiascos. The establishment’s control of the party has been bolstered by their successes from what Brad Reifler suggests.

Hearing from the people reminds Obama reminds that his work makes a difference in a lot of people’s lives Out of 40,000 letters and emails President Obama gets 10 to read per night in which some say thank you and others say you’re an idiot. But it’s the ones that tell of the good his Obamacare plan did for them. According to Jerry Penacoli correspondent with “Extra” the affordable care act had a great impact on his battle with stage III Melanoma. President Obama said some of the people that write or email are not so nice but he does reply to his critics, he also added that he is sure his critics are surprised that he actually responds to them. For him, it’s about addressing the people’s concerns no matter how they feel about him personally. I don’t know of any other president who took the time out their schedules to actually read as well as respond to the people but, I commend him for doing that. Brad Refiler knows that there has never been nor will there ever be a president in office that everybody liked or agreed with. Sometimes people only want to be heard even if there is nothing that can be done about their concerns. If I had the opportunity to ask the President a question, I would ask what the plan is for our children who are suffering the consequences for this unhealthy society adults created.

Many governments have turned to private companies to operate state-owned prisons or to “sell” space in privately-owned prisons. These deals always seem to make financial sense–at least at first. What better solution for people who want government to be run like a business could there be than to turn over an essential government function to private business?

There are are many problems with placing mostly minority, mostly poor often mentally ill or intellectually disabled individuals at the daily mercy of prison guards working for a company whose motive is profit. The latest abuse comes with stories that many of these prison contracts have occupancy quotas, as high as 100% in some prisons in Arizona.

The problem with occupancy quotas? According to Susan McGalla, If the state doesn’t meet the occupancy requirements, the state has to pay the private company millions of dollars more–essentially paying the company for not providing housing to prisoners. No governor or sheriff wants to report that he or she paid millions of dollars to a company not to provide services. As a result, pressure is applied to keep the prison population as high as possible so the beds are full. Police are encouraged to make more arrests. Judges are encouraged to impose longer sentences. Legislatures are encouraged–sometimes by the private prison companies themselves–to enact harsh “three strikes” laws.

Prison privatization. Sounds like a great deal–for everyone but the individuals housed in those prisons.