Archive for September, 2014

Amerca’s Education Collapse

Monday, September 29th, 2014

America’s Collapse: Harvard says we can’t bridge the wealth gap any time soon … Early this month, the Harvard Business School released a report based on a survey of 1,947 of its alumni. The study revealed that many believe the widening wealth gap in America is unsustainable and long term. And it highlighted the American education system as one of the reasons. That speaks to what we routinely talk about in Sovereign Digest. The education system is simply ineffective, ensnared in so many protocols, it doesn’t know which side is up and has lost sight of what it’s supposed to be doing — you know, educating our youth. On top of revealing their feelings on the U.S. education system, about 47% of the alumni surveyed said that “over the next three years they expected U.S. companies to be both less competitive internationally and less able to pay higher wages and benefits.” Is that any surprise? It seems Harvard agrees: The U.S. is quickly losing its competitive edge, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to regain it anytime soon.

Obamacare is just the latest assault on Liberty

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Diminishing Freedoms: The mainstream media just caught on.

An article titled What’s Driving Americans Out of the Country? was published last Thursday by The Huffington Post. It reported that there are an estimated 6 million Americans living abroad, that over 150,000 left the country last year, and that a staggering 1,130 renounced their citizenship in the last quarter of 2013 (the second-highest quarterly number ever). Welcome to the party, mainstream media. The article cited the perceived loss of freedoms in America as one of the driving forces of this mass exodus: “Once ranked highest in the world terms of perceived liberty, America is now ranked 36th.” The government, once a force that empowered the people, is now one that obstructs and overburdens. Perhaps the media is finally getting it: America has become a nation where “liberty” is a four-letter word.

Erika & Jeff Opdyke 9-29-14 Baton Rouge LA

Wasting Our Heritage – A Judgment America Cannot Escape

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

by Michael Bresciani, September 20, 2014

We are in the land of pompous pride, somewhere between the footprints on the moon and the Darwinian delusion; Americans have slid into the imaginary land of self-indulgent intellectual pride.

Scientists and cosmologists are the new priests and prophets of the pompous, promising a technological breakthrough that will leave us all breathless, even if the only titillation so far is some new handheld devices and cellphones.

Still fighting cancer, trembling at the oncoming of Ebola and standing starkly speechless at the gross and dehumanizing antics of the newly emerging group of the world’s latest Muslim fanatics we call ISIS or ISIL or anything they want us to – except Islam – according to President Obama.

We wait patiently for the mid-terms and the big change in 2016 when Obama will be escorted from the White House by the transition team of those readying for a new leader set to try his hand at the presidency. Remaining will be those who wonder why our constitution busting president was not escorted to jail long ago.

A shift to conservatism and a return to law may save some things, but many now question whether it’s too little and too late. Is the damage too great, has the corner been turned?

Continue at:

Obamacare saves money with less injury

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

Disarming Realities: As Gun Sales Soar, Gun Crimes Plummet

A couple of new studies reveal the gun-controller’s worst nightmare…more people are buying firearms, while firearm-related homicides and suicides are steadily diminishing. What crackpots came up with these conclusions? One set of statistics was compiled by the U.S. Department of Justice. The other was reported by the Pew Research Center.

According to DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. gun-related homicides dropped 39 percent over the course of 18 years, from 18,253 during 1993, to 11,101 in 2011. During the same period, non-fatal firearm crimes decreased even more, a whopping 69 percent. The majority of those declines in both categories occurred during the first 10 years of that time frame. Firearm homicides declined from 1993 to 1999, rose through 2006, and then declined again through 2011. Non-fatal firearm violence declined from 1993 through 2004, then fluctuated in the mid-to-late 2000s.

And where did the bad people who did the shooting get most of their guns? Were those gun show “loopholes” responsible? Nope. According to surveys DOJ conducted of state prison inmates during 2004 (the most recent year of data available), only two percent who owned a gun at the time of their offense bought it at either a gun show or flea market. About 10 percent said they purchased their gun from a retail shop or pawnshop, 37 percent obtained it from family or friends, and another 40 percent obtained it from an illegal source.

While firearm violence accounted for about 70 percent of all homicides between 1993 and 2011, guns were used in less than 10 percent of all non-fatal violent crimes. Between 70 percent and 80 percent of those firearm homicides involved a handgun, and 90 percent of non-fatal firearm victimizations were committed with a handgun. Males, blacks, and persons aged 18-24 had the highest firearm homicide rates.

The March Pew study, drawn from numbers obtained from the Bureau of Justice Statistics and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also found a dramatic drop in gun crime over the past two decades. Their accounting shows a 49 percent decline in the homicide rate, and a 75 percent decline of non-fatal violent crime victimization. More than 8 in 10 gun homicide victims in 2010 were men and boys. Fifty-five percent of the homicide victims were black, far beyond their 13 percent share of the population.

Pew researchers observed that the huge amount of attention devoted to gun violence incidents in the media has caused most Americans to be unaware that gun crime is “strikingly down” from 20 years ago. In fact, gun-related homicides in the late 2000s were “equal to those not seen since the early 1960s.” Yet their survey found that 56 percent believed gun-related crime is higher, 26 percent believed it stayed about the same, and 6 percent didn’t know. Only 12 percent of those polled thought it was lower.

The Pew survey found that while women and elderly were actually less likely to become crime victims, they were more likely to believe gun crime had increased in recent years. On the other hand, men, who were more likely to become victims, were more likely know that the gun rate had dropped.

Those gun crime rates certainly aren’t diminishing for lack of supply…at least not for law-abiding legal buyers. Last December, the FBI recorded a record number of 2.78 million background checks for purchases that month, surpassing a 2.01 million mark set the month before by about 39 percent. That December 2012 figure, in turn, was up 49 percent from a previous record on that month the year before. FBI checks for all of 2012 totaled 19.6 million, an annual record, and an increase of 19 percent over 2011.

Firearms sellers can thank the gun-control legislation lobbies for much of this business windfall. Marked demand increases have been witnessed over the past five years thanks to the 2008 and 2012 elections of U.S. history’s most successful, if unintentional, gun salesman as president. The firearms market got a huge added boost after the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut activated a renewed legislative frenzy.

If that gun-purchasing fervor has abated with the defeat of several congressional regulation proposals, as I’m sure it has, you surely wouldn’t have known it by witnessing the overwhelmingly enormous annual NRA convention in Houston earlier this month. Attendance was estimated to be more than 70,000 people from all over the country.

Those attendees weren’t all guys either…not by a long shot. Last year, the National Shooting Sports Foundation reported that participation by women increased both in target shooting (46.5%) and hunting (36.6%) over the past decade. Also, 61% of firearm retailers responding to a NSSF survey reported an increase in female customers. A 2009 NSSF survey indicated that the number of women purchasing guns for personal defense increased a whopping 83 percent.

Is John Lott, the author of “More Guns, Less Crime” right? Does the rapid growth of gun ownership and armed citizens have anything to do with a diminishing gun violence trend? His expansive research concludes that state “shall issue” laws which allow citizens to carry concealed weapons do produce a steady decrease in violent crime. He explains that this is logical because criminals are deterred by the risk of attacking an armed target, so as more citizens arm themselves, danger to the criminals increases.

Whether or not you buy that reasoning, and it does make sense to me, what about the notion that tougher gun laws have or would make any difference? With the toughest gun laws in the nation, Chicago saw homicides jump to 513 in 2012, a 15% hike in a single year. The city’s murder rate is 15.65 per 100,000 people, compared with 4.5 for the Midwest, and 5.6 for Illinois.

Up to 80 percent of Chicago murders and non-fatal shootings are gang- related, primarily young black and Hispanic men killed by other black and Hispanic men. Would tightening gun laws even more, or “requiring” background checks, change these conditions?

Gwainevere Catchings Hess, president of the Black Women’s Agenda (BWA), Inc., an organization that strongly advocates strict gun-control legislation, rightly points out that “In 2009, black males ages 15-19 were eight times as likely as white males the same age, and 2.5 times as likely as their Hispanic peers to be killed in a gun homicide.”

Those are terrible statistics, but here are some others. Today, 72% of black children are born out of wedlock, as are 53% of Hispanic children and 36% of white children. Back in 1965, 25% of black children were born out of wedlock, nearly one-third fewer. As a result, promiscuous rappers, prosperous dope peddlers and street gang leaders are becoming ever more influential role models. It’s probably no big stretch of imagination to correlate such grossly disproportionate crime and victimization rates with comparably staggering rates of single-parent families, those without fathers in particular.

Yet in the general population, and although the agenda-driven media hasn’t noticed, we can be grateful that gun violence has been trending downward since 1993 when it hit its last peak. Don’t want to credit a rise in gun ownership and concealed carry by law-abiding citizens for this good news? Fine. But then, don’t imagine that gun legislation is the reason or answer either. Leave that illusion to gun-control cheerleaders in the media

Larry Bell of Forbes Magazine

Part I 9 Ways Obamacare harms seniors

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D., lists changes that amount to ‘covert denial of medical care’

Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D. is a 2014 Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipient, and the 2007 recipient of the Voice of Women award from the Arizona Foundation for Women for her pioneering advocacy for the overlooked hormone connections in women’s health. Dr. Vliet is a preventive and climacteric medicine specialist with medical practices in Tucson, Ariz., and Dallas, Texas that take an integrated approach to evaluation and treatment of women and men with complex medical and hormonal problems. Dr. Vliet is also CEO of International Health Strategies, SpA, a global medical consulting company based in Santiago, Chile, whose mission is medical freedom and privacy while preserving the Oath of Hippocrates focus on individual patients.
Chaos, cost increases and turmoil reign since Obamacare took effect. Hidden changes drastically transform Medicare, affecting your ability to get needed medical care – even if you pay out of pocket.

1. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, proposed a 678-page rule (Jan. 6, 2014) requiring enrollment in Medicare for all prescribers of drugs covered under Part D Medicare. Currently, medication prescribers only need to have an active state license permitting prescribing. CMS is restricting Medicare beneficiaries’ ability to use their benefits if they see an independent physician outside “the system.” Independent physicians can see patients but cannot order anything for them. It’s like telling an auto mechanic that he can fix cars but he can’t use any tools.
Even doctors enrolled in Medicare risk having their enrollment revoked if, in the eyes of the government bureaucrats, they “fail to meet Medicare requirements.” The requirements change almost daily, and Medicare rules are often subjectively interpreted, so this means doctors may avoid prescribing something YOU need rather than risk a Medicare sanction and losing income.

2. Hospitals increasingly are classifying hospitalized Medicare patients as being “under observation,” rather than admitting them as “in patients,” not telling them this means thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs. Only “inpatient” status is covered under Medicare Part A. “Observation” status comes under Part B. After discharge, patients learn about exorbitant hospital bills and increased co-payments for medications, procedures and tests. Worse, without an inpatient stay, rehabilitation services and skilled nursing care will not be covered by Medicare, hitting unsuspecting patients with huge added medical bills.

3. Obamacare’s new Medicare rules deny payment if a hospital patient is readmitted within 30 days of discharge. This is particularly damaging to patients with chronic lung disease, congestive heart failure, diabetic coma and other such medical problems needing brief readmission to stabilize life-threatening situations. If not re-admitted when medically needed, patients may die. Catch-22 happens if they are readmitted to hospital “under observation,” then get hit with unexpected exorbitant hospital bills.

Part II 9 ways Obamacare harms seniors

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

4. In 2012, Obamacare rules forced hospitals contracted with Medicare to do FEWER surgeries for Medicare patients to be paid MORE. If employed by the hospital, doctors may not tell you this reason behind failing to suggest a surgery that could benefit you.

5. Other than government-determined copayments, Medicare patients are not legally allowed to pay cash out of pocket for needed “covered” services if they see a Medicare-contracted physician. Patients must find a physician who has legally opted out of Medicare to be able to pay cash for a service, say one that is not available at the Medicare-allowed price – or to keep their medical records from being sent to the federal government medical database.

6. Medicare patients are likely the ones hit harder by the new Obamacare 2.3 percent medical device tax that inflates the cost of pacemakers, stents, knee/hip/shoulder replacement devices, prosthetic limbs, etc.

7. Obamacare’s new direct Medicare taxes also hit retirees harder: a 3.8 percent tax on unearned income (dividends, rental income, capital gains), and a 0.9 percent surtax (for those with incomes above $200,000 individual or $250,000 family), added to existing 1.45 percent Medicare payroll tax.

8. Reduced payments to cancer, heart/lung, and surgical specialists typically caring for older patients. Medicare fee cuts to these specialists can result in payments below the cost of staying in business, so seniors lose access to more doctors.

9. Draconian $716 billion direct cuts from Medicare attack seniors in serious ways from 2013–2022: (Source: CBO)
• $260 billion from hospital services budget
• $156 billion from Medicare Advantage
• $66 billion from home health
• $39 billion from skilled nursing
• $17 billion from hospice care
• $145 billion from DHS (Disproportionate Share Hospital) payments to hospitals that serve a large number of low-income patients
• $33 billion from all other services

Increases in out-of-pocket costs and higher taxes are a huge burden on seniors on fixed income. Changes in the rules and regulations can be even more significant, even life-threatening, when they lead to covert denial of medical care. Who would have thought after a lifetime of service to our country in homes, jobs and communities, seniors would be attacked by their own government with many threats to their savings and lives in retirement


Two Americas

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

In early January 2014, Bob Lonsberry, a Rochester talk radio personality on WHAM 1180 AM, said this in response to Obama’s “income inequality speech”:

The Democrats are right, there are two Americas.

The America that works – and the America that doesn’t.

The America that contributes – and the America that doesn’t.

It’s not the haves and the have-nots – it’s the dos and the don’ts.

Some people do their duty as Americans, obey the law, support themselves, contribute to society, and others don’t. That’s the divide in America.

It’s not about income inequality, it’s about civic irresponsibility.

It’s about a political party that preaches hatred, greed and victimization in order to win elective office.

It’s about a political party that loves power more than it loves its country. That’s not invective, that’s truth, and it’s about time someone said it.

The politics of envy was on proud display a couple weeks ago when President Obama pledged the rest of his term to fighting “income inequality.” He noted that some people make more than other people, which some people have higher incomes than others, and he says that’s not just.

That is the rationale of thievery. The other guy has it, you want it, Obama will take it for you. Vote Democrat.

That is the philosophy that produced Detroit. It is the electoral philosophy that is destroying America.

It conceals a fundamental deviation from American values and common sense because it ends up not benefiting the people who support it, but a betrayal.

The Democrats have not empowered their followers, they have enslaved them in a culture of dependence and entitlement, of victim-hood and anger instead of ability and hope.

The president’s premise – that you reduce income inequality by debasing the successful – seeks to deny the successful the consequences of their choices and spare the unsuccessful the consequences of their choices.

Because, by and large, income variation in society is a result of different choices leading to different consequences. Those who choose wisely and responsibly have a far greater likelihood of success, while those who choose foolishly and irresponsibly have a far greater likelihood of failure. Success and failure usually manifest themselves in personal and family income.

You choose to drop out of high school or to skip college – and you are apt to have a different outcome than someone who gets a diploma and pushes on with purposeful education.
You have your children out of wedlock and life is apt to take one course; you have them within a marriage and life is apt to take another course.

Most often in life our destination is determined by the course we take.

My doctor, for example, makes far more than I do. There is significant income inequality between us. Our lives have had an inequality of outcome, but, our lives also have had an in equality of effort. While my doctor went to college and then devoted his entire young adulthood to medical school and residency, I got a job in a restaurant.

He made a choice, I made a choice, and our choices led us to different outcomes. His outcome pays a lot better than mine.

Does that mean he cheated and Barack Obama needs to take away his wealth? No, it means we are both free men in a free society where free choices lead to different outcomes.

It is not inequality Barack Obama intends to take away, it is freedom. The freedom to succeed and the freedom to fail.

There is no true option for success if there is no true option for failure.
The pursuit of happiness means a whole lot less when you face the punitive hand of government if your pursuit brings you more happiness than the other guy. Even if the other guy sat on his arse and did nothing. Even if the other guy made a lifetime’s worth of asinine and shortsighted decisions.

Barack Obama and the Democrats preach equality of outcome as a right, while completely ignoring inequality of effort.

The simple Law of the Harvest – as ye sow, so shall ye reap – is sometimes applied as, “The harder you work, the more you get.” Obama would turn that upside down. Those who achieve are to be punished as enemies of society and those who fail are to be rewarded as wards of society.

Entitlement will replace effort as the key to upward mobility in American society if Barack Obama gets his way. He seeks a lowest common denominator society in which the government besieges the successful and productive to foster equality through mediocrity.

He and his party speak of two Americas, and their grip on power is based on using the votes of one to sap the productivity of the other. America is not divided by the differences in our outcomes, it is divided by the differences in our efforts. It is a false philosophy to say one man’s success comes about unavoidably as the result of another man’s victimization.

What Obama offered was not a solution, but separatism. He fomented division and strife, pitted one set of Americans against another for his own political benefit. That’s what socialists offer. Marxist class warfare wrapped up with a bow.

Two Americas, coming closer each day to proving the truth to Lincoln’s maxim that a house divided against itself cannot stand