By law, the FBI is charged with security within the United States and the CIA is charged with the same OUTSIDE the US. That was the “way it was” until 9/11.
By the way, Osama Bin Laden picked 9/11, not because it’s our emergency call for help but because it was 9/11/1683 when a Christian army led by Jan III Sobieski, King of Poland, arrived at the Gates of Vienna to try and save Vienna from the marauding Turkish Muslims led by Pasha Kara Mustafa and defeated the Islamic Caliphate!
To digress, the Muslims were doing as Muslims have done since Mohammed came up with the idea of Islam! They had been plundering, murdering, and kidnapping anyone in their way. They had taken Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, attacked the Protestant Hungary, Polish Lithuania and had RETURNED to Vienna to try again to take Vienna! With 16,000 defending
Vienna, against 140,000 Turks, and after many months of battle, King Sobieski arrived with 40,000 Christians on 9/11/1683 and defeated the Islamic Caliphate. I thought you would be interested in knowing that
Up until our 9/11, there were two Rules of Law we had to use against Terrorism; The War Powers Act and Due Process. In other words, we had to either “kill them or tell them their rights”, sort of. They were no laws to deal with the problems we faced to fight Muslim Terrorists. A good example would be this scenario; when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and we shot down a pilot, before War was declared, Chucky Schumer and Nancy Pelosi would have us “tell them their rights and give them an attorney”. Oh yes they would!
So we needed a way to combat terrorism, without declaring war and without giving “captors” due process. Remember, this was “before” we knew what Islam is about and who the hell our enemy is. Al Gore told Ollie North in 1989 (Iran Contra Hearings) that he had no idea who Osama Bin Laden was, could not even pronounce his name and he was on a National
Security Committee! Col. North knew that Bin Laden was the “most dangerous terrorist” in the world! You, me and President Bush had never heard of Al Qaida either. But they had just killed 3,000 American infidels. “What’s an infidel”, was something we also heard? That’s how ignorant we ALL were but, NOT ANYMORE!!! To educate myself, I started reading Hadiths and the Koran and more.
Had we known then what we know now, Congress probably have declared war on Islam! But they did the best they could and came up with laws like The Patriot Act. The Patriot Act gave law enforcement the ability to intercept and share info from communications that new mobile communication hampered; cell phones and computers!
Up to that point, a Criminal FBI Agent, could not share investigative information with a Security Agent who sat across from him! That was a problem. I had a group of Pakistani bank robbers and tried to obtain info from a security Agent, Harry, who sat across from me and he couldn’t tell me! I took him to our boss and he said, “Harry’s right”!
I am not “up” on these new laws although I read just enough to be dangerous. The Patriot Act is new and FISA, is not really a new concept, EO12333 by Reagan 1981,but for the “sharing” provisions and strengthening of 12333 by EO13355by Bush and that leads us into the leaks part of this Column.
I have to say that the NSA does most of the eavesdropping, mostly FISA. The FBI does most of the Title III Warrants. There’s only 2 ways for Feds to “listen”, Title III (criminal) and FISA(security). I’ve worked on many Title III cases (protecting our tech installers) as well as monitoring, which is about the worst assignment in the FBI…boring! I know pretty much nothing about FISA!
Even today I would say NSA does probably 90%, an educated guess, of our “overhear “matters. The President has access to ALL of those matters and can listen to anything he feels he needs. They have, in their archives, conversations from Hillary to Obama to everyone in his Administration, or …at least they did! So…where do you think the leaks MUST originate?
Until 4 days, (that’s four), before President Trump’s inauguration, NSA and the FBI could not share info with other Agencies without adhering to a very strict set of non-sharing and minimization rules!!! Obama changed all of that with his cell phone and a pen, just 4 days, did I mention 4(FOUR) days, before the inauguration?
WHY? Well… you’re not stupid like Obama, Pelosi, and Schumer think you are, are you? The more people (16 more freaking AGENCIES to be exact) who have access to RAW data, that’s conversations WITHOUT minimization, the MORE CHANCE OF LEAKS and the HARDER TO FIND THE LEAKS???!!! Hey, Obama’s got to stay informed…c’mon man!
Why would a former President of the United States want to open up America and our “Secret” Stuff and make us more susceptible to leaks and make it MUCH LESS SECURE, easier to leak, putting America and ALL of us MUCH more at risk!? If his motive is “to overthrow our Presidency and our Rule Of Law”, it’s called TREASON!? If it’s because Obama is stupid, it’s still called Treason! If it’s because Obama wants to overthrow just President Trump, it’s still called Treason. If Obama IS a Muslim…then it sort of fits together, doesn’t it, and goes a long way towards motive, so…why did he seal, hide, refuse to show his Passport, College Records and other info?? I can’t think of any “good reason” why a former President would do something like that, just before he leaves office…can you?
President Trump has two choices as I see ; (1) He can leave this expansion of EO 12333 in place, leave the Obama submarines (traitors) in place and set them up OR (2) He can start dismantling what Obama did with the new EO and fire/replace most all of the NSA staffers AND “lifers” and open a RICO case on the Obama administration, (see the Sun Bay Paper,“RICO” 3-9-17!)
I can’t tell you what I would do but… I would tell President Trump!
J Gary DiLaura
Latitude Margaritaville, an over-55 residential housing development owned by entertainer Jimmy Buffett's holding company, is scheduled to open in 2018 in Daytona Beach, Florida. Buffett's fans, a Hawaiian shirt-wearing, party-down subgroup of AARP known as Parrotheads, are lining up to get in. The developer reports they've already had 10,000 inquiries.
How the Beatles and the Rolling Stones didn't think of this first is a puzzlement, but still, it may be an omen. If this is successful, every music star in the business will want to build their very own housing development. Watch your mailbox: It won't be long before you'll be getting junk mail that says you've won a free trip to Florida if you visit Herman's Hermitage, Bob
Dylan's Desolation Row Timeshares, the Beach Boys' Surf Seniors or Garth Brooks' Friends in No-Snow Places.
There's not as much money in recorded music as there used to be, thanks to the internet. But there IS plenty of money in selling real estate to seniors, and if you were 13 when the Beatles hit, you just turned 67. "Can't Buy Me Love," maybe, but you can buy me a lovely beachfront condo.
It's hard to imagine a retirement village run by your average aging rock star. After all, being young and being "young at heart" are two very different things. At 55, "festival seating" means a recliner in the den. What would living at a place called, say, Backstage Pass Gated Community be like? Would it be on a Caribbean tax haven island so the rock star could keep his money while he's taking yours? Instead of guards, you'd have to get past his roadies at the front gate. And the age requirements would be a little different for him than for the rest of the residents. Everybody would have to be over 55, except the rock star's current girlfriend, who is 24 and looks 16. He's 75 and has just had a makeover. He now looks uncannily like Captain Jack Sparrow.
The early dinner is at midnight. No one is allowed to go to bed before dawn, and no waking up before 2 in the afternoon. There is a 10-drink minimum at bar. You have to sign a 30-page contract stipulating that certain things cannot be brought on the property -- brown M&Ms, generic bottled water and domestic champagne -- and that other things must be available at all times. Like a boa constrictor, Cristal champagne and a hairdryer.
And will it stop with just individual rock stars? Why not the whole rock experience? I can almost see the brochures now.
"Got an empty nest, but not ready for a 'retirement community'? Why not trade that big, empty house for one of our tiny tents on Woodstock Farms? Situated on a muddy field in upstate New York, there's so much to do, you'll wonder why you didn't get older sooner. No shuffleboard here; no golfing, no sea breezes. You'll be too busy volunteering at the community kitchen, alerting people to the bad Viagra going around, bathing naked with hundreds of others in our all-natural pond and searching for the spouse you came with. Space is filling up fast, so call today. From the low $300,000s. Private porta-potties, extra."
"Love the Grateful Dead? Went to over 500 of their concerts and collect recordings of their live performances? Now you can live the dream. At Nearly Dead Villa, all Deadheads will live under one roof -- talking, sharing tapes, and jamming day and night. It's just like San Francisco in the late '60s, except you're the one in your late 60s now."
The sad news is that so many rock stars never made it to 55. Buddy Holly, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Otis Redding, Ricky Nelson, Mama Cass, Janis Joplin, Jerry Garcia, Bobby Darin, Jackie Wilson, Elvis, John Lennon, the list goes on and on.
Jimmy Buffett is 70. Maybe I'll inquire about Latitude Margaritaville. He must be doing something right.
U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria yesterday, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on
Strikes in Syria
In Syria, coalition military forces conducted 12 strikes consisting of 20 engagements against ISIS targets:
-- Near Dayr Az Zawr, six strikes destroyed eight wellheads, four pump jacks and three oil tanker trunks and damaged two pump jacks and a wellhead.
-- Near Raqqa, six strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units; destroyed four fighting positions, an ISIS-held building, and a vehicle; and damaged two supply routes.
Strikes in Iraq
In Iraq, coalition military forces conducted eight strikes consisting of 84 engagements against ISIS targets, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
-- Near Haditha, a strike destroyed three improvised bombs.
-- Near Mosul, five strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units; destroyed 27 fighting positions, three rocket-propelled grenade systems, two vehicle bombs, an artillery system, a mortar system, a heavy machine gun, a road block, a vehicle and a vehicle bomb factory; damaged 12 supply routes; and suppressed five ISIS mortar teams and two ISIS tactical units.
-- Near Tal Afar, two strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit, destroyed an ISIS-held building and damaged three supply routes.
Part of Operation Inherent Resolve
These strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The destruction of ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria also further limits the group's ability to project terror and conduct external operations throughout the region and the rest of the world, task force officials said.
The list above contains all strikes conducted by fighter, attack, bomber, rotary-wing or remotely piloted aircraft; rocket-propelled artillery; and some ground-based tactical artillery when fired on planned targets, officials noted.
Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike, they added. A strike, as defined by the coalition, refers to one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single or cumulative effect. For example, task force officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIS vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of ISIS-held buildings and weapon systems in a compound, having the cumulative effect of making that facility harder or impossible to use. Strike assessments are based on initial reports and may be refined, officials said.
The task force does not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to travel around the moon?
Next year, two people will reportedly be taking this trip of a lifetime. What they will see and experience on the mythical celestial object that orbits our Earth is anyone's guess. Until now, only highly trained astronauts have done it.
This incredible excursion is the brainchild of Elon Musk. The world renowned engineer/inventor is one of the cofounders and current CEO of Tesla Inc. He's also helped start up several other businesses, including X.com -- which later merged with Confinity in 2000 and became PayPal.
Musk's company, SpaceX, has worked hand in hand with NASA's Commercial Crew Program to develop the Dragon 2 spacecraft that will take these two people around the moon. (NASA provided most of the funding for this part of the project.) The spacecraft will use the Falcon Heavy rocket, which has already been successfully tested on several occasions, including Feb. 19 at Florida's Kennedy Space Center.
According to SpaceX, next year's lift-off will occur at "Kennedy Space Center's historic Pad 39A near Cape Canaveral -- the same launch pad used by the Apollo program for its lunar missions." This trip, it says, "presents an opportunity for humans to return to deep space for the first time in 45 years and they will travel faster and further into the Solar System than any before them."
SpaceX has been mum about the identities of the two space travelers-to-be.
All we currently know is that they paid "a significant deposit" for this impending flight on Dragon 2 and, according to Musk's recent conference call, the big spenders include "nobody from Hollywood."
This trip sounds (and will be) out of this world, but is the whole venture believable? Based on Musk's impressive track record, especially with Tesla's electric cars that run on lithium-ion batteries, it's pretty hard to bet against him.
And yes, because SpaceX is a private company, Musk must ultimately obtain a license from the Federal Aviation Administration before sending Dragon 2 into orbit. The FAA is within its rights to say no, but based on the excitement this unique project has generated, its answer will probably be a resounding yes.
If this excursion comes to fruition and is successful, it would radically transform the way space travel is conducted.
While the cost per individual would be astronomical at this point, as more people take this trip, it could gradually become economical. The rich would get to see what other humans can only imagine and have the greatest boast yet about what they did on their vacation.
Private space flight could also increase the possibility of setting up a moon colony, giving human beings a chance to live on this astronomical body for short or long periods of time and enhance scientific study and exploration of our solar system.
Finally, this promised flight could prove that a private company has the technology, creativity and ability to move us further ahead in the modern space race than we ever thought possible.
We await the Dragon 2 spacecraft's launch in 2018 with eager anticipation and wish Musk much success in his quest to enable private citizens to soar around the moon. That would be, to quote Neil Armstrong when he became the first person to walk on the moon in July 1969, one giant leap for mankind.
Spring Break 2017 kicks off in Fort Myers Beach !! While some see the influx of Spring Breakers as a problem, Lani Kai Island Resort recognizes the reality that the current college population will soon be the leaders of our country.
Year after year, Lani Kai has taken additional steps to secure the legacy of Spring Break on Fort Myers Beach, as well as letting the visiting students know that their presence now and in the future is celebrated.
Each college student visiting on vacation is eligible to receive a free T-Shirt, and Lani Kai’s clothing shops are able to further customize each shirt, in case a fraternity, sorority or other college group wants to label their shirts. The goal with the shirts is to share American Pride, and to let students know that at Lani Kai, they are seen as the future, not just party goers looking for a good time and cold drinks.
“Spring Breakers are often seen as a burden, while we see them as one of the driving economic factors on Fort Myers Beach” Michael Ensor, Marketing Director of Lani Kai Island Resort, noted. “In addition to bringing in business to the entire island, they are also the future of our country. We aim to recognize each college student visiting for Spring Break as what they truly are: the future of America”.
“We have received an enormous response filled with gratitude from college students who are happy to know that Lani Kai is happy to have them visit” Ensor said. “We hope that this impact on college students brings them back time and time again.”
Now that Medical Marijuana has been voted on here in Florida, one thing you should be aware of before you run out and get your MM card.
Federal law prohibits individuals from the possession of a firearm under a number of circumstances, including if they are a convicted felon, fugitive from justice, residents of another country in the United States illegally, have been adjudicated mentally defective or been committed to a mental institution or are unlawful users of or are addicted to marijuana, depressants, stimulants or other narcotic drugs.
Because Federal law prohibits gun purchases by an "unlawful user and/or an addict of any controlled substance." the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has clarified that the law applies to marijuana users regardless of whether their State has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes. Though a growing number of states are legalizing it for medical or recreational use, marijuana remains illegal for any purpose under federal law, which still considers the drug to have a high potential for abuse and has no accepted medical use.
A ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year, found the Federal Government ban on the sale of guns to medical marijuana card holders does not violate the Second Amendment, agreeing that possession of a card gives a dealer “reasonable cause to believe” that a person is an unlawful drug user. “Registry cardholders are more likely to be marijuana users, and illegal drug users, including marijuana users, are more likely to be involved in violent crimes,” the 9th Circuit opinion reads. “Accordingly, preventing those individuals who firearm dealers know have registry cards from acquiring firearms furthers the Government’s interest in preventing gun violence” finding that the federal law passes muster with the Constitution, as "it is beyond dispute that illegal drug users, including marijuana users, are likely as a consequence of that use to experience altered or impaired mental states that affect their judgment and that can lead to irrational or unpredictable behavior."
Licensed gun dealers cannot sell a gun or ammunition to anyone that indicates on the paperwork that they are using a controlled substance, or if the dealer has a "reasonable cause to believe" person uses drugs. Reasonable cause even includes talking about drugs.
Ultimately, Medical Marijuana Card holders are blocked from purchasing firearms, thanks to the form that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives requires them to fill out before buying a gun. One of the form’s questions, asks if you are “an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana,” your answer is federally binding, so it doesn’t matter that pot is legal in Florida and other states or not: If you answer “yes,” then you get denied, and if you answer “no,” you’re committing perjury.
We contacted the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Division of Licensing and they said that nowhere in the Florida statues for issuing a carry license does it say you can’t get a carry permit due to having a Medical Marijuana Card, so how this will play out between Federal and State remains to be seen.
On March 17, 1631, St. Patrick's Day celebrations started when the Church established a Feast Day honoring St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland. The symbol of the shamrock used for St. Patrick’s Day comes from the story of St. Patrick using the shamrock to illustrate the Holy Trinity.
St. Patrick’s Day was first celebrated in America in 1737, St. Patrick’s Day parades started in New York in 1762 by a group of Irish soldiers in the British military. It wasn’t until 1798, the year of the Irish Rebellion, that the color green became officially associated with the day, until the rebellion, the color associated with St. Patrick was blue, as it was featured both in the royal court and on ancient Irish flags. Yet the British wore red, the Irish chose to wear green, and they sang the song “The Wearing of the Green” during the rebellion, cementing the color’s relevance in Irish history.
In 1845 the 'Great Potato Famine' hit Ireland, close to 1 million poor and uneducated Irish Catholics began traveling to America to escape starvation. Many immigrants had trouble finding even menial jobs. When Irish Americans in the country’s cities took to the streets on St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate their heritage, newspapers portrayed them in cartoons as drunk, violent monkeys.
In 1848, several New York Irish Aid societies decided to unite their parades to form one official New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Today, that parade is the world ‘s oldest civilian parade and the largest in the United States, with over 150,000 participants.
American Irish soon realized, their large and growing numbers endowed them with a political power that had yet to be exploited. They started to organize, and their voting block, known as the “green machine,” became an important swing vote for political hopefuls. Annual St. Patrick’s Day parades became a show of strength for Irish Americans, as well as a must-attend event for a slew of political candidates. In 1948, President Harry S. Truman attended New York City ‘s St. Patrick’s Day parade.
The holiday eventually evolved into the raucous holiday we know today. People of all backgrounds celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, especially throughout the United States, Canada and Australia with traditional Irish food, including corned beef, cabbage, soda bread, potatoes, and shepherd’s pie. Many celebrations also have an Irish breakfast of sausage, black and white pudding, fried eggs, and fried tomatoes.
Approximately 1 million people annually take part in Ireland‘s St. Patrick’s Festival in Dublin, a multi-day celebration featuring parades, concerts, outdoor theater productions and fireworks shows.
BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA, aka; HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON; ERIC HOLDER; LORETTA LYNCH; VALERIE JARRETT; HUMA ABEDIN; CHERYL MILLS; JOHN PODESTA; et al RICO; TREASON, HOBBS ACT, ESPIONAGE, SABOTAGE, CONSPIRACY
The above is what an FBI case Title looks like and is what a NEW case Title should state!!
I am respectfully, calling for President Trump to direct the Attorney General to order the FBI to initiate a major RICO (Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organizations) investigation into the Obama Presidential Administration, not limited to corruption in any single Department, nor one illegal act or just illegal interceptions of communications but looking into a Presidency run like a RICO enterprise … including but not limited to the NUMEROUS allegations over the entire 8 years of the most corrupt Presidential Administration in America’s history! This past Administration was run in violation of our Rule of Law from every angle you can imagine and there is much more to come! There is not enough space here for me to list the evidence against the likes of Holder, Lynch et al conspiring with Obama and Clinton. The weak links will crumble! The President has just been handed a Golden Opportunity to prove all the things about Obama that we all suspected from the beginning!
Don’t blow it; Congress cannot investigate the way the FBI can! Allow professional investigators to investigate and “law makers” to make laws! Expose all that Obama and his band of thieves did to our country!
OUR PRESIDENT IS ON SOLID GROUND AND COULD BE ABOUT TO INDICT THE MOST CORRUPT PRESIDENT IN OUR NATION’S HISTORY!!!!!!
I have been calling for a Treason investigation and predicted years ago that when the Democrats lost and a Republican became President, the new administration would find numerous violations of Title 18. Hillary’s own words say it all! What she said to her staff, after the CNN Matt Lauer debacle, is “Don’t you f…..s understand, if that f….r (Trump) wins, he will put a noose around all our necks and we will all hang”!
Very astute, indeed!
I believe the president should order the AG (DOJ) to initiate the investigation and NOT Congress! Appoint a very good Deputy AG to ramrod the investigation! Bring in some of the FBI’s retired old guard to help in the investigation. Pick retired ADIC Jim Kallstrom, as the lead man and allow him to name his team and I would be honored to serve again! In fact, I would like to lead the investigation into the death of Supreme Court Justice Anton Scalia! I may not be able to “prove” it because they destroyed the body but I will “solve” it, that I promise!
Give some VERY serious thought to replacing Comey. I’ve been retired too long to know if he should stay but things he has said and done are very concerning, to say the least! Kallstrom and some other former Deputy Asst Directors (ADICs) will know, ask them!
Seat a Special Grand Jury and get the investigation started with subpoenas and statements, under oath, by all the main subjects before the Grand Jury, starting with Obama! Issue a subpoena for him and his Social Security Card, and ALL his sealed records, forthwith, without exception…passports, college records, everything! Let him claim the 5th before the Grand Jury when asked how he obtained his freaking Social Security Card and “why did you seal your passport”, “who paid for College”…that will set the stage for the GJ, believe me, they just love being lied to! All those questions go to motive!
Expand the Russian Influence Investigation into the outrageous US- Rosatom (Russia),Frank Guistra, Clinton Foundation transfer of 17% of our Uranium to Russia and about 135 million to the Clinton’s “ Hobbs Act Foundation”. I can’t find anywhere, what the US gained by that deal!
GET OBAMA’s SEALED RECORDS; THEY WILL PROVE HE IS A MUSLIM!
President Trump has to show “no mercy” and not worry about what the Democrats and press might say/tweet. The Democrats could care less what anyone thinks about what they say or do!
I was upset by Session’s recusal, it was not necessary, he did NOT lie! He answered what was asked by Franken regarding Trump’s Campaign contacting Russian Officials! That’s what Franken led with! Franken confused himself, said he didn’t know the accuracy of the CNN statements and kept jumping around, not to confuse the AG but because Franken really has the IQ of fish! Actually the AG’s recusal, would allow his handpicked Deputy to handle the prosecution. It MUST NOT be a recusal of DOJ, just Sessions direct involvement!
Prosecution in the Russia matter would be by a DAG anyways! The AG can’t possible handle everything! He must handle all the main issues like, Immigration, leaks and more importantly, a clean sweep of the DOJ with a complete replacement of ALL the Civil Rights Attorney’s and all Obama criminal DAGs… hire new! They are all Presidential appointees, fire ALL of them and start over!
Mr. President, it’s time to take off the gloves, order the investigation, you are the President, not Schumer or Franken, who cares what they think! DOJ works for you so use your power! Please stop tweeting about Federal Investigations. FOLLOW FORMER FBI DIRECTOR HOOVER’S LEAD; OPEN A CASE AND THEN…NO COMMENT!
There is more than sufficient reason to believe that Obama and Clinton ran the government as a Corrupt Organization with Obama trying to overthrow our Rule of Law… that’s Treason. Prove Obama lied about NOT being a Muslim and that case is won! The case that he never stopped being a Muslim could be proven by a rookie FBI Agent!
GET HIS SEALED RECORDS; A SUBPOENA FOR A TREASON INVESTIGATION, “TRUMPS” OBAMA’S RIGHT TO PRIVACY!
Get his freaking, unaltered records, before they disappear like the emails and watch the Obama House Of Cards, fall!!! We will never get a better chance to prove his motive…he’s a Muslim!
J Gary DiLaura,
Medical professionals have the right to protect people -- that's what a federal appeals court in Florida unanimously ruled on Feb. 16 when it said doctors can't be penalized for discussing gun safety with their patients. It was a well-deserved comeuppance for the gun lobby and its latest ploy to pit Second Amendment rights against the First Amendment. It sought to muzzle doctors when they talked to their patients about gun safety, but the court didn't buy the argument.
Lawmakers in Florida had passed a state law in 2011 that threatened to rescind doctors' licenses and impose fines if they asked patients simple questions about weapons storage. But doctors, and especially pediatricians, regularly discuss safety surrounding guns, pools and other important health-related issues with their patients.
In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics encourages pediatricians to discuss firearm safety with their patients. One in 3 American homes with children have guns, and 1.7 million kids live in homes with loaded firearms. It's the reasonable thing to do and absolutely in keeping with the medical profession's mission to protect and sustain human life. Gun accidents are a leading cause of child deaths, and when doctors make recommendations, their patients are three times more likely to safely store their guns.
Besides, any attempt to block free speech, as the Florida measure attempted to do, represents a clear violation of a doctor's First Amendment rights. Since Florida passed its gag law, 10 other states have tried and failed to pass their own bills. Some, though, did manage to pass other measures that stand in between the doctor-patient relationship.
Missouri in 2014 passed a bill making it more difficult for doctors to ask patients about firearm safety but falling short of an outright gag order. Gun safety groups say the law nevertheless helps stifle doctor-patient discussions about guns. A 2016 study by the Washington University School of Medicine showed that only 13 percent of families were asked by their pediatricians about household firearms. The report's researchers found that laws like Missouri's and Florida's "have likely increased physicians' uncertainty about what they can say and their concern that discussing the topic may be received negatively."
Almost three-quarters of gun-owning parents surveyed by the Washington University researchers say they want their kids' physicians to advise them about household gun safety.
The National Rifle Association suggests that such doctor-patient discussions impinge on gun owners' privacy, which is an absurd notion. Every patient has a right to tell the doctor to mind his or her own business. But the conversation could cause gun owners to think twice before carelessly leaving a gun where a child could access it. If it's a question between privacy andsaving lives, the latter priority should prevail every time.
A NOAA-funded study led by Duke University has found that the Gulf of Mexico “dead zone” drives up the price of large shrimp relative to small shrimp, creating an economic impact that directly affects consumers, fishermen and seafood markets.
The northern Gulf of Mexico region, known as the “dead zone,” is actually a vast area of hypoxic (low oxygen) bottom water during the summer. Caused by excessive nutrient pollution delivered from the Mississippi River, primarily from agriculture and wastewater, the low oxygen levels are insufficient for supporting most marine life and habitats in near-bottom waters and threaten the livelihood of many fisheries. While the negative effects of these low oxygen waters on marine life are well known, understanding the economic impact and importance has been difficult to achieve.
The study, conducted in collaboration with NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service and funded by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) provides the first evidence linking Gulf hypoxia to economic impacts.
According to lead scientist, Martin D. Smith, George M. Woodwell Distinguished Professor of Environmental Economics at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment,
“Many studies have documented the ecological impacts of hypoxia, but establishing a clear causal link to economic losses in affected fisheries has been elusive. Our study does this by showing how seasonal hypoxia off the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts drives monthly fluctuations in market prices in the Gulf brown shrimp fishery, a major fishery that was once the most valuable in America.”
Analysis of monthly trends in the price of Gulf brown shrimp from 1990-2010 showed that the price of large shrimp relative to small ones was high during hypoxic events. Previous efforts likely did not track this type of market impact due to a focus on shrimp quantity over fluctuations in pricing.
When the dead zone is present, fishermen catch more small shrimp and fewer large ones, making small shrimp cheaper and larger ones more expensive. The total quantity of shrimp caught could remain the same during hypoxic periods, but a reduction in the highly valued large shrimp would lead to a net economic loss.
Other fisheries affected by hypoxia likely undergo similar fluctuations, and further studies are needed to understand how lethal and sub-lethal hypoxia effects, along with human decisions, can have an economic impact on fisheries.
It is a dynamic and complex issue, and has been a focus of NOAA’s Northern Gulf of Mexico Ecosystems and Hypoxia Assessment Program (NGOMEX), that funded the work.
“Understanding the effects of hypoxia on valuable Gulf of Mexico species has been a long term focus of NOAA’s research,” said Dr. Robert Magnien, Director of NCCOS’ Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research. “These findings are a breakthrough and an important step toward quantifying the economic value of reducing nutrient pollution in the Mississippi River Basin.”