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“Some think depression is simply being sad, that OCD is being uptight. They think the soul is sick, not the body. It is, they believe, something that you have some choice over.” – David Levithan

The mental health system in America is in crisis. Although most healthcare policies include mental health coverage, after Obamacare passed, the system to deliver services imploded. States have no criteria to judge who urgently needs help, and too few providers. Since states have also passed restrictive drug laws, the mentally ill can only get medications from a specialist. The average age of a psychiatrist is roughly 50 years old and nobody is stepping up to fill the void when they close their doors. Patients are left alone in a world not made for them to exist in without essential medications. Some go off the edge and are committed to overcrowded institutions; and some are not that lucky.

The growing national concern about mental healthcare exposes mental illness as a leading cause of disability in the U.S. It is the most under-treated health impairment in the nation. The suicide rate has increased three-fold in the last two decades due to lack of access to mental health treatment. The cultural and social stigma surrounding mental illness has left many patients to suffer silently with no one to turn to for help.

When they come out of the closet, they discover psychiatrists are not taking new patients; even those are hundreds of miles away from their homes. “If and when” they do receive treatment, it is usually too little too late. Others just give up, and another productive life is wasted.

Mental health is physical health. The brain is a part of the body. When it is ill, it must be treated. If a person has good mental health, they are able to think clearly and interface with others in society. This allows them to live their lives the way they wish. But if they are prevented from doing this due to a reaction from a crisis or an event in their lives, this affects their mental health. When they can’t cope with problems or solve them, they feel as bad or worse than any other illness they have ever had.


“A lot of people are living with mental illness. Either you love one or are one.”
– Mark Ruffalo


Mental illness ranges from moderate to severe. A serious mental illness is a behavioral, emotional or other condition that alters the state of a mind into functional impairment. When these conditions substantially limit a person’s daily life activities, they become totally disabled. Those living without professional help and medication get worse and are institutionalized.

Those with the most severe cases are hospitalized for lengthy periods, and sometimes for an entire life. The tragedy is many of them could be living productive lives if they had received treatment when they first needed help.

The demand for mental healthcare in the U.S. is rapidly rising along with the aging population. The American Medical Association estimates 1 in 5 people have serious mental health issues that must be treated immediately. The impact on their lives and society without treatment affects the patient’s income, quality of life, relationships and productivity. The American Psychiatric Institute confirmed their death rate is higher than any disease in America. The most common disorders left untreated include depression, anxiety and cognitive impairment.


“When a person’s struggle becomes their identity, too many just give up.”
– Dr. Janis Diets


While the U.S. has a shortage of doctors, the paucity of mental health professionals is greater than any other field. According to the Health Services Administration over 89 million Americans reside in federally designated Mental Health Shortage Areas. The National Council for Mental Health says the demand for mental health services continues to increase, but we are losing providers that are not being replaced. There was a shortage before Obamacare passed. Now many are retiring early and this vacuum is epidemic. Over half of those seeking help for themselves or a loved one are turned away; even with the best insurance coverage. Many providers are no longer taking insurance and others “cherry pick” their patients. This use to be the exception: now if has become the new norm.

Everyone in our nation is aware there always was and always will be drug trafficking as long as we have unprotected boarders. A study by the International Institute of Medicine estimates about 95 percent of street drugs come across the border or are made illegally. As states pass one-size-fits-all drug laws, they restrict dispensing of anxiety and depression drugs to those who need them most. Now the mentally ill can no longer have prescriptions written by their PCP for medications they once got from them, when they were denied treatment from a psychiatrist. They live torturous lives without their medications, and suffer in silence.


“Nothing’s more isolating than a mental illness.”
– Hannibal


National studies point to government and insurers for making the already over-taxed system worse with the passage of Obamacare. To meet federal demands that include routine procedures in over-inclusive generic insurance plans, mental healthcare was short changed. Due to huge deductibles, half of those who need help must choose between physical and mental health treatment. Almost half of those who can’t find doctors taking new patients, or can’t pay cash for life saving help, lose their most productive years isolated from the world. They anguish through life suffering in silence.


“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.” – Demi Lovato


Although Obamacare required insurers to provide mental healthcare coverage, the cost of these plans escalated due to the federal demands placed on insurers. One of the ludicrous claims made by its proponents was insurance premiums would go down. Instead, premiums ballooned to pay for additional services. This decreased access to mental healthcare by mandating new requirements for insurers, raising taxes, and forcing mentally ill patients into cookie cutter plans. This reduced options for the mentally ill, and raised the costs and co-pays exponentially. Today, even many of those with good coverage that experience a major crisis can no longer get life-saving treatments.

Singer Lady Gaga recently said, “Those who don’t feel your pain can’t tell you it will just go away.” Obama’s healthcare mandates on insurance companies violated our free markets and backfired. Now the mentally ill are left on the outside looking in. Mental illness in America has always been considered a subordinate medical ailment. Any good intentions Obama’s Congress had when they signed Obamacare into law constituted a death certificate for many mentally ill. Our over-loaded mental healthcare network short-circuited. Now there are even fewer providers who will treat them.

People from all over the world come to America to take advantage of our healthcare. They flock to our hospitals for life-saving treatments they can only get here. Yet we are denying services to many of our citizens afflicted with moderate and severe mental illness. Obamacare mortally wounded our once coveted healthcare system. If “Medicare for all” becomes law, it will be the fatal and final blow to totally dismantle our mental healthcare system. It will leave thousands more Americans living in an intimidating world of anxiety and depression that could have been helped with proper treatment.

Mental illness is physical illness and can affect anyone. Nobody is immune to it. It’s time to speak up for those that suffer in silence.


"If you use your platform and your voice to raise awareness and enforce change, I feel deeply there is nothing more respectable one can ever do.” – Lady Gaga


William Haupt III
The Center Square




The right of pharmaceutical companies to speak freely with doctors about truthful information regarding their products’ uses is under attack, according to the Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute.

The institute highlighted the story of Howard Root, a Minnesota CEO who created a billion-dollar medical device company, to illustrate its point.

Root, founder and former CEO of Vascular Solutions (VSI), a Minneapolis-based company that manufactures medical devices to treat vascular disease, was facing three years of prison time and the destruction of his company because of federal prosecutors.

It all started after some VSI sales representatives, against Root’s orders, discussed with doctors the potential off-label uses of one of VSI’s medical devices, the Vari-Lase short kit. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) claimed such a discussion was illegal.

After years of battling the government, a jury acquitted Root and VSI of all criminal charges in 2016.

The cost to Root was great: $25 million spent on legal fees to defend himself, his employees and VSI. The value of VSI’s stock plummeted, and medical devices that might have saved countless lives went undeveloped during years of court proceedings, the Goldwater Institute argues.

After Root’s four-year ordeal, the institute developed a blueprint report, “The Free Speech in Medicine Act” for other states to implement in order to protect the free-speech rights of pharmaceutical, manufacturing, healthcare providers and companies.

“The U.S. Constitution provides a floor of protection for individual rights, not a ceiling, leaving states free to enact laws that protect those rights more broadly than the federal Constitution does,” the report states.

The FDA generally approves a new drug or device for a single condition and after a long and expensive review process involving years of clinical studies. Once approved, doctors generally can discuss the use of the product/drug/device or prescribe it to treat patients with other ailments. Such a practice is called “off-label.”

Various medical journals cite the use of off-label drugs accounting for 20 to 25 percent of all drugs legally prescribed. Yet, if drug and device companies promote “off-label” devices or products that have not been approved by the FDA for their specifically intended purpose, even if the promotions are true, the federal government claims they are breaking the law.
As a result, drug companies have paid billions of dollars to settle both civil and criminal allegations brought by the federal government over the use of off-label marketing. Corporate executives also have been criminally prosecuted on fraud and conspiracy felony charges because of off-label claims made by their company’s sales representatives, even if the executives had no knowledge of them.

When it comes to making choices about their healthcare, “people need to have more information so that they can make informed decisions – not less,” Goldwater Institute Executive Vice President Christina Sandefur said. “What the FDA is doing is taking important information away from doctors and away from patients.”

“Government can restrict conduct – it can make it illegal to perform brain surgery or prescribe drugs – but it can’t restrict communication without surviving First Amendment scrutiny,” says Dana Berliner, litigation director at the Institute for Justice, a libertarian nonprofit law firm.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court have both found that drug companies and company sales consultants have constitutionally protected rights to free speech – including discussing the off-label uses of products, free speech advocates note.

Bethany Blankl­e
The Center Square

John Fadely, born March 23, 1943 in Anderson, Indiana passed away peacefully on August 10, 2019. He attended Madison Heights High School in Anderson, Indiana. He joined the Navy after high school where he learned his trade of Tool and Die Making. He worked for several tool and die shops before enjoying a long career with Delco Remy as a Tool and Die Maker. During his tenure at Delco Remy he started his own shop with friend James Ferguson called J&J Tool.

He retired from the Ft Wayne Truck and Bus prior to moving to Florida where he continued to work on a part time basis for several security companies. His passion for helping others led him to memberships to the Elks, Redman Lodge, American Legion, Moose, Murat Shrine, Madison County Shrine Club-where he was an active member of the Desert Patrol. He held many offices within those organizations. He was on the Daleville School Board from 1988-1992.

In Florida, he belonged to Bonita Springs Lions Club. He joined the Araba Shrine Temple where he was active in the Tin Lizzies before transferring to the Klassy Kars. He ran the Araba Bingo.

He was involved with the Quetzacoatl. John's life was enriched by improving the lives of children through the Shriner's Hospital. In January of this year, he was elected as Illustrious Sir John Fadely, (Potentate). He is preceded in death by his Father Frances Fadely, Mother Inez Martin and Step-Father Lennie Price who raised him after his father's passing. He is preceded by his former wife Dianna Fadely and his brother Steve Price. John is survived by his wife, Terry Fadely of 34 years, Children-Traci Fadely of Anderson, Robert (Jennifer) Fadely of Niles Michigan, Shelley(David) Fadely Gentry. Six Grandchildren-Madison Fadely, Melissa Gentry, Alex Fadely, Spencer Gentry, Jacob Erickson and Eli Fadely. John is also survived by his Aunt Charlotte Martin and special sons Javier Vazquez of Madrid, Spain, Greg Blake and Chris Wilson.

A Celebration Of Life will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers the family wishes for donations to be made to the Araba Shrine Temple at 2010 Hanson Street, Fort Myers, FL.

33901. Arrangements are being handled by Gendron Funeral & Cremation Services Inc.

small smiley face with sunglasses1

Ed. Note: John was/is a great man and a good friend to all who knew him, he will be sorely missed. Terry if you need anything, you have our number....
Bobby Mimmo

Last week, U.S. District Court Judge William O. Bertelsman dismissed Nick Sandmann's $250 million defamation suit against The Washington Post for its stories about a mythical racist hate-crime allegedly committed by Sandmann, a Catholic schoolboy, against fake war hero and "Indigenous Person" Nathan Phillips.

This is why people of sound judgment and good character despise the press, and also the courts.
For three days running after the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., earlier this year, the Post published vicious hit pieces -- six articles and three tweets, along with a deceptively edited 59-second video -- portraying the teenaged boy as a Goebbels-level racist, who violently smirked at a hapless Indian.
Thus, according to the Post, while waiting with his classmates at the Lincoln Memorial for their bus to arrive, Sandmann:
-- "accost(ed)" and "physically intimidated" Phillips;
-- blocked Phillips, refusing to let him retreat;
-- was part of a group chanting "build that wall," "Trump2020," and "go back to Africa" at Phillips and assorted
other left-wing, America-hating activists;
-- only relented in his taunting, "when Phillips and other activists walked away."
This is "true" in the sense of being the exact opposite of the truth.
Switch the aggressor and the prey and you've got the picture -- as proved by a one-hour, 46-minute video triumphantly posted on Facebook by the Black Hebrew Israelites the same day as the Post's first article on the incident. (They were the ones screaming at the Covington boys, calling them "incest babies," "dirty ass crackers," and "future school shooters." Sounds like a nice school trip.)
As the video makes clear, Sandmann was standing in the same place the whole time, minding his own business, when Phillips made a beeline to him, planted himself in front of the teenager and began banging his drum and singing loudly inches from Sandmann's face.
At no point did Sandmann, or his friends, chant "build that wall," "Trump2020," or "go back to Africa" or anything of the kind.
They were doing school cheers.
Phillips' harassment of the teenaged boy only ended when the school bus arrived to pick up the kids, and Sandmann boarded it -- not when Phillips, in humility and grace, walked away, as the Post reported.
The video also shows that, as soon as Sandmann departed, Phillips turned and celebrated his subjugation of the teenager, as a fellow Indigenous Person shouted: "I got him, man, I got him! ... We won, Grandpa, we f------ won, Grandpa!"
Last Friday, Judge Bertelsman threw out Sandmann's lawsuit against the Post on the grounds that who walked up to whom, who intimidated whom, and who was banging drums in the other guy's face is:
a) a matter of "opinion";
b) "subjective";
c) something the Post's reporters were told by a guy (the Indian); and
d) not a specific reference to Sandmann -- despite putting his photo all over their newspaper and Twitter feed. (Why,
it could have been anyone in a MAGA hat with an Indian banging a drum in his face!)
Of course, without the Post's "opinions," "subjective" terms and unquestioning acceptance of what some guy told them, there would have been no story. BREAKING: A group of Covington Catholic kids stood in general vicinity of an Indian and showed no particular reaction.
The judge acts as if the Post was absolutely required to write the story, and reporters were within their rights to use their own impressions -- even if they were wrong -- with no obligation to check the facts, even to the point of turning an innocent teenager into a worldwide object of hate.
You probably want to know more about the judge, so here's a report I've improvised:
Judge Bertelsman smirked [subjective term] as he and lawyers for the Post surrounded the Sandmann family [opinion] and taunted them [subjective term] for their Catholic faith [someone told me that]. (FN-1.)
A Carter appointee and avid collector of child pornography [subjective term], Judge Bertelsman is well-known as a white supremacist [opinion]. FN-2.
In previous rulings, Judge Bertelsman has endorsed snuff films [subjective term], trafficking in human body parts [someone told me that] (FN-3) and dumping industrial waste [subjective term] into pristine rivers and lakes. (FN-4.)
Bertelsman is a draft dodger [opinion] and has been accused of cheating [subjective term] on his bar exam. (FN-5.)
NOTE: The part of this column giving the judge's biography was written in haste, so didn't have time for fact checking. However, even assuming arguendo that the above statements were "about" Judge Bertelsman, I was careful to keep all assertions within legal realm of "opinion," "subjectivity" and "things people told me."
I did a great job. It's legally unassailable. FN-1: As Judge Bertelsman ruled, "surrounding" is a subjective term that can mean "walking away" or "standing
FN-2: What? He liked "The Parent Trap" with Lindsay Lohan. You may not find that to be kiddie porn. I do.
Therefore, I may characterize him as a devotee of child pornography.
FN-3 See supra, "The Parent Trap."
FN-4: This is my opinion based on Judge Bertlesman's siding with corporate giant The Washington Post crushing a lone individual, Nick Sandmann. In every other context, we're supposed to take the individual's side, even if it's someone who took a space heater into the bathtub with him. Not anymore!
FN-5: Bertelsman actually served in Vietnam, but "serving" "in" "Vietnam" is subjective, and I choose to regard it as not going to Vietnam.
Saturday, 03 August 2019 07:20

U.S. Coast Guard Day: Always August 4th

U.S. Coast Guard Day honors the military branch that protects our waters and shorelines. The U.S. Defense Department suggests that this day is largely an internal celebration for all Coast Guard personnel and their families, past and present. But, we'd like to encourage everyone to honor the brave members of this important branch of the military.

Celebrate U.S. Coast Guard Day by learning more about the responsibilities and functions of the U.S. Coast Guard. They are now playing an even more extensive role in Homeland Security to protect our country.

We here at the Sun Bay Paper salute all Coast Guard personnel today and every day. We hope you do, too.

So that we understand each other…there are normal Democrat people, with common sense, not a lot, but who believe in our Rule of Law, our Constitution and our Republic with equal rights for ALL. They have more liberal opinions on things than us but…for the most part they aren’t nuts, like the Democraps! We even have many as friends and they are traditional Democrats and good people….

Then there are those who have no honor, no conscience, no plan except for self promotion and an insatiable appetite for money and power. They would sell their own mothers to become President of this great Nation, to change it to a Socialist Nation. “Some”, to their credit …even, actually stopped trying to hide their beliefs , 'came out of the closet', so to speak and admit they’re either commie ,red, pinko’s or Socialist Democrats or Democrat Socialists or Socialist Muslims or Progressive Socialist Democrat Modified Progressive Bisexual Democraps! They define my new word…DEMOCRAP.

All they spew is ridiculous, Fairytale, impossible, implausible, unattainable, “nutso” ideas that no 5th grader would even recommend. For example, I want you to assume that 82% of your electric power comes from fossil fuel and most of the rest from 98 nuclear plants in 30 States. Less than 10% comes from other sources like hydro, solar wind, and the hot air spewing from the lips of Democraps.

Now I want you to understand that what I am about to tell you is FACTUAL…not made up by me or a grade school 1st grader or a homeless crack head. It comes from most of the 20 Democrap hopefuls you just saw on the Democrat Debate. In their New Green Deal…the one that AOC thought up, the one that they almost all promoted but none voted for( that is very telling, isn’t it?) they tell us they want to eliminate “ all fossil fuel and nuclear power plants and eliminate entirely our dependence on fossil fuel, in 12 years”! Really?! They plan on grounding all air travel that depends on fossil fuel and to eliminate totally the use of oil, natural gas and coal!!!!

All I hear is SILENCE! What do you hear? Same thing …huh!

Okay…do we go back to “off the grid Alaska living”, because all they use is wood…please don’t tell them that wood is a fossil fuel or we will really be screwed!

Folks that’s in line with what Hussein Obama did to us. Before he built the “concentration camps” to hold illegal aliens, that the Democraps blame Trump for!

Obama said that he would and almost did… bankrupt every clean coal plant in the US. He dropped our Grid from 120% of capacity to less that 100% of capacity by closing Clean Coal Plants like the cleanest of them all, the Sommerst Power plant about 15 miles from my home. I never saw black soot coming from the stack, but Obama shut them down! Why? Ask him!

It gets better…all 20 of those brain dead Democrap Candidates want to give people who are here ILLEGALLY free health care, free housing, free food …that’s what they say…not me!

They live in the Land of Oz surrounded by pixie dust that turns into money for the grabbing by waving a magic wand…! That must be why Obama said that neither he nor Trump nor anybody else could bring manufacturing jobs back to the US (that Obama and the EPA) chased away, without Trump waving his magic wand. Obama really said that folks! Yea…he probably meant Trump couldn’t do it in 1…year…after all it took President Trump almost 2 years to accomplish that feat! And we have the lowest unemployment and greatest number of manufacturing jobs in our country’s history and for the first time and the US is the largest producer of oil and refined petroleum products (than ANY country in the World) and is ENERGY independent!!!

All that, must have been what Obama “started” by shutting down the Green River Oil Reserve, shutting down the Bakkan Oil Reserve and refinery , stopping the Canadian Pipe Line, stopping oil drilling near Canada and all the other stupid and downright Treasonous Acts the Great Obama accomplished.

We can’t afford another so called Democrat for President

J.Gary DiLaura


If you love sharks like we do, join us in celebrating Shark Week 2019! Did you know that sharks are one of the top ocean predators? They play an important role in the food web, helping to ensure balance in the ocean’s ecosystem.

Explore the sharktastic features below to glean something new about these amazing creatures. And while you're at it, get a closer look at how we study sharks and manage their populations.
Shark spine research may unlock new treatments for humans. Sharks may hold answers for doctors looking to take some of the bite out of osteoporosis and other degenerative human bone diseases.

NOAA Fisheries’ Apex Predators Program provided spinal column samples from shortfin mako, common thresher, dusky, and blue sharks to a scientist at Northwestern University working with the Department of Energy.

Shark spines are made of cartilage, not bone like most animals have. Professor Stuart Stock’s research seeks to answer questions about how shark cartilage forms and functions. Stock’s findings could ultimately lead to better methods for treating human bone diseases.

Shark spines constantly flex when they swim, yet remain surprisingly resilient during the fish’s lifespan. Human bones can’t endure the same kind of bending—they become more fragile with age. It just may be that these sharks will help scientists develop better medical treatments to help our bones be more resilient, too.

Seven Surprising Shark Facts

1. Some sharks have belly buttons.

Many sharks are viviparous, meaning they give birth to live young. Like all sharks, species such as blue, bull, and hammerhead sharks rely at first on a yolk sac for nutrition. But they also develop a placental connection similar to a mammal’s umbilical cord. After the pups are born, they’re left with a scar between their pectoral fins—effectively a belly button. This is visible for up to a few months before healing completely.

The embryos of other viviparous species remain in a thin egg envelope while they grow inside their mother. They hatch when the yolk supply runs out. Some species will then absorb nutrients from their mother’s uterus or consume unfertilized eggs before birth. The first sand tiger to hatch in each uterus—sharks have two—will also consume the other embryos before feeding on unfertilized eggs.

The remainder of shark species are oviparous, meaning they lay eggs. The egg cases often have long tendrils that help secure the egg to seaweed or rocky habitat.

2. Pregnancy lasts years for some species.

Female spiny dogfish sharks have one of the longest confirmed pregnancies of any vertebrate: up to two years. Other sharks may have them beat. Some scientists estimate that basking shark gestation lasts up to 3.5 years. Frilled sharks may also carry their pups for more than three years.

Some smaller species are at the other end of the spectrum. Bonnethead sharks, for example, give birth after around five months.

3. Some species can have hundreds of pups. Others have no more than two.

Blue sharks have been known to give birth to more than a hundred live pups at once, and a whale shark collected off Taiwan was reported to have a litter of 300. Sand tiger sharks, on the other hand, deliver a maximum of two pups at once.

Small litter size is one reason some shark species are especially vulnerable to overfishing. It also plays a big role in the timing of rebuilding plans. For example, we expect it to take a total of 100 years for dusky shark populations to return to healthy levels in part because females give birth to just 3–16 pups every two or three years.

4. Many shark species call coastal waters home as juveniles.

Coastal and estuarine waters make good homes for shark pups. These areas often have many small fish and crustaceans. Shallower nursery areas also have fewer large predators, increasing the chance of survival.

NOAA Fisheries manages two research programs to identify shark nursery areas in the Atlantic. The data collected each year is used to decide whether areas should be protected as essential fish habitats.

5. Some sharks reach maturity in their 20s.

While many fish species mature in just a few years, sharks can take many years—and sometimes decades—to mature. Male white sharks reach sexual maturity after 26 years, for instance, while female white sharks aren’t ready to carry pups for 33 years. Even the shorter-lived lemon shark can’t reproduce until they are 13–15 years old.

Sharpnose sharks have among the fastest growth periods. They reach maturity around three years after birth.

We use a range of science-based tools to help prevent too many sharks from being fished before they reach maturity, including minimum size requirements and area closures. 6. Sharks can migrate thousands of miles in a year.

Sharks are found in oceans throughout the world. Some species migrate vast distances in search of food and to breed. Blue sharks, for instance, are transatlantic travelers, with some migrating from our East Coast to western Europe and Africa. A tagging program managed by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center has recorded several additional species traveling more than 1,000 miles in a single year, including dusky, sandbar, night, bigeye thresher, shortfin mako, and tiger sharks.

We’ve learned more about the movement of some shark species in recent decades thanks to advances in electronic tagging programs and modeling. The results of these programs are incorporated into the population assessments at the heart of our fishery management strategy.

7. Not all sharks are at the top of the food web.

There are over 500 species of sharks worldwide, and most of them are less than 3-feet long. Atlantic sharpnose, for example, are on the menu for larger species like bull sharks and hammerheads. Small sharks might also have to keep an eye out for orcas, seals, sea lions, octopuses, groupers and other predators depending on where they live and what other food is available.


Did President Donald Trump launch his Twitter barrage at Elijah Cummings simply because the Baltimore congressman was black?

Was it just a "racist" attack on a member of the Black Caucus?

Or did Trump go after Cummings after a Saturday Fox News report that his district was in far worse condition than the Mexican border area for which Cummings had demagogically berated Border Patrol agents?

Here are Trump's crucial tweets:

"Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border, when actually his Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous. His district is considered the Worst in the USA...

"...the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded. Cummings' District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place."

The Fox News report that triggered Trump's tweets featured a Maryland Republican strategist, Kimberly Klacik, whose videos showed piles of trash and abandoned homes in Baltimore. "A lot of people said he (Cummings) hasn't even been there in a while," Klacik claimed.

And Trump, it appears, has more ammunition than that.

Baltimore in 2018 was the murder capital of America and ranked second among her most violent major cities. With St. Louis and Detroit, Baltimore is always at or near the top of the list of the most dangerous American cities.

And what has Cummings, in office 28 years, done to alter that awful reputation?

As for the presence of rats and rodents, Baltimore has competitors.

There have lately been news reports of the homeless in LA and San Francisco living on city sidewalks, defecating where they sleep, attracting rodents and vermin, with little or nothing done about it.

Is it racist to call attention to the decline of so many of America's great cities that have long been under liberal Democratic rule?

Over this weekend, while Trump was tweeting, nine people were shot dead in Chicago and 39 wounded. Sounds like Baghdad or Kabul.

Is this the new normal that Americans must accept?

A prediction: The incidence of murders, rapes, robberies and assaults in urban America, which saw a steep decline in the last three decades, is about to rise again.

Why? Because the attitudes and policies that produced these sinking rates of crime and violence -- especially the dramatic increase in the incarceration of criminals in America -- are changing.

In 1980, some 500,000 criminals were in federal and state prisons and jails. By 2016, some 2.2 million inmates were in jails and prisons and another 4.5 million convicts were on parole or probation, being monitored.

As violent criminals were taken off the streets and put behind bars for years, crime fell, and most dramatically in cities like New York, where the backing of cops and intolerance of criminals by mayors Rudy Giuliani and Mike Bloomberg was the most pronounced.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans were not victimized by crimes in the last three decades because their would-be perpetrators were behind bars. But today, a campaign is afoot to reduce prison populations and use more progressive methods to deal with crime.

Ex-Vice President Joe Biden, who, as a senator and a chairman of the Judiciary Committee, played a role in taking criminals off the streets, seems almost apologetic about what he and the "law and order" Republicans of those decades accomplished.

And the mindset that put first the right of the innocent to be free from domestic violence is vanishing. A recent video of NYPD cops being doused with pails of water as they made their rounds in Harlem has gone viral. The number of applicants for police training programs is dropping. Verbal assaults on "white racist cops" have taken a toll on police morale.

We seem to be drifting back to the 1960s, when crime began to soar and "law and order" began to surge as a national issue.

That issue helped Barry Goldwater capture the nomination from a Republican establishment that had controlled his party for decades.

In 1966, Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan ran as a law and order candidate for governor and routed the liberal incumbent by a million votes.

In 1968, Richard Nixon ran as the law and order candidate, which helped him to stave off George Wallace and defeat Hubert Humphrey, whose Democratic Party was almost twice the size as the GOP.

In 1988, Democratic nominee Gov. Michael Dukakis' prospects for the presidency vanished when he indicated he would not impose capital punishment, even on a criminal who had raped and murdered his wife.

Calling out the urban liberals who run most of America's cities, for their failure to make those cities more livable and safe, might be a winning issue for Trump in 2020.

Is this where Trump is headed? Is it a coincidence that Attorney General Bill Barr just said he will begin imposing the death penalty?

Patrick J. Buchanan

patrick buchanan1

Proponents of a prospective constitutional amendment to raise Florida’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026 gathered more than 100,000 signatures in June and are nearly half-way to qualifying for the 2020 ballot.

But with new petition-gathering rules approved by lawmakers in May going into effect July 7, Florida For A Fair Wage’s campaign will have to meet more strident standards between now and Feb. 1, 2020, to secure the 766,320 validated signatures necessary for the measure to be presented to voters in November’s general election.

In addition, those same newly imposed rules will also require the proposal to undergo a more robust Financial Impact Estimating Conference (FIEC) review by state fiscal analysts.
Such a review could produce indefinite results, similar to the way a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study released Monday projects raising the federal hourly minimum wage to $15 by 2025 would lift 1.3 million out of poverty but cost 1.3 million jobs.

According to the state’s Division of Elections, as of July 10, Florida For A Fair Wage had gathered 341,189 signatures, nearly 103,000 more than the 239,000 it had on June 1.
Championed by Orlando attorney John Morgan – who also spearheaded the ballot measure that legalized medical marijuana in 2016 – Florida For A Fair Wage has received more than $3 million in contributions.

Nearly all of that money – including $812,963.45 in May and $812,340 in June – came from Morgan’s law firm and much of it, more than $800,000, was paid to a California petition-collection firm.

As of July 7, however, out-of-state “professionals” are no longer permitted to gather petition signatures as part of a slate of rules adopted by the Legislature in the waning minutes of this year’s legislative session.

The new rules essentially extend the state’s voter registration system for absentee ballots to petition-gathering, requiring every citizen initiative organization sponsoring a signature-drive have its own numbered, serialized petition provided by county elections offices.

They require petition-gathers to register with the state and have a permanent Florida address, effectively barring out-of-state entities from ballot campaigns. The bill prohibits signature gatherers from being paid on a per-petition basis.

As a result, petition-gatherers say they’ll now need at least 1.1 million signatures to ensure 766,320 are verified, and will need to finish collecting by the end of 2019 to give elections supervisors the required 30 days to verify them before Feb. 1.

And if the FIEC review is as inconclusive as the CBO analysis, the proposal could also face tough sledding in the realm of public perception.

According to analysis by the nonpartisan CBO of the federal Raise the Wage Act, gradually doubling the $7.25 hourly federal minimum wage by 2025 would boost pay for 27 million workers, lifting 1.3 million households out of poverty, but also potentially triggering the loss of 1.3 million jobs.

According to the analysis, which used data from 11 studies published in the past four years:

• The $10 option would raise wages for 1.5 million workers who would otherwise earn less than $10 per hour. Another 2 million who would otherwise earn slightly more than $10 per hour “might see wages rise as well.” The option would have little effect on employment in an average week in 2025. There is a two-thirds chance the change in employment would be between about zero and a decrease of 100,000 workers. “This option would have negligible effects on the number of people in poverty.”

• In an average week in 2025, the $12 option would increase wages for 5 million workers who would otherwise earn less than $12 per hour. Another 6 million otherwise earning slightly more than $12 per hour could see wages rise as well. But the option would cause 300,000 other workers to be jobless. There is a two-thirds chance the change in employment would be between about zero and a decrease of 800,000 workers. “The number of people with annual income below the poverty threshold in 2025 would fall by 400,000.”

• In an average week in 2025, the $15 option would boost wages of 17 million workers who would otherwise earn less than $15 per hour. Another 10 million otherwise earning slightly more than $15 per hour might see wages rise as well. But 1.3 million other workers would become jobless, according to CBO’s median estimate. There is a two-thirds chance the change in employment would be between about zero and a decrease of 3.7 million workers.“The number of people with annual income below the poverty threshold in 2025 would fall by 1.3 million.”
The CBO report, only the second to focus on the impact of a $15 minimum wage, comes as Congress prepares to vote on increasing the federal minimum wage for the first time in more than a decade.

John Haughey
The Center Square

"My religion defines who I am. And I've been a practicing Catholic my whole life," said Vice President Joe Biden in 2012. "I accept my church's position on abortion as ... doctrine. Life begins at conception. ... I just refuse to impose that on others."

] For four decades, Biden backed the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of the tax dollars of Joe's fellow Catholics to pay for what they view as the killing of the innocent unborn.

Last week, Joe flipped. He now backs the repeal of the Hyde Amendment.

Ilyse Hogue of NARAL Pro-Choice America welcomed home the prodigal son: "We're pleased that Joe Biden has joined the rest of the 2020 Democratic field in coalescing around the Party's core values -- support for abortion rights."

But when did the right to an abortion -- a crime in many states before 1973 -- become a "core value" of the Democratic Party?

And what are these "values" of which politicians incessantly talk?

Are they immutable? Or do they change with the changing times?

Last month, Disney CEO Bob Iger said his company may cease filming in Georgia if its new anti-abortion law takes effect: "If (the bill) becomes law, I don't see how it's practical for us to continue to shoot there."

The Georgia law outlaws almost all abortions, once a heartbeat is detected, some six to eight weeks into pregnancy. It reflects the Christian conservative values of millions of Georgians.

To Iger and Hollywood, however, Georgia's law radically restricts the "reproductive rights" of women, and is a moral outrage.

What we have here is a clash of values.

What one side believes is preserving the God-given right to life for the unborn, the other regards as an assault on the rights of women.

The clash raises questions that go beyond our culture war to what America should stand for in the world.

"American interests and American values are inseparable," Pete Buttigieg told Rachel Maddow. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the Claremont Institute: "We have had too little courage to confront regimes squarely opposed to our interests and our values."

Are Pompeo and Mayor Pete talking about the same values?

The mayor is proudly gay and in a same-sex marriage. Yet the right to same-sex marriage did not even exist in this country until the Supreme Court discovered it a few years ago.

In a 2011 speech to the U.N., Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, "Gay rights are human rights," and she approved of U.S. embassies flying the rainbow flag during Pride Month.

This year, Mike Pompeo told the U.S. embassy in Brazil not to fly the rainbow flag. He explained his concept of his moral duty to the Christian Broadcasting Network, "The task I have is informed by my understanding of my faith, my belief in Jesus Christ as the Savior."

The Christian values Pompeo espouses on abortion and gay rights are in conflict with what progressives now call human rights.

And the world mirrors the American divide.

There are gay pride parades in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, but none in Riyadh and Mecca. In Brunei, homosexuality can get you killed.

To many Americans, diversity -- racial, ethnic, cultural, religious -- is our greatest strength.

Yet Poland and Hungary are proudly ethnonationalist. South Korea and Japan fiercely resist the racial and ethnic diversity immigration would bring. Catalans and Scots in this century, like Quebecois in the last, seek to secede from nations to which they have belonged for centuries.

Are ethnonationalist nations less righteous than diverse nations likes ours? And if diversity is an American value, is it really a universal value?

Consider the treasured rights of our First Amendment -- freedom of speech, religion and the press.

Saudi Arabia does not permit Christian preachers. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, converts to Christianity face savage reprisals. In Buddhist Myanmar, Muslims are ethnically cleansed.

These nations reject an equality of all faiths, believing instead in the primacy of their own majority faith. They reject our wall of separation between religion and state. Our values and their values conflict.

What makes ours right and theirs wrong? Why should our views and values prevail in what are, after all, their countries?

Under our Constitution, many practices are protected -- abortion, blasphemy, pornography, flag-burning, trashing religious beliefs -- that other nations regard as symptoms of a disintegrating society.

When Hillary Clinton said half of all Trump supporters could be put into a "basket of deplorables" for being "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic," she was conceding that many Trump's supporters detest many progressive values.

True, but in the era of Trump, why should her liberal values be the values America champions abroad?

With secularism's triumph, we Americans have no common religion, no common faith, no common font of moral truth. We disagree on what is right and wrong, moral and immoral.

Without an agreed-upon higher authority, values become matters of opinion. And ours are in conflict and irreconcilable.


But how, then, do we remain one nation and one people?

Patrick J. Buchanan


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