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Daily Archives: July 11, 2017
Posted: July 11, 2017 at 10:41 pm
Deadly scam costs billions, kills tens of thousands.
Delray, Florida is the addiction recovery capitol of the world. Over the past few decades, tens of thousands of people have come to the city on Florida’s Atlantic coast to escape the ravages of addiction. However, lax regulatory laws and generous insurance mandates have turned heaven into hell for many people. Here’s how.
Tens of thousands of people are dying each year under Obamacare’s secret euthanasia programs.
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) — The city of Delray, Florida is a beautiful coastal town just north of Boca Raton. The city boomed after World War II, and became a haven for surfers. It’s still popular with the surfing crowd. However, as drugs became a problem in the U.S., Delray gained another reputation. The city became home to a number of addiction recovery centers, and became the recovery capital of the nation.
Addiction recovery is a new science. Researchers are still learning about addiction itself, and work on addiction recovery makes slow progress. Addiction is usually fueled by unhappiness, despair, and pain, and may also have a genetic component. The drugs themselves are often so powerful they create addiction in as little as a single use.
As experts struggle to discern what works and how best to implement it, addicts need to survive day-to-day. To facilitate this, many addicts move into sober homes, which are houses occupied by fellow addicts who are sober. Often, there is some form of supervision or aid, to ensure the house remains sober. However, there are no regulations or licensing for the home providers or the supervisors. Anyone can open a sober home, and anyone can supervise the addicts living there.
A perfect storm of non-regulation, mandated payments, and addiction have attracted scammers and criminals to Delray. Sober homes open their doors and pack in residents. These homes can be found in every neighborhood, even the most upscale. But housing in poorer neighborhoods gets less oversight since the locals tend not to complain about noise or other nuisances.
Patients living in these homes don’t pay rent, their rent is paid by insurance companies which are also on the hook for testing and treatment. Drug testing can be frequent, even multiple times per week, and each test can be billed out for hundreds to thousands of dollars. By law, the insurers are required to pay.
When benefits run low, addicts need to relapse so they can restart the benefits cycle. Relapse is facilitated by the rehab centers, which have become unscrupulous. The patient is then moved to a new sober home to repeat the cycle. One patient can be worth millions of dollars. Rehab centers, or individuals often own more than one house, so they simply transfer a patient to all of their houses, one after another, cashing in at each stop.
Brokers also traffic patients between rehab facilities, trading patients back and forth like human trading cards.
When the benefits run out, patients are cast out on the streets where they become members of the city’s fast-growing homeless population.
The addicts who return to drug abuse often become criminals, stealing what they can to pay for their drugs. Crime is surging, as well as deaths from overdoses. The city coroner, police, fire and ambulance services have been forced into a hiring spree.
But often, patients simply die. They overdose while in rehab. It’s a known risk, so few people ask questions.
This perfect storm is created by Obamacare, and the state’s relaxed regulatory laws. Low taxes and lax regulation are great for attracting business, but they have also attracted fraudsters and criminals.
There’s not much relief in sight. The state is aware of the problem and has enacted a few measures to help. Gov. Rick Scott has freed up about $27 million in federal aid to assist with prevention, care, and addiction recovery. But that merely shares the burden of caring for these people with every taxpayer in the country. And the state has enacted tougher penalties for people who illegally recruit and traffic patients.
The entire scheme fits into a larger picture. Delray isn’t the only community struggling under the weight of this problem. Cities across the U.S. face similar challenges. Obamacare established the system, ostensibly to clean up our streets by curing drug addicts, but the truth is far worse.
This scheme results in tens of thousands of Americans dying annually from prescription and illegal drug overdosing. That overdosing is encouraged. Those who facilitate the abuse are well paid with federal funds. Why? The answer is simple. Obamacare is a legal euthanasia program. It’s provisions deliberately allow people to get rich by slowly killing off drug addicts. For the powerful elites who run the country, it’s a win-win. But for the rest of us, it is an expensive tragedy.
What Obamacare is worse than what Duterte is doing in the Philippines where thousands of drug dealers have been killed by vigilantes. Under Obamacare, tens of thousands die each year as money changes hands.
Obamacare, and the programs such as these it facilitates, need to come to an end. The people responsible for these programs, and the people cashing in on them need to be arrested and prosecuted. The Attorney General has started prosecuting some of the people who broker humans from rehab to rehab. But it’s a small start on a very large problem. One that costs us billions of dollars, and tens of thousands of lives each year.
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for JULY 2017 Lapsed Christians. That our brothers and sisters who have strayed from the faith, through our prayer and witness to the Gospel, may rediscover the merciful closeness of the Lord and the beauty of the Christian life.
Posted: at 10:40 pm
Two schools in as many weeks have been targeted by lead thieves in crimes that have been dubbed shameful and destructive.
Large amounts of lead flashing was stripped off the roof at Penybont Primary in Bridgend.
But it is understood thieves were disturbed by the caretaker and dropped it before fleeing.
Less than a week earlier, the towns Oldcastle Primary School, which is just a few streets away, reported 200 of lead had been stolen from its roof, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.
Town and county councillor Nicole Burnett, who is also the chairwoman of the Friends of Penybont, branded Saturdays incident an appalling crime and act of vandalism.
She said the money to pay the excess on the insurance claim would have to come out of school funds, meaning less money to be spent on the education of our children!
The lead was taken from a part of the roof which cannot be seen from ground level and if this crime had gone unnoticed, then the next time it rained the school would have suffered extreme water damage, which could have meant the closure of the school. This is not a victimless crime, she added.
Councillor Charles Smith, Bridgend council cabinet member for education and regeneration, said: This type of shameful, destructive crime can cause thousands of pounds worth of damage to a school and its resources, and leaves scores of children at a disadvantage.
A police investigation is underway and we would urge anyone who notices suspicious behaviour taking place on school premises to report it immediately.
A police spokeswoman said officers were called to Penybont Primary shortly before 2.15am on Saturday, and while there was little sign of a break-in, a large quantity of lead flashing was discovered abandoned in the school yard.
Inquiries are continuing to identify those involved, and anyone with any information that could help the investigation is urged to contact 101, quoting reference 1700264313.
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Posted: at 10:40 pm
A Queens Village man was convicted of sex trafficking and forcing two teenage girls into prostitution, and faces up to 50 years behind bars.
By Mark Hallum
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A Queens Village man is facing up to 50 years in state prison after he was convicted last Friday of sex trafficking two teenage girls and promoting prostitution, the Queens district attorney said.
The two-week trial showed Ricardi Dirty Dumervil, 29, issued threats of violence to the young women, who were forced to comply with the defendants wishes over the course of about a year, according to DA Richard Brown.
The defendant has been convicted of inducing fear of physical harm into two young women so that he could treat them as chattel, commodities to be sold to others for cash, which he then pocketed for himself, Brown said. Sex trafficking is a violent, degrading and demeaning crime that will not be tolerated in Queens. The defendant will now be incarcerated for his crimes.
A jury found Dumervil guilty of sex trafficking and promoting prostitution. He was scheduled to be sentenced on July 27.
Brown said the jurys decision in the Queens Supreme Court trial, presided over by Justice Michael Aloise, marked 35 human trafficking convictions since 2007. That year saw the beginning of more extreme punishments for those guilty of exploiting human beings for profit. The last available year for statistics 2016 showed human trafficking convictions in Browns jurisdiction accounted for about one-third of all such convictions statewide.
Trial testimony alleged that Dumervil had forced two women, ages 18 and 19, into prostitution between April 2014 and March 2015, according to Brown. The defendant was accused of threatening violence upon the victims if they refused to obey, forcing them to engage in sexual activity with clients in exchange for money, and then pocketing the profit for himself.
In June, a different Queens man was charged by the Queens DA for alleged human trafficking and pimping out a 14-year-old runaway girl. Reagan Flex Conception, 28, faced a 76-count indictment for kidnapping, rape and other charges on the criminal complaint when he returned to court this week. He could be sentenced to 25 years to life behind bars if convicted, Brown said.
I want to stress that prostitution is not a victimless crime and that sex trafficking is an incessant act of brutality and degradation. This teenage girl was finally freed, but she will have to live with this horrible experience for the rest of her life, Brown said in response to the charges against Conception.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (718) 2604564.
Posted 12:00 am, July 11, 2017
2017 Community News Group
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Posted: at 10:40 pm
Keene Signals its Support for Secession by its Recent Peaceful Civil Disobedience
In a recent Keene Sentinel piece about multiple city councilors gushing over their recent decision to paint a horribly garish blue line down the middle of Marlboro St, local commenter Johnson Rice points out that the city is actually committing civil disobedience against the federal government:
This doesnt look like the kind of thing a peace officer should be sporting.
Interesting that the city decided to violate the law outlined by the USDOT & FHA when they clearly warned a few towns in New Jersey that this practice is illegal in that it creates unsafe road conditions because motorists dont know what this line means. It could result in lawsuits for the city if the unsafe condition results in any legitimate accidents or even accidents involving less scrupulous people.
Good for the City of Keene though for adopting that rebellious Free Keene spirit and willfully violating federal law.
I think the bright blue paint is ugly, distracting, and possibly dangerous to clueless drivers. The police get far too much worship as-is, for the job of a supposed servant and dont need any more blind obeisance. (They arent all saints. Heres a story about a local NH police chief who also was a child rapist for several years at least.)
All that said, while I dont agree with the issue they chose, I do appreciate the city governments embracing of peaceful civil disobedience. Maybe theyll see the light that the federal government is a controlling, abusive spouse and start openly supporting secession next?
Doubtful, but this does point out that the law means nothing to the state & city when they wish to ignore it. Who can blame them? Statutes and codes are just words on paper written by strangers. They are opinions backed by guns. Thanks to their thin blue line of police, the political class is protected from having to follow their own rules, yet the rest of us are jailed for victimless crimes in ever-growing numbers.
It might make you wonder who the police are really there to protect and serve, hmm?
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Posted: at 10:39 pm
Insurance works because not everybody gets sick at the same time. Photograph: Erik Mc G/PacificPress/Barcroft
Having sworn for six years to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Senate Republicans, unable to pass a plan before their summer recess, recently got their first taste of how the folks at home feel about it. While many ducked those messy town-hall meetings, they couldnt avoid hearing the angry voices during Fourth of July parades, picnics and fireworks.
Why are regular people so angry, even in deep red states? Because voters instinctively understand the irreconcilable conflict between political rhetoric, conservative dogma and the hard reality of economics.
On one hand, the devotees of Ayn Rand (Paul Ryan, Rand Paul etc) are on the talk shows explaining that laissez faire capitalism and free-market competition are the answers for better care and lower costs plus tax cuts for the rich, of course.
On the other hand, Republican moderates recognize the disastrous impact of kicking tens of millions of Americans off their health insurance and rightly fear voters backlash. But both camps have chosen to ignore some pretty basic facts they should have learned in economics 101.
This is not a new problem. Were in this mess because politicians historically kick the can down the road. In 1986, Ronald Reagan signed the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (Emtala), mandating emergency services regardless of the ability to pay. Back then, Republicans and Democrats overwhelming agreed that nobody should be left to die because they couldnt afford to go to the doctor but unsurprisingly, no one ever dealt with how to pay for it.
Ever since there has been a bitter, ongoing political fight about who deserves what care and who pays. Progressives and Democrats think healthcare should be a basic human right. Republicans and Atlas Shrugged conservatives say everybody should pay their own way. We all want better care and lower prices. But the Republicans now controlling our entire government cant craft a workable plan because they ignore at least four immutable economic principles.
First, healthcare markets dont obey Adam Smiths invisible hand of supply and demand. As any economist will tell you, certain sectors of a capitalist economy, such as agriculture and healthcare, are price inelastic. Inelasticity is just a fancy term meaning the demand for a good or service does not go down when the price goes up.
Why is this so? Because everybody wants their sick child to get well, and they expect modern medicine to do whatever it takes and damn the expense. This price inelasticity of demand is what makes healthcare costs so hard to control.
To deal with the effects of price inelasticity in our everyday lives, we use health insurance. Insurance works because not everybody gets sick at the same time. So if everyone buys insurance policies, the risk and the costs are spread out over time, and the price is affordable for everybody.
Heres where Republicans ignore the concept of homo economicus, or economic man. By definition, homo economicus makes consistently rational and self-interested decisions. Millions of working families choose to pay for food, shelter, clothing, school and transportation before they pay for health insurance. They reason that the risk is worth the savings. For many young and healthy folks, this makes good economic sense.
Behavioral economists call this the free rider phenomenon, and its the third economic principal conservatives tend to misinterpret. But when free riders inevitably get sick or old, the law (and simple decency) demand we take care of them. So who gets stuck with their bills? You do. When hospitals and doctors cant collect from the free riders, they pass those costs along to the rest of us, and our insurance premiums go up.
Conservatives say its wrong to force people to pay for something they dont want, and thats a compelling argument. But the flip-side of that coin is: why should I have to pay for the free riders? Im homo economicus too!
Finally, healthcare isnt even a true free market. On the supply side there are huge barriers to entry exhaustive educational requirements and strict state and federal exams and license regulations, as there should be.
Who wants an ignorant, negligent doctor? On the demand side, most consumers dont have the medical knowledge or judgment to make the kind of free and informed decisions required in a truly free market. Besides, when you get sick, you dont really have a choice. Going to the hospital is not like deciding to buy a new smartphone, is it?
The ACA (aka Obamacare) was designed to deal with all these economic realities. The law addresses price inelasticity by paying doctors for making you feel better, not just for doing a lot of stuff. Thats called outcome-based pricing.
The ACA covers annual physicals and preventive care, so the need for exorbitantly expensive emergency room visits is dramatically reduced. The law requires that doctors and hospitals publish outcome statistics so consumers have quality-of-care information for comparison shopping.
Taking a carrot-and-stick approach to homo economicus, the law gives subsidies to working families who cant afford expensive individual premiums and levies penalties on free riders.
All these are pretty solid, conservative, market-based, Republican ideas. In fact, the plan which became the ACA was conceived by economists at the conservative Heritage Foundation. It was a free-market response to the Democrats proposals for a universal single-payer system, or Medicare for all.
Obama may have co-opted the plan, but its chock-full of traditional conservative dogma. The only reason I can think of that Republicans didnt embrace their own plan was because Obama proposed it.
But now, having campaigned for six years on repeal and replace, Republicans find themselves hoisted by their own petard. To disguise their lack of a workable plan, they willfully ignore the laws of economics and pontificate on the virtues of free market capitalism as the cure for all ills.
Paeans to American capitalism might sound great in political speeches, but 20 million-plus people will lose their health insurance in order to give the 1% another big tax cut. Real people will die. Homo economicus understands this all too well and thats why Republican lawmakers will continue getting an earful from the folks back home, including Republican base voters.
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Posted: at 10:39 pm
PHOENIX — A federal judge has rebuffed a bid by the Libertarian Party to kill an Arizona law even its sponsors concede was designed to make it harder for minor party candidates to get on the general election ballot.
Judge David Campbell acknowledged Monday the 2015 law sharply increases the number of signatures that Libertarian candidates need to qualify for ballot status. In some cases, the difference is more than 20 times the old requirement.
The result was that only one Libertarian candidate qualified for the ballot in 2016, and none made it to the general election. By contrast, there were 25 in 2004, 19 in 2008 and 18 in 2012.
But Campbell said the new hurdle is not unconstitutionally burdensome. And the judge accepted the arguments that the higher signature requirements ensure that candidates who reach the November ballot have some threshold of support.
But Libertarian Party Chairman Michael Kielsky said the judge ignored not just the higher burden but the games that the Republican-controlled legislature played in making 2015 the change for their own political purposes.
The Republicans set out to get the Libertarians off the ballot and the Republicans succeeded, Kielsky said. And now, Judge Campbell has said, Thats OK.
Kielsky is not just spouting party rhetoric.
In pushing for the change, GOP lawmakers made no secret they do not want Libertarian Party candidates in the race, contending that a vote for a Libertarian is a vote that would otherwise go to a Republican. As proof, some cited the 2012 congressional race.
Republican Jonathan Paton lost the CD 1 race to Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick by 9,180 votes. But Libertarian Kim Allen picked up 15,227 votes — votes that Rep. J.D. Mesnard, R-Chandler, argued during floor debate likely would have gone to Paton.
And in CD 9, Democrats Kyrsten Sinema defeated Republican Vernon Parker by 10,251 votes, with Libertarian Powell Gammill tallying 16,620.
And if the point was lost, Mesnard made the issue more personal for colleagues, warning them that they, too, could find themselves aced out of a seat if they dont change the signature requirements.
I cant believe we wouldnt see the benefit of this, he said during a floor speech.
The way the legislature accomplished this was to change the rules.
Prior to 2015, would-be candidates qualified for the ballot by getting the signatures of one-half of one percent of all party members within a given area. So for a Republican seeking statewide office, that translated out to 5,660 signatures.
The new formula changed that to one-quarter of a percent — but for all people who could sign a candidates petition. That adds political independents, who outnumber Democrats and are running neck-in-neck with Republicans, to the equation.
Under the new formula, a Republican statewide candidate in 2016 needed 5,790 signatures.
But the effect on minor parties is more profound,
Using that pre-2016 formula, a Libertarian could run for statewide office with petitions bearing just 134 names, one-half percent of all those registered with the party. But the new formula, which takes into account all the independents, required a Libertarian trying to get on a statewide ballot to get 3,023 signatures.
To put that in perspective that is closed to 12 percent of all registered Libertarians. By contrast, the statewide burden for a GOP candidate, based on the number of registered Republicans, remains close to that one-half of one percent of all adherents.
Its B.S., Kielsky said. Its completely perverse.
But Campbell said there is nothing unconstitutional about the higher requirement to limit the field to bona fide candidates who had some chance of actually winning.
If a candidate was not required to show any threshold of support through votes or petition signatures, she could win her primary and reach the general ballot with no significant modicum of support at all, Campbell continued. And in the case of Libertarians, who often run unopposed in their partys primary, a candidate could win a spot on the general election ballot with only one vote in such a primary.
Anyway, the judge said, Libertarian candidates can now seek out support to get on the ballot from independents, a pool totaling more than one million voters in Arizona.
Kielsky said that misses the point.
That means we have to appeal to things that the independents care about — but not necessarily the Libertarians care about — to be a Libertarian candidate, he said. The distinction of being a Libertarian is diluted, if not lost.
And Kielsky called the requirement for a modicum of support a red herring. He said if Libertarians were not picking up significant votes, the GOP-controlled legislature would not have changed the law to keep them off the ballot.
On Twitter: @azcapmedia
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Posted: at 10:39 pm
Its not surprising that the number of registered Democrats in the state of Louisiana has decreased over the past 16 years. A new analysis from JMC Analytics shows that there has been a significant decrease in the number of registered white Democrats while the number of registered white Republicans has risen.
In 2001, when President George W. Bush took office, white Democrats made up 35% of the registered voters, but today that number has fallen to 18%. Over the same period, the number of Republicans increased from 22% to 30% and Independents increased 8%.
From 2001 to today, black voters in the state rose from 29% to 31%, but Hispanic and Asian voters, combined, increased 66%.
Today, Democrats account for 44% of the voters in the state of Louisiana, while Republicans account for 30% and Independents 26%.
But how many registered Republicans and Democrats are true Republicans or Democrats? There are Democrats that oppose new gun control legislation and Republican that support same-sex marriage. Does support for gun rights define a voter as a Repubican? Does support of same-sex marriage render a voter a Democrat?
The world of political issues is complicated and seemingly not as clear cut as it was in the past. Hypocrisy reins supreme with both Democrats and Republicans. Perhaps the Independents are more respected for having views that seem to conflict with the strict Republican and Democratic Party ideology.
Many people find security in belonging to a group that helps define who they are. Many how identify themselves as Republicans or Democrats do not agree with the strict definition of what it means to be Republican or Democrat, but they gain a stronger sense of identity by adhering allegiance to one party or the other.
The majority of voters in the state of Louisiana, as well as the majority of voters across America, are not truly Republican or Democrat. And these are the voters that decide the outcome of elections.
Look at the breakdown of registered voters in Louisiana 44% are Democrats, 30% are Republicans and 26% are Independents. Based on the breakdown of voters, in a two-candidate race, a Republican or a Democrat would need the support of Independents to win an election.
During the campaign, Donald Trumps appeal stretched beyond the base of the Republican Party. Now as president, Trump appears to be pandering more to his base, which will not be strong enough for reelection in 2020.
On my radio show, I have always emphasized the importance of a candidate projecting an image more moderate than the core of either party. George W. Bush brilliantly used the slogan, Compassionate Conservative to win. Barack Obama presented a more moderate, or populist, position during his two campaigns. Once in office, candidates tend to feed their base voters. That changes toward reelection time. There are those who will vote for the Republican or the Democrat no matter what circumstances surround a campaign, but it is the moderates and the Independents that determine an elections outcome.
In a world where Americans are so quick to label each other -conservative, liberal or whatever – we should all be honest about the reality that most are not as politically pure as the image of either party.
And thats the reason we should not be so quick to label or judge each other.
Posted: at 10:39 pm
By Charles Ashby Sunday, July 9, 2017
When the Colorado Legislature proposed and the governor later signed a bill limiting law enforcements use of civil asset forfeiture laws, police, prosecutors and even some county commissioners hit the roof.
They all said they needed the ability to keep such assets to help them fight crime.
Now, a former Libertarian Party presidential candidate who lives in Littleton wants to take that idea one step further.
Steve Kerbel, who vied to be his partys presidential nominee last year, submitted a proposed ballot measure Thursday that would prevent any Colorado governmental entity from the state on down from keeping any money they collect from fines or penalties.
Kerbels thinking is that most of those fines are not intended to dissuade people from doing bad things, but as a means to enrich governments or pad their ever-shrinking budgets.
Im not saying that every fine is for self-enrichment, but what I am saying is that we have given the government the privilege to enforce laws, and they have abused their authority, Kerbel said.
The goal here is to bring forth judicious enforcement based on the real intent of the law, rather than just taking advantage of the letter of the law.
His proposal, which if approved would be on the 2018 ballot, would not limit or do away with fines, but redirect them.
Instead of the fining agency keeping that money, it first would go to reimburse a victim for any financial losses.
If there is no victim, such as in a speeding incident, the money would go to a charity of the fine payers choice.
That way, the fines and penalties that various courts and governments assess could still be used as a deterrent. They just cant be used to fund a government agency, Kerbel said.
Its really destroyed the entire law and order purpose and perception, he said. Removing that credibility from the actions of government is damaging. With this law, the deterrent remains. The fines are still payable, but the government just cant have them.
Kerbel said what hes really trying to do is to remove a conflict of interest that governments have put upon themselves.
That conflict is inherent in any government agency trying to enforce a law, and then financially benefiting from it.
Sometimes, Kerbel says, a local governments only motivation in assessing fines and penalties is as a major funding mechanism for themselves.
He points to a small town in Colorado called Mountain View, a town in the Denver metropolitan area that is only six blocks long and two blocks wide.
It gets more than 50 percent of its revenues from traffic violations, Kerbel said.
Its highway robbery. They are openly and obviously manipulating the system.
Even though his measure still has a long way to go to qualify for the ballot, Kerbel said hes already been approached by people in other states and even Australia about the idea.
People are fed up with this pure abuse of authority, Kerbel said.
And its become more transparent as the years go by. As that transparency increases, people become even more fed up.
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Posted: at 10:38 pm
Do unto others as you would have others do unto you (Matthew 7:12).
That verse is known by most people as the Golden Rule. Whether you are a person of faith or not most people would agree that it is a pretty good guide for life. Yet even as most would agree that it is a good life goal there seems to be an absence of it on a number of levels in our world.
In a nation whose political landscape is so divided we see an absence of this practice. In a world where so many talk at each other instead of to each other the practice seems forgotten. In a culture where electronic communications so easily voice our weaker nature, one would assume there has been a vacancy of learning about the transformational power of the Golden Rule.
With all this being considered I suppose we could throw up our hands, give up and avoid people. We could cry that, nothing will change and I am checking out. We could do that, but that would change nothing. That attitude would offer no hope for the future, and that simply is not an attitude that we as humans can afford to have.
When I was in high school our cross-country team was very good, state ranked, in fact, all season. They wore T-shirts to summer training camp with the following statement on them. The shirts said, What will be is up to me! That sentiment gave me a simple language that revealed what my heart believed. No matter what the circumstances may be I can make a difference wherever I am. No matter what the circumstances may be we can make a difference no matter where we are.
Later on, another thought occurred to me. What happens if enough Is become wes? What would happen if our attitude became I cant change everything but I can change something every day? What would happen if people began doing five simple acts of kindness every day? What would happen if we held doors for people? Smiled and said hello? Allowed people to turn in front of us in heavy traffic? What would happen if we made it our purpose to treat people who bring us our food or sell us our gas like we wanted to be treated? What would happen if for an hour or so every day we shut off the TV or the electronic devices and talked and listened to each other? What would happen if we went for walks in the neighborhood every summer evening and just looked to help someone with something simple?
South African Bishop Desmond Tutu said, Hope is being able to see that there is light despite the darkness. This reminds us not to give up.
St. Paul said, Faith, hope, love, abide these three but the greatest of these is love. This reminds us of the powerful source of transformation that can change anything. What will be is up to me reminds us that I/we are the living sources of transformation. This mornings sunrise reminds us that it is time to get to work changing the future!
A Fellow Traveler on the Journey Pastor Dan
The Rev. Dan Bowman is pastor of First United Methodist Church in Gaylord. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Posted: at 10:38 pm
The Modern Technique of the Pistol gave us four simple rules of gun safety that make it so much easier for us to prevent injury to ourselves or others. Rule No. 3 is, Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target. This is such an important safety rule that many of us call it the Golden Rule.
In teaching the draw stroke, most of us teach the students to not only keep their finger off the trigger but to keep it out of the trigger guard area, too. In fact, instructors almost universally teach that the trigger finger should be straight, along the slide until the muzzle is pointed downrange at the intended target or threat. Further, in order to make this a habit, we practice this safety method whenever handling any sort of firearm for any sort of reason.
When I was first exposed to this important safety method, I thought that it would slow me down for that first, most important, defensive shot. Not that I really doubted my teachers, but I gave this admonition a lot of thought and practice. What I found was that, no matter what kind of fast-draw artist the shooter might be, he still had plenty of time to get the finger to the trigger while the gun was being brought to eye level and the sights acquired. I also realized that, the more conscious that we are of proper finger control, the less likely we are to have a negligent discharge.
Some would say that they keep their finger in the trigger guard, but off the trigger, until they are ready to shoot. But these folks simply don’t understand the business of sympathetic reflex. Often, especially under stress, if we clinch one hand, we are very likely to clinch the other hand and this is one example of sympathetic reflex. A gunfight can be a very dynamic event and we may have to double up the fist of our support hand. Or we may use our support hand to grab onto something to keep from falling. Clinching that support hand may cause us to also clinch our shooting hand and, if your trigger finger is anywhere near the trigger, we could very well let off an unintended shot.
A critical time for keeping that finger straight is during the re-holstering process. Some time ago, I did an informal survey of defensive classes to determine when negligent discharges were most likely. What I found was that ND’s most often occur when folks are re-holstering and still have their finger in the trigger guard. The finger smacks the top of the holster. Then it smacks the trigger. And then there is often a loud noise. Sometimes that loud noise is immediately followed by the need for Bandaids.
I have personally witnessed two negligent discharges on shooting ranges, one involving injury. In both cases the shooter had his finger on the trigger when it shouldn’t have been. One of these, the one involving injury, was during re-holstering. The second was when the shooter was chambering a round and, fortunately, had his muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
I also have personal knowledge, though I did not witness it, of a fellow peace officer smacking a crook over the head with his revolver. The blow impacted his trigger finger, which was on the trigger, and the resultant shot wounded two bystanders. That, by the way, is just one of the many reasons why it is not a good idea to hit someone with your pistol. Reviewing these three incidents, it is clear that Rule No. 4 is important regardless of whether we use a revolver, a striker-fired semi-automatic, or a single-action semi-automatic, since these were the guns involved in those incidents.
I am impressed when I see people handle firearms with their trigger fingers straight. I’ve even noticed savvy gun folks doing this at the SHOT Show and the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits, when the guns displayed have short firing pins installed and could not fire even if they were actually loaded. It is simply the mark of a professional and safety-conscious individual. We don’t do that to impress others, we do it to make it an ingrained habit.
Remember to keep that finger straight and off the trigger until your sights and gun muzzle are pointed at the target or threat. It is the right thing to do because it is the safe thing to do.
Rule No. 3 is truly the Golden Rule of gun safety. Make it part of your life. You’ll be glad that you did.
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