Did DHS pressure teen to get abortion?

SARAH J. GLOVER / Staff photographer Marisol Rivera (right), speaking with a foster mother, says she lost her job for refusing to take teen for late-term abortion.

Philadelphia Daily News

A DEPARTMENT OF Human Services caseworker pressured a pregnant Mayfair teenager to undergo a late-term abortion by threatening to take away either her toddler or her unborn baby if she had the child, according to the teen’s foster mother.

The alleged strong-arm tactic happened one day after DHS learned of the pregnancy, when the girl was about 22 weeks pregnant, according to her foster mother and the girl’s social worker, Marisol Rivera.

The foster mother did not want to be identified in order to protect the girl’s identity.

The Daily News also learned that:

* DHS got a Family Court judge’s order allowing it to take the girl for an abortion, after the girl’s birth mother refused to approve the procedure.

* By the time DHS arranged for the abortion – in March – the girl was 24 weeks pregnant. She had to undergo the procedure in New Jersey because abortions in Pennsylvania are illegal at 24 weeks.

* Although it is DHS policy that a DHS worker accompany any minor who has a court-ordered medical procedure, this did not happen on the girl’s first attempt to have the abortion. That attempt failed when the clinic wouldn’t accept her Medicaid card and wanted cash, according to the foster mother. A DHS worker did accompany the girl on a later, successful, attempt.

* Rivera, the girl’s social worker, said that she was fired by Concilio, which subcontracted with DHS to provide care, after she initially refused to accompany the teen for the abortion.

“They hired me to work in child protection, not to kill children,” Rivera told the Daily News.

DHS officials said that they could not discuss the case because of medical-privacy laws. Attempts to talk to the teenager were unsuccessful.

But a source familiar with the case insisted that the girl was not coerced and that her foster mother, whose first language is Spanish, did not understand the conversation between the girl and the DHS worker, Cynthia Brown.

Brown declined to comment.

Abortions are a little-known aspect of DHS’s oversight of children in its custody.

Donald F. Schwarz, the city’s deputy mayor for Health and Opportunity, who oversees DHS, said that the agency “is supposed to take a neutral position and not supposed to be involved in the decision making” regarding an abortion.

Between September 2006 and March 31, Schwarz said, 335 minors under DHS care became pregnant. Of those, 119 resulted in abortions. Of those abortions, 54 were done by judge’s order.

Eight of the abortions were performed out of state, Schwarz said.

Although federal and state law forbid the use of federal or state money for abortions, and DHS is a recipient of state and federal aid, that money is not used to pay for abortions, Schwarz said.

He said that money only from the city budget is used to pay for the procedures.

Art Caplan, director of the Center of Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, said that if the foster mother’s allegations are true, the DHS worker was acting unethically.

“You can’t or shouldn’t be threatening to break up a family depending upon whether somebody gets an abortion or not,” Caplan said. “That is . . . unethical practice, it’s not even common sense.”

Richard Wexler, executive director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, said: “If DHS’s behavior is as described, it is shameful and inexcusable. . . . Sadly, this is not surprising . . . . This kind of bungling, this is not unusual in child-welfare systems. Especially in Philadelphia.”

Short-lived joy

The pregnant teen was excited about having the baby, her foster mother said. She learned that she was carrying a boy and told her 1-year-old daughter that she was going to have a little brother. She even talked about a name for the baby.

The teen’s birth mother, who wanted to be identified only as Deborah M., also said that her daughter was excited to have a baby.

“Someone who went to go get an ultrasound, [found] out it’s a boy, they give the boy a name, that’s somebody who wants to have that baby,” Deborah M. said. “But the next thing I know, she’s going for the abortion.”

The teen’s foster mother – who is fluent in Spanish and understands basic English – said that she was present when DHS worker Brown discussed the pregnancy with the teen in the living room of her home.

The conversation occurred the day after the girl’s ultrasound, the foster mother said.

She said that Brown told the pregnant teenager that DHS would separate her children if she had the second child.

“She said that if she decided to have the infant she wasn’t going to let her have both babies, that I know [despite the language barrier],” the foster mother said. “They wouldn’t be together.”

During the conversation, Brown was “upset” and “agitated,” the foster mother said, and the teen began to cry.

In an interview conducted in Spanish, the foster mother said that she had been listening to the two from the top of the stairs, but rushed down when the teen began crying.

She asked Brown, “Is there a problem?”

“Of course, there is a problem,” the foster mother said Brown told her. “This girl is 16 years old, she’s in school, she already has a baby. Yes, there is a problem.”

By the next day, the teen was determined to get an abortion, the foster mother said.

Rivera, the girl’s social worker, said, “Ever since DHS went there [to the foster home], the only alternative that she saw was abortion.”

Deborah M., the girl’s birth mother, said that she believed the foster mother’s allegations because she’d witnessed Brown bullying her daughter once before.

Brown had discovered that the teen had not been taking her child to day care.

Brown, she said, rushed up close to the teen’s face and said, “If you don’t put your baby in day care, I’m gonna take your baby.”

Deborah M. said that she then ordered Brown out of her home, and that she left.

Caring for pregnancies

Schwarz said that when DHS is alerted to a child’s pregnancy, “the youth and her caseworker discuss the [youth’s] plans regarding her pregnancy.”

DHS offers counseling, family planning and other pregnancy-related services such as prenatal care, abortion and adoption, he said.

Rivera said that when she telephoned Brown with news that the teen was pregnant, the DHS worker was “shocked.”

“Oh, my God, but that girl has to study,” Rivera recalled Brown saying.

The teen’s birth mother and the foster mother said that they separately heard conversations between Brown and the teen where the word “abortion” was mentioned.

Both said that they heard no mention of other alternatives, they told the Daily News.

Rivera said that after the teen’s confrontation with Brown, she counseled the girl about her pregnancy, including alternatives such as adoption.

Rivera said that she and Concilio’s Family Services Supervisor, Zenaida Maravi, told the teen that she could keep both children if she carried the pregnancy to term.

The teen remained silent to their comments, Rivera said.

Getting the abortion

On March 10, the day after DHS secured the court order for the abortion, Concilio supervisor Maravi told the teen’s foster mother that she must take the girl to an abortion clinic. The foster mother, who arranged for a relative to drive them, said that she was reluctant to go, believing that the girl was too far along for the procedure.

But when they arrived at the clinic, which the foster mother could not identify, it would not accept the teen’s Medicaid card as payment, the foster mother said.

Six days later, on March 16, Brown, the DHS caseworker, took the teen to the Cherry Hill Women’s Center without alerting the pregnant teen’s foster mother or Rivera, the women said.

Rivera and the foster mother believed the clinic performed an abortion. A common procedure for late-term abortions is dilation and extraction. The procedure usually takes two or three days. On the first day, doctors inject a substance into the fetus to stop its heart as well and begin the dilation process. The woman typically goes home and returns the next day so that the fetus can be extracted.

The pregnant teen had left for school late that morning, out of character for the girl, the foster mother said. By 7 p.m., the teenager hadn’t arrived home and the foster mother called Rivera in a panic. The social worker told her to call police by 10 p.m. if she wasn’t home by then.

The girl arrived home around 8:30 p.m.

“What happened?” the foster mother asked her.

“The baby is dead,” the teen answered. The teen told her that Brown had taken her out of school to get an abortion in New Jersey.

The next day, Concilio provided a van to take the girl back to the clinic for the second day of the procedure, according to Rivera.

Rivera initially refused to accompany the teen, but when she learned that the first step of the procedure had already been performed, she relented.

“That baby had to be taken out of her,” Rivera said. “It couldn’t stay in there much longer. It was against my will, but I had no other option. Instead of one dying, two were going to die [if the procedure was not completed].”

Rivera is fired

Rivera said that when she initially refused to take the teen to the clinic, Maravi, her supervisor,threatened to fire her for insubordination.

Rivera wrote a memo to Concilio’s human-relations director complaining about the threat.

She was fired on April 14 for “deficiencies in your job performance” in a letter signed by Joanna Otero-Cruz, Concilio’s executive director.

Rivera says she believes that she was fired for complaining about her supervisor’s threat.

“The decision to terminate the life of the child had been made by another, I had nothing to do with it,” Rivera told the Daily News. “I told [Maravi] that my religious beliefs, my moral beliefs would not allow me to participate in an action like this one. And at no moment when Concilio hired me did they tell me that I would participate in that.”

Rivera and other Concilio employees said that the agency seemed wary of involvement in the teen’s late-term abortion.

At a March 12 meeting of Concilio’s foster-care staff, Maravi told the group, “Concilio will not become involved in that situation. DHS will resolve it,” Rivera said.

But the following week, two Concilio employees and a Concilio van were used to take the teen to the abortion clinic.

Maravi said she could discuss the case. Otero-Cruz did not return a phone call.

Joe Jonas: ‘We’re not pedophiles’ on Obama’s quip

By: Nikki Schwab and Tara Palmeri
Washington Examiner

Obama’s writers may have thought their quip about the Jonas Brothers during White House Correspondents’ Association dinner was a nod to the boy band and their star power, but the brothers saw it as a jab.

Nick and Joe Jonas were spotted sulking in the corner at the Bloomberg/Vanity Fair after-party when Yeas & Nays asked what they thought of the joke.

“We’re not that old,” Nick Jonas told Yeas.

“Seriously, we’re not pedophiles,” Joe jumped in.

Joe Jonas’ girlfriend, Demi Lavato, seemed indignant as well. She said “who’s that?” when Yeas & Nays mentioned John Edwards and followed it up with a “What’s politics?”

The Jonas crew was huffing over a joke the president made during his speech at the dinner.

“The Jonas Brothers are here … Sasha and Malia are huge fans,” the president started. “But, boys, don’t get any ideas, I have two words for you — predator drones,” he said.

Obama quickly turned his attention away from the Jonas Brothers. “Speaking of tween heartthrobs, Scott Brown is here,” the president joked.

He picked on everyone from his staffers to Jay Leno, who headlined the event. “I am glad that the only person whose ratings fell more than mine last year is here tonight — great to see you, Jay,” Obama said. “I’m also glad that I’m speaking first, because we’ve all seen what happens when somebody takes the time slot after Leno’s.”

Read more at the Washington Examiner

The Death of Medical Technology

by Warner Todd Huston

In 2008 Patrick Swayze was treated with an advanced medical tool called a “CyberKnife.” It helped add months to his life as he tried to beat the cancer that was consuming him. But, Swayze wasn’t the only American with the good fortune to have this highly advanced medical technology available to him. In fact, there are 100 such machines across the United States. From California, to Minnesota, to Illinois and Washington D.C. Americans currently have the luxury of these wonderful new devices.

Sadly, Britons are not so lucky. There are two CyberKnife machines in the Britain, but they aren’t going to do anyone in the country’s socialist healthcare system any good because despite how successful these machines are British authorities won’t allow them to be used on patients.

Despite that the Mount Vernon cancer hospital in London is part of the National Health Services, despite that they spent £3m to purchase the machine, and quite despite the praise the machines receive in the U.S. and throughout the world, British NHS authorities won’t let NHS doctors use the machine on their patients.

Sadly, these heartless, uncaring socialist healthcare officials are uninterested in helping the estimated 10,000 British patients a year that could benefit from use of the CyberKnife. And why is this? Why, it’s because the treatments are expensive, of course.

You see money is far, far more important to Britain’s socialist healthcare system then patients.

As I said above, the U.S. is lucky to have many of these machines on our shores. In fact we have 100 of the 150 machines world-wide, all available for anyone that needs them. But this happy situation will not survive the implementation of America’s own socialist healthcare system when it institutes its rationing rules as the English have done. Sooner rather than later advanced tools like the CyberKnife will be eschewed as too expensive by Obamacre bean counters and such advanced technology will dwindle and wither away despite the lives it could save.

This is what is meant when it is said that Obamacare features death panels. After all, a socialist healthcare system that won’t pay for advanced technology because it’s just too darn expensive — just as is happening right now in England — is a defacto death panel.

And don’t imagine that this is just hyperbole. The same situation exists in nearly every country that has the kind of socialist healthcare that Barack Obama wants to force on the U.S.A. That’s why so many foreigners come to the U.S. for their advanced treatments. After all, one has to understand that there is a reason that America has 100 of the 150 machines that exist in the world today.

It is true that Obamacare does not provide for death panels in its legislation. But it doesn’t have to when its price control measures and rationing will eliminate the sort of life saving tools that technology will bring us, technology that Obamacare will destroy.

The Extreme Left: A Ticking Time Bomb

by Brandon Darby

The Mainstream media (MSM) is currently peddling the Obama Administration myth that patriotic Americans, many of whom have served in our military or who otherwise have an American flag hanging proudly in their front yards, pose a grave threat to our nation’s security. We have seen calls for Republican leaders to denounce Tea-Partiers and other activist groups opposed to Obama’s agenda. We are currently seeing our nation’s Department of Justice being hijacked to score political points for the Far-Left.

Let us remember that it is leftists who support convicted cop-killers, organize to prevent other Americans from exercising their constitutionally guaranteed rights, consistently threaten violence, and otherwise have a long history of supporting foreign powers who wish our nation and its freedoms harm.

For many years, the anti-American culture of the extreme left has been largely ignored. Like a cancer running through the body politic, the culture of hating America has metasticised. It is now “uncool” to have a flag in the yard, support our troops or believe in American exceptionalism.

To better see how the left works and the threat it poses, let us take a look at the Left and the 2008 Republican National Convention (RNC).

As could be expected, many leftist groups and individuals decided to stage large protests and demonstrations in St. Paul, Minnesota during the 2008 RNC. This is a very American thing to do and is protected by our constitution. However, a group of extreme leftists joined together and called themselves the RNC Welcoming Committee. These individuals set out across the country and used the internet to organize other like-minded individuals and groups to shut the RNC down and they threatened to use “any means necessary.” The organizers showed videos of firebombs being used, handed out maps of “targets,” and went as far as studying the communication systems of law-enforcement and EMS with the stated intention of possibly shutting down such systems.

Of course, a majority of the left-oriented individuals who participated in the RNC protests and demonstrations did not want much to do with the more radical RNC Welcoming Committee. This division in the Left’s protest organizing is standard practice at all large protests and demonstrations. However, the organizing hierarchy of the protest groups is another story all together and will be touched on later in this piece.

As the RNC kicked off, the protests began. All began well and thousands voiced their opposition to the Republican party. At the same time, the the extreme leftists and anarchists were attempting to follow through with their violent threats by actually making fire-bombs and attempting to use force to prevent Republicans from attending the convention. The Extreme Left wanted to prevent other Americans from exercising their Right to Assemble. Again, bombs were made by several different groups. Thankfully, numerous law-enforcement agencies and the FBI had infiltrated the groups. The bombs were confiscated, arrests were made, convictions were won, and Republicans were able to exercise their right to assemble and were not killed, burned, or otherwise maimed, as the extreme left had intended.

Reading the accounts, it would be easy to come to the conclusion that the attempted atrocities came from extreme leftists and the more moderate Left had no part in any of it. Right? Well, wrong.

Here is where the more moderate groups participate and contribute to such extremism: As soon as the demonstrations were over and the arrests were made, the more “moderate” Left began to stand behind the extremists. Local law-enforcement and the FBI’s successful efforts to stop violence and protect the Republicans right to assemble began to be portrayed as “government oppression of demonstrators.” The ACLU and the National Lawyers Guild began helping to defend the various radicals who had decided to dehumanize and interfere with the rights of Republicans.

There is yet another trial coming up which stems from the Left standing behind the extremists. The Left and the MSM have dubbed the extremists as the “RNC 8.” They are now “fighting” for their “rights” to “assemble.” The many heroes from all of the various law-enforcement groups involved are now being demonized by defense attorneys and the many leftist groups involved. Yet somehow the White House is claiming that conservatives are a threat?

The matter of the extreme anarchist “RNC 8” gets even more disturbing. One of the key “direct action” “trainers” and “community organizers” for the Leftist extremist contingent, Lisa Fithian, also happened to be on the streering committee for the umbrella organization which encompassed the more “moderate” Leftist groups. This umbrella organization, United for Peace and Justice, boasting nearly 1,400 various groups from across the nation, seemingly organized both the “moderate” and the “extremist” demonstrations.

Former President Bill Clinton, recently claimed that anti-government rhetoric from the Tea-Partiers concerned him and could lead the way to violence. Has Mr. Clinton ever looked at the websites of the Far-Left? They have infoshop.org, where the latest “communiques” from the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) can be read by all of the nation’s underground and covert “cells.” Or what about the indymedia.org sites which are sprouting up in most cities?

Did Mr. Clinton not know that all of the latest Animal Liberation Front (ALF) “communiques” can be read there? Does Mr. Clinton and the folks at MSNBC realize that the majority of the Left believes in and use the term “GreenScare.” This is a Leftist buzzword which is used to defend Eco-Terrorists, like the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), and Animal Rights terrorists, like the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). It’s meant to tie the FBI’s efforts to stop such domestic terrorism with Mccarthyism.

Let’s get our history straight on the Left in America. The 1960’s and 1970’s were dangerous times for our nation. There were various Black Nationalist groups who stated very clearly in both word and action that they intended to overthrow the US government. They worked with foreign powers to do just that. They murdered police officers. They kidnapped the children of wealthy Americans. They hijacked commercial airliners and forced them to land in Cuba. They set off explosives. They saw themselves as part of a global struggle for “peace and justice.”

The FBI nuetralized them and prevented them from committing further acts of violence. Those who did not die in shootouts with law-enforcement officers were mostly incarcerated for their crimes.

Then the Extreme Left began to grow again. The cop-killing criminals who were in cells began to be deified. The conservatives ignored this. Now such thugs are heroes to a large percentage of our society. One can easily look at Mumia abu-jamal, Leonard Peltier, and the National Committee to Free the Angola Three. The Left claims that all these individuals and groups are innocent of the crimes for which they were convicted. However, it is telling to note that the Left never mentions the particulars of the crime. In the case of Mumia abu-jamal, a young officer named Daniel Faulkner was murdered, leaving behind his wife and young baby. Never once is this mentioned as a tragedy by Mumia’s leftist supporters. In fact, while claiming his innocence, they also make sure to attack the character of Officer Faulkner. He was, according to the Left, a “racist.” He was also a “pig.” Once again, the Left and the MSM have overlooked these facts and claimed that conservatives pose a threat.

Now this is where the Left gets scary again. Once again, the Extreme Left considers itself as being part of a global movement for “peace and justice.” What was once a simple unchallenged glorification of a dark-Leftist era and a ridiculous glorification of that era’s thugs has grown into a force to be reckoned with–and scared of.

Pipelines are being blown up in Canada, domestic anarchists and other extremists are beginning to glorify their Greek and Italian counter-part’s use of explosives and murder internationally. Many American Far-Left websites are beginning to publish the” communiques” and “how-to” manuals from their foreign “comrades.” Groups such as the SHAC (Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty) have successfully used violence and threats of violence to bring a company to it’s knees by using violence against shareholders and any company that would work with the target of their aggression.

Though much of the violence being exhibited by the Left in foreign nations has largely been stopped by the FBI in domestic matters, the Left-wing Extremists are glorifying violent actions by their foreign “comrades.”

It’s just a matter of time before the Left begins to emulate their heroes- and the killing begins again. They are a ticking time bomb.

Dem Argues Ariz. Law Benefits Drug Dealers

* Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill. (left), and Republican Senate candidate J.D. Hayworth of Arizona on "Face the Nation" on Sunday, May 2, 2010. (CBS) * Rep. Luis Guitierrez, D-Ill., is arrested while participating in an act of civil disobedience along with other protesters during a May Day immigration reform rally by the White House in Washington, on Saturday, May 1, 2010. Rep. Luis Guitierrez, D-Ill., is arrested while participating in an act of civil disobedience along with other protesters during a May Day immigration reform rally by the White House in Washington, on Saturday, May 1, 2010. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) Previous slide Next slide

Guiterrez, GOP Senate Candidate Hayworth at Odds Over How to Deal With Illegal Immigration

By David Riedel

(CBS) Arizona’s controversial new anti-illegal immigrant law has stirred passions and protests across the country. Supporters say it is a necessary antidote to rising crime and porous borders; opponents say it infringes the civil rights of anyone, including U.S. citizens, who fall prey to racial profiling.

On CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) argued that the law will actually destroy trust between the police and the public, and benefit the drug dealers and other criminals the law’s backers claim are its targets.

Heated debate over SB 1070 continued Saturday as rallies protesting the law took place across the country. Immigrants made up large portions of some rallies, with estimates of as many as 50,000 immigrants participating in Los Angeles alone.

In Washington, D.C., about 35 protesters were arrested, including Gutierrez. He said Sunday that his arrest was “part of a response to what I consider the immorality of our broken immigration system. We were protesting the fact that hundreds of thousands of immigrant families have been destroyed.”

Gutierrez said there are approximately 4 million American children whose immigrant parents have been deported or are under threat of deportation. “I was arrested yesterday because it was time to escalate and to elevate the level of awareness and consciousness for all those who tried to reach our shores and can’t because our system is broken,” he added.

Also on “Face the Nation” was former U.S. Rep. J.D. Hayworth, who is challenging John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the Arizona Senate race. Hayworth had a much different attitude about the immigration law than Gutierrez.

“I would suggest that the law here in Arizona is designed quite simply to enforce federal law,” said Hayworth. “I think what has been going on here has been a massive disinformation campaign and distortion.”

Hayworth read directly from the Arizona law: “The law ‘shall be implemented in a matter consistent with federal laws regulating immigration, protecting the civil rights of all persons, and respecting the privileges and immunities of United States citizens.'”

Hayworth then asked a question of Gutierrez. “Do you think illegal aliens have done anything wrong by being in this country without authorization?”

Gutierrez said, “Let me tell you what I propose. I want to end illegal immigration as we know it.”

One step in ending illegal immigration, he said, is to “go after employers that hire undocumented workers and be very severe with them.”

A second part of his plan is more technologically sophisticated, and perhaps radical. “The same Social Security card that my granddad got in the 1930s is the same one my grandson, who is 7 years old, just got. It’s time to bring new technology to make sure that everyone that works in America has a Social Security card. I’m ready to give a little blood and a little DNA to prove that I’m legally working in the United States of America.”

He continued, “People want to think that if we pass a law [illegal immigrants]’ll go away. They have roots in the community. There are millions of American citizen children. Make them learn English. Make them pay a fine. Make them pay into our system and then put them on the track so that there’s some relationship between what they did and the punishment [for entering the country illegally].”

That plan doesn’t work for Hayworth. “It’s not only illegals coming northward from Mexico,” he said. “We’ve been getting Chinese. We’ve been getting people from the Middle East. There’s a huge criminal component. Just Friday afternoon a sheriff’s deputy wounded – apparently surprising – drug smugglers. Now 17 people are in detention, three of them persons of interest in the shooting of the deputy sheriff. This is a major problem.

“For Luis to suggest that somehow we need to forgive people coming into the country illegally — that’s the root of the problem. When you enforce the law, people respond to the law.”

Gutierrez made clear that he thinks patrolling the borders is just one step of the many needed for immigration reform. “Ten years ago there were 10,000 border patrol agents. There’s [20,000 now]. Ten years ago, no fences. Some places we’ve tripled the fences. It’s not working, because in the end it is jobs here in the United States that [illegal immigrants are] able to maintain that brings them,” he said.

“I’m ready to put more agents in and triple that border,” he said. Gutierrez advocated a “comprehensive plan so that we can take the 12 million that are here, legalize them, make them pay taxes, know who they are, [and] fingerprint them.”

He continued, “I don’t like criminals, but the people that J.D. is dealing with – they’re drug smugglers. They’re criminals. They’re vicious, ruthless people. I want to combat them.”

“Early Show” anchor Harry Smith asked Hayworth if he thought the Arizona law was racist in nature, or is comparable to Nazi Germany’s treatment of Jews, as has been alleged by some detractors.

Bristling somewhat, Hayworth said, “That is overblown rhetoric,” he said. “What’s going on is a deliberate distortion to move this from a question of enforcement to one of ethnicity.”

Asked if he’d be nervous if he were a Hispanic man walking on an Arizona street, Hayworth said, “No, I would not because there has to be reasonable suspicions.”

Gutierrez didn’t buy that the law will not lead to racial profiling. “The law is discriminatory,” he said.

In reference to the Latino community, he added, “We’re not criminals. We’ve come here to sweat and to toil and to work hard. Yes, some of us cross that border and some of us overstayed our visa. But by and large, we love this country. To say that somehow we are all this criminal element and to target us with the discriminatory law is wrong. It has galvanized and unified. In the end, doesn’t it speak to, sadly, the lack of action of the federal government.”

Smith asked about the unintended consequences of the Arizona law. There have been worries that businesses that would otherwise use Arizona’s convention centers would hold events elsewhere in protest. Smith said there’s been talk that Major League Baseball will not hold the All-Star game in Phoenix this year as planned.

Hayworth said supporters would actually do the opposite: “What I heard from friends in California the other day is that they want to start a ‘buycott’ — actually come to Arizona, to reaffirm the fact that all we’re doing is enforcing federal law.”

“[Gutierrez] wants to forgive law-breaking,” said Hayworth, referring to illegal border crossings. “The first act of people, no matter their later motivation – to [enter] the country without authorization – is to break our laws. Immigration policy, border security and national security are synonymous. Crime is on the increase. Arizonans have had enough.”

Guiterrez argued that, according to the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, crime is actually down. “It’s a red herring,” said Guiterrez of Hayworth’s point.

“Washington, D.C., has to get involved in securing that border. What is the greatest tool the police have in combating crime – I hate those drug dealers [and] I hate those involved in human smuggling – but the greatest asset that the police have are the eyes and the ears of the public. Let’s not drive a wedge between the police and the public in general.”

He added, “You know who’s happy with that [wedge]? Criminals and drug dealers. I want to end illegal immigration as we know it.”


Neal Boortz

This letter was written by a 28-year-old entrepreneur from North Carolina. Keep in mind when reading this letter, the shocking statistic I told you last week … Between 1980 and 2005, virtually all net new jobs created in the U.S. were created by firms that were 5 years old or less. That means people like this small businesses owner and millions of others.

To All Team Members:

The schedule for next week has been posted. You may notice that hours have been cut back on your schedule. This is across the board, not just you. I don’t want anyone to think they’ve done something wrong to deserve a cut in hours, so I wanted to explain why it’s happening.

There are a couple of reasons for this:

1) May and September are very slow months for our business. Anyone who has worked Sundays recently has seen the drop off in traffic. Now that we’re entering May, that drop off will continue on to other days as well, and it will get worse.

2) The recent increase in the minimum wage to $7.25/hour. Since we’ve opened, I’ve had a lot of people ask why they can’t get more hours, and it’s a great question.

I would LOVE to give everyone all the hours they want, and then some. Our customers would be happier across the board, we could accomplish much more every day, our business would grow, I could hire even more people, and on and on. However, we operate on a tight budget just like any other business, and in order to survive, we have to make money. That means our labor cost (the total amount you are all paid) must stay below a certain percentage of our total sales. If it doesn’t, we go broke and everyone loses their jobs.

Our brilliant Congressmen in Washington, D.C. decided a couple years ago that it would be a good idea to raise the minimum wage by about 40% to $7.25/hour. It just took effect last year. That probably sounds like great news for everyone – more money in everyone’s pockets can only be good, right?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way in the real world. If I’m forced to pay everyone 40% more, I can’t afford to schedule as many employees for as many hours, since our sales aren’t going up by 40%. Remember, I can only afford to pay you guys a certain percentage of all the money coming in the door. That means hours get cut, and everyone ends up poorer.

In a perfect world, it should work the opposite way: you should be free to choose how much you think your skills and time are worth (since you know best), and I should be free to pay you whatever that amount is if I want to hire you. Everyone wins in that case. I get as many good employees as I want that I can afford to pay, and you get valuable job training, references, and relationships to carry into the future.

To prove how bad of a deal minimum wage is for you guys as hard-working job-seekers, just look at this way:

I’m not being forced to pay $7.25/hour; YOU are being forced to accept $7.25/hour no matter what, even if you’d be willing to take less in order to get (or keep) a job.

You can thank our elected officials in Raleigh and Washington for sticking you with such a raw deal.

If you have any questions about any of this or want to talk more about it, please feel free to come see me, the door is always open.

Arizona Declares: It’s Illegal To Be An Illegal Immigrant

Written by Steven Rosenblum

This week Arizona’s legislature passed and Governor Jan Brewer signed into law SB 1070, the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act. The reaction from both sides of the aisle and political spectrum were predictable.

On the left you had proponents of amnesty and pro-illegal immigration groups calling the law racist, unconstitutional and calling for boycotts of Arizona and companies that operate in Arizona. Some people even wanted to boycott Arizona Iced Tea, but apparently didn’t do enough research to know that Arizona Iced Tea is made in Cincinnati, Ohio.

On the right you had support for the bill and Arizona, though even a few politicians on the right questioned certain provisions of the bill. For the most part conservatives were on-board with the legislation.

What was lost in much of the coverage of this issue is the fact that the Arizona law mirrors, for the most part, the federal laws that have been on the books for years but haven’t been enforced by the feds.

The intent of the law is clearly articulated: “The legislature declares that the intent of this act is to make attrition through enforcement the public policy of all state and local government agencies in Arizona. The provisions of this act are intended to work together to discourage and deter the unlawful entry and presence of aliens and economic activity by persons unlawfully present in the United States”.

In the wake of years of murders, drug trafficking and kidnappings, the people of Arizona demanded that their state government do what the federal government had failed to do, protect them.

The costs of illegal immigration to the law-abiding citizens of our nation are mounting everyday. It costs the states billions of dollars every year for medical treatment and education of illegal immigrants, who may pay sales taxes, but do not pay income taxes and who’s employers (who are also breaking the law) do not pay payroll taxes for them. In a time of double-digit unemployment it’s absurd to have illegal workers taking jobs from American citizens. It’s not only unfair to Americans looking for work; the illegal immigrants themselves are being exploited. They get paid less; have no benefits and no legal recourse when unscrupulous employers abuse them.

While the federal government continues to pass laws and mandates that violate the Tenth Amendment, and the rights of the states and the people, they ignore illegal immigration, which is actually something the Constitution says they should address. Defending our borders is a constitutionally enumerated power of the federal government. But lawmakers in Congress and the president have no interest in enforcing our immigration laws and sending what they see as 12-30 million potential voters home.

One of the main arguments against SB 1070 is that it will lead to racial profiling by the police. That argument assumes the worst of our police and ignores the fact that the law is written to avoid that. The law specifically states: “This act shall be implemented in a manner consistent with federal laws regulating immigration, protecting the civil rights of all persons and respecting the privileges and immunities of United States citizens”. The police can only inquire about immigration status if they stop the person for something else. If a person has a valid drivers license, they’re assumed to be legal since you have to be a legal resident to get an Arizona drivers license. Even if you’re driving without your license on you (which is a violation) the police today can check on you with the computers in their cars, so the chances of someone being detained or arrested falsely seems to be slim.

Additionally, the police officer that inquires about the legal status of someone stopped for another violation is not the one who will make the determination of immigration status. The law clear states: “IN THE ENFORCEMENT OF THIS SECTION, THE FINAL DETERMINATION OF AN ALIEN’S IMMIGRATION STATUS SHALL BE DETERMINED BY EITHER:

As a candidate for the Florida State House, District 89 I favor the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act. If elected I will introduce or co-sponsor a bill very similar to SB 1070 in the Florida legislature.

It’s high time that the States invoke their sovereign right to protect their citizens by passing laws such as this. Oklahoma is already considering a similar measure and I hope they pass it. As for the San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and other cities that are calling for or considering boycotts of Arizona, they are all cities that are on the brink of financial ruin because they refuse to enforce U.S. immigration law. I think the rest of us should boycott them and support Arizona and businesses that reside there.

It is not racist, un-American or unconstitutional to defend our borders or enforce our laws. It is our right as Americans. No nation can be secure if its borders are open.

Steven Rosenblum is the Republican candidate for Florida State Representative, District 89. You can learn more about his candidacy and policy positions at: http://www.electrosenblum.com.

Barack Obama’s Kind of Humor

By: Nate Beeler
Examiner Cartoonist

Shutting Down Free Speech

By Mark Hyman

Popular speech and political dissent have proved troublesome to President Barack Obama since the very beginning of his term in office. The Obama Administration began waging war on the minority of media outlets that did not worship at his altar immediately after he was sworn in. Just three days into his presidency Obama warned Congressional Republicans against listening to radio host Rush Limbaugh.

In April, Obama responded to a sycophantic question from CBS news anchor Harry Smith by falsely claiming Limbaugh and Fox News commentator Glenn Beck labeled Obama a “Nazi.” Obama responded by identifying as “troublesome” “this kind of vitriol.”

During the intervening 15 months, White House officials attempted to marginalize balanced news outlets such as the Fox News Channel by enlisting the support of the heretofore compliant news media. Fortunately, competing news outlets found the backbone — if only temporarily — to put the kibosh on Obama’s attempts to blacklist FNC from the White House press pool.

These heavy-handed actions, as well as worries about the Obama Administration reinstituting the so-called “Fairness Doctrine” for talk radio are small time when one considers what the government is capable of accomplishing if a handful of current proposals are enacted.

First is the Federal Communication Commission’s National Broadband Plan. There is an overabundance of big government programs contained in the plan for Americans to dislike. These range from having taxpayers fund broadband as a universal service to developing a process by which outside entities — including the government — can monitor how Americans use energy at home, just to name a few.

The NBP also proposes the FCC recapture nearly half of the radio spectrum used by today’s 1,600 broadcast TV stations — involuntarily, if need be — and designate it for broadband services. The FCC identifies the swath of spectrum that is ideal for the latest wireless services as that which falls between 225 MHz and 3.7 GHz.

TV broadcasters occupy only five per cent of that spectrum with other actors — including the government — sitting on much larger chunks of spectrum, some of which lies fallow. Even Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg, whose company would likely be the single biggest beneficiary of the National Broadband Plan, found the FCC’s “looming spectrum shortage” claims to not be credible.

“I don’t think the FCC should tinker with this,” Seidenberg told the Council on Foreign Relations in April. “I don’t think we’ll have a spectrum shortage the way [the National Broadband Plan] suggests we will.”

So why target broadcast spectrum?

The answer may lie in remarks made by confidantes to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. First, a few introductions are in order.

Fifteen years ago, Genachowski was senior policy advisor to then-FCC Chairman Reed Hundt. Hundt’s chief of staff at the time was Blair Levin. Now, flash forward. Hundt served as a senior member of the Obama transition team and he is in close communication with Genachowski. Levin chaired the NBP task force that reported to Genachowski. Small world, eh?

Speaking before a Columbia University audience in March, Hundt discussed the intent of the NBP. He informed his audience that the goal to disenfranchise — if not completely end — broadcasting was crafted during his FCC days. “This is a little naughty,” he offered as an example. “We delayed the transition to HDTV [high definition television] and fought a big battle against the whole idea.”

The drive to move news and information away from broadcast and similar platforms to broadband would change the paradigm of how content is created he explained. “[P]eople will be permitted to create audiences that demand content instead of waiting for content to pull them together to shape an audience [emphasis added].” Hundt did not elaborate on his remarks. However, he did admit that the NBP is a stark departure from the current way of delivering news and information.

“It has actually been an essential characteristic of the media in the United States that we have never had a plan [for communications and the media]. And we have felt that was in the nature of our democracy and our capitalism to not have a plan. It’s kind of interesting to think that we now we’re imitating China,” he observed.

Then in December 2009, Genachowski appointed Duke University law Professor Stuart Benjamin to his staff. Benjamin let on that his duties include advising Genachowski on radio spectrum use and First Amendment matters.

Benjamin has written many papers that include proposals to end broadcasting. In a 2009 paper he wrote, “Some [FCC] regulations that would be undesirable on their own will be desirable once we factor in the degree to which they will hasten the demise of over-the-air broadcasting.” Given his very influential position at the FCC, this is like the school principal trying to kill off all of the students.

Still, would moving all news, information and entertainment to the Internet be such a bad thing? It seems so. In prepared remarks before a February audience, Lawrence Strickling argued that the days of a “hands off” approach by the government toward the Internet are over. As the Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Strickling is the principal advisor to the president on telecommunications and information policy.

“We need Internet Policy 3.0,” he argued, “… [because] we rely on the Internet for essential social purposes: health, energy, efficiency and education.” He added, “There [should] be rules or laws created to protect our interests.” Strickling was advocating for more than just the Obama administration’s proposed “net neutrality” rules for the Internet. He argues for government intervention to regulate content on the Internet.

Fortunately, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals stymied — at least temporarily — the FCC from imposing the Fairness Doctrine on the Internet when it struck down the FCC’s “net neutrality” tactics in the Comcast-BitTorrent case.

In response, the FCC is considering reclassifying the Internet by moving it from the lightly regulated Title I to the heavily regulated Title II section of the federal statute that governs the FCC’s activities. Title I prohibits the FCC from exercising considerable regulatory authority over information systems. In contrast, industries such as telephony that fall under Title II can be abused like a rented mule. And they are. Subjecting the Internet to the harsh regulatory environment of Title II is deeply disturbing. Only China would applaud the move.

There is still more trouble on the horizon in the form of a bill introduced by Senators Jay Rockefeller and Olympia Snowe last year. The innocuous sounding “Cybersecurity Act of 2009 (S.773)” is anything but innocuous.

There are several alarming provisions including a call to study “the feasibility of an identity management and authentication program.” In other words, a national digital ID program. There is also a requirement that certain information technology professionals be licensed by the federal government.

There are relatively few professions that require individuals to be licensed by the feds. So why license IT professionals? The cynic would argue that the easiest way to control the Internet is to control the IT personnel who manage the Internet.

Even more troublesome is the provision allowing the president to designate “nongovernmental information systems and networks” as “critical infrastructure systems and networks.” The president would have authority to disconnect these private systems “in the interest of national security.” Further, the president could “order the limitation or shutdown of Internet traffic” during an undefined “cybersecurity emergency.”

It would be much easier for a president to shut down the Internet than to turn-off 1,600 individual television transmitters and whose content is much more cumbersome to monitor.

For good measure S.773 allows the Commerce Secretary to “have access to all relevant data concerning [government and private] networks without regard to any provision of law, regulation, rule or policy restricting such access.” Subpoenas, warrants, or court orders would be unnecessary if Uncle Sam wanted to peek at private IT system data.

All of the foregoing is enough to make one’s head spin. But the Obamunists are not through. In addition to its National Broadband Plan and “net neutrality” pronouncements, the FCC has dived headlong into another topic: manipulating news and information.

The Commission launched its “Future of the Media” effort earlier this year that falls not only well-outside its statutory charter, but happens to fall squarely inside Constitutional prohibitions firmly ensconced in the First Amendment. According to an FCC Public Notice, the project “will produce a report providing a clear, precise assessment of the current media landscape, analyze policy options and, as appropriate, make policy recommendations to the FCC, other government entities, and other parties.”

The Commission proposes to examine subject areas in which it has zero expertise including “business models and financial trends,” “journalism,” “[business] debt levels,” “news staffing,” and even the “newspapers and magazines” industry.

The project will also examine the roles and impact of schools and libraries, voter turnout, gaming systems, social media, “development of social capital,” and numerous other matters in which the FCC has absolutely no authority to snoop.

A former Newsweek reporter and current Senior Advisor to the FCC Chairman, Steve Waldman, is heading up the “Future of Media” project. He struggled to convince an audience at the National Press Club in April that the U.S. Post Office established the precedent of the government playing a major role in media. Waldman’s post office argument identically matches that of Mark Lloyd, the FCC’s Chief Diversity Officer and former fellow at the left-wing Center for American Progress. Prior to CAP, Lloyd ran a fringe media advocacy organization funded by George Soros’s Open Society Institute.

In his 2006 book Prologue to a Farce Lloyd wrote, “[M]y focus here is not freedom of speech or the press. This freedom is all too often an exaggeration.” He also argued, “the purpose of free speech is warped to protect global corporations and block rules that would promote democratic governance.” Lloyd finds the First Amendment an obstacle to what he believes are greater social goals that can be achieved only through government action. This attitude may explain why Lloyd has been an ardent cheerleader for Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez.

Two years ago, Lloyd stated, “In Venezuela, with Chavez, is really an incredible revolution — a democratic revolution. To begin to put in place things that are going to have an impact on the people of Venezuela.” Lloyd also commented that when independent media outlets criticized Chavez’s policies, the Venezuelan dictator “began to take very seriously the media in his country.” Lloyd’s comments came in the middle of Chavez’s two-year run of closing down nearly every single privately-owned media outlet in Venezuela, thereby ending all criticism of the government.

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