Friday, August 28, 2009

Stand With Rifqa Bary

Rifqa Bary is an Ohio teenager who recently fled to Florida claiming that her father seeks to murder her in an “honor killing.” While the media seeks to report the matter as a he said, she said story, there are some very disturbing details that back up her story.

For starters, Rifqa’s parents are members of the Noor Islamic Cultural Center. The Center was home to resident scholar Salah Sultan, who calls himself a ‘friend and pupil’ of avowed terror supporter and advocate of suicide bombings Yusuf Qaradawi.

Qaradawi is designated by the United States as a ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorist.’ Sultan most recently attended an event honoring Qaradawi where the two of them shared the stage with Khaled Mashaal, the head of Hamas. Sultan has also attended a Hamas rally and has publicly blamed the United States for the 9/11 attacks.

It is deeply troubling that the Noor Center would choose this man as a resident scholar. The Noor Center has also hosted Hassan Mohamud, another advocate of terror. That is part of what makes this situation unique. Other facts relate more specifically to the case of Bary and her parents.

Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs rightly points out that Rifqa posted a message about her Christian beliefs on MySpace over two years ago. Geller’s report that her father officially dissolved his successful jewelry business days after her disappearance, as well as reports of a previous instance of bruising add to the suspicious nature of this case and force all caring people to, at the very least, err on the side of caution.

So what can we do? We can advocate for two simple changes to the law that would help Rifqa and other teens in clearly dangerous situations while not affecting cases in which there is no significant or immediate provable cause for concern.

Florida law, as laid out in Section 743.015 of the Florida Statutes, currently allows for emancipation petitions to be filed by a parent of a minor, 16 years of age or older. When both parents have not signed the petition, notice is given to the other parent informing them of the filing.

While many states allow minors to file their own petitions, after which a detailed emancipation hearing is held, Florida is correct in not allowing most minors to initiate the process. In so doing, the State of Florida upholds the rightful place of parents and also prevents the courts from being clogged up with frivolous petition filings.

But when a child no longer lives with their parents, waiting for a guardian ad litem to be appointed to initiate the process clogs up the very court system the statutes were designed to relieve. Moreover, restricting a 16 year old child’s ability to file, when both parents no longer play a vital role in the child’s upbringing, ends up being a fairness issue. It makes sense that parents who have abdicated their responsibilities and who no longer raise their child should not be turned to as the sole initiators of a petition on the child’s behalf.

There is a second needed change to the law as well. A second proposal should assert Florida’s jurisdiction in custody hearings in cases where a minor had fled to Florida to escape a parent with provable ties to an organization that has promoted violence within the past ten years. The definition of such an organization would be based on one or more of its leaders advocating violence or claiming to be a follower of or in joint cause with a known advocate of violent acts.

Some contend that no changes to the law are necessary. In doing so, they fail to recognize that legal experts were divided as to how the judge would side with regard to jurisdiction in the most recent case of Rifqa Bary, precisely because the law is unclear. A girl’s life hang in the balance and it is unfathomable that other children may face similar circumstances due to a lack of clarity in the law.

The cost of inaction far outweighs the cost of making these necessary changes to the law. These two proposals I have proposed have no bearing on well over 90% of cases, and are purposely limited in scope, but they make a world of difference to the children who need them most.

Lastly, this case is a human rights issue. All concerned people need to take part in safeguarding teens from terror.

Florida House District 91 in good hands

In good hands with Maymon or Postelnik

(of course, I have a preference - but I'm admittedly biased)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

We All Must Fight Against Socialized Medicine, Especially on a Local Level

Socialized medicine has become the talk of the day. This is not only unfortunate. It is harmful and we have a responsibility to speak out.

Socialized medicine has led to a drastic reduction in services and in quality of care in every nation it’s been tried. The elderly and the infirm are always the hardest hit.

When Barack Obama was asked about this by the media, he openly admitted that the elderly and the infirm would not be priorities. How shameful it is that the media did not see fit to call him out on this. Can you imagine their reaction had a Republican president said the same thing?

Failure to care for the elderly and the infirm is a failure in society as a whole. It’s un-American and it lacks compassion. It is our responsibility to speak out against this, vocally and constantly. It is also our responsibility to gather civic groups and candidates throughout the nation to rally the public against this monstrosity.

Obama’s loyalists have organized themselves into groups that act locally. Obama’s team coordinates directly with them as they take their message to every county in the nation. While this is unfitting for a president and threatens the foundation of democracy, we must learn from them and speak out on a local level. Truth can easily destroy fiction if only it raises its voice in protest.

With that in mind, consider the following. Here are just some of the horrors that are socialized medicine:

The typical wait for hip surgery in Canada is 14 months.

In Canada’s Province of Quebec, patients in need of a 30 minute procedure to cure urinary tract infections are on a three year waiting list!

Children with significant hearing problems are denied access to cochlear implants.

Arthritis treatment in the United Kingdom has a waiting period of up to nine months. Also in the UK, a 22 year old man just passed away because the government refused to allow him to receive a liver transplant.

Is this the so-called compassion inherent in socialized medicine?! In a word, yes.

Patients across the spectrum are denied access to thousands of necessary medications, which are deemed “too costly” or “unnecessary” by non-doctor bureaucrats.

We cannot and will not allow this type of devastation in America. Our seniors deserve better. The infirm deserve better and society as a whole deserves better.

Most of all, protecting health care options for seniors is a sacred trust. These options are only available under a competitive system that at least attempts to force doctors and hospitals to be at their best.

Can health care by fought on a local level? You bet it can! But we all need to get involved in the fight.

All issues can be fought in the battle of ideas. And that battle starts locally.

I’m at least pleased to say that my State, Florida, is leading the fight. Palm Beach County GOP Chairman Sid Dinerstein has labeled the bill the "Send The Seniors Home To Die Bill.”

This is partly because Florida’s economy relies heavily on our seniors and on continued migration to the State. For these conditions to continue, access to the quality health care that stems from a competitive system is a must. But it’s also because Floridians recognize the inherent inhumanity of any system that harms the elderly and the frail first and foremost. And we refuse to tolerate it.


I understand that we must make health care affordable. But we don’t have to throw the proverbial fish out with the tub or resort to governmental micromanagement of our healthcare system to get it right.

A large part of the massive cost of health care, and the main reason that our system is failing, is because government health programs like Medicare are caving over due to the size of their bureaucracy. We can streamline costs and augment care by simply doing away with much of the red tape. That’s not a solution, but it’s an important ingredient in any viable plan to fix the system.

Republicans and Democrats agree that the current health care system has become too complex, too bureaucratic and woefully inefficient. Like the tax code, no matter what side of the political aisle you are on, all agree on the need for simplification and for less bureaucracy.

Cutting unneeded red tape and focusing on necessary and effective oversight should be a prime goal of fixing the health care system. If government would simply concentrate on being effective rather than being large, it would be amazing what we could accomplish in all areas of society.

Governors throughout the nation are shocked by the trillion dollar costs of the proposed federal bill, much of which is being passed on to the states. Governors like Bill Richardson, who is certainly no political foe of Barack Obama, have expressed shock at the amount that the latest healthcare bill would cost, especially its cost to the states.

As we look for solutions, let this much be clear: Government run healthcare is government rationed healthcare.... and it helps no one!

Socialized medicine is as failed a doctrine as is socialism itself. It needs to be fought and I am committed to leading the fight on our local level, right here in our district.

Most of all, we will look to keep competitive options available to seniors and families regardless of what the federal government does. Good health care, complete with competitive market based options that force providers to offer the best care available, is worth protecting. The future of America’s health and economy depend on it.

On all issues, we will provide real common sense conservative solutions that bring true improvements to society, not another socialized bureaucratic mess or a fiscal nightmare that all taxpayers are forced to bear the brunt of.

*Endorsed Candidate*: Fighter Pilot Tom Garcia Announces Challenge To Suzanne Kosmas

Former Navy Fighter Pilot Tom Garcia has announced that he is running for Florida’s 24th congressional district against Democrat Suzanne Kosmas. Garcia, a member of numerous Republican groups and coalitions throughout the State of Florida, is the former recipient of the Presidential Meritorious Service Medal for his work at the Naval Safety Center in reducing error and saving lives. During his tenure at the center, Garcia saved the Navy an estimated $147 million by reducing the mishap rate of Navy and Marine aviation units.

Garcia is a bright candidate who has been described as bringing a keen sense of certainty to the issues. At a recent speech at the South East Volusia Republican Club, he started off by explaining to the audience that as an American patriot of Hispanic heritage who is fiercely against amnesty for illegal immigration, he has the potential to be “the Democrats’ worst nightmare” on the issue of amnesty.

Garcia also brings business sense to the table. After analyzing various proposals, he has developed a plan to increase the quality of healthcare by keeping the system competitive while eliminating unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles. His proposed model is similar to Dr Dejerome’s “The Cure For The American Healthcare Malady” with added input from local physicians and health care administrators. His approach to education is to cut the amount of government testing and to stipulate that the majority of federal aid be spent directly in the classroom. On all issues, his proposals combine key business sense with compassion and a resolve to get to the root of the problem.

Tom Garcia’s vision of government is one that involves the active participation of his constituents. “When I was a Navy Commander, I didn’t just lead my troops. I worked with them. I listened to them and made sure that their concerns were taken into account and that their needs were met,” says Garcia. “Similarly, I’m not running for a seat in some House of Lords. I’m running for the House of Representatives and my job will be to represent the needs of my constituents and to uphold the trust of those who will have voted for me and bring tangible results to my district.”