Friday, March 14, 2014
More than 100,000 individuals in Maryland could become disqualified from owning their registered gun under a bill currently under consideration by state lawmakers.
According to the Associated Press, the Maryland House of Delegates is debating a proposal that would link the state’s gun and criminal registries, enabling law enforcement officials to more effectively seize firearms in the possession of those convicted of felonies or violent crimes.
Under Maryland law, anyone convicted of such crimes is required to relinquish their firearms. However, the chief sponsor of the proposed bill, Delegate Luiz Simmons (D-Montgomery Couny), said the law is incapable of truly being enforced if police cannot use their database to pinpoint the individuals in question.
If passed into law, the new bill would require police to run a check twice a year in search of convicted felons with registered guns. Police, meanwhile, believe the linked systems would lead them to disqualify 10 percent of registered gun owners. That amounts to approximately 110,000 people.
As noted by the AP, California passed a similar law back in 2007. In a statement released by Simmons, the lawmaker said that since linking its registries, the California has collected more than 10,000 guns from convicted felons and is working on rounding up another 40,000.
Meanwhile, another Maryland bill targeting gun transactions has been proposed. According to the Baltimore Sun, the bill would prohibit gun sales from moving forward until a background check if fully completed. Currently, dealers may hand over a firearm after one week, even if the background check is still in process.
However, gun rights advocates have blasted the bill, saying it would allow the state to indefinitely delay gun sales because of a backlog of background checks that already need to be processed.
Consideration of these bills comes a little more than a month after a public shooting in Columbia, Maryland when a gunman opened fire in a local mall, killing two people and injuring another before taking his own life.
Credit to Political Ears
A new statement by US Secretary of State John Kerry, to the effect that Israel is misguided in insisting that the Palestinians officially recognize it as a Jewish state, indicates that Washington is wary of dealing with Palestinian intransigence and instead chooses to focus on Israel, an Israeli official said Friday.
While there was no official Israeli response to Kerry’s comments, Israel Radio quoted an unidentified political source as saying that it was “easier for the Americans to pressure Israel to give up on the demand for recognition of a Jewish state than to deal with the Palestinians.”
Israel’s insistence that the Palestinians officially recognize Israel as a Jewish state is a mistake, Kerry said Thursday, adding that the issue should not be a critical factor in whether the current round of Israel-Palestinian peace negotiations succeed or fail.
Speaking to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Kerry put the kibosh on the demand, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made central to peace negotiations with the Palestinians.
“I think it’s a mistake for some people to be, you know, raising it again and again as the critical decider of their attitude towards the possibility of a state and peace, and we’ve obviously made that clear,” Kerry said.
Kerry noted that the “Jewish state” issue was addressed by UN Resolution 181 in 1947, which granted international recognition to the fledgling state of Israel. There are “more than 40 — 30 mentions of a ‘Jewish state’ ” in the resolution, Kerry said, and added that the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat “confirmed that he agreed it [Israel] would be a Jewish state” in 1988 and in 2004.
After bringing the two sides back to the negotiating table and ending a three-year negotiating freeze, Kerry has been focused on trying to hammer out a framework deal, which is due to set out the end goal of the talks plus guiding principles on each of the core issues.
On Wednesday, Kerry told lawmakers that the two sides were still far from coming to an agreement.
“The level of mistrust is as large as any level of mistrust I’ve ever seen, on both sides,” he said.
Decades of negotiations have been bedeviled by some of the toughest disputes separating the two sides, such as the fate of Palestinian refugees and the designation of Jerusalem claimed by both sides as a capital.
In recent months, Netanyahu has been insisting that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recognize Israel as “a Jewish state” — something Palestinians are refusing to do, believing it would irrevocably torpedo chances for the return of refugees living in exile. Israel rejects any mass “return” of refugees and their descendants to Israel, since this could drastically alter the Jewish state’s demographic balance, and says Palestinian refugees should become citizens of a Palestinian state.
Credit to The Times of Israel
Read more: US prefers to press Israel than Palestinians, official says | The Times of Israel http://www.timesofisrael.com/us-prefers-to-press-israel-than-palestinians-official-says/#ixzz2vwjH0C8P
A devout 56-year-old woman was held captive in a psych ward for nearly five days after a strange series of event cascaded before her.
Simple emergency room visit turns into a psych ward lockdownThe woman, who seeks to remain anonymous, is a self-published author who enjoys writing on spiritual topics. She was taking part in a 15-day spiritual fast at the time. By the 15th day of going without food and drinking only water, the woman began to feel delirious. On the last day of her fast, parked at a Cleveland, OH, BP gas station, the woman grew faint and called her mother for assistance.
The anonymous woman was promptly escorted to the emergency room of St. Vincent’s Charity Medical Center, where she was cared for primarily by Dr. Brar.
After taking blood tests, Dr. Brar determined that the woman had low sodium, potassium and electrolyte levels, due to the fast. The woman, conscious again, recovered from her woozy state. As she recovered, she prayed audibly and read from the Bible.
After observing the woman’s fervent behavior, Dr. Brar then allegedly diagnosed the woman with bipolar disorder. The complaint states that the woman was diagnosed with “bipolar disorder with psychotic features.”
Woman’s prayers were classified as sign of mental instability
The woman, clinging to her spiritual beliefs in a time of need, realized that St. Vincent’s staff had classified her religious devotion as evidence of mental instability. The woman later clarified that Dr. Brar and staff members classified her audible prayers and Bible reading as “religious preoccupation” — evidence of a mental illness.
This distorted, concocted diagnosis proves that many hospital staff members themselves need to be psychologically evaluated. The “mental illness” label can apparently be used as a weapon, to justify imprisoning people who don’t think or believe according to what’s “normal.”
Woman refuses psychotic medication; hospital goes to court to force her
After being improperly and disdainfully diagnosed for her prayers, the woman was then admitted to the psychiatric ward of the hospital. For nearly five days, she was instructed to take psychotropic medications for her “mental illness.” When the woman refused the drugs, the hospital staff grew stubborn and police-like. The staff tried to control the woman further by having her “involuntarily committed” through court order.
The imprisoned woman later reported that Dr. Brar refused to let her leave the hospital where she was “held for nearly five days of observation.” She claims that the hospital officially “instituted an action in the Cuyahoga County Probate Court seeking her continued involuntary detention,” but it never materialized.
Woman now suing the St. Vincent Charity Medical Center for unlawful imprisonment
After being detained in the hospital for nearly five days, the woman was relieved to find out that Dr. Brar’s affidavit to the court was incomplete and misrepresenting. The court stated that the captive woman was free to go and that she had complied with obligations under Ohio Rev. Code 5122. She was then discharged from the hospital because the hospital staff did not provide sufficient evidence to keep her detained.
Now the 56-year-old woman has filed suit against Dr. Brar and St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, seeking punitive damages for false imprisonment and violation of her patient rights.
“Mental illness” label now being applied liberally to people who don’t fit the norm
It seems that “mental illness” has become a broad term in modern-day society, applied liberally as a means to segregate those who don’t think or act within the boundaries of what’s considered normal or socially acceptable. It’s easy for medical professionals to respond to people they don’t like or understand by detaining them and force-feeding them psychotropic medications. This behavior coming from hospital staff is disturbing and alarming.
How might psychotropic medications be used like social control weapons — silencers for people’s minds, thoughts, prayers and beliefs? How might the “mental illness” label be applied to kidnap or imprison people just to force a bizarre level of conformity?
Credit to Infowars
Last week Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov declared that any sanctions introduced by Washington against Moscow will have a “boomerang” effect. And such a boomerang could have some oomph. What would such a boomerang look like? Here are five ways (beyond the one Ankit Panda pointed out last week) Putin could make life very difficult for America and its allies in Asia if tensions in Eastern Europe were to intensify and Russia sought to retaliate:
1. Russian Arms Sales to China go hog wild – Remember that deal that keeps floating around concerning Russian SU-35s and advanced conventional submarines to China? Even if things don’t get worse in Ukraine, I think we can consider that a done deal now. But, heck, why stop there! If Washington wants to keep upping the ante in Ukraine it might be a great time for Moscow to expand its dealings with China to levels never seen. Remember all that talk about hypersonic weapons in January? Since both nations are pursing such weapons, why not share the costs and the spoils? It seems 5th generation fighters aren’t easy for anyone to craft these days—so why not a joint Russo-Sino development project? If things were to get really nasty, and Russia decided to pull out of the INF treaty, maybe it’s time Moscow and Beijing exchange notes on all those lovely A2/AD weapons systems we like to talk about here on Flashpoints? I could go on and on. The bottom line: If Russia wanted to make things hard for America in Asia at a time when its defense budget is shrinking, here is an easy way to do it.
2. Moscow goes all in on natural resource sales to Beijing –While large deals were announced late last year, China would love to purchase as much Russian oil, natural gas and any other natural resources it could get its hands on. While issues of price have slowed or halted other deals in the past, Russia this time might be a little more flexible, especially if it were to halt or slow sales to Ukraine or Western Europe. China clearly wins in such a deal as it would become less reliant on sea-borne natural resources imports that could be disrupted if things with America were to go really south.
3. Russian Arms Sales to Iran, Rebooted - While any analysis here must factor in P5+1 negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear deal, Moscow could seek to make trouble for Washington and its allies by rebooting arms sales to Iran. With Russia and Iran already trying to work out the aftermath of an aborted sale of the S-300 air defense system, Putin may decide to put the system back on the table for Iran. In fact, he may even suggest selling Tehran the more advanced S-400 system. Consider this: if nuclear negotiations fail and Iran fears an attack by the West over its nuclear facilities, Russia could be in position to supply all the weapons it needs to make such an attack even more complicated than it would already be.
4. Syria: Give Assad all the arms he wants: While Russia may have offered an unlikely solution to the chemical weapons crisis of last summer, the U.S. and its allies should expect nothing from Moscow if Putin’s boomerang comes lunging back at them. Putin could easily begin sending even more arms to his allies in Syria, raising the stakes and a death toll that is already reaching epic if not historic proportions. While it may be hard to envision Russia being able to completely turn the tide with Assad winning a clear victory, Moscow could certainly change the calculus if it decided to go all in and arm Syria to the teeth.
5. The Death of the Pivot/Rebalance: So say tensions in Eastern Europe were to escalate even further with Russia formally annexing Crimea or worse—Russia taking large sections of Eastern Ukraine. It does not seem out of the question that Washington would be forced to consider beefing up its security commitments in Europe. While additional forces could certainly move into the region as a deterrent to further Russia troublemaking, missile defense plans scuttled in the past could be re-crafted, and U.S. naval power could make a strong comeback. All this comes at a price however. Unless the U.S. were to increase its defense spending which, short of a shooting war I consider unlikely, American forces, already stretched thin to begin with, would be even more strained. Washington may simply have no choice but to reconsider its mighty pivot/rebalance to Asia. Add in the fact that a senior defense department official may have put the final coffin in it anyway– stating that “right now, the pivot is being looked at again, because candidly it can’t happen”– one more nail for good measure thanks to Russia would certainly seal its fate.
Credit to Zero Hedge
Tens of thousands of Connecticut residents are refusing to register their firearms in defiance of new gun-control laws, and law-enforcement officers in that state and others are simply refusing to enforce the recently imposed restrictions.
In December 2012, the nation was horrified by the merciless killings of a classroom of young children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. In response, the Democratic state legislature approved sweeping new gun-control laws, and Gov. Dan Malloy signed them into law. Several other states followed suit, including New York, Maryland and Colorado.
In addition to banning new sales of many types of firearms and larger capacity magazines that were previously legal, the state is also requiring residents who legally purchased those weapons and magazines to register them with the state.
For many Connecticut residents, that is a bridge too far, and they are refusing to comply with the law. Gun-rights groups are standing with them.
“The revolt is underway. Tens of thousands of people in Connecticut have intentionally missed the deadline. They are not registering. Some of them actually said they would not when they were at the hearing when the law was being considered in the legislature,” said Gun Owners of America Executive Director Larry Pratt.
Pratt said the backlash does not stop there. He said Connecticut state lawmakers from both parties who supported the new gun laws are facing fierce tests at the ballot box.
“Almost all of the RINOs in the State Senate that voted for the measure are being opposed in the primary,” Pratt said. “Democrats, you might have to face some angry voters in November, but Republicans are looking over their shoulder right now.”
He also said Connecticut and other states with new gun-control laws will have a tough time enforcing them because of a growing resentment toward the law among police officers.
“Two hundred and fifty police (in Connecticut) have signed a letter that they are not going to enforce the law. They have no intention of collecting anyone’s firearms,” said Pratt, who noted that the resistance from law enforcement in Colorado is even stronger.
Credit to WND
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/03/citizens-revolt-refuse-to-register-guns/#USiwrEIKaLV006uI.99
An administrative decision by officials in the Department of Homeland Security means members of a German homeschool family whose grant of asylum in the U.S. later was withdrawn will not be returned to face the persecution homeschoolers face in Germany.
But advocates for homeschooling are warning that the underlying precedent that was set by the court system in the case involving the Romeike family suggests that the government always knows best what education is appropriate for children – and that even requiring students to be in a school that violates their religious beliefs is no problem.
The warning comes only days after the Romeike victory from Michael Farris, founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association, which battled through the court system on behalf of the Romeikes.
They were facing massive punishment, including fines, jail time and loss of custody of their children, had they remained in Germany and continued homeschooling, the choice they made because of teaching standards in public schools there regarding homosexuality, abortion and other issues that violated the family’s Christian faith.
An appeals court complied with the Obama administration’s request to withdraw the asylum status they already had been granted, and the Supreme Court recently left the decision undisturbed.
Then, however, the DHS said it would put the family’s case on a deferred status, under which they would be able to remain in the United States indefinitely.
Credit to WND
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/03/now-feds-can-order-any-family-to-violate-religious-beliefs/#HMiODuSGXHChWAIE.99