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New report indicates Planned Parenthood ignoring Hyde Amendment, charging taxpayers for hundreds of thousands of abortion services

(Posted by Bryana Joy on February 20, 2012)

If you're concerned about the $330 million in taxpayer funding which Planned Parenthood currently receives each year, chances are you’re all-too-familiar by now with the Hyde Amendment: a legislative provision that’s supposed to bar federal funds from going to pay for abortions. My guess is that it’s been flung at you time and again if you’ve dared to suggest that your government shouldn’t be giving your money to the largest abortion-provider in the US when you are personally opposed to abortion.

The Hyde Amendment, of course
, is utterly bogus, and it does nothing to protect pro-life people’s consciences and keep their money away from abortion. It does, however, stand as a legal assertion of the fact that it is unjust and immoral to force people who are staunch opponents of abortion to pay for them. For this reason, the Hyde Amendment is something that pro-life people should look on with fondness –  if frustration – perhaps as a mother looks on a three-year-old child who wants to “help Mommy cook supper” but only succeeds in breaking dishes and burning herself on the stove. Unfortunately, a new report released by the Alliance Defense Fund suggests that Planned Parenthood is not content to use your money for graphic sex-education resources, birth control, and STI testing, but is determined to force you to pay for abortions as well.

The report, which found upwards of $99 million in waste or possible fraud, included evidence of illegal taxpayer funding of abortion and abortion-related procedures.
LifeSiteNews reports that the 10 known audits which took place in California, New Jersey, New York, Texas, and Washington state, uncovered numerous instances of financially questionable practices such as wrongly billing Medicaid for medications provided as part of an abortion in violation of the Hyde Amendment, overbilling for prescription drugs, dispensing prescription drugs – including oral contraceptives – without a prescription, double-billing, charging for medically unnecessary services, falsely claiming services were provided for family planning, and unsigned or missing documentation. The ADF report identified 12 types of potential fraud, and stated in one place that,

In New York alone during one four year period, it appeared that hundreds of thousands of abortion-related claims were billed illegally to Medicaid.”

Just last week,
the Lufkin Daily News reported that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast is a defendant in a federal lawsuit after a former Lufkin clinic employee alleged a fraudulent multi-million-dollar billing scheme. The complaint names Karen Reynolds as the whistle-blower in allegations brought against her former employer of 10 years, Planned Parenthood.

According to Reynolds’ complaint, filed in October 2011, she was instructed by the organization to maximize billing revenue by fraudulently charging Medicaid and the Women’s Health Program for unwarranted services, services not covered by Medicaid, and services with patients did not receive. She says Planned Parenthood also falsified patient records, and claims these procedures were employed in in all 12 Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast locations across Texas and Louisiana.


The Lufkin Daily News has more disturbing details: 

“An example given in the suit is Medicaid being billed for birth control counseling. The suit states almost all Women’s Health Program and Medicaid patients were handed a bag of at least two birth control devices despite the fact the items were not needed or requested by the patient. Pursuant to corporate policy and instructions from clinical directors, after merely handing the patient a bag of condoms and vaginal film on the way out the door, clinic employees then entered billing codes to be submitted to the government at an average billed cost of $57.85.”

In her complaint
, Reynolds quotes a clinic memo as stating, “If the client [getting an abortion] is getting on birth control make this the focus of the visit and put a note in the chief complaints that the client had a surgical or medical abortion ‘x’ weeks ago.

A former employee who was chief financial officer of Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles, P. Victor Gonzalez,
claimed in a 2010 lawsuit that PPLA paid “$225,695.65 for Ortho Tri-Cyclen birth control pills, yet billed the government $918,084 – for a profit of $692,388.35.” 

Steven Aden, vice president for human life issues and senior council at ADF, told LifeSiteNews,


"Americans deserve to know if their hard-earned tax money is being funneled to groups that are misusing it. Planned Parenthood has to play by the same rules as everyone else. It is not entitled to a dime of taxpayer funds, especially if it is committing Medicaid fraud."

It’s a good day to remember some words of Thomas Jefferson’s, which perhaps indicate that the statesmen who founded this great nation in turmoil and trials are spinning around and around in their graves this week:  


"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical. "


(Originally posted at The Washington Times Communities)


 
 
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Student video shows kids can't answer basic civics questions, educational establishment scrambles to insist clips do not reflect reality

(Posted by Bryana Joy on February 17th, 2012)


“A nation under a well regulated government should permit none to remain uninstructed.

It is monarchical and aristocratic government only that requires ignorance for its support.”

                                   -Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man

“Do you know
[the name of the] Vice President of the United States?” asks Austin Oberbillig of several Olympia High School students in a youtube video which has garnered nearly a million views since it was uploaded at the beginning of the month.

Definitely not,” responds the first student.

George Bush?” suggests another, giggling nervously.

Umm, the bald guy,” answers a third girl. “Clinton! Clinton, right?

One student grasps at straws, throws out, “Bin Laden.”

In what war did the US gain its independence?” Austin goes on to ask.

Several female students stand before him, silent for a moment. “I don’t know!” says one irritably, after a brief interlude.

Umm, uhh – the – British – war?” a male student queries uncertainly.

The Civil War?”  another poses.

Shoot, I just did this and I don’t remember!” laughs a frustrated high school girl.

Over the course of the five-minute video, Austin proceeds to ask the students other basic questions about geography and civics, finding most of them to be incapable of providing the correct answers. Most are unable to name the two countries which border the United States. Most don’t know how many states are in the Union. Several can’t name any countries that start with the letter, “U.” One, in desperation, suggests “Europe.” Another, “Utopia.” One student says that Canada is a state.


Pundits on both sides of the political divide have been having fun with this ludicrous tape, and it has been played on both radio and television, causing it to go viral. News sources as varied as
The Blaze and the Huffington Post have held up the piece as an example of a failed education system. Glenn Beck talked extensively about the video on-air. Laura Hibbard expressed concern over the poor knowledge of history that the video highlighted, reminding readers of a 2010 study by the National Assessment of Educational Progress which showed that only 9 percent of fourth graders could correctly identify a photograph of Abraham Lincoln and state two reasons for his importance.

Sadly, since the video’s release, Austin and Evan Ricks, who produced the film together, have come under fire, and recently released a statement explaining that the political firestorm which occurred as a result of their work has surprised and dismayed them. They boys
were also interviewed by Kiro 7 South Sound, during which period the interviewer offered them several opportunities to assert that they did not intend to criticize the educational establishment, offering prompts like, “and certainly it was not a condemnation of the education system?”  The boys eagerly took the cue, saying that the video was not an attempt to show education in the Olympia school system or Washington as a whole.  The interviewer also stressed the importance of the “lessons” they’ve learned about social media and journalism since their piece went viral.

The Olympia School District has reacted defensively, with school district officials saying that the video doesn’t accurately reflect the strong academic performance of Olympia students.
“Olympia High School is one of the top five-percent performing high schools in the state,” said Ryan Betz with the Olympia School District.

Presumably Betz doesn’t realize that his statement only suggests the problem is worse than even the most outspoken opponents of public education are making it out to be. If students in one of the top five % performing high schools in Washington State are unable to name the US vice president, give the number of US states, or correctly identify the American war of independence, who wants to even imagine what educational standards are like in the other 95 % of Washington schools?


Other critics of the video are pointing to the fact that only the funniest clips were included in the final project, and that those students who answered the questions correctly were ignored. We should ask these willfully blinded viewers, many of whom were undoubtedly supporters of the No Child Left Behind act, if there is to be no thought given to the students who have been left behind? If there are even two or three (or, in this video, five) students in a high school who don’t know how many stars dot the US flag, if there are even three or four who can’t name the current Vice President, if there are
thirteen who don’t know the name of the war for American independence, is it truly fair to point to the students who can answer the questions and say, “Look, our education system is just fine”?

“The bottom line,”
said Austin and Evan in a statement, “is that we made the video to get a few laughs around our school, and it turned into something bigger.”

Laughter, however, is not an appropriate response to the tragedy that we see enacted in front of the camera in this increasingly controversial collection of clips. While students may be laughing, parents, educators and politicians should not be amused in the least. The fact that there is laughter, rather than outrage, is a terrifying indicator of a national attitude of apathy concerning educational standards, and shows a disregard for basic knowledge of significant historical and civic value.


The most stunning and tragic moment in the video probably occurs when Austin is fishing for a student who can name the American Revolution as the war in which the United States gained their independence. “
I was never taught that knowledge,” asserts a student politely, sitting at a table in the cafeteria.

But he must be mistaken, of course, because Olympia School District is one of the top 5 % performing high schools in Washington State. Obviously he is mistaken.
 
 
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Internet cafe customers who pay cash or who obtain "photos, maps, or diagrams of populated locations" now considered terror suspects by FBI

(Guest Post by Luke Montgomery -- February 7, 2012)


In a secret inter-agency contest to see which federal bureaucracy can deadpan the funniest press conference, Vegas bookies are indicating that the FBI has surged into the lead with its release of a new flyer designed to help internet cafe operators identify potential terrorists . Odds are now 7 to 1 that the FBI will win the contest as this list provides more material for late-night humor than the announcement by Department of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta last week that Israel has been planning for years to strike Iran in the next two months. This statement was only funny to citizens without Alzheimers, and some pundits wonder whether it was a violation of the contest’s anti-discrimination provisions and might disqualify the DoD from the competition altogether. Others said that budget cuts were already having an effect on military intelligence.

The list from the FBI, on the other hand, gives ‘tried-and-true’ tips to help internet cafe employees catch terrorists in the planning stages. These include customers who:

1) pay for their coffee with cash
2) try to shield the computer screen so that others can’t see personal or credit card information
3) search for the terms “police” or “government”
4) obtain photos, maps or diagrams of transportation, sporting venues, or populated locations

The list is much longer, but it is estimated that these four tips alone will identify another 72,561,000 potential terrorists in the US, not only justifying current budget levels but making a strong argument for more hiring. The additional jobs are already being touted as TARP III (Total Annihilation of Rational Principles).

Vegas bookies speaking on the condition of anonymity suggested that if the FBI can successfully deadpan the press conference related to the flyer, it will have a significant lead over other agencies. The contest ends in November, so there is still time for the TSA and the Department of Education, but only if they work together.


Author, researcher and motivational speaker, Luke Montgomery lived for over a decade in the Middle East and now writes and works in an undisclosed location with other pilgrims traveling towards the Celestial City. Follow his writing online at www.lukemontgomery.net and on twitter at @LukeM_Author
 
 
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New Hampshire HB 1264 would protect religious business owners from being forced to provide services for same-sex weddings; Governor Lynch promises to veto...

(Posted by Bryana Joy on February 04, 2012)


(First posted at The College Conservative)


“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty.
Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel…”
                  –Patrick Henry


A bill
currently pending in the New Hampshire State legislature would allow business owners to turn away customers on the basis of “conscience or religious faith.” Introduced by Rep. Frank Sapareto, HB1264 aims to protect Christian wedding vendors from being forced to provide services for homosexual couples.

The fear that conscience rights may be violated in the Granite State is hardly far-fetched: many US small-business owners have already faced lawsuits for refusing to host or perform same-sex marriage ceremonies. In January, a
New Jersey judge ruled against a Christian retreat house that refused to allow a same-sex civil union ceremony to be conducted on its premises, ruling that the Constitution allows “some intrusion into religious freedom to balance other important societal goals.” Last November, Christian cake-baker Victoria Childress of Des Moines was threatened with legal action by a lesbian couple that had hoped to commission her to design their wedding cake. In September a gay couple filed suit against two Illinois institutions that refused to host their civil union. Christian “Bed and Breakfast” establishments, which are often family-owned businesses, are especially targeted by homosexual rights activists for this type of harassment.
 
The new bill, which was scheduled to come up for a vote last month but has been pushed back to February, would prevent such suits from coming before New Hampshire courts by ensuring that individuals will be legally permitted to “choose not to provide accommodations, goods, or services for a marriage if doing so would violate his or her conscience or religious faith.” Needless to say, the bill has been roundly attacked by homosexual rights activists and mainstream media networks. New Hampshire Governor John Lynch has promised to veto it.

So, just what is it that’s so repugnant about the idea of allowing business owners to make their own decisions about who they want to work with? Probably this aversion to freedom in the marketplace is due in large part to a common misconception about the nature of the business world. There is a popular myth that permitting private vendors to express opposition to aspects of their society by refusing service to customers will somehow foster attitudes of intolerance and cultivate so-called “haters.”


Proponents of this view, however, have put forward a proposition based on laughably fallacious reasoning. Passing laws that force businesses to perform actions which are prohibited by their convictions doesn’t alter the mindsets of business owners and certainly doesn’t make for a content citizenry. On the contrary, it is counterproductive and wrong to attempt to change the thought patterns of a culture by forcing its people to engage in and endorse activities which they believe to be immoral. Additionally, such legislation promotes division and stifles individuality in a population. Unless businesses are engaging in activities that directly harm others, these heavy-handed methods to coerce them are totalitarian and must not be endured by a free and thoughtful people.


Let us illustrate this premise with a simple example: suppose a white business owner in a southern state in the 1920’s decides to refuse service to Ku Klux Klan members. The business owner finds the KKK’s racist beliefs and creed despicable and doesn’t want to associate with its members. Surely most modern people would agree that the business owner has every right to make this decision. After all, his business is his property and a transaction made with a customer is a form of contract that the owner must enter into. Can there be a truly free society that forces people to enter into contracts against their will?

What many homosexual rights activists do not seem to understand is that opposition to their lifestyle is, in many cases, at least as strong as any southern business owner’s opposition to the KKK might have been a century ago. While they try to paint their opposition as an insignificant minority,
2011 polls showed that 46% of Americans opposed same-sex marriage, while only 45% favored it. The Bible teaches that homosexual acts are not only a sin but an abomination. In a nation that identifies itself as predominantly Christian, is it any wonder that a significant portion of the population is horrified by the idea of being involved in a same-sex wedding? Is it really fair for government to take sides on an issue that has the nation split into a cultural divide? Does an individual’s right to be served by a private business overrule the property rights of the business owner?

When government doesn’t interfere in the workplace, the free market tends to right itself. If a business begins to annoy potential customers as a result of its discriminatory practices, the boycott system comes into play and the owner begins to lose money. If the convictions held by the business owner are strong enough, he or she will be willing to take the loss. If not, monetary distress will force the owner to alter his or her policies. If no consensus can be established between two opposing camps of ideas, the nation can at least agree to disagree. It’s called free trade, and it’s how civilized adults handle their differences. When government gets involved in such a conflict, it only short-circuits the efficiency and precision of a perfectly functional natural process. It also serves to warn a people that they are not free; that they are, in fact, considered unfit to rule themselves and to do business in the way that seems best to them. Rather, they must do their business in the way that seems best to their leaders.


You lovers of freedom in the great state of New Hampshire, might you take just a few minutes out of your day to give your senators and representatives a call. You are the only ones who can defend liberty in the Granite State. . .


Live free or die.


Find your New Hampshire state representative  

Find your New Hampshire state senator
 
 
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Is Ron Paul anti-Israel or does he have a new and improved stance on the Jewish Nation?

(Posted by Bryana Joy on February 01, 2012)

_ (First posted at The Washington Times Communities)

He’s right on,” say many Republican voters of Presidential Candidate Ron Paul, “--except on foreign policy.” Among social conservatives, who tend to be in favor of extensive defense spending and to be staunch supporters of Israel, this take on the Texas Congressman’s campaign is all too common. Members of this large and very important electoral block appreciate Paul’s fiscal sanity, his dedication to Austrian economics, and his determination to cut $1 trillion in his first year in office. They embrace his pro-life position and concern for homeschooling rights. Some of them are beginning to understand his opposition to an unaccountable central bank and call to end the Federal Reserve. He also receives accolades because he respects the U.S. Constitution so stalwartly. But they just can’t get over his approach to foreign policy, which they see as dangerous and anti-Israel. The question we need to be asking is whether this disconnect is really a result of Dr. Paul’s policies or only of how these voters perceive them.

One of the biggest complaints against the Congressman is that he advocates cutting foreign aid to Israel. That fact alone makes many unwilling to consider supporting him or even taking time to learn more about his position. This knee-jerk reaction prevents many voters from coming to an understanding of Paul’s beliefs or even of the particulars surrounding his statements.

To me, foreign aid is taking money from poor people in this country and giving it to rich people in poor countries, and it becomes weapons of war –” said Paul at the Western Republican Presidential Debate.

Congressman Paul, would you cut foreign aid to Israel?” interrupted the moderator.

I would cut all foreign aid,” the candidate responded. “I would treat everybody equally and fairly.

Paul’s aim then is not to cut foreign aid to Israel specifically, but to cut foreign aid to everybody the US currently supports abroad. As he explained in an interview with Newsmax last month, Israel would actually come out on top in such a scenario.

“Stop and consider America’s policy,” the congressman said, “We give $3 billion a year to Israel in loans; and we give $12 billion or more in assistance to Israel’s self-declared enemies. Some of these are countries that say they will drive Israel into the sea.”  

“What should our relationship be with Israel?” asked Newsmax contributor Doug Wead.

“We should be their friend and their trading partner,” said Paul. “They are a democracy and we share many values with them. But we should not be their master. We should not dictate where their borders will be nor should we have veto power over their foreign policy…. I say [to Christian evangelicals who want foreign aid to Israel to continue] that our aid in the region is out of balance and it is wrong. Foreign aid does not help Israel. It is a net disadvantage. I say to them that “the borrower is servant to the lender” and America should never be the master of Israel…we should stop interfering with them. We should not dictate what she can and cannot do. We should stop trying to buy her allegiance. And Israel should stop sacrificing their sovereignty as an independent state to us or anybody else, no matter how well-intentioned.”

Paul then went on to talk about previous conflicts in which he had shown support for the sovereignty of Israel.Unbeknownst to many, the candidate stood by Israel three decades ago when she was heavily criticized by most politicians in congress at that the time.

“In October, 1981, most of the world and most of the Congress voiced outrage over Israel’s attack on Iraq and their nuclear development. I was one of the few who defended her right to make her own decisions on foreign policy and to act in her own self-interest.”


Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic recently wrote that Ron Paul’s position is actually the closest to a Zionist of all the Republican candidates, because, “a true Zionist is a believer in two core values of the Jewish liberation movement: Jewish independence and Jewish self-reliance.”

It would seem that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also feels strongly about the importance of Israel’s independence and self-reliance – values that Paul insists are crucial to the Jewish nation. Said Netanyahu in his 2011 address to the U.S. congress,

“My friends, you don't have to --you don't need to do nation-building in Israel. We're already built. You don't need to export democracy to Israel. We've already got it. And you don't need to send American troops to Israel. We defend ourselves."

Israel certainly does defend herself. It has been estimated that the nation possesses from 75 to as many as 400 nuclear weapons.In addition to concerns about undermining Israel’s national sovereignty through interference with their policies, Paul has offered another major reason why the foreign aid spending has to go. “We’re in bankruptcy,” he says, referring to the United States, a country with a $15.2 trillion national debt.  We’re not going to be there forever, we’re going to come home.” Thus, he maintains that dependence on U.S. money is “a bad risk” for Israel. “I think their dependency on us is very, very harmful to them,” he stated.

Perhaps social conservatives and Israel-supporters should take another look at Ron Paul and determine based on the full import of his statements whether he really is as anti-Israel as some of the media networks are making out. Before holding him up to their standards of what support for Israel is meant to look like, should they perhaps be double-checking their own policies? With his concern for her long-term interests and condemnation of the substantial U.S. funding extended to her enemies, could it be that Dr. No really has the best stance on Israel, one that will provide her with the strongest national defense and the most wholesome relationship with the US?

 

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