John McJunkin produces and rides shotgun on KFYI's Sharpe In The Morning and sits in as guest host when Jim's not around. He's a Platinum award-winning audio engineer / multi-media producer with nearly 30 years of experience, and serves as the principal pro audio reviewer for both Church Production and Sound & Video Contractor magazines and is the published author of over 200 reviews and features in other publications like Remix and Mix Magazine. He has also consulted with manufacturers in the development of pro audio technology. McJunkin lectured at the 2007 and 2008 New Media Expos and the 2009 Worship Facilities Expo on the topic of advanced editing and mixing techniques for quality podcast production. He has served as a consultant and provided broadcast voice production for political candidates for US Senate, Congress, governor, and state legislature. He describes his political identity as a "defense-hawk small-L libertarian". He's an avid aviation buff who writes and records music and plays drums with the worship team at his church, and loves to spend every spare moment with his family.
Suzanne Sharer is a native of Arizona, born and raised in Conservatism. She is married and a mother to 3 fantastic children. Suzanne is in real estate working as an agent for a top National builder, Taylor Morrison Homes and is an avid political junkie. Her passion for America has led her to speaking her mind on political issues through blogs, Facebook and twitter as well as becoming active in the local political scene where she believes she can do her part to help turn our country around one opinion at a time. Suzanne's concern for the direction of America has led her to co-founding Conservative Patriot Revolution , a new media company that includes CPR: ConservativePatriotRevolution.com and the online Conservative Patriot Radio. Suzanne is also a contributor, aka a Politichick for Politichicks.tv.
Tom was born in Yonkers, NY and in 1968 was the youngest member of Mensa in the country at that time- and is to date, the highest tested individual in Mensa at that age. Educated at the University of California, Tom moved to Arizona after college in 1994, and went into the insurance business. After being a successful agent for NY Life Insurance, he decided to become an independent broker in 2005 and is now a successful entrepreneur and author of the column 'Conservative Issues from the Desert'. He calls Surprise, AZ his home, where he does volunteer work for various issues around the state, and writes for his local newspaper, The Glendale/Peoria Today. He also has been a guest Political analyst on various radio and talk shows. Conservative, funny and a candidly frank speaker, Tom is available for consultation and speaking engagements on subjects from politics to marketing. Tom writes in the style of William Buckley and George Will-- intellectual discussions about today's political topics. His complete collection of essays is now available on Amazon-- "The Conservative Chronicles" as well as various other books on modern American political thought.
Katie is a native Arizonan. She earned a degree in Communications from Grand Canyon University and worked at a resort in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico where she became fluent in Spanish. She is a staunch advocate for the unborn, volunteers for pro-life organizations and currently serves in children’s ministry at her church. She served as the Arizona state coordinator for the Rick Santorum Presidential campaign and is currently the Arizona chairwoman for Rick Santorum’s Patriot Voices. Katie has an extensive background in television/media and was recently the Communications Director for a U.S. Congressional candidate. She writes on issues foreign and domestic on her website The Conservative Cut. She holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and enjoys singing jazz and the standards.
Exurban Kevin Creighton
Kevin Creighton (aka ExurbanKevin) is the self-described physical embodiment of NAFTA: He’s a Canadian living in the U.S. who speaks fluent Spanish. He’s also, (in ascending order of importance), a former professional photographer, recovering nerd, online marketing guru, father to two adorable boys, husband to a wonderful woman and a servant of the King. Kevin blogs about politics at Exurban League and his self-defense and gunblog is Misfires And Light Strikes. When he's not blogging (which isn't all that often...), he's probably playing with his sons or cooking a meal for his family or listening to 80's alternative music or off at a shooting range somewheres.
I recently posted a graph showing the relationship between premiums and the insured’s out of pocket costs (OOP) in regards to Obamacare (posted here). It was taken partially from the Washington Post’s article that was trying to show how premiums have leveled a bit since Affordable Health Care Act became the law of land. While it’s true that premium increases have eased compared to historical averages, people are paying more than ever for their health care, as can be seen in the top orange line. When you factor in deductible and changes to policies in the last three years, the black line represents where we would be if Obamacare had not been instituted, and percentages of OOP were still paid by premiums/deductibles.
That’s the problem when government involves itself in the free market, we become focused on the price of things instead of the real cost of things.
What the article fails to mention is that deductibles have risen dramatically in the last three years. Deductibles continue to grow because companies are trying to hold down premiums, according to a Kaiser brief prepared for the American Medical Association. The average deductible for individual coverage went up from $991 in 2011 to $1,097 in 2012, a total that has nearly doubled since 2006. The chart projections reflect that change, and as companies try to hold down premium costs, their employees continue to pay higher deductibles to make up the difference. The net result is that the OOP for most employees has gone from $473 a year to over $733 (the orange line), with high deductible and HSA plans increasing from 10% of the marketplace to over 34% of the market- an astonishing jump.
The real pain is that employers are absorbing high premiums too. Those HSA plans are becoming commonplace as employers struggle to make the bottom line shifting increasing costs of health care while employees don’t feel that pain as their health care begins to enact all those ‘free’ services.
Bottom line, we are all paying more for less health care , even though it isn’t immediately obvious. As a result the Department of Health and Human Services will make the ultimate ruling on HSAs when it decides how to calculate the actuarial value of the high-deductible health insurance policies that must accompany HSAs. That actuarial value will be based on employees claims on all those new ‘free’ services that are provided under Obamacare, minus employee costs.
The health law requires that all insurance policies provide a minimum actuarial value of at least 60% for the benefits covered. If the HHS allows contributions by individuals and employers to health savings accounts to "count" as part of the actuarial value, then HSAs and other account-based plans would likely meet the test. But if contributions are not included, the plans likely would not qualify, removing an important tool to hold health costs down—and with the increased contributions to health insurance that seems likely.
What this means is that HSA plans will no doubt be ruled that they are not true health insurance. At that point, everyone will have to switch to more expensive HMO’s and PPO’s and that hidden cost will suddenly be shifted to the premium.
It’s a bombshell waiting to explode in 2014.
That’s why it’s important what this chart is showing—that we are all paying more for our health care, and have dramatically increased the COST of health care, being focused on PRICE instead.
One of two things will happen in 2014. HSA’s will be found to be not health insurance and rolled back, or the deductibles will have to be dramatically decreased, thus raising premiums. Most employers in either case will drop these plans forcing many on them into government pools, suckered into it by lower premiums and hidden costs.
That is what may have been intended all along.
"The right to own weapons is the right to be free." - A.E. Van Vogt
Danny Glover, star of the "Lethal Weapon" movie series and a host of other violent shoot-em-ups, has a unique take on the origin of the Second Amendment.
"I don't know if people know the genesis of the right to bear arms," Glover said. "The Second Amendment comes from the right to protect, to protect themselves from slave revolts and from uprisings from Native Americans."
"A revolt from people who were stolen from their land or revolt from people whose land was stolen from - that's what the genesis of the Second Amendment is."
Quite the opposite, Mr. Glover, as Mr. Tracy Morrow (aka Ice-T) will now explain to you.
"I'll give up my gun when everybody else does. It's legal in the United States, it's part of our Constitution. The right to bear arms is because that's the last form of defense against tyranny. Not to hunt. It's to protect yourself from the police."
Just so. The Second Amendment isn't about the majority forcing its will upon the minority; it's about making sure the smallest minority, the individual, has the means to protect himself or herself against those who would do harm to them. Gun rights aren't about perpetuating racism, they're about eliminating racism. Let's here another voice in the argument, former Secretary of State and Stanford provost Condelezza Rice.¬†
"The way I come out of my own personal experience, in which in Birmingham, Ala., my father and his friends defended our community in 1962 and 1963 against White Knight Riders by going to the head of the community, the head of the cul-de-sac, and sitting there, armed. And so I'm very concerned about any abridgement of the Second Amendment."
Well certainly Mr. Glover didn't dream up the idea that gun rights activists are racist out of thin air, right? I mean, somewhere in the 200+ year history of the United States, there has to something that talks about gun control and racism.
Unfortunately for Mr. Glover, there is. There is law after law and ruling after ruling showing how gun control started with racism, continued with racism and is still racist today.
"Forner's book reveals how, before the Civil War ended, Southern States enacted 'Slave Codes' that prohibited slaves from owning firearms. After Republican President Abraham Lincoln issued the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation that freed slaves in the rebelling States, and after Republicans pushed through the Thirteenth Amendment freeing all the remaining slaves, Democrats in the South persisted in keeping the newly freed slaves from owning the means to protect themselves - guns."
"It cannot be believed that the large slaveholding States regarded them (slaves) as included in the word citizens, or would have consented to a Constitution which might compel them to receive them in that character from another State. For if they were so received, and entitled to the privileges and immunities of citizens ... it would give them the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went." (Emphasis mine)
"The original Act of 1893 was passed when there was a great influx of negro laborers in this State drawn here for the purpose of working in turpentine and lumber camps. The same condition existed when the Act was amended in 1901 and the Act was passed for the purpose of disarming the negro laborers and to thereby reduce the unlawful homicides that were prevalent in turpentine and saw-mill camps and to give the white citizens in sparsely settled areas a better feeling of security. The statute was never intended to be applied to the white population and in practice has never been so applied."
"The Black Panthers took Malcolm X's approach to the extreme, openly carrying guns as they patrolled for police abuses on the streets of Oakland. They even made guns part of their official uniform, along with the black beret and leather jacket. Every member learned about Marxism and firearms safety. California passed a law to disarm the Panthers and then Congress, after King was assassinated by James Early Ray, passed the Gun Control Act of 1968 -- the first major federal gun control since the 1930's."
Gun rights isn't about white people having the guns in order to oppress others. Gun rights is about freedom for everyone, regardless of race, color, sex or creed. Gun rights aren't oppressive, but rather, owning a gun is the first step on the road to freedom.
The Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of Roe v Wade is responsible for 56 million murders in the first degree. Unjustly, it’s the victims who end up serving the life sentence.
We weep as the pictures and stories of the precious babies killed in Newton Connecticut cover our TV screen. We weep when a woman in Florida is considered not worthy to live because she may be in ‘’inconvenience’’ to her husband. We weep at government’s who put a time limit on the life of the elderly. We are emotionally torn when stories such as these consume the latest headlines. They all involve governments trying to take the place of a sovereign God at the expense of one’s first right of life, then liberty and then happiness.
It pains us to see a child’s life be taken from them when they just learned to repeat their ABC’s. It hurts to see a woman who by no means of her own desire is considered a ‘’burden’’ on society but yet in her unique way has the ability to still bring smiles to those around her. So, why is there not equal heartbreak to know that every day, abortion clinics like Planned Parenthood are executing thousands of innocent lives every day? Where is the outrage?
I would submit the cause of this enormous apathy in America is because we have become utterly desensitized to tragedies that don’t have a face or a name. It’s the very reason why for many people reading the names of America’s fallen heroes in the newspaper doesn’t have the same effect as actually seeing a picture or hearing a story. It’s sad but it’s true. If fifty-six million babies could’ve had their picture, name and story on television each night since 1973 would the wall that barricades the hardened hearts of millions of Americans finally be torn down? I believe so and that’s why abortionists like Planned Parenthood fight so adamantly against any law that requires a woman to see the heartbeat of her unborn child.
The second reason for America’s apathy towards abortion is over time we have made excuses for, and have de-criminalized the perpetrator. It seems when such a tragedy as Newton or Columbine happens the media is swamped with Doctors who inadvertently make excuses for the perpetrator. I have the utmost respect for Doctors/Psychiatrists who work every day to help those with mental illness. I understand there are illnesses that millions of Americans struggle with every single day. My argument is that we must stop diagnosing evil as a medical issue. Therefore, we must stop diagnosing abortion as a medical issue.
Every year, we remember and reflect upon events in American history that have forever changed the course of our history. Each year we remember the thousands of innocent Americans murdered on 9/11. We honor the heroes who were killed in the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. We remember the victims of Columbine, Virginia Tech and now Newton, Connecticut. We must continue to do this every year and remember every single innocent life tragically taken too soon. However, we must also memorialize those who weren’t granted their chance to perhaps serve in the Marine Corps, become a New York City police officer or a first grade teacher. Every single anniversary of Roe v Wade should be the day we remember the 56 million children lost. They might not have a name or a picture, but they are no less of a human being.
Most of the historic moments that have forever changed America have had a beginning and an end. However, there is one moment in American history that has a beginning and it is our job to end it. We must reverse Roe v Wade. We must put an end to this ongoing tragedy that perpetrates behind the confines of cold concrete walls in cities across America. These babies are literally in a fight of their life and they’re up against their staunchest enemy, Barack Obama. As the most pro abortion President America has had, we know based on his legislative actions that Obama is hell bent on continuing the slaughter of these children. We know we have a major fight ahead of us. I always say this fight is “for the little peeps.” Do it for them. Be their voice. We must put an end to the silent screams.
You know our Founding Fathers had a lot of flaws, but they did understand human nature quite well. Perhaps their own flaws gave them insight as to what men might do, given the means and the opportunity.
Back in the 1700’s they witnessed first-hand what men would do given the opportunity and they came up with a plan to prevent anyone from killing their children wantonly.
They decided it was best if they would have armed guards in schools, just in case an enemy decided to strike at a soft target instead of a military one. To accomplish this defense would not be easy so they devised this scheme in order to make it easy to guard schools and at the same time prepare young men for violence.
To start with, they encouraged all young men to learn to use a gun at an early age, perhaps as early as 12 or 13. In this way, guns would not be feared when they got older, and each man knew how to use a gun well, and would learn to shoot at an early age. The American frontier was a dangerous place, filled wild animals and hostile natives. It was important that a young man learn to defend himself and prepare for the rigors of life, so each father took their sons out and taught them to shoot.
A long gun would be in each home for self-defense. They also decided that the same gun could be used in time of national crisis—when enemies arrived either by overland crossing or by landing at the docks, a herald was sent by horseback from town to town warning those that were equipped with it to be ready in a minutes notice. They were called “Minutemen” and would fill in as a stopgap until the colonial army could arrive.
Furthermore, teachers had the ability to carry guns. In the early days of American life, women learned to shoot as well, or at least had the rudimentary skill at firing a weapon. Schoolhouses, even in some of the bigger cities, were places where a shotgun or rifle would be found leaning in the corner and were commonplace. The teacher was often the only one in town with the kids while the men were out hunting, so it was important that they knew how to use a gun, and could fire it with some skill.
This was a great plan, it was easy, efficient and cheap to implement. Moreover, our kids were safe and the plan allowed for a supplementary defense force to the regular army. They didn’t have a standing police force in those days, so it was a plan that allowed also for prevention of crime and malicious behavior.
The greatest thing about the plan is that it reduced the need for standing forces like police and armies. The Founders believed that these types of forces could be used against a population as much as it could an enemy. Thus without a pressing need for police and armies, you did not have a need for heavy taxation, and what taxes you did collect could be used for things like public works, roads and bridges. This also expanded the economy, and made people wealthy.
What was this great plan, one we abandoned for the most part years ago?
It was called the 2nd Amendment, the right to keep and bear arms. We even put it in writing so that future generations would understand its importance.
So the next time someone suggests that we hire guards for schools, tell them that we have them already in America, thank you very much. We can defend ourselves.
Awhile back I wrote a column that said you know it’s bad thing when they trot out the kids to pass legislation, because it means that they have no legitimate argument to defend so are appealing to your normal parental instincts.
It’s for the kids! You know it’s bad legislation, by how many kids they tell you it affects. It’s how we got schools with bloated budgets building Taj Mahal schools and custodians earning 100k a year providing chicken nuggets in the cafeteria that are just thrown away.
The argument against anything that might be done is also necessarily injurious to your cause since you’ll look like you don’t care about kids; that you are evil ogre if you do. In particular they paint conservatives as a bunch of Scrooges when they do that, saying that we don’t care about clean water or a good environment for education.
That’s why when President Obama trotted out kids letters in a base appeal to the sympathies of the voters on gun control I knew we were going to get hosed for sure.
Hosed is right too—Obama signed executive orders that basically opened the flood gates to federal gun control by allowing the government to link your health care to your right to own a gun. He removed HIPPA barriers designed to protect you, and replaced them with a federal standard of health linked to gun ownership.
It’s only a matter of time before the government argues that you cannot own a gun because your mental health is in question.
How many people are on tranquilizers, or on mental health drugs like Prozac and other drugs like it? 20%? 40%? If you ever took drugs, even something as mild as Ambien to help you sleep you could be subject to restricted gun ownership. And by establishing a federal background check they now have the records to cross reference to do it.
Make no mistake; the executive orders signed by Obama yesterday were not in the best interest of the American people. They were in the best interests of the American government, who now seeks to circumvent the 2nd Amendment by using Obamacare standards. They have already established the right off government to prevent a mentally ill person from acquiring a gun, now all they have to do is label everyone as mentally ill.
Furthermore, they are going to establish a federal background check. On the surface, this seems laudable, but remember, the federal government is the only one that has access to those records. They are going to allow individual states access to those records too—thus combining federal and state background checks under the umbrella of medical safety checks. When they establish what those guidelines are, under the new research and studies they propose, hold onto to your guns folks.
In short they reinvented medical care between your doctor and you as between you , your doctor and government gun control. They established a federal standard by which a person could be determined to be mentally ill—owning a gun. And they established the right to determine who and who can not own a gun based on your medical history.
A frightening prospect indeed.
So the next time your doctor asks you if you own a gun do the right thing. Do the smart thing for your own protection.
Tell him no.
Especially if you own a gun.
Kevin's note: Paul Quinnett, Ph.D. is President and CEO of the QPR Institute, Inc., an educational organization dedicated to the prevention of suicide @ www.qprinstitute.com. He is also Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health. A free e-book on preventing suicide is available from the Institute’s web site. I do not agree with all of his conclusions, but his arguments carry the weight of reason, not emotion.
Dr. Quinnett noted in his preface: The shooter in Newtown was suicidal first, homicidal second. This is true of most mass murderers and about 30% of domestic violence related murder-suicides.
To keep the debate from veering off into the size of AR-15 magazines and pumping vast sums of money into broad mental health reform, what we need is a targeted, proven, and effective way to address firearms access by persons suffering from suicidal self-directed violence, a few of whom are also homicidal.
Mass murderers never ask themselves, “And after I kill all these innocent people, how will I escape?”
The “escape” is a pre-planned suicide – whether delivered by one’s own hand or by a police sharpshooter.
Reducing access to firearms will surely save lives, but such measures fail to address the source code in all these terrible tragedies: the disordered brain of an utterly hopeless mentally ill suicidal person whose reasons for releasing hell on others die with him.
The vast majority of the mentally ill are not violent, but those who become suicidal represent a special threat to themselves, and sometimes others. The so-called suicide “contagion effect” travels like a virus from one suicidal mind to another suicidal mind via the media, and most mass murders follow another event previously publicized where a “like me” suicidal, rage-filled young man kills others and then himself.
Yes, our culture of violence aids and abets the suicidal mind. Yes, too many guns and large capacity magazines increase the body count. Yes, the contagion effect is real and media exposure of mass murderers inspires copycats.
But let’s be real, while some measures will help on each of these fronts, these genies are out of the bottle and they are not going back in.
Only by preventing the development of his suicidal desire, ideation, intent, capacity, planning and, yes, frustrating his attempt to acquire the firearms that his rage requires to express itself can we hope to find a compassionate and sustainable solution. Early detection, assessment, and treatment of emergent suicidal behavior in known at-risk populations will at least give us a chance for reducing violence in our nation.
The debate on gun control will produce mostly heat, not light. Gun safety is another matter and excellent light on this subject can be found at www.meansmatter.org – one of Harvard’s wonderful School of Public Health’s web sites. Gun owners who are alert to signs of crisis in a family member and temporarily store guns away from home if a family member is at risk of harming themselves or others will avert some disasters.
To understand the prime source code of violence – the suicidal mind – we must first understand that persistent suicidal thoughts and feelings are markers for unremitting, unendurable psychological pain and suffering. If we are thinking about killing ourselves or others, something is terribly wrong and something needs immediate attention and balm.
Psychological pain is one term that covers distress, despair, depression, rage, anxiety, isolation or hopelessness. More than 90% of suicide deaths are by people suffering from serious mental illnesses or substance abuse problems, the majority of which remain untreated, but all of which can cause what may become unbearable psychological pain.
According to a 2008 federal survey, in one year the adult American psychological pain index was as follows:
For 2010, unbearable psychological pain contributed to 38,364 completed suicides. That’s 105 Americans a day. Imagine what Congress and the President would do if a commercial airplane loaded with 100+ Americans crashed not once a year, not once a month, not once a week, but every single day, day after day after day?
Yet because suicidal people usually die alone and devastate only their family and friends, it is only when suicidal people commit mass murder that Congress rises from its lethargy. But it is not just broad mental health reform; it is bringing a laser focus to the prevention of suicide – the source code to violent injury death.
We who work to prevent suicide for a living strongly support this statement by former Surgeon General of the United States, Dr. David Satcher, “Suicide is our most preventable death.” Rather than arming our teachers, we should ask: What actionable public health knowledge do we have to reduce suicide and, with it, collateral violence toward others?
Unknown to the vast majority of the public, we actually have a lot of actionable knowledge. Published only this past September, the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention 2012 represents our best scientific thinking on how to prevent suicide and its related violence toward others. The plan includes achievable goals, objectives, and action steps.
Will it help?
In 2003 our own US Air Force published a multi-year study in the prestigious British Medical Journal clearly demonstrating that a robust, mandatory, suicide prevention/mental health promotion program dramatically reduced violence of all kinds. Findings:
Several large means restriction efforts to prevent suicide have proven successful in other countries, and in the Air Force study reductions in other-directed violence were a happy and unexpected byproduct.
So let’s focus on what will work. Let’s implement our new National Strategy for Suicide Prevention 2012 now.
Implementing the National Strategy will have a wide, generalized harm-reduction effect through the improvement of the mental health of an entire nation. Remember calm, happy, mentally healthy people – including millions of America gun owners – do not kill themselves or others.
So as the gun debate unfolds let’s not get lost in the bushes of how many bullets a Bushmaster holds, but view it through this lens:
An estimated 39,000 Americans will die by suicide in 2013. Among them will be our children, our teenagers, our working brothers and sisters, and hundreds of doctors, police officers, firemen, and veterans. Since each 1% rise in unemployment drives up the suicide rate by 1%, America’s psychological pain index stands at an all time high. Thanks to improved safety engineering and fewer motor vehicle accident fatalities, suicide deaths now exceed those from car crashes.
So, let’s recalibrate and resource safety-focused interventions that will not only lower our nation’s psychological pain index, but lead to broad reductions in self and other-directed violence, including the risk of mass murders.
When our national grief work is done, let us memorialize our collective loss by taking bold, science-based positive actions. We have a plan. America, it is time!
This article originally appeared on GreatSataninc.com an is reposted with their permission.