Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Coming to a Hospital Near You...

In the new age of social media, Wabash General Hospital is taking steps to ensure patients' privacy.

At Monday's regularly scheduled WGH Board of Directors meeting, Tamara Gould, vice president of clinical services, share that the new policy is essentially a extension of HIPPA.

"We're trying to limit protected health information from being put out where it shouldn't be — to protect the privacy of our patients and employees," she said.

Gould continued to say that the hospital will be putting signs out in public areas, requesting that visitors who have any portable electronic devices with cameras to have them out. Additionally, if people want to take photos of a family member or friend, the hospital asks that the physician or staff member is present to make sure consent is given by all parties involved.

The policy will protect not only patients, but employees as well.

"Some of our employees may not want their picture taken and posted all over Facebook or Twitter," Gould said.

The board approved the new policy unanimously.

This came from the Mt. Carmel Register, a newspaper in Illinois. As an employee in a hospital, I can assure you that all hospitals take their patient's and employees privacy rights VERY seriously, and if this works for one hospital, expect to see it all over the country soon.


How Donald Trump Can Make Second Amendment Great Again

December 7, 2016 (The Ponder News) -- Pledging to protect the Second Amendment is what brought millions of beleaguered American firearms owners to the polls Nov. 8 to elect Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States, and one thing Trump can do to assure them that he deserves their trust would be to instruct his attorney general early in 2017 to name a special assistant whose job would be to protect Second Amendment rights.

Over the years, the Department of Justice has taken action against various other civil and constitutional rights abuses. It is time for the DOJ to prosecute violations of the Second Amendment and federal laws including the Firearms Owners Protection Act. The next attorney general should take action against states and local governments that adopt laws designed specifically to infringe on the rights of honest firearms owners or discourage people from exercising their right to keep and bear arms for legitimate reasons, including self-defense.

For too many years, cities including Washington, D.C. and Chicago, and states including New Jersey, New York and Maryland have prosecuted firearms owners, including those in transit from other states, for actions that would be legal anywhere else in the nation. This must cease, and those states must be held accountable for their abuses.

Egregious laws have been adopted also in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Illinois. Bans on certain commonly-owned firearms in all of these states began as simple licensing and/or registration requirements. Earlier this year, for example, anti-gun Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey unilaterally decided to expand the definition of “assault weapon” in the Bay State, essentially rendering tens of thousands of legally-owned firearms as contraband. Her claim that the state law on “assault weapons” has been misinterpreted for the past 18 years, and that she was merely correcting that problem is specious at best.

California is another example of a state where rights have been gradually eroded to the point where owning a firearm has become little more than a privilege. The state initially banned a limited number of firearms, and has gradually expanded that to cover a whole class of firearms, making previously legal firearms illegal. A deputy U.S. attorney general could bring the full force of the Justice Department against such demagoguery.

That all of this has been done under the guise of “gun safety” is an insult to the intelligence of gun owners. They see their rights have been infringed, and they deserve to have those rights protected and defended by the Justice Department rather than surrendered piecemeal to gun control extremism.

It should not simply be up to gun rights organizations like the Second Amendment Foundation to challenge such laws while the Justice Department acts like a spectator.

It would also be the task of this special assistant AG to make sure the DOJ does not take anti-Second Amendment positions on any legal action. This individual would also serve as a liaison with gun rights organizations, working with them rather than against them to assure that the nation’s laws are used to prosecute criminals rather than persecute law-abiding gun owners.

This assistant AG could work with members of Congress and gun rights organizations to restore funding for the long-neglected rights restoration investigations that once were conducted by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

President-elect Trump pledged to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the untimely death of Justice Antonin Scalia with someone who shared his view that the Second Amendment protects an individual civil right not contingent with service in some militia. At some point, the high court must address the right to bear arms, sending a message to state governments that a right so encumbered by Draconian restrictions that its exercise is impossible is not a right at all, but a prohibitively-regulated privilege.

Donald Trump has been given an opportunity to right so many of the wrongs that have been committed against millions of citizens whose only crime has been a wish to exercise their constitutionally-delineated civil rights. They helped to make him president and it is time for the government to treat them as the first class citizens they are and have always been.

It is time to make the Second Amendment great again.

Alan Gottlieb and Dave Workman are co-authors of “Right To Carry,” published by Merril Press. Gottlieb is founder of the Second Amendment Foundation. Workman is Senior Editor of The Gun

Graham on Iranian President Warning the United States to Adhere to Nuclear Agreement

Washington, D.C. - December 7, 2016 (The Ponder News) -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement in response to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warning the United States not to push for changes in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the deal between Iran and world powers over the Iranian nuclear program.

Graham said:

“I would encourage President-elect Trump to follow through on his campaign promise to get a better deal with Iran regarding their nuclear ambitions. Unlike the weak-kneed Obama Administration, I don’t believe President-elect Trump will back away from his promise simply because it is upsetting to the President of Iran.”

“When it comes to the Iranians and their nuclear program – they lie and have proven to be untrustworthy.

“Iran should be required to completely dismantle their nuclear weapons program and infrastructure, and forbidden them from ever having the pathway to develop a nuclear weapon. Iranian sanctions relief should never have been granted until Iran came clean and fully revealed the past and present military dimensions of its nuclear program. And finally, steps should have been taken to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program is to be used solely for peaceful purposes and never allowed to evolve into a program allowing Iran to develop a nuclear weapons capability. On all these issues the Obama Administration agreement with Iran falls short.

“In the next Congress, I intend to introduce legislation that would impose sanctions on the Iranian regime for being the largest state sponsor of terrorism, upending the Middle East, test firing missiles in violation of United Nations resolutions and detaining American sailors. It’s past time the Iranian regime pay a price for their provocative behavior.

“Passage of this legislation through Congress will give President-elect Trump additional leverage to get a better deal and once and for all truly change Iranian behavior.”

Congress acts to protect the most personal data – genetic information

Washington, D.C. - December 7, 2016 (The Ponder News) -- Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act, which includes important new protections for genetic privacy, which were top priorities of Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.

The bill strengthens privacy protections around the collection of genetic information for medical research participants. As federal agencies and other groups continue advancements in scientific health research, their collection of individual’s personal genetic information continues to grow larger and larger.

“There have been amazing advancements in genetic research – personalized medicine and the truly remarkable work being done by researchers across the country brings us closer than ever to cures for life threatening diseases. But with those developments come new threats to the genetic privacy of research participants,” Enzi said, “I am proud to have the next generation of genetic privacy protections put into law to ensure that this vital information is handled correctly and securely. I have worked on this issue for close to a decade and I am excited to see these 21st century privacy protections head to the president’s desk to be signed into law.”

Senator Enzi has been a leader on this issue in the Senate, having been an original sponsor of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA). Along with federal agencies and research institutions maintaining large databases of genetic information, it also is now possible to use genetic information to identify individuals and to learn information about their health and the health of their family members. The new legislation would provide stronger protections to ensure that personal genetic information held by federal agencies cannot be made public, and to guarantee confidentiality by federally-funded researchers.

The 21st Century Cures Act, which the Senate and House passed earlier this week with overwhelming support, would also bring lifesaving drugs and devices to market more quickly, as well as boost cancer and Alzheimer’s disease research, provide grants to states to fight opioid abuse.

Roskam, Deutch Target Campus Anti-Semitism

U.S. Representatives Peter J. Roskam (R-IL) and Ted Deutch (D-FL) introduced bipartisan legislation to combat the rising tide of anti-Semitism at our nation’s college campuses. The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act broadens the Department of Education’s (DOE) criteria to include all forms of discrimination against Jews, including extreme anti-Zionism and anti-Israel harassment. This legislation will equip the DOE to accurately identify, investigate, and punish all forms of Jew-hatred.

Anti-Semitic attacks on college campuses have nearly doubled in recent years according to recent reports. Although the DOE’s Office for Civil Rights has actively combatted these incidents, the Department lacks firm statutory guidance on how to define anti-Semitism. By codifying the definition of anti-Semitism adopted by the U.S. State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, this legislation will enable the DOE to protect students from the most insidious and modern forms of anti-Semitism, which are often masked as anti-Zionism.

Per the State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism, shared by the European Parliament Working Group, "[a]nti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities."

Examples of anti-Semitism under this definition include the following:

  • Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews
  • Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as a collective.
  • Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
  • Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interest of their own nations.

  • The State Department’s definition also defines the three “Ds,” which indicate when anti-Israel rhetoric is indeed anti-Semitic:


  • Using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism to characterize Israel or Israelis
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis


  • Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation
  • Multilateral organizations focusing on Israel only for peace or human rights investigations


  • Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel the right to exist
    See the full State Department definition here.

    Reps. Nita Lowey (D-NY), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Kay Granger (R-TX), and Steve Israel (D-NY), who serve alongside Reps. Roskam and Deutch as Co-Chairs of the House of Representatives Bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Anti-Semitism, are original co-sponsors of the legislation.

    Read the full text of the bill here.