August 2017 Newsletter

A Pardon, A Directive, A N.J. School Law, A Transgender Doll

A Pardon: After former Sheriff of Arizona, Joe Arpaio, was pardoned, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) warned that requiring U.S. officers to enforce immigration law puts them at “risk of being found guilty of significant legal violations.” The charge against Sheriff Arpaio was racial profiling while enforcing immigration law.

That was the issue in December 2011 when a U.S. District Judge ordered Sheriff Arpaio and his deputies to stop detaining Latino drivers suspected of being illegal aliens. When the sheriff continued his strategy another 18 months, he was charged with civil contempt. Almost six years later on July 31, 2017 he was found guilty and, at age 85, he faced six months in jail. His sentencing was scheduled for October 5th, but President Trump pardoned him August 25, 2017.

A Directive: In a directive on the same day, President Trump banned transgender individuals from military service. Section 1 of the directive explains the last president’s June 2016 reversal of military policy. That reversal authorized transgender individuals to join and serve openly in the military, where they would receive unlimited healthcare, such as sex-reassignment surgery and hormone therapy. For transgenders already enlisted, the directive cancelled military-funded sex reassignment surgery, unless interruption of treatment would be harmful to the patient.

Full implementation is set to begin 2018, under a plan the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of Homeland Security will develop. It must (a) uphold military effectiveness and deadly force, (b) work within the budget, (c) adhere to law, and (d) address enlisted transgender personnel issues.

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July 2017 Newsletter

D.C. Bible Study

Nine leaders in President Donald Trump’s 24-member cabinet, including Vice President Pence, regularly participate in a weekly Bible study for prayer and fellowship in Washington, D.C. Sponsors of the Bible Study include two cabinet members from Georgia – Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price – along with three Georgia congressmen – Senator David Perdue, Representatives Rick Allen and Tom Graves.

Seven years ago, the D.C. Bible study was created by Capitol Ministries, whose founder, seven-feet-one-inch former national basketball player Ralph Dollinger, preached the gospel around the world at halftime wherever he played. Dollinger prepares and teaches the D.C. lessons that are translated into French, Spanish, and Russian, to reach national leaders in their own language. 

The Georgia Capitol Commission Bible Study meets in Capitol Room 123 weekly during the session and monthly afterward. Attendees – officials, staff and lobbyists – enjoy a light lunch. Elsewhere, almost every other Tuesday at 9:55 a.m., members of the Georgia Public Service Commission have a five-minute, typically Christian, devotional to begin their work-day. 

Officials honor Sundays in Georgia. Christian influence on Georgia legislators stops bills like S.B. 17 that would have changed Sunday-sale hours of on-site consumption of liquor by-the-drink. If it had passed, such sales could have begun at 10:30 Sunday morning. 

S.B. 85 is a liquor bill that did pass this session, but left in place current law prohibiting sales of liquor-by-the-drink until 12:30 p.m. on Sundays, which upholds current liquor-by-the drink law. Action on these bills demonstrates the Georgia legislature’s continued reverence for religious expression. 

Georgia church honors Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue: On Sunday July 9th Second Baptist Church in Warner Robins commissioned Sonny and Mary Perdue as “missionaries to Washington, D.C.” Their son, Jim, pastor of the Warner Robins Second Baptist Church, explained that the commissioning ceremony was held to recognize his parents for the “mission” they are undertaking by serving the nation in federal government.

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June 2017 Newsletter

HRC, Transgender and Local Control

 When President Donald Trump issued his April 26th Executive Order (EO) “Enforcing Statutory Prohibitions on Federal Control of Education,” it became the responsibility of the Secretary of the Department of Education (DOE). If the Secretary accomplishes the goal in the title of the EO, the end result should be (a) enforcement of current laws passed by Congress to protect local control of education and the (b) repeal of federal laws that impede local control.

The broad scope of the EO authorizes the Secretary to (a) examine and determine which regulations and guidance documents uphold local control of education materials1and which do not; (b) rescind or revise regulations and guidance documents that are inconsistent with education law; then subsequently, (c) propose and publish new regulations and guidance documents within 300 days after April 26, 2017, the issue-date of the EO.

Are Welcoming Schools Programs under local control? The Welcoming Schools Program of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) should be investigated for (a) the Pre-K2 – 12 LGBTQ inclusive programs that defy local values. Also, to be investigated should be (b) HRC-trained facilitators3 and (c) their LGBTQQ4 curricula content, (d) supplemental material and hand-outs, (e) as well as school nurse training. A Welcoming Schools facilitator, who represents the Georgia Safe Schools Coalition, also, recently trained Georgia’s Fayette County school nurses.

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May 2017 Newsletter

“Gray Death” Opioid Confirmed in Georgia

“If you put this in your body you will die, no questions asked. This is something that I want to be very clear about … it’s not a scare tactic … it’s not a shock factor. …if you put this drug into your body you will die, it will kill you.
There’s a reason why it’s been nicknamed Grey Death. It is deadly.”
– Shelby County Alabama Drug Enforcement Task Force Commander Clay Hammac

Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman Russ Baer says gray death is a combination of heroin, fentanyl and other fentanyl-class substances, such as Carfentanil, a tranquilizer for use on elephants and other large animals. Atlanta law enforcement coined the term “gray gravel heroin” in 2012. Recently, the GBI confirmed Georgia’s first gray death victim as a 24-year-old female in Brookhaven who died February 10, 2017, and described the opioid as follows:

“The gray material was found to contain a toxic cocktail of opiate drugs. The ingredients vary, but often contain heroin, fentanyl, furanyl fentanyl, and U-47700, mixed together in the same powder. The solid material has the appearance of gray concrete mixing powder, with texture variations from light/powdery to chunky/rock-like.”

Reportedly, gray death can be absorbed through the skin, is 10,000 times more potent than morphine, 100 times more powerful than fentanyl, and includes Carfentanil, the elephant tranquilizer described as “crazy dangerous” by a Colorado DEA spokesman. The GBI lab first identified it as gray death in March and, so far, has found it in about 50 different drug seizures.

Three New Laws to Fight Opioid Epidemic in Georgia

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