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SOTG 545 - TSA Involved in MASSIVE Cocaine Smuggling Operation

(Photo Source: DDees.com)

In addition to molesting little children, harassing grandmothers and veterans in wheelchairs, and stealing from passengers bags, the TSA can now add Cocaine Smuggling to their list of accomplishments. Tune in to hear just how deep into the drug smuggling trade our ‘heros’ in blue sweater vests were.

Professor Paul takes the time to remind you who it is that supported ObamaCare and how they are not friends of freedom loving Americans. We also have a doctor stopping by to give out a liberty prescription.

During our SOTG Homeroom segment from Crossbreed Holsters, we take a moment to consider “May Issue” versus “Shall Issue” CCW permits. Not everyone out there seems to be getting the point. Be sure you are listening louder.

Brought to you by Silencer Shop!

Topics Covered During This Episode:

  • TSA Involved in MASSIVE cocaine smuggling operation
  • AARP is NOT a friend of freedom loving Americans, Does AARP Want Your Guns?
  • Florida ‘Docs vs Glocks’ case ruling handed down in docs’ favor
  • SOTG Homeroom brought to you by Crossbreed Holsters: May Issue, Shall Issue, and No Permit Required

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From www.guns.com:

Twelve people were arrested this week for the various parts they played in a massive cocaine smuggling operation at the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in Puerto Rico.

Authorities say the defendants – who are airport employees, as well as current and former agents with the Transportation Security Administration – were responsible for smuggling approximately 20 tons of cocaine through the airport from 1998 to 2016.

The defendants were said to have worked in unison to get cocaine-laden suitcases through airport security without detection, while those transporting the drugs were given the “all clear” by security personnel involved in the operation to board designated planes.

The investigation was launched by the TSA as part of an ongoing effort aimed at uncovering misconduct and security threats by employees.

From www.grandviewoutdoors.com:

Ten years ago I first began receiving pesky junk mailings from AARP, the mega-senior’s organization, soliciting me to join. Before doing so, I thought I should research this powerful special interest group and see what their official position was on issues important to me.

First and foremost was the issue of gun ownership. Did you know that AARP wants to severely restrict the rights of its members to own guns?


What is AARP, exactly? Founded in 1958, AARP is a 501c4 nonprofit organization that ostensibly lobbies for seniors by providing information, advocacy, and services. With some 38 million members and several affiliates, it is one of the most powerful lobbying groups in America and a huge insurance broker, among other things.

According to its 2015 consolidated financial statements, AARP’s largest sources of income were royalties for the rights to use AARP’s intellectual property (name, logo, etc.). These were paid by commercial providers of products, services and discounts available to AARP members ($838,649,000); membership dues ($295,180,000); and advertisements placed in its publications ($149,604,000).


Here’s what is says on AARP’s website:

“Congress should eliminate gaps in and strengthen enforcement of the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act and other federal gun laws. States should enact legislation to eliminate gaps in and strengthen enforcement of federal and state gun laws, particularly with regard to possession by juveniles, convicted domestic abusers and those under domestic violence restraining orders.”
For those unfamiliar, it is more commonly called the Brady Act. It’s an act of Congress that mandated federal background checks on firearms purchasers. It also mandated a five-day waiting period on purchases until the NCIS system was implemented in 1998.

The original legislation was introduced into the House of Representatives by Rep. Charles Schumer (D-NY) in Msdt-2013-05-gun-crime-1-4arch 1991. It was never brought to a vote. The bill was reintroduced by Rep. Schumer on Feb. 22, 1993 and the final version passed on Nov. 11, 1993. It was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on Nov. 30, 1993, going into effect on Feb. 28, 1994.

This is the same rhetoric AARP supported 10 years ago, when I first contacted the group about its gun policies.

So once again, I called their offices trying to speak with someone who could clarify their position for me and — as it was a decade ago — never received a call back. So I emailed them and identified myself as a member of the press seeking comment. After a while, I got a response from someone in “Member Services.”

Here it is:

“Thank you for contacting AARP headquarters on the issue of state and federal gun policies. This is a difficult subject for people to discuss without misunderstanding. Even though you may not agree with AARP’s objectives on this one issue, I hope you find our work toward prescription drug coverage in Medicare, for example, and many other important issues worthy of your continued support. At this time, the Board of Directors has recently restated AARP policy to continue to support careful measures to restrict the availability of guns to certain populations. Yet, our policy does not preclude responsible citizens who are educated in gun safety from gun ownership.

“However, respected research continues to indicate that the use of firearms in assaults and robbery — particularly handguns — is directly linked to the high death rate from interpersonal violence in the USA compared with other industrialized countries. The prevalence of random violence featuring handguns in some neighborhoods has resulted in numbers of older people becoming virtual prisoners in their homes. Increasingly, families are suffering the loss of children and grandchildren who are the victims of violent crimes and senseless shootings.

“While registration requirements do not eliminate criminal or psychotic misuse of handguns, such requirements reduce the availability of guns, just as laws do not eliminate but do reduce the availability of illegal narcotics. Reduced availability to inappropriate users means lives saved. While you may disagree with the Board on this particular policy, we hope that many other issues, objectives, and services of AARP so beneficial to older Americans encourage you to remain or become a valued member of the association.”

Dude! This was an awesome job of misdirection. What they were saying, in essence, was this: “You old folks are too senile to be trusted with firearms in your own homes. We also pick and choose the research we cite on this issue. Then we try and use fancy words and sentences to whitewash the real story and confuse you. We hope you’ll realize that we can get you geezers a lot of discounts on stuff, most of which you don’t need or want. We hope that this will help blind you from diving deep into the left-wing policies of our Board of Directors.”


And talk about a misinterpretation of statistics to support a policy of restricted private gun ownership. There’s no mention of the bazillion laws already on the books written to keep guns out of the hands of convicted felons. No mention that violent crime drops dramatically in states where concealed carry laws occur. No mention that a high percentage of juvenile gunshot victims are injured by inner-city gangbangers, often in turf wars over drugs.

There’s no mention of readily available statistics from places like England where handguns were banned in 1996. Yet in the years since the ban, gun crimes have risen 40 percent. The country now has the distinction of leading the U.S. in robberies and aggravated assaults by a wide margin. It is also rapidly catching up in murders and rapes.

The truth is that gun murders have plunged in the United States. According to a recently released study from the Pew Research Center the rates are lowest for older Americans. In 2010, the rate of firearm homicides was 8 per million for people 65 and older (down from 14 per million in 1993) and 23 per million for people ages 41-64 (down from 42 per million in 1993).The firearm-homicide rate for all ages was 36 per million, still a lot better than the peak of 70 per million in 1993.

Older Americans, the study shows, are also the least likely to be victimized in non-fatal violent crimes. Americans 65 and older made up 15 percent of the 12-and-older population in 2011. That age group had only a 3 percent victimization rate. The Pew Center notes that its own surveys show 56 percent of the public – and 61 percent of Americans 50 and older – think gun crime rates are higher now than they were two decades ago, even though the opposite is true.

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of other people telling me I am not smart enough or trustworthy enough or safe enough to own firearms. As has been the case for decades, an organization as large as AARP officially will call for private gun ownership restrictions based on faulty logic and either ignorance or misinterpretation of the data. You can be sure when they make their recommendations to voters, the issue of gun control will be considered.

If this bothers you as it bothers me, I urge you to contact AARP. Let it know your opinions and concerns, especially if you are a member. They are reached at (800) 424-3410; www.aarp.org. When I cancelled my membership back in 2006, they knew exactly how I felt.

From www.forbes.com:

As you know if you’ve been reading this blog, Obamacare cuts $716 billion from Medicare in order to pay for its $1.9 trillion expansion of coverage to low-income Americans. It’s one of the reasons why seniors are more opposed to the new health law than any other age group. So why is it that the group that purports to speak for seniors, the American Association of Retired Persons, so strongly supports a law that most seniors oppose? According to an explosive new report from Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.), it’s because those very same Medicare cuts will give the AARP a windfall of $1 billion in insurance profits, and preserve another $1.8 billion that AARP already generates from its business interests.

(DISCLOSURE: I am an outside adviser to the Romney campaign on health-care issues. The opinions contained herein are mine alone, and do not necessarily correspond to those of the campaign.)

Here’s how it works. AARP isn’t your every-day citizens’ advocacy group. The AARP is also one of the largest private health insurers in America. In 2011, the AARP generated $458 million in royalty fees from so-called “Medigap” plans, nearly twice the $266 million the lobby receives in membership dues.

Medigap plans are private insurance plans that seniors buy to cover the things that traditional, government-run Medicare doesn’t, like catastrophic coverage. Medigap plans also help seniors eliminate the co-pays and deductibles that are designed to restrain wasteful Medicare spending.

AARP blocked Medigap reforms, saving the group $1.8 billion

Adding catastrophic coverage to Medicare, while restraining the ability of Medigap plans to waste money, is a key to Medicare reform, one that has been a big part of bipartisan plans in the past. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Medigap reforms that AARP blocked would have saved the average senior as much as $415 in premiums per year.

But the AARP aggressively, and successfully, lobbied to keep Medigap reforms out of Obamacare, because AARP receives a 4.95 percent royalty on every dollar that seniors spend on its Medigap plans. Reform, DeMint estimates, would have cost AARP $1.8 billion over ten years.

Cuts to Medicare Advantage could earn AARP over $1 billion

Not only did AARP succeed in getting Democrats to balk at Medigap reform. Obamacare’s cuts to Medicare Advantage will drive many seniors out of that program, and into traditional government-run Medicare, which will increase the number of people who need Medigap insurance.

That means more royalty profits for the AARP. Reps. Wally Herger (R., Calif.) and Dave Reichert (R., Wash.) estimated that the change “could result in a windfall for AARP that exceeds over $1 billion during the next ten years.”

AARP Medigap plans exempted from Obamacare’s insurance mandates

It gets worse. AARP Medigap plans are exempted from most of Obamacare’s best-known insurance mandates. AARP Medigap plans are exempted from the ban that requires insurers to take all comers, regardless of pre-existing conditions. The plans are exempted from the $500,000 cap on insurance industry executive compensation; top AARP executives currently make more than $1 million. AARP plans are exempt from the premium tax levied on other private insurers. IPAB, Medicare’s rationing board, is explicitly barred from altering Medicare’s cost-sharing provisions, provisions that govern the existence of Medigap plans.

And AARP Medigap plans are allowed to have twice the administrative costs that other private insurers are allowed under Obamacare’s medical loss ratio regulations. This last point is key, because AARP’s 4.95 percent royalty is a significant administrative cost.

Democrats routinely excoriate private insurers for supposedly putting profits above people. “No American should ever spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies,” President Obama told the AARP yesterday. But the typical private insurer gets by on a profit margin of about 5 to 6 percent. AARP’s 4.95 percent royalty, on the other hand, doesn’t do anything to make a health plan operate more smoothly: it’s just pure profit for AARP.

Publicly, the AARP poses as an independent, non-partisan organization. But privately, the organization strongly favored Obamacare. “We will try to keep a little space between us,” one senior AARP executive told the White House in November 2009, according to records unearthed by DeMint. “[Our] polling shows we are more influential when we are seen as independent, so we want to reinforce that positioning…The larger issue is how best to serve the cause” of Obamacare.

Kim Strassel at the Wall Street Journal goes through 71 pages of emails uncovered by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which “show an AARP leadership…that from the start worked to pass Obamacare, before crucial details pertaining to seniors had been addressed.” AARP had “long lambasted cuts in fees to Medicare doctors,” she notes, but the lobby reversed itself for Obamacare, claiming that Obamacare’s provider cuts were just fine.

AARP has a multibillion-dollar ‘conflict of interest’

This week, the AARP hosted a convention in New Orleans, at which President Obama and Paul Ryan spoke about Obamacare and Medicare. When Rep. Ryan spoke to the AARP about the importance of repealing Obamacare, he was booed. Small wonder, given the AARP’s extreme financial interest in the law. According to DeMint, during the Obamacare debate in Congress, the AARP’s phone logs from seniors registered more than 50 to 1 against the law.

Remember these issues the next time someone points out that the AARP supports Obamacare’s Medicare cuts, and opposes the Romney-Ryan plan. The Romney-Ryan plan would dramatically reduce the need for Medigap plans, because it would encourage the formation of comprehensive insurance plans within the Medicare program itself.

Obamacare, on the other hand, saved the AARP from $1.8 billion in Medigap reforms, while potentially earning the group an additional $1 billion in royalties from seniors who are forced out of Medicare Advantage. That’s a swing of $2.8 billion over ten years, all thanks to Obamacare.

“There’s an inherent conflict of interest,” says Marylin Moon, who served as director of AARP’s Public Policy Institute from 1986 to 1989. “A lot of people there are trying to do good, but they’re ending up becoming very dependent on [Medigap royalty] sources of income.”

It’s a testament to AARP’s political power—and our broken health-care system—that the lobby is allowed to carry on a half-billion-a-year business that’s based on increasing the premiums that seniors pay, and draining money from the taxpayers who get billed for wasteful Medicare spending. Sen. DeMint has done a public service by bringing these problems out into the open.

From www.guns.com:

A 10-1 panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday largely dismantled Florida’s law prohibiting health care workers from asking about their patient’s firearms.

The 90-page opinion vacated a long-standing and repeatedly defended ruling and found the law trampled health care workers’ First Amendment rights.

The court felt the Firearm Owners’ Privacy Act, signed into law by Republican Gov. Rick Scott in 2011 after passage by the state legislature, placed health care providers at a dangerous crossroads that in the end had a chilling effect on how they could talk to their patients.

“Doctors can choose silence and self-censorship, thereby shouldering the burden of knowing they could have said more, counseled more, and warned more before a tragic accident,” says Judge Stanley Marcus in one of two majority opinions. “Or they may proceed with their speech and potentially face punishment according to the arbitrary whims of annoyed patients or a Board of Medicine that is wholly unrestrained by clear statutory guidelines.”

With only one judge, Gerald B.Tjoflat, appointed to the bench by President Nixon, dissenting with the majority, the only aspect of Florida’s law that remained intact was the tenet that doctors cannot specifically discriminate against or drop patients due to their feelings on gun rights.

Judge William Pryor wrote separately in the ruling to make the point that the majority decision was about free speech and not gun rights.

“Florida can protect its citizens from discrimination on the basis of their exercise of their right to bear arms,” says Pryor. “But the profound importance of the Second Amendment does not give the government license to violate the right to free speech under the First Amendment.”

Gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety, who filed several numerous briefs urging the court to take up the case, welcomed the news from the 11th Circuit.

“This decision is a sharp rebuke for the NRA leadership, which has long sought to suppress research funding, data and speech – and in this case, to gag doctors by barring them from discussing gun safety with their patients,” said Everytown President John Feinblatt in a statement. “It is now plainly clear: Physicians do not leave their free speech rights at the clinic door.”

The case, Wollschlaeger v. Governor of the State of Florida but more popularly as “Docs vs. Glocks” may face an appeal to the Supreme Court.

“The Legislature has every right to regulate any profession to protect the public from discrimination and abuse. Doctors are businessmen, not gods,” Marion Hammer, executive director of the Unified Sportsmen of Florida and a former National Rifle Association told Guns.com. “This activist decision attempts to use the First Amendment as a sword to terrorize the Second Amendment and completely disregards the rights and the will of the elected representatives of the people of Florida.

“Further, this Court treats gun owners as second class citizens. This is not necessarily the final word on these important issues, as the State of Florida has both legislative and appellate options to reinstate these important protections,” said Hammer.

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Paul G. Markel has worn many hats during his lifetime. He has been a U.S. Marine, Police Officer, Professional Bodyguard, and Small Arms and Tactics Instructor. Mr. Markel has been writing professionally for law enforcement and firearms periodicals for nearly twenty years with hundreds and hundreds of articles in print. Paul is a regular guest on nationally syndicated radio talk shows and subject matter expert in firearms training and use of force. Mr. Markel has been teaching safe and effective firearms handling to students young and old for decades and has worked actively with the 4-H Shooting Sports program. Paul holds numerous instructor certifications in multiple disciplines and a Bachelor’s degree in conflict resolution; nonetheless, he is and will remain a dedicated Student of the Gun.

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