Forum Posts

Citrus County Concurrent
Dec 02, 2022
In General Discussion: National
By Dennis Melton Who benefits the most from the open border; the Cartel, the migrant, or you? Let's first look at the Cartel. The Cartel earns over $500 billion a year in human trafficking and drug smuggling. The fees for migrant transport can range from $8,000 to $15,000. The money does not guarantee passage as people that are hurt or can no longer keep up are abandoned to die in the desert. Transporting people (usually women and children) for sex is just another sinister source of profits for these violent smugglers. These criminals make no distinction between abusing a woman’s body by forcing her to swallow bags of drugs or by forcing her to have sex with hundreds of men as her "payment" for passage. Now take a look at the migrants. Congress passed in 1996 new Welfare Reforms which with a few exceptions, most non-citizens are not eligible for most welfare benefits until they had been in the U.S. for at least 5 years. Migrants would be "public charges" as receiving benefits may become an incentive for immigration. Biden has weakened the law by interpreting public charges as those that have receipt of cash benefits or have long-term institutional care. This ruling is a slap in the faces of taxpayers as it ignores the other public benefits such as: medical, housing, food, and education which these migrants are now considered eligible. Each state now shares the burden of public housing, schools, and other services. Texas alone where most migrants enter is costing the state over $850 million dollars. Florida also spent a combined $52 million on immigrant births through Medicaid programs.. In the USA, the largest cost has been $1.6 billion to educate children of migrants. 2017 data puts costs at $8,075 per migrant annually. 2022 costs are difficult to obtain. Now let's look at you. We should welcome legal immigrants with open arms and treat all immigrants humanely. Prosecuting illegals has not been a deterrent. It is considered a misdemeanor with 6 months maximum punishment. From 2017, the migrant costs outweigh the collected taxes by a ratio of roughly 7 to 1 ($135 billion vs $219 billion). So who benefits the most? The answers are the Cartels with the migrants only as pawns in this sinister scenario. A more secure border and less strict immigration laws making the path to citizenship much cheaper and quicker is our best solution.
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Citrus County Concurrent
Nov 30, 2022
In General Discussion: National
By Ellie Brahe When establishing the constitution, our forefathers could not foresee all the changes today from medical breakthroughs to space travel to the internet. These marvels have also challenged our freedoms. The popularity of the internet was well established by 1996 with over 20 million American users. Today, 92% have internet access. In a 1997 case, Reno v ACLU, the Supreme Court ruled that the internet is entitled to the same degree of free speech protection as extended to the print media as opposed to a reduced level given to the broadcast media. Apple Computers (Apple) stood firm for the First Amendment in 2016 when the FBI wanted to get in the "backdoor" of Syed Farook’s iPhone. Farook and his wife Tasheen Malik headed a a terrorist mass shooting of 36 people and attempted bombing at a local shoppi ng center on December 2, 2015. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Apple's refusal to write the software code to gain access to the iphone. The court upheld software as a part of free speech. Eventually, the FBI gained access on their own to the iphone. Apple now is "see-sawing '' on free speech. With major COVID lockdowns, it has bowed to China's demands by removing VPN apps which allow users to encrypt their IP address and redirect users' iCloud data to government data centers. However Apple retorted these claims by saying that it saw the importance of an open society. Yet in the latest iPhone’s version, Apple restricted the use of Airdrop in China. This would have allowed wireless file-sharing features to secretly spread messages which would help those plotting against their government in the name of freedom. Apple is not only against free speech in China--think again. Whatever your opinion of Twitter should not matter. It is a social platform for free speech whether in the form of blogs and social networking. Apple does not agree with Elon Musk's policies with Twitter and has threatened to remove the Twitter app from the App Store as part of its "app review moderation process". The government can not restrict Free Speech but a private company can legally restrict as long as no governmental entanglement with that restriction. A worldwide internet means interpretation of free speech will differ. Court challenges will occur with changes in this technology. Hopefully our courts will follow our constitution in their interpretation or our republic will falter.
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Citrus County Concurrent
Nov 28, 2022
In General Discussion: National
By Roy San Martin Don't you hate this? You get a song stuck in your head and think about it everywhere. I heard "Every Breath You Take" and keep singing the words: "Every breath you take And every move you make Every bond you break Every step you take I'll be watching you". It sounds more sinister than a love song. But it also made me think about the popularity of the social platform, Tik Tok which "watches" its users as a data espionage issue. ByteDance, a Chinese governmental company, owns Tik Tok. Cybersecurity experts warn that China has already been monitoring its own people through this technology and could also gather and exploit information on Americans. Tik Tok users find entertainment and information here. China controls the largest part of the digital" territory" of the world through its popular Apps: WeChat, Sina Weibo, Tencent QQ, Douban, Baidu Tieba, Xiahongshu, and Youku. All seem to send users' data back to Beijing. In fact, these Apps are entering the financial markets as WeChat has issued a digital Yuan to promote digital currency. Many social apps track the location of their users for "advertising" purposes. They claim that ads will be specific to the area that the user lives. But FBI sources have noted Tik Tok had specifically tracked the physical locations of US government officials, activists, public figures, and journalists. The U.S. Treasury Department's Committee on Foreign Investments in the U.S. noted that Apps like Tik Tok had financial information on Americans which could be used in future business negotiations. The Chinese warrier, Sun Tszu believed the ultimate goal of warfare is to win without fighting. China is winning by controlling the digital territory and minds of the world. Sun Tszu said: “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” Through Tik Tok, China is learning all about the Americans (their enemy) and will not succumb in the final battle.
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Citrus County Concurrent
Nov 26, 2022
In General Discussion: National
By Richard Tomlinson I remember when I was first on my own after college, I lived in a duplex. My neighbors were a blind woman and her adult daughter. They were nice and chatted with them often as I came and went. But they had little in the way of money or comforts. I really don't remember what I got them as a Christmas gift but I wanted to see a smile. When I brought the small gift, they thanked me awkwardly and went inside for a few moments as they said they had a gift for me. After a lengthy time, they returned with a hastily wrapped gift. I opened it as soon as I got home to find a Daytona Beach towel. It made me feel sad as I had put them on the spot. They had to find something to give me in return. I learned a lesson that day. If I am the receiver of an unexpected gift, I will show my heartfelt appreciation. I won't reciprocate a gift back to them as it cheapens their gesture. Perhaps months later, I might do something for them . A gift should be given to bring joy to the receiver. When we give a gift, we also experience feelings of expectant gratitude, to be rewarded, and to be praised for our actions. But we should not let our ego take over. Instead, we should put ourselves in the recipient's place and see the joy that he got out of receiving the gift. It is a joy of knowing that someone thought enough to want to give a part of themselves whether a physical gift or their time to another. Many feel Christmas has become too complicated. Madison Avenue seems to rule the season. The Three Wise Men brought gifts for the Baby Jesus. But that tradition has become piles of presents which means mounds of accumulated debt. We must simplify the season. For a Christian, it is the birth of Christ who was sent to save us from our sins. For others, Christmas is a celebration of steadfast love with family and friends through our gifts. Gift-giving should be an altruistic act of unselfish concern for the well-being of others. Simplify things and have the best Christmas ever!
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Citrus County Concurrent
Nov 22, 2022
In General Discussion: National
By Dennis Melton In September 2022, a suburban family were awakened at 7:05 a.m. with pounding on the door by 25-30 armed FBI agents there for the arrest of Mark Houck. Back in 2021, Houck, a pro-life minister, had shoved a pro-abortion volunteer after the man had repeatedly curse Houck's 12-year-old son. The charges were later dropped. But Merrick Garland's Justice Department decided to pursue the case with this unnecessary show of force. When Houck had open the door that morning, he had agreed to go peacefully. Before taking him away, the agents forced his seven hysterical children upstairs in a bullying manner. It is very odd that the Justice Department used so much energy on a minor altercation while ignoring the many violent attempts to terrorize pro-life pregnancy centers. Another FBI raid unfolded in March 2022 in Los Angeles. FBI agents raided the safety deposit boxes of 800 customers in a Beverly Hills bank and collected over $86 million dollars, rare jewels, old coins, and precious metals. Their reasoning is that there had been criminal activity. In over eight months time, there has been no proof and many have filed a lawsuit that this dragnet forfeiture operation is unconstitutional. Yet the government has yet to return the property. There is a provision in the "Build Back Better Bill" which was very controversial. It would require banks to report deposits and withdrawals of $600 or more. This was later raised to $10,000 and will become effective in 2023. The American Bankers Association believes it “raises significant concerns regarding the privacy of personal financial information". Not all people have been treated equally by the FBI. Some that have been proven to have commited a crime such as Hunter Biden, Peter Strzok, Andy McCabe, and Michael Srussman have never been "visited" by the FBI. These people are high profile people, but what about ordinary citizens? Thanks to the Patriot Act, we now classify both domestic and international terrorism in which the government can seize your assets often without notice. At a civil hearing, it must prove that the assets were involved in terrorism by a burden of evidence. Our judicial system is based on constitutional laws which protect our rights that are fundamentally important. We should rely on the Supreme Court to interpret these rights in accordance with the Constitution. We all need to be vigilant and protect our freedoms from within.
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Citrus County Concurrent
Nov 20, 2022
In General Discussion: National
By Don Farley Today when you turn on the news, it is about two political parties (Republicans and Democrats) and the bickering in Congress. But when the Constitutional Convention delegates met in Philadelphia in 1787, they purposely omitted any mention of political parties from the constitution. Many harken back to the bloody civil wars in England in the 1600's where political parties were seen as corrupt and self-interest. In 1796, George Washington's farewell address warned against three dangers that could destroy the union: "regionalism, partisanship, and foreign entanglements. " On regionalism, he said: “The name of American…must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations.” These words fell on deaf ears as sixty-five years later (April 12, 1861), the first engagement of the Civil War took place at Fort Sumter (Charleston, S.C.) which almost destroyed our nation. People want to belong to a group with similar ideas. Political parties sprang up right away both for and against the Constitution. By the presidential election of 1796, there were two main parties: Federalist (Alexander Hamilton) and the Democratic-Republicans (Thomas Jefferson and James Madison ). Today we have the Democrat and Republican parties. 59% of Americans see a great deal of difference between the two parties in 2022 up from 55% in 2020. Americans seem more polarized and each election means "the fate of our nation lies in the balance". Talk radio and social media, though informative, have contributed to the polarization. Political gridlock in Congress might eventually lead to political compromise and return to civility and rule of law. Hopefully this can happen in the next 10 years or 50 years before this country is changed forever. America has tried to remain an isolationist but reluctantly intervene in the two world wars. We have used "nation building" to correct flaws in foreign governments. The world has grown smaller and more dependent on each other. We learn during COVID about our dependence on China which is over $521 billion dollars or 17.2% of China's exports. Our forefathers envisioned the principles of checks and balances of power. Regional and party differences need to be met with compromise. We need to apply our history lessons of isolation and shrink our involvement in foreign commitment. We need to repair the damage from these three dangers that Washington has warned against before it is too late.
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Citrus County Concurrent
Nov 17, 2022
In General Discussion: National
By Annie San Martin This is one of my favorite times of the year. It reminds me of the story of the blind boy who was sitting on the sidewalk with a sign that read "I am blind. Please help me". There were not many coins in the blind boy's hat. So a passerby took the handmade sign and wrote a different message on the other side. In no time, there were coins jingling in the hat from each person that passed. The next day, the blind boy heard the familiar footsteps of the passerby and asked him what changes had he made to his sign. People had started donating coins. The passerby said: "I made your message more hopeful". I wrote: “Today is a beautiful day but I cannot see it.” The second sign showed a more positive message that we should be thankful that we can see the beauty in this world. Years ago, a friend in Columbia, S.C. was walking along the river. There was an old black man fishing. My friend noticed a slight slant to the old man's smile. In talking, he learn that the man had suffered a stroke only six months before and yet he was strong. He did not appear to have any frailties. The man said that after the stroke, his son carried him outside daily to the grandchildrens' swing set. He used the bars and exercised to gain his strength and coordination. He was grateful and thankful that people cared and wanted to overcome his condition. Today many see Thanksgiving as a gluttonous feast. We need to learn to regularly practice expressing gratitude rather than criticism. We will always have something to complain about but step back sometime and turn those complaints into something to be thankful for. When we sit around the table among family, among friends, or when alone: reflect on the good things in our lives. This letter is rambling but the main point is be thankful for what you have and think positive. Life will give you 50 reasons to cry. Change that into 100 reasons to smile. We cannot change the past but we can prepare for our future with hope. Make Thanksgiving a part of your "everyday" and not just once a year. To see others smiling is a beautiful thing. To know that you were the reason for their smiling is even better.
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Citrus County Concurrent
Nov 16, 2022
In General Discussion: National
By Tina Sanders I am not a financial wizard by any means. That is why you won't find me living in a large mansion or driving around in an Aston Martin. You won't see me buying Cryptocurrency which I know little about. All I know: it is a digital currency used as a medium of exchange through a computer network. I don't understand how the value is determined. The cryptocurrency exchange is rife with ponzi schemes and rug-pulls. A major rug-pull happened recently with FTX cryptocurrency exchange. U.S. Aid money for Ukraine was invested in FTX and later liquidated to avoid financial reporting in a pyramid scheme. This money increased the value of FTX crypto which would lure more investors. FTX at its peak had capital over 200 billion dollars but a few days ago it went bankrupt. At least a billion dollars has " mysteriously" disappeared. Samuel Bankman-Fried (FTX Founder) is the second largest donor to the Democrat party. He formed "Protect Our Future PAC " that spent over $1.9 million on suburban Atlanta candidate Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux (D-GA). Both Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Rep. Chuy Garcia (D-IL) received $2,900. Other recipients include Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA) and Salud Carajal (D-CA) who got $2900 and $5800 respectively in their tight races. Protect Our Future spent $10 million to boost Carrick Flynn (D-ORE) chances in a crowded Democratic primary. Loopholes in PACs mean that it is more money donated to campaigns with less transparency as to who is donating. FTX donated mainly to Democrats but a few Republicans also benefited. $44,000 went to the National Republican Congressional Committee which is chaired by Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) who is a vocal crypto supporter. Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) also benefited with a $2900 donation . We have only scratched the surface of the FTX Bankruptcy Scandal. When clients began asking for their money as a return on their investment, they discovered that it was not there much like a pyramid scheme. We need to investigate this further and find out who knew what and why. Our Campaign finance system (especially PACs) cause a growing disconnect between candidates and the people they are supposed to represent. Super PACs allow wealthy special interests to pour more funds into a campaign and shield the donors' identities. We need better commonsense campaign finance laws to prevent other FTX scandals in the future.
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Citrus County Concurrent
Nov 15, 2022
In General Discussion: National
Former President Donald Trump is expected to announce his 2024 presidential bid tonight. Do you think he actually announces tonight? Do you want to see President Trump back in office or are you going to hold your support to learn more about his potential challengers?
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Citrus County Concurrent
Nov 14, 2022
In General Discussion: Local
By Rudy Brooks On November 1st, I should receive a Citrus County Property tax bill from Janice Warren. Property taxes have been around since 6000 B.C. Clay tablets from the city-state Lagash (part of modern day Iraq) showed figures called "bala" or rotation. Tax assessors would focus on different areas of the city-state monthly to access the tax value for the king. During the dark ages , the manor lords had to pay a tax for their lands to the king. Today it is a tax which generates revenue for the local government's budget. It works well in generating about 3/4 of the local taxes and 1/2 of the local government revenue excluding state and local aid. Some feel the property tax is a tax on capital which would make it a progressive tax. Usually property value continues to increase annually. Low-income families with lots of kids consume more in government services (such education) than they pay in taxes. Actually better education helps the country's economy with higher paying jobs and better infrastructure. In 1995, the Florida Constitution was amended to limit the annual increase in assessed property value (with Homestead Exemption) to 3% or the change in the consumer index--whichever is lower. The assessment can not exceed fair market value and is limited to property value and not property taxes. Property taxes are due by March 31st. However the taxes are discounted if paid in November (4%), in December (3%), in January (2%), or in February (1%). Paying early saves money. The property tax is a stable reliable revenue source. Some suggest doing away with the property tax and raising the sales tax to perhaps 11-12% would be more equitable. Sales taxes are regressive tax. Low-income people would spend a greater proportion of their budgets on consumption and on goods, which are taxed, rather than services, which are not. Local property taxes must be administered fairly and the tax burdens distributed equitably among taxpayers (homeowners and business owners). An old proverb says:" The best things in life are free, but sooner or later the government will find a way to tax them." Florida does not collect property taxes--only local county governments levy real estate taxes. Thus this helps keep them lower than most states. We don't live in a bubble and benefit every day from these tax dollars that are collected. So send that check and pay your taxes!
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Citrus County Concurrent
Nov 11, 2022
In General Discussion: National
By Richard Musgrove It seems that where a person's name is on the ballot can affect their chances of getting elected. This is more apparent in "low information elections' '- where voters are not able or willing to find out much information on all the candidates. When it is a relatively important selection and party affiliation is also known, then ballot order has little or no effect on the voter's decision. Some have suggested that randomizing or rotating ballot order, even a little more costly, might yield legislators who enjoy the most support of the voters. Alphabetized ballots allow for less deserving candidates to always win and actually be worse off for the state. Most Asian names are farther down the alphabet such as Leung, Wang, or Zhang. This is less advantageous and more likely these candidates would lose in an alphabetized ballot. Thus we need to reform ballot order rules in order to conduct fair elections. Since this is a complex issue, we should be careful of arbitrary rules on ballot order which might interfere with the best qualified candidates winning the election. California used to always put the incumbent first on the ballot. This gave this candidate a 3 point advantage according to several studies. California Code, Elections Code - ELEC § 13112 was enacted to ensure fairness. The Secretary of State has a randomized alphabet drawing of each letter of the alphabet. That is the order that the candidates will appear in all ballot races. For example if letters were drawn X, R, A, C, B then Xavier, Ross, Anderson, Collins, and Bailey would be the order of Candidates on the ballot. Eighty-two days before the primary and eighty-two days before the general election, a randomized alphabet drawing will take place. Thus ballot order changes between all elections. Voting is a responsibility that should be taken seriously. We will always have uninformed voters. Perhaps randomized alphabet drawings will level the playing field for candidates. The U.S. ranks 31 out of the top 50 countries on voter turnout. It is difficult to determine the percentage of voters that are uninformed . Sadly this could undermine our democracy.
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Citrus County Concurrent
Nov 10, 2022
In General Discussion: Local
By Ellie Brahe Well the elections are over until 2024. We can now relax. But elections always seem like musical chairs in which someone is left without a chair (position) as they were voted out. It got me thinking of many things. Marco Rubio ran for U.S. Senator from Florida. Since he represents all of Florida, Florida voters voted whether to re-elect him or not. Since he does not represent Georgia, Georgia voters did not vote to elect Rubio. Ralph Massullo was elected State Representative for House District 23 which covers a specific area of Citrus County and a little of Marion County. Voters of this area voted to reelect Ralph Massulo. Dade county voters could not elect Ralph Massulo as they did not live in District 23. This sounds all confusing. And yet we elect our Commissioners at large. They are required to live in their district (at least after the election) and yet all of Citrus County votes for all 5 commissioners. Recently Diana Finegan won the commissioner district 2 position. She resides in Homosassa which is part of that district. Yet her opponent Paul Grogan lived in Inverness (District 4) but would have moved to Homosassa if he had won the District 2 position. I live in Lecanto and not in Homosassa yet I could also vote for Diana Finegan. We need to stop the confusion and go to single-member district voting. If I lived in District 1 (for example) then I would only vote for the District 1 commissioner that would then represent the voters of my district. I would not vote for all 5 commissioners. This would be a fairer representation of the local issues of that district. We have elected members of congress and state legislatures from single member districts. This provides more equity for the voters. You have someone that represents your interest as a region. The elected commissioner is more accountable to his local district instead of diluting his accountability by representing all the voters of Citrus County. Let's keep things simple. This benefits localized democracy. It allows the elected commissioner to focus on the needs of their localized voters rather than the interest of all.
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Citrus County Concurrent
Nov 10, 2022
In General Discussion: National
By Richard Tomlinson Banks are fairly safe to store your money. It gets mingled with other people's money but when you need it , there are ways to get it back. It is much safer than storing my money under my mattress or burying it in the backyard. That being said, banks are not totally safe as by human nature, other people find ways to get your money through bank robberies or scams by obtaining your bank routing number. Elections are fairly safe where your vote is mingled with other's votes to decide which candidates will serve in office. The term "election deniers" is being floated around as a bad word. But by human nature, other people find ways to steal your vote or to cause election fraud. Florida has a photo-signature Identification requirement to verify each legitimate voter. Counties have a computer system that records when and how a voter voted (by mail-in ballot, early voting period, or on election day). This will flag if a voter has already voted to prevent voting twice. Florida statewide voter registration ensures voters are only registered in one county. Mail-in Ballots are only sent out upon request. Thus if a voter moved or died, a mail-in ballot is not automatically issued. Florida has several safeguards as does Citrus County to prevent voter fraud. Secret ballots and improved security measures have largely ensured fair outcomes in elections. People are mostly honest, and people mostly believe other people — and deception is more of a kind of exceptional thing rather than a chronic worry. Lastly: back to election deniers. They have existed throughout recent election history. In 2000, many Democrats denied the election of George W. Bush due to the hanging chads. The U.S. Supreme Court reversed an order by the Florida Supreme Court for a selective manual recount of that state’s U.S. presidential election ballots. In a 2016 CBS interview, Hillary Clinton dismissed President Trump as an “illegitimate president” and suggested that “he knows” that he stole the presidential election. In 2020, several Trump supporters cried fraud in the 2020 election. Election denier should not be a derogatory word. Looking at past elections and finding ways to improve the process to be fair and honest should be everyone's concern.
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Citrus County Concurrent
Nov 09, 2022
In General Discussion: National
Florida did its part but the rest of the country had mixed results. What do you think: Did the country experience a red wave? What does this mean for 2024? Can we make America Florida?
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Citrus County Concurrent
Nov 07, 2022
In General Discussion: National
By Ellie Bache I hate this time of year every two years. It is an election year and I am inundated with political ads. It is nonstop all day. Some ads make some very outlandish statements. I am not tech savvy and do not DVR. But the DVR would give me the freedom to skip these annoying ads. Political ads are annoying but research seems to indicate that they rile up the base and they help with fundraising. So I guess if I can't DVR them, I will get up and have a snack during the length of the ad. I better make a note to only eat "low calorie" snacks. I have learned that political ads are treated differently than commercials. Truth in advertising is regulated by the FCC in commercials but NOT in political ads. Also broadcast networks are required to air political ads unchanged even if the content is lies. I have called all these "political ads" but there are two types: [1]. Candidate ads and [2]. Issue ads, also known as political action committee (PAC) ads. The Candidate ads must be aired unchanged by broadcast networks according to FCC rules. TV stations are not required to air PAC ads and many stations check with their legal team first. PAC ads may be slanderous and the station determines if it is wise to air the message. Candidate ads are protected by the First Amendment. One person’s lie, which is not really a lie, is somebody else’s truth. That’s the way politics seems to work. I don't want to turn off the T.V. for a few months. My solution is to read up on the candidates and ask my friends. When I do come back from the kitchen with my snack and hear some of the negative ads, it makes me wonder what that candidate has to hide. I have always been a positive person and try to see the good in others. Negative ads turn me away from that candidate. Well early voting is October 28-November 5th. Election day will be November 8th. Finally all the Political ads will be over. They will be replaced with infomercials, weight loss plans, car warranty ads, etc. I am not sure what could be worse! I guess a DVR is on my wish list before the 2024 elections.
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Citrus County Concurrent
Nov 06, 2022
In General Discussion: National
By Cheryl Melton As a flight attendant, I was always waking up in different time zones. But this biannual routine of setting the clocks up (or back) an hour really messes up my routine. Ben Franklin saw the financial benefit of rising with the sun and retiring early. This would save on candles. Franklin had a habit of staying up late and playing cards. He usually slept until noon. In an essay he pokes fun at his bad habit by suggesting several things to get people up at sunrise such as tax on window shutters, rationing candles and even ringing church bells at sunrise to get people up. He never proposed resetting clocks by one hour. In 1918 the U.S. first enacted Daylight Savings Time (D.S.T.) to save energy. Many farmers were against this change. It was helter-skelter the time zones even within state boundaries. Thus in 1966, the Uniform Time Act set up time zone boundaries in the country. Arizona, Hawaii, and the American territories do not observe DST. In a March 2022 (Monmouth University poll), 61% of Americans would prefer making D.S.T. the permanent time. Why have the hassle of changing clocks twice a year? Or the hassle of a starving dog wondering why his supper is now an hour later? It is nice having light at the end of the day to enjoy the evening. Retail stores love D.S.T. as it means people are out and about shopping. It seems to hurt drive-in movie theatres as later sunsets mean less night movies. In 1966 there were more than 4,000 drive-in movie theaters. Today, only about 300 remain. Some feel that D.S.T. meant doom for this industry. D.S.T. was not shown to cause decreased energy use. In a study in California, there was only a 0.2% decrease in energy use during D.S.T. Changing back and forth can even effect people's health. Research suggests more heart attacks, car accidents, mental problems, and immune-related issues on the day after the March spring forward change. On March 15, 2022, the US Senate unanimously approved a bill that would make DST permanent as of Nov. 20, 2023. It has not yet been approved by the House or signed by President Biden. The delay is meant to give transportation providers time to make schedule changes. We need to get our sanity back and change to D.S.T. year round.
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Citrus County Concurrent
Nov 06, 2022
In General Discussion: National
By Walter Pike Migrants who cross the border illegally are limited in the ways to claim asylum. The migrant must demonstrate by their own testimony that they suffered persecution because of their beliefs and have a "Well founded fear" of future persecution in their home country. If a migrant fails to apply for asylum within one year of entering the U.S., they will be barred from receiving asylum. Poverty is NOT a reason for asylum. The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1951 Refugee Convention codified the rights of asylum when based on persecution based on race, religion, class, gender, nationality, or political affiliation or when fleeing their home country during war or political upheaval. As of September 16, 2022 Biden's open border has cost about $100 billion! This is blatant and costly non-enforcement of our immigration laws. Homeland Security estimated during the Trump administration that building a wall across the Southern border would have cost $22 billion. A border wall and limited points of entry would help prevent an increase in crime and fentanyl/ drug overdose deaths. We have cities that consider themselves "migrant sanctuaries”. Their laws help obstruct immigration enforcement and shield criminals from ICE by denying access. No one has the right to pick and choose which laws to follow. I would love to go 80 m.p.h. on Highway 44 but that would only cause chaos or in my case: my death. We have: 8 U.S. Code § 1373 which states that “a Federal, State, or local government entity or official may not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.” Governors Abbott and DeSantis have sent migrants to sanctuary cities which are supposedly more "welcoming". Biden has shipped migrants throughout the country (many times in the dead of night). We need to enforce our immigration laws. Congress has the responsibility to change them if necessary. The Executive Branch has the responsibility to enforce laws that have been passed by Congress. Selective law enforcement or non-enforcement must not be allowed.
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Citrus County Concurrent
Nov 04, 2022
In General Discussion: National
By Frank Lovell, American Patriot I hope people realize the Dems are setting the groundwork to challenge the election, it’s all they have left, that will be their final battle when the election is validated if they challenge it that calls for investigations & I don’t think they want people looking to close to that, maybe they can draw the process out who knows. They know when the American People take over Congress there will be investigations into the activity of govt in the past two years & beyond that will cause exposure via the collection of evidence & they will no longer be a party that represents ‘The People.’ Although they never were if you look at their history, way back, they supported the enslavement of an entire race called slavery, it was Republicans who declared war which resulted in people being free. Sadly they haven’t changed now they want to enslave all races. They are in a dire situation as a party.
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Citrus County Concurrent
Nov 03, 2022
In General Discussion: Statewide
By Barbara Murtagh Florida is the only state that borders both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. You're never more than 60 miles from the nearest body of salt water. Since 1851, 41% of all hurricanes have hit Florida. Floridians pay roughly three times the national average on homeowners insurance premiums. We make up roughly 7% of the U.S. population and about 8% of all property insurance claims – but it also represents almost 80 percent of all property insurance litigation. Florida's lawsuit system promotes frivolous litigation scams which ends up costing every homeowner with higher premiums. Through Senate Bill 2D, a program called " My Safe Florida Home Program" offers funds for free hurricane mitigation inspections. It offers a $2 match for every dollar spent to harden your home from hurricanes up to $10,000. The Reinsurance to Assist Policyholders (RAP) program was enacted to reimburse 90 % of an insurer’s covered losses and 10 % of their loss adjustment expenses for the two most damaging hurricanes during the contract year. Insurers do not pay premiums for RAP program coverage, but must reduce rates to reflect savings. Insurers that participate in the RAP program for 2022-2023 with rate reductions by June 30, 2022 or participate for 2023-2024 with rate reductions by May 1, 2023. Coverage can not be denied if the roof age is less than 15 years old or determined to have at least 5 years useful life remaining. Thirty year old condominiums (three or more stories) must be inspected every 10 years. Twenty-five year old condominiums along the coast must also be inspected every 10 years. Since frivolous fraudulent claims cause increased premiums, the bill would limit the assignment of attorney's fees and adjustment claims regulations. More rules on open communication concerning denial or partial denial of claims may prevent litigation lawsuits. Insurance companies' financial strength ratings is reviewed yearly by Demotech. Ratings below an "A" can affect policyholders who still hold a mortgage. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) with a reinsurance fund through Citizens has helped downgraded companies to meet these requirements. Protecting from financial strength rating downgrades, curbing scams and approaching insuring Florida homes differently will save the homeowners insurance market. These measures will take time. Perhaps in 2023 we will see some relief.
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Citrus County Concurrent
Nov 02, 2022
In General Discussion: National
By Danielle Beckemeyer Social media is both a blessing and a curse. Seeing what is happening to my friends and family is a blessing. But it is also a curse as through the anonymity of social media, many engage in hateful dehumanizing language without fear or consequences. A 2015 study found that roughly 53% of Americans reported being exposed to hate speech on social media. But most Americans can’t agree on what speech is hateful, offensive, or simply a political opinion. Social media allows one to see different viewpoints on an issue. Unlike some universities that offer "safe spaces" from opposing viewpoints. 66% of Americans feel universities aren’t teaching students the value of free speech. They feel that universities need to present all viewpoints, even if biased or offensive against certain groups. The cyber-world and real-world seem to collide for some people. In the cyber world, it has allowed for groups to come together and share interests that might be looked down by society as a whole. One can forget social mores and resort to rudeness. The cyber-world is a form of escapism. Humans have relied on escape from the real world through television, video games, and books in years past. There is no direct line between violent rhetoric and political violence if the speakers are careful not to name specific targets and means, and otherwise incriminate themselves. These edited remarks may be retweeted and amplified sharing with millions of followers in record time. We have had violence against political leaders recently such as Paul Pelosi (husband of Nancy Pelosi), Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Susan Collin, Rep. Steve Scalise, and Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Now a permanent fixture, Social Media has many benefits but needs reasonable limits. Person-to-person communication will lead to a less violent future. In a 2018 survey (Cigna), nearly half of 20,000 U.S. adults report they always feel alone and isolated. Loneliness and social isolation are twice as harmful to physical and mental health than being obese. The positive benefits of the internet (improved efficiency to information) is being overwhelmed by the negatives- disconnection from the real world that can unleash ugly behaviors. There are no easy answers. Perhaps treating it as an addiction and offering counselling. Outside social activities and limited internet use should start in young children. Whatever the solution, we need to see this as a problem that will only get worse.
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Citrus County Concurrent

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