Friday, August 4, 2017

'I Was Wrongfully Convicted': A Pain Management Specialist Speaks Out


Doctor Alleges She Was Targeted by the Federal Government,
Creates YouTube Video to Warn Colleagues They Could Be Next 


By Linda S. Cheek, MD 

The Controlled Substance Act was written to prosecute drug cartels, not doctors. It is being used illegally, as shown by the statutes and the case law from the Supreme Court. We must stop this government overreach into medicine. 

On Feb 28, 2006, federal agents entered my office with a search warrant based on healthcare fraud—a violation of the Fourth Amendment because there was no cause. The records confiscated were mostly self-pay and privately insured patients and all of the records were pain management patients. One of the records was a privately insured patient who died in 1998, but his death was not treatment related.

The Western District of Virginia has been on the forefront of the attacks on doctors. Although not the first, they are consistent, always having a doctor under investigation. My lawyer told me that six jobs in the US Attorney’s office are specifically designated to attack doctors. Dr. Cecil Knox was the first in the area to go to trial in 2002. Dr. Alvis Perry left the area during his investigation. Dr. Knox’s case ended January 19, 2006 and on Feb 28, 2006, my office was raided. My case kept the office busy until 2013. After me, it was Dr. Stephen Collins and now the target is Dr. David Morgan.

Although I was not guilty of knowingly committing any healthcare fraud, any doctor can be charged with it. It is a “door-opener”, allowing them entrance into any clinic where they confiscate records and then construct a case against the targeted doctor. In my case, they could find nothing to charge me with pertaining to my pain management, even the death of the patient in 1998. So they used six visits where my nurse practitioners had billed to my Medicare number when I was at a conference in Canada. It was our understanding of the law that those billings were appropriate and the overcharge was a maximum of $66 anyway. But once the government has a doctor picked out to attack, they don’t drop the case. Does a $66 over-billing warrant two years of salaries for six people working for the government? I don’t think so.

At the time, it was my understanding that there was a 20 year mandatory minimum sentence for Medicare fraud. I had no income at the time, no way to pay for a defense, and a husband with two physical disabilities—cerebral palsy and blindness—who could not live without me for 20 years, so I accepted a plea agreement where I was supposed to get six months-probation. However, US Attorney John Brownlee, attempting to get a judgeship appointment, had the AUSA Pat Hogeboom add multiple charges of fraud at the 12th hour, after I had signed the plea, pertaining to my alternative medical treatments that were never charged to insurance. But I proceeded with the plea in May, 2008.

The other doctors in the area were afraid to take my patients, with the line of doctors being attacked. I found a retired physician who was willing to set up a small practice (no advertisement—just word of mouth) to help the patients running out of medications. She practiced alone from September, 2008 to February, 2009. My license was reinstated Feb, 2009 and I applied for reinstatement of my DEA certificate. However, my application was stonewalled, with no explanation. To show the collusion between the medical boards and the government, I found out that a member of the Board of Pharmacy was going all over the area querying pharmacists about prescriptions from our office. Dr. Schultz continued to evaluate and prescribe the controlled drugs needed. But the government had plans to continue my persecution.

They raided my office again in June, 2010, forced Dr. Schultz to turn over her DEA certificate in October, 2011, and patients were again without treatment. I then elicited the services of Dr. Stephen Collins, who was threatened by a DEA agent within two months of providing help, and who became the target of attack after my case ended. Then I employed a locum tenens physician who suffered at the hands of the Board of Medicine for his efforts. Dr. Schultz was forced to commit perjury at my trial or face charges herself at the age of 78. My conviction was a complete surprise because the government did not prove any of the charges. However, as my defense attorney was a public defender, she did nothing for my defense. We had no witnesses since the government claimed everyone was their witness whether they used them or not, and I found out the hard way that defendants are guilty until proven innocent.

My primary patient base was the five populations of people that I believe are targets of government genocide: Medicare and Medicaid insured, poor, disabled, and elderly. I know of 15 patients that died within months of my office being closed. With only 150 active patients at the end of my practice, that represented 10%. And there are probably a lot more that I don’t know about.

How did the Western District of Virginia get so focused on doctors? That’s where the money is. It was here that the first case was filed against a pharmaceutical company. In July, 2007, Purdue Pharma pled guilty for misbranding OxyContin with intent to defraud, stating that OxyContin was less addictive. They agreed to pay $634 million. This is a perfect example of an innocent party accepting a plea because the alternative would be much more devastating. If Purdue Pharma had gone to trial and was convicted, they would have lost their government-insured patients for prescriptions for years. That would have cost them billions of dollars.

The $634 million was a drop in the bucket in comparison. I’m sure, like me, that Purdue Pharma thought that would be the end. But just as the government has targeted doctors to maintain their salaries, more states are jumping on charging the pharmaceutical companies with causing addiction. Of the money from Purdue Pharma, $5.3 million was paid to the Virginia Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit to fund future health care fraud investigations. With that money, the Roanoke office hired special investigators to specifically target area doctors, of which I was one.

Even though the War Against Drugs has done nothing to stem addiction, and it is getting worse, the government continues to use the same tactics, because now there are so many jobs in the DOJ that depend on it. The problem will get worse because the REAL cause of drug abuse is not being addressed. That’s because conventional medicine doesn’t know the cause. They are fishing in the dark. The REAL cause, however, is scientific and available through my DVD: The REAL Cause of Drug Abuse located on my website, http://doctorsofcourage.org/ .

'Flashback Friday': U.S. Olympic Sprinters Protest Racial Inequality

 

Source: Voices of the Civil Rights Movement

Trailblazers in Black History: Mary Mary


Mary Mary is an American contemporary gospel duo, consisting of sisters Erica Atkins-Campbell and Trecina Atkins-Campbell. The duo are often credited along with Kirk Franklin for broadening the fan base of urban contemporary gospel in the 2000s by introducing elements of soul music, hip-hop, funk and jazz. 

Mary Mary broke onto the music scene with their popular song "Shackles (Praise You)"—which is considered one of the pioneering songs of urban contemporary gospel music. The group's name, as stated in an interview is inspired by the two famous Marys from the Bible; Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, and Mary Magdalene.

Their debut album, Thankful (2000), was certified Platinum. In addition, the duo has released two Gold albums: Incredible (2002) and Mary Mary (2005), both of which charted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums. They have also received four Grammys, among other awards. In 2011, they released their fifth studio album, Something Big.

In March 2012, they premiered their own television series, Mary Mary, on WE tv. Their most recently released album is their first compilation album, Go Get It (2012), with the hit single of the same name. The fifth season of the TV series premiered on March 2016. They have sold over 8 million albums worldwide. 

Source: Wikipedia

Richard Sherman Stands Up For Colin Kaepernick! Should More Players Do The Same?


Source: Yasin Network

Are Black People Choosing the NFL Over Kaepernick?


This video was published on YouTube on August 3, 2017. 

Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses & Shaquita Graham of MarriedWomensBiz.com discuss this hot topic.

Source: Boyce Watkins

Dear Mr. President, White America Has Never Faced Discrimination


An NBCBLK Op-Ed

We need to take our country back.

It’s our America.
 
They are taking our jobs.
 
They are getting into our schools. Taking spots that belong to our kids.
 
They are messing up the neighborhood.
 
They are destroying our communities.
 
They need to be put in their place.

These are familiar refrains from this president and the people in our great nation who think like him. They are victims. It’s us versus them.

They define hardworking and blue collar as white people who live in rural areas, and in key electoral states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

They define American as white people who “built” this country. They defined “ours” as gun rights, religious freedom and anything else that keeps “them” away. 

In truth, millions of Black and brown people are blue collar, hard working. Pulling double shifts to put food on the table for their kids, to make ends meet. Many of them also legally own guns and are members of the National Rifle Association. Many women of color are the main source of income in their families.  

Click here for the full article. 

How to Solve a Lynching: Georgia Activists Reenact 1946 Massacre


Ex-Alabama Death Row Inmate Seeking Compensation for ‘30 Years of Hell’

The state of Alabama took 30 years of Anthony Ray Hinton's life when they sent him to death row for two murders he did not commit.

Now they won’t give him a dime.

Hinton’s application for redress was unanimously approved by a state senate committee earlier this year and an Alabama lawmaker introduced a bill that would have set aside $1.5 million for what the 61-year-old Hinton calls "30 years of hell."

But the state legislature never got around to debating that bill before wrapping up its session in May, leaving Hinton bitter and practically broke two years after his convictions were tossed. 

Click here for the full article. 

Another Baltimore Police Body Camera Video Raises Questions


Cyber Expert Who Stopped WannaCry Outbreak Arrested By FBI


Source: CBS News

Special Counsel Impanels Grand Jury in Russian Investigation


Transcripts Released Revealing Trump Intended American Taxpayers to Front Bill for Mexican Wall


Attorney General Jeff Sessions Remarks on Government Leaks, National Security



Source: ABC News

Thursday, August 3, 2017

SPLC Files Ethics Complaint Against New Orleans Prosecutor for Issuing Fake Subpoenas



The following was submitted by the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

The Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board should investigate the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office for issuing fake subpoenas that threatened witnesses with fines and jail time to coerce them into answering prosecutors’ questions – actions that violate rules of professional conduct, according to a complaint the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) filed with the board today.

An investigation is needed to determine the scope of the practice and to hold the lawyers involved accountable for violations of the Louisiana Rules of Professional Conduct, which forbid lawyers from engaging in deception, according to the complaint. The filing notes that District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro has admitted that his office had engaged in the practice since 2009, but has refused to divulge which assistant district attorneys were also involved.

If the board finds that violations occurred, it could recommend probation, admonition or the filing of formal charges against Cannizzaro or the attorneys under his leadership who used the fake subpoenas.

“District attorneys have almost unchecked discretion in our criminal justice system,” said Lisa Graybill, SPLC deputy legal director. “As Louisianans work to reform the state’s criminal justice system and shed the title of incarceration capital of the world, district attorneys must be held accountable when they abuse the public’s trust. 

Click here for the full article.

Procter & Gamble Ad: 'The Talk'


Source: NOW YOU KNOW

Sen. James Sanders Jr on the Death of Bomb Blast Victim George Wray


“I am deeply saddened and disturbed by the death of George Wray. This 73-year-old man was severely burned after he opened a package containing a bomb, which was left on his doorstop. It has been reported that Mr. Wray was not the intended target of the attack. Either way, this a senseless and cowardly act and those responsible need to be arrested and brought to justice. My deepest condolences go out to Mr. Wray’s family and loved ones at this difficult time.”

Source: The Office of State Senator James Sanders, Jr. 

Trump Remarks on Veterans Telehealth Care Services Initiative


Click here for link

Source: C-SPAN

GOP Senators Hold News Conference on Border Security

 
Click here for video. 

Source: C-SPAN

A Discussion on North Korea's Nuclear Program


Lisa Collins, Center for Strategic & International Studies Korea Chair Fellow, discusses North Korea's nuclear launch and steps the U.S. might take to address the issue.

Source: C-SPAN

From the Archives: DEA Agent Told to Leave Rich, White Areas Alone


This video was posted on YouTube on March 17, 2015. 

Matthew Fogg, a former US Marshal and DEA officer, gave an interview to Brave New Films, where he disclosed that he was told, in no uncertain terms, to leave rich, white areas alone from any drug prosecutions. 

Sources: Matthew Fogg and RT America


This video was published on YouTube on November 25, 2014. 

Source: Citizens' Rights Watchdog

Parents Blame School for Not Preventing Bullying They Say Led to Daughter's Suicide


Saving Our Youth: Anti-Violence PSA


Source: Grace Hamilton

Trailblazers in Black History: Dr. William Augustus Hinton


Internationally Renowned Researcher,
First Black Doctor to Teach at Harvard

Dr. William Augustus Hinton, the son of former slaves, became the first Black professor at Harvard Medical School and gained an international reputation for his medical research. 

As a young man, he boldly declined the offer of a Harvard medical scholarship reserved for African-American students in order to compete for a scholarship open to students of all races.

The video was published on YouTube on April 28, 2008. 

Source: http://blerds.atlantablackstar.com

This Mom Wrote a Book to Help Keep Black Boys Alive

Sanya Gragg wears a lot of hats. She is a wife, mother of three, former social worker, and most recently an author.

Gragg published her first book Momma, Did You Hear the News? in April. The book is centered around “Little Avery,” a young boy who witnesses the police shooting of an unarmed Black man.

This traumatic incident prompts Avery’s parents to have “the talk” with him and his brother, but unlike your usual coming-of-age conversation, this talk is centered around what to do when you’re having an encounter with the police. 

The aim of the book is to help teach young Black boys how to do just that. In the story, dad comes up with a simple catchy mantra for the boys to remember when they’re being approached by the police: “Memorize the 5.”  

Click here for the full article. 

Missouri Law That Prompted NAACP’s Travel Advisory Sponsored by Legislator Who Faces Suit

A forthcoming Missouri law that would make it harder to sue a business for race discrimination — which prompted the NAACP to issue a travel advisory for African-Americans in the state — was sponsored by a lawmaker whose business is being sued for race discrimination

This more stringent burden laid out in Senate Bill 43 alarmed the state's NAACP chapter so much that the group rallied to stop the governor from signing it and ultimately issued a "travel advisory" in June — its first ever in the nation — warning people of "looming danger" in Missouri.

While the chapter's president, civil rights attorney Rod Chapel, wants the law to be repealed, he's also criticizing how it could even pass in the first place — given that its sponsor, Republican senator Gary Romine's business is facing a discrimination lawsuit. 

Click here for the full article. 

African-American Conductor Making Noise in White-Dominated Field


Land Taken From Freed Slave's Descendants for Amazon Data Center?




By Richard Eskow 

This is a story about property: real and imagined, legitimate and illegitimate. It’s a story about who gets to decide who can own what, and whom.

It’s a story of reality, both physical and virtual. It’s a story that begins with humans in chains, moves through Disney’s desire to make a theme park out of our most painful history, and ends with the descendants of slaves dispossessed by a company owned by one of the richest people in the world, a company named for a river.

That river runs through the churning electrical heart of the American internet.

It’s also the story of eminent domain gone wrong. We live in a nation that seizes the property of working people while helping the wealthiest among us to carry out some of the greatest property grabs in history.

The moral of the story is this: we need to radically rethink our approach to property rights.

Click here for the full article.

Source: OurFuture.org

Baltimore Police Officers Accused of Planting Drugs


Source: CBS News

Congress Seeks Phone Records Regarding Trump Campaign's Meeting with Russian Lawyer


Source: CBS News

Elizabeth White: Fifty-Five, Unemployed, Faking Normal

 
This video was published on YouTube on July 17, 2017. 

Millions of Boomers are moving into old age with empty pockets and declining choices to earn a living. Right behind them is a younger generation facing the same challenges. Is a good life on a moderate income even possible? Yes! Find out how.

Source:  TEDx Talks

Renewal Schools vs. Success Academy Schools

 
What is the most effective strategy to provide New York City’s most disadvantaged children with a high-quality education? NYC is currently experimenting with two approaches:
 
Renewal Schools: Mayor de Blasio instituted a policy that ended the practice of shutting down underperforming schools in NYC, instead implementing a $400 million “renewal” program in hopes of saving these struggling institutions. 
 
Success Academy Charter Schools: Located throughout NYC in areas with historically disadvantaged students, Success Academy Schools use their autonomy from district rules and collective bargaining agreements to hold students and teachers accountable for meeting high standards. 
 
Which is better? Here’s the data. You decide.
 

Source: The Beat (The Manhattan Institute)

National Action Network Issues Statement on DOJ Inquiry into Discrimination Against White College Students

  

The following was submitted by the organization on August 2, 2017. 

Washington, DC – Today, the Justice Department announced its plan to investigate universities using affirmative action policies that discriminate against white applicants.

This is just another example of both Attorney General Sessions’ and President Trump’s anti-civil rights agenda in action. Whether it is suppressing voter rights, preventing transgender individuals from participating in the military, or now identifying Black students as a factor preventing white applicants from attending college, this administration continues to sow divisiveness and assault people of color.

Furthermore, the DOJ has cited no credible evidence to support their plan. Numerous studies have shown that the effects of affirmative action disproportionately help white students, specifically white women, meaning this plan will only hinder American students striving to receive a better education.

Attorney General Sessions continues to demonstrate a complete disregard for what makes America a democracy. In such a short period of time, he has worked to reverse crucial gains in college acceptance, police misconduct, and criminal justice reform, as well as resuscitate the war on drugs. All of these policies have the potential to destroy communities of color and separate countless families from their loved ones, turning back the clock on years of progress.

The National Action Network (NAN) will not support any effort to limit the educational opportunities of people of color, or any disenfranchised group. We will monitor any efforts to investigate affirmative action policies by the Department of Justice, or any entity, on a local, state, and national level.


Video source: CBS News

How to Claim Back Tax for Creative and Internet Businesses!


Source: Ruth Noel

Assemblyman Michael Blake: I Am Disappointed in the Board of Elections for This Breach of Trust

Statement on the New York State Board of Elections Turning
Over Information to President Trump's Election Commission


Bronx, NY - On Wednesday, in response to the New York State Board of Elections turning over information to President Trump’s Election Commission, New York State Assembly Member Michael Blake released the following statement:

“Today, the State Board of Elections turned over voter information to President Trump’s Election Commission, validating the false claims that voter fraud is a pervasive problem in the United States.

This commission is designed to further disenfranchise communities of color, scapegoating them as the perpetrators of voter fraud. I am disappointed in the Board of Elections for this breach of trust and encourage them to discontinue any further cooperation with the Commission.”

Source: The Office of Assemblyman Michael Blake

Uneasy Welcome as Ultra-Orthodox Jews Extend Beyond New York



By Joseph Berger

JERSEY CITY — To the gentrifying stew of bankers, artists and college graduates who are transforming this once blue-collar city across the Hudson River from Manhattan, add an unexpected flavor.

In a heavily African-American neighborhood, 62 families from a number of Hasidic sects based in Brooklyn and rarely seen here have bought a scattering of faded but roomy wood-frame rowhouses whose prices are less than half what homes of similar size would cost in New York — roughly $300,000 compared with $800,000.

These families are pioneers in a demographic and religious shift that is reshaping communities throughout the region. Skyrocketing real estate prices in Brooklyn and Queens are forcing out young ultra-Orthodox families, which are establishing outposts in unexpected places, like Toms River and Jackson Township in New Jersey, the Willowbrook neighborhood on Staten Island and in Bloomingburg, N.Y., in the foothills of the Catskills.

The influx, however, has provoked tensions with long-established residents, as the ultra-Orthodox seek to establish a larger footprint for their surging population. Residents complain that investors or real estate agents representing the ultra-Orthodox community have been ringing doorbells persistently, offering to buy properties at “Brooklyn prices.” Jersey City, Toms River and Jackson have all passed no-knock ordinances barring such inquiries under the threat of fines or have banned solicitations altogether. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: The New York Times (via The Empire Report) 

Unions and Elected Officials Throw Cash Into Race for Queens Council Seat

 

CORONA — The crowded race for Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland's seat has seen candidate donations from local unions and elected officials — while grass-roots candidates say they're limited in how much money they can raise while they struggle to get on the ballot. 

Assemblyman Francisco Moya — who received the endorsement from unions and Public Advocate Letitia James last week — has raised the most cash, with more than $114,000 in his coffers, records show. 

The Buildings and Construction Trade, District Council 9, SEIU and the Correction Officer's Benevolent Association all gave significant money to his campaign, with many giving the maximum donation of $2,750.

Multiple current City Council members also maxed out for Moya, including Councilmen Donovan Richards, Robert Cornegy and Corey Johnson. 

Despite a later start than his main competitor, Hiram Monserrate, the assemblyman said he's been encouraged by smaller donations coming from residents. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: dnainfo.com (via The Empire Report)

Nassau Residents Grow Weary Over Special Taxing ‘Sanitary Districts’



Sources: CBS2 and The Empire Report

Mosquitoes with West Nile Virus Found in Westchester


WHITE PLAINS, NY -- This season’s first batch of mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus in Westchester has been confirmed by the Westchester County Department of Health. The area surrounding the positive mosquito batch in Mount Vernon has been inspected by the Health Department, which has treated nearby catch basins that to protect against further mosquito breeding nearby.

“West Nile Virus has been present in the Hudson Valley for many years, so this season’s first positive should remind residents to protect themselves and their families by removing standing water around their homes every week and by using repellents daily when spending significant time outdoors,” said Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino. “As a county, our proactive and comprehensive strategy to combat mosquito-borne illnesses has proven effective, and includes advice and resources for our residents.”

As of July 20th, when the first positive batch was confirmed in Westchester, 163 batches of mosquitoes from Westchester were tested for West Nile Virus by the New York State Department of Health. The state Health Department has identified 99 positive mosquito pools throughout New York so far this year.

Click here for the full article.

Source: http://www.newrochelletalk.com (via The Empire Report)