CALawMama's Blog


Experiences at the interface of life, law, and motherhood in Cali

The DARK Act: AKA Congress BANS GMO Labeling

In case you missed it, in another example of how our elected officials are so corrupt it will make your head spin, The House passed a bill that will ban states from requiring food manufacturers to label GMOs in their products.

Friends of the Earth voiced deep disappointment at yesterday’s passage of H.R. 1599, a bill which preempts state and local authority to label and regulate genetically engineered food. Dubbed the Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act, the bill was backed primarily by Republicans and passed by a vote of 275-150.

  1. As reported by ABC, “The bill prevents states from each passing their own labeling laws”– the tired as hell argument being that these laws will increase food costs. Um no. You may or may not be aware that after a HUGE outcrying of moms regarding the alleged GMOs in Cheerios, gasp! the recipe was changed. No more GMOs in the cereal marketed to babies as a finger food. Eventhough it was clearly a bottom line decision, I applaud General Mills on that point.
  2. “While companies wouldn’t be required to disclose their products containing GMOs, they would have to get certified if they wanted a label that certifies their products do not contain GMOs — meaning you’d still be able to spot those products easily at the supermarket.” THIS IS where the increased costs will come in. You will have to go through a special process and have your product certified to label it as NON GMO. Whereas those who use GMOs would have an incredibly negligible task of simply adding a sticker to previously designed packaging, with no additional process required, those wishing to label their NON GMO foods would not only have the labeling issue, but also an entire additional process. Now that sounds like an added burden and increased food cost. Let us all pray to the universe that Congress doesn’t ban that bane of hope for real food.

Further troubling:

“The evidence is piling up that Monsanto’s glyphosate and other pesticides that go hand in hand with genetically engineered crops may be harming our health. Americans have more reason than ever to want to know whether they are eating GMOs,” Archer said.

In fact: “More than 300 farmer, consumer and environmental groups and the nation’s second largest farming group, the National Farmers Union opposed the Dark Act.”

H.R. 1599 would preempt more than 130 existing local and state statutes, regulations and ordinances in 43 states and block any future similar oversight of GMOs. GMO labeling is required by more than 64 countries around the world and higher food costs have not been reported in these countries as a result of labeling. In 2013 and 2014 more than 30 states introduced legislation to require GMO labeling, and Vermont, Connecticut and Maine recently passed GMO labeling laws.

Friends of the Earth supports the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), that would direct the FDA to require labeling of GMOs.

In writing to my Congressman, I stated how HR 1599 is counter intuitive. Not only does it favor corporations over people– who is it again Congress is supposed to serve? It also eliminates the ability for consumer to know and choose what they are eating. If individuals do not care whether they are eating GMOs or not, then they would continue to eat foods that contain GMOs, despite the labels. If, however, what is more likely the case, consumers do in fact care whether they are consuming GMOs, the label may serve as a warning, and discourage consumers from buying those products– which is likely what is occurring here. Rather than giving Americans the ability to determine what’s in their food, The House voted to keep us in the DARK, pun intended. Disappointing.

Filed under: Congress, Corporate America, Corporate Interests, GMOs, House of Representatives, Legislation, , , , , , , , , , ,

Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is Failing us, Says Stanford Law Professor

Someone sent me the following article, with a link to an article in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. The article, criticizing the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, is written by a Stanford Law Professor. See also


Stanford2.12.14_392The tort system is frequently criticized — for the unpredictability of its judgments, the stinginess (or, some say, profligacy) of its awards, and the slow pace, exorbitant cost and adversarial nature of its operation. In tort’s place, many suggest, we ought to create alternative compensation mechanisms — which is to say, programs that would provide payment to injured individuals outside the traditional court system. The idea is that, within these alternative mechanisms, compensation would be more quickly, more easily, more consistently and more simply delivered, without long delays or adversarial process.

Recently, this idea has been taking hold in the realm of medical injury. Fed up with the medical malpractice status quo, many advocate moving medical-malpractice cases outside the traditional court system into freestanding, dedicated tribunals. More than just a passing fancy, legislation to establish these “health courts” has been introduced in more than a half-dozen states, while bills to charter pilot projects have been introduced in both houses of Congress. If health courts’ many influential supporters are to be believed, these specialized courts are poised to revolutionize medical-malpractice litigation: They would offer faster compensation to far more people, while quelling adversarialism and restoring faith in the reliability of legal decision-making.

But would they? Do alternative compensation mechanisms really operate as effectively as proponents now predict? The best place to look for answers to that question is the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

Created by Congress in 1986 as the problem of vaccine injury hit crisis proportions, the program is a no-fault compensation system housed within the U.S. Court of Claims and funded by a 75-cent tax on each vaccine dose administered. Since its effective date, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has adjudicated more than 14,000 petitions for vaccine injury. As such, it offers a rich empirical template to assess whether the advantages thought to accompany alternative compensation mechanisms actually accompany these mechanisms once the rubber hits the road.


I have studied nearly three decades of previously untapped material concerning the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program’s operation, and the results are discouraging. Echoing current claims about health courts, back when the program was created, expectations for its operation were sky high. Congress expressed confidence that the program would resolve claims “quickly, easily and with certainty and generosity,” while contemporary commentators predicted that it would offer prompt justice to vaccine-injured children, while guaranteeing equal compensation to similarly situated individuals. So certain was Congress that adjudications would be straightforward that it established a mandatory, statutory 240-day deadline for all vaccine-injury adjudication decisions. Yet, it’s putting it charitably to say that the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has failed to live up to these high hopes.

Despite predictions at enactment that it would “guarantee” equal treatment to similarly situated claimants, a lack of consistency has bedeviled the program. Even though Congress established that each petition would take, at most, 240 days to adjudicate, in reality, the average program adjudication takes more than five years. This is substantially ­longer than similar claims resolved by court judgment or trial verdict within the traditional tort system.

And although claims within the system are supposed to be amicably resolved, in reality their resolution is frequently antagonistic. In the words of a medical expert who has long participated in the program: “What should be a quiet, civil, deliberative discussion of facts and medicine too frequently degenerates into a contentious, vituperative, decibel-escalating exchange.”

The bottom line is that the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was supposed to offer “simple justice” to vaccine-injured children. But it has largely failed to do so.

For two reasons, these findings should give us pause. First, problems that plague the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program should trouble us if we care about the plight of vaccine-injured children and whether the safety net Congress created to protect those who suffer from vaccine injury is working as intended. This concern is especially urgent now.

Vaccination rates in the United States are lower than they should be, with fewer of our children vaccinated for the measles than children in Uzbekistan, for example. And with the recent California measles outbreak, the effects of this comparatively low vaccine rate seem to be coming home to roost.

At the time the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was enacted, many thought a smoothly functioning, reliable compensation system would help to convince Americans to become (in the words of the day) “soldiers in the battlefield in the war against disease.” If we want to convince more American parents to vaccinate their children, improving the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program could help.

Second, these findings shed light on how well other alternative compensation mechanisms, including health courts, might work. There have been many proposals to create alternative compensation schemes in the past and many more will follow. But the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, with high hopes at its enactment yet disappointing performance over the past three decades, stands as a cautionary tale for all of them.

This story was first published on June 29 in the National Law Journal.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Lack of Real Information

My children are fully vaccinated.

I have stayed away from re-stating any controversial conclusions, such as those stating that vaccines cause Autism, essentially because the message has just been repeated so frequently in the media, that it must be true right? I have not looked further into the “CDC Whistleblower” because it must just be a bunch of bs right? Except that the official statement made by the former CDC Scientist is not actually that outlandish. Read it for yourself. IMO, it seems to parallel everything else published by the CDC and CHOP that vaccines can, and do cause injury, sometimes very very serious injuries and death, BUT that doesn’t mean we should just not ever utilize vaccines. We don’t know whether the association with Autism is causation or correlation. However, we do know that data has been falsified in relation to vaccines. This is allegedly the reported reason that Merck has been involved in litigation for several years over their MMR vaccine. (I am not personally familiar with that case, this is just my understanding based on what has been reported)

Instead, I think, we should figure out what the fuck the actual information is regarding risks, and decide whether that is good enough. Is the risk of high fever and collapse of our kids at the reported rate of 1 in 10,000 per dose safe enough when we are giving our kids 5 doses before they turn 2? For an affliction that is almost non-existent? (tetanus) THEN, when we have ALL the relevant information, we can reach INFORMED decision. You know like the term INFORMED CONSENT implies.

I prefer to get information directly from doctors. I respect their medical training. I would like to hear from them what the various risks are. However, my personal experience has been that doctors willing to honestly discuss the risks associated with vaccines are in short supply. So who do I have to track down to hear the unbiased information? I just want to know. This is what the vaccine is made out of, this is what clinical trials revealed, these are the risks of vaccinating, these are the risks if you actually get the disease. All the information.

And I don’t think that is an unreasonable request. And I DO think I am entitled to that information as a concerned parent, and as an American.


August 27, 2014 Press Release, “Statement of William W. Thompson, Ph.D., Regarding the 2004 Article Examining the Possibility of a Relationship Between MMR Vaccine and Autism”


My name is William Thompson. I am a Senior Scientist with the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, where I have worked since 1998.

I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data were collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed.

I want to be absolutely clear that I believe vaccines have saved and continue to save countless lives. I would never suggest that any parent avoid vaccinating children of any race. Vaccines prevent serious diseases, and the risks associated with their administration are vastly outweighed by their individual and societal benefits.

My concern has been the decision to omit relevant findings in a particular study for a particular sub­ group for a particular vaccine. There have always been recognized risks for vaccination and I believe it is the responsibility of the CDC to properly convey the risks associated with receipt of those vaccines.

I have had many discussions with Dr. Brian Hooker over the last 10 months regarding studies the CDC has carried out regarding vaccines and neurodevelopmental outcomes including autism spectrum disorders. I share his belief that CDC decision-making and analyses should be transparent. I was not, however, aware that he was recording any of our conversations, nor was I given any choice regarding whether my name would be made public or my voice would be put on the Internet.

I am grateful for the many supportive e-mails that I have received over the last several days.
I will not be answering further questions at this time. I am providing information to Congressman William Posey, and of course will continue to cooperate with Congress. I have also offered to assist with reanalysis of the study data or development of further studies. For the time being, however, I am focused on my job and my family.

Reasonable scientists can and do differ in their interpretation of information. I will do everything I can to assist any unbiased and objective scientists inside or outside the CDC to analyze data collected by the CDC or other public organizations for the purpose of understanding whether vaccines are associated with an increased risk of autism. There are still more questions than answers, and I appreciate that so many families are looking for answers from the scientific community.

My colleagues and supervisors at the CDC have been entirely professional since this matter became public. In fact, I received a performance-based award after this story came out. I have experienced no pressure or retaliation and certainly was not escorted from the building, as some have stated.

Dr. Thompson is represented by Frederick M. Morgan,Jr., Morgan Verkamp, LLC, Cincinnati, Ohio,

link to original:

Filed under: Uncategorized

The Declaration of Independence

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton

Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton

Column 3
John Hancock
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Column 4
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean

Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark

Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton

Filed under: Uncategorized

Letter to Governor Brown

June 26, 2015

To: Office of the Governor, Honorable Edmund G. Brown Jr.

From: Dr. Rob Cohen

Dear Governor,

I was born in San Mateo, Ca in 1968. My parents were born in San Francisco. I now hail from San Diego County. I have lived and worked and played in San Diego and the Bay Area in different times of my life. And I am all California, all my life. I grew-up in California public schools. I graduated from San Jose State University. I am California. As are my family, as are all my friends. My family has been life long democrats for generations, since the 1880s. I have to say, for those reasons and because you’re a native local like me, I have always been a big fan of yours. And I’ve often wondered how great it would be if you became president of The United States of America. I’m proud of the Great State of California and The United States of America. It would be great to send one of our own to The White House.

However Governor, the party is over. The love-fest has evaporated. And I say that because SB277 has me afraid. My faith in my political leaders is marred by my own observation of how politics are run in our Great State. I wish I could take you out for a couple of ales at a local tavern so that we could just talk. Like two honorable men. Just a couple guys, having a couple beers, loosened-up, shoot from the hip, accepting of the other’s thoughts, and just taking care of business.

If I had that opportunity, I would tell you that SB277 scares me. It literally makes me afraid of government. And I have never been afraid of the government of the State of California or The USA until right now, at 47 years old. I have two little boys. I work my tail off for them, to carve out a fate for us that they can flourish within. But with SB277, I see a deranged future for them in a country that I’m not sure I’ll recognize if we pass laws like this. Think about it Governor….It’s pretty strange to pass laws that make medical procedures mandatory in order to acquire a civil right granted to us by the California Constitution: Public and Private education.

And Governor, SB277 isn’t about vaccinations or protecting the populace from infectious disease. AB2109 is already doing just that. And I’m not sure I’m against the concept of vaccinations. I’m not. However, there is no compelling state interest to pass such government over reach. On the contrary, consider these statistics from the California department of public health, since AB2109 took effect: Santa Monica-Malibu Unified: personal belief exemptions fell from 14.8% to 11.5%. With that, comes increased vaccinations. Capistrano Unified Personal Belief Exemptions fell from 9.5% to 8.6% since AB2109. Beverly Hills Unified fell from 11.9% to 5%. And Laguna Beach Unified fell from 15.1% to 2%. These are the types of communities Senator Pan is worried about. The last two examples were huge drops in Personal Belief Exemptions at 54% and 86% respectively. That is huge decline with increased vaccinations in those communities. Plus, overall MMR vaccination rates are stable and at or near record highs. Furthermore, There is no history of communicable disease outbreak in these communities that even comes close to the low numbers from the Disneyland outbreak. AB2109 is working. We should let it do it’s job. It has allowed for community immunity while simultaneously giving a small percentage their civil rights, thanks to you when you added the personal and religious belief exemptions. SB277 does not achieve this. SB277 only propagates fear in the populace and it segregates and discriminates a group of kids from their constitutional rights.

And Regarding Senator Pan….If we were in that tavern together enjoying a few libations in moderation, I would ask you what is this guy’s deal? He’s a medical doctor. Ok great. So what? Well, he’s a medical doctor that is a legislator. And he’s attempting to legislate a medical procedure that does carry some risk of harm. Vaccinations have harmed people, and the industry is not held liable, as it is indemnified by the United States Government, and is uninsurable to the risk. The government has paid out over $3billion in damages to those who have suffered vaccine-related injuries. That alone proves there is a risk of harm. In lieu of that, I would tell you this scenario of making something like this as mandatory, is very bad, Governor. That’s real bad. That concept to me leads us down a slippery slope where you and I right now, need to peer into the future to see what this leads to. The pharmaceutical industry lobbyists, who we all know are very powerful and very well-financed. And I’m not sure medical doctors or other healthcare professionals should be allowed to become politicians. They will just want to pass laws to promote their procedures and products, making the mandatory, so their industry and themselves can gain. Think about it and let’s cut the BS, that industry stands to profit when legislation is passed whereby their products are made mandatory to the population. And why not, they are not held liable. If one of their vaccine products hurts an individual, so what? They made the sale and they’re not liable. What a perfect margin they obtain from that dysfunctional scenario.

Mandatory medical procedures with risk of harm by an industry who is not held liable when there is harm. Wow. And then the government bails them out. So, where does that lead us? Where do the injured turn to? I really don’t know. That scares me for people. It has me interested in entering politics. This freedom-stripping and destruction of choice and parental rights has me thinking of entering politics. I became a republican because of this. The freedoms and liberties in this country have been a beacon of light for the world for over 200 years. I feel I need to fight to preserve that. We sell that down the river when we remove rights and make mandatory any medical procedure. Taking the choice away from people is insane to me. Disrespecting one’s personal beliefs based on their own research, disrespecting their faith in their own religion is unacceptable. Having the state control children outside of parental rights is disparaging and bizarre to me. I don’t want to cover the ingredients in vaccines, Governor. But I doubt Jews, Christians, and Muslims aren’t real thrilled with some of the crap in these vaccines. Pig and cattle cell cultures. Insect cell cultures. Fetal dna cultures. Give me a break. Some people just don’t want that stuff or Aluminum or other harmful chemicals injected into themselves or their babies. If people want to do that, great. Go ahead. But if people don’t, then we must consider that we are all equal under the law. And never segregate or discriminate.

Does this coming trend lead us to more medical professionals becoming politicians? Does it lead to more medical procedures be mandatory? If so, that is tyranny. If so, that means the government is inserting itself between and in destruction of the relationship between doctor and patient. That is a fact. And myself and other doctors despise that concept of stripped freedom and over-reaching government control which is driven by a multinational industry who very well may be the most financially powerful on the entire planet Earth.

Governor, that scares the shit out of people. Remember, we are a couple guys just chatting in a bar about the truth and honor. And how honor must be carried out. Because I’m not seeing a lot of honor in Sacramento right now. It’s on you Governor. You must lead the charge and be the one.

Governor, the honorable thing to do is to veto this bill and leave AB2109 alone. It’s doing it’s job. The honorable thing to do is to preserve religious and personal freedom. The Founding Fathers of this great Country built it upon those values. Values that ensure the survival of a society whose dependents came from tyrannical places where a soul’s right to breathe was squashed. All of our ancestors came from a place like that to build The United States of America. Where freedom to choose and liberty to breathe in life is insured. Bills and laws like this destroy that basic fabric. I mean, making mandatory potentially harmful medical procedures? Really? Geeze Louise, where will that lead is in the future?

Governor, end this tyranny now. You have a fantastic legacy. Don’t leave it tarnished with tyranny and hypocrisy. We are the United States of America. We are the last stand against tyranny. There is no where else to escape to. Let’s keep it that way. Veto this bill, Governor. Please. Please stay my hero.

Lastly, Governor, you have a track record for respecting parental rights. When you dismissed ab1444 in 2014, you indicated that you “prefer to let parents determine what is best for their children, rather than mandate….” In 2011, you dismissed sb105, regarding ski helmets, when you indicated you were concerned with “the continuing and seemingly inexorable transfer of authority from parents to the state. Not every human problem deserves a law. I believe parents have the ability and responsibility to make good choices for their children.”

Governor, I would tell you, as we sit in that tavern, and enjoy our libations, that your stance applies with SB277 as well. Ab2109 and the preservation of personal and religious exemptions is just and it works. Vaccination rates are up. And people still have their civil Liberties in tact. Community immunity is achieved. There is no epidemic, only fear mongering for a profit and some campaign contributions. Those are shallow reasons to pass a bill. Please veto SB277. Lastly Governor, and I appreciate your time. Pan and the co-authors claim that this bill protects kids who have diseases, who are compromised immunologically. The medical community has long-acknowledged and was stated by an expert witness in the senate health hearing, that cancer patients and those who are compromised immunologically should stay away from the recently vaccinated for 6 weeks, otherwise there is risk of catching the very diseases that were vaccinated for that immunocompromised kids would be exposed to in the public school setting. That’s an oxymoron. A contradiction. It’s not a logical argument and is fallatious.

With respect Governor, you are one of few heroes of mine. I ask you to leave your legacy free of tyranny and hypocrisy. Multi-national corporations who seek legislation to impose their will on the populace whereby they profit and we can potentially get hurt, and do get hurt, is the definition of tyranny to any logical, moral person. Veto this ridiculous bill. We are California. This is the United States of America. May God bless us all.

Yours very truly,,

Dr. Rob Cohen

Filed under: Uncategorized

Angelita Garcia-Stonehocker Speech June 25, 2015

Intro/Bio: Angelita Garcia-Stonehocker is here representing Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance for Healthy Choices. She is an educator and former professor at the Stanford School of Education, but, most importantly, she is a mother.

First, I want to teach you a kind of chant that people often use in Mexico when protesting government and corruption. “Viva” means “long live” and “los ninos” means “the children.”

When I say:………………………..You say:

Viva los niños!……………………………..Viva!


My father grew up as a migrant farm worker picking vegetables in the fields of central California. He fought alongside Cesar Chavez and many, many other Latino leaders for civil rights in the 70s. My mother is a 4th generation Mexican-American woman who taught me how to… ask questions. She fought for her life after suffering from a stroke, but she always taught me that the patient knows what is best for their body and a mother knows what’s best for her children. You see, in Latino families, MOTHERS are highly valued and respected to make decisions to protect their children.

What I am here to tell you today is that our Latino legislators have turned their back on Latina mothers and have forgotten their cultural value of motherhood. The Latino Caucus has largely ignored the stories that we, mothers, have told them about our children, thereby turning their back on their own people and their own values. Thousands of mothers have traveled hundreds of miles, with their children, week after week, to participate in this process. Latino legislators have the obligation to listen to those mothers AND to FIGHT for them. So far, all we have heard from them is silence and, worse, accusations from our representatives as if we were lying.

Senator Mendoza has refused to have a single face-to-face meeting with his constituents about any of these vaccine mandates. Senator deLeon has lied to us, even though some of us have personally worked along side him in the past. ASM Santiago ignored the stories of several Latina mothers with children who have been harmed by vaccines and he even left the room during the Health Hearing. ASM Gonzalez says WE are racist!… RACIST?!?… Really?… and ASM Calderon complains that we are too loud. Well, let me tell you, legislators, we are not going away!

We are not going away!

Let me tell you something else that I find funny. CBS News wrote an article this year about who uses PBEs, stating that “Parents who cite ‘personal beliefs’ to get their children exempted from routine vaccinations are typically white and well-to-do…. But the study also found” that such schools “had high rates of exemptions for medical reasons.” Dr. Paul Offit was confused about why that would be the case.

Well, let me tell you why that happens, Dr. Offit. First of all, many doctors admit that it is unnecessarily difficult to get a medical exemption, even with the current amendments to the bill, so parents with legitimate medical concerns often use a PBE as a de facto medical exemption. Secondly, Latino parents who have concerns about their children’s health, are consistently bullied by doctors and lied to by schools. While that is increasingly happening to parents of all colors, minorities often have little access to the legal knowledge and cutting edge medical research that affluent families typically use to help their children get exemptions as well as treatment for the complex injuries that occur after vaccination, such as brain inflammation, chronic seizures, or Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) [1].

Contrary to what our Latino Caucus has told us, SB 277 will hurt Latino families like mine. The confusion comes when we look at the numbers rather than listen to the stories of mothers. I challenge the Latino Caucus with this statement: Do not confuse our compliance for our support. Let me make this even clearer: Latinos strongly oppose vaccine mandates.

Recent genetic research suggests that vaccines may cause more problems for people with certain genetics, which are MORE common among Latinos and African Americans [2]. Dr. Richard C. Deth, professor of Pharmacology, wrote to our legislators to tell them that “the risk of adverse responses to vaccination is significantly greater for certain individuals and medical science is beginning to identify genetic factors which place people at greater risk… it is foolhardy to compel such vulnerable individuals to place themselves or their children at extraordinary risk by enacting mandatory vaccination legislation.”

Our group has been spreading the word about SB 277 to other Latinos in our communities and the response has been one of shock. Most parents are surprised when they find out that they actually had a choice, but many moms cry when they find out that they have valid concerns, but now their rights are being stripped away. Many times, we hear stories about children who have suffered life-threatening adverse reactions again and again because parents did not know they had a choice. Let me repeat myself: Latinos strongly oppose vaccine mandates.

Individuals and parents like us who speak out about adverse reactions are being ignored and vilified for our concerns. However, disregarding and minimizing the concerns of victims and mothers is a dangerous precedent that eliminates any hope of improving medical treatments, not to mention all accountability.

Vaccine mandates will remove the historically important ethical concept of informed consent. In the past, the lack of informed consent has led to many egregious acts in California. During the early 1900s, the lack of informed consent led to the forced sterilization of TENS of THOUSANDS of “undesirable” PEOPLE for the greater good, including Latinos and African Americans. More recently, when I was a child,the CDC “forgot” to inform Latino and African American parents in LA, near where I grew up, that they were giving an experimental vaccine to nearly 1,500 babies. The study was co-sponsored by Kaiser, which, of course, supports these vaccine mandates. They had to stop the study prematurely because of the death rate among babies who got a stronger dose of the vaccine in other parts of the world. To my knowledge, no follow-up studies have been done on the long-term effects of the vaccines in those children. Latinos strongly oppose vaccine mandates.

Vaccine-exempt individuals are now being used as scapegoats. The measles outbreak that started at Disneyland in 2014 might have affected nearly equal proportions of vaccine-compliant vs. non-compliant individuals. Among people with verified vaccination status who got measles during the outbreak, 30.5% (25 out of 82) were vaccinated and 18.3% (15 out of 82) were too young to be vaccinated [3]. Both of these groups are vaccine-compliant, yet still spread DISEASE in the outbreak. There may have been other vaccinated individuals who spread the measles, but there is no way to find out. Just to be clear, almost half of those who had documented status in the outbreak were vaccine compliant! Why aren’t we blaming vaccine failure for the outbreak?… On the contrary, the state is using the outbreak as a justification for systematically singling out a new minority group for discrimination and segregation.

History and recent events have shown that it is crucial that every human being has the right to make informed, individualized medical decisions for themselves and their children.

Viva los niños……………………………


[1] National Vaccine Information Center


[3] CA Dept. of Public Health, Measles Update 4-17-2015

Filed under: Uncategorized

June 25, 2015 Speech

“A statistically insignificant chance of an adverse reaction to a vaccination may not ultimately shift public health policy underlying its use, but it means everything to the parents whose child is injured.” 90 Ky. L.J. 888

It may be unsurprising to those of you gathered here today to know that this quotation was taken from the Law Journal cited to in the Assembly Health Committee analysis. It may be further unsurprising that the nature of the article was misrepresented to serve the pro-SB 277 Agenda.

However, I hope that by this point we have made it clear, we will leave no misrepresentation unaddressed. We will leave no fact unchecked, especially when it comes to misrepresentations about the constitution and the law.

For example,— INSERT KIMBERLY STORY—separate post forthcoming

I’m so sorry I couldn’t be there with you today, but as we all know, it’s so hard to fight injustice while also having other work responsibilities AND being a full time homeschool mom of four children. I know you all understand, because you all are doing it too. But lucky for us, we have reinforcements, and our movement never sleeps. Thank you all for making the arduous trip. Everyone in attendance, and those of us who could not make it are so grateful!

We are together here today to decry the injustice that is taking place before our very eyes here in California.

I am a proud California native. My great grandparents emigrated here from Spain at the beginning of the 20th century, and opened the first Spanish American grocery store on University Avenue in Berkeley in the 1920s. My grandfather, who fought in WWII, served our great country as a member of the Army, the Coast Guard, AND the Navy, for which he was stationed in Alameda. I love California, and I love America, which is why I am so deeply committed to eviscerating SB 277.

Speaking of the military, BY THE WAY, California is home to some 40 military bases. Mothers and fathers routinely VOLUNTEER to go out into the world and risk their lives to FIGHT for our FREEDOMS. Those who are unfortunate enough to be based in California, will lose their constitutional rights under the privileges & immunities clause if this bill becomes law. The will lose their RIGHT to exercise choice over their own children’s medical care, the right protected in all 46 other states in this country, if SB 277 passes. Military families are NOT OK with this. NONE of us are OK with this. Because it is NOT OK.

Legislatures argue that TWO other states have no personal belief exceptions, therefore they are justified in passing SB 277. Well guess what? South Carolina flies the confederate flag over its Capitol building. Just because other states do things differently does not mean it is a GOOD idea.

But going back to the Privileges & Immunities clause, this is just one area of the law protected by our United States Constitution that the California State Legislature has decided to toss into the garbage.

Any legislature who would toss out our constitutionally protected rights in the name of political expediency does not DESERVE the PRIVILEGE of SERVING as an elected official. There are plenty of honest Americans out there who would do a better job. In fact, I would go so far as to assert that unpaid volunteers could do a better job of running the California Government than some of these representatives. At least in that case you know there is no financial conflict of interest!

In the course of SB 277’s history, the authors of SB 277 have a long and sordid history of misrepresenting and misconstruing the nature of the law on their side. The law is on OUR SIDE.

In fact, the Senate Judiciary Analysis, cited to Professor Chemerinsky’s Book, Constitutional Law Principles and Policies (2011) 4th Edition, p. 830-831, for the scholar’s purported belief that the Supreme Court did not GO FAR ENOUGH in emphasizing the utter importance of choices relating to the child’s education and protecting against unneeded institutionalism– which the analysis stated was a “massive curtailment of liberty.”

Our parental rights are protected by the Supreme Court. Our children’s’ rights to a free public education are protected by the US Supreme Court AND the California Supreme Court. The right to INFORMED CONSENT and the FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT to REFUSE MEDICAL PROCEDURES are PROTECTED by the US Supreme Court AND the California Supreme Court. Our children CANNOT be kept out of the classroom in the name of baseless mythologies and irrational fear, AS STATED by the US Supreme Court AND the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Make no mistake about it, the law is on our side, and just because our “representatives” choose to ignore the law, it does not cease to exist. The words that are printed in black and white in the case law books will not disappear. Justice will persevere, whether that takes place within the walls the Capitol Building, or within the walls of the United States Supreme Court. Thank you!

Filed under: Uncategorized

KPFA: Project Censored Segment on SB 277

Filed under: Uncategorized

World Journal Coverage re SB 277 Legal Issues

I can’t link to the article, but it’s on the World Journal website (copy paste does this:

Here is the original text:

30多位家長、兒童和律師代表22日聚集在柏克萊市政府門口,反對加州目前正討論的強制學生打疫苗SB277法案。家長羅克威爾(Sarah Rockwell)說,家長有權為孩子選擇如何打疫苗。律師歐巴斯基(Caitlyn Obolsky)表示,加州憲法明訂學童受教育的權利。如果因為不打疫苗就拒絕孩子上學,那就違反了加州憲法。



歐巴斯基表示,法案規定,家長不能以「個人理念」(personal belief)為由拒絕打疫苗,如不打,子女將無法到校上課,須改為在家上課(home-schooling)。在家上課有很多選項,其中之一是父母教孩子。但實際上,父母工作沒時間帶,所以要請日托(daycare),「這麼多家長要請日托,是非常大的市場,一些沒有品質、證件的日托機構會乘隙而入,帶來潛在的威脅。無良的日托照顧孩子,孩子健康出了問題怎麼辦?出現突發情況是否知道如何處理?

Here is what I am assuming is a Google Translate version:

More than 30 parents, children and lawyers on behalf of 22 municipalities gathered at the door of Berkeley , California, is now opposed to force students to discuss vaccination SB277 bill. Parents Rockwell (Sarah Rockwell) said parents have the right to choose how to vaccination for their children . Lawyers Ouba Chomsky (Caitlyn Obolsky) , said California Constitution express right of children to education . If you refuse the vaccine because they do not hit their children to school , it is a violation of the California Constitution .

In the Berkeley city government , parents and children holding a variety of slogans against the bill SB277 . Rockwell San Francisco with five years and a two -year-old children also came to the scene . She said their children now attend class at home , do not immediately hit the vaccine , but it is worried that after the passage of the bill to enforce , “Parents know best and most concerned about their children’s health, they have the right to choose whether to be vaccinated , and in the end to fight what vaccine this option is not into the hands of the police . oppose the bill are not against vaccination , but to regain our right to freedom of choice . Lawyers Ouba Chomsky unites over 160 peer oppose mandatory vaccination bill. She said the California Constitution guarantees the right to education of school-age children, such as refusing vaccination would not allow their children to attend school, in violation of the California Constitution, the bill needs to be scrutiny. Moreover, statistics, the world’s children, the United States the highest number of children vaccinated. Vaccines can indeed reduce the risk of some diseases, but not absolute. People have the right to refuse for religious or philosophical reasons for vaccination, such as government enforcement, it will lead to vaccine safety, legality doubt, “according to the world standards, patients with prior informed consent, to know the success rate of treatment methods and other information, even if a vaccine. We require all vaccines adequate medical investigation. “

Ouba Sharansky said Act, parents can not “personal philosophy” (personal belief) refused vaccination, if not beat, the children will not be able to attend school, to be replaced by the class at home (home-schooling). There are many options for classes at home, one of which parents teach children. But in fact, parents do not have time to work with, so please daycare (daycare), “so many parents want to please daycare, is a very big market, some do not quality, undocumented day-care institutions will Chengxi infiltration, potentially threat unscrupulous daycare child care, child health is a problem how to do? sudden know how to handle the situation? “

Filed under: Uncategorized

What is Reporting, Anyway?

I read this article in the Daily Californian, and it just made me sad.

The following is the statement that was read, in three languages, regarding the legal issues with SB 277, that were not at all mentioned in the article. But I guess we should be grateful that a “mainstream media” news source published a piece at all?

BTW, it will remove ALL personal belief exemptions, including religious. There will be NO exceptions. You will not be able to decline ONE vaccine, for ANY daycare, preschool, or typical school, FROM BIRTH. Because #truthinreporting

Also, I find it curious that the article cites to two professors, not well known on this issue, and completely ignores the letter written by, and signed by, lawyers, across the country in OPPOSITION to SB 277.

The LAW:

1) The Supreme Court of the United States has consistently and repeatedly held that parents have the constitutionally protected rights to make decisions regarding the upbringing of their children.

U.S. Supreme Court Cases:

Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 (1923)

Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 534-535 (1925)

Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973): “freedom of personal choice in matters of marriage and family life is one of the liberties protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

Parham v. J.R., 442 U.S. 584 (1979)

2) Both the Supreme Court of the United States and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals have ruled that it is unconstitutional to strip the rights of children and adults due to a fear of contagion, and that is for people actually afflicted with disease!

School Bd. of Nassau County v. Arline 480 U.S. 273 (1987) Teacher with tuberculosis, court ruled it was unconstitutional to fire her. It rejected the argument that exclusion could be justified on the basis of “pernicious mythologies” or “irrational fear.”

New York State Ass’n of Retarded Children v. Carey, 612 F.2d 644, 650 (2d Cir.1979) cited to in

Chalk v. United Stated District Court Central Dist. of California, 840 F.2d 701 (1988) Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Case

3) Free public education is a fundamental right under California Law. SB 277 unconstitutionally prevents children from accessing ANY typical school setting on basis of fear of contagion. Children with Hepatitis B cannot be excluded from the classroom, teachers with tuberculosis or HIV cannot be excluded from the classroom. Children who are unvaccinated cannot be excluded from the classroom.

Serrano v. Priest, 5 Cal. 3d 584, 606, 487 P.2d 1241, 1257 (1971) “”We indulge in no hyperbole to assert that society has a compelling interest in affording children an opportunity to attend school.”

The “American people have always regarded education and [the] acquisition of knowledge as matters of supreme importance.” Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390″] 262 U.S. 390, 400 (1923).

4) Informed consent– if you mandate medical procedure then there is no informed consent! Even though the Supreme Court in Cruzan and California Supreme Court in Thor said people must have right to refuse medical treatment! Affirming the right of a prisoner to refuse treatment as a, “fundamental right of self-determination in medical decisions.”

Cruzan v. Director Missouri Dept. Health, 497 U.S. 261, 278 (1990)

Thor v. Superior Court (Andrews)  5 Cal.4th 725 (1993)

The Consumer Protection Amendment was introduced last month in response to the several bills currently in the legislature that mandate vaccines.

It was designed to bring scrutiny to the fact that under currently existing California Law you cannot sue vaccine manufacturers for any injury or deaths caused by their products. The CPA uses the same language as the existing California statute allowing consumer protection for injuries or death due to tobacco use.

This amendment gives consumers in California the opportunity to sue vaccine manufacturers in the event of vaccine-related injury or death in state courts, rather than through the unconstitutional National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) which has no judge, no jury, no discovery, and no rules of evidence or civil procedure. In essence, a fake court.

Federal law requires that all lawsuits involving claims of vaccine injury or death, which are greater than $1,000, must originate in the NVICP Furthermore, the 2011 Supreme Court Case Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, held that determinations regarding design defect claims for vaccines, may only be decided within the NVICP, and may not be appealed to state or federal court.

Vaccine manufacturers are the only type of consumer product manufacturer that are completely shielded by state and federal law from accountability for their products.

Therefore, a coalition of groups working together to oppose SB 277, SB 792 presents the Consumer Protection Amendment to be included in SB 277. Amendment text available at Health Freedom Action.

Here are links to others that also covered the event, in all fairness:

Clip from the event:

And related coverage:

You may have never seen these links before, because as soon as they are posted on Senator Pan’s page, the admin deletes them. #FirstAmendment #FreeSpeech

Filed under: Uncategorized

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