Victim: The Healthcare Industry
By: Carol Plato
Victims of Illegal Immigration – A Collection of Essays
Hat Tip: Dick Manasseri
I am Carol Plato. I am from Martin County (Florida), and I am Director of Corporate Business Services for Martin Memorial Medical Center. I have a couple brief stories to tell you about. In 2001 we had a Guatemalan, an illegal patient, in our hospital. He was there from 2001 until 2003. He had over $1.5 million in healthcare services. We forcibly returned him to his home country of Guatemala at our own cost of $30,000. You ask why am I telling you about a case that happened in 2003? Because today that case is not over; we have spent and are spending up to a quarter of a million dollars in legal fees, because his family here in the United States is suing us because they think it was inappropriate for us, to return this illegal patient to his home country.
Currently, as of today, I have a patient from Mexico who has been in my hospital for 760 days. He has severe brain damage; he has no family, no friends. His charges, to date, for almost 2 years is $1.5 million, and we have contacted the Mexican Consulate four times; we have contacted Immigration, and nobody will help us return this patient to Mexico. We are even willing to spend our own $30,000 to return this patient. We can’t get anyone to help us with that.
In 2007 the Florida Hospital Association estimated that there was 100 million dollars in costs for illegal patient care. One of the major problems that healthcare institutions have today, that you need to be aware of, is ongoing care. If somebody comes into our emergency room, we don’t turn them away. But if somebody comes into our emergency room and they have renal failure, and they require dialysis — well, right now I have six patients (illegal, undocumented patients) that we are seeing every 3 days for renal dialysis. For all of this that I’ve talked to you about, we have received no reimbursement. This obviously affects all of us; our healthcare costs are severely affected by this.
Carol Plato, Public Testimony before the (Florida) House Committee on State Affairs, April 8, 2008
Victim: The Rancher
By: Jim Olsen
Victims of Illegal Immigration – A Collection of Essays
Hat Tip: Dick Manasseri
At the time of this writing, Rob Krentz is without a doubt, the most widely known rancher in America, maybe the world. Just ask anyone, anywhere to name an American rancher today, and they will more than likely say Rob Krentz or, at least, “You know … that guy that got killed along the border.”
The Krentzes were pioneers. They were the kind of people that settled and developed this country and made it safe for others to follow. They are the kind of family that should be considered the backbone of America. Surviving bad droughts, cyclical markets, government regulations, and a myriad of other issues helped make them into the strong ranching family that they are today. The Krentz Ranch has been there since before Arizona was a state. It has been there since long before there was ever a United States Forest Service dictating rules to them. This is the background and legacy that Rob was born into – a salt-of-the-earth kind of old-time ranching family.
When asked about some of Rob’s other qualities, over and over again I am told about his willingness to help out. Rob was known to help out a thirsty, starving, or wounded immigrant on more than one occasion. That may have been what got him killed. Rob’s last radio transmission to his brother Phil was something like: “Going to help an illegal in distress.” Rob and his dog, Blue, were found shot several hours later.
Rob was very active in the cattle growers’ associations at the local and state levels. He worked with the Malpai Borderlands group trying to preserve ranching and wildlife habitat for future generations. He testified numerous times to congressional leaders about the issues facing the international border.
Rob loved to hunt, fish, and do just about anything outdoors. He was a good roper, rancher, horseman, cowman, husband, and father. Everybody I talked to had nothing but praise for Rob. He was easy to get along with. He was always positive.
Rob Krentz loved life and would constantly tell his family, “We are so very blessed to live in this beautiful place that we live, to get to live the lifestyle that we want, and to do what we want to every day.” As one of Rob’s friends put it, “Rob was one of the good guys; he was a good ole boy.”
Jim Olson is a member of the Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association. His website is www.mycowboyheroes.com.
Russian Disinformation for a Conservative Audience
By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
Knowing that evidence would implicate Russia in the shoot-down of the Malaysian Airlines MH17 plane, the Russian disinformation apparatus went into action early in the crisis, putting out the story that the plane was travelling almost the same route that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin’s jet had travelled before. In short, the accusation was that Ukraine downed the plane, thinking Putin was on it. Hence, it was an assassination attempt.
This bizarre piece of disinformation surfaced on RT (Russia Today), the Moscow-funded English-language propaganda network known to critics as KGB-TV. It was linked to by the popular Drudge Report, used by many conservatives as their homepage, and then picked up by the Alex Jones’ Infowars.com site, a reliable outlet for pro-Russian propaganda.
Drudge posted the item, “RT: Putin’s plane might have been target,” apparently to suggest that there was honest confusion over whether the Russians had shot down the plane.
In the U.S., RT is carried by such giant media companies as Comcast, Time Warner, DISH and Verizon. Jones claims to be on the list of the “Top 100 Most Important Talk Show Hosts in America,” and boasts that his work has led to “Matt Drudge giving Infowars.com a much coveted spot on the permanent links section of his hugely influential and highly trafficked website, DrudgeReport.com.”
The purpose of this RT story is to confuse people about Moscow’s intentions, and suggest a nefarious U.S. behind-the-scenes role in the tragedy.
But some people immediately recognized the item as Russian propaganda, with one commentator expressing disgust with Drudge by saying that it “Took Drudge only 5 minutes to regurgitate” Russian propaganda after the RT item was posted.
Drudge doesn’t grant interviews to explain his peculiar choice of news items, but his relationship with Jones has been criticized by such diverse sources as RedState on the right and Media Matters on the left.
Paul Joseph Watson, a writer for Alex Jones, apparently considered the RT report to have some validity. “Putin’s presidential plane was original target of shoot down,” he posted.
We noted back in 2010 that RT has been eager to publicize Alex Jones and his various anti-American conspiracies because “they divert attention from the increasingly totalitarian nature of the Russian regime and the military threat that Russia still poses to American interests.” Jones was a regular guest on the RT propaganda channel, and defended Moscow’s invasion of its former Soviet republic of Georgia in 2008.
The eager acceptance of the Russian disinformation has once again focused attention on how some conservatives, such as talk-show host Michael Savage, are following the Kremlin line. Once an advocate of a strong U.S. foreign policy, Savage has featured Jones and his writers on his “Savage Nation” radio show, carried on more than 200 radio stations, including WMAL in Washington, D.C. On his Friday show, Savage blamed Senator John McCain (R-AZ) in part for the shoot-down, saying McCain had encouraged the overthrow of Ukraine’s pro-Russian president, leading to the Russian invasion.
On the same day, Jones announced that he was “looking” into “allegations of fabricated evidence connected to the incident set up by the regime in Kiev and the possibility the flight was deliberately diverted into the war zone as the global elite prepare for war.”
Jones writer Paul Joseph Watson subsequently claimed that evidence presented by Ukraine to implicate Russia in the shoot-down of the Malaysian Airlines plane “appears to have been fabricated.”
In the story about Putin being the actual target of the anti-aircraft missile, an RT “source” said about the Malaysian plane and Putin’s jet, “The contours of the aircrafts are similar, linear dimensions are also very similar, as for the coloring, at a quite remote distance they are almost identical.”
However, RT cited the ultimate source of the information as being Interfax, a Russian news agency, and then toned down the accusations by noting conflicting reports.
Despite backing away from the crazy theory, Sara Firth, a London-based correspondent with RT, resigned in protest at the channel’s “total disregard to the facts” about the shooting down of the Malaysian plane. “I couldn’t do it anymore,” she told BuzzFeed. “Every single day we’re lying and finding sexier ways to do it.”
Like some American channels, RT features glitzy graphics and very attractive women as news readers and presenters.
Accuracy in Media has been documenting RT’s service to the Russian regime and its intelligence agencies for many years. Former Soviet KGB officer Konstantin Preobrazhensky told us in 2011 that RT was “a part of the Russian industry of misinformation and manipulation,” and does the same kind of work the old Soviet KGB “active measures” apparatus would do.
AIM has noted that under U.S. law, the Foreign Agents Registration Act, foreign propaganda channels such as RT are supposed to be disclosing in their propaganda broadcasts that they are agents of foreign powers. But the law is not being enforced by the Obama administration.
The disinformation—designed to distract the world’s attention away from Russia’s role in the shoot-down—took on a new form. It became, in some reports, a case of the “New World Order” trying to kill Putin because he was trying to develop an alternative economic system and global bank with the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). In one version of the story, it was Obama himself who had ordered Putin’s assassination.
Taking another approach, a site linked to Iran, calling itself “Veterans Today,” blamed Israel and called the shoot-down “cover” for Israel’s invasion of Gaza.
The point was to get people thinking that some other nation or entity, other than Russia, was actually behind the murder of nearly 300 people.
RT persisted in blaming the Ukrainian government, even citing the Russian Defense Ministry as a source.
In another case of the media being caught spewing the Russian line, the conservative Washington Times on July 17 ran an advertising supplement from the same folks who put on the U.S.-Russia Forum on June 16 in Washington, D.C.
We covered that event, noting that participants included figures from the left, such as Stephen Cohen, a professor from New York University and Princeton, and his wife, Katrina vanden Heuvel, the editor and publisher of The Nation magazine. But participants also came from Pat Buchanan’s American Conservative magazine and the Ron Paul Institute.
The Washington Times supplement featured the comments of pro-Russian Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (CA), James Carden of the American Conservative magazine, and Professor Cohen. The thrust was that the U.S. is committing a major foreign policy blunder by supporting Ukraine against Russia.
Carden attacked The Washington Post editorial page for supposedly favoring a “hot war” with Russia.
The supplement also included the views of Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst, who has stated his belief that the U.S. provoked Putin into invading Ukraine by recognizing the Ukrainian government that replaced Moscow’s puppet regime.
The ad can be viewed on the U.S.-Russia.org website, which apparently helped pay for it.
Rohrabacher’s support for the Russians has earned him the headline, “Kremlin Finds a Defender in Congress,” in The New York Times.
After the shoot-down of the Malaysian plane, however, Rohrabacher seemed to back away from his pro-Russian position, saying Vladimir Putin needed to explain how the mass murder happened. He conceded to BuzzFeed that pro-Russian forces probably shot it down.