Commentators Suggest Evan Bayh May Become A Health Industry Lobbyist

Commentators suggest Evan Bayh may become a health industry lobbyist Senator Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) announced last week that he will not seek re-election in November, and the media have been filled with speculations about his possible motives ever since.

Although Bayh officially stated that he was disillusioned with what he termed as a "dysfunctional" political system riddled with "brain-dead partisanship," and added that he had "no idea" what he would be doing next, many observers believe there may have been other reasons behind his decision.

In fact, the term "lobbyist" began appearing in post-announcement commentaries, as The Huffington Post pointed out that based on figures from the progressive watchdog group Public Citizen, a total of 43 percent of Congress members who retired between 1998 and 2004 registered as lobbyists.

One news website, called The Seminal, drew a link between the senator’s announcement and the decision of Billy Tauzin, the former Louisiana congressman who is the head of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the industry’s lobby group, to retire at the end of June.

The news provider stressed that until Tauzin’s announcement, Bayh’s campaign team and Capitol Hill staff apparently believed he was still on course to run for re-election.

Whatever he ends up doing next, Bayh—who prior to becoming senator in 1999, served as the 46th governor of Indiana from 1989 to 1997—has reportedly ruled out running for the White House in 2012.

How Stress is Killing Us… And 10 Things You Can Do About It

Stress is one of the leading causes of illness in the United States. Indeed, nearly 66 percent of all signs and symptoms presented in doctors’ offices in the U.S. are stress induced.

The effects of stress include nail biting, anxiety, a racing mind, obsessive thoughts, compulsive behavior, unending worry, muscle tension and spasm, poor appetite or too great an appetite, digestive disorders, constipation, insomnia, poor blood flow, belabored breathing, neck pain, shoulder tension and the possible onset or continuation of bad habits such as dependence on alcohol, drugs, painkillers, food and caffeine.

Any one of these things by itself can trigger any number of different types of illnesses. But when these forces of antagonism are combined (as they generally are when triggered by stress), the health problems often become chronic and insufferable.

The Psychology of Stress

Stress is an interesting phenomenon. It means different things to different people. What we each individually consider to be stressful is largely a matter of our perception. Indeed, our perceptions are our realities and so what we think is posing a threat is actually doing so by virtue of our established belief system. Moreover, there are many kinds of stressors—physical (the response to being frightened), emotional (loss of a loved one), psychological (obsessive thoughts), spiritual (loss of faith) and psychosomatic (the need for attention).

Physiologically, stress is responsible for initiating the fight or flight response in the face of perceived danger. This means that when we are confronted with a danger, our body automatically prepares us to deal with the coming stressful situation by focusing our attention, pumping more blood into our muscles and sending adrenaline through our system to ready it for action. It is precisely this response that helps protect the body and return it again to homeostasis. However, too much stress, or stress left unresolved for too long a time, can lead to biological damage.

You see, at the onset of perceived danger the body is quickly jolted into fight or flight mode, which means stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol are pumped into the bloodstream. However, at the conclusion of the danger episode, the body does not as automatically calm down and return to homeostasis. In fact, it takes a great deal of time for the body to return to so-called normal conditions. But often this cannot happen because another stressor may present itself (e.g., sitting in traffic, standing in line at the bank, missing a deadline) and this will send our body into “code red” mode all over again.

The effects of such prolonged or recurring stress is that it keeps the autonomic nervous system from balancing, which can lead to problems with the gastrointestinal tract, the digestive system, the respiratory system and the neuronendocrine system. Stress can also lead to depression, anxiety, muscle tension and insomnia. All of these are known triggers of various mental and physical (mind/body) illnesses and diseases.

A Stressful Example

The vicious cause and effect cycle of stress is readily seen in our workforce, wherein productivity and the meeting of deadlines and bottom-line expectations lead us down a harrowing headache path. Consider the average day in the life of a corporate worker: Wakes up early, skips breakfast and rushes to the office; begins harboring stress and anxiety while watching the clock sitting in traffic; sits all day at the computer and talking on the phone; takes breaks not to stretch and take deep breaths of fresh air, but to artificially stimulate the body to work harder through taking a cigarette and coffee break. After that it’s back to work pushing productivity in an attempt to meet expectations wherein stress and tensions rise and take hold of the body; after work, to relax—office co-workers are joined for happy hour—wherein the body is nourished with more caffeine, cigarettes and now alcohol. Round and round, day after day, until the body rebels and “tells” you something is very wrong by way of an ulcer, gastrointestinal disorder or chronic pain in some manifestation.

Stress is killing us!

Ten Stress Busters

The idea behind living a stress-free life is to remove the things in your life that are causing you to be stressed. Of course this is easier said than done, but it is truly the only way to not have stress. Here are 10 simple things you can do on a daily basis to reduce the symptoms of stress.

  • Walk outside for at least 20 continuous minutes every day.
  • Take the stairs whenever possible.
  • Take 10 deep belly breaths every hour.
  • Drink plenty of pure water—at least 10 glasses a day.
  • Avoid sugar and caffeine in all forms.
  • Regulate sleep and wake cycles to a consistent daily routine.
  • Prioritize your life, work, family and personal time and activities.
  • Do six shoulder shrugs whenever you are tense.
  • Realize that when people criticize and judge they are labeling an “image” of you and not you personally.
  • Realize that you are worth so much more than the sum of your titles, money and belongings.

A good stress-relief program should be sought and followed. Good programs generally include various forms of meditation, visualization, qigong, yoga, acupressure and bio-feedback. Not all programs contain everything, but engaging in any or some of these will go a long way to reclaiming years for your life.

—Dr. Mark Wiley

Sarah Palin Takes On Family Guy Over Down Syndrome Joke

Sarah Palin takes on Family Guy over Down syndrome joke Fox News commentator Sarah Palin said she was disappointed with the animated comedy Family Guy’s joke in which the character Chris falls for a girl with Down syndrome who says her mother is "the former governor of Alaska."

Palin, whose youngest son has Down Syndrome, wrote on her Facebook page that she felt like she received "another kick in the gut," and asked "when is enough enough?" quoted by the Associated Press (AP).

Various members of the former Alaska governor’s family also weighed in, with her daughter Bristol stating that the producers of the parody show that airs on Fox were "heartless jerks" for what she said was an act of mocking her brother.

This is not the first time Sarah Palin has been caught up in a "political correctness" controversy surrounding the way public figures have used terms that may refer to people with disabilities in a derogatory manner.

Earlier this month, she blasted White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel for calling some Democrats "f*** retarded," something which Palin said amounted to a "racial slur."

The former GOP vice presidential candidate called on President Obama to remove the Chicago politician from his inner circle.

In Midterm Election Year, Joe The Plumber Bashes McCain, Praises Obama

In midterm election year, Joe the Plumber bashes McCain, praises Obama America’s most famous plumber was the talk of the 2008 presidential campaign, but it seems that two years later there is no love lost between Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, who came to symbolize the GOP’s popular appeal, and Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), who was the party’s presidential candidate.

During last weekend’s campaign rally in Pennsylvania for gubernatorial candidate Sam Rohrer, Wurzelbacher—commonly known as Joe the Plumber—said McCain is "no public servant" and a "career politician."

In a subsequent interview with Pennsylvania Public Radio, Wurzelbacher went on to claim that McCain tried to use him in the 2008 campaign and he "really screwed up my life."

"I don’t owe him s**t," he responded to the host’s suggestion that he is famous because of McCain.

Joe the Plumber also said he no longer supported Sarah Palin—McCain’s 2008 running mate—since she has endorsed the Arizona senator for reelection in November.

Surprisingly, the 36-year-old had kinder words for President Obama, reportedly saying that "his ideology is un-American, but he’s one of the more honest politicians. At least he told us what he wanted to do," according to media reports.

Since the 2008 presidential election, Wurzelbacher published a book about his experiences, and has appeared as a motivational speaker and commentator.

John McCain Reelection Bid Faces Challenge From The Right

John McCain reelection bid faces challenge from the right Although commentators believe Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) should be able to defend his seat in this year’s midterm elections, some of his GOP challengers appear to be attracting growing public and media attention.

In particular, the recent announcement by former congressman J.D. Hayworth that he would challenge the incumbent for the party nomination has drawn attention on account of the jabs exchanged by the two rivals.

At a news conference in Phoenix, Hayworth, who is also a former conservative talk show host, said that there are "two John McCains—the one who campaigns like a conservative and the one who legislates like a liberal."

In response, the 2008 GOP presidential candidate accused Hayworth of "blatant lies and fabrications," and McCain’s team confirmed that they are prepared to call him out on his congressional record when he allegedly voted for bills that contained earmarks and broke a term-limits pledge, according to

At 73, McCain is running for his fifth term in the Senate and to date has garnered endorsements from former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey, Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, as well as Sarah Palin, his former vice presidential running mate.

The GOP primary is scheduled for Aug. 24.

Major Energy Companies Pullout Of Climate Coalition

Major energy companies pullout of climate coalition Caterpillar, ConocoPhillips and BP America announced last week that they are leaving the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a coalition of more than two dozen environmental groups and businesses lobbying for climate change legislation.

Officials from BP America and ConocoPhillips said that they are pulling out of the alliance because the bills circulating in Congress are unfair to American industry and will deter growth in the transportation sector.

"House climate legislation and Senate proposals to date have disadvantaged the transportation sector and its consumers, left domestic refineries unfairly penalized versus international competition and ignored the critical role that natural gas can play in reducing GHG emissions," said ConocoPhillips chief executive Jim Mulva.

He added that his company will focus on developing a lower-emission fuel as well as natural gas to help reduce emissions and create jobs, according to The Wall Street Journal.

BP America spokesman Ronnie Chappell noted that the bills’ allowance structure for coal-burning electric utilities would soften the demand for natural gas and would make the carbon market much more volatile.

The push for climate change reform has slowed over the past few months due to bipartisan skepticism regarding cap-and-trade legislation and controversy concerning the science behind global warming.

Vitamin D Linked To Decreased Risk Of Heart Disease, Diabetes

Vitamin D linked to decreased risk of heart disease, diabetesSeniors with high levels of vitamin D have a significantly reduced risk of developing heart disease and diabetes, according to a comprehensive review of past studies.

Researchers from Warwick Medical School looked at 28 distinct studies involving nearly 100,000 participants of varying ethnic backgrounds. They found that high levels of vitamin D were associated with a 33 percent decreased risk of developing cardiovascular disease compared to those with low blood levels of the nutrient.

Moreover, the review revealed that increased vitamin D levels were linked to a 55 percent reduction in diabetes risk and a 51 percent decrease in the chances of developing metabolic syndrome.

"We found that high levels of vitamin D among middle age and elderly populations are associated with a substantial decrease in cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome," said Oscar Franco, assistant professor in public health at Warwick Medical School.

"Targeting vitamin D deficiency in adult populations could potentially slow the current epidemics of cardiometabolic disorders," he added.

Good sources of vitamin D include fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel. The nutrient is also available as a dietary supplement.

It’s Okay What You Do. Just Keep Me Safe

Scan me, strip me, pat me down, abuse my kids: it’s all okay, just keep me safe. That’s the mindset of today’s airline passenger. So that’s precisely what agents from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) do.

And the more compliant passengers become the more abusive government becomes.

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks the traveling public gladly handed over their 4th Amendment (that’s the one that is supposed to keep people “secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures”) rights to a government promising to keep them “safe.”

Hoping to remain safe we allowed airline security personnel to search through our luggage and carry-on bags as if we’re criminals and, if we “looked suspicious,” pat us down as well. Then the TSA was formed and in a matter of months thousands of new people were hired as screeners, and things got worse.

Now, according to press reports, this is what we get:

  • Sippy cups taken from toddlers—A former Secret Service agent who left the service to raise her child was stopped by TSA because there was water in her 19-month-old son’s sippy cup. She asked if she could have it back if she drank or poured out the water but the “friendly” TSA agent refused. She asked for a supervisor. The supervisor told her she had to leave security, empty the cup and be re-screened. While being escorted out by TSA and a police officer she unscrewed the cap to drink the water and some spilled.  She was then made to get down on her hands and knees to clean up the spill while her son cried for his cup. Then she was ordered to apologize for the spill and was threatened with arrest. In all, three TSA agents and four police officers were brought in to detain and harass a mom trying to have on hand what she needed to keep her son happy on a flight. Of course, she missed her flight. (The Philadelphia Enquirer)
  • Moms forced to drink breast milk—A mother with an infant brought bottles of breast milk in her carryon bag so she wouldn’t have to nurse her child on the plane. TSA agents made her drink it to prove it wasn’t harmful.
  • Kids’ Play-doh confiscated—TSA agents found tubs of Play-doh in a parent’s bag and confiscated it in front a 3-year-old, saying it looked like plastic explosives. The parent brought it to occupy the child on the flight. Sorry kid, you could be a terrorist.
  • White-haired grandmothers strip searched—Suspicious-looking white-haired grandmothers are often taken out of the screening line and taken to another room for extra screening. It makes perfect sense. They fit the profile after all.
  • Diminutive business woman charged with assaulting TSA agents—A small 57-year-old business woman was for some reason singled out for extra screening and TSA agents began emptying her carry-on bags. She objected and asked for a private screening. TSA took her to a private room and examined everything in her bags, including sniffing lipstick and pulling out credit cards. TSA agents claim the woman demanded the bags be carefully repacked. Upon leaving the room, according to TSA, the woman hit TSA agents with her bag and threw sandals. She was arrested, spent 17 hours in jail and charged with 10 felonies. A judge threw out all the charges and expunged her record because TSA didn’t save the video tape of the alleged incident. (The Philadelphia Enquirer)
  • TSA agents as jokesters—A TSA agent confronted a young woman who had just come through the metal detector. Holding up a bag of white powder he asked her, “What’s this?” The woman said she was dumbfounded and became very frightened because nothing like that should have been in her bag. After harassing her about it for a moment the TSA agent smiled and said, “Just joking.”
  • Four-year-old forced to remove leg braces and walk himself through screening—A Camden, N.J., police officer, his wife and their 4-year-old son were traveling to Orlando for the child’s birthday. The child, who was born 16 weeks premature, is developmentally delayed and has malformed ankles, was forced to remove his leg braces and walk through the metal detector on his own—something that he was just learning to do. He managed to make it through. The father, understandably upset, confronted a supervisor who turned and walked away. A local police officer approached and told the father he should calm down and enjoy his vacation. When a reporter asked a TSA spokesperson how such a thing could happen the TSA representative said the boy should never have been made to remove his braces, he should have just been taken to a screening room and had his braces swabbed for explosives instead. (The Philadelphia Enquirer)

Incidents like these leave you scratching you head. But it’s not just foolishness on the part of some undertrained agent—although there is a lot that throughout the TSA—it’s a power play by people given a little authority that they begin to abuse. And it plays into the hands of government seeking more control.

And here’s an example of how they always want more control: On the heels of the Christmas Day underwear bomber incident, TSA said it was installing naked body scanners in all airports: a boon to some well-heeled government players, as we documented here.

Now it’s not enough for them to rifle through your bags, humiliate you or feel you up, they now want to see you and your kids naked—and expose you to harmful radiation to boot. We documented the health risks posed by naked body scanners here.

Of course, TSA promised that there is no way for the images taken by the scanners to be saved or transmitted. As implausible as that was, that was their story. Now we see that TSA was indeed lying when it said the machines could not store or transmit images.

In London, Indian film star Shahrukh Khan told a British television audience that after he went through security at Heathrow Airport female security agents had printouts of his image made by the scanners. He said “you could see everything.” He autographed them and returned them to the women.

As usual, the goal by government is not to keep you safe, as evidenced by the facts that have come out about the Christmas Day underwear bomber. The goal is to continue to peel back your resistance to their tyranny. Scare you, show you a government solution and sell it, all while enriching a few well-connected people. That’s the government way.

But most go along to get along, as long as a semblance of safety is promised.

Scan me, strip me, pat me down, abuse my kids; even take pictures of my kid’s naked body. I feel safer already.

How Can I Get My Gold Out Of The Country

Dear Bob,

I have read articles about leaving the country, how can I get my gold, etc out of this country without them taking it away at the airport? I try and think out of the box but give me some ideas please. I need to know some countries where I won’t be taken as well, affordable please.

Thank You,
Evelyn Salzman

Dear Evelyn,

There are professional companies that specialize in shipping gold around the world safely and securely. I’m not in a position to recommend any as I have not had to avail myself of their services. As far as picking a location for expatriation, the options are too numerous to discuss in this type of forum. An excellent book on expatriation and asset and wealth protection has been written by Mark Nestmann, a contributor to Personal Liberty Digest. You can see my review of his book and find a link to purchase it here.

Best Wishes,

Poll: Majority Believe Obama Should Not Get Second Term

Poll: Majority believe Obama should not get second termA new research poll indicates that a majority of Americans believe that President Obama is undeserving of a second term in office.

The CNN/Research Opinion poll found that 52 percent of Americans feel that Obama should be a one-term president. Nearly 44 percent of respondents said that Obama deserves to be reelected, while 4 percent answered that they have no opinion. Registered voters and non-registered citizens responded in an identical fashion.

The poll also revealed a possible disconnect between the president and middle-class voters.

"One problem Obama faces may be the perception that Obama is not a middle-class kind of guy," said polling director Keating Holland, quoted by the New York Daily News.

"Only 4 percent of Americans describe themselves as upper class. But a 45 percent plurality say that Obama belongs to the upper class, with 42 percent saying he is from the middle class and 12 percent describing him as working class," he added.

Meanwhile, the survey found that only a third of voters believe that most members of Congress deserve to be reelected, an all-time low for the poll.

CAIR Denounces Tom Tancredo’s Tea Party Remarks On Immigrants

CAIR denounces Ted Tancredo's Tea Party remarks on immigrants During the recent convention of the Tea Party nation, former Republican Congressman and presidential candidate Tom Tancredo delivered a speech in which he blasted "illiterate" immigrants for having elected President Obama. His statement is now attracting growing criticism from ethnic organizations.

At the convention, Tancredo said that those who cannot spell or say the word "vote" in English elected Obama, whom he defined as "a committed socialist ideologue." He added that this happened because "we do not have a civics, literacy test before people can vote."

In response, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a prominent civil rights and advocacy group, said the speaker’s apparent call for literacy tests that would enable individuals to obtain voting rights would "turn back the clock on the civil rights movement."

"Mr. Tancredo’s offensive remarks are an insult to all those who fought, and sometimes died, to ensure that Americans of all races could exercise their right to vote," said CAIR national board chairman and North Carolina State Senator Larry Shaw.

Shaw also called on elected officials in both parties as well as National Tea Party Convention organizers to repudiate Tancredo’s remarks.

Evan Bayh Will Not Seek Reelection, Democrats Scramble For Replacement

Evan Bayh will not seek reelection, Democrats scramble for replacementOn Monday, Indiana Democratic Senator Evan Bayh announced that he will not seek reelection in November, a move that may give Republicans yet another opportunity to level the playing field in Congress.

Bayh’s decision blindsided many Democrats, including those in his own state who had already begun working on his campaign, according to The New York Times. The Indiana senator made the announcement in spite of pleas by President Obama and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who both urged Bayh to run for reelection.

At his press conference, Bayh expressed his frustration with partisan politics while stating that the institution of Congress is "in need of serious reform."

"For some time, I have had a growing conviction that Congress is not operating as it should," he said. "There is much too much partisanship and not enough progress. Too much narrow ideology and not enough practical problem solving."

Specifically, Bayh cited his concern with the Senate voting down a bipartisan commission to deal with the federal deficit and his frustration with the recent failed attempts to create a jobs bill.

In November, Democrats will try to defend five seats left vacant by retiring Senators.

Snowmaggedon, George W. Bush, a Kennedy Goodbye and Obamacare

*“Snowmaggedon” didn’t last long enough. With my apologies to many friends in the Washington, D.C., area who work at productive jobs in the private sector, let me say, I wish your city had been paralyzed longer. The only time I feel safe from government is when it’s shut down.

*“Miss Me Yet?” That’s the provocative question that’s appearing on many billboards in the Midwest—above a larger-than-life-sized picture of a smiling and waving George W. Bush. While I was no fan of Mr. Bush’s budget-busting social policies—or for that matter, his propensity to risk American lives in every two-bit banana republic around the world—I do have to admit, yes, our country was safer and our dollar was stronger when he was in office.

*Another Kennedy bids adieu. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, son of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, has announced that he will not seek reelection in Massachusetts this fall. Unless he changes his mind (or another Kennedy steps forward), this will be the first time in more than half a century that no Kennedy is serving in Congress. While his dad combined a powerful legislative record with a dissolute personal life, the son has only managed to copy his father on the second.

*Big-buck investors bet Obamacare is dead. Maybe the liberals in Washington still hope to pass some version of a socialized healthcare bill, but the big money is betting it won’t happen. How do I know? HCA Inc., the largest hospital operator in the nation, just agreed to pay out a special dividend to its owners of $1.75 billion. No way would these canny investors do that if they didn’t think their business is going to be very, very profitable. They don’t plan to live on what Medicare pays.

Chip Wood

Study: Baked Rhubarb May Help Fight Cancer

Study: Baked rhubarb may help fight cancerFor those interested in eating rhubarb for its comprehensive health benefits, cooking the vegetable in the oven may be the ideal way to prepare it. Researchers from Sheffield Hallam University and the Scottish Crop Research Institute have found that baking garden rhubarb for 20 minutes can dramatically increase its levels of anti-cancer chemicals.

Using liquid chromatography analysis, the researchers identified 40 polyphenols in raw rhubarb. These chemicals, which include anthraquinone, stilbene and flavonol derivatives, have been shown to selectively kill or prevent the growth of some cancer cells.

Compared to eating the raw vegetable, baking significantly increased total rhubarb polyphenol content, bringing out the highest antioxidant capacity. However, there was a dramatic decrease in the beneficial chemicals with extended cooking time.

"Our research has shown that British rhubarb is a potential source of pharmacological agents that may be used to develop new anti-cancerous drugs," concluded Nikki Jordan-Mahy from Sheffield Hallam University’s Biomedical Research Center.

Scientists are now looking to use the findings to study the effect of rhubarb’s polyphenols on leukemia, including those strains that have been proven to be resistant to treatment.

Biological Therapies The Most Popular Alternative Therapy Option For Breast Cancer Patients

Biological therapies the most popular alternative therapy option for breast cancer patientsThe most popular complementary and alternative (CAM) medicines for women suffering from breast cancer are biologically based therapies, such as vitamins or dietary supplements, a Michigan State University (MSU) researcher has found.

Gwen Wyatt of MSU’s College of Nursing, who is working to create a support intervention program for women recovering from breast cancer, looked at the five major categories of alternative therapies, including biological, mind-body, manipulative and body, energy and alternative medical systems.

After biologically based therapies, the second most popular CAM treatment option were mind-body therapies, which involve the use of audio tapes, video and music therapy.

Wyatt also discovered that the majority of women recovering from breast cancer surgery are using CAM methods without the full knowledge of their benefits.

"Women are using these therapies, but they have little education about safety and efficacy," said Wyatt. "They could really benefit from information on how to make a wise decision and choose the best therapies."

Women recovering from breast cancer who are interested in alternative therapies should consult their physician.

Anti-gun Activists Blast Virginia Legislature For ‘back-room Dealing’

Anti-gun activists blast Virginia legislature for 'back-room dealing' A coalition of gun violence prevention groups in Virginia has criticized the House Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee of the Virginia General Assembly for holding a surprise subcommittee meeting to pass HB 49, a bill that would repeal Virginia’s one-handgun-per-month law.

The bill was pre-filed in early January by Republican State Delegate Scott Lingamfelter, who is a retired U.S. Army colonel and sits on the Militia, Police, and Public Safety Committee. HB 49 would repeal the state’s law that limits Virginia residents to one handgun purchase every 30 days.

According to the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, the subcommittee had originally announced that it would conduct no further meetings, leaving HB 49 unreported. However, on Feb. 10, it reconvened late in the day giving only a few hours’ notice to the public to approve the piece of legislation.

"This is back-room politics at its very worst," said Andy Goddard, president of the Richmond Chapter of the Million Mom March, adding that the current law was designed to curb illegal gun trafficking in the Commonwealth.

"Attempting to repeal this law under the cover of a blizzard, in a surprise meeting, is reprehensible," he added. says that only three other states ration handgun purchases—California, Maryland and New Jersey.

CNPSR: New Gun Law Will Decrease Safety, Increase Threat To People And Wildlife In National Parks

New gun law will decrease safety, increase threat to people and wildlife in national parks, says CNPSR On Feb. 22, an amendment to the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act of 2009, authored by Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), which permits national park visitors to possess firearms consistent with the laws of the state in which the park is located, is set to go into effect. However, not everyone is happy.

The law was supported by the National Rifle Association (NRA), but has come under criticism from other groups, including Coalition of National Park Service Retirees (CNPSR).

The organization has said it is a significant departure from long-established gun regulations that allowed visitors to possess guns in parks only if they were stowed away and unloaded.

According to the group, numerous parks will be affected, but it highlighted 11 major ones of particular concern, including the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, a state that has permissive gun laws.

"While standing on Mather Point, enjoying the breathtaking view of the canyon, you could see another visitor with an assault rifle slung on his shoulder," CNPSR warned.

"[It] will have a chilling effect [as] a feeling of safety and security will be replaced by wariness and suspicion," said Bill Wade, chair of CNPSR’s executive council, adding that "This diminishes some of the ‘specialness and reverence’ our citizens have long accorded to national parks."

CNPSR also expressed concern about a higher likelihood of shooting at wildlife and valuable resources, such as prehistoric petroglyphs.

Meanwhile, Coburn appeared unfazed by the criticism, saying that "if you give up on the 2nd Amendment, you give up on them all," and adding that it represents the "checks and balances" of the government and is the most important guarantee citizens have, quoted by Tulsa Beacon.

Let the PIGS Get Slaughtered

Will all those PIGS in Europe get what they deserve? And if they do, should we care?
Sadly, the answers are, probably not. And yes, we should, because what happens there will have a significant impact on those of us here in the good ol’ USA.

First, who are these PIGS (sometimes written as PIIGS and occasionally even as PIIGSTY)? Basically, they are some of the socialist countries in Europe that have gotten their budgets caught in a wringer. They’re facing all sorts of financial problems at home. And unfortunately, their habit of spending money they don’t have is having bad consequences for them… and for us. If that sounds familiar, it should.

The acronym PIGS stands for Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain. You can add Ireland to the longer version; and Turkey and Yugoslavia to the longest one. Right now, all of the attention is on Greece, so let’s begin there.

And let’s start with a dirty little secret no one wants to admit: When Greece was admitted to the European Union (EU) a while back, everyone involved knew that Greek authorities lied about the fiscal situation in their country.

Let me repeat that, to make sure you understand: Greece didn’t come anywhere close to meeting the incredibly lax fiscal requirements to become a member of the EU. The powers-that-be in that socialist consortium wanted Greece in; the socialists in Athens who ran the country wanted Greece in; and all of the kept media in Europe wanted Greece in. So everyone agreed to keep silent about the actual facts. With a wink-wink and a nod-nod, Greece was accepted.

If there was anyone bold enough to say that this emperor wasn’t wearing any clothes, his remarks were drowned out by the litany of “hoorahs!” from all the people who were oh-so-eager to get Greece on board. You can’t build the socialist super-state of Europe, otherwise known as the European Union, without them, you know.

So what happened? Remember the old axiom, if you want more of a particular behavior, reward it. If you want less of something, punish it. (Pardon an aside here, while I note that it has been the official policy of the United States government for most of my lifetime to reward laziness and incompetence, and to punish hard work and success. Guess which one we’ve been getting more of. Any wonder we’re in the mess we are?)

But back to our favorite baklava makers. Greece’s admission to the EU meant that her citizens and her government could go on the greatest spending binge they’d ever seen. Grab it while you can, guys! The money is free, free, free! We’ll worry about paying the piper when the time comes. If we’re lucky, maybe we can do what our cousins in the U.S. have done and foist all the bills off on our grandchildren.

Sorry, guys. We can do it, but you can’t. The boss of our central bank, otherwise known as Helicopter Ben Bernanke, can print or borrow all the money he wants. Heck, last year alone he created more than $2 trillion out of thin air. And you know what? The world still stands in line to loan Uncle Sam all the money he needs.

But Greece isn’t the U.S. and the drachma isn’t the dollar. Your day of reckoning can’t be put off forever. In fact, it’s here now. Nobody wants to loan you money anymore.

As a member of the EU, Greece was required by law to keep any deficits to an absolute maximum of 3 percent of GDP. This year they’re running four times that amount, with a deficit totaling 12.7 percent of GDP. No wonder cautious lenders are charging them more than double what Germany must pay to borrow money. That’s what happens when your creditworthiness stinks—as our leaders in Washington may soon find out.

For the past week, the biggest question in the international financial community has been who will bail out Greece? I’m betting it will be Germany. The reason I say so is that German officials have officially denied that they will do it at least three times. When government officials are this adamant about not doing something, I know it’s almost a sure thing. (Who was it who said, “Never believe a government policy change until it’s been denied at least twice”?)

If Greece gets bailed out, you can count on seeing a lot more PIGS line up at the public trough. Remember, what this is really all about is building a socialist New World Order. That was the modus operandi behind the creation of the EU in the first place. It is why every participant country was required to abandon their own currency in favor of something called the Euro. And it is why the standard for admission to the EU keeps slipping lower and lower.

By the way, that is also why you can expect to see Barack Obama start arm-twisting the State Department and Congress to “come to the aid of our Greek friends.” We’ve got it; they don’t; and in BO’s curious worldview, that’s all the justification he needs for taking your money and giving it to others. “From each according to his ability” (that’s you and your hard-earned assets, my friend), “to each according to his needs.” Anybody recognize the quote?

Yes, Barack Obama honestly believes that someone else’s need—even someone you’ve never met, living half a world away, and guilty of the most profligate misuse of what little assets he had—is a legitimate claim on what you have. It’s called socialism, my friend. Get enough important people to support it and you can call it something that sounds a lot better—like international assistance, or maybe the New World Order.

I could go on for pages, but I think you get the point. Just in case you don’t, let me end this diatribe with a very interesting quotation that reveals exactly what our financial masters have in mind for us.

This one comes, believe it or not, from the Wall Street Journal a couple of weeks ago. The editors gave Robert Reich, the former Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton and one of Washington’s ultimate Insiders, nearly 200 inches of prime editorial space to tell us dummies what is really going on. Here’s what the stalwart Keynesian had to say:

“Look at President Obama’s budget proposal, spending freeze, jobs bill, stimulus, tax hikes on upper-income individuals, and proposed deficit commission. Also take a look at the fees he wants to impose on the biggest banks and his proposed regulation of Wall Street. Look at his stalled trade agenda. Now, explain the big picture.

“If you’re about to write, ‘more taxes and more spending,’ you’re either not thinking hard enough or you’re a Republican running for office this November.’”

Or, Bob (do you mind if I call you Bob?), you could be a Straight Talk reader who sees through all of your eloquent BS. You may be smart as a whip. But you’re not so clever that we can’t spot the baited hook that comes next:

“To see the big picture, you need to keep your eye on three big things. The first is the extent of government spending needed to offset the continued reluctance of consumers and businesses to spend.”

To read the rest of this folderol, see the complete article in the Feb. 5 issue of the Journal. Somebody in the editorial section must have a pretty good sense of humor, because the piece right next to Reich’s ramblings had the headline, “Washington vs. ‘Common Sense.’”

I’m sure I’ll have more to say about all of this in subsequent columns because the news won’t be good, my friends. The people who make monetary policy in the EU, like the ones who control the purse strings here, believe they have been endowed by their creator with the unalienable right to take your money to spend on projects they want, but know you abhor.

Welcome to the Brave New World of the socialist utopians. All it will take to make it work is your freedom and your wealth. Forgive me for pointing out that Barack Obama and his progressive friends think that’s a very reasonable price to pay.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

—Chip Wood

Dalai Lama Aide: Obama’s Meeting With Tibetan Leader A Sign Of America’s Strength

Dalai Lama aide: Obama's meeting with Tibetan leader a sign of America's strength The White House has announced that President Obama is meeting with Tibet’s exiled leader the Dalai Lama today, despite demands by China to cancel the talks.

China has warned the meeting will damage Beijing’s relationship with Washington as the communist nation accuses the Dalai Lama of pushing to free Tibet from Chinese rule, a claim he denies.

Obama’s decision not to meet with the disputed region’s spiritual leader last year created a setback for the Tibetan cause and was interpreted by some as a sign of American weakness as well as an opportunity for China to enhance pressure on other countries to cut their ties to the exiled government, said the Dalai Lama’s special envoy Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari, quoted by The New York Times.

"Unfortunately it had definitely created setbacks for us on that score," he told the news provider, but added that "it is my hope that this meeting will help overcome these concerns."

Meanwhile, deputy press secretary Bill Burton told reporters that the U.S. considers Tibet part of China, but urged the Chinese to respect Tibet’s cultural and religious traditions.

Commentators suggest Obama is walking a fine line between his desire to promote the rights of Tibetans while cultivating good relations with China, whose support he needs to counter nuclear proliferation by North Korea and Iran, secure an agreement on climate change and deal with the global financial crisis.

Cheney Non-committal On Palin’s 2012 Qualifications

Cheney non-committal on Palin's 2012 qualifications Former vice president Dick Cheney has been a vocal political commentator in recent months, focusing mainly on criticizing the Obama administrations’ foreign and security policy. However, when asked what he thought about Sarah Palin’s suitability to run for president in 2012, Cheney sought to dodge the question.

Appearing on ABC’s This Week last Sunday, Cheney was asked if the former vice presidential candidate was qualified for the job. He responded by saying that he had not yet made a decision as to who he would support in two years.

"Whoever it is [he or she is] going to have to prove themselves capable of being president of the U.S. And those tests will come during the course of campaigns, obviously," he said, quoted by CNN.

Cheney added that all of the prospective candidates today still have work to do to persuade Americans that they are up to carrying out "the world’s toughest job."

Earlier this month the former governor of Alaska delivered the keynote speech at the first-ever Tea Party national convention in Nashville, Tenn. A day after the speech, Palin, who is a new Fox News commentator, revealed that she was receiving daily policy briefings from advisers, and hinted she might run for president in 2012.

Amy Bishop’s Shooting Spree May Renew Debate About Guns On Campus

Amy Bishop's shooting spree may renew debate about guns on campus Last Friday, a professor at the University of Alabama-Huntsville shot and killed three colleagues, and wounded three others, in a rampage that has reignited the debate about the merit of the laws passed in several states, and pending in many more, that allow guns on America’s campuses.

Amy Bishop, whose history includes a 1986 shooting death of her brother, allegedly opened fire at a department faculty meeting. According to media reports, the Harvard-educated professor had previously expressed resentment over being denied tenure, although nothing suggested she was violent.

Bishop’s history has caused anger among relatives of the shooting victims who have been quoted by the media as asking why the university hired someone with her background.

The accident has also spurred Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus to issue a statement in which it says that "[it] shows once again that an angry individual with access to a deadly handgun can commit mass murder wherever people gather, in workplaces, shopping malls, churches, schools and universities."

The organization’s director Andy Pelosi said that the gun lobby’s push to allow students and faculty to carry weapons on campus in order to fend off similar attacks is a "mistaken wild west fantasy."

"Why does anyone think that untrained students or professors would be better able to stop a rampage shooting than trained security officers?" he asked.

Pelosi called on lawmakers in states with pending ‘guns on campus’ bills to withdraw such legislation.

The Federal Reserve Conspiracy by Antony C. Sutton

In The Federal Reserve Conspiracy, Antony C. Sutton has taken a complex subject and, with surgical precision, presented it in an easy-to-understand 115 pages.

“Since 1913 politicians and media have treated the Federal Reserve Bank as a kind of untouchable off limits semi-God… no one except certified crackpots and kooks criticizes the Fed. Conventional wisdom dictates that anyone who attacks the Federal Reserve System is doomed and Congressional investigation of the Fed would result in economic chaos and a disastrous plunge in the stock market,” Sutton writes.

Thus he begins to make his case that the Fed was created by bankers and their interests in order to create a money monopoly which enriched—and still enriches—an elite few and gives them complete control over the economic growth of the United States.

Sutton wrote this book in 1995—he died in 2002—yet it remains an excellent source for people interested in the conspiracy that resulted in the Federal Reserve.

Beginning with Alexander Hamilton’s efforts to establish a privately owned national bank in the European model, Sutton brings the reader through the history of the national bank movement in the U.S. He covers who was behind it and who opposed it, and why. Using their own words and writings, Sutton documents their motives and untangles the connections.

Sutton discusses the efforts by Presidents Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren and Abraham Lincoln to thwart the central bank crowd. And he covers the relentlessness of the elites as they work to institute a private central bank.

He also unearths a little-known document written by Clifford Roosevelt, a cousin to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, which was a forerunner to Roosevelt’s new deal. That manifesto, The Science of Government, Founded on Natural Law, written in 1841, proposed a totalitarian government without individual rights and run by an elitist establishment. The book has been removed from the Library of Congress catalog and only two editions are known to exist.

Clifford Roosevelt was, of course, one of the elites, hailing from a long line of bankers and legislators. In addition to FDR, Clifford’s relatives included Theodore Roosevelt, John Quincy Adams and Van Buren. So it’s not surprising he would advocate a totalitarian government run by an elitist aristocracy.

Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto, written seven years later, contained many of the same themes as The Science of Government. Coincidentally, while writing his manifesto Marx was funded by a cabal of German and American bankers, and it espoused a 10-point plan to bring about the destruction of the middle class and establish control in the hands of the elite. Point No. 5 was the establishment of a central bank.

Finally, Sutton brings us to the secret meeting on Jekyl Island, Ga., in 1910, and the names like Rockefeller, Morgan, Warburg and the large financial institutions Guaranty Trust, Bankers Trust, First National Bank and National City Bank.

From there he documents step-by-step the planning, plotting and conspiring that went on right on through to the passing of legislation establishing the Federal Reserve, including the grooming of Woodrow Wilson to be president so he could sign the legislation into law. He uses the conspirator’s own words to show the lengths they went to in order to conceal from the American public what they were doing.

To wrap up his book, Sutton writes:
“The Federal Reserve is a private monopoly of money credit created by Congress under highly questionable circumstances which is beholden to the Chairman of the Board and whose decision cannot be changed by Government or anyone else.

“A free society under the rule of law? The United States has quietly become a hostage to a handful of international bankers. And just dare any Congressman challenge Fed authority!”

As a 1979 Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco job opening announcement for computer programmers proclaimed: “Some people think we’re a branch of the Government. We’re not. We’re the banks’ Bank.”

“This confirms our discussion in this book,” Sutton concludes.

Will Obama Nationalize U.S. Pensions?

Will President Barack Obama nationalize United States pensions? That was the serious question I proposed one year ago in my blog—and it’s time to ask that question again.

Why now? Because President Obama has proposed what one of our experts sees as the "first step in stealth nationalization and forced investment of our retirement benefits."

The bad news comes as part of a tax package said to be aimed at middle-income Americans that was revealed in Obama’s State of the Union speech, as reported by Business Week magazine.

Obama’s stealth proposal is billed by him as an "effort to increase retirement savings by requiring all businesses to offer automatic IRA accounts,” but it drew immediate opposition from U.S. small business associations. Obama claims the plan would let employees automatically enroll in direct-deposit retirement accounts and expand matching tax credits.

Dangerous First Step to Nationalization

But Larry C. Grossman, CFP, CIMA, managing director of Sovereign International Pension Services (no relation to Sovereign Society) and a member of our Sovereign Society Council of Experts, sees the Obama idea as a dangerous move.

Says Grossman, "If you read it closely you will see the heart of the proposal is the requirement to keep 10 percent of the funds in U.S. Treasuries. At the stroke of a pen the president has found a way to bolster the declining demand for Treasuries. I believe forcing retirement plans into U.S. government control is the next step."

This alarm was echoed by Ron Holland, editor of the Inner Circle Intelligence Report published by BFI Consulting AG, a Swiss financial advisory firm, and a long-time member of the Sovereign Society Council of Experts.

Says Holland, "I think the mandatory IRAs just proposed by Obama is the first step in stealth nationalization and forced investment of our retirement benefits to support the U.S. Treasury debt market."

Should you be worried about this latest radical Obama move?

There is an estimated $15 trillion worth of private retirement plans in the United States; $4 trillion in IRAs alone; this constitutes 35 percent of all private assets in America. That is what the Obama government is eyeing to help plug the multi-trillion dollar deficit in his big spending budget.

You could call this move Obama’s attempt to "pull an Argentina."

What’s “An Argentina?”

In October 2008, Argentine President Cristina Kirchner—a peronista—confiscated US$30 billion worth in that country’s 10 privately managed pension funds. This was presented as an emergency measure to meet her faltering government’s financing costs. The Argentine congress went along with this radical property grab of individual retirement accounts, 401Ks and the like.

Could this happen in America?

Grossman’s opinion, "There have been several different academic papers published which have given rise to rumors. At least one congressional hearing on nationalizing pensions has been held. It is difficult to decide in what form it would take if something like this occurred in the U.S. Many believe that if indeed this is approaching, the best way to protect your assets is to place your retirement funds offshore now."

Holland says, "I believe we must fight this proposal and similar plans or else the private retirement system and our retirement wealth will be history in a few short years." Ron has produced a special report on this radical grab entitled, The Obama Retirement Trap Has Started!

Act Now

In my opinion, adopting such a retirement confiscation policy would be another major blow to Americans’ confidence and to any chance of economic recovery. It would further devalue the dollar and it would destroy what little remains of the credibility of Obama and his socialist government.

Folks, I served in the U.S. Congress when Democrats were overwhelmingly in control. I’ve seen what happens when the Republicans are in charge, as well. Meaning simply, anything can happen—so hold on to your wallet… and your retirement account!

—Robert J. Bauman, JD