Adequate Selenium Levels Linked To Lower Diabetes Risk Among Older Men

Adequate selenium levels linked to lower diabetes risk among older menFrench researchers have reportedly found that older men who have high levels of selenium, an antioxidant found in liver and a variety of nuts, may be at a decreased risk of developing dysglycemia, a condition that leads to unhealthy blood sugar levels and is often a precursor for diabetes.

In the study, investigators from the University of Montpellier recruited 1,162 French men and women between the ages of 59 and 71. They regularly monitored their levels of selenium and any blood sugar problems that arose over a nine-year period.

Lead researcher Tasnime Akbaraly and her colleagues found that elderly males with selenium concentrations in the top third of the study group had a significantly lower risk of developing dysglycemia and diabetes. However, no such link was found in female participants.

"The reason we observed a protective effect of selenium in men but not in women is not completely clear, but might be attributed to women being healthier at baseline, having better antioxidant status in general and possible differences in how men and women process selenium," said Akbaraly.

She added that selenium, which can be found in many nutritional supplements, may have an effect on the body’s ability to regulate insulin levels.

Gun Rights Foes Hope To Stir Opposition Against Three Gun Bills In Virginia

Gun rights foes hope to stir opposition against three gun bills in Virginia Four gun violence prevention organizations have called on Virginia Governor McDonnell to veto three gun bills currently on his desk that they believe would put state residents at greater risk of gun violence.

The Virginia Center for Public Safety (VACPS), the Virginia Chapters of the Million Mom March, Protest Easy Guns (PEG) and the Angel Fund have issued a statement saying that signing SB 334, SB 408 and HB 1217 would violate the governor’s earlier declaration that "the foremost obligation of government is public safety."

SB 334 would allow concealed carry permit holders to bring loaded handguns into establishments that have a liquor license in Virginia, SB 408 would allow those without concealed carry permits to keep loaded handguns in their vehicles or boats if stored in a locked container, while HB 1217 requires the Virginia Board of Education to establish a standardized program of gun safety education for students in elementary school.

With respect to this last bill, the coalition referred to "numerous" studies that demonstrate that familiarizing children with guns makes them more likely to handle firearms when adults are not present.

"The governor talks about the importance of public safety, but in practice he has cut millions of dollars in public safety funding from the state budget and supported a number of dangerous changes to Virginia’s gun laws," said VACPS board member Lori Haas. "Commonwealth families now have one last chance to hold him to his word and insist he veto [these bills]."

McDonnell has until April 12 to make his decision.

Utilizing Oxygen

The higher the pH level above 7.2, the more available oxygen there is in the body. The term pH means potential of hydrogen and can be measured with saliva or blood tests. The scale runs from zero to 14. A very small rise in pH alkalinity in the blood provides literally thousands of times the oxygen needed for all bodily functions.

Proper pH is by itself a major factor in optimizing health and preventing disease. We want to be slightly alkaline for good health. Negative pH puts us below 7.2 and on the acid side. Cancer thrives in an acid environment.

The most important pH of all is the blood pH, because a deviation of as little as 5/10 of a point from normal can result in illness or death.

What is the simple way to determine if your body is in alkaline balance? Test your saliva with pH strips. If it is not alkaline, use an alkaline supplement in your drinking water to increase the pH. You can find one at a company that sells natural supplements. I use Alkaline Body Balance™ from Health Resources™ available here. It is like adding oxygen to your blood.

Conservatives Wary Of Financial Market Regulations Proposal

Conservatives wary of financial market regulations proposal Adhering to the principle that less government is better, the GOP and some conservatives have reacted to the financial regulation bill proposal—the former by asking that the process be slowed down, and the latter by labeling it “the next government takeover.”

Last week, Senate Banking Committee chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) presented the proposed legislation that would give the government new powers to break up firms that threaten the economy, and create a Financial Stability Oversight Council that could place large financial institutions under the supervision of the Federal Reserve.

However, Republicans on the banking committee said that while they remain open to a bipartisan agreement on overhauling financial regulation, they are against trying to push the bill through too quickly, according to The Washington Post.

“Given the sheer magnitude and complexity of the financial reform package, this legislation will inevitably have a substantial impact on our financial system and overall economy,” 10 members of the committee wrote in a letter to Dodd. “Accordingly, we urge you to allow for sufficient time to review the language.”

Some commentators went even further, saying the bill would “create a vast new bureaucracy” that would have unlimited powers to control the financial industry and stymie economic innovation and growth, according to Human Events, a conservative news website.

“[It] would exert unprecedented government controls over virtually every segment of the nation’s financial system,” commentator Donald Lambro wrote on the website.

Resurrect the Principles of ‘98

For 15 months there has been a growing opposition to the increasing encroachment of the Federal government over the rights of its citizens. It finally reached a crescendo last week as the House worked to steamroll Obamacare through despite objections by the vast majority of the electorate.

The past 12 months have been extremely frustrating for many. People voiced their opposition to Obamacare, Cap and Trade and stimulus bills to their Representatives and Senators, but it seemed that most of their opposition fell on deaf ears.

The Tea Parties were formed, and the shouting grew louder. Many of the elected class who were supporting the growing government—both Democrats and Republicans—found their town hall meetings to be unpleasant places to be.

But still, government grew and spending increased… and the march to Obamacare continued.

Deciding that their voices weren’t being heard and their marches on Washington were being ignored, voters wanting smaller government and a return to Constitutional principals voted in droves. The results were upsets in New Jersey, Virginia and finally, in Massachusetts. The election of Republican Scott Brown to the late Ted Kennedy’s senate seat seemed to end the threat of Obamacare by eliminating the Democrats’ filibuster-proof majority.

Supporters of small government and Tea Party activists breathed a sigh of relief. But, despite President Obama’s promise to focus on jobs, Obamacare didn’t die. It continued to fester and so the shouting got loud again.

But still the elected class, pushing their socialist agenda and seeking to control us from cradle to grave—seeking to enslave us with unconstitutional mandates—didn’t listen.

Writing in Anti-Federalist letter No. 1, Brutus (Robert Yates) said that in a free republic, all laws are derived from the consent of the people and passed by representatives who are supposed to know the minds of their constituents and possessed of the integrity to declare this mind. Unfortunately, the representatives holding the majority don’t possess this integrity.

So Brutus wrote: “If the people are to give their assent to the laws, by persons chosen and appointed by them, the manner of the choice and the number chosen, must be such, as to possess, be disposed, and consequently qualified to declare the sentiments of the people; for if they do not know, or are not disposed to speak the sentiments of the people, the people do not govern, but the sovereignty is in a few.”

That’s were we are now—with sovereignty in the hands of a few. So now it’s time to take the next step. Fortunately, we have the words and deeds of some of our Founding Fathers to direct us.

Since its beginning the Federal government has sought to grow and even those who took part in the framing of the Constitution have tested it’s parameters by trying to intrude on the rights of Americans.

The second president, John Adams, signed legislation that made it a treasonable activity to publish “any false, scandalous and malicious writing.” This was one of the laws that became part of the Alien and Sedition Acts. As a result, 25 men, most of them Republican supporters of Thomas Jefferson were arrested and their newspapers forced to shut down.

One of those arrested was Benjamin Franklin’s grandson, Benjamin Franklin Bache, editor of the Philadelphia Democrat-Republican Aurora.

In response, Jefferson, then the vice president, secretly wrote the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798. In them he argued that the Alien and Sedition Acts were acts of usurpation—that the Federal government had overstepped its bounds and was exercising powers which belonged to the states.

After all, the 10th Amendment states: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

He saw the Constitution not as a document that restrained the people, but as one that restrained the Federal government. And he believed that was a good thing. As an aside: Obama has stated just the opposite. He has said he finds it unfortunate that the Constitution contains the restrictions on Government that it does.

Jefferson corresponded with James Madison (known as the father of the Constitution) about the Kentucky Resolutions and Madison drafted similar Resolutions for Virginia.

Both Kentucky and Virginia adopted the resolutions which essentially said that when the Federal government assumes undelegated powers—those not enumerated in the Constitution—those acts are “unauthoritative, void, and of no force.”

These came to be known as the Principals of ’98.

It’s time to lobby your state representative and state senator and governor and push for a law to prohibit the enforcement of Obamacare and other unconstitutional laws in your state. It’s time to resurrect the Principals of ’98.

Both Virginia and Idaho have voted to sue the Federal government over Obamacare. You must push your state to do the same.

The overreach has gone on for far too long. In addition to Obamacare there is the looming Cap and Trade legislation, there are restrictive gun laws and, under George W. Bush, there was the USA PATRIOT Act and the REAL ID Act (which states have resisted).

Resistance to a tyrannical government is very American. And if the Federal government continues its oppression then it will be time to consider other steps.

Writing to Madison in 1787, Jefferson said, “I hold it that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms are in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people, which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions, as not to discourage them too much. It is medicine necessary for the sound health of government.”

And then there is one more step to consider. It was commonly understood prior to 1861 that the states reserved the right to secede. There had been talk of secession by the northern New England states many times. Even Abraham Lincoln, as a representative, recognized the states had the right to secede—he only changed his mind after he held the reins of the presidency.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote: “If every infraction of a compact of so many parties is to be resisted at once as a dissolution, none can ever be formed which would last one year. We must have patience and longer endurance then with our brethren while under delusion; give them time for reflection and experience of consequences; keep ourselves in a situation to profit by the chapter of accidents; and separate from our companions only when the sole alternatives left are the dissolution of our Union with them or submission to a government without limitation of powers. Between these two evils, when we must make a choice, there can be no hesitation. But in the meanwhile, the States should be watchful to note every material usurpation on their rights; to denounce them as they occur in the most peremptory terms; to protest against them as wrongs to which our present submission shall be considered, not as acknowledgments or precedents of right, but as a temporary yielding to the lesser evil, until their accumulation shall overweigh that of separation.”

For too long we have failed in being watchful of every “material usurpation” of our rights. But for the last year at least, we have protested them. And our protests have fallen on deaf ears. Dissolution must be in the back of our minds now. But, we’re not ready for that step… not yet.

The Second Amendment Foundation Group Joins Larger International Movement

The Second Amendment Foundation group joins larger international movement The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) has announced that it is now part of a new international organization whose goal is the protection of firearms rights for private citizens.

Named the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR), the organization met last week in Nuremberg, Germany and brought together gun rights activists from several countries, including Sweden, Norway, Germany, the UK, Canada, Italy and the United States under the banner of Liberty and Security.

“Self-defense is a human right that is not just limited to citizens of the United States thanks to our Second Amendment,” said Alan Gottlieb, SAF executive vice president who also serves as an IAPCAR director.

“This is an important ‘first step’ in regaining much lost ground, and putting the brakes on an international movement to strip private citizens of the means to protect their most cherished right, that of self-defense,” he added.

SAF representatives have also expressed encouragement that after the Germany meeting, groups from countries such as the Philippines, Switzerland, Belgium, Argentina, Finland, India, Israel, Greece, South Africa and Australia are also interested in joining.

Civil Liberties Advocates Join Lawsuit That Alleges Discrimination Against Gay Student

Civil liberties advocates join lawsuit that alleges discrimination against gay student The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has joined a lawsuit filed against a Mississippi High School that announced it would cancel its prom because a lesbian student was planning to attend the event with her girlfriend.

In legal papers filed on March 16, the ACLU asked the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi to issue a preliminary injunction to stop the Itawamba County School District from canceling the prom and from prohibiting Constance McMillen from bringing her girlfriend as a date and wearing a tuxedo.

“We are determined to get the prom back on the calendar and open to all students,” ACLU lawyer Christine Sun, who represents McMillen, told CNN.

“What this case comes down to is the school taking the extraordinary measure of canceling the prom, rather than live up to its legal obligation to fairly treat all students who want to come to it,” she added.

The case has attracted national attention, and offers to host or help fund an alternative independent prom have reportedly come from across the country.

A hearing on the motion has been set for March 22 at the Federal District Court in Aberdeen, Miss.

Insufficient Vitamin D Levels Linked To Increased Risk Of Asthma In Black Children

Insufficient vitamin D levels linked to increased risk of asthma in African American childrenBlack children with low blood levels of vitamin D may be at a significantly increased risk of developing asthma compared to those with sufficient levels of the nutrient, according to a new study.

Lead author Robert Freishtat, principal investigator at the Children’s Research Institute in Washington, D.C., and his colleagues took blood samples from 85 black children suffering from asthma and compared their vitamin D levels to 21 healthy black children of a similar age.

The researchers were surprised to find that approximately 86 percent of children with asthma had inadequate levels of vitamin D, while only 19 percent of healthy participants suffered from the nutrient deficiency.

“We were shocked to see that almost all of the African-American children with asthma that we tested had low vitamin D levels,” said Freishtat. “After adjusting for differences in age, weight, and the time of year of the testing, the odds of these kids with asthma being vitamin D deficient were nearly twenty times those of healthy kids.”

He added that parents should ensure that their children receive adequate amounts of the nutrient through milk consumption or vitamin supplementation.

No Faith In Paper Money

Dear Bob,

I am a disabled veteran with no savings account. A poor person, mind you, without a financial education. I buy a measly 10 oz bar of silver monthly with my disability check because I have no faith in the government which is what backs the value of a paper dollar. Am I being foolish?

Jerry Diltz

Dear Jerry,

You are not being foolish at all. You are being prudent. You might also consider buying junk silver; pre-1964 silver coins. They are more valuable for their silver content than their face value. However, when the collapse occurs they may be more useful than silver bars because 1) they look like the coins people are used to seeing and may be more readily acceptable in exchange and 2) they provide the flexibility of different quantities of silver for smaller purchases.

Best Wishes,

Report: Uncontrolled Immigration May Ruin The Environment

Report: Uncontrolled immigration may ruin the environmentA newly released policy brief from Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR) contains a warning about the ecological impact of United States population growth.

The report, entitled From Big to Bigger, How Mass Immigration and Population Growth Have Exacerbated America’s Ecological Footprint, examines the impact that uncontrolled growth and high immigration levels are having on the country’s natural environment, and provides scientific evidence for why America is exhausting its natural resources.

Among its major findings, the article reveals that even as the U.S. ecological footprint continues to increase, the Earth’s biocapacity is decreasing. Moreover, if current growth trends continue, the American population will increase 43 percent by 2050, and 82 percent of that growth will result from immigration.

“[We are] living well beyond [our] ecological means and rapid population growth driven primarily by high immigration levels is aggravating the country’s ecological deficit,” says Leon Kolankiewicz, the publication’s author who is a wildlife biologist and consulting environmental planner.

“If environmentalists are serious about facing the challenge of sustainability, they must begin to address the threat of unsustainable U.S. population growth,” he adds.

The report also found that the U.S. has the third-highest ecological footprint in the world, exceeded only by two small Middle Eastern oil-producing countries.

PFIR is a nonprofit organization that seeks to educate the public about the unintended consequences of mass migration and promotes the principles of protecting workers’ rights and ensuring fair wages for America’s workforce.

New Poll Reveals Americans Oppose Gun Regulation By Cities

New poll reveals Americans oppose gun regulation by cities As the Supreme Court hears arguments in a case that aims to overturn the Chicago handgun ban, a new Rasmussen poll has revealed that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe that cities have no right to impose similar bans.

Specifically, the survey found that 69 percent of the respondents say cities do not have the right to ban legal handgun ownership, while 25 percent believe they can do so.

“[This result] clearly shows that Americans have grown weary of anti-gun municipal demagoguery,” said Alan M. Gottlieb, executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), an organization that brought the lawsuit.

“A victory in our case before the Supreme Court should send a clear signal to gun prohibitionists that arbitrarily disarming law-abiding citizens under the guise of fighting crime is an idea that has no place in this country,” he added.

SAF is joined in its case by the Illinois State Rifle Association and four Chicago residents, including Otis McDonald, for whom the Supreme Court case is named.

If the high court overturns the Chicago ban, its decision will incorporate the Second Amendment to state and local governments through provisions in the 14th Amendment.

The decision is expected some time this spring.

There Are A Lot More of Us Than They Think

Thirty-three years ago I was in the forefront of a cultural revolution that would change the face of politics in America. And I didn’t even know it.

Here’s what happened. I was living in California at the time, when a friend of mine in Atlanta told me he knew of a job that would be perfect for me. He was the manager of the local CBS radio station and they were experimenting with a new format—talk radio.

“We’re looking for a conservative with a sense of humor,” he said. “Why don’t you come to Atlanta and give it a try?” As it happened, I had an excellent reason to visit Atlanta. At the time, a small book-publishing company I had founded had released a book called We Hold These Truths. It was a study of the United States Constitution by Congressman Larry McDonald.

The book was a big hit for our small company and I wanted to talk with Larry about doing a second one. Instead of staying in town a day for that meeting, I changed my schedule to be there a week. One of the on-air hosts was going to be on vacation that week and the plan was for me to sit in for him. If I did a good enough job… well, we’d cross that bridge when we came to it.

Early Monday morning I got a crash course in the mechanics of talk radio: How to put a caller on the air and how to turn down his volume if I wanted to get rid of him; how to go into commercial breaks; what to say at the top of the hour, when we went live to CBS News. And most important of all, how to use the five-second delay in case a caller said something inappropriate. An hour later, the “on air” light went on and Chip Wood became a talk host.

The star at WRNG Radio was an outspoken libertarian you may have heard about: Neal Boortz is now a nationally syndicated talk host who reaches millions of people every week. A young Englishman who went to work on a competitor station around that time has become even better known: Sean Hannity has his own TV show, a syndicated radio show and several best-selling books to his credit.

For the past decade or two talk radio has been credited (or accused; it depends where you are on the political spectrum) with becoming one of the most influential forces on the political scene in the United States. Thank you Rush Limbaugh, Neal and Sean and the many other pioneers. And thank you to the tens of millions of listeners and callers who made talk radio so successful.

But I’ve got to admit, back in the late 1970s none of us involved in talk radio had any idea this would happen. Our ratings at WRNG Radio weren’t exactly in the basement but we weren’t anywhere near the top, either. In 1981, the station’s owners decided to turn off the mics and switch to a more popular format. I went back to my first love, publishing. Sean went to New York to seek his fame and fortune. And Neal stayed in Atlanta and started yakking for WSB Radio, the most powerful and most popular station in the South.

I believe that talk radio succeeded because, for the very first time, conservatives and libertarians knew they weren’t alone. There was an entire country full of people who felt the same way they did about the issues and personalities of the day. And we could finally say so!

For the previous 30 years the liberal media in this country had a virtual monopoly. Their views were all that you were allowed to hear on radio and TV or read in the most popular newspapers and magazines. Conservatives were made to feel isolated and alone. We were told our opinions didn’t matter and that our efforts were ineffectual. “Why bother opposing us?” was the unspoken message; “It’s hopeless.”

But thanks to talk radio, we could prove them wrong. And boy did we.

Today, talk radio still reaches and influences millions of people every day. But there’s another phenomena that has passed it in reach, influence and importance. That is the Internet, which has enabled millions of people to read what they want, write want they want and campaign for what they want.

The column you’re reading now is a perfect example of what I mean. More than 500,000 people have signed up to receive Personal Liberty Alerts where this column, Straight Talk, appears every Friday morning. PLA is just one of hundreds, no, thousands, of outlets on the Internet where conservatives and libertarians can communicate with each other—and often, have at it with liberals.

Ain’t it fun to be heard?

Thanks to us, Fox Television has become the most-watched TV network in the country. (And don’t you know this fact drives the brass at all of the “original” networks absolutely crazy?)

A small conservative book publisher in Washington, D.C., called Regnery, has more best-selling books to its credit than any of the major New York houses: Which proves that we conservatives not only can read, we want to read!

Thanks to us there are Tea Parties being held in communities big and small across the country. More than 10,000 conservative activists gathered in Washington, D.C., last month, where they enjoyed baiting liberals and boasting that the right would take back Congress this November. (We’ll see.)

Talk about heating things up: Later this summer, some 2,000 conservative and libertarian activists will gather in Las Vegas for “a really big shew” called FreedomFest. C-Span will be there to record several hours of the proceedings. The subsequent rebroadcasts will reach hundreds of thousands more people.

I’ll be the Master of Ceremonies at FreedomFest and will have the honor of introducing people like Steve Forbes, Charles Gasparino, Rick Santelli, John Mackey, Doug Casey, Mark Skousen and dozens of others to an enthusiastic crowd. If you’d like to be part of the fun, go to and sign up. (Note that the early-bird special expires April 15.)

But enough of a shameless plug. The larger point I wanted to make is that the people who share our values and our views make up the majority of people in this country. But we could never prove it before this. Now, thanks to talk radio, the Internet and all the alternative forms of communication that we’ve created, there can be no doubt.

To paraphrase a wonderful line from one of my favorite movies, we’re mad as hell. And we don’t have to take it anymore.

Until next Friday, keep some powder dry.

—Chip Wood

Inhofe Bashes Global Warming Science, Says Gore Is ‘Running For Cover’

Inhofe bashes global warming science, says Gore is 'running for cover'Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) publicly lashed out at Al Gore on Monday, referring to global warming as “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,” while claiming that the former vice president is “running for cover” following recent questions regarding climate change science.

“He’s under siege these days,” said Inhofe, while speaking on the Senate floor. “The credibility of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is eroding, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) endangerment finding is collapsing and belief that global warming is leading to catastrophe is evaporating.”

“Gore seems to be drowning in a sea of his own global warming illusions nevertheless,” added the senator, who has been a longtime critic of the science behind climate change.

Inhofe also insinuated that Gore had gotten rich due to global warming, referring to the Nobel Peace Prize winner as the first “climate billionaire,” and said his recent op-ed piece in The New York Times was a simple act of desperation.

Meanwhile, the senator concluded his 30-minute speech by denouncing climate change legislation being authored by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.), claiming that any cap-and-trade bill would adversely affect the American people.

Byrd Cries Foul and a Step Dancing Upset

*The author of reconciliation cries “foul.” Here’s what Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) has to say about using “reconciliation” to ram Obamacare through the Senate. You might share this quote with some friends: “I was one of the authors of the legislation that created the budget ‘reconciliation’ process in 1974, and I am certain putting healthcare reform and climate change legislation on a freight train through Congress is an outrage that must be resisted…. The misuse of the arcane process of reconciliation—a process intended for deficit reduction—to enact substantive policy changes is an undemocratic disservice to our people and to the Senate’s institutional role…. Essentially it says ‘take it or leave it’ to the citizens who sent us here to solve problems, and it prevents members from representing their constituents interests.” [emphasis added]

*Hey, whites can step-dance, too. There was a huge kerfuffle at the Sprite Step Off competition in Atlanta this year. Seems all the ladies on one team—from Zeta Tau Alpha sorority at the University of Arkansas—are… prepare yourself… white. And they were good. So good in fact, the judges awarded them first place. The mostly black crowd erupted with shouts and boos. Five days later Coca-Cola officials said they had found a “scoring discrepancy” and declared that a black team from Indiana University had tied for first place. The show’s host, rap music artist Ludacris, who is also a person of color, said the reversal was “odd,” because he could personally guarantee that the scoring had been “checked and double-checked.”

—Chip Wood

Democrats Criticize GOP Groups For Misleading Fundraising Mailers

Democrats criticize GOP groups for misleading fundraising mailersOn Wednesday, the House voted 416-0 to ban misleading mailings designed to look like official government documents, following criticism from both sides of the aisle that two Republican groups were sending out fundraising letters that appeared to be official communications from the Census Bureau.

Under the new bill, which was co-sponsored by Representatives Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), mailings using the word “census” will have to include the name and address of the sender, as well as an unambiguous disclaimer that the letter has not been authored by the federal government, the Associated Press (AP) reports.

Meanwhile, several Democratic leaders have blasted the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) for trying to confuse citizens and piggyback on the Census Bureau’s multimillion dollar advertising campaign.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has alleged that the fundraising letters, which were signed by RNC Chairman Michael Steele and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), may discourage people from completing their Census surveys, The Hill reports.

“[Boehner and Steele] have a responsibility to tell every Republican who received their fundraising solicitation that it is not an official U.S. Census form and encourage them to fill out their census form,” said DCCC spokesman Ryan Rudominer.

Democratic leaders in the Senate have said they plan to sign off on the bill recently approved in the Senate.

Meditation Can Help Sustain Focus, Reduce Pain

Meditation can help sustain focus, reduce painAccording to a new study, the act of meditation can relax the mind and enhance the body’s ability to react to moderate amounts of pain.

In the study, researchers from the University of North Carolina measured pain ratings in students who were trained in meditation for three consecutive days and were given experimental pain stimuli.

The research team found that subjects who participated in brief meditation sessions reported reduced pain of both low and high intensities. Moreover, they concluded that meditation significantly reduced anxiety and increased the ability to sustain personal focus—two factors related to the body’s ability to tolerate moderate amounts of pain.

The study’s authors noted that the analgesic benefits of meditation can be noticed after only a short period of utilizing the technique.

Meanwhile, in a separate study, Canadian researchers have reportedly found evidence that Zen meditation can reinforce a central brain region that regulates pain.

“Through training, Zen meditators appear to thicken certain areas of their cortex and this appears to underlie their lower sensitivity to pain,” says lead author Joshua Grant, a doctoral student in the University of Montreal’s Department of Physiology.

Democrats Unveil Financial Regulation Plan

Democrats unveil financial regulation plan Feared by some and long-awaited by others, a plan to reform and regulate the United States financial industry has been unveiled today by top Senate Democrats.

In response to the most severe recession since the Great Depression, which was precipitated by Wall Street banks and investment firms trading in risky financial products, Senate Banking Committee chairman Christopher Dodd presented the proposed legislation that would give the government new powers to break up firms that threaten the economy, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Specifically, the bill creates a nine-member Financial Stability Oversight Council that could place large financial institutions under the supervision of the Federal Reserve, and approve the break-up of large complex companies if they pose a “grave threat” to the financial system, the news provider further reported.

Moreover, the legislation includes language giving shareholders a nonbinding “say on pay” for company executives, according to NASDAQ.

However, commentators point out that the proposal falls short of the restructuring of federal financial regulations promised by President Obama or contained in legislation already passed in the House.

The Banking Committee is expected to formally debate and vote on it before a spring break.

Obama Administration Confident Healthcare Will Pass The House Within A Week

Obama administration confident healthcare will pass the House within a weekSenior officials with the Obama administration are confident that the House of Representatives will pass the Senate’s version of the healthcare bill within the next week and warned Republicans who are fighting for reelection in November to think carefully before voting against the measure.

“Make my day,” said senior White House political advisor David Axelrod defiantly. “Let’s have that fight. I’m ready to have that—and every member of Congress ought to be willing to have that debate as well.”

However, despite the bravado of some of Obama’s key aides, the chief vote counter on the healthcare issue, Democratic House Whip James Clyburn, admitted later that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi does not yet have the 216 votes necessary to pass the measure. Most commentators believe the Democrats are approximately six votes shy of adopting the Senate’s version of the legislation, The Los Angeles Times reports.

Meanwhile, House Minority Leader John Boehner said that he strongly doubts Pelosi has the support to pass the bill, and he and fellow Republican leaders will do “everything [they] can to prevent this bill from becoming law—plain and simple.”

Reports Present Conflicting Findings On Likely Impact Of Immigration Reform

Reports present conflicting findings on likely impact of immigration reform While Washington continues to debate the merits of a comprehensive immigration reform, a pair of recent studies has shown that while legalizing the status of those working in the United States illegally could help the economy, the road is paved with institutional dangers.

A joint study released by the Center for American Progress (CAP) and Immigration Policy Center—entitled Raising the Floor for American Workers: The Economic Benefits of Comprehensive Immigration Reform—found that bringing the approximately 12 million unauthorized immigrants into the “official” economy would add some $1.5 trillion to the GDP over 10 years.

In the short term (three years) it would generate $4.5 billion to $5.4 billion in additional tax revenue and consumer spending sufficient to support 750,000 to 900,000 jobs, the research also found.

Angela M. Kelley, vice president for immigration policy and advocacy at CAP, said lawmakers should keep these numbers in mind. “It would be to their peril to be short-sighted and not pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation that will reverberate across the economy and help all Americans.”

However, a report published by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) highlighted the problems with the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act legalization program, which it says provides a cautionary tale.

According to CIS, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) did not act as a law-enforcement agency but a “typical” governmental agency and usually approved applicants’ petitions.

The organization also stressed that the INS failed to establish a credible decision-making process that severely hampered the detection of fraud.

Government Schools Are Bad For Your Kids by James Ostrowski

[pl_amazon_book_order src=””]

Public schools today are crime-ridden, unhealthful places where children are exposed to sex, drugs and diseases and taught a sanitized version of American history and a loyalty to and dependence on big government, according to James Ostrowski in his book, Government Schools Are Bad For Your Kids.

Ostrowski is a trial and appellate lawyer and libertarian writer, and he has drawn on the works of the top libertarian thinkers and organizations in researching his book. He lays out a case that should give pause to anyone with children or grandchildren in today’s government-run school system.

Government schools have not always existed, nor were they immaculately conceived. In fact, prior to the last quarter of the 19th century when compulsory, tax-supported education became the norm, American society had thrived without it for more than 200 years while developing the most prosperous and literate society in human history.

Ostrowski takes the reader on a short but informative history lesson on the roots of compulsory government schools in the western world. They began with Martin Luther in 1524 who urged German princes to “compel the people to send their children to school” because “we are warring with the devil.”

He quotes historian Murray Rothbard: “The Reformers advocated compulsory education for all as a means of inculcating the entire population with their particular religious views…”

Later, John Calvin endorsed compulsory schooling. Like Luther, Calvin did so to spread his religious doctrine by government force.

Early in the 19th century the militaristic and authoritarian Prussians pioneered compulsory education in Europe. Following its defeat at the hands of Napoleon, the Prussian nation began to reorganize itself and prepare for future wars. Under King Frederick William III, the absolute state was made stronger and the nation’s minister, von Stein, began abolishing the semi-religious private schools and placed education under the minister of the Interior. Then the ministry set up a system for certification of all teachers and created a graduation exam.

Again quoting Rothbard, Ostrowski writes: “It is also interesting that it was this reorganized system that first began to promote the new teaching philosophy of Pestalozzi, who was one of the early proponents of ‘progressive education.’ Hand in hand with the compulsory school system went a revival and great extension of the army, and in particular the institution of universal compulsory military service.”

Quoting professor Richard M. Ebeling, Ostrowski writes: “Modern universal compulsory education has its origin in the 19th century Prussian idea that it is the duty and responsibility of the state to indoctrinate each new generation of children into being good, obedient subjects who will be loyal and subservient to political authority and to the legitimacy of the political order. Young minds are to be filled with a certain set of ideas that reflect the vision of the official state educators concerning ‘proper behavior’ and ‘good citizenship.’

Among the disadvantages of compulsory government schooling is the fact that there are so many students who don’t want to be there, or shouldn’t be there because of their criminal proclivities. Yet because attending school is mandated by the government they must be there.

And then there is the watered down education that the children receive and the misinformation they are taught: That we needed the Constitution because the nation was in chaos, Franklin Delano Roosevelt saved us from the Great Depression and Theodore Roosevelt saved us from the “robber barons.”

There are also the myriad of special interests that have become involved in the process—teachers’ unions, suppliers, publishers administrators, parents seeking free babysitting services and politicians who reap the benefits of union contributions.

Ostrowski believes private schools are better venues for learning because the students want to be there, parents have a vested interest (and therefore the students have a vested interest) in their children doing well, and the school can expel students who are unruly, undisciplined or unmotivated.

He advocates pulling your children out of public schools and enrolling them in private schools or home schooling them. Ostrowski believes the loss of tax dollars based on declining enrollment will lead to the end of government schools and a growth in the number of private schools.

And he presents a three-part plan for ending the stranglehold government has on the education of our children.

A short, easy read, Government Schools Are Bad for Your Kids is an excellent book for parents of school children or soon-to-be school children. It will help parents decide how to get the best education for their children and will also serve as a nice primer for anyone interested in working within the system to better the education system for future generations of children.