Treasuries, Steinbrenner, Pelosi And Ceding Arizona

*What “flight to safety?” Investors around the globe snatched up every single note the United States Treasury offered in its last auction—at record low interest rates. Thirty-eight billion dollars in two-year notes were auctioned at a yield of 0.665 percent. That’s less than 70 cents for every $100 you loan ‘em, folks. And that’s for an entire year. When inflation is taken into account, those nervous Nellies are earning a negative 0.57 percent a year. Plus, they’re guaranteed that the dollars they do receive in two years will be worth less than they are today. That’s safety?

*George Steinbrenner saves his family a bundle. One of baseball’s most colorful characters passed away two weeks ago. You’ve heard a lot of stories about Yankee owner George Steinbrenner. But did you know that by dying this year—and not in 2009 or 2011—George saved his family about $335 million in death taxes? I suspect he’d enjoy a good chuckle over that.

*Nancy Pelosi gives aid and comfort to our enemies. Pity Colombia. It’s trying to do everything right—fighting its communist terrorists, the FARC, to a standstill; promoting freedom and free enterprise at home; and working hard to be a friend to the United States. So why does the Speaker of the House block approval of a Colombia-U.S. free trade agreement? And even more despicable, why does she welcome FARC’s most notorious ally in Colombia’s Senate to her congressional chambers? My guess is it’s because Madame Speaker likes our enemies better than our friends. What’s yours?

*Obama cedes a chunk of Arizona. This is amazing. While President Obama claims that only the Federal government can be allowed to “solve” the immigration crisis in Arizona, his government has ceded control of more than 3,500 acres of the state to drug smugglers and other criminals. In fact, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has posted signs reading, “Danger—Public Warning. Travel Not Recommended” at the entrances to the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge. “Good air” indeed; what we’re getting instead is a lot of bad baloney.

—Chip Wood

Obama Blasts Republicans For Opposing Campaign Finance Reform Bill

Obama Blasts Republicans For Opposing Campaign Finance Reform BillOn Monday, President Obama criticized Republicans in the Senate for blocking the passage of a campaign finance bill designed to force unions, corporations and other organizations to disclose their sponsorship of political advertisements.

The measure, which was narrowly passed in the House last month, was crafted by Democrats to reduce the influence that special interest groups have in elections. If passed, the bill would no longer allow the majority of organizations to run advertisement campaigns without publicly taking responsibility for them.

"You’d think that reducing corporate and even foreign influence over our elections would not be a partisan issue," said Obama.

Many Republicans in the Senate have publicly opposed the legislation because they feel that it infringes on First Amendment rights by attempting to silence critics of the administration and its supporters.

The GOP has also criticized the bill because it exempts organizations that have existed for more than 10 years and that have at least 500,000 dues-paying members, according to CNN. This loophole allows nonprofits such as the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the AARP to continue to run political ads without full disclosure.

"Citizens who are members of other grassroots groups will be muzzled by this legislation for no reason other than that they belong to a group without the financial and lobbying muscle to exempt itself from this bill," said David Bossie, president of Citizens United, an organization dedicated to restoring the government to the control of Americans.

"This bill is nothing more than incumbent protection in its worst and most cynical form," he added.

Reinstituting Slavery In America

I suppose you thought the idea of American slavery ended in 1865. A United States Congressman wants to reinstate it.

Ethically-challenged Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y) last week introduced in the Armed Services Committee H.R. 5741, also known as the National Service Act. The bill would require two-years of mandatory government service—either in the military or some as-yet undefined civilian service that promotes national or homeland security—to everyone between the ages of 18 and 42 if the President declares a national emergency.

No choice. No way out. You’ve got to do it if the President declares a national emergency.

Rangel, who opposes the excursions in Afghanistan and Iraq because he believes blacks and the poor are doing the majority of the fighting and dying, has long sought to institute a draft. In the past he has stated, in effect, that by instituting a draft Americans would be less likely to support wars.

That may be. But forced labor at the point of a gun is no different from what blacks suffered under the hands of slave masters for most of a couple of hundred years in America.

It doesn’t matter if it’s the Federal government or a plantation owner, forced labor is slavery. Giving it a fancy name doesn’t change that.

And one other thing: with growing disenchantment over the fascist bent of the current administration and its assault on the rule of law, this country is likely to soon see a popular uprising. That would be the perfect excuse for the President to make his emergency declaration.

And if you’re thinking that you might resist the “draft” remember, President Barack Obama fancies himself as another Lincoln. Well, just look at what Lincoln did during the draft riots in New York.

He ordered five regiments of troops fresh from the battlefield at Gettysburg to quell the riots. The troops shot somewhere between 300 and 1,000 civilians.

Don’t Believe This Liberal Lie

Well, that resolution didn’t last long.

Last week I wrote in this space that it was a waste of time to argue with liberals and I wasn’t going to do it anymore. But three comments from readers have forced me to reevaluate that position.

The first came from a reader who chastised me for giving up on anyone.

“Remember Saul of Tarsus,” he told me. “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.”

The Lord sets an awfully high bar here, doesn’t He? I confess; I’m more likely to curse an enemy than pray for him. But it’s good to be reminded of the higher road.

The second constructive criticism came from an old friend who didn’t like my use of the word “liberal” to describe our opponents on the left. “We are the true liberals,” he told me, referring to the traditional meaning of the word. “We shouldn’t let them steal this noble concept from us. Please join me in taking it back.”

That’s easy to say, but not so easy to do. If you want to be clearly understood, it’s probably better to use words as they are understood today, not what they meant a century or two ago. N’est-ce pas? (Yes, I agree; using foreign words or phrases is another phony affectation of pretentious intellectuals. I won’t do it again.)

Where was I? Oh yes, readers who disagree with me. If you scroll down to the end of my columns and read the comments section below, you’ll see some doozies. Don’t do it right away; wait until the middle of the following week, when they’ve had a chance to respond to each other. As you’ll soon see, some of them really enjoy hurling a good insult at an opponent… and are mighty good at it.

It wasn’t an insult that got me riled up this week, however, but a blatant falsehood delivered as though it were a carved-in-stone truth.

“This is why there is a separation of church and state in the constitution,” someone calling himself J. M. proclaimed. “To keep religion out of politics.” Then he added, “Some folks just don’t get it. Next thing you know, the Republicans will bring back the Inquisition.”

I confess that I cleaned up his spelling, punctuation and grammar a bit. I didn’t want you to be distracted by his lack of literacy. Instead, I wanted to focus on the Big Lie of his original comment.

There is absolutely nothing in the United States Constitution that requires—or even justifies—the so-called separation of church and state.

I’ll go even further. Our Founding Fathers never wanted to see any such thing. And they would be appalled to see how the courts in this country have deliberately twisted, distorted and abused the wonderful document they created to strip all vestiges of religious belief from our public life.

Allowing the left to get away with this is one of the greatest tragedies that’s taken place in my lifetime. In case any of you reading this have also swallowed the liberal lie about “separation of church and state,” bear with me for a few moments while we cover some very important (but often suppressed) history.

What The Constitution Actually Says
What is the most important sentence in the U.S. Constitution?

I would submit that it’s the very first one. Do you remember how this marvelous document starts? Our Founding Fathers set the tone for everything they believed, and everything that would follow, in Article I, Section 1, sentence one. It reads, “All legislative powers herein granted are vested in Congress….”

A friend of mine who has lectured widely on the Constitution likes to stop at this point and ask: “Are there any math students present? Okay, maybe you can help me out. If ‘all’ lawmaking power resides in Congress, how much is in the Supreme Court? Right, none! How about the Executive Branch? Right, none again. Thanks for your help.”

There’s a very important principle here—one that has been deliberately obfuscated over the past 50 years. A Supreme Court decision isn’t supposed to be “the law of the land.” The Court has no Constitutional right to make law. All it is supposed to do is to decide “the law of the case.” Its decision should be binding on the plaintiff and the defendant and no one else.

Instead, for most of my lifetime, layer upon layer of additional government has been sanctioned and even initiated by the black-robed justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. The men and women who took an oath swearing to uphold the Constitution—like every member of Congress—regularly and repeatedly violate that pledge. They knowingly and deliberately, with malice aforethought, ignore the very first sentence of the document they promised to uphold.

And let me digress for a moment to note that the very same principle applies to the Executive Branch. What lawmaking powers does the Constitution bestow on the President and all of the cabinets, agencies and commissions he oversees? Again, the answer is none. Yet we get Executive Orders, Presidential decrees and all sorts of new rules and regulations, all having the force of law. This is another serious violation of the Constitution’s first sentence.

With that as background, let’s turn to the First Amendment (the one used to justify all of the arguments for “the separation of church and state”) and see what it actually says. Here is how it begins:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

That seems pretty clear, doesn’t it? “Congress shall make no law,” either promoting a religion or prohibiting one.

According to the Constitution, what are the states allowed to do when it comes to religion (or just about anything else)? The answer is, pretty much whatever they want.

Could a state require that the Ten Commandments be posted in every courthouse? Sure it could.

Could a city or county government install a crèche on its lawn every Christmas? Absolutely.

Could a governor encourage the citizens of his state to call on the Almighty to alleviate drought or do other good works? Without a doubt.

The framers of our Constitution expected the citizens of each state to decide for themselves how state and local affairs would be conducted. Would every state decide the same thing? Absolutely not. Our Founding Fathers expected differences to emerge between states. Some would be minor, some major. If one state passed laws you felt were onerous, you could vote to change them—or move to another state.

The idea that every law and every rule in every state should be exactly the same as the ones in every other state would strike our Founding Fathers as the height of absurdity. They believed that differences were good; that competition would reward good policy and punish bad.

The system worked pretty well for more than 150 years. It could work even better today, thanks to the vastly improved flow of information and transportation. If we choose we can learn a lot about policies and procedures in other states. And if we like what we learn we can get there a lot easier than our forefathers did. Or, like the flood of affluent folks who have been fleeing California, head for a state that doesn’t try to tax you to death.

What will it take to restore Constitutional government to this country? The short answer is, electing members of the House and Senate who will settle for nothing less. That presupposes, of course, getting candidates who actually understand what constitutional government is all about. Does yours?

We can’t expect total victory in one election or, frankly, even one decade. It took a cabal of socialist schemers more than 150 years to bring us to this point. I hope it won’t take that long win back all of our freedoms. But victory won’t come quickly. Or easily.

You’ve heard the expression; the longest journey begins with a single step. Let’s make sure that this November we take one step closer to the sort of system we used to have. The one that made us the envy of the world—when we were the freest, most productive and most prosperous nation on earth. I still believe we can do it.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

—Chip Wood

Discharged Gay Soldier Vows To Continue To Fight For Marriage Equality

Discharged Gay Soldier Vows To Continue To Fight For Marriage EqualityLieutenant Dan Choi came out publicly as a homosexual in early 2009, and last week the military announced that it was giving him an honorable discharge. However, the Iraq war veteran has promised to fight for the rights for other soldiers who are forced to hide their sexual orientation.

Choi’s dismissal was mandated under the current “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which the Obama administration has promised to repeal. However, this initiative is now on hold, pending a review of the attitudes in the military that is being conducted by the Pentagon and expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, Choi has promised to push for a quick overturn of the law that bans openly homosexual individuals from serving in the military, telling CNN that “there are a lot of people who are suffering, and my oath, my commitment to them, doesn’t end.”

Choi is a 2003 West Point graduate who served two tours in Iraq and is a fluent Arabic speaker.

According to Service Members Legal Defense Network, more than 13,500 soldiers have been discharged under the law since it was passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton in 1994.ADNFCR-1961-ID-19909781-ADNFCR

Children With Celiac Disease May Need Nutritional Supplements

Children With Celiac Disease May Need Nutritional SupplementsChildren who are diagnosed with celiac disease may want to consider taking nutritional supplements to help prevent low bone density and osteoporosis, according to a new Canadian study.

Lead investigator Diana Mager and her colleagues from the University of Alberta examined 43 children who were recently diagnosed with the autoimmune disease. They discovered that the majority of the children had very low bone density, putting them at a high risk of suffering bone fractures and developing osteoporosis later in life.

After analyzing the patients’ dieting habits, the researchers found that, on average, the children received less than 50 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamins D and K—two nutrients that are crucial for bone development. This may be due to the restrictive diet that celiac disease patients must follow.

Mager recommended that children with the condition carefully monitor their dietary intake of both vitamins as well as increase their level of outdoor physical activity to improve bone strength and naturally absorb vitamin D.

"Enjoying activities such as walking and running outdoors when there is more sunshine is a great way to contribute to healthy bones," she said.

Judge Strikes Down Several Aspects Of Arizona’s Immigration Law

Judge Strikes Down Several Aspects Of Arizona's Immigration LawOn Wednesday afternoon—just hours before Arizona’s controversial new immigration law was to go into effect—a Federal judge issued an injunction to block several of the most contentiously debated portions of the measure.

United States District Judge Susan Bolton’s ruling will prevent Arizona from requiring its law enforcement personnel to ask for identification from individuals who they "reasonably suspect" of being an illegal immigrant.

"By enforcing this statute, Arizona would impose a ‘distinct, unusual and extraordinary’ burden on legal resident aliens that only the Federal government has the authority to impose," Bolton wrote in her ruling.

"Preserving the status quo through a preliminary injunction is less harmful than allowing state laws that are likely preempted by Federal law to be enforced," she added.

Furthermore, Bolton sided with the Federal government by striking down a section of the law that would require immigrants to carry their registration papers at all times. She also blocked the provision that would have made it a crime for an illegal immigrant to apply for or perform work in the state.

Several sections of the law still went into effect on Thursday, including one making it illegal to pick up and transport day laborers.

In response to the ruling, Governor Jan Brewer said the "fight is far from over" and that Arizona is willing to take the case "all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary."

Court Decision On Immigration Law Stirs Emotions

Court Decision On Immigration Law Stirs EmotionsIn a last-minute ruling on Wednesday, a Federal judge in Arizona struck down parts of the controversial immigration law—which was to take full effect the next day—sending policy advocates and commentators abuzz.

The ruling, which stops law enforcement officers from asking individuals for identification and blocks the requirement for non-United States citizens to carry their documents with them at all times, was praised by Latino Policy Coalition and United Steelworkers.

The former called it “a major blow to the fanatic fringe that supports racial profiling of Latinos,” as well as a victory “for everyone who has faith in the U.S. Constitution.”

However, Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch said his organization was disappointed with the decision. He also vowed to support the bill’s author, State Senator Russell Pearce, in defending the law in the courts.

Fitton furthermore stressed that “The Obama administration is oblivious to the lawlessness and danger to the public safety caused by its failure to secure the borders and enforce the law.”

Meanwhile, The Federation for American Immigration Reform—which has supported SB 1070—has chosen to look on the bright side. Its representatives said that although several provisions were struck down, some of the important ones remained. They stressed that Judge Bolton’s ruling rejected the administration’s claim that immigration enforcement is solely a Federal matter.ADNFCR-1961-ID-19913411-ADNFCR

Marijuana Compound May Help Treat Pain Linked To Sickle Cell Disease

Marijuana Compound May Help Treat Pain Linked To Sickle Cell DiseaseResults of a recent University of Minnesota Medical School study suggest that a marijuana compound may be an alternative treatment option for patients suffering from the chronic pain associated with sickle cell disease.

Using an animal model, lead investigator Kalpna Gupta and his colleagues monitored the neural pathways of subjects that were experiencing musculoskeletal pain and temperature sensitivity, two of the more prominent symptoms often experienced by sickle cell disease patients.

The research team then treated the animals with opioids—the traditional pain remedy for sickle cell disease—or cannabinoids, a synthetic marijuana compound.

They discovered that not only did cannabinoids lessen pain with the same effectiveness as conventional medication, it did so in much smaller doses.

"This paper provides proof that we can use other classifications of drugs to treat pain in patients with sickle cell disease," said Gupta. "Cannabinoids offer great promise in the treatment of chronic and acute pain, and they’re effective in much lower amounts than opioids—the only currently approved treatment for this disease."

He added that opioids have been known to adversely affect a patient’s kidneys and blood vessels when taken in the doses necessary to treat the chronic pain associated with sickle cell disease.