Let's Throw This Rascal Out

If there were any liberal Democrats in the crowd that filled Bally’s Convention Center two weeks ago, they kept a very low profile. Because from the opening bell, the 2,000-plus people attending this year’s FreedomFest crowd made it clear what they wanted: less government, less spending, lower taxes, fewer bureaucrats and no deficits.
 
And they also want every incumbent running for office defeated this year… with the possible exception of Ron Paul.

In short, this group wants change. And they were ready to applaud like mad for anyone who promised it. Even the mildest of anti-Obama jokes had them laughing and cheering.

“President Obama says if he weren’t president, he’d be buying stocks,” I reminded them. “To which I say; if you weren’t president, I’d be buying stocks, too, Mr. President.” The crowd roared.

For the seventh consecutive year I served as Master of Ceremonies for “the world’s largest gathering of free minds,” which means I got to introduce our keynote speakers, numerous panelists and the opponents in several heated debates.

Things got off to a lively start the very first morning. I told the audience that, “When I sat on Santa Claus’s lap last December, I told him there were only two things I wanted this year. First, could you please demote Nancy Pelosi? I want a new majority leader in the House of Representatives!” The crowd stomped and cheered.

“For my second gift, Santa, would you please retire Harry Reid from the U.S. Senate?” More loud cheers and applause.

Then I said, “Ladies and gentlemen, permit me to introduce the feisty young grandmother who is going to make my second wish come true. Please join me in welcoming Harry Reid’s opponent in this November’s election for the U.S. Senate in Nevada, Mrs. Sharron Angle.”

I don’t think Sarah Palin would have gotten a bigger welcome had the hall been hosting a Tea Party convention. The crowd was loudly and enthusiastically ready for change in Nevada’s Senate seat. And they made it clear they hoped Sharron Angle would be it.

I’m proud to say that even before she left the stage I made the very first contribution to the “Angle for Senate” campaign that day. But I was far from alone. Her campaign manager told me later that they received more than $60,000 in contributions while she was there.

Frankly, they’re going to need every penny of it—and a whole lot more. Reid has boasted that he already has more than $10 million in his campaign coffers… and he expects to raise at least $15 million more. If there’s one seat the Democrats are determined not to lose this year it is Reid’s in Nevada. (If you’d like to help retire the Silver State’s senior senator, go to www.SharronAngle.com and send her a contribution yourself.)

The very next day, the White House announced that President Obama was flying to Las Vegas for a special campaign appearance on behalf of his beleaguered Senate majority leader. Those of us at FreedomFest probably wouldn’t have known anything about it, except for one thing: Because of security considerations, the Las Vegas airport and all the airspace in a 20-mile radius was closed for most of the afternoon to all traffic except Air Force One.

Obama couldn’t have known (and probably wouldn’t have cared if he did) that as a result, our final speaker of the day was not allowed to land. We had invited Greg Mortenson, author of the runaway best-seller Three Cups of Tea, to tell us about his experiences building schools for impoverished children, mostly young girls, in Afghanistan and Pakistan. His plane circled the area for nearly two hours before it was allowed to land 90 miles away.

We quickly shuffled the schedule so he would be the first speaker the next morning. The hall was packed when he strode to the podium at 8:00 am. And 2,000 people listened with breathless fascination as he showed photographs and told stories of the work he had done, the friends he had made, the lives he had changed, and the threats he had faced.

Let me pause for a moment to insert a promotion here for Greg Mortenson’s talk and books. Three Cups of Tea has been on the best-seller lists for the past three years, so it’s easy to find at any bookstore or Amazon.com. While you’re there, also order his new one, Stones into Schools. You’ll be deeply moved by both. For a DVD of his talk at FreedomFest, as well as CDs or MP3s of the 162 other speakers who appeared this year, go to www.freedomfest.com.

I don’t know how many other people were affected by the closure of McCarran Airport for several hours that day. But as it turned out, we got the last laugh from it. At our closing banquet on Saturday I was able to tell the crowd that yes, they could finally go home: “President Obama has left the city and the airport is open again.” That got some mild applause and laughter.

Then I added, “By the way, the latest polls have just come out. They confirm that President Obama’s appearance here cost Harry Reid 14,500 votes!” Then I concluded, “So please come back and campaign some more, Mr. President. But please wait until we’ve left town.” The crowd hooted and howled. As I said before, this was a group ready for change.

Speaking of change, check out the first item in my Chip Shots column at the bottom of today’s Personal Liberty Alerts™. Another politician in Nevada who is trying to distance himself from Harry Reid seems to be his own son.

By the way, I had an epiphany of sorts during this year’s FreedomFest. I realized that I’ve been wasting a lot of time over the past 50 years trying to educate liberals. It finally dawned on me that is almost always a waste of time.

For all sorts of reasons—liberal guilt, indoctrination in school, a vested interest in government largess, whatever; there are a whole lot of people out there who aren’t going to change their minds, no matter how many facts we put in front of them.

No, let’s forget about persuading the left that we’re right. It isn’t going to happen.

Instead, let’s look for people of principle who have not been politically active before—and let’s them energized and activated to throw the rascals out.

Sound difficult? It’s not. Select a friend or neighbor whom you know is a person of good character. Share your concern about what’s happening to the country you love. Ask if they are also alarmed by runaway spending, exploding deficits, rising taxes, and other aspect of growing government.

If they agree with you—and I’m betting the majority of them will—ask them to work with you to help make a difference. Find people running for office you think you can trust. Give them the support they need to get elected.

And once they win, keep your eye on them. Make sure they vote the way they promised. Support them when they’re right. Argue with them when they’re wrong.

And if you get too little of the former and too much of the latter, go to work to replace them. Remember, every election matters. Victory isn’t going to come from the White House down; it’s going to come from local communities up. That’s how we won our freedom in the first place; it’s how we’re going to restore it now.

Resolve that this year you’re going to help make a difference. Then, find a few people who agree with you. Repeat this often enough, in enough places, and it will happen. Believe it.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

—Chip Wood

New York Lawsuit Seeks Injunction Against Restrictive Gun Licensing Law

New York Lawsuit Seeks Injunction Against Restrictive Gun Licensing LawFresh off gun rights activists’ major victory in Chicago, The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) has joined a lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, which demands a permanent injunction against a state law that requires applicants for gun permits to demonstrate “good cause.”

"American citizens should not have to demonstrate good cause in order to exercise a constitutionally-protected civil right," said SAF executive vice president Alan Gottlieb.

"Our civil rights, including the right to keep and bear arms, should not be subject to the whims of a local government or its employees,” he added.

The case at hand was brought by Westchester County residents lan Kachalsky and Christina Nikolov, who saw their permit applications denied on similar grounds.

Gun rights supporters have been buoyed by the recent Supreme Court decision in McDonald v Chicago, which struck down a nearly 30-year old handgun ban in that city.

In fact, Gottlieb pointed to that decision saying that it made it clear that the 2nd Amendment rights apply to both state and local governments.

“Our lawsuit is a reminder to state and local bureaucrats that we have a Bill of Rights in this country, not a ‘Bill of Needs’,” he stressed.ADNFCR-1961-ID-19897467-ADNFCR

With One GOP Vote, Senate Committee OKs Kagan's Nomination

With One GOP Vote, Senate Committee OKs Kagan’'s NominationThe Senate Judiciary Committee voted Tuesday to approve President Obama’s nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan as a Supreme Court justice to replace John Paul Stevens who is expected to retire later this year.

The only Republican to break the ranks with his colleagues was Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). The remaining GOP members of the committee have repeatedly expressed their concerns about Kagan’s limited legal experience outside of academia and her political involvement during the Clinton administration.

Obama praised the vote, saying his nominee is “one of this country’s leading legal minds,” and expressing his belief that she will be a fair and impartial Justice.

However, many conservative organizations—such as Family Research Council (FRC)—disagree with this assessment.

Its president, Tony Perkins, commented that Kagan’s ascent to the Supreme Court will endanger constitutional governance.

“Today’s vote ignores Elena Kagan’s troubling record of impassioned liberal activism and disregard for the law,” he said, adding that she “has trampled every obstacle standing in the way of her pro-abortion, pro-homosexual agenda, which calls into question her ability to be an impartial jurist.”

Earlier this month Perkins testified against her candidacy, focusing on her ban on military recruiters when she was dean of Harvard Law School because of the army’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.ADNFCR-1961-ID-19901274-ADNFCR

No More Secrets

No secrets, at least not for you.

The Obama administration is backing legislation that would require United States businesses to provide to the government data about employee pay as it relates to sex, race and national origin of employees.

It’s not enough that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) already has all your work data. Now other government departments want to snoop deeper into your life. Under the guise of trying to ensure pay equity for women and minorities, Obama wants to have even more of your information.

In addition to giving the Federal government more data to mine about its citizens, this legislation puts more onerous regulations on businesses at a time when businesses need a break. This is further evidence the current administration is no friend to business or the American people.

Even more amazing is this comes from a man who won’t release a valid copy of  birth certificate—not a certificate of live birth that anyone could obtain in Hawaii but a real birth certificate that names the delivering physician and can be used as an official document—his passport records or his college transcripts.

No secrets… Obama excepted.

Bachmann Creates Tea Party Caucus, GOP Reluctant To Join

Bachmann Creates Tea Party Caucus, GOP Reluctant To JoinRepresentative Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) said on Monday that the House Administration Committee had approved her request to create an official Tea Party caucus.

Although the congressional membership organization is not eligible to receive any Federal funding, Bachmann plans to use the caucus to push the ideologies of "fiscal responsibility, adherence to the Constitution and limited government."

"This caucus will espouse the timeless principles of our founding, principles that all members of Congress have sworn to uphold," she said. "The American people are doing their part and making their voices heard and this caucus will prove that there are some here in Washington willing to listen."

However, as of Tuesday, only Representative Mike Pence (R-Ind.) had expressed his desire to join the caucus, leading many political pundits to wonder whether the NAACP’s recent claims of racism have marred the conservative organization’s reputation in Washington.

Meanwhile, Representative Walt Minnick—an Idaho Democrat known for his fiscally conservative views—rejected the Tea Party’s endorsement earlier this week after originally accepting it in April, the Huffington Post reports.

Minnick, whose spokesman said he was reluctant to accept the endorsement from the beginning, rebuked the Tea Party after reading a racist blog authored by one of the organization’s members, Mark Williams.
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Media Reports Suggest Internal Split In Tea Party, But Activists Disagree

Media Reports Suggest Internal Split In Tea Party, But Activists DisagreeThe recent racial controversy involving one of the organizers of Tea Party Express, and the subsequent expulsion of the group from The National Tea Party Federation, appear to have splintered the movement that seemed to be heading towards a substantial victory in this year’s midterm elections.

In a sign of a possible rift, the Express lashed back on Monday, calling the removal “ridiculous” and claiming the Federation had no right to do so.

“The Tea Party Express with over 400,000 members is by far larger than the Tea Party Federation’s entire membership,” said its spokesman Joe Wierzbicki.

He added that this “perhaps explains why so many Tea Party groups have left the ‘Federation’ during the past few months.”

Wierzbicki also vowed to keep fighting to take back the country in November rather than engage in “silly power games.”

However, despite the hostile language the federation has been quick to play down the rift. Its spokesman, David Webb, called the racial controversy “an embarrassment,” but added that “this is not a split, so the gleeful left can put away the smiles.”ADNFCR-1961-ID-19899311-ADNFCR

They Saw The Enemy And It Is Government

Healthcare bills, energy bills, rules on how much water toilets can use, regulations on acceptable light bulbs, education bills and most every topic Congress discusses these days go far beyond what the Founding Fathers envisioned as the role of government.

As James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 14, “In the first place, it is to be remembered, that the general government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws. Its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects, which concern all the members of the republic, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any.”

And what are those enumerated powers? Most can be found in Article I of the Constitution. Briefly they are: power to lay and collect taxes, pay debts and provide for common defense and general welfare, borrow money, regulate commerce with foreign nations, establish uniform rules of naturalization, and uniform laws on bankruptcies, coin money and regulate its value, fix the standard of weights and measures, provide for punishment of counterfeiting, establish post roads and offices, promote progress of science and useful arts by establishing copyright laws, constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court, define and punish piracies and felonies on the high seas, declare war, raise armies, provide and maintain a navy and make rules for government and regulation of the land and naval forces, provide for calling forth the militia and for arming, organizing and disciplining it and to make laws necessary to execute those powers.

There are very few others found in other places of the Constitution.

As Madison wrote, anything the government does beyond those enumerated powers means government is overreaching. And it’s this overreach that has finally begun to draw the ire of many—including those who now consider themselves a part of the Tea Party movement or who identify with it.

Our Founders wanted to limit government because they saw how oppressive it could become. The future they saw and warned against is our present.

New Mini-Documentary Shows Continuing Impact Of Illegal Immigration In Arizona Border Regions

New Mini-Documentary Shows Continuing Impact Of Illegal Immigration In Arizona Border RegionsIn the midst of the heated debate about the new Arizona immigration law and the need for a comprehensive reform at the Federal level, a policy think tank has released a web-based movie that demonstrates the impact of illegal aliens in the Grand Canyon State.

Released by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), “Hidden Cameras on the Arizona Border 2: Drugs, Guns and 850 Illegal Aliens” is a 10-minute long mini-documentary that illustrates the problem of illegal crossing as well as gun- and drug-smuggling along the section of the United States-Mexico border that includes Nogales, the Coronado National Forest and the Casa Grande Sector.

The center says the film shows that illegal immigrant activity is escalating and that U.S. law enforcement appears increasingly unable to deal with it. Moreover, it suggests that environmental devastation along the border continues.

The new documentary is a followup to “Hidden Cameras on the Arizona Border: Coyotes, Bears and Trails,” which CIS says has been viewed by more than 52,000 visitors to date.

On July 29 the controversial new Arizona immigration law—which was signed by Governor Jan Brewer last April—is scheduled to come into effect. It gives law enforcement officers new powers to request identification from individuals that may be reasonably suspected to be in the U.S. illegally.ADNFCR-1961-ID-19899291-ADNFCR

Biden Says Tea Party Is Not Racist

Biden Says Tea Party Is Not RacistVice President Joe Biden said on Sunday that neither he nor the administration believe the Tea Party to be an inherently racist group, although he does feel that certain members of the conservative organization have made some regrettable comments that mar the burgeoning movement’s reputation.

"I don’t believe—the president doesn’t believe—that the Tea Party is a racist organization," Biden said on ABC’s This Week. "Very conservative, very different views on government… but it is not a racist organization."

The vice president’s comments come just a few days after the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) voted to issue a resolution to "repudiate the racist elements and activities" within the Tea Party, The Associated Press (AP) reports.

Meanwhile, The National Tea Party Federation recently expelled a subsidiary organization after one of its members posted a blog deemed to be racist.

Mark Williams, a conservative commentator and one of the faces of the Tea Party Express, wrote a satirical blog last week from voices of the "Colored People" to President Lincoln, allegedly praising slavery.

Federation spokesman David Webb called the post "clearly offensive," and expelled the Tea Party Express after it refused to remove Williams from its organization.
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Poor Weight Control Can Affect A Woman's Memory

Poor Weight Control Can Affect A Woman's MemoryResults of a recent study imply that obese women may be able to naturally improve their memory by eating healthy and losing excess weight.

A research team from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine recruited nearly 9,000 women to complete Modified Mini-Mental Status Examinations, which test a subject’s mental capacity, cognitive function and memory, Health Day News reports. Lead study author Diana Kerwin and her colleagues also measured each participant’s body mass index (BMI) and body fat distribution.

They not only discovered a link between obesity and poor memory, but also found that for every one-point increase in BMI, women scored one percentage point lower on the memory portion of the exam.

"The message is obesity and a higher BMI are not good for your cognition and your memory," said Kerwin. "While the women’s scores were still in the normal range, the added weight definitely had a detrimental effect."

She also noted that the link between obesity and impaired memory remained after accounting for various risk factors, including blood pressure, insulin resistance and age.

Furthermore, the study found that women who were heavier around the hips were more likely to have a poor memory than those who had excess weight around their waist.
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A Light In the Darkness

A Light In the Darkness

It isn’t exactly stop-the-presses news that the so-called Main Stream Media (MSM) lists to port in its coverage of any news, stop-the-presses or otherwise. During the age of Obama, some of the more wild-eyed media outlets have abandoned any pretense of calling it down the middle. In some cases, that abandonment manifests thusly:

“Tonight on MSNBC: Ed Schultz explains how voter fraud is fine if the fraudster is acting on behalf of Martha Coakley! Later—Rachel Maddow… um… still hates Sarah Palin.”

In others, we see the high-wire act of major print publications desperately clinging to claims of legitimacy while their news departments alternatively proffer fawning profiles of the current administration’s greatness and fall mafioso-silent on the subject of Democrat failings.

So imagine my surprise when Sunday’s edition of The Washington Post—as redoubtable an outlet for the MSM as exists south of West 40th Street in New York (the home offices of The New York Times)—WaPo ombudsman Andrew Alexander openly questioned the lack of coverage of the Obama Administration’s refusal to pursue charges against the New Black Panther Party hate group. In Alexander’s piece, he acknowledges the efforts of readers to force The Post into examining the developing situation, and even criticizes the paper’s late arrival to the party.

Had someone mentioned to me before Sunday that a member of a left-wing rag would admit dereliction of journalistic duty, I would have high-tailed it to the nearest 7-11 to stock up on Powerball tickets. Granted, Alexander does a bit of a soft shoe on the situation, but given the partisan rage guiding most of his compatriots, I will accept the possibility that he has to err on the side of caution.

The man may well have a family to feed, and if the hysterical reaction of some of our liberal friends here on Personal Liberty Digest™ is any indication, selling out the wingnuts from inside the WaPo newsroom is as dangerous as testifying against Sammy Gravano in a Federal courtroom.

While there are MSM organizations which employ conservatives, they’re usually isolated with the same wariness with which people treat odd family members. Imagine the earnestly leftist reporter showing the new intern around the Newsweek offices: “oh, that’s crazy Uncle George (Will). We don’t talk about him much. He always sends us Brooks Brothers’ ties for Christmas.”

But even an acknowledgement by Alexander that The Post had dropped the ball and was now kicking it around the field represented a two-car-garage size crack in the dam. With the ineptitude of the Obama Administration leading to private admissions by Democrats that they are decidedly NOT facing a November to Remember, one would expect a good deal of wagon-circling by the MSM.

Whether it’s breathless coverage of the NAACP screeching about supposed racist elements in the Tea Party (while assiduously ignoring the racism of the former), or the ex-CNN shrieker Bill Press suggesting the voting public is a bunch of “spoiled brats” for not better appreciating the greatness of Obama & Co.—there IS a new ramping up of liberal talking points spewing out of the MSM blowholes of late.

Last Sunday, former Clinton staffer and DNC operative George Stephanopolous even managed to suggest on ABC’s This Week… that during Obama’s 18 months in office: “…if you set aside the Fort Hood bombing in Texas and the failed Christmas bomber, there has not been a major attack that’s been anything close to successful on American soil.”

Yeah, except those two. Next, he’ll be telling the Japanese that “…setting aside Hiroshima and Nagasaki, WWII really wasn’t too bad for you.”

Nonetheless, there is a flickering light shining in the wingnut-media-created intellectual darkness. Stephanopolous, who has spoken proudly of his daily confabs with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, was trying to tout the anti-terrorism credentials and accomplishments of the Commander-in-Chief. However, his guest—Washington Post (there they are again!) writer William Arkin—stomped him flatter than a 5-cent steak.

Confronted with Stephanopolous’s fatuousness, Arkin retorted: “Well, I think it’s always good to set aside the things that are most significant in terms of countering what it is that the government would like to put out as the good news.” Touche’.

It’s a long way to the proverbial Tipperary of the MSM eliminating their decidedly leftward tilt. Andrew Alexander certainly does not speak for the entire rogue’s gallery that is today’s media. But the fact that he’s speaking at all speaks volumes.

Just Who Are They Protecting?

For recording this video with his helmet camera of an irate and possibly out-of-control State Trooper, 25-year-old Maryland Air National Guard staff sergeant Anthony Graber is facing 16 years in prison.

Graber was cut off in traffic and stopped by the gun-wielding plainclothes officer after speeding down Interstate 95 in Maryland on his motorcycle. He was, rightly, charged with speeding. But state police didn’t like the fact that Graber posted his video on YouTube.

So in April state police raided his parents’ home in Abingdon, Md., and confiscated his camera, computer and external hard drives. Then he was indicted on a charge of violating state wiretap laws by recording the trooper.

Many of us were raised with the idea that the police are there to protect us. But the proliferation of hand-held recording devices is proving true what petty criminals, blacks and other minorities have maintained for years: All too often those sworn to protect us are nothing more than abusive, power-mad thugs with the authority of the state behind their actions.

And since the state doesn’t like it when its officers are made to look bad, the state is now twisting the original intent of wiretap laws to make everyone carrying a cell phone into a possible criminal.

Miami journalist Carlos Miller, who runs the blog “Photography Is Not a Crime” told ABC News he has documented at least 10 such arrests since he started keeping track in 2007. Miller himself has been arrested twice. One case he won on appeal and the other was thrown out after the officer twice failed to appear in court.

So what we are learning is it is perfectly okay for police officers to record their encounters with suspects using dash cameras in their patrol cars and hidden cameras in their interrogation rooms, but if a citizen being accosted by police or witnessing police abuse records the incident the state will treat him like he’s John Dillinger.

So much for the idea of “To protect and serve.”

With Byrd's Replacement Chosen, Democrats Prepare To Advance Unemployment Benefits Extension

With Byrd's Replacement Chosen, Democrats Prepare To Advance Unemployment Benefits ExtensionWest Virginia Governor Joe Manchin announced last week that he will nominate his former aide Carte Goodwin to fill the seat of former Senator Robert Byrd, a longtime Democratic lawmaker who died last month.

Goodwin, who is expected to be sworn in this week, has already announced that he will vote along party lines and help Democrats extend unemployment benefits to 2.5 million Americans who have been out of work for nearly a year.

With Manchin’s former aide on board, Democrats will have enough support to overcome a Republican filibuster and advance the measure, which has already been passed by the House.

GOP senators have blocked the extension for more than a month due to the fact that it will add $34 billion to the already record-breaking national debt, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that he will schedule a vote on the measure just minutes after Goodwin is confirmed.

However, the soon-to-be senator said last week that he will not support the Democratic-backed cap-and-trade bill that the Obama administration plans to reintroduce in the coming weeks.

"I will not support any piece of legislation that threatens any West Virginia job, any West Virginia family or jeopardizes the long-term economic security of this state," he warned.

Goodwin also noted that he will not look to continue his run as senator beyond this year, CBS News reports. However, Manchin indicated that he is interested in the seat, and may enter the special election in November.
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Senate Passes Wall Street Reform Bill

Senate Passes Wall Street Reform BillBringing financial reform a step closer to reality, the United States Senate has voted to approve the Dodd-Frank bill, and it did so with the help of three Republicans, including Scott Brown of Massachusetts.

The legislation, which is expected to be signed by President Obama, will establish the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau as well as the Financial Stability Oversight Council that will monitor the financial system for risky practices that may endanger the economy.

The bill will also tighten controls on the derivatives market, complex financial instruments that were major contributors to the recent crisis.

“All told, this reform puts in place the strongest consumer financial protections in history,” Obama commented after the vote.

However, critics have said that the bill fails to address some fundamental systemic challenges, such as the “too big to fail” problem. Moreover, it does not address Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, which both benefited with a massive bailout but are still struggling to become solvent.

Republican criticism of the bill also centered on allegations that it will expand government bureaucracy and hand over the control of the economy to politicians in Washington.

In fact, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), called it “government-driven solution.”ADNFCR-1961-ID-19894888-ADNFCR

Mitt Romney Raises Most Money For 2012 Run, Sarah Palin Lags Behind

Mitt Romney Raises Most Money For 2012 Run, Sarah Palin Lags BehindEarlier this year former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney won a series of straw polls for the most popular would-be GOP presidential candidate in 2012, and he seems to continue to build momentum with successful fundraising efforts.

During the second quarter of 2010, Romney raised $1.8 million, well ahead of other contenders for the ticket, for a total of $3.4 million since the beginning of the year, according to media reports.

By contrast, his closest rival Tim Pawlenty, the governor of Minnesota, managed just over $720,000 in the most recent quarter, and $1.3 million in 2010 thus far, Minneapolis City Pages reported.

However, the real question on many commentators’ minds seems to be the fundraising performance of Sarah Palin, whose favorability ratings among likely GOP voters are the highest for all contenders at 76 percent, according to a new Gallup poll.

Even the controversial Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann raised more—$1.7 million to Palin’s $865,000 in the second quarter—prompting National Post contributor Tim Mak to ask “why isn’t Palin, a national figure with more media coverage than Bachmann, at least keeping pace?”ADNFCR-1961-ID-19897280-ADNFCR

Vitamin D Deficiency May Predispose Individuals To Parkinson's Disease

Vitamin D Deficiency May Predispose Individuals To Parkinson's DiseaseOn the heels of several studies linking vitamin D deficiencies to general cognitive disorders, new research has found that low serum levels of the nutrient may also be partially responsible for the development of Parkinson’s disease.

For the study, Paul Knekt and his colleagues from the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki, Finland, recruited nearly 3,200 healthy men and women between the ages of 50 and 79, and took blood samples to assess their vitamin D levels.

Over the next three decades, a total of 50 respondents developed Parkinson’s disease.

After adjusting for potential risk factors, the research team found that participants who had the highest baseline vitamin D levels were 67 percent less likely to be diagnosed with Parkinson’s than those with the lowest levels.

The "study provides the first promising human data to suggest that inadequate vitamin D status is associated with the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, but further work is needed in both basic and clinical arenas to elucidate the exact role, mechanisms and optimum concentration of vitamin D in Parkinson’s disease," wrote Marian Leslie, of Emory University, in an accompanying editorial.

While the researchers have yet to define the mechanism responsible for the apparent protective benefit of vitamin D concerning Parkinson’s disease, they suggest that the nutrient improves brain function through antioxidant activities, regulation of calcium levels and detoxification.
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Ford's Model A

A revolution in transportation began on July 23, 1903, when Henry Ford sold his first automobile. The two-cylinder Model A, which cost all of $750, was delivered to Dr. Ernst Pfenning of Chicago.

Unlike later versions of his famous assembly-line vehicles, which came in “any color you want, as long as it’s black,” the first Model A was a bright shiny red. The car weighed 1,240 pounds and could reach a top speed of 45 miles per hour. Options included a rear tonneau with two seats and a rear door for $100, a rubber roof for $30, or a leather roof for $50. In his first year of production Ford sold 1,750 versions of the Model A.

The Ford Motor Company had spent virtually all of its original investment funds when Dr. Pfenning picked up his car. The company had only $223.65 left in the bank at the time. But the rest, as they say, is history.

—Chip Wood

Confessions Of An Illegal Alien

I believe Arizona’s Immigration Law S.B. 1070 is going to be damn effective. In fact I think it should be adopted across the United States. What special insight do I have into the matter? I used to be an illegal alien.

Twenty-seven years ago this month I was sitting at my desk in the Peyton Building in downtown Spokane, Wash., and I got a letter from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). I jerked it open and realized my worst fears. My work visa had not been extended.

Immigrating to the United States had been a disaster right from the start, even though it shouldn’t have been. My dad, C.V. was a U.S. citizen by right of his father being born in Oklahoma. At least that’s what the U.S. State Department said when they issued C.V. a U.S. passport.

Yet INS thought otherwise. They hadn’t forgotten that C.V. had sold gold to Americans when it was illegal for them to own it. INS wanted to deport him. It was a legal fight that would take a decade to resolve. In fact a U.S. Federal judge finally ruled in C.V.’s favor a few months after his death in 1990.

But on that day in 1983 the only thing that mattered was the letter on my desk; the letter that said I had to leave the U.S. or face deportation. It didn’t matter that I had paid my taxes, bought a house and that my wife and I had an American-born son.

Despite the fact my dad was ill I decided that I didn’t really have a choice. Better to move back under my own terms than to be roped-up like a criminal and be “escorted” by deportation bus.

Of course my dad, who was also my boss, was dead set against me going back to Canada. Besides the fact that he hated the Federal government, he had a U.S. passport that proved to him that I was entitled to a green card. He talked to his lawyer Bob Magnuson, who was the brother of Idaho mining legend Harry Magnuson, and set up a meeting with a young immigration lawyer named Dan Keane.

Before Dan became an immigration and criminal lawyer he had worked as an INS agent. In fact his father was a well known immigration judge.

I showed Dan the INS letter and he read it carefully. Then he smiled and said, “So what’s the problem?”

“What’s the problem? This letter says if I don’t leave I am going to be deported!”

“That’s not likely to happen. You’re dad’s citizenship is going to get sorted out and when that happens you will get a green card. Until then I wouldn’t worry about it.”

I told Dan I was plenty worried about it. That I was afraid to get so much as a speeding ticket; that the cop would check on my immigration status and that my wife and I would be headed for Canada.

Dan started laughing. “Hell John, the cops don’t enforce immigration law. They don’t care.”

“They don’t care!” I was astonished. Here I was, living illegally in a country and this lawyer—my lawyer—was telling me that law enforcement didn’t care.

“You could get caught robbing a bank and your immigration status probably wouldn’t be called into question,” explained Dan.

Because of Dan’s advice and my father imploring me to stay, I decided to be an illegal until there was a ruling on C.V.’s citizenship. Fortunately I was given amnesty and granted a green card by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. A decade later I became a U.S. citizen.

I have always been grateful for the opportunity to become an American. But I also know it would never have happened if I had fretted about the police enforcing the law. And while Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has been called a bigot for signing S.B. 1070, she has struck upon an idea that is long overdue: That state law enforcement should enforce U.S. laws and that in doing so the U.S. can at least slow the flood of illegals entering the country.

In fact, on July 12th azcentral.com wrote: “The upcoming enforcement of SB 1070 has caused many illegal immigrants to flee Arizona.”

It is hard for me to understand why the Obama administration is challenging assistance from local law enforcement when clearly the Federal government needs all the help it can get.

There are as many as 30 million illegal aliens in the U.S. That’s the population of Canada. And no place has been impacted harder than Arizona.

According to the Connecticut Law Tribune, “Three state counties have been lost to violent Mexican drug cartels. More than a thousand attempt to cross the border every day. Between 1996 and 2009, the illegal alien population in Arizona increased 300 percent.”

The CLT goes on to point out that, “In 18 months alone, more than 22,000 people were killed in an ongoing drug war in Mexico near the Arizona border. Thugs are now throwing rocks at the heads of our border patrol agents.”

Yet even as Arizona suffers the highest kidnapping rate in the world outside Mexico City, the Obama administration wants to obstruct Arizona from protecting its own people who are, after all, American citizens.

U.S. News & World Report says there may be method to the Federal government’s madness, with both the Obama administration and the Republican Party, “spending way too much time bowing to the interests of illegal immigrants (who come in all races and colors) and refusing to enforce existing laws or pass new ones limiting immigration to that which improves our environment and our economy.”

Through the Justice Department President Barack Obama declares that S.B. 1070, “illegally intrudes on federal prerogatives,” and further states that Federal law “trumps state statutes.”

Is the State Department serious? After all, if somebody is hijacking an airplane or kidnapping someone across state lines do we worry whether they are arrested by the Feds or the local cops? Of course we don’t. So why then should we worry who is enforcing immigration laws? We should only worry that they are being enforced.

As a person who once feared deportation I am not sure what if any of S.B. 1070 has to do with race or racism. I knew that if the INS caught me I was in fact going back to Canada. It wasn’t like they were going to say, “Oh heck you’re a white guy, we will let you stay.” As far as I could see back then and right now, Federal immigration laws are color blind. It is the Federal government which is blind to America’s needs.

Yours for real wealth and good health,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy and Gold

Picking Scabs and Parking Spaces

Meet Billy Raye. Billy is a 51-year-old bicycle courier. Billy was out of work. According to Friday’s edition of The Wall Street Journal, Billy has managed to find employment. Billy, who is not a member of any labor organization, has been hired by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council of Carpenters (MARCC)—to walk a picket line.

The MARCC is picketing outside the MacPherson building in Washington, D.C., these days. The building is home to a satellite campus of a Chicago-based school of psychology, only slightly ironic given the schizoid nature of what’s happening outside their facility.

The MARCC is miffed because the school is using Can-Am Contractors—a non-union outfit—to put up drywall. And the union boys are outraged at the idea of Can-Am using “scabs” to do work that could have been done by MARCC members at a higher rate of pay.

Keep in mind, the union isn’t so incensed that they’re doing their own picketing. Instead, they’ve hired Billy and some other less fortunate types to do their epithet-shouting and sandwich-board wearing for them. To put it bluntly, the union has hired scabs to protest against Can-Am… using scabs.

In one of the all-time great too-many-obvious-jokes moments, Vincente Garcia, the union supervisor of picketing (and irony-proofing) at the MacPherson building, said regular MARCC members can’t handle the picketing themselves because, “For a lot of our members, it’s really difficult to have them come out, either because of parking or something else.”

Billy Raye clearly doesn’t have a problem with stowing his bike, nor, according to The Journal, does he even care why he’s there. “I’m getting paid to march around and sound off.” Such is life in the union universe.

The current national unemployment rate is hovering around 9.5 percent. Factoring in the likely 4 percent to 5 percent who are either retired, dead, not looking for work or picketing the MacPherson Building contractors, the real rate is closer to 14 percent. That’s a lot of available scab picketers.

According the article, the MARCC pays scabs to man close to 150 picket lines throughout the D.C. and Baltimore areas on a daily basis. Scab picketers get $8.25/hour to walk in circles and hurl pro-union invective at whatever non-union labor is taking place in their location.

Presuming 50 scabs per picket line (the number at the MacPherson building), working (drinking coffee and shouting in semi-unison) 20 hours a week, the MARCC is coughing up $8,250 per week, per picket line. Even if we cut the number in half, a labor union is paying non-union labor a little more than $600,000 weekly to… well… work for them.

How many of the unemployed picketers-for-hire could be turned into full-fledged MARCC members by redirecting the aforementioned sum towards job training? How many Billy Rayes could hop off their bicycles and into a job site for the kind of dough he and his fellow temporary picketers are pocketing to scream bloody murder on behalf of the union-affiliated companies which don’t hire them? Most importantly, why does someone Outside the Asylum need to point this out?

When the United Auto Workers’ massive contracts played a large part in turning General Motors into Government Motors, I couldn’t help but think that the days of unions protecting American laborers from predatory employers had faded into the swirling mists of history. When the Service Employees International Union sent its goons in to play the heavies for Democrats confronted with popular opposition to Obamacare, I realized the unions were beginning to morph into the sort of thugs against whom they were formed to defend. It’s as if the Molly Maguires bought the mine and immediately reopened the company store.

Now the unions are hiring scabs to do the work union members don’t want (or at least, can’t find convenient parking for.) Don’t get me wrong—I have no issue with what the unions call scab labor. I use “scab” not as a pejorative, but as a demonstrative. The MARCC or one of the other groups around the country who employ similar tactics could use scab-picketer money to turn scab-picketers into dues-paying workers. Dues-paying workers would boost union membership rolls, union pensions, union officials and—most importantly to union officials—union officials’ bank accounts.

Think of the major American corporations which could be turned into semi-government-controlled operations! Imagine the coordinated assaults on anti-Obamacare protestors! Visualize the Brobdingnagian brigades of union muscle, riding out like the proverbial Assyrian cohort, gleefully pounding senior citizens on behalf of their Democrat Darius.

The best part is: they already have the purple shirts.

The Seven Causes Of Pain And Poor Health

We all experience pain, illness and disease. And we know that there are many reasons for this—some of which we have control over and some we don’t. But did you know that most people’s poor health is commonly caused by seven factors?

These factors include: imbalances, climate, emotions, diet, activity level, stress and sexual activity. Of course, this list does not include those serious conditions caused by physical trauma or viruses. However, with regard to our daily aches, pains and ailments the list is an adequate representation of causes. By considering your signs and symptoms in these terms you will be able to identify the causative factors of your pain, illness or disease and administer or receive the proper corrective therapy.

Let’s now look at some of the more prevalent illness-causes that people tend to overlook because they are prone to them every day.

1. General Imbalances
Pain, illness or disease in the body are the result of either an excess of something (e.g., too much alcohol or sex), a deficiency of something (e.g., not enough calcium or iron in the blood), or a stagnation of something (e.g., muscle spasm or constipation). The main point of any wellness program, then, should be to identify and to correct the imbalance(s). Moderation is the key, in all aspects of life… if wellbeing is to be maintained.

2. The Climate
The six climatic changes found in nature include Wind, Cold, Summer Heat, Damp, Dryness and Fire (mild heat and high heat). Under normal circumstances they do not produce adverse changes in the body. However, each sort of climate does invade the body via the skin, mouth or nose…. and in extremes can cause unbalanced (poor) health.

For example, on damp and rainy days you might feel cold and chilly and pasty; on hot summer days, you risk getting sunstroke or feeling overheated, dehydrated and tired; on cold winter days you can catch a chill, have a runny nose, experience muscle aches and pains. If left untreated (i.e., out of balance), these simple inconveniences may lead to conditions like pain, numbness, nausea and infection.

3. Your Emotions
Emotions play a vital role in both wellness and illness. While emotions are natural and important parts of life, in excess they can be damaging to the body. We are talking here of excessive feelings of joy, anger, melancholy, anxiety, grief, fear and fright.

Under ordinary conditions emotions are normal reactions to events in daily life. However, if emotional frustration is extremely abrupt, intense or persistent, and so exceeds an individual’s normal endurance, it may then produce functional disorders of the organs by upsetting the harmonious balance of energy and blood. At extremes, emotions then become the pathogenic factors, bringing on diseases.

4. Dietary Choices
In terms of diet, a way of life that allows the consumption of too much fatty and sweet food can generate internal heat and result in excessive adipose tissue (fat), phlegm and congestion, cholitis, irritable bowel syndrome.

Excessive consumption of raw or cold food can cause harm to the stomach and spleen. The cold and damp qualities of these foods may lead to the abdominal pain and loose stools.

For more on diet, you can find Dr. Wiley’s articles here, here and here.

5. Physical Activity
Normal levels of physical exertion and exercise are helpful to digestion, the movement of blood and removal of toxins and, of course, the toning of the body. However, excessive physical or mental exertion or over-indulgence in sexual activity or a lack of physical work and exercise may cause illness.

Inadequate physical work and exercise can result in low energy and slower blood flow. These can cause loss of appetite, lassitude and feebleness in the limbs, listlessness, phlegm and damp retention, obesity, as well as shortness of breath, spontaneous sweating and other secondary illnesses.

For more on physical activity, you can see Dr. Wiley’s article here.

6. Stress
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.

For more on stress, you can read Dr. Wiley’s article here.

7. Sexual Activity
Excessive sexual activity undermines the life "essence" and kidneys. The result is general debility with aching and weakness in the lumbar region of the back and in the knees, dizziness, tinnitus, lassitude, hypo-sexuality, nocturnal emissions, premature ejaculation and impotence.

For more on sex you can read Dr. Wiley’s article here.

As you can see from the above examples, there are many things we do and don’t do on a daily basis that tax our health and affect our wellness. We could even say that much of the chronic, daily pain and suffering we experience is, in fact, self-induced. That is, it is caused or made worse by our actions, habits and emotional states.

The good news is, once you understand what is causing your non-life-threatening (yet chronic) health issues and start being mindful of your daily life, you can remove most pain and illness from your life.

—Dr. Mark Wiley