Thad Allen Spits On The 1st Amendment

It’s not just the environment being damaged as the Deepwater Horizon oil well continues to spew crude into the Gulf of Mexico. It’s also the 1st Amendment.

New rules issued last week by the United States Coast Guard prevent the public—and that includes reporters and photographers—from getting within 65 feet of any oil response vessel or booms on the water or beaches. Violators can be fined up to $40,000 and charged with a Class D felony.

Both local and national reporters are complaining that the restrictions prevent them from accurately covering the response to the spill. Response head Thad Allen of the Coast Guard defended the new restrictions by first saying it was for the safety of the public, then changing it to the safety of the workers.

These restrictions are in addition to restrictions on aircraft over the area, and rules that ban the workers from speaking to the media.

Clearly what’s at work here is BP and the Federal government are trying to cover up the lousy job they’re doing with the cleanup. And maybe they’re also covering up some shenanigans as well.

There have been reports of workers suffering from ailments attributed to exposure to the oil and/or chemicals and of sand being dumped on the beaches to cover up tar balls. But getting an accurate picture of what is going on is impossible with the government’s restrictions.

As a candidate, President Barack Obama promised the greatest transparency ever from his administration. But as has been the case with this president since his inauguration, reality is far removed from his campaign rhetoric.

Companies, Activists Reject Taxes And Regulations Of Small Businesses

Companies, activists reject taxes and regulations of small businessesA new bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives to expand sales tax collection on the internet, leading business and anti-tax advocates to protest the measure vigorously.

The proposal, which would result in as much as $23 billion in new taxes, is designed to help state and local governments close budget gaps. However, Tod Cohen, vice president for government relations and deputy general counsel at the online retailer eBay, has said that the measure would increase costs on small business operating online, eliminate jobs and further harm the already weak economy.

"At a time when unemployment rates are high and small businesses across the country are closing shop, we are confident that Congress will protect small internet retailers and the consumers they serve from another internet tax scheme," he stated.

Meanwhile, Americans for Tax Reform have complained that the recently passed healthcare reform bill is showing its first impact in terms of higher taxes as a new 10 percent Federal excise tax on indoor tanning went into effect on July 1.

The organization also stressed that the reform contains some 21 tax hikes, most of them violating President Obama’s electoral campaign pledge not to raise taxes on middle-class families. ADNFCR-1961-ID-19876187-ADNFCR

Unemployment Extension Bill Fails To Pass Once Again

Unemployment extension bill fails to pass once again Just minutes before adjourning for the holiday break, Senate Republicans again killed a $33.9 billion spending bill on June 30 that would have extended unemployment benefits to more than 1.7 million laid-off workers.

GOP leaders have indicated that they are willing to extend aid to the near 10 percent of Americans who are unemployed, but will only do so if the measure is paid for and does not add to the nation’s already ballooning deficit, Fox News reports.

Republicans have proposed that the bill be funded using unspent stimulus money from last year’s economic recovery act, however Democrats note that that money is needed to support various jobs programs.

"We could pass this bill with broad bipartisan support if Democrats would just agree to pay for the spending," said Representative Dave Camp (R-Mich.) "The American people know we must pay for this spending, and the Senate appears to have heard that message."

While Republicans have successfully filibustered the bill several times, most political pundits expect the measure to pass next week when Congress is back in session, according to the Associated Press (AP). After a replacement is named to fill deceased Senator Robert Byrd’s seat, Democrats should have enough votes to pass the bill.

The G-20 Pig-out And What It Means For Gold

Listening to President Barack Obama at the Group of 20 summit in Toronto, Canada, last week reminded me a bit of myself. As a person who has gained, lost and then gained back 100 pounds over the past decade, I have given much consideration to the very best time to start a diet. Without a doubt the answer is always: tomorrow.
For nearly 18 months Obama has been on a spending orgy that would make the Roman Emperor Caligula blush. Yet Obama says that the United States and other nations need to cut spending; just not yet, damn it!

"Because durable growth must also include fiscal responsibility,” said Obama after the G-20, “we agreed to balance the need for continued growth in the short term and fiscal sustainability in the medium term." Then the President added: “We can’t all rush to the exits at the same time, so countries that have surpluses should think about how we can spur growth."

In other words, “Of course I will have that piece of cheesecake.”

This is especially true if you not only think the cheesecake isn’t bad for you, but if you have in fact convinced yourself that you just might die without it.

After offering up $7 trillion in spending to re-flate the economy following the Crash of ’08 you might think that the industrialized nations had already bitten off more than they could swallow. This is apparently not so. The G-20 summit concluded with Big Governments showing their still insatiable spending appetites.

As a native born son I can tell you that nobody knows how to borrow and spend better than Canadians. Prime Minister Stephen Harper proved it by urging advanced and developing countries set aside their differences and spend until it hurts.

Harper bragged after the summit ended that the world will adopt a “carefully calibrated” plan that rightly puts growth and jobs first and then tackles market-rattling deficits in a big way.

Harper advocated what he called the, “continued role for ongoing stimulus in the short term,” adding: “The G-20 still has a lot to do to fully entrench the global recovery.”

In their final communiqué the G-20 leaders said that “strengthening the recovery is the key.” Nevertheless the G-20 leaders agreed to cut deficits in half by 2013 and to put government debt loads on a stable or downward track by 2016.

It all sounds a bit like Kirstie Alley at Thanksgiving dinner.

World’s Biggest Loser
And in case you were wondering, nobody has a bigger appetite to spend than Obama. The President says that he fears an austerity program will choke off the global recovery, inviting another crisis. But even he concedes that ballooning American and European deficits will be pared back eventually (just one last box of chocolates… I swear it).

“We are moving in the same direction,” the President said as the summit came to a close. Exactly what direction that is remains unclear, but I for one think it might require an economic liposuction also known as deflation.

Of course that is all down the road. The good news for the U.S. is that the G-20’s six-year window leaves Obama the latitude to front-load stimulus and bring in austerity later. No doubt that will come sometime after the President’s bid for re-election.

Meanwhile, Washington is currently running a $1.4 trillion deficit, or a number which almost totals 11 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Still the President has said he is determined to keep on spending until we see a permanent economic turnaround. When that will be is anyone’s guess, but one thing is clear: it won’t be easy to stabilize the debt load, much less set it on a downward path. For the 31 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, unemployment now stands at 46 million, up some 50 percent since 2007.

Trillions have already been spent trying to resurrect the global economy and if the G-20 meeting is any indication, world governments are about to double-down on their bet. One has to wonder if even John Maynard Keynes—the father of deficit spending—would recognize what is going on now in his name. Perhaps Keynes would fear that runaway deficits threaten an even worse financial crisis.

Eventually deficits become counterproductive. They cause concern and eventually fear in the credit markets. This will invariably lead to skyrocketing interest rates and despite government’s best intentions, an economic collapse.

Germany—a country whose people are known for their boorish appetites—is urging caution when it comes to more government spending. At the G-20 summit German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned: “It’s not about growth at any price, it’s about sustainable growth.”

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble added: “Nobody can seriously dispute that excessive public debts, not only in Europe, are one of the main causes of the crisis.”

And German Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle threw in his two euro-cents, saying that the U.S. and Europe need to “urgently” slash spending.

Fat chance I say. A doctor at an obese clinic is more likely to stop fat kids tumbling into an abandoned Twinkie truck than the German Bundestag will be at reining in the spending of other G-20 members.

In fact President Obama has staked his reputation and more importantly, his re-election, on more stimulus spending.

The Wall Street Journal writes that the Obama administration is insisting on new stimulus measures—”convincing evidence that they too recognize that the earlier measures failed.

“The administration’s stimulus program has failed. Growth is slow and unemployment remains high. The president, his friends and advisers talk endlessly about the circumstances they inherited as a way of avoiding responsibility for the 18 months for which they are responsible.”

The latest market evidence says that the WSJ is spot on. Consumer confidence is anything but confident. The Dow Industrials are on the edge of a cliff—perched below 10,000 points, while the S&P 500 is at its lowest point since the dark days of October 2009.

And don’t look for any help from our so-called friends at the Federal Reserve. The central bank has already cut the cost of money as close to zero as it can go. In fact, the yield on 10-year Treasury notes has fallen to less than 3 percent, one of the few times in our history.

All in all it’s enough to drive a fella to run out to Wendy’s and buy up Baconators.

But there is something out there that would soothe us a whole lot better than grease. I am talking about gold.

Bullion prices have risen almost 50 percent since I first recommended it to you on this site last summer—even in the wake of last week’s big correction that took place mostly on profit taking and some fears of deflation. Still, I am convinced that Washington’s next flood of money will push the Midas metal higher—much higher—up to $1,800 per ounce within the next year. That makes bullion at $1,200 a bargain.

Most importantly, gold looks to be the only dependable investment out there. Government policies will soon unleash a tidal wave of inflation which will rock the stock and bond markets as well as the banks themselves. The only profitable place, in fact the only sensible place to be fully invested right now is in gold.

I started out by talking about diets. I want to finish up by telling you something my dad said to me about gardening: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is right now.”

Of course it would have been better to have bought more gold sooner. But let’s do the next best thing and buy some today.

Action To Take
Sell all Big Board stocks and all bond instruments this very day and use the funds to buy physical gold. I recommend American Gold Eagles, Canadian Maple Leafs and African Krugerrands. I prefer these because they are stamped in English, have their gold content stamped on them, come in convenient, well-known sizes (1-ounce, half-ounce, quarter-ounce and one-tenth-ounce) and sell at small premiums over the value of their gold content.

Yours for real wealth and good health,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy and Gold

The Showman P.T. Barnum

America’s greatest showman, Phineas T. Barnum, was born on July 5, 1810, in Bethel, Conn. This son of a shopkeeper began his career as an entertainer when, at the age of 25, he charged admission to see a blind and paralyzed former slave, Joice Heth. Barnum claimed the woman was 160 years old and the one-time nurse of George Washington. Of course she was neither.

Barnum became famous for his hoaxes (or, as he preferred to call them, his “humbugs”) at “Barnum’s American Museum” in New York City. In addition to the traditional stuffed animals, Barnum added a series of live acts and “curiosities,” including albinos, giants, midgets, “exotic women” and Fejee the mermaid.

His most famous exhibit was Charles Stratton, better known as “General Tom Thumb,” who began with Barnum when he was just 5 years old (but was passed off as 11). The midget was an excellent showman and imitator. On a tour of Europe he performed for Queen Victoria in London and the Czar of Russia. The success of that tour made Barnum rich and famous.

In 1871 Barnum launched “P.T. Barnum’s Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan & Hippodrome.” It was a traveling amalgamation of circus, menagerie and freak show that he described as “The Greatest Show on Earth.” He later merged with James Bailey to form the Barnum and Bailey Circus. Barnum was a genius at promotion who made his arrival in each area an event, with Jumbo the elephant leading the parade through town to the circus grounds.

After Barnum’s death in 1891 the Barnum and Bailey Circus was acquired by Ringling Brothers, who preserved their name on it to this day.

—Chip Wood

Amid Multiple Crises, Obama's Support Is Tanking

Amid multiple crises, Obama's support is tanking As President Obama grapples with the weak economy, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and a military reshuffling in Afghanistan, his ratings seem to be heading towards an all-time low, according to a new poll.

A survey conducted by Harris Interactive found that in June only 39 percent of Americans approved of Obama’s overall job performance, while 61 percent gave him negative marks. This is a worse result than last month, when 42 percent gave him positive marks, and 58 percent did not approve.

What is more, it appears that the president may be losing support from his base as three in 10 Democrats and Liberals (29 and 20 percent, respectively) are now critical of how he’s handling major issues. Less surprisingly, a whopping 92 percent of Republicans and 86 percent of conservatives feel the same way.

Currently, more moderates disapprove of Obama than not (58 percent).

There are geographical differences in the views regarding the administration’s performance, with 41 and 43 percent of West and East Coast residents, respectively, giving it positive ratings, while 65 percent of residents in the South have expressed the opposite view.

The poll came out just a few days before Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearings began on Capitol Hill. Kagan was nominated by President Obama earlier this year, and has since come under fire from conservatives for her limited legal experience outside of academia and for her political role in the Clinton White House. ADNFCR-1961-ID-19869592-ADNFCR

Drinking Beetroot Juice May Help Lower Blood Pressure

Drinking beetroot juice may help lower blood pressureHypertensive individuals who are looking for a natural way to lower their blood pressure and reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease may want to consider drinking more beetroot juice, according to a new UK study.

Lead investigator Amrita Ahluwalia, professor of vascular biology at Queen Mary’s William Harvey Research Institute, and her colleagues found that participants were able to lower their blood pressure considerably by consuming just 250 milliliters (ml) a day of beetroot juice. The beneficial effects were seen in the first 24 hours.

The researchers also found that patients were able to moderately lower their blood pressure by taking daily nitrate tablets, suggesting that the high nitrate content in beetroot is what may make it the next superfood.

"We showed that beetroot and nitrate capsules are equally effective in lowering blood pressure," said Ahluwalia. "We also found that only a small amount of juice is needed to have this effect, and that the higher the blood pressure at the start of the study the greater the decrease caused by the nitrate."

Another study conducted late last year found that regular consumption of beetroot can also naturally improve stamina by increasing oxygen intake, reports.

The Old Dog And Pony Show

"When the Senate ceases to engage nominees in meaningful discussion of legal issues, the confirmation process takes on an air of vacuity and farce, and the Senate becomes incapable of either properly evaluating nominees or appropriately educating the public."Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, University of Chicago Law Review, 1995.

What a waste of time.”—My next door neighbor’s mother, expressing her disgust at the non-event Kagan’s confirmation hearings became, Thursday afternoon.

Kagan—at least the 1995 edition—is correct. My next door neighbor’s mother is not. But I will elaborate, if only to keep Mrs. <redacted by author>’s enormous husband from strolling over with a brick.

Nearly five years ago, a Findlaw poll stated: “The percentage of Americans who can name all nine current Supreme Court justices, statistically speaking, is zero.” Imagine my shock in learning—from a mathematical standpoint, at least—I didn’t exist.

But I do exist, much to the consternation of more than a few. And I believe—nay—DEMAND a thorough vetting of anyone who’s going to spend the next couple of decades standing this close to my fundamentally inalienable rights. To be fair—neither my next door neighbor’s mom nor her giganto-spouse are in any way derelict in their civic duty; they’re simply revolted by last week’s C-SPAN circus.

Elena Kagan v.2010 is dramatically distant from Elena Kagan v.1995. During last week’s hearings she avoided definitive statements with the kind of agility most television viewers employ to avoid watching Rachel Maddow. She exasperated lame-duck Senator Arlen Specter (R to D-Pa.) to the point that he looked even more basset-houndish than usual. She sidestepped interrogatives regarding her support for partial birth abortion, a procedure right at home in a Freddy Krueger film.

Actually, her confirmation hearings had a rather pungent “air of vacuity and farce.”

Kagan demurred when questioned by Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) regarding her interpretation of congressional authority under the Commerce Clause (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3):

Coburn: If I wanted to sponsor a bill, and it said Americans have to eat three vegetables and three fruits every day and I got it through Congress and that’s now the law of the land, got to do it, does that violate the Commerce Clause?

Kagan: Sounds like a dumb law… But I think that the question of whether it’s a dumb law is different from whether the question of whether it’s constitutional and I think that courts would be wrong to strike down laws that they think are senseless just because they’re senseless.

When Coburn noted that ObamaCare could make such a nightmarish hypothetical a hideous reality, Kagan responded—over the course of a 500 WORD ANSWER (yes, I counted)—that the responsibility to rectify Congressional and Executive breaches of constitutional protections rested with Congress and the Executive branch.

Ms. Kagan—such corrections are positively within the purview of you and your eight future colleagues.

I am troubled by delivering a 4th grade civics lesson to a woman purported to be one of the foremost legal minds of her generation. The judiciary serves as the final line of defense against encroachment upon our civil liberties; whether said encroachment requires a McDonald v Chicago or a Brown v Board of Education.

If Elena Kagan doesn’t understand the basic function of the Federal judiciary, then she is a poor choice indeed to join their ranks. Sadly, because most Americans either don’t know or don’t care—she’s already browsing Wal-Mart’s Justice-on-the-Go collection.

The purpose of senate confirmation hearings is to discover the nature of those who aspire to inhabit the halls of unelected authority. The fact that most of our senators are jacklegs does not relieve the citizenry of OUR responsibility to look over THEIR shoulders. Sometimes, we get to observe Tom Coburn pressing Elena Kagan for a definitive answer to… anything. Sometimes—as the goodly folk of Minnesota found out last week—we get to discover our junior senator ignoring the proceedings while producing an impressive pen-and-ink sketch of Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).

Elena Kagan is likely to be more Ruth Bader Ginsburg than Antonin Scalia. The good news: replacing Stevens with Kagan is not likely to effect a sea change on the Supreme Court. The bad news: Kagan is hardly the last salvo Obama will fire at our personal liberties. We must overcome our revulsion at Washington’s clownish antics. The agenda which produces nominees like Elena Kagan is no laughing matter.

Remember that in November, and again in 2012.

Obama Calls For Federal Immigration Reform, Asks For GOP Support

Obama calls for federal immigration reform, asks for GOP support With Arizona’s new immigration law less than 30 days away from being enacted, President Obama called out Republicans last week, pressuring them to help congressional Democrats develop a comprehensive immigration reform strategy.

"Reform that brings accountability to our immigration system cannot pass without Republican votes," Obama said during his speech at American University. "That is the political and mathematical reality."

The president noted that any further delay in Congressional action would result in a "patchwork" system where individual states create their own laws. Obama again condemned Arizona’s recently passed immigration bill, which he described as an "ill-conceived" measure that has the potential to violate "the rights of innocent American citizens and legal residents."

He added that the law—scheduled to be enacted at the end July—will drive a wedge between law enforcement personnel and the Hispanic community, creating more dangerous communities.

In response to Obama’s speech, Republican leaders said the administration needs to properly secure the border before calling on Congress to pass a Federal reform bill.

"In calling for a massive overhaul of immigration law, the administration is putting the cart before the horse," said Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). "When the house is on fire, you don’t try to fix the plumbing."

"Rather than playing politics with the issue, the administration should listen to the American people and secure the border," he added.

Obama was recently criticized by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and Texas Governor Rick Perry for only deploying 1,200 National Guard troops to help improve border security. Brewer and Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) asked for a minimum of 6,000 troops.

How To Stretch… Correctly!

Regular stretching is necessary for optimal health. The cause of many avoidable aches and pains is lack of suppleness and excess tightness in the muscles. Not stretching is a problem, yet stretching the incorrect way is also a problem.

Many athletes and active people stretch before or after their activity yet still experience muscle pulls and tendon tears. The problem is they’ve been taught the wrong way to stretch since childhood. Incorrect stretching can lead to pulls and tears of muscles, tendons and ligaments. And most people, when they feel their muscles are painful or tight, will (incorrectly) stretch them more in the hopes of stretching through the problem. But they are only exacerbating it.

In this article I am going to give you guidelines for stretching correctly. I will explain two different methods to do so: one for lay people who want to feel good and the other for more active people or athletes whose activities require flexibility.

Stretching To Feel Good
For people with any kind of localized or general acute or chronic pain, stretching is a must. Sitting on a chair all day—whether at a desk, in a car or on the couch—leads to shortening of various muscles in the body.

The position of sitting often shortens the piriformis muscles, which lie underneath the gluteus muscles. Tightened piriformis can make the pelvis rotate off center, which can cause hip pain, leg pain and low back pain. Sitting slouched on the sofa or chair can cause pain across the mid back rhomboids and also the levator scapula and trapezius muscles. Sleeping with your head placed incorrectly or typing or reading while looking down can cause tightening of the many neck muscles.

The simple fact is that even without engaging in athletic activities, the muscles of the body tighten as a result of our daily activities. And chronic tightening can cause chronic pain, tension and soreness. Stretching is the answer.

Stretching for the purposes of wellness (as opposed to athletic activity) should be done slowly, rhythmically and quietly. In this regard you stretch to feel good, not to gain flexibility. Here are the guidelines:

  1. Isolate the muscle or muscle group you want to stretch.
  2. Find the position where you feel the very first sign of tightening or pulling in the muscle group.
  3. Remain still and wait patiently for that sensation to disappear.
  4. Only then do you lean or bend further in the direction of the stretch.
  5. Again feel the first sign of the stretch, and repeat the steps above.

There are many good books on the market that give the positions for stretching. Most of them should suffice, as long as there is no undue pressure put on any joint. You are probably safe doing some basic techniques you already know. To stretch correctly you must not rush, must not push to where it hurts and you must patiently await the muscle’s natural release of tension.

Stretching For Flexibility
Athletes often injure themselves by stretching improperly. Either they warm up a bit before engaging in their activity and then stretch afterward, or they stretch too much in the beginning and not enough at the end of it.

It is imperative that athletes warm up thoroughly and then stretch properly prior to the activity and after the activity. Athletes must warm up to stimulate blood flow and increase body temperature to allow the muscles to become supple.

Then stretching to elongate the muscle resting length can begin so the activity does not tear anything. After the activity the athlete should stretch in order to soothe the muscles and help prevent them from cramping.

Sounds time consuming, I know, but doesn’t chronic pain take more time from you?

For athletes I recommend a method of stretching called muscle energy technique (MET). This is similar to proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF), but is not as rigorous and potentially damaging to the athlete if done incorrectly. And remember, correct stretching is what is important. Here’s what you do:

  1. Isolate the muscle or muscle group you want to stretch.
  2. Find the position where you feel the very first sign of tightening or pulling in the muscle group.
  3. Apply resistance for that muscle in the opposite direction you are trying to stretch into.
  4. Only apply 20 percent of your strength in the resistance. Maintain a steady pressure at that level for seven to 14 seconds.
  5. Release the resistance, but do not allow your stretching limb to change position by either flexing or extending. Wait five seconds.
  6. Slowly glide deeper into your stretch, until you feel the next level of pull, and repeat the above steps.

While many of the MET stretches require a partner, enough of them can be done alone. Since PNF stretches are gaining more publicity these days you can pick up a book or video on them. But use the MET method above.

Essentially they are the same, but PNF requires more force for a longer duration and from deeper positions. MET is the way to go, especially if you are not properly trained in PNF and want to avoid injuries. Moreover, simply relaxing into the stretch is too time consuming for athletes who need the extra time to warm up and cool down.

—Dr. Mark Wiley

Cigarette Taxes Go Up As States Seek To Close Budget Gaps

Cigarette taxes go up as states seek to close budget gaps Plagued by ballooning budget deficits, five states across the nation raised cigarette taxes on July 1 in an effort to close those gaps. However, opponents argue that this approach may be counterproductive, as it may cost businesses more in terms of lost sales.

The affected states are New York —where the increase has been the highest, from $1.60 to $4.35 per pack—Hawaii (40 cents to $3), New Mexico (75 cents to $1.66 ), South Carolina (50 cents to 57 cents) and Utah ($1 to $1.70).

Many local politicians chose to stress the alleged health benefits of smoking cessation, which some believe will come about as a result of the taxes. This has been echoed by Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, which called the measure a win-win for the states.

"These actions… are a huge victory for the nation’s health that will save many lives and billions of dollars in tobacco-related healthcare costs," said Matthew L. Myers, the campaign’s president.

However, critics counter that the tax hike will jeopardize businesses while having a negligible effect on public health. In particular, many believe that smokers will simply travel to neighboring states or order cigarettes online.

For instance, Deseret News, a local newspaper in Utah, cited the example of Jeanie’s Smoke Shop in Salt Lake City that has been forced to shut down this week after decades in business because of dwindling numbers of customers put off by higher taxes on cigarettes, pipe tobacco and cigars.ADNFCR-1961-ID-19869572-ADNFCR

Obama Responds Harshly To Boehner's Critique Of Proposed Financial Reform Bill

Obama responds harshly to Boehner's critique of proposed financial reform bill An incensed President Obama attacked House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) last week, blasting the Republican lawmaker for his recent critique of the financial reform bill currently being debated in Congress.

In a recent interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Boehner compared the pending financial regulatory bill to "killing an ant with a nuclear weapon."

While speaking at a town hall meeting in Racine, Wis., Obama called out the Ohio Representative for trivializing the impact that the recent financial crisis has had on the country.

"That’s what he said—he compared the financial crisis to an ant," Obama said. "This is the same financial crisis that led to the loss of nearly 8 million jobs."

"He can’t be that out of touch with the struggles facing the American people, he should come here to Racine and ask people if they think the financial crisis was an ant," he added.

Boehner later said his metaphor was not an assessment of the financial crisis, but rather a critique of the proposed legislation, which he believes will hand over too much control to the Federal government.

Dark Chocolate Consumption May Help Moderately Lower Blood Pressure

Dark chocolate consumption may help moderately lower blood pressure Results of a comprehensive new meta-analysis confirm the results of earlier studies that suggest the moderate consumption of dark chocolate may help hypertensive patients naturally lower their blood pressure.

The research, conducted by a team of investigators from the University of Adelaide in Australia, pooled together the findings of 15 separate studies that looked into the health benefits associated with flavanols, the main compounds found in dark chocolate and other cocoa products.

After combining the results of the respective trials, lead author Karin Ried and her colleagues found that hypertensive individuals who consumed small amounts of dark chocolate—while maintaining a healthy caloric intake—were able to lower their blood pressure by as much as 5 percent.

"Flavanols have been shown to increase the formation of endothelial nitric oxide, which promotes vasodilation and consequently may lower blood pressure," said Ried.

"We’ve found that consumption can significantly, albeit modestly, reduce blood pressure for people with high blood pressure but not for people with normal blood pressure," she added.

In terms of blood pressure reduction, eating small amounts of dark chocolate is comparable to 30 minutes of physical activity, according to the researchers.

However, Ried warns that effectiveness of dark chocolate as a long-term treatment option for high blood pressure has still yet to be confirmed.

Declaration Of Independence

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton

North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton

John Hancock

Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton

George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross

Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris

New Jersey
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple

Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:

Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery

Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott

New Hampshire
Matthew Thornton

40 Miles Deep

In the past we have sought to demonstrate how inflation (devaluation) of the currency is the perfect crime.

We said that your paper money can be inflated (devalued) to zero even if it is locked in a concrete vault 40 miles deep and no one knows where it is. You may think it is safe and secure and that it is your stored currency paper money, but little by little its value declines.

The money creators (those who print paper money) can steal the purchasing power of your paper money no matter where it is. All they have to do is pour more water in the milk—dilute the value of all paper money by printing more.

What if you have gold and silver in a vault buried 40 miles deep? Well, as the money creators destroy the value of your paper money as we described, the value of your gold and silver increases in value, as related to the depreciating paper money.

Your gold and silver appreciates and gains in value even buried deep in your vault with no risk and no interest. It is safe from manipulation.

Bankers say gold (which they hate) is a very poor investment because it pays no interest. They don’t say that it gains in value as paper money is depreciated. So holding gold and silver is the ultimate asset/investment during times like now when governments all debauch their own currencies.

Cash pays no interest and it depreciates. There is no risk to holding gold. There is great risk in holding paper money (cash). You own your gold. The money creators own your paper money.

How long will the Keynesian central planners last? No matter what these people do or how much they destroy or steal, they still believe that they can create an eternal boom.

At the present time there is a deflationary process going on in the private economy. In trying to prevent liquidation Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Company are forcing more “money” into circulation on a massive scale.

“The people’s real debts are heavier than 1929, heavier than 1932, heavier than ever before in history but their real income and real wealth are less,” according to economist Heinz Blasnik.

But nothing has changed. The same mistakes are compounding which caused the last crash. Money printing and credit expansion is the only thing Keynesians know.

At the same time the power elite are aggressively moving toward destroying private business with controls, taxes and bureaucratic harassment. Government is doing what it always does. It destroys value and production.

I do not believe that things just happen. If we back off and look at the whole picture we see organized chaos that will end with all substantial wealth transferred to the power structure. Only a few will preserve their assets.

The political order has the appearance of insanity which is the perfect cover for a hidden agenda. The next crash will be much greater than previous crashes and will probably be fatal.

Has anyone stopped to think that all modern booms are inflationary illusions? Even though the economic undertow at this time is deflation, massive quantitative easing—money printing—plus unprecedented spending by the political administration has so far kept monetary inflation going.

Bernanke knows more than anyone that the Fed by itself can create inflation. The fox is in charge of the henhouse.

We should not look to future for default, for it is happening now. We should prepare for the worst outcome.

There is no certainty as to when. But this regime could go on for months or even years should an intervening bull market occur, though it would be another false one based on the massive inflow of newly-printed money. It should be obvious, however, that risks are at an all-time high.

This is why we have for several years recommended the accumulation of precious metals, stored food and Swiss annuities… and continue to do so.

Sessions Questions Kagan's Stance On The Military

Sessions questions Kagan's stance on the military Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) challenged Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan last week after she justified her decision to limit military recruiters’ access to Harvard Law School students during her tenure as dean.

Kagan has been heavily criticized over the last month for her decision to ban military recruitment personnel from the law school’s career office due to her condemnation of the "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy, which bans openly gay individuals from serving in the military.

During their somewhat heated exchange, Kagan told Sessions that military recruiters had access to students "every single day [she] was dean," adding that she "reveres" those that serve in the armed forces.

In response to her denial of creating an anti-military climate on Harvard’s campus, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee openly questioned Kagan’s assessment of the situation.

"I’m just a little taken aback by the tone of your remarks because it is unconnected to reality," he said. "I know you acted without legal authority to reverse Harvard’s policy and deny those military people access to campus until you were threatened by the U.S. government [with] loss of Federal funds."

Sessions added that Kagan took steps as dean to treat former and current members of the military in a "second class way."

Kagan Calls Supreme Court Ruling On Gun Ban 'Binding Precedent,' Offers Few Insights On Own Views

Kagan calls Supreme Court ruling on gun ban 'binding precedent,' offers few insights on own views Under questioning from her Senate confirmation panel, United States Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan expressed her acceptance of the highest court’s recent decision to overturn the long-standing Chicago gun ban.

Pressed by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Monday’s 5-4 decision, Kagan replied that she considered it to be "a binding precedent," according to media reports.

"Once the court has decided a case, it is binding precedent," the Solicitor General explained. She later specified that Supreme Court rulings become "settled law, entitled to all the weight precedent usually gets," quoted by The New York Times.

Despite this statement, many conservatives have said they do not trust Kagan’s commitment to the Second Amendment rights, and have called on the Senate Judiciary Committee to veto her nomination.

In fact, several Republicans on the committee, such as Senator John Kyl (R-Ariz.), have expressed their concern that she would become an activist judge—prone to legislating from the bench—citing the fact that she clerked for Justice Thurgood Marshall, who was instrumental in the major civil-rights era Supreme Court decisions. ADNFCR-1961-ID-19866550-ADNFCR

SAF Files Gun Rights Lawsuit In North Carolina

SAF files gun rights lawsuit in North CarolinaCritics of the recent Supreme Court ruling that struck down Chicago’s handgun ban as unconstitutional have expressed concerns that the decision may open floodgates to lawsuits across the country. In fact, there are early signs that this may already be happening.

On the same day that the highest court’s opinion was announced, The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) filed a Federal lawsuit in North Carolina, which is asking for a permanent injunction against Governor Beverly Perdue as well as local officials and governments from declaring states of emergency that might lead to private citizens’ being denied their right to bear arms.

According to the filing, state statutes that ban individuals from carrying weapons and ammunition during states of emergency violate the Constitution.

"We intend to show that state emergency powers statutes that allow government officials to suspend fundamental civil rights are unconstitutional and should be nullified," said SAF founder and executive vice president Alan Gottlieb.

He added that "citizens do not surrender their civil rights just because of a natural or man-made disaster."

The SAF was joined in the suit by Grass Roots North Carolina, a local gun rights organization, and three private citizens. ADNFCR-1961-ID-19866557-ADNFCR

Vitamin D Linked To Improved 'Mental Agility' Among Seniors

Vitamin D linked to improved 'mental agility' among seniors The body of scientific evidence supporting vitamin D supplementation expanded last week with the release of a new study linking the nutrient to improved cognitive function among the elderly.

Home dwelling seniors often suffer from vitamin D deficiencies because of limited sun exposure, low-nutrient diets and poor renal function.

For the study, lead author Katherine Tucker, of the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, and her colleagues recruited more than 1,000 participants between the ages of 65 and 99 who were receiving home care.

The investigators did blood work to determine each respondent’s vitamin D levels, and then classified them as sufficient, deficient of insufficient.

The 35 percent of participants who had adequate nutrient levels performed remarkably better on cognitive performance tests than those in the other two groups. These examinations assessed a patient’s perceptual complexity, cognitive flexibility and reasoning.

After taking into account risk factors for cognitive decline, such as age and other mental health conditions, the link between sufficient vitamin D levels and superior neurological function remained.