FBI Report: Gun Ownership Is Up, Violent Crime Is Down

FBI report: Gun ownership is up, violent crime is downPolitical debate over hot-button issues has escalated as the midterm elections draw near, and a candidate's position on gun control can go a long way in deciding his or her fate in November.

Opponents of gun control legislation have new fodder in their efforts to uphold the Second Amendment following the FBI's report that violent crime in the United States has declined for the third straight year. The bureau revealed that, despite rising trends in gun sales and more citizens carrying firearms for personal protection, crime rates are down across the board.

Incidents of murder dropped approximately 7 percent from 2008 to 2009, while robberies fell 8 percent and aggravated assault dropped by 4 percent.

"[The gun ban lobby's] predictions that America's streets would run red have been shown up as a fraudulent sales pitch for public disarmament," said Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Proponents of the Second Amendment scored a major victory in June when the Supreme Court affirmed the fundamental right to bear arms, The Washington Post reported. The ruling, however, did not strike down any existing gun control laws or specify what kind of laws would violate the Constitution.

CIA, CFR, Bilderberg Ties To The Ground Zero Mosque

It has become patently obvious the Ground Zero Cordoba House mosque is a CIA-backed, One World Government-inspired plot designed to jinn up Americans’ anger at Muslims and increase support for the global war on terror.

Reporting for The New York Observer, Mark Ames tied together the links between the mosque, the CIA and the U.S. military establishment.

One of the mosque’s main financial backers is 52-year-old New Yorker R. Leslie Deak. Deak donated $98,000 to the nonprofit Cordoba Initiative between 2006 and 2008. Deak is a “business consultant” for Patriot Defense Group, LLC, a private defense contractor for the CIA and U.S. military. The secretive organization doesn’t even list the names of its management team but describes them as former Special Forces, former CIA, former State Department and former Secret Service.

The Observer also notes Deak’s strong ties to Mark Treanor, the former general counsel for Wachovia Bank which was fined $160 million for laundering Mexican drug money while Treanor was there.

Additionally, Deak’s father Nicholas was a former top intelligence commander for the OSS (the forerunner of the CIA) and his company, Deak-Perera — which at one time was one of the world’s largest foreign currency and gold dealers — was accused in 1984 of laundering Columbian drug cartel money. The elder Deak was murdered at the company headquarters in 1985.

The article also ties together the links between Leslie Deak and Goldline International, the company that sponsors Glenn Beck’s radio show, his FoxNews television show and some other neo-conservative, pro-war pundits. Of course, FoxNews is partially owned by Saudi Arabian Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, who also funds projects for the mosque’s front man, Imam Rauf.

Deak’s Deak Family Foundation is also a supporter of the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA), of which Rauf is a part. The ASMA is financially supported by, among others, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Rockefeller Brothers, Rockefeller Philanthropy and Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

Rauf, has worked as an FBI “consultant” and was recruited by former President George W. Bush advisor and confidant Karen Hughes to lead the administration’s Middle East propaganda efforts. Rauf is also an active member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

All this ties the whole operation to the CIA, the CFR, the Bilderberg Group and the military-industrial complex.

The CIA and the military-industrial complex stand to gain billions of dollars from a continuation of the global war on terror which gains support from this manufactured controversy. Meanwhile the CFR and the Bilderbergers and their global elite friends have a powerful issue that takes momentum away from the rising tide of patriotism and political awakening of the masses that’s been harming their globalist agenda.

Antioxidants Help Joint Conditions

Antioxidants help joint conditions Each day, millions of parents across the country tell their children to eat their broccoli. However, a new study suggests that these parents should be following their own advice, as antioxidants in the vegetable may help support joint health.

Researchers from the University of East Anglia in the UK found that a compound in broccoli — sulforaphane — inhibits the production of enzymes that that cause damage to joints. The body produces these enzymes in larger quantities as individuals grow older.

Ian Clark, who led the investigation, said that the worldwide population is growing older and he expects the number of individuals suffering from joint problems to increase dramatically in the near future. These issues are among the leading causes of loss of mobility and disability in the world.

However, consuming higher levels of antioxidant-rich broccoli may help this aging population avoid some of these problems. Billions of dollars are spent each year on expensive drugs and joint replacement surgeries. However, proper nutrition may make some of these procedures unnecessary, Clark said.

Some Highlights From A Trip To London

*One for the record books. During a trip to London last month I managed to earn a place in the Guinness Book of World Records — for a day. And the interesting thing is you can do it, too. How? By attending a performance of Agatha Christie’s wonderful mystery, The Mousetrap. It’s the longest-running play in the history of British theater, so each performance sets another world record. I attended the 24,057th performance… and was promptly replaced in the record books the next night.

*When the Queen’s away. Another highlight of that trip was visiting 19 of the State Rooms in Buckingham Palace. This is only possible when the Queen is out of town in the summer. If you’re ever in London when the public can visit, put this high on your must-do list. It was a phenomenal experience. But get your ticket in advance; the queue for walk-ins was two and half hours long when I was there.

*Does that bridge have a captain? Another experience from that trip I will remember for a long time was seeing the city of London from a ship cruising the Thames River. As we passed under the Tower Bridge, our guide explained that it is the only bridge in the world that is insured by Lloyd’s of London as a ship. When I asked him how that came to be, he said he didn’t know. I researched the answer when I got home. But rather than spoil your fun, I’ll let you dig out the explanation on your own.

*Who are they trying to kid? And my last London experience I’ll mention today occurred while I was strolling the streets and back alleys in the West End where there are more venues for live theater than Broadway. Walking along the Strand, I came across a large plate-glass window with a huge display titled, “Zimbabwe — Moving Forward.” I wondered who was responsible for this ridiculous propaganda, but in two more steps I had the answer — it was the Zimbabwe consular office in London. That’s some mighty expensive real estate for an impoverished, bankrupt country. But as George Orwell explained so well in Animal Farm, under socialism some pigs live a lot better than others.

— Chip Wood

Welfare Costs For Children Of Illegal Immigrants Rise In Los Angeles

Several conservative politicians have recently voiced their opposition against amnesty for illegal immigrants, citing the draining effect it could have on the already-reeling economy.

The most populous county in the United States is feeling those financial pains, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Welfare payments to children of illegal immigrants in Los Angeles County increased to $52 million in July, a total that represents 23 percent of the county’s entire welfare and food stamp assistance, the news provider reported. Projections show that the aid toward children of illegal immigrants will exceed $600 million this year, approximately $30 million more than the county spent last year.

County Supervisor Michael Antonovich would like to see a decrease in assistance for the offspring of illegal immigrants.

"The supervisor is very concerned," said Tony Bell, a spokesman for Antonovich, quoted by the Times. "He believes we have an economic catastrophe on our hands."

Under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, children born on American soil — even if their parents are illegal immigrants — are automatically granted citizenship. However, according to a recent poll that asked Americans about birthright citizenship, nearly half of those surveyed said they oppose it.

The Quinnipiac University poll reveals that 48 percent are against the policy, and 45 percent are in favor, quoted by The Associated Press.ADNFCR-1961-ID-19940727-ADNFCR

Do The Democrats Have A Reason To Cheer Tea Party Victory?

Do the Democrats have a reason to cheer Tea Party victory?On Sept. 14, the last big round of this year’s primaries was held from the District of Columbia to Wisconsin. It appears that, once again, ultra-conservatives managed to trump mainstream Republicans in many states, but some commentators fear this may be good news for the Democrats.

Among the most closely watched elections were those held in Delaware and New York. In the first, a relative newcomer Christine O’Donnell, backed by the Tea Party, upset a nine-term congressman Mike Castle. In the second, Carl Paladino, also supported by the grassroots movement, defeated GOP favorite Rick Lazio in the gubernatorial race, and will run against Democrat Andrew Cuomo, the son of a former governor.

Initial reactions from mainstream Republicans — including former George W. Bush strategist Karl Rove — suggest the party may seek alternative candidates to support.

Rove told Fox News that O’Donnell has said too many "nutty things" that "simply don’t add up," and expressed his opinion that " this is not a race we’re going to be able to win."

However, in her victory speech the newly minted Senate nominee was upbeat.

"A lot of people said we can’t win the general election; yes we can!" she said, adding — in a thinly veiled reference to mainstream Republicans — that "it will be hard work, but we can win if those same people who fought against me work just as hard for me."ADNFCR-1961-ID-19940755-ADNFCR

Snoops In The Trash

Government snoops are now checking your garbage and there’s no end the mischief that can lead to.

Local municipalities have begun putting low-power radio frequency identifiers (RFIDs) in garbage cans to monitor their resident’s recycling efforts. If some government bureaucrat decides you aren’t making enough recyclable trash you’ll receive a $100 fine in Cleveland.

Other municipalities are jumping on the “Green” bandwagon. Some are raising garbage collection rates to pay for the new technology that monitors whether you a separating your papers and plastics. Among the cities now monitoring your trash are Charlotte, N.C., Boise, Idaho, Flint, Mich., Dayton, Ohio, and Alexandria, Va. Not all of them have implemented a system of fines, but all say they want to use them “educate” residents on how to recycle.

Of course, governments aren’t interested in whether you are being responsible and recycling your waste… just money and power. The new technology is expensive. In Cleveland the new bins with the microchips cost $2.5 million and it will take 15 years to recoup the costs. In just a few years the technology will be outdated but Cleveland will still be trying to pay for its investment.

There are many problems with this idea. First, to pay for the technology municipalities are hitting residents with more fees they can ill afford and see the fines as a new revenue stream for their strapped budgets. Second, the idea that some under worked bureaucrat can sit in an office and determine whether you are producing enough plastic bottles or aluminum cans to satisfy some pinhead’s model for a certain family size should cause concern.

It may be that your family has sworn off soft drinks to avoid government-approved, diabetes-causing high fructose corn syrup. Or, it could be that you’ve installed a water filtration system in your home and are not using bottled water. Either way, in Cleveland at least, being responsible will cost you a $100 fine… there’s that $2.5 million investment to consider.

And the privacy concerns here are myriad. Government can determine you drink too much or eat too much junk food. It can know whether you’re smoking in your home, and what brand you use. Every item you purchase that has wrapping and a label will be open for inspection. Big Brother can learn everything there is to know about you just by going through your trash.

With government in charge of your healthcare under Obamacare, that knowledge can go a long way toward determining whether you get treatment or not. It could easily decide that smokers, drinkers, someone with a chronic health problem or gun owners don’t deserve life-extending treatment.

Now municipalities have vans that peer through walls and microchips in your garbage bins.

And Winston Smith in 1984 was worried about what the telescreen saw and heard…

Conservatives Blast GOP, Cheer Tea Party Success

Conservatives Blast GOP, Cheer Tea Party SuccessTuesday’s slew of Tea Party candidates’ primary victories may have stunned and upset some Republicans, but there are many conservatives who have been energized by these results. They have also blasted GOP leaders for not understanding how angry and disappointed many voters are with their policies.

Among the most vocal activists was Richard A. Viguerie, chairman of ConservativeHQ.com, who said that leaders such as Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and John Boehner (R-Ohio) have lost control of the Republican Party and are about to be unseated by grassroots constitutional conservatives.

“All across the country Americans feel betrayed by Republican politicians,” Viguerie stated, adding that the recent primaries “show that the grassroots anger is directed at more than just the Obama-Reid-Pelosi Democrats.”

Family Research Council (FRC) Action representatives expressed similar views, saying that conservative voters have had enough of moderate Republican candidates who “don’t stand for anything.”

FRC Action is scheduled to hold its annual Values Voter Summit this weekend and has invited Christine O’Donnell, the newly elected GOP Senate nominee and Tea Party-supported candidate from Delaware, to deliver a speech at the event.

Do You Really Know The Constitution?

Today is Constitution Day — a day specifically designated by an Act of Congress when Americans are supposed to honor the remarkable document that created our system of government. The date was chosen because the Constitution was approved at the original Constitutional Convention on Sept. 17, 1787.

The act that created Constitution Day mandates that all publicly-funded educational institutions provide educational programming on the history of the American Constitution on that day. Let’s see how well the schools have done their job.

Ask a recent high school or college graduate to take the following brief quiz. I’ll be interested to hear how many of the 20 questions he or she answers correctly.

And be sure to take the quiz yourself. Even if you score 100 percent, it’s good to be reminded of some of the fundamental principles upon which our country was founded. The quiz was compiled by an old friend, John McManus, who is president of the John Birch Society. Thanks, John, for permission to share this with my readers today.

  1. Has the Constitution always guided our country?
  2. What are the three branches of government named in the Constitution?
  3. Does the Constitution allow the Supreme Court to make law?
  4. Does the Constitution empower the President to make law?
  5. Does the Constitution give the Federal government any power in the field of education?
  6. Where in the Constitution is there authorization to dispense foreign aid?
  7. Did the Constitution give the Federal government power to create a bank?
  8. Can the provisions of a treaty supersede the Constitution?
  9. Does the Constitution allow a President to take the nation into war?
  10. Can you name any of the four crimes mentioned in the Constitution?
  11. Should the Bill of Rights be considered part of the original Constitution?
  12. According to the Constitution, how can a President and other national officers be removed from office?
  13. How many amendments have been added to the Constitution?
  14. How is an amendment added to the Constitution?
  15. Does the Constitution say anything about illegal immigration?
  16. Is the term of a President limited by the Constitution?
  17. Which part of the Federal government holds “the power of the purse”?
  18. Does the Constitution provide a method for expelling a member of Congress?
  19. How many times is the word “democracy” mentioned in the Constitution?
  20. Does the Bill of Rights grant the people free speech, freedom of the press, the right to possess a weapon, etc?

It wasn’t as easy as you thought it would be, was it? Here are the answers, also as provided by McManus.

  1. No. Originally the nation functioned under the Continental Congress and the Articles of Confederation. Eleven years after the Declaration of Independence the Constitution was written, agreed to and sent to the states for ratification. When ratified by nine states (as the document itself prescribed), the Constitution was declared to be the new governmental system. That occurred on Sept. 13, 1788. The new government was ordered to be convened on March 4, 1789.
  2. Legislative, Executive and Judicial.
  3. No. The very first sentence in the Constitution states: "All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States….” Any Supreme Court decision is the law of the case that binds only the plaintiff and the defendant. The meaning of the word “all” has not been changed.
  4. No. Executive Orders issued by the President that bind the entire nation are illicit because, as noted above, “All legislative powers” are possessed by Congress. An Executive Order that binds only the employees of the Federal government (such as granting a holiday) is proper because the President should be considered to be the holder of power much like that possessed by the CEO of a company. But the entire nation is not in the employ of the President.

    The President does have a role in lawmaking with his possession of a veto. He can veto a measure approved by Congress (which can be overturned by a two-thirds vote in each house of Congress), or simply allow it to become law by doing nothing within 10 days, “Sundays excepted.”

  5. No. The Constitution contains no mention of any power “herein granted” in the field of education.
  6. No such authorization appears in the Constitution.
  7. No. Congress was granted power to “coin money,” meaning it was to have the right to create a mint where precious metal could be stamped into coinage of fixed size, weight and purity. There is no Constitutional authority for the Federal government to have created the Federal Reserve.
  8. Absolutely not. Thomas Jefferson responded to those who consider treaty-making power to be “boundless” by stating, “If it is, then we have no Constitution.”
  9. It does not. The sole power to declare the nation at war is possessed by Congress. Congress last used this power at the beginning of World War II, when war was declared on Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor. (Germany declared war on the U.S. the next day.) A congressional vote to authorize the President to enforce United Nations Security Council resolutions should never be considered a substitute for a formal declaration of war.
  10. The four crimes mentioned are: Treason, bribery, piracy and counterfeiting.
  11. Many do hold that view because if the promise to add a Bill of Rights had not been made during the ratification process, some states would not have ratified the Constitution.
  12. The President and other high officers of the Federal government can be impeached by a majority in the House and tried by the Senate. Impeachment does not constitute removal; it should be considered the equivalent of an indictment that must be followed by a trial. Two-thirds of the Senators “present” must approve removal at the subsequent trial to effect removal.
  13. There are 27. The first 10 (the Bill of Rights) can be considered part of the original Constitution. Amendment 18 was repealed by Amendment 21. This means that, in 223 years, only 15 other amendments have been added. The process was deliberately made difficult to keep anything dangerous or silly from being added to the Constitution in the heat of passion.
  14. Congress can propose an amendment when two-thirds of both Houses of Congress vote to do so. Any proposed amendment must then by ratified by the legislature or a convention in three-quarters of the States. Amendments can also be proposed by a Federal Constitutional convention called by two-thirds of the States. Any amendment arising from a Constitutional convention must also be ratified by the legislature or a convention in three-quarters of the states.
  15. Not directly. But Article IV, Section 4 assigns to the Federal government the duty “to protect each of them [the States] from invasion.” It does not specify that the invasion must be military. When 12 million people enter our nation illegally, it is an invasion that should be repelled by the Federal government.
  16. Yes. In 1951, Amendment 22 was added to the Constitution to limit any President to two terms. The only President who served longer than two terms was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who held office during a fourth four-year term. He died in April 1945 shortly after beginning his 13th year in office.
  17. The House of Representatives. Article I, Section 7 states: “All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives….” If a majority in the House (218 of its 435 members) refuses to originate a bill to raise revenue for something, then no funds can be spent on that activity.
  18. Two-thirds of each House has the authority to expel any of its members for cause even though the member has been elected by voters.
  19. The word “democracy” does not appear in the Constitution. Our nation is a Constitutional Republic, not a Democracy. The Founders feared Democracy (unrestricted rule by majority) and favored a Republic (rule of law where the law limits the government). James Madison wrote: “…. Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”
  20. No. The Declaration of Independence, which provides the philosophical base of our nation, states very clearly that our rights are granted to us by our Creator. The various rights noted in the Bill of Rights were not granted by government. The purpose of the Bill of Rights is to prevent the Federal government from suspending any of those God-given rights, including the right to possess a weapon. Those who claim “Second Amendment rights,” for instance, make a big mistake with such a statement. If the right is granted by the Second Amendment, meaning by government, it can be taken away by government. If the right is granted by God, only He can take it away.

While every politician pays lip service to the Constitution (the President, Vice President, and every member of Congress take an oath to “preserve and protect” it), the sad truth is that vast majority of actions taken by the Federal government are not authorized by the Constitution.

I have heard it said that, if the Constitution were fully and honestly enforced today, the Federal government would be 20 percent of its present size and would cost 20 percent of its present budget. I think those numbers are an exaggeration; I suspect the truth would be closer to 10 percent.

Just imagine: No foreign aid, no Departments of Education, Housing, Health, Agriculture or Homeland Security. No commissions, bureaucratic monstrosities or other meddlesome agencies that “harass our people and eat out their substance.” (That’s an actual indictment of King George from the Declaration of Independence.)

What would this country be like if the Constitution were fully and honestly enforced? I hope some day we’ll find out.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

— Chip Wood

Study Finds That Nutrition Is Important To Immune Health

Study finds that nutrition is important to immune health Various studies have shown many benefits to proper nutrition. Antioxidants have been shown to play a role in decreasing the effects of aging, while certain vitamins are believed to decrease the risk of some chronic diseases.

Now, a new study conducted by researchers from Alberta University has found that high levels of nutrients may give a significant boost to the immune system. Researchers said that results could provide an avenue to better health for millions of individuals.

Richard Lamb, who led the study, said that high levels of vitamins and nutrients increases the production of certain amino acids that signal the immune system when the body is under attack from viruses and bacteria.

These amino acids also play a role reducing inflammation throughout the body, which is a factor that increases the risk of heart disease and some cancers. Well-nourished immune cells are vital to this process.

"This is a major work," said Lamb. "If this holds true it shows that one aspect of nutrition that is critical is the level of amino acids."

Who’s Laughing Now?

Tuesday’s edition of The Hill featured a piece by Sam Youngman about a Presidential photo-op in fabulous Fairfax, Va. Entitled “President Obama seeks his inner Bill Clinton and feels voters’ pain,” the piece focused on a White House sojourn to the home of an upper middle class family in the aforementioned suburban enclave.

While my first thought was “at least they didn’t go back to Majorca,” a more intent perusal of the piece revealed a great deal about how our poor President has gotten so lost of late. At one point during the stop-over, Obama actually said he “feels their pain.” Bill Clinton used to say that, as well. Then the GOP dropped an electoral elephant on the Democrats in 1994. The more things “change…”

While Obama’s visit to the home of John Nicholas and Nicole Armstrong was no more or less carefully orchestrated than any other Presidential day trip, his talking points were — sadly — no more or less ludicrous than his other recent economic pronouncements.

Nicholas was noted as having “survived several layoffs at his Internet-services company,” while Armstrong has “recently returned to part-time work… to help pay the family’s bills.” So, while the President’s economic ineptitude has pushed the unemployment rate toward Carter-era numbers, the President went to a hoedown at a home owned by a family earning more than twice the national salary average.

Neither of his hosts is looking for work, nor are they “working” for the Census Bureau (or at any other government-backed make-work jobs the White House has been trying to sneak into the economic stew of late.) And Obama feels our pain? Obama might as well have visited a home which had recently been burglarized… and consoled the next-door neighbors.

During his photo-op, Obama also tried to tout his economic message, touching on his administration’s fight to dim the lights on Bush-era tax relief, a key point in the recent war of words the White House has been trying to wage. One White House spokesmodel suggested the Obama push to punish economic success stories by bumping up upper income tax bracket rates was:

“fight(ing) for the middle class.”

What the mouthpiece didn’t mention was the punitive nature of the Democrats’ frontal tax-assault on the nation’s leading producers. Right now, the top 25 percent of American income earners have to pull the cart for 86 percent of the IRS bill. If the margins go up, that top 25 percent (which includes nearly everyone at Obama’s Fairfax fandango) will have to spend less now to pay more in April. Even the D-students in Econ 101 can tell you taking money out of the economic reservoir lowers the level of the whole lake. More to the point: you don’t bench the varsity for running up the economic score.

But the exhaustive use of exhausted liberal justification for regressive taxes aside; Obama’s visit to the hinterlands actually got weird(er). According to the President:

“Michelle and I always laugh about it when people talk about us—I think they forget that we were basically living the same lives as John and Nicole, just it wasn’t that long ago,” Obama said. “It was, like, six, seven years ago.”

Whee, Presidential jocularity! How refreshing. I suppose we should be glad that our multi-millionaire Commander-in-Chief and his fashion plate wife can look back on their former lives of middle-class drudgery and smile. Pardon me if I don’t join in the fun there, chuckles. Remind me, Mr. Middle-class: Michelle took HOW many people along to Spain? It cost HOW MUCH? And you were dining with OPRAH that week? Then you went BACK to MARTHA’S VINEYARD?

The article dutifully noted that Obama grew up in less luxurious surroundings than the ones he was visiting on Monday (and the ones in which he currently resides). Meaning what—he’s a modern-day Horatio Alger?

I have learned to accept the essential hypocrisy of limousine liberals. But the idea of an extraordinarily wealthy man visiting reasonably wealthy supporters in order to promulgate economic policies which have not only consigned millions of Americans to far less fancy fields than Fairfax, but will also ensure few Americans can reach their level of wealth isn’t humorous; it’s horrific.

Pundits often point to the “disconnect” between Obama and the average citizen. Obama’s recent Fairfax field trip reveals something more sinister than simple separation: The President finds our plight amusing.

Laugh it up, liberals. We saw the same primary results you did. Come November, the joke’s on you.

Storing Water

If you are serious about storing water for an emergency you should make an investment in larger containers. Most containers come in 1-, 5-, 7-, 15-, 30- and 55-gallon sizes. The best choice is the 55-gallon polyethylene (plastic) water drum.

Remember, the average person in an average climate needs at least one gallon of water per day (two quarts for drinking and two quarts for cooking). When you consider that the average person uses 14 gallons in a normal day you realize that cutting back to one gallon per day is truly “roughing it.”

Containers should be stored close to ground level and secured to prevent breakage or possible injury in the event of an earthquake. Containers should be stored away from harmful chemicals or foul-smelling products — especially if stored in plastic which tends to absorb odors. The containers should be elevated a few inches off the ground and rotated annually to ensure freshness.

If you are into recycling, use two-liter pop bottles to store water. Plastic milk jugs are not good containers to use because the plastic will break down over time.

(Source: Emergency Essentials’ Tips For Preparedness)

Despite Missteps And Democratic Attacks, Brewer And Angle Hold Strong

Despite missteps and Democratic attacks, Brewer and Angle hold strong Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Jan Brewer and the GOP nominee in the race for the United States Senate in Nevada, Sharron Angle, have established themselves as controversial and fiercely conservative politicians, but this does not seem to be hurting their poll numbers.

After last week’s infamous performance in an electoral debate, during which Brewer froze and stumbled in her opening statement and later refused to answer questions from reporters, she is still leading her Democratic opponent.

A new poll from Rassmussen Reports shows that the incumbent can count on 60 percent of the vote, against Democratic Attorney General Terry Goddard’s 38 percent. In fact, Brewer scored 57 percent in the same poll two weeks earlier, meaning she gained 3 percent after the debate.

Meanwhile, Nevada’s Angle — who became notorious for her plans to do away with Social Security, Medicare, Department of Education and the IRS, in addition to suggesting that poor people barter with their doctors in exchange for medical care — is in dead heat against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (R-Nev.)

"Independents are buying her economic argument by large margins," said Mason-Dixon pollster Brad Coker, quoted by Las Vegas Review-Journal.

"I think they would be backing her even more if she didn’t have all the baggage that’s giving some people pause," he added.ADNFCR-1961-ID-19940122-ADNFCR

Conservatives To Celebrate Values Summit, But Not Without Controversy

Conservatives to celebrate values summit, but not without controversyWith only weeks before the general elections, both parties are out in force appealing to their core voters. One highly anticipated event is set to take place later this month in Washington, D.C., and feature many prominent conservative leaders.

The fifth annual Values Voter Summit, organized by Family Research Council (FRC) Action, will start on Sept. 17. The three-day conference will include a presidential and vice-presidential straw poll, exhibit hall, book signings as well as new media row sponsored by Media Research Center.

Among the most prominent confirmed speakers scheduled are Governor Bob McDonnell (R-Va.), Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.)and possible 2012 GOP presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney. The event’s other sponsors are American Family Association, Heritage Foundation, American Values and Liberty University.

The most anticipated appearance will be that of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich who will talk about current political climate and assess the chance for GOP gains in November.

However, the event has come under fire because one of the attendees, Bryan Fischer, who is the director of issue analysis for government and public policy at the American Family Association, has compared Muslims to neo-Nazis.

On Nov. 2, all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 37 of the 100 seats in the Senate are up for re-election.ADNFCR-1961-ID-19939977-ADNFCR

Primaries, Upcoming Legislation Reveal Internal GOP Conflicts

Primaries, upcoming legislation reveal internal GOP conflictsIn the heated electoral season and at a time when important fiscal legislation is on Congress’s agenda, there are signs of possible discord within the Republican Party. This has alarmed some observers who worry that this may jeopardize the GOP’s chances in the elections that are its to lose.

In Delaware, Republican Senate candidate Mike Castle lost the Tuesday primaries to Sarah Palin and Tea Party-backed Christine O’Donnell. Media reports suggest the GOP had worked actively to support the nine-term congressman, as it is worried that O’Donnell’s hardline anti-establishment and socially conservative message may cost her support among independents.

"She’s not a viable candidate for any office in the state of Delaware," said the state party chairman, Tom Ross, adding that "she could not be elected dog catcher."

Tensions within the party have also been evident as Congress returned from vacation for the final legislative session before the elections.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), in an attempt to position his party as sensitive to middle-class concerns, said over the weekend that he might back President Barack Obama’s proposal to let the Bush administration’s tax cuts for the richest Americans expire and extend them only for those who make less than $250,000 a year.

However, subsequent reports quoted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as saying he wanted to work to ensure all Americans received tax breaks, regardless of their income.ADNFCR-1961-ID-19940622-ADNFCR

Heart Medications May Cause Malabsorption Of Nutrients

Heart medications may cause malabsorption of nutrientsWhile modern medicine has yielded many life-saving drugs that are capable of turning conditions that were once life threatening into little more than inconveniences, these medications may also rob the body of vital nutrients.

Heart medications are the main offenders. Dr. Mehmet Oz, a professor of surgery at Columbia University and author of several popular books, recently wrote in the Huffington Post that popular medications that are used to treat high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes cause the body to stop absorbing several key nutrients.

Potassium, calcium, zinc, magnesium and coenzyme Q10 are all blocked by these drugs. To make matters worse, Oz wrote that these nutrients are not often found in the most popular nutritional supplements. This means that patients who are taking supplements may still be lacking in key nutrients.

He added that individuals who are taking heart medication should consider starting a regimen of nutritional supplements and improved diet.

The impact of this interference may be twofold. Research from Oklahoma State University has shown that the malabsorption of nutrients may also impact the function of medication, leading to multiple problems.

A Serious Warning About Muni Bonds

“To disrupt our services because we can’t make a bond payment would just be unconscionable. And as a leader I couldn’t do it.”

So explained Linda Thompson, the mayor of Harrisburg, Pa. She was explaining the city’s refusal to repay part ($3.29 million) of the $288 million it owes for an incinerator it bought. The total obligation for the incinerator comes to roughly $6,000 per citizen of the city. It is a debt that can’t be repaid and should have never been lent.

Unless you happen to live in Harrisburg you probably didn’t see this item in your local paper. And you probably wonder why we’d bother writing about it. After all, why should the impending bankruptcy of a small Pennsylvania city matter to you?

It should matter to you because it represents the next leg of the debt crisis — the failure of municipal finance. We were also struck by the logic of the mayor… who clearly views paying the city’s debts as optional.

She knows the state of Pennsylvania will be forced to bail out her city. (If the state doesn’t intervene it will be impossible for any other city in Pennsylvania to issue bonds.) And even if the state refuses, the bonds are insured by Ambac, which means, in the eyes of the mayor, it’s likely that no one will get hurt by her decision.

That’s how a $288 million loss can become irrelevant to an elected local official. Like a subprime borrower living in a house without paying his mortgage, the mayor of Harrisburg thinks paying for its debts is someone else’s problem. She’s bringing Obamanomics to city finance.

We have this warning to offer: When our elected officials no longer care about repaying hundreds of millions of dollars, the entire system of municipal finance is going to collapse. And the damage that’s going to occur will be material to our entire country.

The system that exists today was created in the 1970s. The entire system is predicated on the lie that States won’t allow losses to muni-bond holders. That’s the only reason muni-bonds are insurable: The insurance companies know there will never be a claim. They have no reserves to cover the risk of municipal losses because there have almost never been any. Over the last 40 years, the default rate on investment-grade municipal debt was 0.03 percent, according to the credit-ratings service Moody’s.

You can think of this system as similar to the subprime-credit bubble. No banker in his right mind would loan money to a person with no credit and no job who was buying a house in a slum. But once you took the credit risk away from that banker, he was happy to lend billions on deals like that because the risk became someone else’s problem. Billions in bad debts piled up. Suddenly, it was the banker’s problem again because he’d destroyed the entire system.

The same thing is about to happen in the muni-bond market: Nobody has paid any attention to credit quality because everyone believed the states won’t allow cities to go bust. As a result, a truly stupendous amount of money has been lent to cities — cities that have no hope of ever repaying the debts. Specifically, municipal debt now totals $2.8 trillion — roughly 22 percent of our country’s gross domestic product (GDP). That’s an all-time high. The amount of debt owed by cities has doubled since 2000. And the debts are now too big for individual states to guarantee.

Harrisburg is small potatoes. Mass transit systems are a much, much bigger problem. Almost every local politician in America has promised a subway, a train or a bus to take his constituents to work for next to nothing — but running these systems is incredibly expensive. In Boston, the mass transit authority is now $8.5 billion in debt and has been paying $500 million per year in interest. Does that sound sustainable?

What about all of the stadiums and arenas built over the last 20 years? Politicians love to build these things as part of citywide “revitalization” efforts. But paying for them? That’s somebody else’s problem.

Take the Meadowlands — the football stadium built nearly 40 years ago. It was torn down last year, but it has never been paid for. The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (aka the State of New Jersey) borrowed $302 million to build it and never repaid the debt. Today, it owes more than $800 million and spends $100 million per year on interest for a stadium that no longer exists. California has 380 different local redevelopment agencies which collectively owe $29 billion.

This money will never be repaid.

When I warn people about muni-bonds I always get the same reply: “Governments don’t go broke.” Oh yes, they do. States face a cumulative budget gap of $140 billion in the next year — they don’t have the money to guarantee these debts. Meanwhile last year, more than 187 tax-exempt issuers defaulted on $6.4 billion of securities — the most since 1992. These numbers are going to get bigger — a lot bigger.

You see, all of this credit was only made available because lenders believed (foolishly) that there was no risk in lending to cities and states… just like they handed out all those subprime loans believing they would never default because “home prices never decline.” But after a few city bankruptcies (like Harrisburg), that thinking is going to change — forever.

With less (or no) additional credit available, how will cities and States be able to refinance at a reasonable price? Just like when the subprime credit markets shut down, the whole system collapsed because no one could refinance. The same thing is going to happen with the cities and the States.

There’s a very good chance that once the dominoes start falling, there won’t be any way to stop them without a massive Federal bailout.

Oh… one more thing… guess which bank has the most exposure to the muni-bond market? Again, just like with subprime, it’s Citigroup. It holds $13.4 billion, roughly twice as much as the other major banks.

Good investing,

Porter Stansberry


Editor’s Note: Local governments are no doubt grateful for the billions of dollars that have poured into muni-bonds over the past 18 months. But if some of those dollars are yours, you should know you’re not getting adequately paid for the enormous risk you’re taking.

A much safer — and more profitable — strategy is to avoid the usual income investments and look for high-yield opportunities your broker will never tell you about. We’ve put together a website detailing our favorites right now.

Click here to learn more.

Internet Kill Switch Bill On Senate Short List

The Internet Kill Switch Bill I’ve told you about before (here, here, here and here) continues to evolve and is creeping closer to reality.

According to Moneycontrol.com, two separate bills — one pushed by Senators Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Thomas Carper (D-Del.) and another backed by Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) — have been combined and are now on the Senate’s short list for passage.

The new bill would give the power to shut down the Internet in case of national emergency to the Department of Homeland Security. Under the bill the Internet could be closed down for four months before Congress could review it. The bill would also require cybersecurity professionals be certified.

The elected elites couch the bill as necessary for national security, but Lieberman let slip the real reason when he told CNN’s Candy Crowley, “Right now China — the government — can disconnect parts of its Internet in a case of war. We need to have the ability to do that, too.”

Of course, China disconnects portions of the Internet whenever there’s civil strife, as do other totalitarian regimes. It’s done to suppress the flow of information. Elites hate the free flow of information.

Rockefeller has gone so far to say he wishes the Internet had never been invented and we still communicated with paper and pencil.

Senate aides told Moneycontrol.com the bill faces a number of hurdles but the goal is to get the bill passed and on President Barack Obama’s desk by the end of the year. The bill could come up in the next four weeks, or it could be much later, aides said.

This bill is about one thing: The totalitarian suppression of free speech. The elites and corporate press know they have lost control of the message. This has resulted in the rise of the Tea Party and general discontent over the direction of the American political system. That frightens the fascists on both sides of the aisle.

The Internet Kill Switch Bill is their effort to regain control.

Hat Tip: Infowars.com

B Vitamins May Support Brain Function In Aging Seniors

B vitamins may support brain function in aging seniorsMillions of seniors experience cognitive decline as they grow older, placing a tremendous burden on their families and the healthcare system. The condition can take an emotional toll on the elderly due to a loss of independence.

However, new research from Oxford University has found that high levels of B vitamins may impede the progression of cognitive decline, and help seniors maintain an independent lifestyle later in their lives.

Investigators recruited 168 seniors into their study. Half were given high dose B vitamin supplements, while the rest received a placebo. Over the course of the two-year study, MRI scans showed that the group that was given active B vitamin experienced slower rates of brain atrophy.

"These are very important results, with B vitamins now showing a prospect of protecting some people from Alzheimer’s in old age," said Rebecca Wood, CEO of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, which funded the study. "The strong findings must inspire an expanded trial to follow people expected to develop Alzheimer’s, and we hope for further success."

She added that more research would be needed to confirm the findings, which could give hope to future generations.