California DREAM Act Vetoed By Schwarzenegger

California DREAM Act vetoed by Schwarzenneger California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed a bill that would have provided $38 million in benefits to help children of illegal immigrants attend state colleges and universities, according to a state employee.

A worker in the office of Assembly member Felipe Fuentes, the legislator who authored the California DREAM Act, confirmed that Schwarzenegger rejected the bill on Sept. 30, a day before the bill would have officially become law. If the governor had signed the legislation or took no action, the DREAM Act would have expanded financial aid opportunities for minors who are not U.S. citizens. 

The governor's decision came after the state Senate and Assembly approved the measure. Those moves drew criticism from Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

"The California legislature continues to demonstrate its contempt for law-abiding, taxpaying Californians," Stein said. "As they put the final touches on a budget that cuts vital services and programs, illegal aliens get new rewards."

On Sept. 22, the United States Senate rejected a national DREAM Act amendment to the National Defense Act, which would have allowed certain illegal immigrant students to receive citizenship if they met conditional criteria. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) recently announced plans to include the DREAM Act in legislation for the 2011 fiscal year. 

Congress Avoids Government Shutdown Before Taking Election Break

Congress avoids government shutdown before taking election breakCongress has passed legislation to avoid a government shutdown, but next year's budget won't be finalized until after the November midterm elections.

On Sept. 30, the last day of the fiscal year, the House and Senate approved a $219 billion tab to fund the Federal government for two additional months, until Dec. 3. The legislation comes as politicians prepare to leave Capitol Hill for their home states in order to campaign.

Democrats and Republicans are still battling about key elements of next year's budget, disagreeing on whether to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy. Although tardy Federal budgets have been the norm in Congress for the last few decades, this year is unique because neither the House nor the Senate has passed a formal resolution.

Such a resolution is typically approved in the spring, and it provides guidelines for Federal spending in the next fiscal year. Conservatives have criticized the lack of progress made by the Democratic-led Congress.

"The Democratic Congress is going home this week with more concern about their jobs than the jobs of 10 percent of the American people who don't have jobs," Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) told Fox News. "[Democrats have more] concern about election day than about New Year's Day, when we'll have one of the biggest tax hikes in American history." 

10 Ways to Beat Fatigue

Each day more than 2 million Americans complain of feeling fatigue in addition to the 4 million who have been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. With this chronic tiredness often comes lack of focus, feelings of being overwhelmed, flu-like symptoms, memory loss, chronic aches and pains, restless sleep, short temper and even depression.

While many people accept their tiredness as part and parcel of their daily lives, it needn’t be the standard way of life. Yes, we are more overworked and under more stress than ever, but that doesn’t have to be the case.

The following 10 lifestyle changes can make all the difference over time, if embraced as a new lifestyle approach to wellness.

1. Eat four to six times per day — In the past 10 years the idea of ditching the “three square meals a day” plan has proven successful. In its place is the three-hour diet, or eating something every three to four hours. Eating more frequently prevents one from overeating at one sitting, which zaps energy and retards digestion. Eating smaller meals more frequently also helps sustain a steady level of energy throughout the day, which helps avoid the “two o’clock crash.” 

2. Consume energy-giving foods — While eating more frequently is a great way to stay energized, eating the wrong foods over and over will take the wind right out of you. To get the best energy results from food it is important to eat plenty of fiber, which helps clean fats from blood and create bulk to move stools — this frees up energy in the body. Consuming complex carbohydrates like whole grain breads, seeds and pasta provides glucose for brainpower and sustained fuel for physical energy. Eating lean protein also adds fuel for the body. And where carbohydrates are fast-burning (instant energy) fuel, proteins provide slower burning (continuous energy) for the day. Drinking plenty of filtered or distilled water keeps the body hydrated, helps move toxins from the body and aids the kidneys.

3. Avoid energy-sapping foods — Food is certainly the main source of energy for us humans, but consuming the wrong types of food can drain and waste energy faster than we want it to. The basic idea is to avoid all foods that create an instant energy rush as a sudden energy crash is soon to follow. Energy-zapping foods include caffeine, soda, coffee, chocolate, sugar and simple carbohydrates like white bread, rice and potatoes. The energy derived from such foods is fast to come and go, is harassing to the metabolism and wreaks havoc with one’s energy. In short, they cause fatigue.

4. Exercise 30 minutes per day — While it may seem counterintuitive, exercising each day creates more energy in the body. It requires energy to exercise, and the result of exercise in increased energy. Exercise creates feelings of wellbeing because one is able to let off steam, get out anger, move the blood, sweat out toxins and help the body release chemicals like endorphins, serotonin and dopamine. And mixing up the daily routine between running, walking, weight training and aerobics keep things interesting and fun.

5. Compartmentalize your time — One of the main reasons people feel overworked, stressed out and unhappy is because they do not prioritize their time. They often feel a greater obligation to their job than to their family, themselves or their friends. This is draining physically, spiritually and emotionally and can lead to an unpleasant home life. The key to maintaining harmony and prevent burnout is to set time each day for work, family, social occasions and for your own quiet time. All of these areas need to be met to maintain a whole life that is full of love, happiness and energy.

6. Derail the burnout — There are times when taking time for yourself or leaving the office on time is not an option. In these cases, where burnout and fatigue can just drain you dry, you must derail the freight train and create energizing blocks of minutes. A few suggestions include standing up and doing jumping jacks, walking a few laps around the building or parking lot, talking to someone in the office or on the phone who makes you laugh, splashing cold water on your face and taking some deep breaths.

7. Break the stress each night — It is important not to allow stress to grip you firmly all day and night. This leads to too much tension in the body, which takes up energy. Engaging in deep breathing, taking yoga or Pilates, watching sports or listening to music you enjoy are easy things you can do to relax and break the stress. Above all, it is important not to go to bed and then wake up stressed out or you will have a very difficult time waking up and making it through the day.

8. Cut out the cancer — In this sense, “cancer” is any person, place or thing that is in your life that saps your energy and spirit. If you don’t remove these things, then your energy will be drained each day. You know those friends or co-workers who expect too much from you and always ask too much of your time? Set clear boundaries and don’t allow them instant access to you or your time. Does your email fill up too fast? There is no reason to read and answer every correspondence right away. Create email folders and prioritize which ones you read and respond to, and when. Don’t allow work to interfere with personal time. Pay bills on time. Avoid unnecessary arguments. Let go of old grudges. All of these tips will cut out the old and free up stores of energy that have needlessly been wasted and made you tired and fatigued.

9. Set your sleep/wake cycle — The power of restorative rest and sleep is one of the most essential things one can do for rejuvenating the mind and body. Many people feel overly tired even at the start of each day because their sleep is not restful. They work late into the evening, lie awake in bed worrying and often awake after only a few hours of deep REM sleep. To be energized while also repairing your muscles and tissues, setting a firm bedtime and wake-up time is essential. Sleeping from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. is said to be the best time for our body clocks.

10. Express love and gratitude — One of the easiest ways to free up energy and reduce stress and fatigue is to express your love and gratitude as often as possible. Each day you can tell those around you how grateful you are for their help, work, friendship, etc. You can tell your spouse or children or parents how much you love them. Acting with love and feeling grateful for even the smallest of things makes life worth living. And with purpose to each day and gratitude for the work we do, it seems less a burden. When life burdens and we thank it for the lessons or experience we are less apt to become overwhelmed, cranky and resentful… and without these, we have more energy available for living life to its fullest.

 — Dr. Mark Wiley

Blueberry Benefits

Why should you eat more blueberries? Not only do these sweet little fruits taste great, but they are packed with phytonutrients that help eliminate the free radicals that cause aging and cell damage. Blueberries have also been shown to help prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Try adding some of these tiny protectors to your next fruit salad and reap the benefits of improved health.

Right On Target

When firearms enthusiasts get to chatting about their favorite subject, bystanders might as well get comfortable. I routinely enjoy these discussions, if only to see guys nicknamed “Da’ GunZlinger” use “milliradian” in a sentence.

Over the weekend, I participated in one such impromptu panel of citizens. The original topic was “best scopes for a new AR rifle” (my suggestion: learn to shoot well with iron sights, then spend as much on optics as your wife will on that next pair of shoes she’s only going to wear once). True to form, the conversation trended toward liberal assaults on the Bill of Rights. One poster mentioned an interesting development in New Jersey, where State Senator Jeff Van Drew has introduced a bill to ease the burden on Garden Staters who wish to legally carry their firearms.

The bill is far from ideal; among its tenets is a requirement that New Jersey residents who wish to carry pay an annual fee of $500. However, closer examination of S2264 reveals some noteworthy details. 

I am troubled by the annual levy of $500. This is the United States of America, not the Pelosi Palisades Golf and Racquet Club. There is no membership fee in the Bill of Rights. In fact, the Constitution itself says so — most recently in the text of the 24th Amendment. The idea that any government, whether Federal, State or municipal, would apply an onerous charge to the exercising of a citizen’s rights is beyond repellent. 

But there are some aspects of Van Drew’s bill which pique my interest in a positive manner. Surprisingly, Van Drew is a Democrat, although I’m guessing he’s a bit lonely at party conventions. And his bill would begin rectifying New Jersey’s heavy-handed carry laws.

Under current law, seekers must convince their local police chief AND a superior court judge of dire “justifiable need” for a carry permit. Not to seem impolitic, but if the need in question is that justifiable, it’s probably too late to track down Sheriff Andy and Judge Roy Bean. Leave it to a liberal to put that point into perfect perspective by missing the mark entirely. According to Bryan Miller, Executive Director of some wingnut group called Ceasefire NJ:

"It’s very simple: Do we want to be standing in line at a grocery store, at a movie theater, sitting next to someone… not knowing whether that person is legally carrying a handgun?"

Um… that would be a resounding YES. Mr. Miller, I LOVE the idea of every half-baked crackhead, mugger, thug and villain having that exact question weighing on their minds. 

Currently, the Garden State requires fingerprinting and background checks for each handgun purchased, whether the purchaser intends to carry it — or use it to prop up the coffee table. And shooters had better plan ahead if they intend to go pop a few off at the range. During transport, each pistol must be placed, unloaded, in a fastened case and carried in the trunk of a vehicle. If the vehicle has no trunk, the unloaded handgun must be kept in a locked box out of reach of passengers. “See here, Mr. Carjacker. If you would kindly wait for me to unlock my trunk…” 

President Barack Obama’s “home” state of Illinois has among the most restrictive carry permit laws in the nation. And yet, when it comes to violent crimes per/100,000 population, the margin between the Sultanate of the Sainted Community Activist and Tony Soprano-ville isn’t exactly crosshair-thin, with Illinois suffering nearly 200 more annually per/100K. Washington, D.C., which has gun ownership laws nearly as restrictive as the Third Reich, would be a runaway No. 1 if it was a State, with nearly double the rate of any State. NJ-S2264 would set about correcting that extraordinarily bad math. 

Some might suggest that S2264 is a poor piece of politics. It adds unnecessary and illegal fees, layers of bureaucracy and will come nowhere near undoing the injustice current laws visit upon the law-abiding citizens of New Jersey.

But this is New Jersey — the reputed final resting place of Jimmy Hoffa. And in the last year, citizens have chosen Chris Christie as their Governor and now a Democrat State Senator is taking a chisel to the liberal wall around the Garden State.

Let’s look on the bright side and call S2264 a baby step in the right direction.

Entrepreneurs Prefer Spending Cuts Over Tax Increases, Survey Finds

Entrepreneurs prefer spending cuts over tax increases, survey findsIt looks like yet another group of Americans is joining fiscal conservatives in their call on the government to reduce deficit by cutting its spending. A new KPMG study has found that most business executives believe this is a better way to reduce public debt, as opposed to raising taxes in the midst of a weak economy. 

In fact, some 60 percent of American business leaders expressed this opinion in the survey called "Paying the Bill," which was released by KPMG International, a global network of audit and tax firms. Most of the respondents suggested a reduction in defense spending and some of the welfare programs, but 33 percent also mentioned public sector pay and infrastructure projects.

P. Scott Ozanus, vice chair of KPMG, stated that these results are not surprising, but added that given the sluggish pace of economic recovery, the Federal and local governments will most likely opt for boosting tax enforcement as a means of raising revenue.

As for the main driving force behind the economic growth that has been registered since the recession officially ended last summer, approximately 41 percent of executives credit the stimulus package. However, as much as 77 percent believe consumer spending has been a key factor and 45 percent point to lower interest rates.

That said, nearly 65 percent of the nation's business leaders would prefer to see the stimulus measures stop immediately. 

Overeating Tied To Changes In Brain Chemistry

Overeating tied to changes in brain chemistry The obesity epidemic is putting a great deal of strain on the healthcare system, costing the nation billions of dollars each year. Additionally, the number of deaths due to obesity-related health problems are rising at a rapid rate.

New research suggests that brain chemistry changes in overweight individuals may be partly to blame for the epidemic, which is spiraling out of control.

Researchers from the University of Texas, Austin found that overweight and obese individuals have fewer dopamine receptors. These are responsible for pleasure responses in the brain to external stimuli, including food. A lack of receptors means that individuals must eat more food to feel satiated.

The findings help explain why it can be so difficult for overweight individuals to cut back on portion sizes and limit their food intake.

"These results will be important when developing programs to prevent and treat obesity," said Eric Stice, who led the study. "This may explain why obesity typically shows a chronic course and is resistant to treatment."

Stice believes that understanding the underpinnings of the disease could help doctors develop more effective treatments for obesity.
 

Obama Needs A Break

At a fundraiser last week at the home of former ABC and CBS News reporter and Obama staffer Linda Douglass, President Barack Obama reportedly told those in attendance he could use a break.

Douglass’ husband is John Phillips, a wealthy lawyer, and the couple hosted Obama and the $30,400 a person fundraiser to raise money for Democrat candidates. Phillips also worked on Obama’s campaign and, when he introduced Obama, he said, “I can remember walking down those snowy streets of Des Moines in the primary… We sleep much better knowing that you are our president at this difficult time,” according to washingtonexaminer.com.

Obama then thanked Phillips and Douglass for their work and acknowledged the two own a nice home in Italy. Obama then reportedly said, “I’d appreciate a little break and some Tuscan sun. Some pasta. I could use it.”

Let me get this straight: Obama has been President about 20 months and has spent all or part of 38 days (according to ABC News) on “vacation.” When he’s not on vacation he’s carted around in fancy cars or an opulent airliner, never opening his own doors, carrying his own bags or preparing his own meals. It seems he plays golf almost every day. But more than a month of vacation with less than two years on the job is not enough?

Let me just say, President Obama, if the work’s too tough for you can quit any time. Remember, you asked for the job. No one forced it on you and, judging by the latest polls, most people would just as soon see you quit.

But take heart: If you want to stick it out, you’re almost halfway through. Your term ends on January 20, 2013. Don’t let the door slap your butt on the way out.

Defense Officials Destroy Soldier’s Memoirs To ‘Protect State Secrets’

Defense officials destroy soldier's memoirs to 'protect state secrets'The Department of Defense (DoD) recently confirmed that it purchased and destroyed thousands of copies of an Army officer's memoirs in order to protect state secrets that could compromise national security.

As quoted by CNN, Pentagon spokeswoman Lieutenant Colonel April Cunningham said that the DoD obtained about 9,500 first-edition copies of Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Shaffer's book "Operation Dark Heart," which details Shaffer's time in Afghanistan during the Bush administration.

The materials were destroyed after Defense officials found information in the memoirs that contained secret activities of the U.S. Special Operations Command, CIA and National Security Agency, the news provider reported. Shaffer's publisher, St. Martin's Press, will release a second edition of the book after making redactions that were requested by the DoD.

"When you look at what they took out [in the second edition], it's lunacy," Shaffer told the news source.

The military recently garnered negative press following the release of a film about Pat Tillman, an Army Ranger who was killed in Afghanistan in 2004. The Tillman family has expressed anger toward the military officials who reportedly lied about the circumstances of Pat's death, The Huffington Post reports.

The Army first reported that Tillman was killed by enemy soldiers, but documents later revealed that he was killed by friendly fire. 

Poll: Government Profligacy A Key Issue In Midterm Elections

Poll: Government profligacy a key issue in midterm electionsPoliticians on both sides are trying to figure out what issues matter most to the American people this election season. Unsurprisingly, a recent survey has found that the economic situation and government spending top many voters' list of concerns this year. 

A 10-state poll, sponsored by Public Notice — a nonprofit and non-partisan organization that analyzes the effects of public policy on Americans' financial well-being — found that 71 percent of prospective voters believe government spending is excessive.

Moreover, nearly 65 percent admit that this will be a key consideration when they decide how to cast their ballot this November.

"It's not just the economy people are so upset about, it's the spending" said Gretchen Hamel, executive director of Public Notice.

She added that as a result of "all of the waste, the irresponsible choices, the lack of accountability from those in Washington [it] looks like [voters are] finally fed up."

Hamel also pointed out that because the concern appears to be independent of party affiliation — as 87 percent of Republicans, 67 percent of Independents and 42 percent of Democrats expressed this sentiment — excessive government spending is becoming a personal issue for many Americans. 

The Breakdown Of Law And Order

The breakdown of law and order in the United States is a fact in this year of 2010. Harvey Silverglate documented it in his recently-published book Three Felonies a Day:  How the Feds Target the Innocent. If you haven’t read it you may not be convinced that there is a definite breakdown of law and order in the United States.

Money, capital and people are leaving the U.S. in ever-increasing amounts and numbers. But this is the last statistic that anyone will learn about. It contradicts the regime’s propaganda cover.

There is a rule historically that when the national debt approaches some 90 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) the rule of law breaks down. Well, this sort of thinking makes Ph.D.s think that they are accomplished researchers.

Actually the timing of rule of law breakdown is arbitrary according to how well the propaganda ministry can cover it up. I measure it according to my observation of what I term “the paper money syndrome.” After all, paper money is the rot and decay of the modern world. Unbelievably, some people are catching on to this.

Why, then, is the breakdown of law and order in the U.S. not an open book? Simple, and the answer is that the U.S. has the most sophisticated propaganda machine in history.

I have said that our propaganda system makes Herr Goebbels look like a piker. Governments, and especially the U.S. and British governments, rule by propaganda. They actually create our thinking. We do not think our own thoughts.

If people were generally aware that the breakdown of law and order is already a fact, it would guarantee immediate revolution and chaos. It would reveal many things:

  1. That government is organized crime.
  2. That the debauchery and the depreciation of the currency is the means of the greatest transfer of wealth in history from the middle class producers and savers of wealth to the money creators.
  3. That there is a silent and esoteric war by the money creators on the middle class. The goal is impoverishment so as to quash the greatest potential threat to the fiat system.
  4. That the government is changing the U.S. demographics with “illegal immigrants.” They make it appear out of control when it is in fact a government agenda. There are many angles here. But simply, an impoverished food stamp class can out-vote the American middle class, making it all appear spontaneous.
    Organized crime must not appear to have “arms and legs” and, above all, organized crime must never appear to be organized.
  5. That the political class, i.e. “elected representatives,” are paid to rubber stamp the government. Yes, the Federal government pays them, not the individual States. Nothing is left undone to make the political process look and appear to be democratic.
  6. The U.S. is conducting war with mercenaries (contract soldiers) who fight for money, not causes.
  7. Governments make mischief with fiat (nonsubstance). This fact alone makes government debt a pretense and a Ponzi scheme.
  8. “Healthcare” in America has just, and finally, been transferred to the pharmaceuticals and the insurance companies. This is a new and huge wedge driven between the food stamp class and the small business and middle class. This is hidden and subtle class warfare made to appear as a democratic process.
  9. And there is Wall Street. Here is the script: Wall Street hatched the “subprime” real estate bust. The government and the banks joined in creating a bogus “home buying market.” They knew what the crowd would do. They jumped in. Next followed the real estate crash and the threat of economic collapse and depression. Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson from Goldman Sachs said so.

The next event was what appeared the natural response of Quantitative Easing (QE). QE is printing money. This was the goal and end game to bail out Wall Street, the big banks, and at the same time dilute main street’s money in history’s greatest ever transfer, accomplished by simple currency depreciation.

All of the above and much, much more are symptoms of the breakdown of law and order, and fiat money is the quicksand foundation.

The breakdown of law and order goes hand-in-hand with the fiat paper money syndrome. Depreciation of the currency undermines law and order. But it is all invisible until toward the end and final collapse.

So what is the difference between the breakdown of law and order in the U.S. and Nazi Germany?

Germany had the overt symbols of tyranny and the transfer of the democratic process to the police state. There was the jackboot authority shrouded with the occult swastika. It was despotism in full regalia. Institutional life took on militarism and the harsh discipline of a police state.

America still has all the symbols of liberty and all the trappings of human freedom. It is what I term benevolent totalitarianism. It is totalitarianism made palatable with a democratic aura. Benevolent totalitarianism does not kill with the firing squad. Instead it kills with things like the “healthcare” system and fluoride in the drinking water.

Benevolent totalitarianism evolves into the breakdown of law and order through a synthetic and secretly directed make-believe democratic process. I leave to you the breakdown of the legal system in Silverglate’s book, Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent.

It is a very sophisticated camouflage for the breakdown of law and order. The breakdown of law and order is a political cancer that must be concealed in order to extend the system until the rape is over.

Concealing the breakdown of law and order in the U.S. is of the very highest priority. It is the hidden national agenda.

As Conservatives Launch Ads In Support Of O’Donnell, Her Poll Numbers Are Inching Up

As conservatives launch ads in support of O'Donnell, her poll numbers are inching upChristine O'Donnell, the Tea Party-backed Senate candidate in Delaware, has been under intense media scrutiny and suffered heavy criticism for her socially conservative views. In order to boost her chances in November, one organization has launched an ad campaign that blasts her Democratic opponent's record. 

The First Amendment Alliance (FAA) has set out to highlight some of Chris Coons' decisions during his tenure as county executive. They included three property tax increases and his support for the $787 billion dollar stimulus package.

"[We are] fully committed to showing the stark contrast between Coons, the big government deficit spender and O'Donnell, who opposes government bailouts, Obamacare and the bankrupting of our nation," said Anthony Holm, president of the FAA.

The organization also stressed that its initiative is "the first clear signal" that the conservative movement will unite behind O'Donnell, despite the GOP's initially lukewarm acceptance of her primary victory.

Meanwhile, recent polls suggest the gap between the two candidates may be narrowing. Just 10 days ago, some surveys put Coons at 54 percent to O'Donnell's 39 percent. However, according to the new Rasmussen poll, the Tea Party-backed candidate is now earning 40 percent of the likely vote, while Coons' support has dropped to 49 percent. 

Study Finds Exercise May Reduce Insomnia Symptoms

Study finds exercise may reduce insomnia symptoms With the millions of dollars that are spent each year on sleep medication and doctor visits, it may seem that Americans are always looking for a better insomnia cure. However, researchers from Northwestern University have found that improving sleep may be simpler than most people think.

The results of their recent study show that moderate amounts of aerobic exercise may be enough to significantly improve insomnia symptoms.

Phyllis Zee, M.D., who led the investigation, said that eliminating insomnia is important because many areas of health depend on getting a good night's rest. Added to this is the fact that more than 50 percent of middle aged and older adults report symptoms of chronic insomnia.

She and her team found that as little as 20 minutes of aerobic exercise four times per week may be sufficient to significantly improve insomnia symptoms.

"This is relevant to a huge portion of the population," she said. "Around middle age, sleep begins to change dramatically. It is essential that we identify behavioral ways to improve sleep. Now we have promising results showing aerobic exercise is a simple strategy to help people sleep better and feel more vigorous."
 

Honoring Our Country’s Flag

Do you live in a community of flag flyers?  I’m happy to say that I do. Several of my neighbors fly the Stars and Stripes proudly every day of the year. My immediate neighbor has his up shortly after dawn and takes it down solemnly every night at dusk.

But it’s not just my neighbor. On July 4 and then again on Sept. 11 there were flags flying on most of the houses in our neighborhood. One gentleman had an entire row of them running along the sidewalk in front of his house.

How about in your neighborhood; and at your house?  If you haven’t been flying the U.S. flag lately may I encourage you to do so?  You’ll feel better seeing the Stars and Stripes waving bravely in the wind. And so will the other people who see it; or at least most of them, I bet.

I think there may be an age thing going on here. I live in a community of people who are mostly retired. Heck, I’m supposed to be retired myself, but I got so bored after I sold the company I founded, I had to find something to do or my wife was going to kill me. Well, not really. But there are only so many hinges you can oil and light bulbs you can change.

So I took on a part-time job. Then another one. Then a third one. Now I find myself with more to do than when I was working full-time. No complaints, you understand. Writing three columns a week for Personal Liberty — and seeing some of the comments and controversy they stir up — is one of the great joys of my life.

Back to the flag. I’m sure there are many communities where it would be hard to find a flag flying, even on the 4th of July. If you happen to live in one of them I feel sorry for you. And even more for your neighbors; sounds like they may be such poor citizens they don’t even read Straight Talk.

But here’s an idea: Why don’t you try to start a new trend?  Go to your local hardware store and buy a flag and a mount for it. It will only cost you a few dollars. 

Put it up near your front door or on a tree in your front yard. Or on your garage or by an attic window; you’ll know where it makes the most sense.

Then start flying it and see what happens. Every day is a good day to fly the flag, but some holidays are especially appropriate. I’ve already mentioned the 4th of July and Sept. 11. Later this month there’s Columbus Day (Monday, Oct. 11) and Navy Day (Wednesday, Oct. 27). Don’t forget Veterans Day on Nov. 11, or Thanksgiving two weeks later.

By the way, if you would like to have a really special flag to fly outside your home, here’s an idea: Get one that has flown over the U.S. Capitol. You may not know it, but it’s possible to order such flags through your United States Senator. In fact, you can go one better — you can request one be flown on a specific day of the year, such as your anniversary or birthday.

Years ago I got one for my mother that had been flown on her birthday. She was so thrilled, she cried. She had me mount it right outside her front door. We put a spotlight near it so she could fly it at night. (Contrary to what many people think, the U.S. Flag Code says it’s perfectly all right to fly the flag at night, so long as it is properly illuminated.)  Whenever I pulled into her driveway, her flag was one of the first things I saw. And I always felt better when I did.

If you don’t know who your U.S. Senators are (you have two of them), let me tell you how to find out. Just click here for the government website and type in your state. When you do, the names, addresses, and contact information for your senators will appear. Pick one, call his or her office, and a member of their staff will be delighted to be of assistance.

And here’s an extra treat: Your flag will arrive with a certificate from the Architect of the Capitol certifying that your flag was flown as requested. If you mention that the flag is for a special occasion that information will be included on the form. Perhaps you know someone, like my mother, who would be thrilled to receive such a gift. May I remind you that Christmas is just three months away?

Let me mention a couple of other things you may not have known about the proper etiquette for flying the U.S. flag:

  • The flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered more slowly. This applies more to raising it on a flag pole than it does to mounting it on your home, but keep it in mind.
  • The flag should never be allowed to touch the ground (or the water, if on a boat). But it is not true that if the flag does touch the ground, it should be destroyed.
  • When a flag becomes too faded to be a fitting emblem for our country, it should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning. If you are in doubt how to do this, your nearest American Legion or VFW Post will be delighted to assist you.
  • If the flag is to be flown at half-mast, it should first be hoisted to the peak, then lowered half-way down. It should again be raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day.
  • If you are ever at an event where the “Pledge of Allegiance” or the Star-Spangled Banner is performed, the proper thing to do is to stand at attention with your right hand over your heart. (Servicemen and women in uniform should salute.)  If you are wearing a hat or cap, remove it and hold it in your right hand, with the hat at your left shoulder. If others are not as respectful of the flag during such a ceremony, it is appropriate to remonstrate with them. If you’re at an athletic event when this happens, the ushers should do so.
  • And — I think you knew this — no other flag should ever be flown higher than the flag of the United States. In fact, our nation’s flag should always take precedence wherever it is flown. The only exception to this rule (and it’s not one I’m happy with) is at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York City. There, all country flags are flown equally high, and the U.N. flag is flown a little bit higher. You can guess how I feel about this.
  • Finally, when the flag is used to cover a casket, it should be so placed so that the union is at the head and over the left shoulder. The flag should not be lowered into the ground but carefully removed and folded. Last year I was honored to be invited to the burial with full military honors — including a horse-drawn caisson and 21-gun salute — of a friend at Arlington Cemetery. It was so incredibly moving that I still get goose-bumps remembering it.

By the way, the U.S. Flag Code specifically prohibits wearing the U.S. flag or any clothing based on its design. I know that many people think wearing a jacket, polo shirt, or sweater that consists of the stars and stripes is somehow a demonstration of their patriotism. I appreciate the sentiment but it’s not appropriate. If you own such attire, please dispose of it.

If you are going to wear a lapel pin of the flag or part of it, it should be worn on the left lapel near the heart. I’ve been guilty of violating this one myself. In fact, it wasn’t until I read the Flag Code, in preparation for this article, that I realized my error.

Finally, if you enjoyed this column, please do two things. One, share it with a friend. And two, say a “thank you” to my wife, who suggested it. And she says I never listen to her.

Until next time, keep some powder dry — and the flag flying.

— Chip Wood

Government Giving Big Pharma $2 Billion Shot In The Arm

In order to speed production and development of new vaccines and try to inoculate more people, the Federal government is pumping almost $2 billion into helping researchers and biotechnology companies develop new drugs, vaccines and equipment to shorten the six- to nine-month time frame currently needed to make a flu vaccine, according to an Aug. 25 article in The Wall Street Journal.

This year, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that everyone ages 6 months and older be vaccinated. The flu strains being vaccinated against include last year’s H1N1 (swine flu) and strains of H3N2 and influenza B. As usual, the vaccine is being developed before the flu season actually begins, making its “effectiveness” a crapshoot.

Of course, flu vaccines are worse than worthless for patients. Research shows that average vaccine must be administered to 100 adults to prevent one case of flu. If the vaccine is designed specifically for the strain of flu causing the outbreak the disease is prevented only once for every 33 people vaccinated.

On top of that, the vaccine causes a myriad of health problems. According to a report by the Vaccine Safety Risk Assessment Working Group, a committee appointed by the Congressionally-created public oversight agency National Vaccine Advisory Committee, last year’s swine flu vaccine caused three serious side effects: Guillain-Barrè Syndrome, Bell’s Palsy and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, a blood disorder.

Already this year Australia has banned the flu vaccine for children under the age of 5 because of increased instances of vomiting, high fever and convulsions after vaccination. Sweden and Finland are reporting young patients developing narcolepsy, and France, Germany and Norway are also recording serious side effects. The European Union has launched an investigation, according Dr. Joseph Mercola.

Mercola also writes:

You should know that anytime you receive a flu shot, you are taking a risk. In order to get the perceived benefit that you or your family is being protected from the flu… you are being injected with numerous substances even above and beyond the three flu viruses — substances with known risks to your health.

Toxic substances found in various flu vaccines include:

  • Dangerous levels of mercury in the form of thimerosal, a deadly preservative that is 50 times more toxic than regular mercury
  • Ethylene glycol (antifreeze)
  • Formaldehyde — a known cancer-causing agent
  • Neomycin and streptomycin (antibiotics)
  • Aluminum — a neurotoxin linked to Alzheimer’s disease
  • Polysorbate 80 (Tween80™) — which can cause severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis
  • Phenol (carbolic acid)
  • Resin and gelatin — known to cause allergic reactions
  • Triton X100 (detergent)

So every year that you get a flu shot, you are taking a risk that one or more of these substances, or the flu viruses themselves, will cause a problem in your body.

Ask yourself: Is this a risk I’m willing to take?

Poll Reveals That Obama’s Endorsement Can Hurt Political Candidacy

Poll reveals that Obama's endorsement can hurt political candidacyEndorsements from well-known politicians are designed to bolster a candidate's electoral fortunes, but a recent poll reveals that public support from several high-profile figures can have the opposite effect.

According to a Harris Poll, approximately 45 percent of American voters would be less likely to vote for a candidate endorsed by President Barack Obama, while 42 percent would be more likely to vote for that candidate.

House Representative Paul Kanjorski (D-Penn.) has been endorsed by Obama, but his campaign team isn't advertising the President's support, according to Politico.com. Kanjorski campaign spokesman Ed Mitchell told the news source that he had no intention of publicizing Obama's backing.

"We were aware of the endorsement," Mitchell told the Times Leader. "The congressman welcomes the endorsement of anyone who shares the same values and principles."

Support from former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin would also cause more harm than good, the poll revealed. About 56 percent of those surveyed said Palin's support would dissuade them from backing a certain candidate. Slightly more than 40 percent said they'd be less likely to vote for a politician endorsed by the Tea Party. 

Study Points To Unhealthy Misconception Of Sports Drinks

Study points to unhealthy misconception of sports drinks Every year, people across the country spend millions of dollars on flavored sports drinks. While they often believe they are making a healthful decision, these beverages contain high levels of sugar and may blunt the effects of otherwise healthy eating, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of Texas Health Sciences Center examined the connection between sports drink consumption, food choices and activity levels among 8th and 11th grade students in Texas. They found that individuals who are active and choose healthy food also consume high levels of flavored sports drinks.

Nalini Ranjit, who led the study, said that there is a popular misconception about sports drinks suggesting that they are a healthy alternative to sodas. This may contribute to the high rates of obesity that exist in most parts of the country.

"Sports drinks have been successfully marketed as beverages consistent with a healthy lifestyle, which has set them apart from sodas," said Ranjit, "However they have minimal fruit juice and contain unnecessary calories."

Ranjit added that high levels of consumption of sports drinks may negate the benefits of eating healthy and exercising.
 

FreedomFest Attendees Speak Out Against Tax System And Legal Practice

FreedomFest attendees speak out against tax system and legal practiceEarlier this summer, the annual FreedomFest — a major libertarian event — was held in Las Vegas, bringing more than 2,000 guests, including Steve Forbes, to discuss ideas such as sovereignty, free markets and the role of government. Now, a survey taken after the event has shed some light on the modern libertarian movement. 

The poll was conducted by Bernhoft Law founder Robert Bernhoft and partner Robert Barnes, who attended the Las Vegas meeting. They are reporting that "the two feelings that rang through loud and clear were a passion for change, and a frustration with the obfuscation of what is fair play on the part of our Federal government's tax laws."

Specifically, the respondents defined the Federal taxation system is "archaic and broken," and expressed their preference for a flat tax.

Some participants were also unhappy with the common practice in the legal community, whereby some tax attorneys — whose job it is to defend individuals accused of tax crimes by the IRS —are former IRS agents or Federal prosecutors. In the libertarians' view, this previous involvement with the system risks clouding these attorneys' ability to serve their clients.

The next FreedomFest will take place in July 2011 in Las Vegas, and will bring more than 150 speakers, 100 exhibitors and an estimated 2,000 attendees at "the world's largest gathering of free minds," according to the event's website. 

Survey Suggests Fierce Party Competition In November

Survey suggests fierce party competition in NovemberPopular wisdom has it that the incumbent president's party is doomed to lose the first midterm elections, and predictions are not any different this year. However, a new survey suggests that Republicans may still have to fight for every single vote. 

According to the Harris Poll, a total of 40 percent of all registered voters would cast their ballot for the Democratic candidate and 36 percent would go for the Republican candidate, if elections were held today.

However, the picture changes when the pool of respondents is limited to those who identify themselves as Independents, and whose votes are considered to be the biggest prize in this contest.

Among those Americans, only 23 percent would support a Democrat, while 35 percent would prefer a Republican candidate, with 27 percent undecided.

That said, if a Tea Party contestant is added to the mix, Democrats are again ahead, at 41 percent, while GOP candidates can only count on 23 percent support. The Tea Party representative would score 13 percent.

In order to win control over the House of Representatives, Republicans need to add a net of 39 seats to their rolls. 

In Memoriam, Obama’s Omission, Political Arrogance And Investment Advice

*A request worth repeating.  Rest in peace, Donald C. Unsworth of Rome, Ga. While we never met, I know I would have liked you. How can I tell?  By this notice for your funeral: “In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully asked that donations be sent to the American Cancer Society or to the campaign of whoever is running against President Barack Obama in 2012.”

*Obama’s incredible omission. In a speech to the Hispanic Congressional Caucus last week, our president misquoted the Declaration of Independence in a way that is so flagrant I can only believe it was deliberate. He said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed with certain unalienable rights.”  Did you catch the omission?  He left out “by their Creator”?  The misquote should come as no surprise; Obama clearly believes that our rights come from government, not from God.

*Political arrogance run amok. When voters in Alaska wouldn’t grant a second Senate term to self-appointed political heiress Lisa Murkowski, she announced that she will run for re-election as a write-in candidate. No one gives the spoilsport a chance to win; but she could deny victory to Joe Miller, the Tea Party candidate I wrote about two weeks ago. Want to bet that the ostensible Republican will get lots of support from some wealthy Democrats?

*Some worthwhile investment advice.  For many years, the Atlanta Investment Conference was one of my favorite events of the year. I was delighted to serve as master of ceremonies almost from day one. The conference is no longer being held, but recently a dozen of the top speakers there collaborated on a new book. The Evergreen Portfolio features contributions by Mark Skousen, Bob Prechter, Adrian Day, Frank Trotter, Van Simmons, Rick Maybury and several others worth reading. You can get a copy from Amazon.com or order it through your favorite bookstore and I hope you will.

— Chip Wood