Supreme Court To Determine First Amendment Boundaries In Snyder v Phelps

Supreme Court to determine First Amendment boundaries in Snyder v. PhelpsThe First Amendment will be the focus of a high-profile case that goes before the nation's highest court this week.

During the first week of the Supreme Court's 2010-2011 term, opening arguments were made in Snyder v Phelps. The court will determine if the freedom of speech and peaceful assembly rights protect a group of protesters who demonstrated near a fallen soldier's funeral in 2006. The soldier's father, Albert Snyder, is claiming emotional distress and believes that such protests should not be allowed.

The Phelps family of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., is known for picketing near military funerals, holding signs that have slogans such as "Thank God For Dead Soldiers." The family has expressed their conviction that God is punishing American soldiers because of the country's tolerance for homosexuality.

"A lot of people have an understandable visceral reaction against this speech, but the First Amendment often protects speech that is vile," Eugene Volokh, a professor at the UCLA School of Law wrote in a brief to the Supreme Court.

The court's newest term marks the debut of Justice Elena Kagan, who is one of three women on the nine-justice panel. Kagan, the former Solicitor General in the Justice Department, was nominated by President Barack Obama to the Supreme Court in March and sworn in on Aug. 7. During her confirmation process, she faced significant opposition from many conservative lawmakers who painted her as an activist judge with a liberal agenda. 

DNC Chairman Blasts GOP Senator Over PBS Interview

DNC Chairman blasts GOP Senator over PBS interviewExpecting a victory in the November midterm elections, Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) has outlined which legislation the GOP would seek to repeal during the 112th Congress. In the process, he drew ire from some prominent Democrats. 

In an interview on PBS Newshour, Cornyn — who also serves as the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee — said that if his party regains the majority, it will "pretty quickly" move to overturn key pieces of legislation supported by President Barack Obama, such as the healthcare reform and financial regulatory bill.

He did admit, however, that due to Obama's veto power any repeal would be unlikely to become law.

Nevertheless, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine pointed out that Cornyn was not the first Republican to advocate a similar course of action, and suggested that it shows the GOP is "out of touch with middle-class Americans' concerns."

"Senator Cornyn and Republicans might act like they're promising change, but really they're just promising more of the same policies that failed so miserably and put us on the brink of a second Great Depression," he concluded. 

Pumpkins May Make Healthful Fall Treats

Pumpkins may make healthful fall treats Carving a jack-o-lantern is a fun way to get into the spirit of Halloween. However, it can also be a way to boost immunity and support heart health.

Pumpkins are loaded with healthy antioxidants. The bright orange color indicates high levels of beta-carotene, a nutrient that has been shown to support vision and heart health. According to the Mayo Clinic, beta-carotenes have been shown to help asthmatics control their symptoms and give the immune system a boost, which may be important as cold and flu season approaches.

In addition to beta-carotenes, pumpkins are good sources of a range of other nutrients. They have high levels of calcium, potassium, zinc and vitamin C, according to information from the University of Illinois.

Rather than discarding the insides after carving jack-o-lanterns or leaving them out all season as decorations, individuals may want to use them in their cooking to take advantage of their health benefits. Pumpkins are often baked into muffins, Danishes and pies. Their seeds also make healthful snacks after they are roasted.
 

With Liberty And Justice For Some

Just under a month ago, patriots filled the space in front of the Lincoln Memorial for a demonstration.

Fronted by conservative icons Glenn Beck and erstwhile Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the Restoring Honor rally was massive. And when I say massive, I’m talking Rosie O’Donnell visiting the Twinkie factory massive.

The Democrat leadership quailed at the sight of a half-million spirited citizens standing up to be counted in opposition to the increasingly unhinged tyranny which President Barack Obama vomits down upon us from on high. Even the most desperately thorazine-deficient mainstream media outlets couldn’t deny the taxpaying muscle on full display.

Instead, they turned to the rhetorically geriatric tactic of reading Democrat Party authored hate speech memos mocking the intelligence of the Tea Partiers, calling attendees racist, and in a couple of cases, manufacturing laughably fictional tales of diabolical doings on the part of those opposed to Democrat dominance.

And then the Left decided to try and play with the varsity. A group which calls itself “One Nation Working Together” — in reality the usual collaboration of thugs like the Service Employees International Union, racist hate groups like La Raza, and even the artists formerly known as the NAACP (more accurately acronymed the NAACK — National Association for the Advancement of Cop Killers), announced a plan to hold a “One Nation” rally on the same real estate occupied by their foes.

Wingnuts nationwide polished their tinfoil hats and downloaded all the latest talking points so they could join in the hatefest. Then… they no-showed. Perhaps lower-echelon liberals didn’t want to miss out on their local ACORN chapter’s “How to steal votes and influence hookers” seminar.

Whatever the reason, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s minions are rushing headlong toward an electoral Little Big Horn; and compared to the Restoring Honor turnout, Saturday’s ironically-monikered “One Nation” rally was a Pop Warner consolation game played next door to the Super Bowl.

Among the top-of-the-bottom-rung orators who cracked One Nation’s big can of crazy: MSNBC 4th-stringer Ed Schultz. Ed howled with indignation. He shrieked at the top of his lungs. He sweated butter (Ed should consider his health). He thundered like he’d just been informed that Martha Coakley had been whipped by Scott Brown again.

Granted, picking on poor Eddie is like swatting a fly with an AC-130. But even I couldn’t devise the sharpest blow Ed suffered as a result of his rage during the One Nation circus. According to The Daily Caller’s Matthew Boyle, those few foot soldiers of the left who did sneak out of their parents’ basements reacted to Schultz’s barbaric yawp with bewilderment.

They had no idea who he was. The 4th pitcher in creepshow channel MSNBC‘s starting rotation — who guaranteed he could personally deliver a crowd as large as Restoring Honor — and he was as well received as Al Gore at a convention of narcoleptic coal miners.

Meanwhile, the biggest gunners in the Democrat brigade apparently forgot to load their weapons. The labor union schutzstaffel SEIU was supposed to bring busloads of purple-shirted storm troopers to cheer their fuehrers forward. And while the goons did leave a carpeting of familiar purple signs and more litter than a second-rate carnival, their numbers were as underwhelming as a speed-dating session at which all the bachelorettes are Janet Napolitano doppelgangers.

For such sensitive folk, they certainly did their part to justify the wages of the park cleanup crews. Perhaps the SEIU thought resurfacing the Mall in purple Astroturf would be good for recruiting. Or maybe they didn’t think there would be enough senior citizens on whom they could pound.

The Reverend Al Sharpton was there, along with fellow professional huckster Rev. Jesse Jackson. Evidently, neither of their regular congregations was able to…. ooh… awkward. Also in attendance were some of the folks Democrats would rather had stayed in their yurts, like the Communist Party USA. (Yes, Virginia, they do exist).

By Monday night, Schultz was back in his cage at MSNBC, apparently suffering from some kind of exertion-related delusion. He claimed the One Nation freak show was equal in size to the Restoring Honor rally, although pictures of the two shown side-by-side reveal a discrepancy larger than the population of a medium-sized city, or medium-security Federal penitentiary (not that a One Nation attendee would know anything about that).

But the best comment of the day honors have to go to our pal Al (Sharpton):

“This is what America looks like.”

Communists, racists, thugs, union filth and wingnut media “entertainers?”

Um… Al? Please tell Ed: you guys really need to get Outside the Asylum more often.

Mission Creep

America’s undeclared war on Pakistan is escalating. In response to an increasing number of unmanned drone attacks and NATO incursions into Pakistan — including a helicopter attack that killed three Pakistani soldiers — gunmen are attacking NATO convoys providing supplies to United States troops in Afghanistan.

Apparently President Barack Obama subscribes to the Bush Doctrine: The policy created by President George W. Bush that “justified” making war on any country he decided was a threat. That’s not a policy the Left approved of under Bush. Nor should the Left approve of Obama’s undeclared wars simply because Obama has a big “D” after his name.

Congress has abdicated its Constitutional authority to declare war and has given the President — first Bush and now Obama — carte blanche to make war wherever and whenever he desires. And Obama — like Bush before him — apparently recognizes no sovereign borders. How else do you explain blatant military incursions in Pakistan and threats to send armed, unmanned drones to Yemen and other countries to kill “terrorists” who have not attacked America?

The Joint Resolution in Congress authorizing the President to wage war in Afghanistan following the 9/11 false flag attack on U.S. targets in New York and Washington, D.C., gave the President authority to “…use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”

The 9/11 Commission report blamed the Taliban in Afghanistan for harboring CIA creation Osama bin Laden. Of course, the findings in that report have since been called into question by the commissioners who wrote it and many others as more and more information and analysis has leaked implicating agents of the U.S. government in a cover-up of the events surrounding events of that day.

The U.S. military has been in a constant state of war for more than nine years. U.S. troops are abused and worn down from long deployments, and billions have been spent propping up the military-industrial complex and paying mercenaries six-figure salaries to conduct black ops around the globe. Despite all that the War on Terror continues… even if Obama no longer calls it that.

Here at home we are constantly bombarded with new government-issued warnings about the threat of more terror attacks to come in the U.S. and warnings about travel overseas. To combat the “threat” of terrorism here, governments are irradiating U.S. citizens at airports and highway checkpoints, deploying rolling backscatter scanners, installing cameras to watch our every move, planting GPS systems on our vehicles, scanning our emails and communications for “anti-government” sentiment and labeling as terrorists returning veterans, Ron Paul supporters, those advocating for smaller government and Tea Party members.

Some are starting to take note of the mission creep around the world. Few seem to notice — or care — about the mission creep at home.

“Just keep us safe,” say the people.

The shadow government’s will be done.

Allah, Oil And America’s Future

(Part two of a two-part series. Part one, Is It Time To Say, “To Hell With Islam?” ran Sept. 22)

Islam is one of the biggest threats facing America. Yet President Barack Obama and key Democrats are Islam appeasers and Muslim apologists. Does the President and his supporters act out of woeful ignorance or willful sabotage?

Consider that Obama has thrown the weight of the Presidency behind the building of the New York City Mosque next to 9/11 Ground Zero.

"As a citizen and as President,” Obama said, “I believe that Muslims have the right to practice their religion, as everyone else in this country. And that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America. And our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable."

This is not the first time that Obama has been an advocate for Muslim rights. In a speech at Cairo University last year the President made a spectacular overture to the 1.5 billion Muslims of the world when he called for, “a new beginning.”

In that speech Obama spoke of a complete withdrawal of United States forces from the Middle East and, regarding the conflict President Obama said, "We do not want to keep our troops in Afghanistan… We would gladly bring every single one of our troops home if we could be confident that there were not violent extremists in Afghanistan and now Pakistan.”

Obama apologized for the CIA’s involvement in Iran’s democratically elected government in 1953, an event that for many Muslims was the beginning of American interdiction.

“Since taking office, President Obama has reached out to the Muslim world as a whole,” said International Herald Tribune columnist Roger Cohen last month in an op-ed in The New York Times.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich couldn’t agree more. CNN reported that, at the Fifth Annual Value Voters Summit in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 17, Gingrich warned America faces a dire threat.

"We are at a point where our establishment is sliding into policies of such disastrous impact that they will in fact fundamentally challenge the survival of America as we know it," Gingrich said. "On the one front we have a secular socialist machine led by (President) Obama, (House Speaker Nancy) Pelosi, and (Senate Majority Leader Harry) Reid, and on the other front we have radical Islamists who would fundamentally change this country into a system none of us in this room would recognize."

Gingrich also said he will oppose any efforts to impose Sharia on the U.S. Yet the former House Speaker doesn’t have a vote. Pelosi and Reid do. Their support for Islamic rights — whether near Ground Zero or around the world — is troubling.

Backing Islam Or Locking In Oil?
To be fair, Obama is not the first U.S. President to sooth Arab sensibilities. Washington has been influenced by Arab interests for decades.

Earlier this month The Tablet wrote: “There is an Arab lobby in the United States — one as old as, if not older than the Israel lobby and it has helped to shape U.S. foreign policy and economic life since the end of World War II.”

Arab’s influence encompasses everyone from U.S. Foreign Service officers, Arab-American activists, Islamist ideologues and even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. And no administration had closer ties to the Saudi Royals than George W. Bush’s.  Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin, Saudi Arabia’s former U.S. envoy, was even nicknamed Bandar Bush. All this Arab influence in America can be traced to a single commodity: Oil.

Oil provides 40 percent of the world’s energy and 96 percent of the world’s transportation energy. According to the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, world oil consumption will surge by 60 percent in the next decade. That means even more money for Saudi Arabia. According to Mark Steyn in his book, America Alone, The End Of The World As We Know It, the Saudis are already spending billions to fund, “mosques and madrassas [sic] in every corner of the planet. Oil isn’t their principal export, ideology is — petroleum merely bankrolls it.”

This should put a red light over the Middle East which in 10 years will hold 83 percent of the remaining global conventional oil reserves.

The Dirty Truth About Democrats
Access to Arab oil explains some, but not all of the reasons Obama, Pelosi and Reid are pro-Islam. After all there is another huge energy producer whose resources almost equal that of Saudi Arabia. Yet this nation is given no quarter by the President or the Democrats in Congress. It seems hard to understand why when this country is America’s closest ally, a friend for 200 years and shares the same language, culture and religion as the United States. Yet Canada — with its vast oil sands — is the target for attacks by the Liberal Elite in Washington.

The Canadian oil sands will send America nearly 1 billion barrels of crude oil this year, making Canada the number one supplier of crude oil, ahead of Saudi Arabia.

Annual U.S. Imports from Canada of Crude Oil and Petroleum Products

Yet Canada’s oil sands have been attacked by Democrats as being an unethical environmental atrocity. There are reports that Left-leaning members of Congress want to ban oil sand imports into the U.S. Apparently it would be better to accept more oil from Saudi Arabia than from its northern neighbor; better to buy crude from the Arab Kingdom that spends a fortune financing al-Qaida and other extremists than to buy it from an ally whose soldiers fight and die next to their American brothers in the God-forsaken mountains of Afghanistan.

The Democrats in Congress who make cozy with Arab special interests have lost sight of the fact that in Saudi Arabia there is no democratic voice, women have no say; while torture and executions are a daily occurrence. While Canada gave every assistance to the U.S. during 9/11 — I saw waves of commercial airplanes approaching Calgary International Airport that morning — it was Saudi Arabia that was the inspiration for the attack. Saudi Arabia is where Osama bin Laden made his fortune and it was home for 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers.

Hypocrites Favor The House Of Saud
In his new book, Ethical Oil, The Case For Canada’s Oil Sands, Ezra Levant writes: “If Saudi Arabia didn’t exist, it would take a science fiction writer in an apocalyptic mood to invent it.”

Yet Liberal Democrats in Congress are already lining up against Canada’s oil sands. Last month Pelosi visited Canada to gather ammunition to either tax or block future oil sands imports to America.

Some Democrats are campaigning against government approval for the final stage of the Keystone Pipeline project linking the oil sands to Texas refineries. And Pelosi has the power to expedite or delay clean energy legislation currently before the Senate.

According to the Montreal Gazette, “Ms. Pelosi’s mind is made up. The Alberta oil sands are a last-resort fuel for Americans best eliminated as quickly as possible.”

Alberta’s oil sands do have environmental issues. Some 1,600 ducks died after landing on a giant sludge pond which is part of the oil sand’s landscape. That is a lot of ducks to be sure, but only a tiny fraction of the number of birds that are killed every year by wind turbines. It might come as comfort to the Greens that very few ducks are killed as a result of Saudi oil production, in part because there are no ducks in the desert.

However I do have news for Liberal Democrats like Pelosi. While you support women’s rights and oppose the death penalty, you should note Saudi Arabia freely executes people, especially women. The nation has the highest per capita capital punishment rate in the world. (America’s other great Arab ally Pakistan, beheads and tortures nearly the same number of people each year.)

What is chilling is that people like Pelosi and Obama see evil in things like Canada’s oil sands but appear blind to the dangers of Islam and the ambitions that some within it have against the West. One can only hope that these leaders simply don’t know better. To entertain something more sinister is dismaying.

Yours for real wealth and good health,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy and Gold

Empty Calories Are Causing Rise In Childhood Obesity

Empty calories are causing rise in childhood obesity Poor food choices are leading to an explosion in obesity among the nation's adolescents, according to a new study conducted by the American Dietetic Association.

The results, which were compiled by examining responses to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, showed that 40 percent of the total calories consumed by young people are empty calories in foods like sugar-sweetened drinks, deserts, pizza and whole milk.

Researchers said that more education is needed to warn children of the dangers associated with eating food that is high in fat and calories and low in vitamins and other important minerals. Additionally, they called for changes in the nutritional value of food offered at schools and other public places.

"The epidemic of obesity among children and adolescents is now widely regarded as one of the most important public health problems in the U.S.," Jill Reedy and Susan M. Krebs-Smith said in their report. "Most experts agree that the solution will involve changes in both diet and physical activity, in order to affect energy balance.

Sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda and juice, were identified as one of largest problems, as 10 percent children's total calories come from these sources.
 

Rahm Emanuel Becomes The Latest Obama Official To Leave White House

Rahm Emanuel becomes the latest Obama official to leave White HousePresident Barack Obama named his new chief of staff on Oct. 1 following the long-expected departure of Rahm Emanuel.

The President appointed Pete Rouse, who was Obama's chief of staff during his Senate tenure, as the interim replacement for Emanuel, who is resigning to run for mayor of Chicago. According to CNN.com, Rouse does not relish being in the spotlight and does not want the new position to become permanent.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs recently praised the former chief of staff for his service, saying that Emanuel has been "the energetic, inspirational leader" on Obama's staff.

Emanuel is not the first staff member to leave the White House. Christina Romer and Peter Orszag resigned from their positions on Obama's economic teams, while Larry Summers, his chief economic coordinator, will leave to teach at Harvard University at the end of the year.

According to Economist.com, David Axelrod, the president's political adviser, and Robert Gates, the defense secretary, are rumored to be on their way out as well.

"This is a president who does his deciding alone, no matter how widely he consults. Just as well, perhaps. Mr. Obama faces the prospect of a lonely summer in 2011," the article stated. 

U.S. Government Acquires X-ray Technology That Can Scan Vehicles

U.S. government acquires X-ray technology that can scan vehiclesA worldwide supplier of innovative X-ray equipment recently confirmed that it finalized a multimillion dollar contract with a U.S. government agency for the delivery of an innovative surveillance and detection system.

American Science and Engineering will provide the government with a modular Z Backscatter system, which can help bomb technicians remotely search vehicles for explosive devices. The technology was designed to scan a suspect object and produce an X-ray image.

If explosive components are detected, the system will allow the operator to defeat the device using precision targeting data. The Backscatter system, which security experts say can help in their counterterrorism strategy, has also been used at U.S. airports to produce full-body images of passengers.

According to The Christian Science Monitor, the government's recent acquisition of car-scanning technology has raised ire among privacy advocacy groups.

"This really trips up the creep factor because it's one of those things that you sort of intrinsically think the government shouldn't be doing," Frederick Lane, a Vermont-based privacy expert, told the news source. "But, legally, the issue is the boundary between the government's legitimate security interest and privacy expectations we enjoy in our cars."

Critics of the technology believe that scanning Americans without their knowledge is a violation of their constitutional protections, according to the news provider. 

Official Appointed By Obama Did Not Work For Free, Received Six-Figure Compensation

Official appointed by Obama did not work for free, received six-figure compensationDebunking prior reports that the executive compensation czar hand-picked by President Barack Obama would work pro bono, a watchdog group recently revealed that the official received a six-figure salary.

Kenneth Feinberg, who was appointed to be the Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation by Obama in 2009, was in charge of establishing compensation levels for top leaders at companies that were bailed out by the Federal government. Several media sources, including Forbes magazine, reported that Feinberg would not be paid for his services.

Judicial Watch, a public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, has discovered U.S. Treasury Department documents that reveal Feinberg's annual salary of $120,830.

"This is yet another reason why more of these Obama czars should go through the Senate confirmation process, rather than being simply installed into power," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said.

Feinberg, who is currently the administrator of the BP oil disaster fund, recently drew criticism from the administration that appointed him. According to the St. Petersburg Times, Associate U.S. Attorney General Thomas Perrelli wrote a letter to Feinberg, urging him to devote "whatever additional resources are necessary" to speed up the allocation of $20 billion to compensate business owners and other citizens affected by the oil spill. 

The McDonald’s Effect

Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s, was born 108 years ago this week. The onetime milkshake machine salesman was born on Oct. 5, 1902. Today it is almost impossible to grasp how huge the company he founded has become.

McDonald’s has some 15,000 restaurants in this country, with 85 percent of them owned by franchisees. And listen to what those outlets have accomplished: More than half of the workers in America today got their very first job at a McDonald’s somewhere. The company has made more millionaires — and especially more black and Hispanic millionaires — than any other entity ever.

Kroc died in January 1984, just 10 months before McDonald’s sold its 50 billionth hamburger. That’s eight burgers for every man, woman and child on earth today. When some genius had each order-taker ask, "Would you like fries with that?" sales (and our waistlines) increased dramatically.

Today, of the 90 meals a month we consume, the average American eats three of them at McDonald’s. Or at least they get their food there; most customers pick up their order at the drive-up window. But we’re not all dining on Big Macs. Today McDonald’s sells as much chicken as it does beef.

And here’s a fun factoid: Years ago, the Washington, D.C.-area McDonald’s sponsored a television show called "Bozo’s Circus." On it the company spokesman, Ronald McDonald, was played by a 25-year-old Willard Scott. You’ll know him better as the Today Show weatherman who celebrates centenarians’ birthdays.

— Chip Wood

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.