More TSA Incompetence

The incompetence of the Transportation Security Administration’s airport screening porn show/gropefest is again on display.

According to news reports, an undercover TSA agent successfully passed through the naked body scanners at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport multiple times with a handgun concealed in her brassiere, and it was never discovered. The failed security test was leaked to news agencies by a high ranking TSA source.

This news comes on the heels of reports of TSA agents pocketing thousands of dollars in cash and merchandise looted from the suitcases of travelers, agents making lewd remarks about patting down travelers and agents abusing passengers who choose to opt out of the cancer-causing radiation machines.

TSA procedures are not just feckless, they are an abuse. They violate the Constitutional rights of travelers as the TSA considers all travelers to be potential terrorists until searches prove otherwise.

Of course, the TSA is not interested in catching terrorists, nor would TSA procedures stop an attack like the one carried out last month in Russia. As we’ve reported before here and here, the so-called attacks cited by TSA head John Pistole and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano were false flag attacks staged as an excuse to install more liberty-crushing procedures on the American public.

New York-Based Artist Claims Government Officials Have Violated 1st Amendment

New York-based artist claims government officials have violated 1st AmendmentAn artist in Greenwood Lake, New York has filed a lawsuit against the local government alleging that the town's mayor and board members have violated her 1st Amendment rights.

According to The New York Times, Melanie Gold received $4,000 in grants from the Orange County Tourism Board last year in order to complete a community art project on private property. However, Greenwood Lake Mayor Barbara Moore did not support the initiative and, as a result, the town's board enacted a moratorium on public art until May 1, which is the same day that Gold's grant expires.

After Gold displayed three art pieces on Feb. 6, the town fined the building owner and threatened imprisonment or more penalties if the paintings were not removed by Feb. 22. Gold contacted a group called Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and was granted free legal representation. Last week, the artist filed a complaint with the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, seeking an injunction that would remove the art ban and declare it unConstitutional.

"This moratorium is a blatant violation of the 1st Amendment," said David Leichtman, one of Gold's attorneys. "It is astonishing that in 2011 a local government believes it has the authority to prohibit citizens from exercising their right to communicate with each other. The law is very clear that this is not a lawful exercise of police power."  

The Teachable Moment

Welcome to Madison, Wis., the capital of Cheesehead Country. Sorry about the mess.

Backed by money, volunteers and rhetoric from Democrats ranging from the ill-kempt professional protestor types all the way to President Barack Obama himself (“assault on unions”), the far left is out in force in Wisconsin’s capital bearing placards ranging from the now-ubiquitous “Republican-as-Hitler” mock-ups to images of sniper’s crosshairs superimposed over Governor Scott Walker’s face. So… I guess we can assume that Obama’s calls for “civility” were more of a guideline than an actual rule.

Among the thousands of Democrats loafing, lollygagging and otherwise doing nothing productive — no, I do not consider making “Walker = Mubarak” signs in what appears to be crayon productive — is a sizeable contingent of teachers. Note I didn’t say TEACHERS’ UNIONS, although Big Labor has spent thousands busing in on-call shriekers to join in the Big Wisconsin Whinefest; I said “teachers.”

Despite averaging a little more than $100,000 per year in compensation, the stewards of Madison’s youth are taking a little field trip. Wisconsin public schools are currently sitting idle as a result of a coordinated sick-out staged by the teachers. According to local teachers’ union executive director John Matthews:

“We have only one day where we can make a difference, and it’s because of the ridiculous means by which the governor tried to shove this down the throats of public employees…"

Here I was under the impression that teachers are supposed to make a difference EVERY DAY. Evidently, that maxim gets defenestrated (find me a teachers’ union victim who knows what THAT means without a dictionary and two wrong guesses) when the Governor of Wisconsin asks them to cover insurance premiums at a still-paltry 12 percent instead of their current 5 percent. By the way, the 12 percent number would still place the exceptionally well-compensated Madison teachers in the best-covered 15 percent of regional employees. I suppose the teachers could figure that out, but that might require basic math skills. Perhaps the sick-out participants are all social studies instructors.

But the Madison teachers are doing a great deal more than simply walking out on their charges. They’re also indoctrinating them. According to Madison school system policy:

“…teachers shall refrain from exploiting the institutional privileges of their professional positions to promote candidates or parties and activities…”

It would appear Madison-area teachers were playing hooky the day they taught “rules by which you must abide to keep your job” in union school. These fine folk are also forbidden from taking a personal day with less than three days’ notice. And as far as tantrums go, wait until all the sick-out-ers find out that their paychecks will be docked for their fake sick days.

Some of the teachers did go the extra mile, taking Matthews’ suggestion that their hissy-fit provided what he called a “teachable moment.” According to one teachers’ union victim at Madison East High School:

“…some (teachers) were telling students they wouldn’t be marked absent if they walked out.”

Get ‘em while they’re young, right? Other teachers actually dragged their charges to the protests where the fragile youth acknowledged their guides through the pitfalls of academe had done just as good a job teaching them about labor issues as they have teaching them the three R’s. East High students acknowledged they had been brought along on the walkout, but with a government school understanding of why:

“…You know, I don’t really even know! I guess we’re protesting today!”

OMG! Our teacher is so, like, you know, kickass?

“Um… we’re trying to stop whatever this dude is doing.”

Totally.

The students are far from the only participants failing “outrank Albania in academic achievement.” Big Labor has developed some serious delusions in Madison. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2412 President Gary Mitchell actually thinks the kids are getting involved in the demonstrations because they just love their teachers:

“The students have been so energized…”

I’m sure the students are in no way motivated by the fact that they’re getting extra “make out in Betty’s basement while her parents are at work” time.

Former teachers’ union president Albert Shanker said:

“"When school children start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children."

What happened to: “The children are our future?” Hey, Big Labor — you’re late for class.

Citrus Fruits Can Boost Your Mood

Feeling stressed out lately? Lucky for you relief may be as easy as looking in your kitchen. Studies indicate that some citrus fruits emit fragrances that can help ward off depression and stress. The scent triggers the release of a hormone called norepinephrine that boosts your mood. You can place oranges or lemons in and around your home, or carry a small bottle of essential citrus oil to use when you are on the run. Place a few drops on a handkerchief and sniff… your blues may just melt away. 

Rising Wholesale Prices Fuel Inflation Concerns

Rising wholesale prices fuel inflation concernsEarlier this month, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke admitted that the United States' economy is "overheated," "growing too quickly" and "short on resources."

Recent data from the Labor Department affirms Bernanke's statements, as well as fuels many economists concerns regarding inflation. On Feb. 16, the agency revealed that wholesale prices in the U.S. increased for a seventh consecutive month in January as the producer price index rose 0.8 percent. The core measure, which excludes volatile foods and energy costs, increased by 0.5 percent, which is the largest jump since October 2008.

These trends have prompted many Americans to consider the need to protect their assets and wealth. Investing in gold and international real estate — commodities that have intrinsic value — are viable options for individuals who are concerned about the sinking value of the U.S. dollar.

Although the outlook for the American housing market is bleak, the UK real estate industry is on the upswing, according to MyIntroducer.com. The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) recently reported that the number of registered house-hunters in Britain reached its highest level in six months, making investment in properties attractive both for domestic and foreign investors, such as those from the U.S.

"The message at the end of January 2011 certainly has been that sensibly priced, well located properties will sell and that you will also be able to buy a property at a fair and reasonable price," said Mark Bentley, chairman of the NAEA's Birmingham branch, quoted by the news provider.

The DIY Approach To A Supple Spine

The spine plays a vital role in pain relief. Impulses from the brain travel through nerves that exit the spinal column and bring feeling into every part of the body. When the spine is supple and the paraspinal muscles are relaxed, nerve impulses are sent without interruption or agitation. When the spine is out of alignment or the muscles around it are contracted, there can be nerve irritation and/or compression. If the nerve signal is interrupted the brain cannot get a clear idea of what the body needs, and this can lead to pain, inflammation, tingling and numbness.

Many people reach for pain-relieving analgesics and toxic anti-inflammatory medications to bring relief from the pain and/or inflammation. For the tingling and numbness, they ask for a prescription of muscle relaxants or go for chiropractic or massage care. As a last resort, many opt for surgery.

While each of these options can offer some relief, they also have their drawbacks. When it comes to the spine, it is best to always begin with a do-it-yourself approach. Doing it yourself is easy and requires less time than the commute to the docs.

And if you stretch the entire spine from head to hip, you will have hit all the places where imbalances occur. With time the symptoms in your back, neck, arms or legs may disappear altogether. 

Neck And Upper Back Stretches
To make the neck supple you will want to stretch the cervical spine in four directions. Following are four exercises to accomplish this. In all cases, use gentle pulls and only go to the point where discomfort is first experienced. Hold each stretch for 15 seconds, then return to normal position before starting the next stretch. Repeat the series three times.

Chin to chest: Place your hands behind your head and gently pull your head downward, trying to touch your chin to your chest.

Ear to shoulder: Put your left hand in your pocket (if standing) or under your buttocks (if seated). Reach your right hand over your head, placing your fingers above your left ear. Gently pull your head to the right side, trying to touch your right ear to your right shoulder. Repeat on the opposite side.

Nose to underarm: Turn your head to the right and reach your right arm over the center of your face so that your forearm divides your face and your hand holds the back of your head. Pull your head diagonally downward, trying to touch your nose with your underarm. Repeat on the opposite side.

Head backward: Place your right fingers on your right temple area and gently push your head back toward the left side, trying to touch the left base of your skull with your left collarbone. Repeat on the opposite side.

Mid-Back Stretches
Stretching and rotating movements are necessary to keep the mid back supple. Here’s what to do.

Backhand press: Clasp your hands so your fingers of each hand are inserted between each other. Hold at chest level and slowly press your hands forward. It should feel as if something is expanding in the space between your arms pushing your arms/hands away from your body. This will round your back for a gentle stretch, hold for 15 seconds.

Palm press: Repeat as above, this time rotating your hands as you press out so that your palms face outward. This provides a deeper stretch of the mid spine.

Modified cobra: Lie face down on the floor, arms bent and palms flat, as if in a push-up starting position. Slowly flex your neck, curling it upward and to the back.

Keep flexing your spine in sequence from neck to upper back to mid back to lower back, until much of your torso is lifted up off the ground. Your hands are only used for balance and not for pushing. The stretch is in the flexing of the spine. Hold in full flex for five to 10 seconds, then slowly and gently extend back to the neutral starting position. Repeat six times.

Lower Back Stretches
The lower back is where most people feel their pain. This pain is generally caused by limited range of motion and muscle contraction from sitting all through the day. Bending and twisting motions are needed to make it supple.

Supported squat: Hold on to the back of a chair (weighted down) or a stable surface — like a desk or countertop — with legs shoulder width apart and feet pointing forward. Slowly and gently bend down.

You are essentially squatting here, but using the support to control speed and how far you go down. Only go as far as you can until the first sign of pain is felt. Hold for three seconds at the low position, then stand back up and repeat 10 times. Each time should bring you closer to the ground.

Thigh hug: While standing, bend your knees and grasp your thighs, like hugging them with your arms. Simply relax and hold this position for 20 seconds without moving, and your lower back will start to release its grip and let go. Slowly stand back up and repeat twice more.

Pretzel twist: Sit on the floor with your feet together, arms by your side. Place your left foot on the floor on the right side of your right leg, by the knee. Drape your right arm over your left knee, then twist to your left, using your left hand for support. Repeat on the other side.

These are just a few examples of hundreds of stretches you can use to begin to help make the length of your spine supple. Some of these are found in yoga and others in physical therapy and other bodywork schools. The main thing is to begin a DIY regime and use books, the Internet and practitioners to take you from there.

Some of my patients have complained that they are in so much pain they cannot actually do some of these stretches. For acute pain and inflammation I always suggest taking a natural approach by adding aromatic spices to the diet (e.g., turmeric, ginger, cloves, mustard), drinking 10 glasses of water per day, walking to keep the blood moving and engaging in mindful breathing for stress relief. 

Once you are able to get over the acute pain hump, these spinal stretches will do wonders to remove the imbalance causing the pain and keep you supple and your nerves sending proper signals to the brain. The cure is found in the prevention.

–Dr. Mark Wiley

Alaska Refuses Federal Aid To Implement Obamacare

Alaska Refuses Federal Aid To Implement ObamacareAlaska Governor Sean Parnell has said that his State will not pursue Federal grants related to the healthcare law because of a recent ruling in Florida that deemed the mandate unConstitutional.

Parnell, a Republican, announced on Feb. 17 that he does not want to "proceed down an unlawful course" to implement Obamacare, referring to the Jan. 31 ruling by United States District Judge Roger Vinson in Florida. Alaska was one of the 26 States that backed the lawsuit, which challenged the healthcare law's Constitutionality.

According to Reuters, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) awarded grants to 48 States and the District of Columbia to help them set up medical insurance exchanges. Although Parnell said that Alaska will not apply for grants, he reported that the State is "reviewing the potential for developing a health insurance exchange without Federal dollars."

Obamacare, which was signed by the President last year, will require most Americans to purchase health insurance or face monetary fines. Since gaining majority rule in the House of Representatives, GOP lawmakers have made efforts to repeal the controversial legislation.

On Feb. 17, the DHHS filed a motion asking Vinson to clarify his decision, which invalidated the entire law because "Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the act with the individual mandate," according to the South Florida Business Journal. The government claimed that the "sweeping nature of the declaratory judgment" may cause interpretation problems as States are implementing the law. 

String Of Earthquakes Shakes Arkansas

String of earthquakes shakes ArkansasA series of small earthquakes has shaken the ground in parts of Arkansas in recent weeks. Although no injuries or major damage have been reported, the tremors prompted some Americans to sharpen their survival skills in the event of a natural disaster.

According to CNN, a total of 23 earthquakes struck central Arkansas in a 36-hour span last week. The largest of the seismic activity was a 4.3-magnitude quake that occurred at 2:13 a.m. on Feb. 18.

ArkansasMatters.com reported that hundreds of small tremors have hit the region since last June. Some residents have sent pictures to the news provider that show cracks in the Earth that were caused by the earthquakes.

Large-scale temblors in the U.S. are rare, but recent disasters in Haiti and China have reminded Americans of the catastrophic impact of earthquakes. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), there are several protective measures citizens can take to prepare for the worst.

The agency recommends that homeowners repair defective electrical wiring, leaky gas lines and inflexible utility connections, all of which can become safety hazards during an earthquake. Furthermore, large appliances such as a water heater, refrigerator and furnace should be secured to wall studs. If strong vibrations occur, these items may tip over or slide abruptly, potentially harming anyone in their path.

FEMA suggested that individuals who live in areas that are susceptible to earthquakes should hold regular drills with their families. During these exercises, safe spots in the house should be identified, including under a sturdy table or under a door frame. 

House Approves Amendment To Block ‘Net Neutrality’ Funding For FCC

House Approves Amendment To Block 'Net Neutrality' Funding For FCCHouse Republicans have succeeded in tacking on an amendment to the 2011 spending bill that strikes a blow to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) new "network neutrality" regulations.

The chamber voted 244-181 in favor of an amendment that would bar the FCC from using government money to enforce rules that the agency approved last year. The new regulations would require broadband providers to let subscribers access all Internet content and services over their wired networks.

The FCC aims to prohibit communication providers from favoring or discriminating against online content because it competes with their brand. GOP lawmakers claim that net neutrality rules will stifle phone and cable companies, and that the FCC overstepped its authority in enacting the rules.

Representative Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chairman of the House Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, said that the amendment is "about keeping the government out of the business of running the Internet," quoted by The Huffington Post.

According to media reports, wireless service companies MetroPCS and Verizon have both filed lawsuits in an effort to overturn the FCC's new regulations.