Study Finds Widespread Contamination Of Meat In U.S. Grocery Stores

Study finds widespread contamination of meat in U.S. grocery storesVegetarians and locavores — people who eat only locally-produced food — now have a new argument to support their lifestyle. The Translational Genomics Research Institute recently found that about half of the beef, pork and poultry found in grocery stores is contaminated with an antibiotic-resistant form of bacteria.

Staphylococcus aureus is associated with a compendium of human illnesses, and the majority of the strains that the researchers found in the meat appeared to be resistant to at least three varieties of antibiotics.

"The fact that drug-resistant S. aureus was so prevalent, and likely came from the food animals themselves, is troubling, and demands attention to how antibiotics are used in food-animal production today," said lead author Lance B. Price, Ph.D.

The researchers said the antibiotic-resistant forms of bacteria may leave doctors with few options for treatment if a human becomes infected. Additionally, they noted that the crowded industrial facilities that the animals are kept in while being regularly fed antibiotics are likely the cause of the contamination.

While the government typically screens meat for drug-resistant bacteria, inspectors do not currently look for S. aureus.  

McCain, Kerry Back Online ‘Bill Of Rights’

McCain, Kerry back online 'bill of rights'Two former Presidential candidates have teamed up to champion legislation promoting consumer privacy on the Internet.

Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) introduced the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act 2011 on April 12 and revealed its provisions during a news conference in Washington, DC. The bill is designed to protect online users by forcing companies to explain how they gather consumer information and what they do with it, according to The Washington Post.

If approved by lawmakers, the bill would require online companies such as Facebook and Google to receive user consent before acquiring personal information, including names, email addresses and credit card numbers. McCain and Kerry said that they have taken into account some of the feedback they garnered from lobbyists from Microsoft and Yahoo, who have warned that government intrusion could stifle business growth.

"Consumers want to shop, browse and share information in an environment that is respectful of their personal information," said McCain, quoted by the media outlet. "Our legislation sets forth a framework for companies to create such an environment and allows businesses to continue to market and advertise to all consumers, including potential customers."

Some consumer groups have expressed their displeasure with the bill, saying that it should include a "do not track" mechanism, which is similar to the "do not call" option that blocks telemarketers from calling residents.

Furthermore, TelecomTV.com reports that the legislation contains a loophole for data collectors, which says that information can be retained "for a reasonable amount of time" if it used for "research and development" purposes.

Glaucoma, The Silent Threat

The eye disease glaucoma is known as a silent threat because if you don’t undergo regular eye exams, you could fall victim and end up blind if not treated properly! One important factor is finding a doctor you trust. A respectful and open relationship with your physician can help you both examine the best course of treatment as your eye health progresses. But it requires homework on your part, too. Try to eat whole foods and vegetables loaded with vision-protecting nutrients like lycopene, lutein, carotene and vitamins A and E.

Hundreds Of Tornadoes Ravage Southern States

Hundreds of tornadoes ravage Southern StatesA total of 241 tornadoes swept across 14 States this past week, killing at least 45 people, and injuring hundreds.

According to FOX News, approximately 62 twisters touched down in North Carolina alone, producing the worst spring storms in the Tar Heel State in the last 20 years. In Bertie County, 11 people have been confirmed dead. In the capital city of Raleigh, three family members died in a mobile home park.

The University of Arkansas (UA) Department of Agriculture advises residents against staying in their vehicles or mobile homes during a tornado because they offer little protection from flying debris. Falling trees, airborne objects, collapsing power lines and broken glass are likely in the event of a severe windstorm, and mobile homes are typically not equipped to withstand those elements.

Ideally, individuals should find a below-ground location if a tornado is imminent. However, some natural disasters can hit without warning, so it is best to find an interior room, such as a laundry room or bathroom, that does not have windows, the college suggests.

Even after a twister passes, survivors should remain alert because tornadoes can reverse direction. If a residence still has electrical power, UA's Department of Agriculture says that it's best to utilize a radio or television to receive updates about the status of the storm.

Because We Say So

From time to time your kids “wander off the reservation.”  They do things which you verbally deplore, but laugh about with your friends: “back when we did (whatever you just grounded your brat for), we didn’t get caught.”

On occasion, your children will do things which actually appall, enrage or just plain terrify you. On those occasions, you likely mete out more severe discipline; but share no giggles afterwards. And on still OTHER occasions, your little monsters step over the line between the children you want them to be, and the adults you wish they’d never become.

From what I’ve observed—including observing from the “defendant’s chair”—the latter incidents often produce that all-time great kid-logic: “Why not?  YOU do it!”  And the parental response almost ends up being some version of “because I said so.” 

I remember from my childhood days that phrase also tended to work well on me; if only because if my old man fired that one off, the next step was the dreaded “fingerpoke of doom.”  Parents deploy “because I said so” because they can. And kids accept it because they must—Mom and Dad outrank them. Plus, Mom controls the dinner menu; and Dad has that fingerpoke thing. 

While you were willing to accept that kind of parental precept, there is no way you’d endure such guff from an employee. And yet, we all take it from President Barack Obama as often as your kids test your patience. Whether it’s an in between golf getaways command for more taxpayer belt-tightening; or another of those “Michelle-is-in-Majorca-and-I’m-dining-with-Oprah-but-the-rich-don’t-pay-their-fair-share” accusations, Barack boasts archetypical “because I said so” bombast.

Last Thursday, Obama, who chose to announce his re-election bid in the midst of his party’s near-submarining their beloved government, was at it again. During a fundraiser in Chicago, Obama proffered another of his “do as I say, not as I do” pontifications. What struck me was not his smartest-guy-in-the-room act; mostly because I can see right through it.

For all Obama’s efforts to avoid any sort of transparency, he’s paper-thin. His play-acting at gravitas is belied by the fact that he can’t order a Happy Meal without a teleprompter. Moreover—if you’ll pardon the expression—he sucks at his job. 

What kills me is that he delivered yet another smug sermon about tough times requiring tough sacrifices—and by the way, Republicans are evil—while standing in a restaurant which would bar the door at the sight of the very people about whom Obama professes to care so very deeply. N9ne is a part of a group owned by the billionaire Maloof family—the same folks who own the trendy Palms Hotel in Las Vegas. Enjoy one of the steaks for which N9ne is famous, and be ready to set yourself back about 50 bucks—presuming you drink water and skip dessert.

During Obama’s royal repast, he regaled his sycophants with the usual spiel:

“Right now, there are folks in the Chicago-land area who are… trying to figure out “…how am I going to fill up my gas tank?”  And all the tax cuts that we provided to help working-class families… they’re worried about those tax breaks being entirely eaten up by $4 a gallon gas.”

Really, Mr. President?  Did you consider asking your devoted acolytes—not one of whom likely arrived in a used car—to skip the $50 steak, order the chicken and give the difference to those “working-class families?” 

To be fair, I will stipulate that all Presidents—even the ones who are NOT the darlings of the effete NPR listener set—attend 5-star cash grabs like the one which Obama headlined the other night. (I suspect President George W. Bush never enjoyed them. For all Obama’s laughably stilted “man-of-the-people” posing, W. always seemed more comfortable in the sorts of places where eating with your hands is the norm; whereas Obama looks as out of place in such downscale diners as Rahm Emanuel in direct sunlight.)

Mr. President, your 2008 campaign haul was a record even before you broke your promise to stay within the bounds of public financing. The way you and your Democrat accomplices have performed of late, you’re going to need every nickel. 

Quit lecturing us, you supercilious twit. You’ve never met a payroll, never sweated the end of the month because you’re short on rent, and never had to choke down the kind of food they don’t serve in the places in which you and Oprah dine. For that matter—we’re the taxpaying citizens of the United States. Stop talking at us like we work for you, and not the other way around. 

Why? Because we said so.

Virginia AG: Right To Carry Gun In Church Protected By Constitution

Virginia AG: Right to carry gun in church protected by ConstitutionVirginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has clarified a State law regarding gun possession in places of worship, saying that the 2nd Amendment grants citizens the right to carry a firearm for personal protection.

In his statement on April 8, Cuccinelli noted that churches, synagogues and other houses of worship have the right to ban weapons on private property, but not the State, The Associated Press reported. His opinion was issued in response to a query from Delegate Mark Cole (R-Spotsylvania).

Cole was confused about a law that makes it a misdemeanor to carry a "deadly weapon" into a worship service "without good and sufficient reason."

"The current State code is very poorly written, to the point of whether it’s even enforceable," Cole told the media outlet. "Why would you even write code like that?"

Cuccinelli said that carrying a firearm for self-protection is a "good and sufficient reason." However, citizens must abide by the rights of private property owners to ban weapons from their facilities.

Meanwhile, the Arizona House of Representatives has approved a gun-rights bill that would allow people to carry guns in most public buildings, including colleges and universities. According to The Huffington Post, if Republican Governor Jan Brewer signs the legislation, Arizona would become the second State to force public colleges to allow guns on campus.

Cardiovascular Health May Predict Future Cognitive Ability

Cardiovascular Health May Predict Future Cognitive AbilityIndividuals at risk for stroke also appear to have an increased chance of developing age-related cognitive decline, according to researchers from the University of California.

The team of scientists examined the health of 73 older individuals who had not experienced a stroke or signs of cognitive impairment. While analyzing the data of the participants over a 10-year period, a correlation between physical and mental health was discovered.

"The findings reveal that if you control for age, education and gender, participants with higher risk for stroke perform significantly more poorly in verbal fluency and inhibition, even when controlling for a history of stroke and dementia," said the lead author of the study, Jonathan Gooblar.

As the country grapples with a growing prevalence of Alzheimer's disease and a lack of a cure for the disorder, the findings may provide hope that controlling cardiovascular risks may help stave off dementia.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a balanced diet and physical exercise as well as avoiding smoking and excess alcohol consumption for a healthy heart.  

Incredible Shrinking Government Cuts

The devil is in the details, and as the much ballyhooed budget deal reached by House Weeper John Boehner and President Barack Obama is dissected, an evil, despicable lie is revealed: Those “amazing” promised cuts are non-existent.

A report from the Congressional Budget Office indicates the $38 billion Congress supposedly cut from the budget in a deal reached April 8 after days of brinkmanship isn’t really $38 billion. It’s actually less than one-tenth of that: $352 million.

Not that $38 billion was a cut in the first place. It paled in comparison to the paltry $100 billion promised by Republicans trolling for votes last November, which paled next to a $1.5 trillion budget and a so-called $15 trillion debt.

Weeper Boehner and Congressional Republicans (outside of those with the surname Paul) have no intention of cutting government in any significant way. They can’t even cut it back to the previously unbelievable Bush-era numbers. They only favor cutting when shilling for your vote.

The elected elites work for government and, left to their own devices and unburdened from fear of being kicked out of office, they have no intention of cutting. What they do want to do, however, is to raise taxes.

Obama wants to raise taxes on the “rich.” To Obama, the rich is anyone drawing a paycheck. And some in Congress are talking about a Federal tax on Internet transactions.

In other words, the American middle class is the turnip and government is ready to give them another squeeze.

But we don’t have a revenue problem in America. We have a spending problem. And we have only two members of Congress who really understand that. Ron Paul and Rand Paul.

Oh, there are some Congressional Republicans—those elected under the Tea Party banner—who voted against the deal. But I doubt they really understand the depth of the spending problem.

After all, none of them are advocating cutting military spending, which consumed almost $1 trillion in 2009, according to economist Robert Higgs as quoted in Thomas E. Wood Jr.’s book, Rollback.

We also have a tax problem, but not the one that some of the elites would have you believe. Those that are advocating a tax increase on individuals want you to think the problem is that the rich aren’t taxed enough and if we just took some of their earnings, everything would be fine.

But if all the taxable income of everyone earning more than $100,000 was taxed at 100 percent, the earnings would not cover the spending in Obama’s budget plan.

The top 12 multinational corporations? Now that’s another story. But no one is talking about taxing them, despite the fact that they don’t pay taxes and, in some cases, get tax refunds in the billions.

According to a report on Alternet.org, General Electric has paid no taxes since 2006 despite earning $26 billion since then. In fact, in 2006 GE received a tax refund of $4.1 billion. Last year, Bank of America made $4.4 billion and received a refund of $1.9 billion. Other tax avoiders include Verizon, ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Valero, Boeing, FedEx, Carnival Cruise Lines, Citi and Goldman Sachs.

These companies used a tax haven given to corporations that do business overseas—but not available to companies doing business solely in the United States—to reduce their tax liability. How did this happen? They spent billions of dollars lobbying the elected elites to gouge out loopholes in the tax laws.

In fact, according to the Alternet.org report, 83 of the 100 largest publicly traded U.S. corporations use these tax havens to reduce their tax liability. So not only is Congress encouraging corporations to move their jobs overseas, it is penalizing companies that choose to remain in the U.S. to do business. And penalizing American workers.

And we wonder why our jobs are going overseas?

But I’ve told you before that taxes are not designed to raise revenue for the government. Income taxes have three purposes: To control and redistribute the volume of money, to direct the behavior of people and corporations and to keep a dossier on all citizens.

“But what about the debt?” you might ask. To which I would reply, “What debt?”

There is none. If the Federal government can print money to infinity, how can there be debt? That word is doublespeak designed to keep you enslaved to the elites and moneychangers.

Think about it. If you had a machine that could crank out legal tender in whatever amount needed to pay off your debts, would you have any debt? Of course not.

And neither does the U.S. government. It is the biggest Ponzi scheme in the history of the world. Yet it’s Bernie Madoff who sits in jail.

So if you’ve put off filing you income tax until today, as you seal that envelope and put it into the mailbox, remember this: The devil is in the details.

And of course, Satan is the father of lies.

Arizona Legislature Passes ‘Birther Bill’

Arizona legislature passes 'birther bill'Arizona lawmakers have approved a bill that would require Presidential candidates to prove they are natural born citizens of the United States before their names are placed on state ballots.

The legislation, which has been nicknamed the "birther bill," was passed by a 40 to 16 vote in the State House of Representatives on April 14. It needs to be signed by Republican Governor Jan Brewer before it becomes a law.

State Representative Carl Seel (R-Phoenix), the bill's sponsor, has repeatedly said that the measure is not targeted at President Barack Obama. However, the questions surrounding Obama's citizenship status have created a "birther" movement across the U.S., which includes Donald Trump, a potential GOP Presidential candidate and reality TV star.

"It's not about that," said Seel, quoted by CNN. "It's about future elections and maintaining the integrity of the Constitution."

In a recent interview with ABC News, Obama claimed that the "birther" argument will only serve to help his own cause in a general election. He added that an individual who harps on the citizenship issues "doesn't have any horns," or political substance.

Preparing For Hard Times Is A Way Of Life I Call Provident Living

I have been chosen by a film company to try out for a documentary on “prepping.” If I am chosen, a film crew will come to my house and film me in all aspects of my daily life.

I don’t feel like a prepper, I just live providently. When I refer to myself, I am also referring to my husband Scott and my children and most of my friends and relatives. It seems that everyone I know lives like this to some degree. I told my husband about it and he asked me, what is prepping? It seems it is a new buzzword for preparing for disasters or hard economic times. We are so used to our way of life that it is normal to us. We don’t consider ourselves preppers.

We have our yearly routine that we do to maintain a level of preparedness at all times. Because I am in the middle of filming the preliminary clips, I have been seriously thinking about how we live and how I could share this way of life with others who are just getting started and want to be more self-sufficient. I am going to list all the things that my family is doing to be prepared.

1. We Are Getting Out Of Debt And Staying Out Of Debt
The most important thing we are doing is getting out of debt and staying out. After all the research I have done on banks and the interest they charge, I realized that my money market account and my savings were never going to increase at the same rate as the interest the bank was taking out for my loans. I realized also that I need to be borrowing from myself instead of the bank, then I can pay myself back and I earn the interest. I am money ahead that way.

So I cashed out my money market certificates and my savings and I paid the highest interest-bearing debts first: Our credit cards, vehicle loans, a loan on a ring my husband and I bought and a flat screen TV that we purchased.

I paid off my mother’s house because she is getting older and making the payment every month is very hard for her. I could have used this money for my own debt, but I had a strong feeling that my mom’s house was more important and she needed to be out from under that pressure.

I came to the conclusion that I had my savings money in the bank and I also had my loan at the same bank. The bank was taking my savings and loaning it back to me and then charging me large amounts of interest. All of a sudden it dawned on me that this was not smart. So I used my savings and paid the high interest bearing loans first, and now I am making the same payments only to myself and I keep the interest for myself. That is how I can get ahead.

The way we started getting out of debt was by listing all monthly expenses and debts on a ledger. We concentrated on the smallest and highest interest bearing debts first. When we got the first debt paid, we took the money from the first one and added it to the second one.

For example, the first one was $100 and the second one was $200. When we paid off the first one, we began paying $300 to the second one each month until that one was paid in full. Then added the $300 to the third debt until it was paid off. We were still paying the same amount each month, but we were compounding the payments to get them paid off sooner.

Most people would say, “Good, I have an extra $300 this month,” and then go spend it or get into more debt. This plan takes discipline but can be done.

I must say that if you are on a fixed income or have no income, it is very difficult to get out of debt. That is why it is called the “Rat Race.” You spin your wheels and go nowhere.

You may have to sell some of your assets to accomplish this goal. I have put some recreational land that we own up for sale. If it sells, I will finish paying off our final debts.

My husband and I made a pact with each other that we would not use our credit cards for any purchase unless it is a debit and we have the extra money saved up for that purchase. We plan ahead and never get in trouble with credit card debt.

Our home is paid for and we are not a slave to a mortgage company. It feels so good to be debt free on our home and know that we won’t be kicked out if times get tough and we get into financial trouble.

We also save up the property tax money each month so that in November when property taxes are due we have the money and it is not a burden on us.

We have a three-month supply of cash on hand (not in the bank) to pay bills just in case the banks shut down or have no funds. It is good to have small bills and coins for smaller purchases. Saving enough money for emergency bill paying takes time. We are frugal and try to save money wherever we can. We pay cash for vehicles and other purchases. If we don’t have the money, we don’t buy it. 

2. We Grow A Garden Every Year
We are avid gardeners. Every spring we grow a garden.

My husband grew up on a farm and learned to milk cows at an early age. He would get up by 6 a.m., do his chores, milk the cows and then go to school.

His father was an onion farmer. They also grew corn to sell at the farmers market so the children could have money for school clothes.

We grow a lot more food than we need. However, I have tried to scale down and it hasn’t worked as well, so we give a large amount of food away to our family and friends. We like to grow plants from non-hybrid seeds so we can save them from year to year and have a never-ending supply.

3. I Bottle And Dry Excess Fruits And Vegetables
During harvest time I bottle or put up fruits and vegetables. I make things like salsa, pickles, beats, broccoli, squash, soups, peaches and pears. We enjoy eating the food we grow all year.

I also like to dehydrate the excess produce that we have in our garden. I keep a dehydrator going all the time during harvest time.

I make sun-dried tomatoes, zucchini chips, dried onions, and dried fruit slices such as peaches and pears, raisins, plums and apples. I make fruit leather with a mixture of fruits blended into a puree. I have an herb garden that we use to grow fresh herbs for cooking. I dehydrate them to make herbal seasonings.

4. We Have A Year-Round Greenhouse
We have a year-round greenhouse that we start all our seedlings in and grow food in year round. It contains an 800-gallon water tank that helps keep the greenhouse from freezing or overheating. We have fish in the tank all year. If necessary we could grow fish to eat.

We love our greenhouse.

5. We Raise Chickens And Other Animals
We live in the city limits of a small rural community. The entire town is only one mile long, and the population is 2,500. We are allowed to have farm animals on our property.

Many of my neighbors raise horses, cattle, chickens, rabbits, pigs and goats. People raise animals for meat as well. The county fair is full of them waiting to be sold to the lucky bidder.

We purchase meat from the local ranchers in the area. My husband and I have chickens. We collect the eggs every morning and eat them fresh for breakfast. My husband believes that he is healthier because of the free-range fresh eggs he eats.

6. We Store A Year’s Supply Of Food
Because of the religious beliefs of our church and community, most people in my community and in the state of Utah store enough garden seeds, food, water, clothing, bedding, fuel, wood, emergency supplies and camping gear to be prepared for an emergency of some sort.

I am the queen of food storage. I have enough to supply an army. I keep it in different locations for security reasons.

I stockpile a lot of easy-to-make meals that can be cooked by adding water and bringing to a boil. These include things such as soup mixes and premade meals. I also store bulk foods like rice, dried fruits vegetables, wheat, powdered milk, beans, honey, bread baking supplies and all the necessary ingredients to make soup and bread.

7. We Have A Root Cellar
Our root cellar is a cement room similar to a basement, only smaller. It is about 10 feet deep and has a stairway leading to the room.

We keep all our winter vegetables in that root cellar: Carrots, onions, potatoes, squash and apples all store well throughout the winter. There is a building on top of the root cellar in which we keep buckets of dehydrated food.

8. We Have A Wood-Burning Stove In Our Home
A wood-burning stove is a necessity if the power goes off. You need enough coal and wood to build a fire in the stove to heat your home and stay warm.

The top of the wood burning stove is flat so you can boil water in a pot or even cook simple foods on the top of the stove. These stoves will heat entire rooms. If your power goes off in the middle of the winter, you can shut the doors to rooms that are not being used and just heat the part of the house that is absolutely necessary.

We built an outdoor fireplace that we could use to cook in if we had to. It is on our patio and it is nice to just relax by the fire on chilly nights. We also have a barbeque grill that uses propane. We store extra bottles of propane so we could use it if needed.

9. We Have Camping And Evacuation Equipment
We have a special shed on our property in which we keep all our camping, hiking, snowshoeing equipment. We have plastic totes full of Mountain House foods and eFoods pre-made meals. We keep tents, sleeping bags, cots, warm clothing (gloves, wool socks, pants and hats), extra bedding, wool blankets, kerosene lamps, Dutch ovens and a Sun oven.

We have guns and ammo also. We live near the mountains and if we needed to hunt for wild game, we could. We have alternative heating and lighting sources as well. We keep our 72-hour packs in this shed along with our portable water filters. We keep cans of extra gasoline in case we need to take off somewhere. It is a good idea to keep the vehicles full of gas at all times.

10. We Have An Outhouse On Our Property
Our house sits on about a half-acre plot of land. My husband fixed up an old outhouse that was on the property when we moved here 25 years ago. The outhouse has a door on it for privacy. It has a hole dug in the ground about four or five feet deep and has a wooden box built on top of the hole.

The wooden box has a hole in the top with a toilet seat secured over the hole. We use an enzyme and bacteria product called Bio Clean to sprinkle into the hole and eliminate human waste and smells. You can purchase Bio Clean from my website www.peggylayton.com.

11. We Have A 250-Gallon Water Tank In Our Shed
Water is the most important item we have. Without water we won’t live long. We keep a 250-gallon tank in the shed where our camping gear is stashed. We have smaller 5-gallon containers to fill from the larger one.

This is a little bit about how we live. I hope it gives you ideas so you and your family can be more self sufficient.

Emergency Food Storage and Survival HandbookIf you are interested in a great source for pre-made meals that can be stored for 15 years and taste great, check out the eFoods Global meals available from my website. I have been testing out these emergency food storage meals which are packaged in Mylar® pouches. These meals serve four people and are ready to just add water and cook. I find them delicious, convenient, and easy. For more information, click here.

To purchase any of my seven books or any of the other preparedness items I sell, go to my website at www.peggylayton.com

–Peggy Layton

Lawmakers Put 2011 Budget In Rear-View Mirror

Lawmakers put 2011 budget in rear-view mirrorIt took six-and-a-half months, but Congress has finally agreed on a budget for fiscal year 2011.

On April 14, the Senate and House passed a bill that, along with other stopgap measures, cuts approximately $39.9 billion from current spending levels. The House voted 260-167 in favor of the legislation, with 59 Republicans and 108 Democrats rejecting the measure. The Senate supported the budget by a 81-19 vote.

House Speaker John Boehner broke from tradition and cast a vote in favor of the budget. It was his first vote as the chamber's foreman.

"The Speaker knows some members are going to take heat for this vote, and he wanted to let them know he was right there with them," Boehner's spokesman, Michael Steel, told The Hill.

Beginning last September, Congress passed seven continuing resolutions to prevent a government shutdown.

It didn't take long for legislators to redirect their attention to the 2012 budget. According to media reports, the House was scheduled to vote on Representative Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) proposal, which aims to cut more than $5 trillion in government spending over the next decade. If approved, Ryan's budget would revamp entitlement programs Medicare and Medicaid.

On April 13, President Barack Obama outlined his own plan to cut the Federal deficit, which would rely on raising taxes for Americans. 

An Apple A Day May Keep Cholesterol Away

An apple a day may keep cholesterol awayIn a randomized trial of 160 post-menopausal women, it was found that regular consumption of apples lowered unhealthy LDL cholesterol, raised beneficial HDL cholesterol and diminished the presence of inflammatory and damaging compounds, according to Florida State University researchers.

Every day for a year, half of the women ate 75 grams of dried apples and the remainder consumed the same amount of prunes. Their blood was tested at three intervals over the trial period.

The women who ate apples experienced an average 23 percent decrease in LDL cholesterol after six months, and raised beneficial lipids by 4 percent. They also had lower levels of cell-damaging lipid hydroperoxide and inflammatory proteins, compared to the participants who ate prunes.

Moreover, despite the 240 calories that the apples added to the women's daily intake, they saw an average weight loss of 3.3 percent.

"Reducing body weight is an added benefit to daily apple intake," said study author Bahram H. Arjmandi, Ph.D., R.D.

The researchers noted that the pectin and fiber found in apples may help consumers feel satiated.  

Rumors Swirl About Biden Sleeping During Obama Speech

Rumors swirl about Biden sleeping during Obama speechVice President Joe Biden was caught with his eyes closed during President Barack Obama's recent speech about the Federal deficit, which has prompted speculation that Biden may have fallen asleep.

During Obama's address on April 13 at George Washington University, cameras recorded Biden with his eyes closed for several seconds. Eventually, the Vice President opened his eyes and then bowed his head as his boss discussed Medicare.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, a rumored candidate for the GOP Presidential bid, told FOX News that Biden was praying, not sleeping.

"He was praying that nobody will find out just how disingenuous they are about actually cutting the expenses and hoping and praying that the American people don’t catch on to the games that they’re trying to hoist upon us," Huckabee told the media outlet.

According to a poll conducted by The Huffington Post, approximately 64 percent of respondents believe that Biden nodded off during Obama's speech, compared to only 36 percent who said that he was "deep in thought."

This wasn't the first time that a high-ranking White House official appeared to fall asleep during an Obama address. At an April 2009 meeting in which the President discussed the nation's credit card system, National Economic Council Chairman Lawrence Summers was pictured with his eyes closed and his head on his hand.

Honey May Be Effective Alternative Medicine For Infection

Honey may be effective alternative medicine for infectionA type of honey from New Zealand has been shown to reduce bacterial infection in wounds and also prevent antibiotic resistance, according to researchers at the University of Wales Institute Cardiff.

Manuka honey is produced by bees that collect nectar from the manuka tree. The sweet stuff is already used in some healing products, and scientists now believe that its antimicrobial properties may even be effective enough to act as alternative or complementary medicine to antibiotics.

"We need innovative and effective ways of controlling wound infections that are unlikely to contribute to increased antimicrobial resistance. We have already demonstrated that manuka honey is not likely to select for honey-resistant bacteria," said lead author Rose Cooper.

The scientists discovered that topical application of the honey helped prevent bacteria from sticking to a wound and also prevented a biofilm that protects the infection from treatment. Additionally, the substance appeared to weaken the superbug bacteria that causes the MSRA infection and is resistant to most antibiotics.

Authors are hopeful that the findings may lead to inexpensive, natural antibiotic therapies.  

Website TrueHealth.org has reported that honey has long been used as a household remedy for wounds, burns and sore throats, as well as a gentle facial cleanser due to its antibacterial properties. 

CBO Figures Cast Doubt On Budget Compromise

CBO figures cast doubt on budget compromiseAs lawmakers prepared to vote on the Federal budget for the remainder of fiscal year 2011, new data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has raised some doubts regarding the bill's immediate impact on the national deficit.

According to an analysis by Politico.com, the proposed $38 billion cuts would reduce direct spending this year by approximately $352 million, compared to the FY2010 rates. This information may irk conservative lawmakers who have already argued that the compromise failed to meet the GOP's campaign pledge to cut $100 billion.

However, the CBO figures take into account an increase in Pentagon appropriations. If non-military spending is cast aside, the rest of the government's budget will be $42 billion less than the level when John Boehner (R-Ohio) became Speaker of the House.

The deal passed in the House Thursday afternoon and was supposed to go before the Senate later in the evening. If a deal was not reached by midnight, the government would shut down.

A total of 28 House Republicans voted against the stopgap bill on April 9 that kept the government funded for an extra week. Representative Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) voted against the continuing measure and said he planned to vote against the final package, claiming that the budget is built on "phantom savings," according to FOX News.

Our Lying Media And The Budget Battle

I don’t know when I have ever seen a bigger bunch of lies, distortions and deliberate misstatements by our national media than in the so-called budget debate that’s been taking place in Washington, D.C.

My nominee for the biggest offender is ABC News, which a week ago told the nation that “Republicans in Congress are prepared to shut down our government, and deny pay to our troops fighting overseas, in order to defund Planned Parenthood.”

Got that? Not only are Republicans the evil, nasty culprits responsible for the whole controversy. They will go so far as to deny pay to our soldiers, if necessary.

The only part of this pack of lies that had even a kernel of truth to it concerned the remarks about Planned Parenthood. I’ll get to that in a moment. But first, let me revisit some recent history about the dishonest and irresponsible politicians who created this mess in the first place.

Let me begin by pointing out that what’s at issue here is the budget for the Federal government’s operations for a fiscal year that began last October. In other words, our representatives are still arguing about how much to spend in a year that is already more than half over.

Why didn’t they come up with a budget before the year began? That’s what they’re supposed to do. That’s what the law says they should do. And frankly, that’s when they could have done anything they wanted, without all the current posturing and deceit. They had all the votes they needed to spend any amount they wanted on whatever their redistributionist little hearts desired.

Whose fault is it that the Democrats never came up with a budget back then? Clearly, the blame rests squarely on Barack Obama’s White House, Nancy Pelosi’s House and Harry Reid’s Senate. They had all the votes they needed. Why did they just sit on their hands?

So of course it’s the Republican majority in the House—something that didn’t exist before last November—that’s getting the blame now for the budget imbroglio.

Let me note in passing that even if government had been forced to shut down, every soldier and sailor serving Uncle Sam anywhere in the world would have been paid on time and in full. That’s also part of the law. They are considered “essential personnel” and are exempt from any furlough, even if much of government has to be shut down.

You will be aghast to learn that so are members of Congress and their staffs. Oh, some of them would probably have gone back to their home districts, to show their support for all of the folks being hurt by a shut-down. But you can bet that their paychecks would have continued to have been deposited in their banks when they were due.

Something else you need to know about this whole insane mess: We are talking about peanuts. Let’s look at the numbers for a moment. Currently, the Federal debt amounts to $14.2 trillion. Our masters in Washington have borrowed every penny the law allows. In fact, that’s the reason for the current war of words. If Congress won’t raise the debt ceiling, the government can’t borrow any more money. If it can’t borrow any more money, it can’t pay for all the boondoggles and giveaways that are already law.

The deficit is already scheduled to grow by $1.6 trillion this year. In other words, even if Congress can’t agree on spending one more dollar this year, we taxpayers are already on the hook for our government to fork over $1.6 trillion more than it collects in taxes.

The deficit for February (the shortest month of the year!) was $223 billion. That was the largest single deficit of any month in our country’s history.

Let me put it another way: The same day that Republicans in the House voted to cut spending by $6 billion, our national debt jumped by $72 billion. That’s $72 billion in new deficits, every day of the week, every week of the year.

Here’s an analogy your neighbors might understand. Say a penny represents $1 billion. Right now, our Federal debt equals 15,800 pennies. The pile is growing by 72 pennies every day.

So far, Republican budget cutters have removed 10 pennies. Meanwhile, the Democrats offered to remove 4.5 pennies. That’s it; that’s all the fat they said could be found in the budget. That comes to about one-sixteenth of the number of new pennies they want to borrow each and every day to fund their favorite socialist schemes.

The Democrats’ response to all of this is simple: Call anyone who disagrees with them an extremist. New York’s whacko senator, Charles Schumer, admitted as much. In a conference call with other Senate Democrats, the point man for their messaging told them to “always use [the word] ‘extreme.’ That’s what the caucus instructed me to do the other week. ‘Extreme cuts.’ ‘Extreme and draconian.'”

Immediately after the call, California Senator Barbara Boxer dutifully picked up the theme.

“We Senate Democrats are calling on Speaker Boehner to abandon the extreme right wing of his Republican caucus,” she said. Boxer was followed at the podium by Senator Tom Carper of Delaware, Ben Cardin of Maryland, and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut. And guess what? Each and every one of them used the word “extreme” or “extremist” when he spoke. Conspiracy? Why, whatever gave you that idea?

The other thing that is essential to understand is that Barack Obama doesn’t care about any of this. All he cares about is getting re-elected next year. Everything he does, every plan and program he promotes, in fact, every word that comes out of his mouth, is carefully calculated to do one thing and only one thing: help him win re-election.

While he pays lip service to how terrible it is to bury our children and our children’s children under a mountain of debt, you must understand he doesn’t mean a word of it. “Good” is what helps him keep his job; “bad” is whatever reduces the chances of that happening.

Oh, about defunding Planned Parenthood. Many Republicans believe it is a sin to take money from taxpayers and use it to kill unborn babies. That is why they want Federal subsidies to Planned Parenthood stopped. Under their proposal, the money that would have gone to this so-called charity would instead go the States, which could then give it to whomever or whatever they wished.

The Democrats, who argue so loudly and long for “free choice” when it comes to aborting babies, are furious at the idea of letting the States have free choice with taxpayers’ money. They’re afraid (quite rightly, I’m sure) that some of those choices would mean no money for their favorite supporters. To which all I have to say is; it’s about time.

Since you can be absolutely certain that this crisis won’t be resolved any time soon, I’ll be returning to this subject again and again in the weeks and months to come. While we can wish it were otherwise, the possibility that our leaders in Washington will require our government to live within its means is zero. With Obama in the White House and the dishonest and despicable Harry Reid controlling the Senate, the best we can hope for is to slow the tsunami of spending by a bucket or two.

Let’s take whatever minor victories we can get today—and plan to win the biggest battles of them all next year.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

–Chip Wood

Foreign Banks, Ben Franklin, President Carter And Russian Money

*Ben Bernanke’s foreign bank bonanza. Documents from the Federal Reserve confirm that the central bank loaned more than $70 billion to foreign banks during the 2008 financial crisis—including some $26 billion to a bank owned by Moammar Gadhafi’s Central Bank of Libya. The news is sure to spur increased calls for an investigation of the Fed. “The American people are going to be outraged,” said Representative Ron Paul, one of the central bank’s most severe critics. Let’s hope so.

*What would Ben Franklin say? A study last year by the MetLife insurance company found that 47 percent of Americans say they have given money to family members in the past year so they can pay their bills. The author of Poor Richard’s Almanack would probably not agree. One of his favorite aphorisms was “neither a borrower nor a lender be.”

*The older he gets, the dumber he acts. What is it with former President Jimmy Carter? It seems there isn’t an enemy of America that he isn’t willing to embrace. He’s done it with Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega and Palestinian terrorists. Now he’s in Cuba, pleading for “better understanding” with Raul and Fidel Castro’s murderous communist tyranny. Please, Mr. President, take your Nobel Peace Prize and go home.

*Where have all the American big-spenders gone? Did you see the news that a mansion in Silicon Valley, Calif., styled after a massive French chateau, just sold for $100 million? Turns out the purchaser was not an American. No, the record for the most expensive single-family home sale in this country is now held by Yuri Milner, a Russian billionaire.

–Chip Wood

Escape Of The Inflationary Cat

Oops! I’m sure that’s the thinking of some of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s underlings to the CNBC story that United States core producer prices rose slightly faster than expected in March, “pointing to a broadening in the pipeline inflation pressures,” as CNBC framed it.

Oops. The cat’s out of the bag, to coin a phrase. They tried so hard to keep it a secret. How else to explain the fact their indexes for monitoring inflation exclude food and energy, ostensibly because of their volatility.

Of course, only the elites are surprised. Those of us who’ve been buying groceries and filling our cars with gasoline on our way to and from work have been feeling the pinch for some time.

And regular readers of Personal Liberty Digest™ shouldn’t be surprised. After all, I’ve been warning you about inflation for a very long time. It’s an inevitable outcome as Bernanke’s printing presses work around the clock.

Bernanke wanted QE2 to prop up the stock market and give the illusion that wealth was being created… that the economy was okay. He’s propped up the market alright, and his bankster and Wall Street buddies are grateful.

Out here where the cows graze (or the widgets get made or the service is performed, etc.), folks aren’t quite as happy. And trading that gas guzzling SUV for more gas-friendly model—as President Barack Obama so snidely suggested a couple of weeks ago—isn’t an option if you’re already underwater on both your home and that SUV, your job has either been eliminated, your salary cut or hours reduced and that $150 weekly grocery bill has climbed to $175 or more.

Now President Barack Obama and Congressional Republicans are arguing over cutting pennies and promising to do something to help the economy. But a recent Rasmussen poll showed that 45 percent of likely voters fear the government will do too much to help the economy.

Oops, indeed!