Texas Governor Rick Perry May Be Inching Closer To Running For President

Rick Perry may soon join the race for the White House.A number of prominent political figures have already declared their intentions to run for the Republican nomination for President. However, one man who some believe has a good shot at the nomination — Texas Governor Rick Perry — is still exploring the possibility.

Fox News reports that aides to Perry have begun to explore the Governor’s chances in Iowa, the State that holds the first caucus in the nation. In addition, the news source reports that Perry aides have also looked into whether it is too late to raise sufficient funds for the primary campaign.

Perry has been making headlines recently, holding a number of speeches around the country. On June 12, he made a pro-life speech to an Hispanic anti-abortion group in Los Angeles and, more recently, he spoke at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans.

During his speech at the Conference, Perry vowed not to change his position on social issues such as abortion or gay marriage to win favor with liberals.

“Our party cannot be all things to all people, it can’t be. Our loudest opponents on the left are never going to be happy, so let’s stop trying to curry favor for them,” he said.

School Distributes Sexually Graphic Survey To Students

Parents are outraged at Massachusetts school officials, after middle school students were forced to take a survey that included graphic questions about sex — without parental knowledge or consent.

Arlene Tessitore, who has retained the services of civil liberties organization The Rutherford Institute, claims her daughters were deeply disturbed by the content of a Youth Risk Behavior Study they were forced to take at Memorial Middle School in Fitchburg, Mass.

“Kids were actually told to sit down and take them,” John Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, told Fox News Radio. “One of the questions is, ‘have you ever had oral sex.’ You’re talking about kids who probably don’t even know what oral sex is.”

Principal Fran Thomas confirmed to Fox News Radio that students had taken the graphic survey, but claims the school was required to administer it in order to receive a grant funded by a social services agency in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I can take no responsibility for what’s on that survey,” Thomas told the news outlet. “It’s not generated by the school system.”

“It was a case of the school telling parents what they were going to do,” Whitehead said. “If parents want their kids to answer these kinds of questions as federal law requires, they should give written consent. But if they don’t give consent, I don’t think public officials should be asking children such questions.”

ISPs Team Up With NSA To Monitor Internet Traffic

The National Security Agency (NSA) and Internet service providers (ISPs) are working together to monitor Internet traffic, with the reported goal of preventing foreign cyberattacks against defense firms.

The program uses sophisticated NSA tools to scan email and other digital traffic, seeking to identify any malicious programs that may be used to attack companies with defense contracts.

“We hope the… cyber pilot can be the beginning of something bigger,” Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III said, quoted by a WashingtonPost.com article. “It could serve as a model that can be transported to other critical infrastructure sectors, under the leadership of the Department of Homeland Security.”

Thus far, the spying tools are being used only on commercial Internet traffic with significant ties to the Department of Defense. The participating ISPs are AT&T, Verizon and CenturyLink.

“We wouldn’t want this to become a backdoor form of surveillance,” James X. Dempsey, vice president for public policy at the Center for Democracy & Technology, a civil liberties group, told The Washington Post. Dempsey stressed that any extensions to the program would have to guarantee protections against government access to private Internet traffic.

“The U.S. government will not be monitoring, intercepting or storing any private-sector communications,” Lynn said, quoted by the article. “Rather, threat intelligence provided by the government is helping the companies themselves, or the Internet service providers working on their behalf, to identify and stop malicious activity within their networks.”

“The government needs to make up its mind about whether it wants to protect networks or collect intelligence,” Dempsey said.

Unemployed? Mitt Romney Feels Your Pain!

Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney feels a strong connection to America’s unemployed. After all, he counts himself among their numbers.

“Mitt Romney sat at the head of the table at a coffee shop (in Florida) on Thursday, listening to a group of unemployed Floridians explain the challenges of looking for work. When they finished, he weighed in with a predicament of his own” the Caucus blog on NYTimes.com reported.

“I should tell my story,” Romney reportedly told the assembled group. “I’m also unemployed.”

As of May, the current unemployment rate in the United States is 9.1 percent. With a population of more than 300 million, 9.1 percent means about 27.3 million Americans are jobless.

The blog described the scene as “awkward,” as the former Massachusetts Governor joked, “I’m networking. I have my sight on a particular job.”

An editorial on the liberal website AlterNet was less charitable in its description of the encounter: “Because a multimillionaire with several spacious residences for his well-do-to clan — and a guy who made his money with leveraged buyouts that involved many layoffs — throwing his hat in the ring for President after five years of thumb-twiddling and failed political campaigning is the exact same thing as working people losing their jobs.”

Gardening Hints And Tips

Gardening season is upon us, and the garden must be tended in order to have a successful harvest. Gardening is one of the more popular leisure activities in the United States. An average backyard garden will cost about $30 for seeds and about $50 for organic potting soil and fertilizers, yet it will yield more than $600 in fresh, organic produce. That is a great investment, not only for our finances but also for our health.

5 Reasons To Grow A Garden

  1. Health is the main reason people grow gardens. The food we plant, grow and prepare for our families is healthier than produce purchased from the grocery store. If we grow our own food, we know whether it is organic, since we control the fertilization, pest-control and harvesting methods. Gardening is great for mental health, too. Working hard in a garden gives us pleasure in accomplishing something wonderful.
  2. Stress relief occurs when we do something meaningful that makes us happy. Planting and digging in the dirt relieve stress and make us feel better.
  3. Connecting to the Earth slows us down and grounds us. The soil, the worms and the living plants are fascinating to watch. When we slow down long enough, we become aware of the miracle of life.
  4. Self-sufficiency is another great reason to grow a garden. With the cost of commodities rising rapidly, gardening can offset the high cost of food. This puts more money in our pockets to use for other necessities.
  5. We save money by going to the grocery store less often. It’s possible to save hundreds of dollars per growing season, which really helps with the food budget.

Location

If you live in a cramped space and have a small yard, you can still grow a garden. Look around and see if you have places to put tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, etc. Flower gardens are ideal, because you can plant vegetables between flowers. Some flowers help with bug control. For example, marigolds ward off some garden pests.

The location of your garden is important. It needs to be a sunny, well-drained location, rich in compost and soil texture. Plant taller plants on the north side of the yard or garden so they won’t shade shorter plants. Plants can be planted along fences, patios and corners of lots, even in the yard. A strip of grass can be removed from the lawn and worked to become a raised vegetable bed.

Raised Beds

PHOTO OF RAISED BEDS IN GARDENRaised beds are ideal for small areas.  You can either shape the dirt into a hill or use a wooden frame around the grow bed. The frame is made of 2-by-4 planks placed in a rectangular shape. Use two 2-by-4 planks stacked one on top of the other to make the bed 8 inches tall, or use two 2-by-8 planks stacked one on top of the other to make the bed 16 inches tall. Make the bed 3 feet wide and as long as your space allows. The soil in the raised beds can be added to and maintained even if the texture of the surrounding soil is poor and has bad drainage. Make your raised bed level even if your garden spot is on a slope, so the water will remain in the bed and the soil will not wash away. Cultivate the soil 2 inches deeper than the height of the grow bed. Add mulch, compost or organic matter, and then dig down and turn the soil. Use a pitchfork to break up dirt clots. Rake it into a nice, level bed. Once that’s done, it is ready for planting.

Continue to add more compost so the soil improves each year. My husband is in the process of putting wood chips between the rows to keep the moisture in and the weeds out.

Container Gardening

If you are an apartment dweller and long to have a garden, try container gardening. Herbs and vegetables are great for containers, because they can be moved indoors when the weather gets too cold. Onions, radishes and lettuce mixtures can be grown in containers. Tomatoes and sweet bell peppers can be grown in large pots on the balcony. Zucchini and cucumbers can be trained to grow up a trellis or wire fencing. This way, they grow in a smaller space and the vegetables can be picked easily.

Soil

Use organic, inexpensive material such as vegetable peelings, coffee grounds, tea leaves, manure, chicken droppings, mulch, potting soil, leaves, grass clippings, sawdust, wood shavings, straw or hay to make a nutrient-rich topsoil. Avoid using anything that might have weed seeds in it. Peat moss, perlite or vermiculite can be used in composting, but they are more expensive and have no nutritional value. The better the soil, the more worms will be attracted to it, which is a good thing. Worm castings and worm holes help develop nutrient-rich soil as well.

Every year, new compost made from all-organic materials must be added to the soil. It is good to mix the compost in a pile as you add to it and let it rest for the year before putting it on the garden — especially if it contains manure or chicken droppings. Manure is considered hot and can burn plants if it’s used fresh. That is why you mix it with compost and let it set for a year.

We have a compost pile near our chicken coop so when we clean out the coop we can add the droppings to the compost pile. Mixing it often allows it to decompose throughout the year.

Till the garden by hand

PHOTO OF U-BARMy husband prepares the soil by hand because he likes to break up dirt clots and rake out the beds before he plants. He likes to use a D-handled spading fork and a U-bar digger. A small tiller can also be used to till the soil and prepare it for planting.

Seeds

The best types of seeds to store are called non-hybrid or heirloom seeds. They can be saved from year to year and will be true to form each season. To learn more about non-hybrid garden seeds, refer to my article Growing A Backyard Garden Can Be Good For Your Health.

The hybrid- or regular-type seeds that can be found in most garden centers are good for only one season. You need to purchase seeds from year to year. The seeds cannot be saved because they are genetically altered. Their offspring the second year will look like a crossbred vegetable.

Keep garden seeds in a container with a lid so mice don’t get into the seeds and eat them. It is best to keep them in a cool, dry, dark container to avoid light exposure. The cooler the temperature, the longer the seeds will last. Seeds have a shelf life of up to five years. To extend the shelf life, keep them in the refrigerator or freezer.

Herbs can be started from seed or can be purchased from a nursery and planted in an herb garden or around decorative rocks and flower beds. Fresh herbs have great flavor, and they are good for your health.

Planting

Certain plants do well if started indoors or in a greenhouse first and then transplanted later. These plants include tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and onions. Some plants do just as well if started in the ground. These include corn, spinach, lettuce, squash, cucumbers, peas, radishes, Swiss chard, carrots, potatoes and garlic.

Corn, tomatoes, peppers, squash, and cucumbers need warm soil before germination can take place. Onions, spinach, lettuce, peas, cabbage, radishes, broccoli, cauliflower and Swiss chard may be planted early in the spring. A second crop can be planted in late July or early August to extend the growing season.

Watering

The frequency of watering depends on the texture of the soil. In dry climates, more frequent watering is very important. Gardens with sandy soil require more watering than those with clay-based soils. Sandy soil does not hold moisture so you will need to water more frequently. After the garden has been planted, it is really important to keep it moist so the seeds will germinate. Carrots are very touchy. They must be kept moist every day to germinate.

My husband puts finely chopped wood chips around our plants and grow beds to hold in the moisture. You could also lay black plastic or newspaper, covered with dirt or chips, around plants to hold in the moisture and keep weeds from growing. Because plastic is an inorganic material, it must be removed in the winter and replaced the next spring. Straw will hold moisture also. However; we tried using straw last year, and it had grain seed in it. As a result, we had an outbreak of oat grass and had to do a lot of extra weeding. If you are using straw, sift through it and use only the stems of the straw.

We have found that it’s best to water either early in the morning or just before dark. Whenever we watered the plants during the day, the leaves got burned from the sun reflecting on the water.

Metal Cages And Fencing Wire

PHOTO OF WIRE FENCING AND WIRE CAGESWhen we plant peas, we put tomato cages around them — at least three across — and as many as needed for the length. The peas grow straight up and cling to the metal for stability. As the peas reach the top of the metal cages, we put up a higher fence to support them as they grow taller. This makes it easier to pick the peas, and the plants do not fall over. (See the photo at the right.)

We put up metal fencing for the pole beans, cucumbers, melons and squash. They also climb straight up, which takes up less space. The plants cling to the fencing, which gives them stability and makes it easier to pick the vegetables. All the tomatoes and peppers have cages around them to protect them from the dogs and cats running through the garden. The tomato cages give the tomatoes stability as well.

I once heard that metal around a garden conducts electromagnetic energy during a rain or electrical storm, which stimulates the growth of the vegetables.

It is a good idea to put a fence around the entire garden to keep out deer and other animals. We live near the mountains, and many of my neighbors have a serious deer problem. At night the deer come from the mountains and graze on anything they can find. Many gardens have been completely eaten before they matured. It might be a good idea to have an outside dog near the garden to scare off the nighttime predators.

We lock up our chickens in their run during the months we are planting and harvesting our garden. The chickens will scratch the soil and find all the seeds we have planted. When the tomatoes are ripe, the chickens will peck at them and eat holes into the fruit.

Weeding

PHOTO OF WEEDING WITH A SMALL WEED RAKEWe get the baby weeds before they even have a chance to grow. A small rake made for weeding the garden is the best. It is small enough to go around the plants and loosen the dirt. This disrupts the root system of small weeds, and they die. We do a lot of weeding early on, which saves us many hours of weeding. Weeds use up the nutrients in the soil, so you want to stop them before they grow.

We put wood chips or sawdust on the walkways between the grow beds. This keeps the moisture in the garden, and the weeds don’t grow through it. Taking care of the weeds early on saves much frustration later.

Pest Control

Raising a completely organic garden means not using any chemicals in the soil or on the plants. There is always a problem with pests such as tomato hornworms, cutworms, aphids, whiteflies, ants, etc. To kill insects, mix a solution of water and a few drops of dish soap into a spray bottle or a large sprayer and spray the plants with it. When you spray it on the plant, make sure to spray the underside of the leaves where aphids hide. After spraying the plants with the mixture of dish soap and water, rinse the plants with warm water to remove the soap and the dead bugs.

Diatomaceous earth is used as a mildly abrasive insecticide that can be sprinkled onto and around the base of plants. Diatomaceous earth can be purchased in home-and-garden centers. Do not use the one for swimming pools. Get the one for plants and vegetables.

A friend of mine raises ducks to eat grasshoppers, earwigs, worms and other pests. Ducks will eat the insects and not necessarily the vegetables. Ducks are less harmful to produce than chickens. However, chickens will eat any insects they can find, so that might be an option if you can keep the chickens from getting into the vegetables.

We Love Having a Garden

I believe tending a garden is like therapy for the soul. We love the fresh, organic vegetables we get from the harvest. We feel happy that we do not have to depend on the grocery store for our fresh produce. And we know that our food is organic, with no sprays, chemical additives or preservatives in it, which is much better for our health.

Emergency Food Storage and Survival HandbookPeggy Layton is a freelance writer and the author of seven books on the subjects of food storage and emergency preparedness. She and her husband grow a backyard garden every year and live off the land during the growing season. Peggy bottles and dehydrates excess produce. Peggy and her husband keep winter vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, squash, onions and apples in a root cellar they built. During the winter when produce is less plentiful, they grow food in their greenhouse. And they gather fresh eggs daily from their chickens. Provident living is a way of life in their home.

If you would like to purchase emergency supplies, books written by Peggy Layton and a variety of heirloom garden seeds, click here.

Are you interested in emergency Food Storage Meals packaged in Mylar® pouches with a 15-year shelf life? They serve four people, are ready to just add water and cook, and are delicious, convenient and easy. Go to www.peggylayton.efoodsglobal.com.

 

 

Moe, Larry And Curly Bernanke

In the 1940 short film “A Plumbing We Will Go,” The Three Stooges pose as plumbers trying to stop a leaky pipe in a large home while a party is going on.

Since they know nothing about plumbing, it isn’t long before the boys have connected the water pipes to a conduit and water is pouring out everywhere. Of course, the party is ruined and the house is wrecked.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is Moe, Larry and Curly all rolled into one, and his efforts to stop the leaky economy have been as successful as the boys’ efforts were in fixing the dripping pipe. Bernanke’s latest effort of quantitative easing — known as QE2 — is running out, and the bubble he created is deflating faster than one of the Stooges’ helium-filled cakes.

Last week, a Chinese ratings house accused the United States of defaulting on its massive debt by allowing the dollar to weaken against other currencies — eroding the wealth of its creditors, the biggest of which is China.

China holds $1.145 trillion of U.S. Treasury securities. That is down from its peak of $1.175 trillion in October, according to a story by the AFP news service.

China, the No. 1 holder of U.S. debt, is now a seller of U.S. Treasuries. Japan, the second largest holder of U.S. Treasuries, may soon be a seller as well. It needs money to repair infrastructure following this year’s earthquake and tsunami.

The stock market was down six weeks in a row before last week, when it finally finished a week on an up note. According to The Economic Collapse blog, that hasn’t happened since the dotcom bubble burst in May 2001.

The false euphoria created by QE2, which propped up Bernanke’s Wall Street buddies by driving money into the market, has worn off. Investors realize this, and they are looking for new places to put their money.

Meanwhile, once again, John and Jane American are watching their meager retirement funds dry up. Unemployment is up (the true unemployment rate, which includes discouraged workers, is 22.3 percent, according to the National Inflation Association), manufacturing and consumer confidence are down and one in seven Americans is on food stamps. Millions of Americans receive some sort of government assistance.

The price of everything is increasing. According to NIA: “90% of sporting goods manufacturers have seen their input costs rise substantially this year and 41% of them have already announced major price increases for athletic apparel, footwear, and sports equipment. As the 8,000 toy manufacturers in China are forced to raise the wages they pay their employees, Toys R’ Us is now beginning to see major wholesale price increases for their products, which they will have to pass on to U.S. consumers. Hasbro recently raised prices on all of their products by 6% to 7%. Mattel recently imposed an across the board high single digit price increase after reporting a 33% decline in quarterly profits (despite sales surging by 8%) due to skyrocketing raw material costs.”

May sales reflected what consumers thought of the rising prices. Retail sales fell for the first time in 11 months. The drop in sales hit autos, electronics, appliances, furniture, groceries, sports retailers and department stores.

Bernanke said he wanted inflation. He got his wish. Now the question is: Is it getting out of hand?

With no one to buy U.S. Treasuries, Bernanke is going to have to buy them. He’ll do this by printing more money. That’s a recipe for hyperinflation.

Bernanke is said to be a student of history and well-versed on the Great Depression. If so, he knows how depressions are cooked up. So either he’s not as smart as he thinks he is or he thinks he’s smarter than everyone else.

Either way, it’s a recipe for disaster.

In April, Standard & Poor’s put a “negative” outlook on the U.S. credit rating, citing rising budget deficits and debt.

“We believe there is a material risk that U.S. policy makers might not reach an agreement on how to address medium and long-term budgetary challenges by 2013. If an agreement is not reached and meaningful implementation does not begin by the year 2012, this would in our view render the U.S. fiscal profile meaningfully weaker than that of peer ‘AAA’ sovereigns.”

This is comical! These are the same rating agencies that put AAA ratings on the subprime garbage that collapsed the U.S. economy in 2008. This is meaningless and for public consumption.

Note that there is no mention that the U.S. is already bankrupt and the rule of law has become a political cesspool. Standard & Poor’s outlook is more of a cover-up than a revelation.

The supposedly developed world, including the U.S., is drowning in debt, and the only solution the powers that be in Washington have is to print more trillions in fiat paper money.

Above the whole mess, a world currency war is going on. There is a race to the bottom of worthless currencies, with the U.S. dollar leading the way.

Imagine that in this muddy chaos, it is the most worthless currency that is the most desirable until the final collapse.

Where is our reasoning? Governments and central banks, the creators of worthless fiat, are seductively impoverishing all who hold and save paper money. This is total war for survival, yet not one in 10 million even suspects that anything is wrong. So we await the deluge like cattle waiting for slaughter. But we don’t have to wait long, because the collapse is now visible and in progress.

The great sovereign deception is now full-blown, led by the name brand rating agencies like Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, etc. These are the people who took payoffs to rate the great masquerade of collateralized mortgage scams as “investment grade.”

The U.S. Bond market fits squarely into the Ponzi scheme of the ages.

We are in the center of the world debt crisis, and there is no solution except collapse and a slate wiped clean.

When the homeowners discovered the wreckage the Stooges had wrought, they chased them from their home. When Bernanke is done with his work, there won’t be a home left to chase him from.

Poll: Romney Unlikely To Win Home State

Statewide polling reveals that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is not very popular in his home State — which may explain a statement Romney made in the Republican primary debate Monday night: “I am not running for governor of Massachusetts. I am running for president of the United States.”

According to a POLITICO article, in statewide polls conducted by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling (PPP), Republican Candidates Romney and Tim Pawlenty, former governors both, would likely lose primaries in their home states.

“These days, states seem to have grown tired of their hometown pols and in some cases resent their national ambitions,” the article read. “Romney, for example, was viewed unfavorably by 52 percent of Massachusetts voters in a recent PPP survey, while just 40 percent had a favorable view.”

Massachusetts citizens seem to feel betrayed by Romney.

“Locals complain that he seems to have renounced Massachusetts, giving up his mansion there in favor of a condo he purchased in 2010 and spending more time at his home in New Hampshire. On the campaign trail in 2008, he frequently used the state as a foil, mocking it as a liberal bastion,” the article read.

“There’s a feeling that (Massachusetts) was a possession he picked up along the way, and then he grew tired of it and moved on to pursue the presidency,” Todd Feinburg, the conservative co-host of a talk-radio show on Boston’s WRKO, told POLITICO.

Obama Campaign Passes Around Deceptive DNC Video On The Republican Debate

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters on Tuesday that President Barack Obama did not watch Monday night’s Republican Primary debate in New Hampshire. However, the President might have seen the “highlight reel” the Obama campaign is passing around — a cut-and-paste collection of scenes from the GOP debate, put together by the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

“You should watch this if you or anyone you know is wondering where the leading GOP candidates want to go, this clip makes it clear,” Campaign Manager Jim Messina wrote in an email to supporters, quoted by ABCNews.com.

“The first big Republican debate last night was like a time machine. They want to go back to the failed policies of the past that caused the economic crisis in the first place. They want to go back and reopen every settled debate that they’ve lost over the last few years.”

The video, which can be seen here, asks: “The Republicans: What in the world are they talking about?” The DNC video features selectively chosen clips from the two-hour debate, suggesting the candidates spoke only about Sharia law, an anti-gay-marriage amendment, repealing healthcare, Sarah Palin and the space program.

Of course, viewers who actually watched the debate would be able to discern the video’s misrepresentation. All the topics discussed in the video (and at the debate) were proposed by audience members, journalists and viewers at New Hampshire town halls. Also, the debate covered a wide range of topics, such as the Tea Party, the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), raising the debt ceiling, taxes, gross domestic product growth, the proper role of government and the effect of religion on governance.

Potential DNC video viewers who did not watch the debate, such as Obama, would, at the very least, get the wrong impression.

Obama Partially Blames ATMs For Economic Struggles

Are ATMs to blame for high unemployment?While innovation and technology are vital to the modern world, that didn’t stop President Barack Obama from passing some of the blame for the floundering economy onto unsuspecting ATMs and other such machines.

In an interview with NBC News, Obama said that there were some fundamental issues presented by automated machines such as ATMs and grocery store self-checkout aisles when asked about a report that indicated companies were spending 26 percent more money on equipment and only 2 percent more on employees.

“There’s some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers,” he said. “You see it when you go to a bank and… you use an ATM, you don’t go to a bank teller. Or you go to the airport, and you’re using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate.”

However, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said that some Obama policies are to blame for the struggling economy.

“Here we are on the anniversary of his administration’s recovery summer… and Americans are still asking the question, ‘Where are the jobs?'” Boehner said, reports Fox News. “The American people deserve some answers, but when it comes to this administration, it’s clear that they don’t have many.”

Shop The Liberty Store

I told you last month that changes to Personal Liberty Digest™ were in the works. Now, I want to announce our newest feature: The Liberty Store.

In our all-new Liberty Store, you can buy our Bob Livingston line of books, like Surviving a Global Financial Crisis and Currency Collapse, How to Survive the Collapse of Civilization, In Case of Emergency! Lifesaving Tips for your Family’s Survival and The Forbidden Truth About Cancer and others, plus books from our contributors, like Robert Ringer’s Restoring The American Dream and John Myers’ Profit with Precious Metals During the Coming Dollar Meltdown, plus many more.

In the past, these books have been available only with other offers. This is the first time we have offered them as stand-alone products.

To shop the Liberty Store, click here or hit the “Shop” link at the top of the page. Browse through our collection. I’m sure you’ll find something there you can use. And check back often. We will be adding more products in the coming months.

Best wishes,

Bob

Huckabee Advises Pawlenty To Ditch Advisers

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who enjoyed a fair amount of popularity during his run for the Presidency in 2008, is concerned about his friend, former Minnesota Governor and current Republican Candidate Tim Pawlenty. After Pawlenty’s disappointing performance in Monday’s primary debate, Huckabee had some advice for the candidate, which he shared on Laura Ingraham’s conservative radio show on Tuesday.

Of Pawlenty’s campaign advisers, Huckabee said, “He needs to get rid of some of his consultants. I saw this with (Mitt) Romney four years ago, and I’m seeing it with Pawlenty now. He’s over-coached, over-consulted. Get rid of them.”

“I like Pawlenty. He’s a good friend; he’s a good candidate,” Huckabee said of Pawlenty. “But it was Michele Bachmann who showed up with the gloves on.”

Huckabee was clearly impressed with the performance the Congresswoman from Minnesota gave in the debate: “People sometimes forget that it’s not what one says, it’s how one says it that is equally important. One of the things that Michele Bachmann brings to the race is a level of energy and a sense of exuberance, a sense of optimism.”

 

Blacks Picket The NAACP

For a moment, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Thousands of residents of Harlem, a New York City neighborhood, had taken to the streets to protest the NAACP. And yes, virtually every one of them was black.

What was it all about? Apparently, a huge number of parents in Harlem believe the quality of education their children are getting is more important than the color of the skin of their teachers. They were demanding better schools — even if that meant a bunch of black teachers lost their jobs.

You won’t be surprised to learn that many of our inner-city schools do a terrible job of educating the young people entrusted to them. More than half of the children who start first grade in inner-city schools drop out before they graduate. Many of those who do make it through 12 grades can’t read above a see-spot-run level. Nor can they do such simple math as making change for a purchase of a Big Mac and fries. No wonder the graduates of inner city schools are virtually unemployable.

Officials in New York City decided to do something about this sorry situation.  They announced plans to close 22 of the worst-performing schools in the city. That was enough to get the teacher’s union riled up. But what really put the union on the warpath was when those same city officials said they would permit charter schools to operate in some of the buildings that would soon be vacant.

But charter schools don’t hire members of the teacher’s union. They don’t guarantee teachers jobs for life or steady increases in pay and benefits every year, no matter how badly the teachers do their jobs. Charter-school teachers get paid based on results — not on tenure or political clout.

Of course, all of this is completely unacceptable to the United Federation of Teachers. No wonder union members went ballistic when they heard about the plan. They were simply protecting their turf. After all, the teachers’ union had demonstrated for years that for them, jobs were job one. Political clout ran a close second. Children’s education was not worth worrying about.

This situation is nothing new. Many years ago, the most powerful leader the teachers’ union ever had, Albert Shanker, was honest enough to admit: “When schoolchildren start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of schoolchildren.”

Hey, he who pays the piper calls the tune. I get that.

And that, my friends, explains why the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has aligned itself with the United Federation of Teachers. The NAACP cares more about the jobs of black members of the teachers union — and in New York City that’s a lot of jobs, folks — than they do about the education of children.

So now you understand why thousands of black parents took to the streets of Harlem last month. Will they make a difference? Not if Hazel Dukes, president of the NAACP in New York, has her way. Dukes said the parents “can march and have rallies all day long… We will not respond.”

The teachers’ union and the New York State chapter of the NAACP have filed suit to stop the city from closing those 22 schools or allowing any charter school to operate in any building occupied by a traditional public school.

Will the officials stick to their guns? Or will they cave from the pressure brought by two of the most powerful entities in the State: the teachers’ union and the NAACP?

I wish I could predict a happy outcome. But I suspect that, once again, the right thing to do will be sacrificed on the altar of political expediency.

Meanwhile, what sort of education are the children in your area getting? What percentage of kids who enter the first grade graduate from high school? And of those who do, how well can they read, write and do basic arithmetic?

It’s been a long time since Why Johnny Can’t Read was a national bestseller. But the problem and the solution to the problem haven’t changed. Fire bad teachers. Pay good teachers more. Get the politicians and bureaucrats out of the way.

And if you really want to see some positive changes in our schools, end the monopoly by union thugs and their political buddies. Open up education to competition. Give more money to those who do a better job and less to those who don’t or can’t.

Sure, there would be weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth from one end of this country to the other. But it wouldn’t come from most students, since they know they are being used by people who really don’t give a hoot about them.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

–Chip Wood

Senators Propose Bill To Protect The Privacy Of Smartphone Users

Senators Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on Wednesday introduced a bill that would require companies that manufacture mobile devices to receive express consent from consumers before sharing information about those users’ locations with third parties.

“After listening to expert testimony at the hearing I chaired last month on mobile technology and privacy and hearing from anti-domestic violence groups in Minnesota who said this kind of technology can be exploited by abusers, I concluded that our laws do too little to protect information on our mobile devices,” Franken said, according to a press release.

The Location Privacy Protection Act seeks to close current loopholes in Federal law, ensuring that consumers know what location information is being collected about them by their mobile devices (such as smartphones and tablets) and allow them to decide if they want to share it.

“As smartphone technology continues to advance, it is vitally important that we keep pace with new developments to make sure consumer data is secure from being shared or sold without proper notification to consumers,” Blumenthal said.

Wisconsin Senate Passes Concealed Weapons Law

Wisconsin residents are on their way to being able to carry a concealed weapon.The Wisconsin State Senate recently passed a law that will allow citizens to more effectively exercise their 2nd Amendment right to bear arms.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that the measure to allow Wisconsinites to carry concealed weapons passed by a vote of 25-8.

“This is a great victory for the people of Wisconsin and for the 2nd Amendment,” State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said in a statement. “The right to protect ourselves by legally carrying a firearm is long overdue, and I’m glad we’re joining 48 other States with this law — finally.”

Wisconsin and Illinois are the only States that have outright banned the carrying of concealed weapons. However, Wisconsin is on its way to joining the rest of the nation.

The measure will require those who wish to carry concealed weapons to undergo training and have a permit.

All 19 Senate Republicans were joined by six Democrats in the vote.

“It’s a Constitutional right,” State Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) told the news source. “I respect the fact that people have that right.”

Fox News reports that Republican Governor Scott Walker has backed the bill.

Misery In America

*No wonder we’re miserable. Do you remember when the former peanut farmer from Georgia harped on the misery index? To get the misery index, add the inflation number to the unemployment number. In the mid-1970s, the misery index was bad enough to help Carter get elected president. Today, according to John Williams of ShadowStats.com, the true number (not the fabrications the government now promotes) is 25 percent. That’s consumer price inflation of 10 percent, plus unemployment of 15 percent. The total is the highest it’s ever been. No wonder Barack Obama makes us feel miserable.

*“Sheriff” Joe Biden is doing a terrible job. Do you remember when the President put the Vice President in charge of the stimulus program because “nobody messes with Joe?” Obama went on to say, “If you’re misusing taxpayer money, you’ll have to answer to him.” It turns out that contractors who got $24 billion in stimulus money owed more than $750 million in back taxes. Where’s “the Sheriff” when you need him?

*A cheater gets cheated… and wants justice! This one is a hoot. A college senior in Colorado who ordered a custom-written term paper from a firm she found on the Internet felt cheated when it wasn’t delivered on time. When the company refused to give her a refund, she complained to the Better Business Bureau about its dishonest practices. I wonder what her professor said when he found out.

*If you own a cell phone, you must be… poor? Here’s a weird one. Relying on a cell phone is one metric government staticians use to decide whether someone fits the description of “poor.” I kid you not. The more people in a given area abandon land lines for cell phones, the “poorer” that area is considered. Leading the list of states in which citizens have done this are Arkansas and Mississippi, so obviously it must be true. What’s next, counting color TVs? (Come to think of it, that might be a pretty accurate indicator of someone’s ability to read and write.)

–Chip Wood

Wisconsin Supreme Court Upholds Governor Walker’s Union Law

The Wisconsin Supreme Court voted 4-3 to uphold the union law.In what is being reported as a major victory for Republicans in Wisconsin, the State’s Supreme Court voted to uphold a law that will take away many collective bargaining privileges from public employees in the State.

Fox News reports that the high court in the Badger State voted 4-3 to uphold Governor Scott Walker’s plan. The court said that a judge in a lower court overstepped her bounds when she voided the law. Specifically, they said that the judge did not have the authority to become involved in the process of legislation.

Walker said that by upholding the law, the Supreme Court will allow the State to tackle its $6.3 billion budget shortfall.

“The Supreme Court’s ruling provides our state the opportunity to move forward together and focus on getting Wisconsin working again,” he said.

The Associated Press reports that the decision came through shortly before the Wisconsin Assembly was expected to start discussing the State budget.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson dissented, along with Justices Ann Walsh Bradley and Patrick Crooks. The majority was comprised of Justices David Prosser, Michael Gableman, Annette Ziegler and Patience Roggensack, reports Fox News.

Representative Weiner Stepping Down (Finally)

The sexting scandal surrounding Representative Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) may soon die out, as reports emerged that he would, indeed, step down.

“Representative Anthony D. Weiner has told House leaders and friends that he plans to resign his seat after coming under growing pressure from his Democratic colleagues to leave the House, said a top Democratic official and two people told of Mr. Weiner’s plans,” reported The New York Times, which broke the story Thursday morning.

The Congressman has come under increasing fire from his own party this week, as even more lewd photos were released and more of his alleged cyber-mistresses came forward. Among his detractors were President Barack Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who both said Weiner needed to resign.

The House Ethics Committee previously opened an inquiry into Weiner’s behavior; since he resigned, this will likely be closed.

“The top Democratic official said Anthony Weiner called Representative Nancy Pelosi and Representative Steve Israel last night while they were at the White House picnic to inform them he had decided to resign on Thursday,” the article read. “

Rep. Weiner officially announced his resignation during a press conference in Brooklyn on Thursday.

Democratic Congressman Weiner To Resign Amid Lurid Photo Scandal

Congressman Anthony Weiner is reportedly leaving office.Embattled Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY) will resign, according to published reports.

The Congressman came under fire when a lurid photo of himself appeared on the Internet. After initially claiming that his Twitter account had been hacked, Weiner fessed up to the online activity. He originally said he would remain in office when he admitted to the scandal, but sources told The New York Times that the lawmaker would resign from office.

A number of legislators from both sides of the aisle had called on Weiner to step down from his post.

“Our caucus understands our concern for the rights of the individual member, but also our higher responsibility to our country to uphold a high ethical standard in the Congress of the United States,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said, reports ABC News.

Fox News reports that the House Ethics Committee began a preliminary inquiry into Weiner’s online activities and that it could have blossomed into a full investigation had he not reportedly chosen to resign.

Report: Large Donors Get Lofty Posts In Obama Administration

Many large donors to Obama have received government posts.A recent report from iWatch News found that many prominent donors to Barack Obama during his 2008 Presidential campaign have received lofty government appointments and their companies have received millions of dollars from the stimulus.

According to the news source, almost 200 of the Democratic President’s largest donors have either received large government contracts or jobs within the Administration, or they have been invited to elite White House events.

Part of Obama’s Presidential campaign involved railing against special interests, but the new report from iWatch — which is part of the nonprofit Center for Public Integrity — casts doubt on whether the President has followed through on his promise.

Specifically, iWatch found that 184 of 556 donors or their spouses received appointments in the Obama Administration. These donors, who raised funds ranging from $50,000 to more than $500,000, have been dubbed “bundlers” by the media.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney denied allegations that donations had anything to do with the appointments, saying that “our ethical standards are unmatched by any previous administration,” reports Fox News.

Finding Water In The Home

What would you do if you suddenly found that water was no longer flowing to your home and wouldn’t be for some time?

Hopefully, you have stored some water to last your family for a few days at least (two gallons per day, per person). But if not, you need to look around your home for potential sources of water for the short-term while you make plans to deal with the situation long-term.

There are actually more sources of water in the home than you might think. If the public water system has not been contaminated, you can drain much of the water from your plumbing system.

About 30 to 60 gallons can be found in your water heater (depending on the size of the water heater). There is a drain at the bottom that allows you to access the water. Turn the water heater off, and allow the water in it to cool. Then drain it into clean containers. Sometimes, the first gallon or two will contain rust or sediment that has settled at the bottom. Discard it, if necessary. Better yet, filter it through coffee filters, rags or towels.

If there is a chance the public system was contaminated, treat the water with chlorine, iodine or water-purification tablets, or boil it. Otherwise, it should be fine to drink right out of the tank.

There is also clean water in the storage tank (not the bowl) of your toilets. Treat the storage-tank water before using it.

If you have an aquarium, it contains water you can use, once it has been treated.

Remember, a survival situation is no time to be squeamish. You have to do the things necessary to survive. Using water from your home will buy you a little time to find a more permanent source of water if the catastrophe is going to be a long-term situation.