Hormone Therapy Results In Weight Loss

HOUSTON (UPI) — Men using testosterone replacement therapy experienced significant weight loss, researchers in Germany found.

Lead author of Bayer Pharma in Berlin said previous research showed testosterone-deficient men consistently show changes in body composition, but the net effect on weight seemed unchanged. However, in the current study had a longer follow-up by at least two years and used long-acting injections of testosterone.

The investigators restored testosterone to normal levels in 255 testosterone-deficient men, whose average age was nearly 61. Treatment lasted for up to five years, with injections given at day one, after six weeks and then every 12 weeks after that. Patients did not follow a controlled diet or standard exercise program but received advice to improve their lifestyle habits.

The study found, on average, the men weighed 236 pounds before beginning testosterone treatment and 200 pounds after treatment. Weight loss was reportedly continuous, with an average reduction in body weight ranging from about 4 percent after one year of treatment to more than 13 percent after five years. In addition, the men lost an average of nearly 3.5 inches from their waist.

“The substantial weight loss found in our study — an average of 36 pounds — was a surprise,” Saad said in a statement.

The results were presented at The Endocrine Society’s 94th annual meeting in Houston.

Low Testosterone Not Normal Part Of Aging

HOUSTON (UPI) — A drop in testosterone levels in men as they age is more likely to result from smoking, obesity and depression — not aging, researchers in Australia say.

Dr. Gary Wittert, professor of medicine at the University of Adelaide in Adelaide in Australia, and colleagues analyzed testosterone levels in more than 1,500 men who had measurements taken at two clinic visits five years apart. Men who had abnormal values, were taking medications or had medical conditions known to affect hormones, were excluded.

The men included in the analysis involved 1,382 men — ages 35 to 80 years, with an average age of 54.

The study found, on average, testosterone levels did not decline significantly over five years; rather, they decreased less than 1 percent each year. However, when the investigators analyzed the data by subgroups, they found that certain factors were linked to lower testosterone levels at five years than at the beginning of the study.

“Men who had declines in testosterone were more likely to be those who became obese, had stopped smoking or were depressed at either clinic visit,” Wittert said in a statement. “While stopping smoking may be a cause of a slight decrease in testosterone, the benefit of quitting smoking is huge.”

Declining testosterone levels are not an inevitable part of the aging process, as many people think, Wittert added.

The findings are scheduled to be presented at the Endocrine Society’s 94th annual meeting in Houston.

Dads Pass On How To Make Money To Sons

PROVO, Utah (UPI) — Human capital — intelligence, advice, work ethic — may be why high-income fathers have richer sons, U.S. researchers say.

Study author David Sims, an economics professor at Brigham Young University said there’s a correlation between a father’s income and son’s — sons of fathers with high incomes tended to end up with higher than average incomes themselves.

“We wanted to see if the intergenerational income correlation is due to money — what we can buy for our kids — or if human capital attributes passed from father to son play a role as well,” Sims said in a statement.

The researchers used data from Sweden from 1950 to 1965 that included salary information for fathers and sons as well as clues about fathers’ human capital: education levels and the nature of their occupations.

Sims and his colleagues used a statistical methodology to isolate differences in fathers’ income due to something other than human capital, like in the example of similar fathers who worked in differing labor market conditions.

The study, published in the Journal of Political Economy, found income differences not related to a father’s human capital were weaker predictors of a son’s income, or in other words, human capital matters.

“Differing human capital endowments passed from father to son account for about two-thirds of the overall intergenerational income relationship,” Sims said.

Stonehenge A Symbol Of A United Britain?

SHEFFIELD, England (UPI) — Stonehenge was the center of ancient Britain and the monument was meant to symbolize the unification of eastern and western communities, researchers say.

Speculation as to the monument’s purpose — ancient astronomical observatory, temple for ritual sacrifice, spiritual center — has swirled around Stonehenge for centuries. Now researchers from five British universities said their study suggests it may have been built as a sign of peace between people from the east and west of the country after resolution of a period of warfare and regional differences.

Researchers say the stones, which were from locations as distant from each other as southern England and west Wales, may have been intended to represent the ancestors of some of Britain’s earliest farming communities.

“When Stonehenge was built there was a growing island-wide culture — the same styles of houses, pottery and other material forms were used from Orkney to the south coast,” University of Sheffield researcher Mike Parker Pearson said.

“This was very different to the regionalism of previous centuries. Stonehenge itself was a massive undertaking, requiring the labor of thousands to move stones from as far away as west Wales, shaping them and erecting them,” he said in a Sheffield release.

“Just the work itself, requiring everyone literally to pull together, would have been an act of unification.”

Researches from the universities of Sheffield, Manchester, Southampton, Bournemouth and University College London took part in the study.


'Brain-Hacking' Technology Sought

LONDON (UPI) — Stanford University researchers say they are working on a device that would allow them to “pretty much hack” into the brain of British genius Stephen Hawking.

Professor Philip Low and his colleagues at Stanford in California have been working with the disabled British theoretical physicist to develop technology that would enable them to communicate with Hawking through brain waves, The Daily Telegraph reported Sunday.

“We’d like to find a way to bypass his body, pretty much hack his brain,” said Low, who invented the iBrain, which detects brain waves and communicates with them via computer.

Hawking, 70, has motor neurone disease that robbed him of his ability to speak nearly 30 years ago. He uses a computer to communicate but his condition is deteriorating.

The British newspaper said the researchers will provide an update on their work at a conference in Cambridge next month, and may demonstrate the technology on Hawking.

Low describes the research into biomarkers as an attempt to provide “a window into the brain.”

“We’re building technology that will allow humanity to have access to the human brain for the first time,” he said.

“The emergence of such biomarkers opens the possibility to link intended movements to a library of words and convert them into speech, thus providing motor neurone sufferers with communication tools more dependent on the brain than on the body.”

Galapagos Tortoise 'Lonesome George' Dies

GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, Ecuador (UPI) — A tortoise dubbed Lonesome George, the sole survivor of his species and a Galapagos Islands conservation icon, has died, officials say.

The animal was found dead in his corral early Sunday at the Tortoise Breeding and Rearing Center in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island, the Galapagos National Park Service reported.

Park ranger Fausto Llerena, his longtime keeper, found George stretched out toward his watering hole but showing no signs of life.

The body of the animal, which had been the sole living example of the Pinta Island tortoise (Chelonoidis abingdoni), was being held in a refrigerated chamber to avoid decomposition prior to a necropsy, officials said.

Pinta tortoises were thought to be extinct when George was discovered in 1972.

Efforts to get George to reproduce were unsuccessful, as females of a related species put with George produced infertile eggs.

The animal’s exact age was unknown but was estimated to be about 100 years, officials said.


Conservationists Hail Birth Of Rare Rhino

LAMPUNG, Indonesia (UPI) — A rare Sumatran rhino has given birth at an Indonesian sanctuary, encouraging researchers concerned for the species’ survival, officials said.

A baby male rhino was born to Ratu, a 12-year-old Sumatran rhino living at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Indonesia’s Way Kambas National Park, the International Rhino Foundation reported Monday.

With fewer than 200 Sumatran rhinos living in Indonesia and Malaysia, it is one of the world’s most endangered species. Their survival is threatened by loss of its tropical forest habitat and hunting pressure from poachers, who kill rhinos for their valuable horns, conservationists said.

“We are overjoyed that Ratu delivered a healthy calf and are cautiously optimistic that the calf will continue to thrive,” Susie Ellis, the foundation’s executive director, said.

Two previous pregnancies for Ratu ended in miscarriages.

“We have been waiting for this moment since the sanctuary was built in 1998,” Ellis said.

The rhino calf weights between 60 and 70 pounds, she said.

“The little guy is absolutely adorable, and none of us has been able to stop smiling since the moment we were sure he was alive and healthy.”

Researchers Say Napping Can Help Learning

EVANSTON, Ill. (UPI) — A musical tune someone has been practicing can become better fixed in their memory if it is played to them while they sleep, U.S. researchers say.

The study builds on existing evidence suggesting memories can be reactivated during sleep and storage of them can be strengthened in the process, Northwestern University reported Sunday.

In the study, research learned how to play two artificially generated musical tunes requiring well-timed key presses. Then while the participants took a 90-minute nap, the researchers played one of the tunes that had been practiced, but not the other.

Afterward, participants made fewer errors when pressing the keys to produce the melody that had been presented while they slept, compared with the melody not presented, researchers said.

“Our results extend prior research by showing that external stimulation during sleep can influence a complex skill,” Northwestern psychology Professor Ken A. Paller said.

That doesn’t mean you can learn something like a foreign language while you sleep, researchers cautioned.

“The critical difference is that our research shows that memory is strengthened for something you’ve already learned,” study co-author Paul J. Reber said. “Rather than learning something new in your sleep, we’re talking about enhancing an existing memory by re-activating information recently acquired.”

However, Reber said, “If you were learning how to speak in a foreign language during the day, for example, and then tried to reactivate those memories during sleep, perhaps you might enhance your learning.”

Scottish Marchers Told No Swords Allowed

STIRLING, Scotland, (UPI) — Participants in a march to commemorate the Battle of Bannockburn, the great Scottish victory of 1314, have been told to leave swords and axes at home.

The Stirling Council, which has jurisdiction in the nearby village of Bannockburn, said weapons were banned during the short march to the battle site, The Daily Telegraph reported.

But the National Trust for Scotland, which owns the battlefield, said weapons would be allowed on the field. Participants would have to leave them in their cars while marching through the village and then retrieve them.

The Scottish Republican Socialist Movement, which organized this year’s march, expected several hundred participants. Many were expected to be costumed as soldiers in Robert the Bruce’s army.

The Bruce defeated King Edward II of England on June 24, 1314, one of many battles fought to preserve Scotland’s independence.

The Stirling Council said the weapons ban was standard operating procedure. But some organizers said officials might have been worried by events last year, when one car was hit with a shield and a British flag was burned.

“These weapons are part of our traditional dress and people were not going to be waving them about,” said Tom Chalmers on a Facebook page against the weapons ban. “It’s a peaceful march with banners.”

Elvis Crypt Taken Off Auction Block

MEMPHIS, (UPI) — Plans to sell the Memphis crypt where Elvis Presley was once buried have been scuttled after complaining fans said it should be made into a shrine.

The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal reported Julien’s Auctions in Los Angeles agreed Friday to take the crypt off the auction block.

Forest Hill Funeral Home and Cemetery officials said it was their decision to stop the auction.

Julien’s Auctions last month announced it planned to sell the empty tomb that once held the remains of the rock ‘n’ roll great at an upcoming “Sports Legends and Music Icons” auction.

The crypt has been empty since 1977, when the remains of Presley and his mother Gladys were moved to his Graceland estate, the newspaper said Saturday

The auction company said it expected the crypt to sell for $500,000.

Woman Upset Over Corpse On Flight

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, (UPI) — A Swedish woman says she had to fly overnight from Europe to Tanzania next to a man who died after the plane had departed.

Lena Pettersson, a reporter for Sveriges Radio, said the man was having convulsions before the Kenya Airways flight departed from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The plane took off anyway, The Local.se reported Sunday.

He died several hours later while the plane was in the air.

Pettersson said she then had to sit across from the dead man for the rest of the flight. “Of course it was unpleasant, but I am not a person who makes a fuss,” Pettersson told the Expressen newspaper.

She later decided, however, to seek compensation. It took a couple of months of e-mails but she was finally refunded $713 — about half of the cost of her ticket, Sveriges Radio said.

British Pooch New World's Ugliest Dog

PETALUMA, Calif., (UPI) — A Chinese Crested dog from Britain defeated an international group of competitors to win the title of World’s Ugliest Dog.

Mugly won the grand prize Friday at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, Calif., Bay City News Service reported.

“I couldn’t speak when they announced Mugly’s name,” the dog’s owner, Bev Nicholson, said. “I didn’t know which way to look. I was shaking as much as the dog.”

The prize carries a number of perks. In addition to a trophy, Mugly and Nicolson get $1,000, a stay at the Sheraton Petaluma, a photo shoot and a year’s supply of dog biscuits.

Police: Pot Dropped With Bank Deposit

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., (UPI) — Florida authorities said they arrested a Dunkin’ Donuts employee who allegedly dropped marijuana in with a bank deposit.

St. Augustine, Fla., police said Kimberley Kelley, 30, was arrested Tuesday when she returned to Regions Bank to ask if there were any objects she had accidentally dropped in with a deposit she made for her store, WJXT-TV, Jacksonville, Fla., reported Friday.

An officer arrived at the bank and arrested Kelley after the object she allegedly dropped in with the deposit — 55 grams of marijuana — gave a positive result in a field test.

Kelley was released Wednesday from St. Johns County Jail on $5,000 bond.

Most Say Obama Cited Privilege Wrongly

WASHINGTON, (UPI) — U.S. voters said they think President Obama over-reached in citing executive privilege and Congress acts in an obstructionist manner, a new poll indicates.

A clear majority of likely voters said they believe Obama used his executive power inappropriately, particularly when he blocked the release of documents relating to the Justice Department’s Operation Fast and Furious, the department’s failed gun-running sting, results from The Hill Poll released Monday indicated.

The Hill Poll found 56 percent of voters disapproved of Obama’s assertion of presidential power in the case while 29 percent approved.

Overall, 53 percent of voters said Obama used his executive authority inappropriately while 43 percent expressed the opposite view.

Forty-eight percent of likely voters said Congress has been obstructionist toward the president, while 41 percent said Congress was not.

Also, 43 percent of voters said Obama was better than Congress at addressing challenges facing the nation. Thirty-eight percent said Congress was.

Voters, by a 44 percent-to-31 percent margin, said they prefer Congress and the White House be controlled by a single party, results indicated.

Results are based on telephone interviews conducted with 1,000 likely voters Thursday. The margin of error is 3 percentage points.

Bloomberg Gives Obama His Due

NEW YORK, (UPI) — New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says President Obama is doing a good job as president.

Bloomberg, a Republican, downplayed political differences with Obama, a Democrat, after he was overheard at a party saying presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney would probably do a better job, although he could not endorse Romney because of his stances on gun control and abortion, Politico reported Sunday.

Bloomberg told CNN he thinks Obama has been put “in a very difficult situation.”

“I happen to think that Obama’s been a much better president than people give him credit for,” Bloomberg said in an interview with CNN that was shared with Politico.

“I don’t agree with him on everything,” Bloomberg said. But, “you’ve got a Congress that is very polarized and partisan. There are problems all over the world.”

Bloomberg praised Romney’s record in Massachusetts.

“I’ve known him for a long time. He did a good job as governor of Massachusetts. I like a lot of things, he did up there. He actually put in a health care plan that worked,” Bloomberg said.

Bloomberg, who also praised Obama’s healthcare reform efforts, said he doesn’t agree with some of the things Obama has done but said “I think he’s hardworking and cares very much.”

Penn State Braces For Civil Lawsuits

STATE COLLEGE, Pa., (UPI) — Penn State University could be facing at least six civil suits now that former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky has been convicted of child sex crimes.

USA Today reported Sunday six of the eight known male victims have hired lawyers since Sandusky was convicted Friday of 45 of the 48 sex-related counts in Bellefonte, Pa.

Attorney Tom Kline, who represents one of the victims, told the newspaper he was already preparing a case against Sandusky and the university.

“There is no doubt that we are going to file a claim against Penn State,” the lawyer said. “Jerry Sandusky may have been the perpetrator, but Penn State was his enabler.”

Sandusky, 68, is in the Centre County jail under suicide watch, the report said.

His sentencing date hasn’t been set.

Spin-off perjury trials from the scandal that rocked the university are pending for former athletic director Tim Curley and ex-university vice president Gary Schultz, the Philadelphia Inquirer said.

The university has launched its own investigation headed by former FBI Director Louis Freeh to determine if Sandusky’s behavior was ignored by fellow faculty or senior administrators as far back as 2001, the Inquirer said.

U.S. Drug Drones To Monitor Sea Lanes

MIAMI, (UPI) — The United States is planning to increase its aerial drone surveillance in the drug-smuggling sea lanes of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, officials said.

The Department of Homeland Security has been testing the Predator drone over the Bahamas for more than a year and is ready to go operational over areas used by smuggling boats.

The Los Angeles Times said the DHS currently has nine Predators, most of which are assigned to the Mexican and Canadian border areas. Adding the Gulf and Caribbean to the patrol area will virtually double the square miles currently covered.

“There is a lot more going on in the deep Caribbean, and we would like to know more,” a law enforcement official told the Times.

But the new operation is not considered a slam-dunk by counter-narcotics experts. Officials told the Times the Predator has not proven particularly successful at detecting small boats on the open sea.

“Will they be effective? We have no systematic evidence on how effective they are,” said Bruce Bagley, who studies U.S. counter-narcotics efforts at the University of Miami.

Professor: No Obama Library In Chicago

CHICAGO, (UPI) — A Barack Obama presidential library at the University of Chicago would inevitably become a liberal think tank, a professor there says.

The university, where Obama taught at the law school and his wife, Michelle, served as a hospital administrator, has begun a quiet campaign for the library, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The University of Hawaii in Obama’s birthplace has been campaigning more openly.

Charles Lipson, a political science professor, said President Ronald Reagan’s library in California has become a rallying place for conservatives. The Carter Center in Atlanta, founded by President Jimmy Carter, and the John F. Kennedy Center in Boston advance liberal ideas.

“I want to raise the alarm because I think a presidential museum will inevitably become our university’s highest-profile institution on a national basis,” Lipson said. “It will not be a disinterested, scholarly institution. It will be advancing a political agenda, funded by President Obama’s political allies, including foreign donors who cannot give money to his presidential campaigns.”

Lipson said an Obama library in Chicago may be inevitable given the president’s close ties to many at the university.

Supreme Court Rules On Arizona Immigration Law

The Supreme Court has rejected three out of four parts of the Arizona immigration law. The only part not struck down is the section that allows law enforcement to perform immigration checks if the officer has “reasonable suspicion” that a person is in the country illegally.

The court decided that illegal aliens do not have to possess Federal registration cards. They also ruled that it will not be a crime for illegal aliens to work or apply for work. Furthermore, it was decided that State and local police cannot arrest illegal aliens without a warrant even if there is probable cause.

Proponents of the initially proposed law viewed the law as a way of putting power back into the hands of State and local governments. Those who opposed the law believed it promoted racial profiling and punished otherwise upstanding citizens.

Huntsman Or Keyes For VP?

Dear Bob,

I just took your poll on who would make the best Vice Presidential pick and I would like to know why Jon Huntsman and Alan Keyes are not listed.


Dear Vince,

We put the names of who we thought were the most likely candidates. We can’t list every name anyone could conceivably come up with.

Best wishes,


Emergency Meals When The Power Goes Out

What we learn from our parents and grandparents from yesterday helps us to be more prepared for today as well as the future. Learning the old-fashioned skills of the past is very important: skills like chopping wood, building fires, using kerosene lamps, gardening, preserving or bottling food, root cellaring for the winter months, fishing, raising and butchering cattle, pigs and chickens.

Our grandparents knew how to preserve their meat by smoking, bottling or drying it. Our ancestors knew how to survive off the land. It was a necessary skill and everyone did it.

Back then, everyone had family farms with chickens. Every morning they gathered the fresh eggs and milked the cow or goat so they could make breakfast. They knew how to bottle meat and turn it into strips of dried jerky for the winter months. Food and water storage was a necessity, and most of the daily activities centered around staying warm and gathering enough food to make meals to feed the family. Many times the older children had the task of gathering and chopping wood, keeping the fire and wood-burning stove going, lighting the kerosene lanterns and helping with the younger children.

What Would We Do Without Electricity?

I do product research for my business. I own every gadget and product I can find that will make life easier in an emergency situation. I use them and evaluate them and pass this knowledge on to my readers.

If the power grid goes down I will be using these items along with many of the skills passed down from my grandparents. We need to think ahead and have items on hand that we can use in our daily lives that do not require electricity. These include a non-electric can opener, a hand-cranked food processor, a hand-cranked wheat grinder or grain mill, an old-fashioned egg beater or wire whisk, a solar oven, a non-electric food dehydrator, and cast iron Dutch ovens. We will need hand tools and gardening equipment, bicycles and ways to get around.

What would we do if the power went out for a week or two? We would not be able to get gas because the pumps run on electricity. The grocery stores would not be able to sell products because the computers wouldn’t work. We would all be greatly inconvenienced. It would be overwhelming and very stressful.

It is a good idea to have alternative cooking methods such as camping stoves, with propane or white gas. Any recipe calling for food to be cooked on a stovetop can easily be cooked on a camp stove, in a pot, pan or on the griddle. Backyard grills are also great as a backup when the power goes out. Be sure to store enough fuel for at least 2 weeks.

In my previous articles I have listed many of the other items that are necessary for being prepared. I am listing a few of my favorite products. They are available on the web and in most sporting goods stores

Sun OvenA Solar Sun Oven is a great way to bake and it uses the power of the sun. You can bake anything in the sun oven that you can bake in a conventional oven. It comes with a dark enamel pot with a lid and is similar to a roasting pan. You place your pot of food in the oven and point the oven toward the sun. It heats up to 375 F quickly and cooks your meal without electricity. There is a cookbook that you can purchase with recipes designed for the sun oven.

Dehydrated And Freeze-dried Foods

Food and water storage is very important in an emergency situation. The types of foods that you will not have access to include fresh produce, breads, meats and dairy products. You will need to have canned meats on hand to make meals that contain protein. You will need bread-making ingredients and the skills to make your own bread. The meals you make in an emergency will be much different than what you are used to cooking.

Dried food will store much longer than wet-pack canned food. I suggest that you store a wide variety of freeze-dried and dehydrated foods. I recommend storing individual gallon-sized cans of dehydrated fruits, vegetables and dried dairy products. A variety of grains, such as wheat, oats and rice, as well as beans and legumes are great storage items because they last a long time on the shelf. They only require water and simple heat to prepare.

Pre-made Meals (Just Add Water)

In an emergency situation we will need simple meals that are easy to prepare yet nutritious. I like to store meals that are already pre-made and dehydrated or freeze-dried and contain all the ingredients. These are so simple to make because you just add water and cook for 15 minutes and the meal is done. The pre-made meals that I have been storing are called Go-Foods. These are so-named because they are ideal for families that are busy, on-the-go and need fast, easy and nutritious meals. When choosing meals to store, keep in mind that they need to be packaged for long-term storage. GoFoods have a shelf life of 15 years. These meals can be rotated and used for everyday cooking as well. This helps prevent the food from expiring and getting thrown away, which is a waste of money.

I research all the different food storage companies and their products and I am in the business of helping people become self-sufficient. I have now found a program that I am very impressed with. You can set up a monthly auto-ship to receive a box of food per month to store away so that over a year’s period of time you will have a one-year supply of emergency food. This company has new concepts in storable foods that are delicious, nutritious, affordable and convenient for daily use as well as for storing for up to 15 years.

3 Cheese Chicken Alfredo PastaGoFoods pre-made meals are dehydrated from premium-grade fresh raw foods.

They have no genetically modified food items (GMOs). The food has no hydrogenated oil or monosodium glutamate (MSG). And it is not imported from countries using illegal fertilizers and insecticides. Just click here to learn more.

The meals ready to cook include soups like cheddar broccoli, Italian chicken, vegetable beef, tortilla soup, corn chowder, minestrone, chicken noodle, chili and potato cheddar. Entrées and other baking items include chicken pasta alfredo, cheesy chicken rice casserole, Santa Fe fiesta rice, creamy Tuscan pasta with sundried tomatoes, beef stroganoff, au gratin potatoes, instant seasoned potatoes, pancake mix, corn muffin mix, cornmeal dumplings, granola, powdered milk, wheat bread mix and buttermilk biscuit mix.

Each package of food is ready to go with everything except the water. It only takes 15-20 minutes to cook and the meals are delicious. The packages feed two to four people and come packed in Mylar® bags for long-term storage of up to 15 years. The cooking instructions are on each package. The company offers samples of their meals for people to try before they buy. All they ask is that you pay the shipping.

Hybrid FlashlightIf The Power Goes Out

If the power goes out it is always a good idea to have several flashlights around. I keep one in all my vehicles as well as my home. I love the solar-powered hybrid flashlight that recharges itself in any kind of light. It can be recharged each day by exposing it to sunlight or indoor lighting. It has a very bright light with 120 lumens of power and is waterproof. It floats, is non-breakable and works in extreme hot or cold temperatures. You never need to purchase batteries and it holds a single charge for three years before it needs to be recharged again by simply exposing it to sunlight. It is the best solar powered flashlight I have found so far.

Being prepared for whatever life’s emergencies might bring means, not only storing prepping items, but also having the skills to use them. Knowledge and skills will help us to be more emotionally balanced as well. If you are prepared you will not panic.

–Peggy Layton

Neighborhood Bans Children From Drawing On Sidewalks

Summer days used to consist of popsicles, hopscotch and drawing on the sidewalk. But if a homeowner’s association (HOA) in Denver gets its way, sidewalk art will be a thing of the past.

The HOA known as Innovations and Courtyard Traditions at Stapleton has temporarily banned any drawing that might hinder the enjoyment of shared spaces. The ban will be discussed in depth at an upcoming meeting.

One mother, Sarah Cohen, has been vocal about the ban, saying that the HOA is taking away one of her daughter’s “simple pleasures.” Cohen, who says her daughter’s drawings consist of hearts and flowers, believes the ban is ridiculous. “My initial reaction was, ‘You have to be kidding me,’” she said.

The HOA believes that because the space is a shared space, there should be no artwork. Cohen believes that because the space is a shared space, homeowners should have the right to do what they please. “We live on a courtyard and we all bought into the notion that we were sharing a space,” she argues.

Cohen plans to let her daughter continuing drawing as a way to protest the ban.

The Real War

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke continued the Fed’s war on and destruction of American savers and retirees last week with a continuation of Operation Twist.

As Bloomberg notes, “The continuation of Operation Twist ‘should put downward pressure on longer-term interest rates and help to make broader financial conditions more accommodative,’ the Federal Open Market Committee said today in a statement at the conclusion of a two-day meeting in Washington.”

In other words, Bernanke has announced that the Fed is going to keep shuffling the same money piles back and forth to continue the charade that it is doing something constructive for the American people. But the truth is much different.

Keeping interest rates low helps the banksters and keeps government’s fictional “debt” low, which allows it to spend more money. But it is devastating to savers and people living on fixed incomes, pensions and retirement funds. The Fed says this will continue at least through late 2014. By then, interest rates will have remained at or near zero for six years, and just slightly higher for much longer.

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This continues the great rape of the American people for the benefit of the banksters who borrow money from the Fed for almost nothing then loan it out for a return of between 2.75 percent (home mortgage) and 20 percent (credit card). It’s really quite a racket, when you think about it. Especially considering that when you are no longer able to repay the loans because of the economic conditions created by the Fed and bankster criminals, the banks can then confiscate your property—or, as is the case in some instances, the government will steal money from those who are working and still able to make their payments and use it to pay the banks on behalf of the homeowners.

Low interest rates also keep the interest paid on savings accounts at near zero and far below the rate of inflation. Government-fudged numbers say inflation is at 1.7 percent, but real inflation as it was measured in 1980 is 9.3 percent, according to Shadowstats.com. By using fudged inflation numbers, government doesn’t have to make cost-of-living increases on Social Security payments. This puts a tighter squeeze on those who struggle to pay for their groceries—again those on fixed incomes, living off savings or Social Security.

All of this is done under the pretense that the American government is in debt. This is utter hogwash.

There is in reality no U.S. debt. It is delusion and fraud. The Federal Reserve can print money to infinity.

If you had your own money-printing machine, would you be in debt? Of course not, because if you accumulated debt you could just print more money to pay for it. The same with the Federal government. Yet the elites and the media constantly wail and cry over the U.S. “debt.”

This is a ruse to get the American public in the mood to accept higher taxes. There is never any serious talk in the beltway of cutting government spending or eliminating government programs. Anyone who dares suggest that cuts be made is derided as a heartless soul who wishes to starve the old and the poor, abuse the disabled and allow corporations to run amok. Yet it is government policies that are abusive. Sadly, most remain completely unaware.

Congress and the President, regardless of party label, are constantly on the lookout for ways to spend more money on behalf of its favored constituency and to the benefit of corporatocracy. This is fascism under the sweet-sounding name of democracy.

There are now more than 46 million people on food stamps. Each of them is now eligible for a taxpayer-funded cellular telephone which, apparently is now as essential as food and water for life. Almost half the population is on some sort of government assistance. Unemployment benefits have been extended ad nauseum.

Government actions are always designed to benefit the elites in government and on Wall Street. Fed policies created the bubble that burst in 2007-2008, which saw banksters and Wall Street speculators play fast and loose with mortgages and derivatives, knowing that when the bubble burst they would be saved from their irresponsibility and criminal behavior. Efforts by the States to crack down on bankster criminals were blocked by the Feds.

A recent report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office shows how the game is rigged against the American people for the benefit of the elites. The report revealed that the Fed gave money in the form of almost zero percent loans to more than a dozen financial institutions that had current or former directors on the boards of the regional Fed banks. The total amount doled out to these people of privilege exceeded $4 trillion.

And nothing demonstrates the absurdity of the game more than the recent appearance before Congress by JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. The appearance was a veritable love-fest.

That’s because of JPMorgan’s connections to the House Financial Services committees, the Senate Banking Committee and the alphabet soup “watchdog” agencies that are paid to look the other way. Former Congressmen and Congressional staffers who once worked for committee members now lobby for JPMorgan and work for JPMorgan. Enforcement heads for the Securities and Exchange Commission are former JPMorgan employees. Dimon sits on the board of the New York Federal Reserve. JPMorgan is a major contributor to a number of the committees’ members. All of this was revealed in a report by Propublica.

Bernanke is desperate to stave off collapse until after the November election. He’s facing quite a headwind of lousy job reports (real unemployment in May was 22.7 percent, according to Shadowstats.com), a continued housing slump, flat retail sales reports and a decline in manufacturing.

In making the announcement about Operation Twist, the Fed also revealed that (official) unemployment would remain above 8 percent through the end of 2012, which really means more than one in five Americans will remain out of work through the end of the year. American unemployment has never been this high for this long. There are 4 million fewer people working today than just five years ago. And President Barack Obama just compounded the unemployment situation by dumping hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens into the legitimate job market.

Of course, Bernanke has been proven to be either an incompetent boob or a pathological liar. Just prior to the collapse, he maintained that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were sound and in no danger of failure. He has at various times over the course of the last four-plus years said all was well, warned of a recession, promised a recovery, warned of a double-dip recession, predicted low inflation and high inflation and lower unemployment and higher unemployment and that he knows what must be done to start a recovery and has no idea what to do next. Last June I wrote that he was all three of the Three Stooges rolled into one. Unfortunately his act is not funny.

The European situation is also hanging over the U.S. economy like the sword of Damocles. The Eurozone is back on the hook for Greece’s debt, and Spain’s and Italy’s debt problems are yet to be addressed. Unfortunately, the Fed is in the Eurozone to the tune of about $16 trillion, and that doesn’t count the U.S. commitment through the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

World Bank President Robert Zoellick says we are nearing a danger zone and on the verge of a crash that could be as bad as the Lehman Brothers crash in 2008. On the heels of this announcement, a market rumor exploded that Pimco, JPMorgan and other financial institutions had cancelled summer vacations for employees so they could prepare for a collapse.

There is much afoot. The “Great Reset”—the economic collapse that will lead us back to Constitutional governance and a new gold standard—that I have predicted is coming. Bernanke and company will do all they can to stave it off as long as they can. But they are running out of options.

The evidence is in the increasing controls on money exchange and increasing hostility toward expatriation, the growing power of the police state and multiple efforts to censor and control the Internet. The elites are dismayed that they no longer control the message and that more people are growing wise to their criminal behavior.

It’s almost too late to buy gold and silver. If you do, hold it in your possession. Store food, water and ammunition. Determine what skills you have that you can barter, and get the tools necessary to make it happen.

Our hope is the collapse, once it begins, occurs quickly. Otherwise, things will get very ugly for the unprepared. Look to Weimar Germany as an example. Mothers were prostituting themselves to put food on the table.

We must go through the fire, but I believe we will come out the other side better for it.