Tropical Storm Isaac Delays Space Launch

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (UPI) — NASA says tropical storm Isaac forced the cancellation of the launch of a mission to study Earth’s radiation belts, with an attempt now set for Thursday.

With the approach of the storm to Florida during the weekend the Saturday launch was called off and the leadership team for the Radiation Belt Storm Probes mission decided to roll the Atlas V rocket off the launch pad and wait for better conditions, the space agency said.

The launch vehicle and the twin probes were moved back to the Vertical Integration Facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 4 to protect them from inclement weather.

Pending approval from the U.S. Air Force’s Eastern Range, the unmanned launch was reset for Thursday at 4:05 a.m. EDT.

The RBST probes are designed to help in understanding the sun’s influence on Earth and near-Earth space by studying the Earth’s radiation belts.

Russian Software Firm Denies Spying Link

MOSCOW (UPI) — A Russian IT company has denied reports it was involved in developing software to monitor social networks for the country’s intelligence services.

The daily newspaper Kommersant reported Monday the company Iteranet had a contract with the Foreign Intelligence Service of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces.

Iteranet issued a denial later Monday.

“We are not in the business of developing systems to monitor blogs and plant information in the blogosphere,” Iteranet CEO Igor Matskevich told RIA Novosti.

“There have been no contracts of the type Kommersant claims. We do not engage in such activity.”

Kommersant had said Iteranet’s contract included systems to monitor and control the blogs and shape public opinion by spreading “special information” in social networks.

Beliefs Seen As Hurricane Response Worry

COLUMBIA, S.C. (UPI) — The attitudes and misinformed mindsets of U.S. coastal residents facing oncoming hurricanes might pose an obstacle to safe evacuations, a study has found.

A range of beliefs and attitudes that could hamper emergency planning and lead to lives being threatened were found in a survey conducted by researchers at the University of South Carolina at the start of the 2012 hurricane season.

Chief among them is a widespread unwillingness to evacuate in advance of a Category 1 or Category 2 hurricane, with nearly two-thirds of coastal South Carolina residents saying they wouldn’t do so, a university release said.

“That really surprised us,” said Susan Cutter, director of the Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute at USC said.

“We have experience in lots of places along the hurricane coasts where Category 1 and 2 storms have had historically strong impacts — obviously not as great as a larger magnitude storm, but nevertheless, it’s a hurricane.”

Even people living in designated storm surge zones said they would be reluctant to evacuate, the survey found.

“People say, ‘Oh Category 1, no big deal.’ But any hurricane is a big deal, and people need to recognize that and take precautions. Being in a storm surge zone during any hurricane is very dangerous,” Cutter said.

Oldest Living Person Turns 116

WALTON, Ga., (UPI) —  A Georgia county celebrated the 116th birthday of the world’s oldest living person — the eighth person to reach the age — by dedicating a bridge to the woman.

Besse Cooper, who turned 116 Sunday, was honored at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday for a new bridge on New Hope Church Road in Walton County when officials dedicated the bridge to her, the Walton (Ga.) Tribune reported Monday.

“The older she has gotten the more wittier she has gotten,” said Cooper’s son, Sidney, in relaying a message from his mother for the ceremony.

“I’m glad I gave them a reason to name it,” he quoted Besse Cooper as saying.

Cooper, who was born in Tennessee on Aug. 26, 1896, is only the eighth person confirmed to have reached the age of 116.

DUI Suspect Blames 'Being A Bridesmaid'

HOLMES BEACH, Fla.,  (UPI) —  Police in Florida said a woman arrested for driving under the influence told a deputy the arrest is what she gets “for being a bridesmaid.”

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office said a Holmes Beach police officer Friday pulled over Lesley Falcone, 27, for driving 18 mph over the speed limit and drifting into oncoming traffic, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Monday.

The officer called a deputy to administer a sobriety test and Falcone was allegedly “unable to stand in the starting position” for the walk and turn test.

“I’m done and I don’t want to look like a fool,” the woman allegedly told the deputy after attempting the test.

The deputy said Falcone admitted to having several drinks before driving.

“This is what I get for being a bridesmaid,” the report quotes her as saying.

Strippers See Slow Start To GOP Convention

TAMPA, Fla., (UPI) —  Tampa, Fla., strip club workers said they are hopeful the Republican convention will bring in business despite small turn-outs the weekend before the event.

Workers at clubs including 2001 Odyssey said they have made special preparations for this week’s convention, but turnout Saturday night was slower than expected in the lead-up to the Republican event, the Tampa Bay Times reported Monday.

“We’re hopeful,” a dancer with the stage name Brandy said Saturday night. “I think it’s the quiet before the storm.”

Jim Kleinhans, owner of 2001 Odyssey, said special preparations for the convention include adding two extra ATMs and putting up a drive-up tent for arriving VIPs. However, only one vehicle took advantage of the tent Saturday.

Meanwhile, Thee Dollhouse employed adult film actress Lisa Ann, who has played Sarah Palin parody Serra Paylin in pornographic films, to portray the character as she strips during the convention while other dancers at the club donned patriotic outfits resembling the costume of DC Comics superhero Wonder Woman.

Vicki Baham, manager at the Mons Venus strip club, blamed Tropical Storm Isaac for the slow weekend.

“I’m sure it’s the hurricane,” she said. “People are freaking out about it.”

Texas Reconsiders Felony Prostitution Laws

AUSTIN, Texas,  (UPI) —  Texas’ felony prostitution law has contributed to overcrowded prisons and the Legislature’s rethinking of the incarceration process, officials say.

Because of the 2001 law allowing prosecutors to charge prostitutes with a felony after three misdemeanor prostitution convictions, more than 350 prostitutes are serving time in the state prison system, with many more imprisoned for drug and theft crimes associated with the sex trade, the Austin American-Statesman reported Monday.

For a quarter of the cost, these non-violent, low-level criminals could be rehabilitated in community-based treatment programs instead of prison, the newspaper said.

It costs $18,538 to house a convict in a state prison for a year, compared with about $4,300 for a community-based program, the Texas Legislative Budget Board calculated.

“If it’s done right, it can save lives, save money and cut crime. The cost-per-day of low-level offenders in the community, rather than in a prison, is significant,” said District Judge Larry Gist of Beaumont.

Treatment programs are expected to be on the agenda when the state legislature meets again in January, the newspaper said.

Tampa Rally Swan Song For Ron Paul?

TAMPA, Fla.,  (UPI) —  Several thousand supporters gave Ron Paul possibly his last hurrah as Republicans gathered in Florida to select Mitt Romney as their presidential candidate.

The 77-year-old Republican Texas congressman noted for his libertarian philosophy declined to endorse his rival in the GOP presidential race.

Paul was the main attraction at a 6-hour rally at the University of South Florida Sun Dome in Tampa. In a 77-minute speech, the lame duck congressman called on those in attendance to continue to grow the movement, Politico reported.

“We’ll get in the tent, believe me, because we will become the tent eventually,” he said. “It seems to me that they [Republicans] would be begging and pleading for us to come into the party.”

This was Paul’s second attempt at the GOP presidential nomination — he also ran in 2008 — in addition to a 1988 bid as the Libertarian Party’s candidate. In the 2012 primary campaign he received nearly 2 million votes.

During the campaign, Paul noted, he spoke at 33 college campuses and addressed nearly 150,000 people.

Paul urged his followers to continue to push the ideals of libertarianism.

“We have to aim high. We have to be very idealistic. We have to use reason, and we have to have passion. This will convert people rather than grabbing them by the collar and saying, ‘Listen to me…,” he said.

School Shooting Reported In Baltimore

BALTIMORE, (UPI) —  A student at Perry Hall High School in Baltimore, Md., was shot Monday morning, the first day of school, Baltimore County police said.

A suspect was arrested.

The victim was hospitalized and some students were escorted to a nearby shopping mall to await their parents while others were locked down in rooms such as the library, police said.

Baltimore County Councilman David Marks, who lives next door to the school, said he has been telephoned by dozens of worried parents, and has heard “a lot of helicopters,” The Baltimore Sun reported.

Parent Doris Puskoski told the Sun her son had texted her, saying a gunman had started shooting in the lunchroom.

The Sun said the school wing near the cafeteria had been shut down.

Man's Hole-In-One Insurance Called Bogus

SEATTLE, (UPI) —  The Washington state insurance commissioner filed charges against a businessman who allegedly reneged on hole-in-one insurance he provided for golf tournaments.

Kevin Kolenda, 54, of Connecticut was charged this week with five counts of transacting insurance without a license after allegedly failing to pay up when golfers sank a hole in one.

Big cash prizes for aces are commonplace at corporate and charity golf tournaments, and organizers generally take out an insurance policy that will pay off if someone actually makes a hole in one rather than have to pony up out of their own pockets.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said in a written statement that in three cases since 2004, Kolenda allegedly failed to pay between $10,000 and $50,000 for a hole in one that was made.

Kolenda, who operated at Golf Marketing, also allegedly ignored a previous cease-and-desist order from Kreidler’s office, The Seattle Times reported Thursday.

“We’ve been warning the public about Mr. Kolenda’s scam for years,” said Kreidler. “He has a long history of selling illegal insurance, refusing to pay prize winners and thumbing his nose at regulators.”

Snake Smuggler Foiled At Orlando Airport

ORLANDO, Fla., (UPI) —  A man attempting to smuggle 27 snakes from Florida to Brazil in stereo speakers was caught at the airport, U.S. officials said.

Mateus Dal Maso bought the snakes at the Daytona Beach, Fla., National Reptile Breeders Expo allegedly with the intent to illegally export them to Brazil, U.S. Fish and Wildlife authorities said.

He was detained at Orlando International Airport after the snakes showed up in X-ray scans of stereo speakers he had in his luggage.

Dal Maso admitted to federal agents he was concealing the snakes, valued at $10,000, the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel reported Friday. Dal Maso was found guilty of exporting illegal merchandise and fined $6,000 after spending two days in Orange County, Fla., jail.

The status of the snakes wasn’t reported.

Romney Vows To Be Hands-On President

WASHINGTON,  (UPI) —  A 100-day scorecard, corporate discipline and a hands-on management style are three things Mitt Romney promised to institute if he’s elected U.S. president.

Romney, who will be formally nominated as the GOP presidential candidate this week during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., also said he would treat his Cabinet as a board of directors and it would be dominated by people from the private sector, Politico reported.

What people see is what people will get, Romney told Politico during a 30-minute interview.

He vowed to keep his focus on a relentlessly goal-driven, business-oriented approach to national government that helped mold his life.

“I know there are some people who do a very good job acting and pretending they’re something they’re not,” Romney said. “You get what you see. I am who I am.”

Saying he doesn’t think “everybody likes me,” Romney said he does believe “people of this country are looking for someone who can get the country growing again with more jobs and more take-home pay, and I think they realize this president had four years to do that. … He got every piece of legislation he wanted passed, and it didn’t work. I think they want someone who has a different record, and I do.”

Romney also indicated he was tiring of the criticism that he is wooden or wasn’t connecting with voters, Politico said. He said he was able to unite people of divergent views to rescue the Olympics, initiate profit-making ideas at Bain Capital and lead Massachusetts, a Democratic state.

While acknowledging opposition ads have had some impact, Romney said people would have a chance to get to know him better during the the ensuing weeks and debates “when people are actually paying a lot of attention to the candidates.”

Romney said he would take a hands-on approach and consider varying viewpoints on an issue before reaching a decision, Politico said.

But Romney said his one bugaboo is organization.

“I think one of the things I don’t do terribly well is to be highly organized and follow a calendar precisely,” he said.

Even though he would take the hands-on approach, Romney said he would delegate responsibilities.

“Having people who have actually run things in the private sector or who have been actively involved in the private sector will be of real interest to me,” he said.

U.S. Leads In Foreign Military Sales

WASHINGTON, (UPI) —  More than 75 percent of the legitimate international weapons trade came from U.S. military sales, largely to Persian Gulf allies, a report says.

The Congressional Research Service said more than 75 percent of the weapons traded, or around $66.3 billion, came from sales by the U.S. government, a review of government records from The New York Times reports.

U.S. weapons sales in 2010 were reported at $21.4 billion. Russian arms sales last year came in second at $4.8 billion.

U.S. military assets have been positioned in the Persian Gulf to protect shipping lanes in the Strait of Hormuz, a key conduit for oil transits from the region.

Patrick Ventrell, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department, had said the missile threat to U.S. forces deployed overseas was growing.

“The U.S. will continue to work with our partners in the Middle East to strengthen missile defense in the Persian Gulf,” he said during a recent press briefing.

U.S. Defense Department documents reviewed recently by Times indicate there are plans to send $4.2 billion in advanced missile systems to Kuwait. The United Arab Emirates was the recipient of more than $12 billion in U.S. missile defense programs during the past four years.

Isaac Forces Thousands To Evacuate

MIAMI, (UPI) —  Tropical Storm Isaac, expected to become a hurricane, pointed toward Louisiana Monday and people in three states were told to evacuate.

The storm had New Orleans in the center of its path, officials said.

Governors of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi declared states of emergency and thousands of people were ordered to evacuate.

Authorities said Florida had avoided the worst of Isaac but was still feeling its effects. On Sunday, the Republican National Committee announced the first day of party’s convention in Tampa would be canceled.

The National Hurricane Center declared a hurricane warning for an area stretching from east of Morgan City, La., to Destin, Fla. That arc includes New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley ordered mandatory evacuations of coastal and low-lying areas to begin at 8 a.m. , CNN reported.

At 5 a.m., the storm was about 180 miles southwest of Fort Myers, Fla., and 405 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River. It was moving west-northwest at 14 mph.

The hurricane center said the center of Isaac would move over the eastern Gulf of Mexico Monday and approach the northern Gulf Coast Tuesday, by which time the storm is expected to be a Category 2 hurricane with winds 96 to110 mph, Accuweather.com reported.

Tropical storm-force winds extend 240 miles out from the center of the storm.

South Florida was under a tornado watch until 9 a.m. Monday and a flood watch throughout the evening, The Miami Herald reported.

More than 18,000 residents in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties on the state’s east coast were without power Sunday night.

Hundreds of flights had been canceled at South Florida airports.

Along Florida’s west coast, emergency shelters opened in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties surrounding Tampa Bay the Tampa Bay Times reported.

The storm was predicted to drop 2 to 4 inches of rain in the Tampa Bay area by Monday night but Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he was most concerned about how it might affect northern sections of the state, which were still waterlogged from Tropical Storm Debby.

Wednesday is the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which struck the Gulf Coast with 145 mph winds, devastating a a region that included New Orleans.

More than 1,700 people were killed and hundreds of thousands of others were displaced by Katrina, which was a Category 3 hurricane. Its storm surge — a 29-foot wall of water — was the highest ever measured in the United States.

Rand Paul Wants Legal Hemp

Senator Rand Paul (R.-Ky.) is currently working to do away with Federal laws that classify industrial hemp in the same way as marijuana, a move that he says would have lasting economic benefits.

Currently, the Federal government effectively prohibits production of the non-hallucinogenic plant that can be used to make products including twine, paper and clothing. Even though 27 States have made some moves to facilitate hemp production, farmers who grow the plants still risk Federal raids.

“The rest of the world can grow hemp and we’re not, so we’re losing out on that product,” Paul said. “You know our farmers are one of the greatest parts of our economy. We do things very well in agriculture. If we would legalize hemp I think we would be one of the leaders of the world. I think we have a chance of passing it.”

Paul presented legislation in the Senate last month — similar to a House bill proposed by his father Ron — that would make it legal for farmers to grow industrial hemp crops.

Hemp advocates contend that by allowing hemp farming, the $400 million industry would lead to “instant job creation.” Pointing out that hemp is widely used in the manufacture of clothing, it was noted recently that President Barack Obama is raising campaign funds by selling a Monique Péan scarf on his website made of 45 percent cotton and 55 percent hemp. The hemp is imported from China.

Obama Campaign Draws Support From Shady Characters

If the Democratic Party endorses the views of its supporters, then Vice President Joe Biden must think rape is a laughing matter and President Barack Obama must think it’s OK to shoot those who interfere with a back-alley drug deal. The Nation’s top leaders recently made appearances with Senator Al Franken and NBA star Carmello Anthony.

Last week, Biden shared the stage with Franken, a former “Saturday Night Live” writer who joked about raping a reporter.

“I give pills to Lesley Stahl. Then, when Lesley’s passed out, I take her to the closet and rape her,” joked Franken, as reported by New York magazine in 1995. “When she passes out, I put her in various positions and take pictures of her.”

Anthony appeared at the “Obama Classic,” a fundraising event attended by some of the biggest names in basketball. In 2004, Anthony was seen in a DVD titled “Stop Snitchin” alongside drug dealers who threatened that anyone who interfered with their enterprise would “get a hole in his head.”

Emotional Survival And Stress Relief In A Disaster

We live in a very unpredictable world. There are so many wars. And there is so much hatred (especially among religions), so much violence, so much rage, so much fear of the government, so much fear of the future, so much fear of losing our money and materialistic possessions, and so much fear of losing our loved ones. How do we make it through tough times? What is it going to take to make mankind realize that we are destroying our planet and the very societies that live on it?

How do we find peace within ourselves and stop animosity between races, religions, cultures and relationships? How do we live in a troubled world and make it a better place? If we revert to living like our forefathers, who lived off the land and promoted peace, we could do our little part in reversing the negative energy and make this world a more peaceful place. If this thought went viral and billions of people read it and caught the vision there would be a new harmony that could save mankind and the planet.

It sounds too good to be true; but if we start now to do our part, then future generations can live in peace.

Personal Responsibility

Taking back our power means taking total responsibility for our own lives. We must never allow ourselves to become victims and blame someone else because something happened to us. We must all be self-reliant, self-sufficient and responsible for ourselves first. We cannot control what others do — only what we do.

Do not make the mistake of thinking the government, the church, your neighbors or family will save you in a crisis. I like to live by the motto “if it is to be, it is up to me.”

How is this done? It starts within every human being. We have no control over anyone other than ourselves. We must be balanced emotionally so we can handle life’s challenges and disasters. If we are balanced within our own selves, we can help others who are in need.

Disasters Happen To Good People

Fear of the future based on the past is what holds us back from moving forward.

Emotional trauma can be caused by any number of events in our lives. It’s not the event that gets the best of us, but how we handle it after it happens that matters.

  • What would you do if a tornado ripped your house apart, and all that was left was a pile of rubble?
  • What if you lose a family member to death?
  • How would you face divorce or a breakup of a relationship?
  • How would you face an economic crash, not knowing where your next meal is coming from or how you will pay your bills?
  • What if the government went bankrupt and no one got their Medicaid, Social Security checks or welfare?
  • What if you had an emergency medical condition that leaves you thousands of dollars in debt and unable to work?
  • What if you or your spouse loses your job or one of your children loses his job and moves home with his spouse and children?
  • What if a fire burns up all our worldly possessions?
  • What if someone harms one of our family members?
  • What if your bank closes its doors and you can’t get out your money?
  • What if your retirement money gets lost in a stock market crash?
  • What if? What if?
  • Can we find it within ourselves to start over?

There are so many unforeseen disasters. Many people I talk to every day are in fear. At least one or more of these things probably will happen to each of us at some point in our lives. I know the government is doing many things that are harming the people. I know there are evil people conspiring to do harm at all costs. We may fall victims to these evil designs, but we will not remain victims.

We can face the future better because of the emotional trauma we have already been through in our lives. We need to know how to handle situations like this. So what do we do when faced with these overwhelming emotions we have inside of us? I am going to give you some simple techniques or processes that will help balance your emotional state in a crisis situation.

Techniques To De-Stress

I am a licensed massage therapist and hypnotherapist, and I have learned many different processes that can calm someone down if they are in stress. Fear is the No. 1 cause of stress in any situation. I believe that if we practice skills of peace and calming that we can face any situation that may occur in our lives.

Take A Deep Breath

Take a deep breath into the lungs and release it. Continue it again and again until you feel the pressure-relief valve letting off steam and releasing the stress. I like to do it lying down in a comfortable position. With every breath I take in, I visualize the pressure of the negative feeling; and as I release the breath, I visualize the stress releasing. Doing this for five minutes straight will bring a peaceful, calming feeling to our souls that will help in a time of crises. It also helps children to calm down when something unpleasant has happened to them. It is a simple form of self-hypnosis. This skill is invaluable in a crises situation because remaining calm is very important. If we can keep our wits about us when others are suffering, we can help others instead of looking for someone to help us.

Tapping PointsTapping To Relieve Stress

There is a tapping technique called EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). Try this stress-relief technique for any issue that comes up. Use the breathing technique while tapping and repeating the affirmations three times on each part of the body stated.

  1. First state the negative feeling or belief. Write it on a piece of paper, then turn the negative feeling into a positive thought and write it down also. For example: “I am stressed out” turns into “I am calm and peaceful.
  2. Repeat the words “I am calm and peaceful” three times, tapping with your middle three fingers above each eyebrow. Use your right hand above the right eyebrow and your left hand above the left eyebrow. Continue tapping as you repeat the phrase “I am calm and peaceful.” Move to the side of the eye and repeat the process.
  3. Move to the bone just under your eye socket and tap again repeating the same message three times.
  4. Move to the bone under the nose and above the upper lip. Then to the chin bone, tapping under the lower lip. Use both hands as you tap.
  5. Move to just below the collarbones on the chest and tap on both sides. Continuing to repeat “I am calm and peaceful.”
  6. Tap under both armpits and repeat again.
  7. Tap on the inside of each hand, on the side of the palm and below the little finger. By the time you are finished with tapping each position, the message you are repeating will be imprinted in your subconscious mind. You will be amazed at how the stress releases out of the body.

This diagram of the tapping points is courtesy of ThrivingNow.com and joy-connection.com.

If you are interested in any of the books I have written on food storage, self-sufficiency and survival, or if you are interested in ION (stabilized oxygen water treatment), check out my website.

If you are interested in receiving three free sample meals from GoFoods Global to test out the quality of these simply delicious emergency food storage meals that serve four people and require only water and 15 minutes of cooking time, click here.

–Peggy Layton

Don't Waste Your Money

Dear Bob,

Do you participate in or advocate making monthly investments in gold and silver ETFs?

A: No. There is too much potential for fraud. Forbes reported last year:

Regular shareholders have no rights of redemption and the gold is not required to be insured by the Trust, which is not liable for loss, damage, theft, nor fraud.  Shares are bought in the open market, only after Authorized Participants decide to place or sell them.  Therefore a retail investors (sic) doesn’t actually “own” gold, but an asset that is backed by gold and represents a certain quantity of the yellow metal. Skeptics have raised doubts over the trust’s management of its physical gold, with questions over how much is actually held.  HSBC, the custodian, is very secretive regarding its vault.

Don’t waste your money. Buy physical gold and silver and hold it in your possession. Trust no one with it, and tell no one but immediate family you have it.

Best wishes,
Bob

Chicago Values: 13 Shot In 30 Minutes

On July 25, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel said, “Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values.” On Aug. 12, President Barack Obama said, “Chicago is an example of what makes this country great.” On Aug. 24, 13 people were shot in the Windy City over the course of 30 minutes.

In total, 19 people were shot from late Thursday through early Friday morning.

Four men were shot in the Little Village neighborhood about 5:20 p.m.

About 9:30 p.m., eight were shot at 79th Street and Essex Avenue.

Two were shot on East 37th Street at about 9:25 p.m. About the same time, there was a drive-by shooting on West 39th Place.

At about 9:40 p.m., one man was shot on South Jeffrey Boulevard.

Early Friday, a teen was shot on South Vincennes Avenue.

At 1:30 a.m., another teen was shot on West Grenshaw Street.

Since 2001, more than 2,000 troops have been killed in Afghanistan. In the same amount of time, more than 5,000 people in Chicago have died from a gunshot wound.

Is Mitt Fit?

The big bash called the Republican National Convention is set to kick off. If all goes as the party elites have planned, Mitt Romney will be nominated and acclaimed tomorrow (the roll call had been moved up to today “because of concerns about supporters of libertarian Texas Rep. Ron Paul” but Hurricane Isaac interfered) as the country’s salvation from four years of the illegal Obamination that currently despoils the people’s house.

Romney hardly qualifies as a savior — unless what you want to save is big government, ever-growing debt and perpetual war. Beyond the facts that Romney is a natural-born citizen (and there is no proof that the current occupant of the White House is) and there are slight differences in their statist, big government policies, there is little else to differentiate between Romney and the undocumented White House usurper.

To wit: Both believe the government should bail out failing industries; both believe in corporate and agricultural welfare; both support off-shoring American jobs; both support unlimited money printing; both support the notion that government can imprison people without charges or trial; both support government assassinations of Americans; both support weapons bans; both support socialized medicine; both support abortion; both believe in man-caused global warming and support cap-and-trade legislation; both have stated their undying support of Israel; both have advocated pre-emptive war on Syria and Iran and growing the American empire. As President Barack Obama has continued George W. Bush’s nation-destroying-then-rebuilding policies and Romney has employed as advisers much of Bush’s foreign policy team, expect four more years (at least) of war tacked onto the more than 20 we’ve endured in the Mideast.

But the Republican faithful have turned a blind eye to these facts and accepted the party elite’s chosen candidate as well as the elite’s false narrative. The rank and file have also dismissed the ill treatment of the only true conservative in the race, Ron Paul, as well as the ill treatment of his delegates and supporters. But do the rank and file really know who Romney is? And better yet, are they willing to hear the truth and reject Romney while there is still time to replace him with a real conservative who can defeat Obama and change the direction of the country?

In 1984, when Bain Capital was just getting off the ground and struggling to find investors, Romney approached old-money families, including the Rothschilds, for investment in the new venture. Those old-money families turned him down. So Romney went searching for other sources of funding.

In doing so, he began doing business with some nefarious characters, according to the Los Angeles Times. One of them was Sir Jack Lyons, who made a $2.5 million investment through a Panama shell company. Lyons was later convicted of fraud, fined heavily (though spared prison because of ill health) and stripped of his knighthood.

Another British investor of Bain Capital was the publishing baron Robert Maxwell. After Maxwell’s drowning death in 1991, investigators learned Maxwell had stolen hundreds of millions of dollars from his company’s pension funds.

Romney’s Bain partner Harry Strachan suggested other sources of funding with Central American ties. The LA Times quotes a Boston Globe article from 1994 that describes Romney and Bill Bain as being “terrified of bringing in Central Americans” because of “drug money.” But Strachan reassured them so that they approached some of El Salvador’s wealthiest people.

El Salvador was in the midst of a civil war and many of the country’s rich were looking to get their money out of the country. Two of the investors were Francisco R.R. de Sola and his cousin Herbert Arturo de Sola, whose brother Orlando de Sola was suspected by the U.S. State Department and CIA of backing right-wing El Salvadoran death squads, according to now-declassified documents.

Another Bain investor was Jack Hanley, formerly the head of the agricultural terrorist company Monsanto. Hanley invested $1 million. “It seemed like a hell of a smart thing for to do to ride their coattails,” Hanley told the LA Times. “I got rich.”

Romney is a classic crony capitalist, i.e., a fascist, and his ties to Paul Ryan go far beyond tapping him as his Vice Presidential selection. Last week, The Telegraph reported that Romney may have violated ethics laws while Governor of Massachusetts by profiting from a marketing company that was contracted by the State after receiving $5 million from Bain Capital.

Paul Ryan’s brother Tobin was senior manager at Bain from 1995-1998. He left to become vice president of Imagitas, a company co-founded by Bain consultant Tom Beecher. In June 2000, the company got a $5 million investment from Bain. It expanded and began to win contracts with several State governments, including Wisconsin — where Republican and Ryan ally Scott McCallum was Governor — and Massachusetts (a contract that began in 2002, shortly before Romney’s election as Governor and shortly after Tobin Ryan says he left Imagitas).

That work with Massachusetts continued for several years, yet Romney never disclosed the potential conflict of interest. According to The Telegraph, Romney’s 2002 financial disclosure forms state he still owned 100 percent of Bain Capital Investors VI and Bain Capital, Inc. But the forms do not detail individual companies like Imagitus, in which Bain Capital was invested.

In 2005, while Romney was still Governor, Imagitus was sold for $230 million.

Victor Fleischer, a law professor at the University of Colorado specializing in private equity, told The Telegraph  it was “possible but unlikely” that Romney could have completely prevented himself from benefiting from Imagitas.

Over the years, Imagitas gave the Republican Governor’s Association, which Romney chaired, a total of $64,825. Former Imagitus board member Glenn Youngkin, a senior executive with The Carlyle Group — an organization with several directors and staffers who are members of the Council on Foreign Relations — has donated $50,000 to the Romney Victory Fund. He has donated more than $16,000 to Ryan’s campaigns since 1999.

Romney’s Abortion Problem

Romney has flopped like a fish on the subject of abortion, changing his stance depending upon which political office he’s seeking. He insists he’s pro-life now, but he refused last year to sign a pro-life pledge for the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life women’s organization. He has since created his own pledge that removed language from the Susan B. Anthony List pledge he didn’t like, and has received the organization’s endorsement.

But in 1999, Bain Capital invested $75 million in Stericycle, a medical-waste disposal firm that disposed of aborted fetuses collected from family-planning clinics. Bain and Romney claim Romney left the firm to run the 2002 Winter Olympics before the Stericycle deal was made. But documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission tell a different story.

Romney is listed as an active participant. According to Mother Jones:

Romney “may be deemed to share voting and dispositive power with respect to” 2,116,588 shares of common stock in Stericycle “in his capacity as sole shareholder” of the Bain entities that invested in the company. That was about 11 percent of the outstanding shares of common stock. (The whole $75 million investment won Bain, Romney, and their partners 22.64 percent of the firm’s stock—the largest bloc among the firm’s owners.) The original copy of the filing was signed by Romney.

Another SEC document filed November 30, 1999, by Stericycle also names Romney as an individual who holds “voting and dispositive power” with respect to the stock owned by Bain. If Romney had fully retired from the private equity firm he founded, why would he be the only Bain executive named as the person in control of this large amount of Stericycle stock?

The Allen Stanford Connection

Romney has also been tied to convicted Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford, recently sentenced to 110 years in prison in a $7 billion fraud case.

According to The New York Times, about a month after Romney’s 2008 President bid ended, Romney’s son Tagg and top campaign fundraiser Spencer Zwick decided to form a private equity fund and they had a rolodex of deep-pocketed campaign funders to pitch their ideas to. What they didn’t have was private equity experience, so they tapped into the Charlotte office of Stanford Financial Group (SFG) — which had been closed by Federal regulators for selling sham certificates of deposit — and used $10 million in seed money from the Romney family to invest in one part of SFG’s business called Solamere Capital.

The Times reports that Solamere executives claim the group had only been with SFG a short time and knew nothing of the fraud, even though they earned commissions and bonuses from the sale of fraudulent CDs. But the court-appointed receiver for SFG has filed a Federal lawsuit that claims the former SFG employees ignored warning signs of the fraud. He is seeking to recover money from them.

Despite Tagg Romney’s claims to the contrary, an investigation into at least three principals of Solamere who came from SFG is ongoing.

Foreign Funds And More Shady Characters

And then there’s Romney’s foreign fundraising problem. In late July, Romney went to Israel where he held several fundraisers — without collecting paperwork from the donors and most without the presence of journalists — and promised in speeches to back an Israeli strike on Iran.

In January, the Supreme Court issued an order that upheld prohibitions against foreigners making contributions to influence American elections. It stated, “Foreign nationals, other than lawful permanent residents, are completely banned from donating to candidates or parties, or making independent expenditures in federal, state or local elections.”

Veterans Today writes Romney was “personally campaigning outside the US, soliciting foreign citizens, and humiliating himself and his country with his ignorance and flagrant attempts to trade illegal cash for promises of illegal war. One could hardly break more laws if one wanted.”

The Washington Post said the fundraiser — which included Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson — involved about 40 donors who were U.S. citizens, many of whom flew in to attend the event. But there was no filming or photographs allowed and no IDs were checked.

VT also reports that Romney and Adelson met with a group of large donors from the Russian Jewish community who flew in from Moscow.

Adelson is currently being investigated by Federal and Nevada investigators for possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act over an investment in Macau.

In addition to his Israel trip, Romney has also held several campaign fundraisers in England.

It seems that Republicans are now faced with three choices. First, they can shove their heads into the sand at the Tampa, Fla., beaches and pretend that all is well with their candidate, telling themselves all the while they are voting for the “lesser of two evils.”

Or they can look into this and other evidence and determine that Romney’s not the answer for the Nation’s problems and demand a new candidate be selected at the convention: preferably Ron Paul. For this route, time is short; and it’s been made shorter by even more last-minute dirty tricks by the Republican elites.

Or, as I suspect will happen, they can ignore it all and instead unleash a stream of ad hominems and fallacies, shooting the messenger by imputing all manner of nefarious pro-Obama motives to Personal Liberty Digest™ and me while they la-de-da themselves all the way to either a November defeat or, if Romney wins, a Nixonian fall later on.

Cue the slur machine. Three, two, one…