Pump Iron To Prevent Diabetes

You don’t have to pump iron like Arnold Schwarzenegger or be an aerobic powerhouse to reap health rewards from a daily exercise regimen. By simply taking a half hour out of your day for resistance exercise and working a brisk walk or run into your busy schedule, you can greatly reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.

A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine earlier this month finds that by combining the two exercise options, men can reduce their chances of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes by as much as 59 percent. Weight training alone reduced the risk by about 34 percent.

The researchers say the new study is significant because for the first time they have shown that weight training is a viable tool in the fight against diabetes for those who have difficulties with aerobic exercise.

“Until now, previous studies have reported that aerobic exercise is of major importance for type 2 diabetes prevention,” said lead author Anders Grøntved, visiting researcher in the Department of Nutrition at HSPH and a doctoral student in exercise epidemiology at the University of Southern Denmark. “But many people have difficulty engaging in or adhering to aerobic exercise. These new results suggest that weight training, to a large extent, can serve as an alternative to aerobic exercise for type 2 diabetes prevention.”

The study shows that even a modest amount of weight training may help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

While this particular study focused primarily on men, weight training is thought to help women combat diabetes as well. In both men and women, weight training helps the body more effectively process the massive amounts of sugar consumed in the most modern diets.

Pitchfork-Wielding Virginia Farmers Protest Bureaucrats

Thomas Jefferson envisioned America as a Nation that would thrive indefinitely if it stayed true to its agrarian beginnings. What he didn’t expect (likely no Founding Father did) was how bureaucrats would one day do everything in their power to hurt American farmers.

Reports of government bureaucrats harassing and attacking America’s oldest lifestyle are abundant and include stories about raw milk farmers being arrested, armed Federal agents raiding family farms and lawmakers doing the bidding of big agribusiness to the detriment of family farmers.

A group of pitchfork wielding farmers in Virginia decided they have had enough after government agents threatened a local farmer for simply doing what farmers have been doing for generations.



Martha Boneta frequently had gatherings for her neighbors at her property called Liberty Farms, including wine tastings, craft workshops and pumpkin carving, according to reports. She also recently hosted a birthday party for her best friend’s child.

Officials in Boneta’s hometown of Paris, Va., decided that these were all things that required permission from agents of the State and threatened the woman with nearly $5,000 in fines for holding the events, as well as for selling produce and crafts, because she did not have the proper permits.

During a hearing earlier this month attended by Boneta and other concerned farmers, officials said that if Boneta wants to continue opening her farm up to her neighbors, she must first obtain a permit.

Boneta plans to appeal the order.

“This affects every farmer. It affects our ability to earn a living to produce and sell on our own land,” she said.

In a show of solidarity with their farming friend, agrarian supporters held a “pitchfork protest” in the town to decry the bureaucrats’ order.


Washington, D.C.: The Economy Is Great

An extensive study conducted by Gallup offers a not-so-subtle clue as to why the U.S. economy is in dire straits: The people running the show are the only ones in the entire Nation who believe government’s economic policies are making things better.

Gallup surveyed 86,492 people spread throughout all 50 States and Washington, D.C., asking two questions:

  • Is the economy getting better or worse?
  • Are current economic conditions “excellent,” “good,” “only fair,” or “poor.”

In all 50 States the economic confidence index gleaned from the answers to the two questions was negative. In Washington, D.C., however, it was positive: 70 percent of respondents reported that the economy was getting better.

By contrast, people in nearby West Virginia had the worst opinion of the U.S. economy. In that State, 68 percent believe the economy is getting worse.

Drugging America’s Children

America’s youth have a serious drug problem, but it doesn’t involve the teenage backstreet drug-deals you might expect; U.S. psychiatrists prescribe antipsychotic drugs to one out of every three children they treat.

During the 1990s, only about one out of 11 children received the same drugs. The increase, researchers contend, is due in part to doctors prescribing the drugs for disruptive behaviors like attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). No antipsychotics are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat those disorders in kids, however, the research published in the Archives of General Psychiatry says.

“They’re approved for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and irritability with autism. None of them are approved for use with ADHD,” said Dr. Mark Olfson, the study’s lead author and a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University in New York.

Olfson and his team found that for children and teens, around 90 percent of the antipsychotic prescriptions handed out during office visits between 2005 and 2009 were “off label,” where drugs are prescribed for something other than for what they’re intended.

Antipsychotics were originally intended to treat extreme personality disorders like schizophrenia, and many experts believe that using them to suppress milder more manageable emotional disorders can lead to a buildup of tension and violent outbursts in some patients. These drugs have in the past been linked to school shootings and other violent behaviors in adolescents.

In 2010, Americans spent $16.1 billion on antipsychotic drugs.

Obama Lawyer Defends NDAA In Court

Though the mainstream media are mum, the President’s ability to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens expected of terrorist activities was argued in a Federal court in lower Manhattan on Tuesday; the judge’s attitude toward the provisions prompted the Obama Administration to file an appeal.

In May, Judge Katherine Forrest ruled in favor of activists and reporters — including such notable names as Chris Hedges, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Wolf and Daniel Ellsberg — who claimed a section of National Defense Authorization Act, signed by President Barack Obama in December, could give the Federal government legal powers to detain any dissident voices. A preliminary injunction issued by Forest prevents the government from enforcing section 1021 of NDAA’s “Homeland Battlefield” provisions.

The section authorizes the indefinite detention at a facility like Guantanamo of American citizens who are deemed by agents of the government as follows:

A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.

In the four-hour hearing on Tuesday, the plaintiffs were asking that Forest make the injunction permanent, according to The Village Voice. During the hearing, Obama’s lawyer, Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Torrance, argued that the indefinite detention law was already in place before the President signed NDAA last New Year’s Eve as a part of the Authorization for the Use of Military Force passed by Congress following 9/11. He also stated that the plaintiffs’ arguments were unfounded because the law had not yet been used in the manner they feared that it would. Furthermore, he told Forest that because she had blocked a part of Congressional legislation, she had overstepped the power of the judiciary.

Forrest disagreed, citing Alexander Hamilton in Federalist Paper Number 78: “Where the will of the legislature, declared in its statutes, stands in opposition to that of the people, declared in the Constitution, the judges ought to be governed by the latter rather than the former. They ought to regulate their decisions by the fundamental laws, rather than by those which are not fundamental.”

The government, it seems, cares not for the will of the courts or of the people, according to another statement by Torrance. He admitted that because the government does not specify whether it is using NDAA provisions or Authorization for the Use of Military Force provisions in detentions, it could sidestep any court-issued blockage of indefinite detention.

Forrest has not yet issued a decision as to whether she will make the injunction permanent, but the Obama Administration has already appealed to a higher court to be sure that it will not lose its ability to indefinitely detain Americans.

Republicans Hate Democracy


Ron Paul isn’t going to be elected President of the United States, and future candidates with similar ideas will not be elected to the Nation’s highest political office either. For this reason, many mainstream pundits consider runs like that of Paul to be exercises in futility.

But those of us paying attention know just how very wrong those pundits are. Paul and his most dedicated supporters have managed to demonstrate, loudly and for a broad audience, that the American election system is democratic only in name.

For months, Republicans, disaffected Democrats and some Independents have been robotically repeating the mantra, “Anything is better than Obama.” The chant is true for people who do not agree with President Barack Obama’s collectivist vision, illegal warmongering and disdain for self-made success. Except for when it is not.

Despite the unwillingness of many—Republican diehards in particular—to accept reality, the fact remains that Mitt Romney, the man foisted as the primary opposition to the incumbent in November by the two party political system, is little more than a new face for political stagnation.

If your beef with the current President is related to the healthcare overhaul, Romney’s history regarding state-administered healthcare likely hasn’t put your mind at ease.

If you are a staunch Constitutionalist, he surely isn’t your man.

Tired of crony capitalism? Get used to it if you are a Romney supporter.

If you believe in unencumbered 2nd Amendment rights, check out the gun-control side of the former small-varmint-hunting Governor of Massachusetts.

And Romney, a staunch advocate of increasing military spending, isn’t going to make you any safer when he continues the expensive illegal war foreign policy loved by George W. Bush and Obama alike.

There are many more examples of things that a Romney Presidency will not fix or change. In a reasonable world the similarities between the failed policies of Obama and those that will be implemented under Romney would be recognized and discussed. In reality, however, the elites with a vested interest in perpetuating the myth that the Republican leadership is any different than the Democratic have won out. With massive amounts of money, the leadership of both sides has ensured that America’s will be a Republican/Democrat political system, and have written the rules to ensure that dissenting views are shut out.

When the 2012 Republican primaries rolled around, the GOP leadership did what the party has done in Presidential elections of past: It offered up its anointed candidate surrounded by a batch of long-shots, windbags and crackpots to give the electorate an illusion of choice while making sure that the will of the leadership would be carried out in the end.

And it has been, with the exception of supporters of the “crackpot” Paul refusing to go along with the plan.

With all of its political analysts and public policy experts, the GOP failed to realize that the mindset of many Americans has changed greatly in the past 12 years. Many of its own party members realized during the Bush Presidency that the Republican leadership cares little for Constitutional values. And on the other side, average Democratic voters realize that their messiah’s “hope” and “change” of the past few years feels very similar to policies they hated in the past.

GOP elites have been forced to realize their miscalculation as Paul supporters showed up in droves to support their candidate and amassed him enough delegates to secure a spot at the Republican national convention later this month. When his popularity and his supporters’ firm understanding of primary election rules became clear, the GOP elite panicked and worked feverishly to undermined Paul’s contingent. Last minute rule changes took place in some States and police beat-downs of Paul supporters in others.

Now, the convention is drawing near and the GOP leadership is running out of options for silencing Paul’s small-government, anti-cronyism Constitutionalist voice. The leadership has resorted to proving outright that American democracy is dead.

There is a big fight going on right now in Maine, where Paul took a majority of the delegates earlier this year. Because the candidate did so well in the State’s primary, his delegation heading to the RNC later this month would mean a position of prominence for Paul at the convention, giving him the opportunity to point out Romney/Obama similarities and decry the direction mainstream political thinking is leading our Nation. The GOP isn’t having it.

Maine Republican Party Chairman Charlie Webster, a Romney supporter, has told the Paul delegates that they will not participate in the Tampa convention unless they agree to the following terms of a “compromise”:

1.  A majority of the delegates sign a statement agreeing that, if Ron Paul is not on the ballot, they will vote at the Convention for Mitt Romney.

2.  Instead of Brent Tweed [Paul delegate], Charlie Webster or Paul LePage [RNC cronies] would serve as the spokesperson for the delegation and announce the votes cast for president. That spokesperson would also handle all media on behalf of the Maine delegation.

3.  There will be nothing negative said about Mitt Romney or positive said about Obama (especially to media).

4.  The Delegation will be admitted to the Convention, and to all committee assignments, without barrier.

5.  The Contest [GOP ripped Paul off] brought by Jan Staples and Peter Cianchette will be withdrawn.

In essence, those that don’t agree with the GOP leadership may attend the convention only if they agree to follow like sheep the orders of their party masters. The delegates have rejected the “compromise” and a RNC committee is currently deliberating the dispute.

The leadership of the GOP realizes that their candidate is so transparently similar to Obama, that they can’t even risk a hint of criticism by party members. They have elected to use the same tactic that has always been used by political leaders that know they are wrong and at risk of being figured out; silence the opposition.

Is Your Doctor Telling You Everything?

Next time your doctor proposes a treatment for a health issue you are coping with, be sure that he explains all of the possible risks associated with the procedure.

Doctors are expected to advise and empower patients to make choices about procedures by sharing all information that may affect treatment decisions, including risks of adverse outcomes. Researchers from Australia and the U.S. led by David Studdert from the University of Melbourne found, however, that doctors, notably surgeons, often fail to mention certain risks associated with medical procedures.

The researchers analyzed 481malpractice claims and patient complaints involving allegations of failures in the process of obtaining informed consent before operations. They discovered that 9 percent of the cases studied were disputed duty cases—meaning, they involved head-to-head disagreements over whether a particular risk should have been disclosed before treatment. Two-thirds of these disputed duty cases involved surgeries. In most cases, lack of information had quality of life implications for patients, including chronic pain and the need for re-operation.

The researchers said the most common reasons doctors gave for not telling patients about particular risks were that they considered such risks too rare to warrant discussion or the risk was covered by another risk that was discussed.

Own A Handgun? You’re Probably A Mass Murderer

Currently, Americans are being bombarded by news reports about psychopathic villains who, enabled by the 2nd Amendment, are killing innocent people at random.

The media narrative is strong and makes public enemy No. 1 not so much the disturbed individuals carrying out the brutal attacks as it does the weapons and accoutrements they have used in the commission of the murders.

Instead of a discussion about public health, mental disorders, widespread psychotropic drugging and considering the vast number of alternatives that could be behind the horrific actions of these murderers (even those more sinister scenarios that could involve hidden actors), Americans are engaged in a discussion only about the guns used in the crimes.

President Barack Obama, who has been so adamant in pushing his view of perfect public health policy, has made no mention of what appears to be an explosion in the number of mentally disturbed, murderous psychos roaming America’s streets.

But when asked by a member of the mainstream media about reinstating an assault weapons ban, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney assured reporters that the President supports renewing the ban that expired under President George W. Bush.

As the Administration touts its support of certain gun bans and some members of Congress scurry to draft gun ban bills, the media is doing its diligence to further the cause of disarming the 2nd Amendment by shaping public perception.

Whether you happen to be a sport shooter, a gun-owner for self-defense or an Olympic shooting athlete, the media try to link you with psychopathic murderers. In the eyes of the non-gun-owning public, you are to be seen as strange and fully capable–only because you own guns–of carrying out murderous attacks.

By mainstream reasoning, you become even more likely to commit the same actions as psychopathic murderers if you value the U.S. Constitution, call yourself a patriot or dissident and/or sometimes disagree with the official narrative fed to you by government and major news networks.

And if you happen to own a handgun (say semi-automatic in the .40 caliber or 9mm varieties popular for self-protection) and perhaps a high capacity magazine, you are almost certainly going to carry out mass murder, by the media’s reckoning.

Consider this report from Reuters:

The semiautomatic handgun used in the deadly attack on a Wisconsin Sikh temple is the same type used in other recent U.S. mass shootings, including one at a theater in Colorado, and the attack on a congresswoman in Arizona, gun experts said.

… Semiautomatic handguns are the weapon of choice for mass murderers because they are light and easy to conceal, and adaptable to using high-capacity magazines, experts say. This allows the shooter to fire the maximum number of bullets in a short period of time, said Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center, a nonprofit group that advocates to reduce gun violence.

“There is no valid reason for civilians to have assault rifles, semiautomatic handguns and high-capacity magazines,” he said. “We have to start ratcheting down the firepower in civilian hands in the United States.”

No doubt, every moment of your life you face danger. But by all mainstream accounts, it is not from mentally unhinged freaks who want to kill you; it is from the guns they have, and the one you have for your own protection. Besides, it would be politically incorrect to point out psychos in your midst, and guns can’t cry foul.

It is time for gun owners to cling to their weapons like never before, and to launch an educational campaign about the benefits of gun ownership. It is time to demand from the media a distinction between psychos who own guns and responsible firearms enthusiasts.

And most of all, it is time to silence the idiotic diatribes of the anti-gun lobby with the Constitutional guarantees provided by the 1st Amendment. Because once they take the 2nd, the 1st will fall without warning or argument as the other psychos–the ones who have remained behind the scenes and are perhaps the real masterminds, the ones running your life from marbled halls–emerge from the shadows. Make no mistake, they will still be armed.

Daily Mail: Only Psychos Avoid Facebook

If you have avoided Facebook, there is a strong possibility that you are a psychopath.

This shocking allegation comes from the United Kingdom’s largest news source, Daily Mail. In an article, reporters for the newspaper point out the fact that both accused Aurora, Colo., mass murderer James Holmes and Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik lacked accounts on the social networking site.

Though the two were not on Facebook, Holmes was on an adult sex social network called Adult Friend Finder and Breivik had an account on Myspace. But, the Daily Mail article specifically refers to Facebook as being a necessary part of the daily lives of healthy modern people.

Its authors go on to note that human resources departments researching résumés of job applicants have become wary of individuals who do not have an account on the site, because the applicants could be socially inept or may have deleted their account because of too many red flags.

Also, the article notes that single people might need to avoid becoming romantically involved with individuals who are not on Facebook.

The article concludes: “And this is what the argument boils down to: It’s the suspicion that not being on Facebook, which has become so normal among young adults, is a sign that you’re abnormal and dysfunctional, or even dangerous…”

What the Daily Mail does not point out, however, is that some people may decide to avoid Facebook as a simple matter of privacy.

Currently, the social networking company operates software that monitors chats and posts for indications of criminal activity among its users. When the scanning software flags a suspicious chat exchange, it notifies Facebook security employees, who can then determine if police should be notified. It is not clear whether the scanned chats are permanently logged by Facebook.

It is also known that Facebook has financial ties to technological investment firms linked with the Central Intelligence Agency and is frequently used as a source for government information snoops.

Chemo Could Spread Cancer

For decades the medical establishment’s go-to treatment for cancer has been small doses of chemo paced out in cycles.

Doctors have long believed that the low doses of chemo can kill cancer cells while allowing healthy cells to rebuild between treatments. Unfortunately, this heavy reliance on chemo has meant that any gains in survival rate among cancer victims have been offset by terrible sickness and a low quality of life during treatment.

Now, new research published in Nature Medicine shows that chemotherapy can actually be extremely counterproductive in treating cancer as it could spur healthy cells to release a compound that actually stimulates cancer growth.

According to the researchers, the effect is caused by the impact of chemotherapy drugs on healthy connective tissue cells called fibroblasts which when blasted with chemo can pump out a cancer facilitating protein at a rate of 30 times more than they normally would.

“Cancer cells inside the body live in a very complex environment or neighborhood. Where the tumor cell resides and who its neighbors are influence its response and resistance to therapy,” said senior author Peter S. Nelson, M.D., a member of the Hutchinson Center’s Human Biology Division.

Nelson contends that the reasoning behind believing chemo is an effective treatment against all forms of cancer is not faulty. Chemo kills cancer, but in doses high enough to irradiate cancer from a person in one blast, the patient would certainly die.

“In the laboratory we can ‘cure’ most any cancer simply by giving very high doses of toxic therapies to cancer cells in a petri dish. However, in people, these high doses would not only kill the cancer cells but also normal cells and the host,” Nelson said.

As a result the small-dose option is used for solid cancer tumors such as those of the breast, prostate, lung and colon by practitioners of mainstream medicine, leading to a chance that the cancer could spread more rapidly through the body in some cases than if no treatment were given.

Alternative medicine has long shunned chemotherapy as a viable option for cancer treatment because of its harmful effect on the rest of the body and immune system.

Sikh Temple Shooting Questions Arise

The shooting tragedy at a Sikh temple in Milwaukee on Sunday has again put the “frightening” ability of Americans to obtain firearms in the headlines. As was the case with the Aurora, Colo., movie theatre tragedy, there are conflicting reports and strange coincidences associated with the official story.

Authorities allege that six-year military veteran Wade Michael Page, 40, entered the temple Sunday morning and began gunning down congregants, killing six and wounding five others. Page is alleged to have also shot and critically wounded the first responding police officer before being killed by officers.

Initial reports of a “highly organized” attack on the temple involving as many as four shooters have led to speculation from some people of whether or not the official narrative surrounding the event is accurate.


According to Milwaukee’s Journal Sentinel, police are currently trying to trace a single semi-automatic handgun found at the scene of the shooting. According to reports, they were also searching for a “person of interest” on Monday who was seen videotaping the scene amid the media flurry following the tragedy. The man sports a tattoo in remembrance of 9/11 similar to tattoos Page is reported to have had on his body.

Page is profiled as having been a white supremacist, radical who was involved in a neo-Nazi white power band called End Apathy. The bald, heavily tattooed man was also reportedly put on a watch list of hate group members compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center after contacting the National Alliance, a racist organization.

Some alternative media sources contend that Page has all the markers of being a patsy in a false flag operation.

According to Prison Planet:

…[T]he establishment media follows the official narrative now being formulated – the shooter was a white supremacist with telltale racist tattoos who a) belonged to a political group that will be scapegoated and held up as an example of violent rightwing extremism, or b) was a “lone wolf” who followed racist political philosophy (more than likely sharing attributes outlined in the Department of Homeland Security’s “rightwing extremism” document, including the supposed threat by returning veterans).

Media speculation that Page was working along with a greater white supremacist movement and the current classification of the shooting as an act of domestic terror raises questions of how the Department of Homeland Security may react to the incident in coming weeks and months. Similar to Aurora, Colo., shooter James Holmes, officials have noted that there was no reason for Page to be on the government’s radar prior to the shooting.

During his military service, Page reportedly received basic training in Fort Sill, Okla., moved to Fort Bliss in Texas and finished at Fort Bragg, N.C. From 1992 until 1998 he served as a member of the Army’s Psychological Operations Unit, according to military documents.

According to an Army field manual from 2005, the unit’s primary function is to convey selected information to influence a population’s emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups and individuals.

The manual states:

The purpose of PSYOP is to induce or reinforce foreign attitudes and behavior favorable to U.S. national objectives. PSYOP are characteristically delivered as information for effect, used during peacetime and conflict, to inform and influence. When properly employed, PSYOP can save lives of friendly and adversary forces by reducing the adversaries’ will to fight. By lowering adversary morale and reducing their efficiency, PSYOP can also discourage aggressive actions and create dissidence and disaffection within their ranks, ultimately inducing surrender. PSYOP provide a commander the means to employ a nonlethal capability across the range of military operations from peace through conflict to war and during postconflict operations.

Speculation remains that Page exhibited some of the same disturbing psychological markers that have been associated with Holmes, and there are questions of whether pharmaceutical drugs were involved in the temple shooting.

TSA Above Justice

The Transportation Security Administration has had some hefty accusations levied against it — including perverted voyeurism, sexual assault, abuse of power and theft — by American citizens in recent years.

Yet, while a TSA agent can foist inconvenient and uncomfortable demands on travelers, the agency has, without explanation, failed to comply with an order from the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for more than a year.

Last year, a suit filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center alleging the TSA’s use of naked body scanners violated privacy rights provided in the Constitution made its way to the court. The court did not rule on the Constitutionality of the scanners, but did offer a small victory for EPIC in ruling the TSA breeched Federal law by implementing the machines without public comment.

According to the Administrative Procedures Act, the TSA was required to have a 90-day public comment period to allow citizens a forum to share concerns about the scanners. The TSA shirked this responsibility in 2009 when it officially deployed its initial genital-viewing machines.

It has now been more than a year since the court ordered TSA officials to fulfill the public’s right to question its invasive tactics, and the agency has yet to act. Last week, the court granted a petition from EPIC compelling the TSA to respond to the request that they act on the court’s initial ruling by Aug. 30.

The court’s action comes amid other recent TSA headlines. The agency entered into its first union labor contract with its employees last week.

Even with the agency signaling that it is here to stay and seeking more power for its employees, critics like Senator Rand Paul (R.-Ky.) are continuing to push back against the agency. Paul currently has a bill in the Senate that would privatize airport security, though he doesn’t expect much Congressional support.

You can ask TSA to obey the law by signing a White House petition here.

Breaking: Heat So Intense Greens’ Brains Melt

Unfortunately, global warming skeptics are going to have to fully accept the climate change theories of Al Gore and the like. The definitive evidence is in: Global warming is real.

That, presumably, was how the progressive Think Progress thought the picture of street lamps in Stillwater, Okla., published on its blog melting in the intense (114 degree) heat would play as it took an opportunity to call out Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) on the issue.

With the photo the website declared:

WOW. It’s so hot in Oklahoma that the streetlights are melting.

Today could be the hottest day in Oklahoma City history, 114 degrees.

Meanwhile, a senator from Oklahoma, James Inhofe (R), is a major climate denier.

If the post was to be believed, it would have to mean one of three things is true:

  1. The streetlamp bulbs, most likely made of the same high-density polyethylene that most all bulbs of that type are, were defective. The melting point of the plastic material is, according to manufacturers, somewhere around 226 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. The vigilant observer of the melted bulbs actually got the temperature reading wrong and was unwittingly braving temperatures higher than 226 degrees that day. That’s some serious global warming. This scenario seems unlikely, unless the photographer regularly walks around in a heat-resistant suit.
  3. The poster of the picture is seriously lacking in careful observation and deductive reasoning skills. As the individual attempts to back what he believes to be scientifically proven global warming, he actually has no real motive to consider deductive scientific questions. (Like: “Would a bulb made to be in constant direct sunlight at the top of a streetlamp be made of a material capable of withstanding elevated temperatures?” or “Why aren’t all the streetlights melting?”)

If you answered No. 3, you are correct.

According to KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City, the street lamps melted because of a dumpster fire in the area that erupted the night before (Think Progress has not yet linked that to global warming). KFOR first posted the streetlamp photo on its Facebook page.

The progressive blog has since issued a correction, but still partially blames global warming via a quote:

After we published this piece, we saw reports from people on the ground in Stillwater that the melting streetlights were due to a nearby fire. The person who took the photo, Patrick Hunter, described the scene: “Being the person that actually took this photo, I’d say that this was due to a fire semi-close by coupled with the unbelievable heat we are experiencing. Still an amazing photo and not fake as many are saying on here. Enjoy!”

The site also changed gears, focusing on drought in Oklahoma instead of streetlamps melted by burning rubbish in a follow-up piece.

Inhofe (whose skepticism about climate change was only enforced by the  blunder), used the incident as an opportunity to call out global warming activist Bill McKibben and his followers.

“Poor Bill McKibben — he’s been trying to get something to melt for ages but it keeps backfiring,” Inhofe said in a statement.

“These alarmists never learn their lesson. Remember Bill McKibben was the one who was going to melt a giant ice sculpture in the shape of the word ‘hoax’ on the national mall, but his group had to cancel because there wasn’t enough interest. Now, after proclaiming that street lights in Oklahoma are melting because of global warming, it turns out that a fire caused this scene.”

Reporter Links Sport Shooters, Murderers

Is there any correlation between Olympic shooting sports and deranged murderers?

Of course there isn’t, unless you happen to be a reporter for The Washington Post. In a seemingly desperate attempt to tie two completely unrelated topics that have been dominating mainstream news media over the past couple of weeks, Post reporter Katherine Boyle attempted to tie James Holmes’ horrific massacre to Olympian target shooting.

The piece, entitled “Even at the Olympics, Athletes in Sport of Shooting Face Questions About Gun Violence,” Boyle asserts the following regarding Olympian shooter Kim Rhode:

But Rhode, 33, is confronted with questions that few other athletes face because she is a shooter — a term embraced by Rhode and other athletes who shoot rifles and pistols for sport. Olympic shooters must deal with unfortunate associations: They compete in a sport — one that demands concentration and decades of practice — that also requires a machine that, when used maliciously, can kill people.

At a news conference last Thursday, before she earned a gold medal in women’s skeet shooting, Rhode was asked about another shooter, arguably a more famous one, who used a rifle, a shotgun and a semiautomatic pistol to kill 12 and injure 58 in a packed movie theater. As with most mass shootings, the backdrop was pedestrian. The targets, random — the opposite of what happens at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, where Rhode and other members of USA Shooting practice their sport.

Particularly revealing of Boyle’s attempt to use a piece about highly skilled athletes competing in an Olympic event into a politically charged narrative on how different gun owners are from “normal” people who don’t have them are the words, “that also requires a machine that, when used maliciously, can kill people.”

Just for fun, here are some ad-lib variations of the statement using other tools Olympians might have:

[Swimmers] compete in a sport — one that demands concentration and decades of practice — that also requires a [speedo] that, when used maliciously, can kill people.

[Fencing competitors] compete in a sport — one that demands concentration and decades of practice — that also requires a [foil, epee or sabre] that, when used maliciously, can kill people.

[Badminton players] compete in a sport — one that demands concentration and decades of practice — that also requires a [shuttlecock] that, when used maliciously, can kill people.

End The Secrecy

Ron Paul seems to be asking members of the Senate that are unwilling to take a look at his bill to audit the Federal Reserve following its overwhelming passage in the House what the big deal is, with recent remarks.

In an interview with CNBC, Paul said that the goal of the bill is not to shut down the Fed, but do away with its proclivity toward leaving the American public in the dark with regard to its monetary meddling. The veteran Texas Congressman said that he agrees at the moment it looks as if his bill has little chance of being considered in the Senate.

Paul vows that regardless of whether the Senate takes up his initiative, he will continue to highlight what he describes as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s love of secrecy and taxpayer dollars.

Paul also noted that Americans have a right to know exactly who is receiving Fed bailout dollars.

“We have an obligation and a right to know what the Fed is doing in secret when they bail out their friends and bail out the banks, and get involved in overseas financing, as they are prepared to do in Europe right now,” he said.


Recession Sparks Entrepreneur Boom

President Barack Obama may have had the opportunity to point out a silver lining regarding the ongoing economic recession if it weren’t for his recent “you didn’t build that” remarks. High rates of unemployment resulting from the struggling economy have resulted in a surge in American entrepreneurship, according to one report.

Researchers at the University of Missouri’s Truman School of Public Affairs found that from 2007-2010, the amount of necessity entrepreneurship rose from 16 to 28 percent of total entrepreneurship in the Nation. Necessity entrepreneurship results directly from an individual’s need to create a new income stream because of job loss or pay cuts. Other entrepreneurs are known as opportunity entrepreneurs; they decide to start a business based on the perception of achievable success and often leave other successful careers to do so.

“We’ve seen similar trends occur in past economically slow periods that have led to economic booms,” researcher Maria Figueroa-Armijos said. “The doldrums in the 1980s led to increased entrepreneurship and the economic growth in the 1990s.”

The researchers note that the rising number of necessity entrepreneurs means the Federal government should do more to protect people running small businesses as they begin to make up an even larger portion of the Nation’s economy.

“Currently, there is much more economic support for opportunity entrepreneurs than for people starting their own businesses out of necessity,” Figueroa-Armijos said. “With the rise of necessity entrepreneurs during the recession there is obviously a need for more help from lenders and policy makers. These necessity entrepreneurs could create jobs and economic growth for long-term economic prosperity.”

Political Chicken And Coffee

Imagine that it is possible to be a homophobic, right-wing zealot one moment and a gay-loving uber-liberal the next, simply by crossing the street.

In this author’s locale, it is possible (Chick-fil-A and Starbucks sit right across from one another). But that’s only if you allow yourself to believe that the customers of fast food restaurants and other businesses should be labeled simply because they prefer their chicken fried in peanut oil and like to sip coffee in a place with hip music playing in the background and a free Wi-Fi connection.

Does it really matter how companies feel about whether homosexuals should be allowed to marry? Instead of asking themselves that simple question, Americans on both sides of the debate have decided to instead jump to their feet — in largely meaningless ways — and engage themselves in a debate that has nothing to do with marriage equality or moral tradition.

Several months ago, Starbucks made clear that it supports the right of gays to marry. Some conservatives flipped out and, to the dismay of some Christian coffee lovers, a handful of pastors called for a Christian boycott of the company.

“Christians are upset with Starbucks for turning against God… Starbucks can follow Satan if they want to,” Steven Andrew, evangelical pastor and president of the USA Christian Ministries in California, said in a statement at the time. “However, pastors are to help Christians. Are you on the Lord’s side? Will you help the USA be blessed by God?”

Andrew probably joined the likes of Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee and thousands of conservatives yesterday for Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. The event was aimed at encouraging conservatives to go to the restaurant after its CEO Dan Cathy said he supports traditional marriage in an interview with a Christian publication. The company has come under heavy fire from gay-rights groups and been boycotted by many people.

The takeaway message is that Christians should avoid the evil sodomite sympathizers at Starbucks and gay rights activists should avoid peanut-fried, right-wing chicken from Chick-fil-A, right? If that’s the case, here are a few other things people on both sides should boycott:

In case you forgot, those of you who are in favor of women’s equality need to support the 45 companies that pulled advertising from Rush Limbaugh’s talk show after he called Sandra Fluke a slut. His other advertisers are clearly misogynists.

Conservatives should boycott Target stores. Target sells gay greeting cards.

If you are a gay-rights fan, be sure that you avoid any petroleum products with ties to Saudi Arabia. The LGTB-unfriendly nation frequently imprisons and kills people for homosexual activities.

Don’t like homosexuality or Libertarians? Steer clear of Paypal, Facebook and several other tech companies, because innovator and businessman Peter Thiel is both gay and a Libertarian and has ties to several Internet companies that you likely use on a daily basis.

If all of this is beginning to sound a bit over the top, it is because it is over the top. There are more than 311 million people in the United States; we will never all agree completely. Rather than have a sensible debate on whether gay marriage should be legal, Americans have collectively chosen to have a shouting match about who is on what side.

Conservatives will have to accept at some point that the cat is out of the bag with regard to American homosexuality and, short of adopting the legal tactics of certain theocratic nations, it is not going to go away. And gay-rights activists must realize that some people simply do not agree with their lifestyle, and believe that it is neither natural nor moral.

In considering those two things, marriage traditionalists and gay-marriage advocates can find a common enemy: government-sanctioned marriage. Traditionalists and Christians view marriage as the union of a man and woman in the eyes of God first and foremost. Secularists view the union as a contractual one, man-made and legally binding. A traditionalist would never accept a government form as the only thing needed to be married, and a secularist would surely have similar disdain for a marriage not legally binding but God-sanctioned.

Any aspect of marriage that is provided by the government form should be freely attainable by all individuals. That is, any two, three, four and so on people in a free society should have the right to enter a contract that allows for the transfer of wealth, hospital visitation and other rights when a person is ill or dying, the sharing of common assets and the distribution of those assets in the event of breach of contract. In a free society, people have a natural right to assemble and associate as they will, so long as it does not infringe upon the rights of others to do so. The Federal government has not given married couples the special privilege of entering into that contract; it has simply denied others the right to do so — not just people who are gay, but also straight, single people.

When the Federal apparatus and its legislative minions discuss marriage, they are discussing the contractual, not the religious, aspect of the institution. And when they veer into discussing the religious definition of marriage, either in favor or against gay marriage, they abrogate the Constitutional guarantee of a political body that lacks the power to shape religious policy.

If legal gay marriage becomes standard from sea to shining sea, homosexuals who wish to be married and a whole boatload of bleeding-heart liberals will feel vindicated by the symbolic victory. Likewise, if conservatives and traditionalists are able to revive a strict adherence to the Defense of Marriage Act, they will feel a hard-fought battle against moral decay and a threat to their religious value has been won. But, aside from perceptual victory, nothing is going to change. In the first scenario, traditional Christian institutions will not feel that because bureaucracy changed its mind that God will as well and suddenly ordain gay marriages. And, in the second scenario, people who have made the decision to accept alternative sexual practices aren’t likely to stop.

If the debate about gay marriage is to ever be resolved, Americans will have to decide whether the discussion is about religion, legal contracts, the validation of an alternative lifestyle, moral decay or simply what types of people should patronize which establishments. In the meantime, when you sit down to enjoy your chicken sandwich or overpriced specialty coffee, check out a few other recent headlines. You may find that a Nation in decline on all fronts has much scarier problems than whether gays should be allowed to marry in the eyes of the government.

Food Stamps For Everyone

The Federal government has pushed questionable tactics to fill its food stamp rosters over the past several years, disregarding asset and income requirements in some cases.

A recent Federal audit of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program says that because people who make too much or have too much worth in assets have been allowed to receive food stamps, some of the more than 45 million recipients aren’t even needy.

From the report:

In fiscal year 2010, an estimated 2.6 percent (approximately 473,000) of all households receiving SNAP benefits nationwide would not have been eligible for the program without BBCE [broad-based categorical eligibility] because their incomes were greater than the income limits defined in federal law.

The average monthly income of those that shouldn’t have been receiving benefits was $1,965.

Since 2008, Federal spending on food stamps has doubled to about $80 billion annually, an increase some people attribute to aggressive marketing campaigns promoting the assistance programs.

Recently, the food stamp program came under fire for partnering with the Mexican government to be sure that Mexican immigrants to the United States were aware of the availability to nutritional assistance.

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said of the initiative in a statement to the Department of Agriculture: “It has become increasingly clear that, in recent years, the mission of the food stamp program has been converted from targeted assistance for those in need into an aggressive drive to expand enrollment regardless of need. USDA’s activities suggest that the program administrators take personal offense when people who technically qualify for their largesse decline to accept–and see it as an obstacle to overcome.”

Gary Johnson, Ron Paul: What if?

With the Presidential election in November approaching, both President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney are making their rounds, solidifying their talking points and trying to create an image that entices voters.

But some voters still aren’t buying it.

Four years ago, Obama won due in part to a large contingent of youthful voters, many of whom were idealistic and tired of Republican leadership. In the time that Obama has held his seat in the Oval Office, many of those voters have finished college. And a large number of them have struggled to find employment, have moved back in with their parents and have had their idealistic worldviews bludgeoned by the stark realities of coming of age during hard financial times.

The promise of “hope” and “change” isn’t likely to encourage many of the disenfranchised youths to cast an Obama ballot, and the President’s new mantra, “forward,” has likely left many wondering: “Unto what?”

What the President lacks in kept promises to these voters, Romney matches in his inability to excite them (or just about anyone, if headlines are an indicator). The two candidates have left many in the group feeling like the 2012 election will be a pointless one.

Consider the polling numbers. Most polls indicate that Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 are still more likely to vote for Obama than for Romney, but by a margin of only about 12 percentage points. For those aged 25 to 29, old enough to have been heavily politically involved during the last election cycle, the gap is about half that.

The numbers indicate that in the latter bloc, about 30 percent of the likely voters remain undecided. The younger voters, according to some experts, will likely be the most malleable.

“The concern for Obama, and the opportunity for Romney, is in the 18- to 24-year-olds who don’t have the historical or direct connection to the campaign or the movement of four years ago,” John Della Volpe, director of polling at the Harvard Institute of Politics told The New York Times. “We’re also seeing that these younger members of this generation are beginning to show some more conservative traits. It doesn’t mean they are Republican. It means Republicans have an opportunity.”

Republicans aren’t the only ones who see an opportunity in the shifting political mindset of American youths.

Ron Paul has been heavily supported by young people throughout his long-shot bid for Republican nomination, and his efforts and supporters are likely going to yield him a moment in the spotlight and a heavy presence of support at the upcoming Republican National Convention. The question remains: How will he use it, and what will he direct his notoriously dedicated supporters to do?

Increasingly, Libertarians are calling on Paul to throw his might behind their man, Gary Johnson. With Paul tethered to the GOP, they argue, he could still win a further victory for his liberty movement by working to ensure that the third-party candidate is allotted a place on the debate stage alongside Romney and Obama.

Johnson has made it clear that one of his primary goals during the campaign is to get into the debate. But, due to rules imposed by the major parties, he must first achieve a 15 percent favorability rating in three national polls. This, many of his supporters argue, is completely achievable if Paul is willing to steer his supporters to Johnson’s side. Currently, Johnson polls around 5 to 8 percent in some national polls and Paul has achieved 10 to 15 percent favorability at times. Combined, Johnson supporters argue, Americans would be given a fresh alternative to the ideas posited by Romney and Obama during the nationally televised debates.

Mainstream Republicans and Democrats give the same reason for excluding Johnson from the debates that has always been given about leaving out third-party candidates: He will cost either Romney or Obama votes and skew the election in the favor of the wrong “real” candidate. But Johnson thinks this is bunk and is confident that if Americans are allowed to hear his ideas alongside those of Obama and Romney, Libertarian votes would pour in come November.

“Anything can happen [in the debates]. That could be crash and burn. [Or] it could bring attention to what it is I am saying, my resume,” he said in a recent interview. “I think a lot more people in this country describe themselves as libertarian as opposed to voting libertarian. I think my voice is representative of the fastest growing segment of American politics today, which is libertarian.”

To many voters, Johnson could offer the best of both worlds; but barring inclusion in the debate, he is unlikely to be taken seriously at all.

Romney Loves Individual Mandates

It may be time for Republicans who hate the President’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to stop being dishonest with themselves and admit: Mitt Romney probably isn’t going to do much in the way of changing Obamacare.

The evidence for believing Romney actually likes President Barack Obama’s healthcare initiative has been there all along, considering how the former Governor actually penned a similar — some say the basis for Obamacare — law in his home State of Massachusetts.

In his traditional flip-floppy fashion, Romney offered another clue illustrating why Americans shouldn’t expect swift Presidential action regarding the repeal of Obamacare if he is elected. Despite the candidate’s tough talk about doing away with the law’s individual mandate and getting “rid of Obamacare and return[ing], under our Constitution, the 10th Amendment, the responsibility and care of healthcare to the people in the States,” he’s fine, actually impressed by, the same sort of mandate in Israel.

During his recent trip to Israel, Romney said:

Do you realize what health care spending is as a percentage of the G.D.P. in Israel? Eight percent. You spend 8 percent of G.D.P. on health care. You’re a pretty healthy nation. We spend 18 percent of our G.D.P. on health care, 10 percentage points more. That gap, that 10 percent cost, compare that with the size of our military — our military which is 4 percent, 4 percent. Our gap with Israel is 10 points of G.D.P. We have to find ways — not just to provide health care to more people, but to find ways to fund and manage our health care costs.

Experts point to Israel’s 1995 decision to implement universal healthcare in the nation and require citizens to purchase insurance from one of four health maintenance organizations.

An article last month in The Jewish Daily Forward compared the healthcare of Israel and the United States and explained Israel’s individual mandate:

It meant that everybody had the right — and obligation — to be covered by one of the country’s four not-for-profit HMOs. Residents of the country pay from income-related contributions collected through the tax system, which cover around 40% of HMOs’ costs. The state pays the remaining 60%.

People are allowed to choose which HMO to join and are allowed to change once a year, but the differences are mostly superficial: By law they are obliged to provide a standardized “basket” of services and medicines, from emergency to preventative. Except for some consultations and tests for which the patient makes a contribution to the cost — usually less than $10 — HMOs transfer funds to clinics, health centers and hospitals to cover all services. There are only a handful of completely private hospitals.

Romney’s history with individual mandates in Massachusetts and his recent remarks undoubtedly should have many anti-Obamacare voters wondering if the Republican candidate really is the man for the job of repealing the health law. Perhaps he’ll simply change the name to Romney’s Israelicare.

Law Enforcement Focus On Future Crime

Heavily armed and paranoid seems to be the new modus operandi of many law enforcement agencies throughout the United States.

New reports indicate that law enforcement agencies are increasingly adopting the use of software that uses algorithms to predict where and when crimes are likely to take place by monitoring human behavior. The software examines a database of thousands of crimes and uses algorithms and different variables like geographical location, criminal records and ages of previous offenders to predict where, when and how a crime could possibly be committed. Law agencies are then able to increase patrols and physical or electronic surveillance in those areas.

Another pre-crime tactic being adopted by law enforcement is the use of cameras that sense suspicious behavior, according to a recent Daily Mail report. The cameras, manufactured by the Texas-based company BLS Labs, have been installed at tourist attractions, government buildings and military bases in the United States. Most recently, the company has been hired to install 288 of the cameras throughout the San Francisco mass transit system.

The cameras, which are reportedly able to track about 150 individuals at a time, are able to build a memory of “suspicious” behaviors. When the cameras observe behavior they deem out of the ordinary, they are able to immediately alert onsite guards via text message.

Responsible Gun Owners, Obama Nothing Alike

Last week, President Barack Obama was criticized for suggesting that American gun owners would agree with him that firearms such as AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not criminals, during a speech before the National Urban League.

While he did not say it directly, the President’s remarks are indicative of a veiled push by Federal officials to reinstate the assault weapons ban that expired under President George W. Bush. This is not a new goal of the Administration.

From a 2008 Obama campaign document:

As a long-time resident and elected official of Chicago, Barack Obama has seen the impact of fully automatic weapons in the hands of criminals. Thus, Senator Obama supports making permanent the expired federal Assault Weapon Ban. These weapons, such as AK-47s, belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets. These are also not weapons that are used by hunters and sportsmen.

In his speech last Wednesday, Obama, using the Aurora, Colo. massacre as an opportunity, reiterated his view on assault rifles. “I — like most Americans — believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual the right to bear arms,” Obama said. “I think we recognize the traditions of gun ownership passed on from generation to generation, that hunting and shooting are part of a cherished national heritage.

“But I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers and not in the hands of crooks. They belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities,” he added.

“When there’s an extraordinarily heartbreaking tragedy like the one we saw, there’s always an outcry immediately after for action,” Obama said. “There’s talk of new reforms. There’s talk of legislation. And too often those efforts are defeated by politics and by lobbying and eventually by the pull of our collective attention elsewhere. But what I said in the wake of Tucson is we’re going to stay on this persistently.”

Conservative columnists pounced on Obama’s use of AK-47s — synonymous with rebellions, communists and terror, as well as the chosen weapon of many American enemies — as an example. The American military has little or no tactical use relationship with the mentioned weapon.

It was also pointed out by many gun enthusiasts that of course violent criminals and the mentally unstable should be weeded out in a vetting process leading up to firearms purchases, and they often are. Even with systems designed to keep firearms out of the hands of people with criminal intentions, some people argue that without the ability to read minds anomalies like James Holmes (no serious criminal record, no reason “for him to be on anyone’s radar”) would still exist. Stricter gun laws would still fail at times. The fail-safe prevention, they say, would be the impossible: complete elimination of every single firearm in the world.

For anyone seeking irony in Obama’s remarks, it was likely easily found. Especially so if they consider the recent controversy surrounding the President’s own Department of Justice and its Fast and Furious initiative. Evidently, officials in that Department disregarded the White House memo about AK-47s belonging on the battlefield when they urged gun sellers to disregard the check system put in place to keep guns out of the hands of criminals;they allowed 2,000 Ak-47s and .50 caliber rifles, among others, to “walk” into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. Many gun sellers initially reported to the government suspicious activities like “ordering large numbers of AK-47 variant rifles and other so-called ‘weapons of choice’ used by the Mexican drug cartels, and paying with large sums of cash brought in a paper bag.” But in 2009, they were told to allow the sales and that government officials had it under control and were “tracking” the weapons. On Dec. 14, 2010, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was shot in the back by the member of a Mexican drug cartel with an AK-47 provided through the Federal government’s “gun walking.”

Here are some other results of the initiative from the Justice Department:

One AK-47 type assault rifle purchased by a Fast and Furious suspect was recovered Nov. 14, 2009 in Atoyac de Alvarez, Mexico after the Mexican military rescued a kidnap victim.

On July 1, 2010, two AK-47 type assault rifles purchased by Fast and Furious suspects were recovered in Sonora, Mexico after a shootout between cartels. Two murders were reported in the incident using the weapons.

On July 26, 2010, a giant .50 caliber Barrett rifle purchased by a Fast and Furious suspect was recovered in Durango, Mexico after apparently having been fired. No further details of the incident were given.

On Aug. 13, 2010, two AK-47 type assault rifles purchased by a Fast and Furious target were recovered in Durango, Mexico after a confrontation between the Mexican military and an “armed group.”

On Nov. 14, 2010, two AK-47 type assault rifles purchased by Fast and Furious targets were recovered in Chihuahua, Mexico after  “the kidnapping of two individuals and the murder of a family member of a Mexican public official.” Sources tell CBS News they believe this is a reference to a case we previously reported on: the terrorist kidnapping, torture and murder of Mario Gonzalez Rodriguez. Rodriguez was the brother of then-attorney general Patricia Gonzalez Rodriguez. The terrorists released video of Rodriguez before his death, in handcuffs surrounded by hooded gunmen.

On May 27, 2011, three AK-47 type assault rifles purchased by Fast and Furious targets were recovered in Jalisco, Mexico after having been fired. No other details of the incident were provided, but the date and location match with another incident previously reported by CBS News. On May 27 near Jalisto, cartel members fired upon a Mexican government helicopter, forcing it to make an emergency landing. According to one law enforcement source, 29 suspected cartel members were killed in the attack.

The President doesn’t know that the American military has never used the AK-47 as a primary battle weapon, and he is at the helm of an Administration that allowed thousands of them to be handed directly to violent criminals. It isn’t likely that “a lot of [responsible] gun owners” would agree with Obama or his Administration on much of anything regarding firearms. A responsible gun owner would not talk to large groups of people in authoritative tones about the merits, or lack thereof, of weapons about which he knows nothing. And a responsible gun owner would never hand his rifle to a criminal just to see what might happen.

Mind Control With Light

Research reported recently in Current Biology says that scientists have successfully developed a method of mind control by using pulses of light to alter behavior in monkeys. The researchers say the method could also be used on humans.

The researchers say the findings represent a key advance for optogenetics, a state-of-the-art method for making connections between brain activity and behavior. Based on the discovery, similar light-based mind control could likely also be made to work in humans for therapeutic and other purposes.

“We are the first to show that optogenetics can alter the behavior of monkeys,” says Wim Vanduffel of Massachusetts General Hospital and KU Leuven Medical School. “This opens the door to use of optogenetics at a large scale in primate research and to start developing optogenetic-based therapies for humans.”

During the process, the researchers make brain neurons respond to light through the insertion of light-sensitive genes derived from particular microbial organisms. Earlier studies had primarily validated this method for use in invertebrates and rodents. But the latest study opens the doors for the process to be used on humans.

The researchers say that the process could have important clinical applications in treating Parkinson’s disease, addiction, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and other neurological conditions. It will also broaden the understanding of human mind control.