Golden Platform Additions For GOP

A return to the gold standard in American currency is something that has been constantly cited by Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul as a viable option to help the dollar reclaim its strength. Despite mainstream politicos writing off Paul’s economic ideas as kooky, the GOP is set to make at least investigating a gold standard part of the Party platform.

According to CNBC, drafts of the Republican Party platform, which will be adopted at the convention this week, include provisions for setting up a commission that would investigate the effects of a return to the gold standard. There is also a call for an audit of the Federal Reserve, another of Paul’s utmost goals.

The commission would only have the power to make recommendations, but could serve to educate politicians and the public about the pros and cons of a return to gold.

“There is a growing recognition within the Republican Party and in America more generally that we’re not going to be able to print our way to prosperity,” Sean Fieler, chairman of the American Principles Project, told Financial Times.

In the Republican platforms of both 1980 and 1984, gold was mentioned as a possible way to improve American economic affairs. And in 1981, President Ronald Reagan created a commission to examine the possibility of returning to a gold standard. It has not been part of the Republican Party platform since.

Stimulus Likely Amid Election Heat-Up

Get ready for another round of fiat money production courtesy of the Federal Reserve; the central bank says if economic data doesn’t turn around, it will fire up the presses “fairly soon.”

Recently released minutes from meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee indicate that Fed officials have concerns about slow growth and the state of European economic affairs.

The stimulus is not set in stone, but most analysts contend that it would not be unlikely for Americans to see a third round of quantitative easing (money printing) announced at the Fed meeting in September.

“Many members judged that additional monetary accommodation would likely be warranted fairly soon unless incoming information pointed to a substantial and sustainable strengthening in the pace of the economic recovery,” the minutes of the July 31-Aug. 1 FOMC meeting said.

Fed policymakers also cited conditions that “warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate at least through late 2014” as a reason to possibly extend the duration the main interest rate will remain near zero, the minutes show.

There has been widespread speculation that the Fed will act in the months prior to the Presidential election in order to create a temporary economic boom that would aid President Barack Obama in re-election. This is despite Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s assertion that the Federal Reserve makes no decisions based on political considerations.

Liberal economist Paul Krugman lambasted conservative pressure on the Fed earlier this month in a post on a New York Times blog, writing: “It really makes no sense — except in terms of politics. I really believe that we have reached a point where the Fed is afraid to do its job, for fear of being accused of helping Obama.”

Picket Fences Are Long Gone

The American middle class is shrinking rapidly, and those holding on to the vestiges of the socioeconomic bracket once exemplary of the American dream now have it worse than ever before.

This, according to a new study out from the Pew Research Center, is a trend that will most likely continue in the United States. As both President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney attempt to make their case to the American public of how they plan to embolden the American middle class, the population segment is in the worst shape it’s been since World War II.

In 1971, about 61 percent of American households were described as middle class. Today, just 51 percent fall into the group. The most rapid decline in middle-class affluence, according to Pew, has occurred over the past decade.

According to Pew:

For the middle-income group, the “lost decade” of the 2000s has been even worse for wealth loss than for income loss. The median income of the middle-income tier fell 5%, but median wealth (assets minus debt) declined by 28%, to $93,150 from $129,582.

The research center notes that the dismal past decade the middle class has endured has taken its toll on the confidence of middle-class Americans, with 23 percent doubting they will have the savings to last throughout retirement and only two-thirds believing that hard work guarantees one might get ahead.

“The notion that we are a society with a large middle class, with lots of economic and social mobility and a belief that each generation does better than the next — these are among the core tenets of what it means to be an American,” said Paul Taylor, the Pew Research Center’s executive vice president. “But that’s not necessarily the case anymore.”

Ruby Ridge Tactics Now Modus Operandi?

This week, two decades ago, Americans were watching reports of the horrific escalation of the events that occurred in Ruby Ridge, Idaho, where agents of the Federal government terrorized and killed members of Randy Weaver’s family after he failed to appear in court on a charge of selling to an undercover Federal agent shotguns that were slightly too short.

The standoff began on Aug. 21, 1992 when agents skulking through the woods near Weaver’s secluded residence happened upon his son Sam Weaver and friend Kevin Harris along with a family dog. The agents, alleging the dog had tried to attack them, killed the animal. The Weavers’ 14-year-old son, not realizing who had fired at his dog, fired a shot in response before attempting to flee; he was shot in the back. A gunfight between the agents and Harris ensued, resulting in U.S. Marshal William Degan’s death.

The agents later shot Weaver’s wife, Vicki (who was holding a 10-month-old baby in her arms), in the face as his teenage daughter Sara ran toward her mother and the safety of their home.

After his surrender and trial, both Weaver and Harris were cleared of the most serious charges stemming from the incident.

From Reason in October 1993:

On July 8, 1993, in what The New York Times called “a strong rebuke of the Government’s use of force during an armed siege,” a jury in Boise found Randy Weaver, 45 and almost always described in the media as a “white separatist,” and family friend Kevin Harris, 25, not guilty on six of eight counts, including murder of a U.S. marshal, conspiracy to provoke a confrontation with the government, aiding and abetting murder, and harboring a fugitive.

Weaver was found guilty on two minor counts: failure to appear on an earlier firearms charge and violating conditions of bail on the same count. As of this writing, he is still in custody, with sentencing scheduled for September 28. Although the maximum sentence for the two crimes is 15 years, his sentence is likely to be about a year, roughly the amount of time he has already served. Kevin Harris went free the day of the verdict.

It seems, however, that at least some within the FBI were aware that what they were doing was unlawful and unConstitutional as demonstrated by a memo written by FBI Deputy Assistant Director Danny Coulson while the siege was under way:

OPR 004477

Something to Consider

1. Charge against Weaver is Bull Shit.

2. No one saw Weaver do any shooting.

3. Vicki has no charges against her.

4. Weaver’s defense. He ran down the hill to see what dog was barking at. Some guys in camys shot his dog. Started shooting at him. Killed his son. Harris did the shooting [of Degan]. He [Weaver] is in pretty strong legal position.

The U.S. Marshals considered Weaver a very dangerous man who was affiliated with various “right-wing” hate organizations and who, they were told, had spoken ill of Federal government officials and likely posed a significant threat.

In 1995, however, the Senate Judiciary Committee issued a report that called the threat-profile that the government had compiled about Weaver seriously flawed, noting:

…as marshals investigating the Weaver case learned facts that contradicted information they previously had been provided, they did not adequately integrate their updated knowledge into their overall assessment of who Randy Weaver was or what threat he might pose. If the Marshals made any attempt to assess the credibility of the various people who gave them information about Weaver, they never recorded their assessments. Thus, rather than maintaining the Threat Source Profile as a living document, the marshals added new reports to an ever-expanding file, and their overall assessment never really changed. These problems rendered it difficult for other law enforcement officials to assess the Weaver case accurately without the benefit of first-hand briefings from persons who had continuing involvement with him.

Two decades after the incident at Ruby Ridge, law enforcement officials and the Department of Homeland Security have made it easier than ever before to define American citizens as right-wing extremists. All the while, law enforcement down to the smallest hometown police departments have become militarized to the point of or beyond how the agents at Ruby Ridge were equipped.

The paranoid and ever-expanding security apparatus has, in the time since Ruby Ridge, created information “fusion centers” where they compile threat-profiles about religious people, pro- and anti-abortion activists, environmental activists, Ron Paul supporters, Tea Partiers, Constitutionalists, and just about anyone else who has a political opinion.

The Patriot and other Federal acts have given government the power to spy on any person at any time without warrant. And the President of the United States has made clear that Federal operatives reserve the right to kill American citizens that they deem “enemy combatants” or to indefinitely detain them without trial.

Law enforcement was met with condemnation for tactics of haphazardly profiling as a dangerous radical and carrying out a shoot-first-think-later operation against Weaver and his family; two decades later, however, it seems to many people that government has adopted the dangerous policy as a way to exercise its power over all Americans.

Antibiotics Can Make Kids Fat

Researchers are exploring a new culprit in the ever-growing childhood obesity epidemic: rampant use of antibiotic drugs to treat minor childhood illness.

For decades, farmers have been doping commercial livestock with antibiotics because the drugs increase, by about 15 percent, the weight of cattle, pigs and chickens.

A new study from the International Journal of Obesity suggests that treating infants with antibiotics during the first several months of their lives could have the same fattening effects. Babies that were given antibiotics within the first six months of life were more likely to be overweight as toddlers than those not exposed to the drugs. The study couldn’t prove beyond the shadow of doubt, however, that antibiotics were the only cause of weight gain.

A similar study examined the medical records of children born in the U.K. in the early 1990s and also found that infants given antibiotics within the first six months of life were more likely to be overweight or obese as toddlers when compared to babies not exposed to the drugs.

Other studies on the effects of antibiotics on the gut microbes of lab mice might explain the reason behind the weight gain. Researchers found that in the mice, antibiotics changed the makeup of gut bacteria that are instrumental in helping the body break down food and store proper amounts of fat.

Obama’s Media Strategy: Control Questions

President Barack Obama has been avoiding the White House press corps in a bid to avoid taking hard-hitting questions in the middle of an election cycle, but he is giving interviews to reporters from local news organizations throughout the Nation. The only condition is that he gets to choose the questions.

According to White House press corps reporter Keith Koffler, Obama spoke to press corps reporters on Monday for about 20 minutes and took questions from four reporters. The exchange was not exactly in-depth or hard-hitting.

But the President has been talking to members of local media, particularly in swing States. On Monday, he spoke with reporters from Norfolk, Va., and Jacksonville, Fla., as well as one from San Diego. The President’s chosen topic: blaming Republicans for automatic military spending cuts that will take place under sequestration if a budget agreement is not reached.

Koffler notes that all three reporters represent areas that benefit heavily from defense contracting.

From FCN Jacksonville (watch the interview here):

WASHINGTON — On Monday afternoon, First Coast News anchor Donna Deegan sat down with President Barack Obama for a one-on-one interview.

They talked about Medicare, and how Jacksonville’s military could be affected if potential sequestration cuts go through.

From NBC 7 San Diego (watch the interview here):

President Barack Obama sits down in an exclusive interview with NBC 7 military reporter Lea Sutton to discuss the impact of sequestration on San Diego’s military community.

From WVEC Norfolk (watch the interview here):

WASHINGTON, DC–President Barack Obama hopes to avoid painful defense cuts that could come about under the congressional sequestration process.

In an exclusive interview with 13News, the president said he doubts any deal can be reached before the November election, but he’s confident big military reductions will not actually take place.

Virginia stands to lose 207,000 jobs and $21 billion in economic impact, according to a George Mason University study…

The reporters were each given less than 10 minutes for their interviews, leaving very little opportunity for the reporters to steer the conversation from the President’s topic of choice.

A quote from former President John F. Kennedy — to whom Obama is often compared — as he spoke to members of the American Newspaper Publishers Association on April 27, 1961 comes to mind in considering the current President’s media manipulation.

No President should fear public scrutiny of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding and from that understanding comes support or opposition. And both are necessary. I am not asking your newspapers to support an Administration, but I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people. For I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens whenever they are fully informed.

I not only could not stifle controversy among your readers– I welcome it. This Administration intends to be candid about its errors; for as a wise man once said: “An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.” We intend to accept full responsibility for our errors; and we expect you to point them out when we miss them.

In the same speech Kennedy noted that the press is Constitutionally protected “not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and sentimental, not to simply ‘give the public what it wants’—but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold educate and sometimes even anger public opinion.”

Obama aide Stephanie Cutter recently explained that the Administration believes “Entertainment Tonight” is just as important as the White House press corps to informing the American people. Even without real reporting, that statement and the President’s actions raise questions for many about the contempt the “most-transparent Administration in history” holds for a well-informed populace.

Pussy Riot, A Unwitting Tool For Tyranny

A shocking name, a group of young females rallying against a repressive government with passion and vigor in a bid to shine a bright, international light on the evils of tyranny: What more could American mainstream media have asked for?

For media, Pussy Riot is the stuff of underdog story dreams. They are Russians decrying the actions of the former KGB agent and questionably elected President Vladimir Putin. And he put his metaphorical boot on their throats. Youth, vigor, a name just uncomfortable enough to be catchy, and a disdain for the rigid, caste-like Russian society met with government persecution. And, as an added bonus, no matter how many times they hear it, Americans are more likely than not to stay tuned to a television or radio broadcast upon suddenly hearing the mention of the words “Pussy Riot” — verbal shock and awe.

Last February, the punk-rock outfit presented parishioners of the Saviour Cathedral, a Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow, with a less-than-holy impromptu performance during which they implored the Virgin Mary to remove Putin from the nation’s presidency. They have been jailed since.

Last week, mainstream press was abuzz with reports about the outcome of the Moscow trial of Pussy Riot members Maria Alyokhina, 24; Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22; and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29. They were convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred and sentenced to two years of hard time.

The Kremlin has come under immense condemnation from international media outlets, activists groups, humanitarian watchdogs, celebrities and various governments. The U.S. State Department took a break from its own war on government critics — namely, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange — to condemn the Russian court, claiming concern over “the verdict and the disproportionate sentences… and the negative impact on freedom of expression in Russia.” A White House spokesman also said America has “serious concerns about the way that these young women have been treated by the Russian judicial system.”

No word yet about whether or not Americans should expect a statement from the White House regarding draconian sentencing for American non-violent drug offenders, questionable military-beat-down-style arrests of American protestors in recent history (and likely many more to come), universal electronic spying that has led to government terrorism charges linked to online activity, or vast surveillance of certain religious groups within the Nation.

And, given some recent turns in America’s Federal policy toward dissidence or perception thereof (think NDAA, a continual move toward total surveillance and the recommendations of just about any document produced by the Department of Homeland Security), one could likely venture to say that a group of scantily clad punk rockers bursting into American churches with similar intentions would face at least some charges.

This, after all, was not Pussy Riot’s first gig. According to a recent opinion piece in The New York Times by Russia analyst Vadim Nakitin, Pussy Rioter Tolokonnikova asserted her free-speech rights back in 2008 “naked and heavily pregnant, in a public orgy at a Moscow museum.”

It is also worthy of note that a recent poll found most Russians don’t really care for Pussy Riot or its political agenda; only 5 percent of respondents argued that the members should have been absolved of charges. This isn’t heavily surprising, considering the fringe ideas of the activist musicians that resemble a hyped-up anarchist and overly sexualized version of America’s Occupy Wall Street anti-capitalism.

So why is the band’s sentence of two years’ imprisonment a big deal, worthy of American media’s total attention? One explanation could be the fact that many Americans are beginning to reject the image of the heavily bearded, turban-clad common enemy that unified the masses in acceptance of a full-on assault on American liberty. And as more and more Americans wake up to the fact that the most dangerous of enemies of the American way of life don’t live in holes in remote Mideast deserts, but rather walk marbled halls in Washington or have direct influence on those who do, the criminal enterprise that is the Federal government needs to change the narrative.

This has worked before. Does it feel like it is getting chilly in here?

Congress Agrees To Expand Presidential Power

Political polarization is supposedly at an all-time high as Americans enjoy a tedious election-season that the populace is told pits big government, socialist values that would impress the likes of Karl Marx against small government, pro-business ideals that should satisfy any conservative.

So polarized is the political landscape that legislators are unable to produce a budget for the United States because of sheer gridlock, the conversation about social issues has denigrated into screaming on both sides and it is political heresy to come to agreement with your political opponent no matter what heights of idiocy you must reach in proving your dissident.

But lawmakers recently and oddly came to agreement that the power of the President should be met with less political opposition, at least when it comes to making certain appointments.

As Americans have been busy trying to make sense of the upcoming Presidential election, Congress quietly agreed on a matter of importance: making sure that, without Senate approval and without retribution, 170 people can be pointed to powerful positions by whoever assumes the Presidency.

The Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act of 2011 — sponsored by Senators Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) — eliminates the need to obtain Senate confirmation for about 170 executive branch posts. The act was passed by the Senate last summer, met House approval last month and was signed into law by President Barack Obama earlier this month.

The legislation’s sponsors claim it simply reduces the amount of time it takes for a newly elected President to make low-level appointments. But the list includes top public-policy positions within the following Departments: Defense, State, Labor, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, and Veterans Affairs. A full list can be viewed here.

Lieberman said of the legislation:

This bipartisan legislation represents the Senate at its best. A problem was identified, and Democrats and Republicans worked together to craft a solution. Now, future Administrations will be able to get their teams in place more quickly, and the Senate will be able focus its time and energy on the most important Executive Branch appointments. In no way does this bill erode the Senate’s role of “advice and consent.” Rather, it strengthens the Senate’s power by freeing us up to concentrate on nominees who will actually shape national policy.

Despite Lieberman’s assertion that many of these positions do little in the way of shaping public policy, Americans concerned about the growing power of the Presidency might argue that lessening the vetting process is just another step in the direction of complete top-down political control in the Nation.

Federal Aid Disadvantages Middle-Class Students

The massive amount of student loan debt owed by U.S. citizens is, according to some economists, creating a financial bubble that is bound to burst with dire circumstances. Now, new research shows how student loan debt may be a way wealth is redistributed from one generation to the next.

Research presented to the American Sociological Association finds that college students from middle-class families are more likely to rack up massive sums of student loan debt than their peers from both lower- and higher-income backgrounds. The debt, in some cases, can lead to a life-long limitation on career advancement.

“Many middle-income families make too much money for their children to qualify for student aid packages,” said study author Jason N. Houle, a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “While at the same time, they may not have the financial means to cover the high costs of college.”

The researchers note that nearly 41 percent of college students leave school with loan debt. They found that students whose families earned between $40,000 and $59,000 a year finished school with an average of over $6,000 more in student loan debt than their peers whose families earned less than $40,000 per year. Students whose families made between $60,000 and $99,000 annually averaged about $4,000 more in student loan debt than those whose families earned less than $40,000 per year.

As a growing number of low-income students receive Federal aid, colleges are also raising tuition prices which, in effect, require a higher debt burden from those ineligible for Federal aid.

Traditionally, Federal financial aid has been seen as a way to level the playing field for students who want to rise above their low-income upbringings and compete for the same jobs that students able to pay for college seek. But Houle’s research shows that it is being done to the detriment of middle-class students.

“We value the American Dream and believe that achieving a college degree is all you need to overcome the disadvantages of family backgrounds,” Houle said. “My study begins to challenge this idea. The fact that some young adults are starting their careers on an unequal footing just by virtue of how much money they owe, may ultimately affect their capacity to save money and their ability to take a low or un-paid but career-advancing opportunity.”

Read more on how government is devaluing college education here.

Birthday Wishes For A True Statesman

Today, Personal Liberty wishes a happy birthday to Republican Presidential candidate, veteran Congressman and America’s foremost modern champion of liberty, freedom, sound money and a return to the values of a Constitutional Republic: Ron Paul.

During his more than 30 years as a Congressman, Paul has held true to his values and has rejected the corrupting influences that render so many of our leaders criminally culpable in the coming financial and societal collapse of the United States.

As Paul, who today turns 77 years old, continues to fight against those in positions of power within the Republican Party for the simple right to have his voice heard at the coming convention in Tampa, Fla., Americans who recognize the dire state of affairs in their Nation would do well to heed his decades of warnings.

Paul is scheduled to retire from Congress after November. With few in Washington likely to pick up where Paul will leave off, every American champion of liberty should consider what he or she can do continue the Congressman’s career-spanning uphill battle against those who wish to deliver the final blows to the Constitutional republic.

And lack of political power is no excuse for any American citizen to feel helpless in furthering Paul’s legacy. In his book Liberty Defined, the Congressman explains why the American everyman has at his disposal something more powerful than any Washington bureaucrat, moneyed special interest or tyrannical big-government psychopath:

Ideas are very important to the shaping of society. In fact, they are more powerful than bombings or armies or guns. And this is because ideas are capable of spreading without limit. They are behind all the choices we make. They can transform the world in a way that governments and armies cannot. Fighting for liberty with ideas makes more sense to me than fighting with guns or politics or political power. With ideas, we can make real change that lasts.

If the Republican Party, by illegal maneuvering and Soviet tactics, refuses Paul his earned position at the convention to espouse his ideas, let it be known to all of the corporate cronies, RINOS and neocons who shamelessly pretend to value the Constitution in order to further their criminal aspirations: They may quiet Paul for now, but the ideas that he put forth — based on the very ideas of the Nation’s Founders — ring loud and clear in the hearts and minds of an army of Constitutional defenders.

Happy birthday to Ron Paul, who is not America’s last true statesman, but the ideological father of a million more.

Why Obama, Romney Fear Gary Johnson

Weeks ago, when President Barack Obama overstated the role of government in American entrepreneurship with his infamous “you didn’t build that” remark, Americans from border to border made it overwhelmingly clear that respect for the self-made man is still alive and well in the United States.

Some businesses put up signs of protest noting that they did indeed build the businesses they own by the sweat of their own brows and sacrifice. Meanwhile, pundits across the political spectrum and American citizens who have witnessed firsthand the difficulties involved in building a business from the ground up jumped to the defense of their entrepreneurial compatriots.

Criticism for his lack of entrepreneurial understanding is nothing new for the President. Obama is the Commander in Chief, the utmost of resume embellishments; but beyond that — Ivy League education, community organizer, lawyer, professor, Senator, author — nothing suggests the ground-up business experience that so many Americans revere.

The President’s primary opponent in the 2012 election, Mitt Romney, was given a golden opportunity to highlight his professional experience, including helping to found Bain Capital, with Obama’s remark. And he has. The challenger has become an outstandingly wealthy individual for his hard work and lucky breaks throughout the years after working as a management consultant, heading such companies as Bain Capital and later Bain and Co. before beginning his Senatorial and Gubernatorial careers.

But, despite his business experience, Romney’s story isn’t that of the typical American entrepreneur who struggles to make ends meet and must work tirelessly to be the wind and the sails of a start-up venture. Romney’s early life was not lacking in wealth, political advantage and nepotistic benefit due to the vast political and business affiliations of his father, George Romney, himself a decent example of American self-made success.

For American business builders who have scraped by on meager — or no — wages for the sole purpose of making an entrepreneurial dream come true, there is absolutely nothing of the current President’s success story that they can relate to their own struggles, and Romney’s curricula vitae likely offers little.

Fortunately, America is a Nation that has historically emboldened the idea that one does not have to be a “fortunate son” (to reference Credence Clearwater Revival) in order to achieve paramount success. It has been proven time and again that hard work, dedication and sacrifice are just as valuable as pedigree in building one’s own successful business. And this is the track that the vast majority of American small-business entrepreneurs follow to achievement or failure.

In the 2012 Presidential election, there is perhaps one candidate who understands the American everyman struggle to successful entrepreneurship better than Romney or Obama could ever hope to. He lacks an Ivy League education and has a history that could be indistinguishable from a majority of small-business owners tending shop in small towns and cities throughout the Nation.

Former Republican Governor of New Mexico and Libertarian Presidential nominee Gary Johnson was born into an upper-middle-class North Dakota family, his father a teacher and his mother an employee of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. His family later moved to New Mexico, where he was raised. He graduated from the University of New Mexico with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1975.

During his time in college, cash-strapped Johnson sought an opportunity to make some money in the summer of 1974. According to the New Mexico Business Journal, Johnson decided he would work as a handyman and began handing out flyers that read: “College student needs work. Will do carpentry, painting, cement, anything and everything.” The candidate said that he worked his first several jobs at a rate of just $3.50 per hour, which was actually higher than Federal minimum wage at the time.

In an interview with New Mexico Business Times, Johnson relays the moment he decided that his summer venture would parlay into lifelong self-employment:

Along came about the fifth job and this fellow wanted rocks spread out all over his whole yard. And I remember thinking it was going to take about 22 hours to do the job, so I said 80 bucks; he said fine. I showed up on Saturday thinking I was going to work all day Saturday and all day Sunday. I started at seven o’clock, and at 10:30 I was finished with the job. Then it was “Oh, my god, what am I going to do? This is 22 bucks an hour. He’s not going to pay me. What am I going to do?” And, hey, there’s only so much you can do with rocks. I’m done with the job, and he walks out, and my heart’s racing. And he says I see you’re done with the job and he handed me the check for 80 bucks. And I remember looking at the check and thinking, “This is the American way.” And at that point I knew I would never be employed by anyone, meaning I would always be self-employed.

Johnson turned his handyman operation into a modest business called Big J Enterprises after he graduated college. The modest start-up company went on expand rapidly into a multimillion-dollar business when, based on solid work ethic, the business was able to achieve multimillion-dollar expansion contracts from corporations like Intel.

Beyond good business ethics, Big J attributes much of its success to worker welfare and careful adherence to a strict operating model. In 1994, after being elected Governor of New Mexico, Johnson sold the company for $38 million, but not before ensuring that the employees holding the 1,000 jobs he had created were contractually protected from being replaced for no reason by the new owners.

Johnson went on to be a popular and notoriously thrifty Governor.

Perhaps Johnson has no chance in the Presidential election, but he is currently lobbying for the right to at least have a voice in the nationally televised Presidential debates. And, as much as Republicans and Democrats alike lament that third-party runs are damaging and distracting to the mainstream campaign, Johnson seems to have a history of doing exactly what a majority of Americans are screaming for on a daily basis: focusing on the economy of small business, rather than corporate cronyism and government control.

The Democratic- and Republican-controlled Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) mandates that candidates receive at least 15 percent favorability in order to participate in the debates. Unfortunately, the corporate-controlled media have circumvented any chance of an Obama, Romney, Johnson debate by simply leaving the Libertarian candidate off the polls.

The Libertarian Action Super Pac recently conducted two national polls of its own, asking 1,000 Americans: “Suppose in this year’s Presidential Election you had a choice of Libertarian Gary Johnson or Democrat Barack Obama. If the election were held today would you vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson or Democrat Barack Obama?”

Johnson received 19 percent favorability in the first poll and 24 percent in the most recent. It is unlikely, however, that CPD officials will accept the Libertarian group’s polling efforts.

Fat, Lazy A Disease?

On the whole, humans have become a species of lazy, inactive and increasingly overweight creatures as technology has made life easier and entertainment activities more sedentary.

A new paper published in the research journal The Lancet politely referred to the increasingly fat, lazy nature of the human population as an “inactivity epidemic.” And guess what? The “inactivity epidemic” (being fat and lazy) is responsible for one out of every 10 deaths worldwide.

Unfortunately, most people are so unaware that their sedentary lifestyles are killing them that some medical experts are now calling for doctors to consider “failure to get any form of real exercise” a mainstream medical condition. One for which they may even need to write prescriptions for… exercise.

Mayo clinic physiologist Michael Joyner explained to NPR, “The entire medical research industrial complex is oriented towards inactivity.”

Joyner’s statement falls in line with what critics of mainstream medicine and Big Pharma have been saying for years: Cutting, burning, poisoning and drugging to “treat” disease, while more profitable for the medical establishment, is nowhere near as beneficial to human health as prevention through exercise and avoidance of the everyday poisons that saturate modern lifestyles.

“Physicians really need to start defining the physically active state as normal,” Joyner said.

Some research suggests that you can avoid falling victim to the “inactivity epidemic” by exercising vigorously for as little as 20 or 30 minutes at least five times a week to lessen cardiac risk factors by up to 50 percent. For optimal health, though, many alternative medical experts suggest integrating various forms of exercise such as stretching, meditation, resistance training and cardio throughout your activities each day in small increments.

Paul Ryan: Just Another Neocon

Republican presumptive Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan seems to be becoming a superhero of the GOP as mainstream “conservatives” are smitten to the point of drool-inducing stupor.

And it makes sense. Before the Wisconsin Representative — known as a “budget hawk” and “policy mastermind” — came dashing into the frame, Republican voters’ strongest inclination to cast a ballot for Mitt Romney, the party’s presumptive Presidential nominee, was because his name isn’t Barack Obama.

For the well-informed among conservatives, the mental anguish of having to lie to themselves about Romney being the man who is going to undo or reverse the rapid American march “Forward.” unto an even more massive Federal apparatus and complete socialism is unimaginable. And, to be honest, they are not the conservatives they believe themselves to be. “Moderates,” “hopeless reactionaries” and “ignorant” are all terms that come to mind in describing those who would allow themselves to believe Romney will in any way be restorative to American liberty, but “truly conservative” certainly does not.

Those who proclaim a love for liberty, small government and strict adherence to the Constitution know that Obama has no similar passions, but they also know that Romney lacks the same passions as well.

On the rights of sportsmen and of Americans to be able to defend themselves, there’s that pesky problem about Romney’s penchant for hunting “small varmints.” He has a dodgy gun control record, has claimed to own firearms that he didn’t in an effort to score an endorsement from the National Rifle Association and passed what The Associated Press referred to as “one of the toughest assault weapons laws in the country” when he was Governor of Massachusetts.

But he isn’t a guy named Obama with a questionable 2nd Amendment record.

Romney has faced a constant thorn in his side because he created the basis for the big government health law known as Obamacare during his time as Governor. He recently cited the value of Israel’s individual mandate healthcare plan.

But he isn’t a guy named Obama with an admiration for socialized medicine.

Those worried about the increasingly brazen and tyrannical nature of government spying and police state violations of Constitutional rights can find little solace in Romney’s history. During his tenure as Governor of Massachusetts, Romney issued executive orders to set up two of the Nation’s first fusion centers — the intelligence hubs where vast amounts of Americans’ personal data are analyzed, stored and shared by law enforcement agencies.

The similarities between Romney and Obama far trump the dissimilarity of their names. But, hey, at least the socialized, unConstitutional, disarmed, plutocratic Nation will not be under the leadership of a big government liar named Obama if the GOP comes out on top. It will be a big government liar named Romney steering the ship toward total tyranny.

The Romney ticket is no accident. Beyond shouting about conservative social issues, the Republican Party is no more “conservative” than the Democratic. The Democratic and Republican parties are both bought and paid for by the same corporate interests and work in unison to achieve the same goal of enslaving the American populace to an endless cycle of debt, consumption and war for profit. Romney and Obama may as well be the same man, simply a figurative representation of choice to cloak America’s plutocratic political system.

Of course, the GOP has suffered some consequences by foisting such an Obama-like candidate and expecting their diehards to swallow hard and march on. The party has been met with force by a large contingent of conservatives who refuse to throw conviction aside and support Romney; many of them were Ron Paul supporters, and others are just tired of the lies. These people have not been quiet in their dissidence, and with each shout risk pulling another rank-and-file Republican out of his “well, he isn’t Obama” stupor. As much criticism as the GOP leadership deserves for whoring itself to special interests and lying about having any concern for a Constitutional America, they should get credit for an act of brilliant political manipulation to ensure the proclamations of these dissenters fall on deaf ears.

Enter Ryan, who will go down in history as the most libertarian-looking neocon to have ever walked the halls of Congress.

He’s fostered the image of a budget-slashing maniac, bent on reducing government spending by any means possible.

Republican rank-and-files have been drooling over Ryan since he introduced his House-approved budget plan which seeks to avoid tax hikes and cuts in military spending while simultaneously putting bloated entitlement spending programs on the chopping block. The infatuation with Ryan’s plan to “stop spending money the government doesn’t have” is less for the few free-market ideas presented therein and more for the fact that liberals have been freaking out about provisions that call for a restructuring of Medicare.

If liberals are enraged, however, Ryan’s plan had to be a creation of pure small government genius, right? Actually, no. Ryan’s plan is actually only marginally better than the budget Obama presented. The President wants to spend $3.8 trillion in fiscal year 2013 and foresees spending $5.8 trillion in fiscal year 2022. Obama believes that Federal spending would amount to 22.5 percent of gross domestic product, while revenues would average 19.2 percent of GDP.

Ryan, on the other hand, would spend $3.5 trillion in 2013 and $4.9 trillion in 2022. Spending as an average of GDP would average 20 percent of GDP, and revenue would amount to 18.3 percent. Ryan’s plan is essentially more of the same; it grows government spending and fails to cut anything of substance. But at least it freaked out liberals.

The reason Ryan’s plan could not possibly begin to meaningfully reduce government spending is directly related to his neocon ideals.

He is a supporter of the same illegal military operations carried out under both the George W. Bush and Obama Administrations. He voted to add a trillion dollars or so to the Federal debt burden by borrowing to fund the failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

After begging other lawmakers to follow suit — seriously, begging — Ryan voted “yes” to the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) and “yes” to a $15 billion bailout for General Motors Co. and Chrysler to support crony capitalism and failed business practices. He also voted “yes” on an economic stimulus bill in 2008 and in favor of further economic stimulus to the tune of $192 billion in 2009.

He has sought to portray himself as dedicated to slashing government handouts to non-producers.

During the Bush Administration, Ryan voted “yes” for the massive healthcare entitlement called the limited prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients; that came with unfunded future costs of more than $7 trillion.

In 2006, Ryan voted to distribute $70 million in taxpayer money in the form of section 8 housing vouchers.

In 2008, Ryan voted “yes” on an unemployment benefit extension from 39 weeks to 59 weeks.

He claims he is a conservative who wants the Federal government to step back and allow Americans to enjoy freedoms granted in the Constitution.

If anything about Ryan is scary, it is his support of big-government nannyism.

He apparently rejects the idea that American parents and teachers should play a bigger role in children’s education than Federal bureaucrats, as he voted “yes” to No Child Left Behind during Bush’s Presidency.

Ryan also shares the belief of the Bush Administration and Obama that Americans deserve no right to privacy from the watchful eye of the Big Brother Department of Homeland Security. He voted to extend Patriot Act wiretapping and make it permanent. He voted against requiring warrants for domestic wiretapping and in favor of eliminating warrants on all electronic surveillance. He also voted in favor of the Internet spy bill, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act.

Ryan voted “yes” on the National Defense Authorization Act and against repealing its provision allowing the indefinite detention of Americans.

Ryan is opposed to any budget cuts in defense spending or to the national surveillance apparatus.

It isn’t surprising that Ryan claims he is a real conservative, even though his record reeks of Bush/Cheney neocon values that do nothing for liberty. Perhaps a quote from Libertarian superhero Ayn Rand — whom Ryan claimed to admire for many years, and bizarrely denounced recently — best describes why he is portrayed as a conservative.

In Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal Ryan’s former favorite Russian-born atheist writes:

The basic and crucial political issue of our age is: capitalism versus socialism, or freedom versus statism. For decades, this issue has been silenced, suppressed, evaded, and hidden under the foggy, undefined rubber-terms of “conservatism” and “liberalism” which had lost their original meaning and could be stretched to mean all things to all men.

Ryan is energizing conservative voters who have, to this point, had no faith in their candidate beyond his not-Obama name. But the Vice Presidential pick’s talents aren’t really in cutting budgets and manipulating policy in the best interest of liberty, as many conservative voters have been led to believe. His greatest talent is the same as any other politician that has been in the White House during the past several decades: using foggy, undefined, rubber terms to make the American populace believe that there is an option beyond plutocratic tyranny in the two-party political system.

Virtual Immigration Agent Being Tested

The Federal government has unveiled a new tool that it hopes will help to curtail the number of illegal aliens that cross the border into the United States.

University of Arizona researchers in collaboration with U.S. Customs and Border Protection have created a virtual Border Patrol agent that, they claim, is capable of interviewing people who wish to enter the country and detecting if they are lying about their motives. The virtual agent is part of a computer kiosk known as the Automated Virtual Agent for Truth Assessments in Real-Time that might become a fixture of U.S. airports in coming years.

It is reportedly already being tested with “low risk” passengers at Dennis DeConcini Port in Nogales, Ariz., according to Daily Mail.

After logging fingerprints, the computer asks a series of questions and tries to spot liars using:

  • A microphone to monitor vocal quality, pitch and frequency.
  • An infrared camera to look at pupil dilation and where the eyes focus.
  • A high-definition camera to record facial expressions.

The programs creators say that the virtual agent has about a 90 percent success rate in identifying falsified information.

Is U.S.-Agitated WWIII On The Horizon?

Americans have been increasingly dehumanized by a police state that requires them to be viewed naked, perpetually watched, stopped at checkpoints and suffer all manner of other Constitutional violations in the name of “safety” since the attacks on 9/11. But as the Federal government has been busy indicting American citizens as possible enemies of the State, entities that have proven to have a disdain for the United States have crept frighteningly near unnoticed.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, a Russian nuclear-powered attack submarine equipped with long-range cruise missiles operated undetected dangerously close to U.S. borders in the Gulf of Mexico for several weeks. The submarine’s presence was confirmed only after it had left the region.

U.S. military officials said the vessel was a nuclear-powered, Akula-class attack submarine, one of Russia’s quietest submarines.

“The Akula was built for one reason and one reason only: to kill U.S. Navy ballistic missile submarines and their crews,” said one official.

In 2009, two of the same type of Russian submarines were reported to have been cruising off of the East Coast of the United States.

In June, it was reported that Russian bombers and support aircraft conducted a large-scale nuclear bomb exercise in the arctic which included simulated strikes on “enemy” strategic sites. Defense officials said the operation was likely a drill for theoretical attacks on U.S. missile defenses in Alaska.

Russia, under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin, has been increasingly attempting to demonstrate that it is a key military power in the world. Simultaneously, U.S. officials have intensified disputes with the nation by getting involved in Mideast disputes; this is particularly true in the case of Syria, a longtime friend of Russia.

While most mainstream media focus on the desire of the Administration of President Barack Obama to topple the Bashar Assad regime in an effort to end human rights abuses in the country, a look at the bigger picture paints a more startling portrait of a Nobel Peace Prize-winning President setting the stage for a devastating world war.

Earlier this year, the President made a rare appearance alongside top Pentagon officials to discuss a new strategy for the U.S. military. The President offered Americans two clues about the coming global conflict:

  1. The U.S. military will change its focus from long-term counterinsurgency campaigns that have been primary strategy in Mideast conflicts to a strategy focused more on the use of massive naval and air war apparatuses.
  2. The armed forces’ primary theater of concern will no longer be the Mideast, where American intervention has been a decided failure, but rather the Asia and Pacific region.

Some analysts indicate that the United States will use its remaining military influence in the Mideast to disrupt Syria and Iran for no other reason than to agitate Russia while simultaneously threatening China’s growing military supremacy with its new strategy focus.

And, indeed, both Russia and China are poised and willing to engage the United States in global conflict if further meddling takes place in Syria or Iran. A globally devastating conflict could be less than a year away, according to some reports, as Obama is allegedly set to promise an attack on Iran to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by June 2013 if the country does not halt any semblance of a nuclear program. A Mitt Romney Presidency will likely yield the same inevitable outcome, as the candidate showed his blithering support for the Israelis in recent campaign appearances. (That’s right; the GOP pick has campaigned in Israel, presumably to ensure leaders of the country that has so much power over American policy decisions that a Romney Administration will honor Obama’s promise to push the first domino of global nuclear war as well.)

If there is any question that the ultimate goal of U.S. neocons in meddling with Russian and Chinese allies in the Mideast is a world war, consider what U.S. interventionism has “accomplished” in Mideast countries like Syria. For more than a decade, the U.S. military has been battling al-Qaida operatives in Afghanistan, Iraq and supposedly domestically. Americans have endured losing loved ones who volunteered service in these fights and have given up liberties at home to battle al-Qaida due to the mandates of neocon lawmakers and executive orders. Meanwhile, the United States government — the same government that can indefinitely detain American citizens that have any contact with a group like al-Qaida — is emboldening rebels in places like Syria who are also heavily backed by the terrorist group. And, if you think al-Qaida has no strategic motives for helping rebels overthrow flawed but stable governments, it may be time for a history refresher of the past year’s events.

DHS Making More Massive Ammo Buys

Amid calls for increased gun control from some lawmakers and liberal activists, government entities have made it clear that they will not be relinquishing their firepower anytime soon.

The Department of Homeland Security is currently hurrying to finish the acquisition of 750 million rounds of ammunition, including 209,000 rounds of #00 buckshot 8-pellet bullets for 12 gauge guns and more than 2 million .357 magnum rounds. This follows a purchase of 450 million rounds of .40 caliber hollow point ammunition earlier this year.

The purchases of such large amounts of ammo along with riot gear and other militaristic equipment has raised eyebrows among many alternative media outlets, which speculate that civil unrest or war within U.S. borders is on the horizon.

RT ponders:

The DHS does not, however, answer why exactly they want to give its federal agents tasked with counterterrorism around 750 million rounds of ammo. On paper the proposal says their request is to fulfill training exercise requirements, but why is the DHS equipping their officers with the know-how to shoot a basketball-size hole in a human body?

The DHS claims the ammo is for use in anti-terror training exercises.

USA Today: The Gun Disease

In the wake of recent mass shootings, some public health officials are calling for gun violence to be examined as a “social disease” to use science as a way to restructure gun laws to avert the tragic events.

According to USA Today, doctors involved in violence prevention research say that by examining firearm violence statistics in a manner similar to highway safety statistics U.S. policymakers could implement gun laws that would reduce violence.

The article says the researchers want to look at the following:

• “Host” factors: What makes someone more likely to shoot, or someone more likely to be a victim. One recent study found firearm owners were more likely than those with no firearms at home to binge drink or to drink and drive, and other research has tied alcohol and gun violence. That suggests that people with driving under the influence convictions should be barred from buying a gun…

• Product features: Which firearms are most dangerous and why. Manufacturers could be pressured to fix design defects that let guns go off accidentally, and to add technology that allows only the owner of the gun to fire it (many police officers and others are shot with their own weapons). Bans on assault weapons and multiple magazines that allow rapid and repeat firing are other possible steps.

• “Environmental” risk factors:  What conditions allow or contribute to shootings. Gun shops must do background checks and refuse to sell firearms to people convicted of felonies or domestic violence misdemeanors, but those convicted of other violent misdemeanors can buy whatever they want. The rules also don’t apply to private sales, which one study estimates as 40% of the market.

• Disease patterns, observing how a problem spreads. Gun ownership — a precursor to gun violence — can spread “much like an infectious disease circulates,” said Daniel Webster, a health policy expert and co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research in Baltimore.

In discussing gun ownership as if it were a disease, the article follows the trend of many news stories that have appeared since the recent shooting tragedies which portray gun-ownership as an oddity.

Food Prices Set To Rise

The drought conditions that many Americans have endured this summer could lead the governments of the United States, France and Mexico to enter talks about ways to bring down the rising global cost of corn and grain.

At the end of the month, the three countries will decide if it is necessary to convene the first meeting of the newly created G-20 Rapid Response Forum, which leaders claim was formed to promote united action.

The price of corn jumped to an all-time high after the U.S. Department of Agriculture cut its production estimate by 17 percent over the weekend. According to a report from the USDA, the corn harvest in the United States will drop 11 percent from last year, with yields 23 percent lower than average.

On Monday, corn and other crop prices eased, but analyst expect prices to remain higher than average. According to the USDA, Americans will feel the effects of the higher prices when they purchase beef, pork, poultry and dairy products almost immediately and into 2013.

President Barack Obama said in a recent address that the United States needs to take an “all hands on deck” approach to helping farmers hurt by the drought. He also urged Congress to pass a farm bill “that makes necessary reforms while helping farmers and ranchers respond to these types of natural disasters and providing the certainty they deserve.”

Some people believe that rising food prices due to the drought could spark global unrest.

Drunken Jet Skier Breaches Airport Security

While Transportation Security Administration agents were inside groping passengers before they could be allowed in secure areas, a man who sank his personal watercraft in a nearby bay after a night of drinking was able to swim to shore and penetrate the multimillion-dollar security system in place at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

According to reports, Daniel Casillo was racing personal watercraft with friends last Friday when his companions sped away and his vessel began to sink in Jamaica Bay, about three miles from the airport. The man swam toward JFK’s lit runway. Once ashore, Casillo walked without problem through a series of motion sensors and cameras of the airport’s $100 million Perimeter Intrusion Detection System before climbing an 8-foot wall and walking onto the tarmac soaking wet.

After he made it onto the runway, a startled Delta airlines employee spotted Cassillo and called authorities. New York Police Department officers arrested the man and charged him with criminal trespassing.

The FBI’s Gang Of Clowns

The Insane Clown Posse, an oft-kitschy rap group whose members paint their faces in a clown-like manner, likely doesn’t come immediately to mind when you think of groups fighting against police state intrusions upon liberty by the Federal bureaucracy. But the group has become a perfect example of the height of ridiculousness that America’s everyone-is-guilty society has reached.

Die-hard fans of the rap outfit, known as Juggalos, would likely be viewed by someone unfamiliar with the culture with a fair amount of skepticism. After all, the “music” produced by Insane Clown Posse is rife with often-offensive lyrics that describe acts of violence and decadent behaviors. The FBI, however, took it a step further last year by describing Juggalos as members of a “loose-knit gang” on par with the likes of Crypt, Blood and MS-13 gang members in its “2011 National Gang Threat Assessment.” Before the FBI classification, four States — California, Pennsylvania, Utah and Arizona — had classified the band’s fans as such.

In its report, the FBI describes the “gang” as follows:

The Juggalos, a loosely-organized hybrid gang, are rapidly expanding into many US communities. Although recognized as a gang in only four states, many Juggalos subsets exhibit gang-like behavior and engage in criminal activity and violence. Law enforcement officials in at least 21 states have identified criminal Juggalo sub-sets, according to NGIC [National Gang Intelligence Center] reporting.

NGIC reporting indicates that Juggalo gangs are expanding in New Mexico primarily because they are attracted to the tribal and cultural traditions of the Native Americans residing nearby.

Most crimes committed by Juggalos are sporadic, disorganized, individualistic, and often involve simple assault, personal drug use and possession, petty theft, and vandalism.

The gang classification of Insane Clown Posse briefly made headlines last year when WIRED contributor Spencer Ackerman pointed out the FBI’s report, but faded in relevance until this month. On Aug. 1, the U.S. Marshals Service issued a press release lauding the arrest of probation violator and “gang member” Mark Anthony Carlson in Texas. Carlson had violated the terms of probation stemming from a previous arrest for armed robbery and was on New Mexico’s most wanted list.

The release states that Carlson is a member of the Insane Clown Posse “Juggalo” gang.

The government’s classification of its fan base as a massive gang, brought back to light by the press release, has prompted Violent J (Joseph Bruce) and Shaggy 2 Dope (Joseph Utsler) of the rap group to seek legal action against the FBI.

Utlser said of the action: “It’s been almost a year since Juggalos were put on the National Gang Threat Assessment and we are hearing too many stories from our fans about the trouble it’s causing them. Just because you like a music group, doesn’t make you a criminal.”

With the backing of the legal counsel that represents the record label that produces Insane Clown Posse’s music, the band is seeking self-described Juggalos that have been affected by the FBI’s classification of the fans as gang members.

They said in a recent press release:

We are seeking individuals who have experienced any of the following based on a government employee or other’s knowledge of the Juggalo ‘gang’ status as stated in the 2011 National Gang Assessment:

1. Stopped by Border Patrol (U.S., Canadian or otherwise)

2. Stopped or denied ability to fly on an airline

3. Increased criminal sentencing or denial of parole

4. Transfer of a juvenile criminal offender from juvenile court to circuit (“adult”) court

5. Denial of job opportunity, loss of employment

6. Denial of permit to march, boycott, assemble

7. Denial of a vendor to sell Juggalo merchandise

8. An injunction preventing the Juggalos from congregating in any area, wearing Juggalo clothing, displaying tattoos

9. Pulled over or detained by law enforcement

10. Any other denial of a right, liberty, property

While the classification of people who enjoy the strange music of Insane Clown Posse as gang members may not seem like a problem that pertains to the vast majority of Americans, some people note that it brings up a much broader issue imposed upon the public by the police/surveillance state.

The FBI embarked on a massive “Communities Against Terror” campaign in the past few years and distributes flyers to businesses in a variety of industries to help business owners spot terrorists. The flyers do not identify distasteful music and obnoxious Juggalo tattoos, however, as possible indicators of dangerous persons; they list several innocuous activities that implicate preppers, conservatives, privacy advocates and dissidents as potential terrorists.

The agency, in the same broad manner, has said that disdain for taxes, a dislike for the green movement and support of a gold standard are indicators that an individual could be a ticking time bomb and should be viewed as extremely dangerous by law enforcement officers.

This vitriol toward right-leaning Americans who support smaller government and less bureaucracy is intensified each time any criminal who can be even remotely linked to conservative philosophy by the FBI makes headlines for a horrible atrocity.

It may seem like no big deal that Insane Clown Posse fans are listed as gang members simply for being drawn to a less-than-tasteful genre of music. But what is a big deal is Federal law agencies’ willingness to make broad indictments against people who hold views not of the mainstream to legitimize complete government surveillance.

NYPD Adopts Total Surveillance

Since the 9/11 attacks, the New York Police Department has become an increasingly creepy apparatus of nanny-Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s vision of a utopian surveillance state. Officials are proud of it, and they’re upping the ante.

Last week, the mayor’s “personal army” unveiled its newest Robocop-inspired total surveillance mechanism, a joint creation of the department and Microsoft called the “Domain Awareness System.”

Using 3,000 cameras placed throughout lower Manhattan that are capable of reading license plates, zeroing in on areas from which 911 calls are made and synching with NYPD records, the department says it will essentially be able to stop crimes that have not even happened.

“We are not your mom and pop police department anymore. We are in the next century. We are leading the pack,” Bloomberg said, according to WCBS 880.

The camera system is so complex that law enforcement officials say they could be able to track a suspect’s whereabouts several days before a crime was committed by using archived information.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said: “It’s a tool that meets the needs of the Department, one that will help protect New Yorkers and keep us safe from crime and terrorism for years to come.”

The system is expected to be picked up by other police departments throughout the Nation.

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.