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My Life Plan
1) Your Ultimate Vision For Your Life
The first step in designing your life is to create a compelling vision of who you’ll become and what you want your life to ultimately be like.
This is a very powerful part of the process, as your ultimate vision is what will drive you and really excite you – it gives you something to look forward to on a continual basis.
I’ve found that what most people lack in life is a really compelling vision.
In fact, it’s not that most people are lazy or bored, it’s that they have an impotent vision – nothing to look forward to.
Without anything to look forward to, what reason do you have to do anything? What reason do you have to get out of bed?
Use powerful language and really described who you want to be and what you want your life to be about.
The key is to discover the right vision for you, as it’s different for everyone.
• What would really excite you?
• What do you want your life to be about?
• If there were no limits or obstacles, what would you want your ultimate vision to be?
These are all great questions to ask yourself.
Take a moment and answer these questions. You can write it out in a journal, or keep it online using Google documents.
2) Your Ultimate Purpose For Your Life
Your ultimate purpose for your life is what will give you the fuel to really go after your ultimate vision. It’s the REASONS to get yourself to follow through – the fuel for the life.
It all starts with asking yourself, “Why do I want this?”.
For me personally, I just make a list of reasons of why I want to achieve this vision – why I’ll do whatever it takes.
You want to really think about it, as when you want something bad enough, you will do almost ANYTHING to make it happen.
When you discover your powerful purpose and reasons why, you’ll create ultimate leverage on yourself.
• Why do I want to fulfill this ultimate vision for my life?
• What will achieving this ultimate vision give me?
• How will achieving this ultimate vision enhance each area of my life?
• What will it cost me if I don’t make it happen?
• What are the ultimate consequences?
• What are my reasons for following through?
• How will I be able to help more people?
3) Your Identity
Your identity is essentially who you are and what your stand for in your life. It’s all about how you define yourself, as your identity is merely a sum total of your beliefs.
When you really discover who you are and begin living by it, your entire life will change.
To make your ultimate vision happen, you need to grow and improve who you are – you need to become the type of person that can make your dreams a reality.
It all begins with defining who that person is, who you ultimately want to be in this life.
• Who am I?
• Who do I ultimately want to be in this life?
• If I were to look up my name in the dictionary, what would it say?
• If there were no limits, who would I be?
• How would I define myself?
Life Vest Inside... Kindness Boomerang... One Day
Watch as the camera tracks an act of kindness as its passed from one individual to the next... and manages to boomerang back to the person who set it into motion.
Has Life Vest Inside's Kindness Boomerang inspired you? Take our Impact Survey and help us measure the impact of kindness on the world!
Plus, get entered to win free LVI goodies just for completing the survey! Visit www.lifevestinside.com/survey
Watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwAYpLVyeFU
In case you haven't heard, or you are oblivious to the news of the day... America's 'Debt Limit' is now again the latest fabricated crisis in Washington.
Today is July 18th... and your taxes are still going up... and our country is virtually bankrupt... and going $4 billion dollars deeper in the hole - each and every day. Yet Obama pretends all is well. Here's Obama's latest propaganda...
Here's Obama's "bull crap" for the week... 07/18/2014...
Gullible U.S. citizens and media, moving their heads in sync... to Obama's continuous diversions
Obama has again created yet another devious scandal - with the fabricated border crisis - to take everyone's attention off the past dozens of corruptions and scandals he's committed.
And it's working again? ... Preposterous! Unbelievable?
It's unbelievable how short the attention span is of the gullible American public... and the media too? It's the oldest magician's trick in the book - divert attention and pull out the next rabbit.
Here's a comparable video example below, of "kittens moving their heads in sync" ... same as the public and news organizations being lead around by Obama holding a shiny object...
"Citizens moving their heads in sync... to Obama's diversions."
It's sad how millions of people can be so pliable and easily deceived with false premises and pretenses.
Watch the Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kzO2kkUPmk
Obama is lying to you about the border conditions and circumstances... the border is not secure and hasn't been for the past six years
U.S. border patrol is literally backed-up 40-45 miles from the U.S. / Mexico border. These checkpoints should be ON the border, not 45 miles away.
Immediate Solution: "Move 1000 national guard to the border immediately. Then train 3000 additional border patrol agents to take their place - on the border." -- Texas Governor Rick Perry
Deportations of illegal immigrant children have decreased under the Obama administration - even though there has been a drastic increase in the number of illegal immigrant children who have tried to enter the country since 2008.
Many of those illegal immigrants from Central America have been lured by President Barack Obama's promises of executive actions to ease deportations, especially for children.
The Los Angeles Times obtained data from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) under a Freedom of Information Act request that indicate "the number of immigrants under 18 who were deported or turned away at ports of entry -
Fell from 8,143 in 2008, the last year of the George W. Bush administration, to 1,669 last year."
In addition, while "about 600 minors were ordered deported each year from non-border states a decade ago," only 95 were deported last year...
Even though there have been at least a fivefold increase in the number of illegal immigrant children who have been crossing the border.
The recent surge in illegal immigrant children from Central America -
Came right after Obama unilaterally enacted the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012 ... that gave temporary amnesty to certain illegal immigrant DREAMers.
According to the Christian Science Monitor...
"During the decade preceding fiscal year 2012, the federal government agency tasked with caring for unaccompanied minors who cross the border illegally dealt with an average of 7,000 to 8,000 cases a year."
In fiscal year 2011, there were 6,560, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
But in the fiscal year after Obama enacted the DACA program, there were 13,625 illegal immigrant children who crossed the border, according to the Monitor. Since October of last year, there have been at least 50,000.
And federal officials estimate that there will be 150,000-160,000 more illegal immigrant children who will attempt to illegally enter the country next year.
Chicago's angry citizens protest and slam Obama... calling him "Worst president ever elected!"
Amid the daily grind of poverty and violence afflicting Chicago's South Side, black residents spoke up Friday to express their disgust with President Barack Obama.
“Barack will go down as the worth president ever elected," one man told Rebel Pundit.
Residents gathered in front of the Chicago Police Department headquarters to protest, questioning why federal dollars were being spent on immigrants - while native Chicagoans suffered.
Some called for Obama’s resignation. Others compared the modern situation in Chicago to the slavery of yesteryear.
“Today, if you look at the time that we were brought here as slaves 400 years ago,” one resident said, “we got the same results today.”
Watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=J9ixOsjut3E
A giant 'dead parrot' is unveiled on London's South Bank to promote the live broadcast of the final Monty Python Live stage show on comedy TV channel Gold on July 20.
Social media star Gary the goat & his owner, Jimbo Bazoobi, meet Brutus the crocodile in Darwin, Australia, on July 10. Gary & his owner rose to prominence last year when Gary was fined by Sydney police for allegedly 'damaging vegetation without authority.
The case may have been dropped but the publicity made Gary a huge star. He enjoyed an Adelaide River Cruise & got an up-close encounter with 100-year-old, 18-foot-long croc Brutus.
Anatoliy Shabotenko of the Ukraine dives from the 27.5-meter platform during the first training session of the fourth stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Kragero, Norway, on July 10.
A hot-air balloon is inflated at the European Balloon Festival in Igualada, Spain, on July 10. The early-morning flight of more than 30 balloons was shorter than expected due to windy weather.
Riders go down Verruckt, the world's tallest waterslide, at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City on July 9. The 168-foot-tall waterslide opened to the public July 10 after initially being slated to open May 23.
Christopher Nolan, with the Central Park Conservancy, examines the tip of the Egyptian Obelisk as it is being cleaned in New York on June 30.
Presented as a gift to the city in 1881, the 69-foot monolith behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art has accumulated decades of soot, which is now being removed with lasers & other low-impact cleaners.
Competitors take part in the Paddle Something Unusual event at the Paddle Round The Pier Beach Festival in Brighton, England.
Workers carry a rope next to a figure of Gulliver at Gulliver's World amusement park in Usedom, Germany, on July 8. The sculpture of Gulliver in Liliput is 36 meters long & will open for visitors on July 11.
The Bigger The Government - The Smaller The Citizen.
Be the type of person... you want to meet.
"The best way to predict the future, is to implement it." -- David Heinemeier Hansson
The American people are fed up. The IRS has become an out of control, hyper-partisan, left-wing bureaucracy.
Now that the World Cup is over, I can go back to hating soccer again." -- Dennis Miller
"The internet is just the world passing around notes in a classroom." -- Jon Stewart
When the Christian faith becomes defined by who we are and what we do... and not by who Christ is and what he did for us... we miss the gospel - and we, ironically, become more disobedient. -- Tullian Tchividjian
Democrat's racial bigotry never ends
Attorney General Eric Holder said Sunday that, for some critics of the Obama administration, 'there’s a racial animus.'
The reality... racial animus permeates the Democrat party. They constantly use it to divide. They constantly use it to hold the black community in servitude. People like Obama and Holder - are the new slave owners of the day.
Democrats don't provide opportunity for the black community - they offer empty promises and meager handouts, in trade for votes. It's been that way for fifty years. It doesn't get any more racist than that!
Obama and Holder now lead the racial divide in America.
Wait... Did NBC's Brian Williams really tell a sex joke on the nightly news?
“Last year’s government shutdown in Washington had at least one positive development nine months after the fact.
The folks at Sibley Hospital in Washington are reporting live births are up right now, on average by about three per day.
How long until someone on television points out that during the shutdown...
The folks in Washington are apparently doing at home what Washington has been accused of doing to the American people?
We’re guessing someone will say that on television, before long.”
The world's largest swimming pool
The world’s largest swimming pool, completed in 2006, is located at the San Alfonso del Mar resort in Algarrobo, Chile - and calling it big might be an understatement.
The pool, which is estimated to have cost more than $1 billion to construct, is 3,324 feet long, covering near 20 acres.
In fact, it is so enormous that it is called a “lagoon,” equivalent to about 6,000 standard-size 26 foot long pools, according to GizMag.
The pool features depths of up to 115 feet and in the summer temperatures can reach near 80 degrees. It holds the Guinness world record for the largest swimming pool in the world.
According to GizMag, the pool is able to work by collecting, filtering and circulating sea-water. The upkeep costs roughly $4 million annually.
Biochmeist and founder of Crystal Lagoons, Fernando Fischmann, boasted that his company has built “an impressive artificial paradise.”
“As long as we have access to unlimited seawater, we can make it work, and it causes no damage to the ocean,” he reportedly said.
FBI's billion dollar Facial Recognition falls short... not as good as Facebook's
The technology used to help tag your friends in Facebook photos - is more accurate than the FBI’s new billion dollar facial recognition system - that’s supposed to help track down bad guys.
That’s according to a test run done by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a tech industry trade group, which found that the FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) system was only 85 percent accurate -
Compared to Facebook’s system, that works 97 percent of the time, The Verge first reported.
The FBI’s system matched a suspect’s photo with the wrong name, about one in seven times.
To be sure, the experts stress caution when comparing Facebook’s database of 250 billion photos to the FBI’s database of 50 million.
Still, that’s a pretty big problem for a facial recognition system... that the FBI has said is supposed to be faster and more accurate than police lineups.
Shahar Belkin, CTO of FST Biometrics, told The Verge that the problem with the FBI’s system is mainly the quality of the pictures the government is using.
These systems typically require photos with people facing forward “no more than 15 degrees off the center axis.”
Mug shots, for example, will work, but if the FBI is using the system to identify criminals through surveillance cameras, it’s going to be more difficult to get an accurate read out.
People have raised concerns about the program’s accuracy for years.
In 2010, a government auditor reported that the FBI’s facial recognition technology could fail up to 20 percent of the time, The National Journal reported.
And inaccuracies aren’t the only problems critics have with the FBI’s new technology.
Just last month... at least 30 civil rights groups sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking the Justice Department to do an audit of the FBI’s facial-recognition database.
They said the program poses privacy risks to American citizens and expressed concern over whether it has been properly vetted.
"The capacity of the FBI to collect and retain information, even on innocent Americans, has grown exponentially," the letter said.
"It is essential for the American public to have a complete picture of all the programs and authorities the FBI uses to track our daily lives, and an understanding of how those programs affect our civil rights and civil liberties."
FBI Director James Comey told Congress last month - that the agency will not be collecting and storing photos of average citizens.
"Americans have spent enough money on a broken plane... to buy every homeless person a mansion."
That's right. The F-35 program, notorious for its delays, cost overruns, and production of a horrible, horrible aircraft, has now reached a staggering $398.6 billion.
Divide that figure by the number of homeless Americans living on the streets on any given night -- about 600,000 -- and that comes out at a $664,000 home per homeless person.
Highlighting issues of government absurdity. It's not just Obama pissing our money away - it's what big government does.
Glad we as a nation have our priorities straight!
Irish students cover the "Cup Song" ... in this amazing cappella performance
"You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone," also know as the "Cup Song" has been around for a while, you've never heard it like this.
Dozens of Irish students sing in their native Gaelic language. If you love a cappella, you'll love this!
Watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nFtfk0bZVRM
by Floyd Floydson
my name was chosen
by my parents
before I came
and after birth
a note was bound
at my toe what a shame
called my name
and my heart beats
but I was a human
without an ID-card
also when I fall asleep
is not my passport
not my name
not my land
not what I write
with my free hands
is not my color
not my size
not my language
or my character
even not my price
My identity is not my dental filling
my eye color
or my hair
not my fingerprint
my job or my salary
is given by state
where I am
even to find me
paying no toll
But my own
identity is my life
are my parents
is my wife
are my children
and my friends
the promised land...
the playground of my soul.
DrumPants... put a whole band in your pocket and you become the musical instrument
Ever catch yourself drumming on your legs? DrumPants, a wearable musical kit that launched a Kickstarter push Monday, turns your gams into a full band with 100-plus sounds.
We probably don't need to point out that the product also invites a whole host of
brilliant infantile jokes, which we'll get out of the way up front.
Jokes aside, DrumPants really do let wearers compose and play music anywhere they want.
But the wearable sensor strips in the kit can be attached and removed easily from any clothing, meaning a shirt, jacket, dress, or skirt can also be turned into a mobile instrument.
"We want to give everyone the ability to create and capture music whenever inspiration strikes, even if you're on a bus, hiking Yosemite, etc.," the creator of DrumPants say.
Using the control box that comes with the system, each sensor can be programmed to play more than 100 built-in sounds, including drums, synthesizers, guitars, and pianos (users can also add their own sounds).
Wearers even get the functionality of a looping pedal built into their shoe.
Notes and signals can be sent wirelessly from the DrumPants to any app that supports MIDI or OSC.
Co-founder and inventor Tyler Freeman -- who has worked as a freelance software developer for Google, Adobe, BandPage, and the Smithsonian -- first invented DrumPants as a prank...
But went on to refine the product's functionality while working on an MFA in digital arts and new media from UC Santa Cruz.
"I'm a drummer, my friends are drummers," he says.
"I see people who are drumming on their pants all the time, on their steering wheel, and I figured they should be able to make real music that way." Website: http://www.drumpants.com/
77 percent of Americans identify as Christian
Theists, Atheists and the real meaning of "The Establishment Clause"
Clint Dempsey, U.S. soccer star, received a lot of attention for both his footwork and his faith on the World Cup field.
Devoted and ideologically aligned fans cheer on Dempsey and other Christian stars such as Tim Tebow and Phil Robertson, which is unusual.
I’m not questioning why these God-focused fans speak out in favor of their idols’ beliefs, but why they fall silent when the First Amendment comes under fire.
One such issue is the push to remove God from the Pledge of Allegiance, and our currency.
The “Freedom From Religion Foundation,” argues that the Constitution forbids all government actions that unduly favor one religion over another, or prefer religion to non-religion.
FFRF has misread the constitution: Freedom from religion is not a constitutional right. The First Amendment says, plain and simple:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
In other terms, government cannot set a state religion or discriminate against those who don’t practice a religion. The FRRF is correct about that much.
However, the government also can’t stop you from talking about or practicing your religion.
It certainly can’t remove all semblance of religion from the public sphere, so that those who are offended by religion never have to see or think about it.
That would prohibit free exercise.
The push for freedom from religion is especially ludicrous... when you take into account the fact that 77 percent of Americans identify as Christian, and only 2.4 percent as atheist.
And not all atheists are bothered by religion either: many point to a smaller culture of anti-theism, that seeks to dismantle religion altogether.
So how does such a microscopically small group make so much noise about an issue where they are a blatantly outnumbered?
They used the "Establishment Clause" to wrestle control of the microphone, and most religious Americans don’t realize that the "Establishment Clause" actually protects them from this exact situation.
God is certainly a religious topic, and currency and the Pledge are both state-related things. However, the FFRF ignores a critical part of the "Establishment Clause" in their argument:
It prohibits the government from promoting non-religion over religion, and maintains that the government can make laws that affect religion as long as the main purpose of the legislation is secular.
Here is an example:
In 1954, all non-for-profit charity organizations were given tax-exempt status, including churches. This did not sit well with one Fredrick Waltz, who sued the Tax Commission of New York City.
In 1969, Waltz argued that by not taxing churches, the government was favoring religion.
The Supreme Court disagreed, and upheld their decision two years later in the Lemon v. Kurtzman case.
The justices’ rationale... was that the tax-exempt status was for all charity organizations, and that any influence it had on the church was secondary.
In other words, a law that has a religious side effect, so to speak, is still okay.
As it turns out, having God in the Pledge and on our money actually is a consequence of secular policy.
Eisenhower added, “One nation, under God,” to the Pledge of Allegiance during the Cold War, after Soviet Russia’s unilateral ban on all religion.
This phrase was an expansion of our religious liberty, setting the United States apart as a country that would forever allow their citizens to practice the faith of their choosing.
The addition of “In God We Trust,” to our currency, was implemented by Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase...
Who wanted to make sure that if the nation fell apart during the Civil War, people would look back and see the United States as a country of religious freedom.
These policies didn’t promote one religion over another; they re-stated everyone’s First Amendment rights.
But the FFRF's push to remove God from the Pledge and our currency - would show blatant government promotion of non-religion over religion.
If you still think this technicality might promote religion, consider this:
Removing God from the Pledge and currency definitely promotes non-religion by striking down the concept of irrefutable religious liberty that the U.S. was trying to promote when it implemented these policies.
The "Establishment Clause" is on the side of religion here - not progressives.
Armed with this information, it’s time for the crowd to get loud, and stop taking direction from a minuscule fraction of the population.
Just because atheists are in the minority doesn’t mean we need to give up our own rights to protect them. Throughout our history, we’ve never been able to do right by the whole population.
Look at the way the nation was divided on landmark civil rights issues:
• 29 percent of the United States opposed abolition at the time of its implementation (not including states that didn’t secede from the union) but the dissenting opinion was hurting the liberties of the slaves.
• 46 percent of the United States opposed women’s suffrage at the time of its implementation, but the dissenting opinion was hurting the liberties of women.
• 28 percent of the Eastern United States, 39 percent of the Midwest, 23 percent of the West, and 80 percent of the South all opposed desegregation of schools at the time of its implementation...
But the dissenting – sometimes even overwhelming – opinion was hurting African Americans.
These are more than just statistics: millions of people were loosing their basic rights. In all these places, a sizable chunk of the population fought against liberty, and advocates of freedom were never silent.
But now, a fraction of 2.4 percent of the country is calling the shots when it comes to how Christians express their faith.
That isn’t democracy looking out for the minority, that’s an oligarchy commanding the majority.
If abolitionists, suffragists and equal rights advocates had been silent to appease their counterparts, countless liberties we know today would have been lost.
Tolerance is a two-way street, and Christians need to speak out for their religious freedom – that is actually protected by the Establishment Clause, not the other way around –
Because only listening to the group who complains the loudest... is a dangerous precedent.
Timing of crash
Lawyer: “You were there when the accident occurred?”
Witness: “Yes sir, I was there.”
Lawyer: “Would you mind telling the judge which vehicles were involved in the mishap?”
Witness: “Both were state buses.”
Lawyer: “How did the accident happen?”
Witness: “They were coming from the opposite directions and crashed into each other head on.”
Lawyer: “Did you notice which bus crashed into which bus first?”
Witness: “They crashed into each other at the same time?”
Germany is your World Cup champions, ladies and gentlemen. The winning German soccer team received a congratulatory phone call from Angela Merkel. Of course we know this because we're still bugging her phone. -- David Letterman
People are going to see the new "Planet of the Apes" movie. It's in 3-D, and it is so realistic you can barely see the zippers on the backs of the monkey suits. -- David Letterman
The new "Planet of the Apes" movie is more fun than a barrel full of people. -- David Letterman
LeBron James is going back to Cleveland. In return Cleveland released five Taliban prisoners. -- David Letterman
Yesterday was the big World Cup final between Germany and Argentina. And if you caught only the last couple of minutes of the game, don't worry — you saw the whole thing. -- Jimmy Fallon
The World Cup is finally over. In other words, bars are about to start showing sports that make sense again. -- Jimmy Fallon
Congratulations, my German friends. They are World Cup champions. People in Germany were going nuts, firing guns into the air, marching up and down the streets. Then they heard about the World Cup win. -- Craig Ferguson
Germans haven't been this excited since the release of the last David Hasselhoff album. They haven't been this excited since Oktoberfest included an all-you-can-eat wiener buffet. -- Craig Ferguson
Piers Morgan is being replaced on CNN by Anthony Bourdain. I hope I'm not punished with a job on CNN. -- Craig Ferguson
According to a new report, there is a shrine in Japan solely dedicated to hemorrhoids. Seating is limited, but usually available. -- Seth Meyers
The Orange County Fair in California has started selling bacon-wrapped churros, fried in bacon fat and filled with a half shot of Jack Daniels. I hear they are simply to die of. -- Seth Meyers
"America... Imagine a World without Her" ... a must see film
Sadly, most Americans don't know about the history of America.
Our schools have done a poor job of educating our children.
Add to that the deliberate false propaganda that the liberal teacher's union and the liberal media are feeding them... it's no wonder our country is being destroyed from within.
We need to re-awaken the spirit of the citizens... the spirit that America is a great country, capable of doing great things.
America is exceptional - and the Obama presidency is a cancer on our well being.
Watch the video: "Soaring Over America": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Cy176ub5TU&feature=player_embedded
Watch the trailer: "" America " Controversial 2016 : Obama's America": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_omZFqaybMw&feature=player_embedded
Dinesh D'Souza's excellent film "America" ... gets an A+ rating!
Congratulations to Dinesh D’Souza’s “America,” noting that the movie received an “impressive” A+ rating from CinemaScore.
Here’s a closer look at what that A+ score means — and the quite rare and top-drawer company “America” now joins because of it.
CinemaScore folks head to movie houses in five or six cities across the United States every Friday night and ask patrons to assign letter grades to the movie they’ve just watched, according to the Hollywood Reporter...
Adding that the results “serve as a fairly reliable indicator of whether a film will fly or fizzle.”
“CinemaScore is definitely one of the tools we use to evaluate playability,” Chris Aronson, senior vice president domestic distribution at 20th Century Fox, told the Reporter.
(His company’s ”Rise of the Planet of the Apes” is benefiting from an A- CinemaScore rating.)
So an A- is nothing to sneeze at… but an A+? That’s the brass ring.
In the last 29 years, only 52 films have received an A+ from CinemaScore, including seven Oscar Best Picture winners:
“Gandhi,” “Driving Miss Daisy,” “Dances With Wolves,” “Schindler’s List,” “Forrest Gump,” “Titanic,” and “The King’s Speech.”
The Reporter added that an A+ typically “signals a long, prosperous theatrical run.”
• After the D’Souza’s first movie "Obama’s America 2016," as I was walking out of the theater, something told me to ask the elderly folks that sat in the front row in the theater, how they like the movie. They Loved It!!
• The entire theater stood and clapped after the movie. Awesome!!!
• We saw it today. An instant classic. I wish everyone would see it. I suspect that only those who get it will watch it, unfortunately.
• It’s a great movie… if you know anyone under 35, be sure they see it. There is so much young people don’t know about our history.
Obama's corrupt agenda is the problem
A survey released just last week found that confidence in all three branches of government has fallen. Again.
In fact, confidence in the Supreme Court is now at a record low (30%) and confidence in Congress is also at a record low -- a pitiful 7%. (GASP!). Yup, we're talking single digits here.
Confidence in the presidency, meanwhile, is at a six-year low (29%).
With results like these, you may not be surprised to learn that government itself is regarded by Americans - as the most important problem facing the country.
More than the economy. More than jobs and unemployment. More than healthcare or terrorism…
Government is not a problem -- government is the problem. More specifically - the Obama regime is the cancer within!
How did we get here?
We've drifted from the vision of what America was supposed to be.
But what was this vision? What were the values America was supposed to embody?
This is the topic taken up in best-selling author Bill Bonner and Pierre Lemieux's book, The Idea of America: What It Was and How It Was Lost.
The book features some great essays on what America means. Its revolutionary ideals, the role of decentralized and limited government, the importance of self-reliance and liberty…
Bonner and Lemieux have carefully selected a wide range of well-known classics - while also including a number of unappreciated works too.
Thomas Paine… Lord Acton… Alexis de Tocqueville… Henry David Thoreau… Mark Twain… H.L. Mencken…. Murray Rothbard… They're all in there.
No one less than Ron Paul said of the book: "I highly recommend The Idea of America to anyone interested in the animating spirit of America's origins…
After reading these essays, I think readers will find themselves both enlightened and angry about the state of our republic today."
Your almond habit and a water shortage... are sucking California dry
California farmers will reap a record 2.1 billion pounds of almonds this year, the USDA estimates - three times as much as they did in 2000.
That's great news for the world's growing horde of almond eaters, because the state's groves supply 80 percent of the global harvest.
California has been planting more and more almonds over the past two decades. But in the long term, the almond boom may prove bad news for everyone who relies on California's farms for sustenance.
You might have heard that the state, supplier of half of US-grown produce, is locked in its worst drought on record.
Meanwhile, it takes 1.1 gallons of water to produce a single almond, as my colleagues Alex Park and Julia Lurie have shown.
You don't have to scramble to figure how many almonds make up 2.1 billion pounds, to realize that that's a hell of a lot of water.
Where does it all come from, when the drought has forced the state to slash its allotments of groundwater to farms?
California farm country has been swept up in a drilling frenzy - farmers are dropping wells and drawing down the state's aquifers at rates much faster than they can be replenished.
The water rush has only intensified as the dry, hot summer has settled in, NPR recently reported. Its story depicts drilling-company workers toiling 12-hour days, seven days per week, to keep up with demand for new wells.
Remarkably, new almond groves - and the wells needed to make them productive - keep coming.
"Right where a brand new almond orchard will be planted, a drilling rig bores a hole in the earth 2,500 feet deep," the NPR piece reports. "All told, this well will cost the farmer about $1 million."
The ecological implications are potentially dire. In a huge swath of the almond-intensive San Joaquin Valley, the ground has literally been sinking by an average of 11 inches per year, a 2013 US Geological Survey study found.
The culprit: over-pumping of aquifers. Such subsidence, as its known, threatens vital infrastructure like bridges, roads, and irrigation canals.
"We're on a one-way trajectory toward depletion, toward running out of groundwater," Jay Famiglietti, a University of California hydrologist told NPR.
"So it's not unlike having several straws in a glass, and everyone drinking at the same time, and no one really watching the level."
Customer finds ridiculous loophole in Walmart price matching
Wal-Mart is well known for its aggressive price-matching policies.
So an Atlanta father was surprised to discover over the weekend, that the store wouldn't match the prices listed on its own website.
In a column for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Clark Howard wrote that he had gone to the store in search of a new Lego set for his son, and discovered that the price on the shelf was 35% higher than the one listed online.
When he asked a Wal-Mart employee about the discrepancy, he was told that the store doesn't match its online prices.
"So I had to buy it on Walmart.com and do the free pickup option in the store to get the lower price," Howard wrote.
"My son and I stood there and watched as a different employee came a few minutes later, picked the item up off the shelf, and brought it back to the holding spot for pickup."
But there was a catch to Howard's clever maneuver.
"Unfortunately, I didn't get the confirmation that it was available for pickup until the next day! So I had to go back the next day to pick it up!!
That's *not* good customer service," the father writes.
Wal-Mart states on its website that store managers are not required to match prices online - or those listed at other Wal-Mart stores — because the company is not competitive with itself.
"Prices may vary from store to store because each store is required to manage its own inventory," the website states.
"Therefore, a manager may lower a price to clear out an overstock item, to reward customers with an in-store sale, or to compete with local merchants.
It is not our policy to price match our own stores or our online service... since we are not in competition with ourselves."
Surprise of the dolphins
She planned to spend her day wakeboarding in the beautiful Sea of Cortez, but she never could have imagined what would happen next.
Dolphin Surfing in the Sea of Cortez with the crew from Pro-Windsurf La Ventana. This was definitely one of the TOP 3 afternoons of my LIFE!!!
Watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIF3PyPdQkM&feature=player_embedded
7 Day Free Trial @ Chemistry.com.
Thought for the day...
Cracking the Aging Code
You are living on the threshold of a new era. When historians look back, they will mark this as the point in time when life on this planet fundamentally changed.
Nobel Prize-winning research has solved the mystery of how we age. We now know a genetic program directed by the length of your telomeres controls how old your body acts.
You know by now that telomeres are tiny caps at the end of each strand of your DNA. Short telomeres are associated with a long list of age-related diseases including heart disease.
Many anti-aging experts and standard doctors missed this discovery. They’re not exposed to that kind of science.
Doctors practice what they learned in medical school, and their continuing education is sponsored by special interest groups like pharmaceutical companies.
As an anti-aging specialist, I had an idea early on what the discovery of the telomere and telomerase (the enzyme that rebuilds the telomere) would mean for the world.
You see, we didn’t just discover the aging mechanism. We found ways to intervene in the mechanism and maintain the health of telomeres.
One part of that is telomerase. In humans, telomerase production is turned off when you’re an adult. But you can turn it back on.
People are often surprised when I tell them about some of the nutrients that can have a big effect on telomerase in your cells.
Take magnesium as just one example. Magnesium preserves and repairs DNA. Not having enough increases oxidative stress and DNA damage. Both of those things can damage your telomeres.
A new study shows just how important magnesium is to telomerase.
Studies show that people who die from heart disease have low magnesium. So a group of researchers at the State University of New York’s Medical Center looked into how magnesium affects the heart.
And, low magnesium also caused markers for free radical damage to DNA to increase. That’s like a double hit.
Not only did magnesium deficiency reduce telomerase, it also caused telomeres to shorten at the same time.
Why is that important? People who have heart attacks have significantly shorter telomeres. One study found an alarming increase in heart attack risk. People with the shortest telomeres had an increased risk between 280% and 320%!
In a study published in the prestigious journal The Lancet, researchers also found an association between short telomeres and atherosclerosis.
Deficiency of heart-healthy minerals like magnesium in today’s world is almost an epidemic. About 80% of Americans are deficient. A standard Western diet gives you less than 30% of the bare minimum of what you need.
Eating more magnesium-rich foods is linked to longer telomeres. One delicious way to increase magnesium is with dark chocolate. It contains about 176 mg in just three ounces. I recommend it have at least 70% cacao.
Leafy greens like kale, spinach, and Swiss chard are also rich sources. Other good choices include quinoa, lentils, almonds, sesame seeds, and spirulina.
But even if you eat plenty of those foods, you might not be getting enough. Modern farming methods have depleted the soil of magnesium. And taking medications, even over-the-counter ones, can leech the magnesium out of you.
You have a few choices with magnesium because there are many forms, so let me try to clear up some of the confusion. I recommend taking 600 to 1,000 mg per day.
Take it with vitamin B6. It will increase the amount of magnesium that accumulates in your cells.
However, be careful of the cheap magnesium supplements you find on store shelves. They often have impurities, and most are magnesium oxide. It’s the most difficult for your body to absorb.
I would also avoid magnesium glutamate. It breaks down into glutamic acid. That’s an excitotoxin and has bad side effects in your brain and nervous system.
If you’re currently in good health, look for the glycinate form. It combines magnesium with the amino acid glycine so it’s easily absorbed. If you can’t get that, look for it bound to citrate or chloride.
However, for better heart and telomere health, use magnesium taurate. It combines magnesium with the heart’s most abundant free amino acid, taurine.
It may help prevent arrhythmias and protect the heart against the damage caused by heart attacks.
Foreword to the book... "The Idea of America"
America never was a nation in the usual sense of the word.
Though there are plenty of exceptions -- especially among the made-up nations of former European colonies --
Nations are usually composed of groups of people who share common blood, a common culture, and a common language.
Americans mostly speak English, but they might just as well speak Spanish.
And at the debut of the republic, the Founding Fathers narrowly avoided declaring German the official language -- at least that is the legend.
A Frenchman has to speak French. A German has to speak the language of the Vaterland. But an American could speak anything. And often does.
Nor is there even a common history. The average immigrant didn't arrive until the early twentieth century.
By then, America's history was already three centuries old. The average family missed the whole thing.
If Americans weren't united by blood, history, religion, or language -- what else is left? Only an idea: that you could come to America and be whatever you wanted to be.
You might have been a bog-trotter in Ireland or a baron in Silesia; in America, you were free to become whatever you could make of yourself.
"Give me liberty or give me death!" said Patrick Henry, raising the rhetorical stakes and praying no one would call him on it.
Yet the average man at the time lived in near-perfect freedom. There were few books and few laws on them.
And there were fewer people to enforce them.
Henry, if he wanted to do so, could have merely crossed the Blue Ridge west of Charlottesville and never seen another government agent again.
Thomas Jefferson complained, in the Declaration of Independence, that Britain had "erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harrass our People and eat out their Substance."
Yet the swarms of officers sent by George III would have barely filled a mid-sized regional office of the IRS or city zoning department today.
Likewise, the Founding Fathers kvetched about taxation without representation. But history has shown that representation only makes taxation worse.
Kings, emperors, and tyrants must keep tax rates low; otherwise, the people rise in rebellion.
It is democrats who really eat out the substance of the people: The illusion of self-government lets them get away with it.
Tax rates were only an average of 3% under the tyranny of King George III.
Among the dubious blessings of democracy are average tax rates that are 10 times as high.
"Americans today," wrote Rose Wilder Lane in 1936, after the Lincoln administration had annihilated the principle of self-government...
But before the Roosevelt team had finished its work -- "are the most reckless and lawless of peoples."
But, she immediately continued, "we are also the most imaginative, the most temperamental, the most infinitely varied."
But by the end of the twentieth century , Americans were required to wear seatbelts and they ate low-fat yogurt without a gun to their heads.
By the beginning of the twenty-first century, they were submitting to strip searches at airport terminals and demanding higher taxes to protect freedom.
The recklessness seems to have been bred out of them. And the variety, too. North, south, east, and west, people all wear the same clothes and cherish the same ideas.
Liberty has been hollowed out in modern America, but it is still worshipped as though it were a religious relic.
This Week's Government Goofs & Goofballs
An Independent & unbiased accounting of our government & political mischief
Obama strikes out... foreign policy disaster
President Obama has described his foreign-policy doctrine as an attempt to hit singles, doubles and the occasional home run.
But at this stage of the game, it looks as though he has popped out, grounded into a double play and been hit by a pitch.
His attorney general, Eric Holder, said Sunday that the threat of undetectable explosives from Syria is “more frightening than anything” he has experienced in office.
And the Wall Street Journal ran a front-page article Monday reporting that “the breadth of global instability now unfolding hasn’t been seen since the late 1970s” and that “U.S. global power seems increasingly tenuous.”
The Journal’s catalogue of Obama blunders and woes -
• Civil wars in Iraq and Syria.
• Hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians.
• An electoral crisis in Afghanistan...
• Tension with Russia over Ukraine.
• Floundering nuclear negotiations with Iran.
• Renewed Chinese expansionism...
• Didn’t include the current crisis on the United States’ Southern border.
Could things get any worse?
Well, maybe if the president’s chief spokesman claimed that Obama was bringing “tranquility” to the globe? -
Which is what White House press secretary Josh Earnest did at his daily briefing Monday afternoon?
Fox News’s Ed Henry, citing the Journal report, asked for a reaction to “the notion that the president is a bystander in all these crises.”
Earnest, mentioning the disposal of Syria’s chemical weapons, Secretary of State John Kerry’s mediation of Afghanistan’s electoral dispute and progress in recent negotiations with China...
Argued that “there have been a number of situations in which you’ve seen this administration intervene in a meaningful way that has ... substantially improved the - you know, the tranquility of the — of the global community.”
Tranquility? Where, in Iceland?
The Obama administration is oblivious... and dangerous!
How much surveillance can we accept?
Three months after Edward Snowden's leaks began to reveal the extent of the U.S.' mass surveillance program, "serious people" are beginning to make the case that it's time for the outrage and indignation to subside...
And give way to a "national conversation" about the future of surveillance. So has the moment come for us to consider how much surveillance we can accept?
The national debate we're supposed to have is routinely framed as one about choosing how much privacy and liberty to give up in exchange for security...
Not about whether such a trade-off is necessary at all.
"It's important to understand that you can't have 100% security and then have 100% privacy and zero inconvenience. We're going to have to make some choices as a society," President Obama has said.
And echoing him, former NSA director Michael Hayden last month said, "The question is how much of your privacy and your convenience and your commerce do you want your nation's security apparatus to squeeze in order to keep you safe. And it is a choice that we have to make."
But do we really have to make that choice?
When he was running for president, Obama criticized the Bush administration for "putting forward a false choice - between the liberties we cherish and the security we provide" - when it came to illegal wiretapping.
Civil libertarians tend to agree with Sen. Obama, which is why we have not been interested in engaging in compromise.
Instead, we're more interested in addressing the abuses that have been revealed, and in ending the bulk collection of data, as Reps. Amash and Conyers and Sens. Wyden and Udall have suggested.
To many in the intelligentsia, though, those are not "serious proposals" worthy of our "national conversation."
Because civil libertarians won't play within the liberty-versus-security frame, we are called to task for not being constructive or for being naïve.
Probably the most thoughtful argument for moving past the question of whether we should have mass surveillance programs...
And instead focusing on the question of how they are to be run, comes from Thomas Rid, a reader in war studies at King's College London and author of the excellent new book Cyber War Will Not Take Place.
"Suggesting that all secrecy is bad is plainly naive," Rid recently wrote in Slate.
"Instead, there is a moral case to be made for open democracies to have the most capable intelligence agencies, operating lawfully with robust oversight mechanisms. No liberal mind can want the NSA to sit in Beijing or Moscow."
The NSA may have overstepped its bounds, Rid concedes, but that's an argument for better oversight, not for shutting down bulk data collection altogether, which would hand over an advantage to the U.S.' geopolitical rivals.
"Spies cannot drive this debate. Neither will governments, for fear of stoking a fire and provoking even more revelations," Rid argues.
"It is, therefore, the responsibility of intellectuals and public experts - to add balance and nuance to a shrill debate."
Assuming for a moment that we are, indeed, going to have a mass surveillance program at the end of the day, what would it take to get libertarians to engage in a serious discussion of its reach?
I told him it would take at least two things.
First... there would have to be consequences for those who abused our trust.
For example, director of national intelligence James Clapper point-blank lied to Congress and the American people, and yet he hasn't been fired.
If the DNI can lie to Congress and get away with it, what is the point of debating the kind of oversight to which he will be subject?
The same goes for NSA Director Keith Alexander, who has presided over an agency that has engaged in systematic illegalities and has misled courts, Congress, and the American people about those abuses.
As long as these men remain unpunished, civil libertarians will have little faith that a system of oversight can work.
Second... before civil libertarians can be expected to consider compromise, they will have to believe that their interlocutors, especially in the administration and the NSA, are operating in good faith.
As it is, we were deceived about the existence and extent of these programs, so why should we trust the president's sincerity when he says that he "welcomes the debate"?
Indeed, he's continued to give us every reason to question it.
How can we be expected to engage with a president... that promises to convene an independent panel of "outside experts" to review the government's surveillance programs - and then proceeds to stack it with insiders?
And how can we trust that very panel... when at its first meeting, it segregates civil libertarians from other interested parties and then only some panel members attend the separate meeting?
Maybe there is a case to be made that abolishing bulk data collection outright is against our national interest and that we need to figure out how to efficiently trade privacy for security, subject to robust oversight.
But until there are good reasons to trust both the oversight mechanisms and the processes for their formulation...
"Serious people" can't seriously expect civil libertarians to entertain the idea.