gop

I know I know. The GOP couldn’t care less what I think, say or do. That has become abundantly clear in recent years. I’m one of those “crazy people” they hate to see at their town hall events. I’m one of those people who, unlike most elected Republicans, believe in their stated party platform. I’m one of those people who actually believes the Constitution has meaning and should be used as a guide when casting votes. I’m one of those people who believe the federal government has three simple, very limited tasks and nothing more.

1) Protect our rights
2) Defend our nation against foreign invasion
3) Regulate inter-state commerce (Keep it regular)

The federal government has completely failed on all three. Not only has it failed, it has actually become the enemy of all three. The federal government now aids in the constant violation of our rights, it now funds and directs a foreign invasion at our borders, and there is zero ability to conduct inter-state commerce without hurdles and roadblocks… all established by government. Continue reading →

Supreme Court

America used to be the land of the free and home of the brave. Unfortunately, today we’re land of the mandates of home of the lunatics. I say lunatics because several members of the Supreme Court, the highest court in America, have basically told American businesses that if they don’t like Obamacare forcing them to pay for something that goes against their beliefs, they can choose to pay the tax instead.

Why is this lunacy? Because by paying the tax, you’re still funding someone else’s healthcare. And under the (Un)Affordable Healthcare Act, those plans your tax pays for must include contraception.

Here’s what the justices said.

Other points made by the female justices:

Justice Sotomayor: how can courts know whether a corporation holds a religious belief? And what if it’s just the beliefs of the leadership, not the entire company? What happens to a non-religious minority in a corporation?

Justice Sotomayor and Justice Kagan asked: Because nobody is forcing Hobby Lobby or Conestoga to provide health insurance, they can simply pay the tax penalty instead.
Justice Kagan: women are “quite tangibly harmed” when employers don’t provide contraceptive coverage.

These justices are surely capable of knowing full well what they are saying is that no matter what, Christians are being forced by the government to pay for something that goes against their religious beliefs. If they aren’t then there must be some sort of mental illness keeping them from being capable of seeing the truth of what they’re saying.

I swear the more news I read these days, the more I feel like we’re living in the twilight zone.

chicago-at-night

I currently live in Virginia, but still consider myself a Chicagoan at heart. I love the city… the energy, the weather (Yes, I love Chicago winters!), the food, the environment and the sports. I can’t for the life of me, though, figure out why most Chicagoans blindly vote against their own best interests.

Illinois government, dominated by leftist Chicago politicians (looters), is arguably one of the most irresponsible governing bodies in the country. The state is headed towards absolute fiscal disaster and the only think state government seems willing to do is increase taxes.

Here’s part the problem with that.

The number of Illinoisans enrolled in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, remained above 2 million in September. This is the 12thmonth in a row enrollment has remained above 2 million people.

That means one-sixth of Illinoisans have spent more than a year relying on government handouts for their next meal.

And it should be no surprise that so many Illinoisans are on food stamps when the state is clearly better at enrolling citizens in government programs than it is at encouraging job creation.

Illinois has 5.8 million nonfarm payroll jobs today, only 9,500 more than it did in September 2003. Over the same period, food stamp enrollment doubled from 1 million to more than 2 million Illinoisans.

You read that right. For the 12th month in a row food stamp enrollment has remained above 2,000,000 people!

How’s that hopey changey thing working out for ya?

apple-gold

We knew Apple heavily relied on Steve Jobs. What we didn’t know, or at least I didn’t know, is that Apple would instantly become mediocre as it pivoted beyond the iPhone 5 model.

As a long time Apple fan it pains me to write this, but I’m extremely disappointed with yesterday’s iPhone event. Disappointed to the point of actually considering a direction outside of Apple with my next phone purchase.

Let me explain…

The devices announced, in and of themselves, only present half of my frustration with Apple. The fact that almost every rumor out there turned out to be true, with ZERO additional ‘surprises’ added was the other half. You see, for years Apple has been a point of intrigue, mystery and shocking innovation. Yes, product details have always leaked, but never have ALL of the product details leaked. Apple used to pride itself for being a close-lipped company that would having everyone at the edge of their seats on announcement day. This is no longer the case as we learned absolutely nothing we didn’t already know in yesterday’s iPhone event.

I don’t know if it’s a matter of Apple having lost its ability to innovate, making it necessary to generate buzz by leaking the few features/upgrades coming to get attention, or if the company just doesn’t really care about the mystery of its new products anymore. Either way, Apple isn’t as intriguing as it used to be. It no longer has that elite feel it used to come with as an embraced brand.

The other half, as mentioned above, is the product. I’m quite stunned that Apple would have an event to announce to the world such a flop of an upgrade to its iPhone 5 model. I’ve patiently waited this entire year for something better than an iPhone 5. I’ve sat on my iPhone 4s, dealing with its low battery life and bogged down processor, waiting for that next great ‘s’ model to come along and get me into a new 2 year contract.

Truth is, I now find myself wondering if I should just upgrade to a regular iPhone 5 with bigger storage or leave iPhone all together. The ONLY notable changes, for me personally, are the faster processor and the claimed better battery life. iOS7 is something I can get on a 4s or a 5. The fingerprint scanner? After all the NSA scandal madness I want nothing to do with this feature/function.

And truth is I’m not that impressed with iOS7. The purple/green look is just a little odd to me. And the translucent feel reminds me of Windows 7.

windows7

Then there is the iPhone 5c. I know it stands for color, but the vast majority of the media/analyst world looked at this model as a cheaper device that could compete on a global scale. Truth is, the iPhone 5c is nothing more than a plastic version of the iPhone 5, and now at the exact same price.

Slate has more.

This year was supposed to be different. For months now, analysts have speculated that Apple would finally do what many observers (including yours truly) have long called on it to do—to diversify its iPhone lineup. The logic seemed obvious. Samsung, Apple’s fiercest rival, has beencleaning up in developing markets like India and China by offering models that cater to every market niche, from the low end to the high end. By making a new phone that sold for around $300 to $400 without a carrier subsidy—which is how many people in developing markets buy phones—Apple would be able to compete for price-conscious phone buyers, creating a whole new class of iPhone users who currently can’t afford Apple’s shiny baubles.

But today, Apple whiffed. At the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., CEO Tim Cook did unveil two new iPhones rather than just one. But neither of these phones is the cheap iPhone that people had been predicting. Indeed, Apple didn’t really change its pricing strategy in any meaningful way. Across the globe, it will still be charging the same for its phones as it always has. It’s not a stretch to say that instead of a good price, Apple is now offering budget-conscious consumers around the world a strange deal: OK, the iPhone isn’t any cheaper than it used to be. But hey, look, it comes in lots of colors! Colors! Even pink! How will you be paying?

Going back to iPhone 5s, my final complaint is the three available color schemes for the hardware. Why on earth would they scrap the all white model? Who thought that would be a good idea and under what logic did such a decision occur?

Bottom line… I have an iPhone 4s that is starting to act up. I need a new phone and I’m not convinced I want an iPhone 5s… so what am I to do?

Sorry Apple, but for this Apple fan… yesterday was an embarrassment.

carly-rae-jepsen

It really doesn’t get much worse than this.

fb-obamaThis update will explain to you how Facebook is openly censoring shared content that stands in opposition to the views of its employees.

Chew on the words written here. This might help you in the future as Facebook begins to hammer down opposing views on a wider scale.

Hi Eric,

A member of our team accidentally removed something you posted on Facebook. This was a mistake, and we sincerely apologize for this error. We’ve since lifted the block in which you were enrolled, and you should have no further holds on your account.

Thanks for understanding,

Phyllis
User Operations
Facebook

The above is an email I received from Facebook last week. We’ll discuss the email shortly, but first let’s run through what happened and why the email was sent to me.

Last week I wrote (At LibertyNEWS.com) about an incident that occurred on Facebook. The social media giant not only removed a link that I shared from my own timeline, they removed it from everyone else’s timeline as well. Worse, Facebook employees banned me for a day for sharing it.

What did I share that warranted such an action? A story from MenRec.com that basically quoted a story from Huffington Post. And while the story at Huffington Post was shared thousands of times with no problems, Facebook employees apparently had a problem with a few lines added as commentary to the story when it was quoted on MenRec.com.

Click here to read MenRec.com’s post.

Here’s the quote that came from Huffington Post.

Texas Women: Stop Having Sex With Men Who Vote Against Your Best Interests

As a native Texan, and someone who has survived 100-plus-degree temperatures for many summers, I can tell you, this summer in Texas is surely going to be hotter than usual. Sultry, sweaty summers can be made much nicer when good old-fashioned sex is part of the picture. But women, take heed: Don’t give in if your man, boyfriend, husband, toyboy is not voting for your best interests, your reproductive health — do not sleep with that man! I don’t care how cute or charming he is! I don’t care if he is your husband of many years. Resist! Go swimming! Meditate!

Do not make him dinner, do not go fetch him a cold beer from the fridge, do not iron that shirt, hell, do not change that diaper… do not make his life a little nicer this summer if he does not “get it” and learn to respect women! Instead, volunteer some time for senators like Wendy Davis, go with a group of women to Austin and make your voices heard. Get on the computer and the social networks and organize.

Remember that you live in a state where it would not be unusual (and I have seen it) to see a bumper sticker on a pickup truck which reads, “My Wife Yes, My Dog Maybe, My Gun Never.” Remember what happened last time when a Texas good ole boy governor took that patriarchy all the way to become President of the United States. Stop the damage now and take back Texas.

MenRec.com added the follow before the quote.

I’m sure the fact that abstaining from sex is exactly the way to prevent any need for an abortion, is completely lost on this woman.

No sex means, no killing babies, means no argument from pro-lifers.  Genius!

And the following after it.

“Do not make him dinner, do not go fetch him a cold beer from the fridge, do not iron that shirt, hell, do not change that diaper”?

For a feminist, she sure is sexist.

Facebook employees clearly didn’t like the added commentary. The Facebook email at the top of this post says “a member of our team.” This in and of itself is damning. My initial thoughts were that a bunch of pro-abortion sheep reported the post I shared and Facebook had some sort of automatic system the blocked it (and me). The email confirms it was manually initiated by an actual employee of Facebook.

Here’s the part that really bugs me though. Facebook put out an official statement to Rusty Weiss over at MenRec.com.

As our team processes more than one million reports each week, we occasionally make a mistake. We worked to rectify the error as soon as we were notified. We apologize for the inconvenience caused due to the removal of this content, and we have already taken steps to prevent this from happening in the future. Additionally, we have removed any blocks on associated accounts.

Really? Facebook’s employees looked at that link, removed the content and banned the person who shared it… and it was just a simply mistake?

They claim they made a mistake, but the initial content that was removed was never republished. Meaning, while they claim they made a mistake and removed blocks from accounts, they stood by the removal of the content itself. Facebook effectively censored the counter commentary to the Huffington Post story.

You see how that works? Amazing, isn’t it?

P.S. For the record I believe this has nothing to do with free speech. Facebook is a for-profit company and do whatever it likes. But let’s not for a second pretend Facebook is a company without a personal political agenda.

This morning I weighed in at 224.5. That’s a half of a pound lost since yesterday and 9.5 total pounds lost since I began juice fasting on Monday, June 24, This after a total of eight full days of juice fasting.

Now I find when I get hungry I juice and my hunger is gone. Whereas, some of the people I work with leave for lunch and come back hungry several hours after. I’m often asked “won’t you starve” by someone who is hungry, when I am not. It’s amazing how the body really wants nutrients and actual substance, yet we constantly stuff it full of processed nonsense and pass it off as food.

I don’t really get hungry anymore, but I do get cravings. For example, yesterday I craved salty cashews all day long. Not sure where that came from, but I had cashews on my mind from the minute I woke to the minute I went to bed. I pressed on, though, and kept to my juice.

In short, I feel fantastic. My energy level is good, I continue to lose weight and I’m starting to see the tummy shrink.

In addition to my daily check-in, I wanted to toss out a note about my tea habits. For those who don’t know, I quit coffee cold-turkey back in February. It was about the same time that I moved away from processed food and I’ve never looked back. For the record, I drank coffee religiously for 16 years. I quit coffee because a) I felt I was becoming too addicted to it, and b) I wanted to find natural ways to produce energy. Long gone are the days of afternoon caffeine crashes. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

teaSince then I’ve really began to tinker with organic teas and love it. A bad habit that stuck with me, though, was sweetener. Now I did finally move from the pink and yellow packets to “Stevia in the raw” a couple months ago, but was still pumping my teas full of sweeteners of some sort.

The juice fast is helping me break that habit. Non-sweetened tea seems to be an acquired taste, but one I was certainly able to acquire. This is good because I feel a full detox should include the removal of sweeteners and other substances that might get in the way of what the fruit and veggies need to do.

I now drink about 30 ounces of unsweetened green tea and 50-60 ounces of water per day. I think that’s helping on the weight loss alongside the juicing.

 

cucumber-pear-pineIt’s early Monday morning so this post will be brief. I weighed in at 225 today, which is a full nine pounds dropped since the same time a week ago. Today is day eight of my juice fast and everything is going great!

Juice recipe note: This morning I threw a lime into the mix. Lime is a great counter to some of the stronger veggies, but if you do the peel (which I did) it will be really, REALLY potent. Next time I’ll do the lime without the peel. It’s just too bitter with it.

For anyone who cares, I drink about 60 ounces of juice a day during the juice fast. I drink from a 16 ounce cup and I have about four full cups a day. I then “try” to drink 60-80 ounces of water between juices.

Some people use a juicer each time they drink juice, others juice once per day and use mason jars for storage. I fit somewhere in the middle. I use the juicer twice a day and juice enough fruits and vegetables to generate about 30-35 ounces each time. I’ll store the second “dose” of juice in a jar and refrigerate it, but I try not to let it sit for more than three hours at a max.

The following is what I juice.

  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Kiwifood-juicing
  • Nectarines
  • Apricots
  • Grapes
  • Pears
  • Pineapple
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumber (2 grams of protein per 8 inches)
  • Sweet Potato (Mainly for the protein)
  • Carrot
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Red Cabbage

I cannot do celery, ginger or beet. These three are just too strong and overpower everything else. I just can’t do it.

Here are two of my favorite juices. You may have to tinker with them and the resulting amount of juice may vary depending on the size of your produce.

Recipe #1: 30-35 ounces

  1. Three pears
  2. Handful of grapes (green)
  3. Full stalk of broccoli (I juice it all…)
  4. Five carrots
  5. Good handfull of spinach
  6. Good handfull of kale
  7. An eight inch cucumber

I find the pear and grapes neutralize the kale, broccoli, spinach and cucumber. The cucumber will still be distinct, but smoother.

Recipe #2: 30-35 ounces

  1. Three apples
  2. Two nectarines
  3. Five carrots
  4. Two cucumbers
  5. Full stalk of broccoli
  6. Good handfull of kale

Similar veggie mix, but completely different overall flavor.

Also of note, some people do less fruits. I just can’t do it that way. If my juice becomes too heavy on the veggies I can’t drink it.

Anyway, tinker away and have fun with it!

juiceMy math was off on Facebook this morning, but the results are still great! Today is day seven of my juice fast. This morning I weighed in at 226, which is eight pounds less than last Monday morning when I weighed in at 234. The weight was lost in the course of six whole days.

How has the experience been so far? Well, here’s a briefing on each day to date.

Day 1: Non-eventful. I was at the office from 6:30 AM until 9:00 PM, so the day was a breeze in terms of juicing. One of my colleagues juices on a regular basis (he recently completed a successful 40 day juice fast) and he has a juicer at work. It’s hugely helpful having someone at work who understands it all, has been through it and is willing to juice along to help make it smoother.

Day one presented no hunger, no problems.

Day 2: Non-eventful again. I kind of got in the groove of cutting my fruits and veggies, and cleaning the juicer on Tuesday. Wasn’t hungry and did just fine.

Day 3: I follow a lot of people who either are juice fasting or recently completely (or failed at completing) a juice fast. Probably four out of five of them say day three was the toughest. For most people it seems as though day three is when the detox symptoms kick in. This was not the case for me. I felt perfectly fine physically on day three, but the one thing that made the day more difficult than the previous two days is the hunger. On Wednesday night I was feeling extremely hungry. I don’t know if it was authentic hunger or just my body, out of old habit, thinking it needing to be shoveling something solid into my mouth. But Wednesday night was a struggle.

Day 4: Day four I began to experience the “fog” that everyone talks about. A strange mental fog. In fact, I almost felt like I was seeing kinda foggy… that probably doesn’t make sense to you, but it definitely does to me. I began to feel a little different physically, like something was definitely going on with detoxing.

Thursday was also incredibly difficult on the hunger front. I felt the urge to eat pretty much all day. It progressively got worse as the day carried on and Thursday evening was downright awful.

I charged on though, and kept on juicing.

Day 5: Detox heavily kicked in Friday. It hit me like a hangover. I felt slow, tired, sneezy/sniffly, and had a headache all day and night.

I suppose I could have taken some Aleve or something, but I felt that by taking something that was concocted in a lab I would be somewhat cheating the natural process of detoxing my system. I just hunkered down and powered through it.

It’s weird to think/know that my body is releasing toxins and junk into my blood stream. Crap that I had eaten over the years and my body just stuck somewhere, unsure of what to do with it. It really sheds new perspective on what Americans eat throughout the day. There is really not much of substance in most of what you find in the average food joint, fast or dine-in. It’s all processed and loaded with toxins, and this is why our bodies can’t fight off sickness.

Anyway, Friday, day five, was by far the hardest day for me.

swordDay 6: Yesterday morning I woke up with a minor headache. I woke up around 6:30 AM, pounded a bottle of water I had next to the bed went back to sleep and woke up an hour later. At 7:30 I felt like… I would liken it to the moment when the kid pulled the sword from the stone in the old cartoon “Sword in the stone.”

I honestly don’t recall a day where I felt better than I did yesterday. Friday was the last of the hunger urges. I now hunger for juice, and when I drink it I’m full. Yesterday (Saturday) I felt great all day. No headaches, no fogginess, no aches, no sniffles, no hunger.

I decided to go for a pretty hard walk last night. I walked about as fast as I could for a good 50 minutes. I will admit that I was a bit spent at the end, but it was 10:40 PM so that was fine.

Also, because I live on the oceanfront my walk was down the boardwalk (Virginia Beach) and there were MANY tests along the way. I passed countless vendors for churros, hot dogs, sausage, ice cream, etc, and while I noted how absolutely delicious it all smelled, I was fine and not really wanting to eat any of it.

Day 7: This morning I feel the same as yesterday. Fantastic. And I’ve lost eight pounds over the past six days.

In summary, week one of my juice fast has been a success.

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