Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Flynn Guilty Plea is Not What Liberals Want To Believe It Is

Former Trump-administration national-security adviser Michael Flynn is expected to plead guilty today to lying to the FBI regarding his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the United States. 



Flynn, who is reportedly cooperating with the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller, is pleading guilty in federal district court in Washington, D.C., to a one-count criminal information (which is filed by a prosecutor in cases when a defendant waives his right to be indicted by a grand jury). 

The false-statement charge, brought under Section 1001 of the federal penal code, stems from Flynn’s conversation on December 29, 2016, with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak. At the time, Flynn was slated to become the national-security adviser to President-elect Donald Trump. The conversation occurred on the same day that then-president Barack Obama announced sanctions against Russia for its interference in the 2016 election. It is believed to have been recorded by the FBI because Kislyak, as an agent of a foreign power, was subject to monitoring under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). 

Mueller has charged Flynn with falsely telling FBI agents that he did not ask the ambassador “to refrain from escalating the situation” in response to the sanctions. In being questioned by the agents on January 24, 2017, Flynn also lied when he claimed he could not recall a subsequent conversation with Kislyak, in which the ambassador told Flynn that the Putin regime had “chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of [Flynn’s] request.”

Furthermore, a week before the sanctions were imposed, Flynn had also spoken to Kislyak, asking the ambassador to delay or defeat a vote on a pending United Nations resolution. The criminal information charges that Flynn lied to the FBI by denying both that he’d made this request and that he’d spoken afterward with Kislyak about Russia’s response to it. 

Thus, in all, four lies are specified in the one count. The potential sentence is zero to five years’ imprisonment. Assuming Flynn cooperates fully with Mueller’s investigators, there will be little, if any, jail time. 

Obviously, it was wrong of Flynn to give the FBI false information; he could, after all, have simply refused to speak with the agents in the first place. That said, as I argued early this year, it remains unclear why the Obama Justice Department chose to investigate Flynn. There was nothing wrong with the incoming national-security adviser’s having meetings with foreign counterparts or discussing such matters as the sanctions in those meetings. Plus, if the FBI had FISA recordings of Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak, there was no need to ask Flynn what the conversations entailed. 

Flynn, an early backer of Donald Trump and a fierce critic of Obama’s national-security policies, was generally despised by Obama administration officials. Hence, there has always been cynical suspicion that the decision to interview him was driven by the expectation that he would provide the FBI with an account inconsistent with the recorded conversation — i.e., that Flynn was being set up for prosecution on a process crime.
While initial reporting is portraying Flynn’s guilty plea as a major breakthrough in Mueller’s investigation of potential Trump campaign collusion with the Russian regime, I suspect the opposite is true.
While initial reporting is portraying Flynn’s guilty plea as a major breakthrough in Mueller’s investigation of potential Trump-campaign collusion with the Russian regime, I suspect the opposite is true. 

Speculation that Flynn is now cooperating in Mueller’s investigation stirred in recent days due to reports that Flynn had pulled out of a joint defense agreement (or “common interest” arrangement) to share information with other subjects of the investigation. As an ethical matter, it is inappropriate for an attorney whose client is cooperating with the government (or having negotiations toward that end) to continue strategizing with, and having quasi-privileged communications with, other subjects of the investigation and their counsel. 

Nevertheless, as I explained in connection with George Papadopoulos (who also pled guilty in Mueller’s investigation for lying to the FBI), when a prosecutor has a cooperator who was an accomplice in a major criminal scheme, the cooperator is made to plead guilty to the scheme. This is critical because it proves the existence of the scheme. In his guilty-plea allocution (the part of a plea proceeding in which the defendant admits what he did that makes him guilty), the accomplice explains the scheme and the actions taken by himself and his co-conspirators to carry it out. This goes a long way toward proving the case against all of the subjects of the investigation. 

That is not happening in Flynn’s situation. Instead, like Papadopoulos, he is being permitted to plead guilty to a mere process crime. A breaking report from ABC News indicates that Flynn is prepared to testify that Trump directed him to make contact with the Russians — initially to lay the groundwork for mutual efforts against ISIS in Syria. That, however, is exactly the sort of thing the incoming national-security adviser is supposed to do in a transition phase between administrations. If it were part of the basis for a “collusion” case arising out of Russia’s election meddling, then Flynn would not be pleading guilty to a process crime — he’d be pleading guilty to an espionage conspiracy. 

Understand: If Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador had evinced the existence of a quid pro quo collusion arrangement — that the Trump administration would ease or eliminate sanctions on Russia as a payback for Russia’s cyber-espionage against the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic party — it would have been completely appropriate, even urgently necessary, for the Obama Justice Department to investigate Flynn. But if that had happened, Mueller would not be permitting Flynn to settle the case with a single count of lying to FBI agents. Instead, we would be looking at a major conspiracy indictment, and Flynn would be made to plead to far more serious offenses if he wanted a deal — cooperation in exchange for sentencing leniency. 

To the contrary, for all the furor, we have a small-potatoes plea in Flynn’s case — just as we did in Papadopoulos’s case, despite extensive “collusion” evidence. Meanwhile, the only major case Mueller has brought, against former Trump-campaign chairman Paul Manafort and an associate, has nothing to do with the 2016 election. It is becoming increasingly palpable that, whatever “collusion” means, there was no actionable, conspiratorial complicity by the Trump campaign in the Kremlin’s machinations.

Source


Saturday, December 2, 2017 by Richard · 0

Friday, October 6, 2017

Why The Demise of Mainstream Media and The Election of Donald Trump Happen Simultaneously

The 2016 Election and the Demise of Journalistic Standards


Michael Goodwin is the chief political columnist for The New York Post. He has a B.A. in English literature from Columbia College and has taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Before joining the Post in 2009, he was the political columnist for The New York Daily News, where he served as executive editor and editorial page editor and led its editorial board to a Pulitzer Prize. Prior to that, he worked for 16 years at The New York Times, beginning as a clerk and rising to City Hall Bureau Chief. He is the co-author of I, Koch and editor of New York Comes Back.
The following is adapted from a speech delivered on April 20, 2017, in Atlanta, Georgia, at a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar.
I’ve been a journalist for a long time. Long enough to know that it wasn’t always like this. There was a time not so long ago when journalists were trusted and admired. We were generally seen as trying to report the news in a fair and straightforward manner. Today, all that has changed. For that, we can blame the 2016 election or, more accurately, how some news organizations chose to cover it. Among the many firsts, last year’s election gave us the gobsmacking revelation that most of the mainstream media puts both thumbs on the scale—that most of what you read, watch, and listen to is distorted by intentional bias and hostility. I have never seen anything like it. Not even close.
It’s not exactly breaking news that most journalists lean left. I used to do that myself. I grew up at The New York Times, so I’m familiar with the species. For most of the media, bias grew out of the social revolution of the 1960s and ’70s. Fueled by the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements, the media jumped on the anti-authority bandwagon writ large. The deal was sealed with Watergate, when journalism was viewed as more trusted than government—and far more exciting and glamorous. Think Robert Redford in All the President’s Men. Ever since, young people became journalists because they wanted to be the next Woodward and Bernstein, find a Deep Throat, and bring down a president. Of course, most of them only wanted to bring down a Republican president. That’s because liberalism is baked into the journalism cake.
During the years I spent teaching at the Columbia University School of Journalism, I often found myself telling my students that the job of the reporter was “to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” I’m not even sure where I first heard that line, but it still captures the way most journalists think about what they do. Translate the first part of that compassionate-sounding idea into the daily decisions about what makes news, and it is easy to fall into the habit of thinking that every person afflicted by something is entitled to help. Or, as liberals like to say, “Government is what we do together.” From there, it’s a short drive to the conclusion that every problem has a government solution.
The rest of that journalistic ethos—“afflict the comfortable”—leads to the knee-jerk support of endless taxation. Somebody has to pay for that government intervention the media loves to demand. In the same vein, and for the same reason, the average reporter will support every conceivable regulation as a way to equalize conditions for the poor. He will also give sympathetic coverage to groups like Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter.

A New Dimension

I knew all of this about the media mindset going into the 2016 presidential campaign. But I was still shocked at what happened. This was not na├»ve liberalism run amok. This was a whole new approach to politics. No one in modern times had seen anything like it. As with grief, there were several stages. In the beginning, Donald Trump’s candidacy was treated as an outlandish publicity stunt, as though he wasn’t a serious candidate and should be treated as a circus act. But television executives quickly made a surprising discovery: the more they put Trump on the air, the higher their ratings climbed. Ratings are money. So news shows started devoting hours and hours simply to pointing the cameras at Trump and letting them run.
As his rallies grew, the coverage grew, which made for an odd dynamic. The candidate nobody in the media took seriously was attracting the most people to his events and getting the most news coverage. Newspapers got in on the game too. Trump, unlike most of his opponents, was always available to the press, and could be counted on to say something outrageous or controversial that made a headline. He made news by being a spectacle.
Despite the mockery of journalists and late-night comics, something extraordinary was happening. Trump was dominating a campaign none of the smart money thought he could win. And then, suddenly, he was winning. Only when the crowded Republican field began to thin and Trump kept racking up primary and caucus victories did the media’s tone grow more serious.
One study estimated that Trump had received so much free airtime that if he had had to buy it, the price would have been $2 billion. The realization that they had helped Trump’s rise seemed to make many executives, producers, and journalists furious. By the time he secured the nomination and the general election rolled around, they were gunning for him. Only two people now had a chance to be president, and the overwhelming media consensus was that it could not be Donald Trump. They would make sure of that. The coverage of him grew so vicious and one-sided that last August I wrote a column on the unprecedented bias. Under the headline “American Journalism Is Collapsing Before Our Eyes,” I wrote that the so-called cream of the media crop was “engaged in a naked display of partisanship” designed to bury Trump and elect Hillary Clinton.
The evidence was on the front page, the back page, the culture pages, even the sports pages. It was at the top of the broadcast and at the bottom of the broadcast. Day in, day out, in every media market in America, Trump was savaged like no other candidate in memory. We were watching the total collapse of standards, with fairness and balance tossed overboard. Every story was an opinion masquerading as news, and every opinion ran in the same direction—toward Clinton and away from Trump.
For the most part, I blame The New York Times and The Washington Post for causing this breakdown. The two leading liberal newspapers were trying to top each other in their demonization of Trump and his supporters. They set the tone, and most of the rest of the media followed like lemmings.
On one level, tougher scrutiny of Trump was clearly defensible. He had a controversial career and lifestyle, and he was seeking the presidency as his first job in government. He also provided lots of fuel with some of his outrageous words and deeds during the campaign. But from the beginning there was also a second element to the lopsided coverage. The New York Times has not endorsed a Republican for president since Dwight Eisenhower in 1956, meaning it would back a dead raccoon if it had a “D” after its name. Think of it—George McGovern over Richard Nixon? Jimmy Carter over Ronald Reagan? Walter Mondale over Reagan? Any Democrat would do. And The Washington Post, which only started making editorial endorsements in the 1970s, has never once endorsed a Republican for president.
But again, I want to emphasize that 2016 had those predictable elements plus a whole new dimension. This time, the papers dropped the pretense of fairness and jumped headlong into the tank for one candidate over the other. The Times media reporter began a story this way:
If you’re a working journalist and you believe that Donald J. Trump is a demagogue playing to the nation’s worst racist and nationalist tendencies, that he cozies up to anti-American dictators and that he would be dangerous with control of the United States nuclear codes, how the heck are you supposed to cover him?
I read that paragraph and I thought to myself, well, that’s actually an easy question. If you feel that way about Trump, normal journalistic ethics would dictate that you shouldn’t cover him. You cannot be fair. And you shouldn’t be covering Hillary Clinton either, because you’ve already decided who should be president. Go cover sports or entertainment. Yet the Times media reporter rationalized the obvious bias he had just acknowledged, citing the view that Clinton was “normal” and Trump was not.
I found the whole concept appalling. What happened to fairness? What happened to standards? I’ll tell you what happened to them. The Times top editor, Dean Baquet, eliminated them. In an interview last October with the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, Baquet admitted that the piece by his media reporter had nailed his own thinking. Trump “challenged our language,” he said, and Trump “will have changed journalism.” Of the daily struggle for fairness, Baquet had this to say: “I think that Trump has ended that struggle. . . . We now say stuff. We fact check him. We write it more powerfully that [what he says is] false.”
Baquet was being too modest. Trump was challenging, sure, but it was Baquet who changed journalism. He’s the one who decided that the standards of fairness and nonpartisanship could be abandoned without consequence.
With that decision, Baquet also changed the basic news story formula. To the age-old elements of who, what, when, where, and why, he added the reporter’s opinion. Now the floodgates were open, and virtually every so-called news article reflected a clear bias against Trump. Stories, photos, headlines, placement in the paper—all the tools that writers and editors have—were summoned to the battle. The goal was to pick the next president.
Thus began the spate of stories, which continues today, in which the Timesroutinely calls Trump a liar in its news pages and headlines. Again, the contrast with the past is striking. The Times never called Barack Obama a liar, despite such obvious opportunities as “you can keep your doctor” and “the Benghazi attack was caused by an internet video.” Indeed, the Times and The Washington Post, along with most of the White House press corps, spent eight years cheerleading the Obama administration, seeing not a smidgen of corruption or dishonesty. They have been tougher on Hillary Clinton during her long career. But they still never called her a liar, despite such doozies as “I set up my own computer server so I would only need one device,” “I turned over all the government emails,” and “I never sent or received classified emails.” All those were lies, but not to the national media. Only statements by Trump were fair game.
As we know now, most of the media totally missed Trump’s appeal to millions upon millions of Americans. The prejudice against him blinded those news organizations to what was happening in the country. Even more incredibly, I believe the bias and hostility directed at Trump backfired. The feeling that the election was, in part, a referendum on the media, gave some voters an extra incentive to vote for Trump. A vote for him was a vote against the media and against Washington. Not incidentally, Trump used that sentiment to his advantage, often revving up his crowds with attacks on reporters. He still does.
If I haven’t made it clear, let me do so now. The behavior of much of the media, but especially The New York Times, was a disgrace. I don’t believe it ever will recover the public trust it squandered.
The Times’ previous reputation for having the highest standards was legitimate. Those standards were developed over decades to force reporters and editors to be fair and to gain public trust. The commitment to fairness made The New York Times the flagship of American journalism. But standards are like laws in the sense that they are designed to guide your behavior in good times and in bad. Consistent adherence to them was the source of the Times’ credibility. And eliminating them has made the paper less than ordinary. Its only standards now are double standards.
I say this with great sadness. I was blessed to grow up at the Times, getting a clerical job right out of college and working my way onto the reporting staff, where I worked for a decade. It was the formative experience of my career where I learned most of what I know about reporting and writing. Alas, it was a different newspaper then. Abe Rosenthal was the editor in those days, and long before we’d ever heard the phrase “zero tolerance,” that’s what Abe practiced toward conflicts of interest and reporters’ opinions. He set the rules and everybody knew it.
Here is a true story about how Abe Rosenthal resolved a conflict of interest. A young woman was hired by the Times from one of the Philadelphia newspapers. But soon after she arrived in New York, a story broke in Philly that she had had a romantic affair with a political figure she had covered, and that she had accepted a fur coat and other expensive gifts from him. When he saw the story, Abe called the woman into his office and asked her if it were true. When she said yes, he told her to clean out her desk—that she was finished at the Times and would never work there again. As word spread through the newsroom, some reporters took the woman’s side and rushed in to tell Abe that firing her was too harsh. He listened for about 30 seconds, raised his hand for silence, and said (this is slightly bowdlerized): “I don’t care if you have a romantic affair with an elephant on your personal time, but then you can’t cover the circus for the paper.” Case closed. The conflict of interest policy was clear, absolute, and unforgettable.
As for reporters’ opinions, Abe had a similar approach. He didn’t want them in the news pages. And if you put them in, he took them out. They belonged in the opinion pages only, which were managed separately. Abe said he knew reporters tended to lean left and would find ways to sneak their views into the stories. So he saw his job as steering the paper slightly to the right. “That way,” he said, “the paper would end up in the middle.” He was well known for this attitude, which he summed up as “keeping the paper straight.” He even said he wanted his epitaph to read, “He kept the paper straight.” Like most people, I thought this was a joke. But after I related all this in a column last year, his widow contacted me and said it wasn’t a joke—that, in fact, Abe’s tombstone reads, “He kept the paper straight.” She sent me a picture to prove it. I published that picture of his tombstone alongside a column where I excoriated the Times for its election coverage. Sadly, the Times’ high standards were buried with Abe Rosenthal.

Looking to the Future

Which brings us to the crucial questions. Can the American media be fixed? And is there anything that we as individuals can do to make a difference? The short answer to the first question is, “No, it can’t be fixed.” The 2016 election was the media’s Humpty Dumpty moment. It fell off the wall, shattered into a million pieces, and can’t be put back together again. In case there is any doubt, 2017 is confirming that the standards are still dead. The orgy of visceral Trump-bashing continues unabated.
But the future of journalism isn’t all gloom and doom. In fact, if we accept the new reality of widespread bias and seize the potential it offers, there is room for optimism. Consider this—the election showed the country is roughly divided 50-50 between people who will vote for a Democrat and people who will vote for a Republican. But our national media is more like 80-20 in favor of Democrats. While the media should, in theory, broadly reflect the public, it doesn’t. Too much of the media acts like a special interest group. Detached from the greater good, it exists to promote its own interest and the political party with which it is aligned.
onald Reagan’s optimism is often expressed in a story that is surely apocryphal, but irresistible. He is said to have come across a barn full of horse manure and remarked cheerfully that there must be a pony in it somewhere. I suggest we look at the media landscape in a similar fashion. The mismatch between the mainstream media and the public’s sensibilities means there is a vast untapped market for news and views that are not now represented. To realize that potential, we only need three ingredients, and we already have them: first, free speech; second, capitalism and free markets; and the third ingredient is you, the consumers of news.
Free speech is under assault, most obviously on many college campuses, but also in the news media, which presents a conformist view to its audience and gets a politically segregated audience in return. Look at the letters section in The New York Times—virtually every reader who writes in agrees with the opinions of the paper. This isn’t a miracle; it’s a bubble. Liberals used to love to say, “I don’t agree with your opinion, but I would fight to the death for your right to express it.” You don’t hear that anymore from the Left. Now they want to shut you up if you don’t agree. And they are having some success.
But there is a countervailing force. Look at what happened this winter when the Left organized boycotts of department stores that carried Ivanka Trump’s clothing and jewelry. Nordstrom folded like a cheap suit, but Trump’s supporters rallied on social media and Ivanka’s company had its best month ever. This is the model I have in mind for the media. It is similar to how FOX News got started. Rupert Murdoch thought there was an untapped market for a more fair and balanced news channel, and he recruited Roger Ailes to start it more than 20 years ago. Ailes found a niche market alright—half the country!
Incredible advances in technology are also on the side of free speech. The explosion of choices makes it almost impossible to silence all dissent and gain a monopoly, though certainly Facebook and Google are trying.
As for the necessity of preserving capitalism, look around the world. Nations without economic liberty usually have little or no dissent. That’s not a coincidence. In this, I’m reminded of an enduring image from the Occupy Wall Street movement. That movement was a pestilence, egged on by President Obama and others who view other people’s wealth as a crime against the common good. This attitude was on vivid display as the protesters held up their iPhones to demand the end of capitalism. As I wrote at the time, did they believe Steve Jobs made each and every Apple product one at a time in his garage? Did they not have a clue about how capital markets make life better for more people than any other system known to man? They had no clue. And neither do many government officials, who think they can kill the golden goose and still get golden eggs.
Which brings me to the third necessary ingredient in determining where we go from here. It’s you. I urge you to support the media you like. As the great writer and thinker Midge Decter once put it, “You have to join the side you’re on.” It’s no secret that newspapers and magazines are losing readers and money and shedding staff. Some of them are good newspapers. Some of them are good magazines. There are also many wonderful, thoughtful, small publications and websites that exist on a shoestring. Don’t let them die. Subscribe or contribute to those you enjoy. Give subscriptions to friends. Put your money where your heart and mind are. An expanded media landscape that better reflects the diversity of public preferences would, in time, help create a more level political and cultural arena. That would be a great thing. So again I urge you: join the side you’re on.

Friday, October 6, 2017 by Richard · 0

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Times Important Lessons

10 THINGS TIME HAS TAUGHT ME



1. Most of our life is spent chasing false goals and worshipping false ideals. The day you realise that is the day you really start to live.
2. You really, truly cannot please all of the people all of the time. Please yourself first and your loved ones second, everyone else is busy pleasing themselves anyway, trust me.
3. Fighting the ageing process is like trying to catch the wind. Go with it, enjoy it. Your body is changing, but it always has been. Don’t waste time trying to reverse that, instead change your mindset to see the beauty in the new.
4. Nobody is perfect and nobody is truly happy with their lot. When that sinks in you are free of comparison and free of judgement. It’s truly liberating.
5. No one really sees what you do right, everyone sees what you do wrong. When that becomes clear to you, you will start doing things for the right reason and you will start having so much more fun.
6. You will regret the years you spent berating your looks, the sooner you can make peace with the vessel your soul lives in, the better. Your body is amazing and important but it does not define you.
7. Your health is obviously important but stress, fear and worry are far more damaging than any delicious food or drink you may deny yourself. Happiness and peace are the best medicine.
8. Who will remember you and for what, become important factors as you age. Your love and your wisdom will live on far longer than any material thing you can pass down. Tell your stories, they can travel farther than you can imagine.
9. We are not here for long but if you are living against the wind it can feel like a life-sentence. Life should not feel like a chore, it should feel like an adventure.
10. Always, always, drink the good champagne and use the things you keep for ‘best’. Tomorrow is guaranteed to no one. Today is a gift that’s why we call it the present. Eat, Drink & Be Merry.

Source

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 by Richard · 0

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Charlie Chapman's Poem That Gives You A Road Map For A Better Life

As I Began To Love Myself – Charlie Chaplin


As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.
As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.
As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it “MATURITY”.
As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.
As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.
As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.
As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.
As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.
We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know “THAT IS LIFE”!


I must say that I did a bit of digging and there does seem to be some controversy surrounding whether or not Charlie Chaplin actually wrote this poem, some people say that it was actually a translation of a text from the book “When I Loved Myself Enough” by Kim & Alison McMillen, which has somehow been wrongly attributed to Charlie. But even then the poem in its current form is not found in this book. So in the end the exact origins of the poem remains a mystery.


Thursday, June 22, 2017 by Richard · 0

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Aloe Vera The Ancients Secret To Immortality

WHAT ALOE VERA DOES IN YOUR BODY: WHY EGYPTIANS CALLED IT THE PLANT OF IMMORTALITY



Known to the Egyptians as the plant of immortality and to Native Americans as the wand of heaven, aloe vera comes with a wide array of amazing healing properties — some of which you may already know about. You might even have your own aloe vera plant in your home for those small emergencies like scrapes, cuts, and burns, but did you know that aloe vera is not only limited to topical use and is actually even more beneficial to your body when taken internally?

Aloe vera contains over 200 biologically active, naturally occurring constituents which include polysaccharides, vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, and minerals.

According to the Journal of Environmental Science and Health, aloe vera also possesses anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties that assist the immune system in cleansing the body of toxins and invading pathogens. But that isn’t all aloe vera juice/gel has to offer.



Minerals
Aloe vera has loads of minerals including calcium, magnesium, zinc, chromium, selenium, sodium, iron, potassium, copper, and manganese. These minerals work together to boost metabolic pathways.


Enzymes
Aloe vera contains important enzymes like amylase and lipase which can aid in digestion by breaking down fat and sugar molecules. One molecule in particular, Bradykinase, helps to reduce inflammation.


Vitamins
One study showed that aloe vera actually contains vitamin B12, which is required for the production of red blood cells. That would be great news for vegetarians and vegans in particular, who often do not get adequate amounts of B12 through their regular diet.

Other studies have shown that taking aloe can make vitamin B12 more bioavailable, meaning the body can more easily absorb and utilize it, thereby helping to prevent deficiency. Aloe vera is also a source of vitamins A, C, E, folic acid, choline, B1, B2, B3 (niacin), and B6. While it remains unclear whether we can rely solely on aloe as a source of B12, it can be used in conjunction with a supplement to help increase uptake.



Amino Acids
Aloe vera contains 20 of the 22 essential amino acids required by the human body. It also contains salicylic acid, which fights inflammation and bacteria.


Other Uses for Aloe
Aside from being an excellent body cleanser, removing toxic matter from the stomach, kidneys, spleen, bladder, liver, and colon, aloe can also offer effective relief from more immediate ailments, such as indigestion, upset stomach, ulcers, and gut inflammation. It also strengthens the digestive tract and alleviates joint inflammation, making it a great option for arthritis sufferers.

One study found that aloe vera juice, when taken the same way as a mouthwash, was just as effective at removing plaque as the common mouthwash and its active ingredient, chlorhexidine. This is a much better alternative because it is all-natural, unlike the typically chemical-laden options found in sto
res.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 by Richard · 0

Monday, June 12, 2017

A 75 Year Long Study From Harvard Reveals The Most Important Factor In Human Happiness

A 75-Year Harvard Study Has Revealed The One Most Important Factor In Human Happiness


Have you ever heard of the Harvard study that ran for 75 years to assess what makes us happy? It’s a revolutionary study in psychology.
It followed the lives of two groups of men for over 75 years, and it now follows their Baby Boomer children to understand how childhood experience reaches across decades to affect health and wellbeing in middle age.

So what keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it’s fame and money, you’re not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you’re mistaken. As the director of a 75-year-old study on adult development, Waldinger has unprecedented access to data on true happiness and satisfaction and he lays it all bear in the Ted talk below.
So what is the number one factor in your happiness and wellbeing? According to Waldinger:
“The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier.”
Yep, the biggest predictor of your happiness and fulfilment overall in life is, basically, love.
Specifically, the study showed that having someone you can rely upon helps your nervous systems relax, helps your brain stay healthy and reduces emotional pain.
The data also clearly found that those who feel lonely are more likely to see their physical health decline earlier and die younger.
“It’s not just the number of friends you have, and it’s not whether or not you’re in a committed relationship,” says Waldinger. “It’s the quality of your close relationships that matters.”
It doesn’t matter whether you have a huge group friends, or if you’re in the perfect romantic relationship, it’s the quality of the relationships that counts – how much depth and honesty exists within them; the extent to which you can relax and be seen for who you truly are.
This a very good reminder to prioritize authentic connection with others. Because the data is clear that, in the end, you could all have the money you’ve ever wanted, but without loving relationships, you won’t be happy.
For a deeper dive into the significance of this study and what it truly means, check out this video below.


Source

Monday, June 12, 2017 by Richard · 0

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

How Obama Kept Small Business Down And Created Donald Trump

Obama's love of government and extreme penchant for regulating everything under the sun gets a big piece of the blame for giving Trump almost Carte Blanche to do just the opposite.


The best summary quote in all of the many articles on Obama's regulatory regime: "the Obama administration has ranked as a hyper-regulator." This hyper-regulatory atmosphere was and is an absolute sure recipe for economic morass.

The real problem with those on the Left is that they trust politicians and bureaucrats more than they trust their neighbors and family. Thus, the relentless pursuit of government solutions to all our problems. Statism.

Get on board the deregulation train.

In 1995, President Bill Clinton determined that small businesses were in dire need of relief from the smothering effect of hundreds of thousands of pages of federal regulations. He worked with a Republican Congress to produce the most significant legislation ever to help small businesses, the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act.
By contrast, the Obama administration talked about helping small businesses but continued to enact regulatory policies that limited the ability to profit and deterred new businesses from entering the market. In fact, towards the end the plan appeared to be one of speeding up regulations.
President Obama has said that “small businesses have always formed the backbone of the American economy. These entrepreneurial pioneers embody the spirit of possibility, the tireless work ethic, and the simple hope for something better that lies at the heart of the American ideal.” But the rate of growth for regulatory restrictions was approximately 38 percent larger for the Obama administration between 2009 and 2012 as it was during a similar number of years for President George W. Bush (2001 to 2004). Restrictions are actual regulatory requirements telling business what they “must’ or “shall” do. But, of course, these are just additions to regulatory restrictions that have been piling up since the 1870’s and now number more than 1 million. And yet Obama, more than any other president, has made decreasing the overall regulatory burden a high priority, issuing a specific executive order to require agencies to decrease the enormous volume of regulations.
But just as the administration continues to increase the rate of new regulations and restrictions, it is obvious that his executive order, which has the force and effect of law on federal employees, has failed to deliver. In an analysis of this effort, Randall Lutter found “that there is little new retrospective analysis by these agencies and that their plans for retrospective review appear to be leading to rulemakings that differ little from business as usual.”
As for new regulations that are crushing small businesses, the evidence is everywhere. A recent survey of small banks conducted by the Mercatus Center at George Mason found that "many respondents expressed frustration at how the rules would affect their ability to continue offering customers products that had worked well for both the bank and the customers.” These small banks talk of the implementation of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law of 2010 as a “maddening pace of illogical and unnecessary regulation” that would not have prevented the 2008 financial collapse.
Financial regulatory agencies are not the only ones responsible. Proposed Food and Drug Administration regulations banning the use of trans fatty acids will make it extremely hard for small bakers to continue operating. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s proposed silica (industrial dust) rule will have the largest impact on small businesses, as 59 percent of workers affected are employed by small businesses. OSHA failed to consider less onerous regulatory options that would make it cheaper for them to keep workers just as safe. When seeking to regulate a common industrial ingredient, formaldehyde, the Environmental Protection Agency ignored one-third of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act panel’s consensus recommendations to protect small businesses.
It’s not surprising that Obama has been unable to either restrain agencies from promulgating an excessive number of rules or to get them to voluntarily choose to remove ineffective and outdated regulations. The agencies jealously guard their unchecked monopolies on rulemaking and analysis of their own proposals. As Supreme Court Justice Kagan wrote, “Since the dawn of the modern administrative state, residents have tried to control the bureaucracy only to discover the difficulty of the endeavor.”
But a recent Mercatus Center study identifies a method that would help eliminate much of smothering rules that no longer work without trying to corral the unmanageable regulatory agencies. It requires a bold step by both Congress and the president, but one that will almost certainly pay dividends for small businesses and entrepreneurs wishing to start new businesses (most of which will start small).
The logic is simple: Appoint panels that are independent of agencies and have them make recommendations for groups of regulations that can be abolished. Congress would then simply vote the entire package up or down.
Just as President Clinton worked with a Republican Congress, President Obama can work with a Republican Congress, with the nation’s small businesses and would be-entrepreneurs being the primary beneficiaries.

Source

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 by Richard · 0

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Do You Make These Mistakes Buying Or Storing Olive Oil?

Nine Critical Mistakes Most People Make Buying & Storing EVOO

Extra virgin olive oil is one of the world’s most popular superfoods. But if you make any of these common mistakes when buying or storing your oil, you can easily miss out on the magnificent flavor and most or even all of its health benefits.


By T. J. Robinson, The Olive Oil Hunter
May 2017

Mistake #1: Buying any grade other than “extra virgin.” To reap the health advantages of olive oil, it is crucial that you procure extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), the only form of olive oil that retains its natural phenols (antioxidants) and other active compounds. EVOO is minimally processed, whereas other oil grades, such as “virgin,” “pure,” or “light,” typically have been industrially refined and the healthful phenols destroyed.
Mistake #2: Not checking for—and insisting on—freshness. Olive oil, unlike wine, does not get better with age. Just the opposite. The olive is, after all, a fruit. Similar to other fruit juices, olive oil is best enjoyed fresh-squeezed. That’s when it delivers its zenith of freshness, flavor, and nutritional potency.
Always look for a “pressing date” on the label. Sometimes it’s called the “harvest date.” This tells you how fresh the olive oil is. If it’s beyond six months, don’t buy it! The precious nutrients in olive oil start to deteriorate six months after pressing.
Unfortunately, it’s not easy to find olive oils with pressing dates on their labels. Producers of ordinary mass market olive oils know that their oils may sit on supermarket shelves much longer than six months. As a result, they intentionally neglect to include the pressing date on their labels. They don’t want you to see how old and possibly stale their olive oil may be. At the link below, you’ll find harvest-fresh EVOOs that all show the pressing date.
Mistake #3: Being fooled by the “best used by” date. The same producers who neglect to put a “pressing date” will often display a “best used by” date on the label. But don’t be fooled—that’s merely a guide to avoiding rancidity and has nothing to do with peak flavor and nutritional potency. Outrageously in my view, many of these “best used by” dates are set to maximize shelf life and can run as long as two years, way beyond my recommended six-month freshness limit.
Mistake #4: Not shopping online. Because stores are notorious for stocking their shelves with oils that omit pressing dates and letting these oils remain on the shelves far too long, I encourage olive oil lovers to shop online. There are many outstanding artisanal olive oils available online that are sent to you direct from small farms right at harvest time. From these award-winning suppliers, you can receive ultra-fresh olive oil at their peak of flavor and nutritional goodness. See the link at the end of this article for more information.
Mistake #5: Buying olive oil in a clear bottle. Just as time is a mortal enemy of olive oil’s precious nutrients and flavor, light quickly degrades olive oil as well. Never buy any olive oil packaged in a clear glass bottle. Buy only oils in dark green or brown bottles. Avoid purchasing any oils displayed in direct sunlight or under fluorescent lights, so common in supermarkets.
Mistake #6: Having no idea what you’re buying. If possible, shop where sampling is encouraged. Some stores now have olive oil bars. Most stores websites will proudly tell you if you can sample before you purchase. 
Since freshness is so vital, whenever you sample an olive oil, anticipate feeling a gentle pinch at the back of your throat—a hallmark of the freshest olive oil. EVOO contains more than 30 phenols, which have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant properties. The best-known of these phenolic compounds is oleocanthal, which acts in a manner similar to the pain reliever ibuprofen. It’s Mother Nature’s own all-natural pain reliever. The name oleocanthal has very direct roots: oleo is the Greek term for “olive”; canth means “sting.” The “sting” refers to a prickly sensation in the back of the throat, a signifier of high phenolic levels in EVOO, which only the freshest olive oils deliver.
Mistake #7: Unwittingly buying olive oil made by the Mafia. In recent years, many of America’s most respected media, including ForbesThe Wall Street Journal, and CBS News, among others, have reported the appalling news that many olive oils in US stores are cheap counterfeits made by the Mafia. According to 60 Minutes, shoppers face a “sea of fakes.” Investigators have found that some of these fakes contain ingredients and chemicals that could cause serious harm. To avoid such fakes, buy only those olive oils that are independently lab certified to be 100% pure extra virgin olive oil. 
Mistake #8: Storing your oil incorrectly. Because olive oil is perishable, heat and oxygen are two additional enemies of flavor and EVOO’s healthful polyphenols. Store your olive oil in a cool, dark place—never next to the stovetop. For long periods between uses, feel free to store it in the fridge. Unless you are a voracious user, buy olive oil in small bottles or tins to minimize the amount of oxygen in contact with your oil inside its container.
Mistake #9: Thinking that all olive oils taste alike. If you’ve always bought your olive oil in a supermarket, odds are you’ve never experienced the extraordinary diversity of flavors that await you among the finest artisanal oils.
There are more than 700 kinds of olives, each with its own flavor profile. But ordinary mass-market olive oils sell in such huge volume, they must combine olives of many types, from numerous farms in different growing regions. In my view, this muddies the flavors that different olive varieties are known for.
In contrast, award-winning artisans create their oils from olives grown on small, boutique farms. These proud masters are dedicated to striving for flavor perfection from each different type of olive and deliciously food-friendly blends. This makes their award-winning creations as rich, complex, and distinctive as the finest wines.
For example, some varietals naturally yield a bright, spicy flavor. Their oils are audaciously bold and pair magnificently with a hearty charred steak or grilled lamb. In contrast, other artisanal olive oils are blended from olives that yield softer, more delicate nuances. These will perfectly complement—without overpowering—your delicate baked halibut. Still, other olives naturally yield a greener, more herbaceous oil that will crown your salad greens and veggies with scrumptious farm-fresh flavor.
Discovering and enjoying these amazing differences in fine artisanal olive oils is not only fun, but as any master chef will tell you, it’s one of the great secrets of elevating your favorite dishes to new heights of flavor, elegance, and satisfaction.

Thursday, May 25, 2017 by Richard · 0

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Majority of Americans Offended By The Reporting Of Mainstream Media

In a terse interview conducted by phone with Politico, the former Georgia congressman, Newt Gingrich said that the president ought to “close down the White House press briefing room” and that reporters “should be banished to a nearby Starbucks.”
Weapons of Deception
“I am personally offended by the American news media,” Gingrich said. “I think it is destructive and disgusting. It is a danger to the country right now.”
Instead of a press briefing, Gingrich said White House spokesman Sean Spicer should field questions from the American people.
“Just say to the American people, ‘you get to choose,'” Gingrich said. He added that the closure would send a message “that the media is a corrupt institution and (Trump) is tired of being harassed by people whose only interest is making him look bad.”
Gingrich also said that the press “are nuts” and that reporters shouldn’t print any information they cannot attach a name to.
The interview was even more terse at the end:
“Gingrich said he was walking home from dinner and had little else to say. ‘Goodbye,’ he said before the phone clicked.”
Tell us how you really feel, Newt.
Gingrich’s remarks echo what he wrote in an op-ed for Fox News earlier this week, when he declared that “the President does not owe anything to the Washington press corps and the left-wing hypocrites who dominate today’s news media.”
“Since Watergate, the news media has acquired a steadily more arrogant attitude and has moved further and further to the left,” Gingrich wrote. “Today, they are adversarial opponents of conservatives — especially the Trump administration.
“I learned the hard way as speaker of the House that I could not regularly meet with reporters on camera,” he recalled. “It set up an arena for gotcha questions. Reporters gained imaginary points for finding stupid, narrow, often irrelevant things to argue over. Instead of being an opportunity for a genuine public dialogue, the daily on-camera briefings became a bloody battleground — totally to my disadvantage. Within a few weeks, we were forced to stop.”
Gingrich’s words were harsh but apt. This is a press corps that has declared since day one that it’s open season on the administration.
Gingrich’s prescription may be a radical one, but something radical needs to be done about the blatant media bias.

Saturday, May 20, 2017 by Richard · 0

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
All Rights Reserved Shield Spirit | RSS Feed | Educating Humanity