September 11th 2014

Healthy Eating

I've gotten into healthy eating lately, and I came across this excellent post by Donna Holt.  If you don't know Donna, she was diagnosed with a terminal respiratory illness years ago, and was on death's door before she decided to try some fairly radical dietary changes.  It worked miraculously for her, and her quality of life skyrocketed.  Here is her food regime in a nut shell.  — The Lizard

Nine Foods

Here are 9 foods that radically transformed my body and healed me of terminal lung disease, allowing me to experience vibrant health:

1. Fresh, green vegetables.

I focus my diet around plant foods, especially fresh green vegetables, which are high in micronutrients. I choose bitter greens such as mustard greens, collard greens, broccoli, arugula, spinach and kale. (And opt for organic wherever possible.)

I make healing broths and soups that are easy to digest, steam them served with a dash of seasalt and fresh lemon juice, or eat them fresh in summer salads.

I make a healing tonic by juicing half a cucumber and a couple of celery stalks with some pineapple, pears or apples and half lemon – yum!

2. Organic protein.

As I began to heal and build my strength, I turned my attention to stabilizing my blood sugars and energy levels. Protein-rich foods helped!

I eat grass-fed organic meat, wild salmon, organic greek yogurt, and organic eggs. Quinoa, almonds, almond butter, seaweed, micro-algae, E3 Live, Warrior protein powder, hemp products, and organic chia seeds provide excellent vegetarian options.

3. Extra-virgin cold-pressed, organic olive and coconut oils.

Fresh, organic oils are very tasty, beautifully rich in aroma and fragrance. It's important to know that all oils should have a "best-before" date, so always use fresh oils well before this date.

Olive and coconut oils can be used to make a wide array of healthy salad dressings, drizzled over steamed vegetables or used for dipping. You can use organic, extra-virgin coconut oil for making sweet treats. Unlike other oils, when placed in the fridge or freezer, coconut oil will go hard and set.

4. Seeds: Sesame, sunflower, chia, pumpkin seeds…

There are such a wide variety of delicious seeds available. Each kind of seed has its own distinct flavor and can be used to add variety to your cooking.

When you are healing, grind them up to make them easier on your digestion. I grind linseed, sunflower and almond seeds to make LSA, which I use on everything! Sprinkle them on salads or add to breakfast smoothies and cereal.

5. Honey (or unrefined sugar substitute).

Sweets are an important part of the 4 tastes of the palate: sweet, salty, savory and bitter but should be eaten sparingly. Always look for unrefined sugar. Organic honey in it’s natural form is the healthiest choice and delicious as a natural sweetener. Other vegetarian alternatives are stevia, coconut sugar, maple syrup (Grade B only) or coconut nectar. Best to opt for organic brands to minimize the processing. Avoid highly refined processed sugar and zero-calorie sugar substitutes like aspartame, equal and nutra-sweet as these are toxic for your body.

6. Lemons (or limes).

These little gems made this list because fresh lemons are so versatile. I like to start my day by drinking a detoxifying warm lemon water drink by squeezing a quarter of a lemon into a big glass of warm filtered water. Try lemons cut into wedges and squeezed over salads and soups for extra flavor and yummy zing!

7. Sea salt.

Real sea salt is unrefined salt which has been taken directly from the sea and dehydrated by the sun, forming a beautiful crystalline structure. It's ultra rich in micronutrients and totally delicious.

If you haven’t made the switch from using highly refined, regular, white table salt to natural sea-salt yet, I urge you to do so today. You can substitute sea-salt for table salt in both your savory and sweet cooking. Your health, your body and your taste buds truly will thank you for it!

8. Herbs.

Using either fresh or dried herbs can transform your cooking as they add new taste sensations to your food. They can take your cooking from every day food to something quite gourmet. Buy your herbs straight from a greengrocers or local food market. For the adventurous, try growing your own! Some of my favorites are fresh parsley, coriander, basil, and dill.

9. Apple cider vinegar (ACV).

If you want to quickly improve your digestive health, then try apple cider vinegar. I highly recommend the brand Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider vinegar, which is affordable and delicious. Use it daily in combination with (or as a substitute for) lemon juice as an alkalizing drink. Or use it to make a tasty salad dressing by blending it with some olive oil, herbs, and a sprinkle of sea-salt.

With the exception of a few other veggies and fruits I, personally, avoid eating almost anything that is not on this list. I should add that restoring my health was as much about eliminating foods not on this list from my diet as it was about adding these foods to my diet.

Give yourself the gift of vibrant health today by stocking up on these healthy-kitchen must haves. When your kitchen is stocked with foods that are healthy, you will be more inclined to create healthy snacks and meals for yourself.

A healthy kitchen = a healthy you!

June 6th 2014

Manoli Loupassi sells out

What's up with Manoli Loupassi? My impression of the Virginia 4-term Delegate to the General Assembly was that maybe, possibly he was a thoughtful and ethical man. But his endorsement of the Congressional Turncoat Eric Cantor sent me over the fence.

manoli-1 This move should be unconscionable, for any conservative. In his emailed endorsement of Eric Cantor, he even went so far as to pull the "Bliley's seat" card.  Congressman Tom Bliley, started his career as a Southern Democrat, but became a Republican in the late 1970's to position himself as the heir apparent to Virginia's David Satterfield, a Southern Democrat that held the seat after his father, Dave E. Satterfield, retired.  So Loupassi's claim that Eric Cantor owns this seat is to claim Eric is heir apparent to a "legacy" of Southern conservative Democrats.



The switch from Southern Democrat to Republican is a thin facade, the seat is a symbol of Aristocracy, and Manoli Loupassi has evoked that Aristocratic Legacy with Eric Cantor as the Crowned Prince.  Sorry, Mr. Loupassi, but this is not aristocracy, and we have fought many wars to ensure that it does not become one. It is exceeding disingenuous for you to assume now, of all times, that we should head in that direction.

I urge all of my readers to follow the money on this one.  We all know that Eric Cantor is flush with cash (it is, after all, the wealthiest of Washington elites that pay for his support), so surely there is money flowing all over to help get Cantor elected.  He really doesn't have much else going for him.

Oh, and Delegate Loupassi, Eric Cantor is no Tom Bliley (htt://,_Jr.)

"Honesty and integrity". Pft. Have you been paying attention at ALL, G Manoli Loupassi ?


April 3rd 2014

Free Speech and Money in Politics

On March 2, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) announced their opinion in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, with the majority siding with McCutcheon. It was the right decision based on the law and the first principles of free society that our Constitution is based upon.  I agree with Ilya Shapiro that the most troubling aspect of the opinion is that four of five justices wanted to side with the Federal Election Commission.

SCOTUS BuildingBut similar to the Citizens United case, there has been a cry of outrage over the decision, claiming that elections will now be decided by the highest bidder. Predictably, Common Cause has claimed that the court "laid out a welcome mat for corruption," the Brennan Center for Justice says that it will "marginalize the average voter", and Charles Rangel terms it no less than "a threat to our democracy," (I'm sure he was referring to our method of democratically electing representatives, since I'm sure Rangel knows our system of government is a Republic, not a Democracy).

These reactions are expected, but what may be surprising is the number of self-identified "conservatives" condemning the decision in similar terms. Jeff Katz, billed as a conservative commentator on Richmond's WRVA radio, told his audience yesterday that it means "our elections will now go to the highest bidder."  John McCain said he was "disappointed" in the decision, and that "I predict that as a result of recent court decisions, there will be scandals involving corrupt public officials and unlimited, anonymous campaign contributions that will force the system to be reformed once again."

I won't go into the specifics of the decision or the various nuances, suffice it to say the that Court rightly found that the aggregate limits did nothing to prevent corruption. But a basic understanding of our current political climate should make it obvious that anyone with even the slightest interest in having a limited Federal government should be applauding this decision. That's because any limits on private funding of political influence only serve to expand the State.

First, it's important to understand that grassroots (that includes the "average voter" that Rangel falsely claims is being hurt) can always trump money. That's because while it's true that politicians need money to run their campaigns, if they cannot get voters to support them, their political life is dead. So even the threat (from enough constituents) that the next election will fail is enough to influence a politician's decisions, and it overrides any considerations from large donors. After all, there are no quid-pro-quo promises to these donors, that's still illegal, and always will be.

Second, the real power of money in politics is the ability to influence the voters. Slick issue campaigns from advocacy groups really do have an impact. And that goes back to the first point – when these campaigns can get enough "average voters" to contact their representative with their opinion, politicians listen. These are the votes they need to keep their job.

Third, it's the private money that is needed to combat the State funding used to influence public opinion. The state can use its money (that is, the money taken from taxpayers by force, as opposed to voluntary contributions to campaigns and committees) in various ways. Bureaucracies can influence the media both implicitly and explicitly. They can insure that when a bureaucrat releases a report, the mainstream media will pick it up and report it as fact. They can decide who gets access to Washington "newsmakers", which media outlets are allowed access to public airwaves, and which media outlets get preferred tax status or even direct funding.

But these are the obvious ways that taxpayer dollars are used to influence the public, along with blatant ones like "public service" campaigns. And the public is generally mistrustful of government these days anyway, and are becoming increasingly mistrustful of the mainstream media as well. That is a well-known phenomenon, and government has found a way around it. It was easy to do, once it's known who it is the public actually trusts. And that trusted information comes from the NGOs (Non-governmental organizations). In fact, these organizations are trusted more than governments in nearly every part of the world. I guess people assume that when an organization is a "non-profit", or that they are "above" politics because they only care about certain specific social issues, that they must be trustworthy.

So this is the technique the Federal government often uses to get its message out to the public. It's why so many NGOs now have addresses on K Street (the go-to location for Washington lobbyists).  And the funding comes from government grants. So if you are a politician, or a government bureaucrat, and you want the public to hear (and trust) your message, you set up a new NGO (or select an existing friendly one), design a grant tailor-made for that NGO, and you have a trusted organization shaping public opinion.

This is why big-state advocates like Bernie Sanders, John McCain, and, yes, even Jeff Katz are outraged that people can now use their own money to fund any number of like-minded politicians and political committees – because it undermines their efforts to control public opinion, determine the choice of politicians available for the public to choose from, and inevitably expand the power and reach of the Federal government.



March 19th 2014

GOP Suicide Pact goes local


On Wednesday night I witnessed the GOP Suicide Pact in action. Melissa Heath (I hope I got her name right) stood in front of the Richmond GOP mass meeting and told the attendees the story of how she wasn't able to vote in conventions, and wanted primaries, and her solution to that was to deny a whole group of duly filed delegates the ability to vote. Except a few people she had hand-picked.  She presented her "slate", and then the chairman called for a vote on the motion.

I've never seen such a wanton display of hypocrisy. A bunch of people, most of whom had never been around the Richmond Republican events before, voted in her favor, directed by a guy with a gigantic white professionally printed sign with "Vote Yes" on one side and "Vote No" on the other.  It appeared that this "vote director" was ineligible to vote a the meeting himself.

They even excluded dedicated members of the Richmond GOP committee, including the hardest working member of the party, a campaigner so effective you could track where he was responsible for the ground campaigns by the anomolously higher Republican voter turnout for the precincts.

The group of voters could not be shamed into changing even a single vote, or allowing even a single delegate not on the Melissa slate to have a voice, they effectively silenced every one of them, directed by white sign guy.  It was a sad sight to watch, sort of akin to watching a grey old man struggle for every breath on his death bed while a group of ungrateful heirs stand around wishing him to get on with it already.

This is how a party dies.


December 6th 2012

Rob Bell: Not for Liberty

I received an email today from Rob Bell, who is running for Attorney General in Virginia.  It frightens me that someone with Rob Bell's viewpoint would be the man in charge of law enforcement in Virginia.  It should frighten you, as well, especially in a state with a long tradition of opposing tyranny, rather than promoting it.

Let's go over each of Bell's issues, and it will be clear to see why he is wrong on every single one of them.

Texting While Driving

The General Assembly foolishly created a new crime called texting while driving.  We can all agree that the activity is a dangerous one, but, as usual, statists assume that we need to create a new law instead of holding people accountable for their actions – something that can easily be done using existing law.  And now it comes to light that the new law means that distracted drivers, when "texting", are being held to a lower standard than before the law was passed.  A reasonable person might assume that the solution would be to repeal the bad law.  But what is Rob Bell's solution?  We need a new law!  And one that upgrades texting (in fact, any activity with a mobile device) to one of the most serious moving violations available, short of drunk driving.  At least under the original bad law you had to be suspected of some other infraction before troopers decided to detain you on the road.

I should not have to mention that there are a myriad ways that a driver can be distracted from the road without having a mobile device.  When that causes harm to another citizen, the law should prosecute and hold the perpetrator accountable.  What we do not need is to ask our state and local law enforcement officers to spend their time monitoring the private activity of citizens, ready to take away their freedom for what amounts to a victimless pre-crime.

Cigarette Trafficking

Now that the State has created a black market by oppressive regulation, Bell has decided they need a bigger club to help enforce their market intervention.  Smoking is a nasty habit, but a legal one.  Certainly the State has the right to regulate commerce in a fair and open manner.  But when a black market emerges in a specific sector, it should be a signal that regulation has gone too far, not that the state needs strickter rules and to create new business for the prison industrial complex. 

Bell has said he would like to prosecute activities that he terms "cigarette trafficking" as organized crime – imposing penalties stricter than the ones for armed robbery, rape and some murders.  The signal from this idea is that the financial interests of the state come before protecting the citizens.  No one associates "cigarette trafficking" with gang executions and protection rackets that actually create victims.  There is no "victim" being protected here but the State treasury.  If it's your priority to protect revenues and regulation more vigorously than protecting the citizens of the Commonwealth, you are promoting tyranny, not defending against it.

Financial Exploitation of Incapacitated Adults

It's easy to get emotional about this issue, and when it happens people want to react with vengeance.  But laws should be passed and enforced dispassionately and rationally, in spite of politician's willingness to exploit constituents' emotions to secure support.  The Crime Commission's study was directed by the General Assembly in the last session.  Not surprisingly, the Commission recommended an expansion of laws and penalties.  This in spite of the fact that the Commission's report stated:

  • In some of the reported instances, what initially appeared to be a case of financial exploitation was actually a situation where family relatives were upset on how the “victim” was spending his or her money.
  • It appears that in clear cases of elder exploitation, law enforcement and prosecutors in Virginia can successfully prosecute defendants.

In short, this is an attempt to create new crimes despite the fact that wrongdoing can be prosecuted without them, and to create a new "protected class" of citizens with unequal privileges.  We need to keep in mind that when the State creates new group rights, it aways comes at the expense of individual rights.

In these days and times, with ever expanding government control and regulation, and when the prison population is higher than any other country in the world, we need careful consideration when we create new crimes and new classes of criminals, further burdening the courts, the prisons, and ultimately the taxpayer.  I am certainly thankful for our prisons – there is no doubt that there are plenty of people that belong there instead of wandering our streets and threatening public safety.  But let's not forget that the role of government is to protect its citizens first, not itself.

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