Tag Archives: free

Latinos For Tennessee | Faith, Family, Freedom, and Fiscal …

Posted: July 25, 2016 at 3:58 pm

Donate Supreme Court Affirms Rule of Law; Separation of Powers in DAPA Ruling

June 23, 2016

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 23, 2016 Supreme Court Affirms Rule of Law; Separation of Powers in DAPA Ruling Nashville, Tennessee The Supreme Court of the United States handed down President Barack Obama a major defeat by deadlocking on the United States v Texas, No. 15-674, a case concerning the legality of an

March 29, 2016

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 29, 2016 Latinos for Tennessee Urges Passage of HB2414 Nashville, Tennessee Today, Raul Lopez, Executive Director for Latinos for Tennessee, a statewide organization dedicated to promoting and defending faith, family, freedom and fiscal responsibility to the Latino community in Tennessee issued a statement concerning Tennessee House Bill 2414,

March 23, 2016

President Barack Obama made history this week by becoming the first sitting United States President in nearly nine decades to visit the communist island of Cuba. As a Cuban that fled to the United States seeking refuge from Communism, it has been tough to watch images of the president shaking hands with Cuban President Raul

March 17, 2016

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 17, 2016 Media contact: Israel Ortega izzy.ortega@gmail.com (202) 345-9130 Latinos for Tennessee Salutes Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey Nashville, Tennessee For over two decades, Tennesseans have been able to rely on Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey as a tireless advocate for freedom, limited government and the free enterprise system. Latinos

February 27, 2016

Even as the number of Latinos in Nashville and elsewhere around the country grows, misinformation abounds about the fastest and youngest growing demographic community. The biggest misconception is that Latinos all speak in one voice. This is patently false and does a great deal of disservice to the millions of individuals who are unique and

February 11, 2016

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 11, 2016 Media contact: Israel Ortega izzy.ortega@gmail.com (202) 345-9130 Tennessee House Honors Tommy Vallejos, Latinos for Tennessee Board Chairman Nashville, Tennessee Today, the Tennessee House honored Clarksville, TN County Commissioner Tommy Vallejos, a gang-member turned U.S. Army Gulf War Veteran and now Pastor, for his contributions to the

October 12, 2015

September 16, 2015

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 16, 2015 Media contact: Israel Ortega iortega@crispcomm.com (202) 345-9130 Latinos for Tennessee Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month Makes Appeal to Policymakers for Greater School Choice to Help Close Educational Achievement Gap Nashville, Tennessee Latinos for Tennessee, an organization dedicated to providing the Hispanic community in the state with information

August 24, 2015

When the job numbers came out early this month, they were not pretty especially for the Latino community. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the unemployment rate for the Latino community had risen to 6.8% well above the national average of 5.3%. These numbers suggest that in spite of claims that

July 14, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 14, 2015 Media contact: Israel Ortega iortega@crispcomm.com (202) 345-9130 Latinos for Tennessee Co-Hosts Nashville Mayoral Forum on Tuesday Six candidates for Mayor confirmed to attend; Metro Council Candidates also confirmed Nashville, Tennessee Six of the seven candidates vying to become the next mayor of Nashville are set to appear before

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Latinos For Tennessee | Faith, Family, Freedom, and Fiscal …

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About Atlas Shrugged – cliffsnotes.com

Posted: July 23, 2016 at 4:25 am

Introduction

Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand’s masterpiece and the culmination of her career as a novelist. With its publication in 1957, the author accomplished everything she wanted to in the realm of fiction; the rest of her career as a writer was devoted to nonfiction. Rand was already a famous, best-selling author by the time she published Atlas Shrugged. With the success of The Fountainhead a decade earlier and its subsequent production as a Hollywood film starring Gary Cooper in 1949, her stature as an author was established. Publishers knew that her fiction would sell, and consequently they bid for the right to publish her next book.

Atlas Shrugged, although enormously controversial, had no difficulty finding a publisher. On the contrary, Rand conducted an intellectual auction among competing publishers, finally deciding on Random House because its editorial staff had the best understanding of the book. Bennett Cerf was a famous editor there. When Rand explained that, at one level, Atlas Shrugged was to provide a moral defense of capitalism, the editorial staff responded, “But that would mean challenging 3,000 years of Judeo-Christian tradition.” Their depth of philosophical insight impressed Ayn Rand, and she decided that Random House was the company to publish her book.

Atlas Shrugged furthers the theme of individualism that Ayn Rand developed in The Fountainhead. In The Fountainhead, she shows by means of its hero, the innovative architect Howard Roark, that the independent mind is responsible for all human progress and prosperity. In Atlas Shrugged, she shows that without the independent mind, our society would collapse into primitive savagery. Atlas Shrugged is an impassioned defense of the freedom of man’s mind. But to understand the author’s sense of urgency, we must have an idea of the context in which the book was written. This includes both the post-World War II Cold War and the broader trends of modern intellectual culture.

The Cold War and Collectivism

Twentieth-century culture spawned the most oppressive dictatorships in human history. The Fascists in Italy, the National Socialists (Nazis) in Germany, and the Communists first in Russia and later in China and elsewhere seriously threatened individual freedom throughout the world. Ayn Rand lived through the heart of this terrifying historical period. In fact, when she started writing Atlas Shrugged in 1946, the West had just achieved victory over the Nazis. For years, the specter of national socialism had haunted the world, exterminating millions of innocent people, enslaving millions more, and threatening the freedom of the entire globe. The triumph of the free countries of the West over Naziism was achieved at an enormous cost in human life. However, it left the threat of communism unabated.

Ayn Rand was born in Russia in 1905 and witnessed firsthand the Bolshevik Revolution, the Communist conquest of Russia, and the political oppression that followed. Even after her escape from the Soviet Union and her safe arrival in the United States, she kept in close touch with family members who remained there. But when the murderous policies of Joseph Stalin swallowed the Soviet Union, she lost track of her family. From her own life experiences, Ayn Rand knew the brutal oppression of Communist tyranny.

During the last days of World War II and in the years immediately following, communism conquered large portions of the world. Soviet armies first rolled through the countries of Eastern Europe, setting up Russian “satellite” nations in East Germany, Poland, Hungary, Romania, and elsewhere. Communists then came to power in China and North Korea and launched an invasion of South Korea. Shortly thereafter, communism was also dominant in Cuba, on America’s doorstep. In the 1940s and 1950s, communism was an expanding military power, threatening to engulf the free world.

This time period was the height of the Cold War the ideological battle between the United States and the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union ruled its empire in Eastern Europe by means of terror, brutally suppressing an uprising by Hungarian freedom fighters in 1956. The Russians developed the atomic bomb and amassed huge armies in Eastern Europe, threatening the free nations of the West. Speaking at the United Nations, Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev vowed that communism would “bury” the West. Like the Nazis in the 1930s, communists stood for a collectivist political system: one in which an individual is morally obliged to sacrifice himself for the state. Intellectual freedom and individual rights, cherished in the United States and other Western countries, were in grave danger.

Foreign military power was not the only way in which communism threatened U.S. freedom. Collectivism was an increasingly popular political philosophy among American intellectuals and politicians. In the 1930s, both national socialism and communism had supporters among American thinkers, businessmen, politicians, and labor leaders. The full horror of Naziism was revealed during World War II, and support for national socialism dwindled in the United States as a result. But communism, in the form of Marxist political ideology, survived World War II in the United States. Many American professors, writers, journalists, and politicians continued to advocate Marxist principles. When Ayn Rand was writing Atlas Shrugged, many Americans strongly believed that the government should have the power to coercively redistribute income and to regulate private industry. The capitalist system of political and economic freedom was consistently attacked by socialists and welfare statists. The belief that an individual has a right to live his own life was replaced, to a significant extent, by the collectivist idea that individuals must work and live in service to other people. Individual rights and political freedom were threatened in American politics, education, and culture.

An Appeal for Freedom

Rand argues in Atlas Shrugged that the freedom of American society is responsible for its greatest achievements. For example, in the nineteenth century, inventors and entrepreneurs created an outpouring of innovations that raised the standard of living to unprecedented heights and changed forever the way people live. Rand, who thoroughly researched the history of capitalism, was well aware of the progress made during this period of economic freedom. Samuel Morse invented the telegraph a device later improved by Thomas Edison, who went on to invent the phonograph, the electric light, and the motion picture projector. John Roebling perfected the suspension bridge and, just before his death, designed his masterpiece, the Brooklyn Bridge. Henry Ford revolutionized the transportation industry by mass-producing automobiles, a revolution that the Wright Brothers carried to the next level with their invention of the airplane. Railroad builders like Cornelius Vanderbilt and James J. Hill established inexpensive modes of transportation and opened up the Pacific Northwest to economic development.

Likewise, Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone during this era, Cyrus McCormick the reaper, and Elias Howe the sewing machine. Charles Goodyear discovered the vulcanization process that made rubber useful, and George Eastman revolutionized photography with the invention of a new type of camera the Kodak. George Washington Carver, among myriad agricultural accomplishments, developed peanuts and sweet potatoes into leading crops. Architects like Louis Sullivan and William LeBaron Jenney created the skyscraper, and George Westinghouse, the inventor of train airbrakes, developed a power system able to transmit electricity over great distances. The penniless Scottish immigrant Andrew Carnegie built a vast company manufacturing steel, and John D. Rockefeller did the same in the oil industry.

These are a few examples from an exhaustive list of advances in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Ayn Rand argues that economic freedom liberated these great creative thinkers, permitting them to put into practice new ideas and methods. But what would happen if economic freedom were lost?

Atlas Shrugged provides Ayn Rand’s answer to this question. In the story, she projects the culmination of America’s twentieth-century socialist trend. The U.S. government portrayed in the story has significant control over the domestic economy. The rest of the world has been swallowed up by communist “Peoples’ States” and subsists in abject poverty. A limited degree of economic freedom still exists in America, but it is steadily declining, as is American prosperity. The successful are heavily taxed to support the poor, and the American poor are similarly levied to finance the even poorer people in foreign Peoples’ States. The government subsidizes inefficient businesses at the expense of the more efficient. With the state controlling large portions of the economy, the result is the rise of corrupt businessmen who seek profit by manipulating crooked politicians rather than by doing productive work. The government forces inventors to give up their patents so that all manufacturers may benefit equally from new products. Similarly, the government breaks up productive companies, compelling them to share the market with weaker (less efficient) competitors. In short, the fictionalized universe of Atlas Shrugged presents a future in which the U.S. trend toward socialism has been accelerated. Twentieth-century realities such as heavy taxation, massive social welfare programs, tight governmental regulation of industry, and antitrust action against successful companies are heightened in the universe of this story. The government annuls the rights of American citizens, and freedom is steadily eroded. The United States of the novel the last bastion of liberty on earth rapidly becomes a fascist/communist dictatorship.

The result, in Rand’s fictional universe, is a collapse of American prosperity. Great minds are shackled by government policies, and their innovations are either rejected or expropriated by the state. Thinkers lack the freedom necessary to create new products, to start their own companies, to compete openly, and to earn wealth. Under the increasing yoke of tyranny, the most independent minds in American society choose to defend their liberty in the most effective manner possible: They withdraw from society.

The Mind on Strike

Atlas Shrugged is a novel about a strike. Ayn Rand sets out to show the fate that befalls the world when the thinkers and creators go on strike. The author raises an intriguing question: What would happen if the scientists, medical researchers, inventors, industrialists, writers, artists, and so on withheld their minds and their achievements from the world?

In this novel, Rand argues that all human progress and prosperity depend on rational thinking. For example, human beings have cured such diseases as malaria, polio, dysentery, cholera, diphtheria, and tuberculosis. Man has learned to fly, erect cities and skyscrapers, grow an abundant food supply, and create computers. Humans have been to the moon and back and have invented the telephone, radio, television, and a thousand other life-promoting technologies. All of these achievements result from the human application of a rational mind to practical questions of survival. If the intellectuals responsible for such advances abandon the world, regression to the primitive conditions of the Dark Ages would result. But what would motivate intellectuals to such an extreme act as going on strike? We are used to hearing about strikes that protest conditions considered oppressive or intolerable by workers. The thinkers go on strike in Atlas Shrugged to protest the oppression of their intellect and creativity.

The thinkers in Atlas Shrugged strike on behalf of individual rights and political freedom. They strike against an enforced moral code of self-sacrifice the creed that human life must be devoted to serving the needs of others. Above all, the thinkers strike to prove that reason is the only means by which man can understand reality and make proper decisions; emotions should not guide human behavior. In short, the creative minds are on strike in support of a person’s right to think and live independently.

In the novel, the withdrawal of the great thinkers causes the collapse of the American economy and the end of dictatorship. The strike proves the role that the rational mind plays in the attainment of progress and prosperity. The emphasis on reason is the hallmark of Ayn Rand’s fiction. All of her novels, in one form or another, glorify the life-giving power of the human mind.

For example, in The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand emphasizes the independent nature of the mind’s functioning that rational individuals neither conform to society nor obey authority, but trust their own judgment. In her early novelette Anthem, Ayn Rand shows that under a collectivist dictatorship, the mind is stifled and society regresses to a condition of primitive ignorance. Anthem focuses on the mind’s need for political freedom. The focus of Atlas Shrugged is the role that the human mind plays in human existence. Atlas Shrugged shows that rational thinking is mankind’s survival instrument, just as the ability to fly is the survival tool for birds. In all of her major novels, Ayn Rand presents heroes and heroines who are brilliant thinkers opposed to either society’s pressure to conform or a dictatorial government’s commands to obey. The common denominator in all of her books is the life-and-death importance, for both the individual and society, of remaining true to the mind.

Objectivism in Action

In Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand presents, for the first time and in a dramatized form, her original philosophy of Objectivism. She exemplifies this philosophy in the lives of the heroes and in the action of the story. Objectivism holds that reason not faith or emotionalism is man’s sole means of gaining knowledge. Her theory states that an individual has a right to his or her own life and to the pursuit of his or her own happiness, which is counter to the view that man should sacrifice himself to God or society. Objectivism is individualistic, holding that the purpose of government is to protect the sovereign rights of an individual. This philosophy opposes the collectivist notion that society as a whole is superior to the individual, who must subordinate himself to its requirements. In the political/economic realm, Objectivism upholds full laissez-faire capitalism a system of free markets that legally prevent the government from restricting man’s productive activities as the only philosophical system that protects the freedom of man’s mind, the rights of the individual, and the prosperity of man’s life on earth.

Because of Ayn Rand’s uncompromising defense of the mind, of the individual, and of capitalism, Atlas Shrugged created great controversy on its publication in 1957. Denounced by critics and intellectuals, the book nevertheless reached a wide audience. The book has sold millions of copies and influenced the lives of countless readers. Since 1957, Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism has gradually taken hold in American society. Today, her books and ideas are becoming widely taught in high schools and universities.

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About Atlas Shrugged – cliffsnotes.com

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Prepping 101: Financial Independence | Suburban Steader

Posted: July 14, 2016 at 4:35 pm

I want to let you in on a dirty little secret about prepping: it aint cheap!

Once you get through your Oh, crap! moment, youre going to do the same thing I did. Youll realize that theres a whole lot of action you need to take and a fair amount of things you need to acquire. A lot of these actions and acquisitions require money money you might not have right now. So, what are you going to do to get started?

Go into debt?

Buy it on credit cards?

WRONG!

Youre going to do the first thing I did sit down and make a plan to get out of debt. If you do nothing else described in this series, youll benefit immensely just by getting out of debt and creating financial independence for your family. Not being handcuffed by the credit card companies and banks will make you breath easier and sleep sounder.

Your first thought might be why should I get my checkbook in shape before I stock up on beans, bullets or band-aids? The answer is simple: without a solid financial backing, you cant buy anything. Putting yourself into debt just to be prepared is detrimental to your cause. You can have all the food store, medical supplies and firearms you can handle, but youll be up a creek without a paddle if spend all your money on preps and cant afford to pay your mortgage or rent.

The first thing I recommend doing to start getting your finances in order is nothing.

Sound counter-intuitive? It is.

Youre not going to change your spending habits, youre not going to change your income, youre not going to change your monthly bills. Youre simply going to track your incomes and expenses for the next three months. Tracking this information lets you find out where your money is coming from and where its going.

There are a ton of different ways to track your money.

Some people like the old school method of pencil and paper. And that process works just fine. Write down dates and transactions incomes and outcomes. At the end of the month, add them up.

Other people, myself included, prefer a slightly more technologically advanced approach.There are many software applications (both freeware and paid) that allow you to track your expenses. We have been using the freeware software Microsoft Money Plus. Yes, its Microsoft, but it does a great job of providing a clean interface that allow us to easily track my money. In addition, it allows us to run monthly reports. Plus its free thats a bonus for this endeavor! You can find it, along with a handful of other free finance tracking software suites, on this site.

Now you need to take an honest look at the results of your financial tracking.Im going to warn you right now this next step isnt going to be comfortable.

We spent three months tracking my financial transactions every paycheck, Dunkin Donut stop and fill up at the gas station. After three months, we was able to generate three monthly reports and get a pretty good snapshot of how we spend our money.

At this point, we could see where we needed to tighten the belt a little. One of our big findings was that we were eating out ALOT! Those $5 breakfasts, lunch runs and were too tired to cook dinners were catching up to us. We had a couple of other areas we were unknowingly spending a lot of money.

The next step is to tighten up in your overspending areas. This step will be uncomfortable. Not going out to eat as much as we used to sucked. For instance, I personally felt like I was losing a social aspect of work. Likewise, we felt we worked hard during the week and deserved to go out to a nice dinner on the weekends. But you know what else we found out? We found out we were able to save some money in just a few months. After tightening the belt a bit for a few months, we were starting to see our income trump our expenses for the month (youre still tracking your finances, right?).

We made a list of our debts credit cards, loans, mortgages, etc. And we also stumbled upon Dave Ramseys Debt Snowball. Spend some time reading up about this approach on your own, but the premise is this:

Pay off the smallest debt first by adding additional monthly payments while still paying your regular monthly payments to all your bills. Then you take the money you were paying monthly on the first bill and tack it onto the payments for the next smallest bill. Once that loan is paid off, you take the money you were paying on the first two loans and attack the third smallest loan with that extra monthly money. And so on, and so on. Essentially youre paying the same amount every month, but your debt starts to disappear.

Download the Debt Snowball spreadsheet from Vertex42.com

Were in the middle of this process approaching some of our bigger loans and can honestly say it works. Dave Ramsey has a pretty good approach to financial security give him a chance.

So youve paid off everything with exception of maybe your mortgage. What do you do now? First give yourself a giant slap on the back. Youve done something that most folks dont think is possible. Youve used what you have to get out of debt. You can breath easy. You can sleep sound at night. Next make yourself a promise. Promise yourself that this will NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN! Make smart decisions, dont finance your wants and live debt free. Now you can prep with an open mind.

Youre probably asking do I need to take care of my finances before I do any prepping?

The answer is YESand NO.

First, remember that building up your financial security is a big part of prepping, so dont overlook it. Second, realize that you can do small things on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to build up your preps. Well get into different ideas when we talk about water and food storage. Also, if you can find ways to augment your income, you can justify making a prepping fund where you can save money and put it towards prepping. This approach doesnt strictly follow Dave Ramsays advice, but I have found that allowing yourself an occasional reward does help you keep on the straight. At least for me, sometimes I need something more than seeing the monthly statements disintegrating before my eyes. Just be sure that your occasional treats dont overtake your debt reduction process.

I hope you enjoyed this first article on Prepping 101. I am happy to answer any questions in the comments section here or on Facebook. If you dont want to make your question public, you can always email me at dan AT suburbansteader.com. Keep an eye out for our next Prepping 101 article on identifying what youre doing thats working against self-sufficiency.

photo credit: psyberartist via photopin cc

A beginners guide to the prepping mindset

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Apps/Evolution – GNOME Wiki!

Posted: July 12, 2016 at 6:25 am

Evolution is a personal information management application that provides integrated mail, calendaring and address book functionality.

First consult the Evolution Manual.

The evolution-list mailing list is the best place to seek further assistance with using Evolution, for example when you have problems. Subscribe here!

The evolution-hackers mailing list is for developer discussions. The topics can get pretty technical. Subscribe here!

Many Evolution developers and users can also be found on IRC (irc.gimp.org), channel #evolution.

The Evolution project releases its source code as tarball files, from which Free Software distributors can create easily-installable binary packages for users.

Most likely your Free Software distribution (Fedora, Mint, Ubuntu, etc.) already provides binary packages for Evolution. The following links are only for the source code.

The latest stable releases are the 3.20 series. Tarballs can be found for these various components (see also the “.news” files accompanying them for a list of changes):

The latest development snapshot tarballs (3.21 series, what will become 3.22) can be found below (after the first 3.21 release):

Or you can clone the source code repositories with git:

gitclonegit://git.gnome.org/evolution (Browse)

gitclonegit://git.gnome.org/evolution-data-server (Browse)

gitclonegit://git.gnome.org/evolution-ews (optional) (Browse)

gitclonegit://git.gnome.org/evolution-mapi (deprecated) (Browse)

You can also view the schedule of upcoming releases.

The following materials have aged. Some parts are no longer accurate and need a rewrite.

IRC nick names in brackets.

CategoryProject

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Prepping 101: Financial Independence | Suburban Steader

Posted: July 9, 2016 at 8:17 pm

I want to let you in on a dirty little secret about prepping: it aint cheap!

Once you get through your Oh, crap! moment, youre going to do the same thing I did. Youll realize that theres a whole lot of action you need to take and a fair amount of things you need to acquire. A lot of these actions and acquisitions require money money you might not have right now. So, what are you going to do to get started?

Go into debt?

Buy it on credit cards?

WRONG!

Youre going to do the first thing I did sit down and make a plan to get out of debt. If you do nothing else described in this series, youll benefit immensely just by getting out of debt and creating financial independence for your family. Not being handcuffed by the credit card companies and banks will make you breath easier and sleep sounder.

Your first thought might be why should I get my checkbook in shape before I stock up on beans, bullets or band-aids? The answer is simple: without a solid financial backing, you cant buy anything. Putting yourself into debt just to be prepared is detrimental to your cause. You can have all the food store, medical supplies and firearms you can handle, but youll be up a creek without a paddle if spend all your money on preps and cant afford to pay your mortgage or rent.

The first thing I recommend doing to start getting your finances in order is nothing.

Sound counter-intuitive? It is.

Youre not going to change your spending habits, youre not going to change your income, youre not going to change your monthly bills. Youre simply going to track your incomes and expenses for the next three months. Tracking this information lets you find out where your money is coming from and where its going.

There are a ton of different ways to track your money.

Some people like the old school method of pencil and paper. And that process works just fine. Write down dates and transactions incomes and outcomes. At the end of the month, add them up.

Other people, myself included, prefer a slightly more technologically advanced approach.There are many software applications (both freeware and paid) that allow you to track your expenses. We have been using the freeware software Microsoft Money Plus. Yes, its Microsoft, but it does a great job of providing a clean interface that allow us to easily track my money. In addition, it allows us to run monthly reports. Plus its free thats a bonus for this endeavor! You can find it, along with a handful of other free finance tracking software suites, on this site.

Now you need to take an honest look at the results of your financial tracking.Im going to warn you right now this next step isnt going to be comfortable.

We spent three months tracking my financial transactions every paycheck, Dunkin Donut stop and fill up at the gas station. After three months, we was able to generate three monthly reports and get a pretty good snapshot of how we spend our money.

At this point, we could see where we needed to tighten the belt a little. One of our big findings was that we were eating out ALOT! Those $5 breakfasts, lunch runs and were too tired to cook dinners were catching up to us. We had a couple of other areas we were unknowingly spending a lot of money.

The next step is to tighten up in your overspending areas. This step will be uncomfortable. Not going out to eat as much as we used to sucked. For instance, I personally felt like I was losing a social aspect of work. Likewise, we felt we worked hard during the week and deserved to go out to a nice dinner on the weekends. But you know what else we found out? We found out we were able to save some money in just a few months. After tightening the belt a bit for a few months, we were starting to see our income trump our expenses for the month (youre still tracking your finances, right?).

We made a list of our debts credit cards, loans, mortgages, etc. And we also stumbled upon Dave Ramseys Debt Snowball. Spend some time reading up about this approach on your own, but the premise is this:

Pay off the smallest debt first by adding additional monthly payments while still paying your regular monthly payments to all your bills. Then you take the money you were paying monthly on the first bill and tack it onto the payments for the next smallest bill. Once that loan is paid off, you take the money you were paying on the first two loans and attack the third smallest loan with that extra monthly money. And so on, and so on. Essentially youre paying the same amount every month, but your debt starts to disappear.

Download the Debt Snowball spreadsheet from Vertex42.com

Were in the middle of this process approaching some of our bigger loans and can honestly say it works. Dave Ramsey has a pretty good approach to financial security give him a chance.

So youve paid off everything with exception of maybe your mortgage. What do you do now? First give yourself a giant slap on the back. Youve done something that most folks dont think is possible. Youve used what you have to get out of debt. You can breath easy. You can sleep sound at night. Next make yourself a promise. Promise yourself that this will NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN! Make smart decisions, dont finance your wants and live debt free. Now you can prep with an open mind.

Youre probably asking do I need to take care of my finances before I do any prepping?

The answer is YESand NO.

First, remember that building up your financial security is a big part of prepping, so dont overlook it. Second, realize that you can do small things on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to build up your preps. Well get into different ideas when we talk about water and food storage. Also, if you can find ways to augment your income, you can justify making a prepping fund where you can save money and put it towards prepping. This approach doesnt strictly follow Dave Ramsays advice, but I have found that allowing yourself an occasional reward does help you keep on the straight. At least for me, sometimes I need something more than seeing the monthly statements disintegrating before my eyes. Just be sure that your occasional treats dont overtake your debt reduction process.

I hope you enjoyed this first article on Prepping 101. I am happy to answer any questions in the comments section here or on Facebook. If you dont want to make your question public, you can always email me at dan AT suburbansteader.com. Keep an eye out for our next Prepping 101 article on identifying what youre doing thats working against self-sufficiency.

photo credit: psyberartist via photopin cc

A beginners guide to the prepping mindset

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Prepping 101: Financial Independence | Suburban Steader

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Deals & Packages | The Official Site of The Bahamas

Posted: July 8, 2016 at 7:54 am

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What Are Nootropics? A Guide to Nootropic Supplements

Posted: July 7, 2016 at 4:12 pm

Nootropics are a class of cognitive enhancing supplements that are used to improve concentration and boost memory power. Nootropics are often used to increase attention spans, help individuals focus and as studying aids.

You will occasionally see Nootropics referred to as smart drugs as they are associated with increased intelligence, motivation, and mental energy.

However, unlike smart drugs which can often cause negative side effects with long-term use, nootropics must be safe, neuroprotective and pose a very low risk of side effects when used appropriate.

Many nootropics share similar mechanisms of action by enhancing increased communication between neurons, helping to balance neurotransmitter levels or by promoting brain cell health. They may help improve energy metabolism in your neurons, support neuroplasticity, or even stimulate the growth of new neurons and synapses.

What are Nootropics and how do they really work? Which are the best nootropics to use if you are a new user?

This article will provide a basic guide to nootropics and give you an overview of how to use these supplements to enhance your mental capabilities.

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Nootropics are broadly any type of neuro enhancing drug or natural supplement with very low prevalence of side effects. The actual definition of what makes a supplement a nootropic is somewhat of a loose concept.

The original description comes from Belgian pharmacologists S. Giurgea and V. Skondia who invented the first Nootropic a compound known as Piracetam in 1963.

They established the classification of Nootropics to refer to cognitive boosting substances with extremely low toxicity that can be taken for long-term use.

This highlights the fact that Piracetam and other Nootropics are able to improve brain functions without any of the negative side effects associated with brain stimulants.

Piracetam (known also by the name Nootropil) is one of the best known Nootropics and makes up part of the Racetam family along with Aniracetam, Phenylpiracetam, Pramiracetam, Oxiracetam, Nefiracetam, Coluracetam and Nebracetam. These are all synthetic compounds that have been created in the lab, but there are also a number of effective herbal and natural nootropic supplements.

For example, fish oil, grape seed extract, bacopa monnieri, yerba mate and even licorice are all natural nootropics. (Click here to see a full Nootropics List of supplements that are available.) You will often find these supplements combined together in a Nootropic Stack to further enhance their effectiveness.

What exactly do Nootropics do? Like smart drugs, Nootropics will not instantaneously give you a higher IQ or a better intellect. But they may boost your brain functions by increasing the production and signalling of various neurotransmitters.

Your brain is essentially a network of billions of neurons connected by synapses. These neurons communicate and work together through chemicals known as neurotransmitters. When neurotransmitters are able to send signals more efficiently, you experience improved concentration, better memory, mood elevation, increased processing ability for mental work, and longer attention spans.

With continued supplementation of certain nootropics, you can improve the synaptic plasticity of neurons, causing long lasting improvement to the health and functioning of your brain.

Other nootropics show effects of vasodilation which means they increase the blood flow to your brain. This supplies your brain with more oxygen, nutrients, and glucose the primary energy source used by the brain during long periods of focus.

The brain requires an immense amount of energy to perform its function, sustain consciousness and to pay attention to your external environment. Even though the brain is only 2% of your bodyweight, it constitutes 20% of your energy expenditure.

Performing mental exercises, learning new things, concentrating on your work and staying alert during the day all burn a lot of energy. By raising bloodflow and oxygenation, you can immediately experience greater capacity for memory and focus.

Supplements that can improve the energy supply to your brain cells (like Acetyl L-Carnitine, Caffeine, Creatine, Ginkgo Biloba, or Vinpocetine) can all enhance focus, mental energy and clarity. This type of nootropic is especially favored among students for studying as their effects are felt immediately.

Nootropics can also show signs of neuro-preservation and neuro-protection. These compounds directly affect the levels of brain chemicals associated with slowing down the aging process. Some nootropics could in an increase in the production of Nerve Growth Factor and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor to stimulate the growth of neurons and neurites while slowing down the rate of damage as well.

Over time, this could potentially slow down signs of aging like loss of memory and even counter the development of disorders like Alzheimers disease.

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Below is a list of some of the most popular and best nootropics that are available today. Each supplement with have its own unique mechanism of action that is distinct from other nootropics.

You can either select the supplement that best matches your needs or goals, or you can combine several nootropic compounds together in what is known as a stack. A stack simply involves any pairing of substances that enhance and complement each other when taken simultaneously.

Most of the pre-packaged brain boosters available will stack together several different herbal or synthetic nootropics like those listed below, but you can also buy the bulk raw powder and mix your own capsules to design a formula that is right for you.

Racetam: As mentioned previously, racetams are a class of nootropics including the widely used Piracetam, Aniracetam, Pramiracetam, and Oxiracetam.

They all share a similar chemical structure with a Pyrrolidone nucleus. Racetams work by dramatically increasing levels of neurotransmitters and other chemicals required for proper brain function like glutamate and acetylcholine.

They have been tested to improve cognitive function, prevent damage to brain cells from alcohol consumption and other factors, and to increase the communication between the two hemispheres of the brain.

Choline: Choline is frequently found in a nootropic stack with racetams like Piracetam and Aniracetam. Taking choline supplements will cause greater production of the acetylcholine neurotransmitter in the brain.

Since Racetams result in increased uptake and demand for acetylcholine, stacking choline with this nootropic will further enhance your results. Studies have shown that choline supplementation can improve performance on memory tests as well as social behavior. Choline also plays a key role in the production of phospholipids that are incorporated into brain cell membranes.

Pyritinol: Pyritinol has anti-oxidant effects for supporting the long-term health of the brain. But its primary benefit is aiding glucose uptake for periods of extended mental strain. If you are studying or working for a long period of time,
your brain will start to diminish its glucose (sugar) stores which are the primary way that the brain derives its energy.

Psychological studies have shown that continuing to refuel your brain with glucose will improve concentration and cognitive ability during extended periods of mental work. Supplementing Pyritinol aids further in glucose uptake so that your mental energy levels are higher.

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Vinpocetine: Vinpocetine has been shown as one of the most effective nootropics for improving brain blood flow. After taking Vinpocetine, the blood vessels dilate and are able to circulate more blood to the brain.

This causes a number of immediately noticeable effects such as concentration boosting, better mental agility, and higher energy levels and motivation.

There are many more nootropics available out there and different ones can assist you in improving your brain in various different ways. For a full Nootropics List, keep reading this website and check out our many Nootropic reviews.

Which nootropic supplement you pick is largely a matter of personal preference. You might want to check out the pre-made nootropic products like Alpha Brain or you might prefer to design your own stack by purchasing ingredients like Piracetam powder.

The health and capabilities of your brain are one of the most important determining factors in a happy and successful life, so whatever you pick you can rest assured that you are making a smart investment.

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Victimless Crimes: Definition, Types & Examples – Video …

Posted: July 5, 2016 at 11:49 pm

Learn what constitutes victimless crimes. Review the definition of the term and examine different types of victimless crimes. Finally, review several examples of victimless crimes that likely occur every day.

A fun weekend trip to Las Vegas, also known as ‘Sin City,’ stereotypically includes the opportunities to engage in several victimless crimes, such as public drunkenness, prostitution, illegal drug use and of course, gambling.

A victimless crime is an act that is illegal but has no direct victim. Typically, the parties involved are voluntarily acting. Also, the parties may be consenting adults. Therefore, there is no harm directly and specifically imposed upon another person and as a result, there is no victim.

Let’ take a look to some of the victimless crimes that do not specifically and directly harm another person. These include the following:

Let’s look at a couple of examples to get a better understanding of what constitutes a victimless crime.

Imagine that Florence wants to snort cocaine. When she does this, it is in the confines of her home and only she becomes high on the drug. While the activity is illegal, there is no injury done to another person and, therefore, no victim. Consequently, this is an example of a victimless crime.

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Now, imagine that Mary is a prostitute and Bob is a customer. Bob pays Mary for sex, and Mary provides the service to Bob. The two are engaged in a consensual, adult activity. There are no victims who sustain damage or injury. As a result, this is also a victimless crime.

Victimless crimes are crimes that do not directly and specifically harm another party. Moreover, the parties involved in the crimes are usually consulting and voluntarily participating adults. Therefore, there is no victim. Some examples of victimless crimes are public drunkenness, prostitution, illegal drug use and suicide.

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Oceania Cruises – Cruise Vacations & Cruise Deals | Mid-Sized …

Posted: July 3, 2016 at 12:22 pm

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On April 27, 2016, Sirena, the newest member of the Oceania Cruises fleet, was christened in Barcelona, Spain. Watch the event as it happened live, including opening remarks from Oceania Cruises President Jason Montague, Sirenas Godmother Claudine Ppin, the christening of the ship, and all the festivities!

Filled with a spectacular array of diverse and exotic destinations, your world awaits your discovery. There is simply no better way to explore it than aboard the elegant ships of Oceania Cruises. Our unique itineraries are wide-ranging, featuring the most fascinating destinations throughout the world. Regatta, Insignia, Nautica, Sirena, Marina and Riviera are all intimate and luxurious, with each calling on the worlds most desirable ports, from historic cities and modern meccas to seaside villages and faraway islands. On a voyage with Oceania Cruises, each day offers the rewarding opportunity to experience the history, culture and cuisine of a wondrous new destination.

Relax on board our luxurious ships and savor cuisine renowned as the finest at sea, rivaling even Michelin-starred restaurants ashore. Inspired by Master Chef Jacques Ppin, these culinary delights have always been a hallmark that distinguishes the Oceania Cruises experience from any other. Considering the uncompromising quality, perhaps the most remarkable aspect of an Oceania Cruises voyage is its incredible value. Lavish complimentary amenities abound, and there are never supplemental charges in any of the onboard restaurants. Value packages ensure that sipping a glass of vintage wine, surfing the Internet or enjoying a shore excursion is both convenient and affordable.

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Colloidal Silver and Biological (Germ) Warfare

Posted: June 30, 2016 at 3:45 am

Our country recently passed the 9th anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks of 2001, and the subsequent terrorist anthrax mailings that resulted in the deaths of five Americans and the infection of 17 others.

And while we all might rightfully wish to forget those horrific events except for a passing prayer for the victims and their families — and go on about our business as if nothing had ever happened

a prudent person would also quietly make sure he (or she) has taken at least a few protective precautions for their family, in case something like this ever happens again.

Crazy World

After all, you dont need me to tell you that today we live in a crazy, volatile and sometimes very scary world.

Only a few short days ago, half the Arab world erupted into fits of violent anger when a controversial preacher from Florida threatened to burn a copy of the Koran in protest of the building of the proposed Cordoba Mosque near Ground Zero 9-11 attacks.

We have homegrown terrorists, too. And you just never know when some of our countrys older enemies like Russia or China, or that lunatic midget running North Korea might decide the time is ripe again to try to bring America to her knees.

The bottom line is that today, I dont think anyone in the U.S. lives in an it cant happen here fantasy world any longer. We all know it can happen here. And that it can take very little to set it off.

Therefore, after reflecting on these facts, I thought it might be high-time to revisit the idea of using colloidal silver as a means of protecting ourselves and our family members during a terrorist germ warfare attack.

A Quick Look at the Idea of Using Colloidal Silver

Against Germ Warfare Pathogens!

Will colloidal silver really work against germ warfare (i.e., biological warfare) agents like anthrax?

The truth of the matter is that while germ warfare experts might know the answer to that question, theyre not telling.

After all, our country also has a huge arsenal of germ warfare agents. And as you can probably imagine, we wouldnt necessarily want our enemies to know the antidote if one existed particularly if it was as easy to make and distribute as colloidal silver.

Nevertheless, we do have some strong indications that colloidal silver may very well be a valid first-line-of-defense against germ warfare pathogens.

So lets take a quick look at a little bit of history, and some of the known facts about colloidal silver, and see if we can make a reasonable assumption as to whether or not colloidal silver might serve as a potent natural remedy against germ warfare agents.

Colloidal Silver and the Soviet Military

Author Mark Aarons discusses the idea of colloidal silvers potential effectiveness against germ warfare pathogens in his 1994 book, The Secret War Against the Jews:

There is little defense against [a biological germ warfare] attack, and what few antidotes exist are withheld from the public as military secrets.

One of the best examples of this is Movidyn, a substance that the Soviets discovered in their satellite state of Czechoslovakia way back in the 1950s.

Movidyn is a form of colloidal silver, odorless, tasteless, and cheaper to produce than chlorine disinfectants. One part per billion of powdered Movidyn in water has a germicidal effect.

In a study of infected wells, it completely destroyed typhus, malaria, cholera, and amoebic dysentery. Drinking containers washed in Movidyn retained their germ-fighting abilities for several weeks.

Movidyn seems to be a cost-effective prophylactic for most of the water-borne diseases that infect the Third World.

To the astonishment of the Soviet military, Movidyn also disinfected every germ warfare bacteria in the Soviet arsenal, even their newest designer poisons.

In other words, Movidyn was too good.

The Czech factory was disassembled and carted back to the Soviet Union. To this day, the Movidyn formula seems to have been suppressed from the world.

— Mark Aarons, The Secret War Against the Jews, 1994, pages 293-294

Microbiologist Larry Wayne Harris

On Colloidal Silver and Germ Warfare

In the most recently revised edition of my 547-page book, The Ultimate Colloidal Silver Manual, I also discuss the very real possibility that colloidal silver will turn out to be a valid defense against germ warfare agents during a terrorist biological attack

at least, for those who are prepared in advance and have plenty of colloidal silver stocked up, or who are foresighted enough to own the means of colloidal silver production so they can make their own colloidal silver whenever needed.

Heres what I wrote:

When former CIA microbiologist Larry Wayne Harris was asked on national television whether there were any natural substances that could protect the population against anthrax and other germ warfare agents, he responded:

The only natural substance I know of that is effective against these microbes is colloidal silver. I tested that myself when I was with the CIA, and found it effective against both anthrax and the bubonic plague pathogens.

After leaving the CIA, microbiologist Larry Harris is said to have re-tested colloidal silver against anthrax in his private laboratory in1997, and again found it to be highly effective.

According to Harris confidant Mike Seiler:

Harris definitely confirmed colloidal silver kills the anthrax pathogen. He used the minimum inhibitory test, in which he took ten vials of anthrax and put correspondingly higher concentrations of colloidal silver in each vial until he determined which concentration gives an effective kill rate. Harris discovered the kill rate was at 100 parts per billion an amazingly small amount of colloidal silver.

It is also important to note that colloidal silver was one of the few substances on earth that was successfully used against anthrax and other plague-like pathogens in the early 1900s prior to the advent of modern-day prescription antibiotic drugs, as verified by the 1919 book Colloids in Biology and Medicine by H. Beckhold, pages 364-376.

In fact, according to researcher James South, M.A., as early as 1887 a number of researchers had discovered that silver both in liquid solution and as an airborne aerosol was toxic to deadly anthrax spores. [Ref: N. Grier, Silver and Its Compounds in Disinfection, Sterilization and Preservation, S. Block, ed., Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1983, pages 380-428; H. Bechold, Colloids in Biology and Medicine, N.Y.,: D. Van Nostrand, 1919, pages 364-376; Anti-Aging Bulletin, International Antiaging Systems, Vol. 4, Issue 3. Apr/May, 1999, Hi Yo Silver, Away! by James South, M.A.]

Considering that anthrax is said to be the all-time favorite biological warfare agent of Islamic terrorists and is one of the infectious biological agents intelligence experts claim terrorist cell teams are known to be in possession of it would seem to be a prudent precaution indeed to have the ability to make your own therapeutic-quality colloidal silver at home in order to help protect yourself and your family in the event of a terrorist biological attack on U.S. cities.

— from The Ultimate Colloidal Silver Manual, 2009, pages 313-314

The above chapter goes on to discuss theoretical dosage levels of colloidal silver for use against germ warfare pathogens.

Later in the above chapter, I also quote microbiologist
Larry Wayne Harris as saying that in order for colloidal silver to be effective during a germ warfare attack, youll need to have certain levels of colloidal silver already built up in your bloodstream, cells and tissues, well before a terror attack occurs. Harris stated:

In the event of outbreaks of biological plagues, those who have already been taking sufficient levels of colloidal silver will have an automatic resistance in their bodies

If, however, a person has not been taking colloidal silver for 30 to 50 days prior to exposure to a plague, silver will have little effect. This is because invading bacteria can kill within several days, while it takes weeks for colloidal silver to be spread through your entire bodys millions of cells.

I don’t know about you. But for me, the idea that colloidal silver would only work during a germ warfare attack if you’ve already been using it daily for one to two months before being exposed to germ warfare agents, is not a very appealing one.

After all, many people who are experienced in colloidal silver usage only use it periodically — for example, if they feel a cold coming on, or whenever theyve actually come down with an infection and they want to deal with it naturally.

Is There Some Other Way To Get

Colloidal Silver Into the Body, Quickly and Effectively?

Fortunately, there is a way to get colloidal silver into the bloodstream and the bodys cells and tissues quickly and easily.

And we have the prestigious Health Sciences Institute (HSI) to thank for bringing this to our attention.

You see, HSI addressed this very topic in an e-alert to their members, back in October 2001, shortly after the 9-11 terrorist attacks and subsequent anthrax attacks on our nation.

As the HSI pointed out at the time, one of their well-known health symposium panelists, Dr. Marcial-Vega, had discovered while dealing with pneumonia patients the fact that colloidal silver can be quickly and easily carried into the human blood stream and from there into the bodys cells and tissues, simply by nebulizing it.

Nebulizing is a process by which colloidal silver is run through a small medical device called a nebulizer (inexpensively available on e-Bay) which turns the colloidal silver solution into a fine mist. This fine mist can easily be breathed into the lungs as its produced by the machine. And from the lungs the body can efficiently and effectively distribute the colloidal silver straight into the blood stream, cells and tissues.

Heres what the Health Sciences Institute told their members:

Based on his experience treating other types of bacterial lung infections, Dr. Marcial-Vega believes he has discovered a way to prevent anthrax from developing even if you’ve already been exposed.

He’s currently talking with government health authorities about testing his hypothesis on live anthrax spores, but asked us bring this information directly to you now.

Just in his last decade of medical practice, Dr. Marcial-Vega has treated hundreds of people with a variety of viral, fungal, and bacterial pneumonias. And of all the available treatments, he has seen the greatest success with nebulizer treatments using a colloidal silver preparation.

Silver has long been known for its anti-bacterial properties, and the nebulizer allows the mineral to reach the lungs and kill harmful bacteria. Now, in the face of the anthrax threat, he believes it can do the same thing with anthrax spores.

‘We are constantly filtering all kinds of bacteria through our lungs,’ explained Dr. Marcial-Vega. Normally, a healthy body is able to kill off any dangerous bacteria on its own. But in the case of illness, like pneumonia, or an especially lethal bacteria like anthrax, the body may need some extra help.

For anthrax prevention, he recommends a daily nebulizer treatment with 4 cc’s of colloidal silver. By following this protocol, Dr. Marcial-Vega says your body can likely kill off the anthrax spores before you even know you were exposed. Colloidal silver may even be useful to treat cutaneous anthrax with the preparation being directly applied to the affected skin.

Dr. Marcial-Vega says there are no concerns about using this treatment because colloidal silver has no toxicity and no side effects. He has used the colloidal silver nebulizer treatments on infants, the elderly, and AIDS patients with pneumonia and has seen great results. All have responded quickly to the treatment even when no other approach seemed to help, and no one reported any adverse reactions.

Nebulizers are widely used to treat asthma, and are readily available at drug stores nationwide. The cost generally runs between $50 and $120 for the machine. Each member of the family should have their own mask, and both adult and pediatric sizes are available for a few dollars each. But the entire family can share the nebulizer machine and the tubing.”

If youre interested, you can read a more recent article here on using what I call a poor mans nebulizer. This is simply an inexpensive cool mist vaporizer from Wal-Mart or any other drug store. These inexpensive little devices do pretty much exactly what a medical nebulizer would do as long as you’re using full-strength colloidal silver in it.

No Clinical Evidence

The bottom line is that theres no real clinical evidence for colloidal silvers potential effectiveness in humans against germ warfare agents such as anthrax and others.

Thats chiefly because no one is going to allow themselves to be infected with such deadly biological agents in order to test the colloidal silver hypothesis.

Even if they conducted animal tests to see if colloidal silver would be effective against germ warfare agents, its likely the results would be kept secret due to national security. Again, we wouldnt announce to our enemies the antidote to one of the most potent (albeit non-humanitarian) weapons in our own weapons of mass destruction arsenal.

Nevertheless, theres plenty of historical and circumstantial evidence to indicate that colloidal silver may very well be a first-line-of-defense remedy against germ warfare pathogens.

And for that reason alone its worth owning a high-quality colloidal silver generator so you can make all of the colloidal silver you could ever need, quickly and easily, any time you need it, in the comfort and privacy of your own home.

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Colloidal Silver and Biological (Germ) Warfare

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