Tag Archives: free

Deconstructing the Second Amendment – cnn.com

Posted: August 12, 2016 at 2:34 pm

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

And yet, for years, those 27 brief words have been the source of contentious debate — seen by some as an inalienable protection against tyranny; by others as a dangerous anachronism.

Here’s a look at the Second Amendment, its phrases parsed and placed in legal and historical context.

Our guides will be Constitutional experts Jeffrey Rosen and Jack Rakove.

What is a militia?

At the time of the American Revolutionary War, militias were groups of able-bodied men who protected their towns, colonies, and eventually states. “[When the Constitution was drafted], the militia was a state-based institution,” says Rakove. “States were responsible for organizing this.”

What did it mean to be well regulated?

One of the biggest challenges in interpreting a centuries-old document is that the meanings of words change or diverge.

“Well-regulated in the 18th century tended to be something like well-organized, well-armed, well-disciplined,” says Rakove. “It didn’t mean ‘regulation’ in the sense that we use it now, in that it’s not about the regulatory state. There’s been nuance there. It means the militia was in an effective shape to fight.”

In other words, it didn’t mean the state was controlling the militia in a certain way, but rather that the militia was prepared to do its duty.

What type of security was referred to here?

To get to that, consider the climate of the United States at the time. The country had just fought a war, won its independence and was expanding west. There were plenty of reasons to feel unsafe, and so “security” had a very palpable meaning.

“You have an expanding country, and the principle defense use of the militia would be to protect local residents from attack and invasion,” Rakove says.

It also meant physical protection from government overreach.

“The idea of a state militia would also be attractive because it serves as a deterrent against national tyranny,” says Rakove. “At the time, if government forces tried to take over land or overstep their boundaries, you’d have an institution in place — the militia — that would outnumber any army.”

Of course, with the size and scope of the modern United States military, and the fact that militias as we know it no longer exist, that notion is hard to imagine today.

In the debate over the Second Amendment, this phrase, “a well regulated militia,” remains one of the most cited and argued parts of the sentence.

What did a free state mean?

It may seem obvious, but Rosen and Rakove agree the Constitution bore a lot of contemporary moralism and not every word is well-defined.

In this case, the meaning of “state” is what it appears to be.

“This is referring immediately to ‘state’ as in one of the states of the original colonies,” Rosen says. “James Madison had the 1777 Virginia Declaration of Rights by his side when he wrote the Bill of Rights and he essentially copied and pasted language from it.”

But it could also speak to a larger understanding of liberty.

“So here,” Rosen continues, “George Mason (the author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights) is talking about not only the free state of Virginia.” He is also talking about a broader state of freedom.

What kind of rights?

This is another highly-contested area where it helps to know more about how the framers of the Constitution thought about complex ideas like “rights.”

“When we think about ‘rights,’ we think of them as regulations and exemptions,” Rakove says. “Back at the birth of our nation, they had a different quality. They were more moralistic.”

Rosen says this viewpoint is reflected in the Declaration of Independence:

“The framers definitely believed in natural rights — that they are endowed by a creator,” Rosen says. “They believed we are born into a state of nature before we form governments, and that we are endowed with certain fundamental rights.”

These natural rights included the right to religious expression, free speech, property and more. But they did not, Rosen says, specifically include the tenets of the Second Amendment.

“The framers did not talk about the right to bear arms as one of the set of natural rights,” he says. “But it is fair to say that the right to alter and abolish government — to the degree that modern people claim they have that right — the framers certainly believe it.”

“In that sense, it is historically accurate to say that the framers did recognize a natural right of self-defense.”

Who are the people?

Even the term “people” — the most basic catch-all — has limitations.

“You say people, you mean individual persons,” says Rakove. “But, if you go to Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution, it says the House of Representatives will be chosen by the people — who are the persons? Who are entitled to exercise that suffrage? You see, you can use the term ‘people’ to imply a collective mass, but there are some categories of people that can be excluded.”

After all, when the Constitution was written, slaves were considered property and women were not allowed to vote.

In addition, there is a more basic question of semantics: By “the people,” is the Second Amendment referring to people as private entities, or as participants in the militia?

The legal consensus is that the Second Amendment applies to individual rights, within reasonable regulations. More on that below.

What are Arms in this context, and what is the scope of bearing Arms?

The decision struck down the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975, which heavily regulated owning and keeping firearms in the District of Columbia.

In the above excerpt, we can see the Court considered the awkward phrasing of the Amendment. The Justices divided the Amendment into an operative clause: “right of the people to keep and bear arms,” and a prefatory clause: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State.” The court determined the relationship between these phrases, as well as the historical context of the Constutition’s creation, clearly provided an individual right.

The term “arms” is also an ever-changing one, and there are ongoing debates about assault weapons and emerging firearm technologies.

“One thing people disagree about is whether assault weapons bans are constitutional,” says Rosen. “They also disagree about how we should interpret the constitution in terms of history or in light of new technologies.”

What does it all mean?

“It’s really striking that since these Supreme Court decisions… lower courts have upheld almost all of the gun regulations they have asked to review,” he says.

Rakove thinks the framers of the Constitution would be surprised at the conversations we are having today.

“While there is a common law right to self-defense, most historians think that it would be remarkable news to the framers of the Second Amendment that they were actually constitutionalizing a personal right to self-defense as opposed to trying to say something significant about the militia,” he says.

Words like “militia” and “rights” are loaded with historical context and nuance that can act as a Rorschach test, leading even the best-intentioned interpreters to different conclusions. If there were any clear answers, these 27 words wouldn’t be so incendiary.

Jack Rakove is the William Robertson Coe Professor of History at Stanford University. His book “Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution” won a Pulitzer Prize in History.

See more here:
Deconstructing the Second Amendment – cnn.com

Posted in Second Amendment | Comments Off on Deconstructing the Second Amendment – cnn.com

Socio-Economic Collapse | Prometheism.net Designer …

Posted: August 10, 2016 at 9:24 pm

In archaeology, the classic Maya collapse refers to the decline of Maya civilization and abandonment of Maya cities in the southern Maya lowlands of Mesoamerica between the 8th and 9thcenturies, at the end of the Classic Mayan Period. Preclassic Maya experienced a similar collapse in the 2nd century.

The Classic Period of Mesoamerican chronology is generally defined as the period from 250 to 900, the last century of which is referred to as the Terminal Classic.[1] The classic Maya collapse is one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in archaeology. Urban centers of the southern lowlands, among them Palenque, Copn, Tikal, Calakmul, went into decline during the 8th and 9thcenturies and were abandoned shortly thereafter. Archaeologically, this decline is indicated by the cessation of monumental inscriptions and the reduction of large-scale architectural construction at the primary urban centers of the classic period.

Although termed a collapse, it did not mark the end of the Maya civilization; Northern Yucatn in particular prospered afterwards, although with very different artistic and architectural styles, and with much less use of monumental hieroglyphic writing. In the post-classic period following the collapse, the state of Chichn Itz built an empire that briefly united much of the Maya region,[citation needed] and centers such as Mayapn and Uxmal flourished, as did the Highland states of the Kiche and Kaqchikel Maya. Independent Maya civilization continued until 1697 when the Spanish conquered Nojpetn, the last independent city-state. Millions of Maya people still inhabit the Yucatn peninsula today.

Because parts of Maya civilization unambiguously continued, a number of scholars strongly dislike the term collapse.[2] Regarding the proposed collapse, E. W. Andrews IV went as far as to say, in my belief no such thing happened.[3]

The Maya often recorded dates on monuments they built. Few dated monuments were being built circa 500 around ten per year in 514, for example. The number steadily increased to make this number twenty per year by 672 and forty by around 750. After this, the number of dated monuments begins to falter relatively quickly, collapsing back to ten by 800 and to zero by 900. Likewise, recorded lists of kings complement this analysis. Altar Q shows a reign of kings from 426 to 763. One last king not recorded on Altar Q was Ukit Took, Patron of Flint, who was probably a usurper. The dynasty is believed to have collapsed entirely shortly thereafter. In Quirigua, twenty miles north of Copn, the last king Jade Sky began his rule between 895 and 900, and throughout the Maya area all kingdoms similarly fell around that time.[4]

A third piece of evidence of the progression of Maya decline, gathered by Ann Corinne Freter, Nancy Gonlin, and David Webster, uses a technique called obsidian hydration. The technique allowed them to map the spread and growth of settlements in the Copn Valley and estimate their populations. Between 400 and 450, the population was estimated at a peak of twenty-eight thousand between 750 and 800 larger than London at the time. Population then began to steadily decline. By 900 the population had fallen to fifteen thousand, and by 1200 the population was again less than 1000.

Some 88 different theories or variations of theories attempting to explain the Classic Maya Collapse have been identified.[5] From climate change to deforestation to lack of action by Mayan kings, there is no universally accepted collapse theory, although drought is gaining momentum as the leading explanation.[6]

The archaeological evidence of the Toltec intrusion into Seibal, Peten, suggests to some the theory of foreign invasion. The latest hypothesis states that the southern lowlands were invaded by a non-Maya group whose homelands were probably in the gulf coast lowlands. This invasion began in the 9thcentury and set off, within 100years, a group of events that destroyed the Classic Maya. It is believed that this invasion was somehow influenced by the Toltec people of central Mexico. However, most Mayanists do not believe that foreign invasion was the main cause of the Classic Maya Collapse; they postulate that no military defeat can explain or be the cause of the protracted and complex Classic Collapse process. Teotihuacan influence across the Maya region may have involved some form of military invasion; however, it is generally noted that significant Teotihuacan-Maya interactions date from at least the Early Classic period, well before the episodes of Late Classic collapse.[7]

The foreign invasion theory does not answer the question of where the inhabitants went. David Webster believed that the population should have increased because of the lack of elite power. Further, it is not understood why the governmental institutions were not remade following the revolts, which actually happened under similar circumstances in places like China. A study by anthropologist Elliot M. Abrams came to the conclusion that buildings, specifically in Copan, did not actually require an extensive amount of time and workers to construct.[8] However, this theory was developed during a time period when the archaeological evidence showed that there were fewer Maya people than there are now known to have been.[9] Revolutions, peasant revolts, and social turmoil change circumstances, and are often followed by foreign wars, but they run their course. There are no documented revolutions that caused wholesale abandonment of entire regions.

It has been hypothesized that the decline of the Maya is related to the collapse of their intricate trade systems, especially those connected to the central Mexican city of Teotihuacn. Preceding improved knowledge of the chronology of Mesoamerica, Teotihuacan was believed to have fallen during 700750, forcing the restructuring of economic relations throughout highland Mesoamerica and the Gulf Coast.[10] This remaking of relationships between civilizations would have then given the collapse of the Classic Maya a slightly later date. However, after knowing more about the events and the time periods that they occurred, it is now believed that the strongest Teotihuacan influence was during the 4th and 5thcenturies. In addition, the civilization of Teotihuacan started to lose its power, and maybe even abandoned the city, during 600650. This differs greatly from the previous belief that Teotihuacano power decreased during 700750.[11] But since the new decline date of 600650 has been accepted, the Maya civilizations are now thought to have lived on and prospered for another century and more[12] than what was previously believed. Rather than the decline of Teotihuacan directly preceding the collapse of the Maya, their decline is now seen as contributing to the 6thcentury hiatus.[12]

The disease theory is also a contender as a factor in the Classic Maya Collapse. Widespread disease could explain some rapid depopulation, both directly through the spread of infection itself and indirectly as an inhibition to recovery over the long run. According to Dunn (1968) and Shimkin (1973), infectious diseases spread by parasites are common in tropical rainforest regions, such as the Maya lowlands. Shimkin specifically suggests that the Maya may have encountered endemic infections related to American trypanosomiasis, Ascaris, and some enteropathogens that cause acute diarrheal illness. Furthermore, some experts believe that, through development of their civilization (that is, development of agriculture and settlements), the Maya could have created a disturbed environment, in which parasitic and pathogen-carrying insects often th rive.[13] Among the pathogens listed above, it is thought that those that cause the acute diarrheal illnesses would have been the most devastating to the Maya population. This is because such illness would have struck a victim at an early age, thereby hampering nutritional health and the natural growth and development of a child. This would have made them more susceptible to other diseases later in life. Such ideas as this could explain the role of disease as at least a possible partial reason for the Classic Maya Collapse.[14]

Mega-droughts hit the Yucatn Peninsula and Petn Basin areas with particular ferocity, as thin tropical soils decline in fertility and become unworkable when deprived of forest cover,[15] and due to regular seasonal drought drying up surface water.[16] Colonial Spanish officials accurately documented cycles of drought, famine, disease, and war, providing a reliable historical record of the basic drought pattern in the Maya region.[17]

Climatic factors were first implicated in the Collapse as early as 1931 by Mayanists Thomas Gann and J.E.S. Thompson.[18] In The Great Maya Droughts, Richardson Gill gathers and analyzes an array of climatic, historical, hydrologic, tree ring, volcanic, geologic, lake bed, and archeological research, and demonstrates that a prolonged series of droughts probably caused the Classic Maya Collapse.[19] The drought theory provides a comprehensive explanation, because non-environmental and cultural factors (excessive warfare, foreign invasion, peasant revolt, less trade, etc.) can all be explained by the effects of prolonged drought on Classic Maya civilization.[20]

Climatic changes are, with increasing frequency, found to be major drivers in the rise and fall of civilizations all over the world.[21] Professors Harvey Weiss of Yale University and Raymond S. Bradley of the University of Massachusetts have written, Many lines of evidence now point to climate forcing as the primary agent in repeated social collapse.[22] In a separate publication, Weiss illustrates an emerging understanding of scientists:

Within the past five years new tools and new data for archaeologists, climatologists, and historians have brought us to the edge of a new era in the study of global and hemispheric climate change and its cultural impacts. The climate of the Holocene, previously assumed static, now displays a surprising dynamism, which has affected the agricultural bases of pre-industrial societies. The list of Holocene climate alterations and their socio-economic effects has rapidly become too complex for brief summary.[23]

The drought theory holds that rapid climate change in the form of severe drought brought about the Classic Maya collapse. According to the particular version put forward by Gill in The Great Maya Droughts,

[Studies of] Yucatecan lake sediment cores provide unambiguous evidence for a severe 200-year drought from AD800 to 1000 the most severe in the last 7,000years precisely at the time of the Maya Collapse.[24]

Climatic modeling, tree ring data, and historical climate data show that cold weather in the Northern Hemisphere is associated with drought in Mesoamerica.[25] Northern Europe suffered extremely low temperatures around the same time as the Maya droughts. The same connection between drought in the Maya areas and extreme cold in northern Europe was found again at the beginning of the 20thcentury. Volcanic activity, within and outside Mesoamerica, is also correlated with colder weather and resulting drought, as the effects of the Tambora volcano eruption in 1815 indicate.[26]

Mesoamerican civilization provides a remarkable exception: civilization prospering in the tropical swampland. The Maya are often perceived as having lived in a rainforest, but technically, they lived in a seasonal desert without access to stable sources of drinking water.[27] The exceptional accomplishments of the Maya are even more remarkable because of their engineered response to the fundamental environmental difficulty of relying upon rainwater rather than permanent sources of water. The Maya succeeded in creating a civilization in a seasonal desert by creating a system of water storage and management which was totally dependent on consistent rainfall.[28] The constant need for water kept the Maya on the edge of survival. Given this precarious balance of wet and dry conditions, even a slight shift in the distribution of annual precipitation can have serious consequences.[16] Water and civilization were vitally connected in ancient Mesoamerica. Archaeologist and specialist in pre-industrial land and water usage practices, Vernon Scarborough, believes water management and access were critical to the development of Maya civilization.[29]

Critics of the drought theory wonder why the southern and central lowland cities were abandoned and the northern cities like Chichen Itza, Uxmal, and Coba continued to thrive.[30] One critic argued that Chichen Itza revamped its political, military, religious, and economic institutions away from powerful lords or kings.[31] Inhabitants of the northern Yucatn also had access to seafood, which might have explained the survival of Chichen Itza and Mayapan, cities away from the coast but within reach of coastal food supplies.[32] Critics of the drought theory also point to current weather patterns: much heavier rainfall in the southern lowlands compared to the lighter amount of rain in the northern Yucatn. Drought theory supporters state that the entire regional climate changed, including the amount of rainfall, so that modern rainfall patterns are not indicative of rainfall from 800 to 900. LSU archaeologist Heather McKillop found a significant rise in sea level along the coast nearest the southern Maya lowlands, coinciding with the end of the Classic period, and indicating climate change.[33]

David Webster, a critic of the megadrought theory says that much of the evidence provided by Gill comes from the northern Yucatn and not the Southern part of the peninsula, where Classic Maya civilization flourished. He also states that if water sources were to have dried up, then several city-states would have moved to other water sources. The fact that Gill suggests that all water in the region would have dried up and destroyed Maya civilization is a stretch, according to Webster.[34]

A study published in Science in 2012 found that modest rainfall reductions, amounting to only 25 to 40 percent of annual rainfall, may have been the tipping point to the Mayan collapse. Based on samples of lake and cave sediments in the areas surrounding major Mayan cities, the researchers were able to determine the amount of annual rainfall in the region. The mild droughts that took place between 800-950 would therefore be enough to rapidly deplete seasonal water supplies in the Yucatn lowlands, where there are no rivers.[35][36][37]

Some ecological theories of Maya decline focus on the worsening agricultural and resource conditions in the late Classic period. It was originally thought that the majority of Maya agriculture was dependent on a simple slash-and-burn system. Based on this method, the hypothesis of soil exhaustion was advanced by Orator F. Cook in 1921. Similar soil exhaustion assumptions are associated with erosion, intensive agricultural, and savanna grass competition.

More recent investigations have shown a complicated variety of intensive agricultural techniques utilized by the Maya, explaining the high population of the Classic Maya polities. Modern archaeologists now comprehend the sophisticated intensive and productive agricultural techniques of the ancient Maya, and several of t he Maya agricultural methods have not yet been reproduced. Intensive agricultural methods were developed and utilized by all the Mesoamerican cultures to boost their food production and give them a competitive advantage over less skillful peoples.[38] These intensive agricultural methods included canals, terracing, raised fields, ridged fields, chinampas, the use of human feces as fertilizer, seasonal swamps or bajos, using muck from the bajos to create fertile fields, dikes, dams, irrigation, water reservoirs, several types of water storage systems, hydraulic systems, swamp reclamation, swidden systems, and other agricultural techniques that have not yet been fully understood.[39] Systemic ecological collapse is said to be evidenced by deforestation, siltation, and the decline of biological diversity.

In addition to mountainous terrain, Mesoamericans successfully exploited the very problematic tropical rainforest for 1,500years.[40] The agricultural techniques utilized by the Maya were entirely dependent upon ample supplies of water. The Maya thrived in territory that would be uninhabitable to most peoples. Their success over two millennia in this environment was amazing.[41]

Anthropologist Joseph Tainter wrote extensively about the collapse of the Southern Lowland Maya in his 1988 study, The Collapse of Complex Societies. His theory about Mayan collapse encompasses some of the above explanations, but focuses specifically on the development of and the declining marginal returns from the increasing social complexity of the competing Mayan city-states.[42] Psychologist Julian Jaynes suggested that the collapse was due to a failure in the social control systems of religion and political authority, due to increasing socioeconomic complexity that overwhelmed the power of traditional rituals and the kings authority to compel obedience.[43]

Originally posted here:

Classic Maya collapse Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Read more here:

Socio-Economic Collapse | Prometheism.net

The rest is here:

Socio-Economic Collapse | Prometheism.net Designer …

Posted in Socio-economic Collapse | Comments Off on Socio-Economic Collapse | Prometheism.net Designer …

About Campaign for Liberty – Campaign for Liberty

Posted: July 31, 2016 at 5:41 am

Americans inherit from our ancestors a glorious tradition of freedom and resistance to oppression. Our country has long been admired by the rest of the world for her great example of liberty and prosperitya light shining in the darkness of tyranny.

But many Americans today are frustrated. The political choices they are offered give them no real choice at all. For all their talk of “change,” neither major political party as presently constituted challenges the status quo in any serious way. Neither treats the Constitution with anything but contempt. Neither offers any kind of change in monetary policy. Neither wants to make the reductions in government that our crushing debt burden demands. Neither talks about bringing American troops home not just from Iraq but from around the world. Our country is going bankrupt, and none of these sensible proposals are even on the table.

This destructive bipartisan consensus has suffocated American political life for many years. Anyone who tries to ask fundamental questions instead of cosmetic ones is ridiculed or ignored.

That is why the Campaign for Liberty was established: to highlight the neglected but common-sense principles we champion and reinsert them into the American political conversation.

The U.S. Constitution is at the heart of what the Campaign for Liberty stands for, since the very least we can demand of our government is fidelity to its own governing document. Claims that our Constitution was meant to be a “living document” that judges may interpret as they please are fraudulent, incompatible with republican government, and without foundation in the constitutional text or the thinking of the Framers. Thomas Jefferson spoke of binding our rulers down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution, and we are proud to follow in his distinguished lineage.

With our Founding Fathers, we also believe in a noninterventionist foreign policy. Inspired by the old Robert Taft wing of the Republican Party, we are convinced that the American people cannot remain free and prosperous with 700 military bases around the world, troops in 130 countries, and a steady diet of war propaganda. Our military overstretch is undermining our national defense and bankrupting our country.

We believe that the free market, reviled by people who do not understand it, is the most just and humane economic system and the greatest engine of prosperity the world has ever known.

We believe with Ludwig von Mises, Henry Hazlitt, and F.A. Hayek that central banking distorts economic decisionmaking and misleads entrepreneurs into making unsound investments. Hayek won the Nobel Prize for showing how central banks’ interference with interest rates sets the stage for economic downturns. And the central bank’s ability to create money out of thin air transfers wealth from the most vulnerable to those with political pull, since it is the latter who receive the new money before the price increases it brings in its wake have yet occurred. For economic and moral reasons, therefore, we join the great twentieth-century economists in opposing the Federal Reserve System, which has reduced the value of the dollar by 95 percent since it began in 1913.

We oppose the dehumanizing assumption that all issues that divide us must be settled at the federal level and forced on every American community, whether by activist judges, a power-hungry executive, or a meddling Congress. We believe in the humane alternative of local self-government, as called for in our Constitution.

We oppose the transfer of American sovereignty to supranational organizations in which the American people possess no elected representatives. Such compromises of our country’s independence run counter to the principles of the American Revolution, which was fought on behalf of self-government and local control. Most of these organizations have a terrible track record even on their own terms: how much poverty have the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund actually alleviated, for example? The peoples of the world can interact with each other just fine in the absence of bureaucratic intermediaries that undermine their sovereignty.

We believe that freedom is an indivisible whole, and that it includes not only economic liberty but civil liberties and privacy rights as well, all of which are historic rights that our civilization has cherished from time immemorial.

Our stances on other issues can be deduced from these general principles.

Our country is ailing. That is the bad news. The good news is that the remedy is so simple and attractive: a return to the principles our Founders taught us. Respect for the Constitution, the rule of law, individual liberty, sound money, and a noninterventionist foreign policy constitute the foundation of the Campaign for Liberty.

See original here:
About Campaign for Liberty – Campaign for Liberty

Posted in Ron Paul | Comments Off on About Campaign for Liberty – Campaign for Liberty

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

Read more:

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

Posted in Fiscal Freedom | Comments Off on Latinos For Tennessee | Faith, Family, Freedom, and Fiscal …

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.

Continued here:

About Atlas Shrugged – cliffsnotes.com

Posted in Atlas Shrugged | Comments Off on About Atlas Shrugged – cliffsnotes.com

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

More:

Prepping 101: Financial Independence | Suburban Steader

Posted in Financial Independence | Comments Off on Prepping 101: Financial Independence | Suburban Steader

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

Read more:

Apps/Evolution – GNOME Wiki!

Posted in Evolution | Comments Off on Apps/Evolution – GNOME Wiki!

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

Read the original here:

Prepping 101: Financial Independence | Suburban Steader

Posted in Financial Independence | Comments Off on Prepping 101: Financial Independence | Suburban Steader

Deals & Packages | The Official Site of The Bahamas

Posted: July 8, 2016 at 7:54 am

Save up to 40% off nightly rates + up to a $450 Resort Credit!

Book byAugust 3 for travel thru December 20, 2016. Blackouts and Restrictions apply.

VALENTINES RESIDENCES, RESORT & MARINA

Starting @ $1692.00 Romance Offer: Package includes 3 nights in a Luxury Junior Suite, all taxes & service charges, couples message, one morning with breakfast set up on your balcony and beach picnic on our exclusive section of our Pink Sand Beach.

Book by 06/01/2016 Valid 02/15/2016 through 12/31/2016

Ultimate Hop Over Weekend

$165 + 15.5% Tax

Enter Promo code:UHWKND

Two Fly Free From Nassau

Offer Details:One free airline or Bahamas Ferries ticket from Nassau for 2-night hotel stays OR two free airline or Bahamas Ferries tickets from Nassau for 4-night or longer hotel stays.

Booking window:Now through June 30, 2016Travel period:Now through October 31, 2017

Black-out Dates:Any Regatta or Festival Weekend (e.g. Andros Crab Fest Weekend)

We’ve got your something blue! Endless miles of beautiful beaches are sure to set the perfect scene for your dream wedding. Choose from our 16 unique packages today.

From family time on the beach to your time at the spa, The Bahamas holds adventures for everyone. Treat your entire family to a Bahamas getaway and your KIDS STAY FREE at participating Bahamas locations.

Book a 4-night consecutive stay or longer at any participating out islands hotel and receive a $300 fuel credit. Valid for a minimum 4-night or longer air-inclusive stay (single or double occupancy) at a participating BOIPB member resort/hotel only. Special terms & conditions apply.

Booking window:Now through June 30, 2016 Travel period:Now through October 31, 2016 Blackout dates:December 21, 2015 to January 3, 2016 & March 24 to 27, 2016

Fly to anyTwo Out Islands/ Stay 2 nights on each Island visited on the same flight plan and receive $150.00 Fuel Creditsavings on each 2 night stay at participating member resorts. Special Terms and conditions apply.

Booking window:Now through June 30, 2016 Travel period:Now through October 31, 2016 Blackout dates:December 21, 2015 to January 3, 2016 & March 24 to 27, 2016

Offer Details:Boaters receive a $300 instant fuel credit for a 4 nights consecutive hotel stay at Bahama Out Islands Promotion Board member resort and marinas. Special Terms and conditions apply.

Booking window:Now through June 30th, 2016 Travel period:October 23rd, 2014 through October 31st, 2016 Blackout dates: NONE Limited time offer.

Travel from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Grand Bahama Island in style with Baleria Bahamas Express. Ride the Bahama Mama Ferry and enjoy amenities like lounges, shopping, casino, restaurants and pool on your way to paradise.

Fort Lauderdale to Grand Bahama Island Starting at $73.00* Round Trip (taxes not included)

Enjoy Bahamas Paradise’s 2-Night Bahamas Cruise Or Cruise With A Beautiful Bahamas Resort Stay Starting At Just $149. Bahamas Paradise Is The Newest And Most Flexible Cruise To The Bahamas.

Offer Details: Buy One, Get One free ticket from Nassau on a 4 consectutivenights or longer air-inclusive vacation package, book for 7 seven consectutivenights or longer get two free tickets.

Booking window:February 16th – March 31st, 2016 Travel period:February 16th – June 30th, 2016

This exceptional package includes 4 nights in a luxury junior suite, daily breakfast for two, one private dinner for two plus much more.

Kids 12 years old and under eat, play & stay”FREE”when sharing rooms with one or more paying adults.

Available for travel dates from June 1 December 22, 2016.

Original post:

Deals & Packages | The Official Site of The Bahamas

Posted in Bahamas | Comments Off on Deals & Packages | The Official Site of The Bahamas

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.

FREE TRIAL

Optimind

32 Capsules

Read Description

FREE SAMPLE PACK

71 Ratings | Source: Shopper Approved

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.

SHOP NOW

Brain Booster Pack

Adrafinil, Sulbutiamine, Alpha GPC and Noopept

Read Description

$99.99

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.

FREE SAMPLE

Neurofuse

Rhodiola, L-Theanine, Choline, Huperzine A & more

Read Description

FREE SAMPLE PACK

68 Ratings | Source: Amazon

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.

SHOP NOW

Memory Booster Pack

Huperzine A, Ginkgo Biloba, Magnesium Threonate and Aniracetam

Read Description

$69.99

Continue reading here:

What Are Nootropics? A Guide to Nootropic Supplements

Posted in Nootropics | Comments Off on What Are Nootropics? A Guide to Nootropic Supplements