In December I will be traveling by plane with my husband and three young children.  We have had our tickets for months now, but I recently heard that I would be asked to go through the new x-ray scanners at the airports that we were using.  My first thoughts were about whether they were safe.  As a mother who does not routinely use drugs or x-rays on my children or myself, I really don't want to use the x-ray scanners just so that we can fly.    I have heard that the scanners are safe but I have learned enough over the years to know not to trust something just because those in authority say it is safe.

I came across a letter written by some physicists at the University of California back in April 2010.  In it they address their concerns with the backscatter  x-ray technology that is being used.  They have a list of health concerns that they feel need to be answered.  Many of those concerns have to do with several at-risk populations such as the elderly, those at risk for breast cancer, immune-compromised individuals, children, pregnant women, and they even worry about damage to testicles or eyes because of the proximity to the skin. 

These physicists are calling for an impartial panel of experts to reevaluate the potential health risks because the negative effects may outweigh the benefits for increased detection of terrorists.  They point out that there have been many cases where errors have been made because of failure to recognize adverse events and that in the past, crisis have led to decisions that had unintended consequences.

With these questions still left unanswered, I have decided to "opt out" of these scanners on grounds related to my original health concerns.  So really, the only option for my family is to undergo pat downs or what they are calling enhanced pat downs.  I'm not sure exactly what all this will entail but I am really not looking forward to it because I tend to be modest and really don't want someone feeling around on my private parts or on my kids' private parts. 

So, at this point, we either don't fly (we already have the tickets), we go through the x-ray machines, or we get patted down.  I don't know how bad this will end up being, but I know several people who told me that they were uncomfortable enough when they were patted down that they will be doing the scanners next time.  I believe that is the real intent of the enhanced pat downs, so that people will choose to go through the scanners.  I certainly hope I am not harassed for choosing to opt out of the scanners. 

The more thought I have put into this, the more uneasy I have become with this whole security thing.  The government tells us that because of last years incident where a man had explosive powder on him, that they will need to use these new scanners or pat down procedures to keep us safe.  The time line on this sounds very suspicious to me.  Why would this company just happen to have developed this machine unless they knew that someone would be buying it?  I venture a guess that the government intended on using these machines all along and the incident last year just made it convenient to convince people that it was necessary for their safety.  Never let a crisis go to waste is what comes to mind.

And if they had intended on using it all along, why not just say so, especially since I heard reports that these machines may not even detect the explosive power that was used in last years incident.  I would like to know whether it will actually detect the substance as they claim.

Is there anyone out there that really believes that these machines or the pat downs will make us safer?  I think we are pretty safe already, so how much safer can we get?  Flying is already one of the safest forms of transportation.  And hasn't it been 9 years since 911, which was the last time that an American has been injured in the US by a terrorist, unless I am forgetting something.  So are we really that unsafe right now that we need these machines, or are they creating fear so they can push these machines for whatever reason (financial, power, etc.)?

If a terrorist really wants to terrorize us, who really thinks these scanners or pat downs will stop them?  Really?  A terrorist could not come up with any other ways of terrorizing?  I think that they could and very well might.  So again, will these scanners and pat downs really make you safer?

Now I have come to the part of all of this that has really got me frustrated.  You can pretty much disregard the whole first part of this blog because what I am going to talk about next is the most important part because it effects all Americans, not just those who go to airports. 

Are these scanners and pat downs constitutional?  The TSA says it has a mandate to do whatever it can to keep us safe, but it forgets that it HAS to operate within the confines of the US Constitution.  The TSA is the government, and the Constitution tells the government what it can and can't do.  It doesn't matter how well intentioned the government is, they HAVE to follow the Constitution.

It says in the US Constitution Bill of Rights, 4th Amendment:

      "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

It seems pretty clear to me that if a person is not suspected of being a terrorist or suspected of something else, then they cannot legally be searched.  And really, if you look at the 4th Amendment, they don't even have the right to go through our effects (luggage) either.  I heard someone say that we are all suspects.  I disagree.  The American people are not terrorists, so why are we being treated like it?  But I guess the day when we are all treated like criminals has arrived, but, unlike criminals, we don't have to do anything suspect to have them search us. 

Why am I a suspect more than our President and Congress people who do not have to go through the scanners or pat downs?  Why can airports opt out of the scanners all together?  Aren't the passengers at these other airports terrorist suspects too?  Why in some airports do only random people have to go through these procedures?  What if you miss the one person who aims to set off a bomb on the plane?

Have we as a country decided that we are all guilty unless proven innocent?  These searches are blatantly unconstitutional and We the People should not stand for our rights being violated.  Are you someone who feels that we will be safer because of these procedures and this is just the price we have to pay for keeping safe?

So what if next week someone decides to use an explosive that they insert into there body cavity (which these scanners and pat downs cannot detect)?  Will they then require passengers to go through body cavity searches?  Or what if they choose some other method of terror that is yet to be thought of?  Or how about a roadside bomb?  Will they require traffic stops to search your vehicle?  Is this any different than what they are doing at the airports now?  They would say that they are doing it to protect you.  What if the car bomber puts the bomb in a body cavity and the roadside check does not catch the bomb?  Will they have to implement body cavity searches during roadside checks?

I know this all sounds ridiculous, but this is one of my points.  No matter what you do, there will be other ways for terrorists to terrorize us.  Giving away what freedoms we still enjoy in this country is not going to make us safer.  It will just make us less free.  I have started to get that feeling the people in Nazi Germany must have had just before their government started terrorizing its own people. 

If you are not an airline traveler, why should any of this concern you?  Because this is an "in your face" violation of our US Constitution.  If our government can get away with this in the name of security, then they can use this same reasoning to do just about anything they want.  Where else might they decide to implement these searches in the name of security?  What is to stop them from violating other rights if they know we will not stop them?

Please do not stand by and say that this is okay like many others have been doing.  It is our duty as citizens to keep our government in check.  The Constitution is just a piece of paper if it is not enforced.

The following video sums up a lot of this:

Did you know that there may not be such a thing as shaken baby syndrome (SBS) and that it is really just a theory to describe symptoms that are seen.  There is a website called Shaken Baby Syndrome Controversy that has information that draws attention to those falsely accused of SBS, blunt force trauma, and abusive head injury.

Over the last several years I have come across many accounts where a parent was accused of SBS.  There was a case where parents where accused of causing rib and skull fractures of their 3 premature triplets.  I thought this was a good example that shows doctors need to look a bit further at the cause of these injuries.  Nutritional deficiencies and vaccines were implicated in this case.

There have been many doctors who have been calling out the problems with the SBS diagnosis.  Dr. Harold Buttram MD wrote and article called Shaken Baby/Impact Syndrome: Flawed Concepts and Misdiagnosis that reviews 22 cases involving SBS and what he has found.

Unfortunately if there are cases of SBS that are actually caused by something else, like malnutrition or vaccines, then we may very well have many parents serving time in prison, away from their children, who are completely innocent of these injuries.  I hope in the coming years that this situation gets ironed out and any innocent people are acquitted and no new people are forced to go to prison who did nothing wrong.

I just came across this article Painkillers linked to defects in baby boys.  It says "The Danish study found that boys born to women who had used aspirin or ibuprofen (which is often sold as Nurofen in New Zealand) during pregnancy, especially during the fourth to sixth months, were more likely to have undescended testes, a condition known as "cryptorchidism". Paracetamol showed the same trend, but the evidence was weaker."

Everyone needs to make their own decision on whether or not to use any drugs during pregnancy.  I just want it to be an informed decision so hopefully this will help with that decision making process.
I have known for several years now that fever is a natural defense chosen by our body to help heal from something and that suppressing a fever could lead to a prolonged sickness and can allow the sickness to get deeper into the body.  A new study suggests the same thing, though more study is needed. 

In the article That Dreadful Fever May Be Good For You it says:  "Study co-author Kyle Perrin said the results were striking and showed that animals given drugs to fight a fever were more likely to die from flu."  It goes on to say that it is clear that fever in all animals is protective.

Hilary Butler wrote about this in her blog post called Shock ...Horror -treating fever could be bad for you!.  She has been talking about fevers for years now and trying to get the word out on the use of acetaminophen (aka Tylenol) and other antipyretics and their effect on our immune system.

If you are not familiar with the reasons why you should not immediately cut the umbilical cord after birth, why not to give Vit. K at birth, and yet another reason why breastfeeding is so important, you need to read the article called On placentas, stem cells, and breastmilk.  These three things are connected and following the natural way babies made to be, will allow your baby to develop in the way that was intended.
One of my favorite reasons for homeschooling is to provide more time for my kids to be able to work with a mentor.  I feel one of the best ways for learning is through modeling what we see.  While playtime with friends (peers) is important, I think our kids need more adult time so they can model the adults around them. 

Around where we live we have countless opportunities for my kids to be able to visit their neighbors and learn what they have to offer.  I am so excited to be able to provide them with the time to be able to learn in this way.  I thought this article called We Don't Need No Age Segregation did a great job at talking about this issue.
If you haven't joined yet, you need to sign up for the Homeschool Buyers Co-op.  Membership is FREE!  There are many benefits to joining this co-op.  First off, you get to buy curriculum at lower prices than you can find elsewhere.  They are continuously adding new packages and group buys.  I most recently bought a spanish program from them during a large group buy.  It was a great deal.

Another feature of this co-op is the ability to earn points.  You get points for signing up, for buying something, for reviewing field trips, and you can even win points, like I did.  The homeschool co-op likes to hold contests where you can win things like gift cards, iPads, and even points.  I won 5000 points in one contest and used it to buy The American Heritage video series.  These points can be used to buy many of their curriculum they offer.

They send out a email newsletter once a week letting you know what the curriculum deals are, any contests they are having, what upcoming deals that are in the works, and information on deals they are looking into.  They also have a facebook page which is where you enter many of the contests.

On their website you can view field trips all around the country and get information on them and read reviews.  You can find free curriculum resources as well.  These are just a few of the things they have to offer.  Check out Homeschool Buyer Co-op to see all the other things they have to offer.

Click here for more information.
I added a polio page to my website with a few links.  I like the Inside Vaccine link because it
I loved this video!  There is a lot of different information that ends in talking about conscious parenting. 

First we learn about how our body works on the cellular level.  Bruce Lipton makes it very easy to understand.  He says we are not a single entity, but we are a community of cells.  When talking about health and disease, we are talking about the politics of how the cells in the community are getting along or not getting along.

He talks about how our emotions and symptoms are how we can evaluate our bodies performance.  Your emotions and symptoms are trying to get your attention in case you need to change something that you are doing.  If we take away these symptoms, like with drugs, then we are taking away our gauge that lets us know what is going on with our body.

When we have an interaction with something in our environment, we look at whether it supports life and growth or whether it threatens it and causes a protection response.  If you are in a protection response, if you didn't use all your energy for this, you would have more energy for growth.  When you are in protection mode, you can not be also in growth mode because your cells cannot  move in 2 directions at once.  Fear actually shuts off growth.  This brought to mind when a baby is left to cry-it-out and when they are in this heightened level of stress, their little bodies are not going to be growing.  Also, high stress shuts off the immune system and we can get sick faster.

He then talks about how up to the age of 6, kids are just taking information into their subconscious mind.  Everything we do as parents is recorded and learned by them without us even trying.  How we parent our children is how they will parent their children because they will just replay behaviors that they have learned.  Anytime we are not consciously choosing behaviors around our children, our old subconscious learned behaviors begin to play out. 

Attempting to live more consciously might help, but finding ways to reprogram our old subconscious behaviors would be the main way around this.  In the video he does not get into how to go about reprogramming our subconscious.

He touches on evolution very briefly but doesn't really press the point so it is easy to ignore this part if you do not agree. 

This is a long video presentation of around 2 hrs (12 parts) but you really need to watch the whole thing to be able to put all the pieces together.  It will be well worth your time.  If you have a slower computer, if you click on more than one video at a time, you can hit pause and allow it to download while you watch the one before it.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12
With election day approaching tomorrow, I have had many thoughts running through my head, especially after watching Jon Stewart's Restoring Sanity Rally in Washington DC.  C-Span aired the rally and after I watched it, I listened to people who called in who were just making a lot of comments in general, not just about the rally.  Overwhelmingly I found that people were viewing any opposition against President Obama as being hateful.  They were talking about how Tea Party people were just so hateful and they wish that people would just give Obama more time to do what he came to do and stand behind him.  In light of the rally talking about how the media tend to spin things and cause people to fear each other, I found it strange that these people didn't stop to think about whether what they might be thinking about Tea Party people might actually NOT be true.

I was left scratching my head because I have such a different view of President Obama and what he has done.  I paid attention during the last election when Obama talked about the things he would like to see happen in Washington and I watched how he sold Americans on his dream for the future.  I knew at the time that it was unrealistic because I knew one man could not change all of Washington, especially with long time politicians running Congress.  But, others didn't seem to realize that and just bought his hope and change that he was promising.  And with this, he was elected president.

For many people, the reality of Obama's presidency has set in.  For others, they are still waiting for what they were promised and they just want to give him more time to deliver.  But what they are not realizing, is that he HAS delivered, just not exactly what he promised. 

If you read the US Constitution, the President really only has a few job responsibilities that we the people give to him.  One of the main ones is the power of veto.  The President is supposed to be the check on our US Congress.  Now, if Obama had not campaigned on bringing everyone together in Washington and having both parties work together, I would not even be bringing this up, because I know that this would be a tough thing for one person to accomplish.  But many people who would not have otherwise voted for him did so simply because they felt that he could do this job of bringing people together as he promised, not so much because they liked all his policy ideas.  And really, he could have brought people together if he wanted to.  All he had to do was use his power of veto to do it.

How would the power of veto bring Congress together and force them to work together?  Simple!  If a President sees that people in Congress are not working together, he can threaten a veto or he can veto a bill that is passed and sent his way.  This really is one of his main jobs.  Take for example the health care package.  Even though in his speeches Obama kept asking for people from both parties to come up with ideas, it was clear that any ideas that veered from what he or his supporters in Congress wanted were not being considered.  We know this because at the same time there were all kinds of ideas that had been put forth.  And to make matters worse, he stood up in front of the American people and made it sound like those who opposed him did not have any ideas of their own.  So, when all was said and done, he passed a gigantic health care bill that was only worked on by his party and he did not veto this type of partisan politics which he had promised to end.  This type of thing is not uncommon in Washington, but on the heals of an election where Obama was elected into office on his message of bringing people together, I would have just expected him to make a better showing than that. 

So, did Obama really come to Washington to bring people together to get things done for the American people or did he just come to push through his agenda with all the things he could as quickly as possible while he had both houses of Congress?  I would think everyone knows the answer to that but there continues to be people who believe that he just hasn't been given enough time.  And somehow it is just his opponents fault because they are just such haters and they don't want to see anything done. 

I think most, if not all, people would say that the health care bill is not perfect.  But any supporters of this bill say that even though it was fraught with problems such as being too large for Congress people to read, that if it had not been passed now, it would never be passed.  Again, I have to scratch my head.  This bill could have been much better and it could have gotten bi-partisan support.  All that was needed was leadership from President Obama and his threat to use the power of veto in order to force Congress to work together.  Because Obama did not choose to do this, he allowed for a compete partisan bill to pass, that was not supported by the majority of Americans, and where members from his own party had to be bribed to vote for it.  I am still having a problem comprehending this and why more Americans are not outraged. 

Is this the type of thing you envisioned when Obama promised to bring people together.  Instead, he and our Congress, have succeeded in causing an uprising in American that has not been seen for quite sometime.  I am one of those many people who has been forced to learn more about our federal government and our US Constitution.  When I see the massive amounts of spending that is going on including all the stimulus/jobs programs, I can't help but wonder where this government thinks it gets its power to take the People's money and pick and choose who they think is worthy to get the money and help.  What about all the other businesses?  Our federal government was never meant to have this kind of power.  And I think people are starting to see why.

People who oppose Obama do it on very good grounds.  I do not hate President Obama.  I'm sure he is a nice man and his family seems great and I have no reason to say otherwise since I haven't met the man, but I completely disagree with the decisions he is making. 

I have heard people say they are worried that people will be voting this time based on lies they are being told on issues like the healthcare bill.  They feel there is a lot of misinformation and lies about the healthcare bill.  I would agree entirely.  But why is there so much misinformation about the healthcare bill?  I think we all know it is because it is a massive bill filled with all kinds of political language.  This just demonstrates the real reason people are voting against people who support the bill.  It is not because of the little details in the bill.  It is because of what happened to get the bill through in the first place even though the American people where telling Congress to slow down and get this right.  But we learned a very important thing about Congress.  They feel that they know better than the people that put them into power.  They feel that they are doing things in the best interest of the American people and that we will just have to thank them later for it.  This is just so frustrating that they do not understand their job.  But they are learning that Americans do not take kindly to being treated like they are ignorant.  No, we want to know what is in the healthcare bill BEFORE it is passed, thank you very much Nancy Pelosi.  I still cannot believe she said that.

So, this voting cycle, I think all Americans should send a message to our politicians.  We need to replace those people who do not uphold the Constitution, regardless of which party they are in.  We have to get back to following the supreme law of the land.  A country that allows its leaders to break the law is just asking for trouble.  We have allowed this to go on for too many years.  It is time to hold our politicians accountable.