Article 43

 

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Iraq’s WMD File

From the Unfinished Business Department, there are new claims about what might have happened to Saddam’s WMD. In a new book, a former senior general in Iraq’s Air Force claims that large quantities of WMD materials were flown to Syria in the months before the U.S.-led invasion. The retired Iraqi officer--Air Marshal Georges Sada--reports that two Iraqi transport aircraft made more than 50 WMD flights to Syria, under the guise of humanitarian relief missions for flood victims. Mr. Sada said he learned of the flights from the pilots who flew them.

The original RIGHT WING NUTHOUSE has more on Sada’s report. As Rick points out, none of Sada’s claims have been fully corroborated, and he’s relying on second-hand information, at best. But the reported flights fit a pattern of pre-war activity that saw a steady flow of traffic from Iraq to Syria. This traffic--which consisted mostly of vehicle convoys--has been confirmed by other sources, ranging from the HEAD OF THE US NATIONAL GEOSPATIAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY (retired Lieutenant General James Clapper), and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Gen Clapper, Mr. Sharon and other experts believe the detected traffic was related to the movement of Iraqi WMDs and related material to Syria.

Sada was something of a rarity in Saddam’s Iraq--a non-Baathist and Christian who rose to the upper echelons of power. Since the overthrow of Saddam, he has worked as an advisor Prime Minister Allawi, and also serves as Iraq outreach director for an Oklahoma-based evangelical group. Sada never provides any explanation as to why he waited so long to “go public” with his story (other than the fact he’s hawking a book). There’s also the issue of how reliable the Air Marshal’s information might be; he was forced out of the Iraqi Air Force in 1986 (because he refused to join the Baath Party), recalled in 1991 (to interrogate Allied POWs), then tossed into prison himself because he refused Qusai Hussein’s order to execute the POWs. He was clearly an “outsider” in the last days of Saddam’s regime, although he retained contacts within the Iraqi military.

At the very least, Air Marshal Sada’s story sounds credible, and matches pre-war activity that has been confirmed by other, independent sources. He is also highly respected by post-war Iraqi leaders and by American evangelicals who have worked with him, including Dr. Terry New. I’ve met Dr. New and know him as a man of great integrity who has risked his life to spread the Gospel throughout the Middle East. Dr. New has only the highest praise for Georges Sada, and says “everything he’s told me has completely checked out.” Given his background and references, Sada’s claims cannot be arbitrarily dismissed. But I’m guessing that Sada’s book will receive virtually no attention from the MSM, because his information doesn’t fit the “Bush lied” template.

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Posted by Elvis on 01/31/06 •
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Sunday, January 29, 2006

War Against Iran May Be A Necessity

By Gerard Baker
Time Online UK
January 27, 2006

THE UNIMAGINABLE but ultimately inescapable truth is that we are going to have to get ready for war with Iran. Being of a free-speaking, free-thinking disposition, we generally find in the West that hand-wringing, finger-pointing and second-guessing come more easily to us than cold, strategic thinking. Confronted with nightmarish perils we instinctively choose to seize the opportunity to blame each other, cursing our domestic opponents for the situation theyve put us in.

The rapidly intensifying crisis with regard to Iran exemplifies the phenomenon. On the right, it is said that the decision to let the Europeans play nuclear footsie with the mullahs in Iran for more than two years was a terrible blunder. Pacifist evasion is what the world has come to expect from continental Europe, but the decision by Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, to become an enabler to their procrastinations was of a different order of strategic error. An emboldened Tehran seized the chance to play them all along while advancing its ambitions in great leaps.

On the left the hands are being wrung over Iraq. It is argued that the decision to invade the wrong country has made our situation intolerably worse. Iran was always the bigger threat. While we were chasing phantom nuclear weapons in Mesopotamia, next door Iran was busy building real ones. Now we are enfeebled, militarily and politically, our diplomatic tools blunted beyond repair by the errors in Iraq.

I tend to side more with the former crowd (though let it not be said that the latter do not have a point) but it is important for all of us to understand that this debate is now for the birds. All that matters now is what we do.

The unavoidable reality is that we now need urgently to steel ourselves to the ugly probability that diplomacy will not now suffice: one or way or another, unconscionable acts of war may now be unavoidable.

Those who say war is unthinkable are right. Military strikes, even limited, targeted and accurate ones, will have devastating consequences for the region and for the world. They will, quite probably entrench and harden the Iranian regime. Even the young, hopeful democrats who despise their theocratic rulers and crave the freedoms of the West will pause at the sight of their country burnt and humiliated by the infidels.

A war, even a limited one, will almost certainly raise oil prices to recession-inducing levels, as Iran cuts itself off from global markets. The loss of Iranian supply and the already stretched nature of production in the Arab world and elsewhere means prices of $150 per barrel are easily imaginable. Military strikes will foster more violence in the Middle East, strengthen the insurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan, fuel anti-Western sentiment among Muslims everywhere and encourage more terrorism against us at home.

All true. All fearfully powerful arguments against the use of the military option. But multiplied together, squared, and then cubed, the weight of these arguments does not come close to matching the case for us to stop, by whatever means may be necessary, Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

If Iran gets safely and unmolested to nuclear status, it will be a threshold moment in the history of the world, up there with the Bolshevik Revolution and the coming of Hitler. What the country itself may do with those weapons, given its pledges, its recent history and its strategic objectives with regard to the US, Israel and their allies, is well known. We can reasonably assume that the refusal of the current Iranian leadership to accept the Holocaust as historical fact is simply a recognition of their own plans to redefine the notion as soon as they get a chance (ғNow this is what we call a holocaust). But this threat is only, incredibly, a relatively small part of the problem.

If Iran goes nuclear, it will demonstrate conclusively that even the worldԒs greatest superpower, unrivalled militarily, under a leadership of proven willingness to take bold military steps, could not stop a country as destabilising as Iran from achieving its nuclear ambitions.

No country in a region that is so riven by religious and ethnic hatreds will feel safe from the new regional superpower. No country in the region will be confident that the US and its allies will be able or willing to protect them from a nuclear strike by Iran. Nor will any regional power fear that the US and its allies will act to prevent them from emulating Iran. Say hello to a nuclear Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia.

Iran, of course, secure now behind its nuclear wall, will surely step up its campaign of terror around the world. It will become even more of a magnet and haven for terrorists. The terror training grounds of Afghanistan were always vulnerable if the West had the resolve. Protected by a nuclear-missile-owning state, Iranian camps will become impregnable.

And the kind of society we live in and cherish in the West, a long way from Tehran or Damascus, will change beyond recognition. We balk now at intrusive government measures to tap our phones or stop us saying incendiary things in mosques. Imagine how much more our freedoms will be curtailed if our governments fear we are just one telephone call or e-mail, one plane journey or truckload away from another Hiroshima.

Something short of military action may yet prevail on Iran. Perhaps sanctions will turn their leadership from its doomsday ambitions. Perhaps Russia can somehow be persuaded to give them an incentive to think again. But we cant count on this optimistic scenario now. And so we must ready ourselves for what may be the unthinkable necessity.

Because in the end, preparation for war, by which I mean not military feasibility planning, or political and diplomatic manoeuvres but a psychological readiness, a personal willingness on all our parts to bear the terrible burdens that it will surely impose, may be our last real chance to ensure that we can avoid one.

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Saturday, January 28, 2006

Are We That Dumb?

Catastrophe Looms
by Paul Craig Roberts
Lew Rockwell

Two recent polls, a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll and a New York Times/CBS News poll, indicate why Bush is getting away with impeachable offenses. Half of the US population is incapable of acquiring, processing and understanding information.

MUCH OF THE PROBLEM IS THE MEDIA itself, which serves as a disinformation agency for the Bush administration. Fox “News” and right-wing talk radio are the worst, but with propagandistic outlets setting the standard for truth and patriotism, all of the media is affected to some degree.

Despite the MEDIA FAILURE, about half the population has managed to discern that the US invasion of Iraq has not made them safer and that the Bush administration’s assault on civil liberties is not a necessary component of the war on terror. The problem, thus, lies with the absence of due diligence on the part of the other half of the population.

Consider the New York Times/CBS poll. Sixty-four percent of the respondents have concerns about losing civil liberties as a result of anti-terrorism measures put in place by President Bush. Yet, 53 percent approve of spying without obtaining court warrants “in order to reduce the threat of terrorism.”

Why does any American think that spying without a warrant has any more effect in reducing the threat of terrorism than spying with a warrant? The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which Bush is disobeying, requires the executive to obtain from a secret panel of federal judges a warrant for spying on Americans. The purpose of the law is to prevent a president from SPYING for partisan political reasons. The law permits the president to spy first (for 72 hours) and then come to the court for permission. As the court meets in secret, spying without a warrant is no more effective in reducing the threat of terrorism than spying with a warrant.

Instead of explaining this basic truth, the media has played along with the Bush administration and formulated the question as a trade-off between civil liberties and protection from terrorists. This formulation is false and nonsensical. Why does the media enable the Bush administration to escape accountability for illegal behavior by putting false and misleading choices before the people?

The LA Times/Bloomberg poll has equally striking anomalies. Only 43 percent said they approved of Bushs performance as president. But a majority believe Bush’s policies have made the US more secure.

It is extraordinary that anyone would think Americans are safer as a result of Bush invading two Muslim countries and constantly THREATENING two more with military attack. The invasions and threats have caused a dramatic swing in Muslim sentiment away from the US. Prior to Bushs invasion of Iraq, a large majority of Muslims had a favorable opinion of America. Now only about 5 percent do.

A number of US commanders in Iraq and many Middle East experts have told the American public that the three year-old war in Iraq is serving both to recruit and to train terrorists for al Qaeda, which has grown many times its former size. Moreover, the US military has concluded that al Qaeda has succeeded in having its members elected to the new Iraqi government.

We have seen similar developments both in Egypt and in Pakistan. In the recent Egyptian elections, the radical Muslim Brotherhood, despite being suppressed by the Egyptian government, won a large number of seats. In Pakistan elements friendly or neutral toward al Qaeda control about half of the government. In Iraq, Bush’s invasion has replaced secular Sunnis with Islamist Shia allied with IRAN.

And now with the triumph of Hamas in the Palestinian election, we see the total failure of Bushs Middle Eastern policy. Bush has succeeded in displacing secular moderates from Middle Eastern governments and replacing them with Islamic extremists. It boggles the mind that this disastrous result makes Americans feel safer!

What does it say for democracy that half of the American population is unable to draw a rational conclusion from unambiguous facts?

Americans share this disability with the Bush administration. According to news reports, the Bush administration is stunned by the election victory of the radical Islamist Hamas Party, which swept the US-financed Fatah Party from office. Why is the Bush administration astonished?

The Bush administration is astonished because it stupidly believes that hundreds of millions of Muslims should be grateful that the US has interfered in their internal affairs for 60 years, setting up colonies and puppet rulers to suppress their aspirations and to achieve, instead, purposes of the US government.

Americans need desperately to understand that 95 percent of all Muslim terrorists in the world were created in the past three years by Bush’s invasion of Iraq.

Americans need desperately to comprehend that if Bush attacks Iran and Syria, as he intends, terrorism will explode, and American civil liberties will disappear into a thirty-year war that will bankrupt the United States.

The total lack of rationality and competence in the White House and the inability of half of the US population to acquire and understand information are far larger threats to Americans than terrorism.

America has become a rogue nation, flying BLIND, guided only by ignorance and hubris. A terrible CATASTROPHE AWAITS.

Dr. Roberts is Chairman of the Institute for Political Economy and Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. He is a former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, former contributing editor for National Review, and a former assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury. He is the co-author of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.

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Friday, January 27, 2006

Battling Insomnia

Ever stay up all night worrying?
Check out MICK WINTER’S
30 Simple Tips for Getting to Sleep

See a Doctor

Insomnia can be a symptom of physical disorders, although for most of us it’s the result of tension, stress and anxiety—and of course the more anxious we get about our insomnia, the worse it gets. If your doctor pronounces you a “healthy” insomniac, he might suggest some of the techniques provided here. Or she might prescribe drugs to help you get to sleep.

We suggest you try all these methods first, and use drugs only as a last resort. The decision, of course, is yours.

Take a Warm Bath

It’s a great way to relax your body. Don’t overdo it, however. You merely want to relax your body, not exhaust it. Too long in hot water and your body is drained of vitality.

Use bath salts, or throw in Epsom salts and baking soda—one cup of each. These will relax you and also help remove toxins from your body.

Get a Massage

Have your spouse (or whoever) give you a massage just before going to sleep. If you can convince them to give you a full body massage, great. If not, even a short backrub and/or a face and scalp massage can be a big help. Have them make the massage strokes slow, gentle, yet firm, to work the tension out of your muscles and soothe you to sleep.

Listen to Music

Play some soft, soothing music that will lull you to sleep. There are even cassettes and records designed for that very purpose. Some are specially composed music, others simply have sounds of waves rhythmically breaking, or the steady pattern of a heartbeat.

Of course if you don’t have a record, cassette or CD player that will automatically turn off, we don’t suggest this. If you have to get up and turn it off at the end, you’ve obviously lost its effect.

Drink Warm Milk

A glass of warm milk 15 minutes before going to bed will soothe your nervous system. Milk contains calcium, which works directly on jagged nerves to make them (and you) relax.

Drink Herb Tea

If you don’t like milk - or are avoiding dairy products - try a cup of hot camomile, catnip, anise or fennel tea. All contain natural ingredients which will help you sleep. Most health food stores will also have special blends of herb tea designed to soothe you and help you get to sleep.

Eat a Bedtime Snack

A small, low protein, high carbohydrate bedtime snack, such as juice and cookies, eaten about an hour before bedtime, can help you fall asleep sooner. (Pizza does not qualify.)

On the other hand:

Studies indicate that foods with large amounts of the amino acid L-tryptophan help us sleep better. These include warm or hot milk (but not cold milk), eggs, cottage cheese, chicken, turkey and cashews.

Try both food theories, and see which works best for you.

Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol and Tobacco

It should be obvious, but some people forget that coffee is not the only drink containing caffeine. Tea (black, not herbal), chocolate and cola drinks are also high in caffeine.

Alcohol may feel like it’s soothing you, but all it’s doing is stupefying you. Research has shown that alcohol upsets sleep, preventing a deep rest. Same with tobacco. Avoid them all.

Sleep in a Well-Ventilated Room

Fresh air (we know - it’s hard in the wintertime) and a room temperature between 60-65 degrees will give you the best sleeping conditions. Any warmer and you’ll toss and turn from the discomfort of being too warm. Keep the thermostat down and do your temperature-adjusting inside the bed—with more or fewer blankets.

Sleep on a Good Firm Bed

A firm bed will give your entire body the support it needs to really relax. It’s better for your spine, too.

Sleep on Your Back

It’s the best position for relaxing, and allows all your internal organs to rest properly. If you must sleep on your side, do it on your right side, not your left. Sleeping on the left side causes your lungs, stomach and liver to press against your heart, causing stress on an organ that most of us find quite useful.

Never—ever—sleep on your stomach. It causes pressure on all your internal organs—including your lungs, which results in shallow breathing. It can also, as you’ve no doubt discovered, cause a stiff neck and upper back problems.

Get Some Physical Exercise During the Day

People with “mental” jobs, like office workers, have far more trouble with insomnia than do people who work physically hard all day. Even 15 minutes a day of exercise (at least half an hour before going to bed so your body will have a chance to slow down) will give your body the activity and oxygen it needs to help you relax more and sleep better.

Keep Regular Bedtime Hours

Your body likes regular routines, whether you do or not. It likes to know that it’s going to get up at the same time each day, eat at the same times, and go to bed at the same time. Not very exciting, maybe, but comfortable. So pick a reasonable and regular time to go to bed each night. And stick to it. Even if you don’t think you’re tired when the time comes. Your body will appreciate it. And after a while when it feels it can rely on the routine, it will begin to repay the favor by letting you get to sleep when you want.

If You Can’t Sleep, Get Up

Don’t lie awake trying to get to sleep any longer than 30 minutes. If it goes that long, get up. Do something quiet and non-stimulating. When you feel tired again, go back to bed.

Don’t Sleep In

Get up at the same time every day, even on weekends and holidays. Once you’ve awakened, get up. Don’t lie in bed awake, thinking about getting up. Just do it.

Get Up Earlier in the Morning

At least try this when you’re trying to set up your new regular bedtime routine. As much as you may hate getting up one-half hour earlier (or even more) than you really have to, you’ll be that much more tired at night and more apt to get to sleep. Once you and your body have the confidence that you can get to sleep when you want at night, you can go back to your preferred wake-up-in-the-morning time.

Keep Your Bed a Place for Sleep

Okay, and maybe for one other thing. But not for working, reading, watching television, doing crossword puzzles, or whatever else occupies you in the evening. Let your mind and body identify bed with sleeping.

Avoid Naps

Sure, they’re nice to do during the day, and if you couldn’t sleep at night, you’re grateful for any chance to sleep. But if you’re really having trouble sleeping at night--and you’re not a senior citizen who sleeps for small periods of time, skip naps. You’ll be more tired at bedtime and more able to fall asleep.

Avoid Illuminated Bedroom Clocks

Try to keep your bedroom as dark as possible. An illuminated bedroom clock is a source of light that can be extremely annoying if you’re having a hard time getting to sleep. If you can’t replace the clock, at least block its light with something.

Counting Sheep

We finally figured out why it never worked for us. The old wives’ cure for insomnia is to count bouncy little sheep leaping over a fence. No wonder it doesn’t work. Bouncy sheep are hyperactive and wide awake. They’re the last thing you need to dwell on when you want to go to sleep.

So try the variation that worked for us. Count sleeping sheep. Imagine a beautiful green meadow stretching to infinity. Every ten feet or so, right in a row, lies a peaceful, sleeping sheep. Imagine that you’re just gliding by, almost floating. And that you pass by a sheep every 3 or 4 seconds (experiment to find which time interval works best for you—it varies from person to person). Count the sheep and glide on to the next, and the next, and so on.

Take it from us. Sleeping sheep are much more effective.

Sleep with Your Head Facing North

And, obviously—unless you have a particularly unusual body—your feet facing south. This aligns your body with the magnetic field of the planet, bringing your own energies into harmony with those of the Earth. Sound like a pretty bizarre theory? Try it. You’ll see what a difference it makes.

Don’t Watch TV or Read Before Going to Bed

Wait at least one-half hour (preferably longer) before going to bed after reading or watching television. We know; some people say that reading a detective story or some such escapist book helps put them to sleep. If it works for them, great. But it seldom worked for us. And it probably hasn’t worked for you either.

The reason is that no matter how passively we watch television, or how innocuous the book we read is, our minds are still being stimulated. And an overstimulated mind—along with anxiety and stress—is what keeps us awake. It’s all those thoughts in our head we have to get rid of before we can get to sleep. The last thing we need is more input into our heads from television or books.

Toe Wiggling

A relaxed body is essential for a sound sleep. This may sound like we’re contradicting what we just said about our minds keeping us awake, but it’s no contradiction. Eastern sciences (such as yoga) have known for thousands of years that the mind and body are connected (actually they’re not just connected, they’re one, but the idea that they’re connected is sufficient for our purposes here.) So if the mind is not relaxed, the body is not relaxed. Conversely, the body has to be relaxed for the mind to be relaxed. It’s a package deal.

So how do you relax your body? We’ve already mentioned milk, herbal teas, exercise, and avoiding caffeine. But there are techniques you can do directly with your body. Toe Wiggling is one of them.

Lie on your back (where you should be in the first place) and wiggle your toes up and down 12 times, wiggling the toes of both feet at the same time. This will relax your entire body, inside and out.

How does it work? According to the science of Reflexology—which has been around in other cultures for thousands of years—your feet are a kind of master control panel for the rest of your body. “Meridians” in the body—which are those channels of energy treated by acupuncture—end up in the feet. So the ends of those meridians in your feet connect with every organ and every part of your entire body.

When you wiggle your toes, you are stimulating—and thus relaxing—your entire body. (Incidentally, this is a good place to mention that you can be energized and relaxed at the same time. It’s a matter of the quality of that energy. If it flows freely and smoothly, you will be relaxed. If the energy flow in your body is restricted or blocked, you will be tense. And toe wiggling helps to bring about a relaxing, free-flowing energy.)

Note: This same exercise is also great first thing in the morning before getting out of bed in order to energize the body.

Stomach Rub

This soothes down the digestive system and helps to bring about a deeper relaxation. An extra benefit is that it will help you to lose weight by improving the functioning of the digestive system.

Simply lie on your back and place your hand on your navel. Begin to make small circles in a clockwise direction as you gently glide your hand over your stomach. Let your circles gradually become bigger and bigger. When your circles reach the outside of your stomach, gradually reduce their size until you are back at your navel again. Then reverse the direction (to counter-clockwise) and do the same thing again. Repeat this whole series with your other hand. Do this several times.

Note: Food material moves through the colon in a clockwise direction. If you have trouble with constipation, make all your circles clockwise. If troubled by diarrhea, make all your circles counter-clockwise. Clockwise circles will alleviate the blockage, counter-clockwise circles will help solidify fecal material.

Progressive Relaxation

This exercise is most effective when you tape record the instructions in advance, preferably in your own voice. This way you don’t have to concentrate on remembering the instructions.

We’ll give you the instructions here. You tape record them, with a short pause after each sentence to allow yourself time to actually do the sensing and relaxing.

Lie on your back, close your eyes, and begin to listen to the tape.

1. Feel your feet. Feel the weight of your feet. Feel your feet relax and sink into the bed.
2. Feel your lower legs. Feel the weight of your lower legs. Feel your lower legs relax and sink into the bed.
3. Feel your knees. Feel the weight of your knees. Feel your knees relax and sink into the bed.
4. Feel your upper legs. Feel the weight of your upper legs. Feel your upper legs relax and sink into the bed.
5. Feel your hands. Feel the weight of your hands. Feel your hands relax and sink into the bed.
6. Feel your lower arms. Feel the weight of your lower arms. Feel your lower arms relax and sink into the bed.
7. Feel your elbows. Feel the weight of your elbows. Feel your elbows relax and sink into the bed.
8. Feel your upper arms. Feel the weight of your upper arms. Feel your upper arms relax and sink into the bed.
9. Feel your buttocks. Feel the weight of your buttocks. Feel your buttocks relax and sink into the bed.
10. Feel your back. Feel the weight of your back. Feel your back relax and sink into the bed.
11. Feel your pelvic and belly area. Feel the weight of your pelvic and belly area. Feel your pelvic and belly area relax and sink into the bed.
12. Feel your chest. Feel the weight of your chest. Feel your chest relax and sink into the bed.
13. Feel your shoulders. Feel the weight of your shoulders. Feel your shoulders relax and sink into the bed.
14. Feel your neck, both front and back. Feel the weight of your neck. Feel your neck relax and sink into the bed.
15. Feel your skull. Feel the weight of your skull. Feel your skull relax and sink into the bed.
16. Feel your mouth. Feel any tension in your mouth. Feel your mouth relax and any tension slide off into the bed.
17. Feel your eyes. Feel any tension in your eyes. Feel your eyes relax and any tension slide off into the bed.
18. Feel your entire face. Feel any tension in your face. Feel your face relax and let any tension slide off into the bed.
19. Mentally scan your body. If you find any place that’s still tense, relax it and let it sink into the bed.

Deep Breathing

One of the main reasons many of us are tense is our breathing. Most people breathe very shallowly, using only the top part of their lungs. Deep Breathing allows us to use our entire lungs, providing more oxygen to our bodies, and energizing and rejuvenating every organ and cell in our bodies. It is probably the most effective and beneficial method of relaxation we’ve seen.

1. Lie on your back.
2. Slowly relax your body, starting with your feet and moving through every part of your body until you have reached—and relaxed—your face and scalp.
3. Do a quick check to see if you’ve missed any place. If so, relax it.
4. Slowly begin to inhale, first filling your lower belly, then your stomach area, and then your chest and the top of your lungs almost up to your shoulders. Hold for a second or two, then begin to exhale. Empty the very bottom of your lungs first, then the middle, then finally the top.
5. Continue this breathing for 4 or 5 minutes. Don’t force your breathing; it’s not a contest to see how much air you can take in. Just do it in a relaxed, peaceful manner.
6. After a while, imagine that you are resting on a warm, gentle ocean. The sun is shining peacefully on your body. Imagine that you rise on the gentle swells of the water as you inhale, and that you slowly descend as you exhale.
7. Continue this relaxing breathing as long as you wish (hopefully until you fall asleep).

Note: This is particularly effective when you do it after Progressive Relaxation—if you haven’t already fallen asleep!

Visualize Something Peaceful

Just lie there with your eyes closed and imagine you’re in your very favorite, most peaceful place. It may be on a sunny beach, swinging in a hammock in the mountains or your back yard, or all alone in a cave in the Himalayas.

Wherever it is, imagine you are there. You can see your surroundings, hear the peaceful sounds, smell the fragrance of the flowers, and feel the warmth of the sun or whatever sensations are there. Just relax and enjoy it—and drift off to sleep.

Once you’ve found a place that’s especially peaceful and effective, you’ll find that the more you use it, the more you can count on it to help you relax and get to sleep. Its comfort and familiarity will make it more and more effective.

Visualize Something Boring

We like this one in particular. The beauty of it is you can turn a negative into a positive. Just visualize that you are someplace that you have always found extremely boring. It could be listening to a particular teacher who was so boring that he or she almost always put you to sleep. Perhaps it’s some friend or acquaintance whose incessant talk and theories put you to sleep. Maybe it’s your work, maybe it’s your commute each day.

Whatever it is, visualize it. And recapture that bored, tired, heavy, sleepy feeling that you always experience. Let that feeling spread through your mind and all through your body till you’re filled with complete tiredness and sleepiness. It works.

Imagine It’s Time to Get Up

This is a neat one too. Kind of a variation on the previous technique. Imagine that you’re not allowed to go to sleep. Imagine that your morning alarm has gone off and it’s time to get up and go to work. You know how delicious that feeling is in the morning when it’s time to get up but you’re so tired and your eyes are very heavy and you shouldn’t do it but you just want to fall right back to sleep for a few minutes more?

Well, we find you can often bring that about just by imagining as fully and realistically as possible that it’s morning, that you have to get up, put your feet on a cold floor, stagger around the house, take a cold shower, and do whatever unpleasant things you associate with getting up in the morning. The more unpleasantly you can imagine it, the more you won’t want to do it. And the more you’ll just want to stay in bed and sleep. Try it. You’ll be surprised how tired and sleepy your mind can make your body.

Quiet Ears

This technique is an ancient Eastern meditation as well as a great way to fall asleep.

1. Lie on your back with your hands behind your head, fingers interlocked, and your palms cupping the back of your head. Get as relaxed as possible (This position make take a little while to get used to).

2. Place your thumbs in your ears so that you are pressing the outer flap of your ear and blocking the entrance to the ear canal.

3. Lie quietly and listen for a high-pitched sound that you will gradually hear inside your head.

4. Lie there for 10 to 15 minutes and concentrate on that sound. Then put your arms to your sides and go to sleep. (Don’t worry about all the stories of people who have ringing in their ears. This is different—and natural.)

SOURCE

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Here’s some tips from DR MERCOLA:

Optimizing Your Sleep Sanctuary

1.Sleep in complete darkness, or as close to it as possible. Even the tiniest bit of light in the room can disrupt your internal clock and your pineal gland’s production of melatonin and serotonin. Even the tiniest glow from your clock radio could be interfering with your sleep. This will help decrease your risk of cancer.  Close your bedroom door, and get rid of night-lights. Refrain from turning on any light at all during the night, even when getting up to go to the bathroom. Cover up your clock radio. Cover your windowsI recommend using blackout shades or drapes.

All life evolved in response to predictable patterns of light and darkness, called circadian rhythms. Modern day electrical lighting has significantly betrayed your inner clock by disrupting your natural rhythms. Little bits of light pass directly through your optic nerve to your hypothalamus, which controls your biological clock. Light signals your brain that it’s time to wake up and starts preparing your body for ACTION.

2.Keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 70 degrees F. Many people keep their homes and particularly their upstairs bedrooms too warm. Studies show that the optimal room temperature for sleep is quite cool, between 60 to 68 degrees. Keeping your room cooler or hotter can lead to restless sleep. When you sleep, your body’s internal temperature drops to its lowest level, generally about four hours after you fall asleep. Scientists believe a cooler bedroom may therefore be most conducive to sleep, since it mimics your body’s natural temperature drop.

3.Check your bedroom for electro-magnetic fields (EMFs). These can disrupt the pineal gland and the production of melatonin and serotonin, and may have other negative effects as well. To do this, you need a gauss meter. You can find various models online, starting around $50 to $200. Some experts even recommend pulling your circuit breaker before bed to kill all power in your house.

4.Move alarm clocks and other electrical devices away from your bed. If these devices must be used, keep them as far away from your bed as possible, preferably at least 3 feet. Remove the clock from view. It will only add to your worry when you stare at it all night… 2 a.m. ...3 a.m. ... 4:30 a.m.

5.Avoid using loud alarm clocks. It is very stressful on your body to be suddenly jolted awake. If you are regularly getting enough sleep, an alarm may even be unnecessary. I gave up my alarm clock years ago and now use a sun alarm clock, an alarm that combines the features of a traditional alarm clock (digital display, AM/FM radio, beeper, snooze button, etc.) with a special built-in light that gradually increases in intensity, simulating sunrise.

6.Reserve your bed for sleeping. If you are used to watching TV or doing work in bed, you may find it harder to relax and drift off to sleep, so avoid doing these activities in bed.

7.Consider separate bedrooms. Recent studies suggest, for many people, sharing a bed with a partner (or pets) can significantly impair sleep, especially if the partner is a restless sleeper or snores. If bedfellows are consistently interfering with your sleep, you may want to consider a separate bedroom.

Preparing for Bed

8.Get to bed as early as possible. Your body (particularly your adrenal system) does a majority of its recharging between the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. In addition, your gallbladder dumps toxins during this same period. If you are awake, the toxins back up into your liver, which can further disrupt your health. Prior to the widespread use of electricity, people would go to bed shortly after sundown, as most animals do, and which nature intended for humans as well.

9.Don’t change your bedtime. You should go to bed and wake up at the same times each day, even on the weekends. This will help your body to get into a sleep rhythm and make it easier to fall asleep and get up in the morning.

10.Establish a bedtime routine. This could include meditation, deep breathing, using aromatherapy or essential oils or indulging in a massage from your partner. The key is to find something that makes you feel relaxed, then repeat it each night to help you release the tensions of the day.

11.Don’t drink any fluids within 2 hours of going to bed. This will reduce the likelihood of needing to get up and go to the bathroom, or at least minimize the frequency.

12.Go to the bathroom right before bed. This will reduce the chances that you’ll wake up to go in the middle of the night.

13.Eat a high-protein snack several hours before bed. This can provide the L-tryptophan needed for your melatonin and serotonin production.

14.Also eat a small piece of fruit. This can help the tryptophan cross your blood-brain barrier.

15.Avoid before-bed snacks, particularly grains and sugars. These will raise your blood sugar and delay sleep. Later, when blood sugar drops too low (hypoglycemia), you may wake up and be unable to fall back asleep.

16.Take a hot bath, shower or sauna before bed. When your body temperature is raised in the late evening, it will fall at bedtime, facilitating slumber. The temperature drop from getting out of the bath signals your body it’s time for bed.

17.Wear socks to bed. Feet often feel cold before the rest of the body because they have the poorest circulation. A study has shown that wearing socks to bed reduces night waking. As an alternative, you could place a hot water bottle near your feet at night.

18.Wear an eye mask to block out light. As discussed earlier, it is very important to sleep in as close to complete darkness as possible. That said, it’s not always easy to block out every stream of light using curtains, blinds or drapes, particularly if you live in an urban area (or if your spouse has a different schedule than you do). In these cases, an eye mask can be helpful.

19.Put your work away at least one hour before bed (preferably two hours or more). This will give your mind a chance to unwind so you can go to sleep feeling calm, not hyped up or anxious about tomorrow’s deadlines.

20.No TV right before bed. Even better, get the TV out of the bedroom or even completely out of the house. It’s too stimulating to the brain, preventing you from falling asleep quickly. TV disrupts your pineal gland function.

21.Listen to relaxation CDs. Some people find the sound of white noise or nature sounds, such as the ocean or forest, to be soothing for sleep. An excellent relaxation/meditation option to listen to before bed is the Insight audio CD. Another favorite is the Sleep Harmony CD, which uses a combination of advanced vibrational technology and guided meditation to help you effortlessly fall into deep delta sleep within minutes. The CD works on the principle of “sleep wave entrainment” to assist your brain in gearing down for sleep.

22.Read something spiritual or uplifting. This may help you relax. Don’t read anything stimulating, such as a mystery or suspense novel, which has the opposite effect. In addition, if you are really enjoying a suspenseful book, you might be tempted to go on reading for hours, instead of going to sleep!

23.Journaling. If you often lay in bed with your mind racing, it might be helpful to keep a journal and writedown your thoughts before bed. Personally, I have been doing this for 15 years, but prefer to do it in the morning when my brain is functioning at its peak and my cortisol levels are high.

Lifestyle Suggestions That Enhance Sleep

24.Reduce or avoid as many drugs as possible. Many drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, may adversely affect sleep. In most cases, the condition causing the drugs to be taken in the first place can be addressed by following guidelines elsewhere on my web site.

25.Avoid caffeine. At least one study has shown that, in some people, caffeine is not metabolized efficiently, leaving you feeling its effects long after consumption. So, an afternoon cup of coffee or tea will keep some people from falling asleep at night. Be aware that some medications contain caffeine (for example, diet pills).

26.Avoid alcohol. Although alcohol will make you drowsy, the effect is short lived and you will often wake up several hours later, unable to fall back asleep. Alcohol will also keep you from entering the deeper stages of sleep, where your body does most of its healing.

27.Make certain you are exercising regularly. Exercising for at least 30 minutes per day can improve your sleep. However, don’t exercise too close to bedtime or it may keep you awake. Studies show exercising in the morning is the best if you can manage it.

28.Lose excess weight. Being overweight can increase your risk of sleep apnea, which can seriously impair your sleep. Please refer to mynutrition plan forrecommendations.

29.Avoid foods you may be sensitive to. This is particularly true for sugar, grains, and pasteurized dairy. Sensitivity reactions can cause excess congestion, gastrointestinal upset, bloating and gas, and other problems.

30.Have your adrenals checked by a good natural medicine clinician. Scientists have found that insomnia may be caused by adrenal stress.

31.If you are menopausal or perimenopausal, get checked out by a good natural medicine physician. The hormonal changes at this time may cause sleep problems if not properly addressed.

If All Else Fails

32.My current favorite fix for insomnia is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Most people can learn the basics of this gentle tapping technique in a few minutes. EFT can help balance your body’s bioenergy system and resolve some of the emotional stresses that are contributing to your insomnia at a very deep level. The results are typically long lasting and improvement is remarkably rapid.

33.Increase your melatonin. Ideally it is best to increase levels naturally with exposure to bright sunlight in the daytime (along with full spectrum fluorescent bulbs in the winter) and absolute complete darkness at night. If that isn’t possible, you may want to consider a melatonin supplement. In scientific studies, melatonin has been shown to increase sleepiness, help you fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep, decrease restlessness, and reverse daytime fatigue. Melatonin is a completely natural substance, made by your body, and has many health benefits in addition to sleep.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 01/27/06 •
Section Dealing with Layoff
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Best Employers For People Over 50

1. Stanley Consultants, Inc. (Muscatine, IA)
2. Scripps Health (San Diego, CA)
3. Bon Secours Richmond Health System (Richmond, VA)
4. Deere & Company (Moline, IL)
5. Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)
6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)
7. First Horizon National Corporation (Memphis, TN)
8. Brevard Public Schools (Viera, FL)
9. Yale-New Haven Hospital (New Haven, CT)
10. Lee Memorial Health System (Fort Myers, FL)
11. Mercy Health System (Janesville, WI)
12. 12 The Principal Financial Group (Des Moine, IA)
13. SSM Health Care (St. Louis, MO)
14. Lincoln Financial Group (Philadelphia, PA)
15. Beaumont Hospitals (Southfield, MI)
16. Loudoun Healthcare, Inc. (Leesburg, VA)
17. Pepco Holdings, Inc. (Washington, DC)
18. Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA)
19. Saint Barnabas Health Care System (West Orange, NJ)
20. The Aerospace Corporation (El Segundo, CA)
21. Kelly Services, Inc. (Troy, MI)
22. Oakwood Healthcare System Inc. (Dearborn, MI)
23. Michelin North America (Greenville, SC)
24. Centegra Health System (Woodstock, IL)
25. Cinergy Corp. (Cincinnati, OH)
26. Scottsdale Healthcare (Scottsdale, AZ)
27. The YMCA of Greater Rochester (Rochester, NY)
28. University of Colorado Hospital Authority (Denver, CO)
29. Cabell Huntington Hospital (Huntington, WV)
30. Pitney Bowes, Inc. (Stamford, CT)
31. Carondelet Health Network (Tucson, AZ)
32. Securian Financial Group, Inc. (St. Paul, MN)
33. Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. (Nutley, NJ)
34. NASD (Rockville, MD)
35. Inova Health System (Falls Church, VA)
36. Whirlpool Corporation (Benton Harbor, MI)
37. St. Mary’s Medical Center (Huntington, WV)
38. Mitretek Systems (Falls Church, VA)
39. Volkswagen of America, Inc. (Auburn Hills, MI)
40. Pinnacol Assurance (Denver, CO)
41. Busch Entertainment Corporation (Clayton, MO)
42. Zurich North America (Schaumburg, IL)
43. West Virginia University Hospitals (Morgantown, WV)
44. SAS (Cary, NC)
45. Ochsner Clinic Foundation (New Orleans, LA)
46. Girl Scouts, San Diego - Imperial Council, Inc. (San Diego, CA)
47. University Physicians Healthcare (Tucson, AZ)
48. University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center (Houston, TX)
49. Henry Ford Health System (Detroit, MI)
50. The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (Hartford, CT)

Source: AARP

Posted by Elvis on 01/27/06 •
Section Job Hunt
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