Common-sense money lessons from 2008

Saving trumps spending for financial healthIt is easy to think of 2008 as a terrible year for your finances, but there is a silver lining – lessons learned.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Brett Arends suggests that the past year has caused people to realize that they need to take control of their own wealth, rather than relying on so-called experts.

Investors should always understand the systems in which they are investing their funds, he argues, pointing out that even the CEOs of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac seemed to not completely comprehend their money-making strategies.

"Simple stocks, like Amazon or Anheuser-Busch, rarely embarrass you in this way," Arends writes.

He also points out that 2008 was another year in which some of the most popular investment sectors fell apart, which underscores the principle of taking charge of your own finances – and having the guts to stray from the pack.

Arends suggests that another lesson from the past year is that saving for the future is a better financial strategy than spending beyond your means in the present – something that may sound obvious but has largely been ignored by many Americans for the past several years.

We probably don’t have long to wait to see if 2008’s lessons have an impact on the coming year.
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Concerns about Napolitano’s use of security technology

What will Homeland Security implement next?Governor Janet Napolitano will soon be stepping into a lead role with the Homeland Security Department, which has caused various civil liberties groups to examine her previous record on the balance between privacy and security.

For example, Alessandra Soler Meetze of Arizona’s American Civil Liberties Union chapter has raised concerns about Napolitano’s implementation of security technology, USA Today reports.

"She sees technology as the panacea of all our law enforcement problems and immigration issues. It’s like she’s embracing these technologies without taking the time to appreciate the privacy implications," she told the news provider.

In the six years that Napolitano has been governor of Arizona, she has encouraged the use of cameras to scan the license plates of moving cars, signed a bill to collect DNA samples from anyone arrested for certain crimes and proposed an optional ID – with a radio-frequency chip – for citizens who reside in the state.

The governor said the ID cards, which could be easily scanned by law enforcement officials, would help speed up border crossings.

Arizona John Birch Society president Bryan Turner suggested that the optional cards could lead to situations in which anyone who didn’t have one could be suspected of being illegal.
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Fiat Paper Money Regime—Something Most Cannot Understand

A fiat paper money regime always becomes autocratic or fascist toward the last days of its existence. This is the time when the State makes war on its own people. Most never know it because it is not announced, but hidden in propaganda within such terms as "for the common good."

An unlimited supply of paper money buys sophisticated arms that create fear and the propaganda to manipulate the people against their personal freedom and best interest.

Fiat paper money is tyranny or becomes tyranny. It guarantees criminal government.

Paper money, personal freedom and privacy are incompatible. Paper money builds centralized power in the State and diminishes the individual. This is the first cause of all you see happening.  All modern wars are paper money wars. Paper money pays the politicians their lavish profligacy and they keep their mouths shut about the fiat system. (All except Ron Paul). All the tyrants in modern history did their dirty work with paper money.

The tsunami comes and most poor uninformed people don’t have an umbrella. This is the year to store food and buy silver. And don’t ask where to store your silver!

I suggest you buy U.S. silver coins dated before 1964 as they are 90 percent silver. You can get dimes, quarters and halves. Please don’t ask the dealer for a few coins. He will have to charge you postage so try to get at least half a bag. Half a bag is $500 face amount or face value. Get the money somewhere!

Why am I writing about silver? Because most of you have let gold pass you by.

From Howard Ruff’s new book, How to Prosper During The Coming Bad Years In The 21st Century we quote: "Take immediate measures to safeguard your assets before it becomes too late, due to sudden (bank/government) restrictions on cash withdrawals, wire transfer limitations, the loss or recall of credit facilities, frozen fund redemptions, foreign exchange controls, etc."

For information on Swiss annuities, call 1-800-331-0996 and leave a message. Talk slowly and clearly giving your name, address and phone number.

Special interest groups compete for economic stimulus

Who will get a piece of Obama's stimulus money?Ahead of the finalization of President-elect Barack Obama’s proposed economic stimulus bill, a number of groups have been lobbying for a share of the money.

According to an article in USA Today, the high level of interest in bailout funds could create some difficulties for the incoming administration, which has promised there will be no waste included in any stimulus package.

Groups including Taxpayers for Common Sense have questioned how this aim could possibly be achieved with so many groups jockeying for funds.

"When Congress has got a pocketful of walking around money, there’s a lot of people who are trying to take them for a ride," Steve Ellis of Taxpayers for Common Sense told the news provider.

"If you’re a lobbyist in town and you’re not trying to get a piece of the bailout, you should be fired."

Among those looking for a role in the stimulus plan are the American Apparel and Footwear Association, the Natural Resource Defense Council and the National Air Transport Association.

Each group claims that their contribution could help create or protect jobs, boost consumer spending or otherwise benefit the economy as a whole.

Obama has forecast that the entire stimulus plan could cost as much as $775 billion.
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Food additives linked to tumor growth

Phosphates added to food may promote cancerA diet high in inorganic phosphates – commonly found in processed food – can contribute to the risk of lung cancer among those already predisposed, as well as accelerating tumor growth, new research suggests.

Scientists at Seoul National University say that inorganic phosphates have a strong connection to the development of lung cancer among rodents and that limiting these additives can help treat the disease when it is already present.

In the past few decades, inorganic phosphates have been increasingly added to a number of processed foods, such as meats, cheeses, beverages and baked goods, explained lead researcher Myung-Haing Cho.

"As a result, depending on individual food choices, phosphorous intake could be increased by as much as 1,000 mg per day," he said, adding that in 1990s this level hovered around 470 mg per day.

Phosphates are usually added to food to boost water retention and improve texture.

The findings, which appear in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, indicated that rats with lung cancer who consumed more phosphates had larger and further progressed tumors.

Earlier this year, a study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology linked high levels of phosphates in the blood with cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis.
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For the Love of Sugar

By now you know that sugar and sweeteners of all types, except natural honey and natural Peruvian stevia, are highly toxic chemicals.

The sugar deception is a great undisclosed health addiction that has wrecked the health of multimillions of people.

Sugar consumption of all types has gone from 7 pounds per person per year in 1900 to 220-plus pounds per person per year average today. This by itself is the foundation of sickness and disease that guarantees conventional medicine perpetual multitrillion dollar annual profits.

All disease directly relates to sugar consumption. This includes white and brown sugar and all the synthetic chemical sugars. Sugar, especially synthetic chemical sweetener, is the basic ingredient used by all commercial food processors.

Almost every label in the grocery stores shows some kind of sugar or sweetener contents. No warnings are ever given about the highly toxic nature of synthetic sweeteners. Some are more toxic than others but all can cause multiple diseases from convulsions to diabetes. All accumulate as acid poisons in the human body.

All artificial or synthetic sweeteners should display a skull and crossbones emblem on their packaging.

There is a mountain of research on the extreme danger of synthetic sugars and I believe that there is no way to have good health while consuming sugar at the same time. No amount of terrorism could come close to the danger of sugar consumption in the United States.

There is a natural solution, though. Stevia is a natural herb sweetener that is up to 300 times sweeter than sugar. South Americans have used this totally non-caloric sweet herb for more than 1,500 years. It is widely used all over the world, but up to now, could not be sold as a sweetener in the United States because of lobbyists for the artificial sweetener cartel and the FDA. Until recently it could only be purchased as a dietary supplement. But thankfully that’s about to change now that the FDA recently gave approval to two new Stevia-based sweeteners.

“In addition to its natural, powerfully sweet taste, (you only use a very mild, light dusting) research shows that stevia actually regulates blood sugar and reduces high blood pressure. It’s an extremely effective aid in weight loss and weight management because it contains no calories. It also reduces your desire for alcohol and tobacco use.” (quoted from James Balch, M.D., in his excellent newsletter Prescriptions for Healthy Living.)

Stevia has no glycemic index, which means that it does not affect insulin in any negative way. This is good news to a nation of diabetics. It’s a miracle as a food supplement for everybody.

A very small amount goes a long way; in fact, far less than other so-called sugar substitutes and it has a neutral taste.

Research in Japan has found stevia to be perfectly safe to be used in any food recipe, chewing gum or mouthwash. It is used on cereals, herb teas, coffee and anything else that you desire.

Stevia is high in chromium (which helps to stabilize blood sugar), manganese, potassium, selenium, silicon, sodium and vitamin A. It also contains iron, niacin, phosphorus, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamin C and zinc. So you see, stevia is a very excellent food dietary supplement.

The natural sugar substitute stevia can help prevent:

  • Diabetes
  • Food Craving
  • Obesity
  • Tobacco Cravings

It can also help with:

  • Addictions
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Hypertension
  • High Blood Pressure

Research has demonstrated that stevia liquid concentrate inhibits the growth and reproduction of harmful bacteria and other infectious organisms, including those that are a problem for the food and cosmetic industries. Stevia also inhibits the growth of gum disease bacteria and tooth decay and in many countries it is used in oral hygiene products.

Less known but no less remarkable is the ability of water-based stevia concentrates to help heal numerous skin problems, including acne, seborrhea (discharge of sebaceous matter on the head causing dry scales or dandruff), dermatitis and eczema.

It also has been observed that placing it on cuts and wounds brings more rapid healing without scarring. It may cause a severe stinging for several seconds, but is followed by a significant lowering of pain. Physicians have reported using stevia concentrate to heal psoriasis and burns, while others have reported that it is extremely helpful in healing various lip sores.

Daniel Mourrey, Ph.D., a scientist and director of The American Phytotherapy Research Laboratory said, “Few substances as stevia have ever yielded completely non-toxic tests whether used internally or externally. There has never been any known abnormalities in weight change, cell or membrane characteristics, enzyme or chromosome characteristics, no cancer, no birth defects, no acute and no chronic negative effects.”

As a sweetener, only a very light dust of stevia concentrate is needed, making stevia far less expensive than all other sweeteners. Switching to stevia concentrate for all your sweet needs can be an extremely important step in restoring your health and in reversing the aging process.

Gold edges upward

Renewed international concern eases gold upwardGold prices moved past $870 per ounce in Friday trading after a week of steady rises.

Tensions in the Middle East and on the Indian-Pakistani border helped to boost the price of the precious metal – widely viewed as a safe haven investment – during an otherwise quiet week of trading.

Spot prices for February rose quickly from $850 to $870 over the course of Friday afternoon.

Meanwhile, concerns for the underlying strength of the U.S. economy – hit hard by growing unemployment and historically weak consumer demand – have led to renewed speculation over the future price of gold.

"Gold is solid as the dollar is under pressure because of a deepening U.S. recession and the Fed policy of keeping interest rates near zero," analyst Tatsuo Kageyama was reported as telling Bloomberg.

Some experts predict prices might rise as high as $2000 in the next year to 18 months in response to the global financial crisis and the possible worsening of relations in international trouble spots.

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Authorities advise over identity theft

Your identity may be at riskFederal agencies released a revised guide this week designed to tackle the ongoing issue of identity fraud.

The brochure – entitled You Have the Power to Stop Identity Theft – contains a number of steps individuals can take to reduce the chances of an invasion of privacy and possible financial loss.

For example, people should never disclose their Social Security number or other potential password over the phone or internet unless they initiated the contact, the guidance states.

"If you are unsure whether a contact is legitimate, go to the company’s website by typing in the site address or using a page you have previously bookmarked, instead of using a link provided by the email," the authorities advise in a reference to so-called phishing attacks.

If you do fall victim to an identity fraudster, contact your financial institution so that a note can be placed on your file. The guidance also encourages you to inform the Federal Trade Commission of any attempted attack.

As many as nine million Americans are the subject of identity fraud each year, according to FTC estimates.
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