No Faith In Paper Money

Dear Bob,

I am a disabled veteran with no savings account. A poor person, mind you, without a financial education. I buy a measly 10 oz bar of silver monthly with my disability check because I have no faith in the government which is what backs the value of a paper dollar. Am I being foolish?

Jerry Diltz

Dear Jerry,

You are not being foolish at all. You are being prudent. You might also consider buying junk silver; pre-1964 silver coins. They are more valuable for their silver content than their face value. However, when the collapse occurs they may be more useful than silver bars because 1) they look like the coins people are used to seeing and may be more readily acceptable in exchange and 2) they provide the flexibility of different quantities of silver for smaller purchases.

Best Wishes,

Report: Uncontrolled Immigration May Ruin The Environment

Report: Uncontrolled immigration may ruin the environmentA newly released policy brief from Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR) contains a warning about the ecological impact of United States population growth.

The report, entitled From Big to Bigger, How Mass Immigration and Population Growth Have Exacerbated America’s Ecological Footprint, examines the impact that uncontrolled growth and high immigration levels are having on the country’s natural environment, and provides scientific evidence for why America is exhausting its natural resources.

Among its major findings, the article reveals that even as the U.S. ecological footprint continues to increase, the Earth’s biocapacity is decreasing. Moreover, if current growth trends continue, the American population will increase 43 percent by 2050, and 82 percent of that growth will result from immigration.

“[We are] living well beyond [our] ecological means and rapid population growth driven primarily by high immigration levels is aggravating the country’s ecological deficit,” says Leon Kolankiewicz, the publication’s author who is a wildlife biologist and consulting environmental planner.

“If environmentalists are serious about facing the challenge of sustainability, they must begin to address the threat of unsustainable U.S. population growth,” he adds.

The report also found that the U.S. has the third-highest ecological footprint in the world, exceeded only by two small Middle Eastern oil-producing countries.

PFIR is a nonprofit organization that seeks to educate the public about the unintended consequences of mass migration and promotes the principles of protecting workers’ rights and ensuring fair wages for America’s workforce.

New Poll Reveals Americans Oppose Gun Regulation By Cities

New poll reveals Americans oppose gun regulation by cities As the Supreme Court hears arguments in a case that aims to overturn the Chicago handgun ban, a new Rasmussen poll has revealed that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe that cities have no right to impose similar bans.

Specifically, the survey found that 69 percent of the respondents say cities do not have the right to ban legal handgun ownership, while 25 percent believe they can do so.

“[This result] clearly shows that Americans have grown weary of anti-gun municipal demagoguery,” said Alan M. Gottlieb, executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), an organization that brought the lawsuit.

“A victory in our case before the Supreme Court should send a clear signal to gun prohibitionists that arbitrarily disarming law-abiding citizens under the guise of fighting crime is an idea that has no place in this country,” he added.

SAF is joined in its case by the Illinois State Rifle Association and four Chicago residents, including Otis McDonald, for whom the Supreme Court case is named.

If the high court overturns the Chicago ban, its decision will incorporate the Second Amendment to state and local governments through provisions in the 14th Amendment.

The decision is expected some time this spring.

There Are A Lot More of Us Than They Think

Thirty-three years ago I was in the forefront of a cultural revolution that would change the face of politics in America. And I didn’t even know it.

Here’s what happened. I was living in California at the time, when a friend of mine in Atlanta told me he knew of a job that would be perfect for me. He was the manager of the local CBS radio station and they were experimenting with a new format—talk radio.

“We’re looking for a conservative with a sense of humor,” he said. “Why don’t you come to Atlanta and give it a try?” As it happened, I had an excellent reason to visit Atlanta. At the time, a small book-publishing company I had founded had released a book called We Hold These Truths. It was a study of the United States Constitution by Congressman Larry McDonald.

The book was a big hit for our small company and I wanted to talk with Larry about doing a second one. Instead of staying in town a day for that meeting, I changed my schedule to be there a week. One of the on-air hosts was going to be on vacation that week and the plan was for me to sit in for him. If I did a good enough job… well, we’d cross that bridge when we came to it.

Early Monday morning I got a crash course in the mechanics of talk radio: How to put a caller on the air and how to turn down his volume if I wanted to get rid of him; how to go into commercial breaks; what to say at the top of the hour, when we went live to CBS News. And most important of all, how to use the five-second delay in case a caller said something inappropriate. An hour later, the “on air” light went on and Chip Wood became a talk host.

The star at WRNG Radio was an outspoken libertarian you may have heard about: Neal Boortz is now a nationally syndicated talk host who reaches millions of people every week. A young Englishman who went to work on a competitor station around that time has become even better known: Sean Hannity has his own TV show, a syndicated radio show and several best-selling books to his credit.

For the past decade or two talk radio has been credited (or accused; it depends where you are on the political spectrum) with becoming one of the most influential forces on the political scene in the United States. Thank you Rush Limbaugh, Neal and Sean and the many other pioneers. And thank you to the tens of millions of listeners and callers who made talk radio so successful.

But I’ve got to admit, back in the late 1970s none of us involved in talk radio had any idea this would happen. Our ratings at WRNG Radio weren’t exactly in the basement but we weren’t anywhere near the top, either. In 1981, the station’s owners decided to turn off the mics and switch to a more popular format. I went back to my first love, publishing. Sean went to New York to seek his fame and fortune. And Neal stayed in Atlanta and started yakking for WSB Radio, the most powerful and most popular station in the South.

I believe that talk radio succeeded because, for the very first time, conservatives and libertarians knew they weren’t alone. There was an entire country full of people who felt the same way they did about the issues and personalities of the day. And we could finally say so!

For the previous 30 years the liberal media in this country had a virtual monopoly. Their views were all that you were allowed to hear on radio and TV or read in the most popular newspapers and magazines. Conservatives were made to feel isolated and alone. We were told our opinions didn’t matter and that our efforts were ineffectual. “Why bother opposing us?” was the unspoken message; “It’s hopeless.”

But thanks to talk radio, we could prove them wrong. And boy did we.

Today, talk radio still reaches and influences millions of people every day. But there’s another phenomena that has passed it in reach, influence and importance. That is the Internet, which has enabled millions of people to read what they want, write want they want and campaign for what they want.

The column you’re reading now is a perfect example of what I mean. More than 500,000 people have signed up to receive Personal Liberty Alerts where this column, Straight Talk, appears every Friday morning. PLA is just one of hundreds, no, thousands, of outlets on the Internet where conservatives and libertarians can communicate with each other—and often, have at it with liberals.

Ain’t it fun to be heard?

Thanks to us, Fox Television has become the most-watched TV network in the country. (And don’t you know this fact drives the brass at all of the “original” networks absolutely crazy?)

A small conservative book publisher in Washington, D.C., called Regnery, has more best-selling books to its credit than any of the major New York houses: Which proves that we conservatives not only can read, we want to read!

Thanks to us there are Tea Parties being held in communities big and small across the country. More than 10,000 conservative activists gathered in Washington, D.C., last month, where they enjoyed baiting liberals and boasting that the right would take back Congress this November. (We’ll see.)

Talk about heating things up: Later this summer, some 2,000 conservative and libertarian activists will gather in Las Vegas for “a really big shew” called FreedomFest. C-Span will be there to record several hours of the proceedings. The subsequent rebroadcasts will reach hundreds of thousands more people.

I’ll be the Master of Ceremonies at FreedomFest and will have the honor of introducing people like Steve Forbes, Charles Gasparino, Rick Santelli, John Mackey, Doug Casey, Mark Skousen and dozens of others to an enthusiastic crowd. If you’d like to be part of the fun, go to and sign up. (Note that the early-bird special expires April 15.)

But enough of a shameless plug. The larger point I wanted to make is that the people who share our values and our views make up the majority of people in this country. But we could never prove it before this. Now, thanks to talk radio, the Internet and all the alternative forms of communication that we’ve created, there can be no doubt.

To paraphrase a wonderful line from one of my favorite movies, we’re mad as hell. And we don’t have to take it anymore.

Until next Friday, keep some powder dry.

—Chip Wood

Inhofe Bashes Global Warming Science, Says Gore Is ‘Running For Cover’

Inhofe bashes global warming science, says Gore is 'running for cover'Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) publicly lashed out at Al Gore on Monday, referring to global warming as “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,” while claiming that the former vice president is “running for cover” following recent questions regarding climate change science.

“He’s under siege these days,” said Inhofe, while speaking on the Senate floor. “The credibility of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is eroding, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) endangerment finding is collapsing and belief that global warming is leading to catastrophe is evaporating.”

“Gore seems to be drowning in a sea of his own global warming illusions nevertheless,” added the senator, who has been a longtime critic of the science behind climate change.

Inhofe also insinuated that Gore had gotten rich due to global warming, referring to the Nobel Peace Prize winner as the first “climate billionaire,” and said his recent op-ed piece in The New York Times was a simple act of desperation.

Meanwhile, the senator concluded his 30-minute speech by denouncing climate change legislation being authored by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.), claiming that any cap-and-trade bill would adversely affect the American people.

Byrd Cries Foul and a Step Dancing Upset

*The author of reconciliation cries “foul.” Here’s what Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) has to say about using “reconciliation” to ram Obamacare through the Senate. You might share this quote with some friends: “I was one of the authors of the legislation that created the budget ‘reconciliation’ process in 1974, and I am certain putting healthcare reform and climate change legislation on a freight train through Congress is an outrage that must be resisted…. The misuse of the arcane process of reconciliation—a process intended for deficit reduction—to enact substantive policy changes is an undemocratic disservice to our people and to the Senate’s institutional role…. Essentially it says ‘take it or leave it’ to the citizens who sent us here to solve problems, and it prevents members from representing their constituents interests.” [emphasis added]

*Hey, whites can step-dance, too. There was a huge kerfuffle at the Sprite Step Off competition in Atlanta this year. Seems all the ladies on one team—from Zeta Tau Alpha sorority at the University of Arkansas—are… prepare yourself… white. And they were good. So good in fact, the judges awarded them first place. The mostly black crowd erupted with shouts and boos. Five days later Coca-Cola officials said they had found a “scoring discrepancy” and declared that a black team from Indiana University had tied for first place. The show’s host, rap music artist Ludacris, who is also a person of color, said the reversal was “odd,” because he could personally guarantee that the scoring had been “checked and double-checked.”

—Chip Wood

Democrats Criticize GOP Groups For Misleading Fundraising Mailers

Democrats criticize GOP groups for misleading fundraising mailersOn Wednesday, the House voted 416-0 to ban misleading mailings designed to look like official government documents, following criticism from both sides of the aisle that two Republican groups were sending out fundraising letters that appeared to be official communications from the Census Bureau.

Under the new bill, which was co-sponsored by Representatives Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), mailings using the word “census” will have to include the name and address of the sender, as well as an unambiguous disclaimer that the letter has not been authored by the federal government, the Associated Press (AP) reports.

Meanwhile, several Democratic leaders have blasted the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) for trying to confuse citizens and piggyback on the Census Bureau’s multimillion dollar advertising campaign.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has alleged that the fundraising letters, which were signed by RNC Chairman Michael Steele and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), may discourage people from completing their Census surveys, The Hill reports.

“[Boehner and Steele] have a responsibility to tell every Republican who received their fundraising solicitation that it is not an official U.S. Census form and encourage them to fill out their census form,” said DCCC spokesman Ryan Rudominer.

Democratic leaders in the Senate have said they plan to sign off on the bill recently approved in the Senate.

Meditation Can Help Sustain Focus, Reduce Pain

Meditation can help sustain focus, reduce painAccording to a new study, the act of meditation can relax the mind and enhance the body’s ability to react to moderate amounts of pain.

In the study, researchers from the University of North Carolina measured pain ratings in students who were trained in meditation for three consecutive days and were given experimental pain stimuli.

The research team found that subjects who participated in brief meditation sessions reported reduced pain of both low and high intensities. Moreover, they concluded that meditation significantly reduced anxiety and increased the ability to sustain personal focus—two factors related to the body’s ability to tolerate moderate amounts of pain.

The study’s authors noted that the analgesic benefits of meditation can be noticed after only a short period of utilizing the technique.

Meanwhile, in a separate study, Canadian researchers have reportedly found evidence that Zen meditation can reinforce a central brain region that regulates pain.

“Through training, Zen meditators appear to thicken certain areas of their cortex and this appears to underlie their lower sensitivity to pain,” says lead author Joshua Grant, a doctoral student in the University of Montreal’s Department of Physiology.

Democrats Unveil Financial Regulation Plan

Democrats unveil financial regulation plan Feared by some and long-awaited by others, a plan to reform and regulate the United States financial industry has been unveiled today by top Senate Democrats.

In response to the most severe recession since the Great Depression, which was precipitated by Wall Street banks and investment firms trading in risky financial products, Senate Banking Committee chairman Christopher Dodd presented the proposed legislation that would give the government new powers to break up firms that threaten the economy, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Specifically, the bill creates a nine-member Financial Stability Oversight Council that could place large financial institutions under the supervision of the Federal Reserve, and approve the break-up of large complex companies if they pose a “grave threat” to the financial system, the news provider further reported.

Moreover, the legislation includes language giving shareholders a nonbinding “say on pay” for company executives, according to NASDAQ.

However, commentators point out that the proposal falls short of the restructuring of federal financial regulations promised by President Obama or contained in legislation already passed in the House.

The Banking Committee is expected to formally debate and vote on it before a spring break.