The Worst President Ever

A delightful experience over the weekend led to a discussion that prompted the headline for this week’s Straight Talk. Let me tell you about it.

My wife and I had flown to Washington, D.C., to spend the weekend with her youngest son and his glowingly pregnant wife. This will be their first child and everyone (most emphatically including grandma) is excited beyond words.

But “Boots’” arrival (that’s the infant’s temporary nickname) won’t be until October. So, the four of us decided to enjoy a perfect spring day by taking the Metro to the Washington Mall and then strolling down to the Tidal Basin to see the last of the world-famous cherry blossoms. While the ladies relaxed on a park bench, Micah and I walked to one of my favorite sights in the capitol, the Jefferson Memorial.

As you may know, the building is modeled after the Pantheon in Greece, a design that Thomas Jefferson admired very much. Inside, a magnificent 17-foot bronze statue of our third president looks out toward the Washington Monument. On the walls around him are panels containing some of his most famous quotes.

The first panel, naturally enough, quotes the beginning of the Declaration of Independence, including the phrase, “endowed by their Creator…” The second panel starts, “Almighty God hath created the mind free.” The third states that “God who gave us life gave us liberty.”

And surrounding all of this, in letters three feet high, is this: “I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

Standing there, reading these words, it is impossible not to be reminded of Jefferson’s reverence and piety. As I read all the references to God and our Creator, I couldn’t help but wonder would it even be possible to construct such a memorial today? Or would the aggressive atheists and their friends in the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) make certain this wonderful edifice would never be built? Or if it had, that it would not have contained any of these heartfelt sentiments by a founding father?

As we turned to go, Micah pointed out the cornerstone of this marvelous memorial. We were both surprised by how high off the ground it was. I think we expected a cornerstone to be in the ground… or even under it.

Then I noticed the message inscribed on it. The stone had been dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939. I remarked to Micah, “It’s a little ironic, isn’t it, that one of the worst presidents in our history dedicated the memorial to one of the best?”

That led Micah to ask me who else I considered the worst presidents in our history. My reply surprised him, because Barack Obama’s name didn’t make the list. He’s read enough Straight Talks to know how I feel about the current occupant of the White House.

Before we go any further consider for a moment whom you’d put on a list of the five worst presidents of all time. Who would top the pile and why? If you want to join the debate, when you get to the end of this column just click on “reply” and fire away. There will surely be some interesting remarks posted below.

Of course you already know one of my choices. In the first half of the last century, no one did more to promote government growth than FDR. Longtime socialist leader Norman Thomas said FDR implemented more of his policies than he ever could. And let’s not forget the lies and deceit that got us into World War II; all of the things he did to buttress the Soviet Union during the war; or the horrible concessions afterwards that condemned millions of people to a lifetime of slavery under Communist rule. Need I say more?

Then there are the three men during my lifetime who embarrassed and angered me by their conduct and their policies. I consider all of them a disgrace to our nation’s highest office. I was glad when Bill Clinton was impeached; I was only sorry when he wasn’t convicted and removed from office.

Richard Nixon is another of my least favorites. No one did more to prevent our troops from winning in Vietnam. Our soldiers were condemned to fight and die in a no-win war while our country was torn apart at home. Nixon abandoned our allies on Taiwan and opened relations with the vicious murderers who ruled Communist China. He also launched the era of Big Government Republicanism here at home from which we’re still suffering today. No, “Tricky Dick” Nixon is not one of my favorites.

But the man I truly despised was Lyndon Baines Johnson. I doubt if a bigger crook or more dangerous bully has ever occupied the Oval Office. He was not only a nasty and mean-spirited politician; LBJ took arm-twisting and vote fraud to a whole new level. In fact, he may even have sanctioned murder. For a glimpse of the real LBJ, get J. Evetts Haley’s searing study, A Texan Looks at Lyndon.

Who could possibly top such a list? I hereby nominate Woodrow Wilson as the worst of the bunch: In fact, the very worst president of all time.

Just consider the highlights of this man’s despicable record. He won election by promising to keep us out of the war in Europe—all while he was scheming to get us involved. The contrived sinking of the Lusitania gave him the excuse he needed.

Millions of people suffered and died needlessly in Wilson’s war “to make the world safe for democracy.” For that alone he deserves to be rebuked and repudiated by every honest historian. But the dirty misdeeds don’t stop there. Wilson was an early One-Worlder; we have him to thank for the aborted League of Nations, without which there would be no United Nations.

Oh, and let’s not forget the trickery that got Congress to adopt a key plank in the Communist Manifesto—a progressive income tax. The rules had already been rigged so the super-rich could hide their wealth in foundations and family trusts. The income tax would keep most of us from ever hoping to compete with them—while giving government the funds it needed to offer a gullible public all of the bread and circuses it could want.

There are other things I could mention, but this should be enough to persuade you that Woodrow Wilson belongs high on a list of presidents who have betrayed the great trust the public put in them. Should he really be No. 1—the worst of all time? I say “yes.” But you’re certainly entitled to disagree. After all, this is still a free country, isn’t it? No thanks to the five gentlemen I’ve listed above.

After reflection, I’m willing to consider a motion to have Barack Obama replace Bill Clinton in the top five. Bill may have done more to embarrass us than our Teleprompter in Chief. But he wasn’t very successful getting his socialist policies passed. Wish we could say the same thing about Obama.

Until next Friday, keep some powder dry.

—Chip Wood

No Flag, Strange Artwork, Soaring Interest And Nutty Psychiatry

*Obama orders our flag taken down. United States military personnel in Haiti have been ordered not to fly the American flag. A spokesman explains that “We are not here as an occupation force, but as an international partner.” Isn’t that absurd? The whole world knows we’re there on a mission of mercy, not conquest. By the way, all of our “international partners,” including Britain, France and Croatia, proudly fly their own flags.

*Why not just eat them? I read that a high school teacher in northern Utah had his students make a 6,400-square-foot replica of Vincent van Gogh’s famous painting, “Starry Night.” The artwork, which covered the floor of the school’s gymnasium, was made from two tons of the colorful Malt-O-Meal breakfast cereal. My only question is, why?

*Buffett is a safer bet than Obama. Hardly anyone noticed, but on the same day that Obamacare passed the House, U.S. government debt lost its “risk-free” status. For the first time in history you would earn less interest loaning money to a private company—Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway—than to the U.S. Government. I’m afraid this is just the beginning of seeing interest rates soar.

*Another great quote. The Wall Street Journal ran a fascinating piece called “Why Psychiatry Needs Therapy” in its Feb. 27-28 weekend edition. In it the author warned, “Patients who seek psychiatric help today for mood disorders stand a good chance of being diagnosed with a disease that doesn’t exist and treated with a medication little more effective than a placebo.” In other words, you’d be nuts to trust a psychiatrist.

—Chip Wood

Journalists Call On FCC To Continue Working For ‘Net Neutrality’

Journalists call on FCC to continue working for 'net neutrality' Last week, a United States court of appeals issued a ruling blocking the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) attempts to prevent internet service providers from restricting access to content, applications and services offered by competitors. Now, a group of journalist is pushing back, urging the FCC to reclaim its right to regulate broadband networks.

UNITY: Journalists of Color—an organization representing more than 8,000 professionals in that field—has called on the commission to reclassify broadband as a "telecommunications service," which would make it a basic utility subject to regulation, and reverse actions taken by previous commissions that favored a deregulatory approach.

"Without the authority to set net neutrality rules, the FCC cannot promote a level playing field," said UNITY president Barbara Ciara.

"[We] oppose any technological, legislative or content strategies to block innovation and free speech on the internet," she added.

The U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the FCC had overstepped its jurisdiction when it attempted to impose net neutrality rules on Comcast, which had blocked its subscribers from using the file-sharing website BitTorrent.

Analysts say companies such as AT&T and Verizon would also be hit by "net neutrality," but it would benefit applications providers such as Google, Skype and Facebook. ADNFCR-1961-ID-19721643-ADNFCR

At National Press Club Meeting, Activists Denounce Role Of Special Interests In U.S. Politics

At National Press Club meeting, activists denounce role of special interests in U.S. politics On April 13, a forum was held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., which discussed the influence of corporate special interests and big money on public policy and United States democracy.

The event—in honor of Thomas Jefferson’s 267th birthday—was sponsored by the People’s Lobby Coalition for Public Funding Only of All Elections and the Green Party of Florida. Some of the topics discussed by the attendees included the effect of corporate money on healthcare, energy and the economy. They also analyzed the issue of military expenditures in light of campaign contributions from defense contractors.

"[We talked] about the correlation between the influence of the 13,000 plus special interest lobbyists and our elected officials’ voting trends in relation to these issues," said Jennifer Sullivan, organizer of the event.

She added that the outcome of the event will lead the group to propose "necessary changes to our election system to restore democracy."

Speakers at the event included Dr. Margaret Flowers, congressional Fellow for Physicians for a National Health Program, filmmaker Jesse Johnson, chair of the West Virginia Mountain Party, and Pat LaMarche, weekly columnist for the Bangor Daily News and the 2004 vice-presidential nominee of the Green Party of the United States.

A Terror Trial, Expensive Jobs and the Bomber’s Visa

*Terror trial moved from New York City. After first saying he was okay with holding the trial of confessed al-Qaida terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in lower Manhattan, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg changed his mind and asked Attorney General Eric Holder to move it. The state’s senior senator, Chuck Schumer, and a lot of other politicos also jumped on the “not in our city” bandwagon. That was enough to convince the Obama Administration to pull the plug on a really bad idea. Officials are now scrambling to come up with a new plan. Here’s one: Let the military handle it. This should never have been moved to a civilian court in the first place.

*Man, those new jobs are expensive. Remember when Barrack Obama promised that if Congress approved his $800 billion “stimulus” package, unemployment wouldn’t go above 8 percent? Well, to quote an old country song, he got the gold mine and we got the shaft. Unemployment is now a minimum of 10 percent. Since people who’ve stopped looking for work and down-sized temps aren’t counted among the unemployed, the real number is undoubtedly much higher. Still, our President claims the stimulus has “saved or created” 2 million jobs. Let’s see, that means each new job cost us taxpayers about $400,000 each. Want to guess how long it will take each new worker to pay that much in taxes?

*Our “too little, too late” State Department. You may have missed the news that back in January the State Department revoked the visa of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian wanna-be bomber who tried to bring down a Northwest Airlines flight over Detroit on Christmas Day. Thanks guys, I feel much safer now.

—Chip Wood

Liberal Group To ‘Infiltrate’ Tea Party Demonstrations

Liberal group to 'infiltrate' Tea Party demonstrations In an effort to dismantle the conservative political group known as the Tea Party, officials with a national liberal organization said they are planning on infiltrating and crashing Tea Party demonstrations today.

Jason Levin, founder of the, said on Monday that he has recruited liberal allies across the country who will help make the fiscally conservative organization’s members look racist, ignorant and homophobic during their tax day protests, according to the Associated Press (AP).

"Every time we have someone on camera saying that Barack Obama isn’t an American citizen, we want someone sitting next to him saying, ‘That’s right, he’s an alien from outer space!’" Levin said.

He added that organizers will attempt to dismantle the Tea Party by accentuating the least attractive qualities of some of its members.

"Do I think every member of the tea party is a homophobe, racist or a moron? No, absolutely not," Levin said. "Do I think most of them are? Absolutely."

While rallying against high taxes today—tax day—the Tea Party is also planning a possible fight over President Obama’s next Supreme Court nominee who will replace Justice John Paul Stevens after he retires later this year, reports.

Healthy Diet Linked To Lower Risk Of Alzheimer’s Disease

Healthy diet linked to lower risk of Alzheimer's diseaseAccording to a recent Columbia University Medical Center study, consuming a healthy diet may help lower a person’s risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease later in life.

In the study, lead author Yian Gu and his colleagues monitored the dietary habits of more than 2,000 adults over the age of 65 who were free of symptoms related to cognitive decline. After an average of four years of follow-up, the research team found that 253 individuals had developed Alzheimer’s disease.

Gu found that high intakes of nuts, fish, tomatoes, fruits, poultry as well as cruciferous and green leafy vegetables were associated with a significantly decreased risk of being diagnosed with the brain disorder. In contrast, consumption of high-fat dairy, red meat, organ meat and butter was linked to a considerably increased risk.

"Epidemiological evidence linking diet—one of the most important modifiable environmental factors—and risk of Alzheimer’s disease is rapidly increasing," said the authors.

"Our findings provide support for further exploration of food combination-based dietary behavior for the prevention of this important public health problem," they added.

Controversies Surrounding Medical Marijuana Continue

Controversies surrounding medical marijuana continue Despite complaints that those who legally use marijuana for medical purposes may risk losing their jobs, and despite evidence of broad public support for medicinal use of the drug, some activists have called the proposal "a silent killer" and suggested it should be defeated.

In recent months, the case of Joseph Casias, a 29-year-old cancer sufferer from Michigan, sparked controversy after he was fired from his job at Wal-Mart for failing a drug test due to his use of doctor-prescribed marijuana in a state where it is legal, according to CNN.

However, while supporters of legalization worry that individuals who use cannabis for pain relief in the 14 states where it is legal may risk their employment, opponents argue that because drug addiction is an epidemic and marijuana is "a silent killer," its use should be penalized.

In particular, The Opposition to the California Marijuana Legalization Initiative has vowed to work to defeat the ballot measure for The Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 that has been certified by the State of California to qualify for the November ballot.

"Marijuana legalization infringes on our right to a healthy society and exposes communities to addiction, crime, biohazards, drug dealing and it must be defeated," said the organization’s representative Alexandra Datig.

Meanwhile, the Pew Research Center found that nearly three-quarters of Americans (73 percent) say they favor their state allowing the sale and use of marijuana for medical purposes if it is prescribed by a doctor, while only 23 percent are opposed.ADNFCR-1961-ID-19719033-ADNFCR

National Inflation Association Predicts ‘Silver Short Squeeze’

National Inflation Association predicts 'silver short squeeze' After several weeks’ analysis, the National Inflation Association (NIA) has concluded that the precious metals markets are currently being artificially suppressed by paper gold and silver that doesn’t physically exist, risking a major crunch when investors want to convert their paper into gold or silver.

The organization points out that at last week’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) hearings, Jeffrey Christian of the consultancy CPM Group admitted that banks have leveraged their physical bullion by 100 to 1, meaning that for every 100 ounces of paper gold or silver that trade, there could be as little as 1 ounce of physical metals in the vaults backing it.

However, because Christian appeared to brush off any concerns about this situation, saying that "it has been persistently that way for decades," NIA representatives spoke out suggesting that most investors around the world holding paper gold or silver believe they own physical commodities. That is why the organization fears that when these investors decide they want the physical precious metals, it will result in the biggest short squeeze in the history of commodities trading.

Pointing out that the physical silver market is more tight than ever before —in the first quarter of 2010, the U.S. mint sold 9,023,500 American Silver Eagles—up from 8,299,000 sold in the fourth quarter of 2009—NIA has called on its members to spread the word and help expose what could be "the largest fraud in the history of the world."ADNFCR-1961-ID-19719052-ADNFCR

Tilting At Windmills: The Absurdity Of The Great Tax-Cut Debate

How to Protect Your Wealth against the Soaring Tax Every American Will Have to Pay

As the contentious debate over the bailout package continues, the great central issue is, who should be taxed and how much should they pay?

In his first Federal budget proposal, President Barack Obama pointed to the dire economic plight of working Americans and argued that their taxes should be lowered, while businesses and the wealthy should pay more. Republicans, pointing to the economic boost provided by the Reagan tax cut in 1981 and the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2002, adamantly maintain that the way to boost the economy out of the depression and really help working Americans is to lower taxes on business and on capital gains.

In truth, both liberals and conservatives are tilting at windmills. Neither plan lowers taxes for either the rich or the poor. The liberals’ plan to shift more of the income tax burden to the rich does not lower overall taxes for the working classes. The conservatives’ plan to cut income and capital gains taxes for businesses and investors does not lower overall taxes for either. As for the argument over the Reagan and Bush cut taxes, they didn’t. There has not been a reduction in the rising level of taxes for either rich or poor at any time in the past 50 years.

While these statements seem to fly in the face of the evidence, let us look at it through the lens of common sense.

What is the overall tax burden on the American people? Do you believe, as most do, that it is the total of tax receipts collected by the Treasury? It is not. The actual tax is total government spending.

To grasp this critical point, ask yourself, what is a tax?

It’s money collected by government to cover its expenditures.

Government has two ways get money. The first is by force. Government demands that individuals and businesses pay a percentage of their income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). If they refuse, they are faced with fines, imprisonment or both.

Face it, taking property by force or threat of force is stealing. Lysander Spooner, one of the great free market advocates on the 19th century, pointed out the absurdity of thinking otherwise: “What can be more absurd in nature and contrary to all common sense,” he wrote, “than to call him Thief and kill him that comes alone or with a few to rob me; and to call him Lord Protector and obey him that robs me with regiments and troops?”

Robbery, however, does not need to be done at gunpoint. It can also be done through fraud. If you lend someone money and that person has no intention to repay the loan, you have been robbed just as surely as if the money had been taken at gunpoint.

Just ask any of Mr. Madoff’s victims if they feel they’ve been robbed.

The government takes as much as politically possible by force through taxes, but if politicians try to raise taxes too high, they get tossed out of office. They have learned that what they can’t get by taxes, they can borrow.

Robbery By Any Other Name

It should be obvious that when the United States government borrows, there is no chance at all that it will ever repay. The history of government borrowing in the U.S. over the past century confirms it. From a debt of less than $2 billion a century ago, there are now more than $8 trillion in outstanding Treasury IOUs. (That figure, of course, does not count more than $60 trillion in pension and medical care promises.)

These government IOUs cannot and will not ever be redeemed.

How do we suffer the tax loss when governments borrow? Through price inflation. As the government borrows, interest rates rise and the central bank lowers those rates by monetizing the Federal IOUs. More money in circulation causes money to lose purchasing power. It has been going on for a century.

In 1910 a $20 bill could purchase an ounce of gold. Today, it would take 47 $20 bills to buy that ounce of gold. (That means, the Feds “taxed” away 46 of them through the fraud of government borrowing!)

The tax proposals in the stimulus package purport to lower taxes for all whose incomes are below $250,000. Thus the implication is that the bailout will help the working class, and the costs will fall on the rich. This is the opposite of the truth.

Lower income workers, retirees and the poor pay only a small portion of their income to the IRS. As they tend to spend most of their income on daily living, they are inflation’s biggest victims.

The more affluent members of society, on the other hand, spend a smaller percentage of their income on daily living, and through adroit investing have the opportunity to profit from rising prices.

One final point regarding the great tax-cut debate is important: Taxation through devaluation Is the politically expedient course; but it is also more damaging.

The fraud of secretly taxing through borrowing (deficit spending) is far more socially and economically destructive than it is to cover the full cost of government by raising taxes to the level that would balance the budget.

Price inflation makes it difficult if not impossible for both consumers and businesses to plan ahead.

It impedes growth and progress in every society in which it occurs. If citizens were forced to pay for all government expenditures up front through direct taxation, voters would be shocked into the realization that the free lunch politicians promised is no free lunch at all.

If every dollar spent by government came immediately out of taxpayers’ wallets, politicians would find it impossible to fund their vast pork-barrel spending programs.

We’d all be able to plan for our future, confident that the purchasing power of our savings would be there when we’re ready to use it. Unfortunately, there is zero chance that the fraud of deficit spending will be exposed and eliminated. The stimulus package will go forward, and the deficits will soar to the stratosphere. It is as inevitable as… well… death and taxes.

And don’t buy the argument that these exploding deficits mean that you are laying the burden of debt on your children and grandchildren. No, you’ll be paying the fraud tax yourself in the months ahead as price inflation soars.

What should a sovereign individual do in the face of this incredibly destructive bailout now underway? Prepare yourself for the consequences that history shows always follow an explosion of irredeemable debt.

  • Stay away from long-term bonds that promise to repay you in the distant future.
  • Invest in hard assets, and the companies that produce them.
  • Diversify out of depreciating dollars and into those currencies and tangible, useable assets that will rise in value as the dollar falls.
  • Internationalize your assets.

P.S. The Great Taxation debate is just the beginning. When you start to peel back the layers, you’ll realize the U.S. is coming closer and closer to a tipping point, where a 212-year-old secret could devastate the fortunes of millions, while a tiny clutch of prepared investors reach a new level of wealth. It’s all in my FREE report, which you can read here

—John Pugsley

The Politically Incorrect Guide to The Great Depression and The New Deal by Robert P. Murphy, Ph.D.

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Chances are what you learned in school about the causes of the Great Depression and the effects of the New Deal and Word War II on the American economy are all wrong. If you were taught to believe the free market caused the Great Depression and the New Deal and World War II got us out of it, reading The Politically Incorrect Guide to The Great Depression and The New Deal will set you straight.

Murphy earned his Ph.D. in economics at New York University and served as a professor at Hillsdale College. He is now an adjunct scholar with the Ludwig von Mises Institute, a senior fellow in business and economic studies at the Pacific Research Institute and economist with both the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and Institute for Energy Research. In The Politically Incorrect Guide, Murphy provides irrefutable evidence that the not only did government interference with the market cause the Great Depression, but the big government policies of Herbert Hoover and Franklin Delano Roosevelt made it last longer and become more severe than necessary.

Murphy deals with the three main explanations of the Great Depression: 1) The wildcat free market caused the Great Depression and the New Deal pulled us out of it; 2) A Market economy goes through natural ups and downs, but the Federal Reserve let the money supply collapse in the early 1930s, turning a normal downturn in the Great Depression; and 3) The Federal Reserve fueled the stock market boom of the 1920 with its easy money policies. After the crash, the Fed did the wrong thing by cutting rates and propping up unsound institutions. Hoover’s and FDR’s interventions in the economy only made things worse.

He dissects each argument and provides evidence that the third explanation is the most plausible.

Austrian school economists believe FDR’s New Deal was terrible for small business in America, with its wage and price control policies, restrictions and higher taxes hindering innovation and expansion. It also resulted in long-term high unemployment. And Murphy makes a strong case that this is so. He also shows how FDR’s banking holiday and the ensuing “safeguards” placed on the banking industry created many more problems than they solved.

Finally, Murphy makes the case that today’s recession is much like the Great Depression in cause and effect, and that because President Obama’s economic policies mirror FDR’s in so many ways, the result will be a recession that is deeper and lasts longer than is necessary.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to The Great Depression and The New Deal is an easy and quick read that is written in such a way as to give a good history lesson—without being too technical—for those seeking a better understanding of that dark period in America’s history. It also provides the reader with a better understanding of how our country got into its current financial mess.

Obama’s Approval Ratings Drop To All-time Low

Obama's approval ratings drop to all-time lowOn the heels of the passage of his landmark healthcare reform bill, several newly released polls have found that President Obama’s approval ratings have fallen to new lows.

While 45 percent of Americans still approve of how Obama is running the country, more than 48 percent disapprove, marking the first time in the president’s term that the majority of those polled have objected to the manner in which he governs, according to the Gallup daily tracking poll.

Meanwhile, a poll conducted late last week by Rasmussen Reports revealed an even gloomier picture for Obama. The new survey indicated that only 29 percent of Americans strongly approve of the president’s job performance, compared to 43 percent who strongly disapprove of his actions, Press TV reports.

Although his numbers have only fallen a few points since the last poll, many political commentators believe the numbers to be statistically significant, as they have not increased following the passage of healthcare overhaul legislation.

However, some pundits judge that the stagnant economy is the reason behind the Obama’s poor approval ratings.

"Because we tend to tie a lot of our vote decisions to how the economy is doing, the unemployment rate is what people are going to be looking at," St. Norbert political science professor Wendy Scattergood told

Sarah Palin Gets Warm Welcome At Republican Conference, But Fails To Win Straw Pall

Sarah Palin gets warm welcome at Republican conference, but fails to win straw pall Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was in New Orleans on April 9, where she delivered a fiery speech to the delegates gathered for the Southern Republican Leadership Conference (SRLC). However, she came short as a potential 2012 presidential nominee in a straw poll held in conjunction with the event.

During the conference, Palin first sought to defend the GOP from the allegations that it has evolved into the "party of no," saying that "there is no shame in being the ‘party of no’ if the other side is proposing an idea that violates our values, violates our conscience, violates the Constitution," quoted by CNN.

She also blasted the administration for its handling of national security—especially the recently signed nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia—as well as government spending and energy policy. With respect to the latter, she said Obama’s plan for additional offshore oil and gas drilling is insufficient to address America’s energy needs.

However, in a straw poll taken at the end of the conference, it was former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney who won with 24 percent of the vote to Palin’s 18 percent, despite not having attended the SRLC.

Recommendations For Justice Stevens’ Replacement May Put Obama In A Tight Spot

Recommendations for Justice Stevens replacement may put Obama in a tight spotIn the days since Justice John Paul Stevens announced he will be retiring from the Supreme Court this year, the growing number of people who have expressed their views on his replacement suggest President Obama will be under tremendous pressure in deciding on the next nomination.

Following Stevens’ announcement on April 9, President Obama praised the justice for his years of service on the country’s highest court. The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund also lauded Stevens, and its representatives said that "[he] is known as a stalwart in his protection of civil rights and civil liberties."

Meanwhile, President Obama confirmed that he will move to fill the vacancy before the court reconvenes in October, and immediately came under pressure from conservatives who warned him against appointing another liberal justice.

In particular, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said Obama should avoid appointing a "hard-left jurist."

"Since taking office President Obama has established a horrendous track record by nominating judges who have had little regard for the United States Constitution," Perkins said.

He added that "if [Obama] selects someone with a radical judicial philosophy, the fabric of our already divided country will be torn even more."

In addition, Phyllis Schlafly, president and founder of the conservative grassroots public policy organization Eagle Forum, called for Obama to appoint another military veteran.

"In the midst of two wars, we must protect our military from radical, anti-military judicial nominees," she stressed. ADNFCR-1961-ID-19716520-ADNFCR

Alternative Treatments Widely Used For Couples Attempting To Get Pregnant

Alternative treatments widely used for couples attempting to get pregnant An increasing number of American couples are utilizing alternative therapy options in an effort to improve their chances of conceiving a child, a new study has found.

A research team from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), discovered that nearly one-third of California women who had difficulty getting pregnant tried acupuncture, herbal remedies or massage to complement more traditional conception strategies.

In the study, lead author James Smith and his colleagues recruited 428 couples from eight northern California reproductive clinics and followed them over a period of 18 months, according to Reuters.

At the point of follow-up, the investigators found that 29 percent of couples reported utilizing a form of complementary and alternative medicine. A total of 22 percent underwent acupuncture treatment, nearly 18 percent used herbal therapies and 5 percent employed chiropractic massage.

"We suggest that couples struggling to achieve pregnancy are more likely to seek out any treatment that offers hope," Smith told the news source. He added that in vitro fertilization therapy costs, on average, $16,550, while acupuncture treatment only costs approximately $100 per session.

Acupuncture may also be used to help alleviate symptoms associated with headaches, lower back pain and menstrual cramps.

Sticker Shock—The Taxing of America

We are being taxed into oblivion. No, income taxes have not risen for most of us, at least not yet. Yet slowly and surely the tax vice is closing in. It is all part and parcel of President Obama’s run and gun break towards socialism.

Of course you won’t find newsmakers in agreement with your humble reporter, at least not within the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal or on the front page of The New York Times. Not because they are corrupt or leftists. Rather because Obama has done too good a job in obscuring the truth about the American economy and his own ambitions.

Take the energy situation. No sooner had the White House won modest acclaim for offshore drilling than they did an about-face and announced their intention to tighten their grip on one of the few remaining bastions of freedom—the open road.

This month the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set new regulations covering vehicle efficiency. The new rule requires that United States cars and light trucks meet an average fuel-economy standard of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016.

Dying To Be Green
Administration officials say manufacturers can meet the targets mostly with existing technology and without drastically altering consumers’ choices of vehicles.

There is just one catch; to meet the EPA’s new standard average, new-vehicle prices will rise by an additional $1,100 between now and 2016. It is just further evidence that going green is neither cheap nor easy. In fact it turns out to be a killer.

A report produced last summer by the Obama administration’s own National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) underscored that while clap-trap cars get better gas mileage, occupants are more likely to die in accidents. The fatality rate in small cars is twice that of larger cars. By NHTSA’s cold calculations an additional 493 Americans will die each year. It seems that the big wigs in Washington can live with this since everything from the presidential limousine to cabinet staff cars are going to remain big and, oh yes, gasoline powered. It’s a policy of: “Save a tree, kill a driver.”

The EPA’s mandate is fraught with other problems. Detroit is hanging on by the skin of its teeth in large part thanks to the billions of dollars in federal bailouts ($50 billion to General Motors alone). Despite all that help, membership in the United Auto Workers Union (UAW) has hit a post-World War II low. Last week it was reported that UAW had 355,191 members at the end of 2009. That was down 18 percent from the year before and leaves the union with less than a quarter of the membership it had in 1979.

You would think with the recession still ongoing America could ill afford to make cars more expensive. Then again, the Federal government probably has contingency plans for another stimulus package, one that will give Washington even a greater say over the economy.

Stall Baby Stall
Another industry not yet out of the woods is petroleum. Obama’s offshore oil drilling proposal has not spurred North American oilmen to roll out the oil rigs. Executives in the industry I have talked to are sceptical of a plan that is rife with challenges and chockfull of regulatory hoops.

Consider the Atlantic Coast. A previously planned lease sale off the Virginia coast will go forward, but not until 2012 and only then if it passes review under the National Environmental Policy Act. Furthermore, public meetings will be held on all affected coastal areas this summer to set up Environmental Impact Studies. They will take at least a year. If that goes well then there will be a three month public comment period. Then more analyses and finally—yes finally—an impact statement sent to the Secretary of the Interior. And if the Greens don’t like what the secretary has to say they can go to court. As you can see, the red tape is certain to stretch further than the wells themselves.

Meanwhile, drilling along the ripe west coast and the plum parts of Alaska—regions that Congress approved in 2008—are now off limits.

If you think that petroleum’s importance will soon be diminished by Obama’s Green Revolution, a story out of Texas should give you pause.

According to the April 5 issue of Texas Watchdog, “If the people of Bedford, Texas, are still borrowing whatever they are calling books in 72 years, they may find themselves in the public library on the very day the energy saved by the library’s planned solar power system finally equals the cost to build it.”

I don’t know about you, but I will only be 124 when solar power like that at the Bedford Library starts paying dividends. Things are even better for Austin Community College. The college, with the help of Federal stimulus dollars, can equip two of its campuses with solar energy. The savings commence in 2062!

So far 32 projects in Texas have been given stimulus dollars by the State Energy Conservation Office. They are 80 percent paid for by taxpayers. Texas alone has locked in $290 million Federal tax dollars for green energy programs via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

So far the Federal government has set aside $17 billion for the Department of Energy to waste money on things like solar power in Texas. Instead of lending money for things that might pay off during the next ice age the government should be selling offshore oil leases.

Rising Interest Rates Will Tax Everyone
Unfortunately we have bigger immediate problems than Washington’s lamebrain economic policies. The yield on 10-year Treasuries has just climbed above 4 percent. That is the highest rate in nearly a year. Rising Treasury yields portend to rising interest rates across the board. Rates will continue to climb as Treasury auctions are met with dwindling bids by investors near and far.

Little wonder the U.S. dollar continues to weaken (the Canadian Loonie is now trading above par) and the flood of new Treasury debt continues to swell. Last week alone the Treasury sold $82 billion (yes billion) in notes and bonds. At that pace the Treasury will add another $4 trillion to America’s already staggering $12.8 trillion debt by next spring.

The Democrats mismanagement of the economy on everything from industry to energy is certain to push interest rates higher—much, much higher.

Action To Take: Sell all debt instruments such as bonds and anything longer than a three-month Treasury bill. Use the funds to buy physical gold in the form of non-numismatic 1-ounce coins. Also, if you have to carry debt, say for a mortgage, lock in your interest rate. It is essential you rid you and your family of any variable interest rate loans.

Yours for real wealth and good health,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy and Gold Report

A Tax-Day Poem

This is Tax Week, as every wage earner in America is all too aware. As you contemplate how much you pay the government for the privilege of living in this wonderful country, you might amuse yourself by repeating the following. (Sorry, I don’t know who the author is. If you do, please tell me.)

Tax his land, tax his bed,
Tax the table at which he’s fed.
Tax his tractor, tax his mule,
Teach him taxes are the rule.

Tax his cow, tax his goat,
Tax his pants, tax his coat.
Tax his ties, tax his shirt,
Tax his work, tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco, tax his drink.
Tax him if he tries to think.
Tax his cigars, tax his beers,
If he cries, then tax his tears.

Tax his car, tax his gas,
Find other ways to tax his a**.
Tax all he has, then let him know
That you won’t be done ‘till he has no dough.

When he screams and hollers,
Tax him some more.
Tax him ‘till he’s good and sore.
Then tax his coffin, tax his grave.
Tax the sod in which he’s laid.

Put these words upon his tomb,
“Taxes drove me to my doom.”
When he’s gone, do not relax.
It’s time to apply the inheritance tax.

— Chip Wood

Stupak To Retire In November, Claims Tea Party ‘Did Not Run Me Out’

Stupak to retire in November, claims Tea Party 'did not run me out'On the eve of the Tea Party’s political rally in Michigan aimed at unseating Bart Stupak, the Democratic Representative announced April 9 that he will retire from the House in November, ending his 18 year run in Congress.

The socially conservative Democrat came under fire from Tea Party members last month after cutting an 11th hour deal with the White House, virtually assuring passage of President Obama’s landmark healthcare reform bill.

In return for his vote and the votes of some of his colleagues, Stupak convinced Obama to agree to sign an executive order guaranteeing that no federal money will be used to fund abortion services. Following the signing of the legislation in late February, the nine-term congressman has been heavily criticized by liberals and conservatives alike.

Meanwhile, Stupak is claiming that his decision to retire has nothing to do with political pressure, but is rather a result of him feeling confident about his legacy.

"The Tea Party did not run me out," he told ABC News. "If you know me and my personality, I would welcome the challenge."

"I’ve fought my whole career for healthcare and thanks to Barack Obama and my colleagues, we’ve gotten it done," he added.

Your Lower Back Pain Or Sciatica Might Actually Be Piriformis Syndrome

How often do you hear yourself saying things like: “I have hip pain,” “My lower back hurts,” “Pain is shooting down my leg,” “There’s numbness and/or tingling on the top of my foot,” “I have sciatica,” and so on…

Well, you’re not alone. In fact, these are frequently recited phrases in doctors’ offices, physical therapy clinics and healing centers the world over. When patients present their symptoms to me they offer many of those descriptions and curative measures they’ve been instructed to carry out. Their physician has told them to take anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprophen, or to use ice. Sometime the doctor recommends physical therapy, wherein the therapist designs a series of strengthening exercises to solve the problem.

By the time the problem reaches my office, the patient has already swallowed the over-the-counter pills and gone through a lengthy course of physical therapy or chiropractic care… all with little lasting effects. Sometimes the problem has become worse.

When I hear phrases like those mentioned above, I already know what the person has “tried” prior to seeing me. I also know that they will tell me the problem is not “fixed.” If it was they would not be here. The first thing I do is perform a series of orthopedic tests on their piriformis, a muscle largely overlooked by the mainstream medical community.

The Piriformis MuscleThe piriformis muscle originates at the front of the sacrum (the part of the spinal column that is directly connected with or forms a part of the pelvis). It passes out of the pelvis through the greater sciatic foramen. It inserts into the upper border of the greater trunchanter (ball) of the femoral shaft (thigh bone). It is used to rotate the thigh laterally when such a motion is called for.

What this means is that this one muscle, if dysfunctional, has the ability to negatively affect a number of places on the hip, low back, legs and feet. Since the piriformis attaches the femur to the sacrum, if it is hypertonic (tight, contracted, in spasm) it can cause the foot to splay. That is, the foot of one or both legs will tend to point outward when walking. And this causes pain in the hip.

If the piriformis is contracted it can compress the sciatic nerve, thus causing what is described as “shooting leg pain.” Often, those who are diagnosed with sciatica actually have piriformis syndrome. Sure their X-rays may show some disc herniation, and the doctors will tell the patient that is the cause and recommend surgery. But this is not necessarily the case.

People live the entire lives with disc herniations and have no pain from them. So the presence of herniation uncovered by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) when sciatica is present is a correlation and not necessary a cause and effect situation.

When the piriformis tightens it can also cause the hips to rotate either to one side or diagonally, thus causing the pelvis to be askew, which can be a cause of both lower back pain and hip pain.

On the other hand, if the piriformis is too loose or flexible (hypotonic), it will cause slack in the connection of bones and allow play to occur. This can irritate nerves and muscles and cause severe pain.

So how does the piriformis become too tight or too loose? Well, the most common cause is sitting for prolonged periods of time. The human body was designed to stand and walk, not sit with 90-degree flexion at the hips and knees. When sitting, the muscles, tendons and ligaments in the front of the pelvis become hypertonic (shortened), and those on the rear become hypotonic (elongated). Elongated muscles tend to contract naturally as a defense against poor posture and this results in spasms.

Sitting for prolonged periods at a desk or while driving a car also reduces the amount of blood and body fluids moving through the contracted areas of the waist. In Chinese medicine we call this “stasis” or blockage of blood, fluids and energy. And where there is no free flow there is pain. Conversely, where there is free flow there is no pain. If you want to get rid of the pain you need to release the tension and allow flow.

I see hypotonic (hyperextended) piriformis in some yoga practitioners who are either too eager in the stretching exercises or are under the misguidance of an unqualified teacher. Muscles should be stretched only within their normal range of motion. When stretched too far they can become torn or slack and this causes pain and injury.

And while strengthening exercises such as those used in physical therapy are good, strengthening a muscle that is hypertonic is asking too much of it while in its dysfunctional state. It is better to go through a regimen of stretching, Thai yoga massage, muscle energy technique or tui-na Chinese bodywork to first work out the hyper tonicity before strengthening the muscle.

The next time your low back, hip, buttocks, leg, shin or foot is bothering you, ask your physician/healer/therapist about the possibility of the piriformis being the culprit. It just might be, and getting a jump on it early on will shorten the healing process and prevent the problem from becoming chronic.

— Dr. Mark Wiley

Vitamin C For Better Skin

Healthy foods can help satisfy and nourish you—both inside and out. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C can help with fight wrinkles and age-related dry skin. Try this smoothie mask: Blend one cup of strawberries, raspberries or blueberries, with one cup plain or vanilla yogurt and 1 ½ tablespoon of honey. Apply to your entire face and leave on for about 10 minutes before rinsing completely. Enjoy any leftovers while you wait—it’s delicious.