Patrick Henry: America’s Greatest Orator

America’s greatest orator was born on May 29, 1736. I’m referring to Patrick Henry, whose “give me liberty or give me death” speech to the Virginia House of Burgess marked an important turning point in our battle for independence.

Here’s how Paul Johnson, one of America’s greatest historians, describes the moment in his book, A History of the American People. Patrick began his remarks by asking,

“Our brethren are already in the field. Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have?” Then Henry got down on his knees, in the posture of a manacled slave, intoning in a low but rising voice: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!”

He then bent to the earth for a few seconds with his hands still crossed, then suddenly sprang to his feet shouting, “Give me liberty!” and flung wide his arms, paused, lowered his arms, clenched his right hand as if holding a dagger at his breast, and said in sepulchral tones: “Or give me death!” He then beat his breast with his hand holding the imaginary dagger. There was silence, broken by a man listening at the open window, who shouted: “Let me be buried on this spot!” Henry had made his point.

—Chip Wood

Obama’s Big Fat Greek Bailout

“It was built against the will of the immortal gods, and so it did not last for long.” Homer, The Iliad

The youngsters that run Wall Street know a lot more about Homer Simpson than they do the Greek poet. But in the wake of riots in Greece and stock market gyrations at home, we may all soon be in for a full fledged tragedy of epic proportions.

The $1 trillion bailout by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Europe to stave off a Greek debt default is just the latest attempt by Big Government to defeat deflation. But the soaring price of gold shows that this latest rescue is mired with problems.

Consider the fact that even the strongest of the rescuers are bleeding debt. Germany, once the hero of fiscal policy in Europe, has seen government debt rise to a whopping 80 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP). Germany is far stronger than the other weak sisters that make up the euro—Spain, Portugal and Italy.

It looks as if the $1 trillion bailout to Greece may not have stabilized global stock markets and it certainly has not arrested the decline of the euro. Last week The New York Times reported that, “Fear in the financial markets is building again, this time over worries that the Continent’s biggest banks face strains that will hobble European economies.”

Greece is the latest domino in a continuing debt crisis that began with the implosion of Lehman Brothers in 2008. Greece is just another link in a very weak chain. In fact, the IMF warns that “high levels of public indebtedness could weigh on economic growth for years.”

Borrowing Against All Of Our Tomorrows
The world’s budget deficit as a percentage of GDP now stands at 6 percent, up from less than 1 percent before the financial crisis. If public debt is not lowered back to pre-crisis levels, says the IMF, economic growth could decline by half a percentage point annually. That is bad for the world and bad for the United States which is just barely clinging to an economic recovery; a recovery built on cheap money. But how long money will stay cheap is anyone’s guess.

In the not too distant future the U.S. dollar, once the Zeus of all currencies, may topple from the mountain top. Greece has a budget deficit of 13.6 percent of its GDP. Meanwhile the U.S. has a budget deficit of 9.3 percent, and that’s only for this year. In the coming years America’s deficit could easily exceed Greece’s number.

Furthermore, Greece’s national debt now totals 115 percent of its GDP. U.S. national debt totals “only” 85 percent of GDP, but it is expected to reach 140 percent of GDP in the next two decades.

But what the Mexican debt crisis taught us in the 1980s and what Greece is teaching us now is that the bond markets will never allow the U.S. to reach its debt targets.

According to Dr. Edward Yardeni, president of Yardeni Research, "There’s a tremendous clash between the bond vigilantes on one side and reckless governments on the other. The bond vigilantes are trying to establish some fiscal and monetary law and order."

You might recall Yardeni from the 1980s when he correctly predicted the Latin debt bomb, the explosion which helped trigger the 1987 stock market crash. Three decades ago Yardeni pointed out that, "If the fiscal and monetary authorities won’t regulate the economy, the bond investor will." Like Homer’s Cassandra, Yardeni has a talent for correctly predicting tragedies but is cursed because no one will believe him.

Just how bad is this crisis which was spawned in Greece, the cradle of learning and democracy? According to Citigroup’s top economist, Willem Buiter, with the exception of wartime, “the public finances in the majority of advanced industrial countries are in a worse state today than at any time since the industrial revolution. Restoring fiscal balance will be a drag on growth for years to come.”

Still, the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve continue to believe they can engineer yet another bailout. In fact, the Fed has opened up new lines of credit to the European Central Bank as part of the European rescue package.

“We didn’t do so out of any special love for Europe,” said Narayana Kocherlakota, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. “We’re American policy makers, and we make decisions to keep the American economy strong.” Yet the Fed president admits that the liquidity problems abroad could soon haunt U.S. financial markets and the recovery itself.

The Federal Reserve and Federal government have already borrowed trillions of dollars to derail the wave of deflation that began in early 2008. To do that and to spark a recovery the Fed pushed short-term interest rates towards zero, the lowest levels America has seen since the 1930s. In other words the U.S. government has shot its bolt. The U.S. simply can’t hit the “re-flate” button again without a major outcry from the bond market.

Gold On Record Run
The knee-jerk reaction from the euro crisis has been for money to go into U.S. Treasuries. But the chart below shows the monumental increase in 10-year Treasury bond yields since the beginning of 2009. Investors have demanded a higher return from Uncle Sam as the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve have been hell-bent on bailing out the U.S. economy with trillions of new dollars.

10-Year Treasury Yield

U.S. loans to buoy European central banks will only accelerate the bond markets woes, and with rising interest rates on the horizon, we can anticipate a bear market. The computer-glitch stock market meltdown that happened earlier this month portends to an American tragedy.

With the euro at four-year lows one might be expecting the greenback to soar. Instead there has been only modest strength in the dollar and record highs for gold. At this writing London gold is trading just under $1,200 per ounce. In November 2008, London gold was $713.50, so the Midas metal has had quite a run since then. In fact gold was $810 when I first recommended it to you last August. Still I believe gold is headed much higher.

Action To Take
Expect short-term strength in the U.S. Treasury market as we go into summer. If you own bonds, use this rally to liquidate them. Higher interest rates are looming and so is a bond market meltdown. Meanwhile, continue to accumulate physical gold. I think $1,500 gold is a realistic target by the end of this year.

Yours for real wealth and good health,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy and Gold Report

P.S.—I thought the quote at the top by Homer is applicable to the U.S. dollar. I am interested to see if you agree.
—JM

President Obama’s Job Approval Ratings Continue To Be Low, Poll Shows

President Obama's job approval ratings continue to be low, poll showsDespite the passage of the healthcare reform and the financial regulation bills, a newly released poll has shown that more than half of all United States citizens give President Barack Obama negative job ratings.

While two in five Americans (42 percent) give Obama positive ratings on the overall job he is doing, The Harris Poll found that 58 percent evaluate his performance negatively.

The pollster suggests that among the likely culprits for these lackluster figures is the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which has forced the president’s attention from the issues that the public cares about most, namely jobs and getting the economy back on track.

In terms of partisan breakdown, 92 percent of Republicans are disappointed with Obama’s job, as are one-quarter of Democrats (25 percent). However, he also scores poorly with Independents, among whom 68 percent give him negative marks.

The survey also asked whether the country was going in the right direction. It found that while in April 39 percent of Americans believed that to be true, the measure has dropped to 36 percent this month. Meanwhile, 64 percent have said the nation is currently on the wrong track.

According to Harris Interactive, which produced the poll, the president’s numbers are unlikely to increase unless he accomplishes something that will positively impact the economy and calm the volatility of the stock market. ADNFCR-1961-ID-19796560-ADNFCR

Will Rand Paul Spell Trouble For The Right?

Will Rand Paul spell trouble for the right?Although he has been called "the darling of the Tea Party," Rand Paul’s select comments since his win in the Kentucky Republican primary last week have some GOP members scratching their heads.

Just hours after Paul declared his victory, he gave an interview in which he implied that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 limited businesses’ rights to set their own policies and decide which customers or clients to serve.

Although he later tried to qualify his statement by saying that he supported the act and would not press to repeal it, the damage appeared to be done.

Criticism came not only from Democrats but also many Republicans, with Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, saying Paul’s philosophy "is misplaced in these times."

"I don’t think it’s where the country is right now. The country litigated the issue of separate but equal," Steele told the Fox News Sunday show. "I think in this case Rand Paul’s philosophy got in the way of reality."

However, the controversy has not stopped there, as Paul stirred more controversy by saying that President Obama’s criticism of British Petroleum for the Gulf oil spill was "un-American."

Prior to the primaries, the Senate Republican leadership failed to endorse Paul, instead throwing its support behind his opponent Trey Grayson. ADNFCR-1961-ID-19796561-ADNFCR

Study: Excess Abdominal Fat Linked To Dementia

Study: Excess abdominal fat linked to dementiaLong-term obesity is a well-known cause of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. However, a new Boston University School of Medicine study suggests that excess abdominal fat may also be linked to a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

For the study, a research team led by Sudha Seshadri recruited nearly 800 adults over the age of 60 and analyzed their body mass index, waist circumference, waist to hip ratio and percentage of abdominal fat. The investigators also performed an magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on each participant to examine their total brain volume and their number of brain infarcts.

As expected, the researchers identified a strong inverse association between increasing body mass and smaller brain volume—a known risk factor for dementia.

"More importantly our data suggests a stronger connection between central obesity, particularly the visceral fat component of abdominal obesity, and risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease," said Seshadri.

While further studies need to be conducted to analyze how obesity prevention can affect dementia risk, the researchers speculate that consuming a low-fat, nutrient-rich diet can significantly improve brain health.
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Organization Protests Plans For NYC Mosque

Organization protests plans for NYC mosqueEarly next month a self-described human rights organization will conduct a rally at Ground Zero in New York City to protest the construction of a mosque at the site where terrorists brought down the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001.

Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) plans the rally for June 6 and has invited anyone interested to join, especially those who lost family or friends, or who were injured on Sept. 11.

"What could be more insulting and humiliating than a mosque in the shadow of the World Trade Center buildings that were brought down by an Islamic jihad attack?" asked SIOA executive director Pamela Geller.

She added that "any decent American, Muslim or otherwise, wouldn’t dream of such an insult. It’s a stab in eye of America."

SIOA says it works to defend human rights, religious liberty and the freedom of speech against "Islamic supremacist intimidation" and to block any attempts to bring elements of Sharia law to the United States.

According to the organization, groups supporting the June 6 event include ACT! for America (ACT! Manhattan chapter), Z Street, Freedom Defense Initiative, Faith Freedom International and the Center for Security Policy.
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Congress Pushes To Repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Policy Before November

Congress pushes to repeal 'don't ask, don't tell' policy before NovemberSeveral media outlets are reporting that Congress may schedule a vote this week to repeal the highly controversial "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy, which bans openly gay individuals from serving in the military.

The proposed vote comes as a surprise to many conservatives, as the Pentagon has yet to complete its year-long evaluation of how to best implement a new policy.

Many political pundits believe that the Democrats are pushing for an early vote because the review is not expected to be completed until December 2010, a month after the upcoming congressional elections.

While Defense Secretary Robert Gates urged Congress "in the strongest possible terms" two weeks ago to hold off a vote on the measure until the Pentagon’s evaluation has been completed, it seems as if he is now willing to step aside, according to ABC News.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said that Gates "continues to believe that ideally a review should be completed before there is any legislation to repeal the "don’t ask, don’t tell" law. With Congress having indicated that is not possible, the secretary can accept the language in the proposed amendment."

Representative Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) is expected to propose the repeal later this week in an amendment to the annual defense spending bill.
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Senate Passes Historic Financial Overhaul Reform Bill

Senate passes historic financial overhaul reform billAfter barely clearing the 60-vote threshold to end debate, Senate Democrats passed a financial reform bill last week that will revolutionize the way that large banks operate.

The legislation, which now needs to be reconciled with the House version that was passed in December, will increase the role of federal regulators, establish new procedures to prevent bailouts and limit the use of derivatives, according to CNN.

"To Wall Street, it says: No longer can you recklessly gamble away other people’s money," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). "It says the days of too big to fail are behind us. It says to those who game the system: The game is over."

While the majority of Republicans agree that reform was necessary, most feel that the measure will negatively impact the marketplace.

"This bill doesn’t listen to the American people—it promises massive government overreach in ordinary business transactions," said Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). "The decisions we’ve made will have an impact on the lives of Americans for decades to come."

Republicans leaders also heavily criticized the fact that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the nation’s two largest mortgage companies, will be virtually unaffected by the new measures. Due to last year’s Federal bailout, both corporations are now government-affiliated.
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Gentlemen: Is Your Sex Life Killing You?

Sex feels good, and the proper amount of sex can help maintain physical and emotional health. But balance is the key. Both having too little or too much sex can lead to unhealthy conditions. Let us look at the effects of too much sex, too little sex, and what the proper amounts should be based on your age and condition.

How Much Sex Is Too Much?
The theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) warn that a man who engages in too much sex can become what is known as “kidney jing deficient.” Jing is a term that refers to the body’s essential fluids, distilled by the kidneys from what we eat and drink. The kidneys are thought of as the body’s “batteries” and the place where jing is stored. Chinese health theory suggests we are actually equipped with enough jing (life essence) to live 120 years. The problem is we exhaust this essence through poor diet, lack of rest, lack of exercise, the effects of stress, disease and… an unhealthy amount of sex.

Signs and symptoms of kidney jing deficiency include a weakening of the bones, hair loss, a graying of facial color, loosening or loss of teeth, soreness in the lower back, weakness of the legs (particularly behind the knees), poor memory, loss of libido, impotence and a general lack of sexual desire. If you are suffering from any of these signs and symptoms, perhaps you should consider if too much sex is killing you… or at least weakening you.

With too frequent ejaculation, jing (semen, the essence of pure fluids and life energy) is depleted from the body. Moreover, as a man passes middle age, the excessive loss of jing can cause the disastrous effects described above. Like contact sports, sex is a young man’s game. Middle aged and older men need to retain their jing (semen essence) and ejaculate less frequently. (There is an entire art in Yogic and Taoist traditions of men learning to come to orgasm while not releasing a single drop of semen. (More on this in another article)

Two-thousand years ago Su Nu Jing, the classic text on TCM, was published. It advised how much sex/ejaculations are safe for a man to have. For example, a healthy 20-year-old can ejaculate twice per day with no adverse effects. Also, to maintain proper health, the 20-year-old should have a minimum of one ejaculation every four days.

The following chart suggests the sex guidelines from that classic text:

Age
Minimum
Average Health
Good Health
20+Every 4 days1X Day2x Day
30+Every 8 daysEvery other day1x Day
40+Every 16 daysEvery 4 daysEvery 3 days
50+Every 21 daysEvery 10 daysEvery 5 days
60+Every 30 daysEvery 20 daysEvery 10 days

 

Of course, these are rough guidelines set forth within the theories of TCM. This gives you an idea of the frequency a man should have sex in order to maintain good health and balanced emotions.

The average 20-year-old male who is engaging in masturbation three times a day is probably overdoing it. This could possibly affect his grades (poor memory) or affect his tennis match (with weak knees and sore low back).

If you are a 40-year-old executive thinking of having that affair with the 24-year old-intern, you might want to consider if you are in good enough health to survive an extramarital affair. You could wind up suffering from hair loss, aging of the face, low back soreness, weak legs, poor memory, loss of libido, impotence and lack of sexual desire that could cost you your career and your health… not to mention your marriage (if applicable).

How Much Sex Is Too Little?
Keep in mind that no sex at all is unhealthy. Psychologically, it can cause resentment, depression and anxiety. Sex is important for relationships, not just emotionally, but for the organ systems as well. Ladies, when men tell you they feel like they are dying from lack of sex, it’s partially true. In reality, the choked up emotions and lack of connection can cause him to suffer what is known in TCM as liver qi stagnation.

According to TCM theory, the liver functions to move the qi (life energy) freely in the body. So, liver qi stagnation is a pathogenic flow of qi manifesting in some of the following signs and symptoms: feeling of distension in the chest and hypochondrium, sighing, hiccup, melancholy, depression, moodiness, unhappiness and feeling of a lump in the throat. Often the etiology of this syndrome includes emotional problems, a state of anger, frustration and/or resentment.

If this condition persists it can grow into what is called liver fire. The signs and symptoms associated with live fire include irritability, anger, shouting, ringing in the ears, temporal headache, bitter taste in the mouth, dream disturbed sleep, a red face and red eyes. This is the result of long-standing emotional states of anger, resentment or frustration. This can cause problems like high blood pressure, tinnitus, insomnia, migraine headache and the like.

Good sexual relations are a part of good health. Overdoing it can be detrimental to health, and so can too little of it.

My advice: Be happy and be wise in the ways of lovemaking.

—Dr. Mark Wiley