Happy Thanksgiving From The Staff At Personal Liberty Digest

On behalf of the entire staff of Personal Liberty Digest, I want to wish each and every one of you a Happy Thanksgiving. It is our hope and prayer that you have been as blessed and enlightened by the news and opinion we provide every day as we have been by your patronage and the wonderful comments and contributions you make.

Personal Liberty Digest began just two years ago as a once-weekly Personal Liberty Alerts email to a small number of people. We now send unique content five days a week that is seen by hundreds of thousands of subscribers. We value each and every one.

Know that we are going to continue to work diligently to bring you the truth, challenge the status quo and guard the liberties of all Americans. We will continue to present the unvarnished truth to you, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. We will encourage you to look at things from a new paradigm, for in doing so we bring about a greater understanding of the forces that are working in their own interests rather than in the interests of the people.

In the coming year you will see us expand our offerings. We are constantly striving to find the best and brightest liberty-loving contributors. With that in mind, if there is a topic or subject that you would like to see more of, please let us know. The comments section below is an excellent place to pass along your thoughts about what we are doing right and how we can make the site better.

Thank you so much for your continued patronage and loyalty.

Best wishes,

Editor, Personal Liberty Digest™
Editor, The Bob Livingston Letter™

In 1789, not long after ratification of the U.S. Constitution, President George Washington, upon the recommendation of Congress, issued a national proclamation setting Nov. 26 as a day of thanksgiving and prayer. We think his words still ring true today. Following is the text of that proclamation. We hope you enjoy it. As you read it, consider how these words would be received if issued by a president today.

General Thanksgiving

By the PRESIDENT of the United States Of America


WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANKSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed;–for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish Constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;–for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge;–and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions;–to enable us all, whether in publick or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us); and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.

(signed) G. Washington

San Francisco Bans Toys With Fast Foods

San Francisco Bans Toys With Fast FoodsHamburger meals won’t be so “Happy” for kids in San Francisco after the city’s Board of Supervisors voted to override Mayor Gavin Newsom’s veto of a city ban on toys being included in fast-food children’s meals that fail to meet health standards.

The Board overrode Newsom’s veto by a vote of 8-3, the same vote that passed the ban in the first place, according to the Silicon Valley Mercury News.

The legislation, sponsored by Supervisor Eric Mar, will prevent toys from being included in children’s meals that exceed 600 calories and lack fruit or vegetables, the Mercury News reported. It will go into effect in December 2011.

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi said he is proud of the board for "pushing the envelope" with the legislation, which he said has spurred discussion nationwide on the issue of healthy fast-food options and what role local governments should have. But Newsom disagreed. When he vetoed the bill in early November he called it an "unwise and unprecedented government intrusion into parental responsibilities and private choices," according to the news source.

Next of Kim

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.  I hate to interrupt your celebration of history, family and living through being molested by the TSA, but before you slip into a tryptophan-induced coma, I thought I’d tell you:

The evil dwarf who essentially owns North Korea is showing signs of ruining everyone’s Christmas.

The headline on the Drudge Report stated simply “It Begins.”  Keep in mind “It” began in 1950.  And while North Korea’s bombardment of the South Korean island of Yeonpyong earlier this week is hardly the only saber-rattling the world has seen from the Pyongyang freak show over the last 57 years, the noise is starting to bother the neighbors.

A little historical perspective is normally required when discussing the peculiarities of Korean peninsular politics:

  1. “Korean peninsular politics” involves pretty much every country with a financial interest, military presence or even vacation plans in the area.
  2. The Korean War was fought by proxy, then in person, then by proxy again by the United States, the Soviet Union/Russia and the Red Chinese — the three biggest heavyweights of the modern era.  Nobody “won.”  Tie ballgames don’t sit well.
  3. The Korean War never actually ended.  The cease-fire of 1953 was just that — a cease-fire.  No armistice treaty has ever been signed by the two primaries.
  4. One of the key players, Kim Jong-Il, is “Ed Schultz with a 9-million man army” crazy.
  5. North Korea has nuclear weapons, but not enough civil energy to keep a 40-watt light bulb burning.

I should probably devote more space to explaining the “Korean question.”  Thanks to the teachers’ unions, most Americans don’t know much more about Korea than “land of the Samsung flat screen.”  Given that most Americans are unlikely to get “where is your state?” right without three guesses and a cheat-sheet, I’m going to move on.

Kim Jong Il IS certifiably crazy.  Unfortunately, his daddy, Kim Il-Sung, created the kind of cult of personality in North Korean politics which gave George Orwell bad dreams and gave Stalin the sort of dreams you don’t want Mom finding out about.   As a result of the odd confluence of autocratic control, Chinese willingness to continue to throw billions at the Kim regime (which he spends on MiG fighter jets, enriched uranium and — evidently — ill-fitting track suits and lifts for his shoes) and the West having no stomach for standing up to communist wackjobs, Kim has become to Asian stability what a drunk guy with Parkinson’s is to a game of Jenga.

North Korea, as personified by Kim, has continually made clear its intentions:  Forcibly extend “Kim-ness” from Pyongyang to Pusan.  Given the paranoia displayed by all the Kims (Dad Il Sung, son Jong Il and science experiment Jong Un), and endemic to all autocrats, one could fairly presume that this nuclear-armed lunatic would likely try to spread his brand of crazy outside the asylum.

And that’s where the situation gets sticky.  Kim has assembled the world’s fourth-largest standing army and has the compunction of a hyperactive teenager.  North Korea’s only “friend” is Communist China, and even they have moments where Kim’s (pick your Kim) behavior seems unsettling.  Hardly surprising, given that the official biography of the current Kim (Jong-Il) is the tallest tale told since Virgil wrote the Aeneid to keep Augustus from sending him to meet Dante ahead of schedule. 

Meanwhile, the Russians have expressed the usual inscrutably measured tones of disapproval over Kim’s latest crimes.  The Japanese are understandably displeased with the idea of him shaking nukes at them from less than 200 miles away.  The South Koreans, who have fended off endless skirmishes, sabotage and subterfuge by their wayward neighbors, are both enraged and terrified.  And the United States, with nearly 40,000 troops in the demilitarized zone (the most heavily militarized real estate on the planet), must either create a solution or force one.

Peace — meaningful peace — seems unlikely.  Kim isn’t interested, unless the peace in question involves him keeping “Dear Leader” embroidered on his track suit.  In 1950, war nearly turned the entire peninsula into a parking lot.  After three years and nearly 3 million dead (including nearly 40,000 Americans), nothing changed.  There are a number of possible outcomes to the “North Korea finally jumps the nuclear shark” scenario; most of them involve Tokyo glowing in the dark.  At the very least, I’m going to stock up on ammunition and bottled water.

Far be it for me to suggest — but maybe the solution isn’t in bombs, but bullets.  One or two should suffice.  Bad diplomacy?  Sure.  But nobody can talk sense into the Kims.  Perhaps dear old daddy Kim (Il Sung) can explain it to them over some kimchee in the afterlife.

Court Documents Reveal Municipal Bond Bid-Rigging Scheme

Court Documents Reveal Municipal Bond Bid-Rigging SchemeBanking executives from some of the country’s largest banks rigged bids and paid kickbacks to win deals involving municipal bond sales, a scheme that may have cost taxpayers as much as $1 billion and is the biggest criminal conspiracy in the history of the 198-year-old municipal finance market, according to documents filed in a New York Federal court.

Details of the criminal conspiracy are being reported in an upcoming issue of Bloomberg Markets Magazine.

According to Bloomberg, Douglas Campbell, once one of Bank of America Corporation’s most successful derivatives salesmen, described the conspiracy as he entered his guilty plea in a Manhattan Federal Courtroom in September.

Bloomberg reports that Campbell told U.S. District Judge William Pauley, “I had conversations prior to the bid with the broker about who the bidders were going to be and who was going to win or lose.” He admitted paying kickbacks to win deals to CDR Financial Products Inc., a Los Angeles-based firm that had been hired by municipalities to run auctions for investment contracts. He’s one of seven bankers and brokers who have pleaded guilty to conspiracy and fraud charges.

Court documents show that bankers routinely rigged bids and lied about their crimes between 1998 and 2005. Following every transaction, the bankers fraudulently signed a pledge certifying that they had adhered to U.S. Treasury Department rules barring them from seeing other bids.

The bankers attempted to cover up their scheme by using personal identification numbers to reach bidding agents directly on their BlackBerrys and routinely used personal mobile phones instead of the bank’s tape-recorded telephone lines, Bloomberg reports.

“When I participated in this scheme, I knew it was illegal,” Mark Zaino, a former banker with UBS AG, told a U.S. District Court judge in New York as he entered a guilty plea in May.

Stock Analysts And Politicians Praise GM’s Debut On Wall Street

Stock analysts and politicians praise GM's debut on Wall StreetMarket analysts believe that General Motors' (GM) debut on the New York Stock Exchange was a good start.

Although the GM stock gained about 3.6 percent profit on its first day, which is considerably lower than the average of 8 percent of other initial public offerings (IPO) in 2010, trade experts believe the debut was strong considering that the United States government was the main selling shareholder, according to Market Watch.

Matt Therian, of Renaissance Capital, said that the government, which bailed out the auto maker during the global financial crisis and will earn some of the loan back through the public offering, would have been criticized if GM's IPO was too strong.

“The bankers were sensitive to too large a pop,” Therian told the news source. “A large first-day return would indicate that the government had left money on the table.”

Scott Sweet, of the research firm IPO Boutique, called it "an excellent debut" for GM's stock. He said that almost the entire tradable stock of the company changed hands on Nov. 18.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that GM's IPO was a sign of progress for America's auto industry. She praised President Barack Obama and fellow Democrats for taking "difficult emergency action" to rescure the U.S. auto industry, and she added that GM's debut was proof that those bailouts are paying off. 

Unemployment Insurance Extension Fails In House

Unemployment insurance extension fails in HouseThe GOP does not have majority in the House quite yet, but Republicans are already succeeding in obstructing Democratic legislation.

According to media reports, House Republicans on Nov. 18 blocked a bill to extend benefits for the long-term unemployed. Needing a two-third majority vote to pass, the $12 billion package would have extended the current unemployment insurance for certain Americans by about three months. Most Republicans believe that the cost of the program should be offset by other savings rather than adding billions more to the national deficit.

The Wall Street Journal reports that 800,000 unemployed workers will lose their benefits by Nov. 30 and two million will lose them by the end of December. The parties are expected to reach a compromise, but not until December at the earliest.

A total of 143 Republicans voted against the bill, while 21 GOP members favored it.

In response to the voting result, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that unemployment insurance is a proven economic booster that returns $2 back into the economy for every $1 invested. She claimed that Democrats voted to help the unemployed, while Republicans did not.

"We will continue to work for an emergency short-term extension to get families through the holidays and to work for longer term solutions as well," said Pelosi.

Tea Party Group Sends Letter To Congress

Tea Party groups at oddsThe group Tea Party Nation (TPN) has sent a letter to Congress in hopes of discrediting the validity of another organization claiming to be part of the Tea Party movement.

According to CNN, Judson Phillips, founder of TPN, recently sent a letter to Representative John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) with a list of the primary goals of the Tea Party movement, as well as a direct response to GOProud, which sent Congress a letter on Nov. 15.

The Advocate reports that GOProud, an organization made up of gay Republicans, teamed with Tea Party leaders from several states and urged GOP leaders to focus on fiscal issues before tackling social issues. Phillips took exception with the letter from GOProud, claiming that the group has never been affiliated with the Tea Party.

"A small group of non-Tea Party, non-conservatives, released a letter, trying to claim leadership of the Tea Party movement and purporting to tell you what the Tea Party movement wants," Phillips wrote in his letter to Congress, quoted by CNN.

Included in Phillips' message to McConnell and Boehner is a call for Republicans to fight the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT). GOProud noted that the DADT repeal is the only issue where the two groups disagree. 

Happy Thanksgiving, America!

Tomorrow is perhaps America’s most important holiday, and it comes amidst the most positive change that has happened in a generation.

The Tea Party led the GOP to victory and it has given new hope to America. Furthermore, it is the Tea Party that has inspired many to challenge a leftist President and overthrow a liberal House of Representatives. It is the Tea Party that is setting a new course; one based on the blueprints that built this great nation.

Change has come quickly. Before the midterm election, it seemed many were giving up hope. And while the Tea Party does not yet have a unified agenda, its candidates have pushed for a balanced budget, the eventual elimination of the Federal debt and will try to repeal President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law.

The Tea Party has instilled new passion and direction in the conservative movement, and it has done so from the bottom up. The ideas and inspiration from the Tea Party come mostly from ordinary people that Americans can understand, not intellectuals like William F. Buckley, Jr.

Liberty Still Thrives Inside America
Keep in mind that I’m a dyed-in-the-wool realist. My wife tells me that I see the glass half empty, and years ago Personal Liberty Digest co-columnist Chip Wood called me Calamity John.

But I am far more optimistic this Thanksgiving than I have been in years past. The recent election has demonstrated that libertarian ideals are still alive.

That is a relief, because America may be the only nation that still has a conservative voice. It certainly has fallen silent in Canada.

Two summers ago my wife and I traveled to Ottawa, Ontario to our eldest son’s wedding. Our daughter-in-law’s parents had some friends that were active in Canada’s Progressive Conservative (PC) Party. At the wedding rehearsal I spoke politics with a few of them. I had spent much of the previous 20 years living in Spokane, Wash., and was woefully ignorant of the political climate that had changed in Canada. I was shocked at how these “Conservatives” not only liked President Barack Obama but were also inspired by his policies regarding bailout and healthcare bills.

They were members of the political party that had helped elect John Diefenbaker, one of Canada’s great Conservatives, just 50 years earlier. Yet as Canadian Conservatives they believed in the ideology of Ted Kennedy rather than the ideals of Ronald Reagan.

Back when Diefenbaker was Prime Minister there were two principals: the Liberal Party and the PC Party. Today there are three other major Canadian political parties at the national level: the Le Bloc Québécois, the New Democratic and the Green Party. The last two are on the far Left.

And despite the success of the Tea Party, there is no conservative movement like it in Canada. It is an interesting distinction, writes Canada’s most influential newspaper, The Globe and Mail:

“Canada and the United States are remarkably similar countries — so similar, that no one else on earth can tell the two of us apart, unless this Austrian or that Sri Lankan has an ear so well attuned to English that she can distinguish Newfoundland from Missouri accents. Yet politically, we are solitudes…

“(Yet) for all our shared geography and history, Canadians are more Japanese than American. Or more German. Or Norwegian. We accommodate ourselves to the political reality we inhabit. Only the Americans are perpetually up in arms against the status quo. It makes for more unstable, more dysfunctional, but ultimately more democratic politics.”

For the past four decades Canada has moved further and further to the left; so far, in fact, that Canada seems devoid of citizens who even know what individual liberties are, let alone demand them.

Northern Sheep
Tom Flanagan is a United States-born, Calgary, Alberta academic, and was an adviser to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Flanagan has said he doesn’t think a group like the Tea Party will bloom north of the 49th Parallel because Canada’s political system — unlike the U.S. primary system — is not required by law to hold free and open nomination contests.

“You could have an insurgency here and there in Canada, but a wide uprising like we saw in the U.S. just isn’t possible here,” Flanagan told The National Post.

Others in Canada have pointed out that there is no Tea Party because Canada’s economy is so much better off. I can tell you that this is nonsense; that by most measures the U.S. has a higher standard of living and a better economic future than does Canada.

The real reason there is no Tea Party in Canada is that Canadians sheepishly accept what government dictates. Let me give you an example. When I was going to the University of Calgary in the 1970s, Ottawa instituted the unpopular metric system. Many Canadians complained when the provinces made all road signs metric. Yet the signs were erected and were soon accepted.

Around that time, Washington State was also putting up metric road signs. But those signs didn’t catch on. That was because drivers were tearing them down.

Perhaps the differences between Canada and the U.S. are not surprising; not when you consider the United States revolted against King George III, while those further north were happy to be co-opted by the British Empire.

Yet there was a time when conservatism had a strong voice in Canada. Today such ideals and the concept of individual liberty exist almost exclusively inside the U.S. As much as ever, America is a last bastion of freedom. One can only hope that with time American ideals will spread.

Canada is hardly alone on turning its back to the freedoms and responsibility that made western democracy so successful, says Mark Steyn in his New York Times bestseller, America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It.

“Today in your typical election campaign, the political platforms of at least one party in the United States and pretty much every party in the rest of the West are all but exclusively about secondary impulses: Government health care (which America is slouching towards incrementally but remorselessly), government daycare (which was supposedly the most important issue in the 2006 Canadian election), government paternity leave (which Britain has introduced). We’ve elevated the secondary impulses over the primary ones: national defense, self-reliance, family…”

But even as the rest of the world turns its back on libertarian values, America has not. That makes this year’s Thanksgiving special. Hopefully there will be even more to celebrate in two years.

Best wishes on Thanksgiving,

John Myers
Myers Energy And Gold Report

Researchers Urge Ban On Menthol Cigarettes

Researchers urge ban on menthol cigarettesNew studies on menthol cigarettes have prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to review the safety of the flavored tobacco products.

According to ABC News, 11 new studies on menthol cigarettes are included in a recent issue of the journal Addiction. The publication contains data suggesting that menthol cigarette use is disproportionately higher among African Americans and young adults. In addition, researchers found that menthol smokers tend to be less successful when trying to quit.

In response to these recommendations, some researchers are calling for a national ban of menthol cigarettes.

In response to the recent menthol studies, libertarian think tank Americans for Limited Government warns that a ban on cigarettes would likely result in a multibillion dollar illegal market.

"An enormous black market can only mean one thing; easier and cheaper access to cigarettes for kids," said Bill Wilson, president of the organization.

ABC reports that cigarette manufacturer Lorillard, which makes Newport menthols, is currently embroiled in a legal battle in Boston. An African-American man alleges that his mother, who died of lung cancer in 2001, became addicted to cigarettes as a child because Lorillard passed out free menthols to children living in the housing projects during the 1950s. 

Who Shot JFK And J.R.?

If you’re of "a certain age," you still remember where you were and what you were doing on Nov. 22, 1963, when you heard the shocking news from Dallas that "The President has been shot!"

The assassination of John F. Kennedy caused consternation around the country and panic on Wall Street, where frantic selling drove stocks down by $13 billion before trading was suspended for the day. Controversy still reigns over who knew what and who did what on that fateful day.

Seventeen years later this same week, a shooting in Dallas again fascinated the country. Happily, this one was fictitious.

"Who Shot J.R.?" on the Friday, Nov. 21 episode of Dallas was the most-watched program in television history, with more than 80 million Americans eager to learn the answer. That is several times the largest audience American Idol ever earned.

By the way, in case you’ve forgotten, the culprit was Sue Ellen’s sister Kristin.

–Chip Wood

The FDA Wants To Trample Your Garden

If you haven’t heard of the draconian food control bill, aka S 510: the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, which is currently under consideration in the United States Senate, you need to learn about it now. If passed, it will give the Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate all food, from personal gardens to produce stands to farmer’s markets.

The bill will be considered again Nov. 29. Right now it’s held up by amendments Senators are attempting to attach to the bill. One would strip the IRS Form 1099 requirement from the Obamacare bill. Another, the Tester-Hagan Amendment, would exempt small farmers from some of the requirements of the bill, but it still doesn’t fix the bill’s problems.

What does the bill do? Among other things, it “Amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) to expand the authority of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to inspect records related to food, including to: (1) allow the inspection of records of food that the Secretary reasonably believes is likely to be affected in a similar manner as an adulterated food; and (2) require that each person (excluding farms and restaurants) who manufactures, processes, packs, distributes, receives, holds, or imports an article of food permit inspection of his or her records if the Secretary believes that there is a reasonable probability that the use of or exposure to such food will cause serious adverse health consequences or death.”

It also “Requires each owner, operator, or agent in charge of a food facility to: (1) evaluate the hazards that could affect food; (2) identify and implement preventive controls; (3) monitor the performance of those controls; and (4) maintain records of such monitoring. Deems facilities required to comply with certain food-specific standards to be in compliance with this section. Requires the Secretary to promulgate regulations to establish science-based minimum standards for conducting a hazard analysis, documenting hazards, implementing preventive controls, and documenting such implementation. Prohibits the operation of a facility that manufactures, processes, packs, or holds food for sale in the United States if the owner, operator, or agent in charge of such facility is not in compliance with this section.

If one reads the language, on its face it would seem a good idea for the FDA to “get control” of food production in the country. The problem is the FDA’s history with this. While the bill would seem to apply to large farms and food production facilities, there is no language exempting even personal gardens or roadside produce stands. Because they aren’t exempt, they can be bound by the same requirements.

Small farmers, too, will be forced to comply with the new reporting regulations. This will swamp them in paperwork and force them out of business.

Then there is the FDA’s history to consider. The FDA has always worked for the best interests of large corporations — Big Pharma and Big Farms — rather than the best interests of the consumer — or the small food producer. And the large corporations like ADM (formerly Archer Daniels Midland Co.) and Monsanto want nothing more than to crush the small farmer.

As Mike Adams the Health Ranger to points out on his website, the FDA’s record of “protecting” consumers is shoddy at best. It has gone out of its way to ignore critical evidence about dangerous drugs to the benefit of Big Pharma. It censors the scientific truth about natural remedies and nutritional supplements and has killed more people than the CIA, FBI, ATF and DEA combined.

Through this bill the FDA, which has already criminalized raw milk, could outlaw all vegetables unless they are irradiated, could outlaw raw food unless it’s pasteurized and could criminalize the very act of canning your own fruits and vegetables. It’s not a stretch to think that an organization that has already criminalized drinking natural raw milk could criminalize anything it chose. And this bill gives it that authority.

Never mind that food-borne illnesses always stem from FDA-inspected large food producers rather than small farms and produce stands; the FDA wants to come gunning for your garden, your local supplier and the small business/farmer.

Seventy-four Senators voted to move the bill from committee to the floor for a vote, so its passage on Nov. 29 is almost assured. The only way to stop it is for you to call your Senator and tell him or her to vote no on S 510. You can reach your Senator by going here.

Republicans Disagree On How To Manage Defense Budget

Republicans disagree on how to manage defense budgetSenate Republicans are at odds about the prospect of major cuts to the nation's defense budget.

According to media reports, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) expressed concern at a recent foreign policy forum that incoming members of Congress, such as Rand Paul (R-Ky.), will embrace "protectionism" and "isolationism" in their willingness to cut the defense budget.

"I think there are going to be some tensions within our party," McCain said, quoted by The Huffington Post.

Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who is a proponent of reducing military spending in order to balance the Federal budget, took exception to McCain's statement. According to the news provider, Coburn claims that it will not be difficult to cut defense while maintaining the integrity of the nation's defense system.

A new Financial Times/Harris Poll reveals that citizens of the United States and the five largest European countries are split when it comes to defense budgets. More than one-third of Americans believe that cutting defense spending is mostly a bad thing, while 36 percent said that cuts are neither a good nor bad thing.

More than 40 percent of Germans, Spaniards and Italians said that cuts in defense to bring down a budget deficit are mostly a good thing. Nearly two in five Britons believe cuts are a good thing, while 44 percent of French respondents said cuts are neither good nor bad. 

Anuzis Announces He Will Run For RNC Chairmanship

Anuzis announces he will run for RNC chairmanshipRepublican National Committee (RNC) chairman Michael Steele has not yet decided if he'll run for re-election, but if he does, he'll have some competition.

Saul Anuzis, the former head of the Michigan Republican Party, recently announced in an email that he will run for RNC chairman, according to media reports. Anuzis, who was defeated by Steele two years ago, criticized the current chairman for thrusting himself into the limelight and bringing negative attention to the GOP.

Earlier this year, Steele released his book Right Now: A 12-Step Program for Defeating the Obama Agenda, in which he said the Republicans had "screwed up" for the most part since Ronald Reagan's presidency.

"My agenda is very straightforward. I have no interest in running for office. I won't be writing a book," Anuzis wrote in an email, quoted by The Associated Press.

The news provider reports that several candidates are considering a bid for the RNC chairmanship, which will be decided when voting members meet between Jan. 13-16.

According to FOX News, Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) said he will not support Steele for another two-year term. DeMint, a champion of the Tea Party movement, said that Steele may have cost Republicans several Senate seats in the midterm elections because of inadequate organizational efforts.

These Kids Today

It’s been three weeks since voters across the nation spanked President Barack Obama and his tinfoil hat brigadiers. Normally, when a wayward child — or unresponsive political party — earns the back of their parents’ — or voters’ — hand, the time in the bedroom gulag is best spent reflecting on the reasons for the banishment.

Would that soon-to-be-ex House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her pals were as easily disciplined as the average 8-year-old. Sadly, during the time that has passed since Election Day, the Democrat Party has shown no inclination to learn the lesson. In fact, if I had reacted to a paternal upbraiding the way the Democrats have to the electorate’s belt, my fortunes would have dimmed considerably. If the Democrats continue joyriding in the family car and leaving their beer cans where Mom and Dad Voter can find them, they’ll find they end up a lot more than grounded in 2012.

Last week, the Democrats voted to keep Pelosi their House leader. Given that nearly every Republican who ran in 2010 dropped her name on their Democrat opponents the way Bugs Bunny dropped anvils on Yosemite Sam, you would think the Dems would have banished her to the far corner of Congress for a couple of years of timeout. Outside Obama himself, Pelosi is likely the most deservedly identified and reviled face of the Democrat party. The idea of the Democrats emerging from their electoral beating and immediately voting to keep the arrogant architect of their own demise is “Let’s keep Napoleon after Waterloo” logic. Even the French are more tactically sound.

For her own part, Pelosi didn’t exactly step out of character. A week after the Democrats’ disaster, she remarked on her party’s audio talking-points service,  National Public Radio:

“We didn’t lose the election because of me.”

In a sense, she’s correct. The rest of her party could have dumped her like a girlfriend who won’t give up the remote during football season. But they let Pelosi keep the TV tuned to The View.

Returning Pelosi to the top of the pecking order was merely the opening salvo in the Democrats’ pinhead-palooza. Last week, Ms. “Swamp-drainer” was pushed below the fold by The Swamp himself. Democrat Party leader Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), until recently the chairman of the enormously powerful House Ways and Means Committee, was caught dead to rights on 40 years of corruption, tax evasion and abuse of the public trust. Former civil rights legend-turned race-baiting liar John Lewis even showed up to lend Charlie his support. Lewis’ statement would have been more meaningful had he not opened by acknowledging that he had no clue what the trial was about. He then drew a moral parallel between the repulsive Rangel and the victims of South African apartheid. And the lame-duck, Democrat-controlled House, suitably chastened by the electorate’s reprimand regarding their perverse corruption, dropped the hammer… and picked up a feather instead.

Censure for Rangel — and even then the vote wasn’t unanimous. They have a word for the consequences faced by a non-40-year-Democrat-veteran-of-the-House, should they dip into the cookie jar like ol’ Charlie: prison.

In the midst of Rangel’s kangaroo court, Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas) blew kisses at MSNBC‘s late-night laughingstock “Special” Ed Schultz. Jackson-Lee, another of the Democrat Party’s standard-bearers, once served on the House Science Subcommittee, which deals with NASA. During one briefing,  Jackson-Lee — whose Texas 18th District includes NASA’s Johnson Space Center — asked whether the Mars Pathfinder would be visiting the flag left on the moon by the Apollo astronauts. Er… no, Jackson-Lee. Marvin the Martian demolished the Apollo site with his PU-36 Explosive Space Modulator.

Jackson-Lee left her interstellar interrogatives out of her makeout session with Schultz, instead choosing to focus on recent comments by radio supervillain Rush Limbaugh. With the simpering Schultz leading her by the nose, Jackson-Lee scurried to the safety of smearing Limbaugh with the specious claim of racism. Jackson-Lee, who sees racism in virtually every situation which doesn’t work to her advantage (she once claimed congressional hearing time limits were a racist conspiracy), even assigned victim-of-racism status to the pasty-faced Schultz:

“You’ve been called Sergeant Schultz. Is that because you have a name that may be ethnically connected to being a sergeant? I’m not sure what that is. I find that insulting as well.”

Stand with Sheila: Stop the oppression of Sitcom-Americans today.

Three weeks since America sent Congressional Democrats to their rooms, and clearly, the kids have not learned their lesson. Most galling of all: with the liberal bad seed running amok, the whole country has to go to bed without dessert.

Ethics Committee Says House Should Censure Rangel

Ethics committee says House should censure RangelThe House ethics committee's chief counsel has recommended that Representative Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) be censured.

According to ABC News, chief counsel Blake Chisman suggested that House members should vote to censure, or officially reprimand, Rangel for his alleged involvement in improper financial and fundraising conduct. On Nov. 16, an eight-member subcommittee panel found Rangel guilty of 11 counts of ethics violations, which included soliciting millions of dollars in donations.

A censure is a formal statement of disapproval, and it is the highest form of punishment from Congress besides an expulsion. Chisam said Rangel "brought discredit" upon the House and his actions "served to undermine public confidence in this institution," the news provider reports.

Earlier, the nonpartisan watchdog group Judicial Watch had called for the expulsion of Rangel. Its president, Tom Fitton, recently said that if the ethics committee does not recommend Rangel's removal from Congress, then the House should act on its own to expel him.

"There can be no justice for Charlie Rangel without a serious punishment for his unapologetic violations of law and ethics rules," said Fitton. "Rangel deserves more than a mere slap on the wrist."

Palin And Trump Consider Presidential Bids In 2012

Palin and Trump consider presidential bids in 2012Sarah Palin hasn't decided if she'll run for President in 2012, but she believes she can beat Barack Obama in an election.

During a recent interview with Barbara Walters, Palin said "I believe so" when asked if she could defeat Obama. The unofficial leader of the Tea Party said her candidacy hinges on whether it makes sense for her family.

The former governor of Alaska said she learned a lot about politics during her time as Senator John McCain's (R-Ariz.) running mate in the 2008 presidential election. Palin claimed that she was "thrown under [the bus]" by some of McCain's top aides, and she said those lessons have taught her to be more selective about whom she can trust.

Palin admitted that harsh scrutiny from the media would be a major challenge in a potential bid for the nation's highest office.

"Other candidates haven't faced these criticisms the way I have," she said during the Walters interview, quoted by CNN.

Business tycoon and reality television star Donald Trump is also considering a presidential run. In an interview with ABC's Good Morning America on Nov. 18, Trump said he'll make his decision by June 2011. Trump, who would run as a Republican, said he will step in if "the country continues to be taken advantage of by the world." 

The Wireless Revolution is Here… and It’s Killing Us!

For many, the idea of there being such a thing as harmful electromagnetic frequency (EMF) smog has never crossed their minds. If you cannot see it, it does not exist, right?

Well, no. This smog is all around us: everyday, everywhere we go. It originates from the frequencies of cell towers, Wi-Fi in cafes, cell and cordless phones, High-Definition televisions, laptop computers, microwaves and especially in our vehicles. EMFs are making us ill and killing us slowly by breaking down the very structure of our cells. There is no escaping it.

Here’s what Martin Blank, Ph.D., of Columbia University has to say about it: “Cells in the body react to low level EMFs and produce a biochemical stress response. Our safety standards are inadequate. People need to sit up and pay attention.”

Where the prevention and correction of ill health is concerned, I have always been a proponent of the idea that “the cure is found in the prevention.” Moreover, when we are feeling ill or in pain, the best route is to take the natural, holistic and least invasive path toward removal of symptoms and toward a cure. In other words, don’t mask the symptoms; correct the imbalance that is at the root of the issue. Yet, when the root cause of the imbalance is the unseen electromagnetic frequencies attacking us in every direction, how can a correction of the cause happen?

Before embarking on that answer, I’d like to make the argument that such a problem exists and let you know how bad the experts think it really is. According to the internationally acclaimed Bioinitiative Report: A Rationale for a Biologically-Based Public Exposure Standards for Electromagnetic Fields, we live in an invisible fog of EMFs. This is not something new. In fact, 2,000 peer-reviewed studies show that EMFs expose us to serious health risks including breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, immune system and neurodegenerative disorders, disruption of brain function and cancer.

As it turns out, extremely weak electromagnetic signals, some 1,000 times smaller than formerly estimated, can have serious physiological consequences. As the European Parliament concluded in 2008, “The limits on exposure to electromagnetic fields which have been set for the general public are obsolete.”

We are immersed in a sea of EMF radiation­­. It comes from cordless phones and base stations, cell phones and towers, electrical appliances, computers, fluorescent lighting, Bluetooth devices, Wi-Fi installations and more than 2,000 satellites for GPS and TV and radio communications.

If we don’t act now to resolve this and legislate new standards, warns the Bioinitiative Report, outdoor WiMax transmitters with ranges of up to two square miles may turn the core of North America into one huge EMF hot spot, making an untold number of people sick… or worse.

Medical epidemiologist Samuel Milham, M.D., M.P.H., has this to say about it:

“New research is suggesting that nearly all of the human plagues which emerged in the 20th century, including leukemia in children, female breast cancer, malignant melanomas, immune system disorders, asthma and others, can be tied in some way to our use of electricity.”

Here’s a breakdown of the negative health effects of prolonged EMF exposure. That is, exposure over a scant two milligauss…

  • Interferes with our body’s intracellular communications and cell membrane function.
  • Reduces hemoglobin surface area and interferes with blood’s ability to carry oxygen and nutrients into our cells and take the waste products out.
  • Activates proto-oncogenes (which can cause cancer).
  • Increases permeability of the blood-brain barrier and affects intra-cerebral pressure, which some believe seems to bring on Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, autism, multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative disorders.
  • Causes DNA breaks and chromosome aberrations.
  • Increases free radical production.
  • Causes cell stress and premature aging.
  • Causes changes in brain function, including memory loss, learning impairment, headaches and fatigue.
  • Reduces melatonin secretion.  Melatonin is responsible for sleep patterns and helps protect the body against cancer, among other things.
  • Causes many microorganisms living in the human body to generate increased levels of their own toxins, affecting people’s health in a myriad of ways.

In a nutshell, each of our cells is surrounded by something called a phospholipid bi-layer membrane, commonly known as the cell membrane. Embedded in the cell membrane are numerous proteins that act as receptors for various molecules, including enzymes. These receptors translate the positive/negative signals on the cell’s exterior into its interior, and these signals then trigger various biological processes.

What happens when we’re affected by external electromagnetic fields is that the high-speed positive/negative polarity switching within these fields, from hundreds to millions of times per second, interferes with our cells’ internal signaling process. Basically, it confuses them and they become paralyzed.   

“Cells in the body react to EMFs,” says Blank. “The DNA recognizes electromagnetic fields at very low levels of exposure and produces a biochemical stress response. The scientific evidence tells us that our safety standards are inadequate. We should sit up and pay attention.” 

Related to this, a number of experiments have shown that magnetic fields can affect calcium ions, in particular, which are present across the cell membrane.  Calcium ions regulate many important functions of the cell; thus, the interaction between calcium ions and magnetic fields may be an important mechanism of reaction relating to electromagnetic fields. Could this be why so many people, women in particular, are being affected by osteoporosis?

To cite an occupational study by Johns Hopkins: The incidence of brain tumors among 4,500 telephone company line cable splicers was almost twice as high as that of office workers, and their leukemia rate was seven times as high.  Also, an increased risk ratio of 10 was found for brain cancer among East Texas Utility workers. Scary stuff!

“It is important that all of us restrict our use of cell phones, limit exposure to background levels of Wi-Fi, and that government and industry discovers ways in which to allow use of wireless devices without such elevated risk of serious disease. We need to communicate to decision-makers that ‘business as usual’ is unacceptable.” That is no small statement, considering it comes from David Carpenter, M.D., professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the State University of New York in Albany, NY.

So if the root cause of many of our health issues, or at least the worsening of them, is unavoidable EMF radiation, what can we do about it? That’s a difficult question, and short of moving out of metropolitan areas and going back to old-school phones and wired keyboards and mice, a solution is found in the strengthening of our cellular structures.

A product recently permitted into the United States claims it can do this in only eight minutes, two to three times a day. It’s called the MRS2000, and is a German-engineered medical device that uses pulsed, healthy EMFs to counter the debilitating effects of today’s EMF smog and help bring people to optimal health.

It turns out (much like the discovery of both good and bad cholesterol), that certain EMFs are actually good for us. In fact, we can’t live without them. As a result, much research has gone into refining pulsed EMF therapy and the results are impressive.

Paul Rosch, M.D., of New York Medical College, went on record to say, “While EMFs are responsible for quite a bit of damage, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Pulsed electromagnetic (PEMF) therapies have been shown to be beneficial for stress related disorders, for anxiety, insomnia, arthritis, depression and more. They also may be safer and more effective than drugs.”  

Thousands of clinical studies are proving its value, and PEMF therapy is beginning to get the recognition it deserves. While experts may not all agree on what EMF exposure levels cause what health issues, the dearth of evidence out there suggests we would be foolish not to apply the precautionary principle and reduce our exposure. Using the MRS2000 is a big step in the right direction.

I recently borrowed this device from James Grapek of LifeEnergyRx. After using it I felt so good that I ended up purchasing one for my family. To learn more about EMF radiation and the MRS2000, visit www.lifeenergyrx.com.

–Dr. Mark Wiley

Could Your Cola Cause Damage to Your Muscles?

When you drink can after can of cola soft drinks, your potassium levels can decrease significantly. This deficiency can lead to muscle weakness, extreme fatigue and even paralysis.

Greek researchers discovered six reports of cola-induced potassium deficiency where the range of consumption equaled two to nine liters of cola per day. This may seem excessive, the researchers stated in the International Journal of Clinical Practice, but stressed that “it is not rare.”

Other effects of potassium deficiency include:

  • Increased blood pressure levels
  • Decreased mental clarity
  • Skin irritations
  • Increased risk of heart disease
  • Constipation and other digestive issues.

Instead of carbonated cola, you should drink more water, green tea or all-natural fruit juice to help stay hydrated and boost your vitamin and mineral intake.

Question for Bob

Dear Bob,

In the past you have recommended investing in a Swiss Annuity. Is this still a good idea? If so, how would I go about it?

A: Yes. It is still a great way for you to protect your wealth in the face of a collapsing dollar.

A Swiss Annuity is a bank account in everything but name only. It is considered an insurance policy so it is not reportable to the IRS. Your investment accumulates interest tax-free until withdrawal. You can purchase them using foreign currency — Swiss francs for instance — and your investments can also gain as the dollar falls against the currency you used to purchased it. Call 1-800-331-0996. Clearly and slowly leave your name and mailing address for information.

Best Wishes,

Immigration Law Experts Believe Republican House Leaders Will Push For Enforcement, Not Reform

Immigration law experts believe Republican House leaders will push for enforcement, not reformSome immigration experts believe that the new Republican-led House of Representatives will be more focused on enforcing immigration law, rather than pushing through a comprehensive reform of the currently broken system.

According to The Epoch Times, Stephen Yale-Loehr, a professor of law at Cornell University, expects comprehensive immigration reform to be placed on the back burner in the next congressional session. Yale-Loehr, who is the co-author of a 20-volume immigration law treatise, said that key leaders on immigration and Homeland Security subcommittees will likely concentrate more on drafting stricter laws for illegal immigrants who are already living in the United States.

Aziz Rana, who is also a law professor at Cornell, told the news provider that the economic situation does not bode well for immigration reform. Rana added that reform has historically been unpopular during economic downturns.

Some groups, however, are optimistic about future reform legislation under the GOP leadership. The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) said that the results of midterm elections reflected the public's feelings on broken immigration policies.

"FAIR urges the leadership of the next Congress to embrace the agenda of the American people and transform our immigration policy to place their interests first," said Dan Stein, the organization's president. "The American people want our immigration laws enforced and overall levels of immigration reduced."

The group noted that several reform proposals have already garnered bipartisan support, including mandatory work eligibility verification, enhanced security along the nation's borders and elimination of the visa lottery program. 

Boehner Gets GOP Lawmakers’ Unanimous Endorsement For Speaker Of The House On His Birthday

Boehner gets GOP lawmakers' unanimous endorsement for Speaker of the House on his birthdayHouse Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) has officially been nominated to serve as the next Speaker of the House when Republicans gain majority in January.

On the same day that Boehner turned 61 years old, the veteran of Congress was unanimously voted by his peers from the GOP to take over the post currently held by Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who was elected by Democrats to become the minority leader in the next congressional session.

Representative Dave Camp (R-Mich.) nominated Boehner, and Representatives Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) and Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) gave speeches to support his appointment.

"Since his first days in Congress, John Boehner has stood up to Washington and stood up for the American people," said Camp, quoted by Politico.com. "As a leader of the reform-minded Gang of Seven that closed the House Bank (in the early 1990s), John refused to accept business as usual."

Camp was referring to the group of freshman Representatives who were elected in 1989, and who later condemned the chamber for allowing its members to overdraw their checking accounts without being penalized.

In other GOP voting on Nov. 17, Eric Cantor (R-Va.) was elected as the majority leader and Tim Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as the majority whip.

While Republicans scored sweeping victories on Election Day, many voters are not optimistic that a shift in power will result in significant changes in the way Washington works. A Rasmussen Reports national survey that was conducted earlier this month reveals that 59 percent of voters said it is somewhat likely that Americans will be disappointed with Republicans in Congress by 2012.