As Stock Market, Housing And Currency Remain Volatile, Americans May Consider Buying Gold

As stock market, housing and currency remain volatile, Americans may consider buying goldIn a climate of economic uncertainty and with the American dollar continuing to slide against other currencies, raising the specter of inflation, many people have decided to convert their assets into gold in an effort to protect their hard-earned wealth.

In more stable times, many sought gains by investing in the stock market, but it has been falling, too, due to a growing concern over the size of the planned Federal Reserve purchase of Treasury bonds.

Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Pierpont Securities LLC in Stamford, Conn., told Bloomberg that if the central bank buys too much, "I think there's a real chance that rates are going to rise because people are worried about inflation."

Global stocks rose slightly on Oct. 28, lifted by strong corporate earnings, but the ailing American economy is causing the currency to continue to fall. In fact, foreclosure rates have increased in the last quarter, which will likely keep real estate prices depressed and prevent a more vigorous economic recovery, according to RealtyTrac.com.

Against the backdrop of similar volatility, precious metals — such as silver, gold and platinum — continue to offer attractive investment options for those who want to shield their wealth from the ravages of inflation. 

An Unusual Kind Of Commodity Stock That Can Return 1,000 Percent

How can you safely make 1,000 percent gains in the commodity market?

Through hoarding.

Back then (in 2005), I was doing my graduate work in geology. A newsletter writer friend of mine called to ask my opinion about the geology involved in projects owned by a tiny gold company called Seabridge Gold. That call resulted in a 995 percent gain.

You see, Seabridge wasn’t operating as a gold mine, and it wasn’t running an exploration program. This company’s managers were bullish on gold, so they were buying gold deposits that weren’t worth much at $400 per ounce gold but would be incredibly valuable if gold shot to $900 or $1,200.

They were "hoarding" cheap gold.

Remember… back then, the gold price was around $400 per ounce. As gold took off (as the managers expected), the value of Seabridge’s properties soared… and my friend’s readers booked a 10-bagger. It’s an incredible story on the value of hoarding cheap assets when nobody wants them.

I’m interested in this story because right now, a commodity’s sitting where gold was years ago: cheap and hated, with lots of upside.

The commodity is natural gas.

The price of natural gas has been crushed in the past few years. New drilling techniques have brought on enormous new supplies of natural gas and have sent prices from $12 to less than $4.

The price of natural gas is so low it’s not economical to drill for it, and natural gas properties are going for peanuts. There’s zero investor interest in the stuff. Everybody thinks natural gas is dead, which is when good contrarians buy with both hands. Here’s why…

China is ravenous for fuels that can fire electrical power plants, which could send coal prices much higher. If China will pay more for coal, our miners will ship it to China. The Energy Information Administration expects coal exports from the U.S. to rise 58 percent this year.

It’s neither difficult nor all that expensive to convert a coal power plant to a gas power plant. If that happens, natural gas prices will rebound. You can see where I’m going with this…

It’s time to hoard natural gas. It’s time to hoard "PUDs."

PUD stands for Proven Undeveloped Reserves. These are deposits of natural gas we know for sure are in the ground. They’re just waiting to be drilled. In a lot of cases, the stock market is offering vast amounts of cheap PUDs.

Take Rex Energy (REXX), for example. Rex is a small-cap oil and gas producer that trades for 14 times current gross profit. That’s about right for oil and gas companies, which means it’s trading just on its current production.

However, Rex also owns a huge swath of the Marcellus shale. The Marcellus is the lowest-cost natural gas field in the U.S. About 70 percent of Rex’s proven reserves remain in the ground, undrilled. The market isn’t taking that into account. That means we get all those PUDs… about 40 billion cubic feet of natural gas reserves… for free.

Should gas rise from $4 to $6 or $8 in the coming years, these assets will skyrocket in value.

Rex is no exception. There are plenty around, in the "left for dead" section of the stock market — exactly where we should be looking for new investments.

If you are patient, like the management and shareholders of Seabridge, you can turn a natural gas investment today into a huge capital gain down the road.

Good investing,

Matt Badiali
Editor, S&A Resource Report

P.S. One way to acquire natural gas assets is to use a unique moneymaking strategy favored by the likes of Bill Clinton… and even Barrack Obama. Whether or not you agree with their politics, you have to admit the strategy is brilliant. It’s a way to make just one investment… and then get paid over and over again. We recently put together a special video report that details this "unorthodox" income-generating secret. Click here to watch it.

Obama’s Wars by Bob Woodward

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Obama’s Wars is the newest installment on Presidents and politics by Bob Woodward.

True to his reputation, Woodward gives a fly-on-the-wall perspective to the wars that President Barack Obama is waging. Woodward gives an inside view into combat operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as the ongoing war within the Obama administration itself.

Woodward earned fame and wealth for his investigative reporting which helped bring down President Richard Nixon and lead to a best-seller he co-wrote with Carl Bernstein, All the President’s Men. That book shocked America.

Obama’s Wars is not as surprising as it is dismaying. It is a 428-page partial indictment of the Obama administration that is losing — yes losing — the war in Afghanistan and more importantly, it shows a President that may not be able to protect us.

According to the book, the Obama administration believes that Osama bin Laden is not only alive and well but he remains the principal architect engineering a Jihad that is of a greater threat to America now than it has been at any time since 9/11.

This comes to light after the newly formed Obama administration commissions top secret reports, one by CIA analyst Bruce Riedel. According to Woodward, the Riedel review states that key elements of the enemy reside in Pakistan; a superpower with 100 nuclear weapons that is fearful of India, paranoid about America and has an inept leader in President Asif Ali Zardari.

Woodward reveals that Pakistan’s intelligence services and members of its military are not only providing safe havens for Jihadists to train but, “that at least 20 al-Qaida converts with American, Canadian or European passports were being trained in Pakistani safe havens to return to their homelands to commit high-profile acts of terrorism.”

Woodward collected his information from insiders within the Obama administration and oftentimes provides too much detail, along the lines of a Tom Clancy novel.

Still some passages jump out, including interviews with the important players in administration even the President. We see in the President a man much more in tune with the political intrigues of a city like Chicago than he is with Pentagon planning for military strikes near Kabul.

In the book Obama spoke on the record:

“What you’ve seen is a metastasizing of al-Qaida, where a range of loosely affiliated groups now have the capacity and the ambition to recruit and train for attacks that may not be on the scale of a 9/11,” said the President, adding, “one man, one bomb… which could still have, obviously, an extraordinary traumatizing effect on the homeland.”

Tribal Warfare (Inside the Administration)
Woodward reports on infighting within the Obama administration. Senior military leaders describe the politics of the administration — politics for the Democratic Party and even personal politics.

Obama’s Wars includes insights from members of the administration like Lt. General Douglas Lute, President George W. Bush’s “war czar” and senior military advisor to Obama.

Lute spelled out the disharmony in Afghan terms:

“The Hillary Tribe lived at the State Department. The Chicago Tribe occupied (Senior Political Advisor David) Axelrod’s and (White House Chief of Staff Rahm) Emanuel’s offices. The campaign tribe was at NSC offices and included former Obama campaign aids, who flaunted their relationship with the President.”

Playing a leading role in this soap opera is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Many questions continue to swirl around Washington as to whether she is a team player after her bitter defeat to candidate Obama in the 2008 Primary. Her actions, even in the face of a national crisis, have done little to quiet such speculation.

In Chapter 19 in Obama’s Wars we see Secretary Clinton’s true colors:

“It was a crisis meeting on October 9, 2009 which Ms. Clinton opened with these words: ‘Mr. President, the dilemma you face…’

“On the back bench, press secretary (Robert) Gibbs noted that she said ‘you’ as if there was only one person in the boat and she and the others were at a pleasant distance…

“Clinton’s use of ‘you” also floored (Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard) Holbrooke, since she should have said ‘we’… It was a ‘Freudian giveaway,’ Holbrooke later told others. He thought Clinton felt detached from both the policy and the process.”

There are no White Knights in the book, not even Holbrooke who Woodward tells us is petty about such things as whether the President addresses him as Richard rather than Dick in front of Mrs. Holbrooke.

Holbrooke has other issues as well and they call into question the competency of the administration. According to Woodward, Holbrooke astounded members of the administration who were in the midst of a crisis meeting on Pakistan and India:

“Holbrooke introduced a new angle. ‘There’s a global warming dimension of this struggle, Mr. President,’ he said.

To a baffled room he continued:

“There are tens of thousands of Indian and Pakistani troops encamped on the glaciers in the Himalayas that feed the rivers into Pakistan and India, he said. Their encampments are melting the glaciers very quickly. There’s a chance that river valleys in Pakistan and perhaps even India could be flooded.”

After the meeting a lot of important people wanted to know if Holbrooke was kidding. To their shock it turned out he wasn’t.

Woodward also provides insights into a Federal government that is simply falling short.

We learn that Emanuel is shocked when he learns the latest intelligence on bin Laden. “What do you mean we don’t know where he is?” Emanuel explains to Bruce Riedel that some $50 billion a year is spent on intelligence. Then he repeats the question: “And you don’t have a clue where the most wanted man in the history of the world is?”

Woodward is somewhat critical of America’s intelligence services as well as the Bush administration. He points out we let the trail (on bin Laden) go cold back after 9/11 when the Bush administration turned to Iraq.

With Friends Like Pakistan Who Needs Enemies?
After reading Obama’s Wars you get an understanding that the political situation in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India is close to chaos. Little has changed with regard to that region in more than a century.

In the 19th Century, alliances were clouded and identifying the enemy was next to impossible. So too were strategic solutions which were sought unsuccessfully by the best and the brightest of that age.

Woodward takes us into the 21st Century and raises the stakes by including two explosive new elements: Global jihad and nuclear weapons. We learn that terrorists have come dangerously close to occupying areas near some of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.

And we also learn that America’s most strategically important alliance is with Afghanistan; a country whose President, Hamid Karzai, is a corrupt and paranoid manic-depressive. We also find out he may be a drug addict. Still, Obama continues to pour money and men into Afghanistan; to fight a war that many within the administration now admit can’t be won.

As a writer Woodward has come full circle. His career began when he became a reporter for The Washington Post in 1971. Early on he covered the events surrounding the Vietnam War; a conflict which the press revealed was unwinnable.

Almost 40 years later Woodward has written Obama’s Wars, a book about another untenable war with no clear objectives being waged by an incompetent commander in chief.

Minority Republican Candidates Make History On Election Day

Minority Republican candidates make history on election day A historic election day for Republicans also marked a groundbreaking moment for minority GOP candidates.

On a day that conservatives gained control of the House of Representatives and captured the majority of governorships in the United States, several Republican candidates bucked long-standing trends in their home states. Two years after the nation elected its first African-American president, voters continued to make historic decisions at the polls.

Susana Martinez (R-N.M.) became the first Hispanic woman to be elected governor in U.S. history, while Nikki Haley (R-N.C.) and Mary Fallin (R-Okla.) will soon be the first female governors of their respective states.

Brian Sandoval will become Nevada's first Hispanic governor, while Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Allen West (R-Fla.) are the first black Republicans elected in their respective states since the late 19th century. The last black Republican in Congress was J.C. Watts (R-Okla.), who left office in 2003.

"Color is becoming less of an issue," Richard Ivory, a black Republican political consultant, told Fox News. "There was a time when the white electorate saw race first and made judgments based on this alone. While black Republicans and Obama disagree ideologically, both are candidates whose message surpassed pigment."

Despite the surge of minority candidates for governorships and the House of Representatives, there will be no African-American in the Senate come January. All three black candidates fell short in their midterm races. Roland Burris (D-Ill.), who is the only African-American in the current Senate, will be succeeded by white Republican Mark Kirk.

Republicans Win 10 Governorships In States Previously Led By Democrats

Republicans win 10 governorships in states previously led by DemocratsRepublicans not only gained control of the House of Representatives on election day, but they also regained the majority of governorships in the United States.

Projections indicate that the GOP will capture 10 governorships in states where the previous leaders were Democrats. Those states are Kansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Iowa. Susan Martinez (R-N.M.), Nikki Haley (R-S.C.) and Mary Fallin (R-Okla.) became the first women governors to be elected in their respective states.

Martinez is the first female Hispanic candidate to be elected governor in the U.S.

"You were the ones telling me how desperately we needed to move New Mexico in a new direction," Martinez said, quoted by CNN. "At the end of the day, New Mexico chose a new direction."

Aside from being their state's top ranking executive, governors also help redraw congressional districts based on population changes determined by the census. This process, called gerrymandering, can play a key role in determining electoral votes for a particular party.

Michael McDonald, a professor at George Mason University and a redistricting expert, told USA Today that Republican wins in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Texas put the GOP is a good position to redraw the map in their favor over the next decade.

Democrats captured a big victory in the state with the biggest electoral clout as Jerry Brown defeated Republican Meg Whitman in California. Whitman, the CEO of eBay, spent more than $140 million of her own money on the campaign, which helped make the California gubernatorial race the most expensive non-presidential race in American history.

Anti-incumbent Sentiment Felt Nationwide As GOP Gains Control Of House

Anti-incumbent sentiment felt nationwide as GOP gains control of HouseThe Republican Party scored a resounding victory in the midterm elections by picking up more than enough seats in the House of Representatives to take control from the Democrats.

Republicans needed to gain 39 seats in order to hold a majority in the chamber, and early projections suggest that conservatives will win at least 60 more House seats than they currently have. A successful day at the polls for Republicans highlighted the widespread frustration among Americans over a stagnant unemployment rate, a troubled economy and too much government spending.

A political season that included the emergence of the anti-establishment Tea Party movement came to an end with what could be the biggest House gain by any major party since 1948. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), who is expected to become House Speaker when the new majority takes over in January, became emotional during a speech on election night.

"With their voices, the American people are demanding a new way forward in Washington," said Boehner, quoted by CNN. "This is not a time for celebration, not when one in 10 of our fellow citizens are out of work, not when we have buried our children under a mountain of debt."

Despite the GOP gaining six Senate seats, the Democrats were able to hold onto the majority in the upper chamber. Notable victories for conservatives included Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) and Tea-Party-backed businessman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.).

In an embarrassing loss for the President, Kirk defeated Alexi Giannoulias to win Obama's old Senate seat. According to the Chicago Sun Times, Kirk said that his victory "sends a message" to the current leaders in Washington. 

Eating Whole Grain Foods Could Reduce Fat Tissue

Eating whole grain foods could reduce fat tissueNew research conducted at Tufts University in Massachusetts indicates that individuals who consume greater amounts of whole grain foods may reduce their risk for developing cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes.

Visceral fat is found in abdominal organs and subcutaneous fat is located beneath the skin. The scientists noted that previous research indicated that visceral fat has been linked to metabolic syndrome, hypertension, insulin resistance and unhealthy cholesterol levels.

In their new findings, the researchers discovered that among 2,834 participants, visceral fat was about 10 percent lower in those who had reported eating at least three or more servings of whole grains per day. However, visceral fat volume was only reduced when these individuals also cut back on their refined grain intake.

Nicola McKeown, lead author of the study, said that as a result people should implement healthy substitutions in their diet. For individuals who would like to consume more whole grain foods, this could be as simple as cooking with brown rice or choosing whole grain bread instead of white to make a sandwich. 

Hurricane-Force Storm Causes Damage In Midwest, Heads East

Hurricane-force storm causes damage in Midwest, heads EastAs large sections of the Midwestern United States have been battered by what some commentators have called a "historic storm," it may be a good time to remind Americans how to increase their chances of survival during similar natural disasters. 

The storm, dubbed "Chiclone," led to the cancellation of hundreds of flights and left a trail of devastation, including uprooted trees, damaged cars, flooding, slippery roads and downed power lines.

Experts advise that during violent storms, individuals should stay away from windows as flying debris or falling trees can break glass, resulting in severe injuries. In fact, if hurricane-force winds are in the forecast, boarding up windows and doors may be a good idea.

In order to further minimize the risk of being hurt or experiencing property damage, Americans who live in areas that are prone to extreme weather are also advised to clear brush and any lose objects from their premises, trim bushes, and sandbag the property as the storm is approaching.

As with any other natural or man-made disasters, families should stock on non-perishable food items, such as ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables as well as water in plastic containers to last at least three days. The emergency survival kit should also include basic medicines, including disinfectants and bandages, a battery-powered radio, blankets, flashlights as well as spare batteries. 

Historically Speaking, November Begins Best Three Months To Invest

Did you buy some stocks two days ago? If you did, congratulations — it turns out that, historically, Nov. 1 is the best day of the year to invest in the stock market. That’s because most of the time September and October are lousy months for stocks.

Since 1950, the S&P has risen an average of 1.6 percent each November, easily beating the other 11 months. What’s more, November begins the best three months of the year to invest (Nov. 1 through Jan. 31) and the best six-month period (Nov. 1 to May 31).

So if you haven’t already done so, November is usually a pretty good time to buy stocks. We’ll check back in six months to see if this was true once again; and if the old adage, "sell in May and go away," is still valid.

— Chip Wood

Al Gore: Envirohypocrite

As former Vice President Al Gore preached about the dangers of greenhouse emissions inside a sold-out seminar in Gothenburg, Sweden, on Monday, outside the Volvo that delivered him to the seminar sat empty and idling — for more than 20 minutes.

“It is difficult to understand the brittle shell that protects humanity and the planet,” Gore told the audience. “It is therefore very important that we start taking these two issues very seriously.”

Make no mistake: Gore takes the issue seriously. While it’s easy to write him off as a nut for his obsession with anthropomorphic global warming (the idea that global warming is caused by the activities of man) despite a lack of evidence — and proof through the Climategate scandal that the science behind it was contrived — Gore’s compulsion is economic. He stands to make billions when companies he’s invested in get government subsidies through Cap and Trade legislation.

Gore regularly tells his audiences to get to his events by walking, bicycling, use of public transportation or other “climate-friendly” means. Meanwhile, he arrives via a large jet and personal vehicle followed by an entourage of body guards, hangers-on and a masseuse or two, leaving a carbon footprint that only an elitist could love.

It’s a common refrain for him. In July, 2008 while speaking on global warming in Washington, D.C., two limousines awaited him outside, idling for 90 minutes. His Tennessee home is said to consume as much energy as a small town; whether Gore is at home or not.

Don’t buy into the global warming lie. Were there truth behind it, the elitists that preach to us about how we’re destroying the planet wouldn’t be behaving as envirohypocrites. Gore doesn’t really care about being green. He just wants more green in his pockets.

Sacramento Sheriff Changes Handgun Permit Policy, Authorizing Self-Defense As A Valid Reason For Issuance

Sacramento sheriff changes handgun permit policy, authorizing self-defense as a valid reason for issuanceSacramento County Sheriff John McGinness has modified his handgun carry permitting policy, prompting two Second Amendment advocacy groups to drop their lawsuit against the county and its top law enforcement official.

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and the Calguns Foundation dismissed their case after McGinness changed the law to state that self-defense is a valid reason to issue a gun carry permit. The organizations will, however, continue their legal battle against Yolo County and its sheriff in an attempt to change their policy.

"The Second Amendment Foundation will continue working with the Calguns Foundation and keep funding attorney Alan Gura's lawsuits in California until everyone's firearms civil rights are fully protected," added SAF founder Alan Gottlieb.

McGinness is retiring at the end of the year, but both candidates vying for his position have publicly stated that self-defense is a compelling reason for issuing permits.

According to The Carmi Times, a big crowd gathered at an Illinois VFW hall recently to discuss their rights to carry a concealed firearm. Illinois is the only state in the Union that denies its citizens the right to carry a gun.

The news provider reports that only sworn law enforcement, certain security and detective personnel, as well as certain citizens making large bank deposits, are legally allowed to carry a firearm in Illinois.

The Election Can’t Save Us From The Fed

"We can pay anybody by running a printing press." — Thomas Gale Moore, a Ronald Reagan economic advisor, 1986.

Don’t expect America’s fortunes to change in the wake of yesterday’s election. Even if some semblance of sanity comes to Congress we are still left with that other dysfunctional institution, the Federal Reserve, which is bent on inflating the United States economy, the dollar be damned.

Part of the problem is Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve. He was reappointed by President Barack Obama last year and has shown himself to be a kindred spirit to the President. Both had zero business experience before moving to government. Bernanke spent most of his life learning economics as taught by Harvard and MIT, before becoming a professor at Stanford and Princeton.

Bernanke has been hailed as the world’s leading expert on the Great Depression. If you are worried this doesn’t qualify him to help resurrect the U.S. economy you are probably right. It is doubtful that the Pentagon would have put famous historian A.J.P. Taylor in charge of combat operations in Vietnam because he knew so damn much about World War II.

Bernanke is making sure that the Fed does what the central bank calls quantitative easing. That is a fancy term for saying they are “printing money” commented The Wall Street Journal last week, pointing out that such terminology makes it easier for the American public to swallow than if the Fed just came out and admitted what it is really doing.

But even The Journal has it wrong. In today’s world Washington doesn’t run printing presses. The truth is that creating new money today doesn’t have anything to do with paper and ink (if it did the Greens would be screaming about the forests). Instead it is done at the push of a button. 

Rather than print money, the Federal Reserve buys assets — usually government bonds, mortgage-backed securities — from banks or on the open market. There is thus more dollars sloshing around in the economy.

So where does the money to buy these assets come from in the first place? In fact says MoneyWeek, “The central bank just creates it out of nowhere.”

The Fed is fighting the depression of the 1930s. It raged before the Internet, TV, and the hula hoop and ended 13 years before Bernanke was born.

In the high-tech age, creating money to float the economy is very simple. The Treasury simply records on its computers the amount of securities the Fed purchased and this new money goes into the banking system to be loaned out at some multiple.

How much money are we talking about? According to Goldman Sachs, the Federal Reserve may soon purchase $2 trillion of assets to stimulate the U.S. economy. Goldman estimates that as much as $4 trillion of additional large-scale asset purchases might be poured into the economy to meet the Fed’s targets. All this money is being created because the Fed has exhausted its usual mechanism of increasing the money supply: Lowering the interest rate at which banks may lend one another their reserves held at the Fed. Currently the Federal funds rate is now zero.

I didn’t go to Harvard or Princeton, but even I understand Economics 101. Creating more dollars — in this case trillions more dollars — will devalue each and every dollar. That means that money you have tucked away in a retirement fund or bank account is going to be worth less, a lot less regardless of who is in Congress and how they are voting.

Back when I was in college I was taught the purpose of the Federal Reserve was to protect the integrity of the dollar. And for most of the 20th Century the Fed did protect the integrity of the dollar. Even when I first started writing about the markets, the Fed under Paul Volcker made the country and the world swallow a bitter pill by jacking up the Fed Funds rate, which nearly doubled between 1979 and 1981; jacking up the interest rate that banks charge each other rose from 11.5 percent to 21.5 percent. That led to a bad recession, but the U.S. dug its way out because the dollar remained intact.

Now we have the Fed as appointed by Obama. And as the chart below shows, under Bernanke, the Federal Funds Rate has been pushed to zero, lower than at any point in more than a half a century. Unlike Volcker, who worried about the stability of the nation’s currency — the world’s currency — The Wall Street Journal recently summed the central bank’s goal: “The Fed hopes to chase investors out of Treasuries into other, riskier securities. Like stocks.”

Since when did it become the Fed’s job to get bullish on stocks? What’s next, moving the Merrill Lynch Bull statue outside the Eccles Building?

Effective Federal Funds Rates

Now The Bad News
Moreover, I am wondering if Bernanke and the Federal Reserve Bank presidents have really thought through their actions. What if money isn’t moved out of the Treasury market and into the stock market but is instead moved into euros, gold or anything besides U.S. dollars?

China and Japan are sitting on $1.7 trillion of U.S. Treasury debt. China’s is holding one-fifth of its annual gross domestic product (GDP) in Uncle Sam IOUs. Their leaders might be Communists, but they are not idiots. With the Federal Reserve set to magically create four trillion new dollars you can bet that some of the guys wearing the Chairman Mao suits think it might be time to pull the plug on their Treasury investments.

If this happens, and the Chinese do begin to liquidate Treasuries, it would create a level of financial havoc that would make the Great Depression seem like a bump in the road. I can’t see any way we are going to get out of this unscathed.

I write this before the elections have happened, so I don’t know if the GOP won. But what should scare you is that it doesn’t matter. Congress could include Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, and as long as we have a Federal Reserve acting as recklessly as the one now controlling our economic fate, we are in a lot of trouble.

Action To Take
Regardless of the election’s outcome and your expectations for 2012, please don’t get bullish on Big Board stocks or bonds. The core of your holdings should be in physical gold, along with some silver. If you want to get some leverage stick to resource stocks that are involved either in precious metals or hydrocarbon energy.

Yours for real wealth and good health,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy and Gold Report

Appeals Court Overturns Arizona Law That Requires Proof Of Citizenship For Voter Registration

Appeals court overturns Arizona law that requires proof of citizenship for voter registrationA Federal appeals court in Arizona has struck down a state law that requires voters to prove they are United States citizens before registering to vote.

According to media reports, the decision made by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says that the state law violates the National Voter Registration Act, which asks voters to swear they are citizens under penalty of perjury. The national law does not require proof of citizenship.

"This will enable the many poor people in Arizona who lack driver's licenses and birth certificates to register to vote," said Jon Greenbaum, legal director for the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, quoted by The Associated Press.

Considering the voter registration deadline has passed for the Nov. 2 midterm elections, the court's ruling will have no effect on this year's voting.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and Secretary of State Ken Bennett released a joint statement and called the decision an "outrage and a slap in the face to all Arizonans who care about the integrity of their elections." They said they will pursue legal remedies to help prevent illegal immigrants from voting.

The Republican nominee for Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, has claimed that large numbers of illegal immigrants are fraudulently registering to vote in the Sunflower State, The Washington Independent reports. Kobach said that the illegal registration of alien voters "has become pervasive."

Organic Food No Better Than Regular?

We all know how expensive it is to “eat right.” A simple trip to Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s will eat up an entire paycheck. But we want to be healthy, and eating organic, so we are told, is the way to do it. Or is it?

Well, it seems consumers in London have been complaining about the huge financial disparity between ordinary food and organic food. They clamored and wanted to know if there were true health advantages for their financial investment in the organic stuff.

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine conducted a systematic review of more than 160 scientific papers and studies published in the leading journals over the past half-century. Their study, “Nutrition-related health effects of organic foods: a systematic review,” was published in the July 2010 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Here’s the abstract:

BACKGROUND: There is uncertainty over the nutrition-related benefits to health of consuming organic foods.

OBJECTIVE: We sought to assess the strength of evidence that nutrition-related health benefits could be attributed to the consumption of foods produced under organic farming methods.

DESIGN: We systematically searched PubMed, ISI Web of Science, CAB Abstracts, and Embase between 1 January 1958 and 15 September 2008 (and updated until 10 March 2010); contacted subject experts; and hand-searched bibliographies. We included peer-reviewed articles with English abstracts if they reported a comparison of health outcomes that resulted from consumption of or exposure to organic compared with conventionally produced foodstuffs.

RESULTS: From a total of 98,727 articles, we identified 12 relevant studies. A variety of different study designs were used; there were 8 reports (67%) of human studies, including 6 clinical trials, 1 cohort study, and 1 cross-sectional study, and 4 reports (33%) of studies in animals or human cell lines or serum. The results of the largest study suggested an association of reported consumption of strictly organic dairy products with a reduced risk of eczema in infants, but the majority of the remaining studies showed no evidence of differences in nutrition-related health outcomes that result from exposure to organic or conventionally produced foodstuffs. Given the paucity of available data, the heterogeneity of study designs used, exposures tested, and health outcomes investigated, no quantitative meta-analysis was justified.

CONCLUSION: From a systematic review of the currently available published literature, evidence is lacking for nutrition-related health effects that result from the consumption of organically produced foodstuffs.

Hard to believe, isn’t it? I mean… wow! Not what we have been led to believe in all cases. Yet, the studies indicate there is no difference. Disturbing, really. Let’s consider some of the information for a moment.

In the article, their findings showed that "a small number of differences in nutrient content were found to exist between organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs, but these are unlikely to be of any public health relevance," said Alan Dangour, one of the report’s authors.

Dangour went on to say: "Our review indicates that there is currently no evidence to support the selection of organically over conventionally produced foods on the basis of nutritional superiority."

Sure, research shows that the nutritional content of chemically-treated food is almost the same as organic food… But who cares?

The reason people turn to organic food is to avoid the herbicides and pesticides that commercial farmers use to improve crop output and kill crop-eating insects.

We choose organic so that we won’t get cancer from eating an apple or salad that was grown in chemically-heavy soil or sprayed with toxic chemicals that will then enter our blood stream.

Recent reports showed that children who ate fruit grown with everyday commercial chemicals presented with traces of pesticides in their urine! And after a mere five days of switching to organic fruit, the toxic levels dropped drastically from their blood.

So you can save a few bucks by consuming commercially grown foodstuffs, and you may actually receive the actual nutrients found in their organic counterparts.

But beware, having money in your pocket and nutrients in your system in no way reflects the toxic chemical levels you are also living with. Life is too short and too valuable to play games with. Buy organic and live healthier.

— Dr. Mark Wiley

Return To The City On A Hill

My Fellow Americans:

Today we will exercise one of the most fundamental of the freedoms granted us by the greatest assemblage of intellect in human history. Today, thanks to the foresight and forbearance of our Founding Fathers, we rise together to choose the path we shall collectively — and individually —  follow into the future.

In the largest cities and the smallest villages, we will stride confidently into our polling places and offer our electoral endorsements to those whom we deem worthy to do our bidding as our proxies in city council chambers, State legislatures, Governor’s mansions and the Nation’s capital.

Despite the increasingly shrill calls from the left for a halt to the intellectual and industrial progress which has fueled this magnificent Nation’s greatness for nearly two and a half centuries, today we can add our voices to the mellifluous chorus of those who have gone before us on behalf of those who will come behind us. We can join hands and call out across the fruited plains:  Do not despair, brothers and sisters of this American family. The greatest days of the greatest Nation the Almighty has ever allowed to grace His green earth lie eternally ahead.

Even the most beloved President was merely a man. Without the blessing of the electorate, his most noteworthy accomplishments would have existed only in his imagination. The finest Senator was simply an aspirant to eminence without a collective nod of the peoples’ heads at the ballot box, consigned to the humdrum routine of daily life. The Governors, State legislators, mayors and even dog catchers who climbed the heights of distinction were faces in the crowd without the acclaim afforded to them by the people whom they served. 

Today, amidst the endless line of applicants and also-rans who have spent time and money begging for electoral scraps from the peoples’ table, we have the joy of granting the worthy our assent and barring the unworthy from our corridors of authority. Today, we remind them — at the loftiest moments of their political existence, from city council chambers to the U.S. Senate chamber itself:  The power is ours to lend you. The clout you crave is ours to bestow…or deny. Despite the gripes and groans of those who have lost faith in the American system of government, thus has it always been, and thus should it always be.

I often marvel at those who would sell their vote so casually; whether for cash, for patronage, or empty promises of governmental largesse. The idea of offering up that greatest reminder of personal authority over even the most grotesquely greedy, the most fanatically fatuous and the most stupefying and smug office-seekers for the promise of a potential plum is anathema to me. On this one day, no matter how humble our circumstances, we can tell those who yearn to be our masters: The Obamas, Pelosis, Reids and Rangels — that even in the lofty heights of electoral dominion — WE are the masters of America’s fate, the Captains of the National soul. 

Office-seekers: You are ours. You serve us. The mandates you claim, the authority you seek, even the remuneration you may receive is all contingent upon you performing the duties of your employment to our satisfaction.

My fellow Americans: Today we are the hope of the nation. On behalf of those who came before us, many of whom sacrificed their very lives on the altar of American virtue, I urge you to remember the promise of an American future they passed down to you. I urge you, on behalf of those yet to come, to consider the sacred liberty entrusted to us all, and consider which among those who clamor for your ballot is likely to preserve it for future generations.

Under the watchful eyes of your fathers and sons, those who have passed and those yet to present themselves; indeed, under the gaze of Almighty God himself:

Vote.

And if that soaring requiem for the American Dream didn’t move you, think of it this way:

You might as well vote. Most of the Democrats are going to do it at least twice.

Google Expands Lobbying Efforts In Attempt To Influence Web-Related Policies

Google expands lobbying efforts in attempt to influence Web-related policiesOne of the most powerful brands in the world has increased its spending on political lobbying this past year.

Consumer Watchdog reported that Google spent $1.2 million during the third quarter of the fiscal year in its efforts to shape Federal policy, which is 11 percent higher than its expenditures last year during the same period of time. The corporation has paid out $3.92 million during three quarters this year after spending $4.03 million in all of 2009.

Among the issues Google is trying to influence is online advertising regulation, consumer protection, cloud computing and broadband access. John Simpson, director of Consumer Watchdog's Inside Google Project, said that the company is well-connected to legislators and spending in 2010 could reach $5 million.

According to the magazine Fast Company, Google officials project that there will be a flurry of campaign advertisements reaching Web browsers in the days leading up to the midterm elections. These ads, called "Google bombs" will appear on millions of sites as politicians attempt to reach out to voters in the moments before they head to the polls.

The news source reports that the Web-ad tactic was pioneered by U.S. Senator Scott Brown (R-Mass.), who defeated Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley in a special election in January 2010. Brown's victory was considered an upset in a state that traditionally elects Democrats into Congress.

"A lot of campaigns saw the success [Brown] had and how he kind of caught this wave of momentum online, and they are trying to recreate that,” Andrew Roos, Google's political ad strategist told the news provider.

Groups Argue That Massachusetts’ Obscenity Law Violates Free-Speech Rights

Groups argue that Massachusetts' obscenity law violates free-speech rightsInternet content providers and free-speech advocates are arguing that a new Massachusetts law violates the First Amendment.

The Associated Press reports that several organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Massachusetts, filed a Federal lawsuit in July claiming that a law passed by legislators bans Internet material that adults have the right to view.

The law, which prohibits individuals from sending sexually explicit messages to minors through text messages, email and other electronic communications, was passed after the state's highest court overruled the conviction of a man who was accused of sending erotic messages to someone he believed was a 13 year old girl.

The plaintiff's attorney, Michael Bamberger, claimed that language in the law will prevent adults from speaking freely in chat rooms out of fear that minors will see it as well.

"You have a statute here that restricts protected speech," Bamberger said, as quoted by the news provider.

According to The National Journal, the ACLU released a report earlier this week that argued for network neutrality rules in order to protect First Amendment rights. The organization called for Federal Communication Commission (FCC) regulations that would bar broadband providers from discriminating against Internet content.

In order to do so, the FCC would have to reclassify broadband from an information service to a telecommunication service. 

Obama Receives Lowest Job Approval Rating Of His Administration

Obama receives lowest job approval rating of his administrationIn a sign that doesn't bode well for the Democratic Party heading into today's midterm elections, the approval rating for President Barack Obama has reached its lowest level since he was inaugurated 21 months ago.

The latest Harris Poll reveals that 67 percent of Americans have a negative opinion of the job Obama is doing, while 89 percent of those surveyed do not approve of the performance by the Democratic-led Congress.

Most citizens who gave the President the highest ratings were those with a postsecondary education. Approximately 48 percent of those with a post-graduate education gave Obama a positive review, while 47 percent of those with any college background approved of the commander-in-chief.

Meanwhile, nine in 10 Republicans gave Obama negative ratings, seven in 10 independents and six in 10 moderates agreed with conservatives. The majority of nonpartisan voters who disapprove of the President and Congress strengthens the notion that Republicans will gain control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections.

Some Democratic candidates for Congress are distancing themselves from the President in an effort to help their cause on Election day. Politico.com reports that West Virginia Senate candidate Joe Manchin said he may not endorse Obama if he runs for reelection in 2012 unless he sees significant strides.

"Things have got to change. People will have time to evaluate and make a decision over the next two years and four years," Manchin told the news provider. "I just think there's a lot of correction, a lot of changes, a lot of things that need to be fixed before I would say anything about anybody running for office."

Burgers Have Grown, And So Will Your Waistline

Did you know that most restaurant and fast food hamburgers are about 23 percent larger than they were in 1977? That’s according to a study conducted by the University of North Carolina. In order to avoid the extra fat and calories, why not skip the main dish and order a filling soup, salad or appetizer instead of an entrée. That way your waist — and your wallet — won’t feel the burden from the larger portion.

Black Rice Bran Could Have The Potential To Reduce Swelling

Black rice bran could have the potential to reduce swellingInflammation in the body can be caused by a number of health problems such as arthritis, allergies, asthma and other diseases. However, scientists have discovered that black rice may help people who suffer from inflammation.

The study, published in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, indicates that previous research has already proven that there may be health benefits for individuals who eat black rice bran. These studies suggest that the bran can suppress the release of a compound, histamine, which causes inflammation.

For the new research, the scientists used mice and tested how black rice bran extract can affect skin inflammation. When the extract was administered to the mice, their inflammation was reduced by 32 percent. This was compared to a control group that did not exhibit these results. Substances which are known to contribute to inflammation were also reduced in the animals that were given the bran extract.

The researchers noted that overall, black rice bran reduced swelling that had been caused by skin irritation due to allergic contact dermatitis, in the mice.

As a result, the scientists suggest that adding healthy foods like black rice bran into a person's diet, could aid in the treatment of health problems that cause inflammation such as arthritis, allergies or asthma.

Pre-election Survey Shows Overwhelming Majority Of Americans Believe Country Is In Bad Shape

Pre-election survey shows overwhelming majority of Americans believe country is in bad shapeA new national poll reveals that the number of Americans who feel that things are going in the wrong direction in the United States is the highest pre-election result since the survey was created more than three decades ago.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, which was released before the midterm elections, found that 75 percent of those respondents said that things are going badly in the U.S., while 78 percent believe that things are going well in their own personal lives.

The economy is the top issue facing the country, according to 52 percent of those surveyed. A majority said that unemployment is the biggest factor affecting the economy.

"Even in 1994, when the Republicans last took control, and in 2006, when control flipped back to the Democrats, roughly half the public was satisfied with the state of the nation," said CNN polling director Keating Holland.

Despite three-fourths of the country feeling unsatisfied with the state of the nation, approximately 55 percent said that things will be going well in the U.S. a year from now.

According to a recent Gallup poll found that President Barack Obama has the lowest approval rating since he took office. Approximately 45 percent of those surveyed believe that Obama isn't doing a good job, according to the U.S. News and World Report

Comedians Mix Humor With A Message Of Unity At DC Rally

Comedians mix humor with a message of unity at DC rallyTelevision personalities Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert held their "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear" on Oct. 30 in Washington, DC, drawing more than 215,000 people to the National Mall.

According to media reports, the event featured music, comedy and a mock debate between Stewart and Colbert. Most of the rally was sprinkled with humor, but Stewart closed the event on a serious note with a message about the media's influence in the 21st century, calling it the "country's 24-hour politico pundit perpetual panic conflictinator."

"If we amplify everything, we hear nothing," Stewart said, quoted by CNN.

Stewart and Colbert's TV shows on Comedy Central are popular among mostly left-leaning viewers, but the rally did not promote one political party over another. The message revolved around peace and unity, as Stewart dismissed the notion that the United States is a divided nation.

He said that Americans don't live their lives solely as Republicans or Democrats, but they instead work together to solve tasks every day. He directed the audience to a video clip of a traffic jam where a flow of cars crowded around the entrance of a congested tunnel. He used the traffic metaphor to show how most citizens, no matter what their political affiliation or religious belief, make concessions in order to allow society to function.

"It just seems like liberals or conservatives can't even start to talk politics without screaming their heads off anymore, even though most Americans can agree on a lot of basic things." said Cindy Long of West Virginia, who attended the rally.

A USAction Straw Poll revealed that an overwhelming majority of people at the rally support the Democratic party, but only one-fourth of those surveyed said they were enthusiastic about voting in this year's elections.

Approximately 41 percent of those surveyed at the event believe that President Barack Obama's number one priority should be improving the nation's employment situation, while 18 percent said it should be education.