American Heart Association Updates Guidelines For Women

American Heart Association updates guidelines for womenThe American Heart Association (AHA) has changed some of its guidelines for preventing cardiovascular disease in women to better address factors that may go ignored in some clinical settings.

The guidelines were originally published about 12 years ago and were largely based on research that was conducted during clinical trials, a setting that does not accurately reflect the average woman's health status or the care she receives.

“These recommendations underscore the fact that benefits of preventive measures seen day-to-day in doctors’ offices often fall short of those reported for patients in research settings,” said Lori Mosca, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., advisor for the AHA's Go Red For Women campaign.

One of the changes to prevention guidelines is that a woman who experiences complications during pregnancy has a risk factor equal to that of a woman who failed a stress test. New guidelines also recognize that certain racial or ethnic groups appear to be more prone to specific illnesses than others.

Furthermore, treatments like hormone replacement therapy and intake of antioxidants and folic acid that were previously recommended as preventative measures have been shown to be ineffective and possibly harmful to some women.

The AHA reports that while rates of death from cardiovascular disease in women have decreased by two-thirds in the past three decades, one woman still dies every minute in the United States from the condition.  

Documents About Vietnam War May Be Declassified

Documents about Vietnam War may be declassifiedThe recent WikiLeaks scandal is widely considered the biggest national security leak since the release of the Pentagon Papers in 1971, which detailed the lies and deceptive tactics of the United States government regarding the Vietnam War.

Although the public gained access to the documents through media reports, the Federal government may finally declassify the papers 40 years later. According to The Associated Press, the National Declassification Center of the National Archives is working to declassify the full text of the Pentagon Papers, as well as the investigative material about the leak of the documents.

The Pentagon Papers, which revealed that the government knew the Vietnam War was going to be deadlier and more difficult to win than the public knew, were released by Daniel Ellsberg, a former military analyst who had top security clearance.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is a modern-day Ellsberg because of his knack for infuriating top government officials. Last year, Assange's website released approximately 250,000 diplomatic cables that revealed top-secret American foreign relations' intelligence and strategies.

High-profile defense attorney Alan Dershowitz recently joined Assange's legal team as he faces criminal charges overseas. During an interview with CNN, Dershowitz said that he is working with British lawyers on the American aspects of the lawsuits.

"I will be focusing on 1st and 4th Amendment issues, freedom of press and freedom of association, and limitations on the government’s power to intrude on these rights," Dershowitz told the media outlet. "I will also be interested in helping to develop the law involving the new electronic media." 

An Answer To The Most Popular “End Of America” Question

I’ve been on the radio a few times in the last month. Producers are contacting us with interview requests because of our new promotional video, "The End of America."

I imagine most DailyWealth readers have seen this video already. You know the core components of our argument: The debts assumed by the Western democracies will overwhelm their economies and lead to the end of our current dollar-denominated, global currency regime. This has profound implications for Americans’ standard of living and our empire’s role in the world.

Doing these interviews and taking call-in questions from people around the country reminds me of why we made the video: People suffer from a shocking lack of knowledge about the serious financial problems facing our country. For example, the most popular question is: "When will the crisis begin?"

The question assumes we ought to ignore the collapse of the automakers, the complete destruction of America’s investment banks, the receivership of the world’s largest mortgage firms (Fannie and Freddie) and the world’s biggest insurance company (AIG)…

The question implies nothing unusual has taken place with housing prices… or in the markets for strategic commodities like lithium, copper, oil, coal and corn — all of which are soaring in the face of the moribund U.S. economy. The question assumes nothing is going on with the value of our dollar, despite silver trading near $30 and gold trading close to $1,500 — up 100 percent in only two years.

We respond to the popular question with a question of our own: What will have to happen before you’ll say we’re in a crisis right now?

How high will gas prices have to get before your neighbors notice something is wrong? How high will gold have to get? Or silver? How many banks will have to go under? How high will unemployment have to rise? How many cities will have to go bankrupt? Where’s your threshold? How bad will things have to be before you begin to see what’s really happening?

In addition to raising these questions, I’ve compiled a list of seven key facts that might spring people into taking action to protect themselves. They are the factors I believe MUST lead to the end of the global U.S. dollar standard — what we call "The End of America."

1) The price of gold has gone up 10 years in a row. We can’t think of another market that’s ever risen for 10 consecutive years. This is a historical anomaly and it means something has gone badly wrong with the world’s reserve currency (the U.S. dollar). Markets, if left to find their own equilibrium, will naturally fluctuate. Gold isn’t fluctuating. Its steady move up proves something strange is happening to our money.

2) Our government’s deficits are out of control. The government’s annual deficits now routinely surpass $1 trillion. The first $1 trillion deficit came in 2008 — and the government explained it away as the consequence of the financial crisis. But we racked up another $1 trillion deficit in 2009 and yet another in 2010.

We’ll have another in 2011 and so on. Our national debt has doubled since 2005. We’ve borrowed more money in the last five years than we had in the entire history of our government until then. This isn’t sustainable.

3) The government cannot increase tax revenues enough to cover our spending or repay our debts — ever. Our annual deficits have become completely unlinked to taxes. Total Federal income taxes and corporate taxes generate $1.1 trillion a year in revenue, and we still ran a $1.3 trillion Federal deficit last year. So even if we increased tax revenues by 100 percent, we would still have fallen $200 million short. This is totally unsustainable.

4) Special-interest groups — particularly government unions — are looting our Treasury. Self-serving special-interest groups have completely hijacked government spending. We now spend $200 billion a year on Federal pensions. We’re spending another $450 billion on welfare. This spending, combined with our defense spending ($700 billion), exceeds total Federal tax revenue and leaves nothing to pay the $200 billion in interest on our debt, nothing to pay for actual government services (like roads), and nothing to pay towards the inevitable Social Security/Medicare shortfall.

Remember… most voters do not pay taxes. It’s politically impossible to reform this interest group-based spending. These people are robbing the Treasury. They will cause our currency and eventually our government itself to collapse.

5) We’re printing money just like the banana republics we used to mock. To support the government’s runaway spending, the Federal Reserve is now continuously buying government debt. This process was commonly called "monetizing the debt" or, more simply, "printing money."

In addition to the inevitable economic consequences of monetizing debt (massive inflation), there’s another, even more serious problem: a lack of confidence in the leadership of the Fed. We would support an audit of the Fed. We would support replacing Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. After all, Bernanke has alternately defended his decision to print massive quantities of new money and denied ever doing it. However, we are certainly aware that as people (rightly) lose confidence in the Fed and in the dollar, there will be serious consequences for our economy.

6) We can’t repay our debts. Total debt outstanding in the U.S. currently exceeds $55 trillion. That’s $681,165 in debt per U.S. family. There is simply no way to repay (or even maintain) debt of this magnitude using the income of the average American family, which is slightly less than $50,000 per family per year. Interest alone on these debts (based on a 5 percent rate) would total $34,000 per family every year. Total debt in the U.S. economy is unsustainable and can’t be financed without printing vast new sums of money.

7) Shockingly, new debt issuance in the U.S. is soaring, with the lowest-quality debtors borrowing record amounts. Despite all the evidence that the U.S. economy carries far too much debt, both public and private debt issuance soared to new record levels in 2010. Overall, more than $3 trillion in new corporate debt was issued last year — the second record year in a row.

And junk-bond issuance set a new, vastly higher record. In 2010, 509 speculative-grade corporate borrowers sold $287 billion worth of new debt. That compares to the previous record (2009) of $167 billion. Our economy has become so warped by its debt load, it cannot function without ever-larger amounts of debt.

In summary, anyone who carefully looks at these numbers must realize this is not safe and will not last long. That’s why I’m telling everyone: Don’t ask, "When will the crisis begin?" Instead, ask, "Where can I get the best deal on gold and silver bullion to protect my family’s finances?"

Good investing,

Porter Stansberry

–Porter Stansberry with Braden Copeland

P.S. Please carefully think about the facts I list above. Like it or not, these issues are going to affect you and your family in the months and years ahead. Ignoring this problem will not protect you from it. What do I think people should do right now to protect themselves? Watch this video, for free, to find out.

Americans Fear Online Privacy Violations More Than Job Losses, Survey Says

Americans fear online privacy violations more than job losses, survey saysA new survey has revealed that more Americans are concerned about a breach of online privacy than issues regarding the economy.

The research, which was conducted by Opera Software, found that 25 percent of respondents said that they worry about privacy violations on the Internet. By comparison, approximately 23 percent of Americans said that they are concerned about declaring bankruptcy and 22 percent reported that they are afraid of losing their jobs.

When asked who they thought would violate their privacy online, about 35 percent of respondents said they are wary of the government's spying capabilities. Although nearly 80 percent of Americans reported that they have installed anti-virus solutions onto their computers in an effort to protect their privacy, only 61 percent said they use safe passwords.

"It is insightful to speak to people about what worries them online. There are important lessons for all of us about expectations people have for their web experience, and what we can do to improve their feelings of safety and security," said Christen Krogh, the chief development officer for Opera Software.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill recently introduced legislation that aims to protect the privacy of Internet users. According to the Los Angeles Times, Representative Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) put forth two bill proposals on Feb. 11 — Do Not Track Me Online Act and Financial Information Privacy Act. If these drafts are approved, online advertisers would be prohibited from tracking users' online behavior and online companies would not be allowed to share private financial information without the consumers' approval. 

Obama Won’t Sign Off On GOP Budget, White House Says

Obama won't sign off on GOP budget, White House saysThe White House has issued a warning to GOP lawmakers who are proposing significant cuts to the current budget: The Federal government will shut down if Republicans can't compromise on spending measures.

The Office of Management and Budget released a statement on Feb. 16 saying that President Barack Obama would veto any spending measure that resembles the GOP's current proposal, which is $61 billion less than 2010 levels and $100 billion less than Obama's request. The government is currently operating on last year's budget because Congress failed to pass a spending bill for fiscal year 2011.

However, the stop-gap measure is set to expire on March 4. If the President does not sign a new budget into law by that date, the Federal government will shut down.

The Republican-led House of Representatives began debating the spending bill earlier this week, and the discussion featured a new twist, according to The Wall Street Journal. Due to recent rule changes in the legislative process, the bill will be read aloud paragraph by paragraph on the chamber floor and members can rise and propose an amendment, as long as it relates to the passage being read.

After the amendment is introduced, any House member can speak for five minutes to weigh in on the proposal.

"This is an open process," said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R.-Va.), quoted by the media outlet. "Every member will have an opportunity to submit his or her vision of how we can reduce the deficit."

More On The Lying Liars, Idiot Dictators And T(Sl)ime Magazine

*Obama’s lying liars and the Federal debt. I caught a lot of flak three weeks ago for my Straight Talk column about raising the debt ceiling. Some of Obama’s apologists didn’t like my title, which I just repeated. But consider something I didn’t include in that article: The Obama Administration took ownership of two long-time money-losing operations known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Together, these corrupt lenders are on the hook for $5.6 trillion in debt. (That’s T as in “terrible.”) But guess what? Thanks to some fraudulent bookkeeping on the part of Uncle Sam, not a penny of this shows up in an accounting of Federal debt. But you’re on the hook for every penny of it, Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer.

*The idiots who ruled Egypt learn a lesson. So it’s so long to Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s tough-guy dictator for the past 30 years. We were supposed to like him because he was allegedly tough on Muslim extremists. Of course, he was also tough on Christian evangelicals, conservative traditionalists and any young people who wanted a taste of freedom and self-rule. Of all the dumb things he and his cohorts did, though, trying to ban the Internet might have been the stupidest. That’s like King Canute ordering the tide to recede. I don’t know what the future will bring in that often unhappy land. But hopefully it will be a smarter, better ruler than the idiot who just got deposed.

*Time magazine continues its legacy of falsehoods. Back in the day when I made a few bucks traveling around the country giving speeches, I liked to refer to Time magazine as slime. I told my audience I wouldn’t trust the page numbers in it unless I counted them myself. But even Slime outdid itself on a recent cover, when it Photoshopped a photograph of Ronald Reagan embracing Barack Obama. Coming right before the nation commemorated what would have been Reagan’s 100th birthday, that’s pretty despicable even for such a rotten, lying, liberal rag.

–Chip Wood

Which President Did That?

You wouldn’t think Disney World would be a good source for presidential trivia. But during a recent visit, I came across a piece of history that stumped my good friend Chris, who is a world champion at presidential trivia.

Here’s what happened. It’s been many years since I had visited the Hall of Presidents, so during a recent visit to the Magic Kingdom I decided to take a break between the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean (two of my all-time favorites) and pay it a visit.

I’d forgotten about the display of historic mementoes in the exhibit area outside the theater. There was a wine glass from the James K. Polk Administration — sort of strange when you think of it, since Polk was an ardent teetotaler who refused to serve wine at White House dinners. There was a high-school essay by George Bush. And there was a golf club belonging to the President “who played more rounds of golf than any other while serving in office.” Can you guess who it was?

If you, like me and my friend Chris, said Ike, you’d be wrong. According to the experts at Disney, the answer is Woodrow Wilson.

Chris isn’t sure they got that one right. But he’s absolutely certain he knows the answers to the following 25 questions. Let’s see how you do on this Presidents’ Day Quiz he prepared for us.

  1. Which President never married?
    1. James K. Polk
    2. Benjamin Harrison
    3. James Buchanan
    4. Martin Van Buren

  2. Name the first President born west of the Mississippi River.
    1. Ronald Reagan
    2. Nixon
    3. William Howard Taft
    4. Herbert Hoover

  3. Which man was both the 22nd and 24th President?
    1. Benjamin Harrison
    2. Grover Cleveland
    3. Wilson
    4. Rutherford B. Hayes

  4. In which movie did Nancy Reagan play opposite her husband Ronald?
    1. Bedtime for Bonzo
    2. The African Queen
    3. Rockne, All American
    4. Hellcats of the Navy

  5. Who was the first President to leave the Continental United States?
    1. William McKinley
    2. Woodrow Wilson
    3. Roosevelt
    4. Chester Arthur

  6. Which State has provided the most native-born sons as Presidents?
    1. Massachusetts
    2. Virginia
    3. Ohio
    4. New York

  7. How many men have become President because their predecessors were assassinated?
    1. 3
    2. 4
    3. 5
    4. 6

  8. Which President won the Nobel Peace Prize for his assistance in ending the Russian-Japanese War?
    1. Grover Cleveland
    2. Wilson
    3. Harry Truman
    4. Theodore Roosevelt

  9. Theodore Roosevelt insisted upon proceeding with a scheduled speech in Milwaukee despite which incident?
    1. His train arrived 2 hours late
    2. had been sick with a flu for several days
    3. He was shot outside the arena
    4. His wife Edith was rushed to the hospital

  10. Name the only President to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy.
    1. Franklin Roosevelt
    2. Dwight Eisenhower
    3. Richard Nixon
    4. Jimmy Carter

  11. Name the only President born in California.
    1. Herbert Hoover
    2. Ronald Reagan
    3. Richard Nixon
    4. James Garfield

  12. Name the first Vice President to succeed to the Presidency due to the death of the President.
    1. Martin Van Buren
    2. John Tyler
    3. Zachary Taylor
    4. Millard Fillmore

  13. Name the first President to appear on television.
    1. Harry Truman
    2. Dwight Eisenhower
    3. John F. Kennedy
    4. Franklin Roosevelt

  14. Name the man who was present as each of three Presidents lay mortally wounded by assassins’ bullets.
    1. Roscoe Conkling
    2. James Blaine
    3. Robert Lincoln
    4. Upton Sinclair

  15. Which incumbent Vice President did not win election to the Presidency?
    1. Martin Van Buren
    2. George H. W. Bush
    3. Al Gore
    4. Thomas Jefferson

  16. Which member of the Warren Commission that investigated the assassination of President Kennedy later became President himself?
    1. Lyndon Johnson
    2. Jimmy Carter
    3. Gerald Ford
    4. Richard Nixon

  17. Name the only man who has been both President and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
    1. John Marshall
    2. Woodrow Wilson
    3. Herbert Hoover
    4. William Howard Taft

  18. Name the only President to have been a Rhodes Scholar.
    1. Jimmy Carter
    2. Dwight Eisenhower
    3. Bill Clinton
    4. John F. Kennedy

  19. Name the dog made famous in Richard Nixon’s 1952 campaign speech.
    1. Fala
    2. Liberty
    3. Checkers
    4. Laddie Boy

  20. Name the only President buried in Washington, D.C.
    1. Franklin Roosevelt
    2. Woodrow Wilson
    3. John F. Kennedy
    4. William Howard Taft

  21. While dying from cancer, he worked feverishly to complete his memoirs, so the royalties it would earn would provide for his family.
    1. Harry Truman
    2. Dwight Eisenhower
    3. James Monroe
    4. U. S. Grant

  22. Which President started the tradition of tossing out the first ball on baseball’s Opening Day?
    1. Theodore Roosevelt
    2. William Howard Taft
    3. William McKinley
    4. Warren G. Harding

  23. Which President received a ticket for speeding in Washington, D.C.?
    1. U. S. Grant
    2. Lyndon Johnson
    3. Andrew Johnson
    4. Calvin Coolidge

  24. Which President’s wife was nicknamed Lemonade Lucy for her refusal to serve liquor in the White House?
    1. U.S. Grant
    2. Abraham Lincoln
    3. Rutherford Hayes
    4. James Garfield

  25. Name the only President born on the 4th of July.
    1. James Madison
    2. Calvin Coolidge
    3. Franklin Pierce
    4. Andrew Jackson

Think you got them all correct? Here are the answers: 1 = c, 2 = d, 3 = b, 4 = d, 5 = c, 6 = b, 7 = b, 8 = d, 9 = c, 10 = d, 11 = c, 12 = b, 13 = d, 14 = c, 15 = c, 16 = c, 17 = d, 18 = c, 19 = c, 20 = b, 21 = d, 22 = b, 23 = a, 24 = c, 25 = b.

Thanks, Chris, for helping to educate us about our Presidents. And to everyone reading this, be sure to visit the Hall of Presidents next time you’re at Disney World. This audio-animatronic presentation is almost as good as The American Adventure at Epcot. Morgan Freeman’s narration is simply magnificent.

And while you may resent the fact that the current occupant of the White House gets longer to speak than any other President, take heart by knowing that in two years he’ll be replaced on the platform — and in the White House.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

–Chip Wood

Quakes Shake Chile One Year After Historic Natural Disaster

Quakes shake Chile one year after historic natural disasterAlmost a year after the Feb. 27, 2010 earthquake in Chile that killed more than 520 people, left 220,000 homeless and caused $30 billion in damages, residents in the South American nation have been forced to use self-survival skills again as another series of quakes struck this past week.

According to The Epoch Times, the Chilean region of Biobio has been hit with more than 100 earthquakes and aftershocks since Feb. 11, 2011. In the central region of Maule, four quakes measuring over 6 on the Richter scale have occurred since last week. As a result, many residents have been forced out of their homes, some train services have been suspended and power outages have been reported.

The deadly natural disaster that hit Chile last year was an 8.8-magnitude quake, and was the fifth-strongest in a century.

While California has been the State most susceptible to earthquakes in recent decades, geologists and seismologists have predicted that a major quake is likely to strike central United States between now and 2035, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The agency suggested that Americans should plan and practice an emergency procedure in the event of an earthquake.

The CDC states that individuals should get under a sturdy table or desk if they start to feel a significant rumbling or tremor under their feet. If people are not near a desk or table, they should find a strongly supported doorway or corner of the house that could protect them from falling debris.

Fiber Intake Shown To Prevent Many Diseases

Fiber intake shown to prevent many diseasesData collected from the National Institutes of Health AARP Diet and Health Study shows a strong association between high dietary fiber intake and a lowered risk of death from cardiovascular, respiratory and infectious diseases.

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute analyzed the health data of more than 388,000 study participants and found that those who consumed the most  fiber had a 22 percent lower risk of death than individuals who got the least amount.

Additionally, men with high fiber intake cut their chances of cardiovascular, respiratory and infectious illnesses by 24 percent to 56 percent, and women reduced risks of those diseases by 34 percent to 59 percent.

Men on the higher end of the fiber intake spectrum got 29.4 grams a day, while women on the high end consumed 25.8 grams daily. Males on the lower end ate 12.6 grams of fiber per day and women in that category had a daily intake of 10.8 grams per day.

The National Institutes of Health recommends getting fiber from oatmeal and other whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds.

The agency also reports that healthy fiber derived from whole grains may also lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and assist in weight loss. 

Supreme Court Likely To Define 1st Amendment Rights Of Churches

Supreme Court likely to define 1st Amendment rights of churchesThe Supreme Court is expected to soon deliver its opinion on a 1st Amendment issue involving an Oregon-based pastor who sued his former employer, a church, for defamation of character.

According to OregonLive.com, pastor Tim Tubra was fired by the Vernonia Foursquare Church in 2004 after clergy officials accused him of "misappropriation of church funds." Tubra, who was never charged with a theft-related crime, filed a lawsuit against the church after he discovered that his former employer made its accusation public in a letter that was read aloud to the congregation.

A jury in Multnomah County sided with Tubra and awarded him $355,000 in damages, but the trial judge threw out the verdict because he said the court did not have jurisdiction over the church's freedom of religion rights granted by the 1st Amendment.

However, an Oregon Court of Appeals upheld the jury's original decision, ruling that the church's defaming statements were not religious in nature, according to the news provider. Appellate judge Rex Armstrong said that accusing a pastor of theft is no more or less a religious matter than "accusing a pastor of child molestation."

Brooksby Kaempf, the civil litigation firm representing the church, stated that the upcoming Supreme Court's decision could make a lasting mark on the 1st Amendment and the free exercise of religion.

"This case presents the Court with the opportunity to clarify this important Constitutional issue and to uphold the right of churches to manage their internal affairs without courts getting involved," said John Kaempf. 

Cards On The Table

As soon as President Barack Obama ascended to the White House through a campaign of overt race-baiting, the Tea Party ascended to wield real clout in the conservative wing of American politics. Simultaneously, the economy headed South for the winter (cold weather brought on by sport-utility vehicles.)

The rise of the Tea Party movement inside, or at least attendant to, the Republican Party, has carried with it the predictable response from the Left:

“Racist.”

Talk about sensible economic policy (a national debt lower than 13 FIGURES) and you must hate black people. Push for sensible immigration policy (an illegal immigrant population lower than the population of Guatemala) and you hate Hispanics. And should you dare suggest that Obama isn’t the modern incarnation of the Son of Man himself, prepare for rhetorical stones the size of Mount Everest to rocket in your direction.

The Democrat party is quite fond of describing itself as “the party of the big tent.” Lately, it occurs to me that the “big tent” is fairly fragile.

Here at Personal Liberty Digest, we have demonstrated the essential hypocrisy at the heart of liberalism. While the Left has generally shrugged off such accusations with that eyes-closed scoff they evidently learn in liberal school, their own words are even harder to ignore than a thoughtful essay by Bob Livingston, a detailed analysis by Chip Wood, a brilliant thesis by John Myers or a well-timed crack by yours truly. (I would have described my commentaries as “thoughtful,” “detailed,” or “brilliant,” but Bob, Chip and John get first dibs on modifiers.)

Liberal hypocrisy has become so ubiquitous that acknowledging it is clichéd. Whether it’s Al Gore demanding we adopt luddite lifestyles while he leaves “carbon footprints” the size of the Grand Canyon; Nancy Pelosi bloviating about the plight of the poor while living like Croesus; or Obama lecturing about belt-tightening while his wife lounges with a few dozen of her closest friends at a lush five-star resort, the watchwords of the Left always seem to boil down to a mockery of the old parental saw: “Do as we say, not as we do.”

At the bottom of the liberal barrel is their ace in the hole: The race card. Of all the oratorical outrages visited upon us by the Democrats in the Age of Obama, the race card is the most aggravatingly overused. Even Jon Stewart, who is no more conservative than the editorial board of The New York Times, suggested in a recent skit that the race card has been “maxed out.”

And yet, professional parasites like Al Sharpton continue to wield power; and putty-faced Democrats continue to use “racist” as an ersatz punctuation mark in debates over everything from Obamacare to immigration policy.

Two weeks ago, Common Cause held a demonstration at which their members were videotaped proudly calling for the lynching of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. During last week’s CPAC conference, millionaire businessman Herman Cain delivered a stirring call in support of true conservative values, only to be lambasted on liberal website Alternet in shocking terms. According to self-described “respectable negro” Chauncey DeVega:

“…I find black garbage pail kids (black conservatives) fascinating not because of what they believe, but rather because of how they entertain and perform for their White Conservative masters.”

Herman Cain may be a lot of things — I am certainly no fan of Godfather’s Pizza — but “garbage pail kid” seems a bit off the reservation. DeVega was far from finished:

“…Herman Cain’s shtick is a version of race minstrelsy where he performs ‘authentic negritude’…”

I believe the kids would call that a “facepalm” moment. DeVega went on to describe the immensely successful and respected Cain as a “monkey.” I “Googled” “Chauncey DeVega Herman Cain.” After a seventh page of results which included absolutely no mainstream media outlets, I gave up. Granted, there are some pressing issues which deserve attention. However, I suspect if a prominent conservative compared Obama to one of our simian cousins, their career would be in DeVega’s “garbage pail” faster than you can say “respectable negro.”

The conservative movement probably contains some racist elements. But, conservatives with IQ’s higher than teenage pop stars abhor, marginalize and ultimately shun bigotry when they encounter it. Liberals won’t acknowledge the same among their ranks; even when it’s calling a respected American a “monkey.”

We need to have a real conversation about some serious issues in this country. But until we can be honest with each other — we will never be “free at last, free at last, great God almighty, free at last.”

Fire Starters

While rubbing two sticks together to start a fire worked fine for early man, it’s far from the ideal way to get a fire going in an emergency situation. So it’s best to have multiple options available to you if, or when, you find yourself in a crisis.

Face it, if you’re cold or wet or hungry — or all three — you don’t need to be wasting valuable time using primitive methods to start a fire when modern conveniences are available.

In his book, 98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive, survivalist Cody Lundin recommends you have three forms of fire starters in your survival kit: Matches, a butane lighter and a magnesium block.

The matches should be the strike-anywhere variety, prepared with a wax coating and stored in a water-tight container. The lighter should be the adjustable variety.

For the magnesium block, Lundin recommends attaching a section of an old hacksaw blade to the magnesium block. The blade can be used to scrape shavings off the block to aid in getting a flame going in the tinder.

Structural Money Devaluation In The West

When facing questions about foreign currencies, a common response is, “I don’t care about currencies. I buy my milk, butter and bread in United States dollars, I get paid in U.S. dollars and my mortgage is in U.S. dollars.” However, given the large and potentially severe consequences of today’s economic situation and global structural changes, everybody should be aware of the importance of currency diversification and how you can manage the risk of future currency devaluation.

Many Western nations have entered a prolonged period of deep structural change that will take many years to complete. For decades, Western nations enjoyed increasing prosperity and that resulted in a steep increase of government spending and a never ending increase in the build-up of welfare states. This has caused an accumulation of huge amounts of government debt in many major economies.

Now, changing demographics, chronic overregulation and the wrong economic incentives could make the problem even more severe. Therefore the ongoing liquidity injections, such as the European bailouts or quantitative easing in the U.S., could eventually force a further and potentially severe devaluation of money and currencies.

Loss of purchasing power affects everybody and almost everything. The chart below shows by how much the U.S. dollar has already devalued in the last 10 years against other major currencies: The euro, Swiss franc, yen and Singapore dollar.


*EUR=Euro / CHF=Swiss Franc / JPY=Japanese Yen / SGD=Singapore Dollar / Change in % vs. USD (Base 100%)

 

This chart illustrates how important currency diversification is and how global investments can help investors to protect against the adverse effects of the domestic situation.

Many investors underestimate the very powerful benefits of proper currency diversification, if they think about it at all, but recent history shows us how important a sound currency investment strategy is. Let’s look for example at the events in the global economy last year, they are highly alarming.

The sovereign debt crises in many countries have worsened significantly and we are facing a situation today where a large number of governments, countries and individual states are facing technical bankruptcy. The situation is most concerning in the U.S. and in Europe where there are plenty of reasons to believe that both regions, and with it their currencies, are heading for a long-term structural downward trend. Of course, central banks and the IMF can put together bailout programs and the Federal Reserve can engage in further quantitative easing programs, but all of these measures will come at a price.

It would be outright foolish to believe that all this liquidity can be created out of thin air without real economic consequences. These consequences do not come overnight but might actually take two to three years until we see the negative impacts — in this case rising inflation — in daily life. The price that needs to be paid longer-term is eventually borne by everybody through destruction of wealth and the loss of purchasing power.

It essentially acts like another tax on everybody at a time when tax rates are already at painful levels. This situation can only be avoided by governments gradually cutting deficits and redirecting spending into sensible expenditures that produce real economic value for its citizens.

Unfortunately, the deficits are increasing. The U.S. government’s debt is on track to reach $15 trillion by the end of this year and is therefore exceeding the size of U.S. gross domestic product for the first time since the years immediately after World War II.

In the absence of dramatic spending cuts, redirected investments and savings programs, this debt burden will most likely continue to rise because just servicing the large debt burden is a real challenge already.  The chart below illustrates the sharp rise of the U.S. debt burden since the mid 60s.

Despite the fact that European countries have announced large spending cuts, the situation is not better there than in the U.S. While the deficits might be smaller in the future, the European Union and the euro will face a number of serious challenges in the years to come that could even put the future of the European Union — as we know it — at risk.

 The recent bailout programs for Ireland and Greece and potential future rescue operations for troubled member states are a real stress test for the Union. It seems that there is an increasing reluctance among individual member states to help countries which are facing financial distress. This has lead to a rise in anti-Euro sentiment in certain states, especially Germany and France. In France, the far right wing party “Front Nationale” is becoming a lot more popular and their main political goal is to exit the European Union and its common currency system, not a very encouraging prospect for Europe.

The enormous liquidity injections that we have seen in the past three years are a very big and risky experiment, with the outcome remaining highly uncertain. It is understandable that today’s central bankers are very concerned about the reemergence of deflation and its destructive effects on the economy. One only needs to look at the situation in Japan, where the economy has been in deflation for most of the last 20 years.

However, Japan is a different situation given that its economy needed a lot of restructuring, a process that has still not been completed. Japan’s debt situation looks even worse at first glance; however, taking into consideration the large private savings of its people, Japan can better afford the significant debt burden because most of it is financed from domestic sources, a truly significant difference to the situation in the U.S. today.

The Federal Reserve will probably continue to keep rates at these very low levels in an effort to stimulate the economy as much as possible. But eventually the market demands a higher yield for U.S. government debt, given the fact that its financial situation continues to deteriorate. This could lead to a further decrease of the U.S. dollar and rapidly rising price levels through the import of inflation.

Don’t forget, many goods such as food, energy and commodities are priced on a global level. Given this situation, it is even possible that we might see stagflation (rising inflation with little to no economic growth) appearing on the horizon.

With the outlook for the U.S. dollar and the euro remaining quite negative, it is highly important to keep some savings and investments in other currencies which are stronger and might be gaining in value in the years to come. There are plenty of attractive currency investments to choose from globally.

Don’t expect central banks to print less money and don’t hope for governments to spend the tax money more wisely. The only way to protect against the forced currency destruction is to be proactive and start investing globally.

–Daniel Zurbrügg

California’s High Court Rules That Stores Can’t Request ZIP Codes

California's high court rules that stores can't request ZIP codesRetailers do not have the right to ask consumers for their ZIP code while completing credit card transactions, according to a ruling by the California Supreme Court.

According to CNN, California's high court of seven judges unanimously stated that the practice of requesting customers' ZIP codes infringe on their privacy rights. The ruling, which overrules previous decisions by trial and appeals courts in the Golden State, pointed to a 1971 State law that prohibits businesses from asking credit card users from information that could be used to track them down.

Requesting ZIP codes "would permit retailers to obtain indirectly what they are clearly prohibited from obtaining directly," the ruling stated, quoted by the media outlet.

Bill Dombrowski, president of the California Retailers Association, told the news provider that he was surprised by the decision, which he called "terrible." He added that it is ironic that a practice that aims partly to protect customers from fraud has been ruled illegal.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the lawsuit was originally filed by Jessica Pineda, who alleges that she provided her ZIP code to a retailer in 2008, then she began receiving catalogs in the mail from the company.

Beth Givens, director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, told the news source that she supports the court's decision because an individual's ZIP code, when combined with other personal data such as birthday and sex, can reveal other private information about a consumer.

GOP Leaders Weigh In On Obama’s Handling Of Egyptian Protests

GOP leaders weigh in on Obama's handling of Egyptian protestsProtests in Egypt prompted a historical transfer of power last week that resonated throughout the world. In the days following the resignation of former President Hosni Mubarak, politicians in the United States graded their leader on his handling of the unrest in Egypt.

According to media reports, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) have praised President Barack Obama for his diplomacy in the past several weeks. The GOP lawmakers said that Obama managed the situation well considering the conflict was between Mubarak, a longtime ally of the U.S., and democracy-driven protesters demanding accountability from their government.

However, both Boehner and McCain questioned why the Federal government did not see these protests coming months ago. On CBS’ Face the Nation, McCain added that Obama’s administration should have spoken up for the protesters in Iran — who revolted against the presidential elections in 2009 — in much the same way it stuck up for the Egyptian opposition.

Several potential GOP candidates for the 2012 Presidential election have slammed Obama for his cautious approach to the protests. On ABC’s This Week, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty said that the President was “nearly incoherent” in his public statements regarding the events in Egypt. He added that Obama should have taken a stronger public stand against a possible government takeover by the influential Muslim Brotherhood.

On the same television program, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich criticized Obama for his lack of diplomacy, claiming that other foreign leaders may be apprehensive to trust U.S. leadership if “they see you publicly abandon somebody who’s been with you for 30 years.”

Is Barack Obama The Manchurian Candidate For The Muslim Brotherhood?

 “The Americans love Pepsi-Cola, we love death.”– Maulana Inyadullah, al-Qaida leader, September 2001.

The extremists may soon hold the reins in Egypt. Islam marches forward while former President Hosni Mubarak is in hiding. Thirty years ago Iran was toppled. Then fell Afghanistan. And just last week it was Egypt, the jewel of the Nile, the Arab gateway to the world.

Never mind what former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara proclaimed about Vietnam. The real threat to freedom both in America and abroad is much more dangerous today than any domino theory manufactured by Pentagon think tanks in the 1960s. It turned out Communism was soulless. Islam has a soul; a very dark one that wants to engulf the world. It may have just swallowed Egypt.

The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) demanded and got the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. Today the military controls power in Egypt but soon the MB may institute its own brazen rule. After all they helped force Mubarak’s full and unconditional surrender. This has created a huge vacuum in Egypt, the outcome that the MB was gunning for.

Before fleeing, Mubarak slammed Egypt’s MB as a "dangerous" and “duplicitous” movement. Egypt’s president feared MB because of its close relationship with Hamas and radical groups in Jordan, Kuwait and farther afield.

Before Mubarak’s departure, Egypt’s Director of Intelligence Omar Soliman stated that the MB is:"Neither a religious organization, nor a social organization, nor a political party, but a combination of all three."

The principal danger Soliman warned, is the group’s exploitation of religion to influence and mobilize the public. Soliman asserts that the MB has spawned, "Eleven different Islamic extremist organizations," most notably the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya.

Soliman termed the MB’s recent success in the parliamentary elections as "unfortunate," adding his view that although the group was technically illegal, existing Egyptian laws were insufficient to keep the MB in check.

What Are Obama’s Real Ambitions?
The real question is why President Barack Obama wasn’t willing to keep MB at check, to help see Mubarak’s government into a peaceful transition. Certainly history called out for this course of action from the White House.

Consider the writings of Edmund Burke, one of the fathers of Conservatism who lived in the 18th Century. Burke wrote extensively about the French Revolution and proclaimed that it was a massive social experiment doomed to fail because it presumed to start a society over from scratch.

“Good order is the foundation of all things,” Burke wrote. The terror that followed the revolution saw the execution of 40,000 French citizens.

In my lifetime something similar happened in Iran. Yet Obama doesn’t seem to have learned anything from history going so far as to ignore pleas by U.S. allies to use Mubarak to help with a peaceful transition towards democracy in Egypt.

Obama, it seems, is either ignorant of the problems posed by an Islamist Egypt or worse, he embraces them.

The MB threatens not just Egypt and the Suez but puts a noose around the most important oil producer in the world, Saudi Arabia. Could it be that for either personal or pragmatic reasons, Obama wants to see the price of oil soar? A death grip around Egypt and Saudi Arabia is a perfect prescription for $150 per barrel oil. Those prices suddenly make green energy a viable alternative.

The American Thinker believes that Obama is not like President Jimmy Carter, a deer caught in the headlights. Instead it says, Obama understands exactly what he is doing in muckraking radical Islam:

“From his notorious Cairo speech to the present, President Obama speaks, and disaster follows.

“Some commentators believe that President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton are so utterly naïve as to make themselves unable to understand what will happen in Egypt as a result of their undermining of the Mubarak regime. The question is justifiably asked: Do they truly believe that the next regime that comes to power will have the interests of the U.S. and the West at heart?

“My fear is that Obama is not naïve at all, but he instead knows only too well what he is doing, for he is eagerly promoting Islamic power in the world while diminishing the West and Israel, however much innocent blood will flow as a result. 

“Inevitably, sooner or later, the Muslim Brotherhood will take power, usher in a barbaric Islamist power in Egypt that will control the Suez Canal, and show no mercy to its own people or its perceived foes.

“So now we see what the present incumbent in the White House has wrought.”

Fact #1: If MB gains control of Egypt, it will dictate the use of the world’s most important water transits. Nearly 2 million barrels of oil per day, most of it destined for Europe, could be cut off without notice even as that continent is in the midst of its worst economic crisis in 70 years.

Fact #2: If the MB wrestles control of Egypt, that sets up Saudi Arabia as Islam’s next target. The House of Saud pumps 8 million barrels of crude per day. If they collapse, a petro-based world collapses. There is not enough oil in the world to compensate for the current petroleum production coming from Saudi Arabia. (Before you write me about the pie-in-the-sky project in the Dakotas, do a bit of research — the U.S. is currently pumping less than 5 million barrels of oil per day, or about what we produced when Truman was in office while oil production for North Dakota will take well over a decade to develop.)

Fact #3: New green technologies only work if oil prices are well above $100 per barrel. If MB rules Egypt radical Islam will set its sights on Saudi Arabia.

That would give Obama’s Green Revolution a lot of traction. In fact, the President’s view of the world as it “should be” can only happen if he instigates a price contagion upon petroleum. Only then can he sit back and say: “Green energy. Mission accomplished!”

I don’t know what is going through the President’s mind, but I do know we have a President very different from George W. Bush. Bush wanted to protect America from Arab oil shocks. Obama seems to be inviting them.

Is it out of Muslim loyalty or Green ambitions? In the end, does it even matter? What matters is that America has a President that is putting his personal goals ahead of the nation. First and foremost for this man is his re-election, with all of his grandiose ambitions that will follow.

Yours in good times and bad,
John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

GOP Leaders Say Obama’s Budget Proposal Threatens Economy

GOP leaders say Obama's budget proposal threatens economyPresident Barack Obama unveiled his $3.7 trillion budget for fiscal year 2012 earlier this week, and GOP leaders have called the proposal weak and inadequate in tackling the national deficit.

According to NPR, Obama's budget includes a five-year freeze on non-security discretionary spending that is projected to save approximately $400 billion over the next decade. The freeze applies to about 12 percent of the total Federal budget and does not impact entitlements like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

The President has called for an indefinite extension of tax breaks for middle-class Americans and an end to tax cuts for wealthier individuals starting in 2014. In addition, Obama has requested that 12 tax breaks for oil and gas companies should be eliminated.

Most Republicans have slammed Obama's plan, claiming that it spends, taxes and borrows too much.

“By continuing the spending binge and imposing massive tax hikes on families and small businesses, it will fuel more economic uncertainty and make it harder to create new jobs,” Boehner said in a statement on Feb. 14.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that the budget's length, which he said was almost 1,000 pages, symbolizes the President's indulgence in a time when he should be limiting government overreach.

According to media reports, McConnell spoke out against Obama's proposal on the Senate floor on Feb. 14, saying that "this President clearly does not get it yet." 

The Origins Of The Teddy Bear

One of the most popular toys in history made its first appearance 107 years ago this week. On a hunting trip a few months earlier, then-President Theodore Roosevelt refused to shoot a bear cub, saying it would be unsportsmanlike.

Toy maker Morris Michtom saw a cartoon of the incident and was inspired to create a stuffed bear cub. He sent the first one to the President with a note asking for permission to call it “Teddy’s bear.” The President agreed. The animal became an immediate success, leading Michtom to found the Ideal Novelty and Toy Co. to keep up with demand.

At the same time, a German company produced a stuffed bear based on a design by Richard Steiff, which also became a hit. Other manufacturers joined in and soon “Roosevelt Bears” were a national craze. Ladies carried them everywhere; children begged for one for Christmas; the President himself even used one as a mascot in his bid for re-election.

Their popularity continues to this day, with millions of Teddy Bears being sold every year. All this because a political cartoonist at The Washington Post tried to make fun of the President.

–Chip Wood

Obama’s Fiscal Plan Leaves Low-Income Americans Out In The Cold

Obama's fiscal plan leaves low-income Americans out in the coldAlthough many critics have accused President Barack Obama of targeting the pockets of wealthy Americans, his budget proposal for 2012 could also strip poor Americans of billions of dollars worth of aid.

According to media reports, the President's plan includes cutting the Community Services Block Grants — which fund ant-poverty initiatives throughout the United States — in half, saving approximately $350 million. In addition, Obama has called on lawmakers to slash the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program from $5 billion to $2.6 billion. The National Energy Assistance Directors' Association reports that, if approved, the President's budget would exclude about 3 million households from the program.

Although Obama has stated that some of the money saved will go toward the most effective anti-poverty efforts in America, many organization leaders are concerned that low-income Americans will be harmed by these cuts. Ralph Markus, director of the Office of Home Energy Programs, said that a lot of low-income homes would be heating-deprived if the budget is enacted.

Reverend Larry Snyder, the president of Catholic Charities USA, said that he understands the tough choices facing Federal lawmakers, but he believes the wrong group of Americans will suffer from proposed cuts.

"We reject the notion that those most vulnerable among us should feel the greatest impact of future reductions," said Snyder.

Mini-Strokes May Be More Serious Than Previously Thought

Mini-strokes may be more serious than previously thoughtCanadian researchers have concluded a study that suggests transient ischemic attack (TIA) — or a brief period of blood loss to the brain, often referred to as a mini-stroke — has lasting, maybe even permanent, effects on neurons in the brain.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests maintaining a healthy diet of foods low in cholesterol and fat and high in fiber to reduce risk of stroke. It also recommends keeping weight at a reasonable level through exercise and avoiding alcohol and tobacco.

As its name suggests, medical professionals have thought that TIA episodes caused little to no permanent brain damage, but recent test results from a specific mapping procedure suggest otherwise.

Researchers studied 13 TIA patients and compared their test results to those of individuals who have not suffered from a mini-stroke. Clinical evaluation and standard imaging procedures like a CT scan or MRI showed no difference between the brain function of stroke victims and healthy participants. However, when scientists looked at a mapping procedure that used transcranial magnetic stimulation, they saw damage to the affected side of the brain in TIA patients.

Cells on the TIA-affected portion of the brain showed impaired excitatory and inhibitory neurons, making it hard for them to respond to stimuli.

While doctors have known that TIA often precedes a more serious stroke, mild warning signs have often gone ignored by those who experience them. By seeking immediate treatment at the first signals of a stroke — which include numbness or tingling, temporarily impaired vision or inability to speak — individuals may be better able to prevent or minimize serious effects. 

Obama’s Latest Joke

For President Barack Obama, the traveling public’s concerns over the Transportation Security Administration’s 4th Amendment-violating policies are a big joke.

At his Jan. 25 State of the Union Address, Obama chuckled after his pronouncement that he wanted to “invest” (code for print more money and throw it at another boondoggle) billions of dollars in high speed rail.  “For some trips, it will be faster than flying… without the pat downs,” Obama joked.

Of course, Obama’s cute joke falls flat in the face of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s statements that radiation scanners and pat downs are being implemented at bus and train stations and sporting events. So, Mr. and Mrs. Traveler, the real joke’s on you because, get this, Obama’s latest budget increases Federal Spending on the DHS by $37 billion, earmarking the funds to place more naked body scanners in airports across the country. (And that’s on top of the other billions he wants to waste on his pet projects as he seeks to accelerate the crash of the dollar, but that’s a topic for another day.)

That’s $37 billion to select companies with government ties designed to force travelers to submit to being irradiated by machines that have shown dubious effectiveness at spotting explosives and have not been adequately tested as to the hazard they pose to travelers or operators.

Government’s false flag terror operations — more evidence of them surfaced yesterday when it was revealed the “terrorist” behind England’s 7/7 terror attacks was a United States informant and was released from prison after serving only four and a half years of a 70-year sentence because of his “cooperation” — have succeeded in duping the general public into believing the government is acting in their best interests.

But government is interested in one thing only: Creating a totalitarian police state that controls every move of the masses. And for Obama and the other elites in our government thugocracy, that’s very funny.

Angle, Palin Support GOProud’s Participation At CPAC

Angle, Palin support GOProud's participation at CPACAlthough several groups boycotted the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) because of the participation of gay conservative group GOProud, two prominent Tea Party-backed politicians publicly supported the organization's presence.

Sharron Angle, a Republican from Nevada, told The Huffington Post that she supports freedom of speech and GOProud has the right to participate in an open forum of discussion. Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who did not attend CPAC because of scheduling conflicts, told FOX News that she has no problem with "diverse groups that are involved with political discourse."

"People are losing their jobs. They're losing homes. We're still engaged in a war," Palin told the media outlet. "There are so many life-changing, life-and-death issues out there in front of us. You know, we'd better be concentrating on what is really important here and not going kind of tit-for-tat as people are positioning themselves for 2012."

Conservative groups such as the Family Research Council (FRC) and the Heritage Foundation have boycotted the three-day event because CPAC organizers allowed GOProud to participate. Tony Perkins, head of FRC, told CNN that the presence of the gay-rights group represents a shift to libertarian causes, which he said is "very dangerous to the conservative movement." 

God’s Little Acre

As 2010 became 2011, the people of Tunisia, spurred on by a random incident of police brutality, awoke from the slumber of oppression and took to the streets. Within days their government was high-tailing it for quieter climes.

Then the 30-year old regime of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak was beset by thundering masses. Despots in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Algeria warily eye similar rumblings. Even the quietude of Amman, Jordan, ruled with a reasonably light touch by benevolent monarch King Abdullah II, has been interrupted by ominous rumblings of late.

Meanwhile, the United States, tied to the region through multi-billion dollar aid to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and regional pariah Israel, has responded with… well… Leon Panetta is still watching CNN.

Now, the governance of Egypt has fallen to the military; meaning the new boss may be no better than the old boss. The takeover, seen by many as a coup, has spawned not only a new round of concerns about the direction of the most-populous nation in the Arab world, but a veritable tsunami of cheap jokes based on Who lyrics.

Egypt’s military have issued opaque “communiqués” promising their ultimate goal is to:

"…discuss what measures and arrangements could be taken to safeguard the homeland… and the aspirations of the great Egyptian people."

That would presume that the Egyptian military, which until recently held out Mubarak as an icon (Mubarak is a former Air Force commander and is considered a hero from Egypt’s second place finish in the 1973 Arab-Israeli war), has the same idea about the aspirations for “the great Egyptian people” as do “the great Egyptian people.”

Behind this whole tableau is the shadowy hand of an increasingly important group named the Muslim Brotherhood. Though the Obama administration’s Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, has described them as a “"largely secular" group that has "eschewed violence," the reality is that an influential Muslim Brotherhood is nothing approaching good news for Western interests, or even Egyptian interests which don’t share the same aspirations as the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Muslim Brotherhood is a worldwide organization, the oldest active Islamist group in the world. Though there is some debate about their goals, there is no ignoring the mountain of evidence suggesting that those goals are nefarious by non-nefarious standards. There are reputable reports of ties to terrorist groups like HAMAS and Hezbollah. In the words of former White House counterterrorism Chief Juan Zarate:

"The Muslim Brotherhood is a group that worries us not because it deals with philosophical or ideological ideas but because it defends the use of violence against civilians."

The Brotherhood’s key figures also have ties to Osama bin Laden through Youssef Nada and the Al Taqwa group, which is alleged to have served in a financial advisory capacity to al-Qaida for some time.

With the Brotherhood taking the potential foray in upheaval in the Middle East, the question turns to the role the United States might play in the unfolding drama. Although some might immediately suggest that the United States should stay the hell out of internal affairs in the region, I would counter that that camel has already strolled. Moreover, an isolationist U.S. leaves an influence/intelligence gap wider than the Suez Canal.

With recent polling indicating that the majority of respondents would appreciate a more stringent type of Islamist system. A recent Pew poll showed that 95 percent of Egyptians would prefer Islam play a “large role in politics.” Read: No separation of mosque and state. The same poll also revealed “84 percent favor the death penalty for people who leave the Muslim faith.” Get thee to a mosque, Mr. President, and make it snappy.

President Barack Obama, like Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter before him, is operating under the misapprehension that freedom and democracy mean the same thing to Akbar, Haji and Muhammad as they do to Tom, Dick and Harry. The Islamist beliefs of many in the Middle East color their worldview to include Sharia, stoning and the subjugation of women; all anathematic to Americans (except perhaps that last one — relative to ex-wives).

Somewhere between George W. Bush’s “shoot first, ask about a transitional government later” style of diplomacy and Obama’s “WHAT happened in ‘Tunafish-ea’?” obliviousness is the likely proper path. Obama and his minions “diplomacy via television” has trapped America in God’s little acre:

East of the rock, west of the hard place.