Compact Water Purification For The Bug Out Bag

Most people immediately think of filtration systems when considering water purification methods in a survival situation.

There are many excellent filter systems on the market today that will do the job and are popular in the survival and prepping community. While I own and have used various filters myself, when packing for a long wilderness excursion or preparing a compact bug-out or everyday carry bag for emergencies, I want something smaller, lighter weight and absolutely dependable for short or long-term use.

While there are some compact drinking straw filters that fit the small and light weight criteria, they are not so convenient for everyday use and, like all filters, have a limited life before they must be replaced.

The purification system I have come to rely on in this role is Polar Pure Water Disinfectant. Unlike filter systems, Polar Pure is a chemical water treatment that uses iodine crystals trapped in a specially designed small glass bottle.

Other compact chemical treatment systems in the form of tablets work in much the same way, but are only good for one use. Because the iodine in a bottle of Polar Pure remains trapped in the bottle, a single bottle can last for years in storage or with intermittent use and can treat up to 2,000 quarts of water. 

The bottle is small enough to fit in a pocket, and while it is made of glass, I’ve never broken one in over 20 years of use in every kind of wilderness environment. It typically sells for less than $15 per bottle at online retail sites.

Using Polar Pure is simple. You fill the bottle with water from any source available, shake it well and let it sit for an hour. This creates a saturated iodine solution in the bottle that is then measured using the bottle cap for addition into your drinking water container. I typically use 1-quart Nalgene bottles for my drinking water, and these make great containers for Polar Pure treatment. The amount of solution and the time you have to wait before drinking after adding it is determined by the water temperature. A thermometer is built-in to the side of the Polar Pure bottle.

Polar Pure has worked for me on countless wilderness trips of a few days to months in duration. I’ve used it to purify drinking water from clear mountain streams to muddy Deep South swamp water and even pathogen-infested jungle rivers of tropical Latin America without once getting ill from bad water.

For the cost and tiny amount of space it will take up in your gear, Polar Pure is well worth considering as a backup, even if you do prefer a filter for your primary water purification system. For more information, visit the Polar Pure site at:

 –Scott B. Williams

Guidelines For Alzheimer’s Diagnosis Updated After 27 Years

Guidelines for Alzheimer's diagnosis updated after 27 yearsThe National Institutes of Health and the Alzheimer's Association have added some much-needed updates to the guidelines used by physicians and scientists to diagnose and research the disease.

Previous criteria covered only one stage of Alzheimer's: the latest stage of dementia, a point where the disorder is so advanced that treatment is extremely difficult if not impossible.

Now, the guidelines include symptoms, tests and biomarkers for the early preclinical stage, mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's dementia.

"Bringing the diagnostic guidelines up to speed with [recent] advances is both a necessary and rewarding effort that will benefit patients and accelerate the pace of research," said National Institute on Aging Director Richard J. Hodes, M.D.

The guidelines have been created to be easily updated as researchers continue their extensive investigations into the causes and biomarkers of the disease as well as treatments and tests that may help patients.

Biomarkers — such as amyloid beta plaque and protein tangles in the brain — are becoming increasingly important as the medical community discovers their significance in early detection of Alzheimer's.  

Gold Prices Hit Record Levels Following S&P Report

Gold prices hit record levels following S&P reportA downgraded credit rating for the United States has lifted gold prices to record levels.

For the first time ever, gold prices exceeded $1,500 an ounce on April 19. The spike came a day after Standard and Poor's latest outlook on America's long-term debt, which went from "stable" to "negative." Standard and Poor is one of three major financial agencies that rate the ability for nations to repay their debt.

The price of gold has steadily increased in recent months as many Americans have shifted their focus to wealth protection amidst a shaky economy and tumultuous activity overseas. Standard and Poor's dour forecast was the latest hit in a steady stream of events casting doubt on the stability of the U.S. dollar.

Carlos Sanchez, the director of commodities management at CPM Group, a market research organization, told CNN that gold prices could reach as high as $1,550 in the next couple of weeks. The May deadline for the government to raise the debt ceiling will likely have a significant impact on the precious metals market.  

Left-Wing Protesters Attempt To Spoil Tea Party Tax Day Rallies

Left-wing protesters attempt to spoil Tea Party tax day ralliesTea Party groups across the United States staged rallies this past week to coincide with tax day, and some liberal Americans have done their best to disrupt these peaceful gatherings.

For example, a contingent of anti-Tea Party protesters brought large signs to the April 15 rally in the Boston Common, an event that featured former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. According to The Daily Free Press, Boston University's student newspaper, the group stood in front of the Parkman Bandstand and attempted to block the crowd from seeing the speakers by holding up their signs.

In Worcester, Mass., a troupe of black-clad counter-protesters attempted to infiltrate a peaceful tax day rally, but police officers interceded and removed the trespassers. The Worcester Tea Party had a permit to use the square, which seemed to infuriate left-wing residents, the Worcester Telegram reported. They held banners that criticized capitalism and condemned conservatives.

Although there were no arrests or injuries, the two sides traded barbs throughout the day.

"You're a Nazi," one of the counter-protesters yelled to the Tea Party group, quoted by the news source.

On April 16, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart spoke at a tax day rally in Wisconsin. Despite the fact that many Tea Party supporters brought their young children to the event, several counter-protesters yelled obscenities and flipped off the speakers, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.  

Global Update — Preparing For A Weaker U.S. Dollar

The global economy is in a state of stabilization rather than normalization and despite the various negative events in the first quarter (earthquakes, Japan, Middle East) the global economy is still set to grow at a rate of about 4.5 percent this year, only marginally lower compared to 2010

However, global economic growth is very unevenly distributed these days and emerging markets are growing much faster than developed markets like the United States and Europe. Emerging markets are expected to grow about 6.5 percent versus only 2.5 percent for developed markets.

In its recent update “World Economic Outlook”, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) writes that global growth has been gathering momentum in the past few months and that the economic recovery has broadened. Also, the IMF thinks that the risks for a renewed global recession have diminished. It also thinks that the sharp increase in commodity prices is not a real problem for the global recovery. In their view, even an increase of oil up to US$150/barrel would only lower global growth by about 0.75 percent.

The IMF, on the other hand, is concerned about the increasing debt levels of the U.S. and the fact that there has not been enough done to address the problem of rapidly rising debt levels. While we share some of the views in this latest IMF report, our own outlook is more negative and we think that the state of the global economy is still more fragile.

We continue to see higher growth rates in emerging markets that will offset at least some of the lower growth in the Western world, but in our view the outlook for emerging markets is a lot more uncertain. There are a number of factors that could impact growth in emerging economies very negatively.

We also can’t share the IMF’s view on commodity prices. In our view, rising commodity prices are a much bigger problem. While the fundamental supply/demand relationship is clearly supporting higher prices, the increasing share of speculative investment money that has come into the sector is creating new problems. The rapid increases among all sort of commodities has led to a very broad increase in global food prices.

An increase in food prices has a very direct impact on disposable income. Today we are seeing a growing number of people getting pushed to the limits because of higher food prices and that is, among a few other factors, contributing to political changes like we are seeing in the Middle East right now. These changes can have far-reaching implications in coming years, not only to the Middle East, but to all major economies in the world.

We think that the global economy can grow about 4.5 percent in 2011 and 2012. That is a very realistic assumption, but the fact that today we are dealing with many economic imbalances today and a much higher degree of interdependence among major economies is increasing the risks for the global economy.

The main risk factors are obvious. With the Western world experiencing sluggish growth and growing levels of debt, painful adjustments have to be made eventually. We think that it is highly questionable that the ongoing loose monetary policies among most major markets can bring these economies back to the growth levels seen historically.

Higher economic growth in developing economies is in sharp contrast to the very moderate growth in developed markets and there are also growing imbalances between them, mainly due to the fact that developed markets have been increasing government debt very significantly in recent years while emerging economies have been able to reduce their debt in the last decade.

The following two charts illustrate the current trends of debt levels and deficits in developed economies and in emerging markets:

Developed Economies

Developing Economies
Source IMF


Emerging Economies

Emerging Economies
Source IMF

The charts show that the situation in the U.S. and in Japan is bad and about to get worse. While most countries in the European Union have finally started to address the debt problem and the trend for them is improving, it might take many years to turn things around. The big difference between the U.S. and Japan is that the U.S. has a much higher percentage of the debt financed by foreign investors, as the following chart shows

Net Percentage Of Debt Held By Non-Residents

Net Percentage Of Debt Held By Non-Residents
Source: IMF

While the U.S. continues to increase the debt burden, emerging nations like China are accumulating foreign currency reserves and are reinvesting them in developed markets, a large part of it in government debt securities such as U.S. Treasury bonds. This can’t go on forever and it is clear that emerging markets are increasingly concerned about reinvesting their reserves in U.S. Treasury bonds. Actually, these investments are already declining.

While the attempt to provide the domestic economy with ample liquidity is certainly understandable, it is giving the wrong signal to foreign investors. And it comes at a time when the need for foreign investment is bigger than ever.

The Federal Reserve in the U.S. is currently trying to stimulate the domestic economy and to create jobs by providing the market with a lot of liquidity. We don’t think that liquidity alone will create jobs. In our view, the fact that job creation has been so disappointing has to do with a number of structural factors that are much harder to correct.

Politicians and central banks will most often do whatever serves them best, and when you have so many people looking for jobs and being unemployed, it’s natural that this is a top priority. However, by creating excess liquidity and therefore forcing a devaluation of the currency, the ultimate consequence is inflation. I think we are currently in the first phase of this development. This is going to get worse in coming months, and probably years, and we will hear and read about it much more in the future. Inflation will eventually become a much higher priority item and therefore policymakers will gain much more by fighting inflation.

Here history repeats itself. In the early 1980s, inflation was by far the biggest problem, peaking at more than 13 percent in 1981. The fight against inflation began in the late 70s with the appointment of Paul Volcker as the chairman of the Federal Reserve. He raised the Fed Funds Rate to 20 percent against widespread protests.

But inflation eventually began to slow and it fell back to about 3 percent in 1983. It was a matter of setting the right priorities at that time. Yes it was painful, but it was a much-needed measure. The economy began to recover and returned to healthy growth for much of the 80s.

In light of the lessons from the past, it is obvious that the current Fed strategy is not sustainable in the long run. However, even if rates eventually start to go up, we think it is highly doubtful that the value of the U.S. dollar will go up significantly. I think it might only devalue at a slower rate.

Remember, even in the last few weeks with all the negative events in Japan and the Middle East, the U.S. dollar has not benefitted. Historically in times like this there was always a flight to security, and that was usually positive for the U.S. dollar. But now not even all the bad news helped the greenback.

This should have been big headlines in financial news, but it wasn’t. However, it is a further sign that the U.S. dollar is about to lose its status as the world’s main reserve currency which will cause a large rebalancing of currency reserves in coming years.

The world has become increasingly aware of the declining status of the U.S. dollar in the last couple of years and it seems like the world is now accepting a weaker U.S. dollar going forward. This is a real game changer with far-reaching consequences for investing.

Government Regulations Send Tech Companies Overseas, Issa Says

Government regulations send tech companies overseas, Issa saysRepresentative Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has accused the Federal government of stifling job growth in the technology sector with compliance regulations.

Issa is the former chairman of the Consumer Electronics Association and the current head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. On April 18, he delivered a speech in San Jose, Calif., presenting concerns from some of the nation's top technology representatives, The Hill reported.

He said that many start-up companies are avoiding the United States because of the high corporate tax rate and a lack of a permanent research-and-development tax credit. Issa cited Intel chief executive Paul Otellini, who says that it costs an extra $1 billion per factory to build in the U.S., compared to overseas.

A total of 90 percent of those additional expenses go to tax and regulatory compliance, Otellini told Issa.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the Commerce Department reports that U.S. companies added 2.9 million jobs domestically and 2.4 million positions overseas during the 2000s. That is a dramatic ratio differential compared to the 1990s, when 4.4 million jobs were created in America, while 2.7 million were added abroad.  

15 More Minutes

Truth be told, there are worse choices for the White House; some of whom aren’t even Democrats. It’s not as if the guy has committed murder; as long as you don’t count the intellectual tenor of primetime television—which was on life support anyway. I just think there are some candidates who are a great deal less… cartoonish. So, someone please pull the plug on the Donald Trump experiment.

I don’t have a real problem with The Donald, but I don’t have a real problem with Trump’s fellow reality TV star Bret Michaels. They’re both marginally entertaining, both surrounded by weird people and hot women and both were bigger in the 1980s. That doesn’t mean I think moderate-to-severe financial issues, tabloid-fodder living and pitiful attempts to hide profound baldness are any higher on the list of Presidential qualifications than—say—being a “community organizer.”

Of late, Trump has been polling in the 30s against a low-to-mid 40s showing for President Barack Obama. Now, before those of you who have climbed aboard the Trump express begin shouting “It’s EARLY, Ben! Give the guy a chance!”—jump back to the 1990s with me for a moment.

About 15 years ago, NBC (which airs Trump’s program “The Apprentice”) aired a sitcom called “NewsRadio.” One of the players on “NewsRadio”—a billionaire named Jimmy James—ran for president. While his prodigious wealth makes his campaign newsworthy, it soon becomes abundantly clear that James is running for President because he “wants to meet girls.”

I doubt Trump joined this fray in order to meet girls. The guy seems to be catnip to women with Winter Olympics-type accents. Plus, Trump may be a player, but he’s not grossly stupid. He surely remembers Bill Clinton’s eight years treating the Oval Office like Craigslist, and all Bubba got was a perjury record and lifetime status as a punch line.

But I cannot shake this nagging feeling that Trump, who has essentially played himself in every modern venue from the gossip pages of the lower-rung tabloids to the upper echelon of primetime television, is playing himself onto the greatest stage of the modern age: The campaign for Leader of the Free World.

Trump self-promotes the way politicians lie. Given his visceral desire for media attention, I suspect that even if he is serious about running and even if he managed to win—a mighty big if—he’d spend more time posing for Presidential photographs than he would actually BEING President. Looking at the sanctimonious buffoon who has the job now, we certainly don’t need another empty chair behind the Resolute Desk.

Many of you have offered an ear to Trump because of his “investigation” of Obama’s citizenship. (Obama’s ham-fisted mishandling of this one has kept it in play. However, barring a miracle, it’s never going to happen for the “birthers.” Knowing what I know about liberal logic, even IF someone were to irrefutably prove Obama was born on Pluto, the Democrats would probably ignore the Constitution… again.)

Trump may be a lot of things, but stupid is not among them. By provoking the “birthers,” he is likely hoping to gain their trust, and galvanize their Presidential blessing. But there are three flaws in his logic:

  1. The “birthers” don’t represent a large enough subset of voters to swing even a primary.
  2. He’s making the same mistake as the Democrat Party; he’s underestimating the “birthers'” intelligence.
  3. The birth-certificate (or lack thereof) issue isn’t going to be enough to hold together a long-run campaign. Obama’s unrivaled incompetence has left the economy idling at the stoplight, the military stretched even thinner than it was when he took office and the nation more divided than it has been since U.S. Grant made Robert E. Lee say “uncle.” Obama’s 2012 successor will need a lot more than just an affidavit from a stateside hospital to grab the political brass ring.

Throw in Trump’s rather checkered past vis-à-vis monetary donations to some seriously shady Democrat characters, and the recipe for a Presidential soufflé falls very flat. Lest you require further assurance, Charles Krauthammer and our own John Myers—two of the smarter cats on the planet—aren’t necessarily buying what Trump’s selling, either.

Closer to November 2012, I’ll share my thoughts on my choice for President. For now, someone call Trump and tell him his latest 15 minutes are up.

Governor Brewer Vetoes ‘Birther Bill’ And Legislation To Allow Guns On College Campuses

Governor Brewer vetoes 'birther bill' and legislation to allow guns on college campusesArizona Governor Jan Brewer has rejected two pieces of legislation that received ample support from GOP lawmakers.

On April 18, the Republican governor vetoed a bill that would have allowed guns on public college campuses, as well as a proposal that would have required Presidential candidates to prove they were born in the United States before being placed on the State ballot.

In an interview with FOX News, Brewer admitted that while she supports the expansion of gun owners' rights, she said the bill passed by the Arizona Legislature was "sloppily written" and would likely face legal challenges. She claimed that the law could be misconstrued to include K-12 schools, where Federal law prohibits firearms.

In regards to the "birther bill," Brewer said that the new law could open the door to "arbitrary or politically-motivated decisions," quoted by CNN. The legislation, which would grant power to the Arizona Secretary of State to confirm a candidate's birth status and subsequent ballot eligibility, was approved by Arizona legislators last week.

Lawmakers in Arizona can override Brewer's veto with a two-thirds majority vote. 

The Medical Police State

We live in a state of medical tyranny, where parents no longer have a say in their children’s care and where State legislators are considering laws that would make criminals out of people who practice natural and holistic medicine.

In Detroit, Maryanne Godboldo recently learned first-hand what happens under the medical police state: Refuse to follow orders and you lose your children and face multiple felony charges.

Last year, Godboldo took her 13-year-old daughter to the Detroit Children’s Center, a group that works with troubled children. She sought advice on a treatment plan for the girl, who began experiencing behavioral problems following a series of immunizations. Godboldo says her child—who has a physical disability—had never had behavior problems before being subjected to the State-mandated immunizations.

A doctor at the center prescribed an anti-psychotic medication. But when Godboldo realized the medication only worsened the child’s symptoms, she sought another opinion from a doctor not affiliated with the center. The new doctor recommended the girl be taken off the drug, and Godboldo agreed.

But the medical dictators of the state Child Protective Services thugocracy wanted to continue its doping regimen and CPS workers gave Godboldo two choices: Drug her child or give her up.

Godboldo refused both choices. That’s a perfectly reasonable choice. After all, she had gone to the center voluntarily, had tried their treatment plan and not only had not seen results, but had actually seen the condition worsen, and had sought another physician’s opinion.

In a sane world, where people are free to make their own decisions about the medical choices for their families, that would have been the end of the story. But that was not good enough for CPS, which showed up at her door March 24 with armed storm troopers from the police SWAT team demanding Godboldo surrender her daughter. According to press reports, police claimed to have a warrant but refused to show it to Godboldo. So Godboldo closed the door and told CPS and police to leave.

A standoff ensued, a shot was fired from inside the house—though Godboldo’s attorney said it was not fired at officers—and long hours of negotiations commenced. Finally, Wayne County Circuit Judge Deborah Thomas convinced Godboldo to surrender.

Godboldo was jailed under multiple felony charges and her daughter was whisked away to a psychiatric hospital. And then, in an act that would be comedic were it not so tragic, a judge ruled that the child didn’t need the medication after all.

Godboldo, 56,  and described in Detroit press accounts as a teacher, dancer and respected member of the city’s arts circle, remains separated from her child—has not even seen her since CPS stole her away. The child remains in the psychiatric hospital and has contracted a sexually transmitted disease, which Godboldo’s lawyer says is the result of a sexual assault in the hospital.

A hearing in the case is set for April 22. Perhaps a moment of clarity will reign and a judge with common sense will rule against the medical tyranny.

Pray for it, but don’t expect it. Big Pharma, the medical mafia and government-loving elites who feel they know better than you have become securely entrenched in places of power. Loosening their grip on our lives and regaining our medical freedom is going to be a long and arduous process.

Appeals Court Affirms Government’s Right To Observe National Day Of Prayer

Appeals court affirms government's right to observe National Day of PrayerA Federal appeals court has dismissed a lawsuit that challenges the government's observance of National Day of Prayer, which is set for May 5 this year.

The complaint was filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), which claimed that the Federal government's participation in religious practices compromises the individual rights of Americans. Last year, United States District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled that the government's observation of prayer was unConstitutional.

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit overruled Crabb's decision, saying that the FFRF had no legal standing to bring the suit. The court concluded that "hurt feelings differ from legal injury."

The decision was praised by several groups, including the Liberty Institute, CitizenLink, Family Research Council, American Civil Rights Union and Liberty Counsel. They argued that observances of prayer were modeled by America's forefathers.

"Even Americans with a decidedly agnostic view of religion cannot refute the important role religious tradition has played throughout the history of this great nation," said Brad Miller, director of family policy council for CitizenLink. "The President's proclamation is simply a continuation of a long and deep tradition of urging and acknowledging prayer as a fundamental part of a healthy society."

Several past rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court have protected the traditions of religious invocations. In 1952, Congress passed a statute that called on the President to issue a proclamation on the National Day of Prayer, which is observed on the first Thursday of May. 

A Week For The Bad Guys

Sadly, the bad guys made more headlines in history this week than the good ones. Let’s start with April 20, 1889, when a particularly heinous character named Alois Schicklgruber came into the world. You’ll know him better by the pen name he adopted later, Adolf Hitler. As the world knows to its sorrow, he went on to become one of the most murderous tyrants in history.

Strangely enough, although Hitler was a left-wing extremist (the very name of his movement, Nazi, is a contraction for “national socialism”) somehow the Left has managed to turn the word into a pejorative against the right. It sure is easier to sell a lie when you dominate the mass media, isn’t it? (Not to mention most seats of higher leaning… er, learning.) If I had a buck for every time my colleagues and I have been called Nazis or fascists, why… I’d buy a lot more gold.

More than 100 years after Hitler’s birth, two demented high school students in Littleton, Colo., chose the anniversary of their hero’s birth to conduct the Columbine High School massacre.

Finally, on April 25, 1945, 45 countries convened in San Francisco for the founding conference of that international plot against individual liberty, the United Nations. The general secretary of the meeting was none other than the notorious Soviet espionage agent, Alger Hiss.

Hiss was not the only American involved in the formation of the United Nations who was later revealed to be a communist. In fact, of the 18 Americans cited by the State Department in 1950 as “the important men who shaped the UN,” all but one were later identified as communists. No wonder the U.N. is so inimical to traditional American values.

–Chip Wood

Obama’s Approval Ratings Continue To Wane

Obama's approval ratings continue to waneIn the wake of a Congressional budget standoff and military action in Libya, President Barack Obama's approval ratings have fallen to near-record lows.

According to The Washington Post/ABC News poll, a total of 47 percent of Americans approve of Obama's job performance, which is four percentage points lower than last month and only one point higher than the lowest ratings of his Presidency. In regards to Obama's handling of the economy, approximately 57 percent of respondents disapprove.

However, surveyed Americans still preferred Obama over the field of rumored GOP Presidential candidates. Against former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and real estate mogul Donald Trump, Obama held double-digit percentage point advantages.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is Obama's top challenger, according to the poll. About 45 percent of respondents favored Romney, compared to 49 percent who backed the President.

In an effort to gain support among conservative voters, Obama recently conducted an interview with a reporter from a Dallas-Fort Worth TV station, named Brad Watson. According to The Chicago Tribune, Obama became a little chippy with Watson, saying "Let me finish my answers the next time we do an interview, all right?" 

The Color Of Green

“You walk in to a shoe store with $150, you walk out with one shoe." —Paul Newman speaking to Tom Cruise in the film “The Color of Money.”

Earlier this month another terrible blizzard struck in what has been one of the worst winters in memory. As snow packs finally begin to melt I can’t help but think that the environmentalists are not telling us the truth. Of course, having two terrible winters in Western Canada over the past three years can’t yield a scientific conclusion. Yet my observations may carry as much evidence as the Green’s theory that the earth is melting beneath our mukluks.

In his 2009 book Heaven and Earth: Global Warming—The Missing Science, Australian geologist Ian Plimer makes the following points:

  • There is little to no geological, archaeological or historic analysis on what is causing climate change.
  • Greenland was once a green land because of natural occurring global warming. During medieval times Earth was several degrees warmer than it is now.
  • Climate has always changed but it is not because of industrialization.
  • Atmospheric CO2 has been far higher than it is now.
  • The hockey stick graph that charts global warming as the result of manmade CO2 emissions is fraudulent.

The book concludes that the slogan, “Stop climate change”, is a public phenomenon based on widespread ignorance rather than real science. The sheer number of TV programs that go out of their way to hammer home the dangers of global warming is evidence that Plimer is on to something.

You can order this book from by clicking here.

President Barack Obama is staking America’s future on clean energy while ignoring these truths. A few weeks ago in a major policy address, Obama announced that America would continue to pursue green energy solutions from wind, solar, biofuels and nuclear power.

According to the President, “We cannot keep going from shock when gas prices go up to trance when gas prices go back down.”

This prompted The New York Times toconclude: “The path to energy independence—or at least an end to dependence on the Mideast—could well be dirty, expensive and politically explosive.”

What the Greens seem blind to is the fact that a shift away from fossil fuels will have huge opportunity costs for the United States at a time when the country can least afford it. The technology for clean energy does not yet exist. To embrace it when competitors like India and China do not would be economic suicide.

What the President either cannot or will not grasp is that these solutions involve huge subsidies and are cost ineffective.

Why Adam Smith Would Hate The Environmentalists
Over the past couple of years I have written to you about all the problems inherent with renewable energy. On that list is the vast amount of cropland needed to create ethanol, the inefficiency of solar energy and the lack of an infrastructure for hydrogen vehicles. In time, all of these problems can be worked out, but the best way to achieve a seamless switch is to take government out of the equation.

And while Adam Smith died more than 200 years ago, the father of economic thought would object to Obama’s energy agenda because it does not allow free markets to operate.

The invisible hand that Smith spoke of when describing how free markets create wealth was at work when oil was trading above $120 per barrel. The record purchases of hybrid cars three years ago were evidence that free markets work.

The chart below shows hybrid car sales statistics along with the price of gasoline over the past seven years. As gasoline prices have declined so too have sales of hybrid cars. That is how the free market works.

Hybrid car sales statistics, January 2004 to March 2009

As petroleum becomes less and less affordable, consumers will switch towards other types of transportation, including electric cars. This will encourage outside investment and, over time, crude oil will be displaced. This won’t happen because the Federal government mandates a changeover which is neither practical nor affordable.

Despite this fundamental truth, Obama is hell-bent on the Federal government fixing a problem (global warming) that doesn’t even exist. It seems hard to understand why, but the Las Vegas Review Journal suggested an answer. A headline in the April 4 issue read, “Green goal: End capitalism, destroy our quality of life.”

According to that newspaper:

“Those who claim to be trying to save the planet from the scourge of greenhouse gases and catastrophic global warming have a few other goals: social engineering, assaulting capitalism and assailing the American lifestyle.

“United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) defines a green economy as one that results ‘in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.’ In its simplest expression, a green economy can be thought of as one which is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive.

“By socially inclusive they appear to mean a leveling [SIC] of the capitalist system under a global government, with less wealth spread equally among a population of green-collar workers without social or employment mobility.”

I don’t know if Obama and his Green coalition are nefarious. But there remains one simple fact—fossil fuels still make economic sense. To claim otherwise and keep subsidies for renewable energy or pass carbon tax legislation would only serve to sell the American people a useless bill of goods.

Yours in good times and bad,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

Report: Incentives, Bush Cuts Limit Number Of Americans Who Pay Federal Taxes

eport: Incentives, Bush cuts limit number of Americans who pay Federal taxesNearly half of American households did not pay a Federal income tax this year, according to the Tax Policy Center.

According to the report, the proliferation of tax credits has increased the number of Americans who paid no income taxes or received refunds from the government. In addition, the extension of the George W. Bush-era tax breaks allowed citizens of all income brackets to save money.

For example, a family that earns between $50,000 and $75,000 saved, on average, approximately $2,000, the report concluded. Many experts believe that these extra savings will help stimulate the economy and boost consumer confidence.

Last month, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) spoke out against the plethora of tax credits that have been approved by President Barack Obama's administration.

“As a matter of fairness, wouldn’t it make more sense if all citizens paid at least something in income taxes?” asked Orrin Hatch, the top Republican member of the Senate Finance Committee, quoted by Bloomberg. “I am convinced that it would help us in our fight against excessive federal spending."

Democratic lawmakers have lobbied for higher taxes on wealthy Americans, which they say will help reduce the national deficit. Economist Bruce Bartlett told the media outlet that, politically speaking, it is easier to ask for more money from people who are already paying taxes, rather than requesting it from Americans who owe nothing. 

Tea Party Movement Gains Steam In Beantown

Tea Party movement gains steam in BeantownSeveral hundred Tea Party supporters gathered on the Boston Common on April 15 to send a message to the Federal government: Don't tread on me.

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, a likely candidate for the 2012 GOP Presidential nomination, headlined the third annual event hosted by the Greater Boston Tea Party. Although the rally failed to draw the same numbers as last year, when former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin delivered the keynote speech, the Tea Party movement appears to be picking up momentum as next year's general election approaches.

Boston is traditionally a hotbed of liberal politics, but last week's tax day event provided a rare opportunity for conservative Bay State residents to publicly air their grievances with President Barack Obama's administration.

"What the government is doing is undermining our entire value system and our way of life," Mark Swan, a Boston-area construction worker, told Agence France-Presse. "The only way we can change that is if we get conservatives elected into positions of authority."

Pawlenty, who has a relatively low profile compared to some of the other rumored Republican candidates for President, won over some Bay State voters by blasting Obama for failing to rein in government spending.

Donna Luke, a lawyer from Middleborough, Mass., told The Boston Globe that she does not know much about Pawlenty, but added: "what I've seen, I like." 

America’s Radioactive Risks From Japanese Nuclear Disaster

What a month it’s been. On March 11, 2011, Japan was hit with a series of severe life-changing natural disasters. An earthquake at Fukushima created a tsunami that caused vast destruction of lives, land, homes and businesses. And if that weren’t enough, it caused a nuclear plant disaster so severe it’s difficult for one to wrap his head around its scope.

As a former resident of Japan myself, with dozens of friends and some family members still living in the country, this disaster is especially close to me. Every day I receive multiple emails and Facebook messages from my friends there telling me what’s going on and offering insight into how what they see and hear on the news in Japan regarding the long-term health effects of the radiation differs from what they get from non-Japanese media sources.

According to Kyodo News, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano stated, "The possibility that the situation at the nuclear plant will deteriorate and lead to new leakage of massive radioactive materials is becoming significantly smaller."[1] Yet Japan just raised its nuclear crisis from a Level 5 to a Level 7. This is the highest severity on the international scale overseen by the International Atomic Energy Agency. And this raise in number would be an indicator to many that the Fukushima Dai-ichi disaster is at the same level as Russia’s 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

One can easily see how confusing these statements can be. Yet The Associated Press reported that the Japanese plant was not worsening; the number increase “rather reflected concern about long-term health risks as it continues to spew into the air, soil and seawater. Most radiation exposures around the region haven’t been high enough yet to raise significant health concerns.”[2] In fact, Fukushima has “only” emitted about 10 percent of the amount of radiation as did Chernobyl—yet that 10 percent is a staggering 10-times the level needed to reach the 7 scale.

Generations of lives already killed during the disaster are but a shadow of the extended deaths that will directly be caused by its aftermath. And those deaths may not be limited to Japan alone. Leading radiation health expert Dr. Chris Busby estimates that close to half-a-million people in Japan alone may die from cancer caused by these events.[3]

It’s been more than a month since the nuclear power plant disaster and residents of the United States are fearful that their health and even their lives may also be at risk. They fear radiation will travel across the Pacific by wind and into the Atlantic by water. Updated information on the possible negative health affects in the United States is available on the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) website.[4] Here are four key points offered by UCS relating to the negative effects of radiation.

  1. Radioactive materials decay, releasing particles that can damage living tissue and lead to cancer. Some elements have different forms, called isotopes, which differ in the number of neutrons in the nucleus.
  2. The radioactive isotopes of greatest concern in a nuclear power accident are iodine-131 and cesium-137. Iodine-131 has a half-life of 8 days, meaning half of it will have decayed after 8 days, and half of that in another 8 days, etc. Therefore, it is of greatest concern in the days and weeks following an accident. It is also volatile so it will spread easily.
  3. To guard against the absorption of iodione-131, people can proactively take potassium iodine pills so the thyroid becomes saturated with non-radioactive iodine and is not able to absorb any iodine-131.
  4. Cesium-137 has a half-life of about 30 years, so will take more than a century to decay by a significant amount. Living organisms treat cesium-137 as if it were potassium, and it becomes part of the fluid electrolytes and is eventually excreted. It can cause many different types of cancer.

But is there a real threat to Americans? Well, Russell Blaylock, M.D., seems to think there is. According to Blaylock, if a radiation plume from Japan hit the U.S. west coast it could pose a threat to the nation’s crops and the people that eat them. As we know, levels of radiation in milk in three states have been recorded at much higher levels than normal, causing some to believe that the radiation has indeed hit the U.S. food supply.[2]

That sounds reasonable, and frightening. Yet, controversy looms. According to the UCS scientific community, wind patterns are likely to carry the plume eastward from Japan and the radioactive material will diffuse before reaching Hawaii, Alaska or the West Coast. Therefore, UCS thinks the threat is unlikely. In any case, UCS is quick to point out that even minute exposure to radiation poses life-threatening risks over time. The ‘good news’ is that the negative effects of radiation directly inhaled via such a radiation plume can be prevented or greatly reduced by taking potassium iodide (KI) pills.

Conversely, radioactive iodine could affect Americans through our food. According to Erin N. Marcus, M.D., associate professor of Clinical Medicine, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine: “Radioactive iodine could be ingested by dairy cows, for example, and then would be concentrated in milk. Potassium iodide, however, would not be effective in that situation.”[5] Since Federal and State authorities are testing for contamination, such affected products should be pulled from shelves in time to prevent harm.

News has surfaced that radioactive iodine has been found in East Coast water supplies. While this certainly gives reason for worry, Dr. Lyman of the UCS asserts that at this time there is no need for concern. However, he is quick to interject, “no level of radiation is safe, because the scientific consensus is that there’s no threshold to the carcinogenic effect of radiation, but the risk is proportional to dose, and the dilution that’s experienced as a plume travels many thousands of miles is highly significant.”[5]

Like I said in the opening of this article, the scope of this event and it continuing destruction is difficult for me to wrap my head around. The best advice I can give is to keep your eyes and ears open to all news sources that are verifiable.

Some quarters looking to push an agenda will either play up safety or present doom and gloom. Like anything else, things do not happen in a vacuum and everything can change in a second. The lessons from Fukushima show this clearly. While we don’t have control of much of this, here are a few things you do have control over:

  1. Do your best to check the food you eat if you suspect it may be contaminated
  2. Take KI pills to protect yourself if you live in an at-risk area of the country
  3. Boost your immunity by reducing stress, sleeping well, eating whole fruits and vegetables, and supplementing with antioxidants.
  4. Keep abreast of the situation through news sources from all parts of the globe.

And if you know something as an insider, please post it here in our discussion forum to keep the conversation going.

–Dr. Mark Wiley






Study Finds Widespread Contamination Of Meat In U.S. Grocery Stores

Study finds widespread contamination of meat in U.S. grocery storesVegetarians and locavores — people who eat only locally-produced food — now have a new argument to support their lifestyle. The Translational Genomics Research Institute recently found that about half of the beef, pork and poultry found in grocery stores is contaminated with an antibiotic-resistant form of bacteria.

Staphylococcus aureus is associated with a compendium of human illnesses, and the majority of the strains that the researchers found in the meat appeared to be resistant to at least three varieties of antibiotics.

"The fact that drug-resistant S. aureus was so prevalent, and likely came from the food animals themselves, is troubling, and demands attention to how antibiotics are used in food-animal production today," said lead author Lance B. Price, Ph.D.

The researchers said the antibiotic-resistant forms of bacteria may leave doctors with few options for treatment if a human becomes infected. Additionally, they noted that the crowded industrial facilities that the animals are kept in while being regularly fed antibiotics are likely the cause of the contamination.

While the government typically screens meat for drug-resistant bacteria, inspectors do not currently look for S. aureus.  

McCain, Kerry Back Online ‘Bill Of Rights’

McCain, Kerry back online 'bill of rights'Two former Presidential candidates have teamed up to champion legislation promoting consumer privacy on the Internet.

Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) introduced the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act 2011 on April 12 and revealed its provisions during a news conference in Washington, DC. The bill is designed to protect online users by forcing companies to explain how they gather consumer information and what they do with it, according to The Washington Post.

If approved by lawmakers, the bill would require online companies such as Facebook and Google to receive user consent before acquiring personal information, including names, email addresses and credit card numbers. McCain and Kerry said that they have taken into account some of the feedback they garnered from lobbyists from Microsoft and Yahoo, who have warned that government intrusion could stifle business growth.

"Consumers want to shop, browse and share information in an environment that is respectful of their personal information," said McCain, quoted by the media outlet. "Our legislation sets forth a framework for companies to create such an environment and allows businesses to continue to market and advertise to all consumers, including potential customers."

Some consumer groups have expressed their displeasure with the bill, saying that it should include a "do not track" mechanism, which is similar to the "do not call" option that blocks telemarketers from calling residents.

Furthermore, reports that the legislation contains a loophole for data collectors, which says that information can be retained "for a reasonable amount of time" if it used for "research and development" purposes.

Glaucoma, The Silent Threat

The eye disease glaucoma is known as a silent threat because if you don’t undergo regular eye exams, you could fall victim and end up blind if not treated properly! One important factor is finding a doctor you trust. A respectful and open relationship with your physician can help you both examine the best course of treatment as your eye health progresses. But it requires homework on your part, too. Try to eat whole foods and vegetables loaded with vision-protecting nutrients like lycopene, lutein, carotene and vitamins A and E.

Hundreds Of Tornadoes Ravage Southern States

Hundreds of tornadoes ravage Southern StatesA total of 241 tornadoes swept across 14 States this past week, killing at least 45 people, and injuring hundreds.

According to FOX News, approximately 62 twisters touched down in North Carolina alone, producing the worst spring storms in the Tar Heel State in the last 20 years. In Bertie County, 11 people have been confirmed dead. In the capital city of Raleigh, three family members died in a mobile home park.

The University of Arkansas (UA) Department of Agriculture advises residents against staying in their vehicles or mobile homes during a tornado because they offer little protection from flying debris. Falling trees, airborne objects, collapsing power lines and broken glass are likely in the event of a severe windstorm, and mobile homes are typically not equipped to withstand those elements.

Ideally, individuals should find a below-ground location if a tornado is imminent. However, some natural disasters can hit without warning, so it is best to find an interior room, such as a laundry room or bathroom, that does not have windows, the college suggests.

Even after a twister passes, survivors should remain alert because tornadoes can reverse direction. If a residence still has electrical power, UA's Department of Agriculture says that it's best to utilize a radio or television to receive updates about the status of the storm.

Because We Say So

From time to time your kids “wander off the reservation.”  They do things which you verbally deplore, but laugh about with your friends: “back when we did (whatever you just grounded your brat for), we didn’t get caught.”

On occasion, your children will do things which actually appall, enrage or just plain terrify you. On those occasions, you likely mete out more severe discipline; but share no giggles afterwards. And on still OTHER occasions, your little monsters step over the line between the children you want them to be, and the adults you wish they’d never become.

From what I’ve observed—including observing from the “defendant’s chair”—the latter incidents often produce that all-time great kid-logic: “Why not?  YOU do it!”  And the parental response almost ends up being some version of “because I said so.” 

I remember from my childhood days that phrase also tended to work well on me; if only because if my old man fired that one off, the next step was the dreaded “fingerpoke of doom.”  Parents deploy “because I said so” because they can. And kids accept it because they must—Mom and Dad outrank them. Plus, Mom controls the dinner menu; and Dad has that fingerpoke thing. 

While you were willing to accept that kind of parental precept, there is no way you’d endure such guff from an employee. And yet, we all take it from President Barack Obama as often as your kids test your patience. Whether it’s an in between golf getaways command for more taxpayer belt-tightening; or another of those “Michelle-is-in-Majorca-and-I’m-dining-with-Oprah-but-the-rich-don’t-pay-their-fair-share” accusations, Barack boasts archetypical “because I said so” bombast.

Last Thursday, Obama, who chose to announce his re-election bid in the midst of his party’s near-submarining their beloved government, was at it again. During a fundraiser in Chicago, Obama proffered another of his “do as I say, not as I do” pontifications. What struck me was not his smartest-guy-in-the-room act; mostly because I can see right through it.

For all Obama’s efforts to avoid any sort of transparency, he’s paper-thin. His play-acting at gravitas is belied by the fact that he can’t order a Happy Meal without a teleprompter. Moreover—if you’ll pardon the expression—he sucks at his job. 

What kills me is that he delivered yet another smug sermon about tough times requiring tough sacrifices—and by the way, Republicans are evil—while standing in a restaurant which would bar the door at the sight of the very people about whom Obama professes to care so very deeply. N9ne is a part of a group owned by the billionaire Maloof family—the same folks who own the trendy Palms Hotel in Las Vegas. Enjoy one of the steaks for which N9ne is famous, and be ready to set yourself back about 50 bucks—presuming you drink water and skip dessert.

During Obama’s royal repast, he regaled his sycophants with the usual spiel:

“Right now, there are folks in the Chicago-land area who are… trying to figure out “…how am I going to fill up my gas tank?”  And all the tax cuts that we provided to help working-class families… they’re worried about those tax breaks being entirely eaten up by $4 a gallon gas.”

Really, Mr. President?  Did you consider asking your devoted acolytes—not one of whom likely arrived in a used car—to skip the $50 steak, order the chicken and give the difference to those “working-class families?” 

To be fair, I will stipulate that all Presidents—even the ones who are NOT the darlings of the effete NPR listener set—attend 5-star cash grabs like the one which Obama headlined the other night. (I suspect President George W. Bush never enjoyed them. For all Obama’s laughably stilted “man-of-the-people” posing, W. always seemed more comfortable in the sorts of places where eating with your hands is the norm; whereas Obama looks as out of place in such downscale diners as Rahm Emanuel in direct sunlight.)

Mr. President, your 2008 campaign haul was a record even before you broke your promise to stay within the bounds of public financing. The way you and your Democrat accomplices have performed of late, you’re going to need every nickel. 

Quit lecturing us, you supercilious twit. You’ve never met a payroll, never sweated the end of the month because you’re short on rent, and never had to choke down the kind of food they don’t serve in the places in which you and Oprah dine. For that matter—we’re the taxpaying citizens of the United States. Stop talking at us like we work for you, and not the other way around. 

Why? Because we said so.

Virginia AG: Right To Carry Gun In Church Protected By Constitution

Virginia AG: Right to carry gun in church protected by ConstitutionVirginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has clarified a State law regarding gun possession in places of worship, saying that the 2nd Amendment grants citizens the right to carry a firearm for personal protection.

In his statement on April 8, Cuccinelli noted that churches, synagogues and other houses of worship have the right to ban weapons on private property, but not the State, The Associated Press reported. His opinion was issued in response to a query from Delegate Mark Cole (R-Spotsylvania).

Cole was confused about a law that makes it a misdemeanor to carry a "deadly weapon" into a worship service "without good and sufficient reason."

"The current State code is very poorly written, to the point of whether it’s even enforceable," Cole told the media outlet. "Why would you even write code like that?"

Cuccinelli said that carrying a firearm for self-protection is a "good and sufficient reason." However, citizens must abide by the rights of private property owners to ban weapons from their facilities.

Meanwhile, the Arizona House of Representatives has approved a gun-rights bill that would allow people to carry guns in most public buildings, including colleges and universities. According to The Huffington Post, if Republican Governor Jan Brewer signs the legislation, Arizona would become the second State to force public colleges to allow guns on campus.