A Whole New Ballgame

Note to the Democrat Party: Don’t let the tears fool you. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) can play hardball, and he can bring the lumber. And there he was Friday night, with the clock ticking down on the Democrats’ incredibly ill-advised gambit, taking President Barack Obama and Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) over the wall.

While there are still I’s to dot and T’s to cross, Boehner has managed to marshal the widely disparate ranks of the Republican Party into just enough of a politically irresistible force to break the lines of the Democrats’ eminently moveable object. While fair criticisms of Boehner can be—and often are—voiced by conservatives, consider his burden in the battle which unfolded last week. While the Democrats enjoyed the placid compliance of sheep, Boehner had to herd lions.

The Republicans lack the blind devotion upon which Obama and his accomplices rely. There is no Republican Service Employees International Union (SEIU), no Republican New York Times and no Republican Michael Moore. The Democrats are about as diverse as the Farrakhan family reunion—not counting the space aliens.

But from the rank-and-file Republicans to the Tea Partiers to the Libertarians, the conservatives are fueled by something the Democrat Party neither knows, nor understands: Righteous outrage (as opposed to mere outrage).

Righteous outrage is a conservative reaction to the President’s willingness to hold military paychecks hostage to abortion-on-demand. Mere outrage is Democrat-endorsed union thugs sending death threats to Obama’s political adversaries. Righteous outrage is conservative recognition that the corpulent bureaucracy of Obamacare is to functional healthcare as so-called “anthropogenic global warming” is to actual science. Mere outrage is a shrieking liberal harpy like Representative Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) spewing out the kind of defamatory drivel which calls to mind the pedantic pabulum normally vomited up by the idiot gasbags at MSNBC:

“In ’94 people were elected simply to come here to kill the National Endowment for the Arts. Now they’re here to kill women.”

Slaughter was referring to conservative insistence that the Federal Government cease funding abortion outside extreme cases. That’s a fair stretch from Eric Cantor (R-Va.) with a high-powered rifle firing at the Des Moines Ladies’ Auxiliary while they pose for pictures in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

The sort of hubris demonstrated by Slaughter is clearly born of comfort. Democrats from safe districts have become so content that they’ve forgotten most districts are more variegated than the sorts of places which elect crooks like Representative Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) and hypocritical millionaires like Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Perhaps the Democrats’ overconfidence was born of rosy recollections of 1995. In the months following the Republican Revolution of 1994, then-President Bill Clinton’s refusal to interact with the GOP beyond “triangulating” their message led to the kind of shutdown Boehner and the GOP managed to avert Friday night. Back then, the corporate media was no less prostrate before their Democrat masters than they are now. However, the access to real information was much more limited, thereby producing a population which was far easier to fool. Most Americans still thought the nightly network news was a legitimate source, not DNC-conceived editorials masquerading as unbiased coverage.

Moreover, Clinton had something Obama will never have: Likeability. Clinton is the “buddy you love drinking with even though you know you can’t leave him alone with your wife;” whereas Obama is more of the “buddy you hate drinking with because he sneers at your beer over the rim of his white wine spritzer glass; and your wife hates him because he reminds her of your neighbor who drives a Prius and talks with his eyes closed all the time” type.

And unlike the 1995 shutdown showdown, which Clinton won, the 2011 shutdown showdown will cost the Democrats dearly. Sure, Boehner didn’t get the kind of spending cuts most conservatives were hoping for (taxpayer funding for the now-completely-exposed NPR lucked into a stay of budgetary execution); but he wrangled a widely disparate group into breaking the Democrat Party’s normally solid lines. More importantly, he forced the President and his accomplices to pitch them over the plate, where the conservative bats “took them yard.”

Boehner didn’t get $60 billion plus, but he did force a President who spends money like he’s trying out for a spot on the “Real Trophy Wives of Beverly Hills” to give up more than $30 billion. And according to Boehner’s new editorial in the USA Today, “the next fight will be about trillions, not billions.”

The conservatives are on the field. Let’s play ball!

IRS Hands Out First Whistleblower Award For Reporting Tax Fraud

IRS hands out first whistleblower award for reporting tax fraudSquealing on a superior has landed a Pennsylvania accountant a multi-million dollar award.

According to The Associated Press, an in-house accountant has been bestowed the first ever whistleblower award, worth approximately $4.5 million, from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The recipient, whose name has been withheld by his attorney, filed a complaint in 2007 after his employer ignored a tax lapse. The tip helped the IRS recover $20 million in taxes and interest.

The award, which equates to about $3.24 million after taxes, represents a 22 percent cut of the revenue recovered by the IRS. The Whistleblower Office, which was set up in 2006, mandates that payouts should amount to between 15 and 30 percent of the taxes recouped, the media outlet reported.

The Whistleblower Office revealed that it received nearly 1,000 tips in fiscal years 2008 and 2009.

"It's very difficult to be a whistleblower," Eric Young, the Pennsylvania accountant's lawyer, told the news source. "Most people would be inclined to turn a blind eye to it. The process can be time-consuming, arduous and stressful, from both a personal and professional standpoint."

A gridlock on Capitol Hill has forced the IRS to address a more pressing issue this week. In the event of a government shutdown, which was slated to occur if Congress did not approve a spending budget by April 8, refunds for taxpayers would be delayed, officials have confirmed.

Speaking to the National Press Club on April 6, IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said that a shutdown would slow the process of responding to paper returns, according to Bloomberg. However, Shulman stated that a budget standoff will not delay the April 18 deadline for filing 2010 taxes.

What happens to stocks after the dollar crash?

Dear Bob,
A question that I’ve found difficult for finding an answer is this: What happens to stocks after the dollar crash, even stocks in precious metal? Are they 100 percent lost? Do they retain any value?

Thank You,
Anthony

Dear Anthony,

While companies that actually produce something of value—say mining companies, oil producing companies, etc.—may still have value as companies, if you were to cash out of your stock holdings you would be paid in fiat currency that has no value. So it’s the currency, and any holding that uses fiat currency as its basis—that would have no value.

Best Wishes,
Bob

Overcoming Panic And The “Startle” Response

What is the startle response, how might it affect you in a crisis situation, and how can you keep it from turning into full blown panic?

Startle response is a term used to de­scribe a person’s reaction to sudden and unexpected danger. For example:

  • You turn a corner and there’s a man pointing a gun at your chest.
  • You’re sitting in your car and from out of nowhere somebody knocks on your window.
  • You are walking along and shots are fired from the rear.
  • A loud explosion erupts and everybody around you panics.
  • You wake up in the middle of the night and a stranger is standing over you holding a knife.

These are examples of situations that may trigger a "startle response."

Now keep this thought in mind: Trainers who talk about the startle response are actu­ally being diplomatic. Startle is a polite word for panic. Nobody wants to think they may panic under stress, so we call it by another name. It helps make us feel a little bit better. For the purposes of this article, we’re going to talk about “startle” as being in control and “panic” as not being in control.

What happens under startle?

First there is a stimulus: Shots are fired. Then we have a reaction: Fight or flight.

When faced with a threat that is sud­den and unexpected, here’s what usu­ally happens. Stimuli trigger a flight response, the sympathetic nervous system kicks in, we retreat and lose our ability to use fine motor skills and proper tactics.

In a startle response, fear overwhelms us and our mind becomes preoccupied with thoughts of doubt, injury and death. We become convinced we can’t handle the threat. We automatically succumb to a flight reaction.

When we are "panicked" our sympathetic nervous system kicks in and we lose control of our fine and complex motor skills. Complex skills involving eye-hand coordination suffer, as do hearing and peripheral vision. Our ability to focus our eyes decreases and tunnel vision sets in. And it gets progressively worse.

In this scenario, we go from stimulus to flight reaction. However, for whatever reason, we suppress the urge to flee and prepare to fight. The problem with that is that, in panic mode, our tactics and skills go flying right out the window. Our ability to survive is impaired and all we can depend upon is luck.

Remove the unexpected element and the same stimulus triggers aggression, a fight response. We stay clear-headed and in control. Our training and muscle memory responses kick in. We are able to use proper tactics.

We want to be able to respond to a threatening situation with confidence and control. To do this we must as­sess the threat and believe that we can handle it. And we must eliminate the unexpected aspect.

Remember, startle is a response to unexpected and sudden danger. If we expect danger, we inoculate ourselves against a startle response. Let’s go back to the color code system for a moment.

In condition yellow, you say to yourself: “Today is the day that I may have to use lethal force to protect my life or the lives of others under my protection.” With that in mind, when you come face-to-face with danger, you say to yourself, “I knew this would happen someday, I know what to do. I am ready for it. And I will survive, no matter what.”

A panic response can only be triggered by the combination of sudden and un­expected danger. We can prevent the startle response by being in condition yellow (casually aware) at all times. In effect, we eliminate the “unexpected” from the deadly combination of sudden and unexpected danger.

We can effectively deal with sudden danger by simply expecting it to hap­pen. Soldiers in combat do it all the time. Cops are constantly subject to sudden danger. In reality, civilians are too—just not as often.

Unexpected danger is more likely to cause a fear response. We must break the link between sudden and unexpected.

If our self-confidence is high and our skills effective, even when violence is sudden, we will progress automatically from stimulus, to aggression (controlled anger), to tactics.

It takes self-confidence and a well-prac­ticed repertoire of effective tactics and training to walk out the door every day and remind yourself that today is the day some bad guy might try to do you in and that you expect it, are ready for it and will respond as you have been trained. With high self-confi­dence, you will stay calm, in control and be able to deal with any situation, problem or threat that comes along.

I am not saying that a flight reaction is wrong or bad. What I’m saying is that employing appropriate tactics is critical to our survival. If we have to make a hasty withdrawal from the scene, that’s okay, but we must do so in the best way and avoid a panic reaction.

Research indicates that once the sym­pathetic nervous system is activated, vital functions are seriously im­paired. But the good news is we can go on “automatic” and rely upon our training and motor-memory skills to handle the problem.

Once we have mastered the I CAN DO WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE thought process, we can easily progress from the element of surprise, to controlled aggression, to required tactics.

In your mind’s eye, see yourself reacting to various sudden danger scenarios, calmly at first. Then, in your mental im­agery, move into controlled anger: How dare this guy pull a gun on me. Your mind will focus and your subconscious will take over. You will automatically perform as you have trained.

One specific way to prepare for reacting after being startled is to study the startle response and incorporate it into your training. I’ve had the privilege of spending quite a bit of time with world-renowned firearms instructor, Rob Pincus from Integrity, Consistency and Efficiency (I.C.E.) Training. One of the things that Rob teaches is not to start your draw stroke as if you’re about to do an Old West quick-draw contest.

Rather, start your draw stroke by being relaxed and then mimicking your startle response. For most people, this will mean bending the knees and dropping your weight about six inches, putting your feet about shoulder width apart, curling your spine forward slightly, dropping your chin to your chest and raising your hands to your face/neck, facing outward to protect your neck against attack.

This response puts you in a position where you can quickly and efficiently respond to physical attacks. For many people, it’s instinctive to assume this pose, or something close, when they’re startled.

So, the next time you’re doing firearms training (live fire or dry fire) or even hand-to-hand training, try this sequence:

  • Assume a relaxed position that you would be in if you were in public going about your business.
  • Quickly assume the “startle” position.
  • Start your firearms or hand-to-hand sequence from here.

The next time you do get startled, take a second to observe yourself and use that as your “startle” positioning in the future.

There is a very fundamental reason for training like this… you want your training to be as much like real life as possible. If you always train by starting squared up to your target with your hands at your side or at belt level in front of you and you find yourself startled with your hands at your face, your muscle memory isn’t going to be very effective.

If, on the other hand, you begin your training sequence by going into your startle position, you will be training your body how to respond when you are, in fact, startled and need to respond.

This is one more instance where training like you intend to fight will pay dividends if you have to defend yourself in a violent encounter.

–David Morris

House Republicans Pass Ill-Fated Stopgap Measure

House Republicans pass ill-fated stopgap measureIn the event of a partial government shutdown, approximately 800,000 Federal employees would be furloughed, tax returns would be delayed and a host of national parks, museums and forests would suspend its operations.

On Capitol Hill, a shutdown would prompt a rendition of the blame game. With the 2012 Presidential election season starting to heat up, finger-pointing would be as commonplace as number-crunching if Republicans and Democrats can't agree on a budget.

On April 7, GOP lawmakers attempted to prevent a shutdown by passing a stopgap budget the day before the deadline. By a vote of 247 to 181, House Republicans passed a one-week measure that included $12 billion in spending cuts and Pentagon funding through Sept. 30.

However, White House officials said that the bill, if passed by the Senate, would be vetoed by President Barack Obama. Democrats have argued that temporary resolutions are no longer viable solutions despite the fact that the Federal government has operated on stopgap measures since Oct. 1, 2010.

On April 8, the last day before the deadline was set to expire, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said that "women's health" was the final holdup preventing deal between legislators. He claimed that negotiators had agreed on $38 billion in cuts to fund the remainder of the fiscal year, but an "ideological battle" over funding for Planned Parenthood has halted an agreement, according to FOX News.

A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told the media outlet that the largest issue blocking a resolution, as of April 8, was the total amount of spending cuts.

Many Americans Have Doubts About Obama’s Birth Status, Poll Reveals

Many Americans have doubts about Obama's birth status, poll revealsFour out of 10 American voters have some doubt that President Barack Obama was born in the United States, according to a recent FOX News poll.

The survey also revealed that 24 percent of respondents outright believe that the President was born in another country. Speculation over Obama's birthplace has been reinvigorated in recent weeks as Donald Trump, a potential candidate for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination, has publicly requested a copy of Obama's original long-form birth certificate.

As to be expected, the FOX News poll showed significant partisan differences. A total of 84 percent of Democratic participants and 69 percent of independents believe that Obama was born in America. Only 47 percent of Republican respondents think that the commander-in-chief is a natural-born citizen, compared to 44 percent of Tea Party supporters.

Despite the doubt surrounding Obama's birthplace, the survey indicated that the President would still hold up in a showdown with Trump. A total of 52 percent said they would vote for Obama, while 34 percent would back the business mogul.

Freshman Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) told The Daily Caller that Trump's fame makes him a legitimate candidate. However, Rubio suggested that the reality TV star should back off the "birther" issue.

"I would suggest — if he asked for my opinion — not to focus so much on that issue. There are more important things facing our country," Rubio told the news outlet. "I believe Barack Obama was born in the United States of America. So why are we talking about this?" 

Why?

Why do people see things differently? A quick answer is, “they are not on the same page.”

How do we get on the same page? Assume that we measure the all-knowing among us at 100 and everybody else is somewhere between 100 and zero. One caveat: Your number has nothing to do with your, “education.” In fact your number of somewhere between zero and 100 has nothing to do with anything.

You may have heard that old saying, “He has his ear to the ground.” Your number is something that comes with birth. But don’t give up if yours is low, you can catch up, or mostly so. I admit that you can get a jumpstart if you come into the world with the right genes. Never fear, you can learn.

This I know is true because I have seen many backwoods-type people who sounded completely dumb in conversation but who had more perception than many or most people with high degrees of formal education.

So here’s the deal: I can get us on the same page if I can get as many definitions as possible in print. Here goes:

Agent Provocateur: A very old trick of government to foment wars and revolutions with phony fronts and propaganda.

Ages of History: Silver and gold; iron and steel; paper and finally electronic symbols; then back to silver and gold again.

Bureaucrats: Government employees, and everything they do is for the government; nothing for the people.

Conventional Medicine: American system of medical care as prescribed by medical schools and financed and controlled by pharmaceutical houses.

Democracy: The buzzword at all levels in our society when referring to human liberty. The truth is, they use the word democracy for any chicanery the government wants to put on the people, from fascism to communism.

Education: Formal education in the U.S. is the same as a government education. The goal of formal education is to control the public mind by controlling our parameters of thought.

Escape the System: Buy gold and silver.

Famine in the Land: Can you visual a famine coming to modern America while the grocery store shelves are still fully stocked? What’s the best thing that can happen to you right now? Recognize that you are ignorant. Flush everything you know and start over! Ignorant people are those who don’t know that they don’t know. Intelligent people are those who know not and know that they know not. Information becomes wisdom to those with an inquiring mind.

Food Stamps: One sign of a collapsing system. Forty million Americans are now on food stamps because of the collapsing system.

Gold and Silver: Real money that 90+ percent of the people don’t want, don’t value and don’t know anything about.

Government: Organized crime that flourishes on the wealth and the production of its citizens. The system gives them life and protects their “profession,” but you pay. The system protects itself, not the people.

Government, Bankers and Insurance Companies: They all love fiat money (paper money).

Government Bonds: A huge disguised system of theft, as bonds are certificates of guaranteed confiscation of wealth.

Inflation: It is an increase of the money supply by the money creators. Fiat is a monetary drug addiction. It destroys everything, including morality.

Lawyers and Accountants: Both work for the government (the system) but you pay them. They have a vested interest in pleasing the system at your expense.

Love: Impossible unless you can walk in your loved one’s shoes. If you can’t, don’t get married.

Mania: Economic chaos created by paper money.

Media: Is used to spread the propaganda of the system. They tell the people only what they want them to know.

Monetizing Debt: “Paying” debt with non-substance paper money.

Monsanto GMO Foods: Genetically modified foods and hybrid seeds that won’t regenerate, which makes the people dependent on big business for food.

Most Certain Thing in the World: Most Americans in the middle class are being impoverished because they don’t understand money.

Organized Medicine: Funded by the pharmaceuticals and it is a system of symptomology. They only address symptoms and have no cures. They use drugs to mask symptoms.

Paper Money: Forced fiat by the government banking system on the people. It serves to steal wealth from the people without payment.

Paper Profits: Are an illusion because there are two kinds of dollars: The real dollar, or gold, and the paper dollar, or nominal dollar. Example: The great Warren Buffett, investor, and his famous Berkshire Hathaway Fund is down in 2010 by 70 percent measured in real dollars (gold). We live in the last stages of the “paper money syndrome” where greed takes over with people trying desperately to survive. Greed destroys morality and, with it, law and order.  The vultures swarm.

Politicians: Whores of the system. They pretend to be for the people but in fact work for and are paid by the government.

Ponzi Scheme: So-called government debt and Social Security. What it really means is there is never any intention to pay.

QE1, QE2, QE3: Cover terms called monetary stimulus which really means just printing money. These are euphemisms for wild printing of money by the Federal government and the banking system.

Reality is strong medicine. It makes most people sick. So I hit you with the strong first so as to get you in recovery before you give up the ghost. Not meant as a joke!

Savings: We are taught to save from the cradle to the grave. There is no such thing as savings in a depreciating currency like the U.S. Dollar. Savings and fiat (paper money) are mutually contradictory. All savings should be in gold and silver if we understand money and government.

Symptomology: Using drugs to mask symptoms and calling it medicine.

Trust the Government and get certain deception.

U.S. Constitution: Historical memorabilia of human freedom, now passed away to the money changers.

Vaccines/Inoculations: These are products of the pharmaceuticals who, in league with the government, force poisons into the bodies of the people.

When did it Become Noticeable that government was entering a new phase of squeezing the middle class? Zero interest ratio and they stopped indexing Social Security. People surviving on pensions and investments can no longer exist on the interest income.

Who Loves Paper Money? Bankers, government and politicians. Why? Because they can steal from the people and transfer wealth to themselves.

World War: Debasing the currency of the world with not a shot being fired, kills more people indirectly.

Fish Oil May Be Complementary Medicine In Breast Cancer Treatment

Fish oil may be complementary medicine in breast cancer treatmentFemale mice that ingested fish oil supplements with breast cancer drug tamoxifen appeared to have slowed the proliferation of their tumors, compared to rodents given corn oil with the drug, according to researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center.

In the controlled study, the team of scientists found that the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil helped to slow gene expression related to tumor growth.

"If a tumor was being treated with tamoxifen, the addition of an omega-3 fatty acid diet seemed to make the tumor, at least at the molecular level, more benign and less aggressive and responsive to tamoxifen," said lead researcher Jose Russo, M.D.

Additionally, the healthy fats appeared to curb immune responses that result in allergies and inflammation. These negative effects have been known to alter the body's natural defense against cancer.

Next, the researchers hope to investigate how omega-3 fatty acids in a diet can affect risk of breast cancer in women.

Authors of the study noted that an estimated 200,000 women are diagnosed with the disease each year.  

Obama’s Buddy Thrown Behind Bars For Allegedly Soliciting Prostitute

Obama's buddy thrown behind bars for allegedly soliciting prostituteOne of President Barack Obama's longtime friends from Hawaii has been arrested in a prostitution sting.

According to media reports, Robert Titcomb, 49, was taken into custody with three other men on April 4 for allegedly soliciting sex from an undercover police officer posing as a prostitute. He was released after posting $500 bail, and he is scheduled to appear at the Honolulu District Court on May 2.

This wasn't Titcomb's first run-in with the law. In 1987, he was arrested for a DUI offense, according to the Honolulu Star Bulletin.

Obama and Titcomb, who have been friends since high school, celebrated the holidays together this past winter. Obama not only golfed with Titcomb on four separate occasions in an 11-day span, but their families also spent Christmas Day together, CNN records indicate. On December 30, the Obamas visited the Titcomb residence to dine, play volleyball and relax on the beach.

In an interview with the Star Bulletin in 2004, when Obama was gearing up for Illinois Senate campaign, Titcomb had high praise for his old pal.

"He’s honest, he’s truthful and he’s always encouraged the better things in you," Titcomb told the media outlet. "And you always go back to those people who water your plant, who water your garden."

Gold Prices Surge As Central Banks Raise Lending Interest Rates

Gold prices surge as central banks raise lending interest ratesThe demand for gold assets has reached record levels as investors are responding to rising oil prices and turbulence overseas.

Reuters reports that gold prices hit record highs in London and New York on April 7, as futures for June delivery in the United States peaked at $1,467 an ounce.

Confidence in the global market continues to wane as the European Central Bank recently announced that it has increased interest rates to 1.25 percent. According to the Financial Times, the current equivalency price of a euro is $1.43, which is a 15-month high. Making matters more precarious, Portugal has asked for a financial bailout from the European Union.

Earlier this week, China's central bank announced that it will raise its lending and deposit rate by 0.25 percentage points to 3.25 percent. It was the fourth time since October that China had increased its interest rates, according to Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, unrest in North Africa and the Middle East as well as the ongoing nuclear contamination crisis in Japan has further aggravated concerns over inflation.

"Inflationary fears are fuelling strength in precious metals," Kathleen Brooks, a market analyst with Forex.com, told the Financial Times. "As oil takes another leap higher, gold and silver follow, and there is little standing in its way between where it is now and $1,500 per ounce." 

Obama’s Latest Illegal War

I’m so mad about Libya that, in my mother’s inimitable phrase, I could chew nails and spit bullets.

And no, I’m not talking about our pusillanimous leader in the White House, who can’t even get his Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense on the same page. I’ll get to that bunch of dishonest incompetents in a moment.

No, what set me over the top this morning was what is supposed to be the nation’s most influential conservative publication, The Wall Street Journal. In a series of articles and editorials, this once-proud bastion of Americanist values has become nothing but a shill for neoconservative empire-building.

Did you see their scolding of Haley Barbour last week? They were furious at the Mississippi Governor and potential Presidential candidate for not standing four-square behind our military action against the Gadhafi regime. What dastardly deed did Barbour commit? Let me quote what he said and you decided if the WSJ editorialist was right in getting so outraged:

“What are we doing in Libya? We have to be careful about getting into nation-building exercises, whether it’s in Libya or somewhere else. After all, we’ve been in Afghanistan 10 years.”

Does that make you want to stand up and shout treason?!? That seems to have been the reaction at the paper’s Wall Street offices. And they didn’t mind lecturing our lawmakers on what the “responsible” (their word, not mine) response to this crisis should be:

“The goals of Republicans ought to be to prod Mr. Obama to push for a faster resolution that ends with the toppling of Gadhafi and his sons from power.”

Excuse me, but may I ask why?

Why on earth should this country spend millions of dollars, risk hundreds of our servicemen’s lives and end up killing and maiming innocent women and children (and some adult men who admittedly aren’t so innocent) for “regime-change” in Libya? What the heck business is that of ours?

According to The Wall Street Journal, “the credibility of U.S. power is essential to maintaining our influence in [the] Middle East…”

I’m sorry, but this is the same sort of “make-the-world-safe-for-[our-version-of]-democracy” that led to the ruinous wars of the 20th Century. Have we learned nothing from the past?

According to our Founding Fathers and the Constitution they created, the only people who can order our men and women to go to war are the people’s representatives in the U.S. Congress. It is Congress, and only Congress, that has the duty, the right, and the legal obligation to make that decision.

Yet our President is more guided by what the moral lepers in the Arab League and the United Nations think than our elected representatives here at home.

Without a declaration of war, U.S. military actions in Libya are unConstitutional. Period. In a saner world, Congress would be drawing up the articles of Obama’s impeachment as you read this.

But no, that’s not what our empire-building elitists want. We’re supposed to be the policeman of the world. Or to quote that same odious WSJ editorial again:

“One reason to intervene in Libya is to show the Assads and Ahmadinejads that the West is willing and able to act against tyrants who slaughter their own people.”

Oh, yeah? Then what about the genocide in Rwanda, which thus far has claimed the lives of more than one million innocent men, women, and children? Many thousands of these sad victims suffered the most bestial indignities, including repeated rape and massive torture, before they were slain. Have you heard Obama mutter one word of protest, or send one rifle or bullet, to assist any of the Africans there for whom he would be expected to feel some sympathy? What a bunch of lying hypocrites we have ruling over us!

And yet The Wall Street Journal editorialist has the unmitigated gall to chastise the Governor of Mississippi with these words:

“Mr. Barbour’s glib resort to this trope of the isolationist left suggests he hasn’t thought very hard, if at all, about foreign policy.”

So there you have it, folks. Unless you’re willing to support illegal military action, you’re some sort of boobus Americanus, to use H.L. Mencken’s favorite phrase. Well, count me among the people who haven’t yet bought the liberal-CFR line that war is peace, bad is good, wrong is right—and that it is our solemn duty to use our money and our Marines to intervene in every country around the globe that doesn’t behave as we think it should.

This is madness. And it’s got to stop.

Say It In Song
Let’s try to end this grim account of an even grimmer story with a smile. I’m sure many of you remember The Kingston Trio. They were perhaps the most famous folk group of the ’50s and ’60s. I don’t think any of the original members are still performing today, but I believe there’s a group somewhere with the same name, singing all of their old hits.

Back in 1962, the trio (Bob Shane, Dave Guard and Nick Reynolds) released a song that I thought was weird, even for those very weird times. Anyone remember “The Merry Minuet”? You can still find a performance on YouTube. The structure of the song was strange, too. After singing one line, the group then sort of hummed for a bit; then sang another line; then hummed some more.

Printing the lyrics won’t convey how funny this all sounded, but let me try. Here are the first eight lines of the song:

They’re rioting in Africa,
They’re starving in Spain;
There’s hurricanes in Florida
And Texas needs rain.
The whole world is festering with unhappy souls;
The French hate the Germans, the Germans hate the Poles,
Italians hate Yugoslavs, South Africans hate the Dutch.
And I don’t like anybody very much!

I think it was Nick Reynolds who blurted out that last line. (But if I’m wrong, I’m sure an Alert Reader will correct me.) On the recording I have, much laughter followed that declaration.

Anyway, after describing all of the terrible things that were happening all over the world—and remember, folks, this was 49 years ago—isn’t it amazing how little has changed since 1962? The trio ended on what purported to be a note of optimism:

But we can be tranquil and thankful and proud
For man’s been endowed with a mushroom-shaped cloud.
And we know for certain that some lucky day
Someone will set the spark off and we will all be blown away!

More laughter followed that rather grim description of “some lucky day.” The song then ended with the following prediction:

They’re rioting in Africa,
There’s strife in Iran.
What nature doesn’t do to us
Will be done by our fellow man.

I’ll have more to say next week to “our fellow man” about the people who are misleading and betraying us. In the meantime, stand up for what you know in your heart is right. Condemn the illegal and dangerous course our president has set this country on, both at home and abroad.

And keep some powder dry.

–Chip Wood

Bay State On The Right Path?

Bay State on the right path?Massachusetts has long been viewed as one of the most liberal States in the union. The Bay State is home to the most famous left-wing family in politics, the Kennedy's, and it has voted blue in every Presidential election since 1984.

However, a new poll reveals that a majority of Massachusetts voters support a re-election bid for Senator Scott Brown (R-Mass.). Furthermore, a separate poll indicates that many residents oppose the State's landmark healthcare law, which served as a model for President Barack Obama's controversial healthcare reform.

In January 2010, Brown shocked the nation by defeating Attorney General Martha Coakley, a Democrat, in a special election to become the first Republican Senator representing the Bay State since 1979. Brown filled the seat formerly held by longtime Senator Ted Kennedy, who died in August 2009.

According to a recent Suffolk University/7NEWS poll, approximately 55 percent of Massachusetts voters said that Brown deserves to be re-elected.

"Brown is beating all expectations," said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center. "His popularity hasn’t diminished as most expected, and at this point in time he’s going to be tough to beat."

In a separate poll conducted by the college, about 49 percent of respondents said that they believe the 2006 law requiring most residents to obtain healthcare insurance is a failure, according to The Boston Globe. Approximately 39 percent of voters said the individual mandate, which is a staple of Obamacare, has been a success. 

Insulin May Be Effective In Treating Alzheimer’s

Insulin may be effective in treating Alzheimer'sIn addition to stabilizing blood glucose, insulin may also have the ability to suppress the buildup of beta amyloid plaque, a known precursor to Alzheimer's disease, according to researchers at the University of Buffalo. 

Additionally, the hormone appeared to prevent neurofibrillary tangles associated with the neurological disorder.

"If this effect of insulin proves in larger studies to be systemic, then insulin may well be a potential therapeutic agent in treating Alzheimer's disease," said lead author Paresh Dandona, M.D., Ph.D.

In addition to promoting healthy cellular activity, insulin also has anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation has been shown to be a predictor of various illnesses, like cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Authors of the study noted that they will need to overcome the challenge of how to deliver the hormone directly into the brain in order to avoid any hypoglycemic effects of excessive insulin in the body.

The National Institutes of Health reports that there is currently no cure for Alzheimer's disease, and treatments to slow its progression have minimal effect.  

April Fool’s Day Pranks, The Donald And Pinching Pennies

*A belated April Fool’s Day to you. Although I’ve pulled pranks on family and friends almost every April 1 since I got out of diapers, I didn’t do anything to mark the occasion last Friday. Not so, many other folks. Among my favorites, billionaire British entrepreneur Richard Branson issued a press release stating, “Branson buys Pluto, reinstates as planet.” Google topped that with the announcement of “Google Motion”—a camera that attaches to your computer and lets you respond to email by moving your body.

And how about the usually staid (some would say stuffy) Whole Foods poking fun at their own “Whole Paycheck” reputation? They announced a program where you could have each paycheck converted automatically to a Whole Foods debit card. But my all-time favorite was when Ryan Air, the world’s largest airline, announced that for a small premium, they would guarantee you a child-free flight. Now, that would be worth paying for!

*The Donald sounds more and more like a candidate. No April Fool’s stunt here: Donald Trump got nationwide publicity when he very publicly released his birth certificate to the press—and challenged President Barack Obama to do the same. Seeming to enjoy stirring the pot, Trump said, “It’s inconceivable that, after four years of questioning, the President still hasn’t produced his birth certificate. Why is he making an issue out of this?”

*A penny saved is… several million earned? Supervalu®, one of the nation’s largest supermarket chains, says it will start training all of its baggers on the best way to pack plastic bags. The company says it goes through 1.5 billion of them a year, at a cost of 2 cents each. Just 5 percent better efficiency would save the chain $15 million a year. One of the changes? No more bags for gallon jugs or six-packs. You’ll have to carry them out as is.

–Chip Wood

Gold And Silver In A Bubble?

At this writing, silver is $39.57 and gold is $1,459.86. Silver and gold are not in a bubble and should be bought. Before this market is topped out, precious metals will be much higher.

Paper money and all fiat currencies are in a bubble. The people who are saying that silver and gold are in a bubble are talking their book.

They are betting against gold and silver by shorting the market, or either not buying it.

As we have cautioned many times, do not invest in any kind of proxy for gold and silver, meaning any kind of scheme, exchange traded fund (ETF) or any type of “storage or security” system. Keep your metals in your possession at all times, the same as you would your firearm.

In my wide reading of the metals market I am reading about silver being in backwardation.
This means that many forms of silver are not available at the retail price.

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is considering rule changes that would set limits on the amount of shorts that can be bought. This would limit the manipulation of the gold and silver market by the big bullion banks like J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs. Many writers believe that this will make the price of silver and gold explosive.

Normally speaking, silver and gold are due for a correction and I believe it will substantially correct. Just always keep in mind how much and how fast it has gone up.

Fertilizer Will Grow The Profits Of Your Portfolio

Which investments have outperformed gold and silver in the last five years? A lot of investors are currently investing in precious metals, and gold and silver are especially popular. While this is in our view certainly a smart move, we feel that investors need to look beyond gold and silver and broaden their investment horizon to look for investments that might even outperform precious metals in the years to come.

In my view, the fertilizer industry is one area where a lot of value is being built in coming years and where investors can find attractive long-term investment opportunities.

Among the most important things in investment research is to identify global structural changes and the value drivers created thereof. Of course, investors can also make profits by short-term trading, but during my investment career I have not seen many traders consistently making profits this way. While I certainly do think that investors have to look at short-term opportunities, I strongly believe that in order to generate superior returns, one has to identify global structural changes in the world economy.

That’s what our team is doing every day. We have a true passion for analyzing structural economic changes and positioning our investments so that they will benefit from such changes. That means that our investment allocation is usually centered on a few core themes and therefore is usually less diversified in terms of industry allocation.

However, our investment allocation is spread among many countries, currencies and among a broad based strategic asset allocation. Investments in fertilizer companies seem to offer compelling investment returns which are tied to a very powerful long-term industry cycle that is relatively unaffected by short-term volatility in global economic growth. Also this is an industry group which has been able to outperform gold and silver over the last five years.

We think because of a further increase of global population, and therefore the need to feed more and more people, the fertilizer industry is poised to benefit significantly in the years to come. A growing demand for food will continue to drive prices and farmers around the globe will have a strong incentive to increase production. The higher prices for agriculture commodities will allow producers to spend more on fertilizer and crop protection, which will support higher prices. This should result in high and sustainable business growth for the potash and fertilizer companies going forward and we believe this is currently one of the most interesting sectors in the market.

According to a recent study of The World Bank, global demand for food is expected to grow by up to 40 percent until 2030 while world population growth is expected to grow by 23 percent, from currently 6.9 billion to around 8.5 billion people. The large increase in projected food demand is primarily coming from increased demand from emerging markets where an increasing part of the population is moving up to middle class and, because of a better lifestyle and higher income, will be able to spend more on food and many other products.

The chart below shows the anticipated growth in world population, with the yellow line being the most realistic scenario. An increase of global population by another 2 billion in the next two decades will have a number of very significant impacts on the world economy and will also increase the potential for geopolitical tensions given the fact that food and commodities in general will be scarce.

The recent crisis in the Middle East and Northern Africa show that a rapid increase of basic goods like food and energy will increase the conflict potential significantly. People might be able to accept a weak and corrupt government or even a dictatorship, but when people are starving they are willing to stand up and take control. This has been a very important driver behind the recent problems in countries like Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.

World population
*Source United Nations
 

So if the assumptions and projections regarding population growth are more or less accurate, one of the biggest challenges for our planet will be to increase world food production by 40 percent in the next two decades.  This is challenging, but not impossible.

According to various studies, productivity growth in the agriculture sector has increased by about 150 percent in the last 40 years and it seems likely that this trend will continue in the future, but probably at a slower rate. Also, the world’s reserve for agriculture land is relatively limited. While there are still land reserves in Latin America and certain areas in Southern Africa, it’s going to be difficult to expand the amount of agriculture land significantly, especially when additional factors like climate change and scarcity of water supplies are taken into consideration.

This points to the obvious fact that the largest increase to the world’s food production has to come from increased productivity that can only be reached by additional use of fertilizer products, crop and seed protection and the further industrialization of farming. This is in the eyes of many a real horror scenario, but the fact is that by only growing fruits and vegetables organically, we will not be able to solve the problem of a possibly severe future food shortage.

It is obvious that this creates a true super cycle for companies that are doing business in this area, and fertilizer companies, especially, will be able to significantly benefit from this development. On top of the very promising outlook for the industry comes the fact that the global fertilizer market is dominated by a small number of companies. Eight companies make up more than 80 percent of annual production which will give these companies good pricing power going forward.

Since the barriers for entry in this sector are very high and the fact that potash, the base ingredient for fertilizer, can only be found in certain parts of the world, future price increases could be very significant. The chart below shows that potash production only takes place in a relatively small number of places.

Potash productions center around the world
 

Currently, annual production is about 60 million tons and is expected to reach about 75 million tons in 2016. Today’s production is currently high enough to cover demand, but this could change in the latter half of the current decade and it is estimated that by 2020 global production will just be enough to meet demand. The outlook for the declining production overhang—and with that for rising prices in the future—has also resulted in additional takeover activity in the sector.

The recent bid of Australian based BHP Billiton for Canadian-based Potash Corporation and the acquisition of Potash One by Germany-based K+S are strong signs that the outlook for the industry is very promising.

Stocks of fertilizer companies have been doing well in the past two years, with many of them doubling or even tripling in price.  The chart below shows how some of the major companies in this sector have performed over the last five years. Most major markets have been flat over this period of time. In light of this, their performance is even more remarkable. Over this five-year time period, most of these companies have even outperformed gold and silver.

Potash performance compared to gold and silver
 

However, despite current valuations that look a bit rich based on commonly used ratios, the outlook for strong future profit growth, strong structural value drivers and the factors mentioned above should make investments in fertilizer companies an excellent option for years to come. Because of the growth prospects and as a way to protect the purchasing power of money, like gold and silver, investments in fertilizer are also linked to a commodity super cycle, which will not come to an end in the foreseeable future.

Rollback: Repealing Big Government Before The Coming Fiscal Collapse by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

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Longtime followers of Personal Liberty Digest™ know that I am a fan of Thomas E. Woods, Jr. His arguments in defense of the Constitution are always sound and he presents them in a manner that is reasoned, inoffensive and nonpartisan. And the arguments he makes in Rollback: Repealing Big Government Before The Coming Fiscal Collapse are no exception.

Agreeing with former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who said that a crisis should never be allowed to go to waste, Woods believes that the coming fiscal crisis is an opportunity to take a careful second look at government, its claims and promises and see how they hold up under scrutiny. Once you finish Rollback, you’ll realize they don’t hold up at all.

Most Americans have been conditioned—either through their education at the hands of the State propaganda machine Federal education monopoly or through the endless ravings of the corporate media—to believe that the government always acts on behalf of the public good. After all, the government keeps us safe, protects us against abuse from all-powerful monopolies, has enacted policies that lead to an increase in the standard of living and in all ways is a benevolent benefactor.

Additionally, thanks to government education, Americans are no longer a bunch of illiterate half-wits. And because we have an all-loving government watching out for us, we don’t have to worry about quack medicine, dangerous products coming to market and evil corporations working us in slave labor conditions.

Try debating with someone about the need for limited government and see if these arguments aren’t front and center. And another boogieman that crops up in any such discussion is the dreaded “D-word”: Deregulation. If only government had sufficient regulations on industry X, Y and Z, then the oil well wouldn’t have exploded, Bernie Madoff wouldn’t have ripped people off, the economy wouldn’t have gone sour, the housing bubble wouldn’t have burst and America would be paradise with no one going hungry, living on the streets or existing in poverty.

Woods takes these arguments and tosses them aside like the garbage they are. Citing facts and figures from over a number of years, Woods shows how government intervention creates far more problems than it solves. And the new problems are always met with the circular argument that more government intervention would solve the problems that government intervention helped create.

In a chapter on the Federal Reserve, Woods notes that although the Fed was once an entity wrapped in mystery and cloaked in silence as far as political discussion was concerned, popular awareness of, and opposition to, the Fed is now at its highest level in American history. And while most Americans still don’t understand how it works, more and more people are now aware that what was supposed to be a source of economic stability is, in fact, causing instability.

He explains how the Fed has created inflation and how this process enriches the privileged classes of the politically well-connected at the expense of everyone else. He shows how it’s a means to insidiously siphon resources away from the citizenry without having to raise taxes or borrow money.

Woods spends a great deal of time on the impact the U.S. military has on our economy, and how that influence has grown greater over the years as members of Congress  have used various Pentagon programs to enrich their districts to ensure votes—even when some of the Pentagon programs and weapons system weren’t needed, wanted or even feasible.

He also covers in great deal the hidden costs that government spending has had on our economy through its programs that encouraged private government contractors to ramp up for production on military projects. He explains how those projects have distorted the free market by tying up resources and imposing unrealistic profit margins which drove up prices in the private sector.

Finally, he presents a plan that would roll back government to its Constitutional limits—while acknowledging that the likelihood that any of the plan’s ideas would be adopted short of a major financial crisis are about nil. But he holds out the hope that, should the predicted financial catastrophe occur, enough minds would be opened to the ideas that some of them might take hold.

For the Leftists who are quick to jump up and say that Woods is only writing his books as a means of bashing Democrats in general and President Barack Obama in particular, understand that nothing could be further from the truth. Woods holds both parties responsible for the policies that have brought us to this point.

This is an unbiased look at the behemoth that the U.S. government has become, how it got here, and what it would take to get us back to fiscal sanity.

House Republicans Advance Resolution To Block FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules

House Republicans advance resolution to block FCC's net neutrality rulesPresident Barack Obama has pledged to veto a Republican-backed bill that would block new Internet regulations approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Obama's stance has not deterred House Republicans, who on April 5 approved the terms of a measure that would invalidate the FCC's "net neutrality rules," which were approved last December. The rules aim to prohibit phone and cable companies from abusing their control over broadband connections, FOX News reported.

Critics of the FCC regulations, including the 241 Republicans who support the legislation, have warned that the government should not exert its power over the Internet.

"The Internet is open and thriving and creating jobs because of the hands-off approach the government has taken to date," said Representative Greg Walden, (R-Ore.), quoted by the media outlet. "The resolution of disapproval will nullify the FCC's launch of a government takeover of the Internet and restore certainty to the marketplace."

Democrats have argued that the FCC's policies would ensure a "free" and "open" online marketplace by preventing companies from discriminating against rival content and services.

Conservative group Big Government recently published the names and contact information of 13 House Democrats whose constituents strongly oppose net neutrality. The organization strongly urged readers to contact these lawmakers and advocate for the GOP-backed resolution.