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. 

Democratic Leaders Attempt To Reshape Primary Schedule In Obama’s Favor

Democratic leaders attempt to reshape primary schedule in Obama's favorIn hopes of paving the way for a polarizing GOP Presidential candidate, national Democratic leaders have asked Massachusetts lawmakers to push back their State's primary.

According to The Boston Globe, the Democratic National Party is hoping to reschedule the Massachusetts Presidential primary, which is currently slated for March 6, until later in the spring of 2012. Liberals fear that the Bay State's influence early in the election cycle will help boost the popularity of moderate candidates such as Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty, who they believe are more likely to give President Barack Obama the toughest challenge in the national race.

National Democratic leaders would rather see more a conservative candidate emerge as the GOP front-runner early next year. In theory, they believe that Obama would fare better against a far-right politician who may not appeal to independent or undecided voters.

However, Massachusetts legislators are not in favor of the delay. Secretary of State William Galvin said that there is "no appetite for it here."

William Mayer, a political science professor at Northeastern University said that these scheduling efforts by party leaders compromise the integrity of the election process.

“It is not a great thing when one party tries to set the rules to make it difficult for another party,’’ Mayer told the news provider.

In Florida, lawmakers are considering holding their primary on Jan. 31, according to the Miami Herald. Only four States — Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — have been authorized by national party leaders to hold their respective caucuses or primaries before March 6. If Florida moves up their date, their delegation total at the Republican National Convention would be cut in half.

The Burning Question

Let’s all take a moment to welcome Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center. He’s back for his second 15 minutes of infamy. Now, let’s all wave goodbye to Pastor Terry Jones. Outside a bush-league Sam Elliott lookalike pageant, Jones doesn’t deserve another moment of our attention.

But his notoriety does. Jones is an aberration created in retort to the almost gleefully murderous tendencies of Islamofascism. He’s a religiously-twisted court jester. But the animals who kill and maim actual people (something neither Jones nor his flock have done) are a threat to a great deal more than just the scripture section of the Gainesville, Fla. library.

In an analysis of the violence supposedly touched off by Jones’ little campfire, the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail identified what they considered:

“…clear evidence that his actions have led to multiple murders and widespread violence in the Middle East… (Jones’s actions have) been directly responsible for a wave of violence that began last night and has left 30 people dead…”

What about the actual Islamofascists doing the actual killing? Are we that desperate to avoid upsetting savages who use 21st Century media and weapons to try and force the entire world back to the 14th Century on behalf of their funhouse-mirror image of a 6th Century historical figure? When do we tire of making excuses for the inexcusable?

If Islam works for you—as it does for more than 1 billion people worldwide—then have at it. I won’t be joining you for a number of reasons, including a serious devotion to bacon cheeseburgers. But I’m not going to cower under a dishdasha because you don’t like it. And you should learn to live with that. It’s not as if I’m pursuing romantic interludes with preteen girls, a predilection which Mohammed indulged.

Recently, backup bloviator Chuck Todd sat in for talking hairdo Chris “Tingle-boy” Matthews on Matthews’ unintentional comedy program on MSNBC. Todd allowed TIME Magazine reporter Aparisim “Bobby” Ghosh on the program to discuss Jones’s barbeque. If Ghosh’s name rings a bell, it might be because he’s the same sock puppet who helped fabricate the infamous story alleging a Marine Corps-perpetrated massacre in Haditha, Iraq. Outside the asylum which is liberal faux-journalism like the sort practiced at TIME and MSNBC, Ghosh is worthy of little more than: “How is this guy doing more than reporting ‘Sled Dog of the Week’ stories in Nome?”

But Todd brought Ghosh in to raise Jones’ cache to new heights:

“The thing to keep in mind that`s very important here is that the Koran to Muslims… it is not the same as the Bible to Christians. The Bible is a book written by men. It is acknowledged by Christians that it is written by men… But the Koran… if you`re a Muslim, the Koran… is transcribed, is directly the word of God. That makes it sacred in a way that it`s hard to understand if you`re not Muslim.”

Actually, there’s a great deal wrong with that statement, but given the total lack of credibility earned by Ghosh—well—let’s just move along.

Ghosh’s point, like the Daily Mail’s point, is that Jones is somehow responsible for the violent rampages of Islamofascists. While I would agree that Jones isn’t helping the situation, I disagree vehemently that his Koran-burning misadventures are the moral equivalent of “yelling ‘FIRE!’ in a crowded movie theatre,” or yelling “defenseless Israeli teenager” in a crowded Nablus mosque.

Jones isn’t yelling “FIRE,” he’s yelling “ARSONIST,” albeit in a supremely stupid manner. But those who focus on what Jones is doing are missing something more important: That Islamofascists don’t need anyone to point out the defenseless Israeli teenager in the Nablus mosque, nor the Dutch cartoonist who drew a parody image of Mohammed, nor the guy who was riding the elevator to the 81st floor of the World Trade Center on 9/11.

About a year ago, a New York group which calls itself “Revolution Muslim” threatened to murder South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone should Comedy Central air an episode of the cartoon which purportedly depicted Mohammed. Comedy Central heavily edited the episode in response to the threats. If a group of Islamofascists had used the South Park episode as justification for murder, neither Parker nor Stone would have been responsible; just as Jones isn’t now.

In blaming clowns like Jones, we’re treating Islamofascists with kid gloves, while they treat us like victims. More importantly, we’re blaming the wrong people.

NYC Gun Owners Required To Pay Hundreds Of Dollars Annually, Lawsuit Claims

NYC gun owners required to pay hundreds of dollars annually, lawsuit claimsTwo gun rights groups and several New York City residents have filed a Federal lawsuit against New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, alleging that the city's $340 fee for a handgun permit is "excessive."

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association filed the civil rights lawsuit on April 5. They were joined by five NYC residents.

SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb said that the maximum fee for issuing a New York State handgun license is $10, but the measure exempts residents living in the Big Apple. Thus, the city can name its own price. He states that Bloomberg charges residents $340 to obtain the permit and more than $100 per year to keep the handgun in their homes.

The lawsuit claims that the annual fee "impermissibly burdens the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms," as well as violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

"Mayor Bloomberg is essentially taxing the fundamental right to defend one's self in his or her own home," said Gottlieb. "We cannot think of anything more egregious than perpetuating a fee structure that puts a financial obstacle in the way of citizens who want to protect their homes and families."

New York is one of only two States that requires residents to have a permit in order to keep a handgun at home, Gottlieb added. 

Social Activity And A Healthy Diet May Prevent Breast Cancer

Social activity and a healthy diet may prevent breast cancerIn a study of mice, Georgetown University Medical Center researchers found that social isolation and fatty foods elevated levels of a neurotransmitter in the brain associated with insulin resistance and breast cancer.

Moreover, rodents that were denied socialization but fed a normal diet had high levels of neuropeptide Y and also formed more structures in the mammary gland that were prone to becoming cancerous.

"We have yet to translate these findings to humans, but it does suggest that social isolation is a potent stressor and initiates a robust central nervous system response," said lead author Allison Sumis.

In a controlled study, the team found that 92 percent of mice who were isolated and ate a high-fat diet developed tumors, and 67 percent of the animals who lived in groups but had poor diets experienced abnormal growths. Of the rodents that ate normal diets, 36 percent ended up with tumors — whether they were isolated or not.

Authors of the study noted that it is possible that stress relating to loneliness exacerbated the negative effects of a fatty diet.  

The United States’ Entrance Into WWI

On this date 93 years ago, the United States formally entered World War I. Shortly after taking office for his second term as President, Woodrow Wilson (who had campaigned on the promise of “keeping America out of the European war”) urged Congress to declare war on Germany.  The Senate did so on April 4; the House followed two days later.

The conflict became known as “the war to make the world safe for democracy.” This clever Madison Avenue slogan was a total ruse, of course. Instead, the war was the bloodiest conflict that had ever been fought up ’till then.  It destroyed almost every government in Europe. It led to the murderous rule of Stalin in Russia and Hitler in Germany.

And it ushered in an era of Big Government from which the world is still suffering.

–Chip Wood

Effective Weight Loss Plan Includes Three Square Meals, Plenty Of Protein

Effective weight loss plan includes three square meals, plenty of proteinWhile some modern weight loss experts recommend eating small, more frequent meals as a strategy to drop pounds, a recent study has shown that reducing body mass may be as simple as following your mother's advice.

Purdue University scientists found that eating three well-balanced, high-protein meals per day helped a group of overweight or obese males feel satiated while losing weight.

Moreover, the researchers found that the three-meal plan was easier to follow than a diet consisting of six daily meals due to busy work schedules. For both plans, the participants consumed about 2,400 calories per day, a 750-calorie decrease on average.

"The larger meals led to reductions in appetite and people felt full. We want to emphasize, though, that these three larger meals were restricted in calories and reflected appropriate portion sizes to be effective in weight loss," said lead author Heather J. Leidy.

The team also tested the effects of protein on a diet by advising half of the participants to eat normal levels of protein — about 14 percent of total calories — and the remaining individuals to consume high-protein diets, which amounted to 25 percent of daily energy intake. Authors noted that participants in the latter group reported feelings of fullness that lasted longer than those eating normal amounts of protein.  

Blame It On Rio: The President Goes Petro Hunting In Brazil

A good President might try to correct three of America’s biggest problems: intractable unemployment, America’s increasing dependency on foreign oil and a monstrous trade deficit. Yet none not one of these issues concerned President Barack Obama as he traveled throughout Latin America and launched another war upon a Middle Eastern nation.

Libya is ground zero for American air and sea power. Libya has more than 40 billion barrels of crude oil reserves and before its civil war was producing 1.7 million barrels of oil per day, roughly 2 percent of the world’s daily oil output.

No longer can other oil exporters replace shrinking Libyan production. That makes the crisis in Libya not just a potential military one but an economic one as well.

Barack’s Brazilian Solution
Apparently President Barack Obama does not think American roughnecks can be trusted. Boring at vast oil veins under the Gulf of Mexico has been suspended by the President. Now he has made his case for offshore oil development much further south, off the coast of Brazil.

Obama made his proposal while meeting with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. The Tupi oil field alone, which lies off Rio de Janeiro in the Santos Basin, has a potential deepwater reserve of 100 billion barrels.

Of course, the Gulf of Mexico has vast reserves, too. But like a good Democrat, Obama has added a middleman, and a foreign one at that.

The prospect of drilling for oil off the coast of Brazil rather than the coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico seemed to have Obama tickled pink. 

“By some estimates, the oil you recently discovered off the shores of Brazil could amount to twice the reserves we have in the United States,” Obama said. “We want to work with you. We want to help with technology and support to develop these oil reserves safely, and when you’re ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers.”

The “you” Obama was talking about is one of the largest corporations in the Americas—Brazil’s state-owned Petrobras oil company. Obama previously offered the company a $2 billion loan guarantee to help develop the oil field, but to date, Petrobras has not given an answer.

While the President has embraced oil production off Brazil, operations in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Alaska are at a standstill because of Obama’s “permitorium” on drilling. The only exceptions being three Gulf permits granted to operations which previously had permits and one allowing for new exploration (which will probably soon get slammed by a lawsuit).

Brazilian oil only makes sense if the United States didn’t have reserves. But the nation does. Still the President wants to invest billions of U.S. tax dollars for oil off Brazil.

And let’s not forget the unemployment problem. Obama promised to get America back to work during his primary run for the Presidency three years ago. But the jobless situation has not improved. According to The Washington Post, real unemployment in the United States may be as high as 16 percent.

Never mind that American rig operators go without work as do a multitude of small businesses that support them.

Fill’er Up With Corn And Check The Oil
Pleasing the Greens seems more important to Obama than getting America back on its feet. Of course, pleasing the Greens won’t produce much work for Americans and will only make the United States more dependent on oil imports. And oh yes, it will add to America’s massive trade deficit which has been weakening the U.S. dollar and therefore aggravating inflation.

Little wonder that on March 25, The Canada Free Press gave its opinion on Obama’s aspirations for Brazil:

“If Obama seems to be taking a wrecking ball to domestic oil production while increasing our reliance on oil from unstable foreign regimes, he at least partially explained his reasoning while in Brazil. ‘In the United States, we’ve jump-started a clean energy industry, and we’ll soon have the capacity to produce 40 percent of the world’s advanced batteries.’

“Of course, ‘jump-started’ is Washington speak [SIC] for subsidized. So in essence, the President is more than happy to trade our energy security and tank our economy to lead the world in the production of batteries.”

The Canada Free Press concluded that nobody can make, “stuff like this up and if it wasn’t so seriously stupid, it might be hilariously funny.”

Obama seems locked into remaking America into a Green nation whether it makes economic sense or not. Before his trip to Brazil, The Economist came out with its Feb. 28 issue, the cover of which said: “Blood and oil.” Within this issue is a Special Report, The Future of Food.

Food and energy have always been interconnected because it takes one to produce the other. Despite dire warnings of the surging global demand for food over the next two decades the Obama administration is willing to grow corn rather than drill for oil. 

While China aims to make 5 percent of its gasoline supply ethanol by 2020, Obama is far more ambitious, demanding that 30 percent of U.S. gasoline be derived from ethanol or alcohol by 2030.

Today ethanol only accounts for 8 percent of America’s transportation fuel yet takes up to 40 percent of the nation’s corn acreage. The Economist warns that if Obama’s 2030 deadline for clean gasoline is met, it will inflate food prices by an additional 15 to 40 percent.

If Obama had read this issue of The Economist, he might have spent less time talking about drilling for Brazilian offshore oil and spent more time learning the truth about ethanol. 

Brazil has no special advantage in finding crude but does have a tremendous advantage in making ethanol. The Economist points out that Brazil generates its ethanol, not from corn but from sugarcane, and the result is that it harvests eight units of energy for every one unit spent. In the U.S., corn produces one and a half units of energy for every one unit spent. 

Yet Obama is insistent that America grow ethanol, food prices be damned.

According to Peter Brabeck, the CEO of food giant Nestlé, “This is the craziest thing (the United States) is doing.”

I take issue with Brabeck. The Obama administration has been doing so many crazy things when it comes to U.S. energy policies it seems impossible to name just one.

Yours in good times and bad,

John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

Ryan’s 2012 Budget Proposal Calls For $179 Billion In Cuts

Ryan's 2012 budget proposal calls for $179 billion in cutsIf Democrats and Republicans meet in the middle this week and approve a measure to fund the Federal government, Tea Party supporters are likely to condemn any compromise.

Members of the grassroots movement have already slammed top GOP officials, accusing them of breaking their campaign promises to significantly reduce government spending. In response, Republicans have called on fiscally conservative Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to draft a budget proposal for fiscal year 2012.

On April 5, Ryan introduced The Path to Prosperity calling for $3.53 trillion in Federal spending in fiscal year (FY) 2012, $179 billion less than President Barack Obama's plan. Ryan's proposal, which is backed by other House Republicans, pledges to balance the budget by 2015 and cut $5.8 trillion in spending over the next decade, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Path to Prosperity stands little chance of passing a Democrat-led Senate and being signed by the President. The proposal, if approved, would repeal Obama's healthcare law, reduce spending on government health-insurance programs and make fundamental changes to Medicare and Medicaid.

Although some liberals may claim that Ryan's proposal would devastate the economy, Tea Party politicians have said that the GOP's cuts are inadequate. Senator Rand Paul's (R-Ky.) budget for FY 2012 calls for a restructuring of the Department of Defense, the repeal of Obamacare and major changes to block granting programs such as Medicaid, State's Child Health Insurance Program and food stamps.

Paul claims that his plan would cut nearly $4 trillion in spending over the next five years. 

Doctors Support Virginia Lawsuit Challenging Obamacare

Doctors Support Virginia Lawsuit Challenging ObamacareThe Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) has joined the fight against Barack Obama's signature healthcare law.

On April 4, the AAPS filed an amicus brief in support of the Commonwealth of Virginia's case against the Affordable Care Act, asking the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to declare the individual health insurance mandate unConstitutional. In addition, the claim states that the mandate is not severable from the rest of the ACA.

Officials from the AAPS argue that the individual mandate in Obamacare violates the Commerce Clause, Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, which limits Congressional power to regulate commerce in States.

"ACA is the most divisive, harmful, and unConstitutional legislation enacted by Congress in a generation," said AAPS counsel Andrew Schlafly.

Furthermore, some health experts predict that Obamacare will create a shortage of qualified medical professionals in America. James McLean, president of Hospital TeamCare West, said that many physicians are experiencing cutbacks in pay, and there is a lot of uncertainty about the law's future impact on doctors, facilities and patients.

As a result, McLean said that many physicians are considering an early retirement, which could lead to a severe lack of medical services for sick Americans who need thorough care. 

The Good Slaughter And The Bad Slaughter

The United States corporate media and political elite warmongers—champions, they would have you believe, of the little people in Libya being slaughtered by troops loyal to Moammar Gadhafi—have been strangely silent about the slaughter of civilians in Bahrain and Syria.

Now we know why. President Barack Obama made a deal with the House of Saud: We take out Gadhafi and you can have free reign to quash pro-democracy protests in Bahrain (Syria is another story we’ll deal with shortly).

Two foreign diplomats—one from a European country and another from the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) group—told Asia Times Online about the deal.

According to the article, one of the diplomats said, "This is the reason why we could not support resolution 1973. We were arguing that Libya, Bahrain and Yemen were similar cases, and calling for a fact-finding mission. We maintain our official position that the resolution is not clear, and may be interpreted in a belligerent manner."

So the U.S. stuck its nose in another country’s civil war and unleashed its air power and dropped bombs on Tripoli—killing countless civilians in the process—in order to halt the killing of a group of rebels who were learning that it takes more than a good idea to make a rebellion. Never mind the fact that the “nice rebels” the U.S. is so keen to protect includes al-Qaida terrorists who have shot at American troops.

Meanwhile, Saudi enforcers entered Bahrain—home to the U.S. Fifth Fleet—and shot peaceful protestors seeking reforms in their government. And according to reports coming across Twitter, more than 400 people who had blogged or Tweeted in favor of the protests are now either missing or in custody, many of them grabbed on the streets by masked thugs imported from other Arab and Asian countries.

To Obama, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and other lovers of the military-industrial complex, that’s acting humanely.

For Saudi Arabia, it’s a win-win. They see their hated enemy Gadhafi humiliated—if not eliminated—and are allowed to squelch any popular uprisings before they spread into Saudi Arabia. And to put a cherry on it, Saudi Arabia cements itself as “the” player in the Arab League.

For the U.S.-led coalition, eastern Libya is the prize because of its oil fields. Already the rebels are making oil deals with European nations. And let’s not forget that Libya would make a great location for another NATO base, giving the U.S. a foothold it needs on the African continent.

As for Syria, the Obama administration can’t seem to make up its mind whether that country is friend or foe. On March 27, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Bob Schieffer on CBS’ Face The Nation that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was a reformer, even as dozens of pro-democracy protesters were being gunned down and more activists were disappearing by the day.

But Clinton forgot to tell Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who labeled Syria as one of only three repressive regimes in the whole of the Middle East, along with Iran and Libya.

Make no mistake: The assault on Libya is a shot across the bow of both Iran and Syria. “Play with us or feel our wrath.” NATO is the new police force and it’s going to rule the Mediterranean.

Budget Talks Heat Up As Shutdown Looms

Budget talks heat up as shutdown loomsThe budget battle in Washington, DC has entered a critical stage as the current stop-gap measure is set to expire on April 8.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on April 5 to discuss ways to prevent a government shutdown. CBS News reported that Boehner has prepared a one-week continuing budget that would slash $12 billion from domestic spending, which would be a significant increase in cutbacks compared to previous stop-gap measures.

Democrats, on the other hand, have proposed $33 billion worth of cuts in a budget that would fund the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30. Boehner said that $33 billion "is not enough," and many of the cuts are "full of smoke and mirrors," according to the Los Angeles Times.

Meanwhile, House Republicans are preparing for a potential shutdown. House Administration Committee Chairman Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) has been assigned the task of compiling and distributing pamphlets that would provide guidance to lawmakers if a budget is not approved by this weekend, Politico.com reported.

A new poll conducted by The Washington Post reveals that the Obama administration and Republicans in Congress would equally share the blame if a budget compromise was not reached.