GOP Presidential Contender Field Is Taking Shape, But Not Everyone Is Happy

Mike Huckabee announces he won't run for President Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee has announced that he won't seek the Republican nomination for the 2012 presidential election.

In a statement made on his Fox News show, Huckabee said that the decision was not political or financial, but a spiritual one.

"All the factors say 'go,' but my heart says 'no'," he stated.

This was the third high-profile announcement, after Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich revealed last week he would seek the nomination, joining Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas).

And while Huckabee's decision opens a spot for socially conservative candidates to step in, it also leaves a void in the moderate wing of the Republican party, where the former governor is respected.

Columnist and commentator David Frum bemoaned Huckabee's exit, writing on the website CNN.com that despite his "reactionary cultural message," he was "unequaled in showing understanding and regard for those families getting by on incomes of five figures and not six, seven, eight or nine."

For his part, Huckabee hinted at the tough nature of the race that would last some 18 months and the job that potentially lay at the end of it. He said that "under the best of circumstances, being President is a job that takes one to the limit of his or her capacity." 

Rapper’s Appearance At White House Stirs Controversy

Rapper's appearance at White House stirs controversyFirst Lady Michelle Obama has received sharp criticism from several conservative figures regarding her decision to invite popular rapper Common to a poetry event at the White House.

Common, whose real name is Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr., addressed a group of students at the White House on May 11. The decision to invite him to a government-sponsored event has been questioned following The Daily Caller’s posting of his lyrics from a 2007 song, in which he calls on Americans to “burn a Bush.”

The lyrics are in reference to former President George W. Bush, of whom Common was an outspoken critic.

Furthermore, Common has defended retired pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who was at the center of some controversy during President Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008. Wright, Obama’s former pastor, was shown in videos spewing anti-American and racist comments, prompting the President to distance himself from the clergyman.

In 2008, Common defended Wright by claiming that the pastor “never really was against white people or another race,” according to FOX News.

In response to Common’s appearance at a children’s event, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin sarcastically tweeted, “Oh lovely, White House.”

Despite Republican Criticism, Romney Defends Bay State Healthcare Law

Despite Republican criticism, Romney defends Bay State healthcare lawFormer Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s political record has inspired some tongue-in-cheek remarks from conservative politicians and pundits alike.

On May 12, The Wall Street Journal published an editorial about Romney under the headline “Obama’s Running Mate.” Political columnist Jonah Goldberg tweeted that Romney is auditioning for David Axelrod’s job, referring to the former senior advisor to President Barack Obama.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, a potential candidate for the 2012 GOP Presidential nomination, has made repeated references to “Romneycare,” linking the 2007 healthcare overhaul in Massachusetts to Obama’s controversial Federal reform.

The critics have not deterred Romney, who defended his healthcare legislation during a May 12 speech in Michigan. He said that the Massachusetts law, which includes the individual mandate, was the right move for the Bay State.

On a national level, however, Romney has other plans if he is elected President. He has unveiled a five-point proposal that would give States the power to reject Obama’s individual mandate and allow them to craft their own coverage plans.

If elected, Romney claimed that he would issue an executive order on his first day in the Oval Office granting all 50 States waivers that would exempt them from certain requirements of Obamacare.

Milling Whole Grains Into Freshly Ground Flour

The most economical way to purchase wheat for food storage is to buy it in bulk, store it in 5-gallon buckets and grind it into fresh flour as you need it. Make sure the wheat you store contains less than 10 percent moisture content. This is very important because weevils and insects like moisture to reproduce. The dryer the grain, the longer it will store. Dry grain will also grind better in a mill. I like to buy wheat that has been triple-cleaned and is free of rocks, sticks, grass and insects.

It is best to find organic grains that are not genetically modified (GM). Whole grains can be purchased in any health-food or grain store. If you don’t have a grain or feed store near you, look it up on the Internet and find the closest food-storage and preparedness store near you. It is best to purchase the grain locally, because you will pay as much for shipping as you do for the grain. It would be good to get a variety of different grains and experiment with them. Whole grains are great to store because they last forever and provide carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals, fiber and some naturally occurring fats. Because they are what we call complex carbohydrates, they are slow burning and provide extra energy in the body.

I grind up about a gallon of flour at a time and store the leftovers in a container in my freezer. It is ready for making breads, cakes, pancakes and other baked goods. By grinding it fresh each time I need it, the grain retains the nutritional value. Once the grain has been milled, it starts to lose nutrition the longer it sets. White flour in the grocery store has lost most of its nutritional value from being highly processed. The hull and bran are stripped away, and the flour is bleached to make it white. Then preservatives, whiteners, softeners and spoilage preventers are added. Processed food is dead food as far as nutrition goes.

I set up a baking center in my pantry where I can grind my wheat and grain. I keep together all the supplies needed for making bread — items such as honey, powdered milk, dried eggs, vegetable or olive oil, salt, vital wheat gluten and dough enhancer. I have gallon-sized containers with different grains in each one. I keep all the ingredients together, so they are handy to use. The only exception to the rule is the yeast. I keep it in the freezer, which extends the shelf life of the yeast. My wheat-grinder and bread-maker are on the shelf of my baking center. I have an electric wheat-grinder and a nonelectric hand wheat-grinder.

If you are storing the grain for long periods of time, it is good to use several oxygen-absorbers in the bucket. I use one 300-CC oxygen-absorber for every gallon of grain. I layer the grain and five oxygen-absorbers in a 5-gallon bucket so they are mixed in with the grain. If I am going to use the grain for grinding or cereal, I do not put an oxygen-absorber in the bucket, because as soon as you open it, the absorber will absorb oxygen from the air and will be useless. If I plan to sprout the grain, I do not put an oxygen-absorber in it, because it will kill the endosperm by depriving it of oxygen.

If a person is gluten intolerant (allergic to wheat), there are other grains that can be substituted in baked goods. The grains that contain gluten are wheat, spelt, kamut, faro, durum, bulgur, semolina, barley, rye, triticale and oats. The grains that do not contain gluten are amaranth, buckwheat, corn, millet, Indian ricegrass, quinoa, brown and white rice, sorghum, teff and wild rice. Grind all grains the same or mix them for a variety of texture, flavor and nutritional value.

If you are not used to whole grains, start slowly by incorporating the flour into baked goods. Use half whole wheat and half white flour at first. Because whole wheat and grains have fiber in them, they need to be introduced into the system slowly or they could can cause stomach upset until you get used to using them.

Electric And Nonelectric Wheat Grinders

There are many wheat-grinders available on the market today. I prefer to use an electric grain-mill (wheat-grinder) for everyday use. I make bread several times a week, and it takes more time to grind the flour by hand. However, I have a backup hand-grinder in case the power goes off and I need to grind flour or make cracked cereal. I also recommend a nonelectric grain-grinder called the WonderMill Junior for hand grinding. The electric mill is called the WonderMill. I also recommend the Country Living Grain Mill as the Cadillac of all hand grain-mills. It is heavy duty and very good quality. It is also the most expensive grain-mill. These mills can be purchased on my website.

The WonderMill Junior For Hand Grinding (nonelectric)

The WonderMill Junior for Hand Grinding (non-electric)The WonderMill Junior hand-grinder has an adjustable dial which allows the mill to grind a variety of grains into fine flours and coarse cereals. The WonderMill Junior is a valuable emergency-preparedness tool. The sleekly designed mill allows you to have fresh, nutritious ingredients for your recipes, even when the power is out. The easy-to-turn handle grinds grain into fine flour or coarse, cracked grains for cereals. The mill is designed in one piece, which prevents the hopper from coming off during the milling process. Simply exchange the stone heads with the stainless-steel burr heads to make peanut butter or to grind flax, any other oily or wet grains, herbs, spices and all kinds of beans and legumes. The base of the mill is set back, which allows you to place a bowl under the grinding head to collect the freshly ground flour. This mill sells for $219.95. You will receive free shipping from my website.

The Electric WonderMill Grain Grinder

The Electric WonderMill Grain GrinderThe WonderMill Company has teamed up with LG to make a Quiet Wheat Grinder. It is easy to use and clean, and it grinds the grain fast. This grain-mill adjusts from coarse to pastry-fine flour by adjusting the dial. It has a separator lid which is easy to clean and dishwasher safe, and the large, 12-cup capacity flour canister is perfect for flour storage. The wheat grinder can process most hard and soft grains and legumes, giving you more nutrition and a way to use your stored wheat, rice, corn and beans. The stainless steel mill heads are self-cleaning. The WonderMill Wheat Grinder comes with a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty on the stainless-steel, heavy-duty and long-lasting mill heads and a six-year warranty on the rest of the parts. The mill includes an instruction manual, warranty card and great recipes. This mill sells for $259.95. You will receive free shipping from my website.

The Country Living Grain Mill Hand Grinder (nonelectric)

The Country Living Grain Mill Hand Grinder (non-Electric) The Country Living Grain Mill is a high-capacity, hand-operated mill that can easily be adapted to a motor drive. It has an attachment to the flywheel which doubles as a v-belt pulley. Construction of the Country Living Grain Mill is a strong, cast-metal alloy with a super-tough, powder-coat finish that won’t chip or peel. It’s a very easy mill to use. The grinding burrs for the Country Living Mill are precision-engineered, made of high-carbon steel (not lower-grade iron) and 5 inches in diameter. (The flour remains cool in the Country Living Mill, so nutrient quality is preserved.) I recommend purchasing the optional power-bar handle for easy turning. The Country Living Mill produces 1 cup of wheat flour in about 1.25 minutes. The Mill is adjustable, so you can crack grain at a loose setting or adjust it down and get very fine whole-grain flour, coarser meal or cracked cereal, depending on your needs. This nonelectric grain mill sells for $395. You will receive free shipping from my website.

Making Bread From Freshly Milled Grains

Bread is considered the staff of life. Many people believe grain will make them gain weight. The processed and refined flours are what make people gain weight. As a nation, we eat way too much processed and refined foods. Our brains need the rich supply of B vitamins found in whole grains. There is nothing better than coming home to the smell of freshly baked bread, warm and just out of the oven. If you learn the skill of making simple homemade breads, it could very well save your life.

I have a philosophy that you can live on simple soups and bread. The pioneers had a pot of soup on the stove at all times and a loaf of bread in the oven. They even made do with what they had. I have read accounts of the pioneers walking across the plains with a coffee grinder and a bag of wheat in their wagon. They used the coffee grinder to grind the wheat and make it into cracked wheat cereal and flour.

My book Cookin’ With Home Storage has an entire chapter dedicated to using whole wheat and other grains. There are recipes for simple breads: tortillas, flat bread, scones, yeast breads, rolls, crackers, cornbread, dumplings, homemade noodles, muffins, biscuits, pancakes, cereals, quick breads and pretzels. There are certain ingredients for making bread that must be kept in the food-storage pantry. The bread baking supplies include wheat and other grain for grinding, salt, yeast, powdered milk, dried eggs, oil, sweeteners such as honey, white or brown sugar, maple syrup, agave or stevia. I keep my yeast in the freezer because it extends the shelf life of the yeast.

Sprout The Grain Or Let It Grow Into Wheatgrass

In the pyramids of Egypt, grain was found that still sprouted despite having been entombed for centuries. Sprouted wheat can be added to bread to give it a nice texture and added nutrition. When the grain is sprouted, it is 300 times more nutritious. If you use sprouted wheat in bread, do not let it sprout past the second day or it will turn to wheatgrass.

Wheatgrass is highly nutritious and, when put through a wheatgrass juicer, produces a great tonic for the body. People drink it to purify their blood and cleanse the body of toxins and poisons. It is very good for the health.

Recipe for Honey Whole-Wheat bread

5 cups lukewarm water

2/3 cup honey or sweetener

2/3 cup vegetable or olive oil

2 tablespoons active dry yeast or 2 packages

2-3 eggs or (3 tablespoons dried egg powder) (optional)

1 tablespoons salt

¼ cup vital wheat gluten (optional)

2 tablespoons dough enhancer (optional) or 1 vitamin C tablet crushed

12 cups whole-wheat flour

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2) In a large bowl, mix the lukewarm water, honey, oil and eggs together. Let it set for about 5 minutes to make sure the yeast will form bubbles and grow. If it doesn’t grow, the yeast may be dead, and you will need to get fresh yeast from the grocery store. Store all yeast in the freezer to extend the shelf life.

3) Add salt, vital wheat gluten, dough enhancer and six cups of freshly ground whole wheat or grain flour to the yeast and water mixture. Stir it well until the water is absorbed and it resembles a spongy, sticky paste.

4) Slowly add the remaining flour, one cup at a time and mix it in with a wooden spoon. When the dough pulls away from the bowl and holds its shape, it is done. If you do not need all the flour to make it pull away, do not use it all.

5) Grease your hands and the counter top with vegetable oil. Put the dough on the greased counter top and begin kneading the dough by pulling it and stretching it. Knead it for 10 minutes until it is smooth.

6) Divide the dough into six small loaves or three large loaves. Roll the dough to form the dough into the size that will fit in small bread pans to about half the height of the pans. Let the dough set on the top of the warm oven as it preheats. When the dough has risen above the bread pans by about 1 inch, the loaves are ready to go into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes for small loaves and 45 minutes for large loaves.

7) I like to make rolls out of the dough by pinching off a small amount of dough and flattening it out into a rectangular piece. Put melted butter on the top and fold the roll over. Place the rolls on a greased cookie sheet close together.

Peggy Layton is the author of seven books on the subjects of food storage and preparedness. The previous recipe and many others can be found in the cookbook Cookin’ With Home Storage. It contains more than 550 simple recipes using very basic pantry ingredients that can be stored long-term. This book contains authentic pioneer recipes and fascinating historical tips on how the pioneers really lived. There are chapters on all the basic foods that can be stored: wheat and grains, beans and rice, dried fruits and vegetables, dried pasta, powdered milk and dried eggs. There are charts on how to reconstitute dehydrated and freeze-dried foods. There are tips on how to incorporate food storage into your everyday diet. The book includes chapters on grandma’s home remedies, natural household cleaners, emergency baby food and pet food, as well as emergency food-storage and survival tips.

To purchase the cookbooks, electric and nonelectric wheat grinders and grain mills, bulk food storage, oxygen-absorbers or any of the other preparedness items talked about in this article, click here.

If you are interested in a great source for premade meals that can be stored for 15 years and taste great, I have been testing out emergency food storage meals, packaged in Mylar pouches. These meals serve four people and are ready eat: Just add water and cook. I find them delicious, convenient and easy. To learn more about eFoods click here.

 

What Now?

Over the past several months, we have seen rioting in some Arab and European countries. The riots were sparked by the high costs of food, government austerity measures and government oppression.

We have some of the same dynamic going on in the United States. But through a system of bribery, the U.S. government has succeeded, at least temporarily, in preventing Americans from rioting in the streets.

The number of Americans now on food stamps is 44,082,324 as of December 2010, up 13.1 percent from a year ago. This is more than 14 percent of the U.S. population. Unemployment is at 9 percent, and President Barack Obama and Congress have extended unemployment benefits to 99 weeks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average stands at about 12,700. It first hit this mark in late 2007 — more than four years ago. Of course, because of the bursting of the housing bubble, the Dow could be much worse. It dropped to 7,063 in December of 2008. But the political elites threw money at the Dow in order to prop it up, to give America a sense that things were alright. After all, a rising Dow means prosperity… right?

But Americans are too busy and distracted playing with their iPad 2s and gossiping on Twitter about Charlie Sheen’s rants to have any time to protest in Washington, D.C.

As a result of QE2, the Federal Reserve is now “buying” 70 percent of U.S. Treasuries. You can believe it or not as you wish, but the U.S. government is in a state of collapse.

Precious few are prepared. You are warned: We have alerted you for many months. Now this is a flashing red alert.

Please remember that in the coming inflation, food stamps and all U.S. entitlement programs will come to a complete halt.

For those millions on Social Security and/or other entitlements, I do not believe that these will be stopped or cut per se. But the same effect would come about through inflation of the currency. My friends, you will get your money, but it will be so worthless that it won’t buy anything.

So what’s new? We have experienced this for years.

We have warned for years to buy silver and gold and store food and water. Ha, doesn’t sound so way out now, does it?

Please keep your gold and silver and food in your personal possession. It amazes me how quickly people will trust someone else with their gold and silver. Don’t do it!

Is it too late to buy gold and silver? The answer is “No, no and no!” As the Fed destroys the U.S. dollar, you will look back at how cheap gold and silver are now.

Stocks? Yes, gold and silver stocks and energy stocks — concentrate mostly on oil stocks.

Buying gold and silver and oil stocks and storing food and water are the only ways Americans can survive the chaos we are now in.

You ain’t seen nothing yet. Be alert!!

Should you sell your gold and silver as it corrects down? Never! If you do, you will be painfully sorry. Do you think you are smart enough to sell and buy back in at a lower price?

You aren’t; you will lose your shirt. Stay with the trend. This guarantees your bull-market position all the way to the top.

What will happen at the top? Stay with us, as we stay in tune with the markets.

Be reminded that gold and silver and food will outrun the collapse of the dollar. If the U.S. dollar goes, as it surely will, you can begin bartering with your most valuable assets.

Some suggest that a new dollar will appear, backed by silver or gold. I don’t know, but I expect that or some quasi-gold monetary system. (Steve Forbes predicted last week that the U.S. would return to the gold standard within five years.)

Are the U.S. government and Federal Reserve system collapsing? I can easily answer that with this question: Is the U.S. dollar collapsing? A currency that is being depreciated or inflated is, by all definitions, collapsing. This fact has nothing to do with whether we believe it.

Can it be stopped short of collapse? If stopped now, it would cause a collapse even sooner. What do we mean? We mean we have passed the point of no return. Too much fraud and too much debt exist in the U.S. They must be washed away.

What currencies will be left standing? We believe the Swiss franc and the Canadian dollar, but these will have to return to gold backing finally.

Keep in mind that most of the American people are totally oblivious to what you read here at Personal Liberty Digest™. Life in the near future will be very, very hard for them.

How long do we have? It appears to me that we are very close to economic and social collapse. But times can yet wobble along for months or even a few years. It is certain things will get visibly worse in many ways, especially now that the endgame is here.

One of the prominent events of the endgame is more war. The U.S. has wars going on in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, the later begun under the pretext of humanitarianism and to end the oppression of the Libyan people. Another war, this time with Pakistan, is brewing following America’s incursion into that country to execute Osama bin Laden. We are firing missiles at suspected terrorists in Yemen.

It is all a pretext to hide the collapse of the American empire, along with a desperation to control the world’s oil. It proves the foxes are still in charge of the henhouse, and the henhouse is on fire!

Senator Submits Online Privacy Bill

Senator submits online privacy billSenator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) has proposed a bill that aims to protect citizens’ online privacy rights.

The Do-Not-Track Online Act of 2011 would require companies to refrain from collecting information about users who request not to be tracked. In addition, the bill states that web-based businesses would be able to obtain user information in order to provide a service, but they would have to anonymize or delete it as soon as the service has been completed, Reuters reported.

Rockefeller’s proposal, which was introduced on May 9, is not the first online privacy bill to be submitted by members of Congress. According to the media outlet, laws that are designed to protect consumer privacy on the Internet have been proposed by Representatives Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) and Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) as well as Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.).

Nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog has praised the recent efforts made by lawmakers. According to a poll conducted by the organization, approximately 90 percent of Americans approve of legislation that protects their online privacy, with 80 percent favoring a “do not track” mechanism.

“We cannot be stalked as we shop in brick-and-mortar stores,” said Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog. “Yet whatever we do online is tracked, usually without our knowledge and consent.”

Homeowners Can Protect Irreplaceable Items From Flooding

Homeowners can protect irreplaceable items from floodingAs of May 11, more than 1 million acres of farmland in Arkansas was flooded due to cresting waters of the Mississippi River.

According to Bloomberg, the Natural State expects the costs of flood damage to exceed $500 million. Furthermore, approximately 3 million acres of land in Louisiana were in danger of being inundated with flood waters.

News reports of this natural disaster have prompted some Americans to ponder their own self-survival techniques in the event of a major flood. According to FloodSafety.com, an individual’s chances of being flooded are significantly higher than other daily risks. For example, homeowners are 27 times more likely to experience a flood than a fire during a 30-year mortgage, the website reports.

Although property damage is inevitable in some cases, the website suggests that individuals can preserve some of their assets by taking certain precautions. Aside from buying a homeowner’s insurance policy that covers flooding, residents should have an elevated place to store irreplaceable items, such as family photographs, important documents, currency and other valuables.

In addition, the website recommends that homeowners should take pictures of the property before and after the flood for insurance purposes.

Lies And Half-Truths: A Look At Newt’s Ramblings

Republican Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich has made quite a career out of talking politics since leaving Congress. But his public appearances, books and political commentaries are filled with statements that do not necessarily reflect reality.

PolitiFact.com put together a long list of Gingrich’s less-than-accurate statements. For example, in a campaign announcement video released on May 11, Gingrich said, “For four years, we balanced the budget and paid off $405 billion in debt.”

PolitiFact.com rates this statement as “False,” saying, “The federal government did run four consecutive surpluses, but for the last two of those — fiscal years 2000 and 2001 — Gingrich was no longer serving in the House,” and “If you look just at the two years Gingrich can claim credit for where the federal government was in surplus — fiscal years 1998 and 1999 — the government did pay down about $200 billion in debt. But that would be cherry-picking, because over the full four years of his speakership, the debt rose by about $800 billion.”

In the same video, Gingrich said that “unemployment came down from 5.6 percent to under 4 (percent)” during his time as Speaker of the House.

The site says that this statement is also “False,” because “the unemployment rate didn’t fall below 4 percent until September 2000, which was 21 months (after Gingrich resigned). The lowest the unemployment rate fell during Gingrich’s time as speaker was in April 1998, when it was 4.3 percent.”

In an April 2010 speech to Southern Republican Leadership, Gingrich, a former history professor, claimed that when the United States “first created the federal income tax, frankly, nobody below a million dollars a year paid anything.”

Again, this statement is “False.” “According to an online Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator, the 1913 equivalent of $1 million in today’s money was $45,677,” says PolitiFact.com. “Joint filers earning between $4,000 and $45,677 were liable for the federal income tax — at either the 1 percent or 2 percent level — but were less affluent than a ‘millionaire’ in today’s dollars, which was Gingrich’s cutoff point. The fact that these Americans paid taxes make (sic) Gingrich’s comment wrong on its face.”

White House Admits Staging Photos A ‘Bad Idea’

The White House admitted publicly today that many still photos taken of the President giving speeches were staged. Representatives speaking on behalf of President Barack Obama said the White House will end the little-known, long-running practice of having news photographers take pictures of the President re-enacting major speeches.

This comes in response to allegations of fakery surrounding Obama’s May 1 speech announcing the death of Osama bin Laden, said an Associated Press article. Obama spokesman Josh Earnest reportedly called the whole practice “a bad idea.”

“Even though The Associated Press and other news outlets said in captions to the photos that they were taken after the president delivered his address, many people who saw them may have assumed they depicted the speech itself. That raised questions of whether news organizations were staging an event,” the article said.

The practice arose as a courtesy to past Presidents, who might be distracted by photographers during live speeches, as well as to news organizations that did not want to run photographs handed out by the White House.

“The role of the official White House photographer is to show presidents in a good light. For example, if a president were to shed a tear or get visibly angry during a speech, it might make a great news photo, but probably not one the White House staff would want to circulate,” the article said.

Ron Paul Announces Presidential Bid

At 7 a.m., Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) announced on Good Morning America (GMA) his intention to run in 2012 for President of the United States.

This is Paul’s third bid for the Presidency. In 1988, he ran on the Libertarian ticket, and he ran again 20 years later as a Republican. In his time in the House, Paul has established one of the most consistently conservative voting records of any Congressman.

According to his website, a fellow Congressman said, “Ron Paul personifies the Founding Fathers’ ideal of the citizen-statesman. He makes it clear that his principles will never be compromised, and they never are.”

Often mocked in the mainstream media for his “extremism,” Paul told GMA he chose to run again because the American people are now expressing the views he has espoused for some time.

“Time has come around to the point where the people are agreeing with much of what I’ve been saying for 30 years,” Paul said.

As to why he is running as a Republican, Paul told GMA reporter George Stephanopoulos, “Running as an Independent here is just about impossible unless you’re a billionaire like Ross Perot. You don’t get on debates. If I was an Independent George, you would not have me on this program this morning.”

Been ‘Laden’ With Taxes: Osama’s Hidden Costs

The reported death of Osama bin Laden won’t lead to a reduction in the amount the United States government spends each year in response to the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001.

According to an article on MoneyNews.com, “The financial bleeding won’t stop with bin Laden’s demise. One of every four dollars in red ink the U.S. expects to incur in the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 will result from $285 billion in annual spending triggered by the terrorist scion of a wealthy Saudi family.”

The article details how the Federal government, using taxpayer anguish over the 9/11 attacks, has generated billions through new laws that address wartime needs.

“Next year alone, the U.S. plans to spend an additional $118 billion on military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq,” the article said. “Additional fiscal 2012 spending that can be attributed to bin Laden includes an extra $14 billion for Homeland Security, about $125 billion for the Pentagon excluding the two wars, expanded intelligence spending and increased aid to Pakistan.”

Costs are expected to continue, if not increase, for as long as the U.S. continues the so-called War on Terror. 

Hypocrisy On The Left: “Progressive” Christian Site Rejects LGBT Ad

A coalition of “progressive” Christians is apparently unfamiliar with the Left’s stance on homosexuality.

Sojourners, a Christian group that supports liberal political goals and claims to celebrate diversity, recently rejected an ad that asks Protestant leaders to welcome lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgendered (LGBT) people into the church.

Believe Out Loud, a project of multi-faith social justice organization Intersections International produced the ad. Reverend Robert Chase, the founding director of Intersections International, in an editorial for ReligionDispatches.org, condemns Sojourners’ decision.

“We have asked ourselves why Sojourners, a preeminent voice for justice in the religious community, rejected our ad buy. Does the organization not really believe in welcome for ‘everyone’ in our churches or do they believe everyone is welcome, but they are afraid to ‘believe out loud’ for fear of alienating some constituents?” Chase said.

A Diversity Statement on the website for Sojourners says that the group commits to “intentionally seek partners, participants and contributors to our programs, events and publications that mirror the diversity of our churches and society, with special efforts to welcome those who are underrepresented.”

Sojourners is headed by Jim Wallis, who has been described as a “spiritual advisor” to President Barack Obama.

The Week’s Wackiest Headline

*To balance your budget, just do this. The wackiest headline of the week came from CNN.com, which promised “No inflation unless you eat.” Doesn’t that make you feel better? Your paycheck is bound to stretch far enough, if you persuade your family to go on an all-air diet. Oh, while you’re at it, you had better not use any gas, oil or other fuel; require any medicine or medical services; or attend college. Don’t do any of that, and you will be fine.

*Rigging the bestseller list. Well, I’ll be doggoned. I didn’t think I would ever see The New York Times admit it fudges the numbers on its list of bestselling books. And while it didn’t come right out and say it had, it did finally acknowledge that sales of Mike Huckabee’s book “A Simple Government” had earned it a place on the list. Now, how about admitting Fox contributor Dick Morris’s “Revolt!: How To Defeat Obama And Repeal His Socialist Programs” has also earned a place on the bestseller list?

*You didn’t have to do that, Mr. President. President Barack Obama keeps saying America’s millionaires need to pay more taxes. But when it came to his own tax return, our Hypocrite in Chief took every deduction he could. Had he instead used the simplified form with no itemization, his taxes would have been nearly $200,000 higher. Gee, Mr. President, how about leading by example here and just pay more?

*Welcome aboard, Mr. Ringer. I’m delighted to welcome a longtime friend, bestselling author Robert J. Ringer, as the latest columnist at Personal Liberty Digest. In case you missed his premier column, click here to read such gems as, “It’s time to get real and admit that Obama is not just another ultra-liberal President cut in the mold of Bill Clinton. It’s time to stop tiptoeing and pretending. It’s time to say it: We have a communist in the White House! Say it out loud. Say it clearly. Say it with conviction: communist.”

–Chip Wood

Tea Party Fights For Its Patriotic Rights

Tea Party fights for its patriotic rightsA Tea Party group has sued officials in Coldwater, Mich. to challenge a policy that prohibits banners in city parks.

According to United Press International, the Common Sense Patriots of Branch County, Mich. filed the lawsuit claiming that the ban violates the 1st Amendment’s freedom of speech provision. Last November, the Coldwater City Council outlawed banners in city parks after it fielded complaints regarding the Tea Party’s promotional banners.

Attorney John Hutchison, legal counsel for the city of Coldwater, recently attempted to clarify the ban by saying that it applied to signs that are “affixed to real property and fixtures” and not to banners that are held in hand, Michigan Capitol Confidential reported. Hutchison added that he hopes to work with the Common Sense Patriots to craft an amendment to the ban.

Meanwhile, lawmakers in Arizona have approved a law that would protect citizens’ rights to hang the historic Gadsden flag, which is a popular symbol for the Tea Party movement. The bill, which has been approved by the State Senate and House, would prevent homeowner and condominium associations from prohibiting residents from flying the black-on-yellow flag that reads, “Don’t Tread on Me,” according to the Arizona Daily Star.

If signed by Republican Governor Jan Brewer, the bill would give the flag featuring a coiled rattlesnake the same protected status as the United States flag.

In response to Democratic claims that the law would set a dangerous precedent for other political flags, State Representative David Gowan (R-Sierra Vista) said that the Gadsden is “the first American flag, and that’s what we’re celebrating,” the news source reported.

Survey: Older Americans Take More Steps To Protect Their Identity

Survey: Older Americans take more steps to protect their identityDespite the common perception that young adults are more tech savvy than their elders, a new survey has revealed that seniors are less vulnerable to identity theft than younger Americans.

According to the poll, which was conducted by Seattle-based PEMCO Insurance, a total of 84 percent of respondents aged 55 and older said they have registered with privacy-protecting services offered by the government. Only 55 percent of people who were 35 or younger reported the same behavior.

Furthermore, approximately 88 percent of older residents said they have installed a firewall or protection software on their computers, compared to 78 percent of young people.

“It’s encouraging to see that most people are vigilant about protecting their personal information from fraud,” said PEMCO spokesperson Jon Osterberg. “Still, we think there’s more that residents, and especially younger people, can do to keep their information safe.”

Osterberg said that one common form of identity theft is stolen mail. He recommended that Americans should invest in a locking mailbox or set up a personal post-office box.

The survey revealed that higher-income respondents were more likely to install a locking mailbox or opt out of receiving direct mail to their homes.

Changes Here, Changes Coming

You may have noticed a few changes at Personal Liberty Digest™ over the past few weeks. Expect to see more changes in the coming weeks and months.

Among the changes we have already made:

  • Our Saturday issue featuring Ben Crystal’s “Great Eight” has been running about three months and continues to grow in popularity.
  • The addition of bestselling author Robert Ringer to our weekly lineup began May 3. His column has proven very popular, as we expected it would, based on the attention his columns received when he wrote for Personal Liberty as a guest contributor.

We made another change this week that has gone largely unnoticed, so I wanted to bring it to your attention. In our Personal Liberty News section — where we bring you brief news articles on the events of the day — we are now featuring breaking news.

In the past, these news stories seldom changed during the day. But now, our staff is covering breaking news from around the world. This feature will become even more robust in the coming weeks.

We encourage you to check back often to our home page for new headlines. You can also receive updates by following us on Twitter. We are also working on a redesign of the site to make it easier for you see our breaking news stories as soon as we post them.

There are other changes coming that I will tell you about when the time is right and the details are all worked out. These include new contributors, new products and a new way to purchase them.

We hope you like the changes we’re making. And if you have a suggestion, please post it below.

All the best,
Bob Livingston

Gingrich Accuses President Of Using ‘Dishonest Scare Tactics’

Gingrich accuses President of using 'dishonest scare tactics'Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has announced his intentions to run for the 2012 GOP Presidential nomination.

On May 11, the Republican revealed his candidacy via Facebook and Twitter. Later that night, Gingrich appeared on FOX News’ Hannity and said that President Barack Obama “should be ashamed of himself” for distorting the GOP’s positions.

Gingrich accused the President of using “dishonest scare tactics” to describe Representative Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget proposal. Obama has criticized Ryan’s plan to cut about $4 trillion in Federal spending over the next decade, saying that it would leave some senior citizens without Medicare coverage.

Although Gingrich is a household name, a recent Gallup Poll indicates that he has some work to do in order to become a bona fide frontrunner. According to the survey of more than 3,000 Republican voters, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney lead the pack.

Former Alaska Governor and Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin placed third in most demographics, although she received the most votes among respondents with salaries that are less than $24,000 per year.

Palin led Gingrich in most categories except among Americans earning $90,000 or more per year. The former House Speaker received 9 percent of the votes, compared to Palin’s 7 percent.

Obama’s Birth, Bin Laden’s Death

My goodness gracious, what a week it was for wild and wacky news stories. First, the President of the United States finally succumbed to the mounting controversy on April 27 and asked the State of Hawaii to produce some evidence that he was actually born there.

In fact, President Barack Obama had an aide fly from Washington to Honolulu to pick up the “Certificate of Live Birth.” Surely, the post office could have overnighted the darned thing to him for a lot less money. We were assured by the White House that we taxpayers didn’t pay any of the expenses for the trip. Sure. Like everyone involved made certain they were off the clock for the many hours they spent discussing the “birther” controversy and what to do about it.

Ever since Obama’s “Certificate of Live Birth” was released to the public, my mailbox has been full of articles and other postings allegedly proving the thing is a forgery. Frankly, I’ve never paid a lot of attention to the whole “birther” controversy. I suspect Barack Hussein Obama is exactly who he claims to be — the son of a white mother and black father who was born a citizen of the United States and raised to become a rabble-rousing redistributionist who couldn’t wait to get his hands on the reins of government so he could punish the productive and give to the unproductive. That’s what every Marxist tyrant in history has done. Obama has been treading a well-worn path.

Assuming he was born in Hawaii, as we’re supposed to believe, why did his grandmother say he was born in Kenya? And an even better question is: Why did he allow this controversy to drag on so long? He could have produced that “Certificate of Live Birth” years ago if he had so desired. Why didn’t he? I have never heard a good answer to either question.

I have to admit it was amusing to hear the president refer to Donald Trump as a carnival barker and for The Donald immediately to claim credit for accomplishing something the entire media had been unable to do — get Obama to show and tell.

Now that most of us can finally agree that Barack Hussein Obama is Constitutionally eligible to be president of the United States, how about we turn our attention to a truly important question? That is, how do we get him to follow the Constitution in his policies?

Will all of this finally put the “birther” controversy to rest? No. In fact, I can confidently predict I will receive even more emails on the subject (many of them telling me what an idiot I am to believe Obama is native-born). If you don’t believe me, come back to these pages in a few days and check the comments section below.

If you’re having trouble believing the 44th President was born in the U.S., how do you feel about the story of how Osama bin Laden was killed on May 2 in a daring U.S. military raid half a world away?

I am going to accept the whole incredible story hook, line and sinker. I believe an elite group of Navy Seals, after very specialized and secret training, flew from Afghanistan to northern Pakistan, landed behind the 10-foot walls of a mysterious compound, raced upstairs to the third floor where bin Laden was staying, shot two of his guards (and one poor, defenseless woman who was used as a shield), then shot Osama in the head — twice — when he tried to resist.

How an unarmed man “resisted” what must have looked like the SWAT team from hell, I have no idea. I don’t believe for a minute this was a dead-or-alive mission. I think the orders were clear from the beginning — either bin Laden dead or all of you. This was no bring-him-back-alive effort.

Thank goodness. Can you imagine what would have happened if the United States really had tried to enforce the “justice” Obama and his Attorney General promised? A “fair trial” in a civilian court, with a judge giving his lawyers full access to everything the CIA ever learned about him? What a disaster that would have been!

There were no U.S. fatalities, unless you count a helicopter that landed so hard it couldn’t fly again and had to be destroyed. (That reminded me of some of my favorite horse stories in which beloved stallions break their legs and have to be put down.)

This story has something for everyone, doesn’t it? I love some of the details, such as the rotten jihadist who tried to use a woman as a shield. As Dr. Phil would say, “How did that work out for you, buddy?”

I do have to say, it’s amusing to see Obama take credit for violating every campaign promise and nasty accusation he ever made about former President George W. Bush’s efforts to bring bin Laden to justice. We found out where bin Laden was via the “enhanced interrogation” of captives, which Obama denounced as illegal torture. We housed our enemies in secret prisons and Guantanamo. We broke more international laws than I can count during the mission — including not telling Pakistan we were invading their country.

The Navy Seals shot bin Laden to death without any hesitation or remorse. Yes, Obama made some brave calls in sanctioning the mission. He deserved the bounce in public esteem he’s received. Now, it’s time for him to do one more thing: Tell his Attorney General to stop the persecution of those CIA agents he’s “investigating” because of their harsh interrogation of al-Qaida operatives who had been captured. Without it, bin Laden would still be alive today.

Had I been giving the orders, I don’t think I would have told the U.S. military to dump the body at sea so quickly. I don’t normally disrespect the religious beliefs of someone else; but in this case, I would have made an exception. Unlike some of my British forebears, I wouldn’t have paraded bin Laden’s head around Washington on a spike. But I would have made certain the world got to see enough of the body to believe it really was bin Laden who descended to his eternal reward.

I’m sorry, but an alleged match of DNA records or fingerprints (where did the originals come from, by the way?) just does not carry the same credibility.

By the way, it will be fascinating to see what’s on the computers our soldiers seized. Maybe we will learn who had been protecting bin Laden for the five years we’re told he lived in that compound in Abbottabad. As Ann Coulter observed, “Pants are wetting throughout Pakistan’s military establishment.”

In any case, congratulations to everyone involved in this decades-long effort — especially to the incredibly talented, brave and resourceful men who carried it off.  They have earned free drinks at any bar in the country for the rest of their lives. What stories they will have to tell their children and grandchildren!

I have to confess, I was sorry this didn’t happen on Bush’s watch. Not that I was a big fan of the past President. As any longtime reader of this column knows, I was as a critical of that big-spending internationalist and his neoconservative cronies as I have been of his successor.

I do believe that the man who rallied the country after 9/11 deserved to see bin Laden killed a lot more than his successor. But let’s not quibble. Once again, America got her man. And it was thrilling to see the spontaneous demonstrations that broke out all across the country and, in fact, all around the world with the news that bin Laden had been killed.

It may not have been “justice,” as we Americans would normally use the word. But it sure was satisfying.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

–Chip Wood

Citing Strong Border Control, Obama Advocates For Immigration Reform

Citing strong border control, Obama advocates for immigration reformPresident Barack Obama has revealed that he is content with America's border-control practices, so much so that he has called on Congress to pass sweeping immigration reform.

During a speech in El Paso, Texas on May 10, Obama urged lawmakers to pass legislation that would grant more pathways to citizenship for illegal immigrants currently residing in the United States. In regard to questions about the nation's border control enforcement, the President said that his administration has "answered these concerns."

Obama predicted that Republican lawmakers will push for further border security, joking that they will request a moat with alligators.

GOP Congressmen have accused the President of distorting the facts. According to a statement by Representative Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Mexican drug cartels have increased their presence inside the U.S., and the data on spillover crime and violence is "underreported," according to media reports. McCaul claimed that up to 90 percent of Texas' 1,200-mile border "is still not under operational control."

In his speech, Obama said that immigration reform measures could help stimulate the economy, noting that Google, Intel, eBay and Yahoo were created by immigrants.

"We don't want the next Intel or Google to be created in China or India," said Obama.