A World Changer

How quickly our lives can change. On Thursday the discussions were about public sector unions, Charlie Sheen’s public meltdown, the growing instability in the Middle East and Congress’ lip service to meaningful government cuts.

On Friday we awoke to news reports of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and tsunami warnings for Hawaii and the United States West coast. As the day dragged on we began to get an idea of the magnitude of the disaster in Japan as video and photographs of the devastation began to trickle in.

By Monday, with Japanese nuclear reactors malfunctioning, melting down and threatening a Chernobyl-style radiation releasing event and still more pictures of the hardest hit areas appearing in print and on television, the gravity of the event had sunk in. It was obvious the horrific event was a world-changer.

Of course it changed life in Japan in an instant. Japan is/was a nation inseparable from its high-tech gadgets, perhaps even more so than America. But none of that matters now. Most of those high-tech devices don’t even work… even in areas of the country not touched by the physical effects of the earthquake or tsunami.

Loss of electrical production from the malfunctioning nuclear plants has led to rolling blackouts and energy conservation measures across the country. The supply chain is down and even people far away from the events are finding food and water shortages. There is also the danger of radiation exposure as radioactive clouds drift across the country.

Store shelves in far-away cities are devoid of goods—some of that caused by panic buying. News reports said people were snapping up radios, matches, candles, fuel containers, sleeping bags, canned goods, instant noodles and bottled water. These are the types of things that everyone should have already stored in abundance.

While the ultimate results of this event—which rattled the earth physically, financially, emotionally and every other way possible—are yet to be fully known, there should be one takeaway from this event: Preparedness is paramount.

I have been preaching this to you for years in The Bob Livingston Letter™ and here on Personal Liberty Digest™ since it went online in 2008. If you haven’t started preparing, what are you waiting for?

And don’t forget to pray for the people of Japan.

Correct Your Heart Disease Risk Factors

Have you been faced with the markers for heart disease? Some you can’t avoid such as age, family history, gender or race. But try to work on risk factors you CAN change such as smoking habits… high cholesterol levels… lack of exercise… added pounds… and unbalanced blood sugar levels. Also look into packing your diet with healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, fiber, lean protein and whole grains. Try to avoid fats, excess meat and alcohol.

What Are The Benefits And Liabilities Of Cashing Out My IRA?

Dear Bob,

I am a current subscriber to your newsletter (The Bob Livingston Letter™), and need some advice because of what I read in your recent article about Obama possibly confiscating retirement funds. I am 62 years old, still working and earn $60,000 a year. I have ten more years to pay on my house.

About four years ago, I was laid off from my former job, and I took my 401k and invested it ($235,000) into an Individual Retirement Annuity. Presently, the value is $219,941. The Guaranteed Withdrawal Balance is $311,205, the Guaranteed Annual Withdrawal Amount is $15,560 and the Guaranteed Minimum Withdrawal Benefit Bonus Base is $270,613. I am guaranteed a 5 percent increase per year. My question is what are the benefits and liabilities of cashing out (what will the dollar be worth in four years?), and buying something like silver or gold. If I cashed out today, I would receive $209,000. My only other investment is $13,000 in Canadian Maple Leaf coins. Thank you in advance for your response.

Guy Pasvogel

Dear Guy,
Your best decision so far is your investment in Maple Leaf gold coins as you can see how they have moved up in dollar price.

Everything hinges on whether or not you trust the government. I terminated my retirement accounts about 12 years ago because I believed that gold and silver were much better investments, and I would have control over my money. That decision worked out well.

I believe that retirement accounts are guaranteed instruments of confiscation and I wouldn’t want to be in the same state with one.

The government will steal all retirement accounts by some ruse. They are going to anyway through currency depreciation. The government/Federal Reserve is printing trillions of dollars. Simple logic and arithmetic says that they are diluting the currency, i.e., destroying it. If one keeps pouring water in the milk, soon there will be only water.

Your liability of staying in "government" paper is impoverishment. Of course this is just my opinion.

Please seek other advice before you make a move, but do it YESTERDAY!!!!!!!!!

Good luck,

U.S. Exporting Runaway Inflation Across The Entire World With Its Reckless Money Printing

Nations across the globe are now dealing with food riots and anarchy.

The weather and inflation are leading to an explosion in prices and civil strife. Wheat prices have doubled in seven months, corn has increased more than 90 percent and soybeans have surged more than 55 percent. The fear of inflation is not child’s play. It carries the potential for even higher oil prices than those caused by the turmoil in the Middle East.

This brings to mind, have you stored food as we have repeatedly advised for a few years now? This advice is now turning to a red alert warning. Now that the currency is in serious depreciation (inflation), we can store food at a profit by buying it ahead of inflation.

I have studied the collapse of money in Weimar Germany. There became great scarcity of food and the stores were empty. We have potential for this in America, plus the danger of food riots.

Since we live in the end times of fiat paper money, there is an inherent bias toward inflation, i.e., printing large amounts of paper money. Add all this to the fact that the government always changes its measure of inflation, always understating the numbers and all the while not even counting food, energy and housing. How’s that for deception?

The unavoidable and certain end result will be an even greater crisis than the world has yet seen. Massive sovereign bankruptcies, food riots and general chaos are the end result of trying to foment growth by inflation (printing money) and will end in tears.

Also, it is time and past time to accumulate gold and silver. Be sure to get some U.S. 90 percent silver coins. It will be the exchange money of choice when this system fails completely.

The time is soon coming when we won’t be able to get these coins. Up to now, buying gold and silver has been very profitable as measured in paper money. But now we are past the consideration of profitability. Our concern has changed 100 percent to survival.

Are we past reality? Do we believe that we have monetary invincibility and a sense of intellectual superiority against all warning signals to the contrary?

We see that in this year of 2011 politicians and governments will continue to try to deter the inevitable and rescue the unsalvageable with high-speed, high-octane created money. And look out below! This could be the crunch year for survival of the system. Precious metals and commodities may be the only things left standing.

Meanwhile, as we head for the final exits, precious metals, commodity producers (food, oil, iron ore, and other base metals) will all benefit from money printing.

The reason we buy commodity stocks with depreciating paper money is because commodity stocks have leverage. Up to a point they appreciate more than the currency depreciates.

One caveat is to know when to exit all paper in favor of real goods. That is why you should continue to visit Personal Liberty Digest.

Incivility In Political Discourse

There has been a lot of talk recently from political elites and pundits about “incivility” in political discourse. They talk as if this incivility is a recent phenomenon.

The protests in Wisconsin over Governor Scott Walker’s attempts to reign in government spending on its public employees’ pensions and  healthcare is a prime example of the lack of civility they are talking about—though you don’t hear much about it because it’s not Tea Party activists opposing liberty-stealing acts of government that are protesting, but union thugs trying to force their will on a governor elected to scale back government costs. But many videos posted on YouTube show protesters screaming at opponents and members of the media, with much name-calling, expletives and even pushing, shoving and mild violence thrown in.

Of course, name-calling, expletives, ad hominems and physical attacks are the refuge of the ignorant. It’s a convenient fallback position for those unable or unwilling to defend their positions with facts.

It is also a common practice of the ignorant to automatically assign evil motives to a person or group expressing a counter opinion. Many reach the conclusion that any person or any group that disagrees politically or philosophically is somehow bad and intends to inflict as much harm or heartache as possible on their opponents.

This often manifests itself on this website, with commenters posting diatribes pinning all sorts of ulterior motives on authors and other commenters.

There is also a more subtle form of incivility that goes on. There are many who come to Personal Liberty Digest and log in under multiple names in order to carry on arguments with their alter egos or others in an effort to disrupt legitimate debate on this site. It happens more frequently than most of you probably realize.

Again, it is the refuge of the ignorant to interrupt or shut down debate when he finds his position or opinion cannot be defended with fact or reason.

But incivility in political discourse is not new. And anyone who takes an honest look at American history understands this.

Thomas Jefferson once said, “It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.”

It pains many of us still, because as long as this practice continues we will be opposing one another rather than mounting opposition to those in positions of power who continue to steal our freedoms by passing unConstitutional laws and steal our wealth by debasing our currency.

Arming Criminals To Disarm Americans

If any remain under the delusion that the government doesn’t work covertly and break its own laws to achieve its own nefarious ends, that delusion should be dispelled once and for all with revelation by a Federal agent that the United States Justice Department ordered agents to sit idly by as weapons were smuggled into Mexico for use by drug cartels and criminal gangs.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms senior agent John Dodson told CBS News that he and his fellow agents in the Phoenix office were ordered to do just that to see where the guns would end up. They ended up killing U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry on Dec. 14, 2010.

Dodson told the news organization that he and other senior agents confronted their supervisors many times over the practice. Their answer, according to Dodson, “If you’re going to make an omelet, you’ve got to break some eggs.” The operation, Dodson was told, was approved by higher-ups the Justice Department.

The Los Angeles Times reported that 1,765 guns were sold to suspected smugglers during a 15-month period of the investigation, dubbed Operation Fast and Furious. Of those, 797 were recovered on both sides of the border, including 195 in Mexico after they were used in crimes.

“With the number of guns we let walk, we’ll never know how many people were killed, raped, robbed,” he told The Times. “There is nothing we can do to round up those guns. They are gone.”

More than 15,000 people died last year in Mexico’s drug wars and from criminal acts by Mexican gangs. And some of those gangs routinely cross into the United States to commit crimes.

Meanwhile, the President Barack Obama administration and many on the Left use the growing gun violence in Mexico to push for stricter gun laws in the United States.