Keeping your money safe

Dear Bob,

I would like to know if my money would be safer in a credit union….Richard

Dear Richard,

The short answer is “no.”

The long answer is that local credit unions may be somewhat safer than banks because they are controlled by local boards who are members of the community. As such, they aren’t likely to adopt customer-unfriendly practices like charging for cash deposits, etc. But like banks, credit unions are ultimately under the control of government and the Federal Reserve and could not resist an edict handed down by the Fed. They are also obligated to file suspicious activity reports and currency transaction reports. And while it is probably safe to say that money in credit unions is viewed slightly differently by the Federal Reserve than that in big banks, government can change the rules at any time it sees fit and has done so. Look at what happened in Cyprus last year regarding deposits. If there is a “bank holiday” as in the U.S. in 1933, credit unions would likely be forced to participate. And also know there is a plan in place to steal deposits from customers in the event of bank failure in order to prop the banks up. It’s called a “bail-in.”

So in the end, the long answer is also “no” or “it depends upon what you mean by ‘safer.’”

Best wishes,

Bob

Forcing Christians to condone sin is tyranny

The persecution of Christian bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries is not about justice or the rule of law. It’s about advancing the perverted agenda of the gay rights crowd and imposing their immorality on everyone.

The Kleins own an Oregon bakery called Sweet Cakes by Melissa. They drew the ire of the gay rights crowd when in January 2013 they declined to make a cake for the so-called “wedding” of two women: Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman. One month later, the two women filed a complaint with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. At the time, same sex marriage was banned in Oregon. It would be eight months before the state even recognized same sex “weddings” from other states and more than a year before a federal judge would unconstitutionally strike down Oregon’s ban on same sex “weddings.”

In other words, religious convictions aside, the Kleins declined to participate in a practice that was then illegal in their state. Their religious objections to participating in a so-called gay “marriage” were just icing on the cake, so to speak.

Six months after the complaint, in August 2013, the Bureau of Labor and Industries opened its inquiry. Again, this was before the state even recognized same sex “weddings” of any kind as legal, which it began doing in October.

In April, as a result of the “inquiry,” an Oregon administrative law judge — who is an employee of the Bureau of Labor and Industries (the importance of this fact is revealed below) — recommended the Kleins be fined $135,000 for “violating the state’s public accommodation law by denying Rachel and Laurel full and equal access to their bakery, which the state considers a place of public accommodation.”

Last week, the Kleins’ lawyers requested the case be reopened after public records requests unearthed multiple emails, telephone calls and private meetings between employees of the bureau — including its commissioner Brad Avakian, who hires the bureau’s administrative law judges — and members of Basic Rights Oregon, the state’s largest gay promoting organization in the state. The communications reveal a very cozy relationship between the bureau and Basic Rights Oregon, and that the gay rights organization was consulting with bureau employees about the case during the “inquiry.”

The emails also reveal that Avakian purchased tickets costing hundreds of dollars to fundraisers and gay pride parades to benefit Basic Rights Oregon while the agency was conducting its “inquiry.” I put quotes around the word “inquiry” because the whole operation has been revealed as a sham — a kangaroo court. Not so coincidentally, Avakian received at least $12,800 in campaign donations from Basic Rights Oregon and its PAC from 2007 to 2014.

And in testimony during the “inquiry,” Aaron Cryer, Rachael’s younger brother who was living with the couple at the time, claimed that a representative of the bureau told him he was “unsure on whether or not we should pursue the case right now or wait, just because of marriage equality in Oregon becoming a thing, and we were looking at the scope as a bigger whole.”

Avakian revealed his inherent bias in the case in a Facebook post he made in February 2013. Before he had heard any evidence in the case, Avakian posted a pronoun challenged message claiming: “Everyone has a right to their (sic) religious beliefs, but that doesn’t mean they (sic) can disobey laws that are already in place. Having one set of rules for everybody ensures that people are treated fairly as they go about their daily lives,” and he linked the post to a local news report about a Food Network host offering to make a wedding cake for the couple.

Avakian makes the final ruling in cases for the bureau and has the authority to adopt all or any part of the administrative law judge’s recommendation regarding the Kleins’ case. He’s expected to issue his ruling this summer. Clearly, he is incapable of making an impartial decision.

It’s also clear that Oregon’s public accommodations law runs afoul of the state’s Constitution and its Bill of Rights. In short, it’s the Kleins’ religious freedom rights that are being violated.

In Article I of the Oregon Constitution, we find:

Section 2. Freedom of worship. All men shall be secure in the Natural right, to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences.—

Section 3. Freedom of religious opinion. No law shall in any case whatever control the free exercise, and enjoyment of religeous [sic] opinions, or interfere with the rights of conscience.—

If the Kleins are compelled by the state’s public accommodation law to violate their religious convictions — their “rights of conscience” — against participating in a gay “wedding,” then that law is illegal because it violates their freedom of worship and freedom of religious opinion rights guaranteed them under sections 1 and 2 of the state’s Bill of Rights.

The Supreme Court and gay ‘marriage’

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule this month on gay marriage when it hands down its decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. Regulating marriage is not a power granted (enumerated) to the Federal government in the Constitution. It’s not an issue over which the Supreme Court has any jurisdiction.

If the court rules gay marriage is legal, it will destroy the institution of marriage and religious liberty in America. Such a ruling would violate Christians’ rights guaranteed under the 1st Amendment as incorporated by activist judiciaries under the magical 14th Amendment. I would say it would also destroy the rule of law, but all pretenses that America is a nation of laws were dropped long ago.

Plus, the fix on that case is also likely in. Two justices — Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan — have officiated at gay “marriage ceremonies and should have recused themselves from the case. They are anything but impartial arbiters.

In an 1885 decision, the Supreme Court included in its majority opinion in Murphy v. Ramsey that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Part of the decision reads:

For certainly no legislation can be supposed more wholesome and necessary in the founding of a free, self-governing commonwealth, fit to take rank as one of the co-ordinate States of the Union, than that which seeks to establish it on the basis of the idea of the family, as consisting in and springing from the union for life of one man and one woman in the holy estate of matrimony; the sure foundation of all that is stable and noble in our civilization; the best guaranty of that reverent morality which is the source of all beneficent progress in social and political improvement.

And to this end, no means are more directly and immediately suitable than those provided by this act, which endeavors to withdraw all political influence from those who are practically hostile to its attainment.

And in the U.S. v. Windsor case that struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the court essentially ruled, as Chief Justice John Roberts opined, that DOMA was unconstitutional because it interfered with the state’s control of marriage.

A Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage would not only overturn 130 years of precedent, it would conflict with a recent prior ruling of the same court. Also, the court is likely to cite the magic 14th Amendment’s “equal protection clause” if it so rules.

But the 14th Amendment, which was never constitutionally ratified, had nothing to do with gay marriage — nor most of the things for which it is used as justification. The states that did ratify the 14th Amendment all had laws on the books prohibiting sodomy.

Marriage in the U.S. has historically been defined as the monogamous union of one consenting heterosexual male and one consenting heterosexual female. If the court can simply remove one word from that definition in order to redefine marriage for gays and make it also mean to be between two men and/or two women, what’s to stop it from removing or redefining the other words to make a “marriage” a union of two women and one man, three men and one woman, one woman and one dog, one man and two young girls, two women and one computer, or any other combination man’s perverted mind can conjure up, just to satisfy some perceived aggrieved class?

The answer: Nothing.

Why the Christian cannot accept gay ‘marriage’

Inevitably, conversations on this subject turn to the questions of why can’t a Christian accept gay “marriage” and why can’t a Christian participate in a gay “wedding” by providing a good or service.

God established marriage in Genesis 2 as between one man and one woman:

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him…” Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:18, 23-24, ESV)

It was this passage Jesus was quoting in Matthew 19 when he reaffirmed for the Pharisees what makes a lawful and godly marriage in response to their question about divorce.

Many seeking to find justification for their sin claim Jesus never mentioned “gay marriage” and, therefore, never condemned it. But in affirming what marriage was, Christ eliminated what marriage wasn’t.

Jesus spoke several times about fornication, which is a general word covering unlawful (that is God’s law) sexual intercourse outside of its rightful place in the marriage of one man and one woman. He called sex outside lawful marriage “sexual immorality” in Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:1-9. That clearly covers sex between same sex couples and sex between unmarried heterosexual couples — whether adultery or fornication.

Jesus also told the disciples in John 14:16-17 that there were concepts and principles he would not address that would be addressed by the Holy Spirit, which would guide the disciples to “all truth.” The Holy Spirit guided the authors of the New Testament, so the epistles are an extension of Jesus’ — and, therefore, God’s — teaching.

If one dismisses the epistles, or any of the books of the New Testament, then he doesn’t believe Jesus and is not a Christian, whatever his claims to the contrary.

In writing about homosexuality in Romans 1 (calling it a shameless act) and 1 Corinthians 6 (saying those who practice it will not inherit the kingdom), Paul was writing the word of God as given him by the Holy Spirit, which was by extension the message of Christ. (1 Corinthians 14:36-38)

But Paul also wrote that those who “suppress the truth” or “ignore God’s righteous decree” of the truth and “give approval” to those who practice sexual immorality — or to a host of other sins mentioned in Scripture — are just as guilty as those who practice it.

It is commonly said that Christians are to love the sinner and hate the sin. That is true. But that does not mean the Christian can condone, accept or participate — even tangentially — in the sin.

Forcing Christians to do so against their will is tyranny and a violation of their rights under God’s law and natural law.

Hastert affair reveals the rot of the American system

Former Republican Congressman and House Speaker Dennis Hastert may or may not have preyed on underage boys while he was a high school wrestling coach. Those claims slipping into the mainstream narrative — while likely, based on the curious phrasing in his indictment — are just unfounded speculation. Clearly the Feds could not make that case, or they would have charged him for it.

But there are much bigger questions to the Hastert affair, and they reveal the rot of the American system.

How could a former high wrestling coach/history teacher who lost his first election to an open seat in the Illinois House of Representatives, based in no small part on persistent rumors that he had had inappropriate contact with male members of his wrestling team, rise to such prominence and accumulate such wealth that he would have $3.5 million to pay a blackmailer? American government is all about bribes, influence peddling and favor granting. Special interests with the deepest pocketbooks get the favors. Everyone else gets the shaft. Congress and myriad alphabet soup government agencies have become a crony/fascist cesspool because of money printing and state-approved criminal activity in government for which the normal citizen would be jailed.

Blackmail is a crime. Why is the Federal government’s law enforcement apparatus enabling a blackmailer rather than protecting the victim of that blackmail?

Withdrawing one’s own money from a bank — for whatever reason — should not be a crime. A crime must have a victim. What gives the Federal government the authority to prosecute people for the non-crime of placing money — ostensibly gained through the government-approved means of working in government or as a registered (i.e., government-sanctioned) lobbyist — in a bank and then withdrawing it in whatever amount desired?

Of course, the laws requiring banks to snitch on their customers stem from the faux “war on drugs” and the faux “war on terror.” But those are just excuses for more government information gathering and currency controls. Hastert reportedly told investigators he “structured” his withdrawals and withdrew his money because he didn’t trust the banking system. In a curious twist, some of the financial “crimes” he’s charged with violating are found in the USA Patriot Act, an act that Hastert supported and helped steer through Congress.

But who can blame him for not trusting banks when the banks are required to report their customers’ activities with Suspicious Activities Reports on amounts over $5,000 and Currency Transaction Reports on amounts over $10,000, and have in place a plan to confiscate peoples’ savings deposits should the banks experience financial trouble?

Government snooping by proxy, using the banks as informants, is accomplished without warrants and is, therefore, a violation of the 4th Amendment. And any money deemed to have been removed from the bank for reasons the state finds “suspicious” can be and often is seized by the state without charges being filed or criminal activity being found. This is nothing more than robbery in the first degree. But since it’s done by government men wearing a badge and carrying the “force of law,” it is legal robbery.

Hastert was also charged for lying to investigators. In the American system, investigators and law enforcement personnel can lie as a matter of policy. They do this for the purpose of tricking people into confessions or into incriminating themselves. The 5th Amendment protects Americans from self-incrimination. But the creation of a crime of lying to investigators who can lie and do lie to you eats away at this right.

As to the rumors of inappropriate behavior: It is an old trick used by prosecutors and law enforcement to release spurious information on an individual charged with a crime in an effort taint the jury pool and keep the individual charged on the defensive and cast in the poorest light possible.

Americans often relish in the downfall of the rich, powerful and hypocritical members of society; and I’ve seen much gloating, particularly from the left, over Hastert’s legal troubles. But remember that what Hastert is charged with is withdrawing his own money from the bank and fudging the truth when questioned about it.

Government is using these same “laws” to persecute and prosecute average Americans. And with the bloated federal code being rewritten, changed and updated daily, you are likely committing at least three felonies a day yourself, every day. How long before the Feds decide to target you?

Note from the Editor: Not only are the banks snitching on you, but they’re about to hand over your savings! You see, Washington politicians think your private accounts are the answer to fixing the economy. They call it a “Bail-in,” and it’s coming for your hard-earned money. Click here to claim an urgent FREE report that shows you how to tell scheming politicians, “HANDS OFF MY MONEY!”

The two hands of Big Brother: Losing our liberties update

(I began publishing my monthly newsletter The Bob Livingston Letter™ in 1969. The following is an excerpt from the June 1999 issue in which I warned of the coming surveillance state and gradual loss of liberty under the false and corrupt two-party system. The NSA spying program was conceived of long before the 9/11 attacks occurred. As you can see here, while the Patriot Act was passed under George W. Bush in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the crux of it goes back much farther and the reason for it much deeper than “protecting” Americans from terrorism. The 9/11 attacks just provided the excuse for implementation and a compliant public, seeking security above liberty, went right along. The state has long considered all Americans as terrorists and sought to control and monitor all their activities, and the globalists have long sought absolute control over the people.)

It is no secret that the two party political system in America is essentially one. It is a lesser known fact, because it is so utterly unacceptable to most of us, that the two parties have conspired to destroy the Constitution and bring the United States into a totalitarian New World Order. In the last seven years, the Clinton presidency, the Republican-majority Congress and the black-robed U.S. judiciary have combined to cut back constitutional and civil liberties more than any other comparable period in history. The federal government is a Bigger Brother than ever and its two busy hands are the Republican and Democratic parties…

For those who do have a mind and spirit to resist, the U.S. government has proposed creating a Soviet-like KGB within the Department of Justice, ostensibly called a “National Terrorism Intelligence Center.” You are now a terrorist, you see, if you believe in self and local governments and States’ rights. This plan was first articulated in the Council on Foreign Relations journal, Foreign Affairs, by several authors, including the former Central Intelligence Agency director and deputy secretary of defense, John Deutch, and a Harvard professor, Ashton Carter, who occupies a chair sponsored by the notorious globalist-socialist Ford Foundation. They propose a centralized intelligence gathering and collection apparatus which would coordinate all such information for “U.S. government bodies, supporting defense and intelligence operations, and law enforcement agencies.”

In short, the center would combine the active intelligence gathering approach of the national security agencies, which are not legally constrained in their forcing investigations, with the domestic authority and investigative resources of law enforcement agencies.

In other words, this super-agency would have no foreign nor domestic constraints for snooping on and policing the American people.

The CFR writers claim the feel-good justification of such a huge organization would be “to protect established civil liberties.” Yet this super-agency “would be exempt from pretrial discovery in the trials of indicted criminals.” Whoops! So much for those vaunted civil liberties!

How close are we to actually having a U.S. Government KGB? Attorney General Janet “Johnny Waco” Reno has announced that:

… the Clinton administration is readying a new terrorism response plan to ensure a coordinated federal effort and to practice working with state and local authorities…

… an agreement with the Pentagon, the National Security Council and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to act as the lead agency for the preparedness program.

How have we come to this point, that free Americans could be viewed as terroristic enemies in the very nation their forefathers created? Part of the answer is that America has been subjected to a long-term, clever process of demoralization and destabilization from within, as occurred on a more speedy schedule in South Africa.

Another part of the answer is to be found in the fact that the two-party system has been compromised and subverted. Both the Republican “big tent” strategy and the Democratic “diversity” appeal are actually the same, and they are used for justifying universal religion that is secular on its face but universalism in its origins.

It’s time you went nuts

If nuts don’t comprise a significant portion of your diet, they should.

Nuts provide the minerals calcium, magnesium and potassium in abundance. Together with a low sodium intake, these minerals are crucial to bone health and also protect against arterial hypertension, insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease.

Nuts are also known to help reduce the risk of gallstones, inflammation and some cancers.

What kind of nuts are best? Most all of the popular tree nuts. These include:

  • Almonds.
  • Hazelnuts.
  • Walnuts.
  • Pistachios.
  • Cashews.
  • Pecans.
  • Macadamia.
  • Brazil Nuts.

And don’t forget peanuts. While technically a legume, peanuts provide all the benefits of the listed tree nuts. And butters or spreads created from the nuts are just as beneficial as well, and all are quite tasty.

H/T: Newport Natural Health

 

Want to be president? Truth-tellers need not apply

Sen. Rand Paul is not qualified to be president.

At least, that’s what GOP establishment spokesman — and president wannabe — Bobby Jindal said last week.

And what did Paul do to disqualify himself? Have an affair? That doesn’t get one disqualified — see Bill Clinton. Run a pay-for-play scheme? That doesn’t get one disqualified — see Hillary Clinton. Promote blanket amnesty for illegals? That doesn’t get one disqualified — see Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush. Bankrupt four companies? That’s a plus, apparently, because it gives one “business credentials” — see Donald Trump. Hang out with terrorists? That doesn’t’ get one qualified — see Barack Obama. Fail to qualify under the Constitution’s “natural born citizen” clause? That doesn’t get one disqualified either — see Obama, Rubio and Ted Cruz.

No, what Paul did was utter a truth, or something too near it for the establishment’s liking, about the war party’s enabling of ISIS.

While appearing with Joe Scarborough on MSNBC last week, Paul laid the blame for the rise of ISIS at the feet of the GOP’s war hawks and neocons (read John McCain and the presidential aspirants from chickenhawk Lindsey Graham to Cruz).

Scarborough suggested that Graham would say ISIS exists because of people like Paul, who said, “Let’s not go into Syria.”

Paul replied:

I would say it’s exactly the opposite. ISIS exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party, who gave arms indiscriminately, and most of those arms were snatched up by ISIS. These hawks also wanted to bomb Assad, which would have made ISIS’s job even easier. They created these people. ISIS is all over Libya because these same hawks in my party loved — they loved Hillary Clinton’s war in Libya. They just wanted more of it, but Libya’s a failed state, and it’s a disaster. Iraq really is a failed state, or a vassal state now of Iran. So everything that they’ve talked about in foreign policy, they’ve been wrong about for twenty years, and yet they have somehow the gall to keep saying and pointing fingers otherwise.

But while Paul correctly indicts the neocon/perpetual war wing of his own party, he doesn’t go nearly far enough. It is official U.S. policy, and has been since at least 2012, that an Islamic State (ISIS) is desired in Syria to affect the West’s policies in the region.

Now the GOP establishment has gone apoplectic and conservative talk radio is abuzz with callers from the Republican rank and file claiming that Paul has disqualified himself by bucking the party line.

I first told you about the true nature of ISIS last fall in “Assad is the target; ISIS is the excuse,” after connecting the dots from several mainstream media reports about the Syria war.

I can hear you now, Republican voters. “You’re a crazy conspiracy theorist, Bob. ISIS is just those radical Muslims doing what they do — beheading infidels and all that stuff. ISIS is Obama’s fault for pulling out of Iraq and appearing weak. And those Muslims hate us because (insert latest meme here) and they’re just itching to come over here and behead us. We’ve got to go kill them over there before they come kill us.” The regime’s propaganda machine and Republican “hawks” now running for the GOP nomination are promoting this theme ad nauseam.

But newly released classified documents paint a much different picture.

On May 18, Judicial Watch released formerly classified documents it obtained from the U.S. Department of Defense and the State Department. Brad Hoff of the Levant Report has combed through the documents looking beyond Judicial Watch’s agenda — which is to focus on the White House’s handling of the Benghazi attack — into the deep politics involved in the Middle East chaos. One of the documents states:

THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY [WHO] SUPPORT THE [SYRIAN] OPPOSITION… THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME…

The declassified report from the Defense Intelligence Agency, dated Aug. 12, 2012, was sent to a number of government agencies including the CENTCOM, the CIA, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the State Department. It shows that in 2012 U.S. intelligence predicted the rise of Islamic State in Iraq and saw it as a strategic asset to be used to cripple Syria’s Bashar Assad.

Hoff pulled out the following bullet points from the documents:

  • Al-Qaida drives the opposition in Syria.
  • The West identifies with the opposition.
  • The establishment of a nascent Islamic State became a reality only with the rise of the Syrian insurgency (there is no mention of U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq as a catalyst for Islamic State’s rise, which is the contention of innumerable politicians and pundits).
  • The establishment of a “Salafist Principality” in Eastern Syria is “exactly” what the external powers  supporting the opposition want (identified as “the West, Gulf Countries, and Turkey”) in order to weaken the Assad government.
  • “Safe havens” are suggested in areas conquered by Islamic insurgents along the lines of the Libyan model (which translates to so-called no-fly zones as a first act of “humanitarian war”).
  • Iraq is identified with “Shia expansion.”
  • A Sunni “Islamic State” could be devastating to “unifying Iraq” and could lead to “the renewing facilitation of terrorist elements from all over the Arab world entering into Iraqi Arena.” (See last non-redacted line in full PDF view.)

Recall that it was McCain and his lapdog Graham who promoted arming so-called “moderate” Muslims opposing Syria, with McCain actually posing for photos with ISIS fighters in Syria. It was McCain and Graham and their ilk who sought to use the specious claims by Obama that Assad had used poison gas on the opposition (when in fact it was found that it was the opposition that deployed the gas) to try and gin up support for a U.S. attack on Syria. Recall that it was McCain and Graham and their neocon cohorts who backed — and in fact wanted to expand — Obama’s and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s war on Libya, which granted ISIS an early launch pad and a conduit through which the CIA ran guns and funds to ISIS. (For a detailed review of how the Syrian mess was started, go here.)

So Paul was both right and wrong, but he was more right than wrong and now he’s been declared “unqualfied.” The hawks in his party did support the policy to make ISIS stronger. But the arms weren’t given out indiscriminately. The war machine was very discriminating in locating former al-Qaida, and al Nusra Front and Muslim Brotherhood and anyone else they could find to advance their agenda.

It’s made for good business for the war machine. America is the world’s biggest arms dealer and the military-industrial complex is making a killing (figuratively and literally).

And the spying agencies are reaping a whirlwind as well, as government gains a tighter grip on Americans through NSA snooping, TSA traveler fondling, DHS checkpoints, FBI terrorist making, etc., all to make Americans clamor for increased security at the expense of their liberties.

For, as the New York Post editorial department posits as it chastises Congress for not passing a new (un)Patriot Act: “[T]he jihadis haven’t quit. Al Qaeda’s still out there, and ISIS is on the rise. If US counter-terror agents are stripped of these vital Patriot Act weapons, Americans will become sitting ducks. Again.”

And — gasp! — Paul wants to “scrap the anti-terror laws altogether.” Can’t have that. Osama bin Laden might rise from the grave one more time and take down another tower… or make a video or something.

And after all, we’ve been bombing “them” over there since at least 1991. And that policy has worked so well… for the banksters, the globalists and the military-industrial complex — not so much for America’s military men and women, the U.S. economy and those poor Middle Easterners/North Africans who have been beheaded, whose homes have been bombed and who have seen their loved ones killed and maimed on behalf of U.S., Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel and deep politics.

Happy birthday to Patrick Henry, American statesman

Liberty lovers should pause for a moment today and make a toast to Patrick Henry, a true American statesman and advocate of liberty.

Henry was born May 29, 1736 in Virginia to Scottish-born planter John Henry and Sarah Winston Syme. He was admitted to the bar just prior to his 24th birthday and soon established a thriving practice in the courts at Hanover and adjacent counties.

He began his political career in 1765 when he was elected to the House of Burgesses (the Virginia legislature) at about the same time news reached the colony of the British Parliament’s passage of the Stamp Act. Henry quickly took the lead in opposing the act and wrote the Stamp Act Resolves, which challenged Parliament’s claim of authority to tax the colonies and advocated for resistance if the imperial government persisted in enforcing them. The legislature endorsed Henry’s Stamp Act Resolves and they were then published throughout the colonies and Great Britain, which pushed Henry to a place of prominence among the leaders of the American Revolution.

Later, Henry was staunch opponent of the new Constitution, believing the Articles of Confederation were sufficient and the best way to ensure the sovereignty of the states; and he was suspicious that the supporters of a stronger national government included many New Englanders who had favored a treaty with Spain in 1786 that, had it been ratified, would have sacrificed southern interests in the free use of the Mississippi River in favor of commercial advantages for northern merchants. He declined an appointment as delegate to the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention, citing lack of funds.

When George Washington sent him a copy of the new constitution with a letter outlining its advantages in September 1787, just after the convention had adjourned, Henry composed a cryptic reply that made his deep reservations clear: “I have to lament that cannot bring my Mind to accord with the proposed Constitution. The Concern I feel on this account, is really greater than I am able to express.”

He served as a delegate to the Virginia Ratifying Convention and made a number rousing speeches citing the dangers of a powerful centralized government too far removed from its citizens. His warnings — as we can see today — proved prescient.

Henry died on June 6, 1799. On a sheet of paper sealed with wax and placed near his will, Henry left a message to be read after his death. On it, Henry wrote that whether America’s independence “will prove a Blessing or a Curse will depend on the Use our people make of the Blessings which a gracious God hath bestowed on us. If they are wise, they will be great and happy. If they are of a contrary Character, they will be miserable. Righteousness alone can exalt them as a Nation. Reader! whoever thou art, remember this, and in thy Sphere, practice Virtue thyself, and encourage it in others. P. HENRY”

Happy birthday, Patrick Henry.

Source: Redhill.org

The CDC is in bed with Big Pharma

Pronouncements, guidelines and recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention set the standards for mainstream medicine in America and hold great sway with patients and around the world and with the World Health Organization because the CDC is considered independent and free of industry relationships. The organization even features the following disclaimer with its recommendations: “CDC, our planners, and our content experts wish to disclose they have no financial interests or other relationships with the manufacturers of commercial products … CDC does not accept commercial support.”

But that statement is blatantly false, as recent research by The BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) shows. In fact, the CDC gets millions of dollars annually from Big Pharma and then turns around and recommends testing and drugs created and marketed by those same companies, and this is often done upon the contributing company’s demand.

Congress authorized the CDC to accept “external gifts” from industry and private parties in 1983, and in 1992 passed legislation for the creation of a nonprofit foundation to encourage relationships between industry and the agency. In fiscal year 2014, the CDC Foundation raised $52 million, $12 million of that from Big Pharma. Also in 2014, the CDC received $16 million in direct funding from corporations, individuals and foundations, including the CDC Foundation, which makes the foundation nothing more than a pass-through organization.

As The BMJ reported, much of the funding from Big Pharma was conditional and earmarked for specific projects that turned out to be the promotion of the contributing company’s products.

One example is a $600,000 donation from Genentech to the CDC Foundation in 2012 which required the CDC to promote expanded testing and treatment of viral hepatitis. Genentech’s parent corporation is Roche, which just happens to manufacture test kits and treatment drugs for hepatitis C.

That same year, the CDC issued guidelines to physicians recommending that everyone born from 1945 to 1965 be screened for hepatitis C virus.

In 2010, the CDC Foundation created the Viral Hepatitis Action Coalition. The coalition’s purpose is to support research and promote expanded testing and treatment of hepatitis C globally. Members of the coalition, which has received $26 million in contributions from Big Pharma, include Abbott Laboratories, AbbVie, Gilead, Janssen, Merck, OraSure Technologies, Quest Diagnostics and Siemens. All of those companies produce products and tests for the diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis C.

On its website and in press releases and public pronouncements, the CDC recommends a person sick with the flu take an antiviral flu drug. It bases this recommendation on a study it claims is “independent.” But the study cited was sponsored by Roche, which manufactures the antiviral flu drug oseltamivir (known by the brand name Tamiflu). And the study’s four authors all had ties Roche, Genentech or Gilead (which holds the patent on oseltamivir).

In February, The BMJ reported that the CDC was claiming antivirals “save lives” even while the Food and Drug Administration was warning Roche that it could not make that claim in its marketing because oseltamivir “has not been proven to have a positive impact on the potential consequences (such as hospitalizations, mortality, or economic impact) of seasonal, avian, or pandemic influenza.” In other words, there was no evidence the drug worked, but CDC Director Thomas Frieden was publicly claiming otherwise.

This recommendation went to physicians who prescribed the drug to their patients, telling them it would “save” their “lives” or at least shorten the duration of their illness.

By the way, the FDA also promotes drugs based on bogus industry studies and payments from the drug manufacturers, as I told you in my report “Emails show pay-for-play scheme in drug trials.”

And Big Pharma uses a similar marketing technique with physicians. It pays physicians exorbitant fees to endorse its products in industry papers and in speeches on behalf of its drugs at conventions. Doctors also receive kickbacks for prescribing certain drugs over others, even if those drugs are prescribed for off-label purposes.

Lawsuits have revealed that more often than not that industry papers are ghost written by the pharmaceutical company’s PR hacks and the physicians just sign their name to them without reading or understanding the research in order to receive the fee.

The legal drug business is a multibillion-dollar scam on the people, and government has no interest in keeping people “safe.” I laugh when people claim government agencies are necessary to protect the people from drug makers and the other “greedy capitalists.” Many government agencies are funded by corporations and serve as revolving-door job programs between government and the corporations they supposedly oversee.

Where is the danger?

With the USA Patriot Act set to expire on Sunday, President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and their fellow statists and puppets for the NSA spooks are scrambling to find a way to save their pet project of collecting everyone’s data through the NSA’s bulk collection program.

After all, we are all potential terrorists, according to government. We may do, say or think something that government doesn’t approve of. And there’s ISIS on the doorstep, Muslim terrorists under every rock and behind every tree just itching to behead us or blow up a building or something.

We know this because the administration and grumpy Rep. Peter King (Scaremonger-N.Y.) tell us so, and the FBI creates terrorists, enables them and then arrests them at the last minute… or doesn’t, as in the case of the Garland, Texas, Muhammad cartoon event shooting.

It’s not the NSA that’s the villain, King said, “it’s al-Qaida, ISIS, it’s the whole array of Islamist terrorists we’re against.”

Never mind your 4th Amendment rights to privacy. There are terrorists out there somewhere. And they’ll get you. So we need the new and improved USA Freedom Act to keep us safe… even if it makes us less free.

During deliberations over the adoption of a new Constitution, proponents argued that creating a federal government would save the country from various dangers including a war with France over debt, land disputes with Spain and among the several states, and raids by Indians. In “Foreign Wars, Civil Wars, and Indian Wars — Three Bugbears,” Patrick Henry refuted those arguments and noted that such a government would “oppress and ruin the people.”

One line from Henry’s speech before the Virginia Ratifying Convention is especially noteworthy given the fearmongering coming from Washington today:

Where is the danger? If, sir, there was any, I would recur to the American spirit to defend us; that spirit which has enabled us to surmount the greatest difficulties — to that illustrious spirit I address my most fervent prayer to prevent our adopting a system destructive to liberty.

Why is Washington picking a new fight?

Apparently, 74 different wars aren’t enough.

Word from a senior non-U.S. NATO official to NSA analyst John Schindler is: “We’ll probably be at war this summer. If we’re lucky it won’t be nuclear.” So said Schindler in a tweet last week.

That warning from Schindler is not to be taken lightly. He is a former U.S Naval War College lecturer and has high-level military contacts.

The war the NATO official is referencing is likely with Russia. On behalf of the banksters, the Obama administration has been tweaking the Bear’s nose over Ukraine for more than a year, ever since the global banksters determined it was time to orchestrate a coup after the duly elected president, pro-Russia Viktor Yanukovych, rejected the International Monetary Fund’s demands to raise taxes and devalue the currency in order to cover its loans. Thus far, the Bear has only growled, despite provocative NATO war games on its borders and continued U.S. interference in Ukraine’s internal affairs.

But it’s buddied up to the Dragon. And now the Bear and the Dragon are building new and stronger partnerships. On May 9, Chinese soldiers marched for the first time with Russian soldiers in Russia’s May Day parade. They are discussing a new reserve currency.

Washington’s also upset the Dragon is stretching its wings in the South China Sea, and Washington’s surveillance planes over the area have become an annoyance to China. The Chinese navy has issued a series of warnings over the practice.

A new military white paper issued by China on Tuesday seems to have upped the ante. In it, China indicated it was about to be more aggressive in defending its interests.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is partnering with Japan and Australia for war games — another provocative move. Obama financier George Soros warned last week that the U.S. and China were on the threshold of World War III.

Both China’s and America’s economies — and most of the world’s — are bubble economies created with fiat. Wars are used by the elites to cover currency collapse. That’s why Washington is picking a new fight.

If war comes, the banksters — as always — will profit. Not so for everyone else.

Don’t they know there’s a law against that?

Baltimore’s criminals and thugs have had a busy month of May.

The city’s media are reporting that it’s the deadliest month the city has seen in more than 15 years. There were 28 shootings reported and nine homicides just over the Memorial Day weekend.

But how can that be? Surely Maryland’s criminals know that in their state:

It is unlawful for any person without a permit to wear or carry a handgun, openly or concealed, upon or about his person. It is also unlawful for any person to knowingly transport a handgun in any vehicle traveling on public roads, highways, waterways or airways, or upon roads or parking lots generally used by the public. This does not apply to any person wearing, carrying or transporting a handgun within the confines of real estate owned or leased by him, or on which he resides, or within the confines of a business establishment owned or leased by him.

Of course, Maryland is a “may issue” state. And among other onerous qualifications, an applicant must show he has “good and substantial reason to wear, carry, or transport a handgun, such as a finding that the permit is necessary as a reasonable precaution against apprehended danger” or he won’t receive a permit to carry. And if you’re under age 30, you’re only qualified if found to have not been committed to a detention center or correctional institute for juveniles, adjudicated a delinquent, or not committed a misdemeanor as a youth.

On top of this, the secretary of State Police — an ominous sounding office, that — may, at his discretion, “add restrictions to the permit including limiting the location, circumstances or time at which the handgun may be carried.”

So were these shootings done by permit holders? Hardly. Were that so, you can rest assured the media would have trumpeted that fact.

Baltimore — like Chicago; Washington, D.C.; and New York — shows conclusively that more “laws” restricting gun ownership do not prevent shootings, nor do laws preventing concealed or open carry or requiring permits keep criminals from carrying weapons. All those laws do is make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to protect themselves.

And when it comes down to it, that’s what all gun laws are about because the elites don’t want the populace to be independent. Dependents are easier to control.

Do you have apple cider vinegar in your medicine chest?

If you don’t have apple cider vinegar in your medicine chest — or in your health arsenal — it should be there. And you should take a dose daily “to keep the doctor away.”

It is one of nature’s miracle “drugs.” It’s certainly a much better preventative than all the chemical drugs Big Pharma can cook up to poison you with.

How does it work? It is high in acetic acid, which has proven potent biological effects. It is made in a two-step process similar to how alcohol is made. In fact, the word “vinegar” in French means “sour wine.”

In the first step, apples are crushed and exposed to yeast, which ferments the sugars and turns them to alcohol. In the second step, bacteria are added, which turns it into acetic acid. If the vinegar contains the “mother,” it has strands of proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria. Acetic acid is a potent antimicrobial and can help kill pathogens, including bacteria.

What can it do? Here’s a partial list:

  • Digestive aid: Take 2 tablespoons in water with 1 teaspoon of honey before meals. It works by increasing the flow of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, thus aiding digestion.
  • Treat sinus infections: Add 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of honey to 8 ounces of water. Or, if you can handle the taste, take 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar three times a day. It can also be mixed half and half with water and used as steam to inhale. Keep your eyes and mouth closed while over the steam. Organic apple cider vinegar is better.
  • Relax restless legs: Mix a potion of apple cider vinegar, honey and water, and you’ll relax and sleep better. It contains potassium, vitamins and minerals to help calm your legs and ease your pain. If you have a problem drinking the mixture, try spraying or rubbing your legs with the undiluted apple cider vinegar instead.
  • Helps lower blood sugar: This is essential for diabetics. Studies show vinegar can increase insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar responses during meals.
  • Helps with weight loss: A study of mice in Japan indicates that the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar turns on genes that assist your body in breaking down fats. Plus, other research has shown that the acetic acid in vinegar can even play a part in helping maintain healthy blood pressure and blood sugar.
  • Helps reduce chance of cardiovascular disease: Studies show it helps lower cholesterol, triglyceride levels and blood pressure.
  • Prevents cancer: It kills cancer and shrinks tumors.

If you don’t take a dose of apple cider vinegar daily, why not?

Keep your gold safe

Dear Bob,

As a longtime subscriber (to The Bob Livingston Letter, www.boblivingstonletter.com) I would like your opinion of the safety of buying and storing gold at Perth Australia Mint.

Thanks.

William B.                             

Dear William B.,

The Perth Mint is a mint owned by the government of Western Australia. It has existed for more than 100 years. In the Perth Mint Certificate Program, bullion can be purchased at the mint’s spot market ask price with no markup. There is a service fee and administrative fee, but storage is free. According to the mint’s contract, safety is assured because the metals remain on site and cannot be lent out.

While I have always stated that the safest and surest way to ensure your gold is protected from government confiscation is to keep it in your possession, in the past I have recommended the Perth Mint as an option for those who want to own large quantities but have a problem with storage. However, the growing global financial crisis and actions by several governments facing financial collapse have tempered my enthusiasm for it. Governments have shown — in Cyprus, through the government’s decision to steal 60 percent of bank deposits over 100,000 euros and Canada’s, Great Britain’s and America’s “bail-in” plans — that they do not keep their end of the bargains they make with their citizens.

The only way to keep you gold safe is to keep it in your possession, in a fire-proof safe, hidden away, or buried on your property in a secret location. You should tell as few people as possible that you have it, and those should be only your most trusted family and/or friends. Governments cannot take what they don’t know you have.

Best wishes,

Bob

A Memorial Day message

Today is set aside as a day to salute the veterans who laid their lives on the line and gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country and ours: the United States of America.

Memorial Day actually began in May 1865, when newly freed slaves in Charleston, South Carolina, exhumed the bodies of Union soldiers from a mass grave at the Washington Race Course (today the location of Hampton Park) and gave them individual graves.

The following year, and each year thereafter on May 5, a Decoration Day observance was held in Waterloo, New York. To commemorate the occasion, the graves of fallen soldiers were decorated with flags and flowers in cities, towns and battlefield graveyards across the nation.

In 1882, the alternative name of Memorial Day was used, though it did not become commonly used until federal law declared the day in 1967. In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill set the date as the last Monday in May rather than the more traditional day of celebration, May 30.

Personal Liberty Digest™ is a site that promotes discussion from all sides of the spectrum on a variety of topics. Unfortunately, some of the discussions devolve from rational debate to name-calling exercises in futility.

Let’s set aside our partisan ideas and ideologies today and recognize those who died. Remember, too, their families, who gave their loved ones on the altar of freedom.

And don’t forget that we currently have members of our military stationed in Middle Eastern hellholes, patrolling the seas and standing at attention on the Korean Peninsula. There are others at some 800-plus bases around the world, stationed there to represent America’s interests.

Regardless of whether you support the wars in those places, the wars fought previously or the policies that require us to have troops stationed around the world, we must leave politics aside this day and remember those who chose to go where their commander in chief sent them, and who did all they could to see the mission through, because they are loved and missed.

Many Americans receive the day off; and it’s not unusual for them to spend the day at picnics, barbecues, the lake or beach. As you enjoy this holiday, don’t forget the reason behind it.

Remember those who fell on the battlefields at Lexington, Concord and Valley Forge; at Fort Meigs, Fort George and Baltimore; at El Paso, Cerra Gordo and Mexico City; at Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg and the Wilderness; at San Juan Hill, Santiago de Cuba and Silva Heights; at Rheims, the Marne and Argonne; at Pearl Harbor, North Africa, Normandy, Guadalcanal, Ardennes and Midway; at Inchon, Chosin and Seoul; at Saigon, Hue, Hamburger Hill and An Loc; at Kuwait City, and Southern Iraq; at Mazar-e-sharif, southeastern Afghanistan, Qandahar, Marjah and Pashmul; at Nasiriya, Baghdad and Al-Anbar; and all the battlefields in between.

Thank you to those who gave it all. And to all veterans who have served or are currently serving, thank you and God bless!

Respectfully,

The Founding of the American Red Cross

On May 21, 1881, humanitarians Clara Barton and Adolphus Solomons founded the American National Red Cross, now known as the American Red Cross.

Barton, who had worked with the sick and wounded during the war to prevent secession (aka American Civil War), later went on to work for the International Red Cross by helping wounded Germans during the Franco-Prussian War in the 1870s. After she returned to the U.S., she organized an American branch of the International Red Cross in 1879, and it became the American National Red Cross two years later.

In 1900, the American Red Cross (ARC) received its first U.S. federal charter; and Barton headed the organization into her 80s. She died in 1912.

ARC, which has morphed into an NGO (nongovernment agency that is, in fact, quasi-governmental) has always received favorable press and is seen by most as a humanitarian organization dedicated to helping the U.S. military and providing disaster relief both nationally and locally. But as Dr. Leonard G. Horowitz shows in his book “Emerging Viruses: AIDS & Ebola — Nature, Accident or Intentional?,” the ARC has a sinister history.

Soon after the ARC received it second charter — which is still in force — in 1905, John D. Rockefeller, through his associates, took over the ARC and pirated the entire blood-banking industry. It was not for economic opportunity that Rockefeller made this move; it was part of his effort to control the field of medicine in America and carry out a plan to make a racially pure planet through eugenics.

Horowitz writes:

[A]t the end of WWII, the Dulles brothers (John Foster and Allen), in support of Rockefeller alliances, arranged false Red Cross identifications for Nazi war criminals, scientists, and military officials to escape through the “rat lines.” A couple of years ago, the New York Times carried a story that explained that Red Cross officials were aware of the Nazi atrocities occurring in the concentration camps of WWII. They said they were remiss in reporting their evidence. They omitted, however, the intelligence that the entire Red Cross organization was directed, from high above, by the same devils that directed the business dealings between the Nazis, I.G. Farben, the CIA and the Rockefeller Standard Oil Company from the rise of the Third Reich. No wonder, the New York Times reported in another article, much of the Nazi-stolen gold suddenly emerged in Rockefeller’s Chase Manhattan Bank… [and later] the Laurence Rockefeller-directed New York City Blood Bank knowingly released thousands of pints blood contaminated with the AIDS-virus, HIV, despite holding secret the oxygenation technologies capable of clearing the virus from infected supplies. After developing AIDS, approximately ten thousand hemophiliacs died throughout the United States, along with countless others around the world. Likewise, in 1999, CNN reported that approximately 500,000 Chinese people became HIV infected similarly through contaminated blood. Not to mention the millions of others who received the hepatitis B, C and herpes (cancer) viruses through contaminated blood, likewise preventable, but purposely neglected.”

More recently, the nonprofit news organization ProPublica (which is supported by donations from leftist causes) detailed ARC’s bungling of the relief efforts for superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Isaac. This included a lack of basic supplies to distribute to victims in the storms’ immediate aftermath, destruction of tens of thousands of meals because “it couldn’t find people who needed them,” slow response, inadequate supplies, misdirection and misallocation of services because volunteers were not given proper directions to the most affected areas, even while President Barack Obama and the media were encouraging Americans to donate to the ARC because, “The Red Cross knows what they’re doing.”

This followed allegations of similar bungling during the emergency responses to Hurricane Katrina and the 9/11 attacks, in which it also faced charges of financial mismanagement that ultimately led to the resignations of a series of chief executives.

According to one whistleblower, Richard Rieckenberg, who oversaw aspects of the Red Cross’ efforts to provide food, shelter and supplies after the 2012 storms, said the organization’s work was repeatedly undercut by its leadership. Top Red Cross officials were concerned only “about the appearance of aid, not actually delivering it,” Rieckenberg says. “They were not interested in solving the problem — they were interested in looking good. That was incredibly demoralizing.”

A Ghana-based nurse wrote last year that the Red Cross was responsible for the African Ebola outbreak because “… it is only contracted by those who receive treatments and injections from the Red Cross. That is why Liberians and Nigerians have begun kicking the Red Cross out of their countries and reporting in the news the truth.”

Still, the Red Cross remains a magnet for wealthy and corporate contributors, drawing more than $1 billion in donations last year, including at least $1 million each from Lady Gaga, Nicolas Cage and the oilman T. Boone Pickens… and donations from many Americans who continue to believe the Red Cross is all about doing good work and doing it efficiently.

The silly George Stephanopoulos kerfuffle

This kerfuffle over ABC “news” anchor George Stephanopoulos’ ties to the Clinton Foundation is plain silly.

Anyone with half a brain already knew Stephanopoulos was and always has been a Clinton operative. The relationship did not end when his stint at ABC began. But their ties go much deeper than just their personal relationship and Stephanopoulos’ donations to and work for the Foundation.

I told you in January about these ties and the most important common denominator of all: the Council on Foreign Relations. The CFR, according to the late Carroll Quigley (himself a CFR member) in his book “Tragedy and Hope,” “… is the American Branch of a society which originated in England, and which believes that national boundaries should be obliterated, and a one-world rule established.”

The CFR has controlled American government for more than 80 years. Most cabinet posts for both Republican and Democrat presidents, as well as past presidents, vice presidents and presidential candidates are/were CFR members. These include Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, Jack Kemp, Geraldine Ferraro, George H.W. Bush (who was also CIA), Bill Clinton, Gary Hart, Mario Cuomo, Michael Dukakis, Walter Mondale, Dick Cheney, John McCain, Bill Bradley, John Kerry, Al Gore, John Edwards, Joe Lieberman, Newt Gingrich, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton. The CFR’s membership list is a Who’s Who of the heads of the State Departments and senior presidential advisers past and present.

And almost all the big names in American media are CFR members. These include: Fox News star Charles Krauthammer, Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric, Charlie Rose, Dan Rather, Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters, Paula Zahn, Bill Moyers, James Zogby (of the Zogby poll) and Fox News CEO Roger Ailes.

And the mainstream media and presidential regimes have long-standing incestuous relationships. Currently, almost all major television media have strong ties to the Obama administration and government agencies. CBS News President David Rhodes and ABC News President Ben Sherwood both have siblings employed by Obama’s National Security Council working on policy issues. CNN’s Virginia Moseley is married to Tom Nides, former deputy secretary of State who worked under Hillary Clinton at the time of the Benghazi attacks. Former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is married to ABC reporter Claire Shipman. Carney is now a contributor for CNN. NPR’s White House correspondent, Ari Shapiro, is married to Michael Gottlieb, who works in the White House counsel’s office. Vice President Joe Biden’s communications director is Shailigh Murray, a former reporter for The Washington Post who is married to Neil King, one of The Wall Street Journal’s top political reporters.

Any major media figure feigning surprise at Stephanopoulos’ ties to the Clinton Foundation is just trying to fool you. There is little objectivity and even less truth coming out of the mainstream media.

Politico, itself part of the mainstream media echo chamber, released a list of media organizations, networks, companies, foundations and individuals that have contributed to the Foundation.

Prepping for surgery? Take vitamin D3 supplements

A review of multiple studies on vitamin D3 status and surgical recovery has found that adequate levels of vitamin D3 pre-surgery reduces the chance of post-surgery complications, including infections. I have been telling my readers this for years. It’s good to see it beginning to make the rounds in mainstream medicine.

From the review, “Patient Safety In Surgery”:

“The main finding of the present review is that 26 of 31 studies (84%) report at least one statistically significant worse outcome in patients with low vitamin D status. Five of 31 studies (16%) found no association. In conclusion, this review supports the hypothesis that hypovitaminosis D is associated with adverse outcomes after diverse surgical procedures. Future studies should focus on additional surgeries and outcomes, and on the role of vitamin D supplementation in the improvement of patient safety in participants with low vitamin D status at the time of surgery.”

Vitamin D is a key player in having and maintaining total health. Its benefits are unbelievable! Vitamin D is a potent neuroregulatory steroidal hormone that influences nearly 3,000 of our 25,000 genes.

Vitamin D influences dozens of conditions, with emphasis on those related to heart disease; yet there is a broad epidemic of vitamin D deficiency in America. Here are some of the others: cancer, obesity, diabetes types I and II, cold and flu, aging signs, osteoporosis, seizures, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, schizophrenia, inflammation, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, infertility, depression, asthma and many more. Some dependable writers say that up to 85 percent of Americans have insufficient vitamin D levels. What would it take to get people on a very low-cost vitamin D supplement?

I take 30,000 units per day, and I give my wife 20,000 units because she weighs about 100 pounds less than I do. I recommend taking even higher doses of vitamin D3 (50,000 IUs) before surgery for a far greater chance of quick recovery and survival.

H/T: Vitamin D Council

Our ideology must change


Commenting on Obama and the great divide,
RussellE says:
May 15, 2015


Looking in the wrong place.

There is no shortage of pundits who gives statistic and sometimes their opinion of a solution to a problem.

One of the most opinionated subject is poverty. When president Johnson declared war on poverty and 18 trillion dollars later that war would continue in a stalemate.

There is no time in history or in any government that the problem of poverty has been solved. Yet today the only solution put forward is government redistribution of wealth. This is looking in the wrong place. Since we can’t eliminate poverty we have to find a solution that will reduce poverty to it’s lowest ebb.

I think that our present ideology that a solution is unacceptable that is not ground in compassion has failed. Our ideology must change to stop thinking that the government is all things to all people.

Reply

Subsidizing and price fixing us into the poorhouse

“The whole of economics can be reduced to a single lesson, and that lesson can be reduced to a single sentence. The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups.” — Henry Hazlitt, “Economics in One Lesson”

One of the greatest fallacies of recent generations is the argument that free market capitalism has failed and that said failure is responsible for America’s moribund economy, the ongoing destruction of the middle class and the growing level of income inequality in which the 1 percent get richer at everyone else’s expense.

The American system is much more fascist and oligarchic than capitalistic. Special incentives, tax breaks and subsidies are given to crony corporations and certain industries in order to buy votes and generate kickbacks for lawmakers. And central planners set prices and control production levels of foods and other commodities. These policies create malinvestment and shortages and cause increased costs for staples and other goods by acting as a sort of hidden tax. Much of this stems from the creation of the Federal Reserve — which is neither federal, nor holds reserves — and Great Depression-era legislation that was bad at the time but has since morphed into something much worse.

Government is theft. It produces nothing and has nothing except that which it takes from the producers. It then turns around and grants what it has taken to favored constituencies in a massive reverse Robin Hood scheme. Subsidies are a subtle form of economic warfare between the haves (crony corporations) and have-nots (the people) and class warfare created between the people who are divided based on their economic status, minority status, etc. Price controls distort natural supply and demand, destroy profit margins, and create shortages. All is a masquerade for the benefit of a wicked political system.

Of course, government printing press money distorts economic reality, dilutes morality and is the true source of “income inequality.” Printing press money is the root of all evil in society because it makes possible the vote-buying and other evil schemes of the elected class. An unlimited supply of paper money makes for unlimited evil government. Fiat paper money is tyranny or becomes tyranny. It guarantees criminal government. For a greater understanding of the Federal Reserve, go here.

In a real free market economy, the way for true economic growth is by the free and unfettered transfer of services, goods or wealth between people (or businesses) who actually produce something. In other words, if someone provides a service and gets gold or silver or something backed by gold and silver (actual wealth) or widgets for compensation, both the service provider and widget maker have benefited and each has something that has bettered his standard of living.

If the one who performed the service uses the widgets to acquire trinkets that help him perform his service, then the service performer has benefited. The trinket maker has also benefited, and he can put the widgets to use. This sort of transfer has worked from the beginning of time, when the farmer took his produce to market, where it was sold or bartered in exchange for wealth, tools, supplies and seeds so he could begin producing food for next year.

But the playing field must be level, rather than uneven, based on special favors granted to one group or another. This transfer system is greatly distorted when one or more companies get special favors in the form of bailouts, tax breaks, incentives or exemption from laws and regulations that other companies doing the same or similar business do not. It is further distorted when government sets production quotas and/or fixes prices.

The market is then no longer free but controlled. Consumers have fewer choices, and manufacturers have fewer incentives to provide more choices or better service than their competitors. Any possible competitors are placed at a disadvantage. Resources are diverted from more productive to less productive uses, which reduces economic efficiency. This is also how government interference creates monopolies. Monopolies cannot exist and never have without government intervention.

This creates a sort of double or triple taxation on the people, who see their wealth diluted first through money printing, then see it diluted further by higher taxes — which are diverted to certain corporations and industries — and artificially inflated prices for the goods and services.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture may be the biggest culprit when it comes to subsidies, price fixing and rationing; and its activities just drive up the cost of food while providing cushy and permanent incomes to farmers. Between 1995 and 2013, the USDA spent $295 billion on agricultural subsidies. So what are and how do they work?

Protectionism in the sugar industry began way back in 1789 when a tariff on imported sugar was imposed. Sugar now has the highest degree of government control of any major agricultural commodity. Sugar farmers are granted loans by the USDA that they can repay with raw sugar if the price falls below 20.9 cents per pound — which is essentially a mass purchase of sugar that drives up the price for consumers. The USDA then sells the surplus to ethanol producers at a discounted price, which costs the government another $250 million. There are also tariffs and quotas on imported sugar that limit the supply of cheaper sugar that could be imported. One study showed that if the sugar program were abolished, sugar prices would fall by one-third, saving U.S. consumers between $2.9 billion and $3.5 billion annually. The USDA spent $171.5 million on the sugar program in 2013. The program benefited the nation’s 20,000 sugar farmers with an average of $85,000 each from the government. What’s worse, U.S.-produced sugar is primarily high fructose corn syrup, which is nothing more than a cheap non-food that can be used as a filler to the detriment of our health.

From 1995 to 2013, the USDA spent $19.2 billion on subsidized corn- and soy-derived junk food ingredients. And it’s not just for junk food that corn growers are reaping a bountiful harvest of greenbacks, it’s also for ethanol. The ethanol mandate has caused millions of acres of grassland and wetlands to be converted into cornfields, and many more millions of acres of food corn — both for humans and livestock — to be converted into fields of corn for ethanol. Not only is ethanol a poor substitute for oil — it takes 1.5 gallons of ethanol to replace one gallon of gasoline and more energy is used to produce it than is saved — but subsidies for it have incentivized farmers to convert from growing food corn to ethanol corn, which has driven up the cost of food corn and created shortages, particularly in developing countries. Over the past 30 years, ethanol corn production has been subsidized by untold billions via tax breaks, import tariffs and infrastructure credits. Until 2011, the program received an average of $6 billion annually. Today, more than 40 percent of corn production is converted into vehicle fuel.

Other farm subsidies from the USDA include $689 million to apple growers, $27.8 billion to soy growers and $84.4 billion to food corn growers. Other subsidized crops include wheat, sorghum, barley, oats, cotton, rice, minor oilseeds and peanuts.

But that’s not all. Farmers participate in a New Deal-era marketing loan program that is simply a price-support program for their crops — mostly the same crops listed above. Under the program, farmers use their crops as collateral, which allows them to default on loans without penalty. If crop prices fell below levels established by government, farmers kept their loans and forfeited their crops to government, which stuck taxpayers with the loan debt.

Farmers also get to buy subsidized insurance that protects them against weather, pests and low market prices. Government pays up to two-thirds of the insurance premiums, then pays them pre-set market prices for their failed crops.

Farmers are also paid to not grow certain foods and to leave their land fallow. According to The Washington Post, between 2000 and 2006, the USDA handed out $1.3 billion in direct payments to people who didn’t farm. The paper noted thousands of acres of land in Texas that had been converted from rice fields to suburban housing and other uses even while the landowners continued to receive federal farm subsidies.

Government continues to set the price of milk because of “inequities in the milk market” discovered in the 1930s. The rules created to cure these “inequities” set minimum prices dairy processors must pay dairy farmers in 10 regions of the country. This has created price discrepancies in the various regions and prohibited low-price milk in one region from being sold in a region with higher prices. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that U.S. policies create a 26 percent “implicit tax” on milk consumers. That “milk tax” is regressive, meaning that it harms low-income families the most. The Government Accountability Office compared U.S. dairy prices to world prices over the period 1998 to 2004. It found that U.S. prices for butter averaged twice the world price, cheese prices were about 50 percent higher, and dry milk prices were 24 percent or more higher.

A similar program created in 1949 for raisins is now awaiting a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Raisin Administrative Committee has a price stabilization program to prop up raisin prices. In 2002, that program decided that it would confiscate 47 percent of the raisin crop to divert into a reserve that was then distributed to big raisin producers like Sun Maid, who then sold it to the U.S. government for school lunch programs or shipped it overseas. But the raisin growers weren’t compensated for the taking. When that happened, Raisin Valley Farms owner Marvin Horne decided he’d had enough. He believed that if he packaged and sold his own raisins, he could circumvent the order. Other raisin producers, sensing an opportunity to benefit from all their labor rather than only that portion the eggheaded bureaucrats thought they should, decided to follow suit. The USDA promptly slapped the Hornes with fines and demanded payment for the raisins they didn’t surrender. Horne said the fines and payment totaled about $1 million — much more than he and his small farm could muster. So he sued. The Supreme Court heard the suit a second time this spring, and a decision is pending.

In 2011, when inflation drove up the cost of chicken and with consumers looking for alternatives to the hormone- and antibiotic-laden chickens found in grocery stores, demand for chicken dropped. But rather than let Big Chicken deal with the fact that it erred by raising production 4 percent as demand was decreasing, the USDA (read the American taxpayer) bailed out chicken producers to the tune of $40 million. CNNMoney reported: “The USDA steps in occasionally to buy up food products that are in surplus supply in the market. By doing this, it helps shrink the glut of the product, raise retail prices and support producers that are struggling to cover the cost of production.” (Emphasis added.) Note that the USDA considers producers of farm products more important than consumers who would benefit from the lower prices.

Of all the subsidy programs to farmers, most went to large agribusinesses rather than family farmers. Most farm subsidies are distributed to commercial farmers, who have an average income of $199,975 and an average net worth of just under $2 million.

But it’s certainly not just Big Agriculture reaping government windfalls. Big corporations are enjoying a bonanza. For instance:

  • Credible estimates of annual fossil fuel subsidies range from $10 billion to $52 billion annually; yet these don’t even include costs borne by taxpayers related to the climate, local environmental and health impacts of the fossil fuel industry. As of July 2014, Oil Change International estimates U.S. fossil fuel subsidies at $37.5 billion annually, including $21 billion in production and exploration subsidies.
  • Fortune 500 firms alone receive more than 16,000 subsidies at a total cost of $63 billion. Additionally, eight out of the top 20 firms receiving U.S. taxpayer subsidies are not even U.S. companies, meaning American taxpayers are being forced to directly subsidize foreign firms. These corporations and their subsidies received include Intel ($3.8 billion), IBM (more than $1 billion), Google ($632 million), Dell owner Silver Lake Partners ($482 million), Yahoo ($260 million), Microsoft ($95 million) and Koch Industries ($88 million).
  • And then there are these: Boeing ($13.2 billion), General Motors ($3.5 billion), Royal Dutch Shell ($2 billion), Dow Chemical ($1.4 billion), Goldman Sachs ($662 million), Walt Disney ($381.5 million), Walmart ($150 million), Abercrombie and Fitch ($23 million), and Bed Bath & Beyond ($10 million).

Clearly it’s not free market capitalism that has failed, but it’s crony capitalism/fascism that has failed.

You live, so you’re obviously guilty, according to Congress

There’s more Orwellian double-speak in action in Congress.

On Wednesday, the House passed the USA Freedom Act 338-88. As is always the case in the District of Corruption, the new law does exactly the opposite of what its name purports.

The bill overturns the recent ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that National Security Agency bulk telephone metadata collection exceeded what was authorized in the so-called USA Patriot Act. The misnamed Freedom Act actually expands the statutory basis for the large-scale collection of most data.

Now phone companies have to hold, search and analyze the data at government’s request. The Freedom Act authorizes the government to order phone companies to turn over records based upon a “specific selection term.” Think of it as using a search term in a search engine.

A non-specific term can turn up a vast amount of unrelated data that will find its way into the NSA’s computers. In short, it casts an even wider net than the one the NSA was using without authorization, but now it’s an “authorized” net. For more on why the bill is bad, read this synopsis by Rep. Justin Amash, one of the few who stood for the Constitution during the vote.

Never mind the 4th Amendment. The whole Constitution is dead, and it died without even a whimper.

The thinking in Congress is that all the world is a battlefield, so U.S. citizens are equally suspect. In other words, you live, so you’re obviously guilty of something. And this is done all in the name of the faux “war on terror.”

The bill now goes to the U.S. Senate, where it will likely pass without so much as a peep against it.

Mandatory vaccination bill introduced in Congress

Government is force. When it finds that soft force doesn’t work, it becomes more aggressive.

Having found itself unable to scare and/or coerce all Americans into “voluntary” vaccination compliance, now Congress has before it a bill titled the “Vaccinate All Children Act of 2015.” Of course, this requirement is being done “in the public interest” and “for the greater good.”

It would accomplish the task of vaccinating all children by withholding federal funds from public elementary and secondary schools that enroll students who are not vaccinated according to recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Of course, children are required by law to attend school; and most children attend public schools. And people are forced to fund those schools whether they have children attending them or not. Opting out of the public indoctrination camps passing as public schools requires jumping through special hoops and/or forking over large sums of cash to a private school.

And who sits on the Advisory Committee that sets the recommendations? Why, it’s health professionals who benefit — either directly or indirectly — from vaccination programs. And some of them get thousands of dollars from drug makers like Pfizer, Merck and GlaxoSmithKline for “consulting” and “speaking” fees. One member, Marietta Vazquez, M.D., pocketed more than $20,000 for three speeches.

Even if they worked and were without risk, vaccines only stimulate temporary immunity. By trading lifelong immunity for temporary vaccine-induced immunity, people become vaccine dependent. The winners of repeated mandatory vaccinations are the pharmaceutical companies. The losers are the people, who are first put at risk as children for vaccine adverse events and then put at risk as adults for repeated vaccinations that have already failed. The pharmaceuticals have discovered a money machine in mass vaccinations. But they need and have to have your body for the pretense.

The development of asthma, diabetes and autism in children has increased substantially in the past four decades, coinciding with the significant increase in childhood immunizations. People are finally recognizing the link and questioning Big Pharma, and more and more are beginning to “opt out.”

Public awareness has been manipulated. Why does no one question the authority of injecting agents of unknown toxicity into the body? Unbelievably, the general public is satisfied with the disinformation provided by the government. Unfortunately, now is the wrong time for apathy. We are on the verge of a vaccine mania. And by the time our wake-up call comes, it just may be too late.

The worldwide market for human vaccine is now more than $24 billion — and it’s expected by the World Health Organization to rise to $100 billion in 2025 — with the underlying purpose cloaked by the guise of protecting public health.

The act of forcing people through intimidation and deception into dangerous medications is terrorism of the most malicious sort. This act by public authority constitutes assault, violating civil and human rights under national and international law.

There can be no “greater good” in this act of war against the American people.

4 in 10 Americans on food stamps are obese

More than 46 million Americans are on food stamps — officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — and 4 in 10 of them are obese, according to a study just put out by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The study analyzed National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data from 2007-2010, looking at the eating habits of SNAP recipients and comparing them with those of people who qualified for the benefits but did not take them and those who did not qualify. It found that SNAP recipients were more likely to be overweight and obese than the other two groups. On average, households received $275 in SNAP benefits per month (or $133 per person).

According to the study, among all Americans, 29 percent are overweight and 31 percent are obese. But 40 percent of SNAP recipients were found to be obese. And adult SNAP recipients were less likely to have a healthy weight than non-recipients, and were more likely to be obese.

The USDA found that SNAP recipients were consuming more empty calories than non-recipients. Empty calories come from three main sources: solid fats, added sugars and alcohol. Overall, SNAP participants obtained a larger share of their total calorie intake from solid fats and added sugars than non-participants. In other words, SNAP recipients were far more likely to be consuming processed foods. They were much less likely to be consuming whole foods: raw fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts.

What they were consuming, in order from most to least, were:

  1. Beverages (excluding milk and juice).
  2. Mixed dishes (processed foods).
  3. Sweets and desserts.
  4. Grains.
  5. Milk and milk products.
  6. Meat and meat alternatives.
  7. Vegetables.
  8. Fruit and 100 percent juice.
  9. Added fats and oils.
  10. Salty snacks.

SNAP recipients were found to consume fewer dark green and orange vegetables and legumes, fewer whole grains and were far more likely to consume soda than non-recipients.

Conventional wisdom has for years held that obesity was related to a lack of exercise. That meme was promoted by Big Food, particularly the cola industry, which has spent billions of dollars to push sugary drinks on an unsuspecting public with its marketing campaigns centered on popular sports figures and teams.

As I have told my readers for years, obesity and weight problems are most often linked directly to diets high in sugars and carbohydrates (which convert to sugar during digestion). Sugar consumption causes excess insulin. Excess insulin builds up as fat. Some fat will be stored in the abdomen and liver, which throws the liver function off-kilter and starts a process of breakdown of muscle and bone — causing weakness and osteoporosis. Now we have a serious problem of insulin resistance and high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer. When we see the big apple-shaped middle, we are looking at insulin resistance and disease.

Obesity can be combated by simply changing your diet to raw fruits and vegetables. Those are live foods that foster life and health by providing fiber, phytonutrients, antioxidants and promoting an alkaline state in the body. They help the body fight disease, eliminate free radicals, reduce the chances of developing cancer and end digestive problems.

The experts say to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. I say five’s not nearly enough.

And stay away from the middle aisles of the grocery stores. That’s where the fat-making foods are found.

Privacy on the Internet

Dear Sirs,

The very name of your website “Personal Liberty” at first gave me a refreshing hope to talk about the things we have valued as a country with those that still value our heritage. My concern, now, is in order to make a commentary I have to put myself in the position of revealing personal information and personal information of friends and contacts in order to make a commentary. I feel I have contributions to make. However, is my contribution, at the expense of revealing personal information of myself and of friends and contacts? So, I ask is “Personal Liberty” at the expense of “Privacy”.

Please, tell me straight and honestly is “Personal Liberty” at the expense of “Privacy”?

No name given

Dear No name,

You can comment on Personal Liberty articles by creating a Disqus account that does not require you to reveal “personal information and personal information of friends and contacts in order to make a commentary.”

But I have to ask you, you have a Yahoo email account and you are concerned about “privacy?” You have a Facebook account and you are concerned about “privacy?” I suggest you read the “Privacy Policy” for both Yahoo and Facebook and see what information they have been collecting on you. I’m sorry to tell you that you long ago surrendered your privacy.

Best wishes,

Bob