Mitt Romney Won’t Bring Back Norman Rockwell

A visceral longing to renew America and return to its gilded age along with growing fears over what direction the Nation is headed have brought a modicum of hope to many people that presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney can restore American greatness if elected in November — so much so that renewal in America is a central theme to his election platform.

After four dismal years under President Barack Obama, it is a cherished hope for the country. Yet I believe that if Romney is elected, it will be an empty dream; he will be just the latest President to preside over the United States’ grand decline, which began decades ago. Neither Romney nor a new Congress can rebuild the United States; the Nation’s greatness is fading faster than the paint on anything Norman Rockwell painted.

Yet that is not what the Republican candidate is claiming. The Romney public relations team rightfully attacked Obama’s mind-boggling comment: “If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.”



The Romney ad campaign is entitled “These Hands.”


What are the chances that Romney — even with a new and better Congress (impossible to imagine how it could be worse) — has the tools to rebuild the Nation and bring back the America that so many of us are nostalgic for? I would lay the odds at somewhere between zero and nil.

Even Romney admits that the United States is in decline. Last month, he told a group of California donors that the Australian foreign minister warned him there is talk abroad that America is “in decline.”

That is hardly a shocker. The peak of Pax Americana happened sometime around when I was born in the 1950s. Back then, the United States had the largest trade and budget surplus ever amassed and the most dominant military since Julius Caesar. The country was producing almost half of all automobiles, oil and steel consumed by the world.

Half a century ago, well-paying manufacturing jobs accounted for more than a third of the Nation’s workforce. Today, they equal fewer than one in 10. In the past decade alone, 5 million manufacturing jobs have disappeared. Almost half of the 12 million that still exist hang by a thread as rivals such as China and India make more of the world’s goods. America is left with Wal-mart-like retail jobs that pay less than $19,000 per year (less than one-third of the inflation-adjusted salary earned on an average manufacturing job in the 1960s).

Things are not going to get better, forecasts The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI). According to MGI, U.S. manufacturing will not add any new jobs to the economy between now and 2021 and that was the institute’s “positive scenario.” A more negative prediction from the firm indicates that America will continue to be hollowed out with even greater job losses in industries that build “things.”

Steel is a perfect example of the loss of American might. Once the largest steel manufacturer in the world, the United States now employs 153,000 workers and produces just 7 percent of the world’s steel. China accounts for 40 percent of global steel output. And in the next decade, India may exceed China as a steelmaker.

The trend isn’t much better in technology. Foxconn, the Chinese computer and cellphone manufacturer, employs more people than Microsoft Corp., Intel Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., Apple Inc., Dell Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. combined. At the same time, more and more American industry giants are shifting production offshore. General Electric Co. has a workforce of more than 300,000, but more than half of these highly skilled jobs are overseas. Just a decade ago, IBM had only 6,000 employees in India and 135,000 workers in the United States. IBM now employs 110,000 in India. India now has a larger IBM workforce than does the United States.

While the Administration of President Barack Obama is staffed with money men whose experience comes from Wall Street, China’s leadership is dominated by engineers. Seven of the nine members on China’s Politburo Standing Committee are engineers, yet there isn’t a single engineer that can be named among Obama’s advisers. Given Romney’s history with Wall Street, it seems unlikely that things will change in that respect.

While Washington doesn’t understand the plight of the Nation, some of the few remaining leaders in industry do. Nucor Corporation (NYSE: NUE) is one of the largest steelmakers in the United States. The company’s Website contains the phrase “A Nation that makes and builds things.” Yet Nucor’s Chairman, President and CEO Daniel R. DiMicco is fed up with the direction the United States is heading. Reportedly, he is fond of saying: “Do those idiots (that shape American economic policy) think we can survive by pushing paper around?”

The immediate problems that Romney will face if elected are even more entrenched than just our Wal-Mart-based economy. Education in the Nation is a morass; to a large degree because of the liberal education system and teachers unions. There is also a sense among students learned from their parents that they are somehow entitled, even if they are unable to achieve.

In his new book Time to Start Thinking: America in the Age of Descent, author Edward Luce writes:

More than a quarter of a million students drop out of high school. Many of the rest present a different challenge.  Teachers avoid issuing verbal reprimands for errant behavior (to avoid disciplinary action). Parents remonstrate with teachers if their kids get C grades. And every child gets to win some trophy or other at school prize day (“effort” and “punctuality” are my favorite perennials). So sheltered have American middle class teenagers become that the deans of small American colleges have recently begun using the phrase “tea cups” about incoming freshman (because they are so psychologically fragile).

Luce points out that State Department officials were shocked a year ago when at the induction meeting for its summer intern program they were handed statements from students which included remarks: “We don’t like to be criticized,” and “It is really motivating to get praise.”

Yes, it is nice to get praise; but it used to be that you had to earn it. These days, in many ways the United States isn’t earning it; and the arrogance of our high school graduates comes to some extent from that arrogance in Washington that America has a preordained right to greatness. Our leaders who believe this axiom must not be listening to the markets, because the U.S. dollar has been in a downward spiral for a decade and I can’t see how it is going to reverse itself over the next four years.

I expect a Romney victory in the wake of Obama’s sheer incompetence as President, but I am not going to delude myself that Romney can rebuild the Nation. If America were a ship, then it’s already hit the iceberg. Switching captains now won’t stop it from sinking.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

China’s Growing Chokehold On Oil

If you don’t like the Greens now, wait a decade and you might really hate them. That is because by then China could lock-down much of Canada’s oil sands production and be shipping it across the Pacific to power their 21st century ambitions as the world’s only superpower. At the same time, America may be floundering because of acute energy shortages and or because we are under the thumb of Arab oil.

A couple of weeks ago China took a historic step toward reaching its goal to becoming a global resource powerhouse when it bid $15.1 billion (U.S.) to buy Calgary-based oil producer Nexen Inc.

The offer by state-backed CNOOC, Ltd., is the largest by any Chinese firm to purchase a foreign company. It is evidence that China wants to use Canada to fuel its global economic and military ambitions through strategically secure oil reserves — the same reserves the United States has been reluctant to tie down because environmentalists maintain oil sands damage the environment.

If the deal is approved by the Canadian government as expected, it will be the largest in a string of earlier acquisitions by Chinese firms in Canada’s oil sands sector. It would also be the second-largest deal ever in Canada’s energy sector and the sixth-largest takeover ever in Canada.

The Nexen bid was announced within hours of a $1.5 billion deal by China’s top refiner, Sinopec, Corp., to acquire a 49 percent stake in the North Sea operations of Talisman, one of Canada’s largest oil and gas exploration companies.

According to Bloomberg, China has funneled more than $53 billion into Canadian oil interests over the past 10 years, dwarfing the $31 billion or so the U.S. has invested in Canada.

China has been building on its long-term strategy to build partnerships in Canadian petroleum projects that will give it access to energy regardless of what happens in the Middle East; that volatile region upon which Washington is betting.

“The slogan of the Chinese government for their major companies is to go global,” said Richard Herd, the chief China economist for the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. “They are hoping they can earn better returns in resources in direct investment abroad than they can in investing in U.S. treasuries.”

That is a double assault on the United States that could find it desperately needs Canadian oil at the same time it must finance the Nation’s day-to-day operations by selling ever more billions of dollars in treasuries to Beijing.

Nexen and other Canadian companies like it could give China a stranglehold on Canada’s oil sands reserves; the third-largest recoverable crude deposits in the world.

Virginia Republican Congressman Randy Forbes, founder and co-chairman of the Congressional China Caucus, has long warned of China’s growing military and economic power. Forbes is worried by China’s latest bid for an increased presence in Canada’s oil sector, especially because it allows China to be “right off our coast,” Forbes told Reuters. Forbes pointed out the other obvious problem with the Nexen deal: For China, it secures Canada’s finite energy resources that could otherwise be made available to America.

Obama Bends To The Greens

“More than a foot in the door, this is a body in the door for the Chinese in the North American energy market,” Forbes told Reuters in July, slamming President Obama’s decision to delay approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, a project designed to funnel oil from Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast.

Forbes and many other Republicans want Obama to immediately approve the pipeline to give the Canadians an alternative to doing business with the Chinese. That is not going to happen before the election and if Obama is reelected it probably will not happen. That is good news for Beijing whose global ambitions are built upon fossil fuels and not the fantasy of unproven clean energy.

In Canada, plans are being drawn up to move oil from Alberta west through British Columbia via a newly constructed Northern Gateway pipeline.

The Wall Street Journal summed up the situation on July 25th:

Mr. Obama’s rejection of the $7 billion Keystone XL has no doubt concentrated Chinese and Canadian minds. The pipeline would have moved oil from Canada and North Dakota to refineries on the Gulf Coast, and Mr. Obama’s bow to American greens was a direct snub to Canada, which provides nearly 30% of U.S. imports. Prime Minister Stephen Harper promptly said that Canada needs to diversify its energy markets, perhaps by building a pipeline from Alberta to the West Coast to export to Asia.

The lesson for America, and especially Democrats, is that Canada’s oil sands will be developed, whether their green financiers like it or not. If the U.S. doesn’t want the oil, China and the rest of Asia will gladly take it. The world wants to grow—must grow to reduce poverty—and it needs abundant, cheap energy to do it. Why is that so hard for some Americans to understand?

Canadians understand. After the rejection of the Keystone XL, Calgary-based Enbridge moved to the forefront with its $5.5 billion pipeline project that will carry Canadian oil sands crude to Canada’s west coast where tankers could transport it to Asian countries, none of which have a more critical need for oil than China.

This is China’s century. Every great power that has dominated has fallen into permanent decline. Why should it be any different for the United States which has insurmountable debts and an overstretched military? Just as those world powers rotted from within because of corruption and terrible leaders, so, too, will the United States.

Earlier this year East Asia Forum wrote, “China is now strong enough to contest America’s leadership in Asia, and is plainly doing so. That means the old days of uncontested American primacy, and the Asian order that has been built on this foundation, are already history.”

China is building a war chest not only for Asian domination but for global domination and a key component of it is buying up oil from America’s next door neighbor. Those reserves might be crucial to the U.S. someday but American Greens can comfort each other that they didn’t dirty up the environment… when they talk or text in Mandarin.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers Energy & Gold Report

Watch Your Mouth!

Last month, a professional British soccer player was arrested and faced charges in an English court for something he said on the pitch during a game.

Celebrated soccer captain John Terry’s fate was in a court’s hands. The question: Would Terry’s 600-game career be forever tainted by a criminal conviction for racially abusing opposing player Anton Ferdinand?

The question was not whether Terry physically assaulted Ferdinand. The question was: Did Terry abuse Ferdinand with three hateful words?

The central fact of Terry’s trial was that he called Ferdinand “black,” couched between vulgar swear words. That was never in dispute.

The Telegraph reported:

The offending words were caught on camera and broadcast live to millions of viewers across the world from Loftus Road, where Chelsea were losing a Premier League game 1-0 to Queens Park Rangers.



Keep in mind these are not fifth graders, but professional athletes.

The maximum penalty Terry faced was a $4,000 fine. However, a conviction would have enormous implications for Terry’s career.

The prosecution argued that the Chelsea captain intended to offend Ferdinand when he used those words.

Did Terry intend to offend Ferdinand? The answer might depend on how you feel about the policing of words and whether the law can make us more polite even at the highest levels of sporting competition.

Chief magistrate Howard Riddle took the middle ground. While Riddle did not find Terry’s explanation of events persuasive, other misgivings nagged at the magistrate. In his judgment, he wrote:

It is highly unlikely that Mr. Ferdinand accused Mr Terry on the pitch of calling him a black (expletive). However I accept that it is possible that Mr Terry believed at the time, and believes now, that such an accusation was made.

The prosecution evidence as to what was said by Mr Ferdinand at this point is not strong.

It is therefore possible that what he [Mr Terry] said was not intended as an insult, but rather as a challenge to what he believed had been said to him.

In those circumstances, there being a doubt, the only verdict the court can record is one of not guilty.

So Terry was found not guilty. But the verdict was rendered not because it didn’t matter that in the heat of a professional football game that some bad words were exchanged. Instead, it was because there was reasonable doubt as to the exact intent of his words.

Had the magistrate ruled that Terry had “meant” that despicable phrase as an injurious insult to Ferdinand, Terry would now have a criminal record.

I know it’s England. I know it is soccer where a rip-roaring game is 1–0 and, if a player gets a hangnail, the ambulance drives onto the field. But really, as unmanly as this game is, can’t players even utter a bad word? It certainly isn’t the kind of organized sports I played when I was a kid. All kinds of comments were made back and forth discretely out of coaches’ and referees’ earshot.

If you think “So what, that’s England and who cares?” you had better think again. The language police are everywhere and — just like the old KGB — you might not know they are standing behind you.

Twenty years ago, I was in Spokane, Wash., standing outside the Spokane Club. It was pouring rain, and I was thinking of the quickest way to get to my car. Crossing a boulevard from the other side of the club was a man with a white cane and dark sunglasses. Because I sometimes think out loud, I said: “That guy does great for a blind guy.”

Two steps behind me was a woman of whose presence I wasn’t even aware. Indignant, she shouted: “He’s not blind! He is sight-impaired!”

She had no connection to the man navigating across the road. She simply wanted to correct my thinking.

A month later, I got a call from Society for the Blind. While I was on the phone with the gentleman who was asking for a donation, I asked him: “What do you call yourself?”

He said: “I’m blind.”

It made me think that the woman behind me that day — the woman who could see — was wrong in telling me what to say to myself or how to think.

Bad Words Are Bad

I hate the “N” word. I never use it, along with a few other words that upset me. That said, black people use it freely all the time. It is part of the rap culture;for some people, it is part of their everyday life.

Years ago, I was jogging alone in Spokane’s Riverfront Park and a couple of young black men saw me. One of them said to his friend: “Look at the [‘N’ word] run!” I laughed then, but later I wondered what would happen if I used that word. If it is terribly offensive for me to use it, shouldn’t it be offensive for others as well, despite their complexion?

This brings me to the word “black.” I see on the news every day that most white commentators call dark-skinned people African-Americans. That is a longer name for a group of people that not long ago were politely called “black.” And it is strange because on the news I see most dark-skinned people refer to themselves as black. If people of African heritage call themselves black, why can’t the rest of us?

Some Just Can’t Wait To Be Offended

We live in a world of political correctness — so much so that there are two words many people consider offensive but which our Founding Fathers highly respected: “Creator” in the Declaration and “Lord” in the Constitution.

A recent Psychology Today article warned about George Orwell’s classic, 1984, and went on to suggest that some of that nightmare is coming true today. Society and even the courts are telling us what words we can and must never say:

What is not fiction is the way the present day language police have established an elaborate protocol of what is called a beneficent censorship. Politically correct school boards, bias and sensitivity committees now review, abridge, and censor texts which in their opinion contain potentially offensive words, topics, and imagery. The members of sensitivity and bias committees are people with backgrounds in counseling, diversity training, guidance, bilingual education, and so forth.

Diane Ravitch’s book The Language Police laid bare “an elaborate, well-established protocol of beneficent censorship, quietly endorsed and broadly implemented by textbook publishers, testing agencies, professional associations, states, and the federal government” that steadily and stealthily reduces schoolbooks to packages of pabulum. The arbiters of political correctness on the left have joined with the fundamentalist guardians of morality on the right to foster a censorship apparatus that serves the political and social agendas of both, scorns the interests of students, and ensures that students will not be exposed to anything that might bother anyone, anywhere, for any reason.

I have bad news for some people: Some words and phrases are going to bother you. Choose to ignore them.

Words are a key to freely express ourselves. When people and the courts say it is criminal to use certain words, we have taken an irreparable step back from any hope for future liberty.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers Energy & Gold Report

The Dog Days Of Global Warming

There have been massive forest fires and record temperatures across North America this summer. With this heat wave impacting so many millions of people, it must be definitive proof of global warming — or so the Big Green Machine would like us to believe.

I will admit that it has gotten so hot where I live that I had to go buy a couple of fans.

On July 1, even The Washington Post declared that Colorado’s destructive wildfires are global warming’s “smoking” gun: “Lightning and suspected arson ignited them four weeks ago, but scientists and federal officials say the table was set by a culprit that will probably contribute to bigger and more frequent wildfires for years to come: climate change.”

Remember The Coming Ice Age?

It all sounds familiar and for good reason.

In January 1971, my father decided my brothers and me were going to help him build a big reservoir that he could stock with fish. It was a natural gully filled with brush and trees. The spring runoff would provide the water after dirt was hauled in and one end was dammed.

I remember how cold that winter was. Between New Year’s Day and the end of February the thermometer rose above 0 degrees Fahrenheit only one day.

It had to be climate change right? That’s what the mainstream media were saying. Magazines like Time and Newsweek ran cover stories on the coming Ice Age, and climate experts predicted that humanity was on the brink of an environmental crisis.

The Big Chill was coming, said the scientists. It just so happened that it was a movie by that same title and it was released a decade later.

And Then Came Ozone

That was followed up in the 80s and 90s by fear over the depletion of the ozone layer. The ozone layer, scientists said, protects all DNA of all surface-dwelling life by absorbing Ultraviolet B from our sun.

Environmental scientists stated that the Earth’s future depended on people not using a certain version of Freon because it was eating away the lifesaving ozone layer. They made such a big deal about it that the Federal government got involved and forced all of us to pay more to replace the Freon in our cars and refrigerators. This pushed prices higher, plus the consumer had to pay for disposal fees.

These environmental idiots said they had proof that these things were damaging the environment — scientific proof.

Who Decided Scientists Know It All?

We all give so much credence to these experts that it shocks us when they are wrong or they admit that they may have been wrong.

That is what occurred a few months ago when James Lovelock — the man referred to as the “godfather of global warming” — recanted his catastrophic climate change predictions. The 92-year-old now says those predictions were “meaningless drivel.”

The implications were extraordinary because Lovelock is not some politician campaigning for votes or the latest pork barrel Green project. Lovelock is a world-renowned scientist whose Gaia theory — that the Earth operates as a single, living organism — has had a major impact on the development of the global warming theory.

Lovelock, a former NASA scientist, invented the electron capture detector in the 1950s that allowed scientists to measure CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) and other pollutants in the atmosphere. To some extent, Lovelock gave birth to the Greens.

Today isn’t like the Middle Ages. The Pope did not force Lovelock to recount. He did it on his own when he acknowledged:  “The problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago.”

Lovelock gave an interview to the UK’s Guardian newspaper in which he delivered bombshells that must have angered environmentalists.

Lovelock blasted the Greens for their religious fervor.

“It just so happens that the green religion is now taking over from the Christian religion,” Lovelock said. “I don’t think people have noticed that, but it’s got all the sort of terms that religions use. The greens use guilt. You can’t win people round by saying they are guilty for putting (carbon dioxide) in the air.”

Lovelock also mocked something I have made fun of for 30 years (after I first saw them outside Palm Springs, Calif.): wind turbines.

Lovelock told The Guardian: “We rushed into renewable energy without any thought. The schemes are largely hopelessly inefficient and unpleasant.

“So-called sustainable development (like wind power)… is meaningless drivel.”

Lovelock admitted what most scientists will never confess: They are not all-knowing.

“One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it,” Lovelock told MSNBC.

If the men and women who practice science don’t know the truth, then neither do politicians, reporters or news anchors. This could just be one unusually hot summer.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers Energy & Gold Report

Bully For Sheila Jackson Lee

With more than 8 percent unemployment and Federal debt approaching $16 trillion, we might believe Washington is taking steps to preserve a Nation on the brink of catastrophe. If you think that, you are wrong. Instead, the Federal government is launching other initiatives; one of them is to stop a scourge that has befallen America: bullying.

It’s ironic that the Federal government, known for being the biggest bully (legally and sometimes not so legally), has vested itself in spending money it doesn’t have to solve what Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) calls a problem plaguing the Nation.

This week, the House likely will approve legislation that will provide grant money to States to stop bullying at schools. Yes, I said stop, as if kids being mean to other kids is something government can stop.

“It is time for us to stand together and stop bullying,” said Jackson Lee, the sponsor of the bill. “Everyone deserves to feel safe and free from persecution.”

Jackson Lee should know about this problem. The Daily Caller pointed out: “The congresswoman known for giving her staffers profanity-laced nicknames, throwing temper tantrums and, at times, throwing objects, has introduced anti-bullying legislation.”

It is another case of Democrats who want us to do as they legislate, not as they do.

“I urge my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to vote in favor of my bill in order to keep U.S. citizens safe from harassment and to work toward making America bully-free,” said Jackson Lee.

The bill, H.R. 6019, would amend a current law that already allows Federal grants for programs meant to boost school safety: “establishing and maintaining accountability-based programs that are designed to enhance school safety, which programs may include research-based bullying prevention, cyberbullying prevention, and gang prevention programs, as well as intervention programs regarding bullying.”

Grants to stop bullying would be permitted under the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant program. The bill would authorize the spending of $40 million a year for fiscal years 2013 through 2017.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, does not want to be outdone when it comes to protecting children. This month, he signed an anti-cyberbullying bill into law. It requires that schools be more vigilant about cyberbullying of students and take steps to prevent it.

Legislators believe the problem can be handled with more government money. They want to make schools take greater responsibility to stop bullying students by using new protocols to make it easier for students to report online harassment. As if educators didn’t have enough on their plates, now they have to develop “bullying prevention strategies.”

Cuomo and his backers in the State Legislature say they will do all they can to ensure children feel safe at school.

The Associated Press reported that Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell said the following in his sponsors’ memo:

Cyberbullying is a new and especially insidious form of bullying. It allows bullies to do their work at a distance, outside of schools, in front of a broad audience and sometimes under the protection of anonymity. The use of technology to rapidly transmit vicious content to a wide audience makes acts of cyberbullying highly visible, more pervasive. Research has revealed a link between cyberbullying and low self-esteem, family problems, academic problems, school violence and delinquent behavior.

Sticks And Stones… But Names Will Never Hurt Me

I looked up the definition of cyberbullying: “It is when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones.”

It sounds like name calling to me, which makes my experiences with bullies as a boy a lot different.

Between grades 5 and 7, I was a fat kid with asthma. We lived in the country, and I spent three hours a day on the bus riding to a rural school. Almost all the kids called me names — Fat Albert was their favorite — but three brothers terrorized me. I can’t say I took daily beatings, but they happened at least once a week. I explained the cuts and black eyes to my parents as my clumsiness on the playground. I knew if I told them and then the principal was told, I would face worse. It turned out that my intuition was correct because two of those three brothers were convicted felons as young adults.

There was no getting around taking that bus every day. You can imagine I am not very sympathetic to kids who go on Facebook and have others say “mean” things about them. Here is an idea, kid: Quit Facebook! Quit anything that is cyber-something where others say cruel things about you.

Instead, we have Big Brother to rescue kids, to make schools ensure that the kids are nice to each other in cyberspace.

What exactly are the schools going to do if they catch Joe or Jill bullying another classmate in cyberspace? From what I can gather, they won’t do very much.

Let me give you two quick stories. In 1976, a kid had been robbing the boys’ locker room, stealing sneakers, money and anything else. On my last day of high school, I walked down the stairs to the locker room and saw my football coach — a man feared and revered by everyone — holding the thief up against a wall. I heard the kid bawling as I did a quick pivot and walked back up the stairs. It was a big school; I had never seen that kid before, but I think he got his lesson about stealing.

Go forward 30-plus years to my son who teaches middle school kids in London, England. A kid in the front row didn’t like something my son, a starting middle linebacker in college, said. The student picked up a large book, threw it and struck my son square in the face. The student’s punishment was a visit to the principal’s office and a one-day suspension.

When I was in school, the students were afraid of the teachers. Today, especially after Columbine, teachers are afraid of the students.

Whose fault is it? It’s the parents’ fault. And no amount of government money or proclamations from Federal and State lawmakers is going to make kids be more civil to each other. It is going to take the steady and sometimes stern hand from a father and mother to reduce bullying. It wouldn’t hurt kids to get thicker skins. Words are just that, words. And if you don’t like them, here is a suggestion: Go offline.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

Warning: The Supreme Court May Be Hazardous To Your Health

Unless you are living in a cave, you know that last month the Supreme Court made one of its most controversial decisions since Roe vs. Wade. Conservative Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the four “liberal” members of the court and upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Many Americans who were upset about the decision vented that anger on Twitter. I find it bizarre that many Americans tweeted about “moving to Canada” to enjoy better medical care.

“I’m moving to Canada, the United States is entirely too socialist,” tweets @wallyweldon.

“The supreme court upheld Obama Care. That’s it. I’m moving to Canada!” tweets @lucasdargis.

As an American who has spent more than half my life living in Canada, I want to say this to wallyweldon and anyone else who is packing his bags: Stop! Even if Obamacare remains, the quality of medicine has a long way to fall before it will reach the rock-bottom levels that my wife Angie and I live with in Canada.

A Typical Trip To The Doctor

The red light on the old alarm clock read 7:00. The morning news began with the top stories. It was the first Monday of the month, so my wife and I began our pilgrimage to the emergency clinic in Calgary, Canada. My extended family saw one doctor for 40 years; but because he retired and there are so few doctors in family practice, we now have to visit day clinics.

This particular Monday was during winter. A blizzard had rolled in off the Rocky Mountains, making the roads almost impassable. We felt strong enough to walk 3/4 of a mile in snow-drifted sidewalks to the clinic to get the prescriptions we need for Angie’s lupus and my asthma.

The real emergencies the clinic deals with every day are a shortage of doctors and waves of patients. Some of the patients, like us, just want a refill of a prescription; others are junkies, looking for a sympathetic doctor to give them their fix.

It might seem ridiculous to walk through a blizzard to get refills of medications that we have both been taking for years. But that’s universal healthcare in Canada.

You can’t simply phone your doctor and ask him to call in a refill. That is against the rules. Under the guidelines here, prescription renewals have to be personally handed out during an office visit. This allows the doctor to pocket the same fee he would get if he were attending someone with a broken leg.

By 8 a.m., we saw the illuminated lights of the clinic through the falling snow.

The clinic doesn’t open until 9 a.m. but a line had already started on the front steps of the clinic. There were no benches, so the people in line huddled beneath the snow.

We were lucky that day. The snowstorm made it difficult for people to arrive early. Only four others were ahead of us; more than a dozen were behind us.

There was a complication. The snowstorm had delayed the clinic staff. At 9:15 a.m., the doors opened. We dutifully walked in and collected our numbers — just as I did as a kid at the barbershop. Over the next half hour, we sat and waited for our number to be called.

Checking in allows us to be seen by the “doctor of the day.” Chances are about one in two that we have met him before, because they rotate in the city.

At 10 a.m. we were called to the examining room. The handsome doctor with a Polish accent seemed genuinely to care. (Often, the doctors are desperately tired or simply fed up with their job.) He took a few minutes to learn about our ailments. Then he passed us our prescription slips. At 10:30 a.m., three hours after we began, we began the walk home.

Medical care in Canada seems like the Dark Ages. It has been especially hard for us because, just more than a decade ago, we would make appointments in Spokane, Wash., to see our doctors at Rockwood Clinic. There, fine coffee was served in china cups, and rarely was the length of the waiting-room stay more than a few minutes.

No ‘Free’ Car Wash

Two decades ago, I was sitting in the showroom of Sutherland Mercedes, a car dealership in downtown Spokane. The shop in the back was changing the oil on my 20-year-old 300D Mercedes-Benz.

As I sat in the corner, a respected cardiologist was looking at a new car with his second wife. She couldn’t have yet been 30; he was pushing 60. The salesman showed them the most expensive Mercedes sedan on the showroom floor. The wife loved it. To close the deal, the salesman mentioned that, if they bought the car, they could have free car washes from the dealership for as long as they owned it.

“You hear that?” gushed the wife. “Free car washes!”

I had to stifle myself. Across that very street was the Lincoln dealership with the then-new Town Car. If you bought it, you didn’t get a free car wash. However, the Lincoln cost half what the Mercedes did.

That sums up healthcare in Canada. Almost everyone up here thinks Canada has “free healthcare.” The truth is Ottawa and the provinces foot the bill for universal healthcare. It is a spending program that has made Canada’s government debt levels soar.

Canadians have become so indoctrinated that even intelligent people don’t account for the fact that the average family in Canada pays roughly 50 percent of their income in taxes each year just to fund the healthcare system.

To meet the growing expense, governments will have to raise taxes and even further reduce the quality of healthcare. While this is not a winning blueprint for a society, it seems that the U.S. Supreme Court is willing to embrace it.

Perhaps the justices should have read this quote in The New York Times on Feb. 28, 2006: “This is a country (Canada) in which dogs can get a hip replacement in under a week and in which humans can wait two to three years.”

Calgary has many great things going for it. It is a hub for energy and a progressive city in so many ways. Yet I miss the United States and the healthcare system. In the United States, doctors had the time to treat patients like patients — not just a number in line.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

An American Story

On a hot June afternoon in 1998 in Spokane, Wash., I raised my right hand and pledged my allegiance to the flag and to the United States of America.

Today, I have that pledge framed and hanging on my office wall. It reads in part:

I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic…

I felt a lot of emotions that day. I had become a citizen of the greatest Nation on Earth. Yet in some ways I didn’t feel much different, no doubt because of my paternal roots.

I remember leaving my small country school to attend the biggest high school in Calgary four decades ago. The kids teased me with words like “Yankee.” I never disputed what they thought were catcalls and proudly embraced the fact they believed I was an American.

I remember the dinnertime stories my father would tell about his father Amil and his grandfather, Gustov, a bearded German who spoke English with a harsh accent.

Amil was all of 9 and had just become a naturalized citizen a few weeks before he and his father embarked on one of the greatest American adventures ever: the Oklahoma land rush of 1889.

Those Unassigned Lands were considered some of the best unoccupied public land in the United States. The Indian Appropriations Act for 1890 was passed and signed into law with an amendment by Representative William Springer (D-Ill.). The Springer Amendment authorized the President to open Unassigned Lands for settlement. Because of the Homestead Act of 1862, signed by President Abraham Lincoln, legal settlers could claim lots up to 160 acres of surveyed, unclaimed public domain. If the settler lived on the land for five years, improved it and paid claim registration fees, he could receive the title to the land.

My American heritage is hardly blue-blooded; but as much as any group, the people of that time put down stakes for a Nation that would dominate the world in just 50 years.

Stubborn Men And Beasts

An estimated 50,000 people lined up for their share of the land. The race began at high noon on April 22, 1889, when starting signals were given at the points of entry.

Gustov and Amil Myers were among the settlers in a hastily built wagon box that was pulled by an aged gelding and a mean mule.

Everything they owned was in that wood-and-iron wagon, and everything they dreamed lay in front of them.

It was a dash the moment the gunshot echoed across the prairie. Gustov’s mixed-team raced the first half mile. The horse was breathing hard and the mule would not run any farther than she had to.

Those behind were on bicycles or on foot. My grandfather remembered one man carrying four wooden stakes tied to his belt loops, but no hammer. Those ahead were disappearing on the horizon; the richest land would be theirs.

Gustov and Amil were under a 72-hour-deadline to stake their claim; they made it in less than half that time. The family would go on to farm and ranch off this land and would be part of the greatest population expansion ever.

A decade later, Amil was a young man. He staked another claim, this one on the rich homestead land offered in Southern Alberta by the Canadian government. He and my grandmother went on to have three children, survive the Great Depression and expand their land from 160 acres to more than 1,000 acres.

The Leftover Legacy

I marvel at the things my grandfather and father did. My dad was born into a 12-by-12 foot shack on the cold Canadian prairie 100 years ago. At age 6, he rode a pony eight miles to school and back. My uncle, Amil’s youngest son, now age 84, sold the final quarter section of the homestead last month.

The descendants of the man who as a boy was part of the Oklahoma land run have gone on to be lawyers, dentists, teachers and writers. Whatever our accomplishments, they pale in comparison to those of our ancestors who pioneered North America.

I can recall the asthma attacks I had as a child. May dad would say that if I were of his generation, I would not be alive. It was true. Perhaps because the challenges we once faced no longer exist, there is a great deal that we Americans no longer dare.

There is a lesson in this as we pick the next President of the United States. Many of you share my feelings of despair that our Presidents are not the quality of men that they once were. But then again, are we? Let us hope that fortitude is within us as we celebrate this Fourth of July.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

Dumb And Dumber

“She gave me a bunch of crap about me not listening to her, or something. I don’t know, I wasn’t really paying attention.” — Jeff Daniels as Harry Dunne in the movie Dumb And Dumber

Americans have a right to be upset as we head toward November’s election. It is a two-man race for the Presidency, and both candidates embrace big government and big spending. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney favor military intervention abroad, and both the President and the challenger have interfered with the free market with Obamacare and Romneycare, respectively.

Obama has put on such a dismal one-term performance that he makes Jimmy Carter’s Presidency look Churchillian. Romney is, at best, a moderate candidate along the likes of George H.W. Bush — able to win because the field of Republican nominees was so weak.

If the Nation is looking for a transformative President along the likes of Ronald Reagan, Romney will disappoint.

In 2006, then-Governor Romney said of Massachusetts’ healthcare reform bill, a sweeping effort to provide healthcare coverage: “We’re spending a billion dollars giving health care to people who don’t have insurance, and my question was: Could we take that billion dollars and help the poor purchase insurance? Let them pay what they can afford. We’ll subsidize what they can’t.”

Liberals loved it — so much so that Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) stood beside the Republican Governor when he signed into law the bill mandating universal healthcare coverage.

Members Of The Same Establishment

If you get the chance, pick up the book The Presidents Club: Inside the World’s Exclusive Fraternity by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy. The authors explain how close the ties are between current and former Presidents and how their ideals never stray far from one another. Past and current Presidents compete against each other in the pages of history; but, foremost, past Presidents are loyal to the man in the Oval Office more than they are to the parties they represent or the ideals upon which the Nation was founded.

The book explains the enduring friendship between Harry Truman and Herbert Hoover after President Dwight Eisenhower was elected. It also tells of the close personal relationship between George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush with Bill Clinton. Even arch-Liberal and former President Lyndon Johnson conspired with Conservative GOP President Richard Nixon in selling the Vietnam War to an America that was tired of the blood and expense of that military intervention.

Gibbs and Duffy point to the 1960 book Kennedy or Nixon: Does It Make Any Difference? that was written by Arthur H Schlesinger Jr., an esteemed historian who became a top aide to President John F. Kennedy.

Last week, Daily Maverick also pointed to Schlesinger’s decades-old book:

For many years it has been something of an article of faith with both the hard left and the libertarian right in America that it really doesn’t make any difference – Democrat or Republican. They all come from the same political elite cloth, they are ultimately working in the interests of a ruling class or some super-secret elite cabal, and those interests are ultimately determined by the hard truths of the economic substrata. .. There is always that knowing, cynical French observation, “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” – the more things change, the more they stay the same.

This truth was evident this month when Romney was interviewed by Time’s Mark Halperin.

Halperin asked:

You have a plan, as you said, over a number of years, to reduce spending dramatically. Why not in the first year, if you’re elected — why not in 2013, go all the way and propose the kind of budget with spending restraints, that you’d like to see after four years in office? Why not do it more quickly?

Romney answered:

Well because, if you take a trillion dollars for instance, out of the first year of the federal budget, that would shrink GDP over 5%.  That is by definition throwing us into recession or depression.  So I’m not going to do that, of course.

If not the first year, then when? By President Romney’s fourth year? Probably not. Romney wants to cut taxes/revenues and increase military spending.

Meanwhile, Obama has proposed reducing the size of the military following the end of the U.S. combat role in Iraq and plans to remove troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

“We have two courses we can follow: One is to follow the pathway of Europe. To shrink our military smaller and smaller to pay for our social needs,” Romney said a month ago. “The other is to commit to preserve America as the strongest military in the world, second to none, with no comparable power anywhere in the world.”

The Obama Administration and Republicans in Congress have agreed to cut almost $500 billion dollars in military spending over the next decade. But even with that reduction, the United States would own the world’s most powerful military. The Pentagon’s budget this year exceeds $600 billion, or six times the amount of money that China is spending on its military.

Yet Romney will need more, especially since he has been painting Russia with the same stain as the “Evil Empire” that was the Soviet Union. But Romney needs to check recent history. The Soviets imploded because they could no longer finance their global aspirations. Neither can the United States.

A Warning, Not An Obama Endorsement

The truth is that, if elected, Romney will carry on most of Obama’s spending programs. That means a continuation of massive deficit spending by Washington and the near certainty that the United States will be thrown in the trash heap of history. This is not to say Romney won’t be better than Obama. It is hard to imagine he could be worse. But expect him to be only incrementally better at a time when the United States needs an exceptional President.

One final note: If Romney wins the Presidency, expect him and Obama to be friends once Romney’s tenure in the Oval Office is over. Historians may someday refer to them as dumb and dumber.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

Will Bernanke Buy An Obama Victory?

The economy could not be collapsing at a worse time for President Barack Obama. With the vote coming in less than five months, stock markets are being whipsawed, unemployment is rising and the credit meltdown in Europe could wreak havoc on the world’s economies. But Obama has a powerful ally in the Federal Reserve. The central bank is set to launch a third round of quantitative easing (QE3) to keep interest rates artificially low and perhaps rescue his Presidency.

Fed fixing will certainly bleed the value of the greenback over the long term, but it just might give the economy enough lift to give Obama a second term.

Quantitative easing is when the Federal Reserve steps in to buy U.S. Treasury debt at weekly auctions during periods when individual investors and foreign nations are no longer keen to take on more of Uncle Sam’s IOUs.

Quantitative easing was rare before the economic crisis of 2008. That was when the Fed decided it had to pull out all stops to reflate an economy that really needed the excesses squeezed out of it.

When I started writing about such things in 1981, the primary buyers of U.S. Treasuries were American individuals and corporations. By the late 1990s, countries, particularly China and Japan, started buying Treasury bills, notes and bonds.

In more recent years, individuals, companies and foreign powers were no longer so willing to buy Treasuries. Still, the Federal government had to finance its spending sprees.

The Fed has been bankrolling Obama. Since his Presidency began in January 2009, the Federal Reserve’s holdings of U.S. government debt have quintupled. The Fed’s official numbers show that Treasury holdings have risen 452 percent in the past 3.5 years.

When Obama moved into the Oval Office the Fed owned just over $300 billion in U.S. Treasury securities. The latest data indicate the Fed owns 5.5 times more in U.S. Treasury securities, or $1.668 trillion. With Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke mulling over a third round of Treasury purchases, the central bank may own $2 trillion in Federal debt by election time. That would be one hell of a summer kicker for the economy going into the November election, and it would boost Obama’s chances of winning.

Obama’s Legacy And The Law of Diminishing Returns

Total U.S. government debt has grown from $10.6 trillion when Obama took office to $15.8 trillion this month. That is an increase of $5.2 trillion in 41 months. That is more debt than the U.S. accumulated between 1977 and 2002. The biggest buyer, the Fed, has to date rescued Obama from being a worse President than Herbert Hoover.

Yet the Fed must understand the law of diminishing returns.  I learned it as an 18-year-old during in my first economics 201 lecture.

“Say you put in a tough day’s work,” said the professor.  “You get home and there in the fridge is a case of Coke. The first bottle is amazing because you are so thirsty. The second bottle is good, but not as good. The third bottle…”

It is no different for the Federal Reserve and its systematic program of bailing out the President through quantitative easing.

But would QE3 really be enough of an economic game changer to alter the current political dynamic? According to The Wall Street Journal, it cannot resurrect the economy:

The bulk of the accumulating evidence suggests that the Fed’s initiatives made financial conditions easier than they would otherwise be. …

But easing financial conditions isn’t an end in itself. “It [QE] had an effect on the Treasury market, but did it translate into output and employment?” asks Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser, a QE doubter.

Even some QE defenders see a problem, which is one reason unemployment remains so high. “The channels through which monetary policy stimulates the economy are weaker than normal right now,” New York Fed President William Dudley has said. Mortgage rates are way down, for instance, but it’s so hard for would-be home buyers or refinancers to get loans that the economic oomph is diluted. Interest rates are lower, but small-business owners find borrowing against home equity or credit cards tough. Similar issues plague the Bank of England.

Larry Summers, a Democrat, agrees about the ineffectiveness of the Fed’s Obama bailout policies and their lasting impact on the economy. According to Summers, President Bill Clinton’s treasury secretary, another round of quantitative easing may drive interest rates down temporarily but will not encourage borrowing by corporations or even individuals. If companies and people don’t borrow, jobs will not be created.

Agora Financial LLC’s Whiskey and Gunpowder was more direct in its assessment last week: “QE, … by Bernanke’s own admission, is a giant placebo: It is not true medication as it evidently does not address the economy’s fundamental ills, but a tool for nationwide mass hypnosis. It is a kind-of anti-depressant, a kind of monetary Prozac.”

In the end it means the Federal Reserve is buying more of Uncle Sam’s debt, which may rescue only one job: Obama’s.

Bernanke’s Bet

It is hard to know whether Bernanke and the regional presidents of the Fed will buy hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of additional Treasury debt just to support Obama’s re-election or if they will do it out of fear that without this intervention America may fall off a cliff.

That conundrum brings me to my second memorable lesson in economics, one I learned from my late father. He said the power of the markets to deflate will always trump the power of governments and central banks to inflate. Given that tens of trillions of dollars were wiped out during the global stock market crash in 2008, I am convinced that he was correct.

The bottom line is that two things are happening simultaneously: The global depression that began four years ago is a sword still poised over all of our heads, and whatever fiddling the Fed does over the next few months will only delay the falling of that sword. In the end, all of the king’s horses and all of the king’s men will not put the dollar back together again.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

Protect Yourself From Economic Crisis

The Occupy Wall Street leftists may have a lot less square footage to trespass on, given the way the global economy is imploding. Stock indexes around the world are down and commodity prices are in their worst slump since 2008. If the trend continues, the Dow Jones industrial average could be valued at half its current price in 24 months.

That will mean that Wall Street fat cats could soon look more like feral felines. That wouldn’t be a heartbreaker except for the fact that the destruction of Wall Street would bring suffering to tens of millions of Americans.

Global markets took it on the chin this month in the wake of unemployment numbers that underscore the weakest U.S. economic recovery in decades.

The Four Horsemen Of Deflation

Not once in the 30 years that I have been researching the markets have I witnessed the troubles that the world now faces: a stock market slide, falling gross domestic product, rising unemployment and waning confidence.

In just the past few weeks, Big Board U.S. stocks have erased most of the gains they made during the first five months of this year. Only because of a 287 point rally last Wednesday — its strongest single day performance this year — the Dow is now comfortably over 12,000. But the Dow Jones Industrial Average is not immune from Europe’s problems, and a break below 12,000 could soon push the index below 10,700. The next support for the Dow would be 9,000.

Big Board stocks have been responding to the likelihood of a double-dip recession. U.S. GDP has been slashed from 2.2 percent to 1.9 percent. The U.S. economy is not adding jobs. As stagnation has spread into manufacturing, consumer confidence is beginning to tank.

American payrolls increased by just 69,000 last month, far below the 150,000 that analysts had expected. The unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent, while revised estimates show that fewer jobs were created in the past three months than originally expected. The Obama economic recovery has run out of steam.

Then there is Europe. Crises in Spain and Greece have sparked a bank run that has pushed yields on relatively risk-free assets like U.S. Treasuries and German Bunds to record lows. The two-year German Bund has even dipped into negative territory. Yields on the 10-year U.S. Treasury have fallen to 1.40 percent. Those are yields not seen since the Great Depression. (See Treasury chart further below.)

Nervous investors are throwing money into the U.S. and German government bonds knowing they’ll get back a negative return when adjusted for inflation. This is becoming a panic — and for good reason. Europe’s wholesale funding market is broken at a time when Spain’s banking system is teetering toward bankruptcy.

Worse Than 2008

My old friend and Personal Liberty Digest™ columnist Chip Wood signs off each Friday with this phrase: “Keep some power dry.”  Unfortunately, the people who run the Federal government don’t read Wood’s columns.

When the economic calamity hit four years ago, governments around the world began injecting money into the economy. The Administration of President George W. Bush and a complacent Congress immediately shot $700 billion with the Troubled Asset Relief Program. That plus other bailouts left the United States with a Federal budget deficit of $1.17 trillion in fiscal 2012.

Last week the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report showing that the national debt will soar over the coming years.

“The growing imbalance between revenues and spending, combined with spiralling interest payments, would swiftly push debt to higher and higher levels,” the CBO said in its 2012 Long-term Budget Outlook. “Debt as a share of GDP would exceed its historical peak of 109 percent by 2026, and it would approach 200 percent in 2037.”

Gross Federal Debt In 20th Century

The Federal government has not the means to inject another trillion dollars or more into the economy because they have burned all their powder. If Washington were to try another rescue like they mounted four years ago, the U.S. Treasury market would implode.

The result of that would be higher interest rates. The bulk of bidders at U.S. Treasury auctions these days are foreign powers, particularly China. However, if China and other nations begin to think the United States is another Argentina, they simply won’t throw good money after bad into U.S. Treasury bills, notes and bonds. The result is that America would have to go begging to get buyers of its debt. That would mean higher interest rates because if the marketing of U.S. debt securities slowed, the U.S. government would cease to operate.

Higher rates forced on Treasury auctions would send interest rates across the board higher. Higher rates for mortgages, car loans, credit cards, you name it. And that, my friends, would be a death knell for an economy that is struggling with interest rates at their lowest levels since the 1930s.

10-Year Treasury Constant Maturity Rate

Crude Is Crashing

The price of oil is in its worst retreat since 2008. Crude fell 18 percent in May. In fact, oil prices traded down in 17 of the 22 trading days last month, the worst single monthly performance for oil since 1997. Given the poor prospects for the U.S. economy, China’s economic woes and the debt disaster in Europe, oil could give up 50 percent of its value. That would put crude around the $40 per barrel mark. This would throw petroleum stocks into a devastating bear market.

Keep Only Your Core Gold And Silver Holdings

Gold is off its highs, but it is one of the few real assets that has held its value. I wouldn’t recommend the purchase of additional gold just yet, because I think the bullion bull has stalled. But it is impossible to predict what crisis might erupt, including the collapse of the greenback. If you can put a few dollars away — something that is getting tougher to do these days — you should keep at least 20 percent of savings in physical bullion. More than 25 percent of your savings in gold is not wise, because I think it will correct further downward. Long term, however, gold will rise well above $2,000 because of the bleak prospects for the U.S. dollar.

What to do? I think anybody holding from a small nest egg to a fortune should get heavily into cash.

If you have $10,000 or less, and given the poor rate of bond returns, I think you should find a good safe and lock it up along with your gold and some survival silver. A safety deposit box is another alternative. Even if your bank fails, I think you will have access to your box.

If you have more than $10,000 saved in a safe or a bank safety deposit box. I recommend you buy three-month to six-month U.S. Treasury bills. Most banks will sell you U.S. Treasury securities. You can also buy U.S. Treasuries in paperless electronic form from TreasuryDirect. You can go online and research more about them and more about U.S. Treasuries by clicking here.

Don’t buy Treasury instruments that have maturity longer than six months. Interest rates cannot stay at these historic lows and once they rise, longer maturity debt instruments such as notes and bonds will lose a significant amount of their value.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers Energy & Gold Report

The Spread Of Violence

Four years ago, Barack Obama convinced millions of Americans that he would unite the country and the world. He has failed. Inside America, as well as around the world, there is a huge divide between what people want and what they have. In places like the Mideast and Africa, it is a bloody divide. The question many people want answered is: Will violence come to America? It seems possible given global events, terrible leadership and a wrecked economy.

Many people expected more from Obama, the son of Christian and Muslim parents. Barack Obama Sr. was a Luo from Nyang’oma Kogelo, Nyanza Province, Kenya. With African heritage and an Ivy League education, this President may understand the world and hope that he could reduce the ongoing tribal wars in Africa and, more recently, in the Mideast. But more than three years after Obama took office, violence in large tracts of the world has reached pandemic proportions.

Why Every Liberal Should Visit Africa

As a teenager, I had liberal ideals. My father, who had traveled often to Africa and the Mideast, told me that I could not speak intelligently on those regions and their peoples until I had been there. I got my opportunity in 1990 when I spent one month traveling through South Africa with my uncle.

When we arrived in April, apartheid was on the verge of collapsing. Nelson Mandela was about to be released from prison, and many people in the country were bracing for a civil war. The situation had become so dire that the 747 on which we flew to Cape Town was almost empty. (On the way back to London, every seat was taken.)

I took the trip because my father’s subscribers had much of their money invested in South African gold mining stocks. If those companies were nationalized, many of the newsletter’s subscribers stood to lose a lifetime of profits. It was a trip I had to take.

Because of a world boycott, the South African government and businesses were desperate for anyone to report on what they thought was positive change. Doors were thrown open to us that would have been under lock and key five years earlier.

Our first meeting was with South Africa’s ambassador to the United Nations. Another meeting was with one of the richest men in South Africa. His penthouse office looked out over Cape Town.

During our visit, there was a fear that persisted throughout the country. A few weeks before our arrival, savage fighting had erupted between Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress supporters and the rival Zulu-based Inkatha Freedom Party, led by Chief Mangosuthu G. Buthelezi. It started when thousands of Zulus were forced out of their homes in ANC-loyal areas of the province of Natal.

History records that 1990 had the bloodiest clashes in modern South African history. I witnessed some of it in the streets of Johannesburg and in the gold mines where warring tribesmen fought.

The Darkness Is Spreading

Violence is as old as humanity in Africa. Joseph Conrad understood that when he wrote Heart of Darkness in 1899.

In that novella Conrad wrote: “He (Kurtz) declared he would shoot me unless I gave him the ivory and then cleared out of the country, because he could do so, and had a fancy for it, and there was nothing on earth to prevent him killing whom he jolly well pleased.”

To see how little Africa changed during the 20th century you only have to read the book (also made into a movie) The Bang-Bang Club: Snapshots from a Hidden War. It is the true story of four photojournalists who covered the violence in South Africa from 1990 to 1994. It was during this period that the country transitioned away from apartheid. It explains the fighting between ANC and IFP supporters.

That was the South Africa that I saw, and it was a story the Western media weren’t telling.

The Spread of Violence

Two decades later, major media groups are doing little to cover the violence that has spilled into North Africa — most notably in Libya and Egypt. And with the falling of one dictator after another, it appears that the Mideast is settling in for a long period of bloodshed.

The violence in Syria has left more than 12,000 dead since March 2011, while tens of thousands of people are homeless. Two weeks ago, in the town of Houla more than 100 people were killed. The United Nations says government forces went house to house and slaughtered men, women and 49 children.

This violence has happened during Obama’s watch as the leader of the free world. So far, he has provided no leadership and no solutions as to how America can stop mass murder. Will Obama slow down this violence? If he cannot, social discourse will spread further out of Africa and beyond the borders of the Mideast.

We have already seen rioting in Europe and even in a couple of North American cities. To date, public outrage is relatively mild; but it won’t remain that way unless the economy starts to grow.

That is the prediction of Wall Street insider Charles Ortel, who warned earlier this year that a worsening economic picture across the globe will see civil unrest hit the streets of America, not on behalf of leftist Occupy Wall Street groups, but by an armed “irascible and vocal Majority.”

Ortel, a managing partner with Newport Value Partners, LLC in New York City, predicted that a crisis in the financial markets will precipitate “a widespread civil insurrection and cross-border war.”

Ortel believes Americans’ access to firearms will cause riots to be bloodier than anything seen in Europe.

Out Of Africa

I remember how happy I was sitting on that plane when it lifted off the runway and I knew that the start of my 45-hour return journey had begun. Today, I don’t like the thought that violence may have followed me halfway around the world. And just as I took precautions during my trip to not do anything stupid (like leave the hotel at night), I also believe it is essential to take precautions at home while we still have the chance.

It is a sucker’s bet to think that the President or the Federal government will protect us and the ones we love. It is up to us to take the steps we must take to protect ourselves.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

‘The Thing’ That Scares Romney And Obama

“I supposed you’d all feel better if someone else was in charge.” — Donald Moffat as Garry in “The Thing”

Few things have scared the wits out of me more than seeing the movie “The Thing” 30 years ago. With just six months to go until the election, both President Barack Obama and Republican front-runner Mitt Romney seem to have their own “Thing” that scares them: the economy. Neither candidate has said how he would deal with what could be the hardest challenge America has faced since World War II.

One of these two men will have to lead the Nation for the upcoming four years. We know where they stand on gay marriage, gays in the military or, in Obama’s case, having a gay old time with Hollywood friends.

Supporters of both candidates have weighed in on other issues such as extending low interest rates on student loans, who bullied whom in high school and who had a tougher time growing up.

Is gay marriage important? That depends. For some people it must be, because so many people have weighed in on it. But I have a hunch that those same people won’t really give a rat’s behind about gay marriage if the economy implodes.

If millions of people lose their jobs and cannot feed their children, who among us will even care about gay marriage as an issue?

My mother used to say: “Everyone is principled until the wolf comes knocking at the door.” Having survived the Great Depression, my parents knew all about the wolf. More than anything else, it shaped who they were. I will never forget how my dad used to smoke his cigarettes right down to the filter even after he became successful. There was always a part of him and my mother that remembered how hard it was to put food on the table and pay the rent.

Most of us don’t have a memory of really tough times. And not one in 100 would even believe that times could be that tough again. Yet in many ways the world’s economy is hanging by a thread, and we might be facing something even worse than the Dirty Thirties.

I believe the President’s and Romney’s advisers have told them how bad this “Thing” can get, and that is why neither candidate has a clue as to how to handle this economic crisis. Both Obama and Romney seem worried that anything too negative could start a panic in the investment markets that one of them will have to deal with as President. This explains why we have witnessed the stupidest Presidential campaign in living memory.

If you think economic collapse can’t happen, you should start paying attention to the warning signs.

It’s Alive!

Four years ago, the financial meltdown that almost turned into a depression began at the doorstep of Lehman Brothers CEO Richard Fuld Jr.

That first domino fell hard, and Fuld could not believe his firm would not be rescued by the Federal government. But it wasn’t. Not until the autumn of 2008 did Congress approve the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which allowed the U.S. Department of the Treasury to purchase up to $700 billion of “troubled assets.”

The acclaimed book Too Big To Fail by Andrew Ross Sorkin explains why Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke believed that without a bailout the Nation was headed for an economic crisis worse than the Great Depression.

It was the largest Federal government economic intervention since the Civil War. There was one huge problem with the solution: The government gave banks hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer money but did not require they lend it out or rein in salaries and bonuses. In other words, they gave the banks a clean slate to start all over again. And banks like JPMorgan Chase & Co. have done it in spades.

What Would Harry Truman Say?

This month, JPMorgan Chase announced it made a bad bet that resulted in a $2 billion loss. CEO Jamie Dimon said he was sorry — so sorry, in fact, that he forced Chief Investment Officer Ina Drew to resign. Dimon believes the buck stops with Drew, even though he is at the forefront of what is turning into the second banking crisis in four years.

Dimon even apologized to shareholders, but he isn’t sorry enough to take a cut on his $23 million pay package.

One thing I have learned over the past 30 years is that if one big bank is taking on risk, so are all the others. That was the case in the 1980s with the titanic amount of bad Latin American debt, and it was certainly the case five years ago with the trillions of dollars in bad bets the banks made on derivatives.

Right now, the mainstream media are underplaying the JPMorgan Chase problem. That’s exactly what they did four years ago when Lehman Brothers’ ugly losses were coming to light.

We may soon see a problem far too big to ignore — a problem that can again take down the financial markets and the economy with it.

The Federal government has already shot its ammo. Interest rates charged by the Federal Reserve to banks are close to zero, and the bond market cannot stomach further credit injections into the financial system. And nobody, especially the Presidential candidates, even wants to talk about it.

Who will handle this monster? It will be either a former community organizer or a venture capitalist. We are in a lot of trouble.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

So Simple A Caveman Would Own It

The arrogance on Wall Street always amazes me. I have lived through three stock market crashes, one rolling recession, near hyperinflation and what was almost an economic depression. In all those cases, Wall Street was caught unaware. People who manage financial institutions were incredulous as the events transpired.

The Street’s ignorance was on full display this month when Warren Buffett’s top investment adviser Charles Munger explained that gold is a useless relic.

On May 4, the eve of the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting, Munger, age 88, said: “Gold is a great thing to sew into your garments if you’re a Jewish family in Vienna in 1939, but I think civilized people don’t buy gold, they invest in productive businesses.”

Munger thinks people should either be facing a Nazi occupation or else be as stupid as cavemen in order to purchase gold. If this reminds you of the Geico cavemen commercials, you won’t be surprised that Munger is big on investing in that company.

Munger said he loves Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio, which includes Burlington Northern railroad, specialty chemicals firm Lubrizol and insurance giant Geico.

“We just have a wonderful portfolio in business, if you average them out,” Munger said. “By and large they’re doing productive, useful work.”

So confident are Buffett and his associates on Burlington Northern that in 2009, Berkshire Hathaway bought the company for $34 billion. This is just one example of Buffett’s showing faith in Barack Obama’s management of America’s economy.

Buffett and Munger forgot to consider that Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio is mostly traded in U.S. dollars. Perhaps Munger slept through the past decade. Only that would explain how he missed the worst bear market ever for the U.S. dollar and one of the biggest bull markets for gold.

When I began as the editor for Outstanding Investments in the autumn of 2000, I urged subscribers to load up on gold. Bullion was then trading for less than $280 per ounce. Today, it trades at about $1,600 per ounce.

During those same years, the value of the dollar has gone to hell. The evidence in the graph below shows the greenback’s dreadful decline.

The U.S. Dollar Index

Munger doesn’t seem to understand that when the dollar declines, even against other currencies, the purchasing power of the dollar declines. Even if we accept the Federal government’s cooked books on the Consumer Price Index, what cost $100 in 2000 costs $133 today.

Burlington Northern stock has gone from $25 per share in 2000 to $100 per share now (in large part because of the spike caused by the Berkshire Hathaway purchase). But you have to discount one-third of that increase because of the declining worth of the dollar.

Another Obama Term Will Send Bullion Soaring

Munger does not understand what the dollar will face if Obama is re-elected.

In the 1970s, dollar inflation decimated Big Board stocks. The Dow Jones industrial average hit 996 in 1966. That index stood at 742 in 1980, a loss of 25 percent. If you factor in the decline of the dollar’s purchasing power, the DJIA was really 321 in 1966 dollars. Over those 14 years, the DJIA lost more than two-thirds of its value.

Uncivilized people like my father got his subscribers into gold starting in 1970 at $35 per ounce; that investment climbed to $850 by January 1980. Using the same inflation calculator, the 1980 price of that gold was $428 per ounce in 1970 dollars. So even in real terms, the price of bullion, bought by cavemen, increased twelvefold.

The Wall Street establishment wouldn’t listen to a word the “gold bugs” said. In fact, my dad, Vern, was a guest on PBS’s “Wall $treet Week with Louis Rukeyser” in the mid-1970s. Rukeyser and his panel openly laughed at my dad’s suggestions that investors should buy gold. One came right out and said such advice was un-American.

While Wall Street investors were losing their shirts, gold investors who followed people like James Dines, Harry Schultz and C.V. Myers made themselves tidy fortunes.

You would think an experienced man such as Munger would remember those times. And given the unprecedented increase in the U.S. money supply over the past three years, men like Buffett and Munger might even think it prudent to put some assets into gold.

Perhaps such men cannot think outside the box. I don’t know. What I do know is that modern money changers refuse to believe that anyone other than a caveman would even consider investing in gold.

Most people listen to the investment establishment. I have a friend who is an accountant. He knows several multimillionaires in Alberta’s oil patch. I asked him not long ago if he thought any of them owned gold. He told me he didn’t believe even one owned a single ounce. That tells me there is a lot of upside to gold prices even though bullion is undergoing a correction right now.

Unfortunately, I think Obama is going to be re-elected. After he is, he will move forward with socialist policies, which will mean even larger Federal deficits. More debt means more dollars, and that means the continued decline of the greenback. If successful people ever get a taste of stagflation (a stagnant economy and higher prices), I think investors are going to invest in precious metals. The gold market is so thin that it won’t take much buying to push the price of bullion to $2,500 per ounce.

They Thought My Mother Was Crazy

There are legions of men and women like Munger in the world. I still remember when I first met one.

It was 1970, and it was legal for Canadians to buy gold. My dad was heavily invested in gold along with his subscribers, and my mother had about $3,000 in savings. I went with her to the Bank of Nova Scotia one day.

The main branch in downtown Calgary had a trading desk. She told the man at the desk that she wanted to take the money out of her savings account and buy 1-ounce gold South African Krugerrand coins.

Gold was trading at $35 an ounce back then. Most people who worked in the financial industry believed that once the United States freed up, the price of gold would fall.

The man at the gold desk looked at my mother as if she were crazy. He tried to convince her that she was speculating with her life savings and that it would be much better if she left it in her account. When my mother insisted she wanted to buy the gold, we were escorted into the branch manager’s office. The manager urged my mother to reconsider her recklessness. When she wouldn’t, he said the bank would not accept the transaction. She then asked the manager to phone my father, who had a much more sizable account with the bank and a much more forceful personality.

I don’t know what my dad said to that bank manager that day; but after a very brief phone call, the manager was happy to help my mother purchase her gold.

I guess it is true what the kid said to me more than four decades ago on the playground: “Myers, you’re a caveman!”

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

Obamamania Or Obama Mayhem?

With his reelection bid just months away President Barack Obama is painting himself as a reformer who will continue to resurrect America. Below is an excerpt from an ad released last week: (WARNING, do not watch if you have bouts of common sense or are subject to episodes of depression while seeing your country go down the drain).

“On the day Barack Obama took office, America had already lost 4.4 million jobs — an economic disaster, the worst in a generation. Some said America’s best days were behind us. And like America, he (Obama) dug deep, fought back and never lost faith in our ability to meet the challenge.”

Obama’s Plan

Obama tells us that the Republican Party is the challenge because it is mired in the past. If by the past Obama means America’s wealth and greatness, then he is correct. And make no mistake, if the President is given another four years to work out his schemes and his plans, America’s greatness will be lost and a staggering superpower will be eviscerated.

It is true that the United States was in decline before Obama’s election in 2008. However, the President has managed to cut out America’s economic underpinnings and in doing that he has severely wounded the Nation’s psyche.

One hundred years ago the U.S. was quickly consolidating its position as the richest and most powerful nation. Today it is the world’s largest debtor, and well past its economic apex.

Denial is in full bloom. Obama is commanding the largest U.S. military to wage a war that cannot be won. At the same time, the President continues to spend billions in new tax dollars on unproven clean energy.

How much longer can we support this military monster? What happens when the money flow stops?

History serves up grim answers to these disturbing questions. Rome collapsed after it became overextended and could no longer afford to pay its legions to impose Caesar’s will. Spain collapsed after its vast overseas commitments broke its treasury. And England succumbed when its treasury could no longer finance its ambitions.

To say that this cannot happen to America is to ignore history. Where we are headed is a natural consequence of where we have been.

The United States is falling victim to what historian Paul Kennedy calls “imperial overstretch.” In his bestseller, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, Kennedy wrote:

If a state overextends itself strategically by the conquest of extensive territories or the waging of costly wars — it runs the risk that the potential benefits from external expansion may be outweighed by the great expense of it all. This dilemma becomes acute if the nation concerned has entered a period of relative economic decline.

President Obama proclaims that the U.S. is a great power, able to force its will on the world, without regard of the cost. He has perpetuated the illusion. If you listen to the President, you would think that the United States is as much of a superpower today as it was 50 years ago.
By any measure America is in decline:

  • In the 1950s and 1960s U.S. productivity grew by around 3 percent per year. That meant that our standard of living doubled every 24 years. Today, productivity is growing by less than 1 percent. That means it takes 60 to 70 years for our living standard to double.
  • In 1970 U.S. firms manufactured 100 percent of the electronic products bought in the United States. Today they account for less than 4 percent.
  • In 1981 the U.S. was the world’s largest creditor with the rest of the world owing it $140 billion. Today our aggregate debt exceeds $14 trillion, up $5 trillion since Mr. Obama took office.
  • Unemployment typically did not rise above 7 percent a generation ago but is now locked in at more than 8 percent; this during Mr. Obama’s so called economic recovery.
  • Medicare and Social Security will soon be insolvent at the current rates of disbursement.
  • U.S. manufacturing jobs surged from the end of the Depression until the early 1970s, when the number of jobs peaked. Then jobs were flat until 1999. After that jobs collapsed. For the 10 years ending in 2010, factories lost workers so fast that they erased all the gains that had been made over the previous 70 years, with the loss of one out of every three manufacturing jobs; some 6 million in total. (See chart below):

Employees on Nonfarm Payrolls: Manufacturing

America’s joblessness is endemic, especially when you consider the trillions of new dollars injected by the Obama Administration.

Clyde Prestowitz, a former U.S. Commerce Official noted, “The American Century is over.”

And The Atlantic recently pointed out that Obama will have a difficult time making good on campaign promises:

For most of U.S. history, most people had a slow and steady wind at their back, a combination of economic forces that didn’t make life easy but gave many of us little pushes forward that allowed us to earn a bit more every year. Over a lifetime, it all added up to a better sort of life than the one we were born into. That wind seems to be dying for a lot of Americans. What the country will be like without it is not quite clear.

I think we can infer the result of Obama’s dismantling of Pax Americana. It will mean a continued economic and moral decline of the United States. The first evidence of unrest occurred last year with Occupy protests in the United States. Unless there is a turnaround in the economy we will see worsening violence and social discord.

We may have one desperate last chance to save the American dream. It rests in the hands of voters who have the responsibility to see that Obama is defeated in November.

Yours in good times and bad,

John Myers

Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

Obama: Stop Lying About Oil Prices!

Oil at more than $100 per barrel is far too expensive. Despite President Barack Obama’s recent protestations that oil speculators are to blame for expensive petroleum, the truth is that most of the blame rests on his shoulders.

There is plenty of oil in North America. Yet Obama and his Green lobby are happy to see gasoline prices go even higher just as we hit the busy summer driving season. The reason is that higher petroleum prices back up Obama’s argument that renewable energy is urgently needed.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt made the famous pronouncement that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Nearly 80 years later, a Democratic President is not playing down public fears but actually fanning them. If you don’t believe me, consider the facts about North America’s vast petroleum reserves and surging production.

Canadian oil production rose to 1.6 million barrels per day (mb/d) last year. That was an increase of more than 13 percent from the year before. According to the Canadian Energy Research Institute, Alberta and Saskatchewan oil sands production will more than double to 4 mb/d in the next seven years and will reach 6.2 mb/d by 2045.

Add that in with the expected increase in both U.S. and Mexican oil production, and North America will be producing 11 mb/d by the end of this decade. That is about the same amount of oil that Saudi Arabia can produce if it opens its spigots all the way.

The 11 mb/d of oil production is a conservative estimate. Mitt Romney promises that if he is elected, he will vastly open up offshore drilling. If ever fully tapped, North America has the potential reserves to produce 14 mb/d of oil by 2020.

“North America is becoming the new Middle East,” recently wrote Ed Morse, the managing director and head of global commodities research at Citigroup.

Of course, much of North America’s energy independence will depend on who is in the Oval Office. If it is someone like Romney, who believes in free markets, I believe gasoline will be affordable again within a couple of years.

However, if Obama is re-elected and he continues to object to the import of Canada’s oil sands as well as expanded drilling within U.S. borders, petroleum prices might hit new records by the end of 2013. That will be more bad news for a shaky U.S. economy and will only further weaken America and the greenback.

After all, shortages and panics happen all the time. They certainly don’t require a U.S. President to get them going.

My First Lesson In Fear Economics

In the autumn of 1972, Alberta’s bitter cold was settling in. The engine to my mother’s Mercury was idling hard when the gasoline pump clunked to a halt. I pulled the nozzle out of the tank and pushed it back into its cradle.

I fished $10 from my wallet, enough to buy the gas and still have change left over for a coffee.

After paying, I headed for the door. Before I reached it, I was called back.

The manager asked: “Do you know about the antifreeze shortage?”

“What antifreeze shortage?”

“The one that’s coming this fall,” said the manager. “I haven’t gotten half the orders I was promised. My supplier told me the province is running out of antifreeze.”

I thought I better buy antifreeze. I dipped into my wallet and found some cash I was saving for the weekend. I gathered up what was left.

Whether it was real or manufactured, I don’t know; but by the end of 1972, there was an antifreeze shortage. In December that year, you couldn’t find a gallon of antifreeze. For farmers caught in the middle of a cold Canadian winter, much depended upon it.

Years afterward, people in Alberta were still tripping over gallons of old antifreeze they had bought in 1972.

What happened to antifreeze happened to oil just a few months later. But in the case of oil, hoarding occurred on a worldwide scale, and the stakes were far bigger.

By late 1972, OPEC was sick of trading its petroleum for devaluing dollars. The seeds were planted for the first Arab Oil Embargo. For traders, just the idea that oil would be withheld from the market sent prices soaring.

From October to December 1973, the price of crude oil rose from $5.40 to $17. That was only the beginning of a frenzy that would send the price of crude above $70 per barrel in today’s money.

The climax to the oil crisis came in 1979 in the wake of the Iranian Revolution. Oil companies bought more than what they needed — not just because of the price (which they thought was headed higher), but because they were unsure they would get any oil later on.

Hoarding wasn’t limited to just oil companies. Everyone was intent on building oil inventories, even everyday motorists.

In his book The Prize, Daniel Yergin writes that before the 1979 oil crisis, American motorists drove around with, on average, their gas tanks one-quarter full. Following the Iranian Revolution, those gas tanks were, on average, three-quarters full. That changeover in itself sucked 1 billion gallons of motor fuel out of gasoline station tanks.

As a result of the Iranian Revolution, Western oil supplies were cut by 2 mb/d. Not only was the reaction to the oil embargo (3 mb/d of hoarding) worse, but it was the deciding factor in pushing oil prices above $35 a barrel and throwing the West into a recession.

My point is that you have to beware of textbook arguments by economists who don’t account for human emotions. Just because we’re not running out of oil doesn’t mean that oil prices can’t go higher, perhaps much higher. In the end, prices for everything from tulip bulbs to antifreeze and even petroleum depend much more on mass perception than the reality of supply and demand.

The Phony Oil Crisis

There doesn’t need to be an oil crisis on North America’s horizon. All we need is a straightforward U.S. President who believes in the free markets. We don’t need the leader we have now — an anti-oil President who insists on Green energy regardless of the social and economic costs.

On last month, columnist Paul Driessen summed up Obama’s broker energy policy:

Yet another “renewable” argument is that petroleum “keeps us trapped in the past.” In truth, we need to worry about the present, especially our depressing unemployment and unsustainable debt. Oil and gas provide 60% of America’s energy. By contrast, despite untold billions in subsidies, wind and solar combined still provide barely 0.60% – and are unlikely to do much better for decades to come.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers

Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

Obama’s Incompetence May Fuel Racial Violence

The election of Barack Obama was seen as a pivotal moment of the 21st century: an opportunity for America to be healed by a black President who embraced the ideals needed for a new America.

There was a comedy about ancient Rome titled “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” More recently, a funny thing happened on the way to the Oval Office. After the new President was anointed by the mass media and leading celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, America’s emperor was shown to be naked. Everyone on both sides of the racial divide has an opinion about why Obama is being attacked.

A great many African-Americans represented by the likes of the Reverend Jesse Jackson preach that white Americans refuse to show Obama the proper respect and go along with his programs simply because he is black. However, a great many white Americans, and maybe even right-minded people of all races, are angry at the President after he demonstrated his incompetence over the past three years. Tens of millions of Americans don’t like Obama not because he is black but because he has pushed America into the red.

Like the Elton John song, “I’ve Seen That Movie Too,” I saw it begin with the election of Pierre Elliot Trudeau, a francophone and constitutional lawyer who became a rock star north of America’s border in 1968.

Trudeau was Canada’s Prime Minister from 1968 to 1979 and from 1980 to 1984. Trudeau changed Canada with a radical new socialism. And the weapon used against his English Canadian critics was that they were simply prejudiced, that they refused to see all the good that Trudeau was doing for Canada. In fact, if you were bold enough to oppose Trudeau’s Official Languages Act (1969) you were downright anti-French.

Regardless of the onslaught that Trudeau orchestrated over 16 years, his liberal supporters and the Liberal Party met all such claims that critics were anti-French.

It took Canada’s economy 20 years to recover from Trudeau, who not only imposed his ideals on a nation but divided French and English more than any Canadian Prime Minister.

Trudeau almost broke up the confederation.

  • One year after Trudeau took office, French and English were both declared the official languages of Canada.
  • In 1970, terrorist separatists kidnapped and murdered Quebec’s minister of labor and immigration, Pierre Laporte. The federal government ordered in troops and suspended civil liberties.
  • The party that pledged Quebec separatism won the 1976 provincial election and passed several measures to strengthen the movement.
  • Quebec voters narrowly rejected secession from Canada in a 1995 referendum, but many in the province are still pushing for separation.

If you think that I am not giving Trudeau a fair shake or that I am critical of him because he was French Canadian, consider that as Prime Minister he spoke openly of the superiority of a socialist planned economy over a free enterprise one — so much so that Trudeau was close friends with Cuban President Fidel Castro. Castro attended Trudeau’s funeral in October 2000 and stood before the former Prime Minister’s casket. He even ordered flags to fly at half-staff in Cuba for three days.

Obamamania Could Turn Violent

A generation later, America has its own Trudeau, a minority and charismatic leader. And the same social disarray that happened in Canada has begun in the United States, from the George Zimmerman case to race-baiting by the likes of Al Sharpton.

Despite all of Obama’s failings as President, a great many African-Americans think that attacks made against him are mostly due to his skin color.

I can’t accept such nonsense. Obama has proven that he is unfit for the highest office. At the same time, he has made race relations worse, not better.

A recent Newsweek poll came to the same conclusion. Four years ago, 52 percent of Americans told Pew Research Center that they expected race relations to get better as a result of Obama’s election; just 9 percent anticipated a decline. Today, that 43-point gap has vanished. The survey shows that fewer than one-third of Americans believe race relations have improved since the President’s inauguration, while an equal number believe they have gotten worse. If you consider those who say nothing has changed, then you are left with this staggering fact: Six out of 10 Americans believe that race relations have either deteriorated or stagnated under Obama.

Newsweek reported this month that: “Whites are especially critical of Obama’s approach: a majority (51 percent) actually believe he’s been unhelpful in bridging the country’s racial divide. Even blacks have concluded, by a 20-point margin, that race relations have not improved on Obama’s watch.”

The article concludes: “(T)he election of an African-American president now seems to be deepening our divisions rather than diminishing them.”

This divide has grown since the shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida. According to CNN, blacks are more than twice as likely as whites to say Martin’s death was racially motivated. African-Americans seem convinced that Martin was targeted because he was black, while whites are not so sure.

In fact, blacks overwhelmingly approve of how Obama has handled the controversy, while a majority of whites disapprove.

I don’t know what happened that night between Martin and George Zimmerman because I wasn’t there. You know who else was not there? Obama. But that didn’t stop him from chiming in, just the latest example of Obama using his Presidential podium to inflame race relations.

My expectation is that race-baiting is only going to worsen. In fact, the United States is headed for a no-win situation.

If the President is defeated in November as I hope, I expect millions of blacks to be angry and declare that America couldn’t accept a black President. Violence may even erupt.

And if Obama wins a second term, he will have four more years to continue his socialist programs. As for us critics, we will continue to be branded as “racists” rather than realists.

I saw it happen during the Trudeau years. America can suffer a similar fate or something worse.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

Obama’s Addictive Behavior

No U.S. President has spent more money and had less to show for it than President Barack Obama. Yet recent polls show Obama remains the odds-on favorite for the Presidential election in less than seven months.

That could all change if the greenback continues to weaken while U.S. stock indexes continue a major retreat for the first time in three years.

The U.S. economy is gravely ill, and the tepid recovery is living on borrowed time. The vexing question: Will Obama win before the next shoe drops?

The leading indicator of the economy is the direction of the stock market. An examination of stock charts indicates serious problems for U.S. stock indexes. That tells me that big money around the world is starting to bet against the recovery that began during Obama’s first term.

Gangster movies say you can always trust the word on the street. I don’t know much about being a gangster, but I have found that you can trust the word on Wall Street.

Meanwhile, unemployment remains far too high — even if you believe Washington’s numbers. Add in the underemployed and those who have given up looking for work, and the true unemployment rate for the United States is about 15 percent.

It is true that America crawled out of a depression that began in 2008 with hundreds of billions of dollars injected into the banks, but financial institutions have not been lending most of that money. As a result, the amount of money has been growing, but it is not circulating.

Economists call this the velocity of money. It simply means how fast money changes hands. The faster money moves, the better the economy is. In this way money is like a bullet. If a bullet has enough velocity, it will bring down an elephant. If it has hardly any velocity, it can’t kill a rabbit. With more than three years in office, the President has not encouraged people to lend or spend. The good news is his poor economic leadership puts a second term for the Obama Administration in peril.

Last week, The Washington Post wrote that while polls still favor Obama over GOP challenger Mitt Romney, the President faces a serious contest:

On the two most pressing issues of the campaign — the economy and jobs — the contest is considerably more competitive, with about as many trusting Romney on the issues as Obama. Despite positive economic indicators, Americans remain deeply pessimistic about the overall direction of the country and largely consider the economy still mired in a recession. The Romney campaign is hoping to take advantage by making the contest about Obama’s performance on these key concerns.

Obama’s overall approval rating stands at 50 percent, but he draws negative marks on how he has dealt with the economy and the recent increase in gasoline prices. Nearly half of all Americans say his handling of the economy is a major reason to oppose his reelection; far fewer see it as a big reason to support his bid.

Romney holds a double-digit lead over Obama on just one issue tested in the poll: who would better deal with the federal budget deficit.

Obama handles the Nation’s money the way Lindsay Lohan handles alcohol. Both have more celebrity status than talent, and neither can meet the challenges they face. In Lohan’s case it is an interesting melodrama that titillates the masses. Obama’s flaws might just starve the masses.

Of course, I don’t know Lohan personally. But I can guess that she starts her night on the town by ordering whatever she wants regardless of the costs. This is pretty harmless stuff unless she rams her car into some innocent driver.

And what did Obama do when he first stepped into the Oval Office? He ordered up Obamacare. Lohan is addicted to alcohol. Bill Clinton had issues with sex. Obama, however, is a social engineer spending our money to feed his fame addiction.

Last week, the GOP reported that instead of curbing government spending, Obamacare could add up to $530 billion to the Federal debt over 10 years. The study was done by Charles Blahous, a George Mason University research fellow and the Republican trustee for the Medicare and Social Security entitlement programs for the elderly. Blahous challenged the President’s assertion that the 2010 law would reduce healthcare costs.

The Obama Administration defended the law as a cost saver and sharply criticized the report, saying that it ignored all the benefits for the Nation.

Anyone who watches Dr. Drew on TV probably recognizes this as denial, something all addicts seem to have which is sometimes accompanied by delusions of grandeur.

Another signature of an addict is to repeat the same behavior and expect a different result. For almost four years, Obama has been building his new America around Obamacare. It hasn’t taken hold, and now the final arbitrator is the Supreme Court. The Justices will do to Obama exactly what Los Angeles judges have been doing to Lohan over the years: They will slap him on the wrist.

America Needs Intervention

When the Hollywood celebrity gets slapped, she goes back to the same bad behavior as before. To hell with everyone, she says.

The same will hold true for Obama. If he does not lose to Romney, he will go back to the same destructive behavior, the kind that will ruin the Nation — not simply the career of a once youthful and now washed-up movie star.

Make no mistake: If the President is not stopped, it will mean hard times — not for him, his family or the liberal elites, but for the Nation.

What I understand about addiction is that addicts have to get help. This means it is our obligation to help Obama. We have to help him lose in November so the Nation can heal.

If that doesn’t happen and Obama is re-elected, then God help us. If he retakes the White House, he undoubtedly will appear on television sets around the world proclaiming the famous Charlie Sheen chant: “Still winning!”

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers Energy & Gold Report

Obama’s Green Ponzi Scheme

Mitt Romney has a chance at beating President Barack Obama in the November election. Much depends on whether America will swallow Obama’s Green platform.

Obama’s renewable energy plans are as much a flight of fancy as GOP Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s idea to build moon bases. The difference is that Gingrich got caught up in a daydream. Obama’s plans are for nothing less than control over America’s future.

Last month, Obama went on a two-day, four-State energy tour, proclaiming the benefits of clean energy and the evils of petroleum. He said that the Republican candidates in the GOP primary are either misguided or simply ignorant ­Luddites.

Obama joked: “Lately we’ve heard a lot of politicians, a lot of folks who are running for a certain office — they shall go unnamed — they dismiss wind power.  They dismiss solar power.”

While the President argues that investments in green energy will ease the pain at the pump and even rebuild America, there just isn’t any evidence to support his view.

Consider this from Robert Bryce’s 2010 book Power Hungry: The Myths Of “Green” Energy and the Real Fuels Of the Future:

Oil is not a perfect fuel. There is no such thing. But oil is — in nearly every case — greener than any of the alternative energy forms that might replace it. No matter whether the replacement is ethanol from corn, biomass — such as wood, straw, or dung — or biofuels made from palm oil or other feedstocks, the conclusion is apparent: Oil (and if you can get it, natural gas) simply has no peers. Oil provides consumers with both high energy density and high power density. It burns cleanly. It’s easily handled at atmospheric temperature and pressure, and the number of uses for it are [sic] essentially limitless.

The crude truth from experts doesn’t deter Obama. On March 22, at the end of his energy tour, Obama said:

The point is, there will always be cynics and naysayers who just want to keep on doing the same things the same way that we’ve always done them. We’ve got a choice. … We can keep developing new energy and new technology that uses less oil, or we can listen to these folks who actually believe that the only thing we can do is drill our way out of this problem.

Obama’s latest directive seems more about getting power for himself than it does about generating power for the Nation.

Recently, syndicated columnist and noted economist Lawrence Kudlow pointed out the flaws in Obama’s mantra on energy:

As Ronald Reagan famously said, “There you go again.”

Of course, Reagan was blaming Jimmy Carter for launching false attacks during a debate. And that line was so effective, it not only helped Reagan win the debate, but a presidential election that would change American history.

But “there you go again” can apply equally to President Obama. Once again this week, the president was out on the campaign trail bashing and oil and gas companies. And he continued to spread major falsehoods about this industry, which I guess is the polite way to put it.

Obama is obsessed with oil and gas. He is a prisoner of the left-wing environmental groups. And really, he’s extending his leftist class-warfare attack from rich people to successful oil and gas producers.

What seems to have Obama especially steamed is the fact that the conventional-energy companies are profitable… So he wants to tax them. He then wants to redistribute their income to his favorite green-energy firms.

Obama’s Con Game

I trust that most Americans know the difference between a pipeline and a pipe dream. We tend to recognize con artists, regardless of the magic in the elixir they are selling. Well, most — but not all — of us do.

That’s good news for Obama, who seems more like Bernie Madoff than like Reagan.

Remember Madoff? He ran a giant Ponzi scheme that cost his investors $18 billion. His fraud was perpetrated on thousands of people, including his closest friends. They all believed the money mogul could deliver double-digit returns regardless of recessions and bear markets.

Why did such intelligent people trust Madoff? Because they desperately wanted to believe it to be true.

Madoff’s Ponzi scheme tanked only after he couldn’t get enough new investors to throw their money in to finance his hustle.

Madoff was a greedy crook who used his friends and associates. That’s prima facie. What was shocking is that so many ignored the adage: “If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Four years after Madoff’s sentencing, a much bigger con is being perpetrated. It garners more support each passing month, and it comes from the man most Americans are taught to trust: their President.

Unlike Madoff, Obama is not interested in scamming a few thousand Americans out of a few billion dollars. He has far bigger ambitions. He wants another four years in office to change America into what he has always envisioned: a liberal society that will march lockstep to the orders dictated by Washington.

Obama has a few problems to overcome before he can begin his second term, most notably high unemployment and high energy prices.

Yet Obama has come up with a way for one stone to kill three birds. He promises that investing in clean, renewable energy will create millions of jobs and make America energy independent. The icing on the cake is that it will even save the planet.

Even for men like Obama, miracles don’t come cheaply; so expect the price tag on clean, yet un-proven, energy to reach hundreds of billions of dollars.

There’s just one problem: Affordable green energy is at least a couple of decades into our future. Perhaps our President thinks this is a small price to keep him in the Oval Office.

What loyal Democrats don’t understand is that the Greens are making fake promises that could impose a dark future on a Nation that is rich in fossil fuels.

America has real problems, but energy isn’t near the top of the list. Or at least it wouldn’t be if America’s leaders would agree to set wildcatters free off our coastal shores and in Alaska and let them tap into the bonanza of petroleum that can be discovered, pumped and transported throughout the United States.

Yet for some reason — personal, religious or political — Obama is doing everything he can to arrest a renaissance in petroleum. If anything, his plans will make America more dependent on Islamic oil.

Already, European nations are scaling back spending on renewable energy projects. But not Obama.

In a March 26 post on, Renee Nal wrote:

The Obama administration has already spent billions on “green energy” companies, with most of them resulting in bankruptcy and massive layoffs. His Green Agenda is not working and he wants even more. For Obama’s 2013 budget proposal, “Programs for advanced research along with energy efficiency and renewable energy account for the biggest percentage increase in spending.”

Don’t Shoot The Messenger

I write at the request of Bob Livingston. Sometimes, commenters claim I am a mouthpiece for Big Oil. My education and background is in petroleum and journalism. Yet I have never received so much as a dime from any oil company, big or small. At the moment, I don’t even own petroleum stocks. I started off as a cub reporter more than three decades ago, and I have had the good fortune to have publishers like Livingston who let me write the truth as I see it.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

Fearmongers Past And Present

“It’s a lousy war, kid… but it’s the only one we’ve got.”
–James Cagney as Capt. Flagg in “What Price Glory”

In the 1986 remake of the movie “The Fly,” Geena Davis’ character, Veronica Quaife, said to Jeff Goldblum’s character, Seth Brundle: “Be afraid. Be very afraid.” For half a century, that is exactly what the ruling elite have been telling ordinary people like you and me.

I am dating myself on this, but I can still remember our “Duck and Cover” drills in grade school. One day, my older brother told me it was a waste of time; no amount of ducking would save me from an atomic bomb. From that moment on, I spent lots of nights worrying about the end of the world.

That was just the way our leaders wanted it. Even today, the Federal government sells fear the way Madison Avenue sells soap.

While expensive, the Cold War certainly had its advantages. Best of all, it kept everyone on edge and got us to trust in our government. After all, the government was all that stood between us and the enemy. And we all knew who the enemy was. We even knew the enemy’s plan: world domination. Nobody objected to an absolute truth: Billions of dollars had to be spent each and every year to stop the godless Red Menace.

Just how big of a threat were the Communists? Looking back, it seems they were not the warmonger heathens our leaders told us they were.

In the late 1950s, the neocons were scaring the Nation about Soviet first-strike capabilities. President Dwight D. Eisenhower knew better because of top secret U-2 flights.

Yet people like Edward Teller, known as “the father of the hydrogen bomb,” were spreading fears of America’s imminent destruction. It reached a fever pitch in the autumn of 1957 when the Soviets launched Sputnik. Teller decried the challenge from the satellite that was about the size of a beach ball as defeat worse than Pearl Harbor.

Mainstream newspapers began to report that the United States was in a dire situation. In an editorial on Nov. 10, 1957, The New York Times indicated it hoped the United States would return to “a race that is not so much a race for arms or even prestige, but a race for survival.” On Dec. 20, 1957, The Washington Post ran a front-page story with the headline “Enormous Arms Outlay Is Held Vital To Survival.”

Politicians jumped on the story. Presidential hopeful John Fife Symington Jr. argued that the Soviets would soon have at their disposal 3,000 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that could wipe the United States off the map.

Within months, U-2 flights revealed the truth to Eisenhower; the Soviet ICBM force consisted of exactly four missiles and two launch pads. (If you want to check the facts on just how weak the Soviets really were in the 1950s and 1960s, I recommend the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy, by David E. Hoffman.)

After Sputnik launched, there was no stopping American neocons, writes Stephen Glain in State vs. Defense: The Battle To Define America’s Empire:

Eisenhower successfully challenged the military industrial complex and he had the courage to expose it as a threat to republican democracy. But he could not shut it down. Even in his time, it had grown too large and feathered too many political and corporate nests for one man, even a great one, to dissolve.

Until the downfall of the Soviet Union, the Cold War kept American defense spending at a fever pitch. It was later learned when sealed Kremlin documents were released that the Soviets were fighting a defensive struggle and that the two world wars had decimated their population and their economy. As far back as Joseph Stalin’s time, the Soviets understood they could not win a nuclear showdown with the United States.

American neocons probably didn’t understand that while the Cold War was being waged. But one has to wonder whether they would have allowed a President or Congress to curtail defense expenditures had they known.

Neoconservatives have managed to increase defense spending over the past 20 years even though the Soviet Union no longer exists and what remains — Russia — is having a difficult time keeping its economy above water.  Regardless, our government does not want us to feel safe.

With the exception of Ron Paul, the remaining contenders for the GOP Presidential nomination have said they will increase defense expenditures.

Despite America’s record deficit, the Federal government has proposed $851 billion in military spending next year. America already has the best submarines, fighter jets, strategic bombers and missile systems. But the neocons tell us that these are dangerous times made all the more so because we don’t exactly know who we might face.

It is too bad that a now-bankrupt Nation didn’t heed the warning Eisenhower gave when he left office:

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence–economic, political, even spiritual–is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

Eisenhower couldn’t stop the fearmongers who control so much of our society. Nor has any President since been able to stop them. The cabal puts us on constant alert and makes us build swords rather than plowshares. And here is the kicker: We do it with money lent to us by the principle enemy we stand against.

Few people seem to understand the idiocy of owing almost $1 trillion to China to upgrade our armed forces so we will be prepared to fight China.

I have news for the neocons: China doesn’t need state of-the-art aircraft carriers and submarines. It just needs to throw a few hundred billion dollars of its U.S. Treasuries onto the open market. That would make the Crash of 2008 seem like a slight downtick.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

Welfare Killed The Little Red Hen

The yoke that is the welfare state has thoroughly infected America. If voters re-elect President Barack Obama, he will brainwash all Americans into thinking they are entitled to government handouts. Most Americans don’t understand that independent people are losing their way as the President crusades to build his Nanny Nation — a country so transformed that even the oral traditions that were taught for generations have been eradicated.

To be fair, it is not all Obama’s fault. In my lifetime, the United States has been moving away from its ideals of hard work, self-sacrifice and personal responsibility.

Bedtime Stories Our Children Never Hear

Some of you may remember “The Little Red Hen,” the bedtime story of an industrious chicken that lived with an indolent cat, a lazy dog and a mouse that behaved like a sloth.

I can still remember the story from half a century ago. My dad always had a glimmer in his eye, sitting at the head of the dinner table and telling us kids the fable of the cat that slept, the dog that napped and the mouse that snoozed. They only survived, said my dad, because the Little Red Hen worked so very hard.

One day, while busy in the garden, the Little Red Hen found some seeds of wheat. The hen asked her friends the following:

“Who will plant this wheat?”

“Who will cut this wheat?”

“Who will grind this wheat into flour?”

“Who will make a cake from the fine flour?”

To each question, her friends replied: “Not I.”

Finally, the Little Red Hen asked, “Who will help me eat this cake?” The cat, the dog and the mouse all shouted: “I will.”

“No, you won’t,” replied the Little Red Hen, “for I alone did all the work, so I alone will eat the cake.”

When I was a child, The Little Red Hen was a big hit at our house. But when I told the fable to my own children, they just didn’t seem to get it.

“Why wouldn’t the hen share, Daddy?” asked my little girl.

“Because she did all the work,” I replied.

“But my teacher tells us we are supposed to share,” she said.

“Sharing is good,” I told her, “but you can’t be lazy. You have to share in the work too.”

A puzzled look spread over her face. I remember being a bit exasperated, and I asked: “Don’t you read stories like ‘The Little Red Hen’ at school?”

“Not really,” she said. “Most of the stories we read are about helping each other.”

I realized that the values held sacred by my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were not even contemplated by my children or most of their generation.

Obama is accelerating America’s welfare revolution. He is finishing what President Franklin Delano Roosevelt started when he introduced the New Deal 80 years ago. Three generations later, there are fewer Little Red Hens and far too many cats, dogs and mice.

I fear that the welfare creed has become so ingrained in our culture that America will probably never extricate itself from its growing socialist grip. That may have been FDR’s intention from the start.

Roosevelt bragged: “… no damn politician can ever scrap my social security program.”

But FDR only engineered the welfare state. Its grand developer was President Lyndon B. Johnson. His “War On Poverty” and his plan for a Great Society have built a welfare system second to none.

An American Thinker article addressed the issue:

As it stands now, Obama appears headed toward an economic legacy that may very well surpass Jimmy Carter in its level of failure.

We have seen under this president an expanding number of citizens who are partially or wholly dependent on the government for their very livelihood, as the data show that the U.S. has become an ever-growing welfare state under Obama.

Government dependence, which is defined as the percentage of persons receiving one or more federal benefit payments, is at a staggering 47%, its highest level in American history, while 21 million households are reliant on food stamps.  In fact, government spending on food stamps in 2010 ($68 billion) was double what it was in 2007, with the 2011 figure likely to be even higher.

As the graph below shows, government welfare payments have soared over the past 42 years, from a few billion dollars to $800 billion. If the trend continues, payments will exceed $1 trillion dollars per year. Add in defense and national security spending and immediately the Federal government is spending almost $2 trillion each year. This cannot continue, yet it seems almost impossible to stop until people believe that they need to be industrious, that they should not depend on government to help them make their way.

My dad told me other stories when I was growing up: hard-luck stories about what he and his generation faced during the Great Depression. He graduated from college with a degree in geology in 1930. Yet it took him 12 years to do anything but menial jobs. He worked selling vacuum cleaners and he sold life insurance door to door. He even worked in a slaughter house. The government didn’t help him. Quite frankly, if the help had been offered, I doubt he would have taken it. He didn’t have much time for government, either in getting things from it or paying toward it.

The grandchildren of those who went through the Great Depression don’t think this way. Liberals, from those in the education system to those in the entertainment industry, have convinced most young people that government should do more to make society better. They want to reward the cat, the dog and the mouse while making the Little Red Hen pay for it.

The problem is the Little Red Hens are getting tired of carrying the load for everyone else. Until we wake up to this fact, we will be faced with continued social and economic crises, and the standard of living will fall for all of us.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

The Militarization Of America

America is a declining empire trying to resurrect itself through military intervention and armed occupation.

The more than $1 trillion decade with Iraq has finally ended. But neocon dreams of democracy for Iraq did not pan out. Iraq has a corrupt, shaky and ineffective government. Thousands of people continue to die in sectarian violence as Iraq wallows in a bloody civil war.

As for Afghanistan, most of the original terrorists in al-Qaida who planned 9/11 are either dead, in prison, on the run or holed up in Pakistan. Washington tells us that Pakistan is our most trusted Muslim ally, ignoring Peter Bergen’s 2011 New York Times bestseller The Longest War: The enduring conflict between America and al-Qaeda. Bergen writes that Pakistan has consistently been found to be “one of the most anti-American countries in the world.”

It seems obvious that the continued occupation of Afghanistan — a country that has defeated the armies of the Russian tsars, the British Empire and the Soviet Union — is doomed to fail.

We Need Cronkite

What makes news today are celebrity overdoses, dirt on Presidential candidates and the best new reality series. But consider what Walter Cronkite said on Feb. 27, 1968, following the Tet Offensive: “It seems now more certain than ever, that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate. To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past.”

Cronkite made this statement four years into that war. America is into its second decade of fighting in Afghanistan, and even a stalemate now seems impossible.

If the goals of victory were the killing of Osama bin Laden and the almost complete destruction of al-Qaida within Afghanistan, then victory has been achieved. But if the neoconservatives still believe we can institute a democratic government in Kabul, they are either naïve or initiating wars simply for the sake of war.

For decades, our government has been arrogant in imposing Western principals and ideals. Washington cannot understand that Afghanistan, a tribal and Muslim country, will not accept Western ideals any more than we would accept a prescript declared on us by a foreign power.

Imposing On Others

I am a peaceful fellow who is past middle age. I always tried to either walk or, better yet, run away from a real conflict. But if armed Chinese soldiers occupied and patrolled the streets of my city, I would clean the barrel on my hunting rifle. I am willing to bet that a great many of you would do the same to resist foreign occupation.

Yet Washington thinks American ideals should be welcomed with outstretched arms. Some of this has to do with the experience of World War II and how Europeans welcomed the United States as a liberator.

Here is the catch: The period 1925 to 1945 was an aberration — 20 years of dictators. Consider that before Francisco Franco, Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler, much of Europe had thrived for decades with democracy. The United States helped restore that political order (except in Spain, which suffered with Franco until his death in 1975).

While the United States left scores of military bases in Europe to protect the West from a possible Soviet invasion, there was no occupation. The boys were back home months after victory in Europe. The Nazis had occupied Europe. Because of that, the murderous will of the French, Polish and Dutch resistance was visited upon German troops.

On this subject I was struck last year while re-watching Ken Burns’ PBS series, The Civil War, first broadcast in 1990.

In one segment the documentary tells of how Union cavalry surrounded a lone Confederate soldier who had no horse and whose clothes were dirty and tattered. A Union officer said to him that it was obvious that he had no wealth and not the means to own slaves. The officer asked: “Why are you fighting this war?”

The Confederate answered: “Because you are here.”

The Washington establishment fails to consider this universal truth in human nature. Senator John McCain continues to advocate the bombing of both Syria and Iran. And with the courageous exception of Ron Paul, the contenders for the GOP Presidential nomination strongly favor using the military over diplomacy and oppose any reductions in defense spending.

Exactly who is this enemy that America must outgun? Nobody has a good answer.

Neoconservatives always call upon the lesson the world learned when British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain appeased Hitler. How much better the world would have been, they argue, if Britain had stood up to Germany.

But is that the only lesson of the past 100 years? What of President John Kennedy’s refusal to launch a military strike during the Cuban Missile Crisis? It can be argued that America’s diplomacy-first gambit saved the human race.

If you don’t like the Kennedy example, consider World War I. Because some crackpot shot Archduke Franz Ferdinand, war erupted. That war cost 20 million lives. Diplomacy could have prevented that war and, as a result, prevented the rise of Hitler and, thus, World War II.

I can only scratch my head when I listen to leaders like McCain. Have any of them read history?

Wars Serve A Purpose

Why war trumps diplomacy is explained by Stephen Glain in his new book, State vs. Defense: The Battle to Define America’s Empire. Glain concludes:

U.S. relations with the world, and increasingly America’s security policy at home, have become thoroughly and all but irreparably militarized. The culprits are not the nation’s military leaders, though they can be aggressive and cunning interagency operators, but civilian elites who have seen to it that the nation is engaged in a self-perpetuating cycle of low-grade conflict. They have been hiding in plain sight, hyping threats and exaggerating the capabilities and resources of adversaries. They have convinced a plurality of citizens that their best guarantee of security is not peace but war, and they did so with the help of a supine or complicit Congress. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, U.S. presidents have ordered troops into battle twenty-two times, compared with fourteen times during the Cold War. Not once did they appeal to lawmakers for a declaration of war.

I am not saying we should never use force. I believe America has enemies, and those enemies should be dealt with in a swift and deadly manner. I also believe that only if another nation is a real and “legitimate threat” to the United States should we initiate war.

America should be using the best special forces in the world with surgical strikes on those that would do us harm. America should use the RQ-1 Predator drones armed with Hellfire missiles on terrorist groups and even possible terrorist groups. I am prepared to live with some collateral damage that will result from such strikes. This will be less deadly to foreign civilians and will save the lives of our young men and women in uniform, while helping to restore America’s standing in the world.

Compare this strategy to the armed occupation of Afghanistan. It is a non sequitur, and the real powers who run this country know it.

They know, and they just don’t care.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

Editor’s note: It’s time to make your submissions for this month’s You Sound Off! feature, which will run March 28. Get your submission in by March 26. It should be no more than 750 words (if they are longer, we probably won’t read them). We will select the one or two we think are the best of the week to publish. We reserve the right to edit for grammar and style but will try not to alter the meaning.

Send your submissions to Please include your name, address and telephone number (only your name will be published) so we can contact you if we need to clarify something. Anonymous submissions will not be considered.–BL

Rush To Judgment

Barack Obama must love Rush Limbaugh. The Conservative talk show host that some have called the conscience of the Republican Party went off on a tangent while ignoring Obama’s Machiavellian power grab.

Rather than leading a thoughtful discussion of Obamacare and the true aims of the President to make Big Government even bigger, Limbaugh instead made obscene and bizarre comments about a female college student.

Unless you live in a cave, I am sure you have heard the story: Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University law student, addressed a Democratic panel last month in support of contraception access paid for by the Federal government.

The left argues that poor Fluke was talking only about oral contraceptives for health reasons and not for the government to pick up the tab for her to have worry-free sex. That is a stretch. The number of women who take the pill for any reason other than to not get pregnant is small.

The liberals need to be reminded of what Senator Dale Bumpers argued 13 years ago at President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial: “When someone says it’s not about the sex, it’s about the sex.” That was Bumpers’ variation on a quote attributed to H.L. Mencken: “When someone says it’s not about the money, it’s about the money.”

On this, Rush is right; and I am not giving Fluke a pass on her testimony being about anything other than sex.

But unlike Rush, I am not going to call Fluke a “prostitute” or a “slut.” Most people in her age group are enjoying a healthy sex life, and a great many of them don’t want to get pregnant. (As far as I know the only person that is going to have a problem with me saying this is the pope, and I doubt he is reading.)

I do expect a great many of Personal Liberty Digest™ readers like Limbaugh and listen to his program. So I ask this: Are you really trying to say that Limbaugh has had sex only with his wives within the sanctity of his marriages – all four of them?

I defend Limbaugh’s right to say what he wants. Like him, my career exists because of our 1st Amendment right to free speech.

But I cannot defend this statement from Limbaugh: “If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”

First, he should speak for himself. I don’t want to watch anybody have sex; I expect neither do most Americans.

Second, why would he say such a thing? It is an outlandish statement.

Finally, is he saying pornography is OK, but birth control is not?

I don’t need a liberal to tell me the “yuck factor” in what Limbaugh said.

I don’t think Limbaugh thinks about much besides getting more listeners and getting paid more money. And Limbaugh either cannot make sound arguments against the left because he is not a deep-enough thinker or he does not mind another term for Obama, so he is distracting the Nation from the real issues.

I think Obama is the engineer controlling a runaway train. Meanwhile, Limbaugh is worried about what a couple of passengers are doing in the sleeper car.

America Needs Right-Minded Thinkers

Just three decades, ago we lived in the gilded age for conservatives and the Republican Party. Ronald Reagan spoke of a shining city on the hill and he had the moral fiber to convince Americans that the Nation could renew itself. While Reagan may have been the heart of the conservative movement, William F. Buckley Jr. was its brains.

I graduated from college in 1980. At age 21, I was a borderline liberal. My parents were libertarians, and they urged me to get an education. They suggested I read Buckley. I found Buckley offered overpowering conservative arguments as to why right-minded people should embrace libertarianism. I came to reject the left whose brain-trust were people like Senator Edward Kennedy and Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill.

This is what The New York Times wrote in its Buckley obituary:

… marshaled polysyllabic exuberance, famously arched eyebrows and a refined, perspicacious mind to elevate conservatism to the center of American political discourse…

Mr. Buckley’s greatest achievement was making conservatism — not just electoral Republicanism but conservatism as a system of ideas — respectable in liberal post-World War II America. He mobilized the young enthusiasts who helped nominate Barry Goldwater in 1964 and saw his dreams fulfilled when Reagan and the Bushes captured the Oval Office. …

To Mr. Buckley’s enormous delight, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., the historian, termed him “the scourge of liberalism.”

Buckley once said: “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”

I would argue it is more dangerous that liberals do not want to listen to conservatives than it is for them to hear the wrong message from the right. Discussions by Limbaugh or anyone over issues such as sex and birth control are worse than a waste of time. They obliterate the truth, that people should have the right to pursue happiness and not have that right infringed upon by government.

Americans should be outraged over what Obama is doing: the debt he is racking up, Obamacare, his plans to remake America a Green Nation no matter what the cost. If Buckley were alive today, he would be making those arguments and people would be listening.  So well-grounded would be his convictions that even liberals would pay attention. Instead, we have Rush Limbaugh talking about sex, sluts and pornography.

America can right this listing ship only if conservatives get an intelligent standard bearer to carry forward their message. The garbled, guttered wisdom of the Limbaughs and Glenn Becks of the world do nothing but hurt the cause.

Patrick Henry gave a watershed speech. He said: “Give me liberty, or give me death!”

What does Limbaugh proclaim? “Give me more money. If not, at least give me some OxyContin.”

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

Obama’s Pump Dream

“This president, systematically, is doing everything he can to raise the price of energy in this country. He’s shutting down all sorts of opportunities for us to drill for oil.”
–Rick Santorum

If you think gasoline is expensive now, just wait and see the price at the pump if Barack Obama is re-elected. His policies have steadily dragged the country toward $5 per gallon. If he gets another term in office, affordable gas will be a faint memory. And that will have Obama and his Green backers tickled pink.

The Obama Administration doesn’t seem to care that every 1 cent increase in the price of gasoline costs the economy $1.4 billion. America is becoming more dependent on Muslim oil while turning its back on a half-century energy alliance with Canada. This has been made evident by the President’s rejection of the Keystone Pipeline.

When Obama was sworn into office, the price of gasoline was $1.80 a gallon. Three years into his term, prices for some Americans are approaching $5 per gallon.

That is just the way Obama likes it. Given another four years, gasoline prices could reach $8 a gallon. This is because Obama has a greater allegiance to the Green Machine that drove home his victory in 2008 and that is fueling his chances for another victory lap come November.

The specifics of what the President promised to the environmentalists if he is re-elected remain a secret. But what we know for certain is that Obama clamped down on deep-water drilling inside the Gulf, tightened Federal restrictions for onshore oil exploration and vetoed the Keystone Pipeline, a major oil artery that would secure dependable Canadian crude to a nation thirsting for oil.

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) said the evidence is in, that the Obama Administration has willfully brought higher prices to the gas pump because it has put an embargo on fresh and dependable sources of North American petroleum.

“We can’t slow down global demand for oil and gas, but we can do a lot more here at home to assure that we have the energy we need and to halt skyrocketing costs,” Hutchison said. “President Obama’s policy has resulted in an unprecedented slowdown in new exploration and production of oil and gas.”

Speaker of the House John Boehner said the President has been reckless in mismanaging the nation’s energy policies.

When added up, not passing the Keystone Pipeline and “scrapping leases for oil-shale development” makes the President responsible for $5 gasoline, read a press release from Boehner.

“The Obama administration has spent more than three years blocking efforts to expand energy production and bring down gas prices, while pushing job-crushing tax hikes and taxpayer-backed loans to companies like Solyndra.”

Boehner laid out a timeline showing Obama’s purposeful drive to sending gasoline prices higher:

  • Jan. 7, 2010 – The Obama administration announces new bureaucratic hurdles to American energy production that Secretary Salazar admitted “could add delays to the leasing and drilling process.” Gas is $2.67 a gallon.
  • March 31, 2010 – Instead of opening new areas to energy exploration and development, President Obama blocks deep-ocean energy production on 60 percent of America’s Outer Continental Shelf. Gas is $2.80 a gallon.
  • Dec. 1, 2010 – The president re-imposes and expands the moratorium on offshore energy production. Gas is $2.86 a gallon.
  • Jan. 2, 2011 – TIME reported that the Obama administration issued the first in a series of regulations on January 2 designed to unilaterally impose a national energy tax. Gas is $3.05 a gallon.
  • May 5, 2011 – The White House issues a formal statement opposing House-passed Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act and Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act, legislation designed to jumpstart [sic] American energy production, address rising gas prices, and help create new jobs. Gas is $3.96 a gallon.
  • June 21, 2011 – The White House opposes the House-passed Jobs & Energy Permitting Act that would unlock an estimated 27 billion barrels of oil and 132 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Gas is $3.65 a gallon.
  • Nov. 8, 2011 – The Obama Administration releases a plan for a five-year moratorium on offshore energy production, placing “some of the most promising energy resources in the world off-limits,” according to the House Natural Resources Committee. Gas is $3.42 a gallon.
  • Jan. 18, 2012 – President Obama rejects the bipartisan Keystone XL pipeline and the more than 20,000 jobs that would come with it. Gas is $3.39 a gallon, and rising faster and earlier than ever before.

Rising in tandem with gasoline prices has been crude oil.  As you can see from the chart below, crude oil has risen almost 40 percent in the past two years and last week had an upward gap at $105 per barrel. This is a bullish signal and technically indicates the price of oil is going to go higher. More importantly, I think Obama will continue to provide the fundamentals for crude and gasoline to increase, perhaps another 40 percent higher if he is re-elected this November.
Crude Oil Prices Rising Steadily under Obama's Influence
While debating other GOP candidates last month, Newt Gingrich criticized Obama’s national energy program, saying it has been instrumental in driving the price of gasoline to $5 per gallon in some parts of the country.

“[America needs a new] energy policy, getting back to $2.50 a gallon gasoline, outlining both the economic and National Security implications, indicating that instead of bowing to a Saudi King we ought to be drilling, and our goal should be to be so independent that we don’t care what the Iranians are doing in the Straits of Hormuz,” Gingrich said.

That really is a pipe dream for Gingrich and it can only happen if a Republican is in the Oval Office next year.  Short of that, Obama’s pump dream of $8 per gallon gasoline is what we will have. That might good for Green backers and tree huggers, but it will cripple the recovery for the rest of the Nation that depends on affordable gasoline.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

Editor’s Note: Last week, TransCanada announced it would move ahead with part of the Keystone XL pipeline, completing a section Oklahoma to Texas. This plan does not require Federal approval. In January, the Obama Administration rejected TransCanada’s proposal to build a pipeline from the Montana-Canada border through Nebraska because of pressure from environmentalist groups.