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American Survival Newsletter:
Combining the World of Finance, Health & Politics
3/18/16

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Edited by Alfred Adask
Friday, March 18, AD 2016
 
MARKETS 
 
Between Friday, March 11AD 2016 and 
Friday, March 18, AD 2016, the bid prices for:
Gold rose 0.4 % from $1,250.10 to $1,255.00
Silver rose 2.1 % from $15.47 to $15.79
Platinum rose 0.9 % from $962 to $971
Palladium rose2.6 % from $573 to $588
Crude Oil rose 2.3 % from $38.47 to $39.36

US Dollar Index fell 1.2 % from 96.23 to 95.06

DJIA rose 2.3 % from 17,213.31 to 17,602.30
NASDAQ rose 1.0 % from 4,748.47 to 4,795.65
NYSE rose 1.2 % from 10,104.20 to 10,223.40
S&P  500       2,049.58



 
 
 
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"Only buy something that you'd be perfectly happy to hold
if the market shut down for 10 years." --Warren Buffett 

"If the markets shut down for 10 years, what investment would you dare to hold-- 
other than gold"? --Alfred Adask

Political Parties-Not Primary Voters-Choose Presidential Nominees

by Alfred Adask
 
On Monday, March 14th, The Washington Examiner published "CBS' Schieffer: GOP 'replaced by something new' post-2016".  In that article Bob Schiefer, former anchor of CBS' "Fact The Nation," argued that the Republican Party will cease to exist after the A.D. 2016 elections:
 
"Schieffer said the dynamic of the GOP has been flipped by the current front-runner for the nomination, Donald Trump.
"On the Republican side what we're seeing here is a changing of the guard," Schieffer said.
"If Trump wins the nomination before the convention, it will turn the Republican party on its ear.
"If the nomination goes to an open convention, it will be a bloody fight that could break the party into two parties.
"In either case, the Republican party we used to know will be replaced by something new."
 

Curly Haugland Interview

*  Two days later, on March 16th, CNBC released a politically-explosive video of an interview with Curly Haugland-a member of the Republican National Committee (RNC).  According to Mr. Haugland, under the rules for the Republican Party primaries, the "Republican Party"-not the votersin theRepublican primaries-can choose who'll be the Republican nominee for President.  
Thus, even if Donald Trump wins 90% of the delegates in the primaries, he can still be denied the Republican nomination for President by the "Republican Party".
When asked by CNBC, "Then, why have the primaries?"   Mr. Haugland grinned and replied, "That's a good question."
 

Implications

The first implication of Mr. Haugland's admissions are that the primary elections are a sham that might impress and excite the yokels, but have no real authority to control who'll be nominated for President.
Second, if the primaries are, themselves, meaningless-what's the purpose and legality of all the financial contributions given to candidates during the primary elections?  Are the primaries less about voters expressing their preferences than about candidates advertising themselves to general election voters?  If the Republican primary elections have no legal or even political authority, aren't they a kind of fraud?
 
Third, if the "Republican Party" will select the "Republican" nominee for President, but voters in the Republican primaries have no real say in selecting that nominee, then it's obvious that the "Republican Party" is something other than the voters in the Republican primaries.  
If so, the "Republican Party" does not include those who vote in the Republican primaries and mistakenly think of themselves as "Republicans".
If the votes in the primaries don't really count, the voters in the primaries who think of themselves as members of the "Republican Party" are deluded.  They are nothing but "house niggers" in the Republican "mansion".  They may live in the same mansion as the "Republican Party," but they're not really members of that party.
 

Will the real "Republican Party" stand up, please?

All of which leads me to wonder, who, pray tell, are the real members of the "Republican Party"?
I can't answer that question.  But I recall someone telling me back about A.D. 1992 (when I ran unsuccessfully for Place 1 on the Supreme Court of Texas) that the real "Republican Party" includes only those people who've been elected under the Republican Party banner and who are still serving in office.  
I don't know that that description was accurate then or now.  However, if (as Mr. Haugland has implied) the voters in the Republican primaries aren't really members of the "Republican Party," that description sounds plausible.
If the real "Republican Party" consists only of those "Republicans" who are currently in office, I doubt that there are more than twenty thousand "real" Republican Party members (from city dogcatcher in Medford, Oregon on up to President in Washington DC) in the entire country.
If those  "real Republican Party" incumbents are up for reelection this year, and if they disenfranchise the Republican primary voters' choice for presidential nominee, I'd advise those Republican incumbents to start polishing their resumes, since they won't be reelected this November-they'll be looking for a new job.
I recommend to everyone who voted in the Republican primaries that, if your vote is ignored and you're disenfranchised by the "real Republicans" in the mysterious "Republican Party," then you shouldn't vote for any "Republican" in the A.D. 2016 election (or in the balance of your life).  I don't care if the "Republican" running for office is your parent, spouse, child or significant other, don't vote for 'em if the real "Republican Party" disenfranchises those who voted in this year's "Republican" primaries.
Here's the CNBC video (a little over 4 minutes long) of the Curly Haugland interview:
 
 
 

Y'say Y'want a Re-vo-lu-tion?

RNC-member Haugland has unwittingly opened a can of worms that won't be easily closed or forgotten.  Assuming Mr. Haugland's admissions are legally accurate, his interview was explosive.  He may have ignited a political revolution.
On March 17th-just one day after CNBC posted Mr. Haugland's original video-interview-The Washington Times published an article entitled "RNC weighs scrapping convention rule book to head off anti-Trump maneuvers".*
That article declares in part, that:
 
"Top Republicans will try to force more transparency at the party's national convention in July, aiming to scrap their 1,500-page rule book in favor of simpler procedures that they hope will head off arcane maneuvers designed to deny Donald Trump the presidential nomination."
 
Bunk.  These "top Republicans" aren't hoping to "head off arcane maneuvers designed to deny Donald Trump the presidential nomination."  They're hoping to "head off":
 
1) The political firestorm that may follow Mr. Haugland's admission that the Republican voters' votes at the Republican primary elections don't really count; and
2) The adverse political consequences of Haugland's implied admission that the "Republican Party" is some tiny elite that does not include rank-and-file "Republican voters".
 
News that the "Republican Party" doesn't include the "Republican voters" just might wreck the "Republican Party".  That's the news that "top Republicans" are trying to "head off" with The Washington Times article.
 

Scrap the Rule Book?!

 
"Top Republicans will try to force more transparency at the party's national convention in July, aiming to scrap their 1,500-page rule book in favor of simpler procedures that they hope will head off arcane maneuvers designed to deny Donald Trump the presidential nomination.
 
More bunk-and big-time "bunk," at that.
 Does anyone really believe that, just four months before the Republican National Convention, these "top Republicans" will really "scrap" their entire "1,500-page rule book" just to create "more transparency"? 
Isn't it more likely that the "top Republicans" are willing to "scrap" their entire 1,500-page haystack of rules in order to quietly dispose of whatever "needles" (like the rule that says the primary voters' votes don't count and a description of the real "Republican Party" as an entity that doesn't include primary voters) that are presumably hidden in that haystack? 
I'll bet that these "top Republicans" are so terrified by the thought of the public finding the rule that says their primary votes don't really matter, that the "top Republicans" are willing to destroy the entire rule book to conceal that fraud.
The move to "scrap" 1,500 pages of rules is no small thing.  This is tantamount to the Methodist Church burning all copies of the Bible because there's a verse hidden somewhere in the Bible that exposes the Methodist Church as some sort of ungodly fraud.
Think about it.  The "top Republicans" aren't saying that they need to tweak one or two rules.  They're saying that they need to "scrap" all 1,500 pages of their rule book.  That's evidence of panic.
 

Ain't It Revoltin'?

 
"RNC committee members across the country echoed that sentiment. They said an attempt by Republican insiders to manipulate the process would spark a revolt."
 
"Revolt," my butt. 
If the "Republican Party" (whatever that is) refuses to honor the votes and authority of the "Republican voters" at Republican primary elections, there won't be a revolt.  There'll be a death sentence for the "Republican Party".  That party will be executed by its own shifty rules.  It will virtually cease to exist and might be preventing from winning another presidential election for years into the future.  It might even have to change its moniker from "GOP" (Grand Old Party) to "GOA" (Grand Old Aristocracy).
 

Gee!  Whatta Coincidence!

The Washington Times article made no express reference to Mr. Haugland and/or his claim that the "Republican Party" (whatever that is) can overrule and ignore the Republican voters' preferences expressed at the Republican primaries.
Nevertheless, I don't believe that it's only coincidental that The Washington Times article was published just one day after RNC-member Haugland let the cat out of the bag. 
The RNC must know that Mr. Haugland has exposed information that could wreck the "Republican Party".  The RNC's only escape (if any escape is possible) will require the "Republican Party" to repudiate whatever specific rules and/or their entire 1,500-page rule book that cause primary voting (and primary voters) to be without authority, null, void and of no legal authority, force or effect.
 

Write-In Candidates

One of my readers responded to my initial comments about Mr. Haugland's admissions.  He recommended we use "write-in" candidates rather than vote for the person nominated by the elite of the "Republican Party".
I doubt that any national write-in candidate could win election.  If there could be one write-in candidate, why not two, twenty, or two hundred? 
We can fantasize that, if Donald Trump were denied the Republican nomination, he could run as a "write-in candidate".  But so could Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Mitt Romney.  So, for that matter, could I.  (Does anyone doubt that Marco Rubio would run as a write-in candidate if he thought there was one chance in a hundred that he might win?)
If we pushed the write-in candidacy idea, there'd probably be so many write-in contenders that they'd tend to cancel each other out and no one would win a majority of the votes. The best write-in candidate might not field more than 20% of the vote.  How could a candidate who received just 20% of the vote effectively govern?
 

Et Tu, Democrats?

Mr. Haugland implied in his interview that some, most, or even all other "political parties" (including the Democrats) also operate under rules that allow the "Republican Party" to ignore the preferences of primary voters.
If it's true that "Democrat Party" rules also recognize no authority in the votes cast at Democrat primary elections, then this might be a perfect time for Mr. Trump to attack both parties for refusing to honor primary voters' preferences. 
Q:  How could Trump attack both parties? 
A:  It might be possible to start a Third Political Party that advertised from the beginning that:
 
1) It would be absolutely bound by the preferences of its supporters as expressed at their primary elections; and
 2) The "party" would include all rank and file voters who voted in the primaries and/or perhaps all others who merely contributed, say, $5 (or maybe $20) to get a party "membership" ID card.
 
How 'bout that?  How 'bout a third political party that absolutely represented the will of the people rather than the will of the establishment, major corporations and/or an aristocratic elite?
 

Trump Revolution

RNC-member Haugland's admissions could turn out to be the most explosive issue of the A.D. 2016 election-even bigger than Trump, himself.  I doubt that any party can publicly justify any rules that allow the primary voters' votes to be effectively cancelled or, at least, ignored.  It's possible that every political party's rules will soon become the focus of much unwonted examination, criticism and even rage.
Once again, Donald Trump is in a position to cause revolutionary changes in American politics.  Like him or hate him, you have to admit that he's come into the "garden" of American politics like the first "Adam".  Now, that he's here, there's gonna be some big, big changes.
 

Too Smart For Their Own Good

The "Republican Party" and/or "elitists" and/or "establishment" thought that they were sooo smart that they could use their "rules" to defy the primary voters' preference and prevent Trump from being nominated.
Working from behind the scenes, these smart guys conspired to use their weight, brains and "secret" rules to prevent Trump's nomination.  Unfortunately, these "smart guys" forgot that there are no secrets in the Internet Age.  By plotting to use "secret" rules to prevent Trump's nomination, they inadvertently exposed their heretofore "secret" rules.
Result?  Their conspiracy has not only blown up in their faces-it's provided grounds for a controversy that might yet destroy the "Republican Party" itself. 
 

Prediction

The very survival of the "Republican Party" is now jeopardized.  It may well be that Mr. Haugland's admissions are enough to ruin the "Republican Party" no matter how many rules or rule books the "top Republicans" scrap. 
If so, I'll bet that the "Republican Party" will no longer dare to oppose Trump's nomination.  Trump has the only viable band wagon at this point.  The "Republican Party's" only hope of survival may be to jump on Trump's band wagon and become Trump's BFF.  
From here on until the November election, I suspect that Trump will rule the Republican Party.  Why?  Because, if he really wants to push the issue of not counting Republican primary elections votes, he can destroy the "Republican Party".  On the other hand, if Trump promises to keep his mouth shut, the "Republican Party" may promise to stop opposing Trump's candidacy and let him win the Republican nomination.
In fact, if the Democrat Party's rules are as aristocratic as the Republicans', Trump might even be able to push hard enough to destroy the Democrat Party.
If that turns out to be true, even Hillary had better "play nice" with Mister Trump.
RNC-member Haugland's public admissions may have unwittingly guaranteed that Trump receive the "Republican Party's" nomination.  Haugland may have even given Trump the Presidency.
 

Hurricane Donald?

Love him or hate him, Trump is the 800-pound gorilla in this year's election.  He's the political wrecking ball. 
When was the last time you saw an American presidential candidate who caused as profound political effects as Trump? 
Franklin Delano Roosevelt? 
Is Trump another Roosevelt?
Or is he the anti-Roosevelt and remedy for the New Deal?
 

The FEC

One last point.  The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is responsible for "Administering and Enforcing Federal Campaign Finance Laws".  I haven't yet researched the relevant laws or the FEC. 
Still, I wonder what FEC laws justify allowing any political party to collect campaign contributions for presidential candidates during the presidential primary elections if the votes cast in the primary elections carry no legal weight.
I don't know which FEC laws, if any, relate to primary elections.  I assume that some federal laws govern the primary elections.  But I could be wrong.  Given that each primary election takes place within a single "state," it may be that only "state" (not federal) laws govern each state's primary elections.
Nevertheless, it seems certain that either "state" or federal laws govern primary election procedures.  Therefore, how could any laws not only regulate but effectively approve of a primary election process wherein votes cast could be overruled by some party elite or "establishment"?
However improbable Mr. Haugland's admissions may seem, the recent evidence implies that there are laws at the state and/or federal level that allow political parties to ignore and overrule the votes cast in primary elections-but still collect political campaign contributions for those elections.  What sort of firestorm do you suppose we might see if those laws are discovered and exposed?
 

Suspicious Minds

If you've previously suspected that the major political parties are ignoring your votes, it turns out that your suspicions may have been legally accurate.
It may also be that Bob Shieffer's prediction that the A.D. 2016 election will cause the Republican Party's demise could be right on target.
 
 
 
 

Footnote

*  When I first watched RNC-member Haugland's video interview, it struck me odd that he was often wearing a fixed grin.  I didn't connect the dots at the time, but it now occurs to me that Mr. Haugland may've been about half-snockered during the interview. 
If he was sober, how do you explain him making those extraordinary admissions?  If he was sober, he was either angry at the RNC and wanted to screw 'em big time-or he's a political dunce who had no idea of the explosive implications of what he was saying.
If Haugland was intoxicated during the interview, then the "Republican Party" may be threatened or even ruined, by one RNC-member having had a "liquid lunch".
This is all so improbable and yet so explosive that it's almost as if we're seeing evidence of the Hand of God working in American politics.
I'm not arguing that Trump is God's anointed-choice for President any more than I'd argue that Rameses was God's anointed-choice for Pharaoh in the face-off with Moses. 
I'm not arguing that if Trump is elected, America will once again "get right with God".
But, I am arguing that something is going on in this year's presidential election that's so exciting, divisive and explosive that it can't be easily explained as "bidness as usual".  Whatever's going on may not truly be inspired by the supernatural, but that sure looks like that's a possibility.  And, whatever forces may be at work, they seem to all swirl around Trump.


Weekly Commentary: Q4 2015 Flow of Funds
 
 
Doug Noland is not a financial advisor nor is he providing investment services. This blog does not provide investment advice and Doug Noland's comments are an expression of opinion only and should not be construed in any manner whatsoever as recommendations to buy or sell a stock, option, future, bond, commodity or any other financial instrument at any time.
 
http://creditbubblebulletin.blogspot.com/p/credit-bubble-bulletin.html
 
 
 
I'd been waiting patiently for the Fed's Q4 2015 Z.1 "flow of funds" report. The fourth quarter was a period of financial instability and tightened financial conditions. What tracks would be left in the data? Moreover, would the report confirm a continuation of the broadening Credit slowdown that had turned more pronounced during Q3, a slowing that would portend weak GDP and corporate earnings. Would the data support the thesis of mounting financial fragility? This Z.1 did not disappoint.
 
Importantly, Credit did slow almost across the board. For starters, weak Corporate borrowings were evidence of a meaningful tightening of Credit conditions. Q4's growth rate of 2.7% was the weakest Corporate Credit growth since Q4 2010 and was down significantly from Q3's 4.6%, Q2's 8.6% and Q1's 8.5%. Household Mortgage Debt slowed to 1.5%, verses Q3's 1.7% and Q2's 2.5%. The fourth quarter's 5.9% pace of Consumer (non-mortgage) Credit expansion compared to Q3's 7.2%, Q2's 8.5% and Q1's 5.6%. There was even a marked stalling in State & Local borrowings, with Q4's flat growth down from Q3's 1.7%, Q2's 1.0% and Q1's 4.3%.
 
Federal debt was the big outlier in the "almost across the board" Credit slowdown. Federal borrowings expanded at an 18.5% rate, the strongest Washington Credit boom since Q2 2010. This more than offset the private-sector slowdown, ensuring that overall Non-Financial Debt (NFD) growth accelerated to an 8.6% pace in Q4. This reversed the trend that had seen Q3's 2.1% at less than half of Q2's 4.6% pace (Q1 2.6%).
 
Q4's surge in Federal borrowing pushed 2015 Total Non-Financial Debt growth to 4.5%, matching 2014. NFD expanded 4.0% in 2013, 5.0% in 2012, 3.5% in 2011 and 4.4% in 2010. Total Business (corporate plus business financial) borrowings expanded a robust 6.6% (up from 2014's 6.3%). Annual Federal borrowings slowed somewhat to 5.0% (from 2014's 5.4%). State & Local borrowings expanded 1.8% after contracting 0.5% in 2014. Consumer Credit expanded 7.0%, the same rate as 2014 (strongest since 2001). Home Mortgage debt expanded 1.5% (strongest since 2007), up from 2014' 0.5%.
 
In nominal dollars, NFD expanded $1.961 TN in 2015, up from 2014's $1.848 TN to the strongest expansion since 2007 ($2.480 TN). Last year's debt growth was led by $794 billion of total business borrowings, the strongest expansion since 2007. Federal borrowings increased $725 billion, down only slightly from 2014's $736 billion. Household Mortgage borrowings expanded $137 billion last year, the strongest growth since 2007's $734 billion. Consumer Credit grew a record $231 billion (up from 2014's $218bn).
 
The Domestic Financial Sector saw borrowings slow to a 1.3% pace, down from Q3's 1.9% and Q2's 2.4%. Bank ("Private Depository Institutions") lending ended 2015 on a strong note, expanding SAAR (seasonally-adjusted and annualized rate) $722 billion during Q4. This put 2015 annual loan growth at $674 billion, up from 2014's $579 billion and the strongest expansion since 2007.
 
Certainly related the quarter's financial market instability, there was a significant contraction in Foreign Banking Offices in U.S.  Here, Assets contracted SAAR $562 billion (after Q3's SAAR $59bn contraction). On the Foreign Bank asset side, Reserves at Federal Reserve dropped SAAR $732 billion. Liabilities saw a SAAR $445 billion contraction in Net Interbank Liabilities to Foreign Banks. "Money" on the move...
 
Especially during Q4, strong domestic bank lending was more than offset by a notable decline in market-based Credit. Q4 market instability clearly had a major impact on Wall Street.  Securities Broker/Dealers saw assets contract SAAR $839 billion during the quarter, versus Q3's $24 billion expansion, Q2's $124 billion contraction and Q1's $97 billion expansion. Broker/Dealer Debt Securities holdings contracted SAAR $168 billion, and Security Repurchase Agreement assets dropped SAAR $442 billion. Miscellaneous Assets contracted SAAR $266 billion. On the Liability side, Security Repurchase Agreements declined SAAR $502 billion and Other Miscellaneous Liabilities contracted SAAR $406 billion. Wild financial flows...
 
It's been my view that policy and speculative market backdrops have unleashed intransigent Monetary Disorder.  Z.1 data offer support for this thesis. The category Federal Funds and Security Repurchase Agreements saw a Q4 contraction of SAAR $333 billion, which followed Q3's SAAR $575 billion expansion, Q2's SAAR $214 billion contraction and Q1's SAAR $181 billion expansion.
 
Waning marketplace liquidity was apparent in a marked drop in corporate debt issuance. Corporate Bonds expanded only SAAR $53 billion during Q4, down from Q3's SAAR $107 billion, Q2's SAAR $654 billion and Q1's SAAR $645 billion. It's also worth noting that outstanding Asset-Backed Securities (ABS) contracted SAAR $96 billion during Q4, this following Q3's SAAR $150 billion decline.
 
In the category "the more things change, the more they stay the same," waning marketplace liquidity spurred a surge in GSE activity. The GSEs increased assets SAAR $224 billion during Q4, up from Q3's SAAR $144 billion to the strongest expansion since Q4 2014 ($283bn). On an annualized basis, 2015's $85 billion GSE expansion was the strongest since 2008 ($234bn).
 
Agency- and GSE-Backed Mortgage Pools expanded SAAR $196 billion during the period, versus Q3's SAAR $185 billion, Q2's SAAR $122 billion and Q1's SAAR $5.1 billion. For 2015, GSE MBS expanded $127 billion, up from 2014's $75 billion.
 
Treasury Securities ended 2007 at $6.051 TN. By 2015's conclusion, Treasuries had inflated to $15.141 TN, an increase of $9.090 TN, or 150%, in eight years. It's worth noting that Agency Securities ended 2015 at $8.153 TN, having now almost recovered back to 2008's record high.
 
Total Debt Securities (Treasuries, Agencies, Corporates & muni's) ended 2015 at a record $38.741 TN. Total Debt Securities have increased $11.3 TN, or 41%, from what had been 2007's record level. Total Debt Securities as a percent of GDP ended 2015 at a near record 217% of GDP. For perspective, this ratio began the eighties at 66%, the nineties at 110%, and the 2000's at 140%.
 
Equities ended 2015 at $35.687 TN (down from 2014's $37.612 TN), or 199% of GDP. This compares to Equities/GDP of 44% to begin the eighties, 67% to start the nineties and 200% to end Bubble Year 1999. Combining Debt and Equity Securities, Total Securities ended 2015 at a record $74.428 TN. This was up 40% from 2007 (a then record 366% of GDP) to 415% of GDP. This compares to 109% to begin the eighties, 178% to start the nineties and 341% to end the nineties.
 
Household (& non-profits) Assets ended 2015 at a record $101.306 TN, up $2.953 TN (3.0%) during the year. Household Assets have increased almost 50% since the end of 2008. And with Household Liabilities rising $345 billion, Household Net Worth jumped another $2.607 TN last year. For the year, Household holdings of Real Estate increased $1.562 TN (to a record $25.267 TN), with Financial Assets up $1.171 TN (to a near-record $70.327 TN). Household Net Worth as a percentage of GDP ended 2015 at 484% (little changed from 2014's record). For comparison, Household Net Worth to GDP began the nineties at 379%, ended 1999 at 446% and closed Bubble Year 2007 at 461% of GDP.
 
Total Non-Financial Debt increased $1.912 TN in 2015 to a record $45.149 TN. NFD has increased $10.218 TN, or 29%, over the past seven years. NFD to GDP ended 2015 at a record 252%. For perspective, this ratio began the eighties at 138%, the nineties at 179% and the 2000's at 179%. 





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HEALTH
ANCIENT DRUG ADDICTION
It is a stunning revelation that Americans are addicted to food as their number one addiction followed by alcohol as the number one drug. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, poor food and drink choices affects over 52% of the US population. They've estimated over 135 million Americans use alcohol and out of that, 86 million abuse the use of it on a regular basis. Fermented alcoholic beverages have been in existence for thousands of years and seem to be the most universal ancient drug. Archaeologists have excavated ruins in ancient Egypt near the pyramids where there found a brewery next to the bakery. I guess there is nothing like beer and fresh bread after a long, hot day of pyramid building. However, alcohol is the most dangerous drug in the world and according to the CDC is the fourth leading cause of death in the US. Let's see what we can do to protect ourselves from alcohol dependency.
 
IS THERE A PROBLEM?
According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (sambsa.gov) and the 2014 Global Drug Survey (GDS), alcohol was the drug most used and sent more people to the emergency room. The list of drugs in order of volume and abuse are:
 
  • Alcohol 86 million
  • Tobacco 69.5 million
  • Marijuana 18.9 million
  • Rx Painkillers 4.9 million
  • Rx Depressants 2.4 million
  • Cocaine 1.6 million
  • Rx Stimulants 1.2 million
  • Hallucinogens 1.1 million
  • Heroin 669,000
  • Methamphetamine (Meth) 440,000 
 
According to the Global Drug Survey, it indicated that alcohol, tobacco and marijuana were the most commonly used and abused drugs worldwide.
 
DEFINING THE ADDICTION
Alcohol is America's number one drug of choice probably due to the fact that it is easily acquired, is not too expensive and is a legal substance. So, what constitutes abuse of alcohol? You'd be considered an abuser if you're a heavy drinker, a binge drinker or a drinker that is underage. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that a moderate drinker will consume 1 drink a day if female and 2 drinks if male. If you escalate the number of drinks for a female to 4 and 5 drinks for a male within a two hour period everyday or at least once in a 30-day period, this defines binge drinking. A heavy drinker will have 5 or more drinks five times or more in a 30-day period. In the US, 23% (59 million) drinkers are binge drinkers and 6.5% (17 million) are heavy drinkers. However, the Global Drug Survey reports that fewer than 60% of drinkers recognize they have a drinking problem. Additional information from the survey showed that the heavy drinkers from America and Australia were the most aware that their habit could harm themselves or others, while drinkers from Portugal seem to be the least aware of that fact.
 
ARE YOU AT RISK?
Some people feel they don't fall into the binge or heavy drinker categories. If you are female and consume 3 drinks in one day and don't exceed 7 drinks in a week, you'd be considered to be in the low risk category to developing an alcohol use disorder. For men it is no more than 4 drinks in one day and no more than 14 drinks per week.  In the US every 2 out of 100 people are within the low risk category.
 
NATIONAL GUILDELINES
Most nations have few or no drinking guidelines. The nation that had the highest employees show up for work severely hung-over was the Republic of Ireland. Second place goes to the UK and third place is Hungary. It was somewhat comforting to know that the people of the US and Portugal were the least likely of to go to work hung-over.
 
EXPERTS SAY FORGET ABSTINENCE
For years health experts have advocated that people with a drinking problem, or risk of developing one, should exercise abstinence from alcohol. Now a Dutch psychiatrist and co-founder of the Amsterdam Institute for Addiction Research, Wim Van den Brink, he says that abstinence hardly ever works and he helped developed a drug which allows alcoholics to drink in moderation. This seems to bring a radical departure from traditional therapy and tells alcoholics to drink, however Van den Brink says this drug is a opiate antagonist and blocks the euphoric brain (pleasure) receptors that are stimulated by alcohol. A Danish pharmaceutical company manufactures nalmafene marketed as Selincro and is sold in Europe and online. The drug is promoted to help heavy or binge drinkers become moderate drinkers or to reduce their alcohol consumption by two-thirds. So, this drug treatment is supposed to be a temporary reduce-drinking treatment for alcohol disorders. The selincro drug is supposed to be better than the US drug called Antabuse that gives the user an unpleasant reaction when consuming alcohol. The Journal of the American Medical Association gave the opiate antagonist drug Selincro a favorable report as an intervention-drug. While a report by Dr. Des Spence in the British Medical Journal stated the drug was mainly a commercial venture and distracts from efforts to limit alcohol consumption. I believe he is correct.
 
SIDE EFFECTS
The drugs which are opiate antagonists and block the brain's pleasure receptors come with their own risks. Nursing and pregnant women should not take the drug. Patients with mental health problems, seizures, liver problems, kidney problems or if taking other prescription medications should avoid taking the drug. Side effects of selincro include; sick feeling, dizziness, confusion & foggy headed, feeling sleepy & having sleep problems, headache, concentration problems, disoriented, nausea, tingling in hands & feet, tremors, fatigue, muscle pain & cramping, feeling high or floating sensation, short-term memory problems, a feeling of deep dread, irritability, apathy, depression and a constant hung-over feeling. One UK patient had this to say about her experience using Selincro:
 
"In the case of Selincro, I felt the side effects were on a par with an extremely severe hangover feeling, repeated day after day after day, for many days.  There is a very big temptation to get some alcohol down you as quickly as possible in the belief that it will make you feel better. Based on my experience, it appears to me that the reports about increased side effects from Selincro tablets are not exaggerated.  Both my body and mind feel like they've been beaten up while on the drug for nine days." Joanna
 
HERB REHAB
In my opinion, there is no need to subject yourself to the risk pharmaceutical drugs, which produce secondary illnesses. There are herbs that can help reduce the craving for alcohol such as dandelion root. Often this herb is used to kill cancer cells but it also reduces the withdrawal symptoms so drinkers can tapper off their alcohol volume. Milk Thistle is another herb that will support the liver with antioxidants and also reduce alcohol cravings. It will help protect the liver from damage as well. American Ginseng also helps the metabolism reduce its craving for alcohol, while it removes impurities in the system. Goldenseal and Peruvian bark are additional alternative herbs but they can be expensive and hard to get. Keep in mind that alcohol can remove essential vitamins and minerals from the system creating other health issues and you will want to replenish them.
 
EUROPEAN SPA TREATMENT
In Europe they use a fast-track detox for people with all kinds of addictions called the Cold Sheet treatment. It is a very simple and inexpensive therapy that can be done at home with the help of a family member. You can read the step-by-step instructions and the herbs you'll need for this therapy in my e-book, The Power Herbs (just $14.99 in PDF, Kindle or iPad format) at http://www.thepowerherbs.com.
 
HERBAL POWER
Anyone who has a desire to reduce or stop consuming alcohol can find success using herbs. The nutrition in the herbs will strengthen the metabolism and help reduce the desire to drink and with withdrawal. The more vitamins and minerals you put into the system with organic foods and herbs the easier the process is. You will find Milk Thistle, Dandelion root and American Ginseng at Apothecary Herbs. They also have the organic Body Foundation Food mix with natural B vitamins to support the nervous system. Valerian root is also available to help with any anxious feelings and improve sleep. Celtic Sea salt with 84 micro minerals is also available and is cardio-friendly. Call Apothecary Herbs now toll free 866-229-3663, International 704-885-0277 http://www.thepowerherbs.com, because if you're serious about herbs you need Apothecary Herbs.  Free catalog.  Spring Special SAVE 10% and FREE ground ship on US orders of $50+ with code: SPRING16. Hurry! Expires 3/20/16.
 
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MORE HERB SECRETS IN THE POWER HERBS e-BOOK. By popular demand The Power Herbs e-book is available with symptom/herb reference guide, information on organ cleansing and how to make your own herbal tinctures plus a whole lot more. You must have email to order and receive the e-book a PDF version of The Power Herb book for just $14.99. At this time, we do not offer this title in hard copy. The book is now available in KINDLE and IPAD formats. Select the book you need on the drop down.
 
 
NEW DANDELION ROOT LIQUID
Try Dandelion Root Tincture for inflammation, blood purification, respiratory infections, digestion and cancer protection at Apothecary Herbs 866-229-3663 www.thepowerherbs.com 
 
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