Ask Lee Now: Answering Reader’s Questions
We love to hear from readers! Please email your question or comment to Independent Living editor Lee Bellinger ([email protected]). Please include your name and home state. You may also reach us via postal mail (P.O. Box 1240; Clover, SC 29710-4240).
About GMOs and Genetic Engineering
Publisher’s Inner Circle member Frank D. writes: A troubling issue with the appearance of mosquitoes is that the Gates Foundation and the WHO put forth a program to genetically alter mosquitoes and place a gene into the mosquito that would produce a certain vaccination.
This plan was to be put in place and used widely in Africa. This particular program was to vaccinate Africans I believe from the AIDS virus. So when someone would get bitten by a mosquito they would automatically receive a GMO vaccination unbeknownst to them. This is a real program not just conjecture. I do not know if this program has been put into effect though.
But the appearance of mosquitoes very early while it’s still too cold for them and right after the spraying makes me wonder if the program has gone forward and now is being tested here in the states.
There is as yet no safe, effective vaccine for AIDS. But you’re onto something. Last year a team of scientists developed a trial vaccine for malaria using genetically modified malaria parasites. The vaccine could potentially be delivered by mosquito bites.
The era of genetic engineering is here, and it’s only going to expand in the future. I neither absolutely support nor absolutely oppose the introduction of genetically modified organisms. Such tinkering with
nature has risks, but also the potential to cure diseases and expand the food supply, among other things. I just insist that you and I are informed of the uses of GMOs and given the opportunity to consent.
The potential for nefarious secret uses by governments certainly exists, so we must be vigilant and ask questions, just as you are doing.
Future Buying Power
Richard V. writes: When the dollar gets dropped how are we the people going to have any buying power? Gold and silver are already in our hands. What will set the power of those items? Or will there be
The price of gold and silver in terms of the dollar, or any national currency, isn’t important as far as gauging the purchasing power of your precious metals is concerned. What matters is how much
basic needs – food, fuel, clothing, etc. – can be bought with an ounce of gold or silver.
The dollar might continue depreciating gradually in perpetuity, the way our monetary planners want. Or it might collapse more suddenly. In either scenario, the real-world purchasing power of
gold and silver could remain relatively constant, though it will probably increase in a panic from the dollar. I don’t expect that everyday goods and services will actually get priced in terms of quantities of metal. Consumer goods may continue to be quoted in dollars, or in some new global currency, or perhaps even in alternative free-market currencies that may or may not have gold backing.
The case for owning gold and silver coins isn’t based on some future scenario where you would need them to buy groceries. It’s about wealth preservation, privacy, security, and independence from the banking system and fiat currency regime.
have Many Advantages
Kevin C. writes: I am a long-time subscriber/reader and you mentioned Self-Directed IRA’s in your March 2014 Independent Living. I am not familiar with these and haven’t read about them before, but you didn’t mention where you can get one (what institutions, etc.). Could you please let me know? Thanks very much. I appreciate your publications and insights.
A Self-Directed IRA is a vehicle that enables you to invest in unconventional assets, including real estate and certain types of physical gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bullion coins. By establishing a Self-Directed IRA, you can bypass the financial system (banks, brokers, etc.) almost entirely! However, you must work with an IRS-approved account trustee/custodian. One reputable firm that handles precious metals Self-Directed IRAs is GoldStar Trust (800-486-6888;www.goldstartrust.com).
Bitcoins Vanish and So Do Hopes for
This “Alternative” to Gold
Jake H. writes: What happened to Mt. Gox? I heard all of their Bitcoins disappeared.
Mt. Gox was the largest Bitcoin exchange…before it filed for bankruptcy in March after allegedly being hacked. By some estimates, nearly $500 million in bitcoins have vanished and may never be recovered. We don’t yet know exactly who caused the Mt. Gox collapse or how – or whether it was an inside job. In another bizarre turn of events, the reclusive creator of Bitcoin, long reported to be a man named Satoshi Nakamoto, denied having any involvement in the Internet pseudo-currency after journalists tracked him down in California.
My previous warnings about Bitcoin still stand. I don’t view it as anything more than a
speculation. It doesn’t possess all the attributes of a sound currency and shouldn’t be regarded as
New Ways to Watch Us
Scott B. writes: Has anyone thought to create a small program that had the trigger words used by NSA that a person could wash their emails through to see if they would get flagged, before the email is sent?
If such an email-filtering program exists, you can bet the NSA already knows about it (and the people who downloaded it)!
Avoid Dented Logic
Joe D. writes: Lee, just read where Harry Dent is forecasting $750 gold and the housing market in the toilet for 2014. I’ve been buying silver pretty heavily in this depressed market. What do you think?
Harry Dent’s forecasting methods have proven faulty. He maintains that there is a direct relationship between demographic cycles and things like stock prices and periods of inflation and deflation. His model had predicted that the early 2000s would be a “roaring” time for stocks, while deflation would take hold after 2009. Wrong!
Dent continues to forecast deflation dead ahead. My take is that the Federal Reserve’s inflationary policies will win out. The Fed is now driving another stock market bubble that belies a weak underlying economy. When reality sets in with investors that the Fed is fueling inflation rather than prosperity, I anticipate that precious metals will shine.
$750 gold? Very unlikely. I frankly don’t think we’ll see gold below $1,000 per ounce again. In my view, now is in excellent time to be accumulating both gold and silver.
Seriously Paranoid Government
Expands in Response to Obama Critics
Ray Looker writes: I have written two books on Outrageous Misconduct and More Outrageous Misconduct which is an autobiography of my experiences with the Judicial System and the Department of Justice during the Clinton/Reno era. I believe the people of America would be very interested in knowing how the FBI uses criminals (agent provocateurs) to target the unwary innocent to advance the political goals of the Administration. I would be very interested to know what part Hillary Clinton played in targeting American Patriots, gun ownership and Citizen Militias during her reign as Second President.
The federal government makes heavy use of infiltrators with shady backgrounds – most aggressively when trying to come up with something to nab an alleged domestic terrorist group (which these days can be any group that bears arms and champions the Constitution, according to the Homeland Security Department). Agent provocateurs have also been known to infiltrate Tea Party groups (sometimes at the behest of government, sometimes at the behest of leftist groups who have been caught posing as Tea Partiers who carry signs with deliberately misspelled words or racial slurs).
Things are much worse now under the Obama/Holder regime than under Clinton/Reno. Eric Holder’s Justice Department was caught aiding, organizing, and even funding “Justice for Trayvon”
demonstrations in Florida. Holder is now viciously accusing businesses, schools, neighborhoods, pretty much the whole country of institutional “racism” for not engineering equal racial outcomes (except when it comes to sports where blacks excel – in which case, merit-based outcomes are apparently okay). Systematic IRS persecution of conservative groups, etc. These people don’t even try to appear non-political in their dispensation of justice.
Getting Started with a
Small Investment Portfolio
Nat F. writes: How’s chances that you’ll provide a monthly portfolio of all the investments you’re proposing? I would like to start small. How would I do this? Just had my 86th birthday a few weeks back. Have been intimidated by several past experiences over the years when brokers told me they required that I set up a $50,000 account.
We have published some model portfolios in the past. Perhaps it’s time to revisit and update them. I’ll have our investment strategist Seth Van Brocklin work on that for next month’s issue. Thanks for the suggestion!
Now with small amounts to invest at your age, I’d suggest avoiding brokers and their fees and avoiding high-volatility plays that could cause you undue stress. Our old standby, the Permanent Portfolio Fund (800- 531-5142), is well-suited to your objectives – $1,000 minimum investment, no broker sales loads, low expenses. This single instrument gives you very broad diversification into stocks, bonds, gold, and foreign currencies for growth, income, and inflation protection.
Unusual Survival Tactics
Anonymous writes: Here are some of the tricks I’ve seen on the internet. One is turning a file into a knife. In your survival guide I remember you saying you want to have lots of files. So it would be good to make something out of them when you are done. Another thing I saw was a solar heated stove. It could even heat during the night. Which could save a lot of wood. Something else I saw was a pencil sharpener should always be in your survival kit. Why? To make sharp sticks and tinder of course. There is this thing called a slingbow. Which can be used to hunt small game. That could put food on the table.
All good suggestions for those who want to get into more advanced survival tools. Thanks for sharing!
Sure, Keep Some MREs
Around the House
Bill S. writes: I was wondering if you have done an article on MREs. For starters comparing civilian to military, which ones are healthier and which ones give you more value for the money.
We cover MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) in our Ultimate Self-Reliance Mega-Manual. MREs were developed by the U.S. Military. Unlike freeze-dried and dehydrated foods, MREs come precooked in water or oil, fully ready to eat right out of their containers. MREs therefore tend to retain more nutritional value than freeze-dried or dehydrated foods. MREs are available at camping stores and military surplus stores.
I recommend obtaining several different varieties of MREs in small quantities. Try eating an MRE from your inventory for an occasional lunch, then stock up on the ones you like. They should lastseveral years if stored in a cool place.
Free Information to Vastly Improve
Your Personal and Home Security
Don M. writes: As I have read from you and others, the main idea is to be as inconspicuous as possible. If things do get “really” bad and we have the roving bands of looters looks to me like the home owner with the solar array on his roof or a wind generator tower is just advertising his state of preparedness. I think that the first order of business for the “low life’s” would be to shoot them until they are out of commission. Then target the home owner because of his perceived stock of supplies. Just my thoughts….
Sometimes there’s a trade-off between being fully equipped and keeping a low profile to wouldbe thieves. I would suggest moving forward with energy installations if they are part of your preparedness plan. Then consider what you can do to fortify your home security. Don’t let the potential for future social chaos scare you into not taking prudent steps now to bolster your selfreliance. My new website has great free information on all this! I highly recommend a visit. Go to: www.independentlivingnews.com
When It’s Important to Diversify
John S. writes: My wife has two retirement accounts from her former employer. One is a fixed (with cola) for life. The other is a deferred comp which she owns and can draw it in its entirety or any portion of it at any time. The current value is about $130,000.00. Currently, she is receiving it in monthly payments over 260 months. Currently, it is paying 8% interest and the interest rate is adjusted annually. I am worried that the government could give us a hair cut like what happened in Cyprus. Would you recommend drawing it out and investing in precious metals?
I think gold and silver will continue to appreciate and will be an excellent hedge against the coming inflation and the retirement account will lose purchasing power.
The crucial piece of information a financial advisor would need before weighing in is the percentage of your total liquid assets that is represented by the $130,000 account. If your wife’s entire retirement nut was represented in that one account and neither of you own any precious metals, then the case for diversifying out of the account would be compelling. If it’s a relatively small component of a well-diversified retirement portfolio that includes precious metals, then maybe you hang onto it. An 8% yield is better than what you can get in the bond market, but as you note, it is not risk-free (nothing is).
More Government Schemes
for a Totally Cashless Society
Gerald B. writes: We heard that on April 30, 2014 the Federal Reserve will instigate a new program which will begin the elimination of cash and coins – all transactions will be electronic. What have you heard about this radical threat to our economy?
Moving closer toward a cashless society has been and continues to be a long-range goal for the banks, the IRS, and the monetary planners. As of now, there’s no specific date when cash and coins would cease to circulate. I don’t think they’ll move to eliminate cash itself anytime soon; if they did, alternative currencies and the underground barter economy would take off like never before.